Thanksgiving, Paleo-Style

Try tasty Paleo versions of some Thanksgiving favorites.

I love Thanksgiving. It seems that frequently when we get together with family, there are presents involved. Whether it’s birthdays or other holidays during the year, very often my parents or my in-laws are giving the kids a present for some reason or another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have such great people in our lives, but Thanksgiving is a time when there are no presents and the focus is reflecting on what we have and how lucky we really are.

I also love the food on Thanksgiving. But, many of my favorites have been traditionally made with canned soup, canned beans, sugar, and bread, which are no longer part of my diet. A little scouring of the internet and some kitchen creativity was needed to find tasty alternatives to some of my favorite recipes.

Paleo Stuffing

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Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf low-carb coconut flour bread (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried ground sage
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth, or broth of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Roughly chop bread into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces on a large baking sheet and place in preheated 300° oven. Cook on low temperature until dried out, about 50 minutes. The bread should be a bit more moist than croutons, but not soft. This step will help the bread retain its shape in the stuffing, so don’t skip it! Alternatively, you can dehydrate in your dehydrator, 130F for 24 hours.
  2. Place the bread chunks in a large bowl, toss with fresh parsley and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish with oil of your choice, I used Perfect Coconut Oil.
  4. Heat butter, or oil of your choice, in a large pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add apple and cook a couple more minutes until just tender.
  6. Remove from heat and add vegetable mixture to bread and toss to combine being sure not to over mix.
  7. Pour the broth over top of the bread. Again, be sure not to over mix just toss, then add to the prepared casserole dish.
  8. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit with the cover on for 5 minutes. If you like a moister stuffing, add more broth to taste.

Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Perfect Bovine Gelatin
  • ¼ cup melted Perfect Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
  • ¾ tsp Himalayan rock salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Lightly oil a 9×13 loaf pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. Add egg whites to a mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-speed for 2 minutes, until frothy.
  4. In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, coconut milk and gelatin and beat on high, until smooth.
  5. Combine the above two and add melted coconut oil, vinegar, and coconut sugar. Mix until just combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  7. Transfer batter to a prepared bread pan. Smooth out with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes in preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Low-Carb Bread & Paleo Stuffing recipes inspired by healthfulpursuit.com.

Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Paleo_cranberry_sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar (start with 2 and add more depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Perfect Bovine Gelatine
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Blend cranberries and juice in blender or food processor until very smooth.
  2. Place in a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add coconut sugar and stir. Adjust sugar amount to desired sweetness.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the gelatin to 1/2 cup water and let it sit 1 minute. Add to cranberry mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Check for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Remove from heat.
  6. If putting in molds, coat the inside with melted Perfect Coconut Oil (cranberry sauce comes out of the mold easier). Pour into molds or dishes and place in refrigerator until well chilled. If having trouble removing from molds, then place mold in hot water for a couple minutes to loosen it up.

Inspired by mommypotomus.com.

Paleo Green Bean Casserole

Paleo_green_bean_casserole

This recipe was a huge hit with everyone, even people who don’t usually like Green Bean Casserole! It is a combination of recipes from wellnessmama.com and fedandfit.com.

Ingredients:

  • Prepared onion topping (recipe below)
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 8 oz roughly chopped mushrooms
  • 5 large strips of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, not too big
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1.5 cups cream or coconut milk or almond milk
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour

Instructions:

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut green beans in half and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  2. Add chopped bacon to a hot buttered or oiled saute pan and cook till just crispy.
  3. Add shallots and saute till slightly clear.
  4. Add the garlic, saute a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir frequently until they have cooked down.
  6. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  7. Using the same pan, add 1 Tbsp EVOO and 1 cup of the cream, coconut milk or almond milk and stir with a metal whisk. Add 1/4 cup of the almond meal and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the cream and almond meal, whisking over a medium simmer.
  8. Add the salt and pepper
  9. Whisk in tapioca flour and stir until the thickness of heavy cream.
  10. Reduce heat, add the mushroom mixture back in and stir.
  11. Add the green beans and stir.
  12. Pour the mixture in a medium size casserole dish.
  13. Top with prepared onions and cover.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

Onion Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium onions, sliced very thinly
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tb heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Perfect Coconut Oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  2. Beat eggs and cream or coconut milk.
  3. Add onions and make sure they are thoroughly coated.
  4. Put 1/2 the almond flour on a plate
  5. Use tongs to grab a bunch of the onions from the eggs. Let it drain a bit so it’s not dripping and drop onto the almond flour plate. Toss until evenly coated.
  6. Move to frying pan and fry until crispy, stirring frequently. Move to paper towel lined bowl or plate and set aside. Repeat until all onions are cooked.

By Kerrie Bross

Emu Oil: Sacred Healing Food Revealed

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The Australian Aborigines are one of the most ancient and still living primitive societies on the planet. For eons they have utilized traditional health practices and retained their robust health. The Aborigines prized emu fat as one of their “sacred foods” for health and healing and have long incorporated it into their mythical “dreamtime” spirituality. Because the emu shares the inhospitable Australian Outback environment with the Aborigines and manages to survive well on only its fat reserves, the fat was revered as a precious food and medicine by the traditional culture. Weston A. Price, the famous dentist and nutritionist of the 20th century who studied the Australian Aborigines as well as other indigenous groups, proclaimed their diets to be rich in fat soluble vitamins and activators which accounted for their low incidence of chronic health problems as compared with people in the developed world. Perhaps the time has come to bring a little “sacred” healing oil into our own lives?

Walkabout Emu Oil

Emus are large birds, native to Australia and similar looking to Ostriches. They cannot fly, but they can do something perhaps even more amazing!  They can go without food, essentially fasting, for months at a time usually while sitting on their nest. In order to endure this long period of nutritional deprivation, emus have an ability to store nutrient dense fat in a special fat pocket on their back. Until recently, Emus living in the wild had higher quality oil than those raised commercially. Now Walkabout has been able to replicate this potent wild emu oil by raising emus on Australian farms using their natural habitats and food sources. Raised as genetically distinct groups with no crossbreeding, Walkabout emus are specific genotypes ensuring the highest quality oil. Walkbout Emu Oil is guaranteed to meet strict standards for purity and quality. It is registered with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which oversees the production of natural supplements. Walkabout imports the Aborigine’s life-sustaining emu oil from Australia to treat your myriad of health and beauty needs.

Ancient and Modern Uses

Emu Oil can be taken orallyas  liquid or in capsules or applied topically and allowed to penetrate the skin with it’s healing qualities.

  • Emu oil is best known for reducing local and systemic inflammation often with fairly dramatic results.
  • It has been shown to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints and to improve muscle strain, tendonitis, or bruising. Dr. Oz has recommended emu oil for relief of joint pain and sore muscles.
  • Since it is bacteriostatic, no bacteria can grow in it making it a sterile treatment for all sorts of skin ailments from eczema and psoriasis to reducing nail fungus and rashes.
  • Emu oil is remarkable in its capacity to thicken and strengthen skin so that it retains water thus healing chronic dry skin and treating sun damage and wrinkles.
  • A natural moisturizer, it conditions hair and even cures itchy scalp. Dr. Mercola recommends this as a great alternative moisturizer for the whole body.
  • The high bioavailability of nutrients in emu oil may assist in cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, gum disease, high blood pressure, carpel tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, intestinal disorders, and even in decreasing allergic sensitivity among other things.
  • Loaded with vitamins K2 and D3, emu oil helps to repair and prevent tooth decay.

Emu Essentials

Emu oil is a whole food, not a manufactured vitamin compound. As such the miraculous benefits come from the synergy of nutrients found in precious combination in the oil. Nevertheless, it is possible to test for and quantify some of the components in order to better understand the harmony of vital healing agents. Walkabout Emu Oil has consistently shown to be higher in nutrients compared to other brands due to their free-range farming and feeding practices.

  • Omegas 3, 6, and 9: essential fatty acids necessary for growth, life energy, and skin regeneration.
  • Vitamin K2: the “Activator X” vitamin identified by Dr. Weston A. Price as potentiating many other nutrients. Recently, Sally Fallon of the Westin A Price Foundation tested many popular whole food oil supplements and Walkabout Emu Oil came out on top for having more vitamin K2 than the rest, sometimes 10 times as much!
  • Vitamin D3: critical vitamin for immunity, maintaining healthy bones, cognitive ability, and preventing multiple diseases.
  • Vitamin E: antioxidant for immunity, healthy skin and eyes, and physical performance
  • Vitamin A: antioxidant that repairs skin and provides antiseptic abilities.
  • CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): decreases muscle and joint pain as well as assisting in fat metabolism and healthy weight maintenance.
  • Sapogens: skin softening agents

The Walkabout Way

Walkabout Emu Oil is refined by combining the best of traditional practices with modern day science. The unadulterated oil assures the best absorption and assimilation possible. Walkabout Emu oil is always Non-GMO, and is farmed on virgin soils with no pesticides, or chemicals. No artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, or vaccinations are given and there is virtually no waste in processing the animals as their meat, skin, feathers, and egg shells are all utilized commercially.

“Sacred Food”

The Australian Aborigines have practiced the spiritual healing journey known as a “walkabout” for thousands of years. During this solo rite of passage in nature that could last for weeks, male Aborigine youth tapped their inner resources to emerge stronger in body and mind. Emu oil is a traditional, nutrient dense, life sustaining food carried with them on this quest. Its pure and unadulterated power is now available to help transform your life as well. Discover the pristine whole food medicine of the traditional Australian Bushmen and find your own balance with nature.

The Truth about Fermented Foods

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Traditional cultures around the world have utilized fermentation in their diets for all of recorded history. Before modern times it was one of the best ways to preserve food, including meat and fish, without refrigeration. But fermentation has it’s own health building benefits which many traditional societies sought with production of such well known fermented foods as European kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, and Japanese natto just to name a few. In fact, most primitive and traditional cultures devised some form of fermentation to increase the nutritional value of their foods.

What is Fermentation?

The natural process of using enzymes, bacteria, or yeast to begin the breakdown or pre-digestion of food is called fermentation. It is entirely different from rotting or putrefaction in which oxygen fuels the growth of pathogenic organisms. Fermentation is an anaerobic process, which serves to reduce any toxicity in foods such as vegetables or meat/fish. It creates a stable food that improves digestion through the creation of prebiotics and other beneficial gut bacteria. Fermenting reduces the food to its most nutrient dense form at the same time as making it more easily absorbed and usable.

Why Ferment?

Fermentation preserves food without the need for heat or cold. Cooking foods can destroy some of the delicate nutritional structures of the vitamins, amino acids, and other potent chemicals, thus rendering the food denatured. By contrast, fermenting generally increases the nutrient composition of foods, making it easier to digest, and improving absorption. Fermented foods help to optimize the immune system through better gut health thereby strengthening the sick and promoting the overall health and vigor typical of more traditional societies. Weston A. Price, the esteemed dentist and nutritional researcher of the 20th century, was one of the first to recognize the health building characteristics of more primitive diets. One of the consistent themes he reported was the high enzymatic content of lacto-fermented foods such as vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, fruits, beverages, and condiments eaten by these traditional cultures. Dr Price attributed the robust health of many primitive groups to a diet rich in fermented foods and high quality fats as well as “Activator X”, the vitamin we know today as K, which is found abundantly in fermented foods. For more information on the dietary revelations and fact based traditional knowledge of Weston A. Price, see the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Benefits of Fermentation

  • Increased nutritional density
  • Reduced toxicity
  • Added beneficial bacteria
  • Easier digestion and improved gut health
  • Increased absorption of nutrients
  • Optimized immune system
  • May help to control body weight
  • Supports mental health

Fermented Supplements

While fermentation is a natural process that has been utilized for hundreds of years, it also requires strict controls to ensure the outcome meets today’s safety and nutritional standards. The top quality manufacturers of fermented supplements employ stringent procedures allowing only beneficial microorganisms to flourish. Peaceful Planet sells fermented supplements only from brands that meet or exceed our high standards for quality and safety.

Perfect Supplements

Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are two of Perfect Supplement’s premier products. By fermenting kale and a perfect grass blend of organic barley, oat, and wheat grass into easily consumed powders, they have made powerful foods even more potent. Both Perfect Fermented Kale and Perfect 3 Grass Blend are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher.

  • Perfect Fermented Kale powder contains vitamins K, C, beta-carotene, and folate, as well as many necessary minerals, and essential omega 3 fatty acids. When kale is fermented, beneficial enzymes and microorganisms are created that promote digestive health. Perfect Fermented Kale is easier to digest than raw kale allowing for better absorption of the nutrient dense richness.
  • Perfect 3 Grass Blend is loaded with vitamins B, C, and K, as well as protein, and the minerals magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. Detoxifying, cleansing, blood sugar and blood pressure modulating, Perfect 3 Grass Blend is indeed a super fermented food.

 

Green Pasture

Green Pasture produces some of the finest and most strictly controlled lactic-acid fermented products available. Free of all synthetic vitamins or additives, and tested repeatedly for contaminants, Green Pasture products harken back to some of the most revered fermented foods in traditional cultures.

  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil is Green Pasture’s signature supplement. Packed with easily absorbed, vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as fatty acids for brain and nervous system health, Green Pasture Fermented Cold Liver Oil has been used to increase tooth density and reverse tooth decay. It has high anti-inflammatory action to help with everything from arthritis to skin irritations. A calming agent to the nervous system, Fermented Cod Liver Oil may be useful in treating depression and ADHD. Cod liver oil is an exceptional source of natural D3, which is known to be critical for a strong immune system. Fermented Cod Liver Oil can help regulate blood sugar, making it a necessity for diabetics looking for natural treatments. With all these benefits and more, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil is one of nature’s most healing super foods.
  •  Blue Ice Royal Blend is made by Green Pasture of 1/3 X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and 2/3 Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil for ultimate healing power. Dr. Weston A. Price believed that butter made from cows grazing on fresh grass contained the miraculous “Activator X” which, when combined with Fermented Cod Liver Oil, was truly exceptional in its healing potential. Today we recognize the “Activator X” was pure and bioavailable vitamin K2. Blue Ice Royal Blend offers pasture butter oil and fermented cod liver oil in easy to swallow capsules or in a gel.
  • Skate Liver Oil is fermented by Green Pasture as an alternative to Cod Liver Oil for pregnant women primarily because of its extremely high DHA content which aids in fetal development. People with cardiovascular issues may also prefer Skate Liver Oil to Cod because it does not interfere with blood clotting. It is richer in vitamin E than Cod Liver Oil and is a terrific source of vitamin K, the “activator” vitamin discovered by Dr. Weston A. Price. It is widely used to help decalcify the pineal gland.
  • Green Pasture Blue Ice Calm Balm combines their signature Fermented Cod Liver Oil with X-Factor Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil and menthol camphor for fast penetrating pain relief. An all-natural sore muscle rub and topical congestion remedy, Calm Balm is enriched with essential oils, coconut oil, and shea butter.  It soothes aching muscles and joints as well as clearing stuffy heads from colds or allergies. Since it is an all-natural product, it is safe to use on children.
  • Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a healing cleanser and moisturizer. It combines Fermented Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil with Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and other emollients and essential oils. It can be used on the face and also on the feet, skin, and lips for all-natural hydration. Treat acne breakouts, wrinkles, sunspots, rashes, and eczema with Beauty Balm for smoother, naturally clean skin. Green Pasture Beauty Balm is a wonderful way to infuse the skin with nutrients since the vitamins and amino acids are absorbed through the skin. Treat yourself to glowing, healthy skin and a more even complexion with hypoallergenic Beauty Balm.

Fermentation Heals What Ails Us

Fermented foods offer us the intergenerational wisdom of traditional cultures who relied on these precious nutrients to strengthen and heal their bodies. With our modern diet so lacking in nutrients from poor eating habits as well as the degradation of our food supply, it has become essential that we add fermented foods into our diets again. Perhaps the easiest and safest way to do this is through supplementation with the highest quality fermented supplements. Peaceful Planet is pleased to be your source for fermented health solutions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo, Primal, or WAPF? The Best Traditional Diet

Paleo, Primal, WAPF: What's the difference?

Last month, we went over the basics of adopting a Paleo diet. A couple of questions arose after this last post: Is this the only healthy alternative to the Standard American Diet? Does every health-conscious individual really follow such strict guidelines all the time? Are there other traditional diets that can fit into our modern lifestyles?

The answers are no, no, and yes! Paleo is certainly not the only healthy diet out there, and many would argue that it’s not even necessarily the best. Many who call themselves Paleo do follow slightly looser, yet still traditional, diet plans, and there is a lot of gray area on the Paleo spectrum. In fact, after writing the Ready to Go Paleo? blog post, I realized I myself probably adhere more closely to a Primal diet than a strictly Paleo one. Others follow WAPF diets inspired by Weston A. Price and Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, which are similar in many ways to Paleo and Primal diets. There is also a lot of overlap between Paleo, GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), and AIP (Autoimmune Protocol or Autoimmune Paleo) diets.

It gets even more confusing when you realize that there are many interpretations of each of these diets. Some insist that dairy can be a part of a Paleo diet, while others believe it’s expressly forbidden. Some say grains should be minimized on the WAPF diet, while others regularly enjoy lots of grains as long as they are properly prepared. Who’s right? Which diet is really healthiest? First, let’s take a look at how these modern versions of traditional diets were created.

Paleo

Picture of a cave with supplements that are Primal and Paleo-friendly.
Check out our selection of Paleo/Primal whole food supplements.

The Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet, was publicized in 2002 by Dr. Loren Cordain with the book The Paleo Diet. Dr. Cordain extended his lifelong interest in nutrition with formal research into diet, athletics, and body fat composition, culminating in a Ph.D. in Health. About three decades ago, Dr. Cordain read a New England Journal of Medicine article by Dr. Boyd Eaton entitled “Paleolithic Nutrition,” which resonated with him so much that he has since dedicated himself to becoming the world’s top expert on Stone Age and hunter-gatherer diets. With over 100 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts and 5 bestselling books, Dr. Cordain encourages followers to revert back to the natural, wild plants and animals that sustained our ancestors. The Paleo diet is high in protein and fiber, low glycemic, low carb, and seeks to balance acid with alkaline and keep a proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. The Paleo Diet also suggests following the 85:15 rule, which allows three non-Paleo meals per week, so you don’t have to give up all your favorite foods.

Primal

World class athlete Mark Sisson, author of multiple healthy living books, published Primal Blueprint in 2009. The Primal diet is quite similar to the Paleo diet, but overall a bit more laid back; it’s basically “Paleo Lite.” It is high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates. The Primal Blueprint explains how we can use what our ancestors did 10,000 years ago to control our health and happiness in the modern world and “reprogram our genes.” We should eat like hunter-gatherers, and also move like we would if we had to hunt and forage for our basic needs. Diet is not the only component of Primal living, although it is extremely important. Mark Sisson also reiterates how critical it is to make other lifestyle changes: do low-level aerobic exercise and sprints, lift heavy weight, get enough sleep, sun, and play, and avoid stress and toxins.

WAPF

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View Top Recommended WAPF Supplements

The WAPF diet gained popularity with the 1995 publication of the cookbook Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell. Developed by the Weston A. Price Foundation, the WAPF diet is based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the world to study primitive cultures in an effort to determine what accounted for their excellent dental health. He found that those who ate the nutrient-dense whole foods of their ancestors had not only superior dental health but also optimal physical health and development. He published his findings in 1939 under the title Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The WAPF diet focuses on high fat, nutrient-dense foods such as pastured meat, dairy, and eggs, wild-caught fish, and organ meats. A key aspect of the WAPF diet is proper preparation of foods to neutralize anti-nutrients and optimize digestibility: grains and legumes should be soaked or sprouted; dairy should be raw or fermented; lacto-fermented foods should be included with each meal.

The Differences Between Paleo, Primal, and WAPF

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of these top traditional diets. It was actually quite a challenge to create this chart, because there are so many variations of each diet out there. This, in part, arises from specific recommendations for those with certain health needs; for example, while fruit is freely allowed on the Paleo diet, those facing insulin resistance or who need to lose a lot of weight are advised to avoid high-sugar fruits. And, like anything else in this modern Internet age, dietary guidelines tend to be altered a bit each time they are shared, much like a game of Telephone. I based this chart on the guidelines listed by the original creators of each diet, but you will certainly find a variety of opinions regarding whether any particular food meets a diet’s guidelines.

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So, What Should I Eat? Which Diet is Best?

Here’s what all these traditional diets all seem to agree on:

  • Eat plenty of veggies
  • Focus on pastured, grass-fed meat and eggs and wild-caught seafood
  • Eliminate gluten
  • Avoid processed foods, industrial oils, and refined sugars
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Spend time in the sun

To put it in a nutshell, the premise of each of these diets is to eat real, whole foods created by nature. Any of these diets is exponentially healthier than the Standard American Diet, and which one you choose depends upon your individual health needs, any allergies or intolerances, and personal preferences. The whole idea is to focus on the foods that kept our ancestors healthy for centuries — traditional foods that cultures throughout the world have long relied on. The specifics, and the labels, are up to you!

 

By Ali Wetherbee

Ready To Go Paleo?

Pondering Paleo? Look below for an easy guide to going Paleo.

Nearly four years ago, I sat in a cramped booth at the Chipotle restaurant down the street and ate my first bite of meat in almost 20 years. I was reluctant to dig in, afraid the tiny pieces of chicken that I stabbed with my plastic fork would leave me feeling ill or simply grossed out. And in fact, I was only able to swallow a few pieces that first day. But after 9 years of eating vegan and many more as a vegetarian, I was ready to make a drastic change. Chronic health issues, creeping weight gain, and numerous food allergies led me to decide to give the Paleo diet a spin.

My previous, vegan diet was also gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, plus limited in fruits and nuts due to allergies. I ate mostly vegetables — TONS of vegetables in every form imaginable! As you might expect, I was always starving. I needed mounds of food to feel satisfied, and despite my relatively low-calorie options, I was gaining weight, always feeling bloated and uncomfortable, and I was so tired all the time!

Switching from hardcore vegan to Paleo was a dramatic change for me. The Paleo diet is inspired by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and relies heavily on meat, seafood, eggs, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. It was — and still is — hard for me to eat substantial amounts of meat. But I’ve learned to like eggs (I spit out the first few attempts!) and bone broths. I’ve added tons of healthy fats to my diet, from fresh avocado to coconut oil. Eliminating grains was not difficult, as I was already eating gluten-free. And overall, I was happy with my results. Within just a few months I was back to a comfortable weight, but more importantly, I had a lot more energy. I was able to get back to the things I loved to do, like playing with my son at the playground and teaching him to play tennis. While my health issues were by no means completely resolved, I enjoyed feeling pretty well for the first time in years.

Since then, I have often strayed from a strict Paleo diet, usually returning to it within a couple of months. Instead of limiting myself to a label and a strict dietary lifestyle, I’ve learned to follow my body’s lead and eat what feels best. The majority of the time, that ends up being mostly Paleo foods. I like to call it “Paleo inspired,” and while years ago I could never imagine giving up veganism, I now can’t imagine going back to it.  I love the balance of the Paleo diet. When I follow the Paleo guidelines, I don’t feel hungry constantly, but instead satisfied. Lifelong struggles with reactive hypoglycemia give way to stable, balanced blood sugar levels. These are the reasons so many have jumped on the Paleo bandwagon.

Eating Paleo can help you:

  • lose fat and gain muscle
  • boost energy
  • improve overall health
  • lower the risk of disease
  • keep blood sugar stable
  • reduce toxin load
  • decrease inflammation
  • reverse digestive problems

…and more.

Getting started on the Paleo diet is not particularly difficult. This is a whole food, unprocessed diet that mimics what our ancestors would’ve eaten in the hunter-gatherer days.

Foods you can eat on the Paleo diet:

  • meat, fish, seafood, and organ meat
  • eggs
  • vegetables, except potato, corn, and legumes
  • healthy oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, clarified butter
  • fruits, in moderate amounts
  • nuts (except peanuts) and seeds, in moderate amounts
  • herbs, spices

Off limits foods to avoid on the Paleo diet:

  • grains (wheat, oats, corn, rice, etc.)
  • legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, soy)
  • dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • refined sugar or artificial sugar substitutes
  • corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil
  • alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)
  • processed foods

Paleo purists (one of which I am not!) will stick solidly to these lists, and may also eliminate salt, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, beets, and butternut squash, and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. When you are first starting out, especially if you have a lot of health issues, you are best off adhering as strictly to these food lists as possible. Once you have a good handle on how your body responds to various foods, you may find you can ease up on the restrictions and allow some natural sweeteners and maybe even a bit of dairy. Ideally, the Paleo diet would include no processed or packaged foods, but the realities of modern life can make this standard too difficult to adhere to. Examples of packaged convenience foods that could fit into a laid-back Paleo diet include almond milk, coconut yogurt, grain-free granola bars, beef jerky, applesauce, deli meat, and veggie chips.

Paleo Nutrient Powerhouses

Check Out These Great Paleo Diet Supplements
The Paleo Hacks Combo Pack contains all the supplements you’ll need to ensure you don’t miss out on any essential nutrients. Plus, you can skip eating liver and take it in a capsule instead! Take 10% OFF by entering coupon code “Caveman” at checkout.

Bone broth is a mainstay of the Paleo diet. It is loaded with nutrients, collagen, and glucosamine, and can help heal the gut and improve nutrient absorption. To make bone broth, all you need to do is follow the directions found here. I make mine in a crockpot and let it simmer overnight. If you don’t have time to make bone broth or dislike the taste, Perfect Hydrolzed Collagen or Great Lakes Grass-Fed Beef Gelatin are quick and easy alternatives to add to your diet.

Organ meats are another Paleo staple. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors would not have eaten only part of an animal; they would consume the whole thing, right down to the organs. The vitamin and mineral content of organs is higher than that of muscle meat; organ meat is a concentrated source of vitamins A, D, K, and B vitamins, plus numerious minerals and essential fatty acids. If, like me, you are repulsed by the idea of eating organs, try Perfect Desiccated Liver capsules and you won’t even have to taste it. Cod liver oil (or cod liver oil capsules) can also provide the necessary nutrients. Vitamin D is particularly essential, especially for those who live in cooler climates or seldom spend time exposed to the sun. While you can’t obtain adequate vitamin D from foods alone unless you eat liver regularly, desiccated liver and cod liver oil are both excellent alternative whole-food sources of vitamin D.

Aside from vitamin D, the one other nutrient you need to be conscious of on the Paleo diet is magnesium. Our ancestors would have gotten plenty of magnesium from plants found in hearty soil, but over the centuries, our soil has become depleted of this important mineral. As many as 75% of adults are deficient in magnesium due to soil depletion and municipal water supplies. You can get your daily dose of magnesium from Natural Vitality Natural Calm or Ancient Minerals topical magnesium.

So what can I eat on the Paleo diet?

These sample Paleo menu plans offer ideas of the types of meals you can eat on the Paleo diet. Many of your favorite meals are likely already Paleo or can be converted easily by eliminating any unapproved ingredients. One of my favorite things about the Paleo diet is that it forces you to be a bit more creative and to try new foods — don’t hesitate to experiment! For more Paleo meal ideas, check out our Paleo Diet Friendly board on Pinterest.

Sample Paleo Meal Plan #1

Breakfast: Paleo Baked French Toast

Lunch: Tuna salad made with Paleo Mayo, stuffed in lettuce leaves or bell pepper halves

Snacks: apple slices with almond butter, Paleo Almond Crumb Muffins, hard boiled eggs

Dinner: Spicy Chicken and Sausage Soup

Dessert: Paleo Fruit Crisp

Sample Paleo Meal Plan #2

Breakfast: Egg Muffins

Lunch: Salad with Paleo Ranch Dressing

Snacks: Paleo Pumpkin Granola, fresh berries, mixed nuts

Dinner: Zucchini Noodles with Kale Pesto and Artichokes, topped with sauteed shrimp

Dessert: Raw Walnut Fudge

 


Use coupon code: Caveman to get 10% OFF the Paleo Hacks Combo Pack.


 

By Ali Wetherbee

Seven Reasons to Add Perfect Desiccated Liver to Your Diet

perfect-desiccated-liverBy Ali Wetherbee

What is desiccated liver? It’s powdered cows’ livers — “desiccated” means dried — and Perfect Supplements’ desiccated liver is all natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, and so good for you! Check out the top seven reasons to add desiccated liver to your regime:

1. Chock Full of Nutrients

Perfect Desiccated Liver tablets are made from grass fed desiccated liver — a nutrient-dense source of protein and amino acids. It is high in iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, folic acid, copper, zinc, chromium, CoQ10, and numerous other vitamins and minerals. Unlike many other food sources of these nutrients, though, desiccated liver is lower in cholesterol, fat, and calories.

2. Build Muscle Mass

This supplement can help you build muscle! Whether you are a hardcore bodybuilder, an elite athlete, or just someone who wants to increase your lean muscle mass or strength, Perfect Desiccated Liver tablets contain the iron, protein, and vitamin B12 your body needs to build and maintain muscle. With 70% protein by weight and and 16 essential amino acids, grass fed desiccated liver is a natural alternative to B12 injections, steroids, and calorie-laden protein drinks.

3. Grass Fed Dessicated Liver From Happy, Pastured Cows

Perfect Desiccated Liver tablets are made from the livers of happy, healthy, grass-fed Argentinean cows. These free range cattle are never given hormones or antibiotics, and they graze on rapidly-growing grass free of any pesticides or herbicides. Pasture-raised animal products like this one are so much more nutritious than those you normally find at the supermarket.

4. Boost Energy

If you have low energy, chronic fatigue, allergies, or a condition that leaves you feeling constantly depleted, Perfect Desiccated Liver tablets can improve your energy, stamina, and endurance. Say goodbye to exhaustion! Grass fed desiccated liver may also make you able to work out longer and harder without tiring. An article in Prevention magazine studied the effects of desiccated liver in rats. The first group of rats was fed a basic, fortified diet. The second group followed the same diet and also received extra vitamin B complex. The third group followed the basic fortified diet, but received powdered liver instead of B complex. A few weeks later, the rats were put into a vat of cold water and forced to swim or sink. The first two groups of rats swam, on average, 13 minutes before giving up. The group fed desiccated liver, however, all swam for over an hour, with three-quarters of them still swimming at the end of the 2-hour test period!

5. Alternative to Eating Organ Meat

For those following Nourishing Traditions, WAPF, traditional, Primal, or Paleo-inspired diets, grass fed organ meats are considered an excellent and essential source of nutrients. But not everyone can stomach the taste and texture of organs, particularly if you didn’t grow up eating them. Fortunately, Perfect Desiccated Liver is in a convenient capsule — you’ll never have to taste it, making it the perfect alternative to organ meats!

6. Correct Iron Deficiency

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the top nutritional deficiency in the world. An estimated 80% of the population is iron deficient, and 30% is anemic. Symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, tiredness, fatigue, brittle hair and nails, swollen inflamed tongue, restless legs, headaches, cold hands and feet, dizziness, pale skin, increased susceptibility to illnesses, craving for non-food items, and in children, slow development. Perfect Desiccated Liver tablets are an excellent source of heme iron, which is much more readily absorbed and utilized by the body than the non-heme iron found in plant foods. Take grass fed desiccated liver tablets along with whole-food vitamin C to optimize iron absorption.

7. Improve Health

Support your overall health with grass fed desiccated liver. This supplement can improve digestion, support heart health, boost metabolism and encourage weight loss, and strengthen the immune system. Grandmas everywhere who told their children and grandchildren to eat their liver were right. Perfect Desiccated Liver is an incredible superfood with far-reaching benefits (and none of that tough, nasty liver taste!)

Healthy Homemade Mayo and Ranch Dressing

paleo mayo

By Ali Wetherbee

Homemade Mayonnaise

Store-bought mayonnaise nearly always contain refined vegetable oils such as canola oil — definitely not part of a healthy, natural diet! You don’t have to give up this creamy, tasty condiment though. The mayo below can be substituted for commercial mayo in any of your favorite recipes, mixed with herbs for dips and sauces, or used alone as a sandwich spread. This would make a great coleslaw dressing!

Ingredients:

Method:

Place the egg yolks and vinegar into the blender and blend. Continue blending while slowly pouring in the coconut oil, no more than a tablespoon at a time. If you add the oil too quickly, your mayo won’t thicken. Blend until creamy, and use immediately.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Use your homemade mayo in this Ranch Dressing recipe for a delicious, guilt-free salad topping. Kids will also enjoy a little cup of dressing to dip their raw veggies in. This is very tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c Paleo mayo (recipe above)
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1 T fresh (or 1 t dried) parsley
  • 1 T fresh chives (or omit)
  • 1 t fresh (or 1/2 t dried) dill
  • pinch of salt & pepper

Method:

Mix mayo, coconut milk, and dried spices well with a fork. Crush garlic and finely chop all fresh herbs, and gently fold in.