Recipes soon!

1 Feb

I guess it’s time I started telling y’all what I actually eat.  I have spent a lot of time talking about how I feel when I am being faithful to the Paleo lifestyle (energetic, positive, even more confident?) versus when I am not being faithful (headachy, sluggish, stomach aches).  

One of my favorite reasons for checking out other Paleo blogs is to gather recipes.  It’s not that I can’t come up with things on my own…as a matter of fact, my meals usually consist of throwing together whatever Paleo-friendly foods I can.  But I like to have ideas for things that my family might be willing to eat.  After all, I AM trying to drag them (Kicking and Screaming) into the Paleo lifestyle, right?

So, one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that not all Paleo-compliant foods will give me the results I want.  Shocking, right?  Items that contain sugar…even natural sugar (honey, maple syrup, even sugary fruits) should be kept to a minimum, even limited to the “occasional treat” category.  We are trying to retrain our bodies to NOT crave sugar.  This little indulgences add up and sabotage our efforts.  And many recipes online are “technically” Paleo, but do not meet this standard.  I mean, I don’t imagine many cavemen came home to a batch of freshly baked “Paleo brownies”.

Where does that leave us?  Well, I believe in having fun with food and trying new things.  One of my favorites it curry.  I never thought I liked curries before.  I have tried Thai food and it left me wanting.  But some of the Paleo recipes have been fabulous.  

My favorite at the moment is a shrimp and veggie stir-fry curry.  I will post a recipe soon, but it basically consists of sauteing whatever stir-fry veggies I have on hand in coconut oil adding in a bit of curry paste (I prefer green, but red is good, too) some coconut milk to create a sauce and then throwing in some large shrimp and cooking until done.  It’s that easy.  And it is GOOD!

I hope you will check back for recipes as I start to develop this blog more.  I am really excited about the changes I am seeing and will continue to share them with you.  Until next time…




I’m Seeing a Theme

29 Jan

I have been remiss about keeping up with this blog.  It seems that the only time I update it lately is when I have had a particularly bad day (in terms of eating), and I just want to vent about how horrible I feel.

What I truly want out of this blog is for it to be a learning experience for both myself and my readers.  I am trying (in the midst of my crazy busy life) to learn all I can about the Paleo lifestyle and incorporate it into my daily life as best as possible.

So, enough of the venting for now…although I am sure it will happen again in the future!

I want to start sharing some of my favorite recipes, resources, tips, and tricks.  Of course, I am in the midst of my learning curve right now, so we will be learning together :-).

What I have learned after 6 weeks of eating Paleo:

1.     Preparation is key.  I cannot stress this enough.  You absolutely must plan your meals.  This is hard for a scattered mom-type (like myself), but it is vital to your success.  Taking the time to plan meals, make specific shopping lists, and do some basic food prep on the weekends will pay you back huge dividends when you are tempted to just scrap this whole Paleo “thing” and call Papa John’s.

2.     Carb “flu” is temporary.  The carb “flu” is that horrible feeling you get as your body transitions from using carbs for fuel to using fat.  This also could have a lot to do with your body flushing out a lot of the toxins from all of the processed junk you have been using for food.  Don’t get discouraged…it is temporary.  For me, it happened about 3 days into my Paleo life.  I was headachy, grouchy, incoherent for one evening, and just felt all-around crappy.  But, I did not give in to my body’s nagging for sugar, and I got through it.  And you will too.

3.     You must plan for set-backs or distractions.  This has been the toughest part for me.  My husband is stationed here at the U.S. Army War College, and we have the opportunity for tons of social events, parties, coffees, etc.  I am not willing to live in a cave, just because I am eating like a caveman.  So this is where my greatest weaknesses have shown up.  As a matter of fact, I was very vigilant around Christmas…didn’t indulge when I was at holiday parties, but still attended.  But over the past few weeks, I have given myself more leniency, and have noticed the difference in my energy level and in my waistline 😦

4.     Don’t forget to exercise.  The thing I love about the Paleo lifestyle is that it does not require you to trudge along on the treadmill for hours like other exercise programs do.  Rather, Paleo fitness focuses on functional strength…moving the way our bodies were intended to move and performing life-enhancing movements rather than repetitive, destructive movements.  Now, this is another area that I need to improve.  I have been relying on the food to do the work…and it will, at first.  But exercise is vital to keeping our bodies healthy…and that’s the whole reason we are doing this Paleo “thing”, right?

5.     Don’t expect your friends/family to understand…but don’t give up on them.  My family thought I was nuts, but they are starting to come around in some ways.  My kids still want their cereal and noodles, and my husband still wants his dairy, but they are all eating more fruits and veggies.  My teenagers are asking me to make them some of my Paleo dishes from time to time.  So, there is hope!  But even if they don’t come around all the way, we are still doing much better than before.


Well, there you have it: my first 5 “Tips” for becoming Paleo.  I hope this helps.

And here’s a bonus tip…read, read, read…Sarah Fragoso, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, and Robb Wolf are some of my favorite authors to start with.

Good luck!



Dinner Party…blah

12 Jan

Well, I am more of a believer now than ever!  So here I was, going along, minding my own business, enjoying my happy little paleo-living, weight-losing,  energy- filled self.  And I got an invitation to the dreaded dinner party last night.  Oh I was thrilled to attend.  The company was fantastic, the conversation waas great, and the food was….well, shall we say markedly NOT paleo.  Traditional lasagna, chicken parmesan, bread, and plenty of wine.

Today, you better believe I am feeling every bit of it!


Well, shut my mouth!

29 Dec

Basically, I am back at square one…aaaargh!  I have allowed myself to fall almost completely off the Paleo wagon.  I know I can climb back on, but I am so scared of the dreaded “low-carb flu”.  Oh well, I guess I should be more scared of long term health problems, huh?  So, it’s onward and upward from here (even though I have family visiting).  

     Anyway, the incident that inspired the title of this post is something that happened yesterday…something so outrageous, something so unbelievable, something so outside the realm of possibility that I nearly face-planted on the bathroom floor when I heard it.  My husband said he would be willing to “try Paleo” (at least a modified version of it).  He is not willing to give up dairy, but I’m okay with that…he is a big boy and can make his own decisions.  I am just thrilled that he is getting interested in his health and that now it will be a bit easier to prepare meals.  Plus, if he is on board, it will be easier to get the kids to eat more “real” foods.  All-in-all, a win-win!  Yay!

Getting Convinced

20 Dec

Day 17: 20 Dec. 2012

It’s starting to get a little easier…a little.  I would have to say that the toughest thing has been the procurement of food when I am not at home, especially when I am with the family.  I think I am really going to have to come up with a solution for running around town,since I seem to do that a LOT.  

Let’s face it, my kids are my life.  They have school, sports, homework, friends, and responsibilities (not necessarily in that order!)  And with six of them running around, I have enough trouble making sure that they are all fed and relatively clean…nevermind making sure that they are eating Paleo!  I think I am slowly making some gains with them.  Michael gnawed on a cucumber and sweet peppers as a snack rather than grabbing a granola bar…score!

But for me, I have to be careful that a lack of planning and preparation doesn’t cause me to get too far off track.  I am learning to make better choices, but I cannot say they have been the best choices.  

I still have yet to go out and get grass-fed beef and organic produce.  But I am making changes a little at a time, and honestly, I feel my taste buds changing.  I even smelled a loaf of fresh-baked french bread in a grocery store, and it didn’t smell good to me!  What’s up with THAT?  LOL

Anyway, I am convinced this is the way to go.  Now, I just have to make time to workout and get enough sleep.  Hmmm…

Yikes…getting behind!

17 Dec

Day 14: 17 Dec. 2012

It’s been several days since I have posted…this has been a crazy week!  (But with 6 kids, every week is crazy!)

Well, I have made it two weeks, with only one slip-up…on Day 10, we celebrated Katie and Mary’s 16th birthday with take-out Chinese and store-bought cake and ice t.   According to the Paleo Nazis at the Whole9 Community Forums, I should have started over (sigh!)  However, I am going to keep counting as if it never happened.  Not because I think it was okay to do, but because I am aware of how I react to “failure” and I think it is ridiculous to allow one mistake or poor decision to send you completely away from a program that is helping, at least until I have built that “willpower muscle” more.  I’m sure there are people who would disagree and who think I am copping out…oh well…whatever.

I believe I have lost some weight, so that feels good.  I know that my clothes are fitting better, and I am in fact gaining energy, even during this crazy Christmas season.

We went to a Holiday Reception over the weekend where there was tons of gourmet food, and copious amounts of “adult” beverages.  And…go me…I stuck with water!  When people asked why I wasn’t drinking (suspecting I was pregnant) my husband chimed in with “Oh, she’s doing this Paleo-diet-thing.”  Most people had never heard of it.  Or they had heard of it, but didn’t know what it was.  Since I haven’t established an “elevator speech” yet, I had trouble explaining it.  Guess that will have to be on this week’s to-do list.

The other big hurdle I am facing is the family.  The older kids are pretty good about eating whatever I put in front of them.  And the littles will “fall in to place” if I keep introducing it slowly.  But they all still like their cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and pasta or potatoes with dinner.  And they, like their mother, are crazy about dairy products.  But the biggest challenge is my husband.  He is very much a traditional American man.  He is glad I am “doing something” to help myself get healthier.  But he is anxious for me to get back to eating “normal”.  I am hoping to get him to try Paleo as well (I love him so much, and want him to be healthy and full of energy and around for many many years).  This will be a test of my emotional strength and resolve!

Well, Christmas is a week away, and I have a TON to do, so I’d better get going.  Hopefully, it won’t be as long between posts this time!  Until next time!




And So It Begins

14 Dec


Kicking and Screaming

Entry 1: Tuesday, 4 December, 2012


I don’t want to try a Paleo diet.  I don’t believe in “fad” diets, and I am afraid that this is just the next in a long line of fads that will fizzle out in the next few months or years once the market is saturated with cookbooks, diet plans, blogs, etc.  After all, I have my degree in health education with a certificate in nutrition.  I have lost weight the healthy way in the past.  Why should I try something different?


Well, frankly, I have reached a “healthy level of disgust.”  I am tired of feeling like a sloth.  I am tired of mood swings.  I am tired of running to food to “fix” my problems (which it never does, anyway).


Now I am a typical American woman.  I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to socialize in settings that involve food.  I love comfort food.  Macaroni and cheese in any form is heavenly.  Pasta hearkens back to my Italian heritage.  And don’t get me started on homemade breads, cookies, cakes, and brownies.  I love it all.  And I love the “homey” feeling that comes with baking up batches of my family’s favorite goodies.


But I am not getting any younger.  And neither am I getting any more energetic, any healthier, or any happier.  The “younger” part…I can’t change that.  But I can change the other parts.  I know that I am going to have to suffer some withdrawal symptoms, but that’s just too darn bad.  I believe that it is worth it.  (I just hope that I am still believing this 2 days from now!)


Here is my goal:  I want to finish the Whole 30 program by January 5th.  I would really like to attend the nutrition talk in Philadelphia that will be given by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, the authors of It Starts With Food.  I also want to lose 20 pounds by my husband’s birthday (April 17th).  Finally, I want to wear my blue Victoria’s Secret dress (with pride!) to my 20 year high school reunion in June.


Is this gonna be tough?  You bet.  Am I up for it?  Absolutely.

Happy Mom Healthy Mom

Life is good. Life is fun.

Beth Jusino

...helping you tell a better story


sports and spirit is all you need

Jumping into the Paleo lifestyle...kicking and screaming all the way!

Cosmopolitan Cornbread

food, family, faith and homesteading

Happy Mom Healthy Mom

As a crazy-busy, but very happy Army wife and mother to 6, this is my place to unwind and connect.