Welcome to my Life...

A Blog geared toward sharing how I live Primally while still being a girly girl!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Morning Workout--Back to the Basics!

Every Primal/Paleo cite I read has some sort of recommendation for a Workout of the Week (WOW), so my blog would not be complete without one! HELLO, Bree!

The goal of my weekly workouts will be to get people moving and most of them can be done right in your living room--barefoot or in these sweet Vibrams (see picture)

If you haven't done so already, download Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Fitness ebook. It's completely FREE and it will explain and demonstrate some basic movements to get you moving! I highly recommend it because it will explain why we don't really need a massive gym and crazy equipment to stay in shape. Our bodies were meant to move and function in the environment with ease. These basic movements are in line with what our bodies were meant to do and will help make your daily activities that much easier!

So, here's my Monday Morning Workout to get you moving!

1) Basic Plank--hold for 1 minute
2) 50 Squats--please read Mark's for the proper form because I am no trainer and I gotta keep it real.
3) 25 push-ups (BIG GIRL PUSHUPS)
4) 10 Overhead presses--modified to Level 4

Then REPEAT this!

This workout takes 25 minutes start-to-finish! Just try your best! If you need to modify, use Mark's PBF ebook to assist you and most of all, I hope you all have a great Monday!

Cheers to LIFE!--Bree

Saturday, May 14, 2011

You want to feed your kid WHAT?

I work with children. I’m a speech therapist by day and a Primal Enthusiast by evening. I love children. I love Primal living.
I enjoy most aspects of the daily career that I have chosen for myself. I get to help children learn to communicate and to become chatty little creatures. Awesome? Yes, I think so!
I feel a special connection to the kids I work with and I want to protect them and teach them just as if they were my own. So when I ran across an article today in the local newspaper I couldn’t help but think of how I wish I could meld my two worlds: Speech therapy and Primal living. This article really got me thinking.
You see, children don’t get to be in charge of much. From the moment they wake up choices are often made for them. Parents tell them when to bathe, when to brush their teeth, what to drink, what to eat, what to wear and when to go to bed and more! It’s what parents do, right? After all, as parents and teachers it’s our JOB to teach them HOW to do all these things, correct? If we don’t teach them, then who will?
During the daytime, I work in the homes of the rich. I also work in the homes of the poor. In both cases, children are treated the same--No real choices throughout the day even when it comes to food. Food is provided and kids chow it down.
You may be saying to yourself, "Maybe the parents can't afford to shop for meats, fresh veggies and fruit (what I refer to as REAL FOOD)?" I disagree.
It's not because parents cannot afford real food. In fact, some of the higher income homes I go into the parents bring home dinner in take-out containers and paper sacks more frequently than in the lower income homes. Healthy food choices and income don't seem to play much of a role in the choices that are provided. In some homes children’s choices go something like this, “Ralphie, would you like strawberries or yogurt.” In other homes choices go something like this, “Nate, would you like chicken nuggets or hamburger?” or my favorite, “McDonald’s or Taco Bell, Timmy?” What's available in the kitchens and homes of children is not directly correlated with income in many cases. I believe, it's all a matter of convenience.
But here's my real point: We could kill two birds with one stone. Why not provide REAL FOOD? Nutritious fruits, vegetables and meats that sustain our children throughout the day. These foods maintain blood sugars, regulate energy and promote healthy brain development and immunity. If you say you don't have the money I will say, "You are a crazy fool." You would find money if your child needed to go to the doctor for an ear infection, needed insulin to stabilize blood sugars or medication to control hyperactivity. If you can find money for these doctor visits and medications, then you can find the money to feed your kids real food. Afterall, it's their greatest line of defense and real food prevents 90% of these problems anyway!
Think of it like this: “Perhaps, Timmy would have only 1 meltdown per week if we fed him real, nutritious food—like vegetables that grow out of the ground?” or “Maybe he would follow directions or attend to therapy tasks more willingly if he didn’t just eat 42 M&M’s in 30 seconds and his brain could focus?” Hell, I’d be 10 seconds from looney too if I ate half the crap we feed our kids! Give me one ‘fruit’ snack and I will have a sugar crash in 20 minutes and fully demonstrate a temper tantrum for you-- complete with whining, crying and self-injurious behavior!
Just a thought here, but don’t our kids deserve more from us? Why is processed, sugary food even an option for them? Don’t they deserve for us to teach them to eat real food? How to grow food, love food, cook food and enjoy food?
Can't we make eating and feeding our family a learning opportunity? Think of all the verbs, nouns, adjectives and language that can be incorporated in preparing real food as a family! You can have wonderful conversations around food and around the dinner table. It is possible to meld these two worlds--Speech therapy and Primal living. Trust me.
Kids need us. They need us to make some better choices. We need to educate ourselves about eating real food and taking care of our bodies just as much as we educate ourselves about what preschool to send our child to, or whether to bring our child into this world in a hospital or through home birth? Don’t our kids deserve better than what we have? Or better than what we know? I think so and I'm willing to bet that you think so too.
Sorry for the very opinionated post today! I hope it at least made you think, laugh or rage with anger just like me.
Here are a couple of family friendly blogs about eating REAL FOOD:
Cheers to LIFE!--Bree

Friday, May 13, 2011

We all get a little lazy sometimes

I have to confess something. It’s terrible, but then again, most confessions are just that—Terrible. I’ve been eating Primally since January 1, 2011. I’ve had no trouble fitting in my jeans recently and that’s a great feeling, but I’ve been terribly lazy. L-A-Z-Y…
Pre-Primal Bree would be at the gym 5 to 6 days a week doing a mix of cardio and strength training. I was a self-described, “gym rat,” and I was totally ok with that. Now that I’ve got my eating under control, I’ve noticed that my trips to the gym are few and far between. In the past month I took a 2 week hiatus from the gym and worked out approximately 5 times total. Hmmm…what caused this change in me? This is not the Bree that I know…
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been working my booty off in many other ways…I’ve been working on designing a better blog, researching and learning everything I can about blogging and web design. I’ve been designing new AAC tools for my clients to use with the iPad. I’ve been working on new goals for my clients. I’ve been shopping and cooking almost every meal at home. I’ve been spending time with friends and family. I’ve been really focused on getting enough sleep. But all this time, I’ve been neglecting my dearest friend, gym. Crap.
It’s not that I couldn’t go to the gym. I DO have the time. I DO have the desire, but I also have the desire to do the 20 other things that I mentioned above. Herein lays/lies the dilemma. I’m not perfect and dang it, I wish I was! So it’s time to put the gym back into the routine.
Tomorrow is gonna start off with a hike. Who is with me?? Any takers??
Cheers to Life!--Bree

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lunch Hodgepodge!

About once a week I run into this- "I'mnotsurewhatIwanttoeat" problem and I look into the refrigerator that is usually packed with a random chicken breast, some half chopped onion, bacon, sausage or something of the like. So, in an effort not to waste a penny, I have started cooking a weekly 'hodgepodge' of things from the refrigerator. Here is this week's hodgepodge recipe just in case you have the desire to toss a few things in a pan and get cookin' like I do!

1 random lonely organic chicken breast

2 chicken sausage links

1/2 a yellow onion

1 sweet potato

1 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

6 tsp coconut oil

Sea Salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste

Here's a tip: You have to cook the sweet potato in one pan while you cook the meat in another pan.

So I begin by sticking the chicken sausage in a pan on medium heat and letting it brown up on the sides. While that is cooking, I chop up the sweet potato into chunks and toss it in a separate pan with 3 tsp coconut oil. I season the sweet potato chunks with sea salt, pepper and about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (you can use the real deal, but I was in a bit of a hurry so I used garlic powder instead--no biggie). Chop up the chicken breast here too!

Then, I go back to the sausage links, take them out of the pan and slice them into bite-sized pieces. I toss a little coconut oil into the pan with the diced up chicken breast (I also diced the chicken breast while the sausage was cooking. While the chicken is cooking I toss in half a yellow onion that has been chopped up recklessly (no need for precision when you are making a hodgepodge). While these items are cooking I toss in the turmeric, cumin, black pepper and sea salt and add back in the sausage. I also had some chicken broth in the fridge leftover from a couple of days ago so I tossed in about 1/4 cup of that and let everything finish cooking along with the sweet potatoes from the other pan.

TADA!!!! Lunch was ready. This took me 30 minutes from start to finish--super easy! Don't be scared of all the randomness in your refrigerator! It could be something fantastic in a matter of minutes!

Let me know what you throw in a pan sometimes! Perhaps it turns out to be my new favorite recipe?!

Cheers to Life!--Bree

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I cook...from a book...

I love to cook! It is like one of the most relaxing, fun, exciting things that I do daily...This week I had a bunch of leftovers to eat up so I spent the first part of the week eating those up and then went to the blogs to make some yummy food for tonight.

One of my favorite blogs, Everyday Paleo, was featuring a new recipe today--Curried Meatballs. I loved these meatballs. I made them using only 1 lb of grass-fed hamburger and then I took some chicken italian sausage that I bought at Trader Joes and inserted 3 sausages into the mix. In order to do this you take the casing off of the sausage and then just mix it in as you would the hamburger. I cooked the meatballs just like Sarah recommended and I even made the sauce! Super Yummy!

Here is a photo of the aftermath! They were sooo good!

I had already planned in my head that I wanted to make some cookies using the new coconut flour that I bought at Whole Foods. So I searched and searched until I found one that I thought would be perfect! Coconut Banana Cookies! I actually went with this one because I had all the ingredients! So good too! I could eat all of them--like right now!

These are how mine turned out but if you want to take a peek at the recipe here is the Paleo Website that I used: http://cavemanstrong.com/2010/12/coconut-banana-cookies/

I'm going on month 5 of Paleo/Primal and I'm really starting to just do it like clockwork. I do have the occasional cheat here and there...but I'm pretty much on track and lovin' it! I'm learning to cook and I'm learning to listen to my body. I could not be happier with my health at this moment!

Cheers to Life!--Bree

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bree's Easter WOD

Happy Easter everyone! I know I have enjoyed this weekend to the fullest and it's not even over yet...however...

This weekend has been especially difficult with keeping Primal in diet and exercise. In fact, this whole week I had originally set out to have zero alcohol! On Monday, I was talking to a Primal friend and just made the statement that I wouldn't drink this week...well, that all went right out the window by Wednesday evening (I think). Anyway, I had a beer and then Friday turned into an entire day by the pool with a couple of my best girlfriends and then...boom...I drank alcohol and ate a bunch of crap. Oh well, it is what it is. I think this just goes to show that I am completely human. Trust me, I will get back on the Primal horse tomorrow and keep on going because it makes me feel so much better!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and was somehow magically motivated to workout after eating like complete crap the last few days and this is the workout that I came up with at the gym. By the way...you don't really even need a gym to do this workout, just some motivation to get moving. So here it is:

1 mile jog
Tabata sprints 8:20:10 (this means 8 sprints for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off)

1 set of burpees 10-12 burpees each set ( I don't try to count them, I just do as many as I can per set until I feel like I might die, then stop).
20 seconds of push-up position planks (hold both feet on floor for first 10 sec, then lift each foot for 5 seconds totally 20 seconds)
REPEAT 2 times for a total of 3 sets

20 walking lunges (bodyweight only)
10 to 15 pushups (modify if necessary)
REPEAT 2 times for a total of 3 sets

20 squats (bodyweight only)
10 jumping lunges (no weights for obvious safety reasons)
REPEAT 2 times for a total of 3 sets

15 Tricep dips (you can do this on the side of a bench or do some real ones on parallel bars)
10 jump squats
REPEAT 2 times for a total of 3 sets

I was in and out of the gym in 45 minutes! The trick is to just push through each set of exercises to keep that heart rate in the aerobic burn zone but not maxed out. I have learned that you burn the most fat in the aerobic zone at 50 to 75% of your max heart rate.

The mentality in Primal exercise is that it should simulate the natural movements of the body and not put added stress on the body. As far as I can remember...Added stress during workouts can release cortisol--> increased cortisol= difficulty losing weight because your body thinks it needs extra energy under stressful conditions. This is why they always say keep your stress low, get sleep--blah, blah, blah all that jazz when trying to lose weight. You see--the body knows what to do in every situation...it's smart like that!

(P.S., I'm not a doctor, trainer or anything of the like...I'm just sharing the knowledge of the blogs I've read and what the trainers and experts in the field recommend in hopes that I can help others who have some interest in health and fitness.)

I hope you all have a very HAPPY EASTER!

Cheers to Life! --Bree

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Trip to the OTSFM!

I decided that I'm really going to start kicking some Primal ass now. I have been doing pretty well for a couple of months now and I'm really getting the hang of this stuff. I am feeling better, although, I have developed a bit of an egg intolerance and I am going to give up eggs this week for breakfast and see how that goes. I'm really gonna miss those fluffy little fellas, but oh well. Apparently 2 eggs for breakfast everyday CAN be a little rough on the tummy--especially mine, the World's Most Sensitive Tummy!

Anywho--I set off to check out the Old Town Scottsdale Farmer's Market this morning--abbreviated by me as OTSFM and it was quite interesting and lovely. I could have stayed for hours because I found it to be like a healthier version of Costco with friendly, young people offering samples of their own prized concoctions, instead of old people with hair nets. I didn't have that amazingly large shopping cart that Costco offers, so I sampled here and there and was envious of the people who remembered to bring their reuseable shopping bags (huge brainfart Bree!). Next time, I'm thinking I'll be more prepared for the awesomeness.

I had one goal in mind on my excursion to the OTSFM--to find some grass-fed beef! I wandered the market and found that there were three different ones. I talked to one beef-selling cowboy and he wasn't too exciting or helpful but I did gather a price list from him and learned that this particular ranch will deliver the meat to my door. He said, "I'll bring it to ya anywhere in the valley on up to Prescott." So I understand that to mean that he would deliver most places. This family owned enterprise is called JH Grass Fed Beef and can be found at http://www.jhgrassfed.com/.  I took his pricelist and tipped my conductor's hat in his direction before continuing my parade around the market.

After that I was wandering, admittedly quite aimlessly, when I just about ran face first into a basket of granola held by a lovely old lady. She saw my paper and pricelist and whispered to me that she really enjoyed buying her beef from Circle Key Farms. She pointed me in their direction and it was all I could do not to bust out into a sprint to get there.

After some serious crown weaving, I walked up to the Circle Key stand (Phone # 520-450-1016) and they had pictures of their cute little cow and goat friends--(they sell eggs too).  My demeanor must have been inquisitive because the lady proceeded to explain to me how they feed their little four-legged friends alfalfa and raise them by hand on pastures of grass that they grow themselves. They don't treat the grass with any pesticides and don't fatten up their cows with grain or hormones. (This doesn't mean that JH Farm guy does these things--but this lady wooed me with her explanation).

I asked a few questions and took a look at the pricelist and I got to meet the man behind the meat! The cowboy! This dude was real, 100% grass-fed cowboy! He was gruff, and tough with callused hands at least 1/4 inch thick. I'm sure he probably drives one of those Diesel Ford F150s and would scoff at my eco-friendly Prius with a toughness that would scare a bull. He's probably never heard of Beyonce or the Black Eyed Peas, but I bet if I brought up Elvis we would be buds. Nonetheless, he reminded me a lot of my grandpa in character and gruffness so I listened up! 

He told me he raises the cows himself, feeds them from his own land and sells only the best!  By the looks of this tough old cowboy, he wasn't lying! He has earned every wrinkle on his forehead and every dollar in his pocket. He said, "What can I getcha?" and "I'd be happy to sell you by the 1/4 and by the 1/2 (of a cow)...just don't go gettin' all 'steak happy' on me and you'll get it all for a better price. You know what you want?" So I thought about it and thought some more--"what does one do with 1/4 or 1/2 a cow?" and "Can you fit 1/4 cow in a Prius?" I also thought, "Uhhhh, I don't even know what half these cuts of meat are--holy crap I need to learn more about meat, NOW!"

By the way, I'm not sure I could fit 1/2 or a 1/4 of a cow in my Prius or my apartment, let alone my freezer, so I opted for the next best choice and bought a Top Sirloin steak and some ground beef. These were safe options in my mind. I figured I needed to sample this beautiful meat before purchasing THE COW.

So, tomorrow I'm gonna have some steak--I'll let ya know how it goes. But I wanted to pass along this info to other Paleo/Primal enthusiasts because by cutting out the middle man (like Whole Foods and Sprouts) you can save a lot of money on grass-fed beef products and put your money into the local market.

Click here if you would like to learn more about the benefits of grass-fed beef from Mark's Daily Apple.

Cheers to Life! --Bree