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).