Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Magic Number

Some numbers are just too low.

Courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum Collection
via Flickr Creative Commons
I have a magic number. It's seared into my psyche, both beckoning and mocking me. The number is: 159.

When my first daughter was conceived, I weighed 159 pounds. It was a tall-ish and lean-ish 159 - I was a very committed cardio bunny and did light weight work, so I could wear size 8 pants and size 4/6 tops.

I'll bet big bucks that most moms out there can name their prepregnancy weights, too.

It's just a number, it's just a number, I tell myself. And yet...that 159 whispers to me. Almost every time I get on the scale, I calculate how much I'd have yet to lose to hit that number. This is absurd, because according to my body fat skin caliper tests I've gained somewhere around 15-20 lb. of muscle since I started Crossfitting last September. I'm the strongest I've ever been -- way stronger than those cardio bunny days. One of my last tests had me at 135 lb. of lean mass. If I whittled only fat down until I was 159 lb., while retaining that 135 lb. of lean mass, I'd be at 15% body fat, which is way, way, way leaner and more muscular than I was in the 159 lb. prepregnancy days.

All this to say, even though I should be reveling every day in my new strengths, my new wisdom, my new experiences, I have that magic number from the past haunting me. I have difficulty permitting the context of my current, very different state in life - avid Crossfitting, lean-mass-promoting diet, post-baby and lactation hormones, caregiving to small children, limited sleep - to soften the siren call of that old weight.

The closer I get back to 159, the more I realize that I might be riding an asymptote, and that my returns invested in training and eating right diminish, to the point where - unless I allow my hard-earned lean mass to drop - I may never see that number on the scale again.

Do you have a magic number in your head? Are you haunted by your prepregnancy weight, your high school weight, your college weight, or even another number like a former pants size or a long-ago-achieved personal lifting record? How do you deal with the magic numbers in your life? Do you believe firmly that you'll get back to them, or that life has changed enough that you've decided to allow yourself grace even while you pursue personal excellence?


Sunday, July 8, 2012

The July Challenge, GAPS Week 2 Concludes, and Adding Sprouted Lentils

Aaaaaaand we're off!

Courtesy of the State Library of Queensland,
Flickr Creative Commons
In case you're wondering, yes, my Crossfit box does have frequent nutrition challenges - and yes, I did just finish one at the end of May in the form of a whole30. I'm grateful for the frequency of these challenges, too, because my regular dates with our nutrition gal's scale and skin calipers keeps me accountable to my fellow Crossfitters in a unique way. (Not that everyone knows my numbers - more that they see me every day and that adds a positive dose of peer pressure to not backslide.) It's a great motivator for me to continue to chip away at those last body fat percentage points.

Today starts our July partner nutrition challenge - one more level of accountability! I have a wonderful partner who is also a stay at home mom of two young kiddoes - who, like me, landed in a whole food paleo style diet before she started Crossfitting. (Usually it happens the other way around!) I can't wait to see what we can do with this challenge!

And yes, GAPS soldiers on at our house. In addition to the meats, bone broths, and select vegetables, we've added in eggs in the last few days. Next on our list will probably be raw cashews, and maybe some avocado, but it will be a while yet. We're going ultra slow with the food reintroductions.

Fortunately for me, as mentioned, GAPS is overall very compatible with a paleo style outlook. That means I basically can eat what my GAPS patient is eating on the stage 1-2 food list, and add in a few "Full GAPS" items for myself.

This one more place my paleo experience gets tailored to suit. I'm going to try out sprouted fermented lentils this month. There are a several reasons I have, but one is making sure that I'm getting a good, regular, natural source of folate. Folate is very available on a paleo style diet in organ meats, particularly grass fed beef liver. While I continue to try and add liver in more regularly - as in chili, and burgers, and meatballs, it's still a challenge to find and cook appetizing liver dishes at the generally recommended frequency of a couple of times per week. Fermented lentils are permitted on full GAPS, though, so I'm going to try some recipes, and let lentils be some of my post-workout carbs this month - we're permitted 1 cup of starchy carbs post workout on days that we do exercise. I also think that lentils have good low-reward potential - I don't anticipate that they'll stoke cravings or make me want to nomnomnom excessively on them the way other paleo carbs like sweet potato sometimes do. The bonus is that if I have them precooked they won't be hard to scoop a cup into some warm bone broth with some added leftover meat and an egg or two for a fast, rehydrating, high protein, moderate carb post workout breakfast. My choice of lentils for the first try is TruRoots sprouted organic lentils trio, which is a gluten free blend. The qualification of "sprouted" means that they've already been allowed to soak and germinate, so that mitigates to some extent a lot of antinutrient concerns. I'll give them a try and see how things go!


This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Shopping Amazon through Primal Kitchen affiliate links supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you, so thank you!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

GAPS Diet Intro Week 1:

We are now officially 1 week into GAPS intro over here. While the whole household isn't doing GAPS, my fellow home cooks will understand when I say that it is a pain in the rear to create multiple separate menus. So, even those here who aren't officially doing GAPS are doing GAPS + stuff on the side just out of pure convenience.

I'm just one more bowl of bone broth away from
snapping and turning into a crazy cat lady.
It wouldn't be all bad, though.
Kittens are cuddly-wuddly!

Courtesy of the George Eastman House Collection,
Flickr Creative Commons
There are definitely a few learning curves. I enjoy bone broth and use it in my cooking all the time, but I've had to become accustomed to the prospect of always having it available to consume throughout the day. To that end I say horray for slow cookers! One big blessing is that my local Giant just switched its Nature's Promise chickens from "all natural" blah blah blah to Nature's Promise certified organic chickens. There's a big difference between the two! And while the organic chickens probably aren't pampered free range local chickens fed GMO free feed and allowed to forage for bugs, our family having regular, dependable access to certified organic chickens is a huge step up, especially when quality bones for broth are now a house staple. To get a certified organic chicken before that, I'd have had to drive at least 45 minutes away. I wrote a "customer comment" form at the customer service desk thanking Giant for carrying them! I know the folks at Giant probably don't get a lot of positive notes in the comment box, so a, "Way to go!" on their new inventory will probably catch their eye. I also mentioned that otherwise I'd have driven a ways to buy organic chickens from Trader Joe's, so that lets the staff know that they won a regular chunk of my money from a competitor by stocking certified organic chickens.

This is me stocking up on wholesome chickens,
with a slightly manic gleam in my eye.

Courtesy of the
George Eastman House Collection,
Flickr Creative Commons
They average $11-12/chicken, which is definitely expensive, but I am glad to have organic chicken bones from each chicken to supply us with at least a couple of days' worth of bone broth - not to mention being able to feed my GAPS patient the organic chicken's organs - so there is more value to them than just in the meat. I'll be keeping my eye out for sale prices on those chickens and when the price drops, I'll be stocking up!

I've already used a few shortcuts - Bubbies sauerkraut and Sunja's kimchis have been my go-to for sugar-free lacto-fermented veggies. One day in a blissful fantasy future I will figure out home fermented veggies, but for now I'm grateful to have a ready-made option to provide lots of lactobacillus for our guts. (And special thanks to my friend A. who lives near stores that stock these! She's been a big help in keeping us supplied.) For now I'm using the juice for our GAPS patient, but I readily hork down the veggies themselves, so it's all good.

Another couple of shortcuts I'm using this month include organic pumpkin puree and organic butternut squash puree. There is one ingredient in each of these: organic pumpkin, and organic squash, respectively. Also, I was happy to discover that their maker is committed to using BPA-free cans. Is peeling and slow cooking the whole food in my own kitchen ideal? For sure. But, having these around ensures that I don't forget to add some to meals for an added dose of good carbs.

What are your favorite bone broth tips and tricks? Have you had any fun discoveries in your local supermarket this week?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...