Thank Goodness for Hormel
IT isn’t always easy to avoid sodium nitrite in meat - in fact it can be downright impossible. Since a large part of me following the Paleo diet involves having plenty of lean protein [in my case meat], I also try and avoid conventionally produced chicken, beef, pork, etc. - the reason is due to the pesticide laden feed, antibiotics, and upset fat and omega profiles thanks to feeding animals a mixture of sludge that barely resembles what they normally eat - which is to graze on grass and natural outdoor food selections.
Hormel makes a great line of nitrite free, antibiotic free ham, roast beef, bacon, and chicken lunch meat even. The great news is that as a national brand, every grocery store around me [even Wal-Mart] carries it at a reasonable price.
For more on how I am following Paleo, you can read about my experiences following the caveman diet: http://www.cutbodyfatfast.com/2012/04/follow-a-caveman-diet-today/
Mexican and Boulder Sausage in One Meal
So one challenge of being on the Paleo diet is sometimes we end up cooking three meals for dinner, which understandable only happens on the weekends when it happens at all.
Our son with Autism recently had his diet even further restricted based on an IgE test done with showed sensitivity to soy, nuts, watermelon, rice, and citrus fruits. Unfortunately we have a small set of staple foods he eats that while gluten/dairy free, did contain rice flour, or traces of soy, and his favorite nut-thin almond crackers of course are now out of the question.
So couple this challenge of finding stuff he will eat w/his sensory issue, with this new set of restrictions, and then add in that I’m following Paleo and my wife isn’t, and you have an interesting meal preparation ordeal.
Last night (Saturday) for example, I fixed Mexican enchiladas for my wife, a chicken quesadilla for my daughter, homemade chicken taquitos for our son, and boulder sausage for me. I was somewhat smart in terms of using the base shredded chicken for 3 of the meals, as well as leveraging the green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa to make a sausage salad for myself.
However, this was still 3 (almost 4) courses to fix for 4 people, which can be quite time consuming. I could have used corn versus flour tortillas and may gotten away with eating those, but my wife prefers them with flour!
So this doesn’t happen more than once a twice or week - often during the week my wife will set aside whatever protein source she is making and avoid any breading or related finishes on it, and I supplement with the vegetable she cooked and a piece of fruit…in any case we are ALWAYS preparing at least 2 meals per sitting given my son’s diet.
Sometimes Paleo can be exhausting…read more here…
List of Recent Articles from My Blog
Latest Research on Glycemic Index Based Diets
“Low-fat, low-carb, or low-glycemic? Study shows which is best to keep weight off”
On July 29th, 2012 MSNBC as well as other news outlets posted an intriguing article that reported on the results of a research study done byBoston Children’s Hospital. The study was published in the peer reviewed Journal of the Americal Medical Association this past week.
The actual study comparing the effects of low carb, low glycemic, and low fat diets was titled “Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance“.
Autism, The Mountains, and Prehistoric Diets
We just returned home from our second year at Adam’s Camp, a fantastic program that takes place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch which is between Frasier and Granby, CO. The program is geared towards almost any special needs child – cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, autism, etc. – they really have not strict criteria as they are most interested in providing a disabled child the opportunity to enjoy activities in a safe setting that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
The Caveman Diet
What is the CaveMan Diet? The caveman diet is often referred to also as the Paleolithic diet, or “paleo diet” for short. The basic premise of the diet is that man evolved on a fairly consistent hunter and gatherer diet, and that the over the last 10,000 years the agricultural revolution has introduced foods that our bodies were not naturally equipped to process. The caveman approach advocates returning to ingesting foods similar to what we ate before the agricultural period, under the premise that genetically we are fully optimized for these types of foods.
How Much Protein is in an Egg?
One major food item that is part of both the Diet Solution Program as well as the Caveman Diet is eggs. However, aside from the always present discussion on cholesterol and eggs, the subject of how much protein in an egg frequently comes up as well.
Is Whole Wheat Bad for You?
Is whole wheat bad for you regardless of what form it is in? Hard to even imagine this question, since from the time we were tiny kids we learned a staple of our diet was the sandwich – 2 slices of wheat bread with something tasty in-between them. How many of us began with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – or the famous bologna bread sandwich everyone had in their school lunches?
The Diet Solution Program Review
Ok – I’ve received some feedback that I jumped right into my experiences with the Diet Solution Book and Program, without doing an overall introductory review of the entire Program. So, while I have a lot of the diet solution material spread across my weight loss blog, I’ll try and summarize and link to the key diet review information in a single post – really!
Quack Quack on My Bread
I’m working to find a suitable picture for this post [email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have one!]. I want to talk a bit about chickens, eggs, and bread. An unlikely combo, but there is a method to my madness. really.
So you’re eating healthier to either lose weight, lose body fat, or simply feel better and to avoid future Syndrome X diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Congratulations!
My approach to this topic has been to change my diet over to the Paleo approach over the last 4 months. I’ve been fairly successful, with some caveats:
- I still cheat 1-2 days a week with snack mix and pizza
- I can’t kick red-wine. This is my end of day utopia.
For those of you now in the caveman era, two topics I want to cover tonight:
- Grain products - are they bad for you?
- Are eggs a decent source of protein, or are they massive contributors to blood serum cholesterol and you should run if you see a chicken?
Rather than build a long list of facts and opinions over here at tumblr, I thought I would point you to some existing “opinion pieces” I wrote around eggs and protein.
Along the same train of thought, I saw no need to duplicate my research and personal opinion on grain products - so you can read this article for that purpose!
Okay - so now where were we?
Organic Chicken - Part of My Diet
Hi There. I recently posted some research and perspectives [mine of course] regarding organic chicken, and why it should be part of your food choices regardless of whether you are on a paleo diet or any other type of diet. You can click through the links above to access my latest blog post on my other site!
Did You Start with the Basics for Your Fat Loss Diet?
Magic pills, weird exercise machines that slide under your bed, secret ancient herbal teas, frozen prepackaged meals delivered to your door….how many different marketing tactics do you hear every day around the best way to lose fat and regain your healthy appearance?
Your body is a finely tuned machine - the most sophisticated machine ever known to man. Yet how much time do we really spend trying to learn how to properly maintain this machine - my guess is you spend more time understanding how to maintain your car with oil changes, tire rotations, premium versus standard gas - than you do your own body.
If you have taken the first step to learn more about how to safely lose fat, congratulations (by definition if you are reading this article you have taken that step right?). However, be sure and ground yourself in the basics before jumping off the cliff in terms of joining diet programs, speaking at group therapy sessions, purchasing that infomercial exercise machine, or joining an expensive gym.
Once you know the basics, then move on to selecting a diet plan that is created and maintained by a certified nutritionist, explains the science behind the approach on eating and food selection, provides tools and techniques to make it painless to shop for groceries and prepare meals, and has years of results behind it.
Ok - on to the basics. Each of these topics should be on your list for further research - or at a minimum ensure your selected diet plan covers these and gives you the science and the guidance around each topic. If your plan doesn’t - or if decide the magic pill is what your body was designed for, then you need to take another approach for safe, healthy fat and weight loss.
Basic concepts for fat loss (and a safe, healthy weight loss approach):
- Don’t start an exercise program until you are on a solid nutritional based diet. Without the right fuel you risk doing more harm than good with exercise.
- Recognize that carbs are not your friend. Ignore the food pyramid and the standard mass media guidance to load up on “healthy grains” like whole wheat, multigrain bread, etc. Research first what your body does with modern grain based foods in terms of glucose, insulin, and other unexpected reactions to your chemistry.
- All fats are not evil. In fact, if you don’t have enough of the good fats your body needs it can be detrimental not only to your weight loss efforts, but your health in general.
- Consider Omega 3 supplements depending on your diet plan and food sources. Ifyou’re eating a lot of organic, free range, grass/vegetarian fed meats, and wild caught fish like salmon, you may be ok. Most of us, however, are not, and therefore don’t get enough Omega 3 oil which performs an amazingly large set of complex, beneficial functions in our body.
- Eat organic fuit and vegetables. Given costs, research which ones you can buy conventional versus which ones must be bought organic to minimize your intake of high levels of pesticides and other man-made chemicals.
- Eggs are your friend. Buy organic and vegetarian fed. Read More…
- Nuts should be a part of your diet - almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. However, peanuts are not your best choice from a nutritional profile perspective.
- Avoid, or worst case minimize, grain products - breads, pastas, muffins, donuts, crackers, etc.
- Focus on green leafy vegetables - and make simple substitutions like spinach in place of iceburg lettuce in a salad to maximize the intake of key nutrients.
- Don’t focus excessively on calorie counting.
This provides you with enough starting points to go research as you start your diet. Do not blindly accept testimonials and food and meal advice unless you are getting the science behind it. Some good options to continue your research can be found on this caveman diet blog entry. Shouldn’t you know at least as much about maintaining your body as you do your car?
Diet Plans and Crustaceans in a Bottle
Do you have a Crustacean on your supplement counter as part of your nutrition and weight loss diet plan? Your first thought might be “no I do not have raw shrimp in a bottle” (nor do I intend to!). Nor do I remember seeing crustaceans on the list of recommended supplements in plans like the Diet Solution Program (which would have been captured in this review)!
The crustacean I’m referring to here is the Krill - a tiny shrimp like creature that is a key part of the diet for whales, seals, and many other marine animals.
Over the last few years Krill Oil has been recognized to have significant advantages over the more traditional fish oil as a key source of Omega fatty acids. In fact, the Omega 3 in your fish oil is in the form of triglycerides, which your body has to further break down before obtaining the core benefits of an Omega 3 supplement.
Krill oil provides Omega 3 as phospholipids versus triglycerides. The other key strength of krill oil is astaxanthin, a very potent antioxidant. Phospholipids significantly increase the absorption of Omega 3 acids by your body, and it also is distributed more within your body including across the brain and eye barriers.
Krill oil should be part of your supplement strategy regardless of whether you are on a weight loss diet or not. Almost every diet to cut body fat would benefit from having this as a key supplement. Many people have reported amazing results shortly after beginning to take Krill Oil capsules.
Chicken, Beef, and Eggs?
Most people think of chicken [typically boneless, skinless chicken breasts] or lean cuts of beef such as round stead and sirloin when trying to ensure they get enough protein in their diet.
However, after my recent introduction and change to the caveman diet [aka paleo diet], one challenge I found almost right away was that it was hard to always ensure I had protein at breakfast and lunch, as typically these are at work meals, and i never seemed to have enough frozen leftovers in this category to cover both daily meals.
I latched on to the fact that eggs are an approved food on the Paleo diet, protein in an egg is very high [2 eggs equal a chicken breast in protein content - as explained in this great article], and I began buying extra cage free, vegetarian fed chicken eggs every weekend. Then on Sunday I would hard boil 6-10 eggs and stick them in the fridge.
Then (in the morning in my mad dash out the door) I could simply grab a couple to add to my lunch bag, and I’d have a healthy snack or breakfast item to eat at my desk without too much of a mess!
Funny Post on Breaking Up….
I recently posted a pretty funny spoof on breaking up a long standing relationship…with food!
Those stringy, wonderful, and easy to cook noodles. The endless varieties of sauces and meatball recipes fed my cravings for years, ever since I made friends in early childhood with something that looked like worms.
I relished the opportunity to experiment at home and when eating out, “playing the field” to experience as much joy with pasta as I could while trying to remain faithful in my relationship with Spaghetti.
You can read the entire article here!
You may also enjoy my new lens on Paleo Snacks over at squidoo!
Russell - Dad, Dieter, Amateur Caveman