Sooooooo much for keeping up the blog after 30 days. What can I say? Life happens. Work and school are driving me absolutely bonkers. Legitimately–to the point of fits of laughter and/or crying when I think about anything for too long. You know what would have helped? Sticking with paleo and having the energy to tackle each day. Or just venting to the anonymous blogosphere. Ooo idea!

I won’t say I fell completely off the wagon since my 30 days were up. I kind of had one leg in for a bit, and then just my body being dragged behind the wagon while I held on with one toe. I never gave up completely, though. I mean, every time I did something bad, I knew I was cheating and I felt like crap after. Things that would not have happened had I not started this whole paleo business. It was altogether pretty frustrating, I must say. Well, another frustrating thing to add to my pile of frustrating things. Like how I’ve been able to maybe do crossfit once a week since school started. Because I have school class when I used to go to class class. Falling off the fitness wagon was probably even worse than the paleo. If you’re like me, it seems like the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of a functional, healthy, life plan. And with cf and paleo, I felt like I had found that. Being forced out of a happiness plan made me very unhappy. And then I tried silly things like running at 6am. Poor decision. Was so tired one morning of one of my attempts that I got 1.5 miles away from¬† my apartment (far for me ok geez) and then wiped out in front of a McDonald’s and couldn’t even go to crossfit if I wanted to because I ripped up my hands. Also made showering and general living hard for a week or two while those healed. What a way to kick me when I’m down, life.

Enough complaining, at least for now. Some pretty great things happened recently amidst my mental breakdowns (Yes plural. Averaging 1 per week. Usually Thursdays), like I thought I was gonna die the week of midterms, but ended up somehow getting A’s? Still skeptical. Also, work has been nuts since one of our team members left, and I’ve been doing his job too (a bit above my pay grade you might say) and I think people might be (fingers crossed) making moves to make that more permanent. I also rearranged my apartment last weekend and things like that make me exceedingly happy. Also the trip to Ikea and Target. God, those are happy places. Even though I’m broke. Another reason paleo has been so hard! Bet you didn’t think I’d get back to that either.

Wow, this has been very therapeutic for me. Thanks a heap! But back to the reason I’m posting again… I am determined to get back on that wagon and strap myself in. As if my life depends on it. Because it kind of does. I am a bit of a control freak, so while I can’t control a whole lot of the rest of my life right now, I will make myself do the strict paleo thing again for a while. No goal determined yet, but I should probably set one. Maybe another 30 days? Maybe more? Either way, accountability starts now!

P.S. I also broke down and joined the twitterverse in my hiatus. (Because I have so much extra time and energy right?). @amandamandaP!

Well hello readership of 1-4 on a good day! I’m back. I’m alive. I think I passed my test this weekend! And then I had a real cheat day. But I guess I feel like a lot of the food I consumed throughout this adventure has been kind of iffy (dark chocolate with sugar in it–oh just a little, eggs fried in canola oil, deli turkey with…what is it called…carrageenan? What even IS that.). So after my test, I had a real cheat day; I went all out and had legit pizza. And champagne. Sometimes with other things in the champagne like this:

Champagne + Chambord. I started calling them cham-chams.

I could go on and on about all that, but I would rather talk about something else. Parts of this experiment (can I call it that anymore?) with paleo were really hard, although not as hard as I prepared myself for, so that’s nice. Prepare for the worst, right? But I’d like to make a list of the toughest things and disappointments. And then a few of my favorite things (this list is longer). Like pros and cons!

Cons:

  1. Inconvenience. Really. If the entire world ate paleo too, this would have been a cinch. Or if someone else would have prepared all of my food and done all of my dishes. It was a lot of time – and most definitely a lot of time I should have been devoting to other things. So if you have some large task you are trying to avoid and need a hobby, start paleo tomorrow.
  2. Cravings. I miss French days. B knows what I mean. Days we used to spend eating crusty french bread with an assortment of cheeses. And wine. Only other cravings I got were for real pizza, enchiladas, and beer. But mostly it was crusty bread and hard cheeses. Mmm robusto. Navigating whole foods without passing the cheese testers was not easy.
  3. Benefits I was hoping for and didn’t see. Like sleep. I didn’t sleep super well before I started, and I can’t really say there’s been improvement there. Weight loss. Yeah, not so much with that. It also didn’t manage to solve like, every one of my problems. Which I think somewhere secretly I hoped it would.
  4. $$. I’m sure with more time, preparation, and attention, it wouldn’t have been any more expensive than non-paleo eating, but I refer you again to #1.

Pros:

  1. Bacon-wrapped dates.
  2. No more afternoon crash. Generally pretty solid energy level throughout the day. I’ve NEVER experienced this before, and will probably keep up paleo for solely this reason.
  3. Chocolate cake in a mug.
  4. Sweet potato fries and sweet potato hash.
  5. Black iced coffee (I know!) or iced coffee blended with coconut milk ice cubes and a pinch of cinnamon on top.
  6. Muffins (chocolate banana and banana walnut).
  7. I mentioned above being bummed about no weight loss, but I just in general feel…smaller. Better. Compact? Maybe I should just have fewer bacon-wrapped dates.
  8. Which reminds me to refer again to #1.
  9. Steve’s paleo krunch bars and U.S. Wellness Meats. Super impressed with both companies. Hope to continue to discover more! Next one to test out is Power Supply.
  10. All of the other awesome blogs I now follow (e.g., PaleOMG, Civilized Caveman) and just in general the new community I’ve been introduced to. Thanks, J and everyone else. You’re all awesome.

I’m proud of myself. I remember back when I first heard about paleo and thought, omg I could never ever do that, and wouldn’t want to. But here I am! Even though I wasn’t perfect, I still gave it a real shot, and in the end I think I want to keep up most if not all of the food habits I’ve picked up throughout the process. Which I guess would classify this experience as “life-changing.” J’s birthday is Friday (hooraaaaay!) so there will be more cheating, but then I’ll likely be back on the horse by Monday morning.

I hope to keep blogging, though :), even though the official experiment is over. This is fun for me even if no one reads it. AND it’s that time of year when I develop another obsession….fantasy football! So I might even talk about things other than food or crossfit…sometimes.

Onwards and upwards!

The purpose of this post is three-fold: first, to tell you about the competition Saturday! Second, to tell you about my paleo cheating. And third, to tell you why I might take a week off from the blogosphere. I’ll work my way backwards.

Why am I not going to post for the rest of this week? Because I have a huge math test this coming Saturday and there just aren’t enough hours. Seriously, I have to cover the material from three entire courses, two of which were year-long classes, and oh, I took them in 2007. FIVE years ago. But it’s not like I’ve been posting regularly for a while anyway. I’ve been weening you off. It was on purpose. What?

Now the cheating. I prepared myself a while ago (three weeks ago when I started) to have August 18th be my cheat day. Or paleo challenge end day. But then I was packing food to tote with me to the competition and guess what, it was all paleo. And then I was hungry when I got home and reheated some dinner from Friday night that was, you guessed it, paleo. I was determined to go out and have at least a celebratory drink, though, so dragged my friends to the rooftop at Surfside for some margaritas. (After all, I’m told tequila is the most paleo liquor? I’ll take agave over potatoes any day!) So halfway through the marg, I witnessed the bartender making a delightful looking drink for another customer in mason jar. If I wasn’t already won over by the choice of drinking vessel, get this: it was tequila, agave, straight lime juice (no rosa’s), and soda water. An almost-nearly-soclosetopaleo drink!…I just had to do it. Luckily my friend Mike was willing to finish off my real (full of nonpaleo-sugars) margarita so I could have the “naked margarita” as they called it. And I had two. And they were amazing.

The jar really adds something, don’t you think?

After that we went to see the dark knight (which I still hadn’t seen omg I know.). When we got to the theater I got a VICIOUS stomach ache. Not the kind you (maybe) usually get from drinking, but like almost heartburn. Makes sense though, I guess, since I’ve been “detoxifying” my whole system for the past few weeks and then put straight up poison in it. Then I had fuzzy water and paleo snacks and was okay. And fine on Sunday, so now back to no-poison eating. Because that was just…pretty terrible.

And finally, the competition! I was kind of worried since going into the competition J and I were SO sore from Thursday night crossfit. 50 unbroken burpees + 75 max unbroken wall balls? (You had to subtract 5 from your count every time you stopped, and I took like 5 breaks during the wbs which means I did like 100 total). I could barely walk on Friday, but foam rolled and tried to take care of myself so that I wasn’t, at least visibly, crippled on Saturday. Which I guess didn’t affect me too much since I PR’ed 3 out of the 4 lifts!! Power clean up by 10#, back squat up by 10#, and deadlift up by 20#! I didn’t hit my bench press PR, though, but I don’t really care. Just too happy about the others.

The met con was pretty awful at the end, ball slams and dumbbell thrusters with more weight than I’ve ever used before, oh and sprinting in between.And three rounds of that. I could barely breathe after, but that’s how I like it. Ok now here are some pictures :).

So you can see the set up. Along the wall there were 4 stations, and we had 2 heats. I was in a group (with J yay!) at station 4, heat 1.

First attempt (so at a weight I knew I could manage comfortably). Blurry pictures are always best. Look at that form! Snazzy.

Met con ball slams. Was actually kind of fun. Way more of an ab workout than you think.

GAH heavy. It’s good these are far away. Faces are unpretty. Well, just not my best look in general.

Devin’s instagramming a picture of my elbow.

This one, specifically. http://instagram.com/p/OevsKThtrg/

We all smelled REALLY ripe at the end.

(J)aclyn, (B)ecky, and me. Woo athletes! But WOOOOO cheerleaders!! B is for Becky, and Best, and Beast, which she is and totally would have been if not hurt :(. We love you lady!

Just as an FYI, just because I won’t be blogging does not mean I won’t be paleo and won’t be crossfitting. I will certainly be doing both of those things. And probably come back with more stories of celebratory cheating (hopefully).

I’ve been trying to focus on some other things (wondered what it was like to do paleo and not have that be, like, the ONLY thing I think and talk about), so there’s not a lot to report (again). Except I’ve been enjoying the hell out of those muffins. I made everyone in my office try them. I won’t say against their will, but not necessarily with it either.

It’s day nineteen! Tomorrow is the crossfit competition I mentioned when I started this paleo business. The original idea was to do it until the comp and then reevaluate. I think I will try to at least give it the ~30 days, though, since apparently you need at least that long for your body to really figure out what it’s doing. With a cheat day tomorrow obviously since there’s a party after the competition and, well, I hope to deserve it at that point. Speaking of, I have no idea what to expect tomorrow except that it will probably be nothing like what I expect. Oh well. I hope my next post is reporting the amazing time I had and all of the PR’s I set!

I did another chocolate experiment two days ago after the great muffin success. I tried to make Balanced Bites’ Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, but I failed. They were okay for what they were, but they certainly were no Balanced Bites’. I knew something had gone awry when recipe said to “pour into muffin liners enough to coat the bottom and then harden in the fridge” while I was looking at my pot of what appeared to be coffee grounds. I spooned and packed them down though, and there was enough coconut oil I guess to harden somewhat in the fridge. This is what they looked like in the end. I still ate them all obviously. (Oh shhhh it was only nine and Jaclyn helped.)

Crumbly on top still.

This is a complete aside, but I don’t remember if I mentioned that next Saturday (Aug 25th), I have to take my mathematics comprehensive exam (the “comps”) as one more hurdle on the road to get my masters (the “other things” I’ve been trying to focus on recently that I mentioned above). So from the beginning, I had the event this weekend and that test as mental benchmarks in my paleo adventure. The comp and the comps. I should be devoting much more time to studying instead of to crossfit and paleo researching, but I’m trying to go easy on myself. Since tomorrow is only day 20, the comps will be 27, so almost the whole 30 but not quite. Anyway, I am hoping that even if I break/cheat this weekend, I can be back on track next week leading up to the test. I think I have a mental association with the control over my diet and the control over my work/school life. And I am a control FREAK. So I hope, REALLY hope, that another benefit I get from this paleo challenge is to better…behave? myself next week in my time off from work just trying to prepare for the test. That’ll be the real test for me. If I can be really good about staying paleo and really good about studying. A LOT. Sorry that was different, but it’s kind of all-consuming for me at the moment. I’m like, really stressed out about it, if you couldn’t tell.

All for now. Next time you hear from me should be post-compeition. Wish me luck! I might even have pictures from the event to share! Fingers crossed.

That’s not a number, is it? Officially today is day sixteen. Fifteen was fairly uneventful in the Amanda food world, mostly because Mondays are my longest day. Leave for work around 8am and get home from crossfit around 9:30pm. Not much time to be fun. But today, well today is chocolate banana muffin day.

I documented my baking, too! Which I never remember to do. What transpired below is largely adapted from Mee Eat Paleo’s recipe. But I don’t have a Vitamix.

First paleo baking I’ve done that required apple cider vinegar. I was wary (but I am no longer). I also used 1 2/3 cup almond flour and 1/3 cup coconut flour since I like the texture of things I’ve baked before that use both.

NOT gross. Come on, you’d try that. Didn’t use 1 cup of dates, but instead used about 1/3 cup almond butter, 1/3 cup ray honey, and 1/3 cup maple syrup. I realize this replacement doesn’t make total sense, but it tastes like it’s meant to be.

MMMmmmmmmmm. I will say there was something bitter about the batter. Bitter batter ha. But it was my hope that in baking it would go away, and it did.

Ohmygod ohmygod.

Sorry — I’m delinquent. Now that the novelty has worn off (to me, so definitely to you), I’m not going to post everything I ate from Fri through the weekend. Because it would be boring and I likely can’t remember all of it.¬† I think it would read weird too since it was mostly perpetual snacking and no real meals. There were probably some gray-area foods consumed (e.g., almond butter with palm oil, coconut oil spray that contains soy apparently, and coconut ice cream with %0.35 guar gum), but no blatant cheating. That I’m aware of. I did some positive experimenting, though! So I will recount that.

First, Friday night dinner. Spaghetti squash pasta with spinach pesto. The pesto obviously didn’t have parm in it (sad), but I think I made up for the flavor with the shear volume of garlic added. Sauteed spinach in garlic (probably two cloves) and onion. Added that to food processor with toasted pine nuts and garlic powder + little sea salt. Then I cooked two chicken breasts in the spinach pan, and added the “spaghetti” and pesto. It turned out really well — flavor, texture, everything. I reheated more of it Saturday and added sundried tomatoes which was awesome; should have done that to begin with.

Definitely better with tomatoes.

Second experiment: pecan-coconut-maple butter. This did not come out like a normal nut butter. It’s kind of crumbly, but still delicious. Kind of tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll. Adapted from PaleOMG recipe. I didn’t cream the coconut together first which is probably why the texture is off. Used walnut for the oil and maple syrup instead of honey.

I cleaned my apartment Saturday, too! So I was able to make use of my black table without it looking disgusting.

That was pretty much it. I did make zucchini chips Sunday afternoon. I was feeling snacky and all of the things I really wanted were definitely not paleo so I tried to make something crunchy. Worked a little too well when I accidentally burnt them to a crisp. This is the before picture.

For the after, just imagine smaller and charred.

I did the same thing with a few pieces of salami too – baked them at 400 for 10-15 min. They turned into little salami chips, more like salami jerky when I didn’t leave them in long enough. Both versions delicious. And when I saw all of the grease dripping off of them I thought, hey there’s some fat I’m not consuming. That’s probably a good thing.

I’m very sad that I’m totally out of muffins. I will have to make more tonight maybe.

I’m also a big fan of this passion iced tea – la croix lemon mix in my big kid cup.

Everything tastes better in a comically large glass.

BAH, okay get the boring out of the way. Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2.5 pieces bacon, black iced coffee. Mid-morning SB venti iced passion tea. Lunch: WF blackened salmon, salad with red onion/tomato/avocado, and la croix lemon. Throughout the day, small bag of rosemary roasted cashews. (This doesn’t make paleo seem tough at all, does it?)

Then, around 2pm, the magic happened. Pulled batter out of the fridge, microwaved on high for 2 minutes, and BAM. CAKE. Don’t worry, I shared. But so soooooo good.

Really… I just… I don’t want to talk about it.

Then got home to find order from U.S. Wellness Meats arrived! Ground buffalo, chicken tenders, beef sliders, and sugar-free beef franks galore! And I only ordered on Tuesday and everything arrived all frozen still. This girl is super impressed.

Meats!

Not hungry after cf class tonight (rowed 5000m!). Surely something is wrong with me. Or maybe cake is so magical I can now go for days without other sustenance.

 

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