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Blog Posts, Recipes

Paleo Challenge Day 3: Ode to Chorizo

Jan 3, 2012 – Day 3
Breakfast: mixed greens, omelet with avocado and salsa
Lunch: Thai red curry chicken with broccoli/cauliflower
Dinner: Thai red curry chicken with broccoli/cauliflower
Future baby chickens consumed: 5 (19 total)
Sweet potato body count: 0.
Inhaler puffs: 0!!! (3 so far this week)

Hail to you, chorizo. You are my new go-to reward meat. This centuries-old Spanish sausage is a spicy mixture of pork, pork fat, and spicy pimenton peppers, in a tasty pork casing. The possibilities are endless. Chorizo chili, chorizo meatloaf, chorizo burgers, spaghetti squash and chorizo balls. The plate above was my dinner on the 2nd, sliced chorizo with onions and Brussels sprouts. Heat the chorizo first with the onions, and some of the spicy pork fat will brown the sprouts. I bought my sprouts frozen, $1.79 for a 10oz bag, microwaved them for 2 minutes, then sliced them each in half. After putting the mixture on a plate, I deglazed the pan with a cup of red wine, letting it reduce (thicken) into a sauce. Oh my goodness. If you like spice, and just the right amount of spice to bring the flavor but not burn your mouth, make chorizo part of your regular Paleo rotation.

Instant results: As of this writing, it’s been about 72 hours since I’ve even thought about touching my inhaler or having the slightest sinus sniffle. I feel more energetic, I wake up refreshed, and my workouts have been better than I expected. This challenge has been a long time coming, and I’m going to take the time to appreciate and listen to how my body is responding to the simple changes I’m making this month.

The nightmare: Old habits die hard. Like Freddy Krueger, my food cravings decided to attack me where I was most apt to hear them: in my dreams. I’m not a good rememberer of dreams, but I was definitely sitting at a table, wolfing down a large bowl (like a punch bowl) of honey-roasted peanuts, washing it down with Mountain Dew. Robb Wolf stood in a corner with his arms folded, watching me and shaking his head in disapproval, like a father who just caught his son smoking. Then I woke up and realized it was my psyche rebelling against… something. All very strange, especially considering that I haven’t eaten a peanut in months, and haven’t chugged a can of soda in years.

Change is odd, but habits sustain themselves once they become habits. There’s a reason that it’s called comfort food. It helps to have as much support from friends, family, and loved ones as possible. If people rag on your weird fad diet, tell them it’s an experiment that you need to do for you, and that we owe ourselves the occasional day or week or (in this case) month to get out of our ruts and possibly make our health, our moods, or our relationships better.

On a completely different subject, tomorrow I experiment with tequila. The Nor-Cal margarita is about to get kicked up a notch.

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