Avoid the carbs with these ready-to-eat, GMO-free, stabilizing snack options
Ask The Nutritionist
by Melissa Diane Smith
Q: I’m a recovering carb addict who does well if I eat a low-carb diet and if I eat adequate, good-quality animal protein throughout the day. Because of my work schedule, I often don’t have time to cook, which means I don’t have enough ready-made meat that’s handy to eat. Unfortunately, most easy-to-grab natural protein snacks, such as beef jerky, are sweetened with sweeteners or dried fruits (which can prompt cravings and bingeing!) or they have ingredients such as soy sauce that I can’t tolerate. Do you have any suggestions of no-fuss, unsweetened, “clean” sources of animal protein that can help me?
—Victoria M., Hartford, Conn.
A: I sure do, and many of them happen to be products that are either new to the market or that will be introduced in the next few months. So eating quality protein on the run is about to get a whole lot easier than it used to be. Here are a few to be on the lookout for:
by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against the Grain
Novak Djokovic, who has credited a gluten-free diet he adopted five years ago with dramatically improving his health and tennis performance to become the number one tennis player in the world, just won a career Grand Slam. By winning the French Open in Roland Garros in France, he is only the third man to win four consecutive major titles and the first man in nearly a half-century to hold all four major championships simultaneously.
Some people who have trouble digesting milk have lactose intolerance, a condition in which the body is deficient in lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose milk sugar. When lactose isn’t broken down, it passes into the large intestine, causing gas, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms. These issues can often be avoided by consuming lactose-free dairy products, or by taking a Lactaid digestive enzyme.
Dairy allergies, on the other hand, are an immune response to a protein found in dairy products, rather than an enzyme deficiency, and they are much more common. If you have an allergy to cow’s milk, eating dairy products—even if they’re lactose-free—will continue to cause health problems, including diarrhea and abdominal cramping. But symptoms aren’t limited to digestive distress. Dairy allergies can also cause skin rashes, nasal congestion, joint aches, asthma, and earaches.
by Melissa Diane Smith
What you need to know to keep following the Paleo diet from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.
Q: My husband and I have experienced amazing health transformations since we began eating a Paleolithic diet about six months ago. We have lost weight, have more energy and improved digestion, and have normalized our previously high blood sugar levels. We want to keep that good health going during the holidays, but we know there will be many temptations. Are there any tips you can give for going through the holidays the Paleo way?
– Amy T., Chicago, IL
The Paleo diet, often referred to as the “caveman diet,” advocates eating unprocessed foods that our ancestors would have eaten during the Paleolithic era – i.e., meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil – and on some versions of the diet, organic grass-fed butter – may also be included.
As you and your husband found out, eating Paleo food provides the body the foods it needs to thrive, stay healthy, and normalize weight. The key to continuing both the diet and the health benefits you’re experiencing is to plan ahead. Doing so is extra important during the holiday season when there are many more activities, food temptations, and social pressures than normal. It takes a little effort, but if you keep the following tips in mind, you can have healthy holidays the Paleo way:
by Melissa Diane Smith
A key part of my message for more than a decade has been to encourage people to eat further against the grain than they are accustomed to or even than they think they should. If you stop and think about it, reducing or avoiding grains in one’s diet and eating more vegetables in their place is really eating more of a Paleolithic (or Stone Age hunter/gatherer) diet. A good portion of the clients I counsel gradually adopts this diet or goes more and more that way as time goes on, especially when dealing with serious health conditions.
Do you eat gluten free, but gain weight or end up feeling not well during the holiday season? If so, consider this: There’s a little-known secret to enjoying the holidays with health, energy and no weight gain: Eating against the grain. Preparing low-grain foods and even no-grain foods may be unknown to most people (even many people who eat gluten-free). But it is an overlooked strategy for making delicious holiday meals quicker, easier and with far less fuss.