Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Paleoriffic

I haven't mentioned too much about being a Paleo diet follower here, if only because I don't feel like I follow it as well as I actually should because homemade pizza and cobbler and pie and wine and beer.

However, it actually is a large part of our life and I'm a big supporter, even if I enjoy our weekly Friday Homemade Pizza and a Movie Night.

We started this diet last summer when Chris was training for a triathlon.  We both wanted something that helped us feel better.  I started small, finding recipes that sounded good and easy. And then I bought a cookbook.  Then another one.  And another one.  And maybe another one just because.  I love them.  I have entirely too many, but in my defense, Christopher, most of them were free downloads.

My favorite book, hands down, is Practical Paleo.  It's a good starting point, describing what is happening in my stomach and why the foods I was eating were creating havoc IN MAH BELLAY. (Can I get a 'what up!' for super old movie references?)

It seems a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get used to finding food to cook that doesn't include all the stuff that upsets your stomach, it's actually much easier than you think.

And we aren't strictly paleo (see above.)  We also include dairy.  I won't drink a glass of milk because of how it makes me feel, but I do eat yogurt and drink kefir - both homemade from milk I get from my sister's cow.  They're stupid easy to make.

Check out Courtney's post on crockpot yogurt here.  Even if you don't have access to fresh, raw milk, you can easily use a gallon of milk from the store.  I like to strain my yogurt for hours and hours and hours to have a thick, greek yogurt, that's almost, but not quite, cream cheese.

Kefir is made by putting kefir grains in a jar, pouring milk over them, covering it with butter muslin or a coffee filter and waiting.  Strain out the grains and you have kefir.  Easy, delicious, healthy.

If you're curious, here is what I eat:

For breakfast, these days because it's much easier, I'll have a Larabar.  They're delicious and filling and only have 3 or 4 real! live! pronounceable! recognizable! ingredients!

When I have more time I also like to make smoothies.  This is my favorite:

Ridiculously Delicious Smoothie
-handful of ice
-1/2 cup of frozen fruit (I like mango)
-1 banana
-1/4-1/2 avocado
-1 cup of kefir
-multiple giant handfuls of greens - either kale or spinach
-sometimes I put in a scoop of vanilla protein power (not paleo) or chia seeds (adored by paleo people)
-whatever other vegetables I find - sometimes carrots, sometimes cucumbers
-water to make it all blend nicely

I'll drink half of this for breakfast, and the other half for lunch.  They are surprisingly filling and so delicious that I crave them.  Or maybe my body is craving the kale.  Whichever.  If I plan on eating something else for lunch then I'll half that recipe.  But usually my husband has taken any leftovers we have and I get squat.

If I don't have the smoothie or leftovers for lunch then I'll usually have eggs and kale.  I saute kale with coconut oil, salt and pepper until it's wilted and the edges are crispy, then I'll fry a couple of eggs and eat them together with hot sauce.

Dinners consist of a meat and a couple of vegetables.  The kids usually eat what we do for dinner - sometimes I'll give them toast or rice in addition, though.  Adele is pretty game to try new foods - night before last we ate cauliflower rice with italian sausage, red peppers and parsley.  It was absolutely delicious and she all but licked her bowl.  Sebastian, on the other hand, has formed some opinions about food and most of them are "That's gross.  I don't like that." He has to try everything, and I don't make him a separate meal, so hopefully, eventually he'll enlarge his food repertoire.

We don't make our kids eat paleo.  As I said, for the most part they eat what we eat for dinner, but they eat cereal or toast for breakfast, and I'm not going to stand between Sebastian and his peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  I attempted to get him used to paleo bread, but it didn't go over well.  So for now I make wheat bread for him and Adele and don't worry about it too much.  They're good.  They're healthy.  They love chicken nuggets, but they also love apples and blueberries and blackberries and can eat their weight in cucumbers and broccoli.

On Fridays I make pizza, and sometimes a cobbler because my husband asks for dessert and also because I love cobbler.  They are not paleo in the least, but I also do not care.

Saturdays and Sundays are also a bit relaxed.  We're still mostly there on Saturday, but sometimes add in leftover cobbler and/or wine.  Sometimes I'll make some type of Paleo dessert so I don't feel too guilty. Sundays we're also mostly paleo, except for dinner.  Either it's at my parent's house and it's a free-for-all, or it's at home and we have a meal with some kind of non-paleo side.  And maybe cobbler.

So that's how we do it, for the most part.  Yes we cheat; no we are not crazy strict.

Mostly we want to feel good.  And this way of eating helps with that.

(The cobbler and wine help my emotions feel good so they can stay.)

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