Friday, September 7, 2012

PaleoViz iPhone App Review (and giveaway!!) and Squashy Eggs Recipe

For the past couple of weeks, I have been testing out a new Paleo food diary app on my iPhone called PaleoViz. PaleoViz was developed by Lou Franco and (full disclosure) he provided me with a free test copy of the app so I could try it out and share my thoughts with you. I want to start out by reviewing my experience using PaleoViz, but I couldn't leave you hanging without a recipe so I'll have a recipe for Squashy Eggs at the end of the post. You must be wondering what Squashy Eggs are, so read on...

PaleoViz has a lot of great features and it is very simple to use. Each day you take a photo of your meals and/or snacks using the app. You can then write a short description of what you ate and rate it between 1 and 4 stars in both Taste Rating and Paleo Rating. What is a Paleo Rating, you ask? Based on your personal standard of Paleo, you can rate how Paleo you felt your meal to be. 4 stars would be considered strict Paleo, 3 would be considered acceptable and anything less than that would be considered a cheat. Once you rate your meal, you can also enter the macronutrients if you are also tracking your carbs, protein and fat. You can even share your meals on Twitter for that extra bit of accountability.

PaleoViz also has a Stats tab that gives you more of a summary of how you are doing each day. You can see your Paleo Score for the day and also your Paleo Streak. Both the Paleo Score and the Paleo Streak are based on the Paleo rating you gave each of your meals. If all of your meals are rated as three or higher, you will continue your streak for that day. 

You can also browse through previous meals and snacks if you are in need of a little inspiration at dinner time. PaleoViz saves all of your stats so you can review your previous meals and see how you rated them and even reminisce on how tasty they looked.

I used the app for about two weeks and, honestly, I had a difficult time remembering to photograph and track my meals before scarfing them down. That might just be a personal problem, though. :) I think this app would be best suited for those just starting out on the Paleo diet and want a little guidance and accountability. Tracking your meals does make you more mindful of what you are eating and seeing that you reached your goals each day can be encouraging. 

For someone like me who has been eating this way for well over a year I don't feel that it is totally necessary for me to track my meals. One thing I love about a Paleo way of eating is that I know everything I consume is healthy and nutritious and I don't have to worry whether I am getting too much or not enough of certain nutrients.  

Overall, if you are new to Paleo or just prefer the accountability of tracking your meals, I would definitely recommend PaleoViz. Entering your meals is quick and easy and you can review your stats at the touch of a button.

Now for the fun stuff! If you are interested in trying out the PaleoViz app, I am giving away free downloads of this app to three lucky readers! Just leave a comment below with your first name and email address and you will be entered to win. I'll choose the winners at random on September 14th and email you directly with instructions on how to download your free copy of PaleoViz.


Recipe time! Have you ever heard of a better recipe name than Squashy Eggs? I know I haven't, but I can't take credit for it either. Kevin spied me cooking this up last week and immediately dubbed it Squashy Eggs.

As you may have guessed, squash is the main ingredient here. I used both zucchini squash and yellow crookneck squash, sauteed them with onions and tomato sauce, and then baked them in the oven with scrambled eggs to make a big ol' egg and veggie bake. This was a perfect summer breakfast! It would be a great meal for brunch guests or if, like me, you like to make a huge breakfast one morning and have leftovers the next morning so you can sleep in or get in an early morning workout. I'm proud to say that I usually opt for the early morning workout, but in my old age I have finally learned that if my body needs sleep I should give it what it wants. If not, it can get kinda cranky and nobody wants that.

Squashy Eggs
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce (whatever you have on hand)
2 medium zucchini squash, sliced into 1/2'' slices
1 yellow crookneck squash, sliced into 1/2'' slices
1 California Red Chile (or similar sized chili), seeds removed and sliced
10-12 black olives
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried or freshly chopped basil
dash of salt and pepper
8 eggs
2 green onions, chopped

Heat oven to 400F.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Once hot, add onions to pan and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally so they don't burn.
Add squash, pepper and olives to pan and heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add tomato sauce and all spices to pan. Stir well to incorporate.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped green onions.
Pour squash and onion mixture into a large glass baking dish (about 11''x7''). Pour eggs evenly over squash.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until eggs are cooked through.