Pigeonholed Doctors

A story.  A medical doctor has been coming to terms with the idea that she may have been brainwashed for years regarding diet, particularly dietary carbohydrates (and even more specifically the dietary reliance on grains).  While she thought it was a benign misunderstanding, the intense undercurrent of hostility from the traditional believing experts in the medical community looms as threatening and leads her to wonder otherwise. 

(Nothing on this blog or in this post should be construed as medical advice.  It is only a story which may provide you with information to look up for yourself and discuss with your trusted healthcare professional.)

A conversation between a husband and wife, both physicians.  Their diet deviates from the recommendations of both the American Diabetic Association and the American Heart Association.—

Her (beseechingly):  I just don’t understand.  We know diabetes is a carbohydrate processing problem.  We know.  More carbohydrate, more insulin.  We know if we limit those patients’ carbs they might even get off their meds.  We know.
Him:  Well, that’s not standard of care.  If you were practicing and put one of your patients on your d—
Her (defensively):  It’s not MY diet.
Him:  Well, anyhow, it’s not accepted.  What if the guy died of a heart attack or something because of “your” diet (he always calls it “her” diet).  You would be held accountable because it’s not standard of care.  It’s not accepted.  It’s not what we do.
Her:  There are studies to support it.
Him:  Doesn’t matter.  That’s not what’s done.  You’re pigeonholed.
Her:  So I have to practice medicine according to some guidelines that were constructed, perhaps faultily, or else I’m liable–knowing that these diets are on to something and that I could help my diabetic patients?
Him:  Yep…

Well, she didn’t want to believe him.  How could medicine pigeonhole doctors that way?  If studies and evidence support a low carbohydrate diet in some situations, why shouldn’t a well-informed physician manage patients that way?  Why? 

Why shouldn’t they?  Because medical peers, so-called “experts” are issuing challenging, threatening words.  Here it is.  Just what “him” was talking about.  Some Norwegian medical doctors want to block their peers from prescribing low carbohydrate, high fat diets.  And they supply misleading, inaccurate information that does not appropriately reflect our current research knowledge.  From a blog called Doc’s Opinion, a post called Taxing Animal Fats is Necessary–Still Chasing the Usual Suspects.:

The message from the experts is clear: The fat diets are a threat to public health in Sweden…A question should be asked whether licensed physicians should be allowed to prescribe  LCHF [low carbohydrate, high fat], which is not supported by scientific studies.”

BUT THESE NORWEGIAN “EXPERTS” ARE NOT MENTIONING IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  Quickly searching, from the site Science News reporting on a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study, Losing Weight from either a Low-Carb or Low-Fat Diet Lowers Body Inflammation:

“Stewart [a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine] adds that there’s still some bias in the medical community against a low-carb diet, which, by definition has a higher percentage of fat and protein than a low-fat diet. In their study, 60 people, ages 30 to 65, who were either overweight or obese with excessive fat around their waist, were randomly assigned to go on a low-fat or a low-carb diet for six months. Each group also participated in exercise training three times a week…The participants on the low-carb diet lost more weight, on average, than those on the low-fat diet — 28 pounds versus 18 pounds. The low-carb diet group also had a greater drop in BMI (4.7 versus 2.9), and a greater drop in belly fat (14.3 versus 8.4 pounds). The level of aerobic fitness increased in both groups by about 20 percent.”

And for you to read a list of more studies supporting low carbohydrate diets specifically in Type 2 diabetes, check out here from the site Diabetic Mediterranean Diet, European Guidelines Not In Favor of Low Carbohydrate Diets for Diabetes.

Back to conversation:

Her:  Why are they fighting it so hard?

Him:  YOU DON’T KNOW WHY?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  They don’t care about your HEALTH…

And then we headed into some very political discussions regarding green stuff, sustainability, the Earth’s bulging population, poverty, lack of education, and so forth…

Earnestly wishing you health and a sense of well-being,  Terri

Tell Me What to Eat, Please

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got the in-laws visiting.  We were sitting around the breakfast table, and of course we had to talk about nutrition.  I didn’t bring it up, I’m sure.  My mother-in-law is doing great on what I’d call a Primal diet.  Grandma is clueless that she’s eating Primally.  I was finishing off my “Best Ever Liver” to the grimaces of both of my in-laws, when it was suddenly recalled that my father-in-law used to always request liver and onions for his birthday.  Until my mother-in-law started cutting cholesterol out of their diet back in the ripping eighties.  Man those were fun times.  Even without liver and onions.

Her (mother-in-law):  “They said cholesterol was BAD for us.  Now I guess they’re telling us it’s GOOD for us.”

I, true to my “can’t-keep-the-lid-on-my-emotions-self”, rocketed out of my chair, blew steam out my ears, and konked my head on the 8 foot ceiling.  Ouch.

I cannot stand splitting.  Black and white thinking.  Cannot stand it.

Me:  “Cholesterol is not good for you.  It is not bad for you.  We need, need, need cholesterol to make our hormones, and so it certainly is not BAD for us.  But neither do I want it isolated in the Nabisco lab, forced into a plastic bag, stuffed into a cardboard box, and sold for me at Wal-Mart to buy and eat up by the spoonful.   Really, it depends on what else you’re eating in your life, like sugar, for example.  It depends on your body type.  It depends on the battles your body has been through.  It depends on a thousand and one variables we don’t understand yet.”

Her:  “Well, I just want one of you guys [implying medical doctors] to tell me how to eat!  I don’t want to have to think about it.”

Oh.  Heavens.  If that’s what I’m up against in this world, and in my own mother-in-law, I really should just shut up.  Yeah.  I should shut up.

Me:  “Nobody can tell you how to eat.  The  absolute best way to eat is to eat a whole foods diet.  REALLY a whole foods diet.  Then, analyze yourself.  Are you left with nagging symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, headache, dry eyes, dry mouth, sinus problems, skin rashes, excess weight, underweight, abnormal labs your doctor is concerned about, and so on?  If you are, then you need to regroup with that diet you’re eating and take some things out; common troublemakers are things like dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, wheat, and nightshades.  Or in some instances, add something in, like whole grains or animal fats.  That’s the best anyone can tell you how to eat.”

“Eating for you” is a class in the school-of-life that won’t stop.  It’s a constant regrouping.  Reassessment of YOUR machinery.  Not mine.  Not your mom’s.  Not the prototype patient used for the medical guidelines.  YOURS.  Food intolerances will pass, and you will be able to add eggs back in.  Weight will increase and it will be time to limit avocados and nuts.  I am so angry that my profession has lumped all of us into one group and said, “Eat this way.  It is right.”

No matter what, the closest you keep your diet to the way things were produced by that great, magnificent, simple, and complex thing called nature, the closer you will be to health.  (No splitting in that last sentence.)  If you’re lucky, you will be there.  Some of the rest of us will have to tweak here and there and perhaps look a bit beyond food to get there.  But food matters.

So, are you waiting for somebody to tell YOU how to do it?  Would you believe them over listening to symptoms screaming from your own darn body?

Live Studio Audience, thank you for reading.

Terri

Posts in the draft bin:  Same as yesterday–short chain fatty acids and pigeon-holed physicians

Abundance of Pears

Dried pears are probably our family’s favorite dried fruit.  When we made them for my daughter’s preschool snacks, they were even a hit with the kids there.  They are super sweet and keep that crunchy grit that great pears have.   You don’t have to be too worried about how you cut them before dehydrating them, either.  I’ve cut them thick and thin.  I’ve cut them in rings and strips.  No matter what, they’ve turned out delicious every time.

wpid-IMAG1186.jpg

You’ll see that we used nice, red pears that we bought from the Azure Standard organic truck that rolls through town once a month, and we also used mottled, ugly pears from my in-law’s tree.  No matter.  As long as they’re soft, just yielding to thumb pressure, and sweet, you’ll get a delightful dried pear.  Don’t try to use a hard, unripe pear.  Yuck.  Wait on them.  They’ll soften up.  To make our dried pears, we simply:

  •  Wash pears and dry.
  • Cut or core out center ( I used a corer and my mother-in-law used a knife).
  • We do not peel them, and we do not place them in any preservative, not even ascorbic acid.  You could to keep them from turning brown and to add some vitamin C, but if I have to add an extra step–I probably won’t get something done.  So I skip it.  I think brown is a fabulous fall color!
  • Slice as desired into rings or strips.  Most of ours were about 1/4 inch thick, but some were thicker and some thinner!  ALL were good when dried.
  • Lay on dehydrating racks, leaving space around each pear.
  • Dehydrate at desired temperature.  I did a batch at “live foods” temperature (105 degrees F/ 40.6 degrees C), and they were too moist for my taste.  So I cranked the dehydrator up to 135 degrees F (57.2 degrees C).  I dehydrate them until they are the dryness I desire, about 8-10 hours.  We like them quite dry, and they keep longer this way.  Even still, they are not “chips.”  They are a little more chewy.

I bought a large Excalibur dehydrator and have made myself use it.  We like it a lot.  We make dried bananas.  I have the kids do it when we have a bunch of bananas going South.  We make beef jerky.  We make dried pears.  Fruit leathers.  Oh, and it’s absolutely awesome for yogurt.  Just the best.  So for us, the Excalibur was worth the investment.

Anyone else dried any fruit?  Like it?  Any thoughts on dried fruit in general?  Pears?  Give us your tips, your pearls, your ugly thoughts!

Terri

Related post:  Making Applesauce
In the draft bin:  Short Chain Fatty Acids on My Metametrix and Pigeon-holed Doctors

Keep That Wagon Rolling: My Less-Than-Expert Diet Tricks

USPosterFoodIsAWeapon

USPosterFoodIsAWeapon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The humble, perhaps slightly insane, tips that allow me to stay on the diet that keeps me feeling the best:

Rank absolutes:  Absolutely not.  Should not.  It’s okay but not great.  Yes, I will!  As in, I absolutely won’t eat that.  I shouldn’t eat that.  It’s okay that I eat that, but not ideal.  And, yes, I will eat that, pass it my way–give it here–yeah–the whole plate–it’s on my diet…

Define when to break the “absolutes” and “should-nots.”  It could be never.  Or maybe it’s Christmas Day.  Or maybe it’s holidays and birthdays.  Or the first Thursday of any month after a full moon.  Maybe it’s 30 days after you start the Whole30 or 1 year after GAPS.  Just name breaks ahead of time and be resolute to make it to those times.  And don’t sneak in other times as “just this once.”

Decline people’s offers of food.  And don’t feel guilty about it.

Don’t eat at parties.  And don’t feel guilty about it.  Usually, it’s just easiest for me to say I ate right before I came and eat nothing at all.  Choosing ahead of time to just not eat at the party is simpler for me.  As I always used to eat at parties, I never really noticed that some people don’t.  There are other people who don’t.

Find a friend or two who eats similarly to you and doesn’t think you’re crazy.  Gluten-free, dairy-free eaters have learned to navigate the waters.  They’ve learned how to say, “No, thank you.”  They’ve learned to socialize and skip the food.  They know their “absolutely nots” and stick to them.  They’re reassuring to stand next to at a party with a glass of water, although they may wonder why you keep saying, “I looove you.”  (Actually I have a couple of friends, and we meet for coffee and talk honestly about how we are doing with our eating.)

Get out of the kitchen.  If you feel the “crazy, grazy” feeling, get out.  GET OUT, I SAY!  Just get out!  Clean kitchen or not.  And run fast and far.  Don’t look back until in the morning.

Focus on bodily symptoms that plague you when you eat certain foods and make it a goal to keep these symptoms GONE.  Weight shifts too slowly.  Try to find something like a stuffy nose, post-nasal drip, sinus congestion, headache, migraine, dry/itchy eyes, bloating, constipation, etc.

Read the book or internet site of your chosen regime again.  “Yes, Robb Wolfe.” (Paleo)  “No, you’re right Dr. Wahls.”  (Terry Wahl’s MS diet)  “Oh, Melissa and Dallas, I meant to do it that way.”  (Whole30)  “I should know better than that Dr. Atkins.”  (Surely you know him.)  “Dr. Cambpell-McBride, I so missed that point the first time around.”  (GAPS)  And so on.  Just get motivated by reading the experts and the science again.

Know how YOU best handle treat (cheat) foods.  Are you a “just-a-teensy-smooch-here” kind of person–just a little treat with every meal?  Or are you a “you’d-best-be-prepared-to-bring-me-two-more-baskets-of-corn-chips-if-I-even-get-my-hands-on-one” kind of person?  I’m the latter.  A little treat here for me turns into treats all day, all night, tomorrow, the next day, and the next day, too.

That’s okay; I’ve learned to accept that tidbit of knowledge about myself.  I just know that, and so I don’t treat myself very often, and when I do, if the floodgate opens, I don’t beat myself up too badly.  It’s a little sad that I can’t be that “Don’t deprive yourself or you’ll ruin your diet” kind of person.  Let’s just choose to say that when I do something, I give it gusto.  Gusto…gustar…to eat.

Every person is different, and only YOU know which process suits you best.  Be honest and move forward.

Finish it, let it go, and start with vim and vigor in the morning.  Sometimes you fail.  You don’t leave the kitchen.  You take the first bite that you know will avalanche, and it does.  You don’t put the cookie down, the butter away, or the peanut butter back on the shelf.  You don’t leave the kitchen as mentally directed.  You don’t get the faucet shut off that night.  I unfortunately cannot leave a job unfinished either, and so I usually find it reassuring, for some reason, to just finish that food off there and then.  Because if I don’t, I’ll finish it off in the morning.  Why ruin two days?  And then I stand there, screaming insanely at my diet, “Look.  I am in charge here.  And I did it because I CAN.”

Failure can only occur if you’re not willing to try again.  I always try again in the morning and point out the bodily damage–but let the psychology of it go.

Loosen up on my family’s eating while I focus on myself.  This keeps me out of the kitchen until I get back on track.  I can’ t be all things to all people, and when I’m trying to get my eating on track, it takes all of my focus.  “Yeah!  Hot dogs again, mom?  We love hot dogs!”

Screw the breakfast rule and wait until I’m actually hungry.  “Experts” say to always eat breakfast.  Sometimes, I’m just not really hungry!  So I skip it.  Then make sure I have good, wholesome food around so I eat as I should when I am actually hungry around 11 am or so.  I’ve never read much on intermittent fasting, but I like to call this my version of it…

Admit when something about your nutritional program isn’t sitting well.  Maybe you have to add in a potato to feel good or keep the program together.  Maybe you can’t eat the sauerkraut or seaweed.  Whatever it is, always step back and ask yourself if “the rules” may need to be changed to suit your case.  Just as medicine is an “art”–I think nutrition is, too.  But make sure you’re being honest and have researched your change, and that you’re not just doing it out of a discomfort that will pass.

Remember when you felt the best.  And that’s your goal way of eating every day.  When you FELT your best.  Not your skinniest.  Not your most miles jogged.  Not your most strict.  Just when you felt good physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Make sure you really are getting nutrients.  Maybe you’re having cravings because you’re eating too many nuts and neglecting vegetables and fruits.  Maybe you’re really not getting enough calories.  Examine what you’re eating on the basis of nutrients.  A nutritionist can help immensely here!

Urge surf.  From another site:   “While reflecting on an urge, such as smoking a cigarette or eating junk food…we should first make note of all the physical and mental sensations that create that craving experience – these craving experiences will often vary depending on the person and the object of desire.  For example, you may identify a twisting sensation in your stomach whenever you crave another piece of cake. Learn how to tune into that feeling – step back and observe it – but don’t act on the impulse. Just watch your desires almost as if you are passively watching a movie.”  Very interesting and helpful, I think.

You are great, special, unique, wonderful, and have lots to give to this world.  Eat to make your system (your body) the best it can be at giving what only you have to give.

Terri

The Best Zucchini Ever

My spontaneous Romanian-Italian-American friend, married to a French-Camaroonian-American occasionally visits me, bearing gifts because she knows I’m on this crazy GAPS diet.  She grew up with traditional Eastern European food, spent her formative cooking years in Italy, and has the frenzied pace of an American mother.  “The Best Ever Zucchini” is one of many of her delicious recipes that such a diverse background allows her to cook up out of nowhere; raciti, chicken livers, and goat stew are others!  I feel so Italian when I eat this dish.  When I asked her how to make the zucchini, she said, “Oh.  It’s nothing.”  But, let me tell you, it’s something, and it’s great!

On a recent visit to her house, with 9 kids running around, she showed me how to create this awesome zucchini.  If you like Italian antipasti type stuff, you will LOVE this.  If not, may not be your thing.  It seems a bit complex for kids’ tastes, but it’s a real hit with my husband and I.  Refrigerate a day or two for optimal flavor.

The Best Zucchini Ever

Indoor grill, grill pan, or outdoor grill.  (I use my Panini press.)
1-2 zucchini (Of the size before it gets all seedy inside.  Smaller is better.)
1/4 cup of olive oil, high quality, extra virgin
1/4 cup of vinegar (red wine or balsamic)
1-2 cloves of pressed garlic
Salt

Prepare dressing/marinade:  Combine olive oil and vinegar in a container with a lid you can mix well or shake.  Add 1-2 cloves pressed garlic.  If you don’t have a garlic press, slice it or dice it as much as possible and add.  Add a few turns from a sea salt grinder (or a couple pinches of your choice of salt).  Shake well.

Prepare zucchini:  Slice zucchini thinly.  Small, young zucchini really work the best.  A mandolin is nice, but NOT a must.  Cut either long ways or diagonal.  Place on a hot grill with NO oil.  Place the zucchini on there “dry.”  Grill until there are nice, golden lines on the zucchini on both sides.  Place a layer of the grilled zucchini in a smaller sized casserole dish (perhaps 8×8 or smaller).  Drizzle some of the dressing over it.  Grill more zucchini.  Layer over the previous layer.  Drizzle with more dressing.  Repeat until all of zucchini is grilled and dressing all drizzled over it.  Then mix gently.

Place in fridge, covered, and allow to marinate.  Keeps for several days.  Alternatively, you may eat it warm and fresh when made, too.

Family “gustar” report: It is not kid-approved at my house but my husband and I devour this stuff!  If your child likes marinated things, like olives and artichokes, this recipe will probably go over great, even with kids.

wpid-IMAG1044.jpg

wpid-IMAG1046.jpg


Posts in the draft bin:  Ways I “Stay on the Wagon”, Doctors are Pigeon-Holed

Related posts:  Multiple Ways to Use up Zucchini

I Fell Off of the Wagon

wpid-IMAG0263-1.jpgSo you fell off of the wagon?  So?  We all do, and then we let the experience fester like a pimple on our face.  We see it and feel it and pick at it.  We think our whole face is one big pimple.  We just can’t stop touching it and picking it.  How did that pimple get so big and crazy?  It started as just a tiny little red thing…

You fell off of the wagon.  Again.  And again.  And again.  Why?

Because you had old cronies around for a visit?  Uh-huh.  That’s the way it works.  Because you got tired and everybody at work is doing it?  Yep.  Because you ran out of time and it was faster?  You betcha’.  Because you allowed yourself one bite of your problem food?  (If you don’t have a problem food or substance– or two or three, you don’t understand.  Some of us just have to swear some things “off limits” or be okay with knowing we will eat/use them to excess with just one bite/use.  For some of us, moderation is not an option.)

If you try to change your diet, you WILL fall off of the wagon sometime.  All those experts, Paleo Mom, Robb Wolfe, Mark Sisson, Dr. Mercola, Steve and Jordan, Dr. Terry Wahls, Elaine Gottschall, and Dallas and Melissa.  Oh, heck, Dr. Oz.  You’ve heard of him.  They all fell off of the wagon.

I’ve read of a couple of people who say they didn’t fall off of the wagon, and I think that’s absolutely great.  They have expressed extreme success with their health and eating.  I give them a standing ovation.

But to you and I, I give my heartfelt encouragement.  I give my camaraderie.  My affection and empathy.  To you I give my hand.  My e-mail.  My comments section.  (But not a medical diagnosis or treatment plan.)  This path is hard.  Your challenger faces you at every street corner, every social function, every family member’s house, every children’s event, and every store.  Your failure is only a bite away.

I feel sorry for you.  I feel sorry that you can’t eat the way other people eat.  (But you know most of them shouldn’t be eating it either. Geesh.  Why can’t they help you out a little?  You’re just asking them to give up bread, pizza, and tortilla chips in show of support.)  I am sorry your body said, “I can’t do this.  This food you’re feeding me…it is not working out.  You keep going this way, I will fall apart on you.  I will try not to, but I will not be able to stop it.  You keep feeding me the same empty food and keep asking me to come up with brilliant ideas, energy for a jog, libido for the spouse, patience for the kids…”

I ask you.  I beg you.  I implore you.  Keep your focus.  Every day.  All day.  Ever diligent.  You will fall off the wagon, but you WILL hold onto the reins.  That is NOT the same as failing.  Ever.  As you keep holding onto the reins, remember to pull back on them and slow the horses.  Slow those horses and get back on your wagon.  It’s your darn wagon, and with trial and error, you CAN learn to control it.  But not if you quit.

So what.  You had a bad day.  It turned it to two or maybe even 7-10 days.  Perhaps it has been the last five years bad.  It’s okay.  Promise me you’ll start in the morning.  I’ll even let you finish that jar of almond butter that you added some honey, vanilla, and salt to.  But start.  You have to keep starting, learning from your mistakes, and keep trying.

You may think it’s just extra weight, but really, it is function.  Weight is a sign that your body is not functioning right.  Headaches are a sign that your body is not functioning right.  Chronic allergic rhinitis is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Being underweight is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Bloating is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Aside from your doctor’s check-ups, you MUST look at food as a culprit for dysfunction.

And if you’re a mom endeavoring to change not only your own eating, but those habits of your children, I am cheering for you even more.  If I can do it, you can do it.  You can do it.  I won’t ask you to more than I can do.  (But I used to–my poor diabetics and cardiac patients…)

Terri

Followup post:  Keep That Wagon Rolling:  My Less-Than-Expert Diet Tricks

Related Posts:   Grain-Free DietsGAPS, SCD, Paleo, Whole30, and Primal Diets, Choosing to Move Forward With the Plan, Eating out, Ditch the Word “Healthy”, How to Choose Honest Food, Tip Number 1 to Help Restore Health

The Best Ever Liver (for liver non-lovers)

In our story that ran the last few days, the diligent mom tried to get her family to eat liver, as it is exceptionally nutrient dense.  She was a tiger for her family’s health and so are you.

Don’t worry.  I don’t like liver, either.  If YOU like  liver, YOU can stop reading now.  (You know who you are.)  This recipe is to make liver NOT taste like liver.

Serving this liver recipe got me, “You’re the best cook, honey.” And “Mmm.  It’s good, Mom.”  Yeah.  For real.  You must try this one.

There is absolutely no option in my family.  It must be grass-fed liver.  It tastes much milder.  You should only be eating grass-fed beef anyway.

wpid-IMAG1155.jpg

The Best Ever Liver (for liver non-lovers)

Approximately 3/4 pound of liver, chopped into 1/2 inch size pieces
 3-5 tablespoons of bacon drippings
 1 green pepper, medium-sized, coarsely chopped
 1 onion, medium-sized, sliced
1-2 large cloves of pressed garlic
A generous 1 and 1/2 tablespoonful of cumin
1 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful ground pepper

Heat bacon grease.  Add green pepper and onions and sauté until golden brown.  Add the pressed garlic and quickly sauté into the mixture.  Add the liver and stir.  Add the cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir until mixed.  Cook until liver cooked through. Remove from heat and serve.

Family “gustar” report: “What is it mommy?” “It’s beef. Mexican beef.” “Oh.” And four of us ate it. One in our family of five was not present. All four who were present liked it. So 4/4.

Please, please, please go after your health.  You deserve it!  You can do it!

Terri

Paleo Parents’ Grain Free Granola

wpid-IMAG1063.jpg

It’s nice to have original blog posts and recipes, but I got to thinking about that.  Perhaps blogging is really just about getting good ideas more exposure.  And this granola from Paleo Parents is more than a great idea!  It has become a staple in our house!

The granola recipe I’m going to share is from Paleo Parents, and it really is super, duper delicious.  My kids devour it, and my husband swears I add some sort of grain. I found this granola recipe early in our eating transition, and I have never had the need to look for or try another.   If anyone tries this, too, I’d love to hear a comparison to other recipes out there.

I repeat, this is NOT my recipe.  It is from Paleo Parents, but it is so good, I want to share the word!  Drawing on my experience in making the recipe:

  • I have used both large flaked coconut and finely flaked coconut.  Both good.
  • I use the food processor to grind the macadamia nuts and walnuts very finely.
  • I have used all kinds of different nuts, rather than macadamia and walnuts, and all are good.
  • I usually use raisins, not cranberries.
  • I put the dates in my food processor and grind them up in there.
  • When I make it, it doesn’t seem to need the whole recommended cooking time.  It is better taken out when barely even just lightly brown.  SO WATCH IT CLOSELY!!  Set out to cool before putting it into storage.  By doing this, you’ll get clusters in your granola!

Lastly, I almost always double the recipe.

♦♦♦

Paleo Parents’ Grain-Free Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 C walnuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C macadamia nuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C fresh dates, diced
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

So gather those granola ingredients together and head on over to get the instructions at Paleo Parents.  The super fun and kid-friendly instructions are there along with the cutest photos!  Please head on over to Paleo Parents website to check out all their awesome recipes and information!  You will enjoy it immensely!!!

♦♦♦

You may also be interested in:  Grain-Free Breakfast Ideas, Grain-Free Waffles, and Grain-Free Pancakes
Posts in the Draft Bin:  Spontaneous posts until all guests return from whence they came.  However, I’m formulating a list of FODMAPS that are GAPS legal for myself that I look forward to sharing.

Balsamic Glazed Beet Salad

Beet saladThis is our favorite salad.

Cooking the beets and reducing the balsamic vinegar are steps that consume time.  To save a bit of time, you can prepare the beets one day, peel them, store them covered in the fridge, and then use them on another day to make the salad.  Sometimes, I’ll just make up a bunch of beets, eat some sprinkled with salt and pepper for supper, and then a couple of days later, I’ll use up more beets to make the salad.  They peel easiest when they are warm, but I have peeled lots of beets cold from the fridge, and they do fine, too.  We also eat the glazed beets as leftovers.

Life is about legitimate shortcuts.

Beets are very red.  Caution with your clothes, apron, or favorite cutting board.

(For special diets like SCD and GAPS, the balsamic vinegar must not have anything in it at all except vinegar.)

Balsamic Beet Salad

Ingredients:

Beets, 2-3 large or 4-6 small
Greens of choice (beet greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, endive, kale, a mixture, etc)
3/4-1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper, a dash or two
1/4 cup of nuts of choice, coarsely chopped (almonds or walnuts are great), more or less
1/4 cup of raisins, more or less depending on how many people you are serving
Optional:  Chevre cheese, if you’re not on dietary restrictions.  You could also toss in some cut grapes, blueberries, or sliced strawberries.  Sauerkraut on top tastes great!

Prepare Beets:
Either roast them in the oven or boil them covered in water.  Both are good methods.  Roasting provides a more complex, sweet flavor and nice texture to the beets, but they are more difficult to peel due to the “caramel” layer that forms just under the skin.  Boiling allows the skins to be slipped off very easily, but the flavor and texture is not as fine as roasting.  However, both methods work well, and we like both of them fine.  Often, it depends on which is easier that day, the oven or the stove.  If your beets are huge, they take a long time to cook.  That’s why I often make them ahead of time.

  • Roasting:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Cut off leaves and root end of beet.  Rinse.  Pat dry.  Place on baking sheet.  You may wrap them in foil if you’d like.  You may even place all of them together in one foil wrapping.  I don’t because it’s one more step, but you can.  Bake until they are fork tender, about an hour, depending on size.  Large beets may take much longer!  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool.  Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and any stem you didn’t get off.  Use a knife if you prefer.
  • Boiling:  Cut off leaves and root end of beet.  Rinse.  Place in a pot of water, enough to cover all beets.  Bring water to a boil.  Boil the beets until they are fork tender, about 40 minutes to an hour, or longer if they are huge.  Remove from heat.  Pour off water.  Allow beets to cool.  You may run cold water over them if you want.  Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and remaining stem.

wpid-IMAG0665.jpg wpid-IMAG0667-1-1.jpg

Slice beets as thick as you want.  Or make into wedges.  Or dice into medium, half-inch sized cubes.  Set aside in a bowl that will tolerate heat.

Prepare Greens:

Rinse desired greens and dry as well as you can.   Place in a bowl that will tolerate heat.  Use kitchen shears to cut greens into small, bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

You can clean, remove stems, and use the beet greens at the top of the beet, too!  Very nutrient dense!wpid-IMAG0671.jpg

Prepare Dressing:

In a large skillet, pour balsamic vinegar and honey together.  Whisk together well.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Continue heating until the mixture thickens up, to about the consistency of a syrup.  Depending on your brand of balsamic, this can take some extra wpid-IMAG0668.jpgtime.  When reduced, add in the olive oil and whisk well.  Add salt and some pepper shakes.  Whisk well.  Add beets carefully to the hot mixture.  Allow the beets to heat through and be thoroughly covered in dressing.  Remove beets to a bowl that tolerates heat and set aside.

Use some of the still very hot leftover dressing to pour over the greens to wilt them just a little, if you’d like.  You may not need all of it, depending on how many greens you had or how many beets you had.  You sure don’t want your greens swimming!!!

Toss well to coat.

Put Salad Together:

Add beets to top of salad.  Add some raisins and chopped nuts on top.  Add other items as you enjoy them–fruit or sauerkraut.

Family “gustar” report:

My husband and I love this salad!  My kids pick at it.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law liked it so much, my MIL asked me to write down the recipe for her.
Here is the GAPS page which lists balsamic:  http://gapsdiet.com/The_Diet.html

Have a great day!

Terri

In the draft bin:  More Metametrix, GAPS Intro Stage 2 update

Give Us Your Zucchini! We Actually Want It!

Don’t turn down those zucchini and summer squashes you’re offered anymore!  Here are six zucchini ideas to use those logs all up.  And I haven’t even touched on salads yet!  Psssst.  Pick them small, please.

Pile chicken salad on top of fresh-cut zucchini slice into coins.

wpid-IMAG0984-1-1.jpg

Dip coin-sized slices into your favorite dip.  Much crisper than cucumber!

wpid-IMAG1028-1.jpg

Zucchini bread never fails.  The recipe I use is from “Against All Grain”:  Almond Flour Zucchini Bread.

wpid-IMAG0686-1.jpg

Grilled zucchini.  Mix  your favorite olive oil and your favorite vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.  Add a couple pinches of salt and a teaspoonful of thyme.  Toss diagonal sliced zucchini and the marinade together in a plastic bag.  Allow to sit as long as possible, overnight is best.

wpid-IMAG1025-1.jpg

Zucchini pizza boats.  I show some squash a neighbor gave me, but it works the same!

wpid-IMAG1006.jpgZucchini chips.  Slice a zucchini very thin, as thin as you can, using a mandolin slicer.  Fry over medium-high in a single layer until golden brown.  Transfer when done to a paper-towel lined plate.

wpid-IMAG0969.jpg

And I still have lots more zucchini!  So I’ll be coming up with more ideas!  Do you have any ideas to share?

Related Post:  The Best Ever Zucchini