Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the Garden

I set a goal this year to ease back into gardening. I went whole hog a few years back and spent gobs of money on square foot gardening stuff. My harvest that year consisted of one tiny onion, two radishes, one tasteless tomato, and about 3 zucchinis. Oh, and 2 cucumbers that tasted like cat pee. GROSS. That was it for all my money and work. So this year I thought I'd take it easy and try for one or two types of plant. I scoured Pinterest for gardening tips and headed to the Home Depot. That's when all my plans exploded and I walked out grinning like a hopeful idiot, with far too many plants, seeds, soil, etc. I went nuts. I didn't drop the same amount of money as I did that last fateful gardening attempt, but I spent more than I intended to. All I could do at that point was plant and pray. It's been quite a dry summer for my little garden. My strawberry plants yielded a whole 5 berries and then stopped bearing. the spinach grew, but didn't yield enough for a single salad. One of my 4x4 boxes is for some reason killing everything that comes up in it except for 3 or 4 small red leaf lettuce heads (I think I have ants). I've replanted 3 times to no avail. But the other box is quite lush. Not everything I planted has thrived, but my 2 tomato plants- after much adjusting and coaxing, studying and tending, are finally bearing. I counted 15 tomatoes in various stages of growth this morning. I am so impatient to eat them!! I must be content to coo over them for now. My cauliflower plants are big and happy... I have no clue when to expect heads on them. My red pepper plants are lush, but one blossoms and never bears fruit, the other never even blossoms. My cilantro/coriander is lovely. My peppermint is great. My random pumpkin seed planting in the patio pot has turned into a beautiful vine with a few big blossoms on it. Hopefully we will have pumpkins. On the fail list: cucumbers, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, 2 species of lettuce, zucchini, basil, oregano and green onion. Luckily I have little window pots of basil and oregano inside that are slowly growing, and I've re-planted a few things (again) to see if they'll like a wetter month than last. I would very willingly be one who tears up all the lawn and plants a huge garden in my whole yard, but I feel I need to prove I can help something thrive well in this desert before I did something so drastic as massacre the yard it has taken me nearly seven years to learn not to kill. My black thumb is lowly turning shades of mossy brown.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Primal Life is a GOOD Life.

Just a little comparison shot.
The first picture was after the Turkey Leg 5k on Thanksgiving day last year- about 6 months ago. The second was taken May 19th of this year. We have been Primal for almost 5 months and I cannot express what a joyous relief it is to be the me I knew was under all that fluff!!! I'm down 20 lbs, down 18% body fat, my skin is clear, my body is strong and healthy. That first picture was after struggling through a slow 5k (3.1 miles), not having run for 5 months. The second was after rocking out 2 legs of a relay, totaling 8.65 miles for the day at a 7000ft elevation. I don't feel like exercise has been the key to my transformation. I feel like properly fueling my body gave me the energy to be more active and I just wanted to move more! I haven't been busting my behind for an hour a day. I've been running a few miles a time or two a week (if that), lifting body weight (sometimes yoga) and heavy things a couple times a week (for maybe 10 or 15 minutes), and playing with my family. And it all feels like play. I love this!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Friend Cholesterol

I have a minor obsession with the ins and outs of cholesterol and heart disease lately. It started with the movie Fat Head. Then continued in reading "Good Calories Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. I just find it so fascinating! It's so simple and yet so complex, but the real question is how the heck did we get it all so WRONG over the years?! We're left wondering why seemingly healthy young athletes are dropping like flies right on the field from heart attacks and strokes. "The fact is, half of all first time heart attack sufferers have a perfectly “normal” cholesterol profile. What does this tell you? There must be some other piece here behind the “other half” and, I would solidly argue, behind the first half. Cholesterol is a red herring." Don't quite understand it yet? Read this. I love this quote, "And all this time the cholesterol was just trying to be the good guy! Blaming cholesterol for all this is like blaming a cut finger on all the band-aids you have lying around your house."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Update (little one)

It's high time for an update. This is just a quickie, but I'm dang proud and amazed at how far this beautiful new lifestyle is taking me and how nourished, well and happy I've felt. There hasn't been a day that I've felt restricted or deprived. Since Jan 2, 2012, I have lost 16% body fat. I've only been sick once in the time of year that usually has us down and out almost constantly, and that only lasted a day. My kids are finally putting on a little weight (hallelujah). Our dental health is STELLAR. I could make another huge list of the benefits we've reaped from a whole-food, grain-free low-toxin Primal lifestyle, but I'm going to go do something productive instead. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have test results!

Lets talk about cholesterol.
The first thing people think when they learn about a Primal or Paleo ancestral-type diet (well, maybe second after, "No BREAD??") is, "You are going to DIE of a heart attack right over your plate of bacon."

Now I've never been afraid of fat- especially natural fats like butter and olive oil. But it's hard to not have a fairly low-fat diet when you are eating pretty much only fruit, veg, beans, cereal and bread. So when I decided to give this Primal thing a go, I thought I'd just try it for a while, all the while wondering how my heart and circulatory system would fare. I also made it a point to educate myself on the subject....since conventional wisdom is so very infallible. *cough* Here's a hint: Even our doctors have a LOT of it wrong.

Here is a pretty good summary of what you need to know about cholesterol, its exaggerated correlation to heart disease, and what a heart healthy diet really consists of.
Watch the short video clips, and then come back and I'll show you the results of my very recent biometric screening, and discuss why I'm pretty excited about them.


Did you watch them? Really? (If not, go do it!)


Okay. Here we go.

The Basics:
BMI: 24.8
Body Fat %: 23 (I've lost over 8% body fat in the past 2 months alone)
Blood Pressure: 109/71
Heart Rate: 69 bpm
Weight: 163 (my home scale says 157 and it's that time of the month... we've talked about weight.)

Now for the blood panel results:
Total Cholesterol: 231 (CW says this is high and I need statins. The following numbers actually indicate my 10 year risk of heart disease is well below 1%.)
HDL: 80 (the good stuff- higher is better. Anything above 40 is decent.)
Triglycrides: 49 (I'm stoked about this! Anything below 150 is considered good- the lower the better.)
LDL: 141 (My super high HDL and super low trigs tell us that it's likely the majority of these are large, bouyant LDL.)
non-HDL: 151
TC/HDL: 2.9 (ideal is below 5)
Trigs/HDL: 0.61 (ideal is below 2)
LDL/HDL: 1.76 (ideal is below 4.3)
Fasting Glucose: 92 (normal)

I feel good. Hubs had his numbers done too. His look good, but his HDL needs to go up- he doesn't eat nearly as much saturated fat as I do. We plan on remedying that in a delicious fashion. :D

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guilt Issues

I'm feeling pretty awful that I pushed a mostly vegan/vegetarian diet for years. I can't even support the dietary recommendations from the program in my own cookbook!
Please watch this. The science is astounding.

I think I need to go eat some butter.

I don't think he emphasizes the veg intake enough- I fully believe that fresh fruits and vegetables are so necessary in our diets, but PROTEIN and FAT, my friends. Our bodies need them!

And THIS... it's shorter and easier to digest quickly... for those not completely fascinated with the long and hairy details like I am.