Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One week later

So, I'm closing on my first of 4 weeks of hardcore primal eating, and I have to say, it's been great!

Here's a look at some of what I've been eating:
(fried egg with mushrooms and arugula)

(creole salmon salad)

(grass fed sirloin with green beans and pine nuts, and kale and mushrooms)

(bison burger, with guacamole, mushrooms, tomato, wrapped in lettuce, with a side salad)

(homemade almond butter!)

("Paleo Paella" from my new recipe book. Shrimp, chicken and veggies in cauliflower "rice")

(bacon wrapped mahi mahi, topped with guacamole, mushrooms and onions, wrapped in lettuce, with a balsamic pesto salad)

Notice any patterns? Lots of good protein, good produce, and good fats. And definitely no grains, legumes (green beans don't entirely count, since they are more like seed pods and can be eaten raw), alcohol, or dairy. We are trying to be good about the grass fed/organic, but are a bit hit or miss, which I'm okay with at this point. Fruit has been a great desert, but I haven't even been needing that every day. Homemade almond butter is amazing, and we've eaten almost the entire batch already. Definitely a new staple. I'm also super proud that I made and ate a dish with cauliflower, which I historically haven't been a big fan of. End up that when you season it, it can taste amazing! I am loving that this food philosophy is getting my out of my comfort zone with some foods and showing me new things to try.

Ed and I have both noticed since eating this kind of food, we feel much more satisfied all the time. I think I'm also starting to feel more energized (though that could be psychosomatic). I really haven't found this switch to be hard at all, I think because we were not huge bread people to begin with (except on special occasions as an appetizer with olive oil and balsamic).  I have missed my yogurt breakfasts, and the glass of wine, but I can add both those in after the first month if I want. 

No change in pain symptoms yet, which I can't say I'm shocked by, though I still have a little hope. In any event, I am feeling really good and glad to be putting so many more healthy things in my body, after a summer with more than enough indulgence. We'll see how things go when I head back to work (tomorrow...gulp), but fingers crossed that boundless energy this eating plan promises shows up :).

Until then, I'm just going to enjoy feeling healthier starting the new year!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Going Primal...

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted! In my defense, the first month of not posting saw craziness with finishing out the school year, and then a car accident when brought both Ed and I down to zero running. The last six weeks, we've been having a wonderful time out in California. Lucky for you, this means that I have some actual running to talk about :). Not quite yet though, since I need to assemble my pictures.

In the meantime, I wanted to chat about something that at first glance might not seem running related. My diet. Now, if you've been reading this blog any length of time, you know that my body has issues. From the chronic pain I have in my pelvis, leg and both feet, to asthma, to allergies, to sensitive skin, and plenty else besides, my body doesn't act like you'd think a person in your 20s body would be. After a comment from my mom (via my sister Ashley), the suggestion of cutting gluten came up. And, as I researched it, I stumbled upon Primal eating.
Now, I'd heard about the caveman diet a while ago and thought it sounded far out there. Something for extremists. However, as I read more and more, I saw a lot of people with chronic pain, or anxiety, and especially allergies who said that eating primally got their bodies back to normal. Since the only options I've gotten this year to deal with the pain have been a heavy duty pill, Neurotin, that makes me totally zoned out and sleepy (and can cause some nasty side effects), and surgery for my pelvic pain (that would be a 6ish month recovery), trying something as simple as changing my diet has a lot of draw.

So, I decided that on coming back from our trip, I'd give this a try for one month. I've read the book, and know the do's and dont's, and it jut makes sense. This means, for the next month I will not be eating: anything processed, grains, corn, legumes (i.e. beans), dairy, alcohol, anything super high carb. After the first month, I can add in some high fat dairy if I want (and it doesn't affect how I feel), and a glass of wine or a little chocolate every now and then. But, I won't be eating anything that my body isn't designed to consume (according to this philosophy). I will be eating lots of protein, fat, and vegetables, some fruit, and a multivitamin, vitamin D (already taking both of these per doctor orders), and probiotics (recommended). After one day, I will say that I feel pretty good. My body definitely doesn't feel that overly full feeling that it was feeling for a lot of our trip.

And, since it's always more fun to share, I thought I'd post on here about it. While I don't want to get my hopes up, since it's been 6 years now of this pain with no relief in sight, I feel like I'm making choices that are good for my body, and am very happy with that.

So, here's a day of eating Primal!

Dark yolk egg, fried in butter, on sauteed arugula and onion. I was never an egg person before, but now they are pretty much the daily choice. Having vegetables as breakfast is yummy, but definitely not something I really ever did before. I'm getting used to changing my mentality. 

Cajun salmon, on an arugula salad with carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and pecans, with a basalmic, olive oil, mustard dressing.  The breakfast definitely kept me full until lunch, and this lunch was super tasty. I was pretty hungry, and did end up eating it all. 

Snack: No picture, but I had an apple with some almond butter. I don't think the almond butter was technically paleo, since it was processed, but we had it on hand. I'm planning to buy almonds from costco and make some almond butter sometime this week.

Grass fed rib eye, kale and mushrooms sauteed in butter and lemon, and green beans with pine nuts. The jury seems to still be out on green beans, since technically they are young seeds more than beans. I probably wouldn't have eaten them (for the first 30 days when you're supposed to be really strict) except that we already had them on hand. They were delicious. 

Dessert: I ended my meal with some pecans and a handful of strawberries, as I was a bit hungry before bed.

And, this is how my eating broke down. The idea is that you don't really need to track with this kind of eating, so long as you're following the "rules," but that it's not a bad idea to do so at first, so that you can have a clear idea of what you're eating.

From what I can tell, This is pretty darn good. The goal is to keep carbs between 50-100, so I am super good on that. I'm not sure about the rest, but I think pretty good. Maybe a little more protein and less fat? In any event, I consumed around 1500 calories, and felt pretty darn full and satisfied all day. We'll see how today goes! 

Do any of you have experience with eating Paleo/Primal? Has it helped your running? Please share!