Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paleo 101

This article is geared towards people who want to try out the Paleo diet and who just want to quickly know what they should and shouldn’t do.
No background science here or lengthy explanations, only 15 easy rules to follow to kick start your Paleo journey. It’s up to you to decide to what extent you want to follow those rules, but if you follow them 100% you can be assured that you are eating the best food for your body and greatly investing in your long term health and well-being.
The 15 rules of the Paleo diet
  1. The Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
  2. Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
  3. Eat generous amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form of stocks and broths.
  4. Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
  5. Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problem or are trying to lose weight faster.
  6. Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter or clarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  7. Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
  8. Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive oil and avocado oil are fine, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over prepared food.
  9. Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. At the grocery store, visit only the meat, fish and produce sections.
  10. Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without, consider raw, full-fat and/or fermented dairy.
  11. Eat when you’re hungry and don’t stress if you skip a meal or even two. You don’t have to eat three square meals a day, do what feels most natural.
  12. Eliminate to most sources of external stress in your life as possible and sleep the most you can. Try to wakeup without an alarm and to go to bed when it’s dark.
  13. Don’t over-exercise, keep your training sessions short and intense and do them only a few times per week. Take some extra time off if you feel tired. Consider short and intense sprinting sessions instead of very long cardio sessions.
  14. Consider supplementing with vitamin D and probiotics. Levels of magnesium, iodine and vitamin K2 should also be optimized. Iodine can be obtained from seaweeds. You probably don’t need a multivitamin or other supplements.
  15. Play in the sun, have fun, laugh, smile, relax, discover, travel, learn and enjoy life like a daring adventure!
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I tried Kimchi! Good Stuff.

In my pursuit of healthy eating and whole foods, I've come across some recipes that call for Kimchi.   I never had much interest in making my own but the other day while shopping at the amazing Earth Fare store I happened upon a jar of it!   Yay!!!! It's vegan, gluten fee, raw and a good source of probiotics.  (according to the lid)  Made of cabbage, carrots, red peppers, leeks, crushed red pepper, green onions, garlic, ginger and sea salt.  It comes in different levels of heat.  I chose spicy and it's not lying.

I paired it with our famous Lexus Almond Chicken and some fresh green beans that I also picked up at Earth Fare.  It ended up being a pretty amazing dinner with a definite bite to it. (spicy)  Oh and don't let the smell of the Kimchi get you. Cabbage can be a real turn off by smell alone.  It's actually really yummy.

The almond chicken recipe can be found on an earlier blog in May 2013.  It's easy and you can use chicken of any sort to make it.  Using the cayenne pepper and chili pepper is what gives it good flavor.

The green beans, although not Paleo, is all whole good ingredients.  The Non Paleo in the family really like green beans so I try and treat him every once in a while. (wink)
I used the bacon grease as suggested, not butter. And I let it cook every minute of the 30 minutes.  The beans come out crisp and tender with great flavor.  This time I threw in a few little red hot peppers from the garden cut up.

Fresh Green Beans
1 lb green beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (can substitute regular table salt; use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
Ground black pepper
Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Just don’t tell Granny. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

Chicken Bacon Apple Burgers

Let me just tell you...this is a favorite.  It reminds me of Chicken Sausage.  I made mine slightly larger and for the Non Paleo family members I made Panini's with cheese on chabata bread.   ( I have no idea how to spell in case you haven't picked up on that reading my blogs.)  I didn't really alter the recipe, however my apples were not organic. I did use raw honey.  Easy to make, easy to fry up.  I used the G. Foreman grill, but I'm sure the big grill would have made them better.  
They were also very yummy cold....and reheated three days later.  The website gives freezing directions.  Check it out!



Preheat outdoor grill or stove. In a large bowl, combine grated apple, celery, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix in honey, chicken, and cooked, crumbled bacon. Shape chicken mixture into 1/2-inch-thick sliders, using 1/8th pound of meat per slider. Grill over medium heat about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pot Sticker Burgers and A Heros Run

Today was a great day!  I participated in the

 Cleveland Hero Run!

As I ran 5 miles I thought about all the things our public service men and women do every day to keep us safe. The risks they take, and for some giving their lives.  I thought about the families they leave behind and the sacrifices they make as well.  Participating was my way to show my support and appreciation.

Not to mention I got to spend the morning with some of my favorite people!!
I must say the 5 miles was a huge PR for me.  The most I've ever run has been a mile at a time.  I've run 5k's before but usually with a lot of walking and obstacles in between running.  This was just running for 5 miles up and down hills of the metro parks.  I was happy with running the first 3 miles, walked most of the 4th (it was up a big hill) and then ran the last mile.  I'm not sure of the official finish time but it was just over an hour.   I'll take it.
Dinner was a challenge considering my legs were not feeling so hot. I have a huge blister on the bottom of my left foot that started about halfway through the 3rd mile.  So my right leg is really sore because of compensating for the sore left leg.  UGGGG 

Paleo Pot Sticker Burgers with Slaw

I've made these in the past and they are becoming a favorite! 
They are simple to make.  Be sure to make the slaw first so it has time to marinate. 
I also used olive oil on the grill pan. It didn't get as burnt as the cooking spray does. (I used that the last time and yuck).  Also Coconut Aminos are not found at Giant Eagle.  I've only had luck at the stores like Whole Foods or Earth Fare.


 Pot Sticker Burgers

1 package 99% fat-free ground turkey breast (about 1.2lbs)
1 egg
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos** (I used Coconut Secret brand from Whole Foods)
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, micro planed or finely minced
2 Tablespoons, micro planed or finely minced ginger (I recommend micro planed, but work with what you've got!)
1 1/2 cups coleslaw mix, roughly chopped
Spicy Asian Slaw

4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (DO NOT omit - adds amazing flavor)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
1 green onion, sliced
Remainder of coleslaw mix from 14 oz bag. (about 4-5 cups) 
**In case you are wondering about this "Coconut Aminos" business, it is a soy-free soy sauce substitution that is approved for the paleo lifestyle.  Although I was a bit dubious at first, one taste changed my mind.  Justin just couldn't believe there was no soy sauce in this recipe. If you use regular soy sauce, cut back by about 1 TBS.

Directions For the Slaw: (I started this first so it could marinate while I prepped the burgers)
1.) Mix first 8 ingredients in box then add coleslaw mix. 
2.) Toss until thoroughly coated. 
3.) Place bowl in fridge to marinate while you cook burgers.
Directions For the Burgers:

1.) Preheat skillet to medium on your stove top, and spray with your non-stick spray. 
2.) Add turkey burgers and cook on medium for about 5-6 minutes.  
3.) As turkey has very little fat, I found it helpful to spray the pan again when you flip the burgers, cooking again for 5-6 minutes. 
4.) At this point, my burgers were still a bit pink in the center, so I covered the skillet and cooked for another 4 minutes.  
5.) Take off skillet, put on plate, and top with the slaw. 
6.) Devour.