Grain-free, nut-free pizza with pepperoni, olives, roasted eggplant, roasted red bell pepper, baby arugula
4 oz. grated cheese of your choice (mozzarella is typically used, but I used sharp cheddar here. Mozzarella gives a mild flavor but I knew I wouldn’t be putting cheese on top of the pizza so I wanted a cheesier flavor.)
4 medium eggs
1 medium eggplant
1 red bell pepper
tomato sauce or prepared pizza sauce
black olives, sliced
salt, pepper, garlic
Slice eggplant and red bell pepper and place on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and broil until browned and soft, about 15 minutes (but check it and stir it frequently). Preheat oven to 400F. Combine grated cheese and eggs in a bowl and mix until you have something resembling a batter. If using tomato sauce, add to pot and add seasonings of choice and cook until reduced and thicker, about 15 minutes.
Pour egg and cheese mixture onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at 400F until browned, about 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven and cover with sauce and toppings. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, monitoring regularly so that the crust does not get too brown. Remove from oven and top with baby arugula.
I have finished week 1 of Chris Kresser‘s Your Personal Paleo Code, and the results have been surprising. The first surprising observation has been that my compliance has been pretty bad. This was surprising because I have done these things before and had a lot less trouble keeping to the rules, as strict as they may be. And they are strict. Last week I was able to stick with the plan for the most part, including my added components of daily meditation (I didn’t do it each day, but most) and staying away from digital stimulation, especially news. I did ok with that. But I also let some beer, whisky and junk food (two slices of pizza, a little popcorn, one piece of Halloween candy) sneak into the mix. Not too much, but at least three times.
So that brings me to the notion of psychology and mental strength and excessive attempts at will power and self control. Instead of deciding that last week was a failure because I cheated a few times, and then giving up and moving on to the next impossible challenge, I have decided to accept what I managed to accomplish (there is good news at the end of this) and keep working. Maybe this week I can do a little bit better. This is not an excuse to cheat but rather an admission that I am human and I am doing the best that I can and I’m not going to give up. I was probably 80-85% compliant last week, and as a long-term goal, what is just fine. Great even.
Now, I wouldn’t be so confident were it not for the next piece of information. Despite my guilt and feelings of failure, I lost 5 pounds (down to 185), one inch off my last girth measurement (39″) and my last blood pressure was controlled (134 over 86)! If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is!
You don’t have to be perfect. Just do the best that you can, and if you do so consistently, the rewards will come.
Everything pictured here grew or was prepared in rough accordance with the Whole 30 Challenge and Chris Kresser’s Your Personal Paleo Code. In general, that means no sugar or sweeteners, no grains, no industrial seed oils, no legumes and no dairy. Real food. The exceptions would be the croissants that snuck into one of the photos and the cheese on one of the dishes. Email me for recipes.
I am reading Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser. The program is divided into three parts: reset, rebuild, revive. The reset phase is a 30 day very strict paleo diet that is quite similar to the Whole 30 Challenge. This is 30 days of strict paleo where you are eliminating all sugar and sweeteners, all grains, all legumes, all dairy, seed oils, and anything artificial. In addition, you are limited to one cup of coffee or caffeinated tea per day and advised to limit some foods. The reset phase allows you to reclaim your health, after which you enter the rebuild phase, where you systematically re-introduce the previously forbidden foods to see if you can tolerate them. This is the personal part; all people are different and all have different reactions to food. This phase allows you to figure out your personal diet. In the revive phase you make final tweaks to your diet until it is perfect for you. This involves things like macronutrient counts and the like.
I have started the reset phase in earnest today, October 27, 2019. In the reset phase you are to eat liberally: meat and poultry, organ meats, bone broth, fish, eggs, starchy plants, non-starchy vegetables, fermented vegetables and fruits, traditional fats (coconut, ghee, palm oil, macadamia nut, lard, duck, tallow, olive), olives, avocados, coconuts, sea salt and spices. Eat in moderation: processed meat, whole fruit, nuts and seeds, green beans, sugar peas, snap peas, coffee and black tea, vinegar, restaurant food: Avoid completely: dairy, grans, legumes, sweeteners of any kind, chocolate, processed or refined foods, industrial seed and vegetable oils, sodas, fruit juice, alcohol, processed salts and seasonings.
I would like to describe my progress and what I’m doing here in the belief that it will help me succeed with the program, will help to support (or refute) its claims, and will help others who may be interested in trying something like this. I should note that I have successfully completed two Whole 30 challenges in the past, so this is not new to me and I know what to expect. I am not planning to write about each day, but I would like to write often enough so that subtle changes can be described and so there is enough detail to be helpful.
In general my health and my physical strength and endurance are good. But I take medication for blood pressure and asthma and I suffer from a range of digestive problems such as IBS, gas and bloating, and allergy symptoms that are not seasonal. In terms of supplements I take B12, D and fish oil. I would like to ultimately take no pills whatsoever. And, of course, I would like to eliminate the digestive symptoms.
Weight: 190 lbs
Midsection measurement: 40 inches (around the waist just above the navel. This is intended as a measurement of belly fat and bloat. My waist is about 32″ so this is a large difference.)
Blood pressure (medicated): 158/93 at 3:15 PM. <– this is pretty bad and higher than usual.
I am not planning to describe everything I eat here, but I would like to give a sense of it. So far today I have had one large cup of black coffee (I have been drinking two cups of strong black coffee a day for years, so this is a big difference and will be quite challenging), one cup of herbal tea, seltzer and water. For breakfast/lunch I had an omelette with 3 eggs, pork souvlaki meat, olives, artichoke hearts, bell pepper and tomato. It is shown below. I also had an apple and some mixed nuts. I think dinner will be lamb roast, cauliflower rice and a salad.
In addition to the dietary changes, I am planning to try for at least 15 minutes of meditation a day and to seriously curtail my digital entertainment. For that I plan to check my personal email and social media only twice a day and to stop deliberately reading and watching all news and information feeds. If some news gets in my head that’s fine and if something truly important happens, I will find out about it, so I am not worried about missing anything.
Oh, and here’s my other problem:
I will detail my exercise program in a separate set of posts.