Bring attention to your mouth!

 

A sure sign that you are old is when is you PVR an episode of Oprah and watch it on a Friday night….that is what I did on Friday. I don’t normally like watching Oprah unless she is interviewing people who were attacked by monkeys, transgendered or hoarders. I PVR’d this episode because it was called Food 101 and had on Michael Pollan, author of such books as “In Defense of Food” and “Omnivore’s Dilemma”. I was happy to see that the message of eating real food was finally hitting the mass market…we all know that once you’ve been featured on Oprah, you’ve really made it (so sad, but true). The second part of the show featured Alicia Silverstone who recently wrote a book called “The Kind Diet” which is essentially a Vegan diet and cookbook. I had to cringe at a few of the things that she recommended because she uses soy-based alternatives and also vegan processed foods which is not real food, nor is it good for you (that requires its own post so go google “dangers of soy” to learn more). I did however think that she had one good tip that aligned to my approach to adopting the Paleo lifestyle – “Flirting”. It all goes full circle because as a teenager I learned how to score a guy and basic flirting tips from the movie Clueless….some of my favourite tips which Cher (Alicia Silverstone) teaches Tai (Brittany Murphy) are: “pretend you’re laughing at what someone else is saying” ”make him want you, never go after him” “bring attention to your mouth”.  I swear it works!  Just ask Semi-Primal Husband!  

Moving on, Alicia Silverstone is promoting a less aggressive approach to having people take interest in her diet – this idea of “Flirting”: Take it in baby steps and try 1 thing at a time.  The approach is to adopt one aspect of the diet, adjust your life, see how you feel and then take on another aspect.  This resonated with me.  I feel that people need to flirt with the idea of Paleo…go to First Base before moving to Second.  Be a bit of a prude and hold out on going all the way in order to make it a solid and lasting relationship.  My approach to adopting the Paleo diet was definitely prudent – First Base was removing grains, starches and processed foods from my dinner.  Second Base was fixing lunch.  Third Base was breakfast – that was hard!! I held out on moving to third base for a few months – I thought I was going to die without my english muffin or quaker oatmeal.  Going all the way was when I finally ditched my 3pm Zone Bar in favour of some veggies, chicken and nuts.  Much like a long-lasting relationship you need to start with flirting and take it slow in order to grow into it and fall in love.  No one wants to take a one-night stand to the altar!  (mom will be so proud that I said that)

Some people may be able to do the ‘one-night stand’ with Paleo and make it a long-lasting relationship.  If you can do that, then good for you!  Seriously, I admire that.  That would not work for me – what did work was taking it slow and doing 1 thing at a time.  The Paleo diet is a lifestyle change and it requires you to marry the concept and be committed to it for the rest of your life in order for you to fully thrive and live healthy.  I’d rather have someone take it slow and in baby steps successfully then go all the way fast, get freaked out because you’re afraid you can’t commit and end up ditching the program because you were dying without your whole wheat bread (serial dater!).

I encourage you to flirt with Paleo and continue flirting until you’re ready for that life-long commitment…If you’re currently at Third Base, what’s holding you back from going all the way? Do it! Just like in that Meatloaf song Paradise by the Dashboard Light, except you can’t take it back after you’ve gone all the way.

 

  

Served with a side of green beans and red cabbage salad (check the recipe index page!)

Semi-Primal Husband sent me a link to this Globe & Mail article about people who took on a 28 day real food challenge.  It’s a good article that speaks to how people found it challenging to purge their pantry of processed foods because they are so accustomed to eating that way.  Reading the comments that people posted was the most interesting piece because it shows a major divide in people’s feelings about eating this way.  On one hand you’ve got people who claim it’s easy to eat real food (yay!).  But there is another group of people who think it’s not realistic – One of the points that people kept bringing up was that it is too expensive to eat real food.  People tend to throw their hands up and say, “there is no way i’d eat like that” because it takes too much time or costs too much money.  In some cases, this unfortunately might be the case – but I believe that there are many people who could afford to eat real food, but they just don’t want to give it a chance and find the easiest excuse.  This meal is a perfect example that it does not need to cost that much and you can prepare a meal in less than 20 minutes.  You just need to be smart about it.  Look for veggies that are local and in-season or will go a long way for the money.  I buy 1 head of red cabbage, chop it up and toss it with some oil and vinegar and I have a side dish for every dinner of the week.  As for the meat, Venison sounds so gourmet and exotic – but these 2 (large) strips which are naturally raised and organic were only $9 in total!  That’s the same price as a 2 pack of factory farm boneless skinless chicken breasts from a grocery store.  Every time I visit the Healthy Butcher (my local shop) they have a variety of cuts and some are more expensive than others.  If you’re willing to be a bit more adventurous you can usually find a cheaper cut – ask the butcher about the best way to prepare it and they’ll be happy to tell you – or google it.  You can also look into buying a farm share or cow share from a local farm (check out eatwild.com) which will save you dough on grass-fed and naturally raised meats.  They even have places where you can go and work at the farm to earn your meat.  You just need to invest in some freezer space to store all the meat.  I could go on and on about all the other excuses that people have, but we’ll save some of that for another post.  Here is the recipe I used for the Venison (note that you want to marinate it for 24 hours if possible – i only marinated mine for 20 minutes and it was still delicious):

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 2 piece of venison loin (this recipe would work with any venison cut except a roast)
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– pinch of red pepper flakes
– 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
– 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
– ground pepper
– pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients (except meat).  
  2. Pour into bag with the venison and let it marinate (24 hours is best).  This marinade will tenderize the meat and make it less tough when you cook it.
  3. In a non-stick skillet, turn it to high-heat and heat up some olive oil.
  4. When the pan is hot, throw in the venison strips.  Cook for about 4 min on each side (depending on how thick they are – ours were 1 1/2 inches thick).  Then tent them for 5 minutes.  You want them medium-rare (internal temp of 135-140)…no more than that or they get tough and gamey.
  5. Enjoy!

Semi-Primal Husband gave the following testimonial, “Man, these are so good – i love this.  You need to post that they were only $9.”