Friday
Jan272012

Friday Funday = Recipe day - the saucy kind!

Before you start thinking this is some R-rated blog, we're talking something that can change everyday scrambled eggs to something that will knock your socks off: SAUCES.

Melissa and I joke about her love of the chipotle dipping sauce. I'm not gonna lie: that sauce on burgers, on eggs, breakfast egg muffins, tossed in with grilled veggies, dipping sweet potato spears in it, well it is an absolute favorite. Same thing is true for chimichurri. Dipping some regular old grilled chicken in that, or drizzling some as a salad dressing, or serving alongside a steak....DELISH!  Fried green tomatoes with chipotle dipping sauce. Photo courtesy Mark Adams - Paleo Comfort Foods

Sauces are an absolute favorite of mine. Remoulade Sauce. Not Peanut Sauce. Tartar Sauce. Barbeque Sauce. All of these can and should be staples in your house!

HOWEVER, store bought sauces are not the same as you making your own. No, this is not a PSA for our cookbook, however, we do have a lot of sauces in there. Melissa Joulwan's new book Well Fed has some great sauces included. Bill & Haley's Make It Paleo includes some sauces. You can google "paleo barbeque sauce" and get some ideas. Don't let your basic grilled chicken be sad and lonely. Look up a sauce, make one, and serve it up!

Let's give you a few to try out:

JULES' CHIMICHURRI:

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems 
3-4 garlic cloves 
2 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves 
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar 
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce

My instructions are to dump all into a food processor and process! However, others say to finely chop up the parsley, garlic, oregano, etc.  Whatever! Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.

CHIPOTLE DIPPING SAUCE:

½ cup (125 mL) Paleo Mayonnaise (see recipe posting here or the video here)
½ cup (12 g) cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
~ juice of 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mini-blender (like the Magic Bullet!) or food processor until mixed well.
2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Variations - feel free to get all creative with this. Melissa sometimes uses orange juice instead of lime juice. Super tasty and slightly sweeter. Go heavier on the chipotles if you want it hotter, go with less if you want not as hot!

Ingredient Notes—Chipotles (smoked jalapeños) in adobo (sauce) are found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores and at any Mexican mercados I’ve been to. Just check the ingredients, as some use less-than-ideal oils and others actually contain wheat flour. La Morena is one brand we like.

What sauces do you love? Any condiments that are your paleo saving graces? Share some recipe love!

Monday
Jan232012

Why No Grains?

(This is a posting Melissa did a while back. I've added a few things in here that might be of interest). 

One of the toughest concepts to swallow when it comes to Paleo eating is the No Grains rule.  How in the world could bread, the manna from heaven be bad for you?  I had the same reservations as the rest of you.  I just couldn't wrap my brain around it.  Grains provide Fiber, B-vitamins, whole carbohydrates, FIBER, right?  Well, that is true but grains also provide: phytates, gluten, and lectins.  What is wrong with that group you ask?  

Well, phytates bind to iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium making them nonabsorbable in the human gut.  

Gluten destroys/damages the intestinal microvilli causing a host of problems.  Think you don't have an issue with gluten?  Think again.  A recent study showed 29% of asymptomatic (non-Celiac) folks tested positive for a reaction to gluten.  I have seen other studies showing a 90% reaction when looking at another marker.  Take home message: even if you do not have gut irritability, you still have a reaction to gluten.  That "reaction" may not rear its head now, but more and more studies are linking gluten issues to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Type I diabetes, Lupus, and a medley of other maladies like migraines, acid reflux, reproductive problems, arthritis and asthma. If you would like science to back this up, hop over here.

Per the British Medical JournalLectins are toxic, inflammatory, bind to the human GI tract and are indigestible in humans.  More on lectins here.

FIBER: non-starchy vegetables can have up to EIGHT times the fiber of grains.  That's eight.

Dr. William Davis, New York Times best-selling author of Wheat Belly, has a slightly different perspective on grains. His 30 second elevator speech: "You have been part of a grand deception. The wheat you are being sold is not the wheat of 50 years ago. The genetics changes introduced by geneticists that made it to your store shelves in the 1980s has been largely responsible for the increased calorie consumption, weight gain, and epidemic of diabetes experienced by Americans. Incredibly, we are blamed for these problems, accused by our own government agencies of being gluttonous and lazy. No, I say it is the fault of our own agencies, either through ignorance or turning a blind eye to the incredible changes introduced into this plant. Saying goodbye to modern wheat is reclaiming control over weight, impulse, and health. And it works."

Now you have a bit of an expanded explanation on why grains might not be the best choice.  But how do you handle friends and family that are skeptical of your new approach to food?  Here is my (Melissa's) elevator speech:

Believe me, I was skeptical too.  I thought grains were really good for me.  However, I did a little research because I knew eating grains was making me sick with: x.....issue.  For me it was IBS.  Turns out grains have anti-nutrients which bind to all the great minerals we think we are getting out of bread and pasta.  It also has the kind of fiber that kind of scratches the inside of our intestines making them inflamed just like the redness we get around the area when we skin our knee.  That inflammation keeps our immune system busy so it might miss a real bacteria that it might need to squish.  That bacteria gets through and we get sick.  Once I quit grains (and beans for that matter), I really don't get sick.  Maybe once a year!  The best thing about removing grains and adding more vegetables is that you are getting tons more vitamins and minerals than ever before because your body can actually absorb and use them now!

So, my speech was a little longer than I wanted, but you get the idea.  When I get tired of discussing I always give them a challenge: why don't you just try it for a couple of weeks and see if you see a difference!  Most folks see or feel an immediate change and your work is done!

What is your elevator speech when it comes to grains? (Beans have similar issues, I lump them into one when emplaining).

(Jules here. I like to put it simply as this: "What do huge factory farms feed cows to quickly fatten them up for slaughter? Instead of grasses, they are fed a diet of grains, soy and corn. This enables the farms to fatten those cows up really quickly. If you're wanting to lean out, might it make sense to try to avoid the very things that enable cows to put on a couple hundred pounds in just a few months?")

So here's one other anecdote: this weekend I was around an awesome, intelligent, handsome 3-year-old who does not eat grains. When he was - once - accidentally exposed to grains, it caused some serious vomiting. Now, I know some people say "well that's because he's not had grains as part of his life! He needs to build up "tolerance" to them!" Of course that makes absolutely no sense. It's like saying we should be making sure our kids drink alcohol to "build up their tolerance" so that in case they drink some by accident, they're okay.

I know there are some blog readers here who have done our BTB45 challenges before, and then introduced grains/gluten/soy/dairy back into their lives afterwards. How did it feel?

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan192012

Friday Funday = Recipe day + Bonus Pictures!

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say. I thought it would be fun to showcase a few Evernote pics from a few folks in the BTB45 to share with all of you on our recipe days. Maybe some photos will inspire you - you can look for more in the future!

Photo courtesy Mark "The Grizz" Adams

But before we do thatl, let's toss out a recipe. This one is straight out of our cookbook (Paleo Comfort Foods - maybe you've heard of it?). The story behind it goes something like this: I (Jules) was up in Philly visiting my family, and my sister-in-law, Shada, had made this amazing kale salad. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a super big fan of cooked kale. I think it kind of tastes like dirt. However, this salad totally changed my perspective on kale. And, it has a ton of fresh parsley and fresh mint, which gives me ample opportunity to use the goods from our garden.

The great thing about this salad is that you can get all sorts of creative with it. When my sister-in-law made it, she had used some of her homegrown sundried tomatoes, along with some feta cheese and other delicious mix-ins. We've made this with lime vs. lemon juice, pears instead of apples, pine nuts instead of pecans. Even without any mix ins, just the mint and parsley with olive oil and lemon juice, this salad is super tasty! Get creative and have fun!

SHADA'S KALE SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale washed and tough stems removed
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) sundried tomatoes, minced
  • 2 granny smith apples, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (20 g) flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (12 g) mint, chopped
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Methods:

  1. Chop the kale into very small pieces.
  2. Mix all the greens, herbs, veggies and fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then pour over salad and toss (I like to massage it all with my very clean hands).
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

So there's a new way to get some veggie matter into your life/mouth.

As promised, here are some photos from all of you to give you some other mealtime ideas!

Just like last week, share your own recipes and food fun ideas! Got a good restaurant suggestion for paleo eats? Feel free to share that too! I know some of you eat out *a lot,* so I'm guessing you might have some dining out ideas?

Beef stew. Tasty comfort food!Chipotle. Double meat. Yummm. Rabbit and sauteed spinach.Meatloaf "cupcakes", roasted veggies and cauliflower mash
Eggs, smoked salmon, tomatoes and guac

Thursday
Jan192012

Buy fresh, local, and/or organic stuff!

Eating food that comes from farmers near you is not only a great way to support the local economy, it's also a great way to get some tasty, nutritious eats. 

Which is better for you, local or organic? No one can say for certain. The Environmental Working Group put out a listing of "dirtiest" fruits and veggies and the cleanest ones which may help you in deciding which ones are best to opt for organic. That said, an organic peach from New Zealand or organic grapes from South America had to travel a long way to get to your plate, and I'm not for certain that paying for that "organic" designation but then having the environmental travel impact is such a good thing. What are your thoughts? 

The good news is, here in Atlanta, we have lots of ways to access local and organic stuff. In addition to a wide variety of CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) around town (you can find a great listing of such here), you also have some more "a la carte" options as below: 

Yesterday, I'm hoping lots of you saw the Groupon for Nature's Garden Delivered. This company delivers a box of awesome local and/or organic produce right to your door. So if you're holed up in the house, if we have another Snowmageddon, this might be a great choice for you. They've also expanded their offerings where you can now add in some pork, beef, and fish to your order (at added cost). I've had great experiences with their customer service, and their produce is super tasty. You can suspend service for periods of time, customize your order, and all that good stuff super easily.

Riverview Farms has been a staple on the Atlanta scene at a variety of Atlanta farmer's markets for quite some time, and this past year they started their awesome Farm Mobile. This is their roving truck filled with pastured eggs, pork, beef, chicken, veggies, and other not-so-paleo options (dairy stuff, breads, etc.). But being able to find them in a parking lot near you makes accessing some tasty eats super easy. Below you'll find their up and coming schedule of appearances. Be sure to sign up for their e-newsletter to be in the know on when they are coming to a place near you!

What fresh, local and/or organic purveyors have you found that you like and/or support? 

THURSDAY, Jan 19

11:30-1:30pm Alpharetta 333 North Point Center East office park, located at the corner of North Point Pkwy and Encore Pkwy in Alpharetta, 30022.

4-6:30pm East Atlanta [weekly stop] at The Midway Pub located at 552 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta, 30316. 

FRIDAY, Jan 20

3:30-5:30pm Downtown Atlanta Back in the valet lane at 164 Peachtree Center Avenue NE., on the east side of the 191 Peachtree Towers Building.

SATURDAY, Jan 21

8-10:30am Buckhead [weekly stop] at Holeman & Finch with the H&F Bread Co. pop-up store. Shop for bread inside on the bar, shop Farm Mobile in the loading zone outside.

1-2pm Ansley Mall Joining Angie Mosier, standing in for Vanessa McIntyre, The Urban Gatherer, for a class at Cook's Warehouse.

SUNDAY, Jan 22

9am-noon Grant Park [weekly stop] Next to The Little Tart Bakeshop and Octane on the backside of The Jane. Grab a coffee and pastry inside Octane/TLTB, and hop inside Farm Mobile for produce-meats, bread from H&F Bread Co., cheese, grits, more.

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WEDNESDAY, Jan 25

12-2pm Norcross At Peachtree Corners Presbyterian Church, 5918 Spalding Drive Norcross, GA 30092-1906.

4-6:30pm Tucker [weekly stop] At St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4882 Lavista Road Tucker, GA 30084-4460.

THURSDAY, Jan 26

11:30am-1:30pm I-85 At the Atlanta Progressive Preschool located at 1911 Cliff Valley Way NE, Atlanta, 30327. It's on the south side of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation building. Access it from the frontage road headed north from Druid Hills Road, not from Cliff Valley Way, btw.
4-6:30pm East Atlanta [weekly stop] at The Midway Pub located at 552 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta, 30316. 

FRIDAY, Jan 27

TBD

SATURDAY, Jan 28

8:30-11am Buckhead [weekly stop] at Holeman & Finch with the H&F Bread Co. pop-up store. Shop for bread inside on the bar, shop Farm Mobile in the loading zone outside.

noon-2pm East Point at Sumner Park.

Tuesday
Jan172012

Q & A time!

Okay, we're getting some great questions, and I figured instead of you all scouring the comments, I'd post some of them here:

Q. What about coconut sap as a sweetener?
A. Here's the deal: during the first 30 of your 45, sugar is sugar is sugar. We don't care if it's low on the glycemic index...what we're trying to do is break you of the need for sugar. Now there may come a time and place in the future when you wish to play with some honey, coconut sap, etc. But for the first 30, we want you really focusing on keeping added sugars (and any fake sugars, for that matter) out of your life!

Q. A lot of times, I eat until i'm mostly full, but keep the food out and spread eating out over a long period.  Often times, I'll eat a meal over an hour or so period.  Go back for seconds later, etc.  Also, when I have nuts in with my meal, that is usually a snack part way between meals, not actually eaten with the meal.  Should I separate these out?
A. Try to eat that one meal in one sitting. We still want for you to take your time to enjoy your meals, but try to get all that protein, carb and fat in at one sitting. That way, instead of potentially mindlessly snacking on nuts in between meals, we have a better sense of your satiety, if that meal completely filled you up, if maybe next time you need more protein at that meal, etc. Best approach seems to be to eat your meal until you are full (including all those macronutrients), and then see when hunger hits again. Your meals should keep you full for 4-5 hours (at least). In today's working world, this tends to work out pretty well, in that you eat your breakfast, get hungry again at lunch, then supper rolls around and you are ready to eat again.Nutrient properties of pastured eggs vs. factory farmed eggs

Q. I'm really tired of eggs for breakfast. Any suggestions?
A. Somewhere in the history books we were told that eggs, cereal, bagels, danishes, oatmeal, are what you eat for breakfast, and that if you eat anything else you are weird. In our house, we eat food for breakfast. Sometimes our breakfast is a leftover burger with some veggies and guac. Sometimes our breakfast is salmon with some salad and olive oil drizzled over. Sometimes our breakfast is wild boar sausage from Pine Street Market sauteed with zucchini and onions with some avocado. Find some protein, some carbs (veggies) and some fat, and eat! If you are bored with eggs, no one says you have to eat only eggs at breakfast. Get a little creative...

Q. I read that we should limit the number of eggs to 6 per week. Is that true?
A. This is a great question, and one that pops up a lot from well-read folks. Back when Dr. Loren Cordain first published The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet For Athletes, he recommended limiting the number of eggs per week. His tune has since changed for the most part...however, both Cordain and Robb Wolf do have the caveat out there that if you are struggling with some autoimmune issues, you may wish to eliminate eggs for a while to see if that remedies the problems (along with some other potentially problematic foods - nightshades, nuts, etc.). You can geek out on some of his explanation (for the change in heart on eggs) here. Be sure to read the comments, too. But for what we've seen, we do not see a need to limit egg consumption. There are some posts over on PaleoHacks from some folks who eat 10+ eggs a day (eggs are a great and cheap protein source!).

Q. What is your opinion on a post-WOD recovery snack?
A. I think everyone should eat something post-WOD (within 30-60 minutes), but what that  "something" is depends on a lot of things... so who was the WODer (someone who is wanting to lean out? Someone who is already lean? Someone who just finished a grueling 50-60 minute met-con? Someone who just finished lifting some heavy crap and did a short met-con?)? Each of those people would necessitate some tweaks to the post-WOD recovery snack (or meal). In Cordain's The Paleo Diet For Athletes (which we have), it seems to me that their perspective (who their audience is) tends to lean more towards the endurance athlete, and those athletes training in specific for a particular event (he mentions those training for an event that lasts 2-90 minutes - like an 800m runner prepping for a meet...then mentions those training for events that last 90 minutes to a few hours, etc.). If your regular exercise program is CrossFit training, I wouldn't get too focused on  that book. Furthermore, that book was written in 2005, and Cordain has changed his perspective on a few topics as I mentioned above with the eggs (read this synopsis for statements about quite a few things that Cordain has had a change of heart about...like canola oil, artificial sweeteners, etc.). Bottom line: post workout, it is great to get some good protein in you (either as a snack or a meal), along with some carbs (veggies), and for most folks, some fat too. Robb Wolf states, "For sprinters, and other power athletes most meals should be built around lean proteins, a variety of low carbohydrate density vegetables and liberal use of good fats." Since most of our CF WODs involve some power component along with some sprinting or other aerobic work, sticking to that line of nutrition is likely best. As with anything, there are tweaks to be had depending upon your leanness level, or what your goals are. But for the most part: food post-WOD is great, and we like that food to include protein, carbs (veggies) and fat. 

Q. In Cordain's book, under their modern "food to avoid" table they list all fermented foods including food containing vinegar. I often cook with vinegar and want to make sure that is alright or if I should try to avoid doing that. And what about fermented beverages like kombutcha? They have some sugar in them but assume the culture has consumed most of that and are otherwise gluten free. Is that an appropriate choice for some probiotics? What about sauerkraut?
A. On the vinegar topic, go read that synopsis above, as you'll see that Cordain's perspective on vinegar (with the exception being malt vinegar, which contains gluten) has changed. Kombucha does indeed have sugar in it, so for the first 30 days of the 45, best to keep off that. Sauerkraut is awesome. The Bubbie's brand (that we have at home) has cabbage, salt, and filtered water as ingredients. Those probiotics are great. Melissa also has recommendations in the BTB45 guide for some digestive enzymes and probiotics that might be worth trying if you're having some stomach issues.

Remember, the paleo sphere is a constantly evolving one. We can try and look back to what our caveman ancestors did or did not do, but the purpose here is not to be some historical re-enactment. We're trying to figure out what works in our modern-day lives. Even the fish oil topic is one that in the past 3 years has been revised/revisited by some of the top brass out there. No longer is it thought that we need near the dosage of fish oil as before. For more on this, go check out this post. (be forewarned: this is also where he says to really limit your linoleic acid - which is found in nuts, seeds, etc. I know for some of you right now it's hard to get fat into you...and nuts are usually the fat of choice. We'd rather you have fat than no fat...but if you can diversify...get some avocados, coconut, coconut oil, olives, etc. in there, all the better).

You guys all had a great "transition" week 1! Here's to a stellar week 2!

 

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