Make Friends With Your Food

The healthiest food in the world will not support your health if you eat it with guilt, shame or a sense of deprivation. Here, the very wise Abraham explains the importance of  Making Friends With Your Food. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Coffee…friend or foe?

I had my first coffee in over a week this morning – a delicious cup of organic espresso with coconut milk. It was yummy, but MAN! was my heart RACING after about a half hour! Crazy! I’d never noticed the effects of caffeine before. I put it to use during my workout, but not sure I actually like the feeling anymore…Anyone else give up coffee and glad you did – or could never IMAGINE life without it?

Dear Sugar, Please stop hiding in stupid places…

e

I’ve found sugar in some pretty crazy places: sausages, soup broth and even salsa. But the other day I realized the Italian seasoning I grabbed while in a hurry at the grocery store is full of the stuff! I’m actually a little embarrassed to show you the bottle because I usually do a better job of label reading, but really…it’s Italian seasoning – I figured it’s going to contain rosemary, marjoram and oregano – you know, the usual suspects. Guess again! Try salt as the number one ingredient (egads!) and all sorts of crap like cornstarch, yeast extract and sunflower oil. Ugh! Never again…

In the meantime, Sugar, if you’re listening, please stop hiding in these stupid places. And food manufacturers, please stop pumping your products full of this crap.

Oh, and for the record, I’ve since started making my own broths and salsa – guess I can do the same with the spice mix!

Where’s the craziest place YOU’VE found hidden sugar?

Whole 30, Days 27 & 28 – Spice Rubbed Roast Chicken (yes, it’s local)

roast chicken and veg

What says Sunday Dinner better than a roast chicken? Black cardamon is the secret that gives this recipe a nice smoky barbecue flavor, while the liberal rubbing with coconut oil crisps the skin up nicely. Since it’s an organic chicken  raised without hormones or antibiotics, I feel good about eating the skin. It’s when your protein is commercially raised you want to steer clear of the fatty stuff. If you’ve never cooked with black cardamon before you’re in for a treat. It lends a lovely smoky, almost bacon-type flavor to your dishes. Awesome in meatballs, burgers, chicken fingers and all sorts of things. Hope you enjoy!

Spice Rubbed Roast Chicken & Veg

  • 4 – 5 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic
  • coconut oil
  • garlic powder
  • chilli powder
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • black cardamom
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Chop vegetables and put in bottom of roasting pan
  3. Pre-mix spices in a small bowl
  4. Wash & pat dry bird
  5. Rub chicken with coconut oil, inside, outside and under the skin, coating generously
  6. Pour spice mix over, inside and under the skin of the chicken; rub in well
  7. Place bird breast side down in over, uncovered for 15 – 20  minutes
  8. When nicely golden, flip bird over
  9. Roast for another 25 – 35 minutes until legs wiggle easily and internal temp reaches safe range (180)
  10. Let cool before slicing

Whole 30, Day 19- Linkalicious

sausages making the shape of a heart

A few days ago a friend sent a facebook message asking if we knew of any good site with good clean-eating recipes. Do we?!?!

Now while my friend is looking to clean up her diet by eliminating processed foods and white stuff – a good start to be sure, she’s still eating grains. Now that Dave and I are 100% paleo, all of our favorite sites are too, but I told her to go ahead and add in whole grains to any of the dishes she finds on these sites …unless of course she follows up on some of the other resources I suggested and realizes she might be better without them. Her call, of course. 😉

One of my FAVE sites is theclothesmakethegirl.com, the site’s  author Melissa  just come out with a cookbook, Well Fed (which I am currently coveting and will probably order) – though her site is also full of free recipes. She writes like the Dickens (pun intended) and her posts are always fun to read. I’ve made her Czech meatballs and home made mayo, which is funny because neither of us really liked mayo before but making your own makes you feel like a kitchen DIVA and allows you to make tasty sauces, cole slaw and cucumber salad etc.

I also love The Food Lovers Primal Palate, Their paleo coconut pancakes are great – though not Whole30 approved, so don’t even THINK about it if you’re following along with us on the challenge. That’s having SWYPO (Sex you’re your Pants On) and “paleofying” is strictly off-limits.

Another source I often go to is marksdailyapple.com, by Mark Sissons. He’s the author of The Primal Blueprint, the first book that turned us on to eating primal/paleo by explaining how grains block the absorption of many nutrients and cause inflammation and how the body runs better as a fat burner than a sugar burner. Type whatever you’re looking for into the search bar and tonnes of recipe options pop up. Note though that his site is Primal as opposed to Paleo so you’ll find recipes using dairy, sweetners and a few other things not allowed on the Whole30.

I also suggested she check out delightfultastebuds.com by Jos. She was actually the first person who introduced me to the paleo diet by mentioning it on the Bodyrock.tv community. She blogs about her own diet and shares easy, wholesome recipes. I mentioned to my friend her Oven Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers were to-die-for and just thinking about them made me want them so I whipped up a batch for dinner. (Side note: after devouring a nice plate-full I wondered if I’d made a slip and had “Sex With My Pants On”, but when I asked Melissa on on the Whole 30 facebook page, she said only if I had a serious KFC addiction and was filling the void. Hate KFC, so we’re clear.)

I also suggest nomnompaleo.com. The site’s author swears like a trucker, so be warned if you have virgin ears – or eyes, I guess. But she’s funny as hell and does a great job of marketing herself. Plus she has a tonne of great recipes on offer.

There’s also a couple of sites that do a round-up of healthy recipes from across the webiverse, thefoodee.com and chowstalker.com. It’s like searching dozens of sights at once, while getting a snapshot of the of the latest offerings in one place.

Since my friend was looking to reset her metabolism, I also suggested she check out The Whole30.

So yeah, we’ve got resources – and we’re happy to share! Check out these fine folks and let us know what you think or share YOUR favorite links below!

Whole 30, Day 16 – Breakfast Made Easy “Meat Lover’s Breakfast Casserole”

Breakfast Casserole with salsa and tea

Planning really is the key to success with a challenge like the Whole 30 – or really, just eating healthy in general. And perhaps there’s no other time when the payoff is sweeter than first thing in the morning. I don’t know about you, but the last thing we want to do in the morning is cook. So we’ve moved to cooking breakfast casseroles, egg dishes with an extra kick of meat and veggies. We make a big batch and it lasts for days. This version turned out as one of our faves – we’ll definitely make it again. Topped with a little chunky salsa – delish!

Meat Lover’s Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 3 turkey sausages (unprocessed/drug-free if you can find it – check labels, many have sugar!)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (grass-fed preferred, can use ground turkey or chicken)
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 2-3 cups spinach, sliced
  • 12 eggs
  • italian spices, sun dried tomatoes, salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 385f
  2. Cook sausage in a pan, browing all sides, set aside to cool – then slice on diagonals
  3. Cook ground beef, breaking up and browning
  4. Coat casserole dish liberally with coconut oil
  5. Layer sausage pieces flat on bottom of casserole dish
  6. Add cooked beef on top, sprinkle spices on top
  7. Add mushrooms, then spinach. Top with sun-dried tomatoes
  8. Blend eggs in a separate bowl (I use a magic bullet)
  9. Before placing in oven, press surface evenly with a spatula or flipper. You should be able to see egg mixture coming through the spinach.
  10. Cook for approx. 20 – 25 minutes, shaking pan to check if middle is firm.

Feel free to experiment with different meat and vegetable combinations but beware of making the body of the casserole too deep. If your eggs don’t show through the top layer, you’ll end up with a dry crispy top.

Give it a try and let us know how you like it. Feel free to share your favorite combinations in the comments below.

Whole 30, Day 10 – You Are What You Eat

Happy pigs laying in an outdoor pen.

"Only Happy Pigs for Brady's" (photo from Brady's Meats facebook page)

I have a confession to make. David and I have been eating “clean” for a really long time, but it’s only recently we decided to go all out and switch to grass-fed beef and naturally raised meat.  We resisted for the same reason I imagine most people do, it’s expensive and hard to find. But then one day my world changed. A colleague at work mentioned Brady’s Meat & Deli, a local butcher that specializes in hormone-free and naturally-raised meat. Not only do they have a fantastic selection, but their service is great and their prices are completely reasonable. I’m hooked. Now, each shopping trip is like a little adventure and I’m like a kid showing off their Christmas haul when I get home to show Dave all the goodies in my bag. Today’s highlight: naturally-raised ground lamb I’ll be incorporating into a sheppard’s pie tomorrow night. I’m giddy just thinking about it!

After the butchers, I went to the grocery store to stock up on veggies and a few other staples. As I made my way through the store, I was thinking that a lot of people on an eating program like this might feel a sense of deprivation, passing by all the things they can no longer have. But like I said, we’ve been steering clear of processed foods for a while, so I can pass the cookies and cereal without skipping a beat. To be honest, the main thoughts I used to think went something like this… “Look at all this CRAP that most people eat! No wonder people are fat and unhealthy…These food producers making this sh!t should be jailed. It’s criminal to call this stuff FOOD….etc etc” A little… judgmental, no?

Well, I’m happy to say today I had a completely different experience. It was more like a sense of FREEDOM. I don’t have to worry about all the boxes and labels and things that aren’t going to end up on my plate. Shopping is so much easier eating the Whole 30 way. Get in, get what you want, get out. Lickety split.

And as far as the judgement, I’m reminded of something Abraham Hicks often says – Don’t push against what you do not want,  just choose what you do want. A lesson applicable to both the food we put in our mouths and the thoughts we put in our minds. Always learning 🙂

If you’re still on the fence over your protein sources, bear in mind the advice given by Melissa and Dallas in the Whole 30 Success Guide, if you can only afford to buy the best in one area of your food budget, make it your protein source first. After all, pesticides can be washed off your veggies, but you’re not rinsing the hormones out of your meat. Check out http:www.eatwild.com/basics.html to read more about the benefits of eating good quality meat and click on their shopping guide to locate a source near you. And of course, if you’re anywhere near KW Southwestern Ontario, go visit my new BFFs at Brady’s Meats.

Whole 30, Day 5 & 6 – Movie review, snacking and “Is it Paleo?”

Howdy from Day 6 and apologies for missing Day 5.

Truth is, by the end of the day yesterday, we just had to honor our bodies’ demand to get horizontal and put in a good movie. Proud of us for listening too our bodies, but too bad about the movie. Little service announcement: Despite the high ratings on flixster.com, the movie “Warrior” is simply ridiculous. As UFC fans we were completely insulted by the totally unrealistic representation of a fighting competition. And any movie that ends with one guy choking out another while sobbing “I love you brother” garners a big two thumbs down from us. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but save the hour and half you’ll never get back and watch a real fight instead.
Anyhow, the ritual of curling up for a (not-so) good movie brought on the urge to snack. In our pre-primal days we used to love organic popcorn tossed with melted coconut oil and a little sea salt & stevia for what we thought was a healthy alternative to a movie mainstay. That was until we learned that corn is a grain, and like all grains contains substances that interfere with digestion and cause inflammation. Boo… So instead, we chose some paleo snacks. I munched a bowl of blueberries, Dave enjoyed some pistachio and we both noshed a few spoonfuls of toasted hemp seeds. Which brings me to this handy (and humorous) flow chart I recently came across…Is it Paleo?

Here’s a link in case this is too tiny to read…http://yfrog.com/kecf9ljj. And if anyone knows the author, please let me know – I’d love to give proper credit.

Whole 30, Day 3 – Dazed & Confused

poster for movie "Dazed and Confused"

So I have to confess, it’s actually early on day 4 as I write this. I didn’t stop moving until 11:30 last night and dropped like a rock into bed. But quite a day it was. When David and I compared notes, it turns out we both felt the same way all day….stoned! The first time I noticed was mid-morning when I got up from my desk at work and it felt like I was moving through water. “What the…?!?” It was like I had cotton behind my eyes and a fog in my brain. Not exactly fun. Dave said he felt the same way, draggy and drugged out. I’ve read this is a normal part of the detoxification process, but somehow thought because our diet has always been comparably ‘clean’ that we’d somehow be exempt. Guess not. The way I look at it though, if whatever it is that’s coming out is in my body, get it out already! We’re only going to feel better on the other side of it, right? To that end, I think the hot yoga class I went to really helped.

Here’s what I ate:

  •  breakfast: frittata with ground turkey and salsa; green tea
  • lunch: grass-fed mini meatballs & spaghetti squash with a large salad
  • post yoga snack: immediately after, coconut water; when I got home, a few more mini meatballs with homemade coleslaw
  • dinner: sheppard’s pie

Dave’s food was pretty similar, only he texted me mid-afternoon to tell me he’d just fried up some calamari and discovered his new favorite go-to protein source. Since there was no calamari left when I got home :), I decided to do a big batch cook and made curry shrimp, baked yams, yam hash (for breakfast), salmon “bacon” (inspired by Mark Sissons), a healthy salad dressing (using fish oils) and of course the sheppard’s pie.

Day 3, in the books. See you later for a recap on Day 4…

Whole 30, Day 2 – Temptation

Whole 30, day 2. Phone rings, it’s David. He’s at the grocery store looking at all the things he can’t have. “Get out of there!” I tell him. Why torture yourself? Truth is, he’s looking for kale to make a batch of kale chips, craving the crunch he used to get from his beloved rice chips. No kale, no crunch, sad Dave.

Food wasn’t a problem for me today. Did two workouts and had plenty of good food to feed my appetite. My issue today was a sugar-detox headache that set in mid afternoon and lingered like a bad smell. Damn you sugar.

Our local butcher was closed today so I couldn’t stock up on grass fed goodness. Shame because I was planning to make Sheppard’s pie with cauliflower. Mmm, mashed cauliflower…so good it almost tastes sinful! But that will have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight, we thanked God for leftovers and made due.