Sunday, January 8, 2012
January 8, 2012
Yes, finally, it has snowed! And it has even stuck around a bit here too, rather than just immediately melting as it usually does around here! So beautiful! We were up with the birds (actually, I think they were all tucked snug in their nests still) early to pick up our coop vegetables and fruits, so we were able to get photos of the snow before it had fallen off the tree limbs and before the skies cleared. Kind of magical! Having lived in the wild and wintry Northeast for many years, it is strange to live in the mountains and to get so little snow! For those who know me, I can be a bit obsessive about snow. I love it. I actually can't really get enough of it. I've been told all my life that once I get older I would get sick of snow. Nope. Now, after years of shoveling snow (and I've lived in cities with major blizzards, zero parking, and parking wars over the "parking chair"---deck chairs used during winters in east coast cities to reserve limited parking spots that you have carved out with blood, sweat, and tears from the snow), I have limited desire to shovel snow. With that said, however, I love snow in every other form and I just can't get enough of it and likely never will!
We have been participating fairly regularly in the area's fruit and vegetable coop. It's a great deal. You pay a low set price for a huge amount of fruit and veg. It's great quality produce and comes in huge quantities. We show up at our appointed spot in town at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning (okay, that's admittedly not the highlight for me!) and queue up with our baskets and market bags to get our allotment. This week we also signed up for a box of tangerines. Yum! They also have great extra yummy options like herbs, Asian foods (Bok choy, ginger, etc.).
I'm embarrassed to admit that our usual problem is that we haven't been good enough about eating through all of weekly produce. That may now have changed! We have started our Paleo 30-day. Let me explain. We've been doing CrossFit for a while now (maybe since last spring?) and totally love the workouts. We've been working with a trainer, and the physical change is just simply amazing. With that said, we haven't exactly transformed our diet, and we know that that's a critical part of the equation. Given the half million migraines I've had the past year, it seemed worthwhile to consider what factor food might be playing, not to mention just to get into better eating habits in general.
The Paleo diet reflects a contemporary approach to the diet that our ancestral humans followed: grass-fed animals, vegetables, fruits, roots, and nuts. It excludes processed oils, refined sugar, dairy products, legumes, and grains. Now, before you ask, I'm not going totally off the farm here. Really I'm not! For those who know me, Diet Coke is my favorite vice, as is the vegan dilly (picture the most scrumptious ding dong or twinkie or you can imagine!). However, something had to change! The medication I used to take for my migraines "helped" me pack on 25 extra pounds the past few years, and exercise is just not taking it off. Although I eat fairly well, I definitely could eat much better, and I want to see if my migraines go away all together if I eat really well, such as by eliminating processed foods.
So, with all that said, we're following what's known in the Paleo world as the Whole30. For 30 days, we're eliminating ALL dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, and any processed food. So, that leaves: vegetables, fruits, lean meats and fish, nuts, and unprocessed oils. "Good God! The world has ended," you say! Shockingly, it hasn't. I have been eating better and feeling better than usual. Actually, the only thing I have been missing at all is my poor, neglected Diet Coke (which, I suspect is faring okay, given its recent stock market price!). And that is the only area in which I did "cheat" this past week. I had a DC on Monday. Not bad, all in all! And, here's the big news: In one week, in which I ate and ate and ate and never felt I deprived myself (the DC notwithstanding), I've lost 4 pounds!. Not a bad start! I know, baby steps, but still . . . !
At the end of the 30 days, we'll start to reintroduce the foods we've eliminated little by little (minus the processed foods and sugar) to see what, if anything, triggers things like migraines or other negative reactions. I'm not planning on living without dairy or grains or legumes forever (there are strict Paleo folks out there, and I'm not one of them). I love my coffee with milk, I love my lentils, I love my quinoa (although who knows how I'll feel after 30 days?!). I'm just planning on going without them for 30 days.
So, for any who are interested, and yes, I'm getting off my proselytizing platform soon, I promise, here is an easy and yummy snack that is totally healthy: Crispy Kale chips. Don't knock 'em until you've tried 'em!! They're great in front of a movie in place of popcorn or potato chips!
Crispy Kale Chips
1 head Kale (I recommend Dino Kale), rinsed and dried
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
Remove center ribs from Kale, and cut remaining leaves into 1.5 inch pieces (picture potato chips!). Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until crisp (about 10-12 minutes) ~ watch closely, they cook very quickly!
Okay, next post I'll get back to my sewing, I promise! As a teaser, I will say that I think I have truly conquered zippers. I've done my second zippy bag! I even improvised and did my very own vinyl lining using a shower curtain! I did learn the hard way not to get too close to vinyl with an iron . . . oops!