How to get fat on the Paleo Diet

I’ve been paleo/primal for 3 years now. I initially lost 18 lbs when I started the paleo diet, and I’ve kept it off for the past 3 years.  I’ll gain a pound or two when I start to loosen up the diet too much, but as soon as I tighten it up, my weight goes back down to my “equilibrium” weight, which is right around 131 pounds.

What are the culprits of the subtle pound creepage?  For me, it’s beer (1 beer = 1 lb), cheese, paleo snacks (Nut Thin crackers and sweet potato chips) and too many paleo baked goods.  The beer and cheese obviously will cause issues, but I think the paleo snacks and baked goods are more insidious. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that since they are “paleo-ish” they are OK to eat.  Well, and I honestly think they are OK in moderation.  It’s just that for me, I have problems with self control.  If I buy a bag of Terra sweet potato chips. I will eat them all over a couple of days – not happy until they are gone.  Same thing with paleo baked goods – when you make a batch of them, you have at least 12 treats hanging around.  12/2 = 6 treats for Tim and 6 treats for me that just HAVE to be eaten over  the course of 2-3 days.  DANGEROUS.

But we had company yesterday, so I used that as an excuse to make these Paleo Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins.  They are kind of a lot of work – the recipe prints out on 3 pages!  However, they are definitely worth it.  They taste like delicious pumpkin pie.  Two notes, however – I had to cook mine 10 minutes longer than the recipe said. I had so much batter that I had to fill the muffin cups 100% instead of 3/4, so I’m sure that’s why they took longer to cook.  Also, I could not find Five Spice Powder anywhere here in Davenport.  So I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and added some turmeric and cayenne pepper. I didn’t even taste the turmeric (but we got all those anitoxidants), but you can taste the cayenne at the back of your throat as the bite goes down the gullet. It adds some interesting dimension to the muffins.

I made another Nomnompaleo recipe yesterday:  Oven-Braised Beef Stew with Carrot, Parsnip, and Lacinato Kale.  This recipe is a tremendous amount of work – you have to cut tons of veggies and then you have to sauté everything separately before adding it to the dutch oven for roasting.  The stew turned out super delicious, however, so it’s totally worth it.

And lastly, to the detriment of my waistline, I tried out this Paleo Pancakes recipe this morning.  I’ve never had great success with paleo pancakes. They are always too thick to cook properly.  Making them is an exercise is frustration.  But sometimes you just want a pancake with lots of butter and maple syrup.  So you keep trying and hoping.  Well, Chris Kresser linked to this recipe a few weeks ago, and I’m so glad he did.  These are by far the best paleo pancakes I’ve ever had. Tim even said you can’t tell they are paleo!  They are just good pancakes – not just good “paleo” pancakes.  This was my first attempt at using plantains, and based on these pancakes, I look forward to adding more of this safe starch to my diet.

I’m excited to have found some new recipes to add to my repertoire, but now I have a fridge full of honey-sweetened muffins and delicious pancakes.  It’s dangerous.  I better do some heavy aerobic exercise to burn off all these carbs today.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Why dentists hate paleo

I went to the dentist today for my semi-annual checkup.  Both the hygienist and the doctor commented on the perfection of my teeth.  They said that if everyone had teeth like me, they would go out of business.  To quote my dentist, “Thank goodness for Mountain Dew!”  I have to say, I do not historically have great teeth.  All of my molars are filled in, and my front teeth are a little chipped and crooked (thanks to sucking my thumb until my Grandpa got me to stop by promising to pay to get my ear’s pierced if I quit).  However, since going paleo, my teeth have gotten way better – whiter and no cavities.  I brush twice a day with a mixture of 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 coconut oil – yet another unexpected benefit of going paleo.  Here is another one.  It’s an article about 4 foods that age you before your time.  Any guesses??  Wheat, corn-based foods, sugar & starchy foods, vegetable oils.  Yet another reason to be paleo – you look younger.

But, you know what, sometimes you just miss the nice, bready texture of, well, bread.  I haven’t tried to make any true paleo bread.  I’ve eaten gluten-free bread, but it’s usually laced with potatoes and odd sugars and oils, and I never feel good after eating it.  But I ran across a recipe for Grain-free Apple Cinnamon Pancakes that, while making passable pancakes, makes excellent bread-like snacks.  Here is the recipe.  I’m not sure what I did wrong while making these, but they didn’t look like real pancakes like they do in the pic in the recipe.  However, they were tasty with some butter, eggs, and maple syrup.  We didn’t eat the full batch, so the next day I ate some of the leftovers with chicken & veggie soup.  It was deeeelicious!  It was like eating a corn muffin with soup – good texture and flavor, even unheated.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

And that’s it for new recipes of a late. For the past couple of weeks I’ve just been picking up whatever strikes my fancy at the Farmer’s Market, so we’ve been making a lot of ad-hoc meals.  This week I got eggplant, purple peppers, zucchini, heirloom kale, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and grape tomatoes.  So far we’ve made broiled zucchini with salmon, hamburgers with sauteed broccoli and garlic, and brats with fresh cauliflower.  Tonight we cooked up some ground beef and buffalo with chopped jalapeno and topped it with sauteed cauliflower, zucchini, and kale.  We doused it all with chili garlic sauce.  And avocado slices.  It was delicious; although, I think my mouth and nose will never stop stinging from the damn jalapeno.  Everything I touch is on fire.

Hope you are having a great evening and staying cool.  Adios!

Dangerous Paleo Treats

IT’S SATURDAY – WEEEEOOOOO!!   It’s sunny and beautiful out.  I’m heading to the Farmer’s Market in a bit, going to try to hit it before it gets busy.   I love local food, but I hate crowds and slow people, both of which are rampant at the FM.  After that I need to hit the library, the grocery store, the pavement (for a run), and then we’re heading up to Monticello to see Mom and Dad and wish Mom a Happy Birthday weekend.  I asked her if she wanted me to make a treat for her birthday, and she wants, instead, for me to make her the Cowboy Breakfast Skillet!  I shall get her and Dad on the paleo bandwagon yet!!

I tried a few new recipes this week.  Here is the one we are most excited about:  Chunky Monkey Muffins.  It’s another Health-Bent recipe.  These guys are geniuses.  They just released a cookbook, Primal Cravings.  Based on the recipes on their blog, I’m sure the recipes in the book are fantastic, but I’m trying to be more careful about spending money, so I haven’t purchased it yet.  Back to the recipe – these muffins are DELICIOUS!!!  Tim loved them, and I took them into work, and my coworkers said I should open a paleo bakery.  Maybe they were just stroking my ego, but regardless, these are some tasty sons of bitches.  They had a perfect muffin consistency (not too dense), which I think is probably due to the tapioca flour.  It was also the first time I’ve used coconut sugar.  It smells like heaven.  I used pecans instead of walnuts, and I went a little heavy on the chocolate, of course.  I used about 1/2 a cup of dark chocolate chips, and then I chopped up a couple of squares from a dark chocolate bar.

So, in reference to the title of the post.  This is a DANGEROUS paleo treat.  While eating one of these muffins is way better for you than eating a muffin from, say, Panera, there is still a lot of sugar and carbs in these.  Tim and I are only 2 people.  What are two people to do with 12 muffins??  Well, I took 3 into work, and then Tim and I finished off the rest.  I should probably eat like ONE of these a week, not FOUR over the course of 2 or 3 days.  This is why I really SHOULD open a paleo bakery, so that like-minded people could go to a nicely decorated, lovely-smelling bakery, spend an exorbitant amount of money on ONE muffin and feel better about themselves than if they saved money, made their own muffins, and then ate them all.  Paleo Bakery, here I come.  What should I call it?  Hmmm….  Heather’s Home-Cooked Creations?  Hlo’s Paleos?  Suggestions??

Shoot.  I have to get booking here – I got to get ready for the FM.  So, real quick, I also made The 21 Day Sugar Detox “Fettucini” with Meat Sauce.  I think you have to buy the ebook for this recipe – it’s not posted online.  The meat sauce was tasty (thanks for making it, Tim!).  Tim and I ate it ALL in one meal, which is impressive considering it was a full pound of meat.  However, I was not a fan of the “fettucini” which consisted of sauteed zucchini “noodles.”  They just seem kind of limp and greasy.  Next time I will just cut the zucchini into chunks and put the meat sauce over it.

I also made a new recipe to accompany our Hebrew National hot dogs:  Tomato and Olive Salad.  The combination of the low rent hot dogs with fancy kalamata olives amused me.  This salad was super easy and pretty tasty, but next time I will go lighter on the lemon juice.  It made the salad VERY tart!  I ate some of the leftovers with eggs yesterday, and that was a tasty combo.

And those are my new recipes for the week.  Hope you  have a fantastic weekend, and thanks for reading!