- It’s been a long and kind of stressful week, y’all, so I don’t have much to say for this progress report. A close friend had a personal crisis. My university got put on lock down because of an alleged active shooter (who was neither a shooter nor active at all, and was entirely unarmed, as it turned out). In general, I manage to normally do a pretty good job of keeping one foot in whatever story I’m writing, but this week just wholly pulled me out of fiction and put me solidly into the real world.
- I finally got back to writing on Friday, doing a read through of the anthology novella and moving forward, for once, without an ounce of the usual page fright that haunts me when I’ve been away from the WIP. I’ve knocked out a couple of scenes and am preparing to dive into the next one. It’s hubby’s weekend to work, so I’ve had evenings to write, on top of the hours he’s sleeping during the day. I’m hoping to finish today’s scene before hubs wakes up, so that tonight I can play with some plotting for one of the two novels that I’ll be starting once this is finished.
- As I’m finally being forced to concede that I can no longer eat the amount of carbs/sugar I used to (despite the switch to gluten free with hubby), I’ve been exploring paleo. I don’t have any interest in going whole hog. While I recognize it’s a very healthy way to eat, it does not in any way, shape, or form fit in with having a social life of any kind in the Deep South (or, likely, anywhere else for that matter). I’m more interested in slowly easing in, adding 3-4 paleo style dinners a week to gradually get used to this style of eating. Gradual works for us. We eat a lot less bread, pasta, baked goods, etc. (even the gluten free kind) than we did before hubby’s gluten intolerance came up 5 years ago. And in the year and a half I’ve been dairy free because of MY allergy, I’ve gradually shifted to a whole lot fewer meals centered around dairy-based (or now dairy alternative) ingredients than I used to. Hubs and I talked about it the other night and agreed to give it a try, experimenting and seeing what we like. The whole nature of paleo means that it’s gluten and dairy free, so I ordered a couple of new cookbooks to try, in hopes that I could come up with some additional meals to add into the rotation. Eventually, I’ll get comfortable enough with the ingredients and principles to start creating my own recipes.
- Down South Paleo. I nabbed this because, well, I’m Southern and I figured that Southern-style dishes would be more likely to fly in this household. As I started flipping through yesterday, I was putting a sticky tab on practically every other page. Jennifer Robins is mistress of the Predominantly Paleo food blog, and I really dig her philosophy of allowing yourself a treat here and there. It’s a lot more realistic than the hard core stuff, to my mind. I was ecstatic to see a mashed potato alternative that isn’t cauliflower. I’ve balked at a LOT of paleo recipes because they are deluded enough to think cauliflower is an acceptable substitute for…a lot of things it is not remotely a substitute for. It doesn’t ever taste like anything but cauliflower. And when you don’t LIKE cauliflower, that’s a problem. I already have a ton of the ingredients she uses, and I’m hitting up my Asian market today to search out some others. I really can’t wait to dive in.
- Well Fed. This is one of the highest rated paleo cookbooks on Amazon. And the subtitle–Paleo for people who like to eat…yeah ,that’s me. A whole lot of this one seems to be about method–the kind of prep you can do in advance to make eating Paleo more manageable. There’s a ton of info in here on meal components and a zillion ways they can be combined. In particular, she talks about what she calls a “hot plate”, which is basically a formula for combining different meats, veggies, and healthy fats with a myriad of spice palettes to get a fast and easy meal. Perfect for weeknight dinners. So I’m excited to try out some of those. From what I can tell with a skim through, this one seems a lot more compatible with the idea of Whole 30, so if you’re into that program, this looks like a very good option.
- With all that in mind, I’ve got a lot of food prep I’m doing today, which is not at all unusual for a Sunday. I just finished roasting 2 pints of grape tomatoes, sliced up bell peppers into strips for eating with guac, and I’ve got a whole pile of other stuff to make. Going to roast up some butternut squash and carrots for an easy midweek side, and brown up some ground turkey and ground pork for use in a few other dishes. And I need to spiralize a pile of zucchini for my lunches. None of which actually has anything to do with dinner for tonight.
- Somewhere in there I need to get my third day of weight lifting in. The Day 3 routine doesn’t use anything I don’t already have at home, equipment-wise, so it’s easy to save for the weekend. But I’m not so much in the routine of actually workout OUT on the weekend, so I have to be diligent not to get caught up in other stuff. Either way, I feel like I’m making some good changes in habits now that I’m back to a real gym. It’ll be a while yet before I see any noticeable results, but I FEEL better, which is a step in the right direction for Operation G.I.T.
Life sure can be that way sometimes. For the Paleo, went whole hog once, lost a ton of weight and had energy to burn. So want to go there again. As for the rest, I signed the petition for a nine day week, but not hopeful about it any time soon. My advice, drink wine. It doesn’t get any more done in a week, but you don’t seem to mind so much.
All kidding aside, here’s hoping the world slows down a bit and lets you breathe.
I love bread and sweets, and I eat way too many of them. I need to reduce, if not eliminate, breads and dairy from my diet. I’ve been living in North Carolina for the past six years, so I get how hard it is to live down here and avoid dairy. The two years I was vegan down here were so difficult whenever we ate out. Even the veggies are always drowning in cream or butter. I’ve been leaning toward clean eating, but I’m intrigued by the Paleo books you’ve mentioned here.
I think the Down South Paleo is probably a pretty good gateway paleo book. There’s a lot of recognizable dishes in there (although there are some funky ingredients–I’ll be trying yuca soon). I know there are reasons for all these very restrictive sorts of diets, that quitting cold turkey makes you break the addictive cravings faster, etc., but I’ve rarely found that they make good lifestyle changes…and for me, the psychological craving wasn’t eliminated at all. A lot of the changes we’ve made were forced on us by adult onset food allergies (hives are a powerful motivator to give stuff up), which have their own freaktastic challenges. I can’t FATHOM successfully managing to be vegan in the South.
I’m sorry you had a stressful week, it can be so wearying, but it’s cool you got back into the writing easily (wish I could say the same for me!).
Both those cookbooks look good–we have to do something different! My husband is home before me so he does most of the cooking…we eat a lot of beige food: things on buns with french fries or tater tots. Seriously need to change something!
I find that spending some time on the weekend doing meal prep with freezer meals and getting components ready make weeknight dinners a lot easier to manage in a healthy way.
Good luck with Paleo. I’m in no way ready to embrace something like that, but I do need to eat cleaner. Most of us probably should. If I could just learn moderation. No, not LEARN it…DO it. Let us all know how the Paleo thing works out. And what dishes you’re trying.
I can say with conviction that had we NOT had the food allergies force us to cut out the gluten and dairy, I doubt I’d be near as interested. But they’re the two biggest hurdles already passed. So we’ll see.
I applaud those who are gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo, whether its by choice or health reasons. I am just trying to avoid the processed foods, eat more fruits and veggies, and cut the garbage from my diet. Baby step I guess! 🙂