Healing with food for life!


Paleo Diet First Week Survival Stats

Day 7 of eating Paleo and I’m delighted that there is no reference in the book to counting calories or measuring servings.  Common sense and feeling a bit too full will guide you well, every time.  Trust me, I love salads and sauteed cabbage but I learned on day one that’s no reason to oink out on them.  I haven’t eaten this much animal protein in a long time but it has been nice to eat a burger guilt-free!  Make that a grass-fed beef burger sans bun, pickle, mustard or cheese. I can still have the onion, grilled lightly in butter first, thank you.

Truth be told, I’ve been going bun-less for the past year or two – they’re so white and airy and tasteless most of the time anyway.  What I really like (wicked grin spreading cross my face) is a thick slice of sourdough bread toasted to a nice tan and spread moderately with butter that melts right in…sigh (eyes rolling).  Yeah, really missing my morning toasts and coffee this week.  Bread was one thing I researched this summer when a colleague talked to me about what she called “wheat belly” and now that I am working on understanding the benefits of Paleo I find the information about grain consumption to be similar, and it’s beginning to make sense to me, now.

The idea, as expressed in the book is to go for 30 days consuming animal protein – eggs, beef, pork, poultry, and fish, along with tree nuts, seeds, leafy and green veggies, and fruit.  Also for this first 30 days I am to not have any caffeine, grains, legumes, sugar, starches, and dairy.  The goal is to clear out the body’s systems of those dietary culprits that contribute to altering or harming the natural condition. 

You may say “where are your carbs, where’s your fiber?”  and that’s a very good question considering these two words have been used everywhere and whenever someone wants to tell us what we need to do to eat healthy and stay healthy.  Turns out these dietary components have been part of the problem when not consumed properly, like overeating.  I’m only now starting to understand why some folks prefer to be gluten-free.  So, for the 30 day start-up phase, we do our best to go without them to help put the body’s systems back to its natural state, to settle the inflammation and distress that an improper diet can cause internally.

Obviously, with this much protein running through the pipes regular low-impact exercise is another focus for the first 30 days.  My 13-year-old Pomeranian, Frankie is delighted to get out for a walk with me every day and he is a very good walking companion if I keep him headed down the middle of the road and not zigging to this lamp post and zagging to that tree.  He starts out at a happy little trot and I keep up which gives me a good brisk walk for about 20 minutes.  Neither of us have had this much walking up to now, so I wanted to start out easy – this coming week I’ll add 10 minutes to the walk and continue to do so the following week, as well.  I’d like to do a 40 minute walk each day until the weather is warmer.  I know I feel revitalized after our walk and Frankie has a big drink of water and a nap.  See adorable photo below.

What I love about using this new diet:  butter, bacon, burgers, greater focus on vegetable varieties, and discovering the friendly folks at the farmers market where I buy my meat and veggies.  I was delighted to find decent organic choices at a local big box store, too!  Who knew?

What I miss:  coffee, chocolate, toast, pasta, “bakie tatties” as I happily refer to them, pancakes, pumpkin corn chips, bananas, my fruit teas* and prepared salad dressings.  Okay, I’ll try not to whine again, I promise.

By the way, I know that I keep referring to “the book” and if you want to know what book I’m working with please contact me.  I don’t want to promote one book over all the others out there promoting this new lifeway since I haven’t had a chance to read them all.  The book I use was recommended to me by someone I trust and that’s good enough for me.

Well, I hope you had a good weekend and you’re ready to start the work week…unless you work for someone who observes MLK Day and if so, sleep in!  You be so Paleo!

*I read the ingredient lists on the boxes of my favorite fruit tea bags and found that they contain soy lecithin  Since soy is part of the legume family, it is off this menu for the time being, and maybe later on but I need to research this particular element and I’ll let you know what I learn in another blog.  Meanwhile, do let me know what you think while learning and working this diet.    Cheers!

NOTE – I don’t endorse any ads that may appear at the bottom of my pages – FYI

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Must Read, Must Shop – It All Starts Tomorrow…

There’s pink highlighter every where and I’m not going to be able to finish the chapters of the book that come before the meal plans needed for my first day on this diet.  So, I’ve decided that in the morning I’m going to skip ahead to the meal plans, make a list and go shopping for what I need for a week of meals.  I promise I will go back to read where I left off tomorrow.

Yesterday I visited a winter (read indoor) farmers’ market, talked to several knowledgeable and enthusiastic people about paleo, and felt like I knew the right questions to ask about the meats, eggs and greens on their sale tables.  I was fortunate to talk to a lovely woman early on and bought meat from her.  From looking over her price lists I realized, as I moved on through the market and other vendors, that her prices were the best and I will look for her again next week.

I also came home with some interesting greens.  Amaranth/Amaranthus retroflexus (also called pigweed) which carries an impressive list of nutrients but the leaves contain oxalic acid, of which oxalate is the conjugate base.  I had a long phase of kidney stones in my 40’s and their composition was over 40% oxalate.   I’ll pass these leaves on to hubby for his salad.

I also picked up Perilla, a member of the mint family and from what I have read today, it may serve better as a garnish or salad topper.  It has an interesting flavor which is why I bought it.   It is a lovely shade of reddish purple and from what I’ve read,  both of these greens plants would be easy to grow in the garden – FYI.

As my last night before the official launch of Pamela living On the diet of Paleo,  I am going to have a baked red potato with butter and some turkey roasted yesterday, along with a glass of my favorite red wine.  I’m thinking that should help me sleep VERY well this evening.

At this point I thought of typing “Geronimo!” as I “jump” into an unknown way of life…and then thought I should find out why we exclaim his name, and use such an expression for what I always viewed as a leap of faith.  So, I looked it up and I understood better than I had assumed:

During the World War II, Native American paratroopers began the custom of shouting the name of the great Indian chief Geronimo when jumping from a plane.

They did this because, according to legend, when cornered at a cliff’s edge by U.S. cavalrymen, Geronimo, in defiance, screamed his own name as he leaped to certain death, only to escape both injury and the bluecoats.

Cowabunga, Cavebuddy! (slang, an expression of surprise or amazement)


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The Book Has Arrived – Let the Lessons Begin!

“Coach” – known around the globe as an award-winning track coach and long distance runner, is my guide on the path to learning and applying the paleo lifeway.  The book he recommended for me to read is FINALLY in hand.  It took a while for my order to arrive due to a high volume of sales.  Clearly, I’m not the only soul on earth seeking a better way to care for myself and I find that encouraging.

While waiting for my new book I did some research and know that some of my favorite foods are about to be evicted from the premises, banned from my house, and I’m moving slowly toward embracing this fact.

I’m a huge fan of someone’s bottled coffee drink, which I buy in cases and drink a bottle almost every morning mixed with regular brewed coffee.  I know this routine will have to change and during the first weeks of applying my new diet I will need to avoid it completely.  I’m thinking one day a week, probably Sunday, I’ll allow myself a splurge or two once I’ve made it past the first hurdle.  Let me get back to you on this.

A classic chocoholic, with a enabling spouse, I know that dark chocolate can be good for the body as well as the soul so I hope to factor in this essential treat as well.  I can say that since Christmas I’ve cut way back on the chocolate covered peppermint Jo Jos, eaten more meat, and I’ve lost 4 pounds.


Well, I started the book last night and I’m giving most of tomorrow to ride my reading chair and take in as much as possible. I feel like its time, 10 days into the new year, to make this happen.  My first goal, to shop for grass-fed meat and organic veggies, discuss boundaries with hubby, and start the diet on Monday.

How about you?  What is your first goal.  Is anyone out there?

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Hey Cave Girl, it’s Time for Fun!

When I started investigating the components of this diet I was delighted to find out that less stress, more sleep and having fun in the sun is vital to the healing benefits of paleo.  I know most diets prescribe some form of behavioral modification and this sounds like quite a gift, to me.  Simply, you change your behavior to feel better. But this means you need to analyze, acknowledge where you can alter thoughts and behavior, and then Make It Happen, Cap’n!

Too blessed to be stressed – really!

We need to eliminate stress in your life as much as possible.  I think most of us have become desensitized, to some degree, to the daily stress in our lives, and if you have raised a child, yours may have doubled without you realizing it.  Its a Mom-thing!   Assessing your boundaries may be in order.

Most women I know embrace the Superwoman mentality and feel they’ve succeeded when they put career and family atop the list of their life’s daily priorities.  Most baby boomers were lucky to have stay-at-home moms and grew up seeing family come first.  It was a source of pride for the woman to be commander of the household.  Meanwhile, who took care of the woman?

My generation, more than any other, got out of the house and worked in a career to fulfill a dream, a goal or a need, and this added enormously to our stress level.  We simply saw our stress as being like the air we breathe – it’s just there, it’s part of the life we chose.

Well, cavefriends, I’m here to tell you this does not have to be the way and don’t you accept this notion!  As individuals, we have unique, as well as similar, stressors in our life.  Make time for yourself and take a look at all the situations where you feel stressed, even the tiny (read insignificant in your mind) ones and identify those where you feel the power to make changes.  “You have time for what you make time for,” is one of my favorite quotes, so make time to do this for yourself.

To help us along in this lifestyle realignment, take a look at these links for guidance and insight.

And because I’m a huge fan of quotes:

You snooze, you loose – I’m in!

Another directive of paleo is to sleep the most you can.  I recently read a blog that says we should try to wake up without an alarm and to go to bed when it’s dark.  I understand the light and dark concept, but it’s January…I just can’t crawl under the covers at 5:30 p.m.  But I do try to do it before 9:30 p.m. whenever possible, and read in bed for half an hour, or until the book falls on my face.  I usually rise around 6:30 a.m. and it’s dark then, too.

Here is a piece I found on the fitbie website this morning about sleep and weight gain:

“In a 16-year study at Harvard, scientists found that people who slept for 5 hours or less a night were 32 percent more likely to pack on major pounds than those who dozed a full 7 hours. Although “major” was defined as 33 pounds, the average increase was 2 pounds a year, a gain that’s easy to miss from month to month. “Due to accumulating fatigue, those who get the least shuteye may also move around the least during the day,” says study author Sanjay Patel, M.D.”

I try making sleep easier by wearing loose clothing to bed, made of natural fibers, like cotton and silk, for comfort and breathability.  I keep my bedroom cooler than the rest of the house by half-closing the heat vent.  I usually pull the quilt half-way off the bed, giving me a single layer (not doubled over) of quilt over waist, legs, and feet, and then pull the sheet over my shoulders.  I still love to snuggle down under the quilt but I know that given time, my wicked hormones will raise the heat to blast furnace – so not fair.  Lastly, I avoid spicy foods before bed.

Here is a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic offering suggestions to improve your sleep:

PLAY! (that funky music, cave girl)

I realized the other day that I don’t sing along with the radio in my car anymore…when did I stop doing that?  Learning about the benefits of paleo I also realized that I don’t think about playing outside anymore, either.  Has that part of my brain gone into retirement or has life just gotten in the way of making plans for fun?

I usually don’t think of playing outside until spring comes and then you couldn’t pry the trowel and garden shovel from my dirty, gloved hands.  I love the time change in the Spring; it means I can garden until 9 in the evening.  Yes, I find gardening GREAT fun, but does it cause me to laugh and run around like throwing a frisbee does?  Nope.  Gardening is considered good exercise but not the same as playing.

Sarah Fragoso, author and blogger, tells us that play is extremely important and play is NOT just for children.  Even without kids of your own, playing is something we all need to make time for.  Play is a natural part of our existence and reminds us that life should be enjoyed.  Having our noses constantly to the grindstone does not produce the complete quality of life that we all want.

Ms. Fragoso advises you to challenge yourself by getting outside of your comfort zone.  Play a game of tag, catch, or swing on the monkey bars, for example  And don’t hold back.  Let yourself just be in the moment and enjoy it.  Play is therapeutic, essential, and downright fun.

If you don’t have someone to go out and play with, grab a jump rope, head out to your driveway or sidewalk and jump to it!  I just saw a story on CBS Sunday Morning about jumping rope and learned something surprising – 10 minutes of jumping rope can give you as much of a workout as 30 minutes of jogging.  I’m going to look into this – I was a huge jump rope fan in my childhood.  Almost as much as riding my bike around the neighborhood and to the park, another good play option for today, too.

I have at least one neighbor who, I know for a fact, won’t be able to hold herself back from bolting out her front door and joining me in a game of frizbee or hola hoops.  It’s a blessing to have fun people around, truly!

So, even if only for a lovely stroll, get out in the sunshine when you can.  Maybe add this tune to your walkman/ipod to quicken your step.

I don’t do this outdoors, lest the neighbors fall down laughing, but I love to dancercise to my iTunes in the morning to rev up my system.  SO much fun!  Which brings me to the part where I share with you one of my favorite movie dance scenes, from “New Year’s Eve”.   Who wouldn’t want to dance with Zac Efron (I know, I’m old enough to be his mom) – the man can move, and so can You!


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My 1st Paleo Breakfast

I made my first paleo breakfast this morning after looking for ideas on the web.  What I made is huevos rancheros or what some might call “eggs in purgatory” – eggs in spicy tomato sauce, which I make some days when I want a warm breakfast.  It was a nice surprise to find that this dish was listed on several webpages I read to find breakfast recipes.

Very super basic – I made a half cup of sauce with crushed tomato, cilatro, pepper and dashes of hot sauce to taste.  I favor Louisiana hot sauce, with that hint of vinegar in its flavor.  I stirred and warmed the sauce, then made my egg with a little butter, sunny side up and put it on top of the sauce.  I LOVE avocado and so I added half of one, in chunks to the dish.  Add a cup of coffee and I haven’t been hungry all morning and, now, into the early afternoon.

Something tells me that breakfast is going to be an easy part of this new way of eating for me…except Sundays when hubby makes pancakes.  I’ll get back to you on this, later.  I’m going to find a paleo pancake or my name ain’t Pamela!!

If you want to share a warm egg breakfast, here is a recipe that you can make for your family:


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Happy Lucky ’13

As is the custom on the first day of a new year, one thinks of things to do differently, the idea being that one is being given a fresh start.  I wanted to take advantage of this new year starting point by taking my life into a new direction.  My goal is to heal myself, to feed and care for myself with the desire to grow strong again.

I once worked with an anthropology professor who shared a discussion with me about the idea that the diet of the caveman was ideal for us today.  To go back to the notion that the ancient diet was best for how our bodies function, even today.

We’ve had so much thrown at us—and I speak as a baby boomer—about how we should eat to live longer.  And all the while, I’m continually surprised at what the agriculture industry is doing to our food supply for the sake of convenience and profit.  The more I read about such things, the more I’m convinced that we really need to wise up, read up, and take back the power to feed ourselves in a healthy way.

My goal is to learn more about paleo nutrition, organic gardening, food preservation, and how this could benefit the feminine form – mine!  I have already done a lot of reading and counseling on this and I promise to bring you what I know and learn.  I hope you’ll want to share your knowledge with me, as well.

Happy New Year, let’s get started,



NOTE – I don’t endorse any ads that may appear at the bottom of my pages – FYI