I am always inspired to write a new blog post after listening to The Paleo Solution podcast. This morning is no different. Robb Wolf was asked a question about cheat meals. This is an interesting topic and I will try not to ramble to much, but I have a few thoughts and totally agree with Robb on this one.
First off, I hate how its called a cheat meal. When I was following a more Primal Blueprint approach which is an 80% to 20% lifestyle plan I found myself cheating to much. I do agree that as long as you are following a Paleo type diet at 80% compliance, than you are doing great and probably doing a lot better than you were before. But I wanted to do better and I was allowing myself to slip to much. I wanted to be eating better. I know what I am supposed to or should be eating so why waiver from that. I used to get stressed out when I would “Cheat”. Feeling guilty that I ate something I don’t consider good, whole foods. And adding stress or guilt to your diet is the complete opposite of what you want.
I then read the “Paleo Solution” and feel in love with it. It was right up my alley of beliefs and feelings about food. You should really check it out. So this got me away from the whole 20% thing. I tried eating 100% Paleo all the time. This could be stressful for some too. But I knew if I was eating really well most of the time and felt good I could eat what I wanted. Some of the foods I eat that some might not consider 100% Paleo are:
Corn Tortillas-now I only eat these once a month if that. A great alternative is using lettuce as your wrap instead. We have actually started liking these a little more now. But corn is not the worse thing in the world to eat. Only eating it once a month isn’t going to hurt me because I eat so well otherwise. And when I but some I get the best quality tortillas I can find. Trader Joe’s actually carries some that are made locally and have like 2 ingredients.
Dark Chocolate-Who doesn’t like chocolate, right? One little square of chocolate isn’t going to hurt me either. And there are some benefits to eating a really dark chocolate. Just try to keep it at a really high cocoa content, like 75% or higher. And now that I don’t eat sugar or sweets, one little square is really satisfying. I also spend the extra money to get a really good bar of dark organic chocolate. A really good piece of fruit is like dessert to me now. It is such a treat to eat an apple with some almond butter.
Coffee-This can be one of those gray areas for Paleo followers too, but I try and stick to mostly decaf. We all know that having a ton of caffeine is a bad thing. I don’t need to tell you that. But there are also some benefits with drinking coffee. Here again I like to buy organic, shade grown, etc coffee.
Some other foods we eat every once in a while would be our waffles, pancakes or even the occasional brownie, yes I said brownie. The thing is when we eat these little treats they are still within some kind of boundary of what I consider OK to eat. And the key here for me is not feeling guilty or stressed about what I am eating. I am satisfied with the way we eat and that is key.
As I am writing out this list I really thought I would have more examples of foods that can be considered cheats. But I really don’t miss any foods from my old eating habits and if I was to eat some of them they would make me sick. So they are easy to stay away from.
And I never cheat or eat any gluten. If you want to avoid one thing more than any other I would recommend avoiding gluten. This has made the biggest difference in my health.
2 pounds of meat (This time we used 1# of pork and 1# of beef. Sausage, lamb or turkey are good options.)
1/2 of an onion chopped
2 Carrots finely chopped
1 Celery chopped
1/2 Cup almond flour/meal
I eyed all these spices. Wasn’t in the mood for measuring.
Salt n Pepper
You can really experiment with these. Sometimes I add mushrooms or peppers. I even fudge the spices sometimes. Maybe try a more Italian style. I add spaghetti sauce instead of BBQ sauce too. Really what your feeling at the moment.
This is pretty simple. Preheat oven to 400•. Whisk the egg and chop all your veggies. Add everything to a bowl and mix. Add to you cupcake pans. Don’t stuff them to full because the juices will run over the edge. You can see in the pictures that there is a slight gap between the edge of the pan and the meat. Cook for around 35-40 mins. and serve.
4 slices of bacon
1 Head of Cabbage
2 oz or so of Sherry or Chianti
1/2 C Stock Veggie
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Thyme
Bacon fat or coconut oil
We used a large pot. Cook bacon and set aside. Add chopped carrots, onions, leeks, and saute in bacon fat. When veggies are cooked, separate cabbage leaves and add to the pot. Add in garlic, thyme and cook about 12 mins until cabbage wilts. Season with salt n pepper, add wine and simmer until most liquid evaporates. Stir often, about 10 more minutes. Add stock and simmer. Cover and simmer for 12 mins. Stir in bacon and serve.