Apricot Breakfast Bars

Delicious gluten-free and dairy-free protein packed bar.

Delicious gluten-free and dairy-free protein packed bar.

 

Steve has been off on paternity leave since June taking care of our little Jillian but he’s heading back to work this week. This is going to make my life a little more chaotic especially for mornings. I needed a quick breakfast to eat because I won’t have him with me helping to get myself and her out the door on time.

I found this recipe in Elana’s Pantry and made it last night. The house smelled amazing as it was baking! It tastes like a nutty cake with apricot flavour. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly and delicious. This morning I had a pie-slice of it with half a banana and felt full until lunch.

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips of your choice, or none whatsoever
  1. Place apricots and pecans in a food processor and pulse until the texture of coarse gravel
  2. Pulse in eggs, salt and vanilla, until mixture forms a ball
  3. Remove mixture from food processor and work in chocolate chips
  4. Place mixture in a greased 8×8 baking dish or pie plate
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 350°
  6. Cool and serve

Banana Coconut Flour Muffins

Banana Coconut Flour Muffins
adapted slightly from Tropical Traditions and borrowed from Rebekas Family Food Blog 
Yield: 16 regular muffins

1 cup coconut flour (organic is best)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 eggs
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (OR 2 Tbsp. melted butter + 2 Tbsp. oil)
3/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a small bowl.  Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs together.  Add oil, milk, honey, sugar, and vanilla.  Whisk together to blend.
Stir in coconut flour mixture and bananas until well blended.  Batter will be thick.  Divide batter among greased or paper-lined muffin tins.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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The China Study

Well this book was all that I expected and more.

Collin Campbell makes a compelling case for eating a vegan diet.  I am now reading Gary Taubes book Why we get fat and what to do about it again.  When I read that book I was fairly well convinced that grains were the culprit.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Let me say this: I don’t know how anyone can make sense of what to eat anymore.  I have a pretty solid base to be reading these books from and I’m confused and second guessing everything.  I will continue to keep you posted as to what my latest thoughts are.  It would appear that they will change over time.

First off, what I like about Collins book is that it is based solely on research studies and many of them were human studies.  This is something that most books do not offer and why it is so compelling.

His human study, known as the China Study, drew many relationships between food and disease.  Most notably, he demonstrated that while we’ve been focusing on the saturated fat as the culprit, the evidence actually suggests that it’s the animal product itself not just the fat.  They linked animal product consumption to heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, MS, and more.  Virtually every Western diesease can be linked up.

What’s so interesting is that when they take a population where these diseases are virtually non-existant (say rural China) and put these people into the ‘Western way’, they develop these conditions at the same rate as those who have been ‘Westerenized’ forever.  Well that puts a damper in the genetic argument for these diseases.

In another of his studies, they were actually turning tumour growth on and off in rats by giving them casein (the protein in dairy) or a plant based protein.

This book has made my family virtually dairy-free.  We were still using goat milk and now we are almond milk.  I will still put cream in my coffee when I have it but that’s it folks.

As for meat, well, my family is not prepared to go totally vegan.  We will reduce it to a few times a week instead of daily.  As our vegetarian recipe collection gets larger, maybe it will be cut back even more.  Who knows.

Why was I so easily convinced?

Firstly, like I said, he wrote his book based on research findings, not opinion.

Secondly, I have understood the connection between animal products and inflammation for years.  I’ve had many patients with psoriasis, eczema, MS, firbromyalgia, and heart disease adopt a plant-based diet with great success.  When his research and my clinical experience line up, it’s an easy sell.

Thirdly, he makes the point (constantly throughout the book) that it’s a ‘whole-food plant-based diet’ that makes these diseases disappear.  Being vegan is not enough by itself.  Eating french fries, drinking soda pop, and lots of bread won’t cut it.

this also ties in with what I know to be true about inflammation.  Unsteady blood sugar levels (read refined products) cause inflammation.

Next week I will comment more on the Gary Taubes/Paleo argument when I’ve read more.

Vegetarian or Paleo?

The Paleo diet is gaining popularity right now.  Not surprising as we were due for another surge in nutritional theory.

I just want to say that nobody really knows what diet is best.  There are a lot of theories, and a lot of convincing theories.  There are lots of research papers that support different diets for health promotion.

Here are the consistencies in all of them:

1.  Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates (flour and sugar- not just white, but all)

2. Dramatically increase the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed.

3. Change the fats in your diet to olive, flax, and fish oil.

There is not one diet that works for everybody.  Try out a diet and see what your body says.  Not just in weight, but in energy, mood, sleep quality, and blood