It can be downright hard to stay the Paleo course when there are about 478 temptations or non-Paleo people around you, especially when those very same people have little to no interest in this Paleo thing…especially when these are long-time college friends! I mean, are get-togethers with college friends–especially fraternity brothers—ever times of good influence?! I’m sure if we did enough digging (or not very much), I (Charles) could write an entire blog post on bad choices I’ve made in the past thanks in part to this group!
I joke (for the most part). This weekend was a prime example of staying the course on the road and on the golf course, and when tempted by lots of non-Paleo choices. Don’t get me wrong: this is a great group of friends, and I always look forward to this annual get-together golf outing, as I don’t get to see many of these guys all too often. It was awesome to have a few days together to catch up, talk about our kids, and of course whack that little white ball around on some grass.
Most of these guys are not remotely close to riding the Paleo train. Bread and beer seem to be the dietary staples for most, and I’ve long since thrown in the towel on trying to explain how that stuff is not doing their body any favors. Despite being surrounded by non-Paleo choices, I managed to kick my heels up a good bit while still staying away from grains, beans and dairy (though I do dabble in dairy from time-to-time).
One of my friends who is Paleo-curious lamented that on days like ours out on the golf course, there’s really no way to eat Paleo. He then observed as I ordered a double burger at the rinky dink clubhouse – no bun – and just asked for extra lettuce to serve as my bun. The server said she’d never seen someone order it that way, and my friend seemed to be a bit amused at this possibility for eating a burger. Sure, the meat wasn’t grassfed, but given the situation and the circumstance, it was the best choice available for me.
We often get asked about dealing with eating Paleo while on the road, and especially how to handle social situations and the pressures. I can honestly say that it’s quite refreshing to hang out with my beer drinking buddies and to never feel like I am missing out on any of the fun simply because of my choices. I remember last year I was in the middle of a Whole30 during this weekend. I drank a lot of club soda then, and did this time too. Now, it’s not to say that my friends don’t give me a hard time for drinking club soda…because they certainly do (though admittedly, I did indulge this year a bit with some hard ciders and NorCal margaritas). Yet I find that despite what those around me say, it’s how I choose to react to that, and my confidence in my choices that make things a ton easier. Oh, and it TOTALLY helps when you thump them all in the tournament and win the coveted trophy. I tried to tell them all it’s because of Paleo. Regardless, it has been nearly 5 years since I had won the tourney and was super pumped to be back on top!
The grand finale for my weekend was coming home Sunday afternoon to Scott, Julie and Phoenix. Julie was great about sending me some choice pictures of Scott over the weekend and we spoke or FaceTimed after each round. Coming home to Scott’s big smiles and crawling-around-self is nothing short of amazing. On top of caring for our boy all weekend, Julie also stayed busy in the kitchen, whipping up more pureed peaches for the baby (since peaches are the only food he seems interested in so far) and creating food for us. Since we do have a bunch of peaches on hand right now, Julie was inspired by an old edition of Cooking Light to create this dish:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, lard, or other cooking fat
- 4 bone-in or boneless pork chops
- 1/4 cup vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 medium peaches, cut into wedges
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and once hot, add in the oil.
- Place the pork chops into the hot pan, and cook 3-5 minutes per side (more if you have very thick chops) until an internal temperature of 145 degrees is reached. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
- Add the onions and thyme to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the peaches and chicken stock, stirring to scrape up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook to reduce the liquid slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve with "Not Cous Cous."
- Meanwhile, for the "Not Cous Cous:"
- Using the fine shred blade of your food processor, shred the potatoes. Remove the shred blade, and switch to your regular chopping blade. Pulse the shredded potatoes several times, or until the potatoes resemble a rice or cous cous-like texture
- Add the potatoes to a sauce pan, and add in the chicken stock. Cook over medium heat or until potatoes are slight softened, about 10 minutes (more if you prefer it cooked longer, less for more al dente).
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Finally, the Mayfield house is gearing up for yet another amazing Ancestral Health Symposium. Things are cranking up Thursday and we are simply thrilled that we’ll get to see some of our favorite peeps in the coming week.