Day 21 ~ Fat is our Friend

I think I like this even-keel, calm, collected, stable energy thing I’ve got going.  I’ve been saying all week that I don’t wake up and leap out of bed with jazz hands ready to sing or start a CrossFit WOD feeling pumped, but I am not tired.  It’s more of a refreshing clarity, as long as I’ve gotten adequate 8 hours of sleep. 

The apple and fried eggs breakfast has been working for me—it’s calming to the stomach, it’s filling, it’s fueling, it’s balanced, it’s quick, it’s portable. 

For most of the week, I’ve been consuming a little glucose boost about 15 minutes before CrossFit.  It’s been a couple bites of Larabar, a half of banana, an almond flour/honey based muffin.  Today I popped 2 dates.  I felt prepared for facing the challenge of the morning CrossFit workout: bench presses, deadlifts, hand-release push-ups, and double-unders.  I didn’t kill it (I’m still working on executing the mechanics of double-unders,) but I didn’t run out of steam.  I had my hemp protein post-workout smoothie to refuel and got my clear-minded, cool, collected self to work on winding down my workweek.   

My husband’s estimate to batch-prepare 2 pounds of beef, 3 pounds of chicken, 4 bell peppers, and 3 onions for our fajitas lunches couldn’t have been more precise.  We polished off the remaining portions of the batch-cooked fajita fixins for lunch today.  Still yum!

When I was cleaning up lunch, I had the urge to snack.  Really, hypothalamus??? You’ve got to be kidding me (or perhaps you are defective!)—I just finished lunch!!!  I’ve noticed that just being in the kitchen seems to trigger something in my brain to want to stockpile my belly like it’s my last chance to eat.  I quickly grabbed a huge bottle of water and high-tailed it to my office area.  Once in the safe zone (snack-free zone), upon further reflection, I hypothesized that my activity level and daily workouts are actually making me really thirsty.  I do drink a fair amount of water throughout the day, but I think I still may be running around slightly dehydrated, and that I might be attempting to quench the thirst with snacks, rather than with hydration.  Hmmm, some food for thought.  Scratch that… some water for thought.

Once the kids were home and settled, I began planning for dinner.  Four hours after lunch and I really am ready for a snack.  I was good and put 20 plantain chips in a bowl and ate them with intention.  I was excited to try a couple new recipes for dinner.  I’ve had some wild-caught halibut in my freezer that my dear outdoorsy brother caught, filleted, and sent to me from Alaska.  Tonight was the night we were dredging those filets in almond meal, unsweetened coconut flakes, and simple spices to surround them with a beautiful, savory, crisp crust.  Or, as my daughter put it—making fish nuggets. 

I used this recipe from Everyday Paleo as a guide for crusting the fish and to guide my baking time.  I added garlic powder and onion powder to the “breading” mixture, which was a good call, I must say. 

http://everydaypaleo.com/our-newest-team-member-cod-with-coconut-slaw-pico-de-gallo/

Having pico de gallo over the fish sounded terrific, but I just bought a prepared container with a clean ingredient list instead of making my own pico from scratch.  The coconut slaw sounded good, but required homemade mayonnaise in the recipe.  The extra work plus the raw egg business of making my own mayo was a turnoff, but I was still hung up on having some kind of slaw with the fish.

I had seen this recipe from Makobi Scribe in which the side dish was a sriracha slaw. 

http://makobiscribe.com/paleo-diet-asian-meatballs-and-sriracha-slaw-getorganized/

Sriracha has a special place in my husband’s heart, so I had him in mind when pairing this recipe with the fish.  While actual bottled sriracha does contain sugar, we found that it’s cousin, sambal oelek, does not.  It is just ground chili paste.  So, we put the chili paste in a blender with honey in a 3 to 1 ratio for make-shift sriracha.  The rest of the recipe is very simple.  It came out pretty good, although next time, we might try adding some pineapple tidbits or pineapple juice to mellow out the punch of the onion. 

I was impressed with the fish, and wow, was the salsa ever good.  Too bad it activated a craving for chips! 

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We pushed that craving aside with a family dessert project.  I never quite forgot about mentioning cinnamon rolls yesterday, so I broke out the ingredients for a Paleo-friendly cinnamon coffee cake.  It was one of 4 recipes I had stashed away on Pinterest in which I had all of the ingredients ready in my pantry. 

http://simplylivinghealthy.org/2012/05/14/grain-free-cinnamon-coffee-cake-with-maple-drizzle/

I grew up in the era of the (sugar-pumped) Snack Wells (they’re fat free!)  and the misinformed dogma that one must nix the fat to maintain a healthy weight.  So, I found the ingredients list for this Paleo coffee cake almost humorous.  Essentially it is fat with some maple syrup.  For the cake, take a few cups of fat flakes (blanched almond meal) and mix it with some melted fat (coconut oil) and some more chopped fat (pecans) and whisk in some cholesterol and fat globules (eggs) with some maple syrup.  For the topping, melt some fat (coconut oil) and add some chopped fat (pecans) with some cinnamon.  For the glaze, melt some concentrated fat (coconut butter) with some condensed fat (heavy cream) and add some more maple syrup.  Cha-ching!  Mark Sisson says that fat is our friend.  https://www.marksdailyapple.com/high-fat-diet-healthy-safe/  Fat doesn’t make you fat.  Sugar makes you fat!  Well, I guess this recipe has them both, but after a pretty lean dinner, our bodies could use some fat to help us absorb the nutrients present in our meals today.

The aroma of cinnamon sweetly wafted through the house.  It was wonderful.  However, all thoughts of Cinnabon came to a screeching halt upon tasting this creation.  The cake was ok.  It was cake-like but still dense and grainy– certainly no Duncan Hines, albeit decent for having no flour in it.  The topping was cinnamony and I wanted to like it, but all I could think of was that I had just paved a dirt road (almond meal cake) with gravel (slightly burnt pecan topping.)  I cracked up when my husband reminded me that he hates nuts in his cinnamon rolls.  He was fully aware ahead of time when we ventured out on making this dish that it basically contained nothing but nuts.  Oh well.  I still ate a huge portion of the coffee cake.  My husband still finished his too.  Fat is pretty satisfying after all, and it is a great source of energy.  Maybe for once I’ll even have a good hair day all thanks to fat. 

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