21 January, 2010

Paleolithic Solution from Robb Wolf

I spent an hour the other day listening to Robb Wolf's podcast, here

Ideally when I listen to podcasts, read articles/books, watch lectures I would like to take notes. Well, since I am officially unemployed! this time I was able to multi-task and jot down some highlights.

I tried to clean them up best I could but I apologize if the stream-of-consciencesness get a bit tiresome to decipher ;)

#1 Topic: Paleo nutrition counter arguments:
There is a
paper on common counter arguments to Paleo diets on Cordain's website

For example:

One Argument: cavemen didn't live long enough to get disease. This is not true; there have been numerous research projects done on older hunter gather populations that showed: at 100years of age no cancer, diabetes, heart disease in hunter gatherer groups

Second Argument: is this a high protein diet which may bring on kidney disease, renal failure? A kidney problem/renal issue must be preexisting. If there is not a preexisting problem then this diet might even improve kidney function (performance menu: Protein Debate)

Third Argument: Asian diets are famous for being healthy, lean diets and they eat rice. Actually, if you compare the Japanese to the Okinawan people, who get more protein, yam and sweet potatoes, but less rice, the Okinawan people are 6-8 inches taller, live longer.

#2 Topic: Cortisol
Can you reduce Cortisol with diet? excess to get rid of gut...protein, veggies, fats with yam/sweet potatoes PWO (not fructose into liver but glucose into blood) consistent eating, sleep, over training, control stress levels, gram of vitamin C will help

#3 Topic: Fasting/ Hemp Hearts
As far as fasting is concerned, the most you should fast is about 16-17 hour
whey powder substitute (its fine PWO) because it enhances recovery, however the growth hormone hemp is not good for that.
"Hemp Hearts turn Andy Deas into Super Mario"

#4 Topic: Workout intensity suffering/ Game Day Eating
PWO nutrition? carbs? may be really really important for some people
Rest? Take a back off week? never periodizing (which means tapering off, ramping up changing up your workload periodicaly), bad.
Calorie intake? Are ou getting enough calories?
Pre-workout nutrition depends on the WOD: strength: protein only/ metabolic: digestion depending-orange, 2 oz turkey? maybe need to be a little hungry? its all about the stomach digestion...very variation. (note: no fat)

#5 Topic: LDL
What matters for your overall cholesterol risk? particle size or particle count? Particle size matters. The smaller and denser particles are the worst LDL particles (found in dieters of high carbs)

What do the high profile researchers say?
Dr. Cordain: global cardiovascular approach is the size is the problem (bigger fluffier the better so that they break down and aren't small and dense, bad)
decrease in triglycerides, good

Dr. Eades: can have a low count but if that low count is made up of small dense and are highly oxidizable, oxidized molecules are more easily retained by the proteoglycan, clogging arteries
cardiovascular risk factor is lowered

Dr. Gary Taubes
carbs main cause of fat gain
low carbs but caloric restriction still not hungry (what kind of calories matter)

#6 Topic: Coconut
fat source? cordain just posted on coconut doesn't produce insulin resistance
olive oil wasn't used a lot in paleolithic times (like coconut) but its great for you

#7 Topic: Endurance athlete nutrition
high fat leading up to your race, then during your race eat high carb...no gels (acid forming, need too much water, might want to try: cytomax? (lactate buffer, fructose to fill up liver glycogen) the whey protein is legit, or try: pemican (coconut, dried fruit, ??)...amount of fat needed during a race is less, protein is needed when the branch chain amino acids (protein) start to get eaten for fuel when carbs are gone...protein/carb combo (BMack: pizza, cheesecake- starchy carbs and calories) but you must keep this abnormal food in your system a little bit so that its not a shock
staying below your lactate threshold, gastric emptying is usually not a problem...and the blood might be taken away from your digestion and not let you digest.

#8 Topic: Paleo pregnancy
Would it be OK to stay paleo during a pregnancy? YES. Baby turns out healthier, mom performs better, less autoimmune issues, more nutrients, need protein (might not want to eat it), fish oil

#9 Topic: metabolic typing
Makes no sense, voodoo

#10 Topic: paleo diet vs. paleo diet for athletes
zone: quantity for macronutrients
paleo zone: best quality and 40-30-30
paleo athlete zone: increase in fat, increase calories to long term sustainable, sub zone level of dietary carbs operate better
unweighed, unmeasured

Why You Got Fat

18 January, 2010

Cavemen in the Limelight

I'm sure that, by now, everyone has read the recent articles published in the New York Times and Washington Post. But just in case, I wanted to provide the two links here on the blog.

The Washington Post article came out the first of the year and the NY Times article followed 10 days later.

13 January, 2010

Low Carb...NO CARB?

I'm always tweaking my diet and have, for the past couple weeks, mostly eating vegetables for my carbohydrates (little to no fruit) and been feeling great.

Until Sunday when I got that flu bug...so I thought I would reevaluate and go back to eating about 1-2 pieces of fruit a day. Grapefruits are super tasty this time of year as are oranges. Now with eating paleo I have to do a lot of chopping, prep and shopping if I am going to get enough carbs from veggies. But how much does one really need? Todays posting on Mark's Daily Apple was very timely so if you get a second and are curious about carb intake (like I am) take a look-see at the following link(s).

Tonight I made wild sea scallops on angel hair pasta, just kidding it was spaghetti squash but we pretended. The picture just didn't look right and the meal was very self explanatory so no more details to follow...just check out the links from Mark's Daily Apple on carb consumption

12 January, 2010

Carrot, Leek, Turnip Sautee

Sandy, dirty leeks are such a pain but I feel like some sort of giant dealing with green onions when cutting them... so thats pretty cool ;)

I did find a easy way to clean them so if you are brave enough to try this recipe, clean your leeks like this:
  1. cut the root off and the last 4-5 inches (down until the rough green turns into the lighter green on the stalk)
  2. slice into 1/2 inch rings
  3. spread all the inset pieces out like a telescope
  4. dip and rustle around in a bowl of water until all pieces are washed in the bowl
  5. let the sand/dirt settle to the bottom of the bowl
  6. take out all the leek pieces and put them in a colander to rinse once more.
Ok, your leeks are ready for business.
Here is the recipe:

3 leeks, 1/2 inch rings
6 carrots 1/4 inch slices on the bias
2 turnips, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
3 shallots (minced)
2 TBS of coconut oil
1/2 tsp caraway seed
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet for a couple minutes on medium
Throw all the veggies in and cook them covered for 1 minute add sea salt and pepper to taste
Cover and cook on medium low for 5 minutes stirring occasionally
Uncover and continue to cook for 25 minutes until veggies are softer--during this time add your spices (caraway is what is used in rye bread so if you don't like that taste beware)
Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 more mintues

11 January, 2010

"Creatively" Stuffed Peppers

Do I have your attention?

I went to Giant today to pick up a few things that we couldn't get at Costco on Sunday (garlic, eggs (they were out of the good ones), leeks, and cauliflower...) and I found myself digging in the meat section.

I found OSTRICH. So good for you and I love changing it up with meat choices.

So tonight I wanted to use some of the peppers we bought at Costco and my new ostrich meat.

one head of organic cauliflower (giant grocery store)
8 oz ostrich (cut into tiny pieces) or just buy ground ostrich
3 TBS sundried tomatoes chopped really finely
1 TBS organic tomato paste
1 TBS lemon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
10 olives ( i used green olives stuffed with garlic that I got from costco)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of pinenuts

In a mixing bowl mash all the ingredients except for the pinenuts, cauliflower and ostrich so that its like a sort of paste then use that paste to cook up the ostrich.

throw the pinenuts in a skillet and roast them on medium (they will start to smell kind of like popcorn but be careful they don't burn) set aside

then cut the leafy stem off then dig out the core a little bit and start breaking off the cauliflower into little pieces. With 1/4 cup of olive oil (i used the rest of our almond oil) and sea salt and pepper toss the cauliflower to get it lightly coated with the oil before putting it on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. set aside.

Once you have the pinenuts toasted, the cauliflower roasted and the ostrich+tomato/olive paste sauteed you can chop up the pinenuts and cauliflower (I only used about 2/3 of the cauliflower actually) and throw it in with the meat mixture. This is the filling for your peppers.

Then cut the tops of your peppers off (like you would to carve a pumpkin and save the tops). Hollowed the peppers out (I used orange peppers). Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture and place in a crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

I think I got all the steps...Enjoy!

10 January, 2010


Great, great job everyone! I know how hard it is to make this work with our busy schedules, limited $$$, and huge appetites (we won't mention anything about hurdles in the creativity department ;) )

Since we are embarking on Week Numero Dos, I wanted to post another primer on this crazy Paleo thing just to keep the motivation and stuff rolling along.

I have some people emailing me outside of this blog forum so, remember if you have a specific question don't be afraid to ask : paleomac@gmail.com

Ready for your Second Week on the path to a new healthy, quicker, happier you??!!

Chicken MacNuggets

Get it, MacNuggets? Ok, maybe a tad cheesy, or not cheesy bc this is paleo but a little silly. ok, i'll stop and get on with posting another convenient recipe for a hassle-free week of leftovers.

(1.5 lbs?) 6 chicken breasts, sliced in half to make them thinner and then sliced again into strips
(2 cups?) enough almond meal to coat the chicken pieces. You my need more or less depending on the thickness of your "breading".
(2?) enough egg to dip your chicken in and have the almond meal stick.
spices: italian seasonings like parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, tarragon, etc.
garlic powder/onion powder
sea salt and pepper

optional variations:
1. hot sauce in the egg goop for a little bit of a kick
2. use homemade mayonnaise instead of plain old eggs for the pre almond dip. very tasty.

Preheat the oven to 375
Tin foil wrap your cookie sheets for easy clean up (and you may have leftovers and can reuse the tin foil when you freeze these suckers.
Smear coconut oil or olive oil on the tin foiled cookie sheets so that the chicken strip's almond coating won't get pulled off after they are done. The tin foil does need the "breading" you do!
Pat dry your chicken strips so that the egg/almond will stick the best
Mix almond meal with your seasonings
Dip chicken in egg (or now would be the time to dip in mayo if you are going that route) then almond meal (you can put the almond meal in a large ziploc bag and drop a bunch of the egg dipped strips in at one time to minimize on mess).
Line 'em up on the cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes

We made about 8 chicken breasts for our five nieces and nephews over Thanksgiving (actually I had nothing to do with it!) and had to turn them away empty handed when they gobbled them all up! They were a hit and super easy.

**Dipping sauces** are not paleo but we can make them
Beware, Honey mustard, in extreme moderation!!
(substitute olive oil or some other oil for corn oil in the recipe link above


09 January, 2010

Mini Meatloaves

Ground beef is cheap and there are always bits of random veggies to use up in the fridge. Meatloaf freezes really well. This recipe makes bite-sized meatloaves, great for leftovers. Make a couple dozen at a time on a Sunday afternoon! Ok, no more attempts at convincing, just try 'em, they're really easy.

2 lbs Costco organic ground beef (comes in three square packs)
1/4 red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 TBS sun dried tomatoes, chopped (you can leave this out and just add more tomato paste)
3 TBS organic tomato paste (Trader Joes)
1+ cup almond meal or walnut meal (again, just threw whole nuts in the blender)
3 TBS horseradish
1 TBS worchester sauce
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 green onions (optional)
1 TBS parsley
1 TBS thyme
salt and pepper

optional additions:
red pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Saute starting with the red onion, then add the sun dried tomato, garlic, horseradish, worschester, and any other veggies(green onion, mushrooms, etc.) you want to throw in there.
Mix ground beef with the almond meal, tomato paste and spices (cumin, onion powder, thyme, basil, parsley, etc.)
Mini-muffin tins are what I used because you get about an ounce of meat at the end (like a meatball, perfect for a quick snack). Fill up mini-muffin tin and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes?? Just watch them so they don't get to done and dry out.

You'll end up with a bunch of these suckers so freeze them and use them for protein emergencies. =)

Notice no egg...I ran out and still haven't gotten to the store.

Celiac Disease??

I found this video on the FAQs of Robb Wolf's site. Its a little long and basic but good. Also, take a gander at the FAQs on Robb's site too...a wealth of information.

Beans, beans the magical fruit. The more you eat...


Yuki asked a question about legumes so I thought that I would try and post some links and medical information concerning the issue.

Guess what the first article was about when I googled lectins here (found in legumes)
Hint: Its about food poisoning!

Dr. Loren Cordain answered the question about legumes like this:
Legumes contain saponins (solanine and chaconine) which can't be degraded by digestion or cooking. They can contribut to an increase in intestinal permeability which is associated to many chronic diseases. They are also a source of lectins which are also toxic substances for the intestinal barrier and can adversely stimulate the immune system.

Dr. Mike Eades blog had a couple references that might be helpful too

Dr. Kurt Harris from PaNu responded to a comment on his blog with the following:

Soy is a legume that in my opinion is unfit for human consumption.

Soy contains antinutrients and phytoestrogens that affect thyroid function and you don't need it.

Soy protein is just another industrial artificial food product pushed on us by big Agriculture.

It is no substitute for far superior animal protein.

Fermented soy products (miso, natto, soy sauce) are acceptable as a condiment.

Mark Sisson wrote a posting titled Scrutinizing Soy where he basically comes away undecided about the real harmful effects of soy if eaten in whole qualities vs. processed. He eats edamame from time to time but stays away from soy protein as a general rule...read the post.

No egg Banana Coconut pancakes

    Dreaming about coconut pancakes is a sure sign that you are supposed to wake up and make them. Breakfast this morning:
    Banana Coconut Pancakes
    turkey bacon (these is super bad for you if you ask me but I love it and we have a crap ton of it left over (frozen) from when we had company)
    hard boiled egg (ran out of eggs on Thursday or something hence the banana substitute for the following coconut pancake recipe!)

Protein, Fats, Carbs (PFC): Pancakes are basically all fat with 4 blocks (~35g) of carbs spread throughout from the bananas. I included 4 pieces of turkey bacon (>1P) and 1 hard boiled egg (1P)
PFC=2+P, ?!?!F, 4C (divvy up total depending on number of pancakes)

    2 bananas
    generous 1/2c of almond meal, (or) walnut meal works really well here too( i just pour almonds into my vita-mix and make my own pulverized nut meal)
    1c shredded coconut, unsweetened, unsulphured (I got mine at My Organic Market, MOM. Its over in Arlington by Dairy Godmother, but we don't know anything about that place, do we ;))
    1/2 can coconut milk (Organic Native Forest)
    1/2tsp sea salt (Costco sea salt)
    1/2tsp baking powder
    1/2tsp cinnamon (to taste)
    1/2 tsp pure vanilla, optional (to taste) (Costco)
    1/2 tsp organic coconut extract (found at MOM's)

Ok, guys you are going to have to be gentle, patient and forgiving with these fragile, sticky pancakes. You will be smart to use oil liberally between rounds so that the cakes don't stick to the pan...but don't flip to soon cause then you'll have pieces everywhere and be really annoyed. Guys, think about hamburgers on the grill...you have to wait and only flip once, right?
Without eggs, the cakes are super dense but we liked them like that. Let me know what you think. I'll do them with eggs at some point and post. For now, try these out.

Heat skillet first with coconut oil or almond oil is yummy too (several drips should do it)
Drop batter onto skillet for 4 inch pancakes because they are easier to flip at this size.
Wait 3-4 minutes and then check to see if they are ready to be flipped.


08 January, 2010

Ohhhhh Honey? We've got Questions!!

I guess I shouldn't be this excited for questions ;) but what it means is that I am not totally wasting my time writing posts that disappear into the ether...people are reading!!

I wanted to write a quick post to address Adrienne's comment about honey. Is it Paleo??
Quick answer: Yes. But its sweeter than sugar so only consume in extreme moderation, please read on...

Dr. Eades writes in his book Protein Power about how the ancient Egyptians had "no sugar – it wouldn’t be produced for another thousand or more years. The only sweet was honey, which was consumed in limited amounts."

Dr. Eades also answers a question about honey with this explanation, "there is very little difference metabolically between honey and sugar. I’m sure Paleolithic man enjoyed honey when he could, but getting honey in the wild is not done without peril, so I doubt he made a steady diet of it."

Here are some other link from Dr. Mike Eades about a paleo study in San Francisco:

Don from Primal Wisdom wrote that, "Honey consumed occasionally by hunter-gatherers has less fructose, at about 39%"

Dr. Kurt Harris from Panu points out that, "Eating raw honey is biochemically indistinguishable from equicaloric amounts of sucrose refined from cane sugar or beets or high fructose corn syrup from an archer-daniels-midland tank car. It is absolutely certified historically paleolithic as it is as old as bees and the plants they pollinate. Contemporary HGs eat it every chance they get. That it was devoured with relish by any hominid who could find it historically is as reasonable a an assumption as one could make.

It is also just as metabolically poisonous to eat pounds of raw honey as an equicaloric amount of mountain dew or coke classic. It will have exactly the same effect on your insulin sensitivity, your liver and your weight."

Mark's Daily Apple, in passing, mentions that honey is basically pure sugar. The link is for a page on his blog including great snack recipes!

So the takeaway? Well, honey was "hunted" by cavemen but on a very limited seasonal basis...its extremely high in fructose and when used in baked goods actually should be substituted in less quantities than real sugar (that potent). But when you are making 50 bite-sized brownies who keeps track of trace amounts of honey anyway, right ;)

05 January, 2010

Root Vegetable Pancakes

Ever heard of potato pancakes?
Well, I was craving that texture but with something more flavorful than a dumb white potato (not encouraged on paleo anyway)
potato texture+carrot flavor=PARSNIP

oh and I found this really weird thing called a celery root and had to include it in my creation...this is what happened. BTW, this is a pretty good arm workout from all the grating involved! Kept distracted by watching an episode of LOST from my lastest Netflix delivery.

Root Vegetable Pancakes

1/2 celery root peeled, grated
4 parsnips peeled, grated
1/4 purple onion totally minced to a pulp
1 1/2 cups almond meal (poured a bunch of almonds in my vita-mix and let 'er rip- much cheaper than buying it but the cheapest place is Trader Joes)
4 eggs
2 tsp turmeric (these spices are a tad obscure...add whatever spices you have in your cabinet)
2 tsp ground coriander (see comment above)
1/4 cup hot horseradish
couple squirts of hot sauce and sea salt to taste

Mix everything together
Medium Heat use coconut oil and make pancakes like normal (4inch diameter 1/2 inch thick)
Cook for about 5 minutes each side



Some of you have asked for the recipe for the recent Paleo bribe.

I used a couple different recipes, here and here, but finally this is what I included:

1 (16 oz) jar of almond butter, creamy and toasted (COSTCO sells huge 26ouncers for 5 bucks and some change! A Steal)
2 eggs
1/2 cup date puree (see my previous post to make your own- COSTCO sells great Mehjool dates) If you don't want to use dates use a full cup of honey instead of the 1/4 cup.
1/4 cup raw honey (I got mine at the commissary for you military folks)
1 TBS vanilla (again...COSTCO sells Madagascar Pure Vanilla which rocks)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (any grocery store carries this)
1/2 tsp sea salt (COSTCO also sells a grinder version of this in their spices section for cheap)
1 tsp baking soda


In a large bowl mix ingredients with the cocoa sea salt and baking soda being the last things.
Use coconut oil to grease a 9x13 baking dish
Bake @ 325F for about 20 minutes (I don't know why mine took such a short time to bake-
I thought they would take 30-40 minutes...watch them so they don't burn!)


The Challenge...We need all the help we can get

Hopefully at this point a good amount of you have dove head first and accepted this challenge.
Today is DAY 2 and this is what I would suggest:

1. Take and front view and back view Picture of yourself (set the timer, put the camera on a table...no excuses)

2. Start a Food Log (not to get wrapped around the axle but to make sure that you are getting enough food, namely protein)

3. Sleep (try for 8 hours- I know for the 0600ers its really hard to fit it in but keep on reading and you'll see the importance)

4. Prepare (if you haven't already go grocery shopping tonight, pack a lunch, boil some eggs, slow cook a chicken, cut up some broccoli/cucumbers/red peppers etc.-- get some easy food prepped to grab-and go)

5. Get Excited, whatever your reason, motivate yourself and anticipate the success and benefits of 30 days of discipline!!

Ok, so you took the pictures, started a food log... now go get ready for bed ;)

TIP #1 Sleep: Appetite
Briefly, I wanted to touch on the topic of sleep. Starting this Paleo Challenge we will need all the help we can get and that includes not being artifically hungry throughout the day. Adequate sleep will be one of your best resources for keeping that appetite true.
Below, I included some articles that come from sciency-people (one of whom I am definitely not).
We have to "listen to our bodies" but when sleep deprevation registers our homones and appetite get all thrown out of wack (read articles). I'm not going to speak to the science part but I can shed some light on the subject through...

My Personal Experience:
I had a hard week last week...Filthy Fifty, Fran and 12 days of Crossfit...plus two CrossFit Endurance workouts (tabata and 6x400m). Come Jan 02, I was BEAT...and it was supposed to be a double day. I ended up not able to fit in the workouts (due to my better half returning from Thailand and blustering artic-tundra-like winds) so I rested. What? Rest? Yes, I needed it.

Friday, I got something like 9+ hours of sleep (is that a record?)
and then Saturday, I wasn't planning on it but I slept for 10.5 hours

This is absurd for me. Usually I am trying to fit in between 7-8 hours. When I get those 4 hour nights I can turn off the appetite the next day. I could have done no physical activity and I am ravenous, no fair!

I know some of you are rolling your eyes because this is way more sleep than you can fit in your schedules but its important.
So with this sleep behind me, yesterday I showed up at the 0600 and had one of my better workouts yet.

I attribute it to the sleep and rest!
Read the articles and post comments.
Lets get this show on the road...

EDIT (10 Jan 10) I recently found this posting on Paleo Diet Online and wanted to retroactively include it on this post. The title is Stress, Cortisol, Sleep and Their Effect on Health.

03 January, 2010

Tomorrow it Begins

Tomorrow is the start of our 30 day Paleo Challenge.  If you’re still on the fence at this point, I suggest you jump down off the fence and start Paleo with everyone starting the challenge tomorrow.  It is not just CF Bolling doing a Paleo challenge; there are hundreds of CrossFit affiliates across the country starting Paleo challenges tomorrow, including CF Alexandria.

Before we kick off tomorrow, I want to state something.  Some of you doing this challenge will not lose a ton of weight.  But you will see your body composition change pretty dramatically.  This is not a fad diet that is built to have you shed water weight and make you feel better about your progress.  This is a diet that if you buy into it completely will fundamentally alter the way you look at food and what it does to your body.  I know personally I feel better, I sleep better, and my CrossFit performances have taken huge leaps since I have been on the Paleo diet.  Since I started doing Paleo 4 months ago I have taken a minute off my Fran time.  I know the Paleo diet is not solely responsible for that, I credit Casey and Rudy's programming as well but I do not think it would have made that big of a jump if not for the Paleo Diet.

So tomorrow is the big day, I hope that you have enjoyed the blog so far.  Mac and I have worked hard on getting a lot of information out quickly so everyone can jump on the Paleo bandwagon 4 January.  Yuki will be bringing her scale tomorrow so everyone can have a solid starting point.

P.S.  We are not doing before and after pictures for the challenge, but I encourage everyone participating to take a picture of themselves (men: shorts no shirt. women: shorts, sports bra) tomorrow so you can have a before and after picture.  This is something I wish I would have done.

Paleo Beef Stew

On cold windy days like this, I like to have to have something warm and hearty to eat. I found this recipe for Paleo Beef Stew on the CFSCC Eat This website. I have made it three or four times in the last few months and it never fails to disappoint.

2 lbs. lean stew meat, left in big chunks!
about 3 T olive oil
32 oz. low sodium beef stock
1 -14 oz. can stewed tomatoes, no added salt
1/4 C almond flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 large rutabaga, cut into big chunks
1 large parsnip, cut into large chunks
1 large turnip, big chunks
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 C baby carrots, whole
1 C pearl onions, pealed and left whole (added in the last 1/2 hour of cooking)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

In a plastic bag, combine almond flour and spices. Add stew meat to plastic bag and shake until meat is well coated. Heat about 2 tsp olive oil in pan (I used my favorite cast iron pan). Brown meat in pan... this may take two batches. Add a little more olive oil if needed. When browned, put stew meat in crock pot and add everything else (except pearl onions). I cooked this on high for about 3 hours, then turned in down low for another 2 hours. Add the pearl onion about 1/2 hour before serving. If they are added too soon, they break down too much.

This is total paleo, and 1 C is about a 4 block meal (for those who might be zoneing).