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Category: Paleo Diet

  • Paleo f(x): A Kickstart for Lasting Change

    Post From https://chriskresser.com/paleo-fx-a-kickstart-for-lasting-change/

    Paleo fx 2016

    Let’s face it, you can have all the information in the world about diet and exercise, but that information won’t do anything for you unless you put it into action. “You should do this” and “You should do that,” but how many of those “shoulds” are you actually doing?

    It can be tough to go it alone. There’s so much information out there about the Paleo diet and lifestyle, some of which can even be contradictory. You want to adopt the “ancestral” lifestyle, but where do you begin? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. You need three things in addition to information: tools, practice, and support.

    Tools

    There’s no better place to find the best tools for getting on board with a Paleo lifestyle than the annual Paleo f(x) event, held in Austin, Texas, April 27–29. It is a gathering not only of your tribe, but also of companies developing the best, cutting-edge products and tools to support you in reaching your health goals. You’ll find tools in every category:

    • Diet: cooking equipment, cookbooks, and lots of yummy Paleo-friendly snacks
    • Lifestyle: products for everything from sleep to stress management to detoxing
    • Fitness: equipment, coaches, movement programs, and even Paleo footwear
    • And so much more

    Practice

    You might have heard me say this before, but you cannot become good at basketball by just learning about basketball. The same can be said about a Paleo lifestyle. You must practice and actually DO things. At Paleo f(x), you’ll find things to actually TRY and DO.

    For example, there’s a dedicated Strength & Conditioning area where you can find a variety of demonstrations and workshops by world-class coaches and athletes. These are taught in small-group settings. Are you looking to perfect your squatting technique? Have you always wanted to incorporate kettlebells into your workout? Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s something for you. 

    Support

    It’s one thing to choose a Paleo lifestyle for yourself. It’s another to be surrounded by thousands of other people who love it too. Paleo f(x) is exactly that. It’s the largest gathering of Paleo / ancestral health / keto / Functional Medicine / strength & conditioning experts in the world.

    It’s where we get to connect with thousands of like-minded people pursuing a Paleo-inspired diet and lifestyle—and not in a buzzy, superficial way, but in a way that embraces Paleo as a 360-degree template for adapting your habits to reverse countless chronic conditions.

    Paleo f(x) is the who’s who gathering of the ancestral health movement. Gather with your tribe as you grow and learn together. You’ll find the latest, most cutting-edge science as well as a strategy on how to create the best version of your life.

    Imagine spending three days with like-minded people who are just as eager as you to change their lives for the better. Meet the leading names in the Paleo world, and meet each other. One of the best ways to stay on track is to have a support group. You can create a network of people that will help you reach and maintain your goals.

    And that doesn’t include the experts you can hear from and even meet. Who can you find at Paleo f(x)?

    You’ll get to hear from speakers such as:

    • Joseph Mercola
    • Mark Sisson
    • David Perlmutter
    • Robb Wolf
    • Yours truly
    • And so many great others

    (You’ll also be more likely to catch me at our booth this year since most years I take some time to go play at Austin’s amazing surf park, which is closed this year.)

    The event takes place April 27–29. Get your tickets now before prices go up on April 24.

    If you can’t make it to Austin, you can virtually attend all the keynote sessions for $99, or get livestream access and recordings of all the keynote sessions for $199.

    The Kresser Institute team and I will be at Booth #44—make sure you come say hi. And throughout the conference, I’ll being talking about such topics as:

    • How to end chronic disease (my keynote address on 4/28, 4:25 p.m.)
    • The biomarkers of health, wellness, and vibrancy (panel talk, 4/28, 10 a.m.)
    • Care and feeding of a healthy gut microbiome (panel talk, 4/28, 5:35 p.m.)
    • Expert health coaching techniques to change your health—and your life (TBD)

    I’ll also be sharing information about the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program, our first-in-the-nation health coach training to take an ancestral approach to diet and lifestyle. The program is specifically designed to equip, support, and train health coaches to do paradigm-shifting work that reinvents healthcare.

    Making real, lasting lifestyle and behavior changes isn’t a switch you flip. It takes ongoing effort and support. Paleo f(x) can help kickstart those behavior changes.

    Get your tickets before prices increase or even worse, sell out, and join me and thousands of others April 27–29.

    Learn more about Paleo f(x) and get your tickets here, or learn more about the virtual sessions and get access here.

    The post Paleo f(x): A Kickstart for Lasting Change appeared first on Chris Kresser.

  • African-Style Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

  • 11 Proven Strategies for Reducing Stress

    Post From http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PaleoPlan/~3/xZAsv7ALT4Q/

    It’s the end of the day, your stomach is in knots, your neck is cramped, and your jaw is sore from clenching your teeth. It’s safe to say stress has taken hold, and it seems there’s nothing you can do at this point to take the edge off other than waking up to a new day.

    Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to reduce stress, many of which require only five minutes a day. All are research-backed, and some have even been used for thousands of years. Continue reading to take the first step toward stress-relief.

    1. Belly Breathing

    You’ve probably heard someone tell you to “take a breather” or “just breathe” during moments of high stress and anxiety. At first glance this might seem like superficial advice with no real effect (i.e. they’re just saying anything to calm you down), but in fact, research shows that breathing a certain way actually has a profound impact on your stress hormones.

    In particular, “belly” or diaphragmatic breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system—the one in charge of making you feel relaxed. The reason this type of breathing is called belly breathing is because when you’re doing it correctly, your diaphragm should expand completely, pushing your belly outward.

    Studies show that breathing this way helps to: (1)

    • Lower blood pressure
    • Reduce heart rate
    • Boost the immune system
    • Resets the entire nervous system

    How to Belly Breathe

    • Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit or lie down.
    • Rest one hand on your belly (this helps you feel your stomach rise so that you know you’re expanding your diaphragm fully) and take a deep breath through your nose.
    • Breath deep into your lower belly.
    • Once your lungs are full, breathe out completely until your stomach is completely flat.
    • Repeat this cycle for as long as you like, or until you start to feel more relaxed.

    Eventually, your goal will be to breathe this way often throughout your day.

    2. Progressive Relaxation

    Do you ever feel like your shoulders are up to your ears with tension by the time you get off work? You’re not alone. Most people store the majority of their tension in various locations in their bodies, from their stomachs to their necks. The body reacts to fear and anxiety like this due to the fight-or-flight response. In essence, it’s gearing up for movement away from danger, whether or not that “danger” is purely emotional or psychological.

    Progressive relaxation is a technique that focuses on these areas of tension one by one to help unravel and loosen them, while easing your body back into a normal state.

    How to Use Progressive Relaxation

    • Begin by sitting or laying in a comfortable position, perhaps taking a few deep belly breaths using the technique above.
    • Now, focus on a particular area of tension, such as your shoulders. Tense the area, making sure you can really feel it (but not so much that it’s causing you pain) and hold the tension for roughly five seconds.
    • Let the tension go and focus on completely relaxing the muscles, visualizing them turning as soft as jelly.
    • Go through your entire body this way, following these steps on any areas of tension. You may have to repeat it a few times in certain areas in order to fully relax the muscles.

    3. Mindfulness

    Mindfulness involves becoming more aware of your thoughts and reactions to stressful situations as they’re happening, so that you can essentially take a step back from them. This allows you to not only react with less stress to events that have already occurred, but also builds your emotional and mental strength so that stressful situations have less impact on you in the future.

    How to Practice Mindfulness

    To begin, think about a recent stressful situation. Notice how your stomach might immediately flutter or knot up, or your throat will become tight. Notice also the emotions that come up and try to identify them as precisely as you can. Do you feel anger? Fear? Anxiety? Really tune into them.

    Now, focus on bringing positive emotions into these negative emotions. Bring curiosity along with them. Ask why this situation is causing such a profound reaction, as well as how you can see it in a different, more positive light. Reach out with acceptance to the negative emotions and give yourself permission to let them go. You can even smile outwardly to help reinforce the positive feelings.

    In the future, instead of immediately reacting to a stressful situation, go through this process first to temper the initial tense reaction.

    4. Meditation

    For many people around the world, meditation is considered the holy grail of stress-managements techniques, and for good reason: studies show it can actually reverse molecular reactions within our DNA that cause stress. Essentially, it does this by training your brain to steer your DNA reactions in a direction that improves your wellbeing, rather than letting the stress alter your DNA in a negative way. (2)

    How to Start a Meditation Practice

    While there are many, many different meditation techniques out there, the most basic of them all (and the one recommended for beginners) is simply focusing on the breath in stillness for as long as you can. For some this may mean five minutes, while others might be able to jump in and do 30 minutes right away. The key is to not focus on the time passing by, but to focus solely on your breath, letting thoughts slide away as they come.

    • To begin a simple meditation, find a quiet space and sit or lie down comfortably.
    • Close your eyes and rest your hands in whatever position they’re comfortable in.
    • Breathe normally, bringing your attention to the rise and fall of your breath.
    • Focus on the inhale, then the exhale. If other thoughts jump in (and they will!) simply let them slide away and bring your attention back to the rise and fall of your breath.
    • Continue for as long as you can, and gradually work on increasing how much time you spend in stillness.

    5. Yoga

    Yoga is another amazing way to greatly reduce your stress levels. It is particularly great for those who would love to start a meditation practice but have trouble sitting still, as yoga has been likened to “moving meditation.”

    Research shows that yoga also protects DNA from the damaging effects of stress, and can also lower inflammation, boost the immune system, and keep cortisol levels in check. (3,4) Yogis are also reported in studies to have reduced levels of anxiety and less depression, as well as better responses to stress.

    How to Get Started with Yoga

    Getting started with a yoga practice is as easy as seeking out a local studio, or even trying out free videos available online on blogs, or even via smartphone apps. Aim for two to three days a week of yoga practice, and increase from there. You can start with Hatha yoga, which is a gentler form, and then begin to explore the other varieties like power yoga and Ashtanga.

    It can be intimidating to start yoga if it’s brand new, but you don’t already have to be flexible or in shape to begin a yoga practice, you just have to be willing.

    6. Aromatherapy

    Certain scents like lavender, frankincense, and rose have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and stress. Lavender in particular has been studied for its amazing sedative, mood stabilizing, and antispasmodic properties. It also helps protect the brain from the damaging effects of stress. (5)

    How to Get Started with Aromatherapy

    There are several ways you can use aromatherapy in your home and while you’re at work or traveling.

    To use in your home, try adding a few drops of essential oils to a hot bath or a home essential oil diffuser. Alternatively, if you’re out and about, you can invest in roll-on essential oils that linger on your skin, or purchase certain necklaces that hold essential oil fragrance so that you get whiffs of it throughout the day.

    7. Sip On Tea

    Traditionally, tea time has been associated with relaxation throughout many cultures. It is considered a time to slow down and indulge in the moment, letting the worries of the day fall aside. Interestingly, it seems there is some scientific backing to the idea that tea reduces stress: studies have found that tea consumption significantly reduces cortisol levels and increases relaxation, with black tea in particular being a great aid to stress recovery. (6)

    8. Guided Visualization

    Guided visualization is similar to meditation. The main difference is that while meditation focuses on the breath, guided visualization takes you on a visual journey in your mind. This type of visualization has repeatedly shown in studies to improve stress management, reduce amounts of perceived stress, and reduce psychological symptoms related to stress. (7)

    How to Start with Guided Visualization

    Typically, guided visualization exercises lead your imagination through scenes and images that are encoded with positive messages and symbols. These help nurture positivity and healthy stress responses, as well as encourage your brain to send your body relaxation cues.

    The best way to get started with guided visualization is to try a free guided imagery video on Youtube or another platform. Typically, these last for only 10 to 15 minutes, making them great for those short on time.

    9. Get A Massage

    No one can deny the bliss felt during and after a good massage. Research shows that just five minutes of touch massage is able to significantly decrease heart rate, cortisol levels, and even insulin levels, while also reducing sympathetic nervous system activity. (8)

    Considering it only take five minutes to see these changes, try making a five to ten minute (or more!) massage with your partner a nightly ritual to wind down before bed. Or you could even indulge in a mini massage at a local spa after work a couple days a week.

    10. Get Creative

    The next time you’re stressed, whip out your art brushes and prepare to paint a masterpiece. A masterpiece of relaxation, that is.

    Research shows that art therapy, the practice of simply painting or drawing to manage stress, has potent anti-stress effects. These effects are so strong that some centers for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients have replaced behavior and anxiety-controlling drugs with art therapy with great success. (9)

    Don’t worry if you aren’t an artist—art therapy is about becoming immersed in the process, rather than in trying to produce a perfect work of art. Paint what you feel, or what you want to feel, and see where it leads. You can also explore other artistic outlets, like writing, pottery, or playing music.

    11. Self-Hypnosis

    Hypnosis is often used by therapists to make patients more suggestible to therapies and healing, as well as for fleshing out repressed memories or feelings. But did you know you can also use this technique on yourself?

    In fact, you probably enter a hypnotic state several times a day without even realizing it. For instance, when you’re driving, or when you get lost in your thoughts staring out at the ocean or the sky. Self-hypnosis simply allows you to go into this state on-demand, which has been shown to have a remarkable ability to reduce anxiety levels. (10)

    How to Do Simple Self-Hypnosis

    Below is a simple self-hypnosis script you can use whenever you’re feeling stressed. Aside from this, there are tons of MP3s and online videos you can download that will guide you through a self-hypnosis session.

    • Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the floor and your hands on your lap.
    • Take three deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
    • On your third breath, close your eyes and continue breathing, focusing intently on your breath.
    • Now slowly count from ten to one with each breath. After each number, think the word “deeper” to nudge you into a deeper state of relaxation.
    • Once you reach one, repeat a positive, affirming statement to that you decided on before the hypnosis.
    • Repeat the statement to yourself for as long as you wish, usually a few minutes.
    • When you’re done, sit quietly for a moment, then slowly count from one to five, feeling the energy returning to your body.
    • Open your eyes. You’re finished!

    Bottom Line

    As you can see, many of the stress techniques that are the most powerful are also the most simple. Just a few minutes out of your day practicing any of these methods can go a long way in not only recovering from a stressful situation, but also toward preventing excess stress or anxiety in the future.

    The post 11 Proven Strategies for Reducing Stress appeared first on PaleoPlan.

  • 3 Ways to Get Back on Track with Paleo

  • Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup

    Post From https://nomnompaleo.com/instant-pot-cream-of-mushroom-soup

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    If you’re an umami evangelist like me, you’ll love this recipe for Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup. Grab a few simple ingredients, and you’ll soon have a comforting bowl of soup that’ll make your taste buds sing. Incorporating fresh and dried mushrooms, this soup is already a mushroom lover’s paradise—but add Magic Mushroom Powder and garnish with Crispy Mushroom Chips, too, and the mushroom dial gets cranked all the way up to eleven. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate into a busy schedule; I love that I can start prepping this hearty, creamy soup in the morning, and blend it up when I get home from meetings, running errands, and schlepping the kids around town. And did I mention that it’s Whole30-friendly, too?

    Before we get started, I want to stress that this Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup is not a dump-everything-in-and-cook-it-in-5-minutes-flat kind of recipe. I love those recipes, too, but only when the shortcuts actually yield the most delicious results possible. So while there are a few steps in this recipe that might seem fussy (like sautéing the ’shrooms for 15 minutes before pressure-cooking in the Instant Pot, or using a high-powered blender to blitz everything into a super-creamy soup), you need to do what Philadelphia basketball fans have been doing for a few years now, and TRUST THE PROCESS. You’ll be delighted and thankful that you didn’t take the easy way out. That said, this recipe really isn’t difficult at all, and you’ll be amazed by the result!

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    No Instant Pot or pressure cooker? No prob. I’ve got tips on how to prep this recipe on the stovetop or in a slow cooker in the notes section of my printable recipe card at the end of this post.

    Now, let’s make a satisfying bowl of dairy-free Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup!

    Serves 6

    Ingredients:

    Equipment:

    Method:

    First things first: Make some mushroom chips. Yeah, I said they’re optional, but you really should garnish this soup with Crispy Mushroom Chips. They’re like crunchy umami “croutons!” So go follow this super-simple recipe and pop them in the oven.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Next, grab your sliced mushrooms. You can slice them by hand, but a food processor will save you lots of time (and possibly a few of your fingers).

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Turn on the “Sauté” function on your Instant Pot. Once the metal insert is hot, add the ghee or your fat of choice. Toss in the mushrooms…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated. This will take about 12-15 minutes, and will help concentrate the mushroom flavor. In other words: don’t skip this step.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Toss in the leeks and shallots…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and cook for about a minute.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Stir in the garlic cloves, dried mushrooms (no need to rehydrate ’em first!), and 1 teaspoon of my Magic Mushroom Powder. (No Magic Mushroom Powder on hand? Add 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt.)

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and stir in the fresh thyme sprigs.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Turn off the “Sauté” function by hitting “Cancel.” Lock the lid on the Instant Pot, and program it to cook for 5 minutes under high pressure.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    When the soup is done cooking, release the pressure manually, and fish out the two thyme twigs.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Now, you have two choices to cream-ify your soup:

    1. You can use an immersion blender—which will mean fewer things to wash, but you’ll end up with a slightly chunkier soup. I’d recommend this option only if you’re in a rush, feeling incredibly lazy, or have no one else you can sucker into doing the dishes for you.
    2. My strong preference is to use a high-speed blender to get the soup as smooth and creamy as possible. (But make sure you follow these instructions if you’re using a countertop blender to prevent a super hot liquid explosion.)

    I’m going to assume you’ve gotten the hint, and you’re using a countertop blender. Ladle about half the soup into the blender container…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …making sure you don’t go above the halfway point. Secure the lid without the plastic middle piece (i.e., leaving the hole in the lid open) and place a clean kitchen towel on top.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Slowly increase the speed of the blender and blitz until smooth.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Transfer the rest of the unblended soup from the Instant Pot into a large measuring cup, and pour the blended soup back into the metal insert of the Instant Pot. Then, pour the unblended soup from the measuring cup into the blender…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and add the coconut cream.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Following the same blending instructions above, blitz the soup and cream together.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Stir together the blended halves of the soup in the Instant Pot insert.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Squeeze in the lemon juice and taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust as necessary with extra salt, Magic Mushroom Powder, black pepper, and/or additional lemon juice.

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with Crispy Mushroom Chips, chopped chives…

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and a drizzle of olive oil if desired!

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    Voilà!

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup by Michelle Tam / https://nomnompaleo.com

    You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to a few months. After you reheat the soup, you can blend it with an immersion blender to re-emulsify everything.

    With all the aforementioned ’shroomy goodness, this truly is the ultimate Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup. Don’t believe me? Make it and taste it for yourself! (Also: How dare you disbelieve me.)


    Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

    Recipe IndexNom Nom Paleo CookbooksNom Nom Paleo App

    PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

    Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup

    Prep 15 mins

    Cook 45 mins

    Total 60 mins

    Author Michelle Tam

    Yield 6 servings

    If you’re an umami evangelist like me, you’ll love this recipe for Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup. Grab a few simple ingredients, and you’ll soon have a comforting bowl of soup that’ll make your taste buds sing. Incorporating fresh and dried mushrooms, this soup is already a mushroom lover’s paradise—but add Magic Mushroom Powder and garnish with Crispy Mushroom Chips, too, and the mushroom dial gets cranked all the way up to eleven. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate into a busy schedule; I love that I can start prepping this hearty, creamy soup in the morning, and blend it up when I get home from meetings, running errands, and schlepping the kids around town. And did I mention that it’s Whole30-friendly, too?

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. First things first: Make some mushroom chips. Yeah, I said they’re optional, but you really should garnish this soup with Crispy Mushroom Chips. They’re like crunchy umami “croutons!” So go follow this super-simple recipe and pop them in the oven.
    2. Next, grab your sliced mushrooms. You can slice them by hand, but a food processor will save you lots of time (and possibly a few of your fingers).
    3. Turn on the “Sauté” function on your Instant Pot. Once the metal insert is hot, add the ghee or your fat of choice. Toss in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated. This will take about 12-15 minutes, and will help concentrate the mushroom flavor. In other words: don’t skip this step.
    4. Toss in the leeks and shallots and cook for about a minute.
    5. Stir in the garlic cloves, dried mushrooms (no need to rehydrate ’em first!), and 1 teaspoon of my Magic Mushroom Powder. (No Magic Mushroom Powder on hand? Add 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt.)
    6. Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and stir in the fresh thyme sprigs.
    7. Turn off the “Sauté” function by hitting “Cancel.” Lock the lid on the Instant Pot, and program it to cook for 5 minutes under high pressure.
    8. When the soup is done cooking, release the pressure manually, and fish out the two thyme twigs.
    9. Now, you have two choices to cream-ify your soup:
      1. You can use an immersion blender—which will mean fewer things to wash, but you’ll end up with a slightly chunkier soup. I’d recommend this option only if you’re in a rush, feeling incredibly lazy, or have no one else you can sucker into doing the dishes for you.
      2. My strong preference is to use a high-speed blender to get the soup as smooth and creamy as possible. (But make sure you follow these instructions if you’re using a countertop blender to prevent a super hot liquid explosion.)
    10. I’m going to assume you’ve gotten the hint, and you’re using a countertop blender. Ladle about half the soup into the blender container making sure you don’t go above the halfway point. Secure the lid without the plastic middle piece (i.e., leaving the hole in the lid open) and place a clean kitchen towel on top.
    11. Slowly increase the speed of the blender and blitz until smooth.
    12. Transfer the rest of the unblended soup from the Instant Pot into a large measuring cup, and pour the blended soup back into the metal insert of the Instant Pot. Then, pour the unblended soup from the measuring cup into the blender and add the coconut cream.
    13. Following the same blending instructions above, blitz the soup and cream together.
    14. Stir together the blended halves of the soup in the Instant Pot insert.
    15. Squeeze in the lemon juice and taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust as necessary with extra salt, Magic Mushroom Powder, black pepper, and/or additional lemon juice.
    16. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with Crispy Mushroom Chips, chopped chives, and a drizzle of olive oil if desired!
    17. You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to a few months. After you reheat the soup, you can blend it with an immersion blender to re-emulsify everything.

    Notes

    Stovetop instructions:

    1. Rehydrate the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes or until softened.
    2. Cook steps 2 thru 6 in a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. 
    3. After you add the broth and thyme, crank the heat up to high and bring the soup to a boil. 
    4. Decrease the heat to medium-low or enough to maintain a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until flavors meld.
    5. Fish out the thyme sprigs and finish the soup by following steps 9 thru 17.

    Slow cooker instructions:

    1. Cook steps 2 thru 5 in a large stock pot or skillet over medium heat. Transfer the contents to a slow cooker insert. 
    2. Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and stir in the fresh thyme sprigs.
    3. Program the slow cooker to cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
    4. Fish out the thyme sprigs and finish the soup by following steps 9 thru 17.

    Courses Soup

    Cuisine Paleo, Whole30, Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Primal, Dairy-free, Gluten-free

    The post Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup appeared first on Nom Nom Paleo®.

  • RHR: Practical Steps for Healing the Gut—with Michael Ruscio

    Post From https://chriskresser.com/practical-steps-for-healing-the-gut-with-michael-ruscio/

    revolution health radio

    In this episode, we discuss:

    • Michael Ruscio’s new book: Healthy Gut, Healthy You
    • The importance of gut health
    • Improving the gut without relying on medical testing
    • The role of the gut as the second brain and technology addiction
    • Linking gut health to a good night’s sleep
    • The biggest mistakes people make when addressing gut health
    • Listening to your gut and consolidating all probiotics into a few categories

    Show notes:

    [smart_track_player url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/thehealthyskeptic/RHR_-_Practical_Steps_for_Healing_the_Gutwith_Michael_Ruscio.mp3″ title=”RHR: Practical Steps for Healing the Gut—with Michael Ruscio” artist=”Chris Kresser” ]

    Hey, everybody, it’s Chris Kresser. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. This week, I’m very happy to welcome Dr. Michael Ruscio as my guest. He is a Functional Medicine practitioner, clinical researcher, and international lecturer. He’s a leader in the movement to make integrative medicine and natural health solutions more accepted and accessible, and his practice is located up here in Northern California, right by me. Dr. Ruscio is a friend and a colleague. I’ve known him for several years and I’ve always appreciated his very balanced and sensible approach, which is a little unusual, I find sometimes, in this field. He has a really smart way of looking at the research and separating the wheat from the chaff, and, as I just mentioned, he’s very passionate about making Functional Medicine and integrative medicine accessible and avoiding unnecessary and expensive lab testing, and just focusing on the basics. And I think it’s very easy to overlook the importance of the basics despite how much we talk about them, especially when you dive into the Functional Medicine rabbit hole. So, I’m really looking forward to talking with Dr. Ruscio today. Let’s dive in. 

    Chris: Mike, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for coming and joining us on the show.

    Michael Ruscio: Absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

    Chris: So, we’re gonna talk about the gut, one of my favorite topics, and I know yours.

    Michael Ruscio: Yup. [chuckle]

    Chris: We’re both big fans of the quote from Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” He knew that 2,500 years ago. We forgot, but it seems like we’re starting to relearn that, even in mainstream conventional medicine, huh?

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah. Absolutely. I’d agree. There’s definitely a gut renaissance occurring, thankfully.

    Michael Ruscio’s new book: Healthy Gut, Healthy You

    Chris: So you have a new book about this topic, of course, Healthy Gut, Healthy You. And tell us a little bit about why you wrote this book. There’s obviously a lot of info out there on the gut and gut health. What inspired you and motivated you to put this out there?

    Michael Ruscio: Sure. Well, there’s a number of things, but I think the few that are the most salient were, I wanted to write a book that would help people with the things that I saw all my patients grappling with. And this is kinda the A to Z companion, everything from your relationship with food, where I’m sure you see some people that are really making themselves sick out of becoming overly neurotic about their diet, and they’re very confused about their diet. And some of that kinda pseudo-orthorexia, if you will, stems from the fact that there’s so many conflicting opinions out there on diets that people flounder. All the way through, “Okay, I think I have SIBO, do I use probiotics? Do I not use probiotics? Do I use antimicrobial herbs? What if I used herbs, felt good for a while, then I relapsed, what do I do? Should I use a prokinetic? Should I not use a prokinetic? When can I reintroduce food?”

    Michael Ruscio: So you have this litany of questions that people are really encumbered with, and I wanted to write a guide that would really hold someone’s hand through a self-help protocol, a step-by-step to really help them improve their health. And part of that was because I was frustrated with some of the books that I saw out there that I think are all written with a good intent, but from my estimation, you got one book that was all about gluten free and another book all about probiotics, or another book all about how important it is to feed your gut bacteria. Which can all have a very positive impact on people, but they don’t work for everyone because they’re not giving you kind of the whole picture. So I really wanted to write a book that would walk someone through the process of healing our gut health that is all encompassing, that’s intellectually honest, that’s evidence-based, but not evidence-limited, and could really help someone walk away from the read feeling empowered and educated, and not feeling confused and kinda fear-mongered into avoidance. Those are a few of the things that come to mind. [chuckle]

    All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates knew that 2,500 years ago, but we forgot. Dr. Michael Ruscio wants to get you back on track by helping you transform your health from the inside out with his new book: Healthy Gut, Healthy You

    Chris: That’s all super important and it’s something that you and I have always connected on. And a reason I loved your approach is your evidence-based emphasis, but not being, as you said, evidence-limited. I love that term. And also your focus on practical application, which really makes a difference when it comes … When the rubber meets the road, and you’re working on the stuff either in your own life or with a practitioner. But let’s step back a little bit. Most of the people who listen to my podcast are well aware of the connection between gut health and overall health and why gut health is so important. But let’s assume maybe that we’re talking, there’s some newer listeners and they’re not as familiar, why is the gut so important? Why should everybody be thinking about their gut health, and what have we learned about that over the past 20 years?

    The importance of gut health

    Michael Ruscio: It’s a great question. And that’s exactly part one of the book, which is entitled “The Importance of Your Gut,” to kind of establish this premise. And I think one of the most important overarching concepts to connect is that you can have non-digestive symptoms that are driven by a digestive problem. And I actually learned that when I had my health challenges, now about 15 years ago, when my predominant symptoms were brain fog, very, very bad insomnia, fatigue, feeling cold, and also having mood dips. And I went from feeling really well to experiencing all these problems, and all the dietary and lifestyles boxes were ticked, meaning I was getting enough sleep, I loved what I was doing, I was exercising, I was eating a healthy diet.

    Michael Ruscio: And so I learned a lot from that process in terms of I didn’t have gas, bloating, diarrhea, some of the typical gastrointestinal symptoms, but I did have a diagnosed amoebic infection in my intestines that was driving all of these symptoms, and I was chasing down, I thought it was metal toxicity, I thought it was hypothyroid, I thought it was low testosterone, I thought it was adrenal fatigue. And I chased down all those different symptoms and conditions and corresponding treatments. And I saw flickers of improvement, but nothing really long-standing. And so kinda fast forward, we’re now really coming to understand from a modern scientific evidence perspective, that yes, there is a gut–brain connection, there’s a gut–skin connection, there’s a gut–immune and autoimmune connection. There’s a gut–metabolism connection.

    Chris: And here’s my newest one, the gut–eye connection. We’re working on an article on the connection between the microbiome and ocular health. [chuckle]

    Michael Ruscio: That makes … Yeah.

    Chris: It’s getting kind of ridiculous. There’s a gut–everything connection at this point.

    Michael Ruscio: Right. Exactly. And so that’s why my general posit has always been, once you’ve somewhat adequately, or taken the best step you can with your diet and lifestyle and tried to get those in halfway decent order, if you’re still not feeling well, the next evaluation should be into your gut health. It’s not to say it’s a panacea, it’s not to say it’s a cure-all, but before you go looking into other things, I would recommend starting with the gut, optimizing your gut health, and then reevaluating, because as you’re alluding to, there’s a wide array of symptoms that may rectify after you’ve improved one’s gut health.

    Chris: I wanna pause here and kinda reiterate this because I think it’s such an important point and it’s very often missed. Maybe we can both share a couple of examples from our practice. So, imagine parents that are struggling with maybe a four- or five-year-old child who has a lot of behavioral issues. They’ve been diagnosed on the autism spectrum or with Asperger’s or perhaps they have ADHD, it’s a lot of the problems which unfortunately have become so common these days in our society. I mean, we all … All of us who have kids or are around kids we know, maybe ourselves, we have kids who are dealing with these kinds of problems. I get so many of these kids in my practice, and very often the parents are not necessarily thinking about the gut. These kids may have gut symptoms, or they may not. But just in conversations with friends and family members who don’t follow this stuff and who are more kinda part of the general population, if they start … If the kid starts experiencing these symptoms, what’s very often gonna happen is they’ll get taken to a primary care provider, they might get referred to a psychiatrist or a specialist in these areas, and they’ll be a prescribed medication, and nobody is thinking about or talking about the gut as a contributor.

    Chris: And yet, if you look in the scientific literature, there is tons of evidence linking changes in gut health, everything from intestinal permeability, to dysbiosis, to microbial shifts and overgrowth, to SIBO, to these mental and behavioral and mood disorders, and yet that information really has not percolated down into standard primary care or in the general public.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah. I agree with you 100 percent. And it’s something that I tried to be very diligent in referencing. Every point that I make that’s not common sense in the book, I reference. And that’s why there’s just under a thousand references. And, you know, if I’m being fully candid here, sometimes people get into a muscle-flexing contest with references to see who can put the most references in the book. But the real key is, how relevant are those references? And so I pride myself in that fact that in the book, the vast majority of the references are clinical trials, or even better than clinical trials, systematic reviews, or even better yet still, meta-analyses. So this means all the data is either a study in humans to see what happens, or a study that’s summarized all the available studies in humans to summarize what the available evidence in interventional trials in humans shows. It’s much different than saying, “This happened to a group of rats,” or, “We noticed this happened in the cell culture, or we noticed this observation.” That type of evidence can oftentimes mislead. And that’s where I think a lot of confusion comes from. And that’s actually something else I talk about in the book, which is why levels of evidence are important, because you can be really misled.

    Michael Ruscio: But back to your point about examples. And absolutely, with children, one of the things that I’ve seen is just simple interventions foundationally, like improving one’s diet, getting them off of inflammatory foods and using something like a probiotic, can be vastly beneficial. Sometimes in children you’ll see things like histamine intolerance, which unfortunately happens with some parents who go through the regulars of going on like a GAPS diet, which has a lot of fermented foods in it. But sometimes children especially are sensitive to these fermented foods. And we’ve seen some miraculous changes by reducing dietary histamine in combination with treating dysbiosis. And to your point about literature, there was one study recently, I believe the findings, I’m paraphrasing here, were essentially that there was a higher incidence of fungal overgrowths in children with autism.

    Michael Ruscio: And so, we certainly see, yes, there is evidence here. There was another study that showed that patients with urticaria, or hives, had a high incidence of infections, mainly a protozoa known as Blastocystis hominis, and more importantly, after treating these infections or imbalances, there was an improvement in their urticaria, or their hives. In the book, I detail a patient case study where he came in with rheumatoid arthritis and was on pretty powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, and we found SIBO, even though he had no digestive symptoms, treated the SIBO, and he was able to come off of his … I believe he was on Humira, a very strong medication. So, yes. You’re absolutely right. I think we’re in full agreement on this. The literature is littered with examples of this. And then clinicians are littered with their case studies that support this. So it’s definitely an idea that I think the time has come.

    Chris: Let’s give some other examples, just because I think that helps people to bring this to life. It’s easy to say, “Oh, the gut’s connected to everything.” But when it really affects people personally, I think that’s when they really … when they start to get it in a different way. Skin conditions are another very common example. We often, we’ll see patients with psoriasis or eczema, and they might not have any gut symptoms. So they go to the dermatologist, the dermatologist gives them a steroid cream or something like that to put on their skin, it might help a little bit, but it doesn’t go away or get better. We know that in people with celiac disease, especially silent celiac with no gut symptoms, about 50 percent of them have extra-intestinal skin manifestations like eczema, dermatitis. That’s something that again, most people in general public and dermatologists, even, are not even thinking about. Now, what are some other examples from your practice of people who have had gut issues, that didn’t … maybe they didn’t even have gut symptoms, but it was the gut that was driving that?

    Michael Ruscio: Right. And again, that’s such a key connection to make, which is you can have a gut problem that’s not manifesting as gut symptoms but that is causing whatever external symptom, whether it be brain fog or skin issues or what have you. Two just come to mind. And a lot of these … We’ve published patient conversations on our website where I sit down with someone and we talk through their cases. It’s not like cramming a camera in someone’s face, and saying, “Tell me how good you feel,” [chuckle] testimonial. It’s more so, “Let’s talk through what you came in with and what we did, how you felt going through this.” Because I do try to pull the curtain back into my clinic and let people see what some of these results look like in practical terms. There was one patient that came in, and I wasn’t even really sure if I could help her because the presentation was so unique. She had this chronic condition of swelling and chapping of her lips. And that was the only symptom that she had, everything else looked fairly unremarkable. And I told her, “Well, we certainly know that the gut–skin connection does exist. I can’t say I’ve just seen this before, but we could certainly do a work-up, see if we find anything out of whack, and perform some interventions to improve your gut health.”

    Michael Ruscio: And it turned out that she had some dysbiosis in her gut. I wanna say she also had a protozoa. I’m not sure what the exact pathogen or dysbiosis was. But she had an imbalance in the gut that’s not very hard to treat. And a lot of this, again, is covered in the protocol in my book, so I don’t want people to think they have to go through this elaborate testing to figure out exactly what they have. Foundationally, you can go through a number of steps to rectify imbalances, absent of lab testing. But since she was in my clinic, we had the ability to fairly easily run some lab testing, we found, again, I believe it was a protozoa. And I was shocked that a month later, her lip swelling completely went away. So something I wouldn’t even have thought was connected was absolutely connected. And another patient, and we also published a case study on our website for this gal. She was doing really everything right. And actually, there’s a friend of mine in town here who does similar work, and he said, “I’m gonna refer you this patient because she’s too smart for me.” [laughter] He said, “She knows more than I do, because she’s very, very well educated.” And she came in, she was doing everything right. She was in your Paleo, low-carb diet, exercising, getting adequate sleep, doing some supplementation, yet she was about 50 pounds overweight.

    Michael Ruscio: And in her case, we found a fungal overgrowth that was resistant to treatment because it was likely protected by a biofilm, so we had to treat again with agents that break down this protective fence that certain bacteria and fungus can build around themselves to make them somewhat impenetrable to treatment. And the only thing we did was treat that problem in her gut. She lost, over the course of about six months, a little over that 50 pounds that she was wanting to lose. And she also was sleeping better. And so, this stuff is legitimate, and it’s not a, “Here is the next weight loss panacea,” because I think unfortunately, the gut–weight loss connection has been way overexploited for marketing purposes. But you can see some people definitely lose a notable amount of weight if they’re overweight. And at the other end of the spectrum, some patients come in and they’re losing weight and they don’t know why. And that’s because their gut is malabsorbing nutrients. And so … Those are a few examples that come to mind.

    Improving the gut without relying on medical testing

    Chris: Yeah. And there’s so many, we could go on and just talk all about that. But I wanna come back to something that you just hinted at because I think it’s an important topic. There’s no doubt that Functional Medicine testing for the gut can be extremely helpful, and even necessary, in some cases, but there’s also no doubt that a lot can be done to improve and heal the gut. Without that, in some cases, we’re relying too much on that testing. I know that this is something you are pretty passionate about. So let’s talk a little bit about that.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah. [chuckle] Something I’m very passionate about. And it’s for multifold reasons. One, I think that it doesn’t help healthcare practitioners. I think too much testing and an overreliance on testing actually makes it harder for a practitioner to get results. And the short story behind that is, there are a fair number of tests that haven’t been clinically validated, meaning the results have no real utility. And so when you’re trying to treat a lab that doesn’t have any clinical utility, you’re adding a variable into the clinical process that’s meaningless. And so you’re adding another non-meaningful variable into an already variable-rich process, thus making it much harder to produce results. And microbiota assays, I think, are one of the best examples of this, where a patient may have, let’s say they have bloating, abdominal pain, and loose stools.

    Michael Ruscio: And they do a stool test and it shows that you’re deficient in some of these good bacteria. And so the doctor … And I see a case study like this at least once or twice a month. The doctor gives them fiber and prebiotics supplementation, and the person ends up getting more bloated, having looser stools. And what’s happening underneath the surface there, is the lab company is trying to replicate something that’s being done at a research center using a microbiota assay, where they essentially map all the bacteria in the gut. But what the lab is using and what the research center are using are two different methods of technology, although similar, and they’re using them outside of the context that was used in that research paper. And so if you look at the clinical literature, and this is where the levels of evidence I was mentioning before come in and are very important, you see that oftentimes where people with digestive maladies, they need to undergo some type of bacterial and/or fungal reduction strategy, at least in the short term. And so rather than treating their “labs,” we may wanna look at the condition that the person has and the symptoms they present with, and treat those instead.

    Michael Ruscio: So instead of giving them the fiber and the prebiotics, we may put them on a low-FODMAP diet that actually starves bacteria, and potentially, if that doesn’t get all the result, you may perform a round of herbal medicines that can clean out bacterial and fungal overgrowths. And I had to say that, the better I get, the more experience I obtain in the clinic, the less testing that I do. And this is what I’ve also tried to incorporate into the book, which is, there is a whole lot you can do without needing lab tests. Especially if you perform an intervention and then reevaluate at the end of that intervention how you’re feeling, and then you can kinda go one way or the other. And so what I’ve written is kind of a “choose your own adventure” guide, if you will, where there’s not necessarily one path, but there’s … There’s one main path, but there’s divergent paths in there, depending on how someone responds.

    Michael Ruscio: And at the risk of being long winded here, [chuckle] I think the most … One of the fundamentals that’s important here is the more symptomatic someone is, the more cautious they’ll probably wanna be with strong bacterial feeding interventions right out of the gate. And the healthier someone is, the more likely they can undergo a bacterial feeding intervention like prebiotics and fiber right out of the gate and respond favorably. So I built this into the algorithm of the steps, so that a healthy person can do maybe three steps. An unhealthy person will do more steps because they’re gonna have to first go through that bacterial reduction phase before going to the bacterial feeding phase.

    The role of the gut as the second brain and technology addiction

    Chris: Yeah, that’s really important to understand. We hear the recommendations to eat four tablespoons of resistant starch a day. And I’ve had patients who unfortunately took that at face value, who had very compromised gut and ended up going to the hospital because they thought they were having appendicitis or something like that. [chuckle] It was essentially gas pain from the fermentation. This stuff really does need to be personalized, so I love that you do that in the book. Let’s talk about … something I’ve been really, over the last couple of years, has really come front and center for me and my awareness in working with gut issues is the role of the gut as the second brain or as essentially a big bundle of nerves. And there’s much more serotonin in the gut than there is in the brain, there’s a lot more melatonin, and it really is, either you could see it as an extension of our nervous system or even a second nervous system. And I found in a lot of cases, especially with patients who have done a lot of the right things in terms of addressing the microbiology, taking antimicrobials or taking probiotics and prebiotics and cleaning up their diet, and they’re still experiencing gut issues. My experience and my belief in many of those situations is that it’s actually a nervous system dysregulation that’s driving the gut issues. So I know you covered this a little bit in your book. Just curious to hear your take.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah, it’s another really fascinating area, and there’s a lot to be said there. [chuckle] Where to begin? [chuckle] I think from looking at an overall kind of global autonomic tone, meaning are you sympathetic or parasympathetic? That’s one very important aspect of trying to make sure that the enteric nervous system, the nervous system in your gut, is having the appropriate feed-ins for someone to be healthy. And so there are a number of things that we can do to improve that dysautonomia, if you would, that imbalance in your nervous system that trickles down into the inputs in your gut nervous system, specifically. And a couple of these are actually very simple, but they may be subtle changes for someone to make, but they may have profound implications. And one is understanding that modern data does show the more time you spend on the internet, the worse you will feel. And unfortunately, what’s tending to happen, if you look at some of the observational data here, is people are spending more time on the internet and on social media, and that is causing them to spend less time in nature, and less time with friends and family.

    Michael Ruscio: And so what can end up happening … I’m sorry. So time with friends and family, social interaction, has been shown to have a direct correlation to overall subjective well-being. And time in nature has also been shown to reduce your overall chance of death and increase the sense of subjective well-being. There are certain Asian researchers, or in Asia, certain research groups that are looking at what’s known as “forest bathing,” that essentially shows that if you can take a leisurely walk in the woods, there’s something about that that is very health promoting. And there’s another stroke here that’s been published by a researcher named Shelley Taylor, who … She has put forth the theory that men more so have a fight-or-flight response, but women more so have a tend-and-befriend response. Meaning that in times of stress, it’s more important for women to have connection. And this may have to do with some of our evolutionary background, where in times of stress it was more … men would more so have to go out and fight, hunt, what have you, and that was to some degree a little bit more isolating, and women would have more of a predilection toward coming together and tending and befriending, and part of this may be mediated by a hormone called oxytocin, which is potentiated by estrogen, so that may be a reason why we see a sex discrimination with this.

    Michael Ruscio: So, it really boils down to a simple concept, which is if people are excessively researching on the internet how to improve their health at the expense of things like time and nature and connectedness, they could really be doing themselves a big disservice in terms of their healing. And there are other deeper things we could get into mechanistically, but I think that’s one that’s often overlooked, that is free and fairly easy to implement, but holds pretty sizable potential for people to improve from.

    Linking gut health to a good night’s sleep

    Chris: Absolutely. I think technology addiction is … or not even addiction, just overuse, which in some cases is driven by work and other cases it is more of an addictive thing, is a huge part of this constellation of factors that contributes to nervous system dysregulation and can definitely affect the gut. And along those same lines, we have more than a third of Americans not getting enough sleep, and that of course torpedoes the nervous system. I think in terms of my own history with gut issues now that I have … As many people know who are listening to this, I had multiple parasitic illnesses in my early 20s that evolved into a much more chronic problem. And at this point, I’m through the worst part of that, but my gut is still sensitive because of everything that I went through, not only the parasites, but the treatments that I had to do to get rid of them. And I think sleep at this point is the most noticeable trigger for me. If I don’t sleep well, my gut is gonna be the way that I know that … I mean, obviously you know in other ways, by just my gut the next day is not gonna function very well, so tell us a little about that. I know you’ve explored the connection between sleep and gut as well in the book.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah, so there’s a really fascinating connection there, and I believe we both had an Entamoeba histolytica infection, so maybe somehow that changes you and makes you wanna go deeper into healthcare, but I wouldn’t recommend self-inoculating if it’s not an area you wanna get into. [chuckle]

    Chris: There are easier ways.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah. [chuckle] What’s fascinating about sleep is there’s definitely this bidirectional relationship between sleep and the gut, and gut and sleep. And one of the most common things that I see that people, I think, don’t expect to see when improving their gut health is their sleep improves. And so if people have a hard time falling asleep, or they’re very wakeful, or they’re always waking up an hour before their alarm goes off, or they need excessive amounts of sleep, which seems to be defined as chronically getting over or needing over nine hours of sleep, then it’s very possible there’s a problem in the gut that’s causing that. And part of this may be due to melatonin, as you noted earlier, there are, many of these chemicals are made in the gut. Melatonin is one, and that is needed for sleep. So there’s definitely this gut-to-sleep connection, and improving your gut health can improve your sleep. But then there’s also this massive amount of research showing that if one is not getting adequate sleep or if they’re chronically getting too much sleep, and again, the research suggests that at a minimum, six to seven hours, and a maximum nine hours.

    Michael Ruscio: Consistently falling within that window is important, but if someone is constantly not getting enough sleep, then that is gonna be a huge deterrent to their health and to their healing also. The amount of data … I think this is the one area that we have probably the most compelling data showing that, again, if you’re chronically undersleeping or chronically oversleeping or having your sleep interfered with, that almost every measure that has been evaluated will worsen, meaning your chance of cardiovascular disease, your chance of dementia, your chance of all-cause mortality, meaning death from any cause, your chances of depression, literally every measure that has been studied, and usually we’re looking at a systematic review with meta-analysis, so these studies are looking at a number of studies and summarizing the results—all conclude that if you’re chronically getting or needing more than nine hours of sleep or unable to get a consistent six or seven hours of sleep, you are, in fact, increasing your chances of a number of diseases or morbidities.

    Chris: So true. And of course, gut issues are one of the most … one of the main ones because of how inexorably intertwined the gut is with the systems that are affected by sleep.

    Michael Ruscio: Absolutely. And there’s one other thing I just wanna sneak in there really quick before we leave this, which is … and I take a small tangent in the book on this because for some people, it is very important, which is sometimes subtle female hormone imbalances will interfere with sleep. Now, most notably, if a woman is having hot flashes that wake her up, of course, that’s one. But I have found that some women, they’re waking up and maybe only feeling a little bit warm. And it’s almost a subclinical hot flash, if you will. And many of the factors that we outlined in the book of simply improving one’s gut health will improve these female hormone-mediated symptoms, but we also make a few recommendations for simple and safe herbal interventions that require no testing, that can help to balance out female hormones and can help with sleep. And not only sleep—there’s some evidence to show that women with constipation, maybe because of progesterone receptors in the gut, can also improve their bowel regularity by using some gentle herbal medicines that help to coax the female hormones back into balance.

    The biggest mistakes people make when addressing gut health

    Chris: So what do you think the biggest mistakes are that people make when they’re trying to address their gut health?

    Michael Ruscio: Well, I think the most foundational is people don’t listen to their own response, and they may go on a low-carb blog and hear all these success stories, and think they have to go low carb. Or they may go to a fiber enthusiast blog and become somewhat indoctrinated into thinking they have to eat a high-fiber, high-prebiotic diet. But they’re not really listening to the fact that, “Geez! When I don’t eat enough carbs, I feel tired.” Or, “When I eat too much prebiotic-rich foods, I feel bloated. But I heard this PBS special with credentialed doctor so-and-so telling me how important feeding our gut bugs is.” Which is true, but it’s just not true for everyone. And so that, as you mentioned earlier, that personalization is left out and/or people are misled into not listening to their own bodies because they’re rather listening to the expert opinion. So that’s definitely one.

    Michael Ruscio: And I think it dovetails in with another point that I really try to develop in the book, which is oftentimes, some of the standard party line, I guess, if you will, recommendations for gut health, are very centered around what happens in the colon, but they miss the small intestine. And the small intestine represents over 56 percent of your gastrointestinal tract, so it’s the largest anatomical contributor to the intestinal tract. And that’s where 90 percent of calories are absorbed, and it’s the largest density of the immune cells in the entire body. And so I think some of the confusion stems from exciting research looking at what’s happening in the colon with some of the stool testing. They’re doing research looking at the microbiota, the world of bacteria in the gut, and those stool tests predominantly assess the colon, or the large intestine. But if you’re making all your decisions based upon maybe 20 to 30 percent of the gastrointestinal tract, the colon, and you’re not looking at the recommendations for the small intestine, which comprises the majority of your gut, and the majority of your calorie absorption, and the majority of your gut immune system, then it’s easy to be misled.

    Chris: Yeah, and also, confusing in that the interventions in some cases that you would do to support the small intestine might be opposite to what you would do to support the large intestine.

    Michael Ruscio: Exactly, exactly.

    Chris: So there’s a sequencing thing that needs to happen sometimes, in terms of when to address which part of the gut and in what order.

    Michael Ruscio: Exactly, yeah, you’re absolutely right. And that’s one of the concepts I try to develop in the book to help throw people a lifeline, which is, “Are you confused about [chuckle] all these different recommendations that seem to be at odds with each other?” Well, it’s because we have to contextualize these into a sequence of steps so that you’re doing the right thing at the right time. And it brings up maybe another common mistake that I see people make, which is looking for the magic protocol, and people protocol-jumping. They go from one protocol to the next to the next, and they oftentimes, they don’t get the result they’re looking for because the magic, so to speak, is not in the protocol, it’s really in the process. The right protocols used in the wrong process will lead to failure. But the right protocols used in the right process will lead to success. And that’s what’s often left out, is you get a snippet of this or a snippet of that, a protocol here, protocol there, but not how to sequence these and personalize these in the correct order. And that’s another thing I try to really build into the action plan in the book.

    Chris: Yeah, that’s … I would add impatience [chuckle] is also a common pitfall. And it’s understandable. I’ve been there. Mike, you’ve been there.

    Michael Ruscio: Oh, yeah.

    Chris: We know what it’s like to suffer from these conditions, and it’s natural to wanna get better as quickly as possible, but the strategies that we’re talking about are not overnight cures. And unfortunately, in conventional medicine, in many cases, it’s conditioned us to expect immediate results from a sledgehammer-type approach of using medication. But in these cases, if you’re talking about rebalancing an ecosystem that consists of trillions of microbes, that’s not gonna happen overnight, right?

    Michael Ruscio: Absolutely agree with you. And by the other side of the token, the other thing that I’ve seen that sometimes happens in more natural medicine-minded communities is people are told you have to be … Oftentimes it happens with diet, you have to be on a given diet for months before you’re gonna experience improvement. And we walk people through diets in the book, there’s a few different times to evaluate, the average time someone has to be on a diet, according to the protocols I lay out, is two to three weeks. And it’s not to say you’re gonna experience all of your improvement in that two to three weeks, but after two to three weeks you should know, “Hey, I’m feeling better,” or, “No, I feel exactly the same or even worse.” And when you navigate the dietary protocols that way, you can get through the handful of diets that would be recommended fairly quickly, rather than saying, “Oh, the autoimmune protocol … ” Nothing against it, it’s one of the protocols that I recommend people considering in the book, but you have to be on it for six months, because there’s layers of healing and what have you, and I’m open to there being a time and a place for that, but usually what I find is, again, a few weeks to know if you’re in the right ballpark, and if not, let’s keep you moving forward so we can find what will actually work for you.

    Chris: Yeah. I definitely agree with that diet. There are always exceptions, we’re just laying out general guidelines, but it’s certainly true, and I’ve seen people on … kind of bludgeoning themselves to stay on a certain diet that’s not working, for a long period of time, just getting worse and worse. And often if they go on to the sort of online communities that are centered around those diets, the feedback that they’ll get is just do it more, harder, faster. [chuckle]

    Michael Ruscio: Exactly. Yeah.

    Chris: You’re at 99 percent, but if you just got to 100 percent … That’s the other thing, is people assume that they need to follow something 100 percent in order to get any benefit at all, and I don’t think that makes sense, physiologically. It’s certainly true that being more rigorous will … you need to reach a certain threshold to get a benefit, but I don’t think that’s 100 percent.

    Michael Ruscio: Again, we’re [chuckle] on the same page as we are for many things. And I think what happens is people actually … I tell people, be … shoot for about 80 percent because I expect there’s gonna be a time or two when you have to deviate slightly, and that’s okay. And I think to go from that 80-ish percent to 100 percent, the amount of negatives far outweighs the amount of positives you would get from going through the extra rigors to become 100 percent compliant compared to 80 percent compliant. That’s a key, key point.

    Chris: And it’s not just in terms of quality of life, it’s actual, physical symptoms, I mean we just talked about how stress can tank the gut. [chuckle]

    Michael Ruscio: Right, exactly.

    Chris: So it actually can backfire going from 80 to 100 percent, not only not improve you, it can make you worse.

    Michael Ruscio: I completely agree.

    Listening to your gut and consolidating all probiotics into a few categories

    Chris: Yeah. Now of course, there are people out there who are listening to this who have experienced that benefit going stricter, but that’s where listening to your body comes in, as you’ve mentioned, Mike, that’s one of the first, probably the biggest mistake that most people make is not listening to their bodies. And again, it’s easy to understand how that can happen, there’s so much conflicting information out there, when your body is sending you a lots of different messages, it can be hard to tune in and know what’s going on, but ultimately trusting your intuition and trusting your gut, so to speak, is a really important thing to learn how to do as part of the healing process.

    Michael Ruscio: There’s another area that people don’t listen to their gut, and this is kind of exacerbated by confusion in the field, which is regarding probiotics. Gosh, there’s probably hundreds or more probiotic products out there, but when you really look at the research literature, you can consolidate all probiotics into three to four categories. Some research papers suggest five categories, I think more practically three to four. And when you understand this, you don’t have to try the hundreds of products, but rather say, “Let me try a probiotic from category one and see how I do, let me try a probiotic from category two and see how I do.” And then when you do that, you cut through all this confusion of, “Oh, I heard about this one and someone told me about that one,” and you’ll keep trying the same product, just with a mild derivation of the same product … I’m sorry, of a similar product in the same category forever, and it can be maddening, but again, if you understand that here are the categories … And just briefly, the main categories in my opinion, but I think this is fairly well reflected in the research literature, is a Lactobacillus–Bifidobacterium species predominated blend, meaning you’ll have multiple strains, but the majority of those will be different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, category one.

    Michael Ruscio: Category two would be a Saccharomyces boulardii probiotic, technically a healthy fungus. Category three would be predominantly E. coli Nissle 1917, and this is a healthy form of E. coli, which is actually one of the most common residents in the gut, so not all E. coli is bad. It’s not something that there’s a lot of applicability for in the US because it’s not available in the US, and actually I should probably classify E. coli as category four, and then category three would be soil-based or spore-forming probiotics. And there’s a few different formulas here, and there’s some derivation and some detail there, but essentially this is predominantly Bacillus strains probiotics, and those are your three or four classes. And I would try each one of those, and sometimes people do not do well on any probiotics and that’s okay. And so they shouldn’t keep beating themselves over the head with a probiotic because they keep reading about how good they are. Try each category. If you respond, great. If you have a negative reaction, then move on to something else.

    Chris: Fantastic. Mike, it’s been such a pleasure. The book is Healthy Gut, Healthy You: The Personalized Plan to Transform Your Health from the Inside Out. Where can they go to get it, and where can they find out more about your work?

    Michael Ruscio: They can get the book on Amazon. They can also learn more at HealthyGutHealthyYouBook.com, and if they wanted to learn more about me, my website is DrRuscio.com, which is D-R-R-U-S-C-I-O dot com.

    Chris: Been a pleasure as always. Look forward to seeing you at Paleo f(x) for our annual meet-up.

    Michael Ruscio: Yeah. We’ll have another talk over some barbecue. Thanks, Chris. It was great being here.

    Chris: All right, take care.

    Michael Ruscio: You too.

    The post RHR: Practical Steps for Healing the Gut—with Michael Ruscio appeared first on Chris Kresser.

  • Why Quality Trumps Quantity When it Comes to Diet

    Post From https://chriskresser.com/why-quality-trumps-quantity-when-it-comes-to-diet/

    Obesity is a major public health epidemic. Forty percent of adults are already obese, and if current trends continue, more than half of adults will be obese by 2030 (1). Obesity is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and presents a massive $147 billion burden on the healthcare system each year (2).

    Researchers have long debated whether low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets are best for weight loss. Regardless of the macronutrient content, however, most long-term studies have reported little success in achieving and maintaining significant weight loss. In 2016, I wrote an article called “Carbohydrates: Why Quality Trumps Quantity,” in which I argued that the answer to obesity and metabolic disease lies not in how much carbohydrate we eat, but rather what types of carbohydrate we eat.

    A new study found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and processed food lost weight over 12 months—regardless of whether they were low-carb or low-fat

    A landmark study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association supports this argument and suggests that the same principles apply to fats. The researchers found that on average, people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and processed food lost weight over 12 months—regardless of whether the diet was low-carb or low-fat (3). In this article, I’ll break down the methods and findings of the study.

    Treading where few researchers have gone before

    Nutrition science research is already fraught with problems, and weight loss studies bring their own unique difficulties. In order to produce a robust weight loss trial, an aspiring research group must:

    • Have enough funding to support a large scale randomized trial
    • Recruit and retain a very large group of subjects
    • Collect data over a long-term period
    • Ensure subjects are complying with the dietary intervention

    Ideally, they would also use weight loss strategies that can be applied and sustained by free-living people. Unfortunately, few, if any, studies published in the literature have succeeded in meeting all four of these criteria—until now, that is. In February, the results of a long-term, large-scale, randomized clinical trial led by Dr. Christopher Gardner, Director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, were published in JAMA.

    The study design: whole foods low-fat vs. low-carb

    The scientists recruited 609 adults to participate in the 12-month study. The subjects were both male and female, were between 18 and 50 years old, and had an average body mass index of 33 (class I obesity). Those with uncontrolled metabolic disease were excluded from the study. The researchers randomly split them into two diet groups: “healthy low-carb” and “healthy low-fat.”

    During the first eight weeks, participants in the low-fat and low-carb groups were instructed to reduce intake of total fat or digestible carbohydrates, respectively, to 20 grams per day. They then slowly added fats or carbohydrates back into their diets until they reached the lowest level of intake that they believed they could sustain indefinitely. Additionally, both diet groups “were instructed to 1) maximize vegetable intake; 2) minimize intake of added sugars, refined flours, and trans fats; and 3) focus on whole foods that were minimally processed, nutrient dense, and prepared at home whenever possible” (3).

    For example, foods like fruit juice, pastries, white rice, white bread, and soft drinks are low in fat, but were not recommended to the low-fat group. Instead, the dietitians encouraged participants to eat whole foods like lean meat, brown rice, lentils, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and fruit. Meanwhile, the low-carb group was instructed to focus on foods rich in healthy fats, like olive oil, avocados, salmon, cheese, nut butters, and pasture-raised animal products.

    The best part? The participants were told not to worry about counting calories or limiting portion sizes, but to simply eat enough to avoid feeling hungry.

    Both groups attended 22 instructional classes led by registered dietitians over the course of the 12 months to help support them in these changes. Overall, 79 percent of the participants completed the trial. At the end of the year, average macronutrient breakdown by energy was as follows:

    Low-fat group: 48% carbohydrate, 29% fat, 21% protein
    Low-carb group: 30% carbohydrate, 45% fat, 23% protein

    This was determined by random 24-hour dietary recalls, but was also confirmed with more objective measures of compliance to the diet, like respiratory exchange ratio.

    Weight loss without calorie counting or restriction

    The results? Both diet groups eating a whole-foods, nutrient-dense diet spontaneously reduced caloric intake and lost significant weight in the year-long study. However, there were no significant differences between the low-carb and low-fat groups in regard to weight loss, body fat, or waist circumference. On average, the low-carb group lost 13.2 pounds (6 kg), while the low-fat group lost 11.7 pounds (5.3 kg).

    This might not seem like a dramatic amount of weight loss, but according to the National Heart Forum, even a modest (5 percent) reduction in body mass index could spare the lives of millions of Americans and save billions of dollars in healthcare costs (4).

    Indeed, both groups also experienced improvements in other health markers. After 12 months, participants had reduced fasting glucose, insulin, and triglycerides and improved systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In fact, 36 participants in each group that had metabolic syndrome at baseline had improved their health so much that they no longer fit the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome.

    Just to reiterate, there were no differences between low-carb and low-fat. When the subjects focused on real, whole foods and cut refined grains, sugars, and processed foods out of their diet, they lost significant weight, without having to count calories or restrict energy intake. However, this was based on averages, and does not mean that an individual might not respond better to a low-carb or low-fat diet.

    Open questions and future directions

    This study represents an incredible effort by the researchers and fills an important gap in the scientific literature. Still, any study worth its marbles will inevitably create some open questions:

    Why did some people lose weight and others didn’t? While participants on average lost weight in both groups, there was a huge variability in individual responses: some lost up to 50 pounds, while a few gained weight. The researchers hypothesized that individual responses would depend on genetics or insulin response to carbohydrates, but the data didn’t support this idea. Thus, the elusive factor that determines success in weight loss is still unknown. (I heard through the grapevine that they also collected fecal samples in this study, so analysis of the gut microbiome may offer some clues.)

    Was the low-carb group truly low-carb? Despite starting off at a carbohydrate intake of about 20 grams per day in the first two months, the low-carb group was already consuming 97 grams per day by three months, 113 grams per day by six months, and 132 grams per day by 12 months (including 22 grams of added sugar). In other words, while they started the trial on a very-low-carb diet, by month 12, they were consuming more of a moderate-carb diet. It’s conceivable that sustained ketosis could have sparked greater weight loss in the low-carb group. However, the subjects were instructed to eat the lowest amount of carbs they could sustain over time, and most found that ketosis was simply unsustainable.

    Will both groups keep it off? It will be interesting to see the five-, 10-, and 15-year follow-ups of this study, to see how many people in each group were able to successfully keep off the weight they lost. If they stick to a whole-foods way of eating, my guess is that they might!

    “Western” diets vs. ancestral diets

    Not too surprisingly, the findings from this study align with what we see in populations eating a more ancestral diet. Among traditional cultures, fat and carbohydrate consumption vary widely, yet obesity is essentially nonexistent. The Inuit, Masai, Turkhana, and Kavirondo consume up to 58 percent of their daily energy from animal fat, yet are lean and have excellent metabolic health (5). Likewise, the Kitavan Islanders of Melanesia consume 60 to 70 percent of their daily energy as carbohydrates from fruit and tubers (6), yet boast healthy levels of insulin and blood glucose (7, 8) and have a virtual absence of obesity (9).

    These tribes don’t just have superior genetics. Inuit that have left their traditional lifestyle for a Western diet and lifestyle also left their protection against cardiovascular disease behind (10). Similarly, Kitavan Islanders who leave for the mainland and begin to eat a Western diet quickly become overweight (11).

    What we can learn from this study

    Altogether, this new research adds to anthropological data to clearly show that the quality of food is far more important than the macronutrient composition. Here are the overall takeaways from this article:

    1. Eat real food for weight loss. Focus on fresh, whole foods that are minimally processed, and eat mindfully, stopping when you’re full.
    2. Self-experiment. The study described here found that on average, there were no differences in weight loss between the low-fat and low-carb groups. However, it doesn’t mean that a single individual won’t fare better on one diet versus another.
    3. Consider life stage and underlying conditions. This study was performed on obese adults without major underlying conditions. If you are pregnant, lactating, or have poor thyroid function, you probably still need a moderate to high carb intake. If you have diabetes, a lower-carb diet may help manage the condition.
    4. Get support. This study also provides evidence that access to regular support from dietitians or health coaches can help people make lasting behavior change and improvements in their health.

    Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you tried low-carb or low-fat for weight loss? Which ancestral tribe does your diet look most like? Let us know in the comments!

    The post Why Quality Trumps Quantity When it Comes to Diet appeared first on Chris Kresser.

  • Tandoori Fish

    Post From https://nomnompaleo.com/tandoori-fish

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Tandoori fish has quickly become my new go-to fish recipe on busy weeknights. Why? Because these tender and aromatic fillets are insanely easy to throw together, and they pack a big punch of flavor. Besides, your whole family’ll enjoy Tandoori Fish. Really—even picky Lil-O happily gobbled up these fillets without any grumbling.

    I know—you love fish, but it can be a challenge to serve it up for dinner on a regular basis. Fish is wonderfully healthy and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it can be tough to find a simple, hassle-free weeknight recipe that also tastes great. The struggle is real, folks.

    But recently, I rediscovered an old Nom Nom Paleo classic, Super Easy Tandoori Chicken, and realized that I could use this versatile Indian marinade on fish fillets!

    Not sure where to get some tandoori spice blend? You can buy it at a spice shop, your neighborhood supermarket, or online. Still can’t find it? You can make it yourself with stuff you probably already stock in the spice cabinet. I’ve tried this tandoori marinade with coconut yogurt, coconut cream, and full-fat canned coconut milk, and I can confirm that it works with any of the three. (Personally, coconut yogurt’s my fave.) In terms of choosing fish, any white fish fillet tastes great with this marinade—you can use cod, sea bass, barramundi, halibut, you name it! Yup—this recipe’s delicious, Whole30-friendly, and versatile!

    Ready to make tandoori fish a regular part of your dinner rotation?

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

    • 4 (6-ounce) white fish fillets (e.g., cod, sea bass, etc.)
    • 1 teaspoon Diamond crystal kosher brand salt (½ teaspoon if using Morton’s brand kosher or a fine grain salt)
    • ½ cup plain coconut yogurt (I like Coyo, Anita’s Coconut Yogurt, and Living Cultures Superfood brands), coconut cream, or full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice mix (no salt added)
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges

    Equipment:

    Method:

    Blot the fish fillets dry with paper towel. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the fillets.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    In a large bowl, combine the coconut yogurt, tandoori spice mix, and lemon juice.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Mix well to combine.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Add the salted fish fillets and coat them well with the marinade.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Marinate for 20 minutes and up to 1 hour in the fridge. (Heck, you can totally skip this part and the fish will still taste fab.)

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Heat oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Lay the four fillets on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Pop the tray of fish in the oven.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Bake for 8-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the fillet reaches 145°F.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    No meat thermometer? Cook until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when nudged with a fork. (P.S.: 1-inch fillets take about 10 minutes, but thinner fillets can cook quicker).

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite veggie side dish. I like to serve the fish with a big green salad, roasted veggies, or cauliflower rice.

    Tandoori Fish by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Enjoy!


    Still have questions on how to make it? Watch Ollie and I make it on my Facebook Live shot on 4/11/18!


    Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

    Recipe IndexNom Nom Paleo CookbooksNom Nom Paleo App

    PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

    Tandoori Fish

    Prep 10 mins

    Cook 10 mins

    Inactive 20 mins

    Total 40 mins

    Author Michelle Tam

    Yield 4 servings

    Tandoori fish has quickly become my new go-to fish recipe on busy weeknights! These tender and aromatic fillets are so simple to throw together and pack a big punch of flavor that your whole family will enjoy. This healthy recipe’s versatile, Whole30-friendly, and delicious!

    Ingredients

    • 4 (6-ounce) white fish fillets (e.g., cod, sea bass, etc.)
    • 1 teaspoon Diamond crystal kosher brand salt (½ teaspoon if using Morton’s brand kosher or a fine grain salt)
    • ½ cup plain coconut yogurt (I like Coyo, Anita’s Coconut Yogurt, and Living Cultures Superfood brands), coconut cream, or full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice mix (no salt added)
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges

    Instructions

    1. Blot the fish fillets dry with paper towel. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the fillets.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut yogurt, tandoori spice mix, and lemon juice. Mix well to combine.
    3. Add the salted fish fillets and coat them well with the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes and up to 1 hour in the fridge. (Heck, you can totally skip this part and the fish will still taste fab.)
    4. Marinate for 20 minutes and up to 1 hour in the fridge. (Heck, you can totally skip this part and the fish will still taste fab.)
    5. Heat oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Lay the four fillets on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper.
    6. Pop the tray of fish in the oven. Bake for 8-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the fillet reaches 145°F. No meat thermometer? Cook until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when nudged with a fork. (P.S.: 1-inch fillets take about 10 minutes, but thinner fillets can cook quicker).
    7. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite veggie side dish. I like to serve the fish with a big green salad, roasted veggies, or cauliflower rice.

    Courses Dinner

    Cuisine fish, Whole30, paleo, primal, Indian, gluten-free

    The post Tandoori Fish appeared first on Nom Nom Paleo®.

  • Small, Successive, Healthy Decision-Making Leads To Consistency and Progress

    Post From https://www.marksdailyapple.com/small-successive-healthy-decision-making-leads-to-consistency-and-progress/

    It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

     My name is Andrew Mencher. I am 29 years old. I’ve been following a Primal lifestyle for a little over two years now. I am writing this as a follow up to my previously published success story, which details my introduction to the Primal Blueprint, my struggles with starting, and the initial benefits I found while maintaining the lifestyle. I have since made adjustments, experimented, and undergone personal struggle and growth, all of which were influenced by and benefitted from the Primal Blueprint principles.

    I’ll pick up where I left off, fall of 2016. Everything was going well until I had a surgery in Jan ’17 for an issue which could not be resolved otherwise and during the recovery I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. The diagnosis sparked something in me. It was part fear and part wake up call. I was engaged to be married that August, and I had (have) full intentions of starting a family. I was not going to let this disease interfere with my life and if I was going to be a role model to future adults who will contribute to society, I needed to healthy enough to do so. I got many consultations and they all ended the same, so I began regular infusions.

    before_airplaneAt the same time I became multiple orders of magnitude stricter with my diet. Not 80/20, more like 95/5, and now more like 98/2. I began to exercise in a way that was less likely to cause inflammation, did my best to try to sleep more (my main struggle currently), and I tried to spend more time outside. I adopted the Primal life as much as possible (I live in NY and work in an office in Manhattan, it’s not easy). My symptoms began to improve dramatically. There’s no proof, but I firmly believe that the increased Primal alignment in lifestyle assisted the efficacy of the infusions. I feel no pain and only minor inflammation on occasion. I do feel pain if I indulge though, which tells me it’s the diet as much as the medication which helps. And so with the stricter adherence to the principles I became a healthier individual. And with that, more weight came off. At the time of my wedding that August I was down to 207 (at 6’3”).

    This is somewhat of an aside, but it has to do with our Primal conviction to eat locally grown food. Following my wedding my wife and I went on a once in a lifetime honeymoon to Thailand. But we’re more adventure than resort types (though we did spend a little time in Koh Samui getting massages and relaxing on some sand). That was an eye-opening trip. Thailand is still developing as a country. It has a rich history and a mostly Buddhist people, but there’s a lot of jungle and a lot of nature. The food supply chain there is minimal and most food is local. While there I avoided wheat but I did not avoid sugar as I normally would have and I ate more fruit and rice than I thought ever possible. Funny thing was I had no adverse gut reaction. I gained a little weight, but we were also hiking and walking enough that it was minimal. I got to see chickens everywhere and I swear they were little dinosaurs. It made me think about our fat farmed chickens here and how different they were. If you never had a SouthEast Asian drumstick from a random dino-chick, I’d highly suggest it. I believe the local production of the food and minimal processing and handling made the fruits and rices far less problematic for me to digest. I also discovered my favorite food ever, Khanom Krok a coconut cream custard pancake, which we can make into Khanom Grok, by removing the sugar and replacing with whatever low glycemic sweetener or no sweetener at all. I also discovered the Lamut fruit, which is like a cross between a mango and a avocado (also known as mamey in South America). I spent a lot of time in the mountain villages, in temples, and in nature, outside. It was enlightening how connected I felt to the earth and the people who resided there. It was calming and invigorating at the same time. I did not want to leave. Sadly I had to. When I returned home I was only more emboldened to spend time outside, exposing myself to a variety of elements, and I continue to do so.

    As I continued to try to embody Grok, I also did some experimentation. I tried lactose free cheese as I previously thought I was lactose intolerant, and had an adverse reaction. I thought that was odd so I did some research. I discovered there’s a less known reaction to dairy based on the casein protein, rather than the lactose sugar. I also found out that each mammal has a different protein structure in their milk, so I ventured forth and acquired some goat yogurt. Finding it far less gross than expected to I actually enjoyed it. I also had no reaction to it. I then tried goat cheese, still no reaction, and finally straight up goat milk, no reaction. My joy at being able to reintroduce full fat dairy products into my life after a decade of avoiding them was immeasurable. Thank you Trader Joes for your goat brie, it’s divine.

    Also I regularly intermittent fast for 15 or 16 hours (5-6 days of the week). This has helped me tremendously as I find it gives my gut time to heal and helps me deal with my hunger, as my hunger is just as much emotional as it is physiological.

    At this time I have found that keeping my diet simple (meat, eggs, goat dairy, greens, and cruciferous veggies with the occasional squash, and keeping my oils to animal fats, coconut, and avocado oil) is fairly easy with routine and experience. I removed all powdered foods except for collagen, and my supplements are natural with no fillers (I thank Vinnie Tortorich for his Pure Vitamin Club magnesium, and those at Ancestral Supplements for their desiccated offal, they’ve been very helpful). I also recently learned to increase my salt intake as well as the benefits to the variety of different salts
    by listening to Dr. James DiNicolantonio.

    So I ventured into the next section for obsession. My movement. As mentioned in the other story, I’m fairly active. I am a martial artist, and I had been using the exercise bike and I did pushups and developed the muscles to do unassisted pull ups. But I needed more. I tried a bunch of things, I did yoga for a bit (challenging but not for me), I tried calisthenic
    circuit training, which was helpful but didn’t stick. I was looking for what was missing. I found it. It was fun. I wasn’t having fun in my workouts. And yeah there are really un-fun parts to a workout, especially if you’re new to it, but overall if the entire experience is neutral or negative, I found it to be boring and annoying.

    So I did some searching and I found an old site bookmark for GMB. Recently I was gifted the Elements program for the holidays which required no equipment, only space, and focuses on range of motion and body control through animal based movements and mindful movements. It clicked for me. It wasn’t about the activity any more, but rather learning and improving a new skill with my body. And that lead to a revelation about me for me. My motivation comes from learning and pursuing a useful activity and skill. I can now apply that to the rest of my future activities, in making sure they align with a useful objective or new skill rather than increasing a number of something or just a general health focus. I don’t have to work out for the sake of working out. I can learn and practice mindfulness at the same time.

    Two tumultuous and eventful years keeping to the Primal lifestyle, trying to influence others to adopt the lifestyle, and watching them succeed, struggle, or for some straight up refuse, has taught me many lessons. I found a lot of success in consistency, self-love, compassion, and embracing the discomfort that comes with change. And they feed into each other. It’s a work in progress, but I don’t miss the old lifestyle of grains and sugars and self-congratulatory lethargy, spending weekends on the couch staring at a screen. I don’t even consider that an option anymore.

    chopping wood

    Sure I may miss pizza when I smell it, and the taste of a fresh baked pastry. But I know those are fleeting feelings of momentary pleasure, while the consistent feeling of a healthy body, and even the little serotonin burst from making a healthy decision not to eat a small dessert or piece of candy offered is well worth the rather small sacrifice of avoiding good tasting non-foods. I say non-foods because I no longer consider those items food as they are not nourishing. I also know I have issues with moderation, even with Primal foods. I cannot be around dark chocolate covered almonds. I will eat them all and search for more. Like I said it’s a work in progress and no-one is perfect. I’ve made my mistakes multiple times over (no more spicy curry), but I don’t beat myself up for them. I learn from them and I know that my next decision can be a healthful one, and the one after that, and the one after that. Small, successive, healthy decision-making leads to consistency and progress.

    I mentioned embracing discomfort rather than accepting discomfort because I found that if I merely accept and resign myself to discomfort it’s a surrender and can lead to a negative association. Rather I found it more productive to explore the discomfort. Why am I uncomfortable, is it my mind playing a trick on me, is it pain or inconvenience, and so on. Each experience of discomfort is a learning opportunity. This lead to discoveries in why I felt hungry at certain times even though I had recently eaten, it helped me push through sticking to a workout routine no matter how I felt that day, and it helped me remain consistent in the lifestyle. That is not to say the lifestyle is uncomfortable, but rather it’s learning how to become more comfortable in a variety of situations. The more we avoid discomfort the less we progress and the chances of feeling uncomfortable with any change life throws your way increases.

    The mindset behind healthful decision making has bled over into my personal life. I am progressing in my career and improving honest fulfilling relationships. I would like to extend a hearty thank you to Mark and the Primal Blueprint team. I look forward to continuing my Primal journey and hopefully inspiring others. Grok On and keep it consistent!

    fullwedding

    The post Small, Successive, Healthy Decision-Making Leads To Consistency and Progress appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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