Saturday, June 30, 2012


Just for my blog readers, I'm posting this picture of my swollen, unhealed tattoo!

Waiting for it to heal up a little before I do Facebook photos for all the "real life" people, haha.

I love it. It's exactly what I wanted. It is perfect for me, a perfect reminder (an unavoidable reminder) that I must take care of this one body I have.

Better pics will be shown when it looks better!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life's Pleasures

So here is my day in pictures:

I woke up to this outside my window
I ate lunch here 
I kayaked here after work
And I ate this for dinner! (Shrimp stuffed lobster with veggies!)
I have been VERY hungry this week and trying to be so good. Been very paleo, been watching my calorie intake, especially since I haven't had any intense cardio this week.

But tonight, a treat... I was hungry, had an apple, and went kayaking for 1.5 hours after work.... then I went to a steakhouse and had the shrimp/lobster combo! I didn't eat the bread, I had a salad with balsamic on it, and asked for extra veggies instead of a starch as my side. I think this was a good choice :D

Next week won't be so magical, since I will not be in the Adirondacks for work, but I WILL be home with my guy, so that makes me very happy! We will have a lovely week because we will be together, even if we aren't in a fancy hotel in Lake Placid with free kayaks and a great view.

Tattoo appointment tomorrow. Nervous! It's a big one, going to take up my whole hip, and will leave me with no legs that don't have tattoos on them... strange! I want this, though. This is my contract and my promise to myself that I will always love and always take care of my body.

Updates soon as I can!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I am faced with so many choices out on the road that I don't have to contend with at home.

It is so easy for me to stick to my schedule at home of gym, work, eat what's at home.

Here: buy stuff at the grocery, eat out, eat leftovers.... where to eat out, how to order, how to make good choices! Work out, don't work out, play/work out. 

Today we set up grids and didn't do a lot of digging. I had planned to hit the gym at the hotel, but I decided to kayak instead! The hotel where I stay offers free kayaking, and I felt I HAD to take advantage... kayaking on Mirror Lake with a view of the High Peaks in the background. It was a pretty good arm workout, too! I hope to get pictures tomorrow... it's been cloudy/rainy/hazy all week, but tomorrow is supposed to be nice..

I have been working on my dissertation in my hotel room, but taking breaks to watch TV, do push-ups and squats. Makes me feel better about my food decisions:

I ate out last night (Monday night, I just ate a turkey burger and some veggies from home). Last night I got beef meatloaf with sweet potato fries and Brussels sprouts. I only ate half. So tonight, instead of going out and buying another full meal (and having TOO much food lying around the hotel room), I ate my leftovers. Good for my wallet, probably better for my body.

I did go out into Lake Placid this afternoon and I bought a piece of dark chocolate almond bark. I ate that tonight, too. Heh. I was CRAVING chocolate. I have been craving it since Sunday (when I got my monthly friend)... finally gave in and I don't regret it!! MMMM.

By the by... my monthly friend only last two and a half days. Crazy. When I was 135 lbs or over, it would last around 5-7 days. Now at closer to 125, 2.5 days! It makes my life easier. I talked to my doctor about it and she says it's completely normal, whew.

My guy is at home baking up some paleo treats for the coming week. I am excited. So far, I am the only one baking for paleo in our house. I am eager to see how he does! I plan to enjoy a treat during or after my tattoo appointment on Friday (will eat a little lighter during the day to make room for it, though).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Working a manual labor job

So I am back in the field as an archaeologist, digging.

I am wondering how to re-adjust my life now that my job involves heavy/hard activity.

Since September, my job has involved sitting or maybe standing to teach, very low activity. So I was putting in a lot of cardio and strength training time on my own time.

But today, wow. Digging holes through rocks and roots, carrying equipment, etc etc. On my feet all day, usually digging or shaking the screen (through which we screen the dirt). My shoulders are BURNING, my heart rate went up several times throughout the day. I sure as hell don't feel like working out after that.

Does anyone out there have any experience with this?

I don't want to NOT work out, but I am not sure how it fits into my life now. I swam for a while after work, to get a little softer activity in. But lifting weights doesn't seem in the cards.

This sudden life change is one of those times I need to be vigilant, to make sure I don't back-track. I don't want to over-eat while traveling, or over-estimate how much I burn at work.

I need to keep an eye on things. But thought I would see if anyone has any advice!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Catching up!

Had a super busy weekend! Trying to catch up on life, work, blogs :)

Saturday, we had a BBQ and a surprise birthday party at a local music venue to go to (it was pretty awesome!)... I ate a red velvet cupcake and had some vodka. I stayed till after 1 AM. I talked to all my friends and had a blast! No regrets :)

Sunday, we woke up at a 5:30 in the morning (so got about 3 hours of sleep, ah!) to go hike with some friends. I was super tired but managed to stay paleo all day and not give into sleep-deprived cravings. I also got in a 9 mile hike up the 2nd highest mountain in the state. Success!

This is a picture Chris snapped of me when I didn't know, haha! I love it because I look so tiny!!! And you get to see my wolf tattoo, haha... this is an older tattoo, not the new one I am getting on Friday. But yeah, I needed this photo.. because it is that time of the month and I wasn't feeling too great about my body. But I like this :)

And here is another picture during the hike... Chris likes it because he says I make this face at him all the time. Oh Lord. :D

We went out to dinner after the hike. Not a lot of paleo choices (or even healthy choices) at the restaurant. My friends got burgers, fries, and wings. I got a spinach salad with grapes, walnuts and grilled chicken. Hahaha. It was the hardest self restraint I have ever shown! I felt like I needed to be strong right then, because the day before I had had a cupcake. I cannot be indulging/cheating two days in a row. Sets a bad precedent and pattern that would be hard for me to break out of.

Today, I am a little down. Some weird stuff going on at work, I don't feel comfortable here. Can't/won't really go into it here, but letting you all know I am under some high stress about it. Figuring out your life path is a damned difficult thing to do!

I am also traveling for work this week, so I am staying in Lake Placid. It was rainy today and I was super tired, so instead of heading out to the lake or the mountains, I took a nap in the hotel room. Worth it. Needed it. Will enjoy the environment tomorrow after work.

I went to the grocery store and got breakfast and lunch for the week. Stayed paleo! I plan to go out to dinner tomorrow and get a paleo dinner out (hopefully get a huge dinner and then eat the leftovers for dinner on Wednesday... saving money, yep yep).

Anyway. Missing Chris. Pretty stressed. Unsure. But keeping strong, focusing. Not backtracking now!

Plan to catch up on reading blogs tonight :)

Light and love <3

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Food Prep

I prep a lot of food. A lot. Sometimes I am overwhelmed! Usually not, though, because Chris and I make a "date" of it and spend time together in the kitchen.

Here is what we prepped in the past two hours:
Sweet potato, green apple, bacon hash for BBQ tonight
Breakfast for Sunday: broccoli, spinach and chicken quiche
Hiking lunch for Sunday (normal assortment of hiking foods, all paleo)
Fruit salad for the week (kiwi, mango, blueberries, apple... lots of prep!)
Roasted chicken breasts for the week
Almond flour blueberry muffins
(***During all this I made Chris and I smoothies: unsweetened vanilla almond milk, blueberries, and a scoop of So Delicious Passion Mango coconut milk ice cream.... THIS IS A MUST TRY***)

CRAZY. Seriously busy. I felt like I was in a professional kitchen, prepping for dinner service!!

Running all around, having several dishes, pans, etc going at once.


Making a HUGE sink of dishes (oy).

I momentarily apologized to Chris for all the trouble and the mess. He said, "I would rather prep this food with you and do these dishes than put junk into my body. Thank you!"

He thanked me :D He even told me I was amazing (he is being quite sweet lately, haha!) and that he appreciated all the delicious food we make together. It makes being paleo easy to adhere to!

It IS a lot of work. But it's worth it, and I have a partner who helps me, so I am going to keep on keeping on :D

All this prepped food makes sure there are no excuses for me, saying "I am too busy, I'll just eat whatever!!".

We are super busy this evening and all day tomorrow. But this afternoon was spent preparing for it :)

Okay... I am off to go be busy and have fun this weekend!

Namaste :D

Friday, June 22, 2012

Can you be only part-way paleo? (the cupcake batter battle)

Do people who eat 80/20 paleo or 90/10 primal actually get all the benefits from the diet?

I hear a lot about people trying to ease their way into paleo by doing a certain percentage of paleo, a certain percentage of whatever-else.

I jumped in with both feet and went super-strict paleo for one month. I loved it. My body never looked/felt better.

But now, more than two months out from the experiment, my boyfriend and I have both decided to stay paleo... but not strict.

And I find myself in the group of 90/10-ers.

I had cheese and risotto at a wedding last Saturday.

A friend invited me over for dinner, made rice with a mango-black bean salsa. I had half a cup of rice and a ton of black beans (legumes are not paleo!).

Last night, I helped a friend make red velvet cupcakes, and I helped myself to more than a cupcake's worth of batter.

And I haven't felt very good. I've felt bloated, a little groggy. Yikes. But I also don't seem to be able to make better decisions sometimes. Raw cupcake batter?!?!?! That is not the "new" me!!

I truly don't believe you get most of the benefits of paleo if you only do it for a certain percentage, even if that percentage is 95% or 99%. If you put toxins into your body (processed foods, white flour, etc -- those are my toxins!), even just a little little little bit, you still get a constant stream of toxins! And your body is going to fight back... eg: inflammation!

I don't feel as good now as I did on strict paleo (where I had NO added sugars or alcohol). I believe that allowing the sugars and alcohol back into my diet have made me lax ELSEWHERE in my diet.

I am trying to have a new commitment to myself. I know it is absurd to think I will never eat another non-paleo food again (like when my friend invited me over for dinner and it was good, healthy, clean food... just not paleo, I will eat it!)... but I am going to be better to myself (like... uhhh... NO CUPCAKE BATTER).

Getting back on track with food, here! It's the most important part of this equation to me. My activity levels are through the roof right now, so no problems there. But if my food is all wonky, so am I.

Promising myself a healthy and fun weekend, and hoping that for all of you, too!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finally weighed in.. (tattoo update)

I was pretty scared of the scale this week. It's ridiculous! I shouldn't be scared of the truth of what I am.

But the wedding I went to last week (where I overindulged and vomited on the side of the road... not a pretty story and I won't recount it in it's full form!), made me nervous.

I've also been pretty hungry lately!

But I've been really good about eating clean and eating paleo, even if the calories have been high. Also I have been walking to/from work (3 miles round trip) and exercising, even if it is just a walk, at lunch.

So I was very happy when I weighed in at 127 :D :D It's right where I want to be: closer to 125 than 130.

I was scare I would be over 130 pounds when I got my tattoo, which would defeat the purpose!

Oh, did I tell you I have a tattoo appointment? I do! Next Friday, the 29th. I am TREMBLING with excitement when I think about it.

Cannot wait to see the final result :) It's a big one, my hip/thigh, so I am nervous!

But there is nothing to be done till that day. So I will just try to relax, haha.

On other fronts, I am finding it easier to wake up, as long as I go to bed by about 10:30. Not great for the social life, but necessary for my health. Friends will understand!

Woke up ten minutes early this morning, made myself a lovely egg scramble with onions and mushies. Put together a lovely lunch and snacks to bring to work. I've been underpacking the past few days, unsure of what I would need, and I might have OVERpacked today. I don't have to eat everything I bring with me (mantra I tell myself so that I DON'T eat everything I bring with me JUST because I brought it... I have to be hungry!)

Getting ready to leave soon, so I will wish all you beautiful souls a happy day :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An hour of sun salutations!

Without the aid of Chris, I still got up at 6 AM this morning to make it to yoga class before work.

I am very proud of myself! I feel kind of depressed and it would be a lot easier to just grab an extra hour or so of sleep. But I went to bed early and prepped all my food, laid out my clothes, and off I went this morning!

It was an interesting class. We did only sun salutations (with varying degrees of difficulty, and some change ups so I didn't get bored) because the teacher said the solstice was coming and on the solstices, yogis do 108 sun salutations. WOW. In an hour we only did 36!! Some were quite involved, though.

I got a killer workout! And it loosened up my back in an amazing way. And I feel bright and awake :D :D

If I am still local (not traveling) next week, I will go to yoga again in the morning. It was worth it a hundred times over.

Still missing Chris, though. I like the partnership we have, we both get up and do these things together usually! He is working up in Lake Placid, and I am pretty jealous. He gets to hike the mountains we love every day after work. Our friend, who works with us, brought his girlfriend up there... so she gets a free hotel and a week in Lake Placid, too. I cannot help my feelings of jealousy that I wish that was me!!! GR.


I must be grateful for this job right now. I am getting paid. I NEED to get paid or fun times will have to stop in the future.

Working on my peacefulness :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Environment matters!

It struck me today how lucky I am to live in the city that I do. It is not always easy to be healthy in modern environments. I live in a city, but a small city. Albany is actually a fairly easy city to walk around, bike around, jog around. We have good sidewalks, lots of lovely parks, and a really cute downtown district that I live right nearby (lots of walking, less driving for me!) I walked 1.5 miles to work this morning, it was easy and safe.

I work in the NYS Museum building, right on the Capitol Plaza, surrounded by lots of really interesting places to walk to! At lunchtime, I headed outside and took a 1.5 mile walk around the downtown/business district today, looking at old churches and the administrative buildings of Albany.

Here are some pictures taken right on the plaza (which, by the way, has a great farmer's market on Wednesdays!)

I walked up and down these stairs half a dozen times!

And then it got a little too chilly for me! So I decided I wasn't done getting exercise on my lunchbreak, so I headed into the museum to walk around the exhibits. It doesn't feel like exercise when I get to look at so much cool stuff, but I kept moving for an hour today in the middle of the workday, and that's awesome :D

Add my lunchtime walking to my walk to/from work, I get over five miles in a day. I don't know that it would be so possible, so easy, or so fun if I didn't live where I did!

Here are some pics from inside the museum. (I really, really love working here.. I wish it was more than just a temporary job!)



A branch of my gym is right in the concourse below the plaza, so I will be doing some strength workouts this week to compliment all the walking I will be doing!

Hope everyone's Monday is going well,

Namaste :D

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Swimsuit wearing in public!

Last Friday, Chris and I took our friend Ryan to our favorite local swimming hole... and brought along Koda, of course! Koda loves swimming more than he loves breathing.

I usually just go in in my clothes with Koda, because I don't like being in a bathing suit... not around friends, not where strangers could happen upon me. It's nerve-wracking. I am not THAT at peace with my body yet.

But these photos that Chris took of me that day, when I let down my guard and jumped into the water in my suit (even though Ryan was there and there were people hiking all around), changed a lot for me. I look carefree, I look confident in these pictures. I am not guarding myself, hiding myself with my arms or anything I normally would.

AND it helps that working out so much has REALLY paid off. I do wish I had a "before" picture from last year to show you (but, uhhh, I would not let someone take a photo of me then! NO WAY!). But my muscles are visible, really visible, to the world. I feel like I look strong... and it makes me feel strong :)

My body isn't perfect, it's obvious in these photos. But the plusses outweigh the minuses, especially because one of the plusses is that I am smiling so big :D

So here is me, enjoying life, not feeling self-conscious, and ready to get out into public this summer in a swimsuit (still just a one piece though.... bikini talk is no where close haha!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Surprisingly amazing breakfast!

I've been looking around for breakfast choices, having gotten a little tired of the egg-veggie combo I used pretty much through the entire Whole30 paleo experiment.

I also try to keep my breakfasts under 400 calories.

Initially, I turned to having a small banana with almond butter and two slices of turkey bacon. It really filled me up and had enough protein to keep me going!

Today, I just wanted a light breakfast. What I concocted blew my mind and is getting added to the repertoire! I used plain almond yogurt (from Amande), strawberries and a tablespoon of natural bilberry preserves.... it tasted amazing! The almond yogurt has kind of a weird, wet texture, but once I mixed it up with the goodies, that didn't matter. The yogurt has a nice little sweet taste behind it, too.

I really am loving finding a wide variety of food choices available to me on paleo! The only limitations are my own creativity, really :)

The breakfast I had today was no more than 220 calories (one serving of the yogurt is 150 and the jam is about 50). I am more than happy with it because my belly feels full and my taste buds are pleased (both important parts of my meal times!)

Not going to the gym today, going to go groom my horse and walk my dog instead, on this last free weekday that I will have this year (aside from holidays!). Man, I have really enjoyed not working a full time job... life has been slow and sweet and full. But it is time to start amassing some moolah if I want a house and a kid someday :D


Thursday, June 14, 2012

46er celebration and weight lifting! (I *want* huge thighs!)

Last night, about ten of our friends came over to help us celebrate becoming 46ers (they have had to listen to us for three years about hiking the 46 High Peaks, haha, and most of them have even hiked a few with us!).

I got a lot of paleo friendly desserts... dark chocolate, paleo macaroons, gluten free cookies, fresh farmer's market strawberries and some wine!

I tried not to over indulge... I did not have much wine at all, but I definitely ate me some chocolate.

I am on a sugar obsession right now, for sure. I see it clearly. Which is why I am going strict paleo for a few days (only sugars will be from whole fruits!) to get myself off this chocolate/sugar/sweet obsession.

Seems like I might have to "reset" every once in a while when I see myself getting too complacent and diving into the sugar again.

That's fine! It is necessary, I don't see it as a "punishment", just a reset... a look at priorities. I am an adult woman and I will take control of my life and my body.

Had a great weight lifting session this morning. Started out with a mile or so of cardio to get the heart rate up and made the rounds of the free weights and weight machines. My muscles got put through their paces!

My strongest muscles, by far, are my quads. I have always had really strong legs (thighs AND calves) but I have been working on them even more so. Being able to squat a lot of weight or leg press a lot of weight really helps my hiking (lifting my own body and gear up a mountain!).

Today I got my leg press up to 250 lbs for a 12-9-6 set of reps! I felt pretty good. That is almost twice my body weight!

Looking in the mirror while doing it was great... I loved to see my huge thigh muscles bulging and working :D :D I NEVER thought I would be wanting LARGER thighs. But here I am!

It just proves to me how far I've come with my understanding of healthiness in the past few years... I used to just want to be thin/skinny. Now I want a strong body that is glowing with health! I want a body that can take me anywhere.

So here I go :)

Light and love!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Job update, Chocolate fever

So good news first: my job starts on Monday. YAY! I really wanted one more season as a field archaeologist. I really, really enjoy it. In a few months, I am going to start looking around for a non-seasonal job with benefits, but no rush, because I will be employed till the new year.

That's a stress off my shoulders!

Last night I had a bit of a chocolate binge! Months ago, before we went paleo or made any radical changes to our diet, Chris bought us a chocolate making lesson at a local chocolate shop on Groupon. This place, the Chocolate Gecko, is AMAZING. Handmade, delicious and unique chocolates.

It was BYOB, too :D

So we shared a bottle of wine and made chocolate for two hours, hehe. Then, at the end of class, we got to eat what we made.... I ate five pieces of alcohol filled chocolate. OHHHH. Wow. They were amazing.

I had a little bit of a sugar/alcohol freakout later in the night. I did *not* feel good. I have felt this feeling two or three times since going paleo (eg. on the wine trail over-indulgence!). It is SO immediate. My head swims and my stomach does flip-flops!

One glass of wine, I am fine.

One piece of chocolate, also fine.

Limit those treats to once every two weeks... I don't notice ill effects at all!

But over-indulge? Crazy. Remembering how I feel at these times will keep me from over-indulging in the future, haha.

Chris made us a lovely coconut-milk, thai basil stir fry with bok choy after the wine and chocolate and it kind of brought me back to earth (and was just about the tastiest dinner we have made!).

I don't regret the lovely date night I had with my guy at all :) It was silly and fun and we had some really nice conversations with the chocolate shop owner. It was worth the headache afterwards!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Best Paleo Muffins Yet!

Most paleo recipes for more dessert-y type foods I have tried so far have been successful in taste but not always in texture!

Most paleo recipes call for just a small amount of almond flour or coconut flour and a lot of eggs/bananas/dates, etc. So they are often wetter than normal and don't *quite* give me that biting-into-bread feeling.

But THESE! THESE are heaven. They are almond flour blueberry muffins. They are soft, fluffy, golden, sweet and tasty! Chris is very, very, very happy with these. We don't get cravings much, but when we do, we are always looking for something like this to satisfy them.

Here is the recipe in case you want these noms, too :)

Almond flour berry muffins

2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs

1 Heat oven to 325°F

2 In a small saucepan, simmer the berries with the water until the berries release their juice and the mixture has thickened slightly. Let cool.

3 Combine the dry ingredients.

4 Combine the wet ingredients (berries too) in a separate bowl.

5 Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.

6 Evenly fill each baking cup with the batter.

7 Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

GAH! SO EASY! Seriously. Easiest and most tasty muffins yet :)

I will say I altered the recipe a little. I put in extra cinnamon, some nutmeg and a little coriander :D I also put in some shredded almonds for extra almond flavor and a little crunch! Also, I used a cinnamon infused honey for the extra yum.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Small weight gain after physically demanding weekend

The hike was a very physically demanding one.

Friday: five miles backpacked in to Bradley Pond lean-to, through a tough re-route, almost running the last mile in the hopes of avoiding the rain (we did!)

Saturday: we couldn't find the herd path (the mountains we needed to hike have unmarked/unmaintained trails), got lost and bushwhacked for three hours and who knows how many miles... then hiked up to a spot between three mountains. THEN the day started, with at least five miles hiked up three mountains. We finished strong and happy on top of Panther, then had to hike about 2.5 miles back down to the lean-to.

Sunday: five miles backpack out!

I tracked the food I brought and ate all three days. I have a 500 calorie deficit on Friday, at least a 500 calorie deficit on Saturday, and no deficit on Sunday. Still... DEFICIT.

I weighed in at 128 today, while all last week I was at 126.4. Grrr.

I THINK the reasons are:

- natural fluctuations
- I had a beer at 11 PM last night (obviously being paleo, I don't usually drink beer anymore!)
- we had salty BBQ for lunch after getting out of the woods on Sunday
- my body is a little swollen from exhausting hikes, being banged around a lot in the bushwhack, and about 100 bug bites hahaha

So I am giving myself a little slack, but not too much. I am going to be very controlled with what I eat today to make sure it is not a real gain.

I wanted to leave you with some pictures from my weekend, the weekend I became a 46er :) I feel so blessed to have done the things I have. I've learned so much about myself, body, mind and soul. I am stronger, more patient, less anxious because of this hiking journey. I wouldn't trade it in for anything :)

Awesome bridge on the hike in

Bradley Pond Lean To

Painted trillium on the top of Santanoni

View from Santanoni

Chris and I on the top of Panther!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Biggest life accomplishment thus far....

Chris and I became 46ers on Panther Peak at 1:34 PM, June 9, 2012.

We are blissful after a gorgeous weekend in the mountains we love the most.

Visit the ADK 46ers to learn about our accomplishment.

My body is exhausted, but my mind is refreshed. I feel clear and bright and utterly content.

More to come tomorrow!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Adirondack High Peaks weekend

Stayed up a little too late last night, a friend from out of town was over at a friend's house and we stayed up till 1 AM laughing and telling stories :) I had gone out to dinner previously (and got half a roasted chicken!!) and had a beer, but I stopped drinking after that and just enjoyed everyone's company. It was really great and I didn't mind being the one not drinking. I actually got to help out a friend and drive her home because I was sober, and that felt good.

I TRIED to sleep in this morning, but apparently, that is beyond my capabilities anymore.

I knew I had a lot to do this morning to get ready for the weekend. We are backpacking into a pretty isolated area, sleeping overnight there, then hiking in further to attempt the Santanoni range. We might sleep another night in the woods, but if we are feeling strong, we will backpack out on Saturday.

I sure hope everything goes well. I want to finish the 46. I want to be a 46er. We have been working on this for almost 3 years now. We are kind of amped about it, kind of nervous about, kind of a bundle of emotions over the whole thing!

So my weekend will undoubtedly be muddy, dirty, exhausting, bug-filled, wet, and COMPLETELY amazing. :)

I love the mountains!

Peace and love, everyone, I hope you all have the perfect weekend for you :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life n Junk ;D

So I have been doing some heavy-duty posting on not so fun issues for me. It is necessary and I am glad I got all my word vomit out on this blog. Because I think about disordered eating a LOT. I think having it tangible and in the world might help me to relax on the issue a little. It's hard to talk about.

I thought I would do something a little more light-hearted. Update everyone on how weight, food, paleo, exercise and life-life is going!

Weighed in at 126.4 today, that's the lowest weight I've been so far. I am hoping to eventually see 125, but it's not the end of the world if I don't. I refuse to reduce my calories any more, so if my body loses because of activity, that's what it will do!

Food is going GREAT. I am making lots of tasty stuff. Made an awesome sweet n spicy chili stir fry for a friend, I have a stock of super yummy roasted chicken I am snacking on this week, made an AWESOME smoothie with banana, pear and shredded coconut... mmm. My taste buds are not suffering under paleo, that is for sure.

My newest vice (and something I will have to keep an eye on) is So Delicious brand.... they make a lot of paleo friendly foods, especially ice creams and yogurts made with coconut milk. MMM. MMMMMMMM. I had a mint chocolate chip ice cream by them and I was insane with flavor happiness. But it is a lot of sugar, so I have to not do this too much :D :D I allowed sugar back into my diet and man, I love sugar, but I need to stick to natural fruit juices and honey for my sugars.

Always have something I've got to work on!

Having a nice time this week, even though I miss Chris. Making sure to see all my friends... having people over for lunch or dinner, going to the mall to shop with a girlfriend, etc etc.

Tomorrow, Chris and I are planning to head out early (as soon as he gets home pretty much) and get to hiking! We need to hike the Santanoni range in the Adirondacks and, if we complete this task, we will be Adirondack 46ers!!

I can not explain to you all how much this will mean to me, there are no words for it. I have struggled to hike the 46 highest mountains in NY (some very rugged!) and learned so much about strength, patience, my anxiety, my spirituality and myself in general while hiking these mountains.

I have become the athlete I never thought I could be.

To finish something I started.... to finish it THIS weekend??? I am overjoyed :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Counting calories on paleo

So here is another post about my general thoughts on weight loss and what has worked for me. Not much to update you on in my "real" life situation. My weight has held steady around 127 (never thought I'd be able to say that), my job most likely starts next week, Chris is still traveling and I miss him, but I am getting life stuff done and hanging out with friends. So pretty stable and standard kind of stuff going on around here!!

So onto my post about something that's been on my mind a while.

I lost weight originally by counting calories, writing everything down in a book and trying to stay around or under 1600 calories... this was after college for me, so about 8 years ago-ish.

I stuck with this practice for years. It took over a year to get most of the weight off and then I continued to do it to make sure I wouldn't regain. Got down to low 130s, even saw 131 on the scale for a few weeks.... was feeling pretty hot :) Then I kind of fell in love with Chris.... heh...

About the time I started dating Chris, really after I moved in with him, I completely abandoned calorie counting. By the time we had been dating for a year and a half, I had almost made my way back up to 150 (this is early fall of 2011). SCARED.

I downloaded an app on the iPhone, started counting calories again, lost about ten pounds over the course of 3-4 months.

But, then I went paleo and lost another 10 pounds in a little over a month. I was still counting calories at this point, but was eating a little more than normal on paleo than I had pre-paleo. I was also eating TONS of food, because my main foods were now fruits and vegetables.

In the past with calorie-counting, I would put a portion of food on my plate that I knew the calories and I would eat it all.... I would never NOT eat my alloted calories.

Now, with paleo, I often do not finish my plate of food, even though I technically can eat it and have the calories for it. It's just too much bulk for my stomach! I get full easier... I stop eating because I am full (which I didn't used to do on paleo.... before paleo, I would eat a pint of ice cream whether or not I was super full haha.. oy).

Sooooo.... why am I still calorie counting?

I am scared not to. Even though, with paleo, I feel I have learned to eat moderately and eat for fuel (not purely pleasure.. though my food IS yummy).. I am scared if I don't monitor myself, I will start over-eating again.

I am scared I might fall into bad habits, disguising them as paleo.... like eating tons of coconut milk icecream or lots of dark chocolate or piles of macadamia nuts or something!

I feel like I just don't trust myself yet. I am not ready to let calorie-counting go.

So many proponents of paleo say you don't need to count calories on paleo. Many things I've read say it is even a little counter-paleo. They just want you to eat good, whole foods that are not harmful to your body and then everything will kind of even out for you.

There is this article: Counting calories on paleo. One of the quotes that stand out the most is:

"Calorie counting can be very useful if you’re trying to lose weight. But so can the Paleo diet. Here’s my philosophy on counting calories while you’re on the Paleo diet: The main reasons that people have weight issues are that they 1) have unbalanced blood sugar so they have sugar cravings all the time (and indulge them), and 2) people are over-consuming fluffy foods like grains, legumes and refined sugars. The Paleo diet, and in particular, Paleo Plan, help solve those issues."

I do think this is true.... On paleo, I naturally have more and better energy, I naturally feel full and stop eating, I have lost most of my cravings for non-food junk. I feel like my blood sugar is naturally stabilized.... no white-bread to spike it up in the morning, no reason to go searching for more carby-junk to keep it up. My blood pressure is GREAT. I have even had better muscle growth on paleo than ever before (probably all the protein!!).

But there IS that disordered part of me. I just can't go back to last year... clothes not fitting, feeling uncomfortable, having trouble climbing mountains or running. I can't go back and I need to learn to trust myself before I let go of the safety of calorie-counting.

It is a struggle. I don't LIKE counting calories. It is time consuming and a little socially awkward at times. But I want to be healthy above all things.... so I am going to stay the course I am on for now: paleo eating, clean eating, exercise, good sleep and counting calories.

Maybe I will be ready for a change in the future?

:) Peace, friends!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Continued thoughts about paleo and disordered eating...

Life sure is strange. Just when you put something out there, you start getting bombarded with messages.

I liked the responses I got to my last post... encouragement and comradarie is always nice.

But the world provided me with a response, an article emailed to me that I want to share:

Why People Fail on a Paleo Diet (this article is great for dispelling myths about paleo, too.... making sure people know it is NOT a low-carb diet or a no-salt diet, etc etc... also how people who only do paleo part way (80 or 90%) are not getting the actual benefits of it which I would like to write a post about in the future).

One of the points in the article is about paleo orthorexia, which I am glad for a little extra insight into the matter: "Paleo Orthorexia: This is when diet takes on your whole life. We need to realize that we have evolved from where are ancestors once were. We're no longer caveman and nor should we try to live exactly as they did. Don't try to calculate everything, concentrate on good food choices and the rest should come by itself."

Basically, they say not to be an extremist. Don't obsess about "what did people eat in prehistory" (which I don't... I am more concerned about nutrition and inflammation than caring about what my ancestors ate). The article makes the point not to super restrict some things, like butter and potatoes, because "if we fail to make these somewhat harmless additions to our diets, our eating habits will become much more difficult to maintain over time, leading to the inevitable collapse." It's a good point.

A good paleo diet is a mixture of science, anthropology, and good old common sense.

As an anthropologist, I like this. I like looking at WHY I eat certain things and how my culture affects my outlook on food.

As a quasi-scientist, I like this. I like knowing what my food is doing to my body. I like putting things into my body that make it an efficient, well-running machine.

As someone who appreciates common sense, I like this. I think I am exercising common sense with this diet. I am eating 45-50% carbs, 25-30% protein, and 25% fats every day (with most of the carbs coming from vegetables). I DO still calorie-count, because I have a hard time regulating my eating, but I am not obsessive. I eat a good amount of calories everyday. I eat a variety of foods. I eat socially.

So, ending this train of thought for now: I do not believe that me turning to paleo is part of my disordered eating. I do believe it IS the first time I have had a real, healthy and balanced control over my nutrition.

And I am happy :)


Monday, June 4, 2012

Paleo and Eating Disorders

I am going to preface this post by saying: I am not an expert on any of this, what I am about to talk about is based on my own personal experiences and fears. I am writing this because I think about this a lot, because I wonder what other people think of it. I am definitely NOT writing this to have an affect on anyone's eating plans or mental state. This is just where I am mentally.

Okay, with that aside (but it had to be said, because I know how sensitive a topic it is), I wanted to get it out there into the world that I have some concerns about my eating habits.

This is nothing new.

This is hard to put into the world. Especially since I am "out" on this blog... I don't hide my identity (nor do I make a point to tell friends/family about it). I may someday make this post private, but not now.

I have had disordered eating (never a diagnosed eating disorder, because I have never told a healthcare professional about my behaviors) since I was about 16. Whether that was periods of binging, periods of restricting, periods of purging (over-exercise or emesis)... I would say I did not have a healthy relationship with food as a teenager or a young adult.

Even during periods where I was not physically acting out with eating, the disordered thoughts would always roll through my head. It was a daily struggle. I would say it still is.  I have struggled for a long time to stop thinking about purging. I have rarely given into these obsessive thoughts in the past 3 or 4 years (I am so aware of the harmful physical effects and as I've aged, the destructive behaviors have gotten a little more under control)... but I have had moments where I have, where the fear and the obsession and the worry got to be too much.

Oddly enough, when I went Paleo... these obsessive thoughts started to subside. I haven't wanted to purge once, I haven't thought about it once, in two months (since Paleo).

I am wondering why. I feel like there are two possibilities:

1. I am finally eating "right" for my body. The healthy body has helped create a healthy mind. I do not have urges to overeat (no physical cravings since getting rid of wheat and dairy)... I eat moderately very easily now, and so the triggers are gone.

2. I have replaced one obsessive behavior with another.

The reason I said reason #2 is because I do think about food... a lot. I pre-prepare a lot, I wonder about ingredients, I still calorie-count as well as monitor carbs/fats/proteins. I have eliminated entire HUGE food groups from my life.

I read some years ago about orthorexia, and discussion about it pops up here and there in relation to paleo.

On Wikipedia, orthorexia is described as:   a non-medically recognized term first used by Steven Bratman to characterize people who develop an obsession with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.

Now, to be clear... I do not believe most people eating paleo fall into this category. I do not think paleo is a fad or a crock or a passing fancy. It is a real and healthy way of eating. Most orthorexics have very arbitrary ideas about what foods are good/bad or safe/unsafe. That's not what paleo is about.

But what about people pre-disposed to disordered eating?

Am I obsessing?

These are things I think about. I don't have answers.

I am glad I haven't had any obsessive thoughts about purging in two months. It is a weight off my shoulders... a tenseness I no longer have to deal with.

It seems a little too good to be true, though?

I am taking steps to be a little more relaxed with my eating. Very simple rules, but allowing me to have a broad variety of foods to eat: whole ingredients, no wheat or dairy. That's it.

I want to be moderate and balanced.

I think I am getting there. But there is always that fear that this is temporary. That I will lapse. That I might turn this into something ugly.

It's why I have written this post. To put it out there. To be accountable. To be at peace with food and my body.

I plan to write a post tomorrow about calorie-counting (which most proponents of Paleo says it not necessary and shouldn't be done).


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brief update: kayaking

So I am waiting here in my apartment for my friends to pick me up... we are going kayaking!! They are bringing a boat for me and everything, all taken care of :D

I love.... LOVE... really, really love kayaking. However, I live in an apartment (so no storage space for one) and it is a little harder to get to pretty kayaking places than pretty hiking places so I don't own my own kayak or even get to go that often.

Last year, we went on a camping trip with about a dozen people where we kayaked over Lake Champlain and to Valcour Island. That was amazing. Breathtaking! The island was gorgeous, our campsite was stunning and the weather was perfect. And kayaking!!

So I am pretty amped :)

I packed paleo food for the day: grilled chicken, carrot/broccoli/beet salad, carob bars, pear, apple, almond flour muffin with preserves :)

I added up all the calories as I packed it and if I eat everything I packed, I will eat about 1300 calories today (we are expected to get home around five or six) which would leave me about 4-500 calories for dinner (BEFORE exercise calories are counted!)

Needless to say, I am excited about my day!

Hope you all have a gorgeous day, too!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


So, this lazy Saturday morning, I've just been thinking over some things. Chatting with Chris (it's so awesome that he's home again, we had such a lovely night together and with some friends, and I had some wine! ... stayed in calories, but definitely had some wine. No more of that for a week or so, yikes!) and it got me to thinking.

One, I am down about 22 pounds since late fall. Very few (if none) of my friends that I see daily have noticed! I mean, that's 15% of my body weight. It is noticeable and while talking to Chris, I felt momentarily a little stung. But I got over it. People I don't see that often do notice (his mom or a friend down in NYC).

But it also got me thinking about some people on the OTHER end of the spectrum: nay-sayers.

During a conversation I was having with several people about strength-training and wanting to get stronger... a "friend" commented, "What?? You want to look more masculine??"

I flinched and kind of took that to mean I already looked masculine and would look more so if I used weights. That was my own self-loathing, negative-self-talk side rearing it's ugly head.

But she continued to question me about women who use weights, incredulous that any could look feminine.


She shook her head and wrinkled her brow, giving all of these body language signs that she thought women who were strong were unattractive. It didn't feel great, as I have definitely changed my muscle tone (and as a side affect, lost some of my chest size).

I have seen plenty of women who strength train who have GORGEOUS bodies I would love to have. Not everyone pumps iron to put on bulk (which takes a lot of time and effort and does NOT happen by accident). Losing body fat and toning my muscles.... that's not unfeminine!

I hate that in so many people's minds.... strength = unfeminine.

What a load of CRAP.

Women are strong. I know so many mentally strong women. I am getting to know many physically strong women in this journey. I like strong women of all types. It makes us beautiful.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Ups and Downs

So I had to cancel our trips to the High Peaks to become 46ers this weekend. The weather forecast is terrible... rain the whole time, super windy, ugh. We are not scared of weather, we hike in the rain pretty regularly... but this is all weekend, almost 100% of the time, with some actual danger involved (high winds and lightning... on a mountain top? Nope!)

So we are being responsible and canceling. But we are also kind of sad! We were so looking forward to it. We have next weekend open (which we kept open just in case of this very scenario!!!) and will try again.

Still plan to be active this weekend, though :)

Also: weighed in at a 126.6 this morning. I love.. love.. LOVE that I am slowly, steadily losing weight. I am being super active, eating VERY well (staying paleo, not cheating even when I really, really want a cookie) and it is paying off. I feel freaking fantastic. This is the first time in my life I have felt this good about my body and my control over my body. I feel in charge :D

I would love to see 125. My "ideal body weight" (according to the doctor) is 120 pounds... I do doubt I will ever get there and I don't mind that. I have lots of muscle (and building more all the time) which might keep me from easily getting to that weight. I have no plans to be super restrictive with calories just to see a lower weight.

In the past, when I tried to restrict calories (around 1300 or 1400) to lose weight, it never quite worked. I was starving, angry, and would end up over-eating some days and undoing the low calories days before!! This time: STRENGTH, muscle, CLEAN eating, paleo.... I eat TONS of food, I have several small meals a day. My body is the fittest and strongest its ever been. When I stopped focusing on weight loss and focused on how to make my body an efficient, fit, healthy body.... surprise!!!! the weight came off.

And it came off faster and easier than ever before in my decade of dieting.

I am going to stay on this track! If I fall below 125, I do. If I don't, I don't. Eating clean and working out isn't going to hurt me and eventually I will stop losing weight and find a balance.

I am eating around 1800-1900 calories a day, working out on average 30 minutes a day (but kind of active all day!). I won't waste away to skin and bones on this program!

So no mountain climbing this weekend.... if I get up the guts, I might get over to the tattoo shop and see about that wolf tattoo I promised myself :D ... it is scary! Such a huge decision, but I have thought about it for a year now. It will probably be my most important tattoo ever: a contract with myself to take care of this body of mine, and a visual reminder of that promise so when I start to slip, I won't be able to play dumb and ignore it!!