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Paleo Challenge Round-Up: Week 4

As I enter the home stretch of this 30-day paleo challenge, I’m reconnecting with why I loved paleo in the first place. The bottom line is simple: regardless of whether or not I lose weight, whether or not it serves as a magical cure-all (or even-more-magical placebo effect) for what ails me, eating well makes me feel great; eating poorly makes me feel like shit. That’s all there is to it.

Another thing I’m reconnecting with is paleo recipe websites. Scouring the web for new recipes to continue momentum with eating paleo (although I’ve fallen in love with some recipes, I don’t want to fall into the trap of eating the same things until I get bored and choose Taco Bell instead), I’ve discovered a disturbing trend: many websites simply regurgitate the same recipes as other sites, without tweaks or added information (one thing I’ve been trying to do here is explain where I’ve veered from the actual recipe, and whether or not it improves or worsens the recipe). With a couple of exceptions where I know the person writing the blog is experimenting and creating the recipes, I have no idea who should deserve credit for recipes that turn out great. I find that a little disheartening.

Last week, I mentioned finagling my Hackintosh to run Linux. Here’s my assessment, after a 15-year gap in use: GNOME still sucks, Ubuntu’s out-of-the-box software (notably its “App Store” equivalent) is painfully unusable, after about 15 minutes I stopped being able to access any drives or files from the GUI (I could still open and close programs, but that was about it), and so I had to teach myself how to use the built-in package manager from the terminal. That seemed all well and good, except it appears the package manager will check for software dependencies but not actually install the dependencies, so all the software I installed ended up being unusable; even if it had been, I couldn’t figure out how to access it through the GUI. Terrible. I’ve considered replacing it with a different distro that uses KDE Plasma, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort. I’m not interested in programming, hacking, or security, so I don’t know there’s much for me in Linux. My main goal was to try to replicate a usable OS X system (with comparable programs) in Linux. It was mostly for the intellectual challenge, but part of me thinks it will be useful to build a Linux environment that works for me in the event that I can no longer use OS X with my system. But maybe I should just resign myself to using Windows if that happens.

Lunch

Taco Salad (a new recipe)

I preferred this recipe to the previous one I attempted, although my opinion is that the Catalina dressing called for too much olive oil. It’s very similar to the other recipe, but the absence of large quantities of cilantro makes me prefer it. Plus, I liked the Catalina dressing (despite the excessive oil) better than the cilantro lime dressing of the other recipe.

Dinner

Beef and Broccoli Cashew Stir-Fry

I loved how this recipe turned out. I omitted the cashews (I can’t eat them with my braces), but I don’t think that did much to alter the flavor. The sauce has a nice sweetness, with a spicy kick that really surprised me (I didn’t think red pepper flakes would add such a kick). This recipe also freezes and reheats well. One word of warning: if you just dump a portion into a bowl for future reheating, be sure to cut the steak into bite-size pieces first. Flank steak is not the tenderest cut of beef, and with my teeth, the strips of steak were a bit of a challenge to chew, especially to tear off into smaller pieces.

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