Cooking and Eating Paleo

February 11, 2015 4 By Michael

 

A good Paleo diet should start with fresh veggies. I grew these tomatoes, green bell peppers and cayenne peppers in the garden out back. They were harvested in time to begin eating the Paleo way.

A good Paleo diet should start with fresh veggies. I grew these tomatoes, green bell peppers and cayenne peppers in the garden out back. They were harvested in time to begin eating the Paleo way.

Since Labor Day 2014, I have been cooking and eating Paleo. I’ve always being a healthy eater, but after a hearty breakfast up at the ranch during our Labor Day getaway, my wife asked if I would join her in cooking and eating the Paleo way. I had just eaten more than my share of biscuits with homemade jelly and a big bowl of grits. Needless to say, while enjoying my breakfast, I was unaware that within hours I would be asked to give up this delectable fare.

It seemed she had picked up a book, The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson, from the bookstore while I was on a trip to San Francisco the month before our discussion. I read the first fifty pages. I was sold on the health benefits of eating like my ancestors ate back in the day when the men hunted for wild game and the women gathered nuts, edible plants and berries for supper.

Sisson postulates that humans should eat “nutritious, satisfying ‘Primal’ foods (meats, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds) to regulate energy, accelerate fat burning, and improve immune and hormone function.”

After one month eating Paleo Cyn Harvey is confident enough to show off her curves.

After one month eating Paleo Cyn Harvey is confident enough to show off her curves.

When I came upon the passage where Sisson states that Paleo women were very physically attractive, I was all for joining my wife on this venture. She is a very beautiful woman, but an immune disorder, which struck unannounced around the turn of the century, caused her to gain a little extra weigh, that blurred the lines of her naturally curvaceous body.

I have not eaten meat or fowl since I was seventeen years old. I eat eggs and fish sparingly, and load up on the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

So finding foods on Sisson’s list to eat did not present any particular problem. What did present a problem are the items not on the list.

Since giving up meat in 1969, I have relied upon pasta, rice, potatoes, beans and corn to give me that bulky-full feeling one gets after eating a good meal. However, Paleo man did not eat carbohydrates. He got his energy from eating protein.

My two favorite snack foods, popcorn and peanut butter, were out. Why peanut butter, you ask? Isn’t it a nut? Nope, peanuts are legumes and beans are off limits.

Vegetable fried Quinoa with Grilled Salmon and Tomato slices.

Vegetable fried Quinoa with Grilled Salmon and Tomato slices with a glass of Apple Cider

Then I discovered quinoa as the perfect substitute for pasta, rice, or potatoes. Quinoa is a seed. When it is boiled, it forms a substance that looks a lot like rice.  I have found that if you season it with cumin or turmeric, or both it delights the palate. Sometimes I serve it as you would serve rice, with grilled salmon and broccoli, or a vegetable medley that includes carrots, onions and cauliflower.

Spaghetti Squash topped with butter and parmesan cheese, with crab cakes. The Crab Cakes can be substituted for beef or poultry.

Spaghetti Squash topped with butter and parmesan cheese, with crab cakes. The Crab Cakes can be substituted for beef or poultry.

I have found that a spaghetti squash offers the pasta lover in me an alternative. I have prepared it several ways. Occasionally, I will simply serve the spaghetti squash with a butter sauce, grilled salmon along with a green or orange veggie. At other times, I like to mix in a spaghetti sauce and serve it as you would regular spaghetti. Obviously, the meat lovers can add ground beef to this dish. In fact beef or fowl can be added to any of the Paleo meals. I usually prepare my meals without any meat or fish, but on occasion will add salmon, or cod or lobster.

Cod fried in pecan meal,sauteed mustard greens and beets from the garden out back.

Cod fried in pecan meal,sauteed mustard greens and beets from the garden out back.

We just completed our fifth month cooking and eating the Paleo way. I have lost twelve pounds and Cyn has lost eleven. And just like Sisson said, her curves have come back. The only problem is so has her speed and agility, which makes it harder to catch up with her, if you know what I mean.

 

Harold Michael Harvey, JD, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com