Saturday, December 14, 2013

Someone Pushed Me Off the Wagon!

So as you probably already know, I'm 'trying' to follow the Paleo as best as I can. Dropped 30 lbs and gained 10 lbs back. Okay, still on the up & up --- no biggie. Just get back on track, right? It was a good thing I messed up, because it made me realize how horrible grains and sugar made me feel. My heartburn came back and my constant hunger grew stronger and stronger. For instance, on Paleo when I eat cage free eggs and pastured bacon (pure) with a few berries, I'm not hungry all day. If I eat something with grains, such as toast, bagels or cereal, I am STARVING like a beast at around 11am, which makes me gorge on foods that are not Paleo. It's just how it works. Not only did I gain water weight (because pasta and breads make you retain much more water due to the sodium and preservatives, per my doctor), but I put on a few pounds just by constantly craving the bad carbs. I was depressed and hormonal. I blamed it on PMS, blamed it on the blues, blamed it on my dog for the love of God. I had to pop more Prilosec and just found myself miserable. It's my 3rd day back, and wow. That's all I can say. I had to go through the 'low carb flu' once again --- and it was worth it because it actually shed 3 lbs off me. (TMI perhaps?) I even went on a semi-cleanse where I just drank broths, teas, coconut water and tons of water. I feel healthy again. My week long binge also showed in my face and hair. My tongue turned pale -- as opposed to when I'm on Paleo, a bright healthy red. I'm glad I go through those phases because it reminds me that real food makes for good health. All this bullshit food that we're so used to screws up everything -- at least for me. I'm still going to allow myself cheat days, but with the knowledge of the consequences.

Another challenge, especially during the winter months is finding fresh organic produce and duck eggs.  I was lucky enough to have been introduced to duck eggs, so I'm not complaining about my cage free nuggets. During the holidays, it's especially rough since my entire family loves to cook. I love this photo of my two beautiful sisters displaying…umm…the pasta dish I made for a holiday function. I'm saving all my 'cheat days' for the holidays. My next big step since my back has been feeling much better from this past summer is getting back into exercising. I'm not hopping into cross fit like a lot of Paleo folks --- I am simply going at my own pace and maybe…when I 'get there' and when I'm strong enough, I may try something more intense. I still have over a month and a half to reach my goal weight (before I turn 40), and if I don't make it, I'm not going to be hard on myself. It took me this long to gain the weight, so I'm hoping for the best with this diet I've stuck with for the past 7 months. I haven't cooked anything different that hasn't been posted on this site, but I am planning to make a delicious duck dinner soon. I will post it next week hopefully. For now, I'll probably just jot down my challenges on Paleo as the winter hits us and shuffles away our fresh organic produce. I really should think about getting a greenhouse. Stay tune though --- don't miss out on my duck entree! Enjoy the beautiful snow and bon appetit!

For Deb's main blog, please visit: and join her on Twitter & Facebook for updated recipes and articles!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mangiare Mangiare!

The view from my deck.
Being stuck inside due to wintery weather can make you crave some good ol' comfort food, especially if it has to sit and simmer, letting the entire house smell like love. Being on Paleo sometimes is challenging. Being Italian in itself is challenging when it comes to low carb foods, however I always give myself a cheat day once in a while. It helps me maintain the Paleo lifestyle without feeling jilted in some way. I'm not allergic to gluten or develop negative reactions when and if I do dabble in pasta or breads, but I want to be healthier and lighter in my seasoned years. But back to good ol' Italian comfort food: homemade marinara. And I'm not talking the generalized version of "homemade" where cans are involved --- I'm talking about chopping and dicing up your tomatoes and seasonings yourself. No packaged products, (except for the pasta maybe). You can also use this delicious sauce on spaghetti squash along with any type of meat, like sausage and meatballs or even pork ribs. This sauce is best on tripe, meatloaf or chicken cacciatore. It basically goes well with anything. Mom used to throw tripe into her gravy (as most Italian Brooklynites call it) and it was just amazing.
  • I chop garlic in decent size chunks, an entire bulb of it.
  • I chop fresh parsley, basil and a half of a white onion.
  • Then I dice up vine tomatoes (you can use plum tomatoes which are delicious).
  • I start a base of a thin layer of olive oil in a regular size pot. 
  • I season the bottom with salt, pepper, hot pepper & garlic powder.
  • I throw in only the garlic, parsley and onion to sauté.
  • After it simmers a bit (don't burn the garlic because it'll be bitter) then I throw in the diced tomatoes.
  • Stir that around until it cooks a bit.
  • Add a small amount of red table wine into the mix.
  • Half a cup of parmesan cheese.
  • 1 or 2 cups of chicken broth (depending on how many tomatoes you chopped up, I chop about 15).
  • Stir & let simmer with the lid on, letting it crack open so it can breathe and not overflow.

This sauce goes great with a light chianti or a pinot noir. I always say, go by your taste and don't let anyone judge your 'sauce'. So start cooking for your loved ones and bon appetit my friends!

For Deb's main blog, please visit: and join her on Twitter & Facebook for updated recipes and articles!