SUMMARY: What is in a practical whole foods PALEO, SCD, GAPS healing, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense fridge, that also happens to be sustainable and family and friends friendly? Practical tips for transitioning & quality food sourcing links are provided also.
As requested, here is the breakdown of the food shown in the featured photo on the Testimonial page.
At the bottom of this post you’ll find Practical tips for transitioning to a more healing nutrient dense refrigerator, and quality food sourcing links.
A whole foods eating plan isn’t a diet per se, but a lifetime lifestyle change.
One of the most difficult parts of switching up your eating is ⇒
No worries though as this happens naturally as you learn whole food preparation and the organization involved.
Quitting things cold turkey can be hard; I do not recommend such.
Try eliminating the bad by crowding it out with better alternatives. Use the lessons learned in this healing refrigerator for what you can change up in yours. You can not stop everything you’re doing if you are not prepared to replace it with healthier alternatives. And most important, you can not make the transition over night. Be kind to yourself learning what is anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense food and how to practically prepare such.
Top 2, and bottom 3, shelves of this healing nutrient dense refrigerator:
° Pastured eggs. Totally missing from this refrigerator since it was photographed on the weekend, is the bulk scrambled eggs and Peach Pie Breakfast Bake (recipe on Pinterest Breakfast board.) These were totally eaten for weekday breakfasts by this family; that’s efficient bulk cooking!
Ideally, use a local, organic (no antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides…), soy-free farmer. To locate such, see sourcing information at the bottom of this post. I use Your Family Farmer out of Chambersburg, PA for my pastured eggs and meat; these slides show their practices:
° Grassfed pastured butter. Use a local, organic cow pastured source. If not available, try Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter actually available through many grocers now as well as Costco (seems the best pricing); if residing in PA or bordering, try Trickling Springs Creamery (available through Your Family Farmer). The only ingredients should be: pasteurized cream and salt (optional but if it’s in it, preferably sea salt).
° Soups containing bone broth: Any and all types, usually two if not three concurrently in your fridge. WAPF and GAPS diet recommends a small cup at every meal since it contains easy to assimilate minerals, vitamins, and amino-acids. Bone broth contains proteinaceous gelatin that is soothing and healing to the intestinal mucosa. Bone broth has been known for centuries to aid digestion since the gelatin it contains is hydrophilic — meaning it attracts liquids including digestive juices. Rotate through favorites. Today, in this fridge, there is bone broth, squash-carrot, and a tortilla soup: for recipes see Pinterest Soup: PALEO/PRIMAL/SCD/GAPS Incredibles board. and Pinterest Bone Broth board. Even pure bone broth is versatile as it can be a drunk directly from a mug if desired, or frozen vegetables and spices can be tossed in on the fly.
One of the best bone broth How-To tutorials I’ve read is over at Nourishing Chicken Bone Broth In A Slow Cooker, though I would note several comments to her process:
- Repeat the entire process a second time as you can reuse bones.
- Regarding the quantity of bones to use, If you aren’t yet into roasting a whole chicken (I wasn’t for about two years) just use lots of chicken part bones. Otherwise, you can use one chicken carcass and optionally add in breast, back, leg, or thigh bones from other meals that accumulate in the freezer. I’ve read that the chicken feet are best for joint support, but sorry, I am not a chicken feet person. They had me at the clipping part… are they joking?!? If one does not have additional bones, still make the bone broth with whatever quantity of bones you have as it’ll become a vegetable type of broth with calcium and some bone broth benefits even though it may not gel.
- Instead of whole vegetables added to the filtered water and bones, I add in peelings and herb stems that have accumulated in my freezer over the course of the week and then additional whole vegetables if needed (usually not necessary). If you make two large crock-pots of bone broth, you’ll yield about 12 cups of broth. For guidance on the amount of vegetables to add: add about 6 cups of mixed vegetables (carrots, celery and onions) to each crock-pot which will produce about 41 mg of calcium per cup of bone broth. Details for the math is at the bottom of this post. Additional calcium then is realized when making the soup from the bone broth due to the added vegetables: 1 cup of mixed vegetables added to prepared bone broth will further increase the calcium by another 41 mg for a net calcium of ~80 mg per cup of soup.) The only thing I never add when making bone broth is lemon, lime, and orange peels as they are coated with a fungicide, (even the organic) that I don’t want to chance anyone eating.
- I combine both batches of bone broth in a large stainless steel pot and refrigerate overnight; if the bones are not pasture based, the fat can then be easily skimmed off. I do NOT use a plastic fat separator as the heat of the bone broth could leach undesirable container chemicals into the broth.
- Drink bone broth for it’s bio-available bone co-factors and immunity support, NOT for calcium (contrary to what was thought. Comment 3 above explains how to increase calcium in bone broth. And Dr. Colin E. Champ, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, passionately researches cancer treatment as well as the role and effect diet and nutrition may have in cancer care, has this to say about calcium, THE INS AND OUTS OF CALCIUM AND BONE HEALTH. Much more information on bone broth and calcium is included at the end of this post. A summary of Champ’s information is:
- Calcium levels and bone health are multifactorial and calcium intake is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Don’t count on dairy for calcium and instead get it naturally in highly absorbable forms in the foods nature laid out for you.
- Avoid foods that result in decreased absorption and increased excretion of calcium like milk.
- Get some sun (not sun burns) or if that is not possible, take some vitamin D3.
- Lift heavy weights and sprint as the heavy loads stimulate bone mineralization and decrease bone breakdown.
- Avoid chronic stress and the increase in glucocorticoids that results.
- Increase your highly absorbable sources like green leafy vegetables, and decrease poorly absorbable sources like milk, and avoid its downside with its large amounts of lactose (sugar).
- Avoid large amounts of carbohydrates that cause significant insulin release and calcium loss in the urine.
° Ferments. Why??? There are many more viable probiotics in fermented foods than any probiotic you can buy. and no cocktail multi strain probiotic someone invents can ever reproduce and replicate the microbiome diversity in living ferments. How can ferments affect health: Fermented kimchi actually positively impacted metabolic syndrome factors including systolic and diastolic blood pressures, percent body fat, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol! –Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients.
Live ferments you’ll find in the refrigerated section of your grocer and include Bubbies and Sunja’s Kimchi (both SCD/GAPS legal), and Wildbrine sauerkraut and pickles (note: this product has no SCD/GAPS “legal letter” so be cautious if you are SCD/GAPS, but they work for many.) Try a variety and rotate through them, spearing a forkful a few times a day. You can also make your own; see recipes on Pinterest Ferments: Veg, SCD Yogurt. Other ferment options I have not pictured include miso, kombucha, kefir, beer, wine, mead (not necessarily SCD/GAPS legal.) NOTE: If you have histamine or tyramine intolerance, be cautious with fermented foods. Build up slowly and try a variety to see what works.
Tip: You can eat ferments about 15 to 20 minutes prior to the start of meals for those wanting to naturally boost digestion, and chew, chew, chew to get those juices flowing and to ensure immunity boost.
“People are coming back to fermentation because they’re sick of being sick and they’re finding after some sauerkraut and kombucha that they feel good…We’ve been raised in the midst of the war on bacteria,” Katz said. “There’s nothing sexier than when a marketer promises on the back of a container of soap that it kills 99.9 percent of bacteria. … But guess what protects us from the .01 percent of the bacteria that can make us sick? It’s the 99.9 percent of bacteria that we can coexist with perfectly well.” – Fermenting your way to health
I don’t get why folks don’t try ferments. CAFO chicken feed is supplemented with probiotics, (see pubMed study here)… shouldn’t you? Many studies show incredible human microbiome benefit. A personal favorite is, Role of endogenous microbiota, probiotics and their biological products in human health, which has a TON of probiotic human health technical ramifications including mucin layer expression, TJs, immunity… Many of the probiotics discussed are in fermented vegetables; recall yogurt, even SCD yogurt, has a limited number of strains, perhaps only three.
° Soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds. The post, IT’S EASY TO SOAK & DEHYDRATE NUTS contains the “How-To” recipe as does the Pinterest, WAPF Soaked Nut/Grain Recipes board, or you can purchase soaked/sprouted such as Go Raw Simple Seed Mix. For a simple infomatic on the “Why” for soak/dehydrate:
° Grain-free flours, but don’t eat them in the quantity that grains are ingested in the Standard American Diet. Why? Coconut flour is extremely high in fiber and is considered an advanced food for SCD. Almond flour contains a lot of Omega-6 fatty acids, and while essential to health, too many omega 6 fats in the diet contributes to inflammation. Generally, it is best to begin with the nut milks, then progress to nut butters, then consider the nut flours.
Almond Flour. I always use this Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour which is blanched to remove the brown skin and pasteurized using a hot water bath. Read the post, HOW TO BUY 100% RAW ALMONDS if you don’t know the ins and outs of almond pasteurization (it’s required by law and most use an application of a propylene oxide (jet fuel) that “evaporates” for pasteurization. A residue of propylene oxide is worrisome as it is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen. with a mile long list of “Hazard Summary” result. )
° SCD Yogurt. This fridge happens to have both whole cows milk as well as goat-milk due to casein, lactose, and autoimmune considerations. The post, CLA GRASSFED SCD YOGURT & CYTOKINE STUDIES: ERIVAN & WHOLE FOODS 365 contains both the recipe and details.
° Soaked buckwheat pancakes (an easy properly prepared gluten-free breakfast if you tolerate grains; make in bulk and freeze them. Recipe is on Pinterest, WAPF Soaked Nut/Grain Recipes board.)
° Plantain muffins (gluten-free, nut-free, and coconut-free.) In this house, most of the desserts stay in the freezer, and they eat those from there.
° Salad dressings — ditch inflammatory rancid industrialized Omega-6 (these have canola, corn, soy, cottonseed ingredients even if organic); replace with avocado , EVOO, and balsamic based dressings). See the Pinterest Salad Dressing board for great recipes.
° Coconut Secret Organic Raw Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce – use in place of soy sauce but note, it is not SCD/GAPS legal:
The lower 3 shelves of this healing refrigerator
Beyond the obvious proteins (meat, fish, hard boiled eggs, and properly prepared beans and nuts), greens, gluten-free and grain-free flours such as coconut and buckwheat (if tolerated), raw fruits, vegetables, herbs, and roots (the ginger and turmeric roots are sliced thinly and used in tea — add in black pepper with turmeric to increase bio-availability), the lower part of this healing refrigerator contains:
° PEDERSON’S PALEO BACON. NO SUGAR BACON is SCD/GAPS legal. Easy baking instructions: Bake on a rack, 300F till done for about 1-1/2 hours. Do this in bulk and freeze. No gluten. No lactose. No MSG. Pork raised without the use of antibiotics or growth stimulants and fed no animal by-products. Minimally processed,. No artificial ingredients. No preservatives. Ingredients: Pork, Water, Less Than 2%: Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder.
Now for the PRACTICAL tips.
- A whole foods eating plan isn’t a diet per se, but a lifetime lifestyle change. A lot of programs such as a 21 day sugar elimination (some call it detox) are specifically designed for that length of time so that:
- Habits are created, and the lessons learned stick, and
- Food intolerance can best be realized upon reintroduction since the inflammation has “calmed down” due to the removal of inflammatory foods. I tell clients, just as it takes time for the ripples in the pond to stop following the stone toss, so too with inflammation in the body. Some say 2 weeks, others a month for such to occur. Most feel reaction to food reintroduction after 21 day eliminations. So interesting to finally see the latest pubmed studies finally acknowledge elimination/challenge as the gold standard for gluten intolerance: “the more recently defined non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) presents with symptoms which are often indistinguishable from Celiac Disease. Symptoms must be verified by a gluten-free diet and subsequent gluten challenge [after celiac is ruled out].” -2015, Overview of biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of celiac disease.
- Eat lots of diverse vegetables (5 to 30 differing varieties) and some meat is an easy way of thinking about Dr. Rob Knight”s eleven point punch list of things that seem to be beneficial to the microbiome, see the post, OPTIMAL MICROBIOME DIET FROM AMERICAN GUT DATA. Another way of saying this is the way Dr. Mark Hyman, MD puts this in his post, Why I am a Pegan – or Paleo-Vegan – and Why You Should Be Too! A practical tip for achieving this is to use salad bar vegetables for salad toppers (organic for those needing such per EWG guidelines) and to consume soups such as carrot and/or squash soup or others having concentrated vegetables due to puree. Quality spices too can be used and they add into the vegetable diversity. Some are motivated by counting the diversity of vegetables eaten each day until it becomes habit.
- Learning what is in the foods you eat that feed your microbiome, your body, and your brain is one of the most difficult parts of switching up your eating; no worries as this happens naturally as you learn food preparation and organization involved. No more breezing down the grocery store aisles on automatic pilot; this will come but not for a while at least. And no more zapping frozen meals in the microwave for two minutes and calling it dinner. Believe it or not, cooking in bulk a variety of staple meals becomes auto pilot; we meet in the kitchen to show you how.
- This post is all about maximizing micronutrient density without breaking the bank, and having to slave long hours in the kitchen. It’s important; more than half of Americans are deficient in zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B6; and about one-third are also deficient in riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1), folate (B9) vitamin C, and iron according to the study, Are vitamin and mineral deficiencies a major cancer risk? Access here for Figures and Tables.
- What to eat? Nutrient-Dense Food Groups Have High Energy Costs: An Econometric Approach to Nutrient Profiling explains that meat, fruit, and vegetables have the highest nutritional quality. Sweets and salted snacks have the lowest nutritional quality, and they also are a least expensive source of dietary energy. Starches and grains were unique because they were low in disqualifying nutrients yet provided low-cost dietary energy. Grains need to pass individual tolerance tests, and they need to be properly prepared so as to stop chleating out micronutrients.
- Bake great tasting recipes that family and friends like. Use the Pinterest Biome Onboard Awareness, boards. Those are tested and meet this requirement, at least with my fussier family/friend grain and sugar addicts. If you don’t have all the ingredients, wing it with what you do have. Once you become familiar with the ingredients and how to cook aspects, if you are so inclined, venture forth and try new recipe ideas. There’s plenty of great bloggers (search PALEO or SCD first.)
- Bake in bulk; freeze portions for backup and travel. You’ll get to the point of quickly preparing multiple staple meals at one time. These will be at your convenience based on your refrigerator and freezer backup. When I do such, it is a few hours long, and there’s easily four or five different items cooking in bulk. This gives you an idea of what can be bulk cooked:
- NEVER EVER throw anything away. Toss whatever you need to use up, into whatever soup you have in the fridge; I call this “Refrigerator Soup” and the creations are delicious. Taco meat or the Breakfast Sausage, along with frozen vegetables tossed in bone broth is an incredible surprise. As a last resort, freeze what isn’t being used for later use.
- Ditch plastic storage and use glass, stainless, or ceramic (name brand only please due to dyes.)
- Buy to EWG dirty dozen plus considerations (Calton’s version is also given) to be low toxin pesticide, herbicide and gmo. Consider though, if you are using peelings for bone broth, buy those organic as well:
- You eat LESS eating whole foods. Most are shocked to learn that! It takes some time to acclimate and realize as automatic habits of portion control change. As one introduces satiating micronutrient dense foods, the body needs some time to acclimate and realize nutrient needs are met.
Sourcing links are:
Sourcing antibiotic free meats and poultry is difficult; CAFO antibiotic use continues to increase (see The FDA Just Released Scary New Data on Antibiotics And Farms and this Reuter’s article, U.S. meat industry bought more human antibiotics to 2013: FDA.)
Use these links to source organic, locally grown, pasture raised foods:
- If in Pennsylvania or near it’s border, you can try Your Family Farmer out of Chambersburg, PA. They began four years ago with one drop point delivery to five families and today… they have forty-eight drop locations that deliver either weekly or biweekly, and if I remember this correctly, Edwin told me they actually supply to nine surrounding states in total.
- Local Harvest — Locate farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats…
- Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.
- Eat Wild — pastured animals.
- Cornucopia Scorecards — eggs, soy, cereal, carrageenan…
- Eat Well — Free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns/hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
- FoodRoutes — The “Find Good Food” map can help you connect w/local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA’s, and markets near you.
- Shop at Whole Foods Market.
Continued from above: Drink bone broth for it’s bio-available bone co-factors and immunity support, NOT for calcium (contrary to what was thought.)
Worldwide prevalence of hip fracture
The analysis of data from different studies show a wide geographic variation across the world, with higher hip fracture incidence reported from industrialized countries as compared to developing countries. The highest hip fracture rates are seen in North Europe and the US and lowest in Latin America and Africa. Asian countries such as Kuwait, Iran, China, and Hong Kong show intermediate hip fracture rates. There is also a north–south gradient seen in European studies, and more fractures are seen in the north of the US than in the south. The factors responsible of this variation are population demographics (with more elderly living in countries with higher incidence rates) and the influence of ethnicity, latitude, and environmental factors…. it is estimated that the incidence of hip fracture will rise from 1.66 million in 1990 to 6.26 million by 2050.2 [Realize food ingested is an environmental factor] –Epidemiology of hip fracture: Worldwide geographic variation
Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease, by Dr. Allison Seibecker (SIBO expert), goes into the benefits of bone broth which I consider as medicine and food… bone marrow, cartilage, collagen, gelatin, glycine (amino acid), proline, glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur…).
The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPS) community has tested and confirmed it is the vegetables added in making bone broth that is the source of calcium in the broth; so add lots of vegetables! WAPF Recent study: “Little calcium in bone only broth though there is more if vegetables are added. It is the other goodness of broth that builds good bone. Think cofactors here: Collagen, glycine, proline, and other amino acids needed to manufacture collagen. “Collagen production slows down with age and ill health, causing skin, joints and bones to become drier, less pliant, thinner and weaker. Think sagging skin, creaky joints and the brittle bones of osteoporosis.” Broth prepared by Kim Schuette of Biodynamic Wellness of Solana Beach, California, showed low levels of calcium at 2.31 mg per cup (from a whole chicken plus two feet but not vegetables), while broth from Lance Roll of Flavor Chef showed 6.14 mg per cup (from broth made with bones and vegetables). This article was written for the WAPF Nourishing Broth 2014 book.” –Research Reveals Little Calcium in Bone Broth
Another bone building support is food-based collagen hydrolysate and gelatin products such as Great Lakes Gelatin (Kosher, Unflavored) & Collagen Hydrolysate which can can be useful adjuncts to a whole foods diet although daily bone broth is better–and tastier. –Research Reveals Little Calcium in Bone Broth.
What calcium rich vegetables should be added in making broth? “Most of us make bone broth with the traditional mix of carrots, onions, and celery known as “mirepoix.” It improves the flavor and the nutritional content… bone broths tested with these vegetables showed slightly higher calcium content. USDA figures suggest calcium content per cup of these vegetables raw at 48 mg for celery, 43 mg for carrots and 32 mg for onion. That, of course, suggests how much the calcium would increase for the entire batch, of course, not per the cup of the broth you would drink. I would not recommend making broth with broccoli, kale or spinach as the flavor gets rather nasty. However, we can use broth as the basis for various soup recipes that might include these vegetables.” -Dr. Kaayla Daniel comment, Research Reveals Little Calcium in Bone Broth
How much vegetables to add: Decide how many cups you’ll get and add celery, carrots, and onion proportionately. Based on above, calcium per 1 cup of raw vegetables are: 48 mg for celery, 43 mg for carrots, and 32 mg for onion. So, if you estimate you’ll yield about 12 cups of broth, consider adding 12 cups of total vegetables for about 40 mg of calcium per cup of bone broth. This is based on the average (48=43=32 divided by 3). Soup made from the broth then adds additional calcium. For example, 1 more cup of mixed carrots, celery, and onions added to 1 cup of bone broth would add an additional 41 mg of calcium, for about a net 80 mg calcium per cup of soup.)
All this begs the question really of, “How much calcium do we really need anyway?” ALL ABOUT CALCIUM at PaleoLeap does the math. In simpleton, Calcium 101: The average adult needs only 300-400mg of calcium to be ABSORBED every day. The RDA is 1,000mg (for men) to 1,200mg (for women), but that number is based on how much calcium you absorb mainly from milk and dairy (which is only 32%). Most vegetables are better absorbed than milk and dairy so you’ll actually need to eat less of such to meet your needs.
Lessons learned: The best way to increase the calcium content of bone broth is to include bio-available calcium-rich vegetables both in making the broth and in your whole foods diet. Adding milk or cream to the broth (if you tolerate such) to make cream soups or chowders would most appreciably increase the calcium content. Realize that co-factors, sun, and exercise are needed for adequate calcium absorption.
Hoping you find inspiration as you transition your fridge to becoming more healing and nutrient dense.
In health through awareness,