Costco Part Two – Paleo

One of the not-great things about eating Paleo is that it can be very costly. So, you want to save every cent you can on buying the essentials that you need. There’s a lot of meat, fresh fruit and veg, loads of nuts, coconut oil and flour.. Plus if you want to sweeten anything, you want to use things like coconut sugar or agave.

When I first tried eating Paleo, you had two choices to source some of the items – online, or via health food stores. I’ve paid truly obscene prices for coconut oil and sugar.

Even though I am not eating paleo anymore I much prefer cooking with coconut oil, and sweetening things with lower GI forms of sugar such as coconut sugar or agave so the prices at Costco are amazingly awesome.


Costco coconut sugar 1kg for $7.59.


Costco Agave – 2x 700ml bottles for $11.59


Coconut Flour – 1kg $5.99


Coconut Oil – 900g for $13.59


UHT coconut milk – 6x 400ml for $7.99


Coconut Water – 12x 330ml for $13.99

Pecans – 908g for $16.99


Pine Nuts – 680g for $30.79


Pistachios – 1.36kg for $24.99


Walnuts – 1.36kg for $23.99

If you are eating Paleo you can save yourself money, even with the yearly membership fees of $60 or $55 for a business and you can source a lot of sometimes difficult to find things in one location by shopping at Costco.

More nuts next Monday!

Costco, paleo

Sydney Trip Report

Very interesting outcome of the Sydney Trip.

Darling Harbour right before heading to Sydney Aquarium at 6pm.

I was not as bad as I expected I would be. I had one gelato a day and I gravitated towards the more savory flavours in any case – salted caramel, salted coconut and mango. Even so I consumed more sugar than I had in a while.

It took 2 days before I felt hungry as a surprise. The amount of calories expended in those 2 days I could not even tell you. It was constant walking from the time we arrived in Sydney.

The gorgeous fish scale style ceramic wall at Sydney Aquarium

The first day we visited Chinatown and n2 extreme gelato, Paddys Markets, Sydney Aquarium, Pancakes On The Rocks for dinner, then off to Star City Casino for a look around there.

And what a look it was – they had mirrored crystal seating booths. I can’t even. The beauty of these cannot be shown in a photograph, I am sorry, you will just have to go and see it for yourself. :)

The second day was probably the most draining exercise wise as we prowled the shopping district during the day, walked from Westfield Sydney to Grilld at World Square for lunch (we shared a burger and fries as neither of us felt very hungry, it was such a hot day) then back to Paddys Markets, we walked around Darling Harbour multiple times, we liked Grilld so much for lunch we went to Grilld Harbourside for dinner, then to Star Casino for dessert at Gelato Messina.

Sydney City as seen from Darling Harbour.

The Sydney shopping district makes zero sense to me. I grew up in Adelaide where everything is laid out all neat like. Sydney is a mess of secret malls, overhead walkways that link shopping centres which come to you as a surprise, and underground corridors full of shops. It has a very short mall compared to Rundle Mall in Adelaide and the rest of the main shopping strip cars and pedestrians fight for space especially on a busy day.

Even the newest shopping centre – Westfield Sydney – has a dizzying layout which makes it impossible to see every shop without backtracking and walking in circles..

The third day we chilled out, had a lovely Paleo friendly breakfast at Darling Harbour, then I went wandering on my own via the monorail back to Westfield Sydney and the CBD while The Other Half met his friend for lunch. Then to Costco, then home via a Sushi Train..

I’m going to write up some reviews this week – including the longest photo review known to man thus far – and I also want to do some linking to Sydney food sites I read which inspired me to visit the places we visited.

So what did I learn?

For me, sugar, carbs like potatoes and rice, and grains, make me hungry. They also make me crash big time – on the third day I had a major blood sugar spike when I had a Starbucks coffee in the morning without any sugar added but it was a flavoured one and plenty sweet by itself. I then experienced a crash, a low blood sugar thing.

It was interesting to recognise that for what it was and see the symptoms it caused, and to look back and see where that has happened to me in the past and I have put it down to other things.

food, paleo, Sydney, travel

Update On Everything.


Things have been going well. I have been eating paleo for 23 days now. This will end tomorrow. It simply will not be practical to eat that way while in Sydney. I will not have a lot of control over the amount of sugar in things or the ingredients. And I have been reading about these gelato places for *months* and longing to try them.

This is going to be a very interesting thing, to see how my body handles sugar now. I wonder if I will get an appetite back. I still do not have one.

My intentions are to go back to Paleo when I return home, and start over again.


I recently mentioned in my food exhaustion post about the huge amounts of meat involved with Paleo. On second thoughts, it is not truly that meaty. I think the reason it seemed like a lot more meat for me is because I did not eat very much of it beforehand. If I did eat meat, 9 times out of 10 it would be chicken.

I certainly didn’t eat things like pork or beef much previous to going Paleo – unless out somewhere and it was served to me as a surprise. An occasional pork roast, tacos with beef, a hamburger or a spaghetti bolognaise were the extent of my experience with those foods. I’m so excited about pork, I am a huge fan of it now. Beef I can take or leave.

I have been cooking meat in bulk which is not something I ever did before, so it seems like a lot more meat in the diet when you put in a 1.5kg (3 pound) pork roast, a 1.5kg beef roast or 4-6 chicken breasts into the pressure cooker. But most of the meals I cook in there I get 8+ meals out of and some of them end up frozen for eating later.


I think the most important thing for me has been cutting out the sugar. I think has changed everything.

I have always been someone who chooses full fat over fat free because I find what they replace the fat with is generally sugar and I have always believed fat is preferable to sugar because our bodies know what to do with it.

But if someone new to paleo was used to eating the low fat stuff, and they had a mindset that fat is bad, it would be a big change in their mindset. Plus, they would be used to getting those sugar highs from the “fat free” sugary food they were eating.

I was going to update you on my teevee watching but I have run out of time and could not get the images to cooperate, so that will come to you as a surprise later. ;)

food, life lessons, Making Choices, paleo

Food Exhaustion

Gina from Running To The Kitchen said something the other day that truly resonates with me right now.

I think I’d like this whole strict paleo thing a lot more if someone could just prep all my meals for me. I feel like I’m constantly in the kitchen, constantly defrosting meat and going through protein at an alarming rate.

I am just exhausted by the constant food preparation and the huge amounts of meat.. I am also exhausted by trying to have to *decide* what to cook.

Part of this is because of the Lite N Easy – each day had a menu right down to the snacks so for two and a half months I did not have to make any food decisions.

Sometimes I like being told what to do. When it comes to food I love that because given the option between making a good choice which is difficult to cook, or making a bad choice that I can nuke in the microwave, I will choose the latter every time.

If given the choice between an apple which you have to cut up, and a packet of chips which you merely have to open and eat, I used to choose the latter.

Now I see how completely ridiculous making that bad choice that is. Cutting up an apple takes moments, and a decent knife.

food, paleo

Update On The Lack Of Sugar.


So I wrote a few days ago that everything seemed ok. And it did. But then, the dark days reared their head.

First of all, zero appetite.

None. Nada.

You could pile up a huge feast of the most awesome foods in the world in front of me, and I’d turn up my nose at it. Smell does nothing to change it. I’m eating because I have to, not because I want to. I’m forcing it every 2 hours.

This could turn into a pretty big issue – I’m finding it hard to get enough calories to begin with. If I forget – if I get caught up in something interesting or lose track of time, there is no ding ding HELLO time to eat signal from my body.

Second of all – my internals.

I don’t know why but over the past two days there has been an intense intestinal reaction to this new diet. I won’t go into details – TMI! But I did want to share it because from my googling on the webs, this is not an uncommon thing when switching to paleo. You change what goes in, you change what comes out.

A big part of me thinks that this is toxins leaving the body.

Another part of me wonders if this is a reaction to some of the spices I have used – eg chili which I do tend to react badly to – and the fact that I am using a lot more spices now.

Another part of me kinda suspects this might be because I had a massive pig out on pork crackling about 24 hours before this happened. I don’t usually consume that much fat in one sitting but wow, it was awesome. That was the first time I ever made my own pork crackling.

Actual Results

One week of zero sugar = 4kg lost.

When I say zero sugar, I mean absolutely no added sugar with two exceptions, which is one teaspoon of coconut sugar per day in my coffee, and the coconut sugar used in the chocolate recipe.

What Next?

This looks like something that might work for me. I’m not sure how long term this could be. By the end of January I am going to make a decision on whether or not to try the whole 30 in February.

food, paleo

Sweet Potato Fries

I cannot believe how easy this was to make, and how awesome it was to eat! Where have these sweet potato fries been all my life?


Oh, I know where. The regular white potato has overshadowed all other forms of potato. Now, I know better..

All I did was cut up some sweet potato, coat them in extra virgin olive oil, then used the salt and pepper shaker on them. Baked for 20 mins, flipped over with the tongs, baked for another 15. Done!


Update on all things Paleo – Saturday was my first day of eating paleo – or a slightly modified version of it. There has been some dairy in the form of yoghurt. I have a huge tub of it to finish off, and I have been eating it for breakfast with fruit.

The main thing I am worried about right now is cutting out added sugar. If there is sugar on the ingredients list, I’m not eating it. And there is sugar on a lot of ingredient lists, found in unexpected places. Like tinned beetroot, tinned tomatoes, vegetable chips – which would otherwise be a perfect thing for me as they have a sweet potato flavour. And stock! Chicken, beef, vege.

I have only found one brand which is sugar free in the health food section of Coles. Please carefully note, it is NOT with the other stocks, but with all the gluten free super healthy foods area. Why make things logical when you can make people wander the supermarket like ghosts unable to leave the planet earth until they find the one thing they are looking for in all these different sections?


So anyone searching the internet as I did for “where can I find sugar free chicken stock in Australia” will hopefully find their way here and know which packet to look out for.

There is one teaspoon of coconut sugar in my daily coffee. That is all. I will eventually cut that out as well.

The second concern is avoiding grains. I have always been somewhat meh about bread – I can buy it and eat a shedload of it as a surprise, or I can buy it and forget to eat it. But I do love my Hot X Buns. I had a packet of them last week as a kind of goodbye to grains.

I am hesitant to say this now because who knows, there could be dark days ahead. I was concerned there would be side effects of cutting out the sugar. As it stands right now, I feel ok. Possibly better than ok. I’m not craving sugary foods nor am I craving foods in general. I’m less hungry than I have been for a long time. Partly that is thanks to the lite n easy teaching me to eat less more often, partly that would be because of all the proteins.

Basically the eating looks like this right now –

Breakfast – plain sugar free yoghurt with fruit

snack – almonds and cashews (bought loads of these from Costco in bulk)

lunch – chicken in coconut cream sauce (recipe to come as a surprise eventually, I made this one up myself and I made a lot of it yesterday)


snack – olives stuffed with almonds or marinated olives

dinner – another chicken in coconut cream sauce

snack – an apple or an avocado

It seems boring but it turns out it is not. I can’t believe how much flavour everything seems to have now. I had an apple today and it was the sweetest thing I have eaten in centuries. It was like an appley can of coke. Is this what happens when you cut out the fake sugar sweetness?

food, paleo, Paleo Recipes, recipes

Coconut Mango Chicken

So easy, so awesome. Recipe here.


I didn’t have any chipotle and I am not the greatest fan of hot chilli in any case, so put in some Paprika instead. It didn’t really need much in the way of spices – the mango reduced into this awesome almost buttery sauce. There were still chunks of mango which were so soft and incredible..


More than likely I overcooked it. It will take some getting used to, these insane tiny cooking times with the pressure cooker. It was trying to tell me it needed to cook for 4 minutes or some such nonsense. I took the safer way out and cooked it for 30. I doubled the recipe as I had plenty of chicken however it made a lot of mango coconut juice left over. Probably should have used 1 can of coconut milk and one of coconut cream to thicken it.

food, paleo, Paleo Recipes, recipes

Food Prep & a special note.

Coconut mango chicken in the pressure cooker, cooking?


So far that is all I have achieved today. It was meant to be a big day of cooking but it turned into a huge day of sleeping in because I was so tired from the past 2 days and turning my body clock back around to regular day time – for 2 work shifts this weekend then I go back to vampire mode for 2 shifts from midnight to 6am!

I’m going to make the chocolate chili next, I’ll go and get some fresh meats for that, and see if I can hunt down the cauliflower and broccoli.

If I am going to do one big day of cooking per week, I may well need 2 slow cookers.

On a completely different note. Jo Abi wrote this post today about toilet roll holders. I can understand immediately the problem and it is a problem we once had in a couple of the rental houses we lived in because when you move in you take what is there. Some of these things are more complicated to work than flying the space shuttle, and they train 6 months to do that.

Then we moved into a rental house where they had one like this –



No more hassles! No more thoughts of “it is easier to just let this sit here on top of the toilet roll holder than to try and put the toilet roll *on* the toilet roll holder, so I’ll just put it here”. No more arguments “the roll ran out when you were sitting there so it is your turn!”

And so we never run out of t.roll to put on the holder –


While writing this, I thought I would show you my stash of paper products – t.roll and p.towel.


I have to say it is the most enormous mind relief to buy these products in bulk. There is nothing I hate more than running out of t.roll or p.towel especially as you will usually run out of it in the middle of the night. And not to have to lug this stuff constantly back from the supermarket – one trip, one lug, lasts 6 months or more for us. :)

Costco, food, paleo, prep for going paleo

Trying Something New

So. The time has arrived for me to stop Lite N Easy and try something that might be more suited to my body chemistry..

I have found the excessive amount of breads and starches on this diet to cause a lot of bloating and gas. I began to think maybe I have a gluten problem and grains were not my friend but now I am 99% sure I have a thyroid problem.

One big hint that it might be thyroid – the last blood test a couple of years ago showed my TSH levels to be on the low side and my doctor and I talked about it then and decided to wait and see. This time I’ll be asking for the medicine to fix it. I have a lot of the symptoms seen here, too.

I have a doctors appointment this week to organise the blood test and make certain of that. In the meantime I am going to start making some huge changes eating wise.

I have been reading about the Paleo diet for a long time, and have always wanted to try it but the truth is, it takes a lot of organisation and effort to be able to eat that way full time and with my working hours.. it wasn’t the right time to have a go at it. So I am making up a slightly modified version of the Paleo diet for myself. I might not be quite as strict with the Dairy to begin with, though I am pretty sure I can cut it out of the meals I am a cheese addict and I need one small allowance on sugar.

I’ve ordered a bunch of coconut oil and other coconutty items which should arrive hopefully Wednesday. I have been cooking with coconut oil since mid last year (while I was on the L&E, I was cooking with it for the other half) and I prefer it to the other oils.

The one thing in that package which will be vital to making this change to begin with is coconut sugar. Yes there is not supposed to be any sugar on the Paleo diet but my one vice is coffee and I believe I can do without sugar everywhere else but in my daily double shot latte. I have been cutting that back as time goes by and I am down from two sugars back to just one.

Now that the silly season is over, I’ve cut back my hours a little and have made a couple of investments into items necessary for making this change, and will be making some more investments this week.

The biggest time killer is food preparation with this diet. I don’t have time every day to be endlessly cutting and chopping, etc. But I do have 2-3 days off each week, so if I can get organised on those days and have everything ready to go for the following week, that would work. Inspired by Melissa Joulwan over at The Clothes Make The Girl – see her Paleo 101 for everything you need to know about Paleo, I have a plan for my days off this week.

The slow cooker arrived today, the deep freeze should be here tomorrow, containers for food storage will be my task on Wednesday, Thursday will be a Costco and fruit and veg visit, Friday will be a huge cook and food prep day, with a slow cooker meal done each day after that to get some variety of items in the freezer ready for when I arrive home from work as well as fridge ready meals to cook.

I have a text file chock full of recipes I am eager to try which I have collected from a number of Paleo websites over the past few months. Quite a few of them are slow cooker recipes. I have never used a slow cooker before and I bought a combo slow cooker/pressure cooker, just to make life even more challenging lol. :)

On the one hand I am kinda grr this is a lot of work I am giving myself and on the other hand I am pretty excited about making this change.

I will of course, relentlessly blog about it all. :) So you are joining me on this journey, yays!

I have learned a lot from my time on Lite N Easy but right now, today, I am the exact same weight as I was when I started with it. Though my weight has gone up and down during my time on L&E, it generally has stayed within 2kg of my current weight. I do not think this is the fault of Lite N Easy at all – I know people who are on it and losing significant amounts of weight.

I blame my faulty thyroid and low metabolism.

And realistically, I have to blame those things, because when you are on a 1200 calorie diet, exercising 5x a week for 30 minutes + and seeing no weight loss.. and then you step up the exercise, and still nothing? Something else is going on here.

food, paleo