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Salt is Not the Enemy

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Apparently, salt is not the enemy.  There is a fascinating article in the New York Times, by Gary Taubes, on how little evidence supports the “anti-salt” mission of certain groups. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/opinion/sunday/we-only-think-we-know-the-truth-about-salt.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=tw-share

 

Chris Kresser also discusses the issue in a series of posts. They are worth reading, especially if you know people who subscribe to the “low sodium” ideology!

http://chriskresser.com/salt

Lemon Chicken and Collard Greens

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Already-cooked chickens are sometimes my savior.  On days when I come home from work and don’t feel like cooking, I like to thank the world for the fact that you can buy a delicious cooked chicken from the grocery store.  But, in lieu of my laziness, you are free to cook your own chicken!  Slow-cooked or oven-roasted would work best for this recipe.

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • Cooked chicken of any sort
  • 1/2 cup broth (I used vegetable because it’s the only kind I’ve found without added sugar)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tbl parsley, 1/2 tbl basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt

Collard Greens:

  • 2 bunches of collard greens (~1.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup broth
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tbl paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Add the chicken, broth, and lemon to one pot and let simmer on low for ~10 minutes on the stove.
  2. Chop or rip the collard greens (using the leaves and not the stem/spines, which can taste bitter — your choice though) and place in another pot with the broth and lemon. Cook at medium heat for ~10 minutes.
  3. Once everything’s almost done, add the spices, shred the chicken using two forks (it should practically fall apart), and that’s it!!!

I like to keep recipes simple, and I’m not even sure this one falls under the category “Recipes,” but it is what I had for dinner tonight!  It’s also delicious and fully paleo, Whole 30-approved.

Sidenote, when I was grocery shopping earlier today, I looked at some chicken broth at the store — the organic, “good” kind.  What do I fine in the list of ingredients?  “Chicken flavor”…  I love how the word “flavor” is used as a catch-all in the food industry, but at this point it just sketches me out because it’s definition is so hard to pin down.  I went on a mission to find out how bottled sparkling water is flavored (it says something about “naturally flavored” on the bottle), and the company simply compared the process to getting coffee grounds from coffee beans…  That’s all well and good, but in what universe is “root beer float” considered a derivative of a natural flavor?

Why I Started This Blog

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I’ve been eating a mostly paleo/primal diet for several years now, and I used to accept the generic justifications.  Several months ago I decided that these “paleoisms” weren’t good enough for me, and I went on a quest to find some science to back up the blogosphere’s claims.  I am somewhat sad to say that the science was largely lacking from many sites, with some notable exceptions.  There isn’t much out there that falls somewhere in between an overly in-depth analysis of biochemical pathways and inaccurate references to those things called “lectins” and “phytates” (more on these later).  I recently discovered some amazing individuals in the paleo/primal community who truly know what they’re talking about, but some of the information out there still needs to be digested.  My hope is that in some small way I can fill in the holes (heheh leaky gut anyone?) in your knowledge.

I feel fairly confident in assuming that for those of you who stick to the paleo principles, you’ve been asked at some point “why” you eat this crazy “diet.”  I mean COME ON, what the hell?  Someone made a delicious cake for a friend’s birthday and you won’t eat it?  You don’t dive into that homemade baklava your aunt made especially because you were coming?  Ok, maybe that one’s just me.  Food is central to our social culture, and many people find it distressing to meet someone whom they can’t feed.  CRAZY, right?  Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter, because that’s how it is.

SO, next time you’re confronted with WHY you eat paleo/primal, wouldn’t you love love LOVE to have a solid reason, other than “because our ancestors ate a diet high in animal protein and vegetables, and the diseases of modern civilization only emerged with the advent of agriculture.”  Few people find this reason acceptable, and I hope I can help show you that you don’t need to fall back on such a weak explanation.

I am not one of those individuals who were cured of an autoimmune disease by a paleo diet.  I’m a “normal” 20-something female who just likes eating this way, but recognizes that this justification won’t fly in most audiences.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology from Harvard, so I know a little something about science.  There’s always more to learn though.  Hopefully we can learn together.