Thinking About Trying the Plant Paradox Diet?
This post is for the commitment-phobes. You know who you are. I used to be you. Should I do the Plant Paradox or shouldn’t I? What if it backfires and make me feel worse? Do I really believe lectins are killing me? Who do I trust?!
I’m still trying to figure out the answer to that last one.
My poor husband helped me sample a dozen different diets before I settled on Plant Paradox. Each week was a new protocol, every day a weird new concoction from the archives of some autoimmune, paleo, FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free, solid food free blog or book. We’d go from eating 8 ounce steaks with a side of bacon and cheese to eating ground up salad in a matter of days.
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How did I know Plant Paradox was the one? Well, you know what they say–when you know, you know.
Put simply, it worked. Not only did it work, but it also made sense. As in, the book about the diet explained why it worked (a surprising rarity in the dieting world). Call it being in the right place at the right time, but the Plant Paradox was the first book I read in two years that gave reasonable, evidence-based explanations for all of my health woes. It was like a 416-page description of what was happening to my body (minus the “informercial speak”).
But I get it. Anecdotal evidence. Totally unreliable. And for that, I have no argument, because you’re right. It is unreliable, but you don’t know if something works until you try it, and boy was I willing to try it. (If someone had told me standing on my head for 2 hours a day would restore my health, I would have tried it.)
So here’s to you and your search for better health–may you find the diet that works for you. But–since you’re here–why don’t you try Plant Paradox on for size? Pull up a chair, and pour yourself a glass of red wine (which is approved, btw). Then try these 10 dietary tweaks, and see what happens to your health. This could be the answer you didn’t know you were looking for.
1. Leave the Fruit Out of Your Smoothie
This doesn’t mean you drink a glass of milk with some yogurt mixed in. This means you make a green smoothie with plenty of nutrients and no sugar. Instead of blended frozen fruit and milk, try this:
Green Coconut Smoothie with Ginger & Mint
- 4 ice cubes
- 13.5 fluid ounces chilled coconut milk
- 2 cups packed baby greens (kale, chard, spinach)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 green banana, chopped (I know it’s fruit–more on this later)
- 2 tablespoons packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- pinch of sea salt
Place everything in a blender (ice on the bottom), and puree for 1 minute, until smooth. Add additional cold water to thin, if needed.
But You Said No Fruit…
As you’ll quickly learn–should you choose the Plant Paradox–there are exceptions to every rule. Green bananas and avocados are the exception to the fruit rule. Why? These fruits are loaded with beneficial vitamins, fats, and fiber that the body needs, without any of the sugar. Avocados are packed with vitamins that support nerve and blood cell function, and they’re loaded with good fats that help lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
The “sugar” in an unripe banana cannot be broken down by digestive enzymes. This so-called resistant starch passes through the small intestine, unabsorbed. From there, it travels to the large intestine, where it feeds and fertilizes your friendly neighborhood colonic bacteria. Green bananas are also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin B-6; again, without any of the sugar.
2. Turn Your Sandwich Into a Salad
Put whatever you were going to put onto 2 pieces of bread onto a bed of greens instead. Try this: peel and take the seeds out of one small, ripe tomato, fry up some bacon (preferably from a local farm), and scrape the flesh out of an avocado. Slice it all up, throw it onto a bed of lettuce, add some olive oil and vinegar, and you’ve got a BLT salad that will probably fill you up more than the sandwich.
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3. Try Darker Chocolate
If you catch someone in the baking aisle yelling at a bag of chocolate chips: “What’s the percentage??!” it’s probably a Plant Paradoxer. When it comes to our daily allowance of chocolate–which we never skip–percentage matters. If you don’t know what the percentage on a chocolate bar represents, allow me to enlighten you:
The number represents how much of the chocolate, by weight, is made from pure cacao beans (mainly, the fat portion). The higher the percentage, the darker the chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar. Start with 72%. If you find you can tolerate it–nay, if you find it delicious–try a higher percentage. I’m willing to bet you can train your palate to enjoy 85% or higher!
Check out my favorite brand HERE!
4. Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Salad dressing in a bottle is one of the great rip-offs of our time. Not only is it healthier to make your own, but it’s also so much cheaper. My salad dressings consist of 2 ingredients: olive oil and vinegar. Vinegar no longer comes in just white and red. There are all sorts of amazing artisan, flavor-infused vinegars that elevate any ol’ salad to gourmet status. Want a creamy dressing like ranch? Try mixing in chopped dill and other herbs to a sheep or goat’s milk yogurt. Your gut will thank you.
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5. Try Grass-Fed Ground Beef
Doctors are discovering that–hey–the diet of the animals we eat actually does matter, and it makes a difference in our health. Consequently, more and more farmers are raising grass-fed cows, making grass-fed beef one of the easiest approved meats to find in a grocery store. Even discount stores now carry it. Make your next burger with 100% grass-fed ground beef, and see if it doesn’t taste better.
6. Put Nuts on Your Salad
Save your eggs, bacon, steak, or chicken for dinner, and throw some nuts on your lunch salad for protein. The following not only provide protein and extra crunch, but also an array of vitamins and essential fats that are necessary for cellular function:
- macadamia nuts
- shredded coconut
- brazil nuts
- pine nuts
7. Make Your Own Tortillas
Why not have some fun for your next Taco Tuesday? I have an excellent recipe for cassava flour tortillas that requires three ingredients. Sure, you have to roll them out and cook them, but that’s the fun part! Start a new family tradition of home-making tortillas for taco night, and if you happen to make a double batch, slice them into triangles and bake some chips. It’s the healthiest tweak you can make for taco night.
8. Skip Hummus and Go for Tahini
Thanks to the Mediterranean diet, there’s been an explosion of hummus in store refrigerators in the past decade. It’s like the health enthusiast’s version of French Onion dip. Hummus can be tasty; however, the chickpeas are often not cooked with enough pressure to destroy the lectins that cause anything from gastrointestinal discomfort (if you’re lucky) to hives and arthritis flare-ups (if you’re sensitive). Next time you want some dip for your veggies, try tahini instead.
Tahini–made from ground sesame seeds–is a key ingredient to hummus and is often responsible for the flavor you associate with hummus. Like nuts, it is a great source of the type of fats that lower cholesterol. It has a strong flavor, so you need less of it, and you can mix it into salad dressing, dips, and even soups for some Mediterranean flavor.
9. Skip a Meal (or two)
This one can be surprisingly easy to do, especially if you’re active or busy. It’s simple: the next time you’re not hungry and it’s time for a meal? Don’t eat it. Many of us schedule our day down to the minute, and when it’s our scheduled mealtime, we eat, whether we’re hungry or not. When you stop letting the clock dictate your meals, you may be surprised to find your body is on a totally different eating schedule.
10. Buy the Book Already!
If you can get past the occasional infomercial vibe and look at the actual theory and evidence being presented, The Plant Paradox may give you the answer to every health issue you’ve ever had. I put it this way: I always knew a healthy diet was important. But I didn’t know, on a molecular level, why. I just ate the things “they” told me to eat, because studies have shown that certain good outcomes correlate with certain diets.
But that sort of thinking isn’t going to work for someone with chronic health issues. We need specific answers now. We need someone to put two and two together, and develop an evidence-based detailed theory of what, exactly, is causing so much disease. Dr. Steven Gundry has done that, and I am one of the thousands of people that can, from self-experimentation alone, prove his theory true.
Get the book HERE!