Check this out! I received a preview copy of Primal Cravings by Megan McCullough Keatley and Brandon Keatley from the folks at Marks Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint Publishing Company. Apparently, I’ve arrived as a paleo blogger. I guess now I need to step it up with my paleo blogging! All these damn workouts and lung issues are getting in my way of fun stuff like writing about food!

I’ve had this book for about 4 weeks now and I’ve already tried many recipes. I’d like to share them with you all here, but I feel like that’s stealing. Kinda like when your 8th grade boyfriend made you a tape of Duran Duran’s Rio album. Of course we all took it, but really??… couldn’t we have just gone to Tower Records and paid the $8.99 to get our own? Simon, I’m so sorry! I totally pirated your goods! So because of my Catholic guilt (which apparently didn’t kick in until well after middle school) I won’t give you the recipes from Primal Cravings, BUT I WILL  give you my take on them!  Plus I truly believe we need to support these people!  Paleo cookbook authors are doing amazing work out there!!


Let’s start with the Sausage and Eggs On the Go. These are PERFECT for my truck driver husband! He leaves the house at 3am during cattle hauling days. I really do try to make him breakfast before he heads out the door… but 3AM!!!!!!!! hell no! So these little nuggets of protein goodness are great for eating while trucking.


Thanks to my friend, Lisa, for taking this picture below.  We ate all of ours before I could snap a shot of them cooked.  But aren’t they lovely in the raw too!!  (and is Lisa’s picture upside down??)


Now here’s where you’ll get my take on things.  The recipe is pretty basic, for good reason.  I’m sure Megan and Brandon wanted to appeal to everyone.  But I spiced mine up a tidge.  I put some green onions, mushrooms and a flake of parmesan cheese in each one.  FABULOUS!  You could change up the additions each time you make them for a different flavor!  Here’s how lovely the picture is in the book… and….


Here’s where you can buy a copy!  I really love this cookbook!  It’s a favorite goto for Paleo recipes! Click on the book to check it out!



Just give me a list! Sometimes that’s all I want. I want someone to hold my hand and tell me exactly what to eat so I don’t have to think. I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of doing what I think is healthy only to find out eating whole wheat bread is making us fat!!!! Dammit! At least that’s if you believe Gary Taubes. He’s the author of “Why We Get Fat.” You can read my book report here. He sights so much research, dating back to the 1800′s, I have a hard time not believing what he says. And he says don’t eat refined carbohydrates or sugar. Why? Because they are what make us fat. So now that you know what not to eat, here’s Gary’s list of foods to eat when you are hungry:

Meat: Beef, pork, ham, bacon, lamb, veal or other meats. For processed meats, go with sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs. Check the labels…carb count should be about 1 gram per serving. Chicken, turkey,duck or other fowl. Any fish, including tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster. Eggs: Whole eggs are permitted without restrictions.

This is a list of foods Gary says we should eat every day:

Salad greens: 2 cups a day including arugula, bok choy, cabbage (all varieties), chard, chives, endive, collards, mustard, kale, all lettuce varieties, parsley, spinach, radicchio, radishes, scallions and watercress… in other words, if it’s a leaf, you may eat it!

Vegetables: 1 cup (measured uncooked) daily including artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, jicama, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions. peppers, pumpkin, shallots, snow peas, sprouts, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, wax beans and zucchini… do you think he would allow rhubarb pie which I just so happen to be eating as I type this!

Bouillon: 2 cups a day as needed for sodium replenishment.

Here’s a list of foods that should be allowed in limited quantities: Cheese (up to 4 ounces a day), cream (up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day), mayonnaise (up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day), olives (6 a day), avocado (half a fruit a day), lemons/limes, soy sauces, pickles and snacks like pork rinds/skin (seriously?? gross!), pepperoni slices, ham, beef, turkey and other meat roll ups and deviled eggs.

I’m missing the cheese fondue from his lists. And where is the chocolate lava cake? How about a chip? Unfortunately they didn’t make his list but certainly are on my “Every once in awhile” list. I mean we only get one crazy ride on this merry-go-round we call life. So a greasy hot pastrami on rye with fries will still be eaten by this gal! But I have to say, eating carb and sugar free (OK, “free”‘ is a stretch… how about carb and sugar “limited”) has been successful in my family. Remember when I mentioned I had headaches for about 10 days straight… it was during the time frame I cut out most sugars and almost all refined carbs. I truly believe my body was going through a detox. Darrin lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks with zero exercise and eating lots of food! That’s one thing about Paleo eating, you’re never hungry. I’ll start sharing some of my favorite recipes I’ve cooked up over the last few weeks. But many of you have mentioned you want the chicken nugget recipe from Paleo Spirit I posted on Facebook a while back. So here you go! I doubled the recipe and made half regular and half with the hot sauce. My entire family preferred the hot sauce nuggets! I say go for it! Enjoy!




Remember about a month ago…OK, more like several months ago, I promised you guys 2 things:

1) I would post my workouts once a week in the hopes of motivating you to workout yourself.

2) I would do a book report on a book called “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. This book was given to me by an exercise nutritionist who works for a well respected weight loss program in Reno. It isn’t a beach read… and since I’ve been spending some time on beaches lately, this book was tough. I could hang with Taubes’ endless research examples early on. But after one Mai Tai I found myself reading the same line several times to fully understand it. Two Mai Tais and the book was put down! But look for yourself. I did read it. I earmarked more pages than I left unbent.


I even underlined passages that were important. The problem is, this whole book is really important. But if reading what amounts to 294 pages of scientific research (the guy has 22 pages of resources he quoted in the book! He didn’t mess around) doesn’t sound fun to you, then you’re welcome! Because I did read it and here’s my book report.


He basically debunks the modern day theory of calories in calories out. You have to expend calories that you eat if you want to lose weight. He sighted countless examples of how this simply can’t be true. One example is the Pima Indians of Arizona. Today, they have one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the U.S. But when they were living on the land alone back in the 1850′s, a U.S. Army battalion surgeon described the Pima as “Sprightly” and in “fine health” with the “greatest abundance of food” That food was local game, clams out of the Gila River and other meat sources. By the 1870′s the Pima’s natural state of existence ceased because Anglo-Americans and Mexicans began settling in their region. The Pima entered their “years of famine.”  You would think they would became thinner, emaciated.  But they didn’t.  They grew to be obese.   They were now living on government rations of white flour, sugar and coffee. They had considerably less food to eat but they were getting fatter. So fat, by the early 1900′s anthropologists were studying them. One argued, well, they are more sedentary. But the women, who did all the hard manual labor, were the fattest of the Pima. They concluded it wasn’t the quantity of what they ate… it was the quality.  They went from a high protein diet to a diet of refined carbohydrates and sugar.  And that’s what made them fat.  This is a picture of an obese Pima woman.


For dozens more examples like the Pima, you have to read the book. I’m moving on.

Taubes says it all boils down to carbohydrates and sugar. Those are the two things that make us fat. Fat doesn’t make us fat. Protein doesn’t make us fat. Carbs and sugar make us fat. And they make us fat because of how they are processed in our bodies. Here is a combined paragraph from the book explaining what happens in our bodies when we eat carbs and sugar.

“First, when insulin levels are elevated, we accumulate fat in our fat tissue; when these levels fall, we liberate fat from the fat tissue and burn it for fuel. Second, our insulin levels are effectively determined by the carbohydrates we eat…. the more carbohydrates we eat, and the easier they are to digest and the sweeter they are, the more insulin we will ultimately secrete, meaning that the level of it in our bloodstream is greater and so is the fat we retain in our fat cells. In other words, the science itself makes clear that hormones, enzymes and growth factors regulate our fat tissue, just as they do everything else in the human body, and that we do not get fat because we overeat; we get fat because the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat. The science tells us that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one-specifically the stimulation of insulin secretion caused by eating easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods: refined carbohydrates, including flour and cereal grains, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and sugars, like sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup. These carbohydrates literally make us fat and by driving us to accumulate fat, they make us hungrier and they make us sedentary.”

So there you go!  According to Taubes, it’s as simple as that.  In my next post, I’ll give you his meal plan for a day.  Plus I’ll post a GREAT recipe for chicken nuggets… A lot of you have been asking me for it!  

Let me know your thoughts on this book.  This should open a fascinating conversation! 




We went to Hawaii for spring break. You all know this. I took you on a tour of Kauai and showed you where to take your kids and where to go eat. What I didn’t show you is how much we ate! I failed to highlight pictures of BBQ’ed pizzas poolside, or the daily basket of fries we had as an appetizer to our appetizer at dinner. I did show you hula pie at Duke’s.










 I didn’t show you all the other desserts we indulged in. And when I got home, I nearly froze when I strode past the mirror in my bathing suit. Woah! Are there no mirrors in Hawaii? How did I not know my body had plumped! My abs are hiding beneath a warm winter layer IN SPRING and my gluteal fold… look! 20130506-210436.jpg









It can hold a pencil. My ass could sign an autograph!! Hawaii sucks. I’m never going there again. Instead, I’m going to detox. Like how I say detox instead of diet. I don’t diet. I hate dieting. That means I can’t eat. I don’t believe in that route. I believe in changing my diet to eat healthier. That way I can still eat large amounts of food. The food just won’t be drizzled with chocolate! I’m going Paleo again. And tomorrow I’ll tell you why Paleo is right for us and why you might want to consider it as well.  My ass and I are now going to bed.



Monday: One hour on the windtrainer. I put it on the hardest gear and kept it there for the entire 60 minutes. I wanted a good leg workout… this was it! Ran 30 minutes after.


Tuesday: My Little Friend Lynn and I rode hills today. Not a great choice for me considering I did a huge leg workout yesterday, but Lynn doesn’t care. However, I got her back. It was cold this morning in Reno so I ususally ride in legs and arms. They are just that. Stockings that go from your ankle to your thigh, and arms that go from your wrist to your armpits. That way when you get hot, usually an hour into your ride, you can just pull them down or they are small enough to fit into your pockets. Well on this day, I dropped one of my legs between my closet and the car. I didn’t want both of my real legs to freeze so I wore just one leg. Lynn HATES not being cool…and boy was I a dork on this ride!


Wednesday: No workout

Thursday: Swam 3,300 yards. 2000 straight. 10X100 pulling on the 1:45. 300 warmdown.

Friday: Rode my windtrainer for 1 hour on a hard gear again.

Saturday-Sunday: 4-H ALL WEEKEND! I supposed I could have run to the sheep clinics… but I didn’t. So no workouts.

Monday: Rode with My Little Friend Lynn. All hills AGAIN. What is up with that woman??

Tuesday: Ran for an hour around Virginia Lake. If you don’t know Reno very well, this is a great place to go for a run. It’s one mile around the lake. Totally flat. But you do have to watch out for goose and dog poop. Come on people!!! Pick up after your dogs!


Wednesday: Swam 3600 yards. 1000 swim. 1000 kick. 1000 pull. 600 swim.

A pretty boring week and a half of workouts. But truth be told, I’m exhausted. The calving season is kicking my family’s ass and the kids have tons going on in their lives. I’m just happy to squeeze in a few workouts here and there.





Saturday:  Ran for one hour. Yay! I got a weekend workout in. Boo!! It was on a treadmill in Stockton, CA! 

Monday: Rode my windtrainer for 1 hour, again, in front of the TV with my boyfriend, Mr. Reese. And after admitting last week I had a crush on Mr. Reese, my husband asked me if he had something to worry about. Well, no, unless Jim Caviezel ends up in Reno, Nevada and doesn’t mind a middle aged broad with two crazy kids and a fluffy dog! Nope, nothing to worry about here!


Tuesday: Swam 3200 yards. 2000 straight (yuck!).   And then 6X150′s on the 2:30 pulling. This I did with a man I’ve befriended at my pool. He’s from the middle east somewhere and said to me, “Vendy, I see yous going to svim a pooool set. Vants me to join you?”  I answered,  ”No problem amigo! Let’s do this!”    ”Hokay, Vendy, vee svim!”   He then proceeded to kick my ass!  After that, I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes… because he got out and went home.  Take that Mr. “Vendy Yous A Gooood Svimer!”










Wednesday: It was my hubby’s birthday so I snuck in a 1 hour wind trainer session with my boyfriend, Mr. Reese, before hitting the shooting range for a nice round of skeet and trap. No, I’m not counting the shooting as a workout!  Although it was truly an arm workout for me!  Darrin makes me point my gun at the sky first and then bring it down to shooting level.  That’s like doing 75 upside down push ups! 


Thursday: Rode with my Little Friend Lynn outside!  The weather was beautiful! We rode hills, of course everything with her is hills.  We went for about 1 hour 40 minutes.

Friday: No workout. I took today off. I’m exhausted. Every workout this week was a struggle for me.  My life was hectic this week and my workouts paid the price.  It’s a hard lesson to learn, but sometimes the best workout is no workout at all… we need to listen to our bodies!





The last two days, I’ve updated you all on my friends who I’m helping to lose weight. The husband has type 2 diabetes because of his weight. Doctors have told his wife she was on the same path. It’s been an 8 month journey and they are 20130305-220026.jpgboth doing great. Ups and downs, but all in all great. I’m the one who has had the problem. And this is it. I’ve posted this journey on my Facebook page and from day 1, I’ve had many requests for help. One woman emailed me from her hospital bed begging me to help her lose weight. Another woman said she has young children and is afraid she’s going to die from her diabetes. I’ve had so many requests they’ve paralyzed me. I’m the type of person who hates to say no. I want to help people… all of you. I would love to quit my job and open a free gym where you could all workout with me. Unfortunately, I also love a paycheck… so that’s not going to happen. So what can I do??? Well, I’ve decided on two things. First, I’m going to do a book report for all of us. A nutritionist gave my friends and me this book, “Why We Get Fat.” I’ve started it and it’s not a beach read. It’s case study after case study. So, for all of us, I’m going to plow through this beast and give you all the highlights. Give me a few weeks, I read at night when I’m already tired! Secondly, I’m going to start posting my own workouts once a week. Every Friday I will post what I’ve done for the last week so you can copy my workouts, use them as motivation to start working out, or laugh at them and say, “Who does this chick think she is?? Dara Torres?” It’s the best I can do. If I could help each and every one of you, I would! But since 2 children, a husband, a dog, two cats and a job make that impossible (oh wait, did I forget the hamster??), I hope you will accept this small gesture. A lot of you out there just need a big toe… I hope this blog can be that for you!




Yesterday, I shared with you the first half of my text message with my friend who I’m helping to lose weight. He has diabetes… and I HATE IT. So much so I’ve given him and his wife 8 months of my life to try and help them. We work out once a week, I got them a session with a nutritionist and I hold them accountable. If you missed my original text to my friend, check it out here.  And now, here’s the rest of our conversation:

20130304-180026.jpgFriend: Ya know, everybody needs a big toe. Thanks for being my big toe.

Me:  That actually made me laugh out loud! Ok, here is your first journal entry that you are going to write down TODAY!

“Dear Self, I feel like shit and I’ve done this to myself. I’ve gained back 10 pounds during the holidays and it’s causing me to slip into depression. Once again, my weight is yo-yoing and in June of 2012 I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. I can’t keep gaining weight during special occassions. My life depends on it this time. I’m sick. I have a disease that is going to kill me if I don’t get it under control. I am going to get my eating back under control and keep it there until I weigh 275. On that day only can I celebrate with a small treat. Holidays, birthdays, fishing trips, hunting trips are no longer excuses to eat and drink whever I want. As of right now I am in control of what I eat. I have to be . MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.”

There you go! You are going to write that down and read it every day if you have to! Read it instead of putting more shit in your mouth. Read it when you are unmotivated to workout. Read it before you go to the next function where you know you are going to cheat. Now go have a nice day!

Friend: I luv ya toooooooo. See ya next Wednesday. xxxxxoooooo

 So there you have it.  A small look into the many conversations my friend and I have had for several months now.  I think a lot of you can relate to the holiday weight gain, the January depression and the February rut.  It’s a life cycle for many of you. I know because since I’ve started blogging and Facebooking about me helping my friends lose weight, I’ve heard from a lot of you.  So many of you that I’ve decided to do what I can to help you all out.  I’ll let you know what that is tomorrow. 











20130301-185222.jpgI’ve been helping two people lose weight for 6 months. I gave them 6 months of my life after learning the husband had been diagnosed with diabetes. So how did it go? Well, it’s still going. And here’s why. The holidays are killer for people trying to lose weight. I believe there’s one vital reason. When you eat badly at breakfast, you have a better chance at cheating during lunch and an even better shot at cheating during dinner. I mean you blew it at breakfast… what the hell… the whole day is shot. “I’ll do better tomorrow,” you say to yourself. So now take that daily concept and apply it to weeks. Several weeks. Make it a month. And now you’re saying to yourself, “I’ll be better in the new year.” I think the need to lose weight following the holidays is where you will find the origin of New Years resolutions! So here we are. 8 months later. My diabetic friend started at 327. He was at 283 before the holidays. He gained back 10 pounds during that 4 week period. Ouch. His wife started at 162. She got down to 139. Currently shes 141.

So I asked my diabetic friend if I could share our text conversation from a few weeks ago. He smiled and said no because he didn’t want people to think I was a douche!! Keep in mind I care about this guy… Sometimes I think more than he cares about himself. Our conversations are blunt, emotional and sometimes hard to swallow… Like this one:

Friend: I’m in a rut right now and losing the weight I gained over December is proving diffiuclt. I’m riding the bike and treadmill in the morning but I am still losing very slowly. I’m not in the groove yet on my eating habits. I feel like I’m getting depressed a little because I can’t control my urges to eat a little too much. I’m still in the 288 range and my blood sugar was 88 this morning on 40 unites of insulin. I guess I’m going to need some time and will power to get moving.

Me: This is what you are going to do tomorrow morning. You are going to wake up and put a band aide on your little toe. And then you are going to pull out that beautiful food journal I bought you and start writing down every gdam thing you put in your mouth. Then you are going to open up your favorite photo album and look at what’s important in your life. I sure as shit bet it’s not a bunch of pictures of bread and cheese and huge plates of pasta. You no longer have the choice to eat those things. The band aide will remind you of that every day until you get down to 275. And then you are going to do some workout that makes you feel good. DO YOU HEAR ME??? I want to see that food journal next week when we work out together. Tough love SUCKS! Tough shit!

So how did he respond to my lovely text? I’ll let you know tomorrow.



Losing Weight Challenge

This picture has HUGE significance!!

When I started helping my friends lose weight at the beginning of July, his daughter couldn’t fully put her arms around her dad.

Today she ran up to me so excited because now she can!!