Caveman Resurrection

Strategies & Tips for a Primal/Paleo Approach to Enhanced Health

Archive for the tag “weight loss”

Trick or Treating… the Primal/Paleo Way

Halloween is just around the corner.  Millions of kids across the U.S. get to trick or treat.  Out of that mass of kids, no doubt a few thousand out of the group will prefer “tricking” unsuspecting homeowners with bags of flaming poo at their doorstep when the treat isn’t there.  I’m not suggesting this trick, mind you.  Just saying…

But who needs to wait until Halloween to trick a little?  Me, I chose last night to do some tricking.  And there’s nothing more fun to trick people with, especially kids, than with food.  We’re not talking about harmful tricking like that lame mom who fed her child hot sauce as a way to punish them.  We’re talking about giving them something they will love with some “creative coaxing.”  My unsuspecting friends were teenagers.  Who doesn’t enjoy tricking that crowd?  🙂

If you haven’t guessed by now, there are a lot of Primal/Paleo foods that the standard person is surprised to learn they can eat on the plan – like lots of fat, bacon, eggs, etc.  But one recipe that I thoroughly enjoy “introducing” people to is Chocomole.

A friend of mine, Taryn (gotta give you credit for the recipe AND the picture!) was the first person to make me aware of Chocomole.  I love the name, so if you’re new to it, it rhymes with Guacamole.  Uh – chocolate with guacamole makes Chocomole?  Seriously?  Well, kinda.  But before you get skeptic and all, stick with me here.  It gets better.  Trust me.

OK, so here are the ingredients I used, liberally borrowing from Taryn’s recipe, to serve for four people:

  • 4 avocados
  • 2 bananas
  • 3-4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • organic honey (2 tbsp honey)
  • Coconut milk
I cored the avocados and scooped out the innards and put them in my food processor.  Peel the bananas and throw them in along with the cocoa powder and the honey.  Process the mix until you get a smooth consistency.  Once there, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk and mix a little more.  Done.  The outcome should resemble a pudding like texture.

 

I love good food presentation, so here’s a trick I learned a while back.  I like to use a quart size zip loc bag or something like.  Put the Chocomole in the bag, cut off a corner and then squeeze out the mixture into a wine glass.  Using this method allows a clean way to get the pudding into the glass without making a mess.  You can add a little whip cream if you like if you’re Lacto-tolerant.  Finish it all off with 85% dark chocolate which you microplane/grate.  Sprinkle some on top and place in the fridge for an hour or two.

 

So, here’s the trick:  present the dessert and let the audience make their own assumptions.  Undoubtedly some will ask what is in it and you smile innocently and ask them what flavors they can pick out.  Some will say they can taste the bananas right off the bat.  Nod and say yes.  Tell them there is honey and cocoa powder.  That sets them at ease.  Say there is some coconut milk.  They are usually OK with that.  Then just enjoy.

 

After my young friends were more than halfway done with their dessert last night, I decided it was time.  I posed the question – there IS something in this that you haven’t mentioned yet.  Do you know what it is?  After many guesses, I decided it was time and disclosed it also had avocado.  You can guess the reactions – “I’m not eating anymore!  That’s like that stuff in guacamole, right?  Ugh!” and “You have got to be kidding me, right?  It’s really good.  I could tell there was something different, but it’s not bad.”

 

With a base of avocados, this is full of fat.  Good, high quality fat!  So it WILL fill you up.  But it’s great for entertaining friends and watching their expression.  It’s also a great reward food for you as well as a reminder that in a Primal/Paleo world, there are totally high quality alternatives we can enjoy.

 

If you haven’t tried this dessert, it’s highly recommended.  Search around on the web and you’ll find many variations of this treat.  Combine that with some unsuspecting people and there you have it:  Trick AND Treat, Primal/Paleo style.

 

Life is good.

 

What Primal/Paleo foods have you prepared that surprised people when they learned of its ingredients?
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What Does An Average Paleo Day Look Like?

If there is one question I get from people the most, it is what does an ideal Paleo day look like?  I get it all the time, but truth be told, I enjoy those kinds of questions because it shows interest and gives me a chance to show people how truly easy it is.  So with no real plan this morning about how I would end my day blogging about this, here is what I did today.  Before I go any further, I’m not advocating EVERYONE HAS TO DO IT THIS WAY.  There are  many average Paleo Days and variations.  This is simply how I spent mine, OK?

My alarm woke me at 5 A.M.  OK, let’s start there – that is not ideal, waking up that early, right?  But I choose to do that so that I can get my workout in and start my day feeling productive.  From there I headed to my garage where I have a squat rack and an Olympic weight set.  I did a little stretching and then did my Stronglifts 5X5 program.  That consisted of 5 reps of 5 sets of compound movements; today’s exercises were squats, overhead presses and deadlifts.  I rested a little between sets and then finished up.  Coming back inside, I grabbed my iPod and looked at where I am on the 100 Pushups Program, something else I enjoy doing as part of my workout.  I finished a total of 100 pushups and then got my day started.

One topic that comes into play at some point with Paleo/Primal folks is intermittent fasting.  What that means for me is I typically don’t eat past 8 PM at night, I train fasted which is shown to raise growth hormone levels and then I hold off eating until noon.  This fasting period allows the body’s system to rest and recover.  In addition, like the Paleo Man, it forces my body to turn to body fat for energy versus being the standard American sugar burner.  It works for me, but it may not work for everyone.  If you are new to a Paleo/Primal diet, I’d suggest focusing on that first.  Once you have your diet dialed in, you may wish to fast from time to time as well.  I pick up a lot of my intermittent fasting advice from Martin Berkhan over at LeanGains.

I brought my lunch to work today, which is pretty typical.  I brought an organic yam and some Smokey Pot Roast.  But as lunch time got closer, I felt like chicken.  A nearby grocery store sells rotisserie chickens, so I went and picked one up, eating about half to 3/4 of it.  Yum!  The yam was awesome too, but it took about 10 minutes to cook off in the microwave.  It WAS a monster!  That would be my only carb source of the day.

Once home, I wanted to save some foods in the fridge for the next evening, so I kept it simple.  I made breakfast for dinner and had four strips of bacon, sauteed some mushrooms in my bacon fat, added my eggs to the pan and scrambled them up.  Then I added half of a sliced avocado, grabbed a big cup of water and settled in to watch the World Series (Go Cardinals!).  I also supplemented the meal with 5 fish oil capsules and 5 Vitamin D capsules.

The one thing I miss but I am experimenting with is less coffee this week.  My morning main stay is coffee with heavy cream.  My adrenals get overloaded with my coffee intake, so once in a while I pull back from coffee for up to a month to make sure my system is not overly reliant on it and to change things up.

And that, my friends, is a typical Paleo day for me.  How about you?

Is it “Who Me?” or “Yeah, it was me….”

OK, let’s talk a little caveman today.  This blog is about Primal/Paleo after all right?  And while the term “caveman” is probably used more than “cavemen,” no man/woman is an island unto themselves.  Hunting wild game back in the day, as well as today, often involves coordination amongst the tribe.  And once the game had been and killed, can’t you see the tribe dancing around the fire, drinking some prehistoric, fermented Wooly Mammoth pee and loving life?  Man is a social creature after all.

Sadly, there are those who think they don’t need anyone or they hide from others, but at the end of the day, the result is the same for these individuals.  No support.  And for those with no support, it kinda sucks, huh?

SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Who Me?

Support and accountability is a key component as you begin your Caveman Resurrection.  Once you’ve identified your WHY and your HOW, logged it in your journal and you’re progressing, seek out a friend who will support you and create a process to check in and report how well you are doing.  In this day and age of social networking, you can have several accountability partners instead of just one.  I recommend finding at least one who you can interact with face to face and then find another mechanism online to trade stories or support others.  Start a blog of your own, tweet your workout, update your Facebook status and confess your sins – whatever it takes.  Above all, admit your faults, identify them, journal them, but NEVER deny them.  You’ll only be hurting yourself.

One nice way to hold yourself accountable is through the use of Google Docs.  Construct a spreadsheet where you log your meals and workouts each day.  Include a notes section.  Then share that spreadsheet with an accountability partner so they can see what you are eating and how you are doing.  Give them permission to call you out and highlight in red the areas you strayed but to highlight the areas in green you did great.  It’s easy, it’s real-time and it is one more way you can journal your progress.

An accountability partner is a close friend but one you give full permission to remind you and steer you back on the path when things go off track.  Sign a contract or agreement that you both sign as a formal way that this change/journey you are going down is something you take serious.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

When those moments of weakness hit, and they will, remember this quote from George Burns.  None of us got fat overnight, right?  And your weight loss won’t be resolved overnight.  Remind yourself that all of those little steps you used to take created the avalanche you are now cleaning up.  Stop snowing and start melting that fat.  You can do it.  One step at a time.

SPOUSES ARE NOT ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS

Spouses do not count as accountability partners.  While they may support your efforts, when push comes to shove they may have a hard time holding you accountable.  Marriage is tough enough; then when you give them the right to pound you down when you have a moment of weakness and they act on it – NOT A GOOD THING.  That stressful day at work that “forced you” to eat that chocolate just got a lot more stressful when your spouse thought they were gently reminding you of your goals.  Before you know it, you not only went back on your word, but you put your spouse in a difficult spot where they came out the loser instead of you.  So, let’s be clear – accountability partners can’t be your significant other UNLESS you can seriously face the critiques you asked them to give you.

How does being accountable feel to you?  Do you see that as a hindrance or a help?  If you see it as a hindrance, why?  Add your thoughts in the comment section!

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