Monday, October 11, 2010

Superfood and food?

Alright, paleo pros, novices, and lurkers.

What are your thoughts on superfood?

Secondly, Advice and consequences on missing a meal rather than eating something you shouldn't?

(If you have any food questions you want answered feel free to email me!)


  1. Is that like food that fights crime?

    As for missing meals, something Robb Wolf always stresses on his blog/podcast is the potential benefits of intermittent fasts (as in missing a meal, not going days without food) but that you shouldn't get all neurotic about planning out when to skip meals. Instead, just let the situations happen randomly. If you're running late for work and don't have time for breakfast, just skip it and don't worry about it. If you're at a lunch meeting and all they're serving is turkey wraps and cookies, just skip it.

    Skipping a meal will be hard when you're first starting out on the paleo diet as you will be hungry. But the longer you've weaned yourself away from sugars as your primary fuel, you'll find you simply do not get that hungry anymore and skipping a meal is very easy to do. The biggest hurdle will be mental in that you think you're supposed to eat 3 times a day and you feel weird about skipping a meal outright rather than eating something bad for you. You just gotta get over it. 3 meals a day is a completely made up number that means nothing.

  2. Agree with JJ. I'd rather miss a meal completely and just chug a ton of ice water than have to eat crap.

    As for the superfood, I've been looking at this stuff:

    I've had it in the past, but I'm curious to know what others think? I know I should always try to buy organic, but that is often hard to keep up - and the nutritional value of organic vs. non-organic produce has to be quite different? Is it worth the extra money to invest in this stuff for added nutrients etc?

  3. As far as missing meals, I would say it depends on how hungry you are. If you are like me and get really cranky when hungry, it might be a good idea to eat something not quite paleo rather than pissing off everyone around you. However, I do agree with JJ that when I have been strict paleo, getting hungry is less of an issue. Of course you will get hungry, but at least I don’t get the “I have to eat something right now or I am going to die” feeling which tends, again at least for me, to lead to over eating.

    I actually was doing some research about superfood the other day. For those who don’t know what it is, it is basically freeze dried vegetables. The idea is that once all of the water is removed, you are left with nothing but the vitamins and minerals. The claim is that a teaspoon is equivalent to 6-8 servings of veggies. I am not sure I believe the claim, but I figure it might be a good supplement to eating a vegetable rich paleo diet, but not to be used instead of actual veggies. I suspect however, that like most multivitamins, you are not going to be able to absorb everything in it easily and will wind up peeing a lot of it out.

  4. I would typically say skip the meal. From what I heard from both Mat Lalonde and Robb Wolf is that your body can go 14-16 hours before breaking down any muscle for fuel, so that shouldn't be a concern. At the start, you'll notice the hunger will last for about a half hour, and can be a little painful and make you cranky, but after that it goes away and you’re fine until you can find some clean food. As JJ noted this goes away, I could skip lunch most days and not think twice, except I usually enjoy the little bit of a break. The issue with skipping meals, especially if it is often and you have other significant stressors going on is elevated cortisol, which can cause you to hang onto some fat, typically around the belly button area.

    On the superfoods, I’m sure there are some good products out there, but you can get most of what’s in there without buying the supplement and just eating fresh vegetables. Just like fresh produce, these products will lose their nutrient potency the longer you have them on your shelf. Unlike fresh vegetables you’re going to have them sitting around for a whole lot longer than 3-4 days. My opinion on supplements is, only use them if you struggle to get a natural source. Vitamin D being one example. Getting enough sun exposure to get enough vitamin D is tough for most people and with winters here, it’s close to impossible, so because of this I supplement by taking D3.

  5. hey guys,
    so, i could use all your help in figuring out how to eat despite a crazy work day. Glenn got me this cool bag filled with nuts, dried fruit, etc, but do you all have any suggestions as to other things i can eat quickly in between cases and such?

  6. Jeni Radis mentioned at the presentation, that spending a little more now on quality food may save money in the long run. Here is a study from George Washington University that tries to quantify that effect on an annual basis.

    Here's another study that notes just how 'big' of a problem this is in the U.S. 68% overweight and 28% obese. Sadly our neighbors to the north and south didn't fair much better.

  7. Anjali,

    If you have a cooler or fridge, shrimp and chicken are both good cold and pretty finger eating friendly.

    I have canned salmon at work, which you can mix with some olive oil and whatever veggies you want for a salmon salad and that's easy to portion and eat as a quick snack. From a contaminant stand point canned salmon is far superior to canned tuna and in my opinion tastes a lot better too. It's fairly cheap to start with, but I do it on subscribe and save on Amazon and it breaks down to under $3/can, which is more than enough for 3 full meals.

  8. Anjali,
    Coconut milk and coconut flakes have worked for me to hold me over until a solid clean meal. With coconut milk, watch out for preservatives.

  9. Thus far, I've been focused on anticipating the "meal skippings." Since I sometimes work for almost 6 hours without a chance for a meal, I have prepared an emergency kit for this: I have small bags of almonds and jerky as an emergency pack, pre-measured to be "paleo-friendly." SO, if I eat more than that, I can own up to in instead of assuming that I really didn't eat as much as I did!

    I will admit, though, that I sat at a discussion table with the university president who served us snacks. The movie theater popcorn was in front of my face. I knew that I just had to get it out of my system. I grabbed a small handful and ate it, just to get the flavor out of my mind. Then, I watched at the president ate the entire bowl of it! My thoughts after I took a taste: "Clearly, this is HER meal, so I should only take a taste."

    So, to summarize: I chose to get emergency packs to hold me over so that I'm not "shopping for food" while starving (that's how I get 30 boxes of egg rolls in Costco...). And, I am perfectly fine with owning up for a "taste" if the urge is so strong. But, just a small taste, and not several tastes that comprise of a meal.