Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last Day of the Primal 21 Day Challenge!

Day 21:

Congratulations!!! You have made it to Day 21:)

For your last day of the challenge you will be doing an intermittent fast, so when you wake up do not eat for as long as possible until you are very hungry. If you have been faithful to this challenge, you will be able to fast longer than your first time or at the least longer than before the challenge.

Be sure to take your after picture to compare with your before picture. If you see a difference {and are willing!}, please send me your pictures:) If you are even more willing and would like to share your experience, please contact me and I will post your story and/or picture to my blog! I will be starting another challenge on Monday December 2nd, so this would be very helpful to those who are preparing for the next challenge.

Also, don't forget to document and compare your earlier notes from the challenge. It's incredible to see the difference!

Document:

-total hours fasted
-how you increased your daily movement
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Lastly, celebrate Day 21 by preparing your favorite primal dinner {assuming you will be able to fast through the typical american breakfast and lunch schedule!} with your loved ones:)

Congratulations!

I will share Mark's 80/20 concept tomorrow, so stay tuned on how to continue this lifestyle.

Again, congratulations and thank you for taking this challenge. I hope you feel an increased feeling of health, strength and a sense of control! If you had a wonderful experience, please refer your family/friends to beprimal.blogspot.com and have them take my next challenge starting Monday December 2nd!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 20

Day 20:

Happy {post} Thanksgiving!


We had a lot of leftovers from our fabulous turkey that my husband made:) I also had my leftover double baked sweet potatoes and salad. Can we be primal for Thanksgiving and post Thanksgiving? No problem!

For Day 20, you will be preparing for your last intermittent fast of this challenge. So, tomorrow night will be your last meal before Day 21 and that does not mean to pig out! Eat normally to see how you will do during your fast. Then on Day 21 fast for as long as you can until hunger gets the best of you;)

Also perform a 30-60 minute moderate aerobic exercise of your choice.

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- sauté mushrooms, peppers, onions and put on top of an omelet.

Lunch- bacon and egg salad.

Dinner- pork chops seasoned with rosemary and a side of cooked carrots and salad.

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-moderate aerobic exercise
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 19

Day 19:

How was your Thanksgiving dinner? What primal meals did you make? I made...

 This is a Cranberry Orange Salsa with Cream Cheese.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans.

My husband made the turkey and it was Deeeeevine! He used a method called spatchcocking where you take out the back bone and then lye the turkey flat on the pan. This ensures it cooks evenly. Then cook it at 450 degrees for about 80 minutes. It was so juicy! 

Tomorrow try another max reps workout to see how you have improved from the beginning:)

Exercise:

Find your maximum repetitions of...

-Pushups
-Sit-Ups
-Pull-Ups or Chair Dips
-Plank Holds
-Squats

Meal/Snack Ideas: use your leftovers from Thanksgiving!

Breakfast- scramble eggs up with leftover meats/veggies.

Lunch- turkey wraps.

Dinner- use remaining meat for a soup or another shepherd's pie.

Snacks- leftover sweet potatoes or veggies.

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-max reps of the above five movements
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 18

Day 18:

For Day 18 your challenge is to plan a PRIMAL THANKSGIVING MEAL :)

The second part of tomorrow's  challenge is to listen to your body during your meal. We can still eat a big, primal feast for Thanksgiving and still come out feeling well, but we have to be listening to our bodies when we are starting to get full. The key is to listen and then stop ;) Afterwards, go for a family walk or throw a football or whatever active activities you enjoy doing for Thanksgiving. We can still live a normal, happy life by adopting the primal lifestyle!

Unfortunately, I did not have the time to try out primal Thanksgiving recipe's for you, but I hope this helps and I think I might try some myself:) I figure you will have protein {turkey or ham or another family favorite!} and vegetables, but here are some side dishes that you might want to make, too!

Thanksgiving Primal Recipe's:


Try this Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pecan Bread here.


Try this Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans here.


Try this Bacon and Butternut Squash Risotto here.


Try this Orange-Apple Cranberry Sauce here.

OR

Try this Mashed Garlic Cauliflower here.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to DOCUMENT:

-how you increased your daily movement
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 17

Day 17:

Tomorrow your challenge will be to complete another sprint workout...

Complete a sprint session! Do about 5min of a light warm-up such as jumping jacks, high knees, or jog. Then, put on running shoes {or your bare minimalist shoes} and decide on a number of sets to complete. For example, you could complete 5-8 sets of 10-30 seconds of sprinting with a recovery in between {try resting for no longer than 60 seconds or until your breathing is back to normal} doing any cardio activity: running, rowing, bicycling, stationary bike, etc.

Yesterday, I completed a sprint session on our rowing machine. I did 8 sets of 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. I went ALL out!


Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- make a big, green smoothie: spinach, kale, cucumber, coconut/almond milk, berries, bananas, and some ice.

Lunch- roasted cauliflower and broccoli with mushrooms and onions.

Dinner- try a spaghetti squash or summer squash noodles with veggies!

Snacks- try some primal beef jerky from a co-op/health foods store or make your own using a food dehydrator.  

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-sprint workout
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

Check out the new book/ebook from 'Against All Grain' and try some Thanksgiving dishes! Remember, stay away from all grains, wheat, legumes, sugar... Just because someone says their food/recipe is "all natural" or "all organic" or "paleo" doesn't necessarily mean it is. Take a look at that ingredients list! But, I think I might have to try this pudding from another source this holiday season here! You can also follow me on Pinterest here to check out my primal recipe board. 

Get cooking!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 16

Day 16:

For Day 16 tomorrow your challenge is to take 3-5 PLAY BREAKS throughout the day! This could include getting off of your home computer to play on the swings with your kids for 15 minutes or getting up from your work desk to throw a frisbee with a coworker outside for 5 minutes or whatever else your heart desires to do for fun :) Make it enjoyable!

Lastly, try a new primal recipe! Find a recipe I have put up on the blog, google primal recipe's, go to marksdailyapple.com to find a new recipe, or find a delicious recipe and make it primal!

{These are a couple of my siblings PLAYING while on our hike in Utah.}

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- cut the top off of a large tomato, core the inside, and put in oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or more until tomato softens slightly. Sauté ground meat, onions, or anything else on hand and then put in the tomatoes after they come out of the oven. Crack an egg or two on top of the meat/onions and place in oven to broil until egg is set. 

Lunch- make a shrimp coconut milk soup.

Dinner- place whole chicken in crockpot with veggies: carrots, celery, onions, or leeks. Salt and pepper. Fill crockpot with water leaving 2 inches of space at the top of crockpot. Add some lemon juice and vinegar. Turn on crockpot to cook for about 6 hours and turn chicken once halfway through.  When cooked, let chicken cool a bit and then pull apart the meat in chunks and serve with the cooked veggies!

Snacks- guacamole and chips {sweet potato, zucchini or another primal chip}.

Don't forget to document for today {Day 15} and tomorrow!:

-forage
-moderate aerobic exercise
-play breaks tried
-new primal recipe tried
-how you increased your daily movement
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Have a wonderful Monday and get ready for your challenge tomorrow by deciding play breaks/looking for a new recipe :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 15

Day 15:

Let's kick off our third and LAST week of the 21 day challenge by another FORAGE. My husband and I do a family night every Monday, so this is a perfect challenge for a Monday {well, for us at least!}


You could do a real primitive forage and go out into your surroundings to find mushrooms, apples, berries {which are probably all gone now;)}, etc. Last year my husband and I went out early spring to pick fiddleheads {basically a baby fern}. It was fun to get outside and hike around and try something new!


You could also forage by finding a new shopping market with ingredients to make primal foods or even go out to a different restaurant and to eat a primal meal. Remember, politely ask for substitutions as deemed necessary to create a primal meal:)

Lastly, perform a moderate aerobic exercise of your choice, 30-60 minutes long and 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- scrambled eggs, veggies of choice, and then throw in kale or spinach for the last few minutes of cooking.

Lunch- ceviche {I foraged at a restaurant last night and had ceviche that included the seafood, onions, cilantro, and sliced mangos...delicious!}

Dinner- I promised you the zucchini egg bake...

Zucchini Egg Bake from Mark Sisson's  'The Primal Blueprint Cookbook' {click on the link to order from Amazon}:

4T butter
1/4c finely chopped onion
2lb zucchini, grated {I use about 3 medium sized zucchini's}
1/2lb ground Italian sausage or other ground meat {or whatever leftover meat you have!}
3 eggs, beaten
1/3c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Set oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a sauté pan. Once melted, add zucchini and onions to sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Drain zucchini in strainer to get all excess liquid out. Add sausage to sauté pan and sauté until meat is just cooked. In a 8x8 pan or pie dish combine sausage, zucchini and season to desired taste. Add eggs and mix thoroughly.  Grate cheese on top {optional} and bake uncovered about 35-40 minutes.

Easy AND delicious!

Snacks- roast chestnuts {'Tis the season, right? I am dying to try this soon. It sounds easy enough by making an 'X' on the top of the chestnut with a knife, place upright on a baking sheet and bake.}

How is everyone doing with the challenge so far? Any new results or increased results? Please share!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 14

Day 14:

Tomorrow is Day 14! Two weeks down, one week to go:)

For Day 14 I want you to REST. No crazy workouts, just a lot of relaxation and spending time with those you love. Plan on taking a family stroll around the neighborhood or going to a park to read. Continue {obviously!} to eat primal approved foods and work on your relaxation techniques... this includes preparing for bed a couple of hours early by putting away digital media, dimming lights, etc. You might also want to make a list for the upcoming week to get yourself organized and prepared for your last week of the primal challenge:)

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- stir fried veggies atop eggs.

Lunch- chicken salad wraps.

Dinner- salmon burgers.


Snacks- olives, grape tomatoes and fermented cheese of your choice.

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Have a RESTful day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 13

Day 13:

I hope the fast went well and that you are blown away by how long you can go without feeling hungry! If so, this means that YOU are becoming a great fat-burning human being.

Tomorrow is Day 13 and I want you to eat your usual primal meals/snacks, but also measure and write down everything you eat throughout the day. Mark Sisson recommends using a great website called fitday.com to input your day's worth of information and the website will calculate your daily nutrition: protein, carbs, fat, and calories. This will give you a great idea of how much you are intaking in a day and what you will need to eat more or less of. If you are trying to lose weight, Mark recommends a daily carb intake of 50-100 grams/day.

Lastly, for Day 13 complete a push-up tabata workout. Remember, this is 8 sets of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Count your total repetitions. If you need to keep your knees on the ground that is fine, but be sure to maintain good posture: flat back, hands to the side of shoulders, and ensure your chest hits the ground first {if you cannot make it that low, then use a pillow beneath your chest.}

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- zucchini egg bake with sausage {I will provide a recipe tomorrow}.

Lunch- chicken breast, sweet potato, and veggies!


Dinner- roast in the crockpot with veggies.

Snacks- bananas with a spread of almond butter and sprinkle of honey.

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-your fitday.com calculations
-total push-ups from tabata workout 
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 12

Day 12:

Are you ready for tomorrow's fast?! Please don't forget to eat a nice dinner tonight {remember, do not over eat with the knowledge of Day 12's fast or carb overload}. So, tonight will be your last meal and then tomorrow go as long as possible without food until you get very hungry and then eat a very primalicious meal:)

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- eggs with tomatoes and avocados.


Lunch- cobb salad.

Dinner- Turkey, baked sweet potatoes, and baked asparagus wrapped in bacon.

Snacks- parsnip fries {I saw these the other day and want to try them! Google a healthy recipe.}

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-total hours fasted 
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

Today in my nursing class we talked about nutrition for dialysis patients and they stressed the importance of protein because of it's "wound healing and repair" mechanisms. Protein is so important for SO many things, which reminds me of why it is the biggest section of the primal food pyramid. 

Good luck tomorrow:)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 11

Day 11:

It has been a looong week {here you are thinking..."What is she talking about? It's been a long WEEK AND A HALF!"} Well, I am doing my week long, in-class hemodialysis training and not only is it making my brain hurt, but it has made me think a LOT about the primal diet. I really believe dialysis patients would have less complications and a healthier life if they incorporated a primal lifestyle. I am sure I'll get word around soon enough, as I have already talked the ears off of most of my coworkers, one of the doctors, and a couple of patients since I've started my dialysis career ;)

Tomorrow for Day 11 your challenge is to...

(1) Complete a favorite aerobic exercise and invite someone to do it with you. Do your exercise for 30-60 minutes and with a heart rate of about 50-75% of your maximum.

(2) Limit the carbs you eat all day. This is to get us ready for the following day {Day 12} where we will practice intermittent fasting. After a normal primal dinner on Day 11 you will fast for as long as you can until you feel famished or energy depleted. Record how many hours you went without food.

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- sausage patties with cooked vegetables and eggs.

Lunch- this week at my hemodialysis training we have been provided with lunch. I was very weary of this and brought healthy snacks as I was unsure how primal the food would be. But, surprisingly I have foraged well! Take a look below...

 I opted out of the pasta salad and grabbed grilled chicken with a heaping side of green salad.

We were served tacos, SO I made a taco salad complete with fresh salsa, guacamole, greek yogurt {for the sour cream} and beef! Ahhh....
Dinner- stir fry veggies that will need to be tossed soon and add meat on the side {this is what I did tonight for dinner;)}

Snacks- kale chips (sprinkle sea salt and olive oil over small pieces of kale on a baking pan and pop in the oven at 350 until crispy).

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-aerobic exercise with a partner
-carbs cut out in preparation for intermittent fast
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Tomorrow we are halfway done with this challenge AND closer to the weekend! So, be happy, be primal!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 10

Day 10:

We are finally in the double digits with this challenge, folks! That means we are getting closer to the end, so stay focused on your end results and don't get discouraged if you're not seeing all benefits of the primal lifestyle just yet. It will come. If it is significant weight loss you're looking for, then focus on how your clothes are fitting now and celebrate the small achievements. All these small things will all add up:)

I will also talk more about Mark Sisson's "80/20" concept when we get towards the end of the challenge for you to incorporate or you may want to continue to be strict {if that's what you want to call this challenge} for a while until you hit your goal weight.

Enough talk...let's discuss tomorrow.... DAY TEN!!!

Your challenge:

(1) Eat whenever and whatever you want! I mean it... Eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Dessert for an afternoon snack or vice versa. Eat whatever sounds good that falls in line with the primal food pyramid. Now while doing this, get rid of any guilty feelings from eating or other emotions tied to eating and just enjoy your food. For the remainder of this challenge, ENJOY {primal, of course} FOOD.

(2) Complete a sprint session! Do about 5min of a light warm-up such as jumping jacks, high knees, or jog. Then, put on running shoes and decide on a number of sets to complete. For example, you could complete 5-8 sets of 10-30 seconds of sprinting with a recovery in between {try resting for no longer than 60 seconds or until your breathing is back to normal} doing any cardio activity: running, rowing, bicycling, stationary bike, etc.

The benefits of sprinting: slight increase in human growth hormone and testosterone production, increase in muscle fiber growth, toned muscles, and metabolic advantages.

(3) Try a new primal food!

{Like the dragon fruit I am about to eat in the above picture!}

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- a dinner favorite or leftovers from last night!

Lunch- cheesy omelet and spinach.

Dinner- a lunch favorite or breakfast again like... cutting the top off of bell peppers, take out the pit, put in an egg or two and stuff with bits of meat/bacon/etc. and pop in the oven to bake until cooked.

Snack- PRIMAL DESSERT!

Dessert- apples dipped in hazelnut butter.

{Please try to find one other than this brand due to the sugar content!}

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-how you did with cutting ties between food and emotions
-sprint workout
-new primal food tried
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

{Don't forget to document for Day 9, too :)}

I hope you enjoy tomorrow's crazy food day! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 9

Day 9:

Okay, folks! Tomorrow for Day 9 you have two tasks:

(1) Avoid eating foods that have a label! This might mean you will find fresher foods from co-ops or other whole food stores. This might cause you to learn how to make your own dressings, dried fruits, or nut butters! Do the best you can and remember to avoid eating anything with a label:)

(2) Avoid media! We spend so much time in front of computers, phones, our TV, etc. You may have to be in front of a computer all day at work, but if that is the case then limit the extra media you engage with. Set time limits and give yourself these set times twice a day. Focus on the most important things {email, news, etc} and then close the device. Also, try to put on those screen dimmers/filters, such as f.lux, if not done so already to protect your eyes.

{This is from when my husband and I avoided labels by going apple picking!}

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- crack in egg in each half of a pitted avocado, sprinkle a favorite fermented cheese or pieces of bacon and bake in the oven until egg is cooked.

Lunch- fry/grill some ground beef or bison patties and add a fried egg on top with tomatoes or avocados. 

Dinner- make a ratatouille dish from online with fresh ingredients and fermented cheese. 

Snack- make your own primal trailmix!

Good luck tomorrow! Especially with limiting the media ;)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 8

Day 8:

Tomorrow we are starting week numero dos! I am thrilled to continue to hear the awesome results by those of you doing the challenge. Keep it up!

For Day 8 you will complete a very short, yet intense, tabata air squat workout. Do you remember the video I showed for our first max reps workout last week showing the squat? Well, it's time to review this movement if you still have questions in order to do Day 8's challenge:)

A tabata workout is usually 8 sets of a specified movement being performed for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between. It is an amazing workout that you can get done in just minutes! Below is a large group of people performing this tabata style workout, so feel free to do it along with them or you may do it on your own:) Count your total reps and document.


Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- mixed eggs, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes poured in cupcake pan(s) and baked.

Lunch- find hot dogs/sausage that are antibiotic/nitrite/nitrate free and dab primal approved condiments on top {read those labels if not making your own condiment!} Add a side of greens.

Dinner- a couple nights ago we had a big salad with homemade pickled radishes {never been a fan of radishes, but pickled are delicious!} along with baked chicken and ate remaining fried plantains.


Dessert- have you made/tried coconut milk ice-cream? Literally, just coconut milk and coconut pieces. Check your labels, or better yet, make your own!


Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-tabata air squats total reps
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

Comment or contact me to describe your favorite/most outstanding results thus far!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 7

Day 7:

Tomorrow is Day 7! That means only 14 days left of the challenge. I hope everyone is starting to feel and see the benefits of living a primal lifestyle:)

On Day 3 I challenged you all to try new primal approved meals for the rest of the week. I hope this gave you the opportunity to find a new favorite meal! That being said, I also mentioned that on Day 7 you would SHARE this new meal {and other favorite primal dishes if you'd like} for a big Sunday dinner with your family and/or friends! So make a run to the store today for any last minute items for tomorrow's primal meal:)

I have shared a few of my own favorite dishes this past week with you and I hope this has inspired you to try new recipes or spin an old favorite recipe into a primal one!

For Day 7 take a REST DAY... no strenuous physical activity. Spend meaningful time with your family by taking a walk or playing a game. You could also take this day to have some personal time to yourself: read, write in your journal about your primal experience thus far, or nap;).

Do you remember part of your challenge today for Day 6? You are to forage in a restaurant and eat primally. Last night my husband and I stopped at Moe's Southwestern Grill and found grass-fed meat to eat:) I got the Close Talker salad with steak and other delicious veggies! Good luck on your foraging today!


Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- this was my breakfast this morning...


Lunch- on Sunday's I go for the leftover's! Heat up leftover meat, soups, or you could even do a shepherd's pie by throwing all your leftovers into a casserole dish and bake it {it sounds weird, I know, but it is good!}

Dinner- beef round eye seasoned with  salt and pepper baked in the oven with a side of veggies {my husband made this a few days ago and it was TO DIE FOR!}; fry some chicken and veggies with a side of fried plantains in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt...another dish my husband made!


Dessert:
Hot Almond Milk
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tsp 100% natural honey
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Put almond milk in pot over low-medium heat. Stir until milk is hot and foaming around edges. Add honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Stir together and serve hot in large mug.







Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-primal meal shared with family and/or friends
-what you did on your REST DAY
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Friday, November 15, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 6

Day 6:

What did you do for Day 5's PLAY day? I hope it was fun and enjoyable:)

Tomorrow is Day 6 and this is your challenge:

(1) Try a new aerobic exercise. If you find yourself at the gym for most of the time then get out and try something new! Go bike riding, try rock climbing, play tennis, {or if it is freezing outside...} jump on a rowing machine or whatever else it is you would like to try.



(2) Forage. Go out to dinner with your significant other, best friend, or entire family to a nice restaurant and eat primally. You might need to substitute a side dish of stuffing for steamed vegetables or ask for olive oil and lemon for salad dressing or ask to hold the non-primal sauce on your steak.

Meal/Snack & DESSERT Ideas:

Breakfast- shredded sweet potatoes with eggs atop and fried in a pan.

Lunch- asparagus wrapped in bacon and baked.

Dinner- pan cooked tilapia with seasonings in a pan using olive oil or coconut oil.

Snacks- pickles; deviled eggs; cucumber salad.



DESSERT- baked pears! seriously, to die for.
Baked Pears
  • 4 small pears
  • 1c hard apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1t cloves
Set oven to 400 degrees. Slice bottom of pears so they stand upright. Pour hard cider in a medium sized casserole dish. Add pears standing upright. Place cinnamon sticks and cloves in the cider and around the pears. Bake for 1 hour or until pears are tender and skin comes off easily. Let cool and enjoy!









Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-new aerobic exercise
-forage experience
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

I've enjoyed all the questions! Please ask me more, so we can have more great discussions:)

Side note: I added a dessert section because it's the weekend! Just kidding. I was told today by someone who is doing the 21 days challenge that her cravings have decreased, but today she wanted something sweet! If that's the case, then have a little indulgence, such as 75% dark chocolate, red wine {if you drink!}, or a primal dessert. But I want to make a point that we are not recreating unhealthy foods by making them primal. We are being primal by eating protein, veggies, and fruits/nuts/dairy in moderation. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More on the beans...

I didn't realize how confusing green beans and even peas could be!

I typically just avoid them and go for healthier options, but for those of you that like green beans/peas let me give you a couple of tips:

(1) Eat them fresh, meaning NOT dried.

(2) Do not eat them if they are hard on your stomach (gastrointestinal side effects).

I found a great post from marksdailyapple.com that touches on this subject here.

Thanks for the questions!

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 5

Day 5:

Can you believe we are on Day 5 tomorrow?! I'm getting so excited for everyone's end results! I am already hearing about results so far, such as: energy all day, decrease in cravings, cease in nerve pain, decrease in hunger between meals, "mental clarity", no headaches, etc. Keep it up! It will only get better:)

For Day 5, your challenge (besides eating primal, increasing movement, getting sunlight, getting enough sleep and relaxing before bed...right?) is to PLAY. No, I'm not going crazy! Go play a sport you love, go on a hike with your family, play frisbee, go slack lining, paddle a canoe or play basketball in a gym if it's cold out. Grab your family/friends and enjoy yourselves together doing what you love!


Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- scramble eggs with mushrooms, peppers, spinach and onions; cook up some sausage with eggs and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Lunch- make a broccoli soup or other vegetable favorite.

Dinner-
Spicy Mexican Sausage Stew
  • 4 large sausage links, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped into medium chunks
  • 1 white onion, thickly sliced and chopped in half
  • 1 tomato, diced into medium chunks
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 can El Pato tomato sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1T olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add sausage. Stir sausage until brown on all sides. Set sausage aside. In the same pan, add all ingredients except for the cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook until tender. Then add sausage back to the pan, cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper as desired. Turn heat down to a simmer or 1-2 stove setting. Cover and let cook for about 2 hours. Let cool and serve topped with chopped cilantro or other garnish.



















Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-what your "PLAY" activity was
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

Today I had a discussion about green beans with my mom. Weird, I know. But relevant to this primal challenge! My mom told me about her recent primal dinner and mentioned her side of green beans. I mentioned that green beans were also a legume, so (as my mother always does) she researched this out. Green beans ARE a vegetable, but also ARE a legume. Legumes are a little harder for the GI tract to digest and have anti nutrient properties, but, hey, they are better than eating a piece of bread;) Recently, Paleoista discussed green beans on her website. Check out the link and check out her recipes! She's fabulous and has an amazing transformation story.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 4

Day 4:

By tomorrow (Day 4), I hope any headaches or cravings that you may have been experiencing are easing up.

For me, the first 4 days were tough as I was coming off of that carb addiction. I felt like I was constantly eating primal snacks to help get me through at first. So, for day 4, don't restrict yourself to a breakfast/lunch/dinner schedule. Eat when you are hungry. If you don't get hungry until 10 am, then wait until then to eat or if you eat early in the morning and by 10 am you are hungry again, then eat something at 10 am! Eat according to the primal food pyramid until you feel satisfied, but not to the point of feeling stuffed. For day 4, we are going to listen to our bodies!

Along with listening to our bodies, there will come a point when our bodies will be so great at properly storing and burning fat that we may not feel hungry for many hours! Later on we will practice random fasting from food to see how well our body is at fat burning:) You will be amazed!
Once, I was impressed to hear Mark Sisson describe in a podcast at just how well his body is at fat burning. Mark said he was able to eat a dinner in the evening time and would not feel hungry until the next day at 1pm, which is when he would indulge in a delicious primal meal. Amazing!


Exercise:

Find your maximum repetitions of...

-Pushups
-Sit-Ups
-Pull-Ups or Chair Dips
-Plank Holds
-Squats

If you just jumped in this challenge (there will also be another one starting on Monday December 2nd), please refer to Day 2 of the challenge for proper form and movement.

Lastly, for Day 4 try to focus on standing up straight, walking/standing without shoes (or try bare minimalist shoes like the ones I'm wearing above!) and stay on your feet for most of the day. We are trying to increase our movement and avoid the american sedentary lifestyle. So, if you find yourself at a desk at work most of the time, find ways to stand more and take brief breaks. Remember to hold good posture and ensure your workspace is at a proper height for YOU. The last two years of my life working as a nurse in an office, I found my upper shoulders/back in an awful state of pain, numbness, and tingling due to my inappropriate work space. I also carried around a laptop in one arm ALL day! Once I started the 21 day challenge, I adjusted my work space, moved more, and held my laptop in both arms while setting it down as much as possible to save my back.

Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- sauté spinach in a pan with salt and have eggs/bacon on the side (this is what I made for my husband this morning); make a big spinach smoothie with berries or other fruit if you're in a hurry to go to work/school/or do errands.

Lunch- did you make pulled pork yesterday? use that shredded pork to top off your green salad and mix together guacamole to add on top!

Dinner- finish off that pulled pork (again with the pork?) with lettuce wraps and add sliced avocado, onion, and tomatoes; make Ginger Garlic Sesame Seed Chicken.

Ginger Garlic Sesame Seed Chicken
  • 4 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinnly sliced
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 T coconut oil
Set oven to 350 degrees. Heat large pan over medium heat with coconut oil. Trim extra fat off chicken thighs. Salt and pepper chicken as desired on both sides. Place in hot pan and cook top of chicken thigh for 5-7min. Mix remaning ingredients in a small bowl. Flip chicken thighs and place mixture over top. Place pan with chicken thighs into oven and cook for 30min. Remove from oven. Scoop mixture from bottom of pan on top of chicken thighs. Let cool for 5min. Serve.


















Snacks- make a veggie plate of your favorite veggies; throw salt on sliced tomatoes (my favorite!)

Document:

-how you increased your daily movement
-what you did to improve your workspaces and avoid a sedentary lifestyle
-max reps of the above five movements
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

Please ask ME a question(s) :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 3

Day 3:

Day 2 is in the books and tomorrow is Day 3 :)

I hope Day 2 was more successful with making creative primal meals/snacks, increasing daily movement, and relaxing before bed.

A friend of mine, who is also doing the challenge, downloaded primal recipe e-books to her tablet and she is getting excited about making new meals! I want to challenge everyone to try new primal approved meals this week and on Day 7 make your favorite new recipe for your family and/or friends to share. This might also be a great opportunity to share what you are doing with your family/friends and get them excited about health, healing, and FOOD!

Besides trying new recipes, on Day 3 please focus on making and preparing all your primal meals from home. This will take planning (maybe even days of planning), but it will help you avoid the temptation of running to a local burger chain restaurant to satisfy hunger. From Day 3 forward, plan and prepare meals from home.

Also on Day 3, GO OUTSIDE! Grab some sunshine and soak in Vitamin D. If there happens to be no sun on Day 3, check the forecast and plan a sunny day to enjoy outside. To be primal is to get an appropriate amount of sunlight. Yes, tan=healthy! This will be explained below in 'Let's Talk'.


Lastly, do a favorite aerobic exercise about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. To determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. So, if you are 30 years old your heart rate will be 220 - 30 = 190 beats per minute. Do this aerobic exercise no longer than 60 minutes and what is comfortable for YOU! If you're used to walking for 30 minutes, then do your exercise for 30 minutes.

Meal/Snack Ideas: {These are only suggestions and recipes for your guidance, so no need to eat exactly what's written! Eat as much as you want and when ever you want always following the primal food pyramid.}

Breakfast- french omelette with chives

French Omelette
  • 4 eggs
  • 1T fresh chives, diced thinly
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1T olive oil
Heat olive oil in pan on # 3 stove setting or low-medium heat. Ensure olive oil gets up the sides of pan. Beat eggs vigorously with all ingredients until batter has a smooth consistency. Pour in heated pan. Take spatula and gently scrape the middle of omelette from side to side in a plus sign design every few minutes. This will make little clumps throughout the omelette. Continue until omelette is still wet on top with many chunks and swirls of eggs and sides are easy to lift from pan. Loosen sides of omelette and fold in half. Cook for another minute and then serve on plate. Sprinkle more salt and pepper if desired.


Lunch- throw that delicious leftover salmon atop your green salad with seasonings; slice large chunks of eggplant and top with tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, seasonings, sprinkled with a hard fermented cheese and then bake!

Dinner- make pulled pork in your crockpot and serve with your favorite vegetables (pulled pork meat can be used for many other meals!)

Snacks- create a new smoothie using coconut milk, almond milk or water; find a primal coconut drink with pulp (check those ingredients to stay away from sugar and other chemicals!)


Document:

-where you shopped for primal foods
-how you increased your daily movement
-aerobic exercise and minutes completed
-new primal meal recipe tried
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

The sun helps us absorb Vitamin D which is great for cellular function. We can do all we can to get enough Vitamin D from our diet, but it still will not be sufficient. This is why being in the sun is important! I'm not telling you to go outside to fry yourself like a chicken, I am telling you it is healthy to get an adequate amount of sunlight to large areas of your body. Once you feel you've had enough sun, such as a slight change in color (NOT red), then go get in some shade! Stay away from harmful chemicals that come in tanning lotions and sunscreens. Just get an adequate amount of sun and then get out of it for a while. Sunlight will also boost your mood and energy. You will enjoy getting OUT of the house, office, or wherever you find yourself most. Then, when you return, you will be happier and healthier!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Primal 21 Day Challenge: Day 2

Day 2:

How did Day 1 go for everyone? You might not feel very energetic or even may have a headache. This is normal after coming off of the american high carb/sugar diet or, as Mark Sisson refers to, the SAD (Standard American Diet).

What did you have a difficult time with on Day 1? Was it hunger? Cravings? Getting in more movement throughout the day? Turning off that TV 2 hours before bed? Decide how you can better prepare yourself for Day 2 by creating more primal snacks to help you with hunger or cravings; making the time to go for a walk during a lunch break or parking farther away from work or taking the stairs; set a curfew for your media time by setting an alarm 2 hours before bed. Think, plan, and then do!

How satisfied were you with meals? Want to try a new recipe? Get creative in the kitchen by trying different spices and herbs with your meals. Go to marksdailyapple.com to find new recipes or purchase one of his books or find a recipe online that you like and MAKE it primal! One suggestion from Mark in his 'Primal Blueprint' book is to rotate 5 of your favorite primal recipes during this lifestyle transition.

Have you noticed benefits? As I said before, you might not feel great the first few days of the challenge as you're coming off of that sugar high. But give it time and your cells will soon change into great fat burning cells instead of hungry-for-sugar-and-burning cells!


Today, for Day 2, I want you to take about 5 minutes to find your maximum repetitions of:

-Pushups (Keep body in straight line, hands shoulder width apart, hands and toes on floor, touch chest to ground. To modify, keep knees on floor along with toes.)

-Sit-ups (Put a rolled up towel lengthways or pillow beneath buttocks and back. Put bottom of your feet together to make a diamond with your legs. When you lie back, reach back as far as you can with your hands and then crunch forward reaching as far as you can with your hands to your toes.)

-Pull-Ups or Chair Dips (Unlike the above picture, grip the pull-up bar with the top of your hands facing you, wide grip, pull your body up until your chip is above the bar. For chair dips, take a chair and sit just in front of it by gripping your hands on the edge of the chair. Your body will be in a sitting position just in front of the chair. Dip down as far as you can and then push yourself back up.)

-Plank Holds (Get into the pushup position, hold this position for as long as you can.)

-Squats (Stand shoulder width or a little wider if you have long legs. Keep your arms stretched out in front of you and lower yourself down by pushing your buttocks back, keeping your back flat, and keeping your knees behind your toes and going outward rather than inward. Go as low as you can, preferably below parallel.)


Meal/Snack Ideas:

Breakfast- egg frittata with peppers, onions, and spinach; stuffed squash blossoms; baked stuffed peppers with eggs and bison meat.



Lunch- leftover dinners; cubed avocados, sweet peppers, celery, onions, tomatoes tossed as a salad with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt.

Dinner- baked salmon with lemon and seasonings of choice (if it's a big salmon, save half and keep frozen to use later for salmon patties); bison meat patties with cooked egg on top.

Snacks- coconut milk, banana, spinach, and berry smoothie.

Don't forget to document!

-where you shopped for primal foods
-how you increased your daily movement during 3 different times in the day
-relaxation techniques tried
-energy level {POOR, AVERAGE, GREAT}
-satisfaction level with meals
-hunger level between meals
-struggles
-benefits

Let's Talk:

I have had a few people ask me about dairy within the last few days. How good is it for you? How much to eat? My answer: limit your dairy, but some high-fat, unpasteurized dairy is beneficial in moderation and if not lactose intolerant. Commercial dairy that is pasteurized and homogenized is rid of harmful bacteria, but also rid of healthy bacteria, enzymes and nutrients we need. The other downside is the amount of antibiotics, pesticides, EGF (epidural growth factor that is believed to increase cancer risk), casein (stimulates some auto-immune properties) and hormones that are found in dairy. It is also believed that dairy can worsen acne which, in my case, I believe was true. Unpasteurized, raw and fermented dairy has probiotics for a healthy immune system due to minimal processing, low levels of casein, and allows people to avoid allergic reactions with lactose. So, stick with either no dairy, raw fermented dairy, raw high-fat dairy, raw milk/cheese, or organic hormone/antibiotic free dairy. This is the best order according to Scott Kustes, friend of Mark Sisson, mentioned in 'The Primal Blueprint'! Lastly, we want to get the majority of our fats from animal fats which is what our body wants/needs, so do not solely rely on dairy for high-fat consumption. Again, no dairy or dairy in moderation.