Saturday, January 9, 2010

Low Carb Coconut Shrimp Curry

I hope everybody had a great holiday season and ate all the right foods ;-) I swear a paleo diet (shall i say lifestyle?) is the only diet that hits you with a club if you veer too far off the paleolithic path. Can you say tequila over beer? No more micro-brews... a little part of me has died ;-)
The purpose of this blog from day one was to share balanced PZ meals. I'm gonna tweak it a bit. I said last time that i was considering modifying my diet. Well consider it done - for a couple months that is. I'm diving into paleo macronutrient cycling. What is it? It's paleo meals with lower carbs and higher fat (which is actually ALL the rage right now - listen to the Robb Wolf/ Andy D podcasts) punctuated with high carb meals that are low protein, low fat. Why? It's hard to stay lean and gain strength - I'm doing it but i want to see if this will get me there faster.... and i can't turn down a good experiment!
There's a lot of information out there about gaining LBM - gallon of milk/day, cheat meals, cheat days, intermittent fasting, 1gm Pro per lb body weight, macro-nutrient cycling, pharmaceutical "enhancements", tiger nuts (ok i made that up!) etc, etc. Some (Rob Faigan) claim insulin is a double-edged sword - anabolic on one hand, promotes fat storage on the other. Macro-nutrient cycling is supposedly a way to get the good with out the bad. I gotta believe that cavemen MUST have done this too on a seasonal basis at the very least. "Lots" of carbs in the summer, lots of meat/fats in the winter. Another reason why this appeals to me.
My target per meal is 35 gm protein, 35 gm fat, and 10 gm "active" carbs (means carb grams - fiber grams) - 5 meals per day (this is serious eating). BTW, this is about the same total calories as a balanced 5 block PZ meal. So if you are doing 5 block PZ meals and you like something you see here, eat it up. Not gonna hurt you. What about the carb load meals? This is a 7 day cycle, 5 meals/day. Last 2 meals of day 3 and day 7 have 100 gm carbs and less than 20 gm fat and protein.
Curious about my first impressions? I've been at it for a week. The first carb load meals were painful - i felt bloated/sleepy/drunk on frickin yams. I thought to myself - "I've been pinching carbs like a Russian ballerina for THIS! Kaarap!" I began to wonder. The next carb load meals I went for a bowl of fruit with 6 dried dates on top and a small slab of salmon. Believe it or not, i felt great. It's not exactly the prescription (supposed to be low glycemic starch stuff) but it's the best i can do and still feel good. My weight is down a little and my WOD strength feels great - I'm encouraged. Amazingly, even metcons feel just fine on 50 gm C/day - but then i'm probably relatively well adapted to burning dietary fat for fuel. So i'll stick to this for 2 months. Got blood work done, metcon baseline, crossfit total, waist measurement, hokey body-fat measurement ( magic scale) and resting heart rate. After 2 months i'll recheck it all. Will let you know my conclusion when all is said and done. Enuff rambling....

Low Carb Coconut Shrimp Curry
- 35gm P, 35gm F, 10 gm AC
.. this is so easy and fast - i love it..And if you haven't figured it out yet, coconut milk is magic! I think you could mix it with gravel and serve. It's THAT good.
5 oz green cabbage - chopped
5 almonds - diced
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
0.25 oz dried mushrooms - reconstituted (Costco baby!)
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk
6 oz frozen cooked prawns (shrimp)
1 Tablespoon Thai curry paste (mixed with equal amount water to thin it out)
dash of cayenne pepper

Saute cabbage in coconut oil with almonds, sesame seeds, and mushrooms. After about 10 minutes, add coconut milk, curry paste, and prawns and keep cooking just long enough to get the prawns hot. Garnish with spinach, serve, and imagine you're off the main drag in Bangkok on a steamy night with cheap fork in hand....

Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"


  1. Yay a new recipe! I'll be following your progress with the new tweaks.

  2. looks and sounds yummy cannot wait to try it!! I agree anything with coconut milk is to die for..I whip up an egg white(from my chickens) and then add a can of coconut milk whip them together and it is pure goodness to pour over fruit..
    (it gets even thicker after it is chilled in fridge)

  3. Thanks for the comment Anita! I have to try that egg/coconut milk trick! Especially since i'm doin' the high fat thing now... Eat Well!

  4. Steve I am stoked for learning about the results of your experiment! I determined, sometime around the time of the birth of my son, that I wasn't going to be able to focus enough on my diet to cycle carbs. But I'm trying to keep them low in general (not 50 g per day low, though; for me, low is below 150g), and to allow myself the occasional paleo-high-carb day (over 200g), i.e. a kind of unstructured carb cycle plan. Maybe it's not extreme enough? But my body fat % is down over the past 6 weeks.

  5. Oh yeah, Steve, check my blog for a new Paleo recipe from me...

    Boudino al Paleolithico (Coco-Cocoa-Banana-Pudding Mold) ... oh yeah, did I say PUDDING MOLD?

    Surprisingly good for NO SWEETENER ADDED.

  6. I'm really looking forward to see what you learn from this.

  7. nice recipe, will try soon, like the diet ideas...