Going Primal – What to Eat

As of this week, I have been 100% Primal. What does this mean, you may be asking? In a previous post, I outlined the differences between The Maker’s Diet, Paleo, and Primal. In essence, it’s eating the way our ancestors ate. I’m not talking about grandparents here – I am referring to our paleolithic past. This means eating a diet of what some may call “caveman foods.”

Through the help of many books and a lot of research, I’ve realized that eating a low-fat diet filled with whole grains like bread, rice and pasta can make you unhealthy – overweight, unhappy, and sick. This might be a shock, since our USDA food pyramid suggests that whole grains be the base of our daily intake. And while I haven’t been eating low-fat foods for awhile now due to the Maker’s Diet, I decided to take the next step in feeling better inside and out. With the grains have also gone the stomach pain and bloating that followed me around like a bad habit (which in a sense, grain has been!).

I chose Primal over Paleo primarily for dairy. Primal allows for raw, unpasteurized milk and cheese, which I can obtain through a local farmer on a weekly basis. I don’t eat dairy every day, but it’s nice to be able to incorporate it into recipes, or drink a glass of cream-quality raw milk a few days a week!

As for Diet, here is the low-down at a glance, straight from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint:

Beverages – Water, Unsweetened Teas (can use a small amount of Stevia).

Coconut Products – Butter, Flakes, Flour, Milk, and Oil offer healthful medium-chain fats; great sub for dairy, trans fats, and wheat flour.

Coffee – Enjoy in moderation (cream and minimal sweetener ok)

Dairy – Raw, fermented, high-fat and organic products are preferred (Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Kefir, Whole Milk, Yogurt) in moderation.

Eggs – Local, pasture-raised or certified organic for high omega-3 content.

Fats and Oils – Coconut, Dark-Roasted Sesame, First press or Extra-Virgin Olive, Palm, and High Omega-3 oils. Animal fats (Chicken fat, Lard, Tallow), Butter and Coconut Oil are best for cooking.

Fish – Wild-caught. Small, oily, cold water fish best (Anchovies, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines).

Fruit – Locally-grown or wild, organic, in-season preferred. Berries are premier choice. For soft-skinned fruits, go strictly organic. Moderate intake with higher glycemic/lower antioxidant values, and dried fruit.

Herbs and Spices – Organic preferred. No preservatives.

Indulgences – Dark Chocolate (75%+ cocoa content), and Red Wine are best choices. Be sensible and moderate.

Macadamia Nuts – Great Omega6/Omega3 ratio

Meat and Fowl – Local, pasture-raised, or USDA-certified Organic critical. If you must eat conventional meat, choose the leanest cuts and trim excess fat to minimize toxin exposure.

Other nuts, Seeds and their derivative Butters – Cold-processed, organic if available.

Snacks – Berries, Canned Tuna or Sardines, Celery with Cream Cheese or Nut Butter, Cottage Cheese with Nut or Fruit topping, Hard-Boiled Eggs, Jerky, Nuts, Olives, Seeds, Trail Mix and other high-fat and/or high-protein, low-carb primal foods.

Supplemental Carbs – Those without excess body fat, not wishing to lose additional weight, can enjoy Sweet Potatoes and Yams in moderation. Occasionally Quinoa and Wild Rice.

Vegetables – Locally grown, organic, in-season preferred. Go strictly organic for large surface area (leafy greens) and soft, edible skins. Wash all thoroughly.

Shopping trips to the grocery store have certainly been different, but contrary to popular argument, eating this way (Organic meats, veggies, and fruit) has not been more expensive! Simply by steering clear of the middle aisles that contain boxed and bagged foods, I have significantly cut down on other expenses, allowing me to purchase better quality ingredients for the food I am now eating. I haven’t felt the pangs of any food deprivation, have been full for long stretches, and have loved having butter on my vegetables, yolks with my eggs, and many new recipes to look forward to!


Breaking News Regarding GMOs and the Beginnings of a Landslide

Within the last two days, article after article has come out with new information surrounding the freedom that we as consumers have, up until this point, taken for granted where food is concerned. The following information is long and scary – and it’s real life. We have no idea where it’s heading.

New Food Bill in New Zealand

The onslaught of information began with a recent bill that has been passed in New Zealand. This new food bill takes away the human right to grow food. For some reason, this (as well as the other information I will be covering) has received very little media coverage. The bill was brought in by the WTO – World Trade Organization – which is backed by the US FDA, which in turn has Monsanto behind it. This bill is paving the way to reduce plant diversity by insisting on only a handful of seeds – all of which will be GM Monsanto seeds. The best place to find all the details of this bill is at http://nzfoodsecurity.org, but Investment Watch was kind enough to provide the highlights:

  • It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorized privilege that can be summarily revoked.
  • It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorization, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).
  • By controlling seeds, the bill takes the power to grow food away from the public and puts it in the hands of seed companies. That power may be abused.
  • Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 – 1).
  • Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety Officers, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises and be backed up by armed police.
  • The Bill gives Food Safety Officers immunity from criminal and civil prosecution.
  • Restrictions on the trade of food and seed would quickly lead to the permanent loss of heirloom strains, as well as a general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.
  • Organic producers of heirloom foods could lose market share to big-money agribusiness outfits, leading to an increase in the consumption of nutrient-poor and GE foods.

I find it quite interesting that something backed by the US FDA is happening in a country as remote and small as New Zealand. It seems they are taking a country that has very little power and enforcing something – starting on a small scale and working their way out into the larger world. In essence, it is the ripple effect of water, beginning small and spreading outwards quite rapidly. New Zealand, with all its rolling hills and indigenous people, are the first to experience something of this caliber.

Remote Farms such as this will be affected by the New Zealand Food Bill

Leaked Documents Reveal US Diplomats Actually Work for Monsanto

This may come as no surprise to some of you, because rumors of this nature have been circulating for years. But now we have proof. NaturalNews has reported that Monsanto is deeply infiltrated within the US Government. The reports show that these US Diplomats are actually pushing their agenda for Monsanto, allowing bills and laws to pass with little dispute. (As in, New Zealand’s new food bill, perhaps?)

It proves that Monsanto is intensely involved in the regulations concerning the GM seeds they have created. “Not only was it exposed that the U.S. is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto with military-style trade wars, but that many U.S. diplomats actually work directly for Monsanto.”

In 2007 Craig Stapleton, the US ambassador to France and partner to George W. Bush, requested that specific nations inside the European Union be punished for not supporting the expansion of Monsanto’s GMO crops. Despite large-scale evidence that linked Monsanto’s GM corn to organ damage and environmental devastation, the ambassador plainly called for ‘target retaliation’ against those not supporting the GM crop.

Here in the United States, the FDA and USDA have been affected by Monsanto’s infiltration, as well. Legislative decisions were passed, such as allowing Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac (rBGH) to be injected into U.S. cows despite being banned in 27 countries. Monsanto managed to infiltrate the FDA positions responsible for the approval of rBGH, enlisting Monsanto employee Margaret Miller as Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative Services. After assuming this position, Miller reviewed her own report on the safety and effectiveness of rBGH.

From NaturalNews: “As long as these financial ties continue to exist, Monsanto will continue to reign over the food supply and continue to wreak devastation to the environment, ecosystem, and humankind.”

Whole Foods and Other Natural Groceries Cave to Monsanto and GM Foods

A Consumer picketing the Whole Foods decision to "coexist" with Monsanto's GM foods

I had thought Whole Foods was the safest route to go when purchasing food from a grocery store. But it seems I will now be depending more than ever on my local, organic farm.

“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.”   –  Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

Organic farms may be feeling the slap of betrayal from Whole Foods and other natural grocers, such as Stoneyfield Farms and Organic Valley. After more than a decade of fighting to keep Monsanto at bay, the self-appointed “Natural Elite” have put up the white flag and surrendered. Corporate officials from these three companies have already issued statements saying that they no longer oppose Genetically Modified foods from entering their shelves. With this in mind, know that the small organic farms that were once supported so whole-heartedly by Whole Foods will now have to compete tooth-and-nail with low cost GM-producing feedlots.

Last week, Whole Foods gave the go-ahead to Monsanto’s genetically engineered Alfalfa. This Alfalfa is guaranteed to spread across the US, and will feed all of the animals that Whole Foods supplies as meat to its customers. This Alfalfa is also resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which will be heavily sprayed and soaked into the soil, creating runoff into our water system. A recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer. Recent studies have also shown that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases.

Whole Foods knows that genetically modified foods do not require pre-testing, or even labeling, before it hits the shelves. The email that Whole Foods sent out to its customers admitted that this change would be permanent.

How did this change come about? According to OrganicConsumers.org, the CEOs of both Whole Foods Market and Stoneyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack. They even made financial contributions to his last campaign. Vilsack traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail, and was hailed “Governor of the Year” by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Whole Foods, and most of the large organic companies, have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs.

OrganicConsumers.org has also revealed that 2/3 of Whole Foods $9 billion annual sales is derived from “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. This is most likely one of the main reasons they are publicly calling for a cease-fire with Monsanto’s products. They have failed to educate their customers about the difference between Natural and Certified Organic, omitting the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs – or come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in Confined Animal Feeding Operations. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals raised on GMO grains and drugs. These animals are confined in CAFOs. “It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.”

Just as a reference: In the European Union, there are almost no crops that are Genetically Modified. These countries have mandated that any food that is GM must be labeled for consumers.

The US industry is undermining public health, destroying biodiversity, damaging the environment, destabilizing the climate, and bankrupting the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving farmers. The 2010 Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision gave big corporations and the right to anonymously spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase media coverage and elections. This means that the chance of passing federal GMO labeling laws are all but non-existent.

Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, and PCBs – are the very companies controlling US food. We as consumers have little choice now but to GO LOCAL. Fortunately, we still live in a large enough country where this is possible, unlike New Zealand, where this right is now being taken away.

Another way that we, as consumers, can work to make a change is to sign the new Truth-In-Labeling Campaign, formed by the Organic Consumers Association. While we cannot stop GMOs, we can join together to ask companies to label these products.

To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22309.cfm

Superbowl Food – Pigs in a Blanket!

I’m not sure what could be more festive for Superbowl season than these Paleo/Maker’s Diet style Pigs in a Blanket. Not only do they look absolutely adorable, but they are fantastic with some Dijon Mustard! Do you have a Superbowl food that’s a must every year?

Pigs in a Blanket

  • 3 Cups Almond Flour
  • 4 Tbsp. Cold, Diced Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Eggs
  • Around 14 Organic Beef or Turkey Hot Dogs

Preheat oven to 400. Add all ingredients (except hot dogs) into a food processor and pulse until it pulls away from edges and forms a ball. Separate the dough into two balls, cover and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

While waiting for the dough to cool, slice each hot dog into 4 pieces. Take out the dough and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper until it forms a flat, round circle about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Using a pizza cutter, slice into wedges that are about the width of each hot dog at it’s thickest point. Roll each hot dog in a dough wedge, starting at the widest point. It will look like a crescent roll.

Place all on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool slightly and serve!

Tell Walmart to Stop Selling GM Corn

Walmart is the largest U.S. food retailer, and if we can pressure them to reject Genetically Modified sweet corn – like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods already have – there’s a good chance that farmers won’t plant it this spring.

Monsanto’s Genetically Modified corn could be in stores this year, but it may be possible to reject it. If the corn makes it into our grocery stores and restaurants, there is no law that says it has to be labeled. Think about it: you have no idea of the food you and your family will be eating.

30,000 have already signed the petition, but before it gets sent to Walmart there has to be at least 100,000 signatures. Would you like to be a part of this huge step towards natural foods? Then, sign the petition!

Tell Walmart to Reject Monsanto’s GM Sweet Corn Now

Roasted Pears with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

Last night we had some friends over to our condo. Because I don’t often entertain in our tiny abode, I went a little crazy with the “light” hors d’oeuvres we would to be having, and concocted a spread that would have fed at least 15 people (there were 4 of us in total). Of all the food, the Pears were my husband’s favorite, however.

Naturally Gluten Free, these pears could have even served as a savory dessert. The sweetness of the pears and the addition of honey went wonderfully with the creamy goat cheese and sprinkling of Tarragon. They were absolutely delicious!

Roasted Pears with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts (Serves 4)

  • 2 Ripe but Firm Pears
  • Goat Cheese (I used a small log, 365 Brand – Organic)
  • 3/4 oz Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Tarragon
  • Honey

Preheat oven to 350. Wash the pears, cut lengthwise, and use a sharp paring knife and spoon to remove the core, leaving a round well for the filling. Heat butter in a skillet and brown the pears, SKIN SIDE DOWN, on low heat for about 10 minutes. Place in an ovenproof dish (I used a pie plate) and pour the remaining butter on top. Add 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the dish. Bake 10-15 minutes.

While this is baking, combine the goat cheese with pine nuts and Tarragon. I just sprinkled to taste.

Remove the pears and evenly disperse the cheese mixture on top of each. Pour a bit of honey over each and put back in the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately – or not!

We didn’t get around to eating them for about an hour, with the pears sitting out lonely the entire time. But by the time we devoured them, they were still wonderful!

This blog is a part of Fight Back Fridays!

Organic, Gluten Free Cookie Dough Bites

Since I’m unable to eat gluten, soy, and a miriad of other things, I haven’t been able to have too many treats. So when I saw a recipe for Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bites, I knew I had to try it out! It’s gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and as far as desserts go, pretty healthy!!

Gluten Free Cookie Dough Bites

  • 1 Cup Creamy Almond Butter
  • 1/2 Cup, plus 2 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup, plus 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 6 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chips)

In a large bowl, mix together almond butter, honey and vanilla until creamy and well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, flax seed and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to combine. Mix in the chocolate chips. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times to combine. If it’s too dry and doesn’t hold together well, knead in one teaspoon of water. Then, scoop out tablespoon-size portions and roll into one-inch balls using your hands. Refrigerate – Makes about 36 cookie bites.

This Blog is Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays!

Sustainable Farming According to Willie Nelson

When I first saw the new ad campaign that Chipotle is getting ready to launch, I wasn’t sure what to think. I was also a bit confused about their connection with Willie Nelson, and the fact that he covers Coldplay’s “The Scientist” in the two and a half minute commercial. But…it works! The ad made me cry by how true the message is, and how simple and easily understood it will be to viewers. What are your thoughts when you watch this?

Willie is a known advocate of getting things back to their natural state of being, and Chipotle claims to use sustainable vegetables and meats in their ingredients. I hope that Chipotle practices what they’re preaching, and that they can live up to this huge ad campaign and truly use sustainably farmed ingredients. Maybe some other big names in food will follow suit, and we can really get things back to where they started.

Here is the press release describing the project: Read more

The Trend of Food Allergies

I’ve heard talk of it, even among my own small circle of friends, for years now. More and more people are discussing their food allergies, whether it be dairy, soy, or gluten. At one time I had wondered if these claims could be true – did they REALLY have an allergy, or did they just want to limit their carb intake, appear to be healthier, or just want to contribute to the conversation?

I thought this until I went to the doctor and found out I am allergic to no less than 26 different foods. Since then I have been put on a very rigid elimination diet in order to flush my system of the offending culprits and hopefully integrate organic versions back in slowly, one at a time.

The key word here is ORGANIC. Children have been increasingly diagnosed with peanut, dairy, and gluten allergies in recent years, but this may have more to do with the pesticides and chemicals in the conventionally grown crops than anything else. Children are more than likely allergic to those additives than the food itself, but because it comes as a package deal, their bodies are fighting against the food every time its swallowed.

This article and video really made me start thinking about this, and after learning that I have my own allergies was when it hit home – we have to start eating REAL food!

I’m eating healthier than I ever have in my life, and even though there’s a point in each and every day that I look at the food in front of me in disdain, I realize that getting to the root of the matter is the only way to kill the entire weed. 2.5 more months to go…after that I’m really looking forward to adding a tomato or two to my meal plan!

Struggling to Afford Organic?

Not only have I heard the arguments about the time and money it takes to purchase nutrient dense, organic products, I’ve experienced it myself when trying to buy all natural foods and feeling the sticker-shock when comparing with the traditional, chemically laden food.

Luckily, Jordan Rubin, of The Maker’s Diet and Garden of Life supplements and vitamins, has come up with the answer to this problematic issue! He’s starting a new company called Beyond Organics, and their goal is to create the world’s healthiest foods, holding themselves to standards that are unheard of on the market right now- even with the current USDA organic certification.

And what’s even better is that he’s giving everyone the chance to access these amazing foods- at a pretty incredible price. We will now be able to save money on the world’s highest quality beef, dairy products, chocolate, spring water, and even probiotic infused flax seed oil. And this is just the beginning- there will be many more foods to come as the company grows, and the seasons change.

If you want the chance to purchase the world’s healthiest foods for an incredibly low cost, you can actually sign up now free of charge as the company gets underway:

Beyond Organics Insider Signup

Become an “Insider” to reserve your spot, but make sure you get there before membership fills up. Jordan Rubin will be announcing this company on TBN tomorrow, and the floodgates will be opened! There will be thousands who choose to take part after viewing this program.

I am excited to be able to not only inform others of the value of healthy living and eating, but also show how it can actually be possible for every family to have access to the foods that will treat their bodies right.

Beyond Organics