Last day before the Paleo Challenge / Day 1 – Day 3

I’m back from the Eastern Shore! It was difficult for me to remember to take photos these past couple days, but I’ll make a better habit of it since it’s pretty boring to read about what I ate without seeing it.

On Friday afternoon before our trip (also known as The Last Day Before the Paleo Challenge), I spent my afternoon doing some major shopping at Trader Joe’s. I don’t think I’ve ever filled my cart with this many healthy items at once. Felt pretty good about it.

I hard-boiled some eggs, sauteed a bunch of chicken, chopped a ton of veggies and put together a couple salads for the weekend.

Day 1
For breakfast I had a three-egg omelet with bell pepper, red onion, mushrooms, baby spinach and tomatoes, all cooked in olive oil. I tried to drink some black coffee but it tasted pretty horrible, so I ate two mandarins which, happily, sort of imitated orange juice.

Later I ate a banana and some mixed nuts (pistachios, cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts) I threw together in a Pyrex.

I grabbed one of my pre-made salads for lunch: mixed greens topped with chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (the balsamic vinegar had no sugar).

Mixed nuts and a hard-boiled egg made for a yummy snack.

For dinner I realized we weren’t going to stick to our loosely-made crab feast plan, so I decided to just make it a cheat meal, telling myself that I would be 100% good for the rest of the month (that’s what I’m hoping, at least). I indulged in a crab cake on a kaiser roll with lettuce and tomatoes, downed with a side of hand-cut fries and snacked on some tortilla chips. I also had three beers throughout the night, but I didn’t feel guilty about it at all since they were all from my favorite brewery: Dogfish Head. Mmm. 60 Minute IPA, how I love you. I decided not to take photos of all this…

Day 2
Breakfast: three scrambled eggs with similar ingredients from yesterday, now including a delicious and welcome addition of garlic. I skipped the coffee and decided to try some unsweetened breakfast tea instead. Not bad.

Later came two mandarins and a banana.

Lunch was exactly like yesterday’s, except today I remembered to add half of the avocado I brought with me. I gave the other half to my friend Peter who I knew would appreciate some good fat.

It was going to be a while until dinner time and it certainly felt like it. Snacks included a hard-boiled egg, two mandarins, mixed nuts and a banana. I think I need to be eating something other than a small salad with some chicken on it because I was still starving for dinner after all those snacks.

When we got home I took advantage of my free Sunday night and prepped dinner while I slow-cooked a pork butt (for pulled pork) and roasted an organic free-range whole chicken with an onion, garlic and a lemon in its cavity. I really wish I remembered to take photos because everything turned out beautifully.

For dinner I made mahi-mahi accompanied with some manga salsa and one of the freshly-roasted chicken breasts. Side dishes were asparagus and sweet potato. The sweet potato was especially delicious since it had been so long since I had one. It was almost like dessert when I topped it with a little bit of cinnamon.

I ate a couple dried figs later while watching the crazy Ravens vs. Jets game.

Day 3
I got up half an hour earlier than usual since I had some extra food prep to do: today was my day to host the lunch meeting at work. Since it was our first meeting of the kind, I wanted to make something special yet comforting for everyone, so I decided on BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and a green salad.

I poured a bottle of BBQ sauce into the slow cooker and stirred it through the pork butt, but not before shredding about a third of the pork into a separate container so that I could enjoy some of it (the BBQ sauce had sugar).

After the rest of lunch was taken care of, I made breakfast: eggs, onion, mushrooms, baby spinach and some Tabasco hot sauce, which, for this challenge, is Paleo Challenge friendly as long as I eat it in small amounts (salt and vinegar are technically not Paleo).

Lunch was a huge hit. There’s nothing better than feeding people and making them happy. I thoroughly enjoyed my non-BBQ pork with a side salad and some leftover mango salsa. It was my first time eating pork with a fruit and it was absolutely incredible; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner since it’s such a classic combo. I usually make pork with some kind of soy sauce or teriyaki marinade.

Two mandarins and some mixed nuts got me through the afternoon.

I had to stay at work unexpectedly late, but luckily I had a lot of leftovers with me because of our lunch meeting. For dinner I ate the same thing I had at lunch and added a leftover sweet potato I originally thought I’d be eating as a snack. Look, I finally remembered to take a photo!

Also just finished eating lot more pistachios than I probably should have.

I don’t regret Day 2 (Saturday night) at all, but I am looking forward to rocking the rest of the month.

P.S. I hate that my images get blurry when I stick them in the post at a large size. I guess I’ll have to save and upload the images at the max allowed size without linking to a larger version.


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