Monday, December 30, 2013

Exercising when sick :(

     I have the worst cold ever. Runny nose, sore throat, cold sweat when I walk around. I usually go to the gym and walk when I have a cold. But with this thing, I don't even want to walk around the house. This got me thinking, is it beneficial to work out when I'm sick or should I just say forget it for the next 5 days.
     The Mayo Clinic says if it's a cold above the head then exercise should be okay. Scale it back if you need to.They do say if you have a fever not to exercise. I didn't take my temperature though, but the hypochondriac in me insists I have a fever...
     What is really painful to me now is the sinusitis. It kept me up most of the night. On Yoga Journal, they talk about several poses that can help the sinuses. Salamba Sarvangasana- supported shoulder stand, Ardha Halasana- supported half plow pose, and Eka Pada Savarganasana- plow pose with one leg up are said to be useful in relieving sinus pressure and clearing the sinuses.
    I don't usually take medication, but when sinus pain keeps me awake, I really wish I could take some NY-Quil. However, because of my intolerance to salicylates, I have to avoid a lot of medications. The menthol that causes the nice cooling feeling in your throat will make me really sick. The NSAIDs are not good for my stomach or intestines. I can't tolerate "natural" products, such as herbal tea. Too feel better, I'm rotating ice water and lipton tea. I'm putting a little honey in my tea because I heard this is good for you. Don't know of any actual proof behind this. What the heck, honey taste good. It can't hurt.
I think I am going to try some yoga poses. I can't be allergic to those.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Turmeric and Saffron: Persian Saffron Butternut Squash Dessert and My 5 ...

Excited to try this!
Turmeric and Saffron: Persian Saffron Butternut Squash Dessert and My 5 ...: Five years ago, on a typical cold day in December, I created my little blog. The whole idea of a Persian food blog- its name and format s...

CrossFit and Rhabdo, Ouch!

    I just recently came across this article CrossFit's Dirty Little Secret. I have been contemplating trying CrossFit just to see what the hype was all about. Currently, haven't tried it so I don't have an opinion. And oh my gosh, this article is scary. It basically describes a condition called Rhabdomyolysis. Asked my husband what that is and he said its an issue with straited muscles...Ok, thanks doc, but what issue? I guess he doesn't see this too much in dogs and cats (:
 In the article it describes how extreme over-exertion can cause the muscle cells to rupture and release protein into the blood stream. The protein levels are so high, that it can cause kidney failure and this condition can be fatal. Now, I don't know, based on this article, how  common this is in CrossFit gyms. Is it common, or is it because something this rare has happened a few times, the trainers have took it upon themselves to be educated on the matter?
      I decided to look into "Rhabdo" further and came across this answer to the first article 'Secret' Rhabdo:CrossFit, Exercise and Risk. This is written by an M.D. who is also a CrossFit trainer. He talks about this being a risk of any hard core fitness regimen and that CrossFit takes it upon themselves to educate their trainers and their clients, instead of ignoring the issue. I have done hard core training (at least, to me it was) and I have never been told about this risk. So if there are a lot of articles from CrossFit on this condition, I don't see it as a bad thing. It means they are talking about it.
     My question after reading the articles is: How the heck do I know if I am putting myself at risk for this condition? (doubtful that I ever will, call me crazy but do not enjoy extreme pain)
Here are the symptoms, courtesy of Web MD
  • Painful, swollen, bruised, or tender areas of the body
  • Muscle weakness or trouble moving arms or legs
  • General feelings of illness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion, dehydration, fever, or lack of consciousness
  • Dark-colored urine; reduced or no urine output
How do you know you are just working hard and not exploding your muscles?
Found these tips on a CrossFitter's site :CrossFit Reality
  • HYDRATE!!! (Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue which will exacerbate Rhabdo)
  • Listen to your body (If I didn’t, I could be dead! Seriously)
  • Drop the EGO. (If you push it past your capabilities, Uncle Rhabdo will be waiting.)
  • Go to the hospital (If you get Rhabdo, you need advanced treatment to save your kidneys. You’ll end up there sooner or later with Rhabdo, so be smart and go early)
  • Act prophylactically! (Take steps ahead of time to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.)
  • Ice any unusual pain or soreness after every workout (no exceptions here folks, if you come to me with soreness you’ll know what I’ll say from hear on out.)
  • Educate yourself [Know what movements are more likely to cause Rhabdo; eccentric movements (loading muscles while also lengthening i.e. pull-ups, squats, GHD sit-ups, etc.)]
  • Go through On-Ramp (If you are new to CrossFit, regardless of your background you should start off with an On-Ramp class to avoid Rhabdo) 

Now I don't think I push myself to this point. I do work out pretty hard in my bootcamp but I am yet to do 1 pull-up let alone 100. I think I'm good.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bone Broth

     I've been feeling a little sick, like a flu or cold is coming on :( Time to make some bone broth like all the Paleo-ists gush about.
    It's nothing that really needs a recipe. Just use your ingredients for any stock ( onions, carrots, celery,) but boil them with a bunch of bones. (I used a lot of celery because that's what I had, also I want to avoid salicylates for now so I nixed the carrots and herbs) Apparently, adding some vinegar helps to extract the calcium from the bones. I wonder if lime juice would do the same.
    There is some science behind this. A simple google search will show plenty of people going on about the benefits. If you look a little harder you will find a scientific study raising the alarm for "lead toxicity". A second search and you'll find a dozen articles refuting that study.
     Doing a literature key word search on Pub Med didn't help me. Since I am no longer a student, I don't have as much access to finding articles. And I never liked Pub Med as a student, but that's all I can use for free now. I know I can find studies on the benefits of certain minerals, gelatin, chondrotin and cartilage. I was just trying to find studies that show the nutritional benefit and absorbance of these nutrients when you consume a bone broth.
     I found the following list of references on bone broth at The Life Extension Blog
  1. Int J Med Sci. 2009;6(6):312-21.
  2. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.
  3. Science. 1993 Sep 24;261(5129):1727-30.
  4. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb;41(2):290-7.
  5. Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Apr;39(4):623-8.
  6. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Dec;32(6):577-84.
  7. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2002;22(3-4):101-10.

     He talks about the collagen that is released when cooking the bones broth and how it reduces inflammation and relieves osteoarthritis. He doesn't talk about the broth in terms of nutrition and the minerals it is said to release.Whatever, bones contain minerals duh. The bone marrow contains vitamins. If they show that cooking it leaches out some lead that was stored than I'm sure it leaches out into the water, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and so on as well. I think I read about some zinc in there
     Here is a nice article on bone broth Bone Broth is Beautiful.This article talks about everything bone broth and was worth the read. Peer-Reviewed literature or not, it convinced me about bone broth.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kicking Butt and Paleo Recipes

My group training is over until January 8th! I don't know what to do now. We have been doing TRX and circuits that have been killer. TRX are these cables hanging from a bar that you can put your feet in or hang on to and take traditional exercises to an "excruciating" other level. It never fails to make me sore. Inclined push-up,  I look a lot like the T-Rex trying to do that. So what to do for exercise during these 4 weeks off!
I'm going to do workouts from The Ancestral Body E-book, which you can get from the link. I like these workouts because they are quick and don't need equipment. They are burpees, push-up and planks in a dozen different ways that  I couldn't even imagine.  I will also be going to Core Power Yoga when I can get a babysitter, because they don't have daycare :( And I will be tackling the TRX on my own. Trying to do a 5 minute plank, which makes you hate your life immensely for those 5 minutes, but it will give 6-pack abs under your flab.
Along the lines of Paleo recipes, I am having extreme issues trying to find things to make to eat. I don't feel like eating all day (when you don't eat sugar anymore you kinda give up, lets have eggs and carrots yay!, no) Until I am hungry and then I want to eat, but don't have time to cook. Another issues is because of salicylate intolerance/allergy/makes me vomit whatever the freaking name is, I cannot eat a lot of spices. I like Thai and Indian curries and apparently so does the rest of the Paleo Community. All the recipes I find on NomNomPaleo are full of thes spices I am forbidden :(. I'm trying to change things up so I bought some goat stew meat. So far I have it slowcooking in the crock pot. I went to Nom Nom Paleo to find a lamb or goat stew. I really like the Rogan Josh lamb stew. The recipe actually comes from The clothes make the girl, so I found a new blog! And she happens to be doing a giveaway today, maybe I'll win! I never win anything. Anyway. I cannot use turmeric or cumin. Ginger is also suspect for me because once I ate a lot of ginger jam and I was incapacitated for the next day. I thought I just had the flu, but more ginger jam later and salicylate education, I now know the ginger made me sick. However, that was a lot of ginger. Will a tsp dry in a whole pot be a problem? I'm gonna use cardamom, ginger, don't have paprika, chili powder (that makes my nose run, probably should skip it but I don't want to) salt, and then of course the garlic, onions, coconut milk. I don't know about the carrots. Cooked carrots give me and my 8 year old daughter stomach pain... Let's see how this taste.
Last night, I made meat balls, cauliflower soup and butternut squash. I liked it all but my husband said the food didn't go together. I kinda agree. The meatballs didn't match. But I needed a protein and meatballs are fast to make. Not like lamb or goat that needs to cook all day. Even chicken. Whole chicken needs 1.5-2 hours. I also went shopping, spent all my money on groceries and I want to use what I have. I think cauliflower would go good with the rogan josh but I'm not going back to the store this weekend.
I need some ideas for how to come up with dinner. I think I have reached a recipe burn-out.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dr. Cordain at the Koelbel Library


 I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Loren Cordain, of The Paleo Diet. He is a Colorado local, so he gave a free talk at the library. I really enjoyed it. I was taking notes like I was back in college. I wish I had lectures like that back then. So, I had been telling myself that I want to go Paleo but I can't convince myself to give up the dairy. I said Dr. Cordain himself will have to convince me. Okay, he did it. I never liked milk, but I will avoid or severely restrict yogurt and cheese. I'm still going to eat the pasture raised heavy cream and ghee, but at least whiles my body is trying to get back into balance with this lifestyle, I will not have any cheese or yogurt.
I had read all of his books already, but after listening to him speak, I am very convinced about Paleo. For example, he spoke about legumes. I understood the reference about peanut oil actually being used to induce  cardiovascular disease in the lab rats, but I must have glossed over why the rest of beans and legumes shouldn't be eaten. He described how the legume is actually the seed surrounded by toxins to protect itself from predation and these toxins are harmful to us. I will still have beans once in a while (certain dishes need them), but they will not be a basis of my diet like they have been. And when I eat them they will be fully cooked and not from a can.

Gosh, he talked about so many interesting things, it made me just want to take up hunting. I want to get my own wild game and elk and deer. (: He mentioned myopia, acne, dementia, depression all connected with metabolic disease, which is caused by the standard western diet. (OMG, check out this link of what a weeks groceries looks like around the world, USA family lost out big time food around the world).

He mentioned how the standard western diet changes the bacterial flora of our bodies to be more gram negative, and that these bacteria are thought to cause chronic low grade inflammation  and may damage the lining of our stomachs and intestines. This got me thinking that what if this has something to do with my salicylate intolerance? What if I cure my gut and repopulate my flora, would I be able to eat egg plant and mint again? Would I have a greater toleration for salicylates with out the nausea, vomiting, head aches? I can't say, but I'll keep you posted. I also am wondering if there is a connection with this lifestyle and pregnancy induced hypertension and the excessive weight gain during pregnancy. So far I have come across that they don't know why pregnancy causes this inflammation of the blood vessels and it is some reaction to the pregnancy. That being said, are there studies that show that diet can help reduce this inflammation. Pregnancy does cause the mother to be insulin resistant to varying degrees. Would eating a paleo diet help with excessive weight gain?
 A fellow scientist was criticizing this diet to me and I told him just look at the literature of all the studies performed on this topic and compare it to the studies where they say eat low fat, eat corn oil, margarine, and whole grains, oh and don't forget not eating egg yolks (boo, I can't get over the ridiculousness of that)  He said that Paleo doesn't have any research. Well how about a 40 page bibliography in Dr. Cordain's book, ahem, ahem. However, I learned at his lecture that on his website that I put the link above, for The Paleo Diet, he has all his research papers available for download for free. So check them out.
I really enjoyed the lecture and hope to attend more like it. It is very motivating in my quest to give up sugar.
Thanks Dr. Cordain!

Brunch and Insulin Resistance

egg muffins
     I wanted to make a brunch that didn't cause diabetic shock. I made these egg muffins which is just eggs whipped up with mushrooms, caramelized onions and olives. I used ghee to grease the pan so they wouldn't stick. I also made the Paleo peach blackberry cobbler that I shared. People still eat bread so I asked people to bring some muffins and bagels for the Paleo non-believers, then I made them take all the extras home.
     The research I've come across has led me to believe that insulin resistance has a lot to do with weight gain and weight loss. I feel this is a really good, simple explanation.
" Insulin sensitivity has to do with how well your cells respond to insulin. People that are highly insulin sensitive require very little insulin to store carbohydrates. By reason then, people that are insulin resistant (type II diabetics), need larger amounts of insulin to shuttle those carbohydrates around.
What this means is that when you have high insulin sensitivity, you are able to eat carbohydrates without such a large rise in insulin. When insulin is kept low enough, fatty acids can still be released. However, once insulin gets too high, fat loss comes to a halt. People that have bombarded their bodies with high-glycemic carbohydrates and processed foods over their lifetimes have become somewhat resistant to the effects of insulin. Therefore, when they eat carbohydrates, it causes a larger release of insulin. This inhibits the release of fatty acids.
     Higher insulin levels = more fat storage"( Coach Calorie)
Another issue on insulin, I was confused about how fructose is constantly said to contribute to insulin resistance when it uses a non-insulin dependent pathway for metabolism. I was reading the articles on The Paleo Diet 
and I came across this article Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just syndrome X where this was discussed. According to the article, when fructose is in the presence of glucose (as in high fructose corn syrup and table sugar) it is insulintropic. This means it will cause the release of insulin from the cells. Furthermore, this article talks about insulin sensitivity and the result of increased insulin release to lead to more conditions that what we thought, namely balding in men, acne, myopia and PCOS. 
     It seems that insulin resistance is a big deal. However, if you're not reading about it on blogs or once in a while in a health magazine, what are people learning to do to deal with this problem? Being prescribed medications? The ever evasive "eat less"? Health care practitioners do not want to mention the Paleo Diet. They may not know about it or are mislead into calling it a "fad diet". Like I learned in some of my nutrition classes, "there are no bad foods". I disagree. There are bad foods. If you eat it and it makes you sick it is a bad food. If I eat foods with high amounts of salicylic acid, egg plant for example, I get severe stomach pain and eventual ulcerative colitis! That is a bad food for me.  The reality is, if your body cannot handle sugar, why keep eating sugar? If your body cannot tolerate rice and bread, why take drugs (that have their own side effects) to be able to continue eating it, until your pancreas completely gives out and your tissues are completely resistant?  I think the answer to how to deal with the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome is much easier than we are lead to believe, but it's much more difficult at first to change your eating than it is to take a pill.

Blackberry-Peach Crisp

Blackberry-Peach Crisp
I made this but made it a cobbler  by using an almond flour dough. It was the best cobbler I ever had.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Perfect Riding Boots

That's what I imagined my lessons would be like

I bought an Amazon Local deal for horse back riding lessons. I've been on trail rides and wanted to actually know how to ride. However, the main thing that I kept thinking about was riding boots. I see high boots all the time at the store and the same things always happens. I try them on and I can't get them over my calf or I can't zip them up. I leave the store depressed. Now, I never thought my calves were fat. In fact, I would say they weren't fat at all. So what's the deal?
We had to wear riding boots to this horse back riding deal and the thought of renting their boots and not being able to fit into them was weighing on me and pissing me off. I thought there has to be a boot for wide calves. I mean we have wide width shoes, right?
I did a little google and came across Brittany,Herself. In this blog, she did a whole page on wide calf boots.  (It's a real thing) And, she looked really good in them. I looked up the brands she recommended, but at this point I wouldn't have time to order online. They better sell some fat calf boots in the store. The Kohl's website showed they carried them in the store. I went there and they had one pair of boots that could accommodate a wide calf with a second zipper? They weren't really riding boots so I said no.
Then I found the LC. Lauren Conrad riding boots and I tried them on and they fit! These weren't even wide calf. So, I bought them and I love them .

LC Lauren Conrad riding boots at KOHL'S

Now, my next problem was "skinny" jeans. As the name implies, they are made for "skinny" people. My skinny friend who was going riding with me said to me in our discussion of riding boots, "Don't you have skinny jeans to wear with them". No my dear, No. Skinny jeans are for skinny people. I am not those people. More of why I love Lauren Conrad at KOHL's. She has a pair of jeans called L.C. Pencil Jeans. I don't know what the hell that means, or what makes them different from skinny jeans. I just know that when I put them on they fit and I didn't look like a large ass with feet. They looked good. So I bought them.The Hills was my favorite guilty pleasure back in the day, but now L.C. came back into my life and made my day. (:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot , Sweaty Yoga!

     I love yoga and I  want to be a yogi when I grow up. My gym doesn't have yoga at any practical time so I started going to a yoga studio, where I discovered Hot Yoga. The fact that I can tolerate a temperature of 106 degrees is amazing to me and then actually wanting to do exercise in that heat is beyond me. However, it was the best yoga I ever tried and I highly recommend it.
     I liked the feeling of the sweat dripping down my face. I liked how I could stretch better in the heat. And at the end I felt a lot more relaxed. I like the steam room and hot tub, so maybe the heat just makes me more relaxed in general, so why not combine that with yoga.
I have to say this is a class that I wouldn't want to go to with men. They seem to sweat a lot and frankly it stinks.That's mean. I'm a little sorry.  My husband goes at a different time than me and he can continue to do that. Anyway...
     While searching for what are the benefits of hot yoga, I found this article in the Huffington Post that says that people perceive themselves as burning more calories from sweating, but you aren't really. It also says you can get all the same benefits of stretching and flexibility without the heat. Do you really do yoga for calorie burning? Power yoga may burn a little more calories with the fast pace, but I'd say paying attention to calories isn't productive.
     Here is another link from Mind Body Green, talking about the myths of the benefits of hot yoga. Namely, boosting metabolism, increasing circulation, detoxing. The points are all valid for why you don't need hot yoga for any of these things. Doing a Pub Med search, I haven't found any research articles that show any true benefit of hot yoga over traditional yoga. That doesn't mean they are not out there, I just haven't come across it in my quick search. I did come across this article on PubMed, that showed an improvement with insulin resistance in older adults. However, it did not compare the benefit of yoga or hot yoga. This improvement could've just been due to the fact that they were getting exercise.

      Despite the lack of scientific evidence that I was able to dig up, I think hot yoga felt great. I felt sore the next day so I know I was working those small neglected muscles that you only work in yoga. And just because scientific studies haven't found certain benefits, doesn't mean there aren't any. Research is full of variables.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What is Ketosis?

Just doing a quick internet search of What is Ketosis? This is the first thing that came up on google. 
noun: ketosis
  1. 1.
    a condition characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in the body, associated with abnormal fat metabolism and diabetes mellitus.
Now I must say I think this is entirely inaccurate. First of all, why is this being characterized as abnormal? Fat metabolism is a normal body process. I found this information on

Question: What is Ketosis?
Answer: A lot of people are confused by the term "ketosis." You may read that it is a "dangerous state" for the body, and it does sound abnormal to be "in ketosis." But ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether from the fat in the guacamole you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of the it gets converted more or less directly to ATP. (Remember high school biology? This is the "energy molecule.") But ketones are also produced as part of the process.

When the body breaks down fat ketones are produced. This is not ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous accumulation of ketones that happens in a diabetic person. 
When I worked at The Children's Hospital, I worked with the Ketogenic diet. This diet was for epilepsy patients and the purpose was to reduce their seizures. To be in ketosis, the patients consumed adequate protein and then fat and carbohydrates in a 4:1 ratio. They were not on this to lose weight, so their calorie level was adequate to allow them to grow normally. 
This made me interested into looking into more about ketosis and any other possible benefits or risks. 
Here is a link to an interesting article about the ketogenic diet that explains conflicting studies performed on it.
I bring up the ketogenic diet, because when I was exploring the literature on intermittent fasting, I came across fat fasting. This is in the Atkins diet as a last resort for people who seem so resistant to fat loss as a way to put them into ketosis. The Atkins diet recommends eating cream cheese (1000 calories) through out the day in order to put the body into ketosis. (you can read about this here
This is mentioned in quite a few Paleo blogs I have come across as well. I have tried it a few times, never for more than a day, and I have to say that it did work. I lost weight that I did not gain back. I don't do this for fast weight loss because I don't like it. It's really hard. However, I think you can get into ketosis without fat fasting. Most sources I have come across say keep carbs under 20 grams a day.
What I have realized  really works for me is the Paleo diet, and staying away from high carbohydrate Paleo foods (honey, dates, almond flour, sweet potatoes) so that weight loss can be achieved. I don't know what my carb total is for the day but eating salads and vegetables and no grains, I assume it is pretty low.  Eating this way makes me feel better and more normal, not like someone on a diet. I think that feeling like I'm on a diet, makes me treat my eating habits as something temporary. As soon as this diet is over, I can have junk food again :( That makes me give up. With the Paleo diet I have eggs and fruit for breakfast, chicken and salad for lunch, lamb chops and asparagus for dinner and I lose weight. 
I think it's about finding what works for you. That means what allows you to stick with it and not give up. It's taken me about 2 years of research to commit to the Paleo diet, but once I did, I saw that it worked and it made me feel better and I'm not a slave of sugar anymore.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dentist and Paleo and Gut Bacteria

"Today, over 95 percent of all gum disease and tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria in our mouths. And harmful bacteria in our mouths are created by harmful bacteria in our gut. And harmful bacteria in our gut are increased by certain foods we eat—specifically dense carbohydrates and refined sugars—those highly processed, refined, hybridized, and genetically modified “foods” of modern-day lifestyles." (link)
 The above is a quote from an article I found on The Paleo Diet website. It is talking about typical dental issues such as, cavities and gum disease. I took both my children to the dentist yesterday and this made me think of this article that I came across last week. My daughter who is 8 may need some orthodontic help at some point, but other than that her teeth are fine. Now, my son, who is almost 6, already had two cavities filled last year and now he has another cavity and then "staining" on his teeth that will become cavities. After the $600 to fill the last two, I was determined to brush and floss his teeth everyday to prevent this. However, despite my effort, he is still getting cavities! He's only 5. What happens at 35? My husband is very diligent about brushing and flossing and his teeth are worse than mine. He has a lot of fillings and root canals. I didn't have any dental problems until I was about 16 and then I started getting cavities. I had a dentist break a filling, which lead to a root canal and for some reason I should pay for that? I digress.

This made me think about the role of diet. My daughter and son eat very differently. Yes, they both love candy and cookies, but my son loves bread and rice and cereals. My daughter loves the Paleo way of eating. She eats a lot of fruits and vegetables and meats.

The article brings up the point that if our species, which depends on teeth to eat and thus survive, had rampant gum disease and tooth decay, this species would become extinct. It also mentions that animals in the wild do not have dental problems, but in captivity where the diet is not their natural diet, do have dental problems.

I am going broke over here with dental costs. I need another solution. I do not buy candy and cookies for my kids anymore. However, I do make cookies for them which whether "Paleo-ish" or not could be a problem. My son polished off all his Halloween candy recently, despite my efforts to control the amounts. He would climb up on the counter and get it down or climb up my closet shelves. Basically, wherever I hid it, he found it. I do buy bread and rice and potatoes to include with my son's meals, because he likes them so much. He demands it. And I don't know what to do about this. I haven't bought bread for about two weeks and he still begs for it at the grocery store. He begs for cereal. He threw in a bag of croutons that I didn't notice just two days ago. I also have a problem of him getting the foods I don't want him to eat elsewhere, such as the rice and sprite from my husband's mother, jelly sandwiches from my mother and pizza at his religious classes on Saturday.

How can I reduce the processed starches and rice and potatoes in my 5 year-old's diet, when he refuses to eat the meat and vegetable dishes I make. How can I stop the sabotage of the standard Western or even Mid-eastern diet from outside the home?

On Wings of Song

This is my old piano book from when I was a kid. It belonged to my grandmother. Now that I have this book back, I want to play my old favorite On Wings of Song. I can play half of it from memory and it's so strange how my fingers remember those cords so well, without even thinking. Now, I am trying to learn the left hand for the whole song (I still know the right hand not the left).
Add caption

We bought a trio of piano books Alfred's All in One Adult Piano. I want to go through all of these, but its hard not to skip ahead. I'll go to the end of book 2 and try and play a song, which I can if I spend enough time. Then, I'll not want to go back to book one to learn all that "technic and theory" this book talks about.
My husband can now play simple songs. He had no background what so ever with learning music and now he can play Jingle Bells. I consider myself his teacher (:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snow Day

So we got some snow and its cold. This really makes me want to get on a plane and fly to a beach. Any beach. I know people think the snow is cozy; I used to be one of them. Now, it just freaks me out driving in it. I took my kids to school and I slid last year and crashed my car that I had only had for a month. (kids were not in the car when this happened) So, my husbands fancy sports car cannot handle the snow (good choice for Colorado) So I drove him to work. I slid on the way home, was able to stop, so no crash. But this still really freaked me out.
That being said, I didn't go to the gym. But I have been in gym clothes all morning because I intend to do Yoga here at home. After boot camp yesterday, I need some Yoga. Actually my real plan was to organize my closet with this extra time. (: yeah that didn't happen. I just need to hire the organizer like I've been wanting to. Yeah, that will never happen either. Who am I kidding?
In the spirit of trying to be cozy I included a picture of my fat fasting coffee. What is fat fasting? I am reading the scholarly articles written about it to explain it better, but let me just say it works. However, I have this coffee without fat fasting. Great for weight loss when you are in ketosis (fat burning metabolism).
It is basically just a nice brewed coffee to the strength you prefer (decaf so that it is low salicylate for me). I add some cocoa powder or in this case some crushed cinnamon stick and cloves like a 1 tsp, to the coffee when it brews.  I then whip some heavy cream, without sugar. I add some cream to the coffee, top it with a dollop of whipped cream and then grate some 88% dark chocolate on the top to look pretty.
I don't even miss the sugar anymore. In fact, I like the taste so much I prefer it this way (:

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I have not had sugar for 3 days. It's not just sugar I am not eating, but it is starch (bread, rice, potatoes...) as well as dairy (except butter and heavy whipping cream), and fruits, except for berries and pomegranates. This is for 30 days. I'm doing this because of all the books and articles I have immersed my self in, that talk about insulin sensitivity, hypothyroidism, weight loss, all come back to the same idea as low-carb, skip sugar and foods that become sugar when you eat them. There is The 17 Day Diet, The 21 Day Diet, The Paleo Diet, The Thyroid Diet. Though not identical, what I get from all of these is the same message that I have to cut my sugar, in all forms.
I had mentioned that I read a nice article from The Great Fitness Experiment on exercise addiction and it made me think that I am pushing myself to far with the exercise. I don't feel addicted to the point where I ignore my  kids and my life, but I am at the point where I can't miss a workout and I rather go to the gym and get my hour or 2 in than hang out with friends or do anything really. And with all this exercise, where has it gotten me? I haven't made the progress I want. A response on the article about exercise addiction was by Kevin Geary at The rebooted body. I decided to check out his site and downloaded his free e-book. He talks about everything that I have been researching and he has a new perspective that talks about exercise addiction and over-training. I've never heard of over-exercising from the fitness coaches, I have dealt with. If anything "The Biggest Loser" mindset that has been pushed is to exercise to the point of vomiting and passing out all day everyday.
I thought, ok if I double my workouts I will get in better shape. I ran a marathon, thinking I would get in the best shape of my life. Though, I am amazed and proud that I ran a marathon, it really took determination, it didn't get me in great shape. So I am going to try The Rebooted Body program. For some reason, I have actually been able to go almost 4 days sugar-free. (Halloween candy is all over and I am not eating it). Maybe, it's no different than any other program that tells you,"duh, put down the sugar and you'll lose weight", but I have been trying to get healthier by still eating sugar and maybe this is the last ditch effort for me. I didn't think I could ever go cold turkey like this, but I am. It is depressing to think, I can't make my sweets, even my paleo ones where I use dates and bananas instead of sugar, but if I can fit into the smaller size of jeans (all my pants from 2 years ago), then it will be so worth it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I've talked about my struggle with salicylate sensitivity, which is located on the page salicylate intolerance. I came across this article on Real Food University that talks about a connection between salicylates and insulin resistance. I feel like I have insulin resistance and it was interesting to see these two issues being related. I liked the comments at the end of the article as well. This article, The effect of salicylates on insulin sensitivity, talks about salicylates, in this case aspirin, helping with glucose control, but it also talks about studies that have shown salicylates causing insensitivity.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

exercise addiction

Off topic, but my cat is biting my toes while I type (:

I recently read this article from The Great Fitness Experiment about exercise addiction. In it she mentions how she would find any excuse to exercise, she became weak, she ran a marathon and collapsed and then went to her high intensity interval training right after. She was doing workouts early morning and late at night, any chance to exercise. All that wasn't enough to convince her she had a problem. It was going to the doctor and seeing that she gained weight that did it. It was a really sad article but it made me think. She cites research that discusses how stress can impact the thyroid.
This made me think about how I didn't lose weight running even though I was putting in the miles and watching my diet very carefully. I wonder if I really overstressed my body, especially considering the fact that I had pneumonia in the last weeks of training and on race day. I am considering scaling back my exercise after reading this.  I am just maintaining now and not losing, which is really frustrating. So something needs to be done differently. I don't think I was eating enough and I was exercising really hard a few weeks ago and it made me feel really weak and just exhausted. I started having more protein and I felt a lot better.
I was already worried about my thyroid since I had my nose fixed (yes a nose job!) 3 and a half years a go. After my procedure I felt freezing (for about 3 years) It would be 100 degrees and I was happy because I wasn't too cold. I would wear layers of clothing in a house with no air conditioning because I was cold, when everyone was saying how hot they were. I had my thyroid checked at the doctor and they didn't tell me my number but they said it was within normal limits. However, I have read internet articles and books that say the thyroid test doesn't tell the whole story. It is actually tied up with insulin resistance and these two things can play on each other and make you a mess. I found an article that discusses how propofol induces systemic insulin resistance! Hello, I steadily gained about 6 poounds after this surgery with no change to my diet or exercise. I didn't know what the hell was going on. Then I had to have prednisone last year for ulcerative colitis, while training for my race and that put on another 10 pounds. And here is where I am stuck. I have lost 2 pounds and I'm going nowhere. I don't think that this Biggest Loser style working out is a good way to go for me.
I just read this ebook from Charby Ibrahim of  The Ancesteral Body, I really recommend reading it. It's free. Anyway he does mention not over-doing it and how you can get what you need from shorter workouts.
For more on the thyroid, I recommend The Thyroid Diet. It explained a lot to me, and helped me see that I was hypothyroid regardless of what the blood test was saying. With all this being said, I want to have a eating lifestyle and daily activity that doesn't stress out my body to exhaustion. It looks like this is not giving me the results I want. In fact the opposite. What does this mean for marathon training? I don't know. Maybe I'll take it down to the half or do a relay? Well see what happens in the next few months.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


TA DA!! I just decided to go into the Good Will yesterday. I sometimes do that just to see if there is anything interesting. Oh and since I just finished painting my living room, I decided that it needs new furniture, which we aren't going to buy right now. I thought I might be able to find a nice coffee table that I can refinish at the thrift store. Anyway, they didn't have coffee tables but as I was leaving I saw this piano for 99$!!! Two of the keys were stuck and I almost walked away. Then I pulled out my cell phone and googled how to fix "stuck" keys. I found this website. It said that something like a coin, stuck between the keys, could be the culprit. I found 2 quarters stuck between the keys that didn't work. So I guess it only cost be $98.50 (:
I spent this morning cleaning it and polishing the wood. It appears to work perfectly. I am so excited.

I had to bribe my brother-in-law with dinner to help move the piano out of the truck and into the house. These are the beets from my garden. Golden and Red. They are gorgeous. I sliced them and then added salt and pepper. I drizzled balsamic vinegar (a lot actually, more like dumped) and olive oil and then I roasted them at 400 degrees, maybe for 20 minutes. When they were done I sprinkled goat cheese on them. They tasted delish.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sticking to a Paleo Plan and Socializing!

So here is my deal. When I am home I can come up with my menus and I can even stick to them. But there is a big problem with social events, going to the movies, Halloween candy all over the place, etc. Last week I saw a movie with my husband and we wanted to get some junk to eat but we didn't want to get candy or popcorn so we got nothing. I had some pumpkin seeds in my purse so we ate those and it worked out. This can work with my husband who is trying to lose weight and give up junk food himself. But what about the kids birthday parties, my son wanted to go out to pizza for his birthday, my friends saying lets get something to eat or get coffee? I feel like I have no friends and all I do is clean my house, but when I'm thinking food sabotage there are actually a lot of occasions for this.

I need some kind of plan for eating out and socializing. So just get a chicken breast ceasar salad, all restaurants have that right? Well, I'm Muslim and I only eat Zabiha/Halaal meat; therefore, I can't eat the meat at most restaurants. The choices are then, pasta, cheese, seafood ( I cannot stand seafood), so all the foods that will not allow me to lose weight. Then coffee shops are the tempting sugar-laden coffee drinks, the cakes, the muffins, the pumpkin spiced lattee and salted caramel chocolate. But I need to resist, so I will have pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds to have instead of popcorn as a snack, I will order tea without sugar at coffee shops and pass on the cakes and pastries, and say "No, thanks. I'm good" when offered. I will eat my protein and veggie filled dinner before I go out.
I'm trying to socialize in active ways, instead of always going out to eat. The problem is none of my friends want to do active things. I wanted to go to Extreme Challenge with a group of friends and none of them want to do it. They complain about cost or they just don't want the activity. I had to go with my kids, which was really fun, but I think a girls' night would be awesome. I wanted to try rock climbing and no one will do that either. I need more active friends (: And these are the skinny freaks who refuse all activity....
On the topic of Extreme Challenge, it is a place where you hang from harnesses and play games and compete or just mess around. For example, my husband and I both hung from harnesses and we played tug of war, where we had to pull each other off of the platform we were each standing on. And then we both are pulled up into the air. It was really fun and I was sweating and out of breath. It's a good workout. I would love to work out that way more often. However, I was exhausted after and hour, where as the kids played a second hour. It does make me feel old (:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sugar and Funnel Cakes

I took my daughter to school and then the hail started so I went home instead of the gym to protect my car. . I didn't even think it would rain to day and now it's thunder and lightening and hail.
My conundrum is whether I should put my painting clothes on and finish painting and go to the gym later in the afternoon or sit here and go to the gym when this stops. I didn't paint yesterday. I could've and I could've finished but I just didn't feel like it. I took the kids to the pumpkin patch a.k.a. adult hell. I go every year and the kids love its but I am exhausted by trying to keep my son from running off and standing in outrageous lines for the kids to jump on the varieties of bouncy castles. But now we have a wagon. The first year we went my sisters and I had 7 kids between us and we all bought about 3 pumpkins each, We sat at the exit of the pumpkin patch, realizing the car was about a mile away. I had to make multiple trips holding pumpkins in each arm to the car. My arms were so sore. And my inner workout fanatic was not even excited about the chance to burn calories. So, now my sister and sister-in-law both got wagons and I only buy one pumpkin that I can fit into their wagons. I mean I hated carrying the heavy pumpkins across the Chatfield but not enough to dish out 100 bucks for a wagon.
I'm thinking about my meal plans for this week and I have really been trying to cut down on sugar. I need to do this Paleo in steps, so I am working on not eating sugar. This includes the handfuls here and there of chocolate chips. I was really good at it last week. Trying to be mindful. I am not munching on all this Halloween candy that is everywhere (didn't take any at that pumpkin patch) I'm not buying it at the store. I found a bowl of butterfingers from last Halloween in the cupboard that I don't know why I put up there and I had a bite of one and it tasted too sweet, not that I still don't love butterfinger, but for God's sake they are a year old and they still have kept, that means they are made of pure crap. 
I am actually happy with how I look, but I want to be lighter to be a better athlete. Whoa, I didn't think that would ever happen.
So this week I want to work on my portion sizes. I have discovered about myself that when I eat to satiety I can not lose weight. I know all the commercials that say never feel hungry and still lose weight. For me at least that is bull. So, now that I have some, and I mean a tiny amount of self-control for sugar, by basically just not buying it at the store and not eating chocolate chips every time I pass the kitchen, I think I can measure out my food. There are two ways to go about this. I read a book a few years ago, written by a doctor about metabolism and he said that just cutting back on a % of what you would eat at each meal will make a difference but not feel like a difference. So, make a usual plate of food and then take off 25% of it from your plate. Now this can only be effective if you only eat at those meal times, because otherwise you will just make up those calories standing in front of the fridge or walking past candy dishes. Since I have really improved on not snacking at the fridge and not eating candy I could do this.
Another method is to skip dinner. Now lots of nutritionist and doctors on Web MD and talk shows say never to do this. But there is a thing called intermittent fasting, which has a lot of science behind it and if you allow your body to go for 18 hours of not eating you can improve a lot of health markers, like insulin sensitivity, which will help you burn fat instead of storing it. I did this when I wanted to lose the weight after having my son, I had never heard of intermittent fasting (I've been doing Islamic fasting which is abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset every Ramadan) My logic was I can eat normal for myself (which means to eat until I am full) all day and then after 4 pm I won't eat and I will just tolerate that hunger until I go to sleep. And I lost weight fast.
The problem with doing that now is my kids are older and my husband comes home from work and I think it's important for us to sit down and eat together. So I am going to try the taking 25% off of my plate for each meal.
I already had breakfast, which was a Mueller yogurt ( I am trying to get off dairy, but let me get off the candy and other blatant sugar forms first) I am so sick of eggs and was craving yogurt, so whatever Paleo :P

 Speaking of the devil (chocolate chips), my son just brought me the whole bag of cc asking for me to open them so he could eat them all. And he will, and then he will feel sick.  If these were open already that is what he would be doing. But low and behold, they are sitting next to me and I haven't eaten a one :).And I buy these so I can make the Paleo-ish cupcakes for my kids, so they have a snack that they like and don't whine for donuts and candy every time we go to the store. It's a compromise that I have to make for them. I bought them cupcakes at the Pumpkin Patch yesterday and received many a comment about my being a nutritionist and giving my kids cupcakes. We go to that place once a year and these were the gourmet cupcakes from the food truck. But then my sister went and got her daughter a funnel cake, so she's a worse mom than me (:
The rain stopped, I'm going for a run!

Friday, October 11, 2013


This was my favorite song to run to today!

So I don't have boot camp this month because they couldn't get the required number of participants to run the class. That being said, I now have no idea what to do at the gym on Wednesday and Friday. Today I thought, let me run. I won't start training until January but with all the RPM and circuit training and strength, I've let running go. I should be running 5 miles on a regular basis. So I did 3 miles and it made me realize why I love to run (: Even though the longer distances make me hate it so so much. Ill do 4 for next time, probably on wednesday and then 4.5 and then 5. I am working on running faster. I think I didn't push myself with speed at all last time and I need to do that. I am thinking of joining a running group. I am too shy for it, but maybe I should get over that and just go to a group of strangers who all seem to know each other and nobody knows me.
I'm still painting. Yesterday I put the tape up. I hated that so much. Today I am going to paint that wall. I hope I'm done by Saturday.

I finally worked out about 3 meals to make. I think that's a better plan for me. Get about 3-4 meals planned and go shopping for them, and then I won't have to worry about totally having no taste for something when it's time to make it because I wouldn't have planned to far out.

So my first meal was chicken cutlet flavored with lime and dill. Then I made a sauce out of caramelizing pears, garlic and onion with a balsamic reduction. (that sounded fancy, I just poured balsamic vinegar in the pan and let it thicken. ) I then cut some pieces of Brie cheese and put it on the chicken and let it melt. It was really good.
I laid it on a bed of greens and Voila!
So tonight I'm making beef chili with guacomole, and a pineapple mango salsa. I will make tortillas for the kids but I will abstain from them myself :(

Next will be KooKoo sabzi. Its made with greens and eggs like a cheeseless, porkless quiche. Its semi-vegetarian. I like to have a non-meat based meal once a week. I just get sick of meat everyday, which I know is not paleo but what can I do.

Between painting and cooking, I hope to come up with more recipes for the next 3 days. I made an apple pie, because its fall and I wanted to cook apples. I googled Paleo apple pie and got one from 
Elana's Pantry.
I doesn't have much sugar in it, like 1 tablespoon. It was a little dry so I want to come up with a way to improve that, but for a healthier version of apple pie, it was pretty good. My husband liked it and ate it all. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Painting ugghh!

So I'm trying to paint my living room and bathroom all alone. There are about a million holes to patch up and it says I have to let it dry for 24 hours before I can do a second coat or paint. So tomorrow, I will just see holes that are not all the way filled and then have to patch those again and then wait another day to paint. The problem is that I cannot handle my house in this disarray for much longer. Another issue is taping. I cannot reach the ceiling to tape also I cannot seem to make a straight line with this stuff. And for the base boards, how the hell is that done? The carpet covers half of them. Do I take them off to paint them? I don't know how to take them off? This doesn't have much to do with nutrition or fitness but I am staying home from the gym to do this so this will be my activity for the next few days....
Oh and the husband is absolutely no help.....

 It is really hard to stick to a weekly menu. That was my main goal, but here is the issue: If I come up with a menu I don't want to eat it by the time it comes around. I put th is fish dish up for last week and I went to Whole Foods thinking I can get some good fish. At Whole Foods, I spent 60$ on things I don't need (they didn't have the kelp noodles for my Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup, I used regular noodles and now they are too soggy and I don't want to eat the rest of my giant pot of soup that is otherwise really good). Anyway, I ended up making chicken cutlets instead of the crusted fish. My kids like the fish though. I need to make a menu for the rest of this week and I have no ideas. Total brain fart here.

Here's a yummy salad I threw together yesterday though. Eggs, carrots, apples, lettuce, and balsamic vinegar with olive oil

Tonight I'm thinking of making KooKoo sabzi, its an Iranian quiche. That's the only way I can think to describe it. It's made of greens (green onion and parsley, spinach and kale if you like, I don't) Zereshk (sour berries) and eggs and then you sautee it on a pan until its cooked through and fllip it to make both sides kinda crunchy. My kids like it. I serve it up with pickles (that I made myself!) and tomatoes (had to pick them all from the garden because of the frost, must use them now). The non-Paleo part is you eat it with plain yogurt and bread, which I will be skipping for myself.

I'm still thinking about what else to make for the rest of the week. I will update soon!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The piano is hard!

I practiced for over 2 hours last night. I am working on knowing the notes for both hands. I know them, but I'm not all the way there. I got bored and wanted to try playing my "goal" song. One Man's Dream. When I look at the music for it I want to cry. I think it is impossible for me to ever learn to play it (kinda like a marathon hehe:)
I found this cool tutorial. It doesn't teach you how to play the piano, because you need to learn how to read the notes, but it's a nice visual that I think does help. It's also fun to sit down and play part of the song and then think, okay maybe I'll be able to do that at some point. But I swear you need 4 hands to play this song.
One Man's Dream tutorial

Friday, September 27, 2013


       Here is an interesting article I just read on FitBie this morning. Basically, it is talking about foods that you may think are healthy, except they can make you fat or keep you in that plateau.  I would say that after reading it, some things made sense.
In the article he mentions pasta and granola, stating that the carbs become sugar, which in turn signal insulin and that signals fat storage. You'd me surprised at the some of the foods like black beans and sweet potato, which hes says just have too many carbs. I haven't looked at any research that has shown this to be true or not, but one thing he brought up was the pear, stating it had about 90 calories of sugar. And this is where I started thinking, because I hate when fruit is compared to candy. The sugar in a pear is different. Here's why. A pear contains mostly fructose. According to this website fructose in a pear ( I did the math myself 4 kcals per gram of sugar) there are only about 22 calories of insulin stimulating sugar in a pear. That sugar is glucose. There is about 45 calories from fructose in a small pear. Fructose does not stimulate insulin release.
Now, I'm not saying a lot of fructose is good for you. Far from it. I'm saying his point was that a pear has 90 calories of sugar that will stimulate insulin ( a medium-sized pear is only about 60-70 calories, so I don't know why he says 90, but anyway)and really only 22 of those calories stimulate insulin. I don't think this is what is behind the obesity epidemic. 
I've already said that too much glucose sucks because it causes a huge spike in blood sugar and a huge release in insulin that leads to getting fat among other nasty side effects.
If you want to know a little about fructose here you go. Fructose has a completely different metabolic pathway. wikipedia fructose metabolism (I'm using wikipedia, because it is an easier than scanning my human nutrition text book:) Now with fructose, it doesn't raise insulin because, as previously stated the metabolism is different.
Here's a nice picture showing the difference between glucose and fructose.

If you haven't had biochemistry, there is no reason to start. This is just showing where the difference in metabolism is. It doesn't need insulin to get into the cell. The Fructose forms glyceraldehyde and then an enzyme converts it to glyceraldehyde-3- phosphate and it can enter the gluconeogenic pathway (to make glucose or glycogen) or it can enter the lower glycolytic pathway  (the same pathway as glucose; it just skips the first part) and becomes pyruvate, which gives us ATP=Energy and can also become triaclyglycerols which is stored as fat. 
They both give us energy. What's bad about that? Nothing, we need energy. We just don't want more than we can use or else it becomes fat. I just don't by that that 22 calories of insulin stimulating glucose or the 45 calories of non insulin stimulating fructose from a pear is what makes us fat....

But in large quantities (here's some complicated papers that talk about this - paper 1, paper 2) they are no good. Insulin is important. If we don't make it we will die. That is why type 1 diabetics have to inject insulin into their bodies so they won't go into shock and die. It also signals leptin. Leptin signals the down-regulation of ghrelin. (Ghrelin says "I'm hungry", Leptin says" you ate; you're full). Fructose will not signal this and studies show that you will not feel full from that sugar and will overeat. It also shows that fructose will first make glycogen (our stored glucose in our bodies) and then it will make the triacylglycerols, which become stored fat on our liver (and fat elsewhere on our bodies) , and contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So if you have too much glucose you trigger the release of a lot of insulin which triggers fat storage and if you have too much fructose you can eat without feeling that you have eaten, over eat and store more fat. 
But if you are just having a pear at breakfast (not Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Pepsi) you will feel full from the water and fiber content of the pear, there is still some glucose to signal insulin (and the whole leptin-ghrelin fullness thing) and those 45 calories of fructose are probably not going to have a devastating effect on your liver. If you're active in your day you will use those calories up. If you have a donut and sit around all day, you won't.

 Sugar in large quantities such as in a Pepsi isn't good for you. Pepsi has 42 grams of sugar. This is from Pepsi's own website that honestly I don't think I can stomach reading in its entirety.
What is the difference between sugar and HFCS?
Sugar comes from either sugar cane or sugar beets while high fructose corn syrups come from corn. Table sugar and the HFCS used in soft drinks have the same calories and sweetness and research shows that our bodies cannot differentiate one from the other. Both table sugar and HFCS are made up of the two simple sugars, fructose and glucose. The difference between the two sweeteners is in the amount of these two simple sugars they contain. Specifically, table sugar is made of 50% fructose and 50% glucose while the most common type of HFCS is made of 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
So, according to Pepsi, if you are drinking the recipe with HFCS, in 12 oz you are getting 99 calories from fructose and 81 calories from glucose ( a way different amount than a pear minus the fiber and the nutrients).
Now please do not confuse HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) with fructose. HFCS is a mixture of fructose and glucose in the amounts specified above. They are only saying that when it comes to eating HFCS or sugar they are both bad for you. Now, they are not using those words but sugar in that form of empty calories whether its a little more fructose or glucose doesn't matter because they both suck. They may just suck in a slightly different way. And I would call HFCS sugar. Drinking soda because it is made with sugar and not HFCS is ridiculous. You shouldn't be drinking 42 grams of sugar in a 12 oz drink that contains no nutritional value whatsoever. The 17 grams in the pear is not the problem....

There is research in regards to plateaus and being carbohydrate sensitive, where fat fasting to get into ketosis  (fat-burning metabolism) is used. That is another subject for another time. I think that instead of demonizing fruit(incorrectly demonizing it, he could've demonized it better saying the 45 calories of fructose was too much) first cut out the sugary cereals, the handfuls of chocolate chips (my problem) and the sub sandwiches on a 400 calorie baguette and then see if you need to explore fat fasting and cutting down on fruits.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I'm trying to go Paleo just to see if I get any results. I made meatballs with spaghetti squash. I'm not a pasta fan anyway, so I have to say I like this much better than spaghetti. Because I cannot tolerate salicylic acid and tomato sauce has a high concentration of it, I made a sauce out of sauteed onions, mushroom and organic bell pepper. I then made meat balls.(just meat and spices) and topped it on about 1/2 cup spaghetti squash.
I have some meatballs left so I'm having them for lunch today.

Breakfast was just scrambled eggs and I had one of the figs. I made a little salad out of peeled cucumbers and celery with salt, pepper and a little apple cider vinegar.

I made this breakfast to one add more vegetables into my day and 2 to get more protein. With all my weight lifting at boot camp, I think it will be beneficial.

I read a nice article on Primal Bliss Nutrition. You just have to subscribe to them and they will send free articles. This one is 5 steps to becoming eat paleo. I forgot the exact name. So I am following step 1. The main point I got is to be prepared. I got home at 12:45 and have to leave soon. I don't have time to make anything Paleo. Instead of giving in and eating packaged food, I have left overs from last night that I saved for a quick lunch. Oh yeah, I got Step 1 (: (it couldve been step 2, I did read ahead).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken Salad

This was my lunch and dinner yesterday. Just something I threw together.

  1. Drizzle olive oil into pyrex pan. Add chicken breast and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 
  2. Made saffron water. Crush a few pieces of saffron with mortar/pestle then add to half a cup of hot water. Let it brew for 5 minutes.
  3. Chop an onion- medium dice and put around the chicken in the pan.
  4. Pour saffron water on top of chicken.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees until cooked all the way through. It took about 40 minutes on my oven (high altitude).
  6. Let the chicken cool in its juices. Then shred with 2 forks.
  7. Add Chicken to a large bowl
  8. Chop a bunch of celery and about 4 carrots - medium dice and add to bowl.
  9. Chop 1 to 2 apples - medium dice and add to bowl
  10. Take the stems off a small handful of parsley and mix in with rest of salad.
  11. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze 1-2 limes on salad and salt to taste

Had my boot camp today. It was brutal. Working on getting lighter for this next marathon (:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


On Tuesday, I do my RPM class. It is a Les Mills cycle class and its really hard and I hated it so much to the point that I am now addicted. When I do RPM it really makes me consider doing a triathlon. I worked out really hard in my weight class yesterday. So sore. Craving protein.
So for breakfast I had eggs with a beef strip and some slices of apple. I can never eat a full apple in the early morning, so I just slice one up and we all take a few. Why stretch my stomach anymore than it wants to be. I tried black coffee (because I'm trying to see if I can go paleo and give up It's not that bad. I've already been drinking it without sugar so without cream isn't that much of a step. I actually don't drink coffee to wake up. I drink it just because I like the house to fill with a coffee house aroma. It reminds me of the first time I was in college, when I was young. (:
I have to drink decaf because coffee is high in salicylic acid and when they decaffeinate it, the salicylate is stripped out as well.
One time I was drinking coffee everyday (just signed up for Gevalia) and I started getting horrible headaches. They lasted for a few weeks. I was about to go to the doctor. Then I read on the salicylate sensitivity website that coffee is very high in salicylate. It didn't give me the usual stomach ache (the doubling over pain) but it made me nauseous and gave me a killer headache.
From then on I drank decaf and was fine.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tomato Bisque and Chicken Cutlet

I finally got around to making this. I made it on Friday night. The reason I say get around to it is because it is a process. I base this on a recipe I saw a few years ago. I don't remember it precisely, but I know the general idea

  1.  Core and score, washed tomatoes. I used about 10 that I bought from the Farmers Market last week
  2. Add tomatoes to boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes and then add to an ice waterbath (that's a big bowl full of ice water)
  3. Peel skin off of tomatoes
  4. Add saved chicken drippings about 2 cups worth or the amount saved from 2 chicken carcasses.  ( I don't know what to call this, if its a stock or not, its the gelatin and fat that I pour out of the pan after I roasted chicken that had its bones and skin and fat. You won't get this off those boneless skinless chicken breasts.)
  5. Fill pot with water. Not overflowing about 3/4 ways through. 
  6. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and cover. Allow to cook 2-3 hours, checking on it often and adding more water if it boils down to thick. 
  7. Use the best small appliance ever, whose name I always forget, to puree the soup in the pot (you don't have to dump it all in the blender or food processor if you have this thingy. Why can't I ever remember what it's called. Not hand mixer. It has a better name. The good ones are made by Kitchen Aid. Mine is red.
  8. Add about half a pint of heavy whipping cream (the paleo version uses coconut milk, don't know how that would taste) to a large dutch oven full of soup, that boiled down a little more than half way.
  9. If you want to thicken it you can add a few spoons of tomato paste and then let it boil for another 30 minutes.
  10. Salt to taste.
  11. Garnish with something  green to look pretty.
I ate this with chicken cutlet, which were so simple they don't really need a recipe. I beat down some chicken breast, sprinkled them with salt, pepper and dried dill weed and squeeze lime juice on them. I rolled them in almond flour and then sauteed them in lite olive oil. Turn it to cook both sides. They were really good.

Friday, September 20, 2013

chicken salad with cashews lettuce wraps

The recipe called for dried figs and I had fresh so I just ate them on the side.
I actually didn't follow the recipe at all. I made my own.

Roast 4 whole chicken legs (with salt, pepper and onion. Come on now you don't just roast chicken plain.  Discard the skin, save the juice for soup later, whenever you make soup. Pick off the meat and put in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime and 2 tsp chipotle chile powder. Chop 3 celery stalks into medium dice. Combine sauce with chicken. Add celery and 1/2 cup roasted cashews.
Take a 1/2 cup scoop of chicken salad and place in the middle of a large lettuce leaf.

Stick to the plan!

Yesterday, I had to have eaten the worst food ever. I was going to make my chicken curry salad with fig and cashews and wrap it in lettuce of bread, when my sister came by and said let's go out for lunch. So, because we only eat halal meat and she is trying to eat paleo, we needed to find a Zabiha place to eat meat. Saw some reviews for a new place and went there. I ordered a beef shawarma plate (didnt want bread, so no sandwich) with a side of greek salad and grape leaves. Well, the "chicken" they gave me was not shawarma either but just pieces of unseasoned roasted chicken. It had soggy skin and slimy fat on it. The greek salad consisted to some lettuce with 2 olives and bottled Italian dressing. It was a waste of calories and money. The only thing edible was the piece of pita on the side (that I didnt want) Well there goes paleo for yesterday.

When I complained on the site where this establishment was recommended, everyone  got upset and went on how delicious it was. Maybe I just watch too much food network (against my will, the husband always puts it on) and too much Restaurant Impossible has taught me what is not acceptable from a restaurant. Or maybe my taste buds are too elevated for that stuff. I mean bottled salad dressing (gasp!)

Right now I am making my cashew chicken for a picnic at the park with the kids. I can't have curry powder because of the salicylate and I was already sick two days ago. I don't want to push it. I'll figure out another flavor for it and pictures will be posted tonight after my piano lesson (:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Music Time

This morning I got up early and had a breakfast of eggs with cheese, coffee with milk and a some peach.
I went to a late morning yoga class, because there's no boot camp today. After all the boot camp, body pump, rpm, running, swimming; yoga felt so good. I have to do it once a week at least. I do about 10 minutes of yoga everyday, but the one hour class is so necessary. I'm now debating on whether I will clean my house or ride my bike, while my son and daughter are both at school. Leaning towards not cleaning. The laundry's not going anywhere but good weather will be gone soon.

I decided I need to practice piano every night at 7:00 pm. If I set a time I will do it. I'm still working on learning my left hand as well as my right and then improving my speed. Its like, once I look at the notes and I know them I struggle to make the connection to my hands. No wonder this stuff helps kids do well in math. It make my brain hurt though.

I'm working on playing Minuet By J.S. Bach. Have a look at this kid, who plays better than me (: He's super cute. Link below

3 year old playing Bach

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beautiful and sunny again

It's sunny again. So today we are going to BBQ. Today is meat day so we are going to have lamb tenderloin. It really is the best after lamb chops. I'll do it with a salad from the garden.

Menu for the rest of the week (days not necessarily in order)
  •  Ghormeh Sabzi leftovers
  • Lamb Kabob (Meat day)
  • Tomato Bisque and stuffed mushrooms (ate too many leftovers last week and didn't get to the mushrooms) (Soup/Stew day)
  • Zereshk Polo (Persian food day)
  • Curried chicken salad with figs and cashews (how good does that sound?)This is main dish salad and explore the world in one
  • Meat balls on spaghetti squash (simple day, because I have spaghetti squash cooked and frozen)
  • Free Day
What I learned last week was snacks/light meals need to be simple. I really don't have time to cook a fancy snack when I am cooking a big meal.They should be foods I have on hand. I have hummus, yogurt dip, and celery on hand. I should cook some chicken breast in bulk on the weekend so I have an easy protein to eat with the light meals, otherwise hard boiled eggs are fast and easy. I boil about 4 at a time and then put them in the fridge and can have them with my fast plates i.e. tomato, olives, hummus, cucumbers.

I learned that I don't like beef stew. I was mad that my husband and kids didn't like it, but honestly I could stand a little more flavor and I don't like thickening stews with arrowroot powder. That was revolting.
Also I don't need 7 meals planned. A lot of times I have leftovers which we have the next day and I don't need to cook. The Ghormeh Sabzi from last weeks menu is what we had for Monday.
I did RPM this morning, that's a cycling class. It is a class I love to hate. Then I walked 2 miles and then did yoga stretching. When I got home I had breakfast/lunch which is something quick because I have to make my son lunch and then take him to kindergarten. I had a Mueller yogurt. They are pretty good. I think the girl in the commercial is way to excited about yogurt, but they are still alright. Then I had a banana (perfect after a workout) with 1/2 tbsp sunflower seed butter (surprisingly good).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rain and more rain

This is Lake Dillon. Water is beautiful when it is in the right place. Actually, the rain is really beautiful. This morning, I did and 4 mile walk with Jessie, my 4 year old German Shepherd. I decided on Sunday I won't work out hard but I can't do nothing. Everything looked gorgeous after the rain. Usually its desert dry here.

Okay, down to business. It wasn't raining this morning so I could go out the garden and get my parsley and green onions for  Ghormeh Sabzi. This is a famous Iranian food. It's super easy to make but time consuming. For people who have never eaten this type of food it may look weird. It's a stew and its made from greens, and that's not a look we are used to. But, if made correctly it taste really good.

Ghormeh Sabzi
Servings: one big old pot, can be for 8 people or just for 1

8 bunches parsley
4 bunches green onions
1 bunch spinach
a bottle of light olive oil or a jar of ghee
4-5 dried lemons
1 can kidney beans (large or small depending on if you like them)
1 # stew meat (lamb or beef, boneless cut into small cubes)

  • Remove the stems from your parsley ( I picked mine from the garden so it wasn't as easy to cut off the stems and it took forever. 
  •  Chop everything in the food processor. I always do green onions and parsley separate, I don't know if it makes a difference. 
  • Then fry all the vegetables. Just fill your large pan up with the oil or ghee to generously cover the surface (not a deep fry, but be generous with the oil). Salt to taste.
  • Add oil to large dutch oven and brown your meat in it. Salt the meat. ( I like to salt during the cooking process)
  • Add water to fill 3/4 of the pot. 
  • Add the vegetables after you fry each batch to the pot
  • poke holes in the dried lemons with a knife, or those little things you use to hold corn on the cobs, and add to pot.
  • Now the most important step, cook for 4-6 hours. Put the pot on high heat to bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling reduce to medium heat. Stir frequently. (if you must step out for an hour or 2 reduce to a low heat) you can add the can of red kidney beans now. (I used canned and not dry, because kidney beans take forever to cook and if they are not cooked through they are actual toxic (one of the reasons they are not paleo)
  • When the water is almost boiled away, which can be a few hours depending how big your pot is (if its boiled away after an hour or 2 add more water, the veggies and meat need to cook) put it on low and put the lid on.
  • Let it just simmer until you are ready to eat with Basmati rice or without.
  • It taste even better the next day (make sure you store in the fridge (food safety 101)
Simmering after 2 hours and it boiled down fast so I added more water

Finished product