Recently, I've decided to switch nutritional gears. For the past few years I've been trying to eat healthier, not just for aesthetic purposes (although being in shape in California never hurts one's self-esteem) but for longevity. I always say I want to live to be 120 years old, so I'd better start acting like I want to get there outside of a hospital bed. I have watched several food documentaries (thank you Netflix) that convinced me eating an almost-vegan diet would be nutritionally optimal for a decent lifespan. While not always easy to emulate, I at least felt like I understood the reasoning behind the science and could agree with the plan. You may not have noticed, but I like having a plan! However, lately, the plan has shifted. I had heard about the "Paleolithic Diet" long before trying it, and I thought it was just something for fitness junkies and people who like to eat a lot of meat. Like, a lot of raw meat. I'm the girl who orders her burger well-done and prefers having dry pork chops to ensure they're cooked through and through. I didn't think I would be a candidate, much less a willing participant.
Then, a good friend began to look into it, and my mind opened a little bit. I did some research online (alright, I Googled, isn't that what you would do?) and became even more interested. I bought this book on Amazon, I read it on my commute, and started trying out some of the main ideas. Spoiler alert: even though it is (horribly) marketed as "the Caveman diet," it has nothing to do with hunting down squirrel outside your apartment or hoeing your own garden in the hallway.
Rather, it is more about taking processed foods out of your life. The basic premise (bear with me as I paraphrase a lot of science) is that humans are genetically predisposed to digest certain foods and nutrients in a certain way, and the advent of the agrarian revolution (a.k.a. bringing dairy and breads and grains into our lives as a major food source) changed our diet but didn't change the way our bodies work. Paleo supporters argue that our bodies run best (internally and externally) on lean animal-based proteins, vegetables, and limited fruits. No carbs, no legumes (including beans), no dairy. If you know me at all, you know this is hard for me. But I also think it makes a lot of sense! So I'm giving it a shot. If I don't like it, I can always switch back to... you know, eating those things again. It's not like I'm banning them from my body forever - what's a birthday without cake? - it's more like trying to see if this makes me feel better inside and out. Seeing if the results live up to the hype! Yadda yadda.
Because of this new meal plan, I've been eating a lot more fish and meat than before. I finally learned how to cook salmon! (Thank you, Pinterest.)
Maddy's Super Paleo Salmon:
Step 1: Wash the salmon lightly under water, pat dry with paper towel. Use tweezers or pliers (yeah, you read that right) to pull out any large bones. According to my mother, if you fold the piece of fish over your hand the bones will stick out and be readily apparent for pulling.
Step 2: Put salmon on baking sheet or in bakeware, lightly covering front and back of the fillet with olive oil (the back so it won't stick to the pan.) I like to top it off with salt and pepper, dried (or fresh if you have it!) dillweed, and sliced lemon. And, some extra lemon juice never hurts.
Step 3: Put in COLD oven. Turn oven to 425 degrees. Take out after 18-22 minutes (depending on how thick your salmon fillet is). EAT AND ABSORB OMEGA-3s! Or, just eat it. Yum.
Have any of you tried the Paleo "Diet"? (I hate calling it a diet. It makes it seem like you do it for a month, drop thirty pounds, and live your life eating donuts with no cholesterol issues. Really, it's supposed to be a way of changing what you eat, forever. Ack!) Holler in the comments and let me know your favorite recipes.