These are excellent if you have a grill handy!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
Directions
Morning
  1. Cut beef into cubes and place in a large zip-lock bag.
  2. Combine garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and red wine in a blender.  Pour in olive oil and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour marinade over meat in bag, toss to coat and marinate all day in fridge.
Evening
  1. Chop up onions, peppers into chunks
  2. Light up that grill and get it cleaned and hot!
  3. Thread meat, chunks of onion/pepper and tomatoes onto skewers, leaving about 1/2 inch between pieces of meat.
  4. Cook covered on grill 2-3 minutes per side (8 minutes rare, 12 minutes medium).
Advertisements
I love having breakfast that is as easy as possible to make in the morning, as I’m usually not fully awake and operational until about 10 a.m. This great recipe is super quick! You can even cut up the veggies the night before and just toss everything together in the morning.

 

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 chopped roma tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 3 oz cheese
Directions
  1. Beat eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Spray olive oil spray in nonstick round-bottom pot and cook veggies until tender over medium heat.
  3. Add egg mixture and cook until slightly set, then throw in cheese and mix it around until done.

Bowl of puree of red pepper soupThis soup is so tasty. It tastes like spicy tomato soup, is very low in calories and tastes amazing! It’s a variation of a P90x recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 diced onion
  • 5 roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Directions
  1. Heat wine in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, red peppers, celery.  Cook and stir 3 minutes.  Add garlic.  Cook 2 more minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth; cover and bring to boil.  Simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Add seasonings and continue heating for a couple minutes.
  4. Puree soup in blender.

The second week of the Paleo diet was a little better than the first week as far as withdrawal symptoms. The headaches became much less frequent, and Karl and I both saw quite an increase in energy! We still had many, many carb withdrawals – usually in the form of donuts. Sweet, delicious donuts. More specifically, these donuts (DISCLAIMER: If you are on any sort of diet, do not – I repeat, DO NOT – click on that link). I cried a little on the inside just creating that link. Must…resist…fried dough…

Speaking of delicious breakfast-y goodness, this week we found a fantastic pancake recipe that we absolutely love. It astounds me how something that is made mostly from eggs can still produce something that has so much of the same consistency as carb-alicious pancakes! Karl perfected his breakfast masterpiece by the end of the week, when he started adding cinnamon to the flapjack batter. Put a little butter and a few strawberries on top, and you’ve got magic. It was so sweet, we didn’t even need to use the tiniest bit of syrup – Peleo-perfection!

Taco salad for lunch was definitely my idea. Salsa instead of dressing, lots of meat and veggies – it doesn’t get more Paleo than that. The crazy thing was, Karl had never eaten taco salad before! I think he questioned my sanity when I suggested to use salsa instead of dressing. But, he tried it and – you guessed it – loved it. I remember the text I got from him Tuesday after eating it for the first time: “…omg taco salad rocks.” I couldn’t have phrased it any better. Taco salad indeed rocks.

For the first half of the week, we ate steak and veggies for dinner. Then, I had a serious craving for some comfort food. Here’s the deal with comfort food. I swear, 99 percent of it is NOT Paleo-friendly. The great thing is, you can totally substitute ingredients and make Paleo renditions of your favorite foods – comfort without the guilt! Take this week, for example. I seriously wanted spaghetti. Noodles are very off-limits, so we followed this recipe and substituted spaghetti squash instead. It. Was. Amazing. Easily the best meal of the week. Karl and I wolfed this one down in no time.

One quick note about spaghetti squash: Make sure you get all the innards out before baking it. We made the mistake of leaving a few strings in, and those tasted pretty disgusting. The meat of the vegetable is what becomes the “noodles.” If you want a good guide on how to create noodles from the vegetable, check out this article (although you can just bake it the way the spaghetti recipe linked above references).

Finally, we ate celery and almond butter (I’m addicted to this stuff) and either watermelon or apples for our two snacks of the week.

Here’s the condensed meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Paleo pancakes and, of course, bacon
  • Lunch: Taco salad with ground beef
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce; steak and veggies
  • Snacks: Celery and almond butter; watermelon or apples

One last note: On Saturday, we went to a party where my friend, Kristin, made out-of-this-world cupcakes. I’m guessing they’re out of this world, because I didn’t taste them. But judging from eating goods previously baked by her, the fact that she’s getting ready to become the world’s greatest pastry chef AND the fact that she has her own cooking blog, I’m sure they were amazing. It was VERY difficult to turn these down. I’m sure you understand. I just stood by the table most of the party, staring at the delicious tree of cupcakes. I was inches from tears as we finally left the party. But the important thing is – I DID turn them down. And you can, too! Remember that the cravings are supposed to get way better after the first month. You’ll feel so good that you won’t want to go back to eating carbs every day (or so I hope!). Stay strong, Paleo friends. We’ll have rockin’ healthy bods together yet!

 

Cooking bacon

Bacon is one of the best parts of Paleo. Use the grease to cook veggies or other meats. It's super tasty!

Before starting our first week of Paleo, Karl and I decided to have one last super-carb run. We ate all of the inappropriate starches (original quote – it’s the first convo on the page) we could think of, including rice, cupcakes, tiramisu and french fries. We paid for it later….but so worth it.

We decided to make a menu of all the things we would eat throughout the week. We found somewhere that people on the Paleo diet should have three meals and two snacks daily, so we planned accordingly. We also knew that on the diet, we needed to eat meat at every meal, fruit and nuts 1-2 times daily and vegetables as much as possible. We went through several recipes and tried to think of things we already knew how to make that would fit these parameters. Here’s what we came up with for our first week:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon, every day
  • Snacks: Celery and almond butter (peanuts and cashews are no-nos!); low-sugar fruit (berries, melons, apples, etc.); almonds, pecans or walnuts
  • Lunch: Fried chicken (not breaded!) lettuce wraps and cauliflower fried rice (definitely my favorite recipe find of the week)
  • Dinner: Pot roast with vegetables, steak, pork loin with fried peppers and onions
Blending cauliflower for cauliflower fried rice

It's crazy how just putting cauliflower in the food processor for a second produces something so close to the texture of rice. It's tasty, too!

Best parts of the week:

  • Bacon every day for breakfast. Let’s face it. Bacon is one of the greatest foods ever made. And on the Paleo diet,  you can have it every day if you want. And I do. Oh, I do.
  • Cauliflower fried rice. Rice was one of the foods I was most sad about cutting out of my diet. But Karl found this fantastic recipe (and modified it a bit) that mimics fried rice but is made out of cauliflower. It was really good, and definitely helped me trick my body into thinking I was still eating carbs.
  • Paleo food for a party. Karl and I threw a housewarming party for our new apartment the first Friday after starting the diet. My brother’s girlfriend and I made several Paleo-friendly desserts and snacks that ended up being just as good as carb-heavy party foods. Stay tuned for a Paleo party blog post for more ideas on party foods.
Frying peppers and onions

I don't like many raw veggies. Karl fried these peppers and onions in coconut oil. It was delicious!

Biggest difficulties of the week:

  • Exhaustion. When you start this diet, your body does not understand why you aren’t giving it energy. It thinks you’re being very mean, and in retaliation, it refuses to give you any energy back. Eventually, it gets over its hissy-fit and realizes that you’re now giving it new and improved foods, and then you have even more energy than before.
  • Headaches. Ever heard of carb withdrawals? I have. Because I’ve gone through them. The first day of the diet, I started feeling really nauseated. That continued throughout most of the week. It was because my stomach wasn’t used to the influx of proteins and fats, and it was necessary to produce more acid to combat this. It took most of the week to get over this, but it did eventually go away. Also, about halfway through the week, Karl and I both started getting pretty nasty headaches, due to the combination of low energy (see above) and drastically changing our diets. These also went away after a few days, but they definitely made working a little difficult on those days.
Those are the highlights of our first week. Will our dynamic duo beat the evil carb withdrawals and be able to withstand the homemade cupcakes they encounter in their second week of Paleo pastimes? Stay tuned for more!

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend, Karl, approached me with a proposition. Get your minds out of the gutter – it wasn’t that kind of proposition. He suggested that we check out the Paleo diet. There are a few reasons he cited for going on this diet. First, I have been having some annoying (re: painful) digestion issues, and he thinks that I am one of the apparently many people who have a gluten intolerance. Second, we’ve both been having some issues with acne. This one is especially annoying, because I never really had problems in high school. I hit 24 and suddenly, acne! The Paleo diet is supposed to counter this, although I’m somewhat skeptical about that one. Finally, we’ve always been really good about exercising, but since we’ve been dating, we’ve gotten a little lax (i.e., dessert and wine every other day) about our eating habits. And neither of us want relationship gut. He rolled all those reasons together and came up with a solution to all of them: the Paleo Diet.

Now, for those of you who think that we can only eat what cavemen ate: wrong. We actually eat the modern equivalents of what they ate. Apparently there’s a lot of science behind it that Karl understands, but as the blog title suggests, this is EASY Paleo. So, we’re making it easy (please, it’s CAPTAIN obvious). As Karl and I started planning out how this diet would work, we noticed one fatal issue: we couldn’t find centralized information about the diet anywhere. Some sites say you can eat potatoes; others swear them off as a sort of toxin-food. Same with cashews, carrots, mangoes…check, please? Seriously. I was ready to stop the diet before we’d even started, if only for a lack of confusion. Thankfully, my superhero boyfriend said that he would muddle through the billions of sites, learn the science and figure out what was right. Then, we would together plan meals, make shopping lists and cook (hopefully!) worry-free. And to help the others wanting to go on this diet, we decided to make this blog of our diet trials and tribulations, just for you!

So, thinking about going on the Paleo plan? We’ll tell you how we’re coping (especially during the first month, which is supposedly the hardest). We’ll cover carb withdrawals (they’re real), carb cravings (also very, very real) and, most importantly of all, we’ll link you to some delicious and easy Paleo recipes as we find them (I promise, they’re real, too!). So without further ado, Welcome to easypaleo!