Archive | October, 2011

Sunday Brunch

16 Oct

Who says you can't have pancakes on the Whole 30?

How are you doing after the first 2 weekends in the Whole 30?  Were you able to stay away from the glass of wine at dinner, or french fries watching the 49ers and Raiders bring home Ws?

I know some of you may be a getting a little sick of having eggs for breakfast, so figured I would share a lazy Sunday brunch staple of mine: Almond Butter Banana Pancakes

1 Banana, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

1 egg

Heaping spoonful of almond butter

In a small mixing bowl, mash the banana.  Add the egg and almond butter and mix until well combined and the banana is integrated into the butter.  Add almond butter as needed to get the consistency of pancake batter.

In a small saute pan, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat until warm.  Cooking in batches, spoon some of the batter into the pan.  Cook as you would a conventional pancake – once the batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook the second side until lightly browned.

This will serve one person, making about 2-3 cakes, but the recipe can easily be increased, for as many cakes as needed.  They are also good served cold.

I served mine with a side of uncured Niman Ranch bacon and some caraway seed sauerkraut.  Enjoy, and let me know what YOU come up with for breakfast.

Wednesday Meeting Recap

14 Oct

Great meeting this week everybody!  We discussed some different questions, especially regarding nuts as snacks – try and find some other snacks and not just depend on almonds to quell your hunger.

We served:

Zucchini Hummus

2 zucchini
3/4 cup tahini (raw)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil (cold pressed, if you want it to be truly raw)
4 cloves garlic
2.5 teaspoons salt (I would cut down on this)
1/2 tablespoon cumin

Chop the zucchini and blend everything in the blender. Add the lemon juice and garlic (and salt)
a little bit at a time to get the flavor that you want.

Coconut Apple Custard

2 cans coconut milk (or cream)
3 apples, diced
Whichever spices you like, to taste: I used cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and vanilla

In a medium saucepan, add the coconut over medium heat.  Add the apples and spices, and mix thoroughly.  Stirring occasionally, let the apples simmer until they are soft enough to smash with the back of the spoon.  
Once the apples are cooked, pour the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and puree thoroughly.
Pour into a temperature safe container and place in the freezer to cool.  Once cold, the custard should be solid enough to eat with a spoon.

Blueberry Protein Balls

4 dates

1 cup walnuts

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

2 tbs melted coconut oil

1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

 

1. Remove pits from dates and chop in food processor till paste forms

2. Add walnuts and macadamia nuts and process till nuts are finely chopped.

3. With processor running, drizzle in coconut oil

4. scrape contents into bowl and fold in 1/2 cup of coconut and the blueberries.

5. Form into balls, roll in remaining coconut

6. Ready to eat or refrigerate for later.

 

Keep up the good work everybody.  Let us know how things are going so far and what you’ve been eating.

Let’s talk veggies!

11 Oct

As the ‘shock’ of getting started has hopefully passed, now is a good time to take a look at what you are eating (instead of what you are not). Personally, I sometimes struggle with different ways to make vegetables to keep it interesting as veggies are the base of this nutrition strategy. I made 2 wonderful mostly vegetable meals this weekend that I thought I’d share with hopes that you all will do the same.

The first was from smittenkitchen.com – I had romano beans delivered in our CSA bag this week so searched google for a recipe.

Braised Romano Beans
Adapted from Laura Sbrana via The NYTimes 08/12/08

Time: 1 1/2 hours

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced carrot
1 cup minced red onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup peeled, crushed ripe tomatoes, preferably plum tomatoes, with their juices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds romano beans (flat green beans), ends trimmed (or fresh cranberry beans in their shells). . .Next time think I will cut the beans into bite size pieces prior to cooking as they are a bit ‘unwieldy’ when full length.

1. Heat oil in a deep skillet or a shallow three-quart saucepan. Add celery, carrot and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables barely begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, a few minutes. Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until mixture is well combined, about 5 minutes.

2. Add beans, setting them in pan all in one direction. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer. Baste beans, season with salt, reduce heat to low. Cook gently, partly covered, turning beans in sauce from time to time, until beans are very tender, about 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings.

The other was Sunday breakfast. I had spigarello (again from our CSA) and portabello mushrooms that needed to be used. Stuffed portabello mushrooms it is!

This dish can be made with any greens you have in the fridge – the hearty the green, the longer you will need to cook.

Adapted from Primal Cookbook: Quick and Easy

Ingredients:
2 portabello mushrooms
olive oil
4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
1 bunch spigarello, or other greens
bacon fat
2 eggs, raw, scrambled

Preheat oven to 425.
coat mushrooms in olive oil
place on baking tray
season with salt and pepper
cook 15 mins

While mushrooms are cooking, remove woody stems from Spigarello by stripping the greens from the stem. Pile all the greens together and chiffonade (cut into thin strips). Rinse in a collander and shake off most of the excess water. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Place wet greens in skillet and cover to let them steam a bit. Once water is mostly evaporated, add 1 tbs of bacon fat or butter and toss greens to coat. Let cook for a minute or two, then add bacon pieces and stir to combine with greens. When bacon is cooked, add eggs, stirring to mix with greens and bacon. Remove from heat once eggs are cooked. Pile mixture on top of mushrooms and enjoy. (If using spinach or arugula, cook bacon first, then add greens as the greens will cook much more quickly than those used here.

Could use some more ideas. Please comment with your favorite ways to incorporate veg into meals and snacks.

Save the Date: Thursday, November 10th!

9 Oct

Join FIT & The College of Adaptive Arts on Thursday, November 10th at 6:30pm for a screening of      Happy:  The Movie.

FIT

600 Fremont Ave.  Los Altos, CA  94024

RSVP: Jen@focusedtrainers.com

*We are asking for a suggested donation of $10 in support of The College of Adaptive Arts.  The CAA is a non-profit that provides college courses for adults with differing abilities.

 

Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Getting over the Lethargy

8 Oct

We are now 1 week in!  How is everybody doing so far?  Found any great new recipes?  How have you found the cravings? – if any?

There has been a good amount of discussion (during the last go-round as well) about energy levels dropping off and general fatigue during the Whole 30.  This can be caused by a number of different things, but I am here to tell you that these are NOT long-lasting effects.

First off, many of you are eliminating caffeine during your 30 days.  This will, obviously, have a considerable impact on your daily feelings of wakefulness and alertness.  Please know what with the right amount of sleep, caffeine is not needed.  I agree that a warm cup of coffee in the morning is a great sensory experience (warm mug, great smell, delicious taste), but it definitely isn’t a necessity to get my day going.  Also, by eliminating those foods that are insulting and pro-inflammatory from the diet, your body has more energy to contribute to restoration, and you will wake up with more energy.  The Whole 30 foods will also provide for more steady energy levels throughout the day.  Just remember that it takes some time to get over that caffeine dependence.

Secondly, after eliminating breads, rice, pasta, beans, etc there is often a large empty spot on your plate.  This isn’t the goal of the Whole 30, but often what happens.  It is a bit of a paradigm shift to think about the amount of vegetables that you will have to eat.  It seems that most people forget about this, and instead end up eating less than they actually need.  Remember to keep that plate full with at least 2 different vegetables at each meal.  If after satisfying the vegetable and animal protein requirements you still feel hungry and lethargic, make sure that you are adding some fat to your meals.  This can be done in the form of avocado, coconut, garnishing a dish with salad, or even dressing your vegetables with some oil (olive, macadamia, truffle are all good dressings).

Finally, while the Whole 30 is not intrinsically a “low-carb” diet, it often times ends up that way because of the foods that are eliminated.  By removing bread, rice, pasta, etc. that leaves a large carbohydrate void on the plate.  Carbohydrates are not, in and of themselves bad, it is more the source of those carbs that we are trying to change.

Having some sweet potatoes after a workout is a great post-exercise meal.

Adding some roasted beets to a dinner salad contributes flavor, color, and texture.

What happens, though, when the carbohydrate content of your diet decreases, is that your metabolism has to catch up to the new dietary environment.  If eating a diet with a considerable dose of carbohydrates, you body prioritizes using them as its primary fuel source.  While carbohydrates are easy to use as a fuel source, they aren’t those most productive – fat contains 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and protein.  What makes fat harder to use is that it requires oxygen to consume for energy.

In the course of the Whole 30, most of you will most likely transition from using predominantly carbs for energy, to using more fat for energy.  This is not just from the fat that you consume, but also from your bodily fat (read: decrease in body fat %).  Unfortunately, however, the process of switching to a more fat burning individual takes some time – time for carbohydrate stores to decrease, but also for hormonal and enzymatic changes to take place within your cells.  It can often take as long as two weeks.

So what happens during this two weeks?  Well, for starters, you might feel a little lethargic.  Also, your performance in the gym will often dip a little bit.  Fear not, though, as these changes aren’t permanent.  What is happening is that your body is trying to find new strategies for fueling your endeavors (exercise, daily activity, work, etc) in the absence of that carb flood it was used to receiving.  After the two week mark (sooner or later for some) everything changes.  Most people will report increased energy and vitality.  What also starts to happen is that gym performance (or any other physical feat your test yourself in) goes through the roof.  PRs get shattered right and left, and recovery improves.  What is happening is that your body has figured out those new strategies – utilizing fat (both dietary and bodily) for fuel – and providing you with more energy than the simple carbohydrate metabolism was able to.

I hope that helps as you all make your way through week 1.  Congratulations on sticking with it this far.  Remember that we are having our second meeting/snack this Wednesday, October 12, at 7pm.  Keep up the questions and comments.

Couple resources:

Should you be eating like a caveman?

Metabolism and Ketosis

Paleo pancakes – 2 options

5 Oct

I posted this recipe a from rxgirlsmiami.com few months back and can attest that it has since become a family favorite. At our first Whole 30 pow wow this evening, another recipe was suggested. She mentioned that she modifies this recipe so look to the comments for those suggestions.

This one’s from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook

3 eggs
3 Tbs melted butter or oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs coconut milk
1/2 tsp honey (exclude if you are doing whole 30)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup or so water

Optional additions: flaked coconut, berries, nuts, cinnamon

Whisk together eggs, oil, coconut milk, honey and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients then add wet ingredients, stirring till smooth. Add water to thin batter out until desired consistency is reached. In a well buttered Pam or griddle, cook pancakes until Browne on both sides (about 3 mins/side). Smaller pancakes are easier to flip as the cakes will fall apart if too big.

Another paleo pancake recipe thats been around FIT so long I’m not sure where it originated from but will guess marksdailyapple.com

1 egg
1 heaping Tbs almond butter
1 mashed banana

Whisk together and cook in a well buttered Pam or griddle. Watch carefully as they do burn easily. These make great snacks too I you can manage to save any for leftovers.

Where to Eat?

5 Oct

At tonight’s breakfast meeting, the topic came up about where to eat out and still get a Whole 30 approved meal.  We will surely dive into this deeper in the coming weeks, but here are some references to peruse:

San Francisco restaurants serving paleo dishes

A great place to ask/search for questions

Paleo out on the town

There’s an app for that

Real Time Farms

Hope these help.  Have you found any other resources you use?

 

 

 

 

 

Primal hot cereal

5 Oct

No nut snacks throughout the day if you have this for breakfast but worth the ‘sacrifice’ for a bowl of hot cereal to start your day.

from: Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Cookbook

1/2 cup almonds, whole or slivered
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 banana
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, plus more to taste

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until desired consistency is reaches. Depending on your preference, the hot cereal can be smooth or chunky.

Warm the cereal in the microwave or on the stove until hot. Add fresh berries and more almond or coconut milk to taste.

Sweet Hash

5 Oct

A good alternative to eggs any way … Or with an egg on top…
from: Paleo Comfort Foods (cookbook)

2 Tbs. Coconut, avocado, or olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded/grated (1 pound=1 med/LG sweet potato)
1 lb cooked chicken or turkey sausage, cube into small dice
1 Tbs. Cumin
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper (I cut this in half an still found the hash had a fair bit of kick)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat large sized skillet over med heat an add oil
2. Sauté onion until translucent
3. Stir in the potatoes, mixing to combine and cook until potaoes start to soften and then eventually brown.
4. Mix in the sausage, cumin, cayenne, salt an pepper and cook until sausage starts o get a bit brown.

What did you have for dinner tonight?

3 Oct

3 days into the Whole 30.  How are you doing?  Have any of you tried out any new recipes yet? I had a random assortment of veggies from our CSA (Eat with the Seasons), so this is what I put together:

Curried Chicken and Cruciferous Vegetables

1 Tbsp. bacon fat

1.5-2lb. chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. vadouvan curry powder, divided

1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

1 crown broccoli, chopped

1/2 head cauliflower, chopped

1 red onion, sliced

Handful shiitake mushrooms, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Season the chicken thighs with roughly 3/4 of the curry powder.

In a large skillet, heat the bacon grease over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add the chicken.  Cook until browned on all sides and cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In the hot pan, add all of the vegetables, and the remaining curry powder.  If needed, add olive oil to saute the vegetables.  Turn the heat to medium-high until the vegetables brown just a little bit.  Put a lid on the pan, reduce heat, and cook until vegetables soften to desired amount.

While the vegetables are cooking, chop the chicken into 1-inch cubes.

All chopped and ready to go

Add the chicken back into the pan and mix with the vegetables. Add salt to taste. Once the chicken is warm, serve.

Makes 3-4 servings.