Healthy, wholesome and simple yet satisfying recipes from a food-obsessed housewife

The Paleo Diet

Posted in: Entrees, Recipes ♦ Friday, November 5th, 2010, 5:22 pm ♦ 2 Comments
The Paleo Diet

So I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on the foods we eat, and what food companies are telling us. And let me tell you, the more I read, the more freaked out I get. Its insane to learn of all the things we readily believe from what we are being told from the FDA and ADA.

I have personally always tried to stay away as much as possible from processed foods. As they say, when shopping, stay on the outer aisles (where most of the whole foods are, such as vegetables, fruits, meats, etc.) and away from the boxed cereals, crackers, chips, and frozen foods. It hasn’t been that hard for me, as I can actually say that I find myself craving real, whole foods.

Eating lower carb, however, there seems to be a good amount of pressure from others and nutrition tips that encourage getting your “whole grains”…but I know from experience whenever I eat an abundance of grains, I do not feel my best, instead I feel sluggish and zapped of energy.

So when researching last night, I was intrigued when I came across an article discussing the Paleo diet (I’ve heard bits and pieces about, but never researched fully). What is it? Well basically, its focusing your food intake on that of what the hunter-gatherers years ago would have eaten. These include eggs, meats, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, certain oils, while forsaking sugar, processed grains (yes, even whole grain), and anything manufactured like dairy. Dairy? what? NOT MY COFFEEEEE

The article I read last night, specifically detailed grains and the lies we have bought into regarding them. As Americans, the FDA has caused many of us to believe that we should stay away from “fatty” eggs and meat and opt instead for grains. When in fact, grains drastically impact our body’s insulin response. Take a look at this excerpt from the article

“One of the fallacies that is still spewed forth by the likes of the ADA is that slow-releasing carbs (beans, whole grains) causes a flat insulin response and consequently do notpose a problem. This is true only if one is consuming grains as condiments, as in a tablespoon here and there. Eat them a cup at a time, and not only does blood glucose level rise dramatically, but it stays elevated for a long time.”

And we are being told what? That the majority of food on our plate should consist of grains, and only a small portion of meat!

So over the past few weeks of research (along with eating not so well and feeling less than optimal), the hubby and I talked and have decided we’d like to strive to eat Paleo. Its definitely not going to happen overnight, as I may have DT’s from giving up coffee, and we still have to eat up what’s in the fridge. But just starting with more of a diligent focus on whole foods (and doing true research, rather than blind naivety to food companies marketing) makes me feel better about protecting and being proactive with our health. I’ll keep you updated as we try :)

Health Benefits

Spinach-rich in glutathione, high in Vitamin K, C, and A. Promotes gastrointestinal health, and high in Lutein, which protects from eye diseases
Spaghetti Squash-rich in vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. A good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid.

In the meantime, I’ve heard a lot about spaghetti squash and knew I had to try it as a replacement for pasta! I loved this gratin, and plan to use spaghetti squash in developing a lot more recipes! (Side note:cutting this thing, was one of the hardest things EVER), but so, so worth it!

Have a great weekend!

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

Spinach, Turkey and Spaghetti Squash Gratin

adapted from here
1 spaghetti squash
1 lb ground turkey (I happened to find Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey)
1/2 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
6 oz chopped baby spinach, chopped
1 T olive oil
¾ cup lowfat or fat free cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 egg
½ cup light sour cream
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds.Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sea salt. Microwave the halves on a plate, cut side up, for 12-14 minutes or until very soft. Allow them to cool, then scrape out flesh out with a fork.It should come out easily, and resemble spaghetti noodles. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, and sautee until onion is translucent, then add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper and brown until done. Drain.
Add turkey mixture back into skillet and add chopped spinach, letting cook until just wilted. Set aside
In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, egg, and sour cream. Gently mix the cooked squash into the turkey mixture, and then stir in the cheese mixture. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread mixture in baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan. Bake 35 -40 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Check out these articles for more information on Paleo and the truth about grains:

“Damn Dirty Grains”
A Common Problem

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2 Responses to “The Paleo Diet”

  1. Posted by: Karen
    November 21st, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Ah! Paleo! Yes. I’ve heard about it and my trainer recommends it, but I find that I’ve cut my grains to the almost non-existent point and I just don’t feel satisfied if I don’t get SOME grains in every day. A little steel cut oatmeal, some quinoa or brown rice. Plus, I feel like I really need the dairy – I eat greek yogurt and cottage cheese every day. On the other hand, I HAVE tried this for a few weeks, and the result is amazing. You start off feeling like crap, but then you feel energized like never before. It is definitely a mind set. Love the recipe – gonna mark it for my next spaghetti squash.

  2. July 27th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    [...] So here is just a quick post on some yummy paleo cookies I made last week. Remember my post on the paleo diet? Its basically a diet devoted to sticking to lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, while nixing [...]

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