What is Primal Eating?

Primal is a simple way of eating. No complex points, exchanges or food diarys. (Been there, done that, right?)  Just consider if a caveman would think this is food? If the answer is no, don't eat it! I enjoy:
  • All meats, seafood and chicken, cooked however I want.
  • All veggies with some limits on starchy tubers and beans
  • All fruits with some limits on very sugary ones like melons.  
  • Cheese and low carb dairy products
  • Healthy fats like coconut, olive and nut oils and tons of spices.

I avoid flour, grains, sugars, and processed food.

If you'd like more information, there is an excellent blog called Mark's Daily Apple which has a ton of details about eating Primal.

Why Primal?

Like many people, I have tried a few diets over my lifetime. I lost a few pounds but I was always hungry. Thoughts of what I would eat when I was off the diet preoccupied my mind and it was only a matter of time until my willpower broke.
My love of all things sugary or carby (is that even a word?) kept me from trying a low carb diet for a long time. When I finally jumped in, I had a hard time detoxing from my carb addiction for the first two or three days. But I stuck it out and something amazing happened. I was no longer hungry all the time! I could eat a small portion of good quality food and not be on the prowl for a snack an hour or two later. Before this diet, I couldn't remember ever forgetting that it was meal time!
After a week, I noticed I actually had extra energy. Instead of my usual tiredness after a day at work, I came home with the energy to actually get things done. The few pounds I lost seemed less important then this sense of well-being.
It is still an ongoing journey for us as we try to resist outside influences including heaping platters of bagels and cookies at the office. But if you have tasty, high quality food waiting for you, the cookie looks much less interesting. :-)

Shepherd's Pie

Introducing my husband to primal food was a bit of a challenge, but this recipe had no problems. When I first made it, I mixed one small potato about the size of my fist with the cauliflower to give it a potato taste. But I've since made it without any potato and it's just as good.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef or ground lamb, grass-fed if possible.
1 medium onion, chopped.
1 16 oz container pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp garlic
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 tbsp heavy cream, optional
2 tbsp grated cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste.

Equipment needed: Multipurpose pan that can go from stovetop into oven or frying pan and casserole dish. Food processor or mixer to puree cauliflower.

Wash the cauliflower and break it into pieces. Without adding any extra water, steam it in the microwave until it's tender. Drain.

Brown the ground beef on the stovetop. Drain fat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add tomato sauce and spices and let simmer on low to blend flavors.

Puree cauliflower with butter and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Smooth it on top of the ground beef mixture. Dot with butter or sprinkle cheese on top if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for approx 30 min.