Category: Food & Drink


A Great Article (Part 1) by Michael Eads, MD about transitioning to a low-carb lifestyle.

Some interesting notes:

  • If you’re a addict (i.e. carbs/ sugar) listening to your body is dangerous!  You need to detox before you can trust your body is not just trying to maintain your habit!
  • Adaptation to a low-carb lifestyle can take a few days or several weeks, and typically feels LOUSY (I KNOW!!) while you’re body is changing how it processes fuel (i.e. food). This is a terrible time to worry about exercise. Forget it – you’ll be too exhausted.
  • TO ADAPT TO A LOW-CARB LIFESTYLE MORE QUICKLY: EAT MORE FAT.

A Great Article (Part 2) by Michael Eads, MD about  low-carb eating.

Some more interesting notes:

  • Sodium is important in transitioning to low-carb eating because you’ll release a lot of retained fluid, which washes away electrolytes (also magnesium/ potassium). The best salts to use are “Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt or one of the other grayish, pinkish kind of grungy looking salts.”
  • Drinking water helps burn fat!! Really!!
  • Remineralize your water by adding a pinch of one of the above-listed salts (add just a pinch, so you can barely taste it).
  • His recommended supplements: multi-vitamin without iron, ALA (or r-ALA), CoQ10, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium (by prescription), vitamin D3 (dose recommendations in the article)
  • Tinto de Verano (drink) – “half fruity Spanish wine and half sparkling water poured over ice with a slice of orange and slice of lemon thrown in.  It’s kind of sangria lite.” Sounds yummy!
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I was told once by a neuro-psychologist (at least I think that’s what her title is) that what we eat and when we eat affects our neurochemicals (dopamine, serotonin, etc.). Our brain chemistry has been shown to affect everything about our lives: our sleep, our moods, our weight, etc.. This is what she told me was the ideal way to eat in order to balance our our brain chemistry, weight, and moods.

The times can be adjusted to fit one’s lifestyle, but here’s the basic idea:

8am: Breakfast = Protein shake or Protein-based breakfast
11am: Fruit
1pm: Lunch = Protein + Veggies
4pm: Fruit
5pm: Dinner = Protein + Veggies
8pm: Fruit
(This assumes a bedtime around 10-11pm.)

If staying up late:
11pm: Snack -> Protein + Veggies or Protein shake
1am: Bed Time
(Stop eating 2 hours before bed. The above two entries are extras if having a later night.)

The fruit serves a specific purpose in opening up the neurochemical receptors that aid in the production/ secretion/ uptake of the regulating hormones and chemicals. It is supposed to make us hungry, which is why we eat the fruit an hour before meals. Combining fruit and protein changes the way our body produces/ uses/ releases specific hormones. Very scientific, I know. I have the scientific papers she gave me …somewhere… but I found the page where she wrote up the schedule, so I thought I’d post it here where I could come back to it later…. 🙂

I couldn’t find a recipe I liked for these, so I kind of made it up (with help from many other recipes, since I never made beef short ribs before!). Also, it got eaten waay too fast for me to even think about taking a photo!

INGREDIENTS
* 1 pack beef short ribs (5 were in the pack we had)
* 2-4 tbsp grapeseed oil
* 3 slices bacon
* 1 sliced onion
* 1-2 sliced peppers
* 2 cups chopped celery
* 0.5-1 cup balsamic vinegar
* 0.5-1 cup water or beef broth
* garlic salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat over to 300 degrees F.
2. Pat dry the short ribs and rub the garlic salt and pepper into the meat.
3. In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp grapeseed oil until shimmering, add beef ribs and briefly sear all sides (keeps moisture in). This may require cooking the ribs in batches. Once all sides are seared, transfer ribs into a deep-sided baking dish.
4. Sauté onions, peppers, & celery in leftover beef fat. If there’s not enough, cook the bacon first, and use the bacon fat to sauté the veggies. Add garlic salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and water/broth to the veggies and allow to simmer while you:
5. Place bacon slices over beef short ribs in the pan, and then pour veggies & sauce over ribs and cover bacon pan.
6. Bake, covered, for 2-2.5 hours, or until meat is falling off the bones.
7. Allow to sit out of the over for 10-15 minutes to reach a comfortable eating temperature, and enjoy!

How yummy do these recipes look?!?

Everyday Paleo Salisbury Steak

Or Bacon Mayo

A Dietary Manifesto – Paleo 2.0: Eat archaic foods, avoid modern diseases by Dr. Kurt Harris

Stocking a Paleo Kitchen

Since bringing a Paleo lunch can seem a bit daunting at first, here’s a great blog post I found with multiple contributors on brown-bagging it, Paleo-Style.

Essential Fatty Acid (i.e. Fish Oil) Supplements:
Why to take them
(A’s Notes: They’re essential to our diets because our bodies cannot produce them, but they do thin the blood, so don’t take without physician approval if you have bleeding disorders, are on blood thinners, are going to have surgery, etc.))
Personalised Fish Oil Calculator (How much do I need?)

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What to Avoid and Why to Avoid it:

DAIRY
Whole9Life’s Dairy Manifesto
Whole9Life’s Butter Manifesto

GRAINS
Whole9Life’s Grains Manifesto
The Argument Against Cereal Grains (Part I) by Kurt Harris, MD

LEGUMES
Whole9Life’s Legume Manifesto
Whole9Life’s Peanut Manifesto

Here are some recipes recommended by some of our Paleo Challenge peers (Thanks again, Potomac CrossFit!). We haven’t tried any of these yet, except Allison’s Salsa-pulled chicken, but as they come highly recommended, I wanted to be sure we had them where we could find them! (There are a LOT of comments on the Paleo Challenge blog page!!)

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Author: Shamyla
Comment:
For Chicken Curry — This is a good recipe with instructional video too.

It takes about 45 mins to an hour too cook so I like to make a big batch over the weekend and refrigerate/freeze a good portion. It tastes even better reheated.

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Author: Erin G
Comment:
Best Chix Paleo meal yet:

(1) Allison’s Chicken in a crock pot w/ jar of salsa. Shred when done.

(2) Plop the chix over this:
Cauliflower rice sauteed on stove w/ a bit of chix broth, cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic salt. (yummo!)

(3) top it all off with some super fresh homemade guac–all chunky w/ tomatos, red and green pepper, and onions. (or for those w/o so much time use some wholly guacamole…my lazy cheat.)

(A’s note- I did make the chicken, and added bacon strips to the bottom of the crockpot and cumin to the salsa… I’ll post full directions separately.)

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Author: Kari PCF
Comment:
Great work everyone! Here are a few recipes I love:

Paleo tacos

Chicken Tagine (only if you are having starch and omit raisins)

Slow roasted pork shoulder

Smothered brisket – make sure its grass fed as its a fattier meat. I bought mine from Alison and it was delicious

Tomato braised chicken (sub stock or broth for wine)

Just a tip that has helped me – make use of your grill and slow cooker. I make most of weeknight meals by either grilling a bunch of chicken or meat or slow cooking enough to last a few days.

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Paleo Cooking Demo by Allison of “The Humble Gourmand
includes recipes for coconut-dill salmon, balsamic roasted radishes, meatloaf variation, and braised collard greens.

Other recipe recommendations from Allison:

http://humblexfitter.wordpress.com/category/paleo-recipes/
http://www.liz.powellfitness.net/category/food/
http://everydaypaleo.com/
http://paleogirls.com/
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Brian’s famous (infamous?) salad dressing

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See all comments on these posts here.

So excited!! After crossfit last night, we walked to Barnes & Noble to look for Paleo books that would explain the science & neurobiology of a Paleo lifestyle to satisfy my (A’s) curiosity & reinforce the “no sugar” requirement. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find something super-exciting:

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Look at all this good stuff:

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And if that doesn’t convince you, look at how pretty the pages are! (I rarely buy cookbooks without photos.)

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Yum!!

And just in case you missed it in the table of contents, she gives you a 30-day family meal plan (with shopping list broken down into 5- day increments), 2 weeks of school lunches, and a list of spices, oils, condiments, & nuts to have on hand in your kitchen!!

And here’s her website, just in case you need some instant gratification! Everything looks AMAZING.

An interesting comparison…

Now this is interesting.

Two Brands of Coconut Milk & the Coconut Milk Creamer:

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And their respective nutrition info:

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The coconut milk creamer has 4g sugar/ carbohydrate per 60ml (4 servings) which is still less than the Native forest coconut milk (no sugar added). It’s only 1 gram more carbs than the Thai kitchen organic coconut milk has in 79ml, but its sugar content is 3-4 times more (at 4g per 4 servings).

So I wonder: how much of a difference does it make?

Please note: I’m not trying to negotiate my way into getting more sugar, but I’d like to know if there’s a difference since the creamer has organic cane sugar added, and the coconut milk obviously has some that is naturally occurring.

P.s. Obviously next time I’m just buying the Thai Kitchen organic since it has less sugar/ carbs.

Today we did three workouts at the Potomac Crossfit gym to establish a baseline for the Paleo Challenge. Our warm-up was running around the building and active stretching.

1. Do as many as possible in a minute.

-Pull ups (scaled down to using rings which hang down instead of using the bar).
-Sit ups on abmats.
-Push ups (Scaled down to knee push ups).
-Air squats.
(A- 88 total; D- 120 total)

2. Power clean the heaviest weight you can.
(A- 65 lbs; D- 105 lbs)

3. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 6 minutes

-5 x burpees.
-10 x kettlebell swings.
-15 x push presses.
(A- 81 total with 20# kb and 35# bar; D- 75 with 35# kb and 45# bar)

The Crossfit exercises are short and high intensity so you can get a lot done in 6 minutes.

After all that (plus the 3.4 mile walk home) were pretty hungry so picked up some steaks on the way home. A had a 0.8 lb filet mignon and D had a 1.45 lb porterhouse both cooked medium rare on our caphalon grill pan (awesome!). We had it with grilled shallots, and roasted broccoli (toss in olive oil, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and 5 unwrapped garlic cloves for 20 min on a baking tray at 450 degrees F) that we cooked until crispy, a delicious meal!

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So we’ve been sort of attempting to go Paleo since we got back from our honeymoon, but moving into our new place and looking for jobs has made life extraordinarily stressful! Therefore, finding Paleo recipes, eliminating sugar and dairy, and actually cooking(!) has been a much lower priority… UNTIL TODAY!

It’s not because we suddenly found motivation (I still want cake, or at least some coconut water… maybe an oreo or two…).  Nope. Our brother-in-law Alex sent us an email from their old box (what crossfitters call their workout space), Potomac Crossfit, about their Spring Paleo Challenge. Since motivation has been an issue already, we decided we may as well join a big group of people, learn as much as we can (there was an info session, cooking demo, before photos, and baseline workout today), and get our groove on!

So, here are the rules of the Paleo Challenge, as it applies to us (beginners), and as we remember it.  It’s not the super-hard-core Paleo that my sister Kerry follows (and has had phenomenal results with, btw), but it’s a start (and it lets us have butter, lunch meats, and sausages, so for now it seems a bit easier.

Eat:

As much meat, fat, and non-starchy vegetables as we need to feel satisfied. They said they want our bodies to become “fat-adjusted” i.e. used to burning the fat we eat so that it will then begin to burn the fat stored in our bodies.  The goal is to choose the best quality that’s affordable and to watch out for sodium and additives, but to remember that “processed meats are better than no meats.”

Allowed Condiments: spices (fresh/ dried), vinegar, oil (though this is a fat, it seems only right to list it here too; best are olive & walnut), mustard, mayo, ketchup (though these have sugar, they’re not as concerned about us having these, since most of use are not going to drink condiments by the bottle…)

Drink:

Water, fizzy water, water with lemon/ lime juice, unsweetened tea, black coffee (can add a little coconut milk), water (no booze for 5 weeks!)

Avoid:

Everything else.  No nuts, fruit, or paleo starches during the challenge.  No coconut water either (A has recently fallen in love with yummy VitaCoco).  All of these are Paleo, but for slimming and toning… not as helpful as the recommended foods.  Non-paleo foods (grains, milk products [except butter], sugar, etc.) are, of course, not allowed either.

Exercise:

As desired.  They said for new people to focus on the food, on getting good sleep, and reducing stress, and that as we ate better (and our hormones adjusted and self-regulated), we’d have more energy, which could increase motivation to exercise, if that’s needed.  Obviously, cross fit is the recommended method of exercise. 🙂