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In this episode, Stacy and Sarah talk to Jaclyn Harwell from The Family That Heals Together on how to manage the holidays, how to indulge, and how to stay on a healing track when everything around you is begging you to fall off.
Click here to listen in iTunes
The post TPV Podcast Episode 225, Jaclyn Harwell and Managing Holiday Indulgences appeared first on The Paleo Mom.
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The Paleo diet is the original diet of mankind, meaning, it’s the foods that humans have been eating for the majority of our time here on earth. Our bodies evolved eating meats and vegetables, and it’s not surprising that these are the foods that optimize our health.
The Paleo diet includes and excludes specific foods for good reasons. The foods that are excluded on the diet are ones that tend to cause problems for people like weight gain, leaky gut syndrome, elevated blood glucose levels, and inflammatory and chronic illnesses. Paleo is actually the original anti-inflammatory diet of mankind, although humans really haven’t had to worry about inflammatory illnesses until recently in history. Paleo is also a quick, natural, and effective diet that allows people to reach their ideal weight in a safe and healthy way, without starving themselves.
A lot of folks find it easier to transition onto the Paleo diet by incorporating one element of the diet at a time. Other people have more success with diving in headfirst and not looking back. If you’re still teetering on the edge, there are six easy categories that you can explore without taking the full Paleo plunge! In total, I offer 22 different swaps to take your meal from typical American to Paleo pro.
Grains and pseudo-grains contain harmful anti-nutrients that can trigger chronic inflammation in the body via a leaky gut. Examples of grains that are excluded on the Paleo diet include: corn, rice, wheat, quinoa, oats, flour, etc. Luckily, Paleo people are pretty creative and have invented some tasty ways to replace the grains in your diet, so that you can still have your (grain-free) cake and eat it too!
Similar to grains, legumes (beans) contain problematic anti-nutrients such as phytic acid that bind up the precious minerals contained in foods, making them unavailable for digestion and absorption into our bodies. Legumes that are disallowed on the Paleo diet include all beans, soy, lentils, peanuts, etc.
Human beings didn’t eat dairy products before animals became domesticated. Dairy products are not bad in themselves, but then again, not all dairy is created equal. Most commercial dairy is unhealthy because it comes from cows that were raised in unhealthy conditions, confined to small spaces that stress them, and fed foods full of antibiotics and hormones. It’s not hard to see why the milk from a cow that lives under these conditions is not healthy. Moreover, most dairy products you find in the supermarket are highly processed which destroys the product’s proteins and kills any good enzymes and bacteria. To make matters worse, products like yogurt are also usually packed with sugar.
The main difference between the Primal diet and the Paleo diet is that Primal allows the consumption of good quality, full-fat dairy products, whereas the Paleo diet excludes all dairy. It’s hard to know whether or not your body does better with or without dairy, until you remove it from your diet for an extended period of time and then re-introduce it back into your diet (this is called an elimination-provocation challenge). Considering that 65% of all humans are thought to be lactose intolerant, it makes sense to ditch the dairy from your diet (for at least a month or two) to figure out if it works for you.
A good place to start out is by swapping the vegetable oils in your life for animal fats. I understand that this contradicts everything we’ve been told growing up. We’ve long been spoon-fed advice to eat “low fat” and that saturated fats are “bad”, but the reality is that our bodies needs fat to function and thrive. The war on saturated fat is finally coming to an end and Paleo peeps are celebrating with an extra dollop of lard, tallow, and coconut oil!
Liquid (polyunsaturated) vegetable and seed oils (i.e. canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.) are much more prone to becoming rancid (and morphing into cancer-causing free radicals) compared to solid saturated fats from animals like lard and tallow which are much more stable at room temperature. Most liquid vegetable oils are also much higher in the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, compared to grass-fed/pastured animal fats and other Paleo-approved oils, which have a more balanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
In the beginning, human beings consumed the majority of their sugar during the summer seasons, in the form of fruits like berries. The excess carbohydrate load helped our ancestors to gain weight necessary to survive through the winter. Not until very recently in our evolution have we consumed sweet flavors, year-round. Moreover, refined sugars are an invention of modern society.
Considering we’re all born and wired to seek out sweetness, it’s no wonder why sugar is so dang addictive. There are countless negative health effects related to sugar as it has no nutrients, and in fact is an anti-nutrient because it inhibits and drains nutrients from the body. Among the many illnesses related to excess sugar consumption are:
To cut to the chase: not all sugar is created equal. The sweeteners allowed on the Paleo diet are less-refined and are more in their ‘natural form’ compared to heavily processed and refined sweeteners.
Depending on your body type and activity levels, your tolerance to sugar, even to natural sweeteners, will vary. As with many things in life…when used in moderation (some) sweeteners can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
But if you’re battling weight loss, an inflammatory condition, diabetes, or another blood sugar disorder, you should stay mindful of the amount and type of sugar you consume, as it can thwart your best efforts at recovery.
Nearly everyone would benefit from breaking up with sugar every now and then, to ensure that the relationship remains healthy. Sugar is unnecessary, addictive, inflammatory, high-calorie, nutrient-poor, and highly processed. Indeed, sugar is a ‘gateway’ food and it’s up to each of us to determine how much (if any) should be consumed regularly.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that our cells can only use so much sugar (glucose) at any one given moment in time. A ‘healthy relationship’ with sugar means not consuming too much at once because excess glucose sitting in the bloodstream does a doozy on our internal organs and arteries via the process of glycation. Keep in mind that fruit is sugar too, and likewise too much fruit can cause the same issues as too much “sugar” in general.
To make the sugar issue even worse, now everyone is going crazy about calorie-free sugars like Aspartame, Equal, and Splenda. Consuming “fake” sugar is not going to improve your health; these have their own way of causing even more damage. These sugars are altered with chemicals like chlorine and phosgene gas, which function as an excitotoxin in your body, causing cell destruction. Moreover, your evolutionarily intelligent body deems that these man-made chemicals are foreign, and not knowing what to do with them, stores them away in adipose (fat) tissue where they accumulate and can contribute to chronic diseases and obesity.
You don’t even have to go 100% Paleo to get the benefits of eating real food, but if you’re looking for fast and dramatic results, your best bet is dive right in! If you need a helping hand, that’s exactly why we created our Paleo meal planning service, which can be customized to eat Paleo 100% or 80% of the time (which allows for a few ‘cheat’ days).
If you’re feeling like 10% would be a better place for you to start, then try making one or two of these swaps at your next meal. I think you’ll quickly realize that eating healthy, whole food is a lot easier (and tastier) than you think!
PaleoPlan has a ton of resources to guide you in eating Paleo whether you’re just starting out, or striving to live a full-on Paleo lifestyle. If you’re looking for more detailed info, check out our blog archives for answers to several FAQs.
Need help figuring out the diet? Our meal planning service is designed to help you get started with and stick to eating Paleo, without any headache or hassle. In fact, you don’t even have to think about it! We tell you what to buy and how to prepare it, so your mind and time are freed up to focus elsewhere in your life.
If you feel ready to take the Paleo plunge, that’s awesome! Here’s a free 2-week trial to our Paleo meal planning service to get you started!
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Many preppers conclude the economy in the U.S. will collapse gradually, rather than overnight due to some cataclysmic event. Either way, your ability to find and secure meals for you and your family becomes the difference between life and death for your family. So, how do you prepare to survive in a world where food is scarce, and money is tight?
Following a SHTF event, the only certainty will be unpredictability. Depending on the event, your location, and how long it takes for the country to recover your options for cooking and food storage will change. Practice making a variety of different cheap survival recipes so that no matter what type of situation you find yourself in, you are ready to put a meal together that will satisfy your family. Below are several different ideas for your survival meal arsenal:
Chicken livers come in a carton and cost around $1.00. Boil with salt and pepper in either water or chicken broth. The beneficial thing about chicken livers is just a small amount with some whole grain bread, and a cup of milk will stave off hunger for several hours.
Pouches of instant potatoes are relatively inexpensive, typically under $1.00 at the local Walmart. Ramen Noodles are another very inexpensive food; you can buy six to 12 packages for under $2.00. Both are simple to cook as they require only boiling water. For variety, mix the instant potatoes with the ramen noodles to create a high- energy food called “ramen-bombs.”
Pasta is a great food staple to have on hand, and it can be used to create a variety of meals. Cook pasta and drain. Fry several eggs over medium and sprinkle with salt and pepper if you have it. Combine the eggs with the pasta and throw in cooked veggies, cheese, or meat. You can also mix cooked pasta with any salad dressing on hand and add fresh vegetables for a great pasta salad that will fill you up.
DIY Survival Recipes
If you are lucky and are thinking ahead, you will have the time and resources to create dirt cheap survival recipes to have on hand when SHTF. Sometimes, survival is about preparing to think or in this case, cook, outside the box.
You’ve probably made toast in a toaster at some point in your lifetime, but have you ever thought to try grilled bread? Use your barbecue grill or even a campfire with a grate. Grill the bread till it’s golden brown. And if you have cheese on hand, you can melt it between two pieces of bread and make a really tasty grilled cheese sandwich.
If you correctly store cornbread mix, you can make delicious johnnycakes or cornmeal hoe cakes in a skillet of cast iron over a campfire or even on the hot rocks of a fire. Add some syrup or sprinkle with sugar for an extra treat. If you must stay on the go, put leftovers in a zip lock bag so you can carry them with you as a snack on the road.
Native Americans relocated their camp several times a year as they followed the animal herds. They carried Pimikan, typically made from dried powdered meat such as elk, bison, moose, or deer, it was a portable food adopted by fur traders in later centuries who called it. Pemmican. Practice making this cheap survival food and add it to your stockpile. It needs no refrigeration and when properly made, can last for decades.
Include corn in your garden, or in a pinch scavenge ears of corn from a roadside field, wrap in aluminum foil with some butter and cook in the coals of a fire. If you prefer a grilled taste, soak ears of corn in water and cook on a grate over the fire to grill it. You can cook with the husks on or remove before cooking depending on your preference.
Stock up on those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or biscuits in a can. When the power goes out, simply wrap the dough around a stick, and pinch the ends so that it won’t fall off. Hold the stick over your BBQ grill or campfire until the dough is a golden brown. Slather with butter and enjoy a tasty treat that you can carry as you eat it.
Include heavy duty aluminum foil in your stockpile of supplies. When SHTF, lay out a large section of foil and add chunks of potatoes, onions, or whatever vegetables you have on hand. Top with a chunk of butter and a little salt and pepper and then wrap it all up and cook over hot coals or the BBQ grill.
When SHTF, you may have food available that you can cook but will need to think outside the box a little when it comes to cooking without your traditional stove or oven. Planning ahead and knowing how to make some of these cheap survival recipes will help sustain you and your family whether you bug in or are forced to bug out.
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