Hormones and food

Post by Chris Slaughter

Ever heard of Tony Sinclair? He’s that guy who says: “Everything in moderation- and that’s how you Tanqueray”. Well Tanqueray is gross in my opinion, however he was right about the moderation part. There are three hormones which I want to touch on: insulin, glucagon, and eicosanoids. The major point of the first two hormones is to regulate blood sugar levels.

Insulin is like a syringe that is injecting carbohydrates in the form of glucose into the cells of the body (the liver, the muscles, and fat tissue) where it is then stored as glycogen. This is fuel for the body. Glycogen is necessary and it’s AWESOME. This is what gives us our energy to perform a high percentage of the work. When blood sugar levels become high, insulin levels also spike up, and cause the body to store energy, stop using fat as an energy source, and attempts to ‘regulate’ the blood sugar levels.

When we eat high glycemic load carbs such as refined sugars, insulin levels spike and it’s like this hypothetical syringe is being pushed way too fast and jamming glucose into the cells of the body. This becomes a big problem when this is repeated and happens frequently. The cells of the body start to become insulin resistant and they say “no please thank you I’ve had enough” and the hormone is like “but take more I have much more to give” and then the cells are like “but I don’t want any more I’m stuffed leave me alone.”  Anyways, the pancreas only knows that blood sugar is too high still, so it releases even more insulin.

See a really bad cycle starting here? This is where we get slammed with type 2 diabetes, and it’s very difficult to get out of this cycle once it’s started. By eating veggies and fruits with fiber and lower glycemic load carbohydrates, we don’t spike our insulin levels as much and we stay far far away from this cycle!

Glucagon on the other hand is released when blood sugar levels drop. Its ultimate role is to prevent
hypoglycemia, and it does this in a fairly complicated way. It first tells the pancreas “Hey we need to make a sacrifice to the sugar god,” and the pancreas decides ok we must start glycogenolysis and release glucose into the blood stream.

If you balance the levels of glucagon and insulin, blood sugar levels stay relatively the same as they were before you ate, but now all the sudden your muscles and liver are full of energy again. WHOA I know that just blew your mind. Zone-diet eating ring a bell here?

The last hormone to talk about is eicosanoids. These fast acting signaling hormones are super powerful and control inflammatory levels in the body, and are created from omega-3 and omega-6 fats (oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, etc). They act upon and control the immune system, inflammation system, vasodilatation, vasoconstriction, sleep patterns, adipose tissue differentiation, and the list goes on. This means that eating a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats and the right levels of insulin and glucagon will give you better sleep, less body fat, a better working blood delivery system, reduced inflammation after a workout, you’ll get sick less, and you’ll have more energy. I know it’s crazy, and the system is so complex it’s not fully understood. But the discovery of these signaling hormones won the Nobel Prize. So this stuff is legit.

 

 

Kids Love Cabbage Slaw

Thanks to Robyn, this “Kids Love Cabbage Slaw” recipe is from the Everyday Paleo Cookbook, altered some to fit zone quantities.  I know it says kids, but who doesn’t love a good slaw?!  This is a great veggie side dish to make and throw in some easy protein for a wonderfully delicious, zone meal.

2012 09 23 13 16 05 59 475x356 Kids Love Cabbage Slaw
Kids (and their small hands) love cabbage slaw.

Ingredients:

4 cups purple cabbage, diced
2 cucumbers, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
3/4 cup sweet onion, diced
1 cup green mango, finely diced
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a medium salad bowl, mix well and serve.  Or stick in the fridge to enjoy all week.  1 cup = 1C, 1F.  Combine some easy grilled chicken for your P, for example 3oz chicken, along with 3 cups slaw = 3P, 3C, 3F.  Perfect, precise, and hormonally happy for your body! 

 

Easy chicken mix up

IMG 2660 475x316 Easy chicken mix up
Yummy, Easy, Paleo, Zone!

Four reasons why I love the Zone! 

4oz of grilled chicken (4P)
2 handfuls of chopped romaine (negligible C)  
1 Orange pepper, chopped (.5C)
1/2 Cup of tomato, diced (1C)
1/2 Cup baby carrots, chopped (.5C)
2 TBSP dried cranberries (1.35C)
1.3 tspn Olive oil (4F)
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar (.6C)  

Exchange is 4P, 4C, 4F, this is why the zone is so easy, you get so much yummy food! Enjoy!

Have some amazing food today on the grill and celebrate our independence. We are so grateful to all of those who have dedicated their lives to continuing to protect our independence.  Our love and our gratitude, sincerely!  

Homemade Paleo Kits

I made nine snacks of varying blocks per snack from 3 blocks to 2 blocks and 1 blocks.  I measured them out and put them in zip locks to make for easy travel. The total cost per baggie was $2.70 for the 3 block snacks, $1.80 for the 2 blockers and $0.90 for the 1 blockers.  Pretty cheap when compared to store bought varieties, so well worth the 10 minutes it takes to measure everything out.
You’ll need a sharpie, a scale and some sandwich bags 

Ingredients:
Jerky
Dried Mango (no sugar added)
Pistachios
You can put a variety of things in these snack packs. I actually bought a container of dried peaches as well to make more, so be creative and use ingredients you love.
Block counts for each of the ingredients:

Jerky: On this particular brand the back said 12g of P for 1 oz of product.  There is also some carbs and some fat in the Jerky.  I considered this negligible and moved on as there are carbs and fat in meat as well. Here is how I figured out the blocks.  If you buy the same jerky (World Kitchen’s Old Fashion at Sunflower market) you can just use my math and be done with it.

12g of Protein for 1 oz of jerky,
1 oz weight on the scale is 28 grams
I need 3 different portion sizes, 3blocks, 2 blocks and 1block.
Those come out to:
3blocks is 21gm of P
2blocks is 14gm of P
1block is 7gm of P
IMG 26682 300x199 Homemade Paleo Kits
To figure this out I continue to cut the portion size until I have a manageable number.  I find this is the easiest way.  A manageable number would be one that divides into 7 or close to as 1block of P = 7gms. So half of a serving size from this jerky is 6 gms of protein (that’s pretty close, but I’m a lunatic so I break it down twice more to get 3.5gms (we’re talking weight here) is 1.5gms of P).  Now I do the math to get to 21, 14 and 7 grams of P.  Please be aware we are using grams in two ways here.  One as a physical weight on the scale and one as how much protein is contained in that weight on the scale.
To get 3 blocks of protein put 49gms of P on the scale, to get 2 blocks you put 35gms on the scale and to get 1 block you put 17.5gms on the scale.  Confused yet?
Next the mangos, I’ll need:
3blocks is 27gm of C
2blocks is 18gm of C
1block is 9gm of C
The packages states 24gms of C in 1oz.  I do as I did for the protein and break it in halves until the number is manageable and divisible by 9.  That ends up being 3gms of C in 1/8 of an oz (If you are using grams on your scale it’s 3.5gms weight).
To get 3 blocks of carbohydrates put 31gms of C on the scale, to get 2 blocks you put 23gms on the scale and to get 1 block you put 11.5gms on the scale.
Next the Pistachios: I found this conversion on the web 3 nuts = 1Block of Fat so…
To get 3 blocks of fat = 9 nuts, to get 2 blocks = 6 nuts and to get 1 block = 3 nuts.
Put them in baggies, label them and you’re ready to go.
IMG 26732 300x200 Homemade Paleo Kits
Here is a quick reference as the above may be confusing.
3Block snack equals 49grams(weight on scale) of Jerky, 31 grams (weight on scale) of mango and 9 nuts
2Block snack equals 35grams(weight on scale) of Jerky, 23 grams (weight on scale) of mango and 6 nuts
1Block snack equals 17.5grams(weight on scale) of Jerky, 11.5 grams (weight on scale) of mango and 3 nuts

Breakfast casserole

Need breakfast in a hurry?  Ever feel so rushed in the mornings that you are worried about getting your day started off right?  Well here is a breakfast casserole that will last for several days, with minimal time prep.  While you are cutting up some veggies for your week, we can add some to this casserole!

casserole 475x354 Breakfast casserole

Ingredients:

6 1/3cups of sliced zucchini and yellow squash  (5C)

3 cups of sliced mushrooms  (1C)

3 cups of brussel sprouts  (4C)

15oz of sausage  (10P)

14 eggs  (14P)

2/3 cup of “505” green chili  (2C)

chili1 224x300 Breakfast casserole

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Use your food processor to slice up the squash, mushrooms, and bussel sprouts or you can slice them up with a knife.  While you are cutting up your veggies, place the sausage in large skillet.  Cook the sausage for 10 minutes, then add the veggies to the skillet.  Once the sausage and veggies have cooked for several minutes, place them in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  In another dish whip up the eggs into a scramble, add to the veggies and sausage.  Add the green chili and mix all well together.  Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the top of the casserole is golden brown.  Once the casserole is cooked, let it cool for 15 minutes, cut the casserole into quarters and then cut the quarters in half. 

This meal makes 24P, 12P, your final pieces will be 3P, 1C.  Add some tasty fruit to fulfill your carbs, and top your piece with some homemade pesto from the nutrition challenge to round out your fats.

 

Caveman Cafeteria Hunter/Gatherer Menu

Caveman Cafeteria Food Truck
by Mieszka

Their menu is broken into 3 sections: Hunter, Gatherer, and Cheat Day. (By the way, if Saturday is your cheat day, try some of their bacon chocolate chip cookies. I am mildly addicted.) I only dissected their Hunter/Gatherer menus, and Chef Dave was kind enough to let me interrogate him about his menu so I wouldn’t have to dissect and weigh everything at home. He is a very cool and laid back guy, so feel free to request modifications on fats and oils!  

Hunter Menu:

Bistro Steak: Grass-Fed Wagyu Beef, Organic Mushrooms and Marrow Sauce
(5P, ¼ C, 18F)

  • 5 oz of beef
  • 4 oz of mushrooms
  • 2 T Organic butter (As prepared, but you can substitute EVOO on request. This is still 18 blocks of Fat. Ask them to use less fat, they are more than happy to cut it down)
  • Marrow sauce- No flour or sugar in their sauce!

If you want to increase the carb blocks, order a side of kale or veggies!

Shortribs and kale 300x152 Caveman Cafeteria Hunter/Gatherer Menu

Shortribs and kale

Short Ribs: Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs, Organic Kale Sautéed in Coconut Oil  
(5P, ½ C, 9F)
• 5-6oz cooked meat
• 1 cup kale
• 1 T coconut oil (again, you can ask them to reduce the fat for better block portions)

Wagyu Beef Sliders1 300x225 Caveman Cafeteria Hunter/Gatherer Menu

Wagyu Beef Sliders

Sliders: Three Grass-Fed Wagyu Beef Sliders served on a bed of Coconut Kale with Organic Seasonal Mushrooms and Demi-Glaze.
(6P, 1/4C, 5F)
• 3 x 2oz sliders
• 1/2 cup cooked Kale
• 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
• 1/2 oz sauteed mushroom

Mushrooms N’ Bacon: Organic Mushrooms, Berkshire Bacon, and fresh herbs with Demi-Glaze
(1P, 1/4C) (Ask them to mix it with a side of kale for an awesome meal: (1P, 3/4C, 9F)
• 3 slices bacon chopped
• 4oz mushroom

Sausage and Peppers (no bun)
(4P, 1/4C)
•4 oz Ground pork sausage
•4 oz Peppers and onions
•4 oz Marinara (no sugar added!)

Zucchini salad
(1/2C, 9F)
•1 cup zucchini
•1 T EVOO
•1tsp Capers
•1tsp lemon juice

 Side of Bacon (or add to any dish)
(1P)
• 3 slices chopped bacon
Gatherer Menu:

Roasted Veggies: Organic, Seasonal, Colorado Vegetables
(approx. 1/2 C)
• 1 cup veggies

Coconut Kale: Organic Kale
(1/2 C, 9F)
• 1 cup cooked Kale
• 1 T coconut oil

 

Vegetables with Bacon and Grilled Chicken

We love it when you share some of your favorite go-to paleo/zone recipes or your own fabulous creations with us, because then we can share it with everyone!  Keeping a commitment to your health and nutrition mean discipline, but it doesn’t always have to mean the same ol’ food day in and day out.  Sure, we are creatures of habit, but we always love a new nom nom meal to munch on and ignite the taste buds!

Have you blocked out an awesome paleo meal that you are proud to show the world?  Send it to us at info@crossfitverve.com with a picture, so we can try it out and share it with the rest of the community.  Thanks to Robyn for this week’s yummy goodness below!

2012 06 26 13 07 40 9631 225x300 Vegetables with Bacon and Grilled Chicken

Vegetable and Bacon Chicken

Vegetables with Bacon and Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 7 strips bacon
  • 18 oz grilled chicken (I used tenders and just grilled them seasoned with Peruvian Chili Lime from Savory Spice Shop)
  • 1 TBSP + 1/3 tsp bacon grease, or any oil
  • 2/3 cup onion – diced
  • 27 oz. Brussels sprouts – halved or quartered depending on size
  • 24 spears of asparagus – cut into thirds or fourths
  • 3 cups chopped or sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Fire up the grill and get the chicken cooking.
  • Cut up bacon into ½ to 1 inch size pieces and fried it up in a pan on medium high, save the grease if you want to use it for your fats
  • When the bacon is crispy, scoop out and put on paper towel lined plate, and don’t forget to save the fat. Set bacon aside
  • Using the bacon fat or oil of your choice in a larger pot add oil, onion, and mushrooms; add a little salt and pepper if you like; sauté for about 2 min on medium
  • Mean while check the chicken – when fully cooked pull of grill and allow to cool a little before dicing it up.
  • Add Brussels sprouts; sauté for about 5 min on medium
  • Add asparagus and broth, bring to a bubble (I increased temp to med-high to get bubble rolling quickly), cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Drain extra broth from pot, add bacon and diced chicken, throw in a little more Peruvian Chili Lime Seasoning, let flavors meld for about 5 min and ENJOY!

Recipe make 12 cups with 20P, 10C, 10F
Serving size: 2/3 cup = 1P, 0.5C, 0.5F

Enjoy with a side of fruit or more veggies.  Add some sliced or chopped nuts on top to balance out the blocks.

Spaghetti in creamy tomato sauce

Adapted from everydaypaleo.com and edited for zone blocks (Thanks to Robyn for sharing!)

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs ground pork (I used Italian sausage but any ground meat or sausage would work)
1 cup leek – finely diced
1 1/8 cup onion – diced
1 ½ pepper (I used a red and yellow bell) – sliced or diced
2 cans artichokes packed in water – rinsed and squeeze out excess water – chopped to desired size (I chopped them pretty fine)
1 TBSP + 1/3 tsp olive oil
5 cups zucchini squash – sliced thin like spaghetti noodles (I used a mandolin slicer, or use a julienne slicer, or old school slice thin strips with a knife)

Sauce:

2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 TBSP coconut milk – full fat kind not lite
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
black pepper and salt to taste (I did not use salt)
1 tsp red pepper flakes or more if you like spice

Preparation:

In a large skillet brown the meat. In a larger soup kettle or stock pot add oil to cook the leek, onions, and peppers until done. Once the meat is cooked, drain any fat/juices and add to veggie mixture.  In a small sauce pan mix together the diced tomatoes with the juices and the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the remaining sauce ingredients and mix well. To the meat and veggies add the zucchini and artichokes and pour the sauce over. Mix well and cook for another 5 – 10 min, just until the zucchini is al dente – be careful you don’t want mushy zucchiniJ

This recipe is 16 P, 8 CHO, 16 F = about 12 cups

¾ cup = 1P, 0.5C, 1F 

Throw in some extra zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, or eggplant in a separate skillet to balance out your carbs or some fruit and enjoy!

2012 06 14 16 42 02 4531 475x356 Spaghetti in creamy tomato sauce

Creamy spaghetti yum yum!

Friday 120224


P1010648 475x356 Friday 120224

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast Frittata recipe thanks to Darika!
Ingredients:
8 eggs
4 blocks of meat, (I used meatballs)
8 total blocks of veggies.  I used 2 cups of sweet potatoes and 2 cups of peppers and onions
nonstick spray
3 T avocado, 1 block fruit per serving
hot sauce (optional)
chili powder, salt and pepper
Preparation:
Start by cubing the sweet potato, dicing the peppers and onions and chopping you meat choice.  Beat 8 eggs with a little pepper.Get a large nonstick skillet, at least 12″ for this portion if you are doing 14 blocks a larger skillet is needed.  Fill with 1/2″ of water and boil your sweet potatoes over med low heat until al dente, not too tender, 6-8 min.  More water may need to be added after 5 minutes, just add a little more.  When the water is evaporated or if  there is still water drain the water out.  Add your other veggies and meat to the potatoes.  Spray the whole thing with nonstick spray, add 1t of chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until the veggies are to your tenderness, 5-7 minutes.  Reduce your heat to low.  I add more non stick to the pan by moving everything to one side, spraying the sides then move everything to other side and spray again.  Add your beaten eggs, cover and cook 20-25 min.  The middle should be set and the sides should be golden brown.Cut into 4 pieces, top with 3T avocado and hot sauce, serve with 1 block fruit. 
The whole frittata is 12P, 8C. Each plate with avo and fruit: 3P, 3C, 3F
Enjoy that extra sleep in the morning and still get your good breakfast!

Friday 120203

I’ve heard from some people that, “Hey I’m gonna save up all my cheat points for the last day on Super Bowl Sunday so I can go hog wild.”  Well, don’t forget that you can easily eat paleo for the big game this Sunday and still splurge.  So in light of this upcoming occasion, I give you one of our go-to websites for paleo recipes and their Super Bowl Round-up of Recipes.  Check out FastPaleo here.  ”There are crock pot recipes if you want to keep it simple, grilled meats & veg, desserts, and lots of bacon-wrapped everything. There are a bunch of rib recipes, and of course there’s primal chili.”  They have chicken wings, meatza pizza, BBQ kale chips, banana nut balls, and an almond wrapped in a date wrapped in a jalapeno wrapped in bacon wrapped in meat (OMG!)  

And just to get your mouth watering, here is a recipe for Meat Cupcakes, complete with icing and bacon sprinkles……what are you gonna take to the party?

Meat CupCakes 300x204 Friday 120203

Oooohhh yeaahhh!

Ingredients
Cupcake: About 12 of Grass-fed ground beef (12P)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 small onion, finely chopped (negligible C)
1 egg (1P)
1/4 cup almond meal (9.33F)
fresh basil, salt, pepper

Icing: 1/2 small head cauliflower (negligible)
1/4 cup coconut milk (3F)
pepper to taste (salt optional)

Sprinkles: one slice diced bacon, cooked (negligible)

Mix all the meat ingredients in a bowl. Stir with hands then throw into cupcake molds. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350F.
Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower. When soft, add into food processor or mash in a bowl. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper and stir. Add this “icing” atop the meat when they are done. Sprinkle with bacon sprinkles!

This makes 4 cupcakes, each approximately 3P, 3F.