When people find out what I don’t eat they usually laugh and say something like “what the heck do you eat”….
This is totally not how I look at my lifestyle, I look at the abundance of whole foods that I enjoy eating and that make me feel fantastic. Grains of all kinds give me massive migraines and puts my digestive system into major distress (oh yeah and makes my scalp bleed, yikes), dairy gives me tension headaches and affects my skin, sugar makes me feel hungover, highly processed and refined vegetables oils make me feel sluggish and just plain gross. Eggs in large doses also don’t make we feel great so I try and keep those to a minimum. I also avoid caffeinated coffee for the most part just because it works for me.
The common thread to everything I just said is that I eat what works for me!! There are some foods we should all avoid because of the way they affect our bodies, check out some resources and more info in the nutrition section. But otherwise eating is about becoming tuned into your body, and listening to how you feel after eating something. If you feel like crap the simple answer is don’t eat that thing. (The more complicated answer is maybe you have leaky gut and that one particular food is seen as a foreign invader by your body and so an immune response is triggered every time you eat that food, even if its a healthful food. So maybe you need to avoid a certain food for some time while you heal your gut and then you can eat it again.) But anyway since I get asked so often what the heck I eat I want to explain how I go about building a paleo plate.
I usually meal prep on Sundays which makes putting together a week night meal real simple. I promise to document this weeks meal prep and put a post together.
I start with pulling out the protein I want. Last night it was salmon cakes. One of my favourite and also a super cost effective ways to eat salmon. Fresh wild salmon is $$$ – but this oily cold water fish is oh so good for you – so I often buy canned wild salmon. The brands I like are Wild Planet and RainCoast. Salmon cakes are super easy, and you can tweak the spice profile depending on your mood.
Basic Salmon Cakes
- 2 cans wild salmon
- 1 egg
- 1 tblsp coconut flour or arrowroot starch
- 1 small onion, chopped
- salt/pepper to taste
- green onion
- 1 tsp paleo mayo
- canned pumpkin (sounds weird but is amazing and about 1/4 cup can replace the eggs if you are AIP)
- chipotle powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- really whatever spice your heart desires. My fav combos come from the Primal Palate spice blends (meat n’ potatoes and BBQ)
Mix together in a bowl, form into balls, flatten, and fry in your fav cooking fat, mine is duck fat.
Okay so back to putting together my dinner, I put some duck fat in a pan and put my protein in to heat up and re-crisp up. The trick to making re-heated food amazing is fat, lots of fat, and by frying or baking it NOT microwaving. I then pull out the veggies I want from my fridge. Last night is was roasted brussel sprouts (roasted in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 mins on a stoneware baking sheet, with 1 tblsp melted duck fat poured over top and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and granulated onion). I added these to the pan with the salmon cakes to reheat. Then I pulled out some leftover roasted sweet potato and cut into slices. I decided to get crazy and heated 2 pieces of chopped bacon in a separate frying pan – once crispy I added the leftover sweet potatoes and cooked those.
While everything was cooking I put a cup of baby greens in the bottom of my bowl – when the sweet potato and bacon was done I put that on top of the greens and voila wilted baby greens. Everything else went in the bowl and got topped with some kraut. I friggen love sauerkraut. And DONE. Weeknight dinner put together in 10 mins. I know I cheated by having the components cooked already – but I would highly recommend that to everyone. Meal prep gives me the chance to enjoy my evenings and not feel like I am rushing around trying to make dinner. It also means less weeknight dishes!!!!! Which in itself make it totally worth it.
So to put together your own paleo plate you need: fat, protein, lots and lots of veggies (I try and include some leafy greens of some kind in most meals), and if you want/ are active/ are a woman a little bit of starchy veggies (like sweet potato, winter squash, beets, carrots, plantains). And I highly recommend using kraut as a kind of condiment to add an extra dimension to your meals. See look at all that food I can and LOVE eating.