Monthly Archives: August 2015
Is your lunch more likely to be made of fresh veggies, organic meats and nuts, or a cheeseburger and fries? For most, it’s safe to say that the latter is more of the norm. Convenience has generally taken the place of quality when it comes to food choices during the day. However, a few Paleo lunch ideas can help bring quality food back into your day.
If you haven’t heard, when going Paleo, you go back to the basics and eat like our ancestors did. The diet basically includes anything that can be hunted or gathered from our natural environment; think meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts. While you may be thinking that you don’t want to eat salad every day, there are a wide variety of Paleo lunch ideas to satisfy many palettes.
If you are ready to make the switch to healthier eating at lunch, let me help you prepare by debunking some common challenges people face:
Challenges of Eating Paleo at Lunch Time
“The diet is too hard to follow!”
The Paleo diet doesn’t include processed foods, which are very common and convenient. If you go to a fast food restaurant, it will be hard to find options that follow the Paleo guidelines. Our ancestors didn’t have chicken nuggets or Big Macs.
Find Delicious Paleo Lunch Ideas
Changing your diet is going to require changing your habits, but it can be enjoyable and fun. You need to find replacement foods that are just as satisfying, if not more so, than foods that you used to eat. Research Paleo lunch ideas, as well as snacks, as these are the foods that cause diet slip ups most often.
“I don’t want to be hungry all the time”
You may think that you just won’t be full enough on the foods which are allowed.
A balanced diet removes pesky food cravings
When eating Paleo, the natural foods you will eat are nutrient-dense and keep blood sugar levels balanced. This keeps you feeling fuller longer. Cravings for afternoon sweets come because of fluctuations in blood sugar levels which result from eating foods with a high glycemic index like donuts, sugary drinks, bread and sweets. Without these foods, you won’t have those cravings.
“I don’t have time to cook”
So many of us are short on time, especially during our lunch breaks. Paleo foods have been criticized as being time-consuming to prepare.
Plan Your Lunch
Once you have your Paleo lunch ideas lined up, pick a day to grocery shop and prep for the week. You can pack up your lunches so you don’t have to think about it again. This won’t take more than 2 to 3 hours typically and will save time during the week where you would have been trying to figure out lunch plans.
“I love bread, I just can’t give it up”
Bread is a staple in the American diet that can be hard to give it up. Many can’t imagine life without their cakes, donuts, hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. What will your diet consist of without bread? Many people can’t imagine it.
Don’t Give Up Bread – Bread Replacement Recipes Exist
While you definitely want to stay away from wheat, bread alternatives can be just as satisfying! You can find Paleo lunch ideas which use Paleo bread to make sandwiches, or even Paleo tortillas for tacos. Just look at this tantalizing picture of one of my favorite Paleo Bread recipes. It tastes great and can be made into slices, as well as hamburger and hot dog buns.
There you have it! There is no reason to spend another day eating unhealthy lunches. Make the switch to Paleo and you will wonder what took you so long. How do you get your hands on a Paleo cookbook chocked full of Paleo lunch ideas and hacks? Simply click >>>HERE<<< and learn how lunchtime can be a meal you look forward to and feel good about.
“Hello, My name is Dr. Arland Hill (aka The Paleo Doctor), and I’m addicted to Ruggles Black.” That’s right, I am confessing. Ruggles Black has become one of my favorite places to eat, and chances are, if you have tried any of their menu options, you are probably on your way to joining me. Ruggles Black puts a new flare on an old diet, all in a setting that is suitable for a business meeting over lunch or fine dining with friends in the evening.
Avoid the “Going Out to Eat Quilt”
Whether you follow the Paleo Diet or just try to eat healthy, finding a restaurant with high quality food can be difficult. You know the feeling that I am talking about. You just want to go out and enjoy friends and food, but there is a quilt knowing that do to that, you are likely going to have to eat something you normally wouldn’t. After all, just avoiding gluten and dairy in most restaurants is a challenge in itself. Not to mentioned, there always seems to be that eye-catching item on the menu that you just cannot say no to. Yet eating these foods usually comes at a price. As most of us that have eaten “clean” for a long time will attest to, you are left with a heavy feeling in your gut, or a food hangover from eating items you normally wouldn’t. Add to the physical discomfort emotional quilt about sabotaging your diet, and going out to eat just doesn’t sound as appealing any longer.
Ruggles Black Gives Paleo Eaters an Option
Ruggles Black and Chef Bruce Molzan have given those of us that follow the Paleo Diet a place to eat without the quilt. Newcomers to Ruggles Black may inherently wonder if French inspired Paleo cuisine can really compete with menu items at other fine dining locations. Will the taste and texture match up?
The right ingredients and knowing how to combine them is truly a talent. Chef Bruce Molzan has become a master at this. He has used his talents to make what I would argue are among the best dishes available in local Houston restaurants, and not just one that has a Paleo focus. When one is not handicapped by relying on dairy and wheat as ingredients, the uniqueness of the ingredients comes out as bold flavors. From my personal experience, the feedback of family, friends, and patients, each dish leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and questioning what menu item you should try next. And most importantly, you are staying true to your diet by avoiding ingredients that can derail your health and fitness goals.
Only the Best Sourced Ingredients
It can be challenging at times to find the right foods to prepare at home. Whether you are avoiding GMOs or trying to find true organic and grass fed items, this seems to be more of a challenge than it should be. Believe me, I understand the frustration. When it comes to going out to eat, forget it! You might as well just throw caution to the wind and take your chance on where the ingredients are coming from. But wait! This is not true at Ruggles Black. Chef Bruce Molzan has diligently worked to establish a network of suppliers that provide him with the best ingredient and meats, and the freshest of fish. As he shared with me the first time we had fish tacos together, “This snapper was swimming yesterday.” This is piece of mind that those of use that are particular about ingredients have difficulty finding. Therefore, when we find a location like Ruggles Black that goes the extra mile, we like to stick with it.
Can addiction be a good thing? When it comes to eating quality food, I have to ask why you are not addicted? So in short yes. Food with great taste, locally sourced ingredients, a true Paleo menu that ranges from fish tacos and salads to complex dishes that are full of culinary flare served in a upbeat atmosphere is exactly what you get from Ruggles Black. It is the ideal setting to join friends and spoil yourself with a fine meal while not having to carry any quilt about the food you are enjoying. Give it a try and you may become an addict too.
You have probably heard someone say “necessity is the mother of invention”. This was indeed true for me personally and ultimately what lead me to develop the perfect adrenal fatigue diet. You see, I too had adrenal fatigue just like you. I was the guy that got up in the morning feeling tired for no reason. Regardless, I would push my self to get to work and by 11am my eyes were drooping because I was “out of gas”. But I knew if I could just drag myself through the afternoon, my energy would perk back up in the evening once I got home.
Now you may be thinking that I was eating a bad diet and not exercising and that this was the reason I felt lethargic and found it difficult to stay motivated. But you would be wrong. In fact, my diet was extremely clean, a 100% Paleo Diet. As for exercise, I was weight training 4 days per week and was even just a few months off of a natural bodybuilding competition that I been successful at. What I realized after reading fellow doctor James Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, is that I was right in the middle of this condition. But what was suggested for recovery were things that I was already doing, so I had to think outside of the box. So I started with food and asked what should the perfect adrenal fatigue diet contain.
How Food Affects the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are one of the most dynamic glands of the body. They have to adapt to all forms of stress; lack of sleep, toxins in the environment or a stressful day at work. These stresses add up and collectively take their toll on your adrenal glands. But as stressful as these things are, there is one stress that trumps them all; fluctuations in your blood sugar, or glucose. In fact, cortisol, the hormone we commonly think about as the stress hormone, is also called a glucocorticoid. “Gluco” in the name glucocorticoid emphasizes the importance of cortisol in regulating glucose. When glucose levels are low, cortisol kicks in to bring them back up. Thus foods that help prevent glucose from dropping, also known as hypoglycemia, should be primary considerations on the adrenal fatigue diet.
Commonly Recommended Foods on the Adrenal Fatigue Diet
If you research adrenal fatigue diet, you will most certainly find some consistent recommendations, that by and large are good and that should be followed. Most often food are broken down into categories of what do eat and not do eat, with more emphasis often given to what not to eat. For example, sweeteners, artificial and natural, hydrogenated oils, caffeine and processed foods like those in the standard American diet. Without question, these should be avoided, especially since they can also trigger inflammation, another stressor for the adrenal glands.
Then there is the common list of foods to include. Included are usually fats and proteins from healthy sources and vegetables. Such fats are coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Recommendations for protein are often fish and lean meats with extra emphasis placed on consuming them in the morning and in divided dosages throughout the day. As I mentioned, I think each one of these is an excellent idea and absolutely should be part of your adrenal fatigue diet. But there still remains one group of foods that I don’t often see making the list.
The Food Group That Deserves More Emphasis
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, you have a higher likelihood of having low blood sugar. This is the result of insufficient cortisol production. Lack of cortisol means that there is no significant hormonal support to prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping. So logic would suggest if your blood sugar is low, eat more sugar. But this causes a spike in blood sugar which is another adrenal gland stressor. So what you need is more carbohydrate, that does not spike your blood sugar, and that reduces the need secrete cortisol so as to help your adrenal gland recover. How are your going to get all of that in one food? Easy, starchy vegetables.
If you have adrenal fatigue, well times starchy vegetables should be a key addition to your diet. While vegetables often make the adrenal fatigue diet list, it is the inclusion of starchy vegetables that takes that list of foods from average to exceptional. Most vegetables do not have any significant carbohydrate contribution to the diet. Starchy vegetables on the other hand do. Now before you default to adding potatoes to your diet, realize that starchy vegetables includes far more foods than potatoes, or even sweet potatoes. The starchy vegetables that will make up part of your meal include things such as okra, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, large / winter squash, and beets just to name a few. The adrenal fatigue diet would not be complete without these foods as they don’t spike blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce cortisol secretion and allow the adrenal gland to rest. They are nature’s ideal food to help the adrenal glands recover.
To help you get these foods incorporated into your adrenal fatigue diet, I want you to have a comprehensive list of Starchy Vegetables that will help speed your recovery. The more active you are, the greater the likelihood that you will need more of these foods. If you are less active, you may only need a small addition of these foods to your diet.
Follow My Road to Recovery
While my road to recovery incorporated a few key supplements such as high dose pantothenic acid (B5), the addition of adequately timed starchy vegetables helped me refine what I now feel to be the perfect adrenal fatigue diet. This diet has proven itself not only to me, but also to countless patients that I have helped overcome adrenal fatigue. It was also one of the reasons that I wrote The Paleo Transition Cookbook that offers quick recipes that incorporate starchy vegetables. Appropriate amounts of starchy vegetables should not make up the majority of your diet. However, if you want to recover as fast as possible from adrenal fatigue, starchy vegetables should be routinely consumed as part of a balanced Paleo Diet, which will inherently be YOUR perfect adrenal fatigue diet.
Each day numerous people head back to work feeling tired after eating lunch. This may even sound like you and chances are you know others that have the same problem. As the process normally goes, you enjoy your lunch only to find yourself in what seems like a “food coma” 30-45 minutes after returning back to work. First your eyes get heavy and start drooping and the next think you know you are head bobbing hoping no one noticed. It’s not long before this seems like a pattern you’re stuck in. Not only do you feel fatigued, but you are less productive. This is not good and is likely a sign of bigger problems to come.
The #1 Reason That you Are Tired After Eating
There are several reasons that one can be tired after eating. These include everything from food intolerances to low blood pressure. Yet, there is one cause that trumps all others. The most likely reason that you are tired after eating is that you elevated your blood sugar. Blood sugar, also called blood glucose, or simply glucose, needs to stay at a reasonable level. The hormone insulin elevates with high blood sugar to help control it. Blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up. This is where the problem begins.
When insulin shoots up, the precursor to serotonin, tryptophan, is allowed to enter the brain easier. Normally, tryptophan has to compete for entrance into the brain. However, an increase in insulin decreases the competition thereby making it much easier for tryptophan to find its way into the brain. Once inside the brain, tryptophan becomes serotonin which becomes melatonin. Serotonin and melatonin calm the brain and are responsible for being tired after eating.
Stopping the Insulin Surge
The first step you need to take to avoid feeling tired after eating is looking at the food you eat. The food you consume is the single greatest contributor to raising your blood sugar and insulin. I can confidently tell you that if you are eating a meal higher in carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates that quickly elevate blood sugar, you are going to feel tired after eating. The opposite is also true. If you eat a meal that has little carbohydrates or does not significantly change your glucose, you probably stay energetic most of the time. So now that we have established food as the reason you feel tired after eating, let’s talk about what you can do in the next 30 days to change that.
What Can the Next 30 Days Do for You?
Now that we have established the importance of diet, it’s time to outline how to stop your current diet from zapping your energy. Your current diet is causing blood sugar and insulin to elevate. So you need a new approach that prevents these elevations. According to several studies, a Paleo Diet outperforms traditional healthy diet recommendations for blood sugar control, even in diabetics. This means if you adhere to the Paleo Diet, you are going to control glucose and insulin and end that feeling of being tired after eating. So let’s detail the next 30 days, one week at a time.
Week 1 – Avoid all Sweets and Desserts – This is the most critical step to ending that feeling of being tired after eating. I realize that cutting out the foods you are likely craving is not easy, mentally or practically. However, when you focus on proteins and plants in your diet, you will feel more satisfied after eating and not have the desire for sweets and desserts. People that take this one step almost always feel better before 30 days.
Week 2 – Start Your Day off with Protein – Protein first thing in the morning is irreplaceable for its ability to
start your day off regulating blood sugar and insulin. In fact, there is a high likelihood that if you start your day off with protein, you will have less desire for those sweets and desserts that are one of the biggest contributors to you feeling tired after eating.
Week 3 – Remove the Grains from Your Diet – Grains have several problems, but as it relates to how you feel after you eat, think about them like sugar. No other food category contains as many carbohydrates and contributes to blood sugar fluctuations as much as grains. Yes they may be whole grain, but when they make up a large portion of your diet, it does not matter. Take the grains out of your diet and you can expect to feel better all day long.
Week 4 – Increase the Consumption of Vegetables – No one is going to argue that we should all consume more vegetables in our diet. Yet most of use are not consuming nowhere near enough. There are many benefits to vegetables, but when it comes to avoiding feeling tired after eating, the main benefit is that this group of foods is not going to significantly contribute to insulin surges, especially if eaten in their raw form. If you are not sure how to implement this category, try simply incorporating a salad each day and expand from there.
Why You Cannot Wait Any Longer to Take Action
As noted by the American Diabetic Association, one of the early indicators of diabetes is extreme fatigue. Feeling tired after eating and wanting to take a nap during the middle of the day easily qualifies as extreme fatigue. I don’t want you to stay on a path towards diabetes. So for you to avoid developing diabetes, ask yourself what the next 30 days going to look like for you. Will you still be head bobbing or will you be wide awake and more productive when the clock reads 1:30?