Welcome to my Life...

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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Primal Dessert!

So I thought I would share with you a very, very simple dessert that I have discovered now that I am eating Primally....

I call it Strawberry-Banana Smash

Step1) Let a few (4) bananas get over-ripened...like to the point of brown and spotted and a bit soft.

Step 2) Peel the bananas and put them in a food processor. (Don't mix it yet)

Step 3)  Pour in 1 cup of almond milk and 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.

Step 4) Add a about 4 or 5 strawberries cut into smaller chunks.

Step 5) Blend it up!

Step 6) Put in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes and it becomes slushy and ice-creamy

Soooo good!

--Cheers to LIFE! Bree

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Helpful Paleo/Primal Stuff

I wanted to give people an idea of how I go through my daily routine and what keeps me motivated and informed about the Paleo/Primal Lifestyle. This post is strictly dedicated to some helpful websites, blogs, books and a little about each one to help you get started. I put in the work and you can take a peek and see what you think Paleo/Primal means to you.

1) The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain. There is a revised and new version as of 2009/2010 (I believe). It has some updated research in the area and provides you a solid foundation for understanding what Paleo means. It explains the bad parts about grains, gluten, etc. It also explains WHY we eat what we eat and why we are meant to eat this way. Awesome read and I recommend it to all starters.

2) Mark's Daily Apple--when I first started this was my absolute "go-to" website. The FORUM is my favorite! People post questions daily on a variety of topics from exercise to eating certain protein powder to daily food journals of other Primal eaters.  I also enjoy his daily posts--very educational, as well as Mark's post about why grains are bad. Mark has also written an awesome book that you can get from his website or the local bookstore, it's called The Primal Blueprint. I'm about 50 pages in and loving it! 

Mark also hosts some awesome PAST seminars around the country where he educates others about the Primal way of life. I hope to attend one of these seminars soon. This guy really lives what he speaks and that's so inspirational.

Btw--if you have an iPhone he has an app that hooks you up to his site. It lists his daily posts which are my favorite things to read when I need to kill some time between clients or when I'm waiting to get an oil change.

3) Everyday Paleo is a great website for families who are trying to live the Paleo lifestyle. I am truly on there once a day and sometimes more! Sarah (the blogger) provides readers with real-life recipes that can be thrown together from the items in your fridge. She gives me ideas everyday and I haven't even had the chance to explore her entire website. She also has a friend/partner in crime, Chrissy, who writes the blog Growing Up Paleo , where she discusses Paleo living and pregnancy. It is possible to make this an entire lifestyle...something you WANT your kids to be living by every day.

4) I recently stumbled upon some yummy, Paleo snacks through Paleo People . I ordered a variety of their granola this week and I'm still waiting for it's arrival. It looks amazing and I cannot wait to fill you guys in on how it is.

5). Robb Wolf is one of the world's leading experts in the Paleo way of life. His blog is super informative! I have just begun to explore it. At the moment, my favorite part about his blog has to be the Podcasts. I pull these up on my phone whenever I have the chance and just listen to what he has to say...tons of info!!!  He has written a book that I hope to read soon called The Paleo Solution. He also owns and operates one of the Top 30 gyms in America called Nor-Cal Strength and Conditioning.  There is a lifetime of information on his blog.

6). There will be more to come I'm sure! But these books, blogs and websites have given me a pretty awesome start!

Cheers to LIFE!--Bree

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Chive and Green Onion Dip

Soooo, I felt like making some yummy Coconut Chicken for dinner tonight! Primal, of course! And it is turning out pretty awesome and it was WAAAAY easy with very few ingredients. I thought I would throw the recipe your way if you are interested! This is enough for 2 people approximately because I'm single people...and I like leftovers!

2 chicken breasts or 6 chicken breast tenders (If you have chicken breasts I recommend cutting them into three pieces so that you can make chicken tenders. I also used organic, free-range chicken

1 Omega-3 enriched egg

1 cup UNSWEETENED coconut flakes or shavings (I used shavings and it's turning out great).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the chicken pieces and dredge them in egg or egg whites if you desire. Then roll them in the coconut flakes and pop them  in a pan and cover with foil for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until the coconut begins to brown.  FYI, It took my chicken tenders about 30 minutes to brown up.

Serve these with my yummy green onion and chive dip.

1/4 to 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt

1/2 a green onion finely chopped

1 fresh chive finely chopped or you can use dried chives as well. I used about 1 teaspoon dried chives as this was my trial run.  Toss all of it in a bowl and mix it up. I ended up adding a little onion powder because I enjoy the flavor. I use this dip a lot to replace Ranch dressing.

This dish smells amazing when cooking, so be prepared!

Cheers to LIFE!--Bree

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Day In the Life of Primal Eating!

Since Primal eating is technically a 'restrictive' diet/lifestyle I thought you all might be curious to see just what people who eat primally eat everyday.

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: 1 pork sausage and approximately 1 1/2 cups of steamed broccoli (I don't measure it--I just eyeball about how much I want to put in my tummy).

Lunch: Leftover Shrimp and sweet potato concoction made with asparagus, onions, garlic, brussel sprouts and some coconut oil.

Snack: I ate some trail mix (raisins and nuts--mostly almonds and cashews)...I'm guessing I ate about 1/4 cup here.

Dinner: One grass-fed beef hamburger with some manchengo cheese and asparagus cooked in coconut oil with some garlic and lemon.

Now today here was my meal plan:

Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked through in coconut oil and three slices of turkey bacon. I topped the eggs off with 1/2 an avocado

Lunch: Canned tuna mixed with a little mustard, a splash of olive oil mayo (not Paleo/Primal so I kept it to a minimum. There is a way to make Primal mayo but I haven't attempted that yet) and mixed in a few almond slivers for crunch because I have a texture thing with tuna from a can without the crunch from bread. I was still hungry so I made a Primal Protein shake with a banana and some frozen strawberries and a cup of almond milk.

Dinner: I made the most amazing Sun-dried tomato chicken with brussel sprouts and bacon.

Dessert: a few dark chocolate covered blueberries.

I've been eating like this probably 90% of the time over the past month and I'm telling you that it works. The last thing I feel is RESTRICTED. I'm feeling great, my clothes fit and that gets better everyday. I notice that my stomach is just flatter than it was when I was eating grains.  On top of that, I build muscle quickly when I eat this way. I got sick a couple of weeks ago and I bounced back within about 5 trips to the gym--muscles and all!

I hope this gives you all a glimpse as to what I eat and do everyday...if you are at all interested or need some info on where to go just send me an email at bree.noback@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to email you my favorite websites and book titles to help you get started.

Cheers to LIFE--Bree

Just Living the Primal Dream!

Well, everyone is pretty curious about the Primal/Paleo thing and how I seem to be doing with it. Well, I would say “so far so good”. Will I ever go back to the way I ate before? The answer is without a doubt, 100%--“NOOOO! I WILL NEVER GO BACK!” This lifestyle is UNBELIEVEABLE! I cannot explain to you the difference in my mood, my body and my overall attitude towards life. I went Primal people and I’m NEVER going back.
So here are some of the pros for me, personally.  They include better sleep, no more tummy troubles, no more lactose intolerance pills (more on this later), fitting into my size 4 jeans (yep, pretty kick ass if you ask me) without worry, skin is clearing up, my workouts are intense and excellent almost every time and a pretty cool feeling of endless energy. I am also learning about how to workout Primally and that has been a huge shift for me. I truly have found no downsides to this life change. It’s excellent on every level.
Some things I continue to struggle with include: temptations of COOKIES and sweets at night, difficulty explaining to others what I can and can’t eat and why, some of the pre-planning I have to do to make it through a day and accessibility and cost of grass-fed meat. Other than that—I love it. I’m not going back and I have recently “Primal-fied” my kitchen…it was sad to throw out my Smart Start and oatmeal, but it’s been worth it in every way.
Now, I know many of you are wondering why it is that I eat this way and what I have referred to in order to make this change. I will do my best to explain in this post.
I started this after trying to learn more about Cross-fit training and stumbled upon a pretty rockin’ blog: Mark’s Daily Apple hosted by Mark Sisson. At about the same time I took a trip to the good ole bookstore and dropped a few bucks on the Paleo Diet Book by Dr. Cordain. Armed with the information in these books, I went to work and I haven’t stopped, only stumbled. Let me just say that stumbles are a part of this process. It's all a part of learning how to make a lifestyle change. I just get back on track ASAP and chalk it up to “Life”.  No stress.
For me, living this lifestyle is entirely stress-free because I know WHY I’m NOT eating certain things. This understanding alleviates that feeling of deprivation that most people feel during a change and it does so ENTIRELY!  Sure, if I want a cupcake—I’ll eat one and the same goes for a cookie, because those are the foods that keep me ‘cool’.  (I don’t usually feel too well afterwards and tend to avoid them more and more everyday).  I would say in the past 3 weeks I’ve had about 5 dessert-y type of things—pretty killer for a cookie-holic.
So back to WHY I’m NOT eating certain things…Well, let me give you some info from one of my favorite Primal gurus, Mark Sisson. In his book, The Primal Blueprint, he compares the Conventional Wisdom (CW) and Primal Blueprint (PB). I want to give him as well as Dr. Cordain all the credit for my understanding of eating Primal/Paleo. Without their books, websites I would be completely lost. They put it in real terms and leave the readers to make the decisions.
P.S.--Mark is amazing—he’s one of those dudes that is NOT a doctor, a scientist or a salesman. He has lived and cultivated this lifestyle for over 20 years and has worked hand in hand with researchers, doctors, evolutionists, geneticists, paleontologists, coaches, trainers and a bunch of talented and knowledgeable individuals to show people the TRUTH about what our bodies need and WHY! And answers the WHY in some pretty awesome ways!
So here goes the Bree-version of Conventional (Neolithic) eating versus primal eating according to the “rules,” (and I use that term loosely) of Primal Blueprint. I will highlight just a few of the ones that really hit home with me.  There are so many more if you check out the book.
Rule #1: Step away from the grains! Grains include: wheat, rice, corn, bread, cereal and pasta.  According to CW we should eat 6-11 daily servings of this stuff as it provides the energy to feed our muscles, brain, etc. CW also states ‘whole grains’ are somehow the gods and goddesses of the grain world—I call B.S. and so does PB. Whole grains are still PROCESSED and we are not doing our bodies any justice by consuming them.
In reality, grains, even WHOLE GRAINS, promote excess insulin production in EVERYONE! YES, even WHOLE grains! In addition, they promote fat storage and (gasp) heart disease (Booooo).  Not to mention the inflammation they cause in the intestines and what they do to suppress our immune systems. If you are sick, take a good look at what is on your plate and there is your answer as to why you feel like crud.
Rule #2: Eat some fat! CW tells us that it causes heart disease and that eating it will make us fat. Uhhh, not so fast! Saturated fat is NOT associated with heart disease risk. Yes, this is true. In fact, it should be a large calorie source for bodies as it has promoted the advancement and development of brain function for millions of years.
It provides us with stable energy and WEIGHT CONTROL! Um, hello—fat is not the culprit here. It’s the combination of fat with grains with sugar with over eating that has brought about the epidemic of heart disease in our civilization. Our ancestors didn’t struggle with heart disease—we pretty much invented it along with the invention of the drive-thru, the automobile and everything else that makes us kinda lazy on occasion. Sure I enjoy these conveniences, but with modern convenience comes modern problems as I’m learning.
Rule #3: Eggs are ok!?
Yep! They are! CW teaches us that they contain artery-clogging cholesterol and we need to minimize them. PB teaches that there is really no correlation between heart disease and cholesterol levels. Yolk is good and should be considered nutritious, not unhealthy.
Rule #4: Eat your fiber!
CW teaches us that we need fiber, mostly from grains, to achieve the best possible gastrointestinal function, to speed up your digestive tract and to lower our calorie intake. Not so true…In PB we learn that you get ALL the fiber you could ever need from healthy fruits and veggies and even the meat we eat. In fact, too much grain-based fiber leaches important nutrients from our bodies!  So eat your veggies!
Rule #5: Eat when you are hungry…Eating is optional.
So CW teaches us that eating a few times a day is best for optimal health. It teaches us that skipped meals are bad and promote a slowed metabolism. PB teaches us that we should eat when we are hungry, eat as much as we want of the right things and then fast when you feel like it. Fasting can help to lose weight or just speed up the metabolism.  Heck, our ancestors fasted for hours, days, when food was scarce or when on the hunt.
Rule #5: Weight loss is achieved through eating the right things not limiting fat/carbs or calories.
CW states that we need to eat high complex carbs and low fat diets to achieve weight loss and it’s all about “calories in and calories out.” If you watch The Biggest Loser you see this type of methodology. It works for those people to drop the weight. I imagine if you asked the contestants if they were hungry, tired as hell or just plain sick of measuring their food, you would probably get a resounding “HELL YES!”  Hunger sucks. I hate being hungry more than I hate the Shane Co. guy’s voice and that’s a lot of hate (or as my mom would say “strong dislike”).  When we’re hungry we make poor choices in the food arena and we end up sitting in a drive-thru somewhere buying something because it sounds AMAZING at that particular moment. It’s not amazing and the last thing it is going to be is HEALTHY.
Let me tell you, I’m no longer the ‘hungry’ girl all day long. I eat probably 3 to 4 times a day and I’m totally cool with it. Sometimes I will make an awesome dinner and then sit down and eat only half because I’m simply not hungry—my needs have been met. In addition, I’m almost never tired in the afternoon. If I am, it’s because I’m bored and it’s not really because I feel like I’m in a food coma or an afternoon slump. Also, I don’t have lactose intolerance problems anymore—unless I happen to eat bread or a cookie. If I mix the two—there is trouble. So I’ve pretty much just stopped doing that altogether. Lastly, I am no longer counting a single calorie. I eat what I want when I want and I don’t waste a single second worrying about how it’s going to impact my waist, thighs or butt. I eat healthy so I can take the worry out of it. Who wants to worry about what they put in their body? It sucks. My personal self-talk includes this phrase, “Eat right Bree. You have control over what you put in there.” Corny, I know, but it works for me when I’m struggling.
So anyway, this is my lifestyle now. I know the answers to the WHY questions and I eat Paleo and Primal by choice—everyday. I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I researched Primal eating for dogs. I’m happy to announce that my furry giant, Guinness, is now transitioning to a grain-free, Primal-doggy diet as well. I hope he knows how much his mama loves him…it’s more than I love cookies, that’s for sure!

Cheers to LIFE!--Bree!