…as a FIDDLE: week 3 of 5 – HALFWAY THERE!!!

WooHoo! We’ve made it two weeks.  On Wednesday, we’ll be halfway to our 5-week Get Fit as a Fiddle goal.  Even if there have been slip-ups, “Oops – I just ate that entire chocolate bar”, or you only managed a couple of days of exercise, “I’m so tired” …Don’t give up.  Dust yourself off, get back on the horse, and keep going.

I’ve discovered in working through this challenge, that it takes discipline in all areas of my life to reach the goal I’ve set for myself. If I don’t go to bed, I’m too tired to get up the next morning to exercise. If I’m tired all day, I don’t want to put in the extra effort to cook a healthy meal. And if I’m failing in meeting my goals, I just want to grovel and make myself “feel better” by eating comfort food, a.k.a., junk.

So, starting now, I’m going to go to bed at 10PM and wakeup refreshed at 6AM ready to conquer the day. It being 9:30pm now, I can’t get to bed by 10 if I spend the next two hours developing a meal plan. So after a quick google search for “paleo meal plans,” I discovered that I’m reinventing the wheel. There are GOBS of meal plans out there. The following two include recipes and grocery lists:

I haven’t tried any of their recipes yet, but I will soon. Let me know what you think.

We’ll stick with The Get Mohr Fit 28-Day Paleo Challenge for our workouts.  This week starts a whole new set of exercises.



WORKOUT Week 3 – Day 1 of 4

WORKOUT Week 3 – Day 2 of 4

WORKOUT Week 3 – Day 3 of 4

WORKOUT Week 3 – Day 4 of 4




…as a FIDDLE: week 2 of 5

Meal planning tips and shortcuts.  When you cook dinner, double it!  Even if you don’t like leftovers, you can always freeze it and have it in a week or so – whenever it feels “new” again.  Also, if you have extra time on a Sunday or if you’re feeling particularly culinary midweek, do some prep work: chop veggies and store for quick cooking, make meatballs, omelette muffins, anything that will reheat well.  (And if a recipe does not sound appealing – don’t make it.  If you are having a particular craving, do a google search for that menu item + “paleo” and you’ll probably find a great recipe for it.)

Again, the meal plans are my own with recipes from all sorts of great bloggers (you’ll see links at the bottom of the recipes), but the workouts (and the challenge concept) itself comes from: The Get Mohr Fit 28-Day Paleo Challenge.  This week’s workouts are the same as last weeks.  We’ll switch ’em up a bit next week.

If you prefer yoga or pilates, you might like these:

10-minute Solution – Sculpting Pilates

10-minute Solution – Slim & Sleek Stretch Pilates

10-minute Solution – Yoga Basics

MEAL PLAN – Week 2

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Other
Day 1 Yam & Spinach hash, Fried eggs, Leftover Flax Bread Chicken Legs, LEMONY CABBAGE-AVOCADO SLAW Lamb Neck Curry, Steamed vegetables SNACK – carrot, Nuts, Fat coffee
Day 2 Fried eggs, Sauteed zucchini, Flax Bread Tuna salad, Green salad, Bell pepper Salisbury Steak, Steamed broccoli & cauliflower Smoothie, Nuts
Day 3 Spinach & Mushroom Fritatta, Flax Bread Leftover lamb neck curry, Greens salad Slow Cooker Grass Fed Beef Shanks & Cabbage Stew SNACK – pickle, Veggie sticks, Pistacios
Day 4 Omelette muffins, Fat coffee, Meat & Veg Loaf Tuna Stuffed Eggs, Green salad w/ avocado Quick Vegetable Stir Fry, Chicken Legs SNACK – fruit, Cucumber, Nuts
Day 5 Anything omelette (put in anything), Leftover Flax Bread, Fat coffee Leftover slow cooker beef shanks, Veggie sticks Paleo Larb, Big green salad Snack – ants on a log, Cucumber, Bell pepper
Day 6 Fried egg on leftovers Bone Broth, Leftover Meat & Veg Loaf, Veg soup addition Bobotie, Sauteed green beans, Fresh tomato slices, Banana Chocolate Chip “Cakies” SNACK – fruit, Carrot, Nuts, Fat coffee
Day 7 Fried eggs, Sausage, Wilted spinach, Fruit salad, Leftover Flax Bread Leftover bobotie, Salad, Sliced apple SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CACCIATORE, Cauliflower Mash Snack – jerky, 1 fruit, Veg sticks, Nuts, Fat coffee

for the Chocolate Chip “cakies” – I substituted 3 smashed dates for the apple butter. Yummy!

GROCERY LIST – Week 2: You can edit the grocery list (change quantities or make additions) by clicking the edit button.

RECIPES – Week 2: Recipes are written for a family of 4. You can edit the grocery list accordingly, or better yet, freeze the leftovers for quick and easy meals.


WORKOUT Week 2 – Day 1 of 4

WORKOUT Week 2 – Day 2 of 4

WORKOUT Week 2 – Day 3 of 4

WORKOUT Week 2 – Day 4 of 4



…as a FIDDLE: Ready, Set, GO!

Fit as a Fiddle – being very fit or well; in perfect health. That is what I’m striving for. Well, that and some really good looking muscles. But my commitment level doesn’t go much beyond a month, and I’m not about to spend money on a gym membership. So, thanks to my husband for discovering a better way to eat, and to Get Mohr Fit, for posting short work out videos (and a 28-day challenge), I’m making May my month to get as fit as a fiddle.

For each of the five weeks, I’ll post a meal plan, recipes, a grocery list, and work out videos. But first, a fitness test.

*If your fit test score is < 150, do the Beginners workout.

We’ll take the fitness test after the 5 weeks.

Let’s get started! Go to: …as a FIDDLE: week 1 of 5

…as a FIDDLE: week 1 of 5

So, you’ve taken the FITNESS TEST and you’re ready to see what you can do.  This should be everything you need to get you started – a Meal Plan, Recipes, Grocery List, Warm-up Exercise, Daily Workouts for 4 days, and a Stretch routine.  The meal plans are my own, but the workouts (and the challenge concept) itself comes from: The Get Mohr Fit 28-Day Paleo Challenge

MEAL PLAN – Week 1

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Other
Sun 4/29 Spinach & Mushroom Fritatta, Flax Bread Veg soup addition, Bone Broth Chicken Legs, Roasted Zucchini, Herb Roasted Carrots Snack – jerky, Nuts, Veg sticks, 1 fruit
Mon 4/30 Scrambled eggs, Roasted zucchini & carrot leftovers Tuna Stuffed Eggs, Green salad w/ avocado Cabbage and Kielbasa Curry Smoothie, Nuts
Tue 5/1 Leftover everything eggs, Flax Bread – use leftovers (minus last night’s curry) and mix with beaten eggs. Cabbage and Kielbasa Curry leftovers, Green salad Cauliflower Mash, Crockpot braised lamb shanks (Osso Buco) with tomato sauce – start the osso bucco in the morning. SNACK – pickle, Veggie sticks, Pistacios
Wed 5/2 Leftover cauliflower mash, Fried eggs, Flax Bread Tuna salad, Green salad, Bell pepper Fish, Green beans, Sweet potato Jerky, Carrot, Nuts, Apple
Thu 5/3 Anything omelette (put in anything), Flax Bread, Fat coffee Tuna Stuffed Eggs, Bone Broth, Veg soup addition Beef & Eggplant Chili Smoothie, Nuts
Fri 5/4 Omelette muffins, Avocado, Fat coffee Chicken Legs, Quick Vegetable Stir Fry Chocolate Custard, Jicama Salad, Thai Fish Curry Snack – ants on a log, Cucumber, Bell pepper
Sat 5/5 Yam & Spinach hash, Fried eggs, Flax Bread Meat & Veg Loaf, Green salad, Sliced pear Daphe’s Greek Food – greek salad, any meat, …maybe some hummus. SNACK – carrot, Nuts, Fat coffee

GROCERY LIST – Week 1: You can edit the grocery list (change quantities or make additions) by clicking the edit button.

RECIPES – Week 1: Recipes are written for a family of 4. You can edit the grocery list accordingly, or better yet, freeze the leftovers for quick and easy meals.


WORKOUT Week 1 – Day 1 of 4

WORKOUT Week 1 – Day 2 of 4

WORKOUT Week 1 – Day 3 of 4

WORKOUT Week 1 – Day 4 of 4



30 day Paleo challenge results

As previously stated, weight loss was not the primary goal of this month’s challenge – rather it was to learn about how certain foods affect us and what changing one’s dietary composition can have on health, energy, stamina, etc. Weight loss is, however, an important measure of what changed. Here are the mathematical results:

Patient Zero:

 Age 35 Weight: Body Fat: BMI:
Friday July 1 213.4 lbs 26.4% 28.2
Friday July 15 208.4 lbs 25.6% 27.5
Sunday June 31 206.4 lbs 24.7% 27.2
Month-long % weight change: 3.28% reduction
Month-long % body fat change: 6.43% reduction

Can we agree? Let’s eat real food.

Much of the Paleo/Primal diet’s background is based in in the theory of human evolution – the idea being that humans are genetically selected and adapted to eat the foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten prior to the invention of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago. While you might not subscribe to this view of how human life came into existence, you don’t need to believe in it to see results from the dietary approach.

You don’t need to pretend to be a caveman (even one as eloquent as this).

The Trouble With Grains

Grains like wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, and rice all have three main problems:

  1. High carbohydrate levels – these grains are mostly starch, which if eaten in large amounts, raises insulin, leading to a host of problems including obesity, diabetes & heart disease.
  2. Anti-nutrients – the grains we eat are the seeds of grasses. The seed has a starchy core and a hard exterior, the bran. This exterior coating contains fiber (which is not as necessary as you might believe – you get plenty of it from vegetables). The bran is designed to protect the seed from being digested by an animal who might eat it and transfer it to a new location – the seeds “wants” to live and grow anew. Your body also fights to digest these compounds, which also bind to vitamins and then pass through your system undigested – they rob you of the nutrients you have eaten with them.
  3. Lectins & gluten – these are proteins that your digestive system does not know how to process well. They can pass through the intestine wall into the bloodstream undigested, where they appear to the immune system as foreign invaders. Your immune system fights against these proteins, and will often develop an immunity against them. The problem is that these lectins are structurally very similar to the proteins that are the building blocks of many of your internal organs. Chronic continued exposure to these lectins can result in developing an immune response that attacks your own tissues, resulting in inflammation and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis…. Eating grains has also been linked to schizophrenia, depression, infertility and cancer – PDF link.
While sprouting grains can reduce the levels of anti-nutrients in grains and make them slightly more healthy, they are typically not quite the nutritional powerhouse we might think they are: PDF link (see table 4). They lack Vitamin A, C and B12, and the (admittedly inexpensive) calories they provide will offset more nutrient dense foods like non-starchy vegetables and meats. It’s all enough to make one wonder if they should be the foundation of the food pyramid.
While toast in the morning is delicious and chocolate cookies can be nearly impossible to resist, the problems above are serious enough for me to at least avoid them on a trial basis – it’s really not all that difficult.

Willpower – not what you might think

Image Credit: http://flic.kr/p/8VgEqX

One reaction upon hearing about this way of eating is: “That sounds like the way we should be eating anyway….” An all-too-common follow up is: “but I could never do it. I’d never be able to give up my ….” bread, toast, candy, soda, sugar, whatever. In my experience, it’s not easy, but it’s certainly not difficult.  It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. While I found it incredibly easy, not everyone does.

We have been conditioned to think that weight loss is hard: you have either have to starve yourself and/or wear yourself out exercising for hours.  My experience is that neither deprivation or chronic exercise is necessary, and it can be almost effortless.

Sugar is not a Necessary Nutrient

Image Credit: http://flic.kr/p/66NrtX
Sugar is not a nutrient: at best it is an empty food additive, at worst it is an addictive substance.
Refined sugar is not needed by your body – there is nothing in it that your body needs to survive. There are only a couple of body functions that require glucose (blood sugar), but you don’t need to eat sugar to feed these functions. The body can create whatever glucose it needs through gluconeogenesis (source), a process that takes protein from your diet (or from your muscles if the need is dire) and turns it into glucose.
In the FDA’s instructions on how to read a nutrition label, they note the following about sugar: Continue reading

Two Drink Maximum

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While alcohol can be a poison and is processed in the liver like other poisons and harmful substances, moderate consumption of certain kinds of alcohol can have several benefits:

The choice of alcohol is important. It is suggested to avoid beer (liquid grain, contains gluten), and sugary liqueurs, fortified wines and mixers – Port, Sherry, Midori, Bailey’s, Triple Sec, Jaeger, margarita mix, tonic water, ginger ale, sodas, etc. Distilled spirits are acceptable – gin, brandy, tequila, rum, whiskey, as are red and white wine. And Rose. (Sweet wines should probably be avoided on principle.) –Editor’s note: Friends don’t let friends drink white zinfandel.
So it you are going to drink alcohol, try a two drink maximum per day, and choose non sugary spirits. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Añejo Especial
  • 1 oz. tequila
  • Juice of half a fresh lime
  • Juice of 1/4 fresh grapefruit
  • Splash of sparkling water
Substitute the tequila for gin, add some bitters and you have a pretty passable paleo gin and tonic.
Much respect to the Norcal Margarita – also highly recommended.
Perhaps a healthful strategy would be:  “Unless they can be shown to have positive health effects, don’t eat things your body fights to digest, & don’t eat things your body processes like poisons”. This is one poison to take in moderation.