“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.
The benefits of red wine have often been reported, but do they really exist. To me, the question is not so much about whether or not red wine has benefits. I think the evidence is pretty clear that it does. The question is whether or not the benefits cease to exist beyond a particular amount of alcohol consumed. After all, we are all human and as the proverbial saying goes, “We want to have our cake and eat it too.” Or in the case of wine, we want to have all the benefits of red wine without any of the negative consequences. Of course this is a bit idealistic, but there is a middle ground.
Benefits of Red Wine
The benefits of red wine are often linked to its antioxidant effects. So therefore, if we are interested in its antioxidant effects, that means that oxidation, or pro-oxidants are what we are trying to combat. Oxidation is also referred to as inflammation. Though often considered negative, not all inflammation, or oxidation is bad. For example, when you eat a meal, oxidation occurs to help you make energy from the meal. So as an antioxidant, one of the primary benefits of red wine is to keep this oxidation under control.
Cardiovascular disease has long been one of the conditions most impacted by the benefits of red wine. Red wine through its antioxidants, often called polyphenols, reduces the inflammatory onset that often puts this disease in motion. The benefits of red wine don’t end with inflammation reduction though. It also has the ability to improve the ratio between the LDL and HDL cholesterol, what some often refer to as “bad” and “good” cholesterol, respectively. Likewise, it is also worth mention that red wine supports a moderate reduction in blood pressure, which may be related to both the antioxidants and alcohol. Collectively, red wine appears to halt cardiovascular disease onset, improve cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
The benefits of red wine are not limited to the cardiovascular system. In fact, they are noted in multiple areas of the body. The immune system is more efficient and suffers less damage when challenged if it has sufficient antioxidants. This is in part because its DNA is protected. These benefits can come from diet, but red wine also shows them. Long term this has the possibility of reducing cancer risk.
Benefits of Red Wine Summary
- Protects against cardiovascular disease and reduces blood pressure
- Reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol, even if on a cholesterol lowering medication
- Increases the resistance to damage against the immune system
- Lowers blood inflammatory indicators
- Protective against cancer
- Protects the red blood cells
Benefits of Red Wine Extract
There are instances when the benefits of red wine are negated by the presence of alcohol. If I state this differently, the benefits of red wine are not coming from the alcohol, but from the antioxidants in it. However, red wine extracts, often containing the potent polyphenols resveratrol and quercetin, can show profound benefit. The benefits of red wine extract include:
- Reduces intestinal inflammation
- Shuts down the inflammatory cascade associated with some autoimmune conditions
- May prevent or delay the progression of intestinal diseases
- Possible prevention and therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
When do you Lose the Benefits of Red Wine
If you are drinking wine, then you are also consuming alcohol. This is not without consequence. In fact, alcohol increases oxidation. This effect is more pronounced when drinking away from a meal. So I told you early on that there was a way to get the benefits of red wine and consume it without it being a problem. The obvious part is to consume a reasonable amount of 1-2 drinks. The less obvious way to get the benefits of red wine is to consume it with a meal. It appears that the oxidation created from a meal is negated when consuming red wine. More available antioxidants equal less oxidation which results in less chronic disease and slower aging.
Again, you can go too far. In fact, many of the benefits of red wine are completely lost when drinking more than 1-2 drinks per day. Actually it is worse than that. Not only do you lose the benefits, but you also begin to create problems. For example, cardiovascular disease risk increases in those that consume a higher amount of alcohol.
Get the Benefits of Red Wine without the Red Wine
Given some of the inherent risks associated with alcohol consumption, it is not generally recommended that someone who abstains from drinking start drinking to derive the health benefits. Rather the use of red wine extracts is a suitable alternative. After all, it is the antioxidants in the red wine that are responsible for the benefits of red wine, not the alcohol. Fortunately most of these antioxidants can be found in a supplemental form now. The use of a combination of these antioxidants is often best as that is how they are derived in nature, but even when studied separately, they show profound benefit. Lastly, don’t forget that while antioxidants can be found from red wine and its extracts, a diet rich in colorful plants like the Paleo Diet is the best starting point to enhance your antioxidant abilities and reduce inflammation.
Atherosclerosis. 2010 Feb;208(2):297-304. Wine and oxidative stress: up-to-date evidence of the effects of moderate wine consumption on oxidative damage in humans.
Food Funct. 2013 Feb 26;4(3):373-83. Intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of red wine extract: unveiling the mechanisms in colonic epithelial cells.
Redox Biol. 2014 Jun 18;2:795-802. Wine consumption and intestinal redox homeostasis.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(2):135-41. Red wine consumption is associated with fecal microbiota and malondialdehyde in a human population.
Nutr J. 2013 Nov 15;12(1):147. A daily glass of red wine associated with lifestyle changes independently improves blood lipids in patients with carotid arteriosclerosis: results from a randomized controlled trial.
J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Feb;11(2):114-9. Antioxidant effect of red wine polyphenols on red blood cells.
J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;54(11):1515-20. Antihypertensive, vasodilator and antioxidant effects of a vinifera grape skin extract.
Have you been feeding your family friend the worst dog food? It is actually easy to feed “man’s best friend” the worst dog food these days and not even realize it. Our animals are members of our family and lifelong companions to us that deserve better than eating the worst dog food. But if you are not aware of what is being put in dog food these days, you may not even be aware that you are putting your dog at risk.
Worst Dog Food Revealed
Not long ago, you will remember I posted an article with a picture of one of my sweet pups talking about the similarities between the diets of humans and dogs. We don’t eat exactly like they do and for the most part dogs are designed to eat a lot more protein than humans. The unfortunate thing that I uncovered was that many of the negative changes that have happened to the human food supply have spilled over into the dog food supply. As we all know, the human food supply is far from being ideal these days. The standard American diet is the norm, but a Paleo diet is ideal. The food industry has sacrificed food quality for profits. If you think this has stopped at the end of your fork, you would be wrong. Even worse, this same mindset is being applied to innocent animals that eat instinctively. That is why I can without hesitation say that if you are not up to speed on this topic and aware of what the dog food industry is doing, you are probably feeding your dog the worst dog food.
How do I know that your dog food is the worst? Well if you are feeding your dog subpar ingredients that are not fit for human consumption, then does the name of the brand really matter? No! All that matters is that it is not up to the quality that you should be feeding them.
What is in the Worst Dog Food?
What is in the Worst dog food? This may be one of those questions that you don’t really want to know that answer to. The worst dog food is the worst dog food for a reason. When I started my journey to find my dogs the best nutrition I could, I was blown away by what some manufacturers were out there passing off as dog food. My search landed me at my good friend Christine Gietzen’s store, Paleo Pet Goods. What an appropriate name! It was not long after striking up my first conversation with Christine that I knew she got it. She understood the Paleo concept and how to apply it to my dogs. Score! This is exactly what I was looking for.
Here are a few of the highlights that Christine shared with me that prevented me from feeding my beloved dogs the worst dog food.
- Most pet foods are not Paleo and contain a lot of grains. Dogs in nature do not eat grains!
- Dogs thrive on protein. The first ingredient should be animal based, not grain based.
- Mainstream pet foods can cause allergies due to consumption of common proteins. Having a non-traditional protein is a good option and not something that you are going to find in the worst dog food.
- Mainstream pet foods can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract. This may even include some of those recommended by veterinarians. These foods may travel through the GI tract too fast or be thrown up.
- Complaints to the veterinarian such as biting at the paws, “hot spots” and itching may be a sign of a problem with the dog’s food. This can be associated with the grains and corn found in the worst dog food.
- There are many more as well.
Needless to say now, my hounds eat Paleo like I do now.
How Can you Feed “Man’s Best Friend” the Worst Dog Food?
Do you not have a conscience? It seems like those that keeping pushing the big name brand foods to our animals don’t. With just a few of the things that Christine was able to share, it is clear that your animals are not eating Paleo if you are feeding them the worst dog food. I shake my head sometimes when I am at the veterinarian and I see dogs and cats coming in that are overweight and need to be on insulin or have thyroid disorders that are caused by immune reactions. Are you serious? These are not conditions animals should have. It is clearly a result of their food intake. You have come to this site to learn about Paleo and stay up-to-date on the latest information to maintain your health. Don’t stop with just you and your family. Apply this same information to your pets as well. After all, they are family.
The Paleo diet for athletes is a great eating plan, which is high in nutrient dense foods and generally lower in carbohydrates, but not necessarily a low carb diet. This is great for nourishing the body and keeping it healthy, which is important to an athlete in training. The question is, can the Paleo diet for athletes provide the carbohydrates an athlete’s body demands, before and after high intensity training? Let’s take a closer look at exercise, and how athletes can follow the Paleo diet, while still getting the carbs they need.
How Exercise Works
Exercise triggers a release of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline which raises blood sugars to supply energy during the activity. If the body is moving at a slow pace, it has time to use fat as an energy source. However, when training hard, the body will burn the glycogen stores in the body. Athletes commonly have low body fat percentages to begin with, so maintaining proper glycogen stores from carbohydrate foods is critical to fueling workouts.
The Problem with Low Glycogen Stores
If starting a work out with low glycogen levels, performance and work capacity will suffer as an outcome. If following an intense training or work out, and eating a diet low in carbs, the body will eventually show signs of overtraining and exhaustion. Overtraining is a result of training too long and too hard without the appropriate rest times worked into training. It is alright to push the body to the edge, but it is important not to push it over the edge.
Symptoms of short term low levels of glycogen repletion may include a decreased ability during training, tiredness / fatigue, longer recovery and DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness – the tender feeling in your muscles after a workout). Longer term results of inadequate glycogen repletion include fatigue, decreased strength levels and an increase in muscular weakness.
In order to ensure glycogen levels are adequate before a work out, and replenished afterwards, those on the Paleo diet for athletes should look to the following high glycemic foods. It is recommended to consume high-glycemic index carbs because they enter the bloodstream fast and allow the body to quickly replenish glycogen stores in the first 30 minutes to an hour after training.
Foods to Replenish Glycogen Stores on the Paleo Diet for Athletes
- Starchy High Glycemic Index Carbs – Adding artichokes, pumpkins, all types of peas and/or all types of squash in your diet can help replenish glycogen.
- Root Vegetables- Root vegetables are a great carb choice after a workout, if you bake them the glycemic index naturally rises in foods, like yams, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, yucca, plantains, beets, rutabaga, turnips and potatoes. Yes, even potatoes are a good option while on the Paleo Diet for athletes.
- Dried Fruit- Dried fruit can increase glycogen stores quickly; it is a great option to snack on after an extreme work out. Try snacking on medjool dates which can give you about 36-72 grams of carbs, or enjoy some dried mangos. The key with these foods is not to overdo them as they can lead to lack of fructose sensitivity, which can inhibit the production of energy. Moderation is crucial with this category.
(A list of Paleo Diet for Athletes approved Starchy vegetables can be found at the bottom of this page)
How much do you need?
The amount of carbs that should be consumed after a workout depends on a few different factors, such as genetics, body-fat percentage, training stage, etc. The goal should be one gram of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight- within an hour after a workout (divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to find out your weight in kilograms.) This can be repeated about every two hours, for up to six hours after training if you are endurance athlete. It is best to only do it right after working out if you are power and strength athlete.
As you can see, the Paleo diet for athletes is beneficial, but carb intake must be carefully considered. Incorporating more high GI carbs into your Paleo eating plan is commonly what athletes need to do to advance their performance, and ensure the diet is supplementing them properly.
If you want to push your body and increase performance levels, you need a diet that supports you. You need foods which fuel you to achieve your goals and put forth your best effort, no matter what the sport or activity. One such diet is known as the Paleo diet for athletes, and here are the reasons why it is a good choice.
High in Protein
Athletes need protein in order to build lean, useful muscles that will be able to support the body in fitness activities. The Paleo diet for athletes is rich in protein from both meat and vegetable sources. While the amount of protein needed may vary depending on the sport, athletes can adjust their intake with no shortage of protein options. When combining the Paleo diet with moderate strength training, you are able to achieve increased muscle tone.
Healthy Carbohydrates: A Must When on the Paleo Diet for Athletes
The Paleo diet for athletes does not allow refined carbohydrates such as pastas and bread, but instead allows healthy whole carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. The carbs obtained can provide the glycogen (stored sugar needed for energy) athletes need, while also supplying them with vitamins, minerals and fiber. These carbohydrates are recommended before and after workouts, in order to maintain glycogen stores.
Next up is the fat component. The Paleo diet for athletes includes healthy fats which promote a balanced weight and sustainable energy. They can also help clear brain fog, allowing athletes to be more attentive for their activities. The fats which can be eaten on the Paleo diet include polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats from natural sources. Examples of mono and polyunsaturated foods include options like almonds, avocados, macadamia nuts and olive oil, while saturated fat can be supplied from coconut oil. By incorporating these into the diet before a workout or tournament, athletes can get the power they need to endure for longer periods of time.
Good Amount of Fiber
The fruits and vegetables which are part of the Paleo diet for athletes, provide plenty of dietary fiber so the body’s digestive system can work regularly. This is important so that the body can extract nutrients, remove toxins and to avoid any irritation due to digestion issues. When fiber is insufficient, the digestive system is slowed and immune system function weakens. A weakened immune system can be a problem for some athletes, especially those involved in endurance activities. As long as athletes maintain a balance between meats, fruits and vegetables, they will have the appropriate amount of fiber. Additionally, the diversity of carbohydrate based foods on the Paleo diet for athletes allows for the selection of fibers such that not too much fiber is consumed prior to an activity, yet the carbohydrate needs are met.
Better Long Term Recovery
Joe Friel, a U.S. Olympic triatholon coach and author said, “[Paleo offers] better long-term recovery, due to greater micronutrient content [than a standard high-starch and sugar diet], allowing the athlete to train with a greater stress load.” This is helpful for athletes as they can train hard and rest assured their diet will help to replenish their bodies afterwards.
Slight Exceptions May be Needed
The main goal is to divide an athlete’s diet into stages. Most of the athlete’s meal should follow the basic Paleo diet, but before, during and right after a workout adjustments may be needed. Almost two hours before a long workout or game, an athlete should eat a meal with a high glycemic index and low fiber matter. Post activity, adequate protein is needed to initiate adequate recovery.
In conclusion, the Paleo diet for athletes is a great way to eat if you are very active. The components support the body during and after exercise, helping athletes can perform to their full potential.
In Paleo Breakfast Ideas: What You Could Do With Pancakes, Part 1, you learned how to make egg pancakes and some pretty unique variations for pancakes made with coconut flour. Today we will continue the Paleo Breakfast Ideas using three main concepts – almond flour, herbs and spices, and vegetables.
1. Use Almond Flour in Your Pancake Recipes.
Almond flour pancakes have a subtle nutty taste and are exceptionally satisfying, keeping the cravings away for hours. Loaded with calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins, almond flour is perfect if you need a nutrient boost. At the same time, almond flour added to non-Paleo breads has been researched in scientific studies and has been proven to lower blood sugar levels after a meal.
Use nut flour blends. For example, you could try any of these for your Paleo breakfast ideas of pancakes with nut flours:
- 50% almond flour/50% cashew flour
- 50% almond flour/50% coconut flour
- 25% cashew flour/25% chestnut flour/50% almond flour.
- Or even opt for a little known flour from Arizona – mesquite flour.
Try a blend of 25% mesquite flour/75% almond flour or 25% mesquite flour/25% chestnut flour/50% almond flour. The mesquite flour is high in medicinal constituents that are great for blood sugar regulation. Mesquite has a long history of improving blood sugar levels in native populations.
2. Vary Your Herbs and Spices.
Pancakes stuffed with chicken, thyme, and savory will delight your taste buds. Paleo breakfast ideas of pancakes with herbs and spices should also offer a spike of unexpected flavor at times. Keep your family and friends guessing at what you’ll come up with next.
Consider adding basil, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, fennel, savory, garlic, cardamom, chili pepper, cinnamon, mint, dill, different types of black peppers and peppercorns, and different types of salts. For example, there are smoked salts, hickory-flavored salts, Himalayan salts, Celtic salt, and other varieties that are exotic and exciting to try.
Every pancake recipe needs at least a pinch of salt – about ¼ teaspoon is better – to bring out the flavors best.
At first, you may think to yourself, “What? Why would I add any of those herbs or spices to my pancakes?” Well, one reason is that variation truly is the spice of life. When you brainstorm spices into your Paleo breakfast ideas, your mind and physiology comes alive in many different ways. Just thinking about them pulls your mind out of a rut of boredom.
When consumed, the herbs activate various physiological and metabolic pathways in the body that other foods don’t activate, enhancing your health in numerous yet hidden ways.
Do you remember when peppermint was added to ice creams years ago? Ask your parents what they thought when peppermint ice cream first came out, and how they all thought it would taste horrible! But now peppermint ice cream is a standard in every grocery store. It’s the same thing with basil ice cream – who would ever imagine it could possibly taste good? Yet it does.
Paleo Breakfast Ideas: Think Outside of the Box
Let your Paleo breakfast ideas reflect new herbs and spice combinations that are totally unexpected – and you’ll no doubt create new pancake recipes that will win over your guests no matter what walk of life they are from.
3. Add Vegetables.
The benefit of adding vegetables to your pancake recipes is the immediate boost of nutrient content. When you include pumpkin, sweet potato, or yams as Paleo breakfast ideas in the pancake recipes, you boost levels of the carotenoids dramatically.
Carotenoids act as antioxidants in the body, help improve vision, and are used as precursors of vitamin A. For about a decade now, one company has tested the levels of carotenoids in the body – and most people who take their test fail it miserably because they aren’t eating enough of these foods. By counting pumpkin, yams, and sweet potatoes as some of your ingredients of Paleo breakfast pancake ideas, you could consistently boost your levels of carotenoids and improve your health.
Wow, with all these Paleo breakfast pancake ideas, you just might open up a restaurant for breakfast!
Have you noticed that Paleo breakfast ideas put all other breakfast ideas to shame? They look absolutely delicious, smell wonderfully good, and are packed with up to three times as many nutrients as traditional American diets.
Paleo Breakfast Ideas to Help you Eat Like the Rich
Paleo breakfast ideas are always so rich with color, too – and you may not have noticed but foods rich in color are the ones served in luxurious restaurants to the wealthy. When you eat them, you even feel like you’re as deserving as a king or queen.
There’s another big advantage of Paleo breakfast ideas: When you eat a Paleo breakfast, you feel satisfied for hours. You have no cravings. You get no headaches, no mood swings, no body aches and pains, no problems with focus and concentration, and no irritability or sleepiness. You’re on top of the world every minute of your morning when eating the Paleo diet.
It’s a great idea to brainstorm Paleo breakfast ideas with friends at least once a week. This way you can expand your recipe brain and wildly stimulate your own creativity in cooking. A new recipe idea is like a treasured jewel in the mind, shining brightly with inspirational sparks flying onto every other nutritional idea stored in your brain.
Let’s generate some new Paleo breakfast ideas about pancakes. Paleo pancakes use alternative flours that are not grains. Below are 5 ideas of how to change up your breakfast recipes with dozens of possible variations:
1. Forget the Flour Altogether and Use Eggs.
Traditionally we think of pancake ingredients as flour, milk, egg, leavening and a little flavoring such as vanilla or cinnamon. However, eggs are so versatile that you can bake them in such a way that they look like pancakes when they’re finished cooking. What type of Paleo breakfast ideas could you create with this idea? Maybe:
- Eggs, chicken, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, fennel, parsley
- Eggs, turkey, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, lemon grass, parsley
- Eggs, ground bison, okra, savory, cilantro, parsley
- Eggs, ground lamb, green onions, carrots, ginger, lemon
With these Paleo breakfast ideas, you almost have to ‘imagine’ the final product is a pancake. The egg pancakes may be cooked in a large pie pan, which will flatten out the final product to make it look like an exceptionally large pancake.
You could also still add traditional pancake toppings over these egg pancakes. Butter goes well with every one of them. Maple syrup drizzled on top adds additional flavor notes. Fruit spreads and fruit do the same. Don’t forget the bacon strips on the side!
2. Use Coconut Flour and/or Make Them Tropical.
Coconut flour pancakes generally are flatter than regular pancakes. However, they are so much richer in flavor. With coconut pancakes, you can experiment more with flavor bursts that are sure to wake you in the morning.
Here are some Paleo breakfast ideas for coconut pancakes:
- Coconut Flake Vanilla Pineapple (juice) Orange (segments) Coconut Flour Pancakes with Almond Butter and Fruit Preserves/Steak Strips
- Peppermint Chocolate Flaxseed Coconut Flour Pancakes with Almond Butter, Butter and Bacon.
- Coconut Cashew Raspberry Citrus Pancakes with Almond Butter, Bacon, and Scrambled Eggs
- Grass-fed Ground Beef Crushed Pineapple Coconut Flour Pancakes with Butter and Poached Eggs
Coming up in Paleo Breakfast Ideas: What You Could Do With Pancakes, Part 2:
How to include almond flour in your Paleo pancakes and other nut blends, how to use various herbs and spices in the pancakes, and how to add vegetables to them.
There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind that absolutely love breakfast and the kind that can live without it. A Paleo diet breakfast can make both kinds happy. There is not hard line rules for what constitutes the ideal Paleo diet breakfast.
Of course you want to avoid the:
Once you review the list above it sort of leaves you scratching your head wondering if you have to avoid all of that stuff what is left to eat. There is plenty left to eat! You may have to get creative but there are plenty of things left to eat.
If you are not a big breakfast person and don’t feel the need to break your fast right away then its fine to grab a black coffee (or with a little added coconut / almond milk and stevia if you prefer) and head out the door. However keep in mind that this is not a fit for those that have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or wake up with headaches and is probably a better option for those applying intermittent fasting. It is highly recommended to eat breakfast, but if you just do not like breakfast and prefer to eat later on then it is okay to grab a coffee and head out, but it is better to grab a coffee and maybe a half avocado and spoon or some high quality protein as can often be found in some bars.
If You Are Not Big On Breakfast
If you are not big on sitting down to a meal in the morning, there are some Paleo diet breakfast ideas that may work perfectly for you. You can make a quick smoothie with kale, carrots and some fresh squeezed juice of your choice and a little added protein powder. It will give you the energy boost you want but since you are technically drinking breakfast it may suit you better.
Grab a handful of almonds and seeds (if you are cutting fat this is not for you).
If You Are a Breakfast Lover, Mix things up with a Paleo Diet Breakfast
When you think Paleo diet breakfast think outside the box. A lot of Paleo diet recipes for breakfast mimic traditional breakfast foods in an attempt to make the food more appealing to people that are making the transition from “foods that are bad for you” to “foods that will really feed your body”.
If you are big lover of breakfast then using recipes that mimic traditional breakfast foods are going to help you to make the transition to healthier eating. Pure unrefined foods are your best choice. Plant based foods that are organic or home grown are excellent options as ingredients in your breakfast meals.
If you are a committed to a bowl of cereal in the mornings that is fine as long as you are using Paleo ingredients to make your own cereal and opting for unsweetened Almond milk or Coconut milk to splash on top. You can create cereals like Honey Bunches of No Oats. You may have to put a little extra work into it but if you make a large enough batch it can carry you over for the week.
Eggs are NOT dairy. That is surprising to some people because eggs are always sold in the dairy section of the supermarket, but they obviously do not come from a cow, so therefore they are not a dairy product. However if you are on an autoimmune Paleo diet then eggs are not always a Paleo diet breakfast option for you. Eggs may also not be great for anyone that is struggling with gluten allergies / sensitivities because they may also be reactive to the protein in eggs. You can use eggs technically on a Paleo diet but that is really up to personal preference and diet goals.
Get creative with your morning meal. It will be worth the effort.
Coming up with a Paleo diet breakfast menu can seem a bit daunting. If you are new to the idea of the Paleo diet and you are struggling with what to grab in the mornings it is understandable. It can seem like the Paleo diet limits options for breakfast foods but that is only because you have yet to rearrange how you think about what breakfast food is.
Breakfast foods do not have to be rooted in grains and dairy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so doing it “right” really pays off.
The Benefits of Paleo Diet Breakfast Foods
When you start your day out the Paleo way you are going to experience more energy, you will be more alert and you will not experience that mid-morning crash that you do with other breakfast foods because you will not be getting those empty carbs and temporary highs from the grains that are found in traditional breakfast foods.
The Paleo diet breakfast can include things like:
- Anything green
- Coconut flour (great for making wraps)
- Oat free oatmeal (made with seeds and nuts)
- Berries, nuts, seeds (by the handful or as a muesli type cereal served with almond milk)
- Coconut/Almond milk
- Almond meal (instead of grain flour)
Personal taste will guide which foods become your favorites. Some people like to have something sweet in the morning. Many people that are new to the Paleo diet are simply floored when they find out that sweet can come from a lot more places that refined sugar.
Honey, Molasses, fruits all contain natural sugars that can be worked into many different recipes that are friendly Paleo Diet breakfast foods. Whipped coconut cream is a nice replacement for whipped cream and goes nicely with berries.
Make it Ahead of Time
If you are like most of us, morning time is go time. It can be tempting to grab something at the drive thru when you are running late and super hungry. So to ward off any potential slip ups make your Paleo diet breakfast ahead of time. It does not have to be elaborate. You can make a nice breakfast salad (yes salad remember you are working on changing how you look at breakfast foods).
Your breakfast salad could have kale, spinach, nuts, berries and some good quality olive oil drizzled over it. Pop it in the fridge and grab it on the go in the morning. How about a trail mix that you prepare over the weekend and put into individual bags so you can grab the bag as you head out the door.
Need something a little more substantial in the morning? A can of tuna with some cut up veggies is a great breakfast rich in protein. You do not have to go the egg, dairy, cereal, grain route to have a healthy balanced breakfast, you just have to change the way you look at food.
Drink Your Breakfast
Smoothies are a great breakfast option. They are fast and easy to take with you. Keep some kale, carrots and berries on hand so you can throw them in the blender as you are walking out the door. You can experiment with your smoothie recipes by adding in other fruits and plant based foods.
For The Times That You Have Time
Paleo diet breakfast food is not relegated to raw uncooked veggies (but doesn’t that sound nice) banana bread made with bananas and almond meal is a great weekend breakfast food. Sweet potato pancakes is Paleo friendly and super easy to make. Waffles made with coconut meal and a berry sauce are delicious.
Once you have tried out some of the breakfast food recipes and become more familiar with the Paleo Diet and all its benefits breakfast will become easier and easier to prepare.
I am a big fan of dogs. I enjoy spending time with my two mutts (said with the utmost endearment) and watching them interact with their world with instinct as opposed to logically as we as humans do. Having said that, it probably comes as no surprise that I want my animals to eat as close to the way they would have in nature as possible. Of recent, I have been on a recent pursuit of finding the right things for dogs to eat. Sure there are some reasonable foods out there that have been prepared, but this is just not the same as the way our animals would eat if they were in the wild.
Is the State of Pet Healthcare Really that Different than Human?
A trip to an emergency vet will get you thinking. No one wants to go to an emergency visit, but unfortunately it happens sometimes. On a recent visit with my female mix, one thing became very clear to me; there are some striking similarities between the healthcare that humans get and that delivered to our furry friends. God bless the vet who was on staff the night my dog started having an unexplained anaphylactic (allergic) reaction. I still to this day am not certain what initiated it, I just know that the vet was great at her job and helped me get control over the immediate inflammation that had occurred. However, for as good of a job as this vet did, my dog still suffers from subtle, not severe skin itching. To help, I tried seemingly numerous options, both conventional and alternative. If the treatment was reasonable and did not impose harm, we tried it. This allergen free food, that round of allergy shots, this supplement cocktail, etc. Nothing seemed to make a significant difference expect going to pure, raw food.
The Frustration of a Pet Store
Having narrowed down the list of reasons that may have triggered my dog’s immune reaction, I decided to spend some time in the dog food aisle attempting to find the cleanest food I could find. What I found instead was disappointment that turned to anger. The dog food industry is as crooked as the human food industry. Maybe even more so since domesticated animals are mostly defenseless. The ingredients I found should never be consumed by a dog and they would not be except for the fact that they have been enhanced with flavors. Since dogs use their noses extensively, stimulating that region in the brain with smells tells them to eat.
The ingredients I found include, but were not limited to, grains, canola oil and alfalfa, just to name a few. The problem with grains is just as severe in dogs as it is in humans. None of the canola showed that it was from a non-GMO source and since the alfalfa was not defined as organic on any label, one has to assume that it is not. This means that it was sprayed with Roundup, most of which stays in the plant at the time of harvesting and is then ingested by dogs. In a nutshell, it is slowly poisoning an animal. What else is wrong? I was not able to find the source of any of the meats. Not one bag actually listed the meat source. It would state the type of meat; chicken, fish, beef, but not the origin of it. I could continue, but I won’t. So this does not leave many options for food choices.
What Paleo Dog Nutrition Should Look Like
A study of our canine friends will teach us that they are not completely carnivores, although mostly. They do have an herbivore side to them as well. Therefore, Paleo dog nutrition is mostly a protein, or meat, based diet. I have enjoyed turning my dogs loose in the woods only to watch them come back having taken and dined on some small quarry that they caught. It is a natural instinct for them. However, it also amuses me when we are walking that they will like the grasses and start nipping at them. They also seem to rather enjoy a few fresh vegetables as well.
With more meat based options becoming available such as raw patties, it is becoming easier to support the health of our canine friends. I like to make their food or use the patties and supplement with safe vegetables and fruits. Here are just a few that I have found to be safe from researching.
Fruits: apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, mango, orange, pear, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries and watermelons
Vegetables: asparagus, bell pepper, carrots, celery, cucumber, green beans, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato
Stopping the Cause of Pet Diseases
Just like humans, chronic pet diseases are on the rise. Who would have thought that diabetes and hypothyroidism would be things that we would be talking about in the canine population? What almost seems crazy, but it is now a reality. As the food of humans has continued to stray further from the original sources and methods of gathering, so too has the increase in human diseases, especially those related to immune dysfunction. Therefore, it is no surprise that the shift in the diet of dogs may equally be responsible for the shift towards increased diseases. Maybe the time has come to consider Paleo dog nutrition as an initial approach to the well-being of our animals.
Please note, by writing this I make no claims of being an animal nutrition expert. However, I am observant and an informed pet owner.