OBSESSED!!!!

I’ve been told (a lot) that i’m obsessed with food.  I love food!!!!  What’s not to love?  When I went to school for photography I focused mostly on food photography.  I think about food a lot.  And why shouldn’t I?  Why should it be a bad thing?  Without food we’d all die.

And then tonight, while ricing my cauliflower for some cauliflower risotto, I realized that if I didn’t obsess about food the way I do, I never would have learned as much as I have.  I’d still be eating grains and GMOs.  I’d probably believe all the hype about fat that’s been spoon fed to us for years.  I’d be afraid to eat good, healthy fat like eggs, meats and coconut oil.  I’d probably be even fatter, yet starving from the inside.

I feel lucky that even though I grew up on 1% milk, at least I ate REAL butter.  I thanked my mom today for butter.  At a time when people were too scared to eat butter, my mom kept the butter industry going.  I think only Paula Deen loves the creamy white stuff more than my family!  And I wish I could tell Paula that she can keep eating her butter… it’s the sugar and grains that are contributing to her diabetes   Too many uninformed people focus on the good, healthy fat and criticize her cooking when it’s really those “healthy” whole grains they need to reevaluate.  Eat the butter… skip the bread.

Anyway, I do not believe that all obsessions are a bad thing.  I am obsessed with food.  With knowing where it came from, what it does to our bodies, how our bodies heal themselves with food… why in the world is that bad?  I’m obsessed with nutrition labels.  On the rare occasions that I buy food in a box, I really study it.  I want to know what’s in it.  If there is soy, canola, corn, safflower, sunflower,or  cottonseed oil… I put it back.  If it has soy of any kind I generally put it back, especially if it’s not organic.

I get asked a lot about what I eat and how I shop.  It’s easy.  I buy fresh produce.  Organic when it’s available.  I will NOT buy anything non-organic that can be GMO like zucchini, corn, anything soy, mangoes or sprouts.  Then I head to the organic meat department and I try to only buy grass fed, but sometimes I settle for just organic.  Last stop is dairy.  I get my grass fed butter and local grass fed, minimally processed Ronnybrook milk.  Sometimes I pick up some organic whole milk yogurt for my daughter.  And that’s it!!!!  So simple.

I wake up in the morning and generally have some high fat bulletproof coffee with fatty bacon and eggs.  Then I usually don’t get hungry again until late afternoon when I have a salad smothered in healthy fat.  As a snack, I made my own raw organic nut bars that consist of no more than 3 ingredients.  Nuts, dates, and either cinnamon or coconut… depending on what nut I use.  For dinner… well, tonight my husband is cooking up some cauliflower risotto (he can’t figure out how to rice it though), chicken pieces (thighs and breasts), and maybe sweet potatoes, but I may save those for tomorrow.  As a late snack, I sometimes have butter, Chimay butter, with a spoon.  Salty and fatty and better for you than potato chips!  But lately i’ve been munching on some dehydrated orange slices.  And today I picked up some grapefruits to dehydrate.  My favorite!!!!

I only obsess one day at a time.  I don’t even think about meals until I wake up.  I have a long list of foods I’d like to try, like bone marrow and a long list of foods I’d like to try to make myself, like bacon butter and bone broth.  I used to watch a lot of Food Network, but now it just bothers me watching people eat GMOs and other garbage and fake foods.  I could never work at a grocery store because I probably wouldn’t let anyone buy anything.  It kills me when I see other people buying “health” foods.

Those are my thoughts for today.  What do you think?

 

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What I Ate Today

When I tell people i’m Paleo, I get a lot of funny looks and questions.  Once i’m done explaining the concept of the “diet”, the next question is usually “But what do you eat?”  So, I decided to make part of this blog all about what it is that I eat.  I have a background in photography and I LOVE taking pics of food.  Most pics I take for this section will be on my cell phone though, which I think takes some pretty darn good pics.  I’m not ready to take that next step in blogging yet.  I have all the equipment  but not all the time.  I envy bloggers with foodporn photographs on every post.  Maybe someday.

So, a typical breakfast for me is bacon and eggs.  3 slices of uncured Applegate bacon and 2 pastured eggs.  I did not have that today though.  I just made myself some bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter and coconut oil) and ran out to meet my aunt.  The fat from the butter and oil keept me very satisfied, so I wasn’t all that hungry.

By the time I got home, did dishes, put away groceries… it was close to 2pm.  I was overdramatically famished!  Instead of shoveling everything I had in my fridge into my mouth I took a deep breath and reminded myself how awesome I was for buying organic broccoli sprouts.  So I made myself a nice salad with organic romaine, organic tomatoes, local organic pork tenderloin I had leftover from last night’s dinner and topped it with some walnut oil and sea salt.

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I was so hungry that this is actually my second plate.  I ate the first one too fast to remember taking a picture.

Around 5pm I realized I could use a snack since I didn’t plan an early dinner.  I had made these “Lara Bars” the other day that were just amazing, so I decided to make them again.  After overheating my Vitamix with the mixture, I threw it all in my food processer.  I’m addicted to these things.  Last time I formed bars out of them with my sushi mold.  This time I just rolled them up.

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To make these I just thew in

2 cups of organic raw chashews

2 cups dates

2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)

For dinner, my husband made almond flour crusted chicken, asparagus, and a mushroom sauce using organic chicken stock and arrowroot.  Amazing!

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And right now i’m being disgusting and sitting on the couch, blogging, and eating some butter with one of my daughters spoons.  It’s grass fed Chimay butter… THE BEST butter EVER!!!!!!

So this is a pretty standard day in my life.  I will be doing this again because I really enjoy sharing my food and photos.  Hope you enjoy!

What do you eat on a typical day?

Deodorant

Deodorant.  It’s a much talked about topic if you have adapted an all natural lifestyle and don’t want to smell like sweaty gym sox.  You are making a great decision by avoiding aluminum, artificial ingredients and chemicals, but what’s the best option?

I wish I could answer this question.  I have tried MANY of the all natural varieties out there.  The bad ones just don’t work.  Within hours of showering and applying, I stink… Bad!  Like I haven’t showered in months.  Not exactly what I’m going for when promoting myself as a health coach.  For some reason, no one trusts a health coach that smells like homeless.

I have also come across some that do work… and well.  BUT, i’m too sensitive for them.  I’ve made my own using a simple formula of baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot powder and a few drops of tea tree essential oil.  It works great, but it literally burned my skin off.  NO BUENO!   My most recent favorite brand is Primal Pit Paste.  I used it for 2 full weeks before it started to bother me, so it’s pretty good for sensitive skin, but then it started to burn.  My husband still uses it.  I had ordered the Patchouli scent so we could both use it.  I had a hard enough time convincing him to even try it, I don’t think I would have had much success if I had ordered a “girly” scent.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for me.  I’ve tried everything there is out there.  Right now I have a light dusting of baking soda on, which oddly enough, works very well and doesn’t irritate me as much as using baking soda with other ingredients.

But here’s a tip: if you try an all natural variety and it irritates you, use it as a foot cream.  Especially a mixture of coconut oil / baking soda / tea tree oil.  It’s wonderful!  The coconut oil really moisturizes while the baking soda absorbs any odors.  And tea tree prevents bacteria.  It’s a win/win/win for your feet!

What do you use?  Have you tried an all natural deodorant before?  Did it work?

Kale? YUCK!

Kale.  Ever try it?  Disgusting, isn’t it?  I’ve tried it baked in the oven to make “chips”, in smoothies, and by itself.  It’s gross.  It gets stuck in your teeth and it’s hard to swallow.

I know it’s good for you, It’s in the cabbage family, and it’s very high in vitamins A, B6, C and K. And it’s high in iron. But I just don’t like it.  Sorry kale.

But then my entire world was rocked!!!!

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One day I was walking through the new “healthy” section of my local grocery store and on the very bottom shelf I saw a nice, clear package with leafy green things inside.  Kale.  Raw kale.  Brads Raw Leafy Kale.  With vegan cheese?  What in the name of all that is holy is vegan cheese?  Well, this is apparently made with cashews.  I have heard about cashew cheese since changing my diet to a more primal one, but we do still eat dairy and I’ve never tried cashew cheese.  Anyway…

I was very intrigued.  My husband told me I was insane for spending over $7 on a small box of my most hated leafy vegetable.  But I bought a box of the “Naked” ones, came home, and tried it.  10 minutes later, I had finished the entire box!  There’s quite a bit in here too.  (I’m munching on some now).  I felt like I had just eaten something naughty, but instead it was as if I had eaten a big salad.

This stuff isn’t limp and floppy like raw kale.  It’s dehydrated at a low temperature to achieve a wonderful crispy texture, while still holding all of it’s super powers.  I will never try to make kale chips again, unless I try it in my dehydrator.

I have tried EVERY flavor Brad’s has to offer.  The one I expected to hate has become my second favorite… their “Pina-Kale-Ada”.  Something about sweet pineapple, banana an coconut on a kale leaf just didn’t sit right with me.  I carefully opened the package and tried one, expecting to want to spit it out.  Once again… 10 minutes later… empty container with no regrets!  The “Naked” is still my favorite, but they’re all REALLY good!!!!  And now I see they are coming out with Onion Rings!  OMG I will have to get my hands on some of those!!!!!  I hope my store carries it.  I’m not patient enough to wait for shipping.

Since my first container, I have gone back to buy at least 5 more, and I just got a box of another 5 I ordered online.  I think i’m addicted!  But hey, there are worse things I could be addicted to.

How Being Overweight Helped Me Get Healthy

If I were a naturally thin person, would I have ever found my way to living healthy?  I’d like to think so, but I just don’t know.

I have been overweight almost my whole life.  I have been on diet after diet after diet.  Weight Watchers, Atkins, Slim Fast, Sadkhin, home delivery diets, diets where you ate nothing but 7 bananas a day… you name it, I tried it!  I’ve counted points, calories and carbs… NOTHING worked!  I was beyond frustrated!

Right before New Years I decided to look more into my “healthy” diet.  Because I was eating what I believed to be healthy foods.  I got them all at a health food store.  Shouldn’t they be healthy?  I wasn’t going over my points either.  But I wasn’t losing weight.

I found a book called “Never Be Fat Again”.  That led me on a whole food journey.  I eventually adopted a Paleo lifestyle after reading “The Paleo Solution” where I gave up sugar, wheat and grains and I have never felt better!  Not to mention processed foods and GMOs!  For breakfast, I have bulletproof coffee (coffee with grass fed butter and organic virgin coconut oil) organic, uncured bacon and pastured eggs.  I’ve never felt less restricted.  I have more energy, feel less stressed, and I don’t get those pesky sugar cravings.  My skin is completely clear and glowing.  I’m much more regular, and I’m soooo much happier!  My “dark cloud” that I used to feel followed me is now gone.  I feel fantastic.  And the heel spur that had me limping terribly is finally starting to go away.

People think i’m crazy for giving all that up.  They don’t believe they can do it.  But I don’t miss it much, if at all.  And i’ve never felt better!  And even more convincing…. i’m losing weight!!!!  In 6 weeks I’ve lost 14 pounds!  Without counting, weighing, or feeling guilty about what i’ve eaten.

I refused to weigh myself when we started on New Years Day.  It was almost a full month before I would weigh myself.  I just didn’t want to face the scale.  But I noticed pretty quickly that my clothes were fitting so much better.  And I have to admit, the ONLY exercise I’ve gotten in is just housework and grocery shopping.

My goal right now is to educate others about health.  Next month I will be starting my journey to become a Health Coach in the Dr. Sears LEAN program.  I’m hoping to educate others on reading nutrition labels, how to avoid GMOs, and why our bodies need to eat whole foods.  Let me help you get healthy.