My Quest to Eradicate Cheddar and Become a Healthier Me

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Well, I promised some reviews about Pre-Made Paleo, so here is my first one!  Just to give a little background, Pre-Made Paleo is based out of Atlanta, and the head chef is Chef Richard Bradford.  Their meals are Whole30 Approved and they are designed to be prepared in 10 minutes!  The meals are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free, and made without refined sugar.  The meats are grass-fed, grass finished, antibiotic and hormone free,  free range and pastured.  The veggies are hand-picked, locally sourced, and organic when available.  Overall, it’s quality stuff!

I contacted Chef Richard to see if I could try some of the meals and review them.  He responded quickly and was excited to have me try them!  For this review, I’m going to talk about the delivery of the meals, ease of preparation, portion size, and, last but NOT least, taste 🙂

Delivery

I asked for the meals to be delivered to my office because I’ve had a few things “disappear” when delivered to my place in the city.  It was delivered at 10:41am and left in front of my office.  Chef  I told me that the food would be on dry ice, so it should last the day.  I put it in my car after I left work, and I didn’t return home until 9:30pm.  I was pretty afraid the meals would be thawed out.  I opened the box, and the dry ice was like magic!  The food was perfectly frozen, and I threw them in the freezer right away.

Preparation


For my first meal, I decided to have the Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, Sauteed Kale, and Sweet Potato Salad.  The “standard” is to have one protein and two veggies, unless otherwise indicated on the protein packaging.  The food can be prepared on the stovetop or in the microwave!  This was very exciting to me, especially for lunch meals in the office.  Welp, my first meal was at home, so I did it on the stove top.  Here’s a video from Pre-Made Paleo’s site to demonstrate preparation on the stovetop:

Here’s are some pics to show my preparation.  As Chef Richard indicates in the video, right out the freezer, it takes 10 minutes to cook the meats, and the veggies take 4 minutes..  If the food is thawed, it takes half the time (5 minutes for meats, 2 minutes for veggies).

My first frozen Pre-Made Paleo meal!

Turkey in simmering water

Added my veggies after 6 minutes

Then I cut open the bags and drained the excess water from the packaging and served my lunch to myself 🙂

As for ease of preparation, Pre-Made Paleo gets two thumbs up!  It was super easy, unless you think boiling water is hard.

Portion Size

Well, here was my lunch. Does it look like enough to you?  Well, it does to me.  I was satisfied with the portions before, and after my meal.

Voila! My first Pre-Made Paleo Meal 🙂

Taste

So, no for the good stuff 🙂  Before I talk about taste, I can tell you that the turkey smelled AMAZING.  I couldn’t wait to eat it!  I took a bite of the turkey, and it was seasoned well and very tasty.  I will say it was on the dry side, and I realized I made a mistake by draining the water.  I kind of did that intuitively.  However, I added a few drops of water, heated it in the microwave for a little bit, and it was MUCH better.  I would say that the dryness was definitely attributed to user error 🙂  I really love sweet potatoes, and I was pretty excited to try them.  I would have to say that they were definitely a winner as well.  The kale was yummy as far as nutrient-dense greens go 🙂  It was very moist, not too salty, not too flavorless.

Summary

I would have to say that my first experience with Pre-Made Paleo was VERY positive.  It was delivered as expected, easy to prepare, and it was quite tasty!  I can’t wait to report on their other items (hint hint: they were equally, if not more delicious).  Remember, these are frozen, shipped, and prepared meals.  I can’t say I had any expectations set, but I can say that I was very happy with meal #1.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Chef Richard did comp these meals for me.  However, my opinions are strictly my own.  I was in no way influenced to review one way or another.

If you’re interested in getting some Pre-Made Paleo meals, follow this link.  If you are outside Atlanta and in the continental US, they have 5 meal options, including a 3 meals sample option to try it out.  If you purchase their 3 month option, each meal comes to $9.50. For 10 meals, each one comes to $12.50.  This includes shipping AND the meals, which is pretty economical when you’re on the go!  In my next post, I’m going to share about eating my first Pre-Made Paleo Meal at the office.

Also, feel free to follow my blog by adding your email address below the search bar to the right, so you can be updated when I have a new post 🙂

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Thankfully, I have kept to my goal from my last post to attend Dailey Method classes 5 days a week!  However, I definitely did a lot of overindulging the week of and weekend after my birthday.  It is what it is, and, while I’m not happy I did it, it made me realize how far I have come.  Even though I overdid it, I was easily able to get back into the groove of things the following week.  Before, I would have just given up or found another sweet substitute for the sweets I really wanted.  So, that’s that!  I’m back into the Whole30 groove with an occasional indulgence 🙂

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at The Dailey Method about taking your practice to the next level.  It was taught by Natalia, who I remember from when I took my first classes back in 2010.  She has been teaching these classes for three years, and she is great!  She always has a big smile on her face and gives great detailed instruction.  Here is some of her background, taken from The Dailey Method site:

Originally from Puerto Rico, Natalia began training in ballet at age 4. She continued her training throughout high school and into college at the University of Illinois, where she discovered modern dance. She currently lives in Chicago where she dances with the Leopold Group modern dance company and works as a dance teacher, in addition to her work as a fitness instructor. She teaches modern dance at the North Suburban School of Dance, and is a teaching artist for the Joffrey Ballet’s Community Engagement Program. Natalia began taking classes at the Dailey Method in December 2008, and began teaching in March 2009. She is very excited to be a part of the Dailey Method family, and to be doing what she loves!

It was challenging to take pictures from my phone and take notes while trying to participate in the workshop, but I tried my best!  I definitely learned a lot which has helped me this week during classes.  The running “theme” throughout the workshop was the importance of form, especially for the back muscles.  During class, I always hear teachers talking about engaging the rhomboids and serratus anterior muscles in the back…I knew they were muscles in the back, but I didn’t realize how important it is to strengthen them. These muscles pull the shoulder blades/scapula down and back, which helps with opening the chest and gives us better posture. Here’s a great diagram:

Source

I am definitely a sloucher…when I stand, while I sit (I just corrected myself while typing now, hehe), and also sometimes when at The Dailey Method! I thought I always had my shoulder blades back and down like I am always instructed, but there were a few positions I wasn’t doing so. One of those positions is the plank!  I didn’t realize how much I “slouched” and brought my shoulders forward instead of back with planking.  Natalia talked about how important it is to engaged the back muscles because this works the back instead of being rigid and going into the neck.  When the strain is no longer in the neck, the abdominals work harder as well!  Everything is connected 🙂 Here’s a pictures of Natalia teaching while someone demonstrates a doing a plank with the shoulders in the correct position:

Here is Natalia demonstrating downward dog incorrectly (top) and correctly (bottom).  Here, it is easy to see the difference in the shoulder placement.

Not only does this work the serratus anterior to strengthen your back, but it also strengthens the Achilles, stretches your calves and hamstrings.  Natalia gave a great visual to help make sure your shoulders are in the correct position: Pretend you are opening two jars with your hands without moving them.  It might sound silly, but it worked for me!

I also learned my Low C Curve position can be so hard for me as opposed to High C Curve.  I have a very short torso, so it’s hard for me to reach my thighs without straining my neck when I’m so low to the ground.  I’m really glad I learned this because I was beginning to think something was wrong with me!  I was happy to learn that I am A-OK 🙂

High C Curve (I don’t have a pictures of Low C Curve, but it is where your back is lower, but your shoulder blades are still off the ground. Basically your arms are stretched out more.)

One thing Natalia kept emphasizing throughout the workshop was that all of our bodies are different in terms of shape, flexibility, muscle tightness, etc.  Some positions are easier and harder for some of us than others.  We need to find what works best for us as individuals!  This was a key takeaway for me.  The instructors always say this in class as well.  However, even though I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, it’s hard not to while I see others class do complicated movements while they are holding a plank.  However, when I focus on myself, my form is better, I become stronger, and I get better!

Overall, the workshop was very clarifying and reinforced why I go to The Dailey Method!  Great instruction, impeccable form, and an amazing workout. Period.


My birthday is soon approaching, and it’s making me think about where I really want to be in my life right now in terms of my physical health.  I feel that in the past 6 months, I have made great improvements to my life including being aware and ACCEPTING my eating behaviors (sugar obsession and overeating), working out at The Dailey Method pretty regularly, and transitioning to a Paleo/Whole30 eating lifestyle.

However, in the aftermath of my first Whole30, I have gained a couple pounds back, and I have also started to reduce my workout frequency from 4 days a week minimum to 3 days a week.  Soooo back to where I want to be in my life….I really want to lose some more inches.  Working out 3 days a week, is definitely maintenance mode in my head.  Therefore, I am planning to increase the frequency of my workouts to 5 days a week.  Given my schedule, I think this is a fair and feasible schedule change.  While I don’t plan on being super strict for Whole30, I do plan on following the guidelines for the most part with the occasional indulgence.

I once read that in terms of health, food > sleep > exercise (I think it was on the Whole9 Facebook page).  I feel that sometimes I wasn’t exercising because I wasn’t sleeping as much.  So, I am going to put a change to that!  I plan to be in bed every night by 10:30pm, so I can get up and workout feeling rested.  I really think I’ll notice a difference with this subtle change.  I did a quick Google search about workout frequency (I’m so scientific!), and I came upon this site.  The picture I first saw (below) scared the crap out of me, but I liked the idea of the article.  (No, I don’t want to look like him…not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Source

Basically, it talks about the frequency of strength training you need to make different types of changes in your body.  It also emphasizes the importance of muscle recovery.  I love that The Dailey Method has a combination of isometric strength training and low-intensity cardio!  I really feel like I’m getting it all in one class 🙂

Speaking of The Dailey Method, I’m excited to announce that I will be attending a Dailey Method workshop next weekend about taking my practice to the next level!  This should be really great, and I’m looking forward to blogging about it.  Also, I have been struggling with preparing Whole30 meals ahead of time with my work and personal schedules…so I started looking into Pre-Made Paleo meals that I can heat up and eat.  I’m excited to announce that I am going to be receiving some of their meals to review on this blog!  I’m super excited about these upcoming posts, and I hope you are too 🙂

Here are a few questions for you all:

1. Have any of you noticed any changes to your body by increasing the frequency of your workouts?

2. How/when do you manage to make meals ahead of time for yourself and/or your family?

3. Do you believe in or practice “food > sleep > exercise”  in terms of order of importance?  Why or why not?



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