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Some foods are questionable

January 2nd, 2018 | no comments

Plus:

  • Mel’s weekly food pick:
    Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
    (a healthy alternative to soy sauce)
  • Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
    Walnut Taco “Meat”

As I stated last week, I am a firm believer in the freedom of choice. But it would be unethical for me not to mention the deleterious effects of certain “foods” and fake ingredients on your health, which is why I shared with you Universal Truth #5: Some foods can harm you

Today, in Universal Truth #6: Some foods are questionable, I begin discussing those foods sparking debate in the health industry. They are foods that most definitely cause problems for those individuals with sensitivities, and include dairy products, gluten, and alcohol. Let’s start with dairy…

Dairy

We are all so unique, with vast differences in our genetic makeup. You may find that dairy products don’t agree with you at all. In this case, it is perfectly healthy to remove them or replace with dairy-free options. Some people don’t like how their body responds to dairy, whereas others have no problem with small amounts of cheese and butter.

Even though they tend to have a low glycemic index, there is some research suggesting that high intake of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese, can cause elevated insulin levels in the body and insulin resistance over time.

The bottom line with dairy is this: do what works for you. If after consuming dairy you notice your blood sugar reading is a bit elevated, you may want to eliminate it from your diet. If you simply feel better without it, don’t eat it and don’t worry about running into any nutritional deficiencies.

Personally, I enjoy a little bit of full-fat natural cheese with a glass of dry red wine a couple of times each week. To me, there is nothing like it in the world! Would my body function better without it? Who knows? Maybe. But I’m not willing to give it up because it is one of those indulgences that I look forward to. I also enjoy full-fat cottage cheese, grass fed butter and ghee in small amounts.

If you choose to include dairy in your diet, my suggestion is to keep the portions small and opt for what I call “upgraded” full-fat dairy products. Compared to low and no-fat dairy, full-fat dairy slows the release of sugars into your bloodstream and prevents overeating. Upgraded dairy includes:

  • Full-fat unsweetened yogurt: Icelandic yogurt (also known as skyr) is a wonderful option. I particularly like the Siggi’s brand! Icelandic yogurt is similar to Greek yogurt in that it has much more protein than traditional yogurt, so it will keep you full longer. Be sure to choose the full fat option (4% milkfat).
  • Full-fat unsweetened kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk loaded with good healthy bacteria known as probiotics. I prefer the Wallaby brand of whole milk kefir.
  • Full-fat fresh, unprocessed cheeses:  Unprocessed cheese is in its natural form without the addition of emulsifiers or preservatives. Stay away from processed cheese, often labeled as “cheese spread”, “cheese food” or “cheese product.” Examples of unprocessed cheese include:
    • Asiago
    • Bleu
    • Brie
    • Camembert
    • Cheddar
    • Colby
    • Goat
    • Gorgonzola
    • Gouda
    • Gruyere
    • Havarti
    • Limburger
    • Manchego
    • Parmesan
    • Port Du Salut
    • Provolone
    • Stilton
    • Swiss
  • Grass fed butter and grass fed ghee: Butter from grass fed cows is a nutritionally superior choice due to the presence of more omega-3 fatty acids. Ghee is a form of clarified butter that’s been simmered longer to bring out butter’s natural, nutty flavor. The water and milk fats are removed, making ghee casein and lactose-free. For this reason, it is often tolerated by those individual who can’t have dairy. For grass fed butter, I like the Kerrygold brand, and for grass fed ghee, Organic Valley.
  • Cream: Choose organic when possible or at the very least, hormone, antibiotic, pesticide and GMO-free.
  • Pasture-raised, hormone-free, full-fat milk: As with cream, choose organic or at the very least, hormone, antibiotic, pesticide and GMO-free.

Next week, I will continue the “questionable” foods discussion with gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and non-gluten free oats.

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos

 

Searching for a healthy alternative to traditional soy sauce? Look no further, Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos is the answer to your prayers. Made from the nutrient-rich sap of the coconut tree, it is organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and MSG-free. From a nutritional standpoint, it contains naturally-occurring B-vitamins, as well as 17 amino acids (the building blocks of protein).

Use just like soy sauce in dressings, marinades, and when sautéing veggies or meats. It lends a nice meaty flavor to this week’s recipe: Walnut Taco “Meat.”

 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Walnut Taco “Meat”

I don’t love the frozen meat substitute “crumbles” on the market…mainly because they are full of processed soy, sugar (yes sugar!), and corn oil.

When I’m in the mood for a meatless dinner, I try not to rely on frozen convenience foods that purport to be “healthy.” The ingredient list tells an entirely different story.

While on the hunt for a meat substitute recipe to add to my taco salad, I came across this recipe on popsugar.com. I changed up some of the ingredients a bit and the result is quite delicious!

 

Print Recipe
Walnut Taco "Meat"
The perfect vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free meat substitute for tacos! This recipe requires no cooking- just toss everything in your food processor and pulse until crumbly! You can also season the "meat" with different spices to match different cuisines. 2 Earthfoods per serving: ♥♥
Course Dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
1/4 cup servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Course Dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
1/4 cup servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse several times until crumbly. Be careful not to over-blend or you'll get a big pile of mush. 🙂
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