Why do you eat the way you do? What informs your choices? The
y way we choose to eat is an individualized matter born e of many factors. What works for your neighbour might not work for you but there is much we can learn from each other’s ways. KMT is a fabulous cook who has been testing out new recipes I (Shades) have been fortunate enough to sample. A year ago she made some changes to her diet which made a world of difference to how she feels. I asked her to share her story and you can munch on her interesting and educational tale below. Wednesday’s WOD from Leon is on tap at the end!
Sometimes a little piece of information comes along that changes the way one looks at food. That is what happened to me last year, starting me on a new way of cooking and baking.
I have always been a “foodie.” I have a background in food and wine, am retired from the food industry, and am now focusing on recipe development and lectin-free food creations.
A year ago my chiropractor, prompted by things she saw changing in my and my daughter’s body alignment, mentioned the word lectins. I looked it up and that changed everything.
Lectins are large plant proteins which cannot be digested by the human body, and can cause inflammation and serious illness in some folks. My daughter and I had suffered with inflammation and autoimmune disease. Learning about the lectin-free lifestyle and then implementing its “rules” helped us live and feel better pretty much right away.
I should add that for several years I prepared food the Paleo way. There were so many good (food-related) things that have happened in my kitchen thanks to the Paleo lifestyle. That is, until I noticed that eating animal proteins three times a day just did not feel good.
Learning about foods that contain lectins and either avoiding them or knowing how to cook them in order to get rid of the lectins was the key to digestion success.
Lectin-free meals contain less animal protein and better-quality grass-fed meat. There are also “lectin light” dishes, like lamb meatballs, or any of my versions of chili or meatloaf — all of which contain at least a pound of cremini mushrooms subbing in for a pound of meat.
Lectin-free also means a whole lot of veggies. Not just salads, but greens like kale (there are several kinds), spinach, swiss chard. Kale caesar salad or Garlic-Sautéed Swiss Chard are standards in our home.
Dairy products have been a no-no in our house for years due to allergies, but now sugar is also on the no-fly list (except for the sugar water which feeds our humming birds). Luckily the food suppliers are listening and monkfruit sweetener is now available in many grocery stores.
Most grains are on the “no” list, as are nightshade vegetables (peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, etc.), as are fruits when they are not naturally in-season. I bake bread with millet or sorghum flour. I had never heard of these before last year, but I’ve found that these flours are great to work with. Blueberry Lemon scones anyone?
Prepping lecting-free food does mean more time in the kitchen. That said, a lot of stuff can be prepared in advance. And if one doubles or triples a recipe there will be leftovers. It helps that my family loves leftovers, and they’re an easy lunch the next day.
Tip: It’s helpful to look at the week ahead, schedules, appointments. Sometimes there is no time to cook, so perhaps that is a leftover night. Our household gets busy, but if I plan ahead what’s for dinner it helps with timing and, of course, grocery shopping.
Not everybody needs to go lectin-free, but for those with inflammatory and/or digestion issues it’s really helpful — and even empowering. Note: Many people who have gone lectin-free, myself included, have noticed a reduced desire in snacking throughout the day (yummy food keeps you full for a longer period of time!).
To learn about the lectin-free diet, The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry MD is the best intro. The book is eye-opening and, ignoring its’ at times, quirky writing style (for lack of a better term), it has put a new perspective on food for me and how it affects our bodies.
I have been mostly lectin-free for over a year now and cooking and eating lectin-free food has become a big part of my life. It gets easier with time and it’s even fun to come up with new LF dishes.
Any recipe can be made lectin-free. Cooking this way is easier than baking but, I have made it my mission to transform my favourite baking recipes into healthy treats — and have even created new ones (German Plum Cake, Lavender Shortbread, Cranberry Ganache Tart!). Lectin-free cooking and baking recipes actually end up using fewer ingredients than “regular” recipes!
For this year’s Thanksgiving dinner I cooked the turkey feast: local free-range Turkey breasts, Cranberry Sauce, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions & Kale, Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Apples & Pecans, Millet Vegetable Stuffing, and three desserts. Everything was lectin-free, and our non-lectin-free friends enjoyed the food tremendously (which made chef very happy!).
In the end, learning about the Plant Paradox lectin-free lifestyle has been a pathway to simplify life in the kitchen and the grocery store, and it has given me a whole new appreciation for food. We don’t need a lot of food, we just need the right kind of food.
You can find KMT @livingbetterlectinfree
Warm up (with a partner)
3 rnds/1 minute each
Plank (left, middle, Right)
50 synchro Lunge steps
50 box Jumps
25 triple unders
50 Back extensions
25 Ring Dips
25 partner wall ball tosses 14/20#
50 synchro sit ups
10 rope climbs each
- partners will alternate work and rest except for during synchronized movements
50 Walking lunge steps
25 Chest to bar pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 24 inch box
50 Back extensions
25 Ring dips
50 Knees to elbows
25 Wallball “2-fer-1s”, 20 pound ball
15 foot Rope climb, 5 ascents