I am now a few days into my paleo challenge. It's been okay. Not amazing. I have such a sugar addiction, even with maple syrup and honey approved as paleo-friendly items I am CRAVING sugar. I have had a headache and really wanted to cry a couple of times. I am pushing through a mild bout of depression as well (NOT a course for everyone, PLEASE talk to your medical professional!!). And of course, sometimes being the boss at work, well, it sucks. It was an extra stressful week at work. Stress for me = a desire for whipped cream and you guessed it… sugar!! I have managed to resist, and have been doing a little research on The 21-Day Sugar Detox Program. Luckily I have all this paleo friendly canning I did last summer (canned peaches, applesauce, raspberry jam) to tie me over.
For myself, the best thing to do when I'm feeling down is to force myself out of the house. To RSVP yes, and make time commitments to my often much-neglected friends and family. So that's what I did, a few days into my paleo challenge I committed to a birthday party at a medieval restaurant. This place is great, and of all the places to eat, there were some options for me. I resisted the fresh artisan bread with whipped butter. I sipped mint herb tea and chatted with my table mates. I knew the birthday girl, but that was it. So dinner conversation was like uncovering a gem, I had found a spot with my girlfriends soon to be in-laws. Lovely people, I am so glad she found not only her fiancé but his amazing family too. (A little backstory, they met online, after I coaxed, and helped her create a profile. Okay… maybe bullied her into it, just a bit. But it was the catalyst to help them find each other. I am delighted she is happy, and am not even hinting they name their first child after me, due in a few months).
This particular restaurant is famous for its feasts. It is served in a huge skillet approx 3 feet across. You have frocks and crowns and silly hats to wear. There is real fruit on the table, heavy flatware, and metal plates. You can request the feast be served without utensils, which is messy, but fun. A huge stone fireplace takes up the center of the room and throws heat thru the dining area. There hasn't been a single time I have attended one of these feasts without feeling absolutely disgusting by the end of the night- until this time. I avoided the bread, had no beer or wine, and it nearly killed me but I resisted the spaetzle and the potato dumplings. The schnitzel was breaded and obviously out. And the deep-fried and sugar-coated apple rings with ice cream, well those were out too. (I did go home and made myself a baked apple, which is even better!)
I filled the heavy plate with roast duck, pork hock, smoked ribs, chicken, roast beef and pork, sauerkraut and braised cabbage. Was it 100% paleo? Probably not, but holy smokes, it was delicious! And it's not good for me to sit alone in my house for the next 30 days. I was feeling really quite accomplished, resisting the definite no's and making the better decisions. I CAN eat paleo, and still have a life. It's not an isolation sentence or quarantine. Eating grain free can be done by real people with lives!! Who knew?
Inspired to eat braised cabbage completely guilt free I came up with this version. I love it and eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sunday morning I had some fresh fruit and our paleo breakfast sausage with paleo braised cabbage. Great way to start the day!!
- 5 cups cabbage (one small head, diced or shredded)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 apple, cored and diced or grated
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- Dice bacon, and sauté until almost cooked.
- Add onions, apple and butter and continue to sauté.
- Add diced or shredded cabbage, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar.
- Sauté until most of the liquid is gone, stirring regularly.
- Add water and cover, making sure cabbage is soft enough, (4 min aprox, depends on how fine your cut is).
- Method: stove-top