Sunday, January 27, 2013

Heading Into Week Two

We have made it through our first full week of Paleo. I don't want to talk about yesterday...

Actually, I do. I'm just going to put this out there now. I am trying to follow this plan as closely as possible. I am using the eating plan outlined in Practical Paleo and I'm sticking to it for the most part. The thing is, I'm not home all that much because of theatre commitments, and work commitments, and choir commitments, and, well, just having a life outside of my house. I did pretty well this week, waking up early enough each day to pack my breakfast, lunch, and sometimes, dinner. I ate out on Friday for lunch, but only because the girls at work took me for my birthday, and I managed to stay practically Paleo throughout the meal. I remembered to bring my coffee and water bottle each morning. It was a good week, at least in my opinion.

Yesterday, though, was a different kind of day. I had a going away party to arrange and attend for a very dear friend, and Murphy had the monthly Cowboy Action Shooting match. Neither one of us came even close to being Paleo yesterday. I ate cake. And Greek yogurt dip. And cheese that was in the two amazing hot dips that were brought to the party. Murphy ate a Philly Cheesesteak and drank a Cheerwine after the match, at the traditional celebration meal. I may have eaten 4 or possibly 10 cherry sours.

But you know what? It didn't upset me. And it didn't get me down. In the past when I have done other diets or eating plans, one day of "bad" or "forbidden" eating turned into me falling completely off of the plan. Well, not this time.

I'm spending this morning figuring out our cooking plan for the next week. Looking over the recipes, it is going to be a very tasty week, but there is a lot of cooking involved. Murphy has been a big help, making sure to cook what is on the list if I'm not home. I am so thankful that he is committed to this, too.

Some of the food I am looking forward to this week: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs, Pesto Shrimp and Squash Fettuccine (with pasta made from zucchini!), Rainbow Red Cabbage Salad, and Orange Braised Beef Shanks.

I'm hoping to start adding some pictures to this blog, since I think the visual is just as important as the description. Need to get my Picasa updated so I can do that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bless My Dolmas!

Murphy and I spent some much needed time together tonight. We worked together and got our fancy turkey dolmas assembled and cooked. Yes, yes, I know, turkey? But the thing is, I couldn't find ground lamb at the store when I went on my ginormous shopping trip last weekend. So, we substituted turkey. And you know what? Not half bad.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grilled Steak. For Breakfast? Coming Up!

This is going to take some getting used to. Breakfast is a hit or miss meal for me. It usually consists of coffee. Sometimes it involves something like a Pop-Tart or a Cheese Danish from Starbucks. When I'm on a health kick, it is a container of Chobani Greek yogurt.

But all of that is changing on this new eating plan. Today, I had Grilled Garlic Steak with Peppers and Onions. I ate this in the car on my way to work - that is not something I recommend, especially if you are not well coordinated. It was strange to be eating something before I got to work and honestly, it was strange to be eating at all before 11:00 am.

Lunch was leftover chicken and my new found love, Kabocha Squash. And dinner was canned salmon (the good kind, not the kind that comes with the bones, no extra charge for that!) and a very ripe, very smooth avocado. My goddess, I could live off of avocados.

Murphy took care of some of the cooking for tomorrow, so breakfast will consist of a Roasted Turkey Leg. I am picturing myself driving down the road, Turkey Leg in hand, looking so very Henry the Eighth.

Monday, January 21, 2013

First Step, First Day

For a few different reasons, which I will tell you all about in a later post (or two), Murphy and I have decided to go Paleo. We have done a similar eating plan in the past, but after reading up on the hows and whys of Paleo, I think it is going to be a really good fit for us.

I am excited about the prospect of essentially erasing everything I know about cooking and starting from the basics. Take a food, say a vegetable, something simple like a carrot, and eat it raw. Now, cut it into chunks and roast it, with nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper. Now, cut it into thin chips and sautee it with coconut oil and cinnamon. Now, put it into a broth with other vegetables and chicken, or beef. And each time, taste it. Really taste it. What is it about something so simple as a carrot, is it the texture, that crunch when it has been washed and peeled? Is it the slightly sweet flavor?

This is the first step down the path of discovery. Why do we eat what we eat? Why do we love certain foods and avoid certain others at all costs? Could it be possible to love all foods, in their natural state, or enhanced by other foods or herbs in their natural state? I'm hoping we can figure all of this out.

So today, Monday, January 21, we begin. I've been in the kitchen all morning.

For lunch today, our first official Paleo meal, we both had Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs and Legs. The recipe comes from the book Practical Paleo. The mustard flavor gets a little lost, so I think next time I would put a light layer of the glaze on the bottom of the baking dish, then place the chicken on top, then cover with another layer of the glaze.

I also roasted three different vegetables: Kabocha Squash, Butternut Squash, and Sweet Potatoes. I kept it simple - they were all tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. All were roasted at 400 degrees from 20 - 25 minutes.

I ate the Kabocha Squash with my chicken because I had never had this particular variety of winter squash. It smelled a little like rutabega while it was cooking and came out with a sweetness that I didn't expect.

Murphy had a little of all three of the vegetables. No complaints, although he did put more salt on top before he ate them (but not without tasting it first, which I appreciated).

Dinner tonight will be chicken again and more roasted vegetables. I am looking forward to the meals we have planned this week.