1) OMG YOU TOTALLY NEED TO BUY BARLEAN’S OMEGA SWIRL RIGHT THIS INSTANT
When I started Lean Eating, I remarked on the fact that I have a cupboard full of supplements that I consistently neglect. Well, for the past three weeks, I’ve been taking my fish oil every morning and I want to high five myself for this small accomplishment.
While I finished off the capsules that I already had in my pantry, Precision Nutrition recommended taking liquid fish oil, simply because a smaller serving yields a larger dose. So I went out and bought liquid fish oil and I was swallowing my daily spoonful before work and everything was going swimmingly – that is, until I dropped the entire bottle of fish oil and it shattered all over my kitchen floor. What a giant mess that was!
Luckily, my misfortune turned out to be a happy accident because I went to the health food store and discovered Barlean’s Omega Swirl.
Hands down this stuff is the best fish oil that I have ever tasted. I bought the key lime variety, though I did sample all of the flavours in store and I could have purchased any of them. When my current bottle is finished, I will probably try another variety. I expected a fishy after taste or undertones and they were nonexistent! This stuff seriously has to be the work of a sorcerer, brewed in Snape’s dungeon or something. My mind is boggled.
Do you want proof it’s magical? For the first time ever, I have enjoyed a week without fish oil burps! The ingredients actually list the types of fish used to extract the oil, which I take to be an indication of quality. It is one of the brands that was recommended by Precision Nutrition, which I discovered quite happily after buying it. I had read that some people feel that brands that list only “fish oil” on their ingredients tend to be lower quality, using the leftover parts of the fish. I was skeptical, but I must say that I’m totally converted. Just wow.
2) Remember when I was a Powerlifter? Well, I totally don’t miss it.
The fact that I’m taking fish oil is hopefully be an indication that my Lean Eating journey is on track. Honestly, it’s kind of underwhelming, and I mean that in the best way possible. I said I wanted to learn how to eat, and that’s not something I can learn overnight after a lifetime of overeating, crash dieting and generally bad habits. So I am working on one small step at a time, which is kind of boring but it’s also totally working. Even with a few simple changes, I feel much more in control of my diet.
I am still doing the prescribed workouts and I’ve had a few people make comments jokingly implying that I am no longer a powerlifter. A part of me balks at these jokes. Even if I’m not training for strength at the moment, I still consider myself to be a powerlifter. I value physical strength in men and women, and that’s a fundamental part of my identity that will outlive my gap year in strength training. Plus, I’m still lifting, my work capacity is through the roof and someone commented on the fact that my biceps were looking huge this week. I was happier than a bench bro on chest day.
I admit that it’s been very freeing for me to go into the gym, challenge myself for an hour and then walk out without having worried about whether or not I could deadlift 370lbs. And I look back and I keep asking myself why I was so dissatisfied with that number. It was a great lift! But my attitude just made me feel so weak and unfocused, which in turn hampered my progress. In the end, I know the bar will be waiting for me when I’m ready to return and I think figuring out where lifting fits into my life, finding balance and being at peace with myself will make me a better lifter in the long run.
On the food front, I’ve been focused on eating slowly and without distractions. Instead of inhaling my food as fast as I can, without even stopping to chew, I have been forced to focus on what I’m eating. I am suddenly so aware of my diet! There are foods that I eat fairly regularly, and for the first time in my life, I’ve stopped to reflect on how they taste.
I had a bit of an earth-shattering moment last Sunday: I’d gone to Starbucks with a book, to enjoy a coffee and scone. I took the first bite of the scone and I was sitting there chewing it and all I could think about was how bland and dry this blueberry scone tasted. I’ve eaten approximately 1736 blueberry scones at Starbucks and I always thought they tasted so good! But now I can’t help but think that my usual breakfast – half a sprouted grain English muffin with almond butter – is a whole lot tastier. The only thing that’s changed is how quickly I it my food, but that makes it a whole lot easier to pass up the pastries at coffee every morning, and I wish I could share this revelation with everyone. Instead, I just sat at Starbucks, sipping my coffee and reading a novel.
3) Even though I am no longer doing the whole Caveman thing, I think it taught me how to fend for myself in the kitchen.
My love affair with Sauerkraut is still going strong, and I decided to be adventurous and buy a bottle of Kimchi or asian style sauerkraut. Unfortunately, I am a white girl and I have a white girl mouth. I tried to eat it raw – much to the delight of one of my coworkers – but it was just too spicy for me to handle.
Then on Monday night, I went out for Korean food with a couple of friends. I ordered fried p ork with Kimchi and tofu. It was so delicious! Although I admit that I ate it a bit faster than I should have, and I overate. Mea culpa. But I also had a flash of inspiration: I could fry my own kimchi with shredded chicken and serve it over rice!
I fried the kimchi and chicken in coconut oil, and seasoned it with seaweed flakes and sesame seeds. I served the meat and veggies over basmati rice and the result is this dish, which is totally the bomb. The kimchi is still flavourful, but the spiciness is milder and mediated by the rice. Even though I’m sure Asian people do this all of the time, I am seriously impressed with my own culinary genius.
The second or third time I made this meal, I was eating it and thought about the fact that I had thrown together a bunch of ingredients without a recipe or worry in the world – and the end result was successfully palatable. There was a time pre-Paleo when I avoided the kitchen as much as possible. But I think that it might be time for me to cautiously admit that I am no longer a person who refuses to cook.