Paleo Challenge

All posts in the Paleo Challenge category

Paleo Ice Cream

Published November 7, 2013 by coachkatriel
Ice Cream Maker!

Ice Cream Maker!

So, as I’m approaching the end of the Paleo challenge, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to continue going forward. I’ve decided I’m definitely not going to be as strict Paleo, but I am going to stay about 80% paleo each week with about 15% of the things I eat being still what I consider healthy but not quite paleo, and then limiting myself to one cheat meal a week.

One of the things that I like to indulge in every once in awhile is ice cream, and even the almond milk or coconut milk ice cream at the grocery store has soy in it as well as other weird stuff that is technically not Paleo. I figured if I can make my own ice cream with Paleo ingredients-every once in awhile, NOT every single day-it’d help me with my sweet tooth and help me to avoid some of the bad stuff more easily.

I’ve done a lot of searching on The Google to find out different options for Paleo Ice Cream. The simplest one that I found had only 4 ingredients: Full fat coconut milk, unsweetened cocoa, ripe bananas, and raw maple syrup. I can’t remember where I found that one, so I can’t link it for you. I added some crushed walnuts to mine when there were only a few minutes left to go. As I was stacking up all the ingredients, the hubby commented that there would be just as many calories if not MORE in the paleo ice cream than in a store bought ice cream. I argued back that yes, it probably would, but it would have more nutritive value with the healthy fats and the vitamins. I didn’t measure anything so the bananas and the maple flavor dominated the chocolate flavor, so it didn’t really taste like chocolate ice cream. It was still pretty tasty and the texture was awesome. We ate all of it as soon as it was done and absolutely loved it. If I remember where I found that one, I’ll definitely link it to you.

Have you ever made your own ice cream before? What ingredients would you say are key to getting the texture and consistency of homemade ice cream?


Paleo Days Thirty Eight-Forty Four: The Epic Paleo Faileo

Published October 29, 2013 by coachkatriel

This past weekend was my brother’s wedding. The wedding took place in Washington D.C. The ceremony went fabulously-the bride was beautiful, my brother was handsome, and everyone looks perfect in the pictures (that I’ve seen so far). There of course were hiccups along the way, as there are with all weddings, but everything seemed to go smoothly and I think it was a wonderful experience for the two of them.

My adventure started on Thursday, when I took off of work early to pick up my sister (who lives an hour and a half south of me). I got my last workout in before the trip, and then went home to clean and pack. I fed my husband and sister pizza because it was quick and easy, and after cleaning our apartment and washing about four days worth of dishes, I had no desire to pull out and dirty anything else, but I stuck with a simple salad. I packed myself some paleo snacks to take on the plane (meat, carrots, and nuts) and packed for my husband some fruit snacks and cheese sticks.

Friday morning we woke up at 4:45am. I ate a peach and some nuts and drank some water before we left, and then we drove an hour north to the airport. We didn’t have much time to wait before we boarded, and the first flight was only an hour so I didn’t get too hungry. Our layover was pretty long, and we had some concerns about the meat spoiling, so I quickly devoured all the packed snacks (With the help of my husband and siblings). My husband convinced me to have a free meal at the airport so i would have something a little more solid in my stomach so I wouldn’t get grumpy. We stopped at the Quiznos in the airport and I had the steak and egg breakfast flatbread.

The flight to D.C. was about 3 hours long, and I just drank water on the plane. When we got to D.C, we drove around town a little bit, and then went to my sister-in-law’s parent’s house, where my mom had left some vegetables and diced turkey for me so I could stay on track. Late that night, my sister-in-law’s mother had made us some Papusas and they smelled really good and I didn’t want to be rude, so I had three.

Saturday morning, we woke up at about 8:00am. I had a cold, burnt papusa for breakfast because I didn’t want to make any dishes or dig through someone else’s fridge. Sometime Saturday morning, it became apparent that my husband was incredibly sick. His stomach was topsy turvy, and he couldn’t move or get out of bed without tossing his cookies. I was worried about him and not particularly hungry, so only munched on tomatoes and nuts during the day. He made it through the ring ceremony, but we ended up heading home before the dinner in the evening. It was a little bit – okay, a lot – stressful because we were in a strange city with out a means of transportation (All the people with cars were at the wedding festivities) and with limited supplies. The things my husband was asking for, as well as the things that were recommended for him, were completely out of reach for the entire evening and I felt pretty helpless to do anything. And I was hungry, so I munched on some granola bars.

Saturday night was pretty miserable and we didn’t get much sleep, so when we woke up at 6:00 Sunday morning to catch the metro to the airport, we were very groggy. I grabbed a couple rolls to eat for breakfast and bought pretzels and a banana for my husband at the airport to see if he could keep anything down and give him a little bit of fuel so he wouldn’t be so much of a walking zombie. When we got to the airport in Denver, he was starting to feel hungry, so I stopped to get him a toasted bagel and a gatorade-again, just simple stuff for his tummy to handle. I didn’t want to let my blood sugar get low, so I got myself a egg and bacon grilled cheese sandwich -cause it was high protein and cheaper than a healthier meal in the airport.

We we touched down at our airport, we drove straight home so my honey could get some rest in his bed. I did a load of laundry, took a shower, and then grabbed my little sister to take her back to her apartment. Feeling extremely sleep deprived, I stopped at the gas station and got myself a diet dr pepper with a vanilla shot (Best invention ever) so I wouldn’t fall asleep on the drive.

The husband woke up after I’d been gone for about an hour and a half and said he felt hungry, and that he wanted bagels and soup. So on my way home, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up bagels and cream cheese and soup and crackers, which I then shared with him because we didn’t really have that much food in our house at all.

Sunday night we slept from 8-8, and while he was feeling a little bit better, I was concerned about him and stayed home from work to look after him. I ended up eating about 8 popsicles, 2 bagels, and half a sleeve of saltines throughout the day, in addition to eating through my entire crockpot worth of food. I also was stuck at a new student orientation for 3 hours Monday night so missed out on my workout.

I think the part that bums me out the most is that while I had lots of “cheats” that I had to log in for the Paleo Challenge, I didn’t have anything particularly delicious, except for the diet soda with the vanilla shot, and nothing that was really worth it. I ate the things I shouldn’t have because I was feeling tired and I was ill prepared.

So what would I have done differently?

You know, I’m not sure. I’m reminded very harshly today that when I eat things that aren’t good for me, I feel sluggish and uncomfortable and a little bit grumpy. I also know that there are going to be some things that are out of my control that I can’t really plan for, but that circumstances like that are few and far between. I’m so grateful that I was able to be there for my brother’s wedding and to be able to be a part of some of the festivities. I’m grateful for the adventure we had, and I’m happy for them to be at the beginning of the rest of forever together.

I realize that if my focus is just on being skinny, then this week would be a guilt/panic fest. But since my focus is on being healthy, getting back on track is as simple as saying no the next time and picking the healthy options again. Recommit, refocus, and act accordingly.

What’s been your worst paleo faileo experience?

Paleo Days Thirty-three to Thirty-seven: To the ladies

Published October 22, 2013 by coachkatriel

I talk to a lot of ladies who are unsatisifed with their bodies but are scared to start lifting weights because they don’t want to be any bigger than they already are. I know the way that feels because I was you. I’ve had those fears and those concerns.

But here’s the thing:

Muscles require energy to upkeep. The more muscle you have, the more energy/fat your body can burn during the day. But if you aren’t using your muscle, the energy your body used to put into those muscles will be stored in your fat stores instead. Consistent resistance training helps bump your muscles up higher on your body’s energy priority list so you will be able to maintain the muscles you have an maybe even build them a bit to increase your daily energy expenditure. 

Muscles don’t just appear out of nothing. They require some building blocks that you get from your food. In order to build muscle, you have to be supplying your body with excess building blocks. If you don’t want to build muscle, then don’t eat past full and don’t eat when you’re not hungry. 

Eat balanced meals that includes lean proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables or fruits when you feel hungry and eat until you feel comfortably satisfied. 

I hope you recognize that your body is an incredible gift. I hope that you love your body, not because of what it looks like, but because of the things you can do because you have a body. I  hope you respect your body and show it appreciation by feeding it healthy food and that you stay physically active so your body and mind can be healthy and high functioning. I hope that as you see people who have bodies with more or less fat, or more or less muscle, or who have more or less physical capacity than you, that you do not idolize them or look down on them for their physical state, but that you appreciate that each of us will have our own state of ideal health that won’t look the same as anyone else’s. I hope you never diet, but instead that you adopt healthy lifestyle patterns that help you to feel your very best. I hope you stop chasing skinny and start chasing healthy and start being happy with wherever you’re at.

Paleo Day Thirty Two: Disconnecting

Published October 17, 2013 by coachkatriel

I know the title of this article is a little silly, given I’m sitting at a computer right now.

I’m admitting to be a social media addict.

For a long time, I had twitter, instagram, facebook, and pinterest all on my phone. And I’d spend hours of my free time clicking from one to the next to see what updates there were. I’d sometimes even wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and stay awake a couple extra minutes to check through all of those things again to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything.

Then my phone stopped accepting a charge. And slowly died away. So I lost all my apps. When I got my new phone, I wasted no time getting instagram and facebook, but since I have 4+ different e-mail addresses, I wasn’t sure which one I’d used for the twitter and pinterest and didn’t load those again.

Recently, as I’ve been drinking more water during and after my evening workouts, I’ve had to wake up in the night more regularly (Sorry for the TMI) and I never fall back asleep without facebooking or instagramming. It’s the first thing I do every morning and the last thing I do every night before I go to sleep.

I love blog surfing, and found one today where the lady mentioned she’d deleted all the social media applications on her phone. She described an addiction very similar to mine and mentioned it had been a difficult transition at first, but is grateful for the choice she made. So I took a deep breath and deleted facebook and instagram and email from my phone.

I know deleting and uninstalling social media apps is unrelated to paleo, nutrition, and exercise. At the same time, I know I’ve wasted a lot of my time being on social media that I could have spent actually being social. I get way more out of having actual conversations with family members and friends and coworkers than I EVER do looking at internet memes.

I’m not saying that I’m never going to get on social media again. I’ll probably pull up facebook on the computer every once in awhile to check in. But I wanted to take the convenience out of it so I could move past that addiction.

A conversation I have with people all the time is how ultimately our health comes to balance-balancing your nutrition, your exercise, your lifestyle-and that balance is what helps you to feel the best. I love that one of my official job titles is “Wellness Coach” because overall physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wellness is what I am striving for myself and what I feel passionate about talking about with other people as well. So will this decision to disconnect from social media give me faster pull ups or a smaller waistline? Maybe not directly. But it will help me to achieve a better balance for myself which will ultimately help me be a healthier person. And I know when I’m not constantly checking social media apps, I can be more “present” which will help me be a better coach and a better friend.

What small step do you feel you need to take to help you to achieve a little more balance in your life?

Paleo Days Twenty-Five through Thirty-One: The CrockPot

Published October 16, 2013 by coachkatriel

I love the CrockPot. Slow cooking was the best invention ever. And the easiest thing ever as well.

The past couple nights, I’ve been throwing chicken (frozen breasts, raw breasts, or raw thighs) in the crockpot with some sort of salsa (with paleo ingredients) and some raw or frozen vegetables and whatever spices I want right before I go to bed. And then Seth inevitably gets up at some point in the night to close our bedroom door so he won’t wake up smelling like food. But then I have a small bowl of incredibly tender chicken with veggies and flavors and a small handful of almonds and a piece of fruit for breakfast. Which is WAAAAAY more satisfying than just an apple with some almond butter. And then I pack some for lunch, eat some as a snack before I go to the gym, and then finish it up after my workout. So I eat the same exact thing pretty much 4 meals a day for the past several days this week. I’m not complaining. I’m still taking my multivitamin, and I’ll switch it up with something else next week. But so far, this is going grand for me-even though it bugs my hubby a little bit that the house constantly smells like cooked food now. I wish I’d started doing this when I very first started being paleo because it’s made meal prep so much easier. Throw stuff in crockpot, eat stuff out of crockpot, wash crockpot, repeat.

Also, I got in my four metcons last week! They were tough and I didn’t move very fast, but I was proud of myself for doing them. My favorite was Saturday’s workout, which was 3 rounds for max reps with 1 minute at each of 5 stations, 1 minute rest between rounds. It was the same workout that was being done in different boxes around the world for a “Crush Cancer” fundraiser event. One of the things I like about the CrossFit community is being able to do similar workouts across the world because it helps me feel like I am part of something bigger than just me.

What are your favorite crockpot recipes?

Paleo Days Twenty-two through Twenty-four: The Cheat Meal Dreams

Published October 9, 2013 by coachkatriel

Every single night this week, my dreams have revolved around accidental cheat meals. My stress dreams used to include showing up late for work or forgetting my lines in a musical, but now it’s all about the cheat meals. I’m sure that’s related to the cheats I had over the weekend and the guilt I had about those. I wonder if there will come a day in my future where I don’t even dream eat ice cream, pizza, or cheeseburgers because those things are so far out of my system.

I’ve been focusing this week on having a protein, a fat, and a carb at every single meal. I cooked up a couple pounds of chicken on Sunday night and seasoned them deliciously with random spices from my cupboard, so at breakfast I’ll have some chicken and an apple with almond butter and I’ll take my multivitamin and fish oil then as well. Lunch will be again chicken, assorted veggies and some nuts, and maybe a piece of fruit as well. Seth went grocery shopping this week and bought a bunch of that meat that’s discounted because it’s going to expire in a couple of days, so for dinner I pick whichever meat is closest to expiration, add different spices to it, and then serve it with a steamed vegetable of some sort. Last night I wanted to make mashed sweet potatoes. I added butter to Seth’s, but I thought I’d try to make mine with an Indian twist so I added in a little bit of unsweetened almond milk and some curry powder. It did not turn out and I definitely don’t recommend it. The chicken thighs I made were really delicious though-curry powder, cumin, and red pepper and then roasted in the oven. I think I made about 3 pounds worth of it (it was all going to expire) and between the two of us, we ate all of it last night. We could probably stretch our budget farther if we used smaller portion sizes, I’m sure, so that’s another thing we have to work on.

One of the gals at my gym posted a question on facebook, asking what people do to help them stay focused on their goals. I like to write up my goal somewhere that I’ll see it every day and make sure I actually read it each day. It’s helpful also to read it out loud and starting with “I will…”

There was a cheesy internet meme thing the other day that turned success into an acronym that I found particularly helpful when you have a goal you’re trying to accomplish:
– See your goal
U – Understand the obstacles
C – Create a positive mental picture
C – Clear your mind of self doubt
E – Embrace the challenge
S – Stay on track
S – Show the world you can do it

Over the weekend, I think I had a hard time staying Paleo because my goal has been shifting around, and I’m not entirely sure how helpful Paleo is to helping me reach my goals. I like the focus on unprocessed whole foods and more vegetables. I also like the way I feel after a good Paleo meal. I like not feeling bloated. I like how much my skin has cleared up. I feel pretty low energy and irritable sometimes though, and I know some of that can be due to being too low in carbohydrate. I have still not been doing as many metcons as I’d like, and I usually find myself kind of panic eating in the evenings- all Paleo, but I feel like I’m eating a ton of food. Since the goal that I’m working towards right now is helping to qualify a team for Regionals in 2014, I really can’t afford to be lacking in my metcons. I’m not sure that it’s Paleo that’s leading to the missed metcons, or if it’s just my schedule right now. But all of you readers (hi moms!) are now my accountability team. I am going to do 4 metcons this week, and 5 metcons next week. And I’ll report back to you about how that goes.

What goals do you have right now that you need help with?

Paleo Days Nineteen through Twenty-One: I Fell, and Got Back Up Again

Published October 6, 2013 by coachkatriel

I had two slip ups since Thursday.

On one of them, I was feeling upset about something and I knew there were four bars of chocolate from Lithuania in my freezer that I had as a gift from one of my clients (weird gift to your coach, but I appreciated it all the same). I figured that everyone else had probably had way more cheats than I had, so I grabbed that chocolate and nibbled away at it. I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would so I ended up throwing most of it away so it would stop tempting me. But then I ate a bowl of cereal as to get the most out of my cheat.

The other one, I had been trying to make a congratulations on being pregnant treat using some cute cookie cutters I’d purchased several months ago when I found out they were pregnant. But I forgot to buy flour to roll out the premade sugar cookie dough with, so it was sticking every where and I got frustrated so just ate the cookie dough piece by sticky piece off of the counter.

Three cheats in three weeks isn’t BAD, but I didn’t feel super good about it either.

So when we went out to eat the next couple nights, I picked the most paleo thing I could find on the menu and didn’t eat the chips at chilis or the rolls at texas roadhouse.

One little internet meme thing that I saw floating around several months ago said “You didn’t get skinny with one salad or one workout. You won’t get fat with one burger or one rest day.” It’s okay to be less than perfect in our endeavors sometimes, as long as we’re recommitting and always trying to redirect our paths toward our goals. I can’t go back in time and uneat the cookie dough or candy bars, but I can choose what I’ll do tomorrow and the next day.

Thanks to my awesome sister in law for always being so positive and encouraging with me while we were out this weekend! And thanks to my hubby for letting me experiment in the kitchen, even though sometimes it doesn’t turn out very well.