Howdy and Welcome March!
Hopefully March will bring lots of snow for two reasons 1) This is our last month to ski and snowboard and 2) We need more snow for groundwater so that we can have campfires galore this summer in the new fire pit at home, and while out camping!
The second of these two weeks marks my husband, Andy, and I's start to the Primal Blueprint reboot, which is eating a max of around 100-150 carbs per day to ween our bodies off of carb dependancy. It’s pretty crazy what we can still eat on this plan and stay within the carb limits, and we have experimented with some great recipes in the new reboot book (https://www.amazon.com/Keto-Reset-Diet-Metabolism-Forever/dp/1524762237)
I decided not to follow the daily diet schedule in the book. It’s a lot of planning way in advance for ingredients we need, and after 6 weeks of eating low sugar and low carb, plus extensive conversations with my girlfriend Katti in Texas about the Keto plan, I feel confident enough to prepare meals that I think fit the criteria of being Keto friendly. For those of you curious what we’ve been eating, I will get into that more below.
First, lets talk abs!
Okay, so I'm still not at the 6-pack mark, and although 7 weeks ago I would have thought that I would be there by now, it's totally fine by me that I am not. I enjoy the workouts and like seeing my my body transition during this phase - there's a great sense of accomplishment!
It would be hard to tell you exactly what I do for abs workouts each day. I had a friend text me the other night asking what workouts I am doing with Spring approaching. The answer - I am doing a lot of different workouts and blending my ab routine into kettle bell exercises, cable machine moves, using the Bosu, stability balls, medicine balls, and incorporating more planks than I have ever done before!! Targeted ab workouts are around 8-10 minutes and include a lot of repetitions. I am so used to the ab workouts that instead of wanting to quit after 3 minutes, I transition into the next move when I feel sore, and keep on movin'!
The Primal Blueprint and "Keto plan" involves eating a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. After a couple of weeks of the reboot, and when we are no longer carb dependent, we'll train our genes to burn fat and ketones instead of sugar as our primary fuel source. When in a full on ketosis state, we'll consume just 50-100 grams of carbs per day (a highly active person may consume more carbs than this and still be in a ketosis state). For the sake of the reboot we are on now, we are allowed 100-150 grams per day. Are we counting carbs? Not exactly. But we are no longer consuming breads, grains, starches, and sugary sweets, and feel really good about that. There are times that we want something chocolaty and I have been looking for easy recipes using 100% unsweetened baking cacao that will satisfy those cravings.
FOOD DIARY - A TYPICAL DAY EATING PRIMAL
Breakfast (my favorite meal of the day!) - I used to love english muffins with peanut butter and agave on top, or french toast with eggs and pure maple syrup (can you say, hello carbs!!!), but now I love eating omelets each morning. You can make them different every day and they never get old!
Omelet favorite - Sautéed red bell pepper, onion, garlic, with diced bacon and shredded monterey jack cheese. I use 2 eggs in my omelets but for a person with a large appetite 3 eggs might be the ticket. They are big omelets with just 2 eggs and very filling!
Lunch - I used to eat a sandwich or panini (it stinks that I got a panini maker for myself for Christmas!). Panini’s are fun to make and taste delicious! Andy would usually break the chips out at lunch, and I would eat too many of those and feel guilty after. In the afternoon I would feel tired and sluggish from the carb bender, but not anymore! Now I eat a “Bigass salad” (no really, that’s what he calls it in the book!), without the mid afternoon lull.
"Bigass salad" favorite - Mixed greens with a kale mix from Tassinong Farms in CB South. I dice the greens up small, and sometimes add spinach. I top each of my salads differently based on what’s in the fridge. Favorite salad toppings include: feta cheese crumbles, sunflower seeds, a few dried cranberries, diced carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, hard-boiled egg, almond slivers or walnuts (or some other nut). I top the salad with diced chicken that is prepared at the beginning of the week (it's so easy when you don't have much time). Unfortunately, all salad dressings we have in the fridge are not keto-friendly, and so we drizzle with avocado oil and then I add some ripe peach white balsamic vinegar that we purchase every fall at Orchard Valley Farms in Paonia, CO. It is an unreal oil and vinegar mix! I might try red wine vinegar one of these days but haven’t gotten there yet. The ripe peach is so incredible!
Dinner - I used to pick healthy choices that didn’t include high carb content, well except for my all-time favorite, which is pizza (which we would eat at least one time per week).
Dinner favorite - Dinners include a healthy protein like salmon, or pork, but since going low-carb there's no longer is jasmine rice or sweet potato on our plates. We are starting to bake/cook different vegetables which has been, well…yummy! A couple of nights ago we roasted carrot “fries” in the oven, tossed with melted coconut oil, salt and pepper (oven temp 400, cook for 20-30 min depending on desired firmness). They were delicious! We prepared asparagus on a skillet for 5-10 minutes with just olive oil and salt and pepper. Both of these veggies are outside of our norm for dinner, and they did not disappoint. The salmon was seasoned similar to the asparagus but with a lemon wedge drizzled over the top just before eating.
NUTS ON NUTS (YUP-YOU HEARD ME RIGHT!)
Most nuts, except for peanuts, are allowed on the Keto plan, and as we have been stocking the cupboards with healthy nuts to snack on I have been researching which are on the 'nice list' and which the 'naughty list' as far as being “keto-friendly”. Here is an excellent resource to see for yourself - low-carb nuts - https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/nuts
To add insult to injury (and because this plan includes eating as much butter as you like), I made buttered pecans this week (https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sea-salt-roasted-pecans-233690)! For the record, I know that it might sound weird to make buttered pecans, but I promise if you make them you will not be sorry - they are un-freaking-real)!
WEEK 6 & 7 HIGHLIGHTS
1) The scale. I am burning fat and losing lbs, and that makes me and my scale happy. Although I don’t have an actual 6-pack (yet) my core is very strong and you can see more definition and muscle in other areas of my body. I like the exercises I am doing and the time I am spending strength training at CB South Fitness. I’ve never worked out hard and consistent like this in my entire life, and seeing there results makes it even more motivating!
2) In preparation for a trip to the sunshine state next week with my kiddo, I dug my bathing suit out of storage, and dusted off the cobwebs. Trying on a bathing suit in March and not having anxiety when looking in the mirror is a wonderful feeling. I was actually impressed and excited by what I saw! I was always the girl in high school and college that waited until a few weeks before a spring break vacation to hit the gym and see what I could do to improve my appearance before beach time. It usually resulted in losing a little weight, however it was always a short term solution, and typically I would gain it back on vacation or soon after returning home. Fifteen to twenty years ago, I HATED lifting weights. Lifting weights scared and intimidated me. Silly, right? I usually did cardio, stretching and ab workouts.
WEEK 6 & 7 CHALLENGES
1) Several months back I developed a ganglion cyst on the back of my left wrist. Just this week I finally looked it up to research what was going on. I had one of these cysts in the same spot many years ago, and it went away after time. Right now, it only hurts only when I am doing push-ups, stability ball tucks, or anything with a lot of flection in my wrist. You will see in some of the photos below that I am using dumbbells for my grip certain exercises, and they help so much! I'm applying frankincense essential oil directly to my wrist, a warm cloth and other natural remedies to help it heal.
2) We went to CB’s “Crafted” event on Saturday. It was a great afternoon but very hard to know what to eat and drink that was safe during our reboot. We drank the yummy wine of local wine vendors (knowing nothing about their carb or sugar content) and had a little beef chili and pulled pork and coleslaw on a plate (hold the bun please!). It was fun to get out and mingle but from an eating aspect I couldn't help but feel guilty. Essentially, we have much more control over what we ingest when we prepare meals at home, and I have a lot less guilt about it!
3) I'm cutting dairy out for a bit. In the Primal Blueprint reboot the author Mark Sisson includes dairy in his recipes, but I think I am going to cut dairy out for a week and see if I feel additional benefits in the diet. Dairy causes inflammation in most people, and I recently saw something that reminded me of this. Although I do not drink milk, we love cheese when cooking or snacking, and on occasion I eat greek yogurt as well. I'm wondering if cutting gluten as well as dairy will have more of an accelerated impact on my waistline. I guess time will tell!
Okay, time to say goodbye. I will write again next week after being dairy free for a week. This will be hard, but after the last 7-weeks of no ice cream and pizza, I can do anything. ;)
Have a great week all!