Going Caveman: The Original Paleo Diet
Published on pg. 7 of the SMDP newspaper weekend edition, March 22-23, 2008, click link for original article
Good health is just a stone’s throw away…
Once upon a time, a long, long, time …I mean a really long time ago, obesity and diseases where not at all the issues they are today. Those people of yore lived a life like I lead. I walk everywhere. Eat fresh, local foods. Dress scantily in barely-there loin cloth attire and allow men to pull me all over town by my hair. OK, I don’t really get pulled around by my hair but I am one of the few who walks everywhere in L.A. I maintain my weight by eating like my knuckle dragging ancestors, and you can too by stepping back in time to the Stone Age.
Research shows that the “Stone Age” may have been the ultimate “health-conscious” era. In a study involving 29 patients with heart disease and glucose (blood sugar) intolerance, those who followed a Paleolithic diet had an improvement in blood sugar that was significantly better than those who followed a Mediterranean type diet.
You too can be part of this elite group.Simply follow the Fred Flintstone Diet. Work in a rock quarry. Sit on Dino and move rocks around all day. Drive a foot propelled car. Eat brontosaurus burgers and voila, a svelte new you and no risk for disease. Alas, most of us are not as lucky as Fred. Most of us don’t have the metabolism of a teenager nor do we have “rock quarry” type jobs. We would all benefit from eating more like our ancestors, at least the ones who never walked fully erect.
In this “Stone Age” study, participants were randomly assigned to follow either a Paleolithic diet (based on lean meat, fish, fruits, leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, eggs and nuts) or a Mediterranean-like diet (based on whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fish, oils and margarines) for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, glucose levels dropped significantly in Fred’s group, although both diets helped participants lose those “love handles.” No matter what era you live in, whole foods are the way to go.
Instead of imitating the rock stars of today emulate the rock bearers of yesterday. Eat lots of leafy greens, such as collards, kale and Swiss chard. Eat root vegetables, like carrots, turnips, beets and purple potatoes. Forget the “no carb” craze. When your carbs are from “whole foods” they are “good foods.”
Choose fruit to satisfy that sweet tooth. Add lean meat and fish as compliments to your vegetable based meals.
Eat eggs. They really are an incredible food which so often do not get the credit they deserve. Think about it. Each egg is a potential source of life. Can you even conceive (pun intended) all of the valuable nutrients contained within?
Choose free-range/pasture raised, grass fed, local, seasonal, fresh and organic or pesticide free for all of your whole foods. Support your health and your local farmers at the same time.
Visit your local farmers’ market. There are three per week in Santa Monica. I frequent the Sunday market outside of my own cave, but if I’m feeling a little more ambitious or simply cannot wait that one extra day, you’ll find me being drug around by my hair at the Saturday market where I buy bunches of leafy greens, forage for my favorite root vegetables from my farmer friend Alex Weiser, and purchase a plethora of other seasonal fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs and fish … food that would make Fred Flintstone proud.
To find your local farmer’s market visit this web site: http://www.localharvest.org/
Here’s a recipe that will make you feel like screaming Yaba Daba Doo!
4 ounces salmon (the size of the palm of your hand)
1 orange carrot
1 small purple potato (or use a small red potato or sweet potato)
1 “striped” red beet (any red beet will do)
1/2 yellow onion
4 collard green leaves OR kale OR Swiss chard leaves
3-4 Fresh herb sprigs of your choice (rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano, dill, parsley)
Juice of one lemon and two slices for garnishing
- Cut “ribs” from leaves and finely dice.
- Cut leaves into bite size ribbons.
- Julienne the vegetables into two inch long strips.
- Cut three slices from the onion.
- Mince 4 herbs of your choice.
- Take a two feet long piece of parchment. Fold in half and cut into half circle OR use the new pre-cut parchment.
- Place parchment onto baking tray.
- Place greens, veggies and half the herbs and some lemon juice on one side of the parchment.
- Set fish on top of veggies.
- Top with more herbs, lemon juice and two lemon slices.
- Fold the parchment in half over the fish and veggies and crinkle and fold the paper to create a tent by rolling and pressing the edge of the parchment; creating a seal.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or 10 minutes for every inch thickness of fish. Add 5 extra minutes when cooking in parchment.
Per Serving: 330 calories, 10g Fat (3.5:1 Omega-3 : Omega-6 ratio), 29g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 33g Protein.
To learn more about the health benefits of Omega-3 Fats, please visit my You Tube link and watch Eat 2 Liv: Omega-3 Fats http://www.youtube.com/user/KitchenScienceVixen
For information about the most sustainable seafood visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Web Sitehttp://www.mbayaq.org/cr/SeafoodWatch.asp