Saturday, February 9, 2013

Paleo Is for More than Crossfit Crazies: It's For You Too, You Crazy Carbovoire

I first learned about the Paleo diet/lifestyle about four years ago when my body weight started climbing and energy dropped. Paleo came after South Beach was so mindless that it practically asked for cheating.
My trainer kept chirping about a book called Primal Blueprint, urging me to read it because he felt it was keeping right in line with my beliefs about food. Save for the fact that I was newly out of retirement from a decade as a pescetarian vegetarian. After browsing Mark's Daily Apple a few times, I picked up the book and quickly proceeded to read it cover to cover.

Over the next couple of years, I used Paleo as a starting point for reducing processed foods in my diet. It was also a sure fire way to cut weight quickly and repair stalling energy. I moved on to a Ketogenic Diet-- something I'd seen a childhood friend live through as an Epilepsy patient at a research hospital-- and delightfully ate nothing but chicken and cheese for as long as I could take it and voila! Five to seven pounds gone in less than a month.

I can clearly remember being Keto on moving day. Chris can probably clearly remember, too. Especially on day 4 of unpacking when I stood at the dining table, flailing silverware and a box cutting knife, screaming and weeping IM LIVING ON CHEESE, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!!

So that didn't last.

As exercise programs like Crossfit grew in popularity, cookbooks, websites, and Pinterest pins with Paleo recipes and substitutions popped up in the mainstream. Plenty of the recipes tasted worse than cardboard, but for the most part, it's safe to assume that if you take white and processed foods out of your diet, you're at least Paleo-friendly.

Now, fellow Cavepeople and wannabes, please use common sense when Pinterest suggests that so long as you use almond flour instead of Gold Medal something is Paleo.. just... ugh. USE YOUR BRAIN. Organic Oreos are still Oreos and a wolf in sheeps clothing still has sharp fangs.

Everyday Paleo. Southwestern Frittata.

If you've never tried Paleo, please please please start with this recipe. Sarah is the most badass bitch of Paleo cooks and this recipe will show you that clearing your diet of grains and artificial "foods," can be delicious, affordable, and completely satisfying.

Southwestern Frittata
1tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup salsa verde (I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde)
12 eggs
Sea Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350. In a large saute pan, saute the onions and minced jalapeno in the coconut oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the ground beef and cook just until it starts to brown and add the grated sweet potato and garlic. Cook until the beef is completely browned and the sweet potato is soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salsa, stir and cook until heated through. Taste and season with a little sea salt if desired. Transfer the meat mixture to a 11×7 glass baking dish and spread the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the 12 eggs add pour over the meat mixture in the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle when you jiggle the pan.
Now, don't try to be cute and modify the recipe because you feel scared of the coconut oil instead of butter or because you've always put milk in your eggs to make them fluffy. Because if you add milk or butter, you're not Paleo. And if you're not Paleo, you're not feeling as freakin awesome as you could.
I made this tonight with the intentions of having it before flying out the door for a Sunday at work. But the smell was so enticing that I stuck my fork in and didn't take it out until I'd helped myself to an entire serving. The best part is not only the clean eating and the yumminess of it, but walking away from the plate fully satisfied and not feeling like you're going to explode/vomit/or die.
You're welcome.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feeling green

It was a busy weekend at Casa Megan. (Chris's) Family dinner on Friday, (Megan's) family dinner on Saturday, Superbowl on Sunday.

The hours were also filled with the predictable and prerequisite workouts, trips to the golf store and grocery, laundry, and daydreaming of all the things the future holds.

Chris and I are in that awkward relationship moment when we aren't married, we don't have kids, and we are already moved into the house with the yard and dog. For quite a while now.

We often look across the room at each other on Saturday afternoons and think, "there has to be more than this." More than just a boyfriend and a girlfriend and a big house full of too many boring grownup possessions.

We know the missing piece has ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers.

But since that's a really serious lifetime commitment, for now we doddle and tinker and bicker and do aimless things like shop online and reorganize garages and pantries.

After a full week of anticipation, this box finally arrived on Saturday and it sent me running into the house for a scissors to tear into it with.

Inside were precious contents. Paraben free contents. If that sort of thing tickles your intrigue, then be sure to checkout Abe's Market. While many of the items are available at Whole Foods or the Co-Op, internet shopping practically guarantees a discount code of some kind. So I snagged shave cream, deodorant, and the most awesome Vicks-esque stuff called campor. I mist the inside of the humidifier before bed and I feel clear in the morning and my sheets aren't muddled in scary petroleum grossness.

The green theme continued on Sunday when a rare occurrence of Spring Fever struck me. I generally adore winter and swallow enough D3 and fish oil to keep the Winter Blahs away. But for whatever reason, the greenhouse and its between seasons destitution whispered into my ear to come inside.
I was disappointed to strike out in the herbs department. The hope had been an enormous basil plant and a rosemary topiary, but that's fine because lord knows I can't get a usable herb to grow in the herb garden much less a kitchen window in the dead of winter. 

Instead, I found these darling clay pots rimmed in silver and distressed enough to sport some real Euro flavor. Like sheep on the countryside and lavender fields as a backdrop for crusty bread and red wine.

They were charming and a fiscal ripoff originally, but an acceptable amount on clearance. My one regret is only buying three for myself and not picking up the rest to fill for fiends as gifts come spring and summer. Nothing says I Love You, Pal, like a fabulous pot full of mojito making spearmint.

You can never go wrong with succulents and even if you neglect them, they'll still give you a good amount of life and green before joining the English Ivies and ferns in Houseplant Heaven.

I love Sunday nights for their quiet nature: I love Sunday nights because it's like getting to hit Restart on the computer and the week can begin clean, fresh, organized and uncluttered. With Sunday night comes a sense of satisfaction for what was accomplished and an anticipation for what's yet to come.

We may not have babies, but we have succulents and gleaming countertops. Here's to hoping the weekend found your time blooming with goodness.

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