Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Now on West Coast Time

Six months ago I moved to California to start a new job. Quite a bit has happened in the interim: I lived in six different places. I got used to hearing people say, "It won't rain again until the fall" (?!) and walking past palm trees without staring.

I wandered out of paleo territory and hoped that living gluten-free would be enough (answer: no). I thought if I added dairy-free to the list that would do the trick (answer: still no). I fell down a bewildering rabbit hole of MSG and learned things about excitotoxins that I can never un-learn, even though I had to personally experience their bizarre effects over and over before I got the hang of things.

I went to a Whole9 day-long nutrition workshop and went the next 30 days living by their rules. I discovered the fabulous benefits of eating red meat and saturated fat, and found three sources for local grass-fed beef less than ten minutes away. I found out getting back on a paleo diet is not always smooth sailing. I read what feels like all 4,000+ questions on the wonderful PaleoHacks.com.

What I didn't do: post here.

It's good to be back!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

the paleo rodeo

What if there were one place you could go to see links to recent posts by paleo bloggers? The Paleo Rodeo, a blog carnival hosted by Modern Paleo, is that place! I'm excited to be participating in it for the first time this week. It's a great way to discover neat new blogs, recipes, and perspectives.

Bonus: At the end of every carnival post, there's a terrific lengthy list of paleo blogs, for your browsing enjoyment!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

gotta break a few eggs

I've had to learn the same lessons over and over in the past few weeks. First, there was You Can't Make the Flu Go Away Faster By Willing It Away. (I tried.) And then there was Grains Are Not Particularly Good for Me and (perhaps the most controversial one) Neither Are Gluten-Free Baked Goods.

When I was battling the flu I wasn't too hungry, but I sure was cranky. Not really in the mood to cook things from scratch. Plus, the thought of some foods I normally liked made me queasy. So between the time that I was coming down with whatever I had, being under the weather, and gradually emerging from the whole thing, I managed to try a variety of interesting food products (even though I knew better!).
     Overall, I've tried two kinds of gluten-free crackers, two kinds of gluten-free chocolate cookies (one grain-free, one not), chocolate-chip cookies made with almond flour (definitely never eating those again), lemon gluten-free muffins (same). Two kinds of coconut-milk ice cream, too, just out of curiosity, and a gluten-free pizza crust. Actually, the pizza crust wasn't bad, and the ginger snaps I got addicted to and decided to stop buying were darn tasty. But everything else - and I say this knowing that some folks might vehemently disagree with me - was not delicious. And all of it - even those tasty little ginger snaps - sparked cravings, which I'm starting to understand is not actually a good sign. The sugar or carbohydrate content was often exceptionally high.  Plus, none of this is paleo! For a reason!

     I've learned a few things through this process:
  • Adapting a primarily paleo diet (minus exceptions above) has changed my palate. I'm much more selective! I think this is because real homemade food tastes so incredibly good. So if something doesn't taste good, I'm less likely to mindlessly eat it anyway.
  • Just because it works for someone else doesn't mean it works for me. I absolutely love the gluten-free baking websites I've visited. They are beautiful, warm, and welcoming. The photography is often gorgeous. I have a beautiful book about gluten-free baking. The authors of these sites and books look vibrant and healthy in their pictures. Clearly, eating gluten-free baked goods agrees with them. But these foods don't leave me feeling as good as the other foods I eat. For me, if I can't have the wheat-filled original, I'd rather skip it altogether.
  • The best gluten-free food (for me) is the kind that's not labeled gluten-free, because you can't print words on an apple. (Okay, technically you could. Like on a sticker. Or with a stencil. But you know what I mean!)
So I'm going to keep buying local eggs two cartons at a time (omelets are a staple these days). Going to keep Hagen Dazs Five vanilla ice cream on the short list for splurges (so good!). Going to finish the ground grass-fed beef I cooked up with a homemade spice mix tonight.
     And I'm probably going to keep trying gluten-free products, because it's hard to shake a habit of wanting to find the exception to the rule! But I think I'm starting to learn how this works for me: Every time I make a mistake and experience the consequences that result, I understand all of this a little better.