Paleo Mayonnaise

Because of the fact that most mayonnaise is made from canola or soybean oil, most people who are doing Paleo think that they need to stay away from mayo from the rest of their life.

Not true

Making your own mayonnaise is not hard at all and takes about a grand total of 5 minutes.  It is a bit more expensive than a jar of Hellman’s though.

Here is a link to Sarah Fragoso’s blog Everyday Paleo.  She has a demo on how to make mayonnaise, because you can make mayo with any oil you want.

She recommends using light olive oil.  I don’t think I would.  I am one of those people who can’t stand the way extra-virgin olive oil mayo tastes.  It quite literally makes me want to barf, but going to light olive oil or “regular” olive oil, either.  From what I have seen, the process of making cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil these days is pretty much so efficient, that there isn’t much left for other pressings, so any “regular” olive oil isn’t merely a 2nd pressing, it is chemically extracted from the mash that is left, and that isn’t what you want.

For a few years, my regular cooking oil has been a mix recipe that I got from Nourishing Traditions.  It is called Mary’s Oil Mix — named for Mary Enig, the chemist who is the fat expert who waged wars on the corporations who were promoting bad fats under the name of guise of good fats.  The mix is simple.

1 part each extra virgin olive oil, melted coconut oil, and sesame oil.

When the three combine, you get the high heat protection of the sesame oil, the health benefits of the olive oil and the coconut oil — with mellowed flavors, and the other two oils keep the coconut oil liquid.

Just a note:  When I say “sesame oil,” I’m not talking about the toasted, dark, sesame oil that is used in Chinese cooking.  This is light in color.

I’ve found this mix gives a nice, more subtle flavor, and if it is still too much for you, just use the sesame oil.




How the Bulk Cooking Went

I got a late start…like I said, I’m NOT going to be a perfectionist about this.

Jeff took care of dinner, though I prepped it.  Salmon Paprika (new recipe) and sweet potatoes.  I think I like the way we normally prepare salmon better, with Emeril’s.

I baked my birthday cake.  It was a pretty good recipe from Elana’s Pantry, though I like her chocolate cupcake recipe better.

Then I got started on some of the bulk cooking.  In the oven at one time, I had 4 fryer chickens, 1 Boston Butt pork roast, and a sheet pan of cauliflower and garlic cloves.   I didn’t get to roasting any more vegetables.

After those were done, I let them cool a bit and then stripped the meet off the pork and the chickens and put them in freezer baggies — 1 cup servings for the chicken breasts, and 2 cup servings for every thing else.  The cauliflower and garlic just went into their own bags.  I figure I could separate out what I need.

The chicken carcasses went into my stock pot and cooked overnight. I cook my stock for almost 24 hours, generally, and then those went into quart sized  plastic containers and into the freezer.

I still have my soups to make, and my vegetables to roast.  I figure I can kick back and do that tomorrow.

Until I was in the midst of it, I really didn’t realize how little time this all takes.  Once I’m back into my home routine, it will be easy to take ten minutes to prep and then throw everything in the oven, then take a few minutes from homeschooling and have the kids help me bag everything, and chop vegetables.

Tonight, when I wanted to make the No-Potato Salad, the cauliflower and garlic were ready.  The cauliflower, leftover salmon, and chicken stock are ready for salmon chowder tomorrow.  And all because I gave this a little bit of time in on Monday evening.  When I can have this going on in the background for most of the day (I’m thinking Mondays will be best), this might really have promise.

While I am an amazing cook, if I say so myself, I am not a “concocter.”  I can tweak things, but I generally don’t make new things.  I certainly don’t experiment with baking (shudder).  Which is why I am VERY glad that there are people out there that do it for me, and then I can build off of their success.

My husband’s missed food is potato salad.  He loves to get a quart to go with whatever he grills.  When he hits his moment of weakness, he still does.

Tonight, I made this — Everyday Paleo’s No Potato Salad.  And I had a couple of variations.  I had roasted cauliflower and garlic on hand (thanks to the bulk cooking I did yesterday), and so I used the roasted cauliflower as opposed to pressure-cooked or steamed.  I mashed the garlic cloves and combined it with the mayonnaise, and it was amazing.

As far as oil….from what I’ve heard, if olive oil doesn’t say “virgin” or “extra virgin” in this day and age, it is from the later, chemical extractions, so is loaded with chemicals, so how I get rid of that olive flavor when its needed (because I HATE that flavor in mayo), is I make an oil mix that I got from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.  In fact, it’s called Mary’s Mix.  It is equal parts EVOO, coconut oil, and sesame oil.  The sesame oil is cold pressed and very heat resistant, the coconut oil, when mixed with these, stays liquid, and the two of them mellow out the olive oil.  I use this mix in most of my cooking and baking with no detriment.  They all three improve each other.


Bulk Cooking

Every once in a while, I come across programs for bulk cooking — buying a month’s worth of food, and cooking it all in one day and freezing it. Often, this is so much work that the recommendation is to do it with someone else, get the kids out of the house, kick the husband to the curb, and make sure to take that double dose of Zoloft or Tequila (not both, no matter how tempting it might be), and don’t forget to hire a maid to handle the aftermath.

I’ve never really given these programs much more than a passing glance. Often the recipes are full of more processed foods than I am comfortable with, especially with my dietary restrictions. Not to mention, I don’t really want to cook with someone else. I’m pretty elitist when I cook — and also kind of grumpy. And for some reason, I just don’t get around to eating dishes that I’ve cooked and frozen. And affording a months worth of food…..

Monday, I surprised my hubby by bringing into the house an “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine. He knows Rachael Ray hasn’t been one of my favorite chefs for a long time (just think she’s over-marketed, and her dishes on her t.v. show are never enough for a family of four, especially when one of those family members is a teenage boy). I don’t mock her or anything…at least not like I do the skinny Italian chef (How can I believe her food is good when she clearly doesn’t eat it?), or like the plastic Sandra Lee…now HER I mock with her kitchen decorations that change EVERY episode.

But I digress.

The reason why I brought the magazine home is because it had a different take than I’ve seen on making meals for a month. Rather than making many different entrees, instead, it calls for preparing the ingredients — Five different base ingredients that can be combined to make twenty different dishes. In the article, the building blocks were :

  • Pulled Pork — 2 shoulder roasts that are seasoned, roasted, shredded, and frozen in 1 cup portions
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Roasted Veggies — yep, roast Bell Peppers, onions, squash, garlic, etc. and then put in freezer bags to add to recipes later.
  • Pulled Chicken — same idea as the Pulled Pork.
  • Rice Pilaf — a large recipe of rice that also gets frozen and added to other recipes.

While I looked at a lot of the recipes offered (and the fact that I’m SUPPOSED to avoid tomatoes, peppers, and rice — at least I’m working on that), most of them wouldn’t fit my lifestyle, but I then looked at a lot of the recipes that I do make on a regular basis, and realized that I could really do something similar.

Roasting all of this stuff is not a bad way to go, because most of it can be cooked in the same oven, so actually, it saves some energy, too. I so love roasted vegetables, too!

These are my categories:

  • 4 Pulled Chickens — because I use chicken in a LOT of soups and stews, not to mention it would be nice to have it around for salads and such , too. Once the bones are cleaned of meat, they’ll be thrown into a stock pot to make chicken stock .
  • 1 Boston Butt Roast — Not sure how much I’ll need of this.
  • Roast Vegetables — onions, garlic, beets, and squash. Oh, and cauliflower. LOTS of cauliflower (we use a lot, and Meijer has a good sale going on)
  • Hamburger mix for meatloaf and meatballs.

My pumpkins are ripe in my garden, too…so I’ll be doing a lot of roasting the meat of those and putting them in 1 cup freezer bag portions, too.

I’m embarking on this today, but not whole hog, so to speak. Probably enough to get me through a week and a half to two weeks, I hope.

I still have a week of work left, so I hope this helps (and I will probably divide it up into two evenings because of this, too). I want to ease into it , because if this IS a good idea, I don’t want to kill myself over it so I don’t do it at all.

No, No, NO!

I really hate that I think I feel better. I REALLY hate that I think I feel better.

Its been a long time since I talked about it, but I have celiac disease. When I found out, I decided to go Paleo, since I really didn’t want to mess with gluten-free chemical experiments and cost, and because I just find it easier to do without starches than to tolerate substitutes. I know that some substitutes are pretty good, but I just don’t have the desire to learn how to do them.

Paleo went really well. My one cheat was Chipotle, because Robb Wolf said “if you have to cheat, have corn and/or rice.” I also would occasionally have Wendy’s chili when I needed something fast. I also ignored the part where he said “if you have an autoimmune disease, you ought to avoid all grains, as well as dairy and nightshades.” Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease, and I have tested positive at times for anti-thyroid antibodies. So that makes two. I’m pretty dang close to diabetes, as well, so probably not good to ignore…but I was having a hard enough time coping with the idea of no more wheat for the rest of my life. I really grieved what that meant culinarily as well as socially. It really is hard being the person who can’t eat a whole bunch of stuff.

When I started working, these became much more regular, so really there was no way I could call my diet “Paleo” anymore, just gluten-free. And I started feeling it. And my weight stood still for the last four month.

Three days ago, Dr. Mercola emailed an article talking about chitin-containing lectins. Lectins are the reason why most grains aren’t actually good for you…even sprouted grains. But these chitin-containing lectins are functionally identical to gluten. The body reacts the same way. No big deal…I don’t eat most grains. But the problem is — I do eat a ton of nightshades. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes (I know…I’m not supposed to eat those potatoes!!!).

When I was body typed years ago, I was told to avoid nightshades. But I love them. When I went Paleo, I was told to avoid them. I’ve heard from many other sources to avoid them also — and especially if I had joint pain, but I ignored it because they are my “go to” food. For some reason when I read it this time, it really hit home, but it also made me REALLY mad. So I made it a point to search the topic that wasn’t Mercola-based, and unfortunately, I’ve found a ton.

I’ve pretty much been nightshade-free for three days, and already feel better, and I’ve lost three pounds….maybe some of that weight is inflammation going down.

But I’m still mad. I mean “shaking my fist at fate” mad.

Here’s a non-Mercola article on the same subject:

I’m not posting this kind of stuff to guilt anybody…just to inform, because a lot of this stuff isn’t mainstream, and as the article says — maybe those who are taking glucosamine/condroitin and arthritis meds, etc. would be better served by eliminating grains and nightshades. And if you are better served for that… you have my complete empathy. It sucks.

Made It!

Back when I did Weight Watchers (and gained weight – one of those signs of insulin resistance that I didn’t quite recognize), before setting a final goal weight, they had a first goal of losing 10%  of body weight.

I started out at 245, so my goal was 25 pounds.  Today, I stepped on the scale, and it said 220.    So that’s 25 lbs. in three months.  The better part is how much I feel, physically.  Maybe its kind of like when I used to go walking with my son in a baby backpack, when I took it off, I practically felt like i was floating.  My muscles, straining under 245, find 220 a breeze, when 220 used to be a struggle.

However, I do think there is more muscle there than the last time I saw that weight, and that helps.

A vacation is coming up, so I don’t know how much I’ll be blogging, but I’m hoping to get more into the nuts and bolts of what I am doing and why it is good later.  And, it will be garden time!!!


I’m coming up on three months with this new lifestyle of ours, and in the last week, I’ve noticed some things that really surprise me:

1.  I’ve lost 22.4 lbs.  I really expected it to go like it did when I was on Atkins, where the weight just poured off, almost consistently several pounds a week.   It hasn’t done that, but then again, I was only on it for a short time because I quickly got pregnant with Maggie and went back to eating my normal way.

This time, there was a large loss at the very beginning, and then I stayed pretty constant for a while at 15 lbs. lost for about three weeks.  I just stayed patient, because what was holding it up was that monthly weight gain from PMS.  Once I got past that, I lost another five, only to hit the same thing.  But during my first cycle, I gained four lbs. during that time period and then lost nine when it was over to get to my twenty pound mark… this time, when I went through the PMS phase, I kept gaining and losing the same ONE pound.  So, hopefully that means I’m back on track.

2.  When I gave up wheat, I ovulated almost instantly.  The mood swings were brutal the first month.  The second month was hard to gauge because I was dealing with something I am pretty emotional about, anyway, but in reality, I think I’ve handled things better than I normally would’ve.  My skin, on the other hand is breaking out probably far worse than it ever has.  I hope its just detoxing.

3.   Now for the really good stuff.  I’ve lost twenty-two pounds, but my body is more different than that.  I am wearing a smaller clothing size than I did when I was this weight before, even in shirts, and since I don’t mind baggy shirts but felt the need to go down a size, that says something.

4.  I WANT to move.  I remember one of my doctors telling me one time that it was no shock that I had no energy, My pancreas was working on double overtime.  Not only was he right in that, but my pancreas was working so hard because my cells were resisting the sugars that were carrying the energy. They didn’t want it.  They were sick of sugar.

I am moving differently, as well.  My joints don’t hurt.  I’ll tuck my leg under me on the couch when I sit, like I did when I was younger, like I couldn’t until recently.  I’ll make movements that I wouldn’t make before, even at this weight.  I’m quicker.  I actually crave exercise.  And it isn’t because I started exercising.  I was being gentle with myself and focusing on the food issues first.  Having energy made me start.  My cells are getting energy through protein and good fats now, and my body is happy.

I went out sledding today with Jeff and Maggie.  You couldn’t have paid me to do that a month ago.

Insulin resistance is a disease of muscle wasting.  When the muscles are overwhelmed with glucose and cannot absorb any, they waste away.  No energy, no wanting to move, etc.  But even when I am not losing weight, I am convinced I am losing fat and that my muscles are rebuilding and doing better as they burn off some of that fat.

Even sex is better.  And it was dang good.

My body is different.  It has to be, because two nights ago, I bought two shirts in a 1X and a pair of jeans that are a size 18.  Even allotting for size differences between brands, I haven’t worn these sizes in years…even when I weighed less than I do now.

5.  It’s all starting to feel normal.  I’ve learned what I can eat and what I can’t.  I’ve learned what to do when I go out, and have learned to be gentle on myself there.  I will “cheat” and have a steak bowl at Chipotle with rice and beans.   I will have corn chips at a Mexican restaurant (and a margarita).  I do have chili at Wendys.  These are my go-to’s when I need them.  But other than that, I feel so good, I can’t imagine wanting to go back to eating the way I did.  Jeff can’t either.  It’s becoming a lifestyle.

I think the relative slowness with the scale is good, too.  I tend to go hard core with things and burn out.  Also, with weight loss, there are emotional issues that go along with it, and dropping a few pounds and then sitting there for a little while seems to help me deal with becoming comfortable with each little victory before moving on, and not getting so overwhelmed that I defeat myself.

I didn’t think I could be thankful for celiac disease.  That’s a surprise, too.   But it has made it so that any time I am kind of tempted, remembering what the reaction is like reminds me that even chocolate cola cake or fettuccine alfredo isn’t worth the week that will follow.

I had been worried about when it was time to change my sleep patterns and sleep in a darker room.  The light from the t.v. now bothers me.  I don’t want it.  It seems out of place.  Now to find some decent looking blackout curtains to take care of the lights from the Baptist church’s parking lot.

I’m excited.  I want to find what I’ll notice next.