Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month - day 29 - yes, Virginia, I can eat blueberries, avocados and eggs on the same day

I should have taken a photo of my garden basket today, as it would have looked better than the finest farm-to-table article in any fancy wine magazine.  I had blueberries.  I had strawberries.  I had potatoes.  I had fave beans.  I had beets.  I had baby onions.  I had artichokes.  And of course, the usual greens, fennel and lemon balm.

I am harvesting and drying the lemon balm in earnest, especially after a trading partner asked for another container.  She said she would even go in on a dehydrator, because the lemon balm was so important and helpful for her family.  I probably gave her about $100 worth of dried lemon balm this season, that is, if she had to buy it on the open market as packaged tea.

Today's breakfast was the usual, along with grapefruit from trader Eta.  While commenting to my family that I might even run out of lemons, I ran into a lemon bonanza from traders Humberto and Delta, and so have plenty.  Delta also gave me several giant grapefruit, so there won't be any vitamin C deficiencies here for awhile.

Lunch was cold chicken burgers with pickles and feta cheese from trader Felix, beet and lemon juice, nuts from trader Dean, kumquats, blueberries, strawberries and the other half of the avocado.  I also finished the last of the olives and the last tangerine from trader Humberto.

Dinner was chicken, fava, potato, leeks, greens, beets, artichokes and nuts from trader Dean.  Oh, and kumquats.  I also finished the last of the buffalo, with pickles.  Dinner took a long time, because so many of the food selections for the day needed the pressure cooker or extra preparation.

A vegetarian friend send me a link to the "archaeological scientist" with vegetarian leanings.  I must say, she should stick to something she knows, maybe like science or or maybe archaeology, because she sure is effin' clueless about real food.  Her talk is also a great illustration of how there is no good review process for choosing TEDx lecturers.

She made some crack about the stupid paleos who think they are OK with eating a meal of eggs, blueberries and avocado, when EVERYBODY KNOWS that blueberries all come from Maine and there aren't any avocados there.  Hey paleo peeps, I would like you to make this post viral.  I DID eat real-time eggs, avocados and blueberries on the same day.  It is not hard to do.  Millions of people in SoCal can do this all through February to May, that is, if they can source that many local eggs.  This is the time of the year where backyard farmers are selling their excess eggs, their blueberry plants are bursting at the seams, and the avocados are ready.  Yep, fully available for one in ten people in the US in February, and more and more, as the blueberry harvest gets in full swing all the way up the coast.

Maybe she was spending so much time in the scientific lab studying ancient animal scat to notice that avocados do not ripen until they are removed from the tree, resulting in an extremely long season, and the ability of long-distance transport.  Even by food, the avocados could reach over 100 miles away from the orchard no problem.

No food purchases today, leaving me with $18.42 in the kitty.

Paleo on $100 a month - day 28 - Going Nuts!

Now that I am winding down with this challenge, I am trying to use up what I have instead of buying more items.  This means that breakfast was the usual eggs, with kale from trader Gamma, and some baby buffalo burgers for breakfast, with tea from trader Olga and kumquats from trader Rebekah.

Lunch was a handful of nuts from trader Epsilon.  MMM, the good kind I don't even let myself buy when I am not on a challenge.  It looked like most people at the meeting were following a low fat diet, and no one else was enjoying them, so I grabbed another handful.  Trader Eta also brought in a bowl of avocadoes.  I also had an afternoon snack of buffalo burgers with lettuce, feta cheese from trader Felix and yogurt with lemon.

I planned to buy some sale pork, but it was max pack only, so I would have had to save it for Wednesday, or dip even further into the kitty.  As it turned out, the pork was SO CHEAP that it turned out to be only pennies more than the chicken.  I found a container of boneless skinless chicken breasts (not really my fave food now that I am a fat-burner) and marinated them in lemon and olive juice.  The lemons were from trader Delta.

Dinner was a bowl of chicken cooked in butter, greens, fennel, leek, hot pepper and zucchini, served with beet and lemon juice.  I'll have to say, I outdid myself.  The dish was beautiful so I made more of it for later.  I also ate half the avocado and saved the rest for Monday.  (Please stay tuned to THAT story!!!!)

I had another nut snack in the evening, courtesy of trader Dean.

I bought the chicken for $4.12, leaving me with $15.21 in the kitty.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 27 - kumquats!

Hey, day 27 I just coasted, eating the usual breakfast of eggs, greens, beet juice, tea from trader Olga, and a couple of buffalo burger bites.

I snacked on blueberries in the garden, and then on purslane and strawberries.  I could have enjoyed more.  Then I ran into trading partner Rebekah, who offered  me a huge bowl of kumquats.  We exchanged recipes, and then I ate a few of them without the benefit of any type of recipe.

I continued to snack on them all day long.  I put a couple in the yogurt I had for lunch, a few slices in the buffalo lettuce wraps, even a bit of the juice in my beet drink.

Oh, I love getting seasonal gifts, and now, to work!  Those buggers are small and there are lots of seeds.

No purchases today, so there is 16.12 in the kitty.  Dinner out (entertainment budget, dear readers, and yes, we were entertained!)

Paleo on $100 a month day 26 - Buffalo Stampede

I lucked out at the supermarket today!  I found a few packages of veal for a very low price, and started digging down for what ever else was down in the pile.

Yes!  A pound of buffalo for only $2.99.  When I got it home I realized it was beyond the sell-by date, and probably was frozen even though the package said it was fresh.  Well, I am not going to turn this violation into the meat authorities, because when I opened the package, it smelled fine.

Of course, I made more dehydrated-zucchini-and-olive-brine hamburgers, and ate them with sauteed leeks, kale from trader Gamma, feta cheese from trader Felix, wrapped in lettuce.  This time I made a ton of mini-burgers so that I could eat a whole plate of them.  And, that's just what I did.

I also ate the rest of the scallops, with mushroom, leek and fennel, along with eggs, for breakfast, with the usual fresh juices.  For lunch, I enjoyed more blueberries, but the strawberries were all eaten by pests, so no strawberries today.  Dinner included more of the mini-burgers, yogurt with lemon and a pinch of sugar from one of my traders, fresh roasted butternut squash, two artichokes, a few olives and a couple of pea pods from trader Beta.

Today's purchases:  buffalo for $2.99, yogurt for $1.00, eggs for $1.00, leaving me with 12.91 in the kitty.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 25 - Splurge!!!!!!

This week, I have been pretty happy with my food choices, always managing to hit a sale or two at just the right time.   Due to all the frugality, I was able to save up enough in the kitty in case something interesting came along.

Yes, yes it did!  I found a huge package of scallops and mushrooms, and I also picked up another package of Kerry Gold butter.  (Sorry to break it to you, Steve Cooksey, but I got the same slab for half the price that you did!!!)

Breakfast:  eggs, turkey sausage, fennel, tea from trader Olga.

Lunch:  coffee and turkey sausage from trader Ingrid, blueberries, beet juice, vegetable broth, tangerines from trader Humberto, scallops cooked with mushrooms and butter, then more butter.

Dinner:  Leeks, fennel, feta cheese from trader Felix, greens cooked in beef fat, scallops and mushrooms cooked in butter, then even more butter.

Evening snack:  almonds from trader Dean.  (And how about that full moon?)

There is only $14.69 left in the kitty, but there are only 5 more days left on the challenge and I still have beef in the freezer.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month days 23 and 24 - Deep seasonality

This week marks the beginning of the blueberry season, and also the first fava beans.  Some of the lettuces are bolting, but the romaine is still going strong.

For Tuesday's breakfast, I ate chicken and eggs with greens, coffee from trader Van and a tangerine from trader Humberto.

I found a really great deal on chicken sausage and so I cooked it with greens, and also had bone broth, herb tea, black tea from trader Olga, strawberries, blueberries and beet juice.

For dinner, I had beef, sauteed leeks and fennel and more chicken sausage served with lettuce, olives, fava beans and feta cheese from trader Felix and "chocolate" milk made with cocoa from trader Felix.

For Wednesday's breakfast, I had chicken sausage with eggs and greens and tea from trader Olga.

For lunch, I opened up a pouch of hot-sauce-laden sardines, which were much more appetizing when heated slightly.  I also had some coffee and an apple-fritter-thing from trader Gabrielle.

For dinner, I had another chicken sausage cooked with purple cabbage and celery, tangerine and lemon from trader Humberto, some lamb and veggie broth, feta cheese, olives, butter, tea, beet juice, lettuce and purslane.  That wasn't really lots of protein for the day, so I finished up with a chocolat-y shake made with hemp powder from trader Jerry, cocoa from trader Felix and cream.

The chicken sausage was two dollars and the sardines were 70 cents.  I still have $27.16 in the kitty.

Paleo on $100 a month day 22 - We're just a bunch of porkers

For breakfast I enjoyed the usual greens, eggs and this time chicken cooked with fennel and leek, and a tangerine from trader Humberto.

For lunch I enjoyed some coffee and chicken salad from trader Ingrid, beet juice, chocolate mint tea, strawberries and blueberries fresh from the garden and some nasturtium blossoms.

For dinner, I ate the whole package of pork sausage, cooked with leek, fennel and peas from trader Beta, "chocolate" milk made with chocolate mint tea, heavy cream and sugar from trader Felix.

I spent 99 cents on the pork, and so have $23.44 in the kitty.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 21 - The 3 C's

Hmmm, not so paleo today, trouble with the 3-C's again.  I went to a potluck.  The "menu" was full of Carbs, Corn and Canola.

I am going to have to re-think my potluck strategy.  We used to have attendees who thought someone would starve, so they brought several dishes, enough for each person for each dish.  Those folks don't attend regularly anymore, and the place seems to be taken over by vegetarians and carbaholics.  Some of the meat-eaters started bringing their own dishes, from fast food places, but they weren't sharing. (I wouldn't want to eat crusted, fried meat anyway.)  One thing we can all agree on:  putting aspartame in milk without a label is BAD.

I brought a cucumber salad made with the persian cucumbers I purchased, red shiso, olives and rice vinegar from trader Felix.  Nobody ate much of it.

We also had berries and whipped cream, cornbread, lentils, salad and a custard dessert made with rosewater.  Carbfest for sure.

When I got in, I tore into the leftover braunschweiger and cheese, and finished most of it.

The rest of the day was just leftovers and grazing from the garden, no new purchases today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month days 19 and 20 - lamb burgers

I finally made it to the store to get a bit more variety.  I bought more eggs (great sale!), some cheese, braunschweiger, cream and Persian cucumbers.  I toyed with the idea of buying brie, but ended up with a cheaper cheddar block.  I also found some cooked "fresh" mussels on quicksale, but the package was HUGE and I didn't want to risk it.  I haven't ever eaten them in this form before. 

I have $18.01 in the kitty.  OK, time for the macadamia nuts?  Not so fast.  The butter is running out.

For my meals, I finished up the bean soup and sugar-free Jello from trader Humberto, had lunchtime coffee from traders Ingrid and Jerry, enjoyed morning tea from trader Olga, oranges from trader Noel, tangerines and lemons from trader Humberto.  I made lots of tea, mostly lemon balm, mint medley and chocolate mint.  Of course, nasturtium blossoms and purslane for lunch.

The bone broth turned out really well, so I have that for breakfast too.

The huge treat for both days was the lamb.  I made burgers with lots of dehydrated zucchini and pepper, olive brine, and a ton of greek oregano.  I ate them wrapped with cheese in large leaves of lettuce.  Then I couldn't stop eating them!

I ran into a trading partner on my shopping trip, and that is always a nice treat.  She yelled, "Hey!  Thanks for the fennel, it was wonderful."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 18 - What would Grok do?

Well...when the going gets tough, Grok would head for the freezer, and tucked behind all the animal skins and bear grease he had frozen before he got caught up on all the tanning he'd been planning to do after Christmas, there's some other stuff.  Stuff that will free him from the boredom and monotony that an early-spring, deeply seasonal diet affords.

I dug past my own sale liver, ham bone, multiple ice packs, bits of beef fat and rendered this and that, searching for something else.  Yes!  I found variety somewhere under there, and even after removing a few packages of food-put-by, I still had trouble getting the door closed.  I found some jerusalem artichoke puree and some applesauce, made with apples from trader Rebekah.  And I savored each bite of the applesauce, knowing that trader Rebekah cut down the apple trees and this will be the last year to enjoy them.

I cleaned the fridge yesterday.  Now that it is mostly empty, every little crumb or spill is really bothersome.  That's when I found the forgotten cabbage.  It was my own, and small, but put aside when I received a gift cabbage that needed to be rushed into the ER immediately.  It is still in great shape after over a month in the fridge and should make everyone wonder how old that stuff is in the store that we buy as "fresh".

Today's menu

Breakfast:  coffee from trader Gabrielle, the last of the pork, fennel, tangerine and green tea from trader Humberto.

Lunch:  bean soup, beef, sugar-free jello from trader Humberto, purslane, nasturtium blossoms, parsley, turkey with onion, fennel, pepper and jerusalem artichoke, iced herb tea, iced green tea, beet and lemon juice. 

Dinner:  artichoke from trader Alpha, beef, apple sauce, purple cabbage, leek, olives, bone broth with lettuce and celery

I bought some more ground lamb for $2.99 and I have 18.27 left in the kitty.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month - day 17 - citrus!

Today was the same as most weekdays.  I ate some leftover meat for breakfast, enjoyed some coffee from trader Gabrielle, and stayed away from the free donuts.

For lunch, I had the usual purslane and nasturtium blossoms, with bean soup, herb tea and some wonderful tangerines from trader Humberto.  They are a bit dry and seedy, but very sweet.  There is no way they can be eaten quickly for that sugar rush, since they need to be peeled, all the strings pulled off, and then each section deseeded.  The original slow food.

For dinner I ate more beef and pork, a tangerine, lemon balm tea with lemon, beet juice, olives, potato pancakes cooked in butter, and a bowl of lettuce soup.

Lettuce soup you say?  I tried this after seeing cooked lettuce at an Asian eatery.  I just heated up some beef broth, added plenty of oregano and summer savory, and then the bottom half of the lettuce leaf, shredded.  I also added in bits of pork.

No purchases today, so there is $18.05 left in the kitty.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 16 - I'm very bored

The cherries are gone, but the blueberries aren't ready yet.  There are just a few blackberry blossoms, so it will be awhile.  Meanwhile, all I will get from the veggie garden this week is chard, fennel, onion, beets and lettuce, and the lettuce is about to bolt.  Today I will pick a bunch of it and throw it in the fridge so I can enjoy it for another week.  Hopefully that will put off bolting for another few days, while the predicted heat wave blows over.

Snails ate virtually all of my seedlings, but there is one lone yellow zucchini plant.  All the new cucumbers, winter squash and gourds will have to be replanted and then will be late.  Sigh.  I might have to break down and actually buy a vegetable.

The good news is that I finally found some poultry on sale.  This year's challenge is weird in that there seems to be so much sale beef, and I am getting tired of the same old same old.  The turkey package was 2.07, leaving me with $14.84 in the kitty.

Today's meals

Breakfast:  swiss chard, eggs and ground beef with enchilada sauce from trader Humberto, coffee from trader Gabrielle.
Lunch:  nasturtium blossoms, purslane, beef with fennel and onion, beet and lemon juice, chocolate coconut milk from trader Felix; coffee, cheese and a bite of turkey roll-up from trader Ingrid.  Green drink made from celery, shiso, mint and lemon.
Dinner:  liverwurst (yea, I froze it), bean soup, turkey cooked with onion, fennel, hot pepper and summer savory; beet and lemon juice from trader Gabrielle, butter, bread and butter pickles from trader Felix, potato pancakes made with egg and a mix from trader Felix, cooked in pork fat.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month - day 15 ups and downs

Today's plan went pretty well, and then not so hot.  I started out with the potluck coffee, with the usual eggs and greens cooked in butter.

I had even more coffee from trader Gabrielle, and then couldn't pass up the donuts either.  I did pick one with cinnamon, quipping that cinnamon helps reduce the incidence of diabetes.  Some non-careful listeners were taken in by my argument.

I just have to find a way to pass on the donuts.  It is so hard when I have to walk by them all the time and they call out to me.  Earlier it has been a bite or two, or a donut hole, but today it was a full-fledged pastry.

For lunch I had nasturtium blossoms, coffee, salad and trek mix from trader Ingrid and some bean soup and the last of the herb tea made yesterday.

The REALLY GOOD THING that happened today is that I found some organic grass-fed ground beef on sale.  This was especially nice to find after my weekend phone call turned up only boutique prices for local beef.  The quick-sale beef was $3.99 a package, so I snapped up three of them.  This compares to the $8 a pound from the other place.

The store had about a half-dozen packages.  I should have gotten more, but I don't have room in the freezer.

For dinner, I had BEEF, cooked with the last of the enchilada sauce from trader Humberto, leeks, fennel, oregano and celery, a huge artichoke from trader Alpha, butter, coconut milk with chocolate powder from trader Felix, a tangerine from trader Pablo and some winter squash with even more butter.

The grass-fed beef was $8.97, so I have only $13.70 left in the kitty.  However, I am doing well, with some liverwurst in the freezer, several servings of pork, a half dozen eggs, almost two sticks of butter and almost half a can of olives.

Paleo on $100 a month day 14 - Are these Vegetarian times?

Sunday was potluck day, and unfortunately, lots of people attending were vegetarians and worse yet, vegans, which meant that there was a dearth of protein and even fat.  Since I was one of the first in line, I did snag some half and half for my coffee and a couple slices of cheese, but the rest of it was carby, wheaty or had mostly salad greens in it.  There wasn't even any butter to be found anywhere (except in my dish, of course!)  I took a huge container of swiss chard cooked in butter and a container of herb tea with citrus from my trees from trader Noel and honey from trader Felix.

The chard was immediately devoured but the tea went untouched, probably because of all the competition from the sugary fruit drinks.

I came home hungry for protein and so raided the fridge for more beef ribs and pork and a small package of protein powder from trader Jerry.  I also steamed three artichokes and enjoyed the tea I had prepared earlier, along with extra beet juice, 4 salty olives and some butter.  Breakfast was just more leftovers with tea from trader Olga.  It sure was nice to have the free-trade coffee.  I poured another mug and then my ride announced that we were leaving immediately.  Good for me I had my trusty thermos!

The vegans seemed malnourished and righteous.  The food issue at these potlucks has been contentious for awhile, with the ethical vegans insisting that "flesh" not be served for anyone.  For a time, some folks refused to comply with the request.  (The vote to keep it all vegan didn't pass so the measure died and the ban was voluntary.)  I started bringing lots and lots of garden veggies to these events, since most people don't bring enough food for everyone who attends and I always have tons of greens.  This time it was all vegetarian, which wouldn't be all that bad for a meal if there was some protein besides hummus.

No purchases today, so I have $19.46 left in the kitty.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month - day 13 - back to reality

The reality is, cheap food is hard to get and hard to grow.  I spent much of the morning in the garden, putting up a couple of trellises salvaged from damaged patio umbrellas, and killing the snails that have been taking up residence all winter long underneath them.

Oh, I am just too tired to get out the camera and take a picture of it all.  Besides, I ate much of it, and the rest is in the fridge for tomorrow.

For breakfast, I enjoyed the last of the leftover coffee from trader Pablo, greens and eggs cooked in pork fat.  For some reason, this didn't fill me up, so I had a whey shake mix from trader Jerry mixed with some coconut milk from trader Felix and my own strawberries.

Today's garden haul consisted of a boatload of swiss chard, a pile of fennel bulbs and several artichokes.  I could have harvested more herbs, but I won't be cooking today and I am tired of throwing them out.  The parsley is starting to look sad, and the rabbits ate my reserve plants.  So, now that the cow has gotten out, I am going to go outside and close the barn door, and put a better screen on the parsley plant.

For lunch, I ate more ribs, nasturtium flowers, strawberries, winter squash and lemonade.  I also ate a bit of the liverwurst, even though the package says to eat or freeze by the 11th.  I am going to live dangerously and leave a little bit for tomorrow, too.

No purchases today,  so there is $16.25 left in the kitty.

I chatted for awhile with the grass-fed beef distributor I was introduced to yesterday.  He was lots of fun, but pretty much out of my price range.  It is just a bit less than WF, and even he said I could do better if I did mail-order through some of the other farms in NorCal.  They can jack up the prices here because there is so much demand for local food and the volume is so low.  I am not about to pay boutique prices, challenge or not.  Besides, he never has hamburger, that goes fast.  He did mention a good source of grass-fed marrow bones, which I will follow up on after the challenge.

Paleo on $100 a month day 12 - Food Reward Friday

I was a good day in paleo-land.  I met my first IRL paleo pal (not counting those at AHS11, as that was deliberate) and got a source for local grass-fed beef.

The day continued with generosity from trader Pablo, with a nice breakfast of chicken salad, coffee and a corn chip.

I enjoyed a lunch with trader Noel.  It started with a salad topped with garbanzo beans and avocado.  There was some really great hard cheese, hummus topped with lemon, and home-made bread with butter.  I washed it all down with a diet coke from trader Pablo.

Well, that's the end of the ton of free food, now that a big project is winding down.  This weekend, I'll be returning back to reality.

For dinner, I enjoyed leftover beef ribs and pork, greens cooked in meat fat, lettuce straight from the garden, beet and lemon juice and a couple of licks off a lollipop from trader Wendy.

No purchases today, so I have $13.04 left in the kitty.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 11 - this will kill me

Day 11 brought more trades with a trading partner, so for breakfast, I ate more roast beef, with a really sad, sad salad, some cheesecake and coffee from trader Pablo.  After all that, I had to work it off, so took a nice mid-morning walk in the open space.  I would have taken off my shoes except for the rattlesnake warning signs.

For lunch, I enjoyed beef, chicken, mashed potatoes and salad courtesy of trader Pablo, and some diet soda and a brownie.  I'm waaay too high on the aimed-for carb count for the day, but the desserts were worth it!  The food looked like this.

Afternoon snack:  green drink with celery, lemon and orange juice.  The oranges were from trader Noel.

It was a light dinner, with some beef ribs, the last of the bone broth and lettuce.

Beef!  Its what's for breakfast.  And lunch.  And dinner.  I can feel my TMAO rising as I type this last sentence.  Hope I make it to the end.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 10 - I threw something away!

Hey free food! Who wants to waste anything?

I drank a cup of bone broth before I dashed out early. Pre-breakfast?

Today I was determined to limit the wheat.  I enjoyed breakfast courtesy of trader Pablo.  There were leftover cut-up giant roast beef sandwiches in the fridge, probably due to the overabundance of vegetarians there the day before, who knows?  I rescued the roast beef and threw away the bread.  Truth be told, it is pretty easy to throw away bread on an old sandwich.  It was smashed and soggy, pink with the meat juices.  Anybody else would do it.

I put gobs of roast beef on a salad and topped it with a bit of grated cheese and the dressing.  Coffee, too, and one tortilla chip.  Later I had more coffee from Gabrielle, and cheese and a piece of turkey roll-up from trader Ingrid.  I avoided the brownies, trays of donuts, several giant packages of cinnamon rolls, the several packages of blueberry bagels, the diet Coke, the sugary Sprite, and the rest of a very huge bag of tortilla chips.

Lunch was some leftover pork, lemon balm tea, bone broth, purslane, nasturtium flowers, beet juice and some lemon.

Dinner was the last of the lamb, cooked with kale from trader Alpha and a few olives.  I also had lettuce, purslane, and a beef rib.  Oh, and one strawberry.  Well, I have blown past all the hurricane names with all my trading partners, now onto the Greek alphabet.  Thank goodness Alpha came through with the kale, because I am a bit tired of swiss chard.

After the beefy breakfast, I was ready for something else, but nothing else was on sale.  I guess there was a glut of beef after the latest beef-kills-you-"study".  No glut of chicken.  The Authorities have declared chicken to be a perfect food.  Economical.  Healthy. Eco-friendly.  Oh well.

The package of ribs cost $4.11.  I have $6.62 left over.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 9 - Too busy

Today was a whirlwind, with plenty to do and no time to eat.  No problem.

Breakfast:  leftover lamb (with the cooked fennel and greens Yay!) and enchilada sauce from trader Humberto, lettuce, parsley.

Snacks:  coffee from trader Van

Lunch:  small lollipop.  I know this sounds terrible, but it took me about a half hour to eat, so it provided a slow release of sugar and actually kept me full until I obtained another free snack.

Snack:  purslane, nasturtium flowers, coffee and cheese from trader Ingrid.

Dinner:  bone broth, lettuce, liverwurst, eggs, swiss chard, chocolate coconut milk from trader Felix, bean soup, even more ham!, strawberries, winter squash with butter, and sugar from trader Felix, lemon balm tea with lemon from trader Humberto.

I did shop a bit, but could not find much I wanted that fit my budget.  This is because I was running late on all my appointments and the quick sale items were gone by the time I could get in there.  Nothing spent, and $7.52 is left in the kitty.  I did pass by a store that I don't go to all that frequently, but they have a nice price on cheese.  I couldn't remember how much was in the kitty and didn't think I had enough.  It turns out that I did have enough, but it is just as well that I didn't buy the cheese.  I tend to eat too much of it, and like cashews, it is an expensive item that I would just fritter away in a meal or so.

Lettuce seems to be my go-to snack food.  Just dash out the door and grab some leaves.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 8 - the perils of free food

Not a good day, paleowise.  Various "free" wheaty things crept in.  I guess they are not really free.  I'll probably pay.  The potatoes are gone.  I ate the small taters, about 4 or 5 the size of grapes.  Someone else got the large tater, and also ate most of my banana.  Now you would think that putting a store-supplied "do not cross" tape over the banana would do the trick, but someone just cut some off the other end.  Sigh.

Some traders really came through for me this time, and at the last minute.  I never divulge their identity.  But here is a clue on how to do this.  If one of your friends says they are moving across the country, ask, "How can I help?" without making them sound like you want them to leave.  Big payoff here.

Breakfast:  tater tot with butter, and then strawberries, coffee, cole slaw, turkey sandwich, brownie bite from trader Pablo

Morning snack:  part of a donut from trader Gabrielle and some coffee from trader Jerry.

Lunch:  eggs with ham and chard, coconut chocolate-y milk from trader Felix, liverwurst, lemon balm tea

Dinner:  bean soup, pork with enchilada sauce from trader Humberto, 4 more olives, the final tater tots, the last of the banana.

I have already seen a huge price spike this month.  I could not get the eggs for a dollar, so I got 18 eggs for 2 dollars.  I got a piece of pork roast for 3.78, leaving me $4.31 in the kitty.

Here's what is left.  Half a pound of lamb, a chunk of liverwurst (shared it with the cat), a pile of cook pork, over half a can of olives, at least two sticks of butter and 18 eggs.  I still haven't gotten any grass-fed beef.  The store I frequent did have some in stock, and even some on sale, but it didn't look good and they still wanted $6.99 a pound for it.  I had planned to use more canned seafood during the challenge, but I just haven't had a taste for it lately.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 7 - More tater tots

Today was a beautiful day so I spent quite a bit of time in the garden.  While cleaning up and getting ready for squash planting, I came across some potato plants that were damaged in the frost.  I pulled one up and found that there were several potatoes there, along with a dozen mini potatoes about the size of peanut M&M's.  I replanted the tiniest tubers, but took out a handful of the others.

I made another batch of bean soup for this week.

Yesterday's egg purchase didn't happen, since the store was out of eggs.  I found a sale on hamburgers, for only $2.99 a pound.  One burger set me back $1.47 along with the bag credit.  I also bought two packages of liverwurst for a dollar each.  I did not purchase any additional items today, so I have $6.87 in the kitty.

Here's the food fare for the weekend: 
Saturday lunch:  hamburger with pickles from trader Felix, a huge plate of lettuce and some strawberries.
Saturday dinner:  went out to eat (this is in the entertainment budget)
Sunday breakfast:  Jerusalem artichokes from trader Tanya, with ham and parsley.  I had some leftover coffee from trader Pablo, beet juice mixed with lime from trader Rebekah, and a mug of bone broth.
Sunday lunch:  potluck
Sunday dinner:  liverwurst, lettuce, leftover lamb, strawberries, lemon balm tea with lemon, butter

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Paleo on $100 a Month day 6 - Tater Tots

I woke up this morning with a weird taste in my mouth, not from all the ham, but really just thinking about how many of my internet friends were having trouble this week.  I thought back to how many of us had created Facebook accounts to share our journey, and then some nasty, spiteful, or just generally mean person disrupted the process.  Many took down their blogs and posts.

The original tater tots
Well, sure, I hide somewhat behind a whole flock of screen names.  I used to share pictures from time to time to friends, but took them all down after a certain busy bee started crabbing about "red-faced low carbers".  Yes, I do have a red face from time to time, sometimes as red as the sweet potatoes that will hopefully be underneath the plants you see here, as red as the red shiso in a row behind.  And even if I weigh 125 or 225, I am still old and female, and therefore, subject to derision by many in the paleo crowd, who will be more than happy to use my pictures as some sort of fuel to buttress their particular macronutrient-ratio or male-domination argument.

See, this thing isn't really about weight, or age, or macro ratios.  It is really about just living your e-life and having to deal with creepy bullies.

This past week's holiday celebrations brought another opportunity to share and argue (with some) about what I eat.  I am tired of defending my way of eating, a way that has brought greater health and sanity to me, when not being temporarily distracted by internet busybodies.  When one attendee at the dinner suggested that I should look into this pattern of falling into controversy, I did take a look.  For a few days.

Today I am writing about it.  I will not shut up because some people are psycho on the internet.  I will not take responsibility for the creepy behaviors displayed by some here, no, I will not let them hang their silver bracelets around my neck.  I will not take the blame for the obesity crisis.  I will continue to enjoy cream in my coffee.

Today, I was all set to write about how long it takes to secure food.  The tiny plants in the photo may produce sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.  Then again, the plants may struggle and produce large tubers only by the end of the second year.  The shiso plants behind them are weeds, but the seeds only germinate after a longish period in the cold damp soil.  This season's freeze took out almost every single pepper plant, but gave me hundreds of shiso plants in return.

I got onto my EMF-spewing computer this morning, only to be greeted by this wonderful article, trying to make me feel guilty for eating the way I do.

"Adding cream and sugar to your daily coffee won't kill you, but most people won't like what can happen."   So, what will happen?  Will I die of a heart attack?  Get attacked by a dietitian?  Shamed by an obesity researcher? Should I have been shamed into running this idea past Kresser first?

 Nope.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.  I may just have to stay away from celebrations chocked with all sorts of ritual food, and then being told I must not eat it.  Being told as I am pouring cream into my coffee that there are studies showing that low carb diets kill people, and then having that person not be able to produce any of these studies.  Being told that by people who are very sick and red-faced.  Well, they should be red-faced, but for the bad behavior, not the diet.

No, fluff-internet-article-writer.  Cream in my coffee will probably not kill me.  It is not a bad habit.  This is my diet.  My adding cream to my coffee is not mindless.  Deal with it.

Now, as for the $100 dollar challenge:  This morning I enjoyed a lovely breakfast of ham, eggs and greens cooked in pork fat, with a small cup of cofee (AND CREAM) from trader Pablo.  I'll probably buy a carton of eggs today, and that is all.  I have already eaten a stick of butter and not even a week has gone by.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month - Is this paleo?

OK, OK!  I am officially sick of ham!  And that is good, as it is a "red" meat and it is processed and the authorities are telling me not to eat it anymore.

Today, I dashed out of the house before dawn for an all-day project, where trader Pablo kept me somewhat busy and fed me.  I avoided the bagels, cinnamon rolls and assorted breakfast gunk by helping myself to three large spoonfuls of full-fat cream cheese, washed down with several cups of coffee and a tangerine.

This held me over until lunch.  I had a salad and a turkey sandwich, some evil aspartame-infested diet soda, a package of chips and some chocolate.  This made me feel queasy and somewhat sleepy.  More coffee to the rescue.

By evening, I was fine, and for dinner I had a mug of bone broth with some of the leftover lunch food, ham and lamb, a bite of banana, stir-fried purple cabbage from trader Rebekah, and of course, cherries from trader Lorenzo because, life, you know, is a plastic container of dehydrated cherries.

Now onto the studies department.  I apologize for not posting the results of my study this Monday, as is appropriate.  Jack Kruse is R-I-G-H-T.  EMF is a killer.  I tested two planting containers for the effects of EMF, and yes, I actually did have a control!

Control - pot exposed to EMF

Treatment - Pot shielded from EMF

Note all the damage to the EMF-exposed plants, especially at the edges where there is more wave penetration due to proximity to my neighbor's smart meter.  The large hole in the middle of the control plant was due to the removal of some of the leaves.  The testing was both destructive and delicious.

The plants in the EMF-shielded pot show better color, better structure and less damage at the edges.  The health if the plants is improved when the metal mesh shielding material extends over the top, thus completing the faraday cage to completely shield the plants.

You know H8trs gonna hate, but I think there's really something to all this EMF theory.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month Day 4 - Splurge! and a salt lick

Today's catch, but where did I leave the onion?
Things are taking off in the garden, which is both good and bad.  Everything is bolting, and getting tough, bitter or seedy, and the zucchini or other summer selections aren't ready yet.

Great picture, right?  But the astute reader will notice how similar the catch is to yesterday's.  Such is deep seasonality.  We all talk about the virtues of seasonality, but truth be told, most people would probably prefer if we traveled around the sun in 40 days instead of 365.

Today's breakfast was ham and eggs, with kale, swiss chard, butter and a slice of orange from trader Noel.  I had a small amount of coffee from trader Gabrielle, followed by a couple of cups of tea courtesy of trader Olga.  I sure got my share of free tea this year.  Its everywhere.  People LOVE buying tea, but apparently don't like drinking it very much.  I wish people felt the same way about coffee, cause I need some!

I had a morning snack of fresh-steamed artichoke with butter.  I had actually planned to melt the butter, but then got lazy and hungry and just ate the artichoke leaves with clumps of butter on top.  Then I made a huge batch of "soft drink" tea with lemon balm, orange mint, and a bit of orange juice from the rest of the orange.  Orange mint has only a hint of orange, to me, it reminds me more of lavender than oranges.  These drinks are pretty good on a hot afternoon.

For lunch, I finished the beef ribs and put the bones in the crock pot.  I had a shake with some banana, lemon juice from trader Humberto, coconut milk from trader Felix, cherries from trader Lorenzo, protein powder from trader Jerry, coffee and cream from trader Ingrid, and a small amount of chicken tortilla soup, also from trader Ingrid.

I decided to splurge on ground lamb, on sale probably because Easter is over.  I got a one-pound package for $3.99.  A sale banana for 16 cents and a can of olives for 90 cents made today's purchases total $5.05.  I have 71 cents left in the kitty.

I cooked the lamb with fennel, olives, onion, parsley, celery, chard, pepper, oregano and mint, and served it with cold sliced beets and lettuce.  I finished the bean soup.  Dessert was more cherries from trader Lorenzo and a huge strawberry from the garden.  I scored a small container of Doritos crumbs from trader Dean, and was saving it for the right time.  Mmmmm...salt!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Paleo on $100 a Month day 3 - Getting settled

After a day of travel and a day of unpacking and laundry, I feel I am now ready to devote more time to this challenge.  Nothing like a fat-filled breakfast to keep me full and focused.

The swiss chard is starting to bolt, so I cut off a large upper portion of the plant and cooked all of it in butter.  It did cook down quite a bit, and the portion looked a bit dainty on the plate.  (Since I have gone low carb, I have given up eating on tiny plates in order to control portions.)  I made eggs scrambled with dots of ham and parsley.

Last night, I cut all the easy ham off the bone and threw the rest into the stock pot, so I now have quite a bit of boiled ham fat (yum?!), ham pieces and gallons of ham broth.  I think I have around three pounds or so of really nice ham pieces.  I might try making home-made smoked pork rinds with the skin.  Either that, or make a new handbag.  I'll eat skin if I have to, but with all this other really nice ham, the skin is starting to look less appetizing.  And, who couldn't use a new handbag?

I had a large mug of coffee with cream and a bit of a doughnut from trader Gabrielle.  I could have gotten even more free junk food, but I restrained myself.

I had some leftover ribs for lunch, along with a HUGE strawberry, cilantro, arugula, corn salad and lettuce, with sprigs of parsley and lovage from trader Melissa.  I also made a large glass of chocolate mint tea, and half an orange from trader Noel.

Today's garden haul, minus what I ate on the run

And for dinner, I ate a pouch of sardines that I bought for 70 cents.  They were packed in mustard and this is the first time I have tried the flavor, and can't say I like it all that much.  I should have thought ahead and saved some of the mustard sauce for a salad dressing or something, but threw it away.  The sardines were SWIMMING in the mustard sauce.  I also had the rest of the butternut squash with butter and sugar from trader Felix, and a small roasted beet.  The bean soup had onion, fennel, hot pepper, celery, parsley (again, from trader Melissa), mayocoba beans and ham.  I ate another Jello cup from trader Humberto and finished off with a handful of dried cherries from trader Lorenzo, a bottle of chilled chocolate mint tea and a bottle of chilled lemon balm and orange mint tea.

If you look closely in the basket, you will see the first globe artichoke of the season.  It is small, but I just couldn't wait.

$2.55 left in the kitty, with plenty of ham, eggs and some ribs.  Tomorrow, I'll finish the ribs and then make me some bone broth

Paleo on $100 a month Day 2: Whew! That was close!

It turns out that the meat left on the ham bone was more than I expected.  I HAD expected a bit of fat along with the bone, but it looked like the person who carved the ham wasn't an expert at it.  Apparently, I have a ham log with a bone running through it.

Soooooo.....breakfast was a little bit better than I had planned.  I had ham and ham fat cooked with spring onion, fennel and kale.  I also made a shake with a packet of hemp protein courtesy of trader Jerry.  I tried jazzing the hemp protein with some tart cherries from trader Lorenzo, but it was a waste of cherries, since NOTHING can make the taste of the vile hemp protein taste even faintly edible.  Un-ree-WAR-ding!!!!!

I grazed through the day with coffee (and half and half!) from traders Gabrielle, Ingrid and Jerry, enjoyed a turkey meatball courtesy of trader Ingrid, and a glass of water with Meyer lemon.

Another visit to the garden turned up several huge strawberries, the first of the season.  Most people would have considered them inedible, since they were "pretested" by snails, but I just ate the good parts.  I also snacked on cilantro and arugala as I captured and sent even more snails off to the sweet hereafter.

I visited a few stores and picked up a dozen eggs for a dollar.  I stumbled upon a sale on beef ribs and sorted through the packages to find a smaller rib that would fit my budget and still save room for butter.  I mentally calculated and re-calculated my purchases, and I came in under the limit.

Here's what I got today:  beef ribs at a scandalous price of $1.24 a pound for a total of $2.88, butter for $2.50 and eggs for a dollar, totaling $6.38.  That leaves me with 4 cents.  I might regret buying the butter, since it leaves me with much less flexibility for day 3.  If things get really bad, I can pull a Jimmy Moore by keeping my protein low and just eating a stick of butter.

Dinner this evening was beef ribs marinated in Meyer lemon, cayenne pepper and za'atar, with balsamic vinegar and salt from trader Felix and fresh-cracked peppercorns from trader Karin.  I made baked, buttered Butternut squash with roasted beets and a salad of mache, lettuces and parsley.  Dessert is a sugar-free strawberry-flavored Jello cup with a fresh tangerine I got from trader Humberto.

In the evening, I made some bean soup, with beans from trader Karin and broth from the ham bone.  Of course, I tried some, so I did not end the day in keto.  I ended the evening with a mug of lemon balm tea with a touch of sugar from trader Felix.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day One - Eight heads in a duffel

I had planned to fast my way through the first day of my challenge, since it was a travel day.  The day didn't go as planned.  After a wonderful Easter potluck, there was plenty of food left over, and the attendees were looking for something to do with it.

I also acquired a ham bone, since the rest of the hangers-onerz gang was vegetarian and they wanted to offload the meaty bits as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, I was so excited about sneaking an entire ham bone onto the train that I forgot some of the other side dishes, like a wonderful broccoli salad and an entire log of goat cheese.  How foolish is that?

We froze the ham bone the night before, and then I wrapped it up in two produce bags, then shoved it into a huge Doritoes bag (shiny side in to reflect the cold!), then another plastic bag and sitting in a large aluminum baking pan in case it leaked somehow, then wrapped in a variety of old linen towels with calendars printed on them, and then wrapped in a large sweatshirt, and placed in my duffel bag.

No way could I have gotten past the TSA or all the bomb-sniffing dogs at the airport, thank goodness the train is filled with all those crazy people wielding knives, golf clubs, out-sized backpacks and all that other behavior that made cross-country ham transport seem tame by comparison.  "Open up the mummy, Ma'am," I could hear those TSA-people commanding, as I begin to carefully unwind all the strips of linen...

Unfortunately, the train was very late, and I feared that the ham would heat up too much before I arrived.  My train was so late that when we saw we were heading to that secret destination, "BFD", I announced that it stood for Big Effing Delay.  But the ham was still fairly cold by the time I put it in my own fridge.

Here's what I ate today:

A breakfast of potluck leftovers from various trading partners:  Andrea, Barry, Chantal and Dean.  It was mostly turkey and sweet potatoes, and a bit of flat diet soda, a roll and butter.  I took some green tea along with me.  Lunch was ham.  Dinner was more ham, and all of a large piece of wheat-free cake from trading partner Erin.  I had planned to stretch the cake out for a few more days, but was pretty hungry.  I was pining for some vegetables, but I got home so late I could only muster up a batch of fresh lemonade with a bit of sugar from trader Felix.

Since I did not buy any more fertilizer this year, my gardening costs have gone lower, so I have $3.21 to spend on other food per day.  Since I did not spend any money on food, I have $3.21 in the jar.