Striking Sugar Out – A Game Plan

chicken, Food, Grain Free, Health, My Story, Paleo, Paleo Treats, Personal, Portland, Primal, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Whole Eating

After juicing, I knew I wanted to jump right in to a thought out way of eating. I did Whole30 in August of 2015 and absolutely loved the results. Energy, weight loss, clear skin and a feeling of health and vitality only possible through clean eating.

coffee

Sometimes as much as we “plan ahead” life can get in the way derailing our awesome intentions. A trip to the PNW’s food and coffee mecca where “keeping it weird” is the standard protocol – time with family in Portland, OR was much needed – but got my mind off of the clean eating patterns I had set the previous two weeks. I’m not sorry – nope, not one iota. Portland is my sweet spot and a trip there without visiting both seasoned favorites and untried establishments would cause a great heartache. Gluten free treats are on every corner and local coffee shops are more prevalent than Starbucks (praise the GOOD Lord!).

Now, a week later, it’s time to get this health train back on track. Following is my eating protocol that I will be sticking to for X amount of time. Life style eating ya’ll….not gonna put a number of days or weeks on this plan and make  it into a “diet plan”.

Guidelines for my Whole30 eating lifestyle – cutting all sugar, refined carbs, dairy and wheat products. Eating a variety of veggies at every meal. Drinking water and tea to satisfy cravings and curb appetite. Nuts and seeds for snacks and crunchy additives.

GOAL – Continue training my mind, body, and tastes to enjoy clean eating.

So far I’m one day in and it feels great to have a plan in place! Make a vision and execute it!

Joys of Juicing – Part 5

breakfast, Cleanse, Food, Grain Free, Hiking, Juicing, My Story, Paleo, Personal, Primal, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Whole Eating

LAST DAY OF JUICING! What better way to celebrate than go snowshoeing, drink only juice and water, and expend enough calories to cover you for a good couple of days? At first a bit skeptical about hiking on just energy derived from juice, we ventured out anyway and though we had enough energy for the day, we definitely felt more tired than usual when spending a day hiking or out in the snow.  Doable, but not necessarily enjoyable. A good warm meal after being outdoors all day part of the benefit of winter exercise!

Day 6

*Breakfast – Almost the Original Mean Green Juice (Reference Day 4)

*Apple, Spinach, Carrot, Brocolli

*Dinner – Bone Broth + Orange, Kiwi, Brocolli,

At first my original thought had been to see if I could make it to 10 days on just juice. In full disclosure, I ended juicing early mainly because I was having trouble with constipation. I’m going to research this and figure out exactly why…but in the mean time, I am moving right into eating just fruits in vegetables with occasional juice replacement meals. From there my plan is to just move right into Whole30 and continue documenting my paleo journey from there.

In conclusion, would I suggest a juice fast/cleanse to others? YES. My experience isn’t necessarily the norm and I believe it’s attributed to other health factors. My friends who were doing it at the same time experienced opposite results. I lost 5 pounds over the course of the week, had great energy after the first couple of days and realized that I can use self control over my cravings.

Happy Juicing!

 

Joys of Juicing – Part 4

breakfast, Food, Grain Free, Health, Juicing, My Story, Paleo, Personal, Primal, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Whole Eating

Breaking the stereotypes of what most people think happens when you juice, day 5 has been great and the difficulty of saying no to sweets and treats is getting easier! You CAN be a totally functioning person on top of their game WHILE you do a juice fast. I sat in a meeting all day and felt focused, engaged, and at peace more than usual. Just a few days in and most of the difficult detox side effects have vanished other than a slight breakouts on my face. Sweet sigh of relief!

Today I woke up with slightly above average energy. Granted, turning off the alarm at dark thirty in the morning still wasn’t easy, but once I was up I noticed that my mme with morning juiceorning sluggishness was noticeably decreased. I no longer feel the urge for that cup of coffee right off the bat in the morning and am satisfied by my glass of juice and water.

I thought I would note that I have been taking a couple different supplements during this juice cleanse. On top of my normal supplement routine, I have been making sure to add in magnesium and fiber. Magnesium is a good supplement in general along with fiber, but I had previously run out. I have found that because I am not getting the fiber in my juice (the fibrous substance is extracted in the juicing process), my digestive system still needs it to function properly.

One thing that has made this cleanse much much much easier is the support of my roommate and fellow friends who are all juicing together. “Hang in there” texts, “Sorry for the gross juice today” momorning jicements and the general companionship that comes when your pushing your mind and cravings past what you previously thought impossible with close friends adds to the experience in a positive way. Friendship building at its finest!

Day 5

*Breakfast – Kickin Kale Juice (Only recommend this juice if you like tartness. Instead of a whole lemon, I suggest adding only a quarter of the lemon instead.)

*Snack – Kombucha

*Lunch – Cabbage, Carrot, Orange, Celery, Brocolli + Grass Fed Beef Broth

*Dinner – Tomato, Celery, Carrot

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH CHRIST! Set your focus on Him while pursuing health and remind yourself that God has made you a steward of your body.

Happy Juicing!

 

 

 

Joys of Juicing – Part 3

breakfast, Cleanse, Food, Health, Health, Juicing, My Story, Paleo, Primal, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Whole Eating

Energy Energy Energy! Today has been the best day so far. No detox symptoms, no fatigue, and energy for the whole day! I definitely felt more hunger pangs today, partially due to the fact I had a longer day away from home than usual and I pushed my lunch juice farther into the afternoon. Between breakfast and lunch I sipped on a strawberry kombucha.

Day 4

*Breakfast – cucumbers, celery rib, apples, large kale leaves, lemon, ginger (Recipe Here – Almost the Original Mean Green Juice) DELICIOUS recipe by the way!

*Snack – Kombucha

*Lunch – Same as breakfast except I used carrots and green beans and orange.

*Dinner – grass fed bone broth + kiwi, orange, bell pepper, cabbage, apple, sweet potatoe

I can definitely say, that as I sit here typing this at the end of day 4, I feel less tired and more energized than I normally do at 9:30 in the evening. It’s wonderful!

Happy Juicing!

No Room for Excuses – Health Starts Now

Food, Paleo, Primal

Health Starts Now

 

Stop right now and take an honest look at your lifestyle choices. Healthy or not, it’s never to late to make steps, even baby ones, towards becoming a more healthier version of you. Maybe even the real you. Do you even know what a healthier you feels like?

Has tiredness taken over your day? Are you struggling to sleep get a good nights sleep? Lacking energy to get you through your 2 o’clock slump in the afternoons? Is your skin red and irritated easily? Does your stomach feel bloated? These are all signs your body is giving you to make some changes. Even just following a few simple rules of health can help tip your body back into a more healthy balance. Following are some things I’ve taken into practice that have helped me feel more like a human!

 


1) Drink More Water – when getting out of bed in the mornings, make your first stop be the kitchen for a glass of water to rehydrate after a long nights sleep. This will also encourage a more healthy digestion and get your body started in the right direction. I’ve found that drinking more water throughout the day also helps keep me satisfied longer between my meals thus helping me cut down my calories throughout the day…always a positive!

2) Cut the Carbs – Going carbless or even low carb can be scary at first. Let me tell you though, you WILL notice a difference. Within the first couple of weeks, I can almost guarantee you will have dropped a few pounds and that your stomach bloat will start to diminish. Replace your sandwich at lunchtime with a salad and some meat or pack nut butter with celery and some dried fruit with a bottle of kombucha on the side. Carbs are found even in vegetables, but the type of carbohydrates I’m talking about are the breads, beans, sugars and pastas, so if you feel like you need a few carbs in your diet, opt for sweet potatoes, apples, plantains, or other healthy fruits and vegetables.

3) Say NO to Sugar – Sugar lowers your immune system, which in turn makes you more susceptible to getting sick with every day viruses AND even more serious illnesses such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. Not only that, but if you are trying to lose weight, cutting out sugars is a sure way to lose a few pounds. As a personal testimony, I have been cutting out 95% of sugars in my diet the last couple of months and my scale is proof – 9LBS gone. You will have more energy, crave healthier foods, and have clearer skin within a week or two. It will be a decision you won’t regret!

4)Replace Pop with Kombucha – need a fizzy sweet drink? Kombucha is healthy AND flavorful AND promotes cleansing!

5) START NOW – waiting till tomorrow or after the next Holiday will only postpone you finding a more healthier version of you. If you absolutely have to, make one splurge on the upcoming holiday or event and make the rest of your choices healthy ones. Eventually, even the splurges wont seem worth it when you realize how nasty processed sugary foods are compared to the deliciousness of REAL food!

Eating Out Paleo :: Pacific Northwest

Eating Out, Food, Food Reviews, Grain Free, Paleo, Paleo Treats, Portland, Primal, Seattle, Spokane, Travel, Tri-Cities, Whole Eating

Eating Out PNWAll those who follow the paleo lifestyle will admit to the fact that finding restaurant options that serve paleo inspired dishes is quite hard, if not impossible. Lots of “no ____” or “Can you substitute _____ for _____’s” is the name of the game when choosing options off of a regular menu.

I’m hoping to find eateries in the Pacific Northwest that have options on their menu specifically inspired for those who eat paleo. Below are a list of restaurants I will be researching and sharing about on future blog posts (other than dicks kitchen, which I have already eaten at twice and previously blogged about).

Caveman Convenience in Spokane, WA

Dicks Kitchen in Portland, OR

Eat Outside the Box – Seattle, WA

Lola in Seattle, WA

Great Harvest Bread Company in Kennewick, WA

 

I am so excited to explore these restaurant options, and hopefully in the near future have the privilege to eat at their storefronts. Not only would I like to try these places, but I know there are online start-ups of paleo making foodies that I want to find. Please pass along any names of businesses you think I should explore and I’ll do my best to report back my findings!

 

Paleo Backpacking

Grain Free, Hiking, Paleo, Portland, Primal, Travel, Whole Eating

Jess n Me

Summer is upon us and for many who live in the Pacific Northwest, that means backpacking season is here! I have always struggled to find amazing food options for the trail that fit into the paleo lifestyle. Unless you want to be eating dehydrated meat all the time, it’s been one of the hardest tasks! Not to mention the cost. So this summer I am taking it upon myself to stick to paleo eating even when hiking and backpacking.

From experience, dehydrating your own meat is really not that hard and the same goes with fruits and vegetables…easy easy easy. I wanted to give some practical ideas that you can run with when thinking about preparing food for backpacking – following is a list of things I will be trying!

Portland woods

– Beef stew {dehydrated beef, dehyd. broccoli, dehyd. carrots, dehyd. peas, dehyd. yam, beef bullion}

– Nut granola bars

– Muesli (nuts, seeds, ground flax seed, dates, dried apple/fruit}

– Dehyd. Chicken and cheese sauce {{*For those who eat dairy}}

–   Salami slices, jerky, cheese and coconutter squares

 

These are just ideas I’m tossing around. I know there will be a lot more planning when the time comes to actually put it together, but the day hikes I know I want to go on will be good trial runs.

What kind of meals do you take on the trail with you? Any recipes you’d like to share?

 

 

Healthy Choices Today::Happier Tomorrow

Health, Paleo, Primal, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

choices quote

The choices we make with our health today will assuredly effect your life tomorrow. Now maybe not literally the hours following the day your living now, but future tomorrows. I’m here to encourage you to start your journey OR continue your path towards finding health. It’s not always easy, but nothing worth its weight in gold comes easily! Here’s some ideas to get you back in the game of being a more healthy you!


– When you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a snack

– Craving something sugary/sweet? Choose berries, apples, pomegranates, or other delicious fruit instead of a processed treat

Kale chips are a GREAT substitute for potato chips

– Try eating an avocado for breakfast or lunch. Adding more healthy fats and eating less sugar will help curb your cravings and make you feel full longer

– Cook with coconut oil rather than olive oil which breaks down into an unhealthy fat when heated at high temps

– Add coconut oil into your breakfast smoothie before you blend it

– Try a new vegetable this summer

Fighting PCOS Proactively by Eating Paleo

Health, My Story, Paleo, PCOS, Personal, Primal, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

PCOS

What is PCOS?

At it’s core, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is an imbalance of hormones in a women’s body. The male sex hormone, though produced at small levels in women, starts over producing thus causing a harmful cycle in a women’s body that eventually causes her to experience symptoms associated with PCOS. In most cases not all of the symptoms will appear which might make the person getting diagnosed question whether it was an accurate assessment. Usually a blood test ordered by a physician will give conclusive evidence as to whether or not a women’s hormones are out of balance. In some cases, cysts form on the ovaries which can be triggers to hormone imbalance. One of the big caveats to PCOS is insulin resistance, which is where the paleo diet comes into play. Long term, insulin resistance can lead to diabetes which brings a whole slew of other health related issues.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Acne
  • Irregular/Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Weight gain/trouble losing weight
  • Abnormal hair growth (face, chest, stomach)
  • Depression
  • Infertility

Causes

From what I know, there is no conclusive evidence on what triggers PCOS in a women’s body. Some say genetics. Personally, while I think genetics might be at play, I also strongly feel that diet plays a much bigger role in the prevalence of PCOS, particularly in America where packaged, processed and genetically modified foods are staple foods.  Weight also plays a crucial role (for most women, not all) in those diagnosed with PCOS. Usually, obese/overweight women are at a higher risk though in some cases, ladies of smaller stature and weight may find they too are victims of hormonal imbalance. For some, losing just 10% of their body weight can reduce or diminish their symptoms.

Help from Essential Oils

I am definitely no expert, but from personal experience I know the feeling of hopelessness and confusion when first diagnosed with PCOS. Frustration at the thought of infertility. Feeling overwhelmed with losing weight when just looking at a french fry seems to add 5 pounds to your waist line. Embarrassed by being a 20 something year old who still has facial acne. It’s a real struggle, so I know where your at!
One the natural ways I encouraged my bodies hormones to level out was with the use of an essential oil from Young Living called Progessence Plus which was designed to lower estrogen levels which would cause an increase in progesterone. I would rub it right above my fore arm (in the elbow pit area…is that even a location?!) and neck twice daily. Within two days I noticed a HUGE difference. My menstrual cycle started and my emotions began to balance out. A helpful web page with good information has been put out by Experience Essential Oils, I highly recommend checking it out!

Natural Supplements

After doing some research, my mom and I stumbled across Insulite Laboratories who’s main focus is helping women deal with PCOS by using nutraceuticals. Sticking to their routine of taking their natural supplements, eating healthy and exercising I noticed a change in my health once again. My period became regular and normalized to being once a month, weight loss became easier, and my emotions had less ups and downs. Working with them was easy and their informative supportive staff were able to give a support system I had yet to find. 

Paleo and PCOS

One of the biggest lifestyle changes that will benefit a women with PCOS is diet and exerciser. The paleo diet, high in protein, vegetables and low sugar fruits, helps reduce inflammation and naturally encourages weight loss by throwing out processed sugars (which encourage weight gain) and starchy carbohydrate rich foods such as pasta and bread. A focus on eating healthy fats such as avocados, animal fats, coconut oil, flax meal (just to name a few) encourage your body to get full and stay full longer thus curbing hunger causing you to eat less. Studies have shown that processed sugars can be triggers to many health related issues other than just PCOS and as American’s sugar is in almost every food we eat. Go read some labels in your fridge to see! In her post on fats we should eat, the Paleo Mom gives helpful tips for cooking with fat as well as foods to include in your diet.

Another helpful aspect of the paleo diet when talking about PCOS is that by limiting sugars, your own blood sugar levels will begin to balance out. Decreasing blood sugar spikes decreases the risk of acquiring diabetes which is one of the major concerns when dealing with PCOS. Two of the sweeteners allowed on a limited bases in the paleo diet are honey and maple sugar. Compared to their processed counterparts, these sweeteners have trace minerals that are valuable to your health. In an interesting article about sugar, The Paleo Mom notes that sugar is sugar at its core that that in general, we should limit our intake of all sugars, not just the processed ones.

Conclusion

I am by no means a doctor, dietician or naturopath, as with everything don’t just take my word for these supplements, oils and diet suggestions but be a lover of learning your body…you will never regret it!