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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the back story on the front story ((health stuff & more))

For the last few months Declan and I have been talking about cleaning up our diets a lot. Getting rid of the processed junk we eat, really being mindful of what we put in our mouths to have healthier insides and to feel better. I've been thinking about it since I began working out harder, really--back in March/April.

Why?

Because I was sick of not really seeing the fruits of my labor. I mean, workouts are workouts. But I was  (and am) doing a lot of strength training & toning and it'd be nice to see the changes, versus just cancel them out with my crap food choices all the time. And that's what I'd been doing. It was kind of a big waste of time. I was getting stronger. I could tell there were abs underneath some jiggly belly, and my arms and legs were getting strongish. But--what next?

You've seen this quote flying around pinterest, yes? Well, I want to look good in clothes AND naked, how about that. 

So we started getting serious. We did our research and I started realizing the health benefits, too. I had a few friends who've been Paleo for a good long time who helped me through the process. Declan and I buckled down and decided that we were making this change and planned accordingly with our weekly meal schedules and groceries.

We didn't decide to do this for weight loss. My husband can't afford to lose much, at all. So clearly that wasn't our drive for doing it. If I hear that we're on a "fad diet" one more time, I'll scream.  I don't mess around with stuff when I commit, and I know how to mesh things into my lifestyle pretty well. Our drive is health. My husband has a serious fire inside to be healthy, having a dad who struggled much of his life with health, and passed away in his 60's. He wants to do everything in his power to be around for his family, and I love that about him. I want that, too, and selfishly, I'd like to see the results of my workouts eventually and not be covered in a layer of bloat. Not to mention, what ARE some of those ingredients we've been putting into our mouths for so long?? yuck.

'Cuz really.

So what exactly have we been doing? 

We've been eating a paleo-type diet. I'm not even fully sure how to say it. We're paleo? Eating paleo? Whatever. I don't care about terms. 

Broken down, here it is.

We're eating fresh foods where we know where they've been. We basically only shop in the produce section and meat section of the grocery store. Of course we munch on almonds and eat almond butter as a treat on our apples and such. We eat fish, meats, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils like coconut & olive oil (used for cooking). We don't eat grains/wheats (so bye-bye bread & pastas--all kinds), or dairy, and of course, no sugar, and no legumes (beans/peanuts/etc). The drinks we do have are water and coffee. Coffee is a necessity of life and there's debate on whether it's paleo or not from what I read. I could care less, I'm still drinking coffee. With coconut milk creamer which is actually delicious (to me). 

What I've learned is that everyone who adopts this lifestyles has their exceptions. They have to make it fit their life. It's not about calling people out and saying, "THAT'S NOT PALEO" on their instagram and being douchey like that. If Declan wants a beer on the weekend when he's watching football, then so be it. If I decide to eat a small piece of cake at a birthday party, so be it. Those are considered treats. And paleo is not against a treat here and there. Plus, you have to make this lifestyle work for you. Control the situations when you can. When you're in a situation where you have little to no choice, make the best choice. I am not about religious stuff. So do what works for you.

So for us, overall, we're pretty strict, I'd say. There's a few things we fudge on, and I'm ok with that. Because our overall lifestyle is healthy and full of good changes. Huuuuge changes from where we were. I might still use a tad bit of butter here and there (rarely). I might splash a little kefir in my smoothie for the probiotic factor. I will let myself have a piece of dark chocolate when I need it. I will not be a crazy-face. I get PMS, people. A woman needs a piece of chocolate sometimes, amiright?

Obviously I have no street cred. Living a 'lifestyle' change only a little over a week is nothing to shout to the rooftops. I know that. Everyone knows that. I'm not claiming to know a ton, and I'm not hopping on some bandwagon. Besides, I'd rather hop on a more fun bandwagon if there was one. You know, like, eating-popcorn-and-chocolate-chips if there were such a thing.
I will say, though, I feel better. I feel great, actually. In fact, I'm not sure I realized how crappy I felt until I started feeling really good. The first week brings some weight loss, of course, because this is kind of drastic and your body's all whicka-whattttt are you doing, fool? But I'm told that will level out. Especially because I do muscle-building stuff. I don't care about the scale. 

What I'm realizing is, it was fairly easy to lose the weight. To cut calories and count weight watcher points (been there!) and it totally, completely helped me lose nearly 50lbs. I'd never discount calorie counting or programs like weight watchers to jump start your weight loss and take you far. Food portion control was everything back then for me and it taught me a ton. The problem (for me) was that I could still choose a whole lot of crap calories over good calories. So, a bag of chips instead of fueling food--food that's actually good for my insides. I could be thin, fine. But I have a new desire to be FIT. I really, truly want to look fit, be lean, let my workouts show, and I will--I'm getting there.

Do people have opinions about this lifestyle? Heck yes they do. Do I care? Not really. I've adopted the water on a duck mentality. You gotta let it roll off. People will say you're looking skinny (why does that word sense shivers down my spine?), when really, you know you're actually healthy & fit. You know you're consuming plenty of food, tons of delicious, good-for-you-stuff, actually. Everyone has to roll with their own food-convictions. Their own choices. This is ours.

 So far it's going super. 


Besides, does any of this delicious food make it look like we're suffering? I've never eaten better. (just a sampling of some random iphone food pics I've snapped this week)


1. favorite snack, idea credit goes to Jess. Cut up strawberries, bananas, some paleo trail mix (just a nut mix, find it on her blog), and a sprinkle of cinnamon. SO GOOD.

2. tuna mixed with homemade mayo, avocado, bacon on lettuce wraps.

3. my favorite SIMPLE lunch. we keep grilled chicken on hand, a fresh tomato, and shocker, more avocado. yum. salt & pepper on top, of course.

4. grilled chicken & avocado salad (can add bacon & hardboiled eggs even for a cobb-like-feel)

5. declan takes these for work--almond flour crusted chicken fingers (fried in coconut oil). they are soooo good. 

6. a fiesta-taco-like salad. This had steak & chicken,  a ton of guacamole, and fresh-tomato salsa.

7. breakfast. eggssss! add fun stuff on top or inside to hearty-it-up!

8. sauteed shrimp, zucchini, and homemade sweet potato fries---delicious!

9. we've been to at LEAST 4 events where food was out of our control in the last 9 days alone. When asked to bring a side dish, we always offer to bring something that WE CAN EAT. Selfish, maybe? So this is a raw veggie tray we brought to his Gram's 80th party this past weekend. At the labor day picnic, we brought a big, huge, green salad. see? no big deal.


***

(For those wondering, my kids are still eating pretty normally--still consume whole wheat bread, and dairy, but they eat mostly the same dinners as us since it's some kind of meat and vegetable, and it's delicious. We're making small switches in things over a gradual period of time for them. For instance, almond butter instead of peanut butter, etc. Switching out some of the crappy, processed snacks for better options.)


*****OMG I am an idiot. I deleted (all)(most) the comments on this post COMPLETELY on accident so if you see yours deleted it's just my own dumb fault. *sob* ******

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  25. Hi Katie:

    I've been following your blog for quite a while now and love your candour & humour!
    I've been looking at "cleaning up" my family's diet as well! Ever since I had my babies (they are now 2.5 and 0.5 years old), I've been terrified by what I see on so many food labels! One question you may have some insight on is why choose paleo over "clean eating" (including whole grains, legumes and dairy)? Any thoughts?

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  26. Hi Katie:

    I've been following your blog for a while now - love your candour and humour! There have been many times that I've found myself nodding my head in agreement over something you've written!

    I've been looking at cleaning up our family's diet as well. Ever since having my two babies (now 2.5 and 0.5 years old), I've become more terrified of what I've been reading on food labels.

    Since you've looked at this issue recently, perhaps you have some insight as to why choose paleo over "clean eating" (including whole grains, dairy and legumes). Any thoughts!?

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  27. this is awesome!! you go, girl!!

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  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so open about this aspect of your life. People can get crazy judgmental about food choices, especially when you discuss them. I love that you are sharing this. The past couple of years or so I've really been making the shift of viewing food as medicine...because it totally is. We do well and mostly organic, but if Diet Coke and Sour Patch Kids were healthy, I would be so perfect at making good food choices. ;)

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