Posted in Healthy Living, Low Carb, Paleo, Primal, Real Food, Whole 30

When a Whole 30 Isn’t Enough

Starting your journey to health with a Whole 30  is a brilliant idea. The information and community support is tremendous. You will feel better and understand the power of eating REAL food. What I’ve learned though is sometimes it isn’t enough. What? Giving up all the food that makes you joyful isn’t enough? That’s crazy talk! Well, it is my truth. Would I go back to eating processed food and too much sugar? No way.

My “only” lingering health issue after several years of real food eating is migraines. I have abnormal ones. They come on first with a visual aura and last 2-4 hours. Occasionally I will go months without one. Sometimes I get a couple a month. If I had to guess, I’d say they have something to do with my hormones as I’ve addressed diet & lifestyle. However I haven’t had to take antibiotics for five years and I cannot remember the last time I was really sick. Oh wait I do remember; it was when the hospital made me get a flu shot before I could see my new granddaughter four years ago. I felt crappy for a few days, but was not bed ridden.

My point of writing this is to say even though your health might not be perfect after you clean up your diet, it will be improved in noticeable ways. The bottom line is you can’t take a pill or supplement and keep making poor food choices if you want to improve your health, lose weight or feel better long term. For improvement in your health to need to heal your gut. And for healing to occur in your gut, you have to eat real food, have good sleep and stress relief hygiene (yoga, meditation), and move. Walk outdoors and lift heavy things and surround yourself with good people. You have to do this for a long time before you “cheat.” Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe three. I was forty when I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant and had what I now know was the beginnings of autoimmune issues. Real food, real activity, real sleep is a lifestyle, not a diet. You are kidding yourself if you think one Whole 30 is going to fix you forever. It is a stepping stone to get you on track for having a better quality of life. You have damaged your gut over a lot of years and you need to honor yourself enough to give it time to heal. Use the wealth of free information on sites like www.Robbwolf.com , www.thepaleomom.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, www.everydaypaleo.com, and www.radicatamedicine.com to get started. Check out the books links in my resource section for help too. You don’t have to pay for meal plans or shopping lists, because people who live this way (like me) want to help you. Recruit family and friends to do it with you and have planning dates and batch cooking parties. It is work, but it is beyond worth it. If you put in the work, down the road you can have some of the celebratory treats on special occasions, but you might not want them.

Posted in Healthy Living, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, pizza, Primal, Real Food

Zucchini Pizza

Azucchini

What to do with all those zucchini? That is the question. Every. Single. Summer. I always promise myself to plant only one, singular, solitary zucchini plant. Somehow I now have three. Plus one ‘summer squash’ plant, which let’s be honest, is really just a yellow zucchini. So long story short, I have at least 10 lbs of zucchini/summer squash and for some reason I have a hard time tossing it. This is where my 15 (or more) paleo cookbooks come in handy and I began scouring them for ideas. Zucchini Pizza was the best. I of course modified it to what I had in my kitchen and what I felt like putting in it. Yes, I’m going to post an annoying list of ingredients that I used, otherwise known as a recipe, and you will have to use your own expertise, tastes and culinary skills to mold it into your own. They turned out delicious and I highly recommend them as a way to use up the endless supply of zucchini you undoubtedly have growing in abundance in your garden.

Zucchini Pizza

* 2 Medium (9 inches or so) Zucchini

Cut in half long wise and cut out seedy section

* 1 lb Italian pork sausage

* 10 pieces salami

*10 pieces pepperoni –

Cook the pork until done, chop the salami and pepperoni and stir in with pork sausage

*add one small can sliced, black olives to meat mixture

Pizza sauce– buy premade OR…

* 1 cup of diced onion in olive oil until translucent (5-7 min)

Saute for 5-6 minutes

*Add garlic to taste and chopped parsley (about 1/3 cup)  and cook a couple of minutes more

*Add a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes  14 oz size

*Small can tomato paste (or drain the diced tomatoes and skip the paste)

*Tsp or so each of basil, oregano  and pinches of rosemary & thyme

*1/2 cup red wine

Cook, gently bubbling, for about 30 minutes

Mix the meat mixture with some of the sauce (you will have some sauce left over, freeze it for later) and spoon into the zucchini. I topped mine with fake cheddar cheese (Daiya brand) and my husbands with a bit of Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until it all looks bubbly and the zucchini is soft.

Feel free to wing it on the sauce if you have a family recipe or want to use a jar of spaghetti sauce. Recipes are not fixed and the more you experiment, the better you’ll get. Be free and joyful in your cooking 🙂

Enjoy!

p.s. Tomorrow I’m making zucchini muffins or bread. I’ll post that too.

Posted in Healthy Living

The Breaking of the Gluten Fast

beignet

Let me start by saying I saved myself for New Orleans beignets. For two years my fear of migraines, heartburn and bloating have made it easy to not eat anything with gluten. I’ve been “gluten free” with cause since 2008, but would periodically (several times a year) ignore the need and indulge in real pizza crust or a doughnut or California Rolls. When my migraines began creeping back to a regular frequency (monthly) I decided it was time to get serious and cut out gluten permanently. I have a whole dairy story too, but let’s just say I can’t cheat with that either. For the most part I honestly never feel like I’m missing out when it comes to food, because I eat so well and I don’t have cravings. Okay, sometimes for wine and dark chocolate, but in reasonable amounts. Long story short, I’ve been planning a beignet binge for the better part of six months and thought I would share my results with you.

We were in NOLA for a wedding last weekend and I can report it ranks in at a solid second place after my son’s wedding as far as fun goes. It was on Saturday night, so I waited until Sunday for my Café du Monde excursion afraid I might end up with a migraine, gluten baby or horrible congestion. I indulged in three gloriously fresh fried, powder sugar encrusted dough bits and enjoyed them tremendously. Every greasy, sweet, chewy bite. And while I felt full, I was fine. I also had nachos and enchiladas that day. Quite frankly I was shocked that I felt normal. So now I can go out and binge all the time!!! Just kidding, I know better.

The moral of this binge on gluten from my perspective is this; if you want real healing to occur in your gut, you have to eat real food, have good sleep and stress relief hygiene, and move. Walk outdoors and lift heavy things and surround yourself with good people. You have to do this for a long time before you “cheat.” Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe three. I was forty when I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant and had what I now know was the beginnings of autoimmune issues. Real food, real activity, real sleep is a lifestyle, not a diet. You are kidding yourself if you think one Whole 30 is going to fix you forever. It is a stepping stone to get you on track for having a better quality of life. You have damaged your gut over a lot of years and you need to honor yourself enough to give it time to heal. Use the wealth of free information on sites like www.Robbwolf.com , www.thepaleomom.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, www.everydaypaleo.com, and www.radicatamedicine.com to get started. Check out the books links in my resource section for help too. You don’t have to pay for meal plans or shopping lists, because people who live this way (like me) want to help you. Recruit family and friends to do it with you and have planning dates and batch cooking parties. It is work, but it is beyond worth it. If you put in the work, down the road you can have some of the celebratory treats on special occasions. If you still want them 😉

Posted in Healthy Living, Low Carb, Lunch

Inspiration from popular_paleo on Instagram

broccoli

My daughter-in-law recently turned me on to popular_paleo on Instagram and today she posted about her leftover rotisserie chicken that she mixed in with her Brussel sprouts. I thought, “Hey! I have some broccoli salad and leftover chicken breast!” So I made a delicious, quick meal out of both after mixing them together with a half of diced avocado. It took me about dos minutos to mix together and was yummy.  What is my point? Find people on social media to get inspiration when you need it and share what you make as well. This real food journey we are on is revolutionary! People are out there that don’t know how to survive without processed food and have no clue that whole wheat sandwiches with low-fat, vegetable oil mayo is not good for them.  Be a real food messenger and promoter.

Posted in Healthy Living, Side Dish

Make Bone Broth – It’s Good For You

Do I understand the nutritional minutia behind the benefits of bone broth? No, I don’t. My degree was in Social Studies and Japanese, not biology or nutrition. While I eagerly read tremendous amounts of nutritional texts, blogs and pubmed.com articles focused on nutrition, I don’t get the majority of the science specific details contained in the text. However, I have gleaned over the past few years there are some easy ways to add nutrient dense food to your daily diet that taste fantastic. Want the broad strokes of why you should eat bone broth? Here you go:

  1. Boosts your immunity
  2. Helps heal your gut
  3. Has lots of good minerals and ‘stuff’ (amino acids) from the bones that you don’t get in other food
  4. Has some good fat

Want the specifics of why you should include bone broth in your real food life? Read here:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/03/health-benefits-of-bone-broth.html

Here’s a recent media article too:

http://wellandgood.com/2014/11/05/why-new-yorkers-will-be-sipping-bone-broth-in-coffee-cups-this-winter/

I’ve started drinking a small bowl of bone broth for breakfast when I don’t feel like making breakfast. Lazy I know, but my knitting demands are high this time of year. I also include a few cups whenever I make stew or pot roast in the crockpot. It makes for some amazingly satisfying cold weather eats. It is also incredibly easy to make. The ‘set it and forget’ phrase from an infomercial comes to mind. Here is how I make my beef bone broth. I do beef bones as they are the highest quality of bones I can get easily.

Beef Bone Broth

3 lbs or so of beef leg & joint bones

Crockpot big enough to accommodate them covered in water

2 tbls apple cider vinegar

I lay the bones as flat as I can and completely cover them with water (I use filtered) + about ½ inch extra water. Add the apple cider vinegar. Set the crockpot on low and leave it alone for 24 hours or so. I usually add 1 cup each of onions, celery, carrots and 2 tsp to 1 tbls of salt (to your taste) and cook for a couple more hours. I then strain all the veggies & bones out and put the crockpot in the fridge to cool. When cool, I scrape off the top layer of fat and toss it (some leave that fat). I put some the gelatinous looking golden colored bone broth in the fridge to eat during the week and if I have extra I bag it in Ziplocs and freeze. That way I can add it to my pot roast, soups or stews later. In the summer I put the crockpot out on the patio as the smell can get a bit strong and the extra heat source isn’t needed.

I’ve made it a few times with pastured chicken bones and it is delicious as well. Happy bone broth making!

Posted in Blog, Healthy Living, Low Carb

Carbohydrate Reality Check

Carb_Curve_x

Chart credit:   http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-succeed-with-the-primal-blueprint/#fitness

All the way back in 2008 I found out I was gluten and casein (dairy) intolerant and eliminated both from my diet completely for 3 months and after that about 95% of the time. I dropped one size immediately and had no migraines for seven months. After reading Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution in 2010 I went full on paleo and dropped a couple more pounds, was exercising regularly, but couldn’t seem to get rid of my muffin top. Then I saw the chart above, incorporated the information and over three months I lost another two full pant sizes. It completely got me off of “counting calories” and rid of the idea that you can out exercise bad food choices. I was eating great tasting, nutritious, filling food and improving my body composition. What a concept. I also haven’t had to take antibiotics since I made this change. Glean what you want from that. Sugar/bad carbs? No bueno.

Over the past few years I’ve read extensively about diet and exercise and know for me the 80/20 rule is true. Eighty percent of your health, weight and body composition is your diet. You need to quit thinking you can eat whatever you want and then go exercise it off. You are either feeding & healing your body or damaging it. If you are fat, diabetic, suffering from arthritis or generally sickly you need to give your body real food. You can’t medicate away bad food choices. You need to heal your gut and regain control over your health.

There are so many great websites and books for you to use for resources. Here are a few:

Digestive Health With REAL Food by Aglaée Jacob is an awesome, easy to read book about digestion, food and health. She also offers a food challenge and support and will answer questions through a private FB page during the challenge. Invaluable resource! http://radicatamedicine.com/

Have you heard of It Starts With Food? Here is the website http://whole9life.com/

Robb Wolf author of The Paleo Solution has so much great info and tons of podcasts on his site: http://robbwolf.com/

Want encouragement? Have questions? Leave me a comment 🙂

Posted in Blog, Healthy Living

So you’ve decided to be healthy. Now what?

So much information, so little time. We all want to be healthier, but with so many experts telling you what you should be eating or what supplements you should be taking it can be confusing. I say strip it down to the basics. Just eat real food.

What is real food as I define it? Sustainably raised meat, poultry & eggs, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. What isn’t it? Processed food like bread, pasta, cereal, or pretty much anything with a label. Most of what’s in the grocery store actually. Typical SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Does it mean you can never have a treat again? No. Once you make improvements in your health, you can have occasional splurges. For me personally, my digestive health and overall wellbeing improved so much typical SAD food isn’t even tempting. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy whole food based treats.

I’m not a nutritionist and have no medical credentials, so what I offer here is not in any way medical or nutritional advice. I think of myself as a whole food facilitator. When you have decided to make improvements in your diet, it is hard work. Most of us are so entrenched in our food preparation and eating habits we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been down the path and regained my health. I no longer rely on allergy medicine, heart burn medication, Nsaids or acetaminophen to feel operational. My migraine frequency continues to diminish.  So I want to help you if you want to try it out! If you are ready…dive in.

STEP 1: Clean the crap out of your kitchen. Box up unopened SAD food and take it to the food bank. If it is opened, throw it out. This includes cereal, bread, crackers, chips, anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils-canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc. JUST GET RID OF IT! This is not negotiable. If it is in your house, you will eat it. Set yourself up for success.

STEP 2: Meal plan. This includes making shopping lists and cooking several meals for the week. Plan on at least five hours to get yourself set up for the week. The upside is you’ll have free time during the week because you’ll have planned so well. No need to spend a bunch of money on cookbooks to start off, there are plenty of free resources to get you started.  Here are some great links for recipes and information on real food eating:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/    http://everydaypaleo.com/    http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/                                                   http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

STEP 3: Sleep. At least 8-9 hours a night. This is not negotiable. Get a sleep mask and earplugs if it helps.

STEP 4: Get more sunshine & increase your activity. Find a walking/workout buddy. If that isn’t an option, use a website like http://www.meetup.com to find other people in your area that have the same health and fitness goals. Make plans, not excuses.

That’s all I have for now.  Hope it helps! If you have questions or need tips or encouragement, e-mail me at: haclife@outlook.com