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Thread: Primal Journal - Owly page 7

  1. #61
    Mog's Avatar
    Mog
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    Hey Owly.

    Love the pics. The broccocauliflower is amazing. Looks like a dinsoaur, can't remember which one, but the one with the horns!

    So sorry to hear about the leg break and TKD. I am dying to get back into TKD so I was happy to hear you got back into it, and then sad to hear about that. Hope you get the strength to go back. So did you drop all that weight before PB or as a result of?

    anyway, I'll be dropping by to salivate over your photos. That raspberry pie...hmmmm.

  2. #62
    Owly's Avatar
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    Holy crap, everyone, India was amazing!

    I've been home for a week now, but I got word in the Mumbai airport just before we flew home that my grandmother had passed away. She'd been ill for quite some time, and she was 85, so it was not a huge surprise, but still very sad news to get on my way home. I ended up landing and then leaving the city about 14 hours later to head off to BC for the memorial. The combination of fatigue and stress meant that the mild virus I picked up on an overnight bus to Lucknow blossomed into a full-on flu, so I'm just now getting back to regular life.

    India was an incredibly beautiful, complicated, difficult place. I absolutely fell in love with the country, but I also found the poverty so hard to face. When we got off the plane, it was almost immediately there--there were people begging as we left the airport, and as we drove through the Mumbai night, I could see the people literally lining the sidewalks, whole families sleeping at the side of the road with maybe a tarp to shelter them if they were lucky. On the other hand, I have never felt so warmly welcomed by people. The Indians I met were frequently so kind, inviting us to their homes, feeding us amazing meals, and welcoming us like we were family. Also, the young people I met there were so brilliant and driven to create change. I visited some universities and was blown away by the talented students I encoutered. India really is undergoing incredible change and is going to have a major impact on the world stage over the next while, and you can see what's driving it when you meet some of the innovative minds behind that change.

    Primally, it was a mixed experience. I definitely did a lot of moving slowly while exploring historic sites, touring university campuses, visiting villages, and just getting around. Took some risks in using autorickshaws, though, or even just crossing the street (look both ways and run--sprint workout!). Almost everything we ate was fresh and local, but it was hard to avoid some sort of grain or bean content. I tried to keep it to a bit of white rice or maybe some chickpea flour stuff, but a lot of Indian cuisine is carbs with a side of carbs, particularly the vegetarian stuff, which is almost unavoidable in some cases if you want to eat at all (and you can only IF for so long). My strength workouts fell by the wayside despite my good intentions on departure. The academic schedule was overwhelming many days, and I ended up basically passing out by the time I made it back to my room, which meant a lot of using my brain was happening, but sometimes at the detriment of caring for my body.

    However, I did have some cool adventures. I snorkeled in the Arabian Sea off Goa and did a trek up to Triund above McLeod Ganj in the Dhauladhar mountains (part of the Outer Himalayan mountains), about 2900m above sea level. Oh, and I climbed up there in my Treks...I'll post the photos later. I have about a million stories to tell.

    In the end, I'm five pounds lighter, several shades more tanned (still pale, but very brown for me!) and full of a renewed excitement for international work. Not bad at all.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  3. #63
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    mandabear2010 is offline Senior Member
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    WELCOME HOME OWLY! so so happy you enjoyed yourself! Sorry to hear about your grandmother but it is always a smidge easier when it is slightly expected yeah?

    So glad you enjoyed yourself !
    Live Like No One Else

    http://primalterp.blogspot.com/

  4. #64
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    Ow...my thighs! I went back to CrossFit yesterday after being off for about six weeks (between India, the trip out for my grandmother's memorial, and the subsequent collapse when my flu went from mild to monstrous thanks to stress). Well, I didn't go back to group classes yet. After the time off, I decided to book a couple of review sessions for my partner and I with our fave coach just to make sure we hadn't forgotten any form stuff before diving back into the classes.

    Anyhow, yesterday we reviewed squats (back, front, and overhead), deadlifts (regular and sumo), and presses (overhead and push). We also did some wall squats. Wall squats, you think? That sounds easy. But see, they are not what you'd think. You face the wall a couple of feet away, raise your arms above your head, and squat. If that works without you bonking the wall, you move closer. And then closer. The idea is to improve mobility and form so that you don't tip forward as much when you do regular squats. It's also a good time to work on other form issues (knee alignment and such). They're only body weight squats, but I can feel the muscles all the way through from my legs up into my upper back (from maintaining proper posture).

    Anyhow, after that, we went and signed up for some tanning minutes. This is not something I ever would have done before! I know Mark has said that they're not ideal compared to real sunlight, but it's been -35 C with the windchill here, making even 10 minutes a day of sun exposure impossible considering that under those conditions, exposed skin freezes in only a couple of minutes. The place we chose is more health oriented and (according to their info) does help with vitamin D production. I'm also doing some supplementation, but I hope this will help a bit. We'll see how it goes. I just felt so good when I was getting so much sun in India, and I'd like to keep that going a little.

    I also (finally) got a foam roller for my legs. I love using the one at the gym, and it will be nice to have one to use at home. My sweetie tried on some VFFs while we were at the awesome running shop near our house, but they didn't have his size in the style he wanted. We may have to wait until February for the shop to get more in his size--I'm thinking I'll check a few other places to see if I can order some for him. He was impressed with how well they worked for me, even on the hike in the Himalayas, and how much less sore my body was after, which I partly attribute to being able to use more stabilizers in the VFFs and putting less shock into my joints because they make you walk more gently and naturally.

    The afternoon was all about studying and a group project meeting on Skype. I was too caught up with that and forgot to thaw meat for dinner, so my partner picked us up a roast chicken and I threw together some oven-baked sweet potato chips and sauteed up some spinach with bacon and garlic. It wasn't as fancy as the lamb kebabs the night before, but still tasty. Then we had some sofa cuddles and watched a movie. Oh, and I threw together a bit of a cheat dessert of baked apples with raisins, loads of butter and cinnamon, and some maple syrup--carby, but not awful, and so nice on a night that was so bitterly cold outside.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  5. #65
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    It is sooooo good to be back home and cooking my own meals again. Last night, I made the ginger coconut salmon recipe Mark linked on the blog (http://nuttykitchen.com/2010/05/20/c...ginger-salmon/). It really is as good as it looks. I didn't bother making any sides with it--the two salmon filets I had were about 9.5 ounces each, plus the veggies in the dish were already quite a bit. I may add some more vegetables next time because there was more tasty coconut sauce than there were veggies to eat it with, but otherwise, it was perfect!

    Today was another CrossFit day, but again, a one-on-one to work on form. I finally started learning the full-on clean and jerk. The O-lifts are clicking more for me now, and I'm enjoying the challenge of learning the more complex movements. My overhead squats are really coming together too--I got some awesome depth today, and although I don't quite have the bar dead steady, it's solidly in control and overhead all the way through the movement (just a little wiggly). The real click for me has been pretending that I am trying to pull the bar apart like taffy. That gets my grip out there and keeps my shoulders shrugged nicely so that I am more solid in that overhead position.

    Saturday we'll hit the regular 10 am class to get back into the group workouts again. There's also a new set of special focus classes (a special class at 11 am on Saturdays). Our gym spends about a month on a specific focus--gymnastics, running, O-lifts, etc.--to allow athletes to build specific capacities. The new round is on mobility, which plays a role both in regular classes and in the Saturday extra class. I'm super excited to do these ones!

    Oh, did I mention that I have the best partner ever? My beloved brought me a blueberry-banana-cocoa protein shake while I was in the shower at home after CF, and he warmed all the ingredients up a bit so it wouldn't be too cold (it's winter here, an ice-cold shake is not what I want). I am spoiled rotten some days.

    Tonight's dinner is acorn squash stuffed with ground chicken, bacon, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and herbs, and topped with a little grated cheddar. It is delicious, which is good since I've never baked a squash before and sort of made this one up off the top of my head. I foresee more baked squash in the future!

    Anyhow, it's been a while since I posted some food photos, so here's the salmon and the stuffed squash.

    Squash before baking:



    Topped with the cheese, in the oven:



    All done and ready for devouring:



    The salmon:



    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  6. #66
    Mog's Avatar
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    Oh yum!

  7. #67
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    1 and 2: i'm very sorry to hear of your losses of your mother and grandmother, in particular your mother since the process was (likely) so difficult.

    3. i look forward to going to india, but is also sounds a lot like my trip to africa. the poverty was really overwhelming, and for me, not having someone with whom i could talk about it was tough. i was doing study abroad, but all of the other kids just wanted to drink (we were early 20s then). so, whether or not they were affected by it i don't know. but i was. i look forward to reading mroe about your trip.

  8. #68
    Owly's Avatar
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    Hey PBers!

    So I realize that I vanished off the face of the earth for a while there. My grandmother's death was followed by several other family crises, including a couple of serious illnesses, my brother's marriage falling apart (poor guy), and another death in my partner's family over Christmas. The combination of it all meant that I pretty much dropped out of a lot of things--my stress levels were so high that my hair started falling out and I ached all over. Not a good scene. I was heading rapidly toward a severe crash and had to take a leave of absence from grad school.

    My beloved and I decided that a break was definitely needed, so I went on Expedia and booked a couple of plane tickets to Tulum, Mexico (at the south end of the Mayan Riviera) and found us a great little eco-hotel with lovely little cabanas and a fantastic garden. We spent two weeks in full relax and recover mode, but not sitting still. We rode horses, explored cenote caverns, hurtled down ziplines, climbed Mayan ruins, floated down a canal in a freshwater lagoon, snorkeled, walked along the beach, and generally played in the sun. Oh, and there were some nice lazy mornings with a book and a hammock in there too, plus a spa visit where we learned some massage techniques to help each other relax at home. Between that and loads of fresh seafood and margaritas on the rocks, I came home feeling so much better.

    Primal eating went off the rails a bit while we were there--handmade corn tortillas, margaritas, and mojitos were tough to resist--but in many other ways, it was a good reminder of what this lifestyle is supposed to be. My partner and I spent a lot of time talking about what we really want in life and how what we're doing now isn't necessarily working. So, our long-term planning is looking at how we can find a better work-life balance for ourselves and maybe even live part of the year in a place with more sun than we get up north here in the winter. SAD is a problem for both of us in a place with less than eight hours of daylight for such a long stretch of time.

    Anyhow, now that we're home and I'm cooking again, the meals are getting back on track. My partner has now bought in more too after feeling unhappy with seeing his (not large) waistline in a wetsuit and swim trunks and then reading my copy of Robb Wolf's book that I'd brought along for a little hammock reading. He's a pretty fit, athletic guy who has never had to struggle much with body fat over most of his life. He was a skinny young guy who worked hard to gain the muscle mass he has now, but he's finding that his late 30s have changed that a bit (easier to gain muscle now but easier to gain fat too), and with some family history of type II diabetes and heart disease, he's thinking about that too. I think he's pretty hot anyhow, but he'd like to trim it down, and I'm happy to have him join me more solidly in primal/paleo eating since it makes my life easier.

    So, we're back home with a fridge full of gorgeous food from the farmers market and a new focus on a healthier life with more attention to rest and stress management and making room for play and our health overall. So far, it's feeling good.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  9. #69
    Owly's Avatar
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    There's a tray of crustless mini-quiches in my oven for portable post-workout breakfasts, a slow cooker full of chicken stock underway on my counter, and a bison roast thawing in the fridge for dinner tomorrow evening. I feel like a culinary wizard. On to the food pics!

    The roasted carrot and avocado salad Mark linked on the blog the other day, made with a mix of farmers market carrots and parsnips and the addition of some leftover roasted chicken (free range organic of course):



    Pork loin chops (from the lovely pastured pig I got from a local farmer) with a sour cream, dill, and mushroom sauce, served with mashed carrots and parsnips and some broccolini:



    The rest of primal living is going well. I've finally been sleeping enough and even had time for a nap this afternoon. Crossfit this morning was good--I am slowly working toward conquering the pullup bar although I'm not quite there yet. I had some quality time with my partner and enjoyed a nice stroll around one of our local markets this evening (and finally found a source for local, non-homogenized, grassfed dairy!). It's been a good day.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  10. #70
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    Owly -just wanted to say 'hi' from another newbie who lives in the same city. About to start Crossfit, too - wish me luck!

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