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Good Food in the Cold North - ayumi's journal

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  • Good Food in the Cold North - ayumi's journal

    I'm a mom of 3 in Minnesota. This past winter was really tough, especially with my asthma and anxiety. It got so bad that I couldn't go outside for weeks. Finally one late sleepless night I decided I had enough, and started looking online for a solution. Someone mentioned the Primal Blueprint (I had borrowed the book before briefly but hadn't hit bottom then) and after a little more reading I started the next day.

    Within 3 days I was feeling well enough to go outdoors and go places I hadn't gone to in months! This week is our second week Primal, and it's been awesome so far. I want to keep it up!

    My husband is of hardy Scandinavian stock with some Southern mixed in and loves his sweets. Our boys take after him so it's challenging for us to try a new food plan! I'm already allergic to a long list of foods (dairy, fermented foods) so getting rid of grains and refined sugar was pretty easy.

    Hope this journal will help us stay on a good path. I would love feedback from other parents who have gone Primal with their kids. It's tough to work around pickiness!

  • #2
    Today's meals:

    Fried Egg with 1/2 Avocado
    Banana Pancakes (very simple and delicious!!)

    handful of almonds
    Baby carrots
    Failed Beef Jerky
    2 squares 70% dark Lindt chocolate (has sugar in it but I've been craving dark chocolate for some reason. Must be the fat content)

    Baby Spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, bacon fat mustard dressing
    2 strips bacon

    Today's Experiment: Beef Jerky --

    I went to the local food store and asked which cut was best for jerky. The butcher said rump roast, and actually sliced it thin for me!

    The marinade part didn't go so great. I made the mistake of using too much lemon and lime juice. :/ Other experiments with Cranapple juice as sweetener didn't go too well either. The jerky's ok but will take a while to use up. Don't want to waste the $20 rump roast!

    Anyone know of a good recipe for jerky without vinegar?


    • #3
      Eh, I feel terrible today. My heart was pounding last night so I couldn't sleep until 5am.

      After doing some research I ate some white rice with chicken broth and ginger. Hope it works.

      It's probably a matter of not getting enough calories or good carbs because I'm already thin at around 115-120 lbs. Moving around and drinking water also seems to help. (I already eat bananas so potassium doesn't seem to be an issue)

      Hope this goes away soon, it makes me feel anxious and that's one of the reasons I started in the first place. :/


      • #4
        Seems a bowl of ginger sushi rice with a dose of Bromelain did the trick. My stomach feels a bit tender, maybe it's not used to digesting so much healthy food at once. I would fast but hunger sets off the pounding heartbeat as well. Will take it easy and chew slowly.

        Our favorite Banana Almond Butter Choc shake. My husband is crazy about this!
        Ginger Sushi Rice

        Chicken with Broccoli Slaw

        Hard boiled egg
        1/2 avocado (Wow, egg & avocado is delicious together! So creamy)
        Baby carrots with guacamole hummus

        Now for some rest...


        • #5
          I've been testing and trying out different apps to make Primal meal planning easier. So far Fast Paleo and Evernote works great!

          One recipe I tried today from Fast Paleo came out fantastic -- Geschnetzeltes.

          I replaced the cream with coconut milk (first half of the can) and the vinegar with lime. I loved it but the kids didn't like it. My husband said it was good, but not lick the plate good. I'll save it for an occasional meal.

          Yesterday we ate at Outback Steakhouse and I ordered the grilled chicken Australian Cobb Salad without dressing. It was interesting because I could taste the flavors of iceberg lettuce. The side of asparagus was sad - barely cooked middles and overcooked on the sides. My husband said it's better to order the thing that a restaurant is best known for (e.g. Outback steak) and enjoy it rather than try to pick at ancillary meals.

          I'm so glad we started Primal -- today I went out and longboarded with the kids for an hour. I could not do that two weeks ago, stuck inside with asthma. It's amazing how much things have changed in a short time. Hope to keep it up!


          • #6
            Hi Ayumi! Really glad to hear things are improving quickly for you. I haven't been eating primal very long, 3 or 4 weeks, but it's impossible not to notice the health benefits. After years of not running due to achy knees and stiff ankles, I have no trouble going into a full-on sprint now. Of course that's just one of many improvements, and not even close to the most important.

            If I'm just eating lettuce for my salad, I like it without dressing... and it is amazing how much flavor lettuce actually has. I find my favorite is Romaine since it's a little bit sweet. Sorry to hear of the poorly pre-pared asparagus... what a disappointment.

            I live in Oregon, but lived in Southeast ND for more than 30 years. I always perk up a bit when I see people from the Upper Midwest. So a friendly "Hello" to you! I am happy you survived what seemed to be an insane Winter/Spring this year!
            "Wild cats look their best when they're hungry, so do you." - Ori Hofmekler


            • #7
              Hi Ayumi! We have already met in passing. 1 week on PB for me and I am already noticing some changes myself.
              I'm from Australia so how you described the asparagus is how we have it cooked when we grill it. My family love fresh asparagus. I would love to see the recipe for your banana pancakes, if youre happy to share. My hubby and kids also tried making jerky on the weekend and it turned out splendidly I can check with my hubby what he put in the marinade if you like? I will post it in my journal later tonight if youre interested.


              • #8
                Thank you for the friendly hello, Brenda! The crazy weather here's not over yet -- it was cold outside yesterday! My knees (and oddly, my mouse-clicking index finger - overuse perhaps) have been creaky thanks to the cold snap. Hope some of your benefits rub off here

                I never really paid attention to the flavors of various salad greens until now -- we have some Romaine in the fridge. Will see how it tastes our next meal.

                What are your favorite toppings for salad? So far I love hard boiled eggs and a dollop of guacamole for a hearty meal but am open to new things.


                • #9
                  Good to "see" you here, Skarlett! I apologize if my comment re: the asparagus was insulting - the menu just said asparagus without any explanation so I wasn't prepared for the different style of cooking. I love asparagus too, we usually bake it to well done with some olive oil and salt. My oldest son actually likes it, we're working on the younger ones.

                  The banana pancake recipe is pretty simple, it's from one of Mark's free ebooks with a few of our notes added.

                  2 bananas
                  1-2 spoonfuls almond butter
                  1 egg
                  1 shake of cinnamon

                  Frozen or fresh fruit for topping

                  Put everything except the fruit into a bowl. Use a potato masher or fork and mash it all up into batter.

                  Butter up a griddle on medium-low heat. Cook until browned. It takes a little longer to cook so be patient with it. You might want to use a large pan/skillet/griddle to do them all at once.

                  Makes 3-4 medium pancakes.

                  Fresh fruit makes the flavor pop out of the pancakes -- we like to use frozen fruit for the contrast.

                  If you can, please do let me know what jerky marinade your husband used. I wouldn't mind trying another batch again. Thank you!


                  • #10
                    Brenda, Romaine is indeed sweet. Iceberg has surface flavor but dissipates quickly, while Romaine seems to hold up through. We may become leafy greens connoisseurs


                    • #11
                      Today I learned how to break dressing. :P

                      Apparently if you blend it too long, the oils and solids separate. I'm disappointed as that's a cup of expensive EVOO in the garbage. Will try again soon -- we could save a bunch of money if we can get Mark's Mayo recipe working for us...


                      I wish there was a way to know which recipes could work better than others. It's expensive to mess up sometimes.

                      It's still chilly outside but we finally got some sun in the afternoon. The kids and I went out longboarding and scootering (if that's a word ). A part of my mind is a little afraid of too much sun, but I seriously need the Vitamin D (tested low recently) and other health benefits. Anyone have thoughts on the sunlight/skin cancer debate?


                      • #12
                        Today was a pretty good day, considering that I haven't been getting much sleep due to digestive issues. :/ Cooking 2x every day seems almost normal now -- which is great and good for us

                        Today my husband had his first taste of sardines with dinner salad. It's almost like tuna but packed with nutrients. I mixed it up with a more successful batch of homemade mayo (Note: lemon juice balances the acidity of olive oil). Hope to finally create a version that the kids like. It's pretty easy to make once you get the basics down.

                        So tired, more tomorrow ...

                        Breakfast: Almonds, carrots
                        Lunch: Applegate Beef hotdogs with spinach salad (no dressing, the hotdogs were yummy enough)
                        Dinner: Sardine spinach salad (with cucumber and red pepper)


                        • #13
                          I tried making Banana Avocado Chocolate pudding today and it was a big mess. Next time a recipe asks for 6 avocados we'll halve it! It tasted pretty yummy though -- my husband thought it wasn't sweet enough. Will post link soon.

                          This morning a stressful situation popped up at work (I work at home) and instead of my usual tactic of distracting with a short game I went for a walk to the food store. It was nice to redirect my stress to exercise instead of holding it all inside. While at the food store I noticed some chuck steak at a discount sell-quick price -- maybe I should do that more often in the mornings and get sell-quick meat.

                          The steak was fantastic -- I sliced it thin and seared it, added in chopped onions and garlic, then enough stock to cover the meat. It cooked for 2.5 hours on the stove, with periodic refills of water as the sauce reduced. It was so good! The kids even liked it! They had it on bread, so I want to find a good naan or wrap recipe to help them transition away from wheat. We may just go for gluten-free bread at a local bakery.

                          Being out in the sun more feels great. I tend to rub ev coconut oil on the exposed areas after coming back inside. My skin is very fair but it's turning a light tan, much better than the sickly pallor before Primal.

                          Breakfast: Banana pancakes with frozen fruit (1 out of 3 kids liked it)
                          Lunch: Banana Avocado pudding -- it was very filling - (0/3 kids liked it even though recipe was supposed to be kid friendly. One quit eating after he found out avocado was in it. :P YMMV)
                          Dinner: Chuck Steak with salad and asparagus (3/3 liked the steak but not veggies. 1 liked asparagus a little)
                          Evening snack: Carrot Raisin salad (0/3 but husband and I loved it!)
                          Last edited by ayumi; 05-20-2013, 01:27 PM. Reason: Added links


                          • #14
                            My stomach has rebelled, big time. For a while I've had digestive issues but managed to get by pre-Primal through eating a lot of hummus with powdered ginger. Now that we've been eating Primal my stomach has had a rough time keeping up with the good food.

                            Since then I've switched gears and bought HCL and deglycyrrhizinated licorice to help with meals. It's working pretty good so far. We also bought Bubbies kosher dill pickles and Cocoyo kefir to work as probiotics for my gut. There's a lot of damage that needs to be repaired!

                            Recipes tried recently:

                            Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake - delicious but seriously dark chocolate. Go with the Strawberry Cream filling to brighten the chocolate flavor. (1/3)
                            Last edited by ayumi; 05-20-2013, 01:30 PM. Reason: Added links


                            • #15
                              Something very surprising happened today. The kids ate curry, and liked it!

                              I followed the Easy Coconut Milk Curry Chicken recipe at Oh Snap Let's Eat except that I used a prepared Aroy red curry paste. It turned out to be much more spicier than expected, but sushi rice helped cool it down. It's surprising how much the kids enjoyed it. We also told them the story of curry being from India and gave them a bit of trivia information about it. Maybe they appreciated it more because of that?

                              My theory is, kids will absorb the smells and flavor of a particular way you cook, eventually trying and liking the food. Hopefully this theory will pan out -- it's kinder than forcing them to eat and making meals a bad experience.

                              Breakfast: Summer Sausage, Carrots with Guacamole Hummus (working on weaning off of hummus )
                              Lunch: Coconut Curry with Rice
                              Dinner: Luscious Banana Smoothie (see recipe below)

                              Luscious Banana Smoothie

                              2 frozen bananas, cut up in chunks
                              1/4 cup almond butter
                              Almond milk
                              Kefir or yogurt to taste (optional)

                              Put bananas, almond butter, and kefir in blender. Add almond milk to the top of the bananas. Blend until all blended in.

                              (This is our favorite -- my husband would eat this every day if he could.)