Four Corders

Tidbits from the life of a SAHM, her Hubby, and their Two Little Boys

Going Primal September 2, 2010

Filed under: Food,Primal — Sara @ 4:53 pm

Almost two months ago, Shane and I adopted a “Primal” lifestyle. The concept involves eating and exercising more like our ancestors would have – they didn’t eat breads, fat-free foods, or refined sugars. They also didn’t work out at the gym doing hours of cardio or strength training. They ate what they could find or kill, and exercised doing the everyday things that were necessary for survival. Yet they were leaner, stronger, and healthier than most humans today.

For us, that means we have cut out all grains (flour, corn, bread, pasta), sugars, processed foods, starches, and legumes (peanuts and beans). We eat meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dairy. (Dairy isn’t technically ‘primal’, but we aren’t giving that up.) That might not sound doable to some people (“I cannot go without bread!!”), but for us it really hasn’t been that hard. Once we realized that eating these things was unhealthy, is was not a tough decision to cut them out. Sure, I’ve had a hamburger bun, some pasta, and even ice cream (gasp!) in these past 7 weeks, but boy did I pay for it later! Any time I eat these foods now, I get bloated and feel miserable – which is how I used to feel in some regards almost all the time (you don’t always realize it until it’s gone). So not only do I avoid them because it’s part of my ‘diet’, I also steer clear because I don’t enjoy feeling like a water balloon.

Some may wonder: “If you’re not getting carbohydrates from grains, where do you get your energy?” Short answer: fats. (Fats are good! Fats don’t make you fat!) Long answer:  I still eat natural carbs found in fruits and vegetables, but I’m keeping them under 100 grams a day, so my body burns them off quickly and then looks to fats (both that I eat and that’s stored on my body) for energy. Also, by not eating those excess carbs, my body isn’t converting them to glucose, isn’t messing with my insulin levels, and isn’t storing it all as fat. (Carbs > Glucose > Fat.) So not only do I burn fat for energy, but I’ve also stopped adding more fat! (Hello weight loss!)

Speaking of weight loss, let’s move on to exercise. Back in April, I started a daily exercise program and lost a little over ten pounds in the first couple months. Then I plateaued, and didn’t lose anything else for another couple months. My muscles were getting firmer, but my body wasn’t burning fat anymore. Until I went Primal. In the past seven weeks, I have lost another six pounds! I’ve also noticed that my muscles are stronger and more defined.  I even have a six-pack! And the kicker: I don’t workout every day. It’s true! I spend most of my days doing light ‘workouts’ around the house that just involve moving frequently (playing with the boys, going up and down stairs doing laundry, sweeping and mopping, vacuuming, mowing, etc). When I do want to do a ‘workout’ though (about three times a week), I basically do five exercises that use body weight for resistance (although I do throw in some Dead Lifts and Crunches, too): Pushups, Pullups, Squats, Planks, and Overhead Presses.  I do two sets of each, and do as many of each exercise as I can in each set. (Right now I can do about 20 pushups, 50 squats, 5 overhead presses, 1 minute front planks and 30 second side planks, and a whopping 1 pullup!) Sounds simple, but it’s very effective. The last part of my workouts is running Sprints once a week.  I started this last week, and WHOA! I used muscles in my legs and butt that I didn’t even know were there! (I’ve never been a runner.)

Now that we have been Primal for almost two months, I can safely say that I don’t see myself ever going back to my old eating habits. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything (except maybe tortillas – I’m sure I can make some primal tortillas though) and I enjoy my current exercise regime much more than what I was doing. There are so many alternatives to the foods that we have cut out, such as almond flour instead of wheat flour. You can make SO MANY THINGS with almond flour! This afternoon I made some primal crackers that consisted of almond flour, sea salt, herbs (basil, rosemary, and thyme), olive oil, and water – and they are delicious! Why would I eat crackers from the store that contain “Whole Grains” along with High Fructose Corn Syrup and who knows what else when I can make my own that are healthy and delicious?!

For us, going Primal is more than a new diet, it’s a new lifestyle. A lifestyle that I am positive we will continue for the rest of our lives. (And for the record, my children are NOT primal. We still give them bread and let them eat sugar – sparingly. One day I hope that they will make the decision to eat the way we do, but for now? I’m going to let them be kids.)

If you’re interested in reading more about being Primal, I recommend these sites:

Mark’s Daily Apple – Mark wrote “The Primal Blueprint”, and is my primary source for information

Primal Matriarch – AndreAnna just recently went Primal and shares her knowledge, experiences, and some great recipes

Elana’s Pantry – Elana wrote “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook” and shares tons of primal friendly recipes here


Let’s Talk! July 26, 2010

Filed under: Andrew,Milestone — Sara @ 9:33 pm

Drew turned 18 months old ten days ago, and his language skills have suddenly taken off! He’s been “talking” for a long time now, but only a few things were actually legible. Instead, most of his words were made out of the “d” sounds: da, do, duh, di, doe, etc. Even phrases came out that way. Instead of “where did it go” he would say “da da da doe?” The only reason I could tell that’s what he was saying is because he holds his hands up to gesture as well. But NOW, all of a sudden, he’s making all the different sounds, and putting them into words! It’s so exciting! Here’s a list of words that he says legibly (at least the ones I can think of):

Greta (our cat)
Papa (he says this with a French accent, it’s adorable)

He has also started singing! His song of choice? Boooooooob the Builder!


Frozen Yogurt Pops June 15, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Sara @ 6:18 pm

I saw a bit on one of the kids’ tv channels about making your own frozen yogurt the other day, so decided to give it a try. They suggested putting a baby spoon in an entire individual yogurt cup, but Ethan quickly found that he couldn’t eat that much before it started to melt and get messy. So, I decided to make them smaller. Ice cube trays seemed perfect!

These are so easy to put together, I managed to do mine in about five minutes last night after the boys were asleep. Simply get a couple yogurt cups, spoon the yogurt into the ice cube tray, cover it in plastic wrap (I used Press’n Seal), cut small slits in the plastic, push the spoons down into the yogurt, then freeze. They should be ready in a few hours!

I have a ton of baby spoons and liked the idea of not using disposable sticks as well as having something easy for Drew to hold onto. Putting the spoons in handle-first seemed to work better than the other way, since it would make the slit larger than handle, allowing the spoons to fall over. It also left the big round part available to hold.

The boys loved them (of course)! The size was just right – Ethan finished his with no mess at all, and while Drew’s face got a little dirty, there were no drops spilled on anything else. Success!


Shredded – Day 60

Filed under: Me,The Shred — Sara @ 11:19 am

I’ve made it to my latest goal – 60 days!

I’m a little behind since I skipped six days during this past month. Two days I was out of town, two other days I didn’t feel well, and the last two days I was just out and about too much to find the time. I’m not worried about the time off though, as I’m still making progress. In fact, a couple of those days I spent swimming and walking the kids around the Deanna Rose Farmstead, so I still got a decent workout!

In the past month, I have lost an additional three pounds, bringing my total weight loss since starting The Shred to eleven pounds. I’ve also lost another 1/2″ off my arms, 1.5″ off my thighs, and 3″ off my waist. That means I’ve lost a total of 7.5″ off my waist! That alone is motivation enough for me to keep going!

So to celebrate my latest milestone, I went clothes shopping with my mom. I bought five shirts, a skirt, a belt, and some new shoes – heels! My seven year anniversary with Shane is next weekend, so I needed something nice to wear. I also indulged in some barbecue and a Hot Fudge Sundae… and boy, was it yummy!

Next stop, 90 days!


Reptile Show

Filed under: Activities,Daily,Playdates — Sara @ 10:54 am

Yesterday the library here in town hosted The Reptile Experience with Serengeti Steve. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but knew that Ethan would love to see all the animals, so we met Crisa and Kaylyn there and waited for the show. There was a pretty large crowd that day, consisting of a couple daycare classes and about twenty parents with their kids. Ethan sat on the ground with the rest of the kids, while Crisa and the babies and I sat in some chairs towards the back.

Drew and Kaylyn enjoying the show

The show started with Steve pretending to drop a snake on some kids in the front (it was rubber of course), which got everyone excited and ready to see the real thing! Then he brought out a small, real snake. I don’t recall what kind it was, all I remember is him saying something about ‘a Mom who doesn’t like snakes’… then pointing at me! So to prove that there was nothing to be scared of, I held the snake. And Ethan LOVED it – because he knows I DO NOT like snakes!

Next up was a lizard, then an American Alligator. Ethan wanted to touch them, but didn’t get the opportunity. He was very patient though, staying sat down and raising his hand like he was supposed to. The next few things he was not as interested in touching: a tarantula, a scorpion, and a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach! I was glad I had to hold the snake, because a different mom had to hold the tarantula – on her head! And then it walked down her face! I would have left before I let that happen to me.

Lizard and Alligator

The last animal at the show, but definitely not the least, was a female Green Anaconda. While this particular one was a 6-8ft baby, they can grow to be some of the longest and most aggressive snakes in the world. There are only 13 registered ‘docile’ or ‘nice’ ones in the world, so it was quite a treat to get to see one in person. Serengeti Steve brought the anaconda around for everyone to touch, and Ethan and I both did (it was very smooth and soft). But then Ethan surprised me by asking if he could hold it! He had to wait for some of the big kids to hold it first, then we got closer and Steve draped her around his shoulders. Definitely not something he’ll forget!

Ethan holding the Anaconda


16 Months May 19, 2010

Filed under: Andrew,Monthly — Sara @ 3:04 pm

At 16 months, Drew:

– has blonde hair and greenish/brownish/blue eyes. It’s really hard to tell…
– LOVES dog and cats!
– has started noticing airplanes, and points up whenever he hears one, whether we’re inside or out.
– sleeps about eleven hours at night, and three hours during the day (spread out through two naps). I really wish he would go down to one nap, but every time I try, it just doesn’t work.
– loves books.
– ‘moos’ like a cow, ‘woofs’ like a dog, ‘roars’ like a lion, ‘tweets’ like a bird, and ‘vrooms’ like a car.
– talks constantly, although I have NO IDEA what he’s saying! He says a few words, but it’s mostly just gibberish.
– only says ‘Mama’ when he wants something.
– gives kisses!
– won’t eat anything that he used to. Seriously, it’s driving me nuts. At his fifteen month appointment, the doctor thought he was too skinny, so I was supposed to up his ‘healthy fat’ intake – which means more milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, bread, etc. So I did that, but now he won’t eat anything else! I have to trick him into eating vegetables, and the only protein he gets is from black beans and peanut butter. I’ve even cut back on the fattening stuff to make sure he’s hungry, but he just spits everything out! I don’t know what to do with a picky child – Ethan always ate everything!!
– walks everywhere and climbs on everything.
– sits forward-facing in his Big Boy Carseat now.
– LOVES his Mimi and Papa! I might as well not even be in the room when they are around…
– insists on standing up in the bathtub.
– recently discovered that his nose has holes…
– has twelve teeth.
– loves playing outside in the sand/mud/dirt or on the swing/slide/playhouse. He can actually climb the ladder to get up to the playhouse, so constant supervision is a must.
– just got back from a trip to his Great-Grammy’s with me and my parents. Since Ethan stayed home, Drew got to be the center of attention, and he totally ate it up! He’s such a ham!
– is obsessed with stacking objects on top of each other. Seriously. The other night instead of eating his meatballs, he stacked them like a snowman.
– gives me a ‘cheese’ face every time I point the camera at him now. Funniest. Face. Ever.

Drew's "Cheese" Face, with Mimi and GG


Shredded – Day 32 May 11, 2010

Filed under: The Shred — Sara @ 12:38 pm

I made it through The 30 Day Shred!

* be forewarned, I am TOTALLY going to pat my own back throughout this entire post *

I worked out every day, for thirty straight days. (Well, except for the third day, when I was so sore I could barely move, so I guess twenty-eight straight days would be more accurate – but who’s counting? hehe) Despite thinking up a billion excuses on why I shouldn’t work out each day, I did it anyways, and am incredibly proud of myself for it.

For the first time in my life, I stuck to an exercise regimen, and it paid off! I have lost about eight pounds (it keeps fluctuating), which is an average of two pounds a week. Even though the DVD boasts that you can “lose up to 20 pounds”, I feel that eight is a very respectable number, especially when you consider that not only am I losing fat, but I’m also gaining muscle. So as long as the ‘weight lost’ number keeps rising, I’ll be happy.

I took some measurements on Day 7 (wish I would have taken them on Day 1), and am also extremely pleased with those numbers. In the past three weeks I have lost 1″ off my upper arms, 1.5″ off my thighs, and a whopping 4.5″ off my waist! I thought I was doomed to have love handles and a bulging belly for the rest of my life, but now they’re almost gone. My jeans fit so much better, and my size 7/8 denim capris slipped on the other day with no effort at all.

The only downside so far to losing the fat around my waist is that now I can see just how much the skin there stretched out while I was pregnant with the boys. Ten and nine pound babies can really wreak havoc on that area. I don’t see how anything but a tummy tuck will fix it – and that will NOT be happening. :(

So after Day 30, I decided to reward myself with some new clothes and a day off. It was weird not working out, but since it also happened to be Mother’s Day, I wasn’t home long enough to worry about it. I started up again yesterday, and plan to rotate through the levels everyday until I reach my next goal on Day 60. I still have about 25 pounds left to lose, and I’m not going to give up until they’re gone!



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