Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Breakfast

I'm all enthusiastic about posting pictures because we finally got a new camera.  No more taking the memory card out to put it in the card reader to then plug it into the computer.  So since I've got a new camera, I seem to always remember to take pictures of the food! So here's today's breakfast:
This is a tempeh scramble for the hubby.  This is the first time I've actually tried to make a scramble with tempeh. Usually I use tofu but all the bricks of tofu are frozen solid (forgot to take one out to defrost). I also made (steel cut) oatmeal peanut porridge for him with a slice of sprouted raisin bread toast (spread Earth Balance and fruit preserves on the toast).

This is our breakfast (the kids and I):  it's basically fried eggs with lots of veggies.  The kids also got a smoothie made with coconut milk, Greek yogurt, 1/2 a banana, strawberries and pineapple plus a dash of probiotic powder.  I made the smoothie this dense because Z2 isn't a big fan of eggs and probably won't eat much of it.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Food Battles

Now, I know that I am a pretty picky eater.  I don't really like trying new things and I can pretty much eat the same things over and over ad infinitum.  I thought that I'd be better able to understand and deal with my children.  I know many children are notoriously picky . . . I was prepared to sympathize and work with them.

But let me tell you, it borders on ridiculous sometimes.  When meals are served, my kids will invariably complain that it's "yucky".  It doesn't really matter what it is.  And it's not just because we are transitioning to paleo eating either.  They did the same thing with bean based dishes.  Just tonight, I served chili and Z1 fell out on the floor as if someone had just sentenced him to eating a bowl of fried beetles.  Z2 complained after every bite.  Luckily, they did eat the yam fries without too much of a problem so at least dinner wasn't a complete wash tonight.

They have their favorite foods like pizza (especially), bread and french fries, which I had been very happy to make for them from scratch at home with the best ingredients I could find.  Trying to substitute paleo-friendly options for these favorite foods has been hit-and-miss.  I've tried different kinds of pizza crusts--some with coconut flour, some with almond--and I haven't found one yet that they really enjoy.  I tried the paleo bread from Elana's Pantry and that was wonderful and well-received.  I felt like I hit the lotto when I fried up some yam and it was accepted as french fries.  

But pretty much every meal is met with complaining and tears and a general lack of gratitude.  And I find it very problematic that before they say "Thank You" they will say things like "Not this again--I hate this!"  I understand that making the transition to paleo is hard but really and honestly, it's not the new way of eating that has prompted the complaining.  It's just different foods to complain about.  

I have come upon some sure-fire foods that will be met with smiles all around: meatloaf (I use Sarah's recipe) and millet (non-paleo but it's cool . . . the kids are pretty much 80/20) and Z1 has really taken a liking to roasted butternut squash and cauliflower rice.

I'll admit that it hurts my feelings.  I really feel so under-appreciated because I do spend so much of my time working hard in the kitchen only for folks to spit on the food and act like it's just torture to eat.  I know I need to re-adjust my attitude and not take it so personally but I am trying so hard and they just could not care less.  Never a simple thank you.  I know they are children and they don't really care much about things or people outside of themselves but tonight, I just felt really overwhelmed by it all.  Wishing I could give up and let them eat whatever garbage they want.  After all, we grew up on white rice and chicken and a whole bunch of other non-ideal foods and we turned out fine.  Well, somewhat fine.

I don't know . .. it seems like an issue all mothers really struggle with, i.e. getting children to eat.  I don't know that my mother had all this agitation around mealtimes.  I feel like it was either you eat or you don't.  And that was that.  I guess I could offer them alternatives if they don't want to eat what is served but in reality, any alternative means more work for me because all the simple go to foods that I would usually serve are not paleo.  So I guess I need to figure out a way to make peace with the stage they are in right now.  And really not take it personally.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paleo Meals

This was yam fries with sardines.  I sauteed onions, green peppers and tomatoes in coconut oil and added a can of sardines. I think the was lunch on Monday. 

Sorry this picture isn't bigger.  This is the breakfast cookup we have twice a week.  I basically brown two chicken sausage links and then  saute all kinds of veggies in olive oil: onions, green and red peppers, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, spinach or kale.
Sunday Morning Coconut Pancakes . . .

THE BEST PALEO PANCAKE RECIPE

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup coconut flour

PREPARATION

Beat the eggs until they're frothy. Mix the remaining ingredients together. Cook on a griddle (we use an electric griddle because that's all we have right now, but cast iron would be ideal). When you pour the batter, try to keep the cakes small. If they're difficult to flip, cook them a bit longer.

A simple chili I made this morning: browned some ground beef (not the grass fed I usually get from the farm and I can *really* tell the difference), and then added onions, celery, carrots, green peppers, mixed greens, tomatoes, starchy tubers (yam/sweet potato) and some mixed greens.  Seasoned with chili powder, cumin, thyme, garlic.  Added some chicken broth I made a few weeks ago.  It was quick to throw together although far oilier than when I use the grass fed beef.  This was good motivation to remember to get my order in on time.  

I'll try to post some more of the paleo meals I'm preparing. Yes, eating this way means I cook a lot but in all honesty, I would do anything to keep feeling well.  I haven't felt really well in a very long time.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Power Training Update

I really love the Power Training program, let me tell you.  It's challenging.  It's hard work.  It's fun.  Unfortunately, it looks like I will either have to stop the program only one week in or significantly change it to account for my shoulder.

I don't know when I initially hurt my left shoulder.  I do know that I am weaker on my left side than on my right side.  It could have been while doing chaturanga in yoga or anything really.  But it's injured.  My doctor identified the pain as tendonitis and recommended that I take it easy for 6 weeks.  Of course, I didn't want to stop so I've been trying to work with it by modifying exercises and avoiding certain moves that I know aggravate the pain.  But today, I realized that I really do have to back off.  I was actually gripping my shoulder at the gym and just in my daily, I am finding myself being ridiculously ginger with it.  It hurts when I drive.  It hurts when I pick up my kids.  Yeah, I have to back off.  

I don't think completely stopping my training will work, though.  I am not willing to lose my gains in the weight room and lifting, actually going to the gym to lift is something I *really* need psychologically for a host of reasons I won't detail right now.  So my inclination is to substitute rehab exercises for the vertical and horizontal push/pull portions of the PT program for at least 6 weeks to see if I can heal this shoulder.  I googled around and found this shoulder rehab protocol.  I also found out that Eric Cressey (who wrote Maximum Strength, one of the programs I thought of doing before deciding on PT) is kind of known as "the shoulder guy".  He has written an article in 3 parts called Shoulder Savers which I am going to make time to read:

After 6-8 weeks, I am hoping that I would have healed my shoulder.  At that point, I will probably re-start Power Training as written.  Here's to hoping.  

Paleo Challenge Update

I haven't had much time to write lately which is disappointing because a lot has been going on!

The Paleo Challenge is still in full effect.  Friday, September 28 marked Week 1 of the challenge and so far, it's going great.  I feel really good and this challenge has given me the opportunity to identify those things that make me feel less than optimal.  

A friend of mine sent me this article "Another Reason You Shouldn't Go Nuts on Nuts" by Chris Kresser who, by the way, has an awesomely informative podcast to which I regularly listen.  Later on that day, I went on to eat some walnuts and I noticed immediately after eating them that I began experiencing some serious bloating and gas.  I had been feeling 100% before having eaten the nuts.  I think that day I had some eggs and turkey bacon.  Maybe some salmon for lunch.  And I felt fine.  Once the nuts went down though, all hell broke lose.  I know that nuts should be soaked but I guess out of sheer laziness or maybe not believing that they really need to be prepped, I have not been soaking them--I've just been eating them raw.  Now that I can see a clear connection between digestive issues and raw nuts, I'm motivated to prepare the nuts especially since my children eat them a lot.  For the time being, I'm staying away from nuts but when I reintroduce them into my diet, I will be soaking them properly and I may even take out my food dehydrator to make crispy nuts.  For pancakes, muffins and other baked goods (which we don't have often at all), I'm sticking to recipes that call for coconut flour as I doubt that the almonds to make almond flour have been properly soaked.  As a matter of fact, just last Sunday, I made this recipe for coconut pancakes and they were a hit!

Speaking of podcasts, I found yet another one that is really informative.  It's the Balanced Bites podcast through which I found the Balanced Bites blog.  What a great resource!  Especially for those of us who have emotional issues surrounding food because although there are lots of blogs and podcasts out there that tackle different angles of paleo eating, so few address the other issues that arise when it comes to food.  Like, sure you know you should eat more good fat . . . but what about if you have serious issues around actually eating it?  Anyway, I just really enjoy the style of writing and the no-nonsense, no-coddling approach to paleo eating and lifestyle.  Diane seems to subscribe to one of my life philosophies:  either you do or you don't.  

In keeping with some promises I made with myself when starting the challenge, 

  • I am chanting morning and night.  I miss some nights but I have been really making an effort at consistency.  
  • As for walks after dinner, the cold weather we've been having lately has been a huge discouragement and I am still vegging out in front of the computer after dinner with a cup of tea (and coconut flakes).  I don't know.  I think after dinner, that's all I really want to do--to kind of be left alone and have some quiet time before bed.  If I really look at it, it's not a bad thing. 
  • I cheated and got on the scale this past Sunday only to find out that somehow, I lost 2 more pounds.  Not good.  So I have been adding coconut oil to smoothies and eating more starchy tubers.  This has been an adventure:  some starchy tubers are just awful.  Others, I really like such as yam and white sweet potato.  But I have not tracked points on Weight Watchers (although I may start tracking on something like FitDay just to check out my macronutrients and see how I'm doing in terms of calories)
  • No yoga with the kids yet.  I am just so tired at the end of the day, I just want them to go to sleep.  Fast.  But I'm not giving up on this one just yet.  If I can at least commit to shutting down the computer at 8:00PM, we can get it done.  
  • I am still meal planning although I haven't posted a plan for this week.  Here's to hoping I can get it up here for next week.  Really quickly though, I roasted a chicken and butternut squash for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Today is pizza for the guys (baked fish, yam fries and broccoli for me), chili for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday dinner.  
So all that to say, I'm doing well on the challenge.  I don't know how many folks are actually doing it along with me but I'm so excited about how fabulous I feel and encourage you to at least try it.
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