Returning to the Paleo Diet

English: vegetables

Good food is good.

The Cavegirl Cometh.

The lazy part of me is groaning so hardcore, but after reading about the modern science that backs the paleo diet, I found myself challenged.  I could either continue a way of eating and exercising that “fails long-term over 95% of the time,” or I could “eat more and exercise less—but smarter.”  When I reread what I had written yesterday, though, it made me look at these statistics with a new set of eyes.

“[I]n all of the studies that follow, everyone ate the exact same quantity of calories, but one group’s calories were of much higher quality [meaning part of a primal/paleo diet]:

  • University of Florida researcher J.W. Krieger analyzed 87 studies and found that those people who ate [a paleo diet] lost an average of 12 more pounds of body fat compared to those who ate an equal quantity of lower quality calories.
  • C.M. Young at Cornell University split people into three groups, each eating 1,800 calories per day, but at different levels of quality. The highest-quality group lost 86.5% more body fat than the lowest-quality group.
  • In the Annals of Internal Medicine, F.L. Benoît compared a reduced-calorie low-quality diet to a reduced-calorie high-quality diet. After ten days the high-quality diet burned twice as much body fat.
  • Additional studies by researchers U. Rabast (1978,1981), P. Greene (2003), N.H. Baba (1999), A. Golay (1996), M.E. Lean (1997), C.M. Young (1971), and D.K. Layman (2003) all show that people who ate [a paleo diet] lost an average of 22% more weight than those who ate the exact same quantity of lower-quality calories.”

So, if I’m genuinely trying to lose fat and maximize the effectiveness of my workout routine, it only makes sense that I would choose to eat in a manner that has repeatable, quantifiable results that match my desires. Doing otherwise is working against myself, and I don’t want to do that. Life is hard enough without giving yourself unnecessary barriers to success. I’m working as hard as I can to improve my body… I just haven’t been working as intelligently.

It’s funny, though, they never include “doing more dishes” or “spending more time cooking and shopping” in the calculus of whether or not a diet is good for you.  And I guess that tells me something important: those things aren’t terribly relevant. It ultimately comes down to motivation.


Last time, the choice to quit eating a primal/paleo diet came down to convenience and a desire to be able to eat with family and friends at restaurants and on special occasions.  If I have any hope of maintaining this diet/lifestyle choice for any real amount of time, I have to address those needs.

80/20 = 100% OK.

Firstly, there is good precedent for not eating paleo 100% of the time. Heck, there are even some folks out there who say “you will get 99% of the benefits of the Paleo Diet if you adhere to it 80% of the time.” That being the case, to avoid the desire to quit because of what other people think of my food choices, I’ve decided to eat whatever-the-heck-I-want when I’m out with family and friends. I will not berate myself for eating a non-paleo meal when the occasion presents itself. I will keep a paleo home, which is where I eat most of the time anyway, and be proud of making healthy choices overall.

Convenience foods/K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) = Good

There was a time when I was very concerned that eating foods that were ready-made was against paleo doctrine. I spent unnecessary time putting together fresh salsas, tomato sauces, and other products that exist in the marketplace with no forbidden foods as part of them.  I also thought of meals as needing to be composed, so I spent a lot of time cooking. I didn’t take advantage of the caveman thought process: grab food and eat it. This time around, I’m going to focus on simplicity.

Sticking with my supplements.

Every time that I go to work out at the gym, I take Assault prior to the workout and on days when I lift weights, I have a whey protein shake afterward.  (Adam and I call them victory shakes.) 🙂 Neither of these things are paleo, but I already have seen the benefits of using them, and I don’t intend to stop.

So what does that mean for this blog?

More paleo posts! I will probably return to posting a paleo recipe-of-the-day and growing the Paleo Compendium, which is now 1470 followers strong.

For now, however, I’ve got some meal planning to do. I don’t want to end up with a Whole30 or 46 that was as repetitive as the ones from my past. There’s no excuse for it when I’ve got 1159 recipes in the Compendium already waiting to be tried.

Tecfidera & MS Diets

It begins.

It begins.

Tecfidera & Me – The Beginning

Wednesday of last week, I received my shipment of this month’s Tecfidera. I decided to start it that night.

So far, it hasn’t been bad.  I take my pills with food (breakfast and dinner), and I’m already on Prilosec, so I haven’t had any stomach issues.  I have, however, experienced flushing a few times, and it feels more funny/unusual than upsetting. It’s kind of weird to have really hot ears out of nowhere.

I’m still not used to going to sleep without giving myself an injection.  Every night, I climb into bed and feel like I’m forgetting something important. I’m sure I’d get more used to it if I would just throw away the 5 sharps containers I have sitting on the nightstand next to me.

One thing that has already changed in my life, thanks to this drug, is that I am consistently eating breakfast. It still feels weird every day to eat prior to getting on my computer. I don’t know when in my life I actually stopped eating breakfast, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere around 1994, when I had study hall 1st period during my freshman year of high school, and breakfast was a pack of peanut M&Ms and a Dr. Pepper from the school’s vending machines. (Hey, I was in band, marching with a 30 pound bass drum 6 days a week. My metabolism could somehow handle it then.)

The Wonderful World of Weight-Loss

Unfortunately, my metabolism is nowhere near as good as it was when I was 14. I currently am tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal and am following their suggestion of keeping my caloric intake below 1600 a day. I’m also working out pretty hardcore: doing weightlifting & 20 minutes of cardio 3 times a week and doing 30 minutes of cardio or more on the off days. You would think, after a month of that sort of activity, that I would have seen some movement from the scale.  I mean, I have been working out at least 3 times a week for 3 months now.  But the scale sits at 214 and will not budge for anything.

That’s not to say that I haven’t seen improvement. When I started working out, I was doing most of my weight-lifting exercises on the very lowest weight setting (usually 15 pounds) – and I’m lifting much, much more weight than when I was starting. I also couldn’t do a full 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer on level 1 without having to stop because of fatigue, and now I can rock out 20 minutes on level 10 without thinking about it. As far as measurements go, I’ve lost an inch from my arms, an inch from my waist, 2 inches from my hips, and 2 from my thighs. So, I am seeing improvement… just not on the scale. My relationship with gravity has not changed. And for whatever ridiculous and infuriating reason, that number, staring me in the face, drives me mad. It feels like the scale itself is saying to me, “You’re not trying hard enough. Do something different.”

Diets and MS

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about weight loss is changing your diet. I’m already limiting my caloric intake to the amount that science says ought to make a difference. I started thinking maybe I needed to change what foods I am eating. I already limit my sugar and fat intake to 30g and 50g respectively per day. I already cut out processed foods.

Then, I read this article that talks about yet another doctor (Dr. Jelinek)  who has come up with a diet that he proclaims “cures” MS.  It just makes me shake my head and realize that a big part of why I am so frustrated with this situation is that I have tried so many different diets all throughout my life, with none of them making a real, lasting difference in my life.

I started with Weight Watchers when I was 8. That went nowhere. As a teenager, I tried Atkins. I actually almost passed out on the first day because my diet at the time was comprised primarily of bread and I had “nothing to eat.” After the first week, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Once I got diagnosed with MS, I tried the Swank diet for several months with zero results. I asked my neurologist at that time what she suggested, and she said to eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet as suggested by USDA. Time passed, and I ended up with a seizure disorder. My epileptologist suggested that I try the ketogenic diet to help stop the seizures. But, since my seizures were caused by MS, that didn’t help either, so I went back to a traditional western diet.

Then, in 2010, I tried the paleo diet, in earnest – for several months. I had more energy, less pain from inflammation, and I lost weight without exercising… but it was expensive, took forever to make meals, and family was not supportive of it at all. Every week, when we’d visit Adam’s parents, there was some other reason that one of his family members would say we should quit the diet. We were presented with homemade cookies, bread, or sugar-added fruits or veggies that had been lovingly prepared that we were faced with, and it gets really hard, emotionally, to continually be telling your in-laws, “I don’t want to eat what you’re offering me.”  So, I caved in and went back to eating “like a normal person.”

Dr. Wahls shortly thereafter came forward with science that says eating a paleo diet, including the following “recipe” for daily vegetable intake can vastly improve your MS:  3 cups of cruciferous and dark greens, 3 cups intensely coloured: 1 cup red vegetables / fruit, 1 cup blue black vegetables / fruits, 1 cup yellow/orange vegetable / fruits, and 3 cups others including: 1 cup mushrooms / onion family (for organic sulphur), and seaweed for iodine and trace minerals. (source)

Many of my Facebook friends gave her formula a try, and while it hasn’t hurt any of them, I have yet to hear about any significant improvements.

Now, Dr. Jelinek says that we should be eating only eating only vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, pulses and grains (so most pastas, rice, wheat, oats, corn, barley, etc), fish and all other seafood, & egg whites. This means those of us with MS should avoid:

  • Meat, including processed meat, salami, sausages, canned meat
  • Eggs except for egg whites
  • Dairy products; that is, avoid milk, cream, butter, ice cream and cheeses. Low fat milk or yogurt is not acceptable. Cow’s milk and dairy products are best avoided altogether as the protein is likely to be as much of a problem as the saturated fat, given recent evidence. Soy products or rice or oat milk are good substitutes.
  • Any biscuits, pastries, cakes, muffins, doughnuts or shortening, unless fat-free
  • Snacks like chips, corn chips, party foods
  • Margarine, shortening, lard, chocolate, coconut and palm oil.
  • Fried and deep fried foods except those fried without oil or with just a dash of olive oil. It is important not to heat oils if possible.
  • Most fast foods (burgers, fried chicken, etc.)
  • Other fats and oils

Then there’s the MS Recovery Diet. It’s based on the idea that there are five common trigger foods that can set off the symptoms of MS–dairy, grains containing gluten, legumes, eggs and yeast.  This would seem to be mostly in line with both Dr. Wahls’ advice and the paleo diet.

Lastly, there’s the MS Diet for Women which was designed by an MS sufferer who has, as I have, gone through all the science on diets and MS and decided to smash them all together for the best result.  This diet has you avoid dairy/cow’s milk products, gluten and wheat, saturated fats (meaning red meat), heated fats (in any form), caffeine, refined foods (with high sugar levels), legumes, chicken and eggs, and citrus fruit. What are you allowed to eat?  Fruit (but not citrus!), all vegetables, non-glutenous grains, oily fish, nuts and seeds. That’s it. It’s like the paleo diet on crack.

It’s no wonder, when confronted with this many contradictory diets, that I am stymied as to the correct plan of action. This, of course, keeps me from doing anything but limiting calorie, fat, and sugar intake, which is exactly what both of my current neurologists say is all I should be doing.

I’ll let you know if anything changes.


Well, that was “fun.”

A week in the hospital for long term video monitoring showed nothing on EEG, just like the first time I was in the hospital for seizures – the only difference being that this time there were no post-ictal spects done. Apparently, it is not the University of Chicago Medical Center’s standard operating procedure to do post-ictal spects. They either don’t have the equipment or don’t believe in them. I’m not sure which.  Either way: not good.

Were it not for having a prior diagnosis by another couple of doctors at a better facility (Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA), my epileptologist would think that I do not have a seizure disorder, but instead have nothing but pseudoseizures (and she would have been wrong and made an erroneous diagnosis).

I feel sorry for the patients who roll through that hospital being told there’s nothing wrong with them when there is something wrong with them, only they’re being denied full diagnostic care.  I had to get forceful about the fact that my diagnosis was real because my doctor hadn’t even gotten the notes from my previous doctor. Sloppy care.

I do not recommend UCMC for folks who are dealing with seizure issues. Not one iota.  In fact, I am shopping for a new seizure doctor, as my confidence in my current epileptologist went from 100% to 0% upon finding out that after 2 years with her, she hadn’t bothered to get notes from my diagnosing doctor and had manipulated me into getting the video EEG just so she could see what she was working with for her own comfort in tapering me down off Topamax for pregnancy.

This past week was deeply frustrating and painful.  I am covered in black and blue spots from where they put in IVs (or were unsuccessful in their attempt to put in IVs because I have tiny veins), gave me shots for blood thinners, and had electrodes glued to my head.

I am thoroughly miserable right now.

Everything I’m going through in order to have a child is making my life almost intolerably miserable.

I am completely off of anti-depressants now.  I am having crying jags, for no reason at all, daily – sometimes more than once a day.

I am painfully aware of the fact that I have almost no friends of my own (meaning not Adam’s friends first) in the Chicagoland area, and my mother-in-law accidentally really knocked the ball right out of the park when she innocently asked the question, “Did anybody miss you while you were in the hospital?”  I felt all the air leave my lungs and the negative thought pattern that used to rule my suicidal thinking come back with force.  The thought “Nobody will miss you.” was loud and clear… because the honest answer was, “No. Nobody missed me while I was in the hospital.”

I have no real friends here. And the really shoddy thing of all of it is that I can sit here, shouting that fact to the universe here on my blog and it won’t make a difference anyway.  Maybe 5 people will read it and mockingly laugh about it.  I mean, you don’t get friends through pity.  You make friends through shared experiences.  And no one shares the experience of feeling sorry for myself but me.

So what am I doing about it?

The only way to change things is to do life differently.

First, I’m gonna have to get over my fear of having seizures on the bus, and just deal with it if it happens. I can’t rely on Adam to take me places when he’s got to work all day.  I used to use public transportation all the time when I lived in Boston.  It shouldn’t be that different here in Chicago.

Secondly, I’m going to have to find things to do outside of the apartment so that I am not alone.  I’m looking towards for inspiration.  I’m also thinking that there should be yoga classes at the Y that I can take advantage of.  Maybe I can make some friends there.

Lastly, I’m not just expecting things to change on their own, or for things to be made better with a pill. I have to go out there and find some happiness, regardless of the weather.

Oh, and the Paleo Diet — The Hospital Cured Me of That.

They didn’t allow me to stick to the Paleo Diet while I was in the hospital.  So I’m done beating my brains out trying to eat “clean.”  I’m going to exercise daily. I’m going to keep my portions small, and I’m going to be able to eat like a normal human being, at any restaurant I want.

I refuse to stay miserable. I will claw my way back to happiness, changing 1 thing per day until I feel better.

Sunny Anderson’s Grilled Fennel with Grilled Jalapeno Sauce – Paleo! Am Feeling So Much Better Today

Yesterday was awful, but today’s not so bad.  I think it’s all a matter of withdrawal and normalization, this “coming off of antidepressants” thing.  Sure, I drop down again tomorrow, but at least today, I’m not feeling so bad.  I’ll take a good day where I can get it.

Today, I’m trying to get a bag packed for the hospital next week and get the house neatened up so that it’s good to go.

Oh! And here’s some news! Our foster kittens got adopted!  We drop them off to their new owners tomorrow afternoon.

Other than that, not much is going on. I’m really enjoying going through Food Network’s website and trying to get at least 1 paleo recipe for each of their chefs.

It’s pretty awesome to me that each of their celebrity chefs has at least 1 (if not more) paleo recipe in their top 100 most popular recipes featured on the website.  So without further ado, here’s today’s recipe.

Sunny Anderson‘s Grilled Fennel with Grilled Jalapeno Sauce


  • 2 bulbs fennel, stalks removed and fronds reserved
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 whole jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


For the fennel: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

Slice a thin layer off the root end of each fennel bulb. Cut each fennel bulb into 8 wedges, keeping the root end intact. Chop 2 tablespoons fennel fronds and reserve. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fennel wedges until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside so the water evaporates and the fennel cools slightly.

Brush all sides of the fennel with the olive oil. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a grind or 2 of pepper. Place the fennel bulbs on the grill, 1 cut-side down. Grill the fennel until golden and caramelized, about 4 minutes. Flip and grill 4 minutes more on the other cut side.

Meanwhile, for the sauce: Brush the jalapeno with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the jalapeno on the grill and grill on all sides, turning while grilling, until some charring occurs, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the jalapeno from the grill, remove the stem and chop the pepper very well. Place in a medium bowl with the honey, vinegar and reserved fennel fronds. Whisk to bring together and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the fennel from the grill and drizzle the sauce over the top. Serve warm.

Barefoot Contessa’s Tequila Lime Chicken – Paleo!

Patron Tequila

Patron is Paleo! (Photo credit: VancityAllie)

Can’t get much lower.

I am now at the lowest dose of Abilify and Cymbalta and am thoroughly depressed. Like, I’m having trouble getting myself to do anything. It’s nearly 2 p.m., and I’m still in my pajamas.  I just made myself a morning breakfast smoothie. 1 banana and a ton of strawberries with almond milk.  Like that takes effort, right?  TODAY, IT TOOK GENUINE EFFORT, PEOPLE.

Saturday will be my first day with no Abilify, Cymbalta, or Nortriptyline – and Monday, I go in to the hospital for a 3-5 day video EEG session where they’re going to take me off Topamax and measure my seizures to see how much Topamax I’ll need to be on (if any) while I’m pregnant.

This is… not fun.  I’m looking at that graphic of the tequila thinking “Man, I miss drinking.” when I really don’t miss the headaches that followed. I just miss the days before MS, seizure disorder, depression… the whole shebang. But at least tequila is paleo!

The Barefoot Contessa’s Tequila Lime Chicken recipe


  • 1/2 cup gold tequila
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on


  1. Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper and chicken in a zip-top bag
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  4. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade,
  5. Sprinkle chicken breasts well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned.
  6. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
  7. Remove from the grill to a plate.
  8. Cover tightly and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Calories: 277
Total Fat: 14 grams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Protein: 31 grams
Total carbohydrates: 4 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Fiber: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 93 milligrams
Sodium: 419 milligrams

“WOW, we made it to 501 entries!”

At least I made an entry.

Guy Fieri’s Turkey Hash Recipe – Paleo (if you eat potatoes)!

Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms)

Got a lot of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?

Me too.  In fact, Adam and I bought an extra turkey since they were on sale, so we have a whole extra turkey’s worth of meat to use up.

Here’s a great way to use 2 pounds of it!

This recipe got 5 stars on the Food Network website, and is one of those recipes that you really look forward to on a cold fall morning when it’s so cold outside that you’re just sure that it’s going to snow.

Potatoes?!  Potatoes aren’t Paleo!!!

Some people say that potatoes aren’t paleo – and for them I say, “Great! Make em sweet potatoes, it’ll still taste good! Or, in the alternative, don’t make this recipe.

Adam and I eat potatoes. They grow out of the ground. Grok wouldn’t say no to them.

Guy Fieri’s Turkey Hash


  • 4 ounces olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • red bell pepper, julienne
  • green bell pepper, julienne
  • 2 jalapenos, diced, and seeded
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lime


  1. In medium saute pan, add 2 ounces olive oil, onions, peppers and saute until translucent.
  2. Add turkey and brown on all sides.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate pan, add 2 ounces of oil, and fry potatoes in oil until crispy.
  5. On a serving plate layer the turkey mixture on top of the crispy potatoes.
  6. Top with diced roma tomatoes and fresh squeezed lime juice.
  7. Serve and Enjoy! 🙂

The Tao of Rae – for Free! And – Rachael Ray’s Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon – Paleo!

Tao Square

Tao Square (Photo credit: Rosa Say)

The Tao of Rae

As many long-time readers know, I developed the Tao of Rae on this website.  I have finally compiled it and put it together in PDF format.  This morning I also published it for nook on Barnes & Noble‘s website and for Kindle on

But here, it’s free.  Download The Tao of Rae in PDF format for free here and check it out.

I put a lot of work into it, and I hope that whoever downloads it enjoys it.

Speaking of things that I hope people enjoy — I’ve got another paleo friendly recipe from Food Network!

Rachael Ray’s Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning) or, coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Arrange chicken in a baking dish, 9 by 13-inch.
  3. Add garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and grill seasoning or salt and pepper to the dish.
  4. Toss and coat the chicken with all ingredients, then place in oven.
  5. Roast 20 minutes.
  6. Add wine and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices.
  7. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer, then remove chicken from the oven.
  8. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the chicken pieces.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂

Paula Deen’s Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil – Paleo!

English: Image of Paula Deen taken as part of ...

English: Image of Paula Deen taken as part of a public relations campaign for the nonprofit group Civitan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Cyber Monday, readers!

I’m sure everyone’s busy getting all of their holiday shopping taken care of today, so I wanted to feature a recipe that was absolutely mouth-watering and easy to fix up for supper tonight.

Today, I’m bringing you one of Paula Deen‘s top recipes that got 5 stars on Food Network’s website. It honestly amazes me that with all of the totally healthy recipes that I don’t even have to change at all that the Food Network doesn’t have their own section of paleo recipes. Maybe I should suggest it to them!

Paula Deen’s Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 (8-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a shallow 1-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Sprinkle the fish evenly with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange the tilapia in a baking dish and sprinkle evenly with basil, oregano, onion powder and garlic.
  5. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  6. Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the fish, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  7. Bake until fish flakes easily with fork, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Squeeze the lemon juice over fish and serve immediately.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Chicken Paillard with Lemon and Black Pepper and Arugula-Tomato Salad – Paleo!

Happy Shopping Saturday, y’all!

Things here at home are great. We’ve just had a delicious breakfast of sweet potato hashed browns, center-cut, thick-cut bacon, and eggs, and are about to start our day. We’ve got to hit Costco for some staples, and then we’re going to go to the YMCA to work out.

I found the cutest presents to buy my niece on, and I’m getting really excited for the holidays.  This weekend we’re setting up the Decemberween bush of lights, and I’m going to start working on our paleo gingerbread recipe.

Today, I’m bringing you a recipe that we’ll probably be making for dinner in a couple of nights. Thanks for another great paleo-friendly recipe, Food Network!

Bobby Flay‘s Grilled Chicken Paillard with Lemon and Black Pepper and Arugula-Tomato Salad


  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, pounded thinly
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound arugula
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
  • Lemon halves, for garnish

Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, olive oil and black pepper in a large baking dish. Add the chicken, turn to coat and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt on both sides and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through.

Combine arugula, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl, toss with the vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place each paillard on a large plate, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and top with some of the arugula-tomato salad. Garnish with lemon halves.

SERVES: 4; Calories: 292; Total Fat: 17 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 gram2; Protein: 27 grams; Total carbohydrates: 8 grams; Sugar: 5 grams; Fiber: 2 grams; Cholesterol: 73 milligrams; Sodium: 152 milligrams

Chef Robert Irvine’s Pork Chops with Apples And Onions – Paleo!

Happy Black Friday, Everyone!

Ah, Black Friday – the day you either avoid shopping altogether, or go out and brave the stores to get the best deals possible for Chanukkah and Christmas presents. Today, Adam and I are huddled up in our apartment because it is cold outside, and we are choosing to enjoy the convenience of online shopping of

Today, I’m featuring Chef Robert Irvine’s Pork Chops with Apples and Onions – a delicious recipe that is paleo as you can get. It’s perfect for this day-after-Thanksgiving when all you want is to have leftovers, but instead you can give yourself something good for your body and just as delicious as the meal you had yesterday.

Thank you, Food Network!

Chef Robert Irvine’s Pork Chops with Apples and Onions


Apple Compote:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup thin-sliced (height wise) red or Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 cup thin-sliced bacon
  • 1 cup thin-sliced apple (1/4-inch by length)
  • 1/4 cup white wine, sauvignon blanc or riesling
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, optional

Pork Chops:

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Eight 4-ounce fresh boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
  • Potatoes of choice, for serving

For the apple compote:

  1. In a large saute pan over high heat, add the oil and allow to heat to the verge of smoking.
  2. Then add the onions and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Allow the onions to cook, stirring throughout, until light brown in color, about 2 minutes.
  4. Then add the bacon and allow to cook until the bacon has begun to brown.
  5. Then add the apples. After adding the apples, allow all the ingredients to blend in flavor for a final 2 minutes.
  6. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and allow the alcohol to cook off.
  7. After reducing the wine, reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter and optional spices, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes to create a sauce.
  8. Finish with the mint and hold warm until serving.

For the chops:

  1. In large a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and allow to warm.
  2. Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper equally on both sides and add to the warm oil.
  3. Allow the chops to brown on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip and repeat cooking on the second side for a final 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, remove from the pan and serve with potatoes of choice.
  5. Finish with the apple compote.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!