Play with Your Food!

A few years ago my diet looked like this:

  • Breakfast: green smoothie
  • Mid-morning snack: protein shake
  • Lunch: baked potato topped with cottage cheese, salsa, and broccoli
  • Afternoon snack: boiled eggs and an apple
  • Dinner: Salad and fish
  • Bedtime snack: protein bar or shake

I would eat essentially this same menu, six times a week, with one “free day” on the weekends. My free day typically involved a number of “healthy” sweets, but I would always end up with a stomach ache and an emotional food hangover the next day.

I ate this way because I followed conventional wisdom about health and fitness: work out a lot and eat carbs and protein every 2.5-3 hours to keep the metabolism racing; avoid getting hungry! This diet plan was incredibly boring for my palate, so much so that even toothpaste started to taste delicious. I looked forward to my free day all week, which I now realize is no way to live.

The primal diet has had innumerable positive impacts on my life, but one of the best ones has been releasing the boring and counterproductive eating routine.  I now have such a sense of ease and fun surrounding food, instead of regimentation and stress. Tom and I spend so much time appreciating our food and talking about how scrumptious everything is. We were visiting friends recently, and Kelci pulled a giant moose heart out of the fridge, given to her by her acupuncturist (did I mention we live in Alaska?). Excited to explore our culinary options, we sliced the beautiful organ meat and fried it in coconut oil. Then Kelci decided that we should saute garlic, onions and herbs and mix it with chopped up heart and crab. She took the mixture and stuffed it in mushrooms, topped them with a bit of sheep cheese and baked the cute little apps in the oven. I probably don’t need to tell you how amazing they were. We NEVER would have done that in our pre-primal lives. Other foods our previous selves would never have tried: bone marrow, ptarmigan heart, moose liver, chicken organs, salmon heads. Guess what? They have all been delicious!

Not only are we enjoying parts of animals we never thought to try, we are also experimenting with different meats. While I ate plenty of wild Alaskan game, fish and domesticated goat growing up (we raised them), I didn’t have much experience with the more “sophisticated” meats. Perhaps this is why lamb caught my eye on a recent trip to Costco; my grown-up primal palate is now seeking out diversity, eager to experiment.  I turned to my trusty Instant Pot, which seems to have an infallible ability to cook any kind of meat just right. Oh. My. Goodness. It was incredible. You might already be a lamb expert, but if not, here is how I prepared our leg of lamb.

Do you love to play with your food? What is the most amazing new food that you have tried recently?