Archive for February, 2011

A great primer and video on Paleo

February 28, 2011

I’ve come across a really detailed primer all about Paleo for those wanting more detailed information other than what is on the “About” page.

Fitbomb’s Paleo Primer

There’s also this short video from ABC USA where Robb Wolf is interviewed.

Last but not least, plenty of Paleo testimonials from CrossFit forum members. CrossFit is a fitness program that is associated with Paleo (however, some CrossFit adherents are on the Atkins diet rather than Paleo).

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A day in the life…what does a typical day of Paleo look and taste like?

February 26, 2011

For anyone thinking “this Paleo thing looks kinda interesting…but I can’t get my head around the sort of things I’d be eating day to day”, I thought I’d do a quick post about what I’ve been eating so far to give you a good idea.

I should note up front that I’m not working at the moment, so I do have a bit more time on my hands than the average person. Once I start working, I will write another post with some detail about how to be more time efficient – that means “preparation, preparation, preparation” really. It’s still early days and I have made muffins, a date slice and beef jerky in bulk but I will need to kick things up  a notch once my time gets more restricted.

For breakfast, I’ve been eating two eggs with some sort of side of veggies or buckwheat bread with avocado, for about two or more years. I have never, ever done well eating cereal or bread for breakfast …where is the energy in that?! I do best with animal protein at every meal otherwise my blood sugar and energy plummet. And, yes, cereal is out on Paleo, though you can make a nut and seed mix to fake it I think.

I have read that buckwheat is also out on Paleo (though it’s not even a grain, it’s a rhubarb relative!) so I’ve been eating my eggs with zucchini and mushrooms…it does take a bit longer to make each morning though. Breakfast is currently taking about 30-40 mins cooking and eating each day, so that is going to have to change once I start working (boo hoo). The eggs and veggies are cooked in coconut oil (olive oil is not heat stable and forms all sorts of toxins if used in cooking). I put plenty of sea salt in the eggs. I also cook everything for breakfast in a stainless steel frypan because teflon is a nasty nasty endocrine disruptor (ie. it messes with the body’s natural hormone balance).

I serve the breakfast with Campos coffee made with a stainless steel stovetop cafietiere: I usually mix half of their swiss-water decaf and half of their organic blend….I use coconut milk as the milk (as everything else except almond or other nut milk is out). The sweetener is two drops of stevia.

Paleo brekky

Paleo brekky: 2 eggs, zucchini and mushrooms

For a mid-morning snack, I like to have some sort of nut butter or fruit. All fruits are allowed on Paleo, however ones with lower fructose are recommended such as berries.  Higher-fructose fruits include apples, bananas and watermelons. Another snack option is a bar made mostly from dates, such as a Larabar. These are so incredible, but kinda pricey unless I get them in bulk from iHerb in the US. I have experimented with homemade recipes to mixed success, I’ll post a recipe up once I get it perfect.

Paleo snacks

Paleo snacks

Lunch so far has meant a salad with a lot of mixed salad leaves (the darker the better), with fillings to choose from including olives, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, beetroot, red capsicum, avocado, nuts and seeds. My dressing of choice at the moment is straight macadamia oil drizzled over the salad. I hope to be branching out soon and making my own salad dressings.

Salad

Salad with mixed leaves, boiled egg, woodsmoked salmon, anchovies and olives

An afternoon snack is often a coffee or herbal tea with a Paleo muffin. I absolutely love Pukka teas, I used to drink one that tasted like chocolate when I lived in London. I found a store in Sydney that stocks Pukka, alas they didn’t have the one I loved so much.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea: paleo muffin with Pukka herbal tea

Next up is dinner – mostly dinner involves a nice piece of salmon baked in the oven with a side of veggies, or nut-crusted gemfish. Last night, I made this delicious Five-spice stirfry, recipe courtesy of Everyday Paleo.

Five-spice stirfry

Five-spice stirfry with minced beef, prawns and veggies

Beef jerky

February 22, 2011

I had been intending to make some beef jerky as snack-food-on-the-go for ages but found it hard to get organised. I bought an Ezi food dehydrator about two years ago and had only used it for drying fruits (pears, bananas, nectarines) but it can be used for so much more. I should point out here that if you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven can be used to make the jerky (though you won’t get the same cost effectiveness, as the dehydrator is really energy efficient). Just ask Uncle Google for the instructions rather than using the below.

In the end, it was really simple. The book that came with the dehydrator has really straightforward instructions about what type of meats are suitable and how to get the meat cut (cross-wise against the grain and 1cm thick). So, armed with that information, 1kg of topside beef was purchased and prepared initially by the butcher.

Then it was time for a little more prep at home involving me, a mallet, cutting board and a LOT of elbow grease. BANG, BANG, BANG as Mark Ronson would sing. So, I had softened the meat, trimmed the small amount of fat on the meat and then cut it into strips about 1-2cm wide.

After that, I prepared the marinade as per the recipe provided in the book (with a little tweaking):

  • 4tbs tamari sauce
  • 4tbs Worcestorshire sauce*
  • 1tbs tomato sauce**
  • 1/4tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp good fine sea salt
  • 1tbs grated ginger
  • 1tbs curry powder***

The beef was marinaded for about 36 hours in the fridge in a covered glass bowl.

The next step was to place it in the dehydrator:

Beef jerky

Beef jerky in the dehydrator

I checked the jerky after about 6 1/2 hours and most of it was done. I left the thicker pieces for another hour. It ‘s important with dehydrating to ensure that there is no moisture left at all, otherwise it will not keep.

Verdict: Delicious! Admittedly very chewy indeed but really tasty and a great snack to take out.

Beef jerky - the final result

The finished beef jerky

I don’t know why, but when I mentioned beef jerky to people, they had some interesting reactions: “yuk”, “ewww” were just some of them. I don’t really understand that except to assume that people have only ever had bad beef jerky (processed stuff) or don’t like raw beef. Well, if people realised that proscuitto is really not that different, they may change their tune a bit.

Storage: Best stored in a tight glass container in the fridge or freezer. Keeps for 4 weeks.

What’s next?

I’d love to experiment with different marinades and meats, such as game meats. Just need to source a decent butcher first. I also need to hit up some South Africans for their biltong recipes!

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* This should be removed from the mix as it’s not Paleo-friendly, however I made the jerky right before I started on the diet. Need to find a replacement, maybe  a little tabasco sauce (not sure that is Paleo friendly but will look into it)

** I need to source a Paleo-friendly tomato sauce, just one without sugar and icky preservatives should be fine

** Important to get a Paleo-friendly curry powder with spices only and no nasties added

Paleo muffins!

February 16, 2011

Anyone who thinks no grains means no muffins is mistaken! This recipe is a killer…the muffins taste incredible and can be adapted a million ways to suit whatever takes your fancy, food-wise.

Big thanks to @missglamourpuss and her fabulous blog for the recipe which I’ve adapted and edited below.

Paleo muffins

Paleo muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 x 5cm thick slice of 1/2 pawpaw – de-seeded and mashed
  • 50-100g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 8 macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 8 pecan halves, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 30ml coconut oil
  • 40ml coconut milk
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 drops stevia
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking/bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

Preheat oven to 175c (350f) or 160c for a fan-forced oven.

Mash banana and pawpaw on the bottom of a bowl. Add all other ingredients except almond meal, coconut flour and nuts and mix well.

Mix baking soda into the almond meal in a small bowl. Add almond meal and baking soda mis into the big bowl and mix well.

Add coconut flour in a little at a time while mixing and checking for consistency, making sure the mixture doesn’t get too thick.

Lastly, add pecan and macadamia pieces – you can either add some of each to all muffins or split the batch so half are macadamia and half are pecan. I added them at the end so I could do the half-half more easily, and I just pushed them down into each muffin, leaving minimal nuts showing (to avoid burning).

Transfer into muffin cups and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test (this will depend on your oven and final ingredients, so do keep an eye on things!)

Storage: Keep in the fridge in an airtight container. The muffins keep for about four days (on account of the fresh ingredients without any yuck preservatives) so freeze any you don’t think you’ll eat in that time!

Note: I’m going to purchase what is known as a Texan muffin tin, as these muffins are tiny. Which means I will be doubling the recipe amounts. Yum!

Paleo-friendly groceries

February 14, 2011

Day 1 of Paleo and Mum reminded me it would be good to stock up on a few supplies while we were out in a suburban shopping mall ….the kind that is packed with older ladies adhering to the “Mutton dressed as lamb” look…well it was “The Shire” after all.

So I picked up a few goodies:

  • Paw Paw: probably one of the best fruits you can eat on account of the enzymes it’s packed with, similar to Papaya. I get a kick from the slight bitterness of paw paw. I am also a lime fanatic….I wonder if that alludes to my personality? Tart, but also sweet. I used some in Paleo muffins and also ate some sliced up as a snack.
  • tin of mackerel: one of my favourite types of fish – a good, oily type of fish. I plan to use this to make some sort of thai-style fish cake
  • potato crisps – these are actually not that Paleo-friendly as potato is meant to be very limited, however I know I am going to find it hard-going to come up with snacks at times. I used to react terribly to potatoes (on account of solanin plus another chemical in nightshade veggies) but had a wacky acupressure-type treatment which has reduced my reaction to it.
  • Portobello mushrooms – I much prefer these to button mushrooms which are rather bland really.
  • Preshafruit Pink Lady apple juice – this is the juice that’s in real nifty packaging in the shape of a trapezoid. Delicious to boot and processed differently the most juices, keeping most of the nutrients intact.
Paleo_friendly_shop

Paleo shopping bits and pieces