Search This Blog

A Food Journey

>> Thursday, March 7, 2013

So, Lesley has encouraged me to chime in to her "Spring Break Shape-Up" series. My eating plan looks a little different than Lesley's eating plan, but there is one huge commonality...NO PROCESSED FOODS! Ok, I'll revise that and say minimal processed foods.  Because I don't think it's realistic for me to say that I won't ever eat anything processed.  I do agree with Lesley that eating and nutrition is a huge part of losing weight and that your focus should be on what you put into your body vs. how many calories you can burn at the gym. If you are feeding your body junk and working out a lot at the gym, I really don't think you are a healthy person.  I have tried focusing on training in the past and didn't really pay attention to what I was eating and I don't think it really had any lasting benefits on my body. So this time around I'm focusing on nutrition, sleep (it's more important than I thought!) and then exercise.

I found this print (you can buy it form the link below) on Pinterest (this will link you to my page!), and I think it really shows the ideal that I am reaching for.

I don't think that there is one diet plan (or healthy eating plan) that is ideal for everyone. You have to know your body and experiment with different foods to see how you feel and if it allows you to reach your ideal body weight.  So, anyway, I've been doing the Paleo diet since January 2. My first step into going Paleo was giving up Gluten (wheat, barley, rye) just after Thanksgiving. I gave myself a month to adjust to a gluten-free lifestyle and then went full Paleo. I really like Whole 9's description of Paleo:

"We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.
Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions."

So, there's a lot to it, but basically as a healthy way of eating (and long-term sustainability), I eat meat, seafood, LOTS of vegetables, a little fruit and some healthy oils (coconut oil, EVOO, avocado).  I will be honest and say that I have cheated. More than once. But I still feel better than I did before going Paleo.

So what does a day of food look like for me? Well, I typically have 3 meals and try not to snack in between. I don't have any grains, so breakfast looks a little different for me than a typical breakfast (no cereals, oatmeal, pastries, etc). For lunch I usually have leftovers from the previous evening and I typically either make something in the crock pot for dinner or bake something in the oven.  I will admit that my kids are still eating gluten (although much more limited than previously) but they are also eating a lot more vegetables than they used to. They still won't touch a salad, but they tried roasted red beets and radishes last night for the first time...progress!

*Disclaimer - all of these photos were taken with my tablet and are not great quality, but you get the idea.


Breakfast typically consists of eggs with some meat. I typically like to scramble up a dozen eggs and then refrigerate them to eat the next few mornings. This morning I had eggs with onions and green peppers and bacon :)


Lunch is usually leftovers or a salad. This salad is mixed greens, baby spinach, some micro greens (found at a local farmers market!), cilantro, 1/2 avocado, leftover pork chop, blueberries, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yummy and filling!

This recipe is a Tuscan Chicken Soup I found on Pinterest. It was really good...I didn't have any baby radishes, so I subbed some parsnips and daikon (in the radish family) for it and it turned out good (though I think it would be good with the radishes as well!).


Dinner is the one meal I usually make every day...unless our fridge is full and we need a leftover night for dinner (which I really don't mind!!).  Here is a meal where I made some french onion soup and bacon-wrapped chicken with vegetables.  I don't have a recipe for the onion soup...I basically sauteed a couple onions in a skillet and then added some beef broth until it looked good and let it simmer for about 20 minutes :)  The chicken dish was based on this pinterest pin except I wrapped the chicken breasts in bacon and then omitted the Italian dressing packet and butter and just sprinkled some salt, pepper and Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute" (basically just mixed herbs). I used broccoli, cauliflower and green beans for the veggies. Yum!

So, for nights when I don't have time to bake for a long time or have forgotten to put something in the crock-pot, I tent to use sausage and roast some veggies. This is an easy dinner to pull together and is what we ate for dinner last night. It's a Chicken Apple Sausage (it's technically not paleo because it has a little brown sugar, but it didn't have any "scary" ingredients and didn't have any added nitrates...basically the shorter the ingredient list, the better and avoid things you can't pronounce or don't know what they are) which was sauteed in a skillet with onions and mushrooms, and then I roasted some baby yellow carrots (organic, from Kroger) red beets and radishes. I also steamed some broccoli, orange carrots and radishes on the stove to compare and see which we liked better (Steve liked the steamed radishes better but I liked the roasted).  This meal was easy because I had my fridge stocked with veggies!


We do typically have a before-bedtime snack with the kids. I've been trying to make it healthy and give them some grapes, strawberries or kiwi (or whatever fruit we have on hand).  I also like to pop some popcorn (not Paleo, but I do buy organic popcorn which should be GMO free) in some organic coconut oil and add some Himalayan pink salt (I found a big grinder at Costco, but have also purchased it at Trader Joe's).  Another snack/dessert that the kids enjoy is "Banana Swirl". They saw it on PBS one afternoon and begged me to make it.  Basically you just freeze a banana (either whole with the skin on or you can peel it and chop it up into bite-sized pieces) and put it in a blender or food processor (our food processor works better than the blender) with a little bit of almond milk.  Blend to soft-serve ice cream consistency and serve immediately. You can also do add-ins for a flavor variety: cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate chips, almond butter, strawberries, etc. So good! This is what I gave the kids for snack last night :)

I also love chocolate, so I keep some Paleo chocolate in my fridge for when I get a chocolate craving. I don't have a recipe for this either, but I just melt some dark chocolate (look for chocolate that is soy-lecithin free like the brand Enjoy Life) and some unsweetened baking bars in a double boiler on the stove. Once melted, I add in unsweetened coconut and other add-ins depending on what I have around...dried fruit and nuts are usually what I grab. Then I take an ice cream scoop that is about 1T in size and scoop the chocolate mixture out onto parchment paper sitting on a cookie tray and refrigerate until set. They resemble a traditional "No-Bake" cookie, but don't have any refined sugar or oats.  They are dark, so they aren't super-sweet, but they are sweet enough to give me the chocolate fix when I need it. I keep them in the fridge and then take one out and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to let it soften a bit.  This helps with portion control as well :)

So, that's what I eat in a typical day. I'll write future blogs about where I find my recipes (great Paleo sources are EVERYWHERE!), things I'm discovering, books I'm reading, some resources I've found helpful, and if my changed eating habits are having any real affects on my health.  I took some before photos on January 1, and while I'm not comfortable sharing them here, I might share them in a few months with some after photos.

Post a Comment