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Sample Menu, Pressure Cooker Fail, and Sugar and Cancer

Sample Day’s Meals

I thought I’d post a sample of a day’s menu. Yesterday was unique because I ate three meals – I was hungry! I normally eat fewer meals because I’m not hungry at one meal time. I was down a pound this morning.

Before / During / After Breakfast
3 cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream

Poached egg with a pat of butter
2 hot sausage patties

5-ounce beef tenderloin
large serving of steamed asparagus

Dinner (at Outback)
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
Tilapia with Crabmeat
Mixed Vegetables
Unsweetened Ice Tea with Lime

After Dinner
1 glass Pinot Grigio (fell asleep before finishing)

Normally I get a steak at Outback, but since I had steak for lunch, I thought I’d try something different. Unfortunately, the crabmeat was a crab cake with breading on top of the tilapia. I scraped off the mushy breading and tried to eat around it. Next time – 6 oz. sirloin!

Pressure Cooker Fail
I have had two pressure cooker failures. The first was Thai Chicken. The chicken was not tender! I need to try again, and figure out how to cook the chicken so that it’s fall-apart tender.

The other was cabbage, and I know why. I cooked the whole cabbage for 8 minutes, and the outside was cooked while the inside was raw. Next time quarter the cabbage – duh!

Sugar and Cancer
Another addition to the sugar and cancer category from a Mayo Clinic doctor at the Chicago Tribune.

Before and After: 3 months

Jay and I are excited to have been eating Paleo for 9 months as of February 20. In anticipation of our one-year Paleo anniversary, I thought it was time to post our before pictures.


Jay looked as though he was getting ready for a primal lifestyle with that blanket.


Here I am looking like a beached whale in 2009.


Three months in, I’m enjoying a Paleo-ish daiquiri – coconut water, ice, white rum, and fresh fruit in the blender, and a packet of stevia. Mark Sisson just did an article on stevia here.

Since this shot, Jay’s dropped another 30 pounds and I’ve lost 15 more. We’ll have fun taking our one-year after shots on April 20, 2011!

Six Months In

Six months into eating Paleo / Primal, these are some things that Jay and I have noticed. This is a list, in no particular order.

  • Jay has lost 43 pounds, and I’ve lost 28. We both hover within 2-3 pounds of our goal weight.
  • Jay used to take Tagamet. He doesn’t need it any more.
  • I no longer have an upset stomach when we return from eating out.
  • We are not hungry. If we’re hungry, we eat.
  • I carried 30 pounds of weights downstairs yesterday. The way my knees felt descending the stairs reminded me of what it was like carrying that extra weight all the time.
  • Neither of us has had a single slice of bread, a single bit of pasta, a single kernel of corn, or a single sugary dessert in 6 months.
  • We both feel really, really, really good. Really.
  • Almost everyone who notices our weight loss says, “You look great – don’t lose any more!” Why didn’t anyone say, when we were fat, “You look terrible – don’t gain any more!”
  • We read everything we can get our hands on about eating Paleo / Primal, and the alternatives, because the stories and the science are fascinating.
  • Jay gets leg cramps in the morning. I did in the first few months, but now they are rare. I use heavy cream in my coffee, but I don’t know if there’s a relationship.
  • Jay used to have terrible hives about 4 times a year. Since starting Paleo, he hasn’t had a major outbreak, but has had a low level of hives more frequently. Cutting back on fruit seems to have lessened the degree, duration and frequency, but he still hasn’t figured out the exact cause.
  • Before middle-age, the first thing I lost was my stomach. Now, it’s the last to go.
  • Most people, commenting on our eating Paleo, say, “I could never give up bread!”
  • The reason that there’s a piece of bread and a pat of butter on the cover of Good Calories, Bad Calories, is that when you start the book you think bread is good and butter is bad, and when you finish the book, you have learned that it’s just the opposite. 
  • If I’ve missed bread at all, it’s been as a delivery mechanism for butter.
  • It’s been a fantastic discovery that there’s no reason to eat three meals a day, two meals a day, or one meal a day.
  • We don’t worry about sprinkling a little salt on our food, because the amount of salt cut out by not eating processed foods has drastically decreased our salt intake.
  • I only visit the interior aisles of the grocery store for non-food items like laundry detergent or paper towels, and an occasional canned item such as coconut milk.
  • Organic vegetables at the grocery store are usually not as pretty as the alternative. Farmer’s market vegetables are for the most part beautiful.
  • A few years ago, we tried grass-fed beef and thought it tasted horrible. We’ve learned that the taste was less due to the grass diet and more due to the fact that the beef wasn’t aged. Now we purchase aged grass-fed anytime we can get it, and it’s delicious.
  • I refuse to let anything pass my lips that I know contains high-fructose corn syrup (soon to be renamed corn sugar). 
  • We’re not on a diet – this is the way we eat, now.

Weekend Menu

We go to the river a lot of weekends, and I’ve about got the food shopping and packing down to a science.  This week, I tossed three frozen (vacuum packed – I love my vacuum sealer) New York Strips into the bottom of a cooler. Next, in went the Pork Tenderloin. A pound of bacon, a dozen eggs, and a carton of heavy cream finished off the cold stuff. Shopping at the farmer’s market on Thursday I found two cartons of okra, summer squash, and a Hanover tomato. For snacks, I picked up a jar of mixed nuts (no peanuts) and a jar of macadamias. Lastly, I got some romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and a block of bleu cheese at the grocery store.

Friday’s lunch was crab cakes and coleslaw with Corona (beer is our weekend-away-only cheat) at Cockrell’s Creek. Last evening’s dinner was grilled pork tenderloin marinated in soy sauce, garlic and sea salt. I forgot to pack the wheat-free Tamari sauce – a good substitute for the high-sodium soy. The okra was cooked in bacon grease with garlic, onion, and a can of tomatoes I found in the cupboard.

Breakfast this morning will be bacon and fried eggs. For lunch, we’ll slice the tenderloin and make wraps with romaine lettuce and dijon mustard. Dinner will be grilled steaks and squash slow-cooked with onion and bacon, and a salad of romaine lettuce, cucumber, olive oil and vinegar, and bleu cheese chunks.

In the morning before returning home, we’ll eat leftovers for breakfast. The New York Strips are huge, so they’ll probably get re-heated with scrambled eggs. And of course, lots of coffee with heavy cream. That’s a wrap for the weekend away paleo-ish menu.

Paleo Grilled Hamburger

Yesterday, Jay and I discovered Longhorn & Lager Meat and Beverage Company tucked into a corner at Sycamore Square in Midlothian. As I’d been wanting a juicy, grilled hamburger, we were pleased to see “Grass-fed Charolais Ground Beef” on the blackboard out front. We returned at 11:00 am when they opened (it was Sunday) and got a pound of the beef for dinner. We grilled 1/3 pound patties and served them with Dijon mustard, Hunts (hi-fructose corn syrup free) ketchup, Vlasic sandwich slices, and a sliced Hanover tomato, all wrapped up in romaine lettuce leaves. Delicious – we will be returning to Longhorn & Lager for more beef, and to sample some of their other products.

Jay’s Lunch


Jay sent me this picture of his lunch the other day from his phone – mmmmmm. Cajun spiced shrimp from Whole Foods, fresh blackberries, almonds, and Perrier.