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Some meal photos and recipes

February 9, 2012

So in my mind, I had taken photos of lots of meals to show off how my paleo food looked. Turns out I only took photos of a few meals. Funny how that happens. But I can still share some of my favorite meals and recipes, even if I don’t have photos of them all. But first, I just had my body fat measured over the weekend (with BIA analysis): 10.4% body fat. Yay! It’s just too bad I don’t know what my body fat was before I started paleo. I’m sure it was higher, but it would be nice to know how much I dropped. I want to be around 8% body fat for the Ironman, but 10% is plenty low for now. No reason to force myself lower at this point in the season! The body fat measurement was part of a competition at our gym to lose the highest percent body fat in 8 weeks. Before my coach told me what my body fat readout was, she said “you’re not going to win Jeff.”

So now, first the photos I do have. Then some other favorite meals and recipes.

Green curry with tofu and baby eggplant. Yum! One of my new favorite recipes (I’d love this even if I wasn’t eating paleo, and the recipe calls for protein of your choice). See the recipe here: http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/04/20/red-or-green-thai-curry/ Relatively easy to make too. I made it with regular basil and lime, but I’m sure it would have been better with Thai basil and lime. And using the coconut milk is not as intimidating as this recipe makes it seem — and what flavor! This is easy to make a big batch of, and then store and reheat later, or scoop into tupperware for lunch on the go.

One of the countless salads I made. They pretty much have become a diet staple. I think this particular one has red peppers, walnuts, raisins, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and olive oil and balsamic. I’ve taken to buying hearts of Romaine in bundles of three or six. It lasts a couple weeks in the fridge. And then throw in whatever else I have around: avocado, hard-boiled egg, raisins, apples, carrots, cucumber, celery, sesame seeds, other miscellaneous veggies. I try to always include some fat and protein sources, but also plenty of veggies.

Not as exciting, but tasted better than it looks. Sauted kale with black beans and cheese on the side. I love fresh kale sauted in oil with just a little kosher salt on it.

Avocado deviled eggs. Amazing! And so easy to make. Take half an avocado and two hard-boiled eggs. Slice eggs in half, put yolks in a bowl with the avocado, add salt, pepper, and hot sauce, mash up, and scoop back into the eggs. Tasty! And would make a great party appetizer.

And my last photo, post-workout rehydration. Water with half a lime and just a tiny bit of honey (like 1/2 teaspoon or less). And in the background of this photo, you can also see an apple and almond butter (the kind made from just roasted almonds). Yum! Paleo-approved dessert! Honestly, by now, after over a month with no processed sugar of any kind, apples and raw almond butter taste pretty sweet.

And then here’s some other favorite meals and recipes:

Squash soup. This was a huge time saver. Make a big pot on Sunday, use it during the week. There are various recipes out there, but I kind of wing it every time. My basic recipe: 1 onion, a few cloves garlic, 2-3 sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, 1-2 granny smith apples, bay leaf, squash. I rough chop the veggies (I blend it all later, so I don’t worry about fine chopping), melt butter over medium-high heat in my soup pot, add the onion and garlic, and saute for a few minutes along with some kosher salt. Then add the sweet potato, carrot, celery, and any other veggies I want. Stir around heating for a few more minutes. Then add water, apple if I’m using it, a bay leaf, and any other seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Meanwhile, I have the squash (I typically use butternut or acorn) baking in the oven. Once the squash is soft, remove, and scoop squash flesh into the soup. I probably scoop the squash in about halfway through simmer. Somewhere around 30-40 minutes of simmering, I turn the heat off, let it cool, then blend in small batches. I use pulse mode so that I can leave small chunks of veggies, instead of a completely smooth soup. (Remember to take the bay leaf out before blending!) Finally, add other seasoning. I normally add a cup or two of plain greek yogurt, but last time I made it I used coconut milk, which was also really good. Both add flavor and texture. For a sweeter soup, I season with cinnamon, ginger, maybe some allspice. For a spicier soup (normally without the apple), I add cumin, ginger, and curry. But I always play with the seasonings, adding whatever looks good.

Another big time saver was making large pots of beans (not technically paleo of course). Making beans from scratch doesn’t require a lot of active prep time, but does require some planning ahead. But once the beans are ready, it’s so much easier to add just a handful to a salad, or stir them into another dish then when they come from a can. I would leave big tupperware containers of beans in the fridge to add into whatever I was cooking during the week.

Another favorite was scrambled eggs with whatever veggies I had lying around. I probably was eating 2-3 eggs a day. I used to always add a dash of milk to my eggs when I scrambled them. I found that coconut milk is also great to add to eggs like that. My go-to breakfast was plain greek yogurt (full-fat) with almond butter, cinnamon, and a couple tablespoons milled flax seed stirred in, topped with walnuts and raisins or banana. Not technically paleo, but fairly close, and so tasty and filling. Another quick tasty treat is a microwaved sweet potato: wash, put on a plate, microwave several minutes till soft, enjoy. I typically sprinkled it with cinnamon and sometimes added greek yogurt.

Finally, paleo dessert! Freeze a couple bananas (remove the skin first!). After a couple hours, take them out, put in a food processor, add a dash of cinnamon if you want, and process a few minutes until smooth. Taste and consistency is actually pretty close to frozen yogurt. Honestly, I think it tastes better than banana frozen yogurt. And I guess in a testament to how little sugar I eat now, I think this is pretty sweet too!

283 days till Ironman Arizona.

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From → diet

3 Comments
  1. Yum…that all looks so good. Just looking at the photos is making me hungry 🙂

  2. I’ve been doing A LOT of reading about Paleo and Primal diets lately and have dramatically lowered the grains and refined sugars we consume. It made coming back and rereading these paleo posts of yours rather interesting. What did you keep from your experiment and what did you give up?

    • Jeff Kosbie permalink

      I’ve pretty much stuck with how things were in February or March, after I had reintroduced some grains. Normally I have 2 or 3 servings of grains a day (reasonable servings, not huge plates), and mostly only oatmeal, rice, and quinoa. I have probably 3 servings of fruit a day. And still having greek yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and half and half in my coffee, but no milk to drink. Also still lots of beans, along with nuts, eggs (probably a dozen a week), tofu, and vegetables. And fats (coconut oil, coconut milk, flax seed, nuts, avocado, olive oil).

      I guess there are two real, but relatively minor changes. One, I don’t worry quite as much about cheat days / meals. I still keep them to a minimum (average less than one a week), but when, for example, I’m eating out with friends, I don’t worry as much. I just do my best based on where I am and what’s available. So if I’m at an Italian restaurant, I might try to fill up on the salad, skip the breadsticks, and get eggplant parmesan but only eat some of the pasta. Or if I’m at dinner with my husband and his family, I’ll probably have some dessert, but try to limit it. The other change is now that I’m doing more long endurance workouts (1+ hours), I don’t count grains and fruit right after a workout against my daily targets. Immediately after a long workout like that, the body needs to refuel. I try to get a lot of protein along with the carbs, but carbs are okay right then because the body processes them different from usual (and during a long endurance workout, the body needs simple sugar, the only time that’s true).

      When I cheat for one or two meals, I don’t notice much difference in my energy or how I feel. But over the weekend I spent four days with my husband’s family in San Diego. I still did my best on diet, but there was a lot more fruit and grains and less protein than normal. And by the end my energy levels felt off and my GI tract was not too happy with me. After being home a few days and being really careful about limiting my grains, I’m feeling back to usual!

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