A lot has changed in my life since I last posted here. I ran my first marathon in Louisville, Kentucky last April and then went looking for a new challenge. I found CrossFit and joined the Fort Walton Beach box (i.e. gym) four months ago. The CrossFit approach to fitness is simplicity itself, combining intense workouts with a stripped-down approach to nutrition called the Paleo Diet. Paleo is based on the diet available to our prehistoric ancestors: lots of meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, with some fruit and some nuts and seeds. No grains (bread, pasta, rice), no legumes (beans, peas, etc), and NO refined sugars (that includes honey and agave). Dairy is a matter of debate, but strict paleo adherents say no to milk and cheese..
To promote the Paleo diet, CrossFit boxes hold “30 Day Paleo Challenges” for their members. Participants are required to keep a daily log of their meals and snacks as well as exercise and stretching. 19 days ago I started my first paleo challenge and so far so good. I feel great: lean and strong. My energy levels don’t crash in the afternoons anymore. And thanks to my girlfriend Janie I’m eating vegetables I never ate before.
But mostly I’m eating meat. A lot of meat. Beef and pork. Poultry and seafood too. I’ve been a fan of grilled flank steak for several years now. Marinated and seared on a hot grill, it is juicy, chewy, savory, and lean. Usually I marinade and cook the whole steak and then slice it into thin strips before serving it, but Janie and I found some wood skewers in a kitchen drawer and decided to put them to use. This is what we did:
- Sliced a raw flank steak across the grain into thin strips
- Placed the strips in a freezer bag and marinaded with Dale’s seasoning for ten minutes
- Threaded the strips of raw meat onto the wood skewers (which we soaked in water for a half hour before hand)
- Placed the skewers on a hot grill, turning after three or four minutes
Because the meat is cut thin it takes less time for it to cook. After eight minutes total cooking our meat was medium-well done. It was delicious too – the Dale’s made it salty and smoky. A strong dry Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel would go great with it. We had ours with grilled zucchini and squash with fresh guacamole on the side. I admit I missed having a warm flour tortilla fresh from the grill to wrap it all in, but sacrifices must be made.
And pulling grilled meat off a stick? The only thing more paleo than that would be cooking it over an open fire!