Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New direction...

Well, it looks like we're going in a different direction for awhile...

My second son, who is nine, has had allergies and been anemic for *years*. At a year, he had gone from 100th percentile to 10th, and the doctor was concerned enough to have us go to the hospital for nutritional analysis by a dietician, who found that despite taking in more than 3000 calories a day (!), he was not absorbing iron.

So we supplemented with iron and got his levels up (actually, the iron didn't work, so we used Floradix on a hush hush basis from the dietician!)... and then we moved soon after, and kind of lost track of his health problems.

Over the years, i've talked to countless doctors, had tons of bloodwork done (all of which show anemia, plus allergies to grasses like timothy, and not much else), had xrays done of his sinuses (which didn't show any reason why he should be completely stuffed up all the time). I did take him to a naturopath, but she was kind of flaky, and i was turned off so i didn't take her advice to buy some really expensive water that would help him "achieve a more alkaline state" (although now i am thinking the acid/alkaline thing may be something to look into...

So, finally i am biting the bullet and eliminating gluten. We'll do this for a few weeks, (maybe six? maybe more) and then go back to gluten and i'm charting how he feels, so that i can spot trends.

Really, gluten free and paleo are not two separate things - but in doing the gluten free diet for a family of nine, i am going to give up on paleo for awhile. Some meals will be paleo, but i'm including things like rice, mashed potatos and other gluten free carbs so that the children won't feel deprived.

This morning i made the most delicious rice pancakes, studded with raisins (or chocolate chips, or nothing, depending on when you got to the giant pan - it made a TON of pancakes!)

I'm not sure if i should just start another blog and come back to this one once the experiment is over (as i'm pretty sure my husband wants to stay paleo) - but the title of the blog seems not so true now :) and if i start a GF blog, maybe i will get some traffic from people who can give me advice :)

Anyway, i've had pneumonia and we've had every flu in town since Dec. 25th, which is why i haven't posted much - but i'm getting better, and looking forward to posting more and hopefully learning more from everyone else out there in blogland...

I'll post a picture and recipe after i get some school done this morning!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tonight's workout:

3 rounds of this:

1 minute rowing machine

1 minute kettlebell swings (i used the 8k baby one)

1 minute jumping pullups (like a chinup, only you jump up and lower yourself slowly - killer)

1 minute shoulder press thrusters (i used 8 k dumbbells)

1 minute squats

1 minute rest

And i should confess (do i have to?) that although breakfast and dinner were both paleo, the middle of the day was a total write off - six of seven littles were sick, and so was i, so we voted to do school on Friday instead and take Monday off. Very sweet. I don't feel much better, but we'll have to get the show on the road tomorrow - i don't think i can handle that much nothing :)...

Anyway, no cookies tomorrow! I'm turning a blind eye to my 3 yo sneaking into the kitchen as i write - i know it means one less butterscotch almond cookie to tempt me...

T downloaded the Robb Wolf podcast for me to listen to, and has an abstract (?!) of the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" - less about a specific diet, more of studies on nutrition. We'll try to keep to this for now. Sometimes it's just too hard for me :) But i want it to work! Tomorrow's a new day...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday night workout

T's taking care of me in that "tough love, make me workout and cook me paleo meals" kinda way. When i say it that way, it sounds pretty stupid to complain, doesn't it? He's a good man. I'm gonna lose those last 15 lbs.


Tonight's workout:

Tonight's workout:

21 thrusters (with 20 lb dumbbells)
21 rows (on chin dip station)
500m row

15 thrusters
15 rows
500 m row

9 thrusters
9 rows
500 m

tonight's paleo dinner:

Smokey Cauliflower and Sausage from the Low Carb cookbook - delicious! All melty with cream cheese and cheddar - very very rich, but the spicy sausage cut through and the cauliflower was perfect. I think i love fauxtatoes almost as much as the real thing. Almost. I am part Irish :)...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

thursday workout

for me, Thursdays are the new Fridays... We only homeschool four days a week, so that i can get caught up on appointments, shop, do mom stuff like practice my mandolin, or knit or sew (i have the cutest little purse cut up and half sewn, just calling my name around the corner here)...

So tonight is my "hooray, pressure's off" night. Dh, not so much. He bought some red wine on the way home from work, we did a hard workout, and he's up in bed, waiting for me. So this had better be quick! I hate when he falls asleep before me...

Tonight's workout (which i was dragged into kicking and screaming - bad attitude tonight, but I STILL DID IT and that's the moral of the story, that or T's angelic nature for putting up with me, even when i decided after the fourth set to actually go change out of my jeans so i could get my feet in the tubing for the chin ups... oh, let's not split hairs...)

Tonight's workout:

Tonight's workout:

10 sets of

3 deadlifts (so basically, a dumbbell complex, followed by chinups
3 power cleans and i used 15 lb dumbbells, and i probably should
3 forward squats have used 20 lb ones, but like i say every time,
3 thrusters NEXT TIME!!!)

5 chinups

Paleo, yes, i have been *pretty* good. I had a few french fries yesterday but apart from that, i've been clean all week, and tomorrow is CHEAT DAY! You have no idea how much i look forward to cheat day...

I'm looking into GFCF for my second son, and groaning inwardly at the thought of yet more dietary gymnastics. But i think i really do need to try this and see if it will make a difference. The good news - we're already halfway there by eating paleo - so long as we cut out the dairy. The sad news - i need to seriously beef up the excitement factor of eating paleo if i want to get my 9 yo to eat this way for weeks on end. So looking for excitement. paleo cookies and chocolate almond balls to start out, but i need variety to get me to longevity. Combing blogs that are GF give me ideas for *him*, but i need paleo ideas i think, so i can still keep the eaters in this family into two camps - paleo, and not...

These are my concerns :) and my workout, and the end of my day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tonight's workout and a pork roast recipe...

Tonight's workout:

30 rows on chin dip station
50 swings with 15 lb kettlebell
50 situps
15 standing press with 15 lb dumbbells
30 squats
25 rows
30 deadlifts with 15 lb dumbbells
15 knees to elbows ( call this captain's chair, but it's T's workout)
50 pushups (i did girl ones since my arms are aching from yesterday's workout still..)

Tonight's dinner:

T's tomatoey pork roast

a nice sized pork roast (enough to feed a family of nine!)
cooked with a can of tomatoes
a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
worcestershire sauce
two diced onions
four cloves garlic
a couple of cloves
a couple of Tbsp chili powder

Oven at 350, 45 minutes

side dish - spaghetti squash...

it was tender delicious!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Deck of Death

Today we went down to "the valley" to check out the new butcher shop - it's called Yukon Sausage, and we picked up a whole bunch of meats to try out. So far, i can vouch for the deli meats - shaved thin like butterfly wings... mmmm

Then we got home, had some potty excitement with Mimi (she rocks! She is totally doing this all by herself - i just have to help her get up on the potty!)

THEN.... the Deck of Death.

And it sure was. it wasn't a lack of strength - in fact, i think i need to step up to the 20 lb dumbbells.. But i have no power! No endurance! I've had a whole week off, and no sleep for 2 weeks (well, almost three weeks) now... (with the shining exception of last Wednesday night on which babe Meow slept angelically all the way through...

Anyway, Deck of Death may not have been explained on this blog before, so i will give a quick explanation of a neat little workout.

What you need: a deck of cards and whatever you need for four different exercises. I did rows (using our chin station), pushups, captain's chair (again using the chin station) and thrusters, using 15 lb dumbbells...

Shuffle the deck of cards, and assign a suit to each exercise - chin ups = hearts, pushups = diamonds etc. Then turn over the first card. Do however many reps of that exercise as the card is work - for instance, a face card is worth ten, so you would do ten reps of that exercise. Aces are worth eleven. And when you are very tired, it seems the whole deck is face cards. But it's not. I checked.

We're back on the paleo wagon today and with a fridge full of good meats, i'm excited about another week of healthy eating!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some Paleo meals we've enjoyed lately!

Well, this week has been my first totally good week :) - no "bad" snacks, just paleo all the way all week, looking forward to today, CHEAT DAY!!!

I won't talk about all the sordid details of our cheat meal, but i did think i should share some of the delicious paleo meals we've had this week...

My mother in law bought me a great cookbook called "500 Low Carb Recipes" and i've made a few things from it already, but one that's been a huge hit has been salmon patties. My mom and dad have a boat on the west coast and gave us as one of our Christmas presents, a box full of canned salmon (and said we can return it to be refilled whenever we want! )

I've doubled the recipe to serve my seven children and me for lunch -

Salmon Patties

2 500 ml jars of canned salmon
1/2 c. oat bran (dh used wheat bran, i used ground up oats... neither of them is paleo, i know... maybe someone reading this can give me an idea of a binder that is paleo?)
2 eggs
1 green onion, finely chopped
a lot of butter for the pan frying!

Drain the salmon, and mash it up in a bowl, skin and bones and all. Add the bran, eggs, and green onion. Heat butter in two frying pans (nicer than waiting for the second batch!), and shape the mixture into eight burger sized patties. Fry till golden on both sides (around 7 minutes per side, maybe less)

We also had a less than stellar cooking experience using splenda instead of sugar, and making a paleo cake... it was so disgusting! It was supposed to have the consistency of brownies, and it did - but it tasted disgustingly chemical. I couldn't finish mine. I told T that splenda wasn't really paleo anyway... and he agreed - but i think i will need to make some chocolate balls for him to snack on, or find a healthier paleo snack.

Having pepitas in the house works for a fast and easy and yummy snack - having salsa to go with eggs, or guacamole to add to a blah plate of leftover meat really peps up the paleo meals (especially if the little ones are eating ravioli or something warm and tempting!) Also, the diet coke, while not paleo, is good for quenching the sweets desire...

Next week, i am planning to try a recipe for Cheese Popovers using nut flour... We buy almonds or walnuts in bulk through a coop, and i can sacrifice some for the cause. It might be that we do better when we completely eschew anything that seems like sugar/starch...

I was in ketosis by Thursday p.m., but i think that could be avoided if i just up our produce buying. Already i buy for an army! But the littles love snacking on veggies and fruits, and they are low in prep and full of vitamins...

I'm considering moving one of our children to a totally paleo diet as we get this figured out, too... But i feel like we got a lot closer (okay, *i* got a lot closer) to what i'd like my diet to look like.

Too bad i didn't get hardly any workouts done. Baby has been awake at 12:30 and 4 a.m. for two weeks (with one great night's sleep on Wednesday night... praying for another good night!) - anyway, neither of us feels like we have a ton of energy to spare... and with that, i'm off to bed to read and fall asleep early!

this is what i'm hoping for this weekend:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Paleo readings and Margie Mom!


T made me read this article today and it was a good (although grammatically weak) explanation of the paleo diet, and some trouble shooting.

I liked it because he seemed to recognize that we are all individuals and will follow the diet in different ways, and be motivated by different things.

On another blog i was reading last night, America Peals (accessed from the website), a reader commented on using "personal marketing" images - i.e. stick my head onto a model's body and put it on the fridge to help remind myself of my goals.

Thing is, my goal is to eat healthy, to be at a healthy weight - and i do know that no matter how fit i get, there are certain things that won't change - i will still be 5'2 - i will still have borne seven children and have the stretch marks to prove it.

Lately, i'm finding that my motivation comes more from the way eating right makes me feel. When i'm down, i don't care much, i eat crap and feel worse. But if i can break the cycle somewhere, it influences the other half of the equation, too...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

exercise and paleo jambalaya

Tonight's workout:

20 rows
30 pushups
40 situps
50 squats

I did one set, then 20 rows and 30 pushups - and that was all i was capable of. We've had the flu around here, and on top of being sick, baby wants me all day long - which is very sweet - she's getting so big and runs around from friend to friend - but when she's sick, she's my little girl again...

Still, something is better than nothing!

And T made a delicious dinner -

For Christmas I received not one, not two, but THREE cookbooks!

This one was from my inlaws, called 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender

And tonight T made us Shrimp and Andouille Jambalaya (page292)

Shrimp and Andouille Jambalaya
If you can't find andouille, just substitute the lowest-carb smoked sausage you can find.

(ours was pretty spicy!)

12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 c. olive oil
1 1/3 c. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large gren pepper, diced
1 can ( 14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, including liquid
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
6 c. cauliflower rice (i.e. shred a head of cabbage in your food processor)
2 c. shelled, deveined, medium sized shrimp
salt and pepper

Brown the sausage in olive oil. When it's lightly golden, add onion, garlic and green pepper. Saute the veggies till the onion is translucent.

Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, to blend the flavours

Add the cauliflower rice and simmer another 15 min, until cauliflower starts to get tender.

Add the shrimp, and simmer another 5 minutes or so - just long enough to cook the shrimp (my husband also added in a can of oysters with the shrimp... yummy!)

Add salt, pepper, and tabasco to taste and serve. Our 9 year old had seconds!