40 Days of Paleo: What I’ve Eaten So Far

Although I’m only two days into my 40 Days of Paleo experiment, the truth is that I actually started a couple of weeks ago. When the idea for the experiment popped into my head, I also thought, why wait until Lent? Why not start now? And so I went through the process of ridding my apartment of (read: eating) all non-paleo things I had stockpiled and started in on making recipes that followed the guidelines. I didn’t have much to go through – some green chili with black beans in my freezer, a few slices of bread, a quarter of a block of cheddar, two Kind bars. Just odds and ends that I didn’t want tempting me. I still have some oatmeal and quinoa in my cupboards, but I’ve never felt the need to dive head first into a bowl of either so I’m not terribly concerned about them. Oh, and I have copious amounts of liquor from parties past, but I so rarely drink in my apartment.

One of the main objectives of this experiment is to get myself to include more vegetables into my regular meals. I cook often and regularly bring my lunch to work, so I’m not totally starting from scratch and overhauling my eating routine. I’m just making tweaks that I know are easy, but that I fail to make in the name of laziness. I’m fairly lucky in that I already quite like vegetables – I just tend to forget about them when it comes time to fill up my grocery cart.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing so far:

I’ve already posted a couple of recipes that were easily paleo.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Pork Marinara (no cheese, of course):
Spaghetti Squash

Roasted Sweet Potato Breakfast (for Dinner) Hash:
Sweet Potato Hash

I’ve also discovered that I like lacinto kale (aka Tuscan kale, aka dinosaur kale, aka not curly kale) and I sauteed some up with cremini mushrooms, onion, and garlic and topped them with a couple of fried eggs:
Kale Mushroom Hash

I’ve even tried my hand at a few paleo specific recipes. I, admittedly, need something a little bready in the mornings, so right away I tried PaleOMG’s espresso banana bread muffins:
Espresso Banana Bread

I made it into a loaf and omitted the chocolate because I’m not a fan of chocolate in the morning. Yeah, you read that right. Aside from wishing it had a little salt in the mix, it was fairly good and I would definitely make it again.

I know resisting pancakes after my Sunday morning group runs will be difficult, so I tried out this paleo version in the hopes that I won’t feel so deprived:
Paleo Pancakes

They were pretty good! And very filling. I topped them with a few walnuts and some warmed maple syrup. I think they’ll fulfill my pancake needs nicely.

And because I’m concerned about my overall desire for bread, I made this paleo version using almond meal:
Paleo Bread

It was…well, it needed salt, that’s for sure. I wasn’t entirely enamored of it at first, but warmed up with a little spread of butter and a sprinkling of salt, it wasn’t a bad thing to have with my evening tea. It’s not a substitute for bread, but it serves as a decent post-dinner snack.

I’ve been scouring paleo-focused websites and stockpiling recipes in preparation for this challenge and I’m a bit excited to get to try out a new way of cooking. I do plan to concentrate my efforts on incorporating plant life into my meals, as opposed to devising paleo ways of eating my previous vices, but for those areas where I know I’ll have trouble, this should help ease the transition. Ultimately, I don’t believe one’s diet should be about what you can’t have, but what you love. Figure out what makes you feel good and find ways to eat that as much as you can.

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