Food Sunday: Ways to survive the 8 hour workday and stay Paleo

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Beautiful day for  my first run in weeks. Felt strong. 

When I say paleo it sounds like pa-le-O which in Spanish sounds like a verb that would mean getting hit by a stick. “Palo” is stick and “paleo” would be some kind of weird ritual where somebody attacks with you said stick. Months ago fat-adaptation and my natural lack of hunger made me feel almost invincible to cravings and to sugar. Falling from the bandwagon has brought some of my old cravings and feelings of being possesed by yeast back to the surface. Dreaming of a donut while working in my office and fighting the craving feels a bit akin to somebody wipping my butt all the way to the snack shop to then stuff my face with a donut. The kind of face stuffing where your mind knows the shame of what is happening but you still cannot stop it. I have developed a bit of techniques that work for me to fight the physical part of that compulsion. The physical part of it has to do with careful loading up on nutritious foods and having them ready.  That takes time, preparation and maybe not getting every last second of sleep in the morning. On most cold winter days getting out of bed is already an accomplishment, let alone cooking breakfast and lunch to go. Here are things you can do during the safety of a lounging Sunday to get you through the week or as you run out the door and only have time to stash some produce in your bike bag.

  • Kerrygold can do everything: You could do this with any fat really but Kerrygold is delicious, transportable and  goes well with anything. You can put Kerrygold in your coffee, melt it in a cup and put it over the produce you hastily grabbed as you started your day or even fry the sweet potatoes you brought as you groggily headed to work. If you have not tried Bulletproof coffee then you need to start as it can keep you feeling energized for most of your day and tastes like a coffee-butter milkshake. I put a tablespoon or two of Kerrygold in a cup and melt it (This is something that I do a lot) then add coffee and swirl. You can also put it on all the other things I am going to talk about next.
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In all honest in a better world I would just take bites out of bars of Kerrygold all day.

  • You can hardboil eggs in the oven:  They sell five dozen eggs for six bucks at our local Food Cities which is as if somebody took a grocery store from Mexico and air dropped it into the U.S., only that the food is cheaper. You can also get them from Costco and from some grocery stores for a bit more. Sixty eggs is a lot of protein and great snack especially if you hard boil them beforehand. Afterwards all you just have to do is peel the egg, add some salt and eat away. I buy the six dozen and hard boil half of them and eat the other half for breakfast over the course of about ten days. I take the hard boiled ones to work and anytime I find myself without time to make food, I know I can get 30 grams of protein by taking two minutes to peel five of them. I bring in another 30 about every two weeks. You can also cut them up and put a ton of Kerrygold on them.
  • You can bake sweet potatoes in a microwave:  You can actually cook a lot of things satisfactorily in the microwave, including kale, squash, mushrooms and a lot of other things.You can also combine things into delicious meals such as kale with squash and mushrooms on top of a bunch of sweet potato all covered with melty delicious Kerrygold and a bit of salt. All you did was stash some butter in your office and sleepily grab some produce in the morning.  I keep a stash of sweet potatoes of about 3-4 large sweet potatoes in my office and bring in more every week.  You can also eat these raw if you ever find yourself dreaming of sugar, just open your sweet potato drawer (everybody has one right?)  and gnaw away. Think of it as a carrot.
  • Protein shakes: Get a blender bottle and keep it in  your office. It is easy to clean and if you have a sink you can make yourself 30 grams of high quality protein.  You can put melted Kerrygold or any other fat in your protein shakes. MCT oil has great benefits but it never agreed with me. The dashes down to the bathroom may have improved my 400 meter times a bit. The gigantic tub of protein stashed under my desk does get a lot of strange looks but I already get all of those in my office so it is nothing new.
  • Get a dehydrator: There are a lot of reasons to get a dehydrator, the  main one being allowing you to eat a lot more veggies. A dehydrator cooks back on food waste. Every couple of days I throw anything that has been in my refigerator for a bit too long and eat them absent mindedly the next day. I doubt that there is a vegetable that does not taste great dehydrated with a bit of cayenne and salt. Kerrygold drizzled onto vegetable chips is not something I have tried yet, but you can bet that I would never rule it out.

Drink a lot of water throughout the day as a lot of hunger is just dehydration.  Also, remind yourself that it is ok to have cravings and it is ok to feel like you would murder a kitten made out of pastry in front of its family to not be hungry. It is hard to be paleo and adding feelings of shame on top of the difficulties only makes it worse. It will be difficult but the great thing about being paleo is that you do not have to be afraid of food , only of the wrong kinds of food. So if you feel your will wavering or you know that there is donuts at that next meeting then eat a dozen of those eggs or scarf down a pound of sweet potato. Your oncoming food comma will feel the same and have the same effects on your work productivity. Afterwards you can know that you are strong and that you are getting stronger.

Waking up on time

 

I was depressed throughout most of college, I just kind of watched a lot of movies 

Given a day with nothing to do and an abundance of caffeine, I would spend most of my day cooking new things, riding bikes, running, lifting something heavy, reading about working out, fermenting new batches of bacteria, reading about  bikes, building bikes, reading a book about a beautiful moving story and curing some bacon. In that order I would dedicate my entire day to those things, all of them at the same time. You can see an easy clump of categories forming up there. We have bikes, food, heavy things, running and books. Those are all of the things that make me happy and all of the things that I can obsess about. I do not know too many people that spend days building bikes in their heads and researching the parts onlines, writing up WODs for hours or imagining whether pork snout, cacao and dates would go well together when fried in coconut fat. I do, well I think I would like to most of the time. The thing with these passions is that ,to be perfectly honest, I have been mostly depressed the last couple of months and I do not know how to change.  When I have nothing to do I find myself too often fighting to get out of bed. 

Depression is insidious and I imagine, or like to imagine, that most of my friends would not think I was depressed over the last couple of months. Hanging out with my gloomy gus self is not the funnest and my friends deserve a lot better than having to hangout with the version of me that I do not want to spend anymore time with. The effects of depression are ones that I try to hide but are having a lot of effects on my body. I am gaining weight and weigh 170 pounds now that is probably about ten pounds of not much but extra fat that I can feel accruing on my midsection. All of the men in my family have beer bellies that look like a small belly was roaming the streets and started squatting on the frame of a skinny man. I feel that way, I feel that I woke up and this belly is here to stay. Well there are no squatters rights in this jurisdiction! I am buying seventy pounds of kale as soon as possible. 

I continue to notice that the easiest way to see how healthy I am being in mind and physically is connected to how much of the groceries that I buy I eat. If I am eating groceries that means I am saving money and not eating out, I am feeling better because of the nutrition and most importantly the time spent cooking means that a couple of hours are set aside for me and for taking care of myself. My family expressed love through cooking and finding my own self love is based in the kitchen. Cooking takes a long time, is a creative act and enables a person to be in touch with themselves throughout their day.

Food can remind you of the processes that are involved in the most basic of human needs: nourishment. Food is politics, economics, a child starving halfway across the world and another child diagnosed with  early onset diabetes at five (Link). The connections with where what we eat comes from remind me that health can be a transgressive act. That appropiation of freedom gives me a great deal of motivation to stay healthy because denial of health is an extension of inequality. Starting from food can give me the energy to purposefully move through space or exercise. 

Exercise is such a core part of my identity that it makes me a bit ashamed to take about the pride and happines that come from working out. Exercise is transformative in its capacity to build a new relationship to your own self and your body. Exercise makes the issue of the distate of having a body with a beer belly into the pride of having a body with a beer belly that can propel a bike over Mt. Lemmon, can run 13 miles without stopping or that can be ok with pain, discomfort for long periods of time for a goal. It transforms the aesthetics of otherizing body talk into the empowering discussion of body love. 

The final step and the golden fleece, the master sword, the golden Chocobo of everything that I am seeking ends at true deep acceptance and love. This is not about the forever in the future acceptance of being more succesful or a faster runner or having a prettier girl on my arm. If only I had six pack and a nicer bike then my self doubt would lift like fog being pierced by the sun.  It is not really about me abusing alcohol and gluten or not going to the gym as many times as I would like in a week. . A friend told me to stare in the mirror, deep into my own eyes and repeat: “I love you”. Those exercises are called cheezy as a defense mechanism and I am no exception. I almost bawled because of how insincere it felt. The main problem is the gnarly twisted brambles inside of my heart that weigh heavy  I don’t know how to navigate them but being honest, even to myself, is a good start. It might lead to more than five seconds of saying nice things to myself without freaking out. 

This blog is a way for me to document all of the things that I love and to have an outlet to do another passion of mine, writing, all in one space. It is also a space where work is not done. Where I can rewrite and recreate and things can always get better. Quitting facebook was difficult because I felt it was a showcase for a lot of things that I loved. This blog can be an excuse to buy fancy new ingredients and try new recipes. This blog is my excuse to babble about bikes and how much I may be riding them any given week without alienating my friends. This blog is something nice I am doing for myself and I have not done that in a long time.