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Miscellaneous / Repopulating your gut!
« on: December 07, 2013, 05:12:45 PM »
1 2 3 4

Diet and nutrition / Liquid paleo diet
« on: August 07, 2013, 07:25:37 PM »
In about a years time, I will be be undergoing  surgery that will require a totally liquid diet for 2-3 weeks, followed by a blended diet for another 3-4 weeks

After the surgery I plan to eat mainly fat and protein.  I'd love to have root veggie soups but as you can't brush your teeth while banded together after the op so I want to keep carbs to an absolute minimum
Green veggies (broccoli and spinach) can be made easily into soup
Mineral will come from bone broth
Fat I plan on getting from drinking yoghurt, cream, olive oil, egg yolk and coconut cream (I will allow more than usual dairy during this time as I am not going to drink liquid lard)
Protein is the tricky part.  Most people eat ensure and protein shakes but that's not an option for me.  I've absolutely loathed every protein shake that I've tried with the exception of this 'isopure' protein drink that is clear and like juice but it's so processed, artificial, flavoured etc.  I also don't want to consume large amounts of whey protein I am thinking I will have to blend up powdered egg protein in some kind of drink.  Raw egg white I would not like to eat when I'm in delicate post-surgery position

Obviously it will be ages until I have the surgery (I have to have a year of braces first to undo the orthodontic work that I got as a kid instead of getting sugery then... ::) >:() but in the meantime, any thoughts are appreciated

PS - I am getting BSSO surgery of the lower jaw and maybe a rotational le fort of the upper jaw, if anyone was wondering

Exercises / ladies - what do you do?
« on: February 06, 2013, 06:18:17 AM »
Ladies (or interested gents) - I am curious to know what kind of weights we are all doing....

Myself, I am quite short, very hourglass and a little stocky ie. even with no training I carry a fair amount of muscle, and bulk a little easier than some girls.  I do weights because it's healthy but I already posses big enough thighs and do NOT want them any larger, even if it's muscle. 

I do the "high weight, low rep" thing, and I'm not very dedicated so class myself squarely as "beginner". At the moment I don't do squats or deadlifts because I have tight calf muscles from years of high heel wearing and find those lifts rather uncomfortable.  Am working on stretching my calves.

At the moment I'm doing 2-3x per week

weighted bridge/hip thrust, 25kg, 3x8reps (I used to do 35 or 40kg and lower reps but it doesnt feel good lying across my abdobmen)
chest press with barbells, 16kg, 3x5reps
leg press (horizontal), 75kg, 3 or 4x5 reps
chest press with machine, 17.5kg, 3x5reps
glute kickbacks, kneeling, 12kg barbell behind knee, 3x5 reps each side
cable standing fly, 5kg, 3x5reps
weighted step ups, high bench, 20kg, 3x5reps

I do core stuff between my sets

Ideally I want to ditch the machine weights (chest and leg press) move onto squats and bodyweight exercises like press ups and pull ups but I hate them

Unfortunately I live in a city that is literally impossible to walk in, so I don't get much background exercise.  In the summer it's also pushing 50C and I'm really fair-skinned, so being outside really is just not an option :(

What does everyone else do?

(Also, bodybuilding guys - anyone know any other exercises that are good for glutes but don't work the quads much?)

Miscellaneous / Paleo diet in The Atlantic
« on: January 10, 2013, 05:34:05 PM »
So this article is actual about plague, iron and genetics, but the mention of the paleo diet in the middle (on page 2) caught my eye.  Taking into account the fact that The Atlantic is pretty liberal, it's still always nice to a see a balanced, neutral-bordering on positive opinion of the diet in a major publication.  Apart from describing paleos as "hipsters"...(I guess one can't have everything!)

Recipes and meal photos / Mediterranean Fish Stew (with pics!)
« on: May 13, 2012, 02:00:22 PM »
I sometimes get 'stuck' with fish and eat mainly the oilies - trout, salmon and mackerel.  This stew is good if you're cooking for 3 or more people.  The more kinds of fish the better.  France, Spain and Italy all have regional stews in this vein

Lose measures as I never measure anything.  The measures suggested will make enough for 2 very hungry, 3 medium hungry or 4 starter servings.

A note on fats - the fish used in this are lean, and it's usually served with bread, so it needs added fat.  I used a big slab of goat butter and a generous glug of olive oil and a little coconut oil for sauté-ing.   If you don't do butter than chicken/duck/goose fat is probably the best bet as it is quite neutral.  Lard would be OK if it's white lard.  Use as fresh fish as possible

You will need a wide and deep pan.


For the stock
celery (1 stick)
onion (1 small or half large)
carrots (1 medium)
skeletons and skin of 2 bony fish
2 bayleaves

For the stew
stock as above
white wine (1/2 small glass)
plum tomatoes fresh deskinned (3-4) or tinned (I used 3/4 tin), chopped
onion (1 small or 1/2 large) chopped fine
garlic (4-5 cloves), crushed
butter (big slab)
olive oil (2 glugs)
saffron (pinch)
black pepper
paprika (shake)
dried chilli (1)
grated orange zest (half a small orange, not more)
shellfish - mussels, clams, cockles - scrubbed and de-bearded (I used mussels and cockles)
crustaceans - prawns or crayfish (I used prawns)
fish - 2-4 out of hake, haddock, cod, bream, snapper, mullet etc. (I used hake and haddock) - cubed

1) make the stock - cut up the veggies small, sautee in some coconut oil til a little brown, add water, bayleaves and fish stock and simmer for 20-30 mins
2) fry the onions and garlic til soft - about 10 mins
3) add everything but the fish and simmer for 20-40 mins, adding additional water as necessary, then remove the chilli if you can find it
4) add the fish in this order - shellfish (leave for 3 mins), fish (leave for 5 mins), crustaceans (2 mins).   Keep the lid on the pan when the fish is cooking.
5) remove and shellfish that haven't opened

This recipe is also good for soup - use half the about of fish/shellfish and liquidise the broth ingredients before adding the fish

Pics -

The fish waiting and the broth simmering


ready for eating!  ;D

I am quite hesitant to post  this recipe as it isn't strict paleo as it contains both nightshades and seeds, and the seed in particular (sesame) is quite high in O6 and phytic acid - so not an everyday dish and possibly best saved for a day when you're also having oily fish.  However it is a good option if you're doing a dinner party/bring food to someone elses dinner party and want a dip to have with your crudités that doesn't have dairy, HFCS or other nasties in it.
Second part of the disclaimer is that I travel about the Middle East a lot and having just come home I have a moutabal craving.
Sesame is the oldest oil seed and despite the O6, it also has quite a lot of vitamin E and some nice antioxidants.  It's also one of the major oils used in the famous clinique yellow moisturiser, which I have a lot of love for as often it's the only thing I can put on my face that doesnt result in an extreme burning sensation.
About Moutabal -
Baba Ganoush or Moutabal is served all over the Middle East from Libya to Lebanon to Oman; I believe it is levantine in origin.  The dish below is always called 'Moutabal' in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, while in those countries Baba Ganoush refers to an aubergine salad with onions, peppers and herbs.  However in some parts of the middle east and other parts of the world what is described as Baba Ganoush is actually moutabal - although with the proliferation of Lebanese restaurants all over the gulf this is becoming less common I believe.  However in the UK, it's usually called Baba Ganoush.

The essential step in making of Moutabal is the charring of the aubergine skin which produces the characteristic smoked flavour

2 large aubergines
juice of half a lemon
1 or 2(small) cloves of garlic
EV olive oil
2-3 tblsp of tahini (sesame seed paste, only ingredient should be sesame seeds)
red pepper (paprika is OK in a pince)
pomegranate seeds

1) There are 3 methods for cooking the aubergine in order of preference
- slice in half lengthways and barbecue til the skins are black
- slice in half lengthways then slice each half into 4-5 strips.  Flame grill very close to the flame until the skins are nice and black, turn, lower the grillpan, and finish the flesh
- slice as above and cook in a very hot over until the skins are black
2) removed and stand to cool a little, meanwhile -
grate the garlic into a bowl.  Do NOT use more than 2 small cloves.  Add the tahini, salt and a glug of EVOO
3) peel the skin off the aubergine slices - this should be easy.  Run the slices under cold water to cool and squeeze out excess water
4) Add to the bowl and then mash with a fork or use a hand held blender
5) stir in the lemon juice
6) arrange prettily on a plate and garnish with the red pepper powder, pomegranate seeds and generous amount of olive oil
7) I eat on its own or with veg crudités, although it's supposed to be eaten with arabic flatbread or pitta bread

Miscellaneous / LONDON paleo/primal meetup!
« on: February 07, 2012, 09:13:24 AM »
Another London paleo/primal meetup in Victoria on the 8th of February....PM me if interested!

Recipes and meal photos / Paleo Cupcakes! (yes really!!!)
« on: January 14, 2012, 03:16:13 PM »

What, you didn't I meant those almond-flour thingies did you??

(sorry for dirty plates...!)

Food Journals / daily paleo - a photo diary
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:57:42 PM »
Hello, earthlings

I've been asked my a couple of paleo-curious friends of mine to do a photodiary of a paleo eater.  You can see it at the following link; I'll probably be doing it for the next 2-3 weeks.  This is for the benefit of the new to paleo or paleo curious, so that you can see the day-in-day-out eatings of a long-term paleo dieter.  Although this is covered in a lot of food journals, some people are visual and seeing relative portion sizes help.  Be aware though that the plates in these photos are rather small!

Generally I break my plate into 1/3 meat/fish, 1/3 green/leafy/cruciferous veg, 1/3 bulbs/roots/mushrooms

Age: 24
Sex: female
Height: 5'1''
Weight: 53kg/116 pounds
Activity level: low-moderate
Daily cals: 1300-1600
Average macronutrient breakdown: carbs 10-15%, protein 25-30%, fat 45-60%
Paleo diet: Fairly strict.  No dairy aside from butter, no sweet potatoes/yams, very few nightshades, very little alcohol. No 'paleo baking'. Mainly grass-fed and/or organic meats/eggs.  Little fruit outside of berries or figs.
'Cheats': goat butter, 85% chocolate
Supplements: vitamin D, fish oil, pro-biotic multivitamins
Lifestyle: single, no kids, work mainly from home

I don't think I've mentioned it on the boards before, and perhaps now is not really the most auspicious time, but I'm actually half Iranian.  I haven't posted many (or any!) Iranian recipes because they tend to require specialist ingredients that not everyone has but the below is quite easy.  A lot of traditional Persian foods involve chickpeas, lentils or wheat, which are obviously out for us but the stews are usually very easy to make paleo if they aren't already

Sidenote on Persian food -
similar to Tunisian, Moroccan, Turkish, Iraqi
main meats: chicken, lamb, fish
use of fruit with meat characteristic
sour cherries, sour golden plums, figs, dates pomegranate, lemons, oranges, limes, rose water, saffron, olives, honey, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cumin, quince, aubergine, parsley, coriander, mint, rocket, almonds, pistachios and walnuts all commonly used ingredients

Khoresh-e esfenaj-o alu (Stew with spinach and sour golden plums)
This stew has the sweet-sour taste that is characteristic of persian cooking

500g chicken - two drumsticks and two thighs, with skin
400-550g stewing lamb (weight depends on how much bone is in the lamb.  I recommend using lamb with some bone in for richness)
1 large or 2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 small or 1 large died lime (will need to find specialist grocery)
10 sour golden plums (dried) (do not use regular prunes) 
the juice and grated zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
200g young fresh spinach (or frozen, but make sure to use whole leaves not chopped)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cumin)
some fat (Tallow if stewing lamb, if using chicken then lard probably best although obviously would never be used traditionally.  Ghee, chicken, goose or duck fat all are fine as well)

In a heavy casserole, sweat the onions in a little fat.  Continue cooking until lightly browned
In a frying pan, heat some fat and brown the meat over high heat till well browned
Add the meat to the casserole and cover with water
Add the dried limes, orange and lemon juice, spices
Cover and simmer very gently - on hob or in oven.  Stir occasionally
Total cooking time for chicken - 2-3 hours, lamb 3-4 hours, mutton 4-5 hours.
1 hr 30 mins before end of cooking time, remove lid to allow liquid to reduce
1 hr before end, remove bones from stew mix.  Add spinach and prunes and continue to simmer, covered/uncovered according to water level.  Stew should be served thick and not with the usual saffron rice!

Miscellaneous / LONDON paleo/primal meetup!
« on: October 13, 2011, 02:21:31 PM »

Greetings, all!

I've been paleo for more than a year now and love it.  My eczema is much improved and my weight is lower and stable.  I eat very low carb (30g, or 10% of calories), high fat paleo.

However, as I've mentioned before, I stopped menstruating after about 2-3 months on the paleo diet, and I suspect that my oestrogen is low.  I've been reading around the internet a bit and suspect the reason may be hyopthyroidism caused by low-carb dieting, from either a)failure of the liver to convert T3 to T4 or b) low leptin levels.

So, I think I need to increase the carbs :(  This annoys me somewhat as I find unless I'm VLC I get hungry all the time, and I hate being hungry!  I'm also paranoid that eating more carbs will make me gain the weight that I put so much effort into loosing!

does anyone have any insight into
a) how much carbs to add, and how much fat to remove
b) what kind of carbs to add - paleo starch from roots or tubers to take the pressure off my poor liver which is normally pretty occupied in the act gluconeogenesis, or paleo sugars from fruit to spike insulin a bit and raise leptin levels?

thanks :)

Workout Programs / ascending sets vs 3x5?
« on: August 17, 2011, 12:53:43 PM »
Hello all!

As you know I started doing weights 2x per week around a month ago.  I do freeweights - lunges, weighted hip thrusts, squats, chest press plus machine - lat pull and leg press.

At the moment I'm doing 'ascending sets' - 15 reps, add weight, 10 reps, add weight, 5 reps.  The 5 rep set is the heaviest I can really lift.  For example on chest press, I do (don't laugh, I'm really wee) 6kg*15, 10kg*10 and 16 kg*5.  On hip thrusts I do 15kg, then 25kg, then 35kg.  On the bigger leg/compound weights there is more of a difference in weight between the sets.

I started with these after reading Art De Vany's 'Evolutionary Fitness' Essay; the reasoning behind it is to use the lower weight sets to exhaust the slow and the medium twitch muscle fibres respectively and so for the heavy set you're using the fast twitch fibres.

However, I've not been experiencing any post-workout soreness after doing these, even though on the final set (5s) I'm lifting the biggest weight I can lift

Should I bin the ascending sets and just go for 3 sets of 5 reps of the heaviest weights I can lift??

Last night, I had 2 spare eggs, a can of coconut milk, insomnia and an extreme craving for creamy desserty I decided to do a little food science.  Usually I don't hold with 'paleo' desserts as they invariably contain a lot of nut flour/honey/agave nectar which IMO makes them unpaleo.  However these 2 contain minimal or no sugar, and no nut flours

paleo 'creme brulee'/ custard

I *love* creme brulee and pre-paleo I used to make it all the time.  Here I attempt to make a dairy-free version

2 egg yolks
drop honey (literally)
pinch arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon ghee
200ml coconut milk
some grated creamed coconut

Note - coconut cream is required rather than coconut milk, so I grated creamed coconut into the coconut milk, added a bit of ghee, then boiled it til it reduced by 1/3.  Alternatively, you can allow the can of coconut milk to separate into coconut water and coconut cream, skim the cream off and use that.

1) beat eggs with the drop of honey and arrowroot til thick.
2) heat up coconut cream til it boils, add the vanilla and nutmeg then remove from the heat. 
3) Add the hot cream to the egg, gradually, stirring vigorously
4) pour mixture back into saucepan and heat til it thickens - 1-2 mins
5) remove from heat, transfer to fridge to set overnight

I ate 1/4 of the mixture while it was warm and it was yummy and custardy.  The rest went into the fridge but alas in the morning was not set like a normal creme was just thick, cold custard.  I whacked it in the freezer and will use it as an icecream base when I have more coconut cream


2 egg whites
pinch salt
raspberries, pureed - say 50-75g
coconut cream OR coconut milk+grated creamed coconut

1) take the whites out of the fridge and allow to warm to RT
2) use a very CLEAN and DRY bowl and whisk - make sure both are grease free.  The larger the bowl the better!
3) whisk the whites til they are foamy, add a couple of drops of lemon juice then continue to whisk til soft peaks form
4) Puree the raspberries
5) Whip the coconut cream.  This is the hard part.  If you only have coconut milk, whip it with an electric whisk and periodically remove the foam from the top.  The milk will get more and more watery as you do this.  You will be left with a pile of foam, let this stand for 5 minutes or so and then drain away the water that comes out of the bottom
6) stir pureed raspberries into the whipped coconut cream, then fold the egg whites into the mixture.  Refrigerate.

passable - although after 2 hrs in the fridge it had separated slightly and I had to drain water out of the bottom - maybe because I used frozen raspberries?  I think that a less-watery stronger-flavoured fruit than raspberries would be better, like lemon (mainly zest and only a little flesh) as this recipe does not seem to like water.

Anyway, the good thing about mousse is it's volume-to-calorie ratio.  Coconut-based mousse sadly does not have the creamy smoothness of actual cream-based mousse though

UPDATE - mousse separates on standing in fridge.  Avoid and try the custard instead!

Exercises / ladyweights for beginners?
« on: July 10, 2011, 03:32:11 PM »
So, I *finally* joined a gym.  I had the induction today and my trainer girl asked my what my goals were...and I didn't really know what to say!  She is definitely the type to work you hard but obviously knows nothing about 'primal movement' etc. and muttered some conventional wisdom about 'toning' and 'low weights lots of weights' but I know that to be false and told her I wanted to do compound lifts, with heavy weights.

At the moment I find freeweights/bars a little scary, I'm worried that if I go heavy I'm going to drop the thing on my head! But I know precious little about the which weights machines in the gym are compound lifts and which are more isolated movements.  Presumably the leg press is good...!

My goals
- fat loss
- no or minimal bulking on arms, shoulders or wrists! Really, really.  Everyone always says 'do heavy weights' and then 'girls don't get big doing weights' but I have seen lots of girls (on my rowing team) get big shoulders and biceps by doing - guess what? - heavy weights!
- overall weight loss - part of the reason I'm going to the gym is because I'm thinking of starting coxing again, and to compete at the level I want to need to get down to about 105 pounds.  Last time this was achieved with a starvation diet, 1 hrs cycling a day and complete avoidance of any weights in fear of adding any kind of mass at all - not a pleasant 3 months and not a route I wish to go down this time!

My questions!  (I think I will do weights twice per week, intervals twice a week, pilates twice a week and vibe once a week)

- which weight machines are OK to use? any?
- which freeweights should I start with?  Squats? kettlebells?  Dumbells? Lunges?
- how many reps counts as 'low reps'? 5? 10?  Best way to do them - fast, slow, in sets of 5?  I read Art De Vany's essay on exercise and didn't really get it I have to say!
- vibration training - does anyone do this?
- compound movement exercises??!?!?!?!

I don't really need answers that I understand, more something that I can give to my trainer and she will understand it and show me how to do it!

thank you!

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