- Extra virgin olive oil: almost always raw, added at the last minute or directly in my plate if it’s a cooked meal. I that case I use something else as a base to stir-fry or roast my meal and then I dress it with some evoo.
- Ghee: I love ghee! I use it as a base for risotto and even for roasting veggies sometimes. Since my ghee is always solid, I just put the needed amount in the baking pan I’m going to use, throw it in the preheating oven: it melts in less than one minute! So I add my veggies, mix well and roast.
- Avocado oil: this is my favorite cooking oil for when I don’t want to change the flavor of my ingredients.
- Coconut oil: I honestly always forget to use it, this post is a good reminder. But I use them only for pan/pot stuff. It’s only healthy when kept under 350°F and I roast everything at 425-450°F, so…
- Nuts (skinned) and seeds and butters: I can also have nut based yogurt, as coconut, cashew, and almond, as an afternoon snack.
- Avocado: I have to limit it a little since it can cause bloat with IBS.
- CHOCOLATE: I was a white-chocolate only teenager but getting older and healthier I started really appreciating and even craving dark chocolate, and I mean, even 100% dark chocolate! You know what you can send me for Christmas ;)
What I avoid?
- Honestly, my choice of fats has always been healthy, the issue is that I wasn’t eating enough of them! So I’m avoiding the same shitty fats I’ve always avoided. But also, I use the fats I use in the “right way” (in the best way to preserve their health benefits), as I wrote above for each kind of ingredient.
- Brown rice: I skipped brown rice for so long because of the long cooking time. Until I bought the Instant Pot: I cook at least a couple of servings in 25ish minutes and it’s always perfect.
- Corn tortillas: I used to hate Mexican food until we went to Kauai and everybody serves the best, freshest and easy to digest taco salads. Wellness Instagrammers love the Siete ones but they come at $8.99 for 8 quite big tortillas (for a total weight of 7oz). I found some more classic ones (these by Mi Rancho) that have pretty clean ingredients, as stone ground organic whole white corn and organic yellow corn masa flour, trace of lime and guar gum. Stop! 8 smaller tortillas for 9.33oz at $3.39. Yes, thanks. I love eating them for lunch, warmed up on a cast-iron skillet, put into a large shallow bowl so they create two small basins, and filled with fish or chicken and veggies. So good!
- Whole wheat/rye/gf bread: I try to switch every time and I plan on trying Elenore’s rye bread asap!
- Whole wheat/chickpea pasta: switching between the delicious and affordable Delallo and Banza pasta (if I find it on sale, otherwise is too pricey for me).
- Potatoes: I know a lot of people avoid potatoes, but I can’t have the sweet ones – read below. I recently started using my Instant Pot to boil my big potato or potato chunks to pan-fry in some ghee and it’s so easy and quick!
- Rolled oats (quick cooking): I mix them with yogurt and blueberries when I wake up, so normal rolled oats would be too chewy.
- Gf/paleo flours: I have both coconut and almond flours in my pantry, but I’m loving the Paleo Baking Flour Mix by Bob’s Red Mill. It’s perfect for waffles – and I believe pancakes – too!
What I avoid?
- Sweet potatoes: I freaking love them, but they mess so badly with my blood sugar. I’m talking about serious glycemic crisis after 2 hours and a half of eating a sweet potato for lunch.
- Quinoa: it contains a lot of fibers that makes me feel really bloated.
What should I add?
Maybe buckwheat (that I already have in my pantry), but I don’t really love it so much, I prefer it in desserts, so I may start using it for porridge in the morning; other grains, like whole barley and spelt/farro, but they’re not so easy to find here.
- Goat/sheep aged cheese: I started with pecorino romano, then I bought the Spanish manchego, and I’m kinda getting passionate about cheese! Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive here and I often struggle understanding the “quality” of them (are these animals humanely raised? What do they eat? Etc.), especially since I can’t find any organic goat or sheep cheese here. If someone comes to the Bay Area from Italy and wants to bring me a slice of high-quality malga cheese… ;)
- Goat/sheep yogurt: I switch between the Bellwether sheep and the plain Capretta goat one.
- Eggs: I eat a lot of eggs, usually fried with no oil in a cast iron pan or poached when I want to challenge myself! If I have the opportunity to visit a farmers’ market I buy them there, otherwise I pick the Vital Farms Organic Eggs from Whole Foods.
- Fish (wild salmon, rockfish, octopus, etc.): I’m still learning what to buy and where. Until now I only bought stuff from Whole Foods and from the Tokyo Fish Market – where I finally found clams – and I always spend at least 15 minutes checking this app, trying to figure out what it’s ok and what’s not.
- Meat (lamb, chicken, turkey, etc.): until now, I only bought a few products from Whole Foods. As a curious person as I’ve always been, I’m intrigued by meats like bison and goat, but I’m still looking around for a trustworthy seller – online or not. If you have any advice, they’re more than welcome! I had a few alternatives but some are too expensive (like my local “fancy” butcher here in Berkeley), while others don’t have a lot of different or grass-fed products. The best one seemed to be Buy Ranch Direct, but you can’t really order from their website (it doesn’t calculate the shipping), it’s not really clear if you have to subscribe to their membership ahead and they don’t answer my emails. I tried to contact them even on Instagram and they answer me, a couple of days later, telling me to call them. Thanks, but I suck at talking to the phone since I’m not American. We’re almost in 2018, emails and websites are supposed to work. Such a shame because they have the best assortment.
What I avoid?
- Legumes: I know, I used to love chickpeas and lentils, but since I started eating animal protein, I realize how little I feel nourished and satiated when I eat them. I’ll experiment again, but I never reach for them now.
- Soy: even if I could eat some tofu/tempeh/edamame/soy yogurt, I try to avoid the whole thing.
I eat any kind of vegetable, raw or cooked, and I even reintroduced brassicas (broccoli and cauliflower only at the moment) since I discovered a way of cooking them that doesn’t kill my intestine. BUT, I eat only 250 grams (9 oz) of vegetables per meal. I explained what eating too much fiber was doing to my body in my previous post.
- Apples: it’s the season, right? And there are so many different types, so delicious both raw or cooked – I can have a cooked fruit + nut butter as an afternoon snack.
- Pears: same thing as above.
- Berries: let’s say that, organic berries are really expensive when out of season and very perishable too. So I decided to buy a big pack of frozen organic blueberries and I love them in my yogurt and oats bowls or as topping for my waffle! I even cooked them once and topped with some coconut butter… omg. You need to try it!
What I avoid:
- High glycemic index fruit as bananas, persimmons, figs, tangerines, and grapes.
- Dried fruit: for the same glycemic factor, no dates, dried figs, raisins, etc.
When I was in Kauai I never had coffee because…I wasn’t able to use the coffee machine in our Airbnb and I will never pay $5 for a coffee in a coffee shop for 7 days in a row, ever! When I came back I wasn’t craving it anymore, but one day I was like “let’s try it”, so I prepared my Chemex and I drank my latte. Omg, I wasn’t able to digest it! I felt it in my stomach for hours. I never drank it again since then.
Hot spices can aggravate my constipation, and I have never really liked them. I only use a pinch of black pepper if I make a golden milk so it can make the turmeric a real power force!
Superfoods, I still use maca every now and then, but I’d love to use collagen peptides and matcha too – I can’t afford them right now.
I decided to write this post so you can know what to expect next. There won’t be desserts with maple syrup, frozen banana smoothies, sweet potato fries – which, honestly, do you really need a sweet potato fries recipe number 47015460? I think we have enough of them already – but balanced meals, with healthy fish and grass-fed or organic meat, eggs and goat/sheep dairy, healthy fats, and very low glycemic index sweets.
Are you ready to start this new path?
(Sorry for the comment session, we hadn’t the time to better understand what’s going on with my website, but I hope we’ll resolve everything with the new year. Fingers crossed!)