Monthly Archives: November 2013

Falling for Fall Paleo

 

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 Last week I wrote about eating rainbows, this week—eating by seasons.  Man, I love a theme.  Eating seasonally is about so many things: sustainability, supporting our local farmers, enjoying pumpkin flavored everything from September through November.  But I will let you in on the main reason I eat seasonally—I’m cheap frugal. 

  Eating seasonally offers the best bang for your buck.  Local organic food–which is the best way to eat anyway–will be way more affordable than exotic highly perishable tropical produce, flown in from hundreds of miles away.

  And autumn and winter produce is cheaper to produce, cultivate, and store.  Think of that onion or potato you’ve had in the pantry for a month, versus that summer cucumber or tomato that went mushy, the day after you bought it.  Fall/winter veggies are hearty.  They are cultivated to withstand the elements and our crisper drawers. 

So what’s in season right now?  A veritable thanksgiving bounty, that’s what.

  Fruits: Apples, Pears  Local-ish (in season elsewhere in the US) Grapes, Lemons, Limes, Kumquats, Mandarins, Oranges, Persimmons, Plums, Raspberries, Tangerines, Strawberries, Dates, Pomegranates

  Vegetables: Artichokes, Arugula, Beets, Bok choy, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Collards, Fennel, Garlic, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Radicchio, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Sunchokes, Sweet potatoes, Turnips and Squash! Glorious winter squash, in all of its gazillion varieties Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Spaghetti, Dumpling.  The squash-ibilities are endless.  

  And did you know nuts had a season? I didn’t.  But apparently it’s nut season!  Almonds, chestnuts, pistachios.  You name it—it’s ready to be cracked open with an old-timey holiday nutcracker and consumed by a crackling fire.

  Here are a few recipes for seasonal vegetables.  Serve them up alongside your protein of choice and enjoy! (Or start bookmarking them for your Thanksgiving menu.)

A beautiful, non-traditional take on borscht from the amazing Sarah Britton, omit the lentils if you are doing strict Paleo.

http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/11/beet-lentil-borscht-a-book/

A delicious Brussels sprouts recipe from nomnompaleo.  Seriously, even if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you should try them shredded.  Its like a totally different vegetable.

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/66793339868/warm-brussels-sprouts-slaw-with-asian-citrus-dressing

A sweet potato breakfast idea from the funny PaleOMG blog (and this one, like all the others here can be made a day or two in advance.  Just make the eggs when you’re ready to heat and eat.)

http://paleomg.com/cranberry-sweet-potato-breakfast-cakes/

And an obligatory pumpkin-flavored recipe.  Honestly, if you don’t include one in a blog post this time of year, the Pumpkin Spice Committee will drive by your house and glare at you judgmentally.

http://paleoparents.com/2013/guest-post-vanessa-from-clean-eating-with-a-dirty-mind-paleo-pumpkin-swirl-cheesecake-squares/

Eat the Rainbow

Let’s eat a rainbow. Sounds awesome? And it is. Provided that’s an all-natural rainbow of vegetables and fruits, of course. (What, did you think we were actually going to be eating real rainbows? Maybe you’ve been in that handstand too long. Carefully lower yourself down and let’s talk.)
Say you only ate one vegetable every day, for the rest of your life. And that vegetable was…I dunno…steamed carrots. Well, good for you, you are eating one serving of vegetable a day. And carrots are good source of carotene, so again, good on you. But what about a well-balanced and nourishing diet…that’s what we’re working on here, right? (Yes! says everyone, with enthusiasm)
Eating the rainbow is a simple premise. And simple is so much more sustainable in the long term. This 30 day challenge is about creating habits that work a week, a month, a year and a decade from now. Eat mostly meat and vegetables. Simple. Eat vegetables and fruits in all the colors and varieties available to you, reap the rewards. Simple.
The more variety you can eat, the wider the range of nutrients your body receives. The more nutrients you receive, the healthier you can be. Here’s a little list of benefits by color. And this is just a taste. (pun intended) There’s way more goodness out in the vegetable world. Challenge yourself to eat at least 3 different colors a day.

RED

Resveratrol:
Good Sources: red grapes, and yes red wine too (in moderation)
Science-y Benefits: Polyphenol neutralizes free radicals and can reduce inflammation.

Capsaicin:
Good Source: chile peppers
Science-y Benefits: Capsaicin is a pain reliever. It staves off hunger and even accelerates calories burning.

Lycopene:
Good Sources: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, guava
Science-y Benefits: This anti-oxidant has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, and certain forms of cancer, as well as sun damage. Lycopene-rich foods have been shown to lessen symptoms of asthma and shortness of breath in people when they exercise.

ORANGE

Curcumin:
Good Source: turmeric
Science-y Benefits: An excellent anti-inflammatory. The antioxidant properties of curcumin may help counter the body’s negative responses to high-fat foods.

Beta-Cryptoxanthin:
Good Sources: Papaya, tangerines
Science-y Benefits: This carotenoid plays an important role in vision and in bone and cell growth.

Alpha-Carotene:
Good Sources: sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe
Science-y Benefits: Alpha-carotene becomes vitamin A in the body, which bolsters immunity.

Hesperidin and Naringenin:
Good Sources: Citrus
Science-y Benefits: These heavy-hitting flavonoids stave off inflammation and blood vessel damage caused by poor diets. Not that you have one of those.

YELLOW

Bromelain:
Good Source: pineapple
Science-y Benefits: This enzyme can prevent or ease indigestion.

Limonoids:
Good Sources: citrus
Science-y Benefits: These may lower cholesterol and protect against breast, skin, and stomach cancers.

GREEN

Lutein and Zeaxanthin:
Good Sources: leafy greens
Science-y Benefits: This duo keeps eyes strong, protecting the retina and reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Chlorophyll:
Good Sources: watercress, leeks, arugula, parsley
Science-y Benefits: Present in virtually every green plant food, this may decrease the risk of liver cancer.

Apigenin and Luteolin:
Good Sources: celery, parsley
Science-y Benefits: This dynamic duo has neuro-protective properties and may fight off diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Isothiocyanates:
Good Sources: Kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli
Science-y Benefits: these help purge the body of potential toxins and carcinogens. Another reason to love cruciferous veggies.

PURPLE

Indoles:
Good Sources: purple cauliflower, purple cabbage
Science-y Benefits: One more found in cruciferous veggies, indoles might slow the metabolism of carcinogens.

Anthocyanins:
Good Sources: red cabbage, eggplant, grapes, berries
Science-y Benefits: Antioxidants that improve brain function and balance. They may also reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.