Saturday, November 21, 2015

Holiday weight gain.

I keep hearing that the average person gains about 10 pounds during the holidays, so, since you asked so nicely and all, here's Apryl's tips for avoiding the Holiday-10.  Ready?

1.  Don't eat all the things.

You're welcome.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dining on What?

Eating out.  One of my favorite things to do.  Genuinely.  As much as I love to plan, and source for, amazing recipes and try new things, I seriously dig going out and being served an amazing meal.  I’m sure that love is primarily motivated by my lack of desire to clean up the kitchen!
If I could someone how combine my love of hiking with my love of fabulous cuisine… well let’s just say that’s a business plan I could totally get behind!  Maybe I should start a mobile food cart in which I travel around to the local hiking hot-spots and offer primal noms to replenish the soul.  Or at least the body!  So in a perfect world, here’s what someone would hand me at the trail head on a bright sunny day:
A chilled bottle of dry Riesling; cool, creamy sliced Havarti; cold green grapes and sliced mango; thin sliced English cucumbers; and to balance it off, several spicy, sliced radishes along with some jalapeno stuffed green olives.  Now doesn’t that sound like the most divine way to celebrate cresting that ridge?  Finding the top of that trail?  Exploring the woods and coming out on the other side into a gorgeous pool of sunlight?  Yeah.
Today’s witty quip:  Be sure to pack your corkscrew and plastic wine glasses in your trail pack, cuz you just never know when I might show up with a great bottle of wine and some primal delights with which to tantalize you!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Is Paleo Sustainable? Wellll....

Is the Paleo lifestyle sustainable?  I mean true Paleo.  Not the pseudo-Paleo lots of us wind up exercising.  True Paleo means NO alcohol or sugar.  I went Paleo 2 1/2 years ago and between that incredible change in diet and the 3-5 miles a day I was walking/jogging 6 days I week, I lost around 25 pounds in just a few months.  I kept it off too.  Until my sugar addiction coupled with an incredibly stressful job started my downward dog type food spiral.  I would start each day with plans to keep it Paleo.  Breakfast was typically a couple of poached cage free eggs, and some uncured bacon cooked with either sweet potatoes or broccoli slaw.  Lunch was some kind of meat/fish/fowl and veggies.  An apple and some almond butter for lunch.  Then I went home.  Sigh.  I would stick with a Paleo dinner of protein and veggies again but was also indulging in beer/wine/cocktails several days a week.  Oh and I forgot to mention the fresh baked cookies available at work every single afternoon at 2:00.  Sharp.  I’d like to say that I would just break one in half and enjoy it on occasion.  But I’d be lying.  I distinctly remember one day eating 5.  In a row.  In secret.  Because I was embarrassed.  I haven’t gotten this sugar demon, actually, this food demon, fully under control since.
Sadly, the above translates to the regaining of that 25 pounds I’d struggled to loose for most of my adult life.  I’m also not walking/jogging 3-5 miles, 6 days a week any longer.  I’ve found that my brain prefers to weight lift and my back prefers any activity that doesn’t involve pounding pavement for an hour at a time.
Today I practice what most call a Primal lifestyle.  I still don’t eat packaged food and if I’m honest, I’ll talk about how I tried to add back in cheese and regular use of heavy cream back into my diet.  My gut hated it (translation:  the gurgling and farting heard round the world.  Ok, at least heard at my local Trader Joes).  I still enjoy a good porter or stout or a glass of zinfandel once or twice a week but had to come to grips with the fact that it couldn’t be more than that.  It just doesn’t work with my body.  I still don’t do processed foods.  I do buy canned tomatoes and sauerkraut and I absolutely love the portability of Larabars and sardines or smoked oysters.  I still struggle with a sugar addiction that is almost as bad as my smoking addiction was for 20 years!  But, I hold out hope that I’ll get it under control.  I quit smoking 3 1/2 years ago and never looked back.  If I can do that, then surely I can kick sugar!
One thing I’m absolutely not is a food-nazi.  Well to a degree.  If I see margarine (aka one molecule away from literally being plastic) there’s a good chance I’ll loose my mind and break my rule of never offering unsolicited advice and fill you full of so much information you’ll probably never invite me over for dinner and a movie ever again.  But know this, I love you!  And I care!  And if you can’t pronounce it and you can’d define, why on earth would you eat it???

NOT a Dirty Word

I refuse to be one of those people who snarkily responds to the checkout chick at the local Target with a haughty “Merry CHRISTMAS” in response to their forced “happy holidays”.  I just won’t.  While it irritates me that the majority cowers to the minority, my becoming snotty and screaming at innocent people that they should see it MY way is no better than any of “them” who are mortally wounded by my use of the word Christmas.
At the risk of offending more of the perpetually offended I do choose to offer the following completely neutral observation:  Ummm “Christmas” is an official holiday.  Just like Kwanza.  Or Easter.  Or Valentine’s day.  Or Boxing day.  Or Halloween.  So that having been said, is it really so offensive to the Atheists that the rest of us celebrate a holiday by it’s given name?  Christians are not running amok insisting that Jewish folks stop celebrating Hanukkah.  Heck, anyone with even a modicum of history in his or her back pocket realizes that celebrating Columbus day is essentially a gigantic slap in the face and a flying middle finger to American Indians.  Soooo, again, why are we allowing the minority to dictate to the majority?
To that end, I offer this article.  Are we so caught up in the minutia that the idea of an Air Force officer encouraging his troops to participate in the gathering of Christmas gifts for under-privileged children that we’ve completely lost the forest for the trees?  Hell, I would submit that we’ve freaking torched that same forest.  At what point will we stand up to the perpetually offended?  It really is completely OK to have differing opinions!  It’s one of the things that sets our country apart.  Can we please get to a point were we stop screaming at each other and leave each other be?  Because frankly, if a child goes without a Christmas gift because some asshole doesn’t believe in God and is so mortally wounded at the thought of someone else celebrating a holiday that only in the loosest of terms actually bears any resemblance to Christianity, then I can’t think of a more selfish and entitled existence.  Shame on you.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I moved!


I'm back!  I didn't dig Wordpress as much as I thought I would so I'm back with Blogger.  Hang on, peeps, it's gonna get real up in herrr!

Cheers :)

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 +