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“Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.” ~Milton Erickson

Day 5 of week 7

I knew I was going to be buying both my lunch and dinner out today. I am always fearful that there is nothing on the menu that I can make “paleo” so I tend to pick a dish that looks like it has the lowest ratio of carbs to “paleo” ingredients on the plate, so that I can eat the paleo stuff on the plate and ignore the carbs. I could have done this with the dinner, for example, eaten everything but the fries. Unfortunately, I’m not that disciplined, it appears, because I made a pretty good dent in the fries, even if I didn’t eat them all.

The salad bar should have been easy to do without putting carbs in my salad, but unfortunately, this salad bar didn’t have very many options and I was afraid that I would not feel satisfied with just greens and an egg, so I added the chickpeas and grape leave wraps for more heartiness and the feta cheese for taste. It’s a delicate balancing act. I also know those margaritas I had with dinner were filled with sugar, and even though I considered just getting a shot of tequila without the sweet mixer, I was eating at a table, so that would have been more challenging.

The best I can say about eating out and trying to do it paleo is to do the best you can. It’s not always going to work the way you want it to. And if you order something that has an ingredient that is not paleo in it, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave that off and replace it with another item. For example, what I know I should have done is asked them to replace the fries with a chefs salad or something like that. However, I hadn’t realized when I ordered the dinner that the fries came with it. Otherwise I might have.

Today’s nutrition:

10:30 blueberries and macadamia nuts (2 oz each)

12:30 salad bar: mixed salad greens with cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, green pepper, boiled egg, feta cheese, 2 pieces of grape leave wraps, balsamic vinaigrette

7:00 dinner and drinks out with friends: 2 margaritas, filet mignon with roasted veggies and french fries


Today’s nutrition

9:30 plain mint tea

10:30 2 oz mixed nuts; 2 oz blue berries

1:00 broccoli soup, 1 avocado, 10 olives

7:00 grilled pork tenderloin, mixed salad (endive, lettuce, olives, radishes, red pepper, feta); 12 pieces dark chocolate; ½ cup berry juice

grilled pork tenderloin and salad

grilled pork tenderloin and salad

Today’s nutrition:

12:00 bowl of broccoli/leek/potato soup; 2 boiled eggs, 1 tomato, several olives, a little olive oil; 2 oz blueberries

1:30 mixed nuts (2 oz)

7:15 2 boiled eggs w/ mayo; vodka/tonic

Today’s nutrition:

11:00 blue berries

12:00 bowl of broccoli/leek/potato soup; small piece of chocolate brownie; leek/shrimp salad (from yesterday)

6:30 turkey burger and salad (lettuce, tomato, yellow pepper, avocado) with balsamic dressing; 4 pieces dark chocolate; cup of extreme berry juice (no sugar added)

Broccoli-leek-potato soup

The recipe in the magazine. I made mine without the sour cream and chives.

The recipe in the magazine. I made mine without the sour cream and chives.

(Modified to be “paleo” from a recipe by Food & Wine magazine.)


2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender parts only, finely chopped
1 – 1 ½ lbs broccoli, stems peeled, and sliced/cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large or two small-to-medium boiling potatoes, cubed
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5-6 cups chicken stock/broth
Salt & pepper
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy/non-soy milk
Chives or cilantro

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, garlic and 3-4 cups of the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, add the rest of the chicken stock and the potato, add salt and boil on medium-low until potato is soft enough to mash. The potato will soak up most of the stock. If liquid gets too low, add more. When done, add the milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cilantro or chives. Mash together.
  3. Add the mashed potato mixture to the broccoli/leek soup. Using a handheld mixer, puree the soup until the desired consistency.

Walnut shrimp salad in endive leaves

I also added red peppers, tomato and cucumbers to this for a more substantial dinner.

I also added red peppers, tomato and cucumbers to this for a more substantial dinner.

(Modified from Food & Wine magazine, the original calls for hazelnuts and hazelnut oil)


3 tbsp walnuts
2 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 1/2 teasp. minced garlic
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
2 tbsp chopped celery leaves (optional)
1 scallion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 large Belgian endives, leaves separated

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a pie plate, toast the nuts for about 10 minutes or until they are fragrant and browned. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel and rub off the skins. Let the nuts cool then coarsely chop them.
  2. Meanwhile bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil with the smashed garlic. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 2 minutes. Drain and let the shrimp cool, discard the garlic.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the minced garlic, 1/2 teasp of salt and a generous pinch of pepper until combined. Whisk in the hazelnut and olive oils until incorporated, then stir in the chopped basil and celery leaves. Stir in the scallion and 2 tbsp of the chopped nuts until mixed.
  4. Coarsely chop the cooled shrimp and add to the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and toss the mixture to coat the shrimp.
  5. Arrange the endive leaves on a large platter and spoon the shrimp into them. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and serve. I added tomato, cucumber and red pepper to mine so I could have it as a dinner. Otherwise, this is good as an appetizer.

Today’s nutrition:

12:00 turkey burger and salad (same as yesterday)

3:30 4 pieces dark chocolate

5:30 broccoli/leek/potato soup


I did my food shopping today as well: went to Whole Foods and spent about $150.

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Today’s nutrition:

9:30 plain tea

11:00 1 turkey burger (see yesterday) with left-over salad from yesterday

12:00 mixed nuts

6:00 2 eggs over-easy with salad (cucumber, avocado, yellow pepper and lettuce)

7:30-8:30 half a beer; a vodka w/tonic and lime juice


Completion of 8-Week Impossible Abs programMarch 4th, 2013
8 weeks completed!

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