And so as my Paleo month draws to a close, it’s time to evaluate. I’m not sure I have all my criteria set quite yet but here goes:
EASE 8/10: Overall it wasn’t too bad. I had to shop and cook a fair bit but as I like cooking I didn’t mind that too much. Eating out wasn’t too bad either, most menus had at least one thing I could eat. The Pete Evans book had some good ideas for creating things like Paleo Banana Bread, Frittata and Coconut tortillas. I’m not sure of the ‘Paleoness’ of any of those things, I can’t quite imagine the caveman convo “Ugg, darling. Pass the Frittata will you??”.
STICKABILITY 8/10: I did pretty well at sticking to the rules, other than the soy coffees and alcohol. I had a couple of minor cheats, but come on who can pass up a bowl of Eton Mess???
FOOD TASTINESS 8/10: I would have given this a 9 but some epic failures like the sweet potato hash brown failure (straight from pan to the bin) and the soggy zucchini noodles prevent it.
LONGEVITY POTENTIAL 5/10: I like meat and veg so doing it for a month is very doable, as a longer term lifestyle diet I’d have trouble. Breakfast is just TOO HARD. I will be having triple pancakes with a topping of muffins tomorrow.
HEALTH BENEFITS OBSERVED 4/10: I didn’t get the boundless energy promised by Pete, but that’s probably because he has a colonic every other day and doesn’t have to get up until 11am. I was working pretty hard this last month so suspect some of my promised energy was sapped by that. I did notice however a significant reduction in bloating in the belly.
SPHERICAL REDUCTION 2/10: Not really, only 1KG lost but I didn’t exercise and I drank booze.
SURPRISES? 5/10: I was surprised I didn’t loose more poundage given the significant reduction in consumption of cheese (probably compensated for the significant increase in consumption of salami and other small goods ). Another surprise was trying so many new things on menus I would NEVER have normally gone for. Paleo was a winner at getting me out of my food choice ruts .
Thanks Paleo. It’s been fun but don’t think I’ll be back. Next Month….. The 5:2 diet.
Oh dear god, I ate something Vegan. This dear reader is a Chia seed and coconut pudding (with black sesame, pistachio and mint). I had it for breakfast at the painfully hipster Queensberry Pour House. To paint you a picture of this place they don’t have skinny milk for coffees (nor soy for that matter), they have tasting notes for their daily pours, everyone has a beard (even the girls) and they make all of their own crockery – no doubt they dig up clay from himalayan mountainside too. I had this for breakfast, thinking of it as a porridge substitute, however it was cold and a bit weird – I managed about half of it and don’t see it knocking Quinoa of it’s perch of trendiest niche grain product any time soon. I debated the merits of drinking a coffee for a while given it was made with almond milk. Don’t do it people. You’ve been warned.
Hello friends, if this doesn’t want to turn you to Paleo nothing will – meat biscuits! Yes, you heard it right. Biscuits. With meat in them. My wonderful colleague decided to make me these biscuits to stop me drooling every time she opened a packet of Tim Tams as a lovely treat.
They are bacon and chocolate biscuits. Don’t be put off by that slightly greasy sheen and the cadaverous colour they were horrific delicious.
I did eat 2 of them and another game colleague tried one but complained that the bacon was too “flaccid”. I reckon next time with crispier bacon they’ll be amaze balls.
It turns out that supermarket breakfasting options have severe limitations on a Paleo diet – Vegemite toast? Nope. Porridge? Double nope… and don’t even think about approaching the Coco Pops. You can however have a lovely smoothie, or eggs – lots of eggs. After 3 weeks of eating eggs I’m very much in danger of becoming “egg bound”, no I have no idea what that means either but my grandad used to assure me I would suffer from it if I ate too many eggs. He also used to threaten me with “night starvation” so probably indicates how much he knew.
Anyhoo, the eggs definitely needed to go so I needed an alternative and I found it in my local health food store $1000 muesli. Ok, so I’m exaggerating slightly but at $49 per kilo it’s certainly not cheap!! I also can’t put milk on it so I forked out another $15 for a tub of coconut yogurt. Turns out if you want to make a fortune get into the the Paleo food business! Outrageously expensive, completely calorie laden and totally delicious!
When I look at the Paleo groceries that are on offer, I mean the ones that aren’t just , you know actual real food, they all seem to have something in common. The thing I’ve noticed is that they all seem to be trying to replace something delicious that you might be able to eat if not in a Paleo straight jacket , think chocolate, dairy products, cakes and pasta. I like to think of it as Paleo Ersatz. Mainly because I just like saying the word Ersatz.
Last week I decided that I would try making Spag Bol the Paleo way. I conjured up 2 types of pasta. First I turned several zucchini into a fairly acceptable version of spaghetti with a vegetable mandolin peeler thingy – was a bit soggy, but hey when it’s this good for you who cares right?
Then, I attempted tagliatelle which were made from sweet potato noodles which I bought in a Paleo cafe. The instructions took me on quite the adventure, but my favourite was the instruction “According to your taste add some auxiliary food such as meat and condiment of your favourite”. Auxiliary food!!! How good! Can that be cheese? And if you’re wondering they didn’t taste half bad.
So after a week of Paleo-ing it up I’ve discovered what I CAN NOT live without. There’s a few things I’m pining for like cheese and the occasional square of chocolate but it’s the vices of alcohol and coffee that have me off the wagon. I consulted the oracle (Google) re. the Paleo community view on whether alcohol is ok – no one could agree. Some thought cider, others spirits and some thought wine – so I’ve decided to agree with them all and drink the lot – Huzzah! In other news I had a soy latte – which doesn’t feel quite as cheaty as cows milk would. After a week without my morning hit of caffeine, drinking coffee was better than watching that bit in Casino Royale where Daniel Craig comes out of the sea in his undies. True Story.
Doesn’t this look nice? But is it Paleo? Errrr…no. Note to self, if something is marked Gluten Free it doesn’t necessarily mean Paleo friendly. This was advertised as a GF Thai Chicken salad. I wasn’t expecting the rice vermicelli noodles which are a tad challenging to extract. Oh well you live and learn. Eating out on the whole has been pretty good though. Most cafe’s seem to have protein and veg options and it’s easy to remove the toast or not eat rice etc. I’m not worrying too much about asking for every ingredient in every splash of sauce. I don’t have a food allergy and I’d rather not have the chefs spit (or worse…you’ve the read The Help haven’t you??) in my meal.