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The Paleo Foodie Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

The Paleo Foodie Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

photo-6If you’ve read my article What “Paleo” Means to Me, you’ll know that I see community as one of the biggest draws to eating a healthy diet. To make and share a meal with friends is truly one of the best pleasures in life. But if you have food sensitivities, this can be hard. You need to watch out for hidden grains or gluten, and the whole experience can become a lot more stressful. Well, Arsy Vartanian, the author of The Paleo Foodie Cookbook makes eating with a grain or gluten sensitivity a breeze. Better yet, she makes it a delight.

This cookbook is one that will be on your shelf for decades, with the pages worn and dog-eared, food splatters and all. That’s the sign of a good cookbook – one that looks like it’s been in the kitchen for your whole life.

The book starts with a brief introduction to a Paleo/Real Food diet from Amy Kubal, a wonderful Registered Dietitian who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. That means you can gift this book to someone who isn’t quite familiar with Paleo and they’ll still hear the why behind a real food diet.

Appetizers

Up next are the appetizers, a delicious array of foods perfect for a snack at home to bites you’d be proud to bring to any party. Some of my favorites include pancetta-wrapped figs with walnuts (YUM), sardine spread (nutrient-rich goodness), sweet potato salmon cakes (actually a wonderful breakfast!), and spicy sausage-and-walnut-stuffed mushrooms (is your mouth watering yet?).

Entrees

Next come the entrees…ohhhh, the entrees. They are amazing. The Paleo Persian Kotlets offer an easy, delicious way to use ground beef, with the flavors of onions, cloves, turmeric (hello, anti-inflammatory herbs!), and sage. Arsy’s take on Osso Bucco is just amazing; perfect for a cold, winter day when you’re feeling decadent. If you’re a duck lover like me, you’ll die for the Macadamia-Crusted Duck Breast with Spicy “Soy” Ginger Sauce. Mmmmm…

Salads

Salads can get a little boring if you’re constantly eating the same ones over and over again. Luckily, The Paleo Foodie Cookbook offers a plethora of salads to choose from, from the Fig, Pear and Prosciutto Salad; to the Curried Cabbage Salad; all the way to the Roasted Bone Marrow with Arugula and Parsley Salad. You’ll never be bored of salad again.

Soups and Stews

Who doesn’t love soup? Not only is it such a comfort food, but it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can go for. Personally, I love creamy soups so the Curried Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup sounds like heaven. The Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Oxtail Soup looks amazing, and I’m always a sucker for something I can throw in the slow-cooker!

Side Dishes

I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes. Food variety is so important for a healthy diet, so I always encourage my clients to eat as many different foods as possible and not get stuck eating the same foods again and again. The side dishes in this book definitely inspired me! The chorizo cauliflower rice sounds like an amazing pop of flavor – I can’t wait to try it. I also love brussel sprouts and am always looking for new ways to cook it. Arsy’s Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta…I can’t even contain myself they look so good.

Sauces and Salsas

This section is awesome. I love learning how to make sauces from scratch because they can truly make or break a dish. I’m dying to make the Pistachio Pesto and the Four-Herb Spicy Chimichurri! I also have been using canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make sweet potato chipotle soup, but now with Arsy’s recipe to make it myself I’m going to do just that!

 

This cookbook is definitely a keeper, which is why I’m so happy to give one copy away to a lucky reader! Enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

Meal LoggerWhenever I start working with a client, I always tell them to keep a food and symptom diary. It’s one of the most important tools to use when we’re trying to figure out possible food sensitivities, as well as instrumental in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, it’s been shown that those who keep a food journal at least 6 days a week lose (on average) twice as much weight as those who don’t (1). In my experience, a combination of a paleo elimination diet with keeping a food journal provides the best results in terms of finding hidden food sensitivities. For these reasons, I think keeping track of your intake with a journal is one of the best things you can do for your health.

 

What App Should I Use to Keep Track of My Food?

I’m always experimenting with new phone apps for this purpose because I find that they are the easiest way to keep track of my intake. I’ve tried the usual ones like MyFitnessPal, but they are time-consuming (if you’ve ever tried this app, I’m sure you’ll say the same!) and too calorie-focused.

One app I’ve found recently is called Meal Logger, and it has by far surpassed all the other apps I’ve tried. Meal Logger works on your desktop, iPhone, or Android and is super easy. Instead of entering each food and portion size individually, you just snap a picture of your food and upload it to your journal. You can also put a note that corresponds with your picture (i.e. “2 scrambled eggs and sweet potato”). Keeping track of your food literally takes 30 seconds!

With Meal Logger you can also add a “Daily Note”, which patients have been using to enter some of the symptoms they had that day, keep track of blood sugar levels, or let me know that they had a stressful day. Some patients also just upload a picture and use the note that corresponds with it to enter their symptoms there. Though I wish Meal Logger included some built-in tools for symptoms, there are easy ways to include them even without that.

You can also connect with your nutritionist or other professional via Meal Logger so that they can see what you’ve been eating, which is my favorite part of the app. As a dietitian, I can send an email to a client inviting them to use the program. When they accept, they show up as one of my clients and I can see whatever they have put in their diary. It’s a super easy way for me to keep track of what’s going in everyone’s mouth! When we have follow ups, I don’t have to wade through emails upon emails looking for your journal – it’s all right at my fingertips.

I highly suggest checking out Meal Logger if you’re looking for a program that will let you easily keep track of your food intake. It doesn’t rely on calorie-counting (though there are some tools within the app if you really want to go that route), it makes it easy to see portion sizes, and you can even connect to your nutritionist or other professional through the app for easy transfer of information.

 

10 Things to Keep Track Of

When you’re keeping a food diary, you should of course make sure to put everything that crosses your lips into the journal. Though you can enter food items without pictures via Meal Logger, I highly suggest snapping some pics before entering the information, especially if you’re keeping this for your dietitian! But beyond the obvious, let’s talk about some things you should make sure to include:

  1. Spices: It’s possible to be sensitive to spices, so it’s a good idea to include these in your journal. Since we’re just taking pictures, you’ll want to make sure to include any spices beyond salt and pepper in your note that goes with the picture.
  2. Cooking Fats: It’s always useful to know what fat something was cooked in, so definitely include this information in your note, too.
  3. Hidden ingredients: This goes along with what we’ve already mentioned – make sure to write down any ingredients that aren’t obvious from your photo. For example, if you made a sauce that was on top of your chicken instead of writing “sauce”, write down exactly what you made the sauce with.
  4. If you ate out: If you ate out at a restaurant, make sure to write that in your note! Though you may know now it was a meal outside the house, you might forget later when you’re looking back or if you’re sending it into your nutritionist, he or she may not know.
  5. If you didn’t finish the meal: You’ll be taking pictures before you start your meal, so make sure to write yourself (or your nutritionist) a note that you didn’t finish your meal. If you want to be extra good, you could even take another picture of the stuff you didn’t finish. Or, just write a quick note approximating the portion that was left untouched.
  6. Bowel Movements: Yeah, maybe not the most pleasant thing to write about but it’s important! You can write this in your Daily Note or put it in your journal – either way works. And be a little specific – was it loose, formed, diarrhea, etc?
  7. Your specific symptoms: If you’re trying to get rid of reflux, hives, or whatever other symptom you may have, make sure you keep track of when these symptoms are popping up for you throughout the day. When you (or you and your nutritionist) look back at older diaries, you’ll then be able to pick up on patterns and potentially find hidden food sensitivities.
  8. Life Stress: If you had an extremely stressful day, write it down! Stress can be related to your symptoms as well as food, so don’t forget about it.
  9. Exercise: Meal Logger allows you to keep track of workouts as well – make sure to use this feature!
  10. Sleep: Meal Logger also allows you to track sleep. You can sync it with a device you use for this (like a FitBit) so that it will be done for you, or you enter it manually.

  Do you have any favorite apps for keeping track of your meals?

Sources:

1. Hollis, Jack F., et al. “Weight loss during the intensive intervention phase of the weight-loss maintenance trial.” American journal of preventive medicine35.2 (2008): 118.

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

DSC_0146Let’s face it – the paleo diet can be expensive. Though of course I prioritize food in my life, I can’t always buy grassfed meats and other big ticket paleo items. As a graduate student with a growing business, I’m on a budget and I’m sure many of you are too! I recently decided to check out my local Costco to see what they offered as I’ve heard that they carry some great paleo-friendly items. Here’s what I found:

1. Organic ground beef – not grassfed as far as I can tell, but better than conventional

2. Amylu Andouille Chicken Sausage or Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage – no bad ingredients, and really yummy! Of course not pastured or organic chicken, but pretty good.

3. LOTS of lamb – they had lamb roasts, ribs, and lamb osso bucco (which I tried and loved!). From New Zealand. They also had whole lambs in the freezer section for 3.39/lb. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with it, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

4. Wild-caught fish – they definitely had salmon and cod, can’t remember now if there were others!

5. Kerrygold Dubliner cheese – they didn’t have butter which I was bummed about, but they did have a giant block of cheese that will probably last me forever.

6. Nuts! – lots of them, and good prices. I bought the almonds though, and they tasted old. But I also bought a bag of trail mix with dried fruit (yeah, okay it had some sugar in it. I’m not a perfectionist) and the nuts in that tasted great. Probably hit or miss. They also have macadamias, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, the list goes on….

7. Produce – I bought a giant container of strawberries, but they went bad in 1 day. Bummer. But they have big bags of broccoli, spring salad mix, and lots of other veggies that are great. I also bought a container of Asian pears (my favorite!!!) that were very good and priced amazingly well (I don’t know why Asian pears are ALWAYS so expensive!)

8. Frozen foods – lots of frozen fruits (great for smoothies if you do those!), and frozen vegetable mixes (with no weird sauces or anything YAY!). I didn’t buy any when I went because I didn’t need them at the time, so I’ll have to see how the quality is later.

9. Duck – YEAH, DUCK! I love duck. It’s delicious.

10. Organic eggs – they’re not pastured of course, but probably better than the conventional alternative.

11. Maple syrup – I make sourdough buckwheat pancakes a lot, and love maple syrup on them. I also like to use maple syrup if I do the occasional baked good too.

12. Organic canned tomato products – tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce. Lots of options here and great prices, especially for organic.

13. Roasted seaweed – didn’t buy some this time because I already have some from a local Asian market, but it looked pretty good. Really yummy with fresh white rice or to make sushi with!

14. Almond butter – I never buy this because it’s just too expensive and I don’t eat all that much of it. But I like to eat a banana before going to yoga in the morning and I think it might be even better to eat it with some almond butter!

They also had organic extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan salt, Epsom salts, and more! They really had a lot of items that would fit into your paleo template, but I didn’t write them all down.

Those are some of the great finds at my local Costco!  Your mileage may vary (as all Costco’s don’t carry the same items) but I think most should have good luck finding some staples there. If you’re struggling to fit a paleo diet into your budget, Costco can definitely help fill in the gaps. Of course it’s not the best when it comes to food quality, but I think it’s definitely a good option and I will be keeping my membership there for the time being.

What does your local Costco carry?

Disclaimer

The information provided by the healthyguthealthylife.com website and dietitian services from Kelsey Marksteiner, RD. including printed materials, audio and video resources is for educational purposes only and is NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified heath care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided on this site and in consultation with Kelsey are not intended to diagnose, treat cure, or prevent any disease.