Posted in Blog, knit, Knitting, Primal, Real Food, Uncategorized

The Curse Of Knitting And Other Sedentary Hobbies

cropped-cropped-ascarf3.jpgWhile I have been knitting for almost two decades, it has only become an obsession for the past couple of years. As with many other needle crafts as well as sewing, reading, game playing on electronic devices, even blogging, this involves sitting. I’m astonished to find that many people don’t even take this into consideration.  Well, sitting a lot is a problem and you should care. It is very difficult for me not to rant about the amount of sitting crafty types do and how unhealthy it is, but instead I thought I’d write a few things down that I’ve done to keep me moving more and hopefully minimize the damage sitting does.

  1. Commit to getting up at least once an hour. Sometimes I’ll do 10 air squats on my way to get a drink of water or do lunges on the way to the bathroom. Even working through a few sun salutations helps loosen up my legs and hips and opens my shoulders a bit.
  2. Walk at least two miles a day. That is a  30-35 min walk. And while it is only half of the steps we should be taking in a day, I find it often inspires me to continue on to do a bit of weight lifting. Invest in a kettlebell or some dumbbells and internet search some beginning exercises if it is new to you. Or just stretch!
  3. Sit on the floor to knit. Horrifying to some, but it helps use more muscles to sit upright, gives us the opportunity to straighten our legs and stretch a bit while we knit, and requires an effort to get ourselves up off the floor.
  4. Get a doorway pull-up bar and hang from it to open up your shoulders. It also helps work on your grip strength. I can even do a couple of pull-ups now!
  5. Create a standing work station. I have a wood TV tray on top of a side table that I knit at, so no excuses. You could buy a stand-up desk if you aren’t into creating your own.

This is just a beginning of a list of how to incorporate movement into your crafting. The most important thing though is to start the conversation with yourself about how you are going to move more. And remember to be healthy you have to eat real food and move. There is no pill that takes the place of it.

I keep this book handy to refer to if I have a particular ache or pain. It has been an invaluable resource:  Becoming A Supple Leopard  It is a great addition to your health library.

Posted in Blog

Paleo Is Not A Diet

What I like most about eating real food is that it has impacted other aspects of my life. Leading me to the decision to write about the fact that paleo is not just about the food. It has made me a more mindful person when it comes to the lifestyle choices I make, the importance of my food sources and the people I listen to.

Lifestyle adjustments are important. You must make a conscious effort to lead a life with as little stress as possible. This means learning to say no. I am a giver, fixer and problem solver. In years past I would over extend myself (constantly being busy) thinking it was a good thing. It’s not. I thought volunteering for booster clubs, helping friends in crisis on top of going to college and raising my family was just the way it had to be. I’ve learned in middle age that other people (including employers) not planning well in their own lives is not my problem. I’ve learned that taking care of myself first helps me be better for the people I love the most. For me what is important is my family and friends and being able to spend quality time with them. Material things are not what nutures our spirit. What matters are the relationships we build. This “paleo” lifestyle has taught me to expend energy in a way that fosters relationships. Group dinners and gym potlucks, coffee or workout dates with friends are examples. Reach out to those around you and plan events that improve your health and help you connect with your community.

Where your food comes from matters. I do my best to buy local organic vegetables, pastured eggs and grass-fed meat. I grow what I can during the summer in my own garden which provides me with healthy doses of Vitamin D and joy from digging in the dirt. If you don’t have your own room to garden check out community gardens in your town. Some schools or local farms have gardens that will exchange produce for weeding time. It is a way to connect to the land and teach yourself and your children about where food comes from. It also offers the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables in the real food recipes you are making. If gardening is out of the question, find your local farmers market and make it a weekly excursion.

What inputs you allow into your head are important. We are saturated in media these days and it is vital to find sources rooted in solid science when it comes to our health. I have read voraciously over the past six years trying to expand my knowledge of nutrition and have listened to many health lectures that were way over my head. To be honest I rely on people with a background in science to decipher it for me. Chris Kresser, Sarah Ballantyne, Aglaée Jacob and Robb Wolf are people I trust to give me honest information, because they have scientific backgrounds and understand how to look at the efficacy of a scientific study. They also will adjust their nutritional and lifestyle advice based on current research. Be a skeptic when it comes to nutritional advice. Educate yourself and never assume what you are hearing or reading is fact, because every study can be funded by someone with their own agenda or a desire to protect their money. Ideal health comes from doing your own research and determining what your optimal diet is through elimination and reintroduction of foods.

Be selfish when it comes to your wellbeing, because in the end it makes you healthier and happier for the people that matter the most.

Posted in Blog, Healthy Living, Low Carb

Carbohydrate Reality Check

Carb_Curve_x

Chart credit:   http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-succeed-with-the-primal-blueprint/#fitness

All the way back in 2008 I found out I was gluten and casein (dairy) intolerant and eliminated both from my diet completely for 3 months and after that about 95% of the time. I dropped one size immediately and had no migraines for seven months. After reading Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution in 2010 I went full on paleo and dropped a couple more pounds, was exercising regularly, but couldn’t seem to get rid of my muffin top. Then I saw the chart above, incorporated the information and over three months I lost another two full pant sizes. It completely got me off of “counting calories” and rid of the idea that you can out exercise bad food choices. I was eating great tasting, nutritious, filling food and improving my body composition. What a concept. I also haven’t had to take antibiotics since I made this change. Glean what you want from that. Sugar/bad carbs? No bueno.

Over the past few years I’ve read extensively about diet and exercise and know for me the 80/20 rule is true. Eighty percent of your health, weight and body composition is your diet. You need to quit thinking you can eat whatever you want and then go exercise it off. You are either feeding & healing your body or damaging it. If you are fat, diabetic, suffering from arthritis or generally sickly you need to give your body real food. You can’t medicate away bad food choices. You need to heal your gut and regain control over your health.

There are so many great websites and books for you to use for resources. Here are a few:

Digestive Health With REAL Food by Aglaée Jacob is an awesome, easy to read book about digestion, food and health. She also offers a food challenge and support and will answer questions through a private FB page during the challenge. Invaluable resource! http://radicatamedicine.com/

Have you heard of It Starts With Food? Here is the website http://whole9life.com/

Robb Wolf author of The Paleo Solution has so much great info and tons of podcasts on his site: http://robbwolf.com/

Want encouragement? Have questions? Leave me a comment 🙂

Posted in Blog

Why I’ll Never Go Back

Want to know a secret? I’ll never give up eating real food even though it’s not always easy. Why? When I started this journey to being healthy in 2003 I was as heavy as I had been 9 months pregnant.  I was taking allergy and heartburn meds, antihistamines, ibuprofen and migraine medication regularly. I didn’t want to be that person. You know, the one that thinks our health just happens to us. Migraines, heartburn, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and many other chronic health issues most doctors want us to think are only controllable, not preventable or curable. Your lifestyle choices dictate your health. Most people don’t want to take that responsibility on, which I find excruciatingly frustrating, but I believe you can massively improve your health through what you choose to put in your mouth. Here are some personal improvements in my health that I’ve experienced:

1) I don’t get tired during the day

2) Migraines down from 20 a year to 5 or less and the severity of them hugely reduced

3) No heartburn

4) No itchy skin

5) Healthy weight

6) No cysts

7) No thyroid issues

8) No gallbladder pain/problems

9) No constipation

So, bottom line? To me it is definitely worth it. Plus, you get to eat yummy food! I feel best following a 95% of the time real food, 5% ‘cheat’ foods plan. However I never cheat on gluten and avoid sugary, high glycemic foods as I’ve discovered they can trigger migraines. Here are some food pics:

food

Top Left: Vegetable stir fry (cabbage, kale, onions, mushrooms), bacon, duck egg, avocado.

Top Right: Pizza w/ ham, onion & broccoli on a cauliflower & tapioca crust. I did use Daiya ‘cheese’ as I’m dairy intolerant. I consider it a processed food so it is a once or twice a month choice.

Bottom Left: Roasted chicken thighs & sweet potatoes

Bottom Right: Roasted beets with fennel, tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper.

How do your food choices make you feel?

Posted in Blog

I’m so hungry, I can eat crap food. #makeaplannotexcuses

Quick post tonight. I was going to take pictures, but I was too hungry. My message tonight is:  being hungry (or hangry) is NOT an excuse to eat crap food. After Ellensburg CrossFit took 4th at the Elysian Games today in Seattle and I got in my car to drive home, I realized I was hangry. What would I do? I had an hour drive home. I made the decision to grab the ingredients for a chop salad when I stopped to get my hubby his whole, raw milk at the local food co-op. It took me ten minutes to shop and ten minutes to fix it. Faster than a restaurant? I say yes. Less expensive? Yes. Better quality, nutrient dense food? Yes. I bought organic lettuce, Applegate Farms meat and tossed myself a quick, yummy dinner. Thank you to myself. 🙂

Be good to yourself and your gut. You are worth it.

Posted in Blog

Real Food Babies

While I could extensively discuss the glories of grandparenthood, I’ll just say this; it is even better then everyone says it is. I’ve decided to quit knitting Seahawks hats for them long enough to talk about what they eat.

SeahawksHats

I couldn’t ask for a more well fed 19 month old granddaughter. I feel so lucky to have children who understand the role and importance of feeding real, nutrient dense food to their babies. And that they were willing to educate themselves from numerous sources, but mainly through Chris Kresser’s Healthy Baby Code. (www.chriskresser.com) They started her off of course on breast milk, introducing no foods before six months and then began soft boiled egg yolks for a week, then avocado and surprisingly liver which she enjoyed. She currently consumes the healthiest looking meals I’ve seen a kid eat. Here are two of the meals she ate last Sunday.

realfoodbaby2 realfoodbaby3     Breakfast: Organic kale, zuchhini & onions cooked with bacon, chicken sausage & a soft fried pastured egg. She also enjoyed some fresh blueberries and strawberries after she finished her breakfast.  Water for a beverage.

realfoodbaby Dinner: Meatloaf (see previous post for ingredients) & raw veggie salad. Water for a beverage.

Now, baby boy is 7 months old and has absolutely no interest in anything other than Mama’s milk. I wish I had a picture of his face when we were trying to give him some sweet potatoes. Let’s just say he was obviously opposed to them. 🙂 His mom’s plan is to try putting some small chunks of soft food choices (avocado, sweet potato or banana) and let him choose what to try. He puts absolutely everything in his mouth  so maybe he’ll do better when he’s shoving it in there.  Until then he’ll be fine eating breast milk as he is quite the big boy already.

The reason I thought it was important to talk about this is because kids will eat real food if that is what you give them. While they are babies and toddlers the caregivers are the ones who make food choices for them. They will eat good, whole, real food if that is what you provide. There are tons of resources for parents around this subject. Check out the following links for ideas:

http://paleoparents.com/

http://www.thepaleomom.com/

Home

Happy day to all and GO SEAHAWKS!

Posted in Blog, Offal

Offal is an essential part of a real food life. Yipee. #eatliver

This is only my second post. I wasn’t sure if it was too soon to introduce the idea of offal, but it’s what I did today so that is what I’ll write about. I also made yet another batch of soup for my daughter who is currently in week four of the GAPs protocol, but that is a different story and recipe.

I’ve been at this real food life for about four years now. Gluten and dairy free for six. Getting to where I am at, especially if you are coming from a typical SAD life, takes time. It took me at least a year before I worked up the courage to take on liver. Anyway, I thought I’d share how I’ve learned to deal with it.

We all know we need to eat our sustainably raised offal, but it is so gross. Right? I say get over it, ‘cuz you really need to be eating it. Today I did what I do to add offal to my families diet. I prefer to hide it in entree’s like meatloaf, stew or meatballs (or as I like to call them Offal Balls). I keep it simple.

Thaw it:IMAG0936[1] Beef liver & heart (I cut out all the nasty tendons and grisly bits)

Cook it:IMAG0937[1] I like to pressure cook it. Only takes a few minutes + the cool down time.  Get the ventilation going though, because it is stinky.

Grind it:IMAG0938[1] Love my Kitchen Aid Food Processor. Vital kitchen tool.

Add it:IMAG0942[2]   I mixed it in with my meatloaf. Recipe below….

Freeze the excess for later use.IMAG0939[1]

And here is why you should be eating it, offal that is:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/04/why-everyone-should-be-eating-organ.html

HACLIFE Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef

½ lb breakfast sausage

1 ½ cup ground offal mix

¾ cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped mushrooms

½ cup grated carrot

1 cup chopped kale

2 duck eggs or 3 chicken eggs

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper (fine ground)

2 tsp paprika (omit if AIP)

1 TBLS garlic powder

1 TBLS Italian Seasoning Blend

Other stuff to add/substitute per your own taste if you like:

Worchestershire Sauce (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

Ketchup (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

½ cup almond meal

Grated zucchini

BBQ Sauce (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

Be adventurous. Meatloaf is pretty forgiving

Bake in whatever dish you want at 350 degrees until cooked. Usually 35-45 minutes, but that depends on your dish type. If I’m in a hurry I cook it at 375 degrees, cuz I’m tricky like that.

Posted in Blog, Healthy Living

So you’ve decided to be healthy. Now what?

So much information, so little time. We all want to be healthier, but with so many experts telling you what you should be eating or what supplements you should be taking it can be confusing. I say strip it down to the basics. Just eat real food.

What is real food as I define it? Sustainably raised meat, poultry & eggs, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. What isn’t it? Processed food like bread, pasta, cereal, or pretty much anything with a label. Most of what’s in the grocery store actually. Typical SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Does it mean you can never have a treat again? No. Once you make improvements in your health, you can have occasional splurges. For me personally, my digestive health and overall wellbeing improved so much typical SAD food isn’t even tempting. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy whole food based treats.

I’m not a nutritionist and have no medical credentials, so what I offer here is not in any way medical or nutritional advice. I think of myself as a whole food facilitator. When you have decided to make improvements in your diet, it is hard work. Most of us are so entrenched in our food preparation and eating habits we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been down the path and regained my health. I no longer rely on allergy medicine, heart burn medication, Nsaids or acetaminophen to feel operational. My migraine frequency continues to diminish.  So I want to help you if you want to try it out! If you are ready…dive in.

STEP 1: Clean the crap out of your kitchen. Box up unopened SAD food and take it to the food bank. If it is opened, throw it out. This includes cereal, bread, crackers, chips, anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils-canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc. JUST GET RID OF IT! This is not negotiable. If it is in your house, you will eat it. Set yourself up for success.

STEP 2: Meal plan. This includes making shopping lists and cooking several meals for the week. Plan on at least five hours to get yourself set up for the week. The upside is you’ll have free time during the week because you’ll have planned so well. No need to spend a bunch of money on cookbooks to start off, there are plenty of free resources to get you started.  Here are some great links for recipes and information on real food eating:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/    http://everydaypaleo.com/    http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/                                                   http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

STEP 3: Sleep. At least 8-9 hours a night. This is not negotiable. Get a sleep mask and earplugs if it helps.

STEP 4: Get more sunshine & increase your activity. Find a walking/workout buddy. If that isn’t an option, use a website like http://www.meetup.com to find other people in your area that have the same health and fitness goals. Make plans, not excuses.

That’s all I have for now.  Hope it helps! If you have questions or need tips or encouragement, e-mail me at: haclife@outlook.com