"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Paleo Restaurant: Sauvage (Berlin)

I haven't been able to order absolutely everything off of a restaurant menu since January, 2010.  Since I first got into the real food lifestyle on February 1st of that year, almost every restaurant trip has left me frustrated with how little options I had... or has me driving the waiters crazy with the typical "No bread, no rice, no sauce, can I have double veggies instead?"  And except for during my trip to Paris a few months ago, I haven't ever been able to order dessert.

But that all changed when, last Tuesday, I experienced one of the best meals of my life in Berlin at Sauvage, the "world's first Paleolithic restaurant."  (I'd like to thank Paul from Living in the Ice Age for reminding me about it!)  Here is the sign that greeted me when I arrived, which made me fall in love with the place immediately:

Besides the fact that I was insanely excited about this place since making reservations the week before (seriously: make reservations if you plan on going, because this place got packed!), the following sign, displayed right when you walk in, made me really go into excitement over-drive:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is so nice to walk into a restaurant and know that I won't "get glutened" or have a terrible reaction to processed crap, vegetable oil, grain-fed meat, or hidden sugar.  It's been two years since I haven't had to worry about that, and going to Sauvage has restored my faith in eating out (though now that I'm back in the UK-- and heading back to the US in a few months-- I'm going to be sad that a Paleo restaurant doesn't exist in either country.... yet).  Words seriously can't describe how excited I was for this meal!

The restaurant only seats up to forty people, and it was so cozy-- it had a very rustic feel, and dinner was 100% by candlelight, which added to the feeling that, oh my god, I'm eating in a Paleo restaurant!

Although the menu was entirely in German, the waiters were more than happy to translate every single dish for us-- and everything sounded more delicious than the next.  My mom and I each got an appetizer: cauliflower soup with their gluten/grain-free bread and butter, and the Paleo antipasti plate, which had everything from seed-based crackers to cabbage to olives to garlic to eggs.  Both dishes were so good!


For the main course, we ordered the "Steak Sauvage"--which was 100% grass-fed with caramelized red onion, chives, capers, garlic, and green pepper-- and a veal dish with roasted cauliflower, dates, paprika, mint, and sesame.  Nom!!   

Dessert was incredible, and it was so awesome to be able to order it!!  They offered two different desserts, so we ordered both and split them.  The first one was a dark chocolate and hazelnut tort with a wild berry sauce, and the second was a lavender-honey cake with their homemade ricotta and hibiscus sauce (with an almond crust).  So yummy!!  

This meal was amazing.  (It was also pretty reasonably priced for such high-quality food.  Our appetizers were in the €6-€9 range, our entrees from €17- €23, and desserts were €4.90 and €6.90.  They also do not accept credit cards.)  Not only was the food itself absolutely delicious, but the atmosphere, staff, and everything else about the restaurant made this an experience that I will never forget. 

Thank you, Sauvage, for a truly fantastic meal and night.

Quote of the Day:
"Paleo Cuisine is based on the dietary habits of our prehistoric ancestors, but doesn't tend to mimic how prehistoric men ate.  The Modern Paleo cook combines evolutionary science with contemporary cuisine and ancestral cooking methods."  -Sauvage website

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Paleo Poem

Many, many years ago, our ancestors gathered and they hunted--
they lived in caves, ate off the land, and instead of talking, they grunted.
No modern diseases plagued them, for they were healthy and strong:
the antithesis of today's owrld... So then what the heck went wrong?
The cavemen lived on meat and fat, yet "experts" now claim both can kill,
so why are humans sicker now with that advice and modern pills?

Our ancestors moved frequently, they walked and hiked at a slow pace--
and they certainly weren't chained to desks for the eight hours of the rat race.
They lifted heavy natural things, not just 5-pound weights in local gyms,
and sometimes they even sprinted (away from tigers to keep their limbs!).

They didn't have computers, phones, TVs and cable, or the iPad--
Apples and blackberries were simply fruits, and a jaguar was the next meal to be had.
Their circadian rhythms were perfect: no late nights or early mornings--
they slept with the moon and woke with the sun and had no need for electronic warnings.
There's no doubt our lifespans exceed theirs-- sure, theirs averaged thirty years,
but we have sanitation and modern medicine, while they had different fears:
infections and natural accidents, being chased by mammoths and bears--
so it's unfair to use that argument, for they had totally different cares!
But there was no obesity or cancer-- no Neolithic Agents of Disease,
no high blood pressure or autoimmune conditions, and no type-2 diabetes.

Those came only after Agriculture in about 8000 BC,
when humans shrunk and started getting sick, and changed was society.
We stopped following the wisdom of our previous generations--
we settled down and changed the Earth, and we are now just fast food nations.
We moved away from real food-- now we have packaged meals and bread,
which contains the evils gluten and wheat-- or "Satan's excrements" (as Robb said)--
that really mess up our bodies and health.  Go and read Wheat Belly,
which gives a lot of reasons why you should give up your PB & jelly.

Strange "products" run amok now, and weird chemicals lace our food--
Big Macs aren't really meat-- I doubt that "cow" had ever mooed!
"Low fat" everything lines the shelves, and you can blame that all on Keys,
who scared people out of eating fat-- but it does NOT cause heart disease!
And those "healthy whole grains" aren't healthy-- they cause your blood sugar to get scary,
and it's insulin issues that make you fat-- go check out these books by a guy named Gary.
Sugar is the new cocaine-- yet it's still legal (even though it's harmful!),
which is why food companies put it everywhere-- it keeps you buying things by the armful.
The obesity crisis is getting worse: people are fat, sick, and so unhealthy,
Big Pharma and Agribusiness don't want to help-- they just want to get wealthy.
Don't listen to government regulations-- Monsanto is tied to the FDA,
so take your health into your own hands and listen to what ancestral wisdom has to say.
Go back more than 10,000 years ago, go back to eating good fats and meat,
and fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds (and dark chocolate as an occasional treat!).

Purge the pantry of those "healthy" grains, of those legumes and snacks and boxes.
Eat wild, buy organic, and perhaps try the 30- or 21-day sugar detoxes.
Just say no to GMOs, and don't venture into center aisles,
go out in the sun and play-- you'll get both your daily Vitamin D and smiles.
Sleep a lot in a dark, dark room; lift heavy things and move...
Perhaps this all sounds overwhelming, but don't worry: you'll get in the groove.
Maybe you still need some help: have no idea what to eat daily?
Go on over to Fast Paleo, or buy this amazing book by Bill and Hayley.
Mark's Daily Apple is so helpful-- it's got a ton of information,
and check out Nom Nom Paleo for her latest culinary creation.
You can raise a family on this lifestyle too: check out Paleo Parents Stacy and Matt,
or Everyday Paleo (the book and blog)-- they'll all prove how you can do that!
Knowledge is certainly power, but most people have no nutritional knowledge of any kind,
so why not read The Paleo Solution, or Primal Body, Primal Mind,
or go back even further: check out the work by Weston A. Price,
who looked at nutrition and dental health (and found if you eat well, your teeth are nice!).
Learn to question everything: seek answers and find the truth,
don't listen blindly to doctors who don't know better-- they won't lead you to the fountain of youth!
Many answers lie simply in our past: in natural food and lots of sun,
in moving and playing and lifting and sleeping, and not needing technology to have fun.
Though the world has changed since the cavemen, we can still look to their lives
and find the keys to optimal health... because we don't just want to live: we want to thrive.

Quote of the Day:
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."  -Robert Frost