Listening to last week’s Great Health Debate, I realized that there is so much stuff that I don’t know. Hearing guys like David Wolfe talk about the benefits of wild foods and herbs like medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shitake, chaga, mitake), nettles, and horsetail was pretty cool and actually quite inspiring. I wanted to get on Amazon right then and start buying books about the healing powers of food. But at the same time, I’m becoming more and more aware of the fact that I have a minor addiction to buying books online. Have you seen my living room?
The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
Anyway, enough about my Amazon.com dependency. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the whole Paleo thing. I agree that we should eat like our ancestors, that our genes are hardwired for specific traditional foods that we have consumed for thousands of generations. But I also wonder why the Paleo crowd makes little, if any, mention of fermented foods, bone broths, and organ meats. Yeah, I understand that my Paleo friends aren’t trying to exactly mimic the diet of caveman and cavewoman. That wouldn’t be practical for most folks. I always say that the best diet to stick to is one that you can stick to.
I’m even guilty of leaving out these highly beneficial foods. My bad.
But that’s about to change RIGHT NOW!
We’re about to Get Cultured.
Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen is in the house today to show us how to make sauerkraut. You know, that stuff that tastes really good on your organic hot dogs. I won’t even begin to act like I know a whole lot about fermentation or sauerkraut. So, we’ll just have to ask the expert. Be sure to check out the video above to get the scoop.
Every year, I wonder why no one ever blogs about this. Maybe it’s because the Girl Scouts are as American as apple pie. Or maybe it’s because supporting our local scout troop has become an annual pastime. It warms our hearts.
Even I make my yearly donation or two in front of Trader Joe’s or at my local Farmer’s Market. But there’s something unique about my yearly contribution that typically leaves a bewildered look on the Scout Mom’s face.
I tell her to keep the cookies.
As yummy as those coconutty (is that a word?) Samoas are, at some point I actually took the time to read the ingredients.
If you haven’t noticed, the low-fat era has not only coincided with a tremendous surge in obesity and diabetes, but also depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Seldom do we consider that the root cause of our mood issues is literally on our plates.
Or NOT on our plates.
On Monday, I blogged about the fact that 99.99% of our genes were formed before the Agricultural Revolution (just 10,000 years ago). Despite advancements in technology and our personal opinions regarding what we should be eating, we’re still genetically hardwired like hunter-gatherers.
We are hunter-gatherers.
Although we have no written or eyewitness accounts of the mental and emotional state of cavemen and women, we can look at the works of Weston A. Price and Vilhjalmur Stefansson, PhD to draw some conclusions as to the role of diet in mental health. In the case of Stefansson, a Canadian explorer and anthropologist, the Eskimos he studied and lived with were “the happiest people in the world”. Not only were they happy, but they were also extremely healthy, free of cancer, heart disease, and the diseases of civilization.
The Eskimo diet consisted of 80% animal fat. In fact, they warned Stefansson of the dangers of eating lean meat. They said it would make him sick, just as it making us sick.
I have long believed that in order to be healthy and happy, we must do as healthy and happy people do. Weston Price found that the native people he studied and lived with consumed ten times more fat-soluble vitamins and four times more minerals than we consume. These primitive people had no need for jails or mental institutions. Similar to Stefansson, Price consistently found that with adequate fats and nutrients came not only superior health, but also a pleasing, cheerful disposition.
It’s been a while since we posted our last Sean Can’t Cook episode. So in honor of Paleo Week on UW Radio next week, we’re hooking up some Crustless Quiche with Summer Squash!
Diane Sanfilippo, author of The Practical Paleo Nutrition E-book joins me to lend a helping hand via Skype. Buy and download her book HERE and get 26 easy, inexpensive recipes and tons of info on how to get your Paleo lifestyle started.
This is some good stuff!!
4 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 a yellow onion, diced
12 eggs, beaten
5-6 small summer squash (shredded in a food processor or by hand)
3 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the coconut oil in a small frying pan and then pour it into a 9×11” glass baking dish to grease the bottom. Then sautee your diced yellow onion in the pan with the remaining bit of melted oil. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. (Okay, I actually had some cooked onions on-hand leftover from a previous night’s cooking, but you can make them fresh.)
Our government is recommending “people over age 51, African-Americans (that would include me), and people with a history of hypertension, diabetes, or kidney problems limit their daily salt intake to a little over half a teaspoon”.
Thanks for looking out for me, but I’m not giving up my unrefined Celtic sea salt. My body likes those minerals. Never mind the fact that cutting refined salt consumption does little, if anything, for blood pressure.
“Systematic reviews of the evidence, whether published by those who believe that salt is responsible for hypertension or by those who don’t, have inevitably concluded that significant reductions in salt consumption – cutting our salt intake in half, for instance, which is difficult to accomplish in the real world – will drop blood pressure by perhaps 4 to 5 mm Hg in hypertensives and 2mm Hg in the rest of us.” – Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories