Taking time to relax on my approach to food does feel like its working for me. I think my diet is settling into a more natural pattern – being aware of when I’m hungry as opposed to needy. Trying to keep wheat out of my diet as much as possible – my food journalling has made pretty clear that wheat has an unpleasant effect on how I feel physically and has suggested quite strongly a negative effect on how I feel emotionally. It seems there might be something to the intuitive eating theory that becoming aware of how something affects you will change your interest in eating it. I’m not trying to deny myself although I do need to ‘fight’ the urge for some wheat products. And fail at time although I the donut I ate at work was so unsatisfying I don’t think I’ll be tempted again for a while. I’m not trying to ‘diet’ or lose weight, but I am trying to feel good. So that means working towards a healthier diet, one that meets my emotional and physical needs.
A long day at work, and still nursing a badly sprained ankle, I was hungry and in need of something particularly comforting today. Part of me wanted to stop off at the shops and grab something – a big bag of crisps or something else equally snacky, a nice easy fix to the desire. But it wouldn’t really. Somehow, for the first time in a while, I was able to recognise that. Instead, I made myself sweet potato fries. And they were tasty:
Sweet Potato Fries:
- pre-heat oven to 200C
- cut up a large sweet potato into sticks
- melt a tablespoon of coconut oil
on a tray
- mix a generous amount of paprika, a little sprinkling of cayenne pepper to taste, and a little ground black pepper into the oil
- roll the sweet potato in the oil and bake for approx 20min turning once.
- sit down with a good book and enjoy
Last night’s dinner ticked all my needs – super tasty with the comfort food warming and filling that I really needed on a cold winter’s night post workout.
all measurements are approximate
- 180gm lamb steak
- 100gm chorizo
- six spring onions
- tablespoon of lard
- two tablespoons of coconut cream
- two medium potatoes
- herbs: garlic, cumin, oregano, garam masala
Boil the potatoes for ten minutes than transfer to the oven on 220c for about 45 mins. The topping only takes about fifteen mins so go read a book.
Chop up lamb and chorizo into small peices. Heat a generous dollop of lard in a frying pan, add chorizo, a crushed clove of garlic, large shake of oregano and cumin and a small pinch of garam masala. Fry for a few minutes then add two generous tablespoons of coconut cream. Continue to fry till the sauce is nice and mixed. Add the lamb and stir to cook evenly – can add a teaspoon of ground arrowroot to thicken if desired. When the lamb is almost done – add the chopped spring onions.
Retrieve your baked potatoes, slice open and top with the contents of the frying. Eat and enjoy!
I saw this Creamy Tumeric Tea on Mark’s Daily Apple where he says “Turmeric tea will perk you up in the morning, calm you down at night and soothe sniffles and sore throats.” Feeling a little on the verge of a cold myself, I decided to try it.
- 8 ounces (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2-inch wide round slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
- Optional additions: a small pat of butter, cinnamon, cardamom
I misread slightly and used a whole teaspoon of turmeric but I don’t think that was a problem – if anything my dash of cayenne may have been more generous than I meant. Adhering to the traditional hot toddy belief I didn’t stint on the honey, and added about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Very tasty, and certainly warming. I’m inclined to think I might water it down a little next time. I don’t find the coconut milk too strong/thick, but I did find half a can was able to be drunk far too quickly.
Reading through the comments on the post – several people commented that black pepper is usually served with turmeric as the piperine in the black pepper (not present in cayenne pepper) helps the body absorb the beneficial curcumin from the turmeric. So I might try that next time.
In an effort to broaden my options, take advantage of cheap meat sources (eg mince) and come up with something that makes easy breakfasting leftover options to eat at work; I decided to try a meatza.
The idea is to use beef mince as the pizza base. Gets your protein count up, leaves your carb (with no need for wheat!) low and still tastes like pizza. Well that’s the theory…
I use the paleo pizza recipe from spark people but modified it based on my cupboard contents. So not having any caraway seeds may have been the problem.
Make up a bowl of herbs with a generous (ie more than the teaspoon specified) of oregano, black pepper, garlic salt and red pepper. Mix with 500g of beef mince. Mix in with a raw egg. Didn’t have any Parmesan so that didn’t get mixed into the pan
Spread on a tray and bake for about 15mins on 200c.
Once it was done I poured off the fat and made my pizza. Tomato paste, cheese, onions, olives and mushrooms. I’d precooked the onions and mushrooms so the pizza only needed another five mins.
Let it sit for about five mins.
Verdict – I got three meals out of it. Half for dinner, and two breakfasts. The main problem was how dry the meat was – draining off the fat is the only option to get the pizza effect but it’s left so dry. Maybe the Parmesan cheese would have made all the difference but even with the extra allocation of herbs the base was very bland. It also didn’t hold together well at all, so no pizza effect in terms of ‘slice of pizza’. Though i think i may have made it slightly too thick. Need a bigger pan to try again. The topping was delicious so clearly I need to incorporate more tomato sauce type dishes into my diet.
Overall, seemed too much effort for something that doesn’t really form a decent substitute. But it did seem like a decent option for breakfast though could I be bothered with this just for breakfast? Maybe I’ll try again with the changes I’ve mentioned and see if that makes it worth it.
So this morning I decided to try something other than my normal eggs and bacon (or last nights leftovers) for a Sunday morning. While I’m aware that today isn’t Sunday – I have the day off work!
I’ve come across a lot of different recipes for paleo/lowcarb pancakes and have decided to edit them together and give it ago. While I’m working at keeping my refined carbohydrates low, I’m primarily concerned with eating natural foods. I want to be low carbing via a whole foods eating pattern, not processed pseudo flours and sugars (not that I’m entirely against them on special occasions…) so no carb quick, or protein powders for me. But I’m also limited by what’s currently in the kitchen.
So I went with:
- two egg whites beaten to stiff peaks (was going to be three but the yolk broke in the shell…)
- two egg yolk plus one egg (see above)
- teaspoon of baking powder
- teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of psyllium husks (I don’t think this is necessary)
- teaspoon of cinnamon (which I forgot to put in…)
- large dollop of cream
- bowl of frozen blueberries
- butter – for in the pan and on the cooked pancakes
Beat the egg whites till stiff. Then add egg yolks, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, psyllium husks and cream and mix. Add the blueberries and stir again. Then cook on a medium heat. I had a bit of trouble gauging the cooking time well, and I think the blueberries made it a lot harder to spread the mix evenly. The last one I cooked ended up a mess as I poured too much onto the plate, got impatient and turned it and it collapsed…
I thought the psyllium husks would help give it a bit of structure but I don’t think that really worked. Not that it took away from it, I didn’t notice it taste or texture-wise but didn’t seem necessary unless you’re particularly concerned about fibre. I think adding the blueberries to the mix also ruined the effect of beating the egg whites. I think next time I’d add the blueberries to the pancake in the pan or even as a topping on the pancakes (maybe heat them up in the microwave a bit so they’re a little stewed). Its important to keep the mix on the pan thin and to cook through, though ideally without burning. The thicker, less cooked ones tasted more egg-y and less like pancakes.
On less healthy-minded days, I could so totally see myself eating these with maple syrup…