Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Days 37 and Beyond: Balance

No fucking "I told you so's".

Not a one.

I'm seeking balance, and in doing so, ditching my one hundred day plan to graze like a caveman until 2013.  Because let's be honest, there's nothing balanced about a diet free of lentils.  Not in my opinion. 

As I write this I hear the voices of everyone I know whispering their particular nutritional philosophies in my ear.

"I'm glad you're stopping" some will say.  
"There's no way you can live without bread".
"It's bad for the earth, all of that meat-eating.  Mother Earth thanks you".  
"How are you going to survive the holidays?  You know you're just going to go back to your old ways...".
"The FDA says we need dairy, you know, because of osteoporosis and stuff".
"Classic Taylor.  A big, fat quitter".

Okay, maybe that last quote comes directly from my own self-conscious, sub-conscious brain.  The point is, everyone I know has had an opinion about this Paleo thing one way or the other.  I have some friends that think I'm destined for heart failure because the lifestyle is meat-centric while other friends have had their fingers crossed for me these last few weeks hoping this will be the miracle cure a sugar-addicted, plus-sized depressive like me needs. (I probably shouldn't refer to myself as a depressive because my mom will worry.  Sorry mom.  No need to worry, but yeah, I get the sadness on occasion.)  

Maybe it's the sugar-addict talking, but I'm through with being extreme.  I think I often mistake my situation as extreme, and therefore believe that the only way to fix myself (as if I were broken) is to create an extreme action.  But those who know me well know I've been here before, and they know my story is a cyclical one.  I, having given up on myself, look in the mirror, see Jabba the Hut, decide I need to change right now, latch on to a wild idea, get disappointed because said wild idea is not the magic bullet I was hoping for, and then, with a broken spirit, give up on myself.  Days later I, having given up on myself, look in the mirror, see Jabba the Hut, decide I need to change right now...you get the idea.  

Well as a wise man once said, the only way to break a cycle is to break the cycle.  No?  Is that not a real quote?  C'mon somebody must have said that at some point, right?  Dr. Drew...

Where were we?  Oh, yes!  Breaking the cycle.  Let's do it!  Let's focus on what we have instead of what we don't have.  Sure, I'll never be a Bond Girl or one of Maxim's Top 100.  Truth is, I really don't care about that shit.  I would, however, like to wear a sundress in the summer without feeling embarassed. I'd  like to have have arms strong enough to carry my child* without breaking a sweat.  And I'd like to know that my legacy will not have anything to do with my weight.  I don't want to be known as a woman who never loved her body because she was too busy comparing herself to others.  And I'm ashamed to say that for the last twenty years or so, that's all I've done.  I've buried my accomplishments under the comparisons of others, and I've fallen short every time.  

Now, I'm no fool.  I know that one doesn't diet and binge and diet and binge from the age of nine to thirty-two and then just suddenly wake up one day, write a compelling post at a short-lived blog and then stop.  I know the road ahead is rocky - someone say Rocky Road? - and I know that I'll need your help, friends.  One way you can help is by posting a comment below full of love and light and empty of disappointment and "I told you so's".  (I really fucking hate the "I told you so's".)  Another way you can help is by recommending a good therapist.  That's a joke.  Kind of.

Alright homies, the end is here.  Thanks for reading!  
May your life be happy and balanced...

*No, I'm not pregnant.  Stop asking.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Days 30-36: T Time

I've decided to take a blog break for a week.  I'm still using Paleo Power to survive the holiday season, but I'm also desperately trying to balance teaching, creative writing, working out and homemade Halloween costume making.  So I'm giving myself the gift of doing less by scratching something off my list.  And that thing, for now, is blogging.

Talk to you in a few...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 29: Soupy Sundays

Last Sunday I made a giant pot of puréed veggie soup and added shredded rotisserie chicken breast.  It was delicious, cost-effective, Paleo and made packing a healthy lunch for myself as easy as filling up an old gelato jar with soup and popping it in the fridge.  This Sunday I made another soup, and I plan on making Sundays my soup making day throughout all of fall and winter... Or at least until I get insanely bored of soup.

Tonite's soup: Curried Pumpkin with Bacon Jam!  The soup itself is yummy, but the bacon compote stuff is out of this world redunkulous.  I doubled the recipe for the soup so that I have enough to get me through the work week, subbed half the onion for fennel (I'm heavily into fennel these days) and used half pumpkin and half butternut squash because my local Co-Op was all out of plain pumpkin.  Nom nom!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 28: Successful Saturdays!

Scale Related Success: - 2.0 lbs.

(Didn't make in into the '100's' like I hoped I would, but I'm pleased with this loss, considering the foodie fun I had Tuesday night.

Non-Scale Related Success: 

Still truckin'.

Still hopeful.

Still Paleo.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 27: Foodie Fridays!

If there's one thing I've learned about myself since the introduction of Foodie Fridays it's this: I eat out at least once every week, and I never have a camera on me when I need one... wait, is that two things?

Saturday: Potatoes, garlic and kale under an egg (pre-dousing of Tapatio)

Sunday: Steak with squash dressed in olive oil and mustard.  (I'm trying to avoid straight-up vinegar because of the sulfites).

Monday: Dinner at Backstage with the Roadrunners (my husband's softball team) after a fantastic victory! I had a steak salad with avocado.

Tuesday: You remember Tuesday.  It was the night my resolve went to shit and I ate everything I could possibly get my hands on at my sister-in-law's birthday party.  Worth it?  Kind of.  It wasn't all
delicious, but it sure was nice to break the rules.

Wednesday: Pork chop with apples sauteed in bacon fat, maple syrup and cinnamon.  Yes, it was a good as it sounds, that is, if it sounds good to you. Served with spinach and yam puree. 

Thursday: I went on strike from cooking.  Really, I wasn't that hungry.  So I enjoyed a latte made with decaf espresso, cinnamon, honey and protein-enriched unsweetened almond milk.  

Friday: Another night when cooking just didn't happen, but instead of skipping a meal I'm forcing myself to down two glasses (16 oz) of protein-enriched unsweetened almond milk.  At 5 grams of protein per serving, it's better than going to bed on an empty stomach, or worse, going to bed on a stomach filled with junk food.  That said, no lectures please.  I know I can do better.  And yes, mom, I know that almond milk is not an acceptable dinner.  
I promise to eat my veggies tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 26: Stats!

Hi friends! Check out my Day 26 stats at the bottom of the page to see how the first twenty-five days of Paleo suited me...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 25: First Quarter!

Before I confess last night's sins, let's take a little time to recognize that it's day 25!  Twenty-five days of significantly healthier eating than twenty-five days ago.  Without committing to Paleo these last four weeks I would have most likely been living on pumpkin lattes and cookies the size of my face.  Hooray for change!

Now, let's talk about the inevitable - the bumps in the road.  They happen.  They're apart of the learning curve. I have had a lot of nights out of the last few weeks, and I'd stayed remarkably strong, that is until I went to my sister-in-law's birthday last night.  I wasn't planning on veering off track at all, in fact, I was blindsided.  My mistake was going in without a plan.  There was a plethora of party foods, and though I started out smart, snacking on grapes and drinking water, by the end of the night I had:

  • Sweet Thai Chili Kettle Chips (1/2c.)
  • Pita and Hummus (1 wedge, 1 tbsp.)
  • Cheese and Crackers (a lot, there was some damn fine cheese there)
  • Peanut Butter M&M (1)
  • And last but not least, Cupcake (1)

On a positive note, I stuck with water the entire night (it was the least I could do for myself).  

As Adam and I were driving home from the shindig, I realized that all I really wanted was the cupcake - it had rainbow sprinkles, for crying out loud.  How could my inner six-year-old resist?  If I was a smart cookie (mmm...cookies...) I would have made a plan for the cupcake.  I would have admitted my "need" for it and made a pact with myself to drink water, eat grapes and then, with pride for accomplishing my goal, enjoyed the cupcake. I also should've brought healthy Paleo snacks to nosh on like olives, nuts and fruity, sparkling water! 

Lesson learned.  Forward march!

Day 24: Off the wagon...

I fell, but not too hard.

Details to come.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 23: On the Cusp

I'm a mere two pounds away from being in the "100's".  I've been there before.  In fact, over the last five years I've cha-cha'd my way between the 100's and the 200's a half a dozen times.  And each time I made it back to "One-derland" I declared that I will never go back into the 200's ever again in my entire life so help me God.  And yet, here I am, working my ass off (literally) to get back.  But this time - ooh, this time it's for real.  I'm five feet tall, and have no business being anywhere near two hundred pounds.  So there.

I just wanted to keep you posted in anticipation, because it's coming.  My goal is to get there by Saturday.  And you'll be the first to know if - no - when I do!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 22: Food for Thought


Day 21: Successful Saturdays!

Scale Related Success: + 0.6 lbs. Boo!

Non-Scale Related Success:  Still here.

I totally forgot to post yesterday, probably because I don't feel like I have anything to say regarding success these days.  The scale is at a standstill, and I continue to battle a handful of (mild) health concerns like lethargy, eczema and muscle cramps.  I guess the real success is that I'm still committed to finishing the hundred days, even though my inner Diet Demon is constantly telling me to throw in the towel and go to Lindora or Jenny Craig to get this damn weight off as fast as I can. Shut up, inner Diet Demon!  Slow and steady wins the race!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 20: Foodie Fridays!

Last Saturday I had dinner at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.  I didn't take any pics because the food was nothin' to write home about.  Baked chicken, tomato broth and potatoes for Paleo me, and all of the above plus garlic bread, apple turnovers and beer for everyone else I was with. Sans utensils, of course.

Sunday: Sweet potato, leek and fennel hash with an egg on top.  DEE-LISH!

The money shot.
Monday: After watching my hubby play softball with his buddies, we all went out for drinks and dinner at a local bar.  The boys had beer and fried stuff. I had water and a burger patty over a salad.  I looked like a stereotypical chick from an outdated Rom-Com.  So embarrassing.

Tuesday: Success!  Brocollini and tilapia seasoned with chili, cumin and salt topped with Trader Joe's Papaya Mango Salsa.  Affordable, scrumptious and easy-peasy.

Wednesday: Turkey Bolognese over kale.  It filled me up, but was a total snoozefest.

Thursday: Adam's favorite: Chicken with this honey chipotle sauce (with honey instead of maple syrup) served with roasted asparagus.  YUM!

Tonite we're going to The Magic Castle.  I'm going to swallow my resentment and order an overpriced dish (that I can make at home) consisting of lean protein and vegetables, because I'm committed to this wild ride.  While my friends order cocktails and spoon feed each other garlic whipped mashed potatoes and creme brulee, I will bitterly down water and try not to choke on the ice.

Good times.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 19: Magic Bullet Through the Heart

I'm embarassed to admit that I'm one of the millions of people that have been looking for a "magic bullet" to help me with my weight loss for years.  I've been a Weight Watcher (on and off) since I was eighteen.  Since then I've tried South Beach, Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type, SlimFast, and a plethora of other self-created diets that I've tried and failed at through the years.  I was hoping that I would look at Paleo differently, and that (because I'm so old and wise) I would be able to focus on the health benefits that aren't related to the scale, but I can't.

I'm obsessed with the fact that my weight loss has stopped and in fact, begun to reverse.  It's not because I'm vain and insistent that to be healthy and beautiful means I have to be a size six...okay, it's not entirely because I'm vain and insistent that to be healthy and beautiful means I have to be a size six.  The real and most important reason that I'm anxious to lose weight is so that I can begin to start trying.  As in, trying to get pregnant.  Yeah.  Kind of a big deal.

Tonight, after many tears I decided to push back my "start date" once again.  A year ago I thought that I would start this summer.  This year I said that I would start in January.  And now, my husband and I our setting our sites on June of next year. Luckily for me, I have a hubby who is patient and kind and wants me to be as happy and healthy as possible before I let a little one set up shop in my uterus. I'm incredibly disappointed at myself, but equally hopeful that my time will come.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 18: Something's Wrong

My eczema's back with a vengeance.  My weight is steadily floating up the scale.  I can't get through the night without waking up from a torturous Charlie Horse or two.  I'm fatigued and have lost my energy.  And when I ride my bike the measly one mile to and from my job I have to work ten times harder than usual to get the wheels rotating.  Worst of all are my eyes.  Suddenly I have the red, puffy, wrinkly eyes of a fifty-something who's been up for twenty-four hours straight staring at computer data.  They're dry and oh-so itchy.

If I were living on processed flours and sugars right now, than I would chalk up my ailments to a poor diet.  But I've been lean and green because of Paleo, and so naturally, I'm pissed.  My inner donut-demon is crying out "Why bother, just eat what you f%$&ing want!".

I've done a little research and narrowed it down to either a magnesium defeciency, a glucose deficiency, a sulfite allergy or hypothyroidism. Thanks Internet! For now I'm going to read my labels more carefully and get rid of sulfites from my diet, begin taking a magnesium supplement, enjoy more natural sugars from fruit and vegetables and increase my water intake.  If I don't notice a significant improvement in my health within the week, I'm going to see an allergist.

Man, taking care of yourself is hard work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 17: Sites I Love

These days I'm trying to spent less time drooling over pancakes and pie recipes on the Internet, and more time studying veggies and protein pics at Paleo websites.

For those of you who love looking at food, and are interested in Paleo eating, I believe there is no greater Paleo food and recipe site than Nom Nom Paleo.  The Food Lover's Kitchen is a very close second.

If you'd like a little Paleo-related weight loss inspiration, check out Holly Would if She Could. Holly has lost 100 pounds eating Paleo and doing Crossfit!

Want to know how mom and baby go Paleo: voila - Paleo Baby!


And if you're only reading this blog because you're a friend, and you really have no interest in Paleo, might I suggest my other favorite recipe sites: Joy the Baker, Smitten Kitchen, Food Porn Daily and Bun Boy Eats.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 16: Inner Child

I have an inner child.  She's six, and she runs this bitch.  Between you and me, she's kind of a brat.

She makes me take naps - a lot.  She doesn't take "we can't afford it" for an answer.  She is constantly hungry for sugar, particularly sugar in the form of vanilla cupcakes with baby pink buttercream and lavender colored sprinkles.  And when she can't get her hands on the perfect pink and purple birthday cupcake she cries for whatever else is the most festive and fattening thing around.  Like seasonal holiday cookies.  She's always in the mood for seasonal holiday cookies.

So when I bumped into these bad boys at Ralphs I had to take a photo, for my inner child.  You see, I know that these cookies are stale and lame.  I know that the frosting is hard and the batter is flavorless.  I know that I could make a batch at home with better ingredients for less money.  But my inner child doesn't know these things, and she doesn't care.  She just wants me to recognize their nostalgic beauty.  And so, I shall.

Are you happy little girl?

(She said no, and that she wants the purple bat.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 15: The Blues

Yesterday I mentioned that I'm starting to get the blues, the tired-of-eating-the-same-thing blues. Then, last night, I went to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament to celebrate my brother-in-law's twenty-eighth birthday, and I went from feeling bored to feeling bored and damn proud.

Because of Paleo, I didn't have to question whether or not I was going to fill and refill my medieval mug with soda, nor would I splurge on cocktails or wine.  Water for me, thanks.  I didn't have to try the garlic bread to see if it was good or not, I just needed to pass it to my hubby and let him delight in the extra piece of tomato soup sopping material.  Because of Paleo I got full on the chicken and the vegetable and completely ignored the apple turnover that was placed before me during the jousting round.  And when the evening was done, and the victorious night was crowned, I too felt victorious.  Victorious over crap!

Later that night as Adam and I exited the freeway headed toward our apartment I thought to myself, "I deserve a donut".  After all, I had been so "good".  And I knew (because I know my husband well) that all I had to do was say the word and we would have zipped over to our favorite 24 hour donut spot for a dose of whatever was the freshest.

Now, because I knew he would indulge me I kept mouth shut.  And then those blues began to set in again.  To make matters worse, the weight loss honeymoon is over.  My body has gotten used to my new way of eating and is no longer shocked and shedding water, causing the scale to go down a little everyday.  It's all hard work and metabolism for here on in.  The worst part about my blues is that I'm beginning to get that 'why bother' feeling.  That 'throw in the towel' feeling.  That 'have the damn donut' feeling.  And it's only Day 15!  It's the Paleo Blues!

Bluesy guitar solo, play me out.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 14: Successful Saturdays!

Scale Related Success:


Non-Scale Related Success:

Jeans are looser.

My spirits are remarkably high, in spite of being on the rag.  Too much information?  Come on, you know me.  No such thing.

The acne that appeared in the first week of cutting all non-Paleo foods (grains, beans, dairy, sugar) is finally disappearing.

And even though I was home sick two days this week, I fought the urge to live on toast and honey drenched tea like I usually do when I'm sick. Instead I slept a lot and ate fresh fruit.  I'm no longer sick, and so proud of myself for staying on track.  The funny thing is, it was incredibly easy. I think I'm past the frightening "what am I going to eat?" first stage of Paleo and I'm now on the not-so-scary, but equally concerning "I'm tired of eating the same things" second stage of Paleo. More on that tomorrow...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Days 11,12 & 13: Sick, Sicker & Foodie Fridays!

On Wednesday I started to get sick, but I tried my best to convince myself it was seasonal allergies, even though the tickle in the back of my throat told me otherwise.  By Wednesday night around midnight it was official, so I've been home, sleeping and not blogging ever since.

Today however, I'm on the up-swing - just in time for Foodie Fridays!

Saturday: Organic Grass Fed Steak from the Santa Monica Co-Op ($6 - best deal in town!) with roasted asparagus and colorful carrots.  This meal cost about $10 a serving, and is a great alternative to eating out.  Good food, fancy feeling, no breaking the bank, no breaking the rules.

Sunday: Chicken coated with shredded coconut and ground almonds and mixed greens.

Monday: I was so hungry that I forgot to take a pic of this meal! Chili Roasted Shrimp on mixed greens with guacamole and salsa.

Tuesday: It happened again!  Only bites away from being done did I remember to grab the camera.  (It was) beef bolognese over butternut squash.  A fan favorite this time of year.  

Wednesday: Homemade beef and veggie chili with plantain chips and guacamole.
Thursday: Too sick to eat, believe it or not.

Friday: My appetite is back.  Brussel sprouts with Paleo Chicken Paillard (chicken beaten flat and coated with coconut flour).  Next time I'll coat it with almond flour, I feel like it works better.  The recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 10: Sick o' Salads

I've got to find some new recipes, particularly for lunch.  It's tricky because I ride my bike to work, I'm on a budget and I'm Paleo.  Those three things limit my culinary experimentation a great deal.

For example, I can't - or won't - order food to be delivered to my work, or go to a local restaurant or grocery store for lunch because I'm trying to save money.  I can't - or won't - pack anything in my bag that's too heavy or bulky like big pieces of Tupperware filled with a variety of ingredients because I ride my bike to and from work.  I travel light, which is why one small container of salad made the night before has served me well in the last ten days.  And I can't - or won't - pack something cheap and small (like I used to do) like an Amy's Frozen Burrito or a cup of dehydrated black bean soup because I'm on Paleo.  

What's a girl who likes to eat well but wants to be healthy to do?

Get a car?

Have an affair with a sugar daddy?

Stop the Paleo Challenge?

NEVER!  Although, I might get a car again one day. Until then, I'll continue to tote my little Paleo salad to work everyday on my bike, waiting for lunch-spiration.

Any ideas?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 9: Drama In All The Right Places

Tonite I began the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's Professional Screenwriting Program. The program meets two nights a week for nine months, and is sure to be full of scary unknowns. And now that I know I'll be Paleo for at least the first three months of it, one of the unknowns I can add to that list is "What will I have for dinner?".

The classes begin around seven which is usually my dinner time.  Tonite I ate early so that I could get to UCLA early and find free parking, which I did.  As I strolled around the area of the building my first class would take place in I stumbled across a food court a mere twenty feet away. There's a cafe with espresso and pastries and several variations of the same diner themed fast food joints - you know, burger and fries or hot dogs and fries, (and to be exotic) tacos and nachos.  

Here's where Paleo comes in handy.  I don't want any of those foods, and because I've made a commitment, my brain won't even begin to tailspin into the drama of 'to eat or not to eat'.  I know me, and I know if I weren't on Paleo right now I would be typing this blogpost with a watery latte and a stale croissant by my side.  

And I'm not.  

And I'm happy.  

Gotta go - class is about to begin! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 8: Paleo-fying

When I tried Paleo for the first time last June I was doing the Whole 30 Challenge, which is the purest of Paleo eating for a full 30 days.  Part of the challenge is that you're not allowed to "paleo-fy" foods.  Which means no Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies, no Paleo Pizza, no Paleo Margaritas.  I'm determined to go as long and strong as I can without paleo-fying foods, but I'm also certain that I'll be baking Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies at some point throughout the holiday season, and I'm okay with that.  By the by, those cookies are delicious...expensive and delicious.

I only bring it up because I have a confession to make.  A mere seven days into the challenge, I had a Paleo-fied food.  Bread!  I had Paleo Bread!


Now, for the record, I literally had ONE bite.  And for the record, I have been eyeballing this bread online for weeks, so when I saw it staring back at me through the glass of a freezer at the Co-Op I just had to get it.  Also, for the record it was disgusting.  Apologies to the good people at Julian Bakery - thank you for trying, but you failed.  Oh - and one more for the record, I tried the one made with coconut flour.  They also make one with almond flour, which could be yummy, for all I know.  But at $8 bucks a loaf, I won't find out anytime soon. I'm still upset about the fact that I have $7.50 worth of gross bread-like product sitting in my freezer that probably won't be eaten ever.

So yeah.  Paleo-fying happens.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 7: Successful Saturdays!

Scale Related Success: 

-6.2lbs (in 6 days people!)

Non-Scale Related Success:

I feel fantastic.

My jeans are looser.

My eczema is less eczema-y.

I'm no longer... or should I say, for the moment I'm not completely obsessed with scoring a sugar fix.

I went to a bar last night, stayed Paleo and still had a great time.  

For better or for worse, I'm waking up before dawn every morning, usually around 4:30.  I don't actually get up, mind you, but still, it' worth noting.  

And last but certainly not least: I'm in control!  Hip hip hooray!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 6: Foodie Fridays!

Some friends have asked "What are you actually eating?".

Let me show you...


My favorite Paleo breakfast so far - the smoothie.  This one has berries in it, but I actually prefer it with just four ingredients: egg whites (Now Sports Pure Egg White Protein), 1c. Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1T. Cocoa and one banana.  Eventually I'm going to see if it's equally delish without the almond milk so I can skip it, since it brings nothing to the table, nutritionally speaking.

There's nothin' to see here, folks.  Lunch has been a simple salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a hardboiled egg all week.  I know there are infinite ways to make a Paleo salad...but I don't have infinite funds, so for know this will do.  Plus, when I'm at work I don't really care about what I'm eating, and I tend to have more of a 'food is fuel' attitude.  Dinner, on the other hand, is a different story.


Sunday - I made a scramble with organic chicken sausage, asparagus, kale and tomatoes.  It did the job, but it wasn't pretty, so I didn't bother taking a pic.

Monday - Chicken smothered in yellow curry with broccoli.  The broccoli was actually my favorite part of the meal, prepared with kosher salt, crushed red chili flakes, sesame oil and lots of fresh lime.  Yum!

Tuesday - I was tired and lazy and so I ran (figuratively speaking) to Whole Foods and picked up some London broil, shrimp and broccoli from their ready-made section.  The beef was gross, the shrimp was a-ight and the broccoli was bland.  The twenty bucks I spent feeding both my hubby and I could've been spent on more groceries, prepared with more flavor.  Lesson learned.
Wednesday - Having learned my lesson, Adam and I walked down to the Santa Monica Co-Op and picked up fresh protein and veggies.  This pork chop was made by sprinkling chili, salt and cumin on both sides and grilling, then I topped it with a glaze made out adobo sauce and honey (1 teaspoon each).  I sauteed the squash with green chilies and it was all fan-freggin-tastic!
Thursday - Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Mayo* and Sauteed Kale.  (*Many Paleo peops make their own Paleo Mayo to avoid run-ins with soy oil.  I'm not that strict.  I find that Spectrum's Canola Oil Mayo is clean enough for me.)  I got this recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen, a.k.a. Primal Palate.  It's a winner!
Friday - I haven't eaten dinner yet.  You'll have to tune in next week. :)

It helps me to share pics of my dinners because, in a weird way, I get more creative knowing I'll be presenting them to my public.  Got that?  YOU'RE MY PUBLIC!  MWAHH-HA-HAAA!  And being creative on Paleo helps from being bored.  Therefore, my promise to you is to post a weeks worth of Paleo dinners using pictures whenever possible, henceforth.

And voila!  Foodie Fridays is born!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 5: Quinoa (Pronounced: Dee-lish-us)

Quinoa is, technically speaking, a seed and not a grain. It's also packed with more protein than you can shake a stick at.  So why, oh why, can't I find it on any Paleo food list?

Paleo is like the English language.  It has rules ('i' before 'e', except after 'c'), and rule breakers ('science').  Which is why sometimes Paleo drives me bat-shit crazy.  I have to remind myself that it's a template - a template, and not a list of laws.  Yes, quinoa is a seed, and still, I've never seen it on a Paleo food list. While some Paleo peops have (after eliminating quinoa) incorporated it back into there diet because they feel their bodies can handle it, many choose to view it as a cultivated, agrarian crop that has no business on a plate meant solely for veggies, fruits and meat.  Yes, it's high in protein, but it's also high in "anti-nutrients" like phytic acid, leptins and du-du-duuuuuh: saponins.  *For more, click here.  

Phytic wha-wha?  Lept-whos-its?  Saponin-a-majigy?  I can't take it.  I need a cookie.

Look, I have absolutely no idea what any of those things are.  But I looked them up, and I found out that they're no bueno for your body.  The funny thing is, you can find those "anti-nutrients" in nuts, and nuts are Paleo.  But if you're a stickler, and a true Paleo perfectionist, you'd know that some nuts come highly recommended (macadamia) and others are practically spit on in the community (walnut).  At this point in the post I'm pretty sure I've lost half of my readers.  Apologies.  

Here's why I'm choosing to forgo quinoa for the next ninety-five days: I'm obese, and I'm trying to become not obese.  Quinoa has a lot of carbs and calories and when I look at my nutrition facts for what I've eaten at the end of a day on Paleo I'm thrilled at the amount of fresh fruits and veggies I've consumed, the grams of protein I've taken in and the lack of carbs and sugar flowing through my bloodstream.  If I tossed in a half a cup of quinoa, it wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would fuel that little carb-lovin' fire in my belly that talks me into eating when I'm full, and encourages me to stand in front of the fridge at ten o'clock at night looking for "just a little something sweet".  

That said, I fucking love the stuff.  Have you tried it? You should!  Eat it by the boat loads.  It's made by mother nature so it can't be bad for you.  And one day, when I transition my much healthier self back to clean eating I will definitely incorporate it into my diet.

The end and good night!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 4: Top 5 Lists, Volume 1 - Groceries

Top 5 Foods I Never Ate Before Paleo (And Now I'm Glad I Do):

1. Olives
2. Hardboiled Eggs
3. Coconut Oil
4. Now Sports Pure Eggwhite Protein Powder
5. Dates

Top 5 Foods I Think Are Good For My Body That Aren't Paleo (And I Wish I Still Ate Them):

1. Nonfat Greek Yogurt
2. Hummus
3. Organic Lactose Free 2% Milk
4. Brown Rice
5. Quinoa

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 3: It Hurts

Day three was harder than day two.  Which makes me sad.

Last night my nose began to run like a faucet and a pretty mean migrain began to set in.  I normally don't like to take anything for ailments, but when I'm working with kids I don't take chances, because nobody likes the crabby teacher going through caffeine and sugar withdrawl.  (*For the record, it isn't necessary to cut caffeine from coffee while going Paleo.  Plenty of Paleo people drink coffee with coconut milk or almond milk. I've tried both, and I dislike both, so I've decided to ditch java altogether for now.  Good times.  That's sarcasm.)

My headache has persisted all day, despite taking Ibuprofen, so I'm looking forward to going to bed early and sleeping in tomorrow since I don't have to work thanks to Yom Kippur.  And I regret to inform you that my skin is breaking out with a little bit of acne.  My hope is that the runny nose and the acne has something to do with my body shedding toxins, or at least that's what I tell myself when the little devil on my shoulder whispers 'give up and have a bagel'.

On the plus side, my eczema is virtually gone.  I can't begin to describe how inflamed my skin had been up until these last few days.  A week ago I had bright pink, itchy patches on my upper lip, under my eyes and on my armpits - sexy, I know.  Today, a mere three days since ditching grains, dairy, sugar and legumes those areas are as clear as the driven snow.  My belief is that my healing skin is connected to foregoing dairy, which also makes me sad since I miss my daily lattes... and my daily super sharp cheddar cheese with fuji apple... and my daily Ben and Jerry's Milk and Cookies pint of ice cream.

You see why I had to go Paleo, right?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 2: Stalling

We, September 17, 2012.
For years I've avoided occasions because of my weight.  I ditched my ten year high school reunion because of my weight.  I skipped my college graduation because of my weight.  I've put off seeing old friends because I'm under the impression that they aren't aware of my weight gain since last we met, and I don't want them to see me this way (despite the fact that I have pics of myself on Facebook in all my full-figured glory).  The only thing that I've ever participated in, even though I was overweight, was my wedding day.  If I could have postponed the occasion six months so that I could have yet another go at getting healthy, I would have.  But because you can't push back a wedding, and because I really wanted to marry my husband, I put on my gown and a happy face.

I'm a procrastinator.  A staller.  And I finally, after thirty-two years of living, have found the one thing that has a due date I can't postpone: my fertility.

My husband and I would like to start trying to get pregnant next year, but I'm committed to being at a healthy BMI before I let another human being set up shop in my mid-section.  I'm already extremely uncomfortable in this body, and I can't imagine tacking on any more weight, which is why my stalling days are over.  It's time to get healthy so that I can do the one thing that's ever really mattered to me, which is, to be a mom.  All of that said, it's important for me to publicly recognize that I will be a mom whether or not I get pregnant or give birth to my children.  I've always planned to adopt, and if my bio-ship has sailed, figuratively speaking, I'm okay with that.  Did you hear that, universe?  It's all good.

Today I stalled in a way I never have before.  I stalled getting home.  I usually bike the short mile between my apartment and my job.  Today I walked home, bike in hand, because I knew that the sooner I got home the longer the Shakespearean drama of 'to eat or not to eat' would play out in my head.  Traditionally, I reward myself after a long day of playing with first graders with an iced latte and some sort of bread and sugar based treat.  Knowing that my afternoon ritual would not be waiting for me kept me from rushing home.  Instead, I took my time, and when I finally reached the finish line that was my front door I beelined to my bed and took a nap.  A treat, still, just a different kind of treat.  And so, my stalling takes a new and improved form...for now.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 1: Because I have to.

I'm overweight - wait, let me start over.

I'm Taylor.  I'm a writer/teacher/actor/stand-up/baker/wife/sister/daughter/friend/cat lover and usually, an all around nice gal who loves lattes, movies and long walks on the beach.  I also happen to be overweight, and I've been so, in varying degrees, for over twenty years.  Every year I go into the fall season thinking that I will lose twenty pounds.  A few weeks later I'm crossing my fingers and changing my goal to ten pounds.  By November, my hope is to "just" maintain my weight through the end of the year, and come December I have my eyes set on whatever sugar laden, starchy goodness is in front of me, and my hopes set on the salvation that is January 1st.  Not this year people. I'm on a mission to take on the holidays with energy and good choices.  I'm on a mission to be one hundred times healthier than I am today in one hundred days, and I have at least one hundred good reasons why I need to change. Who's coming with me?

...like a moth to a flame...
Yesterday was the very first day of autumn.  I love the fall, mostly because here in Los Angeles, the weather is about as dreamy as dreamy can get this time of year.  The skies are crisp and blue in the morning.  The air is fresh and bright.  And by the time evening rolls around a few wispy clouds have painted the sky just in time to make pink and purple cotton candy-like ribbons running north and south above the ocean.  It's magical.  But the thing I love most about the fall is that everywhere you turn there's something delicious and sweet made out from pumpkin... or gingerbread... or peppermint chocolate.

Vanilla Cupcake: Not Paleo.
It's already begun.  Starbucks, Peet's and the Coffee Bean all have pumpkin lattes.  In grocery stores I'm beginning to see things like 'Spiced Biscuit' ice cream and peppermint chocolate frosted pretzels.  Thankfully, the majority of the junk that bombards us during the holidays is indeed junk.  And yet, I can't help but to pause in front of every themed treat I see and wonder if I should get it - not because I want it, but because 'tis the season.  I need a plan.  I've thought long and hard in anticipation for these coming months, and this is what I've come up with.

Coconut Curry with Shrimp and Veggies: Paleo
For the next one hundred days I will eat Paleo.  Paleo is paleolithic, pre-agricultural farming, whole, natural "caveman eating".  I've done Paleo in the past for just a few weeks at a time. Each time I lost weight, gained energy, had clearer and less itchy skin (I have eczema), and had an all around feeling of hopefulness that I can't explain.  Now, if you've ever really looked into Paleo eating you know that there are several definitive food lists out there from different doctors, scientists and health gurus that, in very small but important ways, contradict each other.  Some allow organic, raw dairy, some don't.  Some say that white potatoes are forbidden but sweet potatoes are okay, while others believe a peeled white potato has more nutritional value than a sweet potato.  Some are concerned with the amounts of saturated fats in a traditional Paleo diet, while others tout their healing qualities.  And don't even get me started on the soy thing - I'll save that for another post.  I don't get too caught up in the details. If I did, my brain would explode and I'd be forced to fix myself with the healing powers of ice cream.  Instead, I keep it simple.  If my oldest ancestors could hunt or gather it, I'm gonna eat it.  The best advice I ever read was to consider Paleo a template and not a diet.  Meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.  That is what Paleo is to me.  The four major no-no's are dairy, grains, sugar and beans.  Easy, peasy, lemon, squeezy. Lemon, for example is Paleo.

Over the next few months I'll go into all of the exciting and controversial details surrounding Paleo, like it's so-called ability to ruin mother earth and all of her inhabitants.  And over the next few days I'll cry, and bitch and moan and whine about how incredibly difficult it is to give up sugar.  I need you, dear reader, to help me through it.

Here I go!