HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES TO LOSE WEIGHT

HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES TO LOSE WEIGHT

 

Do you ever find yourself saying this?

 

  • No matter how much I exercise or eat right, I can’t lose this excess weight.
  • As I’ve been getting older, my metabolism has slowed and I keep gaining weight.
  • Once I lose the weight, the fat comes right back to me.

 

If you can relate to the above, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance.

 

As a nurse practitioner with experience in weight management and bioidentical hormone therapy, I can tell you firsthand that your weight affects your hormones and, on the flipside, your hormones affect your weight. So, which came first? The chicken or the egg? It’s kind of hard to tell, but there are things you can do to help both at the same time and lead to a leaner body and put your hormones back into balance. Even if you’re going through menopause, you can help relieve hot flashes, weight gain, and other symptoms of menopause by changing your diet.

 

First, it’s helpful to know what hormones are, what role(s) they have in the body, and what the major players are.

 

So, what are hormones? Hormones are chemical messengers that are made in the body and are responsible for almost every bodily function. We can’t survive without them! Without hormones, we would never experience hunger and may possibly starve to death. Without hormones, we wouldn’t be able to make babies and mankind would end. Crazy, isn’t it?

 

 

What’s happening to our hormones? As we age, our hormones change. Men mainly lose testosterone and women lose progesterone and estrogen over the years. This a natural process of aging, however, there are other factors that can speed up this process, mainly lifestyle. Stress, improper nutrition, excess weight…. These all disrupt the delicate balance of hormones needed to maintain good health.

 

When it comes to your weight, there are many hormones that can affect your metabolism, which will either slow down or speed up how quickly your body uses up energy (calories).

 

I am sure you have heard that an underactive thyroid or too much cortisol can slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain. However, there are many other important hormones that can cause you to pack on the pounds when you’re trying your very hardest to lose them.

The top hormones that can affect your weight when imbalanced are:

 

Estrogen

Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, adrenal gland, and fat cells. It is a hormone responsible for the growth and development of female sexual characteristics, reproduction, and bone formation.

 

PROBLEM: If there is too much estrogen in the body (i.e. estrogen dominance), which can occur even during menopause, it can cause you to gain extra weight especially around the waist, hips, and thighs.

 

SOLUTION: Eating lots of fiber can help the body get rid of excess estrogen through digestion. The more fiber you eat, the better your body can digest foods. Avoid foods that can cause estrogen levels to rise, such as soy, excess sugar, and non-organic meat and dairy. Don’t use Teflon pans and never heat food in plastic containers, since the chemicals can seep into your food and raise your estrogen levels. Learn more about how to cut down on sugar here.

 

Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone produced in the ovaries, placenta (when pregnant), and adrenal glands. It is responsible for fertility and menstruation and also helps balance estrogen.

 

PROBLEM: Not having enough progesterone can cause weight gain. Less than optimal progesterone levels can lead to excess estrogen in the body, which can turn more calories into fat.

 

SOLUTION: Progesterone prevents excessive estrogen in the body, helps your thyroid hormones function better, lowers your insulin levels, helps you sleep, and reduces fluid retention, which all help you lose weight. Having not enough progesterone is more common than having too much. You can increase your levels of progesterone naturally by avoiding foods that cause estrogen levels to rise, such as soy foodsexcess sugar, and non-organic meat and dairy. You can also add more fiber to your diet and eat more foods that are high in:

 

  • Magnesium – Spinach, Pumpkin, Squash, Okra, Nuts & Seeds, Plantains
  • Vitamin B6 – Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Red Meat and Poultry, Bananas, Spinach, Seafood
  • Vitamin C – Yellow Peppers, Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (Kale), Kiwi, Broccoli, Oranges
  • Vitamin E – Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Olive Oil, Shellfish (Shrimp)
  • Zinc – Red Meat, Shellfish (Oysters), Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin
  • L-Arginine – Turkey, Chicken, Pumpkin Seeds

 

You can also improve progesterone levels by lowering stress. When you are stressed over an extended period of time, the adrenal glands convert progesterone to cortisol (stress hormone). Practice yoga, swimming, meditation, or whatever you find useful for quieting your mind to reduce stress and cortisol, to boost progesterone.

 

Lastly, you can supplement with chasteberry, an herb scientifically proven to improve progesterone production. It’s also used for PMS, irregular menses, and support of early pregnancy when there is a history of potential progesterone imbalance. It works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce more luteinizing hormone, which, in turn, signals the ovaries to produce more progesterone.

 

Testosterone

Testosterone is produced by the testes in men and primarly by the ovaries in women. It is responsible for male characteristics in men but also plays an important role in women. It helps increase muscle mass, bone density, and libido.

 

PROBLEM: Low testosterone levels in either men or women can lead to a loss of muscle mass, which can lead to weight gain since muscle cells use more energy than fat cells and metabolism is slowed.

 

SOLUTION: Research has found that performing muscle-building exercises, getting enough sleep, eating an adequate amount of healthy fats and proteins, reducing and managing stress, and getting enough vitamin D, can all naturally boost testosterone levels, which can help you lose weight.

 

Leptin

Also called the “fat hormone” or “fullness hormone,” leptin is made by fat cells and is responsible for telling your brain that you have enough energy stored as fat so that your body can burn energy at a normal rate, eat a normal amount, and exercise at a normal rate. The lower your leptin levels are, the lower your metabolism and the hungrier you become. Leptin is often responsible for weight loss plateaus, when you can’t seem to lose any more weight when dieting.

 

PROBLEM: Leptin levels are cut in half after 2 weeks of dieting. When you diet, you eat less and your fat cells lose some fat, which then decreases the amount of leptin produced. Your brain begins to sense starvation, which then slows your metabolism, makes you want to eat more, and exercise at a slower rate. This leads to weight gain.

 

SOLUTION: Having a cheat meal can boost your metabolism is by increasing levels of leptin. Throwing a calorie-rich cheat meal tricks your system into thinking food is plentiful and that it’s OK to burn through fat stores. In the context of strict dieting, cheat meals can aid weight loss by temporarily boosting leptin. But if you’ve been lax with your meal plan, the leptin argument is a moot point. In other words, you have to be nice before you can afford to be naughty.

Ghrelin

Also called the “hunger hormone,” ghrelin is an appetite increaser. The higher the level of ghrelin we have, the hungrier we become. It is released primarily by the stomach and signals hunger to the brain.

 

PROBLEMResearch shows that ghrelin levels increase when dieting, causing hunger and weight gain.

 

SOLUTION: Increase your sleep to ensure you get at least 7-8 hours. Research also shows that increasing muscle, eating more protein, and having a cheat meal can lower ghrelin levels and help you lose weight.

 

Insulin

Insulin’s job is to tell the cells in your body how to use sugar (glucose). Your body can either use glucose as energy or store it as fat.

 

PROBLEM: When insulin levels become too high, such as what happens with a high-carb diet that leads to high insulin levels, the cells aren’t able to use it for energy and it is then stored as fat.

 

SOLUTION: To prevent high insulin levels, avoid sugary drinks, choose whole-grains instead of refined grains, eat more fiber, eat healthy fats, cut down on portion sizes, eat plenty of protein, and get plenty of exercise to help you lose weight.

DHEA

One of the most abundant hormones in the body, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is primarily produced by the adrenal glands and is converted into many other hormones in the body. It is responsible for building lean muscle mass and preventing excessive fat in the body, preventing bone loss, lowering inflammation, protecting your brain, and increasing libido.
  

 

PROBLEM: DHEA levels are rapidly declining in men and women, especially after the age of 30. This leads to fatigue and weight gain.

 

SOLUTION: Eat healthy fats that are high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as wild-caught fish, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. You can also take a DHEA supplement, but check with your healthcare provider beforehand, since taking a DHEA supplement isn’t right for everyone.

 

Insulin

Insulin’s job is to tell the cells in your body how to use sugar (glucose). Your body can either use glucose as energy or store it as fat.

 

PROBLEM: When insulin levels become too high, such as what happens with a high-carb diet that leads to high insulin levels, the cells aren’t able to use it for energy and it is then stored as fat.

 

SOLUTION: To prevent high insulin levels, avoid sugary drinks, choose whole-grains instead of refined grains, eat more fiber, eat healthy fats, cut down on portion sizes, eat plenty of protein, and get plenty of exercise to help you lose weight.

 

Serotonin

Serotonin is a powerful hormone that helps regulate mood, hunger, sleep, and even body temperature.

 

PROBLEM: When serotonin levels are low, we feel depressed or down, which can cause food cravings, especially for sugars and starches.

 

SOLUTION: According to research, 3 ways to increase serotonin levels naturally are to exercise every day (at least 30 minutes), get enough sunlight every day (about 10-15 minutes), and consume foods containing tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is sometimes thought of as the “turkey hormone” that causes sleepiness. Foods that contain high levels of tryptophan include nuts and seeds, meat, fish and shellfish, and dairy.

 

Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a small organ that releases a hormone that regulates metabolism and helps control breathing, heart rate, muscle strength, body weight and temperature, and more.

 

PROBLEM: Since thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough hormones can cause slow metabolism and weight gain. In general, 5-10 pounds of body weight may be caused by not enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

 

SOLUTION: Eating thyroid-boosting fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and fish oil, as well as cutting down on processed foods and sugars, can help naturally boost thyroid function.

 

In addition, making sure you have enough iodine in your diet can also help, since iodine deficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism. The Institute of Medicine reports the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for iodine is 150 micrograms for adults, 220 micrograms during pregnancy and 290 micrograms of iodine daily for breast-feeding women. Although sea salt has lower levels of iodine (unless it is iodized), it is better for you since it is less processed and has higher amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium than table salt.

 

Cortisol

Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” is produced in the adrenal glands and helps regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism, fluid balance in the body, and the immune response (the ability to fight infection).

 

PROBLEM: Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, and if this occurs over a prolonged period of time, you can develop food cravings, blood sugar imbalances, and fat storage.

 

SOLUTION: Decrease your caffeine intake, get enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours per night), manage stress (e.g. meditation), and exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes a day). However, don’t exercise too strenuously, as this can cause cortisol levels to rise and make the problem worse in the short term. Focus on exercises that also promote relaxation, such as yoga, walking, or swimming. If you do more vigorous workouts, keep them shorter in length or take longer breaks between reps.

 

Adiponectin

Made by fat cells, adiponectin is a hormone that regulates how the body uses sugar (glucose) for energy.

 

PROBLEM: Adiponectin levels are lower in people who are overweight or obese and in those who are insulin-resistant (which leads to excess sugar in the blood stream). Eating a high-carbohydrate diet can also lower levels. The lower the level of adiponectin, the less the body can use sugar for energy, which is then stored as fat, causing weight gain.

 

SOLUTION: Eating more fiber and less refined carbohydrates can help increase levels of adiponectin. Also, making sure you are getting enough magnesium may help as well. Research has found that eating a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil and fish oil may increase adiponectin. There’s another benefit of following the French Paleo Burn diet!

 

Glucagon

Produced by the pancreas, glucagon is also known as the “weight loss hormone.” It has the opposite function of insulin. While insulin helps store fat, glucagon helps burn it.

 

PROBLEM: Being overweight or obese and eating “bad carbs” can cause insulin levels to remain high, causing more weight gain.

 

SOLUTION: Avoiding “bad” carbs such as sugar, refined white flour, and processed snacks can help regulate your insulin levels, which will then in turn help regulate your glucagon levels and help you lose weight.

 

Vitamin D

Did you know that vitamin D is actually a hormone? It’s mostly known for its role in the development of strong bones, but it also helps regulate weight.

 

PROBLEM: Would you believe that the majority of the population — up to 90 percent of adults in the United States — is believed to have a vitamin D deficiency? With more time spent indoors, and increased use of sunscreen, vitamin D levels are dropping. Many physicians are starting to take this vitamin deficiency very seriously. In fact, vitamin D is one of the most recommended supplements by physicians today.

 

Research shows that people who have a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to be overweight or obese. Vitamin D works together with leptin (a “fat hormone”) to signal the brain that you are full and to stop eating. When vitamin D levels are low, there is a disruption in the signal, which may cause you to overeat. In addition, vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue, making you feel too tired to exercise.

 

SOLUTION: While eating foods high in vitamin D can help, the best way to get enough is through sunlight. Most experts recommend getting about 10-15 minutes daily of direct sunlight without wearing sunscreen if you are fair to medium toned. If you have darker skin, you may need more time in the sun to make enough vitamin D since your skin has more natural protection against the sun’s effects. Some experts recommend that darker toned people spend about 40 minutes to one hour in the sun daily if possible. Worried about the damaging effects of sun exposure? Use sunscreen only on areas with the most exposure, such as shoulders, nose, and back of neck, and don’t stay in the sun longer than needed.

 

Treating vitamin D deficiency with supplements should be done under medical supervision. Since it can be stored in the body for a long period of time, levels can become too high and can cause problems. You should begin by having your vitamin D blood level taken and evaluated. If the results show that you truly are deficient, you will be started on a course of treatment to bring your blood level into the optimal range. According to research on vitamin D optimization, the standard treatment for vitamin D deficiency is eight weeks of 50,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D once a week. After this time, your levels will again be tested and either this course will continue or you will be placed on a maintenance dose of vitamin D.

 

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PALEO THANKSGIVING: 10 TIPS & 14 RECIPES TO SURVIVE THANKSGIVING 2018

PALEO THANKSGIVING: 10 TIPS & 14 RECIPES TO SURVIVE THANKSGIVING 2018

Chef Gui here for Origin Weight Loss. I am glad you’re joining Carissa and I for this Paleo Thanksgiving 2018 Survival Holiday Guide.

I know you’re going to love our Holiday paleo recipes. They are convenient, easy, delicious, and more importantly, they will help you lose weight or maintain your ideal weight.

Eating is in our DNA. You see, I grew up in the South of France, where long, opulent holiday dinners are much valued. There is no Thanksgiving there for obvious reasons (Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday), but holiday dinners are always meaningful family celebrations with plenty of food to go around.

You see, my wife Carissa, our 5 children and I all love Thanksgiving.

But it’s only at age 28 that I discovered and fell in love with Thanksgiving.

Now, at age 46, Thanksgiving is still my favorite Holiday. I just love the meaningful celebration, showing gratitude and thankfulness, and celebrating with my family.

I want you to enjoy amazing holiday food without the feeling of heaviness, the added weight we put on, and without the guilt of feeling like an utter sloth.

Make no mistake about it, though. My Holiday recipes are no boring diet food. We’re talking real flavor and real enjoyment of food, here.

Because that’s what holiday food should be about.

10 Tips To Survive Thanksgiving 2018

If you’re cooking this year, this is the key to a successful Thanksgiving:

1. Thawing turkey

If you must use a frozen turkey, remember that it takes forever to thaw. Always thaw it in your refrigerator. It takes about 2 days.

Also, if you have never tried a Heritage turkey, go for it. Just like the pilgrims tasted years ago. Organic turkeys and wild turkeys are also paleo and really great.

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2. Dry the skin before roasting

Any moisture on the skin will prevent a nice, golden browning. Dry the bird with paper towels.

3. Rub it

Rub the turkey all over with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil. This helps the turkey brown evenly. Sprinkle the turkey with kosher salt (unless you’ve already brined it) to help crisp the skin.

4. Oven temperature

I prefer to blast first on high heat (425°F) for 30 minutes and then reduce to a low, steady temperature of 325°F from start to finish.

5. Roast on convection

Most ovens have a convection setting. The only differences are convection eliminates “cold” spots and cut down time by 20%.

6. Basting

Don’t baste if you like crispy skin. Baste if you prefer a moist skin.

7. Keep the door shut

If you want your turkey to ever cook, that is.

8. Use a thermometer

 

Use an instant-read thermometer to determine temperature; it should read 165 degrees F at the thigh when it’s done. If you stuff your turkey, check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well.

9. Rest the bird

This is the key to a moist turkey. Providing you took the turkey out of the oven as soon as it has reached 165 F, then let it rest for at least 30 minutes, covered with 2 aluminum foil sheets. The internal moisture will rehydrate the bird from the inside out.

10. Planning is key

Don’t hesitate to let Carissa and I know how your Thanksgiving preparations are going. Ask us questions, and we’ll answer. Tell me if you’re in a last minute pinch. I love helping and hearing from you all.

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Our 2018 Paleo Thanksgiving Menu

 

Appetizers

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Sautéed Jumbo Shrimp with Garlic, Parsley and Lemon

Soup and Salad

  • Fall Squash Soup with Cinnamon and Nutmeg (Presented in a huge carved pumpkin! J)
  • Watermelon, Cucumber, and Marcona Almond Salad with a Light Sherry Dressing

Turkey & Gravy

  • Three Roasted Heritage Turkeys with Healthy Gravy
  • Paleo Stuffing with Sausage, Apricots and Pistachios

Sides

  • Green Bean Casserole and Caramelized Pecans
  • Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Golden Raisins
  • Rainbow Roasted Vegetables with Basil, and Fig Glaze
  • Traditional Sweet Potato casserole with Pecans

Others

  • Cranberry Relish

Desserts

  • Berry Salad
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

 

THANKSGIVING 2017 PALEO RECIPES

 

The following paleo recipes revolve around traditional fare, but I kept a few surprises for you, like my awesome flourless paleo chocolate cake.

paleo thanksgiving
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Zucchini and Sundried Tomatoes Rustic Salad Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Wash the zucchini, dry, trim and discard the ends, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Arrange the rounds in one layer on a large, sprayed cookie sheet. Place in oven for 10 minutes, until they soften slightly.

  3. Transfer zucchini to a bowl and toss them lightly with the salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Sprinkle with sundried tomatoes and basil. Serve immediately.

paleo thanksgiving
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Watermelon, Cucumber, and Marcona Almond Salad Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup feta cheese, torn into large crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons Marcona almonds, toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the cubed cucumber and watermelon in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.

  2. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Add the cheese, the almonds, and then the dressing, and toss gently to combine.

paleo thanksgiving
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Healthy Green Soup Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chile flakes
  • ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons miso paste
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 chicken sausages, casing removed and broken into pieces
  • 4 cups cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the sausage for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, chile flakes, greens, scallions, mushrooms, and the water. Bring to a simmer.

  2. Add miso paste, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off. Add herbs and lemon juice.

paleo thanksgiving
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Turkey with Cumin, Honey, and Orange Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins
 
Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 medium turkey
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees on convection.

  2. Combine orange juice, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and whisk until smooth.

  3. Place turkey in a roasting pan, and spoon the honey mixture over the breast and thighs.

  4. Place turkey in oven and roast for 45 minutes. Spoon accumulated juices back over the turkey, and return to oven.

  5. Turn down the heat to 325F and keep baking the turkey, basting every 30 minutes. If juices dry up, use a couple of tablespoons of water.

  6. To see if the turkey is done, insert an instant-read thermometer into a thigh; when it reads 155 to 165 degrees, remove chicken from oven, and baste one final time. Cover with aluminum foil and rest 30 minutes before serving.

paleo thanksgiving
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Holiday Sausage, Cranberry and Pistachio Stuffing Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Makes 10 cups (1 medium turkey).

Ingredients
  • 12 hot or mild organic turkey sausages, casings removed
  • 3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pistachios
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a food processor, process celery, onion and carrots (in batches if necessary) until they are the size of uncooked rice. Transfer to a large bowl. Add sausage and all other ingredients. Mix well.

  3. Stuff into turkey cavity; Bake turkey according to recipe. Place remaining stuffing in a baking dish and bake until golden on top, about 30 minutes.

  4. IMPORTANT NOTE: Whether you decide to stuff a turkey or just bake the stuffing by itself, make sure you use a thermometer: the internal temperature of the stuffing must reach 165F.

paleo thanksgiving
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Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Golden Raisins Yum
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 10 medium carrots, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the ends and cut the carrots in half lengthwise and crosswise. Place in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, cumin seeds, Cayenne, salt and pepper, and thyme leaves.

  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the carrots once, until slightly caramelized and tender.

  3. Remove the carrots from the oven when done. Sprinkle with tarragon, and raisins and serve immediately, or serve at room temperature.

paleo thanksgiving
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Cranberry-Orange Relish Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium orange (unpeeled but ends removed)
  • ½ cup honey
Instructions
  1. Slice unpeeled orange into eighths and remove any seeds. Place half of the cranberries and half of the orange in food processor. Pulse until evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the other half of orange and cranberries. Stir in honey to taste and store in the refrigerator.

paleo thanksgiving
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Edamame and Leek Soup Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium leeks
  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced tarragon, for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Trim leeks of outer layer and stems. Chop white and tender green parts into 1/2-inch chunks. Soak leeks in a large bowl of lukewarm water, swishing to dislodge sand. Drain and soak again, then lift leeks from water, leaving any sediment behind.

  2. Heat up olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until leeks are wilted, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add garlic, Cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and edamame, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes.

  4. Using a hand blender, process the raw spinach with the soup. Adjust seasoning and add nutmeg. Thin soup with stock if necessary.

  5. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of chives and tarragon.

paleo thanksgiving
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Chateaubriand with Garlic, Orange and Horseradish Sauce Yum
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white horseradish
  • grated zest of half an orange
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Season tenderloin with salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic.

  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the meat on the oven’s middle rack and roast until an instant-read thermometer shows 130 degrees (for medium rare), about 20-25 minutes. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk the horseradish and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve alongside the tenderloin.

paleo thanksgiving
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Crown Roast of Pork Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 8 to 9-pound crown roast of pork (10 to 12 ribs)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In small skillet under medium high heat, toast fennel seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Place toasted fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic, sage, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a blender. Pulse blender to chop everything up, then add olive oil, and blend until mixture becomes a paste, scraping down sides occasionally with a rubber spatula.

  2. Season pork evenly with the herb paste.

  3. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place roast in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 and continue roasting until meat registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Let rest 15 minutes before carving.

paleo thanksgiving
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Dark Chocolate Bacon Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon slices (about 12 slices)
  • 12 ounces unsweetened ultra-dark chocolate containing $85-95% cocoa
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil; it should be large enough to hold the bacon in a single layer. Place bacon in pan and bake until lightly browned and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Drain bacon fat from pan and tap dry with a paper towel.

  3. Meanwhile set up a double boiler by heating a large saucepan filled with water over medium heat to a simmer. Set a stainless steel bowl over the simmering water. Add chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula occasionally until smooth and completely melted. Remove bowl and set aside.

  4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using tongs, carefully dip half the bacon into the melted chocolate turning to coat all sides in chocolate. Transfer to the clean sheet of waiting parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining slices of bacon, dipping them in the melted dark chocolate. Let chocolate set at room temperature and refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

paleo thanksgiving
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Aigo Boulido – French Hangover Soup Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened, whole-grain cereals (Such as Ezekiel’s or Bob’s Red Mill’s), processed into crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and sage and let them sizzle a bit without browning, about a minute.

  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

  3. With a hand blender, process the soup until it is no longer lumpy.

  4. Over medium heat, bring to a brisk simmer and, for each serving, poach an egg one by one for about 3 minutes, removing them delicately as you go, and making sure they don’t break.

  5. Once all eggs are poached, lift them with a slotted spoon and place each one into one soup bowl. Ladle soup over it, sprinkle with a large amount of chopped parsley, and drizzle with a good estate extra-virgin olive oil.

paleo thanksgiving
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Grilled Vegetables and Garlic-Lime Aioli Yum
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 10
Ingredients
For the vegetables:
  • 3 carrots, unpeeled and cut into ¾ inch wedges
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the aioli:
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place broccoli and cauliflower together on one large rimmed baking sheet, and carrots, beets and turnips on another. Place scallions on individual pans. Toss all vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated.

  2. Roast scallions 12 to 15 minutes; broccoli and cauliflower 20 to 30 minutes; and carrots, beets and turnips 40 to 50 minutes.

  3. Make the aioli:

    In a food processor, combine all ingredients except olive oil. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream.

  4. Arrange roasted vegetables on platter. Serve with the aioli on the side.

paleo thanksgiving
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Citrus Salad with Champagne Yum
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 pink grapefruit
  • 1 white grapefruit
  • 5 navel oranges
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • Truvia for sprinkling
  • Blanched almonds, for garnish
  • Champagne to taste
Instructions
  1. With a sharp knife, cut the end of all citrus. Place one fruit on a cutting board on one end, so it stays on the board safely. Carefully slicing around the fruit from one end to the other, remove both skin and pith. Repeat for all the fruits.

  2. Slice all the fruit crosswise about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange slices in a bowl, making sure each serving has all colors. Pour enough Champagne to cover the fruits halfway. Add a few blanched almonds to garnish. Sprinkle lightly with Truvia.

5 FAST TIPS TO READING FOOD LABELS

5 FAST TIPS TO READING FOOD LABELS

 

Here’s how to make healthier choices quickly when shopping for food:

 

If you’re like me, you don’t have time to fuss around at the grocery store, debating on whether or not a food should make its way off store shelves and into your shopping basket. With a full-time job, half-time sanity, and all-the-time kids with their beaks open like hungry little birds, I need to make a quick decision on what to buy. Although food labels may look complicated, they can be decoded fairly easily and quickly, once you learn a few tricks. These 5 fast tips will help you save some time so you can get in and get out, and feed everyone in the nest something nutritious.

 

Tip #1: Check the ingredients list BEFORE the nutritional facts.

 

If a package of food contains ingredients that are known to cause health problems, then it doesn’t matter how many grams of protein, fat, or carbohydrates are in each serving. The food is simply not a healthy food. The top 10 ingredients to look for and avoid are:

 

  • High-fructose corn syrup, the #1 source of calories in America, which increases triglycerides, boosts fat-storing hormones, and drives people to overeat and gain weight.
  • Artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose, and Saccharin), which are far worse for you than plain sugar and research shows them to be associated with weight gain.
  • Food dyes such as blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3, and yellow 6, which have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is a processed “flavor enhancer” and has been shown to seriously screw with brain chemistry when consumed in large amounts.
  • Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are two different preservatives believed to cause colon cancer and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes.
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT), potentially cancer-causing preservatives that can seriously mess with your hormones.
  • Potassium bromate, an additive used to increase volume in breads and pastries and is known to cause cancer in animals.
  • Hydrogenated oils such as palm oil, corn oil, or soybean oil, which raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lower your “good” HDL. These fats also increase your risk of blood clots and heart attack.
  • Sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate, which have been linked to serious thyroid damage and may have cancer-causing effects.
  • Sulfur dioxide, a toxic additive that has been banned by the FDA on raw fruits and vegetables but still found in other foods. It destroys vitamins B1 and E, and can contribute to breathing problems and cardiovascular disease.

 

Tip #2: A shorter list is usually a better list.

 

If an ingredient list is excessively long, there is a good chance that it contains food additives, preservatives, and other ingredients that aren’t very good to put into your body. Simple is better.

 

Tip #3: Check the serving size and amount of servings.

 

Not all packages contain only one serving, which can be misleading when you read the nutrition facts. For example, if you see that there are only 4 grams of serving for each serving size, but there are 4 servings per container, there are really 16 grams of sugar in the whole package.

 

Tip #4: Use the <10> rule.

 

A rule of thumb for deciding if a food has a high amount of protein (good) or too much sugar (bad): Protein should be in double digits (>10 or more grams) and sugar should be in single digits (< less than 10 grams). The American Heart Association recommends that the maximum amount of sugar you should eat in a day are:

 

  • Men: 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons)
  • Women: 25 grams (6 teaspoons)

 

Currently, the average American currently eats 82 grams (19.5 teaspoons) of added sugars a day!

 

 

Ideally, no added sugar is the best amount of sugar. Of course, there are sugars occurring naturally in some foods such as fruit, so just read the label to check if sugar has been added to the product or not. If it isn’t listed, it’s naturally occurring and doesn’t have as much of a detrimental effect on your body. Remember that there are many different names for sugar. In fact, there are about 61 of them, which include:

 

Agave nectar Demerara sugar Mannose
Barbados sugar Dextrin Maple syrup
Barley malt Dextrose Molasses
Barley malt syrup Evaporated cane juice Muscovado
Beet sugar Free-flowing brown sugars Palm sugar
Brown sugar Fructose Panocha
Buttered syrup Fruit juice Powdered sugar
Cane juice Fruit juice concentrate Raw sugar
Cane juice crystals Glucose Refiner’s syrup
Cane sugar Glucose solids Rice syrup
Caramel Golden sugar Saccharose
Carob syrup Golden syrup Sorghum Syrup
Castor sugar Grape sugar Sucrose
Coconut palm sugar HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup) Sugar (granulated)
Coconut sugar Honey Sweet Sorghum
Confectioner’s sugar Icing sugar Syrup
Corn sweetener Invert sugar Treacle
Corn syrup Malt syrup Turbinado sugar
Corn syrup solids Maltodextrin Yellow sugar
Date sugar Maltol
Dehydrated cane juice Maltose

 

Tip #5: Know the WHOLE story.

 

Don’t fall for bread or pasta products that advertise “made with organic flour” or “made with unbleached flour.” Although they sound healthy, all they probably really contain is refined flour (bad). Make sure the ingredient list says “whole-grain wheat,” or whole-grain of whatever grain it contains (bran, oat, etc.). Here’s a quick look at the difference between whole vs. refined grains, and why it is important to choose whole-grain:

 

  • Whole grains. These unrefined grains haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling, which means that all their nutrients remain intact. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.
  • Refined grains. In contrast to whole grains, refined grains are milled, a process that strips out both the bran and germ to give them a finer texture and longer shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including fiber. Refined grains will not keep your blood sugar levels steady, which is why you will be hungry again soon after consumption.

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