I’ve had a crazy go of it health-wise the last 6 years. If you want to dive in to that, I wrote a detailed post about it here. I’ve tried numerous ways of eating and what I’m doing now has made a tremendous difference in my energy level, sleep, and digestion. If you haven’t dealt with debilitating health issues for which the general western medical community had no answers, I don’t expect you will understand how I make myself eat this way. I’ve been following the Auto-immune protocol outlined by Sarah Ballantyne in The Paleo Approach for almost 6 months and I plan to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I delight in the way I eat, even though it requires tedious preparation, a fair amount of planning, and budgeting priority. I eat an abundance of vegetables – I shoot for 10 servings/day – along with wild caught seafood, pastured meats, healthy fats, and fruit. Only recently I’ve been able to stomach (literally) the occasional gluten free cookie or cupcake.
We do our best to eat seasonally and locally. We try to stick to the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen guidelines for buying organic. I try to source pastured meat from farmers and find farmers’ markets wherever we go (we totally luck out when we’re with my parents – they raise the best grass fed beef on the planet). It’s not always practical or affordable to do this, but we do our best.
Travis and Kyle don’t follow the autoimmune protocol, or even full-on paleo. They both eat grains, albeit high quality, non-GMO ones. Travis typically eats steel cut oats, granola, or eggs, bacon, and spinach for breakfast. Kyle isn’t a huge fan of breakfast food, except for toast, so I’ve gotten him eating leftovers for breakfast, which is great! They both eat sandwiches for lunch several days/week and sometimes have rice with our otherwise autoimmune protocol friendly dinners. Travis is lactose intolerant, but we sometimes buy cheese for Kyle and let him get pizza or grilled cheese when we eat out.
Kyle eats just about anything and doesn’t give us too much flack about eating vegetables. We’re trying to give him an in-depth understanding of why we eat the way we do and what natural consequences of eating different foods are.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what I eat:
*Leftovers – this could include a serving of protein about the size of my palm, a small serving of fat (avocado, olives, coconut oil), 1 serving of carbohydrates (usually ½ cup of sweet potato), and at least 2 servings of vegetables. I aim for 75% of my plate to be covered in vegetables at every meal
*non workout day: a cup of homemade broth, a cup of green tea with a little honey and lemon, and a smoothie with ½ a frozen banana, about a half cup of blueberries, a spoonful of coconut oil, water, and fill the blender to the top with kale and spinach.
*workout/cycling/mountain biking/kayaking/paddle boarding day: everything listed about from the non-workout day list, but substitute the cup of broth with a can of sardines in olive oil. Yes, the sardines took some getting used to. I used to wrap them in bacon to make them tolerable, but now just don’t even care. I go straight for them, no heating or anything. They are a crazy good source of so many freaking nutrients. Eat them and get over it.
*Leftovers: serving of protein, at least 3 servings of veggies, serving of fat, and 2 servings of carbohydrates. I drink kombucha with lunch every day and eat fermented food like sauerkraut once or twice a day. My stomach can only recently handle fermented foods in small portions.
*This summer I’ve been making a giant salad with a can of wild caught salmon or tuna, throwing in a ton of veggies, making a quick dressing, and splitting it with Travis. A typical salad would include: a can of fish (like tuna or salmon), cucumber, jicama, radishes, carrots, a few tomatoes, avocado, and maybe strawberries or blueberries, and mixed greens. Parsley or cilantro are also great to add if you have them on hand. I make salad dressing with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, a touch of honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Snacks usually consist of some combination of the following: raw veggies, a piece of fruit, a package of seaweed, occasionally some chips (the kind with only 3 ingredients: potato or sweet potato, salt, and oil (preferably avocado), a date roll with shredded coconut, coconut chips, a cup of broth, leftover cooked vegetables, a slice of ham, or an Epic bar.
*I bet you already guessed: 1 serving of protein + a crap ton of veggies + 1 serving fat + 2-3 servings of carbohydrate. My system still can’t handle alcohol, which sucks, but whatever. I’m good so long as I’m continuing to get better. Since I can’t indulge in adult beverages, I love me some fizzy water!