Tag Archives: protein

Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

I mean, what says fall more than pumpkin spice coffee? Recently, Food Babe blasted Starbucks for their fall favorite, the PSL (pumpkin spice latte), for its chemical-filled ingredients. I’ve never been a fan of the PSL, and a few years ago, I posted my own recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte right here on the blog.

Recently, I decided to give the recipe a face lift and added a protein punch, plus a sprinkle of my homemade pumpkin spice mix. If you’re not into protein powder (which is totally fine), I recommend my original recipe (here’s that link again) or you can just omit. I recommend this blend for athletes or people doing performance-oriented training as a good pre-workout snack or something light if you train semi-fasted. For more on my stance on whey protein, click here.

Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine the coffee, protein powder, pumpkin puree, and spices in a blender. Blend on high for 15 seconds until it's frothy.

Notes

*use the code SEPaleo on checkout for 10% off any SFH product

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Protein Pumpkin Spice Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite fall pumpkin creation?

Do I Need to Eat Post-Workout Meal?: Ask Steph

Do I Need to Eat a Post-Workout Meal? | stupideasypaleo.com

(Want to submit your own question to be featured on Ask Steph? Submit it via the contact form, and use the subject line “Ask Steph!”)

Adam C. writes:

Steph, I’m wondering if you can help me figure out if I need to eat a post-workout meal? I usually train 3 times a week at CrossFit, and I hike once a week. There’s so much confusing info out there!

Adam C.

Adam’s question is an incredibly common one, and something I hear a lot over at The Paleo Athlete Facebook page and after folks read The Paleo Athlete. Let’s break this down.

Nutrient Timing, Simplified

For the purpose of Adam’s question, I’m going to simplify this discussion. You can really go crazy with PubMed and Google Scholar, digging into the primary literature about pre-, intra-, and post-workout nutrition. My aim here is to provide a summary of the most salient points.

Eating protein and carbohydrate after training serves two main purposes. First, consuming protein means you’re supplying the necessary amino acids for repairing muscle (via a process called muscle protein synthesis). After muscle is worked in training, microtraumas must be repaired. Protein that is dense in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) is preferred, and that looks like meat, seafood, eggs and for some people, whey protein. (Click here to read my stance on whey.) For a complete list of BCAA-rich proteins that are compatible with a Paleo approach, click here.

Second, eating carbohydrate in an insulin-sensitive state helps replenish your main glycogen (stored glucose) tank: muscle. A smaller amount of glycogen is also stored in the liver but is not the primary source tapped into when you train hard. Consuming a carbohydrate that is rich in glucose after training is important, especially when said training is intense and / or long. What does that type of carbohydrate look like? Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes (click here to read my stance on white potatoes), plantains and yuca provide the most nutrient bang for the carbohydrate buck. For a complete list of carbohydrates that are compatible with a Paleo approach, click here.

It’s worth mentioning here that post-workout meals are best when they don’t contain fat (or contain very little). Why? Fat causes the stomach to empty slower which is counter to the point of the post-workout refuel. Save the fat for your three square meals a day.

How soon should you eat protein and carbs after your workout is over? That’ll be covered in the next section.

The Issue of Frequency

So, we’ve established that consuming protein and carbohydrate post-workout is important for recovery. But how soon after training do you need to eat it? Is there ever a time when you don’t need to eat post-workout?

When trying to help individuals determine if eating a post-workout meal is right for them, I always come back to this one factor: frequency. How often are you training and more critically, how much time do you have between training sessions?

Let’s compare two hypotheticals.

Adam trains 3 times a week (MWF) at CrossFit and hikes once a week, typically on Sunday. In Adam’s case, he has a full day to recover and refuel between each training session. Even though his intensity is high on MWF, he has time to replenish with regular meals. His Sunday hike, while it goes for a couple hours, is low on the intensity scale. Unless Adam is trying to aggressively gain mass, it’s unlikely that he will suffer from lack of a post-workout meal.

Contrast that to Lauren who trains 6 times a week (Tu-Sun). She’s a competitive cyclist who includes long rides on the weekends and interval training during the week. Also, two days a week she strength trains then goes for a ride, including intervals. On Fridays, she trains in the afternoon after work, and Saturday morning is a long ride with her club team. She takes Mondays off. Lauren is training far more frequently than Adam. She’s working out on back to back days, doing some double sessions, and including intensity in her training. Someone like Lauren would be wise to eat a post-workout meal not only from a caloric standpoint, but also to provide the substrate for recovery. Specifically, her Friday night post-workout refuel is really important because she’s got less than 12 hours between sessions.

It’s worth mentioning that Adam, while he trains, is not really interested in being a competitive athlete. Yes, he wants to improve his lifts and his benchmark workouts, but CrossFit for him is fun and a way to stay active. He’s not really driven by performance. Lauren, on the other hand, is training for some large national-level races and has specific performance goals. It’s an important distinction to make, because, as a performance-driven athlete, Lauren really needs to pay attention to her post-workout nutrition, sleep and recovery practices more than Adam.

To summarize, the more frequently you train (especially if those sessions include intensity and / or are back to back), the more important it is to eat a post-workout meal. And, when you’re training the next day, it’s generally best to eat a post-workout meal.

When and What to Eat Post-Workout?

If eating a post-workout meal (because you’re training frequently and performance is a priority), eat as soon as possible once training is over. If the workout was particularly intense and you’re drooling and sweating all over yourself, let your body relax a bit and get closer to a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state before trying to shove some food in your mouth. For most folks, 15-30 minutes after the workout ends is a good window, though some sources will say 15-60 minutes.

I don’t think it’s worth arguing about 30 minutes, but I will caution you against the following: You’re training like Lauren and waiting a few hours to eat anything. Remember, her schedule includes a high frequency of training. Getting nutrients in as soon as possible is her best bet.

What to eat is relatively simple: something with protein and carbohydrate. The options here depend a LOT on your lifestyle, time demands, food tolerances and personal preferences. Some people like leftover meat and sweet potatoes. Some people lean toward protein shakes with added carbohydrate for convenience. (Remember, supplements are not nutritionally superior to real food.) If you are trying to lean out a bit, I recommend avoiding liquid foods like protein shakes and sticking to solid foods.

The best way to find what works for you is to test it out and make some notes in your training log about what you ate, when you ate it, and what your recovery and performance are like. Click here for a list of protein and here for a list of carbs to get started. Shameless plug: My ebook The Paleo Athlete goes into a lot more detail about how much to eat (and the theory behind all this), and my upcoming cookbook has 100 recipes specifically for performance-minded folks (and it’s on early bird sale pricing from Amazon and Barnes and Noble right now).

How much to eat varies a lot and depends largely on things like body size and activity level. Click here to see some fueling tables, but please know that you’ll need to test things out. There’s no way I can possibly give specific recommendations for as wide and varied a readership as I have because I don’t know the details of your training and life. My best advice is to start with a modest amount of protein and carbs and track your recovery and performance data. Write down how much you ate (roughly, don’t be a crazy person carrying around a food scale) and when. Write down how you felt in training, if you felt recovered, etc. If you notice that over time you’re not performing well, it may be time to bump up your post-workout protein and / or carbohydrate.

For example, I might eat a chicken breast and half a sweet potato about 30 minutes after I train. If I do this for a couple weeks and notice that I feel really sluggish, sore and generally not recovered, I might bump it to a whole sweet potato. Then, I’ll stick to that for a couple weeks and note any changes.

Hopefully this has given you the tools to evaluate whether or not a post-workout meal is necessary for you.

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Do I Need to Eat a Post-Workout Meal? | stupideasypaleo.com

What do you usually eat post-workout? Leave your answer in the comments below.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Give a hearty welcome to my guest blogger, Cassy from Fed & Fit. Cassy is a quadruple threat: She has mad kitchen skills, is an ace behind the camera, gets her sweat on at CrossFit and is one of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. On her blog Fed & Fit, Cassy brings approachable yet flavor-packed recipes with her signature step-wise photography that always leaves me drooling on my keyboard. I’m super excited to introduce you to her today! Make sure to make these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers and go follow her on social media…you won’t be disappointed. Take it away, Cassy!

Oh my word…I’m on Stupid Easy Paleo! I just adore Steph, and you know what? I adore you, too. I adore you because you’re here, you’re a part of the Real Food movement, and you probably have a thing for crispy chicken fingers. All reasons we can be great friends.

Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and I go way back. Once upon a time, I was a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and I LIVED off of buffalo chicken fingers from a lovely little dining establishment called Wings ‘n More. While my health was rapidly declining, I was rapidly falling in love with comfort foods. Since going Paleo about 4 years ago, I gave up those delicious little strips of perfectly spicy, salty, gooey, but still miraculously crunchy chicken wonders. I gave them up plus the fries and ranch dressing that went with them.

Like a message was sent to me from above, I woke up one morning with the conviction a Paleo version MUST exist in this world. It needs to happen for you, for me, and for all those 20-something college students who think the gluten-coated, MSG-dusted, filler-fed restaurant chicken is their only option.

This Paleo-friendly crispy buffalo chicken finger is made possible by my good friend, the pork rind. Sometimes called chicharrones, sometimes called cracklin’s, pork skins are a crunchy, light, fluffy chip made by frying pork skin in it’s own rendered fat. They make for an occasional crunchy treat or can substitute as breading!

In an effort to create that reminiscent thick buffalo breading, I crafted a hybrid between my famous Paleo buffalo sauce and an egg wash.

Keep scrolling for my step-by-step photo instructions, tips and tricks.

I also recommend you check out my Paleo-friendly ranch dressing! Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and ranch dressing are a match made in heaven. Just saying.

Our recipe starts with about one pound of (ideally, pastured) chicken strips.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Next up, the buffalo egg wash! Crack two eggs into a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then the juice of one lemon.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

2 teaspoons of onion powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

And then 2 teaspoons of paprika.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now you get to choose your level of spice! For HOT add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, add 1 teaspoon for medium, or add ½ teaspoon for mild. I opted for medium.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lastly, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Got all your ingredients loaded up?

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Whisk until well combined and set aside while we focus on our crunchy breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

The most important thing to remember when you’re buying pork skins is to read the label. You want to make sure the ingredients only read, “pork and salt.” Avoid bags with anything else listed.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Measure out about 5 cups of pork skins into a gallon-sized plastic bag.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Smash ‘em up! You’re also welcome to pulse the pork rinds in a food processor for a few minutes but A) I like to avoid washing more dishes than necessary and B) think smashing things is fun and therapeutic.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Once they’re mostly broken up, pour them in a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure your oven is set to 400°F (200°C) and grab all your components!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Dip each chicken strip in the buffalo sauce.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure it’s well coated.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then lay it in the breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Pull it out when the crunchy pork goodness has it all covered up.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Ta-da!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

I recommend you plate with some crunchy vegetables and a side of Paleo-friendly ranch dressing.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Enjoy!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Serves: 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes     Bake Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Directions for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Whisk the eggs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Dip each chicken strip into the buffalo egg wash then lay in the pork rind breading, coating both sides.
  4. Place breaded strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Follow Cassy on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

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Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Cassy? Leave them in the comments below.

Gelatin: Not for Post-Workout Recovery

Gelatin: Not for Post-Workout Recovery | stupideasypaleo.com

Gelatin is not a good protein choice for post-workout recovery.

Now, let me note, gelatin is great for some things (click here to read), but I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately: bloggers recommending gelatin as a source of post-workout protein. This is not only misguided, it’s just straight up wrong. Yes, gelatin has amino acids, but when you look closely, there are some reasons it can’t substitute as a proper protein source for post-workout recovery.

What’s the Issue?

Gelatin is a type of protein obtained from animal connective tissue and is rich in collagen. You know how when you cook a chicken and refrigerate it in the pan and there are jiggly meat juices at the bottom? That’s because of gelatin.

It’s got lots of two amino acids—protein building blocks—called proline and glycine. Keep those two names in mind for a moment. These amino acids are considered non-essential which means our bodies can manufacture their own supply. Adding gelatin to your diet—be it through bone broth or gelatin supplements—can certainly have benefit to the digestive system and to your joints (click here to read more), but it’s relatively useless at building muscle tissue because it’s so low in branched chain amino acids.

And that is a problem.

Building Muscle is the Name of the Game

When you train, you incur microscopic damage to muscle tissue, and the goal of protein intake in your post-workout nutrition (and frankly, the rest of your diet) is to provide substrate to begin the rebuilding it. If you want to be fancy, this process is called muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

Here’s the rub: The high proline and glycine content found in gelatin are not helpful for MPS.

Rather, a special subcategory of amino acids called branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the ones most important to MPS. Leucine, valine and isoleucine are the three BCAAs—so termed because of their non-linear structure, and they’re found in most abundance in animal protein sources. One other key: The BCAAs are essential which means they can’t be directly manufactured by the body, unlike proline and glycine.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 4.55.00 PM

Putting It All Together

To maximize muscle repair and growth—important processes for all athletes regardless of sport—adequate intake of nutrient-dense dietary protein from animal sources provides the best bank of the amino acids needed for these mechanisms.

Yes, you can get protein from plants but it’s far less dense and you’d have to eat far more food volume to get enough. Not to mention, plant sources of protein lack B vitamins and other critical nutrients that are readily available in animal sources.

Gelatin, while it is rich in amino acids, does not contain the ones needed to build and repair muscle, and athletes need to make wise choices in the post-workout window; eating gelatin instead of meat, eggs, seafood or even a supplement such as whey protein is not one of them.

Get my free PDF of source of dense protein sources for athletes.

To read more about the importance of protein for athletic performance and how much to eat, check out my ebook, The Paleo Athlete.

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Gelatin: Not for Post-Workout Recovery | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the box below!

Paleo Zucchini Frittata Guest Post

Paleo Zucchini Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Zucchini Frittata is one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts, perfect for busy folks and athletes. You can make up a batch ahead of time, slice it when it cools and take it with you for post-workout or just along for the ride to work.

I created this recipe specifically for Breaking Muscle, so head on over there to check out the ingredients and get one of these beauties baking in your oven today!

Click here for the recipe >> Paleo Zucchini Frittata!

Paleo Chicken Piccata

Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome my guest blogger Ashley from Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine to the blog. Ashley’s pretty special to me for two reasons: 1) She was my science student more than a dozen years ago and 2) she taught me what a blog was. True story! I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ashley transform into a bright, sharp-witted young woman and a passionate food blogger. She’s been exploring gluten-free / Paleo foods more recently, and though that aspect of her blog is developing, I knew I had to introduce her to you. In this post, Ashley’s got a super yummy Paleo Chicken Piccata recipe. Take it away, Ashley!

Before age 25, I just didn’t care about what I ate. Anything and everything, with a few bouts of meat-eater-guilt that resulted in short term vegetarianism (dating two vegans in a row didn’t help that), and a lot of bouts of “the drunchies” aka drunken munchies. As long as it was delicious, I ate it.

Little did I know, the “full” feeling you feel after a meal shouldn’t actually hurt. Bloat, tightness, pain, it was all because I just ate too much, right? Whatever, my waist stayed slim and my eating habits stayed…terrible.

Then I turned 25 and, as I like to say, the Butt Fairy paid me a visit. Suddenly, none of my pants fit me anymore (even my “that time of the month” pants—yikes!) and for the first time in my life I realized that every action has a reaction, and every double bacon cheeseburger has to GO somewhere. I also noticed the telltale signs of a gluten allergy and lactose intolerance, and though my first introduction to paleo was from a jerk coworker who scoffed at my sandwich lunch and bragged about his new diet that was “totally going to get him RIPPED”—I was a bit more intrigued when Steph saw my Facebook plea for gluten / dairy free recipes and suggested I try out Paleo.

Honestly, my first true experiments in Paleo were simply a way to lose weight. And, even more honestly, I did not lose weight. However, I noticed that after a meal comprised mostly of meat and veggies, I felt happily full, without the pain. After a week devoid of wheat and starchy carbs I felt more awake, less moody, and my head felt more clear. It was an eye opening experience in a lot of ways, and has influenced my cooking ever since.

I’m a food blogger and a food lover. I know that I’m never going to totally give up that cheeseburger, but the “clean” feeling I get from clean eating is hard to pass up. These days, I go by the 75 : 25 principle: during the week, I eat as paleo as I can, and on the weekends I cheat a bit. However, I still try to balance the 25. If I know I’m going out for drinks with friends on Saturday night, I’ll try to pass up the plate of nachos at lunch and go for a more paleo option on Saturday afternoon. If you look at my blog, from the past year it, too follows the 75 : 25, with most of my recipes being Paleo, nearly-Paleo, or at the very least gluten-free, with a few extras thrown in.

My favorite thing to do is find a recipe that is nearly Paleo, and tweak it just a little. This way, I don’t feel like I’m eating an impostor, and I still get the flavors and textures I’ve always loved. Chicken Piccata was my favorite dish when I worked at an Italian restaurant, and I think I like this version even better! Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Piccata

  • 4 chicken cutlets or two breasts butterflied and pounded thin
  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • ~5 Tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or your oil of choice (coconut leaves a bit of a taste I am not fond of, but some advise against cooking with olive oil in high heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • ½ cup (120 mL) chicken stock
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine (use chicken stock if you don’t cook with wine)
  • 3 lemons, two juiced & one sliced
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

 Directions for Paleo Chicken Piccata

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the the butter / ghee and 2 Tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt* and pepper. Dip into almond flour and cover well.**
  3. Two at a time, cook the chicken in the skillet until browned on each side and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thin you sliced them.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, covered with foil or put in the oven on 200°F (100°C) to keep warm. Add a bit more oil to the skillet and scrape browned bits well to deglaze the pan. Or, if you’re me and you want a nice, clear sauce, scoop out any toasty almond bits that were left behind.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  6. Pour in wine, chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and let liquid reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
  7. Add the chicken to the pan and let it warm back up or, if chicken is to your liking, simply spoon sauce over the chicken on a plate. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper. Serve with veggies***.

Ashley’s notes: *I used vanilla salt that I received as a gift and it tasted lovely. Experiment with flavored salts here if you desire. **For a thicker, crispier crust, dip your chicken in egg before coating in almond flour. ***Pictured is broccoli tossed with a bit of truffle oil.

Connect with Ashley and Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine on her blogFacebook pageTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

Scotch eggs…part curious oddity, part absolutely tantalizing mash up of burger and egg. My scotch egg inspiration is none other than Mel from The Clothes Make the Girl. You may know her as the fantabulous creator of cookbook Well Fed 2. Her Scotch Eggs recipe in Well Fed (the original) were nothing short of mind-blowing, and I’ve loved them ever since.

This is one of the 30 recipes featured in my upcoming ebook, The Paleo Athlete, coming in January! Click here to check out a preview chapter.

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s a Scotch egg? Take seasoned ground meat, envelope a perfectly boiled egg inside and you get the protein-packed snack you see here. Traditionally, Scotch eggs are breaded (yuck…gluten!) so all we do is leave that part off. Easy peasy. There are as many conceivable combinations for seasonings and meat as you can imagine, but I was looking for a way to use my Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix with cinnamon, ginger and other warm spices. My mind wandered from pork to breakfast to breakfast sausage (and I remembered Popular Paleo made a breakfast-y Scotch egg recipe) and out popped these (ha…no pun intended). Another plus? They’re great as a pre-workout snack!

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

Makes: 6 Scotch eggs

Ingredients for Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs 

  • 6 medium eggs
  • 1 pound (500 grams) lean ground pork
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade gingerbread spice mix (click for recipe)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs

  1. Boil 6 eggs. To prevent the yolks from getting grey, I cover the eggs with water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat off. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the hot water and cover with cold water for a few minutes. Peel and set aside. (You can boil the eggs ahead of time to save this step). Don’t use very fresh eggs…they’ll be harder to peel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, gingerbread spice mix, salt, pepper and honey (optional). Mix until combined but don’t over mix…that’ll make the meat tough. Now it’s time to assemble the scotch eggs.
  4. For each scotch egg: Fill a 1/3 cup measure with the seasoned ground pork and turn the lump into your hand. Flatten the pork into a wide circle (like you’re making a burger). Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Put the egg in the center. Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. Carefully fold the meat circle up, gradually flattening as you go, until the egg is shrouded in meaty goodness. Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com
  7. Make sure there are no cracks and that the meaty suit of armor is uniform. Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com
  8. Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Eat hot or cold.

Change It Up

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you ever tried Scotch eggs? Do you have a favorite flavor combo?

Paleo Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs | stupideasypaleo.com

Cheese: Why You Can’t Quit It

cheese big Whether it’s bubbling hot on pizza, ooey gooey on top of a nice juicy burger and swimming in creamy dreamy heaven with macaroni, humans love cheese. And nothing causes as much uproar as when folks find out cheese isn’t part of a Paleo diet.

“No sugar? Okay, I know that’s not good for me anyway.”

“No wheat? Bread will be kind of tough to give up, but I’ll find a way.”

“No cheese? Oh, hellllllllllll no! What?! I looooooooove cheese.” Complete with neck snap and finger wave.

If you’re nodding at the screen right now, you’re not alone. Why? Cheese is addictive. I don’t mean addictive in the colloquial sense like how you think you can’t live without CrossFit or how you can’t stop watching old Sex and the City reruns. No, this is something different. Ask anyone who eats Paleo which food they miss the most…a majority will say cheese. I polled my Facebook fans with the same question several months back and cheese was the top reply, hands down. Not booze. Not sugar. Not bread. Cheese.

Cheese – and the compounds in it – alters brain chemistry because it contains compounds called casomorphins (that’s an awful lot of C’s). Said another way, cheese casomorphins cause an opioid, drug-like effect on your brain. Let’s investigate.

When milk is made to curdle, the liquid component (whey) is separated from the solid component (curds). Those curds are, in large part, composed of proteins like casein which are then pressed into the form we know as cheese. In other words, cheese is concentrated casein. That’ll play into things later.

milk = whey + curds

curds = proteins

The casein proteins make up about 80% of the protein fraction in cow’s milk and can take four different forms. When casein reaches the small intestine, it’s broken into smaller fragments (known as peptides) called beta-casomorphins. As the name suggests, beta-casomorphin has a morphine-like, opioid effect on the brain once it goes into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier. And because cheese is so much more concentrated in proteins than milk, it suggests why giving up milk is like, “Meh, okay,” while giving up cheese is fraught with protest. Let’s be clear…cheese isn’t a drug but the effects it has on the brain are pretty compelling coupled with how much humans seem to adore it. Incidentally, casomorphins also causes histamine release, explaining why some people have skin (or other) reactions to eating cheese or dairy in general.

Why are there morphine-like compounds in milk? The prevailing theory is that it functions to forge the bond between mother and offspring – yes, even humans – during nursing though it’s typically found in highest concentration in colostrum (new milk) versus mature milk.

To summarize:

  • Cheese is a concentrated source of casein.
  • Casein breaks down into casomorphins in the gut.
  • Casomorphins have opioid and histamine responses in the body.
  • This opioid effect seems to explain why people cite cheese as one of those foods they just can’t give up when going Paleo.

What does this all mean? As always, if you’re new to Paleo, be sure to do a strict 30 days and systematically reintroduce dairy, grains and legumes (if you want to). Unless you remove these potentially problematic foods and push the reset button, you’re unlikely to have a clear answer about whether they affect you negatively or not. A program like Whole30 or what’s outlined in “The Paleo Solution” can get you on track.

I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong for your body. Trust me, I’m not hating on cheese because I used to love it (but I don’t miss what it does to me) so no hate mail, please. If cheese doesn’t bother your system, it’s up to you whether or not you include it in your Paleo. Now you know why it’s so enticing, the potential downsides, and why cheese isn’t part of the original Paleo diet…it’s not because people want to spoil all your ooey-gooey cheesy fun. Promise.

Did you find it hard to give up eating cheese when you started Paleo? Do you still eat it?

Edam cheese on the wooden table

References:

http://www.livestocktrail.illinois.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=249

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3005882

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17666771

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1374738

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17869380

British Journal of Nutrition (2000), 84, Suppl. 1, S27-S31.

 

Kickin’ BBQ Shredded Chicken

I had the distinct honor of writing a guest post for the one and only, incredibly creative, OG of Paleo food blogs, Michelle T. of Nom Nom Paleo. Her site’s has been a favorite of mine since my early days of Paleo, and she’s been a huge inspiration regarding clean and tasty eats.

Kickin' BBQ Shredded Chicken Guest Post

 If you’ve never checked out her site, now’s the time! You can find my recipe for Kickin’ BBQ Shredded Chicken there – and trust me when I say it’s an easy one that can be made ahead to fit your busy schedule and utilizes my favorite kitchen secret weapon…wink wink.

Click here for the recipe >> Kickin’ BBQ Shredded Chicken!

Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp

Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com Crunchy paleo coconut shrimp made even more mouth-watering with lime and chili. Serve with lime wedges for another extra punch of flavor. Some heat from a dipping sauce like Chipotle Mayo would make it even better! Use any size shrimp you like.

Ingredients for Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp 

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • Zest of 3 limes
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coconut oil

Directions for Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp

  1. Clean, shell and devein the shrimp (if needed). Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the shredded coconut, coconut flour, lime zest and chili powder. Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com
  3. Dip the shrimp in the beaten egg.
  4. Coat the shrimp well on all sides with the coconut mixture.  Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt some coconut oil until very hot (but not smoking).  Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. Fry the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side without overcrowding the pan. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
  7. Sprinkle the shrimp with a pinch of sea salt and eat while hot. Squeeze lime juice over the top for more lime flavor.

Pre- and Post-Workout Fueling Summary for Athletes

Pre Post Workout Venn 2.0 More on this to come soon, but here is a simple diagram to help you remember general fueling recommendations for pre- and post-workout nutrition.

In short, for a pre-workout meal, stick to protein and fat while the post-workout window – ideally within 15-30 min of finishing your training – should focus on protein and carbs. Both have protein in common. If you’re into performance, adequate protein is a must.

References: Robb Wolf, Whole9