Paleo discussion forums

heartsee

Do you want to find a place where you can freely discuss the paleo diet and lifestyle with other like-minded people, then try one of the following discussion forums:

Book review: Baby Boomers, Bellies and Blood Sugars by Jennifer Elliot

baby-boomers

Jennifer realised something was wrong when her daughter started gaining weight at an early age, despite a healthy diet and lifestyle. After much research she discovered her daughter had insulin resistance and was more prone to gaining weight than most people. She had followed all the recommended protocols but nothing had worked!

With over 30 years experience as a dietitian, Jennifer believes that the public is being given the wrong message by the majority of health platforms. For this reason she wrote the book Baby Boomers, Bellies & Blood Sugars to educate the public on why many people gain weight easily and the best way to manage diabetes, insulin resistance and weight gain.

Jennifer’s book describes an easy to follow low-carbohydrate eating plan. She explains how carbohydrates are converted into sugar with clear diagrams. She also dispels a number of common diet myths, including busting up the current diabetes management recommendations.

The full colour book includes a list of common questions and answers. The second half of the book features 45 low carbohydrate recipes with illustrations.

Baby Boomers, Bellies & Blood Sugars is a quick read which doesn’t get bogged down in medical terminology and biochemistry to explain the diet theory.

For more information visit http://www.babyboomersandbellies.com

Baby Boomers, Bellies & Blood Sugars is available online. RRP $29.95

Thank you WordStorm for providing a copy of the book for review. 

Starting the Sugar Free Body Blitz

Sugar Free Body Blitz

Today is the first day of my Sugar-Free Body Blitz.

Background

sugar-experts

A few years ago I read Sweet Poison and the Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie (Sweet Poison website) and was impressed by his research, but was unsure about having dextrose (glucose syrup). Then I watched Dr Robert Lustig present Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

Last year I discovered Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar
ebook (I Quit Sugar website). I recently borrowed her updated I Quit Sugar book with plenty of recipes from the library, and thought perhaps this was something I could try.

After some more research and consulting my nutrition guru Meghan Telpner, I decided to start my own version of quitting sugar. I am calling it The Sugar Free Body Blitz, because I’m doing the 12 week body blitz challenge as a way of making myself accountable. I will be tracking my weight and fitness levels. I plan on writing blog posts about my progress and sugar-free recipes as a way to keep myself motivated.

Guidelines

Aim: The type of sugar I am aiming to quit is refined sugar, because it is devoid of nutrients.

1. Instead I will allow some of the more nutrient dense sweeteners in small amounts, such as:

  • backstrap molasses
  • coconut nectar
  • maple syrup
  • palm sugar
  • raw honey (a superfood)
  • sucanat
  • Stevia

2. I will also allow one to two serves of whole fruit a day – fruit are full of health benefits, so I don’t believe in cutting them out.

3. I will not use dextrose as it is processed and I don’t believe it has any health benefits.

4. I will not use artificial sweeteners.

Week 1 – Reducing refined sugar

Rather than go cold turkey I’m going to slowly reduce my sugar intake for the first week. Today I had my morning English Breakfast tea without sugar and I didn’t really notice any difference. I cut back on my morning biscuits and threw in the bin some chocolate brownies which were sickly rich. I noticed that my raspberry yogurt has 9.7g of sugar per serving, so I’ll have to find a plain organic yogurt next week. For an afternoon snack I had some popcorn with butter and salt.

More information

To find out more about the problems with sugar watch Catalyst: Toxic Sugar? – ABC TV Science or the more scientific (and harder to understand) Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

Book review: Undiet by Meghan Telpner

UnDiet – written by Meghan Telpner is officially my new favourite book about nutrition. I have followed Meghan’s blog which (I’ll always remember it as) the once cheeky titled Making Love in the Kitchen for many years now.

I even had a few skype sessions when Meghan was an one-on-one nutritionist (sadly she no longer provides this service). Still to this day I go back to the handouts she provided me with and yes she’ll have covered whatever issue I was struggling with. I’ve tried a number of different diets over the years, but I keep going back to the guidelines which Meghan devised for me. It is the way of eating which I’ve had the most success with, and also the ‘undiet’ which makes the most sense. 

I know from first hand experience that eating real food works and is the best for our health.

Meghan Telpner Undiet

“Undiet” is colourful and beautifully designed, just like Meghan’s website. She has a way of explaining complicated nutritional topics in an easy to understand language. For example, this is a great summary of what you need to know about fats:

Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, Monounsaturated Fat: We need all three of these to remain healthy. Saturated fat gets a bad rap, but it gives structure to our cells and provides energy . What you want to avoid at all costs are trans fats, which are toxic.

I particularly liked the break down on how to read a Nutrition Panel and the meaning of food labels. Although I was disgusted to discover that “Australian came in second with ….690 kilograms…” of garbage production per person per year! Gross.

Each chapter is neatly summerised with a mantra and transitional tips to make it happen. I love Meghan’s creed:

Meghan Telpner creed

Meghan is a truly gifted wordsmith. She is a knowledgeable, trustworthy nutritionista (as she calls herself).

Highly recommended.

UnDiet: The Shiny, Happy, Vibrant, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Way to Look Better, Feel Better, and Live Better Each and Every Day! – by Meghan Telpner

Books and ebooks for GAPS and SCD

Here are a list of great resources for anyone on following GAPS or SCD.

Books

Cookbooks

Cookbooks – Others

Ebooks and online courses

Green and natural dogs

dash

When we brought home a cute dog from the RSPCA we didn’t know what we were in for! Dash’s two favourite activities are to dig holes in the dirt and chase lizards, which is not so great for our garden. Although, she does loves ripping up boxes and cardboard which we then put in the compost.

Dash was a stray so she was pretty boney when we got her, but now she has put on some weight and is the normal range. She eats very well and  is on a mostly raw diet from The Complete Pet Company. I’ve recently added in yoghurt for the probiotics and coconut oil.

We’ve tried a number of different dog training techniques, but found attending dog training classes with IntaDOGZ were just what we needed. I also liked the following books:

Other good places to buy dog stuff are:

Please do not use tennis balls with your dog, as the yellow fluffy surface is not good for their teeth and gums.

I’m hoping to buy a Doog dog walking belt for Christmas, since I’m getting a little tired of always finding dog bags or treat crumbs in my pockets!

Documentary review: Forks over Knives

The “Forks over knives” dvd has just been released overseas, and I was fortunate to receive my copy on pre-order.

The documentary examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

The main storyline traces the personal journeys of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional scientist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. Inspired by remarkable discoveries in their young careers, these men conducted several groundbreaking studies. Their separate research led them to the same startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented—and in many cases reversed—by  adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.

You may have heard of Dr Campbell from his book ‘The China Study‘.

The cameras also follow some of their patients who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes, and are taught by their doctors to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments.

Keep your eye out for this one, or over your copy over at amazon Forks over Knives.

Kefir starters

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasian Mountains near Turkey, where it was used for centuries as a healthy drink. Kefir is a probiotic – a source of beneficial bacteria and yeasts which help maintain a healthy digestive system. These include Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, and Saccharomyces kefir.

It is best to introduce homemade kefir after homemade yogurt, when healing of the gut wall has taken place.

Kefir starters are available from your local health food store, although it is best to ring and check they have some in stock first. They are sold as ‘grains’, even though they are not a grain. Alternatively, in Australia you can order direct:

If you are overseas look for:

If you don’t want to make your own kefir, you may like to try Babushkas Kefir which comes in plain, strawberry and honey.

Yogurt starters and yogurt makers

You can make home-made yogurt with goat, sheep or cows milk and select your own live cultures for fermentation. It is also possible to make yogurt from coconuts, soy and nut milks. Yogurt needs to incubate for 24 hours or more so that the fermenting bacteria consumes all of the lactose and is therefore easier to digest.

There are two ways to start off making yoghurt at home. The first way is to use a store bought yogurt and the second is a yogurt starter.

Yogurt

This yogurt is suitable for your first batch:

  • Farmers Union Greek style natural yogurt (contains bifidus)

Yogurt starters

Yoghurt starter contains cultures of bacteria that are used to inoculate the milk and begin the fermentation. The bacteria to look for in a yoghurt starters are:

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (optional)

Here are some of the safe yogurt starters available in Australia:

Here are some of the safe yogurt starters available overseas:

Yogurt makers

Your yoghurt maker needs to be designed to maintain the ideal temperature for making SCD and GAPS yoghurt. It also needs to be able to ferment for 24 hours. There are two suitable yogurt maker available in Australia:

Some people use their dehydrator to make yogurt.

If you are overseas look out for the Yogourmet electric yogurt maker (available from Amazon with starters, or Lucy’s Kitchen Shop).

Note: If you are following the SCD, then it is sometimes recommended to avoid the Bifidus strain as it may cause a strong die-off reaction.

Basic healing stock

healing-stock

Here’s my basic healing stock recipe (aka bone broth). I’ve keep the list of ingredients simple so that if you are on an elimination diet you can add or subtract as needed. It’s best to prepare this recipe when you are going to be home all day. The longer you simmer the bones the more nutritious your end result will be.

Meat stock aids digestion and has been know for centuries as a healing folk remedy for the digestive tract. Also homemade meat stock is extremely nourishing; it is full of minerals, vitamins, amino-acids and various other nutrients in a very bio-available form.
– Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

It is also best to use organic bones as they will have more nutrients. The best bones to use are soup, shank, ribs, marrow, oxtail or knuckle bones. If you are using organic carrots you can leave them unpeeled as most of the nutrients are in the skin, otherwise peel them.

If you are going to be making a few batches of stock in the coming weeks and want to save time later, you can cut up all of the vegetables (carrots, celery and parsley) and put them in zip lock bags to freeze for when you have some more bones ready.

Basic healing stock recipe

chicken carcass; or bones (with marrow preferred)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 celery stalks, including the leaves
2 carrots
parsley
Celtic sea salt

  1. Add the bones to the pot and cover with water. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help get maximum nutrients out of the bones.
  2. Cut up the celery stalks, carrot and parsley finely and then add them to the pot. Add a teaspoon a sea salt.
  3. Simmer with lid on for at least 4 hours, but preferably 8 hours or more.
  4. Skim off any scum from the top using a spoon. Top up with water as required.
  5. When finished, allow the stock to cool and then pour stock through a strainer and transfer to storage. You can also use cheese cloth or chux wipes to strain the stock. Pick off any meat to eat later. Discard the bones.
  6. If you want to remove the fat when you are finished cool the stock down and then place in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will rise to the top and you will be able to remove the solidified layer with a spoon. When often strain the mixture a second time in the morning. If your stock has jellied it is rich in gelatin.

The stock will keep for at least a week in the fridge or can be frozen in zip-lock bags.

Other optional ingredients to add:

2 tbsps thyme
pepper
4 cloves of garlic (if not fructose intolerant)
1-2 onions or leeks (if not fructose intolerant)
cabbage (if not raffinose intolerant)