Being a chef in the restaurant biz for 25 years has made me keenly aware that one “eats with your eyes” first. Then, of course, its down the hatch! So presentation is very important, even if your just eating at home with family. My wife and I found ourselves stuck in a rut, so she pulled out the Bento Boxes we bought a while back to give ourselves a visual treat of the food we were eating during the Coronavirus lockdown.
I had a bunch of leftovers in the fridge so I thought I’d use them up. I had Mad Max Tuna Salad. I call it Mad Max because the expiration date on the tuna cans was over a year and a half old! I also had some broccoli and cheese sauce. My wife made a little tomato salad for one compartment and I had to come up with something for the biggest compartment with a sauce for dipping.
So I was looking around the kitchen, in the fridge and pantry and then I saw in the distance on the kitchen island a bowl with a sweet potato in it! Viola! Sweet potato fries with a sriracha mayo dipping sauce! Nice! So my wife pulled out the sir fryer and made some nice sweet potato fries in a bout 15 minutes.
The three boxes came with one nice cover. They stack on top of one another, so I guess you really only need one cover. But if you had people over, wouldn’t it be nice to have them all covered and then everybody lifts the cover off at the same time? The suspense, the excitement, the anticipation!
Those are almond flour crackers around the Mad Max Tuna Salad. The sweet potato fries came out perfect!
My wife and I had fun eating from the Bento Box. She also enjoyed some wine from a local winery, PageSpringsCellars.com
I like my eggs and that includes omelets! I came across this one while researching Tapas dishes. I had some Cuban customers at one of my restaurants. They fled Cuba when Castro took over going to Spain first and then coming to the United States. They loved the Tapas dishes they experienced while in Spain and asked me if I would do a Tapas night at the restaurant. I am always on board for something new and this is one of my favorites!
Here we go!
You’re going to be making three 3 egg omelets, so you’ll need 9 eggs. I like to whisk my eggs with a little heavy whipping cream using an electric handheld whisk. This beats a little air into the eggs which adds a little air to the egg mixture and makes the omelets fluffier! You can use a hand whisk if you don’t have an electric one. You’ll need a nice non-stick pan to make the omelets. Here’s the ingredient list for the omelets:
3 tbl heavy whipping cream
3 pinches of salt
handful of spinach, chopped
6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
6 large shrimp, chopped
3 more pinches of salt
For the special sauce:
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbl Worcestershire Sauce
You’ll also need some shredded cheese to top each layer. I like Asiago, but you can use Parmesan if you want to.
I bought this bag of cheese at Costco. Its cheaper than buying at the local store. So basically, make 3 omelets sauteing the ingredients, then adding the egg mixture. The cook the omelet like normal. I actually flip the omelet over to cook and set the top. If you’re not good at flipping. you can try using an over sized spatula, or you can put a lid on the omelet to set the top. If using the lid technique, make sure you don’t over cook the bottom (i.e. burn the bottom!).
Saute the ingredients.
Add the egg omelet mixture.
Cook omelet until set.
Slide out onto plate.
Top with 1/3 of the sauce and top that with some grated cheese. Repeat with the final two layers.
Above is the raw shrimp. Saute until thoroughly cooked.
I added some chopped chives for color. You can use parsley if you want. Makes at least 4 servings. I usually cut into eighths and have some over several days. This is a great do ahead dish. Sometimes I eat the slices cold! Tastes that good!
My brother once said to me “If you start sitting down to put on your pants, its over! May as well call the funeral home!” I’m in my late 60s and my brother is in his mid 70s, so did I listen to this sage advice? Damn straight I did. I run that through my head all the time! Not just about the pants thing though. I use it in every aspect of my Primal life. To me its about doing it right and not taking the easy way out.
Just the other day, a couple of weeks back from visiting my brother and his wife in Florida where it was quite warm in November, I was going outside of my house in Sedona, Arizona to go swimming. Sedona is up in the hills about 4,400 feet up so we do have a “mild” winter. It was 29 degrees outside! There was frost on the pool cover and as I was moving it off the top of the swim spa some of the frost blew off and hit me in the upper torso. Yikes I said to myself! And then for a split second all this ran through my head “WTF am I doing out here half naked getting ready to swim when its 29 degrees!? I should go back inside where its nice and warm.” And then I thought about my brother and the pants story. So I finished removing the cover and went for a swim! I start out every day with a swim and this wasn’t going to be the day I didn’t!
It doesn’t snow much here, but one day last year it snowed about 6 to 8 inches worth of heavy, wet snow. Trees were bowed over and touching the roof of our house. The pool cover had all this snow on it and all around the pool. I got a shovel and a broom and cleaned it all off and went for my swim! All done while in my bathing suit! Its good to jolt the system every once in a while. I don’t get sick much since I turned Primal. Last time I got sick was when my wife and I drove with another couple up to Flagstaff and the other guy sneezes in the car. After the obligatory bless yous he says, “Thanks I haven’t been feeling good lately” as we head up I-17 for a 45 minute drive. Geez, really! I could feel me getting his disease as we got closer to Flagstaff. My wife got it too and the next 5 days were miserable. I might have missed a day of swimming! Really, just the middle day when I was at the worst.
The moral of the story is “don’t give up”. But you have to commit first. Start your Primal journey, eat right and move around a bit and keep at it!
Not long! You’ll start losing weight immediately if you stick to a few basic LCHF Primal Principles:
Eat the Right Foods
Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it
Don’t eat starchy foods and vegetables like pasta, bread or potatoes because these things turn into sugar as your body digests them
Only eat when you’re hungry
Exercise a little bit
1. Eat the Right Foods
In a nutshell, Protein, Fat and Vegetables. Bacon and eggs instead of Wheaties and 2% milk. Steak and Asparagus with butter. Roasted Chicken and broccoli with butter. Salads with cooked chicken or fish. How about a Wedge Salad with bleu cheese, bacon, hard boiled egg, red onion and bleu cheese dressing? Burger with cole slaw and without buns. Wild fish (no farm raised salmon) with vegetables. And the list goes on and on. You can eat pizza, but not the crust. I make pizzas in my Fun Foods Challenge with low carb crusts. How about a pizza crust made with cauliflower? Sounds crazy , but you would like it. So eating the right foods shouldn’t be a problem because there’s lots of fantastic things to eat! For a complete list and lots more info, check out my Intro to Primal Challenge.
2. Stop Snacking
This is a tough one, especially if you’re a sugar burner. Sugar burners snack all day long because what they’re eating never really satisfies them and a few hours later (could be minutes) there looking for something else to munch on. These snacks are usually packed with calories from sugar or some other form of carbs like wheat or fruit. Remember, fat is good! So eating low fat or no fat yogurt is out! Low fat or no fat anything isn’t good because they usually replace the fat with sugar and toxic industrial thickeners like carrageenan. So if you’re a sugar burner, the desire to snack is going to be overwhelming! So in the beginning, if you have to snack, snack on something good! Like macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds or Brazil nuts. No cashews or peanuts though. They are legumes. Once you start to burn fat over sugar, it will be easier to not snack because you won’t feel the urge to snack!
3. Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it
So no ice cream, candy bars, sweet tea, soda, fruit juices and no straight sugar either! If you drink coffee with sugar, stop it! I used to drink coffee with sugar in it until I turned Primal in 2014. One day years later my wife made me a cup of coffee, she forgot and put sugar in it, and I swear I spat it right out into the cup and said to my wife “what are you trying to do poison me?” She looked up surprised by what I said, but then realized she put sugar in the coffee. We both had a good laugh! Sugar is going to be hard to give up. Its in just about everything the food industry produces. There was an experiment on mice in the laboratory where they put two tubes in an enclosure, one filled with sugar, the other filled with cocaine. Long story short, sugar is more addictive than cocaine! Maybe that’s why the food industry puts sugar in everything?! If you look at food labels and don’t see the word sugar that doesn’t mean there is no sugar in it. The food industry has now come up with over 30 different names for sugar. The best thing to do is to not eat any prepared foods. Shop in the outer aisles of your grocery store, not in the center aisles. I used to buy Kombucha in the store, but even that has too many carbs in it. So I started making my own (above)!
4. Don’t eat starchy foods and vegetables
This is another tough one! Its hard to believe, but potatoes are sugar! Well, ok, not really, but when your body metabolizes them they turn into glucose which sugar. Your bloodstream can only have a certain amount of glucose floating around in it. If the body senses there’s too much, insulin is produced to store it into your cells. Your body could store it in your muscle cells as glycogen, but if you’re not too active and your glycogen stores are full, your body stores the excess sugar into your fat cells. And we don’t want that! So by not eating sugary things, we keep the sugar out of the blood and out of your fat cells. Hey look at that, you’re losing weight already! I know its going to be hard to give up that delicious bowl of pasta, that crusty French bread with gobs of butter (just eat the butter) or those French fries with lots of ketchup (there’s tons of sugar in ketchup by the way. Only eat low sugar ketchup. I hear ya. Your saying “I don’t eat that much ketchup” to which I say “It all adds up!”) Try opting for the cole slaw when having a burger. Oh, by the way, you can’t have the burger on a bun. Remember, no bread because your body will turn that into sugar. So you’ll have to eat your burgers with a fork and knife for a while. Or try wrapping in lettuce and raw onion “buns” like I did above. You’ve got to like raw onion though! A gluten free bun is not necessarily a good choice. It may not have wheat in it, but it could use other flours that are still loaded with carbs. I show you how to make acceptable breads in my Fun Foods Cooking Challenge.
5. Only eat when you’re hungry
Sounds like no problem, right? When you’re a sugar burner, you pretty much want to eat all the time! The problem is the foods you’re eating are not satisfying enough and you’re always looking for something else to satisfy you, but sugar never does. You have to eat protein with lots of fat! I have a problem with this to this day. After living for 60+ years with the belief that you have to eat three square meals a day, I find myself eating breakfast, lunch or dinner without even thinking “am I hungry?”! I’m getting better at that. A lot of time I’ll eat one meal a day, that’s OMAD in fasting circles. Yes I fast. Fasting is a much maligned aspect of LCHF eating. It turns out fasting is good for the body and the brain. All kinds of repairs are done to the body while in a fasted state. You’ll find that once you switch over from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, you’re cravings to eat will subside. So really don’t have to eat all the time and a lot of time not eat the three square meals. Your body is taking care of it self by using the fat off your body as energy! So you’ve trained your body to burn the fat you eat and if you don’t eat, it will burn the fat off your body. You’ll save on food bills too!
6. Exercise a Little Bit
When I started my journey the only thing I could do without hurting was swimming (no impact) or walking (minimal impact). The walking thing is the best exercise for losing weight in my opinion. All you have to do is keep you heart rate elevated for a half hour to an hour and you’ve burned a lot of fat and you’ll keep burning fat for a while even after you stop. When I lost my first 35 pounds I was able to start doing sprints. I weighed over 300 pounds and I thought I’d never be able to run again, but I did! Sprinting or doing any High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will get the glycogen out of your muscle cells, so your body will store any excess glucose in them instead of your fat cells! That’s what we want. If you sit and watch sports on TV, try standing up while watching. I even to some calisthenics! Do some squats, jumping jacks or lift some dumb bells. You’ve got to move, so get up and move. Try a walk before and/or after you eat. This really helps with weight loss and blood sugar control
Well, that’s about it in a nutshell. For more details and lots of printouts, try taking my Intro to Primal Challenge. Good luck!
I go to this Thai Restaurant every now and then and have pretty much the same thing. I start out with a salad. Since they don’t have traditional salad dressings they put peanut sauce on the salad. That’s not 100% OK because peanuts are actually a legume and they’re not all that good for the gut, but every now and then they’re OK if you can handle it. I then have the Crispy Shrimp with a medium red curry sauce and vegetables with white rice. The breading on the shrimp probably has cornstarch in it or some other starch, so that’s not the best. The curry sauce and vegetables are OK, but the rice is not recommended. I don’t eat much of the rice. All in all, not the best meal to eat out, but I invoke the 80/20 rule! So there!
Who doesn’t love sauteed red onion and mushrooms?
I made a batch of Oopsie Rolls so I could have a lchf “bread” bun for sandwiches!
My first “sandwich” was a Egg Salad Sandwich.
Sauteed Shrimp with Herbed Cauliflower Rice!
A sandwich with salami, cheese, greens and Primal Mayo. Pickles are good!
Another sandwich! This one is my favorite Breakfast Sandwich with sausage, cheese and egg!
I want my baby back, baby back, baby back, RIBS! These were the Best Ribs Ever!
Ribs with just a little more sauce. Make sure its a low sugar BBQ sauce. Broccoli is ALWAYS a good choice!
Another one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches.
Another salami sandwich, this time with raw organic beet and cabbage kraut! Fermented foods are ALWAYS a good choice.
Man o’ man! I guess I really like those breakfast sandwiches!
Made some Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” as a side dish for my Lake Perch that I sauteed.
I buy Lake Perch Fillets and other fish from a company called walleyedirect.com Watch out for those shipping costs! In the summer time I have them ship over night mainly because I’m in hot Arizona. But in the winter time, 2 day ship would be ok. Just make sure its all frozen solid when you open the box. The dry ice works pretty well. (Haven’t had a problem… yet!)
Sauteed Lake Perch, above. Below, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese redone a couple days later in the air fryer. Eat your leftovers!
I eat a lot of bacon and eggs. Make sure you take a Fish Oil pill to get your Omega 3s and 6s in balance!
I’m making a nacho type mixture above. Once I wilt the vegetables, I’ll add Organic Ground Beef and some salsa from Costco and spice it with cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro.
Had my Nacho Meat mixture with eggs for breakfast.
Wife gave me fresh peas from her garden, so we had a little Asian Stir Fry. I used some canned bamboo shoots and I did use a little of my nacho meat mixture, so it was a little Asian Mex Fusion! Don’t be afraid to experiment and play with your food!
I had some ripe avocados that I had to use before they went bad. So I made a batch of guacamole with them, then scooped it out with an ice cream scoop and placed them on a baking sheet which I then put in the freezer. Once frozen, I put the little guacamole balls in a container and saved them in the freezer. I use them to thicken up smoothies! I like that… no waste!
That’s a good Polish sausage I got from Costco. I heated it up in my air fryer and served it with some organic, raw beets and cabbage kraut, also from Costco. Here’s a pic of the Polish Sausage pack.
Yep, more bacon and eggs!
Yep, more Lake Perch. This time with Asparagus.
Crab legs with asparagus and melted butter. It seems lately that every time my wife and I go to Costco we get one serving each of crab legs. They are good! Cost for that crab leg up above is about $13. So we get two of those for about $27. Lots of meat. My wife usually doesn’t finish hers and has a second meal from it. If I had any self control, I would do that too!
This is not the evolution question about what came first, the chicken or the egg. As far as I am concerned egg evolution/revolution is where we are at with understanding the health benefits of the whole egg! Every now and then the egg is could be considered a unhealthy thing to eat. Sometimes its the most fantastic thing you can eat, almost a super food! Where do I stand?
I had a restaurant back in the south suburbs of Chicago. A new restaurant opened up taking a once venerable dinner destination and turning it into a breakfast house, you know, like a pancake house. Pancake houses were not my competition, but I had to check it out because my wife and I had had a lot of romantic dinners there. So we wanted to check the space out in its new incarnation.
So we walk in and are being escorted to our table when lo and behold at the other end of the room there was one of our regular customers! He was so health conscious he almost drove us crazy at our restaurant with his “special” needs. So I go over to him and ask him what was he going to eat here that was “healthy”. Was it going to be a stack of pancakes with butter and sugary syrup? French toast? Eggs and sausage or bacon with hash browns fried in some kind of industrial oil? And so on. I couldn’t think of anything back then (the 90s) that was going to be considered healthy in a pancake house. Who’s going to have a salad at 9 in the morning?
So I asked him and he said, “a plain, egg white omelet”. I didn’t see that one coming, so I said “of course”, and went back to my table. That’s so boring, isn’t it? Egg white omelet and plain on top of it. And that’s what the connotation a lot of “healthy” food had back then and even today, i.e. “boring”. Who wants to eat boring food?
The egg is not boring! Just imagine the food possibilities with the egg. You can have a simple fried egg, omelet or quiche. You make cakes and breads with eggs, sauces like Hollandaise and Bernaise, ice cream and so much more. Not to mention my “crack” egg salad! We need eggs. No question about it.
So back in the day, the egg yolk was considered evil because it contained fat! Hence the egg white omelet. Egg whites are pretty much just water. Now fat is or friend! Egg yolks got the fat and all the nutrients you could ask for. So its nice that the evolution of the egg is now back where it belongs. The whole egg is healthy and almost a super food. Eat your eggs including the egg yolk!
Don’t ya just hate it when someone just rambles on and on about something and it turns out to be just a one word answer!? Could have saved a whole lot of time and trouble, but noooooooooo! Got to go on and on for so long, you forget what it was all about in the first place. Geeeeez! Yep, the answer is water!
Ok, let’s ramble on! Water is the best isn’t it?! Yes it is. Now, where I live (Arizona) the ground water has a few little extra things in it like cyanide and arsenic. Leftovers from the unregulated mining days. So you got to filter your water, that’s for sure. When my wife and I go for a drink of water we usually get it from the fridge that has a filter on it and the fridge also uses filtered water to make the ice. So the ice is good to go.
When I cook and I need a lot of water, it comes from the kitchen sink, which at the moment does not have a filter on it. I use to have a Brita filter on it, but had it removed when we changed faucets. I could get a reverse osmosis system, but they are expensive and I don’t know about the overall quality of the end result water anyway. When I had my restaurant in Cornville, Arizona the plaza had a well that had to get their water tested every year. So sounds good, right? Well, I’m sure there was a lot of “stuff” in that water, but it was deemed safe by the authorities, so it must be good, right? Yeah, right. I had a Brita pitcher there for my own drinking water. You drink a lot of water working in a hot kitchen, so got to filter those gallons of water!
I don’t know about buying bottled water, except for certain instances. For example, I make Kombucha. So I use a big quart bottle of Fiji Water (the best water on earth, according to them) to make my fermented tea. I’ve been making Kombucha for over three years now and my SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) loves the Fiji water!
Steam Distilled Water
There are sometimes when you don’t want anything in the water at all. I had a kidney stone once and started drinking steam distilled water. But other than that I don’t know why you would want it? I just thought of this! Maybe because you’re a total control freak! So you buy steam distilled water by the gallon and add your own minerals to it (there are drops)! Its kind of like all the other waters are like fast food or prepared meals, i.e. you don’t know what’s in them! So you cook your own food and you make your own water.
Milk and Soda
I was a kid of the 50s and 60s. We were brought up on milk and had milk with every meal. As teenagers and above, we got into that soda thing. Had a Coke with every fast food meal that went down the hatch. Even into my fifties and early sixties I was still doing this! Milk with breakfast, sodas with everything else. Then the beer, wine and other forms of alcohol were added to the mix! The only tea I drank was a Long Island Iced Tea! Getting back to milk, I used to drink whole milk. Then my family started drinking 2% milk. I didn’t like it and insisted on whole milk no matter whose house I was at. Later on in my 30s I switched to 2% milk because I was finally starting to put on some weight. I had been skinny up to this point. But as long as the milk has lactose in it, its got sugar in it. Now, the only dairy I have is full fat heavy whipping cream and full fat cheeses and yogurt (I make my own yogurt too!).
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are ok, but don’t forget, you got to have good water to make them! I enjoy a good Bullet Proof Coffee every now and then (coffee, heavy cream, coconut oil, butter, MCT oil). Tea is good, especially when you’re fasting. And don’t forget that kombucha. Although store bought commercial kombucha might have a little bit too much sugar in them, so be careful. Before I started making my own kombucha, which by the way ends up with no sugar in it at all (the little guys eat it all up), I would drink a bottle of the commercial stuff over two or three days to cut down on my daily carb intake.
No alcohol, unfortunately. Its only to be ingested occasionally in the form of wine. Alcohol is recognized by the body as being poison. The liver goes into a full court press to process that poison and get it out of your system! Guess what happens to everything else especially the glucose floating around in your blood? It gets stored as fat! So a rum and coke is disastrous! While the alcohol is being processed, the sugar in the coke is stored as fat. So, you say, “I’ll switch to rum and diet coke”! Brilliant! Sorry, nope! Sugar and many sugar substitutes still induce an insulin spike, so whatever is floating around gets jammed into those fat cells! If you want to lose weight, you have to stop drinking alcohol.