Cupped Lightning

I wrote a post about coffee a couple years ago.  Check it out HERE.  I thought it might be time to readdress this…this little caffeine issue.  I’m addicted to caffeine.  I admit it.  As I talked about in my blog post, my caffeine intake is pretty much like a roller coaster.  It gets out of hand, then I quit cold turkey, then it gets out of hand, then I quit cold turkey… It’s just how it goes.  I think a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I’m a paramedic who works 24 hour shifts and has a 2 hour commute one way. Just a hunch.

The other day, I woke up at 0500.  I didn’t sleep very well due to some nagging hip pain, so I added 2 scoops of Spark before the gym that morning.  2!  After the gym, I drove through Starbucks and ordered 2 venti coffees.  Black.  No room.  For myself.  This was all consumed by 0800.  A little while later, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I took a 2 hour nap.  After I woke up, I thought hey, maybe this isn’t so healthy.  Lets evaluate this…

In my post about coffee, I talked about how coffee has its place.  I still agree with this wholeheartedly.  A couple of cups a day?  Sure.  nbd.  A couple pots a day? Ehhhhh……that might be an issue.  It’s kind of a catch 22 for me. The first cup or 2 in the morning help me to wake up, as caffeine is supposed to do.  After that, I don’t drink coffee to keep me awake.  I drink coffee because I REALLY just love the taste of coffee.

As I visited with my mom on the phone this morning, I realize that I should blame her for my coffee problem.  100%.  We love coffee.  Good coffee.  Our latest favorite thing to do is to find fun coffee roasters and order beans.  Intelligentsia, Coava, Stumptown, Kickapoo… these are just a handful of our favorite roasters.  In our conversation mom said “Some people really have no idea what good coffee tastes like.”  So much truth in those words! She’s so wise!

Now, as I mentioned before, I love the taste of coffee.  I’ll drink hospital cafeteria coffee and I’ll drink fire station Folger’s.  Shoot, I’ll even ask for a 2nd cup of Perkins coffee that has been sitting in the pot all day.  I won’t complain.  BUT a good cup of coffee brewed with freshly roasted, high quality beans, now that’s where it’s at.  It’s a real treat for the ol’ tastebuds.  As you may have guessed, Folger’s does not belong in my house.  I have bags of good beans, and I have bags of REALLY good beans.  When I have to work, I’ll put a few scoops of some of the good beans in my Cuisinart grind and brew the night before, set the timer, and BOOM, I wake up to the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

On my off days, it’s a little bit of a different story.  I get home from the gym around 0700 or so.  After I put a few slices of bacon on the stove, I begin to work on my coffee.  When I’m off duty, I use the smaller, more expensive bags of REALLY good beans.  I have an electric kettle that I purchased at the Target, which heats the water super quickly. So far, I haven’t burned myself! That’s a big win for this accident-prone paramedic. The kettle also has a little light the flips off when the water begins to boil.  As the water is boiling, I grind the beans in my electric grinder.  On occasion, I also grind the beans by hand.  It takes a little more time and a lot more energy, so I keep this little gadget in my cupboard in case of the zombie apocalypse.  Coffee is definitely a huge part of my doomsday prepping.  Once the beans are ground, I remove my French Press or Chemex out of the cupboard with care. I also have an AeroPress that I use on occasion.  I’m sure I’ve lost you in my coffee nerdiness by now.  Basically, grind, boil, brew.

Once the little light on my kettle turns off, it’s go time.

Oh buddy, when you spend a little time and a little money, coffee has the ability to taste like an angel.  Remember those old Folger’s commercials when the actors open the container, close their eyes, and smell?  Or when the actor holds the hot cup of freshly brewed coffee in both hands, takes a sip, then smiles?  Yeah, that totally happens on off duty coffee days.  Every time.

What’s your coffee status?  Do you have a favorite roaster?  I’m always looking to try new coffee.

Life is too short to have bad coffee.  BUT maybe I’ll live just a little bit longer if I keep my caffeine consumption in check a little better.  Balance and moderation, my friends.

-my name is Lindsay, and I have a caffeine addiction

#coffeemugofmemories

 

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Broken

malin 2

Tattoos.  I only have one, but as they say, you never stop at one.  I’m always keeping my eyes open for new ideas.  As I was perusing through some pictures the other day, I found this one.  This is the Swedish Malin symbol.  My mom’s side of the family is Swedish, so I liked this right away.  BUT, the best part is the meaning.  In my research, I found that this symbol basically says that you have to face setbacks in order to be able to go forward.

This is the truth for all aspects of life, but man, this especially hit home for me.  This past week, I was told that I have to have MAJOR hip surgery.  Long story short, I slipped on some ice this winter and tore the cartilage in my hip.  In addition learning this, I was also told that I have really shallow hip sockets.  Alright. Ok.  Oh, and in order to fix this, and postpone an entire hip replacement in the next 10 years, I need a surgery that involves cutting a chunk of my pelvis and rotating it to make a bigger hip socket, then using screws to keep it in place. 4 months recovery…

Ton of bricks, man.  What a week.  Frustration and pain and anxiety and apprehension. So, learning the meaning of this tattoo was encouraging.  While my head was off in the land of hypothetical surgery problems and overwhelming anxiety, this kind of brought me back to earth.  I mean, whoa, Lindsay.  How about you stop, breathe, pray, trust.

Arrows are typically symbols for moving forward.  I really like how the infinity symbol is incorporated. It’s a good reminder that you’re always, ALWAYS moving forward, despite whatever setbacks may be in your way.  This is so true in life.  Life isn’t easy.  Adulting isn’t easy. So many people are struggling with things.  Eating disorders, divorce, pain, illness… Eating healthy isn’t easy.  Friendships aren’t easy.  Marriage isn’t easy.  Hip problems aren’t easy.  BUT, I truly believe that once you realize that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; that sometimes you need to be broken in order for the light to shine through the cracks; that even when you feel weak, you are strong…..once you realize these things, whatever you may be going through just doesn’t seem quite so bad.  Just because we’re broken doesn’t mean we’re helpless OR hopeless.  Faith, my friends.  Faith and a sense of humor.

Cheating

Are you cheating??

*****If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to read this post (because, to be honest, sometimes I really don’t want to read long-winded posts…I get it), please at least READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH*****

I read a post a while back on cheats, and I just wanted to share a few key thoughts with you. The article was written by Dallas and Meilssa Hartwig of Whole9 (You may have heard of their Whole30 plan…).

“At a local seminar last week, an attendee asked Melissa, “Do you ever cheat?” There was so much to this question: We don’t call it a cheat, because we’re doing nothing wrong. We aren’t perfect eaters, because no one is, and we don’t expect you to be either. Yes, we indulge, when we decide it’s worth it. In essence, we practice what we preach.”

They go on to talk about something that they posted on FB a few years back during a trip to Mexico. “Whole9 is grilling fresh mahi, making a giant batch of guac and kicking our heels up with some hand-made corn tortillas.” Holy banana chips, Batman. They received a ridiculous amount of backlash for this, all over some stupid corn tortillas!! They include some of the comments in the article. A good description of the comments can be summed up in this sentence (in their words)… “We once admitted consuming some Nutella-stuffed French toast to a workshop crowd. The looks of shock and horror on our audience’s faces made us wonder if we actually said we ate a deep-fried kitten for breakfast.” (This last sentence is perhaps one of my favorite sentences that I have ever read. Ever.)

Dallas and Melissa go on to describe how their program is the Whole30, NOT the Whole365. With Paleo, with clean eating, with the grapefruit diet…with whatever way of eating you choose to use, in order to succeed, you NEED to indulge from time to time.

Not long ago, I attended a bachelorette party. Well, a bachelorette party weekend. I knew that I would be indulging a little. Ok, who am I kidding…a lot. I tried to make better food/drink choices, but let’s face it. I enjoyed my weekend. That being said, once I got home, I was back at it. That Sunday happened to be Superbowl Sunday.  I set up my cycling trainer in front of our TV and enjoyed a little superbowl cycling. The next morning, I raided our deep freeze and set out a bunch of meat to have throughout the week. I also gathered some veggies that were chillin’ in trhe crisper and set them on the top shelf of my fridge so that I remembered that I have some veggie noms that upcoming week. I had my cheats then got after it again.

**Here’s the thing, the ONE take home from this: There’s a time for treats and there’s a time for healthy eats. The key is to have a healthy relationship with food, plain and simple. Figure out what’s “worth it” to you and enjoy it from time to time. Truly savor every second. BUT, also be able to resist that sugary, carbalicious, ooey gooey temptation the rest of the time. This is the key to successful eating.

bike.jpg
http://whole9life.com/…/you-ask-we-answer-do-you-ever-cheat/

The Wise Track Coach

What have you done to make yourself better today?

High school track.  Our coach would say this AT LEAST once a day.  The beginning of practice, during, afterwards….on the bus to a meet, at a meet.  This was engrained into our heads.  I had heard it thousands of times, but I’m fairly certain that I just blew it off.  When I was 17, I chose to focus on the Toblerone chocolate bar reward if I placed at a meet or broke a record, rather than dwell on the wise words of coach. Funny how one’s motivation can change.

While thinking about the start of 2015, I was reminded me of Coach Loberg’s words.  What did 2014 look like and what will 2015 bring?  Disappointments. Happy times.  Everything in between.  What can I do to be better in 2015?

The new year always brings resolutions.  I think I have become annoyed and bitter with said resolutions.  In my mind, I think “you should CONSTANTLY be making and meeting goals…why must one only make a New Years resolution?”  I think one frustration is that resolutions tend to include the word “try.”  A wise little Jedi once said “Do or do not.  There is no try.” Set your mind to something and do it.  When you remove “try” from your vocabulary, you have made the decision that you ARE capable of said task and that nothing will stand in your way of reaching that goal.

For me, 2015 will bring an end to mediocrity.

I want to improve in the gym.  Faster, stronger, better.  I will step it up.  I have been following CrossFit programming and doing the WODs on my own, but to be better, I decided to join a box again.  More accountability and face-to-face coaching.  I plan to increase the intensity as well as really work on solid warmups as well as mobility.  I’ll get there.

I want to be more toned.  Definition.  Poolside body to be proud of.  I have decided to clean up my eating.  “I’m going to try to eat better.”  Screw that.  Sure to fail. I have become quite lenient and have been allowing too many treats lately.  A friend of mine recently said “Vegetarians don’t have cheat days.” Definitely makes me rethink my food choices. 6-7 servings of produce a day. Each meal consisting of a solid protein, a huge portion of produce (carb), and a little fat. Sticking with my Paleo Plate the best way that I can.

My goal for 2015 is to be able to have an answer for my track coach’s question each and every single day.What about you? With your resolutions for the new year, are you going to TRY or are you going to do?

The Paleo Paramedic and the Shakeology Controversy

I have always been fairly active.  In high school, I was the goalie for our girl’s hockey team; I played softball in the summertime, and threw shot put and discus for our track team.  In college, I joined the track team for a year as well as played a little rugby in my spare time.  I was active, but not really physical fit.  After college, I started my career as a paramedic.  After a couple years paramedicing, I found out that I had some back issues.  It was kind of an either you get fit and strengthen your core….or you might not be able to be a medic anymore.  Of course my choice was get fit.

I dabbled in the gym here and there.  I dropped around 60 pounds doing the elliptical, treadmill, and Insanity.  This was really my first taste of the Beachbody programming.  I liked it…a lot.  July 2011, I was introduced to CrossFit, and also tried my hand at the Paleo way of eating.  I fell in love with CrossFit on Day 1.  I think many of us in public safety are addicted to adrenaline.  It was a perfect fit.  Paleo…was more of a challenge.  I did strict Paleo for 30 days. I lost a little weight, had more energy, noticed clearer skin, allergies were better… It was tough though, and I didn’t stick with it.  I tried to figure out why my first paleo experience didn’t last. I think what it was, was that I became bored with it. Chicken and spinach, steak and spinach, tuna and spinach. Same thing over and over and over again. Boredom.

Fast forward to the January 2013. I evaluated my diet. It was full of processed foodstuffs. I always justified eating poorly. “Oh, just a little treat…I worked out today.” I realized that this just wasn’t acceptable. I needed to change things up. Around the beginning of January 2013, I decided to go back to Paleo. Fairly strict Paleo, actually. This time, I decided that I was going to put a little more work into it. I made a commitment to making Paleo my lifestyle…not just a “diet.”  Around this time, I joined a challenge group of accountability put on by my good friend Laura, of Fully Fit.  Through this challenge group, I also decided to try this Shakeology that all my friends were talking about as well as purchase the fancy new T25 workout.   Around this time, I also started a blog and Facebook page.  I became the Paleo Paramedic.  I really just wanted to create a place to post pictures, recipes, motivation, and thoughts on just being fit.

Within a week or two, I noticed a difference.  I felt better.  That was the biggest change.  More energy was the biggest one.  I felt focused and awake all day long.  HUGE change.  Better sleep was also a positive side effect of my lifestyle change…which also leads to more energy.  My skin became clearer.  My allergies were better.  My clothes became looser, and I started to drop weight and inches.  Ok, I’m sold.  Once in a while, I will have a cheat…or treat.  I remember the first time I had a cheat after beginning my Paleo journey.  It was something at the fire station…something biscuity or wheaty.  Man oh man was I miserable.  I felt bloaty, gassy, crampy.  I had heartburn and I got the hiccups.  This was when I realized that I never knew how good my body was supposed to feel.  By eating Paleo, taking out the things that have tendency to cause these symptoms, I felt good…great even.  Ok, this Paleo/ Shakeology combination really is a win!

This time around, I put a little more work into it. I make a point to make at least one new Paleo recipe a week. This time, Paleo isn’t a chore. Eating is fun. I actually eat probably better, more exciting meals than before.

Then there’s Shakeology.  I fell in love with Shakeology right away.  It truly is a fantastic product.  Packed FULL of ridiculously clean ingredients into one little scoop. Fruit, vegetables, protein, anti-oxidants, probiotics, calcium, iron, vitamins…do I need to go on?  Besides, who doesn’t love a shake every day?  There was one thing though that kept bugging me.  It’s not 100% Paleo.  While it IS full of real food and clean ingredients, it still had a thing or two (i.e. quinoa) that I wasn’t sure about. I felt like as the “Paleo Paramedic,” I couldn’t completely promote or endorse…or really even talk about a product that I wasn’t entirely sure I believed in.

I really thought hard about my views on Shakeology.  I did research.  I read the Beachbody forums…I read the Paleo forums…I talked with smart people who know nutrition.  Finally, after about a year of my eating real food journey, I came to a decision.  I’m good with Shakeology.  I feel good when I drink it and notice a pretty incredible difference in the way that I feel when I don’t.  A couple things.  1.  I don’t get sick. I don’t call in sick to work for illnesses anymore.  My sick time bank has been looking pretty plush lately.  2.  When I skip a few days of my Shakeology shake, I feel ridiculously lethargic and it’s hard to focus.  Severe lack of motivation.  3. Testimonials. One of my friends told me that she swears by it.  Before drinking Shakeology, she would feel bloated beyond brief and feel really pretty miserable.  She tried changing her food up, she changed her workouts, she tried this, tried that…no improvement. BUT, since drinking shakeology, really since the first week of drinking it, she has felt great!  Testimonial after testimonial after testimonial, you hear of stories like that.

So, in short, while Shakeology isn’t 100% Paleo, it’s still a clean food product. Gluten-free, non-GMO.  Real food.  Real good (ok, grammar police.  I know.  It just sounded good to write).  I’m good with Shakeology.  It’s truly a great product and I am totally ok with talking about and sharing about. The Paleo Police may cringe…but that’s ok. This stuff works for me. It’s a part of my Paleo.

Now that the Paleo Paramedic Shakeology controversy has resolved, I’m just here to talk about clean eating and fitness. You don’t have to eat Paleo…honestly, I recommend just eating real food. Clean eating is a pretty cool thing. When you’re not eating a diet full of processed garbage, you just feel…good. When you’re not eating processed sugar, food tastes amazing. Fruit literally tastes like candy. It’s like your taste buds are alive. While I do CrossFit 5 days a week and a Beachbody DVD (Insanity, T25, P90X3…) the other 2 days a week, it doesn’t meant that this is the only way to be active.  Really, I’ve found that as long as you get moving, you’re golden. Start out slowly and work your way into something a little more challenging. Just get after it.

I’m committed to this stuff now.  Clean eating and fitness.  It has become who I am.  I am dedicated and passionate about it all.  That’s my story.  It’s my clean eating and fitness journey.

jour·ney (n): an act of traveling from one place to another. Synonyms: adventure, trek.

 

Holiday Heavyweight & Thoughts on the New Year

I admit I was a little nervous going into this holiday season.  I’m a sucker for my mom’s Christmas cookies and was curious how my self-control would fare with all of the treats, snacks, appetizers, and homemade food that would be placed before me.  For my fitness challenge group that I’m a part of, we weigh ourselves and measure ourselves every 2 weeks.  We had a weigh in before Thanksgiving, a little after Thanksgiving, then right after Christmas.  I’m not one to obsess over the scale, but I was curious. 1 pound. I gained 1 pound…and a half of an inch in my thigh.  Everything else stayed the same.  I guess my emotions were surprised and happy.

A few thoughts on this…
I realize that after 1 year of Paleo, it has become the way that I eat.  I am amazed at the things that I resisted over Christmas.  For instance, I chose to eat a HUGE salad instead of a hot delicious cheese and pepperoni pizza.  I tried to get full with good stuff so I wouldn’t be tempted with the bad stuff.  Actually, the Christmas goodies didn’t really appeal to me at all.  I saw gut rot on that plate instead of sugar and cinnamon and chocolate chip tasty goodness.  I would rather have fruit.  Crazy.  I did bring a few things with me while traveling.  I made sure to pack some easy paleo snacks for my road trip home.  This kept me from getting hungry which could result in pigging out on whatever the stab n grab convenience store had in the warmer. I also took along a few Paleo staples from home.  Almond flour, almond milk, sweet potato chips.  I didn’t want to be thatgirl.  “Sorry, I can’t eat that” or “Is that Paleo?”  I knew it would be a time for a few treats, but also didn’t want to set myself up for failure.  Another thing that I did was take along some workout DVDs. The nearest CrossFit box to my hometown is about an hour and a half away.  I chose to stay home and do a few “Hotel WODs” as well as some T25 (workouts by the creater of Insanity). 

I guess the main theme during Christmas and Thanksgiving was self-preservation and setting myself up for success.  Strategy played a HUGE part in this.  I know what my weaknesses are.  I also knew that I couldn’t stay 100% Paleo.  I picked out a few favorite meals/treats and planned for them.  Everything else was off limits. 

With all of this in mind, I look toward 2014.  I’m not one to make resolutions…never have been.  I choose to set goals and make lifestyle changes throughout the year, not just January 1.  Although, I suppose now is a good time to evualuate how I’m doing at reaching my goals.  This past year, I have reached about half of my CrossFit goals.  That’s ok, they will be moved to the 2014 goal list.  This year, through my eating and dedication to the gym, I have become stronger, faster, leaner, more toned, and I have more days without pain than days with the pain.  I feel good.  I plan on staying on this track.   Also, I have more sick days in my sick day bank at work.  My immune system is healthy.  I don’t get the bronchitis/laryngitis/influenza bouts that I have had in the past.  In fact, in 2013, I haven’t been sick once from an actual illness other than food poisoning (that chicken was just a day or 2 too old.  oops.). I call that a success. 

I hear various versions of “I could never eat the way you do….I like my (insert your choice of sugar/starch/grain here) too much.  I could never give it up.  You must have a lot of self-control” ALL.THE.TIME. I eat the way that I do so that I can feel good.  It’s not easy by any means and I’m tempted constantly.  I have self-control because I MAKE myself have self-control.  The long-term reward of resisting those treats outweighs by far the immediate reward of eating those treats. 

The other day, I heard “Oh, Paleo is just a fad.”  To that I say, clean eating is not a fad.  I think we’re onto something here.  Now if the rest of the world would just hop aboard the train to cleanfoodville, we’d be set.

Happy Eating and a Happy New Year!  Cheers to 2014

Lindsay

Caffeine-Free Day 3

Today marks Day 3 of my caffeine-free adventure.  Days 1 and 2 were miserable.  I had a bit of a headache towards the end of Day 1.  That was it for a headache.  I consider myself pretty lucky.  The worst part of days 1 and 2 was how fatigued I was.  All.day.long.  Woke up tired, went to bed tired. I really could never wake up.  Today, Day 3, I actually woke up refreshed.  I didn’t need to press the snooze button, I didn’t crave coffee, and I didn’t wake up groggy.  THIS is how it’s supposed to be.  I was in Oklahoma this past week visiting my dad.  On the drive there, I consumed 7 cups of coffee and an energy drink.  I was a little apprehensive about the drive home.  It went smashingly.  Figuratively, not literally.  A caffeine-free 7 hour road trip.  Kind of a miracle.  I felt awake the entire time, energy all day.  None of that caffeine crash that you get in the middle of the day.

While I miss my beloved caffeine, I’m happy to be off the sauce. Thankful that my quitting caffeine cold turkey has gone so well.  The first few days are the worst.  Anticipating smooth sailing from now on.

-TPP

Caffeine-Free Christmas

I love coffee.  Coffee ranks right up there with bacon. I just love coffee. Maybe a little too much.

Today is day 1 of no caffeine. It’s not a week long detox or a 30 day challenge. I’m just done. I took a few days off and thought now would be a good time to go through the withdrawls….at home instead of work.

On an average day, I drink at least 6 cups…up to 10 or 12.  Sometimes an energy drink or 2. Kind of a slight problem. I realized that something needed to change when I had to turn to energy drinks to wake up. 

Coffee tended to take the place of water. I would choose the energy over the hydration.  Bad. Just another reason to get off the sauce.

Coffee has tendency to curb one’s appetite. How about instead of filling my guts with drink, I fill them with food….nutrition. Reason 3.

A couple years ago, when I first tried Paleo, I quit coffee and all other caffeinated products.  I think I lasted maybe 4 or 5 months. The first couple few days I wanted to kill, but after that, I felt pretty great. I slept better, I actually had more energy, I felt better, my teeth were whiter (husband was quick to notice this one).

So here we are, another caffeine-free adventure. Cold turkey, done. I’m ok with that.

-your Caffeine-free Paleo Paramedic

Wait, You Don’t Eat Bread?

Paleo.  Gluten-Free.  CrossFit.  ALL are big BUZZ words right now.  I have been applauded in addition to majorly criticized for eating the way that I do as well as following the exercise programming that I choose to follow.  10 months of clean eating.  I thought it might be a good time to go over why I have chosen to eat the way that I do.
 
A little over 2 years ago, I started to get into CrossFit (CF).  One of the guys I met through CrossFit told me that I should start eating Paleo.  He told me that I would feel so much better.  He went on to explain HOW to have a Paleo way of eating, but left out the WHY.  I said ok.  I’ll bite. My diet is fairly carb-overloaded, plus, I can do most anything for 30 days.  We went shopping, I dropped a couple few bucks at Costco on clean food and rid my shelves of the processed stuff once I got home.  The next 30 days, I ate strict Paleo.  No cheats.  After those 30 days, I had a “victory meal” to celebrate the end of those 30 days.  The next many months, while I stuck with the CF, I slowly quit eating Paleo.  I tried, but wasn’t successful.  I saw Paleo as a “diet.” 

This past January, I wanted to get back to Paleo.  This time around, however, I thought I’d try it from a different angle.  Instead of just doing a 30 day Paleo diet, I decided to just have it be my way of eating.  No end date.  I didn’t call it a “diet, ” I called it my Paleo lifestyle.  One day, I just quit carbs….cold turkey.  I will be honest with you, the first 5-10 days of cutting out sugar, processed food, and really everything that comes in a package, is difficult.  Your body gets angry.  “Stop the train….where is my energy?” Your body needs a little time to switch from using carbs and sugars as fuel to using solid proteins and fats as fuel and energy.  Many many people quit Paleo at this time.  Stick with it, don’t be discouraged.  Once that transition time is over, you will start to see changes.  You will drop some pounds.  You will notice increased energy.  You will sleep better.  You will feel better.  Not too long after making the switch to Paleo, I noticed that I didn’t feel bloaty, gassy, or crampy.  I never get the hiccups anymore, and I quit getting heartburn (which had been bothering me for years).  I never knew how bad I felt on a daily basis until I started to feel good.

About this time, I also as a part of a fitness challenge group.  My good friend, Laura, of Fully Fit, has regular challenge groups.  Basically, it’s a handful of people who are accountable to each other.  A private FB group is created.  Each day, everyone posts everything that they ate as well as what they did for exercise that day.  It’s really making yourself vulnerable.  Everyone can comment on how your day went.  Some days you really need that kick in the butt, “Hey, you didn’t eat enough today” or “You really had a lot of sugar today.”  Most days, however, you get a “Hey, nice work resisting that doughnut” or “Your food looked awesome.  Nice job.”  Motivation, encouragement, accountability, friendships, and the occasional butt chewing. Laura’s challenge group motivated me and really truly helped get me on track to be successful with my consistent clean eating and exercise.

Through this group, I found that I really enjoyed encouraging people to eat clean.  Shortly after starting this fitness challenge group, the Paleo Paramedic Facebook page was born, then not too long after that, this blog.  I was feeling great and I wanted all of my friends to feel great as well. I enjoyed finding fun recipes, making them, taking a picture, then sharing my thoughts on it with my friends.  I also wanted to really dive in to Paleo and learn the WHYs of the Paleo way of eating.  My first few “likes” were a couple close friends and some family.  Now, nearing my 12 month Paleo Paramedic anniversary, I’m a few shy of 400 “likes.”  I am truly humbled.  I am passionate about clean eating and fitness.  I will never try to condemn or make people feel guilty.  I guess my goal is to make my friends think.  I consider you all my friends.  I want you guys to be educated.  After eating clean, I realized that I had no idea how good I could feel just by eating.  Just by cutting out a few things from my diet.  Who wouldn’t want to share that with everyone?

I’m big on having goals.  I write them down at the beginning of the year and cross them off one by one as I accomplish them.  One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to be in the best shape of my life by the big 3.0.  I’m 1 month and 2 days away from my 30th birthday. Through eating clean and a commitment to fitness, I’m there, dude.  I have lost a few inches, toned up, dropped weight, and most of all, l feel pretty darn great.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Thanks for the “likes.” Thanks for the “shares.”  I’m blown away at how many people lare interested in what I have to say as well as how to eat a little better.  I’m just a paramedic who is dedicated to fitness and helping others however I can.  I’m here to help create a community dedicated to clean eating.  Questions, comments, concerns….I would be more than happy to visit with you about it all.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

-Lindsay
Your Paleo Paramedic

Alcohol

This post has been a long time coming.  I’ve talked about legumes.  I’ve talked about grain.  I’ve talked about dairy.  “But is alcohol Paleo?”

The short answer, no. 

The way I see it, Paleo is all about eating clean. I consider it a long-term cleanse of sorts.  It’s bringing your body back to it’s normal state.  Getting rid of toxins, processed garbage, sugars. Regulating insulin.  Maintaining normal hormone levels.  Alcohol is one of those things that does nothing to cleanse the body or bring it backs to its normal state.

There are 3 types of alcohol. Wine, beer, and spirits.  Wine and beer and products of sugar or starch fermentation.  Wine from grapes, and beer from grains.  Essentially, beer is like liquid grain (think: gluten). Spirits come from grain fermentation, but are later distilled, which removes the grain protein, thus making them grain-free. However, sometimes the gluten can be added back in by way of additives or other alcohols.  

Alcohol does a good job at reducing your inhibitions, as well as coordination and fine motor skills.  Even just a “little” bit of alcohol can make you think “hey, those chili cheesy deep fried corn dog fritters would be perfect if they were in my belly right now.” Bad idea.  Bar food, also bad idea.  If you’re serious about eating clean and sticking to it, don’t set yourself up for failure by drinking alcohol then making poor food choices.  It’s lose lose.

Alcohol has a HUGE effect on hormones.  It messes with your body’s ability to regulate glucose…big time.  This affects your insulin levels as well as your glucagon levels.  When something interferes with these hormones, one may see a major systemic inflammatory response, which plays a big part in a whole plethora of conditions and diseases.  

While we are still on the subject of sugars, alcohol is LOADED with sugar…and a major lack of nutrition.  Empty calories.  Lots of them.  Mixed drinks can be a bad bad combo.  Man oh man.  Consider cleaning it up a bit by scrapping those sugary soda pops and mixers for something a little better.  Try club soda, real lime for Rose’s lime juice, and drinks with fruit juice instead of those pre-packaged mixers.

As I mentioned in paragraph one, alcohol is not recommended.  Ok, that being said, treats are ok.  I guess I just encourage people to be mindful of what they’re (eating and) drinking.  Pre-Paleo, I enjoyed beer every now and then.  Good beer.  Hearty beer.  The stuff that is full of flavor, full of calories, and is fairly similar to eating a loaf of bread.  Since choosing the Paleo way of eating, I have cut out beer.  Completely.  I do like a drink every now and again, however.  I chose to switch to a vodka, club soda, lime wedge cocktail.  I felt that this was a better choice than the alcohol choices that I made before eating clean.  Some Paleo people recommend choosing gluten-free beer.  Some say wine.  Others say 100% agave tequila or hard cider.  Really, alcohol is alcohol.  Sure, some choices are significantly better than others, but there is really no “Paleo alcohol.”  I consider a cocktail or two a treat.  Just make good choices.  Moderation.  The less that you drink, the healthier you will be.

Cheers