Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cooking with a different mindset these days

I have heard of the "Paleo diet" off and on for awhile now. Earlier this year we had a couple visit our church and fill the pulpit for a few weeks. She was gluten intolerant and there were a few other dietary restrictions. So she ate according to the Paleo guidelines. I've since heard bits and pieces about it. And it sounded like a good idea.

I generally try to cook and eat a healthy and balanced diet. But fall short in many areas. For the most part my husband and I's health is good, but not perfect. I decided I'd do a little research.

Here is what I have learned so far:
Primal diet and Paleo diet are very similar and many times referred to as one in the same. However, the Paleo diet is much more limited on what is "allowed". The Primal diet follows basically the same idea as Paleo but is much more flexible or variable.

The diet is not strict in the sense that you must eat so many calories per day, have a set amount of protein/carbs/fats, etc per meal each day, doesn't say you have to eat a certain amount of times a day, or how often, etc. There really are very few "rules" to the "diet" if you call it that.

The Broad guidelines are: Eat meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. No processed foods, no sugars, no grains, no legumes. So, eat natural foods that are naturally produced. Dairy is allowed, but should be limited.
The biggest challenge for me is cutting out grains, like pasta and breads.

I've been reading "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson and while I don't agree with his theology, I do find the information on nutrition to be interesting.

I decided I'd give this new approach to cooking and eating. I'm not following it 100% (I had a frozen pizza for lunch this past week). But am using it as a guideline to check that I'm eating whole, natural, healthy foods.

Here is last weeks menu and "experiments" as my husband calls them. I got most of these recipes from a website I found called

 Wednesday Dinner:
Pumpkin Pancakes with raspberries and Bacon

 Thursday Dinner:
Farmers Market Chicken Bake with green salad and grapes

 Friday Dinner: 
Rosemary Chicken with Orange Maple Syrup Glaze and Mashed Butternut Squash with Asparagus

** Saturday Dinner was Smokey Bacon Meatloaf with green salad, sadly I forgot to get a picture**

 Sunday Lunch:
Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Grapes

**Monday Dinner: ate Chicken Spaghetti at a friends house**

 Tuesday Dinner:
Beasty BBQ Baby Back Ribs with steamed veggies

Wednesday Dinner:
Pasta and Vegetable Fritatta (made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. This a combo of 2 different similar recipes).

I personally thought most of these recipes were really yummy. Lots of flavor. I think I'd almost prefer them over meals I regularly used to make. A few of them were a little different, the Ribs had homemade bbq sauce, which took some getting used to. And the spinach salad had a homemade vinegrette dressing that also was a little odd to my tastes. 

My breakfasts were usually eggs and sometimes bacon, or a green smoothie made with lots of dark leafy greens, fruits and veggies all blended together. Lunches were usually leftovers from the previous night.

Overall I think this first week of eating mostly all natural, unprocessed and sugar free foods was successful! I've enjoyed it so far. It's also really fascinating to me to find out what really is in most of the foods we eat. In some cases I think I'd rather not know.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bathroom makeover

Back when I painted almost the entire interior of our new home I ran out of time and didn't get the guest bathroom done. So, I've since finished that project after moving in.

I love how this bathroom turned out. And, I think I've decided bathrooms are my favorite to remodel/decorate.

Here are the before pictures:
And here are the After pictures:

 I took mostly everything off the walls, the ugly medicine cabinet, the shelf, toothbrush holder and towel rod. And If you notice from the before and after pictures of the Master bathroom I swapped the mirrors. And of course the vinyl is a huge improvement over the carpet that was there.

And I'm so proud of myself for installing beadboard all by myself, since I didn't really know what I was doing when I started.