Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome, 2012!!

There's been a LOT of talk about New Year's resolutions and the like... many people coming up to me or emailing me asking about 'my secret'.  Of course, I steer them toward the blog I did last month with all my connections to Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Sarah Fragioso, etc...

There is one huge difference so far in these folk's reactions compared with last month (the holidays were looming, after all)... no GASP or SHOCK of HORROR when I mention NO GRAIN!  Hmmmmm... seems by flipping a calendar page and writing a different number for the year turns some people around.  How long?  Seriously, how long?  I am already hearing on Facebook about headaches and 'cravings' for those 'carbs'.  ??CARBS???  You mean "GRAIN-based carbs", right?  Yeah, that's gotta be it 'cause I KNOW I've talked about the fact that vegetables ARE carbs (and some fat, fiber and protein... great chart here for vegetable components)!  Get away from the 'simple' and 'complex' carb talk down to the brass tacks... you "need" carbs, you eat your veggies.  So stop whining about not being able to eat a hunk of bread with slimy sugary crap all over it and eat some delicious veggies. 
The more colors, the better!!

Veggies... delicious?  YES!!  I'm not talking about having a heaping plate full o'salad greens every freakin' meal, but actually eating different types of veggies.  Find out what's in season where you live and get some of those.  (click here for a link to a seasonality chart for vegetables)  Don't know how to cook them?  Easy!  GOOGLE it!!  Find a recipe with grain in it?  Do a little research (or, ask me for help) to figure out how to replace it with a non-grain version.  Such as... wheat flour being used as a thickener for beef brisket carbonade... there are different things we Paleos can use in place as the flour or typical cornstarch thickener. 

Huge Kudzu root!!
One great substitution is Arrowroot Powder.  Now, I can't get that here in Japan (except by mail and that takes a while)... so, someone turned me onto Kuzu (Kudzu) powder.  Yep... that yucky vine that's all over the southern states along the highways.  It originated over here in Asia and it's root is absolutely HUGE!!  Leave it up to a community of people who recycle EVERYTHING to figure out that when reduced to a powder, it's a great thickener.  Now, the Japanese also think it has a LOT of health benefits such as reducing alcohol cravings (yeah, for hangovers, too!), treatment of migraines and other headaches, allergies, diarrhea, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vertigo. There's also possibility of it helping with cardiovascular disease and diabetes... so... I'm buying more!!  :)  When I read the last bit on diabetes, I looked up, or tried to look up the glycemic index of Kudzu... not to be found online.  Or, if it can be found, it wasn't by me! 

Another thing I see a lot of in vegetable recipes is brown sugar.  How to replace that?  WHY USE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!??  I mean, really?  If you cook the veggies right, meaning don't cook their color out and boil away all nutrients, they have their own sweetness!  Hmmm... perhaps that comes form the fact that THEY contain CARBS!  (read this, O doctor of my diabetic friend who told her to eat 120 grams of carbs from grains a day cause her brain couldn't survive without them!!)  Remember, carbs are sugar. 

I find that once you've been 'off' sugar for a minimum of 2 weeks, you stop craving that added sugar anyways.  I guarantee, if you bring back in any sweeteners, even the 'natural' kinds like honey and maple syrup, you will STALL in your weight loss.  Not bad, if that isn't your goal... but right now, it's mine.  I have been at the same weight (or juggling the same 4 pounds) since Thanksgiving.  That's the period in time that I began using honey and maple syrup in my attempts at making baked goods (brownies, anyone??) and ate more starchy foods such as sweet potatoes.  Cut out the starch (read, slow acting, but long acting carbohydrates) as well as those USDA "healthy whole grains" and the weight loss will begin again.  Case in point... 2 pounds since 31 December.  Got it?  OK. 

So... what's for dinner?  Well, tonight was a lovely New York strip steak marinated in sake (I know, made from rice... not totally paleo, but better than beer), rice wine vinegar, gluten-free soy sauce, garlic and ginger smothered in mushrooms and onions cooked in clarified bacon grease and butter, with... artichokes!!  In our family, we cook them whole in boiling water and peel off the leaves, dip in butter and strip off the 'meat' with our teeth.  That goes on until you get to the heart and we eat that also dipped in butter.  (For years I denied myself that particular pleasure!!) 
Lovely, just lovely... steak... good steak at that, and artichoke?  We were all in heaven!

Happy 2012 all!  I pray your goals really do come true... I'm here for you!

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