|Sorry Chili's, your meal is actually too "expensive" and "inconvenient" for me.|
"The diet (Paleo) can be expensive (grass-fed, organic meats and eggs are more expensive) and inconvenient due to the limitation of food choices, both of which make this diet less practical for the average person long term."
-Dr. Melina Jampolis, "Is the Paleo diet healthy?"
One of the chief criticisms of Paleo is that is is "expensive" and "inconvenient". If either of these points were valid (which they are not) it would only be in the extreme short term.
Yes, preparing real food takes some time, but, as is the case with any skill, proficiency and efficiency improve over time. At a certain point, preparing a skillet of veggies, eggs, and breakfast meat will actually become more convenient than waiting in a McDonald's or Starbucks drive thru. Shopping for groceries and stocking a pantry could also been seen as "inconvenient" for someone accustomed to eating out three times a day. However, this argument falls apart when you consider that the time spent waiting for a table can easily exceed 45 minutes or more on a busy night, about as much time as you need to shop for an entire week.
Together with "inconvenient", the oft-cited "expense" of purchasing real food is altogether insignificant compared to the costs associated with the long-term care for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. The annual healthcare costs for a person with diabetes average $7,402 more per year than for someone without the disease. People with diabetes also miss, on average, a full week of work (8.3 days/year) compared to their non-diabetic coworkers (1.7 days/year). (Source: "Diabetes in the United States")
If my appeal to logic falls short, however, allow me to appeal to your stomach. The meal I present to you below cost ~$20 for both my wife and I to eat and drink to our heart's content ($4 bottle of wine, $5 in antibiotic and hormone free beef ribs, $3 for an acorn squash, 50 cents for a head of garlic, $3 for a bag of frozen berries, and the relative amount of veggies, nuts, chocolate and other accessory ingredients would only add up to a few more dollars as I had plenty left over for future meals). The time investment worked out to about one hour, but this wasn't a full hour of slaving in a hot kitchen, rather it was 15 or so minutes of prep work 45 minutes of relaxation as food cooked in the oven, and another 10 or so minutes to make up the plates.
The first course was a simple salad made with organic green leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, red onion, roasted pumpkin seeds, and dressed with a glug of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. It was, of course, accompanied by glass of "anti-aging" red wine.
The second course was serving of broiled beef ribs (recipe here) with a side of roasted acorn squash (recipe here) mashed with caramelized garlic (recipe here). It was, of course, accompanied by a second glass of red wine.
The third course was a frozen berry cobbler (recipe here) that provided a deliciously unnecessary (my stomach was quite full at this point) dénouement to the meal.
I'm sure some of you have some "expensive" and "inconvenient" (Not!) Paleo recipes that you enjoy. If so, please share the love in the comments section below!