If you caught my last blog post, then you know that Grant and I are doing the Paleo diet (lifestyle?) for four weeks due to some health issues I’ve had over the last year.
I’d really like to share our journey with you, mostly because I love sharing helpful recipes with people, but also because I just like talking about food.
Following the same theme from last week….
Stuff You Could Eat Even if You’re Not Doing Paleo
- The “cornbread” muffins from last week’s blog. These were so awesome that I made them twice.
- Paleo smoothies – this is basically just frozen fruit, nut butter (not peanut, of course), greens (or not), and coconut milk and/or coconut cream. Definitely delicious enough to make again, especially if we’re out of yogurt and have some canned coconut milk in the pantry.
- Fiesta chicken salad – I’m not a huge fan of chicken salad, but this one was pretty good, and you could add/remove quite a few ingredients. (I also made chicken salad with leftover pesto from the week before…that was less delicious, but still good.)
- General Tso’s meatballs – this is a recipe I’ve made many times, way before we ever considered doing Paleo. If you don’t want to make it Paleo, just use corn starch in place of the arrowroot powder and bread crumbs in place of the almond flour. Make sure you follow her suggestion for using corn starch, though (in the comments). Also…I made the sauce with coconut sugar instead of honey, since we’re still not feeding honey to Finn. Bad idea. Use honey.
- Southwest avocado ranch dressing/dip – yes, a thousand times yes…I will make this again after we’re done with this stupid diet. I won’t have Grant make homemade mayo for it, because…too much work. This dip was great with veggies, crackers (yes, I found a Paleo cracker recipe – see below), and sandwich meat rollups (see below again).
- Blueberry muffins – ah, my lesson in the dangers of ingredient substitution when cooking Paleo. Jamie: “Coconut flour smells good, I’m going to use that instead of almond flour!” Anybody who has done Paleo or Whole30 knows what happened next…I had to scramble and add a ton of eggs and coconut milk to salvage my muffins. They’re edible…if you like all the moisture to be sucked out of your mouth when you eat something. But, I will make them again, because I can tell they would have been delicious if I weren’t so stupid.
- Savory garlic roasted almonds – the Paleo diet is really making me love roasted almonds. These were heavenly.
Stuff You Probably Wouldn’t Eat Unless You’re Doing Paleo
- Lemon Alfredo spaghetti squash – I feel kind of bad putting this in the “stuff you probably wouldn’t eat unless you’re doing Paleo” category, because it was truly delicious, and one of the few Paleo meals I’ve had that actually made me feel full. But let’s be honest, Alfredo sauce needs cheese. That being said, I still highly recommend this recipe.
- Sandwich meat rollups – I would never do this off the Paleo diet, but I am seriously DYING for some easy meals. Enter the sandwich rollup: slice of sandwich meat, condiment of choice (pesto, guac, dressing mentioned above, mustard, etc.), slice of bacon, and a slice of veggie (onion, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, etc.). You can go wild and make a bunch of different ones.
- Paleo crackers – just no. Some things shouldn’t be modified to fit the Paleo diet. (Although Grant and Finn both love these, so MAYBE I’ll make them again. And they are dead easy.)
- Coconut whipped cream – I don’t know if I used the wrong brand of coconut cream or what, but this just didn’t work for me. It never became “whipped”, so I tried removing some of the coconut milk and leaving the cream…then it became hard coconut butter.
- Mediterranean beef tips – of course I didn’t do the tzatziki, stop judging. (Yeah, I know there is Paleo tzatziki…but again, some things shouldn’t be modified to fit the Paleo diet.) This recipe wasn’t bad so much as it was boring.
Here are Grant’s observations this week:
- I’m no longer as hungry throughout the day.
- I’m getting tired of eating so much meat.
- I’m ready for a beer.
He’s clearly less verbose this week. Here are my observations:
- Paleo people are not only obsessed with coconut, they also can’t survive without cauliflower and sweet potato.
- I’m so tired of cooking. If you’re a mom and you’re reading this blog thinking, “That is a crap ton of cooking,” please know that I’m hardly doing anything else. It’s not easy. If you’re a mom and you’re reading this blog thinking, “That’s not too much cooking,” go fold some laundry and polish your “perfect mom” crown. My laundry has been sitting on the couch for days.
- You cannot use coconut flour in place of almond flour. I REPEAT: do not use coconut flour in place of almond flour.
- I am tired, weak, and HANGRY pretty much all the time.
So, as you can tell, I don’t like this diet at all.
Also, I have some pretty major beef (har har) with the type of meat that Paleo enthusiasts eat. They’re pretty big on NO GRAINS ABSOLUTELY EVER, and yet I have met countless Paleo enthusiasts that buy a ton of meat from the grocery store. I wonder if they know that those animals ate ridiculous (and unnatural) amounts of grain. You’re not going to get the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle if you’re eating factory raised animals. All that preaching about “good fats” and “omega-3s” goes straight down the drain when you’re eating grain finished cows, factory chickens (nope, “free range” does not mean pastured), farm raised fish, and factory pigs.
So I wonder how “healthy” the Paleo diet is when you’re eating a bunch of store bought bacon (those pigs ain’t pastured), free range boneless and skinless chicken breasts (those chickens ain’t living outside eating bugs), “environmentally friendly” fish (those fish ain’t eating living green stuff, they’re eating corn), cheap beef (FYI: cows don’t even have the digestive system to live on grain alone), and “organic eggs” (again, those chickens ain’t hanging around in a beautiful green pasture).
Paleo enthusiasts do so much to avoid gluten, grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar because they’re so unhealthy. But then a ton of them don’t follow the Paleo decree of “pastured meat!” and end up eating a bunch of crap anyway.