Healthy Eating

The First Week of Paleo: Recipe Ideas

We still have a lot to learn about eating Paleo, but I thought I would still share some links to the recipes that we tried last week. Eating healthy takes more time, but taking the time to plan and prepare meals makes them even more enjoyable. Dinners

Monday - Enchilada Chicken Stew with Avocado  photo enchilada-stew2-610x300_zps44f48f0f.jpg

Tuesday - Trader Joe's Pre-Seasoned Pork Tenderloin (This was delicious and so easy! Highly recommend it!) Oven Grilled Asparagus Mashed Cauliflower  photo mashedcauliflower_zpsef3fc0d0.jpg

Wednesday - Jeremy's Special Seasoned Burgers Without Buns (Secret Recipe. For now :-)) Cubed sweet potato with olive oil & seasonings Fresh Watermelon  photo 0B3CF586-2E67-4DF4-BE97-5724006759F7-2477-000002B0E2D89379_zps6cb189b6.jpg

Thursday - Spaghetti Squash & Italian Sausage Meatballs with Spaghetti Sauce Cubed sweet potato  photo spaghettisquash_zps7022db1a.jpg

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Burgers, sweet potatoes, and watermelon again. It was just so yummy the first time.

Sunday - Leftovers again.

Lunches -

For lunches, we mostly ate leftovers from our dinners and salads. I also boiled a few chicken breasts and we packed them with bbq sauce.

Breakfasts -

Most mornings, we enjoyed eggs and chicken sausage, and I made a smoothie with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Delicious AND nutritious. I also drank coffee with almond milk.  photo 2380F45A-D7DD-4460-8D0C-1CFE359DAB4C-2477-000002B0F18FFA91_zps7941802d.jpg

Snacks and other treats -

We satiated our desire for something sweet with bits of all natural dark chocolate and Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. We switched from cow's milk to almond milk months ago, and this dark chocolate version was the perfect way to satisfy our sweet teeth after dinner.

An easy and delicious salty snack to munch throughout the day is Vegetable Root Chips. We love the Trader Joe's version. It is a combination of vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, taros, and batatas.  photo CAA05C20-FA52-42E2-B1F7-3755170FECB0-2477-000002B0DF1F09DD_zpsed5da4a8.jpg

We also tried a recipe for Sweet Potato Chai Paleo "Muffins." They were worth the try, and not half bad, but also, when you are used to regular muffins, these don't make you want to jump up and down or anything. But they almost made me feel like I was eating carbs. And that says something.  photo sweetpotatochai_zpsb827240c.jpg

Thanks to all of the other bloggers who have experimented with Paleo recipes and made our week easier. I hope this helps someone who wants to go on the journey as well!

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The One Week Paleo Challenge: It's Only The Beginning

 photo 43E39E32-6C70-4387-9E66-D8191A70BC77-1320-00000212E9564BFA_zps2eceaac7.jpgWe made it for a week, and we don't want to stop! The week of Paleo was a success! Some of you warned me that I would love it, and that I would want to keep going, and you were right! Jeremy and I are going to be a little less strict from now on. We have weddings coming up, and you better believe we are going to have some wedding cake. I will probably even eat grains several times a week, put cheese back on my salads, and order a pizza every now and then, but I really have discovered that I enjoy Paleo, and I want to continue cooking Paleo meals, cutting way back on grains and dairy, and focusing our diet around veggies, fruits, meats, and nuts. Our goal is to eat (mostly) Paleo at home but be flexible when we are with friends and eating out. Today, I wanted to recap the effects we have felt from the diet, and I will be back later this week to share a few of the recipes we enjoyed so far.

A few of my revelations:

1. The first few days were rough. Our bodies were detoxing from carbs, and that translated to cravings, feelings of hunger, and a few short tempered spats. We were also learning what to eat on the diet. I used to be fine with just a fruit and veggie VitaMix smoothie in the morning until lunch, but since I wasn't snacking on carbs to "fill me up" between meals anymore, I realized that eggs and chicken sausage in the morning made a big difference in feeling satisfied throughout the day. I still made my smoothie and put it in the fridge at work as a snack in between meals.

2. Cooking Paleo at home is easier than it sounds. Every dinner consisted of just a good meat and two or three vegetables. We packed leftovers for lunches. It's amazing how much I didn't miss carbs in our dinners. Mind you, when I saw a billboard for cheese dip or smelled the fresh bread at the grocery store, that was a different story. But since all we had at home was things we were allowed to eat, winning was easy.

3. I discovered that some people eat dark chocolate on Paleo, and we indulged in a little bit every day. It kept us sane. Commence the judging :-)

4. Things I would miss the most if I ate strictly Paleo for the rest of my life: cheese, dinner rolls, cereal, rice for Asian food (Sushi and Hibachi especially), black beans, and peanut butter.

Things Jeremy would miss the most if he ate strictly Paleo for the rest of his life: sugary drinks like sweet tea and lemonade (good 'ol Georgia boy right there), ketchup, bread, cheese, pizza.

5. Shopping Paleo ain't cheap. Meat and produce are some of the most expensive things at the supermarket. I believe eating healthy is worth it, but it is something to consider.

6. We ended our week of Paleo with a date night to Cheesecake Factory and celebrated our success by breaking all the rules (bread, rice, cheese, and tortilla chips all included). I could automatically tell a difference in the way I felt after one splurge meal. Was it worth it for delicious food and a fun date with the hubby? I think so. Does it make me want to go back to eating that way all the time? No way, Jose.

Health benefits we noticed this week: 1. No more 3:30 slump. I used to get so tired in the afternoon at work, but I noticed more energy throughout the day. I didn't get tired until the evening when it was time for bed, but I would be ready to get up and go in the morning earlier than usual. It's like my body knew when to sleep and was on the correct schedule for the first time in a while.

2. I wanted to work out. The energy translated to a renewed interest in overall fitness.

3. Toward the end of the week, I started craving things that were good for me rather than things that would harm my body. I was running late and unable to make a smoothie before work on Friday, and all I could think about during the day was that spinach, grape, and pineapple smoothie that would be waiting for me at home, and that  is all that I wanted for dinner.

4. Even when I got full, I didn't feel a heavy fullness that carbs give, I simply felt extra satisfied.

5. Jeremy noticed an overall peace of mind and confidence knowing that he was putting good food into his body. I agree.

Thanks for following our little newlywed journey. Love you guys!

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The One Week Paleo Challenge

I feel a little wimpy. I know a lot of people take the "lifetime Paleo challenge." A big fist bump and a thumbs up to you. You are a stronger person than I. And perhaps I will get to that point, but for now, Jeremy & I are cleaning out our systems with a week of Paleo eating. Moving and a hectic schedule has added up to a few too many restaurant meals, frozen pizzas, and a carb heavy diet. My system is tired, and it's time to get back on track.

Next week, I will document the recipes I tried over the course of our strict one week of Paleo.

We are a pretty healthy couple. I don't buy many processed foods, we eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, free range eggs, organic foods, whole grains and very little dessert as a general rule. I try to keep our home pretty free of foods that are toxic for our bodies. We are not totally strict, and I have been known to indulge from time-to-time. I believe in moderation and not letting your diet (healthy or otherwise) run your life.

But, this week, we decided to be extreme and go Paleo or go home. For those of you who don't know what a Paleo diet consists of, here is a Paleo food pyramid which I found here.

paleo food pyramid

Paleo comes from the word Paleolithic. Think of it as a cave man diet. The overall concept is to eat foods that we were created to eat; things that we could farm or raise. No grains of any kind. Nothing processed. No dairy. Basically we will be eating fruits and veggies, meats, nuts, and spices.

Last night we feasted on the leftovers and foods that we can't eat next week.  Then I created a meal list and went to the grocery store.

I am hoping a week of eating like this will rub off on us, and we will be able to continue incorporating this kind of diet into our life with a little more flexibility. Be back next week with a recap of our adventures--and hopefully some recipes!