Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Empress and a Paleo-esque Approach to Food

Yesterday morning I drew the Empress from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot just prior to leaving the house. It's always a pleasure to see her, and I felt her quietly asking the question: How are you taking care of yourself?

The answer of late is: not as well as I might! I haven't been sleeping as well as I would like, and for quite a while now I've been contemplating a change in food patterns - I just hadn't really made an effort to implement anything. I don't eat poorly by any means, but I am sure I consume more sugar than I probably should, and I often don't have a proper meal until dinner time on weekdays because I don't take the time to prepare a nutritious breakfast or lunch for myself. I'm busy, but that's not really an excuse. I hadn't found the right mindset.
I've heard so much about the Paleo style of eating over the past few years, where grains, dairy, legumes, and starch-heavy foods are eliminated in favor of a diet high in animal proteins, nuts/seeds, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats (such as olive/avocado/coconut oils). It's true that protein helps curb hunger and cravings (as well as helping the body's metabolism and energy levels), and high levels of carbs do lead to weight gain and energy spikes/crashes. So yesterday I decided to investigate the Paleo diet in more depth, and ended up printing out a long list of recommended and discouraged foods to pore over. Turns out we already eat quite a lot of the foods on the list, so adopting a Paleo-style diet wouldn't be a drastic change, in most respects. But we do consume a lot of carbs and dairy! Rather than assume a full Paleo diet, I wanted to let these nutritional concepts influence and guide our way of eating. I won't eliminate all grains from the house, but if we have rice or pasta as a part of our dinner, I will simply choose not to eat it, or I'll only take a tiny portion in favor of larger servings of vegetables and proteins. We can also shift to brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, etc, which offer so much more in terms of vitamins and minerals. I won't get rid of dairy altogether, but I can reduce the quantity of cheese I eat, for example. So while it won't be a true Paleo diet, it will be "Paleo-esque"! Ultimately it's about being more mindful about food and nutrition.
Roasted vegetables and lamb
Last night I spent some time cutting up broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onion, and red bell pepper. I added them to a glass baking pan with avocado oil, salt, and a little black pepper, and let them roast for a while. Instead of rice or regular potatoes, we had this veggie hash as the primary component of our dinner, along with lamb. It was delicious, filling, and satisfying, and I felt "light" afterwards. Today I carved out space in my morning routine to prepare a turkey and avocado sandwich with a very small amount of a good cheddar cheese. I washed strawberries and put them in a plastic Tupperware, and packaged up sliced apples in a sandwich bag. This sounds pretty standard as far as lunches go, but it was a pretty big deal for me. So here is to embracing Empress-energy, and taking better care of my body!


  1. I can relate to not eating very varied and healthy. I've just lost interest in cooking after being the main chef of this household for so long. Maybe one day this will change for the better again; who knows..
    Paleo-esque or Paleolivian??

    1. Ha! I like that...Paleolivian!!! Thanks for naming my new eating endeavor! :) Yeah, I understand what you mean. My oldest kid is 17 and in the past year she's started to cook dinner quite a bit since she's home before we are. It's nice, but also I started to lose my own impulse to cook because it was just so nice not to have to be the main chef anymore!

  2. It must have felt good to eat that sandwich knowing it was packed not only with nutrients but also, and perhaps more importantly, intention. We've been eating this way on and off for about a decade now though dairy remained. I have to be careful about cutting too many foods out as my weight suffers so full-fat dairy stayed. You might be interested in some of the work of the 'Nourishing Traditions' movement though they can be rather messianic in their approach. I take what I need and compost the rest lol.

  3. Oh Empress. I have been so mean to my body lately. I ate vegan for a while (a year) but now I'm looking at adopting some kind of "paleolivian" style of eating too. I never quite got the vegan thing right. Maybe this will be better for me.