My Basil Vinaigrette

My Basil Vinaigrette

A vinaigrette is super simple to make and takes but a few minutes to put together. This recipe can be modified to your liking easily: switch basil for parsley for example, add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it a little, add more vinegar for more tanginess. Play with it, have fun and enjoy this vinaigrette on a salad or as a marinade for your preferred meat. My Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients1 cup of good quality oil: I mix my oils because I like the taste. I usually have 1/2 cup of organic olive oil, 1/4 cup of avocado oil and 1/4 of mct oil because I like to be in ketosis. But you could do a full cup of olive oil if you wanted. I don't recommend using coconut oil for this vinaigrette as it will congeal too much. And for goodness's sake, don't use crappy oils like canola or vegetable! 1/3 cup of organic apple cider vinegar 1 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon of organic dijon mustard 1 full packet of basil leaves A pinch of salt and pepperInstructionsPut all the ingredients in a mason jar. Using a hand mixer, buzz all the ingredients together. Simple! If you don't have a hand mixer, put all the ingredients in a blender and...
My Homemade Mayo

My Homemade Mayo

Homemade mayo is a polarizing subject at my house. My husband doesn’t like my recipe. He prefer the crappy white stuff from Hellman’s. Something about the taste, he says. What he probably doesn’t say is he doesn’t like the color either. My mayo is yellow, from the fresh pastured eggs to the organic olive and avocado oils, it’s impossible to tone it down to white. But my ingredients are wholesome and organic, and I’ll take my mayo anytime over the Hellman’s filled with GMO, RoundUp sprayed soybean oil, water, commercial eggs from hens packed 10 to a cage, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA and natural flavorings, two terms the food industry uses to hide ingredients from their competitors and the public. My ingredients are: olive and avocado oil, fresh pastured eggs, organic apple cider vinegar, organic gluten-free dijon mustard, pink Himalayan salt. Sometimes I change it up. I add lemon juice to the apple cider vinegar, or I use only olive or avocado oil, or I “upgrade” it with a bit of MCT oil, or I add a dash of black pepper. It’s versatile and tasty. I use my mayo to make a creamy paleo ranch dressing, or simply thin it with lemon juice and fresh dill to sprinkle on smoked salmon. Always delish. You’ll need a food processor, fresh and organic ingredients and courage. Don’t be daunted by the task. Some recipes on the net calls for room temp eggs but I don’t bother. I take everything I need out of the fridge and I just make it. When your mixture is ready to emulsify, be sure...
The Balancing Act: The Most Challenging of All Acts

The Balancing Act: The Most Challenging of All Acts

In August, I published these goals: Create MY Paleo food plan Devise which supplements will fit my needs Create a gym routine in harmony with tennis Set time aside for writing and guard it with intent Number 1 is done without being “forever”: I eat according to the autoimmune protocol while staying low carb, high fat, even ketogenic some week. But I try not to paralyze myself with ONE way of eating. If life throws at me a social gathering, I will indulge in a higher carb meal and include a kombucha tea or sweet potato chips. I NEVER waver from eating gluten-free. Gluten is my absolute no-no. Number 2 is on par, I have my list of supplements from my new paleo Doc, Dr. Daniel Stickler, including weekly injections of testosterone and B-12. I can’t wait for my next blood work and see if my markers have improved. I certainly have more energy. Number 3 is doing great. I see my trainer 3 times a week, my tennis pro 3 times week, plus all the tennis matches I can handle. I hit the ball better and I PR my weight lifting movements each month. Number 4 is the challenge. I haven’t yet started writing. I jumpstarted my motivation by going to the Georgia Romance Writers conference in October, Moonlight & Magnolia. I lost my computer to a lightning strike and felt reluctant to start writing until my new one came in. It might be an excuse, but I need my space to be just the way I like it. The computer came in two weeks ago. I decided...
When Lightning Strikes

When Lightning Strikes

Literally. When lightning strikes your house, what happens then? I found out the hard way about a month ago. My husband and I travelled to Asheville, NC, one Friday morning, to meet with my new doctor, whom I found at PaleoFX. His name is Dr. Daniel Stickler and he’s everything a paleo lifestyler can wish for. But more about that in a later post. I spent all day at Dr. Stickler’s office, going through the most detailed evaluation I’ve never had. It was enlightening to say the least. That night, DH and I found a nice small restaurant specialized in local, organic foods, and it was delicious. Best Friday night ever. The next day, my husband had to travel to Florence, SC, for a tennis tournament, and since I wasn’t personally playing, I elected to go back home and enjoy the house to myself. Rain started drizzling down by 5 pm, but it was light and the sun still came through the clouds. I was all set that Saturday night to enjoy Outlander when thunder started. Sophie, my golden retriever who is terrified of storms, started shaking. I paused the show, grabbed her thunder shirt and looked out the kitchen window. Just then, lightning flashed and a boom shook the house. My heart jumped into my throat and I considered jumping into Sophie’s shirt. Rain came down like a deluge. After dressing Sophie in her shirt and after several deep breaths to calm myself, I sat back down on my couch to watch TV again. But the satellite reception was out. I decided to watch Netflix but the internet...
When A Biscuit Is Needed

When A Biscuit Is Needed

Last week, I posted my tweaked recipe for chicken liver mousse. Well, chicken liver mousse needs a carrier, something more elegant than the tip of my index finger to make the one-way trip to my mouth. I’ve often bragged about Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 day sugar detox on this blog. There are two books available for the 21DSD: the program itself and a recipe book. And in the recipe book, I found a “buttermilk” biscuit. The buttermilk part is made out of coconut milk, vinegar and gelatin. The biscuit’s part contains almond flour and there lies my problem. I can’t do nuts, including nut flour. So I tweaked again. I’ve made the recipe several times now and I’m pretty pleased. I use the biscuits to slather chicken liver mousse, it makes a perfect portable breakfast or a quick snack. And I get to take in my daily portion of vitamin B6 and B12. If you try this recipe, let me know! Modified "Buttermilk" Biscuit from the 21DSD program Ingredients1/4 cup coconut milk, homemade preferable 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar 2 tsp Great Lakes gelatin (the red one) 4 eggs 1/3 cup coconut flour 1 tsp baking sodaInstructionsPre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk, the vinegar and the gelatin. Let rest for 5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk the eggs together. Sieve the coconut flour and the baking over the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the coconut milk mixture and to the egg mixture and mix well. Drop the dough two tablespoons at a time and spread...
Recipe Tweaking

Recipe Tweaking

Do you play with your food? I can’t seem to help it. Part is because I follow a Paleo auto-immune protocol and need to make a lot of modifications, part is because I just love trying new ingredients. LATEST RESULTS In my last lab work, it was shown I was low on vitamins B6 and B12, and that despite taking a supplement. What foods are rich in B6 and B12? Organ meats. See Chris Kresser‘s post on beef liver. But eating liver has never excited me. Something about the graininess, the “iron” taste. My grand-father was a butcher and organ meats were some of his favorites. My grand-mother used to cook veal brains for him but he was the only one eating them. We all ate something else. My mother loves liver and onions cooked in butter. She tried her best to make me eat it when I was a child, even went to the extent of hiding it in her spaghetti sauce but she never fooled me. THE FRENCH IN ME My roots are French. French like in baguette and cheese and pâté and red wine. Of course, now I don’t eat bread or cheese or drink wine anymore, but pâté, I still eat. It never occurred to me a “pâté de foie” meant the main ingredient was liver. It doesn’t taste like liver. Why? I researched how pâté de foie is traditionally made in France and most recipes call for shallots, butter, cream and alcohol, usually in the form of cognac or port. Several chefs advise to put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to obtain a creamy texture. (This...
Taking Stock and Re-Adjusting

Taking Stock and Re-Adjusting

First, I am thrilled to announced the winner of the Keto Clarity raffle: Julie, from Canada. Congrats, Julie! (I’ve emailed Julie today.) In a recent post, I’ve talked about re-focussing on my health goals since I’d let too much information distract me. Those goals were: Create MY Paleo food plan Devise which supplements will fit my needs Create a gym routine in harmony with tennis Set time aside for writing and guard it with intent I’ve created my Paleo food plan, as detailed here. In the last month or so, I’ve focussed on what supplements I need to optimize my health. How did I choose which ones to take? TEST. EVERY YEAR. MAYBE TWICE A YEAR. The right thing to say at this point is to consult your favorite health provider before deciding to use supplements. Even if supplements are “natural’, some can be quite potent and you don’t want to “undo” any good you’ve already achieved. So basically, this is a case of “don’t do what I do, but do what I say”. More on that later. Based on results from last year, and based on conversations with my chiropractor/nutrition expert Dr. Brian Davis, I decided to add supplements to my regime. When I first started on the Elimination Diet to determine which food didn’t agree with me, I was very faithful to the supplements I was taking. But in the last few years, I became forgetful, or negligent, or downright arrogant. Arrogant like, “I’m in good health, I don’t need to take supplements anymore.” Little did I know. MY LIST OF SUPPLEMENTS When I decided to re-focus...
Keto Clarity, Interview With Jimmy Moore

Keto Clarity, Interview With Jimmy Moore

I live in South Carolina where fried chicken and sweet tea are diet staples. I live in a small town where chasing a better state of health makes one look… odd. I can only imagine how Jimmy Moore looks in the heart of Spartanburg, SC, the author of two health books and the host of the longest running podcast on iTunes. Cholesterol Clarity is his first book, written with co-author Dr. Eric Westman and his popular podcast is Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show. At the time I’ll publish this blog, Jimmy will have aired his 834th podcast. His latest book is Keto Clarity, Your Definitive Guide To The Benefits of a Low-Carb, High Fat Diet, also co-authored with Dr. Eric Westman. It released last week and it has been met with high praises. But what is keto? And won’t a high fat diet make you die of a heart attack? NUTRITIONAL KETOSIS To answer any questions about eating fats and heart health, please read Cholesterol Clarity first. It’s the eye opener everyone needs to understand the role fats play in one’s health. And it will appease any fat phobia you might have. Maybe you’ll even let yourself enjoy butter and egg yolk and bacon again. Keto, short for ketosis, is “a metabolic state that happens when you consume a vey low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that causes your body to switch from using glucose as its primary source of fuel to running on ketones. Ketones themselves are produced when the body burns fat, and they’re primarily used as an alternative fuel source when glucose isn’t available.” (p. 32) This means...
MY Paleo Food Plan

MY Paleo Food Plan

A month ago, I shared how I let too much information distract me from my goals, health wise. (You can read the post here.) I’m happy to report I’ve jumped on the helm and regained some control over my lifestyle. I simply started by re-focussing on my health goals: lose fat and become stronger. To do so, I’ve devised a few strategies. BABY STEPS, BABY… From past experience, I knew my body doesn’t do so well with carbs. My end goal is to become ketogenic, to see if this metabolic state suits me. To start me off, I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox, a program created by Diane Sanfilippo author of NYT’s book Practical Paleo, and I joined the July online group for support. This is an amazing way to lower carbs. Participants boost each other and share recipes and motivation soar. THE MEASUREMENTS I’m a number girl. I like to see tangible improvement. So I started to take my blood sugar levels at different times of the day. I was shocked at how high my levels are in the morning, after a solid 12-hour fast. After all, I don’t eat any dairy, grains or legumes, so I assumed my numbers would be low, around 85. But I consistently got readings of over 100, to 109 one morning. Picture me with a huge question mark above my head while reading my gluco-meter. So I took out the allowed fruits in the 21 DSD program, green apples and green-tip bananas. My levels started to drop off in the 90s. Does that mean I’m THAT sensitive to carbs? I have to assume yes....
Paleo By Season by Peter Servold, A Book Review

Paleo By Season by Peter Servold, A Book Review

“In learning about Paleo and all the things you can eat, I was inspired. Paleo is fine dining. You go to the farmers market, get whatever is local and in season, and make it for dinner.” -Peter Servold, page 12. I am far from being a chef but in my old life as a food buyer – and developer – I worked with them all the time. Whether they were the company’s owner or head of the research and development department, I soaked in all I could from their creative mind. I learned to make bone broth a long time before paleo came into my life. I learned knife skills. I learned to debone chicken and other meat cuts. I am not a chef but I do consider myself, and please don’t think I’m being conceited because it’s far from the truth, a dang good gourmet cook. A TWO FOLD APPROACH TO PALEO When I saw Peter Servold’s cooking demo at PaleoFX this year – he made duck confit croquettes – I knew I would pre-ordered his book. His approach to paleo is two-fold: from a chef’s perspective and from a season’s perspective. If you’re already a chef, you’re probably rolling your eyes, because how else to approach a menu other than by season? But for the rest of us, it’s not so clear cut, since grocery stores offer mostly the same produce all year long, so cooking by season is somewhat irrelevant. It’s only when one goes deeper into paleo territory (or into a healthier lifestyle, whichever it is), like buying locally at farmers market or participating in a CSA, that cooking by season...

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