Pros and Cons of Lunchtime Workouts

By Brandon.wiggins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Brandon.wiggins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Lunchtime has become my go-to workout time for the past few weeks. And while it’s been a bit of an adjustment, taking an hour to zone out and do something physical in the middle of the day actually helps me focus on my work in the afternoon.

Since this blog is about balancing health (of all sorts) and hedonism (of the food variety), it seems only right to write about what I do to ensure I can eat things like triple-chocolate brownies and salami chips. Continue reading

Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

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It shouldn’t be so difficult to hard-boil eggs.

I have never been able to do it. The yolk always, always, gets hard and weird and chalky. And while that’s not awful if you’re just throwing a hardboiled egg into a potato salad or an egg salad, it’s not great for things like Cobb salad or simply snacking on, when the texture really shows.

Other people must have the same problem, judging by the number of people on Pintrest resorting to “boiling” their eggs in the oven. In case you, too, struggle with Overcooked Egg Syndrome, I have found a foolproof method for hardboiling that will give you exactly what you want every time.  Continue reading

How To: Eat While Traveling

Near Stanley, Idaho, on our last vacation

Near Stanley, Idaho, on our last vacation

As you’re reading this, Ben and I are probably sick of each other.

You see, this week was our belated honeymoon: an eight-day trip through Glacier National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Missoula, and Redfish Lake in central Idaho. He keeps telling me that we’ll be sick of each other after 9 hours in a car on Sunday, several more hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and another five hours on Friday. So, with that attitude firmly in place, I’m very much looking forward to our trip.

I love to travel, but two things always worry me: what to do with the dog, and what to eat.  I’m trying to be as careful as possible over this week to ensure our good time isn’t compromised by stomach issues.

If course, what will work for you varies widely depending on the type of traveling you’re doing, from a business trip where you’ll stay in a modern hotel to a trip like ours, where we’re staying in rustic lodges without in-room coffeemakers or a mini fridge. But here are some general guidelines:

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How To: Affording Paleo

My first co-op basket! Something I needed when I went paleo.

When I started eating paleo, our grocery bills went through the roof. Skyrocketed. No joke.

Previously, we’d eaten a pretty “healthy” diet that included a lot of quinoa, lentils, multi-grain bread and rice. I’d make a simple skillet for dinner, using pasta and tomato sauce to stretch some ground beef, or we’d have meatless quinoa salad with apples, green onions, dried cranberries and almonds. Sometimes, we’d just melt cheese on some locally baked bread and call it dinner. I made risotto like it was going out of style because it was simple, delicious, cheesy and just fancy enough to make me feel accomplished.

All of that changed in July 2013. Without cheap, starchy fillers, I found myself unable to keep enough produce in the house. I split our fridge into “paleo” and “non-paleo” sections, and my half was always bursting with apples, nectarines, kale, spinach, zucchini and packages of chicken, beef and lamb.

This was exacerbated by the fact that in the first month of paleo, as my body was getting used to the new diet, I was constantly eating. All the time. I wondered if I was pregnant, that’s how bad it got.

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But as I got more used to this lifestyle, my appetite calmed down — and I eventually figured out how to shop reasonably. Your mileage may vary, but groceries where I live are typically very expensive. If I can feel good about eating paleo here, anyone can, anywhere.

Shop at Costco and Winco
I can’t do this all the time, nor would I want to. A lot of their items are…well, let’s just say I would not feel comfortable buying fresh food at either place. But they can be awesome resources for other staples. Almond butter, coconut oil, olive oil, dried plums, dates and especially nuts can be found for cheap and in large quantities, and they are almost non-perishable. I have yet to see if I can get coconut milk by the case here, but I promise you, if I can, I will. Continue reading

How To: Eat in an emergency

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As I mentioned earlier, we had a bit of a problem in this area of Idaho in the middle of August. Not to be to dramatic, but people were evacuated from their homes at 3 a.m. in the town just south of me. I watched flames come over the ridge and ignite trees across the street, and I basically didn’t even sleep without my HAM radio.

Since we live at a fire station, we weren’t evacuated. Or, rather, we weren’t forced to leave, but Stella and I had our valuables packed up in the car and were ready to go at a moment’s notice. But one of the biggest problems I faced was what to eat if we were to be evacuated, and what to eat while dealing with the emergency.

Here’s a short list I’ve compiled to help you if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. I’m sure that many of you who are not Paleo for medical reasons will choose to forego the diet for the duration of the emergency, but these guidelines apply for those of you who are gluten-free, grain-free and peanut-free and cannot “backslide.” Continue reading

How to: Troubleshooting Paleo

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When I started eating paleo, I was disappointed. Sure, I was eating healthier, but I didn’t feel all that great.

The blogs I read said the authors felt amazing when they went paleo, full of energy, vim, and vigor. Fat was literally falling off of their bodies (in chunks, one imagines), as were their clothes. Stomachaches, headaches and body aches disappeared. In short, everything was hunky-dory.

I didn’t feel this way. I was grouchy and basically heinous for two weeks due to lack of sugar. I was exhausted all the time. I was eating everything in sight. I still had headaches that felt like they were pushing out of my eyes, and my skin looked terrible. My stomach still hated me — which eliminated the whole reason I was going paleo in the first place.

Eventually, these things went away and I started feeling better. But nothing online helped when I felt like paleo wasn’t working. It’s not easy to figure out how such a radically different lifestyle will affect you, especially if you were eating nothing but burgers and fries before.

Continue reading