Sunday, April 7, 2019

What to Eat When Book Review

I mentioned awhile back that I was finally able to grab a copy of What to Eat When:  A Strategic Plan to Improve Your Health and Life Through Food – and boy, am I glad I did! It’s definitely one of the best books on nutrition and healthy eating I have ever read. This is not to say it’s right, but the content is definitely food for thought! Basically, this blog post is a What to Eat When book review. As promised, I’ve put together a brief review to give those of you who are interested in learning more a little sneak peek. Bottom line? This one is well worth the read!

Written by Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four #1 NYT Bestsellers and Dr. Michael Crupain, Medical Director for the Dr. Oz Show (both doctors are actually consultants for the show), What to Eat When is about exactly what the title states. While we know to focus on the quality and quantity of food, we also need to consider WHEN we’re eating it. Timing our food can make a big difference on our health and wellness in a holistic way, including our energy levels, sleep quality, productivity and overall feeling of wellbeing.

What to Eat When is definitely not a “diet” book, nor does it proclaim the magical benefits of a trendy, fad diet. It’s entirely based on science and offers concrete, peer-reviewed articles, and studies that provide the “why” behind making impactful changes. Rather than just skimming the surface level of food and nutrition advice with no real data to back up the claims, the book offers a plan for gradual, lifestyle-based change rather a sudden shift or crash diet. This, of course, makes it much more likely that readers will stick with changes in the long-term. The book also talks in depth about how food, and particularly the timing of when we eat it, can enhance our lives and increase our longevity. What to Eat When teaches you how to make adjustments that will actually add positivity to your life, rather than detracting something from it, which is what many diet books do.

One of the topics that I found super interesting and kind of gratifying is the case for breakfast. I was literally smiling and nodding my head in agreement as I read. I lovvvveee breakfast! Like I mentioned earlier, I used to naturally follow the “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” It wasn’t on purpose; my body just gravitated towards this way of eating. But after receiving some flack for my small dinners after starting CNC, I decided to beef them up – so I’m feeling a little vindicated! 🙂

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Drs. Roizen and Crupain mention a study where it was found that those who ate the majority of their calories earlier in the day were more likely to lose more weight (and lose it faster) than those who followed an opposite eating pattern. In fact, our bodies are naturally primed for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption in the morning because that’s when we’re least insulin-resistant and our microbiomes are ready for a meal. As the day goes on, we tend to become more and more insulin-resistant. Interesting, right? And evidence for why breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day!

Drs. Roizen and Crupain acknowledge that while this might be the best-case scenario, it might not work for everyone. (The whole book encourages taking their findings and applying it in a way that works for you, which I loved.) If there’s no way that a big breakfast is happening, then aim to make lunch your largest meal of the day (and try to eat it before 2 pm). Then, eat smaller snacks and a light-ish dinner. This definitely goes against the grain of the standard American model of a small breakfast (or no breakfast), light lunch, and hearty dinner, but the science behind it makes a lot of sense. Plus, I’ve found that when I do eat a larger, filling breakfast, I am more satisfied and less snacky or hangry throughout the day. Because I’m satiated, I can really focus on powering through my to-do list rather than constantly thinking about my next meal or snack.

What about intermittent fasting?

Another popular but highly debated topic that Dr. Roizen and Dr. Crupain touch on is intermittent fasting. Piggybacking off the case for breakfast, the book also cites evidence that our bodies were made to eat in accordance with our circadian rhythm. Basically, eating when the sun shines and giving our digestive systems a rest when it’s dark out. By following this guideline, you will naturally fast for approximately 12 hours every night. This gives your body the break it needs to use up stored glycogen, which allows insulin levels to fall overnight. When your body has burned off all the sugar, it then moves onto burning stored body fat for fuel. This on-and-off switching of fuel sources might be one of the primary reasons why intermittent fasting has been a successful way to lose and maintain weight.

In addition, Drs. Roizen and Crupain suggest that eating a heartier post-workout meal is more beneficial than doing so pre-workout. This is especially true if you are able to work out in the morning after fasting all night. Not only is your body ready for food due to the natural circadian rhythm, but the nutrients are more likely to be delivered directly to your muscles rather than stored as extra sugar. Studies show those who work out in a fasted state burn through body fat faster during a workout than those who exercise after a meal. And the best type of post-workout meal or snack? Anything with a mix of carbs and protein for quick absorption.

The book’s flexible approach to staying healthy while still enjoying yourself also really resonated with me. Instead of an all-or-nothing approach (i.e. indulge the whole time and feel miserable or restrict and still be miserable), Drs. Roizen and Crupain encourage you to approach everything with moderation. You can have your cake and eat it too, but you don’t need to eat all of it, all of the time. (I think that most of us agree that eating cake for every meal would leave us feeling pretty crappy.)

The book offers some great tips for maximizing nutrition while eating out, including a family-friendly competition for who can eat the most fruits and veggies (love this!), checking out the sides at restaurants (which usually include veggie-heavy options), splitting entrees, and not being afraid to ask for substitutions, like a salad instead of fries. It’s also important to remember why you are on vacation in the first place – to spend time with family and friends, relax, see the sights, and experience new thingsFood can obviously be a part of this, but it doesn’t need to be the focal point. This was a great reminder. I’ve been on plenty of vacations where I still remember a truly awesome, one-of-a-kind meal, but never the random cheeseburger and fries I ate just because I felt like I was on vacation and was obligated to indulge.

What’s another way to stay on track while traveling? Get in a workout! Drs. Roizen and Crupain frame the importance of setting yourself up for success by laying a healthy foundation. A quick morning workout before the day gets busy is a part of that. Beginning the day prioritizing your health means that you are more likely to make smart choices. Working out doesn’t need to be super complicated or time-consuming. Head out on a run or a walk or take advantage of the hotel gym if you have access to one. It doesn’t matter if the equipment is lacking or you’re short on time. I mean, some of the toughest workouts I’ve ever performed have been 20 minutes or less!

Drs. Roizen and Crupain are supporters of the notion that you can’t out train a bad diet, and when it comes to seeing results, diet trumps exercise. They make special note of the “treat yo’self” mentality that so many of us fall prey and how using sugary snacks as a reward for a tough, sweaty workout can be detrimental to our overall success and inhibit long-term progress. Just another reason why I’m a proponent for macro counting. The framework allows you to fit your treat into your daily goals, so you don’t overdo it. 

Overall, What to Eat When is a really well-organized, research-based and insightful read that provides some great guidelines for improving your health. It’s also not a boring read, which I was worried it would be since it’s very science-y at times. The authors make the data easily digestible and fun, all while emphasizing that the key to finding long-term success isn’t about blindly following diet rules. It comes down to knowing how to look at the “big picture” and apply what works for YOU – your individual needs and lifestyle. Basically, there is no one-size-fits-all approach!

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The Best 17 Keto-Vegan-Paleo Recipes

Thanks to the good folks at Paleohacks for today’s recipe.

Is it possible to go keto while omitting all dairy and animal products as well? It might seem difficult, but these 17 keto-friendly vegan and Paleo recipes can get you started.

The biggest challenge to going keto (and otherwise restricting your diet) is the frustrating perceived lack of variety when it comes to meals. We’re here to prove that even when following the keto, Paleo and vegan diets, you can still eat well.

From breakfasts, to snacks, to lunch, dinner and dessert, there’s something for every meal of the day. Enjoy fluffy coconut flour flatbread to sandwich your favorite toppings, or healthy mint chocolate fudge for a treat. You’ll find inspiration all over this list.

#1 The Big Man’s World | Low-Carb Crunch Protein Bars

These five-ingredient, five-minute low-carb crunch protein bars are basically healthy candy bars. Plus, there are lots of modifications you can follow to best suit your diet.

#2 Sweet as Honey | Coconut Flour Flatbread

This easy, fluffy flatbread will fool anyone—it’s just as good as the original, gluten-laden kind. Psyllium husk functions as the “egg-like” binder in this recipe, making it totally vegan in addition to Paleo and keto.

#3 Gnom-Gnom | Paleo Keto Shamrock Shake

This simple Shamrock shake recipe is way better than the fast food original, but just as (naturally) green—thanks, avocado! Vanilla and mint extracts lend the shake its distinct flavor.

#4 Pretty Pies | Chocolate Espresso Bombs

Need a craving-busting chocolatey treat? These chocolate espresso bombs use whole ingredients, including cacao powder, nut butter and espresso powder. They’re full of healthy fats that will keep you satiated in between meals.


#5 Julie’s Lifestyle | Bento Box: Almond Seaweed Noodles with Heirloom Tomato Salad and Protein Guacamole

This inventive bento box assemblage includes seaweed “noodles” with your choice of raw or toasted almonds, an herbaceous heirloom tomato and cucumber salad, protein-packed guacamole and chunks of coconut and carrot. It makes for one refreshing, colorful and healthy lunch!

#6 My Food Story | Low-Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Packed with Mexican spices like cumin and cilantro, this Mexican cauliflower rice makes the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.

#7 Pretty Pies | Healthy Mint Chocolate Fudge

Silky mint chocolate fudge that’s dairy and sugar-free? It’s true! This simple recipe is ready in under an hour and requires only a blender and a fridge.

#8 Natural Force | Chocolate Mint No-Bake Protein Bars

The secret to these crunchy, chocolate mint, no-bake protein bars is the crunchy almond butter—but smooth almond butter will also work in a pinch. Adorn your bars with chia seeds, coconut, cacao nibs or almonds for added flavor and texture.

#9 Bakerita | Mocha Almond Fat Balls

These chocolatey-coffee-nutty treats will keep you satiated all day long, thanks to the addition of almonds, flax meal, hemp seeds, almond butter and coconut oil. Be sure to omit the maple syrup or swap in a keto-compliant sweetener.

#10 Abbey’s Kitchen | Kohlrabi Pasta Alfredo

Don’t be fooled by the pictures—there’s no actual pasta to be found here! Kohlrabi noodles make for a flavorful, healthy dish, while a homemade, dairy-free Alfredo adds an ultra-creamy mouthfeel. This recipe uses pre-prepped noodles and cauliflower rice, but you can always make those at home with a food processor and spiralizer.

#11 Tasting Page | Lemon Blueberry Fat Bombs

These fat bombs are loaded with puckering citrus flavor from lemon juice and zest as well as coconut butter, coconut oil and low-carb blueberries—or whatever berries you prefer.

#12 Yuri Elkaim | Low-Carb Mac and Cheese

Need a big bowl of comfort, with none of the guilt? This low-carb mac and cheese recipe uses hearty cauliflower in place of noodles, while tahini, olive oil and spices make it super creamy and tasty.

#13 What Great Grandma Ate | Paleo Instant Pot Saag Paneer

Well-spiced, creamy spinach gets whipped up quickly in the Instant Pot. Opt for coconut oil over ghee to keep it vegan, and serve over a bed of cauliflower rice.

#14 The Roasted Root | Dairy-Free Fudgesicles

These simple, uber-creamy and chocolatey fudgesicles take minutes to prep. Opt for stevia over the maple syrup and add more coconut milk to keep it keto.

#15 Lauren Kelly Nutrition | Greek Artichoke Cauliflower Rice Salad

Need a big bowl of Mediterranean-inspired, veggie-packed goodness? This salad boasts cauliflower, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes and more.

#16 The Realistic Holistic | Cauliflower Tabbouleh

This simple tabbouleh recipe subs in cauliflower for traditional grains. It’s herbaceous, lemony and perfect to dip all your favorite vegetables in.

#17 A Spicy Perspective | Low-Carb Magic Mug Bread

Missing bread on your restricted diet? This magic, low-carb mug bread comes together in minutes and requires only a handful of wholesome ingredients. Be sure to use a vegan egg substitute to keep it vegan.

Thanks again to Paleohacks for the awesome recipe list today. Have your own favorite low-carb plant-based favorites? Share below. 


The post The Best 17 Keto-Vegan-Paleo Recipes appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Clean Eating Lemon Tahini Dressing Recipe

This lemon tahini dressing recipe is clean, healthy and filled with deliciousness!

I’m always on the lookout for a good salad dressing. And while I’ve found a small handful that are both clean and tasty at the grocery store, they always seem to be lacking when compared to homemade dressing. So I find myself always trying to come up with different salad dressings that will pair nicely with different vegetables, either as a dressing or a dip.

A single jar of this clean eating lemon tahini dressing recipe sits on a gray surface with a purple towel at it's base and a lemon to the right.

This lemon tahini dressing is tasty and has a little of that “sweet and savory” thing going on. It has a great balance of flavor for most green salads or individual veggies.

I often offer tahini dressing when friends or family come over and it always sparks a conversation. Here are some of the questions I’ve gotten in the past that you might be wondering too:


Tahini is a sauce or condiment-type food that is made from roasted sesame seeds. Most people will recognize the flavor from a good hummus recipe, but it’s used in many dishes, particularly middle eastern dishes where things like hummus and tahini originate from.


Tahini is often found at your local grocery store. It’s in the ethnic aisle or, in some stores, in with the jams and peanut butters. If your local store doesn’t carry it, try looking at a nearby health food store or even ordering it from Amazon (link below). If tahini is super pricy in your area, you can try making your own at home. This youtube video shows you how.


As mentioned above, it’s most often used in dishes like hummus or baba ghanoush. But it is definitely also a stand-alone condiment, particularly when mixed with a few other ingredients to bring out its delicious flavor.


Despite the fact that it’s made from sesame seeds, the sesame flavor isn’t completely overwhelming. Much like peanut butter, it’s a thicker substance that has an earthy and sometimes just slightly bitter flavor.

An open canning jar filled with this clean eating lemon tahini dressing sits next to an unopened jar of tahainin, a measuring cup that still contains some of the dressing and a lemon.


Like most homemade dressings without preservatives, lemon tahini dressing will last you approximately 5 days in the fridge.


In theory, any nut butter will substitute for tahini where texture is concerned. However, there really is no substitute for the sesame flavor. So it will depend heavily on the recipe and the final flavor you hope to achieve.


Some folks will refer to tahini as, “tahini paste”. It’s the same thing. Usually, when they call it tahini paste, they are referring to the unaltered tahini with nothing added (the way you would buy it in at the store).


If you’re wondering what types of salads will pair well with tahini dressing, you aren’t alone. Especially if you’ve never had tahini dressing before! Here are some ideas:

  • A plain green salad.
  • A mixed vegetable salad with peppers, cucumbers, carrots and pretty much any other veggie you enjoy putting on a green salad.
  • Dip your veggies instead! If you don’t want to make a salad, cut the water in half to make a thicker dressing and dip your veggies instead!




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Clean Eating Lemon Tahini Dressing

A delicious, sweet and savory salad dressing that can be used either as a dressing on most salads, or as a vegetable dip for parties. Note that if you want to make dip, you may want to cut the water in half for a thicker dip.

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

  2. Transfer to a storage bottle or container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (expiration can vary a bit).

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

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