ALACENA

Alacena

{alacena}

is a Spanish word that comes from the classic Arabic word ‘al-kizāna’ and the modern Arabic word ‘al-jazēna’

In Spanish it means pantry, larder, or cupboard.

Paleo is more than just a diet. It’s a lifestyle. And it’s a label by which we can refer to this way of living and taking care of our bodies (and our environment while we are at it) that’s useful for identifying the do’s and don’ts that are recommended. 

I think the best way to look at it is not by referencing the Paleolithic era or cavemen and cavewomen, but instead to have a pragmatic approach to the times in which we live, where we live, and the lifestyle we lead. 

I like first of all, to eat seasonally. There are many benefits in this, but again that will depend on where we live. When food is in season, that is when it has the most flavour, the most nutritional value, and also is generally most affordable.

“Seasons form the natural backdrop for eating. Imagine a vegetable garden in the dead of winter. Now imagine this same garden on a sunny, summer day. How different things are during these two seasons of the year!

For ecologists, seasons are considered a source of natural diversity.

Changes in growing conditions from spring to summer or fall to winter are considered essential for balancing the earth’s resources and its life forms. But today it’s so easy for us to forget about seasons when we eat!

Modern food processing and worldwide distribution of food make foods available year-round, and grocery stores shelves look much the same in December as they do in July.”

~ World Healthiest Foods  

My second concern is sourcing my food locally and as close to the origin as possible. By purchasing our foodstuff locally, we know where it’s coming from, can be much better informed about how it’s grown (or caught, if it’s from the ocean), and we support our local businesses, farmers, and fishermen.

Thirdly, and in conjunction with sourcing local, I avoid consuming chemicals and GMOs; so I buy organic, farm-raised, pasture-raised, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and chemical and toxin-free whenever possible. I do realise it is not always practical to eat this way, especially when travelling and/or with budget restrictions. So I try to stay apprised of the GMO list of dirty produce and avoid these when shopping in the supermarkets or away from home. I also only buy wild caught fish and seafood. If I cannot afford it, I don’t eat it.

But foodstuff is not the only way chemicals and toxins can leech into our bodies. Chemicals are in almost all cleaning supplies, cosmetics, sun protection, air fresheners… to name a few things. I try to use the most natural items possible, once again, within reason and within my capabilities and budget/time constraints.

Here is an evolving list of items I use, as reference for those starting with the Paleo lifestyle, and in some cases where I purchase them.

FOODSTUFF

For Cooking

-First and foremost: LIQUID GOLD aka extra virgin olive oil from Spain; then by no order of preference: duck fat, lard, butter, ghee, coconut oil
-All seasonal produce, including white and sweet potatoes and other tubers (although these in moderation)
-Fish and seafood
-Beef, pork, lamb, duck, chicken, game
-Offal
-Eggs
-Herbs & spices
-Seasonal fruits
-Dried fruits: dates, prunes and raisins
-Fresh coconut
-Nuts & seeds: almonds, chestnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts
-Unprocessed sea salt, both coarse and fine
-Himalayan salt
-Wine vinegar
-Apple cider vinegar
-Gluten-free soy sauce (Tamari) & coconut aminos

For Baking

-Nut flours (almond, chestnut – Molino Spadoni Farina di Castagne is the best I’ve found, cashew)
-Coconut flour (Tiana)
-Tapioca starch
-Arrowroot powder
-Butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, duck fat, olive oil
-Raw honey
-Maple syrup
-Coconut sugar
-Raw cacao
-Cacao butter

Other Items

-Jamón Serrano (Spanish ham)
-Ribera del Duero & Rioja red wines (sulfite free whenever possible)
-Albariño & Rioja white wines
-Groningen wholegrain mustard (this is not wheat, but wholegrain mustard seeds)
-Bee pollen
-Ground flaxseeds
-Tapioca pearls
-Sesame oil, as a flavouring, but never used for cooking
-Cacao nibs
-Maca powder
-Omega-3 supplements
-Vitamin D supplements
-Magnesium supplements

OTHER THINGS

Some ingredients that I use are hard to find in the supermarket or even at stores like Whole Foods or El Corte Inglés (in Spain). For the harder-to-find items, I do a lot of online ordering and also try to visit the local farmer’s markets or Asian markets whenever possible.

Here are some places at which I like to shop, listed for your convenience. I do not get any percentage for naming them, nor if you purchase from them. (I’ll be expanding the list as I find new things to share with you.)

Edible flowers

Sous Chef (in the UK)

Uncle Roy’s (UK)

Kefir grains

Happy Kombucha (UK)

Dental Care

OraMD (I use baking soda with water to brush my teeth; and later brush them again with OraMD, which was recommended by my “bio” dentist. OraMD is made of almond oil and other essential oils and acts as an antibacterial.  It is available in the US and the UK.)

Raw Dairy

If you’re living in or near London, you can purchase raw dairy products from Hook & Son. They also deliver. In Spain, there’s Leite Cru (although I’ve personally not tried them yet).

HOME CLEANING

-Castille soap
-Vinegar
-Baking soda

MY NATURAL SKINCARE

-Rosewater
-Rosehip oil
-Almond oil
-Argan oil
-Aloe vera
-Raw honey & lemon juice
-Pure Castille soap made with organic oils, from Dr. Bronner