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Paleo Diet Trial Day 9:

Click here to find out why I'm doing this trial and to start at the beginning.

"A major problem with low carb, weight loss diets is what they do to health-promoting fruits and vegetables - they nearly eliminate them. Because of a technicality - a blanket restriction of all types of carbs, even beneficial ones, to between 30 and 100 grams per day - fruits and veggies are largely off-limits. This is a mistake. Fruits and vegetables - with their antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber - are some of our most powerful allies in the war against heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Yet just one papaya (59 grams of carbs) would blow the daily limit for two of the most popular low-carb diets. Eating an orange, an apple, and a cup of broccoli and carrots (73 grams of carbs - just a drop in the bucket to hunter-gatherers, whose diets were rich in fruits and vegetables - would wreck all but the most liberal low-carb diets." - Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet

On not throwing out the baby with the bath water...

There's gon' be some changes round these parts, and if you wanna know more, I would encourage you to hop on over to Part 1 of yesterday's post and read it in its entirety.

There's a new sherrif in town, folks, and that person is me. Yep, that's right. I'm gonna be callin' the shots around here from now on, not Mark Sisson or any other nutrition guru. I'm giving you fair warning, now, that green smoothies are here to stay, and, get ready for a real shocker, maybe even a healthy fruity dessert now and then, too!

Crazy, I know. But a lady's gotta do what a lady's gotta do, and eliminating fruits, even temporarily, doesn't feel right to me. This might work for some, and certainly cutting back on the volume of fruit I was eating before this trial has been a wise move, but my goal is to make Paleo eating work for me, not the other way around.

I'm a 5'4" 36-year-old woman who weighs in the 120's. I'm not looking for some dramatic weight loss here. Sure, if the Weight Loss Fairy suddenly gave me back the 110-pound body I sported in high school, I'd be thrilled, but what's most important to me is finding a new way of eating that I truly, thoroughly enjoy. An occasional handful of berries just ain't gonna cut it for this gal. And that's okay.

In yesterday's post, I used the extreme examples of two well-known health & fitness gurus, Doug Graham and Mark Sisson, to make the point that a one-diet-fits-all-approach is simply not workable. Both Doug and Mark thrive eating the way they do, and yet, their diets are completely opposite each other. If you were to try to get Doug to eat Mark's diet, he would no doubt feel like dog doo, and vice versa.

And now a word from our sponsor on Dietary Dogma:

Beware the Dietary Dogma - it's everywhere. There are True Believers in every camp, no matter what the diet, who are like scary fundamentalists in their hostility towards anyone who doesn't eat exactly like them. Becoming swayed by the True Believers and letting them police your eating habits is a foolish endeavor for any health seeker. True Believers don't care about evidence. They don't care about your personal experience. Like fundamentalist religious nuts who want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us, the True Believers of Diet want only to make you eat exactly like them.

Rather, I encourage you to always value your own experience above all else. Smart people make the diet work for them, not the other way around.

And now, without further ado, I present you the Paleo Diet Trial Day 9...

One change that this trial has introduced for me, that I'm really digging, is the replacement of a fruit smoothie for breakfast with yummy eggs. Oh, yummy eggs, how I love your velvety smoothness...

Starting off my day with three eggs scrambled in butter is becoming the New Normal around here:

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

I should also add a word about butter. Before this trial, if I needed to sautee, I would have reached instinctively for the olive oil, and before that I would have brought out the canola oil, because, of course, that's what the low fat sources tell you is healthy. Butter?! Lard?! Mon Dieu!

But now I have been educated. Animal fats are much wiser choices for cooking, as heating oils renders them toxic to the body. And need I mention the taste factor? For me, eating a food that has been in cooked in butter is a completely different culinary experience than eating one that has been cooked in oil.

Scrambled eggs are no exception. And this morning's are particularly delicious. I always tell myself I'm going to make it more of a fancy production, with chopped tomatoes or scallions or other accoutrements, but I never feel like it. I am, at my essence, a lazy cook. In truth, my website should probably be called "Super Healthy Recipes for the Super Lazy Cook." Hate spending more than 20 minutes in the kitchen? You're in the right place!

This is why fruit smoothies worked so well for me for breakfast for so many years. They take about 3 minutes to make and they fill you up for hours.

And I guess those would be my qualifications for a Heather-Approved Breakfast Meal: under 3 minutes and very filling.

Eggs, therefore, are my new breakfast amour.

I make it to my morning yoga class, and in the afternoon, I pull myself away from updating this trial, to make a green smoothie.

During the preceding 8 days, I ate but a fraction of the amount of greens I had been used to eating. I was alarmed when a reader remarked to me that these puny amounts were already more than she ever eats, and that I have nothing to worry about. Maybe for her, but not for me.

Leafy greens, in fact, are loaded with protein, and downing a green smoothie always makes me think of Popyeye with his big cans of spinach. They give you a nice, permanent buzz of energy that lasts for hours. Because of green smoothies, I was able to kill the addiction to afternoon naps that haunted me during my cooked vegan/hypoglycemic years.

This one has a 1/2 pound of baby spinach, 4 bananas and a handful of strawberries:

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

An entire 1/2 pound of spinach? Now that, to me, is eating greens.

And that is something very difficult to do when you are relying on salads. At least it was for me. And I'm not even through yet. I have a hot date with a head of green leaf lettuce coming up for dinner.

Dramatically increasing my intake of greens, in the form of green smoothies, really ramped up my energy levels. This seems to be the general reaction to these magical little drinks, as they are all over the internet now.

I get so many questions from readers about these delicious green smoothies, that I decided to put together a beginner's how-to manual to get started making them in your own kitchen (includes all my inside tips and tricks, plus recipes):

Newbies Guide to Green Smoothies

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The cravings today, those nasty little buggers, are gone. I had honestly forgotten what they were like. Cravings were simply a part of life for me as a cooked vegan. During my three years on raw, they totally disappeared, and stayed away, well, until yesterday. I was shaking my head over this, wondering how I managed to live that way for so long, not knowing that it's not normal to eat a huge meal and then have the munchies two hours later.

Feeling their familiar old torment, even for one day, rattled me. If cravings are a normal part of your day to day life, then I feel for you, I do. If you have been living with them with longer than a month, two at the most, then seriously, something is up, and it's on you to get to the bottom of it. A diet that's truly nourishing your body does not include long-term problems with cravings. That I can tell you with certainty.

It's time to move on to a fantastic dinner: Bluefish Salad!

I'm a lucky girl in a lotta ways, but one of them is definitely having a real fishmonger across the street. And today they were running a special on bluefish.

Now, what is it about strong-flavored fish that scares people off? I just love the stuff. The stronger the better (this gives me high hopes that when I finally eat some liver, I'm gonna love it). All those varieties of whitefish are so boring to me. Give me a mackerel or salmon any day!

Bluefish is another favorite. And because I'm in the minority on that, it's cheap. Only five bucks for a half pound! So while the other customers were crowding around the displays of pollack, flounder and tilapia, I was quietly salivating in the corner over the bluefish. :-)

First, I chopped a head of green leaf lettuce and added a diced juicy tomato:

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

Then I added some steamed mushrooms and zucchini (I'm a notorious mushroom slut, in case you haven't figured it out! I eat them with everything):

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

And last, ah, the delicious filet of bluefish, cooked in butter of course (a first for me):

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

This brings my total leafy greens count for the day to a 1/2 pound of spinach and a head of green leaf lettuce. My body is very, very happy. Seriously, the more leafy greens you eat, the better you feel. They're one of the healthiest foods we got, so chow down!

And now, readers, I hope your seatbelts are fastened. You might even wanna close your eyes for this next part. I can hear the shrieks and moans already.

The Fruit Monster is about to strike again.

Not only did I get all crazy and have a green smoothie, but, oh horror of horrors, I made fruit ice cream, too!

Aaaaaahhhhh!

And here it is, in all its shame and glory. Something, in fact, that I've never made before, Coconut Cashew Ice Cream:

Paleo Diet Trial Day 9

I blended four frozen bananas, a handful of raw cashews and 2 tbsp of shredded unsweetened coconut. And then I sprinked it with coconut.

And I'm now I'm gonna tell you something really bad. Really horrible, wicked and naughty.

Shhhhhh...

You're gonna have to lean real close for this part. I wouldn't want to upset all the grandmothers in the back row...

I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the heck out of that Coconut Cashew Ice Cream, every last bite.

The most shameful part of all? I might have it again!

Now here's a little point of pride I'm gonna share with you. This is a moment that finally arrives for every writer and blogger, because, after all, you can't please them all. No matter what stance you take, someone is going to be unhappy about it.

I got my very first hater today.

Exciting, I know. So far I've only got one. But hey, we all have to start somewhere. Come back in a few months and I'm sure I'll have dozens.

Apparently my continuing to operate under the auspices of "Paleo eating" is a subject of some debate to some literal interpretists, being that I eat more fruit than is recommended by many low carb writers.

In truth, Paleo and I get along very well, and overlap in every single area but my penchant for fruit servings some readers may consider obscene. Scandalous!

Of course there is dissent among the ranks. Some Paleo teachers, like Loren Cordain (quoted above), aren't stingy with the fruit. I do think there is inherent wisdom in paying attention to how our primate cousins eat. They are the closest kin we've got, and they all eat plenty of fruits and greens.

If such pictures and descriptions of fruit are making your eyes bug out, I've got bad news for you. They're not going anywhere.

But I can promise you this: lots more meaty, buttery pictures, too. Those aren't going anywhere, either.

Til tomorrow...

Click here for Day 10.

Return to beginning of diet trial.


 

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Paleo Diet Question from Reader: What is Paleo, anyways? Not rated yet
Paleo Diet Question from Verira: What is paleo, anyway? To us it may be bananas, spinach and beef; to eskimos it's seals and whatever the hell else …

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It is important to note a few things about Paleo -- when you have read the various books on the subject -- is that there are a few inherent principles …

October 2010

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