Having read the literature that my husband collected with some tenacity I became convinced of the merits of a paleo diet and did a proper cleanout of the kitchen cupboards. The first to go was the sugar followed by the flour. Then the breakfast cereals and most of the canned foods ended up in the donation box (I felt guilty about giving other people these foodstuffs, but then not everyone follows our diet). It was easy to throw out the canned and processed goods. Even the sugar went without a shrug, but oh boy it was hard to throw out the gluten-free cereals and flour! I definitely suffered from grain withdrawal symptoms.
And looking back over the past 6 months I realise that we needed paleo baked goods to help us with the transition. We had chocolate muffins (made with 70% chocolate), chocolate date balls, chocolate cinnamon sweet potato waffles and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies on a weekly basis. Do I spot a chocolate trend???
Teaching our four year old about healthy food choices is a continuous process. It was difficult for him to get used to not having his Weetbix for breakfast but otherwise he has adapted well. I tried to make it as easy for him as possible and to not make him feel like the odd-one-out at school. I bake a paleo friendly sandwich bread which he enjoys spread with almond butter and honey. We have banana pancakes (flapjacks) for breakfast every now and then and his favourite breakfast is scrambled egg with tomato sauce (I buy the one with the least number of ingredients and no MSG). I’m not very strict with him and I allow him to have whatever the other kids at a birthday party or get-together is having. And I am proud to say that he is starting to make healthy choices and he limits himself to small portions of the unhealthy food.
As a family we include dairy in our diet but I’ve come to realise that I need to limit my intake. I used to consume blocks of cheese and my mouth still waters at the thought of a nice ripe soft oozing Brie or Camembert but those days are over. Dairy, especially cheese leaves me feeling bloated and very uncomfortable. (There’s no way I can re-apply for the position of Cheese Selector at Woolworths)
Changing one’s diet requires commitment and planning. And the best way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Plan your meals and shop only for the ingredients or products on your shopping list. Depending on the amount of time you can spend in the kitchen you might have to prepare some meals in advance.
A week’s menu for the adults.
|Monday||Scrambled egg with tomato smoor||Chicken coleslaw with nut sprinkle||Grilled cashew crusted salmon with green beans and salad||Piece of cheese|
|Tuesday||Left over salmon||Lamb or beef burger without the bun||Oven roasted chicken with green salad and broccoli||Biltong, cranberries|
|Wednesday||Bacon with apple sauce||Chicken coleslaw with nut sprinkle||Tomato, carrot and green bean lamb stew||Boiled egg, cheese|
|Thursday||Scrambled egg with smoked salmon and salad or left over vegetables||Left over stew||Stir fried beef and vegetables||Almonds, salami sticks|
|Friday||Sweet potato muffins with sliced ham||Left over stir fry beef and vegetables||Braai chops with stir fried zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower||Greek yoghurt with a drop of honey|
|Saturday||Omelet filled with left over vegetables||Boerewors and cauli-mash with salad||Cauliflower crust pizza||Slice of paleo bread, almond butter|
|Sunday||Sweet potato chocolate muffins served with bacon||Beetroot burgers with fennel salad and avocado and steamed vegetables||Beef lasagne with green salad (make enough for left overs)||Nuts, piece of cheese, fruit|
In most cases I make the dishes, sauces, etc from scratch. Natural or unprocessed is the way to go! As I’ve not yet mastered the art of making bacon or ham (and won’t any time soon) I buy the best that’s available in the shop. And I choose the whole muscle ham or beef not cooked ham. And remember; the starch (rice, potato, pasta) you used to eat should be replaced by vegetables or salad NOT meat.
Our son’s menu looks a bit different. Being a four year old he prefers his salad in the deconstructed form and packing school lunches that require eating utensils is not a good idea.
Please note that the menu is a sample menu. It is not our typical week, especially not since we’ve moved back to Malmesbury. In Perth we lived close to a grocer that stocked grass fed beef and Tasmanian salmon at reasonable prices. Now we tend to eat more Karoo lamb and chicken dishes. I have yet to find a fish monger that sells good quality fish at a reasonable price. Anyone with recommendations – please let me know!
Here’s the link to a very tasty chocolate cake recipe. I’ve made one adjustment to the recipe. I use 1 cup coconut flour instead of 2/3 cup and I cover it with a ganache made with 70% dark chocolate and cream.