Monday, March 30, 2015

The Importance of Rest in the Paleo Lifestyle

I have focused all my post to date on the food and dietary aspects of the Paleo lifestyle. That the Paleo life is actually a trilogy or trinity since I consider myself a disciple and it is Holy Week for many of us.

The two other aspects that make up the Paleo lifestyle  are sleep or rest cycle and movement. I avoid the use of exercise because the cavemen did not own a gym membership or did he knowingly engage in an exercise regimen. We should follow his lead.

Today I will address the importance of rest and sleep. We humans spend a great deal of time on sensory overload. Technology has completely taken over our lives. When was the last time you did not have some sort of technology in your hands or not frantically looking for it when it wasn't. I purposely do not have my phone on me at night, meaning the ringer is turned off. I have been using it for an alarm though. I don't have a land line either. I case of an emergency they will send the police.

If you have trouble going to sleep at night I have the following suggestions:

     1.   Turn off all technology at least one hour before you want to be asleep.

     2.   Avoid caffeine after 4 pm.

     3.   Don't engage to physical activity that tends to over stimulate. A walk after dinner.

     4.  Have dinner at least 3 hours before you intend to retire for the evening.

Notice anything about the above four suggestions? You should. All require your brain and other body parts to be engaged in their natural processes to complete the tasks you have asked them to do. In other words, you want your brain to be preparing to rest itself not send messages to the stomach to digest dinner, or the skeletal muscles to tear and repair or other metabolic processes. The stimulation of the caffeine is a no brainer as is the use of technology.

I have recently taken the approach to get my 8 recommended hours of sleep by engaging the following routine:

     1.   All technology is turned off by 9 pm on days I have a 5 am wake up call.

     2.   I actually am in bed by 8 pm and reading a book. Any kind of book will due. After reading for   several minutes, I can turn off the lights and fall asleep quite easily.

     3.  Herbal tea is a nice way to end the day and induce slumber as well.

Try these and see if they don't help you sleep better and longer. Every adult needs at least 7-8 of quality sleep for good health.

I invite your comments and suggestions as well.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Spreading the News

I have started considering myself a true disciple of Paleo living. I talk about the lifestyle to just about anyone who will listen. I wish more of my Type II Diabetes patients would be interested. Some politely listen, but then comment how giving up bread would be just too difficult. I thought the same thing. My former diet consisted of what I consider the French trinity: French bread, French wine, and French cheese. Okay so I only had to let of two. I'm not grieving because I now eat like a French woman without gaining weight.

I did met a woman the other day who was wearing a Crossfit shirt and naturally assumed she too was Paleo. Turned out she struggled with the commitment with regards to bread. I spouted out my recipe for Paleo bread I make in the mug in the microwave along with the chocolate cake in the mug. She began writing down every thing I listed in the dishes I make regularly. I was so excited to find some interested. But I was on duty and couldn't spend any more time. But I did share my last piece of Banana Walnut bread. One bite and she was hooked. "That's it. I am going to do this." I was thrilled. I referred her to my blog so she could see my links to the sites I used when I got started. I have found so many more that I need to add for those who find themselves here.

I remembered to take a photo of the chocolate cake in a mug I made for dessert yesterday. Recipe included.
I guess I should name this version "Mounds Cake in a Mug" because of the coconut flakes I added. I must admit it really is delicious and so moist. Better than cake made with flour. And so quick and easy. Enjoy.

Mounds Cake in a Mug

1 banana
1 medium egg
1 tablespoon coco powder
1 tablespoon nut butter (I used sunflower)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut

I have a mini food processor that purees and mixes nicely, but a blender or electric mixer does the job as well. Puree the banana then mix in each ingredient until the result is a smooth batter. Pour into a large mug fill about 2/3. Bake in microwave oven for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Insert a knife to insure doneness. Add 30 seconds if needed. Remove from mug and  slice into 4 pieces.  Makes 2 servings. I calculated half the cake to be about 202 calories.

Now I am on a mission to keep speading the Paleo process word.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Peering into my fridge Sunday evening, I decided to do a sweep before heading to the market on Monday. The results were absolutely delicious. First I made an cream of asparagus soup that shouts "Spring is here!" I have discovered that when one chooses to follow a Paleo lifestyle, eating becomes an art form. I perused the web for suggested ways to prepare such a dish and then created my own based on what I had on hand.

I roasted the asparagus for about 30 minutes on  350 degrees. I always have coconut milk on hand. For protein I used some raw cashews which I soaked in the coconut milk in the blender while the asparagus roasted. I blended all together adding some salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and tarragon. All dried spices. Once I added enough milk for my desired consistency, I transferred to a small pot to completely heat through. I would have taken a photo, but I ate the entire bowl before I realized I hadn't. Must remember then next time.

Yesterday I created a banana nut bread that even my non Paleo family members thought was delicious. I combed through several Paleo recipes and compared to what I had available and the result was perfect. I am often reluctant to bake because it seldom turns out like the picture. This one was spot on.

I started with the three very overly ripe bananas and five eggs. I beat them together until smooth. To the bowl I added the following: 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon each of baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla; 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed flour. This was all mixed evenly and perfectly. Into the batter I added a handful of chopped walnuts. I greased a loaf pan, poured in the batter, evened it out, and placed in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or when the toothpick inserted came out clean. When there was about 20 minutes left, I placed a sheet of foil over the top to prevent burning. Something my home economics teachers taught me back in the 70's.

I cannot begin to describe how beautiful the loaf was when placed on the cooling rack. Allowed to completely cool before slicing resulted in easier slicing. The results were amazing if I do say so myself. But unfortunately  I failed to record the moment with a photo. I really must take the time in the future.

Now that spring is here, I vow to keep a cleaner fridge and stock only with Paleo appropriate items. I love the experimenting with different flavors and combinations. I am never bored and always satisfied..

But again the best part of my week was trying on a dress I wore ten years ago to discover it fit perfectly again. Easter frock? Check!!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Omelette Aux Lardons et Fines Herbes avec Cafe Au Lait

When I decided to take the Paleo journey, I thought I would surely fail due to my love of all things French. French bread, French cheeses, and French wine were probably to the staple of my dinner diet for years. But I chose to focus on the foods I could have rather than those not considered Paleo.

I started by searching sites that provided information for beginners such those listed on the  "My Blog List" sidebar. I need to add more because one good site refers to another and so on and so on. I extracted those foods I prefer plus were available in my area. Some items are easier to get when I'm in Colorado than in central Louisiana. That was my starting point to fill the fridge and the pantry. I recommend the same method for anyone just starting on the Paleo lifestyle.

Once I was comfortable with the basics, I began to experiment with Paleo substitutes for things like bread and cereal I was beginning to miss. There are some great recipes for quick bread that can be made in a cup. I used the one by Louise Hendon of the who also publishes

I now have a large repertoire recipes to pull from to create weekly dinners that are anything but mundane. My family doesn't seem to notice much of a difference other than the divisions in the fridge indicating the Paleo approved only self.

One of my favorite French dishes is an omelette with fine herbs. Today I was craving bacon. I kind of was in the mood for quiche. So I merged the two into one delicious Sunday breakfast idea.

Recipe for Omelette Aux Lardons et Fines Herbes

2 eggs
3 slices of nitrate free bacon
large splash of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon each of preferred dried herbs (parsely, chives, tarragon, and thyme)

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook on small skillet until not quite crispy. Once the bacon is heated through and begins to separate easily, add the herbs. Heating the herbs with bacon releases the flavor better than stirring into the eggs. While the bacon is cooking, scramble the eggs with a large splash of coconut milk. Add some black pepper and a little salt but not too much, since the bacon is salty.

Just before bacon gets to the crispy stage, make sure the bacon covers the bottom of the skillet. Pour the egg mixture. The bacon will be pushed to the outside, so use wooden spoon to bring back to the center. As the egg sets around the edges, gently pulled toward center so that the uncooked eggs will move to the surface and cook. Once there is only a small amount of liquid egg on the surface of the omelette, place a lid on top so the the steam finish the process. Slid gently onto a plate.

And what French breakfast is complete without a steaming cup of cafe au lait made with steaming French roast coffee mixed with steaming coconut milk.

Experimenting with old favorites and making them Paleo really make the process exciting. Now that I am almost six months into my journey, I plan to create Paleo versions of my cookbooks I used to refer to for ideas. Can you imagine cookbooks titled, the Paleo Betty Crocker Cookbook or the Martha Stewart's Paleo: It's a Good Thing?

Bon Appetit