We’re following a pretty paleo-oriented lifestyle generally avoiding processed foods and grains. Sometimes though, sticking to the diet is hard. Moving cross-country, business travel, stressful days at work. Life, in short.
Two years ago, I first stumbled across Phil Maffetone and his method. Back then we completed his two-week test and I realized that many of the little “ailments” I had just grown used to and contributed to “life in general” could actually be avoided. Once I started excluding processed grains from my diet, my skin cleared up and I felt much more energetic, especially during what used to be my “slump-time” after lunch from 2 to 4pm. We both felt less hunger pangs and were happier with smaller portions of nutrient-dense foods. Our sweet tooths were easily satisfied by fruit and even vegetables – peppers become like candy after two-weeks of avoiding all fruit and sugar, trust me!
So two years had passed and we’d grown a little slack. Especially, after a three week visit to Germany where potatoes and bread are king and simply can’t be avoided (if you want to please family members that is…). So we decided to do a Maffetone reset and stick to the regime to “detox” and get back on track. You can check out what is allowed and not allowed in the two-week test here. In short, no processed foods, no grains, no legumes, no vegetables high in carbs (such as potatoes), no fruit, no milk or yoghurt. You can have meat and eggs, other vegetables, some dairy products such as butter, heavy cream, unprocessed cheeses and sour cream, nuts (except for peanuts which are a legume), and dry white or red wine.
To stick to this diet, timing is everything. For two whole weeks (yes, that includes weekends) you need to be able to prepare all of your food yourself as there is basically no way of eating out and knowing what ingredients are used in your meal. So plan ahead and, unless you have understanding friends or family, don’t intend to have people over or visit (thanks, David and Katie for being such friends and helping us inspire you to try out Whole 30 for yourselves!). Bring snacks with you everytime you are on the go. Pretty much the only place you can “eat out” are supermarket salad bars, so keep that in mind.
We ended up traveling (first to Taos, NM and then to Port Angeles, WA) through two weeks in late September which provided an extra challenge, but at the end of the day simply meant thorough preparation and planning and eliminated the need to try and accommodate daily routines (think lunch at work…) and (most) family and friends.
What we get often asked is what to eat when you avoid all sugar (including fruit), processed foods, grains, legumes and vegetables high in carbs (such as potatoes). This is it:
To prepare, we
- made batches of chilli and beef barbacoa in the slow cooker and froze it in two-serving containers
- roasted a range of nuts for snacks
- for other snacks: chopped up and bagged a range of vegetables such as carrots and celery – those keep up to a week in the fridge, and peppers – they keep a day or two in the fridge after cutting
- made a full Costco bacon pack in the oven and kept it in the freezer for future use. Their low sodium brand has no added sugar (yes, bacon usually has added sugar, don’t ask why…). We also kept the bacon grease and used it for the majority of cooking.
- got a roasted chicken (read the spices labels to make sure no sugar is added) and disected it for easy quick use in salads or breakfasts. Or you can home-roast it, of course, though raw whole chicken tend to be much more expensive than pre-roasted ones in the store…
- got a large smoked fish, prepared it in bags and kept it in the fridge for future use in salads and other lunches
- prepared a batch of schnitzel with tapioca and almond flour as breading to keep in the frigde for use in breakfasts and lunches
- made a batch of homemade paleo mayo to use in various salads
- baked some awesome paleo bread such as vanilla sponge and stoneage paleo bread
- also bought almond butter to dip vegetables in, tuna in cans for food during hiking trips and salads, some dry red and white wine for evening leisures – the latter from Germany since it is just so bloody hard to find good dry wine in the States (rant over), lots of eggs and all kinds of other vegetables such as mushrooms, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, zuchini, cucumbers, spring, red and yellow onions, coconut milk, and sour cream, butter and heavy cream (for coffee).
Breakfast: all things eggs, and I mean, ALL things eggs:
- Egg breakfast muffins for breakfasts while on the go
- Omelette with all sorts of veggies such as riced cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, kale, mushrooms, zuchini and also chicken, beef barbacoa and bacon
- scrambled eggs with bacon and raw veggies
- Avocado eggs
- Cauliflower hash with fried eggs and bacon
- Zuchini pancakes
- Fried eggs over Schnitzel with a side of broccoli or brussels sprouts salad
- Breakfast “sandwiches” with paleo bread, aged cheddar, bacon and eggs with a side salad
Lunches: salads and more salads, mainly cold, but oh-so-delicious!
- Salads, many variations of salads, luckily, where I excel at breakfast prep, Jason is the master of salads and full of ideas, so we had salads with goat cheese, smoked fish, chicken, avocado and all types of delicious homemade dressings. Yum!
- Tuna-cucumber-avocado salad
- Raw veggies with guacamole or almond butter
- Leftover lunches such as: Raw broccoli salad, and Brussels sprouts parmesan and avocado salad
- When hiking, we usually ate raw veggies with almond butter, paleo bread with butter, cold roasted chicken or schnitzel or tuna in a can, and roasted nuts
- Chicken korma with cauliflower rice
- Slow-cooked chilli with spring onions, cheddar and sour cream
- Sauerkraut and chooped fried bratwurst
- Mushroom chicken coconut curry
- Slow-cooked beef barbacoa with sauteed onion and peppers over cauliflower rice
- Cauliflower tumeric coconut ginger stew
- Salmon with cilantro-jalapeno coconut sauce and raw broccoli salad
- Paleo schnitzel with brussels sprouts avocado parmesan salad
- roasted chicken drumsticks with coconut curry mashed cauliflower
- Slow-cooked chicken curry over cauliflower rice
If you want to follow our two weeks retroactively, check out our @180forward instagram feed with all photos and descriptions or our website at http://www.180forward.net – happy eating and travelling!
Stay tuned for a detailed run-down about what to expect when you go through the two-week test. A rollercoaster of emotions an energy!
Also look out for recipes for all the food described here and let me know if you’d like me to prioritize any! 🙂