Posts Tagged ‘paleo challenge’

This was a last minute lunch I threw together last week that turned out to be pretty awesome. It’s inspired in part by Arun’s lunch meat ceviche, and I ate it in the style of Lyssa’s tuna bombs.

Green cabbage
Green apple
Cooked chicken
Olive oil
Lime juice

Simply chop the first 4 ingredients, then add olive oil, lime juice, and pepper to taste.

You could eat it by itself, like a salad, or you can use it to fill sweet bell peppers.

This salad had a very “clean” feel to it. Most paleo food does (as it should, since we are only eating pure, real food), but there was something about the combination of the crisp cabbage and apple with the lime juice that gave this salad an extra cleanness.

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I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! 3/5 of Team The Label Says Paleo are gathering for a 100% paleo feast, while Lyssa and Arun are braving the elements at other gatherings. After 3 trips to the grocery store and many hours in the kitchen, I ended up with:

  • Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic
  • Prosciutto Asparagus Bundles
  • Cranberry “Jelly” (very tart due to lack of sugar…we’ll see how the reviews on this come out)
  • Apple Crisp (baking right now and smells amazing!)

Pictures, recipes, and reviews coming soon!

If you brought (or enjoyed) something paleo for Thanksgiving, we’d love to hear about it!

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I know I’ve blogged about this before, but today something special happened. When I walked into the break room this morning to put my lunch in the fridge, the most beautiful cupcakes were sitting on the table. Not store bought crappy cupcakes- beautiful, homemade triple chocolate and strawberry with cream cheese frosting cupcakes. Beautiful. I can not say this enough. I started to roll my eyes. I repeated my normal “wow, it’s happening again, baked goods that I can’t have…again…”. And then something great happened.

I realized – I don’t want a cupcake. At all. It was silly to be annoyed about the cupcakes because they really didn’t bother me. I just wasn’t going to eat them, and I wasn’t all that sad about it.

Maybe my stomach was still a little twisted from the kettlebell/burpee fun that Crossfit Central served up this morning. Or maybe it was the fact that a good workout in the morning motivates me to stay healthy throughout the day. Or, maybe after 16 days of saying no to cupcakes, the sugar-addicted part of my brain is starting to learn its lesson. And if kicking the sugar (crack) habit is all I get out of this 30 day challenge, I think that will be worth it.

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The Label Says Paleo team is halfway through the challenge and still going strong!  I’m going to report my progress in this post; team members please post to comments.

Week 2 was tough.  I traveled to San Diego for work and did the best I could with eating out and living out of a hotel for a few days.  Breakfasts and lunches weren’t too bad (although In-n-Out Burger is just not the same without the cheese), but dinners proved a little more challenging.  Lots of menu substitutions and meals that were not ideal.  I also discovered the Larabar (amazing!), and while they’re a little high in sugars, if you need something quick and you can’t be a traveling pantry, they’re a solid option.

I was pretty good on the alcohol throughout the week.  I found out that even after just 2 weeks of eating clean, alcohol affects me much more.  Hangovers are much easier to come by, which is both a blessing and curse.  I know, alcohol is not technically allowed in the challenge, but I’ll post on why we’re allowing it another day.  It is nice to remember everything and have much cheaper bar tabs.

My last 2 issues have to do with the macronutrient composition of what I’m eating.  I don’t think I’m eating enough fat, because I’m STARVING throughout the day and just looking for the next meal.  That leads into a dangerous situation where I go to the grocery store and want to buy the entire dessert section (try to stay out of the store when hungry, btw, it’s bad news bears).

Overall, I’m starting to feel much better throughout the day (other than the hunger thing), and I’m also starting to believe that the paleo lifestyle can be sustainable, with a little modification (i.e. bourbon, please).

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From time to time, my work gives me an opportunity to travel.  I used to convince myself these were mini vacations, and after working, would go crazy at the local bar(s) and restaurants. Every meal had appetizers, main course, and dessert.  It was awesome… or so I thought.

I always justified it by ensuring myself I’d “get back on it” when I got back to Austin.  But even that failed more often than not; with no food in the house due to traveling, I couldn’t make a meal, so it was whatever restaurant in Austin I could find on the way home.  Not a good plan for a lifestyle change, and not a good plan if you happen to be mid-season of your chosen sport.

Enter Paleo Challenge.  I can’t very well go off the wagon just to go back on when I get back in town.  So I’ve made it a point to try to eat paleo during my trip to San Diego.

Quick verdict if you don’t feel like reading the rest of this: it’s kind of easy, but you have to be careful.

Some experiences that I’d like to share:

  • All three mornings I’ve been here, I’ve had breakfast at the hotel buffet.  Eggs with vegetables, breakfast sausage, blackberries and strawberries.  Some black coffee.  Great meal.  There was not a single menu option that was acceptable without modification.
  • Monday, dinner.  I met up with some friends at the Stone Brewery.  I love this place, I always have.  They have great food and of course awesome beer.  But… can’t drink beer.  So instead, I had some red wine, a buffalo steak, and subbed the mashed potatoes for vegetables.  As an appetizer (I was hungry), I ordered some artisan sausages and gave the cheese-filled one to my friends.  No dessert.  It was great.  The next morning, I rolled into CrossFit Invictus (awesome box, btw) and PR’d on Helen.  Even better.
  • Tuesday, lunch.  Luckily, the customer I was visiting informed me the day before that they planned on getting some sandwiches from Subway for lunch.  And, I’m not eating Subway (challenge or no, I’m simply not eating Subway).  Solution?  I stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way into the office and picked up a salad and some berries.  When I rolled into the office, the person picking up the sandwiches asked me why I had a bag of food, to which I replied, “I’ve got some dietary restrictions and need to be picky about what I eat… I didn’t want to give you a long list or make it painful to get food for me, so I figured I’d just bring something myself.  Thanks for the offer though!”  No issue.
  • Tuesday dinner.  Again with another friend, who when he lived in Austin, was a drinking buddy of mine.  Uh oh.  We were texting each other throughout the day making plans, so when it came down to it, I asked if he wanted to eat, and then dropped that I can only eat meat and vegetables, and I can only drink bourbon and not much of it.  He laughed and said I’d need to explain myself, but it was cool.  I ended up having some mahi-mahi, vegetables, and a salad.  Some bourbon.  I rolled into CrossFit Invictus the next morning and PR’s on heavy thrusters.  Rock!
  • Wednesday lunch.  The Yardhouse.  Turns out they can print out the nutrition contents of anything on the menu.  When the waitress told me this, I had a huge geek moment in my head and almost asked her to do it.  But instead, I opted for the seared Ahi steak with vegetables instead of potatoes.  Winner.

I’m not quite back to Austin yet… in fact, I have to get to the airport soon.  But here’s the final problem… the airplane.  You say, “airlines don’t serve food anymore, Eric!”  I say, “well, my flight’s upgraded and they serve dinner.”  Yeah, airplane food sucks.  That’s going to be the inner mantra for the next few hours — no airplane food.

This segues well into what I think is the beginning of my list of travel tips for paleo eaters… here we go.

  • If you can, get a hotel near a grocery store.  This was invaluable, because I was able to roll in and grab some almonds and Larabars (wait for the Larabar bullet), and a friendly late-night snack.
  • Most restaurants will sub stuff out.  If they don’t, don’t make a big deal of it, just don’t eat that part of your plate.  One good way to navigate restaurants is to tell them you’re allergic to gluten, and therefore need some gluten-free options.  That’s a good place to start, and you’ll have to modify from there.
  • Eating in the airport is a problem.  Robb Wolf has a post on this.  My opinion is that if you’re into intermittent fasting, this is a good time to be fasting.  Grok simply didn’t catch and kill his dinner this time.  Unless you’re on a long flight (like more than 3 or 4 hours), consider just eating when you get to your destination. Or…
  • BRING SOME FOOD.  There are great options for portable food that we can eat on the go.  Paleokits, jerky, nuts, or my new favorite… Larabars (I’m a big fan of the Cashew Cookie and Cherry Pie).

There you have it… long post, but I wanted to share my experience traveling.  Any other tips for taveling Paleoites?  Let us know!



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