(Part 1 of a series)
During the past year I’ve learned how to lose weight and get healthy by relearning how to eat. I learn well by example, so it was super helpful for me to read other people’s stories and testimonials on the various blogs and websites I follow – but not only for the motivational factor. I like to know specifically what people are doing so I can steal their tricks.
So as a follow-up to my last post, I thought I would write more specifically about what I actually do and eat because it might help someone find a new trick for their “health bag.” This time I’ll focus on food, starting with breakfast.
As I explained in the last post, I follow a Paleo lifestyle (I don’t like the word “diet” because it has too many negative connotations). That means I don’t eat grains, dairy, legumes or sugar. I also avoid packaged, processed “food” as much as possible. If you’re like I used to be, you’re thinking, So, what DO you eat? Nothing is left! Well, I just eat real food.
Let’s start with breakfast:
I don’t love having to cook breakfast after having been a cereal girl for my whole life, but I’ve learned that if I eat a good, balanced (includes fat, protein, carb) breakfast, I’m not hungry until lunchtime or later so I don’t snack all morning like I used to when I was on the cereal plan.
Basic: Two eggs, fried or scrambled in a little bacon grease; some breakfast meat (2-3 slices of bacon or some crumbled sausage or chorizo – probably bout ½ cup); 1/4-1/2 white potato. Some Paleo folks don’t do white potatoes, but I have learned that I need a little more resistant starch and carb in my diet, so do include organic white potatoes. I often pre-bake them and have them ready to do a quick fry in the morning. I also like to pre-cook my meats, so I only have to warm them while the eggs are cooking – or just throw it all together as a skillet meal. I recommend buying locally raised, pastured meat, if you can and/or opting for the nitrate-free, uncured breakfast meats at the grocery store. It’s also easy to find locally grown, pastured eggs which are likely better than what you’d find at the store. Finally, I need to learn to get more greens into my breakfast, too, so I’m working on that during my Whole 30.
Paleo Quiche: I like to make a quiche on Sunday evenings to have in the fridge for grab and go breakfasts during the week. I can just quickly warm a slice and don’t have to break out the frying pan (read: lazy). I make my quiche with a potato crust (sweet or white), prepared by slicing the potato on a mandolin slicer, then arranging in the bottom and sides of the glass quiche pan (greased with coconut oil). Then I season the potatoes and bake the crust for about 15 min on 350 (until the potato is fork-tender). Then I prepare a regular quiche filling of cooked breakfast meat of choice, sautéed veggies like spinach, kale, squash, onion, etc. a little salsa or favorite spices and then scramble up about 6 eggs (or more depending on size of pan) and pour it all over the cooked crust. Cook about 20-30 min at 350 or until eggs are set in the middle. I’ve also done this in muffin tins for egg muffins, using a single slice of potato as the bottom crust. Top the quiche with some sliced avocado and you’ve got a fast, nutritious breakfast. I don’t have a picture of my quite, but here’s a recipe I used for inspiration.
For beverage I drink coffee. I used to be a French vanilla creamer addict. Really – I would panic if I didn’t have any in the fridge for the next day and I bought it in half gallon cartons. Have you read the ingredients list on those creamers? I’m not sure there’s any actual “cream” in there! It’s a chemical sh** show, so I did give that up pretty early into my Paleo journey. But I still don’t like black coffee, so I had to find a substitute and went to a combo of coconut milk and local raw honey. I tried almond milk but it’s a little gritty, to me. I was buying the cartons of Silk coconut milk, but now that I’m doing the Whole 30, I had to give it up because it has carrageenan, which is a known gut irritant and not allowed during W30. Well, neither is honey (no sweeteners of any type), so currently, I’m using pure coconut milk only. Eh. It’s ok and it’s better than black, but I’m not sure I love it – yet. I’d like to learn to either drink the coffee black so I don’t have to worry about my “cream and sugar” or just give up the darn coffee. Not high on my to-do list right now, though.
I’m also adding a tablespoon of Great Lakes Gelatin to my coffee (it’s tasteless) to help with joint and hair health. My hair suffered from being a little too low carb, so that’s why I now include resistant starch and gelatin. It’s all a learning process.
Other Paleo folks (the Hubs calls them Paleans, which sounds a lot like aliens), advocate letting go of the usual breakfast paradigm of eggs, bacon, etc. and just eating whatever protein, fat and carb you have. I’m sure it works for some, but I just don’t like roast chicken and carrots for breakfast – yet. Maybe my tastes will change eventually.
Next time, I’ll share my favorite lunch options.
Again, here’s a great list of Paleo resources:
• It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
• Whole 30 Program
• Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
• Wheat Belly by William Davis
• The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne
• The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine by Terry Wahls M.D.
• Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, Bill Staley and Robb Wolf
• Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe
• The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
• The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
• The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
• Mark’s Daily Apple
• Grass-fed Girl
• Against All Grain
• Nom Nom Paleo
• The Paleo Mom
• Paleo OMG
• The Spunky Coconut
• The Paleohacks Podcast
• Balanced Bites podcast
• Underground Wellness Radio podcast