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A Month of Paleo

A Month of Paleo
I totally forgot to make any sort of blog post for the entire month of October, but I hope I can make it up by going into detail on what I was up to for the month. While I was doing my usual thing of working on video games, drawing stuff, and playing video games, I also took up a new challenge: Whole30.

This story really begins two months ago or so, when I was getting worse and worse at eating any food that was remotely good for me. I was eating a lot of cereal and whenever I wanted anything other than that it was usually a quick trip down the road for some kind of double cheeseburger and fries or out to indian food for a gross amount of rice and bread, or down to the thai restaurant for a pile of fried rice. My diet wasn't exactly the greatest, but for awhile I felt totally fine so I didn't really see any need to put any effort into changing it.

Then by a combination of working on too much shit stress and eating too much shit I began to have a lot of heart burn and overall stomach problems that were pretty distracting, and I wanted to try and do something about it. My housemates sometime do the paleo diet, as well as a lot of my friends, so I figured it was time for me to try it as well. My girlfriend Corey and I decided to make October the official challenge of Whole30.

What the hell is Whole30? Well, it's like Paleo but with some additional rules and more strict versions of already existing rules, and it's supposed to last for 30 days. Whole30 basically means eating real food, which they define as meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and good fats. Foods with very few ingredients. Also no consumption of added sugar of any kind, processed food, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and white potatoes. So my cereal and milk is totally out, as well as my double cheese burgers... no rice means no sushi either (unless I get the cucumber wrap but honestly I'm not too big of a fan of that) and no pizza... fuck.

Luckily Corey and I weren't totally alone on this. A lot of our friends in the area often eat paleo with a few exceptions here and there (In-n-Out, mostly) so we started off with a lot of resources. Our housemates usually make a lot of paleo food for dinner so started off borrowing all their recipes.

Warning: This post is going to be pretty long, so prepare yourself. If you just want to skip to the end where the most important stuff will be, that's totally cool.


Intro Level

The night before October 1st which would be the first official day of whole30, I enjoyed my last night with a free open diet where I could eat anything I wanted, and somehow I ended up at some ridiculous ice cream eatery where I ate strawberry ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. That ended up being a pretty bad idea since I felt pretty shitty afterwards but it was fucking delicious, and it was something I could not have for the next 30 days.

Our first week started with cooking the stuff that we already knew about. The go to recipes of our house were pork meatballs, guacamole, yam chips, beef stew, and baked brussels sprouts. We also grilled up a lot of small chicken tenders for snacking on later, and Corey tried her hand at some grilled salmon and tuna recipes. These are all super easy recipes which I will break down at the end of this post with links to their origins.

So far everything was off to a good start, but I could feel myself missing a lot of foods already. No more candy, or cheeseburgers, or pizza, or sushi, or fried rice... this is going to be TOUGH. But... there was something about the whole challenge of whole30 that made it easier to push on. It wasn't just a diet, it was a challenge of my will power to see if I could make it for the 30 days without giving in to generally crappy food. Also having Corey on board for the entire journey also helped a lot. Having another person with you on the challenge just makes your resolve stronger. I didn't want to fail her as well as myself, so I was determined to push on!

Mini-Boss Battle: Restaurants

We were progressing with whole30 really well into the second week of the challenge. We were cooking up a storm a few times a week, filling the refrigerator with goodies for lunch and dinner, and eating some sort of cooked eggs for breakfast every morning. The only problem was that there was an IGDA meeting fast approaching, and we hold the meetings at a local restaurant that serves nothing remotely close to whole30 or paleo, so we would have to find some way to survive.

Our way of eventually escaping the restaurant without completely destroying whole30 was to actually just ... not eat there at all. Before the meeting I ate a huge meal at home, and then went to the meeting. Keep in mind that Corey and I pretty much run the Phoenix IGDA at this point, so we're there an hour before the meeting to set up, and usually the last people to leave at night, so basically we had to sit at this place for about 5 hours watching everyone eat cheeseburgers and fries and other delicious things... it was probably more so a challenge for me than Corey.

So we were able to just select the "RUN AWAY" command at this boss battle and we ended up eating another meal at home afterwards.

We ended up going to a barbeque place with some friends one evening and we had to figure out what to do there. I ended up defaulting to getting salmon and vegetables, which I find that most restaurants serve. I just had to make sure that there was no "sweet glaze" added to the salmon and other sugary stuff that they wanted to include in all the food. The waitress seemed kinda weirded out at all the stuff I was removing from the salmon but it ended up being pretty delicious anyway. I could taste that they added butter but I figured I did the best that I could and it was better than eating a giant cheeseburger which is what I would've gotten if I wasn't doing whole30.

Boss Battle: TIGJam

Right after we started the challenge I realized that TIGJam was going to be in October. Doing paleo or whole30 while at home and completely in control of your environment is actually pretty easy when you just get down to it, but traveling to a far away land (California) and trying to keep it up can be the hardest challenge of them all. When you're out and about with a bunch of people, everyone wants to eat out all the time, and there's not really an opportunity to cook anything awesome when you're at TIGJam, jamming away for all hours of the day, with the only food in sight just giant piles of things purchased from Costco.

I was determined to make it through TIGJam without ruining the whole30 challenge. I ended up bending the rules slightly once or twice, but I didn't completely cave and eat a double double animal style with a root beer float. The first challenge of the TIGJam travel experience was eating at an indian lunch buffet where most of the piles of everything are rice or white potato... nothing whole30 allows.

I ended up scraping together some of the chicken tandori and attempting to eat that, but I'm so incredibly picky when it comes to meat that I didn't really eat much of anything and ended up being quite hungry until dinner that night where we had to meet up with a bunch of friends for a pre-TIGJam dinner then set up.

The place we went to for dinner specialized in serving... American comfort food? Or something? I have no clue what that means. To me it seemed like some place that served food slightly better than Ruby Tuesdays, but with tiny portions so it can seem fancy and charge a fuckload of money. Literally the only thing I could get on the menu was either a wedge salad, or salmon and vegetables. Everything else was covered in pasta or cheese.

When it came time to order, I asked the waiter if I could get vegetables without the glaze of butter and whatever else, and it turns out that it was impossible because almost everything in the restaurant came pre-glazed in butter... so I ended up getting just a tiny piece of salmon, completely dry. It sucked.

This is where I turned back to an old friend for help... In-N-Out. Yeah, In-N-Out. You can eat totally paleo and almost entirely whole30 (I think) with a certain order at In N Out. During the course of TIGJam I think I ate at In N Out like 7 times out of a 5 day trip. The secret is: Two double hamburgers, protein style, no sauce, with grilled onions. BOOM! A super paleo feast fit for a paleo king. A ball of meat and vegetables that satisfied my hunger without making me feel like garbage. It was tough though watching everyone else eat huge animal style burgers.

The other challenge at TIGJam which actually wasn't that bad was ... Outback Steakhouse. We somehow ended up at Outback twice during the weekend because there was no other good steak places within a 20 minute drive from TIGJam. Outback was actually pretty easy to overcome because I could actually get vegetables on the side without butter glazed all over them, YES! Both my meals at Outback were a completely dry salad, and salmon with vegetables. Oh and it was like half of the price than the place I ate at the first night.

During the jam, I snacked on any fruits and veggies that I could find on the snack table. Mostly carrots, grapes, and apples. Under whole30 I wasn't supposed to eat a lot of fruit, but given the choice between apples or goldfish I think I was better of going with the apples.

The ultimate final boss of the challenge was the indian dinner that was put on at the end of TIGJam. It ended up just being a buffet of curry and rice and fried potato vegetable things. I actually could not eat a single thing there except for drink the water, so for about an hour or so I sat around with my stomach yelling and screaming at me just trying to survive long enough so that I could go to In-n-Out afterwards for the paleo burgers.

The Final Week

By the end of the month things were looking pretty damn good. Our recipe knowledge had expanded by almost double from the beginning of the challenge, and we were cooking up all kinds of stuff like broccoli soup, spaghetti squash with meatballs and sauce, grilled tuna and salmon, some different spins on grilled chicken, and some awesome breakfast hash things with sweet potatoes and squash and various forms of sausage.

The challenge officially ended last night at midnight, and now... THE RESULTS.


* At the beginning of the challenge, I weighed 189 pounds. After 30 days of whole30 paleo goodness, I'm now at 174. 15 pounds completely vanished with almost no effort at all!

* I don't feel like shit every time I eat. I used to have this problem of getting all congested and tired after eating food. The classic "Food Coma." But during whole30, I could eat as much food as I wanted and I would never feel the ill effects of over eating. During TIGJam this was awesome, because I was totally lucid and with it all the time (except for the one day I forgot to drink water and had a pounding headache for an hour or so).

* No more weird stomach pains or heart burn issues! Not much else to say about this one. Although, this could also be related to feeling less stressed.

* I learned (somewhat) how to cook. I mean, I'm not an expert or anything, but at least now I have some recipes that I could actually make aside from "Honey Bunches of Oats with 2% Milk"


Throughout my journey of whole30 I had a lot of people asking me various questions, so now I'll try to answer them!

Why did you do this again?
It was mostly an experiment. I wanted to see what kind of effects, if any, this was going to have on my body, and 30 days seems to be the amount of time you need to spend with it to see any change. Also, my diet sucked and I wanted to see if I could actively fix it. Testing my willpower ended up being pretty fun.

How do you live without bread?!
At first, not easily. The soothing feel of warm bread gently brushing my lips is a feeling that could bring most mortal men to tears... but I had to resist. I love warm bread, it's awesome, but I had to give it up. After a week or so I stopped missing it so much. It was still pretty tough when I went out to eat and couldn't touch any of the bread that was brought out to the table, and it's especially hard at an indian place where I wanted to eat naan so hard.

WHAT? No potatoes? Are you insane?
Yeah probably, but yeah this totally sucked at first. I love french fries. I am a horrible person because a big cheeseburger and fries is probably my favorite thing to eat, but I had to say NO MORE! The great thing about whole30 though is that yams and sweet potatoes are totally fine. Please NOTE that yams are NOT sweet potatoes. Often times when trying to look up sweet potato recipes, I found yam recipes, including this super gross baked yam recipe where they would bake a yam (which is already incredibly sweet and delicious) then dump cinnamon sugar and maple butter on... GOOD LORD.

Isn't there a lack of variety when you do paleo?
Not at all. We probably made more than 15 completely different recipes during the entire course of the challenge, and I never really felt that variety was an issue. Yeah, you are limited to mostly meats, veggies, and fruit, but when you actually go out to the grocery store and look around there are a shitload of different vegetables with a lot of different textures and tastes. For example, I just discovered spaghetti squash, which is this magical thing that transforms into spaghetti after you cook it. When you combine all of the different meats, veggies, and fruits out there, and then combine that with how many different ways you can cook things... variety shouldn't be a problem.

Aren't you hungry a lot?
The awesome thing that I discovered as a result of paleo is that I can seriously eat as much food as I want and I still lost 15 pounds. I guess not eating any grains or dairy at all has that effect. At first I was actually trying to curb how much food I ate because I often felt like I was over eating a lot when I went out to eat or just ate food around the house, but after a week of that I went back to my normal eating habits because I felt like shit. Some nights I ate a lot, like a lot of food. Like two giant helpings of spaghetti squash with chicken and sauce, but somehow I felt totally fine. If that spaghetti squash were spaghetti, I would've passed out from the food coma. So even with some nights of eating insane amounts of food so I would stop being hungry, I still lost weight!


* Cooking kind of feels like a pain in the ass sometimes. I used to go out to eat a lot because I just didn't want to cook and then have to clean up the giant mess that results in cooking, but on whole30 going out isn't usually an option. It's not so bad though, cooking a few days worth of meals and cleaning up is usually a 3 to 4 hour ordeal.

* Going out to eat does kind of suck when you have to do it. Most places glaze a lot of their food in butter, salt, and other things to make them taste better, and sometimes you just can't avoid it. A few times when I had salmon while I was out to eat, it did taste a lot like butter, but I figured I tried my best and at least I'm not eating a giant cheeseburger and fries.

* It seems a little... expensive. Buying high quality meat and vegetables to cook definitely is a little bit pricier than buying junk food, but in the end it's probably worth it. Definitely less expensive than eating out every night.

Pro Tips

* Cook as much food as you can at once. If you can cook a couple of days worth of food, and store it all in glass saver containers, then you'll be set for more meals during the day. Lunch is probably the hardest meal to keep paleo, but if you are eating delicious left overs for lunch every day then it doesn't matter. We usually went to the grocery store, bought everything we needed, and then cooked it all immediately so that it doesn't sit around at all.

* Crock pots are amazing machines that will make a lot of delicious paleo things. The crock pot in our house is constantly in use since the beginning of the whole30 challenge. At one point we were even considering getting a 2nd one so we could cook twice as much crock pot recipes.

* Don't weigh yourself or think about the results of the challenge until the challenge is over. In fact, on the whole30 site itself it tells you that you can't step on a scale at all during the entire 30 days. The point is to not feel discouraged if you're not immediately seeing results, because you're not going to immediately see results. The impact of not weighing myself for 30 days and seeing that I went down 15 pounds is way more intense than seeing my average weight slightly go down every day for 30 days.

* Use online resources to help out with recipes and what to order at restaurants. Something like Foodee or Primal Meal Plans can be pretty helpful. Honestly the internet in general was pretty helpful to us throughout the challenge with just google searches for whole30 or paleo recipes. Meal plans can be the best resource out there whether you're just getting started or a few weeks in.

* Have someone else do it with you! Having Corey by my side in the field of paleo battle was motivating and immensely helpful. I think doing this by myself I probably would've given up, but having someone else to keep tabs on you, and you keeping tabs on them, is a great help for a willpower challenge.

* Get one of these things. It's probably one of the most useful things ever. Spraying oil down on a sheet and spraying it over other things is awesome.

* Also get one of these. You can harness the power of the Mandoline to make all sorts of sliced things, like yam chips.

* Get some glass tupperware containers that seal up nice and tight. We have a set of glass savers in the house that keep guacamole from turning brown, YEAH, that's how good they are.

Yo, Wrap it up!

Alright! Overall the whole30 challenge and being paleo turned out to be pretty awesome. I used to think that it was pretty dumb to eat paleo since the idea of it is to eat like our ancient ancestors and they only lived to be like 30 years old, but after seeing the results of doing it for 30 days I can see why it totally makes sense.

I've already loosened my restrictions on my diet a little bit since the challenge is over (I ate some halloween candy) but I think I'm going to keep going with it. The food is actually quite delicious and I wouldn't mind eating heaps of spaghetti squash and tomato sauce for a long time, but I dont think I can completely resist the urge to eat non-paleo food forever... but with the results I've seen so far I definitely want to stick with it!

I think November's experiment will be 30 days of paleo with intense Dance Dance Revolution sessions. Time to dust off the pad...

The Recipes!

Here's a quick guide to some of the recipes we ended up using a lot during the 30 days. Not all of these are in too much detail but hopefully its enough to get someone started. GOOD LUCK!

Paleo Czech Meatballs (Link)
This one is so easy and was a staple for a lot of our meals early on.
What you NEED
2 pounds of ground pork (Get good quality meat, it's worth it!)
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
What you DO
So whenever I make stuff I don't really measure anything. For this one I just get a big bowl, put in some sea salt, caraway seeds, black pepper, chopped up parsley, and the grainy mustard, and I try to mix that all up. Then I get out a big baking sheet thing and put some foil on it so I don't have to clean it after, yeah! Spray that down with some olive oil or whatever in preparation for the meatballs.

Go set the oven for 400 degrees and then dump the 2 pounds of pork into the bowl with the other stuff. Mix it all up as best as you can, and then start chunking it off into meatballs and put them on the cooking sheet thing with the foil and oil on it. Now put them in that 400 degree oven for like 25 minutes and they should be good to go. DELICIOUS!

Baked Brussels Sprouts
So easy!
What you need
A lot of brussels sprouts
What you do
Cut all your brussel sprouts in half and get out that big baking sheet thing and put foil on it if you want. Spray it down with the oil stuff, and put all the brussels sprouts halves onto the sheet with the flat cut side facing down. I think we sprinkle some rosemary on them most of the time.

Turn your oven machine to temperature 350, and put the sprouts in there. After about 15 minutes or so you probably want to check up on them. There's not really an exact time that we have on this one, we just pull them out when they're starting to brown from the cooking. Take them out of the oven when they looked cooked enough for you. That's it! EAT THEM.

Baked Yam Chips
Yam chips are awesome substitutes for regular chips that are terrible for you.
What you need!
Some yams.
A mandoline, or some patience.
What you do!
Use the mandoline to slice up all them yams into slices. They should be a little thick, and not paper thin slices. Then dump all the yams into a bowl with just a little bit of olive oil and mix 'em all up so all the yam chips have a coating of olive oil on them. This part can be kind of a pain so you might also want to try using that oil sprayer thing that I told you to get.

Now through a lot of experiments of making yam chips it's been discovered that a low temperature for a long period of time is the right way to go. A high temperature for shorter results in soggy gross chips, so set your oven baking machine to 275. Put as many yam chips as you can onto some kind of baking rack. I think we actually use cooling racks now that I think about it, but we probably shouldn't... but the point is we don't want to use the regular sheet but something that's more of a grate so that the chips are more exposed on both sides. I wish I knew the names of these things.

Now they're going to have to be in the oven for probably an hour, but make sure to keep a careful eye on them towards the end of this time. It takes awhile for the chips to become crispy, but right after they get crispy they'll start to burn and I don't like burned chips (although Corey does). When they're all done you can sprinkle some sea salt on there if you want.

A lot of recipes for yam chips seem to suggest baking at 400 degrees for 25 minutes but we have never been able to get this to work. Usually the chips come out all weird or soggy and not very good, but the 275 for an hour method has proven quite successful for us.

Super Guacamole
Are you ready to have your mind blown and replaced with guacamole? GOOD.
What you need
8 or so avocados
1/2 to 1 White Onion
1 Tomato
1 Jalapeno
Some garlic cloves
5oz Pomegranate Seeds
What you do
Cut open them avocados and get all the good green mush out of there and slap it into a big bowl. Then you can cut up as much white onion as you want and throw it in there too. Then dice up your tomato all nice but you can probably throw out the gross innards unless you're into that. Mince up the garlic cloves and toss that in too. While you're at it, cut up the jalapeno and don't put the inside of it in there too unless you want things to get really spicy (I don't.) Now for the super special secret ingredient. Put all the pomegranate seeds in there, and mix it up real nice like.

The pomegranate seeds that we use for our guacamole are from Trader Joe's. You can just buy a little plastic sealed container of pomegranate seeds and its 5.3 ounces or something like that. If you don't have access to that, then you can always bust open a pomegranate yourself and get the seeds out, or just... skip that part.

The yam chips combine with the guacamole for ultimate deliciousness.

Beef Stew (Link)
This is one of the house favorites and is pretty easy to make, and it makes a lot.
What you NEED
2 pounds of stewing beef
1 can of tomato paste
1 rutabega
1 sweet potato
5 celery sticks
3 carrots (or a bunch of baby carrots)
A lot of garlic
1 red onion
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon terragon
1/2 tablespoon thyme
Some black pepper
2 cups of boilin' water
What you DO
The overall process of making beef stew is just taking a bunch of stuff and throwing it into a crockpot for 7 or 8 hours. First, chop up all your stuff. You got celery, sweet potato, carrots, rutabega, and the red onion. Chop all that stuff up and just dump it into the crockpot. If you have the small carrots just leave those whole. Put the stewing beef in there too while you're at it.

Then in some kinda separate bowl you can dump out the tomato paste and all the spices. Also mince up the garlic and put it in here too. Add the cup of chicken stock and mix it up. Dump it all over the contents of the crock pot and mix up a little bit if you so desire. Boil your 2 cups of water and dump it in there too, trying to get it all mixed in. We actually don't put the 2 full cups of water in because it would overflow our fragile crock pot. After that, cover your crock pot and set that baby on Low for the next 7 hours. If you over do it, that should be fine, I think once we accidentally cooked our stew for 12 hours, but it still tasted GREAT.

Honestly this recipe is open for any experimentation. You can pretty much decide how much of anything you want to put in there and it will still most likely taste amazing. It's pretty easy to make, and it makes a crapload of food.

Delicious Spaghetti Squash
I really wanted to eat some kind of pasta and sauce while on paleo and I was able to discover the magical spaghetti squash that let me do just that.
What you neeeeeed
1 Spaghetti Squash
What you doooo
Preheat the oven to 375. Take a giant knife and stab the squash a few times so the squash doesn't explode when it gets super heated to 375. Then put it in the oven for an hour or so, but check up on it to make sure it's not overcooking. When it's ready, slice it in half and dig out all the nasty parts in the middle and the seeds and all that gross part.

Then take a fork and watch the magic happen. Just scrape the fork through the squash and the entire contents of it will turn into big spaghetti like strands. If the squash is turning into mush, then it's overcooked but it's still yummy so don't worry, but if you did it just right then you'll have a giant bowl of spaghetti by the time you're done. AWESOME!

Awesome Marinara Sauce
This one goes pretty well with that spaghetti squash thing.
2 28 oz. cans of organic peeled tomatoes (with juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
bunch of basil
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper
Take the two cans of tomatoes and the basil and put them in a blender. Pulse it up until its smooth and then forget about it for now. Dice up your onion, mince up your garlic, and put it in a saute pan with the olive oil and cook it on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or so. Cook it up until the onions are translucent and soft. Then add your tomato sauce from the blender, along with oregano and however much salt and pepper you want. Bring it to a boil on medium high heat.

After its boiling bring the heat down to low and just let it simmer for awhile. Basically how long you simmer it for will determine how watery or thick it's going to turn out in the end.

This is another one where you can feel free to add or subtract whatever you want. This turns out pretty delicious every time and we end up making it twice a week now.

Super Chicken Meatballs
This is the final addition to the spaghetti squash for a delta attack of destined deliciousness.
2 pounds of ground chicken
1/2 white onion
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup parsley
1 cup loose leaf spinach
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
Remember the paleo czech pork meatballs from earlier? This is a lot like those. Get out a big ole bowl. Dice up your onion, chop up the basil, parsley, spinach leaves, and mince that garlic up. Throw it all into that bowl, and add the dried oregano along with some salt and pepper if you so desire. Now before you get your hands all messy with raw meat, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get out a baking sheet with foil on it.

Add the chicken and mix it all up with the stuff already in the bowl. This one is pretty hard because the vegetable to chicken ratio in the meatballs almost seem like its 50/50, so you'll have to mix it up really well to avoid getting all vegetable meatballs sometimes. Chunk your mixture into meat balls and throw them onto the baking sheet. Stick em in the oven at 400 for 25 minutes or so and you should be golden.

NOW take your spaghetti squash, put some meatballs on it, and dump some of that sauce on it and you'll be riding a wave of deliciousness all the way to healthy town.

Creamy Broccoli Soup
This is another easy one that tastes pretty delicious, and you can have creamy soup without ingesting any dairy at all!
What you need
2 pounds of broccoli heads
2 cans of coconut milk with full fat
1 small white onion
some terragon
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1/4 cup of coconut oil
pinch of seasalt
some black pepper
1 cup of chicken stock (optional)
What you do
Dice up that onion, and mince that garlic. You can chop up the broccoli to whatever size you want. Now put that coconut oil in a large sauce pan and turn up the heat to medium high. Add your chopped onion, garlic, and some terragon to it. Then add some sea salt, and some black pepper. The actual recipe here calls for 1 tablespoon of black pepper but that is waaay too much for me so I add just a little bit.

Now saute all of that until the onions are looking nice and golden brown. Add your two cans of coconut milk, and turn the heat to medium. Right after this you want to add your broccoli to the soup, and then simmer it on medium low heat until the broccoli is all cooked and soft. This should take 15 to 20 minutes. If you want the soup to be ultra creamy, then stop here, but if you want it to be slightly more soupy then add your cup of chicken stock.

Now take about 3/4 of your entire soup and put it into your blender (or however much will fit.) Blend it all up until its a nice puree of broccoli deliciousness, and put it back into the pan with the rest of the soup. Boom, you're done.

Alright, you're going to have to search the rest of the internet if you want more than that. Thanks for tuning in!


I'm not well versed in the art of paleo, but just a note on that Marinara recipe and some possible ways to vary it

Balsamic Vinegar
Bacon (pancetta if you want to get real)
Red Pepper flakes

If you render the bacon (chopped) in the pan then throw your garlic, onions, red pepper in on the bacon fat, plus some olive oil, then you'll have yourself a crack-like slurry that will take the sauce to the next level. Balsamic can help even out the heaviness of the bacon and also adds a little sweetness. Normally I add parmesan cheese to this sauce but it's mostly just for salt.

I've got another recipe too, that's more vegetable based, but pretty meaty tasting and hearty here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeiowu/4391710092/in/set-72157623509450220

You could skip the sugar, cheese and butter and replace with olive oil and salt no problem. using a bit more balsamic in place of the sugar, or cook the onions longer to caramelize them to bring out their natural sugars.
Posted November 2nd 2011 1:57 PM
Way to go! We did a whole30 last January and each dropped about 15lbs. We'll do it again after the first of the year.

It feels good to clean up your system for a bit!

Variation on meat balls: 1lb ground pork and 1lb ground lamb... They taste awesome and it's a nice switch from the usual beef, chicken, pork that we eat most of the time.
Posted November 2nd 2011 7:47 PM
Oh yeah you can totally switch around the meat you use for meatballs and it works out great. I have yet to try mixing meats because that feels like I'm breaking some sort of universal law.
Posted November 2nd 2011 11:31 PM
AWESOME! Thanks for sharing! Great ideas here, so excited to try them out! I'm just starting, on day 5 and dreaming about danish, day 5 has been rough, but it is much easier then I thought. A little tougher with little ones, I do cook noodle and rice sides for them and have found will power in passing the bowl. Baby steps! :)
Posted December 23rd 2011 4:05 AM
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