I haven’t blogged anything about my paleo living in quite some time. I must admit that as it becomes more popular I find that a lot of people are confused about what it means, and carry a lot of ignorant misconceptions. This has resulted in me saying less and feeling less motivated to write about my experience. I’m tired of answering all the same stupid questions…. “Uhm…do you really eat like a cave man?” But I must admit that it really works for me. I feel and look my absolute best when I cut out the crap and focus my eating around real food. Gluten and sugar are really my two worst enemies and demons that can sometimes drag me back under to the dark side. I read on someone’s Facebook page that “sugar is the cocaine of the food industry” and I absolutely believe it!
Back in January I did a Whole 30 and lost about 7kg. It was a great time. I made significant gains in my kettlebell training and overall strength and conditioning. I found that the arthritis in my knee didn’t bother me and I loved looking good in Lululemon! Haha! But then my birthday hit which resulted in a bit of a carbohydrate binge on and off for about 3 months. Luckily the inbetween periods of clean eating have helped and I haven’t gained back any of the weight I lost in January. Now that August is here and I am fresh off a motivating book signing and talk by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and I’m back on another Whole 30. I’m hoping to have this time to prep for kettlebell (I’d like to drop from the 65kg weight class to the 59kg weight class) as well as reinforce the habits and routine I want to start for school when I’m back to work in September. The Hartwig’s book “It Starts With Food”, I highly recommend everyone read. It nicely encapsulates my philosophy towards food and what I am aspiring to attain.
Here’s me now down close to 8kg since January (weighing about 62kg) and still going strong. I positively HATE photographs of myself, and I certainly never would have imagined I would ever post a picture of me in a 2 piece but here it is. This is me in my basement where the indoor part of the “House of Cyn” gym is 🙂 I’m hoping to do a follow up shot in 3 more months before my competition to see the difference. Ofcourse my eating habits aren’t just about looking good. I do have serious knee issues in my right knee. Some of it has been caused by my years of participation in sports, but the arthritis I am convinced is diet related. I notice flare ups and unmanageable pain when I eat gluten or refined sugars and grains. When I don’t, and supplement with fish oil, I feel better. If I can spare myself some surgery and keep my arthritis under control through dietary changes, that would be a much better option to me. Time will tell how that turns out.
Here’s a super easy meal I made the other day – which is really the key to eating clean. The more you can be prepared and think ahead, the more successful you’ll be. If I wait until my blood sugar crashes and I feel starving … I usually make poor eating decisions. I actually had in my freezer some leftover spaghetti sauce I had made (grassfed ground beef, carrots, onions, spinach, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes with garlic and italian seasoning) which just needed to be defrosted and reheated (doesn’t get much simpler). I then cut up a few fresh zucchinis that came in my Mamma Earth bin and sauteed them in some olive oil and a little garlic. Usually I put my spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash, but zucchini is a wonderful alternative, and it was good to “mix it up”, heehee. It was super yummy. I actually had some leftover zucchini which I used in the dish below for breakfast.
This yummy breakfast was a scrambled egg mash-up with 2 eggs, probably about 2 ounces of leftover salmon steak and some leftover sauteed zucchini from the “spaghetti” dinner. I cooked it up with a bit of olive oil and it was delish!
So far something that has really put things into perspective for me came from Dallas and Melissa’s book. Basically it comes down to making a decision about whether or not what I am putting in my body is either a healthy choice, or an unhealthy choice. I am fine with consuming the best quality protein and fat sources that I can afford. For me, usually the dilemma comes down to my carbohydrates – I can either make good choices like vegetables, and the odd fruit, or bad (addictive) choices like breads and grains. I’ve been getting much smarter at choosing the nutrient dense vegetable option and feeling (and looking) much better for those choices. One of my favourite things about participating in the Whole 30 is the camaraderie of doing it with others. Right now many of my friends are doing the same thing – being more mindful about what they are eating, and making the best food choices possible that will not feed into addictions or create crazy hormonal fluctuations or continue to irritate or facilitate auto-immune diseases. Being able to share food ideas, and bitch about withdrawal symptoms is very comforting when you are not the only one. The key is to be surrounded by people who will support you for the decisions that you make when you are trying to improve your health.
Thank you Dallas and Melissa for your Whole 30 program and the best book on health and nutrition I have ever read.