Country Style Pork Ribs with Sugar Free Barbecue Rub

I have to admit: I love barbecue. It is something that I have sorely missed since going Paleo. I am in the process of finding a good barbecue sauce recipe for my teenager because she simply adores barbecue sauce. I had my fiance take me to get barbecue over the weekend because he knew of a restaurant that served barbecue without the sauce all over it, and I was really craving barbecue. Pretty much any sauce out there has sugar in it, which makes it off limits for me.

I found this recipe for a sugar free barbecue rub and decided to try it. I found that the rub has way too much salt! I used to use Emeril’s rib rub and used it very liberally on ribs. So the first time I used the barbecue rub I used it just as liberally as I always used the Emeril’s. I almost ruined the chicken that I tried the rub on.

So I decided to modify the recipe for the ribs, because if there is one thing I don’t want, it is ruined ribs. I had used about half of the rub that I had made, and I added the ingredients for another batch, minus the salt. The results were so phenomenal that I decided to share it with everyone.

Country Style Pork Ribs with Barbecue Rub

The rub:

4 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp celery seed

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

Coat the pork ribs in olive oil and apply the barbecue rub liberally over the ribs. Let the ribs sit in the rub with the oil in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, put the ribs in a metal baking dish, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for two hours – and then enjoy!

A Frustrated Rant

I am frustrated this morning. Mad, really.

Let me back up and give you some context. Hopefully you will then understand my frustration and be mad with me.

Last weekend my fiance, his mom, and I went to Sam’s Club to shop for groceries for a few weeks. We bought a lot of meat because there are a lot of people in this house, so we go through meat rather quickly. Especially now that half of us in the house can really only eat meat and veggies. None of us had been to Sam’s in quite a while, so we spent three hours going through the majority of the store, trying to figure out what we could save money on if it were purchased there rather than somewhere else. When we went through the freezer section, we saw some bags of frozen Tyson chicken that looked pretty convenient. The price didn’t seem too bad, either. The chicken has been so convenient that the bag is already empty. I had my first piece of it last night. I only ate one piece that my sister-in-law had grilled, with some zucchini and onions that I sauteed. And after I ate dinner I promptly passed out for four hours. When I woke up, I felt groggy and unfocused, and I had a hard time going back to sleep.

There is only one substance on the face of the planet that does that to me. This substance is found in pizza and pancakes, and this effect of those food products was one of the main reasons why I wanted to stop eating them.

I looked at the bag to try to figure out the mystery of my sudden need for sleep. The results are somewhat inconclusive, but the bag states that the chicken is flavored with chicken broth. The bag also does not say what the ingredients of the chicken broth are.

I have no proof that the chicken is what caused me to need sleep like nobody’s business. But I do know by the nature and quality of the sleep, the kind of dreams that I had, and the way that I felt when I woke up that there was something wrong with something that I ate. This is where a lot of people around me think that I am crazy and pick on me mercilessly, but when you cut so much crap out of your diet, you are much more aware and sensitive to the effects of that crap when it manages to sneak it’s way back in. All I have to go on in this case is a bag of frozen chicken, because it is the only food aspect of my entire day that I did not have complete control over.

While it is sad that I can’t even trust a bag of frozen chicken when it comes to this diet, I also should have known better. I was looking for convenience; what I found instead was that there is a price for convenience. No one said that this diet is convenient; I work hard every weekend to make sure that I have smart choices throughout the week, as well as variety in those choices. I cook everything. I make sure that everything I eat is as natural as I can afford for it to be. But we have come to a place in society where everyone places convenience over their health, which is what leads companies to put out products that are unhealthy and are ultimately killing us. What makes it extremely sad to me is that I look at a label of frozen chicken, assume by the label that it is fine, but ultimately pay a price for eating it. That price was time away from my kids and household responsibilities because I was so zonked out that I couldn’t even try to get out of bed when my daughter came in to tell me that she needed a fork, which she needed because dishes needed to be washed and I couldn’t do it – because I was so zonked. And it is too early to tell, but I am sure that I will spend the weekend feeling sub-par as well, until whatever nasty culprit that I consumed makes its way through my system.

But in the end, I learned a valuable lesson: convenience is not worth the price you pay. Next time, I will be sticking to the same old chicken that I always cook and has proven to not knock me out like a prize-fighter would.

Getting the Family Involved

Today is a proud day in our Paleo household. First of all, my fiance has been eating cleaner for a couple of weeks now. He has already talked about how much better he feels, and his blood sugar has stabilized. Second, my teenage daughter went with me to CrossFit on Friday and Saturday. She seems to really enjoy it, because when my fiance asked me when we were going back and I said Monday or Tuesday, she said, “Oh please, Monday!” But the greatest shocker to me came as we were leaving the gym on Friday and she said that she wanted to start my diet.

It took nine months, and I never thought it would happen, but it happened.

She has been rather disappointed about some of the items that she has found out that she will have to give up, but I am working with her to try to find substitutes for those things. After all, when your teenager tells you that she wants to eat healthier, you had better try hard to move heaven and earth to help her be successful! She eats barbecue sauce on everything, so that is probably the first thing I am going to try to figure out. She even tried a piece of sauteed onion with her dinner this evening!

With the teenager on board, and with our new focus on fitness and being healthy, I have also started taking steps to wean my younger daughter off of the constant cereal, granola bars, sandwiches, and chicken nuggets that she has been consuming. I already know that the hardest thing to deal with will be the cereal – I am hoping to get her to try some eggs later in the week. We found some frozen rotisserie chicken wings at Sam’s Club. They aren’t totally Paleo, but they are a gigantic step toward getting away from the breaded chicken nuggets that she has been eating. She had some for dinner this evening and she really liked them. She has been snacking on more fruit, and is eating more salads with her meals instead of the sides that she was eating before.

I am one proud mama right now. I really didn’t think that this day would come, but here it is, and I am loving every minute of it. I love sharing CrossFit with my daughter, and I am really going to enjoy teaching her how to eat healthier. I think that the experience has already brought us closer together, and I am very glad of that.