Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paleo Baked Diced Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Recipe

I've been cooking a whole bunch of delicious Paleo food at my family reunion in North Carolina. 

It's given me a great chance to share what I've been doing with my relatives (many of whom are surprised to see me in the kitchen!) and to work on some new recipes with my dad. Just one year ago I weighed about 100 lbs more and was just getting ready to embark on my quest for weight loss and wellness while I was here with my family. I think they're all pretty shocked at the change but everyone has been very supportive and encouraging. To give you an idea, here's a picture from last year.


Aside from helping me map out and film my 20k run (which I'll report on soon!), Dad did a lot of shopping to make sure I had all sorts ingredients at the ready so I could stay on track this week. As a caterer he often has a lot of great ideas to liven up my dishes. In honor of Lord Caldephron (his D&D Druid alter ego) and his much appreciated assistance, today's recipe deals with a new way to enjoy sweet potatoes (my very favorite tuber treat!). It's a great side or even a tasty desert depending on how you look at it. So without further ado, here's the recipe for:

Caldephron's Roll for Crit Diced Sweet Potatoes


  • Sweet potatoes (About 1/2 lb per person you're cooking for. For one person, I tend to use one hand sized sweet potato)
  • Fresh Ground Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ground Cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel or not according to preference. If you are not peeling, give into the dark side and scrub sweet spuds aggressively. 
  3. Cut into approximately 1.5 inch cubes.
  4. Spray an oven safe baking dish with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray and deposit your sweet potatoes.
  5. Fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Carefully sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon evenly across the potatoes. 
  7. Drizzle a teaspoon (per potato used) of extra virgin olive oil on the seasoned potatoes and toss the cubes till they are all glistening and coated evenly.
  8. Put baking dish into the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove baking dish and re-toss potatoes. 
  10. Put baking dish back into the oven for 10 minutes. 
  11. Remove from oven and serve like a boss!
Note: You may need to adjust your cooking times based on how thick your potato cubes end up being. Stick a knife in after the first round in the oven and you can adjust time more or less based on whether they seem cooked through.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Plane Paleo

On Saturday I flew down to North Carolina for my family reunion. As I prepared for a day of travel, I began to worry about how I would make it all the way from my early morning flight until dinner while sticking to a Paleo diet and contending with not being able to take food from my house with me on the airplane.

I had done extensive preplanning for what I'd be eating at the actual reunion and my dad had picked up all my usual cooking stuff so I knew I'd have everything I needed at my disposal once I actually got there. However, I did not spend any time thinking about my days of travel, so I just had to fly by the seat of my pants and make it work.

Initially, things worked pretty well! To my surprise, I found that they sold hard boiled eggs and some nice berries at LaGuardia. 

My only issue was that they used some sort of resin to coat the eggs to help preserve them for longer so peeling off the shells was a brutal process that resulted in them looking like they had been through the battle of Serenity Valley.

Eggs are still eggs even if they've been through hell and back, so I was golden up for the time being. 

Things took a turn for the worse in the Charlotte airport. I wanted something more substantial since I knew I'd have to make it from lunch till dinner which was an eternity away, waiting in the mountains lost in the middle of nowhere. I desired meat of some kind, but I didn't have a long enough layover for a sit-down meal so I scrapped that protein dream and frantically searched the stores on the concourses for something- anything- Paleo and filling- that I could eat. 

Not one sold raw cashews. Everything was roasted in peanut oil. All of the dried fruit had extra sugar added or yogurt covered "somethings" in the mixture. It just goes to show you. Always read the ingredients. You might think that you're eating on plan but there could be all kinds of preservatives or things you want to avoid if you're not careful to check beforehand.

I couldn't find one smoothie place that would make me a smoothie with JUST FRUIT. They all insisted on including yogurt, frozen yogurt, or some kind of juice from concentrate. All of the salads included croutons, cheese, or dressings I couldn't have- or all of the above. I couldn't seem to catch a break.

The whole experience really impressed upon me the idea that it is nearly impossible to get raw real food in these kinds of situations unless you have the time and money to sit down at a restaurant and order carefully or the ability to pack everything beforehand. Personally, I always balk at trying to get food through security because I worry they'll take it from me. The only option I felt I had was to grab some more fruit and hold out till dinner, which was rough. 

Obviously I made it or I wouldn't be telling you all my tale of Paleo woe, but sadly, I'm just going to have to conclude that cavewomen just weren't meant to fly. This is the first time that I've ever been TRULY frustrated by the Paleo lifestyle and I certainly don't fly every day so it's not a huge deal, but it was definitely a struggle. If you're Paleo or Primal and you travel a lot, I'd love to get some advice for the future and I'm sure other readers would too! Please leave any suggestions in the comments!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 20k: Challenge Accepted

A week ago I did something crazy and I asked my readers via Facebook and Twitter what I should do should I receive the immeasurable honor of getting 20,000 unique views on the blog. This happened.

It was all fun an games until you guys were crazy enough to keep reading this darn blog! Last week I I did pass 20k unique views on the page and then I was at an impasse. Should I accept the challenge? If I did, would I even be capable of completing it? 

Honestly, it seemed like a terrible and possibly dangerous idea at first, but I'm not one to back down from a challenge and the gauntlet had been thrown down pretty publicly and definitively. 

The most I've ever run is just under five miles. I didn't feel like I had to stop at the end of that, I was just under time constraints and at my current speed, that was about a 45 minute workout. This challenge will be a serious event. I've done a little research into it just to make sure I'm not agreeing to something that will kill me and I'm fairly confident that if I don't worry about speed, but just worry about continuing to jog/run without stopping, that I'll make it through relatively unscathed. 

I'm not one for signing up for actual running events. I'm not competitive with anyone but myself. I can measure and track my distance on my phone. Plus, I don't really see the point in spending money to enter an event and run. Obviously, there are some great fundraising events out there and that's wonderful. I just don't have a lot of money to burn and if I'm going to raise money for something, it's probably going to be a creative venture. I have a lot of friends who love these things and maybe one day I'll sign up for one, but for now I'm really way happier just doing my own thing.

So that creates an issue. If a runner runs a 20k to escape from zombies without any witnesses, does it count? Well, dear readers, if I'm going to run this thing, I sure as hell want it to count! That's why I'm employing the help of my father to film the whole thing and coach/antagonize me for your amusement. He'll be either biking a driving along with me (we're not sure which yet!). The details are going to be worked out when we get to North Carolina for our yearly family reunion and I'll be running the 20k sometime midweek. 

So yeah! Look what you made me do, people! I'm really nervous, but I'm excited to complete the task and on an emotional level, I could really use some "achievement unlocked" endorphins to encourage me to stay on track. Ugh. This is going to suck in the best way. Once I have the video edited, I'll put it up on the blog for you guys to enjoy! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Some: Learning The Art of Moderation

I have a really hard time with moderation. I get addicted to awesome things really easily. Sue me. It's been an issue my entire life. I lived and breathed Star Wars and musical theater growing up. I was so obsessed with that stuff that I probably wouldn't have had time to be obsessed with video games too. I was too busy creating "dream" ballets to John William's score followed by nightly sing alongs to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Eventually, I did manage to get addicted to video games. MMO's were my biggest weakness- the sense of achievement, the teamwork, the far flung adventures in awe inspiring landscapes filled with rich lore- it was an absolute siren song sung in pixels. They made it easy to escape into an imaginary world where my daring heroics and skill in combat melted my real problems into nothing.

Well, that was the case as long as I stayed logged in. Once I logged out, I had to face a very different reality- one in which I was extremely sedentary and uncomfortably overweight with an appallingly low self image.

One of the biggest factors in my quest for better health was that when I first started my diet/work out regimen, I completely eliminated video games because I know that once I start, I don't stop and I didn't want to let their "derailing" quality keep me from making good on my promise to myself to adopt new habits.

About three or four months into my journey, Guild Wars 2 came out and all my friends were rabidly devouring its content. I decided that given my good behavior, I would buy it and give it a try. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but playing this game was the first time that something felt off. I just couldn't get into the same flow I used to hit. The achievements and leveling were nice, but not as satisfying as they once were. After a few months, I completely lost interest.

Then along came my beautiful new desktop computer and my gal bladder surgery. Finally, I had an excuse to sit down and sink my teeth into Skyrim. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful game with a huge amount of scope, but I found I could only play for a few hours before I just had to step away. I never used to get that feeling. I used to have to tear myself away from the screen.

The more active and healthy I got, the less I could stomach just sitting still in front of the computer for hours on end. In a way, I shouldn't complain because it's probably a good thing that I don't feel able to "binge-game" anymore. However, this issue has escalated to a new level.

I think I'm developing an odd aversion to playing video games at all.
Photo credit:
It hit me around the time I went to PAX East this past year. I realized that I barely knew about or had any interest in any of the games on the show floor. I used to be in the know about all the new releases and always had my eye on the next game I wanted to try. This year, there were only one or two games I even remotely cared about.

On that same trip, my friend Kenny mentioned that he was really happy for me when it came to my success with weight loss but that he missed gaming with me. It made me really think about the last time I'd played a video game. Part of me felt like my very geekitude was being brought into question and I was sort of offended, but there was truth in what he'd said. I'd played Castle Crashers with my boyfriend and I'd watched him play through Spec Ops and a few other things, but I hadn't been in control of an immersive gaming experience in almost six months at that point. I hadn't even played through some of the downloadable content for some of my favorite titles.

No problem, I thought to myself. I'll pick up Skyrim again when I get home.

Only I didn't.  

Believe me, I tried. I've literally sat down at my computer ready for a gaming bender with my mouse poised over the program launcher, but I'll find any reason not to select it. 

I have to work on cosplay.
I have to do my cooking for the week.
I have to clean my room.
I have to write my blog.
I have to check my social media sites.
I have to make notes on my web series.
I have to feed my cat (I don't have a cat, but damn it, I'll make that excuse anyways). 

While I was making these excuses, my Blizzard account got hacked and stollen and I still haven't gotten it back. I don't want to lose it. I feel protective of my countless World of Warcraft toons, 60,000 gold,  and my Diablo III Monk, but something is keeping me from going after the crooks who took it. I might think panda monks are lame, but I still want the opportunity to play one if I want! 

Recently, I adopted a Primal diet- something I'd resisted forever and a day because I just didn't understand how not calorie counting and using your "best judgement" to limit your intake of grains, dairy, and legumes (which are completely prohibited by the Paleo diet) could ever work. I googled it a billion times to see exactly how much of those items were allowed. Everything just said "some." I asked people who followed a Primal lifestyle, "How much is some?"

"However much you feel is appropriate for you," They'd respond. 

"WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN! HOW IS THAT HELPFUL?" I collapsed in on myself like a dying star. 

I was looking for structure and exactitude, which had been a huge part of following the Nutrisystem guidelines, but which also was driving me slowly insane. 

Imagine counting every calorie you put in your body religiously for a whole year. Imagine fretting about whether or not you've burned enough for the day and worrying about when you're going to fit in the early morning workout or whether you should go out with your friends because they're going for ice cream after the activity. It's grueling and sometimes lonely. It's totally necessary to go through the process when you're teaching yourself a new way to live, but it can go too far. 

In practice, while I fully intended on living Primal, I've actually ended up living Paleo partially because I can't take the pressure of "some," but also because I'm finding that I do have a bit of a gluten allergy (CURSE YOU AND YOUR SUDDEN BUT INEVITABLE BETRAYAL, BAKED GOODS) and maybe a little lactose intolerance too (/cry Icecream).  I am getting used to this whole "controlling your own sense of moderation thing" in terms of realizing when I'm full so that I stop eating. I've been limiting nuts, sweet potatoes, and fruit since I am still working on weight loss, so those are the only items I measure or weigh when I consume them. I will say that being full all the time has drastically improved my moods and not having to log everything I put in my mouth every day has really taken some of the pressure off. To me, it's worth eschewing those three food groups because I got my sanity back.

Yet, there are free days every so often where I go a little wild. I eat some ice cream or pizza. I have a piece of candy and BANG. The rest of that 24 hour period is cats and dogs, living together, mass hysteria... in my mouth.

That's what she said.

What I'm trying to say is that because I've spent the last year taking control of every aspect of my life that was in excess, I'm now finding it hard to enjoy "some" of the things that I still want to keep in my life without letting them take over my life. 

With all this swimming around in my head, it dawned on me the other day that the reason I haven't been able to sit down and become immersed in a video game is that I'm terrified that I'll actually do it or even worse, I'll do it forever and lose all the progress I've made! I wish this was one of those blog entries with a wonderful solution all locked up in a pretty blue Tardis, but it's not. I'm still figuring this out. If it were as easy as, "I don't really want to game anymore" or "I could die happy if I never ate chocolate again," the problem would be solved, but life isn't that easy. Sadly we don't just get ourselves addicted to stuff that's not only awesome, but awesome for us. We all have to contend with "some" things that are only good for us in moderation. 

I'm haven't been completely unsuccessful at moderating my behavior. My free days are planned. I set them ahead of time and when they're over, they don't hang around (and despite being truly overindulgent 24 hour affairs. My only rule for now is that I stop eating if I feel sick or the food stops tasting like anything). I've adopted a Paleo diet so that I can stay sanely moderated most of the time without having to do so much math. I've found an exercise routine that I like (so I don't give up on it) and that I can vary in case of bad weather or a weirdly scheduled day. I make sure I have one or two days of rest a week so that I don't put too much pressure on myself or my body. I downloaded Star Trek Online because it was free and I was hoping that my new love of Star Trek would help me get into it. I started playing the new Tomb Raider with my room mate (we trade the controller after each failed quicktime event). I've only managed about 3 hours of game time in the last week, but at least it's something. This is all progress, but I'm still not where I'd ultimately like to be. I want to enjoy things that I love without fearing them or stressing out over them.

So, I'm putting this question out there to all of you! How do you moderate your food, gaming, hobby, passions while remaining on track? Obviously willpower is the biggest factor, but I know you guys are smart! I KNOW YOU HAVE SECRETS. Please don't tell me the Princess is in another castle. I know if we put our heads together we can think of some great ways to moderate our behavior without having a personality where fun goes to die. 

So while you do my work for me and start answering that question, I'm going to go sit in front of my awesome customized gaming computer and try to get myself to launch Skyrim because it's my day off, I'm sick, it's raining, and I deserve a little R & R after the long week I've had. I'll let you know how far I get.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paleo Burger Salad Recipe

Ever get that hankering for a burger? I know I do. Now that I've adopted a more Paleo/Primal lifestyle, I don't indulge in the works with the bun and the ketchup with fries on the side.

For me, it's the meat that matters.

Yet, just a burger patty alone seems sort of lame, so last night I experimented a bit. I though, why not top the burger with a bunch of sautéed veggies and it just exploded from there. What I ended up with was a home made burger patty surrounded by sautéed carrots, red pepper, mushrooms, onions and cabbage on a bed of spring lettuces and dressed with balsamic vinegar. It was so delicious and it's the first "found object" recipe I've ever come up with. Don't worry. I'm not as bad as Vork from The Guild. I only used found FOOD in my kitchen since I didn't have any sort of planned recipe for dinner. Putting the whole thing together made me feel like an evil genius! Sorta like this guy:

I know. This is two Doctor Horrible themed blog entries in a row.

One "found object," the actual burger patty, I had made using a great recipe that I can't take credit for. It's from Catspaw over at Nerd Fitness and this is the recipe I use for my "weekly supply of ground beef" that I use to amplify quick dishes with a good serving of meat.

Here's the recipe as it was shared on the NF blog. Keep in mind, this is to make a week's worth, so either plan a Burger salad dinner party, or scale this down for however many you want to make.

Or you can buy/make your own! Totally up to you. I just find this recipe super yumz. So without further ado, here's:

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Burger Salad
(singing optional but encouraged)

  • 1 burger patty
  • Baby Romaine or Spring Blend pre-washed lettuce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Mushrooms
  • Red pepper 
  • 1/2 yellow onion 
  • Cabbage slaw 
  • Carrots
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Cooking spray.
  1. Plate your bed of lettuce.
  2. Cut up all your other veggies and set them aside in a bowl. 
  3. Season them with a few shakes of salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and mix thoroughly so that it looks evenly distributed.
  4. Cook up the burger patty to your desired level of done-ness in a frying pan. I tend to do about 3-4 minutes on each side for a medium rare burger. 
  5. Set your finished cooked burger in the center of your plate of lettuce.
  6. Use the same pan that you used for your burger and coat the bottom with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or use cooking spray to mist the bottom of the pan if you're being really frugal about the extra fat.
  7. Toss in your seasoned veggies. More experienced chefs might have better ideas about an "order" in which to add the veggies so that everything cooks perfectly. Me, I just toss everything in together and it seems to work out fine. 
  8. Make sure you return to your pan regularly to mix up the veggies so that the ones on the bottom don't burn. I like to do this on medium heat for about ten minutes until my mushrooms have browned a bit and the onions, cabbage, and carrots have softened. You can always taste along the way if you're unsure how you like them.
  9. When you're done, surround your burger with a ring of your sautéed veggies. 
  10. Dress the dish with balsamic vinegar.
Let me know if you try this recipe or if you have any other ideas to spice it up! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Top 5 Cramp Cures

This was me almost every night after a run when I first started. Every night in bed, when I would straighten out my leg to stretch or roll over, BAM. The worst charlie horses the world has known descended upon me to break my slumber. It wasn't just once or twice, it was every time. Even when I got on my knees to clean under my bed, I got an unpleasant attack. As soon as the top of my foot was pressed against the floor, there it was; the most twisted, gnarled foot/calf cramp in the land.

The issue was completely brutal. I began to think, who could be behind these CLEARLY evil shenanigans. WHY WHO OTHER than the owner of a terrifying death whinny and apparent purveyor of non-stop crampitude?!


This appeared as a moral dilemma, cause at first it was weird, though I swore to eliminate the worst of the cramps that devoured my sanity. It's true I was vague on the how, so how can it be that you have shown me the light? It's a brand new day, and the sun is high, and the cramps are sayin' that I'm gonna die. First I hesitated. Now I wonder why. It's a brand new day.

See what I did there? At first I thought, "This is my body adjusting to my new running regimen," but when the problem didn't go away, I decided to do something about it. I assumed the mantle of NURSE TERRIBLE and began to look for cures. Following my research, I assembled this list of 5 things/products that have given me some comfort and have definitely helped me reduce this issue significantly. I'm not sure I've eliminated Bad Horse and the Evil League of Evil, but I'm pretty sure I've chased them into hiding.

...For now. MWAHAHAHAHAHA... AHAH HA HA, HUH HA! ...So that's, you know. Coming along.

Without further ado, here's the list of my top five cramp cures;
  1. Drink Water: One of the most common causes of cramps is dehydration! Make sure you're getting at least 64 oz of water per day.
  2. Potassium: A potassium deficiency is one of the leading causes of the common cramp. After a hard workout, I've started eating a banana after I get home and shower. It's delicious and it not only helps with cramps but they're said to alleviate muscle soreness overall. Diet wise, they are very sugary, so I don't recommend chowing down on them non-stop, but one a day or even every other day can be very good for you. 
  3. Mineral Ice: Bad Horse might actually know about this one, so keep it on the D.L.! I got this recommendation from a friend who rides horses. Apparently this is a product that's used for our equine friends (or NEMESES), but is just as useful for us. You can slather this on your legs after a run and then leave it on for about half an hour to get some relief. I will say that this stuff is pretty greasy so make sure you use saran wrap or you'll get it all over everything as you go about your business. I was doubtful since this is something you do for horses, but it did actually provide some relief despite being a bit of a mess.
  4. Icy Hot: You can easily pick this up at any drug store. I prefer the non-greasy balm and stick approach. I like to keep the stick in my purse in case I need some on-the-go relief.
  5. Yoga: It's important to stretch and some nice Hatha yoga will often do the trick. Focus on deepening all the stretches as much as you can and breathing into the areas that seem tight. Take your time. It might not have a huge affect right away when it comes to cramp reduction (it's not like I'm going to get out of bed and start doing a sun salutation every time Bad Horse comes to call!), but it's a very good habit to adopt into your workout routine and will help keep your calves from seizing up quite so much.
If I missed your favorite cramp cure, then please feel free to add it in the comments!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baked Eggs in an Avocado Recipe

My new favorite thing is baking eggs in avocados. I learned about this idea from a friend on the Nerd Fitness forums. I've posted a few pictures on Facebook of my delicacies and every time I make one of these things, I get a real "bigger on the inside" vibe. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Once you get the egg in there, you can top it with anything that strikes your fancy, so break out your favorite wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey bits and get to the kitchen for this delicious Paleo treat! So without further ado, I give you my recipe for:

Baked Eggs in an Avocado Tardis

Serves: 1


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Any toppings you choose (cooked ground beef, bacon, tomato, pepper, onions, etc. Use your imagination!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice an avocado in half and remove the pit.
  3. Scoop out a little extra avocado to make more room for the eggs. There will be SOME overflow but you don't want most of the whites to go to waste.
  4. Create a "bowl" out of aluminum foil and place your avocado halves inside. Set it on a baking sheet.
  5. Crack two eggs into the hollows of the avocados.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste!
  7. Add your toppings.
  8. Put your avocado in the oven for 20-25 minutes (till the eggs reach your desired level of firmness).
  9. Plate your avocado Tardis halves and devour them! They make the perfect paleo companion for any Doctor Who episode!

Monday, June 3, 2013

10 Ways to Get Back On Track with Your Diet

So many people fall off the diet wagon and give up completely. 

Think about the first time you were faced with the "Game Over" screen. Did you rage quit and never pick up the controller again? If you're like me, you said to yourself, "Ef this, I'm gonna win this thing!" Then you restarted the level. So why should your diet be any different? Sure, "losing" at your diet can be just so damn DELICIOUS whereas losing in a video game results in rage mode, but in the end it's all the same. You set a goal. You worked hard at it and you fell short. It doesn't mean the goal goes away. It's still there waiting for you. All you have to do is press reset.

For some reason that "reset button" is really hard to push when it comes to diets. Everything is a choice and the more you practice moving back and forth between planned indulgence and healthy choices, the easier it is to return to your diet. Getting back on track is a mental muscle and it's just as important as any that you'll flex in the gym. 

So many people tell me they're "all or nothing," and I definitely struggled with that for a long time. I was either 100% perfect or I utterly fell apart and just destroyed myself with bad choices. It's impossible to keep the "all or nothing" attitude up forever. It's time to accept your humanity. 

Newsflash: YOU ARE IMPERFECT. Le gasp!

At some point you're going to slip or just really want a cupcake. It all comes down to a choice. How you handle what follows that choice that will determine how successful you are with your weight loss. 

So, what I've decided to do is give you my ten tips for getting back on track with your diet. Hopefully this will make that reset button a little easier to push.

  1. Assess: Why did you choose to slip? Were you putting too much pressure on yourself? Are there emotional stress factors that are overwhelming you? If you can target the "why," you'll be able to heal whatever is really ailing you. If you don't take time to do this step, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Cheating on a diet can be symptom of other things that you need to confront and heal in your life so look at it as an opportunity get healthy in other ways.
  2. Forgive Yourself: Once you've put your finger on the source of your slip and you've thought about it and how you can improve whatever is ailing you, forgive yourself. If you keep beating yourself up, you're just putting MORE pressure on the situation- pressure that could lead you down the road to other bad decisions. Rest in the knowledge that you've done right by yourself in the "Assess" phase and start putting one foot in front of the other again.
  3. Decide: This sounds silly, but you have to DECIDE to get back on track. You can sit around and say "I should do more to fix my health issues" all day long. I gotta tell you, it's not the same as DOING something about it. What day are you re-starting the level? What hour? Right now? Good! Now go! Stop putting it off and making excuses! That is a long slippery slope and do you want to know the worst part? You're smart, so you'll watch yourself making excuses and start hating yourself even more for lying to yourself. What are you waiting for, Player 1? PRESS START!
  4. Purge: You've been relaxing. Eating whatever. I'm willing to bet there are half eaten bags of candy by the couch and leftover pizza in the fridge. Cookies in the jar? Do whatever you have to do to get rid of that stuff. I'd say toss it, but if you eat it, you eat it. Invite someone over for a leftover party. Give it to your room mate. Just get it gone and don't buy more.
  5. Create A Comfortable Environment: Environment is everything for me. If I'm trying to get back on track and I walk into a house littered with the refuse of my bad behavior, I have a much harder time readopting better habits. After you've purged the house of any leftover bad food, create the best possible environment for your success. Clean your room, wash the dishes in the kitchen. Do you have all the pots and pans you need for cooking? Does your scale have batteries in it? Are your running clothes season-appropriate?
  6. Find Other Indulgences: Even if you create the perfect environment for success, you'll still get cravings. They don't just go away. Find stuff other than food that makes you happy. Is there a new video game coming out that you're dying to sink your teeth into? A book you've been waiting to read? A spa treatment that's absolutely to die for? Every time you want all the cupcakes in the land, start doing one of those other things. Nine times out of ten, they'll distract you enough that you'll forget all about what you were craving.
  7. Grocery Shopping: You've purged your house of bad foods, now its time to fill your coffers with delicious healthy food. Make sure you have everything you need to cook food for yourself for the next week. When I already have fresh fruits, veggies, plus a list of healthy recipes I want to try and all their ingredients all at my finger tips, I'm way less tempted to run to the corner for Pad Thai. If you're looking for great healthy recipes that you can make easily, quickly and on a budget, I refer you to this Nerd Fitness article written by my Paleo cooking guru, Catspaw. 
  8. Track Everything: Get back on the scale. Take your measurements. Track your calories or keep a food journal. Make sure you're getting at least 64 oz of water a day. Just stay accountable. When I fall of the wagon I go off the grid. It's fine, but when it's over it's over. I need to start seeing what I'm eating or I'll go wild and pretend it's not happening. Seeing your choices can be as encouraging as it can be chastening. When you look at your week and see you've kept completely Paleo for four days without realizing it, you'll be so proud of yourself for making all those good choices! 
  9. One Week Cleanse: Once you have your diet plan in place and you've prepped your home and your kitchen, it's time to stick to it completely for one week. This is more of a mental cleanse than a physical one, but the idea is to make good choices for a full week after whatever slip you may have had. This is to prove to yourself that, well, that's all it was, "just a slip." It wasn't a derailment. You're still plowing ahead and committed. How do you know? Cause you've been back at it for a week! Good for you! I'd throw confetti if I could. How about another week? Challenge accepted.
  10. Recommit to Your Exercise Plan: Diet is only part of health equation. When I eat like crap, it makes me feel lazy and going to the gym seems super lame. I swear it's like magic- or science even! Make sure you get back out there during that one week cleanse period. Don't worry if you've backslid with your fitness, just get yourself back in the habit of going. The rest will follow. 
Ah, there it is, the reset button.

Now press start!