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Posts tagged ‘Smoothie’

Smoothies, Juices and liquid meals

Last week I posted MND TV Episode 7, which covered fruit, fruit sugar and fruit consumption as part of a healthy diet.

This week I am sharing MND TV Episode 8, which covers fruit smoothies and vegetable juices, and the pros and cons of liquid meals in general.

Here it is – http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/10/20/mnd-tv-episode-8/

This episode won’t give you actual recipes, it’s more about getting you to understand what is good and bad about liquid meals, and the difference between smoothies and juices.

Enjoy!!

 

Fabulous Fruit!! How much fruit should we eat? Does fruit make you fat?

Recently, as the world slowly wakes up to the fact that sugar is ‘the enemy’ and not fat, so fruit has come under attack. There is lots of talk out there about fruit – folks saying fruit will make you fat, folks saying fruit is such a source of sugar that the moment you eat it, it all just turns to filing up your fat cells, and all kinds of other rubbish!

So, MND TV Episode 7 is all about fruit – setting the record straight and letting you know the truth about fruit.

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/22/mnd-tv-episode-7/

Grab an apple, get yourself comfortable and enjoy!!

A[nother] typical day eating the MND way!

MND packs in a lot – and I mean a LOT – of nutrients in a typical day, and I am asked every day for more meal ideas, recipes and meal plans. I know I have posted “a typical day of eating the MND way” before, but you keep asking for more, so here is another!

Breakfast!

Eggs and greens, the MND stock favourite breakfast. There are so many things you can do, this is never the same any two days, it always comes out different. It only takes 5 minutes, it’s simple, tasty and nutritious. The greens are not cooked to oblivion, they are only in the pan for 4 or 5 minutes at most, just enough to warm then up and soften them a little. In those 4 minutes, spinach will cook completely, but broccoli will remain almost raw.

MND Eggs and Greens Eggs n greens

 

Mid-morning I usually snack on a white grapefruit. Sometimes I will also nibble a few almonds during the day if I am hungry.

Lunch.

I’m giving you two lunches from the last week here.

First we have a chicken-and-greens stir fry. Please don’t ask for a recipe, I don’t know, I just throw it all in! Really, no plan, just cook! MND cooking is so simple, and that’s why no two meals ever come out the same. IMG_6103

I soften a teaspoon of dripping in my pan, dice up some chicken and throw it in, brown off the meat, then chop up and throw in as many veggies as I can lay my hands on!

I stir-fry it all around for a few minutes – again, we don’t wanna nuke those veggies, just warm them up, soften the stalks, make it a hot meal for a cold winter’s day, that’s all – and then season with fresh herbs or spices.

It’s all super simple stuff cooking the MND way!

Another day I was short of time and had to go out. I made a smoothie – 2 bananas, 1 whole avocado, some water and an entire bag of spinach. I got this glass full to drink at home, and as much again in a flask which I took out with me for an afternoon snack.

Green smoothieBoom! Tasty and filling without having to find the time to sit and eat a full meal.

 

Skipping meals:

As an aside, there have been a couple of days over the last week when I was just way too busy to eat 3 meals. One day I was too busy for lunch AND out in the evening, so I just had a huge eggs and greens breakfast (I mean huge, we’re talking a whole head of broccoli, cabbage, half a bag of kale, half a bag of spinach, some mushrooms and 7 large free range eggs!) and then snacked throughout the day on 2 apples, 1 grapefruit and a small bag of mixed nuts. That was it, all day.

Another day, I was out running for an hour in the morning and then ran out of time for breakfast, so had a grapefruit and that was it. I had a large lunch of meat and greens, then I was away that evening, travelling and in late meetings, so I skipped dinner and just had an apple mid-evening while driving and a couple of handfuls of mixed nuts late before bed.

When your body is free from the “sugar-insulin-roller-coaster” and you use stored body fat as your primary source of fuel for energy, then you don’t always need 3 set meals per day at set meal times. I just eat when I have time and when I feel hungry, not when my watch (I don’t wear one!) tells me to eat!

 

Dinner!

Finally, here are two dinners for you, from the last week. Meat feast

We have a real ‘meat feast’ first – I made a chili using pigs livers, pigs kidneys and some prime pork tenderloin, all cooked up with tomatoes, red pepper, mushrooms, chili, cumin, paprika and pepper, and served with lashings of fresh steamed veggies on the side. This meals packs more fresh whole food nutrition than most “normal2 people eat in a week – in one meal!

I have one thing to say about this meal – Boom!!! Have it!

Finally, another evening last week I knocked up a run-of-the-mill chicken and veggies dinner. I roast chicken portions in the oven, steam my veggies, then chop it all up and mix together. Chicken and veggies

Some times I make this as a stir-fry, sometimes in the oven. If I want my veggies crunchy then I tend to stir fry them quickly…if I want my chicken moist and tender, I tend to over bake it. If I am doing mountains of veg for lots of people, I’ll steam my veggies.

No two days are ever the same!

Get in!

Pack in those nutrients folks! 15 to 20 servings of vegetables and fruit every day, nutrient-dense organ meats, pastured meat, fresh whole food, it’s not hard! Every day, add 2 or 4 litres of water too, that’s the way we MND it!

Get cooking! Enjoy, see you!
Karl x

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Popular Posts #1: How does juicing fit into a paleo diet and lifestyle?

Here it is! Number ONE, the top spot, the most popular post I have written on MotherNaturesDiet.com all year – by a LONG way, this post has been viewed THOUSANDS of times, more than twice as much as the post in second place!

Green juiceI am often asked –

  • Is juicing healthy?
  • Are we supposed to consume calories in liquid form?
  • Should I take vitamin and mineral supplements?
  • Are vitamin pills good value for money?
  • Are the foods we eat today nutrient-depleted? Is the soil nutrient deficient?
  • What’s the difference between juicing and blending?
  • Will juicing help me lose weight fast?

This most-popular post answers all these questions and more.
Read more here – https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/05/26/how-does-juicing-fit-into-a-paleo-diet-and-lifestyle/

2013 Popular Posts #9: HEALTHY Rapid Crash Weight Loss

I received an amusing email from a friend a while ago.

This friend, who is single, suddenly had a hot date lined up and wanted to quickly lose weight and look tip-top as rapidly as possible. The email said (slightly tongue-in-cheek of course) “Any thoughts on how I lose 3 stone in 5 days?” and I laughed, a lot.

I can totally empathise with this situation. I have found myself in a similar situation many times in my life when I have had occasion to suddenly panic at the thought that I have some hot date or important meeting coming up when I want to look my best and there is no time to lose weight and get in shape. I am sure most of us can empathise with this feeling to some degree.

This post notes the madness of short term thinking, and then explores what can really be done to make a big impact in a short space of time, while still being HEALTHY.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/02/24/rapid-crash-weight-loss-is-there-a-healthy-way/

Meal Replacement Drinks – the Bad, The Worse and The Plain Ugly

This post is the second in a series of lengthy posts exposing the reality behind the lucrative market for diet and health supplements.

The first post in this series can be read here: Beware of health and wellness industry rip offs

For the last year I have been gathering my thoughts about MEAL REPLACEMENT and weight loss shakes. In this post, I will expose what I think is wrong with liquid meal replacement diets, I will look briefly at the companies selling these solutions to a confused public, and one by one, we will look at the ingredients and nutritional composition of several of the best known brands on the market.

 

If you don’t want to read this lengthy blog, then I’ll summarize it all for you here in simple bullet points.

  • They are all fake, synthetic formulas. Synthetic vitamins and other nutrients do not give your body the same benefits that natural nutrients do when consumed in whole fresh foods
  • Heavily processed powders full of synthetic ingredients, artificial sweeteners and chemically processed sugars have NO PLACE in a healthy lifestyle, in my opinion. Many of these shakes contain soy, rice, sugars, dairy (whey protein) and ‘fillers’, cheap sugary carbs to pack the product out and give it enough calories to fill you up
  • Meal replacement shakes, when taken as a weight-loss strategy, are not sustainable for the long-term. Any temporary behaviour can have a temporary effect. However, it requires long-term, permanent lifestyle change to effect long-term, permanent health and body changes. If you want to lose weight permanently, change your lifestyle, don’t resort to some powdered supplement as a quick-fix, short-term solution
  • You should be aware that many of the most popular meal replacement shakes and weight loss shakes, are sold under MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) schemes (what we used to call pyramid selling schemes but for some reason we are not allowed to call them that any more). These companies are not set up to help make you healthy, they are set up to make their founders and senior staff very rich. Pyramid schemes only work while people keep buying the product, so the goal is to get you in, get you on the program and keep you buying – your health and weight loss has nothing to do with it
  • The list of ingredients should be scrutinized rigorously – look for sugar, sugar and more sugar
  • The list of vitamins and minerals that the can, tub or packet claims the shake will deliver, cannot be taken as a definitive guide to what your body might absorb and use. You need to understand how synthetic nutrients are absorbed differently to nutrients delivered in real whole food, in order to understand why this is so
  • Meal replacement shakes are expensive, and that is money that you could spend on high quality, real, organic food. I never understood why people fall for these marketing tricks of the ‘diet food’ industry. I see it this way: if you are overweight, it’s extremely likely that you have either been eating too much food, or too much cheap, low-nutrient, high-sugar, junk food. Either way, just eat less, and eat real, plain, simple food. Think about it – SAVE money, just eat less. The solution to losing weight isn’t “go out and buy loads of extremely expensive powder to mix with some milk or water and spend half the day feeling hungry” – surely, the solution ought to be “eat less”. See, a solution that saves money, not one that costs more. Common sense thinking

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Explaining the Acid-Alkaline balance

I am often asked for clarity on this issue of the acid-alkaline diet. There is a whole “diet industry sub-culture” grown up around the acid-alkali thing, and there are a lot of companies selling supplements and products designed to help you ‘get alkaline’.

This keeps coming up, and I keep meaning to write about it, so I thought I’d address it properly, once and for all.

I’ll keep this as short and non-scientific as I can, I hope that helps keep things clear and simple.

Alkalizing

We hear all this talk of “You eat the wrong foods and your body will be too acidic.” The people promoting this stuff say that your body will be too acidic, they promote dark field microscopy, suggesting that you should pay hundreds of pounds for a ‘live blood test’ and they often will say they can see acid in your blood. They tell you this leads to everything from osteoporosis to diabetes to heart disease and cancer, and they often say the cause is eating animal products, meat and dairy.

These people need to define ‘your body’ when they say “your body will be too acidic.”

What bit of your body do they mean?

Your digestive system, the entire system, is acidic by default, from the entrance to your stomach right through to your anus. It needs to be acidic in order to foster the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Your stomach uses hydrochloric acid to break down your food, it’s just about one of the strongest forms of acid found naturally occurring anywhere on the planet. If your stomach was alkaline you would not be able to break down food properly (especially proteins); if your intestines were alkaline you would not be able to grow the enzymes (enzymes are a type of protein) that are required to complete digestion and pass the nutrients through your gut wall. So your entire digestive system, the largest energy-using system in your body, is acidic and needs to remain that way in order to be healthy.

Bones? They are alkaline, they are your body’s calcium deposits, you cannot make them acidic. If you had acidic bones you would find yourself in hospital with all kinds of problems going on.

Muscles? You cannot make them more acid or alkaline. Lactic acid builds up during hard exercise and then clears, this is completely normal.

Organs? Heart, brain, skin? If you tried to change the pH of your organs you would very probably die!

The only parts of your body which can change pH are the fluids. Obviously, blood is the most important and voluminous fluid in your body. (Everything is made of water, mostly, including your blood.) The pH of your blood is tightly controlled by a process called acid-base homeostasis. Your arterial blood (blood flowing away from the lungs, rich in oxygen) must be between pH 7.35 and pH 7.45. If it deviates from that by even 0.2, you’ll be dead in about 48 hours. So when these guys who sell dark field microscopy tell us “You can see the acid in your blood” and all this – they are talking garbage.

So controlling the “acidity in your body” really comes down to understanding the processes involved in regulating blood pH. If your blood becomes too acidic, you have a condition called acidosis and you will be very sick and hospitalized immediately.

Food

When we eat, the food is chewed in our mouths, crushed and swallowed. In our stomachs, it is further crushed and squashed and mashed up with hydrochloric acid. It moves out of the stomach into the duodenum, where bile salts are injected in, reducing the acidity considerably, then the pancreas does it’s funky stuff, spraying in insulin and other compounds. This mashed up, still quite acidic food then moves into the small intestine, then the lower intestine for slow absorption of the nutrients. As the nutrients pass through the gut wall, they are broken down into what is essentially glucose molecules, which are then taken by the blood to the liver, which is a bit like the ‘Royal Mail Sorting Office of your body’, figuring out what everything is and filing it away or sending it off to where it needs to go, on a molecular level.

Kidney function

As glucose molecules pass through your kidneys they enter little capsules called glomerular capsules which help filter your blood to pass waste into urine for elimination. (I’m keeping this is simple as possible guys!! Honest!!) At this point, these little capsules can monitor and influence blood pH. These glomerular capsules can and do influence and control acid-base homeostasis. If the blood is showing signs of acidity, this is where base (bicarbonate) can be used to maintain the correct pH.

The kidneys control quite a few useful processes in your body. As well as controlling acid-base homeostasis, they also control the balance of calcium and magnesium in your body, and the kidneys help regulate a number of metabolic processes involving sodium and calcium, essential for muscular contractions. So the kidneys do play a role in managing calcium in your body – your kidneys regulate the amount of calcium in your urine and to some degree some functions of the kidneys are connected to calcium-density within your bones.

It’s this measure of calcium in the urine that has driven a lot of the acid-alkaline diet idea. The foods you eat have some effect on the amount of calcium in your urine, and the theory has been build around testing these calcium levels and suggesting that they are indicative of a loss of bone mineral density.

Extra science detail here…

Blood pH is different in venous blood (blood heading back to the lungs, via the heart) as this is more acidic, full of waste (carbon dioxide). Your lungs also help balance your blood pH, pulling in more oxygen when required. When you exercise hard, as your muscles work hard they produce lactic acid (that feeling when your muscles ‘burn’ as you approach exhaustion) and in order for your blood to clear this acid away, you need more oxygen. Once you ease up the exercise, your lungs will keep working hard, bringing in oxygen to supply the muscles (this is called oxygen debt) to clear that lactic acid.

Now, when we eat foods, the glucose molecules that pass through the gut wall and into our blood, are ferried off to various places where they are required to provide energy to various cells to do various tasks within our bodies. Once those glucose molecules reach those cells, they enter the cell, and complete a chemical reaction, and the cell produces energy to do whatever function that cell is designed to do. From that chemical reaction, there is a little waste.

Acid ash

Think of it the same as the engine in your car. Fuel goes in, it’s broken down into tiny amounts, which go into cylinders (where the pistons are) and there it is burnt, or turned into energy, but there is a little bit of waste, that comes out of the exhaust pipe. The acid-alkaline folks tell us that certain foods we have eaten leave a waste ‘ash’ that is acidic, and certain foods leave a waste ash that is alkaline. This is broadly true, and whether or not the ash is acidic or alkaline is largely determined by the mineral content of the food eaten, and this is is completely normal and your body handles it constantly all day long.

That waste has to be removed from your body, carried away, and so it enters the bodies transport system – your blood. That is then when the blood flows through the kidneys, to the glomerular capsules described above, and this is where blood pH is maintained.

So, the amount of this ‘acid ash’ we hear about really is determined by the mineral content of the foods you eat. A high protein diet (think, steak for breakfast and dinner every day) and a diet high in grains (it’s those grains again!) is likely to have the most net-acid-producing effect on the body. There is a lot more detail to it all than this, but I am trying to keep this as super-simple as I can.

Having read all this, we can understand how the acid-alkaline diet idea started, but the reality is that studies show that there is actually no evidence that a diet high in protein and grains, leads to a loss of bone mineral density. In fact, in complete contradiction, studies show that high protein diets can actually support bone mineral density.

Alkalizing diet – just another fad

In my personal opinion, the bit where the major promoters of ‘alkaline diets’ have gone wrong, is taking it too far in terms of minute details. When they start telling you not to eat a banana or an apple because it’s acid forming…they have gone too far.

Why?

  • Bananas and apples are real, whole, fresh foods – compared to cigarettes, cola and a cream cake, you’ll be fine. Diet perfectionism be damned, it does more harm than good – Read more about diet perfectionism here: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/09/18/avoiding-diet-perfectionism-and-the-trap-of-crippling-inaction/
  • These folks have mainly done their research using a method called PRAL – which stands for Potential Renal Acid Load. Basically, they measure acidity and mineral content in your pee as a marker to what your glomerular function is up to. If your pee is acidic or too high in calcium, they assume your body is flushing a lot of acid waste out. But as far as I can tell, many of the PRAL studies these people quote were done between 1995 and 2000 and did not single out a million other factors than can affect the body flushing out waste – such as emotional stress, physical workload and loads more besides. There can be many factors affecting the mineral content in your urine
  • PRAL is not an exact science. It’s not like they took 100 people and said “eat nothing but lemon’s for 1 week then we will test your pee”!!! Many foods leave detritus inside us for days, all sitting around washed in acid in our guts! I have written to several of the big name “alkaline diet” gurus in the Western world asking for more information, and not one has been prepared to explain to me the methodology of these lab tests. Some have written to me and privately rubbished PRAL as “fundamentally flawed research”

 

So in as brief a nutshell as I can, that’s what the acid-alkaline thing is all about.

Just stick to eating the Mother Nature’s Diet way. A sensible balanced diet, lots of fresh vegetables, some fruits, a balance of meat, oily fish and eggs, and a few nuts as snacks. Eat fresh whole foods, and you will be fine. My advice would be to ignore this silly “last 1% diet perfection” advice about “too many apples are acidic” – your only worry about too much fruit is the high sugar load, which might not help if you are trying to lose weight. Get the common sense scoop on fruit here. All vegetables are good for you, don’t pay too much attention to these folks and there “Acid-Alkaline” charts, that stuff is a distraction. Sure, some people will be intolerant to some plant foods, especially foods in the night shade family – such as tomatoes – but for most people, most vegetables are fine.

Don’t let these folks blind you with their sales and marketing ploys – they are telling you what’s wrong so you will buy their green superfood supplements…don’t get me started on that!!!!

In my personal opinion, most of the folks selling the green supplements are scare-mongering. If you live a healthy lifestyle, your body is amazing and will look after itself brilliantly. Mother Nature is so good at that stuff.

 

As always, questions and comments welcome, thanks all.

Stay healthy, stay happy.

 

Home grown abundance is so yummy!

Best crop ever today – this is JUST today’s pickings from the strawberry patch in our garden. There would have been a 4th bowl, maybe a 5th, but we are a family of 5 and we were all eating them as we picked them!

Breakfast in the morning will be half an avocado, heaps of fresh strawberries, handful of crushed ice, splash of water, fistful of fresh dandelion leaves from the garden…blend that lot up for a yummy breakfast smoothie!

Enjoy the weekend folks.

 

Dandelion greens – FREE food from Mother Nature

Enjoy free food from Mother Nature - readily available everywhere in the UK in spring and summer, dandelion greens are nutrient-packed, higher in protein than spinach and they are easy to include in many meals.

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How does juicing fit into a paleo diet and lifestyle?

Summary of this blog post:

Answering questions from a reader -

Q: Should we take supplements and superfoods?

A: No, we should just drink freshly extracted organic vegetable juice every day.

Q: Juices and sweet fruit smoothies?

A: Yes to the juices, but go easy on the smoothies.

I recently posted a video titled “There is no such thing as superfood”

After watching this, and after some discussion, a friend of mine asked me “Do you disagree that supplementation can help compensate for the difficulty in acquiring all nutrients and anti-oxidants in modern diets? I.E. when not eating full primal?”

I recommended juicing as the only form of “supplement” that I think is worth taking and this friend eats a mostly paleo/primal diet, and as such our subsequent discussion can be broadly defined as looking at ‘is there a place for juicing and supplements in a paleo diet’ – but of course, the discussion is of interest to anyone who cares about living a healthy lifestyle.

Read on for this Q&A discussion in full.

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Beware of seemingly healthy options

Whenever I am travelling, I look at food that is available 'on the road' in my quest to try to help people make healthier choices.
This blog shows a classic example of how hard it can be to make the right choice.
This Vanilla Bean & Maple Syrup Smoothie caught my eye, the label design and the words, create the impression of a fairly healthy snack option.
SUMMARY of this post:
• This product is 10% protein, 17% fat and 48.5% sugar
• There are 11 teaspoons of sugar in this product
• There are so many calories in this small drink, that it would exceed the meal size for a number of calorie-controlled diet programs
• Beware the seemingly healthy options. Packaging can be deceiving, and indeed it is often purposefully designed to do just that
• The big companies pack sugar into everything
• If it has a label, you probably shouldn't eat it. Real food doesn't have a label

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Sick of Eating Meat!!!

This ‘headline’ will get the attention of my vegetarian friends!!

I trained hard early this morning, then came home and needed a good breakfast to feed my body after training, and to nourish me for the day, as I went out rock climbing all day and I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to eat much during the day.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I eat a lot of meat. Animal products make up about 50% of my diet (measured by calories) and fruit and veggies make up the other half. I like meat and when I started on my ‘paleo’ journey it seemed like a treat to have so much tasty meat in my diet...succulent roasts for lunch, juicy sausages and eggs for breakfast, tasty chicken any time, any day, any meal. But I have to say, since I massively ramped up my meat intake about 10 months ago, that novelty has now worn off, and while I still enjoy the majority of my meals, there are days I feel like I can’t handle any more meat!!

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What to eat for Breakfast

One thing people ask me often is what food I eat on a daily basis – people seem to want more recipes, more actual meal ideas. OK, that’s easy, so let me give you some more ideas by running through a typical week.

Breakfast is difficult for a lot of people – time constraints are often a problem, and a lot of people can’t handle a big breakfast, and other people can’t face cooked food first thing in the morning, preferring something cold and simple. My favourite breakfast is a smoothie, and I start the day with a smoothie several times per week. My other favourite breakfast is eggs, and I have eggs several days per week too.

Sample smoothie ideas...

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Principal benefits of juicing

I was recently asked about the health benefits of juicing.

Interestingly, someone said “I know we should, I know it’s supposed to be good for us, but why?”

Confusing science

Juicing, especially drinking alkaline, green, vegetable based juices, has a load of benefits, and I have 9 or 10 books on the subject of alkaline health and juicing, and I have been to a couple of seminars about it, so it’s quite tricky to answer in just a few sentences. The more you study this subject the deeper it gets and then the more there is to learn. As I study the subject of acid-alkaline balance more, I find great inconsistencies in the science. I find I am troubled by the science, but it would take me the next 20,000 words to explain, so let's stay 'on the surface' for now, we can always go deeper another time.

I'll attempt to summarise the 'main stream' alkalising argument for you here.

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Summer Berries Smoothie

Yippeee it looks as though Summer has finally arrived in the UK and I love it!

This morning breakfast is a delicious smoothie of summer fruits (pineapple, raspberries, home-grown strawberries, blueberries from the farm up the road, crushed ice and a handful of raw almonds and a few leaves of mint) and some research reading.

I am re-reading ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ by Lierre Keith, as I am trying to learn more about anaemia in vegetarians. I also just managed to get a copy of Weston Price ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ which is the grand-daddy of all Paleo nutrition books, so I am keenly getting stuck into that.

Happy Sunday folks 🙂