Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm beginning to surprise myself...

Admittedly Paleo is a challenge. Don't get me wrong, when I eat spot on I feel great and I definitely notice the days I don't eat well, at least I notice the day after. Sick to my stomach, tired and sluggish, bloated, and just overall ughhhh. So finding food that not only meets a craving, but exceeds is a quick way to say Paleo-who??
Yesterday I was dying for some Thai food. I don't know whether it's the exotic blend of so many different seasonings or the spice that makes your tastebuds just jump and say howdy-do. Sitting at my desk yesterday I started daydreaming of lunch even though I had brought lunch to work, one of the best Thai restaurants in Huntington Beach is just a mile down the road and their $5 lunch special is enough food to feed the people of Malaysia. Too close for comfort. Too tempting. What was worse is I had to do errands at lunch and oh the idea of passing it was getting to be too much!!! I finally resisted driving fast right past it, don't look, don't look!! and sat at my desk eating my chicken salad (yawn).

My husband had plans last night, so I planned on putting the kids to bed and making something good. I had no idea how good until I just threw caution to the wind and opened the coconut milk.

Ok so I took my chicken in bite size pieces and browned them in olive this point I was still making another dish (thankfully the olive oil didn't matter to the taste).

As I was getting my balsamic glaze out I saw my curry paste...and I thought, yes! why not!! I opened it and the smell made me feel good all over so I added that to my chicken.

I let it cook for a short time in the curry paste and then added my coconut milk. I don't cook with measurements. I cook by color. I know the color I want and that's when I stop. Oh look how beautiful chicken can look.

But that's not all. Then I went crazy...and put my brussel sprouts in my quick and crazy recipe and sauteed those pups for a few minutes and oh such goodness on a plate.

I do need to learn how to make the rice cauliflower, it might prove to be more authentic but if you enjoy curry the way I do it doesn't matter what you put it on. I had it in Malaysia once with a bowl of spaghetti. My tongue was on fire and I live to have that moment again. Two Yums Up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happiness can be found in your wallet.

When life doesn't seem to be going my way I have found comfort in little things like shoe or purse shopping. A purse never cares if you put on a pound or two, or five. I used to feel that way about shoes but then I got pregnant and realized shoes can be horribly judgemental. Now after having babies, I realized purses form a whole new meaning. Is it a diaper bag? A fashion statement? A place to hold my wrappers, receipts, school flyers?

Life in the Cave can be pretty hectic and my life needs to lean towards simplicity. So when I step out of the Cave I need to be thinking simple. Which led me to the culprit of why I carry a purse...the wallet.

My journey began to find a wallet that I can use as an all-in-one for the days I just need to grab my wallet and go, or days I need a purse and want to throw the wallet in it. It seriously took 2 months to find the right one for me. It had to zip, it had to have enough places for the the reward cards, have the ability to show my license easily, and it needed a handle cause seriously I lose things. Oh and I had to love the way it looked.

Home parties and hours searching Google behind me, I finally found the Vera Bradley all-in-one zip around wallet!! It took days to get it but worth the wait and I couldn't wait to get started cleaning out my old wallet. Throwing away receipts, business cards, reward cards, etc. I felt like a hoarder and seriously was waiting for TLC's cameras to sneak up behind me.

The pile on the left is what came out of my old wallet. The bag on the right is my new wallet, all zipped up and ready to go:

I took this opportunity to not only clean out my wallet, but recognize I don't need all the things in it. Why am I saving free yogurt coupons? How many reward cards does one person need? My 5 year old was delighted to receive my old hand-me-down and the twins were running around the house with plastic reward cards with pure excitement. I made their night. Most of all, this is just another step in the right direction to simplify my life. Back to the Cave.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I like to eat. There, I said it.

I love a good meal. Who doesn't right? When I started Paleo, I made a secret pact with myself that I would take the time needed to create dishes that were healthy and satisfying. Paleo eaters can find themselves running into routines of eating the same meals a lot. I mean how many ways can you cook steak and chicken?? I am very thankful for a heart that likes to try new things and isn't afraid of playing with my food. My husband isn't as fun in this area but has gotten better, as long as I don't tell him what's in it and usually I can make him anything that includes bacon.

So last night's creation...while the mind said "oooh make chicken bacon bites" the body was being pulled on by my twins Jack & Bella (they love when mommy wears a dress, it's like a game of gather round the may pole) and making bacon bites entailed a little more work (don't worry, we'll get there). So as a good Cave Wife and Mom, I chose to simplify - while using the same ingredients.

Last night was simple since the kids had eaten and hubby wanted his leftover pulled pork from the night before but if cooking for the family just double, triple, etc. the ingredients.

Start with 2 slices of non-cured bacon. Bacon seems to be a debate in the Paleo world but I have found that the nitrate free, non-cured has less to debate. It's pork with no processing, a.k.a. up! And seriously non-cured bacon has a greater taste of bacon without the added seasonings and salty taste from curing.

So fry up your bacon and don't lose that fat...ohhhh bacon fat you are a blessing for cooking. Remove the bacon when cooked and then toss in your chicken breast cut into bite size pieces. Yes, cook your chicken in the bacon fat. Seasoning with chili powder, garlic and a pinch of sea salt.

On the side, make a mixture of honey and mustard and stir until it just tastes right to you. Some people like more mustard tanginess than others. Once the chicken is cooked, drop in your honey mustard mix and stir up until it creates a warm oozy mess. It will actually look like bbq sauce.

Then plate it. On goes your chicken and then crumble your bacon on top. For you non Paleo foodies, you can add cheese while still in the pan to melt then plate and top with your bacon. Cheese is not on the Paleo food plan, and while some people incorporate it in I have chosen not to simply because it's a binge food for me.

This was enough for me last night. I was full and beyond satisfied with my dish. I was having a hard time finding a veggie dish to pair it with and already had a salad at lunch. I need to work on the side dishes so I can have more complete eating experiences.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is beyond the cave?

A few months ago my husband and I began eating in accordance with the Paleo plan, what many have referred to as the Caveman diet. If it isn't of this earth, it isn't in your mouth is my way of describing it.

Transforming our lives to eating healthier, and simpler had me thinking what else can I do healthier? simpler? That's where this blog comes in. Come with me, beyond the cave. Discover again what life is about, without all the chaos, additives and complications the everyday world provides.