Christmas is not easy for everyone

Christmas can be a tough time of year for some people. Not everyone has happy Christmas memories and it is a time of year when there may be an enforced jollity which can be very uncomfortable. For others it can be a time when traumatic memories rise up, even if the trauma is not related to Christmas.

For many people it can be as simple as the change of routine Continue reading Christmas is not easy for everyone

Vermont – A journey to remember

I arrived back from Vermont a week ago yesterday so it is not surprising that the memories are fresh, however I don’t think that they will ever fade. I was only there for a week, so much happened, so much was experienced that it feels as though I was there longer. Continue reading Vermont – A journey to remember

Roasted Squash

Roasted Squash

This is not a Paleo dish, however it could be a Primal dish if you substitute mushrooms for the beans and use ground almond, crushed almond and crushed pine nuts for the breadcumbs – enjoy! Thanks to my sister for this one 🙂

  • 2 small squash, halved and seeds scooped out (you can save them and roast them for snacking!)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • *(1 15-oz can small white beans (such as butter beans), drained and rinsed) Substitute mushrooms for beans
  • about 4 large handfuls greens – baby spinach, chopped chard, chopped collards, etc. – washed and spun dry
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
  • *(1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs) Substitute ground almond and crushed almond and pine nuts for the breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Continue reading Roasted Squash

Christmas Bulge Anyone?

How did you manage your food intake over the Christmas Holiday? Did you find yourself eating things that you would normally avoid? Maybe put on a little bit of weight?

Usually Christmas would see me add a few pounds, I can remember Christmases twenty years ago when I would put on at least 7 pounds over the two weeks of festivities, back then I was really quite fit and would drop the weight easily once I was back cycling to work, playing squash and volleyball with my workmates and swimming a few times a week.

Over the years I continued to add weight over the Christmas holidays, however I wasn’t always successful in dropping the pounds, especially in more recent years. My favourite foods for the holidays would have included Mince Pies with lashings of thick cream and Brandy Butter,  sandwiches with butter, pate, chestnuts, mayonnaise, cheese – yes, that was all in one sandwich!

This year I avoided all grains and sugars successfully and it surprised me how easy it was for me to do. I will admit that I had a very quiet Christmas and was not in the company of people eating all the foods I wished to avoid so I think this is the main reason that I found it easy.

I had food treats in the form of really good, nitrate-free rashers (bacon), good quality meat, lots of coconut oil and cream, good organic veggies, lovely Irish butter and I kept my fruit intake to a Clementine per day.

I guess the one real non-paleo food was fresh organic dairy cream, which I added to hot cocoa drinks, mixed with coconut cream and cocoa for ice-cream replacement snacks and put in my coffee. One of those coffees was in bed most mornings – really decadent in my book and very enjoyable!

I think that this was the first Christmas for well over twenty years when I did not add any weight and I am really pleased. I didn’t loose any weight although I wasn’t expecting to so I am not disappointed at all with that. However now I really feel that I need to kick start my metabolism with exercise.

Over the holiday I stopped logging my food and I did very little physical exercise, mostly I watched movies and read some great new books – in other words – I sat a lot. And when I say a lot, I do mean a lot!

I have started to use my food journal again and it has reminded me of the correct proportions of protein, carbohydrate and fat that I am aiming for in my weekly intake. I have stopped having a mug of coffee automatically first thing in the morning and I have found that I am drinking more fresh water as a result. I save my one mug of coffee for later in the day now and enjoy it more.

For the last week or so I have been gradually adding physical exercise back into my life, in the form of walks, splitting wood for kindling, spring-cleaning, washing windows and doors etc. Not massive changes however I think these are the sorts of changes that are more likely to stay a part of my lifestyle. I know that when the weather is better I will be doing a lot more outdoor work, until then I will continue to increase daily activity and hopefully undo some of the damage all the sitting has done.

How was your holiday eating experience and what changes are you making for the New Year?