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Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

Know Why (Gluten Issue)

Sunday, July 13th, 2014


As an informational society, we are constantly bombarded with “advice.” This advice reaches into every aspect of our lives — nutrition, exercise, finances, career, sleep, raising children and just about everything else. Some of this advice is good, some is bad, and at times it can be quite difficult to determine which is which. Developing a set of sources that you trust is a quick method of validation. It would be impossible to research the validity of every bit of advice you are going to receive, so you will have to sometimes simply trust the information.

Given the above, I still strongly advise that you understand the reasons behind the advice you choose to follow. Often, people take advice without having any understanding as to why. The advice may be good or bad, but in either case the recipient may have absolutely no understanding behind the choice. The humorous video above makes it very clear that many people just blindly follow “advice”, in many cases, from fairly uninformed sources.

So, to avoid any embarrassing appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, allow me to educate you about gluten. Gluten is a protein (specifically, a composite of a gliadin and a glutenin) found in wheat and many other grains. Gluten is a known gut irritant. In extreme cases, individuals are diagnosed with Coeliac (Celiac) disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an inflammatory reaction that interferes with the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. It is clearly very important for these individuals to avoid gluten. In less extreme cases, individuals may be diagnosed as “gluten intolerant.” These individuals may experience some gastro-intestinal distress of varying degrees when they ingest gluten. Then, there is everyone else, who, even among those who may not be classified as “gluten intolerant” can suffer some gut irritation. This can lead to systemic and chronic inflammation which will have some impact on overall health.


Recent research indicates that gluten itself may be less of a problem than we have been led to believe. Researchers that had originally published significant evidence connecting gluten with many negative health consequences have now published further findings indicating that gluten may not be the culprit. FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols - a class of short chain carbohydrate) are another “nutrient” category that may be the cause of many of the ills that have been attributed to gluten. FODMAPs are a topic for another post, but whether the health concern is FODMAPs or gluten, doesn’t change the dietary recommendations we have been making for the past decade. Avoid things like bread and pasta. There are many gluten-free products on the market today, but these may be no better for you than the original products due to FODMAP content. Ultimately, if you are eating meat and vegetation, gut irritation is simply not an issue.

gluten-free-seal-16256523Now, let’s discuss chemical nomenclature so you can more quickly identify nutrients. Food labels will try to hide certain information by using unfamiliar terms for nutritionally deficient ingredients. But, if you know basic chemical nomenclature you can often identify ingredients without having to memorize thousands of terms. First, any word with the suffix -ose is a sugar. Second, the word hydrogenated (partially or otherwise) is a trans fat. Third, any word with the suffix -ol is an alcohol. Many food companies are now replacing sugars with sugar alcohols in certain products. The health consequences of this change is not well researched or understood.

Educate yourself. Spend some time discovering the reasons behind your lifestyle choices. Create a network of trusted sources for those cases where researching the why is unfeasible. Be prepared in case Jimmy Kimmel’s crew comes along and asks you a simple question about your life choices.

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Nom Nom Paleo chips

Nom Nom Paleo chips

Thank you Nom Nom paleo for this amazing recipe!
I LOVE these chips! This is the perfect snack for anyone that loves chips, but is looking for a healthy alternative.
What you Need

  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts leaves (from about 2 pounds of brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups of melted ghee
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon Zest (optional)
  • How you make them
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Cut the stems off right at the base of the baby cabbages and pull off the outer leaves.
    3. Wash the leaves
    4. Mix the leaves, ghee and salt together in a large bowl
    5. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the leaves evenly in a single layer on each tray.
    6. Bake each tray for 8-10 minutes until crispy and brown around the edges
    7. add optional lemon zest
    8. CHOW!!
    I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

    Eat at Home

    Thursday, June 19th, 2014

    salmon_kebabsMy grandparents always shared cooking with their kids, grandkids, and anyone in the neighborhood who ran into the kitchen and wanted to help stir. It’s been that way for millennia. We’ve co-evolved with whole, real, hearth-cooked foods filling the home.

    But a dramatic shift has occurred since our grandparents’ day when nearly all meals were prepared and eaten at home. Today, home cooking accounts for only half the meals consumed in the US, and 67% of those are eaten in front of a television.

    One of the best things you can do for your health and your family’s health is simply to sit down to a home cooked dinner. Research tells us that preparing one’s own food reduces calories, saturated fat, and sodium while increasing fiber and micronutrients. Research also shows that kids who have regular meals at home are more likely to have better grades, healthier relationships, 42% less likely to drink, 50% less likely to smoke, and 66% less likely to smoke pot.

    Thanks to the example my grandparents set, I can cook. But they also made furniture and could saddle a horse which I cannot. As the convenience of department stores and the inevitability of cars precluded them from passing these skills on to me, I hope that the food industry hasn’t made prepared food so convenient to my generation that it will leave my grandchildren scratching their heads and wondering how I ever boiled water.

    This week’s recipe:
    Faster-than-you-can-say-takeout Grilled Salmon Kebabs
    (serves 4)

    • metal or bamboo skewers
    • 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets with skin removed
    • 3 or 4 pineapple spears
    • olive oil
    • about 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
    • salt to taste

    Clean and oil grill (salmon mercilessly sticks to any grill debris) and set heat to medium-high.

    Dice fillets into roughly 1 inch cubes, and slice pineapple spears into half inch thick slices.

    Toss salmon cubes in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat.

    Thread skewers starting and ending with salmon and alternating with slices of fruit.

    Test grill by holding your hand about 4” from grill and start counting. If you make it to 4 to 5 seconds before having to pull your hand away, it’s ready. Longer than that, not hot enough. Shorter means too hot.

    When ready, place kebabs on grill and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, then turn 180° for another 4 minutes.

    Sprinkle with cilantro and salt.

    Serve with a simple streamed veggie like kale or broccoli and do a hi-5 selfie for cooking at home!

    What is Mila and why is the Cave selling it?

    Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

    You probably have noticed the shiny purple bags on the way to the bathroom. It probably catches your eye, but you are in such a rush to get back to your double-unders that you have not really thought about it. It is a brand of chia seeds called Mila that is the best in class for chia seeds.

    Chia seeds are an amazing source of Omega 3’s, protein (with all the essential amino acids), fiber, and antioxidants. Mila by itself has the perfect functional blend of carbohydrates to fats and proteins (4:3:3… the very same as the Zone diet). That is all well and good, but perhaps still not convincing enough for you to buy a bag of seeds.

    For many people (but certainly not all), Mila has had profound and life enhancing effects. For me personally, it has helped regulate my horrendous monthly mood swings, massively reduces my post CrossFit inflammation and the pain in my knees, and really helped me embrace a Paleo lifestyle and even got me enjoying food preparation and to top it off, opened a number of doors towards a healthier lifestyle. I will never stop eating my Mila and I can’t help but want to share it with my friends. If you come over for a meal, chances are I’m sneaking some Mila into your diet… kids too and the fussier the eater your child is, the more I will sneak it in!

    For many of my friends, Mila has had an even more powerful impact on their health. For many people it has significantly reduced (if not eliminated) life long chronic migraines, allergies, helped stabilize digestive conditions, diabetes, helping with ADHD and Autism pushed extreme, and shifting competitive and even recreational athletes to the next level. Some friends have carefully come off Lipitor, Antidepressant meds, pain killers, carefully and with doctors monitoring their blood work, etc. These are not just stories, these are my friends, my friend who cleans my house, the parents at my school, my Mom’s older friends (one who is terminally ill with cancer but has found joy and energy through eating Mila), even my own Mom. It brings me to tears to just write about it. Mila is just a food, not a medicine, but as the saying goes “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates”.

    Roger is a huge proponent of a healthy diet as being an integral part of getting fit and getting into shape. In clinical studies, Mila outperforms the other chia seeds on the market (it is a specially selected blend of chia from around the world that has been cold fractured to make all the oils remain intact yet be bio available), so Roger brought Mila into The Cave to help people with their fitness, recovery, and health. Yes, it is more expensive than what you find at the supermarkets, but the results are what counts.

    In order to see health impacts, one needs to eat Mila on a daily basis. A typical adult serving is 2 tablespoons a day and maybe some of our athletes will end up thriving on more than that. Extreme athletes eat up to 8 scoops a day when they are competing. Mila also stabilizing how water is delivered to one’s body and stabilizes such things as carbohydrate transformation and nutrient delivery. I like to drink my two to four tablespoons a day in a 32 ounce container of water, or coconut water when I feel the need for a treat. I also like to cook with Mila and use it in sauces, kid pancakes, popsicles, smoothies, fruit bars. You can bake with it, freeze it and use it in just about any way possible. My daughter thinks that it is cool and will have it in her water, my 5 year old son is not as convinced, so he does not need to know that he is eating it. It’s a part of their diet whether they like it or not.

    Some people from the get go and other after about one to two months of eating Mila consistently, feel more full of energy, more joyful, healthier, less body inflammation. Coach Amanda is hooked on Mila as are a number of other Cave folks. I am obviously very passionate about Mila and would love to help Cave folks people figure out how to incorporate it in their diet and those of their children. Consistency is key and finding that consistency can be tricky at first, but once you see the health benefits, you too will be hooked.

    There is more technical info here on how it can help all you athletes:

    If you are looking for ways to incorporate it in your diet or have other questions, shoot me a message: or comment on the blog.