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Healing with food for life!


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PHO & Now GMO

I took my daughter food shopping with me during her childhood and I taught her how to read labels.  I saw this as an important way to keep her safe and healthy all her life.  It’s a mom thing!  (She’s now in her early 20′s, eating whatever she wants, and seems to have forgotten what she learned about this eating healthy, but I’m sure that it will come back to her, eventually…let us pray!)

We started out by looking for the quantity of fat and salt always listed on the label, and she became very sharp in looking for this information, especially on cans.  I told her why we believed that all fat was bad for us, since I was always watching my cholesterol, and because I knew that salt could complicate high blood pressure, which runs in my family.

In her teens we also began to take close notice of another bad element in most of our packaged foods – partially hydrogenated oils.  These oils were engineered to allow for longer shelf life of the food products and have nothing to do with nutritional value.  When we learned it was in our favorite microwave popcorn we knew we had another thing to watch out for in our work of reading of labels.

Ironically, as we liked to abbreviate things, we started referring to this new foe as “pho” and were on constant lookout for it while shopping.  If it had “pho” in it we usually didn’t buy it which was really tough sometimes because “pho” seemed to be making its way throughout the grocery store and into almost every food category outside of the produce section – even frozen foods!  Isn’t freezing the food enough of a preservative?

For years, we’ve been reading and hearing more about GMOs and these are much more sneaky issues.  Why?  Because the companies that modify the genetics of what the agriculture industry produces are making lots of money on these engineered foods and spend that money keeping our lawmakers from holding them accountable for what they are selling as FOOD.  You’ve heard of the M@#*$nto Protection Act, yes?  So far, only one State in the USA requires labeling to tell the consumer if the product they are buying is GMO.

So, rather than relying on labels to tell us what genetic nonsense has been put into the food we buy, we can read the current research that talks about pesticides engineered into the corn & soy seeds intended to kill the pests that chew on the plants (as well as the bees that are meant to pollinate them) and the human diseases caused by this engineering once humans eat the products made with these plants.  Did you know that the farm raised fish you buy is also a product of GMO?  Just like any other GMO livestock, it’s about growing them bigger-faster-cheaper, and not about the nutritional value to humans.  During a recent spell of reading and research, I came across several good webpages and I’ll share them here with you.

I feel a little safer in shopping for mostly organic, free-range and grass fed, but I realize there are no guarantees.  Eating whole foods, as nature made them, and avoiding all grain products is the best way to void eating the engineered and processed foods that are so not healthy for us.  We can vote against GMOs in the market where we buy our foods.  We can keep ourselves safe and healthy by reading the labels and reading information from sources we trust.  Please let me know if you have webpages to share – I love making new discoveries!

http://www.producer.com/2013/02/time-to-fess-up-organics-have-gmos/

This is a 7 minute video that’s informative:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50148422n

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/business/food-companies-seeking-ingredients-that-arent-gene-altered.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/Judge-There-is-a-gaping-hole-in-the-current-regulatory-landscape-for-natural-claims-and-GMOs/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&c=ygEptU9e6c29c0ZCD8TW2w%3D%3D

http://www.nongmoproject.org/

NoGMOsChart

Just Say NO to GMO – Go Paleo!!

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Happy Monday!

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My Physical, My Results, My Joy!

This is the moment when one knows that the effort and discipline was worth it.  It is what one hopes for when launching off into a big change or makeover in a key component of one’s life and health.  This is WHY we do it.

My physical was on Wednesday and my doctor’s office called me to give me the results of my blood work, and the nurse sounded nearly as positive as I was when I heard what she had to say.

My genetic design has had me looking at high triglycerides and cholesterol, and bad liver enzyme numbers for many years.  I once joked with my parents that they should have stirred the genetic pot a little better before they made me – over my lifetime, I’ve developed many of the same physical and medical issues that challenged my mother and still do my father.

Well!  I am delighted to tell you that going Paleo has changed all of these numbers, and I asked my doctor’s nurse to send this information to me in the mail, I might even frame it.

My good cholesterol (HDL) is up, bad cholesterol (LDL) is way down, my triglycerides are much lower and my liver enzymes are nearly normal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is after adding more meat, fish and eggs to my diet and eating nuts and butter with wild abandon.  I haven’t had bread or cereal, potatoes or pasta, and or anything sugary since January and do not miss it.

At my age, I’m kind of proud that I don’t take any medication and now I have locked that in, made sure that will be the case for my future.  No drug company is making money on me!  *wicked laugh*

And this is after being Paleo for only 3 months.  ARE YOU READY TO GIVE IT A TRY?

Oh, and the doctor’s scale showed that I lost 9 pounds.  I’m still working on this number a bit more.

If  you want to know what book I used as my guide for this super diet for life, leave a comment and I’ll tell you.

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.Have a great weekend!

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Good Links, Me Thinks

Sharing the links…

Since starting the paleo diet I have done a lot of research and feel that what happens to our food before it lands on our supermarket shelves is very disturbing, frightening.

I have also learned about how food heals and how it hurts our bodies.

I thought you might appreciate a few links to some of what I’ve found, both GOOD and BAD.  So, visit the links below and let me know what you think about it.

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/18-foods-that-fight-common-ailments/

http://om-paramapoonya.hubpages.com/hub/make-food-coloring

http://www.ivillage.com/15-food-swaps-could-save-your-life/4-b-396477

http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/avocado-health-benefits#ixzz2JQenFdTv

And another thing:  We are loosing our bee populations to agricultural chemicals, and we see a rapid increase in diseases we don’t know how to cure, like ALS. Profit seeking has fostered GMO and toxin proliferation in all of our country’s food industry – what do you think?

http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-protection-act-corporations-power-us-government/

If you ever wonder why ‘food’ companies spend so much money on anti-GMO labeling initiatives? This is a good illustration.

http://www.naturalnews.com/020148_food_labels_grocery_warning.html

I’ll try to be more creative in my next posting…

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Remember – I can’t vouch for any ads that appear below this text.  Happy Day!

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Coconut Milk is My Latest Discovery – Hire or Fire?

Coconut – love it or hate it?

My whole life I have LOVED coconut.  In chocolates, in ambrosia, toasted (I mixed it in my butterscotch pudding pie), in macaroons, in Asian food, even mixed into my favorite flavored decaf coffee.  I’m lucky to have married someone who also loves coconut as much as I do.

So when I discovered it to be thought of as a beneficial part of a paleo diet I decided all was right with the world.  Then I decided I’d better do some research to make sure that I wasn’t going to mess up a good thing by adding it to my (thus far) successful new way of eating.  I’d rather not overwhelm you or myself but swinging back and forth with all the pros and cons one finds on the web, and will share information from only three of the websites I’ve read this morning.

I’m sure the food industry in this country would rather we keep eating the food they have produced for decades, and have had my suspicions confirmed by the extremely limited research and tiny test group results reported in all the information I found on the web today.  One report says the research was conducted using partially hydrogenated coconut oil – what??  Unless you’ve been in a coma this century you know that partially hydrogenated oils are the worst, most unhealthy oils you can put in your mouth.  Talk about skewing your results on purpose.  Also, there isn’t much recent data available – the sites I share with you below were written within the past 4 years.

What I understand, at this point, is that the coconut milk, made from processing the meat of the coconut to extract the oils which are then mixed with water, has a significant amount of saturated fat, specifically medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that help contribute to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in our blood.  HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol and helps to balance out the bad LDL (I find that saying the first L stands for Lousy helps me remember which is the good & bad).  Some research is also finding that MCFA can have a positive influence on our metabolism.  With obesity holding epidemic status in this country, it is a shame that there aren’t more deep pockets focused on getting the facts about how we could turn our health around with the foods we buy.

Another interesting bit of info I picked up today deals with medium-chain triglycerides connected with coconut milk.  This one relates to sugar and how your body processes it.  My triglyceride numbers have been unacceptable since my mid-20′s but not one of my doctors provided guidelines specific to this issue.  I would think by now there would be more light shed on this condition and I’ve just added it to my personal research list.

Meanwhile, here are links to the three sites I mentioned, and I share these FYI.  I hope you might have some enlightening sources you will share with me, as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_milk

Excerpt:

One of the most prominent components of coconut milk is coconut oil, which the United States Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, International College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, British National Health Service, and Dietitians of Canada recommend against consuming in significant amounts due to its high levels of saturated fat.

Coconut milk contains a large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol that is also found in significant amounts in breast milk and sebaceous gland secretions. This may create a more favorable blood cholesterol profile, though it is unclear if coconut oil may promote atherosclerosis through other pathways. Because much of the saturated fat of coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, coconut oil may be a better alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when solid fats are required. In addition, virgin coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain triglycerides, which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats.  Early studies on the health effects of coconut oil used partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which creates trans fats, and not virgin coconut oil, which has a different health risk profile.

Coconut milk is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which the body processes differently than other saturated fats. MCFAs may help promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.

This article from the Los Angeles Times tells us that the jury is still out about the benefits of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) but you should not buy coconut milk in cans and that MCFAs may boost our metabolic rate:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/22/health/la-he-0322-nutrition-lab-20100322

This last link is to a site written by a doctor who deals with nutritional influence on health and illness and I may sign up for his newsletter:

http://chriskresser.com/3-reasons-why-coconut-milk-may-not-be-your-friend

I still plan to keep a half-gallon carton of coconut milk in my fridge for the variety is offers and I love the taste.  I will use it in moderation and also ask my doctor to recommend a nutritional expert he feels can address some of my questions with up-to-the minute research data.  I’ll get back to you on this one – promise!

Cheers!

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Pamela’s Progress & Pancakes

In a previous posting I stated my determination for find a pancake that could truly be called paleo – and I did.  At the end of this post I will paste it in for you to try.  Surprisingly satisfying.  I found agave syrup with natural maple flavoring which I pour on sparingly.  My Sunday morning routine has been saved!

I have been on the Paleo Diet for approximately three weeks and I’ve lost about 8 pounds and I’m seeing that post-menopausal layer on my tummy slowly melt away.  There are some things I really miss and will re-evaluate and adjust my diet and exercise regime after 60 days.  Getting more sleep as a goal of Paleo is a plus!!

I did have a BIT of a slip last evening while enjoying a Girls’ Night Out dinner with gal pals.  I have a major weakness for tortilla chips and salsa.  On Paleo, salsa good, corn chips bad…and I could feel it this morning.  While I did get my 8 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling sluggish and with the tiniest of headaches.  No, there were no margarita’s involved in last night’s dinner.  So, I’m thinking it had to be the corn chips.  My fajita salad was sans cheese with a vinegar based dressing (fork-dipping only).  So, what to do about this?  Anyone have a suggestion?

I’ve gotten pretty creative with eggs, as I eat them at least 5 days a week for breakfast.  My supply of leafy greens is always reassuring that I’m not only eating well but I know my gut is function in it’s regular mode, if you get my meaning.  Hubby loves the huge grass-fed beef hamburgers once or twice a week, and we both love the frozen wild-caught salmon patties found at a favorite big box.  And I recently discovered blood orange juice, fresh squeezed is so delish!

Just now, while enjoying a session of Stumble-ing along, I came across this blog which puts the talking point of paleo in a nutshell – take a look:

The Paleo Diet Infographic

 

Ok, here is the pancake recipe I promised – hope you like them as much as I do:

2 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup nut butter (Not peanut butter!  Use cashew, macadamia or my fav, almond)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

coconut oil

Mil all ingredients except coconut oil in a bowl.  Mix well into uniform batter.  Put a tablespoon of coconut oil on skillet and warm it.  Spread some of the batter onto the skillet to form a pancake and cook over low/medium heat.  Flip after 2 minutes, being careful not to burn them.

This recipe makes enough for me to have some left over for another morning.  8-D

I top mine with agave syrup.  Put some crispy bacon behind that with some fresh squeezed OJ and a hefty dollop of unsweetened applesauce on the side, and your taste buds and tummy will thank you.

And remember, friends – I don’t endorse any ads that may appear at the bottom of my pages!

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Paleo Diet First Week Survival Stats

Day 7 of eating Paleo and I’m delighted that there is no reference in the book to counting calories or measuring servings.  Common sense and feeling a bit too full will guide you well, every time.  Trust me, I love salads and sauteed cabbage but I learned on day one that’s no reason to oink out on them.  I haven’t eaten this much animal protein in a long time but it has been nice to eat a burger guilt-free!  Make that a grass-fed beef burger sans bun, pickle, mustard or cheese. I can still have the onion, grilled lightly in butter first, thank you.

Truth be told, I’ve been going bun-less for the past year or two – they’re so white and airy and tasteless most of the time anyway.  What I really like (wicked grin spreading cross my face) is a thick slice of sourdough bread toasted to a nice tan and spread moderately with butter that melts right in…sigh (eyes rolling).  Yeah, really missing my morning toasts and coffee this week.  Bread was one thing I researched this summer when a colleague talked to me about what she called “wheat belly” and now that I am working on understanding the benefits of Paleo I find the information about grain consumption to be similar, and it’s beginning to make sense to me, now.

The idea, as expressed in the book is to go for 30 days consuming animal protein – eggs, beef, pork, poultry, and fish, along with tree nuts, seeds, leafy and green veggies, and fruit.  Also for this first 30 days I am to not have any caffeine, grains, legumes, sugar, starches, and dairy.  The goal is to clear out the body’s systems of those dietary culprits that contribute to altering or harming the natural condition. 

You may say “where are your carbs, where’s your fiber?”  and that’s a very good question considering these two words have been used everywhere and whenever someone wants to tell us what we need to do to eat healthy and stay healthy.  Turns out these dietary components have been part of the problem when not consumed properly, like overeating.  I’m only now starting to understand why some folks prefer to be gluten-free.  So, for the 30 day start-up phase, we do our best to go without them to help put the body’s systems back to its natural state, to settle the inflammation and distress that an improper diet can cause internally.

Obviously, with this much protein running through the pipes regular low-impact exercise is another focus for the first 30 days.  My 13-year-old Pomeranian, Frankie is delighted to get out for a walk with me every day and he is a very good walking companion if I keep him headed down the middle of the road and not zigging to this lamp post and zagging to that tree.  He starts out at a happy little trot and I keep up which gives me a good brisk walk for about 20 minutes.  Neither of us have had this much walking up to now, so I wanted to start out easy – this coming week I’ll add 10 minutes to the walk and continue to do so the following week, as well.  I’d like to do a 40 minute walk each day until the weather is warmer.  I know I feel revitalized after our walk and Frankie has a big drink of water and a nap.  See adorable photo below.

What I love about using this new diet:  butter, bacon, burgers, greater focus on vegetable varieties, and discovering the friendly folks at the farmers market where I buy my meat and veggies.  I was delighted to find decent organic choices at a local big box store, too!  Who knew?

What I miss:  coffee, chocolate, toast, pasta, “bakie tatties” as I happily refer to them, pancakes, pumpkin corn chips, bananas, my fruit teas* and prepared salad dressings.  Okay, I’ll try not to whine again, I promise.

By the way, I know that I keep referring to “the book” and if you want to know what book I’m working with please contact me.  I don’t want to promote one book over all the others out there promoting this new lifeway since I haven’t had a chance to read them all.  The book I use was recommended to me by someone I trust and that’s good enough for me.

Well, I hope you had a good weekend and you’re ready to start the work week…unless you work for someone who observes MLK Day and if so, sleep in!  You be so Paleo!

*I read the ingredient lists on the boxes of my favorite fruit tea bags and found that they contain soy lecithin  Since soy is part of the legume family, it is off this menu for the time being, and maybe later on but I need to research this particular element and I’ll let you know what I learn in another blog.  Meanwhile, do let me know what you think while learning and working this diet.    Cheers!

NOTE – I don’t endorse any ads that may appear at the bottom of my pages – FYI

2012-02-12 10.43.04

 

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Must Read, Must Shop – It All Starts Tomorrow…

There’s pink highlighter every where and I’m not going to be able to finish the chapters of the book that come before the meal plans needed for my first day on this diet.  So, I’ve decided that in the morning I’m going to skip ahead to the meal plans, make a list and go shopping for what I need for a week of meals.  I promise I will go back to read where I left off tomorrow.

Yesterday I visited a winter (read indoor) farmers’ market, talked to several knowledgeable and enthusiastic people about paleo, and felt like I knew the right questions to ask about the meats, eggs and greens on their sale tables.  I was fortunate to talk to a lovely woman early on and bought meat from her.  From looking over her price lists I realized, as I moved on through the market and other vendors, that her prices were the best and I will look for her again next week.

I also came home with some interesting greens.  Amaranth/Amaranthus retroflexus (also called pigweed) which carries an impressive list of nutrients but the leaves contain oxalic acid, of which oxalate is the conjugate base.  I had a long phase of kidney stones in my 40′s and their composition was over 40% oxalate.   I’ll pass these leaves on to hubby for his salad.

I also picked up Perilla, a member of the mint family and from what I have read today, it may serve better as a garnish or salad topper.  It has an interesting flavor which is why I bought it.   It is a lovely shade of reddish purple and from what I’ve read,  both of these greens plants would be easy to grow in the garden – FYI.

As my last night before the official launch of Pamela living On the diet of Paleo,  I am going to have a baked red potato with butter and some turkey roasted yesterday, along with a glass of my favorite red wine.  I’m thinking that should help me sleep VERY well this evening.

At this point I thought of typing “Geronimo!” as I “jump” into an unknown way of life…and then thought I should find out why we exclaim his name, and use such an expression for what I always viewed as a leap of faith.  So, I looked it up and I understood better than I had assumed:

During the World War II, Native American paratroopers began the custom of shouting the name of the great Indian chief Geronimo when jumping from a plane.

They did this because, according to legend, when cornered at a cliff’s edge by U.S. cavalrymen, Geronimo, in defiance, screamed his own name as he leaped to certain death, only to escape both injury and the bluecoats.

Cowabunga, Cavebuddy! (slang, an expression of surprise or amazement)

;-D

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