10 awesome things not about my weight, and a weigh-in!

1. I’ve been making a ton of excuses about why I haven’t gone to the gym. I haven’t seen my trainer in over two weeks! I always think getting up early is so much worse than it really is but once you’re awake for five minutes, the feeling of wanting to die subsides haha. So on Monday I bit the bullet and forced myself to stay awake when my alarm sounded. I laid in bed for a few minutes listening to the birds chirping when it dawned on me that it was probably warm enough to walk to the gym! That thought alone kicked my butt into gear. The gym is about a half mile from my apartment, an unbelievably perfect distance. I used to walk to the gym in the morning all the time and totally forgot how lovely morning walks are. I see morning runs in my future…

2. All that being said about the gym, I’m really happy with myself exercise-wise this week. I got outside everyday and either walked, ran or hiked and had a blast! I’m so blessed to be living in an area with tons of cool parks, walking paths and hiking trails right outside my door and took advantage of all that nature this weekend.

3. Fun fact: I get sausage fingers really easily when walking from all the blood rushing to my hands. For prevention purposes, I pretty much do all of my walks with what I can only describe as floppy jazz hands. Attractive, right? Stare on, people, stare on.

Source: joannemattera.blogspot.com via Kathy on Pinterest

4. And in case I wasn’t already drawing enough attention to myself at the park with my floppy jazz hands…the Zensah compression sleeves I ordered came in the mail this weekend! I’m pretty sure that the pain that has halted my running progress recently is just from shin splints. I remembered Allie at Live Laugh Eat had awesome results with the Zensah sleeves and decided to go for it. I’ve worn them a few times for recovery after the long hikes and walks this weekend and have had no shin pain, so it’s possible they are working but the real test will be running in them.  I am itching to get past the 3-mile running mark and go further and faster so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they help with the pain.

5. I’ve officially hit the one month mark on paleo. I’m going to stop doing weekly updates. One, because I don’t really feel that I’m following a true paleo diet, more that I’m incorporating paleo principles. Two, weekly updates are super boring. Will I continue eating the way I’ve been eating? ABSOLUTELY. I have so much energy! The change in the way my hunger feels is also reason enough to keep up with a higher protein/lower carb plan. When I started, I honestly didn’t believe I would see that many changes, but I’m totally a believer now! Also, behold this delicious bun-less burger I got at Smash Burger on Sunday. Yum.

6. I made chocolate coconut flour cupcakes (with applesauce!) this weekend from this recipe and am pretending they are muffins so I can eat them for breakfast. Don’t hate. Also, I recommend making them, because they are delicious, but if you’re the kind of baker who follows a recipe exactly, don’t click that link. I found a lot of the measurements to be off and ended up making a bunch of substitutions to get the sweetness/consistency that I wanted. I’m absolutely addicted to the taste of coconut flour. So…coconutty!

7. I can’t stop eating baby carrots! Maybe it’s because I started buying organic carrots, or because I cut down on my sugar, but these babies (pun intended!) have never tasted sweeter. I snack on them throughout the day. Try them with sunflower seed butter and thank me later.

8. I successfully partied smart this week. With all my new-found energy, I’ve been making more time to see my friends, which generally includes a lot of going to bars. I like drinking as much as the next recent college grad, but honestly, it doesn’t make me feel good. I hate being hungover, and truly, alcohol really messes with my mood. I’m way more likely to be sad the day after drinking too much. So this week I stuck to a one to two drink limit, and sometimes no drinks at all, and had a great time! Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing ordering water, or explaining to all your friends why you aren’t drinking, but I’d much rather be in a temporarily awkward situation than regret my actions the next day. Plus, I’m way better at darts when I’m sober.

9. It’s officially Spring!!

10. Monday was my  nephew’s 5th birthday! I’m not saying this just because my amazing sister reads every single word I write (Hi Stacy!), but my nephews have been an unbelievable source of inspiration. I think about them a lot when I’m running and the thought of their ridiculously cute faces keeps me going. I’m glad they will get to know me as someone who puts 100 percent into life. Happy Birthday E!

On that note….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 174.5

This week: 172.5

Change: -.5

Total loss: 70.5


Quick Coconut Shrimp Curry

I know I’ve struck gold with a recipe when my taste buds crave it night after night.

And that’s exactly how I feel about this super quick and super easy coconut curry shrimp dish.

It’s bold and flavorful with a hearty amount of spice and feels rich and creamy even though it contains only a teaspoon of oil and light coconut milk.

Quick Coconut Shrimp Curry

For one


  • 6 oz of frozen, cooked shrimp
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • For more spice, add in a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes


  • Thaw frozen shrimp following directions on the package.
  • In a pan just big enough to lay all the shrimp flat, heat the olive oil. Over low heat, add in all the ingredients and stir until the spices are well mixed and any clumps are gone. Lay each shrimp flat in the pan. Because these shrimp are already cooked, you are really just warming them. They can become tough and chewy if cooked too long, so only cook until hot, a minute or two on each side.
  • Remove the shrimp and cover to keep warm
  • Turn the heat on the pan all the way up and cook the remaining liquid, stirring constantly, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Pour over the shrimp and enjoy!

Wednesday Weigh-in and Week 3 Paleo Update


I really feel like I hit my paleo stride this week. The first week was a huge adjustment, I was definitely going through some carb/sugar detox and my head felt cloudy all the time. Last week involved a lot of thinking, planning and learning and this week following the paleo diet has been almost, well, natural!

Brussels sprouts, asparagus and onions seasoned, ready for roasting!

I want to reiterate that I am far from following a paleo diet strictly. When I began, I said my goal was to be consistent, and I’m very happy to report that I absolutely have been consistent. Striving for perfection, I feel, is just undue cause for stress and burnout and eventually failure. I’m loosely going by the 80/20 concept, where I’m following paleo 80 percent of the time and not 20 percent of the time. This week that 20 percent consisted of Tasti D-Lite, Indian food at Brick Lane Curry House and a slice of homemade apple pie from a local farm. It was amazing.

I’m still shocked by how long I stay full with paleo-inspired breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Last week I did a breakdown of breakfast, paleo vs. pre-paleo, this week, lunch!

Pre-paleo my lunch was typically a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, a half cup of chickpeas or a veggie burger and a homemade dressing of oil and vinegar. With the salad I would have 4-6 oz of fat free plain Greek yogurt and 1-2 pieces of fruit, something like an apple and orange or strawberries. For about 500 calories, this meal had 58 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Since beginning paleo, I’ve had the same basic meal for lunch every day. A salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, 4 oz of chicken, avocado and/or almonds and dressing of oil and vinegar with no snacks on the side. This meal, a little lower in calories, around 450, has 23 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat and 34 grams of protein.

Yes, it’s lower calorie, and less “things” to eat – but I’m so much fuller! Because avocado and almonds are high in fat and calories, I keep my portions on the small side, usually about 50 grams of avocado (maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado, depending on its size) and about .5 oz of almonds.

Pre-paleo if I was hungry, I would also be very unfocused and find it hard to follow conversations or work or do anything that required effort. I needed to eat ASAP. It felt terrible and I felt like I was always complaining about being hungry. Pre-paleo, I could barely make it to lunch without wanting to chew off a finger or two and absolutely needed to snack between lunch and dinner. Most days I could barely even wait until 5 p.m. to eat dinner. It’s a totally different story now. From my 8 a.m. breakfast, I stay full right up until about noon for lunch, and if I’m hungry after work/before dinner, I will snack on some veggies and don’t feel like I’m in a rush against my hunger to make dinner.

Breakfast: Pumpkin coconut flour muffin, Fage Greek 2% plain yogurt and a dollop of sunflower seed butter

And like I’ve said many times now, I’m totally enjoying cooking more and trying out different recipes and flavor combinations. I’m really glad I’ve been tracking my food on MyFitnessPal this whole time, because I find it absolutely fascinating to see the break down of why and how my meals are different.

Sauteed zucchini and baby portobello mushrooms with chicken sausage

I’m not really missing any pre-paleo food, and if I want it, I eat it. Same rules as before. Restriction absolutely DOES NOT WORK for me.

This was another so-so week as far as exercise goes. I didn’t see my trainer at all – blaming the work schedule on that one – but I have gotten outside everyday to enjoy this unusually warm weather! My goal for joining the gym in the first place was not only to have somewhere to work out during the winter, but to develop a strength training routine. Ideally, I would like to go a few mornings a week to work on strength and walk outside during the afternoons. That would be a perfect workout plan for me – now I just have to make it happen!

The view at the start of one of my favorite running/walking paths

Anyway, enough babble, here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 176

This week: 174.5

Change: -1.5

Total loss: 68.5

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Flour Pancakes

I have to admit, the star of these pancakes is not the apple. Or the cinnamon.

It’s the subtle sweetness of the coconut milk.

A stroke of genius by Shannon at Nourishing Days, from where I adapted this recipe.

She calls her’s Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes.

And oh, are they ever.

Just the right balance of wet and dry ingredients gives these pancakes the perfect texture.

They flipped beautifully, which is the number one factor I look for in pancake recipes.

I kept them small, like she recommends, and eked out three pancakes in a single-fied version of her recipe, with a few changes.

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Flour Pancakes (inspired by Nourishing Days)

Note: this recipe has been adapted to serve one person. The batter will be THICK, not like regular pancake batter. Keep these babies small on the stove. The batter should be enough to make three SMALL pancakes. I left out the tablespoon of sweetener from her recipe because I thought the coconut milk and apple would make them sweet enough, and it did. To make up for the moisture, I added an extra 1/2 tablespoon of coconut milk, which you see reflected below. Enjoy!


  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBSP Coconut flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 1/2 TBSP light coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup Grated apple (about half an apple)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  • Beat the egg with a whisk until it is frothy. Add in the coconut milk and vanilla and mix again.
  • Stir in the coconut flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Let the batter sit for a minute, it will be really thick! Then stir in the grated apple.
  • Heat a pan to about medium. Use a spoon to get the batter in the pan. For each pancake, I used about three spoonfulls of batter. You will not see bubbles form on top like regular pancakes. I flipped them when they slid around the pan with a little shake, after about 2-3 minutes.
  • These already have a great coconutty flavor, but I also topped with a few drizzles of honey. Get creative!

Weigh-in Wednesday, a paleo update and more!

I feel like we have so much to talk about! Here are 10 things about my week:

1. I’ve been cooking up a storm! So many people say they don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning or don’t have energy to cook after work, but cooking is such a stress reliever for me I look forward to it. I’ve been extra diligent about keeping the kitchen clean as well. Nothing screams “cook!” more than a spotless kitchen stocked with healthy food.

2. I made turkey meatballs stuffed with tons of veggies to eat for dinner this week, inspired by this recipe from Paleo Plan. Meatballs are so easy to make and even easier to reheat for quick work-night dinners, I should really make them more often. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except substituted the green peppers (yuck) for grated zucchini (yum) and added one egg to the mixture. Turned out delicious!

3. For three days I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to put together a recipe for apple cinnamon coconut flour pancakes, but can’t get it exactly right. Either the pancakes come out too dry or they are too moist and take forever to cook and I can’t flip them! But don’t worry, I plan to keep trying…

4. I tried Ethiopian food for the first time on Sunday at Mesob in Montclair. HIGHLY recommend it. The food was delicious and cheap!

5. I made pumpkin coconut flour muffins following this recipe from Cindy’s Table. They came out amazing! I’m currently eating one with one plain Greek yogurt. Can’t wait to have another for breakfast! Also, when I was buying the cupcake tins, I kept thinking they looked so tiny! Working near a Crumbs, which NPR called out for its ridiculous cupcakes, has seriously distorted my portion sizes.

6. It’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees outside tomorrow! Who else is planning to leave work early and go frolic in a park??

7. The other day I was feeling really lazy and had to bribe myself to go run. I said, “Listen, Jodster (yes, I call myself Jodster when giving pep talks), just do two miles.” Later I was thinking, I can’t believe two miles sounds like an easy run for me! It seems like yesterday that I was dreading the 20-minute run in Couch to 5K.

8. Relating to that last point, my bff Tracey totally called me out on my recent sucky attitude toward my body. She reminded me to be conscious of my progress, even though in my head it feels like I haven’t made any lately. Since that talk, I’ve really tried to take her words to heart and recommit myself to being body positive and thankful. Before I started trying to lose weight, I didn’t expect much of my body. I didn’t ask it to run, demand anything of it physically or expect it to shed fat. I’m having a hard time not fighting my body through this process, which is affecting my confidence and self-esteem. I plan to write about these things way more in the future (since the emotional side of weight loss is the whole reason I started the blog) but it’s a tough subject to broach. I will do it, however, because I need to do it.

9. Have anyone else’s allergies been driving them nuts lately? My sinuses are making my whole face hurt and I felt like my throat was on the verge of closing all day and I couldn’t get enough air in. So annoying!

10. I owe you a paleo update. Since releasing myself from a restriction mindset on Monday, I’ve felt much better about all the changes to my diet. I stopped reading paleo blogs completely, except to look up recipes, and almost immediately the panic of “AM I DOING THIS RIGHT” subsided. I have to say, there truly are some benefits from increased protein and decreased sugar. My meals keep my hunger at bay for much, much, much longer than pre-paleo meals. For example, pre paleo my typical breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. This had 54 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein for about 250 calories. The coconut pancakes I’ve been making are also about 250 calories, but have 32 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein. And tomorrow, the pumpkin coconut flour muffin with half a cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter will be about 300 calories, 17 grams of carbs, 19 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein. I used to be starving by lunch time, but now my breakfast keeps me satisfied for much longer, and I can see why!

I wouldn’t say I have more energy on a paleo diet, but my energy is more consistent through the day. I used to get really tired from around 3-5 p.m. and haven’t experienced that lately. This could be all in my head, since I’ve read so much about the effects of going paleo, but it really feels like I don’t have dips or spikes in my energy levels anymore. I also noticed that when I do start to feel hungry, it’s not with the same level of urgency. I can realize that I’m hungry without an immediate need to eat.

That being said, I was pretty terrible at being consistent this week. Actually, that’s not totally true. I managed to make really great food choices the whole week, except for the amount of alcohol that I drank. I was hungover twice, did many sugary shots and consumed way too many mixed drinks. Not the healthiest choices. I also really slacked at going to the gym. Usually I have plenty of time to get up in the morning, make breakfast, go to the gym and shower before work but the last few weeks my job has been really stressful and I’ve been going in earlier and earlier. I know that’s not an excuse, and I’m pledging to make time for exercise no matter what this week – for the sake of my sanity more than anything else!

Wow that was a lot. Here are the numbers:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 174.5

This week: 176

Change: +1.5

Total loss: 67

Keep it simple, seriously!

I know the phrase is “keep it simple, stupid” but I decided to change it a bit 😉

Because, seriously, it’s something I need to remember!

I’ve been more than a little overwhelmed lately with all the paleo diet advice out there.

And then I remembered I don’t care at all about eating like a cave(wo)man. I’ve never really been good at following a plan. I’d rather just do my own thing.

I’m not abandoning the principles of paleo eating completely, however.

I’m going to continue to focus on whole, fresh foods, lots of veggies, protein, and how much sugar I’m consuming.

Food restriction and lists of “acceptable” or “allowed” foods just isn’t for me!

But a renewed interest in cooking, an abundance of vegetables and new flavors – that’s something I can get behind.

There are two blogs that I follow that have great mottos. The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, who pushes the rule don’t be ridiculous and The Fat Nutritionist who reminds me to Eat food. Stuff You like. As much as you want.

I was both being ridiculous and eating food I didn’t like. Total failure.

Not anymore. Back to basics. Back to me.

Happy Monday 🙂

Wednesday Weigh-in

As you may have read, I began following a paleo diet earlier this week.

There were many reasons that went into the this decision, first and foremost was that I needed a change to get out of a major food rut.

I’ve only been following paleo guidelines since Saturday, but here are some of my first impressions:

I’ve been eating according to the rules from Paleo author Robb Wolf, which means creating my meals with combinations of lean proteins, fruits and veggies and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil.

I’m also following his advice for weight loss, and keeping my fruit servings to 1-2 a day. Dairy, so I’ve read, is a questionable paleo item and I’ve been keeping my serving to one 1/2 cup of plain fat-free Greek yogurt a day.

Overall, it hasn’t been too difficult. I still have some non-paleo approved food to consume like hummus and white potatoes that I’m working into my diet in small doses to make sure I don’t waste food.

The hardest part has undeniably been cutting back on my fruit intake. I probably was eating anywhere from 3-6 servings of fruit a day. I actually really miss my bananas, which brings me to my next point.

The biggest challenge for me has been coming up with breakfast ideas. For the last year I’ve either made a green smoothie (banana, almond milk, strawberries, protein powder, spinach) or oatmeal with a banana for breakfast. It wasn’t only habit, but something I loved and craved.

Eggs, the staple of a paleo diet, just don’t do it for me. I definitely discovered this week that I crave a sweet meal for breakfast. Also, my favorite way to eat eggs is sunny side up with very runny yolk, and it’s just not as much fun or satisfying without bread to dip in the yolk. For the past couple days I’ve made omelettes with veggies and deli meat chopped up inside, but I’m really not enjoying it. I miss the feeling of fueling up with fruit in the morning. There’s nothing that quite compares to the energy one gets after downing a green smoothie.

I’m not sure what a solution to this dilemma is going to look like. For some reason I really just feel weighed down by eggs every morning. Eggs for me are more of a once in a while food or something I would eat for dinner, which is when I crave them. I’m also not really enjoying meat with breakfast. I find a savory meal doesn’t pair as well with coffee either.

Next week I’m going to look into making pancakes with almond or other wheat-free flour or protein-powder/nut butter smoothies.

I’m definitely not going to force myself to keep eating eggs. I love eggs at other meals, but at breakfast they just turn me off.

I also made the mistake of not getting a big enough variety of meats. I did really well with vegetable variety, but I’ve pretty much been stuck eating chicken for every meal. It’s the cheapest, but next week I’m going to go meat shopping first and dedicate a larger portion of my budget to getting quality items.

I found a few good recipes for paleo pancakes, muffins, breads and smoothies that I’m excited to try that I hope will keep me from going crazy. I miss the feeling of waking up craving breakfast and want that back!

I realized going into the diet change I wouldn’t be able to eat some of the foods I love, but enjoying breakfast is non-negotiable.

I really want to follow paleo rules as closely as possible, at least for a week or two to see the benefits. I’m sure overtime I’ll increase my fruit and dairy intake.

I’m being patient with my body and giving it time to adjust to all the protein and fat I’ve been eating. It’s been a little bit uncomfortable, and I also think i’m getting some withdrawal symptoms from decreasing carbs and sugar. According to MyFitnessPal stats, I’ve pretty much doubled my protein and fat intake over the last few days and I have to be patient during this adjustment period.

It hasn’t been all negative, however. I feel re-invigorated with cooking! I’ve tried new foods and cooking methods this week and plan to continue searching and playing with recipes. I have a feeling if I land on a crave-able breakfast I’ll be much happier following a paleo plan

Diets, after all, are not an exact science. Different food choices work for different people. I’m lucky that I don’t have any food allergies and can, for the most part, eat whatever I want. Learning what works best for my body so I feel good and get the weight-loss results I’m after is trial and error and a process I really enjoy.

I may eventually go back to my old moderately carb-loving eating habits (does swooning over oatmeal classify me as a carb lover??) but for now I’m giving paleo 100 percent.

Here’s how it all worked out:

The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 177

This week: 174.5

Change: -2.5

Total loss: 68.5

System shake-up


After many conversations and much reading, I’ve decided to shake up my diet and go primal.

Sort of.

By principal (and from a life-long hatred of diets) I don’t restrict what I eat, but the truth is, I’m in a major food rut. 

I think I’ve eaten a bowl of oatmeal and a banana for breakfast every day for the past 6-7 months.

Even lunches were getting stale with salads, veggie burgers and yogurt day in and day out.

Time for change!

If you’re not sure what paleo/primal/caveman eating is – check out these sites:

Mark’s Daily Apple

Robb Wolf – The Paleo Solution

Here’s the food basics as I’m adopting them:

Lots of non-starchy veggies, lots of meat and eggs. Some fruits and nuts. Limited dairy.

No (or almost none of ) grains, wheat, beans and sugar.

I also realize that a core function of paleo is to eat organic, but I’m going to be making some trade-offs to keep my grocery budget down.

I’m not striving for perfection, but I will hold myself to being consistent.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what to expect weight-loss wise because I’ll still be counting calories and aiming to eat the same amount of calories.

Also, many people have said they feel more energetic and sleep better after switching to paleo eating, not to brag, but I don’t typically get tired during the day and sleep pretty well at night.

I’m excited to see how my body reacts to the increased protein and fat and already I’m being more creative in the kitchen.

Here’s what Day 1 (yesterday) of eats looked like:


Two eggs sunny side up with a sliced plum tomato and deli ham (I don’t like ham, so not really sure what this was about…it wasn’t good haha). Coffee with almond milk.


Half a bag of mixed salad greens with a sliced carrot, 4 oz of rotisserie chicken and 50 grams of avocado topped with 1 oz of Cindy’s Kitchen carrot and ginger dressing. Can you tell I use a food scale to measure everything?? 🙂


1 oz raw almonds, 3 medjool dates.


6 oz of salmon paired with about a cup of collard greens and half a yellow squash, satueed in 1 tsp of olive oil.


4 oz Chobani plain fat free Greek yogurt with half a banana

First impressions:

I was a little overwhelmed the first day when I came back from the farmers’ market with bags and bags of produce and meat and eggs. I can’t even remember the last time I bought meat or eggs. I also suddenly wanted to eat loads of chocolate and cheese and blamed the craving as an emotional response to change and mild restriction.

After a small panic, I remembered that I’m actually a pretty good cook and creative and just began throwing ingredients together! Change is good and challenge is good.

It feels a little weird to be eating this much protein (and specifically animal-based protein) with every meal, but I’m sure my body will adjust. I also can’t wait to see how my body reacts to a drastic decrease in sugar intake.

My goal is to go week by week with paleo eating. I’d like to say that I’ll do it for at least a month, but that sounds long and scary to me haha.

I’m all about creating small changes and that’s exactly how I plan to approach paleo eating. I’m going at it with no expectations but I’ll continue to update you with what I’m learning!

– Jodi