Saturday, September 25, 2010

Getting better

Well, between the URI virus and the hormones, this has been a very rough week. Definitely not low carb some days, too much orange juice wasneeded for the desperate attempt to fend off the virulent virus I caught.  Very little energy to even do basic walking, what with the achey-ness of it all.  My poor dog has been so shortchanged. I could barely get off the couch on my days off and slept some nights for 12 hours straight! Friday at work I was able to fast until about 3:30, which gave me renewed hope. Today I ate better, and am starting to really turn the corner with the illness thing. I even made some of my own homemade coconut energy bars. And I took some venison steaks out of the freezer to do up some cooking tomorrow as well.

Tomorrow I am sure I will feel well enough to make a HUGE effort at exercise. I can't believe how much I missed it this week, but every time I attempted to go downstairs to the basement to work out, I felt so tired just from the effort of the stairs, not much got done. I moved some 15lb dumbells across the room and my arms ached. I wonder if I just succumbed to the flu for the first time in my life?

I am hoping to do 2-3 circuits of the Primal bodyweight workouts, followed by the sprint tomorrow.  Later before work I will walk the dog at least 45 minutes.  I have Monday off, so I will write again then. I hope to do some rollerblading (fun and slow movement) now that the leaves are starting to change at our great park "Onondaga Lake Park" with the miles and miles of paved trails good for blading.  I will try to include some good pictures, as it really is a very nice park and I enjoy when I take the time to go there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Primal challenge 1/2 way point

Well, I was feeling so intensely challenged in the beginning, sure I would have no trouble sticking with the exercises and Primal eating. Yesterday was what feels like a disaster to me. I have had a lot of female hormone issues off and on in my life. Yesterday was definitely "on". Tuesdays and Fridays are the days I determined to do my intermittent fasting: no food until dinner. My intense hunger yesterday was demanding I eat by 10am. I started with almonds, had lunch at 11:30-pork roast and leftover roasted butternut squash with red onions. By 2 I felt like I was starving to death?!? I had blueberries, a banana, a small salad with grilled chicken and some crappy southwestern dressing (from the cafeteria at work) AND a small bag of Lays potato chips. WTF? Oh, and 3 of those small containers of cream cheese. Yikes. The carb content alone was too much, coupled with the poor fats intake. I felt icky. I hope I connect with a Grok Girl who has found a solution to the bossy female hormones that demand eating as a relief.

Later that evening I got some redemption by  having a nice piece of salmon and rainbow chard cooked in olive oil and garlic. When I got home, the homemade coconut bars were calling me from the freezer, so I had several of them also! I think overall I ate enough calories for the week! I did not even dare to count them up.

Today is a new day. It is 7am here, and I intend to take back the control. I will have heavy lifting, and also some moving slowly today. I have been having a difficult time balancing the movement part of Primal Blueprint Challenge as well. Last week I worked 3 12 hr shifts back to back. I was exhausted, and only got a few short walks in, and I even tried to walk up the 9 flights of stairs in the mornings to my job, just to have some movement beyond what I do at work (nursing). Then it seems like I try to pack the plan in the day or two I have off. I am not really sure how to do this any differently. Right now I just finished 2 more days of 12 hr shifts back to back. I have 2 days off now and am coming down with an upper respiratory virus, which my poor hubby has had for days. I want to be aggressive in catching up with the movement, but I  also don't want to get as sick as my hubby was. I generally don't because I take it easy and take echinacea and vit C and things, plus I think my immune system is generally stronger from all the exposure to germs at work. 

I intend also to pick up the fasting today, and maybe I will do Friday or Saturday as well. Friday may be too soon but Saturday will be very difficult, as I work 3-11 and will be home all day with the family. One day this week may be all I am capable of. Right now I still feel stuffed from yesterday, and I know if I do exercise that will decrease my appetite for a few hours. Then I will probably sleep this afternoon for a while, because of the whole virus thing.. Time will tell if this is a feasable plan for the day. Right now my Primal workout buddy Rocky, is begging for a long walk in the park. A good place to start, I think.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

day of Primal cooking

red onion and butternut squash
local organic rainbow chard

local wild caught salmon with herbs and garlic

So I also have baking a nice pork roast with fresh organic rosemary and garlic, which I did not photograph. I apologize that I have not really figured out how to add photos in a more ordered way, with paragraphs in between. Forgive me I am really not a blogger at heart! However I really enjoy writing about my experiences of following the primal challenge from Mark's Daily Apple.

I have to work the next 2 days 12hr shifts, which is common for me.  So whenever I get a chance, I have for the past few years made a large quantity of various foods to bring to work for lunches and dinners. Since going sugar and gluten free back in 2/08 it really has been a necessity because I can't count on the cafeteria to have much beyond a salad and maybe a chicken breast. That gets old really fast. I enjoy making great primal meals, and I place them in a glass Pyrex container with a lid when completed. I even freeze some of them depending on the meal. It makes it very easy to grab a pre-filled dinner container, toss it in a soft cooler with an icepack, and go. I also do not feel bad reheating foods in pyrex in the microwave, something I worried about when I used tupperware-type containers.

For exercise today I have taken several 1/2 hr walks with my dog. I also plan on doing a small workout a little later this evening, before I shower and get ready for bed. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday's primal living

Today was a great day! I started out with 2 free range organic eggs, and off I went to the Farmer's Market. I purchased more eggs, organic lettuce, chard, and also garlic and broccoli. Next I went to Crossfit for a nice workout. I had to go to a meeting at 9am, then I headed home with my fresh food supplies

My girlfriends and I decided to meet at a locovore restaurant Dolce Vita, where I had a nice scallop/tossed salad creation followed by their chicken, avacado and bacon sandwich with no bread of course! The dressing that came on it was spicy and amazing. We went to a local museum for a while then called it a day.

Next I picked up my stepson, bought a few more things, stopping at a newer local organic locovore store called Green Planet Grocery. They have the best fresh made organic almond butter. The stuff is to die for. I eat Waaaaay too much of it, so I only buy a small tub once a week.
Then we went for a long walk when we got home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Primal Blogging

OK, so apparently I suck at blogging. I just don't know really what to post and/or am really busy and don't really have time to do this sort of thing daily.

Monday I had an excellent primal blueprint basic movement workout, with some slow moving added in. I knew it would be a tough work week so I did probably 1 1/2 hrs of slow cardio. I also did some primal cooking. I used a recipe to make my own paleo bars. I used organic coconut oil, organic creamed coconut, and instead of using a food processor on my almonds I just used some almond meal I had already around the house. They turned out OK, but I think I would mix up the ingredients a little next time. There is definitely something missing. Also I made some primal meatballs with ground venison, ground pork butt and almond meal. With some italian seasonings mixed in and browned in olive oil. Those also were OK but not spectacular. I clearly need to work on my recipe collection.

I did intermittent fasting on Tuesday, while I was at work. I worked a 12 hr shift so I skipped breakfast and lunch, and had an early dinner about 4pm. Home chores kept me from any activity when I got home. Today I worked 12 hrs again, and again I will on Thursday. Dreadful schedule. It is putting a damper on my life and my abiliy to enjoy this primal challenge. I plan on doing the intermittent fasting again on Friday, just until dinner. I lost about 2-3lbs since I started this last week. I will continue to post on how this is working out.
I still have some trepidation about possibly screwing up my metabolism, and I really don't want to get obsessive about food and "dieting" again, ever! I would rather have the higher body fat! That was a terrible way to live, but I would like to see how my body enjoys eating, living, working out, and playing primally!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My movnat experience

That's all I can say. No, actually I have a lot more to say, but Wow kinda sums it up.

So yesterday in Toronto I attended a Movnat workshop at StrengthboxGreg Carver  and Liz's place up in Toronto. (Sorry Liz I did not get your last name. And also not to forget beautiful Etta, who joined in during the morning session!)

This was an entire day about primal movement, and it was tough, exciting, and fascinating all at once. Erwan Le Corre, the instructor of Movnat, is a very intense fellow who also has a charming French accent and a sense of humor about learning the basics which really helped the learning process. He stressed that a primal man would use his intelligence to survive, not just his strength. He often would humorously show how conventional training or logic did not apply in the real world application if you were outdoors. One of the most fun parts was when he showed us how easily it would be to get up on a tree branch (pre-installed indoors at the gym). Some incredibly fit men tried and couldn't even come close. It was amusing to see that strength training will not necessarily guarantee survival, if it came down to it.

There were a group of the women practicing the move over on the pullup bars, and we had greater success. I think it was because we grasped that upper body strength could not be relied on for this move, and used momentum and gravity to assist our efforts. Either that or the pullup bar was way easier than a tree branch!

So what we essentially learned were the basic movements of natural movement: Walking, running, moving on all 4's, climbing, balancing, jumping, lifting heavy things (also carrying them) and throwing/catching.
In each of these categories, we were shown multiple variations of how these movements could be carried out, and also how they may be practiced indoors, in a gym, for instance.  Also how to scan the environment for opportunities to practice these movements, using what is available to you, wherever you are.

The numerous ways these movements were practical in real life were apparent to anyone who spends time outdoors, even in the city! He even gave examples as how these movements could help if you were attacked, or if you needed to get/run away. Overall it was a great introduction to natural movement. I was very impressed with the fitness of Erwan Le Corre. I have never seen such a perfect example of a man who was completely a "human animal". Every move he did was with incredible grace and gentleness, even as feats of great strength were done easily and softly. I do not spend a lot of time in a gym, mainly working out at home, so I really can't compare this to much but it was really something to see. Everything he did was such an example of how one could be completely at home in one's body, in control of it at all times and making it all appear very easy. He really appeared animal-like. The way a cat moves. That's him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Primal Fast

So, I have this intense dislike of dieting in any form, having completely screwed up my metabolism and brain chemistry from poor diet and even more poor dieting. I have recovered from basically eating disorder land, for years now and have not had any issues with food since getting off the gluten and sugar.

I read in "The Primal Blueprint" about intermittent fasting, but really felt like this was not a can of worms I was interested in trying. I am seriously worried about destroying my healthy metabolism. That said, I have plateaued with my weight and am really not as lean as I would like to be. I am following a healthy amount and type of exercise, but I know I am not creating any kind of calorie deficit, even though I may indeed be hitting the low carb goal.

I recently read another blog, which explained the fasting a little clearer to me and I actually felt like it may be OK to give a try. It makes more sense to me to occasionally miss a meal, than to obsessively count carbs, calories or anything like weighing and measuring. I just get too mentally freaked out by that.

So today was my first attempt at a fast, I nearly gave up about 2 pm when I was really, really, wanting just about anything to eat. I held off till dinner and had a great primal meal: chicken, salad with homemade organic ranch, and steamed broccoli with butter. Also later some almonds, some almond butter, and an organic pear off my tree! Delish!

Looking forward to the next 29 days of the Primal Challenge. I will attempt another fast on Friday. I am not sure when I may have time to blog again. Hopefully tomorrow evening, but after that not until Sunday. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Checking in

Well the fact that I was too tired last night to comment on my training at crossfit dewitt speaks of the workout Liz had me do! For such a petite, friendly sweet girl, I didn't expect such a tough training. I left there feeling very alive. And when I felt that way, I wondered, have I really been living life lately, or just coasting and going through the motions?

The more I thought about it, the more it made me think about my beliefs about how my life should be lived. For instance, I feel like I have been fed a constant diet of life advice consisting of:
"Take it easy"
"Don't over do it"
"Stress is really bad for you"
"Pace yourself"
Stuff like that. And have heard that coming from my own mouth as well. No wonder I am left some days feeling like "Is this all there is?" or  worse "I have turned into my parents"

I remember feeling a lot more passionate about life when I was younger. And I am certainly not wishing for the emotional roller coaster that was my teens and twenty's.  But I feel like at least on a physical level I still crave that ability to be very fit and be able to participate in more extreme forms of exercise than "walking is really good for you". Not that I don't enjoy a lovely walk outdoors, but it just isn't feeding that deeper need to challenge myself.  And I think I was deep down feeling like that just wasn't achievable for me,  once you are as old as I am (42). Like it was too late. And I certainly have had people close to me in my life more or less telling me that also, that I shouldn't aim so high given my age. (you would think I was 72!)

Its funny how you feel like something is missing, and then sometimes you just hit on it almost on accident. Like the lovely feeling I had Friday after really pushing through a workout.  The way trees looked greener and the sky looked bluer. And the primal dinner I cooked on the grill tasted that much better. And the time spent with my family felt just perfect. It was a great day!

I need to convince no one but myself that extreme fitness is more than achievable, it is a perfect goal for me to aim toward. And I think having some training in doing this properly so that I do not have to suffer injury is simply smart, as I really don't want to waste any more time.

I am looking forward to the 30 day challenge and to my MovNat clinic in Toronto next weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 3

Well, hello again.

Today was a great day, I had it off work and it was a scorcher outside. I had to get up early because I had promised my dog Rocky (AKA Primal Workout Buddy) an extra long walk. This is the guy who likes to take off and be chased. 

I had a great primal breakfast: a 6 egg white omelette with fresh steamed broccoli from my garden, with some goat feta tossed in. Also a small bowl of guac with fresh cherry tomatoes (also from the garden) and some organic sour cream.

I had a meeting at noon and then my appointment with Liz, the personal trainer intern at Crossfit. She took me through the first part of the fundamentals, and then thoroughly kicked my ass with their WOD.  Funny, she had me do this warmup first, and my comment to her was "This warmup is really more like my entire workout!" and her reply? "We actually have a bumper sticker that says that: your workout is our warmup!" Hysterical. If I get into it, I may have to buy that bumper sticker.

So from there, all sweaty, I stopped by my all time favorite grocery store, Wegmans. Since it was 95 out by then, I didn't feel out of place, everyone walking from their car to the store looked sweaty. Wegmans can be credited with really bringing "real food" back to the Syracuse area. They are actually based out of Rochester, but have a long standing partnership with most local farms, and this time of year, their produce is fantastic! They claim to get daily shipments, and they have tons of organic choices as well.  They also were the first local mainstream store to have a large "natural foods" section, where one can find many supplements, organic products and hard to find items (today I found organic creamed coconut, which I am going to use in making my own protein bars).

Finally home with my great produce,  I made "Utica greens" from beet greens, cherry peppers, fresh garlic and olive oil. Also a large salad and a huge piece of Lake Ontario Salmon, courtesy of my husband.One thing I really don't seem to be able to pass on is ranch dressing. I really like it and justify it by saying that olive oil really isn't primal either, nor is vinegar. I looked at some homemade recipes, but I think I will wait until my "Marie's" is gone before I go crazy in the kitchen again. 

Tonite on MDA, I saw the official notice of the Primal challenge. I have been mis-naming it! It actually is called The Primal Blueprint 30 Day Challenge. I am quite excited and if I could lay of the almond butter I am eating while I type this, I may have a chance at really changing the few remaining "trouble spots" on my body and get lean, as I once was so many moons ago...

I am working 12 hrs tomorrow, day of rest for working out, but of course I made enough extra food for dinner tonite to bring my lunch. My food rarely strays from primal, but my workouts could be a bit more challenging. Crossfit definitely pushed me today. I will repost after my next workout with Liz on Friday.