Thursday, January 3, 2013

Clean Eats

Before I start this post, let me preface it with: I AM NOT A PRO. I am not a specialist/nutritionist/doctor/dietician or any other thing. I am merely someone who tried a particular way of eating and was successful in shedding some extra lbs. Only after abandoning this lifestyle for a few short months of 1) newlywed life 2) bar studies 3) holidays, I realize the weight loss was the smallest benefit of "being Paleo".

I think this chart will help before I continue...

Since the wedding, I have eaten the occasional "non-paleo" meal... This means Fellini's Pizza Sunday commenced, I kept the buns on my burgers and made them cheeseburgers, and I definitely enjoyed my mac n cheese sides. What I found I could not partake in: yogurt, milk, and ice cream. After being paleo for nine months I became intolerant to most dairy and realize I had been cramming Yogli Mogli and Baskin Robbins down my throat and my body was forced to deal with it. I see the Whole 30 as an amazing cleanse to rid your body of the most common food allergens that we just ignore or become tolerant of in our daily lifestyle. Once you do the Whole30 and try to eat like your old self, you learn what your body is actually intolerant of... quite easily. haha

Before I am misquoted, I don't think Paleo is the end all be all, I think it was a catalyst in my weight loss journey and was the driving force of my extra energy juggling school, studying, work, and trying to get in the gym. You don't have to be "extreme Paleo"... it has its merits even if you do it as a balanced portion of your meals... like 75% paleo... trust me. It matters. You think of food differently and you are more conscious of what you put in your mouth. So that effort you take prevents you from eating mindless chips and understands if you are going to cheat, you are going to make it something minor, like mashed potatoes instead of sweet potatoes because you are simply craving it with your steak- and you aren't going to beat yourself up over it! Trust me, you will not crave a Big Mac... you will be so pumped with your energy, extra pep in your step, and shrinking waistline, the last thing you want to do is cheat! Just by eating more natural, healthy foods your body will be changing for the better. Lean meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts- the basis of paleo- with lots of water = AMAZING energy and the weight loss is just an added plus!

I feel like people set themselves up for failure when they become extremists. For the new year, I wanted to get back into 90% paleo but felt discouraged because I turned my back on it the past few months... and anyone who has done paleo knows how amazing it feels-so how could I just go back to my old ways??! That's when I realized I was giving myself way too much of a hard time. Old self?!? Old me had an egg and cheese biscuit 4 days a week for breakfast and a "healthy salad" was loaded with two packs of ranch! I never ever touched water. 3 cups of sweet tea a day... I had to sit and realize how far I have come from "old me"... As discouraged as I am for gaining 13 lb since the wedding, I have to give myself some credit. I have pretty much practiced paleo, save for the random bread cravings I have had. I really can get back in the swing of things!

The hardest part is preparation. Fail to plan- plan to fail. It's so easy to leave the house without almonds, water, paleo snacks, and be caught up in my day to the point that I am so HANGRY I cave and order a fast food salad... I mostly gave up paleo when my days consisted of being on the go I couldn't prepare a proper breakfast or lunch. I am going to try my hardest to get back into this habit.

The reason I want to get back on track isn't even for cosmetic purposes anymore. I have pretty much embraced the fact that no matter what weight I am, I will always be critical of my body! What I miss the most is the energy. I miss not being lethargic and mopey. I miss waking up early, eating my proper breakfast and starting my day off right.

I never blog about diet stuff. I feel like I'm under a magnifying glass, and if I post things on instagram like an occasional chocolate croissant for Sunday morning breakfast, I would be stoned to death. This post is basically...yes, I like the paleo diet. I know it's good for me, but I am totally ok with embracing some hiccups. If I see them as failures I won't change at all. I'll deny being paleo so I don't fail. I also can't stand the posts I see #paleo #crossfit #amazing #fit #skinny #fitsporation #blahblahblah I'm just human. I want to make small changes to enjoy this short life I live.

Anyhow. I leave you with my paleo tips. It's not much, but it's something. (Again, not a pro, but hey- I did lose 40 lbs...)

1.) Start your mornings off RIGHT!!! (My favorite paleo breakfast)

2.) Start your day with a full glass of water. I'm talking 12 oz people. It can be done. Finish off the rest of your day with lots of water (my rule of thumb: divide your body weight in half. Drink that many ounces of water a day). Download the app: waterlogged to help. I have taken pics of all my water bottles and that day I just click which one I just finished. It's awesome and it almost makes water drinking a challenging game haha

3.) Invest in different sizes of tupperware. I got the $8 pack from Ikea that has every size imaginable. I go grocery shopping frequently since I'm going through such copious amounts of produce, so I make life easier by washing everything and dividing them in individual containers. I put a handful of blueberries/strawberries/etc in 5 different containers. There's my mid morning snack for the week. It takes up room in the fridge, but it's SUCH a no-brainer when I open the fridge hungry to just grab one and be done!

4.) Go in on some paleo cook books with a friend. You buying one book really renders you double the amount of recipes. I started with

This book was enlightening. I remember her intro was what helped shed the most light on paleo. The recipes were 6/10 but I would buy it alone for the intro and the motivation. 

My next purchase will definitely be this one: 

5.) Don't beat yourself up if you "fail". Don't even see it as a failure. Don't dwell on it. AND ABOVE ALL: If you mess up in the morning, DON'T justify the rest of your day as a loss and continue. Acknowledge you could have made a better decision and move on. 

6.) Get your daily requirement of sleep. Or nightly. ha whatever. For some that's 6-8. For me it's definitely 10...I don't get 10, but I need it. I don't sleep enough and I think a huge part of my inability to lose weight stems from this. My family would laugh at this because I wake up around 10:30... but what they don't know is I go to bed around 4am. 

7.) Journal. Food log. Write what you eat. Not for obsession rather to make sure you are eating enough! THE BIGGEST paleo mistake: getting overwhelmed and being new to paleo you think have been limited from so much, so you don't even bother eating! You limit yourself from so much, you end up seeing you've only had 340 calories all day (or something ridiculous)... I joined My Fitness Pal for the wedding... Granted, I still don't know the ins and outs of the website... I use the app to log certain things when I don't have time to jot what I ate. People do this for caloric intake- but with me I don't have that problem. My problem was not getting ENOUGH calories, and sending my body into starvation mode- aka weight gain. I'm not sure how it all works but my name on it is: xbody so if you add me make me do something haha. just kidding. 

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

I also am a visual person and for the wedding I loved seeing the tracker go down. It was such a bitter reality check to take my "40lbs lost" in March and add about 15lb... I felt so discouraged... but this leads me to my last and final tip: 

8.) Hide your scale. I know it would be futile to beg you to toss your scale, so I would rather just be realistic and ask you kindly to hide it. Let me give you a cold hard fact. (this pertains more to crossfitters than JUST paleo-ers)


From September 2010 - February 2011 I weighed the same. 
Yep. I couldn't get the scale to budge. I was devastated. All those log ins and no numerical change... but everyone kept saying, "you look incredible!!!!" (I would post a before and after but it's so disgusting I would barf)....

NOW. Here's the kicker. I lost 5 pant sizes in that same time frame. WHAT?!! How is that so?! I know I heard muscle weighs more than fat numerous times before, but I finally had to see it with my own eyes to believe it. For 5 months I was discouraged for no reason. The scale does NOT determine my self-worth. In fact, it is a terrible litmus test for anyone trying to lose weight! 

I suggest: Take before and after pictures. Lock yourself in a room. Kick your husband out. Get in a bathing suit you have hopes of wearing this summer. Take the most natural pictures you can of your front, back, and side to side. Don't suck in, don't stick it out. Be natural. Then. Once you are done cringing and pouting and being mad at the world- get on your "goal jeans". Skinny jeans from days long gone... and try them on. Take a picture of where they sit or how they fit (muffin top, etc). I currently have "goal pants" that were worn ON MY HONEYMOON, that won't go up my thigh. THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, PEOPLE! 13 lb gained from wedding sounds small, but I can't get the pants up! Anyhow. So yes, there I am. Taking pics of my pants around my thighs. You gotta do what you gotta do. THEN, email ALL the pictures and label it whatever you plan on searching for later. Delete the pics from your phone so no one else has to be subjected to that nastiness (in my case)... and be motivated. Do this every month on the same day if you can. My day was the 16th of every month. I looked forward to it like it was a special treat. Because it was working. I was never let down on a "visual weigh-in". The scale? Major let down. The pics. Not so much. I remember by the time we got married, those "goal jeans" were so baggy I was elated. 

Anyhow. I hope during the new year you sit back and reassess WHY you want to lose weight. For me, it was a white dress in my closet. Now that that dress and event has come and gone, it is most definitely for less superficial reasons. I miss being THAT girl. I miss the energy. I miss the passion I had for trying new recipes and "witnessing" to the hopeless cashiers who couldn't get the few lbs off... I want it back. I hope this helps and if you have any questions just shoot me an email at 

Again, I AM NO PRO and I can only say this speaking from my own personal experience! contact your physician for any extreme diet changes...  Good luck! I have a paleo board on pinterest that I am trying to expand and will do my best to post successful ones! 

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