More Vegetables for Better Health and Wellness

The bulk of any Primal/Paleo meal should be vegetables. As stated in my article about the Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid, your vegetables should be diverse and of many different colors. You want to “eat the rainbow,” as they say. These various colors of fruits and vegetables are a result of the chemicals held within them. They give us an array of nutrients with high antioxidant values. So each day, we want to provide our bodies with a “rainbow” of micronutrients! What follows are 5 ways to eat more vegetables every day, as explained in How to Be Well, by Dr. Frank Lipman.

Shop and Prep your Vegetables

After buying your vegetables, set some time aside to wash and chop/slice them up for the week ahead. That way you can make colorful salads and stir-fry veggies in no time, and have a variety of healthy snacks on hand every day.

Roast your Vegetables

On your prep day, you can make one or two batches of roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes, beets, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) with a healthy fat for the days ahead.

Make a Soup

Blend steamed vegetables with your homemade broth and have that in the fridge for the week.

Replace Pasta with Spirals and Strands

Dr. Frank Lipman explains: “Make noodles from spiralized zucchini, winter squash, sweet potato, and more….You can also roast a spaghetti squash and scoop out the strands….While you’re at it, replace rice with the cauliflower kind – it also stands in as the basis for pizza crust.”

Stock your Freezer

It is easy to have different bags of frozen organic vegetables in your freezer, ready to be used. If you make a large batch of vegetable soup, you can freeze some of it too.

In Summary

Keep in mind that some vegetables may not work well for everyone. It is up to you to experiment and see how your body responds to each food you eat. It is better to buy locally grown fresh produce and organic. To know exactly how to pick vegetables, you can check my blog post on What to Buy Organic. A great book to read on how to select and prepare vegetables (and fruits) is Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson. How (& Why) to Eat More Vegetables, by Dr. Thomas Cowan is an awesome read too!

Happy 4th of July!

Reference

Lipman, Frank M D. How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin, 2019, pp. 58–9.

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Doing Away with Nutrient-poor Foods 

Once we decide to do away with processed foods and the traditional nutrient-poor foods found in most supermarkets, the amount of money we are going to spend on food is probably going to increase a bit. The next time you are looking at the low price tags on some processed foods, keep in mind that they are cheap because many of them are just a mixture of inexpensive fat, sugar, flour, and salt with barely any nutrients. On the other hand, when we consume real nutrient-dense foods, these will keep us satiated for a long period of time. We won’t feel the need to constantly have snacks throughout the day. Although at first it may seem you will be spending more when trying to eat cleaner, applying some of these simple strategies below will help to eat healthy on a budget.

Strategies to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Here are a few of these strategies, as described in The Wild Diet, by Abel James:

  • Buy in bulk and cook large meals ahead of time.
  • Shop at a food co-op (member-owned “cooperative”).
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm.
  • Shop at farmers’ markets.
  • Look into volunteering at local farms.
  • Grow your own garden.

There is also what is called “cowpooling.” This is when you decide to buy with your friends a whole butchered cow at a local farm, each one of you getting a section of it.

To locate where you can buy meat and produce in your area, you can check eatwild.com, localharvest.org, americangrassfed.org, and slowfoodusa.org.

Online, Thrive Market is an awesome option to buy low-cost paleo and keto products.

In Summary

Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It is also important to keep in mind that eating nutrient-dense foods will most likely save you some money down the road by providing better overall health in the many years to come than would the traditional processed foods. Knowing that we are all unique individuals with specific requirements and sensitivities, as always, see which foods work for you and buy accordingly.

Until next time!

References

James, Abel. The Wild Diet:  Go Beyond Paleo to Burn Fat, Beat Cravings, and Drop 20 Pounds in 40 Days. New York, Penguin Random House, 19 Jan. 2016, pp. 300-301.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 94-96.

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Three Amazing Vegetables

If there are three vegetables that I eat very regularly, it is artichokes (or more specifically artichoke hearts), asparagus, and avocados. I enjoy putting artichoke hearts in my salads. Asparagus is so easy to roast in the oven (I like to use the bake-steam option of my Cuisinart steam & convection oven). And avocados are a daily must for me, either at lunch or dinner. Artichokes, asparagus, and avocados have in common the fact that they are high in nutrients and fiber, and low in sugar. 

Artichoke Hearts

It was found in a 2006 analysis that canned artichoke hearts are full of antioxidants. I like to buy the Native Forest brand for these as the cans are BPA-free. I also get artichoke hearts in glass jars. In that case, I stick to the ones packed in water, as the marinated ones can have questionable added ingredients. Artichoke hearts are a nice addition to salads, soups, frittatas, and skillets, for example.

Asparagus

In her book, Eating on the Wild Side, Jo Robinson states: “In a nutritional analysis of eighteen vegetables, asparagus was found to have more antioxidants than all but three of those tested – broccoli, green peppers, and burdock, a wild root vegetable. (Artichokes were not tested.)” I like to buy green asparagus either at the farmers’ market or at the supermarket. As mentioned in What to Buy Organic, asparagus does not have to be organic. The fresher the better though, in order to get all the nutrients. Purple asparagus has even more antioxidants than green asparagus. It is recommended to eat asparagus the day you buy it. If you choose to steam asparagus, that method of cooking will raise the asparagus antioxidant value by approximately 30 percent. Asparagus can be made into a wonderful side dish, or you can also make a soup with it.

Avocados

Regarding avocados, Jo Robinson states: “One serving gives you more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli raab, grapes, red bell peppers, or red cabbage. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, folate, potassium, and magnesium.” It is also important to highlight that avocados, which are subtropical fruits, contain soluble fiber (“ a type of fiber that has a gel-like consistency”) and oleic acid, the favorable monounsaturated fat that you find in olive oil. Both the soluble fiber and oleic acid allow for better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. Avocados do not have to be organic either. As mentioned in 12 “On-the-go” Healthy Snack Options, avocados are an easy snack option, just like artichoke hearts. Otherwise, you can add them to salads, make guacamole of course, or even fries!

In Summary

Artichokes (or artichoke hearts), asparagus, and avocados are high in nutrients and fiber, low in sugar, and very easy to find year-round. There are tons of recipes out there if you want to incorporate these amazing vegetables into your weekly meals. So experiment and see which one might be your favorite!

References

Gundry, Steven R. The Plant Paradox Quick and Easy : The 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Lectin-Free. New York, Ny, Harper Wave, An Imprint Of Harpercollinspublishers, 2019, p. 31.


Robinson, Jo, and Andie Styner. Eating on the Wild Side the Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York Little, Brown, 2013, pp. 195-211.

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Why Organ Meats Are Good to Eat

In a previous article on How to Source Beef, I briefly mentioned liver, one of my favorite superfoods, and said that organ meats should never be thrown away! Why so, you might ask? Organ meats in general do not seem that appealing. The short answer is that “organ meats are the most nutrient-dense foods by far,” states Chris Kresser in Your Personal Paleo Code. Not only are organ meats full of nutrients, but these nutrients can also be easily absorbed by the body. Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin add, in Keto Answers, that “this makes organ meat like a natural meat version of a multivitamin.”

Organ Meats that You Can Buy

Organ meats can be from animals like cows, pigs, lambs, bisons, goats, chickens, and ducks, as long as they are well-sourced. Here’s a short list of organs you can eat:

  • Liver
  • Tongue
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Sweetbreads
  • Tripe

You can find these at some local farms (to find local farms, you can visit EatWild.com) or online sites like US Wellness Meats. There are recipes everywhere online on how to prepare these. For instance, this page on Mark’s Daily Apple.

You can also consume organ meats in capsule form. Every day, I take liver and bone marrow capsules sold by Ancestral Supplements. To take capsules is fairly convenient, and if you don’t like the taste of certain organ meats, or don’t have the time to prepare them, you still can get most of the nutrients they contain (vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and essential amino acids).

In Summary

Including organ meats into our diet provides such an array of beneficial nutrients! Even just once a week can be sufficient, especially when it comes to a superfood like liver. (And consuming liver is okay, as most of the toxins are stored in the fat of the animal, and not the liver). Most ancestral diets included organ meats, alongside bones, cartilage and skin, fats, seafood, and wild plants.  For example, in the traditional Okinawan diet where food is considered medicine, a pig is eaten entirely, internal organs included. Going back to these ancient ways of feeding ourselves as much as possible makes perfect sense if we want to harness the health and wellness benefits of consuming truly nutrient-dense foods.

References

Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 150-151, 302-303.

Kresser, Chris. Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life. 1st ed., New York, NY, Little, Brown and Company, Dec. 2013, pp. 43-44, 70-72, 151-152, 155-156.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Okinawa Diet.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Jan. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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