Kait and I started Week 2 of our elimination diet last week raring to go. We’d checked out the accompanying Virgin Diet cookbook from the library, so we were able to compose a week-long meal plan using a bevy of compliant recipes, and then we hit Whole Foods and Sprouts to stock up on groceries for the week. With all of this preparation, you’d think we’d have nailed Week 2. You’d be wrong.
By day 2, we were already behind schedule, since neither of us prepped food the night before or got up early to cook our lunches for the day. I don’t know what we were thinking—like we were really going to cook two meals per night after working all day, working out, etc.? Like we were really going to do some serious cooking before work? Hell no. Last week I ended up grabbing ingredients for big salads at the Sprouts near my work (greens, sardines or tuna, veggies, avocado or nuts) since I had no lunch to bring, and I think Kait ate random things like a can of tuna and an apple. Because we blew off our planned lunches for almost the entire week, we had plenty to eat for dinner, but by then, Kait was famished and I was bummed at how poorly this was all playing out.
And then I finally understood what it actually means to plan ahead and double recipes so you have leftovers for lunch. This is what pretty much every healthy eating advocate advises because they KNOW that no one has time to cook twice a day, and even though I got this concept, I was completely failing at putting it into practice. I don’t know if I balked at grabbing double of all ingredients because of sticker shock (even though you spend less in the long run) or feeling weird about ordering huge quantities of meat or what, but bottom line is that because I never doubled my ingredients, we never had enough leftovers for both of us. I mean, duh, but people usually don’t fail because of good intentions.
So this week when I mealplanned, I did it right and doubled everything. And then we actually bought double of everything. And last night, we had ridiculous amounts of lentil/sausage/kale stew to bring for lunch today. AND, I forgot the best part—we had to plan half the number of meals as last week because lunch is always what we had for dinner the night before. It’s like a win-win-win-win: less planning, less thinking, less cooking, plenty of eating.
So here’s what’s on the menu for this week:
- Sunday: lentil, sausage and kale stew
- Monday: chicken sausage and kraut/leftover lentil stew/rice pasta bolognese
- Tuesday: leftover lentil stew w/ avocado/rice pasta bolognese/pork chops
- Wednesday: sweet potato hash/leftover pork chops/cilantro turkey burgers
- Thursday: leftover sweet potato hash/leftover turkey burgers/steak salad
- Friday: sausage and kraut/leftover steak salad/dinner out
- Saturday: turkey avocado rollups/gluten test meal/dinner out
Hopefully by this time next week, we’ll have been deliriously successful at Week 3 and cooked all of our meals and had plenty to eat for lunch every day and have a realistic template for future meal planning. HOPEFULLY.
This past weekend was the first time I did a big hike while eating paleo, and I was a little apprehensive about fueling adequately since the last time I did a 14er was when I was 17 and definitely eating all of the carbs. Back in the day, it wasn’t unlikely that I would have at least two bagels, granola bars, PBJs and gorp during the course of a one-day hike. Now that I’m not eating that stuff AND doing this elimination diet thing, I had to completely rethink trail food.
Here’s what I ended up bringing:
- 3 Lara bars
- 1 baked sweet potato
- 1 apple
- 2 cans sardines
- rice cakes
- almond butter
In the morning I made a quick protein shake before hitting the road, and over the course of the day, I ate everything but two of the Lara bars and one can of sardines. To my relief, I was not only totally satisfied and not hungry but I had constant energy for the entire hike and felt great (wasn’t too full, no cramps or tummy issues, etc.). If I had been gone for longer, I probably would have wanted one more potato but for a six-hour hike, this was plenty.
Curious what other paleo-ish folks bring on hikes? Do you have a failproof food you always bring? I see more 14ers in my future and would love some more ideas.