Tag Archives: exercise

Our Paleo Thanksgiving Revisited!

Thanksgiving Dinner!

As it’s a week before the big Turkey Day 2012, I wanted to share our Thanksgiving post from last year. I hadn’t really started posting recipes regularly so some of you may have missed it. Since we will be traveling to Illinois to see my family this year I won’t be cooking, but I hope you give some of these recipes a try as they were fantastic. I’ve left my original content here and added a few new comments (in italics) and pictures to some of the recipes.

This is Dr. Carrie. Dr. Court usually writes these posts but I thought it might be interesting to switch it up. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought it might be fun to share our menu. Normally, I don’t get the opportunity to cook on the holidays as we usually travel to be with either my family or his, but this year we decided not to go anywhere. As some of you know we eat mostly meat, eggs, vegetables and low glycemic fruit which means we try not to eat a lot of grains, sugar or processed food. I guess you could say we eat a Paleolithic diet which he has posted about in the past (see Why Eat a Paleolithic Diet?). We aren’t strictly Paleo as we do include some dairy in the form of cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and for me cream in my coffee.

Now, I grew up in a fantastic Midwestern, Standard American Diet family and it is sacrilege to not have pumpkin pie and stuffing to go with your marshmallow sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce from a can and green bean casserole. So, you can see my conundrum when it comes to preparing my own Thanksgiving dinner. Do I make the traditional dinner and call it a cheat day? But then what do we do with all of those leftovers? I mean we’re only 2 people. Or do I stick to my principles and make a “healthy” meal that’s just meat and veggies and have some fruit for dessert? Boring….that’s what we eat every day! (This year I do plan to make the Brussel Sprouts and Bacon to take to my big family dinner…they’re so good they’ll never suspect it came from a Paleo cookbook!)

I did what every American does…I Googled it! I wanted to see if there were recipes for Paleo versions of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Thanks to the Crossfitters who endorse the Paleo diet there are now tons of recipes online. I was amazed at what I found including an entire Paleo menu. I am not ashamed to admit that I am using most of the recipes from the first website I came across but how could I pass up Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey, Beef Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie! If you want to see the complete menu, visit PaleoDiet Lifestyle.

After one click I had most of my menu complete. I still needed a yam recipe. I turned to my favorite Paleo recipe source EverydayPaleo.com. If you receive our email newsletter, you’ve heard me rave about Sarah Fragoso’s book Everyday Paleo. I love her recipes. They are super easy and sooooo tasty! I found a recipe for Paleo Holiday Yams right away. Of course that’s not the only recipe of hers I’m using. I made one from the book called Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon a few weeks ago and wanted to have it again. I also really wanted to try a recipe she calls “meat candy” aka Sausage Stuffed Dates for an appetizer. (I made these already. I tried to resist but they kept calling my name…they are AMAZING!)

Here is our complete Thanksgiving menu (pics below):

Appetizer:

  • Sausage Stuffed Dates

Dinner:

  • Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey
  • Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing
  • Paleo Holiday Yams
  • Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon
  • Cranberry Sauce

Dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pie with coconut milk ice cream!

We’ll let you know how it all turns out. So far, so good! The Sausage Stuffed Dates are a winner but I haven’t tried anything else. I have to save something for tomorrow. We have a lot of food to eat so it’s a good thing we’re going to Turkey Torcher at KDR Fitness tomorrow morning. (I’m bummed to miss the Turkey Torcher this year. It was a blast last year and a great way to kick of Thanksgiving Day! I think there are only 2 spots left but you should contact KDR Fitness if you are local and interested in participating.)

Your family might appreciate one of these recipes at your next holiday dinner! I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner be it Paleo or Traditional.

In the spirit of the season we are so Thankful for each and every one of our blog readers and patients. Your questions, comments and feedback are always appreciated and welcomed.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sausage Stuffed Dates

I’ve made these little gems a number of time since last Thanksgiving. They’ve become a requested appetizer for get togethers! This was the large version but you can also make a smaller one bite version that’s just as addictive! (Sausage isn’t something that we recommend you eat a lot of as it typically has a lot of preservatives, but it’s fine to have once in a while especially if you buy an organic, preservative free version.)

Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey

While the mushrooms on this turkey turned out a little crispy it tasted fantastic! I think I left it uncovered a bit too long.

Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing

This stuffing was so good that I’d make it as a meal! I’m glad I revisited this post so that I can do that! The texture is close to regular stuffing but a little different. Now in my family they usually make dressing, so the texture is quite different from that but it has all the right flavors!

Paleo Holiday Yams

These were yummy and reminded me of traditional holiday yams. With on a 1/4 cup of maple syrup they were sweet! You could probably just drizzle a little on there or leave it off entirely if you wanted.

Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon

I’ve also made these a number of times since last year! They’re tasty! I’m making them for my family for Thanksgiving this year.

(P.S. I’m also making my family Paleo Breakfast Bread and Chunky Apple Muffins to have at my baby shower…don’t tell! I don’t think they ever know they taste so good!)

Cranberry Sauce

Some how I forgot to take a picture of the cranberry sauce. It was good but of all the things I made last year I would tweak this recipe a bit. It was really tart. I would maybe take the maple syrup out of the yams and add it to the Cranberry Sauce.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Oh, now this was a hard one. I love pumpkin pie! My family loves my pumpkin pies and my grandfather used to request my pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Now that’s a big deal because my grandmother was an amazing cook! So, when it came to pumpkin pie it was hard to decide if I’d try something new or stick to the traditional. I ended up trying something new and was not disappointed! It was really good. It’s a little different but all the flavor that I love was there!

I encourage you to give one or all of these recipes a try for your Thanksgiving Dinner next week.  I think you and your family will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious they are and how great you feel when you’re not loaded down with all that bread and sugar. I know we felt great last year!

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Diet, Recipes

The Best Weight Loss Diet Is?

New information confirms what I have been telling people for years.  A low fat diet is bad for your health and a low glycemic diet is the best diet for weight loss.  The recent study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  For more information, watch the short video below.

3 Comments

Filed under Diet

Exercise and Vitamin D Strike Again!

The more we study exercise and vitamin D, the more benefits we find.  The great thing about that is they are both very safe treatment options.  In this video, Dr. Court discusses the recent report by the US Preventative Services Task Force that shows exercise and vitamin D are the best treatments to prevent falls in the elderly!

Leave a comment

Filed under Public Health

The Obesity Gene

Is there really an obesity gene? I think the answer is yes and no.  First the yes.

There are likely genes that predispose someone to being overweight or obese.  It is not just one gene but perhaps 10 or 50, or maybe 1,000.  I don’t think we will ever be able to say for certain what specific genes are the “obesity genes.” Certainly it is more difficult with something like this because metabolism is so complex.

The answer to our question might also be no.  While our genes are responsible for many things, the environment plays a huge role.  Diet and exercise are potent modifiers of our genes.  Someone who is genetically predisposed to being overweight may not be overweight with proper diet and exercise.  And if that’s true then, in a sense, being overweight is not genetic.

For more information watch the video below.

1 Comment

Filed under Diet

Safe and Natural ways to Prevent Heart Disease

Yesterday we brought you a blog on which cholesterol tests you should add to the standard lipid panel.  Today we tell you what to do about them.  The best part?  The solutions are natural, safe and effective.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Diet, Public Health

3 Steps to Avoid The Weight Loss Plateau

We’ve all heard about it, right?  Many people have experienced it and the frustrations that go with it.  When you’re trying to lose weight there’s nothing more aggravating than not actually losing weight.  The scenario can go one of two ways:

  1. The first is probably the most common scenario that most of you are thinking about.  A person begins a diet and exercise program and begins to lose weight.  As they progress the weight loss slows and eventually stops even though they aren’t at their goal weight.  I see it routinely in my practice.
  2. The second scenario is still common but people often do not think of it as a weight loss plateau.  In this situation a person begins a diet and exercise program but does not lose any weight at all.  While this may not be your traditional plateau of weight loss, it is still a plateau of sorts.

There are many reasons a person my actually stop losing weight, but if you follow the steps below it will help you avoid this pesky problem and keep you on your path to a leaner, healthier body.

Eat More!

Yes, eat more.  Many times people begin to experience a plateau because they’ve gone months without actually eating enough.  At first, this caloric deficit causes the body to burn extra energy (fat) resulting in weight loss.  Over time, however, the body’s metabolism slows down to meet the amount of energy one is consuming.  We must remember that the human body is designed as a survival machine.  If it believes it is not getting enough food, it will slow down the metabolism to meet the energy supply coming in.  When this happens, weight loss stops.

For the person that begins a diet program but simply cannot lose a single pound, eating more might be essential.  If someone is having trouble losing any weight, it may be because they have been under eating for many years and their metabolism has slowed to a crawl. Trying to lose weight by cutting calories will only compound the problem.  Focus on eating healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables and DO NOT SKIP MEALS.  Eat every three hours and your calories will go up and weight loss will resume/begin.

Change Up Your Exercise

Our bodies get used to things.  Thank goodness they do or even simple tasks like walking might prove very difficult!  But this also means that our bodies get used to our exercise routines and become very efficient at them.  The benefit you received initially from your workout program is no longer as high.  It’s the classic story of diminishing returns.  As you continue to do the same exercise routine, your body finds a way to use less and less energy to do it. This means you get less and less benefit.

An ideal exercise program includes resistance training (i.e. weights) and cardiovascular work.  There are ways to incorporate both very easily, but it must be changed on a monthly basis.  The change is essential for continuing to make progress.

Be Consistent

Didn’t I just tell you to change? Yes, I did.  But you must also be consistent with several things.  Your diet must be consistent.  You must consistently change your workout program and you must remember that weight loss is most permanent when it is done over a long period of time.  If you’re overweight, you did not get there in 6 weeks.  Similarly, you’re likely not going to reach your goals in 6 weeks.

Consistency in the early stages of a diet are perhaps even more vital.  There is little room for error early in a diet plan.  This does not mean you have to be perfect. No one is perfect.  You should try and be as consistent as possible, however.  In the first phase of a new lifestyle your metabolism is resistant to change.  It likes the old way of doing things.  It may take weeks (or months!) for it to adapt to the new demands you are placing on it.  Frequent indiscretions in diet or lack of exercise will prolong the process of shifting your metabolism.  And guess what you’re going to do as soon as your metabolism adapts?  Change your exercise program!!

The process is actually very simple, but because there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding diet and exercise many people tend to get confused, frustrated and eventually give up. If you can remember the above steps and keep them in your head at all times, weight loss should be a relatively easy process.

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Diet

‘What’ you eat is more important than ‘How Much.’

The Hat in Rancho Cucamonga California

Image via Wikipedia

Finally a large-scale study has concluded what I have been telling patients for years! What you eat is more important than how much of it you eat.  A calorie is not a calorie!

If you ask many classically trained dietitians about maintaining a healthy weight they will regurgitate the same old rhetoric they always have – “as long as you don’t eat more calories than you expend you won’t gain weight,” and “there are no bad foods, just bad amounts of food.”

The above statements have never made sense to me.  I remember taking ‘advanced biology’ in high school.  (There was nothing really ‘advanced’ about it. It was just the second of two courses, the first being ‘basic’ biology.)  In this class I remember learning about physiology and how the body responded differently to different types of food.  Some foods caused the release of insulin while others caused little or no release of this hormone.  The job of this hormone? It basically tells the body to store fat.  From that information I concluded that what you ate had to make a difference in your weight.

As I progressed through my eduction in college (as a biology major) and then on to chiropractic school where I truly received advanced training, my view did not change – the quality of food that I ate had to make a difference on maintaining my weight.  It could not possibly be as simple as calorie-in/calorie-out.

Yet when you read information online or from other mainstream media outlets you will hear just the opposite. “Eat whatever you want, just be sure it’s in moderation.” Or “It doesn’t matter what kind of food you eat as long as it’s low calorie.”

A new study of just over 120,000 people finally has come up with a conclusion that makes more sense.  Hopefully the American Dietetic Association will take notice.  Individually there are some very good dietitians out there, but the American Dietetic Association is making people sicker and sicker with their stance on many aspects of health in my opinion.

The researchers analyzed data on three separate studies over a 20-year period, tracking the long-term effects of different foods and lifestyle changes on more than 120,000 men and women. Adults in the study gained an average of 3.35 pounds every four years, for a total average weight gain of almost 17 pounds.

Regular consumption of potato chips, French fries and sugared beverages were most to blame for slow and steady weight gain. However, people who ate yogurt, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains either lost weight or gained the least.

Now, I will be the first person to tell you that weight is not the be-all, end-all of health markers.  It’s a good one, but there are plenty of thin people in this world who are very unhealthy.  Also, I generally do not recommend grains be a big part of anyone’s diet.  In small amounts they are ok, but they contribute to inflammation which can be problematic for many reasons.

The other foods in this study – yogurt, fruits, vegetables and nuts – are free foods! Eat them as much as you want.  I routinely encourage people to eat these foods as much as possible.

Interestingly, nuts are a high calorie food yet they performed very well in helping people lose or maintain their weight.  If it truly was about calorie-in/calorie-out then nuts should have performed poorly.  It just goes to show you it isn’t about the calories that we’re putting in, it’s about the quality of those calories.

As much as I’d like to say it’s only about the quality of our food that matters, I cannot.  The amount matters to a certain extent.  If you are regularly consuming 7,000 calories per day you will gain weight.  That type of excess cannot be combated with ‘good’ foods.  However, to get that kind of extra calorie one would have to consume huge amounts of the ‘bad’ foods like fast food, doughnuts, etc.  Those clearly are not quality foods in the first place.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital is the author of the study that appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.  He says the calorie-in/calorie-out theory is incorrect “because different foods have a different effect on the body. ‘You can’t just say a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t address your feelings of fullness, your blood glucose levels, your blood insulin levels and the other biological responses in your body.”

I could not agree more and this has been my point to other ‘experts’ on nutrition when we debate the calorie-in/calorie-out theory.

Let me pose this scenario to you –

Two people are going to embark on an experiment.  They are going to eat identical calorie diets for the next year.  One person is going to eat 2,000 calories per day in potato chips and the other is going to eat 2,000 calories per day in chicken and vegetables.  Who will be healthier and have the most optimal weight at the end of our experiment?  Intuitively we would say the person eating the chicken and vegetables would be and I believe this is correct.

There have been many short-term studies that have concluded healthy diets only need to focus on calorie content.  The quality of the food was not important for maintaining weight.  Finally a study has looked long-term and concluded that the quality of your food is important. Make sure your choices are good choices.  If you focus on the quality of your food you will maintain your weight more effectively than counting those calories.

5 Comments

Filed under Diet, Public Health