I decided to grab my camera today and document what exactly it is that I eat, both to give some practical ideas about how to eat well for a mother and baby, and to show how interesting and varied paleo eating really can be. So, without further ado, here is my day of healthy eating:
My favorite breakfasts usually involve eggs. Today I had two scrambled eggs cooked in butter. On the side is ½ of an avocado, sliced, and about ¼ cup of homemade peach salsa, which I canned last summer using tomatoes from the garden, so I know that there are no pesticides, herbicides, artificial flavorings, or preservatives. The eggs are from healthy and happy free-range chickens that are free from hormones and antibiotics. I know the chickens by name. Seriously, they have names like Jezebel, Wyatt, Bambi, Mabel, and Harriet. They live on my parents’ farm. I sometimes feed them and collect their eggs, so I know that they are well-fed and in wonderful health, and that their eggs are as fresh as can be and chock-full of superior nutrition. If you are not as incredibly lucky as I am, having access to unlimited fresh free-range eggs, I would suggest that you visit some farmers’ markets, and make friends with the farmers in your area, so that you can find meat and eggs that come from healthy animals rather than CAFOs. This plate, by the way, added up to 350 calories, 16 grams of protein, 27 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber. (I generally do not keep very close track of my calories or macronutrient ratios, but I thought I would do it today as part of this post.)
My next mini-meal was what I have termed a braunschweiger boat. I sliced a cucumber lengthwise, hollowed out the seeds, and then stuffed it with braunschweiger. This is quite the interesting shift in taste for me. Before I got pregnant I could never stand the taste of liverwurst, but now it is actually rather appealing. Perhaps my body knows that it needs the extra protein, fats, and nutrients – and liver is a nutritional powerhouse. My boat added up to 180 calories, 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.
Another mini-meal had much more of an Asian flavor. I cooked up about three ounces of ground beef (from a steer raised by my family, with plenty of pasture, free from hormones and antibiotics), and then put it in a nori (seaweed) wrap with some radish kim chee (it is a spicy fermented food, a Korean version of sauerkraut). The nori provided me with the complete profile of sea minerals, and the kim chee provided some healthy probiotics. I just wrapped the whole creation up and ate it like a burrito. My wrap netted me 250 calories, 23 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and one gram of fiber.
Later in the day I heated up some of last night’s leftovers: meatballs with carrots in a creamy coconut tomato curry sauce, again made from beef raised on the family farm. This plate contains approximately 345 calories, 24 grams of protein, 25 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber. I had a sliced bell pepper on the side (35 calories, one gram of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and three grams of fiber) and a small banana for dessert (90 calories, one gram of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber).
My afternoon snack was 6 ounces of (unsweetened) Greek yogurt with 2/3 cup of blackberries (I bought them frozen as they are significantly cheaper, and then partially thawed them before mixing them into my yogurt). This dish got eaten before I remembered to take a picture (guess I was very hungry), so you will have to just use some imagination. The nutrition stats were: 220 calories, 19 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fiber.
For dinner I prepared a batch of my famous paleo bacon chili for Nick and myself. The recipe for this bowl of deliciousness will appear tomorrow. My serving contained approximately 485 calories, 36 grams of protein, 36 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and one gram of fiber. I did not have any chocolate tonight, but I did have a small apple for dessert, at 70 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
That brought my total for the day to 2065 calories, 126 grams of protein, 125 grams of fat, 109 grams of carbohydrates, of which 26 grams were fiber (83 grams net carbs). Fat accounted for 54% of my food intake, protein for 25%, and carbohydrates for 21%. I also managed to work in ten servings of fruits and vegetables. And of course I took my prenatal vitamins and drank lots and lots of water (I love my BPA-free Camelbak bottle!) and lots of herbal tea.
The majority of my calories today came from fat, a great portion of it probably saturated. Lest anybody imagine that this macronutrient balance be dangerous for my health or my child’s, I refer to two very interesting and enlightening articles over at Mark’s Daily Apple, his Definitive Guide to Fats, and another article on saturated fats. He does an excellent job explaining the science of why fats are actually healthy. And the resource I can recommend most highly is, of course, Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories, which blows apart all of the conventional wisdom that tells us that carbs are good and fats are bad.