PaleYo

Archive - September 2014

Gluten Free in San Francisco

san-fran

Asked for a decaf coffee this morning…what they gave me is definitely not decaf.  I don’t know what is going on with me lately, but the anxiety is awful when I have caffeine.

But that’s not what this post is about.  I wanted to write about my trip to California!  I spent some time in Oakland this past weekend.  It’s a good area to go if you’re Paleo/Gluten free.  So many places with so many options, not like New Jersey.  The first night I arrived I ate at a pizza place called Zachary’s in Oakland that offered gluten free thin crust pizza.  Gluten free pizza is the only thing I will eat that I don’t make myself.  Shared one pizza with pineapple and jalapeño, and another with pesto, black olives, and artichoke hearts.  They were pretty, pretty good!  Next morning I had leftover pizza as breakfast.  Yum.  Then off to Sonoma we went!  It was 100 degrees out!  We visited a few wineries and ate some dark chocolate.  The girls wanted to go to this place called Homeroom in Oakland that had gluten free pasta…I just enjoyed an awesome salad with hot peppers, bacon, and feta cheese.  We were so tired that night, so we fell asleep pretty early.

The next day we went to San Francisco.  It was a beautiful day!  We decided to grab breakfast, so we ended up at this little place.  I got a decaf coffee, scrambled eggs (organic), bacon, and GLUTEN FREE blueberry pancakes (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).  They weren’t anything like Jimmy’s pancakes, but they sufficed.  We were having so much fun that we didn’t eat lunch.  We went to some shops, and visited Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe (If you don’t understand the significance of this place, that’s okay).  We didn’t eat there.  We went to this place Venus; vegan and gluten free options like whoa (not super Paleo friendly though).  I got a steak with some mashed potatoes and zucchini.  It was rather delicious.  A lot of the stuff on the menu had corn…so I couldn’t try a lot of it.  But, if you’re gluten free, then the East Bay is a good place to go spend some time!

Next day, we headed back to NJ!  Can’t wait for Jimmy to make me some of the Best Damn Paleo Pizza EVER!

“And then I realized, adventures are the best way to learn.”

Easy Lacto-fermented Pico De Gallo

pico-de-gallo

Equipment:

  1. Quart  mason jar
  2. Sharp Knife
  3. Mixing Bowl
  4. Large Spoon

Ingredients:

  1. 6 Medium Tomatoes
  2. 1 Large Onion
  3. ½ Bunch Cilantro
  4. 6 Cloves Garlic
  5. 1 Bell Pepper or Hot Peppers to taste
  6. Sea Salt and Pepper
  7. Pickle Juice, Sauerkraut Juice, or Vegetable Culture Starter from Body Ecology

Method:

Chop up tomatoes and squeeze out additional water and put in a large mixing bowl.  Chop up all other vegetables to your desired size and place into the mixing bowl as well.  Add 1 tsp. of salt and ½ tsp. of pepper and massage this into the veggies.  Pack this mixture into the mason jar.  Now take the pickle juice or sauerkraut juice and cover the veggies.  Make sure that they are and remain fully submerged.  Make sure to leave at least 1 to 2 inches of headroom and cover with the lid.  Let sit on the counter for 3 to 5 days then transfer into the fridge and enjoy.

**If you need more liquid just combine some salt with water and use until veggies are covered.  If you use a veggie culture starter mix the starter with water and use this to cover your veggies.

**I have fermented onions, garlic, and pickle juice at all time in my fridge and use this.

Paleo and Meditation

meditation

I’m ready to take the next step…meditation.  I’ve always been interested in Buddhism and meditating.  I’ve read a few books on the subject by Noah Levine.  I’m reading a new book called “Beginner’s Guide to Meditation”.  I think, for me, this practice coupled with my Paleo lifestyle is what I need.  The first thing I’m learning about is breathing.  Quality of mind is controlled by breathing.  We have a mind, but our mind is not or identity.  You have to observe your breath enough so that you feel comfortable.  That is why a lot of people will tell you to take a deep breath when you’re feeling stressed.  My anxiety and stress make me feel like I can’t take a deep breath, which is why I feel it’s time to take this step in achieving optimum health.  I’m just wired this way.  Many times I find myself overreacting to situations.  One thing I’m working on and seeing the results is my road rage!  Bazinga.

I learned a lot about meditation, although I have yet to practice it.  It allows you to become more aware of your feelings and emotions.  It allows you to endure and overcome them, and ideally allows peace to take over.  Our mind should not be an enemy, but sometimes I’m convinced mine is completely against me.  Following a Paleo lifestyle keeps mine in check.  It balances our gut flora with our mental clarity.  There’s a lot of articles out there supporting the findings that a Paleo diet will help with mental disorders.  Paleo is a good thing!  I’ll keep you posted on my meditation journeys.

Being Paleo is all about balance of mind, body, and soul… I can’t stress this enough.  Next, I’m going to look into yoga and binaural beats meditation.

 “I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you in which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace.  When you are in that place in you, and I am that place in me, we are One.”

 

Easy Basic Paleo Sauerkraut Recipe

Sauerkraut

Equipment:

  1. Quart  mason jar
  2. Sharp Knife
  3. Mixing Bowl
  4. Cutting Board

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Pounds Cabbage (Green or Red)
  2. 4 Teaspoons Sea Salt

Method:

Remove all outer leaves from cabbage and then measure out the 2 lbs. Cut in half then in half again resulting in 4 pieces.  Remove a little bit of the core from each piece and you are ready to slice.  It is your preference, coarse or fine, up to you just make sure it is all uniform.  You can also use a food processor with a “slice” wheel to shred your cabbage as well. Put in all in a mixing bowl and add the salt.  With clean hands firmly massage the salt/cabbage mixture to release the liquid from the cabbage.  This can take up ten minutes.  Pack this mixture into your jar pushing and squishing it in as hard as you can using any implement.  The objective is to have the liquid rise above the cabbage and leave at least 1 inch of space between the top of the cabbage and the mouth of the jar. Put the lid on and place in a cool dark place or on the top of your counter as long as it is out of direct sunlight. Check every day or two with a clean fork and push down to make sure the water level is above the cabbage.  7 to 10 days should be enough but its ready when the taste suits you. It could take longer depending on the temperature. Place in the fridge and enjoy!

Caffeine is the Culprit

coffee-caffine

Up until January 1, 2013, I would generally enjoy several cans of Coca-Cola a day, since the age of 4 probably (don’t judge, it was the early 80s).  When I was in my early teens, I started to see the symptoms of anxiety, although I didn’t know what was going on with me.  When I first started suffering, it was really hard on me.  I didn’t really know what it was, how to control it, how to get through it; I’d end up convinced I was about to die, and completely exhausted once it passed.  Never attributed them to anything but some kind of “chemical imbalance”, or maybe I was “just at that age”.  I continued to drink soda and coffee, never knowing I was overstimulating myself and most likely causing, or at the very least, making my anxiety worse.  It’s only now that I KNOW caffeine was a prime factor in my anxiety attacks.

When I first started Paleo, I was very strict about not having any coffee, eventually I went to a small cup daily.  Over the past couple weeks/months, I have noticed I’ve been drinking more coffee than usual.  I’ve had a lot of events taking place in my life, and I’ve been feeling a little worn out, so that might be the reason for the increased intake.  Before I thought of the coffee as the cause, I noticed I was having more anxiety attacks, more frequently, and much more severe than I have had in a long time.  Thought maybe it was just the stress of life weighing on me.  The other day I must have had 3 or 4 cups of coffee (not normal behavior for me), and it was during the last cup that I noticed the attack.  I couldn’t breathe, there was pressure on my chest, I couldn’t focus…and then it dawned on me — I’m starting to have a severe sensitivity to caffeine.

Over the past few days I decided to not have any caffeine-or any coffee at all.  No anxiety.  The withdrawals have been a little rough, but I’m dealing.  Today I tried decaf coffee (which can contain small traces of caffeine) for the first time, a small cup…no anxiety, except maybe some self provoked by the anticipation that I may or may not have an attack because of the coffee.  I guess that settles it, no more caffeine for me.  I should be happy that I figured out a HUGE factor as to why I had anxiety attacks, but I’m a little bummed.  I just have to be careful because I read that there can be caffeine in things you wouldn’t even think had caffeine: decaf coffee, chocolate, pain relievers, and some breath fresheners.  I’m allergic to a lot of things, so being sensitive to caffeine doesn’t shock me.  Just goes to further support my statement that says, we get comfortable feeling crappy, that we don’t know what it would feel like to just feel great.  I accepted the attacks as the norm, boy, was I wrong.

“Caffeine, after all, is such a benevolent, socially sanctioned drug – how could those cuddly polar bears in the Coke ads, or Fred, the avuncular Dunkin’ Donuts guy, be pushers?”

Blue 42…PALEO!

football-season

Football season is upon us, and while in previous years I was never the biggest football fan, I’ve grown to love it…mainly, because I’m in two fantasy leagues!  Unfortunately, your usual football Sunday snacks won’t fare too well if you’re Paleo.  So here’s my top 5 to help you enjoy your Sundays and stick with being Paleo!

Number 1 on my list is my favorite new snack; it’s primal – Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Ingredients

  • 15-17 mini peppers with the tops cut off and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Mix the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Take your peppers and fill them with the mixture.  Preheat your oven to broil, and place your stuffed peppers on a cookie tray lined with foil.  Cook about 5 minutes or until browned slightly.  If you’re feeling fancy, you can add cooked, seasoned chicken, then put the mixture on top.

Number 2 – A recipe I found on paleomg.com for spaghetti and meatball bites!

Number 3 – Use the Best Damn Paleo/Primal Pizza Recipe, and turn them into breadsticks or garlic knots!  Heat up some sauce and serve!

Number 4 – Because anything is better with bacon… Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites!

and Number 5 – No Sunday would be complete without… Jalapeño Lime Chicken Wings with Paleo Ranch Dressing!

What are some of your favorite Paleo finger foods??

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
– Vince Lombardi –

Naturally Fermented Sliced Pickles

pickles2

During my last trip to Life Enhancing Farms in Lancaster, PA, I brought back a jar of lacto-fermented sliced pickles.  They were absolutely delicious so I decided I was going to make my own when this batch was finished.  Using the left over brine I made my own.  Once you make your first batch you will always have enough brine to make more and to spread the wealth to your friends and family.

Equipment:

  • Quart mason jar
  • Sharp knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic cucumbers
  • Himalayan or Celtic sea salt – 2 tsp to 2 TBSP depending on taste for salt
  • Filtered water (no chlorine)
  • Pickling spices, if desired
  • Body ecology veggie started dissolved in about ½ cup water, ¼ cup brine from previous batch, or fresh whey

Method:

Cut each cucumber length wise in half and slice each into very thin half circles. With clean hands sprinkle 2 tsp salt on sliced cucumbers and massage them gently so that each slice is coated with salt.  Take a quart mason jar and put in the brine or veggie starter then slowly fill up the jar with the cucumbers every so often firmly pushing them down allowing some of their natural juices to release. You want to leave  2 inches at the top for expansion.  Once you have all the cukes in you want to make sure that the water/brine level is covering your pickles, this is an anaerobic process.  If it is not you have to make a filtered water/salt solution and fill the jar until it covers the pickles.  You can add your dill at this time if you choose then put the lid on the Mason jar.  It seems to me like 2/3 days at room temperature works very well, you have to experiment.  Remember: warmer – it will ferment faster, and cooler – it will ferment slower.  Once or twice a day open up the lid to the pickles and push down the top layer so they are submerged.  This will help to avoid any contamination. After the 2/3 days put in the fridge and enjoy.  Save the brine and reuse!