Monday, August 22, 2011

paleo is looking better all the time

For almost a year now, I've been trying to forge out an eating plan, a lifestyle really, that makes sense, tastes good, and doesn't make me sick. I know that's where many of us are. Some of you luckier ones have nailed it. I must confess I'm just a little jealous, but I also realize you've worked long and hard, succeeded and failed, suffered and triumphed. Finding our way through this food maze is a challenge at best. My hat is off to any and all who have found their way through.

 I'm still at what feels like a hit and miss stage, but my aim is getting a bit surer and my navigation skills better. I do so want to see the opening at the end of this maze. Some of my early missteps were downright silly. I bought gluten-free mixes and flours with some abandon, at least in terms of the other ingredients. My first was Bob's Red Mill Corn Bread Mix. It's a really good mix and makes a beautiful cornbread. I was thrilled. I hadn't been able to eat corn bread in years. Turns out I still can't. I was so sick afterward that I just lay around whining for a day or so. I really cannot explain why I would think I could suddenly eat corn, or for that matter, milk, sugar, or soy. Just being gluten-free isn't enough as most of you know from personal experience. Some things, like corn, I already knew. Others, like zanthan gum or tapioca or agave, I hadn't paid much attention to before. Unfortunately, the "no" list continues to grow.

The silly thing, and this does not say too much for my thought processes, is that I keep trying recipes containing ingredients I know, or at least should know, I can't eat without repercussion. I don't ever knowingly eat anything with gluten, but I have kept trying other foods, maybe in the hope that a different combination would be magical. And shoot! the recipes and stories from others who are gluten-free always sound and look so good.

So I'm still looking but getting a little encouraged as I read more about Paleo eating. Eating like our ancestors may have eaten is intriguing. As with all things, I have to remind myself not to jump off the cliff first and then check to see if there's a soft landing or way back second. I've been reading a lot of blogs and Face Book pages for the last few weeks. It looks pretty good on the one hand. On the other, though, it's a bit confusing. The various sources I've read do not always agree on exactly what's in and what's out. It mostly works for me on an intellectual level. On a more fundamental level, I can get quite excited about much of the food. The food groups completely ruled out by the Paleo diet are all those I cannot or should not eat. The "should nots" are the ones that don't make me deathly ill, but do slow me down and don't add to my health in any way. I'm thinking this kind of diet may be much easier for those of us who already omit most of the contraband already.

Please understand, I am not trying to get others to follow in my footsteps. I'm still wandering through this darned maze, anyway, so at best it would be irresponsible. If, though, you, like me, are still struggling with finding what works for you and what doesn't, you might want to read some of the FB pages just for fun.

I've been trying to follow a version of this plan, of which there are many, for about ten days now. It's not long enough to make a decision, but it is long enough to have gathered some interesting data, admittedly 100% anectdotal. From day 1, I had more energy and less of an appetite. By day 2, my clothes were a lot more comfortable. By day 3, I'd lost a few pounds. But by far the most compelling and most exciting part for me is that I have not been in pain or been particularly hungry while sticking to the guidelines.

I'll go into detail about what we've been eating and cooking with pics and recipes very soon. For now I'd just like to mention a few dishes that have been basics for me the past week or so. I've grilled beef, chicken, and salmon a few times, each time making extra to be the beginnings of breakfast and lunch. On several occasions, I took thinly sliced leftover steak to work as breakfast. It was filling, easy, and reasonably priced, especially since one small steak stretched to 3 meals that left me fully satisfied. That may be the oddest thing for me, that so little food leaves me feeling full when no grains or grasses are present. I've also grilled or sauteed summer squash, making extra of that, too. It's been an adventure, or really the beginning of an adventure. More to come soon, including our incognito Paleo dinner party.

1 comment:

  1. One thing I'm noticing as I continue on this Paleo adventure is that it's easier to describe what I do eat. It's harder for me to say "no gluten", and "Oh, yes, no dairy or soy or corn or sugar or artificial sweeteners; make that artificial anything." Paleo pretty much says it all.


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