What is the Paleo Lifestyle?

I had a great weekend with a couple of my favorite girlfriends and I was asked what Paleo was and whether it was another fad diet?  Great Question!  So it made me really think about why I am following this lifestyle.

 

My quick nutshell answer to this is – It’s about reducing the toxins in our environment that cause stress to our minds and bodies leaving us in an unhealthy state.  My toxins may be different than your toxins but based on a large body of literature, many of them are the same ones.  Those toxins might be too little sleep, not enough play, or putting too much processed or toxic food in our mouths.

Here’s the definition from the Paleo Magazine – The Paleo lifestyle is about nourishing our bodies with REAL FOOD that is grown and raised as NATURE intended, not manufactured in a sterile facility.  It’s about UNPLUGGING from the modern day electronics from time to time and giving your body a chance to actually rest.  It’s about getting enough SLEEP, bonding with other individuals FACE-TO-FACE, getting out in the SUN, playing for the sake of PLAYING, reducing stress and giving your body a chance to THRIVE in a manner it EVOLVED.

 

In my words, it’s doing the best for your body to be happy and healthy so you can enjoy all that life has to offer.

The diet part of the lifestyle involves eating organic whole foods and happy animals.  Why organic?  Obviously if we are trying to reduce toxins, you want to choose produce that was grown without pesticides and fertilizers.  Why happy animals?  I call them happy animals because they were raised in a way that did not require antibiotics to be given to them because they were unhealthy (and if I am going to eat another animal I want it to be healthy).  These are grass fed cows, pastured pigs and chickens, and wild caught seafood.

Some of the basic items to avoid eating are grains, legumes, soy, refined sugar, processed foods and industrial seed oils (Canola, corn or vegetable oils).  These items can produce a toxic reaction in many individuals with symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, or behavior issues, such as depression.

One of the reasons that I love the Paleo Community is that they are constantly trying to learn more about overall health.  For me, that’s the main reason I find myself identifying more and more with the community and for that reason alone, I don’t think it’s a fad.

This weekend I got some face-to-face time in with a couple of awesome girlfriends, we played (literally went to a play), we laughed, we got some sun, we slept in, put our feet in a coldish pool after wine tasting and we reduced our stress for a couple of days.  Ok, the wine tasting might not have reduced our toxins, but it sure was fun!

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Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Basil sauce

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As a follow up from the Garlic Basil Sauce from last week. I used the sauce as a base and added grass fed beef, zucchini, yellow and red peppers. Add some oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. I put the sauce on baked spaghetti squash. Great Labor Day dinner!

My husband said the sauce is to die for!

Garlic Basil sauce

After a weird spring here in Albuquerque where it rained almost everyday (remember this is the high desert) the tomatoes in the garden are finally ripe!  Of course, they all ripen at the same time… so what do you do with them?  Make sauce and can them.  This year I experimented by planting a new type of small tomato that looks like a yellow pear. Little did I realize that this plant would take over the tomato bed and produce a ton of little yellow tomatoes.  So why not make them into a garlic basil sauce for later in the winter?  I modified a Ball recipe for my Garlic Basil sauce – if you want the original recipe you can find it on the website or if you want more canning recipes check this Ball preserves book out.

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First thing I did was cut 10 lbs of tomatoes up into quarters or halves depending on the size of the tomato.  I used a variety of tomatoes for my sauce, since they all are coming ripe at that same time.

I then cut up an onion and 4 garlic cloves that were minced and sautéed.

While the onion and garlic cloves were sautéing, I baked the tomatoes for 20 minutes at 425°.2015-08-29 11.53.352015-08-29 12.17.29

 

 

 

 

I combined the tomatoes and garlic/onion mixture together and used the vitamix to blend it into a smooth sauce.  As an aside – I absolutely love the Vitamix and seriously don’t know how I survived without it! – The tomato peel and seeds all blended smoothly so need need to strain it.

2015-08-29 12.38.38I added 3 tbsp of basil and then put everything back on the stove for an hour or so and let it cook down about halfway.  I started processing by glass jars, making sure they were hot and ready to go when the sauce was ready.  I transferred the sauce the glass jars with 1 tbsp lemon in pint size jars and filled them up.  The 10 lbs of tomatoes made 8 pint size jars.  Canning Supplies

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Quick Breakfast

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Here’s a great quick breakfast.

Scoop out an Avocado to fit an egg in the center. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  I added bacon to the top of mine.  Eat!

Skillet Chicken thighs – from Make it Paleo II

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This one is easy to prepare and tastes incredible!

Make it Paleo II

 

Welcome!

Why start a blog – several reasons. First, I admit to be addicted to TED videos.  After watching Matt Cutts – “Try Something New for 30 Days”, this idea popped into my head.  So I figured why not try it.

Second, I am hoping that my story will inspire others to go on a health journey and know that you are not alone.

Third, I have been told many times I need to be more vulnerable, ugh. (Brene Brown has a great TED video on The Power of Vulnerability). Well what better way to be more open than to write about my life in a blog!?!

Ultimately, my intent with this blog is to discuss my journey, both successes and setbacks, and share my insights into healthy living, as I go.

Onto my 30-day challenge!