Paleo Challenge Update: Week Two

Another paleo week down! Honestly, this is a lot easier to do than I thought! It requires a little creativity on occasion, but I’m really enjoying eggs and bacon for breakfast and almond milk in my coffee every morning. Plus, I’m getting much more versed in what it means to eat a paleo diet, so it’s getting much easier to explain to people what it all means.

Favorite Meal

I can pick two, right? I’m picking two. The truth is, there have been way more than two incredibly delicious meals this week, but let’s not belabor how spoiled I am at dinner time. So I’m picking one home cooked meal and one meal out.

Over the weekend after taking one of the LA Conservancy’s walking tours through downtown Los Angeles, we spent the rest of the day wandering around downtown… an old used and collectable book store, the fabric district, and the arts district. We stopped at one of our favorite sushi spots for lunch, and since rice is out for paleo we ordered a mouth watering collection of sashimi. Yum!.

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Then, a few nights ago the hubby brought home a flank steak, grilled it to perfection and put together a sort of broken down fajita. We had the steak with roasted zucchini  eggplant, and peppers. I even got to use the leftover guacamole for a cobb salad the next day for lunch, so I’d call that a double success!

DSCN0544Favorite Snack

Ok, this has been by far my favorite discovery of this week. For No Tech Tuesday this week we decided to do a little paleo baking. Yes, that’s what I said. Paleo baking. We made this recipe for “‘I Can’t Believe It’s Paleo’ Banana Bread“, and it was so delicious!

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Great as a snack for sure, but my favorite way to eat it was pan fried with a little butter and a side of eggs for breakfast. It was almost like having french toast! I will definitely be making this again this week. (By the way, if you are gluten challenged, this is completely gluten free and definitely worth a try!)

DSCN0569Something Learned

This week I was learning to limit my snacking. Especially with that delicious banana bread, I wanted to just keep eating more. Same with almonds, they are so easy to grab a handful and snack away! But part of a paleo diet is balancing the kind of foods you are eating. Remember last week when I mentioned there are a lot of gray areas for what foods are ok or not? Some of them (like almonds, and I’m sure all the stuff that’s in that banana bread) are considered “paleo, but…” Meaning it’s paleo, but in moderation. The idea is to limit yourself to the amount of food that you might come across if you were actually in a forest somewhere gathering your meal.

How I Feel

I feel balanced. Ok, how do I explain that… My energy level has been pretty consistent throughout each day, which I’m attributing to the lack of my usual sugar highs followed by sugar crashes. I surprisingly have not been having crazy cravings for things though. I think I’m actually getting a reasonable amount of sugar to satisfy my would-be cravings just by eating delicious things like pineapple and mango on occasion. This little “challenge” of mine has been surprisingly easy to adapt to. Now, onward, to week three!

I would love to hear about your paleo experiences! Leave ’em in the comments!

5 Activities to Avoid Glowing Rectangles

Technology is great. It allows us to video-chat with friends on the other side of the world; look up the answer to random questions within seconds; navigate our way to someplace we’ve never been before, just based on an address. We work more efficiently because of email, entertain ourselves with tv shows and movies, and play video games “to maintain peak hand-eye coordination.”
When you have a desk job like me, you spend your entire day looking at a computer monitor. On top of that, if you’re in the entertainment business like me, many times you are stepping away from your computer monitor only to look at a tv monitor or film screen. Or someone else’s computer monitor. And we all know how prevalent cell phone use is. Not to mention e-readers and tablets. That’s a lot of strain on your eyes over the course of a day!

Realizing that we have a habit of coming home from glowing work rectangles only to immediately sit down at our home computer or turn on the tv, the hubby and I decided to institute one evening a week with no glowing rectangles allowed. We are calling it “No Tech Tuesday.”

In honor of stepping away from the glowing rectangles in your life, here is a list of 5 activities you don’t need computer technology to enjoy.

Play a Game

Whether a board game or card game, this is a great way to pass the time! Try choosing a strategy game like Risk or Settlers of Catan, or a word game like Scrabble or Bananagrams to keep your intellect extra engaged.

Read a Book

You can’t beat good old fashioned story-telling with words! Chose a fiction book like Water for Elephants for a quick entertaining read that lets you easily escape into another time. If you’re more interested in stories about real people, you might try Me Talk Pretty One Day for a laugh out loud account of David Sedaris’ life, as told by David himself. For history and science lovers, try Bill Bryson’s funny yet eye-opening A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Work on a Craft Project

This could be the perfect opportunity to work on that scrap book you started five years ago. Or better yet, learn how to knit or crochet so you can make that scarf you always wanted to try to make. For a bigger project, maybe refinish that chair you found at the flea market last week, or repaint that old dresser you’ve had for years. The sky’s the limit, just follow your ambitions!

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Physical Fitness

Use your extra time free from your computer to take a hike, a walk, or go for a run. And I mean it, leave that iPod at home. Use the sounds of nature (or the sounds of your city) to motivate you on your journey! Maybe even take a moment to chat with a fellow hiker you meet along the way; embrace that human interaction! If you’re not much for walking or running, try taking that yoga or pilates class you’ve been meaning to try. You won’t regret how good you’ll feel afterwards!

Cook or Bake Something New

Remember when you were perusing the internet last week and saw that amazing recipe for a double fudge chocolate cheesecake? Or what about that delicious sounding lamb osso bucco recipe you saw the other day? Even if you’ve never cooked or baked anything in your life, now’s the time to give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose. You’ll probably learn something new and have a delicious meal to follow!

What do you do at home to relax and rest your eyes from a technology-filled day?