Posts tagged ‘non-paleo’

March 26, 2012

Hawaii Vacation ’12

This might seem off topic since I’ve been mostly focusing on food for this blog, but I always intended to write about my adventures as well! I spent 2 days on Oahu and 5 days on the Big Island for a family vacation last month! I save the best for last, so read on!

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At some scenic viewpoint overlooking Honolulu/Waikiki

I really hoped to skydive over the North Shore again, but my new rig wasn’t ready yet and I didn’t have a chance to jump on this trip. I was only a little disappointed though. Let’s be honest, the main reason I insisted on stopping in Honolulu was to eat at one of my all-time favorite restaurants – Alan Wong’s. They never disappoint! The chef’s tasting menu blows me away every time I eat there! I was pleasantly surprised this time that pretty much the whole meal was gluten free! But you’ll see that the meal was certainly not paleo. Definitely worth it and I didn’t get sick! Each course was flawless and the wine pairings really complemented the food.  Can’t wait to go back!

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1st Course: Trio of Appetizers - Seafood salad on soy milk panna cotta, Kona lobster "Vichyssoise," Peterson Farm egg flan

 

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2nd Course: Crab "Tofu" Agedashi - Tofu-like spinner crab mousse, Kona lobster medallions and lump crab meat, kudzu dashi

 

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3rd Course: Bubu Arare Crusted Diver Scallop - edamame truffle sauce

 

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4th Course: Butter Poached Kona Lobster - Hamakua Heritage eryngi mushrooms, green onion oil

 

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5th Course: Pan Steamed Opakapaka, Short-Tail Pink Snapper - Shrimp pork hash, truffle nage, gingered vegetables, tapioca pearls

 

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6th Course: Char Su Colorado Lamb Chop - Kabu mostarda, cardamom greek yogurt sauce

Hello best lamb chop I’ve ever had! I’m definitely going to try using cardamom the next time I make lamb!

 

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7th Course: Kula "Strawberry Romanoff" - Big Island Dairy goat cheese panna cotta, Kula strawberry-hibiscus consommé, goat cheese sorbet

 

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The best chocolate covered macadamia nuts ever!

 

I discovered that not all musubis are the same! Here I thought that musubi = a slice of spam slapped on sushi rice with a band of nori. NOPE! There were so many flavors to choose from at Mana Bu’s! I especially enjoyed the unagi, baked salmon, and spicy tuna. The whole strawberry mochi was really good as well! I was most definitely going for local food and didn’t concentrate on staying paleo the entire vacation.

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Then we made our way to the Big Island where my adventure really started. Not much notable food there. Except for the loco moco or moco loco or whatever it’s called. DISGUSTING. Meat(s) of your choosing on rice topped with fried eggs and drowned in massive amounts of brown gravy. I feel sick just thinking about it again. I tried it because it’s one of those classic Hawaiian dishes or whatever, but yeah… never again!

We stayed at the ginormous beautiful Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. This is where I got all my exercise – having to walk like a mile to get to anything! I wish I was exaggerating! Ok, I’m probably exaggerating.

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Hapuna Beach was wonderful! I even managed to get several shades darker from my usual glow-in-the-dark pale. I still have tan lines! I spent one day on the beach stocking up on my vitamin D. One day of R&R is usually all I can handle on any vacation. I’m really bad at the whole sun bathing thing. SO boring.

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I want to be back on this beach!

 

With absolutely no rental cars available on the whole island during our first couple of days, we went on a circle island bus tour.  I don’t know about the rest of my family, but I had an awesome time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in one day in a long time. I won’t disclose why since it’s one of those “you had to be there” things. Plus I’m pretty sure we would have never made it around the island with our own car.

I loved the black sand beach! Felt awful with bare feet, but it was sooo pretty!!! Especially with the gray skies that day. My pictures look black and white! I was super bummed that we didn’t see any turtles on the beach.

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We also stopped by the volcano national park. I wish we could have had time to do the lava boat tours where you can see flowing lava! But all we saw were smoking craters. I’m surrounded by volcanos where I live – Rainier, St. Helens… no big deal. We also stopped at a lava tube. The bus driver said it would take 20min to get through so I was expecting this epic lava tube hike, but no… it was like a 2min walk through a very boring tunnel. 20min for all the senior citizens on the bus tour maybe? I mean, let’s be honest, who else goes on bus tours? Anyway, I was expecting something more like the Ape Caves in WA, which I recently found out is the longest continuous lava tube in the continental U.S.!

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We visited the Dole pineapple plantation and learned a lot about pineapple. Who knew that they don’t ripen further after being picked? So eat your pineapples right away! The pineapple soft serve there was one of the yuckiest frozen treats I’ve ever had. Don’t get it. I’ll add pics later.

We definitely experienced a downpour of rain in Hilo! 200+in of rain a year and a lot of people live there! Crazy! We stopped at these waterfalls. I think it’s called the Rainbow falls? I don’t really remember.

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One thing I don’t have a picture of is the 40,000(?) acres of land that is the cattle ranch. There is so much land that it looks like there aren’t many cows! All the cows looked happy and relaxed grazing on the grass with their cow buddies. Yay for happy cows, right? NOPE! Apparently they don’t slaughter on the island. These cows get shipped to the mainland feedlots where they are grain finished and slaughtered. The now (ruined , in my opinion) meat is shipped all over the country, including back to Hawaii! Ridiculous, isn’t it? I felt so bad for the cows. So glad we have many happy local cows in WA!

And now for the very best part of my trip: NIGHT DIVE WITH MANTA RAYS!!!! This was the whole reason why I made the family go to the Big Island. This was one of two reasons why I became SCUBA certified! I recommend Wanna Dive because they have a small 6 person boat for a much better experience than the bigger boats of other companies. I was worried about not being able to cross this off my bucket list, but as soon as our boat pulled up to the dive site, we saw a manta ray on the surface! Then I saw 3 at a distance during the first dive in the late afternoon. I actually kinda hate diving – it doesn’t matter if I’m in the Puget Sound or in Hawaii, I am guaranteed to be freezing. But I was super excited when it finally became dark enough to dive in! All the divers from the various boats sit at the bottom (about 35-40ft down) with their lights pointing up while the snorkelers hang out on the surface pointing their lights down. The manta rays of Kona have learned that plankton love dive lights so they show up at this spot every night to feed, giving us a spectacular show!

I am sooo glad I took my GoPro! I didn’t expect to get such great footage! We saw 9 manta rays and a big swirling column of countless fish. It was truly one of the most beautiful and most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. These creatures are HUGE and soooo graceful. It’s surreal having them graze the top of your head and swim straight towards you with their giant mouths wide open. Can I go on my “save the oceans!” rant now? 🙂

In case you were wondering, the other reason I started diving was to see whale sharks. I hope I can make that happen this year so I can quit diving once and for all! Haha, just kidding…maybe.

September 11, 2011

Dinner at Staple and Fancy Mercantile

I did my first wingsuit jump yesterday as my 443rd jump! Skydivers reading this will all say “BEER!” and I will bring some to the BBQ on Tuesday. “First” and “beer” are synonymous in the skydiving world. I only had time to do one wingsuit jump, but it’s all I needed to know that I now have a new hobby. Or is it a sub-hobby? I felt a little like I did on my very first tandem jump – I had no idea what to expect and was super excited! There were so many things to think about, but I managed to not over-think and really enjoy FLYING. My childhood dreams of flight came true yesterday! It was rather calm and relaxing despite feeling like I had no idea what I was doing! My flight was only like 70 seconds long since I pulled high at 5.5k’, but still felt like FOREVER considering that my usual freefly jumps last like 45-50 seconds. So I’m definitely adding a wingsuit to my wishlist. I’ll post video in a few days!

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I also did a freefly jump before I had to rush home for my dad’s birthday dinner. I was sooo sad to leave before the BBQ started at the DZ! How many times have I mentioned that skydivers have the best BBQs? My friend actually built his own smoker!!! Then brought it to the DZ, put like 80lbs of meat in it to smoke for 15 hours, and made an event out of it. How awesome is that?!? He was also nice enough to pull some out for me early so that I could taste the brisket and pork before leaving. I would have loved to stay and eat more because I love smoked meat!

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There’s always drama at my family dinners, but at least the food is always good! We went to Staple and Fancy Mercantile, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Well, it was one of my favorite restaurants until I converted to paleo and started avoiding the place. I’ve never ordered from the menu here because I always choose this option: “if you would like to avoid the trouble of ordering altogether, please feel free to hand your menu back to your server and let the kitchen prepare you a family style supper served in four courses for $45 per person.” It is an Italian influenced restaurant, which definitely means pasta. I asked the server if they could do grain and legume free, and what I got was mostly gluten free, but this is definitely not the place to go for a paleo friendly meal unless you take the fun out and order off the menu (I spied a few things that looked promising).

First course – Tapas style appetizers

  • Marinated Sicilian olives
  • Rockfish, chives, and aioli on crostini (did not eat the crostini)
  • Beef, anchovy aioli, poached albacore
  • Sardines with fennel
  • Geoduck salad
  • Fried oysters (did not eat)
  • Tomato, arugula, mozarella (took a bite of the mozarella)

Most of these were paleo friendly!

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Second course – Pasta

That dreaded word – PASTA. In my pre-paleo days, I used to LOVE pasta, especially filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. I’ve found out since then that I don’t love pasta anymore. It’s way too filling in a bad way? So it had been a very long time since I had been faced with pasta on the table before me.

  • Pork belly ravioli in brown butter and sage sauce (I tried a few of them, taking the filling out of the pasta)
  • Gluten free rice shells with mussels in pesto sauce (Other tables got fettucini or something instead of the gluten free. I had a spoonful, I definitely don’t care for pasta anymore. The mussels were great and I don’t even like mussels!)

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Third course – Meat and Seafood

  • Grilled white fish of some sort (don’t remember), stuffed with lemon and oregano (I will be doing this at home!). I didn’t eat the white bean puree, just the stuff on top. Delicious!
  • Grilled pork loin (didn’t eat the corn, meat was perfect)

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Fourth course – Dessert
I think dessert is way more tempting than pasta. Especially really really really good desserts. Sugar, dairy, and flour filled desserts. I just can’t say no. But I definitely limited myself to a few small bites of each. I also noticed that my sugar cravings are almost gone – I was able to stop myself from eating most of it (good thing I had to share with 3 other people!) and it tasted VERY sweet. Almost too sweet.

  • Lemon cake with berries and sorbet
  • Ricotta cheesecake with figs – Hands down the best cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life. I usually hate cheesecake and this was amazing.)

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Sometimes you just can’t avoid non-paleo dinner situations and you just have to do the best you can. I don’t think I did too bad. Some dairy, some rice pasta, and a few bites of dessert. I also skipped the wine. I absolutely love wine pairings with multi-course meals. Makes the meal that much more enjoyable because the wine tends to really complement the food and open up the flavors. But I am striving to be 95% paleo and alcohol-free for 30 days. How many more days do I have? Just kidding!

I also ate 2 peaches and a Blueberry Muffin Larabar yesterday as snacks while at the DZ. I’m finally feeling less insatiably hungry. This morning I woke up without any sugar cravings and no desire to eat something right away!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since 9/11. Like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was as I watched the second plane hit on the news. Remember how “United we stand, divided we fall” was the post-9/11 motto? What happened to that?? Because all I see are people divided by insignificant differences. It shouldn’t take a horrific national tragedy to bring people together, but that often seems to be the case. I hope I can do my part to change that.

August 22, 2011

SFBay trip eats, part 2

Traveling and staying paleo is rather challenging for me and I definitely failed the second half of this trip. It’s easy for me to stay paleo in Seattle when I’ve already eaten pretty much everything I would want to eat in my many years of being a foodie! But when I’m out of town, I eat whatever is recommended by locals or whatever I can find. Another issue I have is that I am tempted to drink much more when I’m traveling. Probably because I’m rarely alone and thus “forced” to be social the majority of the time, which usually means there’s alcohol around and I have no willpower when it comes to good booze, haha.

On Thursday, we went to a tasting at St.George Spirits, a distillery located in an old aircraft hangar in Alameda, CA. Besides what’s listed below, we were given several other spirits as well. Aside from a few that I did not care for (absinthe, some black tea liqueur), everything was really good. I especially enjoyed the vodkas and the whiskey.  The eaux de vie and liqueurs were like juices to me…yum! .25oz pours start adding up, especially when you’re a total lightweight! Needless to say, I was drunk by the end of this. Then we went to a bar. When I’m already drunk, I forget that I should probably stop drinking. When I’m out with people who don’t know me well enough to cut me off, it’s just bad news bears. So came the Irish car bomb, the tokyo tea, the touchdown, and more drinks that I don’t even remember. I vaguely remember hot wings and quesadillas as well… It hasn’t even been a couple posts since the last time I blogged about drinking too much. I said in that post that I would never drink again, but then I did not even a week later with some regrettable consequences. I definitely blacked out at some point and I am sooo very sorry, R! It was a good reminder of the real reason I stopped drinking (to excess), not just because it makes me sick, but because I’d black out and do something stupid. Lesson learned, yet again. Perhaps it’ll stick this time? Actually, it already hasn’t, because I seem to be back in the habit of ordering a cocktail when I eat out. I probably sound like I have an alcohol problem now! My advice: stay paleo, don’t drink, and  you’ll be much happier with less troubles in life.

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Apparently this was the shark model from “Deep Blue Sea” – I’ll admit to having seen that cheesy movie.

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On Friday we went to Los Gatos Cafe in Los Gatos, CA for breakfast. There were more paleo options that what I ordered, but hey, I was on vacation and I had already given up on staying paleo so I ordered the crabcakes benedict with spinach and hollandaise on the side.  Yum! I must make paleo crabcakes soon! Walking around after breakfast, I saw a French pâtisserie. When I’m in non-paleo mode, you absolutely cannot keep me from French pastries if they’re within my line of sight. I got a coconut macaroon, a lemon tart, and a chocolate cake… I can’t stop at one either.

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I think this was a lunch from Thursday? This was probably my most paleo meal of the second half of my trip! It’s a Vietnamese chicken sandwich in salad form from Sierra Deli in Oakland. Grilled chicken in a lemongrass sauce (I tasted soy sauce and sugar, so not totally paleo), cilantro, tomato, jalapeño, avocado, cucumber, and daikon. Oh how I LOVE daikon and I enjoyed this salad way more than I thought I would a salad from such a small unassuming deli and market attached to a condo. I will definitely be recreating this salad in fully paleo form!

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I spent my last half day in San Francisco walking around the street and farmer’s markets, which really is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world, especially in the company of my favorite people. I love all the energy, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the colors, the food… everything. My friend and I had lunch at La Mar, a Peruvian fusion restaurant. We shared two cebiches and the skirt steak empanadas (not pictured). What is it about raw seafood “cooked” in acid that I love so much? I could eat it every day. Eating the empanada and having a cocktail made with pisco brought back memories of my travels in Peru and Chile. Such nostalgia! I definitely need to start traveling again, I especially miss Latin America.

Cebiche Mixto – “Yellowtail from Mexico, calamari and shrimp in an ají amarillo leche de tigre with cilantro, red onion, habanero, Peruvian corn and yam”

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Cebiche Nikei  – “Ahi Tuna, red onion, Japanese cucumber, daikon, and avocado in a tamarind leche de tigre”

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Everyone knows that I am the crazy bird lady. For as long as I can remember, I have just had a strange affinity for birds. All birds, not just parrots! I met my first pelican on Saturday! I had seen them before from afar, never this close! And I couldn’t help myself… He was so soft! So cute!!!

I kind of have a bad habit of interacting with wild birds… This was from a couple years ago. Yes, that’s a real crow.

 

I’ve been slowly transitioning back to my real life after a pretty surreal week. I was mostly paleo today and will be getting back to normal as this week goes on, which means more paleo posts, more often!

August 13, 2011

WHY did I eat/drink that?!?

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning horrified at what you consumed the day before… Or in my case, the previous 4 days. Yep, I was off the paleo boat for FOUR days, which is pretty unusual for me since I absolutely hate how I feel when I don’t eat 80-100% paleo. In fact, I feel absolutely deplorably wretched right now. 1. My stomach hates me. 2. Forget my stomach, my entire body hates me. 3. I’ve gained at least 5lbs of water weight and I can feel it.

The last several days have been filled with obnoxious amounts of sugar and salt from all sorts of non-paleo foods. I’ve also eaten my weight in fruit and almonds because I was bored from being too lazy to do anything. Then there’s the alcohol. SO. MUCH. ALCOHOL.

In my current delirious state of post-traumatic eating episodes, the only clear thought I have is: How did I live like that for so many years?!? How do the majority of people still live like that?!? I think this feeling of lethargy and ill-health might just be the accepted norm for people who haven’t experienced a life free of grains and alcohol.

I went to my friend’s wedding on a beautiful Friday afternoon. It was the shortest ceremony ever! As soon as I saw the cupcakes, I knew that my willpower to stay paleo was weak. I have such a soft spot for cupcakes!

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I think I ate two, possibly three. I don’t even remember because I had been drinking wine. 2 tiny glasses and I was plastered in a cute, bubbly way and not a sloppy mess kind of way… or so I like to think, haha.
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Then there was the food – nothing paleo-friendly. I was suuuper hungry from not having eaten much beforehand and from all the wine. I always eat like a ravenous fat kid when I’m drunk… or maybe that’s just all the time. After my appetizer of the entire favor box full of M&Ms (a childhood favorite), I grabbed some food. I don’t even like beans or potato salad, but I got them both along with a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, and some pickles. I did not eat the buns of the sandwich, but ate everything else against my better judgment.

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Friday night, I went to the Dash Berlin show, which was a white party. I have a thing for crazy fake eyelashes and had found these white feather ones at Sephora. They glowed under the black light, which I thought was pretty nifty! I rarely go out anymore. I think the last time was in May? But sometimes, I like to take a break from being my normal freakishly healthy self and party like I’m still in college. And I did just that on Friday night prefunc’ing with Captain and Cokes followed by Tokyo teas (it’s like a long island, but with midori instead of coke) at the venue. I danced for 5 hours with one of my absolute favorite people in the whole entire world! LOVE YOU, KP, happy birthday! Sometime during the night, I also ate a Seattle dog. It’s just not a proper drunken night out in Seattle without one! They’re hot dogs with cream cheese (I also add grilled onions and jalapeños). I find that most non-Seattlites think that sounds disgusting. Don’t knock it till you try it, I’d never eat a hot dog without cream cheese!

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Needless to say, I was rather hungover on Saturday. By rather hungover, I mean I was a useless lump in my bed all day. And the memories of all the SAD junk I ate the day/night before were starting to come back to me. You’d think that I would have spent my recovery day getting back on the paleo bandwagon. Well I love fruit and Korean food when I’m hungover. I probably ate most of my fruit from my CSA bag (a week’s worth of fruit) yesterday. I also had bibimbap, which isn’t too bad – brown rice and hot pepper paste (has soy in it), but otherwise healthy full of veggies and meat (all the veggies are cooked in sesame oil). However, it is pretty high in sodium from the hot pepper paste, since I like mine to be super spicy. The fried egg on top after it’s all mixed is absolutely necessary! Best hangover food ever.
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I had sooo many peaches and pluots, as well as nectarines and cherries. These are some of the best stone fruits I’ve ever had!

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These yellow plums are from our own tree! Not fully ripe yet.

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I am fasting today. It has become a necessity with how awful I’m feeling to let my body just cleanse and recover from being bombarded by food and alcohol. I would really like to incorporate regular intermittent fasting into my life. I’m also going to hot yoga in the evening, I can’t believe I haven’t gone in a week! It’s going to feel soooo gooooood! I can’t wait to go back to being fully paleo so I can feel amazing again. But the break was a GREAT reminder of why I eat paleo in the first place!

July 30, 2011

My rest day full of carbs

I’ve been so busy and so active this past week, I needed a full day of rest yesterday. I woke up at 5:45 thinking I would go to hot yoga at 6:30, but decided to go back to sleep. I was there less than 12 hours before anyway. I could have gone to the 9:30 class, but I had already started eating and I hate doing Bikram yoga right after eating.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I went trail running near my house on Thursday. I walked a mile to the trail (hate running on pavement) and ran about 2 miles on trail. You know what I felt while sprinting along the soft trail? Joy. Absolute joy. And I smiled as I ran faster and faster. The blue skies and the sunshine poking through the trees was a nice touch. I love that in my own neighborhood, there’s a little stream and a forest of trees for me to feel removed from civilization (nicely maintained trail aside) and completely at peace with the world for a little while. It was hot out though, since I went around 3pm. I was sweaty and started feeling nauseous from the heat. Of course I went to hot yoga an hour later for more heat… I think Bikram heat is different though, it’s more soothing than it is uncomfortable, maybe because I have a different mindset in the studio. I’ve mentioned going hiking/trail running, climbing, to Crossfit, and to hot yoga all week. So yes, rest was definitely needed.

It’s funny how I have to remind myself to rest. I always have so much energy. I enjoy the feeling of soreness because it means I pushed myself a little further. But my recovery times are astounding and I can always do more the next day. But allowing yourself to rest is so important! While I felt fine physically, I think I was exhausted since I ended up sleeping a lot.

My eating habits can be terrible on my rest days. Ok, maybe not so terrible compared to the general population, but terrible for me. I never cook or eat out on my rest days, I’m too lazy. So I eat whatever is available at home that requires zero cooking and is instantly edible. This usually isn’t a problem when I have plenty of paleo snacks at hand, but I’ve been slacking with the grocery shopping lately. They should have a paleo food delivery service!

So my mom makes these rice cakes out of sweet rice flour (mochiko), dried fruit (mangos, apricots, raisins), nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans), water, and a bit of sea salt. It’s not processed, it’s not unhealthy, and besides the sweet rice, the rest of the ingredients are paleo. The problem is that I can’t stop at one. For some reason, it’s like crack to me. Even though it makes me super full, I can’t stop eating them! Very carby, sugary, high calorie… mmm. I’ve asked her to stop making them while I recover from my rest day of overeating rice cakes. I ate 5 of them, that’s like 2lbs of rice cakes…

Do I stop there? No. I found strawberry ice cream in the fridge! So I had some of that too. At least it was all natural? Look at me justifying my non-paleo indulgences. I did go shopping later in the day and bought more Coconut Bliss…which I promptly consumed…hehe.

Then there were the peaches. I binge on fruit. It’s out of control. It has always been out of control. Remember my sweet tooth? My sweet tooth doesn’t discriminate between fruit sugar and dessert sugar. It loves it all. I ate 3 large peaches today. I would have eaten more had I discovered them earlier in the day/before the rice cakes.

So what’s missing from my diet yesterday?? MEAT. Specifically, fat and protein. In just one day, you can see how the lack of meat messed with my appetite and how I still wanted to keep eating even though I was full enough to burst. It’s ridiculous. I have elk steak and eggs for breakfast and I stop eating and feel satiated for 4 hours with plenty of energy. I eat rice cakes, ice cream, and fruit and I just don’t stop eating all day while having to nap in between. I also noticed that I am suuuuper thirsty when I eat a lot of sugar/carbs. I had two coconut waters plus several glasses of water and I’m still thirsty! I can just feel my body retaining all that water. Oops!

Between all my eating and sleeping, I managed to soak up some sun by the pool at my friend’s apt complex. I don’t know how people tan on a regular basis. It’s so, so, SOOOO boring. I cannot stay still for the life of me. But I tried, I needed the vitamin D and there’s no better UV protection than your own melanin. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any darker though. I glow in the dark, I’m so pale. These pics make me look normal colored because of the shadows. I’m really not, I even blind myself when I don’t have sunglasses on.

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I’m soo glad my rest day is over. I really need to stop being so lazy and lax about food on rest days so that I don’t end up feeling so lethargic. Well I’m off to go hiking/trail running! 7.2 miles round trip with a 2000ft elevation gain. YAY!

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July 16, 2011

Airport eats and paleo friends

My fourth trip to the bay area for tunnel time was my most successful yet! Not only did I see a lot of progress in my flying, I also stayed at least 90% paleo! My Vibrams were awesome for tunnel flying! I’m so in love with those shoes. I just got home from the longest day at the Oakland airport (got there really early, couldn’t get an earlier flight, my flight was 2 hours delayed) so this will be a quick food post and I will talk about the rest of the trip later.

 

Cajun RockfishAnthony’s, Seatac airport
Actually, I don’t really remember what it was called on the menu. Since my flight out of Seattle was delayed over an hour (surprise surprise, I was flying Southwest), I decided to eat at Anthony’s, which is a local seafood restaurant chain. I ordered wild rockfish from the fresh fish section of the menu. It was covered in cajun spices and came with a pineapple salsa. The sides were supposed to be rice and broccoli, but I asked for extra broccoli without the rice. This was the best airport food I’ve ever had!! Healthy and filling at less than $20! Crazy! Further down this post you will see how awful OAK is compared to SEA in terms of food choices.

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Ribs, chicken, tri-tip lunch comboJon Jon’s BBQ, San Jose, CA
Between my tunnel sessions on Thursday, I met up with a friend who took me to this little BBQ joint in San Jose. It smelled amazing, thanks to this huge smoker out front!

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It’s a pretty limited menu that serves about four kinds of meat with sides of baked beans and potato salad. I picked the lunch combo that would allow me to sample a bit of the baby back ribs, chicken, and tri tip beef and omitted the sides. I wish I had asked for BBQ sauce on the side as well, I didn’t realize they would pour so much on top of the meat. I scraped most of it off as it was too sweet for me and definitely didn’t taste paleo (I think there was corn syrup in it). The meat itself was sooo tender! They don’t have any veggies whatsoever on their menu, so this was a meat only meal for me. As much as I like meat, I need at least an equal amount of veggies to be completely happy.

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Veggie Buffet at Fresh Choice

I ate here on my last trip and was a little disappointed in the lack of meat, but impressed with all the veggies offered. Well after my meat only meal, I was SUPER happy to stuff my face with fresh veggies!!!

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By Friday I was sleep deprived  and hungry. I snacked on prosciutto and coconut water after my morning tunnel session and had lunch at an Indian buffet. I ate a little bit of rice and dairy-based curry, but there were several paleo-friendly options like chicken tikka and veggies for me. I eat gluten-free if I can’t eat paleo; rice and dairy doesn’t seem to affect my body, but I try to avoid them anyway.

My fellow paleo/primal eating skydiver friend Krisanne invited me over for an AMAAAZING paleo dinner on Friday! I love eating with paleo friends. Food is meant to be shared and meals with paleo friends are the best!! Everything was DELICIOUS and I was so happy to have a healthy, home cooked meal while on my trip. It can be stressful to find paleo-friendly food options while traveling, so I was grateful for this wonderful meal with such wonderful company. Her cat Franklin is so cute. He had the tiniest, squeakiest meow I’ve ever heard! Check out all this beautiful food!!!

Strawberry cucumber salad 
I love when my food is colorful! This was so fresh with the perfect amount of crunch from the red onions and cucumbers while the strawberries lent a tart sweetness. There was also fresh basil in it! And isn’t her teak table awesome?

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Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches
I love the use of fruit in pork dishes and this was no exception. I had seconds! The pork itself was super high quality and it was just a beautiful, tasty plate of food. The picture doesn’t do it justice! I will definitely be making this for myself at home now that I have the recipe. Krisanne of course skipped the couscous. She said she used red wine vinegar since she didn’t have white. I’ll probably also use red. She also mentioned that the recipe works just as well with nectarines and plums. The fresh basil leaves are a must!

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Mangoes w/salt, chili powder, and lime juice
Dessert! Apparently this is a common way to eat mangos in certain parts of Latin America? I don’t know, but it was good. Like Sean said, the flavor of the mango opens up with the addition of the salt, chili powder, and lime juice. It was interesting! I only ever have my mangos plain, so the extra flavor was well, interesting. Not sure what other word to use! I always eat my fruit plain, but since having that pineapple with cinnamon at the Brazilian place and now this chili mango, I’m thinking spices can go well with fruit!

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Airports are generally full of fast food. While Seatac has some better options, Terminal 2 at Oakland is awful. AWFUL. In my 8 hours at the airport, I barely ate anything because I just could not bring myself to eat SAD food despite being hungry and tired. Vino Volo the best I could find at OAK after walking around and reading every menu. I had the small plates of Artisan Cured Meats and Roasted Chicken Breast Salad without dressing. One piece of prosciutto, two slices of salami, and 2 slices of coppa with stone ground mustard and tiny pickles for $8. EIGHT DOLLARS. And artisan?! Ha! I know my cured meat, that was definitely not worth $8. The salad was $6 and pretty good with the pine nuts, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. Though it was overpriced (what isn’t overpriced at the airport?), I felt really good about eating the best possible choices available in the entire terminal.

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I’m beyond excited for hot yoga tomorrow morning!!! This body really needs it. And I’m never flying Southwest again. They reel you in with their low fares, but they steal hours of your time and stress you out like no other. I’m sticking with Virgin and Alaskan for my flights to CA now!

June 20, 2011

Recovering from last week

I know it has been a long time since I’ve last blogged. I was in the bay area again getting more tunnel time! The whole trip I slept about 4 hours a night and napped a lot during the day. So my internal clock is super messed up. Surprisingly, I wasn’t at all sore after 3 hours in the tunnel in just a few days. Pushing against all that wind is quite a workout! I was drinking coconut water every day to rehydrate and prevent soreness. I got home on Saturday and only had a few hours before having to leave for my friend’s bachelorette party. Needless to say, I was super exhausted after all the tunnel time, travel, lack of sleep, and partying. I also ate like crap the last four days…

Before I left for my trip on Wednesday, I was eating a lot of Copper River salmon – baked with garlic, sea salt, pepper, italian seasonings, and lemon juice.
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I managed to stay paleo all day on Thursday, but it took some effort. Union City, CA isn’t exactly a mecca for any kind of foodie. For lunch, my vegetarian friend and I went to Fresh Choice. What’s awesome about that place is that they list all ingredients, allergens, and whether something is gluten free, vegan, etc. It had a great salad bar. Everything else wasn’t paleo. The place is super vegetarian friendly with very little meat. What did contain meat wasn’t paleo. So my tray was a little empty. I was kinda excited to use one of these trays again, I hadn’t seen one since high school!

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We went grocery shopping in Berkeley at the Berkeley Bowl and I was soooo happy! What an awesome supermarket. They had grassfed beef from three different places, two local and one from Uruguay, which I thought was stupid. I don’t know why this picture is upside down. But I bought several cans of coconut water, grassfed ribeye, organic blueberries, hot coppa, and raw almonds. I ate almost everything on Thursday.
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By Friday, I gave up on eating paleo. I was tired from the lack of sleep and hungry from the lack of constant access to good food. I ate lunch at an Indian buffet with naan, rice, and curries. I hung out with my friend Enrique from the area before my 11pm tunnel session. His mom was so cute! Her homemade, authentic Mexican food was amazing!!! Pretty sure the chicken was paleo, but I had to have some of the rice too because it smelled soo good. I had three bowls! My friend said his mom also makes excellent carnitas. I would love to have the recipe, but she doesn’t cook from a recipe so I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it.

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We went on a drive. By drive I mean 100+mph in his Porsche Turbo on a narrow, curvy, windy, hilly road. Hello adrenaline, it has been a while! I loved the racing seats, otherwise I would have been flying around the car with every turn. I’ll see if I can post the video I took later.
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I got a quick little tour of San Francisco. I think I could actually live there! There are very few cities that I like as much as Seattle. We ended up at Ghiradelli Square for some ice cream sundaes. I picked the Gold Rush sundae which had fudge, warm peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, peanuts, and whipped cream. Could it get any less paleo? I’ve always loved peanut butter in ice cream, but warm peanut butter was even better! I could only eat about 20% of this. It was way too sweet.
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Saturday I even ate french toast for breakfast! The problem with me eating any sort of super sugary foods is that I start craving it. So the rest of the weekend was full of chocolate, scones, and cookies. I also ate noodles! And apple streusel bread! This is why I haven’t been blogging, not much paleo food to post and complete exhaustion. SAD foods make me super lethargic, so all I did was eat and sleep. But today I’m getting back on track despite waking up and immediately wanting nothing but sugar. It’s kinda crazy how I lose my massive sweet tooth if I eat paleo for a few days.

June 1, 2011

I think I shall fast today

I’m sore today and I love it! I went bouldering for 3 hours at the newly opened Seattle Bouldering Project on Monday! I wish I lived closer because it’s AWESOME. First of all, the place is huge and feels very open. It’s well ventilated and doesn’t smell like feet, though it has only been open for 2 weeks so that’s subject to change. Then there’s the floor! The entire floor is a thick, bouncy mat. I couldn’t help but bounce around from wall to wall. It helped me feel more comfortable as I’m trying to overcome my fear of falling while bouldering. The SPJ also offers a gym and yoga, among other amenities. Go check it out!

Dungeness Crab and Asparagus ScrambleToulouse Petit, Seattle
Helloooo breakfast happy hour at Toulouse Petit where most things on their menu are $7.50! There are several paleo friendly choices on the menu. I decided to go with the crab and asparagus scramble with gruyere, chervil, chives, mornay. I asked for the gruyere on the side so that I could taste it. While the gruyere was good and mellowed out the zing of the herbs in the scramble, it wasn’t at all necessary! This scramble was DELICIOUS. Full of soft crab meat with crunchy asparagus, it had a wonderful texture packed with flavor. I substituted fruit for the breakfast potatoes.

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As you can see in the following pic, I was totally able to make myself a paleo bowl of food with carne asada, veggies, and salsa at the Mexican themed skydiver BBQ yesterday.

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The problem was that I didn’t stop there, even though I was full after a couple of bowls. I munched on a bean dip with sour cream and cheese with tortilla chips. I ate some Mexican wedding cakes (which I baked for everyone). I had a slice of chocolate cake for Jami’s birthday (happy birthday!!), and had a taco with a corn tortilla. I KNEW I would get sick afterwards and my paleo bowl of food tasted best out of everything else I ate, but I apparently couldn’t stop! So I’ve been dealing with a headache, stomachache, and fatigue since last night. I find that it helps for me to fast for a day (water only) and then eat 100% strict paleo for at least a few days to feel completely recovered from eating too much non-paleo food.

Don’t freak out that I fast every once in a while. Intermittent fasting (IF) can actually be very good for you and does not ruin your metabolism. It has restorative and healing effects. I only fast when I feel sick, but many people make it a regular practice. I may post more about IF at another time, but you should definitely google and learn more about it!

I received a wonderful compliment in a message from a reader yesterday: “You really should think about writing a book!” Totally made my day since I honestly don’t know if my blog is at all interesting for people to read. No plans to write a book anytime soon, but I will keep blogging! Thanks Theresa! 🙂

May 25, 2011

Super spicy jalapeños and lots of seafood

I made pico de gallo yesterday! I don’t really use a recipe, I just throw it together until it tastes good.

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • half red onion
  • 2 tsp-ish minced garlic
  • 1 fresh jalapeño
  • like 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (looove cilantro!)
  • fresh squeezed lime juice to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Usually this results in really good pico de gallo. Yesterday, however, the jalapeño was MUCH hotter than usual. I chopped it up really little and even the tiniest morsel packed a lot of heat! And it’s not like I can pick out tiny bits of jalapeño, so I just had super spicy pico yesterday.

Macadamia nut coated mahi mahi

I admit that I miss fish tacos. So I thought I’d make a deconstructed fish taco without the tortilla. The problem was that I was out of lettuce and was too lazy to make a sauce. But I had mahi mahi and pico! Since battered, deep fried fish is not very paleo, I decided to be clever and coat the mahi mahi in crushed macadamia nuts and almond meal instead. I probably should have coated it in egg first so that the nut mixture would stay on better and be more like a batter. I fried the fillet in bacon fat on both sides to lightly brown the nuts and then popped it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. I got a little impatient at the end so I put the oven on full broil and burnt a bit of the nuts… don’t do that.

With how spicy my pico was, I was really wishing my avocados were ripe. This probably would have been much better with a mango salsa. Or make it Hawaiian with some pineapple since I’m using macadamia nuts anyway. I loved the crunch and flavor that the macadamia nuts and almond meal gave the fish.

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So that was lunch. Then I baked some white chocolate cranberry macadamia nut cookies to take to the BBQ (I may have eaten some, yes I know they’re not paleo) while eating some steak. I eat BBQ before a BBQ. I was hungry! Then I hit the road and realize that I had a small puddle of chocolate in the middle of my car. I had left chocolate, loosely wrapped in its foil, in my car outside and it was actually warm all day. Oh and yes, 85-90% chocolate is included in my <5% non-paleo diet. Anyway, because I am a genius (no, really, I am) I picked it up while looking for a bag and it dripped through my fingers and all over everything. EVERYTHING! There was melted chocolate on my hands, the console, the stick thing, my sweatshirt, my hair, the window… The only thing I found to contain the mess were socks. I drove with socks on my hands, keeping my car warm so that the chocolate wouldn’t cool and harden – most miserable drive ever.

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But a skydiver BBQ made me feel better! It’s easy to stay mostly paleo at BBQs! Other than some cookies, the only other non-paleo food I ate was some cheese. Ok, I had a few sips of beer as well.

Deb made oysters w/bacon and pepperjack cheese…20110525-085052.jpg

…as well as these mussels and clams. I only tried the broth because I don’t like shellfish, except I do eat oysters…

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…and scallops! I actually love scallops! Charles and Gwyn brought bacon wrapped scallops to grill and share with us!

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So back to the topic of spicy jalapeños… I think Jesse was trying to burn us from the inside out. I don’t know why I ended up eating like eight of them. Some weren’t so bad and quite tasty! The others though… people were literally crying. My ears, throat, mouth, and stomach were in the 9th circle of hell. My fingers burnt just by touching them. But I did get an idea to make paleo stuffed jalapeños in the near future. I think my lesson yesterday was to definitely taste the jalapeños before adding them to anything. 20110525-085033.jpg

Luckily, he redeemed himself by bringing mangos and more importantly, with these great lamb skewers! Jesse, I’ll trade you my cookie recipe for the lamb recipe! 20110525-085043.jpg

My “little” Maya has been insanely cranky lately. She’s going through a heavy molt and has pin feathers everywhere. I’d be cranky too with pins poking through my skin everywhere. I think I’ve permanently lost hearing in both ears the past few days. This was like her one sweet, quiet moment yesterday, playing on my lap.20110525-085119.jpg

May 18, 2011

I can stay paleo eating Paseo! *happy dance*

Back to posting about food! Yesterday was full of all sorts of food! I even deviated a little from being paleo!

Non-marinated Korean-style boneless beef short ribs

One of my favorite ways to eat beef since it’s so quick and tasty! Cut the meat and in a bowl, mix it with some salt, pepper, and sesame oil. The sesame oil adds a really nice flavor and is what makes it Korean to me. In a pan, I start cooking the garlic, onions, and mushrooms before adding the meat.
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I ate it with a type of radish kimchi (musengchi).
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Cuban Roast Plato Paseo
Oh how I love Paseo. The Cuban Roast sandwich there may be the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. Yesterday was the first time I went since adopting the paleo way of eating. Since the best part about my beloved sandwich is the amazingly succulent marinated roasted pork shoulder, I decided on getting the Cuban Roast Plato entree. All entrees come with a “house salad consisting of crisp romaine lettuce, razor thin sliced purple cabbage, pickled julienne cut beets & cilantro sprigs drizzled w/ our house vinaigrette & extra virgin olive oil. Accompanied w/ fluffy jasmine rice, critically acclaimed vegetarian black beans & seasoned corn on the cob.” I asked for just the meat with extra salad. The guy taking my order looked at me like I was crazy to pass on their beans and corn. Apparently extra means gigantic at Paseo… look at all that salad! It’s SOOOO good with the cilantro and the beets! I didn’t miss the rice, beans, or corn at all! I did miss the caramelized onions and jalapeños that come on the sandwich though, I’ll see if I can add those next time! Their onions are pretty special!
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Vegetable Delight Djan’s Thai Restaurant
I suppose ordering one of the coconut milk based curries with steamed veggies would have been more paleo, but I was craving some stir-fry. I chose the vegetable delight from the wok fare section of the menu: “Choice of meat stir-fried with assorted vegetables: broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, napa and cabbage.” I went with chicken. It was a bit salty to eat without rice, but still very good with all the veggies!
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A non-paleo treat that doesn’t make me sick!
Since I was in Wallingford, I could not keep myself away from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Sometimes they have non-dairy coconut milk ice cream, but not yesterday. So I got a kid’s scoop of their thai tea ice cream. It was deeeelicious! Since I’m not 100% strict paleo, a little quality ice cream here and there is a welcome treat. By quality I mean as natural as possible without all sorts of chemicals added in. I find that I don’t get sick after eating a little ice cream like I do with cake.
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