Like most people I have thrown a lot of money at supplements – mostly thrown away that money since I either failed to take them reliably or the supplement was probably useless. Very few supplements have any actual science to back up their efficacy, which is something my doctor pointed out the last time I saw her. I decided that it would be wiser to pare it down to the bare minimum, and now I’m taking:
- Standard Process Catayln (whole-food multi with adrenals)
- Metagenics DHA/EPA
- Metagenics Vitamin D
- Scivation Xtend (electrolyte with BCAA’s)
Recently, however, I read Eat The Yolks! by Liz Wolfe and was reminded that supplements are a very recent industrial phenomenon which are absolutely unnecessary if you’re eating fresh, whole, REAL food. Which I do, mostly, but I realized that if I just put a little more effort into eating better I would be able to cut out the pricey supplements while getting even more nutrients and being healthier.
So my new food goals are, in no particular order…
- Eat more organ meats. I’m going to try to sneak it into some bean-less chili or maybe a hash. I love liver but the thought of eating a big hunk of it is intimidating.
- Eat dark, leafy greens. This is hard because I find things like kale to be unpleasantly fibrous and bitter. I need to try chard and collard greens instead, or maybe find a way to cook kale that isn’t gross.
- Go fishing. I live in WA State, so wild-caught salmon is kind of a thing around here. Clearly I need to get in on this.
- Learn to hunt wild game. Obviously this is quite an undertaking since I’ve never gone hunting in my life (but in college I did work in the campus slaughterhouse). However, I have always wanted to learn archery, even before Katniss Everdeen, and there’s nothing more caveman than killing your own food.
- Make my own nut milk. I’m allergic to dairy and I hear that homemade nut milk is more delicious ( and probably more nutritious) than store-bought, so I need to get into this.
- Eat (and make) fermented foods. While bad for your teeth, they are good for your gut. And I grew up on sauerkraut.
- Eat Brazil nuts. They have a lot of selenium, apparently.
- Eat homemade broth every day. It’s good for your gut and hair; I just need to start adding salt so that it actually tastes good by itself.
- Use real salt. Not the stuff that has been stripped of all its minerals.
- Sign up for a CSA and (at least attempt) to grow my own plants. Duh, they will taste better and have more antioxidants. Plus I’ll be supporting local farmers.
- Buy grassfed meat, bones, and offal from local farmers. Better taste, better for me, more nutrition, and supporting local business. WIN.
- Use raw honey as a sweetener. No more fake stuff, even though that means I’m adding a few more carbs and calories to my daily cup of coffee.
- Use cold-pressed oils.
- Eat oily fish. Instead of fish oil pills I can eat the fish itself and get even more synergistic nutrients out of it.
- Consume cod liver oil. It’s a good source of fat soluble vitamins, and chances are I won’t eat enough fish. It’s expensive!
It’s not only that I want to be healthier. Everything we do these days makes a statement to companies about what we want to spend our money on, and they listen. They want our money! So if I spend my money on local, sustainably grown, organic/naturally raised food it makes an economic statement that, with enough time and people, will lead to industry change. Sure, it’s more convenient to go to Costco or the local grocery store and buy produce year-round than to pick up what’s in season at the weekly farmer’s market and come up with something. It’s probably also cheaper in some cases. But being lazy or taking the easy way out isn’t going to lead to a healthy body or a healthy economy. Maybe it seems naïve but if the only way to make change is to choose how I spend my money, I need to spend it in ways that support my core values.
- Authority Nutrition: Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition
- Jenny Labaw: Performance Nutrition
- Inspired Taste: How to Make the Best Mimosa
- Balanced Bites: The Dish On Sugar & Sweeteners
- Lifehacker: Make Sure You’re Getting All Your Essential Vitamins From Food With This Reference Guide
I’m always jealous of people who can eat eggs. I could eat eggs, too, up until about 2008. Then I developed food allergies and could no longer consume eggs or dairy. Well, I could and did but I really paid the price for it. Eggs cause me to get itchy and develop hives. Classic allergy symptoms. Dairy gives me asthma. And eating either category causes me to become allergic to animals, which I’m completely not OK with. I would rather cut out the most convenient form of tasty protein in existence than live without my animals.
So I completely cut out eggs and dairy in June 2012. Now when I consume them by accident (and very, very occasionally a tiny bit of dairy on purpose in something like chocolate) I really feel it! Going paleo definitely made it easier to avoid these things since primarily I was consuming them in baked goods or sandwiches. Now when I eat baked goods it’s vegan (because no eggs/dairy), which means almost never because ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!
Where I’m going with this is breakfast. The first meal of the day typically centers around eggs, which is awesome for everyone except me. Going out for breakfast is such a b*tch, ugh.
My breakfast is often not much different than my lunch: sausage links, lunch meat, hamburger/sausage patties, peanut butter. I’ll usually throw in some fruit too, like a banana or apple. But! Recently I found a recipe for butternut squash breakfast porridge on The Urban Poser. There are also instructions on how to perfectly roast your squash. I add pecans, shredded coconut, strawberries, and coconut milk. It’s delicious. And! It keeps me full until lunch. This is, indeed, amazing.
And just so you know, I was drinking a beer as I wrote this. Because I wanted to remind you that I’m not THAT paleo.
I love food. I think about it all the time. Ever since I started Crossfitting I’m hungry all.the.time. It’s kind of ridiculous actually. During my ferry commute I eat breakfast and think “nice, that was a very filling and totally Paleo breakfast; I win at life!” Then two to three hours later I’m writhing in my chair whining about how damn hungry I am and that all I have to snack on is baby carrots. Needless to say food is a big part of my life. Since I went Paleo it’s actually be a LOT easier to find recipes that are Cassie-friendly. Food allergies make it hard to eat non-Paleo food, especially since I’m allergic to dairy and eggs. Here are some of my favorite recipe sites, mostly Paleo ones. Enjoy!
- Modern Paleo Warfare
- Civilized Caveman
- Tasty Eats At Home
- Real Sustenance
- The Spunky Coconut
- Learning to Eat Allergy Free
What more can be said? I know precisely how hard it is to eat healthy, so believe me when I say I understand. But unless you’ve been blessed with a crazy metabolism and ridiculous genes, you can’t eat crap and have a hot body. So join the rest of us who say “thanks, but no thanks” to fast food and weaned ourselves off of grains. Eventually you don’t know any other way. :)
Sometimes I do more than just drool over tasty recipes, I actually make the tasty recipes. Given the fact that my workday is 12 hours I usually select something very fast or very slow, and my very slow I mean slow cooker. I don’t know why I didn’t start using slow cookers years ago, they’re amazing! Prep all your junk the night before, toss it in the pot in the AM, set, forget, come home to dinner. Win!
I have about five thousand “recipes to try” that I’ve bookmarked so I’m certainly not at a loss for inspiration. Since I had tried out a pulled pork recipe a few weeks ago that turned out rather bland and boring, I decided to try a different pulled pork recipe that might restore my faith. You can’t really go wrong with Civilized Caveman, so I snagged his pulled pork and BBQ sauce recipes. Wham, bam, thank you pork man; the result was spectacular: tender, delicious, and full of flavor. And that was without the sauce! The sauce itself was good but not quite my style, I go for more of a vinegar BBQ sauce. Still good tho, so give it a shot!
This = amazing. Chocolate and bacon, the two most wonderful foods in the world. Longing is filling me and leaving me with an uncontrollable urge to go buy lots of dark chocolate. Because of course I already have the bacon, don’t be silly.