Tag Archives: The Paleo Diet Bar

What is the Paleo Diet? That was my initial reaction to the term “The Paleo Diet” when I started working out at a CrossFit gym 10 years ago. A fellow gym member gave me a quick synopsis
of what it entailed, which was enough to get me intrigued. Going grain-free specifically, seemed to be just what I needed to improve my health.

Food was a huge part of my childhood. My father’s side of the family is Italian and we would all gather on Sunday for a feast starting with morning pastries, continuing to big plates of pasta
with bread, and ending with homemade pies and cookies. At home, our pantry was filled with sugar cereals, every imaginable type of packaged cookie, and a freezer full of microwaveable TV
dinners. My father owned and operated a Burger King, which we would get to eat every Friday night. Homemade dinner was whatever could be pulled together quickly, from a box, with the
occasional can of corn or green beans on the side. My mother likes to joke about when I was six, I asked if we could have a “normal” dinner like other families who ate fresh vegetables.

I was sick throughout my childhood. Starting with chronic ear infections as a baby, and graduating to chronic tonsillitis and strep throat during elementary school. I would be
prescribed antibiotics and about two weeks later would develop another infection. The solution was to have my tonsils removed. This certainly resolved the tonsillitis, but then lead to chronic
sinus infections throughout my teen years. Beginning when I was a teenager, I inherently knew that food was related to our health. However, I was operating on the paradigm of whole grains being the foundation.

I dabbled in various ways of eating through my 20’s, which could be described as low-fat, vegan-friendly, and then flexitarian – all aiming to follow the nutrition guidelines set forth by the
government. My grocery cart was filled with low sodium soups labeled healthy, and low-sugar wheat-based cereals, rounded out with whole grain breads. Once when I was living in Brooklyn,
after evaluating my purchases, the grocery cashier asked me if I was on a diet. I answered, “No, I just follow a healthy diet.”

Despite my attempts to eat nutritiously, I did not feel great. I had a bunch of symptoms, such as hypoglycemia, debilitating stomach pain, dizziness- sometimes leading to fainting, and
numbness and tingling in my limbs. Over the course of a few years, I endured a battery of tests from a variety of doctors, but no cause could be determined. And no solution for improvement
was suggested. Finally, in 2006 I learned about food sensitivities from my naturopath and I went on a strict protocol free of gluten, dairy, nightshades, eggs, and a host of other foods to
which a blood test revealed I was reacting to.

By eliminating these offenders from my diet, my energy and symptoms improved. However, I was disappointed to find out after six months of new eating habits my subsequent blood test
revealed I was reacting to the alternative grains I had been substituting for gluten. I took various supplements to support my digestion and continued my gluten-free diet thinking it was
the only thing I could do until I discovered the Paleo Diet about a year later.

It all began to make sense. Our modern diet, even when free of gluten and dairy (and with the use digestive supplements) doesn’t work with how our bodies run most efficiently. I’ve
embraced the Paleo Diet as a lifestyle and also as the nutritional foundation on which I am raising my daughter, who is seven.

I haven’t been completely disease free in the past decade. My pregnancy most likely triggered a reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) [1] that had been latent and lurking in my body. EBV is
the virus that usually causes the symptoms of mononucleosis [2]. Approximately 95 percent of people between the ages of 35 and 40 carry an inactive form of this infection [3]. Many of those
infected with mono never even develop symptoms upon initial infection– I was one of them. It is considered very rare to develop chronic EBV, which is diagnosable by blood test [4], and many doctors brush it off as an inconsequential illness. Although, I would argue it can be severely debilitating and has a negative impact on quality of life.

EBV is known to damage mitochondria [5], the powerhouses of the body where energy [6], ATP is produced [7]. Fatigue is often the initial and major symptom when the virus is active. I had chalked my fatigue up to pregnancy and then the demands of motherhood. I also began to get sick all time, with a chronic sore throat, runny nose, leading to a lingering cough that would last for
over six weeks. I would get better and then two weeks later the cycle would start again, similar to the pattern I had as a child. Fortunately, over the past few years my immune system has
gotten the upper hand, and although the EBV will never go away, the Paleo Diet has been the core of how I manage it.

References

1 Fleisher, Gary, and Ronald Bolognese. “Persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection and pregnancy.” Journal of Infectious Diseases 147.6 (1983): 982-986.
2 Sumaya, Ciro Valent, and Yasmin Ench. “Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis in children.” Pediatrics 75.6 (1985): 1011-1019.
3 Schooley, R. T. “Epstein-Barr virus.” Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 2.2 (1989): 267-271.
4 Okano, Motohiko, et al. “Proposed guidelines for diagnosing chronic active Epstein‐Barr virus infection.” American journal of hematology 80.1 (2005): 64-69.
5 Vernon, Suzanne D., et al. "Preliminary evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction associated with post-infective fatigue after acute infection with Epstein Barr virus." BMC infectious diseases 6.1 (2006): 15.
6 Goldschmidt, Vivian. “What Are Mitochondria?.”
7 Myhill, Sarah, Norman E. Booth, and John McLaren-Howard. “Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction.” International journal of clinical and experimental medicine 2.1 (2009)

Wild Salmon and Sautéed Spinach | The Paleo Diet

Each year, October 31st seems to mark the start of the junk food season. Most of us have fun childhood memories of dressing up in costume, attending parties, and spending hours Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhoods. Returning home with a bag full of candy and sugary snacks meant an evening spent sampling the hard, soft, or chewy treasures we had collected. Unfortunately, most of us probably went to bed with a tummy ache and awoke within a few days with a sore throat, cold, or flu virus due to the negative impact on our immune systems after overindulging. It occurred to me years ago that the cold and flu season really seems to get ramped up and into high gear beginning around Halloween and continuing well into Spring when the junk food holidays finally end at Easter time.Why not try out a Paleo Halloween this year and see where it can lead?

So, what’s a Paleo parent to do? How do we help our children enjoy the festivities and traditions of our special holidays, while maintaining healthy eating habits? Over the past 10 years or so, there has been more and more awareness regarding these issues. Conscientious parents have tackled this problem in a variety of ways. Some have done away with Halloween altogether, while others have found new and creative ways to celebrate the day and start new, healthy traditions. Fortunately, the internet has become a fantastic place to search for special, healthy treats. Just last week, I found a darling creation making ghosts from ½ banana using small currants or raisins for eyes and mouth. Another site demonstrated making “Jack-o-lanterns” from oranges, carving out the skins to make the face. Check out just a few of the links to help you and your children get started. Be sure to include the kids in the search and make it fun and exciting to plan for your special day.

But, what to do with all that Trick-or-Treat candy? Again, it’s time to get creative and think outside the box. Several approaches to this dilemma should be considered. Some parents allow their children to choose a small amount of candy to enjoy as a special treat over the next few days, throwing the rest in the trash where all the junk belongs. Others, strike a deal with their kids and agree to buy all of the candy from the child. The child is then allowed to spend the money on a toy or other non-food item of their choice. We know of a family who puts on a wonderful, healthy costume party for their children and their friends every year. There is no Trick-or-Treating, just healthy snacks, traditional games like bobbing for apples, and a fun time for all. If you don’t want to throw your own party, many community organizations offer alternatives for kids. As for what to throw in those sacks when the neighborhood goblins come calling?

How about this treat: The Paleo Diet Bar in either , or ! This is a special and fun time of year when lasting childhood memories are created. Start your own family traditions and enjoy the celebrations!

All the best,

Lorrie Cordain, M.A.
The Paleo Diet Team

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Baked Apple

The aromas of this simple-to-prepare fall treat fills your house with sweetness and will have your kids drooling. Be sure to choose locally grown, organic apples when preparing this sweet treat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large, fresh pie apple
  • 1 medium orange, juiced
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch allspice
  • olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Core the apple

3. Mix orange juice, raisins, cinnamon, and allspice together in small bowl and fill the cavity of the apple

4. Pour remaining liquid over apple

5. Place apple on a lightly greased pan with olive oil

6. Bake 30-40 minutes or until soft

7. A small paring knife should easily puncture the apple skin to cavity center

8. Better get lots, the little goblins will certainly be begging for more!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

From jack-o-lanterns to pies, pumpkins have become an American tradition during this time of year. But, what to do with all those seeds after carving your spooky creation? This simple recipe has become a favorite of Paleo dieters everywhere.

4-6 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder, to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Carve pumpkin, remove seeds

3. Thoroughly rinse pumpkin from seeds and pat dry with paper towels

4. Put seeds in a bowl and mix thoroughly with olive oil and spices

5. Spread seeds evenly on non-stick baking pan

6. Bake for 30 minutes, turning seeds every 10 minutes

 
 
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