recipes and tips for better living

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are You On A Paleo Diet?

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Have you given up a primarily plant based diet or cereal grains due to the popularity or a friend's success and praise of the Paleo Diet?  

While many Paleo diet books will show you the hows & whys to eat like a Neanderthal, Paleontologist Christina Warinner who uses modern day research to trace the roots of our ancestors diets debunk some of the common myths.  Her TED talk sheds new light on the current (and inconsistent) structure of an advertised "paleo diet" and helps you discover what we can really learn from our ancestors:  

1.  we need to eat a seasonal, nutritionally diverse diet
2.  we need to eat fresh foods
3.  we need to eat WHOLE foods (no refinement or processing)

While this i'm sure you already knew, what you may not realize is even the produce we eat now is 'farmer's foods' and not the foods our ancestors ate (did you now ancient bananas are chalk full of seeds, ancient avocados had 2 mm of flesh, and the greens that our ancient ancestors ate were wild, stemmy, bitter, and with a hair like texture not at all like what you get when you pick up kale at the market), AND lo and behold PALEO MAN DID EAT BARLEY AND GRAINS!!  I'm not suggesting that i think these are health foods.  As a Gluten Free girl, i avoid barley and while i don't shun grains entirely, they are not a staple part of my diet.  You may have also not considered how the shape of our teeth help break down plant matter, unlike the sharp canine-like teeth a carnivorous animal has to tear apart flesh.  Perhaps you haven't thought about our long digestion tracks, have truly equated the amount of sugar in our food supply to whole sugar cane stalks, or what our bodies need to assimilate nutrients.  The content in the TED talk is great, and will shed new light on what paleolithic people really ate, and may help you drop the perimeters of confinement you've built on your Paleo diet helping you see more broadly about eating well overall.

While i'm not against the paleo diet, and don't shun anyone trying anything that sounds like good clean living, i do think opening our eyes to the science and realism behind these diets are sound advice.  Take a listen here

And since we're talking Paleo today here is one of the quickest, easiest, and least toxic ways of preparing meat.  I use this technique when cooking salmon and it only takes 10 minutes at 400 degrees for a perfectly cooked piece...

Parchment Cooking:

Most parchment paper is oven safe to 400 degrees.  Swap out aluminum foil for parchment when you can, and eliminate the heavy metals from seeping into your food.  You can simply lay a piece of parchment on a cooking sheet and you'll require no need to oil the food (it won't stick to the paper), or you can create a parchment pocket for steam baking (click this link for an easy tutorial).  It works for all meats and veggies; you can even pack them together and bake all at once.  This way of cooking minimizes toxic exposure from additive oils, rancid oils, grill char/burn, and is a quick cooking method for healthy eaters on the go!


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