– White fish fillets
– Sweet potatoes
– 1-2 Eggs
– Shredded Coconut
Optional: – Paprika, turmeric, sea salt
– Broccoli, mushrooms or salad greens
A modern-day order of fish and chips is usually a killer meal containing processed flours and harmful vegetable oils. You can always order grilled fish, but the chips or fries will still be fried in over-processed, rancid oils, which is enough reason to steer clear. This version, however, gives you all the nutrition and tastiness of fish and chips, with none of the nasties. You get a nice piece of fish with a light healthy crust, and homemade chips baked in the oven. Make this meal for your kids – they will love it!
– I used sweet potato instead of white potato because we prefer the taste (I think that’s why people need ketchup for white potato fries). Many people also prefer sweet potatoes because of their lower glycemic index (slower release of sugars in your body) which keeps blood sugar levels stable in the body and keep you satisfied for longer. Others avoid white potatoes as they are sensitive or intolerant to plants from the nightshade plant family. However, if you do well on either, feel free to substitute white potatoes in this recipe!
– Be sure to buy minimally processed, unsweetened shredded coconut. I mixed in a few spices with the coconut to add to the flavour of the fish crust, but the coconut has a wonderful flavour on its own if you choose not to use any extra spices.
– For the healthiest, most primal fish, always buy wild caught, never farmed. If you can’t find wild fish fillets at a reasonable price, buy a whole fish and ask the fishmonger (the fish butcher) to fillet it for you. You can even save the carcass for fish stock! There is usually no extra cost for this service, and the whole fish are significantly cheaper.
– The broccoli and mushrooms are merely side suggestions that are easy to cook up at the same time your fish and chips are cooking. You can check the veggie cheat sheet for more ideas, or a green salad is also a perfect side. Or just have the fish and chips on their own!
Primal Fish and Chips Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Cut the ends off the sweet potatoes and slice into long even rectangles like steak fries.
Step 2: Arrange sweet potato chips in a single layer on a baking tray. Spray or toss with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Put in oven and set timer for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Chop the broccoli or other vegetable sides and put in water-filled steamer or pot and/or under the grill. Don’t turn the heat on yet.
Step 4: Beat eggs in a small bowl. Sprinkle plenty of shredded coconut onto a plate and mix in any desired spices. Try 1/4 tsp each of paprika and turmeric, plus a sprinkle of sea salt.
Step 5: Put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and/or butter into a fry pan on med-high heat.
Step 6: Turn the heat on to steam/grill your side veggies so they will cook while the fish is frying.
Step 7: When pan is hot, dip each fish fillet into the egg, then into the coconut, then lay in the pan. Ensure both sides of the fish get coated in the coconut before putting in the pan.
Step 8: After a few minutes frying, flip the fish with a spatula and fry the other side.
Step 9: Let fish cook a few more minutes. The veggies and chips should be ready about the same time. Enjoy!
How did your fish and chips turn out? Share any adaptations you recommend for this recipe.
– 450 g (16oz) spinach – 1/2 cup nuts or seeds – 2 crushed garlic cloves – handful fresh basil (or other herb)
– 2-3 eggs
Forget expensive energy bars, sports bars and meal replacement bars that are full of manufactured powders and other non-foods. Here you have a bar that is full of nutrients and it’s made from real food in your kitchen for a fraction of the cost. We all know how nutritious spinach is, then you’ve got protein and nutrient-rich eggs, garlic which boosts immunity in so many ways, and the healthy fats of nuts or seeds. This is a true health bar.
Mark Sisson calls this recipe Spinach Bread in his Primal Blueprint Cookbook, as you can cut it into bigger slices and use as a bread substitute to hold your meats, veggies or tuna salad, like a sandwich. We love it mainly as a snack or side dish, but have also enjoyed scooping up our scrap salads or leftover stews, or sopping up soups, like you would with bread slices. Small cut spinach bars are also great to serve with an avocado or hummus dip, instead of crackers. All my friends and clients who are mums say the best thing about these bars is that it’s the only way their kids will eat spinach. I think this may even be true for some grownups. Any way you slice it, it’s Paleo, it’s primal, it’s nutritious, easy and delicious.
– Mark Sisson’s original recipe calls for pine nuts and basil, which give the bars a pesto flavour. I find pine nuts too expensive, and therefore use whatever nuts I have on hand. I have tried almonds, walnuts, cashews, and brazil nuts. Lightly toasting the nuts in a fry pan or toaster oven gives them more flavour. To make the bars nut-free so Kaiya could take them to her daycare, I even did a batch once with sunflower seeds, and they came out great. Experiment and see what you like.
– Same goes for the basil. If you don’t have any on hand, as is often in winter, try using a different fresh herb or just omitting the herbs altogether. I once tried using thai basil from my friends garden, and it was an all new taste sensation.
– I recently found another version of this recipe on cravingsgoneclean.com where you don’t have to wilt the spinach first, if you want to try that one out too. I’m going to give it a whirl, so let’s compare notes!
– Using organic baby spinach leaves will usually be more expensive than a full bunch of organic English Spinach, so I recommend the latter, but you can use either one.
Spinach Bars Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Rip spinach leaves away from ribs/stems (not necessary if using baby spinach) and put in a pot. Rinse lightly and shake most water off.
Step 2: Cook spinach in the covered pot over med/low heat for a few minutes, just until wilted.
Step 3: Wrap the cooked spinach into a tea towel, cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze out all the excess moisture.
Step 4: Pulse the nuts, garlic and herbs in a food processor until nuts are crumbled well but not completely broken down.
Step 5: Add to the food processor your wilted spinach, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse for 10 seconds.
Step 6: Stir in the eggs. Pour mixture into a shallow pan, like a slice pan or pie tin, and spread evenly.
Step 7: Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Step 8: Let cool, then slice into squares, rectangles or triangles of your desired size.
What nuts and herbs did you put in your spinach bars? Did you eat them as bread, snacks, or both?
I used to think that the term healthy party food was an oxymoron.
How can you use healthy and party in the same breath?
Haven’t we all had a party throw us off our healthy eating goals?
Or felt like a party-pooper for not partaking in all the rich, sugary, processed party food?
Well it doesn’t have to be like that anymore.
First of all, getting healthy (instead of just skinny) is getting more popular, as people are realising how much better life is when you have good health. So you are not the only party-goer who wants to eat real food. Secondly, now that we’ve ditched the low-fat diet myths and embraced Primal diets, we have much more delicious and filling choices for our party menus!
Here are some of our favourite party food ideas, most of which would best suit casual get-togethers and kids parties, but can also be fancied up for a stylish cocktail party or any occassion. Either way, these party dishes can all be made very inexpensively, so your party doesn’t break the bank.
When you are trying to think of what to make for a party, just think of Primal food basics: animal food and plant food. Animal food is red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, wild game. Plant food is vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Meats, Chicken, Fish & Eggs
Let’s start with some delicious animal food party dishes that are so simple to make. A good quality wholesale butcher is your best bet for getting grass-fed/free-range meats at cheaper prices. Never buy caged eggs, and always look for wild caught fish, even if you use canned fish.
Mini sausages (chipolatas)
A party favourite with kids and grown-ups alike! Some toothpicks are all you really need to serve these with, but you could also easily do a homemade ketchup or chutney, or a good-quality mustard for dipping the sausages. If you want a more sophisticated presentation, try skewering the whole sausages lengthwise, or use lemongrass to skewer diagonal slices, as shown above.
Chicken wings or drumettes
Just as easy as sausages, and all you need are lots of napkins. These can be baked in a 350F oven in 20 minutes, or you can turn the temp down and cook long and slow for up to 1.5 hours to make nice and crispy. For flavour, google a baked chicken wing recipe, or try my favourite simple coating of sesame oil, olive oil, cider vinegar or rice vinegar, soy sauce, grated ginger, and an optional touch of honey. Mix it all in a bowl, then simply brush it onto your wings before baking.
These can be as simple or fancy as you wish, depending on what you mix the meat with before rolling into balls. For basic meatballs, all you need is ground meat, one egg, onion, herbs and spices. No need for breadcrumbs or fillers; the egg in your mixture works well at holding the small balls together. Most recipes call for browning the meatballs first, before finishing in the oven. But if you are short on time, you can do the whole thing in the oven: 375F for 20 minutes should do it.
A good quality canned red or pink salmon can be used as a shortcut to fresh fish. Most recipes call for forming the mixture into patties and pan-frying, but it’s even easier to just spoon the fish cake mixture into a greased mini-muffin tin and cook in the oven for about 25 min on 350F (180C). Instead of breadcrumbs as filler, here is a great fish cakes recipe using almond flour, and another one using coconut flour. You can vary the taste with different ingredients, such as garlic, chili, ginger, lemongrass, fresh dill/parsely/cilantro, and ground spices.
Salmon Fish Cakes
1 can salmon (8 oz)
1 tbs. coconut flour
1/2-1tbs lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
optional:1 tbs. mustard
Beat 6 eggs in a bowl with choice of fillings: diced meat and/or veggie leftovers, herbs, raw cheese, seasoning. Bake in a buttered muffin tin for 20 minutes on 180C (350F). A mini-muffin tin is even better for party sized egg muffins and for little kids. Some favourite fillings include roasted pumpkin, bacon, leek, capsicum (bell pepper), sausage, and olives. Here are more ingredient ideas for egg muffins.
This is an oldie but a goodie, and loved by kids and adults alike. It’s nothing more than hard boiled eggs with the yolks fancied up and restuffed into the egg. Google a recipe or just improvise. No need for mayo, but if you use it, best to make your own. Otherwise, mustard and seasonings work great, and you can dress the eggs up by topping with diced or slivered raw red capsicum (bell pepper), avocado and bacon, or just some fresh dill.
Fruit & Vegetables
Now for the plant foods. There are endless possibilities for enticing party presentations with all the colourful fruit and vegetables!
Fruit skewers and platters
These can be as simple or fancy as you wish. Simply peel, cut and skewer the fruits or arrange on a platter. If you’re feeling creative, make designs or do a colour scheme.
Raw veggie sticks and platters
The more types of veggies you use, the more colourful your platter. Try carrots, celery, cucumber and capsicum (bell pepper). You can also use purple or yellow carrots, various colours of capsicum, and jicama, if you can find them. Serve with homemade dips like babaganoush, hummus, beetroot hummus, (kids love the colour), guacamole, olive tapenade, or sweet potato and cashew dip. Google a dip recipe! For kids parties, you can arrange the fruit and veg into shapes on the platters, or do something like these clever Sesame Street faces.
‘Ants on a log’ is a very fun dish that especially appeals to children but can easily be fancied up for adults. For the log, celery is most popular, but carrots and banans sliced longways also work well. The traditional filling is nut butter, topped with raisins for the ‘ants’. If you don’t want to use nut butter, try hummus or another homemade dip, or tuna or chicken salad for a more filling dish. Variations on toppings (ants) include diced banana, strawberry, berries, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Slice zucchini, capsicum (bell pepper), and eggplant, brush with olive oil and cook under a grill (broiler) or on the barbeque until soft. Add more flavour by adding crushed garlic, ginger and/or herbs to the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and lay colourfully on a platter. Asparagus, green beans, mushrooms and tomatoes also work well, and olives, pickles and dried tomatoes add a nice touch.
Put 1/4 cup certified organic popcorn kernels in a pot with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cover and shake every couple minutes until popping starts, then turn heat down slightly and keep covered until popping starts. Pour over some melted butter, sprinkle on some sea salt and you have a healthy version of a very popular snack! You can also get creative with your toppings, like adding ground cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne to the sea salt and butter for a spicy popcorn.
Making your own sushi allows for great versatility. You can make them with cooked vegetables, raw vegetables, rice, quinoa, meats, chicken, fish – it’s up to you. Cut your sushi rolls into small slices and you have a filling and healthy finger food everyone will love. Here’s how to roll your own sushi plus lots of great ingredient ideas for all different types of parties.
Party Sweets & Cake
For desserts, think “better bad” choices. For example, your coconut macaroons will still have sugar in them, but by making them yourself, you can choose to use good quality sugars, such as real maple syrup, coconut sugar or rapadura. You may want to make a cream cheese frosting for your cupcakes, which is not a great choice because it’s pasteurised dairy. However, it’s a much better choice than commercial frostings loaded with fake ingredients, and it’s only a small amount that each person will have. These are both better bad choices.
Thanks to the current Paleo and Primal food revolution, there are hundreds of delicious better bad desserts on the internet. Elana’s Pantry is particularly popular for her gluten-free, grain-free, low-sugar and raw treats.
These delectable bite-sized treats can be made many different ways, depending on your tastes and dietary restrictions. Start with our recipe for raw cacao balls, then try different versions using dates, various nuts and seeds, and even liquor. If you don’t have raw cacao, use minimally processed cocoa. As an alternative, dried apricots and shredded coconut make delicious apricot balls.
Morning Glory Muffins
Instead of cupcakes for Kaiya’s 3rd and 4th birthday party, we made morning glory muffins with yoghurt cheese and honey icing. Soooo yum!
2 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1/2 cup coconut or olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a standard-sized muffin pan.
2. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add carrot, apple, coconut and raisins and combine well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil and vanilla extract together.
4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix very well. The batter will be very thick.
5. Spoon the batter out into muffin pan and place on upper or middle rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes.
6. When a toothpick inserted into the top of a muffin comes out clean, the muffins are done.
7. Cool muffins in the pan for 8-10 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
Cream Cheese Frosting – with no icing sugar! For about 12 cupcakes
1 cup softened cream cheese (or yoghurt cheese)
8 Tbsp softened butter
2-4 Tbsp Honey (depending on how sweet you like)
1 tsp. Vanilla
Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (or just mix with a spoon!). Beat or mix in honey and vanilla.
Recipe from: helium.com
For kids parties, the best strategy is to keep things simple. A platter of watermelon slices, some popcorn and grapes are loved by all! The same can often be said for adults as far as simplicity is concerned. People love to go to a party and find recognizable and wholesome food. Don’t you agree?
Do you have a favourite healthy party food recipe?
We are not big pancake eaters, as few recipes call for all whole foods, and it seems a lot of trouble for not much flavour. However, this is our absolute favourite pancake recipe, given to us by Pippa, a Thermomix representative. The flavour is so good, that we never even think to cover the pancakes with maple syrup or honey. They are good enough without any topping, so would also make a great on-the-go meal or snack!
– All ingredients organic where possible.
– For optimal digestion and nutrition, it is best to soak quinoa all day or overnight before cooking.
– The quinoa can be cooked the day before making pancakes. Great way to love your leftovers!
– To soak chia seeds, put 1/3 cup chia seeds in 2 cups filtered water. It will gel up in 10 minutes, but become even more nutritious and digestible in a couple hours. Make the mixture and keep it in your fridge for using in smoothies, pancakes or by the tablespoonful! It will last a long time.
– This recipe turns out good whether you use a blender to really mix up the ingredients, or simply mash the banana and mix everything well in a bowl with a spoon. I like to throw everything in a bowl and use a hand blender to get a smooth consistency.
Quinoa Pancakes Recipe
Step 1: Throw everything except the optional ingredients into a bowl or blender.
Step 2: Mix well.
Step 3: Stir in optional ingredients such as blueberries, apples, or any other fruit chunks. Or drop the fruit chunks onto the pancake after it is poured into the pan.
Step 4: Heat coconut oil, olive oil and/or butter in a pan on medium heat. Spoon or pour pancake batter into pan to desired pancake size.
Step 5: Flip pancake after a few minutes, when pancake bottom is firm enough to get a spatula under.
Step 6: Cook for another minute or two.
Step 7: Keep warm while you make the rest of the pancakes. Or eat them cold as on-the-go snacks!
Soy is all the rage these days, for the health-conscious, people avoiding dairy, and for those who just want to be on the bandwagon. Soy features in soy milks, butter-substitute spreads, soy chips, soy cheese, tofu burgers, and more. You may even be eating soy without realising it, as these days soy is in at least 60% of processed and packaged foods, including soy flours in most breads and even in canned tuna! Dr. Kaayla Daniels, author of “The Whole Soy Story”, did an interview on soy for The Healthy Life Summit, and we at Primal Health have summed up all the important bits for you right here…
70 years of studies link soy to digestive disorders, malnutrition, immune system breakdown, thyroid problems, infertility, loss of libido, heart disease and cancer. Yet these days it is heavily marketed as a health food.
How soy became known as a health food
The vegetable oil industry was using soybeans to make soy oil, and there was a lot of the soy protein leftover. Instead of just dumping these leftovers, they looked for a way to turn it into more profits. The USDA spent decades trying to figure out how to use soy protein in animal feed, but they found they could only feed the animals so much soy before the animals dropped dead prematurely or couldn’t breed. So they got the bright idea of trying to feed it to people instead. But soy didn’t have a good image. It was seen as for hippies, for poor people or for communist countries. So they decided to give it the image of a health food so rich people would be willing to spend a lot of money on it, and then poor and middle class people would want it too.
Why soy causes illness and disease
– Phytates in unfermented soy interfere with mineral absorption, leading to mineral deficiencies and disease.
– Enzyme inhibitors in soy very difficult to digest, causing digestive disorders and disease.
– Goitrogens in soy block the production of thyroid hormone leading to thyroid disorders.|
– Phytoestrogens in soy interfere with natural estrogen production and cause hormonal imbalances in the body, leading to improper development of the reproductive system and fertility issues.
– Trypsin (protease) inhibitors in soy block protein absorption.
– Most soy is genetically modified, which may lead to allergies and many other illnesses.
Soy allergies and the danger for children
The rate of soy allergies increased dramatically after the first GMO soybeans came in. Soy used to be in the top 20 list of allergens, now it’s in the top 8, and some experts think it will soon be in the top four. Allergic reactions to soy can be life-threatening. Soy and peanuts are very close to each other biologically, so many people with peanut allergies are also reacting very badly to soy. Sadly, many associations are trying to push for soynut butters for kids as a replacement for peanut butter. Kids could die from that, if they have unknowingly developed an allergy to both foods. The scientists have known these things for a long time, but get bought out by the corporations before they can speak up.
Fortunately, soy now has to be listed on the label clearly, for people with soy allergies. So read the labels! Soy lecithin is not a huge worry if you’re not allergic and not eating many foods with labels. It’s always better to just not eat food with labels. Transfer the energy you were putting into translating labels, into buying and making real food.
FDA’s soy health claims are dead wrong
Though there are massive amounts of research showing that soy does not prevent heart disease, and has actually been linked to various heart problems, the FDA approved companies to make claims that it lowers cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease. The heart healthy claim took soy sales from under a billion to up to 4 billion dollars. Clearly, the FDA is “in bed” with the soy companies to make money, just as they were with aspartame makers and numerous other corporations.
The FDA was about to approve a petition for a health claim that soy could prevent cancer, so Dr. Daniel and Dr. Enig of the Weston A. Price Foundation filed a protest citing detailed scientific evidence showing that soy could cause cancer, contribute to cancer, and accelerate the growth of cancer, particularly breast cancer. The FDA withdrew their petition and have not resubmitted.
It is hard to fight the soy industry, as they have so much money. Now, the same companies that sell supermarket milk also own some of the soy companies, so soy milk and supermarket milk are not even competitors anymore. They are in it together to make big bucks.
Isn’t soy a traditional food for healthy Asians?
– Soy goes back only about 2500 years in Asia, and was mainly used on crops as a nitrogen fixer for the soil. Poor people started to eat it, and it was discovered that if they gave it to zen monks in Asia, it would supress their sex drive and help them maintain their vow of celibacy.
– Soy can’t really be credited or blamed for any differences in cancer levels between Asians and Westerners, as there are too many other diet and lifestyle differences in Asia. Asians have lower levels of colon, breast and prostate cancer, but higher levels of esophageal, stomach, liver, thyroid and other cancers.
– Asians do not eat soy in large quantities. It is eaten as a condiment, not as a staple food in the diet. Whereas, today in many Western countries, many people are thinking that soy is a healthy substitute for quality meats and dairy and are eating it in various forms for three meals a day and snacks, plus in most of their processed foods.
– Asians mostly eat only traditional fermented soy foods, not modern processed concoctions like soy milk and tofu burgers.
Why is fermented soy better?
Fermenting the soy breaks down the phytates, enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients in soy, to make it easily digestible and nutritious. Bacteria and other micro-organisms break down, or pre-digest, the complex proteins into highly digestible amino acids, sugars and fatty acids.
Traditional soy foods are safe…in moderation!
These traditional soy foods are nutritious, but only when eaten as a condiment in small quantities in the diet.
Miso: 1 teaspoon miso paste makes a whole bowl of miso soup. Natto: Very healthy fermented soy food, but the taste doesn’t appeal to most Western palates Tempeh: Fermented soy food popular in Indonesia Soy sauce: Traditionally fermented and unpasteurised, but many modern versions are quick fermented and pasteurised, so look for one that says raw unpasteurised. Tofu: Unfermented, so only eat in small quantities, as Asians do
NOTE: Bragg’s Amino Acids is not a healthy product. There are residues of MSG in the fast fermentation process.
If you have thyroid or fertility issues, avoid soy as much as possible. If you are generally in good health, a little traditional soy here and there is ok.
Isn’t soy milk better than regular milk?
People are finally realising how bad commercial milk is, and in their search for an alternative, have found the chic and trendy soy milk. They may think they are lactose-intolerant, but are actually just suffering digestive problems because the pasteurised milk is so indigestible, and would probably do well on grass-fed raw milk or no milk at all. The phytates and phytoestrogens in soy milk just cause more problems, plus most soy milks have a lot of sugar in them to make them taste good. Soy milk and soy formula were NOT traditional foods in Asia. Sadly, American companies are now marketing these modern soy products in Asian countries as well.
Soy milk alternatives: raw milk and/or bone broth for calcium, minerals, digestive health and bone health. Avoid other nut milks, as they are also very over-processed with very low nutrition and cheap, hard-to-asborb nutrients added. A diet of whole plant and animal foods doesn’t need any type of milk.
Soy for vegans and vegetarians
Vegans and vegetarians are very high risk groups because soy is one of their staple foods and sources of protein. It does contain all the essential amino acids to be a protein, however not in the right levels and ratios. Plus, the trypsin (protease) inhibitors in soy actually block protein absorption. Alternatives sources of protein are eggs and raw dairy, but so many vegetarians have developed health problems that make them intolerant to dairy, eggs, etc. so they need to just slowly start eating meat. There are so many reports about people raised vegan who have massive bone loss.
Vegans think eating soy is good for the environment. On the contrary, soybeans crops have destroyed the environment in the rainforest in places like Brazil. Demanding plant based foods that come from so far away, plus all the packaging and processing makes soy very unenvironmental.
What about soybean oil?
It is very difficult to get oil from a soybean, so large factories must use dangerous hexane solvents, high temperatures and pressures, and a lot of carcinogens to extract the oil. This heavy refinement makes it rancid and smelly, so it is then artificially deodorised to be clear and flavourless. Steer clear!
What about soy infant formula for babies?
The people most at risk of damage from soy, are babies on soy infant formulas, because the babies are so small, are at key stages of development, and are getting no other nutrition from food. Babies are so harmed by soy infant formula that several government agencies in France, Israel and Germany have issued warnings that soy formula should only be used as a very last resort.
Soy affects babies’ reproductive development: Boys are estrogenised from the phytoestrogens in the soy formula and may not go through puberty and develop their male reproductive functions properly. Girls are more likely to go through puberty prematurely, develop hormonal imbalances and have menstrual and fertility issues. There are many other enviromental estrogens that contribute to this, but soy infant formula is a very dangerous factor and so should only be used a last resort. Look first into homemade baby formula.
Isn’t soy good for menopausal women?
Soy is often recommended for menopausal women, who consume it to possibly help with hot flashes. In the meantime, it is causing havoc with their thyroid, often manifesting as hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, which causes weight gain, lethargy, and loss of libido. Really, the possible small benefits of soy are far outweighed by the greater risks to the thyroid and for breast cancer. Several goverments and a university center for breast cancer all warn that women with high breast cancer risk should not consume much soy. Yet the soy industry is pushing soy as a prevention technique for breast cancer.
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, the “Naughty Nutritionist”
– Author of “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food”
– Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences & Anti-ageing Therapies
– Certified Clinical Nutritionist
– Vice-President of Weston A. Price Foundation
– Visit www.drkaayladaniel.com for more on soy on unconventional nutrition.
What kinds of soy foods or products have you eaten? Will you continue eating them after reading this article?
Calcium intake is one of the most common nutritional concerns for women and children in the western world. Women, who have the highest rates of osteoporosis, are living on calcium supplements, and families think of milk and dairy products as essential for their children’s health. Yet dairy is not a common food in much of the world. Think of the several billion people on this earth who have never seen milk. Would you be surprised to hear that they have far less osteoporosis and arthritis than is seen in countries where dairy products are regularly consumed? While hardly heard of in other countries, osteoporosis is very common in North America, Australia and Europe, where dairy consumption is very high.
It is high time we stopped using calcium needs as an excuse for drinking commercial, pasteurised milk and dairy foods, which are highly detrimental to our health!
The real reasons for bone loss, tooth decay & osteoporosis
So if it’s not a lack of dairy intake, what is causing all these bones and teeth to be so brittle? For starters, the amount of calcium we absorb, and retain, depends greatly on the rest of our diet and lifestyle factors. Extensive laboratory tests have shown that most people today cannot absorb more than half of the calcium from their foods!
Vitamin Deficiencies: In addition to calcium – magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin D, and countless other vitamins and minerals are also crucial to bone health. Today’s diet of over-processed foods is greatly lacking in vitamins and nutrients which work together to create healthy bones.
Lack of traditional calcium sources: The best sources of usable calcium (easiest to absorb) are raw dairy foods and bone broths. Unfortunately, raw milk is now illegal in many places, and the tradition of regularly drinking and cooking with homemade bone broths has died out (though hopefully lately making a comeback!). Other traditional sources of non-dairy calcium, such as sardines, are not very popular either.
Sugar: Sugar pulls calcium out of the bones and into the blood stream. Sugar in our daily diets produces an overacidic condition in our bodies, then in order to protect the blood from that acidity, huge amounts of calcium is taken from the bones and teeth. This is the real reason sugar causes tooth decay.
Grains: Phytic acid in grains that have not been soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened block asbsorption of calcium, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium. The modern food pyramid has had western countries eating high amounts of unfermented grains, contributing to high rates of bone loss.
Soy: Like grains, unfermented soy is high in phytic acid, which blocks calcium absorption. This is one reason the soy milk, tofu, and soy beans that are touted as health foods are sadly, quite the opposite. Soy is also commonly fed to factory farm animals, whose meat is then fed to us.
Soft Drinks: Most soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the intestines, therefore contributing directly to easily broken bones in children and osteoporosis in adults.
Salt: Modern processed foods are loaded with processed salt. For some people, excessive salt consumption causes calcium to be excreted in the urine.
Coffee: The more coffee you drink, the more calcium goes out in your urine.
Low-fat Foods: Decades of low-fat eating have created a huge lack of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K in our bodies, which are needed for calcium absorption. These vitamins are obtained from traditional foods that are much less popular today, such as eggs, marine oils and seafood (especially shrimp and crab), fermented foods, soaked or sprouted grains, dark leafy vegetables, and liver, organ meats and butterfat from pasture-fed animals. In addition, several nutritional studies have shown that for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the bones, at least 50% of dietary fats should be saturated fat, something we have been sadly avoiding for a long time.
Protein Powder: Isolated powdered proteins from soy, eggs or milk cause a negative calcium balance that can lead to osteoporosis.
Pasteurised Milk: Pasteurisation reduces the availability of the milk’s mineral components, including calcium.
Lack of Sun: Vitamin D3, needed for calcium absorption, is produced from cholesterol in the presence of sunlight, which many people don’t get much of these days, being inside all day or covered in sunblocks.
Stress: Stress pulls calcium from the bones. Our modern are lives are more stressful than ever, with little traditional knowledge passed down about how to effectively manage stress.
Lack of weight-bearing exercise: To put it simply, our bones are not strong because we are sitting all day. If we want strong bones, we need to strengthen them! Weight-bearing exercise can be as simple as walking, as you are bearing your own weight.
Americans alone consume over 200 pounds of dairy products each year, yet more than 10 million have osteoporosis, another 35 million more have low bone mass, and one-third of the young children suffer from tooth decay. In America, dairy farmers must pay the Dairy Marketing Board 15 cents for every hundred pounds of milk they produce. To meet the calcium-craving needs of the masses, 400-600 million pounds of milk are produced each year, giving the Dairy Marketing Board around $300 million dollars each year to keep marketing milk as the best thing for every family wanting strong bones, nice teeth and healthy children.
How to ensure you get enough calcium
1/ Eat and drink some calcium-rich foods from the picture at the top.
2/ Improve diet and lifestyle factors to better absorb and retain calcium and build strong bones, using the list above as a guide. Stop eating processed grains and sugar, unfermented soy, and soft drinks.
3/ Stop drinking pasteurised dairy for the sake of calcium!
4/ Stop stressing about specific nutrients like calcium, and just get back to Primal foods, sun and movement!
– Nourishing Traditions; Sally Fallon. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, 1999.
– The Primal Blueprint; Mark Sisson. California: Primal Nutrition, Inc. 2009.
– Nutrition and Physical Degeneration; Weston A. Price. California: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 2004.
– Milk The Deadly Poison; Robert Cohen. New Jersey: Argus Publishing, 1998. – Health Freedom News; James F. Scheer.
– Sugar Blues; William Dufty.
– FAO Statistics Division 2007
Which of the diet and lifestyle factors may be inhibiting your absorption and/or retention of calcium? What can you change, now that you have more awareness?
I know it’s inspirational for many people, and may motivate some overweight, unhealthy viewers to start exercising and eating nutritious food, but I still don’t like The Biggest Loser. Watching obese people being yelled at, humiliated and slave-driven through intense workouts is not my cup of tea. Yet, on one of maybe four occasions when I have seen some of the show, I heard something that has stuck with me ever since. One of the female contestants was pouring her heart out to her militant trainer. She told him and the whole world watching that when she was a kid, her father was a severe heroin addict for a few years, and they hardly had any money for food. Every single day, her father would give her a couple dollars and send her to the fish and chips shop to buy chips – all they could afford. I was astonished. This young girl had eaten nothing but French fries (chips) for three whole years, and she was still alive! Yes, she was morbidly obese and emotionally scarred, but she was a living, walking, talking, 26-year-old woman.
Why did this affect me so much? Because I had a 2 year old daughter, who I was learning to take care of and feed well. I fed her only real whole animal and plant foods with no additives, preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, trans fats or refined sugars. I fed her three meals a day and two snacks a day. I sat with her at mealtimes for 30 minutes to an hour, patiently waiting for her to eat as much as she needed for her nutritional and hunger needs so her immune system could be strong and all her bodily functions would run smoothly. It’s amazing the satisfaction a mother gets from feeding her kids. And the dissatisfaction a mother feels when her kids aren’t well-fed. Sometimes she would want only one particular food and nothing else. Sometimes, she wouldn’t want to eat much or anything at all. As with any mother, this worried and frustrated me immensely. She needs to eat. She needs her nutrition. She’s going to get cranky, tired, sick, underweight, malnourished, diseased!
Yet, here was this lovely – yes, obese and distraught and probably riddled with disease – but lovely young woman who had lived on salted potatoes fried in trans fats for three whole years. Not a single piece of meat or vegetables. Not much nutrition AT ALL. And she was fine. She was alive.
This example of the human body’s resilience made me realise that we parents need to relax a bit about feeding our kids. All we need to do is offer them plenty of nutritious food, then let them decide if and how much they want to eat. If they don’t want to eat their dinner this time, that’s okay. They will survive! Our kids won’t starve to death!
Kids Can Survive on Chips, But it Doesn’t Mean They Should
Too often, when our kids won’t eat what we’ve given them, our desperation to feed them makes us run back to the fridge or pantry for something else. Anything else, just eat, eat, eat! I know this is why parents feed their children frozen chicken nuggets, boxed macaroni and cheese, processed snacks and other ‘kid food’. I know this is why I see families out to lunch with the parents tucking into a beautiful salmon salad and the kids eating fries and a chocolate shake. The irony is that our parental instincts are to nourish the kids so their little minds and bodies thrive, but we end up feeding them nutritionally void ‘kid food’ that actually harms their minds and bodies. If we really thought hard about the damage junk food does to kids, we’d realise it’s better for them not to eat at all, than to eat crap. After all, though this woman on The Biggest Loser had shown me an example of someone who survived on chips, she also was an example of how that upbringing led to poor dietary habits which greatly damaged her physical and emotional health.
Our bodies are resilient; they can store energy and nutrients for times of famine. Your child’s survival instincts are strong and she won’t let herself starve. So continue to serve up wholesome meals and snacks, provide a good example of healthy eating, and don’t resort to junk food just to stuff your kids stomach with something. You are doing an amazing job nourishing your kids, especially compared to a drug addict who cannot scrape together the money or effort to provide food for their family. And that drug addict’s daughter is doing fine. And soon, thanks to reality TV, she might even become better than fine.
Due to the popularity of my article, 10 Ways to Kids Who Eat Healthier Than You, I present to you 10 more tips you can implement whether your kids are just starting out on solid foods or are already driving you mad with their fussy eating habits. Of course, all kids are individuals and thus have different tastes and personalities when it comes to food and mealtimes. However, as with all aspects of child-rearing, we parents and carers are the main influence on what kind of habits and tastes a child develops as they grow. So here are 10 more ways to a healthy, food-loving family.
11. Assume Kids Will Like Everything
When was it decided that kids only liked bland non-gourmet food? Why are people surprised when they see a baby eating oysters, liver, or octopus? An adult may have decided that a food tastes gross or isn’t a popular food, but babies don’t know that. Babies and children have zero preconceived notions about which foods are gross or yummy, so actually they are likely to enjoy more types of foods than adults who already have ingrained habits. A child’s palate is like a blank canvas open to new experiences in order draw his own picture of the culinary world. Offer your child a variety of savoury, ethnic, nutritious flavour-filled foods and let them learn what they like.
12. Don’t Be a Stickler for Manners
If you want your child to love food, then mealtimes need to be enjoyable. It is hard for a child to explore and enjoy his food when he is constantly being scolded for messiness, loudness, and fidgeting. Kids are by nature messy, loud and fidgety, so if they can’t be themselves at mealtimes, they won’t be able to relax and eat. Of course, when eating in public, a child can be lovingly reminded to use an indoor voice or a napkin, but there is plenty of time in later childhood to develop whatever manners a family desires. For now, just let your toddler enjoy his food.
13. Don’t Guilt or Pressure Kids
Never guilt or pressure a child into eating, as this only creates a negative association with food and mealtimes that will gradually make healthy eating habits impossible. There are probably some foods that you don’t like to eat, so realise that your child is the same and will enjoy food more when he can make his own taste distinctions. A better mealtime rule to model is to always try a bite first, then they can decide if they like it or not. In addition, forcing a child to eat more than they want or to always “clean their plate” disregards the child’s own fullness signals and can lead to overeating issues as they won’t know when to stop anymore. Simply give the child plenty of time to eat, and when it’s clear they are finished, end the mealtime.
14. Minimise Distractions
Even the best eaters can forget all about their food if there is something more interesting going on. Kids are easily distracted, so turn off the TV, take toys off the table, and save serious adult discussions for later. Provide an example by putting away your newspaper and mobile phone while at the table. If your child continually asks to play with trucks during a meal, be consistent in saying something like, “Sounds fun, we’ll play with trucks after breakfast.”
15. Go Sugar-Free the First Couple of Years
As I said before, your baby’s palate is a blank canvas with no ideas about how things will taste and what they will like. So don’t assume that he will want a cupcake or chocolate shake just because YOU think it’s delicious. As soon as he has sampled the sweet, addictiveness of sugar, of course he will want more. But until that first taste, your baby has an advantage in that he doesn’t feel like he is missing out on sugary foods because he doesn’t know what they taste like yet. So leave him with that advantage for the first couple of years, so he can explore more nutritious, satiating and energy-giving foods without the distraction of sugar.
16. Don’t Glorify and Villainize Foods
Of course, if you act like sugary sweets are an exciting indulgent treat, they will gain your child’s attention and desire. Likewise, if we make eating vegetables seem like a chore, your child will adopt that mentality. Once again, remember that your behaviour and attitudes toward food are the main example for your child’s developing beliefs and eating habits, so don’t glorify or villainize foods haphazardly. For nutritious foods, model excitement and enjoyment instead of disdain. With sweets, both attitudes may create desire, as kids want not only what you want, but also what they can’t have. So instead of making sweets the ultimate treat or a naughty indulgence, treat them simply as foods that “we only eat occasionally”.
17. Limit Grains and Starch for Kids
Sweets are not the only things that will distract your child with sugary, addictiveness. The carbohydrates, or sugars, in grains, starchy foods and even fruit are also very addictive and are easy to fill up on. You may notice that your child will devour their bread, rice, potatoes or pasta and even ask for more, then be too full to eat their meat and vegetables. (Adults do this too!). Make meat and vegetables the main components of your child’s plate at main mealtimes, and they will learn to like a variety of healthy foods while getting a full range of essential nutrients.
18. Just Say No to Drinks, Except Water
A good diet includes plenty of water, so don’t forget to include water at every meal, and take a water bottle or sippy cup for your child everywhere you go. Other drinks, however, do not provide nutrition but instead can cause bad habits and health problems for your child. Juice and sodas are little more than pure sugar, and most types of milk cause a variety of health issues. There are a few nutritious drink exceptions, such as freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, raw milk and herbal teas, but in general, if you only serve your child water from the very beginning, that is all they will come to expect and enjoy.
19. Stock Up on Whole Food Snacks
Not only can kids eat a huge amount of food relative to their body size, they metabolize their food quickly and thus are hungry often. Snacks between meals are essential, and should be as nutritious as main meals, not food from a packet. Choose whole fruits and raw veggies over processed fruit snacks or boxed dried fruits; choose nuts, seeds, plain yoghurt and raw cheese over crackers, rice cakes and processed dairy. Then carry your snacks with you everywhere you so you’ll always have healthy food on hand for your hungry youngster.
20. Re-read these 20 tips regularly
Often, we start out strong with new habits, only to forget about them quickly and go back to our old ways. It takes time to cement life-long health habits so it helps to continually remind yourself of your goals and how to get there. If your goal is to have kids who eat healthier than (or as healthy as) you, post these tips on your bulletin board or bookmark the pages in your favourites. If you’ve read this far, congratulations on taking the time to work towards a healthier family!
Long before I was a mother, I started watching kids eat. As a cafe waitress, I would cringe while serving family meals. For the parents: grilled chicken, steak or fish with salad or vegetables. For the kids: chips (french fries), a milkshake and maybe some chicken nuggets or a mini pizza. The kids food came frozen in a box with ingredients like hydrolyzed vegetable protein, thickeners, stabilizers, artificial flavours (like MSG) and colours, preservatives of every number, hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined flours, and maybe a bit of chicken scraps. Many of the kids knew better than to eat it. Their instincts kicked in and they would whine while the parents tried to co-erce their “picky eaters” into finishing the so-called food. Parents have somehow became convinced that kids won’t eat the same nutritious food as adults, but we’re here with Kaiya to debunk that myth and save your kids from “kid food”.
In this video, Kaiya is 2 1/2 to just over 3 years old. Most adults are absolutely amazed by what Kaiya eats, as if she’s some alien child because she likes the same food that her parents do. But this food is simply all Kaiya knows, and all she has ever eaten her whole life. We are not wonder parents or health food nazis; we just serve Kaiya the same nutritious foods that we eat.
At 3 years and 2 months, Kaiya loves sweet potato, eggplant, red capsicum (bell pepper), beetroot (beets), green beans, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrot, onion, garlic, sauerkraut, cabbage, cooked spinach, veggie juice, kale chips, rice, liver pate, nuts, fruit, chicken, fish, lamb, pork and beef. She does not like zucchini, asparagus, raw spinach, or cucumber. Besides those in the video, other meals she eats with us regularly are mild curries, osso bucco, liver and onions, pork belly roast with crackling, stir-fries, homemade soups, meatloaf, lamb shanks, and raw grated veg salads.