Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I've been asked about our plans for the children's menu - are they eating Paleo, as well?
Short answer, no!
I've posted below one of the questions from Loren Cordain's excellent website, the Paleo Diet in which he explains why Paleo eating maybe isn't the best idea for children.
A few things that i think might mitigate our experience in particular is that we do tend to breastfeed for a "long time" (as our culture considers it) - weaning at 13 months at the earliest, to 45 months at the latest). We also use a baby food grinder (Happy Baby! Well worth the small price) to grind up "big people food" to feed little ones at the table as soon as they show an interest in eating (and can sit up in a high chair and are not satisfied with holding a spoon anymore...)
We also tend to give fruits and vegetables as snacks for children who need something to get them through to meals, but from what we've read, children do have a higher need for carbs (and a calorie overload) than adults do - at least until they've stopped growing. So i will continue baking bread and cooking rice for them at dinner, and i will give our dehydrated buckwheat energy bread for snacks, and granola, and other things that i am "not allowed" to eat on this diet.
Would you recommend the paleo diet also for small children? Any concerns or modifications needed? What about pregnancy?
Little has been written about the dietary differences between adult and child hunter-gatherers. Also, very little is known about how a modern diet based upon "Paleo" food groups would influence growth and development in fully westernized children. Let me give you some key points which may be of use to you.
1. Hunter-gatherer children typically had a much longer age at weaning than what is considered normal in the western world. Studies of five hunter-gatherer societies (!Kung, Ache, Inuit, Australian Aborigines, and Hadza) reveal the average age of weaning to be 2.9 years (Eaton SB et al. Women's reproductive cancers in evolutionary context. Quart Rev Biol 1994;69:353-67.). Hence, a hunter-gatherers early nutrition (birth -- 3 years of age) is highly dependent upon mother's milk. Because hunter-gatherers typically consumed a diet higher in n-3 fatty acids than westerners, mother's milk likely would also have been higher in n-3 fatty acids than milk from the typical nursing western mother. Numerous studies show that fetal and infant cognitive development requires sufficient n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and the suckling period. For the western mother, weaning at age 3 is impractical, but should be carried out as long as possible (say maybe 1- 1.5 years). Following weaning, I recommend that infants be given a formula that is enriched with both DHA and AA. Infants should not be given EPA in the form of fish oil because it competes with AA metabolism and can result in impaired motor development as well as growth.
2. Mother's milk contains very little iron, however infants are born with sufficient iron stores to last about 9-12 months before being depleted. In the western world, pediatricians typically recommend that infants receive their first solid foods as iron fortified cereals. An alternative is macerated meat (beef, pork, chicken) that is available in commercial baby foods. Hunter-gatherer mothers introduced first foods to their infants by thoroughly masticating meat, marrow, nuts, seeds, fruits etc in their mouth, mixing it with saliva into a bolus and then giving their child this bolus. If you do give cereal to your infant, I would only recommend rice and do not recommend either wheat or oats.
3. Virtually all pediatricians recommend that cow's milk and dairy products (yogurt, cheese etc) should be excluded from the infant's diet during the first year of life. Early exposure to milk and dairy products have been implicated with an increased risk of a number of autoimmune diseases -- particularly type 1 diabetes. I recommend that dairy products not be introduced until later -- at least until age 2.
4. Once solid foods are introduced, I recommend focusing upon the basic types of foods that I recommend for adults (fresh fruits and veggies, fresh meats and seafood). There is some evidence that the liver of growing children is less able to deal with high levels of protein (~30-40 % total energy), so fattier meats and fish should not necessarily be restricted. Omega 3 enriched eggs should be the egg of choice and are a wonderful source of DHA. Infants and young children usually have no problem with scrambled eggs. Also, fattier plant foods (nuts, avocados) and healthful oils are useful, although sometimes nut allergies present themselves.
5. I do not advocate completely restricting processed food from children because eating involves behavioral issues that transcend the pure nutritional issues. We do not live as hunter-gatherers but rather as westerners in an industrialized world, and it is important to make children aware of good and bad food choices. The best way to get your child to eat junk food is to completely restrict it. In our household, we serve typical Paleo foods (fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats and seafood) at every meal and encourage our children to eat these foods. We stock very little processed food in the house, so if your children are hungry their choices are primarily healthy nutritious foods. We do not allow unlimited access to either TV or computers or electronic games, but rather encourage our children to be active in outdoor games and play. I believe that for active children certain high glycemic load foods, particularly during growth and development, may not be harmful. We do not restrict dried fruit (raisins, dates, etc), potatoes, and encourage consumption of bananas, yams and sweet potatoes.
6. Because of metabolic changes that occur in the liver during pregnancy, women cannot tolerate as high protein levels as they normally could. This issue has been documented in both the anthropological and clinical literature. Hence fattier meats, and higher fat vegetable foods and more carbs are required.
7. A final point that is somewhat of a double edged sword. In the western world, a tall child is considered a healthy child, and tall children frequently grow into tall adults. Most societies view being tall a very positive attribute in both children and adults. However, being tall has it's downside and increases the adult risk for a number of cancers, particularly breast cancer in women. Until recently the nature of this relationship has remained obscure. Our research group believes that the relationship between stature and cancer risk involves the consumption of high glycemic load carbohydrates during childhood along with an otherwise healthy diet, high in protein. If you download this paper from the Research Articles page (Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD. Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just syndrome X. Comp Biochem Physiol Part A 2003;136:95-112), I fully explain how high glycemic load carbohydrates both increase adult height and also increase the risk for numerous chronic diseases.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I am seriously feeling way too deprived. And grumpy. The grumpy i think comes from ketosis, since it is abated if i eat a lot of fruit/veggies - but it seems like i'm always on the verge - but the deprivation... not much i can do about that. On the paleo way of eating, my "treats" have been fruits (which i am allowed to eat as much as i want now, as opposed to the Zone's miserly doling out) - and nuts (which i don't eat too many of since they are expensive :)...)
But today after running some errands, i had a brain wave. I had been oh so deeply desiring a coffee crisp chocolate bar with 70% cocoa chocolate - and been a good girl and even said no to my uxorious husband's offer of lunch at McDonald's...
I went to my recipe book cupboard and pulled out Serene Allison's cookbook, Rejuvenate Your Life, and double checked the ingredients for her "chocolate". It's a raw foods cookbook, and for awhile i was making a lot of things out of it - super healthy, really yummy - but a little time consuming, especially before we moved here where there is pretty much no moisture in the air and the dehydrator works like a dream (as opposed to several days to dry out flatbread in our last place)...
Anyway, not only was that recipe pretty kosher, but i decided to make halvah balls. Now i have, in the freezer of my fridge, delectable little balls of deliciousness that don't break the rules and that will give a little variety.
Here are the recipes i used:
Serene Allison's Chocolate
2 cups raw almonds, ground into almond butter in my vitamix
1/2 c. tahini
1/3 c. cocoa (i put a little less than she originally called for, which was 1/2 c.)
pinch sea salt
1/2 c. raw honey (again, i put a little less as i didn't have much and wanted some for halvah, too)
I mixed it all by hand in a bowl with a silicon spatula, oiled my hands with a little olive oil, and rolled them into balls, and put the plate into the freezer for an hour or so. Then i picked them off the plate and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, ready to eat...
Serene Allison's Heavenly Halvah
I ground 4 c. raw hulled sesame seeds (i bought a big bag of these through our natural foods coop and this is mostly what i use it for!) - i really made homemade tahini, since i ground them up into a paste
added in a little olive oil
a little raw honey
Mixed well together in a plastic bowl with a silicon spatula. Then, as it was really too soft, i chilled it in the fridge for awhile before i oiled my hands and rolled them into balls, put them on a plate in the freezer, till i can put them in their own ziplock bag. These are delicious little nougat-y balls, full of energy, and not too sweet (i didn't have a LOT of honey, and i prefer a little less over a little too much)
I asked T about the paleo acceptance of cocoa, since it is a bean, but he assured me that a lot of paleo people use cocoa, for whatever reason - if i knew why it's excepted from the beans restriction, i'd feel a little less like a cheater, but for now, these are a nice paleo alternative to the things i'd rather be eating (like fried cheese with mayonnaise and a side of fries... LOL!)
Friday, October 9, 2009
And i fell off the paleo wagon, but not too bad - one cookie, a serving of stuffing, a little potato casserole (to die for!)... and then back up...
Since then, we've been pretty good at paleo eating - i had one piece of toast, and one piece of pizza at a meeting in the next town over... So all in all i'm finding that this is a potentially possible way to eat.
What i've found so far:
1. my digestion is much better eating paleo than Zone - i respond quickly to flour/sugar/grains/potatos when i do fall off the wagon - but when i am good - less bloating, less tummy upsets..
2. oh, i still very much crave grains. I worked for months perfecting my flax seed bread recipe! With the exact mix of freshly ground hard red wheat, freshly ground flax, whole flax, and gluten... and now i bake it, slice it, and toast it and then butter it and cut it in little pieces for little people to eat - even holding it up to my tiny birdie's mouth to let her take a bite of the most delectable inside heart.
3. i have WAY more willpower in my 30s than i did in my 20s or
4. I will do pretty much anything to please my husband! LOL!
5. Eating paleo does make you feel full on much smaller portions.
6. I have to eat a lot more fruit/veggies than i did when eating Zone to avoid ketosis - if i hit ketosis, i am just not a friendly mama anymore, and with seven little children 13 and under, i need all the help i can get to stay sweet :)...
7. I am still not sure about the healthfulness of this way of eating, due to my single, horseshoe, medullary sponge kidney - not sure if this is putting a strain on it. It seems to me that if i am feeling more awake, and having less digestive troubles, it shouldn't be too much of a hardship - but i will be talking to my doctor soon about this (i have an appointment - but it's a small town, and appointments have to be made two weeks in advance - very helpful. not.)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
And i'm in charge of..... cookies.
I thought the other day was hard. Today i started by making muffins, only to realize we were *all* out of milk - so i left the half made muffins, grabbed all the children, making sure we all had shoes and jackets and took off in the frosty air to the nearest Tim Horton's - but not before downing two fried eggs.
So virtuous me watched the children eat bagels with cream cheese and doughnuts and hot chocolate, and didn't even so much as lick off my fingers after i dipped in the hot chocolate to make sure Uly wouldn't burn his mouth (again) and after someone smeared glaze on my hand...
Then, errands and groceries for my big cook.
I actually really like it when i have an excuse to stay in the kitchen all day. But man, it is hard making all verboten items.
I have two big boxes upstairs filled with rice krispie treats, brownies, snickerdoodles and monster cookies and i'm done cooking - My plan was to sew half the day too (new ergo for my sister who is expecting) but i will have to finish that project later, as we won't have time to finish it before we go - i don't think).
anyway, thoughts on paleo...
I do feel that it's getting easier and easier for me to say no - but part of that is that i'm just feeling really really wiped. And dozy. And lightheaded. I forgot to go to my fiddle club meeting last night (and i love playing with other people!) - i felt like passing out all the time yesterday and today i just felt like a dead person. No emotions, no desires, no energy. Going to bed was my big fantasy all day long.
T came home and was going to swoop down and take me out for dinner, but we couldn't find a place that wasn't crowded or expensive or too carb oriented, so we went by the grocery store and bought some frozen pizza for the littles, and shrimp and cauliflower for us.
And T made a masterpiece!
So just to recap - breakfast - two fried eggs
lunch - one piece of cold KFC, no skin, a pear, some hazelnuts
snack - a pear
T will write out the recipe for me here, since i didn't make this.
Blenderize a can of diced tomatoes with a four cloves of garlic, oregano and thyme. Add a bag of shrimp, shells on - a can of clams and a can of smoked oysters.
Reserve half the liquid from the clams to add to the bouillabaisse. Salt and pepper to taste. Slow cook on a simmer till you're ready to eat...
Cook cauliflower as usual and serve as a "pasta" with the sauce and seafood...
And then for dessert - frozen raspberries, chopped almonds, drizzled with honey...