06 February 2014

Paleo-Vegan in the Home

Things in the Jaw are going well.  Dave and I continue to await news of when/where/if we will be getting posted by the military.  I continue to prepare for my yoga teacher training in Bali with hours in the studio and many books to read.  Dave continues to chip away at his degree class by online class - his dedication to not just getting his degree, but doing it right, is an inspiration.  

In other news, we've been experimenting with the ways in which we nourish our bodies with food.  After a holiday season full of sugar, alcohol and fatty foods, both Dave and I agreed that a detox was in order.  Now, we regularly eat a vegan diet at home, but we wanted to take it a step further.  Over the past month, we tried out a paleo-vegan "diet."  As someone who has struggled for years with an eating disorder, I hesitate to use the word "diet" as it conjures up images of restriction and scales - but that is hardly what this has been about.  Rather, this has been about feeding ourselves with good, wholesome, plant-based food.  

I will be honest with you and say that when the Paleo craze hit, I was one of the eye-rollers.  I was a person who believed this belonged to those folks in the CrossFit gyms who were making themselves sick with their workouts and who believed that meat and eggs were the only sources of protein that mattered.  

Then, I realized that people think that vegans like me are all yoga-loving hippies who drink nothing but green juice, eat tofu and think daffodils have feelings.  


So, before I knocked the Paleo way of eating, I wanted to give it a try.  Now, I wasn't going to start eating meat, fish or eggs, but I loved the idea of getting rid of processed foods and sugars (not that we ate many to begin with, but there were definitely things we could have done without).  In addition, I was curious to know if cutting out beans, flours and other glutens would alleviate some of the tummy troubles that have been plaguing our household over the last year.

Side note:  Did you know that many of the gluten intolerance experienced today are as a result of the over-processing and over-consumption of gluten?  Gluten in and of itself is not a bad thing (neither is soy), it's the way in which we are eating it today that is the issue.

So, we cut out soy, flours (except coconut flour which we did NOT have good experiences with over the past month), beans, alcohol, peanuts, sugars and other things on the "not-Paleo-approved-list" and focused on eating whole plant-based meals.  We juiced with our newly purchased and totally awesome Angel Juicer, made amazing green smoothies and ate paleo-vegan lasagna, tacos and soups.  We fell in love with coconut oil and enjoyed making our own almond milk at home.  We ate a ton of nuts and seeds and consistently full and satisfied.

There were times where we both craved a dark beer and some pizza, but overall, I think we are both really happy with the experiment.  I think we will continue eating this way the majority of the time, but will happily re-integrate organic, non-GMO tofu and hummus back into our lives as well.

Here are some of the recipes that kept us going over the past month.  If you have the time and energy, check some of them out and see what you think!

This amazing carrot soup (minus the chickpea croutons) from Smitten Kitchen.

These muffins are now a household staple thanks to Green Kitchen Stories (we add a few more dried fruits to ours - organic cranberries and goji berries).

Our morning juicing blend consists of two big cucumbers, a celery stalk, a carrot, two apples, two pears, a two-inch piece of ginger and a big bunch of kale.  Throw that through the juicer and you've got green goodness for two mason jars.

Our green smoothies consist of a huge handful of spinach, water, almond milk, a heaping tablespoon of ground flax seed (or two tablespoons of Udo's Oil), frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries and a banana.  Super yummy way to start your day or an awesome lunch or snack.

That's what's up in Jaw.  We are waiting for the first signs of spring, but know we have a while to go.  I promise to post some photos from our holiday trip to the Oregon Coast soon!