Movie Dates and Southern States

This weekend my husband had a *rare* day off work, so we decided to take our littlest guy to see a movie called “Strange Magic”.  It was playing at our local “cheap” theater (tickets are $2.25) and we had a gift card, so after concessions we only paid $5.00 for everything.  Totes winning.  (Thanks, Carmike Cinemas for having a more affordable option in our town!)

Usually I have to really pump myself up to see animated films.  I know the theater will be packed with kids talking and/or crying, and I would really just rather take a nap.  However, Strange Magic is the second movie I have seen this year that surprised me with its greatness.  This movie is delightful.  Delightful, I say!  It’s a musical, which I did not expect.  The Bog King (voiced by Alan Cumming)is totally my favorite character.  The plot is not extremely predictable, the animation is good, and the songs are so enjoyable.  At certain points I was singing, my husband was singing, our son was dancing… it was a wonderful time!  I’m telling you, there’s nothing so sweet as catching glimpses of a little one’s face while they are completely entranced in a story like this one.  Half the time I was watching the screen, and half the time I was studying my boy, sitting on the edge of his seat, smiling, fascinated.  Why can’t all movies be this good?!

The rest of our weekend was filled with house cleaning, workouts, and car shopping.  Two things we always do on Sunday (or I do alone, if my husband is working): Church and Fried Chicken.  Almost every week.  On both sides of my family Sunday is a day of eating.  My mom’s mother is French, and makes bread by hand every Sunday morning, then we all feast on it after church.  My dad’s mother makes country-style meals with fixins.  In my house, we do fried chicken.

As we were sitting at the table looking over our Sunday lunch, I felt overwhelming gratitude.  The South, particularly the states I have lived in most of my life – Georgia and Alabama – takes a lot of crap from the rest of the nation.  It is the butt of many jokes, and is criticized on the regular for not conforming to what is normal everywhere else.  But I am SO grateful we live here.  Grateful to have been raised here, with front porches and rocking chairs and sweet tea.  With tire swings and creeks and Sunday Service.  We worship Jesus and we say ‘yes ma’am’.  We say grace and we walk around barefoot and we make our biscuits from scratch.  I cannot imagine life any other way.  I cannot imagine raising our kids any other way.  If you don’t live down here, well, y’all just don’t know what you’re missing.

The Meat of the Matter

Reading the title causes me to immediately sing (in my head) “The Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley, except with the word meat in it.  Anyone else?  Bueller?

Moving on…

Primal/Paleo is difficult for me some days.  I crave potato chips when I’m watching a movie with my family.  Stress makes me want to pick up some french fries and ice cream and lose myself in their salty, sweet, carb-filled comfort.  I walk past the bakery and the scent of baguettes stops me, mid-stride.  The smell is enough to make me weak in the knees and question my resolve.  Thankfully, some days (the majority, I’d say) are easy.

Today my husband was home for lunch, so we had sirloin cooked in Plugra butter (the BEST butter, if you ask me) with fresh steamed green beans.  There was dark chocolate after.

Today was an easy day.  Today was delicious, squared.

Two gorgeous hunks of cow.
Two gorgeous hunks of cow.

When I looked in my thesaurus at synonyms for “meat”, I found words like “core”, “crux”, and “essence”.  Fitting, I thought, since meat really is the center of a Primal dieter’s food pyramid.  Protein and fats, amino acids, iron, all found naturally in steak and all good reasons to include it in your weekly meal plan.  I have found that without the extra starches, my runs are easier, my sinus issues have disappeared, and my skin is less acne-prone.  Beyond that, the thing that astounds me, is that my recovery after hard workouts is off the charts.  I ran sprints this morning, and I’m getting faster and faster at it, and my body is adapting incredibly well.  I don’t have that “thickness” in my chest, I’m not gasping for air, in between sets.  As a woman, I feel compelled to mention that my belly looks much less bloated than it used to.  I know that’s superficial, but hey, nobody wants to put on their jeans to find that they look pregnant (when they aren’t), you know?

The perfect lunch?
The perfect lunch?

Now, I’ll admit, most of my life I have identified as a “meat and potatoes” girl.  This is still true.  I love meat.  I love potatoes.  I grew up eating celebratory dinners with my parents, family, and friends, at various steakhouses.  I always got a big steak and I always ordered a baked potato on the side.  However, asked to choose between the two for the rest of my life, steak is the obvious choice.  A good steak is an amazing thing.  It’s so filling and satisfying, I don’t even miss the potatoes.  A good baked potato, even with lots of toppings, without a good steak, on it’s best day is just “meh”.   Am I right?

I’m enjoying all this cooking.  I’m thrilled to have found something that satisfies my foodie taste-buds, satisfies my nutritional needs as an athlete, and satisfies my vanity as a woman.  If you’re thinking about trying Primal Blueprint, go for it.  The benefits far outweigh a few potatoes.  Or breadsticks. Or bagels…