Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back from the Olympia

What a great freakin' trip! It was perfect in every way. The only thing that would have made it better would have been more gambling/spending money in my pocket. :-)

The people who organize the Olympia and specifically the Ladies that we dealt with in registration/check in/questions because we were confused, etc, were fantastic. The athletes were, for the most part, super gracious and patient and willing to interact. Only one of them was a bit sketchy in the friendliness aspect and even he ended up apologizing to ALL of us on Sunday morning. So, I forgive him and, in fact, I won't even tell you which on it was. :-)

I managed to stick to my meal plan pretty closely, with the exception of forgetting my faux-Lara Bars, which I am now calling "Ayla Bars". The big guy and i hit the buffet for a majority of the meals. Breakfast was pretty darn good there. Lunch ok, dinner was also pretty good. I utilized the Mongolian stir-fry stations but also pulled vegetable items off the salad bar and the Mexican food stations to give me more variety. I was pretty happy with that. I also loaded up on fruit for snacks and breakfast for the couple of days when we were pressed for time. My only serious deviation from the plan was a few sips of root beer to accompany a tasty hamburger that was on a bun, sorry - I couldn't bear to wrap that puppy up in lettuce. I wanted the whole burger/bun/toppings experience that I haven't had in months. And it was delicious! :-) I never did have the dessert I planned for. Never found one that I wanted. I think the hamburger bun took the place of it.

We managed to hit the pool area 3 days out of 5, sat in the hot tub for hours. Lounged in the sun. It was like a real vacation. Started taking Vitamin D before the trip and I think between that and some massive sun exposure it helped big time with feeling so darn good. No aches and pains, no hip torture, awake early, not cranky.... overall feeling much better. (Plus the massive doses of fish oil! Magic pills!)
More later. Lots of photos to post too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ready to go to the O!

I am all packed. I made up a batch of jerky to take with me, a few hard boiled eggs, I'll pick up some baby carrots and maybe an apple for the flight. It's a long flight and I will not be held hostage by crappy on board food nor expensive, not-so-good-for-me food in the airport. I also made some home made Lara-bar type things. I wizzed up in a food processor a bunch of dates, toasted sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla. Squashed it together on some waxed paper, flattened it out, cut in to serving sizes pieces and wrapped in waxed paper. A piece of this with some jerky = fruit, fat, protein. Just add water for a quick snack on the go.

The faux-Lara-bars are good. Not great. Which means they're perfect! It's not something that is so delicious that I feel the need to eat 4 or 5 pieces at a time. 1 piece or a half of one even is enough to quiet my stomach and keep me happy. I will probably not tinker with this recipe much.

Great news on the dog side of my life. The girl got a clean bill of health this weekend. She goes for a recheck in a few months but everything looks great right now. No re-occurrence in the lymph nodes and no other tumors. Cross your paws! Now I can go on vacation with a load off my mind.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Set your Bowel Disrupters on Stun!

Gearing up to head out to Olympia. It's been a rough, weird couple of weeks. Due to an extreme pay cut at work, I've been really depressed and angry. My nutrition has suffered, since I get paid every 2 weeks and the funds have been low, I haven't been buying enough veggies, which limits my meal choices and sets off a vicious cycle of more resentment and also feeling like crap because I'm not eating well enough. Sigh. It's hard.

I'm realizing that while it seems that I can eat homemade, slow fermented sourdough bread once or twice a week and still feel fine, if I happen to add in rice a few days on top of that and them maybe not getting enough good fats from avocados, etc.....well, then I *really* feel like crap and all the body aches come back. I wouldn't have eaten the rice if I'd had enough veggies. Again, the vicious cycle.

Sunday I ended up having a bout of really foul gastric disturbance, in addition to some flu-like-symptoms. Coincidence? Probably not. I ended up missing my favorite gym day - leg training. Slept for most of the day and generally felt awful.

I also had 2 nights of hot flashes/night terrors which I haven't had for a while. (I am going through peri-menopause) It's probably been over a year since I've had that fabulous sensation. Connected to the food debacle? Meh, maybe, maybe not. After the first night, I made sure that I had some ice packs wrapped in cloth in the freezer. As soon as I woke up in a sweaty panic, I ran to the freezer and cuddled up with my chilly friend. That was a huge help. I haven't had a flash since then so many I'm done with them for now.

In the mean time, I was able to scrape up enough cash to get beef on sale so I could make jerky. I also did a really good veggie shopping session at my favorite cheap-o veg store. Organic? Not a chance. But plentiful and cheap. 2 bunches of broccoli rabe for a dollar?? How can you pass on that. I splurged 3 bucks on a huge box of figs. Plus a ton of other good things. I feel better already. *grin*

Todays food so far: breakfast was fruit and jerky, lunch is a big salad with some mango and sautéed chicken with lemon juice and garlic and grass fed butter. This girl and her stomach are much happier.
Now I can start packing for Olympia!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What would Ayla eat in Las Vegas?

How would Ayla handle Las Vegas? OK, OK, she'd run screaming from the din and sea of humanity, the dirt, noise and pollution, the lack of wild life (by that I mean animals, not humans running wild). She'd have no appreciation for the glitz and the lights and the sheer plastic beauty that is Las Vegas.
It is possible she might like the buffets. Maybe. But she'd be very picky. A lot of the stuff they have she might not recognize as food at all. So what would she select if she decided to stick around? Let's see....

When I was there last, I was blown away by the fruit that was available. Is it seasonal and local? I am sure it is not. They're not growing raspberries there in Las Vegas, not in that heat! However, I know I'm not going there for a local harvest of seasonal produce and free-range, pastured, grass-fed meats.

My intended prey at the buffets will be:
  • Meat that still looks like meat. Which means hitting the carving stations for prime rib and perhaps turkey or other fowl if they have it. Some of the seafood choices might also be safe, if I can avoid the fried shrimp and the farm raised salmon. If it looks like a part of the original animal, I'll probably trust it as safe enough to eat for the short time I'll be in Vegas.
  • Fruit that still looks like fruit. That means a fruit pasty or Ambrosia salad is out. As I said earlier, the last time I was there, the fruit was spectacular. So, I'll eat the plain fruit salad and be very happy. Hopefully some of the fruit will fall in to a small container that I'll have in my purse and I can eat that later in the day too. *grin*
  • Vegetables.... well, I honestly am not sure what to expect. The salad bar should be good. I'm sure there will be a few good choices mixed in with a lot of really awful ones. I'll pick and choose carefully. I might bring a small bottle of my own extra virgin olive oil to make my own dressing, since the dressing/oil choices might be dubious at best. The Orleans Hotel where we are staying also has Mongolian BBQ available, which is sort of a pick-your-own-items-and-we-stir-fry-it-for-you type of thing. Usually I can make some good meals out of that and the vegetables tend to be super fresh and delicious. You can also pick your own sauces and seasonings (soy, garlic, ginger, etc) so you have some control over what goes in to your mouth. I think this will be a helpful addition to my meals.
  • Snacks: I will be making a batch of my home made beef jerky before we leave. Super lean beef, sliced thin, marinated in fish sauce (not soy sauce), hot & black pepper, a little ginger, a little lime juice....dried in the oven on low until it's, well, until it's like jerky. Delicious, compact, protein filled, portable snack food that Ayla would recognize. Can't get more primal than that! For another portable snack, I'll also probably be bringing along some "crispy nuts" ala Nourishing Traditions. I find nuts to be much more digestible if I soak and then dehydrate them. I had a LARA bar for the first time this week. I have to say, I'm not really sure if I liked it. I can see their usefulness as something I could keep in my purse to snack on. However, it was way more dried fruit than I thought it would be. It was delicious for a "bar" but still more carbs than I'd like. If I paired it with some jerky it might be ok. My idea "bar" type snack would be some pemmican from U.S. Wellness Meats. But right now, it's out of my budget to order up a batch of that, as much as I'd love to! (If U.S Wellness Meats would like to send me some, I'd be eternally grateful!)
I think if I can stick to all these things my inner Ayla will be happy and I will be happy. Can you think of anything else I can do to stick to my plans? (keeping in mind that I will not be checking luggage, so whatever I bring will have to be dry, portable and TSA approved for the flight!)


It's only 14 days until the Man & I leave for Las Vegas. We'll be enjoying our first live-and-in-person Olympia weekend. This will be the 2nd time I've been to Las Vegas. Last time was in 2002, a week after I was diagnosed with ITP, so it was kind of a weird vacation. Not knowing what the outcome of the illness would be, having a lot of activity restrictions from my hematologist. The only good thing was that I was on about a million milligrams of prednisone and Solu-Medrol... since I'd only been on it for about a week, it made me feel great - energized, no joint pain, clear skin. So, while we were in Vegas, I felt great!

Of course, after a few more weeks on it, I'd gained over 15 pound and felt like death. C'est la Vie!

Anyway, back to the trip at hand. We're both super excited to head off for Olympia. We've been saving all our change since the day after Olympia 2009 so we could afford this. We got the super duper VIP packages, 7th row seating for the contest. We cashed in our air miles that we earned from the other part of our life (the non-body building part!) It's the 45th Olympia and coincidently it's the Man's 45th birthday this month. Exciting!

Next up - a post on how I intend to stay healthy and focused while we're in the land of buffets and dessert tables. :-)

Fun and FREE!

I ordered this logo on a shirt from Vista Prints today. I had a coupon code for a free shirt, and for postage I used money I got from doing s few online surveys, so net cost to me really was free! I like freebies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Post & Introduction

Welcome Oh Intrepid Readers! Welcome to my blog. Here I will write about lifting weights and the glories of food. I try to eat as primally as possible, with a smidgen of Nourishing Traditions thrown in. I strive really hard to eat things that my Grandmother would recognize as food - and I try to take it further than that: What would Ayla eat? W.W.A.E? Yes, I know she's fictional, but somehow asking myself that when someone is trying to present me with a bag of cheetos or a box of Dunkin' Donuts, which I call Dunkin' Death®, it helps me resist a little better. I picture Ayla wrinkling up her little primal nose and backing away, reaching for her spear so she can poke the offending, non-food item away.
With that being said - I am NOT perfect, I am not the food police, I like chocolate, I like bourbon, I like ice cream and if it's your birthday, I will most likely have a small piece of your cake. I'm also half Japanese, so I will have rice on occasion. I bake my own slow fermented sour dough bread and I am planning to build my own earth oven in the yard and I will be eating my bread, even if Ayla most likely didn't eat bread. I figure if I resist the Dunkin' Death® and the cheetos on a regular basis i can eat a moderate portion of home made, high quality, lovingly made non-primal food and it won't kill me. So, when I talk about baking bread or eating the dessert that I am probably going to have when I go to Las Vegas for Olympia weekend, please do not send me hate mail.
I'm also going to talk about my struggles with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The Hashimoto's is really the thorn in my life. You know how some people who are overweight will whine : "But it's my thyroid!" Well, it really is my thyroid. I have the tests to prove it. That doesn't make it any easier to deal with working my butt off, lifting heavy, eating clean, getting plenty of sleep and not losing any weight at all. I am experimenting on what works for me and I am finally getting my weigh/body fat to move in the right direction. When I tell you that I've lost about 9 pounds so far this year and I am thrilled, I'm sure you'll scoff at me, unless you've danced with this illness yourself.

That's all for now. Signing off to go batten down the hatches for Hurricane Earl!
Strongest Girl