Monday, February 5, 2018

February 2017 to February 2018: What I've learned

This is just an update post. I decided back in August, when I started this diet again, that I wasn't going to keep up my blog because it wasn't helping me. All I was doing was making excuses for my cheating habits on here and never really changing anything.
With that being said, I wanted to make a post updating y'all on how I've been doing this past year. I'm so grateful to have progress pictures to show you from last year, and I really have made quite a difference.

2017 to 2018 progress pictures, facing forward

2017 to 2018 progress pictures, facing to the side
So the first pictures were taken last year, either in January or February, I can't remember. I started off last year at 174 lbs. and by February I was down to 168. I went to New York, and ate pizza and doughnuts and spaghetti, and I came back and kept eating badly.
Around about July, my mom told me she was going Keto. I'd never really considered Keto but I supported her as much as I could while still eating all the junk I wanted to.
With a day or two left in July I made a decision to go back to Primal at the start of August. I'm so glad I did. All those reasons I had in January, the ones I wrote on this blog, still applied. I was still getting a lot of headaches and I still felt horrible all the time. I wanted to feel better again. So I started on August 1st doing Primal, but tending towards Keto stuff, just because my mom was cooking and it was easier.
I have lost 35 lbs. now and I don't plan on gaining it back. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and I actually feel so much better now.

So what have I learned over this past year?

- For starters, pizza and cake are not as good as they seem. I forwent cake for my birthday and it was such a great idea! I didn't feel sick when I was supposed to feel good, and I didn't get a headache from all the sugar and wheat. And pizza can be easily made with Fathead dough and to me, it's so much better than Domino's or Papa John's. (Seriously, look up the recipe, it's amazing)

- I am very sensitive to the types of oils used in cooking. If it's cooked in soybean oil (usually fried stuff is) it gives me a headache. I have to be careful when getting wings because if they're fried, even without breading, I have to stay away from them. I've since found some really good wings from places like Fresh Market, and Hooters smoked wings are really good too!

- Keto stuff is amazing. It's interesting because most Keto recipes call for sweetener instead of something like honey, which would be fine with Paleo, but isn't with Keto. I've tried my fair share of sweeteners now and found my favorites. I've also baked muffins, made cheesecake, and made pizza with all Keto ingredients. It's truly amazing how good they taste.

- My collarbones and shoulders had fat apparently. Since losing weight, I've found that my collarbones are...bonier haha. My seatbelt rubs my shoulders and is actually uncomfortable now, without all that fat protecting my bones. Who knew, though? That was not one of the areas I thought I'd lose fat from.

- It's not so hard to decline stuff at parties or restaurants if you're really committed to your diet. And if that diet actually satiates you instead of those low-fat diets that everyone suggests. And when I go out with friends, what I order isn't so unusual that people start asking questions about my diet. I've heard from the Keto blogs that it's better to operate under the Fight Club rules "Don't talk about Keto". I agree whole-heartedly, although there will be people who ask.

Anyway, I hope y'all enjoy this update. I'm still chugging along and trying to get through my final two semesters at college.

Stay cool, kids

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Not 100% Primal

Let me start off by saying, I'm done apologizing on here. From now on, I'll update y'all with what I'm doing, what I'm eating, and what I plan to do for things. I like the idea of a lifestyle blog, but who knows where this'll go! :)

I don't know if I've said this on this blog before, but eating healthy is hard to do. I need to cut myself some slack and realize this. I have to quit being so hard on myself. I don't like that nearly every previous post apologized for not eating right. It's not like anybody really cares! I'm supposed to be doing this for me, but what this blog became was for the benefit of everyone else. I felt guilty when I didn't update. I was disappointed in myself when I cheated because I was priding myself on not cheating.

I also feel that my diet became more about not disappointing my readers instead of what I set out to do. I want to be healthy and my goal is to "live long and prosper" ;) Haha, by which I mean, I would like to live to the ripe old age of 100. But I'm not going to get even close if I don't do something about my health.

I need to learn how to eat better, and I really want to take y'all on this journey with me. I think it'd be cool to look back at everything years from now. Right now, I'm trying to really think about how food affects me. I'm trying to stop myself and ask "Is this going to help me?" "Is this going to hurt me?" A lot of the time, I end up eating bad things because I never stop and think about how it's going to affect me. Or I don't take the time to look at my other options and just go for what I usually get at a restaurant.

I also want to have a vegetable with nearly every meal. I think if I can substitute some of the carbs I'm eating with veggies, at least I'll get the nutrition and I can start eating less carbs.

I'm gonna say right now, that it's not going to be 100% Primal/paleo. It's probably not even going to be 80% Primal. But that's okay. I need to work on my mindset about food before anything else. Eating less and learning when I feel satisfied rather than stuffed.

I do like a lot of Primal foods, so if I find a really good recipe, I'll post it here.

So maybe this will turn into a lifestyle blog. I'm going to try to start blogging about my life more than just the food I eat. I feel like it'll round out my posts more and hopefully be more interesting!

Anyway, live long and prosper,

Monday, March 20, 2017

I've had trouble over the past couple weeks, I'll admit. I did really bad yesterday with eating and the week leading up to it wasn't great either. I've backslid a little into my old habits but I'm determined to stick with this diet this year.

I've been questioning whether I'm eating enough. When I do Paleo/Primal very strictly, I tend to eat on the low side of my calorie goal for the day. But I tend to feel better.

The last couple of weeks I've just been eating kielbasa and sautéed zucchini for lunch, and by 6 p.m. I've been shaky and had a horrible headache. I think it was my blood sugar. So I added in rice to my meals and that helped, although then I was eating a lot more carbs every day.

And the SUGAR! Oh my goodness, I've been eating sugar non-stop. Iced tea, Smarties, and the like have been filling me up. If it's around me, I eat it.

Yesterday, we went out to lunch at Five Guys and I got a burger and fries (which was amazing!) and then we got ice cream! I didn't mind the burgers and fries, I know they're a lot of calories, but I wanted something nice and filling, even if it was cheating. But the ice cream was too much.

Today I've been eating better, which is a good sign. I hate that I keep falling off the wagon and starting up again just to stop a couple weeks later, but that's what this year is about. Figuring out what foods make me feel the best and eating those.

I know I've had a lot of false starts (and let's be honest, it'll probably keep happening) but keeping this blog up really helps. The only thing I have trouble with is coming up with ideas for these posts, but as long as I do, I'll keep writing.

Until the next post,

P.S. In May I'm going to New York for 4 days, so you can bet I'm going to be eating pizza and other unhealthy foods. But I'll try to keep that to a minimum so that I can go back to healthy eating once I get back. (Or I'll go overboard and vow never to eat pizza again. Who knows.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Recipes

Chocolate-covered strawberries on baking sheet

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd make a post with fun Valentine's Day recipes in case y'all needed some ideas! 😉

The top picture is some chocolate-covered strawberries I made a while back. They've been on my blog before, and it's pretty easy to make them. Just get some strawberries that are nice and ripe, with no visible blemishes, and melt some chocolate. I used the microwave. Then just dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate and lay them on a baking sheet to harden. I would suggest keeping them in the fridge once you make them. That way they're nice and cold, and the chocolate doesn't melt off.

You could also make these with raspberries or blueberries, just make sure whatever fruit you use doesn't have any blemishes because the sugar in the fruit will cause the chocolate to slide off.

Here are a couple chocolatey recipes for V-Day dessert:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles | My Whole Food Life
This looks so good, and so easy too! There are only a few steps and they involve food processing the ingredients, freezing, and melting. And that's it!

Chocolate Cashew Butter Swirled Candy Cups | Paleo Running Mama
These look really good as well. They're sort of paleo Reese's cups, but shaped into hearts! It's a little more involved than the previous recipe, but I think it's worth it. The end product looks amazing. I haven't tried it, but I have to now!

Here are a couple non-chocolatey recipes:

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
These look amazingly good. The recipe is a bit unclear on what kind of pan to bake them in, but I'm assuming just some sort of baking dish is fine.

Paleo Shrimp Scampi | the functional foodie
This looks like it'd be good! She suggests putting the shrimp scampi over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or even wilted spinach leaves. If you're not totally committed to being Primal, you could even do it over gluten-free pasta.

And last but not least, Valentine's Day -- from the bottom of my heart stew | High Steaks
I don't really expect anyone to make this, as it's made with beef heart, but I thought I'd put it in here anyway. The pictures are gorgeous, and I remember (when I first found this recipe, nearly 4 years ago) that I really wanted to try it. But no one in my family would eat heart. I don't think I'm nearly as adventurous now. I hate wasting food and I don't think heart would taste very good to me.

But hey, if anyone is adventurous enough to try it, let me know in the comments!

Have a great Valentine's Day! 💖 💖

Sunday, February 12, 2017

(Don't) Pour Some Sugar On Me

Blueberries and a banana, sliced, in a bowl.
Bananas have a lot of sugar in them, but it's natural sugar
So today I thought I'd talk about sugar. I'm super addicted to the stuff. I have some form of added sugar (specifically) every single day. So I was thinking the other day; what if I went a whole week without added sugar? It'd certainly be difficult, but I think I could do it if I ate really good Primal that week. And hopefully it'd cut down on my sugar cravings.

But I'm still scared to do it. I know it'll be difficult and I REALLY don't want to give up sugar. I'll update y'all when I decide to do it, though. And I WILL do it. I just need to do more research about it first.

But while I'm still eating sugar, I am eating a lot less than I normally would. I'm not eating candy, like Smarties or milk chocolate, whereas I would've eaten like 10 packs of Smarties in a day. (I know, that's a lot!) And I would've gotten a really bad sugar headache and crashed halfway through the day.

While I don't really do very much to avoid sugar, here are some tips if you're looking to cut down on your sugar intake.

- Look at ingredients: Look for all different kinds of sugar: fructose, sweetener, etc. You may not realize that something has sugars in it until you check the packaging.

- Avoid canned or boxed stuff: Most of this stuff has sugar in it. Even savory foods like spaghetti sauce (sugar is added to cut down on the acidity) or ketchup (again, to cut the acidity)

- Eat naturally sweet foods: Fruits and sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, just make sure you're not eating too many of them, or the sugar WILL add up!

Also, since milk chocolate has a TON of added sugar, I've been eating 70% dark chocolate from Lindt. It's not super dark, so it's not too bitter for me, but there's WAY less sugar in it than milk chocolate. Which is good. Also it's been proven that dark chocolate is actually pretty good for you. In moderation, of course! 

Here are a couple articles I read about sugar:

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Avoiding Added Sugar
This article is about what many people do wrong when trying to quit sugar.

My Week Without Sugar, Women's Health Magazine
Pretty interesting, one woman's experience with going sugar-free for a week.

Dear Mark: Sugar Cravings
This is a good article that's Primal, centered on sugar cravings.

Anyway, that's all I've got for you guys today!
Party On! ✌

Friday, February 10, 2017

Over-eating on Carbs

Spaghetti with meat sauce

So I wrote the other day about how I'd been eating too many carbs and I wanted to stop. (Okay right now, place your bets, did I do it? 😉 ) I've been trying to be better about it, but long story short, I'm still having trouble. I am well and truly addicted to carb-y foods.

I have a theory about why I'm still having SO MUCH trouble cutting back. I think it's because if I tell myself I cannot have this thing, I listen to myself? Like, I seem to have no trouble when I completely cut something out of my diet. I did it with soda a while back, and I started the new year going gluten-free. But that's only because I set a strict standard. I can have the other stuff, but just not wheat. And that's a good enough reason to stay away from it. But if I tell myself I can have a little bit of something, then I start to over-indulge. That's what happens when I eat carbs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Baked Sweet Potato Fries, A Recipe

Baked sweet potato fries with mustard on the side, on a paper plate.

Today I woke up pretty late. It was already lunchtime and I didn't want to eat anything big right then, so I had some grapes.

We bought sweet potatoes over the weekend but we hadn't eaten them so I decided to make them today. I think a lot of people eat sweet potatoes because they have more nutrients than white potatoes.

I've been eating sweet potatoes more often, recently. I found a great recipe for baked sweet potato fries that are a little bit spicy, and they're really good with mustard! (Weird, I know, but trust me. I guess I really like mustard though.) For me, I wanted to like them but I hate how sweet they are (I know they're called sweet potatoes), so this recipe is perfect because they're pretty spicy the way I make them, plus the mustard cuts some of the sweetness.