Category Archives for Ancestral Eating

Paleo Chicken Pho – And How It Can Support Your Hormones

Pho is pretty much my favorite thing ever. Ever! Ever! Ever! Apparently I say that a lot. My boyfriend is always pointing out that everything I come across is the “best thing ever,” or “my favorite thing ever,” or the “best thing I have ever seen.” I think it drives him crazy. Honestly, I don’t really care. Cause everything is awesome and every day is the best day ever in the world. Take that!

 

But seriously, when it comes to Pho, I just can’t get enough. So warm and full of nutrition, I find myself craving it the most at this time of year. The great thing about this recipe is that it is Paleo. I found these wonderful sweet potato noodles that are just fantastic. I have been eating pho for 2 weeks straight and I just keep wanting more.

 

I use my own homemade broth to make this and I think that’s why it tastes so damn good. Broth is one of the most amazing things you can do for your digestion. Imagine the nutrients and minerals it would take to make bone. When you simmer your broth, you pull all those minerals and nutrients out of the bone and put it into a tasty delicious liquid that you can just consum consume consume!

 

Is broth good for my hormones you might ask? I would say “yes, yes it is.” All those minerals and nutrients help your hormone system function better. How? Let me tell you.

 

Bone broth heals your gut. Gut health is inextricably linked to your hormonal health. If you got something nasty going on like leaky gut your body is not able to absorb enough minerals or nutrients to even produce hormones. Leaky gut leads to toxins and other gross things leaking into your bloodstream. This in itself can cause a fight-or-flight response which pushed cortisol up and throws your other hormones all over the place. If you have gas, bloating or any other gut symptoms then I guarantee your hormones are a wee bit messy. What am I trying to tell you? Make this Pho recipe and eat it up!

 

 Bone Broth is packed full of electrolytes. We need a good balance of electrolytes for the adrenal glands to function properly. In fact, when we are stressed, electrolytes are easily depleted from the body. Sodium and potassium are especially important for the adrenal glands. The ratio between sodium and potassium will determine fluid and electrolyte dynamics, blood pressure activity, nervous system output and energy production. If either of these is depleted your adrenal health will suffer. Do drink it up. The bone broth, I mean.

 

Bone broth is full of  beneficial amino acids like proline and glycine. Amino acids are key plays in the development of your hormones and also the detoxification process. Your liver is responsible for clearing excess hormones from the blood. So if your liver doesn’t detoxify well then extra hormones are running amuck around your body doing all kinds of weird things. Poor detoxification is implicated in things like estrogen dominance and PCOS

 

No discussion about hormones can leave out a discussion about gut health and digestion. The two are romantically involved and you just can’t break them up. So what I am trying to say is make my Pho recipe. Make it for your digestion, make it for your hormones and make it because it just taste so damn good!

 

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The Paleo Diet for Your Hormones – 6 Reasons Why

 

As you may have noticed, I am a huge supporter of the Paleo diet. In the past few months, I have mentioned this diet as a therapeutic way to deal with hormonal issues such as estrogen dominance and PCOS.

 

There is some controversy surrounding the Paleo diet. Proponents of this style of eating discuss earlier times in human history when people were healthier and free of degenerative illness. Many believe the Paleo diet mimics that sort of diet, when access to grains, dairy and legumes was limited.

 

This may be true but many dispute this, saying that our current diets in no way represent foods that were available in prehistoric times.

 

The truth is, I don’t care much for either of these arguments. It’s true our food has changed significantly in the past few thousands of years. Nothing we eat today has much resemblance to the foods that were available to our ancestors. It has been modified many times over to be sweeter, bigger and to resist disease. Replicating an ancestral diet is virtually impossible.

 

That being said, we can rely on certain principles that helped our ancestors to be healthy and free of many of the diseases that plague modern society. These principles involve eating real, whole foods, reducing sugar, eating free range meat, growing our own food and reducing processed food as much as possible.

 

The reason I am such a huge supporter of the Paleo diet is due to it’s therapeutic qualities. When it comes to hormones, the Paleo diet can be extremely helpful.

 

Why Paleo is Great for Hormonal Health

 

1. The Paleo Diet Eliminates Sugar

 

The Paleo diet eliminates sugar. Sugar has a significant effect on blood sugar. Yo-yoing blood sugar is incredibly stressful to the body and is a main culprit behind imbalanced hormones. The adrenal glands, which produce stress hormones, also produce a significant amount of your sex hormones.

 

If you blood sugar is consistently crashing because you are eating a high sugar diet, your body will be stressed and the adrenal glands will pump out cortisol to deal with it. Since cortisol gets priority over your other hormones, your sex hormones can become depleted.

 

Too much sugar can also lead to weight gain. Excess weight becomes an organ of it’s own because fat cells can produce estrogen and upregulate an enzyme the increases the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This can lead to Estrogen Dominance. Sugar also stimulates testosterone production. Too much testosterone can lead to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and prostate problems in men.

 

2. The Paleo Diet Eliminates Soy

 

Soy is a phytoestrogen, which means that it is shaped similarly to natural estrogen. When consumed, phytoestrogens can increase estrogen load in the bloodstream. Excess estrogen can cause weight gain, PMS, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, and mood disorders.

 

Estrogen Dominance is a huge issue in both men and women. To learn more about estrogen dominance, click here.

 

3. The Paleo Diet Eliminates Grains & Legumes

 

Like sugar, grains & legumes have a significant effect on blood sugar. They are broken down quickly and do little to give you long lasting energy. As we know, fluctuating blood sugar levels have a massive effect on hormonal health and energy levels.

 

Additionally, grains can be irritating to the gut lining. Many health practitioners implicate grain consumption in the development of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome can lead to GI infections, yeast overgrowth and autoimmune conditions.

 

4. The Paleo Diet Encourages a Healthy Omega 3 to Omega 6 Ratio

 

A Standard American Diet tends to be high in Omega 6 fats such as canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil and other seed oils. Too much Omega 6 fats can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is an issue for most genders but for women it can increase premenstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms.

 

Too many Omega 6 fats can also negatively affect an infants brain during the last trimester of pregnancy, leading to decreased frontal lobe formation.

 

The Paleo diet encourages a high intake of Omega 3 fats such as coconut oil, animals fats, avocados and eggs which reduce inflammation and promote healthy brain development.

 

5. The Paleo Diet Eliminates Dairy

 

Conventional dairy products contain added synthetic hormones and traces of antibiotics. Synthetic hormones given to cows are still present in the dairy that you eat. This can throw off your own delicate hormone imbalance.

 

Antibiotic exposure depletes gut flora and increases the likelihood of developing leaky gut syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues.

 

6. The Paleo Diet is Nutrient Dense

 

In addition to eliminating problematic foods, the Paleo diet also focuses on including high quantities of nutritional foods; fruits such as blueberries are high in antioxidants, vegetables such as kale are rich in vitamins and minerals, and high quality animal products such as pasture-raised eggs deliver complete protein and nutrients different from those found in plants like choline, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. A nutrient-rich diet is critical for reducing inflammation, balancing hormones and having optimal reproductive health.

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Paleo diet is a great place to start if you want to significantly improve your health. You don’t need to get caught up in all the silly rules of Paleo. You can customize this diet to fit your needs. Some people can tolerate some grains and some people can tolerate some forms of dairy.

 

My advice is to start with the Paleo diet and all it’s restrictions for at least 30 days. After 30 days you can try adding some dairy or some grains back into your diet and see how it goes.

Watch below to see me talk about this article in a video!

How to Make Nourishing Bone Broth

Bone broth is good stuff. Based on my research, I think bone broth may be the most important thing for optimal digestive function and overall health. Not only is it rich in nutrients and mineral but it’s super cheap and easy to make. You have no excuse not to include this stuff in your daily life!

 

Why is bone broth the shiznat?

 

Bone broth is nutrient dense, easy to digest and it also taste good. The stuff is super high in minerals like, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, silicon, sulphur, and much more. It also contains many healing components such as collagen, praline, glutamine, glucosamine and glycine.

 

The simmering of the bones in water allows these things, which make up the bone, to become infused in the water and bioavailable for you and me to eat. All the nutrients and minerals are amazing for healing the gut, rebuilding tissue, supporting growth and reducing inflammation. As far as I’m concerned, bone broth is an absolute super food.

 

There is no need to spend stupid amounts of money on expensive supplements when you can just have a cup of bone broth every single day.

 

Sally Fallon, founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, believes the bone broth is not only necessary for adults, but it integral to the proper development of children and pregnant women.

 

The collagen and gelatin in bone broth are the source of the broth’s immune boosting properties. Collagen is a protein which is found in connective tissue. When the collagen is broken down, such as in the simmering of bones, you get gelatin.

 

What is gelatin good for? Dr. Francis Pottenger, a famous researcher, who did experiments with cats and the affects of modern foods on their health and development, found bone broth to be helpful with the following conditions;

• Helps reduce food allergies and intolerance
• Aids in the healing of irritable bowl syndrome, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis
• Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and gets rid of cellulite
• Heals leaky gut and gut inflammation
• Promotes tissue growth, especially in pregnant women and children
• Prevents bone loss

 

Bone broth is a staple in traditional diets. It was considered a scared food because our ancestors knew that without proper nutrition, they would not survive. These days, people throw the bones away, often choosing boneless cuts of meat for convenience. Now you know something other people don’t. The bones are the most important part of the animals and you need to get some. The good news is bones are cheap. Since no one else wants them, you can purchase them from the butcher without breaking the bank.

 

If you order your meat in bulk, request to get the bones as well. You can go to any butcher and ask if he/she has some bones you can buy. Keep the chicken carcass when you cook a whole chicken. Order a whole fish and save the bones. Try to have a little store of bones in your freezer at all times. This way you can always have some bone broth on the go.

 

I like to add in veggies when making my bone broth. My advice is to save all the odds and ends when you cut up any vegetables. I usually keep the ends of carrots, onion skins and whatever stuff I would normally throw in the compost. I keep these stuff in a container in the freezer to use when I make a batch. This way you don’t need to spend extra money buying veggies to put in your broth

 

Here is my recipe for delicious and nourishing bone broth.

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