The Paleo Diet has been quite the fad since the mid 70’s. The theory behind this diet is that all our health issues are the products of the switch from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle as practiced in the Paleolithic eras, which covered most of the last 2.6 million years, to the agriculture based Neolithic which took over beginning about 10,000 years ago. Obviously many dietary changes took place during the true Paleolithic eras. I assume that those who invented the Paleo Diet had in mind the diet of just before the beginning of agriculture.
Proponents of this diet would have us stop eating grains, most legumes, and all dairy products. The idea being that our bodies have not had time to adapt to such a radical dietary shift. They say we should eat plenty of meat, fruits and vegetables and some nuts, eggs etc.
The problem with these claims are many. They fail to take into consideration the fact that as opportunistic omnivores, our ancestors spread into a wide variety of ecologies, from Africa to Northern Europe and from the jungles of New Guinea to the steppes of Russia and Alaska. They ate basically whatever they could find, from roots to insects, leaves to animals. Their invention of culture, weapons, cooking etc. made them the most widely dispersed species ever. A position we still maintain, although the cockroaches are right behind.
It was believed by the founders of the Paleo Diet that the 10,000 years or so since the beginning of agriculture till the present was not enough time for our digestive tracts to come to terms with the increase in availability of carbohydrates that came with the domestication of grains. This is now known to be false. Studies have shown that our bodies digest the products of agriculture with few problems. They do have a lot of trouble with the modern steep decline in the amount of daily exercise we get, and the near universal presence of unhealthy snack foods.
Regardless of the scientific issues with the Paleo Diet, the fact remains that on the whole it is pretty healthy. It is fairly low in carbohydrates but can be high in saturated fats from red meat. The prohibition of dairy products may lead to a lack of calcium. It is interesting to look at the statistics on lactose intolerance by ethnicity. In places where cows, sheep and goats were domesticated and used early, there is not so much lactose intolerance. So if you are lactose intolerant, don’t use dairy. If you are not, count yourself lucky and eat what you like, in moderation. Which is of course the real key to the whole diet issue. By the time of the ancient Greeks there was already a proverb, “All things in moderation.” If more of us could stick by that advice, there would be better health all round.
Here are some “Paleo” recipes to get you started or let you explore. I’m not sure our Paleolithic ancestors would recognize anything about them, but they are nutritious.
Special Sales This Week
Fry’s—The Buy six or more, get $.50 off each item sale continues. Featured this week, Starkist Premium Tuna pouches, $1.49/each, Red Gold Tomatoes or American Beauty Pasta $.49/each. Friday and Saturday Only Digital Coupons, Kroger Boneless Chicken Breasts, frozen, $4.99/3 lb bag. Natural and Organic Digital Coupon Event. Artisan Bread baguette $1.25/each, Hippeas Puffs $2.49/bag
Safeway—Special Digital Coupon, $.19/each, large avocados, first 4. Clip or CLICK Coupons, Large Eggs, $.99/dz., Lucerne Cheese, chunk, shred slice, $1/67/each., Signature Select canned vegetables, beans or tomatoes, $.49/each
Sprouts—Wants you to Check the Tags. See special color coded shelf tags identifying items which are Keto, Paleo, Organic, Gluten Free or Plant Based. Don’t forget that every Wednesday is double ad day—get last week’s and this week’s bargains.
National Food Days this Week
Some suggestions for warm, healthy foods this chilly January week.
Slow Cooker Chili
Pan Broiled Steak
Sheet Pan Chicken Parts
Sides and Salads
Avocado Citrus Salad
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Steamed Cauliflower or Italian Squash
Roasted Butternut Squash
Meyer Lemon Bars
Homemade Fig Bars
Cheese and Fruit Plate
Hot Buttered Rum
Alton Brown’s Granola
Videos and Recipes
Slow Cooker Chili
Use ground beef, turkey or chicken, or a mixture of meats, maybe some sausage. Most butcher counters will grind a roast for you, ask for a coarse or chili grind.
The best tool for removing seeds and strings from any squash is a grapefruit spoon. If you don’t have one, look in your thrift stores. It is not necessary to remove the squash from the shells. Just serve one half per person, put in some butter, grated parmesan cheese or serve with a bowl of your favorite pasta sauce. Home made Basil Pesto sauce is wonderful.
Check for full recipe below the video.
Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
Another place to use Meyer Lemons
Avocado and Citrus Salad
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Might need to add a little cooking time and water at our altitude. Denver cooks said to add an extra 1/3-1/2 c water and cook 5-10 minutes longer.
Meyer Lemon Bars
Love those Meyer Lemons
Make your own fig cookies
Don’t forget to adjust temperatures for your altitude.
Rule of Thumb—reduce target temperature by 2º F for every 1000 ft above sea level.
O.K. you Cheese Lovers—It’s time for a Cheese Board Dessert
The custom of having cheese as an appetizer is very recent, and silly. Cheese is a high fat item, and has the effect of drastically reducing hunger. This is ok if you are having a cheese and alcohol tasting, followed by a light meal. But it used to be served after the meal, as a “savory” or part of dessert. So make up a plate of cheese, nuts, jam, dried fruit, chocolate and other calorie dense items, and serve it after the meal. Probably don't put too much meat on for a dessert board.
Try for contrast in choosing your cheeses and other items. Have a creamy soft brie, an extra sharp cheddar, and a smooth havarti or Swiss style gruyere. Add some fresh grapes, a few sliced dried pears, a couple of types of crackers, and some onion and garlic jam, and/or fruit jam. Serve some Sherry or Port, or maybe a Sauterne. Your guests will be Amazed.
On Sale This Week
Beef Roasts, boneless—$1.97/lb @Safeway, London Broil or Top Round. $BOGO @Sprouts, chuck, rump, London Broil. $3.99/lb @Fry’s, London Broil, bottom round.
Beef Ground—$2.97/lb @Safeway. $3.99/lb @Sprouts, all natural, choice. $3.99/lb @Fry’s, Simple Truth.
Beef Steaks—$BOG3Free @Safeway, Chuck tender fillet, $7.99/lb @Safewayy, T-Bone, New York, Ribeye. $4.97/lb, New York Strip.
Chicken—$.87/lb @Safeway, leg quarters or whole. $BOGet 2 Free @Fry’s, split breasts, drums, thighs.
Chicken, B/S breasts—$1.77/lb @Sprouts, $2.49/lb @Safeway.
Fish—$5.99/lb @Sprouts, wild caught Swordfish steaks. $7.99/lb @Fry’s, Fresh, wild caught cod.
Fruits and Vegetables
Berries—$.97/box @Fry’s, blueberries, $2/box Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.
Berries—$3.34/box @Safeway, Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
Berries—$2.98/18 oz box @Sprouts, blueberries, $2.50/box @Sprouts, blackberries or raspberries
Oranges—$.68/lb @Sprouts, navel. $.99/lb @ Safeway, Care Cara $2.99/3 lb bag @Fry’s, Heirloom navel.
Meyer Lemons—$.50/each @Sprouts, (O), Az Grown
Apples—$.88/lb @Sprouts, Honeycrisp.
Grapes—$2.98/lb @Sprouts, (O), red globe}
Avocados—$.19/each @Safeway, lg, Need Special Digital Coupon, first 4 only. $1.50/each @Sprouts, Jumbo
Tomatoes—$1.29/lb @Fry’s, on-the-vine. $1.99/box, @Safeway, grape
Greens—$2.50/bag @Fry’s, (O). $3/bag @Fry’s, Taylor Farms Chopped
Bell Peppers—$.99/each @Safeway
Cauliflower—$.99/lb @Safeway. $1.48/lb @Sprouts (O)
Broccoli—$.99/lb @Safeway. $1.48/lb @Sprouts (O)
Squash, summer—$.98/lb @Sprouts.
Squash, winter—$.88/lb @Sprouts, Spaghetti, Acorn, Butternut
Other Good Deals
Cereal—$1.67/box @Safeway, when you buy 3, General Mills, honey nut cheerios etc.
Lunch Meat—$3/each @Fry’s, Hillshire Farms
Dried Beans—35%off select varieties @Sprouts, bulk
Cheese—$2.49/each @Safeway, Sargento, sliced, shred, balance breaks, With Coupon
Frozen Pizza—$5.29/each @Fry’s, Freshetta or Newman’s Own, select varieties
Cheese—$3.99/lb @Sprouts, Hot Pepper Jack, Fresh Cut or Sliced