Experimenting With The Paleo Thing…

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As I have a rather curious mind, I decided to look into the increasingly popular paleo diet just for the heck of it. Finding out that the paleo crowd avoids grains/oats, my typical oatmeal breakfast was out of the question. No dairy, no grains… what do these people eat…? Well, the handy dandy Google gave me a quite an extensive list of paleo breakfasts to try. However, to my slight disappointment, they all seemed to require more effort than pouring cereal and milk into a bowl.

I decided to get a little bit crazy and picked a recipe that required some fine motor skills. These motor skills I speak of involved me coring a whole apple. This doesn’t sound too difficult but I don’t have a corer and I have never cored a whole apple before. On top of that, no one seems to trust me with a knife. I’m not sure why that is the case because I have not yet chopped off any of my fingers. Anyway, I ended up using a tool that is supposed to be used for cutting up pumpkins. It worked well enough I guess but let’s just say that I was happy not to be graded on my performance.

After coring the apple, I cut it into thin slices. I then made a mixture of almond milk, egg, coconut oil, almond four, cinnamon, nutmeg and raw honey. I dipped the sliced apples into the mixture and then threw the concoctions onto the frying pan. My first attempt ended up a tad wonky. The batter was not thick enough but once I added more flour that seemed to somewhat fix the issue. The other issue that had was that once the batter was cooked, it didn’t always adhere well to the apple. Perhaps pouring more batter onto the apple would have sealed the sucker in. Or perhaps I should have just followed the recipe as I was supposed to. I tend to see recipes as a suggestion rather than a by the book type thing… I guess that doesn’t always work in my favour.

When all is said and done, they aren’t the prettiest of things but they actually taste decent. They weren’t overly sweet but I have re-trained my taste buds so it wasn’t an issue. The problem was that I made these in the evening so that could have a ready-to-eat breakfast BUT I ended up eating most of them already… I guess that speaks to how much I enjoyed them.

In summation, I will say that my first attempt at a paleo recipe was successful. Wait… I think I cheated. I ran out of almond flour and I didn’t have the coconut flour that the recipe actually called for. So you know when I told you that I added more flour to thicken it… I used chickpea flour. Normally I would have no problem with this however apparently the paleo peeps classify all bean and legumes (including chickpeas) as contraband. I hate you paleo. Thank goodness I am not going to immerse myself in paleo culture because I love hummus too much and I will go on believing that it is healthy. So, long story short, my paleo breakfast ended up being a non paleo breakfast. How anticlimactic.

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Food=Death?? Conflicting views on optimal healthy eating

Where is the truth?

In my last post I mentioned that I have enrolled in a nutrition course. In addition to this, I have also looked into numerous different types of popular supposedly healthy diets, just out of curiosity. The thing is that while all of these theories claim to be the Holy Grail in terms of living a long, healthy, disease free life, they are all spewing slightly different crap. Some of the proponents of these lifestyle diets are almost as fanatical as some religious nuts. If you eat carbs, you will die. If you eat fruit, you will die. If you eat dairy, you will die. If you do not follow me, you will die… Righttt… The thing is that they can be quite convincing and it seems almost as though it is a scare tactic to get people to follow suit. I got scared. For a moment, one author actually had me convinced that because I eat oatmeal for breakfast (the good stuff, not the pre-packaged stuff), I am going to develop diabetes and Alzheimer’s. I am 100% on board for living a healthy lifestyle but if one more person tries to convince me that fruit is the devil, I might just lose it. I do believe that the mounds of processed crap out there are contributing to an unhealthy population, but where did the notion that fruit is unhealthy ever become a thing? And why have egg yolks all of a sudden become taboo? All of the healthy recipes are now calling for egg whites because the yolk apparently has far too much fat. News flash, I think the years of evolution of the egg might just outweigh the recent belief that the yolk is the enemy of a slim figure. I will admit that I had jumped on that band wagon for a while but then I came to my senses. Fat is good. Yolk is a natural fat and as long as not consumed in excess, then eat it. But that is true of everything. Moderation. Typically on average I will consume at lease two eggs every day, yolk included. Time will tell if that will be my demise but I have a strong suspicion that I’ll be ok.

Another popular notion is that dairy is none other than the substance excreted from the devil himself. While more research is needed on my part into this matter, I’ve read about dairy causing inflammation in the body. I will admit that I have drastically cut down on my milk intake. It was more so as an experiment than anything. I didn’t notice any changes in how I felt however I have only been off dairy for a relatively short period of time. And to be honest, I haven’t been all that disciplined. I routinely sneak gulps of chocolate milk right from the carton… And how can I resist a beautiful piece of pizza with glorious cheese on it, especially now that I am not competing. Lately however, I have tried to get back on the wagon and have tightened the reigns on my dairy restrictions again. I do believe that inflammation contributes to chronic illness and if dairy causes inflammation, as long as I allow my cheats every now and then, I don’t think I’ll miss it that much. I drink a lot of almond milk and for those of you who haven’t tried it, it does not taste like cows milk. It’s about re-training your tastebuds.

Then we come to the carb debate. We all know that carbs in excess will contribute to weight gain, but there are definitely good and bad options when it comes to carb choices. I have pretty much completely sworn off bread, even the whole wheat kind. I do not have a gluten allergy or anything but I decided that I was going to make this lifestyle choice after doing some research. Tell me why does my bread need added sugar? WHY?? My aversion to bread makes sandwiches virtually impossible which is a pain in the ass but I have gotten used to it. But of course, pizza is my downfall again. Yes, it is still bread. Some things I just cannot give up. Rather than making sandwiches, I find myself making a lot of strange medleys. I will chop up some hard boiled eggs, add some leftover chicken, throw in some green pepper and maybe some celery, add some humus and spices and there you have it. It’s a mishmash of healthy ingredients. It is actually quite easy and the only annoyance is cleaning up the dirty dishes. But, back to carbs for a second, I read one book that said that even the “healthy” grains (oats, quinoa, etc) and fruit are bad carb… Umm…would you have me eat kale and broccoli all day?? That brings me to another point. I found a source that said that eating cruciferous (kale, broccoli, cauliflower) vegetables everyday was bad for you due to a chemical in these veggies to prevent bacterial infection. This source suggested that it was best to eat these at most every other day. How are we supposed to function with all of these different opinions?

 

I will share my philosophy on the matter of healthy eating. I’m not telling you to live and die by these “rules”, they are merely the way I try to live my life.

– I try to avoid trans fats as much as possible (this includes fried foods)

– I try to always read the ingredient label/nutritional data before buying a packaged product (less ingredients is better and it is also best if you can understand the label)

-I avoid artificial sweeteners where possible

-I avoid artificial colours where possible

-I never add sugar to anything that I make. I sweeten things with fruit, honey, pure maple syrup or stevia

-I try to avoid food that I know has added sugar

-I never buy fruit juice. I prefer to make my own veggie and fruit juice (using a juicer) with just raw fruit and veggies and nothing else.

– Where possible, I try to use milk substitutes rather than dairy milk (example, almond milk)

– I avoid all bread products where possible

– I use healthy cooking oils like coconut and extra virgin olive

– I eat a lot of nuts, especially almonds

– For protein, I usually stick to chicken breast and fish

– Don’t forget to eat beans

– The food processer, blender and juicer are my favourite kitchen items

– I try to use spices to liven up a dish instead of unhealthy sauces and where I need a sauce, I typically use hummus

– When a recipe calls for flour, use any other type of flour other than that bleached shit. Coconut flour, oat flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, etc. Lets say that you don’t have oat flour but you do have oatmeal. Well miracles do happen because you grind that oatmeal and it is now oat flour.

– I never drink soda pop

I can’t really think of anything else right now… I think that is a pretty comprehensive list for now though. Just remember, if you are trying to alter your lifestyle, it is all about re-training yourself and indulgences are ok as long as they are in moderation. But that is just my views on the matter. Oh, one other thing, you need to get off your ass and exercise. That is all.

 

Happy Holidays!