Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back on the Blog! Plus Paleo opinions

It has been far too long since my last post! I have been back in Maine now since February, and now that I am cooking all the time again, I felt I should start sharing. Unfortunately, I do not have anything specific to post today. I thought about posting the gluten-free cauliflower pizza that I made the other day, BUT I was too excited to eat (as usual) that I forgot to take pictures. That means I will have to make it again...soon (yay!!).

On another note, I have recently been looking into the Paleo diet/lifestyle. Not because I want to follow it, I am just curious. As a nutrition enthusiast I want to stay current/educated on trends in the nutrition world. I have been kind of skeptical of the "diet" thus far, and figured if I am going to continue to criticize things about it I should know the details. So far the diet doesn't look all that bad, but I do have my issues with it. The main issue I have is not with the diet itself, but with how Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, portrays dietitians and nutritionists, and blames the USDA's MyPyramid for obesity. In one instance he gives an example of a "typical American's" day of eating. This made-up person consumed mostly refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries. Dr. Cordain then goes on to say that nutritionists and dietitians probably find this to be acceptable because the person ate 6-11 servings of carbohydrates. To me that claim is absurd. NO dietitian or nutritionist would EVER think that a diet full of white-flour products is ok. Just because there may be several Americans out there who do eat like this regularly does not make it ok. Another issue I have with the Paleo diet is that fat-free dairy is excluded. I agree with their reasons not to consume full-fat dairy, but I could not find anywhere in the book where it gave reasons not to have fat-free dairy. It is low in calories, and high in protein. I guess cavemen did not milk cows. However, beef is allowed in the diet. So apparently cows were in existence. Lastly, by looking at more recent Paleo information, is seems as though bacon is allowed in the diet. In Dr. Cordain's book, and other Paleo books/blogs I have read, bacon is not allowed. Now people are condoning bacon by using the nitrate-free stuff. I wonder how many Paleo followers actually go for the nitrate-free type. I have also heard of these bacon eaters eating bacon almost daily and saving the grease to put in other Paleo recipes. That seems a little extreme to me, and contradicts the low saturated fat premise that is supposedly part of being Paleo. Don't get me wrong, I like bacon, and it tastes great, but it is not the healthiest choice out there.

Now that my rant is over, I do have some pro- Paleo thoughts. I have found a few Paleo blogs that I like a lot. The recipes that the bloggers share sound amazing, and I plan to make as many as I can. I do like the Paleo idea of decreasing the amount of bread and pasta in one's diet. I only eat whole-grain products, but do feel a little bogged down sometimes. I look forward to start cooking with almond and coconut flours. I love how you can still eat carbohydrate items, but by changing the type of flour you use, the recipes becomes much more healthy. For example, using coconut flour instead of regular flour for pancakes and muffins (I made both of these today!). The Paleo lifestyle is overall extremely healthy, and I love that processed foods and bad fats are eliminated. I'm excited to start trying some Paleo recipes and eating cleaner! Wish me luck :)