The Ketodiet Cookbook Review

The Ketodiet Cookbook
So let’s get straight into things and talk about the fabulous opportunity I’ve had to be able to review a copy of Martina Slajerovas Ketogenic Cookbook (The KetoDiet Cookbook). Now for those who may be new to me, I started on a paleo diet back in October 2013 after my private specialist doctor recommended I change my diet in order to help manage my symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) (for more details see here). Later on in my journey I was also advised to follow a Ketogenic diet (see details here), which I did religiously for 9 months. Sadly the diet didn’t suit me and I had to make the tough decision to stop. However I do remain on a low carb – high fat diet and many of the recipes and foods I eat are taken from ketogenic websites. I am a big fan of Martina’s and have followed her work since May 2014.

Background
For those who might not have yet come across Martina’s work (Oh dear – have you been living under a rock!!!) I’ll give you a brief background. Martina has a blog called the KetoDietApp as well as an android and Apple App which helps you to track your health, log your daily foods and recipes as well as the option to purchase recipe bundles through the app. Not only does Martina have literally hundreds of recipes she has just launched this cookbook. So Martina is by no means a newbie to the ketogenic diet and has been developing and writing recipes for her blog from as early as 2012. I will be reviewing the KetoDiet app at a later date and have in the past referred to her blog as it’s very useful; not only is it jam-packed full of recipes but it includes the science and facts behind the ketogenic diet, the how’s, what’s, whys and anything else you might want to know. When I found out about Martina’s book I was super excited. In order to give a detailed review I will start with a breakdown of the book and what to expect.

With 240 pages, this book has everything from easy to make snacks to tasty flavoursome meals. It starts off by giving a brief but clear introduction into the ketogenic diet, how it works, what the key components are, a breakdown of the types of foods to eat as well as those to avoid which is super helpful when you are starting out. It’s then broke down into the following chapters; Homemade basics, breakfast, savoury snacks, healthy lunch ideas, satisfying soups and salads, main meals, sides, drinks and desserts then to finish off the index and about the author.

So what can you expect from this book? I can honestly say that you won’t be disappointed; there are plenty of recipes that you are likely to make. I find that with some cook books you’ll only have a small handful of recipes that appeal to you and the rest get bypassed. Not with this book, for starters the ‘Basics’ section alone is packed full of the everyday things that you might have thought you would have to do without! Whether you are one of those people who couldn’t bear to give up your sandwiches and wraps or are a saucy person and like to have dressings and condiments with foods there will be something here that will satisfy you. To give you an idea, recipes in the basics section include breads and wraps, condiments such as ketchup and mayonnaise, bone broth which is useful to adding flavour to foods, cauli rice and spreads such as jam and nut butter.

The breakfast selection is also great as it has a wide variety of options (hot/ cold), including Keto Eggs Benedict, Eastern European Hash, Breakfast Frittata, Vanilla Protein Waffles, Chocolate and Orange Spiced Granola, Sweet Cinnamon Rolls and Hot Keto Porridge. I particularly like that there are options that can be made and kept for a few days so that you can have something for those days you are on the go.

The chapter I love the most has to be the main meals section because there are so many really great recipes. I am a big fan of eating food that’s full of flavour and I like any recipe where spices are used – and I don’t mean in the sense of being spicy hot; I mean having a good taste and range of natural seasoning’s rather than being boring or bland and there are plenty of recipes in this section to fulfil those requirements. I particularly like that there are a wide range of traditional home foods e.g. Paleo Chicken Kiev’s, (which were super tasty and the coating was the best bread crumb substitute I’ve come across!) Shepherd’s Pie and Slow Roast Pork Belly. I think it’s fantastic that there are a range of world-wide cuisines such as Buffalo Chicken Wings, Thai Style Chicken Stir Fry, Sweet and Sour Chilli Prawns (which have been officially stamped as my husband’s absolute favourite), Asian Fish Balls, Cuban Shredded Beef, Italian ‘Meatza’, Lamb Vindaloo and Danish Meatballs. There is literally something for everyone and those are just a few of what’s on offer.

Another section of this book that I was pleasantly surprised by is the sides section; although there are just a handful of recipes there are some really great ideas, things that I hadn’t considered before like the Broccoli Patties, Shaved Asparagus and Garlic and Herb Cauliflower.

Now if you are like me the section of a recipe book that I always head to first is the desserts section and this book doesn’t disappoint. There are a total of 15 sweet recipes in this section and it also contains a number of hot and cold drinks too which is perfect if you want something sweet but don’t want a dessert. They include Creamy Hot Chocolate, Refreshing Iced Tea and Egg Nog. From the sweets I have already tried the double chocolate muffins which had what can only be described as having a wonderful fudgy texture and you can’t even tell they have avocado in which is a bonus for those who want a way to get the benefits of avocado into their diet without having to taste them! From the drinks options I tested out the Creamy Keto Smoothie which would be perfect after a workout or as a lunchtime meal.

What I like
This book has everything you could need to make the change to a clean or low carb / ketogenic diet. Whether you are a sweet or savoury person there is plenty to satisfy both. What I also like is that it has dairy substitutes which are a big help for those who can’t have dairy. Many of the recipes will have added tips so that you understand the use of ingredients, such as why whole psyllium husk will work better than ground, which means you’re less likely to try and wing something with the wrong ingredients (YES I’ve been guilty of that and ended up with a disaster!!). It also has ALL of the nutritional information that you need for a ketogenic diet – it works out the fat, carbs, protein, calories and fibre per serving for you. I like the fact that it’s not just aimed at people following a ketogenic diet – if you picked it up and didn’t know what the ketogenic diet was, the recipes are all appealing, tasty and most are easy to make. There are plenty of photographs throughout the book to whet your appetite and a whole range of tastes from lightly seasoned to dishes with a little more spice.
Any downsides?
Like with many cook books I’ve come across, some recipes will use sauces or sides that are a separate recipe, such as the burger recipe (Ultimate Guacburger on page 156) will require making the buns and BBQ sauce ahead of time – however you can just make the burgers and served with salad and they taste just as great (I know because I have tried them!). If a person was new to clean eating, paleo and the low carb world this book would be perfect for them as it explains a lot throughout the book about certain ingredients used (e.g. which protein powders to choose, what ingredients give crispier textures and other substitutes).

Overall rating
Although I received a copy of this book for free, I wanted to be as honest as possible when reviewing it. I approached the review with an open mind as I had to consider that it might not live up to my expectations (like some of the cookbooks I have purchased in the past). Luckily it turned out to be everything I was hoping and I can honestly say that it deserves a 5 out of 5 for ranking because ‘it ticks more boxes than it doesn’t’. And what I mean about that is that it’s low carb√, its grain free√, gluten-free√, dairy free√ and free from any processed ingredients√. This book will appeal to a whole range of people e.g. not only those following ketogenic diet but those who are paleo/ primal, those who are low carb, who have diet restrictions such as coeliac, those sensitive to gluten or intolerant to diary. It teaches you how to make recipes without adding in extra sugars and uses good old-fashioned cooking such as using real spices and flavours to make great tasting food. What’s more is that this book is really decently priced – especially as it has well over 150 recipes!!! If you are unsure what to think you only have to head over to Martina’s blog (here) and check out all her other recipes to see that this woman knows her stuff!!!!

You can purchase The Ketodiet Cookbook from Amazon for £10.47 (June 2016)
Other Cookbook Reviews

For more cookbook reviews take a look at the following posts….

Family Food – Chef Pete Evans
Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine – Sarah Fragoso
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind – Vanessa Barajas

**The above review is my own personal opinion; I was given a copy of the book for free in exchange for a review. I had been intending to purchase the book anyway**

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Paleo Bakewell Slice

Paleo Bakewell Slice

Bakewell tarts are a classic British desert usually served warm and is named after the village of Bakewell in Derbyshire, The Peak District. Traditionally it’s made with a pastry base, jam filling and a sponge topping. Over the years the recipe has been filtered down to a tray bake version, called the Bakewell slice or the cherry Bakewell.

This recipe is a Paleo version (obviously duh! hence the title) but rather than a sponge and pastry combination, the slices are more of a cross between a firm cake and a soft biscuit. I only used a small amount of jam for the filling but you could always double the amount if you wanted them to be more indulgent.

If you are low carb or following a ketogenic diet I have included the macros below based on 10 servings – so they will be a little smaller (half the size of the image shown) but still plenty enough to enjoy. If you wanted to reduce the carbs even further you could replace the jam filling with a more low carb berry such as blackberries or blueberries.


Macros

Fat – 17g
Carbs – 9.8g
Protein – 5.3g
Net Carbs 7.5g

Print Recipe
Paleo Bakewell Slice
These Bakewell slices are perfect served with a cup of tea or coffee - ideally served warm. They are sweet with a hint of almond, with a crumbly texture.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
The Slices
The Filling
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
The Slices
The Filling
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 170’C (338'F)
  2. In a bowl add the almond flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking soda then stir to combine.
  3. Melt the palm shortening in a pan then add to a separate bowl. Add in the egg, stevia, vanilla/ almond essence and the erythritol then whisk until combined and bubbly.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and combine using a wooden spoon. The mixture should be a little sticky but dough like.
  5. You CAN at this point, wrap the dough in clingfilm and allow to chill in the fridge. If you don’t have time you can skip this bit.
  6. Between two pieces of grease-proof paper roll the dough out in to an oblong shape. If you wanted to make round shaped Bakewell’s you can use a cookie cutter, just remember to cut out an equal amount of circles so that you have a top and a bottom.  If going with the oblong shape score a line down the middle – when it is cooked, you will cut along this line. One side will be the top of the slices and the other the bottom.
  7. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on one half of circles if making round shaped Bakewells. These will be the top of the slices. (If you go with the oblong shaped dough you will need to do this after you have transferred it to a baking sheet). See Notes below for Image
  8. Place the dough onto a baking sheet; if making round slices use a burger flipper to do this. If your dough is oblong shaped, place the baking sheet over the dough and using the bottom piece of baking paper flip the dough onto the sheet and remove the baking paper. Sprinkle the almond flakes onto one side of the dough.
  9. Place in the top part of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Once cooked allow to cool then make the filling.
Make the Filling
  1. In a small pan add the cherries maple syrup, water and almond essence and heat until it bubbles. This may take 5 or more minutes. As it cooks it should reduce down and start to thicken up like jam. When it reaches this consistency take it off the heat and allow to cool down, then blitz the mixture in a food processor.
  2. Spread onto one half of the slices (the ones without the flaked almonds) then place the other half on top (the ones with the flaked almonds).
Recipe Notes

Bakewell Slice Paleo Style (3)

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10 Experiences of Long Term Paleo

 

More and more people are turning to a paleo or ‘Stone Age diet’ to battle health issues, weight problems, general well-being and food intolerance. There is no ‘one size fits all’ as everyone’s issues and needs will be different but there are basic principles and you can find guides across the internet that will outline what they are. Most people who start eating this way tend to stick to it and see it more as a long-term (even ‘for life’) Way of Living or Way of Eating (WOL / WOE). Below are 10 experiences that you’ll likely encounter when converting to paleo. You’ll find that many of these points also apply to a wide range of life style choices, whether its food or health related.

1. You will start off with food envy, but once you’ve settled into it, you’ll become a food snob!

Yep. True story. Initially It can take a while to adjust to cooking things from scratch, finding natural ways to season and flavour your food and switching from grains to alternative flours etc. During this time you’ll probably wish for junk food, ‘normal’ food and anything non paleofied! You’ll get bored with having plain foods without gravy, sauce or dressings. But don’t despair it will soon pass and when it does you’ll be enjoying really flavoursome food. You will become so accustomed to enjoying real natural flavours that you’ll find new family favourites – that you actually really enjoy!

This is because you’ll find other ways to season, flavour and accompany foods. You’ll find ways to use vegetables in ways you never thought possible (e.g. cauliflower to make pizza bases or ‘rice’) and chances are you won’t have any bland dinners because you’ll discover so many other ways of cooking food you’ll wonder how you ever ate pre – paleo!

That’s when the food snob sets in because you’ll notice when you go out to friends houses or to non Paleo restaurants for food, how much people rely on packets and pre made sauces to add some flavour, and having to order food without these things usually leaves you with boring plain meat and bland veg. (Think of a Carvery, with all that thick gravy, cranberry and apple sauce made up mostly from sugar, the Yorkshire puddings and mustards with added ‘stuff’. Without all that you just have plain meat and plain – usually over cooked veg. You’ll be sitting there thinking, I could so make this way better and full of flavour!!)

2. It’s a lot of work and you’ll need to interrogate the ingredients list!

Sadly when you go paleo it’s difficult because chances are, no matter how much reading or how clued up you are on the subject, it’s a shock to realise how much rubbish is added to food! It’s only when you read into the ingredients list that you’ll see just how sneaky companies are – all those hard to pronounce words, coded E numbers – they are different names for additives and preservatives that can really play havoc with your health. A great tip is to print a list of some of the common ‘suspects’ (all the preservatives and additives) and keep the list in your bag. That way when you shop you can refer to the list and make better (more informed) choices.

Check out this post by Paleo Leap which explains what the additives are and if they need avoiding.

As you know by now, that means you’ll have to prep and make everything from scratch and work out how to make real gravy, sauces and naturally good tasting food. It may seem daunting to begin with but as you get used to cooking this way, you’ll get quicker and be able to work out paleo versions or alternatives to replace your old favourites.

3. Your taste buds WILL change

Once you have got used to the changes and have settled in (and paleo has become ‘normal’ for you), you will notice that foods will start to taste different (better) than before. For instance, you will be able to taste the natural sweetness in fruits, you’ll be able to recognise seasoning on foods (especially when eating out – which is good for detecting things you can’t have!). You’ll also appreciate the flavours of good food prepared without processed ingredients. In addition to this you’ll get confident with cooking and probably start to try new foods you’ve never had before, such as sweet potatoes, plantain, unusual cuts of meat and gravy made with home-made stock.

However, be warned that you’ll never be able to 100% replicate all non paleo foods. Bloggers will often promote recipes ‘as good as… insert non paleo item’ but its difficult to make a lemon cake or pizza without using grains so the Paleo version will be a little different. That doesn’t mean that you wont ever enjoy foods or they are not really tasty, but it does mean that non paleo people may not like your baked goods as the their taste buds will be different.

4. You’ll become more comfortable around food

This is one of my favourite changes about Paleo which I discovered for myself during the festive season but probably didn’t really appreciate until my second Christmas of being paleo. While everyone was stuffing their faces, piling their plates up high and over indulging, I was happily eating just the amount I needed (I was also ketogenic so measuring the amounts of food), satisfying my hunger and when I really fancied a little treat I had some squares of dark chocolate. I went home not feeling stuffed or over indulged or sluggish but content and feeling better for it. I didn’t feel resentful or depressed to be missing out, if anything feeling quite smug at myself because I was able to eat consciously like I had wanted to do over the years during Christmas, but didn’t have the will power.

I believe that this is because being paleo in some ways, allows you to say no to people. Before I would get offered food or extra dinner and I would feel obliged to say yes, partly because I didn’t want to offend or because it was habit. Now that I have an ‘excuse’ it’s easy for me to say no. I don’t get hungry or envious watching people around me eat, it doesn’t even register, unless I am actually hungry, then all I do is eat, whether it’s something I take along with me or something that I can order which is suitable for me, when out.

5. People will spend hours asking you ‘can you eat…?’ And when you reply, they’ll usually feed back ‘Oh No! I could never give up my beloved (insert non paleo item)….

This is a great time to learn self-control and patience. I suggest you do because other wise you’ll probably end up with a rap sheet the length of the Nile, most likely from ABH where you’ve punched people in the face! Yep. I kid you not, people will drive you crazy (you could always say that you are channelling your inner cave man/ woman ha!)

Many people go paleo to help manage a health condition but other reasons for doing it are a) for weight loss or b) just wanting to live a healthier life. I fit into the ‘managing a health condition’ box but I really feel for those in groups a and b because those who mention the words ‘diet’ or ‘be healthier’ tend to get lots of flack (friends tempting you, saying you are being too strict, etc. you know what I’m talking about!) ..

Now for those with a health condition – you would think that friends and family would be more considerate and supportive to this change, but sadly this isn’t always the case. They may see it as a fad. YES even when those SAME people have seen you at death’s door, dying inside because the doctors have nothing to help you – they STILL question you. Even when your health is improving and the Paleo life is working for you (yep even when they are telling you how good you look!!) they still criticise it… So be prepared to bite your tongue.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am blessed that I have a family around me who are very supportive and really go out their way to help me, and there are other people out there whose family are supportive too. I just want to make you aware that you may find some people don’t accept the change as easily. I have read many horror stories from people who have had some terrible experiences when dealing with un-supportive friends and family. For an idea of what you might get, here’s an example of something I experienced.

A while back when I had been paleo for some times I went to a party and I was looking really well. Because the party was being catered for I had to take my own food. The person in question had commented on how well I looked and sounded, but after a few ‘can you eat’ questions they declared that there was no way they would give up their beloved wine and would ‘just take the symptoms’. Now I can’t have any kind of alcohol due to something called fermenting gut (my body kinda produces its own – of sorts). The symptoms I suffer are pretty damn serious, so much so that a number of times I have almost seriously hurt myself, risked burning the house down or flooding the place. And that’s just ONE symptom that I suffer, on top of that I’m juggling about 10 others. Now I know the person didn’t mean to disregard my symptoms but the truth is, had I declared that I had cancer or a tumour, I’m sure these symptoms I’m dealing with wouldn’t be scoffed at. But sad to say – some people just don’t think before engaging mouth. So, if you think people will react badly to your change or lack sympathy and support it’s good to maybe think up a pre prepared speech for situations to avoid this kind of conversion – to help you feel confident and strong enough to fight off any criticism. Something like ‘I’m following a food plan just for ‘a bit’ to help make me feel better’ (because for some reason people feel more happy to accept if you’re doing this ‘short term’), or, ‘I’ve got a sensitive stomach at the moment so I’m having to be careful what I eat – I wouldn’t want to have to go home early due to sickness!’ You don’t have to be defensive, and sometimes it’s easier to say the comment with humour (eg ‘ there’s no way I’m going to eat anything I don’t want to – I’m not wasting good money puking up on my new dress bought for said occasion’) that way you can dismiss any debate and move the subject on to something else.

6. Natural and organic foods will annoy you!

Oh yes, as you become the master at reading packets and ingredients lists’ you’ll start to suffer with a type of rage! (Usually in shops or supermarkets and you’ll find people will avoid eye contact!). You see many companies have cottoned on the public’s want for ‘healthier’ options, so label their goods ‘organic’ or ‘all natural ingredients’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are actually HEALTHY. Nope they can still have added sugars or other ingredients added in that are not that great for you. The best way to tell if something is healthy, good for you or unprocessed is by looking at the ingredients and sell by date. Foods that are natural and not heavily processed will have ingredients that you recognise and can buy yourself eg the raw ingredients, coconut, almond, flaxseed etc. so that you could replicate the item yourself. They usually have a short use by or sell by date because natural foods don’t really last that long (as they don’t have any chemicals or preservatives ‘keeping’ it ‘fresh’). Any items you can’t pronounce, don’t know where they originate from (because they are made In a lab), or are added ‘added vitamins and minerals’ (which are unnecessary if something is natural) – then reject them, don’t touch that stuff with a barge pole!

Now I know that processed technically means that something is pre prepared, ready-made or put together for you, but Paleo friendly foods don’t count, simple because they are 1. Processed or made in a way that doesn’t ruin or remove the natural vitamins and minerals, 2. Don’t contain any unnecessary additives. 3. Only have ingredients that are natural. These days you will be able to spot these as they are usually labelled as Paleo, primal or modern caveman, (or listed as diary, grain, soy, gluten and sugar-free) if not a good look over the ingredients will tell you.

7. You’ll become a dab hand at substitutes…

Cooking with nut flours, nuts milks, coconut oil and other Paleo ingredients can be really scary to begin with and you’ll be super cross when recipes don’t turn out how you want or expect. It will seem like everything is super expensive to begin with and that will make you even more upset, especially when recipes go wrong and you have to throw them out, so take the following advice… When starting Paleo, spend some time planning the recipes you want to try, starting with simpler dishes and remember to allow enough time for ‘fudge factor’ so if it goes wrong you have time to work round it, start again or correct it. Don’t try to re-create everything straight away like breads, cakes, crackers etc because firstly their textures will be different from normal breads etc. You may find that you can do without your usual toast and rather enjoy having scrambled eggs with Paleo pancakes. So take time to settle and start by experimenting small, building up your confidence until you can move onto bigger projects.

If you can, read up as much as possible about the individual ingredients and you’ll find out about their qualities. For example, dairy free palm shortening (organic and ethically soured is a MUST) can be a great substitute as it still has a buttery type of texture; Coconut flour acts like a sponge and when cooking with it, you’ll notice that the ‘flour’ to liquid ratio is ‘little flour : lots of liquid’! After some trial and error you will begin to get the hang of things, working out the types of textures different (grain free) flours give or the kind of tastes and flavours different nut milks give etc.

The longer you eat this way, the more of a dab hand you’ll get and in addition to this, you will work out what flavours you like and what flours etc work better for you based on the textures they give.

8. You’ll widen your horizons

One thing you’ll notice when going paleo is that the local supermarkets don’t always have the ingredients you want (especially in the UK) so you end up having to buy stuff from other places, shops that you never visited or needed to use (and most likely – online!). When you start shopping in these places, chances are they will have other paleo friendly ingredients and before you know it you’ll be trying all kinds of foods that you never knew existed! Such as coconut butter (creamy and tastes great in desserts), nut flours (a great alternative flour), psyllium husk (used to bind foods together), flaxseed (make great crackers) and gelatin powder (get for thickening sauces)! The more you get used to these ‘unusual’ ingredients, the more they will become your staples and as your confidence grows, you’ll start looking to find other Paleo friendly substitutes to broaden your cooking and taste (eg go from normal nut flours to tapioca flour or using plantain instead – yep, Plantain tastes great in brownies instead of flour! #WhoKnew).

Another big horizon you’ll discover is meat. Although the paleo diet is based on how our ancestors ate, we are not trying to become cavemen and eat exactly as they did!However the idea of ‘waste not, want not’ is the same and that means eating what is known as ‘nose to tail’. Basically if it’s on an animal – you can eat it, so organs, left over cheap cuts, the bones for making broth – yep, the lot! It can take some getting used to and some cuts are an acquired taste but eating this way can be a great way to get iron in your body, its more cost-effective and you can discover some new meal ideas.

9. You’ll learn a lot about nutrition!

When going paleo you’ll probably ask a lot of ‘why’ questions. Why can’t you eat certain foods, why are certain foods that are ‘grown’ (e.g grains) not considered paleo etc, etc…. And that’s when you’ll learn a lot about nutrition, because all of these questions can be explained when you start looking at the nutritional value of things and what impact they have on the body. If you are going paleo to manage a health condition it’s really important to understand these reasons as they will help you to get a better understanding on what causes your body pain, inflammation, immunological response and so on.

For example legumes, pulses and beans are not considered paleo (although some people later reintroduce them once health has improved). The reason for removal is because they contain lectins and phytates which harms the gut lining and causes inflammation in the body. Taking them out the diet helps the gut to repair and inflammation settles down. Nightshades (such as tomatoes potatoes, peppers and certain spices) are another group of foods that can cause inflammation, however they ARE considered Paleo but for some people known as AIP’ers (Auto Immune Protocol or Auto Immune Paleo – a much stricter version of paleo and for those with auto immune illnesses) will remove these from their diet as these foods can cause problems for those who are more sensitive . As you learn about the yes – no foods, and work out what foods cause you pain, you’ll learn about other food choices that have the equivalent nutrient content. For example many people will tell you that removing dairy from your diet is ‘dangerous’ and will want to know where you will get your calcium from. It wont take long for you to realise that you can get calcium from plenty of other sources – to name one (which is actually better for you for many other reasons) is kale! The longer you are paleo, the more you’ll find out works for you. everyone’s ‘paleo’ diet will be slightly different to someone else’s, because our bodies are all different and what we can or can’t tolerate is based on individual response.

10. You will learn to listen to your body

Once you get used to the paleo diet you will become more in tune with your body. You’ll notice what foods trigger a bad response, such as headaches, stomach pain, rashes or skin flare ups. You will also work out what ratio of fat, protein and carbs works for you – there is no right or wrong, it’s all based on how you feel. If you feel good then its likely working for you. I know that many people live and eat non paleo and feel good and that’s great – but if you are suffering with any kind of health condition, you really should dig a little deeper and look at what you are putting into your body. You may not need to go full paleo (and if that works for you – then go for it) but there’s no point taking supplements or medications and continuing to eat how you are eating as you will be putting your body under unnecessary stress. You could find that by cutting out certain foods such as sugar, grains or dairy, could clear up that skin condition youve suffered from for life, or get rid of those horrid migraines you get that lead you to take a sick day or miss out on an event. If food is the answer you wont need sick days or medication and you can take better control of your life!

So, there you have it – pretty emotional huh?? If you are paleo or have embarked on a different kind of life change or diet and recognise any of these stages I would love to hear your thoughts. I would appreciate any tips of ways for helping deal with the negatives that crop up!

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Nut Butter Bars

This recipe is so versatile that it’s easily adapted to what you have in the cupboards. If you’re not Paleo and have some peanut butter around then you can use that instead of the almond butter. If like me, you have a cupboard full of a variety of nut butters (hazelnut, cashew, almond) you can use any of those, it all depends on taste. You can also swap and change what nuts you use as long as it all amounts up to 95g. I used 100% dark chocolate on my bars and found that it gave a really good contrast from the sweet nuttiness, but you could always use a lower percentage, it all depends on your taste and whether you are Paleo or not. This recipe is made with coconut oil, but it would probably work well with butter but you’ll have to let me know if you try it (I can’t as I’m dairy intolerant!).

The original recipe was taken from Elanas Pantry but I’ve tweaked to make it Ketogenic friendly. If you are not Ketogenic it means you can eat as many as you like (yay!) but for those who do follow a keto diet, I’ve included the nutritional values below (per bar, based on making 12).

For those of you who measure in Cups or Ounces, here are the conversions :-

3/4 oz (1/8 CUP) Almonds whole
2 1/2 oz (1/2 CUP) Macadamias nuts whole
2 oz (1/4 CUP) Almond butter
2 oz + 1 TSP (1/4 CUP + 1/1 TBSP) Coconut Oil
3 1/2 TBSP Desiccated coconut
1 oz + 3 TBSP (5 TBSP) Flax ground
2 1/2 oz Dark Chocolate (OR 7 Large squares – e.g. if using LINDT)
1 oz (3 TBSP) Erythritol
1/2 TBSP Vanilla
4 drops Stevia
1/4 tsp Salt

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Print Recipe
Nut Butter Bars
These bars are not only paleo but ketogenic too (whoop!). They are nutty and sweet, perfect for a pick me up or a treat (hey - that rhymes!). You can change the nuts, nut butter and chocolate percentage to suit your tastebuds.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 1 h 20 m
Servings
Slices
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 1 h 20 m
Servings
Slices
Ingredients
Instructions
To make the base
  1. Place the nuts, almond butter, coconut, salt and vanilla into a blender. Pulse for a few seconds until you have a coarse mix
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan then add in the erythritol and stevia drops
  3. When fully melted pour into the blender then blitz until combined. The mixture should be mostly ground with a few crunchy pieces
  4. Line a baking tray (I use either a small loaf tin lined with baking paper or 12 silicon muffin cups and make them individual portions - for the nut base they work out as approx 26g in each cup).
  5. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or the fridge for a few hours
Once bars have chilled (1 hour)
  1. When the mixture has hardened (approx 1 hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer) melt the chocolate in the microwave until it's runny
  2. Pour the chocolate over the nut mix and place back in the freezer or fridge until hardened
  3. When the mixture has hardened, take out of the fridge (use the baking paper to pull it out of the tray/ tin) Use a knife to cut it into small bars - I got 12 small bars from mine but you can have them as small/ big as you like.
  4. You can keep the bars in the fridge for about a week or freeze them and take out to defrost as you want them
Recipe Notes

Fat 17.6g

Protein 3.5g

Carbs 1.6g NET

Kcal 181

The Stone Age Diet

The Stone Age diet, is sometimes referred to as the caveman diet or the hunter gatherer diet but is most popularly know today as the ‘Paleo diet’ (abbreviated from the word Palaeolithic). It’s based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that hominid species would have consumed about 2.5 million years ago, (way before agriculture/ farming came about and grains and dairy was introduced). It was first popularised by Walter L. Voegtlin in the mid 1970s but has become more so nowadays as celebrities use it as a way to lose weight.

The neanderthal diet would have included meat, fish and any fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables that could be scavenged from the wild. Although this concept has been adapted slightly, evolutionarily medicine and nutritional research suggests that although the world has gone on to develop foods through farming, agriculture and so on, the human body is pretty much genetically identical to how it was in the Stone Age Boyd et. al, 2002. Therefore it is suggested that the most ideal diet for us to follow is one that would resemble that of our ancestors.

To give an idea of the type of diet that we should consume if we were to follow this concept, the two lists below break down foods into those that would have been readily available in the Stone Age (weather/ season and hunting permitted) and those that have been developed over the years since farming and agriculture.

Stone Age
The human body is designed to eat :-

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables*
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Herbs and Spices

Modern Food
We are not designed to eat foods such as :-

  • Grains
  • Peanuts, beans, peas, soya
  • Root vegetables**
  • Foods containing yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Processed meats
  • Dairy products
  • Refined sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Juices
  • Fizzy drinks

* Certain vegetables are not allowed on the Paleo diet
** Some root vegetables are not allowed on the Paleo diet, such as those not edible when raw (like potato and squash).

To find out a full list of Paleo foods, take a look at Ultimate Paleo Guide. You will find that some Paleo sites will allow you to have sweet potato and all vegetables, whereas others will say different. The original Stone Age diet would have been based on what was available that could eaten raw and be scavenged (and would vary dependin gon where about in the world a human lived!). Its probably best if you make your own decisions on which one you want to follow. I follow a tweaked version of the stone age diet, that has been adapted by my specialist based on her experience and work with CFS patients.

More and more research is being carried out surrounding this concept and it has even been suggested that eating a Stone Age diet can improve health outcomes and enable us to be free of diseases of affluence.

Other advantages that have been suggested are:-

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Reduce Triglyceride levels (To do with Heart Health)
  • Improved energy levels

If you would like to know more about this diet, take a look at Nom Nom PaleoLondon Paleo Kitchen or do a web search for ‘paleo’.

References
Eaton, S.Boyd; Strassman, Beverly I; Nesse, Randolph M; Neel, James V; Ewald, Paul W; Williams, George C; Weder, Alan B; Eaton, Stanley B et al. (2002). “Evolutionary Health Promotion”. Preventive Medicine 34 (2): 109–18. doi:10.1006/pmed.2001.0876. PMID 11817903.

Voegtlin, Walter L. (1975). The stone age diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man. Vantage Press. ISBN 0-533-01314-3.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Are you (like me) new to Paleo and hungry for tasty recipes and helpful tips or do you already follow a Paleo diet? If so do you have any suggestions or tips to help us newbies? Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated!

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