Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paleo Noms

How are you doing a week into our sugar free challenge? Be honest with yourself. I had a few slip ups myself. I'm human after all. I was hungry and had poured Grace some gluten free cereal and got to munching on it myself, thinking "wow, this is really good" until I realize it was frosted flakes, lol.
It's okay if you slip up, just get right back on the horse. Try a little harder every day.

Before we get to some tasty food porn (and more ideas to stuff your belly and crush your soul-stealing sugar cravings), I want to give a special shout out to my friends Mike & Kathy. They invited us over Saturday evening. When we got there, I was delighted to see a copy of Everyday Paleo on the kitchen counter. Not even delighted, but proud! Kathy pulled together an awesome paleo dinner of chicken breast, salad with pear and some dressing, and I helped put together a cauliflower parsnip mash. We rounded out the meal with some dates stuffed with cream cheese and salted pistachios. Mike was not brave enough to try my stuffed dates (even though everyone knows sweet & salty goes awesome together. Haha, Mike, your loss :oP)
My only regret is I didn't get pictures, so I'm making up for it here.

Remember in my last post, I encouraged you to get some veggies and eggs? If you've never had frittata, now is the time. It's so easy to make. I would have taken pictures, but it's so delicious that it disappears before I think to take them. Very basic, too. Chop up a bunch of veggies you feel compliment eachother (my go to ones are baby spinach, mushroom, green onion, and often bell pepper). Also chop up some bacon (I used pork jowl, which is one of the most awesome bacons ever), and scramble 1 dozen eggs. Get the bacon going in an oven-safe pan so it renders out some of its fat/grease, then cook your veggies in it. Spread it into an even layer over the pan, and pour in your eggs. After a few mins on the stove top, place the pan in the oven under the broiler for about 8 mins. Take it out and slice it up. I love to eat mine with salsa. I always tells Grace that it's breakfast pizza, and she has no trouble tucking a slice away when she's hungry.

Oh and I just discovered "Paleo Cookie Dough".
Honestly it tastes nothing like cookie dough, but it sure does satisfy me on a deep level. The next time you're fighting your sugar demon (and I promise you that you will be), throw this together. It only takes a few minutes. I used 2T Barney Butter (heretofore-after known as the most awesome almond butter ever), 2T Crio Bru, coconut oil, 1T coconut oil, and some walnuts. Melt the barney butter & coconut oil together, stir in crio & walnuts, then toss in freezer until it firms up a bit. Eat it. Revel in extreme awesomeness.

Okay NOW for food porn!

Friday evening we were able to enjoy Country Captain Chicken from the book Paleo Comfort Foods. I don't know why, but I thought this recipe was weird. Delicious, but weird.

I'd never heard of Country Captain Chicken prior to making this. It's like chicken fried steak meats stew. Like I said- delicious, but weird.

Tonight we had some heavenly bacon wrapped filet mignon with a side of mash. The mash recipe is from Make It Paleo, and is made with turnips and parsnips. If you're worried about being overpowered by Super Mario Brothers strength turnips, don't be. It's a very mellow, pleasant dish. It's sort of sweet meets garlic.

Here's what Grace thought of our dinner:

That said... my 3yo willingly eats steak. There's no reason you can't get your whole family in on the Primal/Paleo lifestyle!

In fact, here is a list of lame reasons you may possibly try to give me to avoid taking the plunge:
7 Exceptionally Lame Excuses Why You Haven't Gone Paleo Yet

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fat Sprouts & Happy Piggy

I'll be updating this post throughout the day.

For those of you joining me on a 30 day sugar free journey, I hope you woke up with a food hangover and never want to see a sweet thing again. I hope your body triggers a hurl reflex when you think about even a spoonful of ice cream. That said, let's get some real food into your hung over body.

This morning I am enjoying a plate of brussel sprouts, pulled pork, and poached eggs (link here).

Get used to eating vegetables for breakfast, cuz it's a pretty normal thing in my house. In fact, I want you to get a ton of veggies that you think will taste good together, cuz on Friday we're making frittata! Almost every Friday, here, is Frittata Friday. Personally I like mushroom, baby spinach, sausage or bacon, bell pepper and green onion

For lunch-- soft tacos made with pulled pork, lettuce, salsa verde, and Pure Wraps.

I've been anxious to try Pure Wraps ever since I heard about them last year, but the shipping fee was a real turn off. A $4 item suddenly became $12 thanks to shipping. You can imagine my joy when I found them yesterday at my Real Foods store while running to pick up some raw milk for Grace. I yelped and grabbed half the cardboard flat full!

You will be pleased to know that they are tasty. Not coconutty at all! They are a little sweet, but tolerably so.

Also they hold up pretty well to bending and what not

I'm looking forward to playing with them some more (crepes, roll ups, raviolis, etc)

dinner was mushroom chicken from Paleo Comfort Foods. I was going to make the parsnip-turnip mash from Make It Paleo, but I didn't realize it took 45 mins and the chicken was nearly done. I'll save the mash for another night.

I hope you got 5 dozen eggs, bacon, butter, and brussels like I asked you to (oh and Make It Paleo, Everyday Paleo, and Paleo Comfort Foods).

Also make sure you weigh and measure yourself today. Record it somewhere. Hopefully, if you're honest with yourself, you'll be impressed with your results in 30 days.

Now go get some exercise outside of running out for groceries!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prep Guide to the Next 30 Days

On Sunday I issued a challenge. Not many have answered, but at least I'm upholding my end of the bargain. I want to give you a little prep guide so you can dive right in tomorrow and start the day right. Let's start with some super useful books. I will warn you that I'm going to yammer on about Paleo, but just stick with me for a minute, okay? Folks may be turned off by the term "paleo" by thinking it is some fad or meat-heavy diet. It's not. It's just good, old fashioned, clean eating like our ancestors did prior to the invention of the microwave and lean cuisine.

I want you to invest in yourself. I want you to treat yourself today to dark chocolate, bacon, and the following books (listed in order of awesomeness magnitude):

Make It Paleo is probably my current, most favorite cook book. It's ginormous, and has full color food porn on every page. Be still, my heart! We've yet to try a recipe from here we didn't like.

You may recall me cooking my way through Everyday Paleo in June. There were a few recipes we didn't care for, but overall it's a great book to have. I particularly like that Sarah Fragoso lists a 30 day meal plan, complete with grocery list and meals for the kids.

We just got this one for Valentines, so we haven't had a chance to cook out of it, but it's on the same level as Make It Paleo as far as sexy food porn goes. We're looking forward to working with it.

So I want you to get these books while you are out and about tonight, okay? I also want you to get uncured bacon, 5 dozen eggs, brussel sprouts, and REAL butter. Got it? Okay, GO!

For breakfast I'm thinking brussel sprouts cooked in butter (I'll be cooking mine in pastured lard. If you have access to pastured/grass fed lard, you can use it too), with leftover pulled pork.
It's gonna be a great lift day at the gym!

P.S. I shouldn't tell you this, but I sort of want you to gorge yourself on junk food today. If it has sugar, eat it (Pint of ice cream? Go for it! Entire chocolate bar? Yup). Eat so much of it that you puke (not joking). I want you to remember for the next 30 days how utterly crap-tastic bad food makes you feel so that you never crave it again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sugar Free 30 Day Challenge

I want you to do something for me.

I want you to join me in a 30 day no sugar challenge. We will begin February 15 (hey, I'm being nice and allowing you a little Valentines gastro-happiness), and end on March 18 (so no boozing on St. Patty's... not that I have many boozy friends)

Now the rules.

What you are NOT allowed to eat:

  • grains (no wheat, rice, or corn, or any of that nonsense. It's only 30 days, just try it ok? You don't have anything to lose. 30 days will flash by pretty quickly)
  • dairy, except butter and Greek yogurt, but only very sparingly (no ice cream, gelato, cheese, heavy cream, milk, etc. Limit your butter/yogurt consumption to 1 cup per week, and PLEASE use REAL butter. None of that Smart Balance nonsense. The ingredient list should be cream and/or salt, but I prefer unsalted)
  • Sugar (duh, it's a sugar free challenge. No stevia, splenda, truvia, or any other form of sugar or sugar substitute. This includes maple syrup, honey, and agave)
What you CAN eat:
  • Vegetables. As much as you want.
  • Meat (especially wild caught sea food, and grass fed/pastured critter)
  • Delicious, satisfying healthy fat (avocado, coconut, olive oil, macadamias)
  • Some fruit. Eat it sparingly. 1 or 2 pieces of fruit of your choice per week. Best time to have it would be after an honest to goodness hard workout.

I'm not being completely paleo here. You are allowed peanut butter so long as there's no sugar in it. There's something special about enjoying an apple with some peanut butter after a hard run or good lift session. Also I'm not recommending any carb limit. See? This is totally do-able. The point is, for 30 days, to eat as clean as possible and get active. The biggest, hardest weighted lift of the day is the one that gets your butt out of bed or off the couch ;)

Why I'm doing this:
I'm having minor surgery March 9th. There will be weekly steroid injections involved that will spike my blood sugar, thus I need really crack down on my sugar consumption to keep my numbers in a good range for my next diabetes check up. I also really need support.

What I'll do for you if you do this:
I will try my best to provide you with recipes and links and reading to help you along your 30 day journey. You're going to want to get yourself some eggs, and stock up on veggies. One of my favorite breakfasts is frittata. Also I'm pretty crazy about brussel sprouts.

Don't focus on what you can't have. Focus on what you can. Also please get active. Even if it's a 30 min walk, just do something every day.

You have two days to decide if you'll join me. I hope the answer is a resounding "YES!"