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    Primal Journal (LizS)

    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    I sent in my picture and some vague goals for the 2012 New Year's Challenge on January 8, and a few days later I saw the page had opened. I'm not on it yet, but I was impressed by the number of people participating. Everyone's really put themselves out there, and I was inspired. One of my main goals is to help guide my two little boys away from some of the typical SAD kids foods like grilled cheese sandwiches and frozen chicken tenders, and towards a healthier way of eating. They're so young, I'd like to teach them some healthy food habits now, so it becomes normal for them. I've noticed that once I stopped eating sugar, things that include sugar taste awful - too sweet. I've noticed that starchy carbs like bread and pasta actually taste empty. They don't satisfy anymore. My morning coffee used to include 2Tbsp of sugar free creamer (I know it still has some form of unhealthy sugar), and 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar. It just tastes too sweet now. That's after only 2 weeks! I find that if I feel tired in the morning, I should plan on an earlier bedtime. Or maybe even an afternoon nap. It is hard to guarantee 8hrs of sleep every night, because with 2 little boys, ages 2 (he'll be 3 in Feb), and 5, sometimes they wake me up with bad dreams, or whatever. I have been stressing protein sources for the whole family at every meal, even if they aren't completely PB approved, and so far this "cold & flu" season, we've been illness free! I've also been stressing removing sugar and added salt and processed food from family meals. With the 5 year old in kindergarten, around all those other germy kids, and the younger one at a toddler preschool two mornings a week around those germy kids, I'm very encouraged by our lack of sickness! Sure we all got flu shots, but the last time anyone was sick was me in early October 2011, before I started PB. The younger boy had a harrowing head surgery in mid-November and even with all that stress, no one got sick! I have more energy overall. Little things have changed. My 5 year old takes ice skating lessons and the rink happens to have open rink time at the same time, and they rent skates. So, instead of sitting and gossiping with the other moms, I strap on a pair of skates, and wobble around the ice while my son gets his lesson. It's hard being shown up by a bunch of 3-6 year olds, but I have fun, I'm getting better, and my son thinks it's fun to be better than his mother at something. Also, what a balance workout! I can feel my core muscles working to stabilize me on the ice.
    I stated in my photo entry to the challenge that I would probably get some more specific goals as I thought about it more. Here are a few.
    I'd like to drop about 20lbs, do a half-ironman distance triathlon (did Olympic and sprint last year), and get my kids out in the woods this coming summer. I'd also like our vegetable garden to be a bit more productive than it was last year - weather cooperating of course.
    Thanks for listening!

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    Awesome job Liz! Believe me, the world will try to redirect your kids to a SAD lifestyle, so this battle will be around for awhile. We have to constantly resist daycare, restaurants and family food choices and this can be stressful and daunting tasks. But it's worth the battle!

    That's great the illnesses are far and few now. Have you thought about using a pro-biotic as extra defense in the winter? We use Culturelle (in some natural chocolate milk) and our son hasn't been sick once this year and he's in daycare 5 days a week.

    Keep fighting the good fight!
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I wasn't even thinking about the world redirecting them. That's important because my parents, who are both overweight, are continuously bringing donuts and other yuck food when they visit each week. My hubby's parents let them have candy and whatever else when they see them - and they live on the next street! I don't know why - the 5 year old is a great vegetable eater, forgoing french fries at restaurants for broccoli, grabbing apple slices or baby carrots as snacks, and he loves loves loves berries of any kind. They don't need to bring candy or donuts, just bring him some grape tomatoes and blueberries and he'll be in heaven! Tonight I made the spice-rubbed pork chops from the PB Quick & Easy meals cookbook, only I made sweet potatoes instead of carrots and roasted them in the oven. The 5 year old asked if I could save some because he "loves all of this". The 2 year old even ate the sweet potatoes! The 2 year old is the rough one - he'll eat bananas, applesauce (homemade-no added anything), and yogurt. Other than that he's into chicken tenders (working on a homemade PB version) and grilled cheese, toast, cheerios. He did try coconut milk the other day, though and liked it! With him, it's going to be one itty-bitty baby step at a time. I need to have a discussion with the grandparents about what I'm trying to accomplish here. If I could just get them to avoid sugar and processed food when they have the kids, or at least to stop bringing that stuff here, that'd be a good start. I've been doing well, myself and have found I'm a lot less hungry, typically needing about 2 meals a day. I used to try that eat 5-6xs a day meal plan, and it was just too hard while running around dropping kids off, picking kids up, etc. I realized there was a problem with that way of eating one night when I was starving at 10pm and felt guilty eating a fresh apple we'd just picked at the orchard that day. That was no way to be eating or living. That meal plan was so against fruit - even in season fruit. September and October in New York is apple season - and they're soooooo goooood. Especially just picked from the tree! Why in the world should I feel guilty about eating one when I was hungry? I discovered Paleo/PB a few weeks later and it made so much sense. I never liked plain oatmeal anyway, I only ate it because it was supposed to be so healthy for me. If my tastebuds can change in less than a week, I have to believe my kids can change too, or at least develop to recognize real food vs fake food. Here's hoping.

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    I jinxed us! Here I was all excited that no one has been sick, and last Tues night, my 5 year old started getting sick. He had to stay home from school on Thurs, but woke up looking and feeling great on Friday! I started getting sick on Friday, and then the 2 year old woke me up all night on Sat. Everyone is recovering very quickly though. So I guess I'm feeling like PB has helped everyone shake this cold much much quicker than we would otherwise. Hubby is coming down with it today, so we'll see. He sometimes has trouble sleeping, swing shift and all, so he might have a harder time shaking the cold as fast as us. I know I'd have gotten rid of it quicker if I could have slept all night instead of caring for the kids, but now that they're better, I got 9 hours last night and feel great today! Of course, this has all put a damper on following all the challenges of the 21 Day Transformation, but since PB specifically involves listening to one's body, and thinking about what Grok might have done, I think skipping a sprint workout, napping instead, is following the spirit if not the actual words of the Transformation.
    On a strange side of things, I've discovered my 2 year old likes 72% dark chocolate! We have a hard time getting him to eat anything off the SAD kids meal plan, and he's been developmentally delayed due to a cyst in his brain. Over Thanksgiving the cyst was drained (the harrowing 3 weeks of in and out of the hospital while my baby had head surgery is what threw me off the 21Day Trans. back then), and now he's making great strides forward in his development. His speech therapist wants us to keep trying new foods, new spices, new textures, new flavors, etc. and keep track of his favorites. We're offering him things we would never have thought of simply because she asked us to. I've gotten him to eat some grilled chicken with tomato sauce, sweet potatoes, and the biggest surprise so far was when he took the piece of dark chocolate out of my hand (my treat for the day). He licked it and we expected him to hand it back. To our surprise he grinned, and took a big bite. He finished the whole little square and then asked for more! His speech therapist was excited to hear this, a bitter fancy he has! Plus, it explains why around Halloween he wasn't interested in any of the chocolate sweets we had around. Gladly, dark chocolate is better for him anyway, plus, you don't need as much of it because it's so rich!
    Last night, for football playoff championships, I made Primal Chili. No one was the wiser. My husband threw some Italian Herb bread in the automatic breadmaker. It smelled sooo good. I chose to have a piece. It smelled so good, yet I couldn't taste anything. I was thinking about it today and I realize I was smelling the herbs in the bread, that's what smelled so good. But the flavor of the chili outweighed any other flavor. It tasted delicious. Sometimes I have a hard time believing that eating this way is actually good for me. "Diets" before were always so bland and flavorless. The PB food tastes full and rich and satisfying. Non PB foods just taste empty, like the brownie earlier and the bread last night. Nothing to them, they're just empty. My husband commented on how good the chili was and when he saw the look on my face he knew it was PB approved. He was astounded, he couldn't believe something that tasted that good was good for him. I mentioned that he'd been eating PB approved meals all week, and he said, "even the pork chops?" He he he.

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    So we're finally all healthy again, thank goodness. Some lingering coughs and runny noses, but the weather here in Upstate NY has been changing so frequently it's weird. We were at 47 yesterday with dry roads and clear skies, then today, 6 inches of snow and cold cold cold. Oh well. I've had some great success getting my soon-to-be-3 year old eating new foods. He's eaten chicken, meatloaf, and some veggies. He's developed a taste for tomato sauce, and as long as I put some on whatever food I'm trying to get him to eat, he'll try it. It's a step in the right direction at least. Itty bitty baby steps.
    The 5 year old is coming along nicely, although if his father didn't constantly offer him things like pizza rolls and sugar cookies he'd be doing better. I wonder why hubby is so resistant?
    I find visiting MDA every day is extremely helpful in keeping me on track. I'm on day 17 of the 21 day challenge and for the first time in my life, I'm following a diet plan without falling off the wagon! This food is so satisfying I don't have any cravings for that other old junk. I used to see pizza rolls, or smell them, and just have to have one, or twenty. Now they don't even look good. Amazing how easy this is to do once you get through the first week or so. This is something I know I can stick to for the rest of my life. It helps too that I've noticed a definition in my shoulders, the top of my abs, and my skin looks clearer. I noticed yesterday, that I almost look younger! I'm only 35, so I wasn't all that concerned about looking old yet, but I think I actually look younger. I'm amazed at the amount of patience I have now, and how I don't mind my kids' wild behavior anymore. They're just normal, healthy, active, little boys, and I can keep up with them now! And now that their diets are starting to improve, they're behaving better, sleeping better, and all those other wonderful little things that make you just want to hug your kids. I'm so proud of them. The community here at MDA has been pivotal to our success so far, and I know will be instrumental in our future success. I'm getting the graph paper out tomorrow to start planning this year's veggie garden. Can't wait!

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