Paleo Without Pity

Paleo Without Pity-Detox Tea

In additon to breakfast, another issue I have always had with Paleo (or any diet) is the copious amounts of water you are supposed to drink.  I will be really good about the 64oz of water for a few days, but then I fall back into old habits, because I get sick of drinking water.

And when I write that I feel like the whiniest bitch on the planet, since so much of the world can only dream of having an unlimited supply of clean, cool water.  (Note to self-next week gratitude journal).

So I still need to get the water in because it keeps me hydrated, flushes the system, aids weight loss and the other 8 billion reasons a person needs water.  So instead of water, I make myself detox tea.

I have a Mrs. Tea that I use, and for the amount of iced tea that I drink, it was really worth the $15 investment.  However, if you do not have an iced tea maker, just buy tea and follow the directions on the box.

This tea is so simple, its barely a recipe, more like instructions:

1. Prepare decaf green tea according to manufacture’s direction.  (I have used other types of tea- but green tea has some special weight loss property I hear about)

2. When preparing the pitcher of ice, add,
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 citrus fruit of your choice, sliced. (If using a grapefruit, use 1/2)

And thats it. Its quick and really delicious. I make a 3 qt pitcher and often finish it in a day.  And if you want to skip the detox affect and add some Absolut Limon or Citron, I’m not going to tell on you.

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Paleo Without Pity-Breakfast Salad for One

When I started the Paleo diet my biggest challenge was breakfast.  My usual breakfast was usually pancakes, waffles, french toast or oatmeal with fruit.  I would also like regular toast.  These are all not allowed on Paleo, and I tired the subsitiutes and found them seriously lacking.

This means that  I usually alternate between scrambled eggs with veggies or plain greek yogurt with fruit. (I am on the side of Paleo that thinks a little dairy is ok.  With the exception of the plain greek yogurt, I mostly use cheese or butter as a condiment).

That being said, this can get a little old.  So I came up with a yummy breakfast salad.  As made this is quick, easy and vegan.  Also since the hubby and kids don’t enjoy greens, I make this salad for 1.

Breakfast Salad

Ingredients
Kale (I usually fill the bowl I am going to eat out of with kale until its overflowing)
Tablespoon of coconut or olive oil
100 Calorie pack of nuts (I’m using the almond walnut combo)
Small Apple
Tablespoon of dried cranberries (I use the fruit juice ones)

Instructions
1. Heat oil in pan, add Kale, cook until Kale is wilted (3-5 Min)
2. On last minute of cooking-add nuts.
3. Chop Apple
4. Add Kale and nuts to bowl, top with chopped apple sprinke with dried cranberries

If you wanted to add more protein, you could cook some bacon and saute the kale in the bacon, or after you put the kale in the dish, use the pan to scramble an egg.  Also, this is good with some chopped chicken or sauteed shrimp.

Paleo Without Pity- Mexican Style Slow Cooker Chicken

Before I started reading the Blog A Year of Slow Cooking, I thought that my crockpot was primarily a winter thing, where I would make chili, pasta sauce, meatballs, etc.

However after being reminded that cooking in the crockpot means that you are not heating up your kitchen, I became a devotee and the pot comes out all year long.

I make some great chicken in a variety of ways.  It always comes out moist and is great to have for salads, stirfries, mixed in with paleo mayo and stuffed into a tomato or just eaten straight out of the bag.

I usually do 2 bone in chicken breasts and get 1 full dinner for 4 out of it, or I add 3 and have some for leftovers.  This chicken also freezes well.

Place the frozen chicken breasts into the appropriate sized crock pot.  I find its better to crowd the crockpot a little than have things too spread out, but you can get around that if you add more liquid.

I use chicken broth, 3 garlic cloves per breast and an envelope of  Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning and a chili in adobo and toss it in the pot with the chicken.

Then I set it on low and cook for about 8-10 hours.

Then I shred and we eat.  And its yummy!

Recipe:

Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken (2 Breasts)

Ingredients
2 Frozen bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Chicken broth to cover
Envelope of Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning
1 Chili in Adobo
6 Cloves of Garlic

Directions
Place breasts in slow cooker
Combine broth, taco seasoning, chili and garlic, pour over chicken
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Remove from slow cooker, remove the skin, shred and use.

Paleo Without Pity-End of Paleo Challenge

On Monday, March 5th my husband and I began our Crossfit Box’s Paleo Challenge.  This weekend we finished it.  We both lost about a dozen pounds, and are seeing the difference in how our clothes fit.  At the beginning of the challenge I was doing crossfit twice a week, and am now up to three times, and I would go more often if my schedule permitted.

I have to admit, that I did have a hard time with the challenge, because I was a HARDCORE carb junkie prior to starting the challenge.

After doing the Paleo Challenge, I can now emphasize with people who have problems giving things up because I am a bread addict.

I can give up booze with barely a thought. I found I do not miss pasta.  I miss the ease of making pasta, and the joy of making a meal that I know everyone loves and will eat, but I do not crave pasta.

I also thought I would miss dairy, since I love cheese. However, I found that as I stopped eating cold cereal, cookies, baked goods, french toast, waffles and pancakes, that I don’t miss dairy.  I missed the foods that went with the dairy.

I don’t even miss the baked goods too much, because I recognize that one cookie is too much and a dozen cookies are not enough, especially if they are my chocolate chip m&m oatmeal cookies, warm from the oven. (Ok-I miss baked goods a little)

And I don’t even miss bagels, chips, or crackers.

But real bread is hard.  Some sourdough baguette, a nice semolina loaf, warm pita, or a slice of pizza and I am drooling.

But I also must admit that I feel like shit after eating pizza, so I think if I can remember the pain prior to dialing I will be ok, but bread is still tough.

The other big challenge are trying to get the kids to come Paleo too.  I find that I am frequently cooking more than one meal, or several sides so we can have a dinner in peace.  I also find that there is a bit more involved cooking (and cleaning)  with this diet, since the quick pasta dinner is off the table.

 What I Learned:
  •  A whole new way of cooking, and have enjoyed searching the internet for new recipes and look for ways to adapt what I do cook.
  • I discovered new vegetables I might never have tried, like sunchokes and parsnips.
  • Artichokes in the crock pot are made of awesome.
  • The many joys of bacon
  • If I am serving turkey breast for dinner that I need to serve some sweet potato with it, or the whole family is hungry an hour later, and susceptible to bad food choices.
  • After I have served my kids a Paleo meal and they eat it, to NOT point out that its a Paleo meal, because then they won’t eat it again, because they are trying to kill me.

I will keep up with the eating plan, and continue to make my sweet husband his daily cooler since it keep him on track.

The only changes I will make is to incorporate some greek yogurt into my diet and the occasional bowl of oatmeal, since I really love plain oatmeal with fruit.   I am also thinking of doing a 30 day Paleo challenge, as I felt the grind of an 82 day challenge was a bit much, and I did cheat several times.  I think on average I was 75-80% Paleo each day, and I am going to shoot for 85-90% going forward.

So thanks to Glen, Linda and John at Crossfit Synergistics for showing us a new way to eat.

If  you look on the blog, there are several yummy Paleo recipes.  As I discover new recipes they will be up right here.

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Without Pity-Chicken Meatballs (And My Sitter is Better Than Your Sitter)

Everyone knows that the secret to sanity as a parent is to have a good baby sitter so you can go on dates with your spouse, which helps keep the marriage happy.  We have always been pretty lucky to have good sitters that we have found though the Daycare, but our sitter Lisa is really the tops!

She not only watches the kids and does fun art projects with them, but when we go away for family trips she house and dog sits as well.  Our dog is happy because she is not in the kennel, and we are happy because the kennel is expensive and Lucy is always mad at us after she goes there.

In addition to taking care of the house and dog, Lisa often cooks for us and leaves things in the fridge.  Before we went Paleo we used to come home to a couple dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, but this time when we came home, we came home to awesome chicken meatballs and eggs and veggies in muffin cups.  I don’t have the egg recipe yet, but I have these perfectly paleo meatballs.

So Lisa, thanks for your awesomeness!  We will miss you when we move!

Turkey/Chicken Vegetable Meatballs (Serves 4-6)

1lb ground turkey or chicken

2 medium carrots (or a handful of baby carrots)

1 bell pepper (you choose the color)

5 large white mushrooms

handful of fresh parsley

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

2TBS Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp ground pepper

2tsp garlic salt (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350

2. Combine all veggies in a food processor or blender and process until small chopped

3. Empty veggies in lage bowl, add meat and seasonings, mix completely

4. Form into balls and bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until golden brown all over and fragrant.

I liked the meatballs as is, although the veggie chunks were too obvious for the kids.  I would not cook these for a long time in sauce unless you want a meat & veggie sauce, but I added a can of diced tomatoes to the meatballs in the fridge and microwave them briefly to warm and the tomatoes really add some nice flavor.

So there you go, perfectly paleo meatballs and indisputable proof that my sitter is better than yours (sticks out tongue)

Paleo Without Pity-Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones

I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine with Beef and Peanuts, but I subbed in chicken and almonds, since I sometimes find stir fry beef to be a little chewy.

This meal is delicious and pretty easy to prepare.  With the exception of the plantains, I had everything in my freezer or pantry already.

Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones (Serves 4)

Mango Curry Chicken

1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil.  (Add a little more or cooking spray if the pan looks dry)

1 large or two small yellow onions chopped

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

3 Gloves Garlic, minced (I use a press)

1 C Frozen Mango

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 T sliced almonds

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Tostones

1 T olive or coconut oil

2 yellow plantains cut into 1/4 in pieces

 

Chicken:

Heat oil in pan and cook onion for 5 minutes or until translucent

Add chicken and garlic cook for 5 minutes or chicken looks mostly cooked through

Add curry and mango, cook for five minutes or until the mango is warm

Remove from heat and add almonds, taste and adjust salt and pepper, cover to keep warm until serving

Tostones

Heat oil in separate pan, place tostones in pan with room for them to breathe and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using Tongs, turn over, careful not to touch the hot tostone with your fingers, there by teaching your six year old new and exciting words.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes, please on paper towel to blot gently and serve with chicken.

Note: If using beef, drain in a colander before adding the mango.

This was a great dish.  I had it done from start to finish in less than 1/2 an hour.

Next time I make it I might serve it with a spinach salad or a touch of avocado to mellow the curry.

I did not attempt to serve this to my kids as they are not big curry lovers.  I also find that while I love and appreciate the value of a full family dinner, once a week its nice to feed the kids a little earlier and have a peaceful meal with just my husband.  Its nice to eat at a relaxing pace without having to worry about correcting table manners or watching people make faces when unfamiliar food is served.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Without Drama-Paleo Chili

Today I started a Paleo Diet Challenge at my Crossfit Box in an attempt to get healthy and lose weight.  My game plan for the challenge is to plan my meals for the week ahead of time and make sure that I have all the food I need so I don’t veer off plan.

In order to do this, I did some careful grocery shopping, hardboiled eggs, chopped up some veggies, bagged some produce, have some leftover meats in the fridge ready to pair with veggies and I made a batch of this awesome chili for my sweet hubs and I to have for lunches this week, with a couple to toss in the freezer for another week.

I have been making chili for years, but previously my chili always had beans, which is a paleo no no.  It also had sausage which is not necessarily a paleo no-no, but is not permitted for the challenge.

One of the fun things about the Paleo Challenge is that its going to really provide me with cooking challenges and get us out of a rut.  Since I can’t use white potatoes, flour, pasta, beans, grains or dairy, I need to totally rethink my cooking.

So it will be a discovery of new spices.

If you saute the meat and veggies the night before, you can toss this all in the slow cooker in the am and come home to dinner.  Have some sliced avocado with it to cool it down a little,

Paleo Chili (Serves 6)

2 lbs of mixed meat.  (I used chicken breasts, boneless short ribs, and stew meat)

1 Large onion

3 bell peppers (I used a green a red and a yellow)

3 cloves garlic (put through press)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes and chilis

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/3 C Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons of Chilis in Adobo

Instructions

1. Sear meat and put in slow cooker

2. Saute onion until slightly browned and translucent, put in slow cooker

3. Saute peppers and garlic until soft, add to slow cooker

4. Add tomatoes and spices, stir.

5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

This was spicy and delicious.  I made a batch and put some in the freezer for a later date and have some in the fridge for lunches and dinners.  Thank goodness for my slow cooker and all the yumminess it helps me make.