Breaking down a recipe

One of the tools I’ve been using for years now, is the Sparkpeople food tracker. You can enter in what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner & it will break it all down into fats, carbs, protein, and fiber. I took a salad recipe from Natalie at Tastes Lovely that she has labeled as paleo. Please do not eat this salad if you are diabetic as it has a heavy glycemic index. Even divided among four people you are better off putting this off for a special occasion and not eating it on a regular basis. Also, once you have been on true paleo for a while, all the sugar from the dressing and fruit might be overwhelming to your taste buds.

Paleo Strawberry Mango Salad with Chicken - a healthy and delicious paleo, gluten free and dairy free salad for lunch or dinner!
Looks good!
Meat
  • 2 8-oz chicken breasts, cooked* and chopped
Produce
  • 1 Avocado, medium
  • 8 cups Baby greens
  • 1 Mango, medium
  • 1 1/2 cup Strawberry
Condiments
  • 1/4 cup Honey
Baking & Spices
  • 1 tbsp Poppyseeds (I didn’t calculate nutrition for theses)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
Oils & Vinegars
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
Nuts & Seeds
  • 1 cup Almonds, roasted

Here is a break down of the salad: categories in order: total calories, carbs, fats, protein:

3,125 173 220 140

Divide each number by 4 and you get the totals per serving: cals 781.25, carbs 43.25, fat 55, protein 35.

 

Not all calories are created equal. It is important to note that the baby greens are providing a nominal amount of carbs in this salad. Per the Sparkpeople tracker, 8 cups of Fresh Express Baby Greens contain 27 calories & 5 grams of carbs. So what is providing the carb load for this recipe? The fruit and it’s fruit that is high in sugar.Add in the honey and you have a GI and carb nightmare.

This is why the paleo diet food pyramid shows fats & meats as the base and fruits are way up on top in the little bitty triangle. The paleo diet is not about fruits & nuts, and honey. It’s about meat & fat with some low-carb vegetables thrown in so that you do not scare your friends with all the meat you are eating. Ok I exaggerated a bit on that last one but only to prove a point and make light of people’s reaction when they realize true paleo is very carnivorous in nature. The paleo diet is very primal. It’s not ladies-who-do lunch and eat poppyseed chicken salads. You can, but you would not be enjoying the full benefit of eating paleo.  If you are eating these not-really-paleo recipes you see on Pinterest and other places but cannot figure out why you are not losing weight… this is why. Too much fruit and honey gives you a big tummy.

Let me know if you have a favorite paleo recipe you would like for me to break down.

Exposing false information regarding the paleo diet

While Pinterest and other social media sites can be good sources of condensed, easy to digest information about healthy eating, the paleo diet seems to be the one that most people just can’t seem to get right. When I see such bad information I have to wonder, ‘Have they done ANY research?’.  For today’s post, we are looking at an ‘infograph’ by Pretty & Fresh on paleo diet for diabetics. Whoever made this decided to single out specific foods for diabetics so lets take a look at ‘approved’ food vs. ‘food to avoid’.

Diabetic diet foods Paleo Takeover Infographic : Eat It, Stay Away Comments: “I do not strictly adhere to a paleo diet, but these are nice guidelines.” “Butternut squash and sweet potato are allowed” “Dairy is more of a gray area, and at any rate, grains should always be first on the NO pile”

First, I don’t like that they have a category labeled FATTY MEATS as something to avoid. 1. Because good fats and meats are the backbone of a true and accurate paleo diet. 2. While the meats labeled are fatty, a more accurate label might have been ‘dirty’ meats only because of manufacturing processes for such meat. If you’re going to eat charcuterie, either know your source well, or make your own and then send me some tasty samples. Organ meat is extremely healthy and should be a part of your paleo diet. Only eating lean, long fiber muscle tissue is not good enough. We need the connective tissues, the skin, and the organs as well. look at how lions eat a zebra. They are ears deep in the stomach first eating the internal organs.

Second, they have fruits listed as ok that have a higher GI- glycemic index, than some of the vegetables they labeled to avoid. Example: bananas are ‘ok’ at 51 GI, pineapple at 66 GI but they say to avoid yams which have only a 37 GI, source: LINK.

Third, they are using substitutes for milk, flour, and sugar. When you are beginning a diet that eliminates certain foods, please do not go looking for substitutes. Replacement milks made from nuts often have undesirable chemicals and ingredients that cancel out the healing benefits of eating absolute, straight paleo.

Fourth and last… EAT THE BUTTER! Ok I know butter in its pure form is not paleo. Buy it and turn it into ghee, or buy already made ghee. You need animal fat while on the paleo diet. It’s not fat that makes a diabetic, it’s grains and sugars… even the sugar in fruit can be harmful if too much is eaten. Interestingly, butter appears on both lists in this infograph. Grass-fed butter is ok so I’m guessing when they say to avoid butter that they perhaps mean non-grass-fed butter? Who knows. It seems like they don’t know either.

What’s with all the cheese? Keto diet drawback.

Two portions of feta cheese, a traditional Greek cheese made for goat ...
Feta cheese

At first glance, the Ketogenic diet looks pretty good. It is filled with fat friendly recipes, meat, and vegetables. The one big draw back of it is that it is filled with cheese. Milk, and foods made from milk, can cause inflammation, constipation, and a build up of mucus within your body. I have done some research looking for the reason/s why there is so much cheese in this diet. Once a person is weened from their mother, there is no reason why they should ingest milk, or milk based products.

Inflammation is the root cause of many modern diseases including dementia & Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, MS, cancer, and many others. Now, I’m not specifically saying that drinking milk causes cancer, but it, and many other foods, contribute to your immune system’s ability to fight off diseases including cancer. When your body is busy fighting off inflammation, it does not have enough energy to fight off other things that come along to attack it. This is why when in the summertime, if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, it is imperative that you do what you can to mitigate the stress and strain put upon your body as it fights the allergens so that your health doesn’t suffer. Many times, I have had allergies turn into something more serious if I waited too long to treat my symptoms.

If you are eating according to the paleo plan, you could experience an increase in your body’s natural ability to defend itself against attacks from allergies that could potentially lead to greater, and more devastating illness. This is because the paleo diet is naturally detoxing since it does not contain grains, beans, legumes, or dairy which can all lead to inflammation especially in persons whose immune systems are already compromised.

If you wish to further reduce your inflammation, stop eating nightshades; potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, tomatilloes, tomarilloes, ground cherries, and acai berries to name a few. I also avoid strawberries and bananas.

One thing that seems to escape notice when people are talking about gout is; most of the foods eaten that trigger gout symptoms are nightshades. Is it the frying or the food being fried that is causing the inflammation issue? I have eaten fried foods that were not nightshades with no health issues. However, if I eat potatoes in any form, fried or not, I can expect a flare up.

Keeping a food journal to show what happens when you eat certain foods can go a long way toward improving your health… if you pay attention and avoid trigger foods. We can live a better life through nutrition but it depends on what we are willing to do… or not do, in order to restore our health.

I strongly believe cheese, and milk have no place in a healthy diet. It’s just not necessary to ingest these foods. If you have been struggling with your Keto diet but you were not sure what was the issue, try dumping the dairy. Go back to eating a clean paleo diet. You might find yourself experiencing improvement in weight loss, a reduction of inflammation, and an overall improvement in your health.

Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.

Dinner tip; try grass-fed burgers on portobello mushrooms with a fried egg on top and some avocado on the side. a bit of mango salsa makes it even better. Remember to wait 20 minutes after your meal to drink anything. Your stomach needs its acids to digest what you eat.

Why your paleo diet is not working

paleofail
 P.S. capsicum is a pepper. Why this person did not use the word pepper?- I don’t know. Also corn is not a part of any healthy diet. Snow peas are not part of paleo. (this is not MY list.)

There are many reasons why people are not losing weight on the paleo diet. Let’s look at some and see if these are things you are doing that are sabotaging your efforts.

  1. You’re still trying to fit the USDA food pyramid model into the paleo diet by eating grains and seeds. Even if the grains you’re eating are gluten free, eating them will keep your body from responding to the paleo diet and you will not experience the weight loss you were hoping to achieve. Fat doesn’t make you fat… grains make you fat. They don’t feed cattle fat before slaughter to add pounds to them, they feed them grain.
  2. You’re eating paleo plus whatever you want. As hard as this is to believe, eating meat and Oreos is not going to help you reach your weight loss goals. Increasing your meat intake and then consuming ‘unclean’ foods is just going to frustrate you. Paleo is a diet that detoxes the body. Why? Because grains are toxic. Because pretty much any food not purchased from the outer edges of the grocery store is toxic. When you go shopping for food to cook for the paleo diet, stick to the outer edges of the supermarket. Visit only the produce, meat, and dairy section. Although eggs to not fall into the category of ‘dairy’ they are in that section because of refrigeration convenience. While you’re in the dairy section, pick up some Keri Gold butter, which brings me to the next point.
  3. You’re not losing weight, and your energy reserves are low because you’re not eating enough fat. Forty-five to fifty percent of your daily caloric intake should come from healthy fat. Since you cannot go around gnawing on sticks of butter all day, use avocados, cook with clarified butter and animal fat to help you reach that goal.
  4. Look for hidden sugars. Stop buying bottled dressings… make your own but be sure it’s still paleo. Too many people who have no clue as to what the paleo diet is or how it is supposed to work are posting ‘paleo’ recipes on social media that contain sugar in the forms of honey, maple syrup and ‘other’. THERE IS NO TRUE PALEO RECIPE THAT CONTAINS SUGAR IN ANY FORM!!!! No, there is no such thing as paleo pancakes, brownies, candy, muffins, etc. maple sugar, honey, and agave are still forms of sugar. Your liver and pancreas still have to figure out what to do with these calories and chemicals from the sugar.
  5. Stop drinking your calories; beer, spirits and wine are also a ‘no-go’ on the paleo diet. It does not matter how well you ate during the day, liquid calories impede your weight loss efforts. Learn to love the taste of water.
  6. Take the time to eat a good, paleo breakfast. Today’s breakfast was a 2-egg omelet with turkey meat and spinach. I seasoned it with S&P, and garlic. It was topped off, and served, with a small amount of horseradish mustard. Perfect.

pbreakfast1turkeyspinachomelet

Eating the paleo way is a dramatic change form how we have been told we should eat since the 1950’s. That’s the point. People are eating too much sugar and not enough fat. We must get back tot eh basics if we are to do more than merely survive on pills and other chemicals to get us through life. Eating healthy, forgiving those around us, and moving our bodies can dramatically improve our health.

 

When you start your fitness journey again…

 

You plan better. My fridge is crammed full of veggies and meat. Staples of the paleo diet. My ankles are swollen from walking the grocery store trying to buy everything I need and I STILL forgot some things. I bought a workout bar I need to assemble but that’s OK. I prefer bars to dumbbells but I LOVE kettle-bell workouts. I have a day planner that is going to double as my workout journal and food diary. Huzzah! Let’s do this!!

What is, and is not, a paleo diet?

honeyincomb
This is the ONLY honey you should eat while on the paleo plan… straight form the hive as God intended.

The paleo diet is one that emphasizes eating low-carb, high fat meals that are not derived from processed foods, or at the least, MINIMALLY processed foods. Foods excluded from the paleo diet are; ALL beans (including green beans) , ALL grains, ALL legumes (including peanutbutter because peanuts are legumes), potatoes, ALL sugar, and dairy. I had to put emphasis on no green beans and no sugar of any kind because too many recipes are being called paleo that are most definitely NOT paleo. Perhaps it is a way for the people who are trying to get noticed as paleo recipe contributors on social media? However, when I see a recipe that claims to be clean and/or paleo but has high amounts of sugar; maple, agave, molasses, honey, etc., and is a baked good, pastry, candy or pancake, I immediately place that person into the category of ‘WARNING!-doesn’t know what they’re talking about’. I am getting fed up with people who are clueless about paleo trying to pawn themselves off as an ‘expert’.  If a recipe contains sugar in any form as an ingredient, even honey, it isn’t a paleo recipe. Especially when it contains a 1/2 C of honey which equates to 40 grams of sugar in that one recipe. Even divided among 4 people, ten grams of simple sugar is much too much in a serving of anything. Since many people who have diabetes turn to the paleo diet for help, a recipe that has so much sugar in it could actually do more harm than good.

I’ve seen many ‘paleo recipes’ that contain green beans. Green beans are NOT paleo. I’ve seen recipes being touted as ‘nut-free’ and yet one of the ingredients is coconut oil, flour, and/or milk. REALLY?! If you do not know that coconuts are NUTS and put them in a recipe you’re calling nut-free, you could end up killing someone because of your ignorance. STOP IT!!! Please read a GOOD book on paleo. Do good research.

The paleo diet is a high fat, high protein, low-carb diet. AT LEAST 50-55% of your daily caloric intake must be from fat. When I see, ‘lean meat’ as part of a paleo food pyramid, I know the person who made it is still doggedly adhering to the dangerous low-fat medical and nutritional guidelines from the 1950’sthat were supposed to be what saved us all from heart disease and diabetes but has actually done more harm than good upon the health of the populace. Most people do not still have landlines in their homes because they are outdated forms of communication yet, those same people who would never think of having a technology dinosaur, are desperately clinging to old, and dangerous, health information and ideals. The ‘dinosaurs’ of nutrition, if-you-will.

The low-carb, high-fat diet even went to trial in South Africa. The doctor who prescribed it to a pregnant patient was found out through his Twitter account and then systematically ostracized and demonized by his fellow academics and peers in the medical community and even taken to court! After months in court, he was victorious over his accusers because they could not find anything wrong with the diet! Read more HERE.

When done properly, the paleo diet relieves people of illnesses that have before only been managed by medications which end up creating their own problems. This is why I get so upset when I see sloppy recipes claiming to be, ‘clean’ or ‘paleo’. One of the reasons for going paleo is to break the chains of food addictions. One of which (the biggest) is sugar. That cannot happen if you are eating recipes loaded with sugar.