Monday, 30 December 2013

My first copy of Nom Nom Paleo's Food for Humans cookbook finally arrived (I had two on order - one from Chapters Indigo and one from Amazon).  I had pre-ordered one cookbook from Amazon months ago when it was first announced but when I was advised that Amazon wouldn't be shipping until January 2nd, 2014, I ordered a copy from Chapters Indigo on-line that they guaranteed would arrive before Christmas.

Of course, it didn't arrive until December 27th.  To top it off, when I went to cancel the one from Amazon, I discovered it shipped on December 17th (hasn't arrived yet).  When it does arrive, I am going to give it as a gift to Beautiful Oldest Granddaughter, as I am trying to get her interested in cooking more Paleo meals for her and her Dad.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Paleo Yorkshire Pudding

Roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding - an English favourite.  Did I mention that Paleo Grandad is English?

As it was just the two of us for Christmas dinner, I didn't want to make a whole turkey and be eating it for days after so we opted for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

I had found a Paleo Yorkshire pudding recipe from Paleo Cupboard that looked great , was easy and only used a few ingredients.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Chicken Curry and Paleo Naan

I got to sleep in this morning, something that never happens.  I'm must be getting into holiday mode.  The only drawback to getting up later is the stores (and the parking lots) are packed.  Once there, however, I picked up all my supplies for Christmas and Boxing Day dinner and got out of there as fast as I could!

It is just me and Paleo Grandad for Christmas Dinner, but Boxing Day will be Oldest Son and Youngest Son and four granddaughters ranging in age from eight to 19 years old.  We will open presents, eat great food and play games - can't wait.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday Brunch with Biscuits

Sunday on a cold winter morning, though the huge dump of snow we had yesterday is almost gone - that's winter in Vancouver.

Sunday brunch, and as I have always loved biscuits and was inspired to try to Paleo-ize a recipe I saw on a cooking show on television yesterday, and the results were really good - here's the recipe for everyone to try - bet you can't just eat one.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Making Magic!

It's the first day of my 17 straight days off work!  Yay, me! There are so many things I want to do that the days will whip by.  One thing I am going to do is try some new recipes, something I am usually too tired to do except on weekends.

Today, I decided to make magic - Magic Mushroom Powder (Nomnom Paleo) and Magic Dust (The Clothes Make the Girl) new Well Fed 2 cookbook.  Both are seasonings for meat and vegetables but they are quite different.  The Magic Mushroom Powder has a salty, hot, mushroomy umami that adds a lot of flavour to meat.  The Magic Dust is sooooo good, I could eat it with a spoon!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

As in most offices this time of year, the cookies and candy have been non-stop and you have to have great willpower to walk by it all the time without sampling. 

I have pretty strong willpower... except for chocolate.  I am not crazy about chocolates, but I do love chocolate.  My favourite is milk chocolate (Galaxy milk chocolate bars from England are the best) but, by now most of us have heard, really dark chocolate is much better for you.  You can only eat so much dark chocolate.  (That's probably why it's better for you.)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Happy Sunday!  It is also Paleo Grandad's and my 19th wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately, things still need to get done anniversary or not - laundry and cooking for the week ahead.  After Coronation Street (big Corrie fan), I put a small pork shoulder in my small crockpot for Nom Nom Paleo's Kalua Pork for dinner.

Youngest Son has a friend whose family owns a grass-fed beef farm and, even though they are regularly sold out of sides, halves or quarters of beef, we are lucky enough to get in on some grass fed ground beef, stew beef, breakfast sausage - and this week - beef bones, and beef tenderloin at an amazing price.  Bonus, they have a friend who has a bee farm and I was able to get a big jar of raw honey.  They also have pick-up only a few blocks from us - double bonus.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Vancouver is not known for cold (relatively speaking) weather, but here it is anyway.  Beautiful blue skies, frigid wind from the north and -4.  I know, I know, that is not really cold compared to my parents -32 degrees in Alberta but, I'm sorry to say, Vancouverites are winter wimps.

I went out yesterday and finished my Christmas shopping - yay!  After Christmas shopping I had to pick up a few groceries at Save-On and I found three things you might be interested in:

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Cincinnati Chili from Well Fed 2

Paleo Grandad thinks I have too many cookbooks - not sure what his point is as in my world there is no such thing as too many cookbooks (or shoes!).  Since I found Paleo, I've collected even more cookbooks. Some are just nice to look at, but some I use often.

Melissa Joulwan's (The Clothes Make The Girl) Well Fed and Well Fed 2 are two of my favourites.  All her recipes use few, easy to find ingredients and the results are always tasty.  From Well Fed I learnt that having a food prep day - usually Sunday for me - makes making meals so much easier during the week.  Oldest Granddaughter borrowed my copy of Well Fed a few months ago because she liked the recipes, and I think the only way I'm going to get it back is to buy another copy!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Paleo Mother-in-Law's Casserole

Sometimes I know what is for dinner that night and sometimes I am planning on my drive home.  Last night was a planning on the drive home.  Thinking of everything I had in the fridge reminded me for some reason of my first mother-in-law's casserole recipe - we are talking late 60's early 70's.  As far as I can remember it doesn't have a name and I don't know where she got the idea, but during that time it was my go to casserole when I had leftover roast beef.  I didn't have leftover roast beef in the fridge, but I did have leftover slow cooker roast pork.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Paleo Breads

There have been a lot of Paleo cookbooks coming out recently and I have picked up a couple of new ones that I like and one I didn't, (though it's not just a cookbook, it tells you how to eliminate sugar from your diet, which is really the Whole30 It Starts with Food - a terrific book).

There has been a lot of hype on the new cookbook - Against All Grain by Danielle Walker and, being in a baking mood, I chose three recipes to try from the Muffins, leaves and Morning Cakes section:

  • World-Famous Sandwich Bread
  • Banana Bread
  • Currant Scones

Monday, 11 November 2013

Perfect soup weather.

Fall weather makes me want to make soup and knit - not necessarily in that order.  Fall in Vancouver is beautiful in one way - multi-coloured leaves falling everywhere - and dreary in another way with the grey skies and rain.  But it is perfect weather to make soup.

My stomach and I are not fans of tomato-based soup, so I like to try different varieties of soups that don't call for tomatoes (like the Golden Cauliflower Soup from last week).  A little tomato paste is OK, but that's it.

We went for dinner at Tapenade Bistro the other night and they had beet soup on the menu.  It was tasty but not the hearty beet soup I remember, so I found this recipe from Paleo Zone Nutrition.  The only difference is that I used two pounds of stew meat and more cabbage as I wanted it to be hearty and filling on it's own for lunch this week.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Do you have your vegetables for the week?

I love Fall vegetables - rutabagas, butternut squash, zucchini, parsnips, cabbage, shallots, apples and carrots, so that is what I stocked up on this week.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday Beef Short Ribs

After a rainy, windy few days, the sun is shining in Vancouver.  Thank goodness this allows Paleo Grandad to go out and take down the Halloween decorations. He goes all out every year and our yard is full of crime scene tape, cobwebs, lights and spooky things.  He has a creepy costume (this year is the headless butler), and loves to terrify children (and they love to be terrified).

Paleo Grandad and I tossed around the idea of going out for dinner on Saturday night, but neither of us could think of anywhere we wanted to eat - we have a really small choice of Paleo-friendly restaurants in our part of the Lower Mainland.  We decided to stay home and avoid the inevitable stomach ache.

I wanted to try Nom Nom  Paleo's Orange Sriracha Chicken and - wow - was it worth staying home to eat. You could eat the sauce with a spoon and be happy.  I served it with a variation (subbed red peppers for the tomatoes) of The Clothes Make the Girl Tabbouleh Salad from her new Well Fed 2 cookbook - the two dishes were delicious together.

Time to cook.  Today's menu:

I experimented with Paleo waffles again today and came up with a winner.

Paleo Plantain Almond Flour Waffles (or Pancakes!)
(Serves 4)

1 large, very ripe plantain
1 cup almond flour
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until well mixed.
  2. Cook in a pre-heated waffle maker (or make pancakes with 1/4 cup of batter each).
  3. Cook a little longer than you would a wheat flour waffle - it takes longer to brown.
When I was a kid, beef short ribs were one of the most economical cuts of meet, so my Mom made them fairly often.  Now, they are quite pricey - $23.64 for 8 meaty ribs, which will be one dinner and one lunch for both Paleo Grandad and I.  That works out to $5.91 per meal - cheaper than eating out (and tastier). 

Beef Short Ribs
(Serves 4)

2 lbs. beef short ribs
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 2 Tbsp. dried, crushed rosemary
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. chipolte powder (more if you like spicier food)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
8 fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp. dried, crushed sage
more salt and pepper to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. raw honey
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large heavy skillet.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the short ribs.
  3. Brown the short ribs on both sides.  Do it in batches so you don't crowd the pan.
  4. Place the browned short ribs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  5. While the short ribs are browning, roughly chop the carrots and celery in a food processor.  You can add an onion if your stomach will allow it - mine won't right now.
  6. Using the same heavy skillet you cooked the short ribs in, cook the vegetables with some more salt and pepper, until softened.
  7. If using dried herbs, add them and the chipolte powder and cinnamon now and saute them with the vegetables.
  8. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to deglaze the pan.
  9. Pour the mixture over the short ribs in the slow cooker.
  10. Place the whole garlic cloves on top.
  11. If using fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, put them on top of everything.
  12. Set the slow cooker for seven hours and go do something else.
It was excellent served with cauli-mash and Brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon and dried cranberries.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sunday Roast

It's Sunday and we are into our routine.  Have you noticed that as we age we like our routine more? No?  Then you must not be doing it right!  Luckily part of our routine includes eating better than we have in years and feeling better for it.

BP (before Paleo), Paleo Grandad's favourite meal was my nachos - corn chips, refried beans, sliced green olives, sliced black olives, and lots of Tex-Mex cheese melted on top (even though he is extremely lactose intolerant).  As a treat, I made nachos for him last night and they are no longer his favourite -  he was violently sick after.  I know - TMI, but lesson learnt, I don't think he will be asking for nachos again any time soon.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Paleo Make-up

As we age our skin changes, usually getting drier, but I found I also developed skin conditions that I have never had in all my 60+ years.  Eczema, dry skin to the point of cracking, breakouts and itchy scalp were making me crazy (ier).  There are companies (in the U.S., of course) that sell skin products with natural ingredients at a significant cost but I also found a few websites that had recipes for skin products using ingredients mostly found in the kitchen - arrowroot, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, jojoba oil and Castor oil (almost sounds like a recipe for cake, doesn't it).

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sunday Roast from the 70's

No, the roast isn't from the 70's, the recipe is.

Remember when you (or your Mom) would make a pot roast using packages of Lipton Onion Soup Mix - a popular recipe in the 70's?  Lipton Onion Soup Mix has all sorts of over processed ingredients that we don't want to put in our system any more - onions (dehydrated), salt, cornstarch, onion powder, sugar, corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, caramel colour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, natural flavors, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate - yuck!

While watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen I watched them recreate this dish with only two ingredients that were not Paleo - soy sauce and brown sugar - an easy recipe to Paleo-ize.

Fall is the perfect time for pot roast, so I had to make this roast for Sunday dinner with some roasted broccoli.  This is a put-everything-together, put-it-in-the-oven-and-forget-about-it kind of meal and you can never have too many of those.

Paleo Oven-Cooked Pot Roast
(original recipe from America's Test Kitchen)
Serves 6

For the roast:
4 lb. chuck roast (or other cut of beef suitable for long, slow cooking)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (optional if you are strict Paleo and don't eat potatoes)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos

For the rub:
3 Tbsp. arrowroot
4 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. coconut sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. celery seed

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Criss-cross two 30" x 15" pieces of aluminium foil in a large roasting pan.
    3.  Place the onions, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves and coconut aminos on top of the foil.

      4.  Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.

       5.  Take the string off your roast and divide it in two pieces at the natural seam.  Cut off any large
             pieces of fat or tissue and then lay the roasts on top of the vegetable mixture.

       6.  Pat the roasts dry and rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the meat - use all the spice

   7.  Now grab opposite corners of the foil and fold together tightly.  Do the same to the other corners
        sealing the package.

   8.  Place the roasting pan in the oven and leave it for 4-1/2 hours.

  9.  Remove the roast from the foil, tent with another piece of foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

 10.  Discard the onions from the vegetable mixture and move the carrots and potatoes to a serving
        dish and cover to keep warm.

 11.  Pour the pan juices through a gravy strainer to remove any extra fat.

 12.  Serve by slicing the roast and pouring the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Paleo Grandad and I got four dinners and two lunches from this recipe.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Benefits (and yumminess) of Bone Broth!

If you haven't already tried making bone broth (different from chicken stock) you really should give it a try.  It is inexpensive and really easy to make, especially if you have a 6-quart slow cooker.

Bone broth made from good quality bones (i.e. pasture-fed, healthy) has numerous health benefits:
  1. Boosts the immune system if you have a cold or the flu.
  2. Nutrient dense food.
  3. Improves digestion.
  4. Good source of amino acids.
  5. Contains magnesium, phosphorus and calcium for bone and tooth health (helps remineralize tooth enamel which we all lose as we age).
  6. Supports joints, bones, hair, skin and nails from the collagen in the broth.
  7. Some studies say it even helps eliminate cellulite - and who wouldn't want that.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Dangerous Office Treats

It's a Friday in the office and, for our office, a little celebration for Healthcare Assistants Day so, of course, someone had to bring in treats - and they didn't bring in vegetables!  BTW - I am not in the picture - just some of my work colleagues.

If you still work outside the home, you probably have experienced the office treat problem many times.  What to do?

You can always make sure you have a Paleo treat or other acceptable Paleo food with you at all times (additive-free jerky, nuts, a little non-sulphured dried fruit) so if you are surprised by office treats, you have something to healthy to eat while everyone else in your office chows down on the fat and sugar laden stuff - won't  you feel virtuous?

If you know ahead of time that there are going to be office treats, bring a suitable Paleo treat (lots of Paleo treat recipes on Pinterest or the many Paleo blogger sites out there).  OR

Just give in, have one treat - over and done with - get back on track and don't beat yourself up about it.  So...guess which treat I had from the selection in the picture?

Paleo Grandad was working yesterday (moving fancy cars around a lot all day) and his day finishes when he is done so I never know when he will be home for dinner on those days.  I do the prep work when I get home and then when he lets me know he is on his way I start cooking, but he got caught in a traffic jam and I ended up eating before he got home.  On the menu was Paleo Chicken Strips (a combination of two different recipes - one from The Paleo Mom and one from Paleo Comfort Foods) and they were delicious.  I had the leftovers for lunch today.  The side is oil and vinegar coleslaw with a handful of dried cranberries mixed in.

Paleo Chicken Strips

(Serves 4)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

2 large chicken breasts
1 cup almond flour
1/2 bag of pork rinds
1 tsp. (more or less depending on the heat you like) chipolte powder
2 eggs, beaten in a large bowl
2 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into strips - long or short - up to you (this is easier to do if the chicken breasts are still slightly frozen).
  2. Put the chicken strips in the bowl with the beaten eggs and stir to coat. 
  3. Place the almond flour, pork rinds and chipolte powder in a food processor and pulse until you have everything combined.
  4. Roll the chicken strips in the flour mixture and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle the oil over the strips and bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  6. I served the strips with some of the Golden BBQ sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Are Baby Boomers Set in Their Ways?

Raise your hand if you are a Baby Boomer and you are not set in your ways?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  But maybe, as Baby Boomers who expect to live for another 20-30 years and want to be healthy enough to enjoy that time, we need to re-think our diet.

I have another work colleague (my age) who is trying (and succeeding) in losing 25 lbs. by counting calories and eating chemical-laden protein bars and an apple for lunch.  His motivation is to lose some weight around his middle before his European vacation and to use the new calorie-counting app on his phone.  As I said, he has succeeded so far, but at what cost to his health?  Anyone who has yo yo dieted for most of their adult life will know that no diet works if you can't sustain it.  As soon as you get sick of protein bars and start eating real food again, back comes the weight, the spare tire and the physical effects of being overweight. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner for Eight

Granddaughter Emma's Thanksgiving dinner plate.
It\s Canadian Thanksgiving dinner! You have to have turkey (I think it's a law), cranberry sauce, stuffing (or dressing), Brussels sprouts (my law), mashed potatoes cauliflower and gravy, so I have been scouring my many Paleo cookbooks for ideas. I found many delicious recipes and with some of our traditional Thanksgiving favourites already being Paleo (turkey!), not a lot is different from the Thanksgiving dinners we all grew up with.  Unfortunately, I was so busy cooking and serving, I didn't get the pictures I needed for the blog - sigh - but the food was good.  Two days of cooking. half an hour of eating and another forty-five minutes to clean up.  A lot of work but worth it to have the family together.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Paleo Turkey Burger and Kale Chips

If you work in an office you are probably faced with kind co-workers who bring in food - usually something full of gluten and sugar.  Normally, I can resist by thinking of the stomach ache I will have if I eat the treat but, this morning I succumbed to waffles.  Was it worth it?  While I was chewing - yes, 5 minutes later - (sigh) no, they weren't worth it.  Something in my brain switches off when I decide to eat a treat knowing I will pay for it, but I do it anyway.  Over and done now, back on track for the rest of the day (the waffles are all gone anyway).

My favourite cooking shows are America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country and, while most of their recipes are not Paleo, I get lots of ideas for recipes that I can try to Paleo-ize.  On one episode recently they made Potato Buns and Turkey Burgers, with a trick so the turkey is not dry (one reason I don't use ground turkey very often).

Monday, 7 October 2013

Time to Stock the Fridge

Slow-cooker Beef and Butternut Squash with Cauli-Mash
Those baby boomers who still work (like me), probably still do your grocery shopping on the weekend.   I do my grocery shopping for the week, along with the prep work and pre-cooking, so when I come home after a long day, it takes me about half an hour to get dinner on the table.  Unless you just use all frozen vegetables - those without sauces or sugar are just fine - you need to shop for fresh produce each week and we eat a lot of vegetables.

You may think that because it is called the "Caveman" diet, that the Paleo way of eating is mostly meat - not so.  It is mostly vegetables, with protein next, then fat, then nuts and seeds.  If you buy the vegetables that are in season and locally grown - right now pumpkins, squash, cabbage, rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, beets and sweet potatoes in our part of the world - it is more budget friendly.  Here is what I bought for this week.

I already had some beets, cabbage and mushrooms left from last week along with some fresh kale so I just added another bunch because we eat a lot of kale.

So, what am I doing with all this?
  • Kobucha squash - baked with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to go with the roast free-range chicken and coleslaw for Saturday night dinner.
  • Butternut squash and leeks - used to make Rubies and Radishes Slow Cooker Beef and Butternut Squash Stew.  It makes enough for three meals for two people and is scrumptious.
  • Kale - to make kale chips to go with the turkey burgers.  The recipe will be on the Friday blog.
  • Brussels sprouts - cleaned and prepped to add to ground beef (seasoned with Magic Mushroom Powder), served with a baked sweet potato for a quick dinner later this week.
  • Cauliflower - to make Cauli-Mash as a side dish for meatloaf (with Paleo BBQ sauce) and coleslaw. 
  • Broccoli - roasted with cauliflower for a side dish with baked chicken legs.
  • Sweet potatoes - our local supermarket had these huge sweet potatoes on for 49 cents a pound so I stocked up.  Paleo Grandad shreds them and fries them with peppers in ghee to go under his breakfast eggs.  I will make baked sweet potato fries, bake them and boil them to use in various recipes throughout the week.
  • Cabbage - for oil and vinegar coleslaw and stir fried with egg on top for breakfast.
  • Bananas - for when I just have to have something sweet.
  • Plantains - either for plantain pancakes again, or I'll let them ripen more and fry them in coconut oil for a starch to accompany some pork chops and cabbage later this week.
Buy all the vegetables that look good to you that week (organic if it is in the budget but, if not, don't worry - just buy lots of vegetables), buy enough protein (including eggs) to allow for protein at all three meals, buy some good fat (coconut oil, olive oil, ghee), some fresh fruit for your sweet tooth (but limit to once a day if you are trying to lose weight) and there you have it.

It is Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and my two sons and all their children are going to be with us for dinner for the first time in a long time so I am in a planning frenzy to create the most delicious Paleo Thanksgiving dinner for nine people - stay tuned.

Friday, 4 October 2013

What's for Breakfast?

I am happy to report my sleep is getting better - I have had several nights this week where I have slept for 7+ hours - what a difference it makes physically and mentally.  My favourite breakfast start is coffee with full fat coconut milk and coconut sugar which I drink on my way to work.  I take breakfast to eat an hour or so later.  Whole30 recommends that you have real food first, then coffee but I just can't seem to eat as soon as I get up.  So what have I done differently this week: switched to decaf coffee and worked a four day week (which I am trying to do regularly) - that's it.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Birthday Dinner

Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (not quite Paleo)
Hard to believe, but Youngest Son just turned 39 years old, and Beautiful Granddaughter turned 19 years old the day before that.  My Dad has always said "The older you get, the faster time goes." and, as I get older, and my children and grandchildren get older, I would have to agree with him.

I haven't had the opportunity to make Youngest Son a birthday dinner for a number of years as he has been living in Kamloops for the last few years.  Youngest Son and Beautiful Granddaughter are also trying on the Paleo lifestyle for fit so, of course, the dinner has to be (almost) Paleo.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Ground beef, GF Italian Sausage,  sweet potatoes and kale, with an egg.
It has been awhile since I posted because something "weird" has been happening to me after over a year on the Paleo diet and I have been trying to figure out where I m going wrong.  Up until about two months ago I was feeling really good - mentally and physically - and now (long story short), I'm not.  I have very little energy, don't feel like cooking or eating, no bike riding even though the weather has been perfect for bike riding in our part of British Columbia and I was really enjoying the riding.  I continue to follow the Paleo diet for 99% of the time (small amount of maple syrup in my morning coffee) and have finally killed the sugar monster.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Sleepless Nights?

OK - you know the drill - if you aren't interested in what I have to say, scroll down to the bottom for today's dinner recipes.

For years I have suffered from insomnia, averaging 3-6 hours of sleep per night.  I tried everything - sleeping pills, a cool dark room, white noise, mediation, relaxation techniques, but nothing made a difference for any length of time.

After about eight months on the Paleo diet, while still taking sleeping pills, I started noticing a difference in my sleep.  It became easier to fall asleep, but I didn't stay asleep, waking every two hours or so.  On more and more nights I was able to fall back to sleep, waking again about two hours later.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Setting Goals and Making Ribs!

Sunday is cooking day so I made ribs and Paleo Carolina Gold BBQ sauce for dinner tonight.  If you aren't interested what I have been doing and thinking about, you can skip the next part and go to the recipe at the bottom of the post!

I met up with a old long-time friend, Kathy,  for lunch this past week, something we have done for  the past 30+ years. In our younger days,  something we did every year was to set "goals" for ourselves for the next year.  I still have some of the lists - finish my degree (Kathy), get out more (me) and - always - lose weight.  Every single year - lose weight.  Not once did we list "get healthy" as a goal.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Food Prep for the Week Ahead

Whenever I can I like to spend a couple of hours on Sunday preparing food for the week ahead.  It really makes dinner easy when I get home.  Besides all the baking I did on Saturday, I also prepared Nomnom Paleo's latest recipe Spiced Keema (deconstructed samosa filling) as my emergency protein.  Emergency protein is Nomnom Paleo's term for always having some cooked protein on hand so you always have something ready if you are rushed for time. This is quite spicy, but would be great for breakfast with an egg on top, or for dinner with some cauli-rice.
Nomnom Paleo's Spicy Keema - emergency protein.
I prepped a lot of vegetables - Brussels sprouts, cabbage and shredded sweet potato.
Sunday morning breakfast, coconut blueberry pancakes and bacon
Let's talk about food - joke - what else do I talk about!  In Vancouver we have a restaurant called Romer's Burger Bar that I have been to a few times and I was reminded of it on Friday.  They have great burgers made of every type of meat you can think of. (They also have freshly made mini donuts with three dipping sauces, and truffle fries - but we won't talk about them.)  You can order whatever burger you want, with the fixings, in a small head of iceberg lettuce.  I had pastured ground beef in the defrost bowl at home and thought Friday night was a good night for hamburgers, so I stopped at my local vegetable stand to get the iceberg lettuce.  They had iceberg lettuce, but the heads were huge and they didn't look very appetizing, so I picked up some butter lettuce instead and here's the finished dish.
Added mustard, pickle and tomato - juicy but good.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Importance of sleep

I just got a new phone today - a Samsung S4 - so cool, but I needed to get a case for it so it wouldn't get banged around in my purse, so off to the mall after work.

Paleo Grandad met me there and after getting the case, a nice red one (and a keyboard for my iPad - 20% off, how could I refuse?), we went into White Spot for dinner. As usual when  Paleo Grandad walks into a restaurant, his Paleo switch turns off and he chose a shrimp sandwich on sourdough bread with fries, which he said was "OK" only - I think we should save off-Paleo eating for "OMG delicious" and not just OK.

I try to stick as close to clean eating as I can, because I hate the stomach upsets I get when I don't so I am more motivated.

Back home again, and time to relax and de-stress before our ten o'clock bedtime.  We could have gone for a bike ride, but then I wouldn't have time to blog and that is a great de-stressor for me as well (find something you love to do).

The Paleo lifestyle is not just about the food you eat - though that is a really important one.  The Paleo lifestyle is diet, exercise and sleep.  I figured out a long time ago (as did Paleo Grandad) that that if I was tired you really don't want to be around me.  Heck, I didn't want to be around me.

I began having sleep problems (falling asleep and staying asleep) about 15 years ago and started taking medications to try to correct the problem - sleeping pills, anti-depressants and tranquilizers. Don't ever believe that any of these medications aren't "addictive".  They may not be in the sense that you can be addicted to say heroin, but the dependency these legal drugs create is pretty bad.  After awhile the dosages you are on stop working and you have to take more or switch to another medication with new side effects.  You begin to think that it is impossible to sleep unless you take the pills.

Monday, 5 August 2013

The end of a long-weekend and I have to go back to work tomorrow :( - a week's vacation goes so quickly, especially as there were so many things I wanted to do.  I didn't get them all done as I decided to re-do the kitchen and was also trying to figure out how to make my blog recipes look better and printable - I didn't succeed.  I have discovered that Google Blogger is very limited when it comes to food blogging, and I think I need to switch to another blog my free time.

Another beautiful summer day in the Lower Mainland.  We started out the morning by cycling to Steveston to have breakfast at Diner One on No. 1 Road in Steveston.  I Googled "breakfast Steveston" and - wow - not many choices.  We hadn't been to Diner One before but the food turned out to be pretty good and the prices were reasonable for breakfast.
Paleo Grandad's breakast

Sunday, 4 August 2013

What to eat when you are re-decorating your kitchen?

Lesson learned - meal planning when your kitchen is covered in plastic and wet paint and countertop refinishing material is hard and I should have planned ahead with pre-made salads and pre-cooked meats. My defrost bowl is full of tasty grass-fed, free range meat, but I couldn't get to the cupboards and drawers to cook them.

While we do rent the townhouse we live in, it is still our home and we want it to be comfortable.  Other than being tired, there was nothing really wrong with our kitchen, so there was no way the landlord would do any redecorating, though we did just get a new kitchen floor because they had to pull up the carpet in the hallway and install tile due to a mold issue, so they re-did the kitchen floor at the same time.  I thought my week off from work would be a good time to redecorate, but I forgot to plan for cooking meals when I had no access to most of the cupboards, the sink and the dishwasher.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Seniors Exercise

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the Paleo diet is closely associated with Crossfit and Crossfit is pretty hardcore and intense when you are a 60+ baby boomer and have been leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Remember my young (under 30) office colleague who threw up on his first Crossfit workout - it was so intense.  I don't think that is for me and it probably isn't what you are looking for either.

I think the key to senior fitness (not as a fitness expert, but only saying what works for me), we just have to get moving whether it is a walk every day (even ten minutes), gardening for an hour or so, cycling (my favourite right now), swimming (I can't swim and am afraid of water - sigh!) and, as touted by current research, some form of strength training.

So, what are "Paleo" exercises?  According to Get-Fit Guy...ancient man did not likely (you think??) have access to pilates machines or other fancy weigh-lifting machines or a posh gym membership.  Although there are certainly advantages to these modern fitness conveniences, it is possible to build a very impressive and fit body using a range f movements that are called "functional" or "multi-joint" exercises.  These Paleo exercises incorporate the same types of movements our primal ancestors would have had to perform in order to survive in an unpredictable environment, whether being chased by a lion, throwing a spear, moving heavy logs or rocks or fighting.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Travelling Paleo

We have been doing a little travelling and a lot of eating out while I have been on vacation this week.  Part of it has been because we I decided that we would redo our kitchen cupboards and countertops, so the kitchen has been mostly unusable for the past week.

Meals out have not been too bad for me (though not perfect either).  Paleo Grandad sort of falls off the Paleo bandwagon every time we eat out - but that is his choice.  However, I do notice a huge difference in his moods when he goes off plan - just saying.

A British Columbia favourite restaurant is the White Spot, with restaurants in all the larger BC centres.  We like breakfast there as it is almost Paleo.  You can get a Traditional Two Egg breakfast (which is what I had each day - minus the toast).

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sunday mornings - my favourite day of the week, especially in the summer.  I get up at the usual time - 6:00 a.m. - and enjoy the quiet time as Paleo Grandad likes to sleep in.  I can try a recipe that takes more time then I have during the week.  this morning it was french toast made with Paleo bread and sausage.

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