A Modern Cave Woman!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Well, a year or so ago, I would have (and did) scoff at the idea of the paleo/caveman diet. That is because I didn't take the time to learn about it. I thought that it was a fad, a bad idea, and altogether unhealthy ... after all cavemen ate only raw meat and a few nuts and berries, right?
Wrong ... I was so wrong! I have been on just about every diet there is on God's green earth, and had to make some pretty drastic decisions to literally save my life. But, finding that "lifestyle" choice of diets just wasn't coming easily to me. Dukan was the closest thing that I could find that took care of most of my body's needs. But, it was way to restrictive ... I missed eating fruit.
Then a few months ago, I saw something on tv about the Paleo Diet and decided to research it out. And research I did ... and came out even more confused because there were so many takes on the diet depending on whose book you read. So, I decided to give it a Duck's try with a Duck's twist.
The one thing the books all agree on for the most part is that Paleo is:
1. grain-free (thus it is gluten-free)
2. legume free
3. dairy-free w/exception of clarified butter or ghee
4. sugar-free w/exception of honey & dates in their natural forms
5. soy free
6. alcohol-in-moderation (wine ok, hard liqueurs must be grain-free)
So, one would think that this is probably the most difficult of all diets and lifestyle approaches to nutrition that one could possibly attempt.
Yet, I find myself nearly 2 months into being a modern cavewoman and finding myself more focused and grounded than I have been in years. This is a program that you must put your time and energy into in order to reap the benefits.
Finding and experimenting with food alternatives, pushing the limits in restaurants by asking for variations, for instance:
Order a Shrimp Cocktail and ask if they could bring you a side of tomato paste, horseradish, lemon, and if you like your cocktail sauce on the sweeter side ask for a little honey ... and then mix the ingredients together at the table. Here is where I modernize paleo a bit, I love a glass of wine with shrimp cocktail and will pour a little of the wine I am drinking into the cocktail sauce ... NomNomNom!
I have always been one who pushes the limits in a restaurant, after all I am paying for what I am eating, so why not get it my way?
Bread ... now, I know what many of you are saying, here. "No way ... No how ... Are you crazy?" Give up bread? Easier said than done, yes. But, if you are creative and willing to figure out alternatives, there are options.
Almond flour has become a staple in my kitchen ... as are the Almond Flour Pancakes I have perfected from a recipe found online. Note that my husband, who is health conscious, loves them and gets a little upset if I run out of almond flour. So, here is my recipe:
LoLo's Almond Flour Pancakes
1 3/4 Cups Almond Flour
1 Cup water
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1. Measure all ingredients into high powered blender. Note this will smooth out the graininess of the almond flour giving you lighter and fluffier pancakes. You may add more water if you like thinner pancakes.
2. Pour onto a hot, lightly-oiled skillet (unless skillet is well-seasoned) and cook approximate 2 minutes on each side.
Note that paleo recommends the use of coconut oil, olive oil, clarified butter or ghee. I use coconut oil.
These pancakes are eaten with relish (no, not pickle relish)! They stand up to all the condiments a regular gluten filled pancake would, or as a snack slathered with almond butter and wrapped around a frozen banana, or hey use your imagination, I did!
So, this is the beginning of my journey. I have been a modern cavewoman for nearly two months and I have lost 10 pounds, lost the always present water retention, lost my congestion, and, this morning my husband said that my body is changing for the good. In the past whenever I lost weight too quickly, my skin would sag (especially my arms) but he has noticed they are slimming down with definition and no sag.
As a modern cavewoman loaded with the knowledge of many different ideas of what paleo is, I am venturing out on my own. Some books agree that fermented dairy, like kefir or greek yogurt are authorized, where some spell out the evils of alcohol. For me, it is a weighing the knowledge and how it fits in with your lifestyle and what works best with your system. Paleo is all about clearing out foods that can be harmful to you as an individually in the form of allergies and disease. It is up to you to figure out what they may be.