paleo

4 Reasons Why I Don't Love A Salad

When people think "health food" they often think SALAD!

You see it all the time. It is what is popularized in sitcoms, commercials, movies, and more. I still remember seeing the Stephen King movie "IT" and one of the main protagonists was chubby as a child. The adult version of him is slim. Everyone was like "WHAT IS YOUR SECRET"??? and his answer "SALAD" (and working out, but mostly SALAD). That has stuck with me for, what, twenty years now? 

The idea that SALADS are health food is pretty deeply ingrained. 

 

 

And to be clear I am not saying that they aren't healthy, but what I am saying is that they are not always the most supportive food. 

So let's break it down into 4 reasons I don't love a salad:

REASON #1 - DIGESTION

We live in a world of compromised digestion. Most people have issues in their upper and lower GI. Issues like gas, bloating, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, distension, belching, and so on. When digestion isn't up to snuff eating raw vegetables can be super tough. It takes a lot of work to break down the outer barrier of a plant i.e. the cellulose. Which needs to happen to extract all the lovely nutrients (aka vitamins and minerals) inside. Raw veggies can irritate rather than support the gut.

A good alternative is cooked vegetables. You can do stews, roasted veggies, lightly steamed, pan fried, slow cooked roasts with vegetables, and even juicing (at times). There are a TON of other ways to get the nutrition in without aggravating your digestive tract.

REASON #2 - SATIETY

Now, this depends on the salad. If you have a salad with a ton of chicken or if it is a steak salad - you may not face this problem. However if your meal is JUST A SALAD and it is mostly leafy goodness reaching a point of satiation can be elusive. You might reach it in the moment, but how soon after are you craving something again? When a salad is just leaves and a few vegetables - you aren't getting a lot of fuel in and it is natural to crave something shortly after. 

REASON #3 - HIDDEN SUGAR & BAD OIL

This is really a question about dressing and the quality of the dressing. A lot, a lot, a lot, of dressings contain a crap ton of sugar. And a lot, a lot, a lot, of dressings - even good organic dressings - use highly processed canola or vegetable oil which is awful for the body. These fats are damaged which causes inflammation in the body and the creation of free radicals (which we do not love). Why are they damaged? The high heat process used to create these oils is the problem. Fats are unstable, exposing them to high heats and then putting them on a store shelf (in a clear plastic bottle) is a sure fire way to get crappy quality oil. And bad fat is just a bucket full of harm. 

REASON #4 - NUTRIENT DENSITY

This again depends on the type of salad. There are a lot of fantastic salads out there, but there are also a ton of really bare bone, not so awesome salads. Pay attention to what is in the salad. Is it iceberg lettuce or mixed greens? Are there organic, locally grown, in season vegetables or off-season, bulk bought, commercially grown vegetables? It matters. 

CONCLUSION 

Salads CAN be a great option, especially if your gut health is optimal, but really be mindful of what is in the salad. 

Just because it is a salad, doesn't make it health food. 

But if you are going to eat salad, here is one I love and endorse: http://www.brainbodygut.com/blog/2014/11/28/rainbow-kale-salad-with-a-peppery-kick-recipe

 

Tidbit Tuesday | What is your relationship to food? [VIDEO]

Okay. So we are taking a walk on the slightly woo side.

In this Tidbit Tuesday I come to you with a thought experiment. How do you approach your food? Why? Because the relationship you have with what you eat really does matter - watch to learn more and to see my sleepy face. 

Toasted Coconut Flakes (omgee so tasty) [Recipe]

Want a tasty treat? Roast them flakes!

I love this recipe because it is stupid simple and SUPER satisfying.

Step 1: Find yourself some Coconut Flakes. I like Edward & Sons, Organic Coconut Flakes, Unsweetened.

Step 2: Put about a TBS of Coconut Oil into a pan, I prefer a cast iron skillet. Warm pan on a lower heat to melt and spread the oil.

Step 3: Add a fair amount of the flakes (don't overfill). You want them to be laid pretty flat and even. 

Step 4: Keep the stove on a low to medium heat and keep your eye on the flakes. You will see them begin to brown, it doesn't take long. Eye their progress and don't let them burn. Stir them around. 

Step 5: Once they are sufficiently toasty take them off the heat.

Step 6: Optional. Add a bit of sea salt and/or add cinnamon. The taste is magic.

AND THAT IS IT! YOU DID IT! YOU MADE THEM!

Enjoy!

 

BUT WHAT DO I EAT?!

ANNETTE! WHAT IS PROTEIN AND FAT?!

Ok...

So I don't really get that question, most of you do in fact know what protein and fat is, but have trouble with quality or variety.

Yesterday I did a post on THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY aka BREAKFAST. It might have been the most important thing you have ever read (life changing, tear inducing), but I did get some questions. Questions like, but what do I eat? What else besides eggs? What is portable? What is fast?  

I am here for you. 

Let's look at some OPTIONS:

EGGS! IN HAM! I WANT IT NOOOW!

EGGS! IN HAM! I WANT IT NOOOW!

  1. Eat leftovers. Did you have meat and veg last night? Make it a morning snack! Nom nom. Okay, I know some of you HATE night food for breakfast times (and personally I will never understand this), but if this is you read on.
  2. The classic, EGGS. Hard boiled, soft boiled, over easy, omelet style, egg muffins, egg cups, DUCK eggs, fried eggs... whoa. Hello versatile food! Eggs are great, especially eggs from happy chickens/ducks. They are packed with choline which is an awesome nutrient for your body and why you gotta eat the yolk - that is where the NUTRIENTS lie! 
  3. BACON!! Make sure it is high quality bacon and mayyyybe not the best everyday item, but it SURE is on the roster. Get it.
  4. This turkeyloaf thing. I love this one, I make it a bit smaller and use my own spices, but putting this together on a Sunday will last you a number of days. 
  5. Steak (and eggs or kale). Is this considered a nighttime food? I love me some steak for breakfast, you'll be amazed at how long you have energy and are sated. 
  6. Sausage! Again, high quality meat, but yeah sausage is an excellent choice. 
  7. Moar turkey! This actually looks amazing -

Remember to chew your food, friends, this is where digestion magic begins!

Oh... and add butter or ghee or coconut oil for flavor and a fat boost. Make sure it is high quality -especially the butter, you need to have butter from happy cows to get the benefit. "Happy" means grassfed and finished cows. 

Breakfast OMM NOM NOM!!

"The most important meal of the day... not to screw up. "

These are the words of Dr. Cate Shanahan who was the awesome doc to completely revolutionize the Lakers' diet. Which is a pretty great story. There are people in this world that can eat ANYTHING and still perform better than most people, but(!) are they performing at their best potential? I will leave you with that thought and refocus on the bfast times.

BREAKFAST.

Nom. Nom. Blood sugar crasshhhhhhing!

Nom. Nom. Blood sugar crasshhhhhhing!

Dude. You guys. This is important. This flavors your WHOLE day. This starts the decision making process of making nutritious choices that come easily or not so nutritious choices that seem to be made for us.

THEY BROUGHT IN TOP POT DOUGHNUTS! WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DOO?

Solid question. 

Answer: Don't. Eat. 'Em. 

I know! It is rough, like super duper rough, but the only way to form the habit of NOT is by NOT. Now, I want to remind you we are JUST tackling breakfast right now. Just breakfast.

(I am not going to touch on the pizza that comes in later in the day... yet.)

Now. I want to be clear EVERYONE is an individual and there is no everyone must do! That said, there are some general principles that tend to deliver benefit consistently.

So, what are you saying Annette?

1) Eat Breakfast - it doesn't need to be huge, but if you are experiencing lower energy, more cravings, and lack of willpower in your day... eat breakfast.

Men - you have more leeway here, you lucky guys can often operate from a fasted state and do okay.

Women - eh, most of you perform better with a bit of protein in the morning. Truth.

2) Eat Protein and Fat. Only. No fruit, no grain, no fruit juice, no juice, no smoothie, no yogurt, no granola, I'd personally avoid nuts too!

Okay, okay you can have veggies too if you'd like them - just nothing that is sugar dense. 

Choose high quality protein (e.g. grassfed and finished) and high quality fat (coconut oil, butter, MCT, ghee, etc). 

Try it out, see how you feel. I am not saying your plain greek yogurt is bad or that your super organic natural nutty granola is terrible, I am saying I have seen HUGE benefit when people switch it up and start with protein and fat.

So, I recommend you test it. Try it for ten days! Note how you feel, see if you like it.

If not, DO AS YOU PLEASE!

If so... well, you're now informed and DO AS YOU PLEASE!

It really is all about you. 

If you want more info, have questions, or just want to chat hit the button below and be whisked away to my coaching area where you can also send me a rad message.