Life of a Paleo College Student

A collection of thoughts & ideas about my paleo lifestyle while away at college.

SWITCHING TO WORDPRESS

To all my dedicated followers (I say this hoping there are some of you out there),

I have decided to relocate my website to a wordpress account. Mostly everything will stay the same except for the URL so if you’d like to continue reading about my paleo journey while back at college in Denver, CO then you can find me at http://paleocollegestudent.wordpress.com/

Please follow this account (if you are able) and/or share it with any friends & family who you think may like it!

See you there.

My Latest Experiment

So I have recently developed some guttate psoriasis. And by some I mean that my entire body is covered head to toe with these little (and sometimes not so little) red circles. A few of the circles have joined together forming little clumps or patches, some of which I’ve grown fond of strangely enough. Buuut not quite fond enough to allow them to stick around. (Sorry little patches, you’re cute and all but you’ve got to go.)

The rash first presented itself in the form of a few small red bumps on my stomach so I wasn’t too eager to go see the doctor but after the rash started to escalate & I started worrying that I had contracted some type of disease while traveling I decided to make an appointment. The doctor quickly diagnosed the condition & told me that the rash usually proceeds strep throat or some form of streptococcal throat infection. So that was what that sore throat I had for a couple days prior to Edinburgh was. Ok so that makes sense but now what? She said that the rash more often than not goes away on its own within several weeks but prescribed me some ultra-moisturizing lotion to apply 2+ times a day and a steroid gel to apply once a day to speed up the healing process. 

So I was reluctant to go to the doctor in the first place, you think I’m going to just apply a steroid cream happily? Not so much. But finally after a few days of the rash getting progressively more red & spreading I decided to try to the steroid cream on a little patch on my arm. Sure enough, it seemed to work. Damn you, modern medicine. 

I decided to start using the steroid each night as well as supplementing with some Vitamin D3 soft gel tablets because after a few quick google searches I learned that low Vitamin D levels are linked with psoriasis & figured my Vitamin D levels probably weren’t up to par considering the less than ideal sun exposure I’d been receiving in the UK.

While a week or so of using the steroid cream & seriously OD’ing on the Vitamin D tablets (let’s just say the contents of the bottle are no longer with us) did help the rash to lighten up & get less bumpy, it still wasn’t fully going away & knowing I didn’t want to use the steroid cream for more than two weeks I began a more serious google search. 

After a few google searches..

'Guttate psoriasis and paleo”

"Paleo healing psoriasis"

"Bye bye bye psoriasis, hello paleo"

…I was ironically led to one of my favorite paleo website idols, the Paleo Mom. About a year or so ago when I was experiencing stomach issues I read a few of Paleo Mom’s articles on FODMOP sensitivity and after self-experimentation & trial & error I was able to fix my stomach problems & have pretty much figured out which FODMOP foods I can & cannot tolerate. Anyway, Paleo Mom to the rescue once again. After reading this long article explaining psoriasis & the paleo diet and this article explaining the paleo diet autoimmune protocol I have decided that I am going to dive in head first and start another experiment, this time saying goodbye to some of my dearest friends - eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc.), and nuts. It’s going to be difficult considering I eat at least one of the three foods every day (and some days all three) & tomatoes & peppers are among some of my favorite veggies (sigh) BUT if I am able to get rid of this rash through this method without anymore steroid ointments then I will consider myself a winner. While it’s not ideal that I have to eliminate some of my favorite foods for awhile I am weirdly excited about the experiment. Ever since the autoimmune protocol has been on my raider I’ve been curious to test whether or not I am in fact sensitive to eggs or nuts or nightshades (or all three!) but have never had the motivation to see for myself. So I guess in a way this rash is a blessing in disguise (although red spots isn’t exactly the disguise I’d personally choose..). 

However unfortunately when I made the conscious decision to try this autoimmune protocol I had just been the grocery store & purchased two types of peppers, some cherry tomatoes, & a carton of eggs. So of course, never wanting to waste food I decided to give myself a few more days of these delights & make myself a few temporary goodbye meals:

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Of course right when I decide to give them up, I have to discover the coolest way to cook eggs ever - a fried egg omelet! Delicious. 

Once I consumed the last of these foods I was nearing my last few days in Wales so I decided to try my best to avoid eating the no-no foods (couldn’t think of what else to call them, sorry.) but didn’t sweat it if there was some tomato sauce on something I ordered out, or if I happened to eat a cute little snack pack sized bag of walnuts I discovered in my backpack while on my journey home (just now ;) )

BUT yesterday started Day One of my AutoImmune Protocol Elimination Experiment! With the exception of Christmas Day (do I really need to explain my reasoning for this?) I am going to completely eliminate eggs, nightshades, nuts/seeds (as well as seed derived spices), & dairy from my diet & see if I am able to get my psoriasis to go away. 

I’m also going to continue supplementing with cod liver oil & having a scoop of gelatin dissolved in water at least once a day (usually first thing in the AM and/or post-workout), because I have felt really good both recovery & energy-wise since adding these to my diet.

I also think that once I’m back in Denver in early January the constant sunshine will help restore my possibly low Vitamin D levels. 

Anyway, I’m excited to track my experiment through this blog. Not only will this give me a chance to test my sensitivity to these food groups but it will also give me an opportunity to express some creativity & experiment with new vegetables & things in my diet. Here’s to branching out!

Was needing a little energy boost to continue writing my essay so I left the study room for a brief moment & ran up to my kitchen to throw together this little study snack. Took about 5 minutes total (including the walk to & from my flat) to grab a bowl, throw in some celery, cucumber, toasted coconut flakes, & roast beef, and top it all off with some sea salt. Also filled up my water bottle, gotta keep hydrated.

Side Note: The guy across from me just selected a bag of skittles as his fuel of choice from the vending machine. Let’s see who lasts longer..

Christmas List

Now that Christmas is only a few weeks ago I feel it is finally appropriate to make a Christmas List post. Embarrassingly enough however I had my Christmas list ready & made weeks ago. For some reason my recent addiction with everything paleo has gotten me SO excited for Christmas. I think because I see all these recipes on different blogs that I want to try out so badly but then oh wait, I need I food processor, or a dehydrator, or a mandoline slicer.. oh the limitations! Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely easy to prepare loads of delicious paleo meals with only a few simple kitchen tools, I’ve been doing it for the past three months with only a wok, a box grater, & a simple kitchen knife. Oh & my flatmates spatula - he catches me using it at least 3 times a week to which I pull out my whole surprise act & say:

"Oh no, Ollie this is your spatula isn’t it?! I am so sorry! Let me wash it for you real quick.."

To which he replies:

"Oh no, no don’t worry about it, I’ll use my crappy little wooden one that everything sticks to, you keep using that nice new one I purchased just before coming to University."

Ok well he doesn’t actually say those words, but he thinks them. I know it.

But lucky for Ollie he’s only got a week & a half until he’s got that spatula all to himself again.. Unless it somehow magically winds up in the bottom on my suitcase. Kidding, cause that would be stealing & I don’t steal, I borrow

Anyway, while I’ve done very for myself with these few kitchen tools here in Wales, when I go back to school in Denver after Christmas I will finally be living in a house complete with a lovely, but empty, kitchen that will need to be stocked. Also, since I plan on very much continuing my paleo cooking hobby while in Denver I think that this Christmas is the perfect time to start my kitchen tool collection. (Ah, my very own kitchen tools - I get goosebumps just thinking about it!)

So here goes, my 2013 Christmas List:

  • Paleo Magazine Subscription
  • Reebox Nano 3.0 - for when I need to squat down & check on whatever is in the oven. Just kidding, for CrossFitting. Bad joke.
  • Spiralizer / Mandoline Slicer - I’d be happy with either really, although the novelty of the Spiralizer & curly zucchini noodles really excites me. 
  • Hand Blender - while I’d love a real blender, this option is a lot cheaper & requires less clean up. I’ll work my way up to the Vitamix eventually.
  • A Crockpot/ Slow Cooker - will be very convenient to be able to keep this on during the day while attending class & studying
  • A Food Dehydrator - Want this one so badly. I have a tad bit of a jerky obsession & to make my own would be AWESOME. Think of all the money I could save & all the gifts I could make.
  • NOM NOM Paleo - the new cookbook by Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo
  • Skintervention Paleo Skincare Guide - An e-book by my favorite new podcaster & role model Liz Wolfe
  • The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss 

Sooo I know the list is a bit of an excessive list & I will probably only receive a couple of the things but I got so excited writing it I couldn’t control myself! Also I figured I’d give the family (hey guys!) a few options. Options are good.

Plus, my birthday is only two months after Christmas… ;)

Paleo Plan

Amir’s Healthy Eating Plan

Let’s get those last few pounds!

Start Date: Monday, November 20th

Re-Test Date: Monday, December 4th

Starting Measurements: 

Weight:

Center of right bicep (relaxed):

Center of right thigh (relaxed):

Stomach, just above belly button:

Measurements after 2 weeks:

Weight:

Center of right bicep (relaxed):

Center of right thigh (relaxed):

Stomach, just above belly button:

Basic Guidelines:

  • Basically follow a paleo-based diet - this includes vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, lean meats/seafood, & healthy fats
  • Allowed to consume little amounts of dairy (in tea, coffee, etc.) & alcohol as well (excessive amounts will slow weight loss but gotta be realistic When in Wales…)
  • Eat three well-balanced meals a day with snack(s) if needed
  • Drink water and/or tea (with no added sugar) throughout the day - keep hydrated!!!
  • Try to eat within 30 minutes upon waking up & stop eating at least an hour before falling asleep
  • Log everything you eat for the first week in a journal & turn it into me at the end of the week so I can help tweak anything I think is needed
  • Three cheat meals a week (you can eat whatever you want for one meal, three times a week) - Log these as well!

How to structure your meals:

Lean protein (at least 4 ounces or the size of your palm) + serving of healthy fat + as many vegetables as you wish 

-> Meat + Fat + Veggies =  Meal

-> can also add Fruit but that shouldn’t be the focus of the meal 

Proteins:

Ground meat such as beef, chicken, turkey, bison, etc.

Chicken

Steak

Sausage

Sliced Meats (preferably from the butcher) - turkey, ham, roast beef, etc.

Canned fish - tuna, salmon, sardines/kippers  (packed in olive oil, tomato sauce, or water)

Seafood - any type of fish, shrimp, scallops, crab, etc. 

Eggs

Fats:

Avocado

Olive Oil 

Bacon (fresh, local, from the butcher)

Coconut Oil

Avocado Oil

Coconut Butter/Flakes

Full-fat Coconut Milk

Olives

Kerry Gold/ Grass-fed Butter 

Nuts & Seeds

Vegetables:

Focus on primarily non-starchy: Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Onions, Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini, Squash, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Artichoke, Asparagus, Cabbage, Celery, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Brussels sprouts

Include slightly less starchy: Yams, Sweet potatoes, Butternut/Acorn Squash, Pumpkin, Plantain, Beets, etc. 

Sample Meals:

Breakfasts:

  • 3-4 eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter with cooked onion, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
  • 3-4 eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter with sliced tomato & avocado
  • 3 Egg Muffins (recipe below)
  • A couple sausage links with cooked veggies
  • Two poached eggs on top of smoked salmon, capers, & tomatoes
  • Roast beef with sliced avocado & another veggie
  • 3-4 egg omelet cooked in coconut oil or butter with any combination of veggie/meats inside you want 
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, + tomatoes 

-> Feel free to add some fruit to any of these as well (fruit salad, half a grapefruit, an apple, a banana, some berries, grapes, etc.)

Lunches/Dinners:

  • Burger with no bun but any toppings you wish (try to choose mustard or just salt & pepper + a tomato instead of ketchup if you can!) + a side salad instead of chips/fries
  • Grilled chicken + Guacamole + Pico de gallo + Olives
  • Sliced Meat + Raw Veggies + 1/2 avocado with salt & pepper
  • Salmon salad - cooked salmon, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, + dressing (balsamic vinegar + olive oil)
  • Canned tuna with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper with a side salad or various veggies
  • Chicken, steak, or fish + a can of veggie or tomato soup (only veggies & vegetable oils, no sugar, starch etc.)

Sample Snacks:

  • Handful of dried coconut flakes + nuts/seeds
  • Piece of fruit + nuts
  • Sliced meat + veggies
  • Sliced meat + piece of fruit
  • Full fat yogurt with nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut, etc. mixed in

Extras (to keep your meals more satisfying):

  • Salsa 
  • Tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Mustard (all kinds, no sugar added)
  • Balsamic vinegar, Red Wine vinegar, White Wine vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, etc.
  • Spices - rosemary, basil, oregano, cilantro/cardamom, garlic powder, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, red pepper etc.
  • Sauerkraut 
  • Hot sauce (no sugar added)
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Small amounts of good quality cheeses - a little bit on your salad, burger, etc. won’t hurt!

Easy Recipes to get you started:

Egg Muffins 

Mix together 1 dozen Omega-3 enriched eggs, 1 diced red pepper, 1 pound cooked ground pork sausage, 2 big handfuls of raw spinach, 1 diced onion and 4 cloves of minced garlic. 

Grease muffin pan with bacon grease, oil, or butter and fill each cup with egg mixture. 

Bake at 350 (F) for 25 minutes, or until all the egg has set. 

Makes 3-4 days worth of breakfast food and great portable snacks.

Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

Use a hand grater or shredder to grate cauliflower into “rice”

Heat up a wok/skillet with a slice of grass-fed butter

Once butter is melted, add the cauliflower to the skillet & mix around to coat all cauliflower with butter

Chop fresh cilantro & cut a lime in half

Add cilantro & lime to cauliflower & mix together

Mix around every 30 sec. or so until all cooked through

Roasted Veggies

Chop up a variety of vegetables - onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, carrots, eggplant, etc.

Drizzle some oil (preferably coconut or avocado) on a pan & add veggies to the pan, mixing them around until they seem evenly coated in oil

Add spices of your wish - salt, pepper, rosemary, etc.

Stick in the oven at 400 F/ 200 C for 15-20 minutes or until cooked to your liking

Cooking a lot at once makes for easy leftovers later on in the week!

One Friend at a Time

A couple months ago, I had a conversation with my friend Amir who’s abroad with me here in Wales about weight-loss and the paleo diet. He started an exercise regimen over the summer & quickly lost a ton of weight but lately the weight loss had been stalling so he mentioned that he’d be interested in trying out a paleo-based diet to see if it would help jumpstart the weight loss again. Of course all I needed was that slight amount of interest to trigger my sometimes slightly over-enthusiastic self to get to work. A couple of days later I told Amir I had created an entire paleo plan for him. In the form of a 4-page word document (12 pt. Times New Roman font). Needless to say, he was a little freaked out. Not ready to jump into it I decided to give him space & let him come to me when he was ready to give it a serious go.

Sure enough a whole month later (my oh my am I patient) Amir approached me saying he was ready. Good thing I was more than prepared. We went out to lunch where I casually pretended to fish out the file “Can’t remember where I seemed to put that thing..” (Yea right, that file had been mocking me for weeks from its so graciously given little home smack dab in the center of my desktop). Finally I pulled up the document, made a few adjustments, (yes, the plan included with dates & such) & briefly explained it to Amir. He seemed pretty ready to get started so I sent him off to the grocery store & first thing the next day he began his two week (& counting..?) paleo plan! I told him to track everything he ate in a journal & come to me with any questions he may have in the upcoming weeks. We also had a couple fun nights where we teamed up to cook paleo meals for our friends who all seemed to really enjoy what we came up with. “Wow, this is actually good.” Yes, thank you, I think so too. 

Anyway Amir has officially completed his two-week meal plan. And I think he may now he in it for the long haul. YES. Mission accomplished. Changing the world one paleo convert at a time.

I haven’t been able to get too much out of him about his experience with the change in diet other than the fact that when he ate a sandwich the other day his tummy hurt. Oh, and that he pees more often now. He’s a 21 year old guy, don’t know why I expected a different response.

BUT he did say that he’d like to write a guest post on my blog about his experience if that was ok with me. Are you kidding me?! Of course that’s ok with me. The fact that he used guest post & my blog in the same sentence makes that ok with me. So stay tuned for Amir’s guest post, coming soon!

Oh & one more thing, if you’re interested in what the paleo plan looked like I unfortunately can’t attach it in a file (stupid tumblr) but I’m going to copy & paste it to another post following this one. Please feel free copy & paste it to use it for yourself or pass it along to friends/family. Just maybe change the name first.. Or not. 

What’s For Breakfast #6

Found a way to combine some of my recent favorites - coconut, pork & kale. Sounds a bit weird but it’s DELICIOUS. 

I’m eating it right now & I really don’t want the meal to end. Each of my bites is getting noticeably smaller in attempts to make it last just a bit longer. Now that’s a sign of a good meal. 

So this week I’ve decided to plan out my meals three days ahead of time in order to save some decision making energy each day. Tim Ferriss (author of the 4-Hour Body, the 4-Hour Workweek, etc.) said something in a podcast I was listening to the other week about how we have a limited amount of decisions to make each day & so it’s wise to conserve that decision making energy on the more important ones. This is why he chooses the eat pretty much the same breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) everyday - so as to conserve his brain power for decisions he will face later in the day. Anyway, I don’t know much about it, but the concept has been lingering in the back of my head since I heard it a few weeks ago so I tried to try it out this week since I’m really busy trying to get my assignments finished & turned in so that I can hopefully make one last trip to London next weekend. 

So my meals have been planned out as follows:

Monday

Breakfast: Kale Sauteed in Coconut Oil with Lean Ground Beef + Two Poached Eggs + Tomatoes

Lunch: Shredded Zucchini mixed with Ground Beef & Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper & Rosemary + Tomatoes

Spoonful of Coconut Butter

Post-WOD: Chicken Breast + 1/2 Sweet Potato

Dinner: Can of Sardines with Cooked Broccoli 

Tuesday

Breakfast: 3-4 eggs scrambled with Mushrooms & Kale + 1/2 Avocado

Lunch: Tomato, Cucumber, & Avocado Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast (Cilantro, Lemon + Lime) + Coconut Butter (1 - 1.5 tablespoons)

Post-WOD: Gelatin drink + 1/2 Sweet Potato

Dinner: Ground Beef + Cauliflower Rice + some Red Bell Pepper

Wednesday

Breakfast: Ground Pork mixed with Sauteed Kale, Coconut Oil, Coconut Flakes, Cinnamon/ Mixed Spices

Lunch: Sardines, Avocado & Cauliflower Rice

Dinner: LambBurger with Mustard & Tomato + cooked Zucchini & Mushrooms with Rosemary

So far it’s worked out really nicely! Each morning I know exactly what I’m going to make so I get out all the ingredients for breakfast & lunch and cook my breakfast while preparing my lunch & drinking a big glass of water mixed with a scoop of Gelatin powder (new product I’m trying out for first thing in the AM as well as post-workouts - the brand I got is Great Lakes, the Collagen Hydrolysate - I’ll probably do a follow up post more about this later).

As far as the rest of my day goes, I sure was a lot more productive yesterday than I have been lately so that’s a plus and I am saving a lot more time not standing in front of the fridge thinking about what to make each morning, afternoon, & evening. Not sure if I’ll continue doing this every week because I do enjoy the spontaneity of cooking my meals based on what I’m in the mood for that day but might use it for a couple meals each day and definitely as a future tool when I know I have a busy week ahead of me. 

Try it out & see how it goes for you.

Oh and back to my meal - I cheated a tiny bit this morning & extemporaneously (can’t use spontanous twice, come on now) added coconut butter to my meal instead of coconut oil & WOW. I really loved the result - the sweet coconut butter flavor complimented the taste of the pork very nicely & kept it nice & moist (moooooiiiiissst, yes I said it). I will definitely be experimenting with adding in coconut butter to more savory dishes in the future.  

Added the coconut butter to the mixture of pork & kale after it was already coked through. Melted quickly & I was able to mix it all together (with cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt as well) Added some extra coconut flakes on top as well. 

Thai-Style Chicken Curry by Nick Massie

Just discovered this guy today while avoiding writing an essay. Have only watched a couple of his videos but so far I’m loving his cooking style. He has some really delicious sounding recipes and includes tips throughout his videos on how to simplify and speed up the cooking process. He also appreciates a nice garnish (like myself) & said in one of his videos “the first bite is with the eyes”, while using bacon as a spoon. I may have just found my soulmate. Sometimes procrastination is a blessing in disguise. 

I wanted to post this particular recipe because I will be most definitely making this one when I’m home. Thai food is my faaaavorite. Expect a post on how it goes in three weeks or so!

Also check out PaleoNick.com for more of his recipes, I know that’s where I’m headed right after this post.

What’s For Breakfast #5

This breakfast may seem simple but I wanted to post it because my family is coming to visit me today for an entire week(!!!) & I’m not sure if I’ll have time to write up any blog posts while they’re here.

As much as I really (and I mean really) want to make a bunch of Thanksgiving dishes that keep popping up on various blog sites I think we will probably have to go out & eat at a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner (*gasp* - it’s almost as bad as the year my best friend & her family went out to McDonald’s for Christmas because they couldn’t get a reservation anywhere else - ok no wait definitely not close to as bad as that, never mind never mind). 

I’m hoping my little sister & I will be able to escape from the family & venture into my communal kitchen to at least attempt a Thanksgiving dessert or something but that might be wishful thinking. We’ll see. In either case, I refuse to wait an entire year to make all these delicious paleo root vegetable mashes, cranberry sauces, bacon & brussels sprout sides that have been circulating the internet so I will be having “Thanksgiving in January” once I get settled in my new house, followed by a “Thanksgiving in January” future post. Yup, it’s typed out, no going back now. 

Here’s my breakfast though, yes very simple but also SO delicious.

Ground beef topped with sauerkraut + a salad/salsa side of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers & avocado (topped with lemon, salt, & cilantro)

New Little Tricks for When I Find Myself Cooking Dinner Hungry

Most nights I find myself cooking dinner after I am already hungry & ready to eat dinner. Some nights it’s pretty unavoidable since I like to go to the 5:45 pm CrossFit class so when I get back around 7:15 pm all I can think about is the quickest & most efficient way to feed myself, lots & lots of food. It’s not too hard when I’ve got already cooked meat in the fridge because I can quickly heat that up, add some veggies to the plate & I’m good to go. Buuut on days when I don’t have anything prepped ahead of time things can get a little out of control. By that I mean I’ll either be forced to cook something & then eat way too much of it cause by the time it’s all ready I’ve transformed into a ravenous beast or I’ll be forced to make a less than ideal meal & then have to go to bed unsatisfied. Nothing a good nights sleep & a delicious breakfast can’t fix but still, something I’d like to try to avoid whenever possible.

Ok yea I should probably stop blogging right now & go get myself some real problems. But might as well finish this one up real quick before I do, especially now that I’ve taken pictures & everything…

Over the past few days now that I’m done with traveling for awhile I’ve started to get back into a routine of food prepping/cooking again & have formulated a couple strategies to keep the ravenous beast version of myself at bay while cooking a meal (usually dinner). 

1. Make sure I have some fuel packed in my gym bag to eat as soon as possible after finishing the WOD. This one I’ve known for awhile now - it’s a good idea to eat immediately after an intense workout for recovery purposes & I’ve gotten really good about packing some protein or protein & carbs to eat post-workout but sometimes I don’t always follow it when I work out in the evening because I know that dinner is coming soon after. But the other night I had just finished “Fight Gone Bad” (a puke-worthy WOD to say the least..) & I needed to get something into my body. Luckily I had a berry Nak’d bar in my bag (primarily date-based with some berries, & nuts as well) that I was able to scarf down, much to my coaches delight who was sick of seeing me chow down on chicken post-wod. And this little berry bar seemed to do the trick! I was still hungry for dinner but was able to keep myself composed and stick some chicken, mini lamb burgers, chopped veggies, & broccoli in the oven while I showered up. Talk about efficiency.

2. Snack on some healthy veggies while cooking/prepping my dinner. This is something I tried out tonight & it worked marvelously! I simply chopped up half a cucumber & a few stalks of celery, put them on a plate, sprinkled them with sea salt & then snacked on them all the while preparing my dinner. This way I was able to satisfy my need to eat while also not ruining my appetite for dinner :) 

Also added a helping of sauerkraut to the mix later on cause a little healthy bacteria pre-dinner is never a bad thing. Plus, I thought it would be really fun to pull apart & eat the stringy goodness with my hands for once. And I was right, it was.

I’ve tried chewing gum & drinking lots of water and/or tea too before while cooking but I still end up super hungry for my meal & therefore can not properly enjoy it soooo for now that’s all I’ve got.

Oh but real quick some photos of the DELICIOUS dinner I was able to make while snacking on my cucumber & celery.

Cilantro cauliflower rice - grated cauliflower sauteed in kerry gold irish butter mixed with lots of cilantro, lemon, & cornish sea salt.

Cilantro Cauliflower Rice + Chicken & Lamb Burger chopped up into pieces + Tomato & Avocado salad + some big Red Bell Pepper slices

Used the red bell pepper slices to make adorable little “sandwiches” with the components of my meal. Highly suggested.