Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I figured out that, on average, 17 of the 21 of the meals I eat in a week are cooked by me, and those are paleo. The other 4 meals are cooked for me by others, and when it is a friend cooking I figure they work hard enough to make gluten-free meals for me that asking for paleo would be too much. So I don't. Plus, I don't mind eating grains in 20% of my meals -- as an endurance athlete (endurance in the sense that most of my workouts are between 1 1/2 to 2 hours long), that's probably the safest way to go.
I've had some pretty boring meals, but some really great ones too. I made a meat-only chili (just tomatoes, onion, red pepper, ground bison, chili, cumin, and ground red pepper) this weekend and recently ate it over "cauliflower rice," which is minced cauliflower sauted with onion. It was great and filling. And surprisingly, I'm not as hungry as I used to be. I think carbohydrates make me crave more carbohydrates. I'm sure there's some science to it.
In case you're interested in learning more about eating this way, here are a few links I've found really helpful:
Thursday, March 11, 2010
So, basically, we've had all of those millions of years to adapt to this way of eating, where we've only had a few thousand to adapt to eating grains.
Paleo-friendly stuffed mushrooms
Research in this field has shown that cutting out grains, legumes and sugars can slow the progression of autoimmune disorders, cure acne, and increase athletic performance. I have stake in all three of these: my mother has Multiple Sclerosis, I have skin problems, and as an athlete, I have always been interested in getting faster and stronger.
Paleo-friendly green smoothie
This re-interest in paleo comes from an experience that I had last week. I had a bit of a scare at
skate practice: during a time trial that I was leading my legs cramped up and I had to stand upright and glide for my last two laps. They cramped up in a way I hadn't ever experienced before. In fact, it seemed similar to the way my mother describes her MS-related leg pain. Because my mother has MS, there is a 30% chance I could get it too. That's not that high, but it's certainly an increased risk and that's awfully scary. If there's anything that I can do to possibly decrease my risk, I'll do it.
I've told my mother about the diet before. I've bought her books on the subject and sent her
I know how difficult it can be. I've tried to following this diet before, but I failed when I was traveling and eating in social settings. I thought, "I can't eat gluten and that makes me enough of a misfit. Why make it more difficult?" I even once suggested a friend try it out to see if it helped an autoimmune disease she had -- it did and she lost a lot of weight. I saw her everyday at work, and I saw what a transformation she made, but I never made it more than a week for myself. The thing is, I was really strict about it when I tried it. And it seems like there are some people who are 100% paleo. However, it's not going to be all or nothing this time. I'll let myself eat grains on special occasions (in fact I'm sure I'll still make grain-based recipes). I'll have dessert if it's once-in-awhile. And I'm not planning on giving up coffee. There is also the idea that athletes who eat paleolithic should ingest some carbohydrates from grains, so I'll give myself that.
I'll end this with a few thoughts; I do not want to insult people who do not eat this way. Studies have shown that East-Asians are the healthiest people. I, in no way, discredit that. I also have a lot of respect for vegans and believe in that way of eating as well. However, with my own health issues and my family history, this seems to be the best choice for me.
In my next post I will be linking to some of my favorite paleo resources.
*I've only skimmed the surface of the history of, benefits from, and details of the paleo diet.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
And still keeps that great "crunch."
1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life also makes great chocolate chips)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I have been craving carbohydrates lately. Mostly because I've been working out more than what is normal for me. I'm half-marathon training and I skate 4 times a week with my roller derby team. My legs started cramping during a sprint at last night's practice, so I think I'm doing something wrong. A lack of potassium maybe? I'll try upping my banana intake and see how it goes.
In the meantime, I'll share a good pre-workout meal. It's hearty enough to make me feel nourished, but it's not terribly heavy so you don't feel sluggish after eating it. Quinoa is possibly my favorite grain; it's super high in protein and has a texture that reminds me of my beloved (in my non-gf days) cous-cous.
This recipe is simple and only takes a few minutes to put together. I served mine over a bed of baby spinach.
Tomato, Basil & Chicken Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free)
serves 2 as a meal
The juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups of quinoa, cooked
2 baked chicken breasts, cubed
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 loose cup of cherry tomatoes, halfed
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add the quinoa, chicken, basil and tomatoes and toss gently. Salt and Pepper to taste and add more oil if you'd like.