Sunday, March 10, 2013

Practicing Paleo Part III

Step 3: Eat!

This is by far the most enjoyable part of any diet.  Well, except those weird fasting and cleansing diets, blah.  But by practicing Paleo,  before you know it, your taste buds will demand the whole foods that this lifestyle follows.  Just a few things to know in order to reap the rewards of Paleo...

-Every meal should consist of a protein, a carb (preferably vegetables with fruit on the side), and a fat.

-Eat until you are satisfied.  (When eating a well rounded meal I have found I can go as long as 5 hours before feeling hungry again without that heavy full feeling that grains and creamy dishes deliver.)

-Vegetables should occupy most of your plate.

-Start out by trying Paleo in small doses to get yourself acclimated.  (It can be overwhelming to try and jump into a 30 day challenge without trying this out first.  Start cutting grains and sugar.  Sub your peanut butter for almond butter.  Then cut dairy.  Then try a week of 3 main meals being exclusively Paleo.  Then I highly recommend a strict 30+ day challenge, you will never regret doing that for yourself.)

-Always eat when you are hungry.  (This is not negotiable.  Hungry?  Eat.)

Its not all smooth sailing for here.  There are some obstacles to being Paleo that everyone will eventually face...

-Eating out-
No one wants to avoid nights out because they cant eat at restaurants like a normal person so don't be afraid to indulge a little.  Luckily, most restaurants provide at least something Paleo adjacent, just be ready to ask for what you want.  Don't hesitate to request food be cooked in butter as opposed to vegetable oil, sub those hash browns for fruit or more bacon, and ask for dressing on the side.

Having washed and cut fruit and vegetables in your fridge make grabbing a snack to go so much easier, as does having cooked protein ready to grab.  But if you are out and need a Paleo snack a trip to the grocery store can yield great quick results.  Lara bars are a favorite snack of ours and low sodium low sugar deli meats can be a great snack.  Actually, Sam loves to munch on these when he is flying since he doesn't have access to a microwave on the plane and he needs to usually eat one handed.

Sometimes you just want some sweets!  Fortunately for all of us Paleo-ers there are countless baked treat recipes flooding the Internet now.  I have a chocolate cookie recipe that is sure to fix any sweet craving and is completely Paleo.  I will try and get permission to share the recipe and get it to you asap.

-No time for Breakfast-
The breakfast casserole I shared here is an easy mid-week answer to no time for breakfast.  But what about those times when you over slept and need to rush out the door?  You don't have time to even sit down.  Just have containers of cooked meat like bacon, sausage links, or hard boiled eggs so you can grab to eat in the car.  An apple can serve as your carbs and a handful of nuts will round out your quick meal.  Is it the best meal?  No.  Is it a paleo meal that will get you over the morning rut? Yes!

As promised here are a few more recipes.

Paleo Meatloaf
recipe courtesy of Elyse Umeda of CrossFit 808

4 lbs organic ground beef
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 stalks celery
1 carrot
1/2 bell pepper
1 cup almond meal
4 large eggs
2 cans organic tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt
3 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
black pepper to taste
1 tray low-sodium bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prep all veggies (chop, press or dice)
Mix meat, almond meal, eggs, tomato paste and spices
Add veggies and mix well
Put meatloaf in LARGE casserole dish
Line bacon on top of meatloaf
Bake for about an hour

-This makes a lot of meatloaf!  You can easily half the recipe or make the whole thing and freeze half.
-You cant screw up this recipe!  I have tried all combinations of veggies to include the prescribed and broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms.
-I have never actually measured anything so feel free to experiment with this.
-Using a food processor to chop all the veggies saves LOADS of time.
-Any combination of meat is delicious.  We prefer a blend of beef, sausage, and turkey, but chicken is also delicious.
-This is a crowd pleaser so be prepared for people to gobble it up!  I think it has something to do with everyone being obsessed with bacon wrapped/covered food.

Bacon Wrapped Dates
these are also called Devils on Horseback according to my Australian friends :)

Pitted dates
Low-sodium Bacon
Raw Almonds

Preheat oven to 295 degrees
Stuff each date with 2 almonds
Cut tray of bacon in half
Wrap dates with bacon halves placing seam side down on baking sheet
Bake for 20-30 mins depending on how crispy you like your bacon

Lime Cilantro Chicken
recipe adapted from Nick Massie's Chili Lime Chicken

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Olive Oil
Cilantro, chopped
Garlic cloves, pressed
Lime juice and zest of 1 lime
Crushed Chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet/dish to allow the air to cook the chicken faster from all sides (if you don't have a combination of these just place directly on the baking sheet)
Clean chicken and pat dry, place on cooling rack/baking sheet
Drizzle olive oil on chicken
Individually sprinkle all ingredients on both sides of chicken saving lime juice for last
Bake for 40-50 mins

Avocado, Turkey, Spinach Tacos
pictured above

Slice of sugar free Turkey
Handful of Baby Spinach
1/2 avocado
Mrs. Dash Salt Free Fiesta Lime seasoning

Use turkey deli meat as taco shell
Fill shell with spinach and avocado slices
Sprinkle seasoning and enjoy

-The Fiesta Lime seasoning is so delicious.  I put it on almost everything.  Avocados go so perfectly with this seasoning and you can get it anywhere.  It was because of Mrs Dash that Beau discovered that she loves avocados.

Next: Practicing Paleo Part IV

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