Tag Archives: Paleo

Sometimes I listen to people. It’s rare, but it happens.

For the 3/4 of a person that cares, I am once again quite sorry for disappearing for the last few weeks. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or the time to say it, I’m just a horrible horrible person.

I kid.

No, it’s just inertia working against me. The less I write the harder it is to get back into the proverbial saddle and wride on (get it? get it?).

But, anyway, I’m here now, trying to get my mind-at-rest to stop staying at rest. I’ve been struggling for an hour or so to organize my thoughts and decide what to say and what is unimportant, and then I remembered that once upon a time, I had readers; and once upon a time, one of my readers gave me some advice. On one of my lazy posts, someone left a comment saying:

“You should write in bullets more often. They’re much more entertaining.”

Well, I aspire to someday be considered entertaining, so reader and friend, these bullets are for you.

  • Several weeks ago I retook the GRE (Graduate Record Exam for those of you lucky enough to not have taken it on yet) and improved my score since the last time I struggled through that POS test, so I am now one step closer to going to graduate school. About. Fucking. Time. Now I just have to apply, get in, get grants and financial aid and loans, and actually GO. Not exactly a done deal. But this will all happen eventually, I just know it.
  • September 2nd officially marked my last day as a nanny. The babies are growing up: Edy started 5-day-a-week preschool this week, and Graham will be entering Montessori in just a few months. It’s bizarre and sad not seeing them everyday, but this change was very very necessary.
  • After fearing that I’d be unemployed for weeks after leaving the kiddies, and going so far as to start planning a road trip that would fill a month’s time while I waited for new work, I landed a job before even saying farewell to the babes. Last week I began working at an after-school Academic Center as a “Coach” (a.k.a. tutor). I’m working with younger students on math and reading, high schoolers with writing essays and the like, and I’m also an ACT prep coach. It is a job vaguely in my field (Praise Allah!), and I also feel like I’m doing something good for the world: in a few weeks we start working with children in the No Child Left Behind program, and I’ve already been assigned one very troubled student who just needs someone to push him, yet be patient with him. I already feel so much more fulfilled doing this than I did watching Sesame Street with the babies, and it’s only been one week. This is where I’m meant to be for a while, I suspect.
  • I hate, so much, living at home. I have officially reached my breaking point with my parents and thus try every waking moment to be…not here. The hours of this new gig (11AM-7PM) are awesome for avoiding the parentals, but I’m still constantly looking for reasons to escape the homestead: drinking on a Tuesday, eating sushi I cannot afford, visiting my BFF in East Lansing literally every weekend, working to have walked aimlessly around every Target in Southeastern MI, etc. I really like my new job and don’t want to leave it for a while, but I am still applying for any and all work that requires me to make Billy Joel proud and declare that, “I’m movin’ out.”
  • My self-esteem, for several weeks, was taking a sharp nose-dive, and I was having difficultly stopping it from just crashing completely. But then I realized that the magical thing that got my self-esteem high a few months back–high enough to, say, walk away from a bad relationship and to wear a roller derby outfit in public so as to catch the eye of the lead singer of my favorite band–I had forgotten altogether: my mantra– BE BRAVE. I was caught in a vicious circle: the less brave I behaved, the shittier I felt about myself and thus the less brave I wanted to act…and so on and so on…but I think I finally got myself out of this negative feedback loop and my confidence is on the road to recovery.
  • After bemoaning for weeks that I was emotionally broken and all I wanted was to feel something, now I may be experiencing feelings again and it’s freaking me out. I don’t know if I should be happy that I am fixed (or, rather, getting there) or if I should just re-break my emotive bone to keep from doing something stupid…like maybe being happy. GASP!
  • I am getting back into Paleo pretty hardcore. All I want to eat is tuna steaks and salad anyway, so why ingest other stuff that’s bad for me, right?
  • I feel pretty good right now. How often can I say that?
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The Battle of the Bulg(ing Waistline) Vol. 2

One month from today I will be my 23rd birthday. For whatever reason, I feel like this is a BIG birthday. Like I need to reach some sort of milestone. I don’t think I’ll be landing a career before then, or getting married (which isn’t something I want to do anyway…it’s an EXAMPLE) but I think I know one milestone I might be able to at least  get close to reaching by then: meeting my goal weight.

I’m hoping to be 118 pounds. That is a totally arbitrary number I picked because 120 seemed too high and 115 seemed too low, but there ya have it. My goal weight. The thing is, I’m been very focused on getting there slowly so that I’m less likely to balloon back up once I reach it. I could be tiny if I totally starved myself, but then once it came to maintaining  a weight I’d be fucked. So I’m working my way down the scale slowly and steadily. With that in mind, I make my birthday weight goal.

And as a way to really hold myself to this goal, I will put it out there for all to see:

By June 1, 2011, my 23rd birthday, I would like to be 123 pounds.

OK, I wrote it. Now it’s real.

Yes, I picked that number because of my age. But also I know losing 2 pounds a week is reasonable, and that would mean losing 7 pounds in 4 weeks. So even if I have a bad day or two, this goal is certainly reachable if I stick to my plan.

And what is that plan, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, I want to eat as close to paleo as possible. If I am absolutely clawing my eyes out wanting sugar, I suppose I can have a piece of dark chocolate or stir some honey into my tea, but I’m hoping I won’t get to the eye-clawing point. And really, there’s just no excuse anymore: I need to really skip the grains. They manage to sneak up on me, so I need to be vigilant. I need to just really ask myself before each meal: Is what I’m about to put into my body the best thing for it? If the answer is “NO,” then I need to reconsider that meal. Simple as that.

Now, is it really simple as that? No. When I am really hungry after work, I want fast food. Not “fast food”as in “drive-thru food”; “fast food” as in “food that I can find and ingest quickly.” And usually the first things I find are: candy, granola bars, cereal, roasted peanuts, and cheese. (None of these options are even close to ideal, and you may wonder why I even keep them in the house. The answer to that is simple: the boy.) Now, I suppose I could just try not to let myself ever get to this slightly troubling FEED-ME-FEED-ME-NOW place, but sometimes I just cannot help it. I don’t snack, and when lunch is at 12:30, and then my boss doesn’t roll in until 5:30 and dinner won’t be ready until 6:30, I go a little crazy.

SO, I need to find a solution. I’m thinking every Sunday I will slice up loads of vegetable crudités, as well as grill and slice a bunch of chicken breast that I can pop into my mouth as soon as I walk into the kitchen. (Eating while cooking doesn’t count as snacking, does it?)

The other problem I tend to have is the Call of the Sweets about 30 minutes after dinner. I’m thinking buying lower sugar fruits (berries, citrus, KIWIS) may help to stave off the cravings when that back left molar starts calling for cookies.

I’m sure other issues will creep up, so I will have to think on my overly-hungry feet, but, as long as I keep reminding myself to feed my body, not my appetite, I might just do OK.

And I’ll make sure to document this saga for, you, my readers. Having you rooting for me/holding me accountable will be my greatest motivation. And in return, hopefully I can motivate a few of you to work towards a healthier version of yourself.

And so starts May. Here I go…NOW.

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Filed under The Good Foods, Uncategorized, Wellness

Going all the way

As an intellectual, reasonable individual, I know that Paleo living is most likely my best bet towards being physically and mentally healthy. I know that the pros—increased energy; the mental clarity; the reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disorders, and a slew of other illnesses; plenty of shallow appearance-related perks—far outweigh the cons. I know why I should go Paleo. But I am only human, and jumping into this new lifestyle with two feat is intimidating.

Rather than taking one giant leap I’ve been making baby steps. The first one was EATING ANIMALS, and I’m pretty much there. But sometimes I just forget that I eat animals. I’ll go to the store, spend $50 on groceries, and then get home and realize I forgot to buy my MAIN INGREDIENTS. Ugh. It’s happening less and less, but just this week I ran to Kroger for a few things, number one on the list being a lovely flank steak to grill and I just…spazed. Not that I don’t feel thin after a meal consisting of solely roasted cauliflower and a few boiled redskins, I just know it isn’t feeding my body what it really needs.

Other steps I’ve taken is cutting out bread and rice almost completely. It’s not hard considering I don’t particularly like those foods—bread, really? It’s bread. Gimme a well-seasoned, perfectly cooked salmon fillet. Gimme grilled asparagus with lemon butter—and they make me feel less than great after eating them (carbs expand, leaving me feeling too full). But every once and a while I feel a little lost. No sandwiches? I don’t mind rolling ingredients in lettuce leaves, but there’s a texture thing that’s amiss. And eating spicy Szechuan stir-fry without rice? How do I even attempt that?

This Italian girl who love, Love, LOVES pasta has cut her pasta intake to once a week. That is sucking less and less. But that was always my fallback food. No time to make a real meal, or not ingredients? Pasta. Easy. But now I always have to have ingredients on-hand.

And I’m still banning sugary things. I’ve had a few ugly binges (I’ll get to that post next), and Easter’s arrival meant that I have a whole basket full of temptation thanks to my mo—I mean the “Easter Bunny,” but for the most part, I’m trying to limit myself to three sweet treats a week. And that includes the usual suspects like candy, cookies, ice cream, but also under-the-radar sugar demons like sweetened coffee or tea, non-homemade salad dressing (there is SO MUCH sugar in bottled salad dressing), and yogurt.

I haven’t yet started to worry about my omega-6 intake (vegetable oils, nuts, etc.) or eating the sugar that is in fruit. And I eat dairy, which, to my understanding, is neither a friend nor foe when it comes to Paleo—it simply is. I have also decided that due to my seriously low potassium intake as well as my remaining carbohydrate desires, potatoes are totally fine. For now.

I’d like to go all the way. I really would. You see, nothing frightens me more than losing my mind. My grandmother has full-blown Alzheimer’s. If you don’t know, Alzheimer’s doesn’t just mean forgetting things: it means making up things, mistaking dreams for reality; it means aggressive angry outbursts and some violence; it means sometimes drinking dishsoap and eating whole sticks of butter in the middle of the night, then other times not eating or drinking anything at all. It’s terrifying. I don’t love the woman my grandmother is now, but I loved the woman she was, so I do my best to see her occasionally and be patient with her when I do see her. But it is work, real work, just being in the same room with her. And my mom, well, I am so afraid sometimes when she calls me several days in a row to have the exact same conversation with me that we had the day before that she is following in her mother’s shoes. I NEVER want to be a burden on my family. I will NOT go the way of my relatives. I want my sanity until the very end, and the way to ensure that is to forgo all grains, sugar, and other toxic foods and feed my body only the things that keep it in the best possible working condition. The way to ensure that is going Paleo all the way.

But I don’t know if I’m ready.

I know these things shouldn’t matter, but here’s all the things I’d be giving up:

• Ever making my grandma’s monkey bread.
• Bruschetta
• Sushi (My God, I fucking LOVE sushi!)
• Ben and Jerry’s Karmel Sutra Ice Cream (It’s orgasmic.)
• Hot dog buns
• Hamburger buns
• Cinnamon buns
• Chai tea lattes with honey
• Triscuit crackers
• Popcorn
• Lasagna
• ALL CEREAL (my FAVORITE food group, by the by)

I could go on forever, but you see what’s standing in my way? A lifetime of weaknesses and cravings. A lifetime of little morsels to which I look forward. I’m having trouble letting go.

I know I’d be gaining so much by giving this stuff up, I just need some time.

I’m doing my best to make that amount of time small.

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Filed under The Good Foods, Uncategorized, Wellness