Monday, April 20, 2015

Finding My Voice

Even as I stare down the 4 month mark I find this post difficult.  I will express myself the best I can.  This blog is and will remain focused on the Paleo Lifestyle.  Mr. and I have intertwined our lives here and shared how we accomplished our successes along the way.  My last post in November came as a surprise and shock to even us as we came to grips with becoming expecting parents with 10 year olds AND after years of infertility.  

Many people that follow and comment on this blog are friends/acquaintances of ours and know our story.  

Others we have never met and do not know.  This post is for you.

My last post and our last on air appearance we shared with the world that we were expecting a surpise Paleo baby.  We had swallowed the news and were passed the 12 week mark and felt confident that we would become parents again soon.

Unfortunately our world fell apart a week before Christmas on G&E's Birthday.  I awoke in the morning to use the restroom and soon there after my water broke.  Without telling all the tiny details, I knew that there was nothing that could be done and chances of a happy outcome were stacked against us.  We remained faithful and kept a postive attitude and strict Paleo eating until on December 27th I once again was awoken but this time I was in labor.  Our Paleo baby Charles Edgar was born sleeping at 18 weeks.  

Since that time we have been on an emotional roller coaster.  I've felt week and broken.  I've also felt love and support in so many ways and through so many avenues.  Some things I've expected and others have caught me by surprise.  Mr. and I have been working through grief together and individually as we seek to find a path of healing.

Our Paleo eating?  It's been very interesting as I look back on the last several months.  What's taken me most by surprise has been my habits from March 27 (Charlie's 3 month Heaven Anniversary) through yesterday.  Over the past 4 months I've had periods when I've been super strict, periods when I've had cheats, and then my last period which was nothing that resembled Paleo.

I'm happy to say that starting today...It's different.  I know that going forward, I will not allow food be my crutch.  I don't know why I turn to food for comfort or why I allow it to ease my anxiety when I am in my busiest times at work.  But I do and I have acknowledged it.

This morning I set my alarm and made my way to my Crossfit Box.  I put as much effort into my workout as I could.  I've eaten all Paleo today and even prepped our dinner.  

I can feel the resolve deep inside.  No more weight gain.  No more inflammation.  Sad or not.

I have not reached my due date yet.  I know emotionally I have a long way to go.  Eating Paleo and Crossfit helped make me strong and I know that it will do it again.

All this to say, thank you for allowing me to grieve and I'm back.

I can't say that Charlie's name won't come up in posts or that I won't mention my sadness and anxiety.  Charlie is something that has become apart of our life and part of our Paleo journey.  However this will continue to be a Paleo Blog and a way to share our journey with others.

Lucky for you...I've already started taking pictures of my food again today.

Food is a Drug #Paleo

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Paleo Emeals/GDL

This morning we shared a few dishes off of Emeals Paleo Holiday Menu on Great Day Live on WHAS 11 in Louisville, Kentucky.  We took G & E with us this morning so they could experience a television studio.
Mr. and G & E after we got the food set up.

They had a wonderful experience and we were so glad that we brought them along.  They got a little bit of special attention and behind the scene tour with the help of a GDL camerman.  He was so nice to show them the "cut in" of the traffic and weather reports during Good Morning America.

G & E on the couch set at Great Day Live.

He took them into the control room and even let them hold his camera!

Mr. prepared all the food for this segment yesterday.  You can connect directly to the Emeals Paleo Holiday Menu here: Emeals Paleo Holiday Menu

Kale Salad with Apples, Oranges and Walnuts 
(Marinate Ahead)

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb kale, stems removed
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored,
 and chopped
1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking until blended.
2. Thinly slice kale; add to dressing in bowl, tossing to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.
3. Before serving, add radishes, apple, orange segments, and walnuts; toss.
Note: Look for lacinato kale in the store. It is the most tender type
of kale that wilts easily in a salad such as this one.

There is no reason to skip the pumpkin pie this holiday season.  Especially since you can make a few substitutions that allows you to stay on the Paleo track.  No sugar crash induced coma after this healthy pie!

Pumpkin-Macadamia Pie with Pecan Crust 
1¼ cups toasted pecan halves
1 cup almond flour
1 egg white
1 cup macadamia nuts
1¾ cups canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place pecans in the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely ground; add almond flour and egg white, and pulse to combine. Firmly press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, and prick all over with a fork. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until just golden brown; set aside to cool.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Place macadamia nuts in the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Add pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, honey, maple syrup, ½ cup water, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom and salt; process until completely smooth.
5. Pour filling into prebaked crust, and bake 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely before serving.
Note: Make pie 1 day in advance, if desired.

Spiced Sparkling Wine Poached Pears

8 to 10 Bartlett pears, peeled
1 bottle Asti Spumante or other
 sparkling white wine
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
Peel of 1 orange
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

1. Core pears, leaving pears intact.
2. Place pears, standing upright, in a large Dutch oven. Add wine, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peel; bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until pears are tender,
about 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Remove pears from pan; boil cooking liquid 5 minutes or until thickened. Let sauce cool slightly. Serve sauce over pears. Garnish with mint, if desired.

I can't wait to try this for supper tonight!  I have only had a bite of Mr.'s first test pie and it was yummy!  I'm most excited about the Poached Pears!  My house smelled soooo good when they were cooking last night!

We were excited to share our news on Great Day Live with the rest of the world this morning.  We have a Paleo Baby coming in May.  If you haven't seen our announcement video yet, check it out here:

Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Overcoming infertility PCOS using a Paleo Lifestyle!

I've been quiet the last couple of months because everything I wanted to say I couldn't.  Our house has been rocked with a huge suprise that we'll get to meet in May 2015!  Watch our video here:

The first time I even thought about blogging was when I noticed my cycles had regulated after only a short time following a Paleo Lifestyle.  Mr. and I have been so blessed by our new lifestyle and the health that we have gained from it.  We learned that I was expecting in the middle of September.  I'm finally in my second trimester and so feel comfortable putting our story out there to the world.

If only I had known throughout the years of infertility before and after our twin boys that "Food is a Drug," I might have never have experienced all the stress, anxiety, and cost that comes with infertility.  I am not suggesting that Paleo is 100% effective for every Infertility issue or even that it is 100% for every person that suffers from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  I do know that when I was suffering through infertility that I would try anything and everything that was suggested to me.  When we conceived our almost 10 year old twin boys I was on a diet that was leaning towards paleo but still included dairy and a small amount of artificial sweeteners.  Although I had cycles they were forced with medications.  

One of the biggest surpises and health benefits for me has been regulating my cycles.  There have been a couple times during the last year that I would have longer cycles, etc. but I did go from having cycles 3 or 4 times a year to 30-35 day cycles.  Everytime I would start I would text my paleo mentor to tell her that I started again.  She warned that I may get pregnant and I scoffed saying that just because I was having a cycle didn't mean I was ovulating.  Nevermind that fact that she's an OBGYN and probably knew better than me!

Because I want to help give others hope I wrote a letter to my prior Reproductive Endocronologist.  It's someone I respect and admire very much.  He's the kind of doctor that if he had told me to get pregnant I would have to pull out all my eyelashes one by one I would have done it.  I trust him like no other physician I've ever been to and I hope he can use my experience to help others.  Here's the bulk of the letter I sent to him:

Dr. J,

I wanted to write you this letter to share with you our journey.  I write this to you humbly and with deep gratitude and appreciation.  I often refer friends, family and even strangers to you when I hear of struggles with infertility.  I’ll never forget the first time we met.  You simply looked at the blood work and the file that my OB/GYN office at the time had forwarded to you.  You circled two or three numbers and diagnosed me with PCOS.  I appreciated your confidence in helping me!  I loved the atmosphere at your south side office.

I followed your plan to a T.  I came back 3 months later 28 lbs lighter and was nervous that I didn’t hit the 30 lb mark but you were ecstatic for me.  Two rounds of Clomid and HCG and I was pregnant with twins.  During this time however I never cycled on my own. 

A few years after the boys were born we came back again hoping to repeat the results.  Unfortunately this time we weren’t so lucky.  Mike and I then began searching out alternative ways to grow our family.  We began looking at adoption, became foster parents with the hope of adoptions, and ultimately decided through prayer that our family of 4 was complete.

In August of 2013, Mike and I were gently encouraged by friends to change our sedentary and over-indulgent lifestyle.  We took a 30 day Paleo/Crossfit challenge.  At first I was very hesitant because I didn’t feel prepared mentally or physically.  Within 30 days I noticed major changes in my energy level and my face that had adult acne completely cleared up. I decided to extend my personal challenge to 90 days.  Within that 90 days I saw physical improvements in weight loss, blood work, but most importantly I had cycled twice on my own. 

I decided to stay the course and over the year Mike and I had lost a combined 175 lbs!  I had maintained having cycles throughout the remainder of the journey.  I felt like there was one or two major differences between the plan I was following at your suggestion and Paleo.   Dairy and artificial sweeteners.  I really feel that giving up dairy was the ultimate reason why I started cycling on my own.  I have never felt better!

In September we also received the shock of our lives.  We will welcome a new addition to our family!  I am due May 2015 with an unexpected blessing.  Although Mike and I are in shock after years of infertility we know that we are healthier now than we have ever been and we are thankful for our Paleo Lifestyle.

I know you are a PCOS expert!  I wanted to share my experience with you in the hopes that it can help others!  If I can help in any way, please let me know!  Thank you for all that you do to help families grow!


As I look back on the last 15 months of our Paleo/Crossfit journey, I am amazed at the opportunities we've had to share our story.  Tomorrow Mr. and I head back to Louisville to share on air how we are preparing for a Paleo Thanksgiving.  We have been so blessed by this lifestyle physically and emotionally!  

At the end of the day we were quite shocked to learn that we were expecting but we've slowly been digesting what a true blessing we're about to experience and we are definitely calling this our Paleo baby!

Our first look at our Paleo Baby on 10-21-14

I always ended my post with Dr. Sam's "Food is a Drug" line!  I've never believed in the power of food that you consume more than I do now!  Food is a Drug #Paleo

Monday, November 3, 2014

Paleo Recharged

I just want to apologize for not keeping up with my blog lately.  I've not gone anywhere.  Still trying my best to stay Paleo.  Still using emeals to guide us on our journey.  That's not to say I don't need a Paleo recharge because I really do!  Mr. and I need to do a 30 day strict challenge to get ourselves back in line.  We've noticed our meals are spot on but our snacking is slipping when it comes to Paleo.

I will start posting again often!  I'll also start sharing my meals online every evening via FB and also giving recaps here especially when I've found something I think is worthy of sharing. movements has been way down too!  It's time to turn that switch back on and relieve some of this stress built up.  I'm a happier person after I've worked out...but its a push now to get back in the habit.

Setting some new goals with these criteria:
1. Paleo Eating Habits
2. Running
3. Crossfit
4. Weight Control

I've been feeling puny...but today feel better!  Time to get back to work!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Paleo Challenge Complete!

Popping in after a long hiatus!  I do apologize for my long break.  Kick off of programming at my job is a difficult transition for me.  It makes it hard to balance all that life is expecting of me and I got off track with my blogging.  Plus after being in front of a computer screen most of the day the last thing I wanted to do in the evenings or mornings was sit in front of my computer screen at home!

Now that things are kicked off at my job and the challenge is completed...I'm happy to report that my Paleo partner and I came in second place for the challenge.  Neither of us had any cheats BUT there was one meeting that I wasn't able to attend because of work...and those 5 points got us.

I'm super proud though of our persistance!  My Paleo Partner was a great support for me when I really just wanted a glass of wine after work.  She would vow me to stay true to the challenge!

This past weekend I ran my second 5K with my oldest twin G-money.  He did awesome for his first time out.  I was pleased that my time and pace was so much better than my first 5K.  Of women in my age group I ranked 15/77...not too shabby at all!

The weekend prior Mr. and I headed out of town to be Godparents.  We had a 14 hour drive one way and were determined to continue down our Paleo path even on the road.  We packed great yummy snacks and meals for the road.  This is how we survived:

I'll be back sooner rather than later...but until me when I say Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 8/30 Day Paleo Challenge!

After an extra long weekend I was really hoping I was going to be able to get out of bed and to the gym on Monday morning.  It wasn't pretty but I managed!  I was glad I went too!  I have a love/hate relationship with my alarm going off at 5:05 a.m.  I am not a morning person so my first instinct is to hit snooze or turn off my alarm all together.  I've noticed lately that if I turn on the bathroom light (where my phone is located), I have a great chance of staying awake.  The entire time I walk from my bed to the bathroom I have an inner struggle going on about what I am going to do.  This morning I turned on the light!

What I love about 5:30 a.m. workout is that you get them done and out of the way.  Our night tonight is jam packed of kid activities; piano lessons, football, and PTO meeting.  Getting my workout in first thing allows me to be active and shuttle my active kids.  A year ago I would add that 5:30 a.m. allowed me to run in the dark and was the least attended class but overtime our 5:30 a.m. squad has grown and there are several of us who regularly workout at that time slot.  I must also add that 5:30 a.m. is easier to do in the spring/summer/fall than it is in the winter.  Winter at 5:30 a.m. is horrible!

I refueled with breakfast when I came home and remembered to take my vitamins!

I packed turkey and peppers for a morning snack:

When I went home for lunch I worked on more leftovers and prepped for dinner:

A good afternoon snack to get me through to dinner:

I was excited to make this recipe for dinner.  I roasted my spaghetti squash the night before because I knew our Monday was jam packed with activities.  A year ago the boys rebelled against spaghetti with spaghetti squash for dinner.  I made this a couple more times and added the spaghetti squash to the meat sauce and gave them a little bit of noodles.  This time I only served it with the spaghetti squash mixed into the sauce and they ate it all!  I love a good progress story when it comes to kids eating paleo!

Our challenge this week for the 30 Day Paleo Challenge was to share a meal uninterrupted by electronics with your family.  I'm proud to share this picture as it is 98% of the time possible for our family to share a meal together.  I hope G & E appreciate family dinner time as they grow and have families of their own.

This dessert was at the end of a long tired day and was inspired by a coach at my gym.  She had mentioned it to me last week and I had purchased some apples but hadn't thrown it together yet.  Last night after the kiddos went to bed, I whipped this up for Mr. and I.

Started with 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil in a skillet.  I got the pan and oil warm and threw in a handful (1/4 cup) of pecans.  I toasted them until their was a real nutty aroma and added to sliced apples and sprinkled cinammon over all to taste.  I put a lid on the skillet and let it simmer for a bit.  When the apples were about 1/2 way cooked I added unsweetened coconut flakes and toasted them as well.  This turned out warm and comforting....and I thought to myself, "This would be perfect over a bowl full of vanilla ice cream!"  But I'm making a concious choose about my future and my goals and decided that I didn't want the ice cream in the bowl that bad!  Make good food choices because Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 6 &7/30 day Paleo Challenge!

It's Monday and I am happy to be back to work today so I could relax!  I know that sounds crazy but this weekend was an unexpected whirl wind.

Friday is typically my "day off" from work.  After getting the boys off to school I came home and made a big breakfast because I was heading out for a run.

I logged 3 miles on Friday morning and got extra points for my team for our Paleo Challenge.  It was a humid/hot morning but it felt good to get through without walking!

By the time lunch rolled around I was really hungry and made a pretty big lunch of leftovers:

Mr. and I had Friday night to ourselves!  Think we went someplace fun?  Because of the 30 Day challenge I couldn't think of a fun date that wouldn't tempt me food wise.  If you have ideas for future free nights please send me a message!  Restaurant=out; we don't have any really good healthy restaurants close by.  Bar=out; no alocohol for 30 days!  Bowling=out; to tempted by smells of food stand.  Movie=out; I {heart} popcorn!  So we opted for dinner at home and headed to our local high school football game.  Romantic aren't we ;)
Paleo Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Casserole

Saturday morning I headed to the 'box' with Mr. and we did the Crossfit Lite class.  It was a family affair as my parents were there and a huge kuddos to my sister for completing her first WOD post baby!

After our workout Mr. and I tagged teamed breakfast prep.  I love weekend breakfast's because we make sweet potato hash browns.  Those are my favorite!

Lunch was a great mixture of things we had left on hand from the week!  It was so yummy!

I had prepped most of our dinner earlier in the day.  Hawaiin Pizza Salad is one of our favorites and we hadn't had it in a long time!  It was just the boys and I for dinner as Mr. had evening plans with the guys!  The boys gobbled this up too!

After dinner and clean up the boys and I settled in to watch a movie as a storm was getting ready to roll through and that's when our evening drastically changed.  The pictures I had taken that evening were too dark so I will share these with your from the next morning.

When the tree landed it pulled the wires out of our house and started smoking.  Without Mr. at home I was a little bit panicked as smoke and sparks were seen behind our house and at the pole.  Luckily, with the help of Mr. and my dad we were able to get the electric company to the house pretty quickly.  The bad news was that we wouldn't have power that evening.

My grandmother recently purchased a new home and is slowly moving into it.  Lucky for us we were able to pack up a few essentials and head there for the night so we would at least have air conditioning.  Mr. had promised the boys he would take them squirrel hunting the next morning and so here is a quick shot of them before they headed out the door Sunday morning.

My parents live a couple of houses down from the house we stayed in and my dad called when he had breakfast ready so I could stay on track!  My dad was rocking the parent gene this weekend!

After breakfast he and I headed to my house with a chain saw to begin working on this:

Mr. and the boys came soon after and neighborhood boys came to help as well!  We got it all cut down and cleaned up within about 2 hours.  Team work!

I have to admit that I don't do well with curve balls.  This was definitely one of them.  Luckily I had plenty of Paleo food leftover in the refrigerator so after the tree was done we packed up what we had and headed back to my grandma's new house to break in her new appliances.  No one went hungry ;)

It had been a long day already but we still didn't have electricity to Mr. and my dad went back to our house to start working on it.  The boys were scheduled to practice ball that afternoon and because of the heat and their lack of sleep from the storm, I had them lay down for "quiet time" aka a nap.  

By the time we got back from ball our electric was restored PTL!  Huge thanks to everyone who lended a hand!

My first 5K is next weekend and even though I was exhausted I knew I needed to get a run in.  Grant and I opted to run to my parents house for dinner (1.5 miles).  We were a sticky hot mess when we got there but I was so proud of him he ran all the way!  My mom and dad are in the midst of this Paleo Challenge too and she has been 100% supporter of our Paleo lifestyle.  So like every Sunday for the past 1 year plus we had another fantastic Paleo meal!  

Paleo tortillas are a life saver!  They make me feel normal. After dinner Mr. said that if a person didn't know they were eating a Paleo Meal that he didn't think they would be able to tell a difference.  I'm blessed to have such a wonderful supportive family...Period!

So after this crazy feels normal and less stressful to be back at work during one of my busier times of year.  I feel a little brain dead today but was able to get my workout in this morning and started on Day 8 of Paleo 30 Day Challenge!  Food is a Drug #Paleo!