An easy way to start eating primal/paleo

Do you ever wonder how easy or difficult it is to make the switch and start eating healthier? Does eating paleo or primal entail buying a whole set of new cookbooks or recipes to download? Not at all. Of course, there are many paleo/primal websites now that can help you discover the advantages of ancestral eating, such as Mark’s Daily Apple. But know that you can also simply start by picking your favorite recipes and change a few things only to make these recipes paleo/primal-friendly. The recipe below is an Italian meatball recipe that I have been making for more than two decades. And as I am now eating primal/paleo, I keep making it by just tweaking a few things.

How to change an old family recipe into a paleo-friendly goodness

So my original meatball recipe calls for:

  • 3 lb ground round
  • 1 lb bulk sausage
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • ¼-½ lb parmesan cheese
  • 1 big chopped onion
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • I tablespoon of salt
  • Pepper

Now to make this recipe primal/paleo-friendly, first I want to make sure that the meat is well-sourced (How to Source Beef has different links to websites you can purchase your meat from). The parsley has to be organic. The cheese becomes optional, but if you still want to add some cheese, it has to be well-sourced too, from a local farm or sites like US Wellness Meats. The onion can be organic or not, it doesn’t matter as much for onions, as mentioned in What to Buy Organic. Instead of using bread crumbs, I add ½ cup of a paleo nut flour blend that works just as well. The eggs have to be well-sourced (no eggs from CAFO chickens). Celtic or Himalayan salts work best, along with freshly ground organic pepper. So now we have:

  • 3 lb well-sourced ground round
  • 1 lb well-sourced bulk sausage
  • 1 handful of organic parsley
  • ¼-½ lb well-sourced cheese
  • 1 big chopped onion (organic or not)
  • ½ cup paleo nut flour blend
  • 2 well-sourced eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Celtic or Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground organic pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and shape meatballs out of the mixture. Next, you add the meatballs to your favorite organic paleo-friendly tomato sauce and let simmer 3 to 4 hours. The tomato sauce can be made from scratch of course, or if you are in a rush, there are different paleo-friendly options too at Thrive Market, for instance.

In summary

Remember that taking it one step at a time is probably the best approach for most to make any change long-lasting, as mentioned in a previous post: What foods to Get Rid of First. With that in mind, picking an old favorite recipe and changing just a few things to make it a healthy ancestral option is an awesome incentive. It is a small step that can make you feel good about how effortlessly you can eat better in no time!

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Bacon seems to be an unlikely “healthy food” to eat when in fact it can be healthy depending on the source (if sugar-free and with no additives). How to source pork is the same as how to source beef, the topic of my previous post. Since pigs consume pretty much anything, sourcing pork is very important, especially because pigs are highly reactive to mold toxins in food.

That being said, well-sourced pork is perfectly fine to eat when eating primal/paleo and even keto diets. In the book Keto Answers, written by Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin, they give a list of keto-approved pork products as listed below:

  • Bacon   
  • Ground pork
  • Sausage
  • Bratwurst
  • Pork rinds
  • Tenderloin
  • Pork loin
  • Pork shoulder
  • Ham
  • Pork chops
  • Prosciutto                    

Bacon doesn’t contain a whole lot of nutrients but is fine to eat every now and then, which I happily do without feeling guilty anymore. If you want to have pork rinds as a snack, the brand EPIC is a great option. And the links I shared in my previous post to find good-quality beef are valid for pork too. How about a nice bacon and eggs?          
             

References

Asprey, Dave. The Bulletproof Diet : Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, and Upgrade Your Life. New York, Rodale Books, 2014, p. 172-73.

Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 151-52.


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Changing for the Better

Five years ago, after reading the book, Your Personal Paleo Code, by Chris Kresser, I started eating a paleo type of diet. Everything in this book made so much sense, the most logical thing to do was to start experimenting and see for myself if eating as much as possible the way our ancestors did made a big difference in the way I would feel every day. The increased amount of energy one experiences when removing foods from the traditional SAD diet is outstanding. All the more that I found out last year (thanks to 23andMe and DNAfit) that I have a high predisposition for celiac disease as well as a high carbohydrate sensitivity. This explains why removing gluten (among other things) from my diet gave me an amount of energy I never felt before. There is no coming back once we start eating that way and feeling better all around no matter what our age. When I happen to mention to people that I am about to turn fifty, no one believes me. And I want to share this message that we can all experience better health on a daily basis. Food is what fuels our bodies, and just like the fuel we put in our cars, it has to be of good quality, not junk food.

Now changing the way we have been eating for years can be challenging. We can make the switch overnight, going cold turkey, or progressively dropping one unwanted food after another, and replacing it with better options. No matter what the approach, we have to understand that it is okay to have very successful days in this life-changing enterprise and days that are not perfect. That is what author Dr. Kyra Bobinet explains in her book, Well designed life, when it comes to any behavior change. She states, “As the new behavior is practiced more and more, the neural connections underlying that behavior get stronger and stronger. It is like wearing a rough footpath through repeated use, and then once established, paving that road (i.e., adding myelin to neural networks) to make it faster. Eventually there are two neural pathways that are of equal strength—the old habit and the new one—and you can imagine two highways that you could choose from. When we hit this point, the new behavior is as good an option (and equally likely to occur) as the old default behavior.” (295-6) 

Are you ready to bring in new habits to foster a wealth of vitality?

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