Thursday, January 5, 2012

Some questions for my Paleo pals!

Friends, followers, and devoted fans! Please make sure you're sitting down for this one, because the Carb Queen is about to make a big announcement.

This whole crazy juice cleanse thing I've been doing? It actually has me thinking about eating healthier. I've (loosely) followed the Eating Clean plan for several years now, but this is an even bigger step.

I'm looking into the Paleo diet.

Yep. You read that correctly. Miss I-could-live-off-nothing-but-pasta-and-cheese has been researching coconut flour, almond meal, and actually contemplated buying seafood at the market yesterday. (Don't worry, guys! I'm not crazy enough to actually do it yet.)

I know the general gist. 6 - 8 oz. of lean protein with every meal, all the veggies you can eat (the leafier, the better), fruits are best in moderation initially. No starch and no gluten. Basically none of the carb-packed foods that I love. No more pasta. No more bread. No more potatoes.

The thought of that is a little scary. I love me some pasta. So much so that I have a pasta machine at home. My pantry is stocked with quinoa, couscous, barley, and whole-grain pastas. In my four-shelf pantry, two of them are devoted solely to grain products. That doesn't count the spill-over into the other two.

Anyway. My point is that while I'm making a more conscious effort to get the protein I know I should, I'm not totally thrilled about not having pasta or baked goods anymore. I've found a few paleo recipe blogs that use coconut flour and various nut meals for recipes and I'm more than willing to experiment, but I was just at our farmer's market yesterday (sorta like our local version of Whole Foods) and there was no coconut flour or almond meal to be found.

That's just not going to work for me.

So my questions!

  • Other than coconut flour and nut meals, are there other acceptable flour-substitutes that I can still use to bake with?
  • If I'm not able to come up with a suitable homemade alternative to pasta using nut flour, is there a reason I shouldn't use store-bought GF options? (Other than the "eat only natural stuff" mantra?) I've heard when you have to eat out, to ask for gluten, dairy, and soy-free meals. Since GF pasta is all of those, wouldn't it work?
  • If by some chance I can find cheese from grass-fed animals, why is that also a no-no?   

If there's something I'm missing, or reasonably inexpensive resources you would recommend reading, please let me know! There are a plethora of cookbooks out there so if there's one you find handy, please point it out.

And if anyone cares to share their story (I know I'm not the only carb addict out there!), I think it would help to know I'm not the only one struggling with the decision. This juice cleanse hasn't been too rough, because I know there's an end in sight. I only have one more day. With a lifestyle change, knowing that I'm eating a little more healthily than before is probably going to be poor consolation when I'm really craving some brie.

I really appreciate your feedback!

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