Thursday, October 11, 2018

3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Balls [Gluten-Free]

October is here and you know what that means… pumpkin everything (#basic, anyone?)! We’re big fans of protein balls in our house – they’re easy to make, super transportable, and can be either a quick bite when you want something sweet or a healthy and yummy snack while you’re on the go!

With the onset of pumpkin season, I knew I had to put Fall’s favorite flavor to work and make these 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Balls!

Yep, that’s right. These babies only require 3 ingredients and come together in a matter of minutes. You guys know how much I love Simple Mills products for their clean ingredient list and easy baking instructions, but more than anything I love how versatile their mixes are. You can use them multiple ways, including protein balls. Just add their Pumpkin Muffin & Bread Mix to your favorite vanilla protein powder, and mix with coconut oil and you’ve got a super easy and delicious snack!

If you’re looking for a healthy, macro-friendly, and seasonal treat that’s packed with Fall flavor and requires almost zero prep, then these 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Balls are for you! I love having them stashed in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go snack/dessert!


3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Balls [Gluten-Free]


1 box Pumpkin Muffin & Bread Mix

2 scoops (60g) vanilla protein powder

2/3 cup melted coconut oil


Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Roll batter into 18 balls and refrigerate. Store balls in the refrigerator.


Makes 18 balls


  • Serving Size: 1 ball
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 10
  • Protein: 3

The post 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Balls [Gluten-Free] appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Is Monk Fruit Sweetener a Healthy Choice?

They Say McDonald’s Is Removing Artificial Ingredients – But The Menu is Still Full Of Them!

This story about McDonald’s was all over the news… Did you see it? Here are some headlines:

McDonald’s removing artificial additives from its burgers CNN Money

McDonald’s burgers: New recipes remove artificial ingredients CBS News

McDonald’s Nixes Artificial Ingredients from Its Burgers” – Food & Wine

Sounds pretty good, right? At first, I was very intrigued.

But after doing a little digging, I got ticked off by these news stories. 

These types of headlines can lead people into believing that McDonald’s has made sweeping changes and that their food is no longer made with artificial ingredients but that is FAR from the case, as I’ll demonstrate below.

Here’s the truth about McDonald’s food.

High fructose corn syrup is still in ALL of the classic McDonald’s burgers.

McDonald’s didn’t remove high fructose corn syrup from the ketchup or Big Mac Sauce that they put on their classic burgers.

And that’s not all these news stories left out…

The “new” ingredient list at McDonald’s is a who’s who list of ingredients to avoid. Artificial dyes, artificial flavors, artificial emulsifiers, and artificial preservatives are still very DOMINANT on their menu.

For instance, McDonald’s buns contain two artificial (synthetic) emulsifiers…

I’ve written about the artificial emulsifiers DATEM and Mono-and-Diglycerides in the past. These two ingredients are not exactly safe because they can contain trans fats. Trans fats have been linked to heart disease and the CDC has attributed them to up to 7,000 coronary heart disease deaths each year in the U.S.

You’ll find these artificial emulsifiers in essentially all of the sandwiches at McDonald’s… the Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, Cheeseburger, Hamburger, McChicken, McMuffins – every McDonald’s sandwich made on with a sesame seed bun, regular bun, english muffin, or artisan roll.

The pickles on almost every McDonald’s burger contain the emulsifier Polysorbate 80. A 2015 study links Polysorbate 80 to significant weight gain and inflammatory bowel disease. This is NOT a necessary ingredient in pickles… the ones I buy sure don’t have it! And, they are artificially preserved with Potassium Sorbate, which some evidence finds to be genotoxic to white blood cells.

McDonald’s still adds caramel color to the famous Big Mac Sauce.

McDonald’s can get away with saying it contains no “artificial colors” because the industry considers caramel color “natural”… but I sure don’t! Caramel color is typically made in a laboratory by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature. When caramel color is made like this, it produces the byproduct 4-Mel. A U.S government funded study found that feeding mice caramel coloring IV (which contained 4-Mel) increased their risk of developing lung cancer and leukemia, at every dosage level. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies 4-Mel as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

To be fair, there are safer forms of caramel color available for the industry to use. Which is why I gave McDonald’s the benefit of the doubt and asked them what type of caramel color they use. I was told that this information is “proprietary and not available”. (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you think they use a safer version after that response!)

The bottom line is that caramel color is totally UNNECESSARY and POTENTIALLY RISKY. It’s only used to add a brown color… and does McDonald’s really need to color their “special sauce” brown to make their customers happy? I doubt it. This is the same ingredient that we campaigned Starbucks to remove from their drinks – and they did! If Starbucks can do it, I know McDonald’s can too.

It’s true that McDonald’s has removed some nasty additives from their food in the last few years…

Back when I investigated McDonald’s in 2015, they used the artificial preservative BHA in 10 menu items. BHA has now been removed. Gone is also the propyl gallate and TBHQ. The artificial dough conditioner azodicarbonamide (yoga mat) was used in nearly all of their buns – and now it’s only in one (a “bakery style bun” that may be used in some locations, but is not a core item). These are big wins!

But, McDonald’s didn’t remove artificial colors from their burgers…

…and, that’s because they did not contain artificial colors to begin with! 

McDonald’s really only adds artificial dyes (like Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Blue 1) to some shakes and the Frappe Mocha. And, they still do today…

You’ll find artificial dyes in McDonald’s EggNog Shake, Shamrock Shake, and Frappe Mochas. As I’ve written many times before, these dyes are derived from petroleum and linked to health issues ranging from cancer to behavioral issues in children. They have no business being in our food. 

Despite the headlines, McDonald’s food is full of artificial and risky additives.

  • You’ll still find Sodium Phosphate (a synthetic preservative) in all McDonald’s bacon burgers and McChicken sandwiches. Eating this preservative often can put you at a greater risk of kidney disorders and heart disease.
  • McDonald’s biscuits, ice cream, shakes, and iced coffee contains Carrageenan (a thickener and emulsifier linked to digestive issues and cancer).
  • McDonald’s sweetens many of their sauces and bagels with High Fructose Corn Syrup (a highly processed sweetener made from GMO corn). This sweetener has been shown to contribute more to obesity and type 2 diabetes than regular cane sugar (sucrose). 
  • Caramel color (an unnecessary color linked to cancer) can be found slathered on their famous Big Mac, and in McGriddles breakfast sandwiches, Vanilla Shakes, and Oatmeal. 
  • The shredded cheese in McDonald’s salads is coated in Cellulose, an additive derived from wood that is linked to intestinal inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, and “significant” weight gain.
  • McDonald’s spikes their Chicken McNuggets and Bacon Smokehouse Burger with the hidden MSG additive Yeast Extract. You’ll find more hidden MSG in the form of hydrolyzed proteins in the Big Mac Sauce. These additives are used as a cleaner-sounding replacement for MSG – but are essentially the same thing.
  • Inexplicably, McDonald’s continues to use Dimethylpolysiloxane (a synthetic defoaming additive) in all of their fried foods in the U.S., even though they don’t use it in the U.K. Funny, they can make fries in the U.K. without it, huh?

I think McDonald’s can do better. And, they should!

McDonald’s is once-again ranked as the #1 most popular fast food chain in America, surpassing everyone else in sales. This means a lot of Americans are eating there – even if you don’t.

Please share this post and inform your friends who still eat at McDonald’s.

No one should be eating these risky ingredients at the most popular fast food restaurant in America. Don’t you agree?



P.S. If you like this post, you’ve got to check out my new book FEEDING YOU LIES (available for pre-order now!), Get it locally near you here or at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

In Feeding You Lies I expose the shameless lies we are being fed about our food by the very people we should be able to trust for health information… lies about its nutrient value, effects on our health, label information, and even the very science on which we make our food choices. It’s investigative, hard-hitting, and scandalous. If you love my food investigations, you definitely will love this book. Here’s what it covers:

  • How scientific research about our food is manipulated by food company funded experts

  • Never before seen emails revealing who’s privately on the take from the food and chemical industries and what they are being paid to do

  • How to spot fake news generated by Big Food

  • The tricks food companies use to make their food addictive

  • Deciphering why labels like “all natural” and “non-GMO” aren’t as they seem and how to identify the healthiest food

  • Food marketing hoaxes that persuade us into buying junk food disguised as health food

  • The “Three Question Detox” technique that will improve every decision you make about food

  • An easy-to-follow “48-Hour Toxin Takedown” to avoid the chemical onslaught – and get healthy in the process


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Spiced Apple Oat Meatballs

Episode 413 – Q&A with Robb and Nicki #12



Here we are with Q&A #12 with Robb and Nicki for Episode 413 of The Paleo Solution Podcast!

Don’t forget to send in your own podcast question to use here:

Show Notes:

1. [1:36] Keto for children

Kaleigh says:

Hey Robb! I’ve read a few studies and heard people talking about Keto diets helping children with epilepsy and behavioral disorders. But I’m wondering if it’s healthy for all children? I want to raise my child healthy and I don’t feel comfortable feeding him processed foods, sugar, and grains like baby cereals and junk foods. How do I know if I’m feeding him the right amount of fats, protein and carbs?

I love your podcast and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

2. [9:27] Am I ‘carb adapted’

Dan says:

I have recently finished reading Wired to Eat and shortly after began testing many of the foods on the list. The majority (outside of oatmeal at 123 mg) have come back surprisingly low at <100 mg. I have even went as far to test sour dough bread and cinnamon toast crunch just to see the effect which also came in <100. About 6 months ago I sent some blood off to test what ‘my ideal macros’ should be and it came back 40/40/20 c/p/f which I automatically thought was a farce given this sort or split is classic ‘bodybuilder’ macro split amd seemed gimmicky. However post testing my own blood myself, I am starting to think maybe it was accurate. I am 35 and have always been a bit carbaphobic – so my question to you is 1) is it possible, or have you seen this sort of reaction with others who are able to eat carbs without a spike in blood sugar? 2) what does this tell us (good, bad, indifferent) and 3) I would really like to experiment with a keto reset for 2-3 months/year given I feel there are great longevity aspects – however if my body handles carbs well – would you suggest a high fat/keto protocol for benefits?

Thanks for all that you out out there.


3. [14:17] nicotine affect on ketosis levels

Pierce says:

So i’ve been on the “keto” diet for almost 3 months now, my carb intake is between 15 and 20 grams of carbs per day with around 1500-1700 calories overall and im consuming around 130-150g of protein a day. My daily blood ketone level is between a .4 and .7

I CHEW almost religiously, could there be an affect on my blood ketone level with the nicotine from my chewing, or even enough to keep me at such a low level of ketosis?

4. [17:00] Lifting vs Jiu-Jitsu

Stu says:

Hi Robb!

After many years of “Bro-Splits” and curls I finally got into heavy compound lifting about a year ago and have run 5×5 type beginner programs and recently more intermediate templates as well. I really enjoy lifting and currently hit the squats, deads and Bench 3X a week (cardio 1 or 2 days in between)

I really want to start Jiu Jitsu though. I’ve been interested in it for the longest time, and I finally need to just get my ass on the mat and do it. Is once a week “enough” for Jiu Jitsu? I have a feeling I’ll get into it and want to do more, but I also don’t really want to slow down on the lifting and there’s only so many hrs in the day (Running a family business during the day and trying to get a little health coaching biz going at night! for people in South Africa Yes! One of your 6 fans is in South Africa 😀 ).

What would you recommend for someone wanting to get started?

5. [21:26] Low Appetite on Paleo

Jai (female) says:

Hi Robb & Nicki!

I have a question regarding having a naturally low appetite. Growing up, I remember having a pretty inconsistent appetite compared to my peers and family. I was a competitive athlete up through sophmore year of college and I felt like that really drove my appetite. For most of my life, I had a low (but normal) BMI, which slowly crept to an overweight BMI in the last few years. I developed some poor eating habits in my 20’s and struggled with depression which led to a 30 lb weight gain. I’ve dabbled in Paleo for a long time, but about 2 months ago I really dove in after reading Wired to Eat and experiencing some scary health symptoms (fatigue, orthostasis, parathesias in my legs and fingers, blurry vision). Since eliminating grains, dairy and soy, I have noticed that I am rarely hungry. I counted calories/macros for a few days to see where I am at and I hover around 1600 calories (food detailed below if you need it). I am 5’5″, 150 (after a 15lb weight loss!) and moderately sedentary. I’m a nursing student, so I move around a lot at clincals, but spend much of the day sitting to study. I rock climb 2-3 days a week, and walk 2-3 days also. I plan to add 1-2 days of lifting as well. My concern is that I may be undernourishing myself. Is this something I should worry about? Is it possible for some people to just need fewer calories? Is this something I shouldn’t worry about until I get to a lower weight? I don’t feel like I am underreating. I have a lot of energy. My skin looks great. I’ve put on more muscle. Depression has disappeared and anxiety is back to a manageable level. IBS is much improved also. I have sphincter of oddi dysfunction too, which gets a little frisky when I have too much fat, but it’s drastically improved since cutting out dairy.

Thank you so much for the work that you do! I have had amazing results and the workbook for Wired to Eat really kept me motivated. I’ve already roped 3 friends into reading the book and trying the lifestyle mods. One of the biggest changes I have made is socializing more, and I don’t know that I would have ever done that without your book. I’m much happier and healthier. Thank you!

Breakfast: usually 2 eggs, handful of berries, and some sliced carrots, if I am hungry enough (skip breakfast 2-3 days per week bc I am not hungry until later in the day)

(sometimes) Snack: epic bar and baby food pouch (pureed fruit & veggies)

Lunch: Chicken or fish with another handful of berries or maybe some melon. & a veggie, like asparagus or greens

Dinner: some type of red meat and 1/4-1/2 sweet potato.

Primarily focus on getting protein in because it’s easiest for me to digest.

6. [28:20] Mechanism behind foods that lower blood glucose

The Great Dane says:

Hey Robb and Nicki,

People talk and write about foods (or supplements) that help lower blood glucose. As i understand it, some of it has to do with the activation of glut-4 transporters (e.g. When taking Alpha lipoic acid). This should make your muskels more insuline sensitive and thereby lower blood glucose (might not be exactly what happens). But what about stuff like cinnamon, vinegar and lemon juice? Is it the same mechanisms or is it sinply because they tell the pancreas to produce insuline. After hearing Peter Attia on The Tim Ferriss show several years ago, one of my goals have been to keep insulin low. I want to use as many hacks as i can to keep blood glucose low, but i don’t want it to be low because of insuline secretion. Is there anything to this? Or am i good to go with the hacks?

Squatchy’s note on cinnamon:

There are mainly two types of cinnamon you can typically find to purchase, Ceylon (“true cinnamon”) cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon. The Cassia cinnamon is by far the most common, and what you usually find as the cheap cinnamon in most grocery stores. Ceylon cinnamon is usually a bit more expensive and can be found in some grocery stores (especially more natural health food type stores) and online. Robb mentioned high cinnamon consumption being dangerous for your liver. Coumarin is a naturally occuring compound in cinnamon and some other plants. Coumarin is a blood thinner, and consuming large amounts of coumarin can be harmful to your liver. The cheaper Cassia cinnamon contains a lot more coumarin than the Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia is about 1% coumarin, and Ceylon is about 0.004%, so a pretty big difference. I would recommend Ceylon cinnamon because of the much lower coumarin content, and it has a better flavor and is sweeter tasting. If the cinnamon you buy is not labeled as Ceylon cinnamon, then it’s almost guaranteed to be Cassia cinnamon.



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