Friday Funday = Recipe day!

Hello BTB45ers (and those of you just reading this blog, playing along from home, etc.) and HAPPY FRIDAY!

As an FYI, I (Jules) will be going through everyone's Evernote entries over the weekend, and adding feedback. Your homework: add in an entry today (Friday) just stating how you've been feeling. Tired? Hungry? Full? Not-so-hot? Headaches? Full of energy? Like you can leap tall buildings with a single bound? 

The work week is almost up, which means Friday...happy hour...parties...maybe being a little tempted at the movie theater, or out with friends. We've been there, done that. But you can and will stay clean during the weekend. How do we know? Well, we've been there, done that. No one is making you drink that beer. No one is making you eat that pizza. These are choices you make. Ndiya did a great series on restrictions and guidelines last year. Here's a link to one such posting.

Every Friday we'll post up a recipe for you to add to your paleo recipe collection. We welcome you to post links to or share some of your favorite paleo recipes in the comments too. We are one big community here, so let's see if we can get at LEAST 20 recipes posted to provide you all with some fresh ideas for your paleo eats! 

Today's recipe: Mashed Cauliflower (from our Paleo Comfort Foods website and book).

It is no small exaggeration to say that as far as side dishes are concerned, this is one of our absolute favorites. True story: we had the caterers for our wedding reception make our own recipe for mashed cauliflower. That’s how much we love the stuff. Then again, we love cauliflower "rice," cauli-sotto (our version of risotto), cauliflower grits, oven roasted cauliflower…so many ways to use one vegetable!

I know what some of you are saying: "I cannot stand cauliflower." Trust us when I say this may change your entire perspective on cauliflower.

Notes about cauliflower: Not all heads of cauliflower are created equal. Some are rather large, some medium, some small, some purple, some orange, some green. When we write our mashed cauliflower recipe, we say “1 head of cauliflower.” Based on what that size truly is, you may want to adjust the stock up or down, and/or the cooking time.

Cauli mash (aka “faux potatoes”) is one of the most versatile side dishes you can create. Add-ins that we’ve used/tried to change up the flavor have ranged from chipotle sauce, paleo mayo (for creaminess), bacon crumbles, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, jalapenos, Italian parsley, and after the initial 30 days, if you're allowing dairy in your life, try these with some goat cheese, butter or some heavy whipping cream. There are so many ways you can flavor these – experiment and see what you like!

A few tips and tricks:
- Cooking the cauliflower in chicken stock really adds some nice depth of flavor to the mashed. While you could just steam the cauliflower, I think the flavor is completely different when cooked in the stock.
- Cauliflower has a pretty high water content, so when we cook ours in the chicken broth, we try to get it almost dry (without burning). This usually gives us the creamy texture we personally like. If you have excess liquid in the pot, drain most of it off and reserve. Always better to start with not enough liquid than too much. 
- If you are more of a chunky mash kind of person, just use a hand masher to retain some of the lumps in your mash. If you look carefully, that's our mashed cauliflower (along with turkey and other sides) from the Nov/Dec issue of Paleo Magazine!

- 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, stem and florets chopped into similar sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth (more for a particularly large head of cauliflower)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

1. Place all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing to cook for 15-20 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is very tender and easily mashed with a fork.**
**You may need to add more stock if everything dries up and your cauliflower is not yet cooked through. Keep an eye on things as it cooks to see if you need to add some more, being careful not to burn. Burnt cauliflower is awful. Trust us, we know.
3. Once cauliflower is tender and cooked through, pour off any excess stock that remains and reserve.
4. Pour all contents into a food processor and mix. If the cauliflower seems too dry, add in some of the reserved stock.

Add in any spices, herbs, or “mix-ins” that you’d like as discussed above.

If you want a video of the "how" - go here and check it out. 

Have any of you tried mashed cauliflower (aside from Smugs and Kmugs - we know they can eat copious amounts of cauli mash!)? What variations have you tried?


BTB45ers: Going strong in week 1!

So there are over 50 people in it to win it for the BTB45. You know what that means? The kitty of money is pretty large! Woo-hoo!

Okay, in all seriousness, I've started looking through some of the Evernotes of everyone, and things are looking great. You guys are getting the hang of this, right?

I'm seeing quite a few breakfasts without any fat included...remember to get that fat in.

Maybe start paying attention to when the hunger pangs come in...hoping that your meals are keeping you full for a good 4 or more hours. If they aren't, then it's likely you need to eat more at that meal!

Usually, during week 1, the sugar/carb cravings are the hardest to beat. But, you all can and will do this. You will be amazed at how sweet a strawberry or apple will taste once you readjust your taste buds. I promise. Really focus on filling up at those meals. If you've just finished a big old steak, piles of veggies, with some good fat on the side, chances are you won't have much room for anything beyond that!

Last but not least, here's a good flow chart for helping to determine if something is paleo or not. And it's just kind of entertaining too!

Keep asking those questions via this blog. You all are doing awesome. I know it's hard to say no to booze for 30 days, but I have every confidence you all got this!


BTB45: day 1 in the books!

Hey BTB45ers!

Well, you made it through day 1. Am hoping that the blackened rooms maybe made a difference in your sleep last night?

A few things I've noticed from Day1 of the Evernote pics:
1.) Make sure you are getting enough protein at your meals. For ladies, that might mean 3-4 whole eggs, or maybe 1 egg plus some other kind of protein (salmon mixed into eggs is really tasty!). Yes, you want to eat the yolks. Guys, for most men, they would want 4-6 ounces (maybe even more!) of protein at a meal (that's 4-6 eggs, or maybe it's 2-3 eggs plus another protein source). 3 egg omelet with veggies and guac, with 1/2 an apple

2.) Eggs don't have to be your only breakfast food. I just looked back on old Evernote entries of mine. I ate burgers, chicken salad, pulled pork, salmon, and all kinds of other things at breakfast. Essentially, I ate food at a meal. I did not say "well, can't have chicken at breakfast." The hot bar at work even has grilled chicken as an option in the morning. Don't be afraid to just eat. 

3.) Fat is your friend. I've seen pics of quite a few meals that don't seem to include any fat. If you've cooked your veggies in a scant 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, you're going to want more fat. Avocados, guacamole, olives, coconut milk, unsweetened coconut flakes, olive oil, ghee (clarified butter), nuts, seeds...get some fat in at your meals (do not count the fat that exists in the meat you may be eating). Get your fat!

ESPECIALLY as you make the transition off things like mac and cheese to eating these real foods, you want to get your fat in.

What questions do you all have? Any issues in Evernote? Anything that would help you more in your journey?

Hooray for Day1!



BTB45: It's ON like Donkey Kong!

We have over 50 participants taking part in the first BTB45 of 2012, starting today (Monday) January 9. Welcome to each and every one of you! Hopefully by now you have:
- Darkened your room
- Taken your before photos and measurements
- Done some grocery shopping/planning for the week
- Signed up for and shared your Evernote page with me (Jules)

If none of these things have happened, please try and get them done ASAP. Yes, you need to log your food in Evernote. You'll see - it's really easy, and great to have that accountability!

So now that we're here and you're on your paleo path, a few tips and things to share from those of us who have been there, done that (and continue to do so):
1.) Fat is your friend. By cutting out processed carbs, and sticking to carbs in the form of veg/some fruit, chances are you're cutting your calories. Which means you need to get some more energy (remember: energy = calories) in the form of your protein/fat. Make sure you get some fat in at every single meal!

2.) Plan to always have food on hand. Meaning: stock your fridge, have those leftovers on hand, pack some paleo-friendly snacks...plan for when life might get a little crazy, so you have something at the ready. Even if you have to go and get a rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods, it's a FAR better choice than McDonald's Drive-thru. (And most of the WF rotisserie chicken ingredients are pretty legit, if I recall correctly).

3.) Get comfy in the kitchen! Some of our favorite sites for recipes (aside from our own - Paleo Comfort Foods) come from our friends at:
, (run by Patty and Ron here in GA. Awesome site)
Nom Nom Paleo (Michelle is a busy mom of 2 cutie pies, who works night shifts, and cooks up damn fine meals)
Fast Paleo

The Foodee

Jen's Gone Paleo (Jen and hubby Scott are friends with BTB's own Erin Evans, and run a CF gym in Oregon)

4.) Watch that you don't overdo it on fruit. If leaning out is your goal #1, maybe be aware of your fruit consumption, and limit to just 1 serving a day (especially if you struggle with "sweet" cravings).

5.) Eat. Eat until you are full. Remember: this is not about weighing and measuring your food. You want to fill up about 1/3 of your plate with protein, the rest with mostly veggies (maybe some fruit) and a nice dollop of some kind of fat. If that doesn't fill you up, eat some more!

6.) Communicate. Let us know what you're struggling with, what is going well, what is frustrating, all that kind of stuff.

7.) Remember what you are hoping to get out of these 45 days. Jot down your own personal goals for the 45. While we know some people REALLY want to win the kitty, we hope your goals in doing this are also personal - about realizing some big changes for you. So when you're thinking about that Lara bar, ask yourself: is this going to help me reach my goals for the 45? (while Lara bars are okay in a pinch, if leaning out is your goal #1, they won't help you in that goal!).

May the force be with you all. Post those questions here, and we can't wait to see all that is in store for you these next 45 days!


I have NO time to cook - how exactly do I stay paleo? 

Greetings friends. Whether you are doing the BTB45 or you have personally adopted a paleo lifestyle, one of the biggest things we hear from folks is: "I have no time to cook!" 

While I could argue with you that instead of watching the latest So You Think You Can Dance or Bachelor episode, that your time could be better spent in the kitchen, I'll indulge the "I have no time to cook" group somewhat.

Perhaps it's actually that you don't like to cook...and that is a-okay. Here are a few things that might help you in the BTB45 and your paleo path:

- Buy Premade Paleo. Chef Richard Bradford is a local CrossFitter, and has jumped onto this paleo wagon. He gave me some sample meals to try back in the fall and they were delish. You can view his upcoming menus here and he's running a special for paleo challenge participants around Atlanta: 2 weeks of meals for $140. 

- Get a crock pot (or slow cooker) and use it! Here's how easy it is: take a whole chicken, and any assortment of veggies (celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms), ****take the chicken out of the package it was in, rinse it, and remove the inner stuff**** toss it all in the pot, season with any seasonings you like, turn the pot on low, come home from work that night to a delicious, fully cooked chicken and veggies. No liquid needed. It is that easy. You can do the same with pulled pork (seriously!), chili, or a whole host of "dump some stuff in a crock pot and come home to deliciousness." 

- When you DO decide/find time/spend a little time in the kitchen, always, always, ALWAYS make extra. Cooking burgers? Don't just make 1...make 4, or double it to 8. Leftover burgers are a lifesaver! Grilled veggies? Grill up some more! 

- Use the EGG! Lots of BTBers have Big Green Eggs. We do, Jeff & Melissa do, Smugs and Kmugs do, the Gecsys do...we've had many a time where we toss on a nice pork butt on the BGE around 6pm the night before...then maybe at 6am, maybe at 12 noon....we pull that off for some delicious pulled pork. YUM. 

We know it can be hard to carve out some time in the kitchen, which is when things like some already made meals from Chef Richard, or having your leftovers, come in handy. We know it's hard. We worked 2 full time jobs, ran the Vinings gym, wrote a book, all last year...and still managed to find some time to cook. You just have to be smart about it. 

For more meal ideas, check out these links:
Meals 4 the Week

Everyday Paleo

Paleo Plan

Another tip: if you know you're going to be going out to eat, but will be limited on food/time to cook tomorrow, why not order that larger steak, or something that you know you'll eat half of, then have the leftovers tomorrow? Fajitas (minus the rice/beans/cheese/tortillas) make awesome leftovers. So go ahead and get that bigger portion, knowing you will be taking some home for breakfast or lunch tomorrow! 

What things have helped those of you who have done paleo before? Yep, I'm calling people out...Nick G, Anna L, Kristin G, Kathryn R, Andy did you find time to cook, or what were your saving graces? 



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