Eating like our ancestors, eating like a caveman, eating like hunter-gatherers – no matter how you phrase it, it all comes down to the same thing: the paleo diet.
The premise of the diet is to mimic the ancient humans. This is done by removing products of modern agriculture (wheat, legumes, and dairy). Instead, paleo dieters eat meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables.
According to author Michael Pollan, however, that diet isn’t what our ancient ancestors would have eaten. On an episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, he said, “I don’t think we really understand…well the proportions in the ancient diet. Most people who tell you with great confidence that this is what our ancestors ate-I think they’re kind of blowing smoke.”
We asked Mary Hartley, R.D. what her take on the paleo diet was, and she agrees with Pollan. “Over the last several years, researchers have learned more about early hominid diets. Early hominids from forested areas ate the fruit and tree nuts, but ancients for the savanna ate the grasses and sedges that grew there. (Millions of years later, those grasses would become domesticated cereal crops).”
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Looking for a new favorite recipe? If you don’t already know the best secret in recipe searching, let me fill you in: Pinterest is the way to go.
The visual search function makes it easier to determine which recipe is the right one for you, and the diversity of recipes Pinterest displays is pretty amazing. I personally enjoy using the site, mostly because my cooking experiments don’t always turn out the way they should, and it’s nice to see what the end result was supposed to be.
Pinterest has made their search function even better with the addition of new search filters: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, Paleo, and Indulge Me.
Here’s how it works:
- By typing in something as simple as “dinner recipes,” and selecting the Vegetarian filter, you find recipes like vegetarian chili, baked ziti, and mushroom burgers.
- Indulge Me appears to be a filter designed for extra indulgent desserts that include chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and the like. (Count us in!)
- To use the filters, you type in a name of a dish or ingredients you have and simply select which works for you.
- Pinterest also says their recipe pins will include cook times, ingredients, and servings.
- Though only available online, the new search features should be available on its mobile site soon.
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If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the thought of what to feed your brood or found yourself schlepping to the grocery store three times a week because you didn’t have the organizational skills to plan for more than one or two meals in advance, let Kelly Seaton and the staff of Once A Month Meals lend a hand.
The site offers a low cost membership program that provides: Access to serving size customizable recipe cards, freezer directions, organized grocery lists, step by step cooking day instructions, and printable labels. Everything you need to cook a month worth of meals in one day. A video on the site explains the membership process.
Not sure if you want to commit to a membership but still want to peruse a variety of healthy recipes for free? You can do that too. Kelly tells us about a few of her favorite recipes below, but I’m jotting this one down for breakfast next week: Whole Grain Banana Pecan Muffins. Nom-nom!
More from Kelly at Once a Month Meals -
Why did you start your food blog? Once A Month Meals started back in 2009 as a way to share information on how freezer cooking can help people get back into the kitchen creating meals they’ll love for better health and to ease their budgets.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? Once A Month Meals helps you to stay on track toward healthy eating. With seven different menu types, we focus on getting quality and diverse meals into your plan. We like to focus on seasonal ingredients when they are at their peak. Our Paleo and Diet menus help those on more strict eating paths to stay on track and not feel the need to indulge during a time-crunch.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? Our writers have always had an interest in food. Over the years, our attention has grown more focused on getting the right foods for our needs. And by healing with food instead of drugs.
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Are you having a caveman holiday? Meaning, are you on the paleo diet and plan to stick to it through Christmas? Don’t fear. You can do it without missing out on all the favorite flavors of the season.
The task of eating on the paleo diet may seem daunting when it comes to traditional holiday fare. This is especially true given some of the big no-nos on the diet are grains, flour, dairy, and refined sugar. But really, it can be done and by the looks of the recipes, it doesn’t look like you’ll be missing much.
The staples of a paleo diet are meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds. So if you were to look at a traditional holiday meal, the main course is often meat. Whether it be a turkey, a roast, or a ham, this part isn’t too tricky. Many recipes call for the meat to be cooked with savory herbs and spices and a few tweaks like honey and cider vinegar. Nothing too difficult.
When it comes to sides, again, vegetables are approved here. If you’re wanting creamy potatoes or marshmallows in the sweet potatoes, you might run into some challenges, but nothing that will sacrifice flavor. Many use almond milk or coconut to cream up the potato dishes, and good green vegetables never need much to taste great in the first place.
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When news broke last week of an unearthed smattering of parchment containing obese President William Howard Taft’s daily diet regimen, Mary Hartley, RD was the first person I thought of. Our resident nutrition expert with the fiery attitude would surely have a wicked take on Big Billy’s nutrition, and she didn’t disappoint.
When asked if diet and nutrition had changed a great deal since Taft’s presidency 100 years ago, she replied, “Not much. And it pisses me off!”
Now why would Mary be pissed off at Taft’s diet? First, I’ll break down exactly what he was eating.
Breakfast: gluten biscuits and lean meat
Lunch: lean meat, butterless veggies, and unsweetened fruit
Dinner: plain salad, lean meat or fish, more flavorless fruits and veggies, and one more dusty gluten biscuit
Queue Mary: “When is the medical community going to learn restrictive diets don’t work?”
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