Over the past year or so I’ve been in pursuit of healthiness. I knew I needed to do these things to be more healthy: reduce stress, improve my diet, and get better sleep while maintaining consistent exercise. All these things are interrelated. It turns out that sleep improves with a good diet, regular exercise and reduced stress. Reducing stress was a big undertaking and included many things, but that’s a post for another day. To improve my diet, I started reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, and talking to friends about the paleolithic diet. In case you don’t know, the paleolithic diet is really about eating unprocessed foods. What I learned about this lifestyle is that it incorporates not only eating, but all the things I needed to work on to improve my health. I slowly started adopting some of the tenets of paleo eating and saw my health improve in ways I hoped: I dropped pounds and eliminated my need to take pills in order to sleep. My health has also improved in ways I could never have guessed: my year-round allergies are gone and the bumps on the backs of my arms are almost completely gone. I never considered the allergies or the bumps a problem – I just thought it was my lot in life to have allergies and bumps. I didn’t take any allergy medicine this past year. Not once. That has never happened until now.

The thing I like most about this lifestyle is that it encourages you to do your own research and look at the science behind recommendations, then make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family. For example, dairy is not on the list of paleo foods, but because I have been trained now to ask why it’s not on the list, I have been able to decide that I’ll keep it in our family’s diet. Because I’ve researched it, I am now buying more raw milk from pastured cows. When we have cheese, I try to get cheese made from raw milk. These are changes that make sense to me right now. The other thing I really like about this is that you are always growing in your knowledge, and what you believed was right last year might change as new scientific evidence comes to light. And that’s okay. Maybe next year we’ll be dairy free. Combining the research with the way my family feels when we follow the recommendations is a great way for me to make informed choices about what we eat.

That’s the reason you’ve seen so many food posts from me this past year. I’ve never been a great cook, or very interested in cooking until now. Here are a few things we’ve dined on lately:

Beef Heart Chili

beef heart chili - paleo

This chili was delicious. I made it on one of those days when everyone in our house had activities going on, so nobody ate at the same time. The chili was just sitting in the crockpot on the counter and people ate when they could. The next morning, there was only about one serving left of this dish that I originally thought would last two nights. The coolest thing? It was very nutrient dense. It was BEEF HEART CHILI. Yes, I gathered my courage to cut a beef heart into chunks that looked like stew meat, then combined it with grass fed ground beef to make this chili recipe from Robb Wolf’s blog. I have to admit that I’m proud of myself for getting over the whole “I don’t want to touch raw meat” thing. Have you ever prepared organ meat?

Apple Crisp

apple crisp - paleo

This is an apple crisp that I have made twice now. It’s yummy and has only a little maple syrup as sweetener. Of course, we added ice cream to ours, but you can skip that if that’s not your thing. I found the recipe here.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

ground lamb bell pepper

I shared this recipe for stuffed bell peppers over the summer, but we have had this using all different types of ground meat: lamb, beef, bison and pork, and also different colored peppers, depending what’s on sale that week. I topped this one with a little goat cheese.

Sometimes I share my posts at these link parties.

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2 Responses to In Pursuit of Healthiness

  1. We have bell peppers and apples coming out of our ears right now, thanks to the CSA. Pinning both of those last two for preparation next week!

    So exciting to hear about all the healthy changes that have improved your quality of life! Cheers to progress!

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