Great free guides to help you figure out why the Paleo diet may not be working for you by Robb Wolf.
Great free guides to help you figure out why the Paleo diet may not be working for you by Robb Wolf.
Challengers: How’s it going now that we are in Week 4? You are already halfway through the challenge…Believe it! Leave a comment in the forum this week sharing how you feel, what challenges you are still facing, what successes have you seen — Let the group know they aren’t alone in this…
Let’s talk about the Kitchen and cooking! Before this challenge, you may have been a ninja in preparing foods. Notice I didn’t say creating or mastering the kitchen. I hope that this challenge will help you expand your culinary skills so that when it’s over we can call you a true Ninja in the Kitchen, earning your black belt.
You can’t earn a black belt without having Confidence! There is no greater tool that a chef has in the kitchen than knowing they know how. Not knowing how can stop you from doing a lot of things. Being comfortable with not knowing opens door after door after door.
More than having a stockpile of recipes, mastering the basics, being able to handle ingredients, knowing what tastes good with what, how long things take, what food should sound like, smell like and look like when it is cooking are the secrets to mastering the kitchen.
How do you get there? Practice. And getting comfortable with the not knowing. Innovate and Experiment! Use cookbooks to get started, practice recipes you like, get in the kitchen several times a week, even daily! You have to be willing to make mistakes.
There are so many websites out there that offer ideas, videos and full on recipes to help you learn your way. Here are a few of my favorites – feel free to share yours!
Here’s a recipe to try this week: Paleo Butter Chicken
2 1/2# boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Chicken thighs (dark meat), more than breasts are suited for longer, slower cooking or braising. They retain their moisture as they become tender. Breasts (white meat) tend to dry out the longer you cook them
3 T coconut oil
Coconut oil is a good high heat oil. It has a high “smoke point.” That means it won’t burn at the temperatures that are required to brown meat. It is also used to add flavor while cooking. While butter is a tasty cooking medium at lower heats, the milk solids burn quickly. For a high heat butter, use clarified butter or ghee.
1 T red onion, diced
“Dicing” food is to cut it specifically into 1/4″ squares. The larger the pieces are, the longer they will take to cook.
2 cloves garlic, minced
“Mincing” is cutting your food into the smallest possible pieces, but short of pureeing. One thing to be careful about with garlic — the more you work it the “hotter” or spicier it gets. So be cautious about putting it into a food processor or Magic Bullet.
1/2 t cardamom powder
1/2 t coriander powder
Coriander is the dried fruit of the coriander plant. Fresh coriander, or the leaves of the plant, you know as cilantro. They are very different.
1 t fenugreek powder
1 t chili powder
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
If you don’t have it you can use 2-3x amount of tomato puree and either reduce it to the desired amount in a pan, or reduce the liquid in your recipe by the amount of puree you use.
1/2 can coconut milk
1 t sea salt
All salts are not created equal! They have different levels of “saltiness” by volume. Morton’s Kosher salt and Diamond Kosher salt are different (Morton’s is saltier by volume) and sea salt can be very salty. Be careful when subsituting one salt for another.
4 T ghee or organic butter
1# red chard, chopped, stems removed, steamed
1. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and set aside [Bite-size is up to you]
2. In a large skillet or soup pot, heat the coconut oil over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and saute until translucent. [This is different than a recipe where you would want to brown the onions. Browning adds another level of flavor. In a lot of Indian food, onions aren't browned.]
3. Turn the heat down to low. To the onion, add the minced garlic, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder and stir well to make a paste. [Lower heat for garlic and spices are important, as they both burn easily. Once garlic burns it tastes very bitter. The larger the piece of garlic, though, the more freedom you have to get some color. Whole cloves can be sauteed until golden.]
4. Add the tomato paste to the onions and spices and stir — the mixture will be very thick.
5. Turn the heat back up to a medium heat and add the coconut milk and salt. Use a whisk to blend the tomato paste mixture and coconut milk together into a thick sauce.
6. Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the chicken. Stir well, turn down to a medium low, cover, and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the chicken is done all the way through — stir occasionally during the cooking process. [This will help, especially with a thick sauce, to keep the mixture from burning on the bottom of the pot]
7. After the chicken is cooked, add the ghee or butter and mix into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken over the steamed red chard.
As a die-hard Paleo endurance athlete, I have a real problem with the idea that almost all the pre-race day dinners hosted at races are largely, if not entirely, focused on pasta and bread!
It’s so unfortunate to think of how many athletes have their races sabotaged, or at least compromised, not only by consuming too many carbohydrates, but the wrong type of carbohydrates.
One in 133 people have a mild to severe reaction to eating gluten. Even if you’ve been to your doctor and have tested negative for celiac disease, don’t assume you should carry on eating wheat, barley, rye, and all their derivative products.
For some, the result is mild to moderate GI distress, including leaky gut syndrome or misdiagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, but it doesn’t stop there. Gluten affects the whole body and side effects can also include acne, joint pain, not recovering well from workouts, chronic fatigue, and exacerbation of autoimmune conditions.
Some studies show it’s just a matter of time, and that many people can reach a tipping point at any moment in their lives at which they simply cannot ingest this toxin any longer. People can have a latent allergy to gluten, myself included. At age 28, I found my tipping point. One can eat gluten-based products for their entire life and then, sometimes as a result of infection, trauma or stress, the body simply says, “I’ve had enough.”
So, just go gluten free? Not exactly. Some of the negative properties found in gluten are found in ALL grains. They all contain “anti-nutrients” which prevent the body from properly absorbing all of the nutrition from healthy fruits, veggies and meats that we’re eating.
Where does that leave the endurance athlete trying to follow a Paleo diet, given that many of the sports nutrition products on the market are grain-based? How does one “carbo-load” for a long training session or a race?
After 10 years of racing Ironman, the last six which have been Paleo (and have included four trips to Kona), I can tell you from personal experience that Paleo living absolutely supports endurance training and racing.
I have the same meal for dinner the night before every race, and the same breakfast before the gun goes off on race day.
The night before, dinner is always roasted chicken breast, steamed broccoli or spinach, and yams drizzled with olive oil.
The morning of, usually around 4 a.m. (since Ironman age group athletes start at 7 a.m.), breakfast is my signature smoothie: 8 oz brewed, chilled green tea, 1 large banana, 1 tablespoon raw almond butter, 1 scoop of plain egg white protein powder, and some more yam, salted.
I cannot remember the last time I had GI issues in a race. This coming from someone who was constantly sidelined by unexpected stops in the port-a-loo in literally every race I did, back in the days when I would rely on spaghetti dinners the night before and a bagel with peanut butter on race morning.
How do you tell if you’ve got mild to severe issues with gluten?
A visit to your doctor is one method, but even if you see your physician and he or she tells you that the results of your celiac test were negative, you will still be better off not eating grains.
I encourage you to be your own investigator. To start, cut out grains and all related products for 4-6 weeks and see if you feel better. Then, do yourself a favor and give Paleo a shot. Cut out acid-forming dairy and anti-nutrient containing legumes (including soy and peanuts) and you won’t believe how fantastic you feel, even if you’re coming from a place of feeling great to begin with!
If you’re looking for more info on the Paleo lifestyle, check out the following related articles:
Can an endurance athlete be successful eating a paleo diet? I hear this question all of the time and I was actually the one asking it a few years ago. Does it work? Yep. How do I know? I tried it and actually won a marathon eating paleo. My experience completely changed my life – it was then that I truly decided paleo was legit. It’s been a little over two years for me now; and fortunately in that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with and prove to many elite and highly competitive endurance athletes that paleo doesn’t just work – it makes them better! How do they do it? It’s all very individual and we work together, changing and adjusting as needed until everything is dialed in.
This post will be the first of many giving you a look into the world of a paleo athlete. First up is superstar rower Ursula Grobler. Ursula is currently working toward an Olympic berth at the London 2012 games. I have had the pleasure of working with Ursula on her nutrition since January. She’s definitely got the desire and dedication it takes to be a champion. Now let’s hear what Ursula’s got to say about life as a paleo athlete.
Carbs are really what gets most people in trouble food/weight wise.
Most Americans eat between 250 and 300 grams of carbohydrates a day, the equivalent of 1,000 to 1,200 calories. The Institute of Medicine, which sets dietary nutrient requirements, recommends 130 grams a day. Some, such as Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, say achieving that would be a big step in the right direction, but other low-carb advocates believe the number is too inflexible.
“What people can tolerate varies widely based on age, metabolism, activity level, body size and gender,” says Dr. Stephen Phinney, nutritional biochemist and an emeritus professor of UC Davis. For healthy adults the number can be higher, he says, while others will feel and function better if they stay between 50 and 100 grams a day. “I’ve seen some people get in trouble when they eat over 25 grams.
originally posted at livefitandsore.com
Yes, Yes, Yes. Eating the crap foods creates cravings for more crap food — and you are living in a vicious cycle. That’s why I think eating a Paleo like diet is key. Cut out most carbs and eat whole, clean food — not processed – you are good to go. Look into the science more and see what you think –
Taubes challenges the conventional wisdom that says if we just eat less and exercise more we will lose weight. He contends that carbohydrates – sweets, breads and fruit – and not fatty foods are to blame for our nation’s rising obesity rate.
We’re not fat because we’re gluttons with no willpower who sit around watching too much TV, he says. Instead, we become couch potatoes because we are getting fat by eating too much pasta and rice, and too many cookies. That diet brings on a vicious cycle of craving more of the same carbohydrates that sap our energy and pack on the pounds.
“It’s the most important issue in medicine today,” argues Taubes, a fellow at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Being fat increases our risk of heart disease and diabetes, he says, as well as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Diets that require a steep drop in caloric consumption only allow us to drop pounds temporarily but are not a cure for obesity, he says.
…DeVane and Taubes agree that exercise alone is not the answer because people dramatically underestimate how much exercise is required to burn off pounds. And, Taubes says, exercise will just make you hungrier.
originally posted on livefitandsore.com
Most people can count calories. Many have a clue about where fat lurks in their diets. However, fewer give carbohydrates much thought, or know why they should.
But a growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America’s ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
“Fat is not the problem,” says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases.”
It’s a confusing message. For years we’ve been fed the line that eating fat would make us fat and lead to chronic illnesses. “Dietary fat used to be public enemy No. 1,” says Dr. Edward Saltzman, associate professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University. “Now a growing and convincing body of science is pointing the finger at carbs, especially those containing refined flour and sugar.”
What is Paleo Eating?
The Paleo Diet is a way of eating that best mimics diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors – lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. If it wasn’t around during the ‘caveman’ time, then you shouldn’t eat it. If it has to be processed to be eaten, you shouldn’t eat it.
The BOTTOM LINE IS, stick to the basics for this lifestyle, ALWAYS AVOID GLUTEN, and DO eat meat, seafood, veggies, a little bit of fruit, and good fats, but do not make yourself nutty – just eat what makes you feel good, and if you do not feel well, there’s probably something you are eating that’s not paleo – for you!
There are a ton of websites out there with recipes, tips, and support to eat Paleo — here are just a few: