Book Review: The Nourished Kitchen

As you probably know by now, I love food, and I never shy away from pouring through a new cook book!  Especially when the book is based on real, wholesome, and traditional foods.  This is why I was really excited to receive a copy of The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther to read & review.

TheNourishedKitchen
The author takes you through each area of food (produce, meat of all kinds, fermented, etc) and offers a wealth of information on how to choose quality food ingredients as well as WHY you should be choosing them and what their benefits are.

While this is not a paleo book, anyone who desires to learn more about sourcing & using good quality food will enjoy this book and get a lot out of it.  The author focuses on how to obtain and use quality meat & produce to create delicious and nutritious recipes.  While some of the recipes had my kids wondering what I’d make for dinner (not up for Stewed Beef Heart?? ;-)   ), there were so many new and delicious ideas for cooking meals that I can’t wait to try them! I was especially excited about the section on fish that included some different (yet not crazy) recipes for cooking fish & seafood.  One I can’t wait to try is “Pan Seared Halibut with Melted Cherry Tomatoes & Tarragon”!  I’m hoping that some of the different combinations of flavors in these will get my kids more on board with eating fish.  (A mom can hope, right??)

The Nourished Kitchen is first a cook book, but it is so much more than that.  Its filled with over 160 recipes (with beautiful photos!), but the extra information for the how & why of choosing certain foods makes this book a great overall resource.  I feel like you can tell people to eat something over and over, but I don’t think people should just eat something because someone told them to.  Its important to know the WHY. Check out a preview of this book below to see a little glimpse of what its about.  I’m looking forward to making many of these recipes and trying some new things!  Happy cooking!

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.  While the book was given to me, the thoughts & opinions on it are all my own! :-)

 

Sovereign State 5K Race Report

So its been over a year since I raced last. Part of this was due to lack of training, part was due to injuries… and probably another part of just not thinking about it too much! ;-)

But  I had been itching to get back out there as I really do enjoy races.  I love the energy of the runners and the excitement of being there.  Plus there’s nothing like crossing a finish line after giving a race your all!

The Sovereign State 5K spoke to me because it is a small town race in our neighboring town.  I love small town races.  They feel more relaxed; there are less runners so its not so crowded, and these races definitely stress me out less.  I didn’t have a worry in the world starting today.  Though I hoped for a good time, my main goal was to have fun!  And I did! :-)

Waiting to start
I drug my girlies along with me to the race as my hubby was out of town at a karate thing all day.  They said it was kind of boring, but I think they had a good time.  They were my paparazzi :-) and they cheered for me at the finish line!

A few min before the race was starting, I chatted with a woman next to me who said she was a little nervous about doing the race.  She said it had been 12 years since she last did  a race and she just didn’t want to come in last.  I told her that if she was running even part of it, she’d likely not finish last and told her to just have fun and go with it.  I knew she’d do fine – and she did.  She pulled ahead of me from the start and finished just over a minute before me!  I made sure to find her after the race to congratulate her. :-)

The race started and we were off… as I typically do, I went out faster than I should have.  I had told myself that my minimum goal was to keep a 9:00 pace for the whole thing.  Well…silly me…I started out in the mid-8′s.  But I just kept plugging away; slowing down when I got too tired, speeding up more when I recovered.

Around 2.5 miles in I was feeling TIRED. I’m pretty sure that was due to my overly ambitious pace.  But I would not let myself walk.  I knew I could do it, and I really wanted to see what I could accomplish.  I won’t lie, that last .5 mile until the homestretch was tough.  But I found it within myself to sprint the last .1 mile up the track to the finish line.

Finishing the race! 

According to my Garmin, that last .1 mile I did at a 6:20 pace.  It was all I had left in me. Once I finished I reflected that some people run the whole race that fast and I about died imagining trying to do that! :-D   In fact, the 1st place winner of the race (a teen boy) ran at a 4:59 pace.  Awesome!

My time:  26:40!  I was so pleased.  This was 2 min 37 sec faster than my last PR in April 2013.  I never ever thought I would get this kind of a race time.  If you would have told me this last year, I would have laughed and said “not likely!”  Its such an encouragement as I feel like my running and strength training are really starting to show the results of my efforts.  Its an amazing thing!

Just after finishing...I was tried!
That pic above was just after finishing.  I’m so glad my girls captured this as I think you can feel my tiredness in it!  I was so tired…and so thirsty…but too tired to think about drinking water quite yet.

We hung around to listen to them give out awards.  I didn’t think I’d place and when I heard them calling out winners for 10 year age groups, then I REALLY thought I wouldn’t.  I’m 37 and competing against 30 yr olds can be hard! :-)   So imagine my surprise when I found out that I won 2nd place in my age/gender division!  It must have been my lucky day because the #1 in my group was almost 6 min faster than me!  But I was so pleased!  This whole race really boosted my running confidence.

5K - done!
I’m so glad that I did it.  I  have been looking at doing another race in 2 weeks.  So far I’m still planning on doing it, but who knows what 2 weeks can bring!  But I’ll certainly be out there running my miles between now and then.  I did a 4 mile run last week, which was the longest I’ve done since mid-March.  I’ve been sticking to 3 at most since then with the injury.  This week I’m hoping to complete a 5.

Here is my race crew…my sweet girlies who woke up early on a Saturday to watch their mom run and take pictures.  Love them!

My Girlies!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well!  Did any of you do anything fun and exciting over the weekend?

Brassi – wha? (a book review & giveaway!)

I think one of the best things about changing to Paleo eating was how it opened up my mind to new food & cooking options.  It wasn’t as if I was fearful cook before – just ask my family – I rarely made the same thing twice and I was an avid recipe hoarder….ummm…collector! ;-)   I have loads of cookbooks as well as a file drawer in my kitchen dedicated to the recipes I’ve clipped from magazines through the years.  All properly filed by recipe type (yay organization!) :-)

However I don’t think I truly opened up into the world of new and different vegetables & flavor combos until Paleo.  For example, unless I was forced to eat them as a child, I hadn’t ever had parsnips before.  Now I’ve found that I LOVE them!  Especially made into a mashed potato substitute (heavenly!) or shredded up and sauteed with carrots and bacon (YUM!).  If it wasn’t for paleo, I’m pretty sure you’d still be finding me with my corn, peas, broccoli, & asparagus. 

* Side Note:  CORN IS NOT A VEGETABLE PEOPLE!

And it isn’t paleo either!

Anywho…back on topic.  Oh my…when I just typed “back on” I accidentally typed “bacon” instead…I think that’s a sign I need to eat bacon!  Ok now I’m off topic again!  But I do love bacon!

Ok so enter the book Brassicas!  Now if you’re like me, when I saw the name of this book, I was like brassicas?  What are brassicas?  Well it turns out its what many of us know as cruciferous vegetables; you know… broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc. The brassica family is a very healthy, nutrient packed bunch of veggies.  These are some of the best you can eat!  Part of eating clean/healthy/whole foods, whether you pick paleo or not, is making sure that the foods you choose are nutrient dense. Get your vitamins from nature, not a pill! :-)

Brassicas
I’ve been doing a lot of cooking with Brussels sprouts and kale in the past year.  I love them both!  But this book has SO much more.  It covers 7 different groups of brassicas:  Kale, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts & Cabbage, Broccoli, Leafy, Asian (think bok choy & napa cabbage), and Root Brassicas & Kohlrabi.

Each chapter gives a nice intro to the veggie on topic and details prep and storage, as well as the nutritional benefits of each.  The intro is followed by a dozen or more recipes using the veggie.  My mouth was watering as I read through the recipes like Broccoli & Pepper Jack Frittata, Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette, Roasted Broccolini with Winey Mushrooms, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Crust (which I made last night and is DELICIOUS!).

From a paleo standpoint, I was pleased to see that the recipes are primarily paleo friendly, but if not, they are at least gluten free.  The main change I will make to most of them is to use either virgin coconut oil or bacon fat instead of olive oil for sauteing/roasting/etc., as they are more heat stable oils.

You can check out a little preview of the book below – let me know what you think!  I’m excited to try out more of these recipes and (hopefully) my kids will find that brassicas aren’t so bad! ;-)

 

And now you can enter to win your own copy of Brassicas!  Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  The contest will stay open for a week and the winner will be announced next Fri, July 11th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.  While the book was given to me, the thoughts & opinions on it are all my own! :-)

One Year of Paleo!

So … yeah… remember that one time where I didn’t blog for 6 months?

Oh yeah…that was right now. :-)

Well I can’t say I’ve been sitting around doing nothing.  Life just has a way of being busy, crazy, confusing… and before you know it, 6 months pass!  So the other day I was sitting her, talking to my hubby, and contemplating life and my blog (not quite in the same category) and I realized I should be saying something and I finally felt like saying something.  Its kind of hard to ramble and type if you’re just not into it.  So here I am…wheeeeee!

Pal-e-Yo!

So one thing I realized as June approached is that I was marking one year doing Paleo in June!  Woot!  What started out as a “well I’ll try this for a month to see what its all about” has turned into a definite lifestyle for me.  Meanwhile I have gotten a lot of interesting questions from friends & family, as well as many people who like to find some way to challenge my decisions to eat the way I do.  I’ve learned so much about food & eating well over the last year that my head could explode – but in a good way!  And I know many people in my life probably wish I would just *shut up* about paleo.  To them…I apologize (well not really)… its hard to keep it in!

So here’s what I’ve learned mostly… I feel the best when I keep grains out of my diet; especially gluten!  No, I’m not celiac, and no I didn’t have IBS or another huge digestive issue.  However here are some things I noticed without grains (and gluten especially)…

  • Semi-frequent Heartburn (1-3x/week) is GONE.  I always thought that it was the rich foods I ate (peppers, tomato stuff, raw onions, etc).  Turns out I can eat that stuff just fine with no bad affects IF I’m not eating grains.  It was the grains that caused the digestive burn!
  • Gluten = Bloating!  And I am not kidding you.  Below is a picture from about a month ago when I enjoyed a dessert with wheat flour in it.  It takes about a day or two for this to hit fully.  Left side is my gluten baby, right side is normal:
    Gluten Baby!

    My gluten baby…note the awesome cow phone cover! Mooooo!

    And of course where there is bloating…there is… well you know. ;-)   And that is much improved by keeping grains out of my diet.

  • Energy!!!  I used to spend a lot of time feeling lethargic.  Despite the fact that I exercised 3-4 times/week, and ate “healthy” I often just felt sluggish, especially mid afternoon.  I slept until 7:30 or 8:00 on weekends because I was just so tired!  After a few months of paleo I was feeling so energized, and now 6-6:30 is a normal waking time for me; and I feel refreshed.
  • Sleep Quality... I especially noticed the change in this when I cut back sugar to do the sugar detox at the end of 2013.  The change in how well I slept was crazy!  During that time I was actually waking, fully refreshed at 5:15-5:30 am!  Craziness!  I fell off my low-sugar wagon in Feb and I recently just completed the detox again just to get myself on track.  I find that I feel SO much better when I keep my sugar to a LOW intake.

So that wraps up my 1 yr of paleo in general.  I’ll talk about it more (of course!) in future posts, but that’s my basic, 1 yr wrap up of it.  I ♥ Paleo! 

I’ll be back soon with an update of my goals I set in Jan as well as some new fitness stuff to share with you all!

So what’s up with yourself?  Have you kept your resolutions/goals from Jan?  Have you accomplished/finished any of them yet?  I’m looking forward to updating you all on mine! :-)

Goal Setting 2014

2014 Goals - Bacon & Whipped CreamIf there’s one thing I love about January 1st rolling around, its that feeling of a fresh start in a new year.  I do realize its just another day on the calendar, but flipping into a new year always seems like a great time to reevaluate where I’m at and where I want to be.

I’m no stranger to making goals each year; and sometimes I’m actually successful in meeting them.  However after looking over last year’s blog post on goals for the new year, I realized two things:

1.  I failed miserably at meeting my goals.

2.  While part of it is my lack of effort, the bigger part was the actual goals themselves.

For some reason I recently ended up looking up the S.M.A.R.T. acronym for goal setting.  (I couldn’t remember all words for it!)  Here it is if you are unfamiliar with it.  The S.M.A.R.T. method is a way to set achievable goals (I found 2 words for both A & R online, but both are good):

Specific
Measurable
Attainable/Achievable
Realistic/Relevant
Time-Bound

So I decided to go forward this year with more specific goals that had a real plan of action.  For example, last year I simply put:  Run 5 miles.   Sure this is a great goal, but you know what?  Despite training for races, and trying to get out there, I never reached it (I did do 4.5!).  A more specific goal would have set a time frame, as well as had a better laid out plan of HOW I would get there.

A non-fitness goal I had last year was to Start/finish the kids’ digital scrapbooks.  Do you want to know how far i got on these?  Ummm…NOWHERE!  I had no plan of action, breaking down steps of what I’d do in a time-frame.  And the goal was way to broad.  There was really no way I’d finish that many years of digital scrapbooking in a year unless I stopped doing everything else that I do in my spare time. (Ha…spare time…I’m so funny. :)   )

2014 Goals

So here are my (S.M.A.R.T.) goals for 2014 including my basic plan of action for them.  I won’t bore you with the whole plan, but it gives you an idea on how to break your goals down:

Fitness Goals

  1. Run a Half Marathon in spring
    This one is already “in progress” but I have many weeks to go!

    • Set up a training plan and follow it.  Get support from runner friends to keep accountable.
  2. Do ONE Unassisted Chin Up
    This is a big goal of mine.  Its something I’ve wanted to do for so long but is taking slow but steady training so I make sure I don’t re-injure my shoulder at all.

    • Use the assisted pull up machine at the gym 3 times/week, 2 sets of 10 reps until that is easy, then decrease the weight assist until I’m down to nothing!
  3. Do 15 Full Pushups (or more!)
    I feel sad that I can’t do this yet, but again its a shoulder thing.

    • Find a 3 day/week pushup program I can follow to work into my other workout schedule.
  4. Get a New 5K Race PR

    • Half training should help with this, but once I finish that, I will do the Run Less, Run Faster book plan of 5K training for an upcoming 5K race – making sure I get all the workouts in!

Other Goals

  1. Finish a Digital Scrapbook for 2 yrs for Each Child
    • Steps:  Organize and Select photos to include for the years. Choose which vendor I’m going to use to print them.  Spend 1 hour per week working on them.
  2. Finish the Leaf Scarf by Fall
    Ummm…this project I think is going on FOUR years.  I have finished so many projects in between.

    • Work on this scarf for 30 min at least once/week.
  3. Complete my Living Room Remodel by mid-summer
    This project has been on my mind for a really long time and I just haven’t been dedicated with nailing down decisions and saving the $ to do it.

    • Finalize decisions on colors for the curtains & couches.  Decide on a final entertainment system.  Save money regularly in a special fund for this.

I know there must be more things out there, but these are my first big ones that come to mind.  I will plan to keep better tabs on this list throughout the year.  I’m thinking I will plan a 1st of the month check in with where my goals are at.

I plan to print out my list and keep it where I can see it.  I also know I rely a lot on accountability from friends & family to ask me where I’m at.  That’s one of the main things that has kept me so on track with my half marathon training so far.  I have a few runner friends constantly asking me about how its going!

What are you goals as you enter the new year?  What will keep you motivated to achieve them?  Find some people to keep you accountable.  Its more fun to work through your goals with a friend by your side anyway!

 

image source: 2014 123rf.com

Staying on Track

Well now that I have 4 weeks down of starting to train for a half marathon, I wanted to give a little update on how everything is going. 

I won’t lie; when I started with the idea of doing this, I was not really sure how this would go.  I am certainly not the most dedicated runner.  Yes, I did it, but being a regular runner?  No, not so much.  I was lucky to get in 2 runs/week (or even 1 at times) so I was not sure how I would ever get in enough running to make a half work for me.  Heck there were times I barely thought I should write about being a runner for what I slacker I was.

100_1740

*sigh* warmer days…

But I guess having a real fire lit under myself when presented with an actual goal is the key.  I have done 4 full weeks of half training and I have gotten in my 3 planned runs for each week.  This is unheard of!  Sadly…its my longest “streak” of regular running.  Wow…

I have been feeling so great about it.  In fact, this past Thursday, I went to bed and told my husband that I wished it was Friday because that would mean I got to run in the morning on Saturday. 

I am the queen of exercise excuses!  What? You are?  Well can I at least be the princess?

After 2 weeks of doing well, I decided NO EXCUSES.  The only way I’d be missing a run was if I was injured or really sick.  Even if there’s an ice storm and it comes down to… *gasp* … running on my treadmill.  :(   (boooo!)

Source

Right now my mileage might be a little lame to some hard core runners (9-10 miles/week), but I’m building up an excellent base right now.  In fact, this past Wed I had the best run I’ve ever had, setting a new unofficial 5K PR time of 27:04 (a full 2 min faster than my race in April).  So I’m seeing improvements all around.

This week I sat for 10 minutes, staring at my training chart, trying to figure out when I would get my 3 days in over Christmas break between kids home, holidays, and gatherings.  There is no way I’m missing one run!

I’m also working on a case of winter asthma.  This comes around for me about once/winter in the form of a constant dry cough that is crazy irritating, and some wheezing about half way through a run.  I’ve been on an inhaler for it for a week now, but I can’t wait until its gone!  I’m hoping for more of those zen running moments when my lungs don’t squeak a little when I breathe. :-)   Pray for fast acting meds!

And finally, on the whole streak thingI’m 5 weeks now into (almost) no sugar.  I say almost because I splurged and had a very lightly sweetened mocha on Saturday.  It tasted too sweet…and made me feel “meh”.  I was wishing I had just got a plain old latte.  And in a horrible decision, I ate a piece of (delicious) pizza last night.  It was tasty, but within an hour I had a food baby and spent the night burping it up.

Why?  Why do I do these things! Ah well… Holiday craziness has left me unprepared with meals and my goal for this week is to make up a new menu and get on track with meal prep again.

Have you set any fitness or food goals for over Christmas to keep you on track? 

Images Sources:  Treadmill

Roasted Cauliflower & Bacon

Roasted Cauliflower & Bacon - Bacon & Whipped Cream
You all might know that I love bacon and I love putting it in things I eat (or directly in my mouth).  This recipe is just barely a recipe, but tasted so yummy I had to share. 

I simply love roasted vegetables.  It’s, to me, one of the best ways to eat them.  The natural sugars caramelize a bit and bring out a flavor that you just can’t get by steaming them.  While I always ate it fine, I never loved steamed cauliflower.  This cauliflower, however, I can eat tons of!  Yum!

Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Head Cauliflower (small-med)
  2. 3 Bacon Strips
  3. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. While the bacon cooks, chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in a large bowl. Once the bacon is done, drain, and pour the fat into a container to cool slightly (I had about 1.5 T). Once it has cooled a little, pour the fat over the cauliflower and stir to coat.
  3. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 20-25 min or until tender. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon strips into small pieces. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a serving bowl, and stir in the bacon pieces. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy!
Bacon & Whipped Cream http://www.baconandwhippedcream.com/
 

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 3 Update

Week 3 - 21 Day Sugar Detox - Bacon & Whipped Cream

Wow – 21 days sure fly by fast!  And here I am, at the end of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  So what do you think I’m going to do today?  If you guessed “pig out on candy/chocolate/dessert” you’d be wrong.  I’m actually most excited today about having a clementine orange with my breakfast!

Yes…an orange.

True story…

Week 3 Update

This week went really smoothly.  I expected to feel more “ok let’s be done with this” by mid-week but I really felt pretty great overall.  Here are this week’s recipe notes:

  • The shepherd’s pie is really delicious!  I added garlic powder to the mashed cauliflower on top as well as cheese to help appeal to my kids palates (they aren’t crazy about mashed cauliflower).  It helped a little, but they still weren’t sold on it!
  • The apple donuts are fantastic!  I made them mini size and it made 15-18 (vs. 12).  They are SO tasty.
  • The biscuits make delicious breakfast sandwiches with egg & bacon in them!
  • The bacon burgers are just as awesome as you might think. ;-)
  • Do not hesitate to try the balsamic squash.  I made sure to step out of my normal cooking comfort zone to try different combinations during this and I was so glad I did.  This recipe is fantastic and I will definitely be making it again!

Now let me back up a little here to before I started this detox…. Before I started, I was in a pretty bad habit of the following:

  • Eating a lot more fruit than vegetables both at meals and for snacks
  • Snitching a tiny sweet in the afternoon to curb that “need for sweet” taste
  • Eating a decent sugary treat (and I’m talking real food, natural sweeteners but STILL sugar treat) every night…EVERY NIGHT…whether I was even hungry at all or NOT. (this is sad, I know)

I *love* sweets & dessert…just ask my husband.  He’s seen me eat piles of sour taffy that would leave most people seriously sick to their stomach (though I haven’t done this in a few years! I broke that habit.)  He’s seen me eat 10 roasted marshmallows in a sitting.  He knows my sweet tooth. ;-)

But I think he also knew I would have success at this detox, because if there’s one thing I’m good at, its following an eating plan & sticking with it.

And stick with it I did…and my results are great!  Here are some of the results I experienced from doing the detox…

  • Sleeping Better:  I am getting the same # of hours of sleep at night as before, but not only am I sleeping more soundly, I’m waking up at just after 6 each day feeling refreshed and not groggy.
  • Energy:  I definitely have more energy…I feel less lethargic & foggy.  I have been on top of my exercise, getting in 5 days/week and feeling great.
  • Way Less Cravings:  My sugar cravings or need to have a “sweet something” during the day are just about gone now.  During this last week, especially, I’ve had no issue with wanting to have something sweet.
  • Things Taste Sweeter:  On Saturday I was eating some baby carrots and shared some with my husband.  I mentioned to him how sweet and tasty they were, and didn’t he agree?  He just kind of looked at me and said “they taste like carrots”. :)   But to me they tasted like candy carrots.  I’ve also been enjoying “hot chocolate” made with just whole milk & cocoa powder…yep NO sugar.  It tastes awesome.

And because I know some of you are wondering, here are my weight/measurement results after doing this.  My weight went down, then up, then down, but I ended up with a net loss.  As I mentioned previously, this is not trying to lose anything.  I was eating like crazy…lots of fats & proteins along with my veggies.  Below, I showed inches for 3 basic measurements, but I did measure other areas and they all went DOWN.  I’m mostly glad about the largest part of my stomach that went down 1.25″ just on its own! (yay!)

Total Weight Loss:  -2.9 lbs
Total Inches Lost:  -3.25″  (between my waist, hips & thighs)

And finally I want to take a minute to answer a few questions that I kept hearing throughout the detox from friends and blog followers…

Q:  Don’t you miss ________ ? (fruit, chocolate, sugar, etc…)
A:   Well…not really!  The first few days I did long for my normal night time pile of sweet junk to eat, but I had prepped ahead of time with some 21DSD friendly snacks & “treats” so I had something to wean me over this time.  Near the end I did start thinking about fruit a lot more.  Like one day when I was serving up peaches to my girls and those peaches looked SO good.  And the above mentioned clementines have been calling my name for 2 days while I finished up the detox!  But once I got past Day 4-5, my sweets craving just about disappeared.

Q:  Did you experience any headaches, flu-like symptoms, or other withdrawal type issues?
A: 
I did not; and at first this surprised me, but about half way through I think I figured out why.  I started a Paleo diet back in June.  This means that by the start of this, I already had over 4 months where I had been off of all grains and eating a much lower carb diet than the standard American (I eat about 100-150 g per day).  I think this helped a LOT with not having a drastic carb reduction that comes with doing the 21DSD.  That said, do not let the thought of withdrawal keep you from trying the detox.  These symptoms only last a day or 2 and after you will feel so much better than before! Trust me – its worth it!

Q:  WHY are you doing this?  I don’t want to NOT want dessert…I love dessert!
A: 
I get it, I really do.  But not craving dessert and being a slave to blood sugar ups & downs does not mean that you never eat dessert again.  I did the detox to get control over my body; to get control over that blood sugar roller coaster.  Do I still like dessert – ummm….YES!  Will I still eat dessert – YES.  But do I get cravings every day for sweets now… NO.  And besides curbing those cravings and leveling out the blood sugar, things like better sleep & more energy are a tremendous benefit.  In addition I was “lucky” enough to experience my “womanly cycle” during the 2nd week and guess what?  I had NO PMS cravings and while I generally have 1 day of pretty bad cramps that require meds, this cycle I had barely any and they were never bad enough to even consider taking anything.  We’re talking HORMONE control here!

Q:   What are you going to do now?
A:    Good question!  I plan to keep my sugar at a minimum for sure.  I plan to add in fruit here and there, but not in large quantities and as much as I used to.  I want to keep my habit of having very low sugar snacks in the evening and I’d like to save sweet treats for special times and way less frequently than I used to.  I am going to add in more sweet potato again – especially on the days I exercise.  I did find the lower carb diet was draining me a bit near the end of the detox on my runs – but that was partly my fault for not being consistent with eating some dense carbs after all my workouts.

So there you have it!  21 Days done!  I’d love to hear your comments and questions, so ask away! :)   I know so many people who have told me (or are even now thinking) that they could NEVER do this.  All I can say is – never say never, you can do anything if you put your mind to it and try.  Most times the reasons we don’t try things like this is because its out of our comfort zone and we really don’t want to change.  Change can be SO good!  Don’t let fear keep you from feeling the best you can.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2 Update

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2 Update

21 Day Sugar Detox - Week 2 - Bacon and Whipped Cream

Well a busy November schedule sure has the days flying by for this sugar detox.  I feel like I just wrote up the Week 1 update and now here I am at the end of Week 2!

Week 2 Update

Overall Week 2 went really well.  I was still expecting at some point to suddenly get huge cravings for sweets, but it didn’t happen.  Any digestive issues I had from last week were gone by the start of this week and I feel like I’m sleeping better each night.  I’ve been waking up feeling so well rested!

I did notice that I felt wiped out during my Fit Camp class this week.  I wasn’t sure whether to attribute it to not working out much in the 2 prior weeks due to a pulled muscle, or because I haven’t been good with adding in dense carbs to make up for the exercise as the book instructs.  So I’m going to be better about that this next week and make sure I add in some sweet potato after long workouts.  In addition, I also weighed in this morning and saw a gained a few pounds back – which I’m fine with.  I have been trying to make sure I get enough to eat and I also wonder if my lack of refueling after exercise had anything to do with that.  The body is a mystery sometimes!

I also want to take a moment to say how accurate the book has been for me with predicting where I’m at in the journey.  In the book, she goes day by day on what you may be experiencing.  I chose not to read through this ahead of time, but read them after I completed the days.  I didn’t want to have any suggestive feelings based on what she said.  When I read about the days I had just passed, I was often surprised on how spot on the book was with how I was feeling.  In fact yesterday’s note started with “Not only falling asleep faster, but also sleeping better through the night and waking up feeling more well rested.”  I laughed when I read it because just that morning I had thought about how quickly I had fallen asleep the night before.  I’d be thinking of something and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the middle of the night to turn over. :)

As I did last week, here are some recipe notes from this week…

  • If there’s one recipe you’ll for sure have as a keeper, its the spaghetti squash bolognese.  This recipe is a carry over from her Practical Paleo book and was one of my favorites in that book.  SO YUMMY!
  • The root vegetable hash is so yummy.  I prepped this by cooking up the bacon and shredding it all the night before and it took minutes to cook up the next morning.
  • My husband and I just loved the brussels sprouts and cabbage side dish.  The cinnamon was unexpected but went wonderful with the flavors.  I’m so uncreative when it comes to this kind of seasoning while cooking!
  • The carrot muffins are delicious with any meal or for a snack.  They took a little prep but they are worth it.  I love quick, on-the-go breakfast options like this.

And now just one more week to go.  While this week did bring a few temptations right in my face (hello caramel apple dip and dinner rolls!), I felt good that I didn’t have a big urge at all to eat them and I was fine without it.  I’m feeling great and that trumps eating “off plan”.  I want to do it right and make it through the 21 days without a cheat.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update

21 Day Sugar Detox - Week 1 ~ Bacon & Whipped Cream

Today marks Day 8 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox - the beginning of Week 2!  I have gotten some questions about the detox and how it’s going so I will be sharing a weekly update on this.  Here’s Week 1!

Week 1 Update

I’m going to back up and say that going into this, I wasn’t sure how hard this was going to be.  As I mentioned in my previous post about starting the detox, I already ate a lot of the way that Level 2 calls for.  The main changes were cutting out potatoes & sweet potatoes, cutting out fruit, and of course, cutting out the sugars.  I think because I was already eating Paleo, I didn’t have a severe withdrawal from sugars.  Of course I’m quite happy about that!

The first half of the week went really smoothly.  At one point I ate a saltier lunch and craved that taste of sweet to balance it out but I did resist!  By day 4 I found I was hungrier, but I just kept eating the good healthy foods, and I felt a little crabby.

By day 6 I noticed I was sleeping better.  I actually woke up at 6 am on Saturday morning feeling completely rested (despite only getting 7 hrs of sleep that night).  This NEVER happens on a Sat morning (my sleep in day)! On day 7 (yesterday) I did have a little bit of digestive issues; which crazy enough, the book says you may experience on day 7…weird.  But that’s all better today.

But here are is a summary of the main things I’m surprised about from Week 1:

  • I found I can drink coffee with only half & half (no sweetener) and still love & enjoy it!
  • If I’m motivated enough, I can make better lunches for myself rather than gathering randomness to eat.
  • Despite eating as much as I wanted of the “Yes” foods and never letting myself feel hungry ever, I lost 2.9 lbs this week!!

Regarding that last one…I was already at my “good” weight and I had no intention of losing anything.  I mean, yeah, I’d love to lose some body fat, but I definitely didn’t need to lose pounds.  I seriously ate nice sized, healthy meals, and snacked whenever I got hungry.  I ate when I was hungry, regardless of the time on the clock.  While this sugar detox is NOT meant to be a weight loss diet, it often turns out that way, due to getting healthier food in your body, and the reduction of carbs in your diet.  I have a friend who’s also doing it and has lost over 6 lbs in her first week and she’s been eating healthy fats like crazy.

Its like a triple win if you want to break that sugar habit, get healthier and shed a few pounds in the process!

A few recipe notes from Week 1…

Here are a few notes about the recipes we tried:

  • The mayo was super easy to make, but I used EVOO and it was a bit strong in flavor.  Definitely will do something milder next time.  I also added salt to it.
  • The salmon salad was really, really good!  Not something i would have typically made in the past, but I loved it.
  • I baked the buffalo chicken egg muffins for 30 min instead of 40 and they were STILL a bit overdone (dark brown).  I would recommend starting at 20-25 min and checking them.  They tasted awesome though!
  • The mexican meatloaf is fantastic in flavor but came back REALLY hard for me with heartburn later.  Note to self:  Do NOT eat this prior to going for a run.  Oh the burn! :)
  • The side dishes of broccoli balsamic salad, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and cauliflower rice were all SO delicious!
  • I have to rave about the mustard glazed chicken thighs.  We’ve been using this recipe since I got her Practical Paleo book in May and it is, hands down, one of our favorite ones to make.

So now I’m on to Week 2!  I’m curious to see where it leads me.  If you are doing the detox, leave a comment or send me a message to tell me how its going.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site