Category Archives: meals

stir fry veggies with sardines

This is a simple  breakfast we’ve been doing at our place lately.

For an speedy pre-work breakfast we buy the veggies pre-chopped from Coles (in a bag) and throw them in the fry pan with some butter.

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For some extra protein and nutrients open a can of sardines when the veggies are done.

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As you can see below, the vitamin and mineral score very well and the protein score is great too!

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The veggies contain some carbs, but not a lot of net carbs once you account for the fibre.  This meal has a nice gentle response on Moni’s (my wife who has Type 1 diabetes) blood glucose levels too.

If you were looking for a more ketogenic approach you could add some more butter in the cooking.  If you were looking to lose weight you could add a bit less.

This recipe comes in at:

The table below shows the nutritional data per 500 calorie serving.

net carbs insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
8g 29g 26% 54% 39g 11g

Some other variations on the theme include, veggies with canned salmon and cottage cheese.

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Or just straight with the almonds, no fish.

 

Moni enjoys this if she’s sick of diary and eggs.

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The table below shows the nutritional data per 500 calorie serving.

net carbs insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
12g 22g 55% 65% 18g 14g
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Jimmy Moore’s keto eggs

During his yearlong n=1 ketosis experiment Jimmy Moore in 2012 didn’t give too much away about exactly what he was eating.

What was he doing to keep his blood glucose consistently low and ketones high?  Could this help me lose some weight or perhaps my type 1 diabetic wife normalise her blood glucose levels

Jimmy did  publish a list of healthy high fat foods (i.e. avocados, butter, whole eggs, coconut oil, bacon, sour cream, 70% ground beef, full fat cheddar cheese and coconut) on the Carb Smart blog but he didn’t give away much more detail.

I suppose it’s part of what drove me to dig into the food insulin index to create a ranking of all foods.

One meal he did blog as one of his favourites was his “keto eggs” which he included in Keto Clarity and on his blog here.  He says it helps him “rock the ketones”.  This was often his meal for the day with intermittent fasting.  The recipe is shown below:

  • 4-5 pastured eggs
  • 2-3 oz grass-fed butter and/or coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • parsley (or your favorite spice)
  • 2 oz full-fat cheese (optional)
  • 2 Tbs Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 3 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 whole avocado

The nutritional analysis for the recipe below shows that it’s certainly ketogenic with 83% fat, 13% protein and 4% carbs.  This keto egg recipe provides a solid protein score though the vitamins and minerals aren’t as high as some of the other meals.  However if your primary aim is therapeutic ketosis then this meal will likely be great for you.

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The ranking for the keto eggs recipe, compared to the 241 other meals that have been analysed so far,  for each of the approaches is:

  • therapeutic ketosis – 18 / 242
  • diabetes – 54 / 242
  • weight loss – 175 / 242
  • nutrient dense (maintenance)  – 159 / 242

net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein

fibre

6g 31g 21% 83% 13%

3g

bacon wrapped salmon

I found this particular bacon wrapped salmon recipe here (short demonstration video included).  It simply contains salmon, bacon shallots, olive oil, baby spinach with some salt, pepper and mustard!

This recipe has a good amount of fibre with the spinach and has only 9g net carbs for a 500 calorie serving. The insulinogenic ratio is fairly low at 22%.

With the shallots and spinach, along with the nutrients in the salmon, the vitamins and minerals score is high.  And then with protein from the salmon, bacon and the spinach it gets a great amino acid score.

Problem for us is that we can’t get non-farmed Atlantic salmon in Australia, so we try to get wild caught deep sea fish that isn’t pellet (grain) fed.

I also get some canned wild Alaskan salmon for lunches (or sardines which are cheaper) which is a great way to get some fish and omega-3s.

Hard to believe that something so yummy and indulgent could be so good for you.

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Here are the number for a 500 calorie serving.

net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein

fibre

9g 28g 32% 61% 28%

5g

 

beef heart chili

This Beef Heart Chili recipe is by Kathleen Guertin from Robb Wolf’s website.  It ranks really well in the weight loss and athletic / metabolically healthy meal rankings due to it’s high nutrient density and low calorie density.

Organ meats top the list when it comes to nutrient density, however I haven’t found a lot of recipes using organ meats that rank really well.  Perhaps it’s because people feel they need to put a lot of not so healthy things with their organ meats to drown out the taste?

This recipe uses heart, ground beef along with a range of spices to build a solid nutritional profile.

If you look closely at the chart below you’ll see that I’ve used pork heart as there is no data for beef heart in the NutritionSELF database.

Robb has had a massive influence on my thinking, along with many others. I like the way he brings everything back to evolutionary principles that need to make sense in the broader context rather than just looking at isolated studies.  I also like the way he promotes quantifying nutritional density as a way to beat the nutritionists at their own game.

Robb believes that Mat Lalonde’s nutritional density work will show the nutritionists that Paleo is better than the recommended western diet using their own system!

I’m hoping that nutritional density combined with the insulin index component will take things one step further to provide a quantitative basis to demonstrate that one meal is better than another.

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The details for a 500 calorie serving (the recipe is for two servings) are shown below.  This recipe does really well on the weight loss ranking because it has a low calorie density and a solid, great nutrient levels and a solid amount of fibre.

net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
20g 40g 50% 49% 28%

9g

If you are insulin resistant or are sensitive to tomatoes you may want to reduce the tomatoes.  I’ve re-run the numbers with 5 ounces of tomatoes rather than the 26 ounces in the original recipe.  Still not perfectly diabetic friendly, but an improvement and slightly closer to the Bernstein target of 12g carbohydrates per meal.

net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
15g 36g 42% 53% 30%

6g

greek lamb salad

I recently came across this Greek lamb salad recipe on the Diabetes Queensland Facebook page.

The puzzling thing was that it included two slices of bread and low fat yogurt.  It seemed bizarre that this meal would be recommend for diabetics who are effectively intolerant to significant amounts of carbohydrate.

The analysis below shows that this meal would have 22g of net carbs for a 500 calorie serving and a total insulin load of 51g which is significant.

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net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
22g 51g 43% 36% 43%

5g

So I ran a comparison to see what would happen if we dropped the bread and used full fat Greek yogurt instead of the low fat option in the original recipe.

The result was that the insulinogenic percentage dropped from 41% to 34% and lo and behold both the nutritional value and amino acid score on NutritionSELF improved,  without the “healthy whole grains”.  

It is interesting to see how much the nutritional value improves when we remove the bread, even though we’re told that we need grains for nutrition.

As you can see below we get a massive drop in the net carbs from 22 to 10g when we drop the bread.

 There is still a substantial insulin load, however this is mainly from the protein which would cause a much gentler blood sugar rise.

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net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
10g 42g 25% 42% 47%

3g

But how could we improve on this recipe even further?

I tried adding a smidge more olive oil, dropped the lean lamb protein back a bit and added a couple of boiled eggs which gives us an even better nutritional profile as shown below.

More fat.  More fibre.  More nutrition.  More taste!

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net carbs

insulin load carb insulin fat protein fibre
12g 36g 34% 49% 35%

8g