UPDATE: I added one section about drinks
I have had a few request to write another Paleo post...so here goes!
The first thing people always ask me is "have you cheated?" Yes, I have cheated, but I can count on one hand how many times I have strayed! Ok, maybe both hands. I stick to the Paleo guidelines we have created for ourselves* every day of the week, and occasionally when out at a restaurant I will go off course and get something I am craving. I don't feel bad about it at all because I am right back on track the next day. I will say that I have had one piece of pizza in these last 8.5 weeks and it tasted gross to me! I was shocked. It is amazing how your body gets so used to eating clean that it rejects the processed gross foods you used to eat.
Had a bit of a challenge last week while in Florida without my husband. I strayed a little here and there - had a Caesar salad at lunch twice, and had cheese on a bun-less burger while out to dinner - but for the most part I stuck to the Paleo guidelines. Thankfully I was at my parents house and could run to Whole Foods when needed - I can't imagine doing this while on a real vacation and having to eat out for every meal, which is what my husband struggles with when he travels for work.
A reader asked to explain what I eat on a daily basis, so here are some of my meal ideas (these are not all eaten at once of course, just different ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner):
- 4 slices of bacon & some variation of eggs most days. I get our bacon from uswellnessmeats.com as I cannot find sugar-free bacon in any store. I usually do 3 eggs over easy, but some days I will get veg out and chop it and make an omelet or scramble.
- If I don't feel like dealing with the stove I will get out my muffin tin and line the cups with proscuitto ham and crack and egg in it, and then bake at 350 for 12 minutes (I like my yolks runny).
- I do get sick of eating the same thing so some days I will change it up and make a smoothie for myself and M, using frozen bananas, strawberries (or pineapples and mango) and coconut milk. I was adding in raw organic honey, but last week M told me "Mom, I don't like honey anymore," so I don't add it now. On days when I am really hungry in the morning I will have bacon & eggs as well as a smoothie. I like to be full (but not uncomfortable) at each meal so I don't have the urge to snack.
Lunch: Lunch is always a hard one for me. I am usually trying to put two screaming children down for a nap around lunch so I don't get a chance to eat until 1:30 at the earliest. At that point I don't feel like making a big production and cooking, so I usually do something small.
- If I have leftovers from dinner the previous night that is my go-to.
- I usually have one rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods (the no salt flavor) hanging in the fridge so I have something I can just grab and eat (also a good snack).
- I am not a salad girl at all, mostly now because I haven't found a good paleo dressing I like, but sometimes if I get lettuce in my Boston Organics delivery I will whip up a salad with whatever veg I find and put chicken or crabmeat (I always keep some on hand in the fridge - from Costco) on top and put some balsamic vinegar on it.
- If I do have the time cook at lunch I love this recipe for krab patties from my girl at nomnompaleo.com
- As of late I have been whipping up some mean guacamole (recipe to come) which I will eat with homemade sweet potato chips (recipe will be with guac post)
- I usually have some roasted beets kicking around so I will slice those up and have them solo with balsamic vinegar and s&p
- Sometimes I am not hungry and will just eat some cantaloupe wrapped in proscuitto ham. Delish.
- My other go to is a tomato salad with cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and proscuitto with balsamic, and some s&p
Dinner: Dinner is always some form of meat and veg of course. 99% of the time it is a big production, so plan accordingly.
- In my weekly meal plans I like to incorporate at least one slow-cooker meal. I love nomnompaleo's slow cooker Kalua Pig (in fact it is cooking in my crock pot right now - smells divine.) It makes so much that you will be eating it for days - with eggs, on salad, cold or hot - sooooo good. We also love nomnompaleo's slow cooker beef and tomato stew (recipe can be found on her iPad ap, which I recommend getting NOW. NOW!)
- I like to make my own curry creations - here is my recipe for my shrimp massaman curry which you can of course make with chicken instead of shrimp (as I did last night, and just had for lunch as well)
- I do a lot of roasting vegetables - carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, butternut squash. I always throw in a couple cloves of garlic and chopped onion with whatever I am roasting. Put the veg on a baking sheet, coat with avocado oil (or macadamia nut oil) and s&p, cook at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes (I stir it around after 20).
- The other night I cooked veal cutlets, coated in coconut flour in my cast iron skillet. A little coconut oil in the pan (wait a minute or two for it to get really hot) and then cooked the cutlets for about 2 minutes a side. So easy and so delicious!
- If it is nice out, we will grill whatever protein we have, but it hasn't been nice out lately as you all know.
Treats: I have always been a sweet lover. So it was important for me to find sweet treats that I could eat but still remain within the Paleo guidelines. Of course this is not something that you can have as much as you want of, it is a "treat" which I allow myself to indulge in here and there and I don't feel an ounce of guilt I have tried two dessert recipes so far and they were both spectacular:
- Primal fudge by Practical Paleo - easy and delicious
- Pumpkin, coconut and maple custard cups - holy cow (and M loves these!)
- If I need something sweet after a meal and don't have a dessert readily made (which is most of the time) I grab a medjool date from the pantry - those babies will fulfill any sweet craving you have!
Drinks: I get asked a lot what we drink while living Paleo. Well, water for one. Lots of it! Water with lemon, with limes, oranges, and mint. I also drink a lot of naturally flavored, sweetener/sugar-free seltzer. I need to get one of those soda makers and make my own seltzer at the rate I am throwing it back. I will also have one cup of tea a day, with one Truvia in it. I know, some Paleo people are gasping that I use Truvia, but it is all natural, and I have no problem using it once a day. I will also do the same with iced tea every now and then. There are the occasional mornings (like this morning) when I am a walking zombie and need a jolt of caffeine, so I will drink coffee. I put one Truvia in it and will use a splash of flavored coconut milk.
As for cocktails, we drink wine and either vodka or tequila on the rocks with some citrus squeezed in it.
So that is what I typically eat and drink. I should also mention that we do still drink wine and booze (tequila & vodka) but not every night. I know that strict Paleons (is that a word? Well it is now!) abstain from the sauce, but we made a conscious decision to keep off the wagon when we first started.
I do still complain about how time consuming it is to eat this way, but I feel amazing and the pounds are falling off (again, without exercising - which I will be getting back into ASAP hopefully). If you have any specific questions, comment below! I am no expert in Paleo, but have had great success and would love to help you and your family out if you are thinking about starting a clean eating lifestyle.
Remember to follow me on Pinterest too as I am always finding new Paleo recipes and pinning them (along with a million other things - I am obsessed!!)
*You will find that there are many different "guidelines" for Paleo living. Some say you can't eat certain fruits (like bananas and pineapples), others say eat whatever fruit you want. Some say you can't eat string beans, others say you can. Some say you can't eat butter, and others say you can have butter if it is from grass-fed cows...and so on and so on. You need to experiment and find what is right for you and your body. If you are eating sweet fruits, and don't find that you are losing weight, cut them out, or cut down on them. Find what Paleo "guidelines" work for you. I do eat sweet fruit, but don't eat any string beans or pea pods. I also have stayed away from any butter and use ghee in place of it. And like I mentioned, we do drink alcohol.