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The Paleo social butterfly

When embarking on the paleo lifestyle socialising can become a bit daunting. When I first started the 12 Week Challenge I became rather reclusive as it was difficult being in social situations whilst still trying to get my head around what I could and couldn’t eat. It was just easier to not be involved than to be surrounded by temptations and uncertainty. But I have learnt now that it doesn’t have to be that way, you can be paleo and still be a social butterfly, it just involves learning some little tips to make it easier. And one of my best tips is to remove these temptations and uncertainties by bringing social events into your world.

This weekend was a good friends birthday so I decided to offer to host a dinner party, a 100% paleo dinner party which meant a 100% temptation free party for me. Here I was planning out my epic paleo dinner party menu which went something along the lines of “asparagus wrapped in bacon for entree, steak wrapped in bacon for main, bacon and maple syrup something for dessert”. But then I realised one of the guests was a pescetarian (you know those vegetarians that aren’t really vegetarians as they still eat fish) which meant no bacon! It was at this point that I nearly cancelled the whole thing but after a little freak out I came up with the following menu:

  •  Spinach, avocado and slow roasted tomato salad
  •  Brussels sprouts with toasted pecans, thyme and caramelised eschallots
  •  Squid rings marinated in basil, chilli and macadamia nut oil
  •  Whole baked snapper with fennel and lemon

But I couldn’t host a birthday dinner party without birthday cake. I was hesitant at first, I didn’t think I would be able to do it. Just hearing myself say that I was going to bake a dairy free, grain free, sugar free cake sounded ridiculous. But I totally nailed it!

With a little research I came across this Naked Chocolate Cake recipe by Teresa Cutter. This cake is incredible. It is easy to bake and comes out light, moist and full of flavour. I knew the birthday boy loved after dinner mints so I got working on a choc mint icing recipe to go with the cake. I whipped together some coconut cream, stevia granules, natural peppermint extract and cacoa nibs. But as this was a choc mint cake I wanted the icing to be green without using artificial colouring. So guess what I used……SPIRULINA! Spirulina powder in my freaking icing! It worked perfectly. Who would have thought?? And who would have thought I would ever get so excited about the fact that I coloured my icing with algae?

So being paleo doesn’t mean you have to withdraw from socialising. Get your friends and family involved in your new lifestyle. You may even accidentally convert some of them to join you on your primal journey, especially if there is bacon involved!

– Isabel

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