Category: Paleo Diet Challenge


The paleo challenge at the gym ended at Friday midnight and the post challenge party was set for Saturday at a local eatery that one of our members owns. Keeping in the true spirit of the challenge he had a buffet set with food that followed the paleo diet in case anyone decided to adopt that lifestyle plus some non paleo food for the guests and members who decided not to partake in it.

The food was great and company was even better. We had a large group show up, around 40-50, and the place only had enough room for 10-15 more people. There were a few walk-ins who seemed taken aback with the crowd and decided that we were a little to loud for their liking. Too bad, they would have found out we are not that bad, we just tend to have a strange way of having fun. I think the other part is that we are an intimidating looking bunch as no one is out of shape.

After the food and some drink it was decided to head over to the gym, which is a 3 minute walk from the restaurant, and continue the party and that is when the fun began as hand stands for time and various other endeavours started happening. Apparently our one and only box owner decided to do something that I missed and as we say “tried to fly” (usually means that someone slipped off the pull-up bar and end up on their back). No broken bones were involved and probably gave everyone a scare but I am sure he continued on, but I am sure he will be feeling it at some point.

As for me and my wife, we managed to keep ourselves away from the wheat and gluten for the night and still had a wonderful time with the group. Since we do not drink that much in the first place it is not that hard to say no to a drink, food on the other hand is much more difficult and it has been easier to say no or tell someone that you cannot eat wheat or have gluten.

With winter just around the corner, we are starting to enter the serious season. In the next few months people will have to start to step it up as the Crossfit Open will be coming up very fast if you are paying attention. Those 5-6 weeks of workouts will suck the life out of you if you are not prepared physically. Amy for the first time is seriously taking a run at the Games and would like to see where she stands in comparison to others in the region. Me, I want to improve on my placing of 302nd and move into the top 200 or better. It will take everything I have to make that improvement as I lack some skills and with my injury I had I am not sure how I will get those skills for this year.

This month also marks a weight loss challenge we have going on a work. I decided to enter as I need to focus on losing some 20 pounds to be able to improve those skills I previously mentioned. My starting weight is 214 with BP hovering around 130/80 not bad but both are a bit high and need to come down some.

With the end of the month being Halloween lets hope it is not scary.

For all my colleagues at the gym who are on the Paleo Diet Challenge here is a recipe that will get the day started off great, plus it makes a good all round meal for lunch or dinner if you add a salad.

Frittatas are essentially a quiche without the crust so they lend themselves perfectly to the diet and they can modified in a number ways by adding chicken, pork, beef, veal or any other meat, BACON!! you can think of. Don’t like meat, then add veggies. You can use just egg whites if you like and that makes the variations endless.  I figured if I added the word “bacon” it would grab their attention.

This recipe uses some little used and thought of foods and that is why I choose it.

Asparagus Tomato Frittata

Ingredient list:

8 large eggs (yes Erica N use the whole egg in this recipe)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
8 medium asparagus spears, cut in 1-inch lengths
1 cup artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in oil)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

How to put together and cook:

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs, stir in two tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

Over medium heat, sauté onions in one tablespoon olive oil using an oven-safe skillet until softened and slightly browned. Add the asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, basil, onion powder, salt and pepper. Sauté another 3 minutes.

Pour in egg mixture and mix together. Cover at low to medium heat for 3 minutes.

Place pan in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove (using oven mitt!) from oven. Cool for five minutes then, using a spatula, release the frittata around the edges and under the bottom. Slice and serve.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs, stir in two tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

Over medium heat, sauté onions in one tablespoon olive oil using an oven-safe skillet until softened and slightly browned. Add the asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, basil, onion powder, salt and pepper. Sauté another 3 minutes.

Pour in egg mixture and mix together. Cover at low to medium heat for 3 minutes.

Remove cover and sprinkle Romano cheese over top. Place pan in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove (using oven mitt!) from oven. Cool for five minutes then, using a spatula, release the frittata around the edges and under the bottom. Slice and serve.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs, stir in two tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

Over medium heat, sauté onions in one tablespoon olive oil using an oven-safe skillet until softened and slightly browned. Add the asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, basil, onion powder, salt and pepper. Sauté another 3 minutes.

Pour in egg mixture and mix together. Cover at low to medium heat for 3 minutes.

Remove cover and sprinkle Romano cheese over top. Place pan in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove (using oven mitt!) from oven. Cool for five minutes then, using a spatula, release the frittata around the edges and under the bottom. Slice and serve.

From what I have just read in “Wheat Belly” it seems that I have found the culprit for many of my ills. At least that is what is being said in the book. My intake of wheat or gluten is what has caused me to gain weight, indulge in food binges, have trouble concentrating, lack of stamina, poor sleeping habits, have man boobs, etc., etc.

The information in this book scary in that studies have shown that wheat or gluten has the same effect on the brain as morphine and when eliminated has the same withdrawal effects of  some who is an addict. It is also an appetite stimulant. To study this a study was done at U of South Carolina with normal people, half given a medication that is opiate blocking and the other a placebo the ones taking the opiate blocker reduced their caloric intake by 400 calories per day. If this is case then we need to  rethink what we are harvesting and calling a “healthy” grain. The book does mention that having a sedentary lifestyle and eating fast food will not help.

What is really scary from reading it is the number of items in our regular diet that have wheat or gluten of some form included as an ingredient. Coloring for caramel flavouring used in any number of soft drinks, beer (of course), yoghurt, chips, dips, mustard, ketchup, filler in prescription drugs and vitamins, the list is enormous. Now you ask what can be done to avoid some of the most basic items we have in our fridges, cupboards and medicine cabinets? If you ask me, I would say, “I don’t know”. I guess what a person needs to do is be more conscious of what they put in their bodies and do the best you can.

It does make for some interesting reading. I would say read it and make your own assessment and if you feel ambitious eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet and see what happens. What have you got to lose, except your wheat belly.

My wife is starting to think about doing this elimination of wheat/gluten from our diet and I know at some point in the near future, probably this week, will be doing this. I have told her as I mentioned in the last post that I will start doing this once everything has been cleared out of the cupboards, freezer and fridge that has any gluten or wheat in it.

Yes, I admit it. Bread is my crack. I mean that literally as I love bread like an addict craves crack.

This month there a number of people at my gym that are embarking on a Paleo Challenge for 30 days. From September 1 -30 they will be divided in to two teams with the winners receiving a trophy and cash for a celebration night. I decided not the enter this as I had a number fo things to clear up before I was ready to take this on.

While doing some shopping at Costco for non food items(yes it can be done) I came across a book that I heard and read about, “Wheat Belly” by William Davis MD. In it, he states that we have changed wheat so much in the last 50 years that it has caused a number of health issues.

The genetically modified wheat of today bears no resemblance to the wheat of 10,000 years ago.  Back then it had 14 chromosomes and today with modifications it has over 42 and we have done all this modification without testing any of these changes to see how they will affect people or animals. This has led to dramatic increases Autism, diabetes, ADHD, and obesity.

I have been reading this book this weekend and some of the information sounds very much like the Paleo Diet but with some tweaks and modifications. There are some diary and alcohol items as long as they do not have wheat included and yes some diary does have wheat derivatives – check the ingredient labels if it says it has a starch of any type it more than likely is made from wheat.

I am going to do a bit more reading on this, but this might be worth a try once the fridge is emptied. That may take a week or two as no matter what anyone says I will not throw out good food just to go on experimental diet.

It will also give me time to perfect some recipes as I have all the ingredients to make bread substitutions, like flaxseed wraps or foccaccias.

At the gym a lot of the members are going to be doing a Paleo Diet 30 Day Challenge. This is the first time I am not involved in one of these challenges. Right now my mind-set is not focused on this part of my recovery and joining in would only put one team into a deficit situation causing them to lose the challenge. However that does not mean I cannot eat well and provide a recipe for a tasty meal. I chose to lead off with the one world’s most popular Thai dish the famous Masaman Curry which meets all the requirements of the Paleo challenge at the gym as they have decided to include “honey” this time around. Honey is the only modification to this recipe as  the Thai people use Palm Sugar in their recipe.

I got this recipe from Thai teacher who taught Home Economics and worked in cookery lab since 1974 in Bangkok.

What you need is a good heavy mortar and pestle, I have a stone mortar and pestle that I brought back from Phuket in my luggage and that is another story altogether. You can use any type of meat, chicken, pork or beef as it is interchangeable. In Thai cooking, no times are provided as it is done through taste, smell and feel. which makes it hard to replicate each time but provides a new flavour experience each time you do a dish.

Spice mixture for Masaman: 3 dried chillies, seeds removed, soaked in water – 1 tsp of salt – 1 tsp minced roasted “Galangal” (ginger can be used if none available) – 1 heaping tbsp thinly sliced roasted lemon grass – 5 roasted shallots – 2 roasted garlic bulbs – 2 cloves roasted and ground – 1 tbsp ground roasted coriander seeds – 1 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds – 5 peppercorns – 1 tsp shrimp paste

Place spice mixture in mortar and pound until ground and mixed thoroughly.

The other ingredients: 1/2 kg of choice of meat – 3 cups of coconut milk – 2 tbsp roasted peanuts – 5 peeled onions (100 grams) – 5 small sweet potatoes cut in large pieces – 3 bay leaves – 5 roasted cardamom pods – 1 piece of roasted cinnamon 1 cm long – 3 tbsp honey – 3 tbsp tamarind juice – 3 tbsp lemon juice

Cut choice of meat in 2 inch chunks

Place two cups of coconut milk in a pot (large enough to hold all the ingredients) with the choice of meat and simmer until tender. If you use beef use more coconut milk for the longer cooking time required.

Heat remaining coconut milk in another pot then add spice mixture and cook until fragrant (see no cooking time use your nose). Pour into pot with meat and add peanuts. Taste and adjust the flavour as it is sweet, salty and sour by adding tamarind juice, honey and lemon juice. Add bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon, sweet potatoes and onion and simmer until tender.

Serve with an assortment of pickled veggies – I have my own pickled carrots and I use pickled ginger as well  – or a salad.

Pounding the spices is the longest part of this recipe for time. Once they are ready the process does not take that long.

 

Random Thoughts

Whoever thought up burpee squat cleans should be shot.

When I am in a paleo challenge, people at work should not be allowed to bring in Subway sandwiches, pizza or any other food that leaves a lingering smell.

How hard is it to flush a toilet?

Aston Martin Vanquish

My dentist’s chair is very comfortable

Do dental hygienists/assistants just touch your fillings with a metal probe just to see how high you can jump?

Finally someone figured out how to reduce calls to city hall – pave a road or two and get rid of the pot holes.

They hire people to tell me to move over in construction zone when there is a huge tractor parked in the lane that is blocked.

Why do electricians have to tell people the switch is not working – why do you think you were called?

does anyone know how to train a cat?

older people(+75) driving have only two speeds – OMG and WTF both can be followed with “get retested”

how hard is it to put a sewer opening at the lowest point in the road or parking lot – is that not where the water will collect

We have a sign at work on the washroom stall door that says “Please be considerate of others when using the facilities” – I still have not figured out how to be considerate when I am taking a crap.

The first day after the challenge is almost over. The Facebook comments from the group are very amusing. People immediately hitting the “sauce” or sugar, I think a few glasses of wine were in some people’s list for the night, some were even torturing themselves by having cake or Oreos in the house and not doing anything but think about them. I do not have a big sweet tooth, however I do like to make desserts and things. This is good as I have no problem with sugary sweets and every now and again I will crave something, chocolate, pastry, ice cream or whatever but I usually have those once or twice a year. I still have Ice cream in the freezer from before the challenge as well as wine and liquor. Not much of a drinker any more and use the alcohol for cooking and now that the challenge is over I can use it again.

Thank goodness curry does have alcohol in it.

I have also dropped 10 pounds during this challenge and will take pics tomorrow and post. With that a minor goal was achieved and that was to get closer to 205 lbs. I am now within 12 of the ultimate goal of 195 and that may require another challenge to kick-start the weight loss. The weight loss is good as my vacation is now one week away . The temperature in Phuket Thailand is 28C and will get up to 34C during the next week. I am loving it, sorry Mickie D, and the beach is looking good.

If I can find an internet cafe I will post from Phuket.

The postings will probably start to diminish as the week progresses.

Until then, keep mobilizing.

Today is the last day of the challenge at our Crossfit Box and our team, Lift Heavy, has been getting our collective butts kicked by Team Go Faster. If we were cavemen, our team would have starved or been taken over by the other tribe and used as slave labour.

Well someone had to lose and unless they come in with some big cheats over the weekend and tonight we don’t stand a chance. I wonder what the winning team receives other than bragging rights. It was in good fun and it helped a lot of the new people get acquainted with the Paleo Diet in a team environment. In the end all the participants are the winners as everyone managed to reduce the amount of preservatives and other things that should not be in food out of their diets.

The next challenge I have is to make sure we don’t miss the flight to Thailand in 10 days. Sunday was an awakening of sorts that winter can happen at any time. Luckily we only had some minor power outages that lasted for 10-15 minutes but I am sure other parts had more. I do know that it has been a while since I had to scrape the windshield off as the snow was packed on the car, the trunk was a bitch to open as it was frozen shut.

Tomorrow is going to be a sugar rush day as people have been dropping off Halloween treats at my desk all day, telling me to save them for tomorrow. Insulin levels after 30 days of natural sugar will just skyrocket, may need an epi pen to get through the day.

Will let you know how I fare.

Until then, keep loose and stretch.

With Halloween coming up and all the treats and food that will be doled out, it will be difficult to resist any of the “leftovers” that will be around. Thankfully it will be only for that night and then I can cash in on those. The one thing that I will be doing is a making an apple flan on Tuesday night. I have made a few for people so far this month and have a list of items that people have already ordered, from Christmas Cakes (real ones), cookies and various flans. They will have to wait until after the vacation and that might even more interesting as Bangkok is flooding, there are reports of snakes and crocodiles swimming in the flooded streets, people have left the city however when you have 10 million people in one city it would have to be monumental to be noticeable.

I think it would be an interesting time, one of those moments where by accident and timing you are at one country’s event that has not happened in over half a century. Now that is mind-blowing, still dangerous, but very cool.

The workouts this week have been very demanding and my body is feeling every days’ workout. The Thursday massage helped, but I was so dead from the workout that I don’t remember how it felt until after a few hours. It was not good. Getting up today was a challenge in itself and I had not expected to be that sore. I must have pushed myself very hard and todays was not much better. Am I nuts? Who does this to themselves on a regular basis? If I had a mirror I could at least point at someone.

I am only 2 pounds from my first number and 12 pounds away from my ultimate goal of 195.

Keeping the faith on this one as people who have known me for a while, have said I am wasting away. They may be right as I have lost 20% of my body weight since starting Crossfit 11 months ago. Dropping 50lbs overall and 10lbs this month can have that effect on people. I have the next three days to drop 2 pounds and I will have reached my goal of 205 for this challenge.

Keeping my fingers crossed on this.

 

Only four days to go including Friday and the Paleo Diet Challenge is over. I have been looking forward to that since Monday. I have already got my meals for the day planned. I will be making some Rye bread on the weekend and I have some homemade crabapple and plum jelly and almond butter ready to go. My own version of a PB and J sandwich, lunch will be the usual since Tuesday is a workday however for dinner I have not decided if I want a Pizza or go out and eat. Funny thing is, that will be it for the gorging as I am making an apple flan for dessert and will indulge in a scoop of ice cream.

With the way the workouts have been lately I have all of a sudden started to drop the pounds again. A nice change after a period of stagnation. I may get to the number I feel I should be at which is 195 before the end of the November. I never knew that losing 10 pounds would make that much of a difference. Today I had a number of people tell me that I must be oing something right because it looks I lost a ton. Makes me feel good but only a few pounds to go, then I need to watch the diet as it will be a little more stricter in the training. I have already been called out for “no reps” on a few movements.

Everyone at the gym knows my goal and they are all very supportive. My own gut feeling is that I am not quite there but I am a  helluva lot closer than last year. There are a few things that need lots of work and some that just need better technique but overall I am doing okay. This March will let me know how I stand in the world as I need to make top 20 to qualify and the competition gets harder every year and then the Atlantic Hopper in July (maybe… if I dont qualify for the games).