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Meat Shackles?

April 28, 2010

I love the attention that I’ve been receiving concerning my diet.  Not because I like attention (though attention’s nice) but because it means that I’m not just talking into the great void that is the blogosphere.  One of the biggest questions that I get, next to “How do I do it?”, is “Don’t you feel limited by your diet?”.

I think not.

Sure I miss pasta, cake, the occasional sandwich (like grilled cheese), and the flour needed to make a good rue.  But it’s bad for you.  Saying “I don’t think I could live without a good slice of bread in the morning, it just tastes too good” is just like a drug addict saying “I don’t think I could live without an armful of dope in the morning, it just tastes too good”.  Now, I do feel limited by the junk that I can buy in Norway on a student’s budget.  But meat doesn’t bore me.  As a self-professed carnivore – have been since as long as I liked food – to be asked whether a meat-oriented diet is boring is just ridiculous.

Let em start by listing every single food I buy at the grocery store, barring extreme sales of other meats.  There aren’t many of them.

  • Protein:
    • Chicken drumsticks
    • Eggs
    • Pork chops
    • Pre-cooked frozen shrimp
    • Whole sea trout
    • Smoked pork shanks
    • Pollock fillets
    • Ribbe (but that’s been all eaten now, with no chance of another sale)
  • Veg:
    • Carrots
    • Cabbage
    • Rutabaga (sometimes, and sparingly)
    • Frozen broccoli
    • Frozen spinach
    • Frozen brussel sprouts
    • Cauliflower
    • Onions
    • Garlic
  • Fruit:
    • Apples
    • Oranges
    • Frozen blackberries
    • Melon
    • Bananas
  • Nuts and seeds:
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Almonds

Note that the meat that I’ve listed aren’t the animal, with the option of many different cuts.  It’s chicken drumsticks only, pork chops only – and the same brand every time I shop.  Thank you, oh Norwegian shops and your communist food-line feel.  The same goes for vegetables.  Frozen is cheaper, with the exception of the root vegetables.

But how can I eat just that?  Wait … “just that”??

Here’s a scenario.  Let’s limit our protein to just the chicken – drumsticks and eggs.  And only apples, bananas, and frozen blackberries were available that week.  The veg is fair game.  How on earth am I going to eat for the week?  It may be a stretch, and I’d hate chicken for a while afterwards, but it can be done even in the face of such limitations.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Handful of almonds, an apple
  • Lunch:  Carmelized onion scrambled eggs, carrot stick
  • Dinner:  Mustard baked chicken with oil’n’vinegar cabbage and carrot slaw.  Handful of blackberries for dessert

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Handful of almonds, an apple
  • Lunch:  Spinach frittata
  • Dinner:  Coconut chicken curry with carrots, cabbage, and spinach.

Day 3

  • Intermittent fast until dinner:  Cajun pan-fried chicken with garlic-ed brussel sprouts.  Butter carmelized banana for dessert.

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Handful of almonds, a banana
  • Lunch:  Leftover baked chicken and veg
  • Dinner:  Pan-braised chicken in spicy onion dripping served with garlic-mashed rutabaga and sauteed broccoli

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Handful of almonds, an apple
  • Lunch:  Leftover spinach frittata
  • Dinner:  Chicken soup – onions, cabbage, carrots, rutabaga.  Banana for dessert

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Handful of almonds and blackberries
  • Lunch:  Leftover chicken curry
  • Dinner:  Asian night – de-boned drumsticks sauteed with garlic, onions, ginger, broccoli, cabbage, and carrots

Day 7

  • Intermittent fast until dinner: Mediterranean chicken stew chicken with a garlic, onion, tomato sauce served with steamed cauliflower.  Apples sauteed in butter and cinnamon for dessert.

Do you feel bored or hungry?  That, my dear readers, was a week of pure chicken and it looked good.  Expand that menu by the hundreds of different cuts of meat and seasonal vegetables available to someone who isn’t poor in Norway.  Much better, right?  The key takeaways:

  1. Make liberal use of a spice cabinet and a pantry with a few ethnic flavours – coconut cream, olive oil, vinegar, canned tomatoes, etc.  A variety of spices are the … spice of life.  Yeah, that sounds right.
  2. Change your cooking technique everyday.  Pan-fry, bake, steam, braise, sear, stew, crock pot, pan-roast (and the list goes on) your way out of cooking doldrums.
  3. Make more than you can eat, eat the leftovers for lunch when you don’t have the energy to cook.

So, no, eating a paleo diet isn’t boring.

Vi sees i morgen.

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