Archive for the ‘Paleo’ Category

 

It’s been awhile.  The last month or so I’ve been doing some research on various topics.  Today, I’d like to share some information on Dairy and help you determine whether or not you should include it in your nutritional game plan.  So, I’ve been sticking with this Paleo diet a little over 2 months now and I’m seeing amazing results.  Not only am I more energized, I’m sleeping better, my joints don’t ache, and my acid reflux is non-existent.  Just a basic rundown of the Paleo diet:

  • No starches of any kind including bread, pasta, grains, and everything else that is processed in a box.
  • No dairy. Milk products and all things included from yogurts to cheeses. Eggs are allowed.
  • No legumes. This one I didn’t understand because of their great balance between protein and carbohydrate.
  • What do I eat? Well, all protein sources from lean animal meat preferably organic or grass-fed.  These items include lean beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Also, wild-caught fish as fresh as possible.  Fruits and veggies with limited amounts nuts and seeds.

Being dairy free I believe is the reason for most of the change.  In the past few months, two of my clients both went on different diet plans, one Vegan and the other Paleo from above.  The common denominator with both is the No-dairy approach.  The two had their cholesterol tested pre and post diet.  The results were amazing.  One decreased their total cholesterol by 60 points.  The other increased their good cholesterol by 30 points.  Unbelievable numbers!

We are the only mammal that drinks milk beyond infancy.  In 2001 the average child consumed 104 quarts of cow’s milk.  The milk myth has spread around the world based on the flawed belief that this protein and calcium-rich drink is essential to support good overall health and bone health in particular at any age.  It is easy to understand that the confusion about milk’s imaginary benefits stems from the fact that it contains calcium – around 300 mg per cup.

But many scientific studies have shown the detrimental health effects directly linked to milk consumption. And the most surprising link is that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. What an irony this is!

Here’s how it happens.  Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones.  So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk.  Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.  Research statistics show that the countries with the lowest consumption of milk have the least amount of fractures in their population.

I’m not even going to get into the way our milk is produced in this country.  Hormone and antibiotic injections along with the genetically modified feed the cattle gorge.  That’s a whole other ball of wax.  Check out the following reasons why you should stop eating dairy:

1. Cow’s milk is intended for baby cows.  We’re the only species (other than those we are domesticating) that drinks milk after infancy.  And, we’re definitely the only ones drinking the milk of a different species.

2.  Hormones. Not only are the naturally-present hormones in cow’s milk stronger than human hormones, the animals are routinely given steroids and other hormones to plump them up and increase milk production.  These hormones can negatively impact humans’ delicate hormonal balance.

3.  Most cows are fed inappropriate food.  Commercial feed for cows contains all sorts of ingredients that include:  genetically-modified (GM) corn, GM soy, animal products, chicken manure, cottonseed, pesticides, and antibiotics.  And, think about all the pesticides that are sprayed on the feed for the cattle. Very toxic!

4.  Dairy products, when metabolized, are acid-forming.  Our bodies are constantly striving for biochemical balance to keep our blood at 7.365 pH.  Eating excessive acid-forming products can cause our bodies to overuse some of its acid-balancing mechanisms, one of which is the bones.  Alkaline calcium is stored in the bones and released to combat excessive acidity in the body.  Over time, bones can become fragile.

5.  Research shows that the countries whose citizens consume the most dairy products have the HIGHEST incidence of osteoporosis.

6.  Most dairy cows live in confined, inhumane conditions, never seeing the pastures of green grass they were intended to eat.

7. Most dairy products are pasteurized to kill potentially-harmful bacteria.  During the pasteurization process, vitamins, proteins, and enzymes are destroyed.  Enzymes assist with the digestion process.  When they are destroyed through pasteurization, milk becomes harder to digest, therefore putting a strain on our bodies’ enzyme systems.

8.  Dairy products are mucous-forming. They can contribute to respiratory disorders.  When I remove dairy and sugar from the diets of my clients, they stop experiencing hay fever and seasonal allergies.

9.  Research links dairy products with arthritis. In one study on rabbits, scientist Richard Panush was able to PRODUCE inflamed joints in the animals by switching their water to milk.  In another study, scientists observed more than a 50% reduction in the pain and swelling of arthritis when participants eliminated milk and dairy products from their diet.

10  Most milk is homogenized, which denatures the milk’s proteins, making it harder to digest.  Many peoples’ bodies react to these proteins as though they are “foreign invaders” causing their immune systems to overreact.  Research also links homogenized milk to heart disease.

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Last week, I discussed some of the basics regarding the Paleo lifetstyle and nutrition program.  Today, I wanted to give you ammunition so you can incorporate some of the foods into your own daily eating regimen.  Below is a Paleo grocery list and then, some sample meal plans.  Challenge yourself to make some positive changes by eliminating simple sugars and processed carbohydrates while increasing vegetable intake, quality protein, and healthy fats. Here goes:

Grocery List (Paleo style/Caveman Strong!)

 PALEO FOOD LIST

Produce Department

  • Focus on the crops that are in season in order to get the best prices and nutrient content.
  • Choose organic when/if possible and if your bank account allows.
  • Stock up on what’s on sale – many vegetables can be frozen for later use!
  • Purchase spinach, salad blends, pre-cut vegetables, etc. if convenience and minimal prep time are important.
  • Fill your cart with color!

Vegetables
Get Lots!!

  • Great choices include: spinach, greens, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes (for post workout meals), mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, avocado… (Avoid the nightshades if you have autoimmune issues.)

Fruit
Don’t go crazy here! Fit fruit into your diet primarily in the post workout period.

  • Great choices include: Berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, grapefruit, oranges, plums, apples, bananas

Meat Department
Go for grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, and free range poultry if it’s available and within your budget. If choosing farm raised meats opt for leaner cuts, if grass fed the fat is good!! Remember, look for the yellowish/orange color and limit the purchase of the meat with the whiter type of fat.

Meat

  • Beef, bison, venison, wild game, pork – they’re all good! Sirloin, tenderloin, flank, and strip steaks are the leanest choices.
  • Poultry – When choosing poultry, the breast and thigh portions will yield the most meat and from a food to $$ ratio are the best bets! There are also many ‘natural’ sausage options available in large supermarkets – chicken apple sausage is wonderful!!

Fish & Seafood

  • -Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish are the best choices due to their high Omega-3 fatty acid content. Oysters are a great source of Omega-3 and they tend to have an aphrodisiac effect as well. For variety cod, perch, tilapia, mahi, scallops, shrimp, etc. are good choices too.

Dairy Department

  • Don’t spend too much time here!! Look for the eggs. Omega-3 fortified eggs from free-range chickens are the optimal choice!

Aisles
Many times this is where people get in trouble! So many pretty packages with pictures of cookies, crackers, snacks, etc. AVOID aisles of temptation!!

  • Next stop – oils. Coconut oil and olive oil are must haves. Avocado and walnut oils are also very good on salads.  You can go with canola but the previously mentioned are the best for you.
  • Coconut milk (the kind in a can with no sugar added), in post workout smoothies, and as an alternative to creamer if you’re a coffee drinker. Get some!
  • Nuts and nut butters are also good to have around for quick snacks and in a pinch. Walnuts and macadamia nuts are the best choices and almond butter is EXCELLENT! When choosing nut butters make sure there are no added ingredients (sugar and hydrogenated oils). Also, purchase unsalted nuts.

Breakfast (7-8am)

 Protein Choices: Choose One

1 organic egg + 3 whites

2-3 whole organic eggs

3 slices nitrate/nitrite free turkey (boars head), beef or pork bacon

2-3 oz lean beef, poultry, pork, or fresh fish

Vegetable Choices: Choose One

1 cup cooked broccoli

1 cup cooked cauliflower

1 cup sautéed spinach

1 cup steamed asparagus

Fruit Choices: Choose One

1 apple

1 pear

1/2 medium banana

1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries (or combination of both)

Lunch (1-2pm) and Dinner (6-7pm)

 Protein Choices: Choose One

3-5 ounces chicken (dark or white meat)

3-5 ounces turkey (dark or white meat)

3-5 ounces fish (tuna only 1 time per week)

3-4 ounces beef (lean varieties, bison or laura’s lean of at least 93% lean, or grass-fed beef)

Over a salad that is made up of any of the following:

All lettuce except for Iceberg (It has no nutritional value)

Celery, Peppers, Cucumbers, Tomatoes

Vegetable Choices: Choose One

1 cup cooked broccoli

1 cup cooked cauliflower

1 cup sautéed spinach

1 cup steamed asparagus

Dressing:

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Spices (salt, pepper, Italian Seasonings, to taste)

Snack #1 (10-11am) and Snack #2 (3-4pm)

 Protein Choices: Choose One

2 TBSP Natural, Raw Almond Butter

1 oz Raw Almonds

1 oz Raw Walnuts

1 oz Raw Pumpkin Seeds

1 oz Raw Sunflower Seeds

2 hard boiled eggs

2-3 oz sliced turkey breast or chicken breast

Vegetable Choices: Choose One

Celery Sticks

6-7 Baby Carrots

1/2 sliced red, yellow, or green pepper

1 cup broccoli or cauliflower

 

Fruit Choices: Choose One

1 apple

1 cup strawberries

1 cup blueberries