Archive for August, 2013

Paleo Pakoras

A Paleo/Primal version of the popular Indian vegetable fritters. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now!

Paleo Pakoras

Ingredients (for 4)

– Batter
* 1/2 cup of tapioca flour
* 1/2 cup of almond flour (use more as needed)
* 2/3 cup of full fat yogurt

– Veggies #1
* 1 small sweet potato
* 1/3 of zucchini
* 1/3 of red pepper
* 1 carrot
* 1 onion
* 1/3 cup of broccoli florets
* 1/4 cup of eggplant (optional)
* 1/4 cup of peas (optional)

– Veggies #2
* 1/2 cup of spinach, chopped
* 1/4 cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped

– Spices
* 1 tspoon (each) of chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger
* 1 TBspoon (each) of garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, ground fenugreek, garlic powder
* Sea salt

– Oil
* 2 tbspoons of coconut oil
* 1/2 cup of olive oil

1. Peel the sweet potato, wash it, and cut it in 1/3 inch sizes. Wash and cut the rest of the “Veggies #1” similarly.
2. Add the coconut oil on a frying pan under medium heat. Add the “Veggies #1” along 1/3 cup of water. Cover, but stir often.
3. When the water has evaporated and the veggies are almost soft, remove them from the fire and set aside to cool a bit.
4. In a big bowl, add the spices, and the batter ingredients. Mix well with a big spoon. Then, add Veggies #1 and #2. Mix well again. The batter should not be too liquid, but not to rigid either. Adjust as required.

Paleo Pakoras Batter

5. Add the olive oil in the frying pan under medium heat. Spoon over 4-5 heaping batter spoonfuls. Cook about 4 minutes per side, or until very well golden brown. Do the same for the rest of the batter. Expect this pakora version to be somewhat moist inside while hot.

Tsigaridia (Greek pork belly)

This is the Greek version of pork belly, as we prepare it in the Epirus department of Greece. I consider it a more Paleo and healthier alternative to bacon (which is actually processed). My French husband loves it too!

Tsigaridia, Greek pork belly

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1 lb (~0.5 kg) of pork belly
* 2 tbspoons of olive oil for frying
* Juice of a large lemon
* 1 tbspoon oregano
* Sea salt & black pepper to taste

1. Wash the pork belly. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick pork skin on the one side (if it was sold as such).
2. Cut the pork belly into 1 inch cubes.
3. Heat the olive oil under medium heat, and add the pork cubes. Fry until cooked-through and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir a few times.
4. One minute before they’re ready, add the salt & pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Stir.
5. Turn off the heat, remove the cubes to a plate (without taking much of the oil with you). Serve hot with fries (and tzatziki, if you do dairy).

Getting rid of depression and anxiety

Disclaimer: I’m no doctor! This is not medical advice!

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present
.” – Lao Tzu

1. The Paleo-ketogenic diet. As explained here, that’s your most immediate defense. However, for those who simply don’t have the strength yet to move to such a restrictive diet, here’s a simpler, less restrictive version:

– Go 100% gluten-free, oat-free, grain-free and pseudograin-free. Absolutely NO exceptions on this. Read all labels. Especially the glutenous grains can create the most damage (even if you might not be celiac). The only grain allowed after at least three months on this diet, is *white* rice. If you prefer brown rice, you’ll have to sprout it first.

– Cook mainly with coconut oil (to enable more ketones in the brain), or real grass-fed butter. Use extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil on salads. Avoid all vegetable seed oils (they create inflammation due to their high omega-6 content).

– Eliminate all types of sugar (including artificial ones), and processed foods (e.g. pizza, cereal, pasta, bread, sweets/cakes — even if gluten-free). Don’t limit animal fats.

– For DHA (needed for optimal brain function), eat almost daily wild fish (particularly wild salmon or wild sardines), shellfish (particularly oysters), or sea vegetables. Get good quality meat and eggs (preferably pastured). Eat offal once a week. Drink or cook with home-made bone broth almost daily (cooked for 24 hours on a slow-cooker).

– Eat unpasteurized kimchi, sauerkraut, drink kefir (fermented foods). Eat A LOT of different veggies (enrich your diet with new foods), sea vegetables, and fruits.

– Eat a small handful of nuts & seeds daily, but soak them first (google it for how long for each kind). Soak your beans and lentils for 24 hours too before cooking.

– Not very often, indulge with home-made, raw desserts. You can make these with local, raw honey (not agave or maple syrup or other sugars), grass-fed gelatin, nuts, or fruits.

– Drink plenty of non-fluoridated spring water. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste. Avoid sodas. Avoid juicing, but go heavy on smoothies (smoothies contain the fiber that help alleviate the effects of fructose, juices don’t).

– Supplement 1-2 times a week (not daily) with CoQ10 Ubiquinol (not Ubiquinone), a B-Complex, 2000 IU D3 (with breakfast), K2-Mk4 (not plain K), and Magnesium (20 minutes before sleep). Do sleep a full night and wake up with the first light! Circadian rhythms matter a lot in mental states!

“Happiness” by BK & LazyDoll. License: CC BY-NC 2.0

2. Buy a Yoga DVD (or join a club) to start exercising. If you find this taxing, simply walk outdoors (preferably in nature, which is known to help mental states) for 30 minutes a day. Enjoying nature releases and balances chemicals in the brain. If you live in a city, visit the park often. If you have a yard, plant and maintain a vegetable, herb & tree garden, and if you only have a balcony, plant some herbs!

3. Go out for at least 20 minutes daily, with exposed skin and little clothing, even if it’s winter. The sun has a definitive role in how we think, and feel. You can do this along #2.

4. Socialization and giving-back. If you don’t have many friends yet to hang out with or help out, volunteer at a soup kitchen, a free clinic, or any other such activity. It will help you feel valuable and part of the whole. If all that fails, get a dog!

5. This is possibly the hardest part, but it’s the one that seals the deal: Meditation. Mindful meditation can offer not only a different perspective on life, but also can connect you with the bliss inside you. Read this book on how to go about it, but there are other meditation books around too. Give meditation 30 minutes a day, and empty your thoughts throughout the day when they’re not really needed.

Best of luck!