Cooking up, prepping up and serving up a storm
…of food for my dad has been more challenging than I imagined. I guess that reveals my not having had to feed at family at any point in my past, but I’m excited to do this work and am committed to persevere through the month.
The past 5 days have served well as a test period for what works and what doesn’t. I discovered that unlike myself, my dad can only tolerate left overs about once, twice tops. That he prefers very light meals and doesn’t do too well with grains. We confirmed that my dad loves steel cuts oats for breakfast and that he enjoys facto-fermented veggies too.
The basic tenets of my dad’s diet plan include
- eliminating sugar/ simple carbs (for this first month that includes most fresh fruits too)
- eliminating oxidized polyunsaturated fats (allowing only quality olive oil in it’s raw state)
- eliminating all conventional anti-nutrient foods: pasteurized, homogenized, radiated, pesticide, etc.
- increasing intake of varied healthy animal proteins and animal fats, especially pastured hen eggs
- increasing intake of saturated fat coconut oil
- increasing intake of anti-oxidant rich vegetables: raw, pickled and cooked
- increasing intake of lacto-fermented foods, both veggies and kefir
These dietary changes have already spurred a couple of positive developments. For one, a few days into the new diet my dad started to develop cravings for baked goods. Secondly, he also encountered a ‘healing crisis’ on the 3rd day of the diet with symptoms that felt and looked like a stomach flu. Both great signs of progress.
The sugar cravings suggest that we are likely starving off a yeast overgrowth and/ or that his body is waking up and beginning to call for greater nutrient intake. While the flu like symptoms show that his body is beginning to cleanse, prompting the release of years of stored toxins. Thankfully the flu symptoms lasted less than 24 hours and he was feeling good as new on Thursday!
It’s important to remember these things when you’re healing, because like my dad, you will surely feel worse before you get better. It takes motivation to keep on keeping on, and lucky for my dad I’m here to cheer him on and remind him of how much better he’ll feel once he gets past the initial hump.
My dad doesn’t always have time to eat before he goes to work, so I make sure that he at the very least drinks a small, but potently healing glass of kefir from Organic Pastures. If he has time to sit down he’ll enjoy the kefir with a bowl of soaked steel cuts oats, made with blueberries and nutmeg. Topped with walnuts, a teaspoon of honey and fresh Organic Pastures raw butter and raw whole milk. If he needs it on the go, no problem. I simply pack it into a glass dish and it becomes portable. Not only is this a filling and delicious breakfast, but one packed with nutrients needed for a healthy body, heart and arteries.
Raw butter from pastured animals is high in fat soluble vitamins including K, as well as conjugated linoleic acid and even Co-enzyme Q10, an anti-oxidant essential to regulating the LDL cholesterol ratio and for energy production. The enzymes in both raw kefir and raw butter aid in the absorption of these precious macronutrients. If my dad doesn’t have time to eat breakfast, the beneficial bacteria in the kefir tone his intestines and make sure that his immune system is supported until his first meal.
Soaking the oats overnight is crucial to making this a healthy dish, and reduces cooking time to about 25 minutes. Oats like all grains, nuts and seeds contain phytic acid which blocks mineral absorption and irritates the gut. It would be a shame not to break down the phytic acid given how much manganese, selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus and thiamin oats contain. However it’s not these nutrients that have won oats the ‘heart healthy’ title, but rather two components unique to oats: a fiber known as beta-glucan and antioxidant compounds called avenanthramides. The fiber helps keep the arteries clear and the anti-oxidants help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol that may be lingering in the blood.
Combined with the anti-oxidant rich blueberries, omega-3 fatty acid packed walnuts, raw milk and butter, this is a nutrient dense powerhouse built to clear arteries, reduce oxidative stress and get the LDL cholesterol moving to where it should be: absorbed by cells and nourishing the brain!
Each day I send my dad off to work armed with a glass container filled with a delicious and balanced meal. About 50% veggies, 30% protein and 20% grain, always accompanied by a side of lacto-fermented veggies.
This dish is filled with a sizable arugula, cucumber, white radish and avocado salad, though it shrank a bit when tossed with Bariani olive oil and Himalayan sea salt. Along with two soft boiled eggs, a few slices of mortadella from Cafe Rouge, some buckwheat lightly tossed with a parsley and garlic sauce, and a side of sauerkraut.
Right up there with lacto-fermented sauerkraut, eggs are the cholesterol balancing stars of this meal. Dietary cholesterol in eggs actually causes the body to down-regulate it’s internal production of cholesterol (if you don’t eat enough cholesterol your body will produce more to satisfy metabolic needs), but what’s more important is that eating egg yolks raises HDL cholesterol, improving your LDL to HDL ratio, which is essentially the definition of ‘lowering’ cholesterol.
But it gets even better! Whole eggs are rich in lutein and other antioxidants that prevent inflammation, another contributing factor in the cholesterol ratio. When soft boiled they’re also a great source of choline and are the only whole food source of lecithin, which is vital food for healthy cells. I always knew eggs had to be as good as my body intuitively told me they were!
The Cafe Rouge mortadella is coming from pasture-raised pigs, with a full ingredient list of: pork shoulder with pork fat, garlic, pistachios and spices. A little pork fat is good for you too, it contains fat-soluble activators exclusive to animal fats that aid in mineral metabolism. Plus these few thin slices of pork offer more protein and taste great.
Buckwheat is not only gluten free and helps control blood sugar, but it has shown to lower total serum cholesterol, lowering LDL and raising HDL. It’s delicious and pairs well with meats and vegetables alike.
Saurekraut is packed with enzymes, Vitamin A and K2, which can help prevent the calcification (calcium deposition) of the arteries, it aids in digestions of meat and all other foods, and is loaded with good bacteria that work to fight off pathogens. It’s alkalizing and makes most any meal taste better. A wonder food.
The arugula, cucumber and radish salad helps to hydrate the body with mineralized liquids, is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, fiber and it’s all much better utilized by the body in the company of eggs, lard and kraut!