Lo bak (daikon) noodle stir fry

Not too long ago, I finally caved in and bought myself a new kitchen toy – a vegetable spiralizer. I’d been toying with the idea of getting one for well over a year now and I put it off because I have a box grater and a julienne peeler which can essentially do the same thing: make vegetables into strands. The problem was that both of those tools made short, non-noodle like strands, and they can to be a little harder on the knuckles, especially if you’re trying to get free child labor your child to help in the kitchen. The bonus in finally owning a spiralizer is that there is a certain novelty to having your vegetables in noodle form, so that’s resulted in more vegetable-eating and, the gadget is so easy to use that my son will happily help with this part of the food prep!
This recipe is inspired by the turnip cakes or ‘lo bak go’ (蘿蔔糕, disclosure: I can’t read that, but that’s what Wikipedia tells me it is) that you can get at dim sum. Dim sum, for the uninitiated, is a Chinese lunch-ish meal where small plates are served literally à la carte). Unfortunately for me, the turnip cakes are usually made with either regular wheat flour or rice flour – neither of which I can tolerate. They also usually use lap cheong, a delicious, sweet-savory Chinese sausage. Again, because of my food intolerances, I haven’t been able to find a Chinese sausage that doesn’t include questionable ingredients like food coloring. I may risk it sometime just to see what happens because they’re that good, and would be a very tasty addition to this stir fry. In any case, I had a ‘lo bak’ (also known as a daikon radish), and decided to mix it with some shiitaki mushrooms, a package of frozen shrimp and scallops that I had on hand. The dim sum turnip cakes usually have dried shrimp or scallops with them, so seafood seemed to be the perfect accompaniment to this dish. This probably isn’t a dish my mother would make, but then again, most of the dishes I make are a bit too North American ‘fusion’ for her 😉 Hopefully though, you’ll enjoy this as an easy way to get the flavors of Chinese cooking without all the fuss of having to steam your own turnip cakes.
Choosing Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are a staple in many Asian dishes. Unlike white button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms have a meatier, more savory (or ‘umami’) taste. Shiitake mushrooms are readily available in any Asian market, or in the international section of major grocery store chains. You’ll usually find them dehydrated, in a plastic bag or sometimes even in a fancy box that is ready for gifting. That’s because these mushrooms can be quite expensive and can make the perfect gift for your Asian host/hostess, or foodie. You’ll also generally get what you pay for. Look for whole mushrooms that aren’t pre-sliced (as it’s harder to tell the quality when they’re already cut up). The mushrooms tend to have a more intense flavor when you can see fissures on the caps.
To prepare dried shiitake mushrooms, you’ll need to rehydrate them first. You can either do the “oh crap, I just remembered I should start dinner” method in using boiling water to soak your mushrooms, which takes about 20-30 minutes of soaking. Or for a more full flavor, you can soak your dried mushrooms in filtered water overnight.
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Lo bak (daikon) noodle stir fry
INGREDIENTS
10-12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1-2 tbsp coconut oil or cooking fat of your choice
1 lb frozen shrimp and scallops
3 green onions chopped
1-1/2 tsp of white pepper (omit for AIP)
1-1/2 tsp of sea salt
1-1/2 tsp of grated ginger
1 medium-sized lo bak (aka daikon radish or Chinese white turnip), about 8-10 cups once spiralized
1-2 tbsp wheat-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
INSTRUCTIONS
In a small bowl, soak your mushrooms with enough boiled, filtered water so that the mushrooms are covered. It should take about 20-40 minutes to soften, depending on the thickness of your mushrooms. Squeeze out all of the water, cut off the stems and slice the mushrooms.
Heat coconut oil or your preferred cooking fat in a wok on medium-high heat. Add your sliced mushrooms, shrimp and scallops, green onion, white pepper, ginger, sea salt. Stir-fry until the shrimp are translucent, and slightly undercooked. Remove everything from the wok and set aside.
Add more coconut oil or cooking fat to your wok, and add your spiralized lo bak/daikon noodles. Season with soy sauce or coconut aminos and stir-fry the noodles until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
Drain any liquid from the wok and add your reserved shrimp and scallop mixture to the wok with the noodles. Stir-fry until the shrimp is sufficiently cooked.
Garnish with additional chopped green onion and serve.
 

Cherry blossom popsicles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

It’s been one HOT summer, save for a week of (much welcomed) cooler weather… and I have NO complaints about any of it. 🙂 Being in Canada, we actually get our fair share of heat and humidity, because it isn’t always the Great White North. One way I’ve been cooling off lately is making different frozen treats – so many, in fact, that I recently partnered with Jennifer Robins of Predominantly Paleo to make a whole book of them. What sets our book, ‘We Can ALL Scream for Ice Cream’ apart from many others, however, is that our treats are all Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) friendly! For me, these recipes are purely selfish, since I’m among the growing number in the Paleo community who have found even further improvements to health by cutting out inflammatory foods like eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades.
Now these popsicles aren’t in the book, but they are AIP friendly! (Thankfully, I can actually tolerate chocolate, but I know that many who follow AIP can’t successfully re-introduce chocolate, so these are actually made with carob powder. If you can tolerate cocoa, you can certainly use it instead).

This recipe came about because of a conversation I had with my husband about one of his favorite chocolates as a kid: ‘Cherry Blossoms’. It turns out that Cherry Blossoms are a Canadian thing apparently, because my discussion of these with my American co-author had her wondering what the heck I was talking about – not uncommon in our discussions though ;). A good Canadian Cherry Blossom is essentially a very non-paleo, cloyingly sweet, corn-syrup-filled, candied cherry, covered in chocolate, coconut, and pieces of nuts. These Cherry Blossom popsicles are AIP-friendly, and they aren’t cloyingly sweet, but they’re still very, very good. I’ve skipped the nuts for all of us on AIP, but if you can tolerate them, you can certainly sprinkle nuts on top of the chocolate coating for that extra crunch. The toasted coconut in the chocolatey coating is quite excellent with or without the added nuts. If you’ve never tasted a cherry blossom, these popsicles are a bit like a good black forest cake. YUM! If you’re vegan, you can omit the gelatin – but if you can, include it because not only does gelatin add plenty of gut-healing nutrition, it also adds to the creaminess of the popsicle.
Sarah Ballantyne (aka The Paleo Mom) does recommend that those of us following AIP should limit fructose intake to no more than 20g per day. So, while these popsicles are AIP-friendly, they do contain 11.6 g of fructose per popsicle (with 8.5g of that in the coating). If you’re very concerned about the fructose, you can skip the coating, or spoon it over your popsicles sparingly. The coating can be quite thick if you just dip it in, like I did in making them.
 
 

Cherry blossom popsicles

INGREDIENTS

Cherry vanilla pudding pops
    • 1 can (400ml) of full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 tsp gelatin (omit if vegan)
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup fresh cherries, chopped
Chocolatey coating (enough to coat 8 popsicles)
  • 1 cup coconut oil (melted to clear liquid)
  • ¾ cup carob powder
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup vanilla
  • Optional: Toasted coconut flakes and/or finely chopped almonds or cashew pieces (about ¼ cup)

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Add coconut milk, gelatin, vanilla extract and maple syrup to a small saucepan on low-medium heat, and stir to combine evenly.
    2. Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the coconut milk mixture, then stir or whisk in the gelatin, to dissolve. It should only take a few minutes to completely dissolve the gelatin at low to medium heat.
    3. Add in about half of the chopped cherries, and using an immersion blender, blend the mixture together until fairly uniform.
    4. Divide the mixture up between your popsicle molds. If you have any extra, you can chill it in the fridge and eat as a cherry pudding. Add your reserved chopped cherries into the popsicle molds.
    5. Freeze the popsicles for at least 1-2 hours, or until completely frozen.
For the coating:
  1. In a blender cup, mix the coconut oil, carob powder, maple syrup and vanilla with an immersion blender. You should have a thick, chocolatey paste.
  2. Loosen the popsicles from the mold and dip each popsicle in the coating, turning the popsicle in the coating until all sides are covered. If necessary, you can smooth the coating with a small rubber spatula. Sprinkle with coconut flakes or chopped nuts, if desired.
  3. To harden the coating, re-freeze the popsicles briefly, about 15-30 minutes. To do this, stand the popsicles upright in the popsicle molds, making sure you have enough clearance in your freezer. Serve when the coating is set.

 
 

75+ Grain-Free, Paleo Pumpkin Recipes

Now that it’s officially fall, I feel like I’m finally allowed to let go of the notion that there is any summer left, and I can enjoy all that autumn has to offer. It feels a little wrong to me to be sipping a pumpkin spiced latte when the leaves on the tree haven’t started to change. But, now that the autumnal equinox has past, I can officially PUMPKIN ALL THE THINGS. It happens every year – last year, it was just the latte and the pie. But this year, I unearthed a LOT, and I do mean A LOT of grain-free pumpkin recipes – probably enough to turn you orange! So if you enjoy this season gourd, check these out. (If you happen upon this and it’s not pumpkin season, you can always use canned pumpkin or even other squashes in its place!)

Make your own Pumpkin Base

Homemade Pumpkin Purée from Live Simply
Spiced Pumpkin Butter from Nummy for My Tummy

Savory or “Not Dessert” Dishes

Thai Pumpkin Chicken Curry by My Heart Beets
Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Casserole by My Heart Beets
Warm Pumpkin Apple Harvest Salad by The Urban Ecolife
Pumpkin Purée from Hollywood Homestead
Cream of Pumpkin Soup from Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!
Grain-free Stuffed Pumpkin from Eat Your Beets
Chocoate Chipotle Pumpkin Chili from Storybook Reality
Creamy Paleo Pumpkin Pasta with Chicken from Once a Month Meals

Pies

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie from My Heart Beets
Mini Paleo Pumpkin Pies from South Beach Primal
Pumpkin Pie Mini Tarts from Life Made Full
Pumpkin Chiffon Mouse from The Urban EcoLife
Paleo Pumpkin Pie from Hollywood Homestead
Egg-free, nut-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe from the Real Food Guide

Breads, Muffins and Cakes

Pumpkin Muffins from Katherine Mossop
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread from Gutsy By Nature
Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe from Delicious Obsessions
Pumpkin Spice Muffins from Delicious Obsessions
Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels from Beauty and the Foodie
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Zenbelly
Spiced Pumpkin Bread from South Beach Primal
Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls from South Beach Primal
Pumpkin Ginger Muffins from Veggie Staples
Maple Pumpkin Mug Cake from Nummy for My Tummy
Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze from Life Made Full
Pumpkin Roll from Primally Inspired
Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Glaze from Primally Inspired
Pumpkin Tea Cakes from Paleo Kitchen Lab
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins from Hollywood Homestead
Paleo Pumpkin Cake in a Cup from Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!
Creamy Caramel Pumpkin Cake from Beauty and the Foodie
Pumpkin Poppers from GAPS Diet Journey
GAPS-friendly Pumpkin Bread from GAPS Diet Journey

Brownies

Pumpkin Pecan Brownies from Nummy for My Tummy
“Peanut Butter” Pumpkin Brownies from Paleo in PDX

Bars

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars from Gutsy by Nature
Paleo Pumpkin Bars with Vanilla Frosting from Paleo Cupboard
Pumpkin Caramel Bars from Paleo in PDX
“Paleo-fied” Pumpkin Pie Bars from Life Made Full
Lightly Sweetened Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars from Canada Girl Eats Paleo
Pumpkin Bar Recipe from Wellness and Workouts

Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Wellness and Workouts
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies (nut-free, sugar-free) from Just Enjoy Food
Pumpkin Cloud Cookies from Life Made Full

Cheesecake

Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from Delicious Obsessions
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake from A Girl Worth Saving
Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Cups from Primally Inspired

Puddings

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding from Real Food RN
Pumpkin Panna Cotta from Zenbelly
Pumpkin Pudding from Wellness and Workouts
Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie Custard from GAPS Diet Journey

Breakfast

Pumpkin Waffles from Colorful Eats
Paleo Baked Pumpkin French Toast from Popular Paleo
Cavegirl Pumpkin Cereal from Cavegirl Cuisine
Pumpkin Spice Dutch Baby from Savory Lotus
Chocolate Stuffed Pancakes from Butter Nutrition

Other Pumpkin Treats

Pumpkin Empanadas with Salted Caramel Drizzle from Predominantly Paleo

Secret Ingredient Pumpkin Cinnamon Hummus from Veggie Staples
Pumpkin Pie Bliss Balls from The Urban Ecolife
Pumpkin Ice Cream from Real Food RN
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies from Veggie Staples
Pumpkin Fudge from Wellness and Workouts
No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Bites from Savory Lotus
Pumpkin Espresso Hazelnut Fudge from Grok Grub
Chocolate Pumpkin Candies from Veggie Staples

Pumpkin seeds

Curry spiced Pumpkin Seeds from Real Food RN
Chewy Pumpkin Spice Candy from Delicious Obsessions
Pumpkin Spice Granola Crunch from Colorful Eats
Pumpkin Pie Fruit & Nut Bars from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Beverages

Pumpkin Spice Latte from The Real Food Guide
Pumpkin Chai Latte from South Beach Primal
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with a Surprise Ingredient from Mary Vance
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie from Weight Loss Laboratory
Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie from GAPS Diet Journey
Pumpkin Hot Cocoa from GAPS Diet Journey
Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/paleo-pumpkin-recipes/#ixzz6GyOH4iVC
 

Make your own probiotic foods, fearlessly!

Even if you’re not immersed in the realm of ‘real food’ or natural health, you’ll know that there are plenty of commercial yogurt companies trying to sell you on their products based on the billions of good bacteria it has. Not sure what the benefits of good bacteria are? Read about “Good bacteria, best probiotics and what they can do for you”, and come back! While it might seem obvious then that probiotics will help to heal your leaky gut, their benefits can actually extend beyond gut health. For example, they can help in less obvious ways such as with depression, congestion, acne, immune health, and allergies.
It seems that when you mention probiotics, most people will think of yogurt. While yogurt can be a great source of probiotic bacteria, they can be problematic if you can’t tolerate any dairy, and many of these are loaded with sugar. Other foods, such as kimchi or sauerkraut can be full of good bacteria if you make them yourself. However, be aware that commercial versions are often pasteurized, effectively killing the bacteria, and removing any of the probiotic benefit.
While at first it seems a little daunting, it turns out that making your own probiotic, fermented foods is relatively easy! I know this because well, I used to think that it was worth the exorbitant amount for unpasteurized sauerkraut purchased from the healthfood store, when it turns out with some basic equipment (a mason jar, a knife, a cutting board, a funnel), and some time, you can do it yourself for a lot less money.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get started in making your own probiotic foods, I highly recommend Sarah Ramsden’s Fearless Fermentation course. Seriously, beyond her actually being in the kitchen with you and holding your hand as you chop cabbage (okay, that’s not actually an efficient way to work), Sarah’s videos have finally gotten me over my fear of the possibility of mouldy cabbage sitting on my counter. In fact, I’m in the process of trying to make Sarah’s Apple Raisin Sauerkraut (one of the more advanced recipes included with the Sauerkraut course).
Sarah walks you through making your first batch of sauerkraut, kombucha (or both) in a series of easy-to-follow videos. In addition to the video access, you also get a set of recipes, a journal to keep track of where you are in the fermentation stage and a troubleshooting guide that helps you figure out if your SCOBY is supposed to look like that?! If that’s not enough help, Sarah’s also got an online discussion group that’ll help with any questions you have along the way.
What you’ll notice with all of the materials is that Sarah has really put her passion about probiotics into this product. The accompanying PDF guides are all beautifully designed with photographs to illustrate the finer details of fermentation. My favorite thing about both the sauerkraut and the kombucha courses is that they both include a journal so that you can write down where you’re at with your fermentation and track when you’ve burped the jar! (Don’t know what I meant in that last sentence, well then clearly you need this fermentation course!)
If you’ve been looking for a way to get all the benefits of probiotics without spending a lot of money on fermented foods, or supplements, I highly recommend Sarah’s course. I love being able to make my own probiotic foods now for both the savings, and the ability to customize them based on my family’s tastes and preferences. Go forth and ferment… fearlessly!
 

Top 11 “Health Foods” That Can Kill You

Nutrition is full of nonsense. You will find bold health claims for all kinds of foods, most often based on zero evidence. Here are the top 11 “health foods” that are actually very harmful.
1. Fruit Juices
The fruit juices you find at the supermarket aren’t always what they seem. They may have small amounts of real fruit in them, but often they are little more than water, artificial flavor and sugar. But even if you’re drinking real fruit juice, it is still a bad idea.
Fruit juice is like fruit with most of the good stuff removed. All that is left is the sugar and a few vitamins. Orange juice, for example, contains the same amount of sugar as Coca Cola. There’s no fiber in it, no chewing resistance and nothing to stop you from downing massive amounts of sugar in a short amount of time.
Eating too much sugar is associated with all sorts of diseases. These include obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many others (1, 2, 3). It is much better to avoid fruit juices and eat real fruits instead.
Bottom Line: Most fruit juices contain the same amount of easily digestible sugar as sugar-sweetened soft drinks. It is best to eat whole fruits instead.
2. Whole Wheat
It is true that whole wheat is healthier than refined wheat. But this does NOT mean that whole wheat is healthy. It’s kind of like saying that because filtered cigarettes are healthier than unfiltered cigarettes, everyone should be smoking filtered cigarettes. It’s flawed logic.
There are plenty of good reasons to avoid wheat… both the refined and the whole variety. For example, wheat is the main source of gluten in the diet and a large part of the population may be gluten sensitive (4, 5, 6).
The immune system of susceptible individuals attacks the gluten proteins in the digestive tract. This can cause damage to the lining of the digestive tract, pain, bloating, tiredness, stool inconsistency and other nasty symptoms (7, 8, 9). One study shows that wheat fiber can make you Vitamin D deficient, making you burn through your stores of this important vitamin much faster (10).
Another study shows that whole wheat raises small, dense LDL (the truly “bad” cholesterol) by a whopping 60% (11).
Bottom Line: Whole wheat is rich in gluten and can cause digestive problems and various symptoms. It may also cause Vitamin D deficiency and elevated small, dense LDL cholesterol.
3. Agave Nectar
In the health food isle at the supermarket, you will definitely find some “sugar-free” products that are sweetened with Agave. This sweetener is touted as a healthy alternative to sugar because it is natural has a low glycemic index. But the harmful effects of sugar have little to do with its glycemic index, it is harmful primarily because it is loaded with unnatural amounts of fructose.
Too much fructose in the diet can cause all sorts of problems, especially in people who don’t exercise much. All fructose is metabolized by the liver. If the liver is full of glycogen the fructose will be turned into fat (11, 12). This can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and all kinds of metabolic problems like resistance to the hormones insulin and leptin, which will ultimately lead to obesity and diabetes (13, 14, 15, 16).
While regular sugar is 50% fructose, the fructose content of Agave is as high as 90%. If anything, agave is even worse than sugar!
Bottom Line: Agave nectar is loaded with fructose and therefore causes all the same problems as regular sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
4. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks were designed for athletes who have just finished an intense training session with massive sweating and glycogen depletion. For this reason, sports drinks contain:
Water – to replenish lost fluid.
Electrolytes – to replenish electrolytes like sodium that were lost via sweat.
Sugar – because athletes need energy after an intense workout.
You don’t need any additional electrolytes unless you’ve been doing a very intense workout and most people are already eating too much sugar. One bottle of Gatorade contains over 30 grams of sugar. You’re better off sticking to plain water, which you should certainly drink plenty of, especially around workouts.
Bottom Line: If you’re not doing super intense workouts, then you should avoid sports drinks. They are not needed and contain sugar.
5. “Heart-Healthy” Vegetable Oils
Vegetable Oils
As the fear of saturated fat took hold of the world, consumption of all kinds of nasty ingredients increased. Prime examples are industrial seed- and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and cottonseed oil. These oils are extracted from seeds using very harsh processing methods and include high heat, bleaching and the toxic solvent hexane. These oils contain very large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, way more than humans ever consumed throughout evolution.
We need small amounts of these fatty acids in the diet, such as the amounts found in meat and nuts. However, if we eat way too much like is the case with Western populations, this causes problems (17). Eating too much of these fats can lead to inflammation, which is a leading cause of many chronic diseases (18). These oils get incorporated into our body fat stores and cellular membranes, where they are highly sensitive to oxidation and damage. To top it all off, the industrial vegetable oils that you find in the supermarket contain 0.56-4.2% of their fatty acid as trans fats, which are highly toxic (19).
(This does not apply to olive oil, which is good for you!)
Bottom Line: Vegetable oils are unhealthy and lead to inflammation. They are potential key players in the epidemic of Western diseases.
6. Low-Fat or Fat-Free Foods
It ain’t the fat, people! Despite the last decades of propaganda against saturated fats, they have now been proven to be harmless (20, 21). When the anti-fat message first came out, food manufacturers started producing “healthy” products that were low-fat or fat-free.
The only problem is that foods that have had the fat removed taste like crap. The food manufacturers then loaded their products with chemicals, artificial sweeteners and massive amounts of sugar. What they basically did was remove the good stuff (fat) and replace it with bad stuff (sugar). This is how they managed to turn perfectly healthy foods like yogurt into very harmful products filled with unhealthy ingredients.
Bottom Line: Avoid everything labelled “low-fat” or “fat-free.” These are highly processed products loaded with sugar and other harmful substances.
7. Gluten-Free Junk Foods
Many people have started to avoid gluten… a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye and barley (and a few other grains). Almost a third of the U.S. population currently wants to cut back on gluten or go gluten-free.
Food manufacturers have caught up on the trend and have started offering all sorts of gluten-free “health foods.” The problem with these foods is that they’re usually not healthy at all. Instead of a gluten grain, they’re made with other starches like potato starch, tapioca starch or some others. These starches are usually highly refined, void of nutrients and spike blood sugar fast, just like wheat. But these products are often also loaded with sugar and other harmful or artificial chemicals.
This does NOT apply to foods that are naturally gluten free, like meats or vegetables. If a product says “gluten-free” on the package, then it’s probably bad for you.
Bottom Line: Gluten-free foods are highly processed foods that are not much healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts. It’s best to avoid them.
8. Margarine And Fake Butters
Butter
“I wish butter tasted more like margarine, said nobody ever.” – Danny J. Albers
Another side effect of the anti-fat histeria is a plethora of so-called “healthy” butter alternatives. The most notable example of these is margarine. It used to be loaded with trans fats, now it tends to contain processed vegetable oils instead.
Butter consumption went down, margarine consumption went up. The problem with this is that butter is healthy. Margarine is NOT.
Grass-fed butter, in particular, is an excellent source of the fatty acid butyrate and Vitamin K2, both of which can have powerful positive effects on health (22, 23). Margarine is a processed food with harmful ingredients that can make you sick. In one large study, replacing butter with margarine lead to a drastically increased risk of death from heart attacks (24).
This is one great example of where blindly following the mainstream advice can put you in an early grave.
Bottom Line: Margarine is a processed food that contains unhealthy, artificial ingredients. Avoid it, use real grass-fed butter instead.
9. Energy Bars
Energy bars are in the same boat as sports drinks – most people don’t need them. If you’re an elite athlete who desperately needs to keep protein intake high and eat every 2-3 hours, then these bars can definitely be convenient.
However, most people don’t need to eat that often and these bars don’t contain anything that you can’t get from real foods. Energy bars and protein bars are often highly processed products. Even though they may be higher in protein than chocolate bars, they often still contain the same unhealthy ingredients.
Sugar, white flour, artificial flavor… you name it, they’ve got it. Of course, there are some healthier brands available, but if you want to avoid the crap then you must read labels! If you’re starving and far away from home, then healthier types of energy bars can certainly be better than a burger and a coke, but your money is still better spent on real foods.
Bottom Line: Energy and protein bars are often highly processed products. Most people don’t need them and they tend to contain sugar and other nasty ingredients.
10. Low Carb Junk Foods
Atkins Bar
As people have changed their mind on fat being the root of all evil, some people have started cutting back on carbs instead. Again, food manufacturers have caught notice and brought all sorts of low-carb junk foods to the market. Even though something is low in carbs and can help you lose weight, it may still be very unhealthy. Great examples are the low-carb Atkins bars. These are nasty, highly processed products that nobody should be eating. Just check out the ingredients list for this Atkins Advantage bar. This isn’t food.
If you’re going to do a low-carb diet, stick to real, unprocessed foods.
Bottom Line: There are some low-carb processed foods on the market that are extremely unhealthy and loaded with artificial ingredients.
11. “Healthy” Breakfast Cereals
Most highly processed breakfast cereals are not healthy. In fact, they are among the worst foods you can eat. They’re often loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates. Then the manufacturers fortify them with some synthetic vitamins and put tiny amounts of whole grains in the mix, then market their products as healthy.
Don’t be fooled by the labels… low-fat, fat-free, whole grain, etc. Just check the ingredients list on these products, they’re usually loaded with sugar. Starting the day with a high-sugar cereal will set you up for a blood sugar crash later in the day, followed by hunger, cravings and another high-carb meal.
12. Anything Else?
If the packaging of a food tells you that it is healthy, then it probably isn’t. Feel free to add to the list in the comments!
Read more: http://www.healthyitips.info/top-11-health-foods-can-kill/#ixzz6GyN33Cir

25+ Grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free Paleo school lunch and snack ideas

September means that it’s officially back-to-school routines and with that comes all the joys (or headaches?) of packing lunches. Now that my son is getting older, we’re trying to get him more involved in making his own lunches.
For us, it’s easy enough to include a protein and veggies, since the protein included in his typical lunch is usually leftover roasted chicken or stew or some other dish from last-night’s dinner that we warm up and put in an insulated container. But, if you’re stuck for ideas beyond leftovers, I’ve included some options for those below too.
Veggies can be as simple as cutting up raw mushrooms, cucumbers, or carrots, a handful of cherry tomatoes or some combination of the like. Kale Chips (this recipe from Whole New Mom), are also a favorite. When the weather gets cooler, a thermos of soup (like this creamy leek soup) is always comforting.
One of our earliest challenges, in going grain-free as a household though, was finding little snack-y extras to include. Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty of fruit included as ‘snacks’. My son loves his fruit and could (and probably does) eat his weight in apples and bananas. But, it can be hard for a kid who is eating “clean”, to look around and see his classmates munching away on candy fruit snacks, cookies and the like.
To make things easier for us and other ‘Paleo’ families, I’ve rounded-up some of my family’s favorite school lunch and snack recipes, and those of some of my favorite bloggers. These lunch and snack recipes are grain-free, and nut-free, since many classrooms these days prohibit nuts.

Protein options for lunch:

As I said before, more often than not, set aside leftovers for lunch the next day. One of our favorite things to do is batch-cook a bunch of meatballs on the weekend for using in lunches for the upcoming week. The great thing is meatballs freeze well too! In a pinch, there’s always the last minute boiled eggs, or some good quality deli-meats like roast beef, salami etc. Check the list for some other awesome ideas:
 

An easy solution to America’s BIGGEST problem

Say the words “America’s BIGGEST problem” and what do you think about? The economy? The war on drugs? Dr. Kirk Parsley talks about America’s biggest problem in this TEDx talk. Even better, he talks about what the solution to this problem is. Part of the issue is that most people don’t think this problem affects them.
The problem may not be what you think it is, and the solution is pretty easy, 100% natural and it’s FREE.
The solution improves our brains, bodies and even our sex lives. What is it?
 

 

Paleo Cantonese Chow Mein Recipe

I have to confess that I approach Chinese-style cooking with much the same attitude as my parents – chop a bunch of ingredients, toss them in, taste, season and voilà! Dinner! So I was inspired when I saw A Girl Worth Saving’s Paleo Crispy Noodle recipe, I wanted to make my own real food, safe-for-me-to-eat, Cantonese Chow Mein. Basically, this recipe is me throwing together ingredients that are typical to Chinese stir-frying and tossing them together and declaring it delicious.
And here’s the thing – that’s the way I think more people should approach cooking. Buy real, whole food ingredients. Toss them together. Season them. See what happens! This is why, you’ll see that the recipe below includes an ingredient that’s probably never seen in real Chinese cooking – nutritional yeast. I added the nutritional yeast to the spiralized turnip noodles because it worked in giving the noodles a more savory, ‘umami’ flavour. So how authentic is this recipe? Well, my mama will probably say it’s not, especially because of this ‘special’ ingredient. After all, she did say my ‘char siu’ recipe was a little lacking in authenticity 😉 But for me, it works, so I write it down in hopes that I’ll be able to re-create it again when I want to.
I digress. This recipe isn’t going to be the same as your Chinese take-out version of Cantonese Chow Mein. While I love my spiralizer, and it’s a great way to make ‘noodles’ out of all sorts of vegetables, if you know what real, authentic Cantonese Chow Mein tastes like, this will merely be ‘good enough’ if you’ve got a craving. And that’s okay by me, if it means that I can satisfy a craving without breaking out in to a rash. If nothing else, I hope this recipe of sorts encourages you to get cooking and experimenting!
If your experiments work, great! Write it down! Make it again! If it doesn’t work, try and rescue it with different seasonings, or vow never to make it again and pretend like it didn’t happen 😉 That’s the amazing thing about cooking with real food though – it’s just food. You’ll have to eat again. Don’t get too caught up in the pomp and circumstance of it all, especially if you’re just cooking a day-to-day meal.
 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium lo bak (daikon) radish or 8-10 white turnips
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or your cooking fat of choice, additional 1-2 tbsp oil or fat for stir-frying
  • 1 lb frozen shrimp and scallops
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 lb baby bok choy
  • 1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1-1/2 tsp of white pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1-1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp wheat-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 6 oz char siu, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Wash, peel and spiralize the lo bak (daikon) or turnips. (The daikon has a milder taste, while the turnips have a more distinctive turnip flavor. Alternatively, you can do a mixture of both daikon and turnips.)
  3. Coat your spiralized turnips or daikon with melted coconut oil, sea salt and nutritional yeast. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping your noodles about half-way through the baking time.
  4. After you’ve flipped your noodles, about half-way through the baking time, heat coconut oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Add your shrimp and scallops and stir-fry until the shrimp are translucent and slightly undercooked. Remove them from the wok and set aside.
  5. Add more coconut oil, and add your carrots, baby bok choy, water chestnuts and seasonings. Stir-fry until the baby bok choy are slightly wilted, but still bright green. Add the shrimp and scallops back in, and stir-fry them with the vegetables until the shrimp are cooked through.
  6. Plate your stir-fry on top of your noodles to serve.

 

5 Tips For How to Make Stir Fry Meals Healthy

I love a good stir fry, don’t you? So simple, easy, and delicious. Here are my top 5 tips for a healthy homemade stir fry!

1. Use coconut oil.

Not vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or even olive oil. Coconut oil! Using the right fat is foundational for healthy cooking. Because coconut oil is mostly saturated, it’s heat stable. This makes it the safest option for frying. The same is true for other saturated fats from animals – butter, ghee, lard, etc – these are the ones you want to use for frying, grilling, and sautéeing.
Vegetable and seed oils are usually rancid (oxidized) when you purchase them, due to the high heat that’s involved in processing. These unsaturated fats are highly unstable when heated, and cause free radical damage in our bodies. Plus, they’re high in omega 6, which can lead to a deficiency in omega 3 and consequently, systemic inflammation.
My advice? Throw out your vegetable oils entirely, save your olive oil for salad dressings, and use healthy saturates like coconut oil or animal fats for your stir fry.

2. Skip the soy.

What? No soy sauce? You heard me correctly. I’m sure you’ve read debates on the issues surrounding soy: it’s a highly genetically modified crop, it can increase estrogen levels, it can inhibit thyroid function, it’s a legume and therefore difficult to digest…all of this information can be overwhelming.
So let me keep it simple for a moment. Above all else, avoid the regular ol’ soy sauce on your grocery store shelf. These commercial, non-traditional varieties are filled with additives like wheat, caramel colour, sodium benzoate, and other gross chemicals. So if you’ve got any bottles in your cupboard, toss ’em.
For me, while the downsides of soy generally outweigh any potential benefit, I don’t see an issue with a little soy consumption once in a while, provided it’s organic, non-GMO, and preferably fermented. You need to find what works for your body and what you can tolerate. Best options for your stir fry? Try organic wheat-free tamari, or use coconut aminos as a delicious soy-free substitute.

3. Steam fry.

Here’s a technique that will not only healthify your stir fry but probably improve the taste and texture. I’m no chef, but I believe this method is what you would call ‘braising’, wherein you use both dry and moist heat. After sautéeing in oil for a few minutes, throw in some liquid(s) of your choice (tamari, coconut aminos, bone broth, or my homemade almond sauce), then cover and let the steam finish the cooking. You don’t need too much liquid to do the job.
Think about it: if you were making a big stir fry using only oil, you’d need quite a bit in order to cook all of the ingredients at once. Let’s face it, we don’t want to drown our stir fry in excessive amounts of oil, even healthy coconut oil. Deep frying isn’t a great choice (duh), and I’ve found the results can be inconsistent and frustrating. Plus, steam frying is a great way to flavour your stir fry with delicious coconut aminos, or add some sweet nutrition with a little bone broth.
What I personally like to do is cook my harder textured veggies (carrots, celery, etc) first, and add the softer veggies (sliced mushrooms, zucchini, etc) with the liquid. I don’t bother trying to saute everything in oil because that has led to some soggy stir frys (boo). It all takes practice, but I’ve found this method works the best for me.

4. Don’t forget meat.

For a full and balanced meal, be sure to include chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, etc. Protein is essential at every meal because it’s what satiates us – veggies alone will leave you hungry and reaching for snacks a couple hours later.
What about tofu and tempeh? See my thoughts above about soy. Decide what works for you. In general though, animal proteins are more bioavailable, nutrient-dense, and don’t contain any worrisome phytates, lectins, or phytoestrogens, so that’s what I recommend. Choose grass fed, pasture raised, and chemical-free animal products when you can.

5. Make rice/noodle alternatives.

There’s a few reasons I encourage reducing consumption of grains. To sum up: they contain certain proteins (gluten is the most well known/studied) and other components (lectins, phytates, etc) which are incredibly hard for us to break down and can actually damage the gut lining. This leads to systemic inflammation and a whole slew of health problems and disorders.
The cool thing about reducing grain consumption is that it helps us increase our vegetable intake! Veggies are more nutrient-dense than grains, and don’t come with all the potential downsides. Try serving your stir fry over cauli-rice, zucchini noodles (aka zoodles), or spaghetti squash.
Now it’s time to hear from you lovely readers: what are your tips for making a healthy and delicious stir fry?