Paleo Survival Strategies

For those of you out there that are not aware, Mark and I have been living “Paleo-style” for almost 2 years now.  Translated, this simply means we eat lots of veggies, fruit, meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs, seafood, nuts and seeds, dairy(again, organic, grass-fed, cow or goat), fermented foods (esp. sauerkraut) and high quality fats/oils ( esp. virgin coconut oil and olive oil).  That pretty well sums up the diet….no sugar, grains or processed foods(a limited amount of legumes).   Personally, with my love of food, including growing it, it has been an exciting learning experience.  I have discovered that there are many people out there enjoying the benefits of  this way of healthy eating (for me, I certainly don’t miss 30 years of annoying eczema which has completely cleared up) so there are plenty of supportive and informative web sites(send me an e-mail if you are interested).  Studying and researching the science behind the gut microbiome has become a passion ( and the skin and mouth microbiomes, too).   Food is our fuel and our medicine…the basis for an active lifestyle!

Making sauerkraut with my red cabbage...48 quarts!!!!
Making sauerkraut with my red cabbage…48 quarts!!!!

Naturally, I am curious as to how we will survive in Europe with all those tempting crispy croissants, crusty baguettes and deep dark rye bread.  To be honest, I think I will have to fall back on the 80/20 rule.  That is, if I can eat 80% Paleo (as above) I won’t sweat the 20%.  Basically, I will follow what my gut tells me!  And I do know from our previous trips, that there are plenty of fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs, fabulous cheeses and a variety of yummy OLIVES!  All available at local outdoor markets on, at least, a weekly basis.

The other key factor in this equation, is the fact that for most of our trip we will be renting self contained apartments or houses for anywhere from a few days to a week or longer.  We did this when we went to France  2 years ago and discovered it was a great way to experience the culture and the communities and the culinary delights.  In a farmhouse in the Midi Pyrennees, the bakery truck came by every second morning at 8 am, with fresh baked croissants and baguettes! (Here we go with the 20% rule).  All the neighbors would gather around and chat and I got to practice my French! Ha!  The produce in the markets was incredible.  The olive stalls were endless.  I even bought  ‘un lapin’ in the butcher store and made a delicious “cassoulet”.  Over 7 weeks, we only ate in restaurants a handful of times.

Here we are celebrating Mark's Birthday with a " Raclette Party" in a lovely house near the Dordogne River.
Here we are celebrating Mark’s Birthday with a ” Raclette Party” in a lovely house near the Dordogne River.

So I will keep you posted on all things edible….oh yes, I shouldn’t forget about one of our staples (which, strictly speaking is NOT Paleo) PEANUT BUTTER ( ie, the pure unadulterated Adams kind).  Apparently is available in Europe according to some bloggers but of varying quality?  I would also be quite happy with almond butter, but not sure of its availability.

Well, time to get back to my “to do” list for the day…only 4 more “sleeps”!!!!!!!


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