Alcohol: How much is too much?

How much alcohol is too much for low carb, healthy fat, keto lifestyle?

 

“With Christmas soon upon us and the swing of festive parties and celebrations underway, champagne corks will be a-popping and cocktail shakers to the ready. I, like many, really do love a glass or two, especially at times of celebration, but I’m so often asked for guidance about how much is too much?”

Amelia Freer,Registered Nutritional Therapist FdSc, Dip ION

Amelia further goes on to say that there has been a long-held belief amongst the medical community that a little bit of alcohol does us good. this comes from studies that seem to show that all causes of death (but particularly heart disease) are higher in people who completely abstained from alcohol, than was in people that drank moderately (a couple or so units a day). (Corraeo et al., 2004)

She does however, point out that alcohol consumption has been linked to a huge number of problems. It is after all, a psycho-active substance that can sadly lead to significant problems with addiction and dependency. It has also been linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.

Continue reading “Alcohol: How much is too much?”

Is low-carb an expensive and elitist lifestyle?

Gold bar on a plate with knife and fork

One of the greatest beliefs around is that “Low-Carb is Expensive”

– Jonno Proudfoot

There is a common misconception that academics and scientists are the only people whose opinions count in a any argument. When I dipped my toe into the academic community I was appalled by how much arguing happens over scientific papers instead of looking at what is right in front of them. There are many debates about nutrition that can be won on pure personal experience, and often, as little as plain old common sense.

One of the greatest beliefs around low-carb is that ‘Low-Carb is EXPENSIVE’

Suzanne Garrett, one of our own Facebook followers, testified to this by her own admission when she commented on our post with the following:

‘Agree with these comments, heard them all. But it is expensive to buy pastured/wild caught/organic/minimally processed. No getting around that fact – it’s a matter of degrees of expensive and how to economize by buying seasonally and in bulk. Still very expensive’

I have to agree with Suzanne. Pasture-reared, wild-caught and minimally processed food is generally more expensive.

Low-carb, by definition says nothing about pasture-reared or wild-caught. Sure, all nutrition experts (hopefully even those who are not pro-low-carb), would advocate pasture reared meat and organic produce for optimal health. But in the history of Real Meal Revolution there has only ever been one mention of the quality of ingredients and that was in the first book The Real Meal Revolution. It said something along the lines of “you should aim to eat pasture reared and organic as much as possible.”

We still believe that that is where you should aim. But it is totally unsustainable for almost everyone on earth. Posh meat is expensive. Organic veggies are expensive. Most of these foods are also very hard to get hold of.

Low-Carb doesn’t mean low-carb, super elite, organic, grass-fed or that the ingredients need to have been flown in on the wings of a condor. Quality aside, there are also some tag-along health hacks that have been added to the low-carb ‘must-haves’ that don’t quite line up. Himalayan crystal salt as opposed to normal salt is one that kills me. If we’re trying to save the environment by shortening the distance from pasture-to-plate, using Himalayan crystal salt is like asking Mother Earth to smoke a Texan Plain every time you salt your avocado.

Low-carb also doesn’t mean eating only Real Meal Revolution recipes either. That would be delicious, but that too is unsustainable for every meal of the day, every day of the week. Unless, you’ve got a private chef, in which case I recommend giving it a try.

While the recipes in Real Meal Revolution’s cook books show case a few high-end dinner options, they should not be mistaken for prescriptive dietary advice. The recipes were developed to illustrate how deliciously one could eat on a low-carb diet. If you skip the duck with berry coulis and coconut pancakes it will not negatively effect your journey to awesome weight.

Low-carb means low-carb and nothing else. That means eating very few carbs. End of story. And you can do that without any recipes, without any expensive ingredients and without lots of money.

What is nowhere near as expensive as a private chef or elite produce is simply lowering carbs and sticking to the green list. And that is what low-carb is about. If you can just eat of the green list, you are doing low-carb (hint – low-carb also doesn’t mean ‘high-fat’ but we will save that one for later)

So, Suzanne, we understand and share your concerns in a big way. But you don’t need all that fancy stuff to lower your carbs.

Low-carb is expensive = Myth

Reference: Jonno Proudfoot, app.realmealrevolution.com

Short on sleep with Arianna Huffington

Anyone who regularly sleeps less than six hours has a higher risk of depression, psychosis, stroke and obesity. Sleeplessness undermines your whole body.

In an interview with Susan Goldberg, of the National Geographic Magazine, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, has this to say:

You’re known as hard charging. Did you have a moment when you said, I’ve got to change what I’m doing?

Yes , in 2007 when I collapsed from sleep deprivation, exhaustion and burnout. Being a divorced mother of two teenage daughters, I had bought into the delusion that this was the price of success and of managing all aspects of my life.

It was after I collapsed that I started studying this epidemic of burnout. There had been a lot written about the importance of nutrition and exercise, but sleep was still underrated and dismissed. And so I wrote the book.

Will getting enough sleep ever be prioritized in our culture?

It’s importance is becoming more recognized. Of course there are holdouts, people who still brag about how little sleep they get, but they’re increasingly like dinosaurs.

One of the metaphors I like to use is that sleep is like the laundry. You’re not going to take the laundry out 10 minutes early to save time. You have to complete all the cycles in the washing machine. Our sleep cycles have to be completed too: otherwise we wake up and we feel like wet and dirty laundry.

Reference:

National Geographic magazine, August 2018

 

Still think it’s okay to not prioritize your sleep?

Arianna Huffington, sleep advocate

“When I get eight hours, I know the difference. I know I’m more effective: I’m a better version of myself.”

– Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time

Formally sleep-deprived, Arianna Huffington, was interviewed by the National Geographic magazine in the following Q & A article with Susan Goldberg.

Thanks for sharing your expertise on sleep, the topic of our cover story. Thomas Edison called sleep “an absurdity” and “a bad habit”. Is that idea ingrained in our culture?

I think it is deeply ingrained, but we’re at a moment of transformation. What stops people from prioritizing sleep is the fear that somehow they’re going to miss out. We have so many phrases that confirm that – “You snooze, you lose,” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But now there are role models, people who prioritize sleep and are super effective.

Cook something – Greek Pork Chops

Quantities given are for 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 x 250g pork loin chops (skin on)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh oregano (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ handful fresh mint (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ sprig fresh rosemary (stemmed)
  • ¹⁄₂ clove garlic
  • ¹⁄₄ cup olive oil
  • 20 ml lemon juice (zest and juice of 1 lemon)
  • ¹⁄₄ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Turn your oven to the highest temperature, and put it on the grill setting.
  2. Lie the chops down on a cutting board and use your knife (and your body weight) to cut through the fat and rind at 2cm intervals.
  3. Blitz everything else in a small jug with a stick blender and pour over the chops in a small dish, then leave them to marinate for an hour or so.
  4. Get a large ovenproof frying pan up to a medium high heat.
  5. Scrape the chops of any marinade and stack them together to make a reconstructed loin.
  6. Now, hold the ‘loin’ together with your tongs and place it fat side down in the pan to crisp the fat up. This should take about 5 minutes.
  7. Then, spread out the chops and fry them on each side for 4 minutes, turning them only once.
  8. To finish them off, pour the leftover marinade over them and pop them under the grill for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Brandy and Peppercorn Sauce

Cook’s comments:

This recipe is best when it’s made in the same pan you grilled a steak in. The brandy picks up all the burnt bits of meat and seasoning, which adds awesome depth. If you back yourself to do it, use the same pan while your meat rests.

Quantities given are for 250 ml sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp madagascan green peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¹⁄₂ medium red onion (super-finely chopped)
  • 1¹⁄₂ tsp dijon mustard
  • 80 ml brandy
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 handful fresh chives (finely chopped, optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Method

  1. First, crush half the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, or chop them finely with a knife.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add the peppercorns (whole and chopped) and the red onion, and sauté them gently until the onions begin to caramelise.
  3. Add the mustard and stir it around until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Now throw in the brandy and light it with a lighter to burn off the alcohol. If that scares you, just boil it until it has reduced by two-thirds. It’ll give you the same end result – but, of course, flambéing looks cooler.
  5. Add the cream, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  6. As your last move before serving, season it with salt and pepper and stir through the fresh chives.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Classic Slaw

These quantities are for four servings.

Ingredients

  • ¹⁄₄ head white cabbage (shredded)
  • ¹⁄₄ medium head red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (peeled and grated)
  • ¹⁄₄ medium red onion (thinly sliced)
  • ¹⁄₂ cup sour cream
  • 250 ml Banting mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Make the dressing first by whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl
  2. In another bowl mix the cabbages, carrot and red onion.
  3. Pour the dressing and a liberally seasoning of salt and pepper over the veg and get your hands in there to give it a proper mix.
  4. Leave it in the fridge for about an hour to infuse before serving.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Quick Sticks Doner

Quantities given are for 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 300 g deboned lamb shoulder (sliced into 2mm slithers)
  • ¹⁄₂ tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
  • ¹⁄₂ tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • ¹⁄₂ tbsp sumac
  • ¹⁄₄ medium red onion (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • ¹⁄₄ cup double thick yoghurt
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • ¹⁄₂ tsp salt
  • ¹⁄₄ tsp pepper

Method

  1. For this recipe you will need 2 large, thick bamboo skewers.
  2. Place the oregano, thyme, sumac, onion, yoghurt, oil, saltand pepper in a food processor and whizz them into a smooth paste.
  3. Cover the lamb slices in the paste and mix it well before leaving them in the fridge for an hour or two to infuse.
  4. While the lamb is marinating, fire up your BBQ (you can do this on a griddle pan or hot pan too).
  5. Skewer the lamb onto the skewers, packing each piece as tightly as possible.
  6. Place the skewers on the hottest part of the fire to get as much char action as possible. Five minutes a side should do it.
  7. If you want them cooked all the way through, pop them in the oven at 200 for another 5 – 10 minutes after direct grilling, or put them to the side of the hot coals and leave them in the Weber for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  8. To check how pink they are, use your fingers or the tongs to pull the meat slices apart. You should be able to see all the way to the skewer.
  9. When they’ve reached your desired ‘doneness’ remove them from the heat, stand the skewers upright with one hand and use a knife in the other hand to carve the skewers like a Turkish pro. People will dig it.

Reference:

https://app.realmealrevolution.com

Cook something – Cauliflower colcannon

Quantities given are for 1 serving

Ingredients

  • ¹⁄₄ head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ³⁄₄ tbsp double cream
  • 1/8 head green cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 1/8 cup spring onions (chopped)
  • ¹⁄₄ handful dill (finely chopped)
  • ¹⁄₄ pinch salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Steam the cauliflower
  2. While you’re steaming the cauliflower, saute the cabbage in the butter in a large pan until it soft and translucent.
  3. Once the cauliflower is soft, pour off the water and add the the cauliflower to the pot with the cream and 2 tbsp of butter with some salt and pepper, then puree with the a stick blender.
  4. Now, mix the ‘caulimash’ with the cabbage along with the spring onionsdill and a last round of seasoning.
  5. Serve immediately.

Reference:

https://app.realmrealrevolution.com