12 2 / 2013
Kefir is the one thing that, although I’m Paleo, I drink everyday. It has too many benefits and has markedly improved my life since starting it to drink it.
For those that don’t know what Kefir is, it is very similar to yogurt. The plain version is a little more sour than Greek yogurt but if you get the flavored version you probably won’t taste much of a difference. The National Kefir Association website says that…
The drink we now call Kefir (pronounced kee-fur) originated in ancient times, when nomadic shepherds in the Caucasus Mountains discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches occasionally fermented into a deliciously effervescent beverage. Once the accidental process was discovered, this bubbly refresher became popular throughout the world. The name Kefir comes from the Turkish word “keif” – meaning “good feeling” – for the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it.
The most important benefits from drinking Kefir is all the work it does on your gut. Since most of our health is closely tied in to our gut’s health, it really does make you feel over all better. Since starting to drink it both my family and I have not gotten colds like we always have in the past. I am lactose intolerant but Kefir gives me no trouble at all and actually has improved how my stomach feels daily.
It is a potent probiotic, consisting of both bacterial and yeast species of beneficial flora, and may help protect against gastrointestinal diseases. It has also been demonstrated to improve lactose digestion in adults with lactose intolerance. In addition to providing the gut with healthy symbiotic microflora, many studies have also demonstrated the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of kefir. Certain bacteria strains from the kefir culture have been shown to help in treating colitis by regulating the inflammatory response of the intestinal cells. - chriskesser.com
Actually, we love it so much that my girlfriend and I have started making our own. I picked some up from a local farm a few weeks ago and have been growing our own batches daily. It is super easy and much cheaper than buying it. Even if we did have to continue buying it the benefits completely justify the extra cash. Though Paleo may require skipping dairy, I see no harm in drinking Kefir since it has done so much for us.
09 2 / 2013
PEW Charitable Trusts released this infographic of the amount of antibiotics sold for meat and poultry production compared to the amount sold to treat sick people. It should stop you cold in your tracks and think now and the next time you are buying meat to cook for your family…
07 2 / 2013
In reading the different personal blog posts on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, I see a lot of the same thing: guilt or frustration over cravings or having cheated. Lord knows that I have them as well. But it’s OK. Don’t let it bring you down, that will only lead to more of the same feelings and cheating. Look, you are trying to change habits and desires that you have been having for most of your life. It’s not going to happen over night, or even over a few days. It may seem like it’s gone but then pop right back up a few weeks later.
It doesn’t help that we are fighting a battle against a world full of marketers trying their best to get us to do the opposite. And they have years of experience at it. They know just what to say and what images to show us to make us desire what they are selling.
So it’s OK to struggle through it. You know something, it wouldn’t feel as good when you do achieve your goals if it wasn’t a challenge. Just like lifting weights in a gym: if there wasn’t resistance then you would never become stronger. You are making yourself stronger by enduring the struggle and pushing through it.
If you need help then turn to a friend or someone else in the paleo community to encourage you. I love it that so many people are out there that are going through or have gone through just what you have and are willing to come along side you and lift you up with a few good words or images.
Above all, don’t give up. Forgive yourself when you slip and then be patient…be persistent…be powerful!
Image courtesy of San Diego Shooter
06 2 / 2013
Over on Panera’s website there is a post about their new hidden menu that seems to be “Paleo approved.”
Developed by Scott Davis, Panera Bread’s Chief Concept Officer, Panera’s “off-the-menu” dishes offer nourishing options that make sticking to New Year’s resolutions simple. All of these meal selections are an excellent source of protein and contain limited processed carbs.
Everything looks pretty tasty to me, especially the Power Chicken Hummus bowl!
But you won’t find these items on banners in our cafes, or even on the menu board. Here’s how you get the dishes — just tell one of our associates that you’re ordering from the “Hidden Menu”, and they’ll take care of it from there.
These options are really awesome for Paleo dieters who are having trouble trying to find a “safe” place to eat-out at. It’s definitely a struggle for me and my girlfriend that usually ends in having to cheat. I know it’s only a matter of tie before more places start jumping on the Paleo bandwagon and that’s a good thing for us!
06 2 / 2013
So apparently, apart from being National Pancake Day yesterday it was also World-Wide Nutella Day! We ate a ton of this creamy spread before we started Paleo and have missed it like crazy. I came across this recipe for Paleo Nutella yesterday, (not realizing it was because of the World day) and am looking forward to trying it out. Has anyone else had Paleo Nutella?
2 cups hazelnuts
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of xylitol (or your preferred natural sweetener)
I think that the only thing I would change, though, would be the sweetener. Can’t wait to taste it!
05 2 / 2013
Since according to IHOP it is National Pancake day I would be amiss to not post about these fluffy yummy breakfast goodies. Our kids love pancakes so since going Paleo they have been one of the things we have been trying to find a good substitute for. This past weekend we made them with the recipe that has been floating around the internet. Eggs, bananas, and a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. They came out a little unstable so I through in a couple of teaspoons of rice flour and they came out perfectly. The kids didn’t even have to top them with anything. Another recipe that we have used and that tastes so good is the Paleo Mom’s Plantain Pancakes.
2 large green plantains (about 2 cups pureed)
4 eggs2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1/8 tsp salt (a generous pinch)
tsp baking soda
Extra coconut oil for frying
The kids loved these too and were surprised at what they were made out of because they came out looking like they do at IHOP!
Image by Pippin Graham http://www.flickr.com/people/pipsky/
05 2 / 2013
"If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." I made this quote the very first post of this blog because I believe it is an essential idea to our diets. Diet not in the sense of trying to loose weight but the things we eat to power our bodies. I bring this up because of an article I read this morning on ABC News’ Health Blog. They report on a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that finds that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of death from heart disease.
Consuming a vegetarian diet was associated with lower IHD risk, a finding that is probably mediated by differences in non-HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.
I’d be interested in seeing the full text of this study to see what exactly the non-vegetarians ate and how much meat they were eating. Animal cruelty arguments aside, meat is good for us and very nutrient rich. From the University of Wollongong in Australia red meat is:
An excellent source of high biological value protein, vitaminB12, niacin, vitaminB6, iron, zinc and phosphorus
A source oflong-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, selenium and possibly also vitamin D
Mostly low in fat and sodium
Sources of a range of endogenous antioxidants and other bioactive substances including taurine, carnitine, carnosine, ubiquinone, glutathione and creatine.
Hormone, chemical, GMO free meats are natural and I believe should be part of our diets.
However, I believe that eating too much of any one thing is bad for anybody. Especially if it is not accompanied by regular exercise. If I was to live off a diet composed mostly of red meats and not exercise then I am sure I would develop heart disease as well.
Look around the a farmer’s market or even the produce section in your grocery store. It is full of a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, smells, and textures. We should be using everything in our diets. Combine things, mix things up, and be colorful with your food. You don’t have to know the nutrient value of everything you are eating if you are eating everything. You are assured to get what you need if you mix it up. Be brave and try new things. Venture out on your own and don’t let news reports sway you. If anything let them push you to investigate on your own.
04 2 / 2013
Raw milk. There must be a bad connotation that goes along with the word raw that makes a lot of people cringe when I tell them I drank some. No matter what I tell them about the milk that they drink from the store, the idea of drinking milk that has come straight from the udder just makes them want to heave. However, they seem to have no problem drinking days old, hormone, pus and blood filled processed milk off the shelf.
I don’t have a problem with it, though, and so I took my family out to a local farm to get a gallon this weekend. It was an awesome experience for the kids. Getting out of the city on a beautiful Sunday afternoon would have been enough but they also got to see a few farm animals and get healthy milk as well.
Gramen farm has been around for a number of years but recently they have been getting a surge in new customers. One of the ladies that work there told me that they are having to bring in more cows to meet the demands. By the time we got there they had already run out of a lot of items but we did score the raw milk, and kefir. They were extremely friendly and helpful and though the milk is understandably much more expensive than store milk it was totally worth it.
The milk tastes amazingly great. The lady at the farm described it to the kids as tasting like melted vanilla ice cream, and that is just about right. The kids loved it as did myself and my girlfriend. I am actually lactose intolerant but I had heard that some of us can actually drink raw milk without any problems. I tried it and have been feeling fine!
I am more than happy to spend the extra time and money to obtain “raw” milk for my family and am excited to see that more and more people are doing the same. This can only be a positive thing, not only for our health but for the well being of our farmers as well. Can’t wait to head back out to the farm!
Footnote…Yes, I know dairy is not paleo but this was a great cheat/treat to have. Usually we stay away from dairy products.