What is Paleo?

The main thing I wanna erase from people’s understanding of paleo, is that it’s a caveman diet.  If you’ve ever said a joke to someone along the lines of “Do you think cavemen ate paleo cookies?” then you should know, that person has probably heard it 70 thousand times, and is smiling to be polite. It’s too far gone for us to change the name of it now so let’s just roll with Palaeolithic and start to rebuild everyone’s comprehension.

“What am I not allowed to eat?”

If this is your main question, then you’re asking it backwards.  The list will go on forever and you’ll spend every day googling if things are paleo.  What is paleo?  Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, unrefined oils.  There are some foggy items, but that is up to your own discretion.  Some people eat potatoes, some don’t.  Within weeks of starting, you will understand how these judgement calls are made via a more thorough understanding of your own body.  I eat a very small amount of fruit, usually closer to unripened because I’ve noticed over the years that fructose reacts with my skin and makes me sluggish.  Start simple and build off of what your body is communicating to you.  When you dull the loudness of processed foods in your system, you’ll be able to decide if eating kale every day is right for you. (PS: it’s probably not, but it would be funnier if you learned the hard way like the rest of us)

What are the differences between Paleo/Keto/Whole30?

They’re all pretty similar but depending on your health goals, you may want to know the difference.  Paleo is quite simply wholesome foods that are low on the glycemic index, which helps regulate energy, weight, mental clarity, emotions, stress levels, etc. In my opinion, it is the easiest of the three, and easier to maintain longterm.

Ketogenic is about getting your body into a state of ketosis (Low carb, high fat).  It usually starts off with a day or two of fogginess, followed by unreal clarity.  In the #LCHF world, we call it low-carb flu. I advise having a nap that day. Keto is the best for intense weight loss.  On a ketogenic diet, you will have no fruit, no high fructose vegetables such as squash, no natural sweeteners that would be allowed on paleo (coconut palm sugar), and no tubers such as potatoes and yams.

Whole30 is paleo and keto on steroids.  I’ve done it 4 times now and each time I end up sprawled out on the floor begging for chocolate while my roommate tries to console me with an avocado.  Whole30 is a reset to help you break bad habits. The hardest part, is no chocolate.  Second hardest is no alcohol, if you don’t drink you’re way ahead of the game. Being faced with peer pressure at social outings (if your friends are used to you having a beer) is difficult but you just have to say “I’m on a cleanse, and it’s only for 30 days.” and people usually back off.  Third hardest, is not making paleo approved tasty treats.  Trendy paleo recipes you see, like paleo lattes or cauliflower pizza crust, or fancy replications of the unhealthy food you are used to enjoying are not allowed on Whole30.  The point of this is to get it out of your head.  It takes 30 days to make or break a habit.  If you mess up, you have to start over from day 1.  The results are tried and true. Whole30 Results

To assume only makes an ASS out of U and ME

No, paleo isn’t a meat-eater diet.

The amount of protein a person should consume on any of these diets is 20%.  This meme going around with a giant plate of bacon that says “Paleo Salad” is sOoOoOo wrong.  Most bacon contains refined sugar. Finding hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats as well as sugar-free cured meats is the way of the wise.  Even bone broth loses its anti-inflammatory properties if it comes from grain fed animals. The fat from grain fed animals also usually contains more toxins and can be harmful whereas a quality tallow can make a diet anti-carcinogenic with the added bonus of improving hair, nails and elasticity of your skin.  Reasonable amounts of high quality meat is paleo. High quality vegetables are also important if it is within your budget.  To help you prioritize, there’s a list called the Dirty Dozen:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

As for produce, these are important to purchase organic because they absorb and retain pesticides more than other fruits and vegetables.

So anyway, if you are paleo and you’re just trying to explain to someone what paleo is, just say “it’s everything and nothing” and then walk away without saying anything else. Please. Because it’s funny.

If you’re not paleo but are actually interested in trying it out, the BEST advice I can give you is to stay out of the aisles at the grocery store. Everything you need is usually right in front of your face when you walk in the door.  When you start wandering through the “health food” section and pick up gluten free pasta – you’ve gone too far.

This super formal and scientific explanation is brought to you by For the Love of Paleo – Never Feel Restricted

Find your Paleo inspiration here: Inspiration

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Salmon Cobb-ish Salad

A New Low

I’ve had such a hectic week.  That combined with Whole30 is CALAMITY.  I ended up not eating for 8 and a half hours yesterday because I had so much running around to do, and I didn’t have any groceries left so by the time I was at the store I was like “PICKLES AND ALMOND BUTTER AND PLANTAINS!”  *pushes children*

It actually all happened in slow motion.  I was drooling over my groceries about to leave and one of the staff members was dragging a skid of pop into the store and accidentally tipped the whole thing and pop went flying everywhere and blocked the entrance.  I don’t even drink pop and I had to wait there (while eating olives) and watch this teenage shitshow look around waiting for someone to tell him what to do.

Uhmmmmm soooooo I went out the emergency exit and 2 other people followed me so YOU CAN’T ARREST ME, I’M A NATURAL BORN LEADER.  I got home and made the salad so fast and still managed to take a photo, threw the fork on the ground and started eating it with my hands.

This is the new low:  My roommate walked into the room and saw me, and I made a cute little “embarrassed” face and he shrugged and walked away.  He came back a few minutes later to tell me that was completely habitual behaviour so I could stop pretending to be ashamed.  I still didn’t grab the fork.

Note:  You can tell it was frantic because it looks like a raccoon peeled the egg.

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The New Low Salad

4 cups spinach and arugula mix

1 handful of broccoli sprouts

4 olives stuffed with garlic

1 avocado

1 small chunk of salmon fried in coconut oil and sea salt

5 pieces of shrimp fried in olive oil and minced garlic

1 boiled egg

1/2 cup green onion, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil for dressing

 

Da Bucket List

I found some old scrap bucket lists in my room the other day and couldn’t help but laugh at how small some of my dreams were.  I had done almost half of them in the last couple of years without even realizing it!  Time to keep adding and checking things off.  Also, there’s something important I think you should read before delving into this.  Don’t mind the poor english, the message is what’s important. 🙂

I just don’t care about myself. (self.getdisciplined) submitted 3 years ago * by maxstolfe
Ouch. Sounds like you’re having a tough time max. That sucks. I’ve been there, so I kinda know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It’s no bueno. I know. If you don’t mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read em if you want, read em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don’t let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you’re just letting us both down. And you don’t HAVE to do that. You don’t HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.
(Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them. )
Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.
La deuxieme regle – yeah i learnt french. its a canadian thing. please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU’S. Uh what? 3 me’s? That sounds like mumbo jumbo bullshit. News flash, there are three you’s homeslice. There’s the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 you’s are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you’ve done. And do favours for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like shit today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that’s all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me’s is you gotta do your future self a favour, just like you would for your best fucking friend (no best friend? you do now. You got 2. It’s future and past you). Tired as hell and can’t get off reddit/videogames/interwebs? fuck you present self, this one’s for future me, i’m gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I’m doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? fuck you present self, this one’s for my best friend, the future me. I’m up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it’s gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of every.single.thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.
Rule number 3- don’t worry i’m gonna too long didnt’ read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. seriously. you physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But lets say you still didn’t do it. Now you’re giving yourself shit for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being dissapointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? so what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one’s for you future homes. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.
Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and its three words. exercise and books. that’s it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. when you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). when you exercise you clear your mind. when you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favour. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every fucking thing we’ve all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read 7 habits of highly successful people. Read “emotional intelligence”. Read “From good to great”. Read “thinking fast and slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how’s them pullups coming?) Reading is the fucking warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.
That’s about it man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favours. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and its impossible to pull off? Your past self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.
I hope I helped a little bit max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.
Have an awesome fucking day ☺

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The Bucket List

Go to Iceland

Drink Guinness in Ireland

Try crossfit √

Be comfortable without makeup √

Do a Whole30 (3) √

Swim in the ocean √

Watch “The Bucket List”

Golf 18 holes √

Become a Holistic Nutritionist

Buy a house

Get married

Kayak √

Skate the Rideau Canal √

Snorkel √

Try Bikram √

Go to Seattle √

Host a dinner party √

Go to a wine tasting √

Take myself out for dinner √ (all the time lol)

2 Day hike/camp in the mountains

Build a piece of furniture

Try Rock Climbing

Climb a mountain

Save someone’s life

Lollapalooza √

Travel alone √

Buy a car (4) √

Have a spa day

Make wine

Create latte art

Help someone check something off their bucket list

Unplug for a week

See a geyser

Learn to knit/crochet

Stop eating beef and pork √

No 0 Days

Get a puppy √

Inject someone with insulin √

Sky Dive √

Jump off a cliff √

Eat frog legs √

Learn Macrame

Go back to a flip phone

Cook something on breakfast television

Pretend to be Amy Winehouse √

Get a tattoo √

Murder Mystery Party √

Go drifting √

Try pole dancing √

Visit Buddhist Monks in Thailand/Volunteer

Visit Paris with my mom

Ride a mechanical bull √

Have a successful food blog

Perfect King Pigeon

Do a full split

Sail a boat

Move away from Canada

Do a cooking class

Leave $100 tip

Drink absinthe √

Shuck Oysters √

Go to Australia

Go to Dubai

Go to Greece

Warning: Cringy content (me)

Never Feel Restricted

<rant>If you’ve ever had the decency of clicking on my webpage, you’ll see that the title/my mantra is “Never Feel Restricted”  The meaning behind it is quite simple; if you have some kind of dietary restrictions whether it be implemented by your doctor or just for fun, don’t look at it from this point of view: “I can’t eat this this this, that, and definitely not this, my life sucks.”  Look at everything else there is to offer and roll with it.

Once you start looking at it from this perspective you can apply it to every aspect of your life.  Never settle for anything less than exactly what you want.

Do you hate your job?  Good.  Put every ounce of effort you have into doing what it takes to get the dream job and don’t lose sight of it.  If you hate your living situation, for example; shitty roommates, stuck at your parents house… Newsflash.  You’re not stuck.  Go on Kijiji or Craigslist and find a new place.  If you can’t afford it, go get a second job.

This especially applies to relationships.  If you’re in a bad relationship, whether it be abusive or as simple as “he didn’t do anything wrong, he’s just holding me back.”   Then leave.  This doesn’t just apply to my girls, this is for guys too.  If she’s gonna play the game and reply to your texts once every 6 hours, what the actual hell are you thinking?  You deserve so much better.  No matter how lonely it gets in the age of modern dating, when your ex messages you after 3 months of ignoring you, absolutely do not give them what they do not deserve.

I literally do not understand what the fuck you are waiting for.

If you want to get fit and haven’t found time, that’s bullshit.  I’ve had 3 jobs for the greater part of my life and have always had time for being active, making food and having a balanced social life.  I’m not privileged or special.

If you love makeup and have always wanted to start a Youtube channel, I literally do not understand what the fuck you are waiting for.  Monetize that shit.

If we lived in a world where we stopped marinating in our own bullshit for even 6 months, imagine where you would be.</rant>

Top 8 Instagram Food Accounts to Follow

With health and fitness becoming more and more trendy, let’s take a look at all my favourite food inspiration accounts.

A lot of popular accounts focus on overindulgence ever since the first episode of “Epic Meal Time”. If you’re not familiar, you may know the expression: “Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips & Bacon Strips.” Nobody’s cheering: “Reasonable Portions & Reasonable Portions & Reasonable Portions & Reasonable Portions & Reasonable Portions”

Western civilization and government standards are straight up poison. I’m a huge fan of using Melissa Hartwig‘s Whole30 program to kickstart a lifestyle change. It’s the fastest most promising way of dropping bad habits to start making decisions that specifically feel good for your body when you’re done. Uuuuunfortunately, Whole30 was named the WORST diet of 2016 with paleo not too far behind.  Let me just… I can’t even type this.  The reason is that the American diet “should” consist of 45-65% carbohydrates according to the Institute of Medicine. The other reason is that it includes too much protein. If you’re doing paleo/primal/Whole30 by the rules, you will end up having about 20% animal protein and a whole bunch of plants and roots.
Anyway, I’m ranting for a reason. My top 10 list includes quite a bit of vegan accounts because Paleo loves vegetables too and to be honest, I don’t need to be inspired to barbecue some salmon, I’m already planning on it. Fall in love with vegetables and the colours of nature with these accounts! 😃

8. @theartofplating
Plating has always been very difficult for me. My food photos looked like someone accidentally turned on their camera while walking through the ghetto. I love coming to this account to understand what makes a dish visually appealing. It’s the first sense you use, and then you smell, and then taste.

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7. @food52
A really popular – one of the most popular – food accounts on Instagram. Not the healthiest but what they do is regram food posts you tag them in.  It is a great way to stay in the loop with what’s trending in the food world.

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6.@curlew_and_dragonfly
I love a vegan account that isn’t riddled with carbs. Gorgeous food from an admirable woman!

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5. @ashleysauvehealth
I went to high school with Ashley and we randomly ran into each other on Instagram 10 years later, now she’s a holistic nutritionist! Her recipes almost always include a small blurb about what those ingredients do for your body. Educational and delicious!

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4. @earthyandy
I want to be Andy when I grow up. Her plant based life in Hawaii is not only admirable but inspiring. Her children are the most beautiful mini souls I’ve ever seen.

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3. @goeatyourbeets
One of the first Instagram accounts I ever followed when I started my page. Editor at The Feed Feed. Gorgeous photography.

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2. @dennistheprescott
Canadian. The most visually appealing platters. I wish I had a family of 6 to have a reason to make this much food. The homemade abundance is somehow tastefully gluttonous. I just invented a new oxymoron because I’ve never seen food this pretty in real life.

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1. @fooddeco
As someone that tried to keep a themed page once and only lasted for 2 posts, I have to say that overall, this is the most well thought-out page I’ve come across. Her theme has become her brand. Her avocado art is her signature.

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Inspiration and the Fruit Mug

“I get these insane ideas…”

IMG_0658.JPGI get these insane ideas and sometimes it doesn’t work out, sometimes it’s so good I don’t tell anyone because it’s how I plan on getting rich, and sometimes I forget if I don’t write it down and it’s gone forever.  I created a new tab on my website called, “Inspiration”.  For those times when you just want to look at gorgeous photos of food and also because a lot of the time my recipes are more of an idea than a recipe.

I woke up Thursday morning in Seattle with a craving for fruit.  I had no idea what I was going to make so I made my way to the farmers market to see what was fresh.  I’m that disgusting human being that needs to touch every single fruit to make sure I LOVE it before bringing it home with me.  It’s an intimate thing.  I grabbed a mango and my finger sunk into it and I yelled, “OH MY GOD ITS PERFECT!”  The clerk that was working nodded at me like, “I know right”.  I instantly wanted to turn it into a flower.  When I got home and made the flower I looked at the bowls and was disappointed that my fruit was prettier than all of the china.  My coffee mug on the drying rack looked at me and said, “Maybe I can help?”  Unconventional, but maybe he was onto something.  I threw my combo of tangerines and orange slices into the bottom and placed the flower on top.  I filled in the cracks with RAMBUTAN (not to be confused with lychee, you idiot Kayla) and then chopped up a few pistachios and put them on top.

What I’m getting at… I could say YOU HAVE TO MAKE A BANANA TANGERINE SALAD AND PUT A MANGO AND RAMBUTAN AND PISTACHIOS ON TOP OR ELSE UNSUBSCRIBE… but what I’m trying to say is that you should probably put your fruit in a mug because it will make you feel awesome and happy.

If you would like to be featured on my inspiration tab, send me an email at loveofpaleo@gmail.com and you might see your art here too! 🙂

Let’s Talk About Coffee

This is totally irrelevant to coffee but it shapes who I am as a person so you have to read it anyway. Last fall, I started having back pain out of the blue and my doctor couldn’t figure out what it was so he told me to stop lifting weights until I got an MRI.   I was then told my MRI wasn’t until February 25th, 2017 and I thought it was a joke. I cried so much at the idea of not being able to work out for 6 months. I immediately switched to yoga, which didn’t really help with the pain but at least it didn’t make it worse. The day finally came and I’m going to find out if I can do the squats again this week. The random injury that I don’t remember even doing turned out to be a blessing because yoga has changed me so much in only 6 months. Small things like getting irritated in traffic are no longer a part of my life. Big things like forgiving people who have wronged me, cutting out people who do nothing good for me and being okay with it. Essentially just letting go. It has also made me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I remember when I did yoga a couple of times recreationally and said I could never be a real yogi because I’m not flexible (loooool). Now when I hear someone say that I can’t help but smile. If you do yoga, you’ll understand how funny that is. To have the option to do weight training again on days that I don’t feel like being a peaceful swan, that would be super cool.


Enough about me, let’s talk about that COFFEE. I was in a coffee shop in Rocky Mountain House this week for work and while I was waiting for my coffee I noticed this poster on the wall that was so inspiring and really just helps you realize how big the world of coffee is. (Click to zoom in)

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Another thing that’s really important that can’t be ignored is the kind of grind you’re using for which coffee machine.  If all you have is a Keurig, you need to go to Winners and pick up a new toy for yourself now.

coffee_brewing_device

I used drip coffee for years because it was $2 and I was in college.  I now use the french press and the italian moka pot… and I have day dreams about owning a siphon and an espresso machine.

Grind Size Ideal Brewing Method
COARSE
  • Plunger Pot
  • French Press
  • Percolator
  • Vacuum coffee pot
MEDIUM
  • Drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters
    (BUNN, Bloomfield, etc.)
FINE
  • Drip coffee makers with cone shaped filters
    (KRUPS, Cusinart, etc.)
  • Espresso moka pots
EXTRA FINE
  • Espresso machines – pump
  • Espresso machines – steam
TURKISH
  • Ibik

Chart from Here.  The siphon isn’t on the list but it should be a medium-coarse grind.

How to Steam Coffee Without an Steam Wand

This is forever my struggle but I make due.  Put your desired amount of milk in a mason jar and shake vigorously.  Remove lid and microwave for 30 seconds.  You don’t want to shake it after it’s already hot because it will literally explode.  Use a spoon to hold back your froth as your pour it into the cup and then spoon the froth on top.

Know Your Milk

I’m just gonna go ahead and say DON’T FUCKING DRINK SKIM MILK.  Maybe I’m biased by a high fat diet but the lower fat content, the higher lactose content.  If you are going to drink dairy milk it should be a higher fat percentage.  The higher fat content will be also higher in calories but if your health regime revolves around counting calories we have a bigger problem.

I don’t use dairy milk at home personally, I use coconut milk and cashew milk.  It’s 2017 so I think we all know not to drink Soy milk.  When buying your nut milks, (or nut juice as I like to call it) make sure to buy unsweetened.  Also check your ingredients because I’ve been finding a huge amount of unnecessary additives in some brands.  Try to avoid any milks with Carrageenan.  It causes serious stomach problems and is also a know carcinogen.  A lot of almond milks also have rice milk added to them so if you’re wondering, that’s not paleo.

Best case scenario, canned coconut milk is always pure.  Never buy low fat.  If you buy low fat coconut milk, they remove 30% of the contents and replace it with water.  You played yourself.

DIY

Best best case scenario is making your own!  It’s very easy to do.  I use a cheese cloth but a nut bag is best.

Soak 1 cup of almond or cashews in water for 1-24 hours.  The longer the better.  Raw, organic and unsalted with no oil if you can find it.  Rinse thoroughly and drain.  Blend with 4 cups of filtered water for about a minute.  Drain!  You can sweeten it with unrefined stevia if you’re drinking it just like that.

Stevia?

The two best paleo sweeteners are unrefined stevia and unrefined coconut palm sugar.  Stevia is a very potent sweetener which is a powdered stevia leaf.  I don’t mind it at all but some people find it has a distinct unpleasant taste.  Coconut sugar is technically okay because it ranks lowest on the glycemic index so your body doesn’t have an energy spike and drop, which is kinda what paleo is all about.  It’s still sugar at the end of the day so it’s not something to put in your coffee every day, more of a treat.

So What’s Bulletproof Coffee?

Kind of a huuuuge internet trend for the last few years.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally on board.  Bulletproof is just a brand name.  They make coffee beans and different medium chain triglycerides and collagen.  People on the high fat train like to blend fats in with their coffee to have a slower energy release that actually gives you some mental clarity.  Bulletproof recommends blending grassfed butter or ghee with your coffee.  I use the brain octane oil with coconut oil when I blend it.  It has to be blended otherwise the fat will sit on top and you’ll take a sip of fat and gag.  Most coffee shops now will actually blend a fat in your coffee now if you ask for it.  It does give it a more creamy texture which is nice if you usually just drink it black.

Here’s my little paleo flat white that I love having as a treat at home:

IMG_0592.JPGIngredients

4 oz coconut milk

4oz moka pot dark roast coffee

1 tsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

Put coconut milk in mason jar with cinnamon and shake.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Make moka pot coffee.  Pour coffee into cup first and stir in coconut sugar.  Start to add coconut milk and hold back foam.  Spoon foam on top.

Cheers!

{EDIT}

I also forgot to mention the caffeine potency in the kind of roast.  Dark roast coffee has a lower caffeine content.  I generally stick to very dark roasts and decafs because I turn into a rabid animal when too caffeinated.  Usually a “breakfast blend”  is a very light roast.  Not because you need light tastes in the morning, because it’s gonna wake you the f*** up.  If you’re looking for a real energy boost, light roast.  If you’re like me, dark roast.

Let me know if I forgot anything else!

Why Prepare Meals? (The Results)

img_0539I’ve been working on meal plans and getting people involved with trying paleo for a little while now and finally had some troopers stick to their guns for the duration of the challenge.  Honestly, I think a lot of diets work.  I’m biased towards low carb, high fat clearly but I think that anything that requires you to be conscious of your consumption will make you lose weight.  That doesn’t mean be healthier necessarily, but probably lose weight.

The thing I’ve noticed personally through watching my friends and colleagues is that most people are in denial.  If you ask someone if they eat healthy, of COURSE they’re going to say yes.  Now give them a blank notebook and tell them to write down what they eat over a course of 3 days.  “Holy shit, I ate cheese for 6 meals in a row.”,  “I had more white bread than vegetables.”,  “I had 80 grams of sugar today.”  I promise that’s the case more often than not.

Preparing breakfast and lunch for a work week or whatever you’re doing is your plan to succeed.  Maybe you’re lucky enough to work by reasonably priced restaurant with organic ingredients and no deep fryers, but maybe you’re also a fucking liar.  I live in Edmonton.  The population is like a million and I still can’t eat out when I’m on Whole30.

The first trooper is a woman named Laurel.  I made a 2 week meal plan using the 80/20 paleo rule on a ketogenic diet.  Here is a bit about her journey:

Challenge Summary
Rate yourself 1-10
• How healthy were you before starting?
I’d say 7.  Not very healthy as far as really needing something to focus on instead of thinking I was doing ok with my own idea of keeping track of food.
• Knowledge of nutrition prior to the challenge?
Yes I have lots of knowledge of lots of programs not so much on paleo.
• Cooking level of experience?
Cooking was easy I do lots of it 😀
How were the first 7 days?
First seven days I felt as though I were by far the hardest I craved things like rice crackers or rye vita when I’d have a salad for lunch.
What was the biggest challenge?
I found my biggest challenge was coffee with almond milk…. not my thing!
What did you crave the most?
As the time progressed I did start to crave more carbs where as the first week I think it was easier I didn’t think about them too much.
Results
• If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
I am going to keep going and really be aware if I really want something check in to see if I’ve had enough water sometimes hunger gets mistaken for thirst… ( not always but sometimes) if I do want something have it as I’m new to program and you can’t change everything all at once.
• Mental/Emotional changes?
I started to feel more positive because I was doing something good for me!
• Did you lose weight?
Yes, I’ve lost 6 lbs!!
• Moving forward, will this change the way you eat?
Moving forward I am going to stay with this especially because I’m starting feel better about me, Hot Yoga is also something I do daily.

The next one is also pretty exciting because it’s my mom!  She’s been listening to me blab about this for 3 years and finally took the leap.  She successfully completed Whole30 with me!

Challenge Summary
Rate yourself 1-10
• How healthy were you before starting?
3
• Knowledge of nutrition prior to the challenge?
6
• Cooking level of experience?
7
How were the first 7 days?
Up and down. Day 1 was good. 2 headache. 3. Bleeding. 4 awesome. 5. Headache. 9. Wanted to quit!!
What was the biggest challenge?
Figuring out what my body actually needed. Fell short on good fats. Thought i needed more carbs. Figuring out why I wasn’t hungry at dinner time.
What did you crave the most?
Carbs. Pasta and potato chips.
Results
• If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
Start a food diary the week before starting.
• Physical Changes?
Brain fog was gone first week.  Inflammation and bloat gone the first week. Stomach pain gone.
• Mental/Emotional changes?
 Zero anxiety while on w30 except day 9.
• Did you lose weight?
8 lbs
• Moving forward, will this change the way you eat?
I’m still basically doing it. Trying one thing a day but they haven’t been good so.. I’m pretty much sticking to it for now.  100% glad i did it. Will be good moving forward. Calmed down my hormones completely.
And last but not least, my good friend, Lindsay.  She had a pretty unique situation where she was eating healthy but not losing weight so getting into ketosis kickstarted her metabolism!  Here’s her lil journey.

Challenge Summary

Rate yourself 1-10

• How healthy were you before starting?

6-7

• Knowledge of nutrition prior to the challenge?

8-9

• Cooking level of experience?

7-8

How were the first 7 days?

Good

What was the biggest challenge?

Being sick throughout most of it and not eating crap when you’re bored or just out of habit.

What did you crave the most?

Wine!!

Results

• If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

Hopefully not being sick through most of it.

• Physical changes?

Lost some inches and my skin got clearer.

• Mental/Emotional changes?

Makes you realize how much crap you actually eat.

• Did you lose weight?

About 10lbs 

• Moving forward, will this change the way you eat?

Definitely, I really like eating this way, I already have a hard time with dairy but it made me realize how much (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) but gluten makes me feel like crap.

Overall satisfaction with challenge and extra thoughts:

It was great, I really missed having honey in my tea and drinking wine but everything else honestly isn’t that hard to give up once you realize how it makes you feel.

I guess I also did Whole30 January but it’s my third round and I don’t change much physically anymore because I look like a greek goddess at this point.  I always love the difference in energy levels, mind you.  I didn’t have a single nap in January.  That doesn’t sound like an accomplishment but if you’re as tired as me, it is!

May the next few months be of magnificent transformation for you.

How to Create and Modify Your Own Recipes

photo-on-2016-12-29-at-4-46-pm-1It seems really dumb to tell you how I do what I do, like I’m giving away the secret, but it also has an aspect of preferences and creativity and a collection of knowledge.  If we were both stuck in a kitchen with a bunch of ingredients, we wouldn’t make the same thing.    Plus, what kind of person would I be to pretend I’m here to help and not give you the tools to succeed?  An important part of creating recipes is to actually have a wide variety of ingredients, herbs and spices on hand.


28 paleo items to have kicking around in the pantry:

  1. Basil
  2. Oregano
  3. Cumin
  4. Sea salt
  5. Black peppercorns
  6. Rosemary
  7. Thyme
  8. Sage
  9. Turmeric
  10. Cinnamon
  11. Cloves
  12. Bay leaves
  13. Curry Paste
  14. Paprika
  15. Chilli Flakes
  16. Cayenne pepper
  17. Pure (Light tasting) Olive Oil
  18. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  19. Unrefined coconut oil
  20. Organic coconut palm sugar
  21. Arrowroot Flour
  22. Almond Flour
  23. Cassava Flour
  24. Balsamic Vinegar
  25. Apple cider Vinegar
  26. Canned coconut milk
  27. Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, etc.
  28. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, etc.

Understanding VS. Memorizing

I’ve eaten a lot of different kinds of food my whole life, I’m not very picky at all.  In fact, some of my favourite foods are probably classified as “weird” – ie: my hankering for bone marrow.  You can memorize a list of ingredients but if you understand the very essence of the dish, it is easier to recreate that flavour.

Example:

I want to make lasagna paleo.  I know there’s a million and a half paleo lasagna recipes in the world but I want it to be my way, so let’s look at the first lasagna that comes up on Google.

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-3-44-31-pm

  • Alright so I’m seeing a mixture of pork and lean ground beef, right off the bat.  I don’t eat pork but I know that a lot of flavour and fat is going to come from that so I may want to have a mixture of lean and full fat ground beef.  The sausage is still an option for you but be very careful, there’s almost always added sugar in the list of ingredients.
  • I see sugar in there which is useful for removing the tartness of tomatoes (especially canned) but that can be replaced with coconut palm sugar or not used at all.
  • Italian seasoning is a pretty generic term for a premixed dry seasoning so this recipe is an probably an “easy” version of traditional lasagna so I may want to get some fresh spices and bruise them a bit instead.
  • Obviously the main substitution is going to be the noodles.  I’ve tried it before with zucchini slices but they do get pretty watery so I may do it with sweet potato slices this time instead.
  • We’re gonna not put cheese in there, but there’s a huge opportunity for fermented cashews to take their place, as it has a cheesy flavour.

Another useful tip is to always read the comments.  Maybe there’s something really vital the writer forgot to include.  People who try the recipe will often comment how they improved it.

Next I wanna cross reference with another recipe, see if there’s some differences.  I’m a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay in all of his douchey glory, so let’s look at his recipe.

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-4-07-24-pm

  • Olive oil!  Duh!  The first recipe was definitely missing that.
  • Worcestershire is not paleo but can be made at home or maybe replaced with balsamic vinegar.
  • Dry red wine.  Yes.  Not on Whole30 though so maybe not.
  • I see the fatty dairy-like deliciousness he’s going for in the sauce but we’re gonna skip that completely.
  • Shredded carrots sound fantastic and totally out of my lasagna comfort zone.

Now to my drawing board.  I’m going to make a paleo lasagna using:

1lb lean ground beef

1lb regular ground beef

1 sweet potato, sliced about 1/4″ thick and boiled

1 can tomato paste

1 can crushed tomatoes, drained

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 fresh oregano

1/2 cup spinach

1 cup fermented cashews

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2tbsp sea salt

1/2 onion, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1tsp unrefined coconut oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.  Using tsp of coconut oil, grease a 9″x 13″ lasagna pan.  Place slices of boiled sweet potato on bottom layer until pan is concealed.  Spread a thin layer of cashew cheese over the sweet potato.

In a large brazier (rondeau), sauté your onions, garlic, olive oil, oregano, basil, sea salt and spinach until onions are soft.  Now add tomato paste and drained crushed tomatoes.

In another large frying pan, fry ground beef until browned.  Combine beef with tomato mixture.  Pour meat sauce over the layer of cashew cheese until completely covered.  Place another layer of sweet potato slices over meat.  Cashew cheese.  Meat sauce.  Sweet potato.  Do this until you run out of stuff.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Season with fresh oregano.

I haven’t even made this yet, it may change a little as I get inspiration from random vegetables found in the refrigerator that are going bad soon, but I know this is the taste that I want.


Another great example is Bowls.

img_2363

You probably remember seeing my Southwest Burger Bowl.  This was made from my understanding of eating a real southwest burger.  I remember I always ate southwest mayo when I worked at Subway as a teenager so I made my own mayo and added roasted red peppers and chipotle chilli powder.  The avocado was inspired by it clearly being half rotten.  I made a regular burger patty as I would any other day except added some jalapeños.

Never feel restricted because you want to eat healthy.  Whatever you’re craving, you can make in your very own way.  It’s not always gonna taste good but if you’re like me, you’re gonna eat it anyway and never tell anybody what happened.  May 2017 be a new beginning for the way you treat your body.

You can always shoot me an e-mail if you want some ideas.

Portobellos Stuffed with Garlic Shrimp, Avocado and Spinach

I’ve been hovering around a dangerous level of sadness for a couple of months now… So I decided to google “foods that make you happy” and mushrooms were around the top of the list because of the selenium content.  I thought it was interesting that we all seem to back it up even though there isn’t much scientific evidence.  Spinach was also up there because it is high in folate, also known as vitamin B:  The happy vitamin.  Oily fish are rich in omega-3.  Shrimp is very low on the scale, but it’s there nonetheless.  A daily supplement of Omega-3 has proven to be more effective than prescription antidepressants in some cases.  And of course the avocado, a great source of omega-3.  Obviously food won’t fix everything for me, I have a lot of life changes that need to be made very soon.  The best wisdom I have to share aside from my delicious recipes is a quote:

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, surrounding yourself with assholes.  – William Gibson

There are a lot of other ways to shake the winter blues.

Mood lights are amazing to be around after a long day at the office forgetting what sunlight is.  Light boxes are effective not only in seasonal depression but also clinical depression and help you regain focus.

It’s a little bit redundant to say, but go to the gym.  Or yoga, or cross fit, or HIIT training, or kickboxing, anything that makes you excited to get out of the house.  I say it’s redundant because you’ve probably heard a million times that physical activity releases endorphins but sometimes it’s difficult to even find the motivation to go… which is why I like to treat myself to new clothes, new water bottles, new supplements here and there that I’m actually excited to use.

Tanning beds.  A doctor will be reluctant to recommend this, however a lot of doctors do it themselves.  Even a 4 minute session is enough vitamin D exposure to lift your mood without actually tanning you.  Talk to a tanning advisor or your doctor about your skin type beforehand.

Something I hate being told, but love to remind myself, is to be grateful.  I spend so much time stewing in my own anger and frustration over the things I can’t change that I forget how far I’ve come.  Think of everything you have now that you didn’t have 5 years ago.  Now imagine what you could have 5 years from now, knowing that.

Anyway, here’s the mushrooms.

IMG_2813.JPGIngredients

6 mini portobellos

1/2 lb peeled, deveined shrimp

1 avocado, cubed

2 cups fresh spinach

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp pure olive oil

 

Instructions

In a small frying pan, sauté the spinach in 1 tbsp of coconut oil and lightly dust with some garlic powder and salt.  Set to the side in a small bowl.  In the same pan, using the leftover oil, combine shrimp, avocado, salt, garlic powder, oregano and olive oil.  Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan, in 1tbsp coconut oil, place portobellos face down with the cores removed.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar overtop.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then flip and simmer 5 more minutes.

Place all portobellos on a serving tray and line the inside of them with spinach and top each one with shrimp and avocado mixture.  Garnish with fresh basil.