Who needs another amazing Paleo recipe!? YOU GUYS!? Gosh, I would never have guessed.
We all love ribs, right? The only problem is that BBQ sauce and most dry rub recipes are chock full of sugar. Here is MY dry rub recipe that is sure to give you fall off the bone ribs awesomeness!
1 Rack of Pork baby back Ribs
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground mustard
1-1/2 tsp salt
Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Cut the rack of ribs into 3-4 bones sections, and place them on individual rectangles of aluminum foil. Sprinkle each section of ribs with seasoning on both sides. Then form a little canoe out of the aluminum foil, and place 2T of water in each one. Seal the canoes shut, and place them in the oven on a baking sheet.
Bake at 325 for 2 hours, and VOILA! Fall off the bone goodness!
With my entire household coming down with some sort of cold, I felt inspired to make some chicken soup. I found this recipe on a Paula Dean website, but I changed it and made it WAY more awesome. I used chicken thighs because...well....they're better than chicken breasts. I also adjusted the seasonings quite a bit, and added a few new ingredients, while omitting a couple dumb ones.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
- ½ a large onion chopped
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 elephant garlic clove)
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced
- 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (32-ounce) packages chicken broth or stock
- 1 T oregano
- 1 T basil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. I tasted the broth before simmering and adjusted the salt to my liking. I added about ½ tsp of salt.
Total cost of this recipe: about $19. Servings: 12-16
C'mon Wild Bill, the nutrition blog needs some love! After almost 2 months of sitting on my hands, I'm taking matters into my own hands! I know you have infinite wisdom and knowledge to share with us! For now, your nutrition blog will just have to be updated with a delicious new recipe I adapted.
Taste buds, get ready to dance and sing! This is a delicious twist on traditional meatloaf. I am going to make this whenever I see ground lamb on sale. I didn't have fresh ginger so I used ground ginger instead. Also, I didn't have any fresh mint, so I omitted it.....meatloaf was still delicious!
2 lbs ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (3-inch piece), or substitute 2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the lamb and beef in a large bowl. Set aside.
2 Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the salt, paprika, cumin, ginger, curry powder, cayenne, cinnamon, and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavors. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
3 Stir the vegetables into the ground meat. (I used my KitchenAid Mix Master for this) Mix in the eggs, cilantro, and mint. Transfer to a loaf pan and set in a baking pan. Pour water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
4 Bake the meat loaf for 1 1/2 hours, or until firm and cooked through. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Raw foodist and reformed vegan Denise Minger has put together the most thorough dismantling of The China Study to date. Her work can be found here:
The China Study: Fact or Fallacy?
For those of you who don't know, The China Study is a book written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. In his book, Dr. Campbell claims that animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, etc.) contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases of civilization. As you can probably already guess, Dr. Campbell advocates a vegetarian/vegan diet all of us if we are to avoid the diseases of civilization.
Do yourself and those around you a favor and take a few minutes to read Ms. Minger's work. It is quite enlightening and will help equip you with the knowledge you need the next time a coworker or family member forms the basis of their argument solely from The China Study.
Anyone who has talked nutrition with me at any length already knows that I'm not so nuts about nuts. For the rest of you, I'm here to tell you why I'm not so nuts about nuts and why you shouldn't be either.
Let us start by clearing any confusion surrounding the following:
"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar."
Think of this as the 35,000 foot ariel shot of the Paleo Diet. It gives you an idea of how to eat, but does not offer much detail. We have found this to be an effective way for one to begin their Paleo Adventure. It facilitates a switch from the Standard American Diet to an entirely new lifestyle where natural, whole foods are consumed. This is why you will see that quote written on the whiteboard at the Fort. It is also why you will hear us reciting it to newbies just beginning their Paleo Adventure.
Now, let's get more specific.
Unlike the healthy saturated fats that we promote, polyunsaturated fat intake should be kept to a minimum. This is because polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and weaken the integrity of our cells, thus suppressing our immune system's ability to protect us against the daily attack that we are under. Think of consuming polyunsaturated fats the same as letting free radicals enter and run wild in your body.
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, most people know of the omega-3 (linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid) variety. It is healthiest to keep the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 as close to 1:1 as possible. Sadly, the Standard American Diet throws this ratio far out of proportion due to the enormous consumption of vegetable oils and grain-fed meats.
For those of you who have removed the vegetable oils from your diet and eat only grass-fed meats, your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio may still be off if you eat nuts. You're probably wondering how this could be. Have a look at these numbers:
From this table you can see that the most common nuts in the Paleo community are the ones doing the most damage to your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Merely keeping your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in balance may not be enough though. Due to the instability of polyunsaturated fats, it would be a safe bet to keep overall intake of omega-3s as well as omega-6s to a minimum. This means that macadamia nuts, and especially walnuts, should be avoided.
Another thing worth mentioning is that nuts are not a good source of omega-3s. This is because the omega-3s found in nuts are of the short chain variety known as ALA and the human body must convert ALA to either EPA or DHA (both of which are found in fish oil) before it becomes usable. This conversion process is quite sloppy in the human body and may be less than 5% efficient! This is precisely why we frown at those who supplement with flax seed oil. The same thing is going on there.
So why are nuts such a staple in the CrossFitting community then? The reason why most CrossFitters chow down on nuts is because they are a convenient, appealing way to increase your fat intake. Eating the strip of fat on your grass-fed ribeye or drinking the grease in the pan after browning some 80/20 ground beef simply doesn't appeal to most people; at least not in the beginning Paleo man didn't have this option though. Think about the time and energy that would have had to be spent gathering and shelling nuts if you couldn't buy them in bulk at Sam's Club. Mankind would have become extinct shortly after Paleo man ever made the decision to gather nuts instead of chasing down a several hundred pound beast.
I urge you all to pay attention to your dependency on nuts. If you are one of the many who routinely consumes more than 1 small handful of nuts a day, it is time to search for an alternative food source. Here are a few ideas:
- Eat fattier cuts of red meat at mealtimes and don't throw the drippings or strips of fat away.
- Cook with coconut oil or add it to your coffee.
- Add grass-fed butter or ghee (clarified butter) to your dishes.
- Eat more egg yolks while giving the whites to your bodybuilder friends
The health benefits will be noticeable!
Before we get to the good stuff, I feel it necessary to drive home a certain point. That is, the dietary prescription that we follow and share with the rest of you is not a high protein diet. What we advocate at the Fort ends up being a high fat, moderate protein, lowish carb approach. It is true that you may consume more meat than you did in the past, but that does not make your current way of eating high protein. In fact, if you were to look at the numbers, some of you are actually consuming less protein now that you have eliminated the grains, dairy, and soy from your diet. Again, what we are suggesting is absolutely, positively, not a high protein diet.
Now that we have that out of the way, we are free to explore the stones. No, I'm not talking about Mick Jagger and the boys, but rather kidney stones, gallstones, and gout.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form inside your kidneys.
There are several types of kidney stones based on the type of crystals that form the given stone. The two most common types of kidney stones account for more than 90% of all stones and are composed of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate crystals. A third type, formed from uric acid, accounts for another 5-10%. The remaining miscellaneous types of stones will not be covered in this post.
- Calcium Oxalate - This is the most common form of kidney stones. When calcium and oxalate are ingested, they will bind together in the intestines, forming a compound that is no longer absorbable by the body. However, if there isn't adequate calcium to bond with an excess of oxalate in the intestines, the oxalate will be absorbed into the blood and then excreted through the urine. High levels of oxalate in the urine greatly increases the likelihood of kidney stones. If you suffer from calcium oxalate stones, it is advisable to increase your dietary calcium intake while limiting dietary oxalate intake. In fact, there are 8 foods that have been shown to be most at fault for raising urine oxalate levels. They are beets, chocolate, nuts, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, tea, and wheat bran. Other foods high in oxalate include legumes, soy products, and grains.
- Calcium Phosphate - Similar to calcium oxalate stones, but the calcium obviously bonds with phosphate in the kidneys instead. Avoiding phosphate rich foods (i.e. grains, legumes, nuts, dairy, chocolate, and sugary beverages) while maintaining adequate calcium levels is advisable.
- Urate - This type of stone is caused by an increased level of uric acid in the urine. Reference my discussion on gout below for what causes an increase in uric acid.
No matter what kind of kidney stone you are suffering from, staying adequately hydrated is very important.
As for gallstones, they occur when bile in the gallbladder becomes over saturated with cholesterol. Naturally, this leads people to wrongly assume that foods which are high in cholesterol and fat should be avoided. In fact, a low-fat diet will actually prevent the gallbladder from emptying, allowing the saturated bile to sit there for a long time and become crystallized, forming gallstones. It is actually the insulin response to the sugars that we eat that causes this super-saturation of the bile. Therefore, a diet that is high in sugar and low in fat is a double whammy of sorts and sets the table beautifully for the development of gallstones. On the other hand, a high-fat diet will result in a gallbladder that will empty on a regular basis and there won't be any over-saturation of the bile.
It is important to also know that once gallstones are created, moving to a high-fat diet will cause the gallbladder to empty, with the stones, and this may be quite painful. Whatever you do, don't misinterpret this pain as being from the high-fat diet. Instead, realize that the pain is from the gallbladder's elimination of the gallstones that a high-carb diet created in the first place. Sticking to a low-fat diet will keep the pain down, but only temporarily as the gallstones continue to increase in both size and number. It is important that you understand this and make the necessary dietary changes sooner rather than later.
If you remember back to February, I explored gout in a post titled, "Your Feet and Meat". In it, I concluded that gout is caused by insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and fructose.
And remember the importance of genotype and phenotype. Some of us are predisposed, genetically speaking, to certain conditions. This cannot be changed and simply limits what you can get away with in terms of your diet. Therefore, if you are someone who is predisposed to any of the conditions above, following a basic Paleo diet may not be enough. You may need to play with further restriction of your nut, fruit, and veggie intake. Either way, it is in your best interest to eat a healthy, high-fat, lowish-carb, animal centered diet.
The following excerpt is from Eat Wild. Do your health a favor and put in an order for some grass-fed beef from TheMeatGoat.
Fresh pasture and dried grasses are the natural diet of all ruminant animals. In factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations.” Many large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy.
Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs commonly used in dairy cattle diets in the Upper Midwest.”*
- Candy. Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers…. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops are high in sugar content.
- Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
- Potato Waste is available in potato processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten, or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain fats or oils from frying operations.
- Starch. Unheated starch is available from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces of candy.
- Pasta is available from pasta plants and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends with other ingredients, such as candy.
*This list is excerpted from “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published in 2008 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.