5 Mar
2013

Cheap and Easy Paleo Food

Vanessa and I get all kinds of questions and comments relating to how paleo is too expensive to do on a regular basis. We’ve found that is simply not true. While these foodmeat-and-vegetables costs were pulled on June 1st, 2012 and may have fluctuated since then, I promise that they are still close enough to be highly relevant.

Cheap and easy paleo food in a nutshell is just like everything else paleo- some meat, some veggies, and some fat. Easy, done, moving on.

No, but really, it is that easy. Where people go “Paleo Poor” (just invented that term) comes from two possible situations: when their prior diet is full of absolute crap or when they come from a normal culinary background and decide to go all 5 star Zagat rated with their menu.

If your diet really sucked before you are going to have to adjust your budget. You’ll never get food as cheap as rice, pasta, bread, and oatmeal. If it’s really that cheap, how good for you can it possibly be? Think of the added cost as an “ab tax” or a “not die early and sick fee.”

If you’re not a culinary wizard, don’t try to make every single meal something from an amazing paleo website or cookbook. Keep it simple and stock paleo friendly ingredients over time. “Meat, veggie, fat, done” is your new mantra. On the simple note, another area where people spend more than they intend is following paleo recipes with 74 damn ingredients. Save the crazy stuff for a real occasion and daily it’s, “meat, veggie, fat, done.”

shish kabobWhile ribeyes and lobster tails are paleo, they’re probably not fiscally reasonable for most of us on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have tasty animals for dinner every night and not have to rob banks to finance your health and body compostion quest.

Cheap and Easy at Home:
This is where Vanessa and I live during the week. About 5 nights a week are either rotisserie chicken or flank steak and some steam in the bag veggies. Fat is usually coconut oil for me and guacamole for Vanessa. These are choices that we make for food out of convenience, cost, and taste. If we were really pinching pennies, we’d buy, prep, and cook both the chicken and the veggies. Flank steak is my go to beef product because it’s fast, lean, tasty, and very reasonably priced.

Grocery Examples:
Alright, so tonight Vanessa and I went to the store and pulled some prices for easy paleo items. Here we go:

Carb Items:

Item Price Weight/Quantity
Broccoli $2.39 1 lb/1 head
Cauliflower $2.94 1.4 lbs/1 head
Broc/Cauli Steamer Bag $2.49 12oz/1 bag
Golden Delicious Apples $1.49 1 lb/3 apples

Protein Items:

Item Price Weight/Quantity
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $7.39 38oz/5 breasts
Ground Beef $3.79 1lb
Flank Steak $6.99 1lb
Pork Chops $3.49 1lb
Eggs $1.59 12 eggs

*I didn’t figure any fats since per serving they are so cheap that they aren’t an issue. Trust me, a container of nuts isn’t one serving.
**Then I thought for a second that maybe the fats are where everyone is going “paleo poor” so I checked. Olive oil broke down to $0.19 per tablespoon based on our most recent bottle. I’m sure nuts are about the same.

So if you eat like crazy and are greedy, your high cost is dinner for $10.33. Not the cheapest, but that’s also 2.3lbs of chicken and 1.4lbs of cauliflower. Probably don’t need all that. Figure a solid serving of 8oz of meat and about a pound of veggies and most combinations come in between $4.13 and $5.88. If you really want to go cheap, have 4 eggs and an apple for a whopping $1.03.

Now this wasn’t looking for sale items, playing some couponing game, buying bulk, or messing with frozen veggies. Prices only go down from what’s listed above.

Cheap and Easy on the Road:
This is something that you can piece together in any U.S. airport or convenience store. Beef jerky and some nuts, tada. Heck, maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll be something along the lines 7-11 and you can grab some carrots or apples to go with it. The stuff is all over the place and is totally within your reach financially.

**Oh yeah, track your food and default to eating less. You don’t need the $15 “End of the World Beef Jerky Supply Feedbag” and 8oz of pecans to make it the 2 hours to grandma’s house.

7-11 Example:
In and out of 7-11 in under 2:00 today with: bag of 7-11 beef jerky ($4.99), snack size bag of cashews ($0.99), and an apple ($0.69). Yeah, I didn’t figure tax in there, but that’s only because I stole it. No, really it’s because even crappy food is taxed, so it’s a moot point and I also don’t feel like digging up the receipt. So the fast, cheap, easy, and available on the road paleo meal is a whopping $6.67. This is without planning, buying larger quantities, and packing. My guess is that pieced together from a real store, this would drop to around $3.00 per serving.

Other Road Options:
Other road options include fast food stops. Yeah, it’s not paleo-ideal, but it stops excuses. Every fast food place that I’m aware of has some kind of grilled chicken item. Order, throw away what isn’t chicken, and put in your face hole. Or, if you’re driving and pass a grocery store, deli meat, some apples, and some nuts can get you through a TON of drive time. Another option is to just not eat. Yep, there’s all kinds of cool stuff associated with intermittent fasting, but really, just know that you don’t need to eat 6 times a day. You know how many cavemen ate 6 times a day? None, because they were too damn fat and got torn to pieces by some prehistoric honey badger.

Cost is not a valid excuse for not eating like a grownup!

21 Feb
2013

CrossFit Info Graphic

Thought that this was pretty cool:

Found it via Google Images under “CrossFit Flowchart” at http://www.behance.net/gallery/CROSSFIT-INFO-GRAPHIC/3337147

crossfit_flowchart

 

13 Feb
2013

Fall in love

Mens Category 105kgCalculate your percentage. Scrap it and round up, way up. Ain’t got time for percentages; might as well make it a scary lift.

Tighten your shoes until your feet start to go numb, nothing past the heel is worth worrying about anyhow.

Chalk your hands until they look like a geisha’s face in 1680 Kyoto. Choke on the dust cloud like a coal miner in 1880 South Wales. Watch the particles float though the air like you’re trapped inside a snow globe; you’re trapped in your commitment to the lift.

Walk toward the bar with a purposeful stride like you own the platform, like you own the gym, like you own the whole damn world; you do.

Wrap your hands around the bar, set your hook grip. Squeeze the bar until you feel the knurling perforate your skin. Tighten your grip until your nails crack and your thumbs start to bleed. Looks like being a hand model is out, good answer.hookgripbleed

Ass down, chest up, heels in. Break the ground like a Saturn V rocket breaking free from Earth; gravity is nothing.

Pull the bar back into you. The bar is your dog, leashed by your arms; keep that filthy mutt on a tight leash.

Keep your chest up, your eyes on the horizon, your knees out, and keep pulling. Pull harder, and harder still; you can never pull hard enough.

Time to punish the bar. Time to make it pay for every dirty look it gave you from across the empty gym. Bar to hip. Hard. Hulk Smash.

Get back. Finish back, further. Keep the heels in, dig them into the platform until fissures form under your shoes crying for mercy.

The bar was fast, now it’s your turn. Dive. Pull under. Commit to the weight of the world being overhead; gravity is still nothing.

Turnover and snap your arms to the ceiling. Snap them to extension like a wet towel summoning welts and drawing blood on skin weaker than yours.

Settle in and be patient. Find balance and let your bones settle deeper into their new positions in your joints. Hang out in the hole; hover inches from the blood and sweat weightlifting mental gamestained platform.

Drive through the heels and start the slow assent. Grind your way back to the top before you drown under the ocean of plates and iron.

Stand tall. Stand proud. Stop and enjoy the moment of victory. Enjoy your domination of the implements that have left many before you broken and defeated.

Slam the bar. Drive it back to hell. Feel the world shudder under just how damn epic you are in this moment.

Fall in love.

Fall in love with the perfect lift, the perfect moment, the perfect finish. Fall in love with your success, your victory.

Enjoy this moment while it lasts, because it will be fleeting. These lifts are few and far between. And “far between” is full of pain, frustration, uncertainty, and disappointment.dimas victory You’ll hate weightlifting, you’ll hate the platform, the bar, and especially yourself.

But if you fall in love with the feeling that perfect lift earns, you’ll be back. Your love will bring you back time and time again. Hard times are certain and there will be more bad than good, but the love will allow you to endure. You’ll always keep chasing that dragon, because despite how mean that bastard is and how abusive the relationship can be, you’re in love.

“Love is something you can’t describe
like the look of a rose, the smell of the rain,
or the feeling of forever.”

– Kristen Kappel

15 Jan
2013

What’s Your Obligation?

Obligation Overload LogoSo, this will be a more rhetorical post, but it’s because I’m genuinely interested in what everyone thinks. As it sits now, we are all forced with an “obligation overload.” Between social obligations, commutes, financial obligations, family relationships, school, work, the pursuit of dreams and satisfaction, and the rest of the items that consume our time, money, and energy, WE’RE TAPPED OUT! As a society, we have began to pride ourselves on being over-taxed and under-recovered. This is bad, really bad: Stress, it’s killing you.

This problem of being overloaded with obligations is generally much worse for those of us who have made a commitment to take care of ourselves through frequent exercise and a healthy diet. It’s crazy to think about how much more time Vanessa and I would have in our day if we didn’t workout, buy fresh and perishable foods, and cook tasty and healthy meals. However, stopping exercising and being okay with an unhealthy, yet convenient diet, are not realities that we are willing to accept. Our health is too damn important for us to shrug this lifestyle off. Well, that and we REALLY do enjoy working out and cooking delicious paleo meals, like 50/50 Bacon and Beef Burgers.

So where’s the question in all of this? If we, and the like-minded people reading this, realize the value of our health, what is our obligation to spread that to others? All of us have family and friends that are possibly doing irreparable harm to their metabolisms, bodies, hormones, bones, and brain through the regular inclusion of harmful foods and the regular exclusion of beneficial physical activity. They are quite literally killing themselves and severely reducing their quality of life.canyonhike

I love the fact that Vanessa and I have been able to surf and skydive without needing to lose weight or prepare physically. I love the fact that we made a no-notice and no-preparation 10 mile hike in Waimea Canyon on our Hawaiian honeymoon. I love that, as far as physical activities go, we can do pretty much whatever we want, whenever we want because of our health. This is a gift, a gift that we have bestowed upon ourselves, and that we plan on bestowing upon our children.

That all being said, what’s your obligation? What’s your obligation to getting your friends and family to make changes to their health? While you are trying to help them out of a real love and concern, many of them don’t want to change; most people are fairly complacent in their diets and inactivity. If the people that you care about the most in this world are harming themselves and you stand idly by, are you just as guilty? OR, is health and fitness something that needs to be a self discovery that isn’t preempted by someone else?

I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I’m curious to hear what everyone’s thoughts are.

6 Jan
2013

Paleo Banana Bread Muffins

BananaMuffinWhole
Banana Bread! Yes! So tasty and what better way to make use of over-ripe bananas? This recipe turned out WAY better than I anticipated. A lot of paleo baking recipes leave you with tough, packy little bricks of “bread” or “muffins”. This is moist and not overly dense at all. I might even call them fluffy. I didn’t use any additional sweeteners in the recipe as 4 ripe bananas seemed like plenty of sweetness. But if you want to try a little honey, have at it.

 

*Disclaimer: I have to be honest when I say I really don’t think paleo baking is a great idea on a routine basis. It only allows you to hang on to old unhealthy habits and let’s face it, paleo baking usually includes a LOT of calorie dense nut butters and natural sweeteners. That’s really not the best for weight control or body composition. Also, almonds (the go-to for paleo baking) contain quite a bit of Omega 6 fatty acids which can be inflammatory if you eat them excess. But, every once in a while (like when you have 4 VERY ripe bananas sitting on the kitchen counter) and you are trying to help your family (my wonderful brother who has lots nearly 10 lbs in only one week of Paleo eating) stay on track, I think it’s fine. I also made a conscious effort to avoid adding a ton of almond flour, almond butter, and kept out all dairy. I might have used grassfed butter or ghee but we are doing a strict 30 days of no grains or dairy so that was a no go. If you want to give that a go, try it and let us know how it turns out. Also, this recipe is a variation of one I found on www.civlizedcavemancooking.com.

BananaMuffinHoney

Serves 12

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas (mine were BLACK and this turned out fantastic)

4 eggs

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tbs cinnamon (I used a Saigon Roasted variety but the plain stuff will work just fine)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl blend eggs, bananas, and coconut oil. I used an immersion blender but a regular hand held blender, stand up blender, or whatever blending apparatus should work well.
  3. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend well. The batter will be thicker than a regular muffin or bread recipes so don’t freak out!
  4. I used baking cups and put in my baking ban (a regular sized muffin tin which made 12 muffins). If you aren’t using the cups, grease the pan with a little coconut oil or grassfed butter or ghee.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake!
  7. ENJOY! Top with your paleo topping of choice or just eat plain. If you want a quick on the go breakfast make these ahead of time and eat this and a boiled egg for a more balanced/zone meal.

*If you want to make bread use a 9×5 baking pan and extend baking time to approximately 50 minutes.

Nutrition Info:

Per muffin:

Calories- 173

Carbs- 14 g

Fiber-3 g

Fat- 12 g

Protein- 5 g

Sugars- 6 g

 

Let us know what you think of the recipe and any variations you try! 

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