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The Paleo TV dinner

Post-workout meals for lazy exercisers

Simple storefront, just a couple doors down from a burger-eater's Nirvana.
Simple storefront, just a couple doors down from a burger-eater's Nirvana.

I’m no fitness buff, and I honestly think the Paleo diet sounds like something only primitive thinkers would embrace. I mean, sure the Neanderthals were in good shape and all, but give them a comfortable sofa and a good grocery store and even they would soften up a bit.

Place

FITzee Foods

2445 Truxtun Road, San Diego

Still, when I stumbled upon the FITzee Foods storefront while leaving a satisfying post-surf lunch at the Five Guys in Liberty Station, my burger-bellied skepticism had to confront the healthy, toned, yoga-pants-wearing women leaving the shop with stacked cartons of heat-and-serve meals in tow.

If you told me there was soylent green in there, I might believe you.

I know that what you put into your body plays a great role in determining what you get out of it, but I usually opt for a looser interpretation of what that means, both for sanity’s sake and the occasional joy of a deep dish pizza or craft beer. However, rather than continue my stroll over to peruse the heat-and-serve meals at Trader Joe’s, I decided to find out what it was bringing these fit gals into FITzee. I’m sure it isn’t the name, which is obnoxious enough without the capital-letter affectation.

While the menu of what my Granny would call TV Dinners doesn’t entirely adhere to the Paleo diet, that section actually has the more interesting-sounding meals, including tandoori chicken, Thai coconut curry chicken, and a Salisbury steak (point to Granny on that one). Most of those meals found a way to incorporate sweet potatoes as a central ingredient or side dish. I guess the nutrient-rich starch has some superfood appeal, but I’m not a fan, so I opted for one of the few to leave it out: the Paleo Spaghetti.

This goes in the microwave, while you squeeze in a couple extra laps running around the block.

Paleo eaters don’t do carbs, so how does spaghetti fit in? It doesn’t, so they’ve replaced it with slender strands of zucchini, which I suppose sounds Italian enough to make a play at being pasta. Given that the medium and large sizes were sold out, I decided it must be a popular staple and might stand the best chance of standing up to my withering elitist gaze. For $8.95 I grabbed a small serving.

Since I’d previously demolished that Five Guys burger to great satisfaction with a surfer’s hunger, I decided to afford the same consideration to my “spaghetti,” later pulling it out of the fridge following a beautiful day off Sunset Cliffs. I punctured the film on the top of the carton, tossed it in the microwave, and moments later it served right up, just like a TV Dinner. Were those ever considered healthy?

This comes out of the microwave, looking for all the world like a TV Dinner.

Much to my chagrin, it tasted pretty good. Ground turkey, basil, and marinara sauce over “tagliatelle of zucchini” may not strictly be a pasta dish, but whatever you want to call it, I scarfed it down, got a good dose of protein, and genuinely enjoyed the savory flavor and meat-meets-gourd textures. I’m not likely to start wearing yoga pants, but I could see enjoying a few more of these marked-up TV Dinners in the name of vitality. And I’ll for sure be eating more burgers.

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Simple storefront, just a couple doors down from a burger-eater's Nirvana.
Simple storefront, just a couple doors down from a burger-eater's Nirvana.

I’m no fitness buff, and I honestly think the Paleo diet sounds like something only primitive thinkers would embrace. I mean, sure the Neanderthals were in good shape and all, but give them a comfortable sofa and a good grocery store and even they would soften up a bit.

Place

FITzee Foods

2445 Truxtun Road, San Diego

Still, when I stumbled upon the FITzee Foods storefront while leaving a satisfying post-surf lunch at the Five Guys in Liberty Station, my burger-bellied skepticism had to confront the healthy, toned, yoga-pants-wearing women leaving the shop with stacked cartons of heat-and-serve meals in tow.

If you told me there was soylent green in there, I might believe you.

I know that what you put into your body plays a great role in determining what you get out of it, but I usually opt for a looser interpretation of what that means, both for sanity’s sake and the occasional joy of a deep dish pizza or craft beer. However, rather than continue my stroll over to peruse the heat-and-serve meals at Trader Joe’s, I decided to find out what it was bringing these fit gals into FITzee. I’m sure it isn’t the name, which is obnoxious enough without the capital-letter affectation.

While the menu of what my Granny would call TV Dinners doesn’t entirely adhere to the Paleo diet, that section actually has the more interesting-sounding meals, including tandoori chicken, Thai coconut curry chicken, and a Salisbury steak (point to Granny on that one). Most of those meals found a way to incorporate sweet potatoes as a central ingredient or side dish. I guess the nutrient-rich starch has some superfood appeal, but I’m not a fan, so I opted for one of the few to leave it out: the Paleo Spaghetti.

This goes in the microwave, while you squeeze in a couple extra laps running around the block.

Paleo eaters don’t do carbs, so how does spaghetti fit in? It doesn’t, so they’ve replaced it with slender strands of zucchini, which I suppose sounds Italian enough to make a play at being pasta. Given that the medium and large sizes were sold out, I decided it must be a popular staple and might stand the best chance of standing up to my withering elitist gaze. For $8.95 I grabbed a small serving.

Since I’d previously demolished that Five Guys burger to great satisfaction with a surfer’s hunger, I decided to afford the same consideration to my “spaghetti,” later pulling it out of the fridge following a beautiful day off Sunset Cliffs. I punctured the film on the top of the carton, tossed it in the microwave, and moments later it served right up, just like a TV Dinner. Were those ever considered healthy?

This comes out of the microwave, looking for all the world like a TV Dinner.

Much to my chagrin, it tasted pretty good. Ground turkey, basil, and marinara sauce over “tagliatelle of zucchini” may not strictly be a pasta dish, but whatever you want to call it, I scarfed it down, got a good dose of protein, and genuinely enjoyed the savory flavor and meat-meets-gourd textures. I’m not likely to start wearing yoga pants, but I could see enjoying a few more of these marked-up TV Dinners in the name of vitality. And I’ll for sure be eating more burgers.

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