After working out in some capacity most days for the first two weeks, I really felt the difference when this week I had 4 days off in a row due to unplanned travel. That first-day-back yoga session was really hard but also made me appreciate the difference in how much better I feel when I am indeed active every day. Continuing exercise is certainly easier that ‘restarting’ often. This week I started to really miss my previous thrice daily soy lattes. Espresso with coconut cream just wasn’t cutting it any more and I was feeling tired from lifting weights. I missed the full-size beverage- so I went and bought almond milk to keep in the fridge at work.
Almond milk lattes and I are fast becoming great friends.
Eating out has actually been surprisingly easy for the most part. Most often I have found that none of the menu items are going to be perfectly paleo, but for me this 12 Week Challenge is not about being strict or seeking nutritional perfection- it’s about making the best choice available to me. When out to dinner I no longer consider the dessert menu because I know they will probably all be plates of creamy, sugary, doughy trouble. At Bondi Pizza I’m pretty proud to report I did not have a pizza! I had the grilled salmon and salad, olive oil instead of the creamy dressing please. When in Brisbane I had a most impressive dinner at Moda including grilled chorizo, green peppers, scallops and octopus for a starter and swordfish with vegetable as a main. Not the greatest photography taken on a phone in a dim restaurant, but you get the idea:
I was a little concerned about temptation when I ventured into the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park, willingly surrounding myself with all sorts of tasty gluten in the form of noodles and dim sum- however I was deliciously impressed with the chicken sang choy bau- minced chicken with veggies wrapped in a lettuce leaf.
One Step Backwards
Last Sunday was definitely my least successful day so far. I mentioned in my first blog that my weakness is being unprepared and on this day, I was unprepared indeed. I was working for 12 hours adjudicating a dance comp. I should have brought my own food but instead my lunch and dinner options were at the mercy of my hosts. My hosts were indeed fabulously hospitable, they just weren’t Paleo. “What would you like for lunch? We have pies, sausage rolls, or we can do a ham and cheese toastie.”
Definitely wasn’t prepared for that decision. It was a canteen. I am so spoilt for choice at THR1VE each day that I don’t even consider there not being a healthy option available to me. I quickly decided that the pie likely (hopefully) had the best quality meat and that I could kind of dodge the pastry- but I ate the whole thing. I had done a pump class the day before and was pretty hungry. Evening time I decided to diversify and opt for the toastie. This was weird- after two and a half weeks of no sugar, the wholemeal bread tasted sweet! Almost like a brioche taste. I then had a sweet tooth and was feeling tired so I totally cracked and had TWO chocolate bars as well. That evening I felt pretty cranky- probably from all the rubbish I ate- and the next day my digestion was so sluggish. Lesson learned.
Some Paleo DIY
I’ve always loved to bake but have never tried any gluten free or Paleo recipes. Not that I ever really adhere to actual recipes, but rather research a few then take an average and make changes that I think will taste better. So I ended up baking cookies with hazelnut, very dark chocolate and bacon. Yes, bacon. If you like salty/sweet combos, this is for you. This recipe even landed me a marriage proposal via Instagram!
I didn’t really measure but I would guess this is what I used:
- 1.5 cups hazelnut meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 100g very dark chocolate, chopped
- 200g lean bacon, chopped and cooked,
- I whole egg (including the shell! I read that egg shells are a great source of calcium so I gave it a go.)
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons butter (ideally grass-fed)
- 100ml coconut milk
These cookies are certainly not a perfect picture of a meal- but you’re not supposed to consume them in meal-sized quantities. They are definitely still a ‘sometimes food’ but like I said before, for it’s about making the best choice available and as far as cookies go, this has got to be a better choice than anything processed from the supermarket made with refined sugar and flour.
I have also been creating some pretty yummy dinners. Here is one of them. It’s egg cooked with a little coconut oil, grilled chicken, baby spinach, strawberries and blueberries with fresh lemon juice as dressing. Summer is coming!
Can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks already!
Josh, Terri and Steph have all been wonderfully helpful, as have Jack and the whole team at the MLC store. Having a supportive network is definitely making this an easier experience.