I recently had an email from a Stonesoup reader asking me whether I was planning on writing an ebook focusing on eating ‘Paleo’. As much as I’d love to, the short answer is ‘no’. Being 7 months pregnant, I’ve promised myself not to take on any new projects.
But it got me thinking.
It’s been quite a while since I wrote about my experience with eating like a ‘cave man’. So maybe it’s time for an update…
What is this ‘Paleo’ way of eating?
Basically it’s about eating the way our Paleolithic ‘hunter gatherer’ ancestors ate before the inventions of agriculture.
It focuses on eating vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry and nuts. And avoiding grains, dairy, legumes, starches and processed foods and sugars.
And my interpretation?
For the last couple of years my Irishman and I have been eating what I like to call ‘mostly’ paleo. I’ve found being 100% paleo a little too restrictive so I’ve evolved it to allow legumes and dairy.
The other refinement is to take one day off a week and eat whatever we feel like. I got this idea of a ‘cheat day‘ from Tim Ferriss. It makes the whole paleo thing easier to stick to because you have a break from it every week.
3 reasons I eat (mostly) Paleo
1. Helps me focus on real whole foods.
My focus is on eating unprocessed ‘real’ food. I’ve found that by thinking about it from the ‘Paleo’ perspective, makes it easier to focus in on healthy whole foods.
2. It’s waistline-friendly (well not at the moment).
OK so being 7 months pregnant hasn’t done my ‘waistline’ any favours. But before I was pregnant, I found that eating ‘mostly’ paleo helped me easily get rid of the extra weight I was carrying around my middle.
3. Avoids grain-associated health problems.
You probably know someone that is coeliac or suffers from a gluten intolerance. The Paleo crowd argue that grains impair everyone’s health, just not to the same degree. If you’d like to learn more about the health problems associated with grains, have a look at this post I wrote a while ago about why I mostly don’t eat grains.
Ground Beef with Kale
I decided to try out Robb Wolf’s ‘Paleo Food Matrix’ to come up with a new recipe. This was the result. It’s one of those meals that you won’t find featured in any fancy restaurants but it’s super quick, delicious and filling.
Enough for 2
450g (1lb) ground (minced) beef
1-3 small red chillies, finely sliced
1 large bunch kale, finely sliced crosswise
1. Heat a little olive or coconut oil in a large frying pan on a high heat.
2. Add beef and chilli. Stir fry for a few minutes until will browned.
3. Add the kale and continue to cook, stirring now and then until the kale is wilted and tender – another few minutes.
4. Taste and season with salt, pepper & lemon juice.
vegan – this won’t be ‘paleo’ but you can replace the ground beef with cooked lentils (simmer lentils in boiling water until tender). Instead of browning the lentils in the pan first, wilt the kale and then add in the cooked lentils at the end and cook until heated through. You might like to season with a little soy sauce as well for extra flavour.
vegetarian – replace the ground beef with 6 eggs. Cook the kale first then scramble the eggs and cook until no longer ‘snotty’.
different veg – Most green veg will work. Try collard greens, spinach, silverbeet, chard, baby spinach, broccoli or zucchini.
asian vibe – add a few tablespoons of oyster sauce in at the end and serve scattered with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).
different spicing – replace the chilli or keep it and add one of the following – curry powder, garam marsala, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika.
Video version of the recipe.