What I’m eating

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I’m always fighting to stop myself from posting long lists of bossy-sounding advice (trying and failing, as readers of this blog may know), but Julia suggested that I post about what I’m eating on my halfway-Paleo regimen. So I will.

First: I have eliminated grains, legumes, potatoes, and refined sugar from my everyday diet. I have not eliminated dairy, dark chocolate, honey, or an occasional alcoholic beverage. The first I kept because I have lots of northern European ancestry and don’t believe that dairy bothers me–also it would have interfered with my morning coffee, and that’s not on. The others I kept in because plenty of paleo people do, and they make the whole thing easier to live with.

My goal was not to deal with allergies or the vagaries of a modern lifestyle. My goal was solely to cut down my carbohydrate intake in a way that didn’t involve any counting or calculating. I was diagnosed with a borderline case of PCOS and insulin resistance last summer, and my hunger and hypoglycemic episodes were becoming a problem. A low carb diet targets the root of my problems and made my appetite contract like collapsed star. I assume that my daily carbohydrate intake (before the oatmeal indiscretions began) is between 50 and 150 grams of digestible carbs.

Lunches are always dinner leftovers. Once or twice there haven’t been any, and I’ve eaten tuna salad on celery instead. For dinner I have no qualms about serving one protein with two vegetables, nothing fancy–but I also make some “composed” dinners in which everything goes together, and I have those listed below.

Snacks:

  1. I replaced peanut butter (a legume) with sunflower seed butter. I love it on apples and celery.
  2. My salty-crunchy snacks of choice are pork rinds and sushi nori.
  3. I make “paleo-nola” with nuts, seeds, coconut, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla. That fills an important crunchy-sweet niche that frankly nothing else in the paleo world fills.
  4. I also eat hard-boiled eggs for snacks. I really love to eat anchovy fillets with them.
  5. Plain fruit and vegetables are always an option too. We go through a lot of bananas, apples, and clementines. Mimi loves crudite, so we always have that around.

Breakfast:

  1. Eggs are the go-to. Two scrambled eggs are all I want for breakfast on most mornings. Did I say that my appetite has contracted dramatically?
  2. Bacon resigns me to giving my family things like waffles on the weekends. It’s a treat that I can eat, too.
  3. Paleo-nola with milk is my breakfast cereal replacement, though it doesn’t hold my hunger as well as eggs.

Carb replacements at lunch and dinner:

  1. Boiled and mashed sweet potatoes are almost always in the fridge. It replaces the carb substrate that so many Asian and Italian dishes require. I have some other options though:
  2. If you put cauliflower through the grating disk of your food processor then steam it, it becomes rice-like. It’s surprisingly good.
  3. When I’m roasting potatoes for Mimi and Sparks, I do cauliflower for myself at the same time. They are both tossed with oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, then baked at 400 for an hour.

Vegetables:

  1. Frozen spinach sauteed with garlic and drizzled with balsamic vinegar
  2. Frozen spinach “creamed” with garlic, onions, half-and-half, and grated parmesan cheese
  3. Green beans sauteed with oil and garlic powder
  4. Steamed broccoli
  5. Assorted roasted root vegetables
  6. Cabbage sauteed with fennel seeds
  7. Fried parsnips
  8. Roasted brussels sprouts
  9. Mushrooms “creamed” with sherry, worcestershire sauce, and cream
  10. Other things from our garden that are currently not available: sliced fresh garden tomatoes, Swiss chard sauteed with garlic, tender baby greens, striped eggplant sauteed with parmesan cheese

Plain protein main courses:

  1. Rotisserie chicken
  2. Ham
  3. Steaks
  4. Pork chops
  5. Salmon or trout
  6. Sauteed catfish or tilapia with Cajun seasoning
  7. Chicken sausage

Composed dishes:

  1. Thai curries with coconut milk sauces on top of sweet potatoes
  2. Chinese stir fries with velveted protein and lots of veg on cauliflower rice
  3. Beef stroganoff on top of cauliflower rice
  4. Kefte and eggs in tomato sauce on cauliflower rice
  5. Chicken, olive, and pickled lemon tagine on cauliflower rice
  6. Beef and dried plum tagine on sweet potatoes
  7. Taco salad, no shells or chips
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5 thoughts on “What I’m eating

  1. I could live on nothing but bread, potatoes, dairy, and fruits and veg. I would much rather live without meat than carbs. That being said, I am WAY too fond of sugar. Any suggestions for cutting sweets out of the diet? I tend to crave them (especially cake with milk on top) something awful.

  2. I think there are two factors to balance: first, having variety in your diet, and the paleo-nola and dark chocolate and dried fruit give me enough variety that I don’t feel like I never get to have anything sweet. Second, insulin control. I firmly believe that naturally slim people have great insulin control and can live on a high carb diet, while people who put on weight easily are the ones with poor insulin control, which leads to hunger and hypoglycemia and an inability to comply with calorie restriction unless carbs, and therefore insulin, are under tight control. On my current semi-paleo diet I don’t feel deprived and don’t have cravings, and that’s 100% because I’m not spiking my insulin with tons of carbs. I think it’s worth trying for 2 weeks, just to see if it plays well with your system.

  3. Oh, thanks so much for sharing this… so many great ideas! You have inspired my husband and I to go semi-Paleo. My husbands eats peanut butter every day, but we will be replacing it with sunflower seed butter. We both love sunflower seeds, so this will be easy. The paleo-nola sounds yummy and perfect for snack time instead of something with refined sugar. I also have the occasional piece of super dark chocolate to satisfy my craving for something sweet. Would you mind sharing your thai curry with coconut milk sauce recipe. It looks so delicious, and I would never have thought to replace the rice with mashed sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes, and can really eat them daily.

  4. Wow…overall, what a healthy, nutritious looking variety of foods. Makes me so hungry I want to go boil some eggs and open a can of anchovies! BTW, Duane gave me ‘The Daniel Plan’ diet book for Christmas! For years, I’ve been convinced that controlling the insulin level is KEY. But, like all addicts, the pull to sugar and other refined carbs always did me in. Lastly, I still am convinced that all snacks should contain some serious protein to lower the glycemic index. Love the whole philosophy of food nutrition and science…just wish I were better at implementing my “theories”.

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