Friday, March 30, 2012

Snack Smarter

Housekeeping first: we've got three lucky winners for the PopChips Giveaway! Random.org helped me select entries 19, 24, and 100: Laurel C, Kabri, and Heff (my first Facebook fan--paid off)!  Congratulations!
Thank you to all who entered; stay tuned for the next great giveaway :)

With that in mind, let's talk about smart snacking.


"Oversnacking" is something I've been struggling with recently, so I thought I'd share the principles guiding my own snacking choices going forward.

There are many components that go into snacking in a smart way, but today I'd like to focus on what I see as the two main dimensions: QUALITY and QUANTITY.  I'll give my quick advice on these, with some wise words from Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual along the way.

But first, the obvious question: why snack at all?  Snacking isn't for everyone; some people get by very well on a solid three meals a day, period.  We're not all like that, though.  Some days, I do that, but other days, I find myself hungry or maybe I'm traveling or running around town and don't have time or space for a sit-down meal.  For these reasons, snacks are essential to keep our blood-sugars in check and prevent overeating at or inhaling our next meal.  They can also be a pick-me-up in the afternoon or provide energy before a workout. SO, if you do find that snacking between meals works best for your mind and body, here are my thoughts on snacking wisely by making smart food choices.

Snack Quality

Junk food: NO.
Let me get something clear: "Snacks" do NOT (and should not) mean "snack foods."  If you associate the word "snack" with things like chips, pretzels, candy... any processed food that's crunchy or chewy and comes in a crinkly package for a dollar, I beg you to rethink your snacks.  Most of these foods provide little to no nutrition and will leave you hungry again within an hour.  In fact, the refined sugars might make you crave even more of the empty stuff. So let's get that straight before moving on.

Snack Bars - a good sub.
That being said, there are some packaged snack-size foods that are better options than the rest. For example, PopChips are a great swap for greasy, fried or baked chips.  You can read my thoughts on PopChips in my PopChips review post. Other snacks or 'bars' that contain natural ingredients (ideally a very short ingredient list) provide a nice mix of protein and fiber that will actually satisfy your hunger until your next meal comes around.  Bars that combine fruit and nut are a great option, such as LaraBar, NAKD, and The Pure Bar.  (Extra credit to these, as well, for being vegan and gluten-free!) The ingredient lists often show the bare minimum, that you could make yourself without unidentifiable chemicals.  They come in all kinds of flavors, so you're bound to find something that appeals to you!

Although I wouldn't necessarily make a habit of eating these daily, they're a great option for when you're traveling or running around all day.  The packaging makes it easy to slip it into your pocket or purse to save for when you get hungry.


source

Real foods: YES!
Michael Pollan says to "Eat Food," and "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."  This includes the ingredients--nothing that a normal human (not a mad scientist) wouldn't keep in their pantry. He also says "Buy your snacks at the farmer's market," which means you'll be eating the good, natural stuff discussed below...

Just like your meals, your snacks should also ideally consist of real foods.  This is why the bars above appeal to me: they're made of real foods that I could have in my kitchen.  The best snacks are provided by nature, so think vegetables (baby carrots, sliced celery, sliced bell peppers), fruit (apples, clementines, berries... dried fruit, too, but beware of portion size, because they're high in sugar and calorie!), nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds), and even proteins (a hard-boiled egg, a few slices of turkey, a small can of tuna or salmon).

Nutrition: Carbohydrate + Protein
In order to be satisfying, your snack should have both carbs and protein.  Some of my go-to ideas:
Apple good!
Cheese ok, if you eat cheese
  • Nuts alone are great snack; they have both fiber and protein built right in--so satisfying!
  • Fruit + nut butter: Fruit alone provides the sugars, but try adding some nut butter for protein.  
  • Veggies + hummus: You could also pair some fresh vegetable slices (celery, peppers, carrots) with hummus.  
  • Greek Yogurt + berries: Another option that I often treat as dessert!  You can also add in some flaxseed or chia seeds for fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. 


Snack Quantity

Once you've selected the smart snacks, you've got to be aware of how much is enough.  For a true SNACK, try to limit the serving to between 100 - 200 calories.  (If it'll really be a while til your next meal, then you've got my blessing to go slightly over that, up to 300. But better to pick a quality snack (fiber + protein!) that will really satiate your hunger on fewer calories.)  Caveat: for non-starchy (and low-calorie) vegetables, there's practically no limit.  When you're noshing on raw carrots or peppers, you'll get full long before you've consumed 'too much.'  Some of the snacks discussed above are very calorically dense, so it's best to pay attention to your portion sizes.

  • Dried fruit is full of sugar, and because it's a whole fruit in a small bite, there are a lot of calories in only a few.  Limit dried fruit like apricots and prunes to about 5 in a serving. 
  • Nuts are dangerous. So small, so nutritious, so natural, but also so composed of fats, and even those healthy fats are still high in calorie.  Try measuring out your nuts into smaller packages so you don't go overboard without realizing.  Caroline at One Smart Brownie has a great tip for measuring out the perfect amount of almonds
    • The same goes for nut butters!  Pay attention to how much you're consuming.
  • Fruit is healthy for sure, but beware of how the sugars can leave you still feeling hungry an hour later.  This is why vegetables are the better option.  I'm guilty of turning to fruit too often because it's often easier--it's right there, pre-packaged, no slicing, dicing, or cooking necessary.  But go easy on these, and opt for low-calorie vegetables instead. 
  • Hummus is my personal kryptonite. My friends know how I go ga-ga for the stuff.  Although it's definitely a healthy-fat food, a little goals a long way.  Try measuring out 2 or 3 tablespoons of the stuff on a plate or small bowl rather than dipping directly from the container. This will raise your consciousness of how much you're actually eating.
  • Vegetables: eat to your heart's content :) 
Kale Chips - the sky's the limit

Eat on a plate, and sit down if possible
This will just help bring attention to the food you're eating.  If you've got a bag or container, pour the food out so you can see it disappear into your stomach.  Bring awareness to your snacking.

Pre-Portion Your Snacks
What I've worked on for this week's TGIM focus was portioning out my snacks in advance.  Usually, I'll grab handful after handful of nuts from a large container, never really aware of how much I'm actually eating.  One solution is to buy those 100-calorie portioned bags of dried fruit, nuts, or other goodies, but really you could save some money and do it yourself.

Pre-package your own portions!

Last Monday, I measured out a quarter-cup of almonds into snack-size bags and labeled them "M," "T," "W," "Th," and "F."  Then, when I went for a snack, I became extremely conscious of how many I was taking, whether I wanted to leave more for later, etc.  Even on the one day I dug into the next day's bag (nope, I'm not perfect), I at least took those almonds with AWARENESS, rather than mindlessly scooping handful after handful into my mouth. 

I dare you to try this technique!  It really made a difference in my awareness of my snacking habits, so I hope it can do the same for you. 

Hope you found something useful to you in this little lesson on healthy, mindful snacking!  What tips and tricks do you have for us?  How do you incorporate good eating principles into snacks?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIAW: Greens, Veggies, PALEO

Hey friends!  I'm short on time, so this will be short on words, but here are the veggiful, PALEO-approved eats I ate yesterday!







Breakfast:  An unphotographed (sorry!) omelette, not unlike the ones HERE.

Substitute photo.
This is an omelette.

Lunch:
Tuna Slaw Salad
with homemade honey-mustard vinaigrette

Snacks:
Almonds
Baby Carrots

Unphotographed: Greek yogurt and dark chocolate.
My tangy-sweet afternoon pick-me-up!

Dinner:
Baked Salmon over Spinach
with Assorted Veggies (carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, squash)

Dessert:
Apple Crisp!
Yep, grain-free.

Yes, I will be making this apple crisp again.
Yes, I will be sharing the recipe. 


Happy WIAW!  If you haven't already (or want to add more entries), enter this PopChips giveaway!  Closes tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Watch "Hungry for Change"

Hey, friends!  Just watched this documentary, 'Hungry For Change.'  It does a fantastic job of making the food matters facts, biology, and research relatable to average people in their daily lives, and, most importantly, it does more than scare; it offers viewers SOLUTIONS.

(Can you guess the solution?  Hint: it involves eating real foods. ... oops, did that spoil the ending?)

Click the link below to watch the premiere for FREE!  That's right; through the end of the month (aka ASAP!) you can watch the entire thing for free online.  Get to it!

http://www.hungryforchange.tv/online-premiere

Too lazy?  Can't spare 90 minutes?  Fine, the gist is that the ingredients in processed foods (including low-fat foods, diet sodas, and diet shakes and bars, etc.) are chemically designed to make you eat more, crave carbs, gain weight, seek the nutrients you are NOT getting from those foods.  Worse, we become addicted to these processed fake foods, the sugar, the chemicals.  It's the sad truth.  This is what our food industry has done to us.

The way out, fortunately (and obviously), is through clean eating!  Eat real, whole foods.  Eat your vegetables.  Use green foods to detox off of the sugar, the MSG, the aspartame, and get your body back to its natural, intended state.  Whether you can walk or jog, sprint or cycle, get moving!

You can rise above the Big Food industry. The warnings in this movie do NOT need to apply to you. Take control of your health, and your body will take care of you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shut Down (again) and TGIM: Snack Smarter

Alright, friends, it's been a week!
(Don't forget: POPCHIPS GIVEAWAY!  Last few days to enter: CLICK HERE!)

Did you fulfill last week's dare to shut down before bed?  How did it go for you?  Did you find it difficult to fit in time, did you enjoy the half or whole hour of peace before slipping into sleep?

If you were unable to give it a go, please give it a try!  It makes such a difference, really.  Do not forget to prioritize sleep!  You can read more about the fundamentals of sleep at FitFluential.  Balanced Bites also discuss how bright lights after the sun goes down can negatively influence your metabolism.  So try making your 7-9 hours a habit--a priority--and aim to get 30-60 minutes of technology-free downtime before bed. Let your brain ease into the darkness, let your body understand that it's nighttime, and let your mind become free of the stresses that distract it from relaxing.

That's what I'm about to do. I'm about to crawl into bed (later than planned - thank you Mad Men!) and finish my book before rolling over into what I hope is a solid eight-hour slumber.

But first -- it's MONDAY!  Yayyyyy!  (TGI-Monday, remember?)  

What will you focus on this week?  Last week, I sought to shut down before bed, and I think I did a pretty good job!  I slept well, I enjoyed the book I'm reading and about to complete (review to come -- I have so much to share!), and I will continue prioritizing my half-hour of shut-down solitude. Laptop shut, phone off, eyes shut.

Remember how it works?  First we pick a focus, and then figure out how it'll work in our week.  This week, I'd personally like to work on something that's come to bother me and I think I'd be happier overcoming.

  1. One main focus: Snack smarter.  I've found the lack of structure in my day for most days of the week has gotten me in the habit of excessive, mindless snacking as a way to avoid unpleasant tasks, reduce anxiety, or fill the gaps between activities.  I'd like to limit these unnecessary munchies and only snack once or twice a day, ideally when I'm actually getting hungry.
  2. Two things I'm going to do: (1) Whenever I find myself on my way to the kitchen, I will do one activity first to relax (such as listen to a song, do a five-minute yoga sequence, etc).  If I still want the snack after, then I can have it.  (2)  I will pre-portion healthy snacks so that I don't get carried away without noticing.  I filled five small zip-loc bags with a quarter-cup of almonds--one for each day.  In the morning, I will do the same with baby carrots, and I've also got a couple single-serving containers of Chobani Greek yogurt ready to go. These will help me not only to make smart choices for what to eat, but also to notice when I've had enough.
  3. Three benefits:  (1) I'll feel less remorse after realizing how much I've snacked, (2) I'll get extra stretching each time I crave a bite, and (3) sticking to snack-sized servings will ensure that my appetite is fully intact for mealtime.


Sound like a plan?  If you've got an over-snacking habit like I do, dare you to join me in my focus for this week.  If not, pick something that will help improve your habits--either ending a negative one or picking up a positive one, or make you happier in some way, shape, or form.  Get more sleep, increase productivity, think positively, talk to a stranger, make time for fun, meditate, fit in daily exercise, smile more, whatever you like!

What will you focus on this week?  Make it a good week :) HAPPY MONDAY!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

WIAW: Snacks from Across the Pond

#1: Don't forget to enter the PopChips Giveaway!
--> Want to see what I'll be eating today?  I can't wait to show you!








When I received a package last week labeled "Royal Mail," I was confused but excited as to what it could be.


Then, it hit me like a giant package of yummy treats: I'd joined in the US-UK Foodie Blog Swap hosted by Jemma at Celery and Cupcakes!  In the beginning of the month, I'd sent a package full of Trader Joe's treats to Lauren at Powered By Peanut Butter.  She lives in the UK, so I figured she could benefit from the wonder that is American TJ's, so I sent some nut butter (just a glance at her blog reveals her love of the stuff) and other goodies. You can see her reaction to my gifts in her post here.


Silly me, I thought I'd be giving her the treat by sending Trader Joe's love. HA!  Along with a very kind note, Lauren sent a smorgasbord of these incredible UK-based items.


I was struck most by how natural even these "packaged" snacks were.  The ingredient lists were astonishly short and real.

"Absolutely nothing else"

HA - "Secret" recipe

That's all she wrote!


These "Naked" bars were probably my favorite.  I finished one already, savoring every bite, wrapping half for later.  The other two, I am looking forward to as some gluten-free, dairy-free, aka paleo-friendly snacks to keep in my bag during my very busy days ahead. 


Also -- Lindt chocolate?  How did Lauren know my weakness?


There was also a delicious dark chocolate bar--YES!  Just in time; it's as if she knew that I'd just finished off my last one.  I love taking bites of this serious before my workouts... Or just when I need a bite of chocolate. :)

It's like finding the Golden Ticket!

Oh man. The goodies in this bag... There are also a few gummy treats and oatmealy items that I'm saving to try after my paleo kick is up.  Can't wait to try these too -- and white chocolate!  The surprises just keep coming.


In sum: Lauren did a fabulous job serving my taste buds and my love for REAL ingredients!  It's nice to see that natural bars can exist.  Guess I've got to make a trip to the UK with an empty suitcase to bring these snacks back!

In keeping with the veggie-theme set forth by Lindsay, you can see my veggieful plates here and my green eats here.  Also eaten this week were... (click to read more)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Makeover Your Mindset: TGI-Monday !

TGI-Monday!  Sure, it's late Monday night... Tuesday by the time you read this, I know.  Just bear with me.

But first...  Be sure you entered the PopChips giveaway!  Three lucky readers get a month's assorted supply, so enter here!

NOW, back to why we're being thankful for Monday:  This morning after uploading my own post, I read a thoughtful piece by Angela at Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat, in which she challenges (yayy) us to treat each Monday like New Year's Day, to start fresh, to say that this will be a good day, a good week, and to make plans to ensure as much.


She suggests selecting a focus for the week, and to take steps toward that focus all week long.  Specifically, each Monday, she (and I) will declare...

  1. One main focus for the week, which may or may not change from week to week,
  2. Two things I'm going to do as part of the focus to make my week better, and
  3. Three benefits I'm going to see/feel/experience as a result of these positive actions.
(Quoted from Angela.) 

Interested?  GREAT!  Visit Angela's post for more details and to see her own plan of action for this week.  Then, make your own!  I dare you.  It takes all of two minutes to put these ideas to paper.  (Or screen.)  It's easy. Ready?  I'll go first:

This week, starting Monday, I declare...

  1. My main focus will be bedtime.  As I explained earlier, I'd like to shut down all electronics 30-60 minutes before bed.
  2. I will do this by setting an alarm on my phone saying "Time to shut down for bed!"  I will also leave a book and notepad on my bedside table to ease me into the comfort of my bed and to let my mind relax. 
  3. I will benefit by falling asleep more easily, by going to bed at my desired time to fit in 7-8 hours and thus waking up more rested, and this will sneak in extra time to read books each night.

Remote controls? Out of reach.
Good book and empty notebook? YES!

There.  I did it.  Your turn!  Make your declaration for the week, live by your focus, and take actions to make it a reality.  If you're thinking about it, that's a great start, but don't forget how writing down goals helps you achieve them.  And remember to think positive.  Each week, be grateful for Monday--a reason to start fresh and change your life.

TGIM!

Shut Down

Switch off your cell. Table your tablet. Close your computer.


( WAAAAAAIT!!!! Read this post first, please. )

source

It's 10 pm... 11... 12. How can your brain power down at night if your electronics are still buzzing and bright until the latest possible moment before your head hits the pillow? Studies have shown it takes time for the effects of the light rays to wear off, those light rays that keep your brain active and awake.
source

This week, I dare you to pick a "shut down" time, at minimum, 30 minutes before bed. Make it 60 for bonus points. After that time, give your mind and body time to relax before bed. Read a book, talk to your family, tidy up your room, wash and brush, etc. Do anything that does not require an on/off button. Even better still, make sure the 'off' electronics are not leaving hints of light in your room! Best to sleep in complete darkness.

Personally, I find folding and putting away laundry strangely relaxing. Write a (pen and paper) to-do list or schedule for tomorrow, so you can free your mind of planning anxiety as you lie in bed. My favorite wind-down activity is reading. It gets my mind off the low points of my day or the to-do list for tomorrow. Then, when my eyes begin to close, I put down my book, close my eyes, and drift off to sleep.

I find shutting down helpful. Maybe you will, too. Give it a try, I dare you. We'll follow up in one week, so take note of how you're sleeping!


Say, "Goodnight, iPad"... (click and watch:)

Goodnight iPad / video source

What helps you fall asleep at night? What tips or tricks have you learned for getting a good night's sleep?

PS: Don't forget to enter this month's giveaway for a month's supply of PopChips!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Win POPCHIPS!

Happy one-month anniversary of Valentine's Day!! 
What?  You don't celebrate the month after Valentine's Day?  Well, good thing I do; I have a special gift for you!


In February, I got the best Valentine of all: special delivery from Popchips!, love note and all:


Popchips was kind enough to share with me their new flavor - Sweet Potato!


The box contained several snack-size bags of Sweet Potato Popchips, all with a cute Valentine attached.  I'm a sucker for puns.

Here I am, rambling on and on about my Valentine's package. Where are my manners?  Readers, may I introduce you to Popchips.  For those of you who don't know what Popchips are, they're the hottest, tastiest "chip" on the market. The best part is, they're not bad for you (Popchips are not fried; they're popped!) and don't have too many scary, unidentifiable chemicals listed in the ingredients.  Sounds like my kind of chip!


Want more information?  Their website has everything you could want to know, including FAQs about the popping process, nutritional details, the variety of flavors offered, where they're sold, and the online Popstore where you can order your own chips!  Check out their site or their Facebook page for more fun tidbits.

Now, back to my love affair: 
I'd had the "Original" flavor Popchips a few times before and already knew I liked the chip itself.  Thin, but airy, crunchy but light. Plus, being so low in calorie, these make the perfect companion for my more calorie-dense dips, like hummus or guacamole.  Now it was time to try flavors, broaden my horizons.  So, I poured myself a bowl of sweet potato Popchips to taste-test.

Quite delicious!  The natural sweet potato flavor really comes through.  Out of habit, I almost paired them with hummus, but they were flavorful enough on their own.  This makes these little bags a great snack to toss in my purse or schoolbag while I'm headed out--packaged flavor without the grease!  I always need easy, no-mess snacks handy for my long days commuting, out & about.

In sum: tasty, light, popped!  Bonus points: they're also vegan and gluten-free !!  As a vegetarian temporarily avoiding wheat, this is extremely exciting for me.

And now, it can be exciting for YOU!

GIVEAWAY entry details:

THREE (3!) lucky DareYouTo *Popstars* will receive a one-month supply of assorted Popchips!  Want to win?  See entry details below.  



To enter the giveaway, you must leave a comment below saying what your favorite flavor might be or how you would use your Popchips (A travel snack?  Dipped in something? Some more interesting combination I've not yet thought of?)  This is all that is required. Please leave an email address, website, or twitter handle through which I can contact you if you win!

For bonus entries, you can do one or all of the following.  Leave a separate comment for each entry (up to 5 total).

  • Go to the Popchips Facebook page: Post a comment on their wall saying you entered to win popchips from Meredith at http://dareyouto.blogspot.com/2012/03/win-popchips.html.
  • Go to the Dare You To Facebook page and "Like" it. 
  • On Twitter, follow @popchipsNY, @popchips, and @DareYouToBlog
  • Tweet: " Enter to win a month's supply of @popchips at http://dareyouto.blogspot.com/2012/03/win-popchips.html via @DareYouToBlog and @popchipsNY! "  

Contest is open from March 14, 2012 until March 29, 2012, 11:59pm.  Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.  Open to US residents only. Up to six entries per person. Winners must provide means of contact or another winner will be selected. 


Good luck!!  Keep snacking smart :)  


Update 3/31/12: This giveaway is closed; winners have been selected and announced in this post.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stick with it

OK, so you set smart goals, and made a plan. Did you stick to it?  Here's my recap from last week for running and eating.

Running
I resolved to get back into my running game. After a stellar January and a less impressive February, I started March off right by running my goal of 12 miles last week.  Remember I dared myself to run 3 times a week, and to cover 50 miles over the remaining weeks in March, back to my original 2012 resolution.

That Sunday, I got started right away with a 3-mile run.  It was actually really motivating, because I was able to run those 3 miles without walking.  This is something that I've only done a handful of times (mostly on the treadmill and once on the road during a race), so I was surprised when, after a month of barely training, I was able to do this without too much effort.  Just got on the treadmill, turned on a podcast (this was new; I usually listen to music), and pressed 6.0.  When the 30 minutes was up, I was elated that I was still able to run those steady 3 miles, and so had high hopes for the rest of the week.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday went well.  Monday I upped it to 4 miles, but in 45 minutes.  Tuesday, I finally took my run outside.  It was cold, but I reminded myself how nice it is to get out in the fresh air instead of running in the gym.  I ran 3 miles in the same 29:40, but this time, after the first mile, I switched to intervals. Sometimes just running as I felt like it, or setting a certain marker to reach, but the last 15 minutes was mostly my favorite chorus-verse intervals, as I listen to my music. Whatever works!


By Tuesday, I'd racked up 10 miles. At that rate, you'd think I'd go well beyond my goal by the week's end, but I don't run on Wednesdays (Spinning), Thursdays (day off), or Fridays (Spinning), so that just left Saturday to finish it out.

And I did. :)  Completed the requisite two miles early on Saturday morning, in the ice-cold air that followed two days of spring.  But got the job done! Now, gotta do another 12 miles this week to keep my momentum going!  It helps that the sun is shining and temps are rising. Is it spring yet??

Wheat, or lack thereof


A few weeks ago, I stopped eating wheat when I realized it (apparently) improved my digestion and made my stomach feel less... well, just 'less.'  My stomach was no longer constantly bothering me. (If you've got GI discomfort, I dare you to try it for a week and see how you feel!)  Since then, I extended my own challenge to all grains for the month of March.  Essentially, I'm following a "Paleo" nutrition plan, which is fine with me.  I've been learning about Paleo for months, now, and have been fascinated by some of the research, reasoning, and results.  So, we'll see.  I didn't go buy any of the amazing-looking cookbooks out there, but instead have simply been continuing to eat the way I did before, except without some of my favorites, like pasta, whole-grain breads and wraps, quinoa, pita chips, hummus (wahh!), granola... Right. So although it hasn't been easy, I'm eating TONS of things that I do love, like roasted vegetables, fish, nuts, fruit, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, Greek yogurt (the only dairy I'm having these days), omelettes, and greens like spinach, arugula, kale, brussels sprouts, and asparagus.  The difficult/tricky part is to also be careful when dining out--order a salad instead of a wrap, ask for my eggs over greens instead of an English muffin, keep my paws off the bread basket.  If nothing else, it's a wonderful exercise in self-control.

At home, though, I've taken the opportunity to experiment with all kinds of new baking techniques.  This is a great way to turn an "deprivation" plan into something fun, new, and exciting!  Plus, after clearing out my kitchen, I went in search of ways to compensate for the lack of bread for those I live with, who like their sandwiches.  The internet is a wonderful place for ANYONE trying ANY kind of NEW foods.  There is so much out there for paleo-style baking (and cooking, but I've got that covered), so I went to work in the kitchen using new ingredients like these:

Almond "flour"
Coconut Oil
Almond and Cashew Butter
Raw Honey

I do promise to share some of these websites and recipes with you, as soon as I figure out my favorites.  Sometimes the recipe (or my execution) is a failure...

The "bread" that didn't rise

The "bread" that didn't... become bread.

and other times I've been quite successful!

Sandwich bread

Muffins, adapted from my pumpkin cupcakes

Delicious "Caveman Cookies"

It's an adventure, and I try new and different things each day.  For the most part, though, I'm eating a diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, eggs, yogurt, nuts, and oils.  So far, my stomach's continued to behave itself, so I'm going to keep it up for the rest of the month.  That leaves two more weeks of grain-legume-(mostly)dairy-free eating, and I'll see how I feel at that time to decide how to move forward.

PHEW! Now that you're caught up on my two big March Challenges, I can ask -- how are you doing with your goals?  Have you tried removing wheat?  If you've ever taken it a step further with Paleo, how'd it work out for you?  

For next week: Run another 12 miles (starting this afternoon), Keep up with the nutrition plan, andddd... Clean my room!  Spring cleaning time, right?  Time to clear out the house a bit--out with the old and in with the new.  Also aiming to get more sleep.  Who doesn't need more sleep?  Eight hours per night, please.

Have a great week, friends!