Feb 12, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Who Needs Five Guys????

Putting Five Guys to Shame

Yes, there are burgers under there!

I wanted a splurge. I was craving all of the fast-foody-goodness of a greasy Five Guys burger with the melty cheese, crispy bacon, the pungency of raw white onions, and the salt of pickles.

I wanted it now! So I made it. My way.

The great thing about a Paleo diet, is that it’s also low-carb (as in low-bad-carbs.) So adding some cheese and bacon and a couple of pickles wasn’t a cheat as much as an indulgence. Yes, normally I’m more strict and I avoid bacon and fermented foods like pickles and olives. But I was in one of those moods today and I realized, I can have those. I can have those about twice per week. The mood where I’m still going to eat low-carb, just maybe a little more rich and sinfully.

The wisest thing that one can do during a diet, or lifestyle change, is allow transgressions. If you feel too restricted and guilty over things, you’ll fall off the wagon. Don’t ever feel that you can’t have something. If you need it, have it. Just be careful not to overdo it. Now, that’s not to say that if you’re craving pasta you should go jump into a bowl of it. No. Pasta is bad. But, on an occasional basis, (like at a friend’s dinner party or something,) it won’t kill you to have it. And don’t allow a second of guilt to set in after you do it. Just move on and be good for a while. You can enjoy that plate with sheer enthusiasm and savor every bite. Because tomorrow, you’ll shun it again. But for the moment, love it. Don’t hate it or yourself for weakening you. Because you’re not weak. You’re human.

Feb 9, 2013 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Comfort Food on a Snow Day

We got about two feet of snow today. After playing in it with the kids, I had a cup of black coffee, and then relaxed for a while. I needed to creatively come up with a meal that would satisfy my need for warmth and contentment without doing harm. My old routine on a snowy day would have included packaged cocoa, unhealthy tomato soup in a can, and a grilled cheese.

Then I remembered the packages of all-natural “naked” sausages I had bought last week. No antibiotics, no fillers, no preservatives – just grass-fed chicken or beef, and spices.  Chicken & Spinach and Beef Sausages. Fried up with some onions, garlic, and red peppers, they were a hit!  The heat from the black pepper in the sausages, the heartiness of the vegetables I fried in, and a little EVOO, and it was the perfect comfort on a cold day. I sprinkled a little shredded mozzarella on it to make it even more comforting.

I put the leftover aside to use in my morning omelette for tomorrow. Leftovers have been fantastic with this diet!

The aroma of sausage and peppers filled the apartment – I felt so at-home and fulfilled.  You can’t take the Italian out of the girl, even if you take her pasta. (smile.)

Feb 6, 2013 - Helpful Articles    Comments Off

Spice It Right!

Many people stock their shelves with spices they’ve accumulated from the Dollar store, the grocery store, or handed down from Mom. Few people think of these spices as integral to their meal. But as you begin to notice on a Paleo diet, flavor matters. And the right spices make the right flavor.

Spices are best FRESH, but if you don’t think you’ll use them up before they wilt, then opt for premium dried spices. They don’t have to cost a fortune. I purchased mine at Stew Leonard’s in Connecticut, for $3.49 each. They come in small canisters (great for stacking!) and they have plenty in them for many meals. They have no caking agents, no preservatives, no added sugar, salt, or MSG.

Another VERY important seasoning to be aware of is salt. Although most Paleo-followers do not use salt, this saltaholic cannot give it up. I did fairly well without it the first few days, until I came across Himalayan Sea Salt, and I decided I didn’t have to feel salt-deprived. I googled it while in the store and was sold!

Himalayan Sea Salt comes from the Middle East. Typically, Pakistan. It is from very ancient ocean floor. It is unadulterated, unprocessed rock salt from within the Himalayan Mountains, where it has been shielded from the elements and toxins. It is more potent than other sea salts, and contains MANY more nutrients than the others combined. It is considered the most important salt on the earth, and the best for you. They chop it off the block and put it right into the grinder – so you’re getting the best. And as such, it comes in its native color – pink! Some is a little more of a peach, but it’s actually quite pretty.

Yes, Himalayan Sea Salt costs more than other salts. Quite a bit more. However, you use less. My bottle claims there is 3050mg of sodium in 1/4 tsp. My regular sea salt grinder says 2000mg in 1/4 tsp. And my Himalayan salt is a larger quantity in the taller grinder, so it will last me far longer when combined with using less of it.

If you don’t live in CT where there is a Stew Leonards, or MA where you can look for these items at Whole Foods Market, try finding another natural store and asking them if they can order it for you.

Feb 4, 2013 - Helpful Articles    Comments Off

Onions to the Rescue!

onion health benefits

photo from kitchn.com

Did you know that onions contain as much Vitamin C as an Orange? And sometimes even more, depending on the variety?

Thought it was an Old Wives’ Tale to fight off colds and flu with onions? Think again.

Onions are loaded with Vitamin C. But they also contain many Phytochecmicals that can aid in reducing inflammation throughout the body, help with digestion in the large intestine, and even heal external scars! And don’t forget the skins – they can be used to make natural dyes.

Doctors in the 16th century believed they could help women with fertility issues. And the Egyptians thought they were a food from the Gods, symbolizing eternal life. In India, some cultures have banned them as an aphrodisiac.

———————————————————————————————————
From wikipedia:

In ancient Greece, athletes ate large quantities of onion because it was believed to lighten the balance of blood. Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onion to firm up their muscles. In the Middle Ages, onions were such an important food that people would pay their rent with onions, and even give them as gifts..Doctors were known to prescribe onions to facilitate bowel movements and erections, and also to relieve headaches, coughs, snakebite and hair loss.

——————————————————————————————————–

What led me to look into the onion today? I was eating them, yet again. So far for the past 8 days, I have had onions in every meal. I have craved them! And as my children are sitting here next to me, home sick from school, I realized that I am not yet sick. I had heard people tell me in the past that eating onions helps boost the immune system. But for the first time, I saw it first-hand. My youngest son has been sick for 4 days with a runny nose, horrible cough, fever, and diaphragm spasms. My older son has been sick since lastnight, with a barking croup cough and nasal congestion. While I have swollen glands and a headache, I am not sick. And usually, within 24 hours of my little guy getting sick, I am too. I also noticed a DRAMATIC difference in my arthritis pain. It has decreased significantly in the last few days as the inflammation-calming phytonutrients start to build up.

Onions are very versatile. Depending on the variety you get, they can be used for just about anything. Today’s lunch of pork stir-fry utilized red onion for its pungent flavor. It’s a great one for salsa to add kick. White onions are less pungent and a cleaner taste. They’re great for sautee or stir-fry as well. Yellow onions are great in stews, soups, etc. They are sweeter and caramelize when sauteed. Scallions, which are a distant cousin of onions, are great to add to the top of a soup, on spicy dishes, and salads.

Take a moment to investigate the onion and you will find a plethera of fantastic information – all of which will have you running to the farmer’s market or produce department. Health awaits!

Feb 3, 2013 - Paleo Recipes    Comments Off

Paleo Meatloaf

This recipe was created by me. I am not a cook. But I have to say, it came out so well I had to share!

The result is a meatloaf that’s moist and flavorful. And filling! You can eat sauteed zucchini on the side, or puree some cauliflower with garlic and olive oil as a side. I ate mine alone – it was so flavorful I didn’t need any accompaniments.

Ingredients:
- 2 lbs.grass-fed ground sirloin
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 carrot, shredded with a peeler
- Any other vegetables you’d like
- 2 eggs
- Tiny bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Spices:
(and please don’t use the junk from the grocery store. As a Paleo follower, you should stock your kitchen with quality dried spices from a farmer’s market or the like. You’ll be using them often.)

- Rosemary
- Basil
- Thyme
- Celery Flakes
- Pinch Sea Salt
- Pinch Ground Black Peppercorn
- Pinch of ground chili pepper

How to Make:

- Preheat overn to 375 F.
- In a very large mixing bowl, combine a very generous amount of spices. (You will not be using breadcrumbs, so the spices will substitute for them.)
- Add diced vegetables. Mix well.
- Add ground beef and 2 eggs. Mix thoroughly with hands. You’re going to get messy, but it’s worth it.
- Press the entire mixture into a large glass meatloaf or bread pan. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and smooth over the top to make a crust. Add more Rosemary to the top for crunch.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and drain water. Since you have so many vegetables in this, their water is going to spill out into the pan as they cook and take up all of the available space left by the shrinking of the meat.
- Return drained loaf to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow time to “set.”

Cut into slices and serve hot.

What To Do With Leftovers?

I tossed a cubed slice into my scrambled eggs and it tasted just like sausage!

use leftover meatloaf as sausage in omelettes

Feb 3, 2013 - What's Going On    Comments Off

End of Week 1

On Sunday, January 27th, I started prepping to start eating a Paleo diet on Monday.

We had just returned from vacation, and had no groceries, so we set out with the kids in tow. My husband grabbed all of the school-lunch materials (bread, jelly, chips, crackers, juice boxes,) while I hit the produce area. I bought a plethera of fruits and veggies and proudly placed them in the cart. He shrugged at the financial impact all of this fresh food. As a family that primarily eats fast food or convenience foods, we hadn’t seen this many produce items in years. I told him not to worry – I would pay for my “healthy stuff” and I’d even share the Sirloin Roast with him. He agreed.

That night we had baked Cod filets. I used butter, at his request. And a tiny bit of bread crumb topping. But I also used lots of fresh garlic, dill, lemons, and olive oil. He raved how delicious it was and I was happy to have chosen something somewhat-healthier as my “last meal as a junkfoodaholic.”

Before bed I prepared what would be mixed with my scrambled eggs in the mornings. Red bell peppers sauteed with white onions and garlic, in olive oil. I placed it in the fridge and realized that it was the first time in my life I had ever pre-planned a meal.

Scramble with bell peppers, onions, and garlicOn Monday January 28, 2013, I woke up and got the kids ready for school. I had a Chiropractor appointment I needed to make, so as soon as I dropped them off, I headed back home to make my egg scramble. I was so relieved I had prepared the onion/pepper mix the night before! I scooped some out, added it to my scrambled eggs, and ate my breakfast quickly before rushing off to the doctor. I felt very content. And for the first time in my life, I ate eggs with no salt. Perhaps the first thing in my life that didn’t get salted. I am a saltaholic. I put it on everything. Even pizza! (But I do use sea salt because I am allergic to iodine/shellfish.)

spinach saladFor lunch I came home and made a spinach salad. I combined baby spinach leaves, garlic, white onion, self-shredded carrot, celery, red bell pepper in olive oil and lemon juice. I added pine nuts atop it for crunch. Incredible! And again, no salt.

By mid afternoon I was ravenous. Salad was not going to hold me. I felt compelled to eat my small son. No — just kidding. But I was THAT hungry.

Feeling a little discouraged because I had no clue what to snack on, I grabbed a handful of sliced almonds. I had never liked almonds. But all of a sudden, they were great! They were sweet, and nutty, and the texture was just right. Another handful later, I was satisfied to continue my afternoon.

For dinner I made a roast. It had been cooking in the crockpot all day. It was a Sirloin Rump Roast and it had no fat on it. It was from a grass-fed cow. I had bought it at our local “healthy food” store. In the crockpot, I stirred in 1.5 cups water, 1 tsp. beef bouillon paste (it comes in a refirgeratable little jar and doesn’t contain MSG or preservatives.) Then a sliced carrot. A sliced parsnip (what? I had only eaten these ONCE and wasn’t sure if I had even liked it.) A sliced white onion. Celery. Rubbed spices on the roast top – Rosemary, thyme, cracked peppercorns, and celery flakes. I cooked it on high for 3 hours, then reduced to medium for 2 hours. I like my meat very well-done, and this was perfect! And it was fall-off-your-fork moist. My husband, who knows I’m certainly far from being a cook, commended me.

For dessert I had 4 strawberries sliced with 1/2 banana and covered in almond slices. I went to bed content.

And for drinks all day, I’d had just water. Poland Spring to be exact.

——————————————————————————————————————————–
On Day 2 I had the same egg scramble mixture for breakfast. I got a salad at our local farm-store’s salad bar, and made sure they had some grilled chicken for it so I wouldn’t be starving afterwards. That little addition of protein worked very well. I drank Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea, and water. For dinner… well, let me show you….

I baked farm (not caged,) chicken breasts (stuffed spices, olive oil, and garlic cloves under the skin,) and added a side of sauteed zucchini.

No dessert needed. I wasn’t hungry anymore.
—————————————————————————————————————————-
For the next few days I continued down a similar path. On Friday, I was stressed (found out about something horrible that happened back home,) AND I was quickly approaching my menstrual cycle woes, so I gave myself the cheat day that the Paleo Diet book had recommended for staying the course. Went for a gyro for lunch, preceded by a feta cheese block as appetizer, and had 1 slice (yes, only 1) of pizza with the kids.

Here I am, at the end of week 1. My loss? 5 LBS!! In one week, despite period bloating, I lost 5 pounds! Amazing!

Jan 28, 2013 - What's Going On    Comments Off

Chapter 1: My Next Endeavor

My BEFORE Photo

BEFORE - 226 lbs.

Over the past 9 years since the CarbHealth Magazine was retired, I have been eating anything and everything I want.

In that time I also got married, had two children; lost my gallbladder; went through a traumatic event which left me with PTSD; herniated not one, but two discs in my lower back (one from a bad fall;) got worsening arthritis in my back and SI joints; started taking Glumetza for Metabolic Syndrome and Pre-Diabetes, and became sedentary and depressed. All of this led to an increase in comfort foods – like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Hearty and comforting Italian meals cooked by my awesome self-proclaimed chef of a husband (who happens to be French-Canadian, and had never cooked proper Italian before meeting me!)

Long story short: I gained over 100 lbs. Now weighing in at 226 lbs. Wow.

Here I had once been the voice of low-carbing. I had established a hugely popular web site for dieters and those interested in the health benefits of eating the right food pyramid. I had been Editor-In-Chief of the first print magazine for our cause. I was known in the industry. And I had done really well shedding the weight and curing my fibromyalgia years before.

I finally got to a point during a vacation a few weeks ago, where I decided it’s time to take hold of my life. Every pound that I lose does so many things. Releases pressure from my discs and arthritis. Reduces my blood-sugar issues. Gives me more energy. Gives me more time here on earth with my children. And so – I embark on a new journey. It’s a low-carb one, but not as extreme as I had been in the past.  It allows veggies and fruits. And it eliminates processed cheeses, and nitrate-laden bacon. I’ve decided to go Paleo.

I bought the ebook version of  The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat.

Paleo basically means that you eat like our Paleolithic Ancestors (Cavemen.) No grains, no legumes, no frankenfoods, no sugar or salt, nothing in a box, package, or can, and no meats that weren’t from grass-fed animals. I’ve come up with a plan and it’s time to set sail. Hopefully you’ll follow. Whether you just want to see my progress, or you’re considering this way of life also, please come back for very frequent updates.

Pages:12»