GIRLS CAN LIFT

A Dainty Diary of Lifting


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May 23: Lifting and tree-hugging

I lifted today! Which given my mood lately, seems like a huge accomplishment and I’m trying to focus on the positive, because the actual lifting sucked.

I tried to work up to 130×2 on bench. All I got was a god awful ugly single.

Apart from feeling deconditioned after taking a week off, I was also wearing my flat soled shoes and I still struggle to set-up in those. I did some dumbbell bench after deadlifting to make up for the otherwise shitty bench day, and I’ll see how my bench is feeling with my lifting shoes on Sunday.

In the meantime, I also had to deadlift for the first time in over 2 weeks. My callouses had basically disappeared, so I knew this was going to be bad. I’d also been avoiding putting on my belt because I’ve been feeling so fat, but then it was too loose and I had trouble pushing against it. I did manage 10 singles at 335 with 1 minute rest – that’s about 90% of my last tested 1RM. Unfortunately they all felt slow and were lacking in fluidity. Blerg. If you find my mojo, please return it to me.

As a finisher, I did 100 kettlebell swings which I count as deadlift accessory work and conditioning work. But I used a 12kg KB, which is just sad.

Hey, did you see this article about how no one wants to listen to me talk about lifting all of the time? Well, I don’t want to talk about lifting, because it’s just bringing me down, man.

Instead, let’s talk about something else I really love: the environment. In fact, when I was younger, I paid a lot of money to a certain university to become an expert in tree hugging. Now I’m always on the look-out for interesting topics that examine the intersection of health and the environment – which is how I happened to notice an article in my Google Reader , yesterday, that later appeared in my Facebook feed.

Apparently, all of the whey being generated as a byproduct of Greek yogurt production is leading to eutrophication in certain water bodies. Huh.

I have to say, even when I knew dairy was making me sick, I really struggled to give up Greek yogurt. Now, I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been listening to the archives of the Balanced Bites podcasts, and one of the recurring themes is that “Greek” yogurt is marketed as “healthy” yogurt, despite the fact that we are basically removing all of the fat and replacing it with sweeteners and skim milk powder. Between feeling duped by a marketing scheme and feeling a bit sad over how a “health food” can be so environmentally destructive, I have to say I’m happy to be off the white stuff.

Greek turkey breast fillets with butternut squash

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • 2 apple streusel muffins
  • 2 sausage patties
  • Green apple
  • Large coffee

Lunch: 2 Indian turkey burgers with carrot pancake buns

PM Snack: Sugar snap peas

Emergency muscle meal: Quest PB protein bar

Dinner: Greek turkey breast fillets with butternut squash

Calories consumed: 1945

Calories burned: 2760


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Strong is sexy. But it’s a lot of other things, too.

I want to know why the LBEB men never feel obligated to take a post sexy pictures of themselves.

I feel like the LBEB women are sometimes pressured to take these types of photos of themselves to show (once again) that strong women can be sexy. Yet, all we see of the men are pictures of them lifting heavy shit.

Because of the sexualization of female athletes. That’s why. -missdeejers

Short response: Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand times: yes.

Overly long and somewhat redundant rant that was unnecessary but incredibly cathartic nonetheless:

First off: I don’t even subscribe to the LBEB philosophy. In my mind, they’re somewhat of a joke because they embody all of the mouthy and egotistic but otherwise mediocre lifters that are ubiquitous on the internet. And if the problem of oversexualizing women who lifted ended on LBEB then I probably wouldn’t have much to say the matter. But we also tell women to do Crossfit because the chicks are hot. We recommend Jamie Eason’s Livefit and NRL4W to female novices because it will improve their appearance. Clearly, female fitness has an image issue.

Has no one else noticed  that there is some irony in the fact that we tell women they are equal to men and they should lift like men  because it will make them totally smokin’ hot for their male counterparts? Really, we were just kidding about that whole equality thing. Really, we say women should be empowered to lift – but they should do it to satisfy the male gaze!

Listen to me! I’m a raging feminist! Even though I’ve never been to a suffrage rally or anything. I just know that men and women are equal and that’s so self-evident I’m not sure anything else needs to be said. Plus, I’m a female powerlifter. That should tell you all you need to know about how much I care about gender norms. And yet, I don’t think my disdain for this whole topic stems from my feminist identity.

Rather, it stems from the fact that I was fat and now I’m slightly less fat. All those girls who say “Don’t worry about the scale! The number doesn’t matter! What matters is how you look!”  are either lying or delusional. Because there are things that matter besides appearance and your weight kind of matters, too.

Like, if you are me from the past and you’re 5’3″ on a tall day and you weigh 252lbs, then you have no choice but to drop some weight because your body is literally screaming at you to take action. Because if squatting 250lbs is a feat for most women, imagine carrying around that weight on your back all day, every day. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that no 5’2″ woman is walking around with 200lbs of lean muscle on her frame.

So I can’t say that I train for aesthetics and that was an easy decision. While I am not immune to vanity and while no one ever set foot in the gym without the intention of improving their appearance,  at this point in my life and for the foreseeable future, training to be hot would be an exercise in futility. Every couple of months, when I inevitably get asked if I’d ever be interested in bodybuilding, I just laugh in response. My own mother once hesitantly asked me, “So does this mean you look muscular now?”  and I answered her quite matter of factly: “No. All of my muscle is hiding under a layer of fat. So I still just look fat.” And honestly, as a former fat person, I have the dreaded beef jerky stomach and that will probably never go away and will never look hot.

But back to the beginning: if the lifting propaganda machine is to believed, women have no reason to train other than to look hot. But if aesthetics are such a lost cause for me, then why the hell do I find myself obsessed with lifting?

I don’t want to be strong for a girl. I just want to be strong. That’s it. I am equal to men in and out of the weight room. Which we’ve already established, and which I happen to know for fact, since I outlift the vast majority of the men in my gym. I’d be lying if I denied that there’s a pretty big sense of satisfaction in that accomplish. One day, I want to post my lift numbers online and be mistaken for a respectably strong dude. That goal has nothing to do with my appearance.

But being strong has helped me in other areas, too. It has drastically improved my quality of life. Strengthening my back means that I no longer experience debilitating back pain when I have PMS. Strengthening my arms means I can move around office furniture at work while my boss wastes time looking for one of our male coworkers to do the job. I can even change the jug on the water cooler when I’m thirsty without batting an eye, while other women look on and say, “That’s so heavy. Are you sure you’re okay?”

Lifting is also very much a learning endeavor for me, filling the void in me that craves knowledge. I’ve gone to see coaches for a couple of hours of lifting and then spent weeks focused on implementing their advice to its full potential. I follow several dozen blogs and I enjoy the challenge of critically evaluating all the opinions from so-called experts out there and trying to figure out whether they can improve my own training. I receive feedback from my own body every time I step into the gym and I’m constantly learning where my limits are and then trying to push past them. As a skill, lifting challenges my mind as much as my body.

No one’s talking about these other aspects of women’s fitness, or if they are, it’s always as afterthought or as a footnote. And yet, these are the things that really spoke to me and continue pushing me forward. I can’t be the only one. The opening statement of this very post would suggest that I’m not the only one who sees the double standing of hypersexualizing women who lift as more demeaning than empowering, either. How many women are we setting up for failure if we focus exclusively on getting that bikini bod? How many are we alienating by selling the sex appeal of the six pack? And can we ever make the shift to acknowledge that strong women are strong role models, not just because they look good?


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Training log: April 10th

Classes finished yesterday. I still need to study for exams, but it was nice to get in a workout this afternoon without worrying about all the assignments hanging over my head.

I also had a meeting with my boss this morning and he said a lot of nice things about me. Like how I’m so pro-active and they want to keep me around in the long term. But he also confirmed that I need to look out for myself in the short term, and so now I’m officially job hunting and that means I walked into the gym thinking, “No matter what happens today, this workout cannot be worse than writing a cover letter.”

For my Sheiko – Coan/Phillipi hybrid, I warmed up with the bench. I know it was my light day (95x4x6) but it felt heavy today, so I’m a bit nervous for Friday. My lats seem to be DOMSing pretty hard 24/7 with all the volume I’ve been doing. Hopefully that’s a sign that I’m hitting the places I’m weak.

I deadlifted according to C/P, pulling 345×2. Easy peasy. Well, not really but I had good speed on all of my reps today and didn’t struggle with lockout. I think I’m just totally dialed into my deadlifting sessions right now because I know that this could be the final stretch to pulling 405 and I just want it so bad. And hopefully I will have my phone/camera situation resolved, so that I can go back to timing my rest and filming my PRs.

I followed up with the C/P accessory work with dumbbell flyes supersetted in and tackled the lunges at the end. I got a ton of work done at the gym and was there for less than 2 hours. I feel like I’m becoming very efficient at working out. Is that a skill I can put on my resume?

Food Diary

It might just be that I’m not PMS insane, or it might be the fact that I upped my calories and cut back on the strictness, but I’ve been having fun with food this week. The Easter Bunny brought me two dozen Daryl’s bars that I’ve slowly been enjoying, and I found room in my meal plan for Smarties after deadlifting. My meals have still been Paleo, which seems to be keeping my macros on track overall.  I even made fish tacos for dinner last night! I was looking for a tilapia recipe and ended up working very loosely off of this recipe, since I’d never had fish tacos before. So not only am I cooking, but I’m cooking new foods which just way more adventuring than I can handle.

I’m also happy to report that I’ve successfully brewed my first batch of kombucha! And it was even better than the bottle that was gifted to me, if I do say so myself. I used some Tetley Blueberry Green Tea for that batch, just because it was the green tea that I had lying around. Now I’ve started on a slightly larger batch using Orange Pekoe, and I’m loving the strange sense of satisfaction that this whole process is giving me!

photo (2)


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Training Log: April 1

After sucking at life and lifting last week, I woke up feeling totally normal and optimistic on Saturday. Then my period started yesterday. Coincidence? Probably not.

In fact, I’m positive that I’ve mentioned this before: I tend to get blackhole depressed to the point of being suicidal and I binge eat the week before my period. Which is exactly what happened last week. I’ve never really considered it a problem, because a part of me believes that PMS is largely cultural and girls tend to use it as an excuse to be bitchy. But I am not necessarily more irritable than usual, I just eat a lot and cry a lot and think about offing myself so that I never have to get out of bed. Of course, I can see that’s not normal behavior but I can’t seem to reign it in.  And then I start my period and can realize how much PMS was affecting me. Like that 140lb bench that I missed on Saturday and so was angry about? Must’ve been the PMS!

In all seriousness, I know most women don’t feel suicidal when they PMS. So I’m still waiting to hear back on when my appointment with the doctor will be, but now planning to go in for a chat on PMDD and to confess that I cried in class last month. And at work. Twice. And on the bus. Three times. And in the line-up at Tim Horton’s. (But only once.) And in the squat rack, with +200lbs on my back. I think that’s all?

A part of me is terrified that the Doc is going to suggest that I lose weight and exercise more – or worse, that I go see one of those awful therapists I saw as a teenager. But if she actually listens to me then maybe I can avoid having a repeat of last month, and that’d be a tremendous improvement for my training and my life in general.

The other thing I might mention during our chat is that my lower back has been feeling unbelievably tight. As in, I did some leg presses over the weekend and then my back seized up so bad that I laid down on the floor of the locker room and prayed for teleportation to my apartment. I woke up the next day feeling fine, foam rolled a bit, unsure whether I should be concerned or not.

ANYWAY. Spine or no spine, Texas Method and I are officially on a break. I’m not sure if this a Ross and Rachel type break up or what, but right now it’s not working for me. Considering I’ve been running this progression since the first week of October, I don’t even feel guilty about looking elsewhere.

Yet, I’ve been struggling with what to do until my meet on July 20th. I’m still love-hating Coan/Phillipi, but in competition I need to perform three lifts and I really need to dial in some focus for the other two. I considered Smolov but that’s not 16 weeks and doesn’t address both lifts. I am 24 and too impatient to run 5/3/1. So what does that leave?

If you said Sheiko: ding, ding, ding!

I’m going to try running the 16 week cycle to peak for this comp, starting with #29. But since I’m set on sticking with C/P, I’m only going to run the squat and bench portion. I already have a 2-stage deadlift that I’m trying to fix; somehow I doubt partials are the solution. YNDTP, etc.

This could be a really bad idea, or it could result in massive gainz. I can only take it one day at a time until I find out, so here is Week 1, Day 1:

Easy peasy and my back felt pretty good. Probably the best bench session I’ve had in a while and my squats felt a little off because I didn’t re-adjust my belt after last week’s fat attack but I still managed to sink ’em:

I did spend approximately forever in the gym. Which is totally fine because today’s a holiday and since I’ll be unemployed and done school on April 23, I have all the time in the world to train!

Food Diary

Another thing I need to think about is my weight, because I gained 19lbs by stress eating for 10 days! Hard gainers take note: the trick is to eat until you hate yourself and then eat some more. Proof my mental health has stabilized: that number isn’t freaking me out and I’ve dropped 8lbs since Saturday by watching my carbs and calories.

Tonight I am having the dieter’s version of “meat slop” aka “deconstructed cabbage role”, which is one of my standard meals when trying to lose weight. I hadn’t made this in a while, but am trying to use ingredients I have on hand since I am trying to tighten my belt both literally and figuratively.

It’s one of those meals that is totally unphotogenic: 1/2lb of turkey brest meat, chopped and mixed with steamed & shredded cabbage and passati. I cannot take credit for this meal, since the “recipe” was given to me by a friend, but since I don’t cook that actually means it’s fucking delicious. I’m kind of excited.

I’m also running a little science experiment. I currently have a container of what appears to be piss sitting in my cupboard and hopefully by next week it will be kombucha.

I’m optimistic.


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Training Log: March 20th

I spent a better part of yesterday watching the women’s CPU Nationals. At first, I felt all motivated to kill my lifts and I went to the gym and pull 345×2 which was a rep PR.

Then I came home and just felt melancholy.

I thought I was okay with skipping Nationals. I think I still am. But my lifts have been progressing well and it would have been a good experience. I’ll go next year. But what if I’m still broke? What if I get injured before then? What if I go and bomb out or fail to make weight?

If worrying about myself wasn’t enough, the women’s qualifying standards were raised and that’s bumming me out. I’m still qualified and I understand on some level why the change was made. More women are getting interested in lifting and competing and as that continues, the standards will continue to rise. Good. I don’t want to ever feel comfortable with my lifts. But… on a more personal note, I was really hoping that some of my friends would qualify to go with me, and that seems a lot less obtainable for some of them now.

Lifting is very much a social activity for me, and I want the people in my life to succeed. That’s especially true when I know how much hard work goes into improving the Big Three.  And while more women are qualifying for CPU Nationals, there were still only 2.5 flights of women, compared with 5.5 flights of men. So we aren’t quite equal, yet. And with those numbers, I should probably go back to focusing on my plan to snag myself a powerlifting boyfriend.

I do think it says something that most of my friends who were looking at qualifying seem to have taken the news better than I did. I’m still bummed out. And I’m a little bit jealous because I know I’m going to stress right the fuck out trying to make weight and wanting to put up superhuman lifts. Why do I put myself through that? How do I give myself permission to take the pressure off? I mean, I had an anxiety attack on the city bus this afternoon just thinking about my rent, my job, and my bank account. I’m a mess. A sensible person would cancel their gym membership and forget about lifting until they get their life sorted out.

Well, let’s just say that 24 year olds are not known for their good sense. And this is supposed to be my training log, so I should maybe talk about lifting instead of how I’m so depressed that I want to crawl under the covers and cry and maybe never re-emerge. Good thing I decided the best way to turn off my brain is to do some heavy front squats, focusing on trying to get my elbows up this week:

I continued my 10lb progression on these and got 165x5x3 easily. Front squats have been a good addition to my programming: they’re heavy enough to be a challenge but still light enough that I can get a quick workout that doesn’t totally mess up my recovery.

But let’s talk about accessory work because on the one hand: I had a giant bro workout by doing light bench, dips, curls and flyes. On the other hand, I’m pretty satisfied. First of all, if you haven’t noticed, I wasn’t really in the mood to workout. But I clocked in, anyway. I believe pretty seriously that showing up and working out when I’d rather be elsewhere is one of the biggest factors in long term success. Arguably these days, and the consistency they bring to my training, are a lot more important than the ones where I show up in a great mood, ready to crush it.

Secondly, my attitude towards accessory work has changed in the past few months, partially as a result of my success on Coan/Phillipi and partially as a result of training with the Hostyle crew. The old me, who benched 100lbs in competition, liked to skive off on accessory work. But lately I’ve noticed that doing accessory work has increased my work capacity in general and of course my lifts are progressing. There’s also a sense of accomplishment on days like today, when I show up and do dips and manage to see tangible signs of progress.

That’s right: I got 2 sets of 5 of  body weight dips today and it’s a big freakin’ deal. The first time my coach made me do dips, I had about 80lbs of resistance in bands. I flopped around like a fish. I struggled to get 5. I wanted to kick and scream and cry and give up on lifting. But I’m progressing and hopefully that translates into a bigger bench down the line. Life’s not all bad.

IMG_0487[1]

Food Diary

At least I knew I was going to be scraping by this month and I had the foresight to order a Good Food Box, which I picked up today.  I know my life has hit rock bottom wen I’m excited to pick up $10 worth of produce so that I have something to eat until pay day. Actually, the artichoke & lemon chicken from Practical Paleo that I made this weekend was pretty good and I’ve been eating the leftovers slowly, so I just needed a side dish. The broccoli is already gone.

I’m glad I’ve figured out how to fuel myself properly even when I’m feeling down. That’s in stark contrast to whatever I was doing the last time I felt this depressed and weighed +230lbs. And it’s just  nice to know that at least I can come home to a decent meal at the end of the day. 


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Training log: March18th

I have never felt so naked at the gym.

You see, I had a gift card for lululemon and I used it to buy a sports bra this weekend. I’d never bought anything from there before because I knew it was overpriced. But I don’t think I fully understood just how expensive it really was until I bought this bra off the clearance rack and it was still $39 + tax. That’s more than I spent on groceries this week. In fact, that’s more money than I have in my bank account right now. So maybe if I show it off a little and maybe if I use the bag as a lunch box for the next 6 months, I’ll be able to assuage the feelings of guilt that are consuming me.

#gpoy

Actually, looking at these pictures I realize that I am more covered up than a lot of girls at the gym. But this outfit is downright skanky compared to what I normally wear and I’m not sure whether it’s appropriate for someone of my size to wear this outfit. Plus, I’ve noticed that even though my gym is often crowded in the evenings, I am frequently the only woman in the entire building and then I start to feel uncomfortable. What if the guys don’t think I’m hot enough to pull off this look?

Perhaps it’s all a moot point because as you can see, this bra was so expensive that I couldn’t afford to buy a new shirt and so I resorted to cutting up more of my old fat clothes.

Seriously though, money is stressing me out. I am running away from my problems both figuratively and literally. I’m avoiding my landlord and I ran 5 miles yesterday – or at least I did whatever it is that powerlifters do that resembles running. As a result, I ended up skipping my lateral lunges in favour of foam rolling since my IT bands feel tighter than skinny jeans on a hipster. But I still had to squat, unfortunately.

I feel like I haven’t quite recovered from last week’s volume day so I altered my progression a bit and used more of a ramp-up style, which I think is one of the recommendations when you aren’t recovering enough on the 70s Big Texas Method. By the time I got to my 265 triples, I was worried that I wasn’t hitting depth. So I recorded myself. Depth looked okay. And there was a beautiful squat morning!

I was supposed to OHP tonight, too. But I can only seem to have a decent OHP session every other week and that happened to be last week. I ended up just push pressing, which I might start doing intentionally on alternate weeks just to avoid the feelings of anger and annoyance that I experience every time I fail my OHP. The other thing I’m considering trying is taking a page from Greyskull LP and pressing before the squats, which really do tucker me out.

After push presses, I did assisted pull-ups, DB rows and tricep pushdowns as my accessory work tonight, mostly just working with what was free. I was feeling kind of lazy, but I’m glad I stuck around. Two of the dudes working out ended up providing ample entertainment by loudly discussing how they want to look like The Rock. In 4 months. While OHPing 65lbs. And doing a 5-day arms/shoulders/chest/back/abs split. Ya, good luck with that. And I suddenly feel a lot less worried about who might be judging me at the gym.

Swirly crustless quiche

Food Diary

I did a ton of batch cooking this weekend – enough to cover all of my meals until Wednesday.

I needed something other than grainless granola and scrambled eggs, so for breakfast I decided to try yet another meal from Practical Paleo. I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe because it seemed so stupidly simple that it could not possibly taste good. And it contains carrots, which are technically on my list of “Top 3 disgusting vegetables that I will not eat”. But like all of the recipes in this book, the accompanying picture was gorgeous and I really need an easy breakfast option during the week. So I gave it a try. Luckily, a dozen eggs are no match for a couple of measly carrots! I’m pretty impressed with how delicious this tastes. My only qualm is that I’m pretty sure a “crustless quiche” is actually called a frittata.


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Training log: March 15th

Welp. I signed up for a meet.

Actually, I tried to sign up for a meet but I accidentally sent the meet director a copy of my chemistry homework instead of my entry form. He wrote me back a bit confused but in the end I got it all sorted out and now I’m signed up for the Ottawa Open as a 63kg lifter.

A small part of me is freaking out. Doing a meet can be fun, though I find the actual preparation to be mentally and physically draining. I’ve been having a bit of a self-imposed off-season, which has been good. First and foremost I’ve been able to deal with finishing off my final semester at uni. It’s been seven goddamn years and I am ready to graduate and be an adult. Making that decision was surprisingly easy because there are things more important than deadlifting. But without beating myself up over my lifts every time I go to the gym, I’ve also been able to make solid progress in losing weight and getting my lifts up. So I do feel like I’m in a place now where I can think about competing again, even if the meet isn’t until July.

Even though there is a lot of time to prepare, I know this meet will fill up. I am fortunate enough to live in a city with a well established powerlifting community – and I’m excited because this will be the first time I’ve competed in a local meet. I won’t have to travel or sleep in a hotel! I also expect a good turn out from the ladies. In fact, shortly after signing up, the meet director posted a notice saying the meet has already had over 20 people sign up, including 13 women.

I’m on the list but so is one of my friends who will be doing her first meet. She is the person who encouraged me to take up lifting and I’m psyched to see what she can do in a meet scenario. Anyway, she is busy doing her own preparation and planning to get her qualifying totals for CPU Nationals in 2014. What do I want to do?

Obviously a good start would be to weigh in under 63kg. Since I’ve been telling everyone that’s my plan for the past year, it needs to happen. Thank God I weighed in at 67.7 kg this morning. Getting back under 150lbs was a good way to start my preparation and I feel like I’m in a good place this week, even after a couple of weeks of emotional eating.

In terms of my actual lift numbers, I wanted to get my Wilks over 400. I’m going to aim for 152.5/62.5/185 (or 335/135/405 if you’re a Gringo). Each of those lifts seems slightly challenging but obtainable which is what I want in a goal – except that when I added up the total, it came out as 400 kg. Scary.

So with that magical number hanging over my head, I had to get myself into the gym for a squat and bench session this evening. It was 280×3 day on Texas Method, which is a new 3RM. The last time I was supposed to attempt this, all I got was 300×0. Depth felt good tonight although I didn’t think I would get out of the hole on my first rep. I tried to record these, but I never hit the button the start recording. Technology is not my strong suit.

After my heavy set, I threw in some squat walkouts at 335. Since that’s my goal for the meet I need to get an idea of what it feels like on my back. Plus all the people on my fitocracy feed have been doing them. I’m really just a sheeple. But at least I’m not a sheeple that was crushed like a bug by 335lbs.

Then I did some bench. Please excuse my power belly on these:

These were alright. There is something terribly satisfying about getting 100×10 when my meet bench was 99lbs once upon a time. I did some close grip and incline as accessory work and both of those sucked. I’d been considering going to bench with my team tomorrow, but after whining all week about how beat up I’m feeling, I think it’s best to rest up. TGIF.

Lemon & Dill Tilapia with Rosemary Sweet Potato Spears

Lemon & Dill Tilapia with Rosemary Sweet Potato Spears

Food Diary

I got paid on Wednesday, which I really needed because my cupboards were getting kind of bare. On Thursday I went to Costco. My boss asked me why I was going there. I told my him that I needed to buy meat and then I asked him if he wanted anything. He declined saying he already had lots of meat and I responded with, “Good. ‘Cause I’m gonna buy it all.” He laughed. I wasn’t joking.

 

 

 

swansonSo at least now I’m back to eating real food that doesn’t look it has already been eaten once. I had tilapia for lunch and it was delicious. I also made a turkey spaghetti sauce and served it over squash for dinner. I’d been thinking about the fact that eating Paleo has increased the colour spectrum of my diet and the spaghetti sauce was particularly colourful when I dumped it all over my kitchen floor. So I’m not sure how it tasted, but my cat seemed to think it was pretty good.