All posts by Black Gold Rooster

New Year’s Resolutions

1. No more plastic 2. No more paper 3. Much less waste A few months back we decided to stop buying paper towels to see if we could go without them. I know it may sound silly but we would never think twice about ripping off a huge sheet to wipe up something the size of a quarter. And then we’d just toss it in the trash with no real concept of how wasteful we were being. I bought 5 or 6 more kitchen towels to compensate and stopped buying the paper. In the beginning I found myself using napkins for some things but overall the towels were enough. After a month or so I realized we really don’t need them. Yes, I do a little more towel laundry but not enough to send me back to paper. Then I though, why stop there?!

We made it part of our New Year’s Resolutions to stop with all the paper consumables and transition from plastic to glass.
 
Studies have shown that the chemicals in plastic break down and leach into the food or drink they are storing (especially when heated). Then we consume the food and drink, allowing the chemicals to enter our bodies. Glass containers also don’t absorb food colors or smells. You can really taste the difference when eating from plastic vs. glass. The initial cost of glass may be higher, but glass lasts longer and doesn’t need to be replaced as often. Depending on the brand you buy, you may be able to find items that can go from the freezer to the fridge to the oven to the table.
 
So…I recycled all of our old plastic storage containers and bought a ton of glass.
 
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I started at Target and bought a product similar to Pyrex, called Anchor. A 14-piece set was $19.99 vs. $34.99 for a 12-piece Pyrex. Costco also has a lot of great options and you get so much more for your money. The thing I loved most from Costco was the Quadro 4-piece jug set. Each jug came with a lid, ice tubes and infusing tubes. $19.99 was a bargain. They also sell Pyrex snapware (18-piece set for $29.99) and a 20-piece Luminarc glass drinkware set with lids for $19.99. All these things were on my birthday list this year. I’m old now, what I can I say.
 
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I also transitioned all of our plastic mixing bowls, travel coffee mugs, water bottles, mixing spoons, etc. I started this part a few months ago because I knew it would take some time. I didn’t want the cost to become so overwhelming that I gave up. Once a week I would try to pick up one item and eventually I got it all.
 
The final piece was just completed today. I knew that I wanted to eliminate paper napkins completely but every time I would shop for fabric napkins, I’d walk out with nothing because I thought it was ridiculous that they charge $8 for two napkins. I am very frugal most of the time 😉 BUT TODAY!!!….I was wandering Bed Bath on my lunch hour and realized it was clearance time. Apparently after the holidays they have clearance tables all throughout the store. I found 18 napkins reduced from $4.99 ea to $0.25 ea. One for everyday of the week without doing any laundry plus a few extras. Yahtzee!
 
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21 Days of Detox

The holidays are finally over. We were terrible to ourselves the past few weeks. Zero self-control. Sugar filled cookie after sugar filled cookie. Talk about a cheat week. I haven’t cheated this bad since I started Paleo almost 11 months ago. But its over….finally. Today is Day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox. This book is such a good read and will make you feel amazing. Well, the first week or so you don’t feel amazing; you almost feel terrible. When we first did this back in February I was googling flu symptoms after a few days. We both thought we were getting really sick. Just the opposite, we were getting better. Our bodies were detoxing from the sugar and experiencing actual detox side effects. If you can stay strong and get through the first week or so, you will come out on the other side a new person. Healthier sleep, much more energy and you will see an amazing difference in your skin. I think my favorite part of the book is the weekly food schedules. Most of the things you will cook will leave you with leftovers and the author incorporates that into the next day. The hardest part of a food plan for us is that some days we work until 6 and then go to Crossfit and by the time we get home we are just too tired to cook an entire meal from scratch. When we sat down to dinner tonight, my husband said “Man, sometimes I forget how good Paleo meals are compared to that crap we used to eat.” You really never feel like your on a “diet” and everything we make (especially in the winter) feels so homey.  We didn’t cook from the book tonight but rather just made a mish mosh of what was in the fridge. Some nights you just have to be realistic and use what you’ve got!

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  • Nature’s Promise Chicken Sausage
  • Organic Peas
  • Organic Butternut Squash
  • Organic Mushrooms and Onions

All cooked in a little bit of coconut oil and minced garlic. We used Steve’s Original Tomato Balsamic dressing on the side. It feels good to be back.  

Paleo

On February 13, 2013, about a week before I started Crossfit we transitioned to the Paleo diet. Sometimes called the Cave Man Diet. People who eat Paleo follow a gluten-, legume-, and dairy-free diet with an emphasis on foods that are whole and unprocessed. Grass-fed meats and poultry, wild-caught seafood, organic fruits and veggies, naturally occurring fats (coconut milk, grass-fed butter, coconut oil and olive oil) are the basis for this way of eating.

We’d spent the month or so before going back and forth, half committing and ultimately decided to do it full force. For us that meant completely emptying our fridge, shelves and pantry and starting from scratch. We have little to no self-control in our house and knew that if even a single cookie remained, we’d probably break down and eat it. I made bags of food and gave them away to family members and brought the rest to our local church for donation. Our shelves were literally bare.

We had done A LOT of research before hand so we felt prepared to hit the store and stock up on the essentials. Some great resources on the Paleo Diet can be found at Robb Wolf’s website. We found most of the items at our local Stop & Shop. I like to cook our meals everyday so I wanted to have all the staples on hand. As far as pantry items go, the things I find myself using most often are coconut oil, olive oil, almond/coconut flour and our Paleo dressings from Steve’s Original. (Ginger Cilantro is my favorite for a salad dressing)

I bought a few Paleo cookbooks and then revamped my old homemade cookbook to only include Paleo recipes. There are a ton of websites and bloggers that post great recipes daily. Just a few I love, PaleOMG, Civilized Caveman, and Against All Grain  I print a few a week, try them out and if they make the cut, they go into my “cookbook”. My “cookbook” is made up of a split-back easel binder (about $13.50 online) and clear plastic sheet protectors. It really works great when you are trying new things and collecting your favorites.

There are countless resources online that will provide information and explain what this diet will do for you. What I can tell you firsthand, is what it did for us. Our goal was never to lose a ton a weight but rather get consistent. We would always yoyo 5-10 lbs in either direction during the year. We wanted to stop eating anything and everything and feeling like complete garbage afterwards. Eliminating the processed food and gluten has made a visible difference and we feel amazing everyday . It also fixed my never-ending skin problems. I never had acne but would always have an aggressive monthly breakout that no cream or wash could fix. After seeing my doctor, OB and countless dermatologists, they all chalked it up to hormones. Not one, suggested changing my diet. I can honestly say that after the first full month eating Paleo I haven’t had a single breakout.

I would say we are 90/10 Paleo. We are pretty strict during the week and cook all of our breakfast, lunch and dinners. But we are also realistic. We still go out to eat, get together with friends and crave the occasional sweet. Sometimes we have an off weekend, but really try hard to get back on track for Monday. The only reason this way of eating works for us is because we are realistic.

What’s this all about?

When we are asked why we started this journey, the easiest answer is because we were sick. Sick of a different diet every month that did not work. Sick of food that always made us feel terrible. Sick of sporadic, random exercise routines with no results. And most of all, sick of being 33 year olds that felt like they were 70.

In February of 2013, my husband and I started following the Paleo Lifestyle. In a nutshell, Paleo is centered on eating grass-produced meats, fish, organic fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and heathy oils. We learned quickly that eating this way could be pricey and limited by what your supermarket will carry.

Enter, my husband Greg. He always had a love for gardening. The first year in our home, our garden consisted of two tomato plants, some lettuce and herbs. Some four years later he is producing so much organic food that I do not buy any produce during our peak growing season.

Naturally, making this type of lifestyle change sparks interest. People want to know how we do it. More importantly, people want to know IF they can do it.

The answer is 100% yes. So we created this site to show you how. We are a married couple, with full-time jobs and a modest income. And we do not live on a farm. This is realistic, organic living.