Category Archives: Paleo Diet

Flower-based recipes not just for pica eaters

pansy_salad

It’s an indescribable urge. 

My mouth waters. I begin to grind my teeth at the thought of chewing the succulent texture. 

I’m not salivating over a fine steak or wishing I could have a bite of a sweet truffle. In fact, I’m not even in a kitchen, restaurant or sidewalk cafe. I’d be more likely to be in a floral shop, field of wild flowers or holding a bouquet. 

It’s because this urge comes from a weird thought of mine. I have the desire to eat flowers. Particularly roses.  

I actually have never eaten a flower. But every time I get flowers sent to me or am in a garden, the sacchariferous smell of the petaled-beauties transcends into a delicious flavor. 

Until now, it has kind of scared me. There is an actual condition termed Pica that is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand.

But flowers, like vegetables, seem like they might not fit in that category. 

On the constant prowl for unique recipes, these flower-infused bites are most definitely something I need to try.

The recipes include tempura banana flowers, candied rose truffles and more accepted recipes like basil and mushrooms and artichoke bruschetta. 

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“Fat Barbie” making reappearance on Pinterest

It’s been 15 years since the rubenesque Ruby made her debut in The Body Shop’s ad campaign directed at teaching women to appreciate their bodies.

Since then rumors have swirled about how Barbie toy maker Matel sent a cease and desist letter to TBS, claiming that Ruby’s plastic body offended Barbie and threatened her sales. Whether or not Matel took TBS to court or even sent the letter has not been investigated into thoroughly.tumblr_m1xo43UZ5l1r7xas6o1_500

However, the image of Ruby has been circulating around Pinterest as of late.

The battle of the bods isn’t a recent phenomenon. It seems that the ideal shape for a woman has fluctuated since the beginning of time.

From the constraining Victorian corset to the skeletal posture of model “Twiggy,” the pressures to fit a mold have always been present. But as we all know, women come in many shapes and sizes.

So where do these pressures come from? A male dominated society that is teaching women they need to be something they aren’t in order to sell products to women they don’t need?

Or is there a legitimate health concern on the horizon- a rising rate of obesity?

I embrace women of every size, but even to me, Ruby seems to be labeled obese, unhealthy.

However, the idea to teach women to be self confident trumps all. In order to be healthy, one must be mentally sound. If she is happy with more meat, then I am happy for her.

What do you think? Are campaign ads like TBS teaching women it’s OK to have unhealthy habits, or is it teaching women self confidence?

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Hysterical commentary on “healthy” eating

Nobody makes me cry my own tears! Nobody! But the lovely lady from Northwest Edible Life did just that with her post “The terrible tragedy of a healthy eater.” Eating-Paleo-Meme

As an avid believer of the paleo diet, I found many of the references completely hysterical. But you don’t need to be a health nut to get the many puns and predicaments the writer pokes fun at. I think it’s see to say, anyone who’s done a Google search on healthy eating will identify with the humor.

Seriously read it all.

All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.

That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60 year old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.

You learn that basically, if you ignore civilization and Mark Knopfler music, the last 10,000 years of human development has been one big societal and nutritional cock-up and wheat is entirely to blame. What we all need to do is eat like cave-people.

You’re hardcore now, so you go way past way cave-person. You go all the way to The Inuit Diet™.

Some people say it’s a little fringe, but you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle. “Okay,” you say, “let’s do this shit,” as you fry your caribou steak and seal liver in rendered whale blubber. You lose some weight which is good, but it costs $147.99 a pound for frozen seal liver out of the back of an unmarked van at the Canadian border.

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Take your power back

For all those trying to lose weight, get in the gym and get healthier, keep at it. You’ll never reach your goals if you keep having to start over.

This quote stuck out at me. In my blog I try and promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. With 1 in 3 Americans being obese…not overweight, not chubby, OBESE…America is loosing its ability to move.  Some people can’t run. Some people have trouble breathing after just walking. Some fight for front row parking at the supermarket. Some ride in motor-chairs. Some can’t play outside with their kids. Heck, they’re kids probably don’t even play outside due to video games and electronic devices.

That must be the most powerless feeling-to not be able to move freely or with ease. Take your power back America! Take it!

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Food or Something Like it

Great post from Truthletts and Thoughbits!

Food or Something Like it.

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Olive oil; Good for you, but don’t cook with it

When you think of the Mediterranean you think of beautiful beaches, rocky coastline, exotic locals with tan skin and healthy appetites. The Mediterranean diet has long been thought to promote a healthy lifestyle and long life. And one of the major components of this diet if olive oil.

Drizzle it over a salad or infuse it with herbs to make a dipping sauce for bread, olive oil is thought to have many heath benefits. In fact, a 2003 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “participants who had the highest consumption of olive oil consumed less cereal and baked goods but more eggs and vegetables, and had a higher vitamin intake than those who consumed the least amount of olive oil.”  The oleic acid found in olive oil has also been the subject of expanding research when it comes to insulin resistance, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. “Oleic acid can directly alter the activity of certain cancer genes and appears to have anti-cancer effects that may be part of the Mediterranean diet’s health benefits. This primary MUFA in extra virgin olive oil may also help to lower a person’s risk of insulin resistance as well as favorably altering some of the blood fat patterns that can be associated with risk of cardiovascular disease,” according to World’s Healthiest Foods. Health and olive oil seem to go hand in hand.

When I first got on the Paleo Diet in January, I noticed that many guides and recipes warned me repeatedly not to cook with olive oil. I blindly followed, always saying I would research it later. As a student of journalism, it is unnatural for me to just blindly follow anything without investigating it further and double checking against different sources, especially since I am no food expert and merely an experimenter. So the thought continued ragging on me until today when I did looked into the matter further.

So why shouldn’t we cook with olive oil?

Each oil has a certain smoke point. A smoke point is the temperature at which visible gaseous vapor from the heating of oil becomes evident. Basically it’s a sign when the decomposition of oil begins to take place. Decomposition changes the  chemical makeup of the oil and can reduced flavor and nutritional value and also cause harmful cancer causing compounds, called oxygen radicals.

So what’s the smoke point of olive oil?

Interestingly enough, there are different smoke points for different types of olive oil. Ever wonder what the difference between extra virgin olive oil and refined oil is? So did I. According to WHF:

  • Extra-virgin: derived from the first pressing of the olives (has the most delicate flavor).
  • Fine virgin: created from the second pressing of the olives.
  • Refined oil: unlike extra-virgin and fine virgin olive oils, which only use mechanical means to press the oil, refined oil is created by using chemicals to extract the oil from the olives.
  • Pure oil: a bit of a misnomer, it indicates oil that is a blend of refined and virgin olive oils.

It’s important to know which kind you are working with because each have different smoke points. Refine oil has a higher smoke point. Unfortunately, companies list different smoke points on their labels, which range from 220F to437F.

I buy the Filippo Berio brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They recommend 82F is the perfect temperature to taste. Furthermore, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not exposed to any damaging heat or chemicals from refining and it has no artificial preservatives or flavors.

So what are the alternatives?

Instead of cooking with olive oil, try cooking with butter. A spray or just a plain stick will work. Also, coconut oil is another good, natural cooking solution. Still love the taste of olive oil? Try drizzling you sautéed vegetables with olive oil after you’ve prepared them. Or create a salad dressing or sauce with herbs to flavor your food.

And remember the closer you get to virgin, the purer it’ll be 😉

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“Pink Slime’s” bad rep may not be so bad afterall?

It’s earned the nickname, “Pink Slime,” a form of meat that was originally found in dog food, and now it’s being fed to your kids in school lunches. Officially called, Lean Finely Textured Beef, the process has caused outraged among parents and critics alike.

Gerald Zirnstein, a former microbiologist with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in an ABC News report, “It’s not fresh ground beef. … It’s a cheap substitute being added in.” He also reports that “pink slime” is in 70 percent of ground beef sold at supermarkets.

So how exactly is this concoction made?

You start with a beef trim, which is pretty much the waste, lower grade meat, left over from the premium cuts, such as steak.

Then you simmer these lower grade trimmings at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spin the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation.  This creates a lean meat, approximately 94-97% lean, according to Beef Products Inc.

After it’s sprayed down with some ammonia gas to kill bacteria,  it is chunk it into bricks, frozen, shipped and then added to ground beef at supermarkets.

A Food Safety News article  does a very good job at explaining the process and offering the other side of the story, which is that this “pink slime” is safe and acceptable.

We live in a capitalistic society, I get that businesses exploit consumers and try and maximize profits with a cheaper substitute. It’s business. But what bothers me is the lack of labeling. As consumers, we have a right to know what exactly is in the products we’re buying. Both the ammonia gas treatment and the “pink slime” are exempt from being required to be on the label.

When I go to the grocery store, I want to know that the lean meat I am buying is made up of more choice cuts of meat. It’s deceptive and I’m paying for something that I don’t want and for something that I think I am getting, but am not.

Let the consumer’s decide what they would rather by. We can vote with our purchases.

Below are some comments I found interesting while reading the Food Safety News article:

By Holiday: Yeah…just because something can be processed and chemically treated to the point where it may be “safe to eat”, doesn’t mean we (or our kids) should be eating it. These are some things I can think of off the top of my head that could also go on this apparently “safe to eat” list: dirt, sand, grass, cigarette butts, cork, wood pulp, toenail clippings, hair, ashes, dandruff, crayons…what else could we add here???

By Eucritta: While there may not be anything specifically unhealthful about pink slime it’s added to ground beef without the label specifying that inclusion. Thus, it’s deceptive.It’s also not necessary. There was, at least, some excuse for filled milk, in that it could be shipped to remote areas with dodgy refrigeration. But pink slime filled ground beef? It’s not inherently more resistant or healthful post-production, it just allows processors a chance to make a greater profit on an unappetizing product that previously went into pet foods, while making already cheap ground beef a bit cheaper all ’round. So – label it. Let us choose. Some won’t care; some will care and buy it anyway; and those of us who want to avoid it, can spot it and do so easily.

By Jen:  If you want the government to pay for your kids to eat prime cuts of meat, fine. But I’d rather that be something parents did at home for their children. The meat they serve in school lunches is not less healthy, it is just less APPEALING to most people. Kids eat hot dogs and bologna all the time, and those are certainly no less gross than ammoniated beef trimmings.

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