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Tuna Salad (with chilli)

Tuna Salad (with chilli)

Ingredients:

2 lemons, juice only

Drizzle of olive oil

2 cans tuna, your choice of oil-packed or water-packed cans

1 C olives, green or black, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 hot pepper, seeds removed if you do not like the extra heat, finely chopped

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

1 head butter lettuce or mixed greens

1 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

Combine the lemon juice, oil, tuna, olives, onions and chili flakes. Mix well. Serve the spicy tuna salad on a crisp lettuce leaf or a bed of mixed greens and top with avocado slices.

This salad can be stored in the fridge for a day or two to maximize the flavors or served immediately. Do not add the avocado slices until serving as they will brown if left open to the air for too long.

    Fruit Gazpacho

    Fruit Gazpacho

    Ingredients:

    5 peeled kiwis

    1 tsp lime juice

    10 oz. thawed frozen raspberries

    2 tablespoons honey

    12 oz unsweetened lemon-lime sparkling water

    1 C roughly chopped cantaloupe

    4 kiwi slices, for garnish

    Instructions:
    Combine the kiwi and lime juice in a food processor and puree. Set aside.

    Place raspberries and honey into a clean food processor and puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to discard seeds. Add in sparkling water, mix and set aside.

    Add the cantaloupe in the clean food processor and puree. Set aside.

    To layer gazpacho, gently spoon equal amounts of kiwi puree into each of four bowls or glasses. Repeat with raspberry puree and cantaloupe puree. Top with fruit slices.

    Serves 4

      Chipotle Salmon with Lime

      chipotle_lime_salmon

      Ingredients:

      1 lb salmon

      1-2 T olive oil

      2 limes, halved

      1 tsp chipotle powder

      1 tsp salt

      ½ tsp pepper

      Instructions:
      Preheat oven to 500°

      Cut the salmon into 4 equal-sized filets

      Pat each piece of salmon dry to remove as much moisture as possible and place on a metal baking pan such as a cookie sheet

      Rub each fillet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

      Add juice from one-half lime onto each fillet

      Season fillets with salt and chipotle and top each fillet with half of a lime

      Reduce temperature to 275°

      Cook salmon for 8-12 minutes or to your preferred fish temperature.

        Strip Steak with Chimichurri

        Strip Steak with Chimichurri

        Ingredients:

        2 C cilantro leaves and sprigs, finely chopped

        2 C parsley leaves and sprigs, finely chopped

        2 tsp minced garlic

        1 tsp red pepper chili flakes

        3 T fresh lime juice

        1 T red-wine vinegar

        3 T dry red wine

        1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

        Salt and freshly ground black pepper

        2 lbs skirt steak

        Instructions:

        Prepare a grill or grill pan over high heat.

        In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, lime juice, red wine, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is a coarse puree. Taste, adjust seasoning and pulse again.

        Rub the steaks with salt, pepper and olive oil. Grill steak roughly 2 to 4 minutes on each side, depending upon thickness, or until it is medium rare. The center of steaks should read 125°F on a meat thermometer. Remove the steak to a plate and to rest for at minimum of 5 minutes.

        Slice steak across the grain at a 45 degree angle. Spoon a partial amount of the chimichurri over the steak on a serving plate. Serve the remaining sauce alongside the dish.

        Serves 4

          Eggplant Chips

          Eggplant Chips

          Ingredients:

          1 large, ripe eggplant

          2 cups cheese

          2 eggs

          Instructions:

          Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

          Remove the ends from the eggplant and shred in a food processor. Mix eggplant with the egg and cheese. Lump mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and smooth out to make 8″ circles, roughly 6.

          Bake for 12 minutes. Loosen and flip the discs. Bake for another 5 minutes. Once cooked thoroughly, remove from the oven and cut the discs into triangles with a pizza cutter. Let cool on a rack for 6-8 hours. This is an important part of the process to ensure the chips become crisp.

          Once dried, sprinkle with seasoning such as popcorn seasoning, Old Bay, garlic salt or any other seasoning of your choice. Eat immediately as a healthy and light snack or store the eggplant chips for up to one week in an airtight container or resealable
          bag.

            All-Natural Pear Sauce

            Natural Pear Sauce

            Ingredients:

            3 1/2 lbs pears

            1/4 C water

            1/2 lemon, juiced

            1 tsp cinnamon

            1/2 tsp cardamom

            1/8 tsp nutmeg

            Instructions:

            Peel, core and coarsely chop the pears and add to a large saucepan.

            Combine the pears, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Boil gently, occasionally stirring, for 20 minutes.

            Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Work in batches if necessary. Be careful not to liquefy the puree or you will lose the applesauce-like quality of the pear sauce.

            Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You might also freeze the puree in smaller quantities, such as in one cup containers, and store for several months.

            Serves 4-6

              Is the Paleo Diet Healthy?

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              The increase in obesity has brought a wide variety of diets and weight-loss solutions. Some of these are healthy and responsible, while others are not. The Paleo Diet, also referred to as the Caveman Diet, is a fairly new dieting approach, though in other ways can be considered the very oldest of diets. It is based on the concept that the eating habits of our ancient ancestors were much healthier than our options today. It includes a diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. There have been several studies on this particular diet, with generally positive but as with all things sometimes conflicting data, but on the whole many people can see the logic behind its principles. In weighing up any diet, one of the most important aspects is its health implications. Besides the possibility of weight-loss, the Paleo Diet can also provide a significant number of vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function properly and may also have a role in treating inflammatory diseases and provide several other health benefits.

              The Health Benefits

              In today’s society, people have become accustomed to the convenience of processed, previously prepared food. These ready-made meals may save time and money, but they are not always the healthiest option. The Paleo Diet conforms to the many different aspects of the nationally accepted dietary guidelines. Many Americans include way too much salt within their diet. High amounts of sodium can lead to high-blood pressure and an excess of fluid build-up, which causes painful swelling. This diet reduces these risks because ancient individuals did not have salt to season their food. Potassium is an extremely important nutrient for the body. Studies have shown that potassium reduces bone loss and improves kidney health. Bananas have an abundance of this nutrient. Another benefit to this diet is the availability to fiber. Fiber is a vital component for normal digestion. It sends signals to the brain that you are full, and also promotes the elimination of waste. The Paleo Diet provides the body with more than enough fiber due to the large amounts of fruits and vegetables it demands. Because soft drinks and juices were not available, ancient people drank lots of water. In fact, the body cannot survive without it. Water promotes the function of most systems within the body and prevents dehydration and drinking water is much much better for you than sodas and sugary juices.
              Apart from the obvious nutritional benefits, by eliminating sugar intake, the paleolithic diet lowers the development of insulin resistance and the development of diabetes. This has wide reaching benefits with respect to weight loss and overall health.
              By eliminating bread from your diet this also helps fight against the development of insulin resistance and helps individuals following the diet to lose weight, improve muscle tone and body shape and generally feel a whole lot healthier.
              Indeed by avoiding sugar and refined wheat followers of the paleo diet also experience a reduction in intestinal yeast which results in reduced abdominal bloating and the possible resolution of a range of other health problems.
              Some advocates also report improvement in the status of inflammatory diseases such as colitis and arthritis.

              Possible Challenges

              While there are many benefits to the Paleo Diet, there are particular characteristics that may be difficult to follow. This diet requires a great deal of protein. Proteins are found in meat, such as chicken, beef, and pork. However, these meats can also be full of extra fats. for this reason lean meats are a must, and advocates should be careful to purchase lean meats wherever possible. The Paleolithic Diet also involves eliminating grains and dairy products. These foods are high in nutrients that are necessary for some people. Those suffering from some form of vitamin D or calcium deficiency would have to find other ways to get what their body needs. Another potential challenge is the cost of committing to this type of diet. The price of groceries is at an all-time high in many countries. This is especially true for cuts of meat and fresh vegetables, which are an essential part of this diet.Indeed before attempting this or any other diet, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks with a trusted medical professional. There are features of the Paleo Diet that some people may struggle with and its important to check with your Doctor first before you decide if this is the right diet for you. The responsible thing to do is become educated on both the positive and negative sides of any new diet. Only then will you be able to make an informed decision.
              For more info on  the health benefits of the paleo diet please CLICK HERE.

                How important is a good night’s sleep?

                reset and recovery

                We all know how rubbish we feel without sleep. Many of us are so consistently sleep deprived we have forgotten what “good” actually feels like. Whichever of these applies to you, you must pay more attention to the quality and quantity of your sleep. One bad nights sleep can cause insulin resistance similar to that of a type II diabetic. Think about how rough you feel when you lose sleep. That’s similar to how a type II diabetic feels when their disease is uncontrolled.

                Maybe you think sleep is for weaker people, you have amazing stamina and another cup of coffee will see you through the day. Then consider this: The Disease Control Centres have shown that shift work and sleep deprivation is actually a type of carcinogen (that’s right it can cause cancer!). Insufficient or poor quality sleep puts your body under significant stress, compromises your immune system and makes you overweight, forgetful, and irrational.

                Our caveman ancestors never had an alarm clock. They went to sleep at sunset and got up at sunrise. Like every other living thing, they were in tune with the seasons and the natural state of day and night. They rested in the daytime when they were tired and at night they slept. This is what our genetics  expect us to do but most of us live out a very different reality.

                Lack of sleep causes stress. Stress has an additive effect. We lose sleep, work more, worry about money, and take care of our children. All of this increases our stress levels. Good sleep is one of the most important factors in reducing stress and if we are sleep deprived stress can cause elevated cortisol levels in the evening.This makes you tired during the day and wired at night, which then affects your sleep quality. It’s a vicious circle.

                So, how long should you sleep each night? Well, you should aim for at least eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Basically, If you still need an alarm clock to wake up on time then you’re not getting enough sleep. The bedroom MUST be dark , the kind of dark that our caveman ancestors experienced before civilization, city life and light pollution. That means no light whatsoever. No TV (not even on standby), computers, or even alarm clocks. Even go so far as to cover the LED lights on your alarm. Don’t resort to sleep masks. Block the light from your windows with blackout curtains or tape them up with cardboard if need be. Whatever you do, the room must be dark. If you learn how to sleep well, you’ll have improved memory, fewer allergies,  less inflammation and recover faster from exercise. If your even a little overweight, this is especially important. If you want to lose weight , make sure a good night’s sleep is a priority!

                Ken Burge (inventor of the Paleo Burn Program) provides a real insight into the hormonal and biochemical process which makes sleep so crucial to weight loss and ongoing good health. CLICK HERE to learn more.

                  The Benefits of The Paleo Diet

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                  Advocates of the paleo diet (or caveman diet) tell us that from an evolutionary point of view we should be eating simpler foods, such as those eaten by our caveman ancestors more than 10,000 years ago. Quite simply, the foods that were available to us for the last 100,000 years or more consisted of either animals we could hunt, fish we could catch or fruit and vegetables we could find and gather (a hunter gatherer diet). Through the process of evolution, any species can gradually adapt to new food sources. However evolutionary change is slow and our diets changed dramatically around 10,000 years ago through the advent of farming and refining of food and though we can survive on those foods, we can’t really thrive on them as our bodies are still much more suited to the hunter gatherer diet than they are to a modern diet of refined and processed foods.

                  Though the concept of paleo seems sound, in practice what benefits of the paleo diet will you experience if you make that choice. What do people actually report after they switch to the caveman diet?

                  Simply Better Food:

                  Before I even begin to discuss what the benefits of the paleo diet are, the first point to note is that from the outset you will by default being eating healthier. The paleo diet doesn’t advocate extremes in dieting, starvation diets, calorie counting, dieting pills or untested supplements. Any decent paleo plan, just says, hey, eat simple healthy food and you’ll lose weight and feel great. When you eat paleo, because you’re avoiding processed foods, you’re avoiding all of the toxins included in those, by cutting out refined wheat and sugar, you’re reducing the development of intestinal yeast infection, abdominal bloating, insulin resistance and a whole range of other health issues. And by (for the most part) only including lean meats, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegetables in your daily meal plans, you’ll be supplying your body with all the nutrients it requires without the need for pills or supplements. In short, paleo is healthy by default, the foods it recommends give you all you need to function at your best and feel great.

                  Weight Loss:

                  weight loss

                  When you eat paleo, you lose weight. Its as simple as that. I’m not going to lie to you and say that as long as you eat strict paleo you can gorge yourself to bursting at every meal and expect the pounds to fall away, but I will say that you will lose weight without ‘trying’ to if you switch to the caveman diet. You won’t need to count calories or feel hungry all the time. Why?, because when you eat paleo, by default you avoid foods with addictive qualities (sugar, refined wheat etc) , and by improving the nutritional quality of your food, you raise your metabolism and most importantly when you’re on the paleolithic diet you avoid foods which cause excessive release of insulin and subsequent formation of fat. As a result you’ll also find that when you lose weight, you’re burning fat and retaining lean muscle which will leave you looking at your very best.

                  Better Lifestyle:

                  When you switch to the hunter gatherer diet, you don’t just change your diet, you change your life. Believe it or not, we’re not really meant to work so hard we can’t sleep, then exercise with long slow cardio for hours at the gym (at no small expense) for hours every day, and then still not see proper results. When you switch to the stone age diet, you sleep more, you exercise differently (and use up less time doing so) and you reduce stress levels, and all of this leads to you losing weight, feeling a whole lot better,  and believe it or not makes you more productive in your work and home life. There are numerous studies showing that stressed out type A personalities DO NOT get more done, they just feel worse, and when you switch to the paleo diet the lifestyle changes you make will benefit not just your size and shape, but your whole life. The paleolithic lifestyle is quite simply a happier one!

                  Reduced Inflammation:

                  Many of the foods in our modern diet, really do us no favors when it comes to our immune system. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of why the paleo diet has a positive effect against inflammatory disease and provides a boost to the immune system as quite honestly immunology is a more complicated topic than most mortals can accurately understand or describe. Quite simply by avoiding processed foods, refined wheat and sugar, your immune system will function better and inflammatory processes (particularly allergic processes) will be controlled. The end result of this is that if you suffer from any form of inflammatory disease such as colitis, arthritis, asthma, acne etc (the list goes on) , when you switch to the caveman diet these conditions will improve, possibly even go away altogether. Even if you don’t actively suffer from any of these diseases, the positive effects of the paleolithic diet and lifestyle will help any underlying conditions and ultimately make you feel fitter and healthier.

                  Other Benefits

                  Apart from those I’ve already mentioned, there really is a long list of benefits in store for you when you switch to paleo. I’ve listed some more below.

                  Better Hair and Beautiful skin

                  Better mood, and increased mental clarity

                  Significantly raised energy levels.

                  Less abdominal bloating and wind

                  Reduced risk of serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

                  Reduction in insulin resistance helps prevent and/or control diabetes.

                  Less allergies

                  Conclusion:

                  Our modern diet is so far removed from what evolution is currently dictating that we should eat that it makes many of us sick and overweight. The good news is that the Paleo Diet will make you feel and look your best. I have no doubts about that. If you’re serious about giving the paleolithic lifestyle a go then I would highly recommend following a reputable paleo plan. for info on some of the better paleo plans available on the web please see my reviews of paleo diet plans.

                    Healthy Skin Using The Paleo Diet

                    Healthy Woman Eating an Apple-cropped

                    The paleo diet has helped a number of people improve their overall health, since the diet eliminates harmful carbohydrates and foods that are high in lectins from the diet. Some individuals who follow the paleo diet have also reported having more energy, losing weight more easily, and not having to deal with allergies anymore.

                    But perhaps more importantly for some dieters is the fact that the paleo diet can dramatically improve the health of your skin. Following the caveman diet can cure acne and other skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis. This is because many of the foods included in the diet reduce inflammation and rid the body of the impurities that cause acne. According to the Primal Toad website, more than 17 million people in the U.S. have some form of acne. A diet rich in protein and vitamins, like the paleo diet, could improve acne in just a few weeks.

                    The paleo diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with herbs and meat. These foods remove dirt and impurities from the body. Acne forms when there is a buildup of toxins in the body, and foods that are high in sugars and simple carbohydrates can make acne worse by causing the skin to produce more oil, which clogs the pores. Fortunately, these foods are not a part of the paleo diet.

                    Herbs are an integral part of being paleo, and are strong antioxidants that help the body fight off free radicals and enhance the immune system. If you’re fighting acne, here are some herbs to take on a regular basis.

                    • Basil. This herb is rich in vitamin C, which is antibacterial and prompts collagen production to make the skin firm and blemish-free.
                    • Burdock root. Burdock is high in B vitamins, and is an antibiotic that cleanses the skin and internal organs.
                    • Dandelion. This herb cleanses the liver and reduces inflammation to get rid of acne.

                    Eating vegetables at least twice a day gives the body adequate supplies of vitamins A, C, and E, which keep the skin soft and supple. A number of vegetables, like mushrooms and spinach, are also rich in selenium, which clears the skin, prevents new acne from forming, and helps to reduce dark spots.

                    Eating nuts can also help to cure acne and provides the body with adequate protein to reduce the redness and dry skin that comes from psoriasis and rosacea. Almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts are among the healthiest, as these nuts also contain high amounts of zinc and iron.Making fruit smoothies or fresh vegetable juice is another way to maintain the paleo diet while keeping the skin glowing and healthy. These smoothies, along with meals like grilled or baked fish with steamed or raw vegetables, or snacks like fruit salads and paleo-friendly trail mix, will keep the skin moisturized and free of breakouts. Fresh herbal teas are also a part of the anti-acne diet, particularly those that contain the herbs listed above, along with herbs like milk thistle or marshmallow.Keep these tips in mind whether you’re considering the paleo diet, or want to know how to make your paleo diet plan more effective when it comes to getting a clear complexion.

                    If you’re interested in tailoring the Paleo Diet to treat acne and / or improve the quality of your skin then I would highly recommend the Skintervention program. You can read my brief review HERE.