From Keto to Plant Paradox–what a journey!

Before starting the Plant Paradox program, I loved cheese.  In fact, I’d say I loved everything dairy.  Several years ago, the first specific eating program my daughter introduced me to was the Ketogenic Diet.  At first, I thought she was going to kill herself (and me) by eating so much fat.  (The program is all about eating high fat, medium protein, and a very small amount of carbs.)  I was amazed about how well I felt after just one week following the program.  I felt more energy, less brain fog, and my memory seemed to be better than it had ever been!  But the level of cholesterol made me very nervous.  I read various other books claiming that one shouldn’t worry about the actual cholesterol numbers, but it still made me uneasy.

In the book, Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman, they point out that some people notice that their cholesterol may climb quite high.  (I happened to be one of them, which freaked out my doctor! She insisted I was a heart attack waiting to happen.)

It’s impossible to know which program is actually right.  I think there is still so much that is unknown about our bodies, and how nutrition affects our health.  Researchers are always discovering new things.  Remember when we were told that eggs were bad, and now they’ve backed off on limiting them like they once did?  I guess that’s why many people feel comfortable with the notion of “most things in moderation.”  That may be an oversimplification, but I can see how that type of thinking may be at least better than complete abandon.  (Let’s face it, no one will deny that fried foods and sugary snacks are not on any healthy diet program!)

In any event, this blog has me focused on doing the best we can with the information that is currently available.  I think there seems to be a lot of sense in what Whole 30 and the Plant Paradox is promoting.  Since Ed has experienced so much improvement in his health, (especially since he has almost eliminated heartburn),  I think this is a step in the right direction for us.  To maintain our healthier diet, and make it tasty–I keep trying and adapting more recipes.

Going back to the topic of dairy for a second.  I loved cow’s milk products–Cheese, Ice cream, Yogurt! Oh MY!  But on the Plant Paradox program–those products from most American cows are off limits.  I have slowly started to branch out and try alternative products. Coconut milk yogurt is actually quite tasty!  I was amazed how good Buffalo mozzarella cheese is.  And although I was NEVER a fan of goat cheese, I found a product at a farmer’s market recently that had blended goat’s cheese with blueberries.  It’s fabulous, and not too strong tasting.  So I came up with a simple recipe using goat cheese, great for lunch or dinner. Another one of those “no recipe” recipes you can modify to your liking!

Salad Greens with Apple slices, Sliced hard boiled egg, and Blueberry Goat cheese. (I used EVOO and Balsamic vinegar to dress this salad, but you can add whichever you choose!) You can add chopped nuts, too!

IMG_3884 (2)

Enjoy!


Cauliflower and (Sweet) Potatoes

IMG_3853

Many years ago, I was introduced to Indian food.  I loved it!  Having grown up eating some kind of meat, fish or chicken with every meal, it was hard to imagine a meal with NO animal meat–that is, until I learned about Indian cuisine.  Wow! I never knew vegetables could taste so good.  My mother never made anything like this!  What a delightful experience when vegetables are prepared in the Indian style.  I found out that there are about 40 different kinds of lentils!  The only time I’d eaten  lentils was in lentil soup!  (I’ll go into more detail about lentils when we introduce them in Phase 3 of the Gundry program.)  How things have changed for me from that first day forward!

While Indian food isn’t a favorite of Ed’s, he does enjoy it on occasion.  (Especially since it satisfies so many of our new dietary restrictions.)  This dish is usually made with cauliflower and regular white potatoes. (It was also one of my daughter’s favorite Indian meals, so I made it regularly.)  I especially love the smell and color of so many of the Indian spices.  They are so healthy, too!  Turmeric, in particular.

Since white potatoes are not on the Plant Paradox program, I decided to try something a little different.  I substituted sweet potatoes for the regular ones.  It actually adds a lot to the presentation, as you can see from the photo.  Normally, Indian food is served with bread (naan) and/or rice–both of which we are not currently eating.  Naan is not gluten free, so it’s off the menu as it is.  But in Phase 3 of the Plant Paradox program, we are allowed to introduce Indian Basmati rice (in very limited amounts).  We are not quite at that point, so when I made this dish, I spirialized some carrots.  (But I didn’t show them in the photo since I wasn’t happy with the effect.  Too much orange, lol.)  Soon I plan to include Basmati rice to our menu, which will add a wonderful texture and taste.  In the meantime, I do use Riced cauliflower, which is okay for many dishes–but not very appropriate for this cauliflower and sweet potato meal.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled, and chopped fine

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. turmeric powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 head cauliflower washed and cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

fresh (or dried) coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

Put Oil in large sauté pan, and cook onion till slightly translucent, then  add garlic and stir.  Cook a minute or two then add the ginger.  Stir and cook a minute or two, then add the spices.

Stir mixture and let cook again for a couple of minutes.  Then add the cauliflower and sweet potato pieces.  Stir well to mix all the ingredients together.  Cover and let cook on medium heat till cauliflower and sweet potato are tender (approximately 15-20 minutes).

Spoon over rice (if using), and garnish with coriander leaves, if desired.

Enjoy!

 


Quick & Tasty Arugula Salad

IMG_3812

Several years ago, my daughter and I used to go to a nice little restaurant in Providence (which isn’t there any more, unfortunately), called Grappa’s.  They had the best thin crust pizza I’d ever eaten.  (I think it was even better than Al Forno’s which most people know very well.)  On the menu was an arugula salad with pears.  It was fabulous.  I don’t remember if they put nuts in the salad, or what the dressing was, but the pairing of pears with the arugula was heavenly.  So I recreated my version of the salad and still think the combination is wonderful.

To me, this is a perfect breakfast or lunch.  In case you can’t tell, that’s a hard boiled egg on the side of the plate.  If you don’t care for eggs or you are vegan, you can leave it out, and add some other protein.  While we’ve eliminated most dairy, I still enjoy an egg for breakfast or lunch.  Dr. Gundry highly recommends using EVOO, so that is what I used to dress this salad.  (I suspect a Poppy seed dressing would also be great!)

This is another one of those “No recipe” recipes.  Just put the arugula on your plate, place sliced pears on top in a decorative fashion, sprinkle pecans or walnuts over the top and add your choice of dressing.  (And of course, the hard boiled egg, if desired.  I suspect avocado would be a nice addition as well.)

Enjoy!