At the start of November,  I started a month-long experiment based on a set of rules in a quest for self-improvement called No-fucking-up-vember.

Today marks the end of Week 3.

My notes!

  • I’ve started trying to integrate paleo into my more normal not-cooking-3-meals-a-day life. I’ve managed to do paleo at a couple of different restaurants. I am limited still in choices of places I can eat and it really is amazing how little technicalities can stand in the way. I had a striped sea bass dinner that ended up turning into the tiniest of cheating because it came in a miso soup (miso is fermented bean paste so it’s kind of a fine line)
  • I lost more weight again this week. Not as much as last week, but a couple of pounds. I know this sounds like, “Oh yay!” but I’m not trying to lose weight so it’s kind of weird considering I’m eating plenty.
  • For perspective, I started at 124.3 pounds with 19.5% body fat, 34.3% muscle mass. I am currently 118.1 pounds with 18.1% body fat and 35.6% muscle mass. I’ve tried not to focus too much on numbers because when you get involved in weightlifting, body weight becomes very irrelevant very fast. As long as I’m healthy and in good shape, I don’t care too much about my weight.
  • Doing this experiment has really, really helped me understand body image better. Even though I have lost weight, there are still some days where I feel “fat.” I’ve realized this has absolutely nothing to do with whether I actually am fat or not or what I look like in the mirror. What you eat plays a huge role in how your body feels, no matter what your weight.  If you don’t eat enough. If you eat too much sodium. If you don’t get enough variation in macronutrients. If you’re not getting enough fiber. If you’re getting too much fiber. If you’re not treating your body right, you’re not going to feel good.
  • Thanksgiving is looming ahead next week. I’m having dinner with my boyfriend and his parents but I’m going to be cooking some of the dishes. For me, this included making a home-made cranberry sauce that I test-ran this week. When I was a kid, my mom was not a very good cook. She didn’t cook anything with fresh ingredients. We rarely ate fruits and vegetables and when we did, they were canned. So, every Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce was that canned Ocean Spray jellied cylindrical blob. That said, I had no idea how wonderful cranberry sauce could be when you make it fresh!

    Ingredients:
    12 ounces of fresh organic cranberries
    ¾ cup of juice squeezed fresh from Valencia oranges
    ½ cup of raw honey
    1 cinnamon stick

    Mix first three ingredients together in a pot and heat on low-medium for 10-15 minutes. Add cinnamon stick about halfway in.  The berries should start to pop a bit creating a more liquid mixture. Remove from heat, remove cinnamon stick, and refrigerate until ready to serve. I found that the flavor on this really hit its peak about 3 days later, but it was delicious fresh off the stove too. An old friend from school recommended adding lemon zest too but I haven’t tried that yet.

  • I found out in the past week that coffee is actually paleo-friendly (assuming you take it black, which I do). BUMMER that I’ve gone 3 weeks without it. I don’t really miss it that much on a caffeine level because my energy has been through the roof without chemically altering my brain. But I miss bold, flavor-packed coffees and that weird punch you get from a decent cold brew. On the other hand, I’ve really grown to appreciate teas. My favorite tea is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice. I cannot pimp this tea enough. Even if you don’t like teas normally, you’ll probably like this—it’s so bold and spicy.
  • Collard greens. Oh. man. When I was in grade school in South Carolina, they were often in the cafeteria lunch… that and friend okra… but it was always like, “What is this weird goopy kelp crap?” and I never really ate it that often. But man I can’t enough of it now. I love sautéed kale too because it has a more savory taste than other greens do. Also, kale chips. But yeah, collard greens. Stalks and all. I’m all in.
  • Sweet potatoes are my other love. Oiled with fresh rosemary… it’s weird to me how I never really used rosemary much outside of pasta dishes before. It pairs so well with sweet potatoes. Also: garlic with your sweet potatoes. Aghhhhh. So good. I feel like I eat a minimum of one clove of garlic per meal these days.
  • I’ve been trying to do a strict pull-up for a while now. I refuse to do kipping pull-ups so instead I’ve been doing rows and jumping pull-ups. The other day at Crossfit, I was very close to being able to do one strict! My only stalled spot is at the bottom hang. I’m sooooo close. And it feels amazing.
  • I PRed (set personal records) in the gym a few times the past week! Yay! I celebrated with flourless chocolate cake for my cheat meal.(I could only manage to eat about half of this because it tasted so rich in comparison to anything else I’ve had recently)
  • Albeit a small victory, perseverance paid off.  I’ve been loathing doing power cleans for a while now because my form is off. My coaches finally had a serious moment with me this week and spent some time giving me good feedback. I know I’m like the underdog kid when it comes to olympic lifts, but I’m so not giving up!
  • I watched a couple of documentaries–Forks Over Knives, which was about going vegan and cited that animal protein is responsible for turning on cancer, and Hungry for Change, which was about how we’re eating so much HFCS and simple carbohydrates that we’re overloading our body’s ability to process sugar.  I felt like both documentaries were both smug and yet also on-the-defense, both promoting something or some “fad.” I really appreciated Food, Inc. but trying to claim that you know what macronutrient ratio everyone needs is kind of bullshit, I think.
  • I’m suddenly very sensitive to advertising for unhealthy foods. I notice everywhere I go, people are trying to sell you junk food. And not like awesome-tasting junk food, but just throw-away crap like Little Debbie snack cakes and Dairy Queen ice cream and things that are “okay” but not so good that I can imagine squandering my rare times for eating sweets on things that are just so… mediocre? I mean, I love peanut butter M&Ms and sour gummy worms, but who is buying zebra cakes at gas station convenience stores? I kind of want to punch these people in the face.
  • I’ve got so many glasses of water laying around, it’s starting to look like the movie Signs all up in my house.
  • The weather lately has just been outright painful and has made keeping my Crossfit goals difficult considering I bike. I rode my bike in 16 degree Fahrenheit weather to get to a class this week—I had to wear 3 layers of shirt under my coat and pants over my pants. I’m grateful to my boyfriend who has taken me to and from things in his car whenever he’s available but yeah… the people at my gym said I was crazy and they’re probably right. From this, I’ve learned that it is very important to wick the sweat off your face after Crossfit before heading back into freezing weather. Because yeah, it crystallizes right there on your face and it hurts.

To close, here’s the simplest breakfast in the world:

SAMSUNG CSC

(Avocado with seed removed and egg inside with red pepper flakes, baked)

Although this one is a close second:

SAMSUNG CSC

 

(Cinnamon rolls made from almond flour and coconut flour, egg, honey, and cinnamon. I skipped the icing because who really needs that much sweet for breakfast? It was delicious on its own)