Category Archives: nutritional supplements

Liver, Sweet Potatoes, and Paleo!

My coworkers think it’s funny and ask me if everything is paleo. “Hey Suz, is this paleo?” “Hey Suz, I’m eating out of a plastic container – totally paleo right?” “We’re having Chinese food tomorrow, is Chinese food paleo?” It’s light hearted and makes me laugh, but it makes me think about how some nutrition strategies can be so foreign to some. Paleo is pretty simple, but it’s going to be a learning process – I’m sure I’ll be eating things that aren’t totally paleo – until I learn the ins and outs. Also, before really making the decision to remove gluten and follow a more paleo style I purchased some meal replacement bars that are low carb but definitely not gluten free or paleo, and a box of quest bars – that are gluten free but probably wouldn’t meet the paleo standards. Being that I don’t have a lot of extra money laying around and I literally can not stand the thought of wasting food, I plan to continue to eat these bars until they are gone, and then look for alternative quick meal bars for work. As a licensed vet tech (vet nurse) I often have to eat on the run, and meal replacement bars become a staple – it’s either that or eating the donuts that were brought by a client.

For more info on paleo click here. There’s a lot of info out there – a simple google search will do, but the website in the link above is pretty comprehensive and also has a link with research. 

For more info on gluten free I really suggest you read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. It explains why one would consider taking wheat (gluten) out of their diet even if they do not have celiac disease.

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that I was going to try to make a recipe with liver… Well, I made it, and it’s not bad! I only tasted it warm so I’ve put it in the fridge to cool so I can try it as the dip/pâté it’s meant to be! 


Want the recipe!!?? Check it out at healthfulpursuit.com it was a little bit messy but that’s because I don’t have a big blender! Shout out to my coworker Becca for the mason jar! 

For breakfast I had a beautiful veggie bowl that I concocted myself! I was so proud of myself I didn’t want to eat it it was so pretty! 


It consisted of alfalfa sprouts, kale and spinach sautéed with chopped onions, a half of a sweet potato, 1 egg, and 1 meatball that I got from the super market (it’s grassfed beef that comes in small round balls that I got at the local hannafords). It was so good! I’m really getting the hang of cooking! 

I ate my breakfast or first meal around 12, I wasn’t really hungry and sort of fasted without really intending to. Feels like eating this way will have me slowly and effortlessly easing into intermittent fasting as well. Anyway, I ate one of my bars for “lunch” and a few hours later had a banana and another bar. We were busy and a client brought us brownies so I was glad I had my bars as my emergency snack! 

For dinner I made some sweet potato and kale hash – I got the recipe from Fitfoodfinds.com and kind of just threw things in the hash – I didn’t have a red pepper so I used a green bell pepper, and I had some left over leeks from the liver pâté so I threw those in there! The balsamic really gave it the kick it needed at the end and I added some chicken legs marinated in a chipotle seasoning packet (I made sure it didn’t have sugar – it was a store brand). 


My husband loved dinner so much he had to post a photo on instagram! Ha! 

All in all today was a pretty good day. I actually wasn’t even hungry for dinner. I will say I have to lighten up on the coffee at work, I have small cups but 2-3 is a bit too much. I wasn’t tired today at all, so I’m not sure what that was about but I’m taking it one day at a time and will be better tomorrow! 

Well, that’s it! Gluten free and paleo journey is just beginning and I feel pretty good! I can tell my energy is much better, my inflammation feels less and I feel lighter. I jumped on the scale today even though I didn’t want to just to see where I’m at and I wasn’t exactly happy with the number, but it didn’t upset me or make me want to give up. I feel like my mind has finally shifted, and this is do-able. Plus, I haven’t had a headache all week!! 

Not sure what recipes I have planned for tomorrow but I have some left over sweet potato hash from dinner so I’ll probably add an egg to it for breakfast or maybe some of that beef like this morning! My doc is buying the service Chinese food so I’ll have to see if I can navigate through that! 

I wonder if Chinese food is paleo? 😉

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Gluten free AND Paleo?

So it’s no secret that I have a history of dabbling with different diet and nutrition strategies. Recently I read a book called “Wheat Belly” have you heard of it? 

It really opened my eyes to what it is I really have been eating. If you’ve read the book, maybe you agree that the author should have gone with “Bagel Butt” as the title as its more catchy and I totally have a bagel butt! 

Anyway, after much deliberation, my husband and I have decided to go ahead and transition to a wheat free (gluten free), paleo lifestyle. Yup, that means no ice cream, soda, cake, cookies, brownies, popcorn, or bread. That means “heart healthy whole grains” are out. 

I’ve already begun feeling better and have started to experiment with different recipes! 

I found a recipe for Rosemary balsamic chicken liver pâté but it takes 12-24 hours to marinate so I’ll be making that one tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the chicken liver recipe link and my opinion on chicken livers… I’m scared! 

I’ve read a lot that says paleo should be looked at like “if your great grandmother would eat that food and knows what it is, then it’s probably safe” and my great grandmother ate a lot of liver and onions, so I figured there has to be something to it! We shall see! Liver is supposedly super healthy for you, if it’s good maybe I’ll make it more often! 

Photos and recipe to come tomorrow so stay tuned! 

Anyway, we just started this adventure so stay tuned! I’m also going to start looking into a grain free/paleo style dog and cat food… I’d love to make my own for them if I can. I’m totally into experimenting right now! 

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Happy New Year!

  
All of us here at Pugsandpushups.com would like to wish all of our followers a very happy and healthy New Year! We hope that 2016 brings you all of the things you hope for and that you will continue to work on becoming the best version of you! Thank you for following along our crazy story and look forward to continue to grow this blog! 

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Something weird happened today…

“Something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean”

This morning I had to substitute teach Body Pump at 6am for one of my friends so I had a banana on my way in (I’m really trying not to workout completely fasted). When I got home I had 1 egg, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts with a squirt or two of ketchup (finally a photo!)  

 
Around 11am I was starving but knew I didn’t have any quick snack with me so I waited, but around 11:45 remembered I had thrown an Asian pear into my bag! So I chowed down on most of the pear – until my tummy felt better and then I headed back into work.

At 1:30 I had lunch which consisted of about 4-5 oz of chicken breast and about a cup of green beans. I added butter because there was nothing on either and it was totally flavorless.

At 4:30pm I had a grapefruit with a packet of stevia in the raw – I ate the whole thing since I didn’t have the half at breakfast due to time and, well, I’m not eating a grapefruit in my car! 

As I was leaving work (around 6:45pm) I decided to have 1/2 of an Italian cookie because one of my coworkers said they were the best she had ever had – it wasn’t that good so I didn’t finish it. 

Then I headed to go teach another body pump class and stopped by CVS to pick up a thing of laughing cow Swiss cheese. I ate one block and headed into class (7:30pm). After class I ate one of those really long cucumbers with two more of those laughing cow Swiss cheeses (9pm). Cucumbers and LC Swiss (or cream cheese) are probably one of my favorite snacks! 

Since I had yet to eat dinner I decided to head into the super market.  When I got there something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean. I bought an organic butternut squash soup, a honey Chobani yogurt, an organic almond bar, and a can of peas … I don’t know why but I wanted peas! 

When I got home (9:30pm) i had the butternut squash bisque soup and ate the small can of peas mixed with some shrimp (don’t judge me).  

I only had one moment today during work where I wanted to eat junk – it’s something about my work environment that makes everyone seek bad food. After I allowed that to pass I felt much better. Today was overall a good good day despite eating a bit more fruit than usual. I feel good and I’m interested to see if the food cravings continue to decline as I choose more clean/whole foods!

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Sweets everywhere😓

Today was the first day back to work after 4 days off – so you can imagine that I was less than excited to get back to my routine. Despite cookies and holiday goodies still making their way around the hospital (I work for a very high paced specialty animal hospital that seems to moonlight as a junk food safe house during the holidays) I kept my distance. Here’s how the day looked:

Breakfast (around 8am): 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet stevia in the raw, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts with a squirt of ketchup on top

Snack (around 11): 1/2 grapefruit  with 1 packet of stevia in the raw and the rest of the quinoa salad from yesterday which was probably about 1/2 cup.

Lunch (1:45pm): leftover chicken from last nights chicken stuffed peppers wrapped in lettuce wraps – probably had about 6 or 7 smal wraps

Snack(5pm): a handful of shrimp and a cup of green beans with a little butter melted on top  

 probably the most boring snack but I really like shrimp so – boring is where it’s at!

After eating this snack I tasted a small piece of a brownie that had been staring at me all day – I was happy with the small piece and didn’t go back for more.

Dinner(8:15pm): I didn’t feel like cooking so I headed to whole foods and got some ginger carrot bisque (soup) and vegan stew. I was also really craving peanut butter so I found these 5 ingredient organic chocolate peanuts butter Minis –  

 I had no idea organic chocolate that literally has 5 ingredients could be this good! Have you tried these!?  Not too shabby! 

In other news I sent out 4 clothing items that I sold from Facebook today! Who knew! Probably everyone, but I thought it was kind of cool that I could sell cloths that are just sitting in my closet! When I was there I asked the cashier for holiday stamps – they are to send my Christmas cards – and this is what he gave me  

 Lol! So my belated Christmas cards will have Hanukkah stamps! Oh well! Haha
Overall I felt good today. I definitely felt deprived around that second snack – I didn’t want shrimp and green beans, I wanted to eat the whole brownie, but I was proud of myself for choosing the green beans and shrimp while only having a small piece of the brownie… I’m sure in time this will get easier. Woke up with a little headache – I wonder if that will subside once my body is used to eating whole foods most of the time. 

What treats do you allow yourself?

Do you find it hard to say no when there’s treats everywhere? What is your fail safe plan?

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Food journal: the beginning

I mentioned this morning that I was starting a new plan. The plan consists of eating mostly vegetables and lean protein. I’m not counting calories or macros because in my experience doing these things tends to exacerbate my binge eating disorder. So, without further ado – here’s what I’ve eaten today. 

Woke up: around 7-7:30am

Breakfast (around 8:30am) : 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup shaved Brussels sprouts, squirt of ketchup, 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw 

Taught Body Pump 10am-11am

Post workout Snack (11:30am): venti cafe americano 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw, 1 cup quinoa salad with cranberries and cashews

Lunch (3:30pm): shrimp, eggs, salsa, and shaved Brussels sprouts mixed together in salad boats and two organic carrot sticks  

 

Dinner (7:20pm): 1 yellow pepper stuffed with shredded chicken, onions, green peppers, and black beans, topped with shredded taco cheese and 2tsp guacamole

 

  1. Snack (9pm): 1 med banana with 1tbsp nut butter 

Thoughts:

As I round out my day, I reflect on what I’ve eaten today and how I’ve felt. I feel like I could add more veggies to my meals – but I wasn’t really hungry. My main carb sources were eaten before and after my workout and I felt good throughout. I didn’t feel overly hungry or feel the need to search for food. My only real craving was for the banana but mostly because I’ve walked past them all day. I stayed pretty busy most of the day despite being home. I sold some clothes online and washed dishes. I also spent some extra time playing with the pups and laughing at Louie (my cat) who decided it would be fun to fall asleep in my laundry basket  

 Silly boy.
It’s been an overall good day with no real thoughts of binging. My focus has shifted from needing something to work towards – some event, competition, race, etc – to wanting to lose some extra weight to be happy with my own body and be healthy. I feel this will both be good for myself but also for my clients – to see that I’ve struggled but have managed to focus on myself and heal myself before putting any extra or excess stress on my system by doing anything drastic to lose weight for some other reason other than health!

Do you struggle with finding a balance between weight loss for health and weight loss for some idea body image?

What is your favorite healthy recipe?

What is your favorite vegetable?

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Diet & workout plan

In an effort to be completely transparent, I want to share with you my plan for the next 7 weeks. My powerlifting comp is approaching a bit faster than I thought and my weight has been pretty stagnant – mostly because I have yet to really do the plan I set up. (Funny how that works 😜).
Since I have been working some weird hours, my diet has been less than ideal – so this week I have set into place an easy to follow plan that allows me to pick and choose what I want for the most part as long as it fits the description. This diet will bring me in around 1500 calories, with a plan to get to 1350 at my max defecit (rest days) and 1800 cals on super heavy days. I’ve started with two days of 20 minutes of fasted cardio with the option to increase if after a week or two my weight stagnates. 
The plan is as follows:

  
 

With my workout schedule looking something like this:

  
  

I may have a Chobani flips instead of a protein shake (because they are yummy), or 1/2 portion protein and veggies in that place just because I literally can’t stand drinking protein shakes, but I will make an effort for this to be the plan at least for week 1 and then plan to increase or decrease depending on how I feel. As far as my workout schedule, I know it’s a bit much, but my body is used to this kind of volume, and when I decrease the volume I start to gain – so I will have to just do what feels good and take an extra day off here and there depending on how I feel. If I feel good I will go straight through. As long as Monday, Wednesday, Friday continue to be my 5×5 squat, chest, DL (deadlift), then the rest will depend completely on how I feel! 
Stay tuned as I update ya’ll on progress! Ps- I have 4 days left of my cleanse – so don’t worry I’ll post an update once it’s done! It’s taken a few extra days because I’ve worked some overnights which wind up making me eat weird and take supplements at weird times so it spread out the cleanse a bit 💪🏼❤️
 

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10 Day Cleanse starts Now!

I’ve posted about this before: the AdvoCare 24 day challenge; but I haven’t been really consistent with posting results or progress. I’ve had a new cleanse laying around and I’ve been trying to decide when to do it but this morning I woke up after being in an M&M, thanksgiving foods, and pie coma for three days and decided that it was time for that cleanse. 

I was doing really well with IIFYM even though I’m not a huge fan, I figured I’d try it – but after 6 days of not losing 1lb followed by thanksgiving madness and working an overnight (which always throws me off) I figured it was time for that cleanse. 

This morning I started by weighing in and taking photos and then had the probiotic, catalyst, and spark, followed by (a half hour or so later) a chocolate peanut butter meal replacement shake and unflavored fiber drink. 

Current Weight: 172lbs

Goal weight: 156lbs (must be under 158 for powerlifting meet)

Goal for 10 day cleanse: 165lbs. There’s at least 4lbs of water/inflammation from thanksgiving since i haven’t been drinking water and before thanksgiving I was 168lbs. So there’s no reason I can’t lose that + 3lbs. Then the goal will be to lose 10lbs or so befor January 23rd! 

Follow along as I post my #weightlossjourney and my #journeytoPowerLifting lol 

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A New Direction…

As a group fitness instructor I’m asked almost daily the same simple question – what should I eat? My answer is usually something like this: In general to eat healthy – eat mostly vegetables, berries and fruit, more veggies than berries and more berries than fruit – healthy fats and protein like salmon, avocado, coconut oils, and hard pressed veggie oils (I.e. Extra Virgin), grass fed beef and bison, cage free organic eggs, and poultry; make sure your carbohydrate source is from sweet potatoes, quinoa, or rice (in other words not processed) and stay away from or limit processed sugars and carbohydrates from a box such as cereal, bars, candy… The processing is the main factor that affects long term health…. 
The problem I’ve encountered with this advice is that I’m not following it. The majority of the time I preface this conversation with a brief sentence explaining that “honestly, with an eating disorder it’s hard for me to answer this question but… ” and then I continue with the prior paragraph.

So, after a lot of different diet attempts, and lifestyle types, I’m going to try to take it back to basics. I want to follow my own advice and once I’m comfortable eating by choosing the healthiest options – concentrating on organic, grass fed, and where my food comes from – taking away as much dairy and processed foods as I can – I will dial it down to work with whatever macronutrient profile works best for me (after some trial and error) for my activity level — but my goal here is to really go back to a basic paleo-ish  eating style with emphasis on vegetables and eating whole, clean foods.

What is your favorite meal? How can you make this meal healthier? Can you add vegetables to your current diet? What would that look like for you?   

 

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Road to Trifecta, Road to Recovery

Palmerton, PA. Saturday July 11th. Picture this, looking up at a mountain, knowing that only a few minutes are left before you face one of the hardest challenges of your life…   The Spartan Super, 8+ miles, and 32 obstacles, up and down a mountain with a total elevation gain of over 3000ft. Hydration pack, gels, salt pills, GOAT tape, and green/blue hair – I was ready. I trained for this.  

At 9:30, my heat started, the first hill was a doozy, and really set the tone for the entire race. Obstacle after obstacle, steep climb after steep decline, the race was starting off the be amazing! I made it to the sandbag carry in less than an hour and I was feeling high on life after completing the uneven monkey bars with ease! I doubted myself but had an amazing volunteer who cheered me on and gave me the extra confidence that I needed and I crushed it!   Right before mile marker #3 there was a slight decline in a grassy area, most people were walking but I felt like I could jog it, so off I went – a little trot, not picking up too much speed but just enough to make some ground and then… It happened. My ankle snapped – it was one of those feelings that can only be explained with a feeling. I heard it and felt it in my throat simultaneously. I immediately thought I was done. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish, I thought they’d pull me off the course. They called for a medic, a few racers stayed with me, I appreciated the support but I surely didn’t act like it. I was screaming profanities, punching the ground – it felt like all the work, all the hours of preparation were for nothing. I couldn’t move my foot. I had to stop, I had to breathe, I had to think. One racer tried to take my shoe off – I yelled at her to stop. I remembered that my mom had busted her foot once and continued to walk home, when she took her shoe off her foot blew up like a balloon. I knew the moment my shoe was removed I had no chance of finishing the race.  When the volunteer came over, I realized I could move my toes. I HAD to try and stand. If I could stand – I could limp, if I could limp, I could finish. I told him I needed to try, even if I had to walk, I had to try to finish. I got up, grabbed my GOAT tape from my bag and began wrapping my ankle. I figured a little extra support would help me get through. The rest of the race was nothing short of a disaster, but I kept telling myself to keep going, one foot in front of the other. I kept telling myself that this was temporary.    

 After 6 hours and 20 minutes, I finished. As I jumped over the fire tears began to flow… 

 I was proud, I was in pain, I was scared for what I would have to deal with as I tended to my ankle, I couldn’t believe I had made it another 5+ miles and only failed 4 obstacles (3 after the injury – one of which was a voluntary fail as I decided it wasn’t worth it to climb the rope and fall – although I did get to the top knot again, but this time I chose to descend slowly rather than have my hand slip and possibly hurt my ankle even more). I failed the spear throw (before my injury), the Z wall (got very close but fell off on the last wall), the rope climb, and the multi rig (got to about the 6th ring when I had too much swing and my hands slipped off of the rings).      
Now the biggest obstacle begins…

The Road to Recovery. 

After the race, my husband carried me to the medic tent where they evaluated my ankle. The man who helped us was very nice, he said it looks like a severe sprain but it may be fractured – he unfortunately left his X-ray glasses at home lol. So, we drove home to NY and went to the hospital. The X-rays showed a slight avulsion fracture, and since it was late they wanted me to follow up on Monday with an orthopedist. They gave me crutches and an air cast and sent me on my way with 600mg of ibprofin.

The orthopedist took more X-rays and evaluated my ankle.  Although he did note two very small chips of bone on the medial aspect of my ankle (inside) he said there was a lot of inflammation and mostly looked like a very severe sprain. He fitted me for a walking boot, and said that I should be able to walk without it in about 2-3 weeks. He said overall it may be 3-6 months before it’s fully healed but we will recheck in 3 weeks to see if there’s progress.  

 Within an hour of getting the boot I was able to walk without crutches (thank goodness), and by the next morning I was feeling much more stable. 

It’s going to be a long road ahead of me, but I’m confident that I will be ready for the Killington Beast in September to complete my first Trifecta! 

The doctor said I could still workout as long as it is modified to the point that I am not putting any pressure on my leg… I will focus on upper body and grip strength work and once I can be more mobile with my leg, I will begin training for the next race.

 

 

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