Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whole 30 Paleo Challenge

This is what I'm doing: < This will be a challenge on such a low budget, but I've been using that as an excuse for far too long (4-5 months at least) and it's called a challenge in the first place and part of the point of it is to be able to pull it off and make it work under any circumstance anyway, so...
Here's what I'm doing in brief:

The Whole30 Program, As Outlined

Eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re natural and unprocessed.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in all kinds of ways.

Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, pre-packaged snacks/meals, protein bars, milk substitutes, etc.

Do not drink alcohol, in any form.

Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. (Yes, we said corn!) This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.

Do not eat legumes. This includes beans (black, kidney, lima, etc.), peas, lentils, and peanuts or peanut butter. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

Do not eat dairy. This includes all cow, goat or sheep’s milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream, etc.

Do not eat white potatoes. It’s arbitrary, but they are carbohydrate-dense and nutrient poor, and also a nightshade.

Most importantly… do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” less-than-healthy recipes – no “Paleo” pancakes, “Paleo” pizza, “Paleo” fudge or “Paleo” ice cream. Don’t mimic poor food choices during your Whole30 program!

One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale for the duration of your Whole30 program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus only on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic (and lifelong) benefits this plan has to offer. Give yourself a well-deserved, long overdue break from fixating on that number on the scale! Absolutely NO weighing yourself or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30.

I don't have a definite plan set out yet, but I'm starting tomorrow anyway. Complete, OCD proper planning was another thing I was using not having done as an excuse to put this off. So I'll do the best I can as I go, look up recipes and menus and such tonight and tomorrow and eat what I can when I can and let that be that. :) Things will work out. As long as I do my part and get up and get things going. :) I'm not sure where this motivation came from, but it's making me smile.

Join me if you'd like I'm sure it'll be interesting and you'll come out feeling amazing on the other side. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Minimalist Journey: Day 5

Day 5 Otherwise known as The Things You Think You Need... Basically: You don't need any of those... lol... You only need the things you actually need. Things you don't need to think about to know you need. You don't need extras, you don't need things you only want. You don't need yearly/seasonal fashions, over and over again. You don't need all those apps. You don't need all those random accessories or nick nacs... Why do you actually have all that stuff? What did I get out on Day 5 that I didn't get out on Day 4.... let's see... Nothing. So little to think about, so little to hold you back or weigh you down... Feeling good already...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Minimalist Journey: Day 4

Day 4 The next few days are important. They're about you taking things out of your packed boxes (or closet) in a thoughtful and controlled manner. If you take stuff out without reason this exercise is pointless. This is the first day, so you should take out the essentials, all your hygiene things you're going to use today and clothes for wearing. Well, this post might not be all that long, because as far as my Day 4 went, all I had to do was get my work clothes out and go... and that's all I did. More on the next day. :)

-- M.P. Essex

My Minimalist Journey: Day 3

Day3 you’re going to need to set some major time aside for, depending on how much stuff you have maybe even a whole day, take off work, work all plans around this kinda thing. Me, thankfully I only really had to devote my evening to it and it still worked out really well. To do this you’re going to need your Minimalist Tool Kit, or some approximation thereof. This consists of a big cardboard box, inside this box: nothing! You need nothing to prep for this Packing Party you’re going to have except the willpower to go through with it whole-heartedly. On the plus side, now that you have a big empty box, you have something you can use to put all your stuff in. :)
Now, today involves a “Packing Party” because what you’re going to do is, invite over everyone you can that’s willing and able to help, you and all your supportive friends/family are going to pack up everything you own. ALL your stuff, pack it up. The idea is that over the next week you only take out what you need, and at the end you discover how little you really need.  
For me, I didn’t have moving boxes or anything readily available, so I just used my relatively small closet. And at the end of the night, everything was in it, except for say, my dresser and bed, but the dresser is completely empty and has nothing on top of it. I took a bit of time and a good deal of thinking about and feeling about, especially for a few certain items. I used the packing party as a easy way to take inventory of the things I had as well, and decide on what could be taken out of my life right away at the beginning of this journey, which worked out really well to add on to the packing task. By the end of things I had a box that was packed full of books reduced to less than half: an entire box of clothes gone, nearly half my movies gone, and a box and half of other random things that I don’t need at all and don’t even want badly enough to keep... So for the next week, I’ll be living out of my closet…
3 boxes of randomness that I don't have anymore
My Minimalist Closet 

— M.P. Essex

My Minimalist Journey: Day 2

Day2  Day 2 is still not heavy on actually doing things, but the rest of the days make up for it. Day 2 is all about planning out the rest of your journey. In a way it’s about preparing yourself for what you’re about to do, making sure you have things planned out and get it done properly. For me I mapped out the days and what was involved on every calendar I could find so that I would see them and be reminded of what I was doing and what was going on everyday. Also, you can use this day to start journaling about your Journey, I’m obviously using my blog for that instead, and unfortunately started a tad late, but I plan on catching up, it’ll feel better then… :)
— M.P. Essex

My Minimalist Journey Day 1

theminimalists < This is how it starts. The guys at make taking this journey with them very simple and encourage having fun with it and enjoying it all you can while still making real changes in your life and accomplishing things. They also make it as easy as something like this can be, and are very encouraging. All you have to do on the first day is figure out what you want yourself to be like, how you want your attitude to be, and what you want to do with your life.
Basically: figure out what you’re passionate about, figure out what you do that makes you happy, and what makes you fun to be around. What in your life do you do or can you do that always makes you feel amazing. If you’re not doing it, it’s about making that possible. Think about all of this, think about how you want to be. Most of this list, all the things you want to do, and ways that you want to be. Right now they’re probably things that you think about as things that you “wish” you could do or be like or think that you “should” do/be like. A big part of the attitude of this journey is turning every single thing on this should list into a must. That way it will happen, because that’s what must means.
The only task for Day 1 is to simply write out your Must List. If you can think of everything you think you should do and aren’t, or are, but not to the level that you’d like, write it down, but when you write it, use the word must instead, then after you’ve written all these things down: say them aloud. Give power to them. Use these things as motivation while you minimalize yourself, I know I am, I think of them, and who I will be, and it makes me smile. So: made this list: 
must be fit. 
must be primal. 
must worry less. 
must smile every day. 
must help someone ever day. 
must improve my verbal Judo. 
must actively parkour/freerun.
must know Japanese and French. 
I must be a proficient rock climber.
must journal/express myself more. 
must continue metallurgy/’smithing research.  
must get more serious about my SH transition. (Those who know, 案内.) 
This list is all I did for Day 1, but I felt like I had done so much. More to come. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Minimalist Journey

Okay folks, sorry about the lapse, but I’m feeling good about getting started again. Thanks to my ever present Castor, over the past few months I’ve been gradually and increasingly being exposed to a concept called #minimalism. (which is thoroughly gone over here: ) During these months I’ve entered into a completely separate sort of personal transformation (which deserves it’s own bit of fleshing out and discussion).  Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that this minimalism thing and the utility, attitude, and freedom that it brings is completely worthy of me bringing into the fold of this new person I’m finally pulling out of myself… (Everyone’s been telling me all of my adult life that I need to come out of some “shell” that I’ve been consciously unaware of, so this phrasing seems appropriate.) 
With something like this, (as most things that are slightly important should be) if you’re going to do it, you have to do it whole-heartedly.  So last Monday I looked some things over on Minimalism while having a really good feeling day in some other ways that were also along some similar lines, and decided that the next day would be my Day 1 on the 21 Day Journey Into Minimalism. The majority of posts over these next 20ish days will be my chronicle of this experience. So far I’m enjoying it in many ways and looking forward to sharing. Details of this to come. —