Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eating Paleo -- NOT!

I had an interesting conversation with a class-participant about Paleo eating. There are a few peeps that participate in various classes, that are also part of the local Cross-Fit cult. These participants advocate the Paleo lifestyle. I do not.

The question she posed concerned, when these starting consuming grains again, as one certainly could not live an entire life-time without a piece of bread. She said, 'So what happens, when they eat grains again. Do they blow up like a tick?'

And quite possibly, yes they do....... I recalled a short-period of time I wanted to drop a quick 10# and I followed Atkins style eating for two weeks. Well, I lost the 10#, BUT when I had a weekend dealing with hormones, the weight I lost returned and not in places I wanted it to be. Lesson learned.

Paleo advocates eating only fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts and seeds-- only things that might have been found with early man. Although, in the Paleo diet for athletes, eating grains is encouraged around the training window. I am all in for eating and building a diet around all of these -- BUT, evidence shows us that we had access to and consumed grains, and tubers and other no-no's on the Paleo diet. Manna fed to the Israelites when wandering the desert is described as a cake with honey. Wow! God is feeding his people grains. But that is my interpretation of what manna is. I haven't eaten any...... Yet.

The reality is grains are not necessarily a BAD thing as they have been painted in the past decade with the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and the current Paleo diet, to name a few. They are currently also painted another shade of ugly with the gluten-free trends. (I do understand the seriousness of Celiac's disease, and various gluten intolerances. But I also know individual's and the industry tends to spread or advocate trends like wildfire, promoting a 'cause'. Please note there is Celiac's in my family and I do have gluten intolerances. I am aware of food cycling, and eat a predominantly plat-based diet. But the industry is currently treating gluten-free living like another money-making trend. And I digress..... Back to grains).

It seems that as we process more and more foods, and strip the value from these and then add a chemical or substance to put back what's we removed, we are destroying the quality of the grain. The issue may not be the grain, but may also be held in the processing. It is big business to produce all these gluten-free foods, which may contain more allergens than the original grain.

And I have reflected on my eating over the last week-- which was comprised of many, many veggies and some fruits (not as many as I would like), lamb, chicken and a piece of fish, eggs, hermit cookies (love), almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, some whole grain pasta, rice, popcorn, dark chocolate, and coffee with cream.

I am aware of what I am eating, and when I have added a grain and observed how my body responds to it..... Not necessarily to add more grains, but to be aware of any possible allergic reactions.

In a sense, Paleo is a modified Atkin's (or the like) program. I am not saying we cannot learn from our ancestors about life and eating, as I eat more like a warrior than not. I am saying that it is probably a bit more complicated than how the Paleo peeps want to present the whole process.

Losing weight is about creating a caloric deficit -- burning more calories than you take in, as well as the quality of calories. (Some might argue irrelevance, but hear me out). Yes, I could lose weight eating snicker's bars, and gain weight on fruits and veggies if I eat less or more than my body needs for the day. But the quality of the calorie consumed determines my health, and how my body can receive the calories taken in. Paleo is eating a higher quality food, BUT is also eliminating FOOD Categories. We ten to want what we cannot have. I also believe it is about learning again what our body is asking for. The body is intelligent-- we tend to want to tell it isn't. Learn to listen to your body and understand what it is saying. It may want something sweet, or crunchy; it may be thirsty, or it may be tired. What is your body telling you? Amd how do you respond?

As an aside, since I started coaching and working with my weight loss team, I have lost five pounds. I am eating grains, and dairy, and chocolate-- things that are potentially frowned upon by the Paleo community. My diet surrounds veggies, not meat. And I feel wonderful! I am also more aware of when I am finished eating, and what I seek when I eat. The Asians believe in a the 80% rule--- eat until you are 80% satisfied! and you won't over do it, or choose wisely in eating 80% of the time, and it will take care of the 20% that you ate that Snicker's bar. I am finding as I eat more wisely, the processed food doesn't taste good to me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eating MORE Fruits and Veggies

I eat a plant-based diet. In other words, the fruits and veggies are the first thing on the plate, and the meat (if I choose to have some with that meal) are a garnish, and not the main event. In eating this way, I feel better. I feel lighter and I thoroughly enjoy the process of eating.

It wasn't always this way -- I doubted one could feel satisfied without a piece of meat or fish staring back from the plate. It wasn't until I questioned the whole vegetarian diet, that I discovered I really enjoy eating vegetables. *My journey contained four weeks of animal product free living, and I learned I could not only sustain life and feel great, I enjoy eating a piece of meat or steak or fish, but I don't necessarily have to eat it.*


In my current weight-loss challenge coaching, I have encouraged my team to eat more fruits and veggies. I have also encourage the participants in my classes to do the same. Yesterday, I had to chuckle when one woman asked if I ate meat (all I had said, was I have increased my fruits and veggies). *I love the assumptions*. My response was that I did enjoy meat and fish, I just learned I enjoy fruits and veggies as much. And I do not have to have meat or animal in every meal I eat.

*If you doubt my love for meat, ask my sister.... I had prime rib on Thanksgiving. Best piece I have had in a LONG time.... It melted in your mouth.*


But I love the colors and textures and various tastes of fruit and vegetables.

In eating more of these, I have become increasingly aware of hunger and satisfaction (when I have had enough to eat). I am shedding body fat. And most importantly, I feel great!


What new fruit or veggie have you tired today?


Saturday, January 18, 2014

I took a yoga class



Well, not really..... I have used different poses/postures to work on my flexibility and strength. BUT, this was my very first, formal class.

AND...... It was great!

Although, the instructor told us yoga should not hurt..... Well, I am sore this morning! And I have a renewed appreciation for insturctors and participants. It requires a great deal of strength and flexibility-- two things I need to continue developing. Two things that will aid in my competitive journey.

Yes, I did it! I took a yoga class! And I am looking forward to the next one.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Coaching a Weight Loss Challenge

The YMCA is hosting a 10-week weight loss challenge. The purpose is to lay the foundation for overall changes in the coming year -- changes that will be adopted and embraced by the participants. And the team that loses the largest percentage of weight, can win cash prizes.

I was asked to be a coach in said challenge.


And I was reflecting....... I am joining my team in the challenge. While my personal weight loss will not count toward the team's loss during the challenge, it will count in my overall health.

And today...... It begins.

Yesterday, I went shopping to ensure a variety of fruits and veggies are in my fridge, ready for the coming week. Preparation is everything! I also weighed in this morning, and took my circumference measurements. And I am excited about my goals and objectives in the next ten weeks.

These include reintroducing weight training circuits, walking 10,000 steps/day, and getting back in the pool to swim. I am excited about changing my overall habits to improve my health, and quality of life.

I hope to post more frequently about my journey to keep my head in the game or to stay focused.

Care to join me on my journey?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting on 2013 and Looking to 2014

As I turn the calendar from December 2013 to January 2014, I am glad to see 2013 go. It is pretty cool,how we use the change of a calendar year as a time for a fresh start, a new beginning. Some say out with the old and in with the new.....I don't want to toss the learning out as well. In my personal reflection I have gained some important insights from the experiences of 2013 as I prepare for the adventure of 2014.


My word for 2013 was SOAR. The goal was to soar with eagles, understanding that an eagle will not take its first flight until literally pushed from the nest. And eagles nest in high places. I needed that push.

Soar not only referred to the act of flying, but my attitude in everything-- my attitude toward life. How I interacted with other people, how I interacted with myself.

It was a purposeful year. And I did get pushed out of my comfort zone at times, and I found myself excel and at others rolling in the muck.

My big observation as I move into 2014 is I need to work my talents --- I have been struggling in MA, finding my place, making new friends, establishing my business. I know MA is not my final destination, just a stepping stone along the way. I also know there is something I need to learn and apply in my life, before I can be successful anywhere-- because no matter where I go, there I am. -- and I have been *afraid* to show my talents! to really shine. I have almost been living like, I am no longer here. And the truth is, I NEED to be committed to my life here, until it is time to move onward. I was reminded of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and identified with the man who hid his talent until the master of the house returned. I concluded I need to work my business, and build relationships, and find people, AND keep living my life.

I think this in itself is the biggest take-away from 2013. And as I move into 2014, my new word is CLIMB. To signify how I am going to climb to new heights --- personally, and professionally. In my interactions, I am going to elevate my thinking, not to condescend, but to take the high road, and be kind. To push onward, even when the challenges seem to great, and not accept the easy way out.

My goals are becoming purposeful in intent, to help me strive to my greatest potential.

I am looking forward to the climb, and the adventure. I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

What is your word for this year?