Optimum Health the Paleo Way by Claire Yates – “You’re not doing Paleo right unless you’re eating more vegetables than a vegetarian”

I love books (as many of you who follow my Facebook page would know) you can never own too many books.

When this book landed on my table to review I was excited.

optimum-health-the-paleo-way

Why you may ask? Surely I have read every Paleo info/cookbook under the sun? Well not quite but almost! The major difference with this book is that it is written by an Australian author something that is pretty rare in the Paleo community at this point in time.

What does this mean for us? Apart from supporting a home-grown author and practitioner the book is full of practical all time favourite recipes that have been given the Paleo twist.

No converting measurements, wondering where you are going to find a Bison or elk to cook up (anyone else noticed that US authored books love their bison!!?) and any sauces/condiments used are easily found without having to ship them from the US.

This is a HUGE plus for me.  Even though I love all my US written Paleo books to be honest with you I am not a fan of many of the “Americanised” dishes  so find myself skipping those pages all together.

The recipes in Optimum Health the Paleo way also suit our climate and our seasonal produce. Claire also writes in a way that I think all Australians will relate well to.

A bit of background info on Claire Yates the author.  Claire is a Nutritional Medicine practitioner holding a Bachelor of Health Science. She is very passionate about the Paleo way of life and helps many of her clients in her private practice, Indi Nature in WA and you can also follow her on Facebook.

Now onto the book, it is broken into two parts.

Part one is about the Paleo Template which covers all of the below topics (see image).

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Everything you needed to know about gut health, things that cause leaky gut, food intolerances, inflammation, what Paleo is, how to tailor Paleo to you and the all important “28 day Reset protocol” including all the tools and meal plans (huge bonus the work is done for you so no excuses!!) you need to give Paleo a go for 28 days to see if you can get down to the real cause of your health complaints or working your way to optimal health.

Let’s face it everyone in modern day society has some health issue and most people have just learnt to ignore the symptoms and carry on with life. This doesn’t have to be the case! Eating Paleo and undertaking a reset program like this (or elimination diet as many would call it) removing all the problematic foods society consumes daily really allows you to listen to your body and work out all those foods that perhaps you have not associated with headaches, eczema, sinus issues, bloating etc.

“You’re not doing Paleo right unless you’re eating more vegetables than a vegetarian” – This is my favourite quote from this book which I now use EVERYWHERE when people say to me “ugh, I can’t eat that much meat, that Paleo diet is all about meat”.

This is the worst misconception about the Paleo lifestyle. It isn’t about meat; you build your meals around vegetables, then fat then protein.

I can safely say I eat more vegetables now that I follow this Paleo diet than my short lived vegetarian stint. My boys love their veggies and they are the main part of our diet (even above fruit, fruit should be eaten in smaller quantities – and yes this took me awhile to get my head around too!)

More veggies, less fruit, and LOTS more GOOD fats than we as a Western society are used to eating.

Fat is not an evil word. It is the basis on how your whole body functions. Your brain is largely made up for fats about 60% in total.  A newborns brain grows about three times its size in the first year of life. Starve the brain on a the recommended “Low fat “ Standard Australian diet as promoted by our Government eating guidelines and the Heart Foundation and we are a nation full of nutrient deprived people with diseases and neurological conditions popping up faster than Dr’s can diagnose them.

Claire covers many fascinating aspects of how the body works, what it needs to perform at its optimal level of health and many help topics along the way to help those already suffering from a variety of health conditions.

Part two of the book is recipes!

Over 100 recipes for meals, drinks, snacks and treats (yes there is no deprivation living a Paleo lifestyle, the right way of doing it is just enjoying these healthier “treat” options only occasionally – they are NOT every day foods as “treats” have become in our modernised world. When you eat a diet that satisfies you and your curb your cravings you don’t miss these “treat” foods at all. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a sweet (other than a home-made coconut cream based sorbet) and I don’t’ miss them at all!

The book hasn’t been written as a family cookbook specifically but there is something for everyone even if you serve it up to the kids a little differently. Some of the recipes only serve 2 so recipe would need to be doubled/tripled etc. for families.

It covers everything from condiments and Paleo essentials (home-made milks, pestos, dressings etc)soups, salads, granola, smoothies, juices, side dishes, Paleo pizza!!, lots of Asian inspired dishes, meatballs/patties, sorbets, slices, pancakes, good old fashioned warming winter meals, BBQ favourites  and lots lots more.

Many of the meals only have a handful of ingredients which is what real food should be about; you don’t need a thousand ingredients to create a fresh, healthy honest meal.

For those of you like us, who have allergies to consider there is nut & egg use in this book (as well as nightshades & FODMAPS foods) but with a few simple modifications you would be able to cook the vast majority of what’s in the book.

Claire and her publishing company have given the go ahead for me to publish a recipe from the book which I think you will all love and perfect at this time of year with cherries in season.

Chocolate Cherry Bites (makes about 25)

34 cherries, cut in half and pitted

2 cups of toasted shredded coconut

70g cacao butter

1 cup coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

200g dark chocolate (at least 85% cacao)

1 small handful of cacao nibs

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg Celsius (320F)
  2. Line both a baking tray and baking tin (approx 18cm x 28cm x 3cm deep with baking paper
  3. Place the cherries on the tray and roast for 20 mins. Set the cherries aside to cool slightly then place them in a blender with 1 cup of the shreadded coconut and coconut boil and blend until well combined. Press the cherry mixture firmly into the base of the baking tin and freeze for 5 – 10 mins.
  4. Place the cacao butter, coconut cream and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until the cacao butter has melted.
  5. Mix the remaining shredded coconut and cacao butter mixture and pour it over teh first cherry layer again pressing down firmly. Place the tray back in the freezer for another 5 – 10 mins.
  6. Over a double boiler melt the dark chocolate then pour it over the slice as the top layer. Sprinkle over the cacao bins and place the tray back into the freezer until set
  7. Cut the slice into bite size pieces and store in the fridge. (and try not to eat all at once! How fab do they look??!!!)

 

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So there you have it, not only is this book packed full of information in an easy to understand format written in a manner that makes it a pleasure to read, but it also provides you with the tools such as meal plans (which let’s face it when you’re new to a way of eating or elimination diets /reset protocol are always handy to have or even when you are simply too busy to meal plan on your own) as well as the recipes to go along with it whilst supporting a local author. What more could you ask for?

I highly recommend Optimum Health the Paleo Way for a range of people, from people new to Paleo, those who are trying to work out intolerances, for those who follow the Paleo diet and just need some inspiration or even people who are just after some “clean”, wholesome nutrient dense foods the way we as humans should be eating for optimal health.

You can buy the book in hard copy from here  and also as an EBook if that is your preferred way to read books.

So what have you got to lose? Try the 28 day reset and reap the benefits of the Paleo diet – hands down the best “lifestyle diet” I’ve ever eaten.

In health

Kat

I’d like to thank Claire and Exisle Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to review this book and for my complimentary copy.

Book Review – The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott

autoimmune book

Master 3’s healing journey living the Paleo lifestyle (whilst being allergic to wheat/eggs/dairy/nuts and more, as well as having intolerances to a host of other foods) has been a positive one. He is no longer the itchy, covered in eczema child he once was and he is sleeping again and no longer in constant pain.

Lachlan had been gluten free for as long as I could remember then passed his wheat challenge as a baby only to be diagnosed this year with a IgE wheat allergy (again) after I asked for him to be retested for wheat as I knew something wasn’t quite right.

I had also had independant IgG testing done through our Naturopath in December 2012 and wheat and a host of other items (like rice and legumes) came up as intolerances which is when we transitioned slowly to Paleo.

Interestingly many of the IgG responses we received when retested as IgE allergies in May this year at Westmead Childrens Hospital Allergy/Eczema clinic also came up positive allergies).
(Read more about our story here.)

Even though he was thriving on Paleo and his eczema was disappearing before our eyes now that grains had been removed something still wasn’t quite right. This lead me to yet more research and I stumbled across a diet called the “Autoimmune Paleo Protocol” online.

This protocol removes additional items such as eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades which are all included in the normal Paleo diet.

Lachlan although he was not eating eggs or nuts due to his anaphylactic allergies to these items, was still consuming seeds and nightshades almost everyday in some form. Upon removing these items from his diet we saw a vast improvement in his energy levels, sleeping patterns, recovering from illness time and in his skin which was already doing really well since removing grains, legumes and pseudo grains like quinoa. His gut was finally getting the break it needed and it was showing on the outside.

Since I had always cooked with seeds (including things like mustard), and especially nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, capsicum) I hit a wall as to how to prepare food for Lachlan and still have variety (especially since he can only consume chicken and fish as his protein due to being beef intolerant and wasn’t really tolerating lamb either as a baby so we removed this also).

It was then I came across this book. The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, which made the transition from Paleo to Autoimmune Paleo so much easier!

(You can follow Mickey on Facebook and online at http://www.autoimmune-paleo.com. )

The book at this stage is only available as a PDF download from Mickey’s website (details provided at end of blog post) but she is looking to have it printed in the future.

Mickey herself is a chef and a Nutritional therapy practitioner who was vegan for quite sometime and then was diagnosed with Celiac and Hashimotos disease – both autoimmune conditions. She found her health deteriorating and introduced fish to her diet and then transitioned from vegan to Paleo slowly reversing mineral and vitamin deficiencies and then came across the Autoimmune Protocol herself which she credits to “making her feel like a real person again”.

This lead her to doing extensive research on the Autoimmune Protocol and therefore using her chef skills to prepare this Ecookbook to help others out in managing their autoimmune conditions.

The book itself includes over 100 AIP (Autoimmune Protocol Paleo) friendly recipes which are all free from dairy, eggs, nuts, grains, beans and nightshades – all foods which cross the gut lining causing further inflammation in a already ravaged leaky gut – something we all have to some degree but those with autoimmune conditions most certainly have.

Mickey has also included great lists such as these (below) which are nice and easy to print and stick on the fridge/pantry as a quick reference as to what to include and what to avoid on the AIP protocol.

Even though we have been following this protocol for some time and I live and breathe these lists, they are still stuck on our fridge as a constant reminder!

Foods to include
Foods to avoid

The book also includes 2 x 4 week meal plans and shopping lists making it perfect for those of you who are time poor or hate meal planning or just starting out and a little overwhelmed as to where to begin.

The book covers basics like making bone broths for the recipes, Kombucha, kefir, coconut milk/cream and covers all meal categories – Appetizers, Beverages, Dressings/Sauces, Salads, Soups (Beet & Fennel is Master 3’s favorite – he has named this Dragon Blood soup), Vegetables, Chicken, Seafood, Beef and Lamb and of course desserts – yes you can even eat yummy desserts on the AIP protocol such as this beautiful Coconut Raspberry “Cheesecake” which Mickey has allowed me to publish here for you along with her super yummy Coconut crusted Cod recipe.
Coconut Raspberry “Cheesecake”
coconut cake
Crust Ingredients:
  • 3 cups dates pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in warm water
  • 1 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Filling ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw honey
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut butter (a.k.a. coconut cream concentrate –Mickey has a recipe for homemade coconut butter in her book.
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 5 cups frozen raspberries
  • 6 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • fresh raspberries for garnish
  • thick coconut flakes for garnish

1. Place the jars of coconut oil, coconut butter and raw honey in a pan with very hot water in order to let them soften.

2. To prepare the crust, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Strain the dates and place in a food processor or high-powered blender with the melted coconut oil. Blend for 30 seconds or so until a chunky paste forms. Be warned you may have to stop and scrape the sides if you are using a blender, and the oil will not completely mix with the dates, but the crust will still turn out fine. Combine the coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt in a bowl. Add the date paste and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into the bottom of an 8″ spring-form pan, pressing the mixture down evenly. Use a small spatula to clean up the top edge around the sides of the pan, where the filling will meet the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust browns and hardens a little bit. The texture will still be soft until it finishes cooling. Set aside while you make the filling.

3. To make the filling, combine the raw honey, coconut butter, coconut oil, and frozen raspberries in a saucepan on low heat. Stir until the raspberries are no longer frozen and the mixture is warm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the tapioca starch, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend on high for about a minute, until completely mixed. Pour carefully into the spring-form pan on top of the crust.

4. Set in the refrigerator undisturbed for at least 12 hours to allow the cake to cool and completely harden. When it is solid, carefully remove the spring-form pan. Decorate the top of the cake with thick flake coconut chips and fresh raspberries.

A great dinner or lunch dish we love is the Coconut Crusted Cod

Coconut Crusted Cod

Ingredients:
24 ounces cod fillets, cut into 2 inch thick strips
1 1⁄2 cups coconut flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ginger powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup finely shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
mango salsa (p.72)

1. Wash, dry, and debone the cod fillets.
2. Combine the coconut flour, ginger powder and salt on a plate or shallow bowl. Place the coconut milk in another shallow bowl, as well as the shredded coconut. Dip the cod strips into the coconut milk, then the coconut flour mixture, back into the coconut milk, and finally into the shredded coconut, paying special attention to creating a thick breading.
3. Heat the coconut oil in the bottom of a skillet on high heat. When it is hot, cook the cod strips for five minutes a side depending on thickness of the fish, or until the top and bottom are nice and browned and the fish is cooked throughout. Once the cod strips are in the pan, try not to fuss with them too much – because there is no egg in the breading, they are a little delicate.
4. Serve with mango salsa.

The book is beautifully photographed and Mickey can also email you a text only version if you would like to print it (I have it saved on my computer and iPad for use in the kitchen (as it is interactive wherever the text is highlighted) and also have the text only version printed & bound at Officeworks for quick use in the kitchen.

I really think even if you don’t wish to follow the Autoimmune protocol for gut healing but have food allergies or intolerances to any of the above ingredients (which I know many of you do, especially things like nightshades (tomatoes etc) this book is a great resource to help you with variety in your diet and I highly recommend it.

It has introduced me to a whole new way of cooking and lead me to adapt my own little selection of AIP friendly recipes from the foods I used to cook for our family.

I can’t thank Mickey enough, she is a lovely lady to deal with as well and I wish her all the best with her book.

This protocol is truly life changing and I speak from experience with Master 3.

You can buy The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott through my affiliate link here: Click here to visit Autoimmune Paleo and I will receive a small commision which allows me to buy more books to review for you all.

(I paid full price for my copy).

Look forward to hearing from any of you who wish to know more about AIP or if you do purchase the book or already own it your thoughts.

In health,

~ Kat

What’s eating your child? – Book review

What's eating your child

If you have messaged me for advice on your childs health I’ve more than likely mentioned this book to you and recommend you read it.

Kelly Dorfman is a nutritionist whose typical patient arrives at her practise after seeing three or more specialist and offers parents the tools to become nutrition detectives themselves to work through their child’s food issues and finally get kids off the drugs like antibiotics, laxatives, Prozac, Ritalin (that are so commonly prescribed to mask their ailments) and gets them back to a natural state of wellbeing.

The book covers many food and childhood ailments from anxiety, recurring ear infections, stomach aches, picky eating, rashes, ADHD and more.

Each ailment comes with a real life patient case to describe the issue and practical ways to overcome these issues.

I read this book quite some time ago and have reread it many times since as it provides such good information in a very easy to understand manner. It also gave me some real “light bulb” moments very early on in our healing journey with Master 3’s health and eczema.

Below are just some of the case scenarios discussed in the book:

Picky Eaters
Reflux
Gluten sensitivity
Constipation
Chicken Skin (deficiency in essential fatty acids which stems from our low fat obsessed world)
Sleep issues
Hyperactivity
Behavioural issues
Anxiety
Ear Infections
ADHD & Spectrum Disorders
Pesticides and chemicals affecting our children
Delayed speech
Sensory processing issues

All these issues stem back to food that a child is consuming (or in some cases not consuming and that they should be)

Check out your local library to see if they have the book or it can be purchased online in Ebook versions or also in print from many online bookstores.

I personally think every parent should read this book, Kelly has definitely provided a wealth of information in some very tricky situations that the general medical profession tend to brush off and medicate without getting to the root of the problem.

~

Kat

Practical Paleo – Book Review

Practical Paleo

The title says it all.. Don’t expect Masterchef creations from this book because you won’t find them.

What you will find is real, quick wholesome Paleo food for people from all walks of life.

Diane Sanfilippo holds a Bachelors degree and is a Certified Nutritional Consultant who runs a great health blog called “Balanced Bites” (and is also on Facebook) as well as having her own private nutrition consulting practice, teaching nutrition seminars throughout America and has a top rating weekly podcast “The Balanced Bites” podcast which you can download for Free from ITunes.

She is also responsible for the very popular 21 Day Sugar Detox on Facebook.

Below is a chapter by chapter breakdown of what the book includes:

The book starts off by explaining what the Paleo lifestyle is and how it can benefit you.

It then goes into great detail in easy to read tables of what is and isn’t “allowed” in the Paleo diet, how to budget for the Paleo diet, how to eat out Paleo as well as Paleo travelling tips.

The next section of the book gets down to the How’s, why’s and how to fix common health issues in aspects of the human body.

Diane then covers Leaky gut, in a very easy to read and understand way, perfect for people who don’t want to wade through many medically written journals filled with jargon you need a medical degree to understand.

She talks about anti – nutrients and  how to heal a leaky gut.

There is a great section on Blood sugar regulation and sweeteners, and a very handy FAQ section which covers many topics people ask when considering the Paleo lifestyle.

Part Two of the book is the 30 day Meal Plans in which Diane has broken down by health conditions covering

  • Autoimmune conditions (see picture below for list of conditions covered)

Autoimmune conditions

  • Blood Sugar Regulation (Diabetes Type 1 & 2), dysglycemia, hypoglycemia)
  • Digestive Health (leaky gut, IBS, IBD, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and ulcerative colitis and Celiac Disease)
  • Thyroid Health (autoimmune Hashimoto’s or otherwise & hyperthyroidism)
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromylagia and Chronic Fatigue
  • Neurological Health (Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease)
  • Heart Health (Cholesterol and blood pressure)
  • Cancer Recovery
  • Athletic Performance
  • Fat Loss
  • Squeaky Clean Paleo

Each section includes the page numbers of the recipes best suited to each condition as well as diet & lifestyle recommendations in the way of what to add and avoid and any nutritional supplements and herbs to consider for the specific condition.

Sample of the meal plans for Digestive Health

Sample of the meal plans for Digestive Health

Now Part 3 is the fun bit!!

All the yummy recipes including really simple information for those new to cooking because lets face it there are quite a few people who don’t know the basics and this book covers them which I think is great as a lot of people don’t cook because no one has shown them the basics. This is why I believe it’s critical to get kids in the kitchen helping from a very early age, we want them to be able to cook nutritious food for themselves when they finally do leave the nest so to speak!

From spice blends to broths and everything in between the recipe section is categorized by ingredient (poultry, beef, pork, seafood, sides, salads, treats & sweets etc)  with each recipe having a lovely photograph to accompany it.  (Because we all love to see what it is we are making!)

The recipes use simple, easy to find ingredients (well minus the Bison we don’t have too many of them wandering around) making this easy everyday food.

The back of the book contains tear out tables (that featured at the front of the book) so you can stick on the fridge or pantry door for easy reference without having to photocopy of have the book on hand at all times.

I give this book a 10/10 and a must have in a Paleo kitchen. (and I haven’t been paid to review this book!)

It’s easy to use, explains things in really easy to understand language (and I’ve had to read some pretty full on medically written journals to learn a lot of what is in this book about autoimmune health conditions) and is something you can really easily and practically pull out a few ingredients and have dinner on the table pretty quickly.

Having the 30 day meal plans already done for you also helps out greatly if you are new to Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo (and trying to navigate the do’s & don’ts as Autoimmune Paleo is a little more restrictive with no eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades and certain spices) or if you are just time poor and want the work done for you.

The book is available online from a variety of Online bookstores and a portion is available to look at on Amazon.

You may also be able to find it at bookstores but I haven’t come across it at any local ones but maybe the larger stores in major cities may stock it, otherwise online is your best bet shop around for the best deal.

I will be continuing to review my favourite books that I have read in the past or currently reading so keep an eye out for more book reviews.

I would love to know some of your favourite books/cookbooks?

Happy reading

~

Kat