Tag Archives: Paleobetic Diet

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken, Roasted Vegetables, and Tangerine

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Slow-cooker chicken and roasted veggies

Guess the percentage of light versus dark meat in a chicken.

It’s 50:50. Along with the breasts, the wings are considered light or white meat.

Guess how much meat and skin you have left after you cook and debone a whole chicken. No peaking.

About half the raw weight you started out with. Not counting the giblets you feed to the coyotes.

The nutritional analysis of this meal (see below) assumes that you eat the chicken skin and the onion on the bottom of the slow-cooker (sometimes called a Crock♦Pot although that’s a registered trademark). Much of the chicken fat will stay in the bottom of the slow-cooker after you remove the chicken and onion. Now you’ve got chicken stock to use in other recipes.

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Meal prep: zucchini and broccoli

Ingredients:

1 whole young chicken, about 5 lb (2.3 kg) raw gross weight

1 medium onion, 6.5 oz (185 g), peeled and cut into 1-cm thick discs or circles

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

5 garlic cloves

5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, about 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) (or a third of that if using dried thyme—I’ve read that dried thyme is better to add early in the cooking process whereas fresh may be best if added toward the end)

3/4 tsp (3.7 ml) fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

3/4 tsp (3.7 ml) salt (or to taste)

1/2 tbsp (7.4 ml) fresh or dried rosemary

2 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves only, chopped

8 oz (240 ml) canned chicken broth

1.5 cups (360 ml) broccoli florets (aka flowerets)

3 zucchini squashes (6.5 oz or 185 g each), cut into 1/2-inch or 1-cm discs

5.5 oz (155 g) fresh carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) lemon zest (optional)

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) pepper flakes (do you have a left-over packet from your old pizza-eating days?)

5 medium (2 and 3/8 inch or 6-cm diameter) tangerines

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Slow-cooker loaded and just about ready to fire up

Instructions:

First, the slow-cooker chicken. This cooks for eight hours, so you’ll want to start in the morning. Place the cut onion in the bottom of the cooker. Do what you want with the chicken giblets (neck, liver, heart, gizzard), even eat them after cooking. The coyotes don’t care if cooked or not. Rub 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the olive oil onto the top of the chicken, then place in the cooker on the bed of onion. Cut three of the garlic cloves into thirds and drop into the cooker. Add the chicken broth to the cooker. Sprinkle the thyme leaves on top of the chicken, along with 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) of black pepper and 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) salt. Sprinkle the rosemary and parsley into the cooker. Close the lid and cook on low heat for eight hours.

At the base of the slow-cooker

At the base of the slow-cooker

Now the roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF or 200 ºC. In a large baking dish or sheet, place the broccoli, zucchini, carrots, 2 minced garlic cloves, the lemon juice and zest, the pepper flakes, 1/2  tsp salt (2.5 ml) , 1/2 tsp pepper (2.5 ml), and 2 tbsp olive oil (30 ml). Mix thoroughly. You could do the mixing in a bowl if you wish, then transfer to a cooking sheet. You want these cooking as a thin layer rather than bunched on top of each other. Place in oven and cook for 15–20 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your veggies. The carrots will always end up firmer than the others.

Enjoy a tangerine for desert.

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Next step is the oven

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Eight hours later…

Servings: 5 (a serving is 7 oz of chicken (with skin), 1 cup of veggies, and 1 tangerine)

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 

49% fat

13% carb

38% protein

692 calories

24 g carbohydrate

5 g fiber

19 g digestible carbs

1,409 mg sodium

1,132 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in protein, vitamin A, B6, C, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

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Here’s all of it except the tangerines. To do my nutritional analysis, I had to debone the bird and weigh the meat and skin.

Recipe: Sunny’s Super Salad

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You won’t be able to eat this in one sitting if you’re small or sedentary

This huge salad is a full meal. It fills a 10-inch plate (25 cm). Since it contains five vegetables, you should feel virtuous eating it. Who says the paleo diet’s all about meat?

Ingredients:

8 oz (230 g) raw chicken breast tenderloin (it cooks down to 5 oz)

1/4 cup (60 ml) canned mandarin orange wedges (6-7 wedges) (if you can only find these packed in syrup or light syrup, add 3 g to the digestible carb count below)

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) lemon pepper seasoning

4 oz (110 g) hearts of romaine lettuce

1 oz (30 g) baby spinach

2.5 oz (1/4 cucumber or 70 g) cucumber, peeled and sliced into discs

2 oz (60 g) California avocado, peeled and seeded, cut into wedges (1/2 of standard-sized avocado)

3 oz (85 g) fresh tomato (a typical roma or small tomato)

1 oz (30 g) walnuts

6 tbsp (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) vinegar (we used balsamic)

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) salt

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) crushed dried rosemary

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Like Deborah on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” my wife often makes lemon chicken

Instructions:

First cook the chicken breast over medium heat in a skillet. If you think the meat will stick to the pan, add a smidgen (1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml) of olive oil to the pan. Don’t overcook or the meat will get tough. It’ll take five or 10 minutes.

While that’s cooking, prepare your vinaigrette. In a jar with a lid, place the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and rosemary, then shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Not 21 or you’ll ruin it. You’re done.

If you use a commercial vinaigrette instead, use one that has no more than 2 g of carbohydrate per 2 tbsp. You may have trouble finding that since so many of the commercial guys add sugar.

Place the lettuce and spinach on a plate then add the cucumber, avocado, tomato, cooked chicken, walnuts, and mandarin orange wedges on top. Drizzle two or three tbsp of the vinaigrette over it (nutritional analysis assumes three). Enjoy.

Servings: 1

(Actually, you’ll have enough vinaigrette left over for one or two more salads or vegetable servings. Save it in the refrigerator.)

Nutritional Analysis:

57 % fat

12 % carbohydrate

31 % protein

710 calories

25 g carbohydrate

10 g fiber

15 g digestible carb

990 mg sodium

1,570 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in protein, vitamin A, B6, C, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, pantothenic acid, selenium, and phosphorus.

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I like this and use it. The lower left corner says “with EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.” In order, the listed ingredients are water, balsamic vinegar, soybean oil and extra virgin olive oil, sugar….  2 tbsp has 3 grams of carb. Which oil would you guess predominates? BTW, balsamic has the most carbs of all the vinegars.

Recipe: Apple, Pecan, Blueberry Lunch Bowl

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So simple even a redneck can make it (I are a redneck)

Ingredients:

2.5 oz (70 g) apple, diced (“red delicious” variety works well) (this is half a medium-sized apple)

2.5 oz (70 g) pecans, crumbled into small pieces

2.5 oz (70 g) raw blueberries

Instructions:

Mix all together in a bowl, then enjoy. I know a lotta you bros will just eat all the components individually—but try the mix once for new flavors.

Servings: 1

Nutritional Analysis:

76% fat

20% carb

4% protein

570 calories

30 g carbohydrate

10 g fiber

20 g digestible carb

1.4 mg sodium

421 mg potassium

Prominent features: Quick and easy. Rich in copper, manganese, and thiamine. Inadequate protein to get you through the day, but you’ll make up for it at breakfast or dinner.

Recipe: Beef Soup, Roasted Asparagus, and Blackberries

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Dinner time!

The entree is a cross between stew and soup; stoup, if you will.

Ingredients:

2 lb (0.9 kg) stew meat, lean, bite-sized chunks (tenderized by the butcher if able)

1 garlic clove, finely minced

6 sprigs cilantro, de-stemmed, whole leaves

2 oz (58 g) sweet onion, diced (1/2 of a small onion)

1/4 of a medium-size green bell pepper, de-seeded, diced (medium bell pepper weighs about 5.5 oz or 155 g)

8 oz (227 g) canned tomato sauce

2.5 cups (590 ml) water

1.25 tsp (6.2 ml) table salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/4 tsp or 1.2 ml?)

16 oz (454 g) fresh raw asparagus, no larger in diameter than your little finger, with any dry or woody stalk cut off and discarded

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

7.5 oz (213 g) raw blackberries

Instructions:

Stoup first. In a frying pan or electric skillet, place the stew meat, cilantro, garlic, bell pepper, onion, and cook over medium heat (350º F or 177º C) until the meat is done. Then add the tomato sauce, two cups of the water, one tsp of the salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer for two hours, then add a half cup water to replace evaporation loss.

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Cooking stew meat. NOTE: this is double the amount the recipe calls for.

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Meat is done and the “gravy” has magically appeared

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Appearance after addition of the tomato sauce and 2 cups water

Now the asparagus. Preheat oven to 400º F or 204º C. Place asparagus on a cooking sheet covered with foil, brush the asparagus with the olive oil, then lightly salt (1/4 tsp?) and pepper to taste. (If you don’t mind cleaning up, just use a baking dish without the foil.) Roast in oven for 8–15 minutes; thicker asparagus takes longer. It’s hard to tell when it’s done just by looking; if it’s still hard, it’s not done. Click for another post I wrote on cooking asparagus and brussels sprouts.

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Asparagus roasted at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes

Enjoy the berries for desert.

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2.5 oz or 1/2 cup of blackberries

Servings: 3 [one serving is 1.5 cups (355 ml) of soup, a third of the asparagus (5 oz (140 g), and 2.5 oz (70 g) berries]

Nutritional Analysis:

40 % fat

12 % carbohydrate

48 % protein

590 calories

19 g carbohydrate

8.5 g fiber

10.5 g digestible carb

1,557 mg sodium

1,778 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in protein, B6, B12, copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc

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The fresh cilantro is a nice touch

Paleobetic Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Wait, what?

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Meaty low-carb spaghetti sauce over spaghetti squash

Yeah, I know. Spaghetti’s not paleo.

But this one is. Recently here we’ve looked at low-carb spaghetti sauce and cooking spaghetti squash. It’s not too much of a stretch to put them together and call it spaghetti. No grain-based pasta here!

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Cooked spaghetti squash partially teased apart with a fork

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (240 ml) low-carb spaghetti sauce

2 cups (480 ml) cooked spaghetti squash

Instructions:

Prepare the ingredients after clicking on links above. Assemble as in the photo. Enjoy.

Number of Servings: 1

Nutritional Analysis: 

52% fat

33% carbohydrate

15% protein

408 calories

36 g carbohydrate

7 g fiber

29 g digestible carbohydrate

1,398 mg sodium

1,201 mg potassium

Prominent features: Rich in B12, copper, iron, niacin, thiamin, B6

Discussion

With the Paleobetic Diet, I strive to limit mealtime digestible carbohydrates to 20 g or less. This meal has 29 g and the calories are on the low end (408) for larger and more active folks. What gives?

Making a wholesale switch from the Standard American Diet to the paleo diet ican be difficult for some under the best of circumstances. For those used to eating carb-heavy pasta, I thought it might be comforting to offer something similar but with a lower carb count. Hence, spaghetti pasta. The tomatoes in the sauce are an additional source of blood glucose-elevating carbohydrates. So I’ve tried to minimize them by creating a meat-heavy sauce. Nevertheless, a reasonable portion size tipped me over the 20 gram carb limit. In contrast, a single cup of cooked spaghetti pasta by itself has 40 grams of digestible carbohydrate and 220 calories.

I think you’ll find the two cups of spaghetti squash filling and satisfying. If that’s not enough calories for you, munch on some leftover high-protein food such as chicken or steak.

Recipes: Spaghetti Squash

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The smallish yellow spaghetti squash is at the top. It’s related to pumpkins and zucchini.

It’s hard to give up pasta. Many diabetics who don’t notice that their blood sugar levels spike too high when they eat pasta. What’s too high? In general, I’d say over 150 mg/dl (8.33 mmol/l) measured one hour after a meal, or over 130 mg/dl (7.22 mmol/l) two hours after the meal.

Other experts disagree and propose other numbers.

An alternative to spaghetti pasta that shouldn’t raise blood glucose levels as high is spaghetti squash. It’s all about the carbohydrates. A cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 10 g of carb; a cup of cooked spaghetti has 43 g. The fiber grams are about the same. Numbers are from FitDay.com.

Spaghetti squash is a classic low-carb vegetable. If you’ve never tried it, you should. As vegetables go, it’s one of the largest, heaviest, and most interesting to prepare. Easy, too. The spaghetti squash season is autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere. Purchasing in spring and summer may be iffy.

In my part of the world, supermarket spaghetti squashes weigh between two and five pounds. We cooked a three-pounder (1.4 kg) that yielded five cups; a five-pounder (2.3 kg) gave us 12 cups. A serving size is one, maybe two cups. What you don’t eat immediately stays fresh in the refrigerator for at least several days. Re-heat by microwaving or stir-frying.

Like pasta and potatoes, the squash by itself is bland. It’s a great substrate for sauces or seasonings.

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Raw squash cut in half lengthwise

Here’s how we cook it at the Parker Compound. Preheat the oven to 375º F 0r 190º C. Very carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out and discard the guts (seeds and membranes like a pumpkin; it even smells like a pumpkin). Put the halves flat-side down in a pan, then add a half inch (1.3 cm) of water to the pan. Cover with foil and bake until the outer shell (rind) is fairly easily pierced with a paring knife. This will be about 45 minutes for a two-pound squash (0.9 kg); 90 minutes for a four-plus pounder (2.3+ kg). Then turn them over, re-cover with foil, and cook 15 minutes more, until very tender. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Then use a fork to pull the strands away from the rind.

Other cooks simplify the process and just place the squash halves flat-side down on a baking sheet and cook for 30-60 minutes. Some leave the seeds in while cooking and spoon them out just before the stranding step.

Now what?

You got options.

Our first experiment was with l0w-carb spaghetti sauce.

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Low-carb spaghetti

Next we took three cups squash (710 ml) and mixed in 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, 2.5 tbsp (37 ml) chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) minced fresh garlic, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt, and 1/8 tsp (0.6 ml) black pepper.

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Seasoned with parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper

Finally, we took a cup (240 ml) of the squash and added minced celery (4 inches or 10 cm of stalk), 3 minced black olives, 5/8 oz (18 g) of minced sweet (bell) pepper, 1/2 clove of minced garlic, salt (a dash), and pepper to taste.

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Seasoned with sweet peppers, black olives, garlic, celery, and salt

These last two options I consider side dishes. By the way, they taste good either cold or warm. They would go well with a number of entrees, such as steak or salmon.

I’ve read that this squash is good with pesto, or just with salt and (non-paleo) butter.

Nutrition facts from FitDay.com:

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 75 calories (I’ve seen 42 elsewhere), 10 g of carbohydrate, 2 g of fiber, 8 g of digestible carb, 4 g of fat (predominantly MUFA), minimal protein, and a fair amount of vitamins A, niacin, B6, and C. Plus 8% of your RDA for manganese.

 

What Is The Only Australian Plant Crop That Has Ever Been Commercially Developed as a Food?

David Mendosa says the answer is the macadamia nut.

Paleobetic diet

Macadamia nuts

From a paleo perspective, a great thing about the macadamia nut is that it’s one of the few nuts with a good omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio. In other words, it’s high in omega-3 and low in 6. This may have important cardiovascular health implications. Macadamias are one of the nuts I recommend on my Paleobetic Diet.

David writes:

The first Australian macadamia plantation didn’t begin until the 1880s. And not until 1954 with the introduction of mechanised processing did commercial production became viable. Nowadays about 90 percent of the the world’s macadamia nut production comes from Hawaii, where it has become its third most important crop, according to The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, University of California at Berkeley (1992).

Read the rest, where you’ll learn that macadamia nuts are the highest of all nuts in calories, gram for gram.

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Macadamia nuts on the tree

Recipe: Steak, Avocado, Olives and Tomato

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I ate mine for breakfast. Who needs bagels, cereal, and donuts?

This was super-easy to put together because I used leftover steak. But I’ll assume you’re cooking your steak fresh. We bought ours as thinly sliced round steak, about a 1/4-inch thick (0.6 cm). Some places might refer to this as a “minute steak” because it cooks so quickly. Minute steak also refers to a piece of beef, usually the round, that’s been pounded flat, about a 1/4-inch thick. Even if you start with raw meat, you can prepare today’s recipe in 10 minutes.

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It tastes as good as it looks

Ingredients:

4 oz (113 g) cooked thin round steak (start with 5 oz raw)

1 California (Hass) avocado, standard size (4.5 oz or 127 g), peeled, pitted, and chunked

14 black olives, pitted, medium size (Purist alert: probably highly processed)

1 tomato, medium-size (medium size or 2.5-inch diameter (6,4 cm), or a large roma tomato), cut into wedges

Salt and pepper to taste, or use commercial steak seasoning such as Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick (a favorite at the Parker Compound)

Instructions:

Sprinkle your steak with seasoning then cook over medium or medium-high heat in a skillet, about a minute on each side. Or heat your leftover steak in the microwave. If you overcook, it will be tough.

Place all ingredients artfully on a plate and enjoy.

Servings: 1

Nutritional Analysis (via Fitday):

60% fat

12% carbohydrate

28% protein

600 calories

20 g carbohydrate

12 g fiber

8 g digestible carbohydrate

587 mg sodium

1530 mg potassium

Prominent features: Lots of protein, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, copper, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc

Recipe: Waldorfian Salad

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One cup of Waldorfian salad. I doubled the cinnamon in this batch, so yours won’t look quite like this.

Today’s meal is inspired by the classic Waldorf salad, made famous by New York’s Waldorf Hotel over a century ago. The hotel today is called the Waldorf-Astoria.

The primary ingredients are apples, walnuts, and celery.

The original salad was made with mayonnaise, which I’m leaving out since I don’t yet have a paleo-compliant formula. They’re out there, however. Do you have a favorite?

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Good source of omega-3 fatty acids

Instead of mayonnaise, we use a dressing—a vinaigrette—made with walnut oil. Walnut oil is attractive in part because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids: 1.77 grams per tbsp (15 ml). Compared with Paleolithic diets, modern Western diets are too low in omega-3s and too high in omega-6s. You can use your left-over walnut oil the way you’d use olive oil.

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I made my dressing in this BPA-laden plastic container

In composing the Paleobetic Diet, my biggest challenge is breakfast. I’m fine eating eggs almost daily, but that may not be your cup ‘o tea. Most of us in America are accustomed to grain-based options like cold cereal, porridge, bagels, donuts, pancakes, granola, and toast. Plus yogurt. Those aren’t paleo, and they have too many carbohydrates for many diabetics. I came up with Waldorfian salad as a low-carb paleo-style breakfast, reminiscent of Brian’s Berry Breakfast.

This recipe makes two large servings of 2 cups (480 ml) each. Small or sedentary folks may well be satisfied with a 1- or 1.5-cup serving.

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Apples are the primary source of carbohydrates in this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 apples, raw, medium size, skin on, diced (I used Red Delicious; consider Granny Smith, Fuji, or Gala)

3 celery stalks, 8-inches long (20 cm), diced

1 cup (240 ml) walnuts, broken by hand into small chunks (Option for ? more flavor: toast in a skillet over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes or in oven (350 F or 175 C) on baking sheet for 10 minutes

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) black pepper, ground

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) salt

1.5 tbsp (22 ml) walnut oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) cider vinegar

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon

1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) nutmeg

Instructions:

First make a dressing with the bottom six ingredients. I put mine in a small container with a lid, then shook vigorously. Or you can put them in a small bowel and whisk them.

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Walnut pieces

Place the walnuts, apples and celery in a bowel, add the dressing and toss thoroughly. You’re done.

Serve as is, or chill first in the refrigerator. Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought it tasted better after it sat on the counter for 10 minutes. Consider serving on a bed of lettuce (1-2 oz), but if you do, increase your digestible carb count by 1-2 grams.

If you want more calories or protein than this recipe provides, chicken or steak should go well with Waldorfian salad and won’t increase your carb grams.

Number of Servings: 2 (2 cups each)

Nutritional Analysis:

73% fat

21% carbohydrate

6% protein

500 calories

27.5 g carbohydrate

7.6 g fiber

20 g digestible carbohydrate

341 mg sodium

529 mg potassium

Prominent features: High in copper and manganese, low in sodium. This is vegetarian (so much for the paleo diet being meat-centric). On a 2,000 calorie diet, this provides only 15% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein, so you’ll want to eat more protein at some point during the day.

Recipe: BLT Avocado Wraps and Pecans

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Ready to roll up and eat

BLT = bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

As I’ve written before, bacon isn’t a pure paleo food. Cavemen didn’t eat it. It’s too highly processed. You could make your own if you want. But bacon is convenient and no doubt better for you—at least if you have diabetes—than many of our traditional breakfast foods like cereal with milk, pancakes, instant oatmeal, bagels, or donuts. Those could shoot your blood sugar up to the moon.

Some studies link processed meats with cardiovascular disease and cancer, other studies don’t. If you want to be cautious with your health, don’t go hog-wild with bacon or other processed meats like hot dogs, bologna, and liverwurst.

Avocados come in hundreds of varieties. In the U.S., we mainly have California avocados (aka Hass) and Florida avocados. Californians are by far the market leader. They reign at the Parker Compound.

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California or Hass avocado

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Florida avocado

California avocados are smaller dark green lumpy-skinned ones. Florida avocados are larger, smoother-skinned, and lighter green. Monica Reinagel has an article comparing the two, with notes on ripening and storage.

Oh, and by the way, avocados are fruits, not vegetables. But you knew that, you smartie.

Ingredients:

1 California (Hass) avocado, raw, medium size (about 4 x 2.5 inches or 10 x 6 cm), peeled and seeded, cut into long strips

6 bacon strips, medium thickness

4 oz (115 g) lettuce (e.g., iceberg, romaine, bibb, or broad-leaf lettuce you prefer)

4 oz (115 g) tomato, raw (this is about one-and-a half roma tomatoes or one medium regular tomato), cut into long strips

1 oz (30 g) pecans (option: substitute your favorite tree nut except for cashews—too many carbs)

Instructions:

Fry your bacon in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Next you’re gong to build two wraps. Lay out about two oz (  g) of lettuce and load it with three bacon strips, half your tomato, and half your avocado. Fold or wrap lettuce edges together and enjoy. Repeat with remaining ingredients. The pecans are for dessert.

paleobetic diet, paleo diet for diabetes

Our vicious guard dogs waiting for bacon

Number of Servings: 1 (that’s 2 wraps plus nuts)

Nutritional Analysis:

74% fat

12% carbohydrate

14% protein

720 calories

24 g carbohydrate

15 g fiber

9 g digestible carbohydrate

1137 mg sodium

1507 mg potassium

Prominent features: Good source of fiber, sodium, protein, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium.