Portland, ME Craft Beer

Check out my newest website: www.portlandcraftbeer.blogspot.com for information regarding the craft beer scene in Portland, ME.

Great Beginner Paleo Reference

Hey yall, I wrote up a little article about the Paleo/Primal diet and added it to another blog. http://www.paleoprimal.blogspot.com/ is that address, feel free to check that out and spread it your friends who are interested in this way of eating!


Recent Paleo Eats + Cheats

I have been working hard on my Paleo Diet, and its been pretty successful. I recently related some of my staples, but here are a few of the things I have been eating recently.

This morning before work, I fried up some nitrate free bacon and made a 3 egg omelette filled with mushrooms, peppers, onions and a bit of cheese, and a cup of black organic coffee.

Over the weekend, I had some fried eggs (pastured, local chickens), nitrate free bacon, and some crimini mushrooms fried up in the bacon fat, with Sriracha on top (not paleo, but damn good)

Tonight, for dinner, I had a piece of salmon with some WFM Organic California Mix frozen veggies and a couple cherry tomatos

Now, I am relaxing with a State-Line IPA brewed right here in Connecticut, by Cottrell Brewing. It's a decent IPA, but certainly not ground-breaking, not wallet-breaking either at $6/sixer at TJs!

Over the weekend, I also enjoyed a High & Mighty Pas de Dieux Saison, brewed 20 miles north of where I sit, in Holyoke, MA. A great saison, and highly drinkable at 4.5%, I would say pick it up, but I don't think you will be able to find it without scouring the state of Massachusetts! There are only 3 reviews on BeerAdvocate currently. It also costs the same as the entire six pack of IPAs.


Paleo Favorites

Anyone who has looked into the Paleo Diet is immediately put off by the high cost of doing business. There is a reason why most of the world eats grain/carbs with almost every meal, they are cheap. Pre-paleo (neolithic? just kidding), a high percentage of my grocery bill and food spending in general would be on carbs. I am not rich, and this class of foods gives you the best caloric bang for your buck. Although in the long run, it is much more costly, but that's a matter for another post.

Another cost of paleo dieting is that items are recommended to be organic, high quality, grass-fed, pastured, and all natural. All of these adjectives are synonyms with expensive. For those of us who can't afford 9$ bags of macademia nuts every grocery trip, we must learn to make do with cheaper alternatives.

Obviously, a Big Ass Salad , as Mark Sisson puts it, is always a good fall back option, especially with a well-stocked paleo kitchen. I buy steak whenever its on sale, as its my favorite meat, but I simply can't afford the high cost of quality steak on a regular basis. Although I try to eat diversely, I have a number of staples that make up >50% of my diet.

1) Whole Foods Organic California Frozen Veggies: this is a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, all organic, and flash frozen. I have had other versions of this mix Big Y (local market) calls it the Florentine Mix ($1.50) and Stop and Shop has it too ($1.50) but both of these versions are conventional. Another thing I like about the WFM version compared to others is that its almost all crowns, unlike the Big Y version which had a lot of random pieces of the broc thrown in. A bargain at $2.29 a bag. I throw this in my lunch with a pad of grassfed butter or just use the sauce of whatever protein source I have in there.

2) Trader Joes Sausage/Bacon: Trader Joes is a great stop for cheaper all-natural items that still maintain the high quality we all love. They offer a ton of different chicken sausages at 3.99/5 pack Hofbrau Brats for 3.99/lb and Bacon for 3.99 lb. Thats a lot of bargains for pork/chicken products. They also have ground beef for 2.49/lb but it is unfortunately not grass-fed, but my wife uses it for various things!

3) WFM Eggs: 18 pack/$3.19 cage/antibiotic free, tasty, large, brown - when I can't get eggs from a local source, this is my fall back


4) conventional Boneless/Skinless Breast from wherever is on sale. I like to get this for 2.99/lb or less and then I buy it in bulk! Obviously, I would prefer all natural/free range etc but for chicken breast, which has very little fat, this is less important. This is my most common form of protein and I sometimes dress it up with sriracha or tamari sauce for stirfrys or just grill it and throw it on top of my big ass salad.

5) Big Ass Salad: This comes in many different forms for me, but the basis of it is always lettuce, tomato, bell peppers and some form of protein, plus whatever other vegetables I have on hand. My wife loves blanched almonds, so they are always stocked in the pantry, and frequently get added on. I will make a dressing if I have time, or use Newman's Own Organic Dressing if I am feeling extra lazy.

Snacks: Beef/Bison Jerky is $5/bag at TJs and I usually have a selection of nuts, primarily almonds and pecans. Occasionally fresh fruit, especially if it is on sale or in season.


Treats: Red wine from Trader Joes, usually buy for under $6/bottle because I am poor, remember, Craft Beer: Usually buy a 22oz bomber of something very nice, I just love beer too much to give it up although it is full of grains (carbs/gluten).

Shrimp is often in the rotation as well as tilapia or another type of seafood, but not often enough to be considered a staple!


Primal Dinner

Leftover Grass-fed Taco salad, jalapenos, green peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, salsa, cheese, EVOO drizzled on top

Eggs with salsa and jalapenos (for a little extra protein/fat)

CT Flow

In honor of the George Costanza post on Nerd Fitness (a fine blog, that I totally recommend). Instead of putting it off, I am going to update the blog today. I have a lot of new things going on in my life, a new job, a new apartment, and new food plan/philosophy. The new job is going extremely well. All though, working in finance, there is a lot of technology and complex procedures to follow. It is only my second week, but I think that I am making progress and beginning to understand the method to the work that we do. People at the new job seem very friendly and outgoing, although it is that corporate, sterile friendliness, for the most part. The benefits/salary of the job are better than what I was receiving at the last company, but the company is many times smaller, although that does not affect me much on a day to day basis.

I also moved to a new apartment in Enfield, CT. Enfield is a large suburban town on the northern edge of Connecticut, abutting Longmeadow, MA. It is on the east bank of the majestic Connecticut River, and is considered more of a suburb of Springfield, MA than of Hartford, CT. Growing up in Massachusetts, its comfortable to know that I am only 7 miles from the largest city in Western Mass. The town used to be a carpet producing area, but due to globalization, most of these businesses are long defunct. Several of the buildings have been repurposed into apartment buildings, which is where I am living now. Although it has much more of a standard or even hotel feel than my last place (a 4 family in Quincy, MA) not to mention $100 more per month in rent. I am really enjoying it. The space is open and feels much larger, the appliances are modern, bathroom is massive, walk-in closet is superb, and the details (exposed brick, 12 ft ceilings) are great touches that are only possible based on the buildings heritage. Some cons are that it is carpet throughout the living room and bedroom, and the cabinets are a bit awkward in the kitchen.

My primal eating plan (links) is going very well. I have been at it almost a month, and am definitely noticing some results. I have been sticking to the no carb, low sugar, high fat, high protein principles as well as I can, with several cheat meals and more beer than I care to admit. To that end, I have decided to make the month of September beer-free. I still have a bunch of great beer courtesy of my generous uncle, who brought some local favorites out from Michigan. Including Bell's Two Hearted, which I would buy by the case if it were available locally and Founder's Reds Rye PA, which is extremely tasty as well. However, for the month of September, my only alcohol will be several bottles of wine. Hopefully, I can buzz down to New England Brewing in New Haven before the end of the month to grab a growler of their beer, Ghandi Bot if available. For this weeks meals, I made a quiche to eat for breakfast with mushrooms, peppers, onions, broccoli and bacon. 3 pieces of sirloin and 10 sausages accompanied by copious amounts of frozen spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot topped with olive oil. Some nuts and peanut butter for snacks and coffee and seltzer to drink along with plenty of h2o.