One of the challenges that comes with eating a paleolithic diet is finding the time to cook and prepare meals, but it does not have to be an all out cooking extravaganza in the kitchen. The meat could be as simple as throwing some grass-fed burgers on the grill or forming the ground meat into meatballs and throwing them in the oven. With vegetables, pick a leafy green of some kind and sauté it in a skillet with garlic, onions, and an oil of your choice. Add an avocado to the side and voilà, a quick and easy dinner. If cooking vegetables still sounds intimidating, you can always steam whatever vegetable you like (cauliflower, broccoli, greens, onions, etc.), then take it off the stove and dress it with a little oil, lemon, salt, and pepper.
If you happen to find the time to get a little more creative in the kitchen or you know that you won’t have time to cook at all for the next few days, be sure to double or even triple your recipe so that you have meals for other days during the week.
As a family, we’ve been following a paleo lifestyle for about a year and a half. We have come a long way in our understanding of exactly what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to Erin (our own personal family nutrition expert), I feel like I have a pretty good handle on all of this. The other day I was ordering eggs from one of our local farmers and the phrase “sustainable farming” popped out at me. I thought about that for a minute and actually wasn’t sure that I really understood what that meant. So, I did what we all do when we want to know more about something….I Googled it! Sustainable agriculture is using methods of farming that protect the health and well being of humans, is humane to farm animals, is safe for the environment, and provides fair treatment to workers. If you eat ” sustainably,” you eat food grown by farmers that follow these principles. We have access to this kind of food through our local farmers who farm following these principles.
Our paleo lifestyle has completely changed the way we shop for food. Almost everything we buy comes from the local farmer’s market. We go in with a list of how many vegetables and meats we need to make meals for the coming week, instead of a set list of what we want. It’s very open ended in that we see what’s in season and what’s available that particular week. This ensures a variety of tastes and nutrients in our diet, and that will change seasonally. When a particular item like kohlrabi is in season we enjoy it, and when it’s gone we find something new to enjoy. The meat from the local farms is grass fed, so it’s high in omega 3 fatty acids and does not contain antibiotics or hormones. The animals are raised and butchered humanely. The vegetables from the market are free of pesticides and GEOs. We have gotten to know the farmers and look forward to seeing them each week. Since the market is only open at certain times, you begin to see the same people shopping at the market and you get to know them. At the farmer’s market you talk to the people that grow the food, ask questions about how it’s grown, what they will be bringing in the coming weeks, and they even share ideas on how they prepare some of their things. Most of the people there are very passionate about improving the way we eat and they are concerned for the environment.
Because the food industy in this country is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, at this point we have little control over what agribusiness chooses to do. We can take an active role in our health and that of our families. While we may not be able to change food labeling laws, or the practices of the major food industries in this country, we can choose how we spend our money. We can choose to buy locally and in doing so, know what we are buying. By supporting our local farmers we can ensure that we will always have a choice. I guess you could call this a modern day form of hunting and gathering. We have provided a list of local farmer’s markets for your convenience so proceed to hunt and gather!
Our next Paleo friends meeting will be on Sunday, July 20th at RoseMary and Walt’s home. We will meet about 5 pm, as before and plan to eat between 6 and 6:30. The club house is booked for July, so this is plan B. The address has been emailed to everyone. It would be great if everyone will let us know what they are bringing and tell us how many people are coming with you by posting it under comments on the blog. Thanks and look forward to seeing everyone.
This is Rosie’s and my first post on our blog. We want to start by talking about the paleo lifestyle. Or more importantly YOUR paleo lifestyle. Paleo is not a direct eating plan like a diet. It is more of a set of guidelines for you to work with. If you have an autoimmune disease or allergies to certain foods, then your lifestyle will naturally exclude the foods that cause such reactions.
The guidelines to paleo include these food groups: meat, vegetables, fruits, and health fats (avocados, coconut, animal fats). The foods in these categories in their whole form are paleo. Paleo does not consist of brownies made with almond flour, honey, and cacao powder. While those can be healthier alternatives to brownies that are not gluten free, they are still brownies. Because this way of eating is a lifestyle and not a diet, we believe there is room for these treats a couple times a week as long as you are eating a normal small portion of the dessert. If you are turning the treat into a free-for-all and eating all the things you abstained from during the week then you are missing the point.
Get creative with your paleo lifestyle and make it your own. Be sure to center most of your meals around meat, veggies, and healthy fats, but do not forget to include indulgences that you truly love and make them count. Enjoy them slowly. This is suppose to be fun and don’t be afraid to try new combinations of veggies, fruits, meats, and nuts. The possibilities are endless.