Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Food From the Weekend: and Thoughts on Primal Eating

What a week! I worked a half day on the Fourth of July, yes, I know, how unpatriotic of my company. I think they are British if that helps justify it. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled. But I still managed to squeeze in some beach time and pizza.

{Beach Time!}

Simmzy's pizza
{Pizza at Simmzy's}

Luckily I got to celebrate the holiday the weekend before the 4th with a group trip to Lake Havasu. We had a lot of fun!

{The Girls at the Pool}

Back at home, this past weekend went by too fast and I had too much to do, but still we managed to squeeze in some fun. And by "fun" I mean "food."

Fish Camp Tuna Tartare
{Ahi Tartare at Fish Camp}

Beachwood Brewing

Beachwood Brewing
{Beachwood Brewing 1 year Celebration!}

Beachwood Brewing
{Beer Battered Fried Smoked Cheddar. Yes.}

Beachwood BBQ Ribs
{Don't worry, Adam and I split this}

Saturday evening we rode our bikes to Beachwood Brewing in Downtown Long Beach, about 4 miles from our house. It was a nice ride, mainly on the beach bike path. I was looking for a leisurely ride up the coast, but Adam apparently was in the mood for exercise. So I arrived all sweaty. Or should I say "glistening." (It's more lady like.) We chowed down on a fried cheese specialty appetizer made for the restaurant's first anniversary celebration. And we split a baby back rib and pulled pork plate. We could barely finish it. Oh, we also drank a few beers. Some damn good ones. Don't worry we held it together enough to ride safely home. Thank goodness for bike lights and beach paths. 

{Sunday Night Steak Dinner}

Ok, so I've mentioned before that Adam and I started CrossFit and that we love it. The one thing I was skeptical about when before we started was the "crazy" diet those crossfitters follow - eating Paleo. I kept telling Adam - I'm not going to do that Paleo thing. But while I fought it, he embraced it the second I described it as "eating like a caveman." Even before we started CrossFit, Adam switched his lunch regimen from turkey sandwiches and crackers to grilled chicken with raw zucchini, carrots, and hummus. And I didn't even have to convince him to do so! It was all him; and undoubtedly my influence over the last 2 1/2 years. Go Adam! Go Me! I've always been a big fan of focusing on eating REAL food. Lots of fruits and veggies and healthy protein. My Two Week Challenge attests to that. So I'm not sure why I was fighting Paleo or Primal Eating. After all, the core concept of it is to eat unprocessed food that our hunter gatherer ancestors consumed. I think I was having trouble swallowing the "don't eat dairy, beans, and legumes" portion of the Paleo beliefs. Those seem like REAL foods to me. Plus, I need my cheese! 

But after cutting out grains, most legumes, most dairy, sugar, processed foods, and sticking to mainly meat, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, I believe I can say I finally am on board with eating Paleo. I say mainly because obviously by my food photos you can tell I'm not 100% strict and because we still eat hummus, some cheese (although we have significantly reduced the amount), and I still enjoy greek yogurt every now and again. Weekends and holidays are hard because that is when we tend to go a little crazy, unfortunately our bodies can tell the difference so we try to keep it at a minimum. But I also believe food is meant to be enjoyed so if I want some pizza on 4th of July, that's ok. And if I want creamed corn and fried cheese sticks with my ribs, heck, I'm gonna have it. Ultimately it's all about moderation. But during the weeks I try to focus on eating clean and healthy. Eating clean and healthy used to mean eating brown rice and whole grains with my meat and veggies. And don't get me wrong, I'm not going to say that brown rice, quinoa, whole grains, and the like aren't healthy; I'm just going to say that since cutting them out of my diet I have felt a heck of a lot better. Yes, I still crave pasta, pizza, and a grilled cheese, but for the most part I don't feel like I need them. I've seen the results of not eating grains in my energy levels, my performance at CrossFit, and in my body. I no longer have these surges of feeling super full and then suddenly being starving and in a bad mood when I can't get food in my body fast enough. I also feel fuller longer, which is something I throughly enjoy since I used to almost always feel hungry. I'm especially happy that Adam is cutting all the processed crap out of his diet. I've never been big on snack food so I don't consume a lot of processed items, but I felt like sometimes Adam lived on them. It's nice to see how we have made this lifestyle change work for the both of us and overall we are both very happy with the results. 

And yes, we do "cheat" often. But we always try to "reset" ourselves on Sunday night with a nice steak dinner at home with lots of meat and veggies. Next on our agenda is switching to grass-fed beef! Rachel from Heart of Light has a great post about choosing grass-fed beef

Thanks for listening to my little rant. What are your thoughts on Paleo / primal eating?

Peace, love, health, and happiness!