Beginning Paleo

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Yesterday, I touched on paleo.  Today, I’d like to offer a bit more information to explain why I’m making this change.  Since I’m a sucker for a good infographic, here you go!

Some things I would like to point out from the infographic:  1960s BMI and obesity began to be closely tracked by medical science and the little bubbles on the left side as you go down the years changing, difference between the good and bad fats, obesity timeline and diabetes stats.  There is a lot of information on this, so check it out closely.  On the bottom, there is a simple explanation of how paleo works.

If this is something you are seriously considering, I encourage you to read a book, do your research.   You need to know things like green beans, corn and potatoes are NOT included in veggies and what kinds of oils are okay to use. I read “The Paleo Diet” by Dr. Loren Cordain.  I’d like to read Robb Wolf’s book soon.  There are books, websites, blogs, forums, so many resources to help you stay on track or give you ideas on how to eat.

A few notable sites that I’ve been visiting are Paleo Parents, PaleoOMG and the Civilized Caveman, but as I said, there are endless sources for you to find recipes and encouragement.  If I decide to make a change, I try to immerse myself in things relating to the new lifestyle.  When I decided to be more active and lose weight, I started following blogs and Instagram accounts that would constantly remind me of what I’m working toward.  Reading other people’s stories, seeing their progress pictures, helps to keep me on track.

Why did I decide to make this change?  My youngest son, Carter, is dairy intolerant.  I’m constantly forgetting when I plan meals to plan around that.  Whoops.  Sometimes, I panic and whip up something separate for him.  Also, I have IBS.  It’s not severe, just uncomfortable sometimes.  I think that eliminating grains and dairy will improve my digestion.

How do I make paleo work?  Well, the good thing about paleo is flexibility.  You don’t have to be perfect.  The book I read, recommended starting by eating 18 of your 21 weekly meals (not counting snacks) in the paleo style and working up to nearly all, if possible.  It’s about making better choices too when you don’t eat paleo.  If you are going to have some cheese, make it a cheese from grass-fed cows.  Cut down on all of your processed foods.

If you are already a vegetable lover, this would probably be a fairly easy transition for you.  I don’t like many veggies and I’ve never been an adventurous eater.  I’m working on changing that, because I really need more veggies in my diet.  I attempted to eat sweet potatoes… fail.  Don’t like them or their smell.  This week, I tried spaghetti squash (which I’ll share  later) and I have some parsnips in the fridge too.

And now, onto some of the food I’ve been eating!

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Hard baked eggs, tomatoes & turkey bacon “salad” from leftovers and a tomato that needed to be eaten. Strawberries & kiwi on the side. This was impromptu and delicious!

I’ve been eating quite a few salads, so I won’t bore you with all of those pictures.  However, I did make my own Italian dressing, so I’ll show that salad.

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Paleo Italian Dressing. Shaken vs. Settled. Here is the recipe.
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Here is the dressing on a salad of romaine lettuce, chopped turkey bacon, chopped hard baked eggs, tomatoes and raw almonds pulsed in my ninja mixer.  As you can see, lots of herbs. It is DELICIOUS. Lots of flavor.

There are a ton of crock pot friendly paleo recipes, which works great for me.  I work 40 hours a week, wake up at 4 or 5 to go workout, get home after 5:30, have to get dinner around, clean the house, do dishes, do laundry, spend time with the kids, get them settled for bed and finally take some time to relax before going to sleep and doing it all over.

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This is preparation for Honey Ginger Apple Shredded Pork Shoulder.
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The results of cooking all day… 4 ounces of pork looks like a lot!  I also made garlic cauliflower mash and sautéed some carrots in EVOO.

I decided to make a gravy with the leftover broth.  If you know how to make a gravy, I did it using almond flour and fat instead of regular flour and butter.  If you don’t know how to make a gravy… here are directions… To start, I measured out about 2 cups of broth and strained through a mesh strainer.  I put the liquid in a large clear glass measuring cup, let it sit so that the fat settles on top.  I used a spoon and skimmed off as much of the fat as possible, reserving 2-3 tablespoons  in a saucepan to make a roux.  Heat the fat over medium-high heat until bubbling lightly, then quickly whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of almond flour.  When combined, pour in the strained broth slowly, whisking to combine.  Simmer the gravy, stirring occasionally until gravy reduces and thickens.  Tasty.

I was excited to try cauliflower breadsticks and decided to make them as a snack at my in-laws last weekend.  I knew my husband wouldn’t want them.  These were AWESOME though.

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Cauliflower “breadsticks” and homemade sauce. I just winged the sauce recipe. Puréed roma tomatoes, added some seasoning, cooked until it reduced.  I used Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. 100 calorie snack.

I made Mini Egg Pizzas for dinner one night and ate the leftovers for breakfast during the week.  My batch basically followed the recipe, except I used about a half pound of lean turkey sausage in my version.  I made a second batch for Scott using regular pork sausage and cheese.   Harley wasn’t thrilled with them, but Carter ate 4!  I had to cut him off.

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Mini Egg Pizzas, modified with some turkey sausage. I will definitely be making these again.

There are some foods I know Scott will not eat.  He’s a big meat eater, so I know that he’ll likely be okay with the main component of dinner.  Sometimes, however, I have to make separate food for him and/or the boys to go along with dinner.  The other night, we did a spaghetti night with Scott’s family.  I bought a spaghetti squash to try making alternative spaghetti, but we also made regular spaghetti noodles.  So, accommodating our different tastes has not been very difficult so far.

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Spaghetti squash, microwaved and fork-shredded by my mother-in-law. The sauce was from leftover sauce (from the cauliflower sticks) and leftover Italian sausage from the mini egg pizzas.  Also a bit of Kerrygold Dubliner cheese on top.  250 calorie dinner!

My initial thought when making this switch was that I wouldn’t be to eat baked goods anymore.  I was a little freaked by that.  However, not true!  It’s more expensive to make them, but so worth being able to have treats sometimes.

I did pancakes Sunday morning before going to the gym.  The boys liked them, Scott wasn’t thrilled.  I thought they were a bit bland when I mixed them and cooked one.  So I decided to add a little extra vanilla and some cinnamon.  Next time, I plan to put some shredded granny smith apple in them for more flavor.

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Easy Peasy Pancakes. I ate the leftovers warmed up for breakfast at work one morning with lots of fruit on top.

And this was dessert on “spaghetti” night.

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Paleo Banana Bread. I LOVED this recipe. I had some people at work try it, they said it tasted just like regular banana bread. Next time, I want to try it with nuts and maybe some extra fruit.

And dessert on another night was “ice cream.”

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Strawberry Banana Blueberry Ice Cream. I modified the recipe and added some frozen blueberries that we picked last year. Simple and delicious.

I hope I haven’t bored you and I hope I gave you something to think about!  I know this lifestyle won’t work for everyone.  I’m enjoying it though and will continue to share my paleo experiences.

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3 thoughts on “Beginning Paleo

    kylethegirl said:
    February 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Nothing has ever made me want to do paleo more than reading this RIGHT HERE. It’s official. I think once my competition is over, and I’ve done the typical post competition food binge, I’ll give Paleo a shot..

    AWESOME write up and BEAUTIFUL FOOOODSSSS

      addiehayes responded:
      February 1, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Kyle! I am loving it and feeling good. I still think it’s AMAZING that you’re competing! So cool.

    wrightfromsanders said:
    February 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    So I had no idea about the green beans. I kind of figured about the corn, but I wasn’t positive. Thanks for the great recipe ideas :-). Especially the dressing! I have tons of romain and now that I’m doing this, had no idea what to use for dressing! And I made bacon this morning to put on a salad :-).

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