Geocaching

In our quest for family fun, we’ve decided to finally head out today to find 2 local geocaches. What’s geocaching, you may ask? Well check this out. It’s like a little treasure hunt. I’m a little nervous. I mean, will there be lots of people around? Will we have to be sneaky? I’m excited. I hope the kids like it. The only downside is that we have to use our car GPS thingy, instead of a cool phone or handheld GPS. It’s kind of bulky and awkward, but I figure if we like doing it, we can either upgrade my phone to get a GPS, or buy a handheld one for hiking and stuff. Wish us luck. I’ll report back on the experience.

I’m going through the boys’ clothes today. We have a disaster on our hands. The closet’s crammed full of stuff all willy-nilly, the drawers of the dresser are all jammed up, it’s not pretty. The stuff is all mixed up. We have too small, too big, and just right all coagulated into one giant mass. So I’m breaking out the bins, the labels, and the bags for donation. It’s kinda cute, they both want to help. I let them:) I make a big pile in the center of the room for the too small stuff, and then when I finish an area or drawer, they load the pile into garbage bags for donation. They are my minions!!! Mwahahahaha……

I’m eating well, working out (albeit sporadically–something’s better than nothing), and being in general a productive little member of society. Last night we had nekkie burgers again, and I had two veggies alongside. By the time I got done with two patties,  I was stuffed! I had to wait and eat my veggies later on. I’m so satisfied with food now. It’s a nice thing to not feel like a bottomless pit of hunger and craving.

Oh, and I’ve started taking coconut oil every day. I’m taking 2 tablespoons a day in my morning coffee. I hope to work up to 6 tablespoons. You can read more about that here and here. It’s pretty yummy tasting. Although it does leave a little slick on the lips. Oh well, think of it as natural lip gloss! I haven’t noticed much yet. I mean, I’m already losing about a pound a week, nice and easy peasy, so I don’t know if the oil will contribute or not. But the research seems solid to me, so I’ll give it a whirl. Me being the guinea pig I am:)

So this cavegrrl is organizing her cave for her cavechildrens, getting out and ‘hunting’ caches, and gettin’ a little (coco)nutty! How ’bout you?

Focus

I have been booze-free for over a week now. It’s weird. I kinda feel like just from getting rid of one unhealthy time-sucker, I gained so much perspective and focus. I’m reading more, playing more, and getting more accomplished around the house. I don’t think that it’s all just from quitting drinking. I have been feeling a major shift in me the last few weeks. I’m hungry for something. I’ve been more creative. Before, I was kind of feeling bored and restless. Like every day was exactly the same (thanks, NIN). I was a passable if not great mother and wife-to-be. I was getting the job done. Now I seem to have sprouted a little extra spot in my heart that’s giving me this growth. I’m more patient and understanding of Mr. Dawn (trust me, it was needed). Everything is better! I can see my kids enjoying the newer improved me, they themselves seem to be getting more creative. That old phrase, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”?? True dat. Okay, enough with the sappy self-help talk……

I have made myself a promise today. And well, since I’m promising myself here on this blog, I guess I’m making all of you a promise too: I am going to work out today! Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve heard it all before, and my arthritic shoulder is starting to act up again, but dammit, I’m being lazy. And I went primal for a purpose: to get my arse strong and healthy! I cannot be strong if I do not move this bod. I don’t know if I have mentioned my Crossfit envy here, but there it is. I am seriously jealous of all you Crossfitters! Too expensive right now. Someday I will do it. Boxing is totally missing from my life. I just can’t get to it with the kids’ schedules. So I’m just gonna plug away at my good ole Gym Junkies bodyweight workout. You’d be amazed at how sore you can be with just 15 minutes of intense moving!!! I did the squat jumps and was sore for three days. Every time I went down the stairs I was sure I was going to be discovered in a twisted pile at the bottom from my shaky thighs failing me.

Last night’s dinner was boring again. Bunless burgers and a cucumber salad that Mr. Dawn made. This was really rare because I NEVER let Mr. Dawn into my kitchen. Seriously. He doesn’t know where anything is anymore, and he lived alone here for 15 years or so!!!! It’s mine now. But he was all excited because he harvested the first cucumbers from our garden and was feeling all proud and wanted to show off. His salad was…..meh. Edible, but I’d give it a C if we’re grading here. But we ate it and said thanks. He was so funny, talking about how proud he was that he grew them and fed his family. He was getting a little primal in his own way, I guess. He didn’t hunt, but he can gather like a mofo!!!

Plans for today:

Finish the boring book that I’m reading. It was on the NPR’s recommended reading list. Yawn-o-rama, but I’m hoping for some big payoff by the end. And the rest of that damn list better come through.

Try hula-hooping again. I totally sucked at the first attempt.

Music. We have weaned ourselves down on tv time. It’s pretty much awesome. Read this funny post on the television here. You can thank me later:)

Oh yeah, I’ll probably do something with the little persons who live with me. Dunno what yet. Maybe I’ll see what they are feeling like today.

So, has your life changed in any way since going primal? Other than the obvious diet and exercises? Do you ‘feel’ any different? How so?

Errands

I am loving the time I’m getting to spend with J during the day, just us two. There’s the sweet spot while the little one is at summer preschool, and we just get to hang. Or run errands like today. We went to the library. I just finished Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and needed more books. I really recommend the book, especially for anyone who’s pondering healthy eating and where our food actually comes from. It’s not an expose of meat farms or anything as dramatic as that, but it’s about one family’s choice to eat locally. They grow a garden and eat local meats and things. It’s really cool to see that yes, they actually survived without those bananas grown thousands of miles away. And there’s recipes too! So anyway, back to our errands: we hit the library, and I actually let him do his thing in the upstairs kids’ area while I found my books. It worked out great. I got my 3 books, then when I got upstairs he was coming at me with an armload of stuff. He was done already! Books, movies, and a video game.  Then we hit the Bath and Body Works to spend my mother’s day gift card. I had some coupons, so SCORE! We had fun sniffing everything and picking stuff.

Dinner last night was boring. J had golf so it was a quickie dinner, some pan-fried salmon and steamed broccoli. Boring. But tasty and nutritious. Mr. Dawn was so intrigued by my homemade yogurt, he even requested it for his salmon! I was like, “Really? You sure you wanna do that?” But he liked it. I was watching closely for any signs of food poisoning or anything. He survived.

Oh, I wanted to turn my fellow music lover’s on to a website I found. It’s called stereomood.com. You can just click on a mood and it has a playlist for you. All sorts of stuff, things I’ve heard before and new stuff. J is digging the ‘calm’ playlist. I’m listening to ‘cool’ right now. And yeah, I’m feeling real cool, man.

Doodling

I’ve spoken a few times here about working playtime in to my day. I’m finding it easy some days, not so easy others. Today, however, I sat at dining table with J and we just got out paper and crayons and markers and we both just drew. I was kind of skeptical, but willing to try. I don’t think of myself as the most artistic or creative person. Well, this was so soothing for me. I’ve had a lot going on spiritually/emotionally these days, and I’m trying to find productive or meditative things to do. It was kind of like therapy. I don’t feel comfortable enough showing the pics now, but one has all of us (me, Mr.Dawn, little one, and J) holding hands in a bubble as various arrows bounced off in crazy directions. Another showed a sea with waves, a little brown sailboat, and a lone stick figure with a question mark on the sail. Kinda literal, but it was fun! Others were less literal, but no less therapeutic. Good stuff.

The dinner I made last night was AWESOME! The almond and coconut flours are great subs for breadcrumbs. The texture is a little different, sorta mealy, but it’s good. We had the breaded pork chops with a little schmear of blue cheese butter, and a side of fresh cucumbers and some potato salad for the boys, not me. Oh, and it was my first time cooking Japanese eggplants. I forgot about those: just saute some garlic slices in oil, toss in the eggplant at a nice high temp and let ’em brown up. Salt and a little red pepper flake to finish. Yum.

My homemade yogurt came out “meh”. It tastes good, but it’s a little goopy. I’d prefer a thicker yogurt. I was looking around a little and read that sometimes if you use too much bacteria it can result in runny yogurt. So I have it draining in a strainer lined with cheesecloth in the fridge right now. It really does taste delish though. My next attempt I will tweak it a little. Unfortunately that won’t be for a while since it made soooo much. I filled three of those big yogurt containers and another medium sized tupperware dish.

Haven’t been working out. I’m just not feeling it. I think I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed in general lately, and just focusing and setting the course these days. I am active, I’m outside with the kids sometimes and I’m cleaning and stuff. Not just sitting here wallowing. Just this morning I tried out the hula hoop with J outside. I wish you all could have seen it! Pathetic, really:) I don’t remember hula-hooping being that hard in grade school! J got a kick out of it, and then he whipped out his mad skills by spinning the hoop on its end and diving through it. I think I’ll wait a while before attempting that trick! We also got my jump rope out and did that a little bit. I’m missing boxing a lot.

Oh, and I am so doing this. AndreAnna is really showing us the way here! And her convos with hubby in the store sound soooo familiar:) Although I dread the thought of her little one and my little one ever joining forces. That would be some scary shit. They would unite in some dark soul-sucking alliance to take over the world and make us all their minions!

Sadness

Hey there, long time, no write.

The reason is unfortunate. My 16 yr old nephew (my oldest brother’s oldest son) had been missing since June 23rd. He just disappeared, no sign of a struggle or anything. Well, Tuesday they found a body about 10 miles from his home in Washington state. They still have to get dental records for identification, but the person who found him (a search party) apparently knows Austin (my nephew) and has ID’ed him to us. We are all devastated. It has been deemed ‘suspicious’ and we are awaiting autopsy reports to find out exactly what happened. So I have not been in a blogging mood very much. Just mostly holding my babies tighter and telling them I love them a gazillion times a day. You never ever know….   I am trying to figure out if I can afford to fly home to the funeral or not. It would just be me, b/c we can’t all go. It’s just too expensive to fly cross country right now.

On the food front, life is good. I’m eating properly. Even getting more veggies in. I’m making all sorts of yummy things. Just today I made Son of Grok’s jalapeno poppers. YUM. Although, we’ve had a heat wave here in NY, and the jalapeno ‘juice’ got on my hands and upper lip and burned for awhile. Ouch. Not comfy in this heat. The poppers were soooo good, you must try when you have a chance! I made a huge order from NutsOnline.com, and I highly recommend them. Shipping was next-day with FedEx, and we got them on a Saturday. Great prices also. I got a bunch of nuts, and some coconut oil, almond butter, almond flour, and coconut flour. We’re gonna test the flours out tonight on some breaded pork cutlets (just chops pounded thin) with a hollandaise sauce. I’ll post the results.

Not that I’m obsessed with the pounds anymore, but I’m down another 2. It’s just slowly coming off, and it feels great. I’m not hungry at all between meals. I’m working out every few days, except for in this heat.

Oh! I almost forgot: I’m right-now-as-we-speak (are we speaking? really? I’m gonna go with that….) making homemade crockpot yogurt! Seriously! With whole milk! Want the recipe? Ok here it is:) Let me know if you try it out. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. I could not for the life of me find whole milk yogurt. And it’s way cheaper than store-bought. That is, IF it comes out edible. About the milk: I just switched the boys back to whole milk from 1%, and they are horkin’ it down! Crazy kids. Also, horkin’ is a word from the movie Ratatouille. We use it a lot around here.

I have also quit drinking alcohol. It was getting to be too much and I want to set a good example for my boys. And alcoholism runs in my family. And it’s healthier. And I have better things to do. And hangovers suck. And booze is expensive. And contrary to what I think, I am not wittier or sexier with a buzz. This weekend will mark the first weekend I can even remember without alcohol of some sort. I’m serious. We like our booze around here! I have, however, picked up another vice to replace my hooch: Coke Zero. I know, I know…..but I swear I’ll wean myself soon. I just wanted to have that feeling of treating myself after a long week. I’ll get rid of it soon. Promise.

We went to the beach yesterday. Have I ever told you how much I freaking hate the beach? Well, I hate the freaking beach. I only went cuz we live like 2 minutes away, J was harassing me, and it’s just what you’re ‘supposed’ to do on a hot summer’s day, right???? Well, the little one flips out as soon as he steps foot on sand. The sound of the waves scared him, I think. So we spent the first 15 minutes under the umbrella with Velcro-Boy. He was super-glued to daddy like…well…like super-glue! I hate the water, too, did I tell you that? Well, since daddy was occupied with Velcro Boy, I had the job of taking J down to the water. And honestly, that was the nicest part. The water was really cold, and holding hands with J is pretty nice, too. Then we came up, and I sat with Velcro Boy, who was now playing in the sand like nothing ever happened. So daddy took J back down to the water, which was way cooler for J since daddy lets him go in deeper. They came back, I was done with the beach, and we drove home. I hated it. The things we do for our kids……oh, and now Mr. Dawn has just spent an hour vacuuming all the sand and crap out of my car in the blazing sun. I think he hates the beach now too.

Food 7/19/10

Just a food log. Not yet inspired to write much today.

Breakfast/Lunch-Nekkie burger, cheese, and 1/2 an avocado

Dinner-2 tilapia fillets encrusted with almonds and parmesan, and a yummy fennel salad. Just fennel, parsley, dill, with a white wine vinaigrette.

I still need more produce, but I’m just not hungry. I’m taking my vitamins but I know I need real food, not supplements. May make a smoothie or something today just to get more produce in.

The Fine Art of Play, or What I Did This Weekend

Cool things from this weekend:

1-I assisted Mr. Dawn with the garden. If by assisting you mean drinking a beer and standing in the kiddie pool that’s alongside the garden and telling Mr. Dawn what a great job he’s doing watering and weeding.

2-Attempted to stargaze. We laid a sheet down in the backyard after dinner and my son and I tried to find shooting stars. We saw a few bats, then J got all freaked out when a bug landed on his leg and the stargazing was over.

3-Made a hula hoop. Okay, Mr. Dawn actually made the hula hoop for me, but I did the legwork, like finding the instructions online here and telling Mr. Dawn exactly what to buy at Home Depot. And I discovered that adults really need big-ass hula hoops!

4-Tequila. ‘Nuff said. Did you know that tequila has zero carbs? You do now.

5-Listened to a lot of music with the family. Like, a LOT. There was dancing also, if you could call it that. The boys (and their mom) like metal:)

6-Found two really big caterpillars in my herb box by the front door. Identified them online and saw what kind of butterfly they turn into. They aren’t there today. I hope they didn’t get eaten. I took a really good pic of one of them, but I have yet to put them on the computer and thus you don’t get to see him yet!

That was my weekend in a nutshell. Speaking of nuts (nice segue, no?), I’m trying out a primal breading for some tilapia tonight. I’m thinking almond meal and some parmesan and spices. I’ll keep you posted.

Also, I am in desperate need of some recipes for carrots that don’t involve turning the oven on. I love roasting carrots, but it’s too hot now. And I don’t like that weird carrot salad with the raisins. Eww. I have a lot of carrots from the farm, and my kids really like carrot juice, so I may just do that. But still. I’ve trolled my usual websites and everything is a variation on the raisin salad, or a soup.

I’ve noticed the dreaded ‘bloat’ is gone. I can look straight down and just see my big boobs, no stomach peeking out from under! Yay! The Guatemalan woman across the street once asked me, “Baby coming?” I just smiled and said, “No, just fat!” This gives you an idea of how I carry every extra ounce. I’m an apple:) Pretty soon I’ll be a lean and mean Grokkin’ machine!

I’ve also learned that, especially in this heat, I can no longer keep ice cream in the house. I ate a second helping the other night!  I think if we really want it, we’ll just walk to the local Carvel. We seriously live about a half a mile (if that) from one. And then I can skip it, the kids get their fix, and I get a little walk in too. It’s weird too, because ice cream is not really a trigger food for me. I really think it’s the heat we’ve been having. Now, give me pizza and we’re talking binge material.

I was watching a local morning show today. Well, they had some expert from some women’s health magazine on. The segment was all about “The Healthy Food Awards”. Sheesh. I knew it was gonna be shady to begin with, but I was disgusted. Everything on the table was some overprocessed, plastic-packaged crap that was a substitute for some other equally nefarious crap, things like low fat ice cream sandwiches, ‘healthy’ cookies, ‘healthy’ chips…..I have to admit to some major scoffing. One of the things I’ve been enjoying in my primal journey is that my food looks like actual food. It’s recognizable as being flesh or plant material. I can pronounce everything in my food. It wasn’t created in a lab somewhere. And the lady was stick-thin and looked like she couldn’t pick up my 3 year old son on a good day! She ended the segment by saying something about being able to eat this way for the rest of your life. Riiiiiigggght.

Partaaayy!

My bff had a birthday party yesterday. It was bittersweet. She and her family are moving to another state soon:( This friend, D, is one buff mama! I can only imagine how much buff-er she’d be if she went primal! She’s got arms to envy and abs of steel. She is also a NYC cop, and although she’s about 6 inches shorter than me, I’d hate to run into her in a dark alley! Anyway, I stayed totally on point, having two naked burgers and one dog, and a couple of light beers. My kids skipped the buns too! We had to leave before the birthday cheesecake was presented, thank goodness. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert evah!

The playing is going well. I am getting outside more. J and I walked to the library yesterday. It’s about a mile total, nothing major. I’ve been giving chase randomly, scaring the bejeesus out of him, but he’s loving it! My bff invited me to come play handball on the beach today with her and her husband. See? I CAN be taught, ha. I have no idea how to play it, but  I’m gonna give it a shot. I’m also on Workout C of Gym Junkies bodyweight workout for beginners, and I must say, although the workouts are very short, I’m consistently sore. Not “omg-I-can’t -move” sore, just enough to feel some change. Although my workout buddy has yet to return:) Yesterday was burpees for 30 seconds then 30 seconds of rest for 4-12 rounds. I did 4. What? I’m proud of my 4 rounds of burpees! They’re tough!

Eating is going well…..except for one little teeny tiny slip: the ice cream I snarfed down late last night. What can I say? I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m moving on to bigger and better (and healthier) things. Mr. Dawn was served my famous naked burger with a big ole glop of guacamole on top last night, and he liked it. I’m craving steak tonight, so we’ll do that with some sort of sauce or relish on top. Gotta check for a recipe. I must say, since the protein and fat combo is so satiating, I’m coming up a little short on nutrition. Yep, you guessed it: I’m not eating my veggies! As I always say, I’m a work in progress, and I will work on it.

Interesting to note: I have been sleeping really well except for the night before last. I had a lot of energy and stayed up too late (2 am). Well my little one woke me up at about 7am. I was dragging yesterday! I actually laid on the couch and took a mini-nap. I’m really seeing now that all those months of sleep deprivation were taking their toll, I just became numb to it in a way. Give me great sleep every night!

Food for yesterday:

3 eggs, cheese, hot sauce

plain yogurt, blueberries, walnuts, honey

2 burgers, hot dog, 2 light beers

naked burger w/ guacamole

ice cream:(

Today’s plan is to get more veggies, play, and live it up….cavegrrl styleee!!!

Bouncing Off The Walls

I. Have. So. Much. Energy. I’m feeling the urge to just go on my treadmill and run a mile or two! And I already worked out today. I did Workout A from the Gym Junkie’s workout I wrote about yesterday. I ended up resting yesterday. I was a little sore and in no rush, and my workout partner (J , my 7 yr old son) punked out on me. He actually said it was too easy. Jerk. I’m reading about some bad experiences during the first few weeks, and I’m considering myself one of the lucky ones. Although, I’m noticing a change in my skin or something: when I use my regular shower gel in the shower, my skin feels all coated with residue. I don’t know if it’s diet-related or what, but I see a change of soap coming on. We don’t have hard water or anything, so it’s not that.

Spoke to Mr. Dawn about nutrition goals. I’m going to start making the boys’ chicken nuggets with a primal coating and just freezing them and using them throughout the week. In my sights: pizza. They love their pizza, and although I’m not quite ready to take it on just yet, I will. Mr. Dawn is not minding the new fuel. He actually requested his salmon burger with no bun. Good, he was the only one eating them, the boys and I don’t, so I’m saving a little money and not throwing out moldy buns 2 weeks later when I remember I have them.

I should find out the results of my recent blood work in a week or two. I have to wait til my endocrinology appointment. They did a whole lot of tests, as evidenced by the 12 or so tubes the phlebotomist whipped out. I actually asked her, “Are all those for me???” and the smartass replied, “Well, they’re not for me.” Har dee har har. Good thing I’m not squeamish. They are testing my hormones, including progesterone and testosterone, and my free T3 and T4, and also (I was happy to see it on the sheet) Vitamin D. And of course, the usual CBC, or complete blood count.

I’ve been trying to apply the idea of play into my every day. I mean, I have two rambunctious boys, I have the perfect examples right in front of me, right? Nope. Well, my little one is little daredevil and plays a lot. When he’s not watching tv. Yep, he’s a boob-tube junkie. I’ve started seriously limiting it for everyone. And my oldest, let’s just say, he’s not particularly athletic. Yet. He did play soccer for a few years, but informed us he doesn’t want to do it anymore. But we have a rule that you have to do something active regularly, whatever it is. What did he pick? Golf. Yep. *sigh*….oh well, it’s a start. We are all a work in progress:) So back to the idea of playing. Yesterday,  I just randomly started sprinting after J. Down the hallway into his room. He thought it was fun, so he kept coming back out as my “bait”. Playing, sort of:) And I’ve looked into hula-hooping. I liked it as a kid, and now apparently there are ‘hooping groups’ all over the country. Oh, and geocaching! Have any of you done this? It looks so fun, but I need a GPS first. I think I’m getting the hang of this play thing…..

How about you? Do you play? What’s your favorite?