My most recent post was a basic introduction to the Paleo lifestyle in general. In discussing the post, What is Paleo?, with a few of my readers, it was brought to my attention that what people really want to know is precisely what they can and can’t eat. That seems like a simple task, considering I live this lifestyle every day. The trouble with it is that the Paleo “diet” is interpreted differently by most everyone who attempts this way of life. Often the terms Paleo and Primal are used interchangeably (I do it all the time), however some argue that they aren’t technically the same thing. Recent leaders in the Paleo/Primal communities have asserted that the premises are the same and for the most part, should be considered as one approach to living.
Putting all of those issues aside, it is possible to come up with a pretty extensive list of foods that are good for your body, great for your mind, and will keep your tummy full until your next meal. Keep in mind, this list is by no means all-inclusive. It would be impossible to list every food that meets Paleo/Primal guidelines. Use it as a tool to help you when you are walking down the aisles at your local grocery store, or when a craving hits and you are about to make a bad choice, or even when you sit down to plan your meals for the week. The easiest way to stay on track is to ensure that you have the right foods at your fingertips.
*Starchy fruits/vegetables are higher in calories and carbohydrates, so eat them in moderation. **Fruits are high in fructose, a type of sugar. While this is okay on the Paleo plan, they should be consumed in moderation to ensure proper insulin production.
***Check out Mark’s Daily Apple for a great post on the Great Dairy Debate in the Paleo/Primal community. Choose for yourself if you want to include it in your diet.
****Not actually dairy items, but people often like to know what they can use in place of actual dairy.
The weather here in the Pacific Northwest is finally starting to become bearable. After many months of rain and dreary days, we have had some pretty consistent sunshine and 70ºF temperatures. With that comes trips to the market and an abundance of gorgeous produce. When we lived in Southern California, we took readily available produce for granted. I can remember my parents’ friends giving us boxes full of avocados and citrus – we struggled to find a way to eat it all before it went bad. In Seattle, you walk into the grocery store and avocados are $2.50 each! Needless to say, we take advantage of the warmer months and indulge in as many fruits and vegetables as we can find.
Yesterday we scored a half flat of some of the most gorgeous strawberries I have ever seen. A photo doesn’t do them justice, but I tried:
Most people don’t know that the trick to finding the best berries is to look for the smallest of the bunch. The smaller the berry, the more intense the flavor (assuming it was picked ripe). Additionally, you can macerate or roast the fruit to bring out even more robust flavors. I couldn’t think of a better way to devour these gems than to toss them with a sprinkle of coconut palm sugar, roast them off, and use them as a topping for almond flour pancakes.
1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. You’ll need a silpat-lined sheet pan (or line it with parchment).
2. Trim the tops off the strawberries. You can slightly rinse them beforehand, but it’s best to gently wipe them with a damp paper towel to avoid excessive moisture.
3. Cut the berries in half, or quarters if they are larger than a single bite when cut in half.
4. Toss the strawberries with a bit of coconut palm sugar and a dash of salt. The amount of sugar you use will depend on the ripeness and sugar content of the berry. Don’t overdo it – you’ll regret it. Let the natural flavors of the fruit shine.
5. Spread the berries on the silpat and roast for 10 minutes, or until the juices start running and you can smell the berries.
6. Cool to room temperature.
My recipe for almond flour pancakes can be found here. The end result is especially delicious if you throw a few dark chocolate chunks into the batter after you scoop it into the pan. It’s the best way to get away with eating chocolate for breakfast.