Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Definition of Paleo (as it pertains to Way of Eating) and a Paleo Eats (Recipe)

Anonymous asked in a comment recently:  Can you explain Paleo for those of us that don't know exactly what it is?

I suppose I could, but to be thorough it will take some time for me to put together a post on it.  To be fair, know first off that I brieeeeeeeeeefly tried Paleo once, and Primal once (maybe twice) and they are indeed what works best for me, but I just always couldn't give up the diet soda and cheese for very long.  :o)

Plus I did find it difficult sometimes to keep up the endurance for training for marathons.  It can be done, I just wasn't very successful at it.

Anyway, let's start with the basics...

paleo- or pale- or palaeo- or palae-
1. Ancient; prehistoric; old: paleobotany.
2. Early; primitive: Paleozoic.

If the food on your plate can be found in nature just as it is (NOT chemically altered, NOT processed into something unrecognizable) then it's Paleo.

There is a ton of information on the interwebz, including a lot of blogs that I read, Marks Daily Apple is top notch and one of my favorites (so check it out!).  I have done so much research over the years on this, and the number one thing that I continually strive for, whether Paleo or not, is staying away, far far far far away from processed foods.  If something IS in a box or a bag, I try and limit the number of ingredients down to 5 or so, and nothing that I cannot pronounce.

What are processed foods?  Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or for convenience. The methods used for processing foods include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing. 

Also its not just eating meat and vegetables, its eating meat that is grass fed, not corn fed on some meat 'lot' and vegetables that aren't sprayed with gases to make them 'ripe' in color after sitting in the back for weeks since being shipped in from God knows where.  Try and buy as locally as you can, when you can.

Just to be clear, Paleo is NOT NOT NOT NOT a diet in the sense of the word people generally use that word for.  It is my preferred way of eating.  Not  for becoming thin(er) or whatever, but to be strong and feel good on the inside.  

I have come to realize that I can get to 95/5 very easily without feeling deprived.  And of course I will have a piece of whatever, whenever I choose.

I will write more on Paleo from time to time, but that should give anyone some sort of understanding on what "Paleo" is.  You can also click on the Paleo or Primal label(s) to the right and see other posts I have done on it.  There haven't been many, but there are a few.

I don't recall what this was called or where I found this 'recipe' but clearly it would have been on one of the many Paleo sites/blogs I read daily or ever couple of days.  Anyway when I read it, it sounded weird and awesome all at the same time.  Not to mention easy!

Ingredients:  sausage (venison if available), an 2 apples (I used one large), an onion (I used half of a large white onion), cinnamon, cayenne pepper, coconut oil.

Chop apples and onion (I didn't peel the apple, but the recipe said to)
Heat 1.5 tbsp of coconut oil in pan
Toss in apple and onion
Add cinnamon and cayenne (I didn't measure, but if I had to guess I put a tsp maybe a bit more of each (but certain to do equal(ish) amounts of each

Cook down.  OMG the smell was amazing and the apples started making this fabulous 'sauce' (not sure what else to call it), but it was just amazing to smell!!!  Who would have thought of putting those 2 spices and apples and onions together?

Add the sliced sausage, stir/coat and then put the lid on for a bit on low to just cook up a bit more

I actually cooked the sausage beforehand in the same skillet because I thought it would be easier to slice up which is what the recipe calls for to begin with.  I think this is my preferred way to do it.  And when I was finished cooking it in the skillet (in the coconut oil I mentioned), I left the 'dregs' in there to use obviously to saute the apples and onions.  I had added 1/4 cup of water when steaming the venison so it wouldn't stick, but the water cooked almost out and it was fine to use.

I tasted this after it was done and it was delicious!  I had something else for dinner, as this was to be part of my 'fit foods' that I section out for lunches and dinners etc. for the week.

I had it Monday for my lunch along with a 1/4 of a baked sweet potato (I baked a couple of them and quartered to have during the week). 

Definitely will be making this again!  Cheap, easy, and fast!

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