Yes that is some rice you see there. Sometimes I really want some “comfort food”. For me that is not mac and cheese or pizza, my comfort food is some yummy meat dish with sauce over rice. So last night I made some indian masala type dish with fresh ground lamb, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, onion, spices, tomato paste and a bit of coconut milk. I made a little bit of basmati rice to go with it. Two (2) tbspoons of yogurt with some turmeric, cumin, sea salt, mustard seed and cayenne is a nice dipping sauce and an easy way to get some good for you spices into the body. Especially this time of year, with so many people suffering through colds and flu, these spices pack a powerful anti inflammatory and immune system boost.
The reason I posted this dish, is because I want to do my share to help you if you are struggeling sticking to “paleo/primal/ef” way of eating. Just the other day I read a comment on Chris’s blog by Asclepius. Mr. Asclepius has been around like me with a blog since 2007. He’s always got insightful and truthful posts that are well thought out. Another great “bricoleur” out there that investigates, applies and leaves behind, forever moving forward. He said the following in his comment:
“We should all have had a rough idea of what to do to get a handle on this ‘paleo’ thing since ADV’s Essay on Evolutionary Fitness.
If you cannot get a handle on paleo from that essay then I’d suggest people are over-complicating things!
All the other stuff that has come out since GCBG, WWGF, NED, PB, PS etc… is just gravy. Useful resources and great reads, but gravy.
I like to read paleo-oriented books, papers and blogs to fill in the gaps in my technical understanding, but for me it is as important to read about practical application of the paleo framework and the real-world experiences of others.
There are only so many times you can read “cut grains/o6/HFCS” and “lights-out” or “saturated fat is good”, “sprint barefoot”, “power law yada yada” etc….
Better (IMHO) to see some blogs featuring diet and workouts accompanied by ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots (with the odd rant naturally)!
Devany’s fifth law: “We should recognize the limits of knowledge and just get on the path that favours better outcomes”.
I have been thinking about this very thing a lot lately. Many people I know get caught up gathering more and more information. And what do they do with all that information?? Many can spew some great facts, findings and studies. But very few can relate their experiences and/or look the part. You know why? Because they just HAVE all this information. They have done nothing with it.
My old martial arts teacher used to comment on this very same phenomena in the martial arts community. People “collect” techniques. They can tell you all about a kata, or a form, but very few understand and know how to APPLY the principles behind it. What’s the use of “knowing” 73 techniques if you can’t really perform one well. You’re much better off knowing just 2 or 3 and really knowing the “ins and outs” of it and able to apply it successfully. This unfortunately doesn’t really excite most of our Western minds. Spending years with just 2 or 3 techniques. The paradox here is that if and when you DO spend the time truly incorporating these techniques into the fiber of your being….you never really need to “learn” other techniques. Because in essence all the principles are the same and if you truly have made it yours and understand it, you understand all the other techniques also. (this level of mastery is not often achieved)
Now for the good news…when it comes to our ever growing paleo/primal/ef world, there are certain basics that are so simple, all it takes is some time and dedication to incorporate these guiding principles into your being. (really no different then the martial arts techniques as their basics are also very simple…they just take time and dedication ). In that light I would like to do a few posts over the next month that help you make the transition into the basic principles of paleo/primal/ef. The very first step I recommend is to focus on eating only REAL FOOD. and YES, rice, potatoes and yams are part of that REAL FOOD transition. Once you’re home cooking and eating 90% of your meals that consist of real food, you can start fine tuning according to your goals and specific issues. I’m going to venture a speculation here and say that by eating nothing but real foods for 2 months, you will notice incredible changes in the way you feel and function.
Forget about exercise if you are struggeling with it. Over the course of the next 2 months just take some nice walks, but the main focus should be your transition to eating REAL FOOD. I’m not going to make a list for you…but you all know what NOT to eat. If you are used to eating a lot of dairy, try to make your portions a bit smaller for now, but DO NOT eliminate. My idea of a transition is that it should be an enjoyable experience. After all, you are trying to eat this way because you want to right? So starting today, focus on eating nothing but real food. I will post simple recipes as well as shopping list ideas to keep you on track for the next 4 weeks or so.
So the above dish is easy to recreate with lots of different flavors and meats. Buy some ground meat of your choice. Saute some garlic and onion (fresh please, not powder or flakes), add in your meat. Now add some spices and when close to cooked to desired temp, add 1 heaping tbspoons of tomato paste for every 1/2 pound of meat. Mix well and next pour in about 1/3 of a cup of coconut milk or 1/4 cup heavy cream. Let simmer until it starts to reduce down a bit and the sauce thickens. Serve over small portion of rice. How’s that for easy?
If I can do it…anyone can do it. No fancy herb garden just a very large pot that I picked up at kmart garden center for about 5 bucks. Next I bought $5 woth of small seedlings of mint, replanted those in the big pot and added some soil (also from Kmart, $1.69) Now I have an overflowing mint pot, which is divine to make home made fresh mint tea. Perfect after dinner….and real food
I really want to show you how easy this is, so please share your questions, concerns and frustrations, I look forward to adressing them and getting you past them. I think you will be amazed at the results of this 8 week transition.