Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm Going Paleo!*

That right, I'm going on the paleo diet... at least for the next week.  What is the paleo diet?

The paleo diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era,.....These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

In short, lots of meat, veggies and fruits.  And not much else.  *For those who may be "paleo purists," I'm probably not going to be 100% paleo.  For example, there are some who say certain kinds of nuts are not paleo, or that if you're not eating grass fed meat, it's not paleo.  I will be making some modifications/concessions but am committed to giving it my best effort. That being said, I didn't do grass-fed.

The planning for this took three times as long as my normal weekly grocery shopping planning. Here is how I normally plan for grocery shopping:

Get up Saturday morning.  "Hmm I should probably get some groceries today."  Take inventory of what we have, grab the HEB flyer from the week to see what's on sale, peruse my existing list of recipes.  What usually happens is I can do 1 meal with stuff we already have, I'll pick 3-4 recipes from the existing list (usually chicken or beef based) I'll plan to get steaks on sale (We eat a lot of steak because Greg likes it, he cooks it, and therefore it's an easily planned meal) and *maybe* if I'm feeling adventurous I'll plan on trying a new meal I found on Pinterest (if your'e friends with me on Pinterest, I stalk your page, but only on the recipe board).

That didn't work for this.  First of all, most of our recipes aren't paleo friendly!  Lots of pasta based dishes and casseroles, and lots that call for cheese.  I am a cheese fiend.  I will be sad this week, and it will mostly be due to lack of cheese. So I did what any Internet savvy (ok, anyone with basic knowledge of "how to use Google") would do - I scoured the Internet in search of paleo recipes that AT MOST required medium level of difficulty AND wouldn't take forever (aka over 45 minutes) to make. I am a working woman, after all. And one who commutes a minimum of 1 hour each way to boot. Complicated time consuming dinners... Ain't no one got time for that! Certainly not me.

I finalized the list Friday after work, accounting for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks for the week. I'm not technically starting until tomorrow (Sunday) but I did the shopping today (Saturday) to be able to start prepping and have all of Sunday to make some things ahead of time.  For example, I will be attempting to make paleo mayo and paleo BBQ sauce to use in various recipes.

First thoughts: HOLY SHIT, EATING PALEO IS EXPENSIVE.  I'm a little nervous to tell Greg I spent a whopping $179.00* on groceries this week.  This is about $60-$75 MORE than what we normally spend. BUT I got a LOT of meat and fresh fruits/veggies.  I'm also trying justify it by comparing an entire week's worth of groceries to 1 night of eating/drinking out.  Greg and I don't go out to eat at sit down restaurants that often (we do get things "to go" fairly often though) but we went out last night with another couple.  1 dinner for the two of us was $75.00 - a steak salad, a calzone, calamari appetizer and 4 beers (2 each - we're not getting crazy here).  That is crazy expensive for one meal when you think about it... so really the expensive grocery trip isn't that bad. RIGHT?!

I'm going to try to do daily blog posts of what I make, how it went, any challenges that come up, etc. One challenge that came up today was HEB (stands for Here Everything's Better for non-Texans) didn't have a couple things I was hoping to get.  But I wanted to get everything from HEB and not go all over town to the Farmer's Market, Trader Joe's, etc.  If it wasn't at HEB, I wasn't buying it.  Here is what I DID buy though

You're seeing that right: chicken, steak, beef, fish, BACON, ham, roast, crab-meat  and that wrapped package is sea scallops.  For bacon wrapped scallops - super excited!

Fruits and Veggies - Not going to list them all, but there is a lot.

Other - apple juice (the "real" and also expensive kind with no added sugar), apple cider vinegar, eggs, tomato paste, etc.

*I also bought some things not pictured, but included in the $179.00,  for Greg (milk, cereal, chips, etc.) so that he wouldn't complain too much.  He's not really on board with this, but I think he'll at least try all the dinners (they all have meat) and maybe be on his own for breakfast/lunches.

I'm invested, I wrote a blog post... now I just have to follow through and not drown in tears of sorrow from lack of cheese and desserts! Oh yeah, and I have to cook the stuff!

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