Breaking Paleo

So, my husband got bitten by a tick a few weeks ago and has had flu-ish type symptoms ever since. He’s on the mend, but not been hungry. I told him if something non-Paleo sounded good, he should go for it. He got a pizza and loved eating every second of it. Within a half hour or so, however, he got significant stomach pain and nasal congestion. He’s currently in the bathroom, and I’m hoping he’s ok!

It’s interesting to me that I started eating things on this diet that I never liked or never had before (some kinds of nuts, mushrooms, sausage, coconut, etc…) I never got sick. Re-introduce grain and dairy, and POOF, an issue. And this is in a man with no known auto-immune conditions. Sheeesh! What do you make of THAT?

Meat! It’s What’s for Dinner!

So, I’ve seen research recently that says red meat causes inflammation.  Well phbbblt!  I eat it anyway.  The difference is that we buy grass-fed beef, which has more (not lots, just more) Omega 3s than conventionally raised cattle (who typically eat corn).  Omega 3s are the good fats that research says we should be eating more of.

We just started buying beef this way the last year or so.  Thus far, we’ve bought 1/4 of a cow, then 1/2 cow, and today 1/4 of a cow again.  We buy it from a farm about an hour away.  The farmerette was diagnosed with ankylosing spondilitis decades ago.  She has been in remission for decades and only eats meat she has raised and organic food.  I like her a lot!

So, for the weak at heart or vegans, you might want to stop reading here.  If ok, read on.  You’ve been warned!

When you buy meat this way, they charge you by the preprocessed weight.  They lop off the poor cow’s head and feet, then weigh him.  You pay on 1/4 of that starting weight.  The skin, bones, and a lot of the fat get removed, the meat gets cut or ground, and you take home what you get.  We pay 67 cents per pound for the meat to be processed (paid on the preprocessed weight).  We also pay the farmer per pound on the preprocessed weight.

Our first 1/4 of a cow was 176 pounds preprocessed weight.  We got 58 punds of ground beef and 58 pounds of steaks, roasts and such, totaling about 116 pounds take-home weight.

Our second 1/4 of a cow was 200 pounds even.  We got 125.91 pounds of take-home meat.  This is how it broke down (and this obviously varies):

56-60 lbs ground beef (they only labeled 1 package, and they’re between 2 – 2.15 pounds)
10.79 lbs of tbones (6 steaks)
4.79 lbs sirloin (4 seaks)
5.4 lbs of ribeye (4 steaks)
11.86 lbs of ribs (4 pcks)
1.11 lbs tenderloin (2 steaks)
5.97 lbs brisket (2 roasts)
5.51 lbs arm roast (2)
0.91 lbs tri tip steak (1)
7.69 lbs chuck roast (2)
1.69 lbs eye of round roast (1)
10.64 bottom round roast (3)
3.45 sirloin tip roast (1)
Total: 56-60 pounds ground beef (I went with 56.15 pounds)
69.76 pounds of steaks and roasts
125.91 total pounds

Here is what it looked like before going in our freezer.  There are 4 nets/bags in 1 medium cooler and two 18 gallon totes:

Do ya feel all edumacated now?

Hmm, what’s for dinner?  Fish!  LOL


UPDATE:  This is a list of what we got from a new 1/4 of a cow.  It’s a lot more…. 227 starting weight with 139.81 take home weight.  There is a break down in the chart attatched.

Beef 2014 Feb

Baseball, Paleo, and RA

My 7 year old son is awesome at baseball.  He doesn’t hit far, but he’s accurate as anything and nearly always gets on base.  His fielding skills are coming along, and he tends to get the other team out about once every other game.  Baseball is a big commitment, 2-3 practices a week and usually 1 game, sometimes 2 a week.

Sadly, I am NOT one of THOSE people.  You know the ones!  Maybe you are one!  The people who have 3 kids, each in 2-3 sports, are never home, and run themselves ragged.  I am so not that person!  My husband and I are the biggest home-bodies ever.  Still, last year, my son loved baseball, and I made every practice and every game.  It was fun and exhausting.  This year, I bailed a bit.  I only went to a few practices, but still went to every game.  My husband now works from home, and it was good for him to get out to those practices and good for me to have some time home… alone.  Cuz that’s what I like to do!

I wondered about other moms out there and how they handle these things.  If you have more than 1 kiddo, how do you handle it?

Paleo has been rough this weekend.  It’s playoff weekend.  1 practice and 2 seeding games yesterday.  So far, we’ve had 1 practice and 1 game this morning.  We won, which means we have another practice and game this afternoon.  Phew!  What did I eat today?  Crap!

This morning, I ate a bar (some yummy cocoa, date, coconut thing) and water.

For lunch, some homemade granola:

I’m not sure what I’ll do for dinner.  Maybe scramble some eggs?  Protein would be good.  Here’s the kicker though, and I’m SO thankful for it.  I’m NOT hungry.  When my RA was a mess, and I wasn’t Paleo, I felt like I was starving all the time.  And fatigued.  We’d go out shopping or something and be crankier than all heck if we didn’t eat on time.  Not anymore.  I LOVE that. And you know what?  I ate JUNK today.  This is so not a good quality food day (no offense to the awesome granola or bar, but they don’t pack the nutrient impact of most of the food I eat).

So, back out to another game tonight!  Go Blue Jays!


Being Natural – Laundry Soap

I guess it’s the summer for trying new things.  Right now, my new things are natural cleaning and hygiene products.  So, in the name of trying to get bad chemicals out of our house, here’s what I did.  I made laundry detergent!  I figure if you’re trying to get chemicals out of your house, this is probably a big one, since you’re putting it on all of your clothes, bedding, etc…  Here’s how I made it:

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

I bar of natural soap, shredded (I used Dr. Bonner’s tea tree scented castille soap).

I used the food processor to shred the soap (good grief, you have RA, don’t do it by hand!) Stir together.  I recommend doing this outside.  The websites I read did not saying anything about this, but it made me cough, and I don’t think it’s good to inhale borax, natural or not!

What is borax? (Note the info at the bottom about toxicity)

What is washing soda?

I haven’t used it yet, but I will update in the comments section when I do.  It was cheap to make (about $12. *Edit, about $5 with ingredients left over*), and you supposedly need only 1 tbsp per load.  I have an he washer, and everything I read said it should be safe for that.  Although the things I read said to store it in an airtight container, I went for a shoebox.  Maybe I’ll learn a lesson for that, but we’ll see.  Here’s what it looks like:

Laundry Soap in a Shoe Box

Being Natural – Aquaponics (Fish and Plants)

I’m going to the bad side… or maybe the good side… or maybe the “I’m crazy side.”  So, you know I grow worms and harvest their poo.  You know I have 20+ houseplants to clean my home’s air.  But, did you know I now have fish as slaves to grow my plants?  Well, sorta.

Aquaponics is basically using fish poo (I know, I’m all about the poo!) to grow plants in a closed loop system.  Basically, you have 2 tanks, one with plants and the other with fish.  The plants grow by anchoring themselves to rock, NO SOIL, and being bathed in dirty fish poo water.  The plants in turn, clean the water for the fish.  They only thing you need to do is feed the fish and top off water that has evaporated.  You can grow edible fish, like tilapia, or use a pet fish, as I’m doing now… a Betta.

Interesting aquaponics links:

Why am I doing this?  Well, in reality, I want to go much bigger, convert the basement to a space that can grow most of our veggie and fish needs (yes, I plan to EAT the tilapia).  I want to know where my food comes from, know that it’s not sprayed with chemicals, grow locally (less gas wasted getting it from farm to store to me).  In some ways, I’m in it for the environment (believe it or not, this uses LESS water than conventional farming and water is at a premium where we live).  In other ways, I’m in it for the control (would my RA be better without pesticides on my food?)

Either way, I started reading about this last summer, and found this Aquafarm on a Kickstarter program.  The farm arrived yesterday, I bought my fish today, and set the whole thing up, planting 4 cups of lettuce and 1 of basil.  Hopefully I’ll start seeing plants in a few days.

What do you think?  Am I crazy?




Being Natural – Plants

So, in my attempts to be as natural, environmentally friendly, and healthy as possible, 3 years or so ago I decided to aim for cleaner air in our house.  I had been reading some things about the chemicals in your home’s air from carpet, walls, paint, stain, cleaners, etc…  Apparently this stuff is rather toxic to be breathing (ever hear of Sick Building Syndrome?)  NASA has been doing studies on how to keep air clean in space.  They’ve found that certain plants absorb certain toxic chemicals from the air.  So, I set off to buy a multitude pf plants, a few just because I like them, and most because they’re supposed to clean the air.  I have 20 plants, 15 in 1 house-central spot, and 5 scattered around the house.  It makes it easier to water with them all in one place.

I’m not sure it helped or not.  My son’s allergies and asthma seem to be much better in recent years, but I think the plants might only be a small piece of that equation.  On that note, I’ve killed 2 of my plants, and need to get some replacements.  Palms clean the air, but unfortunately don’t thrive well in our dry climate.

Anyway, in case you want to try it…

Later gators!

50 Pounds!

In 5 more days, I will have been Paleo for 17 months. I got on the scale today, and weighed 135 pounds. I started trying to lose weight at 185 and started Paleo at 173. I dare say that’s exciting. I was a size 16 and am now a 4.

Happy days!

Getting a Little Off Topic Here…


This is one of those non-sensical stream of consciousness posts!

Did you ever get in a panic about your food?  What’s in it?  Where does it come from?  Who makes it?  How processed is it?  What’s not on the label?  Pesticides?  Antibiotics?  I’ve been investigating and experimenting with my diet off and on since I was diagnosed with RA, and how our food gets to our table has been an interest of mine for a while.  If you want to know the dirty truth about the food industry, check out the movie Food Inc.  Be prepared to want to change your diet after watching it!

Did you ever notice how much of our produce comes from other countries, thousands of miles away?  What do they do to get it to my supermarket looking so good?  I’ve become a big believer in buying local as much as possible (we buy our beef from a local farmer and some produce from a local organic farm).  I garden, although I wish I could garden more.  Colorado has a terrible climate and terrible soil to try to grow anything edible.  Still, I try. This year, I’ve got kale, collard greens, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, strawberries, watermelon, zucchini, and several herbs growing.

Our home, which we purchased new 10 years ago, sits on an old farm, and we have farmland currently on 2 sides of our house.  Little did we know that the cropduster would be buzzing 10 feet from our house, dumping chemicals that make us all wheeze at 5:00 AM all summer.  It took 6 years before we saw a single worm in our yard, and we’ve worked hard to get our soil healthy.  What on earth do the farmers do to the soil to make all the worms go away?  Aren’t worms supposed to be good for plants?

I compost.  It hadn’t been going well.  I am lazy about turning it.  Last fall, I started worm composting.  That’s gone great!  I keep 2 bins of worms in my garage, and they eat leftover fruit and veggie scraps.  This year is the first I’ve used their poop for fertilizer, and my plants seem quite pleased thus far.

May, 2013 Worms and Worm Poo Fertilizer!

Since this diet has become so good for me, I am becoming more alarmed about the lack of access to good quality food.  It’s hard to find.  I have to go to 3 stores to complete our week’s needs, and I still can’t find some things, like chicken and pork products that are local and not so processed.

Last summer, I started reading about aquaponics.  Ever hear of it?  No, it’s not hydroponics.  Aquaponics is basically a closed food system with fish and plants.  You have 2 tanks.  You keep water and fish in one tank.  You feed the fish, and the fish poop.  You flood the water out of the fish tank, through the tank holding the plants and gravel (no soil… yes, it really works).  The fish poo breaks down, feeding the plants and cleaning the water in the process.  The clean water goes back to the fish.  I’ve seen some great youtube videos on it (just search for “aquaponics” on youtube).

Ok, so now that you’re understanding I’m nuts, have a great day!