Sunday, May 19, 2013
When people hear that I eat a low-carb, paleo-type organic diet they sometimes want to know what exactly I eat.
Because this type of eating does not require counting calories or, after the first few weeks, even counting carbs, I don't track my food intake. This makes it harder to quickly explain how I actually eat. So I decided to write this blogpost once to describe what I'm doing.
The basics have not changed much, although I make minor changes over time.
It is also important that I try to eat seasonally, use animal products from humanely raised, pastured animals and try to eat things that are locally produced as much as possible. We raise ducks for eggs, buy raw A2 milk from a local 4-milk-cow dairy operation in a neighboring community and grow some of our own vegetables about 10 months out of the year on a 100x100 feet small town lot. We buy a few staples in bulk over the internet, in particular virgin coconut oil in 5 gallon containers. We also purchase the majority of our groceries at a food co-op near us.
A typical day's menu looks like this:
- Sometimes just a cup of coffee (or more likely decaf) with about 1/4 cup raw heavy cream
-most days breakfast is a combo of nuts (2 oz), homemade raw plain yogurt (1/2-3/4cup) and 1/2 cup berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, red curants, gooseberries, cranberries etc.) or some other, not too sweet fruit like apples, cherries, rhubarb. For very acidic fruit I use a little Xylitol or Just Like Sugar or Stevia as sweetener. Sometimes we use kefir or goat yogurt or buttermilk instead of homemade yogurt. Nuts are always raw and could be almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), rarely cashews (higher in carbs) and sometimes hemp seed or pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or coconut flakes.
- Sometimes breakfast is eggs (3 duck eggs or 4 chicken eggs/person) and nitrate-free bacon with herbs (fresh, frozen or dried) like basil, thyme, marjoram, dill, chives, parsley, garlic or onions and spices like paprika, turmeric, curry, hot pepper sauce etc.; sometimes instead of bacon I use some cheese and cook the eggs in coconut oil or pasture butter or add some green veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale or other leafy greens
- Sometimes breakfast is low-carb pancakes made with nut flour (ground in food processor), typically almond flour, maybe mixed with coconut flour, eggs and full-fat raw milk or yogurt. We top the pancakes with the same types of fruits we eat with yogurt.
Lunch: Any of the breakfast foods can be used for lunch as well. Any of the dinner foods sometimes become lunch foods.
Sometimes breakfast is more brunch and we have an early dinner or a snack of some nuts, some veggies, a piece of cheese or some beef jerky and then eat. I would say that about 50% of the time breakfast is filling enough to need only either lunch or dinner plus a snack.
If we need to eat out for lack of time our staple is a McDonald's double quarter pounder minus bun or cheese, wrapped in lettuce.
Dinner: The basic ingredients of dinners are one animal protein/fat like beef, lamb, fish, dark meat chicken, eggs, cheese (avoiding anything low-fat) combined with one green vegetable like spinach, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, arugala, bok choy, green beans, asparagus, other lettuces, combined with one different colored vegetable or sea vegetable (but no potatoes or yams because of carb levels) or mushrooms. Kelp noodles or shredded zucchini are our replacement for pasta. The second vegetable replaces the starch.
In summer we are more likely to make salads, in winter more likely stews and soups. Stir-frys happen all year round. Very occasionally I'll have a very small glass of red wine with or after dinner.
We do occasionally like desserts but they are not very sweet by most people's standards. It could be a small piece of very dark chocolate, another piece of fruit, a little nut butter, some raw cheesecake. In summer we make our own ice cream with raw milk, Xylitol and any natural flavors we like.
We drink mostly water, sometimes coffee, decaf or different types of tea, very rarely tiny amounts of juice added to water to flavor it.
The important thing is that because of the high fat content of the food there is no need to restrict calories or portions as appetite is largely self-regulating. Often after days of hard workouts I eat more and temporarily gain a little and the next day (once my body has done the necessary repairs) the weight drops back down.
Eating this way has proven to be very tasty and very satisfying and therefore easy to maintain for life.