Like most people, I eat a varied diet, though, as I follow a Paleo diet (the Paleo Autoimmune Paleo or AIP) that means my diet is pretty much restricted to vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, fish, offal (organ meats), good fat, and herbs and non-seed spices. So, consequently, I don’t eat grains, legumes, nightshade vegetables (ah, I do miss tomatoes, as they’re one of my favourite foods), and most nuts and seeds.
But, I expect there’s a lot of people who wouldn’t know what to eat, as many of those foods are considered staples. Largely my restricted diet means I have vegetables when most people would have grains. So, instead of rice or bread, I’ll eat roasted vegetables or steamed cruciferous vegetables, and often both.
Whatever the vegetable I eat, I always either cook it in fat (lard or dripping for roasted vegetables); I’ll toss whatever veggie I’m steaming in olive oil or coconut oil; and when I make salads, they’re also tossed in olive oil. Not only do these fats add taste and help promote satiety, they also help your body to absorb the nutrients contained within the vegetables. Yes, that’s right. Your body needs fat to get the benefit of the minerals and vitamins found in vegetables.
Another benefit I get from replacing grains with vegetables, is that vegetables are mostly low in calories; are more nutritious than grains; and don’t have anti-nutrients and allergenic properties.
Like many people, I’m a creature of habit, and eat in a similar way weekly, though I do have seasonal variations. Now it’s autumn in Australia, I’m eating more casseroles and less grilled meat; and more roasted vegetables and less salads.
I do have a standard breakfast, though today I was forced to vary it, as I forgot to get out my regular soup from the freezer yesterday. So, luckily I had some cold, leftover roast chicken in the fridge, to which I added some of the brine fermented carrots I wrote a recent blog on. But, under normal circumstances, I’d have eaten my soup, which is normally a range of vegetables cooked in bone broth. Over the past few months I’ve been making chicken bone broth, as until I get a pressure cooker, it takes too many days to make beef. And, over summer, I was avoiding making beef bone broth as I didn’t want to heat up my flat. My last batch of soup had brown onion, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, mushrooms, and broccoli, though I often add bok choy, sweet potato, celeriac, and other AIP approved vegetables.
While I do normally eat soup for breakfast, if you’ve checked out my previous blog post on Paleo Breakfast Ideas, you’ll know I often eat more than that. Sometimes I’ll add leftover, cold meat to my soup, and that’s what I intended to do with last nights’ leftover chicken. Other mornings, I have some rissoles, usually made from pork and beef mince, chicken liver and nitrite-free bacon. Or, if I want to increase the amount of oily fish, I’ll eat mackerel grilled under the grill in my stove.
When I’m home at lunchtime, and I am frequently home during the day, I usually have a veggie smoothie. Mine isn’t green, as I add beetroot, and it’s impossible for beetroot red not to dominate. Along with water, I add salt, seaweed flakes (dulse, nori, etc.), olive oil, coconut oil, lettuce, kale or whatever cruciferous vegetable I have on the go, cucumber, celery, and sometimes herbs if I have lots growing outside.
But, that’s only the raw part of my lunch. I have a standard, master dish I make. I cook onion and mushrooms in fat, to which I add an animal based protein, and I’m including fish in that definition. I vary the fat to suit the protein. So, with offal, I use lard or dripping; but, if I’m cooking fish, I use coconut oil. I sometimes use this master dish at dinner time, especially if I decide to eat liver or heart for dinner.
Dinner is probably my most varied meal. Tonight, I’m having those rissoles I mentioned earlier in the blog; steamed kale tossed in coconut oil; plus some roasted pumpkin, carrot and onion probably cooked in lard. During the cooler months, I eat many more casseroles, so once I’ve bought that pressure cooker (and I intend to do so next week), I’ll start making casseroles with a variety of the cheaper cuts of beef and lamb.’
During the summer, I usually had a large salad. It usually had lettuce, endive (if I had it from my parents), cucumber, carrot or beetroot, and whatever fermented vegetable I had in the fridge at the time. That would be tossed in olive oil and salt, but I don’t need to add vinegar as the lactic acid fermented vegetable usually adds enough to acidify the salad.
Winter or summer, I now almost always have some steamed cruciferous vegetable, often a type of kale, and sometimes broccoli. Now it’s getting cooler, I’m back eating roasted vegetables regularly, though sometimes I still have a salad.
Along with all those vegetables, I always have some kind of meat, fish, poultry or offal. If it’s summer, I’m less likely to roast meat, as once again, I endeavour to avoid heating my flat up. But, once the cooler weather returns, I grill meat less, and cook more in the oven. For dinner, I regularly eat lamb; kangaroo; turkey; chicken; fish; offal; steak and a variety of other cuts of beef; plus pork and nitrite-free bacon.
The longer I’ve been sugar free, the less I find I crave it a lot less. I do still eat fruit, but not on an everyday basis. So, when I do eat dessert, it’s usually fruit that serves as it.
While I do have strong habits, I do occasionally try new things. For instance, a few weeks ago, I made a new casserole, this time with duck. But, I wasn’t that satisfied with it, as I felt the meat was a bit washed out after cooking it.
Well, I hope you can see how varied my diet is, despite having a relatively restricted diet. Most of what I cook is pretty simple, and not difficult to cook. And, if I do say it myself, I do find it tasty.