Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Pancake Day!

Did you know today was Pancake Day in the UK? They have an actual holiday for these delicious treats. I could really get behind a country like that. Pancakes for everyone!!! However, if you're a primal chick, pancakes of the usual type are not on the menu. Full of flour and sugar, these are forbidden fruit for us. Or are they?

We are huge fans of breakfast for dinner around here. Bacon, eggs, and pancakes made the menu more than once a month, due to them being fabooboo (C'mon, admit it. That word is growing on you.), as well as quick and easy for this tired mama to make. The thought of no more pancake nights really made me so very sad, and so I began to do some searching through all of the online paleo/primal recipes. Thankfully, there are a million different pancake versions out there. The following two are the ones we've tried that have been delicious and made everyone happy.

Coconut Flour Pancakes
Found here on the nourishing days website

4 eggs, room temperature
1 c coconut milk
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 c coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
coconut oil or butter for frying

1. Preheat the griddle to medium low heat. Beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Add milk, vanilla, and honey.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Then slowly add wet mixture until all the flour is incorporated.
3. Grease pan with coconut oil or butter. Ladle out batter into small pancakes, flattening them out with the back of the spoon. The key here is to keep the pancakes small, no larger than 3 inches in diameter, and fairly thick. Cook for about 3 minutes until the sides and top start to look a little dry, and flip. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes to finish.
4. Slather in butter, coconut oil, honey, or fruit.

These were so good. The coconut flour really does not carry much of a coconut flavor, so if that's not your favorite you'll still enjoy these. Flipping these takes a little practice, because they are a thicker batter. Keeping them small is very helpful. They tasted pretty much like a regular pancake, and the kids really enjoyed them. I could see adding shredded coconut and walnuts to them, and topping with banana. That would be delish. The last time, I threw some fresh blueberries into a pot with a tablespoon of honey and reduced them until they made their own sauce. This was heaven on a plate.

coconut flour pancakes

Almond Meal Pancakes
These are more like IHOP's harvest grain and nut pancakes. They're a little denser, with a chewier, nutty texture. Still an excellent pancake, but not my girls' favorite. It was a huge hit with That Man, who adores the harvest pancakes at the aforementioned breakfast place. That makes sense, seeing as I found it on a website called Real Men Drive Minivans.

1 1/2 c almond meal/flour
1/2 c coconut milk
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla OR almond extract
Blueberries or your favorite fresh fruit (optional)

Combine all ingredients, portion out onto a medium heat griddle greased with coconut oil or butter, cook until golden brown on each side. Again, this is about 2-3 minutes per side.

I put blueberries in them, and just topped it with butter. You could also mash up a ripe banana and add some chopped nuts to this batter. Banana bread pancakes! Really, there's a lot you can do with these.

almond meal blueberry pancakes

NOTE-Both of these recipes are low carb and delicious. However, if this is one of those slippery slope kinds of foods for you, be careful. You may find you've eaten six of them without coming up for air. Everything in moderation, even the healthy foods. That's the key.

So, there you are. If you were unaware of the fabulous holiday that is Pancake Day, you can celebrate it tomorrow. Or this weekend. Or whenever the mood strikes you. Do you really need a holiday to have pancakes?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Recipes 4

I admit, I didn't do a lot of cooking this week. At least, not any earth-shattering, experimental cooking that had everybody gasping at my culinary expertise. Therefore, there aren't a lot of new recipes to post. I did make something for dinner tonight, though, that turned out really well. This is actually a twist on the fried chicken strips I made two weeks ago. Instead of almond meal, I used all the coconut products and then threw in the 5 spice on a whim.

Coconut Chicken Strips
2 c coconut flour
2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
3 eggs, beaten
Chinese 5 spice
coconut oil
3 lb. chicken tenderloins

Put chicken in a ziploc and add Chinese 5 spice. I think I added about 2 Tbsp. I know I said in my last post that I'm a bit OCD, but apparently it doesn't apply to cooking. I eyeball a lot of things like spices.
Mix the coconut flour and the shredded coconut together in a plate. Roll each strip in the mixture, dip in egg, and then roll in the coconut mixture again. Lay on wax paper to set for about ten minutes.
Heat about (again with the inexact measurements!) 3 Tbsp coconut oil in a nonstick pan at medium heat. When it's hot enough to fry, add strips to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes per side and remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
During the cooking process, I had to add more coconut oil as the chicken soaked it up. Also, if your oil starts to get too dark, pour it out and wipe the pan. Add clean oil and begin again.
These had a great, coconutty flavor, and the Chinese 5 spice was fantastic. LOVE. Now, I have a burning desire to do this with shrimp.

I served the chicken strips with a sauce I created. I thought about coconut shrimp and the dips they serve them with in restaurants. That's all full of sugar, of course, but I began to put my mind to it. This is what I came up with.

Hot and Sweet Pineapple Sauce
2 c diced pineapple
1/2 green bell pepper
red pepper flakes
habanero Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
I put the pineapple,bell pepper, salt, and pepper in the food processor and pureed it. I put in about a Tbsp of red pepper flakes, 1/4 c honey, and a tsp of habanero sauce. I mixed it and tasted it, and adjusted the heat and sweetness to taste. I honestly didn't measure, again, but kept working at it until it had a sweet taste with a good kick in the aftertaste. Paired with the coconut chicken, it really worked. The little kids wouldn't eat it, of course, but the rest of us loved it. I have plenty left over, and I think it'll be great with pork.

Other than that, I didn't do a lot of cooking. I have been adding different things to the famous egg muffins. Today I made some with sausage, mushroom, green peppers, and sharp cheddar. Then I made another batch with proscuitto, mushroom, spinach, and fresh mozzarella. Before you get amazed at the mad kitchen skillz, I have to tell you that egg muffins are about the easiest thing ever to make. Throw the meat in a pan, add some veggies, divide in the muffin pan with cheese, and put the beaten eggs on top. Bake 2o min. at 350F. Done. My oldest two have been helping me make them. It took about 30 minutes just to do 2 batches. By the way, I am in LOVE with my new silicone muffin pans. The muffins pop right out, and they're so pretty. I do like pretty food.

Week 6, In The Books

Brian and I had a meeting yesterday.  He thinks it does miracles to my attitude and self-esteem to fix my hair and put my makeup on.  Even if I am not leaving the house!  (Which seems like a waste to me.)  That I feel better about life in general and subsequently, I'm much more tolerable when I'm feeling better.  He's not actually saying he prefers it for himself because I'm an ugly pill, but he prefers it because it obviously affects my daily living, and makes me a happier individual.  Very interesting point.  I gave it its due consideration.  

In response to that, I can say that I felt like I was on top of the world on Wednesday, thinking I looked good, and knowing that the weight was coming off.  I was making Progress.    

Friday, I got my hair trimmed and got my contacts, which I have not worn since before I had Lily, 8 years ago.  I had somewhere to go on Friday afternoon, and I came home, since I didn't have any makeup on, and put it on.  Even eye makeup, which I never wear.  Because it's too much trouble and I didn't think the effort was worth it since the artistry (ha!) would be hidden behind my glasses.  But with no glasses, there were no excuses.  Dang.  Did y'all know I have big brown eyes?  

This week, my weight loss total is 20 pounds.  I feel great!  About myself, that is.  I'm nowhere near where I want to be, but I'm on my way.  At 20 pounds gone, I'm one-fifth the way there.  Wow.  That was uncomfortable to write.  But it's true.  Five more pounds gone, that's a quarter.  And to me, it calls for celebration.  Although on the advice of my very good friend, I'm going to wait to buy shoes.  I do want my feet to shrink to a 10M, but it doesn't have to be right away and I find some fabooboo shoes, I want them to be around for the long haul.  So I'm gonna wait a bit.  I'm not worried.  When you love shoes like I do, there's nothing to worry about.  There will be another cute pair around the corner in no time.

One of my friends commented recently that she feels like a "bi-polar Christian."  Some weeks she's real up and feeling great and some weeks she's down and can't seem to recover.  I can certainly relate.  I can relate in that area, and I can relate in this area, especially.  This week, I'm in my manic phase.  Even with having a hamburger (with the bun) and fries at Five Guys and some fried jalapenos (with ranch) with my steak and baked sweet potato at the Hofbrau.  I'm still feeling great.  I feel like I can live with the "lifestyle" and that it's not a diet.  I am making this work.  And I'm seeing the results.

So yay for me.  


Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Zen Art (and Insanity) of Weighing In

Georgia and I have been discussing this...ritual we go through with the scale each day. Equal parts science and crazy, we go through steps to make sure that scale remembers its job. Of course, if you remember Georgia's post, you know the only job of the scale is to Go Down. Sometimes it forgets this, resulting in meltdowns of epic proportions, especially when we have actually skipped the toasted sourdough bun on the burger and had salad instead of fries. Each of us go about the Weighing of the Bod in different ways, but both include lots of prayer and crossed fingers.

Georgia mentioned to me several weeks ago that when she wakes up, she's a bit swollen from being wrapped up in a cocoon of electric blankets and husband-created heat. Instead of jumping up and heading for the scale first thing, she waits until she's cold. I noticed that, since I share a bed with a human space heater as well, I was a bit puffy when I rolled out in the mornings. I also figured out that moving around a bit got my heart pumping and the blood flowing. Ah ha! New steps to add to the crazy ritual! Now it isn't unusual to see me doing squats or dancing around in front of the mirror while brushing my teeth.

I don't know about Georgia, but I don't want to know how much my clothes weigh. When I was a member of Weight Watchers, I had a "weigh in outfit". It consisted of the thinnest pair of yoga pants I could fit on my wide ass, a light weight t-shirt, and no shoes. Or jewelry. If it had been socially acceptable, I'd have gone without the bra, too. I'd step on the scale and exhale, as if the air in my lungs might add an extra ounce or two. While I am not measuring out food and counting points anymore, some habits die hard. And in the privacy of my own bathroom, I can step on that scale stripped down to nothing. Add that to the steps!

Finally, I want to make sure I'm only weighing me. I have to be as empty as possible. No eating or drinking before stepping on the scale. Restroom handled, breakfast postponed, I take my cold and active self to stand butt-naked on the scale. Lately, that piece of machinery has done what's expected, and Gone Down. This makes me very happy.

Now, before you decide to get all into the psychology of the crazy ritual, I should tell you that I KNOW it's insane. That all these little steps I take aren't really going to make me any thinner than I was when I woke up. I also know that the scale is not the true measurement of my success. These are the things I know in my head. My emotions, on the other hand, tell me otherwise. The difference in 0.2 and 0.6 pounds is huge to my stupid little mind. I want that scale to shoot fireworks and play music and drag out the parade for that extra two tenths of a pound. I'm always slightly offended when it doesn't.

So, each morning I wake up, take a shower, step out into the cold air and jump around a bit, dry my hair (wet hair weighs more), and step on the scale. It's nuts. But I do know a tiny bit about science. If you're conducting an experiment, you need to have a control situation. If I do everything the same exact way every day, the only thing that changes are those numbers on the scale. And my waistline. Which is the whole point.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Open Letter to My Feet

Hey guys!

I'm not sure you know it or not, but I'm sort of doing this weight loss thing up here, and to be honest, I'm really hoping it affects you.  In fact, specifically, I'd like it to affect you to about a 10M, if that's not too much trouble.  I'm completely willing to do my part.  I've already lost about 2 sizes on my body (out of the 7 I'm working toward) and while my, ahem, boobs aren't themselves getting smaller, my "around" is.  So I don't think that you folks doing your part is too much to ask, do you?  We're only talking about 1 size, and some width.      

You guys know the kind of relationship we've had over the years.  Kind of love-hate, if you know what I mean.  As you guys grew and grew, I kind of topped out on the shoe realm.  I was relegated to ugly black orthopedic shoes with Velcro and poorly made imitations of cute shoes that made large feet supporting beautiful, tall frames look even more Sasquatch-ish.  Which seemed kind of sadly ironic, given my specific interest in shoes.  Y'all know.  You guys know what it takes to support all this lusciousness.

I want to apologize for the Vanity Boots back in 1997.  You remember those great hiking boots from Beall's that summer?  I know they didn't exactly fit, but they were so cute I had to have them.  Even though they were a bit...snug.  I think we can let bygones be bygones, right?  Forgive and forget?

It's really imperative that you catch my meaning in all this.  You're gonna have to come along here.  I know there is  a price to pay, footwise, for gaining a lot of weight, and bringing all of these Little People into the world.  I understand.  But my Littlest Person is nearly 3 and I'm working a plan that is working.  And I'm really not the sort to threaten or issue ultimatums, although imagine my raised eyebrow as I explain this next part.

I'm 5.5 pounds from a major milestone, guys.  Call it my first identified goal.  And when I reach that milestone in 2-3 weeks, I'm going to reward myself with a pair of shoes.  Cute shoes.

Very Fabulous 25 Pound Reward Shoes

And I expect them to fit.  Y'all hear me?  Because shoes are kind of the carrot here, so to speak, for this whole endeavor.  I want to be able to wear heels without dying.  (Although in full disclosure, wearing sassy, fine shoes isn't exactly primal.  Call it my 20%.)

But I'm ordering them today.  So I'll have them.  And also because they're on sale, which makes these shoes dyn-o-mite.  I'm hoping we understand each other.  You know I love you guys and I have always loved you guys!  Years and years of monthly pedicures should demonstrate that.  Oh, and my desire to shod you in something respectable.

Let me know if you have any questions.  I expect after some consideration, you'll begin to see things my way.

Thanks for your time!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nearly 20

Sunday, I was weepy.  I really was.  Y'all know.  I was frustrated with my progress, the response to my posts, pretty much everything.  I needed some encouragement, and of course, Shanon was there to drag me a little further down this road.  Love that woman.

Today is a different story.  I am this close to a 20 pound loss.  As in one-half of one pound.  Eight ounces.  A Double Quarter-Pounder (minus the bun, of course).

I'm close.  And it has made all the difference in my attitude.  My "new" old jeans are starting to get a little baggy so I spent the morning trying on some of my old clothes.  I'm getting dangerously close to being able to go down another size.  I actually skipped down the hall to the bedroom after prancing around in a sweater that I haven't worn in 5 years.

At 25 pounds gone, I'm getting a reward.  I thought it was going to be a massage, but I think reaching my first major goal demands shoes, don't you?

 I'm really feeling GREAT today.  I put on a shirt that I love.  Then I decided to do something fun with my hair. My hair loves hot rollers.  I felt so good that I decided this was the day I would take my "before" picture.  Right on the cusp of a 20 pound loss.  When I'm done with this aspect of the journey, I want to be able to remember how empowered and on top of the world I felt today.


Oh, and just in case you've missed it somehow, Shanon and I are on Facebook.  You'll get more of daily struggles and successes and just downright reality.  The same reason you hang out here.  Except more!  Leave us a note or a comment.  Or a recipe.  Shanon likes to cook.  I like to tell my husband about it.  He's been making magic with spinach, inspired by Shanon's spinach saute.  See you there!

*Update:  I just noticed that our Facebook box is just *right* there.  To the right there.  Click on "Like".  And you're in.  Just like that. We take everybody.  Even haters.  'Cause no one can hate on us more than we have hated on ourselves.

Also, would it be wildly inappropriate to put up a "No Fat Chicks" designation?  Just curious...  And only as a reminder that as we "ungrow" our big sizes that we never, never, ever come back to this place again.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekly Recipes 3

This week's recipes are all stolen from much smarter, better cooks. That's okay. What's a little sharing between friends, even though they don't know me. They'd love me if they met me. ANYWAY...here we are.

Georgia's Mexican Pile On is really the most simple, delicious thing you can make in a hurry and have hungry Little People jump for joy.

2 lb. ground meat (beef, bison, venison, chopped chicken)
taco seasoning (I made my own because some packaged spices have gluten and sugar. Weird.)
Guacamole (I use an all natural, no preservative kind like Wholly Guacamole)
Sour Cream (optional)
Shredded Cheese (optional)
Black olives

It's called "pile on".What do you think you do? Cook the meat with the spices, and then pile it on! It's like nachos without the chips. It's messy and yummy, and nobody turns up their noses. Winning!

The next one was actually discovered by That Man. He took a night of cooking and searched out something new and different. We both love Thai food and curry, so he researched until he found this fabulous meal on Paleo Diet Lifestyle. The kids even ate it without too much fuss. The only thing that bugged me was the recipe kept calling them 'shrimps' instead of simply 'shrimp'. I can't help it, I'm anal that way.


    2 lbs shrimps, peeled and deveined;

    2 tbsp butter or coconut oil;

    1 onion, chopped;

    2 tsp curry powder;

    2 tsp tomato paste;

    1/2 cup chicken stock;

    1 cup full-fat coconut milk;

    2 tightly packed cups shredded spinach;

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat and cook the onion in the ghee, butter or coconut oil until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the curry powder and continue cooking for a minute.

Place mixture in a blender or a food processor, add the tomato paste as well as the chicken stock and coconut milk. Process or blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture back in the skillet and bring to a simmer.

Add the shrimps and spinach and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the shrimps are just cooked. We served it over some really delicious spaghetti squash with butter and basil. The kids weren't sold on it, but we enjoyed it.

The last recipe I found in desperation. The Super Bowl is a time of picking teams, gathering with friends, and eating tons of carb loaded foods. I signed up to bring a dessert to the party. A dessert! What the hell?!?!?! So I searched for something that might not have the rest of the party goers looking at me like I'd lost my mind. These Almond Joy Bites from The Fit Cookie were perfect! I did label them as sugar and gluten free, but only so I could have some left over to take home with me. The menfolk weren't interested in the health food sitting beside their cheese dip. Be warned, though. These are a dessert and should be treated as such. Much like the sweet potato issue, they can be overdone if you indulge too much too often.

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c raw, unfiltered honey
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut flour
12 oz. dark chocolate chips

Mix the coconut, honey, oil, and flour together in a bowl. You'll probably have to do this with your hands, but coconut oil is FABulous for your skin. Warm the mixture for a few seconds in the microwave if it is a little hard to deal with. When it starts to get stiff, roll it into balls. If you have a hard time, chill it for a few minutes and it will come together easier. Press an almond into the top and put in the freezer for about ten minutes to set. Melt your chocolate in the microwave. I do it in one minute intervals and stir, just to make sure I don't burn it. That's so nasty. Nothing like burnt chocolate! Take the coconut balls out of the freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate to coat. Place on wax paper and return them to the freezer for another ten to fifteen minutes. Done! These taste better than the candy bar of the same name, and won't give you a terrible headache.
Notes-raw, unfiltered honey is thicker than regular, so you may have to add a little more coconut flour to your mix if you use regular honey.
Use at least 60% dark chocolate. I used 72%, and it was SO good.
Again, don't overindulge in these. I had two, and put the rest away. If this type of food is your 'slippery slope', don't even go there. That's why you won't see me making the paleo/primal coconut milk ice cream. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

Eight Pounds A Week

I gotta admit.  It's hard to share a blog with my sweet sister-in-law, whom I love like a real sister.  Because she's like a professional writer.  She feels this burning desire to write, has ideas floating around bursting forth and even has special software to help her plot stories and I....well, I write exactly how I talk and exactly how I think. I don't plan anything and I'm not that great with imagery and invoking feelings.  My stuff just doesn't seem to have the same appeal.  I realize we have different styles, and I don't know why I'm just feeling blah about it today, but there it is.  Maybe I'm more entertaining in person?  You know, when I actually tell the story and I'm being very dramatic?


This week, I lost 1 pound.  Last week I lost one pound.  I want to lose 8 pounds a week.  This week, today, this task of losing weight is feeling so monumental.  I don't know that I can "work matters to completion" if it's going to be One Pound A Week.  I'm wearing my smaller clothes, but for some reason, I'm still looking in the mirror and seeing a Fat Frump.  I can't explain it.  Or maybe I can.  I can say that I have done ZERO working out in the last 2 weeks. I bet if I were more diligent about walking and Lifting Heavy Things, the weight would be coming off faster.  Maybe I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed.  Maybe I'd see someone working hard to get better instead of The Frump I saw this morning.  

I'm a sniveling mess today, frustrated with every stupid thing.  Everything feels hard.  I know I've been successful and for not working out, the pounds are still coming off.  But for some reason, I feel so disappointed in myself, like I'm somehow not getting it right.  Maybe I'm having to face my "big feelings" as we call them at my house, and since I don't have my cakes and hamburgers with the buns to soothe them, I'm just having to face them.  I wish I could understand how when I'm being successful, I still feel like a failure...  I go between wanting to be an absolute individual and making a mark to wanting to be lost in the shuffle, a part of the background, left alone.  

All that to say, another pound gone. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

January By the Numbers (And Some Other Stuff)

Over 2 years ago, my mom died.  And after living in "their" house alone for most of those 2 years, my dad moved 5 hours away to my town.  Then six weeks later, my brother died.  I became very glad my dad lives across the highway.  We are all that is left.  He is, by nature, a nurturer and really enjoys cooking.  In the last couple of weeks, we've had 2 pans of brownies, a banana cake (so good!) and a strawberry cake with vanilla icing.  We've also had spaghetti and three 5-pound bags of chicken leg quarters.  Today, a meat loaf.  It's making things a little....um, tricky, to eat well.

Then of course, we had Nasty.  I didn't eat any the first night.  But the whole next day, my "piece" was calling to me from its Tupperware box.  "Oh, Georgia....are you out there?  I thought I saw you pass by.  Say, did you know that there's a fabulous piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting out here in a box?  Remember...Brian said this box was for you.  It's full of chocolate cake.  You should eat me.  It's 80-20, right? I'm cake. And I'm goooood."

I mean, can you believe that cake?  Talking to me like that?  So rude.  But I'm kind of a follower.  So at some point in the afternoon, I fell for it.  And this is after I had already taken my measurements and knew how well I'd been doing.  So dumb.  I grabbed a big fork (not a dainty salad fork) and dug right in.  The frosting didn't taste so much like partially hydrogenated soybean oil.  It tasted chocolaty-ish.  And the cake itself was okay.  Kind of dry, really, if you ask me.  (Even though it had all the secret ingredients to make it great.)  It just didn't taste like I remembered chocolate cake and chocolate frosting tasting.  But do you think that stopped me?  Oh, please.  I ate about half the box which had about 2 reasonable sized pieces.  You can do this Sad Math.  Made myself a little queasy.  (And this was *after* I turned down some homemade brownies at a dinner on Sunday.  Thankfully, I had heard an ugly rumor that those brownies had maggots in them.)

But being queasy was nothing compared to the headache I got after gobbling up all that cake.  I got the migraine from hell.  It just got worse and worse and worse until I could barely see and even my teeth hurt.  It took 4 ibuprofen and 1 Benedryl to settle that baby down.  And the lesson in all this?  Don't eat cake, dummy.  It's not good for your brain and it's not even all that good.  Don't eat cake.  The end.

But as a whole endeavor, I'm doing pretty well.  I'm going to bed much earlier and getting up much earlier.  Except the day after I have a major migraine.  I've had few bread products.   I can't even think of one single bread product that I have had.  I tried parsnips as potatoes.  Too parsnippy.  I eat lots of nuts and meat and salads.  And it seems to be working.

Because in the month of January, I have lost:

  • 16 pounds  
  • one complete size
  • 10 and one-quarter inches.  Three inches in one spot alone!  Seriously...I have lost 10.25" off my body for some skinny person to find.  I just love helping people.

Now.  To get back on track for the Fitness.  Must get motivated.  Time is ticking to lose another 2 sizes by the big 3-5.

And no more cake.  It is not good.  No matter what it says.

Life Preserver, Please

We've been in this thing for about a month now, and it has gone surprisingly smoothly. For me, that usually means the crap is about to hit the fan, because I do nothing the easy way. No. Thing. You're looking at a woman who touched her mother's iron forty million times as a child, just because I had to 'see if it was hot'. I spent many an afternoon tearfully holding a burnt finger in a cup of ice water to ease my pain. Couldn't do anything for the stupidity, though. Suffice it to say, I learn lessons the hard way. Last week, I learned two.

First, while the paleo/primal way of eating (I will not call it a diet, because it implies that this is a 'quick fix' weight loss plan, and not a lifestyle) is extremely healthy, you can still overdo it on food. This explains why there are fat vegetarians. While I don't have the cravings I did while still addicted to carbs and sugar, there are dozens of yummy things I adore still on the food list. One such delicious treat is sweet potatoes. Fried, baked, stuffed, or mashed, I am in love with that spud. It borders on ridiculousness. Why is this bad, you may ask? Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and are good for you! See, this was my thinking, too. And if a little is good, a boat load of them must be excellent, right? Sweet potatoes every day! Sometimes twice! In portions large enough to satisfy an NFL team! Yeah......this did not end well. At the end of the week, standing on the scale, those numbers glared up at me in bright orange. How ironic. The digital readout mocked me, as it flashed that extra pound and a half up at me. I came to a screeching halt, and really, I wanted to be upset. I wanted to get mad and go all Drama Queen about how unfair it was, because I'd been working so hard! Satan and his workouts were kicking my ass three times a week, and I'd walked...a little. But a still, small voice in the back of my head was laughing loudly enough to drown out my little pity party. That little know-it-all reminded me that overeating is overeating, and hadn't I done plenty of that this week? I was lucky the scale didn't read three or more pounds gained. Satan had saved me from inflicting more damage upon myself. Again, I feel slightly guilty for calling him Satan, but it's too late to change now. Anyway, this little fiasco reminded me that there is more to getting my weight under control than just the food. Which brings me to my next lesson.

If you've read my About Me page, you know that I am an emotional eater. "Stressed" is just "desserts" spelled backwards, you know. In the past, a tough day could be buried in enough Ben and Jerry's ice cream to numb me, heart and soul. Anger dove into a pizza and didn't come up for air until it had dwindled to overstuffed lethargy. Rejection could be soothed by the balm of double cheeseburgers and chocolate malts. Stuff those emotions down your throat with a huge helping of Denial and a side of onion rings. Let's face it, most overweight people have other reasons for being that way other than just unhealthy foods. I definitely have mine. So this week, when life began to get a little hectic and worry began knocking at the door like Dr. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory("Penny.* knock* Penny. *knock* Penny. *knock* Penny. *knock* Penny.") my first thought was to find something yummy to take my mind of the things that were bothering me.

Driving alone in my car used to be the worst time for me. It was too easy to swing through a drive through and get something before picking up a kid from wherever it was I had dropped them off earlier. Me and Sonic were really tight, yo. They always had my back when I needed a little somethin' somethin'. Kinda like a dealer. So it was at Sonic I sat one evening, stressed and worried about some things that were going on, contemplating what terrible thing I was going to order to help me cope. Of course, I hadn't thought about the reasons why at that moment. I was just following old routines. The thought of me using food like a drug to escape my emotions had not even occurred to me. "What's she on, she's so out of it? "Oh, no. It looks bad. I think she's hopped up on tater tots and chili cheese dogs. We need an intervention." But as I sat there looking at all the things I no longer eat, I began to wonder what the hell I was doing.

I haven't eaten a grain or anything with more sugar in it than some fruit and balsamic vinegar in a month. Why was I sitting in the car at Sonic, preparing to poison myself? I began to unpack the week in little boxes. Work issues. Kid issues. Worry. Fear. The heat had been turned up a bit on the burner of life, and I was beginning to feel it. I gave my negative emotions the power to control my actions. So I took a step back to, as the Sassy Gay Friend says, 'look at my life, look at my choices'. I was choosing to fall into old habits. Well, how had that been working out for me? Obviously, not so well. When the voice came on the intercom to take my order, I choked out, "large unsweetened iced tea", and reached for the tissues stuffed in the glove box. It may be uncomfortable to deal with the crap in my life, but I won't use food to avoid it anymore.

I found this on that huge black hole of time suckage, Pinterest, the other day. I pinned it with the note, "I am rescuing myself." It's now about a hell of a lot more than just my health.