DAY FOUR OF BEING BACK ON THE BANDWAGON

Like everyone else out there, we are taking full advantage of the new year to get back on the health and fitness bandwagon. Or in our case, the no excuses, no cheating Paleo and CrossFit bandwagon. We are only four days in, however, since January 1st was a long and complicated day of air travel where just getting food was challenging enough; Paleo would have been downright impossible.

So far, it’s been easier than expected, especially given the ridiculous level of indulgence that took place while we were on vacation. We’ve had no “low-carb flu” and no cravings, but I have been noticing that I am a lot hungrier than usual, which means I will need to find ways to add more fat to my diet.

To streamline food preparation efforts, we generally only eat breakfast or lunch — rarely both — and dinner.

Breakfasts are simple. We always use eggs as the basis (four to six per person, depending on the size of the eggs), and then add some combination of fatty breakfast meat, fruit, avocado and/or nut butter.

For dinner, we have an entire chest freezer full of various cuts of grass-fed beef and lamb, so we just take something out each evening and cook according to whatever has most recently thawed. We are hoping to start preparing larger dinners that will yield leftovers for J to take to work for lunch.

One improvement I would like to make to my diet this year is to eat more vegetables. I find that vegetables are a little bit trickier than fruits because they tend to require more preparation and/or cooking to make them appealing (and in some cases, edible). So we’ve decided that pre-packaged and frozen veggies are no longer beneath us. 🙂 If incorporating more vegetables into our diet means emptying a package of pre-washed, pre-cut mixed veggies into the steamer and then adding butter, salt and pepper, then so be it. They might not be the best quality, but they’re good enough.

We are following the Paleo diet almost to the letter, save for a small amount of milk or cream in tea and coffee, and maybe the occasional sprinkle of parmesan cheese for flavour. I have even given up my Greek yoghurt for the month. While I am fairly certain that it does not cause any problems for me, the only way to truly know this is to remove it from my diet and then reintroduce it after a month or so.

Next week, we both start CrossFit. Or more accurately, J starts CrossFit for the first time (something I honestly never imagined would happen!) and I return to classes. We gave ourselves this week off because we both returned from vacation with nasty colds — probably a result of all the crap we’d been eating.

On Saturday we will be going for DXA body composition scans so that we can accurately track our progress and make any necessary adjustments along the way. I’m not looking forward to the results of this scan, but I will be very excited to see my improvements on the next scan.

So… does anybody have any quick and interesting vegetable recipes they’d like to share?

10 responses to “DAY FOUR OF BEING BACK ON THE BANDWAGON

  1. Frozen veggies make the paleo lifestyle so much easier! 🙂 We usually have a bag of brussels sprouts steamed in just a touch of water on the stove top, then throw in some butter and a little kosher salt. Cook them until they brown just a bit and you’re in for a super treat. When we get fresh ones we’ll cut them in half on a jelly roll pan, sprinkle with olive oil and bacon grease, then throw the bacon on top and cook. I literally had that as my meal the other night…

  2. I’m not beneath pre-cut frozen veggies either (would of course need a freezer for them – which I don’t have).

    I’m day 6 of a similar eating plan and was excited by the lower level of “low carb flu” symptoms this time around. I have been following a Paleo diet since early September with 2 poor stretches when we traveled and over the holidays (chocolate, wine and bread). I haven’t lost a significant amount of body fat but have been eating too much dried fruit and nut I believe. Otherwise, when I am eating this way I feel great and that is honestly more important to me that wearing smaller jeans. I’ve done a lot of cardio with calorie counting to lose weight before and it made me miserable and wasn’t sustainable. Eating this way makes me feel really good so I am hopeful that I change my lifestyle long term and start tweaking (reduce fruit,nuts add in a bit of fasting) and lose some body fat as well.

    Right now I really like braised red cabbage and apple. Good recipe here: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4626288075/chez-panisse-braised-red-cabbage I cut my veggies up into bigger chunks because I am lazy and it still tasted great. It also kept well and I ate it as a side dish with breakfast. It does take some time on the stove but it is quick to put together and keeps well.

    And congratulations for bringing J to the dark side… 🙂

    • I think the first switch to Paleo is the most difficult, as the body tries to cope with the sudden and unprecedented fuel switch from carbs to fat, but in my experience, it gets easier each time.

      The braised cabbage recipe looks really tasty. We tend to get into a rut with vegetables, and cabbage is something we never really thing of buying, even though we both like it. We’ll have to try this out.

      And just for the record, J made his own way to the dark side. It was entirely his idea 🙂 I hope it turns out to be a positive experience for him (after the initial shock, of course).

  3. Hi there. I have been following your blog for a while now and am also in the Vancouver area. I was wondering where you get your grass-fed beef. Thanks!

    • We have been buying sides of beef (half a cow) from Mt. Lehman Farms out in the Fraser Valley (www.grassonlybeef.ca). There are a number of farms, if you Google “grass fed beef BC,” that will sell you individual cuts of meat, but this was the only local place we could find where you could buy a whole, half or quarter of a cow, which is much more economical.

      We’ve also once bought a side from Empire Valley Beef (www.empirevalleybeef.com). They’re in the interior but will deliver to local farmer’s markets.

      One of the benefits of buying a quarter or side is that you get to decide exactly how you want it butchered: which cuts you want as roasts versus steaks, how much you want ground, as stew meat, etc. It works out to about $7 per pound after butchering, which as you know, is a heck of a lot cheaper than any premium beef you’d buy at a grocery store in Vancouver!

      A side of beef will fit in a 5.0 cu ft chest freezer, and we have gotten a small-ish quarter of beef into a regular freezer (with nothing else in it).

      • Thanks for all the details! Especially the details about how much can fit in a chest freezer, as I was just wondering this today. I will take a look at Mt. Lehman Farms:)

        • Yes there are a number of benefits to purchasing a side of grass fed beef. One of the main is you get a large variety of different cuts for the same price. The second is that you have numerous cuts available for whatever your taste buds desire on that particular day.

          However, not everyone has the cash or freezer space for large quantities of beef. Others do not want to commit to such a large package of beef without trying it first; therefore, we have designed smaller ready made packs and CSA packs.

          [EDIT: I don’t allow advertising/promotional comments from businesses, but I have added a link to your site in my previous comment, since I did mention you guys there. :)]

          Cheers
          Joyce

  4. We eat brussel sprouts at least once a week. I trim the stalk ends off, then slice them in half (top to bottom). Throw them in a pan of hot oil (coconut oil, olive oil and bacon fat all work well) with the sliced sides down. Cook without stirring until slightly brown on the cut sides (only takes a minute or two), then add some sliced onions and garlic, sea salt and pepper – saute for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add about a cup of water to the pan (amount depends on amount of brussel sprouts and size of pan – you want the water to only cover about 1/4 of each sprout.) Then let them simmer uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want them. Goes great with a roasted chicken or steaks. My fiance likes to sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on his, but I like mine without.

    • Although I don’t much care for brussels sprouts, this actually sounds pretty tasty! I think I could be convinced to try it 🙂

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