Thursday, September 12, 2013

Paleo Resource Round-Up

I am finally rounding up the Paleo resources I've been hoarding for about a year into one spot and this blog is the lucky winner! I'll add more as I see fit (and as I remember).

Nom Nom Paleo
My favorite Paleo blog EVER. There is a recipe index and an iPad app, but what I really, really love about it is Michelle's writing. She's candid and funny and I enjoy her writing sometimes more than I enjoy her food (but not often). I have the iPad app and it's useful, but I usually just revert back to reading blog posts. Not sure why, but I do. The app is great though.

Taylor Made It Paleo
I only recently found this one and it seems that most of Taylor's recipes are focused on making Paleo "alternatives" to sweet foods. Which I can't complain about! But it might not be for everyone. I've made the Buckeyes and lemon bars and they were very tasty.

The Paleo Mom
I get bogged down a little by the science, but the recipes are good and easy to follow. She also talks a lot about living with children and bringing your family over to the Paleo side, which isn't useful for me, but I can see how it would be useful for families with kids.

Fast Paleo
The go-to for ANY recipe you might be thinking about. It's an aggregate of a lot of Paleo recipes from around the interwebs. Not much writing, but it's a goldmine of recipes.

The Clothes Make the Girl
Another blogger with great recipes. To be honest I don't read many of Melissa's posts (I'm awful) but her recipes are out of the park.

I think Julie's blog might be my second favorite - her writing is warm and funny and the food is fantastic.

Title sums it up - making Paleo food in a crockpot. I have a crockpot and used it sparingly before I found this website - to be honest I was slightly afraid of it. But the recipes on this site are easy and the writers are all about making fast and easy meals, which I can get behind wholeheartedly.

Everyday Paleo
I think I've made only one recipe from this site and the writing doesn't catch my attention, but still a good resource.

Paleo Plan
The very first Paleo recipe I made came from this site and I relied on it heavily when I first started. I haven't used it in awhile, but the layout is clean and easy to follow and I think it's a good starter site.

Elana's Pantry
This website is a GOLDMINE of amazing, delicious food, for a variety of diets. I bought the Paleo cookbook I was so impressed - and I don't buy cookbooks. I've found so many amazing dishes from Elana. I think she's a rockstar.

The Healthy Foodie
Another blog I don't read and use strictly for the recipes. It's a nice variety.

Delighted Momma
Another site with great recipes. This site isn't very easy to navigate however. All recipes are tagged with only the "recipe" label so it's hard to go through and find a specific recipe you're looking for. I finally just took some time and went through and pinned to Pinterest the recipes I thought I might be interested in.

My Pinterest Board
I feel silly linking my own board on here, but this is my Paleo Pinterest board. I have almost 100 pins on it and I add more as I come across them. It's not all strictly Paleo, but some recipes that can be modified easily to Paleo.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On friends and politics

I feel like I constantly hear two sayings: "don't discuss religion and politics."  And "I don't want to lose friends over politics."

I don't agree with one and a half of those things.

Religion is something that I find others take deeply personally (so is politics, but not as ingrained as religion).  I have no delusions that anything I say will sway anyone from any faith that they have.  To be honest, how can you have a rational discussion about religion?  Religion isn't rational.  So unless I'm in a place and with people I know, religion is off the table for me.

And I will caveat the following with this: I am a horrible debater.  My mind works faster than my mouth and it usually takes me a long time to come up with words I think are good enough - I think part of my problem is that I want my words to convey exactly what I mean and it takes a good long while for me to come around to them, at least in a debate setting.  My medium is normally written word (duh blog, DUH).  Facebook is both a blessing and a curse, because I can debate without speaking out loud - I honestly feel that a lot of my "friends" had no idea how passionate I was about a lot of things, because I never spoke.  I feel like we live in these bubbles and for those of us who have a hard time talking, we're waving inside the bubble while others are talking loud enough to be heard by others.  It's a weird thing.

Anyway, discussing and losing friends over politics.  I exclude family in this, because well ... family is family.  My grandparents are racist but I don't love them any less because they are.  I also exclude work colleagues, because a job is a little more important than politics, at least to me.  Keeping food on the table is pretty important.

Most of the friends I care enough about to see IRL are friends who are similar in my mindset, so when we talk it's mostly discussing things through our similar lenses.  So this is primarily for Facebook, where my words are far more eloquent than when I speak out loud.  How can I describe Facebook? (Her hair is full of secrets).  I have so many "friends" from so many walks of life - ranging from primary school friends to high school friends to old work friends to convention friends to friends I've met through Danny.  I grew up in Arizona and it's a pretty even split between them all on conservative and liberal.  I don't post many things anymore - mostly just articles I find interesting and want to share; I bit during the second presidential debate and posted something about unwed mothers causing gun violence, because stupidity hurts.

So mainly my discussions come from me biting and posting on my friends' statuses lately.  If you post a status on Facebook, you have to expect commentary.  And if you can't back up what you posted, then it's your own damn fault.  If you don't want people who don't agree with you to not see it, you can block them from seeing it.  I have that expectation when I post anything and so I expect it of others.  Clearly, not all are like that.

My freshman year roommate is a Mormon, and surprise, voted for Romney.  She called the president a douche, and so I responded.  Her friends backed her up on it and she never replied, so I didn't either - I remember her being a sweet girl, and I wanted to "hear" the words from her, not from her friends.  A few days ago she posted another status about how the President should be impeached like Nixon over the mess in Benghazi.  I posted because A) factually incorrect, fucking christ and B)I don't believe that you can compare something like national security to a man trying to gain the upper hand of his political opponents through deceptive measures.  I don't feel that they are one in the same.  So I posted that and one of her inane friends chimed in with something racist - "the blacks, Mexicans, and Indians are taking our money."

She completely ignored his racism.  I called him out on it and then she deleted it.  He posted on her wall  that he "was on a roll" and she replied "I don't want to lose friends over politics."

Oh my dear.  You have lost me more for being someone entirely blind to racism than for politics.

Politics is such an overreaching term.  It touches everything from what pundits say to actual policy.  It bleeds over everything that we do, because we live in this nation.  I am teeter tottery on people who don't pay attention - I understand that this is a busy world, and that not everyone can be as plugged in as I can (though on the other hand if you talk about it, maybe you should try to educate yourself).  I understand that it can be easy to ignore someone's "politics" to have a friendship.

But racism affects politics and you can't ignore that.  Racism is real life.  It affects real people in real ways - harmful ways, ways that non-POC have to think about to understand. And I choose not to associate with racist people.  And for her not to call her friend out on his racism, to call it "politics," really makes me not want to be your "friend" anymore.

I can pick and choose my friends and I choose friends who are not racist.  Who care about people.  And I don't think that's wrong, and I don't think that's bad.  If I lose friends over it, then I guess they weren't really friends.

That was a long leadup to a really short conclusion.  Summary: please discuss politics and if you post you don't want to lose friends over politics, you're kind of ignorant and probably need better friends.

In still political news, how hilarious is the utter conservative breakdown on public media?  I started this post a day after the election, so it's been awhile, but man, it's still hilarious.  The motherfucking apocalypse is coming.  Hide yo kids.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Some food stuff

A few of my culinary creations that I want to remember:

- Eggplant fried in almond flour, with spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, and pork chops
-Balsamic glazed pork chops
- Steak fajita salads
- Chicken in a "peanut sauce" (almond butter, coconut amino, hot sauce, water, salt) with sautéed onions, cucumber, squash, and diced jalapeños.
- Non crumbly almond flour pancakes with eggs and veggies for "breakfast for dinner" flavor

I feel like we eat the same thing a lot, but I'm getting more creative at the same time I feel.  Sometimes you can't get around a good steak and veggies, or a ground beef scramble with veggies.  Avocado and guacamole make everything good.

I went shopping solo for the first time yesterday and I'm liking it so far.  Danny likes to come to pick out steaks, but I didn't do too badly I think.  We always overestimate what we need, and we usually end up losing a lot of our produce and sometimes our meat, which is a terrible sin to me.  So I tried to keep it simple:

- Four cucumbers
- Four green squash
- Four yellow squash
- Four not ripe avocados (Safeway didn't have any ripe avocados in the entire fucking store, I checked)
- Two crowns of broccoli
- A spaghetti squash
- Four sweet potatoes
- A bin of baby spinach
- A package of romaine hearts
- A package of blueberries and a package of raspberries
- Two bunches of bananas (we go through bananas really fast, plus I can freeze them for ice cream)
- 3 packages of guacamole
- A package of pork chops, a package of chicken breasts, 2 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of ground turkey, a package of thin steaks for fajitas, and a package of good grilling steaks.

We used to buy a bunch of sweet potatoes and yams, plus strawberries which we never, ever eat.  They would always go bad.  The same with all the squash, it would be hanging out in our fridge forever.  So this is an effort at reducing.

The pork chops and ground turkey I immediately put in the freezer.  Yesterday I cooked all of the chicken and today made the fajita steaks.  Tomorrow I will make a ground beef scramble for lunch, and for dinner I will make the spaghetti squash with meat sauce, plus veggies and we probably split a sweet potato.  That leaves only the grilling steaks in the fridge, which we may end up cooking tonight, which might fuck up all our plans because that will leave enough for breakfast tomorrow, which means that I'll have an extra pound of ground beef to use for maybe a scramble the next morning.  At the very least I will use most of the meat in the fridge by Saturday morning, and then over the weekend we can eat the ground turkey and pork chops in the freezer.

So I guess my point is that meal planning is nice in theory, and I've started to visualize what I'm actually going to make with all the food we get at the grocery, as opposed to buying a ton in bulk and letting a lot go to waste.  I'll probably have to hit the store again on Sunday, if not tomorrow because I neeeeeed almond butter.  I feel really good about the amount of produce we have left - two of each squash, two cucumbers, and all the broccoli.  Plus all the spinach and romaine hearts.

I spent about 200 dollars for about 5 days, which still feels uncomfortably large for me.  I did spend a good 30 on some makeup and shampoo and conditioner, plus other small sundries for the house, so it's not all on food.  But the bulk of it is, and that's mainly the meat.  We're talking about going half in with Danny's brother for a biiiig hunk of cow that we can freeze.  That would probably save some money.  I'd still need to buy turkey and chicken and pork chops, but it would take care of our steak needs (which is where the bulk of our meat money goes) for awhile.

I'm feeling pretty positive about life right now, despite the fact that I think we may have to push Seattle off again - Danny probably needs surgery on his hands, and that's going to take at least a month, so we may just wait until after the new year.  So we'll see.  But in terms of trying to take care of the house more, and eating better and feeling better, I'm feeling pretty positive.

Sweets are still the bane of my existence, and I have some bananas chilling in the fridge for ice cream, but goddamn I want waffles (still on my waffle kick, apparently).  If I had almond butter I'd probably make some pancakes, but ah well.

So anyway.  This is my domestic post of the week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An ode inspired by waffles

I would literally smash someone's brains in for waffles.

Maybe not that extreme.  At least not yet.

I don't remember our last bad meal together, I think it was Saturday night.  So it's been a few days.

As much as I tell myself to just go with it, I get ridiculously cranky when I can't have what I want.  For example, right now I am dying for waffles.  It's rainy outside and I want some breakfast food.  When I'm not cranky, nowadays I will just bite my lip and see what I have in my fridge and snack on Lara bars or raspberries.  When I know I'm craving something intensely and it doesn't take much effort, I can normally try to plan Paleo alternatives.  The day before yesterday I wanted fried chicken - so yesterday I marinated some chicken breasts and then coated them with a spicy almond flour mix and baked it in the oven and they came out great.

When I crave ice cream, I make my smoothie of bananas, berry, cocoa powder, coconut milk, and honey - sometimes almond butter.  Right now I want waffles, and I don't want fucking almond flour waffles and honey, I want some waffles with butter and syrup and whipped cream and milk.  Not to mention we don't have a waffle maker.

I'm left with a few questions - if I wasn't trying to eat Paleo, would I still be cranky?

Probably.  Or maybe, I'd get over it.  I feel like I would get over it, considering we don't have a waffle maker and I didn't used to know how to make pancakes and probably wouldn't expend the effort anyway.  I would probably talk myself down from it and eat what was in the fridge.

Right now I'm talking myself up to go out and get those waffles instead of cooking something.

It's strange, and I think it's something I need to tackle.  I still feel confined eating Paleo style, and I've spent a good part of my adult life trying to reach around that confining feeling and feeling good about what I ate, no matter what it was.  I've always believed in moderation, and I fully believe that I could eat waffles tonight, and tomorrow go back to eating eggs and vegetables and almond flour concoctions.

That brings up my next question: if I were back in non-Paleo scenario, would it be as easy to eat well?

Probably not.  More than likely, I'd probably be eating terribly and not feel very inclined to solve the problem.  Instead, I'd get my waffles and the next morning eat a bowl of cereal (oh my god I fucking love cereal, now I want cereal), and then probably get some greasy fast food for lunch and for dinner eat mac and cheese and a sandwich.

So with those answers, I think that Paleo is doing good things for me.  There are days when I don't crave anything and days when I'm excited about eating good food.  And then are days like today, where I know I shouldn't have waffles, and that makes me insanely hostile, I will rip your face off cranky.

My next question is then: is this crankiness worth not having waffles?



So my answer is this: I don't think the cranky is worth not eating waffles, but Paleo has started to have some great effects on me, which I appreciate.  I know goals are all about "pushing past your hangups," but I don't even know what my goal with Paleo is.  It's to eat better, certainly, to feel better and be more active.  So far, it's working.  I don't think eating waffles right now would deter that.  If it became a bad habit, then obviously.  But I've come to realize that so much of my emotional state has become tied to food, mainly because of this "diet," which is why I've not done diets for any part of my life except now.  I've never felt the need to cut things out entirely, and as much as I try now, it's still not worth it.

I have to take care of myself, both mentally and physically, and I'm working on both.  The fitness people may be all up in my grill yelling FUCKING PUSH PAST IT YOU FUCKING WIMP FUCKING GLUTEN AND ADDED SUGAR AND OH MY GOD THAT STUFF WILL KILL YOU but at this point I'm ready to shrug my shoulders and yell back MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS.

I want some fucking waffles.  Eating should not be this much of a struggle, and if it is, I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just savin' this recipe here since nobody has Tumblr share buttons /sob

ThePaleoMom: Recipe: Paleo Chicken Fingers: What kid doesn’t like chicken fingers?  I’ve experimented with a few different techniques, trying to find one that yields a nice “breading”...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oh 3am

When I was in middle school and high school I used to think about how cool it would be if I had my own apartment in a huge city.  I love the feeling of the being anonymous, of being another story in thousands of stories sitting on top of each other.  Of interacting with people in a way that was slight and could be so much more if a pin dropped in the right way.

Now I'm thinking about Seattle and where we would live and I balk at the thought of a tiny apartment anywhere, at the thought of being confined.  

You ruined me for life, desert.  I need my space.  I need to be spread out.

I still like big cities.  I could never live in Tucson my entire life, or Flagstaff.  I still love those stories stacked on each other, and I guess it's egotistical, but I like the possibility of maybe being in them.  So Seattle is still the right choice.

It feels more and more like this might be our last few months here.  Our plans keep shifting, and it's hard to nail anything down, but I'm thinking about it a lot and today we looked at more houses and actually plotted for a year in the future.  We have only a dog and a house full of things to get there, and I think that's completely doable in a few weeks.  If we wait until October to commit to anything, we'll be sitting super pretty.

I'm always ready to pack my life up and move.  I have more baggage now than I have ever had in my life, and that's taken some time adjusting to, because when I've planned, it's always just me.  Now I have a dog and this boy and all his baggage too.  It's a lot to get used to.  

I would miss my stars, the sunsets, and the beauty of these mountains.  But I would get the ocean, and stars, and that's enough.

It's 3am and I'm feeling very nostalgic.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monumental ch-ch-changesssss

Disneyland was a great time.  We ended up being way more Paleo than we were in Vegas, though we definitely cheated more than we wanted to.  Whatevs, it's Disneyland.  We have a whole month of being home before we head out to Seattle (and then again in October, and then hopefully not for a few months!) for a week-ish.  Today we're finishing up leftovers from my Italian birthday dinner last night, Danny is buying a car, and then we're food shopping.  Back to the grind.

It's taken me some time, and for some reason, this trip, to realize that goals and whatnot aren't bad.  And that what I'm doing - essentially cooking, cleaning, helping my boyfriend with his work - isn't bad.  I have been conditioned for a very long time to work, work, work, and not stop, and that anything else was bad.  Relying on someone else has been a dizzying experience that I'm still not fully used to.  Having money isn't something I'm fully used to yet.   But that's another post for another time.

Right now I'm mentally prepping myself for trying to step more fully and with less resistance and less anger into these roles, of helping with the cooking and the cleaning, etc, and not hating myself for it.  It's TOUGH.  I think part of it is also that before this, I never even had time cook and clean for myself.  Or well, it wasn't something high on my priority list - more of a, when I'm an adult, I will cook and clean.  Right now I will eat terrible food and put off cleaning.

I turned 24 yesterday.  That makes me an adult, right?

I think there is definitely that added dynamic of being the main force of cooking/cleaning for both of us, when it's still totally foreign for just me.  I'm come to the hesitant-not quite there in my heart but I understand it in my head-"acceptance" that he takes care of us both, financially, and I kind of sit here and let him and begrudgingly clean and make food and expect him to help with both when I don't even do one or the other.  If I want to be able to keep sitting here doing nothing (which I don't forever, but for right now is fine enough), then I should be ok with contributing in some way.  Some way that is productive and helps him continue taking care of us both.

It feels dirty saying that, but again, that's the way I've thought my entire life.  It's going to take awhile to shake that completely.

I'm going to try and schedule my day up, and so is he.  For me, I will have an hour of training Yoshi, an hour of practicing piano (once we have that going), an hour for exercise, an hour for doing what I need to do to help him (answering emails, Facebook ish, mailing things, etc), probably 1-2 hours of cooking/cleaning.  6 hours of "work."  I want the kitchen to be cleaned every day - if not every night, every morning.  If the floor is covered by tumbleweeds of Yoshi's fur and dirt she drags in, I need to vacuum.  If there are things being annoying on the floor, I need to clean them.  I don't need to be perfect, but I need to be better.

I think we're going to try to be up by noon every day, to exercise at night when it's cooler.  I want to try and plan meals now so we're not eating the same variation of the same thing every day.   Paleo can be extremely, wonderfully varied, and if I don't take the time to try it, I'm going to end up frustrated and angry like I have been.

These feel like monumental changes, but I think they're good ones.  I hope they are.