Sunday, March 8, 2015

I moved!

Hey, hi Sophisticates!

I recently made the decision to move my blog over to Wordpress for the primary reason that they are in line with some of my goals and are better suited to where I'm wanting to go in the future of Sophisticated Primal.

Here is the link to the new blog... please head over and follow from there.

Thank you so much for the love and support!

Apryl :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

You do you.

Be the best version of you. You are beautiful. You are fierce. You are a warrior. Everything about you is amazing. That body that you sometimes hate on is working hard for you. It woke you up this morning, it's pumping blood through your limbs, it's working hard to process the food that you've eaten and to feed your muscles. It's keeping you moving with forward momentum.

If you're like me, your eye tends to be drawn to that part of your body that you hate the most. Today I encourage you to embrace that part and find all of the reasons why that body part is necessary for your day to day life. In my case I hate that I have a belly. However, I remind myself that that belly carried three tiny humans and I wouldn't trade them or give up my stretch marks for anything in the world.

Today I challenge you to do just a tiny bit better than yesterday. Small improvements, small steps forward, tiny changes in attitude and how you look at yourself are all bits of progress! Today I suggest you take a moment and journal about your body. Find something to love. Put it on a sticky note and hang it on your mirror. You are so incredibly worth the effort!

Today's witty quip: You are maaaaahhhh-velous, dahling! Simply maaaaahhh-velous!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

No. I'm NOT pregnant...

No.  I'm NOT pregnant...

That got your attention didn't it?!?  One of the things I've always struggled with is waking up each morning with a flat-ish stomach and going to bed each night looking like I'm six months in.  When I changed to a Paleo/Primal diet two years ago, much of that dissipated.  As time has gone on and I've allowed myself more "treats" like baked goods, foods fried in unhealthy fats, wine, and the occasional beer, I've discovered that I'm back to the same type of problem.  Until recently.

Not long ago I listened to a podcast hosted by Chalene Johnson in which she featured Primal guru Mark Sisson from Mark's Daily Apple blog fame.  I've been a fan of Mark's for some time but didn't catch that he eats on a more compressed diet.  Not "diet" as in "I'm restricting myself" but "diet" as in "my diet consists of...".  Clear as mud?  He eats within an 8 hour window.  He feels better when he practices that style of eating.  Intrigued, I did a little research and came across the 8 Hour Abs Diet by Melissa Mcallister.  She eats a primal diet but also does so within an 8 hour window.

Being the researcher that I tend to be, I thought I'd give it a try.  I'm rarely hungry first thing in the morning anyway so it didn't seem like much of a sacrifice.  Here's my results after a week and a half:

*Very satisfied with my 11:00 am meal (I have had no off switch for hunger most of my life, this style of eating seems to have fixed that problem)

*More satiated between meals (not necessarily ready to eat my own arm before I get home for dinner)

*More energy and less lethargy throughout my day (desk job... ugh)

*Less obsessing on what and when I'm going to eat next

*Belly is shrinking (as long as I stay away from baked goods and beer!)  I'm looking less like I'm 6 months pregnant at the end of the day.  This is a huge thing!

Here's what my typical meals for the day look like:

Meal 1:  6 oz. minimally processed roast beef or turkey, an avocado, a small apple, cucumbers, carrots, and/or tomatoes.

Snack:  small handful raw almonds or a Larabar (only if I'm actually hungry though)

Meal 2:  large handful of some kind of meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, either stir-fried with lots of veggies, my favorite sugar free seasonings, in either coconut oil or grass fed butter or served with lots of roasted veggies.

And there you have it!  I've included the links below to both of the folks I referenced above.  If you've never considered compressed eating (also known as intermittent fasting), try it for a couple of weeks.  I would love to hear about your experiences!

Witty quip of the day:  If you can't see a baby's head actually sticking out of the nether-regions of the woman you're looking at, do NOT ask her when she's due!  Your welcome.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Apples and corn and pineapples... oh my!

Ever heard of the "dirty dozen"?  How about the "clean 15"?  According to Environmental Working Group the dirty dozen is a list of twelve of the produce items we eat on a regular basis that test highest for pesticides.  The clean 15, in contrast, test lowest.  When I went paleo/primal two years ago, I became obsessed with all things organic.  Two years and untold dollars later, I've realized that I can actually continue to shop at my local grocery store instead of hitting Whole Foods, Trader Joes, the local farmer's market, and various produce stands every single week.  Who has time for all of that?  I prefer to spend my time planning meals that are comprised of easily sourced ingredients and don't require blind monks to have tended crops fed with the manure of virgin cows raised in the holy lands having never seen the light of day.  Turns out I can purchase organic options of the dirty dozen which are readily available at my neighborhood grocery store and save a ton of money and headache by lightening up and buying conventional from the clean 15 list.

PS... I still recommend grass fed beef and pastured pork and chicken if at all possible.  If not, then buy the leanest cuts you can and remove the skin.  See.  Now wasn't that easy?

Witty quip of the day:  Ummm... you gonna eat that?  "Napoleon.  Give me some of your tots!", for you nerds out there.

Read the report here:


EWG's 2015 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

1EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


2EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet Corn

3EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


4EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


5EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet peas frozen

6EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


7EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


8EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


9EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


10EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


11EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


12EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


13EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


14EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


15EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet potatoes


EWG's 2015 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

1EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


2EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


3EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


4EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


5EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


6EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


7EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


8EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Sweet bell peppers

9EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


10EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Cherry tomatoes

11EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Snap peas - imported

12EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists


+EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Hot Peppers +

+EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

Kale / Collard greens +

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New topics, new direction

Hello my lovlies!  Very, very long time no chat.  First, my sincerest of apologies for falling by the wayside of so many blogs in the blogger-verse and failing to continue my quest for world domination.  OK, that's a stretch.  How about I'm sorry for failing to continue to share that which I find funny/interesting/crazy in every day life?

March 1st, 2013 marked the first day of the rest of my life.  Cliche?  Perhaps.  Nonetheless, it was the day I officially started a Whole 30 challenge.  Not familiar with the concept?  I'll include a link at the bottom of this post.  From that (very successful) challenge was born an intense desire to continue to eat clean.  I've been living a Paleo lifestyle (no, its not a diet!) since then and have begun to see some terrific outcomes!  Without sugar in my diet, the joint pain due to arthritis that I've been living with for several years now, has almost completely disappeared.  The gastrointestinal issues are beginning to lessen.  My energy is up.  Add to this the fact that I'm down 15 pounds and over a full pant size, you could say this has been a success!

So many people have asked what "diet" I'm on.  When I respond that I'm not, I eat a very clean diet and exercise almost every day they look crestfallen.  Seriously.  We as a society are so convinced that there must be a magic pill for everything that the idea of "eat clean and train dirty" is almost offensive.  I can live with that!  I feel great.  I eat what I want, when I want.  I simply don't want to eat preservatives or garbage or unpronounceable ingredients.  I shop the perimeter of the store.  I eat more veggies than a bunny and more lean meat/fish/chicken than a cave-woman   I don't obsess about calories nor do I obsess about working out.  I do what feels good, and what feels good is to MOVE my butt!  Regularly.  Oh, and yes, I do indulge in a glass or two of wine.  Just not every day.

So there you have it.  My "magic" solution for weight loss and energy... now get off your hineys and move it! 

Tip of the day:  if you can't define it, for the love of God, don't eat it!

Here's the Whole 30 link:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Moments With Your Teenager

In light of the fact that I'm down to my last teenager still in the house, I present today's "10" list with my nearly 15 year old male offspring in mind.  Please, please, please... DO try these things at home.

1.  In order to further my evil plot of teen domination, I hereby decree that ALL forms food and drink shall remain in either the kitchen or dining room and that you shall refrain from sneaking it to your room after you believe your parental units have gone to sleep.

2.  I promise to have the audacity to question, whenever I deem necessary, with whom you are texting at 2:00 in the morning.  Please be prepared with a verbal answer as opposed to the typical blank stare, or more recently, the not-entirely-concealed sneer.

3.  Chores.  Ah the infamous "C" word.  One would think that with the mere mention of this word that the teen's parents had just asked them to sever a limb.  See the above not-entirely-concealed sneer.

4.  Homework.  Much like the "C" word, homework has become an obscene word as well.  My teen has perfected the "look me in the eye and smile" whilst crossing fingers behind the back in hopes that I won't find out that really homework DOES exist in High School.

5.  Recently, I informed my teenage son that he would henceforth be responsible for doing his own laundry.  At first he was kind of excited as I think he envisioned having what he wanted to wear available anytime he so chose.  Then he realized that actually involved the act of washing said clothing.  I promise not to laugh.  Anymore.  Maybe.

6.  I vacillate between, "eat what I make or don't eat at all" and "make what you want because you clearly aren't going to die of malnutrition since you've survived this long on hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apples".  Matter of fact, I think I kind of like the knowledge that no one in my house will starve if I don't cook.  Carry on!

7.  Do you suppose that the teenagers among us sleep during the day and play at night purely to keep us from seeing what they're up to?  This is my supposition...

8.  This is not your room!  Said about 100 times a day as I walk through my home and find his various and sundry stuff spread hither and yon like so much trash upon my floors.

9.  I wasn't speaking to you.  I was speaking to your father.  Stop asking questions about a conversation you weren't involved it!  Eavesdropping, look it up!

10. No you may NOT drive my car!  We will possibly revisit this IF and when you get your permit...

Today's witty quip:  No, really, no need to thank me.  As always, I'm a helper and a giver.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Little Lies defines a lie as: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. What lies do we tell ourselves? I'm not asking about the little white lies we tell others in order to spare their feelings, I'm asking us to look at the lies we tell ourselves. The half-truths, the purposeful misnomers, the deliberate and willful times we poke our heads in the sand and pretend we don't know the truth.

Calories consumed while on vacation don't count, right? If I futz my way through this workout, no one will know. I'm too fat, too skinny, too old, too young, too smart, not nearly smart enough, not witty, too smart-alecky, I'm boring, I'm too loud, I'm not loud enough... and on and on and on. And yet I wonder. Why do you suppose we tell ourselves these lies and probably more and refuse to look at ourselves through the eyes of God? My bible tells me that Christ took everything that we could possibly have done to the cross with Him. That His death and resurrection rendered it unnecessary for us to indulge in self-loathing. According to the book of James, faith without works, is dead yet it doesn't say that in order to show truth faith we must revile ourselves on a regular basis. I believe with every ounce of my soul that when we hate ourselves, we are blatantly telling God that He's wrong to love us. That He's made a mistake. That despite sending His Son to be tortured and murdered in our stead, it wasn't enough. That leaves a mighty acidic taste in this gal's mouth.

No, that doesn't mean that magically my dimpled backside is suddenly worthy of prominent display. What it means to me is that I get to thank God each and every day for all that He designed me to be. God doesn't make mistakes. Ever.

Witty quip of the day: I maintain that calories eaten while standing up work in reverse...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My cousin, affectionately known as "The Tiz", writes frequent Facebook posts entitled "Gym Etiquette with The Tiz" and occasional posts regarding other societal etiquette that seem to have been lost in translation somewhere.  Recently he wrote a post about driving etiquette and fancifully, this morning's news included a story about the University of Iowa and their studies involving driver safety.  Now one might not immediately make the connection between driver etiquette and driver safety, but in this rat race that we all endeavor to run each day, I see the parallels quite consistently.  Emily Post said, "To do exactly as your neighbors do is the only sensible rule."  I, however, must respectfully disagree with Ms. Post.  If we are to do as our neighbors do then it follows that I should, while driving; take photos with my nifty iPhone, send texts, read emails, apply mascara or maybe lipstick, utilize an electric razor, futz with my GPS, turn around in my seat to yell the age old idiom "don't make me stop this car!", eat 3 course meal, spill my recently purchased hot coffee in my lap whereupon I'll sue McDonald's for failing to divulge that said recently purchased hot coffee was in fact, HOT, have animated shouting matches with my passenger, or perhaps even assist with a live birth of puppies.  OK, that last one might have been a bit of a stretch, but who among you can honestly say that you haven't witnessed most, if not all, of the above while driving?

The Tiz wrote about the merits of treating merging onto the freeway as if one were operating a zipper.  First one car from the first lane, then one car from the second lane, then another from the first lane, followed by another from the second lane.  Not entirely a foreign concept to most and yet, much like The Tiz, I myself have witnessed drivers who simply refuse to be delegated to the rear of ANY line.  Riding bumper to bumper as if their very lives depend upon not allowing one solitary vehicle to merge in front of them.  Seriously, who are these people?  In what universe does one get to one's destination more than perhaps a millisecond faster by being a complete and total moron and refusing to allow a peaceful merge to transpire in their presence?

And so, Tiz, you can add The Sophisticated Girl amongst your followers who shake our collective heads in disgust.  I for one, choose NOT to behave as my neighbor behaves in this and frankly, most instances and instead will try to live by the age old adage to treat my neighbor as I myself would like to be treated.

Witty quip of the day:  "It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road."  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Surrender defines "surrender" as:  to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

If you've ever been involved in any sort of 12 step group, you'll find that step 3 states:  "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him."  If, like me, you prefer to feel in control of your own life, you probably find the concept of surrendering rather distasteful.  The very word "surrender" tends to conjure images of soldiers on a battle field, lifting a white flag, handing over their freedom and lives to an enemy.  Or perhaps you envision the giving away of your own freedom when you consider surrendering to anyone.  

James 3:17 says:  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 

Perhaps the lesson in the scripture is that the surrendering of our will to God isn't at all distasteful.  Perhaps in that act of obedience we can finally realize that if God is in control we don't have to be.  Perhaps not having to be in control of all things at all times, could lift an anvil sized weight off of our collectively hunched shoulders.

Sort of like the 5 levels of grief, I've come up with the 8 levels of surrendering "it" to God:

1.  YOU can have it!  (said through clenched teeth, knowing full well that we'll take back whatever "it" is the moment it rears it's ugly head)

2.  You can have it... (said shyly, after realizing that we've taken "it" back, yet again)

3.  You CAN have it!  (said with enthusiasm, once we've decided that we in fact, DON'T want "it" back)

4.  YOU TAKE IT!  (said with tears of frustration when we've realized we've inadvertently allowed "it" to be in control yet again)

5.  You still have it, right?  (said when doubt rises up in the pits of our stomachs)

6.  You DO still have it!  (said with a smile, when something or someone reminds us that we don't have to be in charge)

7.  Ummm, God?  I think I took it back again.  (said a bit sheepishly when our controlling selves stepped in again)

8.  Whew!  I'm sure glad I don't have it anymore.  (said with a smile while sharing your story with another)

Not my usual light-hearted, find the humor in life, fare, but perhaps a bit of self actualization.  Hope ya'll don't mind too much :).

Witty quip of the day:  I give, I yield, I surrender, I submit... Uncle!!!  Try it.  It's actually quite freeing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pink Frosting

I have a problem.  Whew!  I admitted it!  That's step one right?  No, it's not what you're thinking.  I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I'm not a closet gambler or even a hoarder.  Admittedly, I have a tiny OCD-ish tendency with regards to my pantry and towels hanging evenly, but really it's not a problem (just ask my hubby and kids).  No, the problem that I've recently had to admit to is pink frosting.  I can't do it.  I simply cannot force myself to eat something covered in pink frosting.  It immediately causes the gag reflex to go into overdrive.

A few weeks ago I attended the birthday party of a friend's granddaughter.  My friend's daughter handmade the most adorable little piggy cupcakes much like those in the picture here.  They were so cute and they were handmade, which in my world translates to super yummy!  Except...  Pink frosting.  I kept going back to the tray intending to savor just one of those little confections and then I'd walk away trying not to allow everyone else in attendance watch my personal struggle.  I left that day having to acknowledge that I've got a problem.  With pink frosting.  I'm not kidding.  Do you suppose there's a support group for those with an aversion to unnaturally colored foods?  Did I mention I also struggle with blue M&M's?  Not the yellow, not the green, just the blue.

What bizarre food issues do you have?  Can you admit to an issue that no one else within your scope of friends and family suffers from?  Do you gag a little at the thought of something that most people love crossing your very discerning lips?  Let's chat...