80 Twenty Nutrition http://www.80twentynutrition.com Christy Brissette, MS, RD, media registered dietitian, NUTRITION AND FOOD COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT Sat, 27 May 2017 15:19:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://i0.wp.com/www.80twentynutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-meet-inner-page-image.jpg?fit=32%2C32 80 Twenty Nutrition http://www.80twentynutrition.com 32 32 102167928 Candida Overgrowth (a.k.a. Candidiasis): Everything You Need to Know About the Candida Diet http://www.80twentynutrition.com/candida-overgrowth/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/candida-overgrowth/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 19:31:40 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?p=3283 Do you have stomach aches or brain fog? Maybe “candida overgrowth” is to blame. Naturopaths and nutritionists have put some of my clients on the “Candida Diet” but it’s still surrounded by controversy. There’s a lot of fogginess surrounding candida overgrowth  – many complementary and alternative health practitioners swear by anti-Candida diets, while others say...

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Do you have stomach aches or brain fog? Maybe “candida overgrowth” is to blame. Naturopaths and nutritionists have put some of my clients on the “Candida Diet” but it’s still surrounded by controversy. There’s a lot of fogginess surrounding candida overgrowth  – many complementary and alternative health practitioners swear by anti-Candida diets, while others say that the research just isn’t up to snuff. Here’s my take on the research surrounding candida overgrowth and candida diets, so you can stop asking yourself, “Is Candida overgrowth a real health issue?” and “Could a candida diet help with my digestive issues?”

Should you be following the Candida Diet? Find out if candida overgrowth is something you should really be concerned about, via Christy Brissette of @80twentynutrition

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What is Candida?

Candida is a type of yeast that can cause infections in humans. While there are over 20 strains of Candida, the most common one is Candida albicans. It’s totally normal for Candida yeast to live in your body – it’s normally found on your skin, mouth and throat, mucus membranes, and gut. So, just having candida in your body doesn’t mean much.

Problems arise when there’s too much Candida, resulting in candidiasis (the official term for candida overgrowth). This, too, is pretty common – nearly 75% of all adult women have had yeast infections, which are a kind of candidiasis. Candidiasis can also occur in the mouth or throat, which is called thrush. Developing thrush is more common in people with compromised immune systems, such as those who have HIV or cancer.

Most people aren’t on the Candida Diet to avoid yeast infections or thrush; their claim is that there’s another type of candida overgrowth that essentially takes over the gut, throwing the delicate balance of bacteria out of whack. The theory goes that this candida overgrowth makes you feel sick and fatigued – until you bring balance back to your gut microflora by following the Candida Diet.

Symptoms of this “chronic candidiasis” or candida overgrowth include fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, sinus infections, joint pain, low mood, food allergies, recurring yeast infections, oral thrush, fungal infections on the nails, strong sugar cravings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, rashes, autoimmune diseases, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and a weak immune system. I think “chronic candidiasis” takes the cake for most widespread symptoms. Craving ice cream? Could be that nasty candida running amok in your digestive tract. Snapped at a customer service rep? Apologize and tell them candida made you do it.

What is the Candida Diet?

According to the official website of the “Anti-Candida Diet” (which is another term for the Candida Diet), the diet has three phases: the cleansing phase, with the strictest diet and detox drinks to flush out candida colonies, the actual diet, and the reintroduction phase, where you transition back into more flexible, balanced diet.

Should you be following the Candida Diet? Find out if candida overgrowth is something you should really be concerned about, via Christy Brissette of @80twentynutrition

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While on the Anti-Candida Diet, you’re looking at a low-sugar, lower-carb diet.

Here are the foods to eat on the Candida Diet:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Gluten free grains
  • Meat (preferably organic)
  • Yogurt and kefir
  • Eggs
  • Cold-pressed coconut and olive oils
  • Low-mold nuts and seeds
  • Fermented foods for probiotics
  • Herbal teas

Here’s what you’d avoid on the Candida Diet:

  • High sugar fruits
  • Glutenous grains
  • Processed meats
  • Fish high in mercury (like tuna and swordfish)
  • Most dairy produces (other than fermented ones)
  • Higher-mold nuts and seeds (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews)
  • Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Refined oils
  • Alcohol

image: Pexels

What does Research Say about the Candida Diet?

Unfortunately, there are no clinical trials looking at the effects of the Candida Diet. Most mainstream doctors and researchers recognize Candida overgrowth problems based on their specific locations in the body, such as thrush and yeast infections. These are currently the only clinically recognized Candida-related diseases. The subclinical (“unofficial”) Candida overgrowth issues that are recognized by many integrative and alternative health practitioners are less well-researched.

Research surrounding recognized Candida conditions certainly helps inform the claims about subclinical Candida that are more debatable. We know that most clinical Candida conditions occur when the microbiota is disturbed, commonly as a result of antibiotic use, immunosuppressant therapy, microbial infections, or immunocompromising diseases like HIV/AIDS. However, there’s no research showing that antibiotic use causes Candida growth to get out of balance in your colon andcauses indigestion. Antibiotic use does throw off the balance of other types of microorganisms in your digestive tract, which is why taking probiotics during and after antibiotic treatment is helpful.

We know that Candida can produce carcinogenic acetaldehyde, a compound that is linked to cancer. This is a point that promoters of the Candida Diet like to highlight, but studies of this acetaldehyde production has focused on on effects on the surfaces in your mouth, which doesn’t exactly translate to acetaldehyde giving you a headache and making you nauseous.

We know that Candida yeasts thrive on carbohydrates (hence the sugar-cutting in the Anti-Candida Diet). But one study found that Candida didn’t grow significantly with long-term carbohydrate consumption, only with short term carbohydrate consumption. That means that the levels of candida did go up immediately after carbohydrate consumption, but when researchers looked at the big picture, they found that participants following a long-term high carbohydrate diet had no abnormal amount of candida in their guts. This gives some validity to the case for a lower carbohydrate diet to limit candida growth, but we’re still not sure if it helps in the long term!

image: Pixabay

Is Candida Overgrowth a Real Health Concern?

I have a few problems with the diagnosis of chronic candidiasis. First, the symptoms are so vague that there is really no identifiable pattern that couldn’t be explained by nearly any other gut issue. Second, there is no conclusive diagnostic test for “chronic candidiasis.” Candida is typically diagnosed by naturopaths using stool tests to look out for inflammation markers and levels of yeasts and bacterias, blood tests to look for antibodies that respond to inflammation, and urine tests to look for organic waste products. Since Candida is found in a normal, healthy gut, testing stool isn’t a reliable diagnostic measure – the stool test that you order from The Candida Diet’s website looks for antigens (which respond to any inflammation, not just candida) and an infection marker called “ELISA” (which tests for the presence of Candida albicans in feces). Blood tests that reveal elevated inflammatory markers aren’t diagnostic tools for this purpose either, since so many things can lead to inflammation.

In addition, there are some fundamental flaws in the claims made by proponents of the candida overgrowth theory and the Anti-Candida diet. The Candida Diet claims that Candida overgrowth can become such an issue  that it damages your intestinal wall and leaks out into your bloodstream. That’s simply not how fungal infections work.

If you had Candida in your bloodstream, that would be an entirely different, severe condition called candidemia that has a 40% mortality rate; you’d likely be in a hospital bed, not just suffering from a case of indigestion or a foggy head.

Furthermore, a study in mice found that those who were fed food that contained Candida albicans for 14 days showed no signs of organ infection with Candida, and Nystatin, an antifungal often prescribed for chronic candidiasis showed no more reduction of symptoms than a placebo. If consuming the bacteria itself doesn’t raise Candida levels, and the prescribed antifungals don’t really work, the Anti-Candida regimen starts to seem more questionable.

Honestly, there’s fairly strong evidence against the existence of chronic candidiasis. But if that’s the case, why are so many people finding success after “treating” it? Well, Candida interacts with other yeasts and bacteria in many infectious conditions, which could influence gut microorganisms. In that case, the overall gut microbiota would be evolving under conditions of poor gut health, not necessarily just Candida taking over. If Candida is out of control, it’s unlikely that the millions of other microbial organisms in your gut are just laying low to let one species take over. It seems to me that Candida is taking most of the blame for gastrointestinal upset, when fingers should be pointed at many more aspects of the gut flora and overall gut health.

image: Pexels

As for the promise of feeling way better after switching to the Anti-Candida Diet? Well, if you’re cutting out junk food, refined grains, all sugars, alcohol, and caffeine, and replacing them with vegetables, high quality protein sources, healthy fats, probiotics, and lots of water – my guess is that you’d feel better, whether the diet is ridding your body of Candida or not.

The Final Word on Candida Overgrowth and the Candida Diet

Candida overgrowth, or candidiasis, is definitely a real health issue. You can also be assured that Candida lives in your gut, there’s no debate about that. What is debatable is whether or not candidiasis extends past clinically recognized yeast infections, oral thrush, and life-threatening candidemia to cause headaches, brain fog, and general fatigue by taking over and crowding out other bacteria your gut. Here’s what I’ll say: it’s not likely.

The gut microbiota is a complicated balancing act that may get thrown out of balance at times, but isn’t necessarily taken over by one single strain of bacteria. And it definitely doesn’t get to the point where you have fungi spilling out into your bloodstream, unless you’re seriously ill.

If you feel better after switching to the Anti-Candida diet, I’d chalk it up to the fact that you’re eating real foods that are minimally processed and cutting out a lot of junk from your diet, not necessarily that you’re flushing out throngs of Candida.

Have you ever tried the Candida Diet? What results did you see? Let me know in the comments below!

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Baked Lemon Dijon Salmon – Perfect Every Time! http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/baked-lemon-dijon-salmon-perfect-every-time/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/baked-lemon-dijon-salmon-perfect-every-time/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 19:11:23 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?post_type=recipe&p=3265 This baked lemon dijon salmon is a simple recipe you’ll love. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, paleo, low carb and ready in less than 15 minutes. It’s great on the barbecue or in your oven. I love to make it for meal prep so I can enjoy a couple of servings of salmon during the week...

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This baked lemon dijon salmon is a simple recipe you’ll love. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, paleo, low carb and ready in less than 15 minutes. It’s great on the barbecue or in your oven. I love to make it for meal prep so I can enjoy a couple of servings of salmon during the week (and only cook it once).

Baked lemon dijon salmon - delicious on the barbecue or in your oven - perfect every time! Paleo, keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, pescetarian - recipe by Christy Brissette media registered dietitian nutritionist at 80 Twenty Nutrition

It’s rare to find a sugar-free marinade recipe. I guess most of us have a sweet tooth (my hand is up over here)! But with some tanginess from lemons, freshness from the zest and spice from the grainy mustard, you won’t be missing the maple or honey found in most fish marinade recipes.

Pair your baked lemon dijon salmon with some salad, green beans or other favorite vegetables. It’s also yummy with cauliflower rice or brown rice noodles.

Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon and other oily fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. (Find out how much vitamin D you need and whether you need a supplement).

Salmon and Vitamin D

  • A 3 ounce serving (about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards) of salmon serves up about 450 IU of vitamin D. That’s almost our daily goal (make sure you get some sunshine on your hands and face too).
  • Getting enough vitamin D (based on blood tests) may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Salmon and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning your body can’t make enough of them and you need to get them from your diet.
  • Omega-3s have many heart health benefits. They may help lower your risk of stroke by preventing blood clotting. Omega-3s can lower triglyceride levels and raise HDL (healthy cholesterol levels).
  • Aim for 2-3 servings of oily fish such as salmon every week to get enough EPA and DHA, omega-3s that are important for brain health and for preventing depression.

Baked Lemon Dijon Salmon – Perfect Every Time!

Get ready to try the easiest and yummiest salmon recipe ever. You’re gonna love it.

blog signature - Christy Brissette media dietitian 80 Twenty Nutrition

Baked Lemon Dijon Salmon
This lemon dijon salmon is a simple recipe you'll love. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, paleo, low carb and ready in less than 15 minutes. This recipe works perfectly on the grill or in your oven.
Servings Prep Time
4 3minutes
Cook Time
12minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 3minutes
Cook Time
12minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set the salmon on the foil, skin-side down.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients (except the lemon slices) in a small bowl and spread over the salmon. Cover the salmon with the lemon slices.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy!

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Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Dry Rub – Baked in the Oven to Perfection! http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/ribs-with-caraway-paprika-dry-rub-oven-baked/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/ribs-with-caraway-paprika-dry-rub-oven-baked/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 21:52:31 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?post_type=recipe&p=3263 My fiancé and I sampled the most amazing ribs when we went skiing in Austria 2 years ago. We could smell the caraway and the smoker from up the mountain and followed our noses to an amazing chalet serving up the best ribs we’ve ever eaten. That’s where I got the inspiration for these Baby...

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My fiancé and I sampled the most amazing ribs when we went skiing in Austria 2 years ago. We could smell the caraway and the smoker from up the mountain and followed our noses to an amazing chalet serving up the best ribs we’ve ever eaten. That’s where I got the inspiration for these Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Dry Rub. They’re baked in the oven and if you like, you can throw them on the grill at the end for even more smoky flavor.

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

Back to our ski trip in Bad Hofgastein, Austria… we went into this amazing chalet where the fireplaces were crackling and the beer was flowing (in Austria light beer is marketed as a sports drink! Gotta love it).

We sat down and tried to order some ribs and were quickly told we’d have to order them 48 hours in advance. Say what?? Yep, that’s how long they put those bad boys in the smoker for. Luckily we were staying for another couple of days of skiing, so we put our order in and tried not to salivate on our way past the smoker.

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

When we did get served our ribs at lunch 2 days later, we received 2 full racks of baby back pork ribs that were so fragrant with caraway and paprika dry rub we couldn’t wait to tear into them. And underneath? About 4 potatoes, 2 red peppers and half a cabbage diced up to absorb all of the tantalizing juices.

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

We laughed about how hard it was going to be to ski down the mountain with overly full bellies and promised each other we’d only eat “a bit”. I made my fiancé agree to carry the very heavy doggie bag up the chairlift and to somehow look graceful skiing down the mountain with a fully loaded container and plastic bag. It never did come to that.

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Paprika Caraway Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

Yes, we couldn’t help but keep eating and got through so much of the food that there wasn’t enough to warrant taking leftovers. We vowed to try to make our own version at home, despite not having access to a smoker. Using smoked salt in the dry rub gives that smoky flavor without any need for special equipment.

The result? These super yummy oven-baked ribs with sugar-free caraway paprika dry rub that will transport you to the warm coziness of a chalet in the Alps. They’ll make you want to yodel your heart out!

Unlike most ribs (thanks to sugary dry rub and/or barbecue sauce) these ribs don’t have any sugar! They’re paleo-friendly, keto, low carb and gluten-free.

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Paprika Caraway Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Spice Rub – Baked in the Oven to Perfection!

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Paprika Caraway Spice Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection! Christy Brissette media registered dietitian in Toronto

What’s your favorite way to make ribs? Share in the comments below!

blog signature - Christy Brissette media dietitian 80 Twenty Nutrition

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Sugar-Free Caraway Paprika Dry Rub - Baked in the Oven to Perfection!
These oven baked ribs fall off the bone and the flavor-packed spice rub means you don't need any messy barbecue sauce. This delicious rub is sugar-free and tastes nice and smoky thanks to smoked salt. The caraway and Hungarian paprika give these ribs the perfect balance of savory, sweet and spicy.
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3hours 3hours
Servings Prep Time
6 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3hours 3hours
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil.
  2. Put the caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium heat and toast them for about a minute. Make sure to stir often to avoid burning.
  3. Grind up the toasted caraway seeds in a spice mill or using a mortar and pestle. Mix with the paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Your spice rub is ready to use!
  4. Remove the membrane from the back of your ribs. Rub the dry rub all over both sides and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place them on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 2 1/2 hours and then remove the foil layer.
  5. At this point you can either put them on the grill for about 8 minutes per side or continue baking them in the oven. If you're continuing in the oven, turn the temperature up to 350 degrees and if you haven't already, carefully open the aluminum foil the ribs are wrapped in using tongs. Put them back on the lined baking sheet and bake for another 30 minutes.

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Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy – Paleo, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/thai-coconut-red-curry-chicken-thighs-with-bok-choy-paleo-gluten-free-keto-low-carb/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/thai-coconut-red-curry-chicken-thighs-with-bok-choy-paleo-gluten-free-keto-low-carb/#respond Mon, 15 May 2017 20:31:19 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?post_type=recipe&p=3082 My poor fiance. He gets to try all of these new recipes I’m working on for my blog and for food clients, but laments that I never make the same thing twice. As soon as I made this easy Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken for dinner he anxiously asked, “Did you write down how you made...

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My poor fiance. He gets to try all of these new recipes I’m working on for my blog and for food clients, but laments that I never make the same thing twice. As soon as I made this easy Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken for dinner he anxiously asked, “Did you write down how you made this? Are you sure?” Only after I showed him my chicken scratch did he finally relax. Before he started eating again he demanded, “Please make this again and don’t change a thing!” He literally requests this recipe once a week now and wants a double batch so he can take any leftovers for lunch.

I wanted to be annoyed at him but then I thought back over what dinner usually looks like at our house. He was totally right. Even if I make the same idea of a recipe, I’ll change up one of the main ingredients or the spices. It’s research, alright? It’s what keeps me having fun in the kitchen and learning versus falling into a rut of repeating the same 4 recipes over and over again (which I used to do before starting this blog).

Complaints and disgruntled fiances aside, this is one recipe I won’t be modifying because it really is THAT GOOD!

Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy - keto, low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo - recipe by Christy Brissette, media registered dietitian nutritionist, 80 Twenty Nutrition

Our favorite way to serve this red coconut curry is over cauliflower rice. If you haven’t experimented with cauliflower rice yet, or if you’re gun shy after getting cauliflower bits all over your kitchen (it happened to me, I totally get it), my rundown on how to do it with frozen cauliflower and in the food processor will literally change your life.

This delicious Thai coconut red curry chicken is gluten-free, dairy free, paleo, keto and low carb. You can just as easily serve it on a bed of brown rice or another favorite grain for a hearty and delicious meal.

Chicken Thighs versus Chicken Breasts

Are you into thighs or breasts? Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about chicken here!

Chicken thighs are higher in fat than chicken breasts, which is why many of my clients prefer them. More fat means more flavor, plain and simple.

Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy - keto, low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo - recipe by Christy Brissette, media registered dietitian nutritionist, 80 Twenty Nutrition

If you’re following a keto or low carb diet, you need more fat than the average person to get enough energy into your day. For the rest of us, having some saturated fat from animal sources isn’t the greatest from a cancer prevention perspective… it just needs to be a few times a week rather than at every meal (See my post on some of the health benefits of lard and tallow, animal fats that might be more nutritious than we once thought).

Personally, I prefer chicken breasts because I find the thighs too greasy. Sometimes I’ll make this dish using a couple of large chicken breasts and 4 chicken thighs rather than the 8 chicken thighs it calls for. There I go making changes to my recipes again!

Coconut Oil: Is it Healthy?

I tend to use coconut oil when I’m cooking something at a high heat that will benefit from its yummy flavor. Otherwise, olive oil is my go to.

The jury’s still out on whether coconut oil should be lathered all over everything we’re eating (my prediction: you gotta keep the amounts in check like any fat). Find out more about the health benefits of coconut oil and how often to include it in your diet.

Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy – Paleo, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb!

This is one of the easiest and tastiest curry recipes you’ll ever make. Using red curry paste cuts down the ingredient list from 20+ to less than 10. More my speed.

Hope you enjoy this red curry chicken as much as we do!

 

 

Thai Coconut Red Curry Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy - Paleo, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
This coconut curry chicken with bok choy is loaded with flavor and contains only a few ingredients... not the 2 page long curry recipes you're used to! Serve it over my cauliflower rice or other favorite rice for a comforting and delicious meal. This red curry with chicken thighs is gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, keto and paleo.
Servings Prep Time
4 5minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 5minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a pan over high heat. Add half of the coconut oil. Once it's melted, add the chicken thighs. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set the chicken aside on a plate.
  2. Add the other half of the coconut oil to the pan. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the green pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk, broth, lime juice and curry paste. Add the chicken and cover, cooking for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the bok choy to the pan and cover again, steaming until the stalks are tender but still crisp (about 5 minutes). Serve over cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

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Are Lard and Tallow Healthy Fats? http://www.80twentynutrition.com/lard-tallow-healthy-fats/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/lard-tallow-healthy-fats/#comments Fri, 12 May 2017 19:00:13 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?p=3239 Move over coconut oil and olive oil, the new fats trending in the nutrition world aren’t oils at all – they’re animal fats. Anyone who’s looked into or is following a primal diet has probably seen lard and tallow held up high and touted for numerous benefits. But are lard and tallow healthy? Here’s an...

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Move over coconut oil and olive oil, the new fats trending in the nutrition world aren’t oils at all – they’re animal fats. Anyone who’s looked into or is following a primal diet has probably seen lard and tallow held up high and touted for numerous benefits. But are lard and tallow healthy? Here’s an overview of the research regarding lard and tallow health benefits – and whether or not this dietitian recommends them!

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What is Lard?

Lard is fat from pigs, either raw or rendered (melted & strained, like the fat leftover in a pan after you cook a piece of fatty meat). Most of the time you’ll find it rendered when you’re shopping for it in a store. It’s creamy and white, and has a similar consistency to butter. Lard is about 40% saturated fat, 50% monounsaturated fat, and 10% polyunsaturated fat. International and national health guidelines recommend keeping saturated fat low and focusing on monounsatured fats and polyunsatured fats (particularly omega-3s) for optimal health. Some of the evidence behind these recommendations has been called into question (more on this soon).

image: Josh Larios via Flickr

What is Tallow?

Tallow is rendered fat from meat other than pork – typically from beef. Beef tallow is about 40% saturated fat, 45% monounsaturated fat, and 5% polyunsaturated fat.

Are Lard and Tallow Healthy?

Lard and tallow are popular on the paleo diet, which emphasizes that saturated fat from real-food sources is very healthy. But what does the research say?

There’s little research on humans that looks specifically at lard and tallow, but animal studies have been conflicting. A study of pigs found that fish oil was better than lard for reducing cholesterol levels, and another pig study found that pigs fed olive oil had lower serum saturated fat levels than those fed lard. These studies suggest that plant oils might be better for cholesterol and serum lipid levels than lard (in pigs, at least).

Studies in rats have found that diets rich in beef tallow were beneficial for suppressing colon cancer and mammary (breast) tumors by making conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has consistently shown cancer-suppressing benefits, more effective. 

Another study in rats found that symptoms of alcoholic liver disease were nonexistent with beef tallow consumption, minimal with lard consumption, and much higher with corn oil consumption.

image: Julia Julieta via Flickr

When it comes to human studies, beef tallow consumption has been associated with increased beta carotene levels when compared to sunflower oil.

Another study looked at the effect of several kinds of dietary fats on cholesterol, finding that lard and beef fat resulted in increased cholesterol levels, while corn oil resulted in decreased cholesterol levels.

If your first thought when reading this articles was “wait, these can’t be healthy! They’re full of saturated fat!,” don’t back out so fast. Several meta-analyses have shown that there’s little evidence supporting the idea that saturated fat directly leads to cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors, while others say that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat leads to lower cardiovascular risk. All in all, the (strong) research on saturated fat is still fairly new, so we can’t say for sure whether it’s a superfood.What I will say is it’s likely not the supervillain we made it out to be decades ago.

Beyond the the fat, lard is rich in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that many people aren’t getting enough of. (Read: are you getting enough vitamin D?) There’s one catch though – only lard that comes from pasture raised pigs is rich in vitamin D (about 1,000 IU per tablespoon, an entire day’s worth), as the sun exposure is what builds the vitamin D stores in their fat tissue.

Should I Cook with Lard and Tallow?

The research on lard and tallow doesn’t conclusively tell us that either of them are “good” or “bad.” Based on the lack of evidence, I wouldn’t toss all of your olive oil and make the switch to cooking solely with lard and tallow. The strongest research we have about healthy diets around the world points to the Mediterranean Diet as being one of the healthiest, so making olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds your main sources of fat is a wise bet.

image: Pexels

If you find yourself with beef or pork fat left to be rendered, it’s a great way to make use of the whole animal for the sake of sustainability and saving money.

Lard and tallow also have much higher smoke points than many vegetable oils, making them good choices for high heat cooking. I wouldn’t count on life-altering health benefits, but if you enjoy the flavor or hate throwing away food scraps that could go to use – render down some fat and enjoy!

Have you ever cooked with lard or tallow? Have you ever rendered your own? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Ideal Protein Diet: Pros & Cons http://www.80twentynutrition.com/ideal-protein-diet-pros-cons/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/ideal-protein-diet-pros-cons/#comments Mon, 08 May 2017 16:22:51 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?p=3220 The idea that eating a high protein diet can help you lose weight isn’t new – consider the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, and more. The Ideal Protein diet has been around for over 20 years and has weight loss centers all across the U.S. and Canada – but what exactly is it? And does...

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The idea that eating a high protein diet can help you lose weight isn’t new – consider the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, and more. The Ideal Protein diet has been around for over 20 years and has weight loss centers all across the U.S. and Canada – but what exactly is it? And does the Ideal Protein Diet work for weight loss and keeping the weight off long-term? Read on to find my take on the pros and cons of the Ideal Protein Diet!

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What is the Ideal Protein Diet?

According to the Ideal Protein website, the diet is a “medically designed protocol containing 2 key components – weight loss and a healthier lifestyle education.” The diet itself is a low-carb, low calorie, high protein diet designed to put your body into ketosis – much like the ketogenic diet, except high in protein rather than fat. The website stresses that the ideal way to lose weight is by “learning to live off of the body’s own fat reserves” and by cutting out most carbs, since “simple and complex carbohydrates can prevent weight loss.”

Following the Ideal Protein diet isn’t as simple as making low-carb swaps in your diet, though. Ideal Protein is a branded diet only available through certified clinics, and you have to purchase their coaching sessions and prepackaged meals and supplements in order to follow it.

The protocol is split into phases: In phase 1 you consume 3 prepackaged meals and one self-prepared meat-and-veggie meal every day until you’ve lost most of your goal weight. In phases 2-4, you incrementally remove the prepackaged meals and add in self-prepared meals until you’ve lost all of your goal weight. You then return to “normal” eating with healthier food choices for weight maintenance. You might start out with Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Flavoured Omelet Mix for breakfast, have Chicken Flavoured Patty Mix for lunch, and finish with Leek Flavoured Soup Mix for dinner. Don’t forget the snacks, though – you’ve got options like Apple and Cinnamon Flavoured Soy Puffs and White Cheddar Flavoured Ridges.

Ideal Protein doesn’t give much in the way of details on their site, you’re directed to a local center (where you’ll pay for the program) if you want any information beyond claims of fantastic results. An unofficial source was threatened with legal action for posting the phases, and that information is pretty tough to find unless you want to pay a pretty penny. But here’s what it seems like you’d be eating on the different phases, from unofficial sources:

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Pros & Cons of the Ideal Protein Diet

Focusing on getting enough protein in your diet can help with weight loss for several reasons. Protein can help you preserve muscle when you’re on a low calorie diet. It also helps keep you full and can speed up your metabolism. But does that mean you need to limit carbs and eat packaged foods? A solid no to both of those!

Ideal Protein is a long-term diet meant to help you create lifestyle changes, rather than offering a quick-fix that ends after a few weeks. I appreciate that focus and would mark it as a “pro,” even though following a diet that puts you into ketosis may not be necessary and might not make a huge weight loss difference in the long run.

Having a coach that you see in person weekly is a great way to hold yourself accountable and make real lifestyle changes, but it worries me that anyone can open a clinic, without any licensing or experience. Working with a registered dietitian is the only way you can be sure that you’re getting evidence-based nutrition advice from a credentialed expert.

In addition, these coaches can set you back tons of cash. There’s no cost for the program listed anywhere on Ideal Protein’s website – you have to set up an appointment at a local clinic to get the word on how much an initial assessment and follow-up sessions will set you back (not to mention the cost of food).

People who don’t like to cook or are looking for a convenient diet might consider the use of prepackaged meals to be a “pro,” but I see them as a drawback of the program. I always recommend eating real foods rather than processed ones. To me, that means following an 80 Twenty approach in order to eat healthy while including indulgences rather than centering my diet around “healthy” processed versions of chips, cookies, and even chicken dinners – I’d rather just eat the real thing!

image: Ideal Well Coach

Ideal Protein doesn’t list ingredients or nutrition facts for any of their products on their site, directing you to a local Ideal Protein Center for nutrition information, but some centers provide limited nutrition information online. It seems weird that they don’t want you to know what’s in their food before you buy in, but here’s what I found: One breakfast item they sell is a Chocolatey Raspberry Crispy Square that has 260 calories, 25 grams of protein, lots of vitamins and minerals, and this ingredient list: Protein blend (soy protein isolate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, dried egg white, whey protein concentrate), isomaltooligosaccharide, vegetable oil (soybean, palm kernel, palm, shea), glycerin, polydextrose, organic invert syrup, tapioca starch, potassium gluconate, water, natural flavors, dehydrated raspberries, vitamin and mineral mix (dicalcium phosphate, ascorbic acid, ferrous fumarate, niacinamide, copper gluconate, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), manganese sulfate, zinc oxide, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, palmitate (vitamin A), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid, chromium chloride, sodium molybdate, potassium iodide, d-biotin, sodium selenite, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)), low fat cocoa powder processed with alkali, dicalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, magnesium oxide, agar, citric acid, salt, sucralose, tocopherols, yeast.

Note that isomaltooligosaccharide (whatever that is) is the second ingredient, while real raspberries are way down on the list. I think I’ll skip this one.

One plus is that Ideal Protein recognizes that such a restrictive diet can result in serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so supplements are required during the program. However, all the required supplements add up to a lot of money, when you could just be getting the nutrients you need from real food rather than non-nutritious food supplemented with pills. You’re required to buy these specific branded supplements from Ideal Protein (meaning you’ll pay a premium) – including a multivitamin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and omega-3.

image: Pexels

The Ideal Protein diet also cuts out nearly all carbs (leaving you at about 20 grams per day), claiming that “simple and complex carbs can prevent weight loss,” a declaration that fails to recognize that complex carbs provide plenty of health benefits. Just like with other low carb diets, my big hang-up is that there’s little to no research looking at low carb diets as a strategy for long term weight loss.

Another “con”: there’s little research looking at the Ideal Protein diet specifically. There is one study of the Ideal Protein diet’s effects listed on their website, but it isn’t published in any peer-reviewed journals. The study didn’t compare the effects of Ideal Protein against any other weight loss regimens. All in all, it’s a poorly designed study created to support a poorly designed diet program.

The Final Word

If I were going to follow a low carb diet, the Ideal Protein diet wouldn’t be it. As I’ve said about low carb diets before, they may help you lose weight, but it’s unclear how effective or safe they are in the long run.

Ideal Protein has you eating lots of processed and prepackaged low carb food – which would never be my recommendation for a healthy diet. Even though it’s nice to have a coach to help keep you accountable during lifestyle changes, anyone can own an Ideal Protein clinic, and they’re not necessarily credentialed nutrition experts, like registered dietitians.

If you want to try a low carb, high protein diet, I’d suggest talking with a registered dietitian and sticking to one that is made up of real, whole food rather than highly processed foods.

Have you heard of or tried the Ideal Protein diet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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33 Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home http://www.80twentynutrition.com/tips-to-reduce-food-waste-at-home/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/tips-to-reduce-food-waste-at-home/#respond Fri, 05 May 2017 21:43:08 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?p=3202 Food waste is a big deal – not only for the environment, but also for your wallet! Everyone’s been there: you stock your fridge with fresh food with the best of intentions to eat it all, and the next thing you know you’ve got rotting lettuce shoved in the back of the fridge and your...

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Food waste is a big deal – not only for the environment, but also for your wallet! Everyone’s been there: you stock your fridge with fresh food with the best of intentions to eat it all, and the next thing you know you’ve got rotting lettuce shoved in the back of the fridge and your nearly-full carton of milk has expired. Here are my top tips to reduce food waste at home, including a few from eco expert Candice Batista.

33 Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home

  1. Keep an eye on expiration dates

    Check the expiration dates before you buy something to make sure you’ll use all of it before it goes bad. Also, know the difference between expiration, sell-by, best by, and all the other terms! Check out this handy guide to make sure you’re not throwing away food that isn’t even bad yet. image: Pexels

  2. Keep your pantry stocked

    Keeping foods on hand that don’t have short expiration dates lets you create healthy meals quickly. I like to keep frozen fruits and veggies and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and more on hand since they don’t go bad!

  3. Freeze as you go

    Freeze food that’s not at its peak before it goes rotten; if you notice that you have produce or meat on hand that you won’t get to cook before it’s bad, just freeze for later use!

  4. Plan ahead

    Planning out your meals ahead of time is probably one of the most effective ways to save money and make sure you buy what you need and eat what you buy. Plan your meals for the week and head to the store with a list

                     image: Pexels

  5. Check the fridge

    Before you head to the store, check your kitchen to see what you already have on hand for the recipes you chose. That’ll keep you from buying duplicates of anything you already have, so that you can use up what’s in your fridge before it goes bad!

  6. Practice portion control

    Only cook the amount of food you know you and your family will eat – or plan to bring leftovers for lunch if you know you’ll end up with them! Often times we make a ton of food and end up tossing it before we can eat what’s leftover.

  7. Store properly

    Storing your food properly makes sure it doesn’t go bad before it should. Keep root veggies like potatoes, onions, and garlic in a cool, dark spot, and make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the proper temperature. Candice recommends Abeego products to keep food fresh!                 image: candicebatista.com

  8. Use the last spoonful

    If you have just a spoonful of yogurt or nut butter left, add it into your next smoothie or bowl of cereal instead of tossing it!

  9. Keep it all in sight

    Keep foods that go bad quickly in sight – if they’re hidden in the back of your fridge, you’re more likely to forget about them and let them rot. You’ll be less likely to forget about things you meant to cook and more likely to toss the things you do have into dishes.

  10. Don’t go hungry

    Don’t go to the store hungry – you’re much more likely to buy things that aren’t on your list. Sticking to your list ensures that you’ll use what you buy rather than having a bunch of impulse-bought food sitting around.

                     image: Pexels

  11. Make broth

    Save your veggie scraps, peels, odds, and ends along with meat bones and herb stems in a container in your freezer. When the container is full, empty it into a pot and fill it with water. Simmer for a few hours and you’ll have flavorful broth you can add to soups, sauces, and more.

  12. Don’t let herbs go bad

    Knowing how to properly store herbs is key. Wash them, pat them dry, and store in sealed glass jars in the fridge – they seem to keep longer!

  13. Make tea

    Steep fruit peels and rinds in hot water for a few minutes and add a bit of honey for a flavorful, fruity tea that makes use of what you’d normally throw away.

  14. Keep garlic going for longer

    Peel garlic cloves and store them in the fridge in oil – they’ll keep for much longer and won’t dry out!                 image: tabbynera via Flickr

  15. Know where eggs belong

    The door of the fridge is the warmest spot, so don’t keep your eggs there – they’ll go bad much more quickly! Keep them in the main part of the fridge for the longest shelf life.

  16. Prevent moldy bread

    Store sliced bread in the freezer and just take out the number of slices you need at a time. You can leave a slice or two out overnight if you’re planning to make a sandwich in the morning, or microwave for a few seconds to thaw quickly.

  17. Donate what you don’t use

    If you have cans of food building up that you know you won’t lose, start adding the cans to a box. When it’s full, drive it over to your local food pantry rather than throwing them away.

  18. Chop in bulk

    I find that I’m way more likely to cook veggies if they’re already chopped up. Chop up most or all of your veggies right when you get home from the store or while you’re making a recipe that already requires a lot of chopping, then keep chopped veggies front and center – you’ll find yourself using them up much more quickly.

  19. FIFO

    That stands for “First in, First out” – if you find yourself with multiples of something, move the one that was “first in” to the front and make sure it’s the “first out.”

  20. Shop the bulk bins

    Bulk bins allow you to buy just the amount of grains, nuts, seeds, nut butter, dried fruit, etc. that you need. If you need 1/4 cup of raisins for a recipe and you know you don’t use them very often, you can buy just that amount in a bulk bin and not worry about wasting the rest of a package!                 image: sgrace via Flickr

  21. Get the most out of ingredients

    When you’re planning weekly meals, try to make sure you can use ingredients in more than one recipe, so that you don’t end up buying a whole package of something just for one use.

  22. Invest in containers

    If you have plenty of reusable containers on hand in many sizes, it’ll be easier for you to save leftovers, even if they’re small. There are also numerous creative containers available to help you hang onto odds and ends, like avocado halves or onion chunks.

  23. Use the whole veggie

    Most of the time, you can use even the parts of veggies that you’d normally throw away. Broccoli and cauliflower stems are delicious when roasted, and peels and skins can be saved for stock. Carrot tops and fennel fronds make great stand-ins for parsley and dill, and are great in pesto too!

  24. Save the stems

    Don’t toss your herb stems! They’re still packed with flavor; woody ones like rosemary and thyme stems can be tossed in with roasted vegetables or chicken, while tender stems from cilantro and parsley can be chopped up and used just like the leaves. Any herb stems are great additions to your stock container, too!

  25. Shop ugly

    Lots and lots of “ugly” produce gets thrown away by grocery stores because of weird shapes or small imperfections. Buying produce that isn’t picture perfect helps divert that food waste and keep it away from landfills!

  26. Keep a log

    Keeping a log of all the food waste you produce in a week is a great way to educate yourself on how much you waste and what you can improve on! Try it for a week and pay attention to where you can do better the following week.

  27. Consider composting

    Even if you don’t have a garden that would benefit from composting, check to see if your local community garden has a compost pile or if there’s a farm nearby that would like your food scraps for compost! You can usually just save a bucket and walk down to a community garden when it’s full to help start their compost.

  28. Make ice cubes (not out of ice!)

    Ice cube trays are great for saving just a little bit of something. Freeze the last few spoonfuls of yogurt to easily toss into a smoothie, freeze leftover smoothies as a “starter” for future smoothies, or freeze herbs in olive oil.

  29. Save leftovers

    When you go out to eat, don’t be afraid to take home leftovers! Even if you’ve only got a little bit leftover, it can supplement what you’re bringing for lunch.

  30. Split a dish

    If you’re heading to a restaurant that has large portions, see if you can split a dish with a friend so you don’t end up with tons of leftovers.

  31. Start out slow

    Especially if you’re at a buffet, start out with a small amount of food and head back for more if you need it rather than starting out with too much and having to waste food.

  32. Talk it out

    Tackle food waste with friends. Sharing a goal of reducing food waste can hold you both accountable and introduce you to new ways to reduce food waste!

  33. Go in it together

    Make a pact to split food up with your friends. If you buy a bunch of kale and your friend buys a bunch of carrots, but you’ll both only use half – swap your veggies! You’ll end up with more variety and you’ll be less likely to have a ton leftover.

What do you do to reduce food waste in your home? Would love to hear your ideas!

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Cauliflower Rice Recipe – Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Pegan! http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/cauliflower-rice-recipe-paleo-keto-low-carb-gluten-free-vegan-pegan/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/recipe/cauliflower-rice-recipe-paleo-keto-low-carb-gluten-free-vegan-pegan/#respond Mon, 01 May 2017 17:57:54 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?post_type=recipe&p=3182 Does the thought or ricing up a big head of cauliflower just seem overwhelming? I wish I’d kept the photo of my kitchen after my first attempt. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on making fast and easy cauliflower rice that turns out perfectly every single time. This easy cauliflower rice recipe is paleo,...

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Does the thought or ricing up a big head of cauliflower just seem overwhelming? I wish I’d kept the photo of my kitchen after my first attempt. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks on making fast and easy cauliflower rice that turns out perfectly every single time. This easy cauliflower rice recipe is paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan and pegan (paleo vegan). And only a handful of ingredients!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

How to Make the Best Cauliflower Rice

After making a huge mess in my kitchen chopping up a head of cauliflower into florets (I was cleaning cauliflower bits out of every crack and crevice for literally months afterwards) I decided there had to be a better way. I tried steaming the cauliflower first and then cutting it up. Less messy, yes. But still quite a bit of work for a weeknight dinner!

–> Pin this Cauliflower Rice Recipe for later

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make steamed cauliflower rice or fried cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

 

How to Make Cauliflower Rice with Frozen Cauliflower 

Enter frozen cauliflower florets! At my grocery store I can get the same amount of cauliflower for the same price whether it’s fresh or frozen (and sometimes the frozen goes on sale). Because the frozen cauliflower means less chopping and less mess, I gotta go frozen!


Want less mess & stress? Tips for quick & easy cauliflower rice:
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To make your cauliflower rice from frozen cauliflower florets, you have a couple of options:

1) Steaming your frozen cauliflower on the stovetop

Get yourself a little steamer basket (preferably metal, silicon or bamboo rather than plastic). Read more about BPA and other chemicals that are released from plastics when you heat them.

Fill a pot with water so the water level is underneath your steamer basket. Bring to a boil and then load up the steamer basket with your cauliflower florets. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 2 minutes.

2) Microwaving your frozen cauliflower

This is your quickest and easiest option if you hate washing pots. In a microwave-safe bowl, add your frozen cauliflower florets and a tablespoon of water. Cook in your microwave on high for about 2 minutes (depending on how much cauliflower you’re doing). You can cover your bowl with a microwave-safe plate to help the frozen cauliflower steam better.


Make steamed or fried cauliflower rice in minutes! Tips & #recipe:
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The Easiest Way to Make Cauliflower Rice 

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets in the food processor - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

Now that your frozen cauliflower has gone from rock solid to soft and fluffy, it’s time to get it into small pieces that look like rice. Here are the different ways to do this that I’ve tried and what I thought about each one:

  1. Grater
    • Yes, the internet advised that using a box grater/cheese grater to make cauliflower rice was a reasonable option. Take it from me, it was not reasonable. Unless you have a drop sheet you’re going to put down to collect all the projectile cauliflower bits.
  2. Ricer
    • If you’ve ever made riced potatoes, you know your way around a ricer. I hadn’t used one until I went to my in-laws’ house and they were making riced potatoes as a base for stew. I loved the texture! Making riced cauliflower with a ricer is theexact same process – get ready to squeeze!
  3. Food processor
    • This option gets a gold star from me for being so amazingly quick. All you need to do is put in your S-blade and the cauliflower, pulse a couple of times and you’re done.
    • This is your best option if you’re doing larger batches for dinner for more than 4 people or if you’re doing meal prep.
    • I love to do a few bags of frozen cauliflower and turn them into cauliflower rice so my fiancé and I can make different meals out of it throughout the week. Yes, you have to clean the darn thing… but it takes less time than options 1 and 2 overall (and less mess).

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets in the food processor - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

Once your cauliflower is looking like rice, you can season it with some fresh herbs or spices and salt and pepper and then top with your favorite recipes. I recommend pairing with my Turkey and Green Bean Stirfry, Healthier Indian Curry Chicken, Miso Trout with Bok Choy or Turkey Chili.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, this cauliflower rice goes great with Lentil Coconut Curry, Green Tea Chazuke or Finger-Lickin’ Tofu Nuggets.

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

How to Make Cauliflower Fried Rice

As an added step that I think adds plenty of flavor, you can sauté your cauliflower rice to make it cauliflower fried rice (rather than steamed cauliflower rice).


Try this cauliflower rice w/curry or stirfry. It's #vegan, #paleo, #keto & #gf!
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Just heat some avocado oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spread out your cauliflower rice (a thinner layer means more crispy bits). Add your favorite spices (I usually put 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp turmeric and some freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt). Cook for 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn. So delicious!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

I’ve written about my love for frozen vegetables before, but in summary…

7 Reasons Why I Love Frozen Vegetables

  1. You can stock up on them when they go on sale.
    • Buying fresh veggies on sale is also a great way to save money on produce. The added benefit with picking up frozen vegetables at a reduced price is you don’t have to use them up right away.
  2. They’re perfect for those hectic weeknights when there’s nothing in the fridge.
  3. They’re super nutritious!
    • Veggies are frozen right after they’re picked, so your vitamins stay locked in for longer than fresh.
  4. They’re super convenient.
    • Frozen vegetables are already washed and chopped. Just throw into your pasta sauce, stir fry or other dishes or steam on your stovetop or in the microwave for warm and yummy veggies in a couple of minutes!
  5. They last forever.
    • OK, not forever. For 8-10 months. That’s way better than the couple of days fresh veggies last if you aren’t sure you’ll use them in time.
  6. They help reduce food waste.
    • Don’t you hate throwing out fresh veggies that rot before you get to them? This is a common issue my clients bring up during counseling sessions. They want to eat more vegetables but they live alone and can’t get through a whole head of cauliflower or bag of spinach in time. That’s why freezing it (or buying it frozen) helps you reduce food waste.
  7. They save you money.
    • See the comment above about reducing food waste. Essentially, you can buy your frozen veggies when they’re on sale and only use the amount you need and save the rest for later.Less waste and shopping the sales means more money in your pocket!

7 reasons you should buy frozen vegetables. #foodwaste #nutrition
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Dietitian tip: you want to make sure your frozen vegetables are plain Jane. Don’t get the ones that come with sauces or have salt or seasonings added. You can add flavor yourself without taking the sodium, fat or sugar sky high!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe – Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Pegan!

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - paleo, keto, low carb, gluten-free, vegan, pegan - how to make cauliflower rice using frozen cauliflower florets - media dietitian Christy Brissette registered dietitian nutritionist, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Toronto

Have you tried cauliflower rice? What’s your favorite way to make it? Share in the comments below!

blog signature - Christy Brissette media dietitian 80 Twenty Nutrition

Cauliflower Rice Recipe - Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Pegan!
This quick and easy cauliflower rice recipe is the perfect base for all of your curry, stirfry and stew recipes. It's paleo, keto diet-friendly, low carb and vegan. Plus, it's packed with fiber and potential cancer-fighting nutrients! Using frozen cauliflower florets helps cut down on the prep time.
Servings Prep Time
4 5minutes
Cook Time
4minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 5minutes
Cook Time
4minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
Stovetop steaming:
  1. For stovetop: put a steamer basket in a pot and fill with a couple inches of water (you want the water below the steamer basket). Bring to a boil and add the cauliflower. Cover and steam for about 2 minutes or until soft.
Microwave steaming:
  1. Put your cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water and cover with a microwave-safe plate. Cook on high for at least 2 minutes or until softened. (Remove from the microwave with oven mitts. The dishes will be very hot!)
Ricing the cauliflower
  1. Fit your food processor with the "S" blade. Put in your cauliflower florets and pulse a couple of times until you get a rice-like texture.
  2. Return the cauliflower to the pot or bowl you steamed in. Stir in your spices and enjoy!
Fried cauliflower rice:
  1. Optional: heat the avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower rice (and the spices if you haven't already). Stir to combine and then spread the rice out in a 1/4" layer over the pan's surface. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. Enjoy!

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What is Healthy Gut Bacteria – and What Does it Do? http://www.80twentynutrition.com/healthy-gut-bacteria/ http://www.80twentynutrition.com/healthy-gut-bacteria/#comments Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:23:30 +0000 http://www.80twentynutrition.com/?p=3164 Chances are you’ve heard that there’s such a thing as “good” bacteria, not just the kind that gets you sick. As it turns out, your digestive system is filled with about 100 trillion bacteria, making up your gut microbiota. Your gut microbiota and the bacteria in it play a large role in your health –...

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Chances are you’ve heard that there’s such a thing as “good” bacteria, not just the kind that gets you sick. As it turns out, your digestive system is filled with about 100 trillion bacteria, making up your gut microbiota. Your gut microbiota and the bacteria in it play a large role in your health – but what is healthy gut bacteria – and what exactly does it mean to have a healthy gut? Read on to find out!

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What is Healthy Gut Bacteria?

When we discuss a healthy gut microbiota, what we’re really focusing on is the diversity of bacteria in your gut. Long story short: just like in ecosystems around us, diversity in our gut means resilience and adaptability. Everyone’s gut microbiota is different, but there are some gut bacteria compositions that are found more commonly in healthy individuals, and that is largely affected by diet (along with age, environment, genes, and medications).

If some bacteria are healthier than others – shouldn’t we all just be supplementing with those ones to sway our microbiota? If only it was that easy! Research hasn’t pinpointed certain bacteria that are the most beneficial, and the gut microbiota is so complex that it doesn’t really look like a “top 10 bacteria” list is in the works. That’s why diversity is the highlight.

Obese and Leaner People Have Different Gut Bacteria

Interestingly, there are two classifications of bacteria most commonly found in the human gut – and there is a distinct difference in the types of bacteria found in obese and non-obese individuals.

The microbiota of obese individuals is usually richer in a class of bacteria called firmicutes, while non-obese microbiota are usually higher in bacteroides. These bacteria seem to be largely dependent on weight – so losing weight promotes the increase of bacteroides, and having more bacteroides in your gut promotes healthy weight – a win-win!

image: Pexels

Why is it Important to Have a Healthy Gut?

Bacteroides and firmicutes aren’t the only type of bacteria in your gut – and influencing weight certainly isn’t the only use for healthy bacteria! Having a diverse microbiota does loads of good for your health.

For one, your gut microbiota plays an immense role in your immune system by encouraging production of T cells and cytokines (the immune cells sent out when your body senses an intruder).

Image: iStockphoto

A healthy gut microbiota is also beneficial to your metabolism by increasing the uptake of glucose in the intestine and therefore regulating how  fat is stored in your body. The bacteria in your gut do this by taking unabsorbed sugars from your diet and converting them to short chain fatty acids, which can be further used as energy for your brain, muscles, and other bacteria, rather than deposited as fat stores.

Which Foods are Good for Gut Health?

So diversity is key to a healthy gut, and a healthy gut strengthens our immune system and metabolism – but how do you diversify the bacteria in your gut? Food is a great place to start!

Bacteria are living organism that need to eat. That food comes in the form of prebiotics, a type of fiber that your body can’t digest but bacteria can. Eating foods high in prebiotics gives the healthy bacteria in your gut the fuel it needs to thrive.

image: Pexels

Prebiotic Food List

These foods provide fuel for healthy gut bacteria:

  • Bananas
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Soybeans

Eating probiotics, which are the actual bacteria that feed on prebiotics, essentially supplements your gut with healthy bacteria – giving meaning to the phrase, “you are what you eat!”

Fermented foods are your best bet for probiotic sources.

image: Bob Mical via Flickr

Probiotic Food List

These foods contain good bacteria for gut health.

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh

What Are Synbiotics?

Eating prebiotics and probiotics together does double duty by providing your gut with beneficial bacteria and its fuel. Because you’re getting the synergy of good bacteria and the food it likes, this is called synbiotics. Try it iin my Sumac Tempeh with Braised Cauliflower!

Did you know how your gut microbiota influences your health? What do you do to take care of your gut? Share in the comments below!

blog signature - Christy Brissette media dietitian 80 Twenty Nutrition

 

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