Category Archives: Food for Thought

Vitamin D Absorption Dependent on Magnesium Levels!

I like to get my Vitamin D by sitting in the sun for at least 20 minutes a day. However, I did not know that absorption was dependent on your levels of magnesium until  read this article! I do have a magnesium supplement that I could take, but I like to get my vitamins and minerals from food as much as I can. Here’s a list of the top 10 foods that contain magnesium:

  1. Bananas
  2. Spinach
  3. Avocado
  4. Cashews
  5. Almonds
  6. Pumpkin seeds
  7. Oily fish
  8. Lima beans
  9. Sesame seeds
  10. Peanut butter

Since I’m a Primal kind of guy, I don’t eat many beans or legumes or things that contain a lot of sugar. So, I don’t eat many bananas because of the high sugar content (unless they’re really green). Spinach and avocado are great! Cashews, not so good. Almonds, Pumpkin seeds and oily fish are good, as are Sesame seeds. But I also stay away from Lima beans and peanut butter. Almond butter is my alternative.

 

 

Get in Shape for the New Year! Go Primal!

Start out the New Year right!

I know, its sounds like a cliche. Everybody makes New Year’s Resolutions, but hardly anyone keeps them! A lot of people need to lose weight. A lot of people feel horrible and have medical problems. They take medications in the hope of felling better, but most of those medications have side effects that end up causing more problems. And most of the medications focus on symptoms and do not actually “cure” the disease!

My Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

For example, I was overweight and because of that I was Type II Diabetic and had high blood pressure. So my doctors gave me a high blood pressure pill and a pill to lower my blood sugar. One of the side effects of my glucose pill was diarrhea. I didn’t figure that out until one winter I lost a lot of weight and my blood sugar numbers came down to normal, so I stopped taking the pill. But during the following summer I gained the weight back and had to start taking my glucose pill again.  I noticed that as soon as I did this I had to start running to the bathroom again at all times of the day no matter where I was! It was so bad I dreaded having to go out! When I figured this out the doctor switched my pill to a pill called Glipizide. No more diarrhea, but this pill made my pancreas create more insulin and insulin is the fat storage hormone. So I’m diabetic because I’m fat and I’m taking a pill that is actually making me fatter! Great! But my blood sugar numbers were “normal” and that was all the doctor cared about.

Fix Your Gut!

So what did I do? I fixed my gut first! I did a 28 day program by the Clean people. So for 21 days you have a smoothie for breakfast and dinner and for lunch you have a salad with some protein on it. You also take a handful of supplements with each meal which consist of a lot of digestives enzymes and probiotics. You also cut out a lot of things like coffee, alcohol, dairy, gluten and a few other things. Then, in the last week, you add them back one at a time to see if any of them make you feel ill. When I added gluten back, I didn’t feel so good. I’m not Celiac, but there was definitely something bad going on there. The Clean program costs around $475, but you get everything you need (except the salads) including all the supplements, protein powder and extensive directions. Plus, you get to talk to a health coach if you need one on one help! Here’s a link to the Clean program. At the start of the year they do a group program and give you discounts for purchasing more than one kit. After I did this I felt great! I highly recommend it! And what do you do after you fix your gut?

Go Primal or Paleo!

I decided to go Primal which is a version of Paleo which is pretty much eating like a caveman! Paleo people don’t eat dairy products because, as they say, what caveman was going around milking yaks to make cheese?! But this LCHF eating plan emphasizes replacing carbs with fat and Primal people add more fat to their diet by eating cheeses and yogurts that are high in fat and of good quality. We also use heavy whipping cream! And don’t forget butter! I eat lots of butter! Butter good, sugar bad! No 2% milk, skim milk or even regular milk because these have lactose in them which is sugar to your body. No sugar people! So instead of Wheaties and 2% milk, I switched to my new breakfast of champions, bacon and eggs! I lost 70 pounds over the next 14 months and that was 5 years ago! So I’ve kept off the weight. Yes, I cheat every now and then, but if I start to gain weight, I go full Primal again and lose the weight. So you don’t have to give up your favorites for the rest of your life! I eat pizza, some bread and burgers on buns every now and then. I’ll have a pasta dish once in a while, a rum and coke, chips and dip, but just do it in moderation ONCE YOU LOSE A BIG CHUNK OF WEIGHT! That’s right, NO CHEATING UNTIL YOU LOSE A BIG CHUNK OF WEIGHT!

How to get started!

So here’s a couple ways you can get into the Primal lifestyle and the good news is that they’re pretty low cost! I’m a Primal Blueprint Health Coach and have been helping people go Primal since 2015. If you’re new to Primal, take my 21 Day Intro to Primal class. If you’ve been eating Primal for a while, take my 21 Day Ketosis Focus Challenge. I also have a 21 Day Primal Fun Foods Challenge that shows you how to make those fun foods that you give up when eating Primal like Burgers on Buns, Pizza, Pasta and even Desserts!  You’ll get lots of info from these challenges to help you on your way to better health!

8 Keto Misconceptions Debunked!

There’s a great article from Mark’s Daily Apple that debunks 8 Keto misconceptions.  Here’s the link.

Blackened Rib Eye Steak with Bleu Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Asparagus

Here’s a quick summary:

1) Your Brain Needs Glucose, How Do You Even Think?

Quick answer: Your brain does need glucose, but not in big, massive quantities! Your liver can make enough glucose to easily handle the brain’s requirements!

2) Don’t You Need Carbs for Energy?

Quick answer: No! We run great burning ketones.

3) How Do You Get Fiber with KETO?

Quick answer: Vegetables and some fruits.

4) How Do You Exercise Without Carbs?

Quick answer: Quite nicely!

5) Doesn’t All That Fat Give You Heart Disease?

Quick answer: Not usually, but we are all different! Total cholesterol may go up, but that is usually accredited with higher levels of good HDL cholesterol.

6) You’re Just Losing Water Weight, Not Fat

Quick answer: All diets have water weight loss in the beginning. Keep going with LCHF and you’ll start burning that fat!

7) I Heard the Keto Diet Kills Your Gut Bacteria

Quick answer: Not if you eat “good foods”. See if you can tell which one is good and which one is not good: A)Bologna and American cheese or B)Grass fed rib eye steak with bleu cheese butter (butter from grass fed cows) and buttered broccoli. Both are meat and cheesy, but B is a whole lot better because it feeds the good gut bacteria while A feeds the bad bacteria.

8) Keto Isn’t Sustainable

Quick answer: Sure it is! From the “yes, I’ll eat this way for the rest of my life” to “its good for the environment” viewpoints.

Again, here’s the link to the full article on Mark’s Daily Apple. To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple.

Food for Thought – Sausages

Food for Thought – Sausages!

When you start eating Primal, sausages are good, but you have to get the right kind! You have to watch out for preservatives and nitrates and such. So, uncured would be the best (for bacon too). Take a look at these that I found in a Sprouts store. All good things on the label!

Don’t forget Costco

Lot’s of Organic, natural products hitting the shelves at Costco. I love the Polish Sausages. Grass fed, no hormones or preservatives and grades all around. I heat them up in my air fryer so the outside gets crisp and inside its all juicy deliciousness. Make elongated Oopsie Rolls for “bread”, top it with raw organic sauerkraut and Primal Kitchen Mustard and you have a Polish Sausage Sandwich that even a Chicagoan would love!

Homemade?

Yes, that’s right you can make sausages at home! I’ve made a bunch in my restaurant over the years and did all the hard work including stuffing them in pig intestines. What did you think they used? There are some sausages with a non-animal casing. Some don’t even have a casing. “Skinless” hot dogs and the big tube of breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean’s. You can make sausage mixtures and just hand form them into logs or patties and the cooking will bind them together! But that’s for another post!

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It could be your success story too! See you on the skinny side!

 

Can’t Find Full Fat Yogurt, So Now I make My Own!

I’ve made kimchi and sauerkraut before and I also make kombucha on a regular basis. So I’m now used to making fermented foods. I remember when I bought this yogurt maker about 20 years ago I was so excited to give that a try. I read the instructions and the idea of leaving milk out for 12 hours at 110 degrees didn’t seem right to me. So I said forget that and put the yogurt maker in storage. So then after all my experiments with fermented foods and the fact that I can’t find full fat yogurt in the store, I thought I’d give it another try. And the results are fantastic! Smooth, creamy and delicious!

I bought a Greek yogurt starter from a company on Amazon. But it turns out they were dead. So I just used some of my store bought yogurt to get a batch going and that worked just fine. I heat up a quart of half and half, add a little bit of heavy whipping cream to it and bring it to a boil. I turn off the heat and wait until the milk mixture is 96 degrees and stir and whisk in some of the current yogurt. About 10 hours later I have perfect yogurt! Refrigerate and enjoy!

As a side note, I wanted to make a second batch so I can keep more on hand. My wife started eating it so I had to boost up production. We had a set of small Ball jars, but they were just a little too tall to fit in the yogurt maker. So I put them in my InstaPot on the yogurt setting and they came out just fine too!

Food for Thought – Social Media

Food for Thought – Harry’s Primal Food and Social Media
I love Bacon and Eggs and that’s a good Primal Meal. Be sure to check out my Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram accounts.  Follow and let’s keep in touch! Also, check out my Harry’s Primal Food closed group on Facebook. If you do Facebook, send a request to me to add you to the group. That way we, and others, can talk and share pics!  Happy bacon and eggs face!

Food for Thought – Leftovers

Food for Thought – Leftovers!
Don’t ya just love leftovers! I had a grass fed beef flat iron steak and had a lot left over. This was one of my favorite meals from it. Romaine lettuce leaves, with the steak sliced thin, peppers, cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro and a horseradish mayonnaise. Tasty! Share pics of your leftover meals.

Food for Thought – Sugar is the Enemy!

Food for Thought – Sugar is the enemy!

Sugar is not good. Desserts are made with sugar. So with the associative property of arithmetic, desserts are not good too! Which is true of conventionally made desserts. Some desserts are good as long as they’re low carb. For me that means, no sugar. Or if some kind of sweetener is used its honey or maple syrup. Two “natural” kinds of sweeteners. I don’t use artificial sweeteners. I can’t stand the taste and/or aftertaste of these types of sugars. Even stevia. People use them because there are no calories, so no carbs, but there is some research that has come to light lately that they may still induce a blood sugar/insulin response when eaten. I just don’t like the taste!
So what am I saying? I’m saying you have to eliminate sugar, so do it! Don’t try to make things taste sweet and be low carb. Its like a Vegan trying to make a portobello mushroom taste like a steak. You can get close, but its a mushroom! If you want a steak, get one and eat it! But you don’t want to eat sugar. Sugar is the enemy! When you’re sugar free for a while your taste buds will realign. Once by accident my wife put sugar in my coffee and I almost spit it out, it was sickeningly sweet! Really, you will get use to no sugar. If I do sweeten desserts, I usually use some honey.
Also, how about that picture of the burger and fries down below? Hard to believe, but that’s sugar too! That bread and those fries will turn into sugar in your system when your body metabolizes them. Your blood sugar will spike! Insulin will store the excess as fat, etc. etc. Carbs is sugar, don’t eat carbs! Put that burger on an oopsie roll, or no bun at all. And get the coleslaw! No fries! I make tons of fries a my restaurant. I haven’t had a fry in a long, long time. You can do it!

Food for Thought – Bone Broth

Food for Thought – Bone broth!

Bone broth is the latest craze, but I’ve been doing this for a long time being in the restaurant biz. I’m always taking bones and vegetables and making bone broth. Duck, chicken and beef bones mostly. A lot of times I roast them first to give them a little color to make darker broths. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to extract all the minerals out of the bones. I love it when my broth ends up firm like jello! Collagen is good for the joints and digestion! Also, when you chill the broth and the fat firms up on top, save that fat for cooking. Be Primal!

Food for Thought – Inexpensive Cuts of Meat

Inexpensive cuts of meat that make a lot of meals

The above pack of pork tenderloins is from Sam’s or Costco and cost only $22. It contained four tenderloins. I used just two in the recipe for this challenge. Quite economical! It made lots of meals for me and my wife. Also, look for chicken and some cuts of beef like chuck to make lots more economical meals.
Eating organic foods, grass fed beef, organic, pastured chickens, wild caught seafood and other such expensive foods can break the bank! That’s why I put so much emphasis on big meals with inexpensive cuts of meat and making sure you use the leftovers to make additional meals. After spending a pretty penny on these types of foods, it would be in your best interest to use them efficiently. I hate throwing away food, because that just means money down the drain!
Chuck steaks are tough cuts of meat, but a slow braise to make a stew or a pot roast that would last for several meals is not only delicious, but it also reduces the per meal cost involved. Today’s ingredient, pork tenderloin, provided me and my wife with at least 4 or 5 additional meals! Chicken is great! So are ground meats! You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to get a turkey! How about a ham!? Sometimes you’ll find great sale prices on these even out of season.
Download the Whole Foods coupon app and save some bucks with that. Other stores have coupon apps too. The online store Thrive Market has sales all the time. Buy what’s on sale and adjust your menu accordingly (when you’re done with this challenge, that is)!