Friday, September 30, 2011

30 day challenge - day 19

Day 19:

Wow... again, it's been a while since I blogged last.  My journey is continuing, but i'm finding that it's really no fun to cook Paleo or cook-period without someone to share it with!  Since hubby is TDY (meaning he's gone for a little while)... I haven't been cooking. I had a great day on Thursday as I went with my new culture group to opening ceremonies and we met a lot of wonderful Japanese ladies.  We then went out to a restaurant... it was a soba restaurant.  I tried to be good.  Really... got sushimi and soba noodles.  I felt, out of respect for them paying my bill, I had to eat the soba noodles.  The sashimi was great, of course, so was the soba.  However, all day long today my guts told me how stupid that was to eat noodles made from gluten-containing ingredients!!  Soba tends to be buckwheat or barley... so, there's some gluten in them.  Yep... besides bloating and many trips to the restroom today, I was tired and fatigued all day!!  No more soba for me...

So, today I decided I HAD to eat only Paleo style. 

Breakfast was eggs, bacon bits and feta cheese omlet with coffee (I'd die without that vice).

So, today, I went with a group of gals to a Japanese Farmer's Market.  I am SO sad I did not take a photo of inside the farmer's market.  We had lunch and it was GREAT!  I had something that translated to parent-child... meaning it was chicken and egg cooked together with onion on a bed of rice.  Needless to say, I had no rice, but gobbled up the chicken and egg mixture!!  It was FANTASTIC!!  Here's some photos of the market main area and a view of the street from inside...

Two peaches (momo), one part of a daikon radish, 18 eggs (all Japanese eggs are pastured and the price reflects that!!  450 yen for 18 eggs... roughly $5!!), 6 onions that weren't already moldy and going bad (as in recent days with the commissary), fresh basil, plum wine (I think... it sure looks yummy), and two apples I gave to the Tech Sgt that I work with at my reserves... all carried home in my Trader Joe's bag (have I said how much I MISS TJ's??)

I did make a steak last night for my teen and I. 

I also cut romaine lettuce in half (yep, the whole heart of romaine) and grilled it after the steak was done grilling.  It was about 2 mins only each side and then took it off the grill and drizzled olive oil on it, the lightly sprinkled kosher salt and cracked some pepper onto it. YUM!!

So, we sat around eating loin steak and romaine last night.  Loving life and being Paleo!!

Tonight... well, first Oktoberfest while being Paleo and it was the BEST yet!!

I realized I never ate the sausage/bratwurst as it was 'too fatty' on my previous lifestyle... so, tonight I had a HUGE one!!  I also had beef and another sausage type thing along with sauerkraut.  I was in heaven eating!!  Typically, I would have had a little beef and sauerkraut, then potatoes and dessert.  Feeling horrible the entire time.  NOT TONIGHT!!  I did not drink the German beer, though.  I understand now why I never could tolerate beer... so, without issue, I had my typical vodka tonics.  No gluten and the tonic helps me with my cramp issues.  

CRAMPS???  What cramps?  Well, for my entire life I've had foot and toe cramps.  Can't truly remember a time without them.  Point my toes, and ... yep, CRAMP!!  Anyhow, the last week or so, I've been having BAD cramps in my toes, arches, feet, ankles, lower legs, back of knees and calves.  You name the muscle in my lower leg/feet and I've experienced a cramp in that muscle!  I've stretched, eaten bananas every morning, eaten kiwi for dessert at night, had yogurt for the calcium, had tonic water for the quinine, stretched more, bath with epson salts, exercised less, exercised more, used salt in my dinners, not used salt, ate mustard, etc... continued in spite of my best efforts... well... vodka tonic sounded like it might help... so that's my excuse for drinking tonight.  (stinks to go home alone though... miss my hubby...)

OH!!  I almost forgot!!  Dog primal diet??  Going well for the one dog, not so great for the other.  Cheyenne (the one with diabetes type I) is doing excellent.  She's LOVING the chicken and is chewing and masticating the bones like a champ... Still needs me to hold the chicken so she can grab and pull with her teeth, but just loves this time.  Buddy?  He's a standard grain diet kind of dog... for now.  While Cheyenne is eating her chicken thigh/legs, Buddy eats a turkey neck.  Just a small section of it takes him longer than Cheyenne's two 1/4 chickens!!  He eats so gently and delicately that he hardly does much damage!!  So, after Cheyenne's done and he's FINALLY done... we go inside and I feed him his kibble and canned meat and Cheyenne gets her frozen broccoli.  She LOVES that!  Then, we check her sugar and I do the insulin injectin as per normal... I think we're getting close to figuring out the dosage for her primal diet... 14 units.  Most of today, her sugar was low 100's to mid 100's.  That's the best since she was diagnosed!!  Though 'Normal' is 80-120... similar to humans, the vets would rather her run a 'little' high as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is more dangerous for dogs than hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).  So.. we'll take these levels over the 300-400 plus we were running on 18 units twice dialy while on kibbles (80% grain) diet... Though her vision continues to worsen and I think she's probably greater than 80% blind right now... she's doing well.  She's happy, runs in the backyard, walks well on her walks (though I think I'm now her 'seeing eye human'!!), and besides looking the wrong direction for attention seems 'normal'.  I just wish I'd changed her diet to fully carnivore years ago.  But, no use crying over 'spilt milk'... we'll deal with what we have now.  That's a dog who's sugar levels are FINALLY stabilizing into semi-normal ranges.  I'm happy.

Now... off to bed.  What a great, though long week!!  OH!! Forgot to say I did my Week 9 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K!!!  That's 5 min warm-up walk, 30 mins run (without stopping!!) and 5 mins cool down walk (though I walked for 5 mins longer to finish 5K or 3 miles).  :)  Not bad after a 5 day hiatus from running!! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 15

Day 15:  side note - I learned how to embed links... look for them!! :)

Where the heck did days 13 and 14 go??  Well, on Day 13, we were cleaning up after the typhoon, spending quality time together (hey, in a military family, you take what you're given!!) and bringing our oldest furry baby to the vet eye doc.  (yeah, they actually specialize after veterinary school and can be opthamologists... this guy was trained in the good ole USA, so he spoke decent English, too!)  That in an of itself was the highlight/lowlight of the weekend.  Yes, she's completely blind (well, can see light vs dark) in the right eye and the left eye is clouding up fast.  History:

Cheyenne is our 9 year old purebred Labrador retriever... never again will I get a 'purebred' dog... she has hip dysplasia, the opposite knee is arthritic due to a puppy 'injury' (jumped over a baby gate when she was only 5 or 6 months old), got type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) just last year before our move to Japan (that's what held me up from moving sooner), seasonal skin allergies/irritation, and her newest thing besides the fast moving cataract/blindness is that a blood test for her liver enzymes were VERY elevated.  *sigh*  It took a while for the vet's staff to figure out what to call it in English:  translation = "biliary sludge".   Grrrreeeeeat... What to do? 

Just so happens that I had started reading up on Raw Food diet for dogs just about 2 weeks ago... it's kinda like having her go Paleo!!  I also heard about raw food diet from my host family from Hawaii last March... I am still amazed that chicken bones are dangerous when cooked, but OK if raw.  Like everything I do, I decided to read up on it and have been doing so for the past two weeks.  Hubby wasn't crazy about the idea as it just sounds strange.  I'll be sharing my links with him, too.  Well,  since Paleo works for humans... let's see about dogs:

The premise behind a dog eating raw foods is that they are all from a common ancestor , the wolf.  What is a wolf's diet in the wild?  Raw meat that the pack kills, carrion found, and scraps humans leave behind.  What type of animal is a wolf?  A carnivore.  Not an omnivore like us.  That means, they are uniquely suited to eating a diet of meat, bones, organs, etc from another animal.  NOT grains.  For those of you who think differently about wolves and the domesticated dog (they're not that far off from each other, really)... read this.  I challenge you to read the contents of dog food... here's ours:

DRY "healthy weight" Dog food: 
1.  ground yellow corn
2.  chicken by-product meal (that's OK... dogs would savange that from a slaughterhouse, I suppose)
3.  corn gluten meal
4.  soybean hulls
5.  whole wheat flour
6.  rice flour
7. chicken
8.  soy flour
9.  animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols
10. sugar
11.  a bunch of things I cannot pronounce come next.

Wet/Canned Dog Food that we put in for 'flavoring':
1.  sufficient water for Processing
2.  chicken
3.  Meat by-products
4.  wheat flour
5.  beef
6. liver
7.  wheat gluten
8.  peas
9.  salt
10.  carrots
11.  and more stuff I cannot pronounce, much less they shouldn't be eating!!

Well... crap.  So, I changed my life and am changing my health through weight loss and exercise, but what about my dogs??  Buddy, our 5 yr old MONSTER poodle (he's a standard, but the biggest I've ever seen much less had in my family!!), has always had grossness on his teeth... could this be why?  There's even SUGAR and SALT in dog food!!  WHY?  Is that so that it appeals to the human owners?? 

So... cost... that was my last hurdle until her visit to the vet.  So, here's the cost break down as I see it:
1.  dry dog food = $17.69 (price from PetSmart online)... we use 2.5 cups (9oz) per meal x 2 meals a day x 2 dogs = 36 oz per day = $2.56 per day in dry food. 
2.  wet/canned food = $.69/can and we use 1/4 per dog's evening meal($0.17 per dog = $0.34 for two of them a day as they're only fed once a day with wet in the food)
3.  both meals together for 2 dogs = approx $2.90 a day in food.  Not bad... no wonder why we feed them this way!

Now, at the commissary, I price checked meats (on the bone), chicken parts (necks, livers, tails, etc) and pork pieces.  The literature I came up with online recommended that you start a dog on 1/4 chickens (thigh and leg, yep... bones, too - as long as they're UNCOOKED) for the first week.  (look here for the amount to feed).   (Another great source for beginning here)
1.  bag of 1/4 chicken = 8 pieces at $3.99
2.  recommendation is 1-2 quarters per meal for dogs my dog's sizes = $0.50 per meal for one quarter chicken... so, let's say 1/2 chicken for one dog... even a 'whole' chicken for the 2 = $2.00
3.  I know the price will go higher once I add in the organ meats or other parts, but that'll probably end up being breakfast in the long run... I'll update the costs on that when I begin that next week.

So much for this being more expensive way to feed my dogs!!  Now, I understand I need to throw in some organ meats and other 'body parts' to make it a nutritionally sound diet for the dogs, but the chicken meat/bones will be a good start for us.

So, last night was Cheyenne's first night of the raw chicken for dinner.  Now, she's a gulper and usually will 'eat' her dinner in less than 90 seconds (we timed her once).  So, in keeping with being a mom and upon the suggestion on a website, I held the food for her.  I'm glad I did.  It gave her a chance to figure things out and to chew and break the bones.  Now, this is chicken from the grocery store.. so the only 'blood' I encountered was the bone marrow as she broke it up.  Not dirty, not bloody, not gross.  Then again, I am a weirdo who dissected anything I got my hands on when I was a kid and had all those anatomy classes in high school through university, so this is not gross to me.  I kinda felt like a mommy bonding with her child... again.  It was nice.  Cheyenne did well.  No coughing or choking at all.  Compared to how she normally eats, this was smooth and easy (I had to teach her to 'calm it down' when she would be gulping down her food as she would start coughing and hacking up bits of the dry food).  I talked to her throughout and she was wagging her tail the entire time.  Poor Buddy came up to us after finishing his food (he got the 'normal' dinner) and was wondering why he couldn't get in the fun.  To Cheyenne's credit, no growling, just kept eating.

I did my 'normal' thing of checking her blood sugar curve after dinner and until bedtime, then again in the morning... she didn't need her insulin until about 10pm cause she was sitting around 120 an hour after dinner, instead of her normal 380!!  So, around 10pm, her sugar actually went up to 301 and I gave her only 15 units (normal lately has been 18 with the blood sugar only getting down to 180-220 AFTER the injection). 

There was no period during the evening that she raced for the door, and believe me, I watched her like a HAWK!  I have to admit, I was afraid something would get caught and we'd be searching for a animal ER to remove a stuck bone.  NOPE.  Woke up this morning, not by my typical hungry dog, but a dog who was excited to see ME.  Typically, she will cry and whine to wake us up if we're not feeding her by 5am... I got up at 7am.  This is a HUGE change.  We did her 'normal' morning routine of Proin (bladder incontinence) and cheese (very small amount), then her new liver pills :(, and then her NSAID eye drops.  She got her 3 frozen green beans and did not need her am dose of insulin as her blood sugar was only 161 (as opposed to her 'normal' morning blood sugar of over 380)... so at about 1030am when it went up to 310, she got another 15 units of insulin.  She still wasn't hungry nor asking for food by that time!!  Just happily ate her 2 frozen green beans after her shot (that's been her treat from the start of her diagnosis with diabetes to stay away from high calorie foods like store-bought dog treats).

When DID she get hungry?  4pm.  Whats amazing is that she typically will bother me or my hubby starting around 2:30pm for dinner.  Unfortunately, she had to wait an extra hour as the chicken thawed in the sink (though I had it in the fridge, it was still semi-frozen).  We did the same thing as last night... I prepared Buddy's dinner as usual and took Cheyenne out back to feed her the two 1/4 chickens (thigh and leg with bones intact) and we just had a great time together... me holding the food and her figuring out how to pull on it with her front teeth and grind the bones with her back teeth.  Buddy came out again, and this time, I did have a treat of a turkey neck for him.  After Cheyenne was done, I held the turkey neck for him.  He went straight to gnawing with his back teeth and breaking the bones.  I even let him have it after he was so successful and gentle with me holding it.  That was great!  I now think I can bring him over to the raw diet without 'teaching' him like I have to with Cheyenne.  :)  Unfortunately, I was using him as the store-bought dog food finisher and now realize that may have to change.

Back to the Primal PT:
Well, this girl got on the scale this morning and lost another 2 pounds!!  Yippee!!  Is this the end of my plateau??  (won't be if I don't get my butt back to running!!)

BREAKFAST:  two fried eggs and 2 pieces of bacon with a banana - forgot to drink my coffee!!  

LUNCH:  greek yogurt with blueberries and water to drink

DINNER:  It's cooking while I'm writing, so I'll post the pictures below after we eat... I'm modifying (slightly) a recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder for tonight that I've made all my life... YUM!!  Tonight, I did not have carrots, so substituted left over peas (which sure look pretty in the pot) and I have to admit I never use the thyme anymore as hubby dislikes that herb.  

Manhattan Clam Chowder
1 medium onion chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 pieces bacon, sliced/chopped
2 cans clams - reserve juices
1 can diced tomatoes - no salt added kind
1-2 large sweet potatoes (mine look white as they're the Japanese kind that are purple on the outside)
2-3 carrots chopped small (I didn't have any of these tonight...)
pinch sea salt
ground black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme

Cook up bacon and add onions and celery, continue cooking over medium/med-high heat until clear then take juice from the clams, add enough water to make 3 cups and pour into pot.  Add diced tomato (include juice) to the pot.  Next, add your root veggies... and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn down heat to low and simmer for 30 mins or until root veggies are cooked.  Add salt, pepper and thyme, then clams last, right before serving.  

Typically, I would serve with corn bread that I made during the cooking of the root veggies... forgot that tonight, so no bread.  However, I am resolved to figure out a Paleo-ish cornbread that doesn't just substitute one other 'off limits' flour for wheat flour.  When I find one, I'll let you know!!

Also, since I did not have the carrots, I figured we needed more veggies in the soup, so I poured in the last bit of peas from a bag in the freezer.  Sure made it look purty.  :)

good night!! 


Friday, September 23, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Day 12

Gosh, this was my first true 'cheat' day in the 3 months... why during the 30 day challenge???  Cause I just felt I needed chocolate and the only ones in my pantry were some Hawaiian macadamia nuts covered in chocolate.  So, I gave in and figured I'd be 'good' the rest of the day.. until dinner when we went to Shabu-Shabu and I ate some white rice... just a little, but still was a cheat.  Did I make the 'allowed' 80/20?  Probably... do I feel good about that?  Nope.  I should 'cause I ate cabbage, lots of meat (pork and two kinds of beef), seaweed, cucumbers, etc.  BUT I had a great time at dinner.  When I went to Hawaii after the earthquake/tsunami, I lived with a family who took GREAT care of me and my teen... the husband was here doing some work, so hubby and I took him out to dinner.  THAT'S what made my whole day!  It was so good to get caught up on everything that's happened in his family's life since I left Hawaii late April.  WOW... I guess I DO feel good about the 80/20 (just guilty about the chocolate). 

What I do feel good about was doing Pilates today... harder than do-dah, since I haven't done Pilates in MONTHS... yeah, before my gallbladder went bad, so that puts it around this time last year.  Why Pilates?  I dunno... just a weird hair up my bum that was there from morning to night.  Thus the chocolate and the Pilates.  Can I blame it on hormones?  Nah.  But, it did feel good to use my tummy muscles and NOT have pain like I used to have!  

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Day 11... it interesting how I'm living a day ahead of the challenges that are posted pretty much daily on Mark's Daily Apple.  Here's ... umm... yesterday's that I didn't get to see until today due to the typhoon!  I'll put my answers in blue to make it interesting:

Each question answered counts as one entry in today’s contest. Ten questions means ten opportunities to win.
  1. In as few words as possible, how would you explain the Primal Blueprint to someone new to the concept?  The Primal Blueprint is a lifestyle change that not only incorporates eating foods similar to how our paleolithic ancestors ate (no grains, no beans/legumes, limited dairy), but movement and exercises similar to how our ancestors moved.  These ancestors had no scientists or government organizations to tell them how to eat, so they ate what they could kill or find.  What's important about those foods are that they didn't come in handy convenient packages that were 'fat free' or 'cholesterol free', but organic as there were no pesticides and chemicals to spray on the foods they found.  In living their normal, everyday life, they had to move over pretty large distances daily, but didn't break their necks doing so... walking or lightly running was their way.  They also had to lift heavy things to get life done.  When you're building shelters, making fire pits, carving hunting and cooking implements out of stone or tree limbs, you're lifting/moving/pushing/pulling heavy things... this probably wasn't daily, but a few times a week or so.  Unfortunately, since there were no cars or bikes, they occasionally had to run... and probably, for their LIVES!!  Yeah, their lives were shorter than ours... shoot, they weren't the top of the food chain and they didn't have hospitals or surgeons.    However, in living this way, there was no cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer diseases.  You choose... modern lifestyle or live the paleo way through the Primal Blueprint?   
  2. What is the first thing a person should do to kick start their Primal life?  Make a SERIOUS commitment to herself/himself.  Without that commitment, it isn't going to work.  it is NOT easy to eat differently and if you cave in because you "can't find anything to eat" when you go to a restaurant or to a friends house, it won't work.  Commitment.  30 days.  TRY IT.
  3. What do you think is the most important thing one should understand as they attempt to go Primal?  That you are a little fish swimming upstream surrounded by bigger fish swimming downstream against you.  You NEED support to make this lifestyle work for you:  online, in person, via telephone... support. 
  4. What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when going Primal and how did you overcome it?  The people around me thinking this was 'just another one of Debi's weird phases, it'll pass'... I'm still getting over that.  My biggest hurdle was the hubby and him rolling his eyes over my not eating bread and pastas... even my whole wheat kinds.  After doing this now for the past 3 months, he's supporting me.  He sees me pulling clothes out of the closet that I haven't worn in YEARS and all the people commenting on my dramatic weight reduction/shape up.  Family back home are seeing the difference in my Facebook photos and realizing the 'silly diet' I started when I was home visiting is doing something better than the ultra 'healthy' diet we all have been eating for years... however, I'm still getting over this hurdle... proving to myself every day that this isn't a 'phase' but a new LIFESTYLE.                                            
  5. If there is something you’d go back and do differently as it relates to diet, fitness and lifestyle behaviors, what would it be and why?  Go back?  Like how far?  Geez, at 45 one can look REALLY far back or just a little while ago.  As far as diet... I did what I was told to lose weight and get healthy.  Could I have figured it out on my own?  yeah... probably.  Back in 2004 I started the South Beach Diet and in the first 2 weeks 'induction' phase you give up all carbs (breads, rice, potatoes, etc)... I realized then how much better I felt and wondered if I was gluten sensitive.  However, I just didn't know to research that further... perhaps I should have.  I also think I should have stayed with Karate back in late 1998 as that really kicked my butt into shape.  However, I was getting my master's degree and just didn't have the time... yeah, should have made time.  At this age... knowing what I know NOW?  I'd do it ALL different and adapt this Primal lifestyle when I was in my early 20s.  BUT, can't go back, can only go forwards.  So... NOW'S the time to change!              
  6. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Now?  Gosh, I love, LOVE, love eggs and bacon.  I was one of those health care providers who bought into the entire 'all fat is bad for you' Lipid Hypothesis, so I haven't eaten Bacon... without picking off the fat parts, in YEARS... like since high school, shoot make that junior high school!  I throw in a banana or kiwi or orange for my fruit bit, especially since I'm prone to cramps in my feet.  AND coffee... did I mention coffee??  On my fasting days or no-breakfast days... have to have my coffee.  No sugar, but now am using real cream... the heavier the better as long as it is organic or no hormones at the least.                                       
  7. What is your favorite Primal recipe and how do you make it?  I'm experimenting so much right now that I don't have a favorite per se, but do have a 'go to' side salad: I usually thinly slice up 1/4 to 1/3 head of cabbage and add to it whatever other greens I can... bok choy sliced, celery (though hubby hates celery, so not when he's home!), julienned zucchini and carrots, red cabbage, etc.  Then I make a dressing with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, pinch white pepper, and a touch of organic honey if I need some sweetness (I often forget this step and it's still OK)... then chop up some nuts... usually macadamia or walnuts and sprinkle them on top.  Whole family likes it and I can even whip some up for a pot luck!!  I got the idea from a cabbage ramen salad I used to make... no ramen now and a LOT of other great stuff thrown in!!  Yummy                             
  8. What is your favorite Primal workout and how do you do it? Right now, I'm doing gardening as my go-to Primal workout.  I do squats and lunges while I'm picking up raked leaves or debris, I am cutting a LOT of branches off bushes and small trees out there, so the squeezing motion of the clipper/loppers are helping my arms and chest, and I actually get on my hands and knees and use my gloved hands as a way to clear debris out from under low bushes... I make sure I tighten my abs as I pull the stuff toward myself and rotate my body when I swipe it off to the side and put in the bag (gotta get the obliques, too!!)                                   
  9. What is your best dining-out tip? TALK to the server.  If you're not sure if something has gluten or grains... ASK.  I am not a typical "look at me" type of person, so this is a new thing for me to do.  However, with that being said, when we go off base in Japan, they do NOT make accommodations like our servers on base or in the states.  SO, bring your own gluten-free soy sauce and pick dishes you know are as close to Primal 'rules' as you can get... limit rice to 1/2 cup or less.  Most Japanese food is made from fresh ingredients, so just don't get the noodles and eat freshly prepared foods or sashimi (raw fish).  :)                      
  10. How do you manage to stay Primal when friends, family, coworkers and the rest of the world aren’t? That commitment I talked about earlier... I had to make a serious commitment to myself.  However, with that being said, because I got so sick with the gallbladder disease prior to starting my Primal lifestyle, I have no true desire to EVER experience that type of pain again.  So... since pinto beans put me in the ER for 6 1/2 hours with pain... no beans EVER again for me!  Once you're limiting yourself to say, stay out of pain, you get good at just giving up other foods.  I think most of my friends at this time remember how sick I got... they don't want me that way again, either.  They also see how good I'm looking and understand my weight loss and fitness goals.  It helps to be surrounded by generally healthy people in a military community.  I have to admit that those who are less supportive, I really don't hang around anymore.  No offense, but I need support, not nay-sayers...                                        
 So, now here's for some pictures I snapped while driving around the base today... there were a LOT of blown over trees:

See the car??  Glad it's not mine!!  Feel sorry for the person who does own it... :( 
 And for the one behind our house?

I still thing that one far right is leaning on that little building, but haven't gone over to check on it....

So, dinner?  YUMMO!!  EASY dinner... fried up boneless chicken thighs dipped in almond meal and chopped pecans in coconut oil and butter, then poured red sauce ontop and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese!!  Salad as the side dish with black olives, organic greens, grape tomatoes and carrots.  Took about 25 mins from fridge to table.  :)  Hubby liked it, but his 'chicken Parmesan' went on spaghetti noodles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 day Challenge - Day 10

Day 10: Typhoon Roke!!
Today was a day spent battening down the hatches in preparation for a typhoon. It was a category 2 until it made landfall earlier this morning and by the time it reached us it was equivalent to a Tropical Storm... really? Hubby kept checking wind speeds and most internet sites posted somewhere around 50 knots as the speeds. OK... sure felt like more!! Most of the day passed without problems and it almost felt as though we'd prepared for nothing. No TV on all day long to remind us of the impending typhoon, just bands of heavy rain at times. The children were let go early from school, afternoon and evening plans were canceled. This, unfortunately, included us not being able to take Cheyenne to the eye doctor. Good thing we canceled, cause it was to be at 4pm and that was during the worst of the storm!

I always complain about having this street right behind our house, from which many cars and the fire trucks come out. It often feels like no privacy. However, this was the scene around 5pm today!!
Amazing!! This tree was the largest of all those trees you see... the smaller one looks like it fell, too, but the little building was holding it up. Eventually, a front loader came along and pushed it out of the road forward to only block the right side of the street. It was helpful, though, as hte fire trucks use this road and that kept it clear enough for them to get in and out. This tree is only the tip of the iceberg with many others down across the base.  I just saw a friend's blog and she showed a picture of another one of these trees, albeit much smaller, that went down in her street.  I just pray no one or no thing got hurt.  Fortunately, this tree didn't take down any of those wires you see across the street!!  No electrical outage... at least not for us. 

So, besides read and work on the upcoming bazaar... what does one do during a typhoon??  MAKE A GREAT PALEO MEAL!!!   I bought more Angus loin steaks the other day (yep, kinda expensive... but if you're going to have beef, might as well do it right!!) and some bleu cheese.  So, the menu was bleu cheese topped grilled steaks, bacon brussel sprouts, and mashed Japanese sweet potato.  Fortuantely for us, the typhoon stopped right as I was cooking!  So, my hubby, being the handy man he is, went outside and set the grill back upright (he'd placed it down on it's side in the grass and removed the gas tank to keep both parts safe) and rehooked the tank.  His job was the steaks and they were AWESOME!! 

Mine was to do the brussel sprouts... from a recipe from Everyday Paleo, and then boiled sweet potatoes, skinless, then mashed with organic butter and heavy cream.  As you'll see from the photos, they're not orange like ours.  Taste similar, just not as flavorful... very mild.  
And... the finished result was FANTASTIC!!  What a wonderful dinner.. here's my teen's plate (though he ate pizza between lunch and dinner time, so he wasn't hungry!  Darn, more for us!!))

I promise, though the sweet potatoes look strangely colored, they were just as tasty, just mild, compared with American yams!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30 day challenge - Day 9

Day 9... what a BUSY day!!

First order of business... drink coffee... suck down some greek yogurt and then get my dog to the vet for blood work. Yep, second eye is getting a cataract... FAST. Fortunately, the Opthalmalogic Vet appt is tomorrow at 4pm. Supposedly, this vet speaks 'good' English and my Japanese vet(working for the American military, so she has GREAT English) has paved the way for us. The one good thing I see coming out of all of this is that the Japanese LOVE dogs so much that they would never make treatments out-of-reach for normal dog-parents who don't have the money to pay for things like cataract removal. Since these are diabetic cataracts, there's no chance for reversal, that I know. Just Google it. Although when I first Googled, I found all kinds of eye drops that were anywhere form 85% to 100% capable of diminishing or getting rid of the cataracts!! Yeah... I figured if it was that easy, no one would have ever come up with implantable eye lenses. So, I did NOT order them. We'll see what the vet says tomorrow. It's hard for me right now as her right eye is completely opaque (has been for about 2 weeks) and now the left is starting to get cloudy. *sigh* Poor baby.

So after doing that first thing this morning... I had my bazaar meeting. It was 1.5 hours long and was very productive! What a GREAT group of people!! I'm honored to be chairing such a great group of people who are more than capable of the tasks set before them. We are at the 4 weeks before bazaar mark! That's scary, but do-able. So... we'll keep doing!! :) Still need a publicity chairperson... so, until then, I'll keep plugging along.

Lunch?? Did I have lunch?? Oh, yeah... I did!! I tried the Paleo Pancakes I found on one of my fav sites... it was 1 banana mushed up, 1 egg, and 1 Tbsp almond butter... cook like pancakes!! Delish!! I only wished I had maple syrup... but butter and a touch of organic honey was great.

Then... started cleaning... thank GOD for my hubby!! He vacuumed the entire house for me!! What a great man I married! I washed the kitchen and laundry room floors, dusted all downstairs furniture and oiled the Japanese pieces, and picked up... picked up... picked up. What else? Oh, the powder room needed cleaning...

Wine Tasting:
Set up... for what? I had a spouses' social tonight to 'kick off' the season. The 'season' is basically the time when the kids are all in school as no one does much over the summertime. So... tonight was the social at my house and it was a Wine Tasting party. I had just about all the easy to find wines... reds and whites. We tasted about 8 or 9 different kinds. Paired some with cheese and some with food/fruit/salad. The Chianti that I LOVED was Clemete VII Chianti Classico. WOW what a great wine!! I'm not one for Chiantis, but this one was GOOOOOOD!! Also, surprised that I found a Chardonnay that I liked... it was the Rex-Goliath California Chardonnay. WOW. Surprised I liked it. Paired REAL well with Brie and salad!!

Dinner... what dinner? The meatballs and tomato sauce paired with the Chianti, the salad paired with the Chardonnay, and the cheeses paired with ... other wines was all I ate and it was GREAT. Fantastic women/GREAT wines/GOOD food... perfect ending for a perfect day.

Best part? My son... he not only cleaned all the dishes and filled the dishwasher, but he drove ladies home. What a great young adult (I wanted to say "kid" here... but, shoe doesn't fit anymore). Thank you, Bootie!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

Day 8: I went to bed seriously late last night as I just needed to finish my blog of two days worth of entries and get paperwork done for a meeting that happens tomorrow morning. I awoke with incredible mid-back pain! So, lazed about for a little then got out of bed to take naprosyn and drink coffee in the hopes the pain would abate and I'd get on the treadmill and get on with my busy day. Nope... ended up adding Tylenol to the NSAIDs and doing some stretches and self-manipulations... still no real relief. Went to singing practice with a women's singing group I'm in... more pain (it really hurt to stand and sing or sit on the edge of my chair for singing, crap). Went home and canceled my English student in hopes that sitting on ice would help... eventually napped and changed for more ice. That helped. My hubby took me to The Grate Taj Mahal (spelling error intentional as that's how it's spelled inside on the menus!!) for Indian cuisine... how about Chicken Sag? That was tasty and seemed the most Paleo of all the choices. Nan? Nah. Used to love it, but not worth the tummy pains for tomorrow as my back was already getting sore again. got home and put more ice on it and then promised myself a short blog entry then bedtime. Suffice it to say I never did my Week 8 Day 3 run... hopefully tomorrow morning.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 day challenge: Day 6 and 7

I'm kinda behind!!
Day 6: Lazy kinda day… got some sun and did some reading. At the same time. Lovely. Trying to stick to 15 mins or less for the vitamin D making, not for a tan. I don't do that kinda thing anymore. Not that I never did… sheesh, as a teenager I used to drown myself in baby oil and lie out until crisp, turn over and get crisp on that side, too… they complain for DAYS as every inch of me hurt. Now I freak over every new freckle or mole!!

The evening was the 64th Air Force ball… it was outstanding! Here's me and my best friend, Tey:

One thing I spent time during the day doing that was not reading in the sunshine was trying on all my old dresses… you know, the ones I couldn't fit in for a few years (like since 2005)? Well, this one was the best and it's a little too big!! Whoo hooo!!

So, what does one eat at a ball?? Food, food everywhere… and LOTS to eat!!
There was sushi (only eat the raw fish part… no rice!! Save those precious carbs for the alcohol!!), roast beef freshly carved, chicken and beef on skewers, hot wings, fresh veggies (no dip… can't control what's in it!), fresh fruit and deviled eggs. I ate when I was hungry and had 3 drinks: vodka tonics with a twist of lime. Not bad for over a 5 hour period of time.

On the day of a ball, does one exercise?? Nah… save the energy for dancing!! Whoo hoo!! I think we danced for about 3 hours straight!! One thing I noticed as I was dancing is that I am once again able to jump around like I did about 15 years ago! I had SO much energy and didn't get winded at all!! My legs were stronger and could handle doing the squats… you know "How low can you go?" type. When I got home, my clothes were saturated with sweat. What fun!!

Day 7: Sunday
Oh… did I really have to get up and go to church? Oh yeah, I was scheduled to cantor (sing the psalm and alleluia)… OK, OK, I'm up! BING! Was I UP!! I actually did fine getting out of bed and ready for church… got there early even. Ate breakfast after getting home… typical: 2 scrambled eggs with heavy cream and bacon bits, some feta cheese sprinkled on top and coffee. My one vice I cannot, and refuse to give up is coffee!! So, I just drink it now with heavy cream (yeah, that's a change… used the rest of the ½ & ½ so switched to heavy cream as I'm just not crazy about almond milk in it and I HATE the taste of coconut, so not going to try that kind of milk!!). Lunch was a smoothie: blueberry/cherry, greek yogurt and some whey protein powder with almond milk. I wasn't that hungry, so I drank my lunch while I sat in the sunshine and read some more. But, dinner… OH dinner…

Dinner: The only meal of the day really mentioning 'cause on Facebook (where I posted pictures) I've already had requests for the recipes…

I started marinating the flank steak around 3pm in ¼ c mirin, ¼ c rice wine vinegar, ¼ c gluten-free soy sauce, 3 Tbsp minced garlic, 3 Tbsp minced onion, and one finely chopped jalapeno (OK next time it'll be 2 or 3 of those!).

Broiled eggplant/tomato parmesan was the first recipe requested:
Lightly coat a cookie pan with olive oil, peel and thinly slice eggplant and place on the pan, thinly slice tomatoes and place on top of the eggplant and lightly salt with kosher or sea salt and grind black pepper over top. Place in the oven about 6-8 inches away from the heating element set for broil for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle freshly shredded parmesan cheese on top and some basil flakes (best if fresh, but mine died, so I had to use dried) and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes. Its ready when you can slice one easily, but the flesh should not be mushy.
Next on the list was onions and mushrooms… I used both brown and white button mushrooms. Only flavoring was freshly ground black pepper and some kosher salt:

There's just something SO good about steak with mushrooms and onions on it!! I'm sure there's SOMEthing Primal about that combo!! :) I could definitely GATHER onions and mushrooms (if I only knew where to find them and which ones wouldn't KILL me!! Ha ha!)

So… all together, here's dinner for my non-Primal family. I don't think they even realized it was so primal!!

OH!! Dessert!! Golden New Zealand Kiwis (my favorite… they're sweeter than the green kinds), cut up dates and cherries, and mandarin oranges:

I keep telling you that going Primal tastes great!!

One last thing… 1 more pound gone!! :) I'm lovin' life right now...

Friday, September 16, 2011

30-day Challenge: Day 5

Day 5:  Listening to your Body

So, on MDA, he wrote about "listening to your body" ( ) and he got me thinking... remember how yesterday one of my goals was to keep moving and get 15 mins of sunlight a day?  Well, today was not only an exercise/running day, but I had NOTHING on my calendar.  Those of you who know me, that's pretty rare.  So... I had my coffee and read a little of my book on the back porch in the sunlight for about 30 minutes this morning.  Got bored.  Did about 3 hours of gardening, cutting up the branches real small and really using my arm muscles... got bored.  Vacuumed the downstairs of all dog hair... boring.  Jumped on the treadmill and did my Week 8 Day 2... freakin' hard, but I did it and kept going until 50 mins and 3.1 miles... hot, sweaty, but bored.  Had a little gal who I've seen for almost a year now for physical therapy over and ... NOT bored!  What fun it was to WORK on a day off.  What do you mean, I had already done some work??  That wasn't WORK, work... right?  Well... I met both my goals and... FELT wonderful!! 

So, why not use a day off as, well... a DAY OFF and do nothing?  Because that's what the 'old Debi' would do and she was FAT, lazy, and well... bored.  HOW can I have so much energy??  Well, after starting off the day feeling kinda lousy from eating 4 lumpia last night at dinner... I drank water, water, water and had my morning coffee.  Then... pooped.  Yeah, funny Deb... well, reading MDA he talked about LISTENING to your body... and mentioned the big P.  So... I was listening to my body this morning and felt horrible, but instead of getting back in bed, I let my body work itself out by drinking the water and having my normal coffee.  Eat breakfast?  Not a chance!  My tummy/intestines were too irritated with me for eating the gluten in the lumpia.  So, once nature took it's course... I felt AWESOME!  Got that crap out of me, literally (tee hee), and felt a whole lot better.  Ate breakfast of 2 over-easy eggs and 2 sausage patties with water (yep, more) and then got on with my day.  I think a combination of the sunlight, movement and, lets face it, the coffee... things got moving.  Yeah, I'm being literal again.  

So, once lunchtime came around... I did the look in the fridge for a few minutes and when nothing jumped out at me... I LISTENED to my body and had a fruit smoothie (blueberries and cherries) with almond milk and Greek yogurt.   Still felt awesome cause I was eating what I needed.  Do I need a hunk of meat at every meal to be Primal/Paleo?  Nope.  But the Greek yogurt fulfilled my protein needs just fine.   

Dinner:Well this is where my day took a decidedly un-Primal turn.  I had a rug auction (yeah, the Persian, middle eastern kind... but here in Japan) to attend at the O'Club... NONE of their food fit into my lifestyle choices (pizza, chips and dip, etc.)... so, I turned my nose up at them and went into the bar where happy hour was taking place.  Found some cooked salmon, sushi, meatballs (yeah, I'm sure they had some breadcrumbs in them... but they were GOOD) and ham.  Not bad.  Then, I had two glasses of pinot grigio... well, alcohol in MODERATION is OK, right?  Yeah well, my redeeming point was the walk to and from the club.  So there... back to being Paleo!!  I took my shoes off on the walk home in the rain. :)  OH that felt SO GOOD.  Mark had talked on MDA about going barefoot for a day... well, besides the time I was inside the club, I was barefoot through 90% of my day.  :)  Did I buy anything?  No... saw a beautiful silk Persian... but at $2500 for a 6x4' rug, I just couldn't.  but, I promise, I'll be dreaming about it for days.... 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

30-Day Challenge: Day 4

NEW GOAL:  Via Mark's Daily Apple, we're to come up with a 'self-experiment'.  Well, being on the Primal lifestyle now for about 6 weeks, I know I do NOT want to test the gluten issue nor the beans/legume issue.  I did realize yesterday, just how much time I spend on the computer.  A friend was telling me how she uses the therapy ball as her desk chair (duh... I know it's a great substitution...) and figured IF I'm going to be on the computer, THEN I will have to activate my core muscles by getting my therapy ball blown up.  So... tomorrow I'll blow up the ball and see how that goes as my first 'self-experiment'.  Secondly, going in the sun for 15 mins a day.  Sounds easy, but how often do I actually make sure the sunshine hits my skin for an entire 15 mins?  NEVER.  Not unless I'm at the beach, then I get burned and it's a nightmare...  So, outdoor activity.  Starts... TODAY. 

OK, non-run day... supposed to lift heavy things or do a moderate activity for 30 mins to 1 hour.  Well, GARDENING was my answer.  Remember the housecleaning answer?  Riiiiight... yep, same take.  I made sure I was engaging my abs while digging in the dirt and cutting the lower branches off the azalea bushes out back.  All-in-all I was outside for probably 2-3 hours.  However, being in the back yard, I did not get but maybe 10 mins sunshine on my skin.  Well, I came up with the sunshine goal AFTER I spend the 3 hours out back... so I figure that's OK.  :) 

Breakfast:  Considering how late I woke up (9am... HEY!!  I went to bed at 1am, so that's 8 solid hours!!  Well, except for waking at 7am to get my kiddo up for school...), I tossed back some flavored yogurt (nope, not a THING Paleo about that... but, low carb, so I went with it) and 1/2 cup coffee since I was in such a rush to get to my culture group meeting.  That was fun!  I met the group of gals with whom I'll be spending at least one day a month with and next time we meet we'll meet our Japanese counterparts.  I'm so excited for this culture group!!  I've been a member of a culture group for the past year, but I call that my "hoighty-toighty" one...  not that the ladies are snobbish, they're not.  Not in any way/shape/form.  However, we are generally in a very controlled environment with very structured programs and lunches.  This new culture group, I hope, will be more "down-to-earth" in the activities and lunches.  I'm hoping to truly get to know these ladies.  They know more English, from what I'm told, whereas the other group needs interpreters.  Nothing wrong with that, just harder to talk and hold a real conversation. 

Lunch:  Oh, YUM!  Leftovers from last night made into a salad!  I cut the steak up into bite-sized pieces and placed on top of salad greens with grape tomatoes, black olives, and Japanese pear slices.  On that, I put a Japanese sesame salad dressing.  I have no idea what's inside of it, but since they don't tend to use flour as a filler over here, I think I'm safe from gluten and the high fructose corn syrup found in typical American salad dressings.  
After lunch, I admit... I took a nap in the middle of watching "Fat Head".  I'm SO happy to say I was able to find "Fat Head" on hulu plus, so watched it for free (or that's what it felt like, however, I do pay the monthly subscription fee... so I guess it wasn't really 'free').  GREAT show and just reinforced my lifestyle changes.  :)  That makes me happy... yet in a way I felt cheated and duped all over again.  I mean, gosh... in PT school and over the 20-some years since, I'd been fed this 'Calories In - Calaories Out = weight gain/loss... deficit of 500 calories = 1 lb gained/lost' and 'eat your whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc, etc' diets... 'white is NOT right' BS.  Ugh... no wonder why I just gained weight unless I did some drastic diet like Michael Thurmond's 6-week body makeover (gosh, it's eerily similar to the Primal lifestyle for my 'body type') and the South Beach Diet (once again, first two weeks very similar, but you're allowed beans for the fiber).  I lost on both of those around 15 lbs in 6 weeks... but the weight always came back on as I was allowed the wheat breads and brown rice/long grain wild rice dishes.  I'm understanding more and more why that didn't work and the stupid... really, I mean it... the STUPID research and government interference that spurned my thinking (and in general, the American public's) toward higher carbs... just make sure they're "whole grain".  WOW... after gaining quite a LOT of weight, in the mid-section mostly, and getting so sick I had to have my gallbladder out, I FINALLY understand.  Thank you, brother-in-law for opening my eyes!!  (I'll email you later and thank you in 'person')  Anyhow, if you haven't seen 'Fat Head'... please watch it.  I know I found my copy on, but you may have to rent it from a Video Rental site/store.  Here's the trailer... it is a comedic documentary:

Well, after I finished watching and napping (that was a nice 30 min break in the middle of the show), I went outside to garden.  Here's what the overgrown bushes look like now (before):
 This one is the first bush I trimmed... the branches went all the way to the ground and I snipped them a few weeks ago to give it a main trunk appearance and let it grown higher.  I have to block the fence so the Japanese 'gardeners' don't come in and just trim them all back into marshmallow looking round bushes.  They're now taller than the 3 foot fence, so it's a victory... perhaps in 2 more years (after we're gone), they'll actually give some privacy to the backyard!!T
 That's a gardenia bush back in against the fence... I'd really like to move that one out front... hubby isn't keen on that idea! 
 Here's our lovely concrete pole... scarey during the earthquake as they just swayed and swayed!!  Oh, there's no grass disease... that dead grass is from my female dog peeing on it.  :(  Never knew female dog urine killed grass until we got Cheyenne...
This is in front of the bushes I'm cutting... that's a Rosemary bush!  AND... last time I came out to cut and shape the azalea, I also cut that hummer to 3/4 it's size!!  It's probably got about 4 more inches of new growth!  So... lookin' for rosemary recipes!!  Anyhow, 2 bags of tree branches and vines (yeah, there's a strange vine growing all through the azaleas... definitely got exercise pulling those hummers out!!) later and... crap, it was dark outside... photo will wait until tomorrow!!  Suffice it to say, the second azalea does NOT have a single trunk.  Poo... just a terrible looking bunch of branches sticking out of the ground!! 

Dinner:  ... was a little late-ish as I needed to get cleaned up, then figure out what to cook and then cook it.  I keep forgetting to take a picture of my place setting.  BUT I did remember to photo the cute cabbage salad I made!!
VERY simple salad:  1/4 head cabbage shredded, 2 green onions cut thinly, 6 stalks bok choy sliced, and the rest of that Japanese pear cut up into small chunks, mixed with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1/4 c macadamia nut oil, 1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp white pepper and a bunch of roasted sesame seeds.  What a new staple that the whole family loves!! 

The rest of dinner was small little bits and pieces:  fried in coconut oil some previously made lumpia (thanks, Emely!!), sauteed small scallops in organic butter with some ground pepper and chardonnay, and 4 large shrimp in a shrimp salad manner.  My hubby said there was 'too much food'... but he obviously wasn't very hungry as my son and I ate, and ate, and ate... then we weren't hungry anymore and the dog got a shrimp and the rest of the left overs in the fridge for lunch tomorrow! 

What a great day!  I love eating and not feeling hungry a mere hour or so later!!  AND I had some great exercise cutting the branches, pulling vines and raking the leaves/debris under the bushes!! 

So, was today successful with my two goals?  Well, yes for the one of sunshine... no for the other as I still need to blow up that therapy ball... I'll keep you informed!  :) 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 3

Day 3:
The goal for the morning was to get up early... 5:30am, so that I could go running with a friend at 6am.  I surprised myself by doing just that.  I was on Week 7 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K running program, so that meant 5 mins warm-up walk, 28 min run, then 5 min cool-down walk.  My friend and I went to the Par 3 golf course on the base, which has a ring road that is a mile in length.  We went around it 3 times... but I must admit that the combination of running with a partner (I have not run with someone else since college and back then, wasn't successful at running), the fact that they were cutting grass on the green, and the heat/humidity... I didn't run the entire time.  We walked perhaps 40% of the 28 mins.  :(  I'm OK with that, though, as this was my first 'long' run outside... well, ever.  Once I got home, the dogs looked at me all sweaty and wearing my sneakers... so I caved and walked them .75 miles around the 'block'.  So... all-in-all, today's workout was about 3.75 miles.  Not bad and definitely over my 5K goal.

Breakfast was light with me drinking my 2 cups of coffee with real 1/2 and 1/2 in it and a touch of vanilla.  Just was not hungry for about 2 hours, then ate 2 small pieces of the Primal Banana Bread I'd made yesterday.  That upset my tummy BIG time.  Not sure why.  Perhaps it's the coconut flour... not sure.  

Lunch also light, but settled my stomach.  I ate leftovers from last night's dinner:  the chicken pieces and onions left over from the enchiladas mixed up with the left over cabbage salad.  The only problem was there just wasn't enough!! 

Dinner was GREAT!!  I made Long grain and Wild Rice (thanks, Uncle Ben) for Marc and Jon, steamed broccoli for us all and had the BEST Angus Tenderloin steaks!!  I pounded down the meat, put on some sea salt, ground pepper, and garlic on both sides and broiled for 5 mins each side, then put a mixture of Feta (goat cheese) and herbs (thank you, Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb) on the top and broiled for 2 more mins.  YUMMY!!!  All three of us at every bite!!  I did take a photo of the steak:

Not the best photo... but I'm learning!!  The cheese was a nice tart taste with the juiciness of the steak.  I was in heaven!  No complaints from the peanut gallery, either!  Though my husband said he thought Blue cheese would taste slightly better.  

New idea: One of the things I'm researching now is raw food diet for the dogs.  They both are having terrible itchy feet, with Cheyenne having red spots all over her feet and between her toes.  Buddy's feet don't appear to be red, but he sure lies around chewing on them!  Most of the sites I've been reading up on really make good sense.  Dog's digestive systems don't appear to be any more evolved to eat grain than ours... duh, they are carnivores!  No good research exists out there, though... most anti-raw food research is sponsored by the pet food companies.  Most pro-raw food information out there is not based on research, but is based on the evolution of the common domesticated dog... 99:99% genetically similar to wolves.  If dogs pack together and breed... their offspring resembles wolves not too far down the line as their genomes combine.  Interesting... so, what kind of raw food?  They advocate FULL chickens: bones and all.  I even was able to look up what to do with dogs who are 'gulpers', like Cheyenne.  They say in the beginning to give full 1/4 to 1/2 chickens and hold onto them to force the dog to rip and tear the meat/bones and that the dog may need some training.  Well, considering she hacked up a good portion of her dogfood from dinner tonight as she was gulping it down without chewing, I think that process might take a while with her.  :(  However, I do wonder if it would help her with her diabetes... everytime I think I've got her sugar under control, it goes high again.     ...We'll see... I just barely mentioned it to my hubby and he was VERY skeptical.  Plus, I should talk to her vet about it (though many of the websites state that the modern vet has had very little training on the true nutrition needs of a dog, and what training they've had is usually put on by a pet food company).  I'm back to the "we'll see" thought. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

30 Day Chalenge - Day 2

30 day challenge - Day 2:
I woke up this morning thinking... I have so much to do today! WHEN can I exercise?? GREAT question!! So... in the spirit of true Primal exercising... I did my "moderate level" activity by HOUSECLEANING. Not a novel idea for me as I grew up with a mother who always did just that. She'd garden in a 1/2 squat posture, then go deep to pick up something or pull a weed then burst upwards and she would have done a beautiful and powerful leg exercise! She also showed me how to lunge while doing the vacuuming, how to 'wax on/wax off' while washing floors... always doing everything with her hands and a washcloth. So... emulate her, I did. Holding my transverse abdominus (lower part of the tummy) and pelvic floor muscles (hey, I had 2 babies... all women need to tighten those!!) tight the entire time for some ab work and making sure to lunge fully while vacumming, but remembering to keep my back straight. God, I hate housecleaning, great exercise though it may be... please let me fire the maid (me) and hire a real one?? Oh yeah, I don't have a paying job... crud.

What did I eat?
Breakfast was an easy breakfast of 2 eggs 'over easy' and 2 sausage patties, then an apple I ate while looking at my morning emails and Facebook messages (yep, crackbook... my addiction). I chase my breakfast down with coffee and half & half with a touch of vanilla extract for my sweet-tooth. YUM. Calories? Don't care... Paleo? Yep. Don't worry all you types who think I need fiber... I got it in my apple. :)

Lunch... I experimented with Paleo banana bread... a recipe I found on : . Since I didn't have maple syrup (used honey instead) it may have come out different tasting than it should have, but it was GOOD!! I had two pieces and wasn't hungry for lunch!! So, lunch was me running out of the house to see a patient... since I wasn't hungry, I grabbed some left over steak bits from dinner and my water bottle. Probably only about 2 ounces of steak, but I really wasn't hungry anyways and one of the Primal rules is "if you're not hungry, don't eat". But, BOY was I thirsty!! Drank my entire water bottle before therapy... The afternoon had me see two kiddos (thanks for the water at the 2nd one's house!!) and then home to make dinner.

Dinner was an attempt at remaking my chicken enchiladas Paleo-style. Just for me. I had 4 flour tortillas left over, so used those for my hubby and son. I followed my 'normal recipe' and made Paleo-style 'tortillas' compliments of a part of a beef taco recipe found on MDA: . The flour substitute in that recipe was coconut flour, and since I now have some, that's what I used. Surprise! No coconutty flavor... at least not enough to make me puke (I HATE coconut flavor, smell, texture!! ugh). My poor hubby thought his tasted 'funny'... I assured him the Paleo portion was only on my side, but did confess I made the gravy differently and used cornstarch (not truly legal, but at least no gluten) instead of flour to make it. I'll put my recipe on the bottom of this blog if you're interested. My portion, those coconut tortillas and all, truly was passable. I will, however, experiment with almond flour to see if that makes a better tortilla before making this again. :) My FAVORITE portion of dinner was the cabbage salad I made. I really am enjoying experimenting with cabbage and other veggies for interesting side dishes. This one was SIMPLE!!

Macadamia Nut Cabbage Salad:
1/4 head of cabbage - sliced thinly
2 green onions - cutting all the way into the green
6 stalks/leafs of bok choy - cut like celery up into the greens
2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds
sprinkling of nori flakes (seaweed)
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (is EVOO trademarked by Rachel Ray??)
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp ancho chile pepper
pinch sea salt
1/8 tsp powdered ginger
Lastly: finely chopped macadamia nuts

I have already figured my lunch for tomorrow will be the leftover cabbage salad with the left over chicken and onions from the enchiladas!! Speaking of... here's that 'original' recipe that was adapted from one that my Mother-in-law showed me years ago. Oh, I know, I know... true enchiladas are made with corn tortillas instead of flour... get over it.

Chicken Enchiladas:
3 chicken breasts, boiled or roasted until white all the way through, then shredded by hand or finely chopped with chopper (I use my trusty Pampered Chef chopper I got YEARS ago)
1 white onion, sliced in half then thin slices
1 packet Mexican shredded cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese/pepper jack shredded)
1 packet 8 inch flour tortillas
1-2 chicken gravy packets made as per directions
Set oven to 350 deg Farenheit and spray an 8 inch cassarole dish with cooking spray.
Assemble the tortillas by putting about a hand-ful of the shredded chicken on it in a line, covering with cheese and onions, then rolling and setting into the pan. Place them in side-by-side and you should be able to fit all 8. Pour cooked gravy over top of the rolled tortillas, sprinkle cheese on top and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Now, to make 'my' side... the Paleo side, just remember I want to experiment more using almond meal instead of coconut flour... here goes:

Paleo Tortillas (adapted from MDA posting)
Mix together:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tsp lime juice
Sift together then add to liquid mixture:
2 tablespoons coconut flour (yeah, that's not a typo... only 2 tablespoons)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder

Once all ingredients are mixed together, pour into a non-stick pan with either coconut oil or EVOO in it and already at medium heat. I made a circle in the center, then picked up the pan to swirl it farther out so it wasn't so thick. Waited until it was no longer liquidy on the top and flipped it. Cooked for a few more mins then slid out of the pan onto papertowel... and the first one broke in half. At this point, I realized I would not be able to roll these tortillas. So, cooked 3 more the exact same way then ended up layering them into 'my side' of the enchilada dish, alternating them with the chicken and onions (no cheese for me) and pouring on the gravy... oh... the gravy. I made it myself instead of the pre-packaged stuff I usually use!!

1/3 cup chicken stock
pinch salt
1/8 white pepper
1 tablespoon organic butter
1 tsp corn starch dissolved in about 2 tablespoons chicken stock
Cook the stock, salt, pepper and butter over med-high heat and once it's boiling well, add the corn starch/stock mixture and stir until thickened. There's your gravy!!

WOW... I've got to start taking pictures of the food I'm cooking. I did remember to take photos of the banana bread from earlier in the day, but I'm not posting about that right now. :) It IS good, just not sweet like 'typical' banana bread. I also cheated and put dark chocolate chips into the batter and some left over chopped macadamia nuts... oh, OK, here's a picture:

Monday, September 12, 2011

30 day Challenge - Day 1

WOW... I am SO not a writer, but here I am starting a blog. How the heck does that happen? Well, it happens when people start to ask questions regarding my lifestyle changes... especially regarding my weight loss and fitness. I guess one other reason this is happening, is to be accountable to someone other than myself with going further on this journey. So... first blog... first day.

I decided to begin the 30 day challenge that Mark Sisson, from Mark's Daily Apple , advertised to begin on Sept 12th, 2011. My only problem was... he's in a different timezone and I was confusing myself yesterday wondering if I should start my challenge today... or with the east coast time in America - crap, no, that'd make me start at night time here in Japan!! Well, he says you should start any lifestyle changes on a Monday... so, though 13 hours ahead of the east coast, I started when I awoke this morning.

What should I do? How do I begin the challenge prior to the first posting on MDA?? I decided to just go about my day in my new 'typical' primal way. That meant 2 eggs and bacon with an apple for breakfast, sushi with friends at lunch (no rice and really limited the soy sauce as I realized I, yet again, forgot to bring my gluten-free soy sauce!!!), and a lovely blueberry and cherry smoothie for dinner. I had a jewelry party to go to this evening and didn't give myself time to make a 'real' dinner, so I opted for a smoothie. My favorite way to make smoothies are with my Magic Bullet... haven't measured anything yet, but I fill up the cup with frozen blueberries and cherries, then put 2 dollops of homemade organic Greek yogurt on top and fill the rest of the way with Almond milk... whir it up and drink or spoon up. :) YUM!!

Anyhow... yet again, I was at a party with desserts and none Paleo!! So, once I got home, I decided it's time to look for recipes of Paleo desserts... ones I can make and bring with me to parties or gathering. So... get ready... gonna start cooking this week to determine favorites!!

At the party, I mentioned I was thinking about blogging about my Paleo endeavors to one person. This person was SO interested in my recipes (I've recently made a few salads and main dishes for parties that have gone over well), that I thought "Well, Deb, perhaps a blog is one way to share your recipes". So... here I am. Documenting the 30 day challenge AND the recipes.

One more thing: The other lifestyle change I've made is to do the Couch to 5K program . It is an amazing program that literally takes a couch potato and gets that person to run a 5K within 9 weeks!! I have totally amazed myself, and though I've repeated weeks 3 and 4 for a few weeks while doing them (due to healing from a surgery... more on that in my "about me section"), I did Week 7 Day 3 today. That was a 5 min warm-up walk on my treadmill at 4% incline at 3.0mph, then run for 25 mins still at 4% and did the first 5 mins at 4.5mph then had to drop speed to 4.2mph and then ramped it back up to 4.5mph for the last two mins, followed by a 5 min cool-down walk at 3.0mph.

Why 4% incline?? Well, us PTs have to figure out ways to make treadmill running/walking as challenging as outdoor running/walking, so a few bot together at the Army Baylor program and decided that 4-6% incline ramps up the workload to be similar to the difficulty of running outdoors... I decided to use that as I run almost exclusively indoors. Living in Japan... during the summertime? INDOORS!! I am looking forward to the cooler weather of fall and the decreased humidity so I can get my bum outside!! In the meantime... running indoors it is.

What now? Right now, though it is early morning back in the good ole US of A, it is past my bedtime here in Japan... so I will get my 8 hours of sleep in a very dark room, hopefully to wake up before my alarm goes off. Tomorrow, I'll work on getting links and explaining this Primal/Paleo stuff!! I also promise those two salad recipes I've brought to recent parties.

Good night!! Don't forget to sleep in a cave!