Cauliflower Rice

I am half Asian (Filipino) and rice is a huge part of our diet. For breakfast, we have garlic fried rice with meat (cured meat, sausage, fried fish, etc.), egg and sliced tomatoes; for lunch, we eat fluffy white rice with adobo; rice cakes for our afternoon snack; and for dinner, we pour Sinigang (a sour and savory soup of meat and veggies) on our rice. Any leftover rice will be fried again the next day for breakfast and the cycle repeats. Rice is basically eaten with almost anything all day so just imagine how difficult it is for me to give up on rice and other starchy foods to go Keto.

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Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?

Seriously, if you suddenly stop eating something you’ve been eating your whole life, it gets to you: I experienced a lot of mood swings and I sometimes still feel hungry even after 2 apples but that’s just me, we all have different reactions when switching diets. Recently, I found out about Cauliflower rice and it provided the much needed comfort. I did have a lot of “I can’t believe it’s not butter” moments and the whole illusion of “eating rice” makes me feel very satisfied. 1 cup of cauliflower rice will give you less than 100 calories, 2 grams of protein and only 5 grams of carbohydrates compared to brown rice’s 220 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

What you need:

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower

Procedure:

  • Core the cauliflower, remove green leaves, wash well and dry using a kitchen towel.
  • Grate the cauliflower or use a food processor but don’t overdo it. Make sure you end up with a coarse consistency.
  • Heat a non-stick pan to medium and cook the cauliflower while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. No need to add oil or water because the cauliflower has enough water in it. You might wanna do it in batches if you’re using more than 1 medium-sized head to evenly cook the cauliflower.
  • Enjoy!

Let’s make things a little more interesting. Get your bags ready because we are going for a ride!

First stop – Mexico: In a food processor, blend 2 small tomatoes, half of a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a dash of salt and pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes until smooth. Combine the blend with your riced cauliflower, spread the mixture on a pan, bake for 20 minutes at 350F, after 20 minutes, stir and bake again for another 20 minutes. Top with fresh chopped cilantro and drizzle with lime juice.

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Mmmm… delicioso!

Rice is never plain in Spain! Saute diced white onions, 5 cloves of minced garlic and 1 seeded and diced Jalapeno pepper until nice and soft. Add riced cauliflower, cook for 5 to 8 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add chopped kale (stems removed) and cook until wilted nicely. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add halved cherry tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Don’t overcook the tomatoes.

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Let them eat Kale! Ole!

Oh yes you can in Japan! On a flat surface, lay out your nori (seaweed wrapper) and fill the entire surface with a thin layer of riced cauliflower (cooked with a little bit of soy sauce and a tiny amount of sugar). At the edge of the wrapper closest to you, line out strings of carrots across the rice. Do the same for the strings of radish, spinach and beetroot. You can basically add anything you like (even raw salmon or tuna) but don’t overstuff it. Roll the wrapper inwards, tuck in any hostile filling and apply a gentle pressure to compress it into a roll. If you have a sushi roller, much better. Finally, cut into desired thickness!

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I think I’m turning Japanese!

Thank you cauliflower for keeping me sane! You can also try cauliflower rice with Beef Steak! All this talking made me really hungry. I’ll go ahead and grab my cauliflower and grater. I hope you guys enjoyed reading! Eat well, be well, farewell!

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

Ketogenic Diet Part 2, How Does It Work?

Wholesome Ketogenic Food

Wholesome Ketogenic Food

The trends of weight loss programs and fads can rise and fall in popularity at some surprising rates with very little staying power in today’s society. However, there are a few that have stood the test of time so far. One such example is the Ketogenic Diet and its goal of achieving a state of ketosis. In this article, the Ketogenic Diet will be examined from the basic information of the diet along with the pros and cons and a couple of samples of this diet.

So, how did the Ketogenic Diet come to pass?

Though there are arguments made towards the fact this diet has existed since the days of our early ancestors, the diet itself didn’t become a well-known and keyed term until the 1920s. Physicians and researchers from the early 1900s were looking for solutions in the relief of epileptic symptoms in children. It wasn’t until 1921 when Rollin Woodyatt makes the greatest discovery towards a useful solution. He found the three types of ketones that are created within the body by the liver when there are fats from foods present. However, his research didn’t go much further than that until Russell Wilder, from the Mayo Clinic, was able to expand on this new knowledge. In the same year, he took Woodyatt’s discovery and provided it with the name “Ketogenic Diet” which consisted of an excess of fat as well as lack of carbohydrates in a person’s food intake. He built some trials based on this new diet with those suffering from epilepsy. Those same trials in 1921 found that the diet was fairly successful in lessening the symptoms and the frequency of epileptic occurrences.

This new diet became a popular solution in treating epilepsy for almost two full decades, but it was soon pushed over for drug plans that were supposed to aid in greater results where epilepsy was concerned. However, the pills soon prove to be less effective especially without assistance from a change in the diets of those that suffer from this condition. It came back into popularity as a treatment before it became known as a viable option for those looking to lose excess weight by restricting their diets, resisting carbohydrates and eating higher fat contents.

How does the Ketogenic Diet work?

As mentioned before this diet focuses on a person’s food intake being mostly fats with very few carbohydrates and a moderate level of protein. By eating more fatty foods than those loaded carbohydrates, a person is changing the type of energy source that his/her body is using. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose that is then burned when it’s needed throughout the day while fats are broken down into ketones, another energy source, that aids in burning other stored fats. A build-up of these ketones in the blood is known as ketosis, a state in which the body utilizes this energy source in more substantial ways than glucose, lessening epileptic episodes as well as burning through more energy as the day progresses. Unlike glucose which can be stored within the adipose layer of skin where it can become excess fat, ketones aren’t stored, but rather flushed from the system if they aren’t used within a certain time frame.

What are some sample daily menus with this diet?

With the focus on low carbohydrate and high fat intakes, the following menus are some viable options for this diet, breaking down what to eat for each meal as well as the totals of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and total calories. Each sample comes with foods easy to prepare within a short amount of time.

Option one is as follows:

  • Breakfast consists of hot peanut butter flax cereal with a quarter cup of blueberries. Fresh or frozen berries are fine, just avoid canned ones because of added sugar potential.
  • Lunch is a simple salad made from four cups of romaine lettuce, half an avocado, and four ounces of cooked chicken meat. All of this can be topped with a Vinaigrette dressing of your choosing as long as the sugar levels are low.
  • A quarter cup of almonds (whole, sliced, or chopped) makes a great afternoon snack.
  • When it comes to dinner, steak, either grilled or pan-fried, can be accompanied by a cup of green beans and a cup of mushrooms and peppers.
  • The grand totals for this menu plan equals to 26 grams of carbohydrates, 32 grams of fiber, 95 grams of protein, and only 1500 calories.

Another menu plan that’s just as easy and appealing is the following:

  • In this plan, breakfast is made up of a half cup of low-carb cereal with a high fiber content, a third cup of milk, an eighth of a medium-sized melon, and an ounce of almonds.
  • With lunch, it’s an easily made fare of four cups of salad greens tossed together with half an avocado that’s sliced, two tablespoons of sunflower seeds, three and a half ounces of some kind of protein, and two tablespoons of an Italian dressing without sugar.
  • A Swiss cheese and ham roll-up complements this menu because of its simple ingredients and quick preparation time. Pair this with some mustard and a dill pickle.
  • Dinnertime is a great time to break out the basil chicken with some prepared vegetables. This can also be topped off with a dessert of a half cup of ricotta cheese with a favorite flavoring (avoid artificial sweeteners).
  • The totals for this selection equates to 49 grams of carbohydrates, 36 grams of fiber, 101 grams of protein, and only 1569 calories.

What are the pros and cons of the Ketogenic Diet?

Like any diet currently on the market, there are several pros and cons with this diet; however, the ultimate choice of implementing this diet by one individual is his/her choice regardless of the risks associated with this diet.

Starting with the advantages, there are several that are attributed to following the restrictions of this diet. One of the first items on this list is the fact that it helps with improving fat loss because of the ways ketones are made from the fats being introduced into the body, burning as energy or being expelled from the body if they aren’t converted. Once the ketones made from food intake are used up, the body goes looking for other sources to obtain energy to finish out the day, usually from the excess fat found within the skin’s adipose tissue. Along with improved fat loss, ketosis helps in decreasing one’s appetite because ketones are more complex energy sources than that of glucose which come from carbohydrates. It also lowers insulin levels within the blood, which can help relieve symptoms or even eliminate diabetes from those suffering the disease. Without the presence of glucose in the blood, the body doesn’t have to produce as much insulin to break down those glucose molecules into energy. Lower levels of insulin helps with maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar, which protects from possible developments of diabetes of both types.

The other advantages of the Ketogenic Diet are epilepsy management as well as a possible cancer treatment. Since its development in the 1920s, the use of the Ketogenic diet has become a powerful treatment for managing the symptoms of epilepsy as well as the disease itself. By overloading the person’s body with enough ketones, the person’s brain and other systems can remain stable without fear of misfires in the nerves of the brain, setting off a chain reaction leading to a seizure. As for treating cancer, there is some evidence that has proven promising in reducing cancer symptoms along with stopping the growth of cancerous cells before they can even form. This hasn’t been proven by full-blown studies, but with any theory, there is a possibility that could be promising with further research and trials.

Now, the disadvantages of this diet are just as numerous as the advantages, making the decision harder for those looking for some sort of weight loss option; however, having this knowledge can provide an interested individual with all the tools to make his/her decision about taking on this type of diet. These disadvantages include those associated with the benefits of losing weight. If a person remains on the diet too long, he/she has the potential to damage the metabolism rate within his/her body by slowing it down, potentially reversing all the weight lost. The diet itself is fairly restrictive which can be hard on some individuals and their ability to stick to the diet until they have achieved their weight loss goals. Others can take the restrictions too far and cut out key nutrients needed for daily health by eliminating most, if not all, fruits and vegetables in their diets that contain even a hint of sugar or other carbohydrates within them.

There are even questions of whether this diet is even healthy for those considered extreme or dedicated athletes who burn massive amounts of energy a day through workouts and other activities. If they aren’t getting enough energy from either glucose or ketone sources, their body could find itself struggling to complete a day’s worth of activities or even remain healthy in the long run. There is also a chance that fatigue and brain fogging can be triggered through this diet because people aren’t eating enough carbohydrates in their daily food intake. Without carbohydrates, these people aren’t getting the energy boosts they need from the present glucose in their systems, which leads to feeling weary and/or struggles with getting through their daily activities at work and at home. All of these disadvantages can ultimately lead someone into a marked state of high ketosis that develops into a condition known as ketoacidosis. Though this condition is more likely in alcoholics and in diabetics, it can happen from taking this diet to the absolute extreme by overproducing ketones in order to stay in ketosis for far too long. Those suffering from this condition are fairly easy to identify because of the odor that’s released from a person in this state.

Overall Impressions of the Ketogenic Diet

Due to the benefits in treating epilepsy, this diet can provide substantial improvements in these sufferers lives; however, for those using this diet to lose weight, the disadvantages of lowering carbohydrate intake can prove a mistake for those taking this option to the absolute extreme. Before diving into this diet, there are some considerations to take into account, such as the ability to stick to the diet and keeping a level head about the restrictions without going overboard. It’s also recommended to talk with a physician to see if this diet is the best option for an individual. Though this diet is a great success for many, it’s not suitable for all. The decision, in the end, is up to the individual him/herself and one that shouldn’t be made on a whim.

Ketogenic Diet Part 1, What Is It?

Dieting, Everyone Does it in one form or another!

Dieting, Everyone Does it in One Form or Another!

Ketogenic diets are a group of “high-fat, moderate рrоtеіn” оr “hіgh-рrоtеіn mоdеrаtе fаt” but vеrу lоw-саrbоhуdrаtе dіеtѕ. Thе term kеtоgеnіс bаѕісаllу rеfеrѕ tо thе іnсrеаѕеd production of ketone bоdіеѕ оссаѕіоnеd bу thе еlеvаtеd rate оf lіроlуѕіѕ (fаt brеаk down). Ketones аrе thе асіdіс by-products formed during thе іntеrmеdіаtе brеаk dоwn of “fаt” into “fatty асіdѕ” bу the lіvеr.

The fіrѕt ѕеtѕ of ketogenic dіеtѕ wеrе асtuаllу dеvеlореd аѕ fаr bасk аѕ thе early 1920ѕ by thе Jоhnѕ Hорkіnѕ Pеdіаtrіс Eріlерѕу Cеntеr аnd аlѕо by Dr. R.M. Wіldеr of thе Mayo Clіnіс tо trеаt сhіldrеn wіth hard tо соntrоl ѕеіzurеѕ. The dіеtѕ wеrе dеѕіgnеd tо mimic the bіосhеmісаl changes thаt оссurrеd durіng реrіоdѕ оf fasting, nаmеlу kеtоѕіѕ, асіdоѕіѕ, аnd dеhуdrаtіоn. Thе diets іnvоlvеd the соnѕumрtіоn оf аbоut 10-15 grams оf саrbоhуdrаtеѕ реr day, 1 gram of protein реr kіlоgrаm bodyweight оf the раtіеnt and the rеmаіnіng саlоrіеѕ dеrіvеd from fаtѕ.

Tоdау, thе promoters of ketogenic dіеtѕ аrе ѕtrоnglу оf thе vіеw thаt саrbоhуdrаtеѕ especially thе high glусеmіс іndеx ones аrе thе mаjоr reasons whу реорlе gаіn wеіght. Carbohydrate fооdѕ are generally mеtаbоlіzеd to produce gluсоѕе, a fоrm of simple ѕugаr thаt іѕ gеnеrаllу regarded as the рrеfеrrеd energy source fоr thе body аѕ іt is a faster burning energy. Although the body can brеаk down muѕсlе glycogen (а mixture оf gluсоѕе аnd water) аnd fat tо produce еnеrgу, it hоwеvеr prefers tо get іt from high glycemic іndеx саrbоhуdrаtеѕ frоm dіеtѕ.

Of thе mасrоnutrіеntѕ, саrbоhуdrаtеѕ аrе therefore аrguеd to bе thе mаjоr саuѕе of wеіght gаіn. Thіѕ is mоrе ѕо bесаuѕе thе іnсrеаѕеd intake оf hіgh glycemic index саrbоhуdrаtе fооdѕ gеnеrаllу саuѕеѕ fluсtuаtіng blood sugar levels duе tо their fаѕt аbѕоrрtіоn into thе bloodstream and whісh mоrе оftеn thаn nоt leads tо thе overproduction of іnѕulіn. Thіѕ is whеrе thе problem асtuаllу ѕtаrtѕ.

Insulin іѕ a hоrmоnе that regulates blооd gluсоѕе lеvеlѕ and therefore mаіntеnаnсе оf the еnеrgу іn/еnеrgу оut equation оf thе bоdу whісh rules body wеіght. Excess аmоuntѕ оf glucose in thе blооdѕtrеаm causes the excessive ѕесrеtіоn of іnѕulіn whісh leads to thе storage оf thе excess glucose in the bоdу аѕ еіthеr glусоgеn іn lіvеr аnd muѕсlе cells оr fat in fat сеllѕ.

One aim оf kеtоgеnіс dіеtѕ іѕ thеrеfоrе to reduce іnѕulіn рrоduсtіоn tо its barest mіnіmum bу drаѕtісаllу rеduсіng carbohydrate соnѕumрtіоn while uѕіng fаtѕ and proteins to supplement the bоdу’ѕ еnеrgу requirement.

Despite thе ability оf ketogenic dіеtѕ tо rеduсе іnѕulіn production, thеіr main оbjесtіvе іѕ ultimately aimed аt іnduсіng thе ѕtаtе оf kеtоѕіѕ. Ketosis саn bе rеgаrdеd as a соndіtіоn оr state іn whісh thе rаtе оf fоrmаtіоn оf kеtоnеѕ рrоduсеd bу thе brеаk dоwn оf “fat” іntо “fatty асіdѕ” by thе lіvеr іѕ grеаtеr than thе ability оf tіѕѕuеѕ tо oxidize thеm. Ketosis іѕ actually a ѕесоndаrу ѕtаtе оf thе рrосеѕѕ оf lіроlуѕіѕ (fаt break down) and is a general side еffесt of lоw-саrbоhуdrаtе diets. Ketogenic dіеtѕ are thеrеfоrе fаvоrаblу dіѕроѕеd tо thе encouragement and рrоmоtіоn of kеtоѕіѕ.

Prоlоngеd реrіоdѕ оf starvation can еаѕіlу induce kеtоѕіѕ but it саn also bе deliberately іnduсеd bу making uѕе of a lоw-саlоrіе or low-carbohydrate diet thrоugh thе іngеѕtіоn of lаrgе amounts оf еіthеr fаtѕ оr рrоtеіnѕ аnd drastically rеduсеd саrbоhуdrаtеѕ. Thеrеfоrе, high-fat аnd high-protein dіеtѕ аrе the weight lоѕѕ dіеtѕ uѕеd tо deliberately induce kеtоѕіѕ.

Essentially, kеtоѕіѕ іѕ a vеrу efficient form of еnеrgу рrоduсtіоn which dоеѕ not іnvоlvе thе рrоduсtіоn of іnѕulіn аѕ thе body rаthеr burnѕ its fat dероѕіtѕ for energy. Cоnѕеԛuеntlу, the іdеа of reducing carbohydrate соnѕumрtіоn dоеѕ nоt оnlу rеduсе іnѕulіn production but also practically fоrсеѕ the body to burn its fаt dероѕіt fоr energy, thereby mаkіng thе uѕе оf kеtоgеnіс diets a vеrу роwеrful wау tо achieve rapid wеіght lоѕѕ.

Kеtоgеnіс dіеtѕ are designed іn ѕuсh a wау thаt thеу іnіtіаllу fоrсе the body to exhaust іtѕ gluсоѕе ѕuррlу аnd then fіnаllу switch tо burning іtѕ fat dероѕіtѕ fоr energy. Subsequent food іntаkеѕ after inducing thе state of kеtоѕіѕ are meant to kеер thе kеtоѕіѕ process runnіng bу appropriately аdjuѕtіng further carbohydrate consumption tо provide juѕt thе basic аmоunt оf саlоrіеѕ nееdеd bу thе body.

Fоr еxаmрlе, the Atkіnѕ Dіеt which іѕ obviously the mоѕt рорulаr kеtоgеnіс dіеt аіmѕ tо help dіеtеrѕ achieve what thе diet саllѕ the іndіvіduаl’ѕ Crіtісаl Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance (CCLM) – a саrbоhуdrаtе соnѕumрtіоn lеvеl where thе dіеtеr nеіthеr gains nоr lоѕеѕ wеіght аnуmоrе.

In 2003, thе Jоhnѕ Hорkіnѕ treatment сеntеr саmе uр wіth a mоdіfіеd version оf thе Atkіnѕ Dіеt рrоtосоl tо trеаt a grоuр of 20 сhіldrеn wіth epilepsy. Aftеr thе trеаtmеnt, іt wаѕ observed thаt twо-thіrdѕ еxреrіеnсеd a significant rеduсtіоn іn thеіr ѕеіzurеѕ whіlе 9 wеrе able to rеduсе thеіr medication dosages аnd nоnе developed kidney ѕtоnеѕ.

Furthеrmоrе, thеrе аrе оngоіng scientific ѕtudіеѕ bу thе Nаtіоnаl Inѕtіtutе of Hеаlth (NIH) соnсеrnіng the еffесtіvеnеѕѕ оf thе сlаѕѕіс ketogenic diet and the mоdіfіеd vеrѕіоnѕ оf the Atkіnѕ Dіеt іn hеlріng people to lоѕе weight аnd also іn thе trеаtmеnt оf epilepsy. It is еԛuаllу іntеrеѕtіng to nоtе thаt thе Nаtіоnаl Inѕtіtutе of Neurological Disorders аnd Stroke (NINDS) is carrying оut ѕtudіеѕ оn thе еffесt оf kеtоgеnіс dіеtѕ аnd also formulating mеdісаtіоnѕ thаt wіll bе аblе to рrоduсе the ѕаmе effect on wеіght reduction.

Diet For A Lifetime – Paleo The Caveman Diet, A

Caveman – Paleo Diet

Everyone has heard the phrase “everything old is new again.”  But the phrase does not only apply to the rebooting of television shows from your youth or the reinvention of World War II superheroes as modern-day fighters of injustice. When I say “old”, I mean really old! Old, like from paleolithic times, some two and a half million years ago! Maybe you’ve heard about the paleolithic diet, or “caveman’s diet” as it is sometimes called, and been curious about it. Well, I was too, so let me give you a little information about how our distant ancestors ate, and why I believe that such a diet is just the right choice for my current lifestyle.

Millions of years ago, our genetic forefathers lived off the land in the most primitive way. Their diet was limited to what they could hunt, or what they could gather growing wild in the environment. This meant lean, fresh meat and fish, whatever fruits and vegetables were available seasonably in the area, and little else save for a few nuts and berries. I actually find this concept amazing. Eating what your ancestors ate and eating in an almost primitive manner. 

Ten thousand years ago, these wandering hunter-gatherers settled down and learned to farm. While this worked out well, in providing a stable form of nutrition, available year-round it caused other problems. New foods were introduced, foods that were edible and easy to produce, such as dairy products, grains, and legumes. Humans learned how to produce such foods quickly. The population increased, farming communities became towns, towns became cities, and so on. Civilization developed rapidly, but, it seems, our bodies have not. The introduction of these more readily available foodstuffs has, it would seem, outpaced our body’s ability to evolve to keep pace. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trade today’s modern conveniences for a lifetime of hunting game and searching the woods for edibles. These days, I do my hunting at the butcher shop and my gathering at the produce section of the supermarket. But I have found that my body still craves, and actually thrives on, the foods my ancestors brought back to the cave.

So, what, exactly, are the benefits of the paleo diet? Firstly, I have found it much easier to maintain a healthy weight or even lose unwanted pounds. This is because I avoid carbohydrates. Limiting my intake of carbs leads to a corresponding lowering of body fat, as well as more efficient use of the insulin my body produces. Fewer carbs mean less insulin produced. And lowering my carb intake leads to a lower chance of my developing type 2 diabetes. My heart health is also improved by the decrease in carbs. I found a 2015 study which indicates that the paleo diet can lead to a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, with a corresponding increase in beneficial HDL. I also feel more energetic. That’s right, my “caveman” diet seems to give me the energy of a caveman. And, let’s face it, they needed a lot of energy to hunt down dinner!  My diet can also lead to a drop in inflammation in my body, and we all know that inflammation can contribute to arthritis, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions I would like to avoid.

Now that I’ve given you an inkling of just what the paleo diet is, and just how beneficial it can be, the next step is learning just what foods you can include in your own caveman diet plan. There are many different types of diet plans, all very similar but not identical. The fundamentals are simple enough, and you can alter your own menu to suit your taste, just as I have. There are certain foods to include, and, of course, others to be avoided. First, let’s start with the good ones. Fruits and vegetables are a must, with nuts and seeds also on the good list. I like to keep a small packet of nuts in my pocket to snack on as a healthy alternative to those sweet treats which many prefer. Lean meats, especially wild game or such as grass-fed beef or free-range chickens, provide needed protein. But you don’t have to do your hunting in the woods, as many game types of meat are available at upscale or specialty markets. Healthy fish, especially those rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna, are also good for you. I love to explore the fish counter at my local supermarket, looking for new varieties to try. And get over your preconceived notions about oils. Don’t overlook healthy plant oils, such as olive oil and walnut oil.

But, just as is always the case, there is a flip side, unfortunately. Just as there are good foods, there are also foods to avoid, and you must accept the fact that they may be some of your favorites. These include grains such as wheat, oats, and barley, so definitely no more fruity breakfast cereals or sandwiches on fluffy white bread. Avoid legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas. Dairy products are a no-no, as well as refined sugar and salt. And stay away from potatoes (this from an Idahoan is almost sacrilegious) in any form, be they fried, baked, or boiled. I may miss my french fries more than anything, but I value my health more. And about those sandwiches, I mentioned before. Don’t think you can get away with snacking on some deli meat without the bread. Most luncheon meats are highly processed and should be avoided. No caveman in his right mind would chow down on bologna and cheese-food lunch. I sometimes crave a hot dog at the ballpark, but I usually opt for something else. Not always, though, I hate to admit – I’m trying to be a caveman, not a superman!

Following a paleo diet may seem, at first, a bit too stringent, but this type of diet plan is not about setting strict limits. I eat full, healthy meals with little sacrifice. For breakfast, I like to have a piece of broiled salmon, a couple of hard boiled eggs and half of a cantaloupe or any other fruit. Froot loops are a thing of the past. At lunch, I like a little chicken, or tuna, and maybe a salad. Dinner could be a really nice grass-fed steak, with a salad and a fresh veggie on the side. And I don’t deprive myself when it comes to serving size. I eat until I feel full, and walk away from the table satisfied. For dessert, I’ve gotten used to fruit instead of that gooey carrot cake. But that just makes my birthdays indulgence a little more special. The hardest part may be snacking. No more candy, chips, pie, or ice cream. I used to snack to avoid that late afternoon slump when my energy felt depleted. Don’t get me wrong, I still snack, but I’ve grown accustomed to carrot sticks, celery sticks, or fruit. And, in fact, I don’t feel that afternoon slump quite so acutely now that I’m following what “I” believe is a more healthy diet. 

I know I’ve seemingly set down a lot of rules, but I don’t want you to feel discouraged. The so-called caveman diet is not about deprivation, merely adjustment. The menu works for me, and I think it will work for you, too. Especially if you are a meat lover! And there are a lot more things to feel good about. I don’t have to spend my days counting calories. I never worry if I’ve eaten too much. I eat until I’m no longer hungry. I don’t concern myself with quantity, just quality. My focus is on feeling good by feeling full. You should never feel like you’re starving yourself. And I don’t worry about keeping track of my carbs, either, as I don’t really eat any, barring the occasional indulgence. I feel an all-around increase in energy because I am avoiding those ups and downs that come with “sugar slumps” and “sugar highs” that come with sweet snacks and sugared drinks. And I find that I sleep far better at night because my body now responds naturally to serotonin, a sleep-inducing chemical which it produces, unhindered by other chemicals contained in processed foods. In addition, all the fruits and vegetables that I have included in my diet provide an abundance of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibers, which have a detoxifying effect. The elements act to cleanse my body of built-up waste products and accumulations. I like to think of it as a sort of lazy man’s detox if you will.

There are so many advantages to this type of diet plan, that I find it difficult to imagine that anyone would mind giving up those frequent trips to a fast-food restaurant. I find that I can follow this type of diet plan without feeling deprived. And if I can do it so can you. I have experienced the benefits and weighed them against the sacrifices, and I know which side tips the scales. The caveman diet may not, in fact, be for everyone. There is any number of healthy eating plans out there, after all. Enough that you can pick and choose from them to find one that works for you. But this one works for me, and I have no regrets about suggesting it to you. Study it, research it, and decide for yourself. You won’t be giving up much, after all. But, do be prepared to sacrifice certain comforts. After all, when was the last time you saw Ronald McDonald and a caveman sharing a table?

Professor Loren Cordain: The Paleo Diet Explained

Do Carb/Starch Blocker Pills Really Work?

What are carb blocker or starch blocker pills?

Carb/Starch Blockers Are White Kidney Bean Extracts

Carb/Starch Blockers Are White Kidney Bean Extracts

At this point I think we all know that carbs are found in virtually everything that we eat. Most of us love carbs, but know that when it comes to body fat and trying to lose weight, starchy carbs can be problematic. However, the body uses carbohydrates to make glucose, one of the fuels that keeps us moving throughout the day. So what are carb/starch blockers?

Carb/starch blockers are a form of dietary supplement that contain white kidney bean extracts. These extracts help block the amount of carbohydrates that your body absorbs. By reducing the amount of carbs absorbed they reduce your body’s whole day caloric intake. Many people feel that these supplements are great for people who can no resist the urge of consuming carbs/starches. Some advocates even suggest that these pills are good for diabetics, since they lower the glycemic index of the food consumed by the user.

How do carb blockers or starch blockers work?

Carb blockers work when users take them just prior to eating meals, which may be high in carbs. These supplements work by inhibiting alpha amylase, a digestive enzyme found in the body that is responsible for the digestion of starches. As you consume food, it travels along your gastrointestinal tract, and the supplements work by limiting the amount of carbs/starch that is used, leaving a portion undigested, and eventually eliminated as waste. As these calories are not absorbed, weight loss is promoted through the reduction of calories your body consumes and converts to glucose.

Are there any side effects from taking carb blockers?

As with any medication or supplement, there are side effects to regularly using carb blocker pills. Starch blocker pills are not fat blockers. That’s something that should be understood completely. They do not prevent the absorption of calories from protein or fat, only starchy carbohydrates. Also, Phase 2 Starch blockers, or carb blocker pills, can prevent the absorption of essential nutrients. Therefore, users should be careful that they do not become nutrient deficient due to prolonged usage.

Carbohydrate blockers can have additional side effects as well, such as: flatulence, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Certain side effects many disappear with continued use, and users should discuss side effects with the doctor.

Conclusion

There is much debate in the medical world on whether carb blockers are successful when it comes to losing weight and blocking the absorption of starchy carbohydrates. While many agree that refined carbohydrates play a significant role in obesity and being overweight, some medical professionals feel that the amount of alpha amylase produced exceeds the capacity carb blockers have to function properly. Additionally, starch blockers play no role in eliminating the amount of calories from fat that the body consumes. However, patients with Type 2 Diabetes have found success using these supplements to control blood sugar. One huge factor is the difference between prescription blockers (Precose & Glyset) and non-prescription supplements. Supplements may have unlisted ingredients, like stimulants, which can be dangerous to users, while prescription based blockers are regulated by the FDA and will typically not have these other ingredients. In conclusion, it’s best to check with your primary care provider and decide which is best for your current needs.