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

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

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8 Responses to “A day in the life…what does a typical day of Paleo look and taste like?”

  1. Laura Zucchetti Says:

    Interesting post. I had never heard of the term Paleo before. I’ll be popping back to see how you are doing. 🙂

    Just something to ask… what’s this about olive oil “not heat stable and forms all sorts of toxins if used in cooking”. It’s just that I am reading the “good fat cookbook” by Fran Mccullough and she says…

    “… even when olive oil is refined, enough antioxidants survive the process so that they protect the oil from completely breaking down at high heat, such as frying if it doesn’t go on for a long time.”

    She does go on to say that they are fragile (and also sensitive to light and heat) but that it’s the best to bake with. So it’s a little confusing to understand just what the limitations are of heating olive oil.

    I interpret this as buying the best olive oil you can afford (one pressed without heat and virgin from the first pressing) and get it in small quantities so you are lessening the time it is open (exposed to air) and losses it’s good qualities. As for cooking with it – I use it to saute veggies which is done pretty quickly at a moderate temperature. Oh I use it a lot in cakes too!

    Anyways you can preview some of the book here.

    Oh and a bow to coconut oil – I love that stuff!

    Laura
    🙂

  2. Sally Cinnamon Says:

    Hi Laura!

    Thanks for the feedback 🙂

    What I should have been more specific about in reference to olive oil is that certain methods of cooking with olive oil produce free radicals once the oil reaches it’s “smoke point”.

    So, it is completely OK to use olive oil at low or moderate temps.

    This blog by a nutritionist explains it really well:

    http://kathrynelliott.com.au/blog/2008/09/04/how-to-choose-the-healthiest-cooking-oil

    From a more Paleo-oriented view, back in the Paleo days, the technology didn’t exist for humans to extract vegetable oils. Here is some more from that angle:

    http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/6/22/fats-and-oils.html

    My head is still spinning from all this new information I’m reading. I have heard about the olive oil issue for a while now but hadn’t read much detail about it.

    From what I have read, the study of different oils and their benefits is a relatively new field of study within nutritition. Scientists are constantly uncovering new information about oils and fats and how they behave in the human body.

    A lot of paleo people subscribe to a high fat diet, specifically saturated fats. They believe that the reason the western world is witnessing such shocking rates of obesity is due to sugar (including fructose) and excessive carbohydrate consumption, rather than fat consumption.

    One other issue with the standard diet is the distinct lack of variety of oils consumed – many people use olive oil exclusively. That can’t be good!

    Do you use coconut oil? I love it. I am going to start making my own chocolate with it soon. I made an amazing chocolate slice today that had coconut flour and oil – will post that up soon. Very easy to make!

    thanks again!
    Allison

  3. Lynn Says:

    Re: teflon; I read that the chemicals only leak out when the pan is scraped. So if you are using a well cared for non stick pan without scratches, it is fine.

    Thoughts?

    • Sally Cinnamon Says:

      Hi Lynn,

      Many products around homes and offices give off chemical fumes – even cooking pans when not in use.

      You can read more here:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3441255.stm

      Cooking with a product like teflon can mean the chemicals leach into the food, regardless of whether the pan is scratched or not.

      Other options to investigate are stainless steel and Green Pans: http://www.green-pan.com/
      I’m looking to get some Green Pans myself.

      Unfortunately, governments don’t protect us enough by banning dangerous chemicals. It’s left up to the individual to research themselves and take steps to avoid
      exposure to the chemicals as much as possible.

      Hope this is helpful,
      Allison

  4. Laura Zucchetti Says:

    Thanks for the links and info I will have a read of that Paleonu one on the way home.

    There is a lot of interesting information coming out about fats – hence I thought I’d read that good fats book. I have three oils in my cupboard:
    – Olive oil
    – Coconut oil
    – Macademia oil
    Oh and real butter in my fridge; and all organic where I can find it. I have to say though – it was only about 3 months ago that I threw out some sunflower oil out. I thought I would stick to those fats as much as I can. I’m not sure if that’s a good enough range though?

    I love baking with coconut oil – works really well in muffins. I am a mad baking and love making sourdough – I’m not sure you could eat that right?

    I’d like to hear more about that chocolate slice! I made muffins with this at the weekend: Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Butter – it’s pretty yum.

    L
    🙂

    • Sally Cinnamon Says:

      I LOVE the chocolate butter! That’s the exact one I have bought on many occasions, I get it from Dr Earth in Newtown when they have their discount days. It’s possible to make it quite easily though with cacao powder and coconut oil. I sort of made it yesterday during the chocolate slice prep.

      I think I will try chocolate muffins soon.

      Re oils: you could also add avocado oil to the mix, I only have four oils: olive (for salads), coconut (for everything), avocado (so far only for salads but I’ve read it is good at high heat) and macadamia for salads.

      Found a good summary of oil properties today: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/healthy-oils/
      A bit more on olive oil: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/spiritual-dammit/2009/07/cooking-with-olive-oil-can-be-toxic.html

      Sourdough: technically I can’t eat it, but I read today that properly made sourdough which is fermented is probably a better “cheat” than crappy bread. So I might eat it in the future, just not for the next little while!

      • Laura Zucchetti Says:

        Oh.. don’t get me started on crappy white bread… it’s a passion of mine to get people off the stuff! Have a read about the Chorleywood bread process…
        http://www.allotment.org.uk/allotment_foods/bread-making/chorleywood-bread-process.php

      • Sally Cinnamon Says:

        “Industrial bread” ….sounds appetising! Great link, thank you. I do wish I could eat good bread – something to think about in a year perhaps! That article really highlights how mechanistic food production (and even consumption) has become. Scary. I don’t know what’s worse – mechanistic and mindless food, or food fetishism (though even some people who do Paleo are a bit fetishistic to be honest!)

        I’ve also read that the gluten content in wheat has become really high in recent times due to all the messing around that scientists do with wheat. Perhaps that is related to all those with “gluten intolerance” and coeliac that we’re seeing nowadays.

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