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Paleo Newbie.. Working on Transitioning

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So, this past weekend, I got fed up with my general lack of health. I made the determination that I would eat better and exercise. I joined a Gym and went shopping for food. Cleaned out my pantry of all the bad stuff, brought it to work and gave it along with the convenience store in my desk drawer to my co-workers. I bought only lean meats, tons of veggies, fruit, and some almonds and walnuts. 


I have been drinking a protein shake in the mornings so that I have breakfast. This is big for me, as I used to never eat breakfast. I mostly ate 1-2 meals a day with snacking in between. That has changed over the week. For the last 6 years I have had stomach issues. It got so bad once that I went to the doctors because I was in so much pain. I was convinced I had to have an ulcer with the amount of the pain. They prescribed medicine, for which I had to take before every meal. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't. 


This last week, of eating no processed foods, nothing greasy, nothing bad for me... I haven't had to take that medication. My stomach hasn't hurt at all. In fact, I've never felt better! Which I think will help me to not slip back into the bad eating habits. Now noticing that "Hey, I just ate an entire meal and I'm not doubled over in pain." Or, "Hey, I didn't take the pain medicine, I ate, and I feel fantastic." I now realize that it must have been something in the foods I was eating that my body was trying to tell me I shouldn't be eating it. I don't know if it was the grease. I don't know if it was gluten. I don't know if it was the dairy. But at this point, I don't care what it was, I'm just happy I'm not dying on the couch in pain after eating. 


Which leads me to this post. I'm looking for recommendations. I attempted to make sweet potato chips the other night. While they were good, they didn't come out quite right. I will have to practice on these. I sliced them into chip shapes, shook them in a little bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper, and popped them in the oven to bake. Either I didn't leave them in long enough, the temp was too low, or they weren't thin enough, but they were soft and mushy. Still tasted good, but not the chip I was after. 


So I'm looking for more recommendations. Other things I can experiment with. If you've made sweet potato chips, I'd love to hear that too. How they came out, how you did it, etc. But also, any other things you've had fun experimenting in the kitchen with. Let me hear it. From the good, the bad, to the don't you dare try this :D What experiments have you come up with that came out amazing, or not so. 

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My sweet potato chip method:

Cut potatoes into 3/16" slices with a mandolin slicer (if you don't have one, buy one; they're cheap).

Put some foil on a baking sheet, or if your baking sheets aren't knackered like mine skip the foil.

Spray with olive oil-based nonstick spray. Place chips on sheet. Spray tops of chips with same spray.

Bake at 425 degrees for... I don't know really I just keep an eye on 'em. Maybe 20 minutes? Experiment.

Flip them halfway through baking and salt them.


The most important part is having them the same thickness, otherwise some will be charcoal and others not yet done.

They're not going to be super-crispy like potato chips you'd find at the store, but they'll at least be fairly firm.


Otherwise, since I've gone Paleo I've found that grilling is absolutely your friend. Grill meats. Grill vegetables. Grill everything. It tastes awesome and the fat drains off thus reducing overall calories.

My personal favorite is taking a whole head of cauliflower (cut off the green bits), rubbing it with some olive oil and wrapping it in foil. You can then oven roast or grill it until it's soft throughout.

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The key to a crispy chip is dehydration. That's why they're usually fried; Deep-frying is a much more efficient means to evaporate water from food than baking.


A mandoline will help because ensuring all your chips are the same thickness gives you more leeway with baking them longer, but it will always be a longer and more painful process, and they'll be more likely to burn than if you fried them.


If you're wedded to the baking idea, you could pre-dehydrate your chips before baking. But if you're on the Paleo train and you don't care about calories or losing weight, sacrifice a quart of oil to the gods of food quality and fry away.

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