Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday In Meals + I *Think* I Cured My Eczema

Happy Monday, friends!

It’s time for my weekly Monday In Meals post, where I share what I ate throughout the day. Yesterday was an especially tasty day of eats with many of my favorite foods and combinations in the mix. My meals also came together quickly and effortlessly, thanks to a super efficient Sunday prep. Guys, it was only 45 minutes! Woohoo! I love when prep day comes together like that. Anyway, here’s a recap of my meals from Monday. After that, for those of you who are interested, I share what I *think* has cured my eczema.

monday in meals_feb 20

  • Breakfast: Cauliflower rice burrito bowl + iced coffee with coconut creamer and collagen
  • Post-workout: Protein shake + Pecan Sticky Bun iced coffee + a banana
  • Lunch: Ground chicken with kale, broccoli, buffalo sauce and a drizzle of Ranch dressing = obsessed
  • Dinner: Chicken thighs with roasted red potatoes, carrots, and onions + a side salad with a homemade ACV dressing
  • DessertPB2 mixed with unsweetened coconut cooking oil spread on top of two rice cakes with chocolate chips

Ok, so remember that weird eye eczema that showed up back in December? Well, it continued to pop up throughout the holidays and even into January. I initially thought it might be related to stress (it still might be?), and it would get better for a bit, but then get worse and spread to other parts of my face and neck. Blahhhhh. Of course, I consulted Dr. Google on a few occasions and found some interested information/studies about PUFAs and eczema, which immediately made sense to me with regard to the timing of my eye/face/neck flares (i.e. dining out, eating Mal’s leftover truffle fries, the holiday season). So, now I’m paying a lot more attention to the PUFAs in my diet (hence PB2 instead of peanut butter above) and things have calmed down on the eczema front. Hopefully, I’m on to something with this PUFA stuff, and I won’t have to deal with that again!

Question of the Day

Have you ever experienced a drastic improvement in a health condition/issue once you changed your diet? 

The post Monday In Meals + I *Think* I Cured My Eczema appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Thai Fish Cakes

Weeknight Paleo hits store shelves tomorrow. We’ll be having a little celebration at the house tomorrow night for this most joyous occasion and our fish cakes are on the menu. These little buggers make a tremendous appetizer and can scale up to a full serving of protein for your meal. If you’re pantry looks anything like ours, there are likely a few cans of tuna lying around. Feel like going fancy shmancy? Replace the tuna with crab meat for those extra special moments.

Thai Fish Cakes

Two 5-ounce cans wild-caught tuna
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 large egg
1/2 cup cooked yuca root
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil
Dipping sauce of your choice or sambal oelek

1. In a large bowl, combine tuna, green onions, lemongrass, jalapeno, ginger, parsley and egg. Use your hands to combine well and then fold in the yuca.
2. Shape into patties and season each one with salt and pepper, then dust with coconut flour. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow them to set.
3. In large skillet, heat the coocnut oil over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the cakes until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the cooked cakes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
4. Serve with sauce of your choice.

Note: to save time, make the cakes through step 2 a day ahead and have them ready to serve in no time when guests arrive.

We hope you enjoy this party favorite for our household. Check out our newest book for a boat load of tasty ideas to tickle your culinary fancy.

from The Paleo Diet

Dear Mark: Alternative Therapies Follow-up

Inline_AdobeStock_104944619For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions from last week’s “Alternative Therapies” comment board. I asked you for questions and comments about other potential therapies, and you all put in good work. First, I address that oldest of home remedies: chicken soup. Does it actually cure? Next, I discuss supplementing with humic and fulvic acid. Can the byproducts of rotting plants and mud improve your health? After that, I quickly address a question about the psychiatric merits of psychedelic therapy. I end with a discussion of the merits (or lack thereof) of pet-assisted therapy.

Let’s go:

Hi what happened to the Mother Fix of All Ailments:
Chicken Soup

Oh, definitely. The main reason I didn’t include it is that it’s become quite mainstream.

  • In vitro research shows that chicken soup can inhibit the neutrophil migration that triggers the onset of common cold symptoms.
  • If your chicken soup is made from real bones and joints and chicken feet (the secret to broth that gels), it’ll be loaded with glycine. That’s the primary amino acid present in gelatin which promotes more restorative sleep and counters the inflammatory load from excessive amounts of methionine in muscle meat.
  • Most chicken soup contains garlic, which can also improve a person’s recovery from the common cold. Just make sure to wait five to ten minutes after chopping or crushing the garlic, as this maximizes formation of anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Chicken fat is a good source of oleic acida precursor to the sleep-inducing oleamide. You need to sleep to recover.

My go-to cold-buster is a pint of bone broth (any animal, but chicken probably tastes best) with an entire head of garlic (crushed ten minutes before adding to broth), simmered until the garlic starts losing its bite. Drink that twice a day at the first hint of anything untoward occurring in your upper respiratory tract.

Has anyone tried supplementing with fulvic acid or humic acid? I just recently have started hearing about it being a great source of trace minerals. Would love to hear anyone’s experience with it if they’ve tried it or even better a full post on it by Mark.

Humic substances, which include humic acid and fulvic acid, are byproducts of plant decomposition. Peat, natural bodies of water, and soil are full of humic substances. They make up a lot of the “bulk” of the stuff we tramp around on whenever we escape the concrete. Brown coal, which is semi-soft rock made of compressed peat, is the densest source of humic and fulvic acid.

Mud bathing is an indirect way to apply topical humic acid with thousands of years of history and decent clinical support. Applying mud, peat, or other humic substances to various body parts really does seem to help, particularly the knee.

Applying a mud pack to the knee improved function and quality of life in osteoarthritis patients. An earlier study also found benefits. In another pair of studies it even lowered CRP, slowed the progression of osteoarthritis, and beat applying heat. The benefits last for at least a year.

That said, studies on oral intake are very scant, with two showing that potassium humate can improve seasonal allergy symptoms and knee osteoarthritis symptoms. It certainly appears to be safe up to about 1.8 grams per day.

Rats who take either fulvic acid or humic acid see lymph node hypertrophy (an indication of immune stimulation; cancer or infection for example stimulate lymph node growth) and become mildly hypothyroid. Other rat research suggests that humic acid increases hypothyroid only in the presence of low iodine intake.

You probably don’t want to mix humic or fulvic acids into your tap water. They interact with chlorine to form toxic disinfectant byproducts.

The jury’s still out on whether it helps as an oral supplement.

Hi Mark, a friend of mine has recently started trying out different alternative therapies for childhood trauma and to improve his relationships with key people in his life, as well as to boost immunity. I’m specifically referring to use of ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Kambo (frog poison). What are your thoughts on the efficacy and safety of these natural medicines?

Psychedelics may represent the next frontier in psychiatric medicine. There’s a ton of research coming down the pipeline, most of it positive/successful. Read my post from last year for my full take on it.

Pet therapy is supposed to work wonders too ???

Pets are built-in best friends. They don’t judge. They can read your emotions, at least if they’re dogs. They can recognize facial expressions. They truly care. Maybe not the same way a human cares, but they’re not some meat computer responding to inputs of liver treats and chin scratches. They really do love.

But the results of actual studies into animal-assisted psychotherapy have been disappointing. While many of the studies report benefits for patients with autism, depression, poor quality of life due to aging, most are highly flawed:

  • Small sample sizes.
  • Inadequate control groups.
  • Failure to control for the initial effect of a novel experience (is it an enduring effect of the dolphin or a temporary change because the kid has never swam with a large marine mammal before and his mind is completely blown?).

Furthermore, it seems the animal therapy field is plagued with the same issues seen in pharmaceutical research: unsuccessful studies tend to go unpublished. The average effect size reported in published studies is almost 3x that of the effect size from unpublished studies.

Still, everything I said in the first paragraph stands. Having a pet can have powerful health and wellness effects, but it’s not therapy per se. It’s more of a vitamin—restoration of something we evolved to require and “expect.” I don’t know if I’d rely on dog visits to cure cancer or anything like that, but it certainly can’t hurt to own a dog (or cat).

That’s it for today, everyone. Thanks for reading. Take care and, as always, leave any comments, questions, or concerns down below.


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Super Weekend

How hilarious is Gus in this picture?! Is he smiling or doing a version of the grimacing face emoji?!

If I zoom out you’ll see that Mazen was rubbing his belly and he was, in fact, very happy : )

We had such a long and fun weekend that I’m breaking it into two posts! We were so happy to have warm weather for most of the weekend, and we spent a lot of time outside!

I’ve been craving sandwiches lately, and had this bad boy with some chips on Friday. Not as healthy as a hugh jass salad, but totally hit the spot! Havarti cheese is the winning ingredient.

On Friday night I made these sweet potato and black bean enchiladas that date back to a 2010 blog post! A friend had found the recipe and asked me about it, and I remembered how good they were when I revisited the post! It’s so weird to read old blog posts – sometimes it doesn’t even feel like I’m reading about myself…

This recipe is SO EASY and also vegetarian. Served with a nice salad! (And a Halloween napkin – ha!)

And this wine is sooo good! It’s from the Winc Wine Club, which I love, and it’s my favorite white of the bunch so far. I ordered it a second time.

On Saturday morning, Mazen and I made French toast. Note to self: I need to swing by Great Harvest and pick up some swirl bread next weekend! Served with sunbutter and grapes.

Saturday mid-day we went for a run with Thomas and Gus. Thomas and I took turns pushing the stroller, which is like 75 pounds now with such a big boy in it. Mazen gets out to run with us as much as he wants, but, to be honest, that’s not much at all. Boy gets tired fast and wants back in stat. Haha. He prefers to chill.

On Saturday afternoon we went to a friend’s house for a cookout, and lucked out with warm weather so we spent a lot of the time outside. I chopped a few inches off my hair this week, and I am really liking the shorter length, especially with all the ponytail tangles that come during workouts.

Mazen and Spiderman had a BLAST together. They played and played and were so grimy and tired at the end of the day.

Also, two words: Power. Wheels.

I snacked on corn and bean dip that Thomas made. (I should share the recipe soon – it’s a winner!)

Plus this snack-tastic broccoli soup!

And then for dinner – smoked pork, kale salad (which I brought), and pasta salad. And beer(s)!

On Saturday night we had a sitter come after bedtime so we could go and watch the UVA basketball game with friends. We left the game a little early when it was clear the Hoos weren’t pulling off a win (a bummer, because I despise Carolina basketball!) but we stopped into Arch’s on our way home because, get this, Thomas had never had Gooey Brownie!! Gooey Brownie is the half-baked pan of brownie batter that Arch’s has as a topping on its self-serve buffet. I tried it on my first visit to Cville after friends convinced me of how epic it was, and now I indulge in the good stuff about once a year. (I’d have it more often, but I’m not at the Corner that much.) Thomas LOVED it though, so we will be back for more sooner rather than later!

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