Going To The Dogs

Say hello to Luna:

And her brother, Zero:

We are loving puppy life. It’s very hectic right now, between everyone’s schedules and the puppies’ routine. Plenty of mess and accidents, but also plenty ofย  “awww…” and talking in weird “puppy” voice. I use this voice that apparently freaks Mr. Dawn out. I don’t care, I’m talking to my pups and they love it!!! My boys are a little overwhelmed with puppy energy now, but we are slowly acclimating everyone to the rules of dealing with things like nipping (no teeth are allowed EVER on anyone) and jumping up. Jumping up freaks T-Lo out because when Luna goes upright on him, she’s almost eye level with my little guy! Scary if you’ve never been around animals at all. So we have some training going on.

I gave the pups their first bath last night. They got to bathe in the luxurious stainless steel kitchen sink, with the sprayer! They smell much better. I did notice something very strange though. The ingredients of the puppy shampoo are as follows: Water, Mild Coconut Cleanser, Colloidal Oatmeal, Hydrolized Wheat Protein. What The Eff??? Why is the freaking puppy shampoo waaaaay simpler than the shit I’ve been rubbing on my family for years? I am seriously, seriously…..no, SERIOUSLY thinking of switching us all to puppy shampoo! I do want to investigate the “mild coconut cleanser”. That sounds a little shady. No sodium laureth sulfate in sight. I’m officially annoyed. Dogs stink (well, some dogs). If that list is good enough for them, than wouldn’t it work for humans????

My diet has been stellar since I started my challenge. However, I knocked myself right out of ketosis by giving in to my one fruit temptation: fresh, cold pineapple. Yum. Totally worth it. I’ll get back into my happy ketosis state in a day or two. I’m still rocking the lunches for the boys. Lots of meats, fruits, and veggies. They love them!

Oh, I have some academic news!!! As of the Fall 2011 semester, starting in September, I am officially accepted into the Liberal Arts Adolescent Education–Biology Emphasis program!!! I will attend the school I’m in now for another 3 or 4 semesters (depending on how I can work it), then transfer to another school to get my B.S. degree!!! *snicker* B.S. degree……:) I can think of plenty of people who must certainly have B.S. degrees!

That’s all the news here from Primal Dawn Headquarters!! Reading, writing, arithmetic….and puppy poo.

 

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I Lurve Mah Kitchen!!

My FatSecret challenge is going wonderfully. I’m getting back to basics, and it’s really noticeable in my mood and my body. I feel energetic and light. I have completely given up honey or any sugar for this challenge, and it’s really brought my carbs down to a good level. When you’re drinking 3 or 4 mugs of tea with a tablespoon of honey in each, it really adds up! I’ve been tracking my food every day, and although I’m not counting calories, I notice that my calorie ranges each day are in the 1700-2000 range, which is great for me. I’m more watching my ratios of macronutrients. I like to keep my fat percentage high, then protein, then carbs. I’m trying to keep my carbs less then 75 grams a day. Mr. Dawn hugged me today and he commented that I felt smaller. Score!!!

Here’s a sample day for me. I ate this on March 22nd:

-earl grey with heavy cream

-ground beef with cheddar crumbles and salsa

-white chai tea with cream

-bacon

-more earl grey

-butternut squash and cauliflower in a green curry sauce

-2 mozzarella string cheese sticks

I’ve been making one vegetarian meal a week too. Just something I thought I’d try out. Turns out, it’s a big hit! They like going meat-free for a day. AND it saves money!

The kitchen is my happy zone. I seem to be spending a lot of time in there, and I don’t mind at all. I love making new things for my family, and they enjoy the experiments too. There ARE fails (The Cookie Fail is one), but the good outweighs the bad 99% of the time. Just today, I baked up biscuits, I made tuna salad for T-Lo, I made a smoothie for J for breakfast, I made applesauce, I bottled my fresh batch of kombucha, and as I type we are baking our first custards. Chocolate flavor. I don’t get to eat these, as they have 1/4 cup of maple syrup in them. I might have a bite just to see how they came out. The kitchen is where I show my love to my family. I never cook angry. I do, however, clean angry ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great way to work out your issues and blow off some steam.

P.S. Here’s my T.O.D. (Tip O’ the Day):

Parchment paper is way convenient for baking all our grain-free rolls and stuff, or cooking pizza crusts on. I made 3 batches of biscuits today. Parchment paper can get pricey though, so I re-use the sheets. What I mean is, I made 3 batches on cookie sheets, but I used the same paper for all of them. I’d bake one batch, let them cool a little, slide them off with a spatula, then place the next batch on the same paper. As long as the paper isn’t dark brown or black (burnt edges) it’s totally fine! If they are too burnt, then the paper crumbles. I know, I know….I’m totally a genius! Must be all the nourishing food I feed my brain and bod!!

 

Cookie Experiment, Part Deux…and PUPPIES!!

I don’t know why I suddenly became French, but I’m goin’ with it!

My boys have been deprived of some of the goodies of childhood. Namely cookies and chips. I’ll handle the chips later, but we’ve been on a cookie mission every few weeks or so. Yesterday we tried another recipe, and I thought it was yummy, but J only ate one. One cookie. And we put two on his plate. Not a good sign. So it’s back to the drawing board. The first experiment was with a standard chocolate chip and the texture was too crumbly. It didn’t hold together well. This second cookie had a much better texture, but I think J didn’t care for the flavor as much. It had coconut, and I’m not sure if he liked it. I will keep you posted on our search for the Holy Grail of Cookiedom.

I’m packing their lunches, but not taking pics, so I am out of the Lunch challenge again this week. Yikes. I’ve been so focused on school and getting the lunches packed and all my other responsibilities that I’ve been neglecting my camera!

Oooooooh! I have to share: We are bringing home 2 lovely American Bulldog-Boxer mix pups on Monday or Tuesday!!! We aren’t positive on the Boxer part, but the mother is a beautiful white American Bulldog. We went and met the adoption woman at the vet. She had 4 pups with her. There are 11 in the litter, and we had our eyes on a few strictly from photos. We looked at 2 females and 2 males. We figured we would get a boy-girl combo. IF we got two. There was no guarantee. We all sat on the floor and opened the carriers. They came peeking out very shyly and slowly. Then they came out and said “Hi!”. They gradually started warming up, chewing on fingers and toppling over and doing that puppy-hop thing. One itty-bitty boy gravitated towards J. It was love at first sight! J talked about that pup all night and then next day.ย  It’s very cute because they had similar personalities! A little calmer, a little shy. It was so neat to see my boy so in love with a pet. T-Lo was a little overwhelmed because he’s all of 30 pounds, and these pups were licking his face, chewing his fingers, and he was not having it. He liked them, he’s just never been around dogs and it was a bit much! To go with our itty-bitty boy (he was smaller than his siblings), we picked a very hearty female who was also a little calmer. She has gorgeous coloring!

So, onto names! We already named the boy Zero, after Jack Skellington’s dog in Nightmare Before Christmas, a classic in PD Headquarters. For the female we have a few options. Mora, Chaos, Akuma, or Cypher. Mora is some sort of deity, Akuma is a Japanese deity, Chaos is well…chaos, and Cypher is kinda clever because it also means “zero” or “nothing”. I may try to talk the family into another Tim Burton character name. Mrs. Lovett maybe??

The Low Fat Scourge

Can someone please explain to me why my kids cannot get whole milk at school? This is really annoying me. I feel like I’d be sending them in with contraband or something. I called T-Lo’s school to ask that he get milk when I send him with his lunch, since I only send him in with water. I asked for whole milk. The teacher told me they only serve 2%. What??? So I guess he can have it for now, but I’m gonna have to come up with something. Or just keep sending only water in. He can get milk at home that’s organic and full of lovely fat anyway. So there.

My challenge is in full swing today! Day 2 and going strong. I have kept the carbs down and cut out the honey in my tea and occasional cup of coffee. It’s been good. I feel committed and healthy and so….

peaceful. I think that’s the right word. It’s not just the challenge, it’s me. I’m learning to step back to see my issues, my ego, and I’m taking steps to correct myself and the way I deal with everyone. It’s making me a lot happier and calm. Anger and negativity are so insipid and you don’t even notice most of the time how many toxic thoughts you might have in a day. Not that I’m walking around all pissed off and depressed, in fact I kind of thought I was a pretty happy person. But I have noticed a difference since making a concerted effort to be loving and kind. I’m a work in progress at all times, so I can only get better and better, right??

Oh, and speaking of better and better……we are adding 2 new family members to Primal Dawn Headquarters!!! 2 sweet new puppies. American Bulldog and Boxer mix. We are going to meet 4 tonight (as a family), 2 boys and 2 girls, and decide if we want 2, first of all, and then which 2. We might bring home just one, but we are thinking we’d like them to be buddies and keep each other company when nobody’s home. The boys are super excited, and so are we!!! It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of poop, but I think we’re up to it as a family now.

Stay tuned for crazy adorable pics of puppies frolicking and sleeping and doing lots of cute puppy stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

Ready To Rumble!

Alright, I’m all ready for my FatSecret challenge to start! Click on that link there to go to the original post. Which actually was my last post, so you could also just scroll down…..duh. I’m focusing on boxing 3 days a week, my pushups on non-boxing days, and rocking the hell outta this challenge. I am going to weigh myself and do some measurements tomorrow morning. It’s gonna hurt, but I really want to see how far I can take this and the only way to measure how far I’ve come is to know where I started, right? This weekend I kind of thought I might have that “last hurrah” mentality. You know, where you eat a bunch of shit that you shouldn’t just because you just know you’re gonna feel all deprived when your “diet” starts? Yeah, well I totally had none of that. None. The only thing I really indulged in was the honey in my tea. But I was already doing that, and I didn’t eat any extra honey, I just had my usual. So, not much of an indulgence. Damn. I shoulda had those Doritos. Just kidding. Sorta.

I am also proud to join the The Real Food LunchBox Carnival over at Primal Kitchen: A Family Grokumentary. This mama was the main inspiration for me to get my kids going primal for school lunch! I even stole copied her exact lunch box! What’s that phrase about imitation and flattery? Yeah. So, I just figured out how to add her logo down over there on my sidebar to the right. Click the linky, go visit, get inspired, and pack those lunches! So, I’m proud to announce my inaugural lunchbox photo. I missed the first week’s submission deadline, but I’ll have mine up for this week. I already told you guys what I packed last Monday, but here it is in glorious blurry digital wonderfulness:

See, there’s some leftover roasted chicken, an apple, some cucumbers with homemade balsamic dressing, and organic whole milk yogurt with honey.

I have a fresh batch of my homemade yogurt now, so I’m saving big bucks there. I packed T-Lo’s lunch tonight and it has:

-cantaloupe

-steamed shrimp

-red pepper strips

-yogurt with real maple syrup

T-Lo absolutely LOVES peppers. For real. Whenever I’m cooking and I’m chopping peppers, I have a kitchen buddy. I see those little fingers pop up over the counter and feel around and steal my peppers! He eats so many, he usually doesn’t eat much dinner. But hey, I will never stop one of my kids from eating veggies. It’s just not gonna happen. I mean, call it crazy, but I’m just not. And the cantaloupe? The boys polished off a whole melon a few days ago. In one sitting. Granted, it was a smallish melon, but still. I was giving them little bowls, and they just kept coming back, so I finally just put the whole bowl on the table.

I was digging around in our cabinets today, looking for some lunch for T-Lo today. I ended up biting the bullet, as in I got rid of a ton of the food we no longer eat!. I ended up with around 8 cans of various beans, a can of cranberry sauce (HFCS anyone?), some bulgur, whole wheat flour, and white all-purpose flour. I threw the grains in the trash, but I’m going to donate the cans somewhere. I know you’re always told to throw that stuff out when you embark on a diet change, but I just never did it.

Here’s my eats for today:

-earl grey with honey and half and half

-4 oz. steamed shrimp

-Thai curry pork lettuce wraps (I adapted it from a recipe on food.com, I’ll post soon)

-homemade kombucha

-more tea

That puts me a little low for the day at around 1350 calories. I will probably snack on some nuts or cheese later, just to bump that up a little.

Well, that’s it for me for now. Thank you for joining me on this crazy blog:) Stay tuned for some kick-ass results!

Monday

Monday is when my challenge on FatSecret starts. It’s a 3 month challenge and I’m going to set some goals in each phase. I will start easy. I’m going to do the FatSecret challenge, which is to eliminate the not-so-primal foods in my diet and get back to the good old basics. I’m also going to add 2 more mini-goals. My tendency is to go all out and burn myself out and feel like a failure because I end up not doing anything I set out to do. Just read some of my older posts and you’ll see this pattern

I’m going to go boxing 3 times a week and start this Push Up program. One of my goals in the beginning of the year was to be able to do 10 regular push ups. Not girly style (on the knees). Real push ups. I see this program as a neat way to get there. We’ll see how it goes! That’s it. Just boxing and push ups! I already have goals for the second month in mind, but I don’t wanna go into them yet. I don’t wanna overwhelm myself.

The homemade lunches are going so well. I alternate days, with T-Lo on MWF, and J on a T/TH schedule, due to his being at his dad’s house the other mornings. I have asked the teachers to send home the food so I can see what they eat and don’t eat (I think I told you that already). Well, the homemade yogurt with honey is T-Lo’s thing, but not J’s thing. Also, the leftover cold summer squash that was sauteed in bacon wasn’t eaten either. I don’t think I would have eaten it either. It was a poor choice, but I am learning. I feel all extra-maternal towards them when I’m doing this. I can’t explain. I’m packing the lunch with foods, but also lots of LOVE! I hope they taste that in there with the actual food.

I’m off to enjoy this weekend with my family. The weather is gorgeous here, so I’m thinking we’ll have some outdoor adventures this weekend! Geocaching? Hula hooping? Hopscotch? Stomp Rockets? It’s all up for grabs. Go grab some fun for yourself! Do it! NOW!!!

I’m Okay, You’re Okay

Well, you might be okay. I don’t really know. But I DO know that I’m okay. I had my colonoscopy yesterday morning and it came out perfectly normal, no polyps or anything! Huzzah! they did do a biopsy because there is another type of bowel disease that only shows up microscopically in the lining of the colon.

Let me break it down. The colonoscopy was absolutely painless! It’s true what they say: the worst part is the prep. Ugh. Gross and all that. I got there, they had me undress and put my clothes in a bag. Then a nurse comes in and puts the IV in. Well, in my case, the nurse comes in and pokes you 3 times and brings in the anesthesiologist. I am a notoriously hard “stick” and add to that being slightly dehydrated from no food or drink and the prep, and you have some pretty hard to find veins! Luckily I’m not squeamish in the slightest. I was chit-chatting away with them while they poked and prodded. Then they walk you to the procedure room and you lay down and they put a little oxygen thingy in your nose (kind of annoying yet refreshing at the same time!!) and start to push the sleepy meds into you. It’s a big syringe of stuff that looks like milk. This is how it went:

Doc:ย  (Pushing the meds)”This might burn a little bit. Oh, and can you lay on your left side?”

Me: “Sure” (I roll over) “Hey, that does sting a little…..”

Me…(opening my eyes in recovery room)

Nurse: “Oh, you’re awake!”

I swear to all that is holy it felt like 2 seconds went by!!! My heiney doesn’t hurt in the slightest either. I know all you colonoscopy noobs want to know. It was so easy. The staff was awesome and they run such an efficient office. So my message would be: Get your colon checked!!! Do it!!!

So my results were a relief to say the least. I can relax my diet some, although still staying primal of course. And I can sell those 3 books I bought on bowel disease! I do like to do my research.

I’ve been packing the boys’ lunches this week. Well, T-Lo brought lunch yesterday and J brought lunch today. I sent a note in with T-Lo asking that they leave the food in the containers to bring home so I can see what he eats and what he doesn’t. He ate almost everything yesterday. He left half of his cucumbers and some of the apple, but he ate them as soon as he got home. I think it’s a success! J had some roasted chicken leftovers, cucumber, yogurt with honey, and some cantaloupe. He will buy his drink there. They have juice and milk. We’ll see what he brings back.

Wanna know what I’m eating today?

-Coffee with honey and cream (yep, I had some coffee!)

-6 slices of bacon

-pineapple

-Potato and cheddar soup (from a crockpot cookbook)

-snacks will be string cheese, kombucha, and maybe some almonds or walnuts

-Lots o’ H2o and tea

There you have it. The Good: negative colonoscopy and good food, The Bad: uh….nothing!, and the Ugly: uh…again nothing!!

Primal Dawn Thinks Ahead This Week

I have my colonoscopy tomorrow morning. I’m on clear liquids all day, and I have to drink this disgusting prep starting in about an hour and a half. I wish I was you right now. Needless to say, I will be getting to know my bathroom even better tonight.

Since I’m not eating and I’m trying to distract myself, I’m watching a lot of trashy television on Netflix, doing precalculus, and planning stuff. I decided to plan this week’s dinners. Since I have class Tuesday and Thursday nights, we do crock pot dinners those nights. Then on Monday and Wednesdays, it’s swim class for the boys, so I cook dinner while they are in school, then we heat it up after swim. Fridays are Pizza Night. I play it fast and loose on the weekends.

This week’s menu:

Monday-Spaghetti Squash Bake

Tuesday- Potato and Cheddar Soup (slow cooker)

Wednesday- Coconut Curry (from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook)

Thursday- Corned Beef and Cabbage (slow cooker)

Friday- Pizza!!!

So I planned dinner. Now on to the lunches! I’m scared. J is at his dad’s tonight, so he will start Tuesday, but T-Lo is packing lunch tomorrow! I will post probably tomorrow with the details. Wish me luck!!

Coming Soon To PD Headquarters: A 1/4 Steer!

We are getting a freezer tomorrow! And you know what that means? That means we’ll be ordering our cow soon! Well, our 1/4 cow. I’ve been in touch with Fox Hill Farm and they’ve been very nice about answering all of this newbie’s questions. They offer something called a “home harvest”. This is where they do the kill on the farm. It’s less stress and fear for the animal, and I think it’s awesome. It still gets processed at the plant, but it’s better for the animal. You know, if you have to be killed, that’s the way to go. It’s not even an extra charge for this. They will also ship to us, which is good because they are far away.

So exactly how much meat does a 1/4 steer yield? 90-100 pounds of yummy grass-fed beef. We even get to choose what cuts we want! I have a little order sheet and I have to figure out A) what all the cuts are (chuck, shoulder, shank, sirloin, etc…) and B)what sort of variety I should order for us. I don’t want too much ground beef, but we need a lot because we eat a lot of it. I’d like to have a nice mix.

I am so excited about the transitions we’ve been making towards a more primal lifestyle. Most of the processed stuff is out. We’ve got produce coming out of our ears! Seriously, I have to go to the grocery store at least twice a week to restock just the fruit! The boys’ Laptop Lunch bento kits should be arriving tomorrow (yay!!) and I’m looking forward to planning some yummy lunches for these boys! I’m going to recruit them to help me pick stuff out and maybe even let J do some prep with me.

I’m loving my dehydrator! I made a fresh batch of banana chips today. These came out better than last time, more crispy. The jerky is a little trickier, I over-dried the last batch and it was apparently too tough for my boys. I didn’t notice anything, but both Mr. Dawn and J both said something.

Boxing has been tough lately. I had that horrible cough. So I will make another attempt on Sunday. Hopefully I can make it through the whole class this time. Wish me luck! I’m looking forward to getting back in the game. I joined a challenge over on FatSecret.com. It’s a 3 month challenge and it looks fun! We’ll see how I fare. I’m not usually a fan of those “hey it’s almost summer time to whip your ass into shape!” like you see on magazine covers. But this time is different. I’m up for a challenge. But the question is: Is the challenge up for me???? ๐Ÿ˜€