Primal Celebration Dinner

Day 7 Journal (note: swapped activities for Day 6 & Day 7)
Success score: 4

Primal Celebration Dinner
Guests: Mom and Dad
Menu: Cider braised bratwurst , sweet potato pilaf, roasted Brussels sprouts, crustless coconut cream pie
Hardest part: amount of time spent on my feet
Best part: It really lifted my mood to cook a fantastic meal for my family.
Comments: Daughter #1 was reading over my shoulder when I stumbled upon the bratwurst recipe, and we decided that we HAD to try the recipe. I hadn’t decided on a side dish, but the sweet potato pilaf was the paleo recipe of the day today, so I decided to try it. Coconut cream pie is one of my husband’s favorites. Of course, a picture is worth 1000 words…

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Dad called this a “dark horse” meal. He said that you wouldn’t expect Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to taste this good. I think most vegetables taste better roasted. All you have to do is spread them on a roasting pan, pour olive oil over them, mix them up in the olive oil, and sprinkle sea salt on them. Roast them at 400 until they start to brown (or blacken. We like them pretty crispy). Both daughters helped “rice” the cauliflower with the food processor. They were impressed by how much it looked like rice! Of course, this is probably because I am so inept at making real rice… Daughter #2 wouldn’t try the pilaf and accused me of wasting her bacon in it. I promised her that we would make chocolate covered bacon next Sunday. Mom and Dad both really liked the pilaf. Mom asked for the recipe to make next week to go with a Thai menu she was planning for some guests. I guess I should mention for my readers who don’t know my family that my parents are adventurous eaters, and Mom is a food scientist and taught cooking classes when I was a kid.

I was nervous about how the pie would turn out since it contained very little sweetener – 1/2 cup of honey in the custard and 1T maple syrup in the topping. It looked beautiful:

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It also tasted delicious! I really think that the pie would go over well to a general audience, and it’s a great gluten-free and dairy-free option as well.

Extended Duration Cardio Session
Comments: unable to perform due to back pain (shopping was enough of a challenge)

Listening Challenge
Hardest part: putting down the electronics
Best part: giving others time to share their thoughts and ideas, encouraging different topics
Longest sedentary period: probably about an hour but I didn’t time it.
Did increased awareness improve your listening skills? Huh? What was the question?
Were you able to support and encourage others to communicate more freely? Probably not.
Comments: on a positive note, we believe in the importance of family mealtimes and don’t allow electronics at the table. I have trouble, especially by the end of the weekend, getting overstimulated and not wanting to talk or be talked too. This is even more true when I am in pain.

Summary Comments
Daily energy levels: 7
Daily hunger between meals: 4
Daily satisfaction with meals: 10
Struggles: continued back pain
Benefits from Primal lifestyle: new healthy delicious recipes to try, emphasis on family time
Highlights: Primal dinner celebration
Needs-to-improve: interactions with family members, being less grumpy

Week 1 Reflections
Following the Primal Diet has been surprisingly easy. I’m slightly less hungry than normal, and I’ve loved trying new recipes. I had a good start with the exercise program, but my back ruined that about halfway through. The biggest challenge has been the lifestyle modifications. I really am content to sit for hours at my computer rather than interacting with others in the real world or spending time outside. I’ll just have to schedule activities and limit my computer time

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Life Without Oatmeal

Yesterday (today as well, for that matter) was a gloomy day that just cried for a steaming bowl of steel-cut oats. Since I have pledged to go grain-free in January, I searched the web for alternatives. I decided to try Oatless Oatmeal. It was amazingly good – like a bowl of banana nut bread! Daughter #1 ate a bowl of it as well and gave it a thumbs up. We both prefer oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in, and this had a similar but richer flavor.

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I made 2 extra batches of the nuts and seed mixture that I am storing in the freezer so I can save a step next time.

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The recipe didn’t say how many servings it made, so I divided it into 3 bowls. I added 2T whey protein powder to my serving and found it very filling. Jewel added a packet of Splenda to hers.

I didn’t feel like making a B.A. Salad for lunch, so I had this instead:

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I wrapped prosciutto around slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and avocado. Daughter #1 requested this for lunch today.

Day 6 Journal (these are actually Day 7’s challenges since I swapped days)
Success score: 2

Intuitive Meals
Hardest Part: I really do prefer traditional food at structured meal times. Also, I have a family to consider so I can’t just eat randomly throughout the day.
Best Part: I had a glass of draft beer when I went out with friends.
Comments: I was very pleased with my breakfast and lunch choices.

Grand Play Outing
Comments: aborted due to weather and my unrelenting back pain. Unable to reschedule for today for the same reasons. We are planning to try again next Sunday.

Summary Comments
Daily energy level: 2 – the pain is leaving me both physically and emotionally exhausted.
Hunger level between meals: 2
Satisfaction with meals: 10
Struggles today with Primal efforts: my back pain preventing me from doing much of anything
Benefits noticed from Primal efforts: trying new meals
Daily highlights: sharing breakfast with daughter #1
Daily needs-to-improve: learn to get enjoyment out of life, which currently does not seem to be worth the effort