Kristin + Corey Paleo Log Blog


March 31, Day 31 :: Mission Complete.
April 1, 2010, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags:

On the 31st day of the Crossfit Vancouver Paleo Challenge, I wanted to make an awesome breakfast.  I got up early and started cracking eggs because I wanted to make Paleo Eggs Benedict.

8:30 AM Breakfast Paleo Egg Benedict with the Tomato and Kristin’s Blood and Tears

OK, here’s the thing: you’ll note the sauce is kind of solid.  Holy god is it frustrating to make hollandaise without butter or salt. I had to ditch two batches because they kept hardening.  I used extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, but it made it tricky.  In the end, the hollandaise was solid, but tasted damned good.  I sliced organic Canadian back bacon thin and then covered it with a perfectly poached egg and ripe tomatoes.  This felt like luxury.

At lunch, I was starving because of a Crossfit workout that included three timed runs, but I had no interest in tackling something complex — benedict covered saucepans still littered the kitchen.  We grabbed a few turkey slices, a fruit smoothie, and some carrot sticks and that tided us over till dinner.

6 PM, Dinner Imaginative Streak Over

I think I burned out a bit on the complex meals.  Dinner was scrambled eggs with onion and mushrooms, sliced turkey and a dollop of the staple tomato pesto

Typically satisfying and non-typically quick to prepare.

I am pretty proud to have made it through this month.  I wasn’t sure I could do it: I have a killer sweet tooth and cheese is one of my favourite things on the planet.  I did it, we did it, and did it well and we both feel really good about it.  Having each other’s support — and the fact that we work from home and can easily prepare our own meals — really helped, too.

Overall:

Cons

  • Meals can be time consuming.
  • Paleo is expensive if you choose to eat organic, grass-fed and locally raised meat and dairy.  Our grocery bill went up about 4x our average this month.
  • There is a lot of planning and creativity required
  • It’s hard to go out for dinner and stick to a strictly Paleo diet, unless you open yourself up to dairy and butter, which we did not.
  • Since everything is fresh…a lot of grocery shopping and creative use of produce that you need to use right away because of a limited shelf life.
  • The first week was hard as all hell.  It’s almost like I envision withdrawal from drugs.  It sucked and there’s no way around the suckage.  Eat some dates.  But they don’t really help when your body is screaming for rice pudding.  Ignore the screaming and it’ll be worth it.

Pros

  • After the first week, you’ll start to feel kind of…peppy and happy and you’ll wonder why and realize that your diet controls your moods way more than you ever thought.
  • The meals are truly delicious – simple and fresh = really good eating.
  • Noticeably improved energy.
  • Noticeable improvements in leanness.  Corey was already ripped to holy hell, but his back is even leaner and than before, and his abs are showing through like I’ve never seen them before.  His legs have also added muscle.  I was never  ripped, and I am starting to be.  I can see my top stomach muscles now, and my arm muscles are bigger.  My stomach is flat and taut, none of the bloat I used to carry around.
  • Quality time: it’s fun to cook and come up with new recipes together.

We don’t own a scale, but I’d be willing to wager I actually put on a few pounds this month.  We did do before and after pics and I posted them on flickr if you’re interested.

I’ll keep writing here even after the contest wraps, when I do a meal I’m particularly enamoured with, or when I have something Paleo to share.  Corey is going to develop a bit of a recipe application on the aqufit site, so stay tuned there too.  We are going to continue to eat this way because we like the way it makes us feel.

Thanks for riding along on this journey with us, you guys!

***Edited to add: I didn’t properly note our inspiration for all of this, Coach Lu.  We went to Crossfit one afternoon after a bit of a scrap; I was sick of the gym and Corey was deservedly tired of my whining.  I wanted us to seek new avenues, and Corey went along with me.

Dave inspired us with his openness and immediately evident enthusiasm.  He was the one who got us on the Paleo track and the dude I can credit with keeping us on it.  He is a stellar coach and a really good human and we are both grateful for him.



March 30, Day 30
March 31, 2010, 5:12 am
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Effect on Workout, Emotions, Food Log

Our workout yesterday was a bit of a doozy, and I wondered if that’s what was making me so ravenously starving this morning — I woke up feeling like I could eat a truck.

We decided against doing that, but we did rustle up a hearty breakfast:

9AM Breakfast – Steak, Eggs, and Sliced Tomato and Avocado

We used the rest of the mushroom peppercorn sauce from last night on the steak.  Eggs over easy.  Was awesome.

Our grocery delivery comes on Tuesdays, so we were a little low on fresh ingredients today, so Corey grabbed what was in the fridge and made lunch.

1PM, Lunch Lettuce Turkey Wraps with Leftover Curry Sauce

It was very simple and surprisingly delicious.  Key was the type of lettuce, we don’t know what this stuff is called but it worked perfectly.

We wanted a curry dish for dinner, we’re mildly obsessed, and Corey had found some Vindaloo spice that would be perfect with the free-range chicken chunks that arrived in our delivery today:

7PM, Dinner Chicken Vindaloo over Spaghetti Squash

We expected to have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow but no such luck – this was amazingly delicious.

I have to say – both Corey and I felt a bit off today – somber mood and a little draggy.  We tried to analyze if it might be something we ate (as we’re realizing now that everything from morning mood to sex drive seems to be related to what we put in our body) – but couldn’t figure it out.  We concluded we need a vacation. To somewhere hot!  Where we can wear our new bathing suits!

The challenge ends tomorrow.  I wonder if anyone has been as obsessive about this as us.  At stake is a 6 month gym membership at Crossfit, which would come in pretty damned handy.  Fingers crossed.



March 29, Day 29

I was feeling inspired this morning, and there was 3/4 of a pan of coconut loaf on the counter.  We were going to have french toast for breakfast, paleo style:

8:30 AM Coconut Bread French Toast with Kiwis and Strawberries and a Side of Ground Turkey

We were going to try to do just nuts and meat for the last week of the challenge, but after my sausage and nuts experience…I don’t know.  I’m forgoing enough without my cheese and “real” bread, I still want breakfast to taste breakfast-y.  Maybe when we’re super-leaning for the summer we’ll try the nut/meat only breakfasts with a little more zeal.  In the meantime, there’s Coconut Bread French Toast.

You guys, this might be my fave Paleo breakfast to date.  I cut up about 3 small slices each of the coconut bread from last night and dipped it in an egg mixture (3 eggs, 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, vanilla extract, 1/2 crushed banana, cinnamon) and grilled for about a minute.  Topped with some fresh kiwi and strawberry, it was to die for.  We had some turkey burgers in the fridge, so I also did up one of those and served half a patty with each breakfast.  Perfect.

We did a noon Crossfit workout, perhaps the hardest one ever.  Corey was lifting some seriously heavy weights and we were both exhausted when we came home, so we just ate leftovers from the weekend: soup, turkey curry, the spaghetti from the weekend spaghetti omelette.

I had some work to finish off, so Corey later picked up some ingredients for dinner: tenderloin (organic), two kinds of mushrooms, and some lite coconut milk.  I was going to make beef tenderloin with mushroom + black peppercorn sauce!

That meat really is that pink.  My man is a seriously hardcore carnivore, would eat it raw if he could.  And he has.

This meal was super good and really easy.  I had to experiment with the mushroom peppercorn sauce a bit because most recipes call for cream and wine.  I use lite cocounut milk, a bit of almond milk, and a lot of spices.  It was really good.

Tomorrow is our second last day of this challenge.  What should we make?



March 28, Day 28
March 29, 2010, 4:38 am
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Effect on Workout, Food Log | Tags: ,

We slept in until 10:24 this morning.  This is a new world record for me.

Nolan’s still with his paternal grandparents, and so there’s no middle-of-the night wakeup calls, no desperate pleas for me to put Iron Man’s head back on his body.  The house it’s quiet.  I treasure it and want it gone at the same time, miss my little sidekick like crazy.

I got busy making a late Paleo breakfast at 10:25 am.

First, because it’s Sunday, a treat:

Here’s the perfected recipe by request:

2 cups almond flour

1 tbsp coconut flour (if you have it, lends a rich flavour but you can do without too)

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

If you want them sweeter, you can add a little Stevia or agave nectar to taste.  I pick a different frozen berry everytime, this morning it was blackberries and raspberries mixed.  I place 4 or 5 berries on top of the muffins after I pour them into their muffin holders, to prevent blue batter.

Bake at 350 for about twenty minutes.

Breakfast, 10:40 AM Spaghetti Omelette

The only meat we had in the fridge was some organic lean ground beef.  I combined tomato paste, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, and the beef into a thick sauce and then whisked it into a two egg and one egg white omelette.  Corey was a fan, I give it a 7 out of 10.

Pre-run smoothie, 1 PM:

Fuel for our long run today: frozen banana + frozen berries + unsweetened almond milk and a whack load of ice.

(Turns out we got poured on and cancelled our run about 3 kilometers in.  It was pounding so hard I couldn’t see out of one eye.)

We did some work and then went to the gym around 6, so dinner was late:

Fresh Halibut with Asparagus and Mushrooms + Thai Red Curry Sauce

One of the best things about living in Vancouver is our access to lean, tasty, fresh seafood.  We picked up two small halibut steaks at Lonsdale Quay this afternoon.  It is so perfect, it only needs a tiny bit of lemon, garlic, pepper and olive oil.  But I felt creative, so whipped up a thai curry sauce to dip.  The mushrooms and asparagus were strangely good mingled with the curry, too.

One last thing.  I’ve been jonesing for bread. I want to make a decent paleo sandwich before this challenge is done in 3 more days.  So tonight, I experimented.  And made coconut bread:

It’s good: dense, slightly sweet, and really rich.  I’d make sandwiches with this, but using a very thin slice only.  Here’s the recipe, I followed it pretty closely though I omitted one egg and the salt (6 eggs seemed a little much).

We’re off to bed, deciding between Shutter Island and Dexter (oh my god, so addicted to Dexter.  Only in season 2, don’t tell me what happens!)

Have a great week!



March 27, Day 27
March 28, 2010, 5:07 am
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags:

We originally had intentions of skiing today, but we woke up late and our legs were kind of writhing in pain from our Crossfit workouts — we’ve been going hard lately.

So instead we opted for a leisurely shower, breakast, and wander.

10:00 AM, Breakfast Snowboarder’s Breakfast (avec modification)

I was starving this morning.  Yesterday was a rest day, technically, although I spent 3 hours slicing through slushy snow on the mountain.  The cooler mountain air plus snowboarding plus some time spent in the hottub = relentless hunger.  I ordered the snowboarder’s breakfast – 3 eggs with sausage and bacon — and asked them to hold the hashbrowns and toast.  They brought me fruit and sliced tomatoes with peppers instead.  Awesome.

Breakfast was kind of brunch-ish in it’s girth, so we didn’t actually have a real  lunch.  Full confession: we rolled home and went to bed again. Lazy weekends breed increased laziness, which is kind of awesome.  We then went for a massage which was amazing and awesome.  I know, my life is hard.  Sometimes I wonder when the Universe will see that it’s given me way too much and lunge in to snatch some of it back.  I’m ridiculously lucky.

We snacked on dried banana and hazelnuts, and then Corey made a chicken curry + spaghetti squash dinner, which has become a fave around here.  Each time it’s a little different:

, Chicken Curry on Spaghetti Squash, with assorted veg

I had a sweet tooth afterward, and whipped up a Warm Coconut Pudding with Sliced Banana + Coconut Shred

Coconut Pudding Dessert

2 egg yolks

2 tsp almond flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

Few tsp. agave nectar or Stevia

Heat on low till thickened, then pour in 1 can lite coconut milk.  Heat to a  boil.

Reduce heat.  Slice up banana at the bottom of two pudding dishes, then add some shredded unsweetened coconut.  Pour pudding mixture over top and enjoy while warm.  Heaven!



March 26, Day 26
March 28, 2010, 4:25 am
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags:

We woke up sometime after 9, in a gigantic king size bed.  The bed was so massive that Corey had no need to build a sheet moat during the night to protect himself from my blazing inferno.  Awesome.

We decided to do a half-day of snowboarding, so we could linger and wander and eat an awesome breakfast – maybe sit in the hottub?

Breakfast, 9:30 AM: Bacon, eggs & fruit

Breakfast is pretty easy to order Paleo: just nix the toast and hashbrowns and you’re good to go.  Bacon is a fattier meat than we would normally eat but we knew we’d be burning a lot of calories on the hill, so we indulged a bit.

We skipped lunch because we were shredding up the mountain, and were pretty hungry when we came back off the hill at 3:30 or so.  We decided to go for a super nice dinner at Araxi, one of the best restaurants in Whistler.

I can’t be sure the mushroom sauce was 100% paleo, but the dinner was pretty in line with what we’ve been eating: a roast chicken breast in a mushroom truffle sauce.  We had oysters to start.  So good, and pretty, but sadly I didn’t take pictures.  Araxi is not the kind of place where you whip out a camera at the table.

We wandered the town and decided to go back to our room to have a hot tub but we stocked up on a few groceries before we headed back: beef jerky, sliced pineapple, pepperoni, salmon jerky.  A paleo late night binge! It’s less guilty.



March 25, Day 25
March 28, 2010, 3:59 am
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags: ,

We went to the crack-of-dawn Crossfit this morning, 7am before the birds were out and the black had snapped back.  I had purple luggage under both eyes and we didn’t manage to get coffee in before we hit the gym.  We had an Americano at 8:00 and then I made breakfast as soon as I got home.  I don’t know what you call it, exactly, but it was savory and awesome.

Breakfast, 8:30 AM Pan-fried chicken chunks in tomato pesto topped with an egg. Accompanied by crushed avocado and peppered tomatoes.  It’s a Jack of All Breakfasts

Actually, Corey really liked this.  My inspiration was eggs benedict, with no sauce and no bread, and this is what ended up on our plates.  It turned out to be a happy surprise.

I’d taken Friday off work, Corey and I were going up to Whistler and Nolan was venturing on a ferry to spend the weekend with his grandparents, so lunch was a few turkey slices, some carrot sticks, a few hazelnuts.  We were starved by 4:00, so we stopped for late sashimi in Horseshoe Bay.

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi

One of the foods I’ve really missed on this diet is sushi: spicy scallop rolls, avocado rolls drenched in soy sauce and smeared with nose-tingly wasabi.  Corey has replaced sushi with sashimi (hold the soy sauce) – and I keep trying but I just can’t like it.  I don’t get the point of raw fish without soy sauce, and it’s always an effort to choke it back. I keep hoping I’ll enjoy it but so far, I need my fish at least a little cooked.

Corey brought snacks for the drive up to Whistler: raw carrots, apples, a grapefruit and a banana.  Not going to lie: I miss you, roadtrip Doritos.

We checked in to our room and explored a bit, then sat down at the White Spot across from our hotel and proceeded to inspect the menu for something legal.  I ended up ordering a BC burger with no bun and no Special O sauce and no fries, salad instead, no dressing please.  Corey ordered a chicken salad with no dressing and didn’t eat his side of pita bread.  Our server looked at us like we were insane and we kind of are.  Admission: eating Paleo in restaurants is a bit of a bitch.

But I can’t complain, because, snowboarding + hot tubs + languid naps plus the general awesomeness of Whistler, you know?

(Not Whistler, Horseshoe Bay where we the three of us hung out before Corey and I climbed the Sea to Sky.  We’re so lucky to live here, you know?)