Tag Archives: ketosis

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!

Celery is good for your Health!

Celery is good for your Health!

I bet when you think about “health foods” celery don’t come to mind, but it has many health benefits including fighting cancer. Read this article on Natural Health 365 for more info. Here’s an excerpt…

“Generally speaking, most people don’t think of celery as a “nutritional powerhouse.” Of course, on the other extreme – this past year, celery juice has been trending as the “cure-all” for a wide variety of health conditions. Today, we’ll focus on some undebatable facts about this vegetable.

Celery contains many essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also full of flavonoids and antioxidants.”

Garlic is good for your Health!

Garlic is good for your Health!

I love garlic! Tons of flavor and it turns out that there’s tons of health benefits too! Check out this article on Natural Health 365. Here’s an excerpt…

“Allium sativum, or garlic, is a popular herb that has a history dating back centuries. Related to both shallots and onions, garlic is grown across the world, and it’s a popular addition to many recipes due to its savory flavor. But it doesn’t just taste good. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, manganese, selenium, and potassium.”

If you ever eat sauteed shrimp, add tons of garlic like I do for a great Cuban style garlic shrimp dish.

Lions Mane Mushroom Benefits

Lions Mane Mushroom Benefits

Check out this link to the Green Med Info website for info on Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits. Here’s an excerpt “Lion’s Mane is nature’s gift to your nervous system! It’s the only mushroom possessing not one but TWO potent nerve growth factors, showing potential benefits for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, leg cramps, anxiety and more.”  l love mushrooms!

 

Caprese Omelet with Smoked Tomatoes

Caprese Omelet with Smoked Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Well, everybody’s heard of a Caprese Salad, right? Fresh tomato and mozzarella with fresh basil in some form (I like to use my fresh made Basil Pesto). But how about in a Caprese Omelet? Let’s do it!

Here’s my typical Caprese Salad.

So we’re going to pretty much make that the filling in our omelet. However instead of fresh tomatoes, I’m going to use some smoked tomatoes. And instead of fresh mozzarella, I’m going to use, regular grated mozzarella. I am going to use my regular everyday fantastic basil pesto!

OK, here’s how I make an omelet. I put the eggs, a little bit of cream and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk the mixture in order to get some air bubbles. This time around I put the eggs, cream and salt in my Bullet and processed that for 20 seconds. This made an unbelievably fluffy omelet! Get as much air in those eggs as you can. I used to go on business trips to a small town in central Illinois. I’d have breakfast at this small diner sitting at the counter watching the short order cooks, well, cook! When I ordered an omelet the cook would put the eggs and some cream in one of those old time milk shakes mixer cups and put it on the mixer like he was making a shake. Lots of air bubbles in those!

Heat a nice non-stick pan with some olive oil and butter in it. Once melted, swirl it around. Add your nice and bubbly egg mixture to the pan. Once the edges start to set, take a rubber spatula and push the edges in towards the middle of the mixture, letting the liquid eggs fill the hole. I don’t like my eggs to be too runny, so I flip over whole omelet over to set the eggs on top. Then I flip it back and add my omelet fillings. You can use a spatula to do this, or you can turn down the heat so the bottom of the omelet doesn’t burn and cover with a lid so the contained heat will set the eggs on top.

In any case, once the eggs are set, add your toppings. I put a couple tablespoons of pesto on the omelet. Spread it around with the back of the spoon. Add your heated smoked tomatoes (I just heated them up in a small glass cup in the micro). And then top with a lite handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Turn the heat off and put a lid on it so the cheese melts. Once melted slide that delicious omelet onto a plate and enjoy that delicious Caprese Omelet!

Zoodles with Mushrooms and Chicken

Zoodles with Mushrooms and Chicken, a LCHF Pasta Alternative

I love mushrooms! When I get a real hankering for them I go to the local Farmer’s Market and buy some good local grown and sometimes wild picked mushrooms. I did buy some fresh maitake and shitake and a pack of dried lions mane mushrooms, but I used the fresh ones in another dish! For this dish I used Crimini Mushrooms that I got at the local store and the dried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. And because I use Zoodles (zucchini cut into noodles) this is a LCHF pasta alternative. Check out how to make zoodles here.

I ground up the above dried mushrooms into a powder in my Bullet.

I started out by sauteing some chopped shallots in a pan with olive oil and butter.

I added the sliced Crimini mushrooms and sauteed for about 3 minutes.

I sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of my ground up Lion’s Mane mushrooms on top of the sauteed mushrooms. I used Porcini powder in my restaurant which has tons of mushrooms flavor. The Lion’s Mane was a little lite.

Next I added some white wine, heavy whipping cream and chopped chicken I had leftover from smoking a whole chicken.

Next add the zoodles, end pieces and all, to the mixture.

Add some salt and pepper to taste and cook the zoodles until warmed through. I like them al dente!

Looks good, but a little monotone in color. Next time I might add some chopped roasted red peppers to give it a pop of color.

Some grated Asiago cheese and we’re good to go! Enjoy this LCHF pasta alternative!

 

Smoked Tomatoes

Smoked Tomatoes

My wife’s garden is producing tons of tomatoes. So I’m going to take some, cut them up and put them in the smoker! Smoked tomatoes! Who’d a thought? This will impart a nice smoky flavor to the tomatoes which I will use on pizzas and sandwiches to start. They’ll be good on anything you would use a tomato (duh), even a BLT. I’m going to make a batch of oopsie rolls that I’ll use as my bread for the sandwiches. When I make a BLT I’ll spread one side with my smoked tomatoes and the other side I’ll put a fresh tomato. Don’t forget to use Primal Kitchens  Mayonnaise (made with avocado oil) and a good quality lettuce. I’ve been using living Bibb lettuce lately that I buy at Costco. But you should be able to get Bibb at any store.

So what did I do? I cut off all the blemishes from the garden tomatoes and that goes into the compost pile. The nice parts of the tomatoes I put in a bowl, added some olive oil, salt and pepper and tossed. Then I place them neatly on the smoker. I didn’t want to just dump them because some might have fallen through the grates! The next time I’m going to keep them on a ridged sheet pan because they were kind of tough to get off the smoker grate because they were really soft. That way I can just scrape the smoked tomatoes into a storage bowl. Also, I might keep them on longer to see if I could get them to firm up. If anyone tries that let me know how it turns out! I smoked theses at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Next time I might try 300 for 3 hours and hopefully get something of the consistency of a sun dried tomato, but it will be smoked tomatoes!

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

My wife’s garden produces an amazing amount of tomatoes in July and August and into September. They are so tasty! A Caprese Salad is one of the great ways to use them! Tomatoes and the rest of the nightshade vegetables have a lot of lectin in them. So if you have leaky gut problems, you should eat in moderation or avoid altogether.

However, most of the lectin is in the skin and seeds. So if you remove these, you’re good. Cooking also reduces the lectins. So if you’re making a red sauce and run the tomatoes through a tomato grinder that removes the seeds and skin and then cook the sauce, you are golden!  If you just want to remove the skin and seeds, bring a pot of water to a boil, cut a cross (X) in the bottom of the tomato (shallow cut, not deep), drop the tomato in the boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove, place in ice water to chill, remove and peel the skin off starting from where you cut the X. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in wedges and scoop the seeds out with your thumb.

I digress, let’s get back to the Caprese Salad. You don’t need to do any of that for a Caprese Salad, however, you can remove the skin if you want to. My mother didn’t like it when I left the skin on tomatoes. The skin got stuck in her dentures and that was a no no!

The most complicated ingredient is the basil pesto, which I also make from my wife’s garden basil that she grows. You can find a Basil Pesto recipe here. I used pesto in my Caprese Salads in my restaurants, but you can just use fresh basil (cut into strips) and sprinkle on the salad for a quick and easy salad. So I have a ball of fresh mozzarella, a tomato and the last of a batch of basil pesto.

Cut the tomato and mozzarella into slices, arrange nicely on a plate, top with basil pesto (or just a chiffonade of basil leaves). I drizzled some balsamic reduction on top. You can buy that in the store too. It needs a little acidity, so use some kind of vinegar. Red wine is OK, but the reduction makes a nice visual statement. Add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes. Enjoy!

Egg (R)evolution!

The Incredible Edible Egg (R)evolution!

This is not the evolution question about what came first, the chicken or the egg. As far as I am concerned egg evolution/revolution is where we are at with understanding the health benefits of the whole egg! Every now and then the egg is could be considered a unhealthy thing to eat. Sometimes its the most fantastic thing you can eat, almost a super food! Where do I stand?

I had a restaurant back in the south suburbs of Chicago. A new restaurant opened up taking a once venerable dinner destination and turning it into a breakfast house, you know, like a pancake house. Pancake houses were not my competition, but I had to check it out because my wife and I had had a lot of romantic dinners there. So we wanted to check the space out in its new incarnation.

So we walk in and are being escorted to our table when lo and behold at the other end of the room there was one of our regular customers! He was so health conscious he almost drove us crazy at our restaurant with his “special” needs. So I go over to him and ask him what was he going to eat here that was “healthy”. Was it going to be a stack of pancakes with butter and sugary syrup? French toast? Eggs and sausage or bacon with hash browns fried in some kind of industrial oil? And so on. I couldn’t think of anything back then (the 90s) that was going to be considered healthy in a pancake house. Who’s going to have a salad at 9 in the morning?

So I asked him and he said, “a plain, egg white omelet”. I didn’t see that one coming, so I said “of course”, and went back to my table. That’s so boring, isn’t it? Egg white omelet and plain on top of it. And that’s what the connotation a lot of “healthy” food had back then and even today, i.e. “boring”. Who wants to eat boring food?

The egg is not boring! Just imagine the food possibilities with the egg. You can have a simple fried egg, omelet or quiche. You make cakes and breads with eggs, sauces like Hollandaise and Bernaise, ice cream and so much more. Not to mention my “crack” egg salad! We need eggs. No question about it.

So back in the day, the egg yolk was considered evil because it contained fat! Hence the egg white omelet. Egg whites are pretty much just water. Now fat is or friend! Egg yolks got the fat and all the nutrients you could ask for. So its nice that the evolution of the egg is now back where it belongs. The whole egg is healthy and almost a super food. Eat your eggs including the egg yolk!