Paleo Week Test Day 5

I’m really getting into the groove, or rut, now.  I have always been able to eat the same thing over and over and over again without getting bored with it.  That’s how a lot of this week is turning out, but today still left some new discoveries to be found.

Breakfast is as identical as any other day this week: eggs, sauteed spinach, bowl of berries and tea.  I’ve settled into this quite well, and although it is tasty I would like to find some other non-egg dishes to eat for breakfast when I do the Paleo thing for a full three months.  I don’t mind eating health bars every day, cereal every day et cetera.  However I do mind eating the exact same bars and cereal.  I think variety is important, so I’ll be researching that a bit more.  Having tried some of their “muffin” recipes I have decided against that since they all sucked.  Maybe I’ll have some luck with their pancake type recipes.

Everything held up through lunch, which was a much more successful attempt at sushi than the last time.  I still lacked the soy sauce, but look forward to trying to use coconut aminos instead of it the next time (more to come on that topic).  A big pile of fish that I smeared wasabi on along with a california roll made without rice was actually pretty filling.  I did snack a little on some carrots and celery on my driving around, but it wasn’t until almost 4 pm that I really wanted to have a good snack so finished off the carrots, celery and homemade snack bars.

Dinner was my first hand at paleo stir fry, in a my new 12" cast iron skillet no less.  What makes paleo stir fry different than regular stir fry?  Most of the main ingredients are the same: a bunch of meat, a bunch of vegetables, some garlic and spices.  The meat though was grass fed free range beef.  I suppose it would still be paleo if I had used CAFO raised regular beef.  The vegetables were organic, but didn’t include any beans or corn (as it normally wouldn’t).  The big difference was the sauce.  The first thing that was different was that there is no soy sauce or teriyaki sauces used.  Those obviously aren’t paleo because of the soy.  Instead they’ve come up with this thing called “coconut aminos.”  Think of it as soy sauce made from coconut flesh rather than from soy beans.  It’s supposed to be a substitute for soy sauce.

In fact I found coconut aminos to be quite a good substitute for soy sauce.  Before bothering to try to cook with it I cracked it open and smelled the aroma.  It smelled almost exactly the same as soy sauce, with that fermented salty aroma.  However along with that came a bit of a hint of alcohol.  Alcoholic soy sauce, that could be interesting!  Next I splashed some down to take a taste.  It’s initial taste was identical to soy sauce too, atlhough the aftertaste was a bit different. Overall it’s a decent substitute, and so I used it as liberally as I would soy sauce.  The sodium level is substantially lower though, better than 50% less than soy sauce.  The bigger difference with the sauce was the lack of thickeners.  Once you have all the juices from the meat, vegetables, seasoning and sauces you want to thicken it up.  You could technically do this by taking the meat and vegetables out and reducing it with heat, but that can take awhile.  In traditional cooking you could just add some corn starch or flour to the sauce and it thickens up instantly.  Of course paleo doesn’t allow this.  I’m sure there are ways to thicken with coconut flour or something, but I’ll have to research them.

Despite the stir fry having 8 oz of meat each and pile of vegetables, I didn’t find it especially filling.  I therefore made myself a big salad of mixed greens, celery, carrots and onions dressed with a simple dressing made of regular and basil infused olive oil along with some balsmic vinegar and, salt and pepper.  Unfortunately I had wolfed that down so fast I didn’t realize how full I had become, so I ended up laying on the couch for a little while.  Much later I finished off the rest of the watermelon, about a pound of it, with another cup of berries.  I could totally get used to that sort of ending for the evening.

Along with sticking to paleo quite well I also had yet another successful day of avoiding artifically sweetened beverages.  The cravings weren’t as bad as yesterday, but I started thinking about whether I want to have one on Saturday, when I am done with the experiment.  Part of me says I’ve gone this long without I should probably continue on that path.  The other part of me says, “Give me my damn Coke Zero already!”  I’ll decide who wins on Saturday morning.