Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 2- Easier...

Day 2 was much easier than day 1. I am giving up blogging ON the days, and going to do it the next day or a few days later, so I can really assess how the day went.

Day 2 was on a Sunday, and it was Kurt's day off. We started the day with leftover Breakfast Cupcakes that we had frozen, and the kids requested more eggs- so we scrambled some of those too. Hungry boys!!!

When snack time rolled around Harrison wanted peanut butter, Carter wanted apples- we gave each child half an apple with some peanut butter, and they dipped their way to happiness! They really enjoyed it! Next time, we will try almond butter.

For lunch we took organic salad greens, topped them with warmed leftover chicken from our roasted chicken, and drizzled a homemade olive oil based dressing on top. The dressing was AMAZING. Olive oil, capers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh rosemary, and a few other ingredients made our salads ANYTHING but boring! Carter and Harrison had salad too!

Dinner was DELICIOUS. We had steak with bell peppers and zucchini, with a side of "rice." This was not really rice- it was actually an AMAZING recipe that used cauliflower in a way that created a rice-like texture. Yeah... I was nervous... but it smelled so good... and when we tasted it we all were in shock! SO GOOD! Seriously, the Everyday Paleo book's recipes thus far have all been GREAT! (I did omit the shrooms tho... I am eating fish... one day I will tackle shrooms... but today is not that day).

At the end of the day Kurt and I each had a slight headache. We indulged on mango with blueberries drizzled with coconut milk and topped with shredded coconut. Drinking lots of water. Doing well!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Today I woke up a bit earlier than usual and dressed right away. Going downstairs I printed my breakfast recipe:

Egg Cupcakes
10 -12 eggs whisked well
1 green onion
2 zucchini
3 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 a jar of roasted red and yellow peppers
6-8 slices of COOKED bacon
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 and grease with olive oil two muffin pans. Whisk all your eggs in a big bowl. In a food processor throw in the green onion, zucchini, bacon, and peppers and process until finely chopped but NOT smooth (yuck…). Add this mixture to your eggs. Throw your spinach into the processor and finely chop and also add to your eggs. Mix the egg mixture well and using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the muffin pans (you’ll be able to make 18-20 cupcakes). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle. These are great to take on the go and I like mine with some sliced avocado and green salsa.
This recipe is on the Everyday Paleo website.

I made these "cupcakes" and have to say- they are VERY delicious! I was a bit nervous because the serving size is two, and they are not the biggest things ever. However, I sat down with my kids (Kurt took his to go!) and while we talked and I took the time to savor the delicious flavor, I found I was TOTALLY satisfied with my 2 little cakes! These are not like cake, they are basically crust-less quiches. Delicious. SO delicious.

Harrison happily ate one, and requested another... and another! I cut him off after the first one, and offered him some blueberries instead, which he happily ate. Carter had a difficult time with just one. He wanted waffles. Kurt mistakenly announced, "we don't eat waffles anymore" and that made Carter break down in tears. The kid LOVES waffles! Well, once Carter had a few bites and knew it wasn't horrid he finished his "cupcake" but was pretty upset. I offered him some coconut flakes to try- he was reluctant, but thrilled once he tasted them! He ended up eating a few tablespoons of them before having his water and going to play.

I was scared of lunch... I wont lie. I am not a fish person, and would have happily skipped all of the fish recipes in this cookbook, but Carter has been BEGGING me for fish. Finally I agreed and I had told Carter we would have fish on Saturday. Carter has counted down the days- literally. He somehow skipped a day yesterday (wait, is there one day left, or is today the last day??) and insisted that yesterday MUST be Saturday. No... no, it wasn't. I had to ask a random stranger to tell me what day it was just to TRULY convince Carter I wasn't skipping his beloved fish day. Now before you get proud of me for having kids to love fish- I should explain. Carter has NEVER had fish... ever... ever in his life. I was so nervous to make the lunch "Wild Salmon Salad" on the menu for this week. Sure, I have had a few kinds of fish and lived through it, but salmon is a pretty fishy fish.. I was scared.

Here is what we made:

Wild Salmon Salad
Salad greens of your choice
Already Cooked Wild Caught Salmon from Trader Joe’s
Roasted yellow and red peppers diced
1 organic apple diced
handful of slivered almonds
1 avocado diced
Olive oil, black pepper, dried dill and lemon juice to taste
A splash of white balsamic vinegar.
Toss all together and EAT!!
This recipe is also from the Everyday Paleo website. I halved the recipe above.

I cringed when I smelled the salmon. Carter was THRILLED. He wanted his fish on the SIDE of the salad. Fine. So, I separated their fish portions first, and then made the rest of the salad and put it on their plates... and my own.

Took a bite. WOW. It was good!

Kids took bites. And GOBBLED it down!!! They ate 1/4 cup of PLAIN salmon each! And then they ate their SALADS! Salads with NOTHING other than what is listed above! Carter kindly requested more lemon, and had a blast squeezing it onto his greens- he said, "Mama! The salad tastes like lemon! I like it!!!" PERFECT! They each ended up having additional helpings from my own plate! I have two naturally born fish lovers! I am so glad!!!

Tonight I am going to make a roasted chicken with lemon, onion, and thyme. There was a GREAT sale on whole chickens, so I bought a few and even though I am doing one in the crockpot tomorrow, chicken never goes bad in this house! So, roasting it up! I will serve it with a side salad made with the other half of the Wild Salmon Salad above. Perfection! For "dessert" I am going to cut up one mango and put a little bit of coconut and coconut milk on top. That should give each of us a little something to help satisfy our sweet tooth.

(For snacks, the kids have been munching on trail mix made with nuts, berries, and beef jerky - less than 1/4 cup is all they need to be fully satisfied!)

These are pictures of our dinner!

*** Added on 6/27/11
Okay... now let's talk about the hard part. At about 2pm for Kurt and 4pm for me- the headache came. Dull, pain. Then shakes. Then SERIOUS irritability. I was shocked. I KNEW that this would be hard- but to feel such serious sugar withdrawals so quickly?! The kids were awful, Kurt and I were pissy- it was terrible! I am so thankful that Kurt and I are such stubborn people, because each of us kept challenging the other, "you SURE you don't need to quit?!" and both of us are so competitive neither wanted to be the first one out. It was bad. Really bad. My stomach was satisfied but my mouth demanded more! Nothing tasted better than that mango. Thank Heaven for mangoes!!! I can HONESTLY say day 1 was hardest for us. As we all sat there, writhing in our own misery, I calculated the average amount of sugar we consume during the day. It was high. Don't get me wrong- we consume probably less than the "average" American family- but still, it was a heck of a lot higher than this day. I don't know how those Atkins diet people do it without being able to consume all the fun fruits and veggies we get to have! Yeah.. day 1... awful. So so so so so so so glad we stuck with it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 1... REDO!

Our first day as a paleo family was AWFUL! Why in the WORLD did I think that grocery shopping ON the first day was going to work?! UGH! The whole day was pretty much scrapped...

That's fine, because after our grocery trip our home is more full of beautiful foods than ever before!!! And I am convinced that tomorrow will be the REAL start of our paleo journey, and our 30 days =)

Our refrigerator is stocked (isn't it pretty?!) and we are ready to go! After all was said and done I was a bit shocked that we only spent about $50 more than we generally do. Organic produce, omega-3 rich eggs from free range chickens, and beef from organic grass fed cattle who live in open fields. Worth it, I think.

Excited for tomorrow!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pre-Paleo Ponderings...

I first heard about paleo dieting from a good friend of mine. As she and I were anthropology students, we were familir with the diets that were common to ancestral humans and hunter gatherer tribes, and the entire philosophy of paleo seemed to "make sense" to us. She, more than me, was excited about the idea and wanted to try it. I was reluctant. I had lived gluten free for a full year and the idea of giving up what few grains I had left (mmmm, quinoaaaa) just didn't appeal to me at all.

And then, nothing happened.

Allow to me elaborate...

My husband and I had moved to a sweet 3 bedroom on the bench in Reno, Nevada. We loved our little community because it was full of bikers, runners, and hikers. We wanted to be a part of the activity, but coming from less than active families, we didn't really know all the ropes. So, we picked up books on backpacking, I scheduled a trip to hike the Inca Trail in Peru, and in addition to our gluten-free diet we crossed over into organics. Add to that putting in at least 5 hours at the gym, and we thought we were pretty darn healthy...

And then, nothing happened.

We didn't lose weight. We didn't feel more energy. We just felt blah.

Why?! According to everything we could read we were healthy. It didn't make sense! We started to calorie count...

And then, nothing happened.

What the heck?! Talk about frustrating! We were "healthier" than we had been in years (personally, than I had been in my life) so why were we always tired, grouchy, foggy, and bloated?

I came upon the book, Everyday Paleo, when I was at a bookstore. I carried the book around with me and glanced at all the beautiful pictures next to each recipe. That was what first appealed me- I love cookbooks with pictures. And this one had a picture for every recipe! My second thought was that paleo cookbooks would, naturally, be gluten free! No more wheat-free cookbooks with their horrid specialty flours or mystery grains! How nice! I bought the book on my Kindle and read it in less than a week. I loved it! Not only did the book have great recipes, but it also talked about paleo living, feeding kids, and *gasp* paleo exercise?! PERFECTION! The book broke it down step by step and proclaimed itself to be a diving board into the world of paleo- there are so many ways to make it your own! All the book suggests is giving paleo a try for 30 days (it even provides the menu and grocery shopping list!). And this is the topic of this blog.

Tomorrow is our first paleo day. I am excited, and nervous. Sure, we don't eat gluten, but I have been known to obsess over meringues! 30 days without refined sugar? 30 days without rice? 30 days without cheese? It sounds strange even for me to think it- but then I remember the words in Everyday Paleo: take it one meal at a time.

I am luckier than most. We already cut gluten and my kids don't go to school- so that eliminates a lot of the battles already. I am a stay at home mommy so I have the time to make delicious meals from scratch each day, multiple times per day. My husband works hard at his job and provides an income that allows me to toss (or donate) half of the items in my cupboard and restock with organic paleo selections. I have a husband who happily nods and allows me to do what I want with our family diet, and I already have one son who happily adores every fruit and veggie ever tasted. Lucky!

Because tomorrow is our first day, I am making an effort to clear our home of all things that are non-paleo. My brother lives near here, and is a bachelor, so many things will be gifted to him. His wonderful girlfriend also doesnt eat gluten- so my gluten free specialty foods will go to her. One would think that I am just ready to jump in with both feet, right? No... not really. When I was loading grocery bags and boxes I felt sad. There were cute cake decorations and specially ordered crystal sugars that had memories attached to them- memories of scones and cupcakes. Go ahead and laugh- no, we dont eat those types of foods since giving up gluten a year ago- but something in me mourned for their loss. I had to put the box down and walk away- just take a break.

I sat down and pulled up my facebook, trying to get a boost. That morning I had happily announced my intention to eat paleo, and was ready to hear all the praise and "good for you!" that normally file in after a healthy decision. Instead of encouragment, however, I was SHOCKED at the open criticism and discouragment! I am a Mormon stay at home mother, who gave up a promising career to be a homemaker. I am an attachment parent who believes that kids should play in dirt. I don't immunize, I am slow to medicate, and I buy organics. I homeschool. So... of ALL of those things for people to pick on... paleo? Really? I was surprised. And somehow- thrilled. I love a challenge, and I welcome this one. Less than a handful of my facebook friends support my decision- I plan on making them proud!

So. Today I am armed with my shopping list. I am prepaired with a paleo kitchen. I am ready to take this final step.

Each day I will be blogging what we eat, and how we feel. I will blog about my thoughts, and my kids' reactions. I want this to be my outlet. It will be difficult, at times, I am sure. But I know that this is a healthy decision, and I know that we can totally give this a shot. So... 30 days... here we come!