Friday, February 11, 2011
1) This is not a diet in the usual sense of that word. Originally, diet meant basically what you eat. Like birds eat a diet of seeds and bugs. But now if you say "I'm eating a Paleo diet", what immediately pops into people's minds is "weight loss". While the Paleo diet seems to induce weight loss in a lot of people, especially if they're typically eating a lot of simple carbs going into it, that's not the main focus (for me at least) of trying to eat this way.
2) The main focus is health, across all body systems. Good health feels like this: You go to sleep easily, you pop out of bed with lots of energy, you can perform all sorts of demanding tasks during the day both mental and physical without feeling tired or lethargic, and your body systems all function well.
Okay, that being said, it seems like eating this way might take some getting used to. So what's a typical day on the Paleo Challenge like? Easier than you might think.
First of all, I try to think of each meal as about 2/3 vegetables, 1/3 meat or other protein. I've tried to get really good about prepping a bunch of vegetables all at once so I've always got a supply on hand of vegetables cut and ready to go for anything I want to cook.
I like to start out my day with a whole bunch of veggies, scrambled up with some eggs or sausage or bacon or even some hamburger left over from last night. For hubby and I, I basically fill my cast iron skillet with vegetables before adding 4 eggs, so there's a good wallop of vitamins, anti-oxidants and protein to start off our day.
Once a week on Sundays, I cook up a big batch of "Paleo Crepes" made with almond meal and coconut flour. I put the extras in the fridge and the kids eat them all week. I usually have them on Sunday morning with a bunch of berries.
If we're at home for lunch, I might cook up a nice stir fry. Throw a bunch of veggies in the pan and add some frozen shrimp. Toss in some garlic, onions, ginger, a spritz of sesame oil, some Bragg's Liquid Aminos which add a flavor similar to soy sauce, and you've got a really great lunch in five minutes.
If we're out of the house, I might take along some turkey or chicken slices and a bunch of snackable veggies like carrots, red pepper slices, celery, etc.
For dinner, I try to get creative and find things that fit well with my Paleo desires, but that the kids will also like. Taco Night is a good one, because I just make a huge Taco Salad (with no chips or taco shells), and the kids make regular ol' Tacos.
Other favorites are:
Pasta (I make a big meat and veggie sauce and serve it over steamed cauliflower for myself/hubby and pasta for the kids)
Soup: My homemade chicken or turkey is a huge favorite, and if we roast a whole chicken or turkey I can make an extra meal or two out of it by boiling up the carcass and making soup. I make it good and spicy with lots of veggies and pepper.
Fried Chicken: I've discovered I can make this by lightly rolling the chicken pieces in coconut flour. The kids declared it "delicious". I served it with some big bowls of steamed broccoli. Yum!
That's about it. I try to rotate through stuff so I don't get bored. I try to make sure I'm feeling happy about what I'm eating, and getting lots of fresh and steamed vegetables in there. If I feel like I need a few carbs during a heavy workout day, I'll throw in an apple or some dried fruit. Snacks are often nuts, jerky, or coconut chips (my favorite).