Modern Paleo: My Paleo Experience and Favorite Dishes

I’ve been eating a Paleo-style diet for close to a year now. Before, I ate large quantities of bread, rice, pasta, and sugary foods, at just about every meal. Now I eat beef, pork, chicken, fish, veggies, and eggs. I’m not always 100% strict Paleo. For example, I still use some dairy products such as cheese or heavy cream, although I’ve stopped drinking milk recently. On rare occasion I eat some rice, if it comes with the fish or beef I order at a restaurant, but I absolutely avoid pasta or bread. As a result, there have been several benefits I’ve enjoyed:

1) I used to lie in bed for an hour or two, wide awake, before falling asleep. I was that way for as long as I could remember and I just thought it was normal for me. Now I fall asleep within 10 minutes. The carbohydrates made my energy levels fluctuate, whereas fats provide a more stable energy source. I’m also more awake and alert during the day.

2) Hunger used to be sharp and painful. Around 11:30 am and around 4:30 pm everyday, I used to be forced to interrupt whatever I was working on in order to eat something, because the hunger was so overwhelming. Now hunger is dull and easily ignored. I can fast for 24 hours and hardly notice it.

3) Eating large portions used to make me feel bloated and uncomfortable. (Think about the stomachache after eating four plates of pasta.) Now, eating large portions makes me happy and content. Eating has become a positive pleasurable experience, not merely an avoidance of the negatives of hunger and death.

Here is what I’ve been eating. I tend to favor dishes that are easy and fast to prepare, and require few ingredients.

Eggs are one of the most awesome foods in the world. The egg yolk is the most delicious, especially if I fry it over easy. It drives me nuts when I see people order eggs with the yolks removed. Anyways, I usually scramble it with a bit of heavy cream. Often I add vegetables, such as spinach, sauteed in olive oil. For breakfast, bacon makes an excellent addition. Below, the superb combo of nutrition and flavor includes uncured Canadian bacon, which looks like ham (good) but tastes like bacon (better).

Beef is delicious and I firmly believe everyone should eat it (especially vegetarians) but make sure you go for grass-fed beef, because cows should not be eating grains (kind of like humans) and the cheaper grain-fed beef will have less omega-3, more omega-6, and toxins and chemicals stored in the fat. Sometimes I pan-sear a beef steak such as a ribeye or a porterhouse, but usually I just put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 F. Most marinades contain way too much sugar, and eating fatty meat with a sugary marinade makes me feel really sick, so sometimes I use a teriyaki marinade which is more salty than sweet, or often I use spices such as cayenne peppers, black peppers, and curry powder. I don’t weigh or measure my food. I just eat when I’m hungry and until I’m full. Sometimes I have leftover steak, which I end up slicing and stir-frying into a meal, the next day. The combo of eggs, spinach, and red meat is unbeatable. Salmon must be the most delicious fish in the world. Haddock and cod just don’t do it for me, because they have no flavor. Catfish is pretty good too, but I usually end up eating salmon. Even canned salmon tastes great. Alaskan wild caught salmon is far superior to the disease-ridden, improperly-fed farmed variety. I usually bake it with zucchini or broccoli. Chicken breasts, widely hailed as a healthy lean white meat, is in fact dry, flavorless, and thus inedible. Chicken legs, especially the thighs, are far more delicious and nutritious, with all the fat and skin. Also, I like to suck the nutrient-loaded marrow out of the ends of the bones. Here is some baked chicken, sprinkled with basil and black peppers, along with broccoli dipped in heavy cream. Sometimes I replace the broccoli with other cooked vegetables or a fresh salad with mixed greens and olive oil.

Written by Diana Hsieh.

Modern Paleo

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