Come on…let’s talk PALEO!
I just returned home from a birthday cookout at the home of a good girlfriend. Everyone commented on how fit I look and asked me what have I been doing. When I shared with them that I have adopted the PALEO diet lifestyle they asked many questions. ‘What can you eat?’ ‘Are you hungry?’ ‘Why can’t you eat beans?’ And on, and on and on. “It’s simple really, I told them: lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.” When I told them what the PALEO diet consisted of, they looked at me bewildered by what must have seemed like a limited list of options.
For many people I realize that changing your diet can seem overwhelming. We grow up learning what to eat from our families. We learn that to celebrate or make ourselves feel better we have to eat decadent, fattening foods with little nutrition. What that teaches us is that bad food makes us feel good and good food, food with real nutrition, isn’t satisfying. And it is only when people get sick, get fat, or deal with a health crisis that they consider a new way of eating. Unfortunately for most, they go down with a fight. Isn’t it funny how much fun you have getting fat and out of shape, and how painful it is to get fit again?
Well there is only one way to change the path that you are on. And that is to start today to do something different to better how you feel, how you look, how you think and how you function in the world. For instance, decide that you are going to do something that raises your heart rate four times a week (Crossfit anyone)? Or, another option may be to decide today that you are going to eat a nutritious PALEO breakfast four times a week. Start somewhere and give healthful eating a chance. Keep it simple in the beginning as you learn more about what works for you and your lifestyle. Make yourself a priority in spite of the children, husbands and wives, and careers that compete for your time. Make taking care of you your number one priority. Start today.
Tip: One of the most important aspects of PALEO is the reduction of the inflammatory process caused by eating foods high in salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Reducing your salt and sugar intake should be the first goal for yourself. Early on I learned that many foods that are used to prepare PALEO meals can be processed with added salt and sugar which defeats the purpose. Store bought broth is one example as many brands list more than 500 mg of sodium per serving, one-fourth of our daily sodium intake (way too much!) One trick I learned is how to make broth myself and in turn use it in my meals. Homemade broth has become one of my most powerful tools to add flavor to my dishes. And the great thing about making your own broth is that you control how much sodium is in it as well!
-Place remnant chicken, beef or seafood bones and shells in a large sauce pan
-Fill the sauce pan one inch from the top
-Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and parsley (or whichever herbs your like) to the sauce pan as well as pepper and Mrs. Dash
-Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for one hour
Here is a picture of the chicken broth I made and remnants of the chicken. Now that is recycling!
I can use this broth in my cabbage, collard greens, kale or to make chicken soup (minus the noodles). Once it cools I place the broth in a jar and keep it in the refrigerator. It will last up to a week if kept refrigerated.