It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 4 of 4)

It’s a jungle out there.  Learning what to eat and what to avoid in it, and how and when and why is what The Plant Paradox, by Dr Steven Gundry, is all about.  In Part 1 of this 4-part blog series, I explain why I trust Dr Gundry as an authority on this topic and summarize his message.  In Part 2, I summarized the 7 disturbing changes in the past 50 years which have exacerbated the need to take action in changing our diets. In Part 3, I shared the list of Yes Please foods.

Dr Gundry’s 6-week eating plan boils down to two fairly straightforward lists – the Yes Please foods and the Just Say No foods.  He enphasizes that adhering to the “No” foods, where we cut out disease-promoting lectins, is far more important than adding the “Yes” foods into our diet.

In this final post of a 4-part series, I present the Just Say No list.  I also note where there may be exceptions.  Although these lists are intended as a lifetime eating plan, after an initial strict 6 weeks on it (Phase 2 of his program), Dr Gundry allows for experimentation, one-at-a-time and in 2-week increments, with some of the foods on the Just Say No list.  These foods need to be de-fanged of their lectins by preparing them in special ways.  And, he instructs us to really tune into our bodies to see if the foods create problems for us.  If not, we can add them back in during Phase 3 (the lifetime phase), if prepared properly.

THE JUST SAY NOT FOOD LIST

Refined, Starchy Foods:  Pasta, Rice, Potatoes, Potato chips, Milk, Bread, Tortillas, Pastry, Flour, Crackers, Cookies, Cereal, Sugar, Agave, Sweet One or Sunett (Acesulfame K), Splenda (Sucralose), NutraSweet (Aspartame), Sweet’n Low, (Saccharin), Diet drinks, Maltodextrin.

Vegetables:  Sugar snap peas, Legumes*, Green beans, Chickpeas (including as hummus), Soy, Tofu, Edamame, Soy protein, Textured vegetable protein (TVP), Pea protein, All beans, including sprouts, All lentils*.  *Vegans and Vegetarians can have these legumes in Phase 2 but only if properly prepared in a pressure cooker.

Nuts and Seeds:  Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia, Peanuts, Cashews.

Fruits (some called vegetables):  Cucumbers, Zucchini, Pumpkins, Squashes (any kind), Melons (any kind), Eggplant, Tomatoes, Chili peppers, Goji berries.

Non-Southern European Cow’s Milk Products (these contain casein A-1):  Yogurt (including Greek), Ice cream , Frozen yogurt, Cheese, Ricotta, cottage cheese.

KefirGrains, Sprouted Grains, Pseudo Grains and Grasses:  Wheat (pressure cooking does not remove lectins from any form of wheat), Einkorn wheat, Kamut, Oats (cannot pressure cook), Quinoa, Rye (cannot pressure cook), Bulgur, White rice, Brown Rice, Wild rice, Barley (cannot pressure cook), Buckwheat, Kashi, Spelt, Corn, Corn products, Cornstarch, Corn syrup, Popcorn, Wheatgrass, Barley grass.

Oils:  Soy, Grape seed, Corn, Peanut, Cottonseed, Safflower, Sunflower, “Partially hydrogenated,” Vegetable, Canola. 

IMMEDIATE CHANGES I HAVE MADE TO MY DIET BASED ON THIS LIST

Right off the bat I have given up the following things which I used to think were healthy:

  • My work-break wheat grass shots.  I’m also looking for a green superfood powder which does not include wheat grass and/or barley grass.  Dr Gundry has created one of his own, which I only recently learned about because he really does not push his own products all that much.  I may need to try to get my hands on that.
  • I’ve put a hold on eating legumes until I can get my hands on a pressure cooker.
  • I’m peeling and deseeding tomatoes and cucumbers, and have pretty much stopped eating eggplant and peppers.
  • No more cashews (and I stopped buying peanuts for the household) – I will still make cashew chicken, but will sub in different nuts.

Fruit presents a huge dilemma since I spent years encouraging my family to eat more of it and now they are accustomed to having a big bowl of it every day.  I’m down-shifting to smaller portions and will see how that goes.

For now I find myself “dabbling” with the principles of the Plant Paradox program, incorporating the easy features of it wherever possible and not worrying so much about the rest.  I feel really good.  I even spent a (food and drink-wise) decadent 2 weeks in Europe on a recent business trip, and I credit this”dabbling” with the fact that I did not return to Bangkok with any additional pounds in tow, for the first time in I think ever.

The next step for me is to follow the program as my annual detox in 2018.  I will plan to strictly adhere to the Phases 1 and 2 and will share the results here.

If the results are truly impressive, who knows, I may come out on the other side a Plant Paradox evangelist.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to continuing to dabble and enjoy the upcoming holidays.

OK, that wraps up this 4-part series on the Plant Paradox approach to nutritional eating.  Thanks for hanging in there, and see you next week.

It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 3 of 4)

It’s a jungle out there.  Learning what to eat and what to avoid in it, and how and when and why is what The Plant Paradox, by Dr Steven Gundry, is all about.  In Part 1 of this 4-part blog series, I explain why I trust Dr Gundry as an authority on this topic and summarize his message.  In Part 2, I summarized the 7 disturbing changes in the past 50 years which have exacerbated the need to take action in changing our diets

There are two keys to Dr Gundry’s program:  the first is to avoid what is bad for your body, primarily lectins, the plant proteins which cause trouble for many people and of which as a rule, we in the modern Western world tend to eat way too many.  Second is to feed the good bacteria, the troops in our gut that work for us, what is good for them so they can succeed in the war for our health.

Dr Gundry’s plan begins with Phase 1, a 3-day detox to clear the gut and prep it for what is to come next.  Phase 2 is his 6-week eating program, which is really a “forever” eating program, with the exception that, you may want to test your body’s tolerance for adding back in certain other foods if prepared properly, aka Phase 3.

But before that, he sets forth his 4 golden rules of eating, Continue reading “It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 3 of 4)”

It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 2 of 4)

It’s a jungle out there, Learning what to eat and what to avoid in it, and how and when and why is what The Plant Paradox, by Dr Steven Gundry, is all about.  In Part 1 of this 3-part blog series, I explain why I trust Dr Gundry as an authority on this topic and summarize his message.

So, from Dr Gundry we know that plants are trying to kill us, and that it matters how we choose and prepare our food, and that it is important also to consider our good gut bugs when we eat, because they need to eat too, then the next step might seem to be Continue reading “It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 2 of 4)”

It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 1 of 4)

You know when you are carrying on with your life, thinking you are making incremental but true forward motion toward a healthier lifestyle, only to discover that many things you thought were basic and good turn out to be wrong? Like when it becomes clear, for example, that vegetable oils are evil?

Well, if you have never had this experience, and don’t want to have it, then I suggest Continue reading “It’s a Jungle out There. Learn What to Eat and What to Avoid in The Plant Paradox (Part 1 of 4)”

Avocado Oil Mayonnaise – Immersion Blender Method

To state the obvious, mayonnaise is delicious, as a dip or spread, and can be a super delivery system for healthy fats, but only if it is not the store-bought kind made with artificial ingredients and evil vegetable oils.

While homemade mayo has appealed to me for years, it never seemed like a quick solution. The part in the recipes where you are supposed to ever so slowly drip, drip, drip the oil into the egg yolk mixture while stirring frantically is usually where I’d tune out and instead grab the jar of whatever store brand was in my fridge instead. I mean, life is too short for that nonsense, right?

Then I discovered another technique, involving an immersion blender.  Turns out, with an immersion blender, a lovely all-natural mayo can be made in mere moments, no patience required.

When I first read about this technique, I was lucky enough to have an underutilized immersion blender residing in my kitchen.  I had purchased it on a whim on a business trip in Europe.  While in Belgium, I somehow found myself in the ubiquitous chain household discount store called, “Action.”  Action is similar to a Goodwill store – there is a lot of clutter – except the goods are new.  I was roaming around aimlessly when I wandered right into a no-name immersion blender sitting on a shelf with a 4 Euro price tag, smiling at me.  I bought it on the spot.  I stuck it in my suitcase and hauled it back to Bangkok where it had been gathering dust in the back of my kitchen cabinet ever since.

…Until I noticed those immersion blender mayo recipes online.  I experimented a bit and put together what I think is a solid mayo blend using organic avocado oil, since that is what I had at home.  It is thick and creamy, and it tastes great.

Another thing about this method of making mayonnaise – it’s cool how instantaneous the mayo comes together.  The color and texture of the ingredients in the jar turns from clear and liquid to white and creamy in seconds.  So, as a bonus, it’s also fun to make.

My mayonnaise habits have changed fro the better.

Print
Avocado Oil Mayonnaise - Immersion Blender Method
Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

This is a delicious alternative to the jarred mayos which are mostly filed with preservatives, artificial ingredients, emulsifiers and of course highly processed vegetable oils.

It's a snap to make with an immersion blender and will last for 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge.

It is important to use a tall-ish jar or container that is just slightly wider than your immersion blender to use during the blending process - the snugger the fit the better.  The one I use (an old Lotus Spekaloos paste (known as "cookie spread" in the US at Trader Joes) fits my immersion blender like a glove - I even have to use a bending maneuver to finagle the protruding blade part of the blender inside the jar.  Find the container that works for you and your blender.

Ingredients
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard room temperature
  • 1 cup avocado oil
Instructions
  1. Start with a the container you will use to blend the mayo.  This container should basically be hugging the immersion blender as it is blending.  

  2. Add all ingredients in order to the container.

  3. Put the immersion blender in the container and blend.  Once the mayonnaise magic begins (it is practically instantaneous), move the head of the immersion blender up and down a bit to thoroughly mix everything up.  The total process should take no more than 2 minutes.

    Enjoy for up to one week, when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.

Matcha Non-dairy Latte Recipe

Have you tried matcha yet?  I didn’t get what the big deal was until I tried my first one at a nearby Starbucks, in latte form.  That pretty much ruined me for a year or so.  It was months before I got around to trying an unadulterated hot matcha tea.  The flavor is earthy and intriguing, yes. But if I’m being honest, I really do enjoy Continue reading “Matcha Non-dairy Latte Recipe”

How to Identify Holy Basil + Spicy Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil (“Pad Kaprao Moo”) Recipe

One of my absolute favorite “standard issue” Thai dishes, found in just about any Thai restaurant in Bangkok from the humblest sidewalk shack to 5-star hotel restaurants with riverside views, is spicy stir-fried fill-in-the-blank-with-your-preferred-protein with holy basil (“pad kaprao”).  Usually served in individual portions over rice as a complete 1-dish meal, rather than part of an ensemble meal, it is also a local favorite.  While I took to it immediately, in the beginning it confounded me, Continue reading “How to Identify Holy Basil + Spicy Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil (“Pad Kaprao Moo”) Recipe”