Mmmm a Paleo Bread?

So, I’ve realised that I can’t really chronicle my journey from non-Paleo to Paleo on this blog anymore because in my mind, I’m there. I am Paleo and I have no plans to go back.

That said – I still have loads to learn and the biggest thing is still new foods.  The biggest threat to my new, healthier diet is the foods I used to eat. Like bread and pasta and cereal.  Those foods that made eating easy.

That said, there are soooo many Paleo alternatives out there for me to try. So, I figure I can try foods and keep blogging AND help out others all in one go!

I am NOT a gourmet cook.  I am not even a very good cook.  I’m an average cook. I know more than boiling water but I don’t have any more than a totally average skill level.  So I figure, I’ll find recipes on the net, cook them and then review the experience on here for y’all!  Obviously, full credit to the recipe creator (I’ll ensure I post links, I won’t be posting the actual recipes on here), but also not going to pull my punches. If I think its good I’ll say. If I think its something only Matt Moran could successfully produce I’ll definitely say.  This way I can start to build up a store of reliable recipes. And maybe you guys can benefit from my experiences!

So – my first recipe: Paleo Herb Bread by multiply delicious.

Image

Recipe is here:

http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/03/paleo-herb-bread/

Ok so I wanted a savoury bread that I could use to go with meals, or make a sandwich with, just like in the non-paleo days.  I’ve tried many, many recipes and they have come out waaaay too sweet, waaay too flat or rock hard and dry.  I got a positive feeling from this recipe because it was herb bread – rosemary – one of my favourite herbs! So I thought I’d give it a go today.

On the negative side – the amount of mixture that the recipe makes resulted in a ‘loaf’ that is about 25cm long, 10cm wide and 6-7cm high.  So I’d want to double the mixture to get a real “loaf size” loaf.  Unfortunately that would equate to 10 eggs. Yowsers.

However, on the plus side:

Taste is good! The herbs are nice and light (I used a little less than recommended) but still have a positive impact.  Taste is neutral enough that it can be eaten just with (grassfed) butter, or with honey, or with more ingredients (eg: a salad sandwich).

Texture is solid enough. Its still more crumbly than gluten laden bread but it is definitely solid enough that it holds together.

Time – only took me one dish (food processor) and about 10 mins to get the batter together. Perfect!  Then straight into the loaf tin and into the oven, so less than 20 mins from go > woah.  With practice I could knock that down to 10-15 minutes.  I really like that in a recipe. Like, REALLY, really like it.

Simple – the recipe had more than 5 ingredients BUT there were literally 2 steps. Dry ingredients in, wet ingredients in. That’s it. I love it.

All in all I’m a big fan of this recipe. Its still Paleo bread but its the best savoury version I’ve found so far. And you can leave the herbs out, or use different herbs to change it up. Next I’ll try garlic bread I think. Yum!

Overall – I think 8/10 (and that’s a good score, from me).

Thx for reading 🙂

S.

5 Reasons I Feel Gratitude Towards the Paleo Movement

Nup – its not a mistake – I meant to say ‘Gratitude’.

I’ve been fairly quiet on the Paleo front of late; had some other personal stuff going on so not much time or motivation to wax lyrical about the way I’m eating.  That said, it did occur to me a couple of times that amongst the other chaos peppering my world, one area at least remained smooth and ordered and sensical.  Carried on and gave me no grief.  And that was the way I was treating my body; more specifically the fuel I was giving myself to exist.

Eating this way has become such a habit now that I think about it less and less and just feel content that I don’t have to worry about or watch what I’m eating, because I know that for a big majority of the time I am eating perfectly.  And I felt grateful – it was just one less thing to worry about, one less thing to ensure I was being conscious of.  That led me to thinking that there are other things I’m feeling grateful for these days, things I can lay at the feet of this Paleo change to our lives. And I wanted to share them with you.

I was going to do 10… but got to #5 and realised how long this post already was so thought I’d cut it down a little!  Mayhaps I’ll split it in two.

 

1.    Eating right without thinking about it

Eating this way means essentially I can’t get it wrong. I don’t need to analyse which biscuits are better – how much of that dish I can have – how often I should be including fruit.  There’s no counting calories, or points, or only eating/not eating white foods.  No measuring or weighing or weird cooking methods. Eating Paleo means I just don’t eat bad stuff and I definitely eat enough of the good stuff. I don’t need to think about it. It’s simple.

 

2.    Finding my ‘happy’ body

For the first time in years – and I do mean years – I have a body that I like.  I can look in the mirror and despite still feeling like I have a load of flaws, overall I am happy with how my body looks and feels.  I probably could never really express just what an incredible feeling it is to be able to honestly say “I like myself naked.”

Women [and increasingly men] are so harsh on themselves and constantly bombarded with images of perfect, thin, smooth women to compare themselves too.  I’ve never had super-severe body issues but I have had negative feelings about my physicality for a long time.  It was all just a bit wrong.  I don’t suppose it was really ever as bad as I thought, and I probably haven’t changed that much to anyone else.  But to me – wow.  My body isn’t ‘perfect’, but it is perfectly me and I’m proud of it – I love that I can say that now.  And I absolutely attribute this change [both in my physical body and in my attitude towards my body] to Paleo. I’m now occupying the body nature intended me to have, I know that I’m fueling it well and I feel totally comfortable in the skin I’m in.

 

3.    Being aware of sugar and losing my addiction to it

Prior to Paleo, I couldn’t fathom the idea of having coffee sans sugar – and, more importantly, nor would I have ever considered it.  It simply wouldn’t have occurred to me because sugar has been an integral part of my diet since I was a child.  Sugar on cereal, sugar in drinks, sugar in baked goods.  Not to mention the sugar we never see added to the plethora of processed foods we consume.  Sugar was necessary to me, as a sweetener.  Lord I’ve even put sugar on strawberries!

These days – I drink my coffee without sugar, and my tea [funnily enough I now quite enjoy green tea] without blinking an eye lid.   I do not add sugar to anything, at all, and since we don’t eat any processed foods, there’s no ‘hidden’ sugar in my diet either. Was it an adjustment? Yep, it was.  Was it difficult? I have to say not really!

The processed food cut out removed sugar that was unseen – you don’t miss what you don’t know you’re eating!  Cutting out grains eliminated cereals and baked goods – there goes another chunk of sugar laden foods.  For a while we avoided anything that was sweet, apart from fruit, because we figured sweet meant non-Paleo.  Then one night some friends came over for dinner and brought dessert: Paleo Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Whipped Cream.  It was delicious.  I couldn’t believe it had no sugar in it – in fact we all thought it was the perfect balance of chocolate and sweet, except for one guest who at the time was decidedly non-Paleo.  He found it quite bitter, which was a shock to me and led me to the conclusion that my tastebuds, deprived of the huge amounts of sugar I’d previously consumed, had become more sensitive to ‘sweet’.  I can honestly say I’ve not missed sugar at all since going Paleo and what I’ve learned about it in that time makes me so grateful it’s no longer considered a ‘staple’ in our household!

 

4. Finding my taste buds

Since cutting out ‘food-like products’ – ie, processed foods – and filling my diet with real, actual fruit, vegetables, meats etc., my appreciation for the way these items taste has increased ten-fold. Or more!  I used to name my favourite foods as pasta, potatoes and rice – in that order.  But these days when I think of rice – bland; potatoes – better but not really that appealing; pasta – the few times I’ve used my “20” on a pasta dish I’ve been disappointed.  That’s a huge shift for me.

I’d rather eat broccoli – now one of my favourite foods; a good steak is impossible to beat and just a few herbs or spices rubbed on before cooking is all that’s needed; fruit has never tasted better and the new combinations I’m trying mean we don’t often eat ‘boring’ meals at home.  Then again, maybe it’s our definition of boring that’s changed? Now that we can truly taste what we’re eating and appreciate it for its full worth!

 

5. Finding my conscience.

This has been a far-reaching one.  I’ve become, through shifting to Paleo, so much more conscious of so many things in my day-to-day life that have bigger consequences. Woah, getting a bit deep on this one! I’ll try to keep it as light as I can.

Basically – if you’ve ever got time, watch a documentary called “Food, Inc”.  Its an American documentary and therefore not directly applicable to Australia but it’s the direction we’re headed in.  It opened my eyes to the cruel ways humankind produces certain foods: eggs, beef, poultry, pork, etc.   It made realise that I am responsible for that cruelty if I make daily decisions to support those industries.  This then extended to other areas – makeup, nail polish, shampoos … how can I buy these items, which are ‘wants’, not ‘needs’, from companies that condone animal testing?  Do I agree with injecting a rabbit’s eye with mascara and then forcing it to deal with the pain and irritation for 21 days without treatment to see if it harms the animal?  No, I most certainly do not.  Therefore I can’t, in good conscience, buy from that company because that is implying I do.

I’m not going to turn into a leaf-wearing hippy.  I know that we have to balance realisim and idealism.  But when there are viable, cruelty free alternatives, I will always select them.  Think free range eggs or pork. Grassfed beef. Cruelty free shampoo, conditioner and makeup.  These things exist and I now am aware of them.  What’s more, I now consciously investigate products to see if there a cruelty free version that I can buy rather than ‘turning a blind eye.’  It’s only a small difference, but if every second woman stopped buying from L’Oreal can you imagine the impact?

Anyway, I’m not trying to convert the world, just acknowledging another change to me Paleo has wrought that I am super grateful for.  I’m sure that as time goes along, I’ll only get more conscious of consumer decisions and I look forward to becoming more aware, more self-sustaining and aiming towards having a positive, rather than negative, impact on this wonderful planet and the living creatures within it.

Wow now I do sound a little floaty don’t I?  I don’t mean to; I’m definitely not unaware of practicalities, nor do I ever want to be preachy.  I guess I just feel good about some of the differences in myself that I can attribute to Paleo.  It’s not just about eating better or being physically healthier, I think Paleo has made me a better person and improved my mental and emotional health in line with my physical health.  I am so grateful that my husband brought this suggestion home and that we were both open minded enough to give it a real go.

I only hope that everyone else out there who gives this lifestyle a go ends up feeling as amazing for it as I do.

Thanks for reading  🙂

x S

A day [or 3] in the stomach of a Paleon…

So I thought I’d post something useful today.  A friend asked me recently, “But what do you eat?” and I could understand her curiosity. Sure, all those paleo recipes out there are fabulous, but a lot of them are not really simple or use ingredients you will always have on hand.  And its hard to put a day together, menu wise, if you have to look up recipe’s for everything.

So, I thought I’d record for 3 days everything I ate, and put it up here, and let you all be the judge of the practicality, possibility and general do-ability of being Paleo.  Keep in mind that I was at work these three days, working 12hr shifts, so I needed foods I could take to work in a cooler bag and cook in a microwave. For all meals except dinner.

Day 1:

AM – Cup of tea, black with no sugar; 1 banana; 1 boiled egg.

Midday – left over roast chicken with salad.

PM – 1 pear; nuts; 1 boiled egg

Dinner – Marinated kangaroo fillet with cauliflower mash and balsamic tomatoes.

Day 2:

AM – Sweet potato [microwave baked] with tuna; 1 boiled egg; cup of tea, black with no sugar.

Midday – left over BBQ chicken with cauliflower mash

PM – Chicken schnitzel with cauliflower, broccoli, prawns & garlic sauce **note that this meal contained non-paleo items [schnitzel & garlic sauce] but we were out for dinner. 80/20 right?

Day 3:

AM – no food, intermittent fasting

Midday – Sweet potato [microwave baked] with tuna.

PM – 1 banana; 1 boiled egg; nuts

Dinner – paleo chicken schnitzel, broccoli, eggplant ‘chips’

So, as you can see, eating Paleo is possible, but it is different. I’ve had to rethink what items are suitable for what times – breakfast no longer has to be cereals, toast, etc., but can be anything I want including last nights’ left overs. Today, I had left over roast beef for breakfast and it was actually amazing.

Its also tough on the snack side, but when you find yourself turning to fruits and nuts as snacks by habit, you’ll be amazed at how happy you’ll feel toward yourself for making healthier choices.  I am not a fruit fan, but I know its important for a balanced diet and now I eat more fruit than I ever have. Go me.

And now – go you! Have a think, tell me what your typical Paleo day is, if you’re already Paleo, or what it is if you aren’t – and I can try to give you a Paleo version 🙂

Thanks for reading – sharing – liking – following –

x S

The [final?] “Weekly” Update

I’ve been pretty slack of late but you’ll have to forgive me – I had a wedding to attend, in Lombok, at a resort… it was sublime. If you ever need a break to just relax, may I respectfully suggest you check out Qunci Villas, Lombok.  Amazeballs. The wedding was OK too…. Kidding! Of course the wedding was the highlight, the ceremony was stunning and the reception was in the most beautiful villa I have ever seen, bar none.  AND, to my immense satisfaction, the food was superb. Not strictly Paleo, but fantastic nonetheless.  As we know, sometimes it’s OK to fall off the wagon, right?  If you don’t know what I’m on about, see here [insert link to previous post].

Anyway. This is supposed to be about Paleo – my Paleo journey.  Not Shane and Erika’s wedding.  I thought it was time I did a weekly update – which should be renamed because I haven’t exactly been doing them weekly eh?  And then I realised, with amazement, that without realising, my husband and I have completed our 3 month trial. Shock! Horror! I can unpack all those pantry goods… I can eat normally again… I can have a less than astronomical food bill…

Or…

I can continue to enjoy the light and clean feeling I have.  I can continue to eat as much as I want and still remain lean and healthy.  I can continue to feel great about the quality of nutrition I am putting into my body.  I can continue to discover tasty, satisfying recipes that I never, ever have to feel the slightest twinge of guilt about eating.

Hmmm. Tough choice.

I think that my husband I wordlessly decided, quite a few weeks ago, that we would never go back.  “Going Paleo” was probably the healthiest thing we have ever done and neither of us wants to undo the good we believe we’ve done ourselves.   Yes, we now include some dairy in our diet, and we occasionally have non-paleo meals when out and about, but on the whole we are very, very happy with how we choose to live.

So many people ask me, ‘so are you still doing that diet?’, and seem shocked when I say yes – and then confused when I follow up with, ‘Well, it’s not a diet; it’s more a way of living.’  It seems inconceivable to so many that I could cheerfully say goodbye to grains and legumes, forever.  Especially when they realise how much of the modern diet contains grains or legumes such as soy.

But, I say, why wouldn’t I continue with this way of eating when it works so well for me? When I’ve slimmed down, feel 100% better, no longer suffer from any digestive issues, have clearer skin and best of all, feel so emotionally / mentally good about how I’m treating my body?

I know loads of people who have ‘tried’ Paleo and been unable to stick it; that’s fine. At least they tried it.  And loads of people who say ‘Oh I could never do that, I love [insert variable item here] too much.’ Again, that’s fine. I have very little desire to ‘convert’ people to Paleo.  It’s not a religion and I don’t think anyone who isn’t Paleo is any less responsible, any more likely to die than me, etc.  Sure I’d love for everyone to feel as good as I do and I sincerely believe that everyone would be better off if they ate this way, but it’s not up to me. These are my beliefs…I won’t preach.

But for those who try to ridicule my husband or myself, or judge us for our choices – well, I’ve no time for them.  I have plenty of information to support my beliefs and am happy to discuss the ideas behind Paleo with them. They aren’t really the listening type though.

So – how are we going, overall? What foods are we eating?

Well, typically for me breakfast is eggs and bacon – fried, or in scrambled eggs; or breakfast muffins, or a recent favourite is fried eggs on sweet potato ‘toast’ [soooo yum].  An alternative to this is what’s known as ‘intermittent fasting.’ Not for everyone – my husband doesn’t do it – it basically means cutting out one of the “standard” three meals per day, or, in more Paleo friendly terms, increasing the non-eating period in a day from the typical 8 hours [sleep time] to 12 – 16 hours.  I literally do it only because, some days, I am simply not hungry when I wake up and so I don’t force myself to eat. As a bonus, it gives my digestive system a longer period to clear itself out once in a while.

Lunch can be anything – I have things like left overs, salmon or chicken and salad, or jumbled veggies.

Dinner – seriously the sky is the limit.  We’ve had every meal you can think of from chicken schnitzel to roast beef to Thai green curry with [cauliflower] rice. Or my personal favourite so far: Bangers n Mash …grass-fed beef sausages with cauliflower mash n onions….oh my lord it was good!!

Snacks: Kale chips, sweet potato or beetroot chips from Coles/Woolworths; homemade granola bars, banana or pumpkin bread, nuts or fruit; maybe date & cocoa balls if we want to be naughty [too much sweet is still not ideal, even when the “sweet” is not sugar!].

What we drink: water and sparkling mineral water [sometimes with a slice of lime for something different] with <10% sodium/100ml; my husband also loves coconut water but me, not so much; coffee [white, but no sugar, and max 2 cups per day] and black or green tea. That’s truly it.

What we sometimes eat: dairy [cheese, milk, ghee], potato and for me, pasta. Not often though. It’s a special treat and I cannot wait to try to make sweet potato gnocchi.  I was wondering if it was possible and then had it at that resort I just stayed in – see the start of this post! – and it was absolutely scrumptious. So that’s on my soon-to-do list!

What we sometimes drink: wine [white and red, organic preferred], vodka [with mineral water & fresh lime] or very, very occasionally my husband will have a couple of beers.

Reading back over that, I almost feel like it sounds quite staid and boring but I can assure you it isn’t, the possibilities are endless and you are limited only by your imagination or your internet connection.

So that’s it. 3 mths of Paleo, done. Would be awesome if I could put up before and after photos but I didn’t take any before shots. Really wish I had now! And got the ‘before bloods’… apparently it is a startling result for most.

My only question at this point, is whether or not to continue this blog… I mean it was supposed to be about my journey from Pleb to Paleon, which is kind of complete… but on the other hand I am really enjoying sharing my thoughts. Hmmm. I guess I’ll have a think and see if I think there’s more I have to offer… let me know YOUR thoughts, if you want – do YOU want to see more from me? Either way, I’ll be sure to be back at least once, if only to say a final adieu.

As always – thanks for reading… have a fabulous day be good to yourselves….See you next time

x S

Oh, PS – I just found another great site for us Paleons: paleononpaleo.com – check it out!

x S

Falling Off the Wagon: How I did and why you SHOULD

I’ve recently been on a short holiday to the ‘big smoke’ with a side deviation to a beautiful piece of Australia known as the Margaret River Wine Region.  I was understandably excited to be heading off, but I have to say, thanks to Paleo, I was also a little daunted.  How was I going to manage to eat right whilst away?  I had family do’s, social gatherings and road travels to contend with but its not like I could expect the rest of the world to plan meals around my choices!

In the end, we made the decision that we’d take the ‘do the best you can’ approach for the 10 days [including travelling] that we were going to be away from home.   It turned out to be an interesting, gastronomically challenging and very insightful holiday; one which led me to realise why it is probably a good idea for everyone to fall off the wagon once in a while because it sure helps to remind you why you are on it in the first place.

I have to say, driving 13.5 hours with stops at roadhouses makes eating Paleo nigh on impossible – unless you pack your own lunch, which we did, sort of.  We also bought some chicken on the road figuring that was ok (it wasn’t ideal, but better than a burger?), but mostly we ate nuts, fruit, sweet potato and beetroot chips and drank loads of water.  Oh and I had my first coffee in nearly 6 weeks at 11:30pm … it was actually a pretty terrible coffee but it did the trick: I yabbered like a crazy person for the next few hours – it was actually quite amusing – the effects of the coffee and the sugar on my mind and body was unbelievably intense!  I was still wide eyed four hours later.  Meanwhile I’m pretty sure I would have looked like one of those pictures where the subject’s eyes are made huge and squarish – I was buzzing!
As luck would have it – our first family meal was seafood pasta – it was absolutely delicious and the lenient attitude we’d taken meant we felt we could enjoy it and not feel guilty.  I will say though that I ate way too much and I noticed that the “you’re full” voice I’ve gotten used to hearing [and listening to] was suspiciously silent.

Another day, we had a huge family lunch – and it proved simple enough to eat well: roast, with roasted sweet potato and pumpkin, garden salad… but I did veer a little: I ate half of one small white potato, which I found a little tasteless, there was fetta on the vegies which I quite enjoyed, and I ate some garlic bread which was AMAZING.   But, despite the hallpass we’d given ourselves, I had no hesitation in saying ‘no’ to the trifle and pavlova on offer for dessert.  And considering Pavlova was one of my top 3 desserts pre-Paleo, that’s saying something.  But it honestly held no appeal to me [Note: I watched my husband eat his pav and subsequently feel absolutely horrible within 10 minutes – have to say I felt pretty glad that I had said no].

We managed to keep our breakfast very paleo throughout the trip – eggs, bacon, sausages, fruit, etc.  Eating lunches was a little more tricky but I found a hamburger is still an amazing lunch when you just get it sans cheese and then remove the bun to the side.  The chips that inevitably came with it I ate but, like the white potato I had at the family lunch, found surprisingly tasteless and unappealing.   Any burger / sandwich lunch can be made Paleo fairly easily, if there’s nothing available on the menu to suit.

Our sojourn into wine country I thought would be hugely challenging: I used to LOVE cheese [despite being lactose intolerant – there’s tablets for that, you know], and pâté, and crackers and chocolate.  But – once again I surprised myself. Sure, I did have a couple of crackers with pâté but the cheese held no appeal for me.  I really felt no compulsion to eat it and certainly didn’t feel I was missing out on anything while those around me enjoyed it.  I bought chocolate deliberately [I’m off the wagon, may as well enjoy it!] for us all to share, a packet of my favourite red Lindt balls… and then ate one, which was divine, and put them away. I simply had no desire to have more than one.  The next day, I ate another one – and that was it.  I was shocking myself!  Unlike the hot chips, which I can say were mostly tasteless, the chocolate DID taste as amazing as I’d expected but that pre-Paleo compulsion to continue eating it was just … gone!  One ball was absolutely enough. What the?!

The two meals that I really have to mention though: fish and chips [the restaurant type, not from the local shop] and my favourite fast food meal, a ‘Rippa Sub’ combo from Red Rooster, both ordered for lunch. On different days, of course.
I scraped off most of the batter from the fish before I ate it and I did sort of enjoy the chips – more than previously, anyways. But again that ‘You’re full” notification somehow missed my inbox and within 10 minutes of finishing I sincerely had the urge to try ease the nauseous sensation I was feeling by making myself throw up. It was that bad.  The meal would have been probably a 5/10 and that is certainly not worth the way I felt afterwards.

As for the RR, well I just love the whole deal: the chicken strips, the herb mayo, the chips…yum!   I got water, not coke, for my drink [as I had always done] and then set about eating my meal with gusto – this was one of those moments when I was going to eat non Paleo and enjoy it, no guilt.  And I’ll admit, the sub was yummy.  Just as good as I remembered!  The chips were underseasoned but to be honest by this stage I’d kind of realised that hot chips will never really appeal to me again so I wasn’t too disappointed.  So I’d say that this meal I would have rated about 8/10 – really enjoyed it.  For ten minutes.  Then I was right back in the “Oh my god, I feel so sick, get me to a bathroom” zone once again and really consciously annoyed at myself for putting such trash into my body.

[To clarify: at no time did I actually go to the bathroom and make myself sick, it was just a very appealing thought.]

By the time it was hometime, I could not wait to be back to clean, Paleo eating.  Nothing processed, no grains, no dairy.   I didn’t eat a lot of those things but it was enough to make me realise I don’t want to eat them, any more.  To realise that what I’ve changed to – this new way of eating – is making me feel so much better, healthier, lighter.  It’s reset my internal workings so that my little “you’re full” voice is able to be heard; its flushed accumulated waste out of my body so I don’t feel heavy by 2pm; it’s given me back my taste buds so I can appreciate the taste of real food as opposed to only being able to taste overly strong, fake flavours; its corrected my appreciation of ‘sweet’ so I can enjoy a little and it’s enough; and most importantly I think it’s putting me more and more in touch with my own body every day, giving me such a strong sense of how much control I have over how I feel, dependant on what I fuel my body with – and I just don’t want to do it to myself anymore.

I also put weight on amazingly quickly; not a substantial amount, but my ‘fluffiness’ – that band of wibbly, wobbly, sponginess around my middle – reappeared within about 4 days, as did my feeling of heaviness.  I figure that the heaviness is the inefficient processing of crap food that I was forcing my body to digest; the ‘fluffiness’ I think may just be retained water, or waste, that my body would normally a] only deal with in minimal amounts and b] be able to dispose of quick smart.  By subjecting my system to such a huge load of rubbish to deal with – backlog got created. Boo.

I really am glad that I fell off the wagon.  I know going forward that I will be even more sure that what I’m doing is the right thing for me.  I will crave those banned foods a lot less because now I know how they’ll make me feel if I do eat them.  I will definitely still occasionally indulge in certain naughty foods [read: garlic bread & pasta] but I will probably do it a lot less often than I thought prior to this trip because, again, I’m aware of just how quickly I will feel it within myself.  Its given me a blunt snapshot of my body on a good diet and my body on a modern diet: they’re as different as night and day and I sure as eggs know which body I prefer.

So go on – fall off the wagon if you need a reminder why you’re there.  Don’t fall too hard or too long, your body doesn’t deserve that – but a little reminder now and then can go a long way towards keeping up your motivation to live, eat, exist the Paleo way.

Take care out there, and thanks for reading 🙂

S.

The Saving Grace of the Dinner Party: 85:15

** Warning: this is a LONG one J

 

So, once the perils of dining out at a restaurant had been conquered, it was time to take the next step. A leap into an area much more fraught with danger: dining out at a friends place.

 

You see – dining out at a restaurant, the only worry you really have is finding something you can eat. But, given that these places have menus, with a variety of dishes available and usually at least a vegetarian option you can turn to (with a ‘steak on the side, please’) you are generally going to be ok. The worst part will be fighting temptation!  

 

At a friend’s place, not only is there a restricted menu – ie restricted to whatever’s being served – there is also an extra set of complications.  The guests don’t want their hosts to feel they ‘have’ to cook paleo (thank goodness for the 85:15 rule), the hosts feel like they should cook paleo (don’t know about the 85:15 rule) and when it comes time to sit down there’s the thoughts – ‘If there’s something non-paleo, can I refrain from eating it without offending my hosts?’ or ‘Have I accidentally cooked something non-paleo?’.  And god forbid additional, non-paleo or paleo guests are dining too!  Extra NPs will add to the pressure the Paleo’s are feeling whereas additional Paleo’s might make the hosts feel they have no choice but to try to cook a suitable meal, adhering to guidelines they don’t know.

 

Phew. What a drama!  Why would any person willingly submit themselves to so much stress?!

Well – because despite our different choices of diet, we all love our friends and family and sharing a meal is an ancient and wonderful bonding experience.  I can’t think of times that are in my ‘golden memories’ bank that don’t involve a meal shared between family and/or friends. From our wedding with sixty of our nearest and dearest right down to a simple but amazing meal at a friend’s place where the four of us got to know each other a little better.

 

So then – how to combine the two for the recently Paleo? (Read:me)  Dinner with my friends and not compromising my new diet?

I do not want or expect or need my friends to cook Paleo when I visit them.  Their house, their rules, I totally respect that and if they want to cook a pasta or a chicken schnitzel or whatever, I will happily dig in and chalk it up as the 15 of my 85:15.  That said – the majority of dishes I can happily eat anyway with just a simple minus – eg a roast dinner, mostly paleo, may just mean I don’t eat the potato and just have extra pumpkin or carrot.  Or a BBQ – usually all paleo too, just omit anything like the cheese from a salad.  See what I mean?  And I hope that the host isn’t offended by omissions and just gets excited that they get to eat the extras.

 

This theory came into play recently when we were invited for dinner. The first ‘eeek’ moment came up with the question of dessert – another couple was coming along and providing dessert (we did the salad) – I got the question of “what can you guys eat? Do I need to google a Paleo friendly dessert?”  I admit, I felt guilty. I didn’t want my friends to stress about what they were putting on the plate.  So I told her not to worry about us and to make whatever suited her, and if it wasn’t Paleo, we’d just not eat it. (That last bit on the advice of my husband – I should have explained the 85:15 rule instead!)

 

The hosts had already said they would do the meat – so that was fine.  But I was stressed that our friends were feeling extra pressure, or would not make the food they really wanted to, because of my diet choice.  And I think my friend was stressed because she wanted to ensure everyone could happily eat her dessert. Plus she probably looked at the finished result and thought ‘Man I could have made non-Paleo desserts that would kick this sorbet’s ass!’

 

Stressed. Not how I want to go into a dinner with friends!

 

The dinner was an absolute success – there was meat which we all ate; roasted veggies, which we all ate mostly (Husband and I avoided the potatoes); and salad which was Paleo, which we all ate. Even the NP’s.

Dessert – paleo sorbet because of course my amazing friend did not want us to ‘just not eat it’.  Ironically I was too full to really eat dessert but that’s not the point.

 

The point is – if you aren’t Paleo but have friends who are – get them to explain the 85:15 rule to you so you can feel good about having them over and cooking whatever you want without worrying you’re putting them out or that they’ll just sit at the table and politely sip at their drinks while you eat the non-paleo meal.

 

If you are Paleo – explain to your friends the 85:15 rule and that you would much rather utilise it so you can still enjoy these wonderful nights without them having to stress about what should just be a fun experience.

 

And then – when it’s your turn to host – blow them away with an amazingly yummy, totally Paleo entrée, dinner and dessert 🙂

 

Ek so, ek so – Paleo Girl.