Sunday, July 28, 2013

Paleo Chicken Salad and Other Musings On a Sunday Morning

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you will already know that I am self-proclaimed Chicken Salad Snob.  Before the big Paleo Lifestyle change in my diet, I had perfected a Chicken Salad recipe that was my pride and had become the favorite of several other people too.  

There is nothing more pleasing in life than a well crafted Chicken Salad.  

You can imagine my fear that I would have to give it up completely, because I had convinced myself that it would never be the same without my beloved Dukes or Hellmann's Mayonnaise.  

Unfortunately, the makers of Dukes and Hellmann's both utilize GMO and Non-Paleo ingredients in the preparation of their products.  The main offenders are Soybean Oil (will kill you), Oleo resin (plant based oils and resin extracted from Pine or Fir trees), and Calcium Di-sodium ETDA (which believe it or not, is used to dissolve Limescale).  Yeah, I don't want bathroom cleaner in my food.  

To resolve the situation, because there is no way I can live without a good Chicken Salad, I had to create a palatable version that was made with real, whole foods.  

True to my standards, I hit the proverbial nail on the head.  


First things first.  You have to get over your fear and make your own mayonnaise.  It's really not that hard.  In less than 5 minutes, I can have more than enough "Paleo" mayonnaise to make not only a huge bowl of this loveliness, but a few salad dressings or condiments for that bacon burger you have been craving.  

I am not going to go into "how" to make Paleo Mayo because it's that easy and there are already 14 gazillion recipes out there for it.  The only thing I will add is that when it says to drizzle the oil in SLOWLY, that you MUST do that.  You are making a suspended emulsion....unless you have an immersion blender, then disregard the slow drizzle, my shnizzle, and just add all the ingredients at one time and just go for it.  

Here is the link for the one I feel is the best.  I experiment with different oils.  Sometimes I use Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or I get really gangsta and use bacon grease.  I just love me some Nom Nom Paleo.  Her shit's on point.

Okay, so now your mayonnaise is chillin' in the fridge. Avoid eating it right off the spoon...although you totally could and it would be fine.       

Next, let's make Chicken Salad.  

Here's what you'll need:

~I used two HUGE chicken breasts that I had baked for about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  You can season it any way you want.  Then cool and rough chop.
~1 cup chopped celery.
~1 cup chopped onion.  (I used Red Onion for this batch)
~1 teaspoon minced garlic.
~Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste.  Not too much, not to little.
~1 cup Paleo Mayo whisked with 1/4 cup cool water.
***Sometimes I get adventurous and add in some chopped pepperoncini, green pepper, chopped bacon, diced grapes, chopped apples.

Mix up and chill in the fridge until you are ready to devour it.  Give all the flavors a chance to become friends.  It'll be more of a party for your mouth if you can do that.

It makes a perfect accompaniment for these baby girls, right down here.  I grew them in my garden.  I know, be jealous.

I grow a lot of our food.  It's like printing your own money.  

In fact, I need to get outside and harvest some goodies this morning.  

I wanted to add that I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Stacy and Matt from Paleo Parents yesterday at their book signing for "Beyond Bacon" at Whole Foods in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  It was an honor.  Their book is stunning, chock full of awesome recipes, and they dispel the myths revolving around the fact that most people believe that pork is bad for you.  It's not.  Get your own copy.  You will be so glad that you did.  It's not only great food porn, it's a classy and enjoyable read.

This is Home Girl and I'm off to enjoy my Sunday.  I hope you have a great day.  If you want to follow me on Facebook, please feel free to join me there.  

I have three month comparison pictures coming up on August 10th.  You don't want to miss that!

Stay Gangsta....

Home Girl

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How in The Heck Did I Get Here??

Paleo Lifestyle...Caveman Diet...Eating Clean...

Who am I and where did "Home Girl" go?

It's no secret that I am a "Foodie".   According to the Urban Dictionary (because you know that's the best source to find out what shit means), a "Foodie" is a person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob, only enjoying delicacies and/or food items difficult to obtain and/or expensive foods; though, that is a variety of foodie.

Or more simple put...a "Foodie" loves to eat.  

My Daddy was one before the phrase was even coined.  He gave me a deep love and appreciation of all things cuisine.  Unbeknownst to him, he also passed down to me a severe allergy or more rightly called an intolerance of one of the major components of our diet.  

Wheat Gluten.  

No, I do not have Celiac's Disease.  That is a whole different ball of wax, but unfortunately gluten intolerance can be just as destructive and equally debilitating.  (Read this shit, yo)

I have always been a thick Home Girl.  I had junk in the trunk and it was well packed.  I have struggled with my weight for what has seemed like forever.  Up and Down, Up and Down, Success and Failure, a friggin' roller coaster.  I thought this was the only way.  It was either Feast or Famine.

I blamed my weight on genetics, on a slow metabolism, on me not working out, on finances.

Because the USDA guidelines state that I should eat a low fat diet that includes 6-8 servings of grains a day, I tried to follow as closely as possible, but the weight would not stay off and with each sizable loss, I would quickly gain it all back and more.

Just like most Americans.

I ate crappy and my health just kept on deteriorating.  I could not explain it...or maybe it was the fact that I refused to understand what was really going on in my body.  My vehicle.  My car.

Realize this:  most Americans, scratch that,  MOST PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, would rather put high quality gasoline and oil into their cars and crap into their mouths.  How convoluted is that concept?

By the time I was 49, I was experiencing some serious health consequences.  I was having TIA stroke symptoms on a daily basis, I had numbness and pain on my left side, I could not walk for more than 10 steps without being breathless, I dealt with chronic joint pain and swelling...I was figgin' miserable and a part of me knew that death was knocking on my door.

Loudly the ATF on a drug dealers house.

I didn't have health insurance (like most everyone else) and now I see that as a blessing, because when faced with this decision whether to live or die, I had to quickly choose a different solution.

Home Girl pushing close to 300 Pounds before "Waking Up"

Call it an intervention from God or whatever, but two very special women (Mama and Miss A) spoke gently to me and told me there was something that could save my life.  They called it Paleo.  

They took me by the hand and walked me through changing my life.  I ditched the wheat, white sugar, and all other allergen food sources. I went cold turkey.  It hit it hard.  

I refused to let what I was putting into "my car" be the determining factor on the legacy I was leaving for myself and my children.  

I was determined to do everything I could to ensure I was around for my kids and future grandchildren.  

I have now been living Paleo for 11 weeks and my life has changed in so many ways.  Yes, the weight loss is dramatic, but it only proves that I should have been fueling myself with healthy choices all along.

I have gone from a size 24-26 to a 16-18 and am getting ready to move down yet another size.  My health problems are slowly resolving.  It will be a long road, but I finally feel that the GPS is reset and I know where I'm going.

There is nothing that can or will stop me from achieving my health goals.

Living Paleo has given me the gift of life again.

Am I still a Foodie?  Oh, most definitely, it's just that now I'm cooking with fresh, mostly organic, REAL food.  There's super high test fuel in my sports car.

I need it so I can race on the Monster Mile Track.

This is Home Girl and nothing can stop me...