Day 30 ~ Wrapping Up With Routine

Despite the time change, we managed to make it to church.  Thankfully we still had a few of those baked pumpkin pancakes leftover, which we now know reheat nicely (and super quickly) in the toaster, so we could have a little sustenance on the way out the door.  Once little kids came into my life, it didn’t take long for me to discover that that the switch to daylight savings time means losing more than just that one hour of “spring forward” sleep.   Not only do you lose that morning hour for several days in a row, but you also lose a few hours over the subsequent evenings attempting to convince the kids that although it’s not quite dark yet, their bedtime is still the same time as it always has been.

Maintaining routine when some changes are occurring is not only a comfort but a proven strategy for coping with that change.  Now that we’ve gotten to 30 days on the Paleo Challenge, I have come to realize there are certain things we do on Sundays that have become routine and quite helpful for perpetuating our Paleo lifestyle.  For today, other than making adjustments for the time change, we stuck to those Sunday routines.  We got our weekly menu planned.  For the menu, we just decided to continue with what’s been familiar and working well, so that meant a week’s worth of Paleo meals.  We acquired the groceries for those meals, had a (late) brunch, did some batch cooking for weekday lunches (grilled chicken and steak fajitas, bell pepper, onions), did a lot of clean up (dishes!!!), and took advantage of the afternoon at home to prepare a dinner that required a longer cooking time (pulled pork with Paleo BBQ sauce and an apple cabbage slaw, see below.)  We were all set to launch a smooth-running week.

That evening, my husband and I never got into specifics about doing a big celebratory splurge the next day.  Our fantasies about grilled cheese, pizza, and ice cream sandwiches that we had started developing weeks ago while dining at Stacked never came up.  We were too close to the final obstacle of the challenge to talk derailment.  I think we were convinced that even thinking about bad-for-you-foods could add stress weight to tomorrow’s weigh-in/measurements.  We were already nervous enough over going in tomorrow to perform the benchmark workout that we did at the start of the challenge.  Every second dropped off the original time is a point earned in the challenge, but nobody likes the Fran WOD!  Thankfully we were well fueled by some good eats!

Brunch- Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Green Onion, and Bell Pepper

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Dinner- Pulled Pork with Paleo BBQ Sauce and Apple Cabbage Slaw

For the pork:

4-5 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder picnic roast

2 Tablespoons of bacon grease, coconut oil, or ghee

1-2 teaspoons of each: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 bottle of sorghum beer (12 oz)

Trim off any twine and unnecessary fat off the roast.  Heat the 2 tablespoons of grease in a large pot on the stove over medium high heat.  Rub the dry spices all over the roast to coat all sides.  Set the roast in the pan and sear each side for about 3 minutes.  You may need to turn the heat down to medium to avoid charring.  Once all sides of the roast have nice coloring, turn the heat back up to medium high.  Pour in the vinegar to deglaze the pan and scrape the brown bits off the bottom.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Pour in the beer.  Add water until just an inch of the top of the roast sticks out of the liquid.  Cover.  Simmer for about 3 to 4 hours.  Transfer meat onto a cutting board and let stand for about 15 minutes until cool enough to handle.  Pull meat off the bone and discard bone and large bits of fat, placing shredded meat into a separate bowl.  Serve meat on its own or tossed in BBQ sauce.

For the sauce:

The sauce was inspired by this recipe here.  However, my husband made some additions/improvements.

1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)

1 cup onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced/pressed

1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)

1/2  cup beef broth

1 Tbsp. dry ground mustard

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce

1 Tbsp. chili paste

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

2 capfuls of liquid smoke

1 can crushed pineapple with juice (20 oz.)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Serve with pulled pork.

Apple Cabbage Slaw:

1 lb. bag shredded cabbage with carrots (or 7 cups chopped fresh cabbage, 1/2  cup julienne carrots)

1 apple, peeled and grated

1/4  cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. dry ground mustard

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/4  tsp. salt

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, and apple.  In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, and ground mustard to make a vinaigrette dressing.  Sprinkle the cabbage mixture with onion powder, ginger, and salt.  Toss to season.  Pour vinaigrette over the cabbage mixture and toss until coated.  Cover the mixture and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.  We both loved this, and my husband was impressed that this was a completely original recipe that I created on a whim.

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