Tuesday, July 31, 2012

coconut pancakes

today i am here to show you that you can eat "breads" while eating primal-ish/paleo-ish/whole foods/whatever you want to call it.

don't worry, this won't turn into a foodie blog. c'mon now. you know i can't cook.

last night for dinner i made coconut pancakes (from paleospirit). they turned out pretty good, though i think they would have been better with some honey or pure maple syrup on top (i didn't have any so i ate them plain).

4 3 eggs (i only had 3)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut nectar (coconut sap) agave
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
+ 1/4 tsp nutmeg (i found this in the pantry while digging out the cinnamon and threw it in)
coconut oil for frying too lazy. and they weren't sticking to the pan.

makes 6-8 pancakes

they were hard to flip neatly though

they look dark but i don't think they were burnt (tasted fine). i had the heat on "4" out of 9 and didn't leave 'em on long.

nutritional info:
serving size = 2 cakes
calories - 200
fat - 9g
carbs - 19g
protein - 11g

[i used the sparkpeople recipe calculator to determine nutritional information]

the bag of coconut flour has directions for cookies on the side... i probably need to experiment and see how those turn out right?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

paging dr. house

i haven't logged a medical update since mid-april when i attempted an elimination diet (and failed when i fell off the wagon). i thought i ought to on the off-chance a fellow runner/eczema sufferer out there is looking for answers. unfortunately i don't have any, so hopefully you're just looking for someone to commiserate with. not a lot has changed, i'm still on the cyclosporine, and i got slack at chasing down doctors to figure out what's wrong these past few months. [note: a month of cyclo at walmart was $255 with my insurance "benefit". after a few emails with gracie, i found a local pharmacy that has it for $55/month. sold.]

on friday i had a follow-up at the dermatologist. re-raised the question of "why don't i sweat like i used to". originally he thought the sweat canals (i'm sure that's the legit term) were clogged or inflamed from the eczema and that maybe the cyclo would help bring those back to normal. unfortunately i still haven't sweat normally while on the cyclo, and i think it's safe to say it's hot enough to where i should be sweating! he said he'd do some researching.

i'm starting to wean off the cyclo. i'm coming up on six-months and "they" say you shouldn't be on it too long because you could cause long-term damage to your kidneys. the doc is leaning towards going on a different immunosuppressant (one that causes long-term damage to your liver, you know, to give the kidneys a break) and i asked him why can't we do some exploring to find out what is causing the problem. i don't want to continue to treat the symptom; i need to figure out the root of the problem.

now if i could just find a doctor someone willing to go all dr. house on me...

gregory house

ps: if you make the egg cupcakes, be sure to use cupcake liners. or an entire can of crisco. i soaked the pan for 5 days and still had to scrub and scrape to get the egg remnants off.

pps: though i haven't been doing my normal level of running for a year, i'm still just as hard-headed as ever. i strained my back on the 4th and have been easing back into running/bootcamp since. monday's workout involved deadlifts, 65lbs, and i forgot i shouldn't be doing that just yet. setback another week, boo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

then and now

after reading your comments, thinking about my meals and talking with my friend, i figured i should correct myself on my previous post. we are not eating all-out paleo; we're doing primal. the difference between the two (to me) is that i'm not buying 100% organic (though i'm trying to as much as possible) and we are allowing a splash of cream in coffee or the option to have rice, quinoa or even a hamburger bun (of course we're trying to go without 'cheating' with a bun!).

our trainer admitted he sometimes allows himself to have pizza on the weekend or a hamburger on a big, buttery bun (his words) because he knows it's more realistic for him to have those "splurges" than to cut them out all together (hence the "80/20" split of primal -- 80% stick to it, 20% occasional "cheats"). i've learned you get less criticism if you just tell people you're eating whole foods, ha.

my friends considers this a "low carb" diet (as it turns out some of you do too), but i personally do not. half of my calories come from carbs which falls right into the recommended range from the usda.

regardless, i'm still eating clean-er than before. i decided to do a comparison of a typical day's food for me then (before this primal-ish challenge) and now (while eating "primal"/whole foods):

typical day's food "before" (from 22jun12):

- coffee with cream and agave or honey
- cereal - almost always rice chex or honey bunches of oats, sometimes kashi heart to heart. at least two "servings" (because who eats just 3/4 cups of cereal??)

- salad (mixed greens) - maybe some carrots or cucumbers on top; shredded cheese; balsamic dressing
- pretzel crisps - 1 serving (i was always good about counting out the # of pretzels; counting out potato chips on the other hand...)
- animal crackers - addictive

- banana
- more animal crackers or potato chips (must be honest and admit it wasn't usually 1 serving)

- potato wedges
- zucchini pizza - zucc slices with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese

(ignore the date, i logged the food into mfp for easy comparison)
as you can see, my former carby self was not eating balanced,
and i can guarantee those fats weren't good fats.

a day of primal/paleo-ish eating (19jul12):

- boiled egg
- green smoothie
- 1 scoop whey protein powder

- spinach salad - bell pepper, carrots, 1 boiled egg white

- banana
- watermelon - about 3 cups
- pickles
- boiled egg

- flounder - cooked in oven with evoo, lemon juice, garlic, onion
- french green beans - boiled; then add a little evoo, garlic, salt/pepper

i was short on calories this day but i ate whenever i was hungry. 3 cups of watermelon fills you up! my carbs were low too, but i'm still adjusting and tweaking my foods as i realize what i'm too high/too low on.

anyway, all this to say:

  1. if you don't think you should/don't want to eat primal/paleo -- that's totally fine. i'm not judging you because you choose to eat grains or dairy. i love bread and cheese myself. this was just a friendly challenge we conjured up to see if we could do it, and we both knew we needed to/wanted to eat better.
  2. i am still getting plenty of nutrients. in fact i believe i'm eating more balanced and getting more nutrients than before.
  3. the hardest part of eating clean (to me) is getting un-lazy. you have to prepare snacks and meals instead of grabbing a convenient bag of chips or picking up a pizza on the way home from work. i try to prep a few things on sunday (such as hard boiled eggs and the egg cupcakes) and pre-chopping salad toppings like cucumbers or peppers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

i want a pizza

my friend and i started 30-day paleo eating challenge*. our cross fit trainer planted the seed and this blog post was humorous enough to motivate us to give it a try. we eat fruits, veggies, meat (well, i only do fish and eggs) and the occasional sweet potato.

proof i am getting balanced nutrients

we're using the "myfitnesspal" app to track eating and exercise. it has a social aspect to it where you can link up with your friends and track their progress too (accountability!). don't worry, it doesn't broadcast your weight or anything. [this app is free to download - i am not being compensated in any manner to mention it]

so far we're 5 days in and going strong. it's been easier than expected to stick with it knowing i have someone holding me accountable. if either of us cheats we both have to do 100 burpees. we also threw in a clause for water - 100 situps if you don't drink the recommended amount (~9 cups per the mayo clinic). we had to do burpees (4x14) in friday's workout which was quick reminder to not cheat because burpees are hard.

workouts last week have been tough and i've felt weak at times, but i'm chalking that up to my body adjusting from burning the crap-food i used to eat to burning actual fat instead. admittedly i was surprised to see i could eat so much food (never feeling hungry) and yet only net 1200-ish calories for the day. certainly can't do that on potato chips and m&m's!

breakfast this week: egg cupcakes
(from everday paleo)
- 10-12 eggs whisked well
- onion (1/2 cup)
- zucchini (2 cups)
- spinach (2 cups)
- pepper (i used red; 1/4 cup)

you're supposed to finely chop it all up in a food processor or blender. i was too lazy for this. i just chopped it up and dumped it in the eggs. worked well enough for me. made 16 cupcakes which i calculate at 70 cals each. this was also the first time i teared up while cutting an onion. eyes burning.

*though it may turn into primal, who knows. from what our trainer tells us - primal is 80/20 where as paleo is 100% strict.

edited to add:
i included the screen shot of my food log in an attempt to ward off low carb comments but it seems many of you think that paleo = low carb. the usda recommends 45-65% of your calories comes from carbs and as you can see i fall into that range on my pie chart. i think a lot of people forget that carbs are in foods other than breads/grains. technically this clean eating is lower-carb than i typically eat (and i'm sure most of the us population), but ultimately better (in my opinion) because i'm eating better carbs instead of cereals and breads.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

to do or not to do

i've been feeling the marathon-itch the past few weeks, even though i'm not even in shape to fill out a registration form, let alone 'run' one. i found two of interest in mid-november, laid out a very basic training plan, and realized i'd have to start training this week. as in, with my 80-year-old's back. i'm thinking it's probably not that smart to start a training plan while you're already crippled.

i never fully defined any goals for 2012 but one that i did write down (informally) was to chill out and not run any marathons this year. in dealing with my skin issues i wanted to give my body a rest. if i 'succeed' at not running one, i will break my little streak of running at least one marathon a year since 2006. i had essentially talked myself into taking the year off, and then i talked to my dad about it...

my dad knows that i am sometimes too hard on myself. he knows i used to get stressed out if i missed a workout and he thinks that unnecessary stress could have contributed to the decline of my health (skin). i figured if i talked to him about my marathon temptation he'd talk me into taking it easy this year. wrong. he basically gave me the green light, provided i don't get so obsessed with it again.

oh the dilemma!

[for the record, at time of writing i am pro- attempting a marathon this year. maybe i'll see how training goes, how my body/health holds up, and register closer to race day. or maybe i'll change my mind. again.]

look at my excitement
thanks for all the well-wishes for my geriatric back. it's been feeling a little better each day and i've continued to get adjustments at the chiropractor. at one visit i was having some additional lower-back cramps (unrelated to the injury), got adjusted, and very shortly after had an urgent call from mother nature. the cramps immediately subsided; i'm thinking the adjustment opened things up so to speak. the workings of the body are all connected (no part operates alone) and chiropractic care is not just for back pain!

i went to boot camp monday and did a personalized, very remedial workout. i felt pretty dumb doing it, but at least i was moving and not laying in bed eating potato chips. while everyone else did wall balls, burpees, etc, i did step ups (8") and sat down on a bench/stood back up. i don't think my heart rate got above 60. my back handled the workout just fine and i'm cleared to do a 'medium' workout today. i need to take a few more days off from running since there's all that repetitive pounding involved, but i think i'll be ready to go next week.

be the turtle
[obviously the photos are unrelated, but you can't have a blog post without pictures because those are boring. thankfully my mom recently scanned a bunch of childhood gems and gave me her snapfish password. note: i am the younger, cuter (obviously) one in the pictures.]

Friday, July 6, 2012

blasted bootcamp

i'm laid up with a back strain and i'm blaming bootcamp!

how it happened
my form in monday's workout probably could have been better, especially once i started getting tired, as i felt the occasional twinge in my back while doing one-handed squats. i think the awkwardness of them (/me) caused my torso to twist some.

at wednesday's workout we did forward jumps as part of the warm up. on one of the first landings, a jarring pain shot through my lower back area. i finished the workout (not smart) with continued pain. box jumps were part of the workout and a few of us were doing them onto a big tractor tire (higher off the ground than the boxes). i fell backwards off the tire twice due to intense pain when landing on top, almost busting my butt in the middle of the gym for all to see!

these two workouts are the only things i can think of that could have possibly caused such an injury. i've been wearing my vibrams to bootcamp and i don't think they paired well with the hard landings of the forward jumps or box jumps.

the road to recovery
i went to the chiropractor after the workout and definitely needed an adjustment. it brought some relief, but the sitting/couch laying i did for the rest of the day did not help. i also iced (for hours since i fell asleep with it on). a middle-of-the-night sneeze caused severe pain and now i brace my back against something before a sneeze.

things felt slightly better thursday morning but after sitting in the car for my whopping 15-minute commute my back locked up on me. i struggled to get out of the car; it hurt to even reach forward to turn off the ignition.

sitting at my desk for two hours made things a lot worse. i tried to stand up but the pain was too intense, radiating down into my legs. i seriously thought i would need to call someone over to pick me up out of my chair. eventually i got half-way up, bent over grasping the desk for dear life, and grimacing. a co-worker (much older than me) walked by and said "been sitting too long?". my mom later laughed hard when i told her this and said i need to get a life alert.

help i've fallen and i can't get up

i went to the chiropractor again during lunch and he said he could feel the muscles spasming throughout my lower back on both sides of my spine. i was adjusted (it helped again) and made sure to get up about every 30 minutes for the rest of the afternoon to walk around a little. now i'm on forced rest (but not on the couch as it's not supportive), an icing regime, and limited sitting. i can lay in bed though, whew.

mourning my inability to workout for a few days, i came home and made cookies. because if you can't burn fat you must eat it? as the last tray was finishing up in the oven the power went out and i ended up having to eat cookies for dinner, a shame. obviously i'm hoping and praying this will clear up quickly so i can get back to running, bootcamping and re-losing this weight!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

june 2012

miles run: 73.45 (up 10 from may)

other workouts: bootcamp (x10), bike rides (x3, 34+ miles)

days off: 5 (!!! this is a big improvement for me as i have struggled with missing half a month's worth of workouts for like two years)

netflix obsession(s)/fail: say yes to the dress - atlanta. that show is so much better with southern divas and large african american families!

artistic/creative outlet/new thing i tried: horseback riding (another groupon) in the rain (therefore no action photos)

max the horse
this was my horse for the day, max
to whom i think i am allergic because i sneezed for the next week

new food i tried: zucchini bread (josh's garden is thriving with monster zucchini)

one of the monster zucchinis - as long as my thigh from hip to knee

book(s) read:
all the pretty horses (cormac mccarthy) - well, i tried to read this one. i read maybe 10 pages and gave up. didn't grab me.

the pillars of the earth (ken follett) - long book (973 pages) but i read it in 2 days (mostly on the beach). takes place in the 1100s and i certainly never thought i'd be into a medieval-times book. the foundation of the book was based on the author's interest in the european cathedrals, and it is pretty cool to think about how the gorgeous buildings were built way back when, with no technology or machinery, and still stand strong today. don't worry, the book is fiction. i doubt i could have read almost 1,000 pages of architecture drivel (even though i once aspired to be an architect).

run like a girl: how strong women make happy lives (mina samuels) - another good read that leaves you feeling full of girl power! well, maybe not if you're a male. run like a girl contains mini-stories of real-life women, their involvement in sports and the impact of those experiences on the rest of their lives. definitely a worthy read for every woman!

second wind (cami ostman) - such a good read! cami is one of few women who have ran marathons on all seven continents. i was inspired by her - overcoming the ups and downs in her life and always striving to succeed. the chapter about her panama marathon was just nuts. i don't know if i would have had the gumption and grace that she had!

disclaimer: i received a free copy of both run like a girl and second wind in exchange for doing a blog review of the books. they were both easy and interesting reads and while i enjoyed them both, second wind was more my "style". run like a girl motivated me to put on my big girl pants and embrace girl power. second wind reminded me to stick to my dreams and to look for lessons and experiences in everything.

number of blog visitors: 686 (a significant drop, but i assume that's because i went mia for two weeks)

number of doctor visits: 2

number of pounds lost: 4

number of pounds re-gained while on vacation: 4

number of postcards received: 0 (though i already got a few in for july's tally!)

sunset at south beach

june running was very kind to me. last week was vacation and i diligently logged 22.10 miles! being on vacation also enabled me to "miss out" on the streak of 100° temps, darn. previously i've been logging a big 15-ish miles (if i wasn't busy slacking off). i tracked my hr, aiming to keep it in the 150's, my easy zone. i've since forgotten the fancy terms for heart rate monitor training so i'll just say my "easy zone". i was pleased to see i held a sub-10:00 pace while still keeping my hr down; i know it's progress!

dead horseshoe crab washed ashore

a ghost crab