A Low Point in My Life

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would hit below 170.  That is over 30lbs gone.  When I pick up 2 – 15lb weights, that’s good for a few minutes of exercise, but I was carrying that extra weight around 24/ 7.  Gross.  I am amazed and ecstatic that the weight is gone… forever!

It’s not just me with these results. Since we have started the blog, I know of about 10 people that have gotten into the Paleo lifestyle.  Everyone has a different reason for doing it and different goals, but the weight loss and improved health are the most visible and obvious effects of the diet.  To list out some of the great success stories that I have personally witnessed… my dad -25lbs, my mom -6oz, Rene’s dad -20lbs, Rene’s mom -26lbs, Rene -10lbs, Jim R -25lbs.  Post your successes below!! I would love to hear about your progress!!

MePaleo Scale

Yes, those are caveman feet

Mama Mia, I love Chia!

Chia seeds are great in any diet because they contain omega 3, fiber and anti-oxidants.  So, Rene has been putting chia seeds on top of our salads for a couple months now. They add some extra texture, make it look a little fancier and that’s about the end of the thrill for me. Rene also mentioned that she saw some chia recipes on Pinterest a while back. But, based on my previous experience with chia, I wasn’t too interested.

Yesterday, Elina, the amazing therapist from our chiropractor’s office, and recent Paleo convert, told me about her first hand experience with chia pudding. Sounded super delicious!  I remembered the important bits from her recipe, but, based on the ingredients I had on hand, I made a few modifications.  Here is the basic gist, but feel free to tweak to your own taste.

1/2 Cup Organic Chia Seeds

1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (or vanilla flavored to add a little extra flavor)

1 Tbsp Organic Honey (this is a topping for later)

In a medium bowl, combine chia seeds, almond milk and coconut milk.  Give it a quick stir.  Cover with cling wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Elina adds vanilla extract to her mixture, so that’s a good idea, too.

The next morning, breakfast is served.  Ladle some into a bowl and drizzle honey on top for a little sweetness.  Basically, it has the consistency of tapioca and looks like spider eyeballs.  But I like it a lot for a quick breakfast.

Chia!

Chia!

Hawks Playoff Beards Cause Citywide Plumbing Issues

MePaleo.org
10:43 a.m. CDT, June 25, 2013

CHICAGO – In the wake of the brilliant Stanley Cup victory for the Chicago Blackhawks, the Department of Water Management is reporting massive blockages and sewer backups across the City of Chicago.

Dept of Water Management Director, Erick Harms, says, “this can only be due to the simultaneous shaving of playoff beards.  The system was originally designed to support 50 year win cycles.  When you have two victories in the span of 5 years, it just wreaks havoc on such an old system, but go Hawks.”

PrivateDrain B

Sewer Line Issues

Veteran plumber, Bryan Moore, is recommending homeowners to trim the unruly playoff beard over the next week.  “We just can’t get out to everyone fast enough and it’s a real mess.  Maybe try a goatee or some mutton chops for a few days.  You know, spice it up a little.”

An unnamed Hawks superfan says, “It’s just time to shave this thing.  My wife won’t touch me and my dog has been hiding for weeks.  I heard about the plumbing issues, but it’s gotta go even if I have to drive down to Peoria to shave it.”

It is unclear whether it is homeowner responsibility or city responsibility to clear up the clogs.  FEMA has been alerted to assess the situation and the mayor was unavailable for comment.

Chuck Beard

Unnamed Superfan

Copyright © 2013 MePaleo.org

Chuck’s Cooking Chicken and Collard Greens

Embarrassingly, RUN D.M.C. was my only exposure to collard greens until last night.  Why didn’t I try these green leafy delights sooner??  Thank goodness for the random veggies we have been getting in our weekly CSA box or I would still be in the dark.  Rene has really been touting the leafy greens after reading Dr Wahls book, “Minding My Mitochondria”.  So, while Rene was at Yoga, I got busy recreating Hollis Queens in Printers Row.

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I found some pretty decent recipes that gave me some direction on cooking up the greens.  Here is what I went with…

1 tablespoon olive oil
3-5 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch fresh collard greens, sliced into 2-inch strips
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.
Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

Collard greens are really easy to make and, while they were cooking, I had plenty of time to put together some pan fried chicken as the perfect complement.

Imagel

Strazzbarberry Crumble

Our Saturday CSA box came complete with fresh rhubarb and raspberries.  I was especially excited to see the rhubarb this week.  When I was little, my grandparents had rhubarb growing wild in their back yard.  We would each pick a stalk and eat it raw.  The first bite was always a face contorting burst of sourness and bitterness that was startling enough to make you laugh out loud.  The only way to finish it up was to dip each bite in a little bowl of sugar and savor the Summer day.  Remember the Fun Dip “Lik-A-Stix” candy? It was kind like that, but marginally more healthy.

Luckily, we had some organic strawberries getting ripe in the fridge, so it’s time to put these ingredients together!

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Here’s the basic recipe (adapted from a Swiss Paleo recipe):

Preheat oven to 350

The Mix –

2 cups whole organic raspberries

2 cups diced organic strawberries

2 cups diced organic rhubarb

3 tablespoons organic honey

2 teaspoons arrowroot powder

1 tablespoon organic lemon juice

Mix these delicious ingredients together, eat a huge bite on your last stir, then pour the mixture into a pie pan

ImageThe Crumbly Top –

1/4 cup crushed almonds

1/4 cup crushed walnuts

2 tablespoons almond butter

2 tablespoons organic honey (agave nectar also works)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch kosher salt

3/4 cup almond flour

Stir the ingredients together in a medium bowl then crumble on top of the fruit mixture.  (You could even cook this topping on its own and have a nice crunchy Paleo snack.)

ImagePut pie tin in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and smells so good that you can’t stand it anymore.  After you take the tin out of the oven, let the crumble cool a little, but be sure to enjoy the sweet, crunchy goodness while it’s still warm.

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Charcuter-me

We had a really nice al fresco dinner on Jim and Valerie’s amazing terrace last night.  Jim was lucky enough to procure some delicious meats from our good friend and former neighbor, Seth.  Seth left Printers Row a few years ago to wrap up his masters at Toulane and then fulfill his dream of opening a butcher shop.  If you are ever in New Orleans, be sure to check out Cleaver & Co at 3917 Baronne St.  Lot’s of local and specialty products on the menu and Seth will take great care of you.  We were treated to some delicious Duck Pastrami, Pig Face, another thin slice of heaven that I can’t recall the name of, and a delicious Spicy sausage prepared by grill master Jim.  There is nothing better than some fine meats, great friends and a perfect Chicago evening.Image

Grass Fed

I have noticed that, as our culinary skills improve, eating out can be a little disappointing. Especially when you get a nice fat bill and you could have prepared something better at home.  So, as foodies with a limited diet, it is very exciting to discover really good Paleo-friendly restaurants here in Chicago.  I am going to start a running list of the places we like, but, for now, I’d like to focus on Grass Fed in Bucktown.  Grass Fed serves 100% pasture raised, grass fed beef from Wisconsin.  The interior of the restaurant has a clean, upscale, slightly rustic farmhouse feel to it.  The dinner menu has some good Paleo choices, and the chef will make substitutions depending on dish.  Rene ordered the Grilled Grass Fed NY Strip Steak with spring onion, peas, trumpet royal mushrooms and chimichurri.  She substituted the brown-butter gnocchi, as tempting as it was, for extra veg.  It was a great combo for $23.  I went with the Roasted Half Chicken that was comfortably napping on a bed of beer braised bratwurst, broccoli rabe, spring onions, whole grain mustard.  Well crap, I didn’t notice the “beer braised” part of the order last night, but it was really delicious, only $20 and just a slight Paleo cheat.

Grass Fed is known for their handcrafted, house infused cocktails.  I tried the Smoldering Rose – Jalapeno Infused Tequila, House-made Blood Orange Simple, Lime Juice.   They serve the drink in an unassuming little soda bottle with a cube-filled glass on the side.  The pink color looks like it would play nice, but it packs a spicy punch to the face that kept me coming back for more. Little details set their bar apart from others in the area and give me respect for the mixologist that takes the time to make a really good drink.

It was nice to get away from our kitchen and the nightly mountain of dishes.  I’m glad Rene found Grass Fed and we will be adding it to the list!

Grass Fed

Grass Fed