PaleYo

Holy Sweet and Sour Chicken, Batman!

I have been craving sweet and sour chicken from the Chinese restaurant for weeks, so today, I set out to find a Paleo version of it!  The recipe, Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken, seemed promising, so I set forth on a mission to create it!  I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed all the ingredients, and needed to pick up extra stuff to make Paleo ketchup.  As a side, I decided on kale with avocado salad.  I’ve only had kale steamed, so I was excited to see how it was in a salad!

It took me almost 2 hours to make the entire meal, start to finish.  There is more than enough for leftovers for the next day or two.  I was completely shocked when it tasted exactly like my favorite meal from the Chinese restaurant that I have been wanting so badly since I changed to Paleo.  Alas, I have an almost exact replica to what I used to eat at least once a week, sometimes more.  I am so incredibly excited about making this meal in the future, and fairly often.  Looking forward to have my leftovers for breakfast and lunch tomorrow!  Oh, the little things in life.

So the kale and avocado salad was super tasty, and really easy to put together.  I honestly didn’t have high expectations for it, but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was just kale with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, grape tomatoes, onions, and avocado.  I drizzled a little balsamic on it, too.  Yum!  Kale is such a tasty leaf to have in a salad, who knew?  (definitely not me)  I will certainly be using kale more often.

Now, I’m going to enjoy some hot ginger tea, and call it a night.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.-

When All Else Fails…There’s Always Chili

Chili is definitely one of the “lazy” meals.  I need to go food shopping tomorrow, but for tonight, I had a pound of chop meat…albeit, frozen…but still there for the taking.  So I popped it in the microwave to defrost for a few minutes, heated up my pot, and threw it in.  I cut up a sweet potato, an onion, garlic, and a few spices.  I threw them all in and let them simmer.  As a side, I steamed some broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots; tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and some cumin. After they were coated, I put them in a tray and put them in the oven for 25 minutes to bake.  It made for a pretty good meal.  Lots of yummy veggies!

I’m about to make my shopping list for tomorrow.  I think I’m going to try some new things.  I also think I may make a huge pot of veggies too, this way I have them for a couple days instead of just 2 or 3.  I tend to look for recipes online, but lately I’ve been venturing out of the box and trying my own things.  When I come up with some good recipes I will gladly post them for all to see.

“Small changes can make a BIG difference.”

-Unknown-

It Gets Easier

Dinner was chicken nuggets with buffalo sauce…yummo!  I made a salad with balsamic vinegar, steamed broccoli, and sweet potato fries.  🙂  Even had some leftover for breakfast today!!  I also cut up and cooked two chicken breasts and put some spices on them.  I’ll put the chicken in some lettuce wraps and eat it for lunch today.  I’m not sure what I want to do with dinner yet.

I’m still upset with myself for eating that ice cream (that wasn’t even worth it), but I don’t consider it a setback.  Just moving on from it.  I’m pretty sure that any kind of food or meal you can think of, there’s a Paleo recipe for it!  You really won’t miss much about the diet you had before.  Just the cooking is very time consuming, but well worth it.

I found some hot ginger tea, helps with digestion, and is very delicious.  I picked it up at Trader Joe’s, I definitely recommend it.

“Everyday is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again.” 

-Unknown-

Rewards Aren’t as Rewarding as You’d Think

I made Paleo chocolate peanut butter ice cream last night and it was awesome!  I didn’t have much but I definitely enjoyed it.  Went to Target and bought an ice cream maker.  Found this recipe online and used it, Paleo Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream.  If anyone else tries it, let me know how it comes out. For dinner I made some Paleo pizza with jalepenos, tomatoes, “cheese”, and olives.  You can do so much with that Paleo pizza!  I definitely need to make some buffalo chicken pizza!

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at Fenway.  Unfortunately, my Yankees lost to the Red Sox, but that’s okay.  Two victims of the Boston bombing, a woman who had lost both of her legs and her daughter who almost bled to death, were there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.  It was a really nice moment, so I felt like the Red Sox won for them!

They allow you to bring in an unopened bottle of water, but I’m not sure what their policy is on outside food.  I think at Yankee Stadium you can bring in outside food if it’s in a clear bag.  Don’t quote me on that.  When I got there I was starting to get a little hungry.  I decided to get an Italian sausage sandwich with peppers and onions (probably not the best Paleo option); I threw out the bun.  I was proud of myself.  When I was leaving the stadium I did see a very small gluten free stand but I didn’t get anything.  Wish I had seen that earlier!

I collect the ice cream helmets you get from baseball games, and the last time I went to Fenway I wasn’t able to get a normal Boston helmet because it was the 100 year anniversary.  I figured I could reward myself with ice cream so that I could get my Boston helmet…let me tell you, it wasn’t even worth the reward.  You’d think that since I haven’t had dairy or sugar that it would be amazing, but it wasn’t.  Some “reward” that was.  Paleo food is so much more tasty and flavorful, and I’m not even just saying that.  You make food with real ingredients, as opposed to processed “flavorings” and such.  This is just an observation.

I’m still believing that “rewards” and “cheats” when you’re Paleo aren’t even worth it.  Maybe real pizza would be, but I really enjoy Paleo pizza.  The way I’m living now is working, so why compromise it.

“NOTHING will taste as good as feeling FIT feels.”

-Stephen Luke Fitness-

Finding A “Paleo Friendly” Place to Eat in Beantown

I am spending the night in Boston for the Yankees/Red Sox game tomorrow.  Needless to say it took about an hour and a half to find a place with food as close to Paleo as possible.  Finally found Henrietta’s Table in The Charles Hotel.  They had gluten free options, as well as meals with grass fed beef and free range chicken…BINGO!  Got the sirloin, medium rare, with veggies; also, got a watermelon salad for an appetizer!  I have made it before and I was so excited to see it on the menu.  It’s arugula, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, watermelon, and goat cheese (not Paleo, and shouldn’t really be consumed your first 30 days).  I don’t eat any cheeses anymore, but I make an exception for a little bit of goat cheese crumbles on top of the watermelon salad.  Good option if you’re going to a barbecue to make and bring for everyone to enjoy.  At least you’ll have something you can eat.  I recommend that for any party you go to, actually.  If you are super strict Paleo, and worried that someone won’t have anything for you to eat, then make a Paleo dish and bring it to share!  🙂  And remember…it’s so good, you won’t believe it’s Paleo!

If you’re willing to put in the work with this lifestyle change, then it will work for you.  Got on a scale today and down 19lbs.  I am so proud of myself and so incredibly thankful for the support of my friends!

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy,

I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

-Unknown-

Just an Observation…

Can anyone relate to this…

First off, I didn’t get much sleep last night, but I think the mango may be bogging me out a little today.  I haven’t had fruit or sugars really in the last month.  Today I feel tired, but my sinuses are bothering me and I’m actually feeling hungry.  I’m not sure if the sugar is throwing me off or not, but I’m pretty sure that the mango is the issue.  It’s the only thing that’s different that I added over the last few days. I’ll see how I feel later.  Looks like pork chops for lunch!!

It’s amazing how I can see the difference now with what I put in my body.  It’s all a learning experience.  If anyone has any insight on this, please feel free to share!

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”

-La Rouchef0ucauld-

Prep is Key!

Today I was a Paleo cooking machine!  I ended up making mango chicken and green beans with almond butter sauce for dinner.  Boy, oh boy.  It was delicious!  Took awhile to cook the chicken and mango, but well worth it.  I have enough for lunch tomorrow, too!  I also cooked up 6 pork chops.  I had recipes for some really good spice mixes in my Paleo book.  I did 3 with spicy cinnamon and 3 with a smokey type flavoring.  I’ll probably have one for lunch tomorrow, or maybe a quick snack at some point.  Then, I can just freeze 2 or 3 to have whenever.  🙂  I love cooking now!  The house smelled awesome, too!

Made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for some coconut milk yogurt…makes for a good snack, or a quick breakfast.  I was never even a fan of yogurt, but this stuff is good. It’s somewhere between regular yogurt and greek yogurt.  Coconut milk (in a can) is actually good for coffee.  I like it better than almond milk.  You can find it in the grocery store, and it’s inexpensive.  I also grabbed some anchovies so I can make some Paleo Caesar dressing…or attempt to at least.  haha

I noticed that a lot of the recipes call for hot pepper; I read that the spiciness helps speed up your metabolism…I’m all for it!  Although, my poor Mom says some of the stuff is way too hot (but she eats it anyway…).

Paleo has been an adjustment, but I’m certainly enjoying every minute of it so far!

“Want it?  Work for it.”

-Unknown-

Who knew Paleo could taste so good?

Tonight for dinner I made mussels with a Paleo marinara sauce, and a salad with lots of veggies, for a side.  There were a few attempts at dressings, a few epic fails, and then ended up with a creamy avocado dressing.  It was prettttty good!

I found myself sitting at the table today saying, “Man, this stuff is too good to be Paleo.”  I’ve been a fan of almost every single meal and side dish I’ve made since I started.  Most of it has been stuff that I would have never imagined even trying!  I have a few food allergies, but so far that hasn’t seemed to get in the way.

I’m not a big fan of olive oil and unfortunately some of the stuff calls for a lot of it, like dressings, or the Paleo mayo (which I hate).  So, I try to find a lot of different alternatives to using the olive oil in such large quantities.  I found an alternative for the mayo at Whole Foods.  I can’t remember what it’s called at the moment, but it has all natural ingredients, no soy, no gluten, no canola oil, and no dairy.  It does have a few more grams of sugar than I would like to have, but the small amount I use every once in awhile, won’t stress me out that much.  I love that spices are your best friends if you’re Paleo-riffic!  🙂

By the way, if you find a meal that you really like that is Paleo (besides the Paleo pizza and thin mint cookies), don’t be afraid to eat it often.  Some stuff should be eaten in moderation and not as often as we’d like…ahem-pizza and cookies-ahem…but it’s healthier than a lot of the other stuff we could be eating.

I thought that I’d want to have a cheat meal at this point, but I really don’t.  I’ve thought about it and pizza or tuna on a sub would probably be my go-to, but I really don’t even mind not “rewarding” myself with that stuff.  I’ve learned to love the new Paleo versions of some of my favorite meals.  That’s actually one of the things I think I enjoy most about this so far.

Next adventure, Paleo Ice Cream!

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.”

-Kevin Trudeau-

Paleo Chicken “Parm” with Spaghetti Squash

So for dinner I put together a meal.  I breaded chicken breasts with almond flour, made Paleo marinara, and used the “cheese” from the Paleo Pizza recipe I found http://www.paleocupboard.com/paleo-pizza.html.  That Paleo pizza recipe is amazing.  Although, I wouldn’t recommend eating the “cheese” on it’s own, it’s pretty good melted on other food.  It reminds me of parmesan cheese. Also, the pizza dough is SO GOOD!!  I’m gonna try using it for other things instead of just as pizza dough, like maybe put some spicy tuna salad on it.  Yum!  Keep ya posted!  Nothing compares to NYC pizza, but this Paleo pizza will do just fine.  🙂

The Beginning of My Paleo Journey

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Let me first start by saying I am in no way a fitness or diet guru.  I am just an ordinary girl from New Jersey with nothing to lose (but weight), and apparently  a gluten intolerance.  I embarked on this journey exactly one month ago.  Honestly, I didn’t think I’d last this long, but ironically, I can’t see myself living any other way.  It was an adjustment at first and extremely overwhelming, but I had the determination to make it work.  I made the decision to change my lifestyle to Paleo to see how many  things it could fix, and now, thirty days after starting, I am 17lbs. lighter, and I feel so much better than I have in years!  At 30, I’m feeling better than I did when I was 25.  Still have a way to go; happy with my progress so far.

My decision to start this blog is simply to write about my observations and findings, as well as connect with other people living the Paleo lifestyle.  Many blogs have guided me along and given me some really incredible recipes.  All my fellow Paleo people, go check out the recipe for Paleo Thin Mint cookies…to die for!!  http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-thin-mints/  So good you won’t even know it’s Paleo.

One thing I have noticed is that it’s not easy to go out to eat anymore, but that’s okay because you end up saving a bunch of money which is a good thing!  You don’t have to completely deprive yourself of a nice date night or a night out with your friends, but beware if you are trying to stay STRICT Paleo.  Do your research before you leave the house!  I would say your best options are a steakhouse, or a sushi restaurant.  I went to Mt. Fuji this weekend and decided to get Hibachi, well needless to say, it was not the best option.  I couldn’t eat the rice or the noodles, and I really shouldn’t have had anything else because the chef doused it with soy sauce, but when in Rome…  I highly doubt the butter was grass-fed, and the eggs were from cage free chickens, but who knows, they may have been.  🙂  A situation like this really won’t set you back though, so don’t fret.

I did get a book to help start my endeavor, and would recommend getting a book to anyone who plans on going this route.  It was a huge help, and set good guidelines.  At this point, I know the basics of what’s a go, and what’s a no.  My advice is to start small, and not change everything all at once.  Take it one step at a time.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming and you’ll be more inclined to give up.  I gave up soda back in January, and was regularly going to the gym so that was a big help to starting this Paleo adventure.  Speaking of the gym, with Paleo I noticed that working out is about 20% of the equation.  So for anyone who dreads going to the gym a few days a week, Paleo is a good choice.  When you start eating the right foods, your body does the work itself.

Even though bread, grains, sugar and fruits are not included in the Paleo lifestyle, I find that I’m not craving any of it.  I had a serious addiction to food.  All food was comfort food to me, and lots of it.  This has broken that addiction, and quite painlessly.  The food I make now is more hearty, and filling.  I’m not looking to snack a half hour after a meal like I used to.  I did find Quest bars.  They are good snacks, and gluten free.  They aren’t really Paleo, but they are close enough.  http://www.questproteinbar.com/

The sense of satisfaction you have after cooking a meal and having everyone like it is pretty wonderful.  I had no idea I could be such a good cook.  I was THE Microwave Queen.  I could microwave things like nobody else!  Now I just use it to steam my veggies, or heat up leftovers.  It’s a nice change.  My mood has also improved vastly and my anxiety has been kept to a minimum.

Key to success is wanting this for yourself, and having a good support system, whether it’s your friends or a forum on the internet.  Stay strong in the beginning, it gets better…way better.  It’s fun for me at this point.  I experiment with a lot of food, and food shopping is getting way easier.  Plus, there’s no better feeling than fitting in clothes that were too small a few months ago.  🙂

I will update this blog during my journey.  Feel free to drop a line, leave advice, or leave a recipe.

“The body is like a piano, and happiness is like music.

It is needful to have the instrument in good order.”

~Henry Ward Beecher