Fresh vs Frozen: It’s All About the Nutrients

This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

FRESH VS FROZEN

There’s so much focus on eating nutrient dense whole foods, staying away from processed and getting as close to nature as possible. So when it comes to the question if fresh or frozen produce is better for you, the answer for most people is simple: it’s fresh of course! Right?

Picking veggies from your own garden is the optimal situation but this isn’t the case for most of the United States. As it stands, most of us don’t even get in the recommended daily intake of our vegetables. Typically we only eat one-third of what’s recommended (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables in a day. When it comes to situations like this, then a vegetable in any form is better than no vegetable at all. Whether fresh is better [than frozen] depends on how fresh the veggies actually are when you buy them [fresh or frozen].

As winter approaches, fresh produce can be limited—or more expensive—in much of the country, which forces many of us to turn to canned or frozen options. While canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process (notable exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin), frozen vegetables may be even healthier than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

FRESH VEGGIES: NOT ALWAYS, ALL GOOD

 

The fresh fruits and vegetables lining your produce aisle are typically picked before they are able to reach their peak ripeness. This gives distributors a cushion of time to ship it across the country and to get it on your shelves before they fully ripen. While this helps to ensure the availability of appealing-looking produce, it also gives those fruits and vegetables less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, most produce must travel long distances to reach their final destination, being exposed to varying amounts of heat and light along the way. This may diminish or degrade some of the more sensitive vitamins in the produce.

Fresh fruits and vegetables also produce enzymes which cause a natural ripening, accompanied by a gradual loss of color, flavor and nutrients after harvest. This means that as soon as that produce is picked, it naturally starts to decay. While each vitamin and mineral have their own sensitivities, as a whole, fresh fruits and vegetables tend to lose nutrients up until they are eaten. Accordingly, fresh, local produce eaten soon after harvest and properly stored at cool temperatures between harvest and consumption are ideal for maximum nutrient content. It’s the water soluble vitamins including vitamin C and some of the B vitamins that tend to be lost from our fresh produce the longer the veggies hangs around, arguably some of the most needed especially in winter.

FROZEN VEGGIES: FROZEN AT PEAK RIPENESS

Frozen vegetables are usually flash frozen very soon after they are picked. Special machinery is used to get the produce to 0°F in minutes. The nutrients are “frozen in” during this process, meaning you can quite easily have more vitamins in a frozen vegetable than in its ‘fresh’ counterpart.

So frozen can be a better option, particularly where produce has to travel a long way. Produce chosen for freezing tends to be picked at their peak ripeness, a time when (as a general rule) they are the most nutrient-packed. After harvest, they are processed immediately, minimizing the time for nutrient loss. The freezing process entails blanching the produce in hot water or steam to kill any bacteria and to halt the food-degrading enzymes. While some water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B, are sensitive to this and may be partially degraded or lost, frozen fruit and vegetables generally keep a majority of their nutritive value when processed. Therefore, the subsequent flash-freezing locks the produce in a relatively nutrient-rich state.

Proper storage is critical when maintaining the nutrient content of frozen produce. Excessive oxidation can cause the loss of some additional nutrients over time, so the longer it sits in the freezer, the less it will provide overall. However, in general, produce handled properly and frozen promptly after harvest can be just as nutritious as fresh produce that has been held many days after harvest.

SO WHICH IS BETTER? FROZEN VS FRESH

There is more to fruit and veggies than just vitamins. Let’s not forget about fiber, the cooking process, or just getting any veggies at all!

One of the biggest reasons we eat fruit and veggies is to absorb fiber. The fiber content doesn’t deteriorate easily which means that week-old fresh veggies still have value despite lowered vitamin levels.

How you cook your veggies is far more important than whether they are fresh or frozen. Regardless of whether you are cooking fresh or frozen veggies, use as little water as you can and cook them for a short time. Steaming veggies are much better options than boiling. Boiling veggies in a large amount of water for a long time provides less nutrients in the finished meal.

Here are some points to consider when you’re weighing up the pros and cons of fresh vs.frozen veggies:

FRESH VEGGIES, THE PROS AND CONS

  • Can taste better than frozen.
  • Usually has a better texture.
  • If you’ve picked it straight from the garden, it will be bursting with nutrients.
  • But produce can be more than a week old by the time we eat it.

FROZEN VEGGIES, THE PROS AND CONS

  • Many nutrients are ‘frozen in’ soon after picking.
  • Convenience – can store for months.
  • Allows us to have veggies and fruit that are out of season
  • Adds variety to our diet.
  • After defrosting, veggies can have a soggy texture, because ice crystals damage the vegetable cell walls.
  • Vegetables with high water content – such as bok choy or lettuce – do not freeze well.

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR SHOPPING CART?

If you are doing a weekly shop, buy some fresh veggies and some frozen.If you can, shop two or three times a week for your fresh veggies so that they don’t spend too long in the fridge at home. Otherwise, try starting the week by eating the fresh veggies and end it by eating the frozen.

If you don’t have time to buy or cook your veggies you have options as well. Why not try a Paleo Meal Delivery Service: the benefitswill probably surprise you in more ways that you think.

The bottom line is that the health and nutritional value of all foods, fresh or frozen, depends on source and processing.

Sugar’s Effects on Your Body
This article appeared for Paleo on the Go
COULD OUR BRAINS BE WIRED FOR SUGAR?

Sure there’s a big and mounting case against sugar. We’re each being encouraged to lower it or take it out. Don’t add that extra into your coffee or don’t choose that piece of fruit it’s higher in sugar than other alternatives. Never before in the history of mankind have we needed to lower blood sugar. It was recently when we started consuming almost 72 pounds of sugar each year. Yup, sugar intake all adds up.

Here’s the truth. We have a primitive need for sugar. Before food was placed on supermarket shelves, restaurants, cafes and lunch menus, we had to go and find it all for ourselves. Our brains are naturally wired to seek ripe, seasonal foods that are naturally sweeter. The same wiring lets us know when a food is spoiled or if it’s poisonous! Sweetness in food was a marker for edibility in primitive times.

While so many diseases are being blamed on sugar – diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity, metabolic syndrome, hormonal issues – with good reason. Sugar has been shown to have a few pluses: stimulating appetite to regain weight, or lowering stress levels for a better night’s sleep. However, that isn’t across the board. Some of us have to avoid sugar and make sure to consume a high (good) fat snack before bed so we’re not waking in the middle of the night from a hypoglycemic episode. The fact simply stated, sugar is complicated. It affects each of us differently!

SUGAR AND OUR DAILY LIVES

However, the one thing that remains the same across the board is that excess sugar is toxic. Note the word excess. It’s toxic when it’s no longer balanced. There’s another problem. It’s not just that we’re eating too much, it’s also that, sugar isn’t just sugar . We’re living busy lives. This means our stress levels are flooding our bodies with more blood glucose.

The one thing we each have in common to do is our blood sugar regulation systems. Blood glucose is controlled by three systems in the body: two to raise it, namely insulin and cortisol; one to lower it, glycogen. That’s twice as many to raise our blood sugar as to lower! Sugar is the preferred fuel of our muscles and our brain. Our bodies are wired to encourage its use, to raise our blood glucose to make it as readily available as needed.

Also we can make sugar from other food macronutrients – fats and proteins – an inherent capability of each of our bodies. It’s just that we’ve flooded our bodies with sugar that these systems have become null and void. If you’re body is trained as it’s meant to, to be fat burner you can also easily burn sugar. So it all boils down to your body. What type of burner are you? Are you a slave to food, eating every couple of hours, constantly snacking, hangry when you miss a meal or are made to wait longer for a meal? Or perhaps you’re a fat burner, with good amounts of healthy fats in each meal, that your body is readily able to digest and use, alongside pastured proteins like grass fed meats, where you’ll easily go more than a couple of hours if not missing a meal without stressing over where your next meal is coming from.

HOW MUCH SUGAR SHOULD YOU CONSUME?

It’s true. We need sugar but we eat too much. How do you know what’s too much for you and how your body deals with sugar? Here’s some things can do to start today:

DETOX

Just cut out the sugar, whether you call it a detox or not. Do it for three weeks. This is the time it takes to form a habit and replace the cells of your stomach lining so they’ll be ready to pull the good nutrients from your nutrient dense meals. In addition, the bad bugs in your colon (we’re actually outnumbered 10000:1 by our bugs) thrive on sugar. So you’ll be doing your immune health a big favor too. But what exactly are you cutting out?  It’s added sugar of course, the white stuff, but also honey, maple syrup and all the sweeteners. Don’t eat bread, pasta, rice, legumes.  This is a good time to try Paleo if you haven’t. A Paleo Meal Plan can help get you there too. It’s also a good habit to try to destress at this point in time. Remember, stress raises blood glucose levels.

EAT YOUR MACRONUTRIENTS!

Make sure you eat each macronutrient at each meal. Each meal should include carbs, proteins and fats. Carbs don’t mean bread, rice or pasta. We’re talking about the leafy green carbs. Include veggies at every meal, even for breakfast. Your liver, now relieved of the excess sugar work, will thank you for the fiber and phytonutrients.

The amount of sugar we eat these days is most certainly in excess. But it’s important to remember that sugars are an essential part of our body’s makeup. It’s up to you to see how sugar is affecting your body and that goes from your next meal to the stress levels in your life or the sleep quality you’re getting.

How to Commit to Healing with Food

 This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

With 2017 approaching, new year‘s resolutions are inevitable. What was your biggest health triumph of 2016? Your smartest health decision? Chances are you’re thinking in terms of the food choices you made. 

We all know the adage that “food can be medicine” so that falls in line with being healthy. Which means it can be as simple as healing with food. Add to that you’ve already got everything you need to go to the next step and beyond because your body is designed to heal itself. 

STOP PUTTING DIRT IN IF YOU WANT TO HEAL

How to Commit to Healing with FoodIf you cut your hand – it will heal itself, unless you deliberately put dirt in, right up to the point of serious disease: your body will heal itself unless you keep putting dirt in it. Get my point? All we have to do is stop putting (metaphorical) dirt in ourselves and we’ll be on our way.

There is no shortage of dramatic stories of people recovering from their health woes thanks to food, and if you read my bio, you’d probably put me in with them: give the body the right food and environment (oh and the wonders of life saving brain surgery to allow me to even contemplate any of this!) and it will heal itself. 

While it certainly gives motivation, you don’t need an illness to see how changing what you eat can give you more energy, help you maintain a healthy body weight, and sharpen your mental focus. Here’s three simple strategies for committing to healing with food. 

3 EASY WAYS TO COMMIT TO AN ELIMINATION DIET

How to Commit to Healing with Food1. CUT PROCESSED AND PACKAGED FOOD 

You read this everywhere in health blogs now. Eating processed you’re confusing your body by giving it things it wasn’t design to eat: weird numbers, colors, fats that are changed (trans) and of course, dreaded amounts of sugar. Read further and you’ll see that convenience doesn’t have to mean processed or unhealthy. PS. There’s even an easy ‘cheat’ on top of that too. 

There’s nothing much else to say here. Just cut them out of your life. For good. 

2. EAT THE BASICS 

The toughest of us can go three weeks without food. However, not the majority. Most of us probably three hours and we start getting hangry. Whatever time records you can pass, it really boils down to what you eat, and what you should eat if you no longer want to be a slave to food. 

Knowing what to eat has become a pretty hard business, especially with so much conflicting information out there telling us what’s right. No wonder we’d sooner turn to ‘superfoods‘ to lift us out of energy slumps and sugar highs. But what if instead we focused on getting more of what our bodies need, when we need it? You probably know the three macronutrients: carbs, fats, and proteins. What we need to relearn and teach ourselves is that their importance lies in the order listed and that we include them in each meal. Not only does one help the other digest and assimilate nutrients your body needs but each has a role to play in rebuilding your body.

FATS

Fats have been the (erroneous) devils of our diet for the last 30 years and we need to bring them back and improve our ability to digest them. They’re what every membrane in our body is made of, which goes on to make every cell (and chemicals like hormones and neurotransmitters), tissue, organ and system. You’re brain is 70% fat and your heart’s major fuel is fat. We need fat! Just remember we’re talking healthy fats here.

 

PROTEINS

Proteins are our building blocks for muscle and other tissues, and they work alongside fats. In fact, you’ll notice they occur together in nature. Protein is one of the key macronutrients to look for when sourcing whole foods. The goal is to get them as close to how they occur in nature and this is how we our bodies were originally intended to eat them (farm to table). I’m talking eggs for instance, and not only on Sundays, and heaven forbid, never just the whites. Also the quality of your meats and serving them with the fats found naturally attached. Consider getting produce from a good source as well. Your food should be pastured and organic without antibiotics. 

 

CARBS

Lastly are carbs, perhaps the biggest swear word in nutrition at the moment. But we need lots of these, in the form of green leafy veggies, and as many different kinds as we can. A good rule of thumb is to limit the more sugary versions, like starches, and fruits to one a day a week. 

Now that we know that information the next big question to answer is how much is enough? Instead of reaching for a sugary snack to lift you then a calming glass of vino to calm you, there’s actually a magic ratio to start you off. 

 

3. SERVE THE MAGIC RATIO

The magic ratio is a principle of eating 40:30:30 (carbs: fats: proteins), basically thirds on your plate. How do you know how much to eat? Do you just keep going until you’re full? Do you limit yourself to just one plate? What about smaller plates? The best thing about eliminating convenience packaged and processed foods, is filling up first on what we need then later on what we want if there’s room. Using the 40:30:30 (carbs: fats: proteins) principle as a start, you can work out what feels best for your body and what is enough for you.

 

4. START WITH VEGETABLES

How do you plan each meal? Most of us start with a protein, like chicken or a steak, maybe with some veggies on the side. Is it working? How’s your energy, weight, satiation? 

What If instead you started planning around the veggies you’re going to have, then the fats you’ll use to cook and serve them, like butter or coconut oil, and perhaps how you’ll dress them, like olive, avocado or macadamia oil, and finally that side of chicken or steak you’ll add at the end. You’ll be amazed at the new cooking inspiration and energy (that’s health!) your food can give you. My family call them sneaky veggies and we plan this way to make sure we get them into every meal, even breakfast. 

How to Commit to Healing with Food

CONVENIENTLY EATING THE RIGHT WAY

Ok, so you just don’t have time to cook from scratch, or even every meal? Luckily you’re reading this blog on the website of a paleo meal delivery service which is a great way to help you commit. Paleo itself gets you eating the basics, removing the most processed of our foods (grains and dairy). Paleo ensures most of us automatically digest a lot better if we just commit to the lifestyle. Paleo allows us to become more aware of what we’re eating which is the key. You’ll notice how what you eat effects your body. This helps your body to start doing what it’s made to do – heal itself.

There’s overwhelming evidence of the healing power of food (and the disease provoking of poor food). You can’t overstate the role of food in good health, so thereI just said it again. Diet is the single best way to get and stay well. Even in the short term, dietary changes can shrink the plaque on artery walls, laying off soy can relieve premenstrual issues, as can going without gluten end the need for heartburn medications. Your grocery list is indeed the foundation of where feeling good starts. 

So now for 2017, what health advice would you like to give yourself? What would most like to change about your health? Inspiration is the greatest place to start in committing to anything, and maybe this coming year you can start in the kitchen: a healthy kitchen as a healthy you!

When to Use a Paleo Meal Delivery Service This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

CHANGING LIFESTYLES AND FOOD OPTIONS IN RECENT HISTORY

Meals are just not what they used to be: maybe we’re more active, busier (planned or unexpectedly), or the daily grind just gets in the way. We just don’t always have the luxury of time to prepare our meals or sit around a table and eat them together anymore.

OUR DNA CRAVES THE SAME REAL FOOD WE’VE ALWAYS NEEDED

Fresh tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro sit on a paleo tortilla and is topped with fried eggs. Our huevos rancheros are the best way to start your day.

Food is not what it used to be either. Just take a look around your local supermarket, where substituting real ingredients with unnatural concoctions that can build up in your system, cause allergies, can taste bad and make you reliant (or addicted) to their products.

What hasn’t changed? Your body’s need for real, unprocessed food in order to thrive. With all the changes in our food system and society,  we sometimes forget we are stuck with our pre-historic DNA.

A meal delivery service is the perfect way to ensure that you always have uninterrupted access to real, unprocessed, Paleo food no matter what life throws at you.

AIP PALEO MEAL DELIVERY GOES A LONG WAY

AIP Beef pot pie is one of our favorite paleo comfort foods.

Paleo on the Go meals, chef prepared, premade paleo meals, cooked and delivered to your door, are perhaps the most convenient way to eliminate processed food from your diet in your busier life. These are real whole food meals cooked to perfection by experienced chefs passionate about good food. Here’s a just a few reasons to use a Paleo meal delivery service:

REASONS TO USE A PALEO MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE

  1. Breakfast
  2. Comfort food cravings
  3. Emergencies are better dealt with by eating real food rather than fast foods.
  4. To get meals you just don’t want to take the time to cook
  5. Those busy days when you just can’t catch your breath and the last thing you want to do is cook
  6. Your new girlfriend is coming to dinner and you want to cook for her to impress her
  7. A friend in hospital who needs and deserves the best (who eats hospital food anyway?)
  8. Your in-laws are coming to dinner and you can’t cook or don’t want to test a new recipe they may hate
  9. Chef prepared meals that mean you can have the best without wasting ingredients you may not use again
  10. Travel and still stay true to your healthy ideals
  11. Big work commitments or projects you know will have you running late home
  12. Lunches at work, either to stop you from getting a quick take out in a rush, or to make sure your work seminar is well catered for.
  13. Entertaining the easy and healthy way
  14. Gym night to reward your body for the hard work it’s put in
  15. Even date night, because good food is surely hearty in more ways than one
  16. Weight loss from eating well for your body, done for you
  17. Improved energy from eating food your body thrives on, easily
  18. Less time cooking, more time for living
  19. A weekly assurance you’re gonna start off on the right track eating for your health or keeping a few extra POTG meals in your freezer as a powerful strategy for sticking with your dietary priorities when life tries to get in the way
  20. A sneaky one off to reward yourself for all your cooking and prepping the very way your Paleo meal will also deliver
  21. When you consider ingredients and awareness of your health and good digestion and health follows.

Paleo pulled pork

There are loads of reasons to use a Paleo Meal Delivery Service. Perhaps the biggest reason is simply nourish, thrive, repeat. If you eat more of the good stuff, there’s no room left for the bad stuff!

5 Quick Tips for a Fast Paleo Breakfast on the Go

This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

To start, an article advising quick tips for breakfast should be a quick read right? So I’ll keep it simple and get to the facts.

GET A JUMP START ON THE DAY WITH A PALEO BREAKFAST

Breakfast is one of the biggest challenges that people struggle with when they go Paleo. No oatmeal? No granola? No toast? Nope, and there’s a good reason behind eliminating those grains. The truth is starting the morning with grains could set you up for a blood sugar roller coaster for the entire day resulting in ill fated moods, concentration nightmares, cravings, energy slumps, and the emergence of a “hangry” monster you didn’t know existed.

 

Breakfast is the first meal we consume after having fasted through the night and it’s the one chance we have to pack in energy and nutrients to start the day on the right foot. It’s a break in that fast. Paleo is about giving your body a break from processed foods. Paleo breakfast really is the meal of champions. Breakfast should also be pleasurable. Pleasure is perhaps the biggest nutrient missing from our plates, especially at breakfast when we’re too rushed to think about food. To be honest, rushing is a digestion nightmare on it’s own because your brain needs to be relaxed to trigger it in the first place. Many people choose to go Paleo to better their health and often their plan starts at breakfast but remember that the best breakfast is the one you can digest.

A fast paleo breakfast is simple, thanks to this nifty list of pointers put together by our writers here at Paleo on the Go.5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL, FAST PALEO BREAKFAST ON THE GO

In our current active lifestyles, there is a possibility that breakfast can be fast and good for you. So here’s 5 quick tips:

 

  1. Make it Painless. Paleo breakfast ideas are the first thing everyone looks for after starting Paleo. Make it painless by planning out your breakfasts for the weekdays, Monday-Friday at least.

 

  1. Make It Ahead of Time. If you can find some time, try cooking some quick breakfasts and freezing them. That way you can just thaw, eat and go. Or take it with you.
  • Breakfast frittata muffins are great on the go breakfast snacks packed with protein and fat when they’re made the Paleo way.
  • Try keeping a few extra Paleo on the Go meals in your freezer as a powerful strategy for sticking with your dietary priorities when life tries to get in the way

 

  1. Make Enough for Leftovers. Leftovers shouldn’t be the things you dread. You’re more creative than you give yourself credit for. So, make enough to have leftovers and make something creative with the leftovers.
  1. Last night’s stir fry is a complete breakfast with an omelet cut into strips Asian style, served with coconut aminos as a soy sauce alternative.
  2. Leftover sweet potato slices are great slider ‘buns’ for a breaky burger
  3. Leftover root vegetables like beets and carrots are great the next day in pancakes.  Hold the garlic if that’s your plan.

 

  1. Make it Simple. Breakfast doesn’t need to be elaborate to be healthy and tasty at once.
  • Poach some eggs over a salad
  • Bacon and eggs can be as simple as it gets.
  • Breaky beet bowl is one of my personal favorites.
  • Apple cinnamon or strawberry tarts are simple too and they take minimal prep. Plus, you can take them on the go with you. Just remember to slow down enough to digest the yummy food you’re taking with you properly.

 

  1. Don’t Let Brain Fog Takeover – Sometimes in the morning it’s too easy to stand foggy-headed in front of the fridge thinking there is nothing to eat, or that there’s no time to cook.  Hopefully, the breakfast ideas above will save you on those days. Or just have a few pancakes on hand. That’s always a great option right?  You can mix these with fruit, protein and fat.

The traveling mom’s guide to a whole food baby

 This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

As Aussies living in the USA, we tend to travel a lot. The USA just has so many awesome places to see. We have a 17 month old who eats what we eat. (Well, actually we eat what he eats to make sure he’s getting all he needs when he’s doing the most growing of his life.) So, traveling really means we’re on the lookout for the very best for him and us at every turn! Here are some tips to make traveling a little bit easier on our body and minds.

FOOD: DIGESTION UNDER PRESSURE

Air travel and food is really all about digestion under pressure: time deadlines, waiting, and not to mention the changes in pressure at 40,000 feet.

The good news is you’ll be sitting and relaxing on the flight. However, air travel can be pretty hard on your digestion. Enhance your it by including bitter foods like leafy greens and fresh lemon in filtered water. Herbs and spices such as dandelion, peppermint and ginger are also fantastic. These enhance the production of bile, which increases stomach acid allowing you to break down your food more effectively. Then, make sure to avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat, gluten, milk, refined sugar, alcohol and coffee, which can aggravate your digestive system and the healing process. Try Matcha green tea; it’s loaded with antioxidants and kinder to your digestive system than your morning coffee.  Be sure to take probiotics and/or eat fermented foods to promote healthy gut bacteria i.e. kefir, kombucha tea, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and fermented vegetables. Avoid processed and eat fresh and natural foods. And not going to bed on a full tummy goes for the plane too: eat light.

If you don’t want to pack your own, there’s always Paleo meal delivery services with healthy pre-made travel friendly options. The AIP menu is probably a great place to select from  because with the stresses of traveling mean you’ll be healing in advance. Try Apple Cinnamon Paleo Tarts (remembering you’re missing your veggies but it’s only one meal ok?), 48 Hour Brewed Bone Broth (freeze portions in your baby’s food container), and Plantain Pancakes (with the added benefit of apple cider vinegar for digestion but also doubling as a bread-like food for finger food eating on the plane: just add raw cheese, almond butter, apple slices or all!

SLEEP AND JET LAG  (NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE)

pexels-photo-38973

Sleeping is a biggy for everyone. Try and book flights that coordinate with nap and bedtime, which isn’t easy considering lay overs or long haul flights. Onboard, signal nap time with either a bassinet (under 25pd/11kg) which you need to pre organize before the day. Or, bring a king sized pillow to drape over your knees. Saturdays and Tuesday’s seem the best days for travel (you’ll have a better chance of there being extra seats next to you).

It’s tempting to push for the timezone you’re aiming for, but sleepiness is better addressed from where you’re coming from. On arrival try and set the clock for the new times. Get the first sunlight into yours and bub’s eyes and just push naps back to ‘normal’ 15-30 mins a day as you can.  You’ll catchup eventually. Hormones and cravings are out of control with a lack of and mixed-up sleep schedule, so snap it back into rhythm as soon as you can to avoid sugar cravings and highs and lows and overstimulation compounding your over tiredness.

 

HYDRATION: TAKING OFF OR LANDING EARS AND TRAVEL COLON IS A THING FOR BABIES TOO.

Airport security can be interesting with baby food and breast milk. Hopefully you can read between the lines there that sometimes it’s easy (‘that’s breast milk it’s fine’) and sometimes downright frustrating ‘we’re going to have to test each bottle’!). Freeze your bottles beforehand because then they’re fine to go through security untested! Try and also freeze water with a pinch of sea salt (natural Gatorade for optimal absorption) and grass fed organic bone broth.

 

The more hydrated your are on board the plane, added pressure and all, the more likely you are to avoid travel colon; babies too.

 

AISLE WALKING: MOVEMENT IS KEY FOR EVERYONE WHEN FLYING.

Getting movement on the plane isn’t about your PR or sweat out cardio workout. DVT prevention and exercises that go with it are pretty much in everyone’s back seat pocket. But general movement of your arms over your head, stretching whatever feels tight especially your bent sitting posture like the front of your hips, opening your chest and deep breathing is a must for everyone, even babies. And the best way to achieve that is also a social one when walking up and down the aisle you’ll find: everyone loves a cute (smiling not crying) toddler.

ENTERTAINMENT: NEEDN’T BE THE VIDEO IF YOU WANT A NAPPER.

Screen time creates notable changes in brain chemistry – most notably in the release of dopamine and specifically in kids. It’s easy and convenient.  And it’s not always a bad thing. No matter how convenient, educational, or mood-enhancing computers and other devices may be, experts agree that although screen time isn’t bad in and of itself, there needs to be a limit. And that limit needs to apply a lot on planes especially if you want them to nap (so you can too!). Setting boundaries will also help parents become a little more creative in the mean time; Ice cubes are particularly enthralling for toddlers as is filling their own water bottles, tray table and window flap opening (though your neighbors might disagree!) and seat pocket reading.

 

TRAVELLING CAN BE STRESSFUL, BUT EASIER WITH A LITTLE PREPARATION

Traveling is more than food when considering the whole food baby. It’s digestion under pressure, hydration, sleep and naps scheduled as much as you can, movement and creative approaches to entertainment. You might all enjoy the trip better if you follow some or all of these tips!

Three Ways To Encourage Our Kids to Grow Up NaturallyThis article appeared for Paleo on the Go

Natural means derived from nature not made from humans. As adults, even our most natural, biological instincts; food and movement, have become unnaturally, guilt and punishment, respectively. We all want our kids to eat and eat well. We want them to walk well and walk fast and we’ll use any means to help them get there quickly. For instance, we’re substituting nature’s whole ingredients foods with processed baby foods and toddler safe meals. Requisite shoes are used to help them take  their first steps and baby walkers get them there asap. This new flow is actually making everything a lot harder for them and less natural. How can we encourage our kids to grow up naturally, to harness their innate know-how from the way they move, eat and think from day one?

NATURAL MOVEMENT 

Natural living has had a resurgence over the last few years. In this blog post, we offer you 3 ways to encourage your children to live as nature intendedTo move naturally our kids need to be outdoors experiencing textures in nature. However with inventions to aid carrying, crawling and walking we’re making things harder on ourselves and our kids. In this day and age, we’re told we must do tummy time. Parents are victims to marketing gurus who promote jolly jumpers, baby walkers and wearing or carrying devices. Instead of becoming entranced by what’s new on the market to help assist you by strapping them on or push them to walk, perhaps we should just put our kids on the floor whenever possible. Perhaps this will help them to discover the world themselves. Is the answer to carry them naturally so they grasp themselves on and learn their center of gravity?

Whatever the situation, let’s offer kids the opportunity to teach themselves their own natural movement. When a baby’s born they’re just so happy. They move in as many free flowing ways as possible constantly adjusting to their body weight. The same goes for us adults, reading this: when you were born you didn’t care what you looked like you just loved what it felt like to move. That seems as natural as it can get.

EATING THE WAY NATURE INTENDED

It’s the same with food. If anything, babies know when they’re hungry! They also know when they’re enjoying something ‘hmmm hmmmm hmm’ is hard to hold back from their delicious mouthfuls. When do we lose this natural knowledge?

We are what we eat eats. Babies today are born with over 200 chemicals already in their little bodies. The world has changed in terms of delivery so there’s already a lot of unnatural in the world they come into. Moms used to prepare nutritionally for conception as well as pregnancy. Breastfeeding was the norm and baby’s first foods were lead by the babies themselves. Now conception can be aided by IVF or comes as a big joyful surprise after a long time trying. Breastfeeding is frowned upon if it can’t happen or if it does happen in public, and babies need certain “shelf stable foods” available for busy moms.

We are what we eat to the level of our cells and that often refers to our DNA in the nucleus of every cell. We eat nutrients that make and remake our DNA. Research into epigenetics is revealing we aren’t so much our genes as the genes we turn on through our environment – food, movement and thought.

THINK NATURALLY

Offering opportunity is encouragement we can provide especially when it comes to food and movement. But what other things can we un-restrict, to encourage our kids to grow up naturally?

Natural living has had a resurgence over the last few years. In this blog post, we offer you 3 ways to encourage your children to live as nature intended

Screen time is a big one.  We dream of our children lost in imaginative and innovative play in the woods with other children but technology is taking that way from us. A never-ending battle to “limit,” or a sea of guilt, we’re assuming they’re mutually exclusive. There’s got to be as many skills, ways of thinking, communication and connection in technology as the ‘real outdoors’. Like everything it’s all about the balance. Role modeling what you’d like for them is a great start: live the balance you want them to develop. Children are really at the mercy of the opportunities we provide for them: if your child is confined to a small indoor space with no access to nature, exploration, or friends, then technology will likely be their only means to connect with the outside world and other people in it. Find the balance.

Where possible we should try to avoid time commitments. Yes, a routine of familiarity works very well for babies learning about this new thing called living but if you can avoid rushing, when time seems to pass both incessantly fast and slow at the same time in your kids’ early years, you’ll be happier and your kids naturally explorative. If you must schedule, which happens when you live in the world with millions of others, just make sure you’re flexible when you don’t want your beach playdate with friends to end.
If you want your child to grow into their potential, nourishing and stretching all the sides of themselves, then you must provide the opportunity for that growth. It’s naturally theirs to grow.

Sugar Isn’t Just SugarThis article appeared for Paleo on the Go

YOUR BODY NEEDS SUGAR! SAY WHAT?!

Before you go and join mainstream media recommendations to ‘quit sugar’ for the good of your health, it turns out our bodies run on the stuff!

Glucose is a form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, even every bacterium – and in fact, every living thing on Earth – uses glucose for energy. So it’s no wonder our body continually monitors the amount of glucose in our bloodstream to maintain balance. Too much or too little triggers the release of hormones to return the glucose levels to “normal.” And this seesaw between too much or too little is what we really need to focus on for health.

SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE!

It’s not just the white granular sugary stuff we add to our coffee that affects the too little or too much glucose in our blood stream. It’s anything that can be broken down into glucose that we eat, as well as allergenic-foods we might not even know we’re sensitive to. Even not getting enough of the right type of sleep at night, as well as stress play a role. Sugar really is everywhere, so just quitting sugar would actually not be enough, especially if you’re stressing about it!

After a meal of carbohydrates, glucose is converted into a starch form of sugar called glycogen. 
Glycogen is stored first in the liver and then in the muscles. It’s our reserve. It is converted back into glucose when blood sugar levels need to increase (the too little scenario).

Oh and only the glycogen stored in the liver can be used to elevate blood sugar. The glycogen stored in the muscles is only used for the muscle. 
Sounds like we should eat as many glucose-rich carbs as possible right? No! We were designed to use a balance of unrefined carbohydrates along with good fats and proteins as our primary sources of fuel:

– Carbohydrates are like “kindling”

– Fats are like “logs”

– Proteins are used as needed

We were never designed to run on just carbs. Unless you want to be a slave to food constantly needing to eat. We need all three marconutrients.  That said, what we eat is a great place to start in balancing blood sugar responses.

WHERE YOU SHOULD GET YOUR SUGAR

Eat real whole foods, avoiding processed foods with their unrecognizable (read stressful and blood sugar spiking) ingredients, with a balance of all three macronutrients – not too many carbs, fats to slow things down in your tummy and proteins from responsible sources.

It turns out all sugar summates. It’s not just stress or too little sleep or foods you didn’t know you were allergic to. It’s all of them together. To your body they’re all stresses and they look pretty much the same on the inside- a spike in blood sugar. Perhaps the secret to longevity is truly low insulin secretion. It’s our blood glucose lowering hormone, and also our fat storage one! Maintaining an even blood sugar balance would also mean an even hormonal balance. With that comes the weight, mood, energy, motivation and pretty much everything we’re all hoping to fix in our lifetimes!

The truth is nothing is good or bad just in or out of balance and our body’s blood sugar responses are most definitely out of balance and not just cos of the sugar we’re eating.

This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

Comfort foods are nostalgic or sentimental meals that are simple in preparation but often high in calories and carbs, with memories of better times. They’re something we reach for when we’re under the weather with a cold or stressed.

The problem with comfort foods however is that while they give your spirit a dose of TLC, they can deliver to your body an overload of unhealthy ingredients. While no one is proposing that you give them up, if you understand why you crave them then you can learn to recognize the signals in your body and brain before you dive in to something that’s awful for you.

IS THERE A SUCH THING AS PALEO COMFORT FOOD?

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

To most, Paleo recipes are delicious but don’t resemble what we consider “comfort food.” They’re about thriving without the grains, sugars or dairy, which usually make up comfort foods! Thank goodness we can Paleo-ize our comfort foods ensuring the basics, the balance of macronutrients and the reinsertion of pleasure. Yes, we can reach for comfort food recipes without repercussions. We just have to change up our thinking slightly. When you think comfort foods you may think chicken soup, roasts, casseroles, roasted root veggies, mashed potatoes and sausages: which from a nutritional standpoint means broth / collagen, fattier slow cooked meats preserving their precious proteins, starches and more (healthy sourced) fats. When it comes to craving comfort foods, your body is talking to you.

When your body is looking for feel-good hearty fare, the examples above are what you should deliver. Some good ole’ food favorites that make you feel full of energy and not sluggish. Before looking at suggested recipes, let’s break down the common comfort food types and find out why you may be craving them.

COMMON COMFORT FOOD CRAVINGS

  •    Collagen rich foods like slow cooked meats provide every cell’s scaffolding.
  •    Healthy fats with preserved proteins help each other other digest while providing the bricks for the scaffolding.
  •    Roast veggies and starches in healthy fats provide fat-soluble vitamins which means useful vitamins!
  •    And more healthy sourced fats provide the lipid bilayer of the membrane of every cell i.e. two layers of fats so you’ve more been what you eat!

Craving comfort foods when you’re not feeling your best may be your body’s way to help healing and regenerating itself to get you back to 100%!

TOP 10 PALEO COMFORT FOODS

Here are some Paleo Comfort Foods to get you started:

  1. Raw Beet Truffles: Who doesn’t find chocolate anything comforting?! It’s delicious sweet taste and creamy texture aside, you might find you enjoy a little boost from indulging. Chocolate cravings seems especially tied to hormone changes. The magnesium in chocolate, as well as its ability to affect neurotransmitters, may be a large part of the reason. So your next craving chocolate you might well be self-medicating for a dietary deficiency in magnesium. And these raw beet balls are almost chocolate, in fact healthy, so enjoy.

    nr-potpiechicken

    Chicken Pot Pie

  2. Homemade Chicken Pot Pie: Warm and filling, talk about the ultimate comfort food. Healthy fats(contained in each
    premade meal delivery pie I’ve linked) are the main ingredient of every membrane, in every cell in our body from our skin to our hormones. It’s no wonder this is a go to for so many people.
  3. Sticky Date Pudding: I’m sure we all have childhood memories of a favorite pudding our mothers made especially when the cake was still warm and that can probably be easily compared to this one. Dates are a great source of dietary fiber and have the highest concentration of polyphenols among dried fruits. Dates are a perfect energy boosting snack but alongside the healthy fats in the nuts and coconut oil (fats slow sugars down and aid in their digestion) and the eggs for protein, you’ve got pretty much a balanced meal with all three macronutrients.
  4. Biscuits and Gravy: No explanation necessary. It’s an ultimate Paleo comfort food.
  5. Fried Chicken: Right at the heart of southern cooking, fried chicken is perhaps homestead cooking personified. And while we’ve talked about the benefits of healthier fats, fried chicken’s spices – paprika and cayenne – could well be the comforting factor on top. Paprika is not just a spice that adds color, but is also rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, providing a variety of health and beauty benefits, and alongside cayenne, both have Ayurvedic properties to do with metabolism and warmth spanning 1000s of years of cooking. Garlic and onion are often added too and both part of the same allium family often associated with stomach health and immunity. Healthy fried chicken ticks all the winter-wearies.

    Paleo Shepherd's Pie

    Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

  6. Original Shepherds Pie: If there was ever a comfort food that delivered as much comfort as it did nutrient dense benefits this would be it! The structural aid of the collagen in 48 hour slow cooked beef broth and cauliflower-mash instead of potato, rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, choline, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin deliver a pretty big health boost.The bonus is that Shepherd’s Pie is even better as leftovers, so you can continue your healthy comfort food eating into lunch the next day.
  7. Cream of Broccoli Soup: Simply put, this soup is anti-aging beauty in a bowl and if that’s not a comfort to anyone then nothing is. The organic chicken broth is wonderful for nutrient absorption, fat soluble vitamin digestion and then the best of all, increasing your collagen levels. As we lose collagen, the skin becomes thinner and creases (aka wrinkles) form. So, if you really want to get rid of wrinkles permanently, you’ve got to increase your collagen levels: cream of broccoli soup is truly Botox in a bowl without any of the toxins.

    Apple Cinnamon Paleo-Tart

    Apple Cinnamon Paleo-Tart

  8. Apple Cinnamon or Strawberry Paleo-Tarts: There’s nothing quite as comforting as the smell of toast in the morning or apple pie at night, and these paleo tarts bring those two together! The main ingredient is cassava flour, which is great for people with allergies like gluten or grains, or nuts and coconut, the latter which most of us eating alternatives to traditional flour are consuming rather too much of anyway! However, the comfort isn’t limited to relief of your allergies, but down to the depths of your tummy and beyond. Cassava flour is probiotic, which basically means food for your good tummy bacteria. They promote your very best immunity. Also known as a resistant starch, cassava has been shown to increase the absorption of important minerals like calcium and magnesium, decrease absorption of toxins, lower overall blood glucose levels and increase feelings of satiety. Now that’s a comfort food with bang for your buck!
  9. Ice cream sandwiches: Comfort food needn’t always be about the warm and fuzzies. These ice cream sandwiches use graham crackers made from hazelnut meal for a chocolate-y finish and ice cream made with frozen bananas, cacao and maple syrup.
  10. AIP Vegetable Lasagna with Pork Sausage: Don’t let the AIP in the title fool you into thinking this delicious dinner is just too healthy to be comforting. It’s also not too AIP as to avoid the wondrous sneaky veggies and their requisite nutrient bang for your buck they manage to get into one meal! Comfort food just took a step toward healthy.

So there you have all the comfort reasons why paleo comfort foods can indeed be healthy too. But let’s not forget to enjoy your creature comforts with a good conscience and good health because it’s the pleasure side of eating that is truly comfort food inside and out.

PALEO DOES MEAN COMFORT FOODS

The idea of Paleo comfort foods sounds paradoxical: Paleo is all about eating for health and comfort foods not so much! If you’re craving foods of any kind, comfort foods as well, Paleo is a great platform for looking into why: Paleo can help us better balance our foods by reconsidering our “go-to” and that goes for “Paleo-izing” our comfort food favorites. That way, warming recipes for winter nights can indeed be food for the soul that takes you to better days while still having a good day today as well!

This article appeared for Paleo on the Go

You’ve probably heard that simply breastfeeding sheds pregnancy weight. It’s all about the calories your baby is consuming on your behalf. Perhaps you’ve then heard that stopping breast feeding sheds more weight: your body no longer has to store additional estrogen to ensure your milk supply, specifically in places like your breasts, upper back and upper arms. Then there’s that magic six week postpartum start (more if recovering from a c-section) to get to your rigorous exercise program following your doctor’s ok to start burning away those extra calories stored. After all that, shazam you’ll be back to your pre pregnancy weight, shape and body in a flash. Right? Not quite, for all three.

Lose that pregnancy weight

How to lose that pregnancy weight

CALORIES IN VERSUS CALORIES OUT IS A MYTH

The reason? Calories in versus calories out simply makes no scientific sense, but, if you need an equation, nutrients in and hormones out does.

Calories in vs calories out is just a bad way to think and it’s wrong. For example, there’s no way a plate of ice cream with the equivalent amount of carrots in calories can have the same nutritional value for your body. Nor can that many carrots be good for you either. It’s all about things being in balance and that starts with each meal. Another myth is that consuming more fat calories makes us fat, which is again simply untrue. Body fat is just not the same as macronutrient fat (that you eat). In fact, the truth is that consuming more sugar makes you fat. Eating sugar in excess causes insulin to be released lowering our blood sugar. I’ve written more about this in It’s All About Nutrients In vs Hormones Out.

WHERE YOUR FOCUS SHOULD BE IN ORDER TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT

What you put in your mouth is key to dropping your baby weight and it can be as simple as keeping sugar off your plate and focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods. If there’s a need to count something then it should include counting the nutrients found in our food. Our focus should be getting the very best quality, and the most efficiently digested and absorbed for our body. Each meal should include each macronutrient – carbs (veggies), proteins and fats. Start planning each meal with your veggies cooked in a healthy fat like butter, olive or coconut oil. Why? Because veggies provide us with fat soluble vitamins, so they need fats to be soluble in. They will also provide your main portion of carbs – so nothing rigorous like trying to go carb-free at a time when you’re trying to get this new life and new body into gear. Next up, choose a healthy source of protein. Look for terms like pasture raised, organic where possible, grass fed and finished, or sustainably caught. The benefit of these protein-filled animal products is that they come with the essential fats we need and their easily digestible. Yes, eat the skin, the whole egg and the marrow in your bones. Cook on low-medium heat (to preserve the quality of the amino acids that make up the proteins) in healthy fats like butter, lard, ghee or coconut oil. Then perhaps serve with a gravy, pesto, tartare or sauce made from healthy fats like egg yolks, olive or sesame or another oil. This helps get in the final essential macronutrient, fats, which is not surprisingly still our hardest one to get enough of having spent nearly thirty years on a low fat diet.

So, why the focus on digestion and that of healthy fats particularly? Our equation is all about the best quality nutrients in and then (used) hormones out. Digestion is the way we get the best quality nutrients in. Healthy fats are what makes up our hormones. And the final piece of the puzzle which we discussed above is adding our proper macronutrient portioning at each meal. This helps us to keep sugars off our plate so your liver doesn’t take a hit and can process your used hormones. Processing used hormones is perhaps the biggest key to getting our body back after pregnancy.

SIMPLE TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR BODY WITH DIGESTION

Start your re-nourishment as a mom with digestion. Simple tips everyone can adhere to include:

  •       Slow down to eat. Take the time to enjoy your food and don’t eat on the go or in your car
  •       Drink enough water (1/2 your body weight in ounces a day). It’s a good practice to only sip water with meals since it dilutes your natural stomach acid.
  •       Enhance the stomach acidity required for digestion with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 15 minutes before each meal
  •       Eat more beets for better betaine, which is crucial in fat digestion.

We’ve all been on a low fat diet for nearly thirty years and we need to bring it back to normality. Rather than on burning off your pregnancy weight, instead focus on building your body back from the hormones up! Getting your body back is surely about just that.