Tuesday, March 24, 2015


   The path that lead me to Paleo started a long time ago. Between 1995 and 2005 a ton of things happened in my life. I graduated high school in 1995. Planned on joining the Marines, but changed my mind at the last minute. I got married in 1997 and had my first son in 1998, my second son in 2002, and my daughter in 2005. My weight slowly crept up over the years, but it was gradual enough that you "didn't notice".  Here is how my weight went-
Married-113 lbs
Pregnant with 1st son at 8 week appointment- 124 lbs
Pregnant with 2nd son at 8 wk. app. - 162lbs
Pregnant with daughter at 8 wk. app.  176lbs.
   Over the course of 10 years I had put on 63lbs and I had no idea! I knew I had at some time in the far far distance worn a size 3/4 pants and now I wore a size 16.  With babies and life things just happen and you don't seem to notice and you most certainly don't have time to worry about it. 
   For as long as I can remember doctors would ask me if I have had my thyroid checked. It looked swollen and they wanted to run some test. Those test always came back saying all was well and my levels were right where they should be. Fast forward to after I had my daughter and things changed drastically. I spent the next 5 years after  her birth miserable and asking my doctor at every possible chance to please check my thyroid because I was sure it was that. I like any other normal person had self diagnosed myself and I was positive it was my thyroid. I was painfully exhausted. I woke up tired and went to bed tired. Taking a nap didn't help at all in fact no amount of sleeping helped. My body hurt, my hair was falling out, my anxiety was consuming and  my marriage was struggling due to my symptoms. Don't even get me started on my digestive issues! Needless to say something was wrong and my doctors weren't figuring it out.
   At my 4 year annual checkup with my OBGYN he at my request checked my levels again and they were slightly out of the normal range. He had me come back in 4 weeks later to do a recheck at which time they were fine so we continued on the same path which was do nothing. My 5 year appointment we checked again and they were wayyyy off like double the numbers! My doctor started on Levothyroxine and referred me to an Endocrinologist. Within minutes of my first appointment the nurse practitioner had my diagnosed with Hashimoto's. Her defining question was "Do your legs get tired when you walk up stairs?" Well heck ya they do because I am out of shape! She asked more questions about it and yes my legs just walking up from my laundry room would feel like I had ran a 5k.....or what I would imagine they would feel like if I had in fact ran one :) . She later confirmed through blood test the diagnosis. I had an ultrasound of my thyroid telling me that I had no good tissue left and that the entire thing had been destroyed over the years. I asked the doctor did he think the damage had been happening over the last 5 years, his response was that the amount of damage I had means I have had it since puberty! What!!! This has been going on for how long!!??  My body has been attacking itself for over 20 years!! No wonder I felt like poo!
   Fast forward some and things did get better. I had more energy and I felt more like I thought I should. I knew I would probably never feel 100% again, but this was certainly better than before! I switched over to Synthroid which kept my levels more in check. I assumed that after my diagnosis and starting the medication that the weight would fall off me and I would be that smoking hot 113lbs woman my husband married. That didn't happen. In fact my weight didn't change at all.
   I tried a few things here and there, but nothing worked so eventually you just quit trying. You see all these moms who are going to the gym and look amazing and you want to punch them in the arm. Finally in June 2012 after  seeing myself  in  family photo my friend Cortney did I knew I needed to make some changes. I was embarrassed at how I looked. My face had actually changed the way it was shaped on the sides. I had to edit my belly in the pictures before I shared them online because I didn't want people to think I was pregnant! I decided at my oldest son's first 5k that I would change my goals. Instead of trying to lose weight I would start a couch to 5k. I had hopes that my son and I could run one day together. If I lost weight as a by product then great and if not that was ok. I knew I would be healthier in the long run. This June will be three years since I made that choice and you know what? That scale has been a stubborn son of a gun! It didn't even move for the first 8 weeks! That was after adding 3 days a week of 30 min workouts and changing my eating habits! Three years later and the scale has only gone from 176 to 147. When comparing myself to others those numbers are kind of pathetic. We see shows like Biggest Loser and friends online who lose over 100 in less than a year and then I look at see my scale isn't even moving. I'll be honest it is hard and so disappointing! I kept pushing forward though because I knew every step in the gym, every walk I took, every pound I lost was a step in the right direction. It might take me 7 years to reach my goals, but every step forward isn't a step backwards.
In April 2014 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune skin disorder and that pushed me to go Gluten Free (GF). I also had every symptom of Celiac Disease with the exception of weight loss and with my original Hashi's diagnosis I knew I needed to try and stop the attack my body was doing against itself. That first month after going GF I lost 9lbs!!! I thought for sure I had finally found the missing link! Very quickly though I learned all the junk you that is GF, for instance chocolate milk shakes from McD's they are GF. Are they healthy heck no! So just because I went GF did not mean I was making the healthiest choices for me.
   I decided on January 1, 2015 I would switch to an Paleo diet and try to put my autoimmune's into remission.  The first month I went from 165 to 151!!! I lost 14lb and 2 1/2 inches around my hips!!
These first pictures with the red shirt show the first month of Paleo. I was shocked!! Had I finally found something that works for me!!! We are 3 months in now and I have been doing the 85/15 approach which I am not sure I can do well. I struggle with balance so I think I need to be an all or nothing kind of gal. I have lost another inch around my waist and lost another 4 lbs. I feel better and can certainly tell a difference when I work out. My endurance is so much better now!! This blog is my way of sharing my trials and errors along the way, meals, exercises, and any tips I learn. I hope someone reading this can benefit from what I have learned on this path. Below are some before and after pictures. I may have lost only  29 lbs in three years, but I have gone from a size 16 to 10/8 and the amount of knowledge I have obtained over the years is priceless! I told someone the other day that I am actually God did not answer my prayers of immediate healing when I was first diagnosed because I never would have put the effort into finding out how food actually effects my body. I have learned such valuable information! My husband, children and myself are for sure healthier because of it! Thank you for reading and please share with anyone you think might benefit from this post!
The picture on the left in the family picture I was talking about that made me make some changes.


Shepard's pie with veggies

Once a week I do a non Paleo meal ( always Gluten free though) and it is usually a Friday night thing. Tonight I switched it up a bit due to the request of my husband to have this meal. I typically start cooking the hamburger meat and add all the veggies to it. Tonight I decide to cook them separate to add different flavors to the meal and let me say it was a success!! This meal is cooked with mashed potatoes, some cheese, and butter so keep that in mind. Without these it would be Paleo.

Preheat the oven to 350 because you will need it later.
First I cooked the mushrooms in butter.

I added garlic to the beef.

 I added diced up onions to the mushrooms and cooked for about 7 minutes.

After I set the mushrooms and onions aside I cooked the squash and zucchini in coconut oil, but I used the same pan to save on dishes. 
  While the veggies were cooking I added red, green, and orange peppers to the hamburger meat.

  Next I layered the beef and veggies in a 9x13 dish.

Then I covered with mash potatoes. I added some sliced chunk cheese to it. I don't shred it because I tend to use more cheese that way. Put in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes just long enough to melt the cheese.

There are no left overs!! My daughter who does not really like many veggies other than broccoli and smashed cauliflower  had two servings of this!! You can omit the cheese to make it healthier and use new potatoes as well.  Soooo good! I used salt and rosemary for the seasoning. Try it and let me know what you think!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

What the heck do ya eat?

 About a bazillion people have asked me what I eat on this Paleo diet. I wrote down what I ate Saturday Jan. 31- Thursday Feb. 5.  The weekends usually have a breakfast lunch combo since we sleep in.
Jan. 31
almond slivers
black olives
bacon bits
pickle slice
Dressing was honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil

Dinner-Chicken/Sausage Vegetable Soup
4 mushrooms
beef broth
2 garlic cloves
1 carrot
1 squash
1 zucchini 
2 new potatoes dices
small tomato
1 can of basil, garlic, oregano diced tomatoes

pink Himalayan salt
Caribbean jerk
I cook separate mild sausage and also chicken tenderloins. I pull the chicken add both meats to the soup in crock pot. So flipping good!!!!! I have made this 3 other times since with different variations! I changed my base to a butternut squash sauce instead of the beef broth.

Other than water I had some almond milk and peppermint tea with a tsp of coconut sugar

Feb. 1   (super bowl Sunday)
2 eggs
Tabasco added
blueberry hot tea with 1 tsp coconut sugar

For the party I made the same soup as the day before, but added spinach.
Deviled eggs using guacamole instead of mayo, pickles, and bacon bits on top.

For lunch I ate the leftover mix for the deviled eggs.
 Almond milk

At the Super Bowl party I had some of my soup, fruit, deviled eggs, 2 chicken wings with a dry rub, 3 meat balls, and some water. I would assume the meatballs sauce was not Paleo so I limited myself to 3 instead of 646119 like I wanted because they were delicious!!!

Feb. 2
Almond milk
1/2 scoop of protein powder
canned pumpkin 
 blueberry tea with coconut sugar

The hubby made a recipe that we have for Paleo cup cakes and they are AMAZING! Google Paleo mom cupcakes and you will find them. Easy and delish!
paleo cup cake
skittles ( I have found I have no self control with these beautiful colorful candies so therefore I have bought no more for my kids at school #sorrykids)
turkey slices

pork chops cooked in olive oil seasoned with Pink Himalayan Salt ( PH) and Caribbean Jerk ) CJ)
Broccoli and Cauliflower cooked in coconut oil, salt and Italian seasoning.

Feb. 3
2 eggs
water with lemon

leftover pork
Paleo cup cake
sliced peaches

Almond milk
Chicken cooked in crock pot with honey, balsamic vinegar, splash of Braggs GF ( gluten free) soy sauce, almond slivers, carrots, tomato, onions, and lemon zest. Added salt

Feb. 4
2 eggs
blueberry tea/ coconut sugar
leftover chicken

scoop of cottage cheese ( following the 90/10 aspect of Paleo)
sliced turkey

left over chicken

Gluten free pizza with black olives and pineapple ( My first grains since Jan. 1st)

Feb. 5
2 eggs over spinach
black olives

Salmon salad
water with lemon
about 10 chocolate chips


steak bits
mild sausage
beef stock
new potatoes ( diced)
red, yellow, and green peppers
black olives

Earl  grey Tea before bed

I tried to write down every thing I ate, but of course may have left off a few things. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I am not near as hungry! I am not needing to snack as often. I think because I am not filling my body with sugary food my blood sugar is not going up and down so much. It is staying more regulated so therefore I don't have the crazy hunger I did before. This is not perfectly Paleo, but I knew going in that it would take me a few months to really get the hang of this. I try to eat Protein at every meal, veggies and fruit daily, and good complex carbs once a day. I hope this helps a tiny bit for those of you who have asked to join me at the dinner table! This is tough, but I will not go back because the benefits are so worth it! I can tell when I eat processed things because my joints hurt! When I eat gluten I am miserable! I am so glad I finally made the choice to just do it and I feel CONFIDENT that God has helped me through this! I saw with those darn skittles that my self control is not great!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grocery shopping

So this is my first post on this blog and eventually I will get to the back story and what lead me to Paleo, but today I want to focus on grocery shopping! When you are just starting out with a gluten free or paleo life style it can be super overwhelming trying to decide what to eat and buy! April 10, 2014 the day after I was diagnosed with my 2nd autoimmune disease I decided to go Gluten free. I will explain more about all of that at a later date.  I knew it would be hard because I had considered it several times since my Hashimoto's diagnosis 4 years earlier. January 1, 2015 was my first day of Paleo and so far so good!
    So I do 99% of my shopping at Aldi's with the exception of dog food, toilet paper, and the few items I may not find at Aldi's. I am going to list what I bought at the store and how much I spent.
2 packs of ground beef each at 2.38lbs 80/20
Center cut pork chops
Country Style Pork Ribs
Chicken Tenderloins ( all natural)
Sliced Turkey breast
Sliced Black Forest Ham
2-20oz pineapple chunks
2-15oz mandarin oranges
2-6oz large pitted olives
2-15oz all natural pumpkin
2-15.25oz sliced peaches
2-12.5oz white premium chunk chicken breast
2-24oz pasta sauce
1-24oz kosher dill spears
All natural almond milk
2-8oz sharp chunk chedder cheese
2 dozen eggs
Vitamin D milk
16oz pork sausage
2-bags of apples
Bag of red potatoes
Blue berries
2-Individual natural applesauce (6each)
Beef Broth
Disinfecting Wipes
All natural almonds 12oz
Penne Gluten Free pasta 16oz
Whole Cashews-Roasted with Honey 10oz *these are not gluten free* I realized after I got home
Pitted Dates 8oz
Generic Capri Suns
Bag of chips for schools ( 20 small bags)

All of that awesome food was only 130.69!!! This was without coupons all except the cashews is gluten free!  Be sure to check out my next post for what meals we had. Great to have the food, but doesn't help much if you can't come up with food to eat. :)
Here are some pictures from this week's shopping trip. Today I spent 161.35.
This is most of the food. The cold stuff and milk has been put away.

 This is the produce I got.
 Here is the meat for this week. Chicken, fish, pork chops, sausage, and sliced ham for school lunches.
 Check out all of this fruit!! Bananas, strawberries, oranges, 2 bags of apples, kiwi, and blueberries!!
 Each can of fruit is only .89! I rinse it off before we eat it to eliminate the syrup in comes in.
 5 cartons of eggs people! Five!!

 So there you have it one week's worth listed and a some pictures posted from today's trip. Don't forget to check back for the meals I made!