The One Where I Take a Short (but sweet) Hiatus

Hello dear readers!

My oh my it’s been a while since I last updated. Things have gotten quite crazy around here in the past few weeks, and I’ve got a few more weeks of crazy before things start to settle down again and I can get back to my paleo ramblings.

Why have things been so crazy, you ask? Well, in just a few short days…

I’m getting married!

Between coordinating with vendors, answering questions for guests, figuring out last-minute details and plugging away at my day job, there’s been little time to do much more than take a quick breath and keep moving forward.

So, just so you know that I haven’t completely fallen off the face of the earth, I’m back here to say sorry for my absence, and that I’ll be gone for just a little bit longer while I get through this week and coast through my honeymoon next week.

Phew! See you all in a few weeks!

A Tallow Tale: Special Discount for Fatworks Tallow

Dear readers:

As we all know, quality animal fats from eco-friendly, animal-friendly sources are the bread and butter (so to speak) of the paleo diet. Not much can compare to the rich, beautiful taste of hand-rendered tallow when used in cooking and baking. It provides a healthy amount of omega-3s and the taste simply cannot be beat when compared to vegetable oils and shortenings. So I’m excited to give you all an exclusive deal, available only via word-of-mouth here on The Primeval Tongue:

Head on over to Facebook and like my new friends, Fatworks Foods. They’re providers of quality, hand-rendered beef tallow, available in 15oz. jars, which can be used in nearly any cooking or baking application for all of your paleo needs. When you enter my name, Megan, into the coupon section, you’ll get a special discount on your order, but only until the ides of March (which is March15th, for those of you who didn’t know)!

Show these guys a little love! Give ’em a like and let them know I sent you their way!

Paleo and Keto Recipes I Love, part 2

Hey folks, good to see you again. I’d like to share a few updates before we get into recipes. First, my weight loss plateau is over! The culprit? Alcohol, of course. Since I decided to cut the beer and mixed drinks from my diet completely, I went down 5 pounds in about 3 weeks, and it’s not slowing down yet.

The next update is that Josh and I finally put in a deposit for our wedding catering, and to our delight, we managed to find the ONLY paleo caterer in our entire city, the Caveman Cafeteria. We’re super excited about it and can’t wait to plan all of the delicious foods we’re going to eat.

Alright! Now, part two of my list of favorite recipes for low-carbers, cavemen and cavewomen, and ketards who like a good pizza every now and then. Enjoy!

  1. Keto Cream Cheese Pizza – trust me, this is delicious. Pre-heat your oven to 375 F. Soften 8oz. full-fat cream cheese and blend it together with two eggs, 1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese, 1 Tbsp. powdered garlic and 1 tsp. salt until the mixture is soft and mostly lump-free. Spread the mixture onto a pre-greased pan, and stick it in the oven for 18 minutes, or until the outside edges are crispy and the middle is lightly browned. Take it out and let it rest for 5 minutes. Top with any of your favorite pizza toppings (we usually do cooked italian sausage with olive oil, spices and mozzarella). Turn the heat of the oven up to 400, put the topped pizza in and cook for another 8 minutes, or until your cheese is good and melty. Remove, cut into whatever size slices you like, and enjoy!
  2. Keto and Paleo Sautéed Rainbow Chard – Buy a big, leafy bunch of rainbow chard. Remove the thick stems and cut those into 1-inch pieces, set aside. Cut or tear the chard leaves into small pieces and set aside. Cut up one yellow onion and mince 5-6 garlic cloves.  In a pan, cook up 3 slices of bacon until slightly crispy; save the fat, chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside. In another pot, heat 2 Tbsp butter on medium-high and put the onions and garlic in there to cook until translucent/fragrant. Add some crushed red pepper for a spice kick if you like that sort of thing. Next, add the chard stem pieces and let them cook with the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Then, add the chopped bacon, bacon fat and chard leaves into the pot. Stir together and let them cook on medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The leaves should be wilted but still a dark, vibrant green. Salt to taste and enjoy!
  3. Keto or Paleo Kale Chips – This is the really basic version of kale chips. Feel free to explore with different flavors and seasonings to make a chip you really enjoy! Purchase a large bundle of kale, wash and dry. Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil until completely melted. Toss the coconut oil with the kale in a large mixing bowl until all of the leaves are completely covered, then add 1/2 tsp. salt and mix well. Spread the kale leaves evenly across the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chips are crisp to the touch. Enjoy as a snack, or as a side dish for any meal.
  4. Keto or Paleo Oven-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Drumsticks – This one takes a little while, so make sure you’re not starting it when you’re already hungry or in a rush. You’re also going to get a little greasy, so don’t wear anything you wouldn’t mind wearing while doing your chores. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and pre-heat your oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, mix 5-6 drumsticks, 1/4 C. melted coconut oil, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt and a dash of fresh-ground black pepper. Mix those things together until the drumsticks are nicely coated, then take one slice of bacon per drumstick and wrap it around the stick, starting at the thin bony portion and working your way around. Line the wrapped sticks up evenly on the cookie sheet and cook them for an hour, flipping once at 30 minutes.
  5. Paleo Cinnamon-Coated Purple Sweet Potatoes – Purple sweet potatoes have become a weekly staple for Josh and I. These can usually be found at Whole Foods or in the organic section of your grocery store. Pick up one potato if it’s just you, or two if you’re sharing with someone. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Wash the potatoes well, then cut them into 1/2-inch circular slices, then cut those slices in half. In a large mixing bowl, coat the potatoes in 1/4 C. melted coconut oil and a dash of salt. Wrap the potato pieces in tin foil, place on a cookie sheet and cook them for 1.5-2 hours. Once they’re done, remove them from the tin foil and sprinkle them lightly with cinnamon. Trust me, they’re worth the wait!
  6. Paleo Butternut Squash Soup – This is an all-day recipe, so get it ready the night before and turn the crock pot on before you leave before work! Cut one large butternut squash in half and roast it in the over at 375 for 30-45 minutes, or until it’s nice and soft enough to scoop out of the shell. While that’s roasting, cut up two fuji apples and one peeled carrot into small pieces. Grate a fresh piece of ginger root until you get about 1/4 C. Fill the crock pot with 4 C. chicken stock, along with the apples, carrots and ginger. Add 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon and mix well. Once the squash is done roasting, scoop it out and put the pieces into the crock pot. Let it cook for at least 6-8 hours on low heat. 30 minutes before serving time, put the soup in a blender or food processor and add 1/2 C. almond flour. Mix well. As you let it cook for the last 10 minutes, fry up some bacon until it’s crispy and crumbly. Pour the soup into bowls and top with bacon. Yum!
  7. Simple Paleo or Keto Roasted Pork Chops – This is super easy but quite delightful. Coat some  pork chops with a favorite spice blend–I tend to like Jamaican Jerk and Cajun seasonings–and roast in the oven at 375 for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Paleo or Keto Fudge – What?! Fudge? Yeah, my mouth is watering too. In a sauce pot heated to medium-low, cook 1/2 C. coconut oil with 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coco powder and 1/2 Tbsp. stevia (you can always add more if your sweet tooth is howlin’). Melt and stir until fully incorporated. Then, add 2 Tbsp. almond butter and mix until completely melted and clump-free. Line a small plate or tupperware container with wax paper and spread the mixture evenly. Cool in the fridge for at least an hour, then break of a piece and enjoy!
  9. Paleo or Keto Roasted Fennel Bulb – Get a nice, big bulb of fennel, cut off the stems and set them aside. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet. Cut the bulb into quarters, then peel the layers apart. Coat them with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Lay them evenly on the cookie sheet, then take the tiny little fennel leaves from the stems and spread them across the bulb pieces. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the bulb get a slightly brownish look to them. This works great as a side dish to any mediterranean or italian dish.
  10. Paleo or Keto Deviled Eggs – If you save your bacon fat (which I hope you do!) this is one of those dishes where your reserve will come into good use. Hard boil 6 eggs & let them cool in ice water. Then, peel and halve the eggs, set the yolk into a separate bowl. Mix the yolks with 2 Tbsp bacon fat and 2 Tbsp. regular mayo. Mix in 2 Tbsp. mustard, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Whip the mixture until it’s kind of light and fluffy. Then, evenly fill the little pockets of each halved egg white with the mixture. Top with paprika and crumbled bacon. Yum!

Taming the Internal Beast with Movement and Food

When I was 19, I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship that left a big black mark on my self-esteem.

Being young, naive and believing the man’s promises to change his behavior, I let it persist for two years, until I had built and saved enough strength within myself to sever myself from the situation and put my foot down. It took a long time for me to recover from that period in my life. Luckily, when I started dating my fiance, he was there to help me through a lot of it. He was patient, he was understanding, and he was protective enough to offer to meet up with the guy and teach him a lesson or two.

Internally, though, a lot of my wires were disconnected and reconnected–reconnected shoddily at best, with a few wires completely hacked–which skewed my self-image and essentially changed me from the bubbly, rosy-eyed 19-year-old I was into a more reserved, introspective 21-year old with a taste for Carlo Rossi table wine. I had let the opinions of an abusive partner shape how I saw myself. He would constantly make fun of my weight, push me to go to the gym at 11PM on a school night because “I needed the exercise,” but would then accuse me of trying to look better for other men when I finally made a concerted effort to get fit. In addition to all of this, he would bring me out to eat every night on his mother’s dime, and would bring me to greasy hole-in-the-wall joints where we’d order burgers, fries, pizzas and pasta plates loaded with cheese and sauce. The mixture was toxic at best. It took a lot of my strength and willpower to finally kick him out of my life, even after his multiple attempts at reconciliation and several hours of crying and talking, trying to get me to give him “one last chance” (read: a 15th, 16th, 17th chance). There are a lot of stories from that period in time. I’m thinking of perhaps saving them for a book later down the line.

While I try not to mull over it, there are some days when his influence is more apparent than others. My relationship with food, while strained before meeting him, became muddled and abusive throughout the duration of my relationship with the guy, and by the end, I couldn’t tell what was right and what was wrong when it came to what my body needed.

Since then, I’ve been through several ups and downs with food. This past winter was perhaps my worst yet; I let emotions from negative experiences in my classes seep into my eating habits, and there was a point where I’d order a pizza two or three times a week because it was easy, fast and it satisfied that internal, emotional need for the salt and cheese and carbs that gave me comfort. Before I knew it, I was ballooning up, unable to fit into half of the clothes in my wardrobe. I could tell that I was losing control of myself, but was too overwhelmed by the situation to know how to change. It hurt, mostly because I knew I was doing it to myself.

Since I discovered keto and paleo, that odd and sometimes strained relationship I had with food has been regulated, at least for the most part, and I don’t have any questions about whether this lifestyle works in my benefit. I’ve managed to tame my inner foodbeast with a lifestyle that encourages natural movement, building strength, and feeding myself with foods that provide nutrients rather than temporary comfort (which is a comfort in and of itself.) I feel better, and although I’m not happy with my weight as it is, I feel a lot better internally now than I have ever before.

There are a lot of people, men and women alike, who go through experiences similar to mine, and it often results in a bad relationship with food, or lowered self-esteem, or self-destructive habits, or a combination of all three. Despite my insistence that the paleo lifestyle can help a lot of those people feel better about themselves and their lives, the only way change happens is when these people take the first step forward and don’t look back. In the reality of things, they’ll be the ones to judge what makes them feel good, complete and satisfied. I can only give my non-professional advice.

So, to all of you who have some burden in your lives, whether it be a bad relationship, a dead-end job, family problems, depression, issues with food or any other assortment of difficulties, let me assure you that these problems (most of them) are only temporary if you let them be temporary. The best advice I got while in that abusive relationship was to take every step I could to get out of it. Easier said than done, of course, but it eventually worked for me, and I finally had the chance to rebuild the parts of myself that got torn down and thrown to the wayside. Solving your problems requires you to take the first step–you’re the only one who can.

That being said, I encourage those of you out there who are struggling to find a balance in your eating habits to give Paleo a try. Just give it two weeks. Give up the whole-wheat bread and replace it with nuts, vegetables and high-quality proteins. Move your body more throughout the day, even if it means taking a few extra trips to the water cooler. Give your body two weeks away from alcohol, grains, sugar and other processed foods. Start consuming more olive oil (it’s good for the skin!) and give up the pizza.

You may find that the change is a refreshing start to a whole new path in your life. You may not. Like I said, it’s up to you to decide what makes you feel best. As far as I’m concerned, rebuilding healthy relationships with the food you use to fuel your body is one of the most basic, yet essential, steps that one can take to improve overall well-being and health. The rest of the change that happens in your life is completely up to you.

Let me know: How do your experiences in life shape the way you approach food? If you’ve tried Paleo, or if you live a Paleo lifestyle right now, how has it changed your approach to food and life in general?

Progress!

Well, hello everyone! It’s been quite a while since my last post — apologies. I’ve finally made my big move across the country from Mpls to Denver and have been so busy trying to get everything into place that finding time to sit down and write has been hard. But, here I am, and I’m glad to report back that I’m still happily traveling the keto road and have continued to lose weight, despite being under stress and thrust into less-than-keto-friendly situations. I’m about 20 pounds down from my keto starting weight, and around 30 pounds down from my high weight this past winter. It feels good, so good!

I must say, I’m truly thankful that I decided to get a Sam’s Club membership when I did; that place has saved me so much money on eggs, meat, pork, chicken and greens in the past 45 days that I don’t know if I would have been able to keep up otherwise.

Short post for today, though; I’m not prepared enough at the moment to write anything too terribly involved, though I will be back with some interesting new articles I’ve found in support of the ketogenic/paleo lifestyle.

Cheers!