Category Archives: primal

trader joe’s in kc: it’s about dang time

trader joe’s is finally coming to kansas city, with two stores having their grand openings tomorrow. i’m as excited as everyone else is about this. there will once again be an alternative to whole paycheck, um, i mean whole foods (which was lost when whole foods bought up wild oats), with cheaper prices and of course the infamous ‘two-buck chuck’. i won’t be there this weekend because i’m sure the crowds will be *crazy*, but i plan to make my first of probably many visits sometime in the next couple of weeks.

as happy as i am about them being here, i have to say that although they may have for sale many organic and additive-free food items, they are still a part of the problem as far as the standard american diet (SAD) goes, and not a part of any real solution. just because something is organic doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you. you can get organic potato chips at trader joe’s.  however, a potato chip is still a potato chip with all its attendant starches and toxins, whether it’s deep fried in soybean oil or canola oil or whatever conventional wisdom says is currently the healthiest oil. organic whole grain flour is still made from wheat, and whole grain or not, wheat is a prime contributor to the ‘diseases of civilization’, plus the gluten in wheat affects people more than we realize. organic packaged and processed foods, while appearing to be a ‘healthy’ alternative to conventional food options, are just a band-aid that doesn’t even begin to solve what’s wrong with the SAD.

what would begin to solve the problem? eating a diet consisting primarily of vegetables and fruits (found in the produce section of the store, not in the canned food aisles or the freezer section – or better yet, start growing your own or at least buy from local farmer’s markets and CSAs), grass-fed (if financially possible) meats, free-range poultry, good fats (such as lard and butter and coconut oil), and fruits. (in other words, a paleo/primal/WAPF based diet.) and obviously these items can be found at tj’s, but most people who shop there are probably going for the packaged goods, because of cost and convenience.

still, those points being said, tj’s in kc is a step in the right direction. i will check it out, and probably shop there regularly myself. but even when shopping in a regular grocery store (like cosentino’s downtown market, where one of the employees once told me they consider whole foods their competition – mmmkay), i usually stick with the produce and meat sections, venturing into other sections from time to time, but really not buying many packaged and processed foods. i do buy some things in glass jars though, like my coconut oil, but have no problem reusing those jars to store spices and other things. anyway, i’m looking forward to being one of many new tj’s customers.

however, if a place like this ever comes to town, i’ll camp out on the sidewalk the night before their grand opening. unpackaged looks like my dream grocery store, at least for buying spices and other staples in bulk.

my sugar demon

i am really struggling right now with this sugar addiction thing. yes, addiction. i believe that it is possible to have an addiction to sugar, and my belief is backed up by numerous articles and websites i’ve read online. (yeah, i know… but i saw it on the internet so it has to be true!) i can go for a few days without it and feel great and think that, okay, i can do this, i don’t want sugar ever again. then something will happen at work that triggers a need in me to make myself feel better by having a reese’s peanut butter cup or two, and next thing i know, i’ve bought a bag of reese’s miniatures, and ultimately, instead of feeling better about myself, i feel so much worse.

other than the sugar thing, i feel that my diet in general is pretty decent, although i’m sure conventional wisdom would beg to differ on that. the paleo/primal way of eating is the best for me and my continued longevity, i’m sure of that. i know i feel so much better, and move so much better, when i’m eating this way than when not. the thing is that about 90% of the time i *am* eating this way, the sugar thing notwithstanding. and that actually is not necessarily good for me, but only because eating sugars and starches with high concentrations of fat in the diet is what causes people to gain weight, and develop diabetes, cardiovascular issues, etc., ad nauseum. it’s not the fat i’m eating that is the problem; it’s the combination of the fat and the high carbs, and that is what i’ve got to get a handle on. it’s not even that the carbs are so high, because i rarely eat bread or pasta or potatoes anymore. the carbs are coming from the sugar fixes i seem to need daily, usually at mid-morning, and right after lunch, and then maybe once i get home from work, about an hour before dinner(!).

this is what i normally eat during a week (other than the sugar, that is). for breakfast each morning i have 2 eggs scrambled in butter. lunch is whatever i had for dinner the previous evening. dinner is usually something like one of these:

  • liver and onions (recipe adapted from here), with mashed cauliflower and butter
  • shrimp sautéed in butter and various spices with steamed spinach
  • pesto kale (adapting a recipe i got from here), with kale or spinach, broccoli, and sausage all starring, with an amazing supporting cast of spices, onion, garlic, peppers, and coconut oil.
  • a salad made with mixed greens, chicken or salmon, avocado, red onion, nuts, bacon, and a homemade dressing (olive oil, vinegar, and whatever else strikes my fancy) (kinda adapted from here)

sometimes i’ll mix things up by having tilapia with steamed broccoli and butter, or a bison burger topped with bacon and avocado, but usually it’s one of those meals mentioned above. also, in the fall and winter, i make a very decent beanless chili or a primal jambalaya using cauliflower rice. most of the time i’m happy with a meal consisting of a healthy protein, some sort of fat, and something green (or cauliflower, as the case may be). i feel good when i eat like this, especially when combined with my daily dose of cod liver oil, along with a probiotic. (and on weekend mornings, i add bacon to those two scrambled eggs.)

so why oh why do i sabotage the good eating like this could do for me by basically eating crap? and it is crap. i notice that, even as much as i love reese’s, they have a fake taste about them. it’s because they aren’t real food. they are made in a factory, using chemicals that supposedly taste like what they are trying to represent, chocolate and peanut butter. (of course i’m not sure because at their website, while they do provide ‘nutritional’ information, there’s no listing of actual ingredients that i can find. because they want me to think that i’m eating real chocolate and real peanut butter.) oddly enough, when i’m eating real chocolate, that is, dark 88% cocoa chocolate, i need two small squares, and i’m satisfied. that’s because it’s a real food. and when i have those two squares, i don’t obsess over when i’m gonna have a chance to have my next two squares. it ain’t no big thang, because i know that eventually i’ll have some at a future time. or i won’t. and it’s okay either way. but with reese’s, it’s like gimme more, gimme more. and because of that greed, that desperation, and the sneakiness and lies (i am lying to myself every time i convince myself that it’s okay, this one last time) behind it all, i really shouldn’t have any.

cold turkey is the only way for me. i’ve done it before, and have been successful for days at a time. i just need to wake up tomorrow morning, hop back on that wagon, and do it again, and when i have that shitty day at work, instead of running off to CVS for my reese’s fix, i need to call a friend, or type it out, or do something physical to work out whatever the issue of that moment is. otherwise, all the other things i’m doing for my own health and well-being are useless, as far as i’m concerned.

sunday in the kitchen

i try to make sunday a day of preparation for my workweek, as far as food goes. today while listening to the chiefs play, i’m doing some baking. sort of in honor of halloween, i’m making these paleo-esque pumpkin muffins (recipe below) adapted from a recipe at caveman food. my main adaptation, and what makes them paleo-esque instead of straight up paleo is the addition of semi-sweet chocolate chips. i can’t help it. in the past i have made what i think is a killer pumpkin bread using a recipe that included chocolate chips. now i’m trying to do the paleo/primal thing, but can’t imagine a pumpkin bread-type recipe without the chocolate chips. and i can’t afford cacao nibs right now, so the semi-sweet chips will have to do. anyway, these pumpkin muffins are primarily for me to have something decent to eat for breakfast, so i can stop going to the med center cafeteria and eating eggs that may or may not be real (if they are real, i’m certain they’re not local, organic, or free-range), and contributing to the landfill with my daily styrofoam collection.

i’m also doing an adaptation of this roasted root veggie recipe, so i can either have it for lunch or dinner most days of the week. and i’m roasting some asparagus. yesterday i sautéed some chicken breasts that i can use in various salads and dishes throughout the week. and i have a couple of salmon filets and steaks that i’ll work into my menus at some point. so, barring any disasters, i should be good to go on the food front for the week.

paleo-esque pumpkin muffins

makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups almond flour

3/4 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1/3 cup honey

3/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped pecans

preheat oven to 350°f.

mix together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pecans until smooth. fold in the chips and pecans. spoon batter into 6 greased muffin cups (i use coconut oil) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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