paleo

Beet & Caramelized Onion Soup

Did you know including beets in your diet while pregnant can help prevent birth defects.Or that beets have a high amount of B vitamins essential to your overall health. Luckily this root vegetable targets the pancreas, nerve function, kidneys, muscle movement, liver, and bone health. So for towards sweet reward, Beet & Caramelized Onion Soup has a savory yet intense flavor ready for any seasonal illness!

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Beet & Caramelized Onion Soup
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 12-15 Minutes
Cook Time 40-45 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 12-15 Minutes
Cook Time 40-45 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring out the stockpot and place the beets inside.
  2. Add 4 of the 5 cups of Chicken Broth to the stock pot, along with pepper and salt.
  3. Be sure to cover and cook for up to 45-50 Minutes or until beets are soft.
  4. Take out a large skillet and on medium heat, melt the butter or ghee.
  5. Place the onion and carrots in the skillet so they can be sautéed. Constantly stir until the onions have caramelized and the carrots are soft.
  6. Then once the carrots and onions are done, add them to the stockpot.
  7. Allow the soup to simmer and cool down.
  8. Once the soup has cooled, transfer to a blender to incorporate everything into a smooth puree, add the remaining Chicken Broth.
  9. Place back into stockpot, add pepper and salt for a perferred taste. Bring to a simmer and enjoy!
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Garlic Mashed (Yet Creamy) Cauliflower

As Christmas Eve approached, typically the dining tables are lined with food ready to be sampled. However, what about the after effect, overly stuffed and feeling sluggish. We have yet another side dish to utilize this holiday season!

Instead of the traditional mashed potatoes, try your hand at garlic mashed cauliflower! This is an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes without the added bloat! Adding this decadent side dish will offer a better alternative, this recipe can also be changed over time to include your favorite seasonings.

Print Recipe
Garlic Mashed (Yet Creamy) Cauliflower
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 5-6 Minutes
Cook Time 12-15 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 5-6 Minutes
Cook Time 12-15 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Boil a medium size pot filled with water, add a pinch of salt.
  2. Once boiling add the cauliflower florets. Turn the heat from high to medium.
  3. Cook until florets are soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Take out a frying pan and on medium heat melt the butter or ghee. Once heated, saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes or until tender and soft.
  5. Once the cauliflower florets are cooked. Remove from the stove and drain out the water.
  6. With a food processor add the florets, the garlic that has been sautéed, and the butter the garlic was cooked in. Also add in the milk (or coconut milk), parmesan cheese, black pepper and salt.
  7. Pulse and puree until smooth and creamy.
  8. Serve with a dash of chives or rosemary.
  9. Bon Appétit
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Diary-Free Eggnog

Looking for Paleo-friendly holiday recipes? They seem to be hard to come by because the holidays usually call for anything dairy, gluten and well overly sweet.  However, we intend to change that perception at least one recipe at a time. This Christmas season we will be giving more recipe ideas for this foodie holiday season!

Since eggnog is a staple and generally a traditional drink for these impending Winter nights, here’s an eggnog recipe with a twist! Funny when you search for dairy-free Eggnog you tend to run into recipes that still call for 4-6 egg yolks… even though most people are looking to make this dessert drink without the need for eggs! Well in this recipe we have thrown in an egg-free, vegan, Paleo-friendly recipe for those of you that are struggling. Or for those of you that want to try something new.

Print Recipe
Diary-Free Eggnog
Course Dessert
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 9-10 Minutes
Cook Time 3 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 9-10 Minutes
Cook Time 3 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start off with placing the cashews in a glass bowl. Then cover with hot water.
  2. Soak cashews for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes has passed, strain the cashews and dump the water.
  4. Bring out the High Speed Blender and place every ingredient inside. Blend or pulse until all the ingredients look incorporated and mixture appears smooth.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dash of nutmeg on top. This can also be served chilled.
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Hash Made With Brussels Sprouts

Looking to change up your breakfast routine? What about adding brussels sprouts to your daily intake of vegetables? Plus brussels sprouts tend to get a bad rep if they are not cooked or prepped properly. In fact, brussels sprouts have a ton of nutrients and can be quite tasty if they are paired with eggs!

This recipe showcases how to make a Brussels Sprouts Hash that will have you going back for seconds. Or even making this for different family members!

Print Recipe
Hash Made With Brussels Sprouts
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 20-24 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 20-24 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Heat up a medium size pan with olive/grapeseed oil, this is a great time to utilize a casket iron skillet! If not, do not worry.
  2. When the oil is hot, add rosemary.
  3. Cook for 60 seconds, then remove the rosemary to a plate nearby.
  4. Add the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low, cook until the onion softens. This can be anywhere from 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the brussels sprouts and set heat to medium to high heat. Bring back the rosemary by either chopping or crushing the sprig. Be sure to discard the stem. Add to the pan.
  6. You must stir consistently, the brussels will turn a gold on the edges. Timing defers between 5-7 minutes.
  7. Now divide the pan into 4 sections. These sections will be for the eggs. Be sure to reduce the heat to a low, medium.
  8. Add a cover, cook for 3 minutes. You can either salt or pepper now or wait until you've dished up a plate.
  9. Prepare to serve! Be sure to have a deent size spoon on hand for this dish!
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Approved Paleo Sweeteners

Voidbias / Pixabay

Looking to sweeten things up on your paleo diet? It’s easier than you would think! The options of paleo sweeteners are surprisingly vast considering you are on a sugar-free path. The hardest part of cutting refined sugar from your life for good will most likely be making everything from scratch! Chances are if it is pre-packaged, it is heavily processed and chocked full of refined sugars. Once you have cut out processed and refined sugars from your life, you would be amazed to see how many everyday foods you can find natural sweetness in.

 

  • Erythritol 

Erythritol is a natural, paleo, sweetener that occurs naturally in many fruits and fermented foods. It is also produced from glucose from fermentation. Erythritol has almost zero calories and does not affect blood sugar or cause tooth decay. In fact, it is 70% as sweet as sugar and is partially absorbed by the body while the other portion is digested. Erythritol can be purchased as different sweetener names in many grocers, but you should always be sure to get a non-GMO version. Many sweeteners contain erythritol are made from GMO corn stalks.

 

  • Honey 

One of the most popular paleo sweeteners is honey. Honey is simple. As long as you are purchasing local organic honey, which is always best! Honey lends itself well to nearly all instances and is typically a pantry stable for most everyone. Honey is twice as sweet as refined sugar and contains approximately 80% carbohydrates. Unlike erythritol, honey does affect blood sugar and can easily cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

 

  • Maple Syrup 

Maple syrup has become an extremely popular paleo sweetener. As with most paleo sweeteners, it is extremely important to be sure that you are purchasing 100% pure maple syrup that hasn’t gone through an extensive pasteurization process. Maple syrup is healthy in moderation and lends itself to many flavors, especially for sweetening up your favorite fall spice treats or creating a phenomenal glaze.

 

  • Coconut Sugar  

Coconut sugar, or coconut palm sugar, is made from the flower of the coconut palm. The liquid soap is extracted and then heated until the majority of the water has evaporated. Coconut sugar is high in calories and to be consumed in moderation. It does, however, have a lower glycemic index than traditional table sugar. Coconut sugar can be used in many of the same ways as traditional sugar and in most recipes, may be used as a 1:1 ration to traditional sugar.

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 coffee Paleo?

Is coffee Paleo?
For many people, the morning isn’t fueled by the excitement of a great day—it’s fueled by coffee.

And when the 3 p.m. blues comes around, guess who’s up for coffee round 2 (or round 5 or 6)? With coffee houses popping up everywhere and coffee pots just getting easier (and cheaper) to use, it’s no wonder that this energizing drink has quickly risen to claim a spot as one of the most-consumed beverages in the world.

But should you run off and pour yourself another mug, or is it time to shut the kitchen coffeemaker down for good?

Is Coffee Healthy?

It’s not surprising that a good bit of research has been done into how coffee affects the human body.

We know that it can definitely give us a jolt (that’s the caffeine), but does it do anything else for us? As it turns out, there’s more to coffee than meets the eye (or, I suppose, the taste buds). Studies show that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cancer, especially in the colon and prostate. It can also reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, and another study showed that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of coffee you drink and how likely you are to die from general and specific causes.

(To be completely frank, coffee isn’t a miracle food. Despite some claims to the contrary, the potential benefits of coffee are relatively small.)
In addition, there are a few things to watch out for with coffee.

In particular, watch what you put in your coffee. The studies above show the benefits of coffee—not mochas, lattes with flavored syrup, or coffee with ice cream and sprinkles. From processed sugar to dairy, it’s the add-ins that cause the greatest issues.

Finally, if you have or think you might have adrenal fatigue, then it’s probably a good idea to cut the coffee (and all caffeine) out of your diet since it will only stress your adrenals more, which will slow your recovery.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “The overwhelming majority of the observational literature finds that coffee is linked to lower body weight and protection from type 2 diabetes. [To get the most out of your coffee,] get up and move around a bit when you drink. Since that coffee has just liberated a bunch of fatty acids from your adipose tissue, use them! If you don’t, the bulk of those fatty acids will simply be recycled back into your body fat. Remember that coffee isn’t just caffeine. It is a whole plant food/drink with hundreds of bioactive compounds beyond just caffeine….The taste and health effects of coffee thusly depend on dozens of factors, and that’s why coffee has different effects on different people as reflected across dozens of studies.”

Robb Wolf says: “If you have to ask, ‘If I can’t have sugar, coffee mate, cream, etc. in my morning cup, what can I do to make it taste good?’, then you really need to question the reasons behind your habit. Is it replacing sleep, masking a sugar or cream fix, or do you just REALLY like that Starbucks cup? If you truly ENJOY coffee for all of its warm, black deliciousness and you don’t have any compelling health or lifestyle reasons to avoid it, then I am not going to steal your ‘morning thunder.’ Keep on keeping on (with an occasional detox to clean things out). But, if on the other hand, your coffee needs a mate(s), or you’re using it as a means to function in the AM; take the time to conduct a CSI (Coffee Scene Investigation).”

So is coffee Paleo?

Yes.

However, with great deliciousness comes great responsibility. Avoid allowing coffee to become a crutch for poor sleep or stress management patterns, and be aware that the health effects of coffee don’t count for much when you drown it in sugar or processed cream.

For maximum health benefits, take your coffee black or with coconut oil and ghee.

Issue No. 34

Is Yogurt Paleo?

NeuPaddy / Pixabay

If you go to the dairy section of any grocery store, you’re likely to see rows and rows of yogurt—Greek, plain, flavored, snack-size, and more—lined up like stout little soldiers waiting to be put into someone’s cart. They come in greens, blues, reds, and more, in any flavor you can think of. But what on earth is yogurt anyway? And should we be eating more of it?

If you’re wondering how yogurt-makers get their yogurt to be, well, a lot gooier than milk, they do it through fermentation. The discovery of yogurt was likely an accident because people in Central Asia in about 6000 BC would milk their cows and then carry around the milk—all warm and fresh—in sacs made of animal stomachs. The milk would go sour, and yogurt was born! Thankfully, yogurt today doesn’t go through a few rounds of incubation in an animal stomach before making it store shelves; it probably wouldn’t be as popular.

When people talk about how great yogurt is, they most often cite the calcium content (it’s made from milk, after all) and the trendy term “probiotics.” Probiotics, in a nutshell, are the little bacteria in your intestines that help you out when you digest food and fight off the baddies. They’re shown to reduce inflammation and improve immune function, so supplementing with them is a great idea. These bacteria can be found in yogurt, so it’s a great addition to the diet, right? But many who follow a Paleo lifestyle don’t tolerate dairy. Now what?

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Nell Stephenson says: “Personally, the resulting effects of eating dairy (congestion and bloating) render it not something I want to include.   In the event that a situation arises when I feel I need to eat some probiotics, such as a few years ago after I finished a course of antibiotics for a case of swimmer’s ear, I prefer a top of the line capsule not sourced from dairy or soy.

If you are someone who makes the choice to include some dairy in the form of yogurt in your diet, at the very least, be sure to use a brand that is really just yogurt.   All too often, we see yogurts that are really nothing more than a usual concoction of low-fat or fat-free milk, gelatin, artificial sugars and flavors and no probiotics!”

Joel Runyon says: “Is yogurt Paleo? The short answer—no. Generally speaking, yogurt is not considered Paleo. The main reason that yogurt is not paleo is that it is a form of dairy. Almost all dairy is off limits for the following reasons: Dairy consumption has been linked to the development of many diseases in humans, including some very serious and chronic such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, [and] the quality of dairy that is widely available today is usually very poor. It is filled with added sugar and comes from sick cows that have been mistreated and given hormones and antibiotics.”

So is yogurt Paleo?

No.

It’s best to avoid yogurt because although it’s got some probiotics in it (sometimes…), they’re not nearly enough to justify the consumption of inflammatory dairy, especially when you risk exposing yourself to the antibiotics and other toxins in the milk the yogurt was made from.

Article by: Carrie Ott

Issue No. 57

Did Our Ancestors Eat Just Meat?

First off, this solely depends on where the ancestors lived on the plane, more importantly, did our ancestors eat just meat? Humans living in the northern cold climates had no choice but to eat diets composed mostly of meat. This was to keep up a protein-rich diet to help our ancestors to survive and eventually evolve. In the past, it was theorized that humans ate mostly meat and some in-season fruit, root, and greens that were raw. However, now scientists are changing their thinking about what our human ancestors ate 10,000+ years ago.

Recently, scientists found evidence that plants were cooked over 10,000 years ago.

Why does this matter? Think about all of the plants that are only edible after cooking. Also, cooking creates more nutrient-dense food, which has been proposed to have increased human brain size.

Paleo and primal diets have stressed the importance of foods that ancient (very ancient) ancestors used to eat. Primarily focusing on high-quality meat, fish and game, and some plant. In the light of this new research, it’s probable and possible that our ancient ancestors ate more plants than we previously gave our ancient Caveman and lady credit.

Scientists recently found evidence of ceramic pots and cooked plants inside of the vessels. Our caveman ancestors could have been boiling plants and processing different plants for a larger diet range.

Dr. Julie Dunne, lead author of the paper and post-doctoral researcher, said: “Until now, the importance of plants in prehistoric diets has been under-recognized but this work clearly demonstrates the importance of plants as a reliable dietary resource.

“These findings also emphasize the sophistication of these early hunter-gatherers in their utilization of a broad range of plant types, and the ability to boil them for long periods of time in newly invented ceramic vessels would have significantly increased the range of plants prehistoric people could eat.”

Health Benefits of Turkey and Uses

It’s Turkey time again—time when you sit down with family, watch a football game if you’re so inclined, and pass the food with all the fixings but what are the health benefits of turkey? Front and center in the biggest food celebration of the year is turkey, the nearly ubiquitous Thanksgiving meat. Around 7 billion pounds of turkey (that’s 10 Empire State Buildings!) are produced yearly in the US, so if you’re a fan of the bird, you’re in luck. You can thank Sarah Josepha Hale, writer of the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, for convincing Abraham Lincoln that America should have an official turkey day.

Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s not the tryptophan in turkey that makes you sleepy. This is a widely believed myth. In reality, you get sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because you simply ate too much. The overindulgence in carbs and sometimes alcohol contribute to blood sugar spikes that tire your body out. But that doesn’t mean that a big serving of turkey is bad for you! In fact, turkey (in moderate portions, of course) is a great source of many nutrients.

Why is Turkey Good for You?

  1. Vitamins. Turkey contains lots of vitamin B6, which improves immune function and supplements the body’s key systems. Vitamin B6 deficiency is relatively common.
  2. Selenium. The selenium found in turkey carries a whole host of health benefits—too many to discuss—but among them are noted improvements in Alzheimer’s patients, better management of diabetes, and less incidence of benign tumors. Many people are deficient in selenium, and if fish (another great source) is not one of your favorite foods, turkey is a great alternative.
  3. Tryptophan. This chemical isn’t responsible for making you sleepy—in fact, it helps to balance blood sugar (which is the actual source of the sleepiness problem; you just don’t get enough turkey compared to everything else you eat on Thanksgiving). Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, a mood stabilizer. It improves mental health and immune function.

Those are just a few of the great things about turkey. But before you go out and buy packages and packages of turkey meat to snack on every day, there are a few things you should know. Buying packing turkey deli meat isn’t a good choice—it’s often loaded with sodium and is extremely processed, so there are many things besides actual turkey meat hiding in there. Slow-cooking or baking a fresh turkey is the way to go. But how do you know that your turkey is fresh?

How Do You Choose Good Turkeys?

  1. Don’t believe your grocery store’s “fresh” label without asking the butcher when the turkey was actually prepared. Many stores label their turkeys as “fresh” even though they were packaged 9 months or more ago!
  2. Turkeys that are raised and then sold the same day or the day after they are harvested have a more intense flavor and better texture than frozen turkeys, so if you have a local butcher or meat shop, that will likely be your best bet. Local turkeys are also much less likely to have been given antibiotics and a grain-based diet.
  3. Choose turkey meat that is supple. Grainy or excessively firm meat should be avoided.

Turkeys are a great, nutritious meal anytime, but they really shine during the fall season. Remember that on average, you can plan for about a pound of turkey per person. This season, make sure turkey is on the menu and share it around!

Article by: Carrie Ott

Photo by Mike_fleming

Do Sardines Have Health Benefits?

One question some people have asked is if sardines have health benefits, especiallyy linked towards the paleo diet.

One of my most vivid memories of elementary school is of sitting in one of our incredibly cramped, 20-person classrooms and eating lunch with friends. They’d be munching on zebra cakes and I would, with an excited smile, pop the lid off my little bin of sardines.

Apparently the smell of fish was less favorable to the 8-year-olds than the sweet aroma of those zebra cakes, because more often than not, I’d look up from my sardines to find myself sitting all alone.

What are Sardines?

I think part of the problem was that no one really knew what a sardine was—a small, whole fish also known as a pilchard. Belonging to the herring family, sardines are rather tiny, oily fish that you can buy fresh or in a can.

Because people tend not to eat whole animals anymore, the sardines were probably a bit off-putting to my classmates. Yet how I loved them so!

Are Sardines Healthy?

The truth of the matter is that sardines are a very resilient fish, and their size is a big factor in whether or not they are toxic.

Sardines are quite small, which means that they tend not to absorb the same amount of toxins as larger fish. In fact, the Environmental Defense Fund lists sardines as some of the least-toxic fish you can eat.

Their mercury content is low, and these little fish are packed with not only a huge helping of omega-3s but also more than 100% of your daily recommended serving of vitamin B12! Vitamin B12 is responsible for keeping nerves and blood cells healthy, and it’s also extremely important for making DNA, so getting a whole bunch of it certainly isn’t a bad thing!

In addition, sardines are packed with vitamin D, which is one of the easiest nutrients to become deficient in nowadays—with people spending so much time inside, getting this vital nutrient from the sun is becoming harder and harder. Thankfully, sardines are one of the best foods for boosting your vitamin D.

Because sardines are low in toxicity and mercury, packed with nutrients, and cheap to boot, it seems like they may be a good addition to a Paleo lifestyle.

What do other Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “As for those species that offer both high omega-3s and low toxin risk, here are some budget-friendly samplings: light tuna, anchovies, sardines, Atlantic herring, and Atlantic mackerel. These species are generally wild caught. Because they’re tiny and low on the food chain, tiny fish [like sardines] will be largely free of the heavy metals other, larger fish tend to accumulate.”

Sébastien Noël says: “The next time you’re passing through the canned fish aisle, look a shelf above the cans of salmon, and consider the sardines as well. They’re convenient as a quick snack to throw into your purse or car, and…they provide a lot [of] nutrition.”

Are Sardines Paleo?

Definitely!

Sardines are a great source of many vitamins and minerals with very little toxicity. They’re small and cheap, and while you can eat them out of a can, be sure to choose wholesome varieties—sardines in water or olive oil are better than sardines in, say, mustard or soybean oil. Be sure to check ingredient labels, and enjoy your little fish! It’s okay, you can eat the bones too.

Issue No. 38

Is Beer Paleo?

Almost anywhere you go in the world, one thing you’re likely to be able to find is beer, but is beer paleo?

In fact, that’s one of the beer’s largest draws—it can be fun to try to sample as many exotic varieties and microbrews as you can find.

What Is Beer, Anyway?

Beer is one of the oldest drinks in human history, dating back more than 7,000 years to ale, its most ancient form. In fact, some historians credit the making of beer as humanity’s first step toward technological advancement, since water wasn’t always safe to drink.

For the most part, beer is made from fermented barley. And unlike a drink like whiskey, beer isn’t distilled, so it still contains many of the proteins and other components of the food that is fermented.
Increasingly, there are beers made from other fermented foods, but still, the great majority is made from barley.

Is Beer Healthy?

Believe it or not, there are possible health benefits to beer.

Beer has a big tendency to bring people together in fun social settings, and there is little doubt that hanging out with friends, relaxing, and laughing are all extremely healthy activities. And there is also no arguing with the overwhelming evidence that beer is chock full of B vitamins, particularly B3, B6, and B9, because of the yeast content.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that barley—which constitutes most beers—brings the same damage to our guts as we could expect from other gluten-containing grains like wheat. That means inflammation, disruption of gut flora, and all those nasties that arise from the gluten content of beer.

In addition, hops (a standard beer ingredient) is a huge source of phytoestrogens—the same toxin that makes eating soy not such a great idea because of the way the chemical reacts with our estrogen receptors.
Most importantly, however, we can’t forget about the alcohol. Alcohol is, plain and simple, a toxin, and the effect of alcohol on the brain is irrefutable.

So we’ve got some nice B vitamins in beer, but we’ve also got some toxins to worry about; where does that leave us?
Well, as far as researchers have learned, the evidence tends in one direction. Studies show that beer can do some strange things in our bodies, like making us more prone to passive overeating (when we eat way too much because it’s just there) and disrupting our natural sleep cycles. Beer has also been shown to increase the chances of developing multiple types of cancer, too. And it’s fairly well known that alcohol can have a negative impact on the liver.

It seems, then, that beer isn’t such a friendly drink after all, and Paleo experts tend to agree.

What do other Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Overall, beers are pretty unPrimal. But if you can drink them without ill effect, I don’t think the occasional glass or bottle will do you much harm. Celiacs and gluten-sensitive should definitely steer clear, or opt for wine, cider, or other choices.”

The Paleo Mom says: “[If you’re working on autoimmune issues] make sure to stay away from any grain-based alcohols though, especially beer and ale which contain gluten. Alcohol is not good for anyone dealing with leaky gut issues. However, an occasional drink…is probably okay. Cooking with alcohol is also probably okay for most people, even if you don’t tolerate an actual drink. But once again, I do urge caution as you experiment to find where your individual line is.”

Is Beer Paleo?

No.

Beer is not Paleo, but remember that quantity and quality are also key here. Non-alcoholic gluten-free beers (they do exist, though they’re rare) are fine, and an occasional sip here and there isn’t going to decimate your body. However, one of the dangers of beer is that it is addictive—more so than marijuana, studies say. So because the negatives outweigh the positives by a longshot, why not just avoid beer and go for a nice, relaxing cup of your favorite Paleo drink?

Issue No. 38

Photo by Miss Dilettante

Is Tuna Paleo?

 

Until 2013 (when salmon surged ahead), tuna was the second-most popular seafood consumed in the U.S. and it’s not only in the U.S. that tuna is a favorite, so what’s the deal is tuna paleo or not?

If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant, you’ve likely noticed that some of the most common cuts of sashimi are maguro and toro—in other words, types of tuna.

Fish is regularly touted as a very nutritious food, but it’s also common to hear warnings about certain seafood, including tuna.

So should you regularly consume tuna?

Is Tuna Healthy?

The main concern I hear about tuna is its mercury content.

Mercury poisoning is a scary thought, and we’ve all heard about the dangers of playing with old thermometers. Studies have shown that in rats and other animals, a diet excessively high in mercury can lead to stunted growth, deformed limbs, and mental disease.

However, the mercury concern in tuna (and in fish in general) is very much overstated, except in certain circumstances.

I won’t go into a great deal of detail in this article, but the short version is this: No good studies have ever shown any problem with eating seafood “high” in mercury other than a few species of shark and whale, or fish from polluted areas. The reason that these certain cases exist is that mercury’s harmful effects occur when it is in excess of selenium. And for almost all seafood (including tuna), selenium is higher than mercury.

If you want to read more on this issue, check out Chris Kresser’s great article.

On the other hand, tuna has many nutritious qualities that make consumption a great idea. It tends to be high in omega-3s, which are great anti-inflammatories that have shown tendencies to reduce heart disease and high blood pressure, in addition to calming down allergies and asthma.

Even better, tuna is rich in selenium, a nutrient that helps to normalize our bodies—it regulates our thyroid and hormones, assists with DNA synthesis, and protects our bodies from oxidative damage and infection.

And just generally, tuna is very dense in vitamins and minerals, something that we should frankly care a lot more about in our foods.

What Do Other Paleo Experts Say?

Robb Wolf says: “Maintaining adequate levels of selenium can protect us from mercury toxicity by binding to mercury as well as protecting us from oxidative damage. On top of that, the fish consumed by humans (except for the Mako shark and possibly some species of whales) contain more selenium than mercury. This makes it safe to get all the positive health aspects associated with eating fish 1-2 times per week.”

Mark Sisson says: “Tuna is tasty, especially the steaks, and it’s a decent source of omega-3s, but the mercury content can’t be ignored. Avoid if you are pregnant, nursing, or a small child, and don’t make tuna of any kind a daily staple. Look for troll and pole-caught tuna over longline-caught tuna, as the former tend to run smaller and accumulate fewer contaminants than the latter.”

Is Tuna Paleo?

Yes!

Issue No. 39

Photo by nedrichards

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