Cowboy Breakfast: A Story In Photos

This morning was the annual Cowboy Breakfast in Austin. It’s the official kickoff of Rodeo Austin, and every year, Dave and I say we want to go… then we forget or I get fussy about eating… and we miss it.

But this year, we decided to find a way to enjoy the fun without dooming our diets. As it turns out, it was super easy and totally fun.

The lesson: if you do your homework and make a plan, eating a Whole30/paleo/primal/real food diet does not mean you have to miss out on the fun.

The food at the Cowboy Breakfast is free, but at first glance, the menu was intimidating:

Biscuits and gravy
Fried catfish
Milk & Juice

But also…

Sausage wraps
Brisket tacos
Coffee courtesy
Bottled Water

So here’s what we did: I woke up a little early and made my usual breakfast and lunch to take to work (both meals today: spicy shrimp and veggies with coconut milk). Our plan of attack for the Cowboy Breakfast was to get coffee first (a little indulgence!), then find the sausage and brisket to eat without the tortilla.

It worked! We toured all the food carts and enjoyed the live country music. I had ONE BITE of a pancake that was wrapped around a sausage link and ONE BITE of fresh-from-the-oven-cornbread, then I snarfed a grilled sausage, learned how to line dance, and got up-close-and-personal with the rodeo pony mascot.

All the fun – none of the poison… and none of those annoying feelings that paleo was preventing me from enjoying my life.

Check it out…

Dave bought me an almost-authentic, commemorative tin cowboy cup.

There were some shifty-looking snake oil salesmen…

And a cowboy with fancy boots and a lasso.

He started swinging that thing…

And roped a few fillies!

After that, we met the real pony…

Then Dave and I made friends with a phony pony (fauxny?!)

There was also a real longhorn with crazy-long horns. I thanked Mr. Beef for being so tasty and nutritious.

With coffee and Texas sausage in our bellies – and my handsome cowboy at my side – it was a pretty great way to start the day.

And that’s the tale of our rodeo adventure… until the next time we put on our cowboy boots: March 24, when we go to see (OMG. For real.) Rick Springfield at the Rodeo Arena.

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  • Lydia says:

    Mmm. Cowboys. With hats. And vests. And *ropes*.

    unf unf unf

  • Maine says:

    Great pictures! And great self-control on the single bites of food! Now for a totally unrelated question…I know how you feel about Penzey's spices (and I'm 100% with you), but I'm wondering if you've ever tried Savory Spice Shop on 6th Street? Someone has offered to go there to look for a birthday gift for me, so I thought I'd see if you knew the shop and had any particular recommendations…I'm a mostly lurker (since I can't remember when…seems like a couple of years) and have only posted the rare comment, but use your recipes pretty much daily and have always found your advice and recommendations to be right on the mark. Thanks for everything you post. I can't wait for the cookbook!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Lydia! Naughty girl!

    Maine –> I haven't tried the Savory Spice Shop myself yet, but two of my coworkers went recently. The loved it! The said the owner was very nice and gave them samples… they enjoyed the whole experience. I keep meaning to walk there from my office some day to check it out. I think I'm partially afraid I'll fall in love with the place and need to go all the time!

    Thanks so much for letting me know you're out there and that you like the recipes and my rantings. It's ridiculously nice to know that.

  • indigo warrior says:

    Then you probably need to go see Rick at Barnes and Noble at the Arboretum the 23rd at 7:30pm.

  • Lisa Lou says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I love the pictures (especially the last one–you are beautiful!). What kind of photo shopping did you do to get the old black and white 'really old picture' look? Works really well with cowboys and their ponies. I grew up in Nevada and I've been in Switzerland for the last 15 years–miss those cowboys with their shit kicker boots and hats 😉

  • PaleoErin says:

    Loved this post!!! I so wanted to be there just looking at your photos! And a really good example for people to see that the Paleo diet CAN work in all kinds of situations! Good stuff girl!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Indigo Warrior –> Thanks for the heads-up!

    Lisa Lou –> Thanks for your sweet compliment! Dave took the photos with the Hipstamatic app on his iPhone. Can you believe those pics are from an iPhone?! Amazing.

    PaleoErin –> I'm SO glad I decided to make it work instead of skipping the event. Planning is definitely the key.