Paleo/Zero Excuses Day One: Complete

7 Nov

I’m not gonna lie. Today was not easy. But I go to sleep tonight hopeful. I could barely eat my breakfast. Giant omelet filled with veggies. But there was no delicious ketchup to go with it. I barely survived past 8am…

Eggs with peppers, onions, tomato and spinach!

Lunch was easier. Giant salad of lettuce, carrot, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and tuna with a homemade orange/lime vinegarette. I managed to almost enjoy it the whole time. I missed my honey balsamic dressing from Kens.

yum! lunch!

Snacks were (in no particular order): 2 bananas, 2 red plums and 7 baby carrots.

After work, hubby and I went for a 2.11 mile walk. Then came in and I did my squats, chest presses and kindasorta did my planks. Those sucked. Made me realize how out of shape I’ve gotten.

Dinner, however, saved the day. I had researched some recipes and found Blackened Tilapia. I made that with steamed broccoli and a sweet potato. Oh. Em. Gee. It was delish. I cook all the time but I’ve never made fish. It was perfect. Luckily I have a ton of tilapia so I will def be making it again.

Mmm! Heaven on a plate!

So I’m ending today in a high note. Hopefully tomorrow my condiment withdrawal will be a little less….

This is from the app on my phone so I’m not sure how it’ll turn out. If it’s wonky I’ll fix it Tuesday!

EDIT: Fixed all the weirdness from my app!!

Xoxo
Kerry, changing chick

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ZERO Excuses!

7 Nov

Greetings friends!! Today is my one year anniversary with my amazing husband! This time last year, my whirlwind of a fairy tale day was ending and I still had a huge smile on my face.  Today we spent a lot of time together, went to Philly to get our rings cleaned by our jeweler and then to our favorite restaurant in Society Hill – where Chris proposed and my bridal shower was!

Chris and I - 11/6/10

We made sure we got home at a reasonable hour so I could prepare my menu and food for tomorrow.  Tomorrow I start the ZERO Excuse challenge!! I am being sponsored by the ZERO ScaleThe Zero Scale is a unique, high quality bathroom scale that only reports the amount of weight you lose or gain. You never have to see your total weight again (unless you want to), making it easier for you to stay focused on incremental progress. The Zero Scale shifts the focus from “total weight” to “incremental changes”. This approach not only provides accountability, but also allows the user to focus on attainable progress that helps them achieve short and long-term goals.

The ZERO scale kit I received

Along with the scale, they hooked me up with the man who invented the scale, Rich Kreps – who is a certified personal trainer.  He emailed a workout program and a nutritional guide for the next 6 weeks.  In those 6 weeks, I will not only be following my normal gluten free diet, I will be doing The Paleo Diet.   Not only will the gluten be out of my diet, but so will a lot of items I use daily! Wikipedia has the Paleo diet described as: The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the “Paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.  Centered on commonly available modern foods, the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

The Paleo Pyramid

So… bye beans! Bye grains! Bye half and half in my coffee!  I will be replacing you with more veggies in my diet.  More proteins in my diet.  Stevia, not sugar.  Almond milk instead of half and half or milk. Replace the preservatives and man made stuff with delicious, whole, clean foods.  I think I’ll be okay! Hubs is doing it with me for support, so we shall see!

The cool thing about this challenge is the scale.  Most people focus so much on the number on the scale. What do they weigh? They get so caught up on the number on the scale.  Not how they feel.  Not on small victories when the scale shows a loss.  The concept of the The Zero Scale is to see your results without seeing the challenge ahead of you.  Think about it.  If you got on the scale once a week and a number higher than what you’d like it to be popped up, you would be focusing on that.  Not the fact that you lost 5lbs that week.  Hating yourself instead of celebrating a little victory.  Over time, the little victories add up and you end up being happy with yourself.  It’ll be interesting to have a different mindset going into this weight loss journey.

I will be putting my meals up here, my little victories, my struggles and more.  It’s pretty scary to change your way of life, but exciting too. It’s so very necessary to become a healthy person.  In the next year or so, I want to start trying to have a baby.  I need to be healthy and in shape to do that and to have a safe pregnancy.  With all my low back issues from my surgery years ago, I need to stabilize my core now.  Get in shape now so I can support the added weight of a pregnancy!  Get healthy now is my goal! And stay healthy!

Love life!

Stay tuned for my journey!  Also, if interested, I will share my workout plan with y’all.  At the end of my new adventure, I will be sharing a discount on the The Zero Scale for all of you!

Til tomorrow!

xoxo

Kerry, changing chickDISCLAIMER: The Zero Scale was given to me for free in exchange for my review and experiences.  All opinions and thoughts expressed on this journey are my own.

Trick or Treat!

26 Oct

Halloween is right around the corner and that brings to mind the worries of candies and treats for those that are gluten free  Are they safe? What candy can my kids have? (No, not my kids.. I only have my dog!)  Forget Halloween, I love candy all the time! Give me chocolate and I am a happy girl!

I came across a list from another GF website that ROCKS and shows all the candies that are gluten free – amongst other allergy warnings so that everyone is safe! I figured I would share it with you so that we can all indulge together – safely!

Gluten Free Halloween candy list

Enjoy!

xoxo

Kerry, changing chick

I would walk 500 miles…

23 Oct

Today was my walk with the HERO Campaign to create awareness and fight drunken driving tragedies – in honor of my friend Nicole who was killed by a drunk driver on 6/5/10.  I was actually the team captain and the one who got all of Nicole’s friends and family on board – with permission from her parents of course.  I found the HERO campaign and met with them and fell in love with the organization.  My team raised about $3000!!!!  We had so many more members than I anticipated.  I was shocked.  I hope I made Nicole proud.

A plane with the HERO banner over the ocean in Ocean City NJ

 

Joanna, Suzanne (Nicole's sister) and myself at the walk

Our incredible Team, Team Imagine!

No fun foods to talk about today.  Had a quick chicken cobb blt salad from Wendy’s after the walk.  Wendy’s is the only fast food joint that I have never had any cross contamination issues with and can have actual meals there.  For dinner – breakfast dinner! Pancakes and sausage! Used the GF bisquick – which rocks – and had Johnsonville Vermont Maple sausage – also GF.

I am so exhausted.  Getting up early on a Sunday is not my style lol.  Plus, the sun, the sand, the walk, and emotions tired me out!! I think I am gonna hit the hay early tonight!

G’nite folks!

xoxo

Kerry, changing chick

6.5 months in

22 Oct

I have been gluten free for six and a half months now.  Not totally… I had a few slip ups of my own and had a few cross contamination issues, but I seem to have it pretty down pat.  That doesn’t mean I am not the most paranoid person, but living without is starting to just feel normal.  I think the biggest change is my skin.  My hands no longer look like I have 3rd degree burns all over them.  The dermatitis herpetiformis made my skin so uncomfortable, itchy, ugly.. I hated it.  I have a few dry patches here and there from the skin healing and clearing up, but my hands look normal for the first time since I can remember.  I still have some blotches randomly on my body from a cross contamination I had a few weeks back, but they’re healing.  I no longer go through a tube of cortizone every few days!

I love to cook.  And bake.  So making all my own meals GF has been pretty fun.  I take some regular recipes and think of ways to make them GF.  I find I am using fresher products to make my meals.  Most people eat processed or frozen foods that I bet they can’t even pronounce half the ingredients in!

When I went to the OB/GYN last month, I discussed my new found intolerance.  Last year we had briefly discussed the issue when I thought I may be.  She decided to do blood work to check my vitamin levels.  Sure enough, I was lacking.  Vitamin D is my biggest deficiency.  I suck at taking pills though.  I mean, I swallow them fine, but I forget to take them.  I am trying my best to take the 2000 i.u. they want me to take. Fingers crossed I get better at it!

I am now starting my next health/lifestyle change. Taking better care of ME.  Now that I have my GF diet under control, here comes weightloss time.  I have lost some weight already due to just being able to properly digest my foods, cutting out a lot of the crap I used to eat (I miss donuts though lol).  I know there are GF ones from Kinnikinnick that are supposed to be good, but I don’t want to get hooked. I need to be healthy.

I started using MyFitnessPal on my phone to keep track of my calories and exercise.  So far, in two weeks, I lost 6 pounds.  That’s a start!  Today and tomorrow I have exercise already planned – my meals too!  Today we are taking our dog to the dog beach – she loves it!

I love running with mommy on the beach!

Tomorrow I will be walking the Ocean City NJ Boardwalk as part of the HERO Walk with the HERO campaign to help raise awareness and fight drunken driving tragedies.  My lifelong friend Nicole was killed by a drunk driver in June 2010.   I have a team of 17 walkers (I’m the captain!) walking with me in her memory tomorrow. It’s a 5k along the boardwalk I will be walking.  No running, too many people will be with me.  Our team is 3rd in donations right now, out of many! So I am really excited and hope that I am making Nicole proud!

Nicole

Nicole Denise Romanelli 2/4/1982-6/5/2010

For my meals this weekend, I currently have some chicken breasts in the crockpot with salsa, chicken broth and some seasonings – all GF of course.  I will let it get all delicious and shred it later to make enchiladas.  I found Mission yellow corn tortillas that are labeled GF – a very exciting find for me!  I think I am at the point where if your label doesn’t clearly say GF – I ain’t buying.  I don’t want to take any chances – it’s not worth it.  Anywho, enchiladas tonight and maybe tomorrow… Or I’ll find something else to do with the chicken. Either way, it will be delicious!

Alright, off to the dog beach! I will be writing again soon, I promise.  I think I finally got this 😉

xoxo

Kerry, changing chick

A little bit of where I am at…

26 Sep

Last post I told you I had been a guest blogger on my dear friend Jen’s blog… Here’s the post I did.. Hopefully it will give you a little more information about who I am, my journey so far and the struggles I still have…

As posted on Jen in Real Life

Greetings! I am Kerry, the changingchick… I am lucky enough to have known Jen for almost two years now. We met when I started at my current job at a Chiropractic office. It was friendship at first adjustment! LOL!  Since we met, we have developed a friendship like no other I have.  We run, hike, walk together. We buy each other produce. We are friends but friends on a path to health!  Along this journey is when I discovered something about myself and became the ChangingChick.  Here’s how it all started… (picture the dream sequence noise here…)

One day my mom called me at work – which is saved for important issues only.  She was actually home for once and had seen Dr. Oz.  “Now you know I am not this type of person (she’s not) but I was watching Dr. Oz with Elizabeth Hasselbeck and I now know what’s been wrong with you.  When you get a chance, I want you to look up gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  They said the symptoms and I said That’s Kerry”!  So I did.  I looked it up.  And I said, “wow, that’s me”.  My symptoms were not only rushing to the bathroom between meals, but I think worse than that is the “rash” all over my body.  It has pretty much been on my hands my entire life.  Sometimes in other places. But it was getting WORSE on my hands and even more random places on my body.  My shoulder blade, my armpits, my shins, my calves, my hamstrings… ALL OVER.  I go through about a tube a cortizone a week, which is just disgusting.  I went to doctor after doctor and was told I had “contact dermatitis” (even though I was resorting to using only baby products on myself).  I had MRSA winter of 2010.  I almost died.  Honestly.  Towards the end of my sickness, before my doc said I was completely clean, he tried diagnosing me with fibromayalgia to ease my mind over my stomach pains.  I refused to accept it, knowing there was more to it than that.  So when my Mom called me I felt hope – for the first time in a long time.

That weekend, I went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to get gluten free grub.  And I cried in the aisles because I was so overwhelmed.  I bought a few items I now deem as disgusting.  I understood why everyone said gluten free food was wretched.  So I ate my food.  Every day.  For about 2 weeks.  And then went to Hooter’s and had wings and beer.  I kid you not.  I love me some beer and hot wings.

Once again, I was getting sick.  My hands were raw and cracked with the “rash”.  My eternal sinus problems had returned.  So once again, I did my research, made meal plans and went gluten free.  In the meantime, I went to an awful GI doctor for blood work and got ZERO answers.  Yes, I am self diagnosed.  Yes, I see a difference in my health when I eat gluten free.

So now… here’s some of my issues.. I lead a VERY busy life.  I eat out often.  I do my research on menus, talk to managers, talk to waitstaff and take all the necessary precautions.  And still get cross contaminated.  I feel like I keep making the same meals over and over.  I find all these amazing GF recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of or are WAY expensive for my budget right now.

I love to cook. Love to bake. Love to experiment, but it’s just not in my budget to buy all the different flours and gums and pastes and yadda yadda.  I know to eats my veggies and proteins… but sometimes I want something fun. Something indulgent… So, please, don’t lecture me on my eating habits. I am truly looking for help… here’s my main problems:
1 – GF ingredients that don’t cost me an arm and leg.  I know that they will be more expensive than regular flour, but a recipe that maybe calls for one or two out of the ordinary ingredients as opposed to 5 different flours and more…
2 – Are there any GF conventions in NJ or Philly area where I can network with others in my situation?
3 – Bread – I love Udi’s toasted. Not straight up.  So my bread is fine.  But hamburger/hot dog rolls are disgusting.  I would love a sub roll.  I’m from NJ. We love subs. I love Italian subs soaking in red wine vinegar… Any suggestions for a sub roll/substitute?
4 – Am I the only one (other than my big brother who I diagnosed) that gets the rash I now know is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis?  It’s worse than the cramping and bodily functions gluten causes.  It’s uncomfortable, painful, itchy, just so awful I could cry.  Sometimes I just want to crawl out of my skin.  I am at my wits end.  (In regards to the Dermatitis Herpetiformis, I know it’s not a thyroid issue.  I already had that checked.)
So, this is my call for help.  Any advice, suggestions… anything would be appreciated.  I thank you all in advance!  Please send it to changingchick@gmail.com or visit my blog.
A HUGE thanks to Jen for not only posting this, but being an awesome friend who is always there to support me, kick my ass when I need it and be the true definition of a friend, love ya girl!
xoxo
Kerry

 

Such is life…

10 Sep

I know I haven’t written in a while.  It’s not for lack of things to say. It’s for lack of time.  My work has been so insanely busy.  All I want to do when I am not there is sit and sleep.  Seriously.  Today we slept in and planned on sitting on the couch all day.  So far – mission accomplished.

While sitting on the couch today, I decided to look at my finances.  I feel like life is just whizzing all around me and I am not paying much attention to it – or to detail, should I say.  So husband and I sat here, figured out what we make in a month, what we spend in a month, how long until our loans are paid off, etc.  Needless to say, it left me really, really depressed.  I work so hard and have nothing to show for it.  All my money is spent before I even get my check.  I know, we’re all living this American dream.  So my first plan is to stop eating out.  I only do it 2 times a week or so, but for $25+ a pop, I could get a lot more groceries and stretch my dollars even more.  My second plan is to possible get a seasonal job so I can save some money.  Because right now, there is nothing to save. I make enough to cover my bills, get gas and groceries and that’s about it.  Le sigh… such is life.

My friend Jen has an amazing blog.  The other day she “showcased” me.  I got one response so far and looking forward to more responses – hopefully.  But I’ll take what I can get and I love Jen for helping me out – you rock girlfriend!!

I’ve been doing VERY well on my gluten free diet.  My skin is clearing up,  my stomach is feeling better.  I’ve had a few run ins with cross contamination that haven’t been pretty, but I get through them and keep on chugging. I’ve been experimenting with different foods and inventing some recipes.  I also traveled a few times.  I believe I already told y’all I went to Florida.  I also took a roadtrip with my besties and a few friends to Nashville.  I love that place.  I need to find a way to move there.  We went to visit my friend R who had brain surgery, just after our visit.  She’s on the mends now, but please keep her in your prayers.  She has a long, hard recovery ahead of her.  Some of my Nashville friends also eat GF so they made sure I could eat at every place we went to.  It was fantastic.  And I went to my favorite bar, sat on the couch there and drank Strongbow cider.  Cider is GF and Strongbow is the best one I have ever had.

Speaking of alcohol, I just bought a GF beer.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I am very excited about it!!  I also found a delicious Riesling from Pacific Rim that had a VERY short lifespan in this house… oops!!

Has anyone tried this? St Peters?

Anyway, off to spend more time with the hubs… My next post, I am going to re-post what I wrote on Jen’s blog, in case anyone is reading that might have some ideas/input.

Thanks for reading! Talk to y’all soon!

xoxo

Kerry, changing chick