It has been months since I wrote a blog post, so it was on my to-do list today to get some new content up here. And just this morning, a topic presented itself to me as I was cruising Facebook. Interesting because it was an extended debate about why vegetarians or vegans like to eat "meaty" tasting foods when they eschew meat itself. This was brought about by the introduction of a veggie burger at A&W. The interesting thing for me was that everyone in the debate was very young, in their 20's for the most part. There were several vegan contributors and one dairy farmer, among others.
The vegetarian response to the original poster's query was that most vegetarians choose not to eat animals for either ethical or health reasons, but that they still love the taste of meat, particularly burgers, as they are such a big part of our culture. Many also cite the environmental impact of raising particularly beef - pollution, methane production, etc....
Anyone who knows me knows that I drink tea. Lots of tea. Black tea, green tea, herbal teas. Even my new adventures into kombucha brewing turn out to be based on tea... As the product of British-extraction parents, I was taught to make a proper cuppa by the time I was 10. Hot drinks are a first class comfort food in my world.
So when I got playing with a friend's primal-compliant pumpkin bread recipe, and then had a Paleo jam recipe cross my path online, the lyrics to this song popped into my head. It's from The Sound of Music, of course.
What is coined "paleo baking" refers to products that resemble and are meant to replace grain-based foods in a low carb diet. All kinds of "baking" can be done successfully with various lower carb, non-grain seed and nut meals as the wheat flour substitute. Some of the candidates are:
Almond meal, both blanched and whole (browner due to the presence of the outer coating of the nut)
Every time I make this dip and take it somewhere, I get asked for the recipe. Every Time! It is such a wonderful combination of flavours and textures. It's a slight variation on a recipe that I found online, and includes stuff that you probably already have in your house.
When I was involved backstage for our local theatre's big fall musical, the green room (that's where cast and crew hang out prior to or during shows) was loaded every night with snacks both savoury and sweet, and lots of eating went on before the show, during intermission and often all the times in between. We had to pass through the kitchen area to get from Wardrobe to Make-up, pretty much from anywhere to backstage, and the spread of temptation was always out. Since "call", the time that the acting company had to show up pre-show, was at 5:30 pm, most of them arrived without supper, sometimes straight from work or school. Like I said, lots of eating...
I get asked about smoothies a lot. They have been a mainstay of the "healthy eating on the run" movement, and somehow they feel like a treat - usually because they are a treat. Anything that is sweet tasting and high in carbs is a treat. Anything chocolate is definitely a treat. And most smoothie recipes out there fall into one of those categories.
When taking a whole real foods approach to low carb, healthy fats eating, it's hard to find a place for jumbo bananas, expensive protein powders and fruit juices. Yet this is what comprises most smoothies. And any powdered product that claims to be a "healthy smoothie" just by adding water to it is immediately suspect. Not much real food happening there!
My approach to breakfast is to encourage clients to eat when hungry, not just to eat breakfast because it's breakfast time. There is a growing body of research and evidence that longer periods of not eating, "fasting", have definite metabolic...
I always tell clients that there are two days of the year when all bets are off and you can eat whatever your heart desires. One is your birthday and the other is Christmas. But Christmas is a day, not a month-long "season". Unfortunately, in Canadian tradition, Christmas seasonal "events" start sometime in mid to late November and run right up until New Years Eve. Some of these events include:
Employer-sponsored Christmas parties
Workplace potluck meals
Treats brought into the workplace for the "season". (Try working in healthcare - it's an endless parade of treats!)
Bazaars and bake sales
Christmas concerts and entertainment events, possibly with a bar available or an "afterglow" snacks and visiting time.
Parties with family and/or friends
The traditional Christmas family feast, possible several times over with different branches of the family tree.
Food gifts exchanged with friends.
So many eating opportunities! So much food that you wouldn...
I often talk to my clients about developing "metabolic flexibility", the ability to burn both carbohydrates and fats for efficient energy in the body. With our current "normal" eating patterns, we are so heavily based in carbohydrates (sugars and starches) that our bodies never are stimulated to create the metabolic pathways to burn fatty acids, so we become almost exclusively carb-burning machines.
Think of it like a hybrid car. A Prius... The car is designed and engineered to use electricity for many functions, including propelling the car forwards at lower speeds. It is a completely clean, no waste-creating, efficient system. The car also has all the systems in place for burning gasoline, and this system kicks in when the "environmental signals" are right - higher speeds, faster acceleration required by pressing harder on the gas pedal. Works great to create energy, but it's a fuel that burns dirty, creating byproducts (exhaust) that require another whole system to...
In my handout materials, it suggests fat bombs under snack ideas. Many of my clients are already a bit overwhelmed by the suggestions that I make to boost the intake of healthy fats in their diet, and there comes a point in almost every education session where the client says, "Are you kidding???" Usually about the point where I suggest they start a jar in the fridge for bacon drippings, to reuse for other frying.
The goal of the LCHF diet is to achieve "metabolic flexibility", meaning that we train our bodies to have the metabolic pathways to burn both carbohydrates and fats for fuel. In order to create an internal environment that stimulates the body to create this flexibility, we need to keep carbohydrate intake low and healthy fat intake high. Most of us are walking around with only the ability to metabolize carbs, leaving us dependent on a regular intake (like every two hours or so, for most people...). And minimal to no ability t...
I love Mayonnaise, and it's one of the very few sources of industrial seed oils left in my diet or my household. In the blog post about good fats, I wrote about finding avocado oil mayonnaise at the local health food store, for the steep price of $14.99. Turns out I didn't like it at all - very flat flavour. So I went back to my beloved Hellman's Real Mayo, with olive oil, feeling somewhat virtuous (for the olive oil part) and somewhat guilty (about the canola oil part). It's a blend with canola oil - I know that - but until yesterday, I wasn't aware of the actual ratio of that blend. A new client, who is a very inquisitive sort, had previously called the company and asked. The olive oil comprises a measly 8% of the oil content of the "Olive Oil Mayo". The other 92% is canola oil - highly processed, deodorized, and a genetically modified crop. This makes sense given the relative costs of the two oils.
This was how my client, SF, described himself when he got his labs done after only 5 months of low carb, healthy fat eating... a METABOLIC ROCKSTAR!
Here's the backstory - a middle-aged man, morbidly obese with a BMI of 55.7, had been obese for decades despite trying various, often extreme, interventions for weight loss, up to and including surgery. For comparison, normal healthy BMI range is 18-25, and over 30 (where up to 1/3 of the US population is right now!) is considered obese. So SF was at very high risk of a multitude of health concerns because of his obesity.
If you are interested in checking your own BMI range, go to this link for an easy to use calculator: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
In January of this year, wanting to get healthier, SF had a full panel of blood testing done to determine his starting status. It showed some really concerning results in regards to his diabetic status, although he has never had...
I live with a salty-toothed husband. He LOVES his chips... They are the one true "junk food" indulgence that he consumes regularly. As the household shopper, I buy him a bag of chips once, sometimes twice a week. Other than the occasional little fruit nappy bowl of chips that I consume, he eats them all.
He's slim and fit and exercises regularly. He needs adequate salt intake in his life and some additional carbs to address the needs of his cardio exercise. And other than his almost nightly bowl of cereal and milk (organic grains, not too sweet), potato chips are his go-to delivery vehicle for the aforementioned carbs and salt.
For me, the salty/crunchy need (not nearly as intense as my hubby's) was alway met most deliciously by crackers. Especially seedy, well-seasoned, "party" crackers. Preferably with hard cheese on every single piece. I have gone through years of having cheese and crackers as soon as I walk through the door after work, o...