52 Days of Paleo – Day 7

Baked Spaghetti - spaghetti squash, ground beef, tomato sauce, spinach, egg, spices.

What, Exactly, Can I Eat?

We went to see Avengers Endgame tonight. Man, that Thanos is a grade-A douchebag. Long movie. Nice to finally put a cap on that whole Avenger’s saga. But going to a movie raised a Paleo issue for me. I mean, what the hell can you eat at the movie theater on Paleo?

Look at that rack of candy. That’s not for me. How about that deliciously buttered popcorn? Nope. Nachos? Not yours. Pretzels? No! Hotdog? Absolutely not. Anything off the hot-food menu? Hell freaking no.

Ah, here we go. They have some roasted cashews. I’ll ignore the fact that they’re coated in caramelized sugar and pretend they are pure Paleo (and then just look them up later and feel guilty when I ‘discover’ that they’re not).

Speaking of looking closely at the ingredients, yesterday I was pulled into the rabbit hole of knowing where your food comes from. And it got me thinking about source today.

I am investing in high-quality food. I think. I’m preparing all my own food and being careful about the ingredients, but how careful am I? Can I be sure, when I shop, that I’m getting the cleanest possible ingredients?

Since I’m learning the basics of Paleo through Kenzie Swanhart’s book Paleo in 28, I did a little digging to see if she had any advice for me. Besides her pre-formatted shopping lists (which are super helpful by the way Kenzie, thank you), she had a section in the back that caught my eye, a table listing what she calls the clean fifteen and the dirty dozen.

The premise of the index is that not all produce and fruit are equally clean. We all grocery shop. If you pay attention to your food, you get that organic produce is better than non-organic produce? Organic produce meaning that the people who produce it took measures to ensure that there are no chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides used in production.

Kenzie writes about an organization called the Environmental Working Group that publishes this dirty dozen list. The dirty dozen are fruits and vegetables that, when grown using conventional, high-volume agricultural methods (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) hold onto some residue of the chemicals used to grow them.

Apples, bell peppers, celery, grapes, peaches, potatoes, etc. are all on the dirty dozen list. It doesn’t mean that you avoid these foods. It just means that you should stick to the organically-grown version of these foods to avoid chemical residue and pesticide contamination.

To add a layer of context, Kenzie includes a clean 15 in her book. These are fruits and vegetables that tolerate the conventional farming process, meaning they don’t carry forward the pesticides and chemicals used to optimize their growth. This list includes avocados, corn, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, pineapples, sweet potatoes, etc.

It’s kind of a relief to know that not everything I buy has to be the more expensive, fully organic version. Knowing the clean fifteen and the dirty dozen when I walk into a grocery store will keep my grocery bill down, and make sticking to the Paleo diet a lot easier.

Sleep quality: 94% Another long-ish lie in.

Breakfast: Coffee, black, sweetened with raw honey. Tropical green smoothie. Banana, mango, pineapple, spinach, coconut water. I over-made the recipe (read the ‘serves X’ information on the recipe before doubling it up thinking you’re gaming the recipe to get a little more food. I ended up with three glasses of smoothie. I had to give one away.

Lunch/Dinner (Linner?): Baked Spaghetti. Spaghetti squash, egg, ground beef, spinach, tomato sauce, basil, oregano. Took a while to make, but this is a dish that will save well and make a great dinner-with-leftovers-for-tomorrow’s-lunch dish.

Snacks: Dark chocolate squares. Honey-roasted cashews (at the movie theater).

Exercise: None today. Had every intention to ride this morning but when my friend baled (he got sick), I used that as an excuse to sleep in.

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