Thursday, August 22, 2013

Triangle of Success

I had a light bulb moment some time ago after transversing a very difficult period in my life.  I was seeing this amazing therapist, named Tambrya W. Klemer, LPC in Newport News, Virginia.  She looked at me one day and told me I was a narcissist.  I regally asked her for some information on this disorder and she obliged.  I took a day or so to read the information and to think about how this might pertain to me.  

I believed that I really was a princess, at that time.  No, wait...let me clarify:  I thought the world revolved around me and had no clue how I kept getting into situations that were not healthy for me.  

Yes, I was clueless.  

The more and more I read the information, the angrier I got.  I did not like thinking that I gave off an "air" of superiority.  I really did not want to "play" the victim role any longer.  

In our next session, I asked her point blank..."How do you fix this? What do I do?".

I remember that she took a second, sat back in her chair and looked straight at me.  "You accept personal responsibility for everything you do."  

That has proven to be sage wisdom in my life every day repeats itself over and over....and over.  

I truly welcome those times because those are the tests that lead to good stuff: a calm, happy, and healthy life.

Personal Responsibility is huge point of being successful at anything you want to achieve.  You can have an incredible IQ and be a member of Mensa, work out and eat nutritional balanced meals (Physical Quotient), but if you lack Personal Responsibility or EQ (emotional quotient), you will never anything.

You just won't.

Before I made the change to a Paleo Lifestyle, I was completely irresponsible with my mouth.  It was bad.  I could not make the changes necessary to save my own life without becoming honest with myself.  Although my personal success was firmly planted in good soil, I had one last monster to slay.

My Food Issues Monster.

I am smart enough to read at a fairly high level of comprehension.  (IQ is not a problem)

I knew I needed to add something physical to my life, but due to medical issues, I could not.  (PQ was horrible, but I did have the knowledge)

I was completely void of any responsibility for something that was to sustain me.  (My EQ sucked in relationship to food.)

My Success Triangle was failing...miserably.

When I made the decision to go Paleo and Go Hard, there was my therapist's voice in my head from all those years ago.  "Accept personal responsibility for your own actions."

I allowed myself to be stronger than the want of something crappy.

I loved myself enough to finally and fully let go of everything that was weighing me down.  I gave that shit wings to fly away.

I made my Triangle of Success complete.  I joined the angles together.  I keep them strong.

What I am saying here is simple.

You have to want it.  Anything in Life...not just in nutrition and finding your Real Food Blueprint.  Take some time to think if your Triangle of Success is firmly joined.

Make sure you are willing to accept responsibility for your choices.  The saying is true.  Good In/Good Out.  "When we know better, we do better." ~ Maya Angelou

Well, now you know better.  Go do better.

~ This is Home Girl

Monday, August 12, 2013

Paleo: What I Hunt and Gather

Happy Monday Everyone!  I love Mondays.  It's a shiny new week and the chance to make some great changes in your life.  I mean, sure if you are a big fan of any of the other days of the week, that's awesome's just for me, I can implement changes better if they happen on a dedicated day.  For me, that's always been Monday.

The 10th of the Month is always important to me now.  It's the day of my monthly comparison photos after making this whole Paleo Lifestyle change.  I have learned to not rely on a scale to decide how much progress I am making towards gaining health and wellness.  I am more of a visual person.  It is what works for me.

As of this past Saturday, I have lost 73.8 pounds and have dropped 10 sizes since April 28, 2013.  I have lost countless inches and have gained so much of my health back.  It truly amazes me.  I am forever grateful to those who have helped guide me and be there for me as I re-educated myself about nutrition and learning the principles of a Paleo Lifestyle.

If you are just starting out with Paleo or are thinking this might be something that you want to try, I am whole heartedly behind you!  I not only want to be an example of what can happen, but to help guide people through the first month because it can be daunting.  You will need to do lots of research, you will make lists, you will be confused...I understand all that because I was once at that place.  I was just learning how to get through a day like a toddler taking his first steps.

I'm not gonna lie...that first week was HARD, but I got through it.  You will, too.

Thinking back to the beginning of Paleo for me (3.5 short months ago), I remember eating a lot of grilled chicken breast, bacon and eggs, stir fried meats, vegetables and some fruit.  As I became more comfortable with the "cans and cannots" of a Paleo Lifestyle, I slowly added in more and more nutrient rich foods to my daily repertoire.  I was learning.

Learning is good for you.  It makes you more responsible for your own success.  It gives you accountability and honestly you will need that mind frame for your own journey.

What Does My Plate Look Like?

Look at this example from Fit Bomb DOT com (great site, by the way).  It's broken up into two halves. This is how I eat literally every meal.  This is how I think....this is how I get the results above.

Meat/Protein and Vegetables

There is no weighing portions or counting calories.  I eat until I am full.  Some meals I eat more than others, but that depends on my physical activity level or my hormone levels.  I eat to fuel my engine.  Pretty simple.

Breakfast Selections include: Eggs, Avocado, Bacon, Sausage, Beef Steak, Paleo "cereal" with Almond or Coconut Milk, Bulletproof Coffee, Dinner from the night before, sauteed spinach or other greens, or a Kale/Berry Smoothie.

If I am hungry for lunch (which I never am) I might make Turkey or Chicken Roll Ups on Crisp Romaine, a fresh salad with chicken or tuna crumbles and a Paleo Dressing that I make, a bun free burger, or I just nibble out of my garden.

Big Point Here, Peeps....I only eat when I am hungry.  I listen to what my body is telling me.  I don't base my food decisions on a clock.  Just because it's noon, it does not mean I must shove something into my mouth.  This has been the most freeing concept to me. 

Dinner is once again choosing a protein source and lots of vegetables.  I keep things real simple.  This is also when I have my fruit for the day.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I eat only one serving of fruit each day to maximize my health plan.

I choose from berries, melon, and other high water weight fruits.

I do not snack.  Ever.  Just because nuts and fruit is listed as acceptable does it mean that you can go hog wild and eat a bunch if weight loss is your primary health goal.

They are "treats".

This IS the way I eat now, Monday through Friday.  Because I have some time put into this lifestyle, I do eat a little more liberally on Saturday and Sunday.  These are the days I allow for a more "Primal" diet.  I increase my carbohydrates and good starches on these days to include more fruit, full fat/grass fed dairy, Paleo approved adult beverages, snacking on Pork Rinds, and sweet potatoes.

I love it like this because after working hard all week on my nutritional needs I always can look forward to some wiggle room and relaxing things a bit.

When a new Monday rolls around, I am right back to the strict Paleo plan.  This is what the 80/20 rule is.  It is not living Paleo 5 days a week and then going back to a Standard American Diet on the weekends.  That is counter productive and will get you no where.

A cheat day is not having a couple slices of pizza, french fried potatoes, or commercial ice cream.


It's really pretty simple, it just seems complicated because as a world we have been taught some pretty convoluted thoughts on what is acceptable to put in our mouths.

Simplify your food and it will simplify your life.

What about ALL those Paleo/Gluten Free treats that you see on Pinterest and Facebook?  They are just that...TREATS.  These are meant to be eaten once in a great while if you are looking for weight loss.  At this point, my brain is just not ready for replacements of the things that got me to 300 pounds.  I do not need them, nor do I want them.

My body and brain crave REAL food in the form of meat and vegetables.  Boring?  Hell no.  I have never been more excited about food in my life.

High Fat/Low Carbohydrate is where I wanna be.

We have bacon...

This is Home Girl and I'm forever a Cave Girl.  Nothing can stop me now.

Please feel free to join me on this journey at Living In The Paleo's Paradise!  If you ever have questions or I can help "Pay It Paleo Forward", do not hesitate to shoot me a message.  Please know, you are never alone.

Need more inspiration?  "Like" The Paleo Miracle on Facebook and read about other incredible transformations!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Things Paleo Doesn't Fix

I have now been living a Paleo Lifestyle for more than 3 solid months.  The first 60 days were strict, no "cheating", hard core Paleo eating.  After I had become firmly entrenched in the diet by detoxing off sugar, wheat, other bad grains, beans, and other allergen causing foods, I then added back in full fat dairy for two days a week.  This is what we call "Primal".

Now, I use the 80/20 rule where I eat Paleo for 5 days and then more primally for 2 days.  I live for my grass fed cheese and organic heavy cream.  I also increase my carbohydrates on those days to include one more serving of fruit or some sweet potatoes.  This is what works best for me.

I am happy to report that I love it.  I absolutely adore eating and living this way.  It's like something finally clicked for me.  This is the way my body has been wanting to eat all the time.  I just wasn't listening.

I was too busy shoving crap into my mouth and living under the delusion that it was okay.  I never really understood the connection between health/wellness and food.

Over the last three months, I have learned the difference very well.

Last night, I was watching Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell, where transformation stories are told every week.  There was a part of the show where Chris went off his clean eating plan and ate junk and crap food for one whole day to show the client what effects poor food choices can have on you.  He could barely make it through half the day after eating McDonalds, Donuts, sodas, and then more McDonalds.  Very similar to the story of Fit, Fat, Fit who also did a cameo appearance on the show.  After consuming all those bad calories and toxins, Chris had to go lay down because he felt like he had the flu.

This was not a staged stunt.  It happens.  In real life.  I know that if I were to go back to eating a traditional Standard American Diet (SAD), I would experience the same effects.

A month into my Paleo journey, I was caught in an emergency food situation and the only choice I had was eating a Pop Tart or going hungry.  I should have chose to fast, but I ate the damn Pop Tart.

It made me so sick within an hour that I was forced to go home and get into bed.

I never made that mistake again.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Butter Sauteed Vegetables and Sauerkraut 
The positive changes that Paleo has provided me far out weigh any reason for eating something processed or on my allergen food list.

Paleo has given me:

healthy hair and nails
gorgeous skin
natural tan without using sunscreen
better joint mobility
loss of fat and increased muscle mass
great sleep schedule
mood stability
resolved health issues like blood sugar, blood pressure, heart health, and chronic pain
want for simplicity
need for being outdoors
and lastly....
weight loss.

Paleo BBQ'd Beef Ribs with butter fried Green Beans and Smithfield Ham Bits
Did you notice that I said, weight loss last.  Honestly, a Paleo diet has changed my life so much for the better, by the way I feel, that I really am not obsessed with numbers on a scale any more.  There is no magical number I am hoping to achieve.  I don't weigh myself obsessively.  I know where I started and although I do weigh on my monthly anniversary to get a more complete picture of my progress, it is not the biggest indication of my achievement.  To me, I see the most in my monthly update photos and by how loose my clothes are fitting.

In three more days, I unveil my 3 month comparison.  I'm completely happy with where my life is headed.

There are good days and there are bad days.  Just because it's Paleo, it's still called life.

Bacon Veggie Omelet with Fresh Sliced Oranges

There are things that Paleo does not fix, as hard as is it to believe, but I am working on it.  I try to spend as much time fixing my thinking as I do about learning real nutrition skills.

I am a work in progress.

Paleo Does Not Fix:

Weather, although this is the FIRST Summer I have loved in a long time because Paleo's are more heat tolerant.
Financial Problems
Osteo-arthritis Damage

Paleo is however, showing me a different way to seek solutions.  To seek happiness and self love.  To be absolutely okay right where I am currently.

I get excited when my life becomes a little unsettled because that is usually when something really awesome is getting ready to happen.

I really like awesome.

This is Home Girl.  Paleo.  No Fear/No Excuses

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away...

I'm on a bit of a "vacation" for the next few weeks.  I am house sitting for a wonderful artist/decorator friend who lives close to me in Historic Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia.  It's a nice respite to recharge my batteries in preparation for my double Total Knee Replacement surgery that is scheduled for the end of this month.

I know it may sound weird, but I am completely excited about getting my new knees.  It's just another step I am taking to regain health and wellness after mistreating my body for so many years with unhealthy eating and life choices.

I do not expect to ever be able to be a marathon runner, but it would be nice to be able to walk more than I currently can.

I will feel victorious if I can walk a mile without constant, ball busting pain.

I will literally jump for joy if I can be training in Cross Fit and MMA Fit by Winter.  It's a major goal of mine.

I know Moscato is NOT Paleo, but I deserved a little treat.  It made for a perfect evening.  It was paired with Sautéed Collard Greens and Beef Brisket.  I do not feel the least bit guilty, either.  I stay on top of Paleo Mountain for the majority of the week (meaning I eat less fruit, more veggies, and meat.  No extra dairy except my grass fed butter in my coffee).  I do allow for two days where I eat more of a Primal Diet which includes more carbs.  To allow for the Moscato "treat", I just adjusted my fruits for the day.

Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

Sitting right here in the morning with the lap top and my Bulletproof Coffee starts my day perfectly.

I am completely in love with the chalk board painted nooks where you can find inspirational messages.

I get asked all the time, "Since you are Paleo and do not eat traditional breakfast foods like Cereal, Bagels, Toast, or Breakfast Bars...what is there left to eat?"  "Don't you get bored?"

Answer A:  There's a plethora of foods available to start your day out.  You know how cool it is to have Breakfast for Dinner?  Well, I tend to have Dinner for Breakfast now.  I usually combine lunch and breakfast together because I am never hungry in the morning.  This Bacon, Onion, Kale Stir Fry was a perfect brunch meal.  Filling and super tasty.

Bacon makes everything better.

Answer B:  Do I get bored with food?  NO!  Not since I went Paleo have I been bored with food.  I have fallen in love with cooking all over again.  My food is fresh and wholesome, the colors are vibrant and eating makes me feel alive!

I tend to "hunt and gather" on a weekly basis and whatever specials I can procure that week, get chopped, diced, shredded, and used to complete my culinary masterpieces.

I also feature a lot of my fresh vegetables that I grow myself.  Grow Food, Not Lawns!!


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm" ~ Winston Churchill

After three months of Living In The Paleo's Paradise, I will loudly remark that after experiencing so much failure when it comes to my health and eating a healthy diet....a Paleo Lifestyle has given me so much success.

I love this journey that I am on.  Come join me.

This is Home Girl bidding you a wonderful day.