Monday, September 30, 2013

The Paleo Verdict

Today marks the final day of the Paleo Eating Challenge. Wow, we really made it. That totally amazes me.

* Weight Loss * Lean muscle mass * Feel great * Healthy Eating * Great example for our kids * level energy levels

* Shopping more (although I have gotten good at the shopping. It may take a month just to figure out where to shop! I love HyVee's health food area for almond meal, enjoy life baking chips (non dairy, no soy, no nuts and the occasional larabar if I am in a pinch and can't get them quick enough online)
* Meal Prep time
* Meal Clean up
* starting eating Paleo: Let's face it, the initial side effects and detox are awful!
* Rigid, difficult in social settings. Chris went to a family birthday party during this challenge and ate an apple. They had hotdogs, potato chips, cake and icecream. He felt left out and hungry. If going to a social setting, we have to learn to bring a Paleo dish that we and our friends can enjoy. Shoot, while we are at it, bring dessert, too!
* Cravings make eating Paleo difficult to follow
* EXPENSIVE: All the fresh fruits, vegetables, grass fed meat, and zero nitrates bacon come at a HIGH PRICE! You do not want to know my total for groceries in September!

Chris lost weight that he did not even realize he wanted to lose (but feels much better now that it is gone) and is leaner than he has been since college. He is now down to his college weight, if not just above his high school weight. He maintained his weight in the last week but also dropped his workouts substantially.

I am below my high school weight but not at my lowest adult weight by any stretch (that I was at while breastfeeding and working full time but I looked like crap, too). I finally achieved the 6 pack abs that I have been striving for, if only they were not under layers of clothing now for Nebraska autumn. I know they are there, and I am thrilled. Finally! After having 3 kids in a short period of time, I did not know my body was even capable anymore.

We both feel good physically. Mentally, we still miss our favorite foods. We will be going 80/20 for now. 80 % Paleo 20% non paleo. Non Paleo does not necessarily mean non healthy, either. Yes, Chris can't wait to have a Mamas's Cheese pizza with extra sauce. But, he also would like to have a turkey sandwich, pretzels and a Greek yogurt. We are going to not count Greet Yogurt as a cheat and have it on an occasional basis. We both need dairy if our body agrees after this month detox.

As for me, I have some tastefully simple pretzels that I have had for a few weeks that will be coming with me to work tonight (after midnight they are mine! :) ). But, really, I feel like I found my new way of healthy, clean eating. I can eat whatever I want and not feel guilty. I don't have to count calories, just eat. LOVE THAT!  I learned that a calorie is not a calorie anyway as I can eat a ton of veges, fruit and healthy meat and lose weight! That is crazy considering I know I was eating way more calories than I was accustomed to eating. But, my mind (and maybe my body, too) felt starved without my sugary treats and my carbs. The way I feel outweighs the cons to me, so far. I will try 80/20, but I may push towards all Paleo with 3 cheats a week. I am okay with that.

Like I said, I am amazed we both completed the 30 days. We have learned a lot about healthy eating, reading labels, and the importance of what goes into our (and our kids') bodies. Our kids have benefited, too, eating a mostly Paleo dinner with us, and including some paleo snacks. It can only be a good thing. And, they all love cauliflower now!

Wanna join us? Have questions? Ask away! I don't have all the answers, but I can refer you to places that do. Happy clean Paleo eating. :)
Mark's Daily Apple
Nerd Fitness (has a great ap too where you type in the food and he says if it is Paleo or not!)
Robb Wolf
Everyday Paleo Great recipes
Paleo Porn Bad name but has some good recipes and tips

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Paleo Challege Week 3

I know, I said I would not post an update until we were done. But, week 3 is the pivotal week. Mark's Daily Apple has only a 21 day challenge. It typically takes 21 days, they say, to create a habit. We are at day 21 today.

Results: Chris was down another 4lbs this week! He started his new job and had less access to snacking. Additionally, he did not eat much of the dinners that I spend 1 1/2 hours preparing alone. Yes, this bothered me big time. He said he was sick of my cooking after I spend most of the afternoon preparing it. I was done then. :) Chris is back to his college weight of 155lb, losing 10lbs total. He says his body feels much better but not his mind. I believe he is still craving all the foods he loves, like bread and pizza. Chris looks very lean. I can tell when I hug him that there is less of him there. He is very lean and muscular now. He has lost body fat and maintained his muscle growth. He looks great!

Me. I lost a pound this week. I worked 3 nights in a row and slept little, decreasing my appetite. With that said, I decreased my workouts a lot and still lost 1 lb. This week I only work one shift, so I'm sure I will level out. Oh, and this week, we received our shipment of Larabars from Amazon autoshipment. :) So exciting! FOOD! I can now see my 6 pack abs. I knew they were there somewhere! I feel very lean. I'm feeling much more confident.

I'm loving paleo now. This is why. I can eat whatever I want as long as it is paleo, and I never feel guilty about it. Before, I would eat too many cookies or pizza and feel horrible physically and mentally afterwards. Now, I do not feel guilty because what I am eating is all good for me. And, maybe I needed the extra helping of vegetables or shrimp. :) Yum, shrimp. I am also learning to love the cooking part, and I am learning more and more about paleo cooking. Chris still does a better job at the meat (shrimp or chicken). So far, Chris does not like Cod or Salmon, so we are very limited on meat. We will have breakfast for dinner at least once a week so we can break up the dinners a tad.

One week plus to go. We will finish up on the 30th I think. Chris says he is done next we will see what we do. But, I will continue to eat paleo with some greek yogurt and 3 cheat meals a week at least. I like the results, how my skin looks and feels. I just have to be careful to drink half my body weight in water at least and to eat plenty so I level out here soon (thinking this week). Chris should be careful as he loses weight quickly!

One week to go! Wish us luck. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adjusting to Working Life

Today marks a month since we sent all three of our kiddos to school. Really, a month already?!

I have gotten very little of my to do list completed and I have yet to be bored. I have been working more to fill my time (so I sleep during the day if I work all night). One week I work 3 nights in a row (8 hr shifts) and then I try to pick up one shift on my off week. Looking ahead, my first week off will be the week of October 20 when I decided not to pick up on my week off. I really should sit back and catch up on stuff, right. Working all these nights is a killer as I still do not sleep well between shifts.

As it is now, I work either Monday-Wednesday nights (so I sleep through Thursday) or I work Sunday-Tuesday nights (sleeping through Wednesday). On the precious days I have off, I go to the grocery store and run errands one day and I frantically clean and do laudry on Fridays, leaving little time to sit down and breath. Even on my week "off" where I pick up the single shift, I stay busy. I nap the afternoon before my shift and I sleep the day after, so working one night takes up 2 days really. On the remaining 3 days, I run the errands one day and clean one day leaving only one day to catch up. Last week during that one day, I stained the playset. It looks so much better. I was happy to finally get to my neglected to do list. Next on the list, shopping for my Dad's birthday next month and Christmas shopping. I have already started Christmas shopping, getting my mom almost done and the kids and Chris started. It's a start anyway.

Meanwhile, Chris is now into day 3 at his new job. He feels like he is getting pulled in so many directions. Last night, for example, he raced into the door at 5:25 just to leave again to take Asher to soccer practice (he insisted I not go. Pretty sure he does not trust me to be good around his brother, Asher's soccer coach). After practice, he slammed down his dinner, waiting 20 minutes and went off to work out. He is crazy. I got the kids cleaned up and put in bed before I saw Chris again (and I was in bed by then, trying to nap again before work).

Quicking I am remembering what it is like to be a 2 person working household, and I am not even working full time. I HATE IT! It is so chaotic. Between my shifts, I am scrambling to make lunches, pack up the backpacks, help the kids with their homework, get the breakfast stuff ready for the morning to help Chris out, etc, etc, plus keep the house picked up and cleaned and the laundry caught up. I just want to step back and say, "Why are we doing this again?" Then I remember, I don't have to do this, so I will take the week off. :) So happy I am not commited yet as I am finding I am just not ready for the fast lane yet.

I am just not one of those super moms and I am proud to admit it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Halfway Marker: Paleo 30 Day Challenge!

Stir fry vegetables...always with a meet and a little fruit.
Today is day 15. Wow. What do I say?! I can't believe I have gone 15 days without sugar, dairy, bread or grains! Amazing.

Results so far. Let's start with the positive.
Chris has lost 5 pounds and one spot on his belt inward without doing anything different except eating Paleo. Chris lost only a pound this last week, but this last week is when the belt went in a notch. He is beginning the training classes at crossfit, but they are not actual workouts. He is just learning proper form and stuff. So, his workouts are essentially the same (A mix of Hasfit, his personal weight training, a little light running and intense biking and an occasional Crossfit WOD with the neighbor). He feels the same, but I think he appears leaner. He is 5 ft 8 inches and now 160lbs. He was not out to lose any weight, mind you. He is muscle mass, not fat at all.

I have lost 2 1/2 pounds. I lost a 1/2 pound this much better than the 2 lbs I lost last week. I feel my stomach is maybe a bit less full looking...? Everyone has their body dislike areas and mine is my lower abs. I can see my upper ab muscles, but my lower abs I have never liked. This may sound funny because I am such a small person, but I feel like I have lost my butt padding a little. I know, it is only 2 pounds. But, I did not have 2 extra pounds. I am 5'4' and 99 pounds now. I know, however, given one cheat day, I will be back to my 100-101 range. :) No worries. With that said, I do feel a bit learner, like more of my weight is muscle vs body fat. I don't know. I do know that I feel more confident wearing formed fitted things now versus before. I know, I am weird.

I can't speak for Chris, but I am still exhausted. I have problems making it through my night shift without having to pace to stay awake. I have so little energy that I have had to scale back my 1 hr workouts (I typically work out for a hour, mixing up cardio and weight training, 5-6 times a week. When I work, my workouts our scaled back to a half hour if I can handle even that on 4 hours sleep). I usually run twice a week. On Saturday, my feet were moving, but I felt like my head had to will them to move. It was a weird sensation.
I feel anxious, like I am waiting for something, much of the time. I also feel energized (by starvation?) for some reason. I feel my house has not been cleaner in a while. Weird. Come 8:30 though, I am ready for bed. Kids in bed...and so am I! I just can't keep my eyes open another second. Sleep comes and I can't say that my sleep has improved (as many have reported on this diet). I have horrible cravings for things I never ate before. Get this, during Mass Saturday night (a good Homily at that), I was thinking about Cheetos and a chocolate shake! Seriously! I typically do not eat Cheetos or get chocolate shakes! What is going on with me!
There were a few days when Chris was getting up at midnight to eat because he woke up hungry. We have been so busy different activities, our dinner is 7 or later some nights. So, he has not had to wake up to eat (although I have to wake up to go to the bathroom and never return to sleep some nights!).
That is another thing. If you do not have access to a bathroom, do not go paleo. I don't know if I am still detoxing, it is all the water I am drinking (which is about 50 oz a day...still not enough) or the Paleo diet...but the restroom and I are close pals lately. It is easier to go, too. That is all I will say...enough said, too.

 We have learned more about healthy eating, food prep, better cooking. We have to cook and prepare every meal. We made Lobster for Chris' last day. In the past, it would have been Mamas pizza. It is a toss up which is better. Right now, Mamas Pizza sounds amazing. Anyway, I have made the paleo chocolate chip cookies a few times. Chris loves them. I'm not set on them. I have it set up through Amazon to have our Paleo Larabars autoshipped to us once a month! I know, crazy! But, I was shopping all over the place for these things and they were so expensive! If you sign up to have them autoshipped, they are cheaper and I don't have to go hunting for them (like the hunters and gatherers!). Oh, and check out the ingredients on labels. Here is an example.
Larabar Label: See dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts and rasins. Thats it! All natural stuff.

Goldfish Ingredients. That is insane. Look at all that crap in there! Now, I won't buy them.
I had bought the kids snack cakes for 99Cents at HyVee on Sale for dessert and treats in their school lunches. I usually homemade a cookie or something, but I can't do that without eating some dough. Seriously, the smell of a brownie would be the end for me. I bought these snack cakes and Chris looked at the ingredients. We about died. It looked like I was feeding them poison. Maybe I am?! What is all that stuff in there?! Here, check it out.
What is all of that stuff?! If it has that many ingredients, I will not buy it anymore.

Cooking, constant chopping and food prep, and shopping at so many stores. I now know where to buy things. For example, Whole Foods (which is super far from us) and Bakers both carry almond flour/meal. Whole foods only carries the paleo chocolate chunks. Farmers markets are perfect to buy the veges (for now, but we only have that for a couple more weeks. BOO!). I buy a lot of fruit from HyVee or Walmart, but fish, not farmed, I can only find at whole foods or Hyvee. All of the fish at Costco was farmed. So annoying! Chicken and bacon that are Paleo are also difficult to find. The lack of energy is a big negative. And, the time spent shopping, meal prep and cooking is a huge negative. And, I am sure this is way more expensive. I'm not sure as I was spending a lot of money in the cereal aisle before, now we are eating eggs.

This week Chris returns to work away from home. He has been working from home, an easier environment to prepare meals in. This will be a bigger deal for him. I am thinking he may have a cheat day in there, too. Who knows? New job is always questionable. He will probably drop more weight this week I am thinking.

Next paleo update will be when we complete our challenge! Come joins us on the clean side of eating!

Friday, September 13, 2013

End of An Employment Era

Today was Chris' last day working at Northrup Grumman after 15 years! He got this job before he graduated from college (with his masters) and has only had one job. To say good bye was not difficult. It was a long time coming. Bur, for the weekend, he is unemployed. Funny, he said it feels good to be unemployed.

Monday is a new day. The new job is at a company near the Westroads. So, he will have to drive a long way compared to the 2 miles we are from this last job. Bummer! Also, for now anyway, he will not be working from home. I, for one, will totally miss having him around to talk to,eat lunch with, etc. No more Chris at home! NO! I will officially be home alone now. Really, there have been very few days that he has gone into work since the kids have gone back to school, so leaving will be a huge adjustment, too.

Congratulations Topher on the new job! Let's open the new chapter and see what is inside! :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Asher In Soccer Take 3

Last summer (talking 2012), Asher signed up for soccer with Chris as the coach through the local YMCA. It was not pretty. Asher lost enthusiasm quickly. Again in the spring (now 2013), Asher signed up for soccer through our church. He liked it a little more and was slowly picking it up.

Fast forward to now and Chris signed up Asher to play soccer through Papillion Rec this time with the big boys, boys 6-7 years old! Dang, they are big! Asher is tiny anyway for his age, but looks quite tiny compared to those a year older. But, he is fast! He moves all over this big soccer field like a bullet, with good running form and some enthusiasm. New shoes, new jersey, new team, new coach. He may actually stick with it and be like his Daddy (maybe. Daddy rocked it in soccer from what I hear). He has practice twice a week and games on weekends. So far so good.

One tiny hiccup. Chris signed up Asher to be on the same team as his cousin Henry with his coach being Chris' brother, someone I have not spoke to for years and someone I have no desire to talk to...ever. Awkward. I know, life is too short, blah blah blah. I have heard it all. I shut my mouth with a pin and went to Asher's game because I wanted to watch him play.

I sat down, kept my pin in between my lips and watched, took pictures and watched. My sister in law, who I never thought I would have to see again let alone hear, talked to Chris right in front on me. Okay, majorly awkward as I am not going to be polite and speak to someone who nearly tore our family apart. Who knew...I'm still hurt? It was all I could do to sit there quietly when all I wanted to do was get up and run home as fast as I could.

That night, I expressed to Chris how I felt. In a sense, I felt like Chris and I went through an affair. However, neither of us had an affair per say. His brother and his witchy sister in law stepped between Chris and I ripping us apart just as an affair did. I would say I have the same feelings towards his sister in law as I would towards another woman if this were an actual affair situation. Seriously, there is no love.

Chris has not sent me the soccer schedule, so I do not know how many games we have left. Chris starts his new job next week leaving me to take Asher to his practices alone with the girls. I am completely dreading this already. And, I have a feeling Chris has a plan to continue to have the boys play together. I want Asher to love soccer, but of all the teams, can't he play on another one?

Otherwise, I better jump off the paleo diet and start drinking on Saturday mornings and twice a week before practices. Any suggestions? :)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Paleo 30 Day Challenge, 1 week In

Chris and I are a week into our 30 Day Paleo Diet Challenge. The first few days were brutal. We were weak, hungry, tired, and craving all of our favorite foods. As the week went on, things got better. We found more things to eat and try. I made some homemade paleo crackers that were a total bust, but found some Paleo Larabars that are quite amazing (totally recommend them, too!).

Breakfast usually consists of egg white omelet (we can have whole eggs and it is encouraged, but Chris and I like the whites better. We are about out of them so will be moving to whole eggs). We just eat the eggs whipped up plain right now. We tried putting peppers into them but found we liked the plain ones better. Chris usually has a couple pieces of bacon and we both have fruit, like watermelon or blueberries. Today I tried turkey bacon as I am so hungry and weak. It was okay but had to slam it down. Not something I would eat if I was not so hungry. It did help fill me up. I have also been making smoothies. Alivia likes to drink these with me. I make them with almond milk, strawberries, blueberries and a little banana. They are good and filling.

Lunch either a salad or, if we are on the run, a larabar and an apple. The later is not the best but it is all we could do on the run. The salad is 3-4 cups of Kale and Spinach, homemade dressing with veges on top like cucumber, carrots, olives, peppers, etc. I have been known to throw some fruit on mine. Chris eats an apple on or with his salad.

Afternoon snack is usually a Larabar or more fruit. I like apple slices with almond butter. I need protein for my ongoing weakness and hunger.

Dinner is some kind of chicken or shrimp with grilled veges. We do not eat red meat for the most part, so we are getting bored. The wild caught shrimp I bought from Hyvee tastes gross, so we are off to find something better this week. Chris does not like much for veges, so he is getting bored. We grill peppers, onions, zucchini and summer squash. I like steamed broccoli and cauliflower (my go to lunch for work) or steamed winter squash. I'm up for trying anything...I ate bacon for goodness sakes! Yuck! I just want to feel satisfied.

First week results.
Chris lost 4lbs! I could tell right away that he had lost weight. He can't see or feel a difference.
I, without trying, lost 2 lbs. Considering I am not in a position to lose any weight, this loss was obvious to Chris by Thursday. I had lost more on Thursday, but managed to gain it back by the Sunday check point. And, I never weigh myself. But, in order to make sure I am not losing a ton, I am monitoring myself closely. I do feel my abs are showing through more, but Chris thinks my arms appear weaker. Maybe bacon will help.

And finally, I guess the Paleo diet is a good way to pick up men (and I am not looking). I had a guy hit on me while buying only bacon and my paleo larabars saying I was, "a women after his own heart," and "Enjoy your bacon and larabars," along with other small talk. I believe he was a crossfitter. I think I will leave all of this freaking shopping to Chris! Since the first of the month,  I went to the store 10! times, Costco, Walmart, HyVee, Bakers, Trader Joes and Whole Foods...all for this diet! Processed foods sure make life easier!

1 week down, 3 weeks to go. Still waiting to feel amazing!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Paleo Day 2

No, I am not going to update this every day on the Paleo challenge. I'll be brain dead in a few days on this diet anyway.

Really, there are side effects to eating Paleo that we did not fully appreciate before giving up the foods we love (dairy, chocolate, sugar, processed foods, grains, etc). We are feeling sluggish and lethargic,headache, sore joints, shaky, have a little memory loss, and HUNGRY with serious cravings! I guess this is to be expected as our bodies are adapting to using fatty acids as a source of fuel as opposed to glucose (carbohydrates). This stage is to move forward and then we will feel amazing, supposedly. It is like we are in detox, detox from our rich and yummy diets. :)

Day 2.
Breakfast: Eggs whites whipped with a handful of red pepper.

Worked out: Turbo Fire 60, Hasfit 10 (with Chris) and abdominal burn (Hasfit again) with Chris, followed by an intense bike ride (with Chris). Chris wore me out. I would have been fine with the turbo fire 60. :) But it felt good when I was done.

Kale/spinach salad with veges and homemade paleo dressing
homemade almonds

Tried to nap (because I work tonight) but I was too hungry to sleep.

Apple, grapes and more almonds

Fresh Caught Shrimp and vege (peppers, onion and zucchini) stir fry.

After dinner (while the kids had popcorn): Grapes and a few more almonds

I miss EVERYTHING. I miss drinking my Lipton Green Tea. It was so yummy just a little slushy out of the freezer. Slushy water just is not the same. We both miss our Greek Yogurt with blueberries. It is so good! I just got Chris to start eating it, too. We both miss cereal. I ate Kashi Go Lean Crunch for breakfast (dry) and a couple times a day sometimes for snack. I miss it! We miss FROYO. Yummy! We may have rode our bikes to Orange Leaf today and gotten some, if only we were not being all Paleo.

Oh, and get this. Yesterday, while I was starving my butt off, Chris ate many chocolate cookies out of the freezer. I'm sure he thought I would never know, but I made those and froze them for the kids' lunch. I KNEW! He admitted it. NO FAIR! I want chocolate!! But, I'm being good. Chris claims this was his only cheat. So far, I have not had a cheat. I can only dream.

Getting through night shifts is really difficult on this diet. Tonight I brought grapes, an apple, and squash. I wanted to bring leftover dinner, but there was not any dinner leftover!  Let's hope we begin to see a difference real soon or I am running back to my old ways. Shoot, I felt pretty healthy before. Now I feel like crap. :)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Paleo Challenge

September 1, 2013.
Just another day, right? Oh no, not just another day.
Today is the day Chris and I have started the Paleo Challenge.
What is Paleo you might ask? Please do because I have been researching and nothing has prepared me for today like living it has.
It is a healthy diet focused on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. The idea is that we are eating similar to what the caveman ate...but not really. All the food we eat today is nothing like it was then. The cave man could not have a banana (without a bunch of seeds in it) and fish in the same day, more than likely, because the caveman had to hunt and gather and that does not include grocery shopping at the local Whole Foods Market (and what a joke that place is! For another post maybe).

What is okay to eat? Fruits, veges, lean meats, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, fats from fish), seafood and nuts and seeds. We have to avoid all grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars, legumes, starches, and alcohol. We eat three meals and a snack or 2, whatever we are hungry for. No measuring, no calorie counting, just eat Paleo. Easy right? Um, think again!

Shopping to eat Paleo seems easy at first, just stick to the outside of the store, right? Then I set out to buy the ingredients. Where is the coconut flour? almond meal? and finding natural almond butter (like peanut butter but with almonds) sure did feel like I was hunting! (HyVee health foods area has the almond butter. It has to be pure almond butter without vegetable oil. A rare thing I guess).

Today, day one, we started off good. I ran, biked and did a 10 minute HASFIT workout (yes, I need to blog about HASFIT because it is amazing). I was ready to eat! Chris and I had been preparing, so Chris had already made a couple of good omelets with onions and peppers in it. I had intended on having that this morning, but was too sick to eat it by the time we got around to breakfast. I had watermelon.

By lunch, we were hungry. Lunch was a Kale salad with homemade dressing and chunks of apple. The dressing looked awful but tasted wonderful. Who knew, we can make our own salad dressing. We did not measure our salads and they were not big enough. And, we were missing protein. We were starving by 1pm. Chris and I also always have a little treat after our meals (bad, I know). Something small usually, like a Werther or a Dove Chocolate. So, right away, we were missing something sweet to top our meal. Remember, no sugar.

By 2, I needed to go to the store to get ingredients for our planned meals for the week (yes, this diet calls for more shopping! I HATE SHOPPING!). I could not find anything. I was standing in the check out line on the verge of tears because I was hungry, tired, and I just wanted a freaking piece of chocolate! :) I went to one more store before coming home to find Chris dragging like I was from lack of food.

Chris and I spent longer in the kitchen preparing our fresh dinner. I created another Kale Salad to go with our new Chicken Recipe, Balsamic Glazed Chicken drumsticks from the Paleo go to site, Mark's Daily Apple. The sauce, again, looked awful, kinda like tar, but it was very good. I had baked squash with olive oil to go with my salad and had a little chicken. I have not had chicken legs since I was pregnant with Addison (long story), but this chicken was very good. The recipe was good, but the organic chicken tasted better, too! Finally, Chris and I were full. He had 5 chicken legs! and his salad.The kids had hamburgers by their choice. :)

For a small dessert, I made Paleo spiced almonds. They are very good, too, and will be a great snack for us. So, already today I have made three new successful recipes. I would have made more if I could only find the ingredients!

Day one has been tough to say the least. We spend most of the day hungry, tired and hunting for a caveman maybe? :) We were so hungry that plain natural nuts were eaten like candy when I found them in the pantry. As the month goes one, we will find new snacks, new meals and get used to this new lifestyle.

As for the kids, they are eating dinner with us but will continue to eat cereal and waffles for breakfast and whatever they want for lunch. Alivia said there is no way she will give up candy for a day (or a month!). I don't blame her at all.

This idea came to Chris as he starts his new workout routine, at Crossfit Omaha. He went with our neighbor after much encouragement from me. He needs it for his mind, body, confidence and a social place without me. He needs it. And, after one hard core workout, Chris agreed. His one on one starts on September 10, so we have a few days to get this eating thing down so he can make it through their brutal work outs (where their mascot is Pukie the Clown because one works out so hard they "Pukie." Nice, huh?

Why am I doing it? In my research, I found this Doctor presenting in Iowa City. It may be a long video, but watch it when you get a chance. It convinced me to try it, at least for 30 days. That is all I am giving it for now.

Tomorrow is off to day 2 where I will try my first ever omelet. I will miss my Kashi go lean crunch and my oatmeal, but I will give this a go. We already miss our Greek yogurt with blueberries, too, but I have eaten my fair share of frozen fresh blueberries today as I didn't know what else was "paleo."

By the end of September, I hope to have this Paleo thing all figured out and look glowing. :)

Our 14th Wedding Anniversary

Most of our friends and family predicted our marriage will never last. A few times, I'll admit, I was not so sure, either. But, here we are, 14! year later. Amazing.

To celebrate, Chris booked a trip for us in Estes Park at the Deercrest Resort where he stayed in July on his trip with his Dad, brother and nephew. I really had no idea what to expect, but I was excited to get away together for our now annual anniversary trip.

We took the kids to school on Friday morning, August 23, and set off on the 9-10 hour trip to Estes Park. The drive is one of the longest drives. Nebraska is so boring to drive through. But, Chris and I were able to talk, uninterrupted, which may not happen again until our next anniversary. :)

We arrived to Estes Park around 4. The resort sits right on the Fall River and our room was right by the waterfall. It was beautiful. The room was older, I will say that, but we did not care. The scenery was fabulous, the resort is adult only and non smoking. Perfect. :) The air smelled so fresh. It was cooler there, too. It was not cold, just cooler, in the 70s.

Friday night we walked around Estes park and did a little shopping before stopping at Poppy's Pizza for dinner. Believe it or not, we did not order pizza. I had a very good raspberry salad and Chris had a Chicken sandwich. It was good and fun to eat local. We chilled the rest of the night and prepared for our hike the next day.

Saturday morning started very early, too early for me. :) We were awake at 5:15 to slam down some Greek Yogurt before hitting the trails. We set out to the Rocky Mountain National Park Entrance and then to the Bear Lake Trail head. Chris had been there the month prior, but we set out to see even more, hiking a total of 10 some odd miles in all. It was beautiful, but it was effort. We did a little climbing up and a little climbing down to see pretty lakes and waterfalls. It was gorgeous.

After our hiking, we got in the car and drove Trail Ridge Road up to the Alpine Visitors Center and hiked up the many stairs to the top for an amazing view. I am not a fan of driving on roads that have cliff drops on either side. Chris sure had fun making fun of me and trying to scare me more than I already was. Anyway, after a day of hiking, we were exhausted. Time for some pizza! We stopped at Picnic in the Park for some wood fired pizza. I was AMAZING! We ate the entire thing. Mind you, we only had trail mix, apples and cereal all day through our hiking. It was a fun day.
Longs Peak Trail

Sunday was our last day there. We slept in and walked to Big Horn Restaurant for some home cooked breakfast. This was Chris' favorite. Our walk to and from the restaurant helped relieve our achy bodies from our hiking. We thought we were in shape, too! We jumped into the car and set out to the Longs Peak Trail head. Chris has it in his mind that he wants to summit Longs Peak. We will see about that. The place was really crowded as we got there mid morning not anticipating hiking much after our big day on Saturday. We got there and decided to hike the trail a bit (good thing we came prepared with our packs!). The trail was STRAIGHT UP over boulders. It was crazy! It was not busy on the trail like it was the previous days as you have to be in amazing shape to set up on this trail. We hiked up about 3 miles and then we could see Longs Peak. The view was beautiful as well as the view of the Rocky Mountain National Park. We were above the treeline at almost 11000 feet. We could have set up farther, but we were not equipped to summit (which is 6 hours up and 6 hours back I believe). So, we set back down. At least it gave Chris an idea of the terrain if he ever does return. This hike was beautiful, too. But, the trail did us in.

We relaxed at the resort until it was time to leave the next morning.

We had a wonderful anniversary trip. The kids had a blast with my parents, too, going to Shelby Fun Days, eating out two times and playing with their dog Kota. So, we all had a little vacation!

Until next year...