Butch… and weight loss. Part Five

Coming up, Part Five – Resources and Information

So here, as I dance along the line between 199 and 201 (figuratively, of course – no one should ever witness my dancing), I feel the need to finish up this series and move along to other things… like, holy fuck, is it the holidays already?

If you’re interested in this whole paleo thing, Mr. Google will take you all kinds of fun places – like Mark’s Daily Apple (more primal than paleo), and PaleOMG (full of awesome recipes… plus, she’s hilarious).  If you’re interested in busting your ass and getting fit with a bunch of other awesome people (like the ever-buff Madeline, who ALSO has a bunch of awesome recipes), look up your local CrossFit.

If you’re just curious as to what the hell my wife and I eat on a daily basis and/or are wondering if you could do the same, here is a sampling of menus and paleo staples to have in your house.

In the cupboard:
Coconut Oil (Virgin, Unrefined – like this one)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sunflower Butter (aka Sunbutter)
Curry Powder
Unsweetened Coconut

Breakfast:

  • Coffee, black or with a dash of cream or almond/coconut milk.  No sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Increase your odds of still loving coffee by buying good quality coffee and/or grinding it at home.  Also, if you hate the bitterness, make overnight cold coffee – take a medium sized Mason jar, put four tablespoons of coarse ground coffee inside, top off with water, shake shake shake, and put it in your fridge before you to go bed.  In the morning, filter through French Press (easy, but some grounds in the bottom of your cup) or cheesecloth (pain in the ass, but no grounds!) and voila.
  • Eggs (and then more eggs, on top of some eggs) – use olive oil in your pan instead of butter or PAM.  Make them however you want – scrambled, over easy, hard-boiled.  I scramble four each morning and that feeds me, my wife (who can only choke down a few bites) and RR, if eggs are suiting her fancy that morning.
  • Paleo Granola with some Almond Milk (Original, Unsweetened) – We made Pumpkin Granola last week, and it’s delicious.
  • Fruit (in moderation… so don’t eat like, four bananas for breakfast.  For one, that’s just gross.) – Grapes, berries, apples, pears, grapefruit are always in our house.  Throw some sunbutter on em, if you like even, for some protein.  Bananas and oranges and super-high-sugar-content fruit in moderation.
  • Bacon – yes, bacon.  Mmmm, bacon.  The Paleo Purists like you to have sugar free bacon, but as a Paleo Realist, that shit is impossible to find.  Instead, buy some of the least-processed kind you can.  I like to flirt with my Whole Foods butcher while getting a 1/2 pound of their dry-rubbed bacon, and that usually lasts us a week, if not more.

Lunch:

  • Leftovers (I’ll get to that when we get to dinners…)
  • Chicken Salad or ChickenSalad – Chicken.Salad = salad with some chicken on it!  And maybe sprinkled with fruit, nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and drizzled with some oil and vinegar, and hell throw some of that leftover morning bacon on there or a hard boiled egg.  However, you must put the Ranch dressing down.  ChickenSalad = Cubed up chicken with some green onion, grapes (halved), nuts (if you fancy), and make your own Paleo Mayo.
  • TunaSalad – same as ChickenSalad, but with Tuna.

Dinner:

  • Chicken
    • Grilled Chicken (get thee to a charcoal grill – and now that it’s winter, get a head lantern and a jacket) – Heat up your coals (I like to use a chimney starter) and pile them on one side of the grill.  Add your chicken to the COOL side (i.e. the one without the coals directly underneath), cover for 8 minutes, flip and cover for another 8 minutes, then move chicken to the HOT side for 2 minutes per side, covered.  Moist AND delicious.
    • Easy Oven Foil-Packet Chicken (EOFPC) -Put a piece of foil down, put your chicken on it (with whatever seasonings you like – lemon/pepper, etc.), then make a little boat/tent by crimping the sides and top.  Put on a sheet in the oven (in case of spillage) and cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
    • Chicken Shawarma Salad
  • Pork Chops (we like the thick, bone-in ones) – Oven-baked, get a high-temp grill pan, preheat your oven to 500 degrees, toss your chops in some olive oil and maybe some kosher salt, jack up one of your burners, and when the pan gets hot on the stove, throw your chops on to sear them, then throw them in the oven.  5 minutes per side.  Take them out to rest for a minute or two and top with some cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  Or do them on the charcoal grill: Make a HOT and a COOL side with your coals.  Two minutes per side on the HOT side, then 5 minutes per side on the COOL side.  Rest and eat.
  • Hamburgers – Grill on your outdoor grill or stovetop.  Serve bunless, and topped with whatever you like.  We prefer Paleo Mayo, avocado, onion, and a tomato.
  • Taco Bowl with Kale Chips – No, it’s not a tortilla.  BUT it is delicious when you’re craving Mexican food.
  • Spaghetti Squash – Microwaved or oven-roasted.  With meat sauce or with tiny meatballs.  It’s all good.
  • Butternut Squash Soup – There are an ass-ton of recipes out there for this.  We liked this one (hellllooo bacon as a garnish!), but found that thyme, in any butternut squash soup, was overwhelming.  So unless you REALLY FUCKING LOVE THYME, leave it out.
  • Sides?  Like VEGETABLES?  Bags of frozen broccoli or a box of spinach in your microwave (do the whole damn bag or box… leftovers!) are wonderful (and easy… and usually cheap).  Or a head of broccoli.  Or asparagus.  Or a side salad.  Or SWEET POTATO FRIES (one sweet potato, cut into fries, tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, into the oven for 20 minutes at 425, stirring/flipping at the 10 minute mark).  Also, unsweetened applesauce is a great side.

As you can see, with the over-abundance of dinner options, we typically make enough for dinner one night, and lunch the next day.  Because, as we discussed earlier, salads every day make me (and most everyone) angry.  But a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup on a chilly grey day…. mmmmm.

As far as organic vs. grass fed vs. whatever.  Buy what you can afford.  This is not the paleo organic show.  You can buy organic grass-fed pasture-raised everything, but no one is coming to your house with a reward or trophy for doing so.  The point is… less sugar, less processed foods, less crap into your body, and more “whole” foods.  Not Whole Foods.  Get it?  Hardee har.

Life in Paleo with a Toddler, we don’t force this on RR, but like any meal with her, she gets offered what we’re having (and boy does she love a hamburger or some spaghetti squash!) but she doesn’t care for curry (poor her) and likes most of her chicken to be accompanied by store bought honey mustard.  She likes broccoli, though (weirdo) and tomatoes and avocados, so that’s something.  She eats her fair amount of canned pears or peaches in those little 100% fruit cups, string cheese, applesauce, and yogurt.

Life in Paleo at Work is probably harder than paleo with a toddler, honestly.  You’ve got sandwiches during lunch meetings, retirement parties with cake and cookies, birthday get-togethers with donuts and bagels, and the list goes on.  Paleo at work is oftentimes like walking in a mine field.  It’s a little like being Paleo and Social, which is hard when you’re on vacation or people are visiting or your out with your spouse on a date and it’s all chips and beer and bread and cheesecake and THERE ARE NO RULES.  But then you feel bloated and pasty the next day, and subsequently sad, so you try remind yourself of this the next time.

As a special bonus gift for making it this far, if you want a peek into all of the inside jokes you would now be privy to, go here.

Questions?  Comments?  (Madeline, did I miss anything??)  Hit me!

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Posted on November 2, 2012, in church of paleo. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Do you have time to do anything else besides cooking and shopping for supplies to make meals?

    • We make weekly menus usually Saturday or Sunday mornings, and hit the grocery for everything we need for the week. We post the menu in the kitchen, which takes some of the thinking out of what we’re eating and when, or what meat needs to be taken out of the freezer for the next day, or whatever.

      Not thinking about what we’re having for breakfast/lunch/dinner frees up the time we used to spend mulling over eating options, “Well, are you feeling like pizza or Chinese?” etc. or standing in line at the local sandwich shop.

      It seems really time (and mentally) consuming at the beginning, but it all eventually works out. We still have time to sleep in (when RR permits), get to work on time, rake leaves, and walk the dog… all of which is about the extent of our social life anyhow! 🙂

      The planning takes a lot of work out of it.

  2. What if you’re ethnic, and rice and pastas are staples? We don’t have much time freed up for cooking or much else in life either.

    • Rice and pasta were totally staples in our house. And pizza. a LOT of pizza. And paleo is obviously not for everyone. For instance, if you felt strongly about being vegan or vegetarian, than it would be a realllllly hard thing to do, since beans and legumes are out, and protein sources are meat, meat, and more meat. And fish.

      If you’re making meals at home, there’s not that much tweaking to do in order to make what you’re eating paleo. If you’re eating at restaurants a lot, which we don’t do a lot anyway since RR is a restaurant terror, then it would surely be harder.

      I’m not making a case that everyone should do it. Just saying that it’s worked for us, in the same way other people have success with other eating changes, like Weight Watchers or Atkins… stuff that I’m certain I couldn’t do, ya know?

      • A friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong had told me that there are now lots of people there who are giving up on rice since they think that it’ll make them gain weight. People are just not doing enough exercises like they had back in the days… Never really had tried Atkins or other types of diets (don’t have the discipline nor do I like the complexity). No beans or legumes??
        I’d like to think that I can be living at just about anywhere in the world and be at peace with the local food, but then again, you can take a Chinese away from China, but never the Chinese out of them.
        Man, more power to you and yours! When I’m sitting in a nursing home drinking Ensure, you’ll be running your 60th. extreme ultramarathon! I’m just really glad that you’re feeling healthier and better!

  3. Some of these look really good (like the pumpkin granola!). Going with what works for your body is the best, period, no matter what works.
    Try throwing a parsnip or two in with your butternut squash next time – serious goodness.

  4. I suppose the only thing I would add is that the rule for me is 80-20. That is, I eat strictly primal (some dairy; need cream in my coffee) 80% of the time, and then 20% of the time I drink a beer and eat a slice of pizza, if I feel like it. And really, this often works out to be more 90-10, depending on what my body is telling me. Because a lot of time I think I’ll want a piece of pizza, but then I don’t.

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