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Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Look Out, World! Sweden’s Going Low-Carb

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that when it comes to nutrition, the United States is missing something. I’ve already written about why the Dietary Guidelines are wrong about cholesterol, but it’s especially interesting to note that Australia, Europe, Canada, India, and Korea do not support upper limits on cholesterol intake in their national dietary recommendations [1]. They still believe that saturated fat should be severely limited, so I’m not sure they quite have the whole picture, but at least they recognize that limiting cholesterol intake does nothing to reduce rates of heart disease. Why is the US missing it?

But here’s one country that isn’t missing it: Sweden. Sweden is going low carb. Read more →

A Microbial Revelation

Bacteria

This weekend, I experienced a crazy paradigm shift. For the better part of four years, I’ve been investigating how people can get healthy and stay healthy, and I’ve been almost entirely focused on food and nutrition. Sure, I looked at other things as well – stress, exercise, sleep – but to me, what determined whether you were sick or well was diet. All you had to do was figure out what foods your body liked best, eat those, and you’d be good to go! Maybe some choice supplementation here or there, especially for tough cases like mine, but nutrition was definitely most important. Read more →

Remember the Microbiome!

Human Food Project

Human Food Project!

Hey everyone! This is going to be a really quick post because this week is a little crazy, but I wanted to tell you about a petition that I really think you should sign! It only takes about 30 seconds, and if you care at all about the health or well-being of yourself, your friends and family, or other Americans, this pertains to you. If you DON’T care about the health or well-being of yourself, your friends and family, or other Americans, then you should probably find a different blog to read.

I’m going to do a much bigger post (probably a series) on the human microbiome in the future, because it’s truly a fascinating topic, and one that is near and dear to my heart. There are countless microbes hanging out in your gut at this very moment, and the makeup of your gut flora can largely determine whether you suffer from obesity or diabetes, chronic inflammation, or a weak immune system, not to mention the more obvious connection with digestive health. You can visit the Human Food Project website for tons of information on the human microbiome.

Anyways, back to the petition! This is a petition to make sure that the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines, set to be released in 2015, address gut flora and the microbiome. As you can see from the above links, your gut flora essentially determines whether you’re healthy or you aren’t, so don’t you think it deserves a mention in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? I’d hazard a guess that the vast majority of Americans don’t even realize they have a microbiome, much less that it could be the reason they’re obese and diabetic. So please, take 30 seconds and sign the petition so that we can make sure the 2015 Dietary Guidelines address the human microbiome!

Coriander-Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Fish and Carrots

These carrots are amazing. And easy. And that’s a terrible picture of them, but you should try them anyways! I ate them with some fish (talbot, to be exact), which was also delicious. Read on for the recipe!

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Pizza Chili (hidden liver!)

This is the first recipe I’ve made where I’ve successfully incorporated liver without being able to taste it! This Pizza Chilirecipe is based on Food Renegade’s recipe, and the picture to the right is from her post because I forgot to take a picture (Again. Whoops.). I wasn’t actually planning to post this recipe, but my dad tried it and was gushing about how amazing it was, and he told me to put it on here. So here it is! This is a low-FODMAP recipe, and is delicious as is, but if you can tolerate FODMAPs I would add some onion and garlic. I added gelatin to this recipe as well, but you can leave it out if you want. It’s just to add extra nutrition! And don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients; it’s all just spices, and it’s actually a really easy recipe (:

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Strawberry Pulled Pork

I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count because it’s so delicious and easy, so I actually have this one Strawberry Pulled Porkperfected! My recipe is a modification of Technically Paleo’s recipe, and because I only have a terrible picture of my finished recipe, the picture to the right is from his post. He did this a little differently than I do, because he uses and crock pot and then makes the sauce separately. I do mine in the oven, and just throw everything in the same pot; the sauce sort of creates itself that way! This is a low-FODMAP recipe, although before going low-FODMAP I added garlic powder to this. If you are not low FODMAP, definitely add a teaspoon or two of garlic powder to this recipe! It’s still great without it though (:

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Chicken Soup

It feels strange to make chicken soup without onions and garlic, but this low-FODMAP chicken soup is Chicken Soupdelicious! It’s actually one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. You can make chicken soup a lot of different ways (obviously), but this time I chose to make it using a leftover roast chicken. I like roasting chickens in the oven to get the skin nice and crispy, and I eat all of the delicious pieces like the wings and back fresh out of the oven. But after it’s cooled off, the skin just doesn’t look as appetizing, and at that point the roast chicken is a prime candidate for soup! I also added powdered gelatin to the soup, because although the broth will already have a lot of gelatin from simmering for hours, I’m experimenting with adding additional gelatin to my diet for skin and hair health.

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Cookin’ for College!

I know I said I would have research on saturated fat posted by the end of the week, but that definitely didn’t pan out. I’ve Frozen Mealsdecided I want to do something similar to my cholesterol paper, where I look at the treatment of saturated fat in the Dietary Guidelines Report and see if their evidence holds up to scrutiny. Since nutrition misinformation is largely sustained because of the DGA, I figured that would be a pretty good place to start, plus it’s an approach that I haven’t seen yet amongst the many ‘saturated fat is your friend’ posts and papers that I’ve read. So, that is coming; just not yet!

Full disclosure: I stepped out of reality for a day and lived vicariously through the movie-girlfriends of Zac Efron, Robert Pattinson and Shane West. Let’s call it a mental health day. Everyone needs one of those occasionally, especially over winter break, right? But I’m back to real life now! Also, back to college and dorm life! Having a kitchen while I was at home was amazing, and I had a big cooking extravaganza this weekend to stock up on frozen meals that I can keep in my dorm freezer. Read on to see what I made! I’ll post a couple of the recipes as separate blog posts.

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Beware of Trader Joe’s!

That title makes this post sound way more serious than it actually is. But regardless, Trader Joe’s can be a dangerous place for Paleo folk like me who have a weak spot for delicious ‘Paleo’ Plantain Chipstreats. It’s far too easy to skip over their lovely meats and produce and head for their well-advertised ‘healthy’ snacks. I actually don’t shop there often, because I usually buy what I can at farmer’s markets, and get everything else at Whole Foods. But I went there a couple days ago in search of plantain chips, thinking that if I eat something I hate (sardines) with something I love a bit too much (plantain chips), I will eat reasonable amounts of both. That logic definitely didn’t hold up, and I still hate sardines. On the plus side, I think I made myself dislike plantain chips by association! Normally I think plantain chips are totally fine to eat on a regular basis, but the ones at TJ’s are made with sunflower oil, which isn’t the greatest. Plus, eating a whole bag of anything in one sitting is bad news.

But I also found a NEW treat at TJ’s, and this one is even more dangerous than the plantain chips. Read more →

New Year’s Resolutions

I hope everyone had fun last night! I know I did. In fact, I spent it in the exact same place with the exact same people as I did last year, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Even after spending a semester at separate colleges, barely getting to talk to or see each other, it was so nice to come home and spend New Year’s Eve with them.Hope

A lot has happened in 2012. I decided to attend UNC, graduated high school, moved away from home for the first time to live on campus, met a ton of new people, made new friends, and finished my first semester of college.

A lot of the changes were really good for me. For instance, I think I finally struck a decent balance between school and friends. I didn’t keep my 4.0 GPA, but there comes a point when having fun and laughing with friends is more important than perfect grades. I’ve always struggled with putting too much emphasis on school, and not enough on other areas of my life, so I’m happy I didn’t spend my first semester of college locked in my dorm room studying.

And surprisingly, the chaos of college life actually forced me to ‘go with the flow,’ and not be so stressed out. Moving to college forced me completely out of my comfort zone and made me realize that I really can’t control every aspect of my life anymore (as if I could before!), and you know what I learned? Whether or not you worry, and whether or not you stress out over something, things will turn out the way they will turn out. That realization, although it seems trite, makes such a big difference in my peace of mind. Read more →