Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's on the Menu Tonight?

Reading menus is the best. Sometimes I just go online and look at menus for hours. Once in awhile I pretend to browse the germ infested pages of a restaurant menu when I am actually sitting at the table, but we all know I am not that normal. Anyone who knows me is completely aware of that fact that I can recite the full menu of any restaurant I go to 15 times blindfolded before I walk through the door. I know there are other people out there who do this. My cousin, Meg (Hi Meg!) is probably a worse offender than I am. But, while others may judge you for studying a menu like there is going to be some sort of exam later on, I feel that this is an incredibly smart habit to adopt. You get a preview for a movie, you should get one for a restaurant! And, now that you are just so into your new healthy lifestyle, you need to know how to go out to eat and have a great meal without any guilt. I have been living a Paleo lifestyle for six months, and in those six months I have gone out to dinner at some of the finest, as well as some of the most terrifying, restaurants in America. In today's post, I will share with you my insight on making healthful Paleo choices while face to face with some of the most tempting foods knows to man. (Sidenote: I have never been to any of the finest restaurants in America.)

There are a handful of articles out there claiming that it is hard to stick to a Paleo diet while dining at a restaurant. I think that the people who wrote these articles were drunk. The truth is, eating Paleo at a restaurant is remarkably easy if you know whats up (and I will tell you whats up, homey.) It is a lot simpler for me to walk into a restaurant and order meat and vegetables than to whip out that weird Weight Watchers cardboard points calculator and start crunching numbers so I can eat two potato skins. That's embarrassing. Nobody wants to be the jackwagon at the table with the calculator. Besides, even if you do lose weight on Weight Watchers, you are still permitted to eat foods that are harmful to your body as long as you stay within your “points.” With the Paleo diet, everything you eat is natural, good for you, and best of all, NO MATH REQUIRED!

OK. So now that we are clear on the fact that you can eat Paleo at a restaurant, lets talk about your options. Essentially, we need to create a satisfying meal out of meat, cheese (if you want), and veggies based off a menu overrun with pasta, french fries, and sandwiches. At some more upscale restaurants, this is not a challenge at all. You order up your salad, a giant steak, and a side of broccoli (try Stoneforge in Raynham's steak tips with broccoli) and you are good to go. But what do you do when you find yourself in a Paleo Panic at your local Chili's, seconds away from demolishing one of those humungo deep fried onions? This, is when you whip out your “customer is always right” card and make your server want to punch you right in the face. This, little caveman, is the time when you start demanding substitutions.

Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but I HAVE had a waiter tell me I couldn't make any substitutions once before. I hated that guy. But overall most places are cool about subbing for sides, so go wild! One of my favorite things to do is to take a grilled chicken sandwich or a burger and substitute the fries for broccoli. Then I ditch the bread and eat the sandwich with a knife and fork. Cheesecake Factory has about 20 million sandwiches and they are massive, so this is a good spot to try out this new bread-free sandwich strategy. I like to do this with sandwiches because I am a cheap ass and ordering a chicken or steak dinner could very easily result in me overdrawing my bank account. I don't even ask for the sandwich with no bread, I just quietly remove it on my own and move on with my life. I find that the more detailed your order is, the more likely it will get screwed up, so I take the sandwich disassembling duties upon myself. If you don't like wasting food, rip the bread up into little pieces, march yourself out to the parking lot and launch it at a seagull. Nobody cares if a seagull is fat.

While sandwiches are cheap, delicious, and easily modified into a protein packed delight, they certainly are not your only option. Salad is always a safe fall back that almost all restaurants offer. However, I would advise you to tread carefully, as the recent restaurant trend of topping salads like an ice cream sundae can make it hard to know if you are ordering a Paleo meal or the equivalent of a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. As a general rule, avoid any salad with breaded chicken, wontons, croutons, (if it ends in TON you will weigh a TON) or those little crunchy brown worm things they throw on Asian salads. Also, while fruit is your friend, Craisins are neither a fruit nor a friend. So if the salad contains dried cranberries ask for it without them. Finally, always get the dressing on the side and daintily dip each forkful into it. You will find that some salads, like a nice Greek with tons of feta cheese, barely need to be dressed. And the same will go for you when your new Paleo lifestyle gives you the slammin' body you deserve! Hooty hoo!!!

All in all, I think its pretty obvious that eating Paleo at a restaurant is not that difficult. If ordering in front of a group of people makes you nervous and you think you might panic and make a dumb ass decision, check out the online menu first. Then, when you get to the restaurant, pretend to browse the menu until the server shows up and then scream out your order before they can say a word. If that doesn't stop you from ordering something unhealthy, I don't know what will. Anyways, in a bizarre and shocking turn of events, I am actually going out to dinner tonight myself. Thus, I must end this post as I will be spending the rest of my time at work staring at the online menu sweating and salivating. Best of luck to you on your next (or first) Paleo restaurant adventure. I hope its the best, carb-free, guilt-free, and most importantly cardboard calculator free, meal you ever had!

Here are a few suggestions of meals from different restaurants I have tried. I love food, so if you want to tell me about a delicious Paleo dinner you had out at a restaurant please do! :)

Chili's – Sizzlin Chicken or Steak Fajitas. Hold the tortillas. It comes on a sizzling skillet with a side plate of cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I mix it all together with the peppers, onions, and meat and I love it. Chili's in Braintree has really generous portions, so I would recommend going to that one if you are going to try this out.

Stoneforge – Steak tips with mushrooms and onions with a side of broccoli. The best part is, you get a big salad with this meal. Try the Parmesan Peppercorn dressing, its the best. Also, the Prime Rib is huge and really salty which I love. I think they might only have it on special on certain days of the week, so you might want to call ahead.

99 – Steak tips with broccoli AND green beans. This was a pleasant surprise for me. Everything was really great. They also have a Mediterranean chicken dish that is awesome, but I think it might be a limited time menu item.

Cheesecake Factory – Lettuce Wraps!!! These are UNREAL! They are on the appetizer menu, but I get them as my meal. You make them yourself, so don't use the little noodles they give you. But these are a must try in my book.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shake That Body

I am just going to come right out and say it. I hate the gym. Everyday on my way home from work, I think about walking into the doors of that gym and I start driving a little slower. Would I rather go home, sit on the couch watching Family Guy and eat my dinner with a big smile on my face? Yes. Do I sometimes choose to do this? Yes. But not all the time. In fact, I almost never skip a scheduled workout. Many people say " Oh, I will do such a good job going to the gym for one week and then I just can't go anymore." Trust me, they can go. They could go every single day whether they wanted to or not. They are just making excuses and being lazy because its the easy thing to do. Look, not even Hulk Hogan wants to launch his giant, yellow spandex covered body into the gym everyday, but he does it. This is because there is something that Hulk Hogan and I have in common besides our lucious golden locks. If you want to make exercise a permanent part of your life until the day you die peacefully in your sleep at age 115, you need to take a page from the Haley and Hulk Hogan book of fitness. You need to get yourself some goals.

When it comes to fitness, goals are everything. The problem with that is, people will decide on day one that they want to run 5 miles in 5 minutes tomorrow, and then give up when this doesn't happen. In my opinion there are two ways to ensure that you will not only achieve, but surpass, any fitness goals that you set for yourself. 1) Adopt the Paleo lifestyle (see blog 2) and 2) Ditch your stupid gym routine. It doesn't work. I will tell you exactly how to design your workouts so that you will see the fastest results and also maximize your time in the gym. No more hour long treadmill sessions. No more waving around 5lb weights staring at yourself in the mirror. You are now going to learn how to do the best workout of your life using the best gift God and yo' Mama gave you....your own body.

I don't know how much you weigh, but I will assume more than 5 lbs. So, common sense would tell us that a pushup (using all your bodyweight) is a more functional and effective movement than taking two 5lb dumbells and putting them up over your head 20 times while standing completely still. Check your pulse after doing ten pushups and again after lifting your little dumbells and then come and tell me which is a better workout. If you want to be able to wave to all your friends across the bar without your arm fat flying everywhere, you need to get your flabby ass on the ground and do some pushups. If you can't do real ones, get on your knees. Make it your ultimate goal to do a real pushup. Every night, before you go on facebook to be the stalker that you know you are, drop to the ground and push yourself back up ten times. Pretty soon your arms will be lookin so good it will be a challenge to not cut the sleeves off of all your shirts and walk around smashing beer cans on your head. FUN!

OK, so now that you are on your way to doing the perfect pushup (don't buy the actual Perfect Pushup, its weird) I am going to teach you how to design workouts. I typically stick with the CrossFit workout of the day or do other Crossfit style workouts that are designed by CrossFit trainers at the AWESOME bootcamp I go to twice a week ( When I say CrossFit style workouts, what I mean is that I typically do workouts where I get my strength and cardio exercise AT THE SAME TIME. What a concept. I never walk into a gym, run on the treadmill at 6.0 for a half hour and then go over and use the arm or leg machines. Thats a waste of my time. I did that for years and I stayed fat. And I also looked awkward trying to figure out how to use a machine only to scamper away when I couldn't figure that shizz out. I can do a workout in twelve minutes that is better than anything you can do in one hour. Here is an example:

Next time you go to the gym, try this out. I do need to stress that in order to get the full effects of the workout you will need to time yourself. Any of these workouts done at a leisurely pace may seem easy. You need to be on the clock. Don't take breaks unless you feel like you are on the brink of death. Also, I dont clean the treadmill until I am done with my workout. If someone gets on my gross sweaty treadmill mid workout thats their problem.I just get on another one and sweat all over that one too!!!


- Run 400 meters (this is 0.25 on a treadmill. Some people have a lot of trouble with this conversion. Its a quarter mile. Duh.)

- 20 pushups. (break them up into 5's if you have to. Do them on your knees if you have to. Just get 20.)

- 20 situps. ( on the ground. no stupid crunch machines where you bend your stomach one inch. Lay with your legs flat on the ground. Put your hands up over your head fully stretched out and use them to lauch up into a full sitting position keeping legs outstretched. This is a real situp. Get used to it.)

Do this four times. At the end you will have run one mile and done 80 of both pushups and situps. Do your 400 meter runs as fast as you can. You want to be counting down the seconds until its over. You don't want to be able to talk.

Some people might say " Oh, this sounds nice but its not for me." Guess what? It is for you if you ever want your body to change. Think back to all the years you have been going to the gym. Has your body changed for the better or have you stayed the exact same? Try something new. Trust me, the sentence " I am going to run for 35 minutes and then do some abs" will make you ROTFLMAO in two weeks. When I do 100 clean and jerks for time (we'll get there) I dont parade around like an idiot telling everyone I am going to "do some abs." And my abs are looking better every day.So try this example workout and let me know how you feel after. I will post my workouts as often as I can, so there should be a good amount of stuff up here for you to try. Never again will you spend an hour at the gym bored and confused. And on these gorgeous ( or humid and horrific) summer days, you could even do this right at home!

I want to finish this post by saying that with these Crossfit style workouts, it truly always is something different every day. If you incorporate this kind of exercise into your lifestyle, I promise you that you will look and feel better than you ever have. And, if you STILL find yourself having one of those days where the couch is just calling out your name, think of me and Hulk Hogan all up in the gym covered in sweat, grunting away and drop and give me 20 brother!!!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Food is your FRIEND.

WOW. Blog 2. Who would have thought we would make it this far? OK, no more jokes lets get down to business. The business, that is, of what YOU should be eating.
Some people say that how you look is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I tend to disagree with this a little bit. If you are exercising CORRECTLY its more like 60/40. But exercise is a blog for another day (tomorrow.) Today we are here to talk about food.

I eat like a caveman. Like a prehistoric human. Is that weird to you? I know it is. That's why I waited to hook you with my captivating words in my first blog to get you to trust me. I scammed you and it worked. Sucka. But, its true. The way of eating (I HATE the word diet) that I follow is referred to as Paleolithic. If you don't want to walk around like a giant freak telling everyone you are a caveman, another way to refer to it is to say “ I prefer to eat all natural, thank you.” Easy as pie (except cavemen don't eat pie so get that out of your big fat head.)

The reason I choose to eat in this way is because it is the manner in which humans were meant to eat. Simple. I am pretty sure there were no 100 Calorie Packs of Cheez-Its in Year One. So why do you want to eat them in 2010? You don't. They contain no nutrients and you are never satisfied with that stupid tiny package, stop pretending you are. You and I both know you are going to eat the whole box in two days anyways so stop kidding yourself. Tiny packs of snacks are for idiots, and you are reading this blog which makes you NOT an idiot. So ditch the Cheez-its, dinkus. And while you're at it ditch the Rice Cakes, wheat thins, and gaaaaaaassssssssp even your precious hummus. Cue hate mail. I will never understand the hummus craze that seems to have taken over the world. But we need to move on, so throw it away, shed a few tears if you need to, and keep reading.

Your very first stop on the Caveman Express is to ditch ALL grains. And I mean all. Wheat bread is NOT any better for you than white bread. It is so processed by the time it is edible that there is not one nutrient left in there at all. Google it. Some companies like to add fiber to their bread, big frickin deal. A caveman gets his fiber from fruits and vegetables and now, you do too. I am sure you knew this was coming, but you now can no longer eat pasta, rice, or potatoes. These foods make you have a big fat belly. They also cause your insides to be inflamed, as the human body is not designed to ingest grains. Inflammation causes slower recovery after workouts and muscle pain which sucks. It sucks have to sit down like a 90 year old because your hamstrings hurt from working out. Grains are only going to make that worse, so say your goodbyes Grandma.

Lastly, and probably the most devastating of all the restrictions is sugar. No sugar. I break this rule one day a week. Once a week I go out and get myself an ice cream. Not a low fat ice cream, because Cavegirl knows better. You see, if you stick with this new and wonderful lifestyle for about a week, your body will begin to run off your excess fat. Then, when you are a sexy skinny-mini, it will be trained to run off the fat you take in through your diet. Fat is the body's natural energy source. Baked Lays are not the body's natural energy source. Therefore, once you cut out all those ridiculous carbs you thought you needed for energy, you need to replace them with a combination of fat and protein. Just trust me on this one. If you want an ice cream once a week, fine. Just make it REAL ice cream and NO cone. Don't even try it! (Sidenote: You can eat your own birthday cake.)

If all this seems like a lot to process in one day, use that old rule we have all heard over and over since Elementary School health class. Shop only around the perimeter of the grocery store. With the exception of orange juice (too carb dense, and you get your Vitamin C from delicious leafy greens now) you should be OK. And don't be hesitant to make a stop at the local package store on the way home for a six pack of delicious Miller Lites!! Or if you are classier than me, get some wine. Just stay away from the Twisted Teas, Margaritas, and all those drinks that high school girls love so much. Cavemen wouldn't be caught dead drinking a Smirnoff Ice and they had muscles and could beat your ass up.

I am going to give a very basic list of foods to stick to as a new Paleo eater. I would love to answer any questions anyone has. I am not a scientist, so some of the things I told you about how this lifestyle influences your body you may be wondering more about. A simple Google search of Paleo Diet will yield some great results. And really, thanks for coming back to read my second blog entry ever. :)


Meat – Especially grass fed beef and free range chicken. Nature's Promise at Stop and Shop has chicken and pork products that are pretty good. Grass fed beef you can typically find at local farms or farmer's markets. Regular meat will do just fine as well if you are on a budget like me.

Vegetables – Green is the best color. Limit carrots and REALLY limit corn. One delicious corn on the cob has the same glycemic index as a king sized Milky Way. Try to aim for about a cup of green vegetables per meal. Suggestion: grill up peppers, onions, zucchini and summer squash.

Fruit – Berries are the way to go. Strawberries burn belly fat and taste so good. Blueberries contain antioxidants and you can put them right into your plain Chobani! Limit bananas as they are pretty carb dense.

Nuts – Nuts should be raw not roasted. Trader Joe's has a great selection of raw nuts. Peanuts are a bean not a nut and should be avoided. So no peanut butter allowed. Beans are full of toxins and cannot be eaten raw. These toxins are still there in small amounts once cooked, and can lead to autoimmune deficiencies in the body. Same deal with chickpeas and hummus. Sorry. Raw Almond Butter is an awesome substitute for your beloved PB. Trader Joe's has that too. Try the crunchy kind. I go through about a jar of that stuff a week. I don't have a hummus substitute, but you might have some luck finding one in my cat's litterbox.

Water – I try to drink ONLY water. The problem with diet soda is that it is still sweet which spikes your insulin, triggering your body to hold onto fat. Whats worse, since there are no calories, the insulin spike reaction from the diet soda leaves your body searching for calories that aren't there, and you will start to feel hungry even if you are not. My advice, the more water the better. Don't drink juice either. Not any kind. Its calories and carbohydrates with no necessary nutrients at all.

Dairy- Dairy is optional. I choose to eat dairy. Plain Greek yogurt, hard Parmesan cheese, and melted cheese on a burger is all fine. I have some great cheesy recipes for later blogs. For milk, raw milk is best. You will need to find a farm for this. If that idea is too much for you, go with a cup a day of whole milk. Skim milk loses all its nutrients during processing and is honestly the equivalent of drinking water with calories so lower the portions and go for whole. Also, if you drink coffee have it with cream.
As far as yogurt goes, the same rule applies to those “Lite” yogurts as does to diet soda. You don't want to be that hagged looking broad in that commercial blabbing on the phone to her friend about all her favorite yogurt flavors and calling her husband “babe” forty thousand times. Plain Greek Yogurt is the only kind you should eat.

Here is what I ate today. This is a pretty standard day for me. You will notice I don't snack, as my body has learned to feel full on less food throughout the day. In the beginning of this diet I had an afternoon snack (yogurt, protein shake) so please, don't be scared to eat if you feel hungry.

2 eggs fried in butter (cooking sprays turn to trans-fat when you heat them up, worst kind of fat!)
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
A few slices of avacado
Two tablespoons of salsa for the eggs. (Trader Joe's Double Roasted is great.)
4 Strawberries.

3oz Stop and Shop Rotisserrie Chicken. (not the healthiest chicken but it has great flavor!)
1 cup mixture of summer squash and spinach
9 almonds (for my healthy fat. You must have healthy fat at every meal.)

Serving size of Plain Chobani mixed with two tablespoons of almond butter, a scoop of whey protein powder and Cinnamon.
2 oz grilled chicken breast
4 strawberries

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hi! So this is my first blog of all time. If you hate it, thats fine but if you like what you read COME BACK! I'll be posting my exercise and diet plans (almost) daily. This little introductory post should give you an idea of what's to come. I may not be Perez Hilton, but who wants to be that giant freak anyways?

I am not asking anyone to be impressed with me. I am not asking anyone to admire me. I am just hoping that maybe, some of you can relate to me. I have done nothing to marvel at. I would love to be able to say that you are about to read the blog of someone who has accomplished great things, but lies aren't going to get me anywhere. I have never swam with sharks. I never survived a life threatening disease. Hell, I have to use every ounce of courage I have to get on a frickin amusement park ride. But I have done one thing that I consider to be the hardest and most rewarding challenge of my life. I successfully lost thirty pounds in seven years.

DON'T STOP READING. I know that sounds ridiculous. After all, seven years is a long-ass time. And it was certainly a long-ass time for me of eating wheat bread, drinking skim milk, and running (slowly) for up to six miles a day. This went on for six and a half years until I decided I had had ENOUGH of that big fat body. The world no longer needed to witness me jiggling down the street, eating my Nutri-Grain bars thinking I was on the path to the body of my dreams. After six and a half years of squeezing into low rider jeans (yikes) and consuming a diet based mostly on carbohydrates, I was one fed up fatty. I told you I lost thirty pounds in seven years, but maybe I should be more specific. In seven years of TRYING I lost thirty pounds. But, in the last six months of those seven years, my life has changed for what I hope will be forever. So listen up there all you dieters cramming your bodies into Spanxx on a daily basis. I just may be able to make you the skinniest bitch at the party. All I ask is that you give me this chance to elaborate...

There is a lot of food in the world. Again, maybe I should be more specific. For the average American there is a lot of food in the world. In fact, I am unsure if you could even fit anymore food into my world. Everyday on my way to work I pass McDonalds, Burger King and about thirty thousand Dunkin Donuts. Every night when I finish my dinner, my mind automatically drifts toward a vision of me smiling my way through the DQ drive-thru and snatching up a nice blizzard to inhale. In my world, there is always some high calorie, low quality food about five minutes away from my mouth should I choose to give into my fat girl fantasies. Yet, these days I can proudly say that I rarely cave to these delicious temptations. But that was CERTAINLY not always the case.

To be honest, I was not actually an overweight child or teenager which is absolutely shocking considering the amount of Powdered Donettes I could put back in a day. But, just like thousands of college girls before me, after three months in the collegiate world, the seemingly wonderful combination of keg parties and late night pizza left me with the dreaded combination of a pretty decent sized gut and a muffin top. Who wants to party?

I knew my “large and in charge” figure had to go if my milkshake was ever going to bring all the boys to the yard, so I took it upon myself to spend the rest of my college career eating in a way that I thought was healthy. Cheese pizza? Yes please, there is no fatty meats on there. Turkey sandwich? Why yes thank you,wheat bread is good for you. Kashi cereal? Oh, what a delicious low calorie snack! But no matter how much fat I cut from my diet, I couldn't lose a pound.

I was able to stick to the Atkins Diet for about three days and Weight Watchers ended just as quickly as it started. Bottom line? After all this “dieting” I was still lookin' a hot mess! It wasn't until as recently as 2009 when I discovered Crossfit and a way of eating to be named later in this blog that I had the biggest epiphany of my 24 years on this planet. EVERYTHING I knew about fitness and nutrition was a LIE. Thus, whether you like it or not, I feel it is necessary to spread this knowledge to anyone who will listen. So say goodbye to your “Lite and Fit” yogurts and your slow paced ten mile jog my friends. This former carboholic slow runner is going to turn you into one of the healthiest people in the world