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Posts Tagged ‘low carb’

A brief culinary interlude: Coconut vanilla ice cream with strawberries in it

May 16, 2010 4 comments

I know dessert is not paleo. Sadly, we can’t all be Kurt Harris! (I mean that, I would love to be Kurt Harris.) This is for special occasions. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (13.5 oz)
  • 1 can light coconut milk (13.5 oz) – I find that the inclusion of light coconut milk helps create a more scoopable texture if the ice cream is not all to be consumed at once. If you and yours will consume all the ice cream as soon as you are finished making it, or if you have the forethought to take the container out of the freezer a half hour before you plan to eat some, or if you don’t mind nuking the whole shebang in a microwave for 20 seconds, feel free to go with 2 cans of full fat coconut milk.
  • 2-5 egg yolks (This is an arbitrary number of egg yolks. I’m sure the lecithin helps add richness and mouthfeel, but I just do it for the lovely golden color.)
  • Sweetener to taste (I used 8 packets of Truvia, but no doubt a bit of honey or soaked, pulverized dates would work well and be more paleo)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 TBSP vanilla extract
  • A cup of chopped strawberries, possibly sprinkled with a bit of wine vinegar or lime juice, if you’re feeling sassy

Method:

  • Whisk the eggs for a minute or so
  • Add the sweetener and salt and whisk until eggs and sweetener are combined
  • Add the coconut milk to the egg-sweetener mixture, as you continue to whisk
  • Add the vanilla while whisking away
  • Adjust the amounts of sweetener and vanilla to suit your taste. When the mixture tastes good to you, pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
  • When the ice cream maker signals that it is done, use a spatula to incorporate the strawberries into your ice cream
  • Serve and enjoy!
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A brief culinary interlude: Lavender vanilla ice cream

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m fully aware that dessert is not a paleo concept. In any case, here’s another recipe. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Sweetener to taste (I used about 8 packets of Truvia, powdered in a coffee grinder, but I’m sure a bit of honey or soaked, pulverized dates would work well and be more paleo)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 TBSP vanilla extract
  • A few drops of food grade lavender essential oil OR 2 TBSP dried edible lavender

If you are using the essential oil:

  • Whisk the eggs for a minute or so
  • Add the sweetener and salt and whisk until eggs and sweetener are combined
  • Add the egg-sweetener mixture to the cream, whisking all the while
  • Add the vanilla while continuing to whisk
  • Add the lavender essential oil (a drop or two at a time – it’s very strong stuff), while – you guessed it – whisking away
  • When the mixture tastes good to you, pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

If you are using the dried lavender:

  • Heat the cream, sweetener, salt, and lavender over medium heat until just simmering
  • While cream is heating, beat the eggs
  • When the cream is simmering, take a half cup of it and slowly pour it in a very thin stream into the eggs, whisking all the while
  • Very slowly, pour the egg mixture back into heated cream while continuing to whisk
  • Switch to stirring with a wooden spoon! (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?!) Stir the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon (google “custard recipe” for more info on how to do this). Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil, or it may curdle.
  • Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and strain it into a bowl to get rid of the lavender flowers and any bits of solid egg
  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature
  • Stir in the vanilla
  • Pour the cooled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Notes:

You can separate the egg yolks from the whites and just use the yolks. You can also add more egg yolks.

You can use lemon juice instead of lavender, if you are in the mood for lemon-vanilla ice cream.

This ice cream freezes pretty solid once it has been in the freezer for any amount of time. If you plan to eat some, take the container out of the freezer a half hour beforehand, and allow it to soften a bit.

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A brief wondrous interlude: Recipe for Lamb Sausage Patties

January 10, 2010 2 comments

Lamb Sausage Patties

Ingredients:

  • Roughly 1 lb. of ground lamb
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp fennel seeds
  • A few shakes of hot red pepper flakes or cayenne, if that floats your boat

Method:

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands until the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the meat.
  2. Form into patties. If you are a bitter, single person like me, you can wrap some of them in wax paper and place them, in a freezer bag, in the freezer.
  3. Heat some butter in a frying pan on medium heat until the butter foams up and then subsides.
  4. Fry the patties until done on one side (a couple of minutes, depending on the size of the patties).
  5. Flip the patties, and fry them until the other side is nice and cooked.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is more of a blueprint. Try it once, and adjust the seasonings to your particular taste. Feel free to post any suggestions!

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An interlude: My story con’t

January 9, 2010 6 comments

And then there’s me.

In August of 2008, I had been on a low carb diet about a year and a half and on a Paleo-type diet for a little over 6 months. I was recovering from a year of Weight Watchers and chronic cardio which left my body an inflamed mess with high blood pressure and elevated triglycerides.

On Paleo, everything was going swimmingly: I was losing weight, improving my blood pressure and lipid profiles, and had bloodwork results that a lab tech called “textbook.”

Then I discovered intermittent fasting. I started with alternate day fasting, cut down to one or two 24-hour fasts a week, and leveled out at a daily eating window of 8-10 hours. That’s when I really started to lose body fat. But the vanished weight was quickly followed by my ability to menstruate, regulate my body temperature, and generally deal with life.

I tried to fix myself by interpreting the tea leaves of the internet. This led me to stop the intermittent fasting and increase my caloric intake. The result: I gained fat weight but failed to lose my symptoms. I began to think things like “If I have to spend the rest of my life feeling like this, then it isn’t worth it.” I started looking forward to the death of my parents, because then I would be free to end it all for myself without ruining anyone else’s life.

I ate handfuls of supplements. I read all the books you’re supposed to. I stopped exercising altogether. I ate grass fed meat, coconut oil, butter from grassfed cows, salads, berries, and free range eggs. I obsessed. Finally, I paid an out of state naturopath to advise me. He advised iodine supplementation (50 mg daily) and vitamin D (5000 IU daily) for three months. So far, I have completed one month.

Silent evidence?

January 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Paleo is still on the fringe, though it’s getting more and more mainstream media play.

Still, by now Paleo has its own canon, its own version of conventional wisdom. I was thinking about this the other day, when Dr. Eades tweeted a link to this Wired article by Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer points out that experiments often result in unexpected data that scientists can’t explain and subsequently don’t report, because

“Modern science is populated by expert insiders, schooled in narrow disciplines. Researchers have all studied the same thick textbooks, which make the world of fact seem settled. This led Kuhn, the philosopher of science, to argue that the only scientists capable of acknowledging the anomalies — and thus shifting paradigms and starting revolutions — are ‘either very young or very new to the field.’ In other words, they are classic outsiders, naive and untenured. They aren’t inhibited from noticing the failures that point toward new possibilities.”

Dr. Eades’ point was that the phenomenon illustrated in the article is probably behind low-carb’s lack of acceptance in academia. No doubt this is the case. By the same token, we Paleo practitioners also need to remain skeptical and keep our minds open to new or contradictory evidence. Says Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal,

“Here’s the thing, folks: falsification. For any hypothesis, you need but one observation that contradicts it, and you’re done. For hypotheses like ‘saturated fat causes heart disease,’ every single hunter-gatherer and other non-industrial population that has been studied directly contradicts it. Game over.”

I’m not saying there’s been any evidence that refutes the Paleo principles (quite the opposite), but we should be vigilant and keep considering evidence even when it seems contradictory.

For instance, what can we make of this? (Thanks @madMUHHH for the link!) I’m not saying Matt Stone is right or wrong, but if you read through his site, you’ll find a trove of anecdotal evidence from people who claim to have ruined their metabolisms by following low carb, Paleo diets.

These are the people who have for the most part dropped off the Paleo forums, because their experiments of n=1 have “failed.” Yes, I realize that the evidence is all anecdotal, and from unverified sources living lives fraught with uncontrolled variables. But perhaps this is enough to at least suggest further investigation, perhaps a study or experiment to see just what is up with that, as the kids these days say.

In which I am melodramatic, but truthful

January 2, 2010 4 comments

It’s negative 6 degrees Celsius out there. I verified this by the thermometer on the Sopher Real Estate billboard outside. It’s negative 6 degrees Celsius, but I couldn’t have guessed this just by standing outside. My innards felt warm

And I wanted to weep, because I knew then that I would be all right, that 2009 – the lost year – was over.

Understand that the past 12 months have been spent in a haze of cold, infertility, cognitive dissonance, and increasing despair. And this all started out as  – well, we don’t say diet anymore, do we? A healthy lifestyle choice. A   “Paleo”“Evolutionary”“Primal” lifestyle choice, which included a dash of intermittent fasting. I still believe, with a caveat, that these are the evolutionarily correct pathways to health and fitness.

The caveat is this: my daily experience on the regime, the incessant cold and intolerance to cold, the amenorrhea, the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior, the bingeing, the purging, the depression. These are all classic and recognizable symptoms of starvation. What got to me most was the cold. In Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, Marya Hornbacher writes, “I wish I could find words to explain what this kind of cold is like-the cold that has somehow gotten in underneath your skin and is getting colder and colder inside you. It isn’t an outside sort of cold; it’s a cold that gets into your bones and into your blood and it feels like your heart itself is beating out the cold in hard little bursts through your entire body.” And it is, it is. It’s the feeling that your internal organs have turned into ice. People tell you to put on a sweater, but how can that help the cold lives in the very core of your belly?

The thing is that I knew all of this. But I was getting, according to fitday.com and its ilk, plenty of calories and nutrition for my height and weight. My bloodwork was stellar and even called “textbook” by a lab tech. Even still, it seems to me that you can be getting plenty of almost everything, but if you fail to obtain enough of any one essential nutrient, you can in fact be malnourished enough to have a starvation response.

It took a year of trying everything and jumping through bureaucratic hoops. (Did you know that insurance companies can take months to recognize that they cover you if you have a hyphenated name? Did you know that naturopaths can’t order bloodwork for NY state residents? Now you do.) But I think I’ve finally identified the nutrients that I, personally, was deficient in. And I’m finally getting better. I finally have hope.