Sunday
Jun212009

What’s On Your Grill?

Summertime...perfect time for grilled veggies, grilled proteins, even grilled fruit! Chances are you’re heading to some barbeques these next few weeks, and if your friends are serving up some potato and macaroni salads, you’re better off coming prepared with your own stash of fresh veggies.

And here’s the really cool part: 1 POUND of raw zucchini is about 80 or so calories, and about 12 net carbs (not that we’re counting, but for you former Zoners you know that is just over one block). Point is that the sheer volume of food (and relatively low caloric value) is going to fill you up. Combine some grilled zukes with grilled red peppers, onions, you name it, chop them all up, toss with some fresh basil, pepper and olive oil and garlic. Anyone else thinking that sounds mighty good? Well, trust me, it is. And summertime is when you’ll see prices on zucchini and squash plummet as they come “in season.”

I know it’s hot out and the thought of cranking up the grill outside might sound about as good as a root canal. For those who wish to stay inside, Le Creuset makes a great two-burner, reversible grill pan that you can use on the stove top. Back in my Los Angeles living days this thing was perfect for grilling up all sorts of fun stuff (without standing over a hot grill).

What are your go-to grill items? I know Tracy and Charles are Big Green Egg owners and I stand by my statement that I think dirt might taste good cooked on the BGE. Favorites of mine are all kinds of veggies, bacon wrapped shrimp or scallops, salmon, and of course slow-cooked pork. Yummmmmmmm.

Next time you head to a friend’s for dinner, tell them you’ll be bringing the veggies, and grill up a ton of zucchini, yellow squash, you name it. Served hot or cold, I guarantee the freshness and flavor will win you and your friends over, and you’ll get nice and full on some fantastic carb choices (and they’re great to chop up the next day in your eggs as well!).

It’s good to be back with you 90 folks. Don’t forget to upload or e-mail your week 3 food logs by the end of Monday night! Hope everyone has a GREAT week 4!

Wednesday
Jun172009

Over the 30 Day Hump...Celebrate!

So far this week, we have had everything from Gluten Bomb arguments, AHA moments and let us not forget the super testimonials from so many of you.

 

In all the chaos, one very important fact was left out…you’re all over half way through the strict 30. As we say goodbye to hump day and hello to the new you, let’s pause and give each other a big pat on the back. We have heard from many of you with stories of struggle and victory. Truly, you are all getting the hang of this paleo thing.

 

It is that vein: what is that one little cheat that you just can’t wait to get your hands on.  For those that weren’t quite as strict and had that “fall off the wagon” moment…how are you going to climb back on? The lesson behind this blog is simple…how do you cheat and still stay paleo?

 

Lesson 1- Remember what a cheat is: It’s that one moment you have to slip outside the paleo diet (we're talking true paleo now).  A night out with friends or dinner at the in-laws can be very challenging…but also offer you the time to flex your Paleo knowledge and simply do the best you can.

 

Lesson 2- Bend the rules properly: Alcohol isn’t just alcohol anymore. Remember to stay away from grain based stuff. No chips that have wheat in them...stick to corn chips if you have to have that crunch to go with your salsa. We had a great subject come up on the blog yesterday regarding that 9 days it takes before your GI track returns to normal after the gluten exposure.

 

Lesson 3- Use the system to your advantage…! Psych yourself into drifting closer to paleo…not further away. If wine is an absolute must for you, use that as the motivator to limit your fruit daily fruit consumption. Must you have corn chips? OK, then maybe you go without alcohol…wait, did we just say that? You get the point.

 

So let’s hear it. What’s on your agenda to celebrate your first 30 days with?

 

Monday
Jun152009

The Gluten Free Trap

I wish this weren’t the case…but we see it all the time. There is always that person that tries to cut every corner or bend every rule in such a way that it gives them an advantage or allows them to circumvent the traditional method of doing something. Our mothers and fathers have been telling us for years: “If you can’t do something right…why do it at all?”

There were several instances at the Dirty South games that athletes tried to alter the way an exercise was done in order to do it faster or expend less energy. I would compare this to the questions we have been getting about gluten and the paleo diet. Is the Paleo Diet gluten free….ABSOLUTELY! There is no arguing that one of the pillars to a successful paleo diet is the removal of gluten from one’s daily consumption. Ok….here’s where the fun part comes in! Did paleo man have access to gluten free pastas, flours, cookies and cakes…HELL NO! No one is forcing any of you to be in this challenge…if you are so desperate for cake or flour that you have to pour a bunch of gluten free garbage down your piehole…fine. I will tell you now that you will not get nearly the results you are looking for and for certain will have no shot at winning this contest.

I can hear your cries and pleas now…so let me address them by saying this: if you cut this corner, you WILL NOT succeed on paleo. Here is my non-science reason why you will fail. One of the major components to the paleo diet is the concept of eating until you are full and then not eating again until you are hungry. Traditional hunger pangs have to do with sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in your body. Since pastas, cakes, flours, cookies pack such a sugar load…introducing them into your paleo diet allows you to consume WAY more sugar than you normally would if you were eating say: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, strawberries. If that doesn’t make sense to some of you…then I’m happy to sit down with you and a ball peen hammer to discuss.

On a side note…there has been some confusion as to the inclusion of heavy whipping cream in our otherwise perfect paleo world for 30 days. Let’s clear the air right now. NO Heavy Whipping Cream during the first 30. Some of you were confused and were kind enough to ask off blog…your HWC consumption will not be counted against you for the first two weeks.

Wednesday
Jun102009

Recipe time!

Steamed broccoli can get really old really quickly. Aside from doing some sort of saute' or stir fry, have you ever tried roasting your broccoli? Roasting intensifies flavors, also adding a bit of near carmelization to the veggie. Good stuff I say! And added benefit of broccoli and cauliflower are the many nutrients contained, and the low caloric value (1c. of broccoli is only 54cal, 1c. cauliflower is about 38).

Give this one a shot with broccoli (or cauliflower is great too). Oven roasting veggies is a great way to cook up a bunch of veggies at one time without having to stand over the stove stirring something.

Oven roasted broccoli (for cauliflower I suggest dropping the temperature by 25-50 degrees, and no need to peel the stalk of the cauliflower)

Ingredients

1 large head broccoli (about 1 3/4 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed

Ground black pepper

Lemon wedges for serving

 

Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cut broccoli at juncture of florets and stems; remove outer peel from stalk. Cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths and each length into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut crowns into 4 wedges if 3-4 inches in diameter or 6 wedges if 4-5 inches in diameter. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic to taste and toss to combine.

 

2. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

 

FYI - cauliflower usually cooks best if you first cover it with aluminum foil for about the first 5-10 minutes of cooking, then flip pieces over and cook another 5 or so until done.

 

 

Sunday
Jun072009

Breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day. 

You survived week one and National Donut Day(seriously, WTF?).

Is this getting any easier for you? Have some of the cravings for crackers, cake and pasta gone by the wayside? What has been most helpful for you thus far?

Breakfast seems to be a meal that quite a few people struggle with. “I’m bored of eggs.” “There isn’t much variety for breakfast.” Yes, we know: 9 out of every 10 households consume breakfast cereals for breakfast. But not you, oh wise Paleo peeps. Just as a little historical fact, breakfast cereals have their beginnings in the vegetarian movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which influenced members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States. Religion and vegetarians – I knew we got to blame someone!

Seriously though, we live in a society where cereal, bagels, danishes, yogurt and eggs are “normal breakfast foods.” Did you ever eat cereal for dinner and think it was just so contrarian to “normal?” Now that you're on the Paleo ship, yeah, cereal seems far from normal. But limiting yourself to just having eggs for breakfast, well, who says so?

Two points to this blog: 1. ) don’t limit yourself to just eggs for breakfast, and 2.) before you go shunning away the eggs from your daily routine, you might want to think twice.

1.) Guess what? Eggs are not the only thing you can eat for breakfast. Personally, I do enjoy eggs and scrambling them with a variety of other proteins (so not to go overboard on eggs) and a ton of veggies. It changes the flavor incredibly, and the sheer volume of food will absolutely fill you up. Look at this pic for one example: You’ll see in the pic onions, yellow squash, mushrooms, some meat (leftovers) mixed in with the eggs, topped with salsa. The apple gives me something “sweet” and brings my carbs up a tiny bit more (as I spent too many hours of my former life weighing and measuring stuff, I can tell you that this meal is about 3 or 4 blocks of protein, about 2 of carb, and the side of guacamole gives me my good fat at about 3 or 4 blocks). Some other breakfasts have been sautés of chicken, beef, leftover bison burgers, chicken or turkey sausage, scrambled up with onions, broccoli slaw, zucchini, with maybe some homemade chipotle sauce. Salmon is a great choice. Leftovers are fantastic. No one says you can’t eat chicken at breakfast. Who cares if co-workers think your leftover chicken fajita mixins look weird for breakfast. There's a reason the farmer's breakfasts were lots and lots of protein with some other veggies/fruit in there. Break your mind of the “breakfast has to be thought of differently from lunch and dinner” mentality and have a salad if you want. I know some of you (including me) are pressed for time in the morning. Have things set and ready to go – chop your veggies the night before, or buy bags of already cut/chopped veggies. READ the materials we provide to you (i.e. the blog posting earlier in the week titled Links and Links some more). There you will find – for example - this handy link to 29 different breakfast ideas (we showed you pics of these at The 90 meetings). Yes, some aren’t totally Paleo (nor do all involve protein). Just make sure you’re getting your protein, carbs and fat in at EVERY SINGLE MEAL. Yes, every meal.

2.) Why to think twice about eggs. Check out this articleabout some of the research that’s been done on eggs. It’s pretty compelling. Help us lose weight and stabilize blood glucose levels? Wow. Remember, for those of you reading The Paleo Diet by Cordain (that’s all of you, right?) in the past he said to limit egg intake to 6 a week. Ignore that statement, and go with what has been updated as “eat as many as you want throughout the week.” There are a lot of great ways in which you can prepare eggs (scrambled, sunny side up, hard boiled, in an omelette, poached, etc.) and just by doing things like mixing in a variety of vegetables, different salsas, some leftover meat, sausage, salmon, etc. you will change the taste entirely. Trust me, if you take some time to vary what you are mixing in with your eggs, you will not get bored (take 1 whole egg and mix in with 2-3 ounces of other protein, and a bunch of veggies). And if you can’t look at another egg, substitute the eggs with some ground turkey, or leftover chicken chopped up, and sauté that up as listed in one. Get creative, and don’t let the idea of “but it’s not breakfast food” hinder you. If you’re of that mindset, might as well go eat a box of Lucky Charms. Because that’s “breakfast food.”

Enough on eggs.

How are the “playing from home” peeps doing? Are you feeling good? What are your go-to breakfasts?

A few notes that we’re seeing from folks in their food logs (which are looking good so far – you all are making some great changes!): Make sure you are getting enough protein. You should be completely full at each meal. Even if that means eating more than you are used to previously eating, do it (especially protein and fat). You need to get full from each meal. Also, SOME fruit, but eat mostly meat and VEGETABLES. Get more veggies in your day. If you get a side salad, load it up with extra veggies. Get veggies in at breakfast. If your carb at every meal is fruit, you will not see the changes you want to see. For snacks, get some protein in there. You need protein to go with your carb and fat. Just an apple won’t cut it for a snack. Pack some leftover chicken sausage, some leftover chicken breast, jerky, etc. Get that protein in there.

Here’s to week 2! You all are doing fantastic - keep it up!