Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Community, My Friends and the Great Outdoors

I've been thinking some more about the Skype conversation that my husband and I had with Dean Dwyer not-so-long-ago.  There was so much back-and-forth conversation that some of it is still just coming to the surface now.

What's sticking out in my head lately is how he talked about the need for a support system, a "community".  He's right.  We all need each other to lean on, to be honest with, to share our success stories and our struggles.  Because sometimes, this just aint easy...

You know, most of us, when we start on the primal journey, we are so happy, so poud of ourselves, that we want to shout it from the rooftops.  We want to convert everyone we know.  Sometimes, we even try to "cure" our friends and co-workers of diseases that we imagine they have.  But sooner or later, we realize we can't change the world and we start to feel like we're doing all of this in a vaccuum and that no one is listening at all.  Sure, the blogging community is full of us, but where is everyone, really?  I don't personally know anyone else who is into the paleo lifestyle.  Ok, I think my brother's family is, but they don't really like to talk about it.  So where is everyone else?  In far-flung locations, in places that I will never get to see, so they are people I will likely never get to meet.  But I still want to get to know them.  I, like Dean, want a community.  I don't care if you are near or far, I still want to hear about your day, talk about my day, what we ate that we regret, what we did that made us proud.  I want you to read my silly attempts at "moving like Grok" and I want you to laugh because sometimes people are just too serious.

I missed the last paleo symposium that came to Toronto.  But apparently Robb Wolf made a very moving speach, and it wasn't about "this isn't paleo, and neither is that..."  It was about how we paleo-advocates sometimes can be very cult-like, when what we should be is very inclusive.  That any attempt, any changes we make that bring us closer to a primal lifestyle are good things.  Because we all get it, we care about our health, we understand now, and we're all trying.  So really, Robb Wolf is also talking about community.

Now, it's going to seem like an odd topic change, but I have always loved being outdoors (this relates, you'll see).  I grew up camping and canoeing and skiing.  In the last few years, my huband and I have made it our whole purpose on vacations to try EVERYTHING we can wherever we are.  Zip-lining, caving, rock climbing, sea kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding--whatever we can.  We can't afford to go on a lot of vacations, but we can still do these kinds of things around our own community.  This past summer, we tried a SUP pilates yoga class.  It was very challenging and very different.  Next year I want to do a river SUP day-long trip.  If I had a whole comminuty of like-minded friends, I'd invite them all to come along.  But we don't have a community here, not yet.  So Steve and I will go out there and "Just Do It" on our own.  And take pictures.  And you can keep laughing at us because we like that kind of thing.

That's us, front row, on the Kicking Horse River while we were staying out in Banff last year...   And that's us on the right, pre-paleo and acting like tools (because we do that), zip-lining in Vancouver.  Maybe Grok didn't have THIS kind of fun, but life is short and this kind of stuff is awesome.  I wish everyone enjoyed getting out like this. 

One day this whole paleo movement will be huge, and I will run into paleo-friends on every hiking trail, and at future Warrior Dashes and other crazy events.  But today, close and far away, we will have to find each other through these paleo-blogs.  And maybe at upcoming symposiums--hey, how to we get a symposium going again in Toronto?  This paleo thing is starting to grow out here and it'd grow alot faster if we had a giant meeting of some sort...  How do we go about getting a meeting of some sort?  Well, we could all meet at one of those.

Meantime, as for this coming weekend, Steve hasn't come up with any good ideas on how to "take it up a notch" on our hike.  So I may just have to give him a piggyback, all 180 pounds of him on my 120 pound frame.  As far as I can carry him.  We'll see how that goes.  We'll find a way to make it fun.

Monday, 28 November 2011


Alright, first things first.  Does anyone recognize this meal?  Why does it look like I made eels for dinner?  My food photography sucks.  Alright, well, this is Juli Bauer's (of PaleOMG) "zoodles and squoodles"--in our house, it's just zoodles.  It is the dish that fills the comfort pasta food cravings, and the one dish that everyone in my household, and I do mean everyone (paleo and non-paleo eaters), likes to eat.  My teenage son, who is not paleo at all, in fact, he is strongly and vocally AGAINST all things paleo because he hates vegetables, loves his potatoes and junk food and feels like we STARVE him to death every weekend that he comes home—and he ATE THIS WITHOUT A WORD OF COMPLAINT!!  So Juli, you are AWESOME. You are my hero.  Thank you.  For her original recipe, go to , seriously, you'll love it.

Alright, onto my weekend WOD.  I had the most hilarious time ever.  Don't know what kind of stuff we were smokin' when we thought this one up.  Where on earth did we get this idea from?  I think Steve was still lamenting the fact that the Warrior Dash has no plans to come to Ontario again in 2012 (at least not yet).  See, my husband is totally on-board when it comes to this whole whole primal/paleo thing.  We cook together, we shop together, but really, he is totally food-un-imaginative so I do the lion's share of thinking up and planning our weeks' meals.  So, I have tasked him with having to come up with new and exciting ways to "take it up a notch" when I say I want to get outside for the day, or go hiking.  He's recently retired after 20 years of service in the Canadian Forces, so I figure he knows how to "take it up a notch".  This is the army--they're creative!  They make men haul logs across soccer fields just for the fun of it! 

Now, from there, I don't know what happened.  We're just 2 people who never really grew up.  We were nearly defeated by this crazy cliff last week when one of the dogs jumped over the cliff and got stuck there, and we thought-eghh, we can conquer THAT.  Sure, we'll show that hill!  We can run up and down this cliff, or more appropriately, free-climb up and slide down this almost-but-not-quite vertical sand-slide cliff.  See how innocent it looks as we came down the hill?  It doesn't look all that steep, does it?  I even scoffed when Steve suggested we drop our packs at the top--I wanted to wear my lumber load the whole time!  Now, for those of you NOT in the Toronto area, on Sunday it was raining.  Hard.  And that cliff was not sand, it turned out.  It was good ole’ Toronto clay and we slid down in mud that was slicker than snot, so to speak, but we still didn't give it much thought.  Just kinda surfed our way down at the speed of light, laughing...

And see?  Oh so innocent.  My duaghter is just wading in the stream washing off some mud, who cares if it's 10 degrees and pouring rain?  It's so scenic down here in the valley... 

And then like some crazy nightmare we tried to go up-- we climbed on and on without moving upwards.  It was like being stuck on an old Stairmaster and you can't get off.  Our boots weighed ten pounds per foot, our gloves weighed five pounds each.  And then when we did make some progress, our feet would shoot out from under us and we’d slide face-first right back down again.

But this shot on the right--that shows the true angle of the cliff.  Almost....vertical....  Every muscle in our bodies were clenched.  We were punching our fists into the mud just to get a hold of something.

We must have been making a LOT of noise.  We were laughing and screaming and wiping each other out when we lost our footing...  We were rolling in the mud, had it on our faces, in our hair (and in Steve’s beard).  We’d made it almost back to the top when all of our carry-on noise caught the attention of 3 men who were hiking the trail that day (in the pouring rain).  With very thick accents (I believe they were Polish), they decided we needed saving and would not leave until we were all back over the top lip of the cliff on secure soil.  So we submitted and we let them give us a hand and pull us up over the top lip of the cliff and we thanked them very kindly and they got to walk away feeling like heroes and it just seemed like it would be rude if we hopped right back over and started that all over again (I was ready to go it again, really wanted to but Steve stopped me--my daughter was looking like she'd had enough at that point), so back homeward-bound we went.  Wet and muddy and giggling like school children.  Oooh, yea, we conquered!!

Alright, so looking down in hindsight, it does look rather steep.... 

The challenge is already on--how do we top this next week?  I think it's going to be all of 0 degrees celcius, good chance of "snain" (Toronto-speak for alternating snow and rain).  Ooh, yea.

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Work Weekend and it may rain out my weekend WOD!

So I have to work this weekend.  Steve and I came up with this great weekend WOD for Sunday morning, but of course, now the weather report says it will be sunny and cold saturday, but rainy sunday.  I guess I shouldn't complain too much.  We've had a great fall, and it's still incredibly warm for Toronto weather.  Now, any self-respecting caveman would get out there, rain and all, and conquer their environment!  We'll see.  I have a family Christmas dinner to go to that night, so maybe not the best day to get freezing cold and muddy and exhausted.  And oh, crap, I just realized I have to cook stuff to take with me sunday afternoon that I haven't even bought yet.  Typical of me.  But I'm thinking roasted beets and carrots.  Simple.  Maybe the stuffed cherry tomatoes on Marks Daily Apple...  I think we're having ham, not turkey (the sacrilege!!).  And spinach squares.  I can easily pass on the scalloped potatoes, but no one has said a word about dessert.  I'm a little worried about dessert.  I just can't say no to pumpkin pie.  Or just about any dessert, really, I'll eat grain-and-sugar free through the whole meal, then fall apart on dessert.  I'll have to pick my battles on this one.  I am of weak willpower...  I might try to make paleo-eggnog.  Maybe I'll luck out and my sister-in-law will make the two desserts Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo made and posted on her facebook (this is not a crazy fantasy; she is also Paleo and she loves Sarah, so I'm sure she's seen the post).  Those pies look crazy-good.  I wish they would just show up at our little un-Christmas dinner party..  Sarah, do you do mail-order yet????

I know, you're thinking, it's not Christmas yet.  My family is pretty busy at this time of year, what can I say???  So it's Un-Christmas for us.  We get to pretend its Christmas this weekend, complete with baked ham, gift exchange and an appearance from my 90+ year-old grandparents....  And I haven't even started shopping yet.  Hmmm.  I'm a pretty crappy daughter, I guess.

So, onto tonight's dinner.  This recipe was adaped from a Canadian Living Magazine recipe I've had for years.  It was, pre-paleo, one of our favorite meatloaf recipes, and took very little tweaking to make it primal/paleo

Salsa Turkey Meatloaf

2 eggs
3/4 c salsa
2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
1/2 c ground almonds or almond meal
half onion, finely chopped
half green or red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 c grated cheddar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix 1/4 c salsa with all other ingredients except cheese.  Form into loaf shape on cookie sheet and top with remaining salsa.  Cook for about 1 hour, check for doneness.  Add cheese, if using, and pop back in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt cheese.  Enjoy with mashed cauliflower.

I know, my husband went a little overboard on the cheese, because unlike me, he is not lactose-intolerant...  The cheese is totally unnecessary and in the past we've forgotten to put it on often.  I don't know what came over him...  Must've been the hunger.

Now, back to my weekend WOD, what do you think?  Do I get out there in the rain and try it anyways?  It may make for some interesting pics!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Few Recipes Reviewed...

Having teenagers, I am eternally baking paleo-friendly treats, trying to find the perfect treat that will win them over to my sugar-free, grain-free lifestyle.  So far, I have not had much luck.  Now, not to rain on any of the paleo-recipe bloggers parades, but I have yet to taste a cookie that tastes anything like a cookie, nor have I tasted a tortilla bread that remotely resembles a tortilla.  Every time I read one of their blogs, extolling how excellent a new cookie/cake/bread recipe is, I run out and buy the ingredients, bake it up, and am yet again disappointed.  And I have to ask myself, when was the last time any of them tasted a real cookie/cake/bread?  Because the recipes so far....have not been it.  How I wish I was a baking savante.  I wish I could just imagine it, and know what to throw in there to make it happen.  But I am not, I am not Betty-freakin' Crocker and I do not know to create delicious grain-free baked goodies, and so I am left to review other peoples masterpieces instead.  So I'm sorry.

That being said, I would like to mention a few unusual recipes that have been very successful and delicious in our house.  First and foremost, the Paleo Parents have the most to-die-for porridge recipe.  It fills the house with the smell of apple-cinnamon and draws people over to the stovetop to ask what it is I'm cooking.  This is their picture, honestly, and mine looks exactly the same.  I just don't do food pictures justice, myself.  It does not contain added sugars and it stores in the fridge for several days.  I find it makes about 6 servings, so it feeds me breakfast all week.  Seriously, go here  Try it.  You will not be disappointed.

Along that vein, I have cooked many dry and crappy brownie/chocolate cakes paleo-style.  Hands-down, so far, this is my favorite (god, I wish I could remember who's recipe this was, because they deserve a huge pat on the back....
Ingredients10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  1. Place the medjool dates in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
  2. Add applesauce and continue to pulse until pureed and combined with the dates.
  3. Add the fruit purée to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and coffee and mix on low-medium speed until well combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed, scraping down the sides, until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Grease a 8×8 glass pan with coconut oil, pour in the batter and smooth it with the back of a spatula.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
20111013-090839.jpgMakes 9-12 servings unless you eat it all at once before it even cools...

Brilliant, the dates keep it moist.  I undercooked mine only a couple of minutes and it stayed very moist that way.  Tasted better and better as it sat in my fridge through the week and I picked away at it peice by peice (I was having a very craving-filled week and made the kids swear not to touch it, not that this stopped them, but it slowed down the rate at which they ate it...)
And finally, thank you Civilized Caveman for your Chocolate Caveman Crunch.  It is hands-down the best cold-cerial substitute for those days when another egg just won't cut it, and I just don't have the time or patience to make the porridge that I mention above.  It stores pretty indefinately in a ziplock, makes a good snack-by-the-handfull food and convinced my hardest-to-convert teen that she didn't need cheerios anymore, at least until she had such a huge bowl of the caveman crunch that she made herself ill...  Ok, so it is delicious, but you can't eat the whole thing at once, let that be a lesson to everyone...

Sorry, the picture refuses to be sized any smaller. 

I don't eat like this all the time.  I don't eat crazy amounts of paleo-treats, honestly.  Most mornings, I survive on two hard boiled eggs with hot salsa over homemade guacamole, or a can of lemon-pepper tuna on salsa with half an avacado (good lord did I gross my boss out today eating that one--stinks up the whole office and made him gag).  I really have to stop bringing canned tuna to the office.  People much prefer the smell of the porridge when I re-heat it in the staff kitchen...  Though my co-worker did say it looked like baby barf, he admitted it smelled delicious.

So there, a few recipe reviews.  I'm still trying to find the perfect recipes.  Next up--Elana's Pantry Pumpkin Bread.  Lets see if it comes anywhere close to convincing my picky teens....

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Almost a total Hiking Fail--my weekend WOD

It has finally come!  Six weeks since my surgery and I can officially start to life heavy objects again, and to exercise. (Ok, I cheated and hiked last weekend and the weekend before--but short hikes, with no heavy lifting!!) So its the weekend, and since I spent all day Saturday in a car with my teens, driving to London and back to check out Western U, Sunday was THE DAY to go for a long hike.  I was absolutely determined to go out for that hike, even though it looked like it was going to rain this morning, so Steve thought, meh, maybe a shorter hike since I haven't been able to do anything for over a month, maybe a long hike was too much.  So why not a shorter hike, but do it army-style??  Dragging logs along??  Don't caveman have to lift heavy things, too??  So here's what we did:
We loaded some firewood into some old backpacks; mine weighed 9 pounds, Steve's weighted 12 lbs.  That's how much weight each of us has lost so far, though we didn't plan it out that way...  So far so good.  (My son came along, too).  It sounded brilliant, we thought.  Except the logs kinda poked us in the backs and shifted about in the packs throughout the hike...  But off we went.  The dogs thought this was the best hike ever, as if we'd never hiked with them before... (We hike with them all the time, I swear!) 

Lately, our favorite place to hike is the Seaton Trail.  This time we hiked the trail from just south of Taunton road up to Whitevale where we'd left the other car.  It's only around 5 km, but the trail is straight up and down the whole time, the terrain is rugged.  It was going along great...  Ah, the joy.....until......

Now, look closely here.  See the grey and white in the middle of the pic?  Until Chinook decided to jump off the edge of a sandslide cliff and the slope was so extreme that she got stuck.  yes, stuck.  Sat there howling, refused to budge.  Dumb dog.  She sees water and bolts, no matter how far, no matter how cold or deep.  Yea, there's a river at the bottom.  Not that she made it to the bottom.  She just jumped, tumbled, skidded and plunked herself down, refusing to budge.  And thought it was a good idea to start crying, too.  Grrr. 

Steve had to man up and rescue the dumb beast.  There was no convincing her to come back to where we were.

So, that tiny speck Steve at the bottom of the sandslide, I'm at the top taking the picture.  Yea, he had to go around the point, and wade upriver because there's another drop at the bottom (note that it's about 2 degrees outside and he went knee deep in water....)  With a backpack loaded with logs still...  I throw down the leash, but I throw like a girl and he has to climb halfway up just to retrieve the leash.  So he gets halfway up the cliff and Chinook is still refusing to come meet him halfway, when I get tired of waiting and watching, I decide to hop over the top lip of the cliff, grab the dog, and walk her over to meet him.  "Uh, we could just shove her over the top, you know..."  I say slowly.  At this point, Steve has been attempting to climb that cliff for around a half hour or a bit more.  I get this weird look from him before he says, "uh, yeah."  So just like that we leash the dog and I get up top and pull and he shoves from below, and she's back up top with my, the other dog, and my son who is happily texting god-only-knows-who, completely oblivious to our stupidity.  Only Steve's backpack is at the bottom of the cliff, so he has to go back down and then wade (again) downriver and climb up the far side which is only slightly less steep to get back to where we are.  Alright.  I was pretty sure the hike was going to end in a u-turn right then.  But Steve manned-up again.  Caught his breath, smiled, and off we went for the rest of the hike.  Made me pretty proud.  Sure, I didn't get the hardest workout ever, but I bet he did. 
See?  Teenaged son, happy as a clam, with headphones on.  I don't know how he didn't trip since he was texting and walking the whole time.  Of course, he wasn't wearing logs.  And I have to admit that by the end of the hike, my neck and shoulders were feelin' it.  Workout accomplished.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Stress, Wine, Willpower and a chat with Dean Dwyer

I'm having a hard time with stress lately.  I have teens, need I say more?  It's an affliction.  Sometimes I love them alot, somethings I think they're deliberately trying to give me a heart attack.  So at the end of a long day, Steve, aka MFD (see sidebar), likes to pour me a nice glass of red wine to sip on as we prep and cook our dinner together and try to unwind.  Stress makes me crazy and irrational.  And tired.  Last night I was cranky about having drunken the glass of wine.  I know, irrational.  As if it was someone else's fault.  But I felt like it was.  I like to call Steve my enabler.  So he has suggested that wine, for me, is an amplifier.  If I'm cranky, it makes me more so.  If I'm glad the week is over and I'm ready to unwind, one glass short-cuts my unwinding and puts me straight to sleep.  Sometimes at 7 pm.  I'm such a party animal.  At least I don't fall asleep face-down in my food.

So under stress, Steve and I both have issues with willpower.  The other day, we sat down with Dean Dwyer of Being Primal for a skype conversation about this problem.  This is an awesome thing Dean does, taking time to talk to paleo-followers and listen to how their journey is going and offering some tips and suggestions along the way.  (If you haven't done so yet, check out his website at or his facebook fan page Being Primal.  He has some very thoughtful, rational ideas on how to go about living the primal lifestyle and he does indeed respond to every email sent to him).  So we skyped (is that a word?) and the internet speed was terrible and the screen kept freezing when we were making the weirdest faces, but we had a really great time talking to Dean anyways. 

Dean talked about the importance of making room in your week for planned cheat foods, because willpower is only so strong, and he also reminded us that willpower is indeed a learned thing.  It does not come automatically.  (Really, we talked about a lot more than that, but how long can I make this one blog?!)  Honestly, hearing that he has 3 cheats in a week makes me feel a lot less like a failure for breaking down and having a non-paleo treat.  Because I think he's pretty ripped now, and he's made this huge journey over the past year and a half and he's absolutely succeeded...with a few cheats built in....  You gotta check out his story...

So, in light of my conversation with Dean, I had a cheat.  And I didn't berate myself over it for once.  I had, after all, eaten nothing but the good stuff from Sunday night until Thursday afternoon when I was confronted by two lovely deep-fried battered chicken pakoras.   I was at the office, there were phones ringing, my name being paged, I'd just returned from a half-day meeting and was feeling the stress amp up immediately.  I scarfed back those two cold pakoras...  And then I suffered, oh, I suffered. I suffered immediately and I suffered all night long.  I felt like I'd eaten two rocks.  Normally, this is when the self-loathing kicks in.  I get bloated, tired, crampy, cranky, lethargic  and gassy (I'm so sexy...).  I have to put on the baggy hoodie that hides my belly.  Normally, at this point, I won't go near a scale for a week. 

Now, I started this journey, like almost everyone else, thinking to lose a few pounds.  But somewhere along the way, shortly after the carb-flu had passed (whew, that was an ugly stage) I realized it really was about my health.  My body was not meant to eat grains.  It does not like them one bit, and this tiny taste of doughy deep-fry had me, once again, eyeing up the laxatives, thinking....  Well, it took just that one little thing, that small cheat to remind me of why I'm here, and what paleo has done for me.  That one cheat renewed my commitment to paleo.  (Now if only I could get through to my teens so easily...)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Co-Workers and some Pad Thai

So I'm at work the other day, and I'm in the kitchen and my co-worker comes in and says to me "Do you ever worry that you're losing your hair?"  Huh?  What's wrong with my hair?  No, not until this very second I didn't.  Do I look like my hair is thinning?  Are you suggesting I'm looking particularily bald today?  My hair is my crowning glory.  Don't pick on my hair!

I had to step back and think about what she was really saying.  I gave her one long glare, all 5'2" of her and her perfect, cherubian build with the enviably large, round booty, and asked her "Are you saying that because I've lost so much weight, I may start to lose my hair?"

"Yea."  She says.  Was it jelousy speaking?  I think she was just honestly asking, because she thought I was crazy for not eating grains...  A person could starve to death without bread and potatoes.

"But I've only lost 10 pounds.  Seriously.  I'm 123 pounds today, honest.  It's not like I'm 5'6" and 96 pounds."  She was surprised to hear that.  She seems to have thought I was far lighter than that.  That must have been a really oddly worded compliment.  Whew.  But now I'm still paranoid about my hair.  I ran out and bought new shampoo and conditioner last night.  My hair wasn't liking that sulphate free, dye free completely earth friendly vegan stuff anyways. 

So people are noticing.  When I was asked what I wanted for lunch, before I could answer, my co-worker (not the very same one, mind you) stopped me and said "I know, you want something that comes in a bun, with no bun, right?  A burger on a salad."  Ok, he was mocking me, but he's getting it.  People are getting it.  Bread=bad.  Have you ever gone to the Pita Pit and ordered a pita, with no pita, please?  Sure, they look at you sideways, but I asked this coworker to do that, and I was pretty amazed with what was in my lunch that day.  Mr Sub and Subway have nothing on the Pita Pit.  Toppings galore, which means salad fixings galore.  Not perfect food, but not bad for a scavenging free-loading grok such as myself...

Yes, this is our own cooking photo, my first food photo!
 More to the point...  So, tonight we tried a new recipe--paleo Pad Thai.  I found this recipe on, and you haven't been to her website, go there!  Mel has some pretty interesting food combinations.  (And she's just come out with a new cookbook).

I have to say, since going all primal with my food, I've really missed pad thai.  And general tsao's chicken.  These are hard foods to re-create paleo-style.  So I bought me some sunbutter (do you have any yet?  It's pretty good, better than roasted almond butter, I think) and whipped up a batch of her pad thai.  I fed it to my family.  It got 3 out of 4 approvals.  That's a pretty good rating in my house.  The fourth opinion, my teen, well, she's not totally onboard with the whole paleo concept.  She misses her bagels.  At least she showed up and tasted it is all I can say about that.  Next time I make this one, and there will be a next time, I will use hot pepper flakes in the sauce because I like some fire in me belly!  This time-travelling grok needs her hot sauces!  Yea, I loaded mine with extra chili-garlic sauce.  Not because it needed it, but because I do that kind of thing.  I'm like the commercial for Frank's Hot Sauce.  I put that shit on everything!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Why Me?

So what was it that got me started on this primal path?  I was not overweight.  In fact, at my heaviest non-post-pregnancy state I was 132 pounds.  That was my no-good-reason-for-it-heaviest-weight.  And I hated it.  I was lumpy.  I had fat pockets.  In bad places.  Lumps on the tops of the back of my hips, and if I had any ass whatsoever, it might have looked like I had booty.  But no, I had no ass.  So it was one weird extra high lump that made me wish they sewed the pockets higher on jeans so it didn't look so...odd.  And I had ab fat.  Two large pregnancies followed both times by c-sections.  And saddlebags.  Oh, yea, those fat lumps on the insides of your thighs.  Very...pretty....  Under skinnier conditions, you could have passed a 2x4 through the gap between my two thighs.  But not so much anymore.  So I was not heavy, not by a long shot, but I was skinny-fat.

I'd eaten a Zone diet, off and on, for about a decade.  If it was good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it was good enough for me.  But it wasn't really good enough for me.  I didn't spend 2 hours a day in the gym.  And wow, the cravings!  Every half-cup portion of starchy food made me simply want more starchy food.  But it wasn't the zone that got me here.  It was my colon.

Yea, that's right.  We're gonna talk bowel health.  Anyone who has ever abused laxatives, of any kind, knows what I'm talking about.  There was no laxative out there, no fiber pill or powder, no amount of beans or physillium that would keep me regular.  Yup, that is what brought me here.  Try googling "Is fiber bad for you?" and you'll eventually find yourself reading blogs from the world of paleo, about grain-free existences and happy guts.

That was sometime in August 2011, not so long ago at all.  But then I had a huge stumbling block.  Around a month into it, happy to be past the "carb flu" finally, my appendix suddenly burst.  Never had a day of appendix trouble in my whole life.  They didn't know it had burst, at first, and after a grueling 24 hours of complete agony and a CAT scan and an x-ray, they figured it out.  Maybe, when asked to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, I should have screamed 15 like a crazy lady.  Silly, practical me, I thought I'd keep it simple.  I said 10.  And to add insult to injury, while the surgeon was in there, he decided to make it a 2-for and throw in a hernia operation.  Who knew I had a hernia? 

So I had several post-op days in the hospital, food deprived days, drug-induced deep thought days (wow, there was no shortage of demerol, morphine and percoset.  I was almost stoned to the point of being comatose.  Oh, it hurts, yes I'll take some pills, wow, what just happened--where did the last 2 hours go?

I seriously questioned my new primal/paleo diet.  I'd lost 5 pounds over a month, and ended up in hospital.  Wow.  That didn't seem right.  Had I done this to myself?  My bowels had finally been happy!  It didn't seem fair.  Then the surgeon came in and told my why this had happened.  This is where the blog gets graphic, for those of you who are weak of heart and stomach.  Know what he said?  Fossilized poop.  Yep.  Seriously, he said that.  Chronic constipation is the #1 cause of appendicitis.  Then he also went on to say 6 weeks of no exercise.  Now, I was loving running, which I was terrible at and that's why I did it, and now suddenly no running, no lifting, not even doing my own laundry for 6 weeks?  Hmmm.  Mixed blessing, I guess.

So I knew this whole primal/paleo thing was the right thing.  In my belly, no grains=happy guts.  Now there's no looking back.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not a miracle.  I still have ab fat.  Just less ab fat at this point.  And less lumps.  In some places.  (I don't yet know why I have lumps ontop of my hip flexer muscles--they're just weird.)  So now, today, I'm about 3 1/2 months into my journey.  And just about past that 6 week mark.  And I have been going stir-crazy chomping to get out there again.  Let the fun begin....