Monday, October 31, 2011

How I lost 20lbs and kept it off

You want to know what works. You want to know the fastest way to get your desired results. Krista, how did you really lose 20 pounds and keep it off? What's your secret? These are the questions I get asked most often so I decided to write a post on it.

3 required actions to get real results

  1. The first thing I did was get in the right mindset. Truly. I did my homework on the Primal lifestyle and I knew what to expect. I knew not to count calories, but carbs. I knew not to count mistakes, but successes. I also knew to ignore the scale and instead watched my clothes fit better. Getting in the right mindset is one of the top reasons people have a hard time sticking to a "diet." 
  2. Low carb. Low carb. Low carb. Get the point? For the first 6 weeks I ate strictly Primal in the lowest carb intake phase (ketosis and accelerated fat burning stage). I ate as close to 0 carbs a day that I could, my number was usually around 20g/day. Now I consume about 100g/day easily maintaining.
  3. Move! Here is my actual workout routine: Walked the dog 1-2x/day = 4-5 hours/week of walking, strength training 2x/week, and sprints 1x/week.

That's it. That's all it took to lose 20, well 21, pounds and to maintain for the last 16 weeks.

Yes, I'm ecstatic with my results, but I'm so proud of myself for having the willpower and discipline to keep at it for this long.

42 days and counting until my vacation in the Riviera Maya and I want to look tighter/toned in my bikini. Tomorrow is day one of incorporating more strength training, no soda pop (not even sips of Mark's anymore), and less sweets (Paleo pudding, strawberries with sweet clotted cream, candied pecans, etc).


Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween, Ruts and Bellies

The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy. Hopefully, my efforts come to fruition and I’ll write about what I’ve been up to when they do. Can you guess?

Wheat belly
I have been 75/25 for the past 2 weeks and haven’t been working out as much as I should be. Just walks with Gizmo. I haven’t gained any weight, but I don’t look as great as I did in late summer.
My family ate at Texas Road House for my brother’s birthday. If you know anything about their sweet rolls, you know it’s nearly impossible to resist – so I didn’t. It’s amazing how one sweet roll can give you a bloated belly that looks like you’ve gained about 5lbs (when you haven’t). Thankfully, that got out of my system and the stomach is flat once more. 

In a rut
Once again on the carb roller-coaster – I need to find more indulgences that don’t involve high carb loads. Any new recipes? I do love Paleo Pudding, but it would be nice to try something else that is easy to throw together and tastes fantastic.

Recently, I made a Fig Tart in a Hazelnut Crust from Mark’sDaily Apple Contest. It was time consuming to make, but delicious on day 1 and the fridge killed the any flavor it had on day 2. Definitely one of those eat fresh for a special occasion desserts. 

I do love Halloween. Watching the scary movies on tv, enjoying spiced cider, and creating fun costume ideas. Last year I was Kim Kardashian and my date was Justin Bieber – that wouldn’t apply much this year. For Halloween this year, I’ll spend it siddin’ some cider and watching scary movies (we don’t get trick-or-treaters in our key entry building). 

Mark will be working. Friends aren’t having a party since it happens to fall on a Monday this year, we all have the joy of working the next day. Plus we live in a college town, which means if you want to see some weirdos, drunk guys or scantily clad “ladies” they will be everywhere – and I mean everywhere. My couch is more enticing. 

Can't wait for the years when I will be dressing up my little ones to take around the neighborhood, only to trade in the majority of their finds for something more Paleo (maple roasted pecans, dark chocolate, etc) - aka healthier.

How will you spend your Halloween?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paleo rock(s).

How do you succeed? 
What makes you accountable? 
Who is your rock?

The past few weeks I haven’t been the best Primal role model, but I have learned something about myself. My husband is my rock when it comes to my health. 

There are many people out there that don’t want their spouses to comment on their bad choices: junk food, cigarettes, or alcohol and I’m included in that bunch. If he says anything about me having a brownie during my least favorite time of the month on how it isn’t Paleo…well, let’s just say he gets an earful. 

However, over the past few weeks he has had a sporadic schedule and hasn’t been home every night for dinner. This gives me the sole responsibility of making that decision to eat right. Eat Primal. It isn’t always that easy though. 

One of the nights I ate a pizza and loved every minute of it. I savored that pizza like it was my last. Now, it probably isn’t, but you get the idea. I felt HORRIBLE an hour later and didn’t sleep well that night – my body knows how to punish me. I don’t want a pizza for a long while.

Then I got mad at myself for giving in to a lousy pizza. How could I do that? Subject myself back to the carb cravings all over again. Needless to say I was very disappointed in my action. 

The carb cravings did come back and it has been difficult, but my rock has been around to make it easier.  He helps me to be accountable even when I don’t want to be and I appreciate him for it. 

Who grounds you and helps you to be a better person?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Paleo is the black sheep of the diet family

Many days I just want to shout, “Wake up you dolts! Paleo is the answer to what you are missing!” You probably know someone that needs to change the way they eat or workout to improve their quality of life. When we find something that works we want to share that knowledge and help others lead a healthy life. So why don’t people listen? Why do they look for excuses? If this really works, then why don’t more people know about it and follow it?

Yes, this is me in the picture.
The Paleo lifestyle doesn’t have any nifty little products to package and sell on your local grocery store shelves. It doesn’t have a line of “magic presto pills,” meals that come to your door or a piece of essential fitness equipment.

Public: OK – but can’t that be seen as a good thing too? I’m not getting scammed if you aren’t trying to sell me something, right?

True, however, that’s also why people don’t know about Paleo. Nothing to sell = no $$$ = no publicity. No celebrity spokes model is out there to market and sell Paleo to you.

Carb Lovin’
It’s not easy to convince people to give up crusty bread, flour in their baked goods, and sweet corn on the cob. Many of our comfort foods are derived from grains. Combine that temptation with the media telling us to eat our comforting whole grains, we nod like lemmings and continue on the path to self-destruction.

Fad Diet
The Paleo/Primal lifestyle often gets lumped into the “fad diet” category, which is comical since it is adopted from our ancestors. You really want to compare that kind of history to the grapefruit, master cleanse, raw diets out there? Well, not eating grains seems like a radical idea so it must be a fad. Please improve your ignorance and do some research before you shove Paleo aside! There is a reason we have a community growing by the thousands with hundreds upon hundreds of REAL success stories.

How do I convince loved ones Paleo/Primal really works?
Lead by example and others will take notice. They will complement your appearance and ask what you are doing. It’s important to reach out to family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they express health concerns or interest in your lifestyle. Read and recommend The Paleo Solution or The Primal Blueprint to get into the nitty gritty of Paleo/Primal.

When people ask me about my diet, I smile and say, “I’ve been eating more protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.” That’s where I stop unless they dig deeper. Otherwise, you will receive odd stares or turn people off if you go into no grains or dairy, “caveman” diet, etc. They will write it off as a bizarre fad diet, whereas the media has made protein, veggies, and ‘healthy fats’ socially acceptable.

Until more people wake up and realize Paleo isn’t the crazy aunt no one invited to the party, we must stay strong in our actions with a friendly and confident approach. 

Are you having difficulty explaining your Paleo/Primal lifestyle to others? Do people treat you differently when they find out you are Paleo/Primal?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Primal Eats

Hi all-

Here is a general blueprint of my daily diet and workout for those interested.  Each line represents a different option (not in addition to the previous line) and goes in order of frequency = most often to least. 

Please note that I drink coffee with heavy cream every day, have a glass of wine 3-4x/week, and a variety of aged cheeses that strike my fancy 1-2x/week. Wait....what diet?

1-2 Eggs
Nothing (not hungry)
1 Egg & 1 slice of bacon or sausage
Leftovers from dinner night before (meat/veg combo)
1-2 Eggs
Broiled Chicken w/veg*
Pork chops/loin w/veg
Fish (baked/smoked/ or broiled) w/veg
BBQ Ribs w/veg
Paleo Pudding – no joke
Strawberries/blueberries with sliced almonds and coconut milk
Piece of dark chocolate
Maple roasted pecans

*Salad: Mixed dark greens/spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and/or grilled chicken/tuna. Mix this option up a lot (different in season fruits and vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette). Yum!
*Veg: Whatever’s in season – broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and kale.

15-30 min walk w/Gizmo
15-30 min walk w/Gizmo
20-30 min Circuit Training
15-30 min walk w/Gizmo
15-30 min walk w/Gizmo
20-30 min Circuit Training
15-30 min walk w/Gizmo

30 min walk w/Gizmo
30 min Sprints

My workout schedule varies depending on how busy the week is, but above is what I try to stick to.  If not, everything shifts a day.

Status: I’m currently still at 134lbs according to the scale this morning (down 21lbs from peak weight). I’ll post a picture from my brother’s wedding last weekend so you can see for yourself as soon as my mother sends me them.

If you have comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

80/20 Deconstructed

The 80/20 Primal rule might be the most ambiguous to follow. Why? It seems pretty simple, right? Well, 80/20 means something different to everyone: whether you are new to Paleo/Primal or have done it for years, or whether you allow yourself dairy, alcohol, chocolate, and carb concentrated foods or not. From what I’ve read around the web 80/20 is as unique as the individual. 

For Beginners
It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. In the first 1-2 weeks of implementing the Paleo/Primal diet into your lifestyle the carb cravings can be very intense. Some need the piece of dark chocolate to satisfy the after dinner sweet tooth or others want that glass of wine while relaxing to unwind from the day. It is a "cheat" to look forward to until your body adjusts to less crapola (i.e. grains) circulating through the pipes on a regular basis.

For Intermediary
It’s a treat. Whether you’re going out with friends for pizza or having cake on your birthday, you become more of a food snob with what you waste your carbs on and make the most of it! No more Hy-Vee Chinese, instead you upgrade your carb-load to P.F. Chang’s if you are going to splurge and feel icky (technical term) later.

For Experienced 
Only when necessary, if at all. These are folks that have stuck with Paleo/Primal for the long haul and have felt the amazing results. If they eat a cookie, they feel awful after and they no longer desire the sugar bomb. There are veterans that follow the diet strictly and either cut out 80/20 or make it 95/5. Eating clean feels so great, why would you want to subject yourself to a carb crave, nightmares, or aches and pains

I’m definitely in the Intermediary stage. After I eat grains or load up on carbs, like clockwork, my stomach is ready to take me out back and give me a good wallop. Where do you fit in?


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paleo for One Please

I’d like to start this post off giving kudos to anyone out there that is single or lives alone and practices the paleo/primal lifestyle successfully. 

Back story: My husband has been completing his pediatric until round in another town (couple hours from home) for the past 4 days this week and I have learned that it is difficult to cook for one person. Especially if you are a lazy person. 

While driving home from work I realize how easy it would be to just grab a quick Chinese take-out dinner…'s on the way...warning Will Robinson! Warning! Think of the carbs/msg/nastiness! 

Devil on left shoulder: Yes, but you don’t eat out often and you could go right back to 100% primal.
Angel on right shoulder: No – go to the grocery store and you can treat yourself to a little Hagen Das instead of that take-out “food.”
Krista: Well….Okay. *rushes off to the store*

I literally argued with myself for a good 5 minutes, but I made it to the store and treated myself a bit. The smoked salmon looked great, a little prosciutto, couple figs, a fine cheese, some wine….hey this isn’t so bad. What was I thinking earlier?! This is a ready to eat delicious mix of primal goodness that would last me a couple dinners. 

Made a quick batch of Hell-O it’s not Jell-O for dessert to go with my BBQ brisket and dark greens (leftovers from weekend).

Ate amazing leftovers from Monday. Food that good shouldn't be called leftovers. What do you think of free previous food= F.P.F.? Spread the word.

Hubby is coming home so I will throw together a pork loin with broiled zucchini. 

Lessons learned:
If you are cooking for one, make a large meal over the weekend to finish for F.P.F. during the week. 

Keep it simple. Buy food that can be easily prepared (rotisserie chicken, salmon, breakfast, etc).

Make one of your favorite meals. You'll enjoy it more than any old fast "food."

Have a glass of wine. Turn on some music or a cooking show. That makes cooking more exciting and enjoyable.

There is little motivation to cook an elaborate meal for yourself when you have other things to get done.


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Cost of CW Beauty Standards Part II

To be considered decent, the American woman must not leave the home without: showering, styling her hair, applying sunscreen/lotion, and makeup. Let’s not get into coordinating outfits and accessories, because I’m not so great at that nor do I want to be. After all, we do need clothes (usually), but we don’t need everything mentioned above. 

According to the Daily Mail, "1 in 3 women will not leave the house without a full face of makeup on and 1 in 2 women prefer wearing makeup rather than going out bare faced." 

A survey done in the UK found that on average "...women spend 330 days of their lives applying makeup."

Let’s break down the cost of the products most women use daily (concealer, mascara, and a touch of lipstick/lip-gloss) that you would find at a local drugstore/makeup department. Low end and higher end: 

Average cost for Cover Girl, Maybelline, and Revlon:




Total Annual Cost (Quarterly purchases)

Average cost for Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Sephora:




Total Annual Cost (Quarterly purchases)

Please notice the word average. These cost breakdowns will vary based on your location and how much product you apply. It also only contains the “bare essentials,” excluding eye shadow, eye/lip liner, blush, and instruments to apply the products.

Save money by going Paleo/Primal
Here is where you can save money by incorporating more Paleo/Primal choices in your life. Cut back on applying makeup to weekdays or special events. If you don’t feel like wearing makeup, then don’t. Save the time and money for play, cooking, spending time with family/friends or tackling something you’ve put on the back burner.

Many people that first try the Paleo/Primal lifestyle often complain about the cost for food. Well, that food contains nutrients and vitamins that we need to be healthy. You are what you eat. If you are giving your body nutrient dense calories you will see the benefits through weight loss, glowing skin, strong/thick hair, strong nails and teeth. You will not need as much makeup/skin/hair products because you are naturally enhancing your beauty through a healthy diet. Less products = More $. Not to mention the health care bills you will incur later on (Diabetes II, Hypertension, medications, etc) with an unhealthy diet. 

Lately, I’ve been leaving the house with less makeup (if any), not using skin care products (tap water rinse), and  running a brush through my hair and the world seems fine with it. 

Have you cut back on the number of products you use regularly?  Have you seen your natural beauty emerge by going Paleo/Primal?