Julia Tutko-Balena

Writer, Director, Actor, Programmer, Podcast Host

Rules Refresher

I had to refresh my own mind as to what the rules of keeping a Paleo diet are. I wrote them in my first blog entry a couple years ago if you're interested, but here's the basic breakdown:

What you CAN'T eat:

  • grains (including oatmeal (for the most part))
  • breads (unless you made it from a Paleo recipe! yay, loophole!)
  • any type of alcohol (unless they're apple based, like ciders)
  • all legumes (that means peanuts, too!)
  • junk food, sodas (which, well, duh)
  • all processed sugars
  • all packaged/pre-made desserts & meals -- basically, anything that comes out of a box or bag
  • all dairy
  • all non-nut oils, vegetable oils, and mixed or mystery oils (what the heck is 'canola' anyway?)

What you CAN eat:

  • vegetables
  • meats
  • eggs
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • coffee (black - and thank the Lord), tea, water
  • coconut oil, olive oil & some nut oils.

(This site has more details if you like.)


So those are the rules of the diet. That is a SHORT list of allowed foods!!

The holidays are coming up. HA! This is going to be rough! 


The Breakfast Epiphany

I realized the other morning, that as healthy as my breakfasts are, I can't say that they are Paleo! On a typical day, I will have one of three or four different types of breakfasts. Here's a list of my most popular three meals, and what they consist of:

1) Oatmeal with cranberry and walnuts. No milk, no sugar, I like it just like this. I get the plain cut oats from the grocery store, and toss in some dried cranberries for sweet tartness and walnuts for sweet crunchiness. It's low in calories (my mug gives me 150 calorie portion) and it fills me up for a good few hours. 

Now, oatmeal is quite the debate in the Paleo community. I addressed the details in my paleo adventures blog the first time around, but the short story is that it's a grain, grown by man, and even has some similarities to wheat that staunch Paleo followers frown upon. Others, however, say that it CAN occur in nature, and it doesn't have the same elements that grains have, so it should be allowed. But, the general consensus is that unless I go for a certified gluten-free oatmeal (which I don't), I really can't even begin to argue on the side that my beloved oatmeal meal is Paleo. *sigh*

2) Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Wheat bread and peanut butter. I know, I know. But it's SO GOOD. :-/

3) Eggs and veggies. This one's tricksy! I sometimes go for an omelette configuration, which means adding a splash of milk to the beaten eggs (for fluff), and sometimes, I want some cheese on that omelette. Other times, I feel like having a small stir fry next to some sunny-side-up eggs. So, it's interesting now to be conscious of when I break Paleo and when I play by the rules...


It's interesting to know when I break Paleo and when I stick to it. I thought for sure that most of my breakfasts are actually Paleo. Especially since I don't typically have bread or milk in a given day. But now I find that those occasional treat breakfast days are a bit more frequent than I thought! The oatmeal is my top contender. Oof!

There's my breakfast epiphany. 

And if that's so of breakfast, then what about my other meals?

Hmm. Time to do a comprehensive inventory...


I'm back!

Some folks might have read my previous posts on Paleo when I ran a food blog over two years ago. I chronicled my 60-day journey trying out the Paleo diet for the first time. The full adventures can be found here: juliaguliaspaleoadventures.blogspot.com 

The short story is that I liked it, but it's incredibly difficult to do full time for a food such as myself -- especially as the lover of cheese that I am. 

But doing the diet PART-TIME, is something I can commit to. So, I've decided to rekindle the connection I had to the regimen, and track my progress anew.

Here goes!