Archive for March, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

Cavegirl Cooks:

Another reblog from another inspirational woman.

Originally posted on Life. Beyond Rx.:

****** read this disclaimer below please ******

Growing up in a world of Skinny

I reached puberty in the 70s.  The females who were hot, sexy, gorgeous and desired were Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, later Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista and hundreds of actresses and supermodels who looked like heroine junkies.

Charlie's Angels. Skinny.

They were skinny.

I, on the other hand, was not Skinny.

As a young girl I was a round little butterball tomboy. OK, I was fat.

Eileen is round. Not skinny .

At age 11 I hit a growth spurt and slimmed out. I sprouted long legs and a figure that started attracting whistles from construction guys twice my age. I had always been an athlete. I had muscles. But still, I was not skinny.

Skinny, you see, was the thing I could never…

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Greek Style Broiled Chicken

Posted in Paleo, Recipes on March 29, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

Ever have one of those weeks where you’re too swamped to get to the grocery store?  This is the recipe I make when times are crazy.  I always have chicken in my freezer, and lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano and garlic powder are always on hand.  This also works great on the grill.


2 pounds Chicken pieces (I used thighs)

1/2 cup Lemon Juice

1/2 cup Olive Oil

Dried Oregano, Salt and Pepper to taste.

1.  In an airtight container, place the chicken pieces and all of the marinade ingredients.  Put the lid on and shake to coat all of the chicken

2.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, overnight is best.

3.  Preheat broiler on high.

4.  Place the chicken into an oven-safe dish and put in the oven about 3 inches from the broiler.

5.  Broil until the skin starts to crisp and turn golden brown.  Turn the oven temperature down to 350 and continue to bake until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.


Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

Cavegirl Cooks:

This is an amazing post from Laura at Ancestralize Me! Preach on, sister!

Originally posted on Ancestralize Me!:

Disclaimer:  this is not a post meant to be saying that lean women aren’t healthy or fertile. I just don’t like the fact that intelligent women who aren’t lean, but are also quite healthy, are afraid to educate others about nutrition because they don’t ‘look Paleo enough’. If you choose to pursue your ideal body type, then right on! Just please don’t judge other women for not having the same goals, genetics, or life circumstances for achieving the same physical appearance. Thanks for reading! :)

This post has been a long time coming, so excuse the rant. 

I think the Paleo community needs to take a step back and reevaluate our priorities as far as health and fitness go – specifically for women. I was horrified to see this comment posted by an anonymous internet user on Nom Nom Paleo’s blog post  during our trip to Austin for PaleoFX:


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Bariatric Surgery- Why It’s Not For Me

Posted in Diet, Obesity on March 26, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

Today I woke up tired, got through the work day, hit the grocery store, made dinner, and promptly flopped onto the couch to relax.  The only thing I could find on TV was My 600 lb Life on TLC.  The show chronicled 6 years of a woman’s life starting at over 650 lbs, and ended with her losing more than 460 lbs.  I have seen other specials on morbid obesity before, where you see teams of paramedics having to cut down door frames and bring in reinforced vehicles to get people medical help.  But this is the first show I have seen where they get beyond just the eating and addictive behavior and really get into the emotional side of it all.  Because the show follows them for a number of years after the surgery, you get to see all the ups and downs in their lives and how their emotions affect their food intake and weight.

I have only known a few people who have had bariatric surgery.  For all of them, it was certainly the right decision and I watched each of them become more active and gain control of their lives again.  The transformation was amazing and it was definitely inspiring.  But I also saw the negativity as well.  I worked at a plus-sise clothing store in college and a co-worker was preparing to get her lap band procedure.  About a week before, she asked me what size I wore, because she was trying to decide who she would give all her “fat clothes” to.  One co-worker’s wife had Gastric Bypass and quickly lost 90 pounds in about 2 months.  When I complemented her on it, she simply looked at me and said, “You know, you should just go ahead and do it.  It’ll just fall right off!”   This was right after I had seen quite a bit of success on Weight Watchers and had moved forward onto a low-carb diet, when I was feeling great about myself and the hard work I had put into my health, and I was honestly appalled that this woman who barely knew me had the nerve to say such a thing.    As time went on and I would see her getting progressively thinner, she would always hint at how “easy” it was.  It’s stories like this one on TLC that show that it certainly is not easy, and that it’s certainly not the “magic bullet” that many think it is.

While weight loss would most likely happen much faster than it is now, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had just gotten surgery rather than making lifestyle changes.  My assumption is that I would have done great for a few months, hit some sort of emotional snag, tried to binge on Mexican food and promptly gotten sick enough to end up back in the hospital.  It would have addressed the physical emotion, but coming to grips with the mental and emotional issues are so much harder.

Don’t get me wrong,  I am 100% supportive of the friends who have had surgery and will stand by them through every moment and celebrate their success every step of the way.  But for me, it just would not be the right path.  Paleo, on the other hand, feels right, and even if the scale stalls I feel stronger every step of the way.

My First Crossfit Experience

Posted in Exercise, Paleo with tags on March 21, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

When I first started learning about Paleo over a year ago, I also learned about Crossfit, which seems to go hand in hand with the diet and its principles: Move Slowly, Lift Heavy Things, Sprint Once in a While.  The principles seem easy enough, and Mark Sisson goes on to describe his workouts as barefoot sprinting on the beach at sunrise.  Perfectly euphoric, but alas, there are no beaches in Colorado.

So, for most Paleos, there is Crossfit.  For me, Crossfit has always seemed like the mythical unicorn of exercise.  Huge warehouses where hard-bodied, shirtless men and women in midriff-baring sports bras do endless chin ups and push huge tractor tires across a yard.  There is no way I ever could have pictured myself doing it at my current size and fitness level.  That is, until my friend Jen joined a Crossfit gym near work, and my friend Lauren decided to do the free intro class.  I went along, just to feel it out and see if it was for me.  Here is how my night went.

First of all, I typically leave work around 4-4:30pm, and eat dinner pretty early around 5:30pm.  Tonight I was absolutely terrified that I would end up throwing up from the intensity, so I didn’t eat before the 6:30 class.  Unfortunately, that meant that by the time I left around 8pm, I was shaking and starving, something I haven’t felt since my pre-paleo days.

The workout itself was mostly things I had done before.  Two circuits of rowing, kettlebell swings, squats, push-ups, a couple flights of stairs, and chin-ups.  Now, I could never, ever do a chin-up.  Even in grade school gym class.  (This includes a traumatic experience circa 1991 where I swung my legs up too hard  in and effort to keep them off the ground, and crashed LOUDLY onto my back).  So when the trainer was describing the proper form for a chin-up, all I could hear was, “Blah, blah blah, you are SO gonna fall.”  Luckily, he modified the move for me by having me lean back with 2 rings and pull myself up by my arms.  Much easier, but I’m still feeling it.

By the end of the workout, I was exhausted.  My legs felt like 2 cooked spaghetti noodles, and I was feeling nauseous and a little bit like I was going to pass out.  (Again, this could be due to not eating for several hours before hand.)  While he talked to us about membership schedules and fees, I ended up grabbing my water bottle and sitting down to keep from passing out.

My thought right now?  I’m not ready to commit to full-on Crossfit just yet.  One factor is the cost.  One month of Crossfit costs almost 3 times as much as THREE months of Zumba.  I do understand that the setting is very much like personal training, and for that the price is of course reasonable, but I want to make sure that I’m physically able to push myself in these workouts and get my money’s worth.  Also, since the classes are in group settings, I am sure that I will almost always be one of the last to finish.  While all of the people I encountered were nothing but friendly and encouraging, it would put a lot of pressure on me that I’m not quite ready for.  I have gotten used to being one of those people in the front row of my Zumba class who knows exactly what I’m doing, and I want to bask in that feeling just a little bit longer.

One thing I will say about the Crossfit gym is that it is one of the few gym/workout experiences where I have felt 100% comfortable being there.  There were people of all different shapes and sizes, and everyone was super friendly.  The trainers were also supportive and ready to make modifications rather than pushing you too far out from your comfort zone.  I also did not feel judged when they looked at me, even though I was clearly one of the largest people in the room.  So, my mind is not completely made up, but for now I’m feeling that I’m not quite ready.  But don’t worry Crossfit, I will be back.

P.S.  Since this post ALMOST became a Zumba vs. Crossfit comparison rant, I can’t help but post this video.  Enjoy!


Junk Speech

Posted in Body Image, Motivation on March 19, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks








How many words do we use to describe our bodies?  How many of them are negative?  In my case, it is mostly negative, and the worst part is it’s not even private either.  I’ll catch myself saying it to just about anyone.  I’ll tell a salesperson at Old Navy that a pair of jeans didn’t work out because I have gigantic thighs.  I’ll write an anonymous review for a shirt online and say something like, “It may work for you if you don’t have flabby arms like mine.”  I know I’m not the only one who does it, and I know that it’s not always about size.  Everyone has features about themselves that they want to change.  But how many times do we repeat the negativity about ourselves until we are resigned to believe it’s the truth?

I have been in a battle against my body for most of my life, and I hardly ever stop to appreciate it.  I have legs that have always been able to walk, and that carried me when I was more than 300 pounds.  My arms are, indeed, flabby and I do my best to keep them covered, but they can also easily lift and carry 50 pounds, and my hands are steady enough to knit, handle jewelry pliers, or take a non-blurry photo.  My feet are large for a woman, but they also got me through 10-hour shifts in professional kitchens, and they feel the rhythm in every Zumba class. As for the rest of me, it’s all curves and soft edges.  I have a tendency to curse those curves when I’m looking into the fitting room mirror, but really, am I to blame?  Or is it the manufacturers who choose their sizing numbers arbitrarily?

In fact, the thing I take the most for granted is my health, because for years I have been extremely lucky.  I am not perfect, but I can do so much more than many people have only wished they could do, and it’s time to stop the junk speech and appreciate my body for what it will do.

Irish Stew

Posted in Paleo, Recipes, Whole30 on March 18, 2012 by Cavegirl Cooks

Y Everyone makes Irish stew differently.  They can be made with beef or lamb, with different herbs and spices, and also different vegetables.  Most recipes I have found use Onion, Celery, Carrots and Potatoes.  I decided to leave the potatoes in the Corned Beef & Cabbage, I decided to leave them out of my stew, and substitute Turnips and Parnips instead.  The Parsnips add a little bit of sweetness, while the Turnips absorb all the delicious meaty juices.


2 lbs. Lamb Stew Meat

Olive Oil

2 cups Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Onion, sliced

1 lb. Turnips, trimmed and cut into quarters

4 cups Lamb or Beef Stock

2 cups Water

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Thyme and Ground Rosemary

1 cup Parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 cups Mushrooms

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees (You can also make this in the crockpot)

2.  In a large skillet, heat the Olive Oil over medium heat.  Brown the Lamb evenly.  Add to a large Dutch Oven.

3.  Add Onion, Carrots, Turnips, Stock, Water and Spices.  There should be enough liquid to completely cover the meat and vegetables.  Cover and place in the oven.  Allow to cook slowly for about 5 hours.

4.  After 5 hours, add Parsnips and Mushrooms.  Slurry the arrowroot powder with water and stir into the liquid.  Cover and continue to cook for 1 more hour.


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