21 Day Primal Challenge Part 2

Many of you know that Lorie and I did a 21 day challenge to start the year, it was very successful.  We have changed our lifestyle and diet forever. When we did this challenge we decided that at the start of each quarter we would renew our challenge.  Although we have not hesitated on our diet, and overall we have stayed primal.  The 21 days does represent a time when we double down our efforts, cut out any Alcohol consumption, yes we will miss that glass  of wine, and make any necessary adjustments.  This is also a time that we can support friends and family who might be ready to do the same thing.  If you have been thinking about starting a 21 day transformation to a primal or paleo diet and lifestyle we are there to support you.  We are starting on Monday April 3rd, so just message me if you are interested in joining in this transformation the best way to be successful is to have people help you hold yourself accountable.  So good luck on this journey and let me know how I can help!

Spring Time

Spring has sprung! I always wanted to write that phrase. Spring is such a magical time of year.  I live in central Texas so it is one of the times of the year that it is still bearable to go outside.  Today high temperature was about 82, far cry from the 100+ we will see here in just a couple of months.  My question to everyone, yes all 10 of you that read this is what did you do this weekend?  Did you have good weather like me this weekend?  How about some good primal outdoor activities.  Lots of vitamin D, how  I have missed the sunshine over the brief 2 weekends of winter we had this year. There is nothing more primal in my opinion than getting outside and getting your hand dirty in the garden.  Of course I should be saying a vegetable garden, but no it is my wife’s flower garden.  I spent my Friday and Saturday (yes took a day off from work) pulling weeds and getting those flower beds in pristine  condition; happy wife happy life.  Sit back and think about this for a minute, what is more primal than spending time outdoors tending to the family dwelling?  Now in primal time it might have been patching the roof and fixing something a wall to the portable dwelling but in modern times that can equate to tending the flower beds. The most important thing is to get outside and get your hand dirty.  The benefit is actually more than you than you actually know.  First Vitamin D from the sun cannot be replaced by any supplement you take, and your body needs it to remain healthy.  Second is that digging in the soil has been known to release certain responses in the body that not only help you feel good but also getting your hand in the dirt help to build your immune system by building a natural response. I can tell you even though it was hard work, I am sitting here writing this blog and even though I am tired, I honestly feel great.

Ok so on more thing I did start my day off right, Lorie and I went to Yoga this morning where our good friend Ginger was teaching at Crossfit Georgetown.  You must understand that I have been doing the Crossfit Open and the workout on Friday, although I enjoyed it was particular hard on the lower body.  Ginger did a wonderful job during Yoga this morning of targeting a lot of my “tender” spot this morning.  I also want to give a shout out to my fellow competitors Heather and Gary for doing a great job yesterday. Finally a Thank You to all of my Crossfit brothers and sisters who every Friday show up and cheer those of competing on, it would be so much harder without you!

I did deviate from my theme slightly you might thing, but here is my message this week.  Be Thankful for Everything!

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten-free diets tied to Diabetes?

Gluten-free diets may be tied to an increase in Type 2 Diabetes

If you have not read the above article it is an interesting read about Gluten-free diets and being tied to increase risk in Type 2 Diabetes.  Seems that every new study finds something new for us all to fear, however if you are eating and living primal (or Paleo) I think you have nothing to fear from this study.  Before I switched to primal I was gluten-free.  I found that my stomach was always doing something weird after almost every meal. My sister had been gluten-free for about a year and told me she had previously had the same issues and it worked.  I gave it a shot and let me tell you it was a night and day difference.  Heck I even lost about 15 pounds, and I quickly found that at the store, restaurants etc there were plenty of Gluten-free replacement products, including breads, pastries, and sugar-filled deserts.  After taking some quick looks at some popular breads comparing gluten-free to regular bread you might skip the gluten, but you don’t skip the carbs or the sugar.  In fact one could argue because of the use of rice and corn flowers in the Gluten-free products that it might be worse in what ultimately turns to sugars in your body, just thinking about how high rice is on the glycemic index.  The biggest issue I see is that going Gluten-free is not enough.

The real enemy is sugar.  No matter what you see, the proof is their that our society eats too much sugar.  All this consumption is what is leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic syndromes. If you are currently Gluten-free you have taken a big step, why not go all the way when it comes to your health.  I benefits I have seen from moving to 100% primal on my diet are far better than the simple pleasure of eating a gluten free pie, and yes I use to love pie.  I have lost more weight, constant energy levels, no ups and downs of carbs, sleep better, no more allergy medication, and I could go on and on.

Let me sum up for you, I still wonder about all the parameters and control groups in the study and will reserve my final assessment to being able to read the entire study. Why not instead of just changing one thing in your diet make the jump to an entire new lifetstyle and retrain yourself on what is real food.

 

The Case Against Sugar

The Case Against Sugar

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes was a fantastic book and enjoyed reading every page.  You see a lot of books about Sugar and how bad it is for you despite what the USDA or researchers that are funded by sugar will tell you.  This book however is vastly different than most.  Gary Taubes takes the years of research and interviews and compiles all the information as if he was a lawyer putting together a case against sugar. If you are on the fence or are not thoroughly convinced on what sugar really does to your body, read this book.  Sugar is leading this country, no this world into becoming obese and plagued by the various metabolic syndromes including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. On of the most interesting parts of the book I found was the connection between tobacco and sugar.  Like a lot of you I had a parent that smoked for most of his life. My dad grew up on a farm in North Carolina growing tobacco.  What I never knew was that originally most tobacco was too harsh for the smoke to actually be inhaled.  The Tobacco industry would take the tobacco leaves and cure them in Sugar this would make the smoke sweet, pleasant, and easier to inhale.  This also made the cigarettes  more addictive.  This is just one of many points that Gary Taubes brings out in the book.  I highly recommend this book to anyone even if you are not on a primal diet it will change your outlook and hopefully the amount of sugar you are consuming.

Steak Dinner Saturday Night

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First homemade dinner back STEAK!  Talk about a great primal dinner coming back from Vegas.  I know some of you have seen this dinner before on other post, but this is one of my favorites.  I am going to share the recipe with you, it doesn’t get much more primal. I make the steak and I have to give credit to Lorie she does the veggies and the salad.  Here is what you will need.

  1. Steak of your choice, I prefer NY Strip or Ribeye thick cut 1-2″
  2. Onion
  3. Green Bell Peppers
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Asparagus or other veggies
  6. Salad  mix
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Cucumbers
  9. Goat Cheese
  10. Carrots

Lorie usually prepares sautés the veggies in olive oil and butter starting with onions and green bell peppers lets them cook for a while and then adds the mushrooms.  The very last thing she will do is add the asparagus or other veggies since it needs to cook the least.  In the meantime I heat the grill, needs to be very hot for steak.  I like to take it out and let it rest for a little while to get to room temperature. The only thing I put on the steak is salt, do not pepper the steak.   Pepper tends to get bitter if it gets to hot.  If you want pepper on your steak wait until it gets done.  My steaks are usually 1 1/2 -2 inches I cook them 7-8 minutes depending on thickness per side.  That is usually a perfect medium.  You can adjust the time depending your preference.  Once your steak is done put on a plate and let it rest for a few minutes this will let the juices get back into the steak.  The last thing is to put the salad together and enjoy.  Here is my one piece of advice, make extra and have it for lunch the next day.  If anyone needs help in making this one day more than happy to come assist you will just need to buy an extra steak.

 

Vegas – Not a fan

This is my final Vegas entry, I am back home now in my element.  I am going to say that I appreciate home more than ever. I have family and friends who support me 100%. I don’t say that as a half truth. I notice when I talk about my primal lifestyle around work and so forth I get very little interest, in fact I get more ridicule or what I will call typical school yard behavior against the person who is different. When I am home amongst my family and friends I get that genuine support for my lifestyle; in case you wonder no they are not all primal, although a good portion of them try to follow some of the fundamentals.  They are just supportive and are truly my friends. I have to say it was great see them all!

Alright so now let me talk about my last two days in Vegas.  I finally decided I was not going to let Vegas and this conference win.  I decided to take back my primal lifestyle.  Starting with Wednesday I would get back on track.  I of course have been eating as primal as I can all week, and I still made those choices.  I did decided that I would not have even a glass of wine the remainder of the week and I would take back my evenings.  I had one more “mandatory” dinner to attend on Wednesday evening.  I made my appearance enjoyed some good short ribs (had to scrape the sauce off unsure what it contained) but they were fantastic nice full of good fat.  I think I was the first one finished I promptly excused my self from the table and went back to my room.  The dinner started at 7:30 I was leaving at 7:50, by 8 I was in my room and decided time for me, after talking to Lorie on the phone I read for the remainder of the evening and fell asleep about 9:30 PST.

Thursday was not much different after attending some meetings, my day was done about 2:30 PST, I then went to the gym for a quick workout.  After getting cleaned up I decided to walk around the “mall” for a while, I wasn’t ready yet for dinner and thought it would be nice.  Finally decided on dinner, found me a nice Ribeye with Asparagus, it was good but nothing like what Lorie and I fix at home.  I was ready to leave, I did check but it was just too expensive to change my flight from Friday morning.  After dinner I really just wanted something for myself and I remember a Godiva Chocolate Store in the mall, think they might have some good dark chocolate.  For those who don’t know I am a fan if you need something satisfying to have a little Dark Chocolate.  I personally like 86%, think it is perfect but most find it too bitter.  Different people have different rules, I see 70% a lot I think edge that up to 75% or better is a good rule and only eat enough to satisfy that craving.  I usually find 1/2 a serving size is about right.  They had these 85% chocolates filled with a 85% chocolate genache, they were incredible about the size of my thumb nail; ok I at 6 of them. After that I retired to my room and repeated Wednesday night.  The following morning I woke had an omelette for breakfast and left for the airport.  I couldn’t wait to get home.

Looking back at the week I grade my self about a C.  I found that I am weaker without my support system in place.  I know they were all supporting me from a distance but it is not the same as having them with you, or at least having someone with you that will offer you support.  Unfortunately I don’t have that with my work, I wish I did and one of these days I will make a change; more on that another time. The moral to this story is if you are going to live different than those around you then you need support.  I hope anyone who is reading this has that support it makes it a lot easier.  If not look around I am sure there are a lot of good groups that would offer it. If you don’t find those then start one be the first!

 

Day 2 and 3

Well the last two days have been a whirlwind of training, meetings, dinners, and more meetings.  So I fell a little behind.  Good news without complete details is my diet has remained very primal, with the exception of a few too many drinks one night.  However Wednesday through the rest of the conference will be black coffee and water.  I will say the meals have been at times disappointing, for instance lunch yesterday the only thing I could eat was the salad and some fruit absolutely no protein that wasn’t between bread. Snacks between session have also been a load of sugar loaded processed carbs, like chips, flavored popcorn, and “healthy” bars, well so they say till you read the label.  How can you advertise something as healthy with all of those ingredients.  Enough on that rant, my biggest obstacle is primal lifestyle this week, I did get an hour of reading last night, let me tell you The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes has been eye opening and I highly recommend it for anyone.  Otherwise I would say lifestyle is somewhat of a failure, I realized last night that I have not seen daylight in a few days, that will change this afternoon as I plan to walk the strip. There is on success this week, I have talked to more people this week about my primal lifestyle with several asking to learn more.  I have found it very enjoyable to talk to others about it and educate them.  It is so amazing to me how misinformed everyone is about what is good and what is bad for you.  Ok that is all the time I have right now, I will check in again later.

Conference Day 1

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I was disappointed to find out that the gym at the hotel didn’t open until 6am, normally not a big deal, but my first session starts at 8am.  I did find some good news, a hole in my schedule in the afternoon from 2-4 perfect window for a workout.  Which I did accomplish, 2000 meter row and a WOD that consisted of a lot of Kettlebell Swings and push-ups.  So staying true to my version of primal fitness mission accomplished.  Now food my be a little more challenging today, let me start with breakfast, luckily I was on my own, found the Grand Lux Cafe, I had omelette, bacon, strawberries, and a cup ok 2 cups of coffee.  I wish the rest of the day would have been that easy; lunch was a challenge, good thing that eating primal I can go long periods of time without feeling hungry.  They brought in box lunches all sandwiches, they forgot about my “gluten free” request.  I ate the guts out of the sandwich (which wasn’t much) and an apple. My boss decided we would go somewhere else for dinner, this little Italian spot the view was incredible the inside made it seem like the outside.  I tried to order the half chicken, but they ran out so forced me into the New York Strip Option 14 ounces of goodness, on the menu it said with potatoes I asked for a substitute, and the brought me my favorite grilled asparagus.  That was an incredible steak.  Ok so where did I go wrong with dinner, it would be the hard apple cider I had with my meal, still well within my 80%.  Later in the evening I would enjoy a glass of red wine.  That was it for food, felt pretty good.  Where I did fall short was in lifestyle, I had every intention of posting this last night and doing some reading, but sleep trumped everything.  So not a complete failure, I know someone is reading this going well sleep is primal and yes it is and probably one of the most important things you can do that we don’t get enough of every day.  I woke up about 3am with my mind wandering and found it hard to stay asleep.  Reading and blogging in the evening help me remove the wandering thoughts.  Now it is Tuesday, eating another great breakfast, but will leave the details to my next post.

Sunday Travel Day

I am sitting in my hotel and local time it says 11:43 however my body says 1:43, this will be brief.  Today was travel day, I got up this morning, a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  I am working on the no alarm wake-ups. I wanted to be sure to have a good breakfast and also start to hydrate for the plane ride.  I ate 4 Eggs and had some water.  After a hard goodbye to Lorie, I hit the road and stopped for a 20 Ounce cup of coffee.  I should have had my home brew but didn’t want to leave it for Lorie to clean.  During my flights I only had water and brought my own snacks, RX bars and Almonds.  I landed in Vegas about 1:45 local time and I felt like I could eat.  After checking into the hotel I ate a late lunch at “The Yardbird” I had the Omelette Special, which was just a cheese and tomato omelette with a bowl of “seasonal” fruit.  Not sure what season any of that fruit would be surely not any in North America.  It was delicious but I must confess I had a Pear Cider, and I don’t regret it at all. After cleaning up a bit it was time for the scheduled dinner with the limited menu.  I talked them into bringing me a salad (outside of the menu) for my 1st course since none of the choices were acceptable to me to try and stay primal.  The main course was a 6 ounce steak and Asparagus (ok mashed potatoes were on the plate but I didn’t eat them, they are ok in my opinion in moderation if you are at your ideal body weight) Desert well might have been a little off the reservation they had Creme’ brulee and I decided I needed to taste, it was amazing and a couple of bites of it was all I needed.  I did have 1 glass of red wine.   All in all I think it was a pretty good day, I didn’t stay 100% but I did strive and wound up well above the 80% mark.  For my relaxation today to keep my primal health I read, took a hot bath, and wrote this blog.  I will write more about my adventures in Vegas tomorrow.