Easy Green Smoothie: Paleo Style

Easy Green Smoothie: Paleo Style

My day…

Alarm rings, hit snooze, wake up at 6:00, out the door by 6:30.

Time for breakfast somewhere between drying my hair and brushing my teeth?

I needed something easy, quick, and filling, because the last thing I wanted was to be starving at 8:30 during a plank party.  Then, like a healthy superhero, a good friend of mine introduced to me to the green smoothie!

Green Smoothie Recipe

  • Like a magic potion, you just add…

  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens (any will do)

  • a few carrots

  • 1 can light coconut milk (the real stuff, watch the ingredients)

  • some almond milk

  • 1 banana (I use the ripe ones since I can’t stand to eat them)

  • handful of other fruit (I use frozen because it’s easy, but any kind will work! Peaches and Pineapples are my favorites)

  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds

  • Sprinkle some chia seeds

(I’ve added cucumber, avocado, pumpkin seeds, coconut water, fruit juice… anything Paleo goes!)

and BLEND!

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

It starts off looking gorgeous and layered in the blender, but by the time its done working its magic, the color can be anything other than attractive. It is a green smoothie after all. Good thing it's healthy, tastes good and fits the Paleo lifestyle!  Added bonus is that it can help empty the refrigerator to make room for new goodies!

Enjoy!

Marnie Wortman

Marnie Wortman

By Dr. Marnie Wortman, PT, DPT, CrossFitter

Paleo Diet Review and Gluten Sensitivity

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By Meri Mayes

We had the NYC "Marathon" Recap, so now it's time for the Paleo Diet Review. It wasn't 26.2, but it was 30 days of no sugar, grains, cereals, legumes, or dairy. Almost as hard if you ask me.

Again, my sister Melissa and BFF Kerry joined me on the journey, but I'll just share my personal experience. Because I only committed to the plan for a month, I didn't cheat at all (except a little cream in coffee).

At the end of 30 days, I still hate diets! They make you bingy, irritable, and simply aren't effective when they are too strict. But sometimes the best lessons come when you face the things you dislike most.

Gluten-Free Changed My Life___

As I mentioned in my first post introducing the diet challenge, I have suffered from stomach problems for 20+ years. Then in my 20's, I developed additional autoimmune problems that have only seemed to multiply.

Very shorty after starting Paleo, I noticed that my digestive problems (no need to recite an Activia commercial) started to diminish. About two weeks into the plan, I saw a Dr. Oz show talking about Gluten. I already knew I didn't have Celiac Disease (tested a year ago), but I teared up as I listened to the guest discussing her symptoms and how gluten-free cured them.

Dr. Oz said as many as 20 million Americans could be affected by a gluten sensitivity and not know it. Could I be one of those people? I took the sensitivity test below and sure enough my score indicated an issue.

Dr. Oz Gluten Sensitivity Test

So What's Next____________________

No one wants to have an intolerance for yummy foods with gluten, but I feel so hopeful that this could be the answer I have been looking for.

Immediately after the 30 days ended (Oct. 31st), I reintroduced dairy and legumes back into my diet. Giving up dairy was actually the hardest part of the plan for me, so I was really scared that along with gluten it might be a problem. After a week, my stomach is still great so I am thrilled. I just can't be convinced that greek yogurt and hummus are not super good for me.

Instead of a "diet", I plan to continue my lifestyle of eating mostly unprocessed foods that provide nutrition and energy. Of course I will be watching my gluten very carefully and only indulging on occasion when I am willing to accept the consequences.

Overall Review_____________________

Overall, I love Paleo's focus on food from nature rather than machines, and I would recommend it for the following reasons:

  1. Health - To learn more about the way your body interacts with food. You really are what you eat. Eliminating dairy and gluten alone can give you some great insight. My hair has never been better!

  2. Weight Loss - Seems to work very well. I lost 3 pounds even though I was not trying to. Girl likes her curves : ) The other girls also had significant weight loss

  3. Maintenance - I would like to do strict Paleo for at least two weeks per year. I think it's a great way to reset your taste buds so you really savor food. We all agreed that sugary things seemed way too sweet after 30 days without any.

Paleo Diet Challenge: Family Style

By Meri Mayes My sister Melissa never dieted a day in her life!

Personally, I started getting into health and nutrition when I was about 14. Step aerobics was just getting big, and my Uncle Don made my first step out of plywood. I would spend hours in my basement doing videos with Tamilee Webb (remember her) and body builder Cory Everson.

When I was about 16, I remember ordering protein bars from PR Bar before people even knew what those were. Around the same time, I started hitting the local YMCA with my best friend Jill who was kind enough to take me because I didn't have my license yet. We would take all kinds of classes and do a weight circuit in the gym. We were the youngest people there by about 20 years. I rode horses competitively and never played team sports, so this was a whole new world for me.

I also started learning more about nutrition, and there always seemed to be some great new idea out there (nothing has changed in that department). My mom and I were just laughing about those Entenmann's cakes that were all the "low fat" rage in the 90's. I definitely remember limiting high fat, fried or sugary foods and was even known to bring my own salad dressing to restaurants that didn't have healthy options.

This all brings me back to my sister! 

While I was eating carrot sticks and doing aerobics growing up, she was eating Yodels and Twizzlers. She still reminds me that she would get a Whopper everyday for lunch during senior year of high school. You might be waiting for me to say she now weighs 250, but you'd be wrong. She looks amazing and still eats what she wants. Don't get me wrong, she hits the road/gym now and does have a nutritious diet, but the girl has never met a piece of chocolate/candy she didn't like.  When we go out, she can still be found eating a burger and fries. I say...good for her!!!

I bring all of this up to say, I am so glad (and proud) that my sister joined me in this 30-day Paleo challenge. Here's why:

  • I needed some accountability. I see my sister almost everyday, and I knew that if she could do it, then I could too.

  • I wanted her to experience the power of choice. Everyone should know how it feels to really want something but choose not to have it. (click to tweet). It's empowering and also makes you more understanding for the millions of people who make the hard decision to live without unhealthy food, alcohol, cigarettes, you name it.

  • Gave her just one more reason to believe she can do anything : )

So we have less than a week left! Let's just say we are counting down til Halloween ; )

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Weight loss to date:

  • Kerry - 10lbs

  • Lis (my sis) - 4lbs

  • Me - 2.5lbs. I have been battling the flu, so the gym has been out of the picture. My sister and I weighed in at exactly the same weight. Fun!

**As mentioned in earlier posts, Lis and I are not aiming to lose weight, but when you can only eat a few things, it's bound to happen.

Paleo Diet vs. Weight Watchers

By Kerry Nordling (BFF of the Mayes and 30-something trying get healthy) HELLO!! I am proud to be a guest blogger this week at Iron PT and happy to share my story of trying to lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle. 

Meri and I have been friends for over 30 years, and she has always been a constant support and resource in my quest to be healthy. I’ve not been terribly successful to this point, but we are back on the horse people and trying to make a HUGE change!

My Diet Black Book________________

Unfortunately, I’ve been overweight much of my adult life. I have lost 30 or more pounds three times before:

  • once using Weight Watchers when I was about 24;

  • once using the South Beach Diet when I was about 28;

  • and last summer (2011), I lost 30lbs with calorie counting

All of the weight has come back, either after a matter of months or after a year or two.  I’ve never been able to take it off, and KEEP it off -- the goal for all of us with weight loss in mind!!

The Mountain______________________

So I began my quest for permanent weight loss and health AGAIN in May 2012. I went back to keeping a food journal (myfitnesspal.com is a great resource) and eating approximately 1,200 calories a day (I'm 5'9").

A month later, after virtually no results, I added in a personal trainer (2x a week) and a brand new shiny gym membership! Even though my whole life weight loss has been all about what I eat, not how much I exercise, I know a healthy lifestyle includes both diet AND exercise. 

For four months, I was extremely diligent in my food tracking, eating and exercise.  And NOTHING happened. Literally, nothing. I was hugely discouraged, and I was tired. Tired of eating so little, tired of working out with no results on the scale, tired of feeling like a failure and tired of being HUNGRY. Not a good combination for someone trying to stay positive and make a big lifestyle change!

The Aha!___________________________

I knew what I was doing wasn't working, so I needed to make some changes. I needed it both mentally and physically. So here's what I did:

  1. Diet Change - I had been hearing a lot about Paleo and decided I would give it a try. The philosophy made sense for weight loss (i.e., cutting out triggers like sugar and carbs), and I also wanted to see if it improved my chronic IBS and migraines.

  2. A trip to the doctor! After eating 1200 calories/day and not losing weight, I had to find out if there was a medical problem. All the blood work from my annual physical was normal, but my friends encouraged me to go to an Endocrinologist to determine if I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects 5-10% of women and is believed to be fundamentally caused by insensitivity to the hormone insulin. As it turns out, I do have PCOS, so this was one of my fundamental problems! Not a diagnosis I wanted, but definitely the explanation I was seeking. I will be starting on medication which should help to correct this, but the Paleo diet helped me lose 8.5 lbs. before any prescription.

Paleo_____________________________

D-day was September 24th...a VERY LONG trip to the grocery store the day before to pack the fridge and pantry with Paleo friendly foods and staples like nuts and oils and fresh fruit and veggies.

Scared out of my gourd, but ready. I was scared as I wasn’t sure I could actually cut dairy, gluten, grains, and sugar out of my diet completely. It seems like an impossible task when first thinking about it, but I can promise you it does get easier once you are into it.

I felt pretty good the first two days, and then the withdrawal from sugar hit me on day 3. I’d felt like I had a really nasty hangover - sluggish and grumpy with a terrible headache, but I knew it would pass.

The good news is that I had ZERO stomach issues the first 2 weeks and no additional headaches. I slept much better than I have in a long time, and I felt like I had more energy.

My weigh-in day is on Friday each week, and I lost 5lbs those first five days, and 3.5lbs the next week. I was in Germany last week for work, and unfortunately could not closely follow the diet plan, but I am back at Paleo as of Sunday10/14.

Moving Forward____________________

So I'm starting the 3rd week of Paleo and although I am not hungry (a VERY good thing!!), the prep is starting to wear me down.  I’d like not to wash what feels like 100 dishes a night and cut 80 fruits and vegetables for the next day, but no dice folks.  It’s the way it has to be with this way of life, and if I continue to lose weight like I have and continue to feel as good as I do, then the prep is just a small thing in this quest. 

The hardest thing for me has been giving up my sugary, delicious, Carmel Macchiato each morning. When calorie counting, I used to account for this in daily calories, but it was a big calorie suck, not allowing me to eat as much breakfast as I should have. I now have a regular coffee with a bit of cream and one stevia (natural sweetener from a plant) in my morning coffee.  This is my only caveat to the diet-my only “cheat” if you will with dairy.

I do plan to keep many aspects of Paleo in my diet for the rest of my life. I think I could be nearly gluten free about 90% of the time --  less holidays and special birthdays - let’s not get crazy and say I’ll never eat cake again in my life!  I think I can also limit most sugar as well. After 30 days, dairy will likely be added back in very small doses.

So onwards and upwards…or downwards for those of us trying to lose the pounds for good-ha! The moral of the story is that one size does not fit all. I still think Weight Watchers is an amazing program, but the body changes over time and what works at one time, for one person, won't work all the time.

Good luck with your quest for health!

First week (really 10 days) on Paleo Diet

By Meri Mayes So we survived our first 10 days on Paleo!

The Players__________________________________

Me, My Sister (Lis), my BFF (Kerry)

The Plan: 30 days on Paleo starting Oct. 1

We have actually stuck to the plan with virtually NO cheating (except for a tablespoon of Half & Half in our coffee)

Rewards_____________________________________________

- More Energy (if you read my post on organizing, this would be obvious - ha)

- No Stomach Aches...pretty amazing (Kerry and I both had problems before Paleo)

- I feel less hungry overall

- Weight Loss - Kerry lost 8.5 lbs in just under 2 weeks, I lost 1.5 lbs in 10 days, and Lis lost 2 lbs in 10 days. Again, Lis and I are not trying to lose weight so we eat nuts and fruit more freely.

Challenges____________________________________________

- You must plan ahead! If you forget to pack your lunch or a snack, it can be difficult to find something that's within the plan

- A few cravings! I miss my greek yogurt and peanut butter. Lis misses her flavored coffee creamer. Ker misses her Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

- It took our digestive track a few days to adjust. We did not have any stomach aches (woohoo), but it did take the old intestines a minute to figure out what was happening.

- Not eating nutritious foods like beans, quinoa, milk seems weird

- Cost of food - if you are not used to eating "fresh" then it would be a big adjustment, but ultimately I think it's about the same because you eat out less

What I Eat___________________________________________

- Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon or A piece of fruit with Almond Butter or handful of nuts

- Lunch: leftover dinner or a salad with avocado, veggies, etc.

- Dinner: Roasted or sautéed veggies with chicken, fish, or lean steak; Curried Something; Soup/Chili; Grilled meat over salad; turkey meatballs; nothing too fancy

- Snacks: Nuts, Fruit, vegetables, A yummy smoothie with frozen berries, a little coconut milk, water, and cinnamon - delish.

Any advice for the next 20 days???