Is That Paleo?

June 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

That has become the question of the day around here.  Is what we are thinking of cooking and eating actually Paleo?

You know what? It’s kind of getting on my nerves.

Mostly because I’m not really sure; meal to meal that I make, recipe to recipe that I research, article to article that I read.

And can someone tell me the difference between Paleo and Primal? From what I gather there’s a very fine line but one that still exists.  Is it about eating dairy or meat or simply a difference in philosophy?

All I really know is that I’m much more conscious of the foods we are consuming and I’m making painstaking efforts to make sure we’re staying away from refined and liquidized sugars, unnecessary starches and chemically based preservatives.

Which means I’ve been trying hard to stay away from almost EVERYTHING in the grocery store.  Because aside from fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs and nuts…it’s not Paleo.

*sigh* 

Thank goodness for honey.

Paleo Challenge – Revisited

May 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

Back in January, we decided to try out a 30 day Paleo Challenge.  While it went well for the duration, we had a lot of difficulty keeping up with it and absolutely no trouble falling back into our old eating and lifestyle habits.  *sigh*

Well, we’ve decided to give it another go and for the next 30 days (and hopefully beyond) we will endeavour to eat like cavemen once again. I do feel much more confident this time because we did maintain some of what we started back in January.  Things like coconut milk and almonds have remained staples and we still eat raw (except for eggs and meat) more often than not.

I’m very sure that the cravings for sugar and salty snacks will not be as severe this time around and I’ve already modified a few of my muffin recipes to make them more Paleo.  Today I stepped even further out of my comfort zone and made a batch of zucchini muffins without any sugar or butter, substituting with honey and unsweetened apple sauce, respectively.

These muffins bring a whole new meaning to moist and you almost have to eat them with a spoon. Hey, maybe I just invented something here.  Honestly, I will have to modify the recipe to make them a little firmer because they’re not really practical for an on the go snack, which is the idea of a muffin, right? I’ll post the recipe once I’ve perfected it.

Nevertheless, they are very yummy even if not nearly as sweet as I’m used to. Maybe next time I’ll add some dried cranberries to bump up the sweetness a touch.

😀

Our 30 Day Paleo Challenge – An Update

January 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Well, we’re coming up on the 2/3 mark for our challenge.

As persome very kind and sound advice, I’ve managed to stay away from the scale so I have no idea if I’ve lost anymore weight or if I’ve even gained any. Truthfully, it matters less and less to me everyday.

What I can say is that for the last 16 days I have not had a single slice of bread or grain of rice or piece of potato (or potato chips/crisps). I did have pizza once, pasta once and breaded chicken wings once and each time I ate those things I felt bloated, tired and just plain yucky. The next morning’s constitutionals were no picnic either.

Overall though, with a mostly Paleo diet for the last two and a half weeks, I’ve lost a bit of girth around my waist, my breasts don’t feel as tight, my butt is slightly higher and my face has remained clear (I suffer from mild to moderate – depending on my cycle – adult acne).  More importantly, I still a much better sense of well being and my cravings, though still there, aren’t as consuming or distracting.

Also gone is a lot of the negative inner dialogue I was having about what I was eating. Almost every time I ate I used to say to myself things like; “Don’t eat too much of that”, “Does your waistline really need another handful of those”, “You’re going to regret this tomorrow”.

Now I’m saying things like; “Yummy”,  “Who knew cauliflower could taste so good” and “More, please”.  Eating has become more of a joy and something I look forward to sharing with my family as opposed to something I have to do just to survive.  Does that make sense?

And don’t get me started on the cooking! Cooking is much easier and more rewarding now. When you consider that a great deal of our diet is raw foods, well…it’s just a matter of cooking the protein and some of the veggies, many times in the same pan or pot. How easy is that?

I will be looking into some Paleo baking recipes. Our current diet as it is is fine for the challenge but if we’re going to get serious about this, I need to make things that we can incorporate to transition from challenge/diet into lifestyle.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned the exercise…well, that’s because there’s nothing to tell right now. Mid winter in Eastern Canada is a tough time to start an exercise regimen. It’s just really hard to exercise when it’s so freakin’ cold that you put on your housecoat as soon as you take off your overcoat. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  😉

Rumpy made a request for some spinach recipes because Jen, his human, loves spinach. I’m going to take that request one step further and post a Paleo recipe of the week.  Watch for it Rump!  😀

Hope everyone is having a good week out there in blogland!

 

Adjustments

January 13, 2012 § 5 Comments

It’s all about adjustments around here these days. Getting used to a new family member at the same time as adopting a new lifestyle change.

Sarah Jane is slowly making her way into the clowder. The most recent incident with Panther had the little wee one standing her ground and putting on quite the display of fangs and puffy tail. Panther actually took off and decided it wasn’t worth it to try rolling her again.

Two days ago Darth, the ol’ man and leader of the bunch, introduced himself to Sarah Jane by walking up to her to take a sniff. She backed herself into a corner with a flurry of hisses and growls. However, in the spirit of his royalty, Darth simply raised his paw to her and then walked away rolling his eyes. “Yeah, whatever.”

Between that and the Paleo challenge, it’s been all about getting used to new things.

What I’m loving most about the Paleo challenge though is the cooking. I’ve been expanding my skills in the kitchen with researched and adapted recipes that all of us are thoroughly enjoying.

I never thought I would have such an affinity toward spinach, red onion and mushroom having hated them for most of my life, now I look forward to them.  The best is that I can’t wait to perfect sweet potato fries. My first few attempts have ended up with either under or over cooked.  I’ll be working on it.

Yeah, a lot of adjustments lately.  But so far so good.  😀

Our 30 Day Paleo Challenge

January 12, 2012 § 18 Comments

On January 2nd we started a 30 day Paleo challenge. The basic idea is to eat like a caveman for 30 days and see how you feel at the end of it. So far my favourite comment from family and friends has been from my brother who asked, “Where are you going to get dinosaur meat?”

He was just being cute and I was being even cuter when I replied nonchalantly, “Oh, we know a guy.”

The thing I found interesting though is how often, in the 10 days since we started this new way of eating, that the questions come up.  “What, no bread?”  Nope. “No potatoes, rice or pasta?” Nope.  The best has to be, “Then what are you eating”, as though I’m starving myself.

What I am eating is; beef, chicken, pork…bacon, lots of bacon, eggs, spinach, zucchini, carrots, squash, turnips, strawberries, blueberries, coconut milk, raw almonds, cauliflower, green beans, green peppers, assorted leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, butter and onions.

That’s just in the last 10 days. Really, I’m hardly starving.

But I’ve cheated too. Let’s see…1/2 dozen leftover Christmas cookies, milk chocolate, pizza and the three cough drops I ate because I was too lazy to get up and get the cookies.

Overall though, the last 10 days have shown me that I CAN do this. In general I just feel better, have more energy and a more positive outlook. Despite the setback of actually gaining a couple of pounds in the first week, by sticking with it, I’ve subsequently lost more than I gained and then some.

This shit works.

Changing our diet and the foods we eat is Phase one. The next phase will be about incorporating regular exercise into our routine. We’re not looking to run marathons here, just to invigorate ourselves a little with some physical activity. Especially important here in Canada in January when the weather outside leaves you not even wanting to open the front door, let alone get out for a brisk walk.

Snow, freezing rain, more snow.

For now, I’m keeping Phase Three as a surprise, mostly because I’m not exactly sure about it. I’m leaning towards…ahhh, you’ll have to wait.  😛

If you’re at all interested in Paleo and want more info check out GROKette’s Primal Musings for an intro into the world of Paleo. She has more info, links and experience than I do and I loved her latest article.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Camp Food – Leftover Hamburgers Make Awesome Stew

August 9, 2011 § 6 Comments


I absolutely LOVE cooking outdoors, I always find the food tastes better when we’re camping.  But then, I like airplane and hospital food too.  😉   Seriously though, I think it’s the lack of walls and the sheer abundance of fresh air.  Standing over a hot stove outside when it’s humid is a lot better than behind stuck inside a house doing the same thing.

As we were going to be gone for less than 48 hours, I had only one major meal to concern myself with and that was Saturday’s dinner.  Preferring to use something we already had instead of going out and spending money, I found some leftover cooked hamburgers in the freezer.

Not sure what exactly I was going to do with it, I relied on my creativity and tossed them into the cooler.  I then went through the pantry and fridge and found a can of diced tomatoes and a couple of small green peppers.  Aha! I knew what I was going to make…

Leftover Hamburger Stew

In a medium size pot on low heat I melted about a tablespoon of butter and cooked 1 small diced onion and 2 small chopped green pepper.  I added 1 tablespoon of homemade Italian Spice Mix* and continued cooking until the peppers were tender and then added the large can of diced tomatoes.

While that continued cooking on low, I cut up the (now thawed) cooked hamburgers into small cubes and added that to the sauce.  I turned up the heat and cooked it for about 20 minutes and then added another tablespoon of the spice mix and a small can of tomato paste, mixing well.

I let that simmer for another 15 minutes then covered and let stand.  It sat for most of the afternoon so I heated it up on med high and brought it to a boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly and then turned it to simmer for another 10 minutes.

It was amazing!  Somehow I know that it tasted all the better for being outdoors…and that I used leftovers in such a clever and tasty way.   😀

*Italian Spice Mix – Instead of bringing along a whole lot of different spices for camping which can be a pain to store, I put some oregano, basil, thyme, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder all in one container and shook it up.  Tada!  Instant all-purpose spice mix.

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