Author Topic: Caveman eating in spain  (Read 22488 times)

Offline el cogollero

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Caveman eating in spain
« on: July 10, 2010, 01:37:50 AM »
First I'd like to say GREAT FORUM - I've learnt a lot already! I'm on day 3 of paleo style eating - I usually live with my kids but they are away for a couple of weeks so I can experiment easily and sleep if I'm tired.

As it happens my house has a cave/bedroom in the ground floor apartment that I rent out to tourists, it stays cool in the summer and warm in winter - I fantasize about ancient peoples living there long before the house was built around it.

My diet was relatively healthy before with no packaged food - but of course included rice, pasta, bread, potatoes (Spanish potato tortilla and paella are going to be hard to give up). I eat a lot of fruit - thinking of it as a healthy food - I'll be aware from now on of looking for less sweet fruit.

ok - on day 1  I ate far too many almonds and felt pretty tired - Later I ate about two thirds of a rabbit cooked in extra virgin olive oil with onions and garlic and drank plenty of water and green tea. I also had about half a kilo of carrots juiced with a bit of fresh ginger.

Day 2 I remember yesterday much better! I started with my usual litre of weak green tea, an apple and a two-egg omelette filled with rocket. I then went to the market to have a look at the meat and bought some bullfighting meat - an entrecote steak. I went straight home to eat it - I had planned to slowly fry some onions to go with it but I was so keen to try it that I just had it on its own - cooked very rare. It was lovely - I then had half a kilo of cherries.

Later in the day I had a salad of lettuce, rocket and onion with a tin of mackerel, followed by a small, not very sweet pear. I went out at night to a bar where I would normally have a few beers but I had green tea with mint (no sugar). I felt great and when I got home I didn't have the usual post drinking urge to eat carbs

    
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 01:24:08 AM by el cogollero »

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 11:49:59 AM »
Out of curiousity, what's "rocket"?


Offline gnujoshua

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 05:26:02 PM »
Out of curiousity, what's "rocket"?

arugula

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 02:19:24 AM »
Warren, here's a link to rocket http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruca_sativa - I use it a lot in salads. I had never heard it being called arugula before - in my market it's also called rucula, which sounds like a cognate.

Day 3 I was up fairly early and had a litre of weak green tea - I usually make a litre with a couple of teaspoons of tea then use the same leaves several times over a couple of days. This was an especially weak brew and I started to get a slight headache in the afternoon which could have been caffeine withdrawal (I made a fresh brew and fixed the headache).

With the tea I had a couple of the little pears, then I went off to the market around 2pm to see what I could find. I've always liked my trips to the market to get food for 1 or 2 days - I think it gives me a symbolic hunting trip. I get a particularly good feeling when I find something good at a cheaper than usual price - late on a Saturday (it closes around 3) is the best time for this.

I bought some horse meat - just one steak. I'll have it later on today (day 4) and it will be my first taste of horse. I also spoke to my usual butcher (there are about 150 butchers there) about natural meats and he showed me his natural beef from the rainy, green, northern region of Galicia. It was dark red meat with with hard yellow fat - expensive but he said he'd give me a special price.

I also looked at the fish and bought 2 really fresh small mackerel for a bargain price of €1.80. I'll have them today as well.

Then I got some more small pears (actually even smaller), more rocket, celery, fresh spinach, a bunch of asparagus, a single large fungi (of the boletus family) which cost me 3€, some fresh young garlic shoots and some shelled walnuts. The woman at the baker's is going to think I've got something against her!

So then it was back home to eat:

First I had the rest of the rabbit warmed up and served with the fungi fried with the garlic shoots and a salad of lettuce and rocket - this was about 3pm and I then had a short siesta followed by a long swim in the sea. I was going out that night for tapas but before I went out (about 10pm) I had an omelette filled with half of the asparagus and a few walnuts.

Once I was out my diet started to slip slightly.... at the first place I had a small glass of red wine, a tiny amount of grilled meat and a few small green peppers (pimientos de padron) - at the second place a couple of glasses of red and some meatballs and chorizo - my friends had potatoes and bread but I wasn't interested, I didn't feel any urge to eat them at all. It was around 1.30am by then and we went for a mojito = proper big cheat. After that we went to another bar and I surprised myself by asking for water - it was just what my body wanted!

That was it for the day - I'm feeling strong and energetic after these few days.

Some stats:

I'm male, 45, 1.83m (5'11), 80kg (176lb)    
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 01:49:21 AM by el cogollero »

Offline samjohn

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 03:11:36 AM »
A mojito without the sugar syrup wouldn't be too bad cheatwise.


Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 04:53:04 AM »
I love your Spanish journal, keep going at it.

My experience with horse meat is it is something like beef.  It gets too hard when you overcook it.  So be careful to just cook it up to rare or medium rare at the most.

My kids just had panned shredded horse steak at lunch, I kept rolling it in the pan for less than 1 minute.

Any more than that and it would have been hard as rubber.

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain - ˇCAMPEONES!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 12:59:45 AM »
samjohn - yes I agree, although this was a mix they had made up earlier. Thanks for the tip goodsamaritan - I didn't get round to it yesterday so it's on the menu for today.

Day 4 I was up relatively late for me, after my night out, and I had a fresh litre of jasmine tea (green tea with jasmine flowers) I made it with 2 teaspoons of tea and it was pretty strong (I've just refilled it now for day 5 breakfast and it's still strong). With that I had a couple of the pears. It was Sunday so no market shopping.

I had the two mackerel for lunch - I cleaned and de headed them then made some lateral cuts in both sides which were filled with a mix of chopped garlic, ginger and extra virgin olive oil*. I had the grill heating while I was doing this and cooked them quickly - this is something I have often, although usually with plenty of sea salt. They were only just cooked, still almost raw close to the bones - which makes fish much easier to eat as the bones stay fixed to the spine. They were lovely - in fact fantastic, I can't get over how easily I've stopped using salt in my cooking! After that I made a salad of raw spinach leaves with olive oil - which was also pretty good. A few hours later I had 4 carrots juiced - with added olive oil to help absorb the vitamin A.

Yesterday was world cup final day so I went to a friend's house to watch the match - I hadn't planned to drink beer but the cultural link between football and beer was too strong so I had about a litre. After, we went out into the streets to join the crazy celebrations and all my friends stopped off to buy cakes, chocolate buns etc etc - I never used to eat much sugar or cakes anyway so this didn't affect me.

I was home about 1.30 and didn't fancy the horse steak so I had a few of the small pears and another omelette with the last of the eggs, the asparagus and the spinach - I was still a bit hungry after that so I had a tin of mackerel.

I also had a few walnuts over the course of the day - I'm being careful not to overdo them.      

I haven't been very active in the past week or so - I've stopped using the gym for 3 months over the summer - partly because I'm sea swimming most days and partly to take time to reassess my exercise schedule. It's probably a good time to make this dietary change but I might need to eat more when I start exercising more.

* from now on, when I say olive oil I mean extra virgin - it's all I ever use. I'm definitely going to source some good quality lard from the market though.  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 10:11:40 AM by el cogollero »

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 01:53:38 AM »
Day 5

Breakfast was green tea and pears then it was off to the market again - Monday is never a good day for fresh fish and even more so the day after Spain had won the world cup! I bought some dried chicken blood in a block and some lettuce, free range eggs, cherries and apricots.

Lunch was about 2.30 and I had the horse steak cooked rare - I took it out of the fridge to warm up before cooking and grilled it quickly with a little olive oil. I didn't eat all the meat in the pic - it was shared with a friend. We also had some chopped turnips stir fried in the meat juices and a salad of lettuce and rocket. We both really enjoyed it and I'll definitely have it again - this was probably the leanest cut available, I'll try something else next time. We had some cherries to finish.

I snacked on a few nuts over the afternoon and in the early evening I had some fresh apricots and then later on some of the blood fried with lots of slow fried onions, garlic and oregano. I wasn't too impressed with the blood - it had a texture like fried fresh cheese and not much taste. I doubt I'll buy it again.  
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 02:12:33 AM by el cogollero »

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2010, 01:21:59 AM »
Day 6 was LAMB day! hmmmm, I can still taste it in my mouth....

Breakfast was tea and some fruit then off to the market - I had another good nose around the meat area, spotting some large size rabbits at a very cheap price, fresh meat from the naturally reared iberico pig, some lovely looking dark meat from 5 year old bulls, pigs trotters and pig's penis, which is one thing I doubt I'll be trying!

In the end I bought a leg of lamb - the price is good now as the animals are older, which makes the meat tastier in my opinion. It was about 1.5kg and it was all eaten in the one day.

First I had some for lunch with my son - we had it grilled with garlic and rosemary with a green salad of lettuce, rocket, flat leaf parsley and celery, and an orange to follow. Oranges are my favourite fruit - out of season now but there are still a few about that have been well stored or left on the trees.

In the evening I had more or less the same meal with a friend..... both times I drank the juices that collected on the plate - it tasted delicious and after not eating salt for 6 days, very salty.

I had a few beers in the evening then made myself a tinned mackerel omelette when I got home.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 02:27:19 AM »
When is octopus on the menu?  ;D

Offline samjohn

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 02:34:36 AM »
Wow dried chicken blood, adventurous.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 02:45:57 AM »
My wife hogs all the fresh chicken blood when we kill our own chickens.
She likes it in soup.
It hardens and clumps together like an omelet.

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 12:11:58 AM »
Octopus will definitely be on the menu, along with squid, cuttlefish, prawns, mussels, clams etc etc - in fact I had planned Day 7 to be a fish day.

I didn't eat anything in the morning - just tea with added mint leaves. I was waiting for my cave people to vacate the cave....they left a steak in the fridge so I thought what would any self respecting caveman do with this and ate it. Then I went to the market where I bought 1 kilo of fresh anchovies - a traditional way of eating them here is raw, first soaked in vinegar then served with olive oil, chopped garlic and parsley. I also bought my usual salad stuff and some cherries.

When I got home I started work on the fish - one thing I'm enjoying about this diet is that it generally doesn't involve much cooking work - in this case though I had to de head, gut, bone and fillet them all individually and give them a good wash in lots of water. Then, instead of vinegar I left them soaking in lemon juice for 6-7 hours. I ate a few of them raw after leaving them in the hot sun for 20 minutes.

After the lemon soaking they were rinsed again then arranged in layers with olive oil, garlic and chopped dill - I had a load of them at night with a big green salad and the half kilo of cherries - and I've just had a load more for breakfast - lovely - again, no salt.      
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 12:19:53 AM by el cogollero »

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 12:19:23 AM »
Day 8 I had another small bowl of the fish in the morning then I boiled up a piece of ham I had soaked overnight - this was something I had bought before I started eating paleo style. It was good but very salty.

I didn't buy much at the market - just some oranges and some salad onions. I spoke to my butcher about making lard or tallow and he gave me a piece (about 400g) of kidney fat from his best grass fed beef. He buys the whole animal but only seems to present the "best" cuts on his counter - hopefully there will be some other interesting cuts for me.

So I made the tallow when I got home - it melted very easily and there weren't many bits left over. It hardened into a lovely white fat. I immediately fried an egg in it then cooked up some carrots with the "bits" - all very nice.

I also pigged out a bit on 5 oranges.....

I had more of the fish later on and that was all for the day.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Caveman eating in spain
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2010, 01:52:09 AM »
Ah the joys of starting paleo diet.  Tasting everything...