October 29, 2010
I’m not a fan of diet extremists, even if it all seems well meaning. Anti-this, anti-that. It just seems all a bit too, well.. extreme. One of the most recent trends is the Paleo Diet which tries to get us back to eating the way our ancestors have. Now, while at the surface, this doesn’t seem too bad—encouraging to eat wholesome, unprocessed foods, cooking for yourself, increasing healthy fats into the diet—it goes a little too far for me when some proponents start banning oatmeal and beans because they’re supposedly not good for your system.
Now, I’m of the way of thinking that our society, myself included, eat way too much sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed food. However, all of the above in and of itself isn’t evil unless: you have been medically diagnosed with diabetes (Type 1 or 2), have medically confirmed thyroid issues, or have legitimately, scientifically tested allergies (e.g. celiacs). By the way, all of the above I just listed hit a very small percentage of our population; most people who believe they have any of that suffer from ETMWED: “Eating Too Much Without Exercise Disease.”
In the end, the less manufactured chemical compounds we ingest, the better (I make the distinction because I hate when people make sweeping anti-chemical statements. Every organic matter is made out of chemicals, people! Dihydrogen monoxide is water!); however, I don’t see the need to completely eliminate them from your diet unless these foods trigger bingeing behaviours (slippery slope).
I’m not going to say no to baked goods simply because they contain the trifecta of fat, sugar, and salt. As usual, the answer to me is moderation. It is probably a good idea for most people to cut out grains from their diet for both an immediate caloric restriction and because most people over eat carbohydrates which wrecks havoc in both satiety, insulin levels, and metabolism. However, I don’t subscribe to the extremist viewpoint that they need to be completely eliminated. Every human being has different carb tolerances based on genetics, environment and activity level.
For example, paleo’s argument against things like rice is because our ancestors never had agriculture long enough for our digestive systems to adapt to it. However, there is a segment of the population—particularly, Asians—who have had agriculture much longer than any culture and biologically, are able to break down grains like rice without any issues. Source: Charles Poliquin, under “Carbs, Hot Asians, and Oatmeal”
However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to find out how to cut out excess amounts of fat, sugar, and salt from the day-to-day. That’s my thinking when I look at Paleo recipes. The Paleo pizza recipe I’m about to post has relatively low-moderate carbs per serving yet is super high in fibre: partly because the dough is made out of coconut flour and flax meal, both rich in fiber and omega-3 fats. Of course, high in protein, etc.
4 eggs (I like to use omega-3 rich eggs)
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or full fat milk) (I used Almond milk and it worked just fine, too)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup flax meal
Spices: (You can add whatever you like to flavour the crust. This is what I added:)
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine dry ingredients together in one bowl, mix. Make sure the coconut flour is sifted to avoid lumps and to have a better batter consistency.
- Combine wet ingredients in a mixer bowl
- Attach wet ingredient bowl to mixer, and while it’s turned on low, add the dry ingredients
- It will be the consistency of pancake batter. That’s ok. Pour onto parchment paper on a baking sheet (I used a silicon baking mat). You can make this shape round or rectangular.
- Place dough into oven for 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes has passed, flip over the pizza dough and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes
- During the final 10 minutes of cooking, prepare your pizza toppings (the picture above has homemade pizza sauce, which is just tomato paste, chopped garlic, oregano, pepper, olive oil, and some water; toppings include: turkey/chicken sausage, genoa salami, green and red bell pepper, mushrooms, light feta and cheddar cheese)
- Take pizza dough out of the oven and dress it with toppings
- Place pizza back into the oven on broil until cheese is melted and toppings are warmed up
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