In my quest to understand the paleo lifestyle, I’ve been reading nearly every paleo-themed blog, website, recipe site, etc. that I can find on the internet. I followed many bloggers’ trips to the Crossfit Games 2012 in California and read up on the foods they bring on-the-go. A few sites go a bit deeper – few recipes, more talk – which is how I discovered some really interesting articles that I plan on sharing here in due time.
By clicking my way from blog to blog and website to website, I usually end up at a portion of the site that shows recommended online stores for buying organic products like coconut, seeds, nuts, aminos, jerky, and snacks. The latter definitely sparked my interest.
Now, when I was toying around with veganism not too long ago, one of the things that always, always bothered me was how people who enjoyed defining themselves as veg*n re-create common non-veg things (cheese, frosting, mayonnaise, ice cream, and even meat, poultry and seafood, to name just a few). I’ve always felt that if you’re going to stop consuming dairy, honey, meat, etc. then do so truly – don’t pretend that Daiya non-dairy cheese shreds are the real thing. I personally feel that if you do, then it means that you actually miss the part of you that used to eat those things.
I was 100% guilty of doing that (and eating that exact “meatless ground” item above).
I mean, just go back in my recipes and check out how many vegan and vegetarian recipes I created and foods I ate. Back in Cincinnati, I was totally in love (or so I thought) with our local vegan bakery (who seriously compensated for the vegan-ness by over-doing it with the sugar bigtime!) and I’m very close friends with a vegan chef and cookbook-writer. I’m acquaintances and a full supporter of a Cincinnati girl’s entrepreneurial efforts to create coconut milk ice cream. One of the most inspirational people I’ve met in my life is the proprietor of my favorite eco-friendly store in Cincinnati, which sells all that super-fake vegan “honey”, “mayonnaise”, “marshmallows”, “beef jerky” and “cheese”. I still absolutely adore his store because you can get so close to the raw, from-earth products as long as you ignore the faux foods and simply get yourself some kombucha, kale chips, and bulk nuts and seeds.
Yes, yes… I’m aware that there are plenty of people out there who do not use these faux-food substitutions and consume real, natural foods while abstaining from animal products and/or by-products. Kudos to them, seriously! And I’m also well-aware of paleo recipes (including those I’ve created!) that try to make rice-less rice, dairy-free whipped [coconut] cream, and many bloggers and sites promoting everything from grain-free nut-free pancakes and paleo bread.
But, let’s ignore the labels. Let’s ignore the fake-ness of the foods and look at the ingredients; that’s what’s important, right? Let’s not call it vegan “beef”; just call it seitan. Let’s not call it paleo-pancakes; just do what I did when I fed them to my boyfriend and say, “It’s almond flour, egg, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and baking powder… and it kind of looks like a pancake… now eat it!”
Case and point: Paleo Treats. They don’t call their Mac Attacks or Mustang Bars “cookies” because they know cookies aren’t paleo. They don’t call their Cacao Now treats chocolate bars because they’re not. Uh… well… they do have their Brownie Bombs, but like their other treats, it’s about the ingredients:
No gluten of any kind.
Just real ingredients that you can pronounce. If you look at the product details, you can see that most don’t have more than a handful of ingredients! It reminds me of some of the vegan bars I used to make (minus the honey) back in my vegan-trial phase of life.
I placed an order for a box of 5 Mac Attacks and 5 Mustang Bars. (I’m not a chocolate fan, so I found it really awesome that I can get a variety box of the low/no-chocolate items!) I had some technical difficulties using my American Express card, but Nik, the awesome web guy, contacted me via e-mail and on the phone to figure out what went wrong and to fix it. Seriously the best customer service I’ve experienced from an online company!
I haven’t received my order yet, but when I do you’d better believe I will write about it – good or bad! (I anticipate the former, certainly!)