As February Comes to an End…

As the month of Love and Romance reaches an end, I’d like to reflect on all the good that this month has brought. I’ve made it through month #2 of my paleo journey, and I’ve never felt better. I’ve fully adjusted to the lifestyle, and I have to say that I love it and feel like I won’t ever go back to eating the way I used to.

February also taught me that I can make tasty Paleo treats that I can enjoy without any guilt (or gluten!), which my sweet tooth really appreciates. Dark chocolate dipped strawberries…um, yum!!

My goals for March are to find a yoga studio that I like near me and to practice more regularly. I think this will really help with stress reduction and overall health.

How to Exercise While Traveling

I recently went on a 9 day trip out of state and stayed at a friend’s house. With all my new year’s resolutions in full swing, I decided to stay dedicated to my workout plan. Here are a few tips on how to work out while staying at someone else’s house:

1. Go on a run – even if it’s just up and down the street a million times, it gets your heart pumping! Or if you’re a little more adventurous than me, you can pick a destination to run to as an “out and back”, or do a loop around the neighborhood. I am personally not adventurous enough to venture out into the unknown, so I just ran up and down the street tons of times (I got lots of funny looks from neighbors, too. Haha!)

2. Do body-weight exercises like burpees, lunges, and pushups. You can do this in your room, in the kitchen, or outside. It’s very versatile. You can even make up sets to keep yourself interested and motivated in the workout. This one’s my favorite, and really only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete:

Complete 5 rounds of:

  • 5 burpees
  • 20 lunges
  • 5 pushups
  • 10 squats

3. Find youtube exercise videos. If you’re in a house or hotel room with wifi, awesome! Just play them on your laptop. If you don’t have wifi, you can always go to a local place with wifi like Starbucks and pre-load the video, then you won’t need wifi to play it! My favorite Youtube channels for workouts are Tone it Up and Blogilates.

4. Bring a yoga or pilates dvd. This is a great option if the people you are traveling with or visiting sleep in later than you, or go to bed earlier than you. You can turn the volume down and perform these exercises quietly.

5. My final and favorite tip: Google search gyms nearby. Many corporate chain gyms offer up to a week of free membership to “try it out”. Just call a gym nearby and ask about their promotions. Invite the person you are staying with to go to the gym with you. This is a great (free!) way to spend quality time with the person you’re visiting, a great way to stay on top of your goals, and you get to motivate your loved one to be fit and healthy too! It’s a win-win all around.

ican

Monday 2/17/14

Breakfast: banana + 1 chicken apple sausage link
Lunch: tilapia + 1 yam + a giant mixed baby green salad with kale, spinach, and chard
Dinner: homemade chicken and veggie soup (recipe coming soon!) with a few plantain chips on top
Snacks: honeydew melon + 1 organic gala apple

Exercise: full body toning, yoga + 30 minute walk with the pup!

What’s more EXTREME?

When asked about my diet, many people tell me that’s its a very extreme lifestyle. “No soda, no bread, no ice cream?!” Many people have asked me in disbelief, “I could never deprive myself of those things…that’s so EXTREME!”

I generally just try to smile politely and say that it’s a life choice, and my main reason for doing it is to live the healthiest life possible for not only myself, but my future children. I want my body to function the way it’s supposed to, and I want to feel great everyday. This seems to get them to stop talking negatively about eating healthily.

But I must ask you all this: Is following a Paleo Lifestyle extreme, or is poisoning your body with processed “food” and drowning yourself in toxins extreme? If you ask me, eating the foods that naturally occur on Earth is the least extreme way to eat…you can literally just go outside and find food (fruits and vegetables) on the ground, then eat it. Simple. I don’t see any Snicker’s Bar Trees or Potato Chip fields where I live…

I truly wish people in today’s society would open their eyes and realize that they are poisoning their bodies through their diet and lifestyle. It is one thing to be overweight or obese, but for many people, that’s not the biggest problem. Malnourishment and eating too many horrible things causes many more health problems and illnesses (heart disease and many types of cancer to name a few) that are much more significant and EXTREME than simply being overweight.

Being healthy and fit is natural for humans. Being obese, having countless diseases and health problems, and being sedentary is not natural…this is what’s EXTREME.

Luckily, for most, it’s never too late to change your diet and lifestyle!! It just takes a little eye-opening and proper nutrition.

extremeobese

Surprise!

I just got in from running my first 5k of the year (just a loop around my neighborhood…not an actual race) and I surprised myself with my time. I did 3.12 miles in 21:36…that’s an average pace of 6:56 per mile. My previous PR for this distance was 23:22 in November…I think it’s safe to say that I CRUSHED that time! I’m completely blown away by this.

5k

My goal for 2014 was to complete 5k in under 21 minutes…I think I’m going to accomplish this much sooner than planned! Maybe it’s time to start working on some longer distances, like 10k or maybe a half marathon.

 

Sunday Run Day!

Meals are prepped for the week, running shoes are drying out, and I’m curled up with a hot cup of chamomile tea watching a movie. Today was the perfect Sunday!

James and I slept in this morning and resumed our weekend-long Dexter marathon. We just started watching it on Friday and got through season 1 and part of season 2. Since it’s been raining in Northern California, we haven’t felt very motivated to get up and going the past few days.

Today, I decided to break our vicious cycle of laziness and get out of the house and be productive. I sucked it up and threw on a rain jacket and went on a 2.5 mile run which felt amazing. Getting out and stretching my legs always feels awesome after a few days of being a couch potato.

running in the rain

I planned out our meals for the week and went grocery shopping, too. I find it’s much easier to cook creative meals when I plan out the whole week in advance and make sure I have all the ingredients, otherwise I find myself making the same boring things as go-to meals.

 

 

Paleo Curry?!

Wednesday 2/5/14:

Breakfast: 1 banana + 1 cup of coffee
30 min walk with dog
Strength workout: pullups, squats and burpees
Lunch: 1 sweet potato, 1 turkey burger, and one HUGE salad of baby spinach and kale
Snack: 1 orange, 2 dried figs, baby carrots
Dinner: Paleo Thai Curry Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower

ThaiCurry

(recipe & photo via Nom Nom Paleo – click for Thai Curry Chicken Recipe)

Thursday 2/6/14:

On Thursday we woke up and had a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast of an orange and scrambled eggs. It was pouring down rain, and poor little Roxie didn’t want to go on a walk. She stayed curled up warm and cozy in her bed all morning.

RoxieHart

Later in the day we met a few friends for lunch at Islands, which is a burger place. I ordered a chicken bowl without the sauce and rice, which turned out to be just some grilled pineapple, chicken, and broccoli. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed in my meal…the broccoli in the bowl was raw when I feel it should have been steamed. I probably wouldn’t chose to go there again, but if we do, I will order a salad just to be safe.

Since my tiny meal was not very good, when we got back to the house I gorged on almonds, walnuts and a few dried cherries. This was probably not the best idea, but oh well!

A little later in the day we went to the mall and swung by Teavana. My amazing boyfriend bought me a teapot for loose leaf tea (I finally upgraded from tea bags…yay!) and a tea blend for my birthday, so I wanted to get one more type of tea to try out (I’m working on a post about tea and coffee, and how they can fit into a paleo diet! It will be up soon!).

For dinner we got Chipotle. I’ve found that this is one of the easiest places to order paleo. I got a fajita bowl with extra veggies, double meat (chicken and steak), pico de gallo, hot salsa, and lettuce. It was delicious, and I didn’t even miss the rice and beans.