healthy living

How to Paleoize Your Favorite Foods

Just because you are choosing to switch to a paleo lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up a love for food. Food translates to so much more than eating for survival; food is both comfort and joy. You don’t have to give up any of the happiness you find in food to go paleo. To go paleo and keep the comfort, you just need to learn how to Paleoize all of your favorite foods!

 

  • Potatoes  

 

      • Potatoes are a definite no on a paleo diet, but sweet potatoes are still in! Nearly any recipe that calls for potatoes can easily be replaced with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be just as comforting as a mash or even in a stew or hash. They also lend themselves well to naturally sweetening bread and other baked goods.
Couleur / Pixabay
  • Fish 

 

    • Eating paleo is all about the protein; this includes fish. The trick is that you need to eat wild caught fish. You also need to cook it properly! Fish can be one of the healthiest proteins you consume, as long as you can resist the urge to fry it or soak it in oil and butter. Instead, consider grilling it or simply roasting it with some fresh veggies.
pashminu / Pixabay
  • Bacon and Lunch Meat 

 

    • Deciding whether or not bacon and other sliced meats are paleo, is a bit of a debate. Depending on who you ask, some believe that it is still meat and if you can find it without a ton of additives and processing, go for it. While others feel that there is no way our ancestors would have been consuming processed and cured meats. That being said, the paleo lifestyle is ever evolving. With new times, comes new theory and most people agree that if you can find unprocessed or minimally processed bacon or lunch meats then go for it! You also have the option of cooking your own meats at home and slicing them for sandwiches and such, leaving no question as to whether or not they will be paleo. As for the bacon, try and find locally sourced bacon with minimal to no processing other than the curing process.
Meditations / Pixabay
  • Rice   

 

    • With rice being found or served along-side the majority of dishes that families consume, it is rather hard to cut it out completely. It has become our filler so to speak. An easy way to replace rice is by making your own cauliflower rice! It is pretty basic and simple to make. You will need cauliflower and a ricer; that’s it. A vast array of recipes can be found to implement every flavor you are craving, from fried rice to risotto.
moritz320 / Pixabay
  • Peanut Butter 

 

    • While nuts are an essential part of the paleo diet, peanuts aren’t actually nuts. They are legumes, which are strongly not paleo. However, replacing peanut butter in your diet is extremely simple. Both almond butter and cashew butter are great healthy paleo options. They can both can easily be substituted in place of peanut butter in any recipe and you can make them at home in just a few quick steps.
deborahmiller56 / Pixabay
  • Eggs 

 

    • Next to meet and vegetables, eggs are an essential part of the paleo diet. The key to eating eggs on the paleo diet is simple, you need to purchase free range eggs. Or if you are up to it raising your own free-range chickens.
stevepb / Pixabay
  • Conventional Beef 

 

    • While purchasing meat may seem as simple as a quick trip to the grocery store. But the truth of the matter is, unless you are purchasing grass-fed beef, it has most likely been subject to growth hormones, antibiotics, and haven’t been grass fed. Finding grass fed beef shouldn’t be as hard as you would think, but it will take some work. You should also consider that it may look different, as in it won’t be pumped full of red die to make it appear more “appealing”, like in the grocery store.
Baumelt / Pixabay
  • Flour 

 

    • Flour is surprisingly one of the easiest foods to replace on the paleo diet! Between coconut flour, almond flour (almond meal), arrowroot powder, and tapioca powder, you can replace flour in just about any recipe you like!
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
  • Mayo  

 

    • Mayo gets a bad rep and many people stay away from it all together. But the truth about mayo is, you can easily make your own. Paleo mayo is simple and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It can be made with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil.
Meditations / Pixabay
  • Ketchup  

 

    • If you plan on going paleo and keeping it kid-friendly, you may have considered letting the ketchup slide. But the truth is, you can easily make homemade paleo ketchup free of preservatives, sugar and that pesky high fructose corn syrup.
markusspiske / Pixabay
  • Granola  

 

    • You may be very well accustomed to buying pre-made granola, but it couldn’t be easier to make! Even while avoiding grains and cereals, you can still make homemade granola. You can even use it as the perfect cereal craving substitute with a little dash of almond milk.
Free-Photos / Pixabay
  • Spaghetti  

 

    • Believe it or not, replacing spaghetti has become a bit of a trend. People have been replacing pasta with spaghetti squash for quite some time now. It’s simple to prepare, actually just as simple as boiling a box of noodles. You can also purchase a special cutter for other vegetables if you need to change it up a bit. Both zucchini and cucumber have frequently been used to fill in those spaghetti cravings.
WerbeFabrik / Pixabay
  • Bread Crumbs 

 

    • While breadcrumbs are often used for breading items to fry, a paleo no, they are also used as a binding agent and to add texture. If you are looking to replace breadcrumbs in a dish, such as breading meat, coconut flour works well. If you are using the breadcrumb as a binder in meatloaf or meatballs, try flax meal in place of the traditional breadcrumb.
congerdesign / Pixabay
  • Conventional Milk 

 

    • Cow’s milk is another easily replaced item in your fridge. Almond and cashew milk are both delicious, paleo, and in many cases better for you. They also don’t require you to have a cow to produce yourself. You simply need nuts and a food processor! No store bought milk with additives needed!
Couleur / Pixabay
  • Soy Sauce  

 

    • There is a good chance you don’t just use soy sauce for Asian inspired dishes; many of us use it in nearly any sauce or marinade. It has a delicious flavor for everything. But, you don’t have to give that up! Coconut aminos have a similar flavor to soy sauce and when used in cooking, gives off nearly the same potent flavor as soy sauce.
genniebee512 / Pixabay
  • Sugar 

 

    • There are many options available to replace refined sugar. The best option, when possible, is to go for the natural sweetener. Such as fruits or sweet potatoes. When needed though, local raw honey, stevia, maple syrup and coconut sugar are all good options.
Soorelis / Pixabay
  • Rice Noodles 

 

    • As with replacing spaghetti, if you love rice noodle, purchasing a spiral vegetable cutter will easily allow you to make zucchini noodles. They have a light flavor that lends itself well to adjusted Asian sauces and allows you to achieve a great consistency and flavor profile, similar to that of rice noodles.
sarangib / Pixabay
  • Vegetable Oil 

 

    • While deep frying everything is never recommended, sometimes you just have to have some sort of oil. Coconut oil is healthy and extremely beneficial. Though you would expect it to leave a coconut flavor, it is actually mild in flavor and can be used to cook no matter what the application. Olive oil is another great option, but be sure to check the label and buy organic olive oil.
stevepb / Pixabay
  • Butter and Margarine  

 

    • Both ghee and grass-fed butter is considered to be paleo. However, you always need to check labels and packing. Both are made from dairy and then the milk proteins are removed. But as long as they are used in moderation are both considered to be paleo.
markusspiske / Pixabay
  • Chocolate

 

  • Let’s face it, no one wants to give up chocolate. The good news is, you don’t have to, you just need to sub it for dark chocolate, preferable as close to 100% chocolate as you can find. Recent studies have even shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health.
congerdesign / Pixabay

 

  • Salt 

 

    • By this point, we all know that salt is a big no when it comes to eating paleo, but sea salt is the exception. Traditionalist would not agree and rather form the opinion that contemporary paleo has changed the rules. The truth about salt is, it isn’t as bad for you as we have been lead to believe. In fact, studies have shown that you need salt in your diet, to an extent. Sea salt is natural and the dehydration process is as well. Beyond that, there is no processing or additives to most available sea salt.
andreas160578 / Pixabay
  • Fruit and Vegetables 

 

    • This may seem like the oddball out on the list; after all, eating paleo is about eating primarily fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. But you still need to pay attention to the product you are purchasing. Shopping local organic and GMO-free is very important. Otherwise, you never know what kind of pesticides or growth hormones you are subjecting your body too.
silviarita / Pixabay
  • Hummus 

 

    • Easily considered the appetizer/snack of our time, hummus has become exceedingly popular. An easy way to recreate your own paleo hummus is by using cauliflower. It is still as simple to make as traditional hummus and you won’t believe how similar it is in flavor!
Ajale / Pixabay
  • Pudding 

 

    • Recreating pudding without the sugar and starch that are traditionally used is really quite simple. Chia seeds lend themselves well to creating a similar texture. When soaked in a liquid of choice, chia seeds soak up the liquid to create a gelatin-like the texture and since they have nearly no favor, the options are endless!
RitaE / Pixabay
  • Peanuts 

 

  • As mentioned earlier, peanuts are technically not nuts at all. So it is important to switch them out for almonds, cashews, or another nut of choice. Most recipes shouldn’t be affected by this change. You may even find that you prefer the flavor and consistency of other nuts with a bolder flavor profile.
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

8 Raw Vegan Lessons That Helped Me Switch To Paleo

I would have always considered myself healthy. My weight never went above the recommended weight requirements for my height, I ran almost every day, I was usually really active and ate pretty well… I had realized in the years prior that eating highly processed carbs was not the right answer for my body (or really anyone’s body), and I had teetered between a raw Vegan diet heavy with greens and fruit to more of a low-carb lifestyle. I know there are some Paleo people out there that will write about how bad the raw Vegan diet is… and conversely, I have read some scorching articles from Vegans about Paleo and barbaric “meat-eaters”. When really the truth of the matter, should focus on the quality, type of food, and moderation of any “diet”… I put “diet” in quotations for a specific reason that I will get to later.

Green Smoothie
pelambung / Pixabay

Lesson #1 & #2: How to Make Smoothies AND the Importance of “Greens” in a diet

I learned some good “diet” tools of the trade being a raw, Vegan. I traded my mom’s necklace that she brought me in for my first high-speed blender – a Vitamix (after breaking my cheap one — actually it turned on a few hours after the motor cooled down, but it did smell in the kitchen for a while). The smoothie I wanted to blend consisted solely of greens and included: parsley, celery, cucumber, carrots, dandelion greens, a smidgen of spinach, sea salt and lime. When I finally did blend that green smoothie, it tasted delicious – only because I had used to eating more and more greens every day. This obsession with greens and green smoothies helped me lose weight, got rid of that pesky psoriasis I had after my first child, more energy and made me smell like “lettuce” – not sure if that’s a good or bad trait.

After a while, I settled into my favorite daily smoothie of blueberries, spinach or romaine lettuce, banana made with homemade almond milk.  (Smoothie Tip: bananas cover the taste of spinach tremendously). Not only did being a raw, vegan teach me to make smoothies at the drop of the dime or combine previously inedible greens into new dishes in new and interesting ways, but it’s an essential part of being Paleo as well.

Lesson #3: Eat Weeds

One ingredient you may have noticed with smoothies was dandelion greens… guess where I got em? At the store? Nope. I picked them out of my yard. In fact, I can tell you some things about picking dandelions. First, the older the dandelion, the more bitter it will taste. That 5-foot dandelion that you have been meaning to take down – you should just put it in your compost.

However, the little ones that have just begun to flower – those are WAY less bitter. The great thing about dandelion is that the whole thing is edible – the flower, stem, leaves and even root (makes a great healing tea for just about everything). I prefer the thinnest dandelion leaves that I can find and the flowers.. they are actually pretty good. Going back to the point – is weeds. This is something that you almost never read about Paleo, but our ancestors ate weeds – and a lot of them (well when the weather was nice). In fact, the edible weeds are surprisingly super-nutritious, even more so than some “super” foods.

distelpics / Pixabay

Lesson # 4: Digestion AND Herbs as Medicine

One name that you never hear in Paleo is Ann Wigmore. She was actually one of the founding “members” (since it’s not really a club, but member sounded really good right there) of a raw, vegan “diet”.  Ann Wigmore stated that ….  sprouts and the nutritional benefits.

Lesson #6: Using Real Food to Make Dessert

One thing that is strikingly similar to Paleo and raw Vegan “diets’ is dessert. Maybe I only picked the healthier dessert of both lifestyles; however, both utilize honey and maple syrup as the main sweeteners. Dates are used more in Vegan dishes, than Paleo due to the high sugar content. Honestly, I rarely ate dates on the Raw Vegan diet, they did not make me feel good (probably because of the sugar). But right away I noticed in Paleo… desserts made with macadamia nut crusts, puddings made with honey or maple syrup, pies or cakes made with almond meal or almond flour. Really – it didn’t seem that different. In fact being a raw Vegan is even more difficult to create these dishes due to the restrictions on food. And when you make that dessert exactly right, it’s difficult to stay away.

Lesson #7: Simplicity

Which brings me to my next lesson – simplicity. One day, many years ago, I sat in a similar chair that you are sitting in right now. Where I was scouring the web for more raw, Vegan recipes. It seems like every week, the recipes became more complicated, more complex. Suddenly, there were raw, vegan recipes for everything that you would usually eat as processed carbs.

Lesson #8: Do What Works for You

This is an optional choice for obvious reasons. Some individuals will have to rework their entire way of eating to find which foods work for their body.

 

 

 

 

12 Paleo Foods You Must Have in Your Cupboard

Making the decision the switch a paleo lifestyle may not be the easiest transition. But with a little prep and just the right ingredients in your cupboard; you will be cooking as natural as always with just a few paleo substitutions in no time, consider this Paleo foods. Stocking your cupboard with all of the necessary paleo and healthy ingredients can be as simple as starting with just 12 basic paleo must-haves.

 

  • Coconut Aminos  

 

    • Having coconut aminos available in your pantry could be just what you need to boost the flavor in your paleo dishes. Coconut aminos are useful in a number of ways; from sauces to stir fry’s, it will lend you a similar flavor to that of soy sauce. Coconut aminos is the raw sap of the coconut tree. Harvested, then allowed to age before being combined with sun-dried sea salt to accomplish its soy like flavor.
  • Ghee 

 

    • While if you are familiar with ghee, your first response may be that it isn’t paleo; this is arguably true. Made from dairy, Ghee is cooked until all of the milk solids are removed, making it part of the paleo diet. If you are willing to use ghee on a technicality, it can impart a great nutty flavor to many of your dishes. Just be sure not to confuse ghee with clarified butter, clarified butter has not had its milk proteins removed or cooked off!
  • Coconut Milk 

 

    • The most popular milk substitute used in paleo cooking. It is rich, creamy, and lends itself well to cooking and flavoring dishes. Coconut is a substitute for traditional cow’s milk and will leave you with a delicious outcome.
  • Almond Milk 

 

    • Almond milk is the perfect substitute for cow’s milk in everyday uses, such as drinking, baking, and other cooked or uncooked recipes. The best part is making your own un-processed almond milk out of almonds.
  • Nuts 

 

    • Keeping a stash of nuts around the house, other than peanuts, is a great handy snack that packs a much-needed protein punch. Using nuts in everyday cooking from stir fry’s to baking, even when to just add a tasty crunch. Nuts are highly regarded in the category of Paleo foods.
  • Almond Butter 

 

    • If you are searching for a healthy peanut butter substitute, almond butter is the top choice. It is rich, creamy, and nutritious. This can be made at home with no added sugar.
  • Coconut Creamer 

 

    • While coconut cream is similar to coconut milk, it’s much thicker and lends itself well to things such as paleo whipped cream. It is also great to use for paleo ice cream and other healthy versions of traditional sweet treats.
  • Almond Flour  

 

    • Known as almond meal or ground almonds, is a perfect grain-free flour substitute. Yes, Almond flour is a top pick for flour substitute in many different variations, such as baking or breading. Almond flour lends itself well to creating paleo bread, muffins, and cakes.
  • Coconut Flour 

 

    • Growing in popularity for its grain free properties and produced from dried coconut meat. Yes, coconut flour is grain free, gluten free, and high in protein value.
  • Dark Chocolate 

 

    • While it is important to purchase close to 100% dark chocolate as possible, dark chocolate is an easy paleo option for the sweetness you crave. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and great for eliminating free radicals in the body. Try this, in place of traditional milk chocolate or chocolate chips in everyday recipes.
  • Honey 

 

    • Chances are that you already have honey in your pantry, but you should check the label. The best choice is always local organic honey. Local organic honey is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and is the perfect natural sweetener for everything from drinks to sauces.
  • Maple Syrup

 

  • Similar to honey, maple syrup lends itself well to sweetening everyday dishes. It also has its own delicious maple flavor, perfect for introducing warm fall flavors. Maple syrup is also conveniently interchangeable with honey in nearly all instances.

Paleo foods are located in every home and most of us tend to forget that healthy alternatives are hidden away in our kitchen.

Is Chicken Paleo?

Chicken meal photo

Ah, those chicken wings—as a staple of the American diet, you can find them nearly everywhere: from restaurants to family get-togethers to big-game Sundays, but is chicken paleo? Health-conscious people are eager to tout the goodness of chicken as an alternative to red meat and as a delicious source of protein. But is chicken really all that nutritious, or does it have toxins that should make Paleo dieters wary?

Chickens are raised in a variety of ways throughout the country, with the most common suppliers of chicken growing grain-fed farmed birds in large quantities. These chickens are raised quickly on a predetermined diet and health plan that includes medications and little exercise. Other sources of chicken give the bird free range and allow them to scavenge, feeding themselves on bugs and whatever else they can find. These birds are markedly different from the chickens produced by large companies, and all of this difference can make it difficult to decide if chicken really should be a Paleo choice.

So, is it Paleo?

Chicken meat varies greatly in its nutritional profile depending on what sort of chicken you’re eating. Toxins abound in non-pastured chicken meat; these chickens were raised on a diet of grain and were given antibiotics to keep them healthy because of the insufficiency of their diets. Needless to say, eating an antibiotic-laced chicken will have some negative consequences for you, too. In fact, this study explores how arsenic is used to help chickens to grow quickly. Arsenic is that mineral used to make glass and wood preservatives. And if the chickens are getting arsenic, you probably are too.

On the other hand, chickens raised in pastured farms are rich in vitamin E and folic acid, which helps to prevent anemia and increases the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. Chickens that are not on a grain-based diet also have a much healthier omega-3/omega-6 ratio, which enables our bodies to process these fatty acids much more efficiently—the way nature intended. Many pastured chickens are antibiotic-free and will be labeled as such.

Because chicken seems to be a nutritious option if it’s bought from the right source, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great part of a Paleo diet. Despite its nutrition benefits and versatile uses in all sorts of recipes, experts do caution that chicken is only a great option if it is not grain-fed and if it is antibiotic-free. Go with pastured or organic if possible, and if not, at least aim for meat with as little fat as possible.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Breeding, feeding and other poultry farming standards result in animals that scarcely resemble each other, let alone taste the same. [Pastured] is the label I suggest looking for, but don’t be surprised if the search presents a challenge. If conventional is all you can afford or have access to it’s better than no meat at all. Just eat the leaner cuts, since toxins concentrate in fat.”

Sarah Ballantyne says: “[If you have to buy conventional instead of organic or pastured], limit consumption of chicken and other poultry, which probably has the highest omega-6 fatty acid content of any of the conventionally produced meat and poultry.”

So Is Chicken Paleo?

Yes!

Because of its great nutritional value and very few toxins, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great addition to the Paleo plate. Be cautious, however, of what sort of chicken you buy; if you cannot afford or find pastured or organic chicken, choose the meat with the least amount of fat and limit your intake, as conventional chicken does come from birds that have been medicated.

Issue No. 29

10 Ways Paleo Beautifies Your Hair

Gorgeous hair on a Paleo diet

Many consider the Paleo diet to be far more than a fad diet, some even find the term “fad diet” to be plain out offensive. Non the less, the Paleo diet has become increasingly popular. The Paleo diet dates back over 2 million years and is also known as the Paleolithic diet. The foods that you are allowed to consume on the Paleo diet are considered to be the food that is believed to have been available during the Paleolithic time period. When you want the most beautiful and healthy hair, you need to look past the promising shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment bottles and take a long look at your overall diet. A healthy body starts from the inside out, even when it comes to your locks.
Basics of a Paleo Diet

A Paleo diet is considered to be far more of a lifestyle to many, rather than just a diet. Many people are switching to a Paleo diet for far more than weight loss. The Paleo diet is based on very health conscious food choices that have the ability to affect every aspect of one’s self. Many of the benefits of the Paleo diet include weight loss, overall physical and mental health, feeling more energized, and even greater effects on one’s outer beauty as well.

The Paleo diet consists of eating a vast amount of lean meats, seafood, fish, vegetables, and fruits. The general idea is to cut out processed foods, grains and dairy, including grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, potatoes, caffeine, and alcohol. Instead, you should consume a diet rich in lean meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, eggs, vegetables, fruits and sweet potatoes.

The Benefits of a Paleo Diet for gorgeous hair
The Paleo diet is believed to have many health benefits, as well as wonderful benefits for the rest of the body. A Paleo diet is considered to be very rich in beneficial vitamins that contribute to the appearance and overall health of skin, nails, hair and youth. But many find that the benefits of beautiful, healthy hair are worth the lifestyle change to a Paleo diet.

1. Reducing Sugar
Sugar is among the large list of dietary cuts you make when you commit to a Paleo diet. Sugar is extremely addictive and increases testosterone production within the body. Excess testosterone can lead to male pattern hair growth and hair loss.

2. Eliminating Grains
The Paleo diet eliminates grains such as breads and pasta, which may be among the hardest foods to transition away from. Grains are considered to be unhealthy in many instances because they can affect the absorption of minerals in your body. Grains are also broken down by our bodies into sugar, which can have similar effects as consuming sugar-filled foods.

3. Vitamin C
Since the Paleo diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, it is also rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is very beneficial to healthy hair. A low intake of vitamin C or a vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry hair and split ends. People who consume a healthy amount of vitamin C are far more likely to have strong, healthy and thick hair.

4. Iron
An Iron rich diet is beneficial for more reasons than one. But to those looking to increase the health of their hair and switch to a healthy diet, the high iron intake on a Paleo diet is a good high point. An iron-rich food intake is extremely beneficial to your hair, it helps not only to improve hair texture and dullness, but it also helps to keep your hair from falling out. Iron helps increase the oxygen and nutrients to the hair and scalp.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a very beneficial part of consuming a diet rich in fish. Omega-3 is very beneficial to shiny hair, as well as, preventing a dry, itchy and flaky scalp.

6. Potassium
Potassium can be another key nutrient for healthy hair. Potassium, like iron, can significantly help decrease one’s hair loss. Besides the increased intake of potassium on a Paleo diet, cutting out salt also increases how much potassium your body absorbs. Potassium is an important nutrient when it comes to hair healthy hair growth.

7. Selenium
Selenium is a considerably less known nutrient, but it is still a very important part of a healthy diet and very beneficial to one overall health. Selenium is vital for proper immune system function and works alongside other necessary nutrients to prevent free radical range in the body. When you are committed to a Paleo lifestyle, you are likely to consume far more selenium than on the average person’s diet. This is due to the amount of refined food the majority of people eat. The processing of refined foods tends to destroy the natural selenium in foods. Selenium helps to increase hair growth and prevent dandruff. Selenium is used in the majority of dandruff shampoos to improve overall scalp health and prevent flaking. Selenium works with zinc as an aid against hair loss and may even be recommended to help prevent gray hair.

8. Zinc
Zinc is yet another key nutrient found in lean meats and protein, that is beneficial to the growth of healthy hair. Zinc helps hair follicles grow and work with selenium to aid against hair loss.

9. Beta Carotene
Beta Carotene is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, spinach, pumpkin and mustard greens. Beta Carotene is a key nutrient for overall nutritious body and is converted into vitamin A after consumption. Beta Carotene, like Vitamin A, helps to prevent dry brittle lifeless hair. Beta-carotene increases healthy hair growth and thicker, fuller hair naturally.

10. Biotin
Biotin, also known as B7, is found in many protein-rich foods, such as the recommended lean meats, fish and eggs recommended on the Paleo diet. Biotin helps to increase hair growth. A lack of an adequate amount of Biotin in your diet may result in hair loss.