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The Red Tea Detox

Tummy Recovery! Keto Friendly Foods For An Upset Stomach

Posted on April 1, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

I get asked a lot “what are the best low carb things to eat when you’re sick?” My answer always depends on a number of factors, of course – like what’s wrong, whether you need to stay in nutritional ketosis for health reasons, what foods appeal to you at all, etc.

Keto SnacksNo matter what, I always recommend you don’t eat if you’re not hungry, meaning: don’t force yourself to eat if you truly do NOT want food.

In those cases just make sure you’re getting plenty of liquids. Ideally water and chicken broth.

Broth provides the sodium and electrolytes your body needs.

I mentioned in my last food diary that I’ve been sick over the last week.

It started with the flu, which fortunately wasn’t that bad. Maybe because I had a flu earlier this season, or maybe because I took Zicam as soon as I experienced symptoms after being exposed to it.

This was a weird flu that included nausea and upset stomach, as I was about 3 days behind my friend with it and they had the exact same symptoms.

But on top of that, I had a bad reaction to the Zicam – which started with instant indigestion, a not too friendly case of it either, and ultimately turned into IBS, which has to be one of the most miserable things under the sun!

NOTHING appealed, even the smell of food made my stomach turn.

I drank plenty of water and just tried to eat bland foods, or anything that didn’t make me nauseous, and just ate in smaller portions – until I got through it.

I mentioned in my last food diary too that I remembered I had Roast Chicken Bone Broth and Know Thins (very low carb crackers) in my pantry.

Definitely two things you want to keep on hand for “keto emergencies” in your pantry. πŸ˜‰

I also found some chicken in my freezer yesterday. If I hadn’t been too sick to think (lol) it would have been great to discover those earlier in the week! πŸ˜›

Keto Friendly Foods For An Upset Stomach

Whether you have a head cold, stomach flu, food poisoning or an upset stomach for any other reason you typically want to stick to bland foods that don’t offend your senses or upset your stomach any further.

My top suggestions for keto foods when you’re sick include things that provide some good nutritional value, plus protein and fat to make you feel satisfied in smaller portions.

Most of these are also great keto friendly options when you’ve had dental work, or need to be on a “soft food” type diet.

  • soft scrambled eggs (with cheese if you can tolerate dairy)
  • chicken broth
  • plain, tender chicken in broth
  • cauliflower rice
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • plain low carb crackers or breads

* Roast Chicken Bone Broth
(Ketologie, discount code: LOWCARBTRAVELER)
* Know Thins: Low Carb Crackers
(Know Foods, discount code: LOWCARBTRAVELER)

What you might add or take away from that list is entirely up to you, and how you’re feeling – and why.

If you have IBS, like in my case, you definitely want to avoid high fiber green vegetables as those can cause incredibly painful gas that contributes to the problem and the pain.

Keep in mind that salt is your friend when you’re sick, and probably the only spice/seasoning you’ll even be able to tolerate. Salt will help you rehydrate quicker too.

As a final note too, I’ll say: if ANYTHING sounds good, keto friendly or not, and you don’t NEED to stay in nutritional ketosis for health reasons (ie Type 2 Diabetes, Epilepsy, etc) – by all means, eat what you can and then get back on track as soon as you’re feeling better. πŸ˜‰

If I could have thought of a single non-keto food that DID sound good, I definitely would have eaten it -lol. There are times that ALL you need to focus on is getting well!

My Low Carb Meals on Saturday

I got up on Saturday and HAD to find a way to feel better. I grabbed the broth and crackers I mentioned having in my keto pantry, and looked through the freezer too.

That’s when I found the chicken breast strips I was going to make “keto chicken tenders” with – and laid it out to thaw.

Remember when I made beef tips in the slow cooker recently?

That’s exactly what I did for this meal, except instead of beef & beef broth I tossed chicken & chicken broth into the slow cooker.

Keto Slow Cooker Chicken

I made one serving of the Roast Chicken Bone Broth, except I added 3 scoops instead of two to the same amount of water to make it a bit more rich.

The broth is nicely seasoned but not overpowering, so it’s great to cook or simmer with. It has “himalayan sea salt and turmeric with savory notes of garlic, onion, celery & black pepper.”

I salted the chicken and put it in the slow cooker, then poured the bone broth over the top – put the lid on it and turned it on high for 5 hours. That’s it! πŸ˜‰

Confession: I had NO idea how (or if) that would turn out.

REWIND – Back to breakfast and lunch…

I haven’t mentioned these yet, but I’ve tried them twice in my coffee now and love them. It’s an MCT C8/C10 Packet from FBOMB, the same company that makes those nut butter packets I love so much!

BPC Packets - MCT Oil To Go

This is our 20% off discount link for FBOMB products.

I just make my coffee as usual, except I put it in a shaker bottle, then add the MCT C8/C10 packet – which is just a pure, liquid oil with no flavor. The shaker bottle works great because the oil likes to separate.

Keto Fatty Coffee - Keto Travel Tips

Knowing that MCT oil holds me over for awhile, I had considered it several times this week when I was hungry (and weak) but did NOT feel like eating anything. But I was worried that much oil would upset my stomach further.

I was wrong!

I got brave yesterday and tried it, and felt INSTANT tummy relief.

Go figure. Not only did it satisfy my hunger and make me feel less light headed, it also seemed to coat my aching stomach with a very soothing feeling.

That helped so much I had it again this morning with my first coffee. πŸ˜‰

FBOMB makes good clean food. Their nut butter packets are a staple in my keto life, but I’ve been avoiding nuts & dairy (mostly) this week while I didn’t feel well – just to be on the safe side.

This MCT C8/C10 oil is not at all like putting “regular coconut oil” in your coffee. It’s much “smoother” and almost creamy (but not). I don’t know how else to describe it. πŸ˜›

I love it though, and it’s definitely great if you’re skipping breakfast.

Low Carb Crackers

The Know Thins are kinda weird. I love them and I don’t. They have a new Garlic & Herb flavor but I prefer the classic/plain crackers. To be honest I can’t tell that much of a difference between them.

What I do NOT like about them is the packaging.

I recommend you transfer them to a tightly sealed container, or your own resealable bag, because theirs is not – and it always rips open, making it impossible to keep them fresh before you finish the whole box.

They do have a great CRISP to them though, and they made a great bland snack with a bit of creamy swiss dabbed on each.

Keto Crackers - Low Carb Snacks

The crackers are from Know Foods and our coupon code is LOWCARBTRAVELER

I decided to stick to peanut butter though, because dairy can aggravate an upset stomach more sometimes, and this made for a GREAT snack while I wasn’t feeling well.

The peanut butter and crackers were low enough in carbs, bland enough not to be offending, and high fat enough to keep me satisfied for awhile.

Keto Peanut Butter & Crackers

After having the MCT oil in my coffee, I just snacked a bit on the peanut butter & crackers at my desk while I worked.

Then I felt a little better after that coffee, like I said, so I thought I might try some of Lolli’s Cinnamon Pecan Crunch low carb granola.

It sound good, and I was all for eating anything that sounded good at all. Especially Lolli’s granola, because it’s delicious. πŸ˜‰

Cinnamon Pecan Low Carb Granola - Keto Snacks

This link has a 10% discount coded into it for the granola.

THAT is when something magical happened!

I dipped my peanut butter cracker into the Cinnamon Pecan Crunch granola and – WOWSA. Why did I never think to pair that with peanut butter before?!


Keto Snack Ideas - Low Carb Treat

I have to come up with some creative way to use this new combination of cinnamon granola & peanut butter – besides a cracker or a spoon, lol.

Although, I’ll probably have it JUST LIKE THAT again tonight. πŸ™‚

Dinner, Finally

The simple snack foods and fatty coffee got me through the day. I haven’t had much of an appetite all week, but by dinner I was feeling up for a “real meal.”

I put the chicken and broth in the slow cooker on high for 5 hours, and only added salt. I had a bag of cauliflower rice and steamable green beans in the freezer, so it only took 10 minutes to create two quick sides to go with the chicken.

I had mine plain, but I gave Aaron some choices of sauces & spices for his. He put Lemon Pepper Dill on his chicken and said that was delicious.

Simple Keto Dinners - 10 Minute Meals

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The Roast Chicken Bone Broth made my chicken an interesting color lol, but the flavor was spot on!

I decided to chance half a serving of green beans with sea salt plus a serving of cauliflower rice, but otherwise stuck to plain chicken and plenty of broth – more like a soup.

Keto Chicken Soup

If I was still feeling nauseous, I would have stuck to broth and chicken with salt only. Whether or not you can tolerate the fiber in vegetables depends on how you’re feeling and what your symptoms are.

I had been craving a Diet Coke for several days, and felt like the fizzy MIGHT make my rumbling tummy feel better – but then I was afraid it would just aggravate the problem.

I got one just in case, and ended up drinking about 1/3 of it with my dinner. And it DID help.

Oh, and just to clarify: less than half a Diet Coke won’t kill you, and it isn’t “not keto” – it’s zero carbs. πŸ™‚

I say: do whatever it takes to feel better! πŸ˜‰

I also had 4 coffees and 64 ounces of water yesterday.

Here’s how I logged those meals…

MyFitnessPal Food Diary for Saturday

MyFitnessPal Keto Food Diary with Net Carbs and LCHF Macros

1485 Calories
19 Net Carbs
Protein: 59 grams
79% Fat, 16% Protein

How To Get Net Carbs In MyFitnessPal (Free)

You’ll notice that Protein is only 16% of my total daily calories, yet I had 59 grams of protein. The recommended daily amount of protein for women is 46 grams a day.

So while I’m eating “high fat” I’m also getting *plenty* of protein.

This is why you can’t go by grams, but rather have to go by ratios or percentages. See this link for a detailed explanation & illustration of proper macro ratios:

Keto Macros & Tracking Made Simple


I had the oil in my coffee again this morning, then I made low carb blueberry muffins – because that sounded good today! And for dinner I’m finishing off a small bowl of chicken & broth (no veggies this time)…

I feel MUCH better today – like 100x better than the last 3 or 4 days in a row. Not 100% but definitely a huge difference. Yay! I’m off to rest for the evening and crossing my fingers for a better week ahead. πŸ˜‰

How are things going with you?

Can you think of some other great options to add to the list of keto-friendly foods to eat when you’re sick, or have an upset stomach? The more ideas the better!

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb

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The Red Tea Detox

Is Almond Milk Paleo? (+ The 3 Biggest Health Benefits)

Posted on March 31, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

One of the biggest adjustments in terms of starting the Paleo lifestyle is giving up dairy, and especially milk. The good news is that there are many different non dairy milk options available, the bad news is that they are not all Paleo appropriate. One of these options is almond milk, milk made from pressed or blended almonds. Is almond milk Paleo? and are all almond milks created equally.

Is Almond Milk Paleo?

Almond milk

As usual, when we are considering the Paleo nature of an ingredient we like to consider a few things. The first consideration is whether it would have been available to our Paleolithic ancestors. In this regard, almond is a nut and as such would more than likely have been available t0 them. Secondly and perhaps most importantly we consider the level of processing the ingredient has undergone to get to our pantry. Here, almond milk is a winner, having been minimally processed with a simple pressing of the raw almond nut the liquid is expressed and you have your final ingredient. 

So is almond milk Paleo?

The answer is an easy yes.

But there is one problem. If you had to walk into any store and buy commercially produced almond milk you are more than likely buying a less than pure product. Many store bought almond milks have sweeteners and other additives to make the product taste better, thicken the milk and to increase its shelf life. 

In addition the packaging is meant to lure us in and make us trust the product. Unfortunately words like unsweetened and all natural are not indications of a good product.

Next time you pick up a bottle of almond milk, look out for ingredients such as vegetable oils, flavourants, natural and unnatural sweeteners. All of these ingredients were most definitely not available in the paleolithic era, and ultimately are not healthy. The only ingredients you should find in almond milk is almonds and water. Nothing else.

The solution

There is a simple answer to avoid the confusion of reading labels whilst in store and trying to buy the ‘lesser of the evils’. Make your own almond milk at home. All you need to make your own almond milk at home is a blender and a strainer. You will be left with a much higher quality and healthier product.

Is the Milk Worth the Squeeze?

For some people having to make their own milk at home sounds like too much work. Besides a great substitute to dairy, what are the other advantages to including almond milk in your Paleo lifestyle?

Health Benefits of Almond Milk

Low Calorie

Whole almonds are quite high in calories due to them being a nut and therefore full of good healthy fats. The calorie content of almond milk is very low with only 30-60 calories per cup of milk.

High in Riboflavin

Some of the riboflavin or vitamin B2  from almonds makes it into almond milk. B vitamins are essential in maintaining a healthy metabolism and converting food into fuel which our bodies can utilise efficiently (1).

May Prevent Cancer

A 2011 study suggests that replacing milk with non dairy substitutes like almond milk can assist in suppressing the growth of cancerous prostate cells. Almond milk specifically suppressed growth of these cells by more than 30 percent (2).

More than just milk

The beauty of almond milk is that it can be used for more than just a non dairy milk replacement. Almond milk is great for helping with hydration and because it is so low in calories and can be an alternative to water.

Add it to smoothies, soups or simply make your own delicious Paleo vanilla milkshake. Yumm!

Learn How to Make Homemade Almond Milk

Is Almond Milk Paleo? (+ The 3 Biggest Health Benefits)
Anthea Poppmeier

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Top 7 Low Carb Travel Tips For A Healthy Mindset & Staying On Track On The Go

Posted on March 31, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Atkins. The opinions and text are all mine along with input from Colette Heimowitz, VP of Nutrition at Atkins.

Do you struggle with traveling low carb, or staying on track away from home?

You’ll love today’s post with Colette, and our combined experience at creating a sustainable low carb lifestyle!

Colette Heimowitz - VP of Nutrition for AtkinsColette Heimowitz, M.Sc. works directly with medical professionals, health influencers and consumers to educate them about a sustainable way of eating to promote health.

Heimowitz is a NY Times best-selling author and brings a wealth of nutritional knowledge and experience as the Vice President of Nutrition Communication & Education, at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

She has 20-plus years of experience as a nutritionist, which includes the time she spent with Dr. Atkins as Director of Nutrition at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in NYC.

Colette and I teamed up to share our best low carb travel tips to help you navigate all the options and decisions when you’re on the go, so you can easily maintain a low carb lifestyle and a healthy mindset in any situation.

As the VP of Nutrition for Atkins, she is often traveling and eating low carb on the go like I am with my own career. We both have years of experience making our low carb lifestyle sustainable long term, through a variety of situations.

You Asked and We’re Answering! πŸ™‚

I recently put out a private survey about the biggest struggles or challenges you face while traveling, on vacation, in social situations – or sticking to your low carb lifestyle anytime you’re away from home.

Colette and I address those questions in today’s post…

There are two mindsets about eating low carb when it comes to traveling, vacations and special occasions.

Some choose to indulge or experience local dishes and off-plan foods without guilt, then get right back on track the next day or when they return. Others struggle with staying on track and feel guilt or remorse for any indulgences.

Colette has great advice about that:

There is no rule that applies to everyone, one size does not fit all.

If you are close to your weight goals and you have corrected your underlying condition, indulging on vacation or holidays and getting right back on plan the next day is a pretty safe approach.

However, if you are just starting out, still have a severe carbohydrate intolerance, and a lot of weight to lose, that approach could be a slippery slope.

A better approach would be to shoot for weight maintenance rather than weight loss during the holidays or vacations. If you must, pick your poison. Do you want a glass of wine or a slice of bread? A baked potato or Β½ cup of rice?

Learn from your experience. Did it set off a trigger of cravings and being out of control, or were you able to stop at one indulgence? It can be part of a learning process and you can use that knowledge to help you continue to succeed.

However, never throw all reason to the wind and binge, no matter where you are on your weight loss journey.

Eating Halo Top Low Carb Ice Cream at Daytona Beach :)I agree with Colette and will also add that ALL of your choices should be intentional.

Decide upfront what your plans are for any given situation.

Being in control of your food choices, and living your life according to your intentions, gives you a great sense of empowerment and freedom.

Things like binge eating, temptations, food guilt and remorse are a surefire way to RUIN any trip or special occasion. Especially if they result physical discomfort like bloating or feeling sick, on top of your mental struggles.

It’s far better to be in total control of your choices, and to be content with the plans you make for yourself. πŸ˜‰

In the photo above I was enjoying low carb ice cream on the beach. You truly can make great low carb choices practically anywhere, and still ENJOY your trips and vacations.

It can be a bit harder if you’re with friends that are eating all the foods you’re NOT, which brings us to the next challenge many people face staying low carb on the go: temptations!

Resisting Temptations on Vacation

Second to mindset issues was temptation, as you’re often faced with situations or foods you don’t have at home when you’re traveling.

Watching other people eat certain foods could be a trigger for you, or things being brought to the table and put within your reach could present a tough challenge!

Colette says, “There will come a day when you look at that pasta or dessert and say to yourself, β€œI choose not to have it. I choose to be healthy and I don’t like how that makes me feel”. Then you are no longer the victim, you are empowered. If you say to yourself, β€œI Can’t have it”, you will feel deprived and look for a reward.”

I agree with Colette. Being in charge of your feelings and choices, and feeling GOOD about your decisions is the key.

I also remind myself how TERRIBLE it makes me feel if I eat a huge dessert. If my friends order dessert, I usually order coffee. I also keep a few sugar free candies with me, and find just one of those will satisfy a sweet craving in a pinch.

In the photo above I was at the beach with my friend Sheryl, and we were actually at a long table full of plates filled with high-carb meals.

I chose not to indulge in foods that would make me feel sluggish and bloated all afternoon, because: why ruin a beautiful day at the beach?! πŸ˜‰

Instead, I focused on enjoying the company and conversation – and MY delicious meal.

It was fabulous, by the way. I ordered the crab dip and simply asked for lettuce and cucumbers in place of the pita bread or chips it was served with:

Low Carb Meal at The Crab Trap

That made for some delicious beach-side dipping!

Beer, Wine & Fruity Cocktails

Colette advises, “Use light beer or one glass of wine which is only about 3 net carbs. Stay away from fruity cocktails.”

I agree, and while I rarely drink, I do enjoy a glass of wine with girlfriends or a few low carb beers if I go out with friends.

The important thing to note is that alcohol will affect you more and it will affect you faster when you’re eating very few carbs.

I’ve learned to simply sip on a glass of wine, knowing my tolerance level for alcohol has changed.

I also make it a point to eat before the social drinking begins, or if I’m eating after I’ll already have that meal planned out.

Zero Carb Alcohol - Rum and Diet CokeI like rum and a sugar free mixer now and then, myself.

There are sugar free fruity drinks of all flavors you can mix over ice with liquor too.

There are plenty of alcoholic beverages & drink combinations that are low carb or even zero carb, so do a little research and find something you ENJOY if that’s part of socializing and special occasions for you!

Living low carb is not about feeling deprived or doing without, but rather making healthy swaps so you can turn it into a sustainable lifestyle. πŸ˜‰

Low Carb Crab Cobb Salad at The Boathouse Restaurant

Not getting to “experience” local/famous dishes in new locations.

Another challenge many people shared was that the local or famous dishes in certain locations was part of the appeal of the trip for them.

I get that! I love to experience delicious local foods when I travel too. πŸ™‚

When I’m near the beach, I love seafood for example.

The meal above is a Crab Cobb Salad topped with grilled salmon at The Boathouse Restaurant overlooking White Rock Beach in Canada.

A perfect “local food experience” with great friends in a beautiful setting!

Colette has a GREAT blog post on making healthy swaps when traveling for various cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Italian, French, Mexican restaurants and more at:

Your Low-Carb Eating Out Guide

We have both found that you can always find a choice of protein, healthy fats and vegetables on any menu anywhere. I’m sure you’ve discovered the same. πŸ˜‰

Colette made a great point on this too: “You can eat luxuriously in restaurants; rack of lamb, salmon, steak, duck, shrimp, etc.”

I agree that you can enjoy a beautiful variety of low carb foods while traveling that you may not have access to or cook at home.

“Food is part of the vacation for me.”

For some people, “making an exception” is not an option due to health reasons, or without serious health consequences.

There are consequences for pretty much anyone planning an intentional high carb meal though, even if it doesn’t result in binge eating or “food guilt” (emotional distress).

My best advice for anyone planning to indulge while traveling is this:

Pack clothes that will allow for an extra 5-10 pounds of weight on your trip. Between water weight and bloating that high-carb foods can cause, packing ONLY for your new lower weight can create some serious discomfort. πŸ˜‰

And my TOP TIP for “travel cheats” is:

If I think I want something while I’m traveling, like fresh peaches (or peach desserts) while in Georgia, I save it for the LAST day of my trip.

It keeps me on track having something to look forward to, and if on that last day I do still want it – I’ll simply have it, as planned.

That also makes it easier NOT to binge or go totally off the rails the rest of your trip, and easily get right back on track the next day when you arrive home.

Colette says, “You can plan a cheat by cutting back for a few days before an event and then carefully choosing a few indulgences. Or go back to a previous level of the plan prior to a vacation or holiday to give you some leeway. However, remember what I said about it being a slippery slope for those just starting out and who haven’t corrected their underlying condition by controlling carbs over an extended period of time.”

I’ll add in too, that my entire life improved dramatically when I stopped making food the focus of everywhere I go and everything I do in my life, and started focusing on other things instead.

There’s more to life than food, and so many more FUN things in life to experience than just foods – especially when you’re traveling or socializing. πŸ˜‰

I now look at food as simply the FUEL to power me through the FUN in life!

Using foods as a reward or comfort when away from home…

One of the great things about staying on track consistently is that it forces you to find other sources of comfort, and other ways to reward yourself.

That was one of the biggest hurdles for me personally in my own weight loss journey, and in learning how to turn my “diet” into a sustainable low carb lifestyle.

I had to find new ways to deal with grief, bad days, boredom, etc. I had to find new ways to celebrate, fun new things to do with friends instead of meeting for dinner, new ways to deal with stress even – that would WORK (because food never really did).

Those positive changes in my life turned out to be incredibly beneficial, and just as rewarding (if not more) than the weight loss I experienced as a result. πŸ™‚

Colette’s advice: “There is always a low carb alternative to a high carb favorite. Just plan ahead and be prepared.”

Low Carb Mexican Restaurant Options

Finding Low Carb Options at Restaurants

Colette and I both agree on the best advice when it comes to eating low carb at restaurants. You simply want to look for plain proteins and high fiber green vegetables.

You should also look up the nutrition facts online before you go, or at least before you order, to avoid what Atkins calls the β€œhidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

I think I’ve proven in many of my posts here that you can eat low carb practically anywhere. Even the most challenging restaurant experience I had, which was a fun little local favorite, turned out to be a delicious and healthy low carb meal!

I made A LOT of mistakes in the beginning, or better said: I made a lot of wrong assumptions when ordering from restaurant and fast food menus.

Now I choose the restaurant in advance and look up the menu and nutrition facts online, and decide what I’m going to order before I get there.

Knowing exactly what you are going to have, and logging that in your meal tracker before you go, makes for smarter choices – and much more mindful eating. πŸ˜‰

Low Carb Snacks at Walgreens

Low Carb Snack Ideas

While I rarely snack at home, I do find it’s helpful to take snacks with me when I travel. You might have a delayed flight or get caught in a traffic delay, for example.

Or you may find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, meaning: meal time with no healthy options in sight. πŸ˜‰

It’s smart to always be prepared!

I make sure to pack favorite low carb staples that I might not be able to get on the way or at my destination too, because having something you ENJOY when you need a bite to eat makes it much easier to stay on track.

There are many low carb snacks you can pick up along the way, or pack and take with you on your trip.

On road trips I use a cooler which gives me a lot more options. I try to always get a hotel room with a refrigerator too. Even if they charge extra for that, it usually pays for itself in savings on restaurant meals.

Low carb snack ideas include your favorite cheeses, boiled eggs, sliced ham or chicken, nut butters, olives, avocado, macadamia nuts, pecans, chicken or tuna salad with celery, meat & cheese rollups, etc.

The options are endless if you have a cooler or refrigerator.

Low Carb Road Trip ~ Atkins Bar: Peanut Butter Granola

More often than not you’ll need low carb snacks and small meals you can take on the go that don’t require refrigeration, such as: nuts, string cheese, beef or turkey sticks, individual almond butter packets, or Atkins Peanut Butter Granola Bars (my favorite, with 16g of protein!).

Colette said nuts are her go-to finger food. “Couple that with unsweetened dried blueberries or strawberries and you have the perfect combo. I also like olives, Moon Cheese, and dried meats.”

I usually pack light if I know there will be plenty of low carb options at my destination, because it’s fun to experience new foods and new food combinations when I’m traveling.

Like this one for example – a beautiful combination of strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, cheese & cream cheese from my hotel breakfast bar on a beach trip:

As you can probably tell, I don’t skimp on food or ever feel deprived when I’m traveling low carb. There are beautiful low carb foods to enjoy anywhere you go!

I loved this tip from Colette too, on knowing your carb tolerance:

Carbohydrates are metabolic bullies and they will throw you out of fat burning.

When you are not burning fat you are storing fat.

Once you walk through the phases and find the level of carbohydrate intake that will bring the body into fat storage again, then you can stay beneath that level and never gain the weight back.

If you do the cheat day method, you will never learn your carb tolerance.

If your carb tolerance turns out to be 50 or 60 or even as high as 120 carbs daily, then it is easy to plan a cheat or a vacation and come back the same weight you left. Otherwise you are on the path of weight gain, carb creep, and having to diet again.

I really enjoyed working with Colette on these tips for you, and responding to your biggest questions & challenges while trying to make your best choices throughout your low carb lifestyle!

More Low Carb Travel Tips

I recently shared more great tips about what to consider on travel day, why you should drink more water when flying, how to get your low carb snacks and staples through airport security and more in this post:

Sticking To Your Low Carb Lifestyle On The Go

… along with some easy low carb meal ideas from my trip.

Do you stick to your low carb lifestyle when you’re traveling?

Why or why not?

I would love to hear your experiences, and what you learned from those!

As for me, I find that if I take the mindset of “treating myself” or allowing myself to eat anything in sight while traveling or on special occasions… I have a VERY hard time getting back on track, and often undo entirely too much progress to make it worth it.

What about you?

I would love to hear YOUR top low carb travel tips and/or favorite low carb restaurant ideas too…

The more ideas we share, the better everyone can be prepared!

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

P.S. I often refer people to the Atkins site for the Acceptable Foods List. The phase one list is low carb friendly and is exactly what I used to get started eating low carb.

You can also check out their site to learn more about the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does. Make sure you’re avoiding foods that you may think are healthy, but aren’t actually as healthy as you think.

On Atkins, you eat the right foods, not less – which I love! You never have to go hungry on a low carb lifestyle. πŸ˜‰ They have a lifestyle book out by that title: “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” too that I recently reviewed.

You’ll get to read more about MY getting started story at that link too. πŸ˜‰


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From the Desk of Dr. Perlmutter

Posted on March 30, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

David Perlmutter M.D. – Empowering Neurologist: The food, the facts, the science to control your genetic destiny.

Thanks to hosting The Empowering Neurologist, I’m always receiving copies of some of the latest and greatest works of scientific study from colleagues across the globe. As I was doing a bit of spring cleaning recently, I came across countless titles that have inspired and shaped my perspective on health over the past several years. Before I put these away, and in honor of today, National Doctors Day, I wanted to share some of these titles with you.

Below, I’ll link to the title on Amazon, as well as the author’s Empowering Neurologist interview. I also encourage you to go follow their work in addition to being a member of this community. Together, we can bring a sea change to the world of optimal living!

The post From the Desk of Dr. Perlmutter appeared first on David Perlmutter M.D..

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Is Palm Oil Paleo? (+ The Different Types of Palm Oil)

Posted on March 30, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

When it comes to Paleo and oils, coconut oil immediately springs to mind. Most Paleo followers are unaware that other similar tropical oils even exist. Palm oil is a relative new comer to the West, but it seems to be growing in popularity on a daily basis. It is interestingly one of the few fatty fruits to exist. Should we be considering palm oil in the Paleo lifestyle, and is it worthy of Paleo status?

Is Palm Oil Paleo?

What Exactly is Palm Oil

Palm oil is the umbrella term used for the oils which come from the fruit of the palm tree. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the palm tree and palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit of the palm tree.

Red Palm Oil

This is the virgin unrefined oil before it goes through any further, mass processing. It has a reddish colour and a strong taste which is not for everyone. Palm oil (next up) is simply a refined version of red palm oil.

Palm Oil

After the fruit of the palm tree is separated from the bunch they grow in they are then softened and pressed in order to release the oil. This processing is minimal and does not change the good characteristics of the oil. The problem is that palm oil has quite a strong and distinctive taste, small and color. For this reason many companies refine the oil further than the processed mentioned above and the oil is no longer virgin. This is not a problem as long as the oil has not been hydrogenated (?).

Palm Kernel Oil

As mentioned, the palm kernel oil comes from the actual seeds of the fruit  instead of the flesh of the fruit. Palm kernel oil is a highly saturated oil with a composition similar to coconut oil.This indicates that this oil will be stable for cooking at high temperatures as well as being stable whilst being stored.

Health benefits of Palm oil

Because of the virgin nature of red palm all it is still full of the natural vitamins and antioxidants (?,?).

The oil gets it’s red color from:

Vitamin E:

Made up of both tocotrienols and tocopherols, these help support the heart and protect it against stress.

Betacarotene and lycopene:

Red palm oil has up to 15 times more betacarotene than carrots and up to 300 times more lycopene than tomatoes.

Coenzyme Q10:

Coenzyme Q10 helps the body convert food into energy. It is also a powerful antioxidant.


In addition to supplying us with these nutrients red palm oil has an incredible fat composition profile:

50% saturated fat, 40% unsaturated fat and 10% polyunsaturated fat. Of the fats , 50% is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). The offshoot of this composition is that this oil can play an important role in improving cardiovascular health. Despite the high levels of saturated fat, this oil does not contribute towards atherosclerosis (?).

In addition, there is evidence that red palm oil also (?):

Strengthens immune function

Improves bone, liver, eye, lung and oral health

Provide energy

Improves our absorption of fat soluble vitamins; A, D ,E and K

Prevents neurological degeneration 

Promotes circulation

Protects against diseases such as dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson

The Dark Side Of Red Palm Oil

Unfortunately there is a strong drawback to purchasing and using this oil which is not nutrition related. As much as your focus may be Paleo and living a healthier lifestyle it is neccessary to know what consequences your choices will make on the environment for one.

The recent increased worldwide demand for this oil has meant that acre upon acre of rainforest has been destroyed to make room for plantations of palm. This has meant that many already endangered animals are affected simply because of our human need for oil. One such creature which is mostly affected is the orangutan.

Luckily you can still buy sustainable palm oil and ensure that the choices you are making are not having a negative impact on the environment.

Is Palm oil Paleo?

The answer is a definitive yes. Not only is palm oil minimally processed but it contains incredible nutrients which all contribute towards improved health. 

If you are happy with using coconut oil however, there is no strong reason to run out and buy yet another oil. The strong taste is not enjoyed by everyone and the sustainable, higher quality red palm oil can be quite costly.

Is Palm Oil Paleo? (+ The Different Types of Palm Oil)
Anthea Poppmeier

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Here’s Why My Food Diaries Are Missing Lately…

Posted on March 29, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

It’s time for the Week 12 Weigh-In if you’re participating in the 2019 Keto Challenge. You can post your progress in the group thread, or here on this post if you prefer.

We’ll have the final weigh-in on Tuesday, April 2nd and a new low carb challenge starting soon – so stay tuned for details! πŸ˜‰

Keto SnacksI’ve lost 10.6 pounds in the last 12 weeks.

That surprises me actually. That’s GREAT loss in such a short period of time for me, considering I’m so close to my goal weight.

I’ve always been a SLOW loser. Plus the last 10-20 pounds are the MOST challenging to lose!

I weigh 140.8 today. The scales have hardly moved since I saw a slight weight loss 3 weeks ago, but I have lost two more pounds since I got this weird flu.

My actual weight on the scales is irrelevant to me at this point.

I’m only about 2 pounds above the weight I felt BEST at two years ago, but my body composition was totally different then. So my goal right now is to GAIN muscle (back) and continue burning body fat too.

Apologies for not posting my daily food diaries over the last week…

As I mentioned, I picked up another flu about 10 days ago and this one has been WEIRD. It seems to come and go in phases, and one of the symptoms that bothers me most is the upset stomach and total lack of appetite.

I have not felt like eating lately AT ALL. Even the smell of food turns my stomach. In hindsight, I did have Roast Chicken Bone Broth and low carb crackers: Know Thins in my pantry, and if I’d been smart I would have tried that.

Those are two GOOD items to always keep and have on hand, btw.

I’m glad I remembered those! I’m having some peanut butter on low carb crackers now – because NOTHING else sounds good. πŸ™‚

My Low Carb Meals on Thursday

This may sound crazy, but the ONLY thing I’ve been able to stomach lately is the KetoBrownie blondies and brownies.

I’ve had some in my pantry for awhile, but was saving them because I’d been doing clean testing series, during which time I avoided other keto snacks.

Almost anything else literally turns my stomach at the thought or smell of it, which has not been fun. Thank goodness I found these stashed away!

Keto Blondies and Keto Brownies

I tested this link and it will give you 15% off at the KetoBrownie website. They’re also on Amazon here, but they’re cheaper on the website with my LOWCARBTRAVELER discount code:

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I had a Keto Blondie for breakfast, and a Keto Brownie for lunch, and mostly just sipping water otherwise yesterday (64 ounces).

It was a BEAUTIFUL warm, sunny afternoon but I felt exhausted. I wasn’t able to nap, so I decided maybe some exercise and sunshine would stimulate my appetite AND help me sleep better.

I honestly had to summon my super powers to do this, I had zero energy, but I got up and made a bucket of soapy water and washed my front fence – all 5 panels, both sides!

Housework for Exercise

I questioned my sanity more than once lol, but I powered through and finished the job – and even broke a sweat! πŸ™‚

That’s the first time I’ve gotten any real exercise in over a week, lol. I’ve been SERIOUSLY taking it easy trying to recover from this bug.

Using Exercise To Stimulate Your Appetite

It worked though. πŸ™‚

I actually felt HUNGRY after that, and even felt better. I had a little more energy, and dinner actually smelled GREAT when it came through the door.

Aaron came over and brought me take-out from O’Charley’s, my favorite: Grilled salmon with asparagus and loaded broccoli:

Keto O'Charley's Take-Out

The loaded broccoli is just broccoli loaded with baked potato toppings – butter, sour cream & cheese (and bacon too if you like).

This is one of my favorite restaurant sides. πŸ™‚

Keto Restaurant Sides - Loaded Broccoli

I did manage to eat 3/4 of the salmon, some of the asparagus and about half the loaded broccoli before I started feeling icky again – so I put the rest away to have for lunch today.

Here’s how I logged my meals…

My MyFitnessPal Keto Food Diary for Thursday

MyFitnessPal Keto Food Diary with LCHF Macros

I did finish that beautiful meal, what was left of it anyway (lol), for lunch today.

I like O’Charley’s salmon because they fly it in fresh every single day. It’s never frozen. And you can definitely taste the difference!

Keto Lunch from Leftovers


The peanut butter and crackers are hitting the spot…

And my fence looks amazing now. πŸ™‚

I haven’t been at all worried about macros or weight loss over the last week or so while I get over this crazy virus or flu thing. Instead I’ve been focused on sleeping and resting, drinking plenty of water, and eating what I can when I can.

Being outdoors helped A LOT yesterday, even though I felt seriously wimpy. The sun was shining bright and it was a nice warm day here for a change. A good reminder for me to get outdoors more often – feel like it or not!

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been sharing my daily food diaries with you lately. I hate to set a BAD example of not eating enough, living on keto brownies (heh, yum!), being very UNcreative with my meals, etc.

I had a few interesting things though, so I should give you a quick photo tour of at least some of my “highlight meals” over the last week or so. I’ll do that, so keep an eye out for it…

How are things going with you?

Don’t forget to weigh in this week…

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


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Is Flaxseed Paleo? (+ 4 Health Benefits of Flaxseed)

Posted on March 29, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have been cited as one of the healthiest seeds to include in most diets. Many gluten free recipes also call for ground flaxseed meal. But is flaxseed really a healthy Paleo diet ingredient? What are the benefits of this little seed and should we be including it in on a daily basis?

Is Flaxseed Paleo?

What is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed, which are sometimes called linseeds, are tiny little brown or tan colored seeds. They are celebrated nutritionally as they are the richest plant based source of omega 3 fatty acid (anti inflammatory fatty acid) on the planet. Flaxseeds are harvested from the flax crop. Interestingly the fabric made from flax is known as linen, which you might know as the light breathable material (1). Pretty useful plant!?

Nutritionally Speaking

100g of flaxseeds will give you the following:

Protein: 18.3g
Fat: 42.2g
Carbohydrate: 28.9g
Fiber: 27.3g
Thiamin: 110% RDA
Folate: 22% RDA
Magnesium: 98% RDA

Also decent quantities of vitamin B6, folate, iron, potassium, niacin and thiamin (2).

One glance at the nutritional information above illustrates just how nutritionally dense these seeds are, in fact one can easily put them in the category of a super food.

What’s in it for us?

With all these nutrients available lets look at the benefits of including these seeds in our diet.

Four Benefits of Flaxseeds

1) Very High in fiber

If you have a look at the nutritional information and do a bit of quick maths you will see that flaxseeds are seemingly quite high in carbohydrates. This is misleading though, in fact almost all of the carbohydrates in flaxseeds are actually 95% fiber (3). This makes it a perfect supplement for low carbohydrate diets.

Not only are flaxseeds packed with fiber, but also with both types of fiber; soluble and insoluble fiber. This means that for anyone suffering from frequent constipation or other digestive issues, flaxseeds are the all-natural laxative. 

In addition the fiber improves our digestive help by feeding our healthy gut bacteria ( 4). Win- win.

2) High in Protein

Whilst flaxseeds are high in protein (18%) the disappointing thing is that they do not give us all the amino acids our bodies need to survive. They are lacking in an essential amino acid– Lysine. They are however still great sources of arginine and glutamine, both of which are important for our health. In addition the protein in flax seeds may be helpful in protecting us against various conditions including high blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation (5,6)

3) Loads of Good Fats

Flaxseeds are 42% fat. But not just any fat.

Flaxseeds fat content is composed of:

73% polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-6 and best of all omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

27% monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids

ALA is an essential fatty acid that our bodies cannot produce on their own so we have to obtain it from other sources.Whilst the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA) come from fatty fish such as salmon, the ALA found in flaxseeds should still be included in a healthy diet (7)

ALA is found to be linked to decreased risk of various conditions such as heart disease, lowered risk of stroke and chronic kidney disease (8, 9).

4) Packed with Antioxidants

Flax seeds are very high in a specific antioxidants called lignans. Lignans are types of antioxidants known as polyphenols. The protective effects of these antioxidants are staggering but include immune boosting effects which may prevent the common cold and flu and could also prevent candida and yeast growth in the body.

Anything to Look Out For?

You know the saying, too much of a good thing…. well this goes for flaxseeds as well.

In general, flaxseeds are well tolerated by most of the population. This tolerance is obviously affected by the amount you take in so take care to watch your dietary intake.

Higher doses of flaxseeds can cause adverse effects:

Blood thinning effects

One of the main reasons flaxseeds help prevent heart disease is the fact that they reduce the chances of blood clots in our arteries. Conversely however, this advantage could be a potential risk as this ‘blood thinning‘ effect can be a problem for those who are already on blood thinning medication like warfarin or even aspirin. Once again this is only something to be concerned about at high doses of flaxseeds (10).

Cyanogenic Glycosides

Aside from being a big word, cyanogenic compounds are a naturally occurring plant compound found in flaxseeds. In a nutshell, these compounds can be disastrous for your thyroid gland when consumed in large quantities.

To avoid this side effect keep your flaxseed intake under 50 grams per day (about 5 tablespoons) (11).

Phytic acid

like most seeds, flaxseeds contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is known as an anti nutrient in that it may reduce intestinal absorption of other important nutrients such as iron or zinc. However this only effects the nutrients you are taking in at the same meal as the flaxseeds.

Simply don’t have flaxseeds at every meal.

So, Is Flaxseed Paleo?

Strictly speaking flaxseeds might not have been around in the Paleolithic era, however in this instance the benefits of including it in your diet will outweigh any potential negatives. Like any healthy ingredient the key is to include it in moderation as part of a wide range of different nutrients. 

For the best results stick to the limit of about 3-5 tablespoons per day, and to increase your absorption of the nutrients grind your flaxseeds before adding to your breakfast or smoothie etc. 

Be sure to store your flaxseeds in a cool dark place, even in the freezer as they have a tendency to go rancid quite quickly.

Is Flaxseed Paleo? (+ 4 Health Benefits of Flaxseed)
Anthea Poppmeier

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Is Sesame Seed Oil Paleo? (+ The Nutritional Breakdown)

Posted on March 28, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

When it comes to vegetable oils and which ones are healthy and unhealthy it can get pretty confusing. Let’s look at the Paleo lifestyle and sesame seed oil, is sesame seed oil Paleo?

Is Sesame Seed Oil Paleo?

What is Sesame Seed Oil?

As the name suggest sesame seed oil comes from the tiny little seed of the sesame plant. It is actually one of the oldest cultivated crops as we can date its use back over 4000 years

As usual, when it comes to oils there are various varieties depending on how it has been processed

Toasted sesame oil: This oil is the one more commonly used in Asian cooking, it has a distinctive color, taste and aromatic smell. The seeds are roasted  first to make toasted sesame oil which is why the flavor is so rich and the color a dark brown color. Unfortunately the oil is usually extracted with chemical solvents at high temperatures. There are other manufacturers who use gentler methods however, without solvents or heat.

Raw cold pressed sesame seed oil: This oil comes from the raw sesame seed, the oil is expressed using high pressure at low temperatures. The color is of course a lot lighter and the flavor less intense than the roasted sesame seed oil.

Is Sesame Seed Oil Paleo?

Strictly speaking no. Lets look at why they are not considered Paleo and also an important loophole to consider when a recipe calls for sesame seed oil.

100g xesame seed oil is composed of the following:

14 % saturated fat

40% monounsaturated fatty acid

41% Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid.

Because of this high dose of Omega-6 (polyunsaturated) fat in sesame seed oil we would not consider it as a Paleo appropriate oil to be using on a daily basis. High levels of omega 6’s in our diets can be detrimental to our health as they promote inflammation (1). In addition, as a rule we do not take in enough of naturally occurring omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory) to balance this intake of omega 6’s (2).

Extraction Process and Risk of Oxidation

One of the risks of ingesting oils which are extracted and not pressed is the risk of oxidation. When an oil is exposed to light, heat or air the oil can oxidise and easily become rancid (3). Once again, this rancidity causes inflammation and over a long period of time this promotes disease in the body (4).

But its so delicious

We agree! Which is why we are not telling you to banish sesame seed oil from your life and your kitchen eternally. Rather, take the following to steps to consume sesame seed oil with caution:

  1. When buying sesame seed oil look for the raw, cold pressed variety which is kept in a dark bottle.
  2. Buy sesame seed oil in small quantities as this is oil is more powerful to use for flavor rather than a cooking oil. Larger quantities are more likely to go rancid
  3. Use this oil sporadically and not on a daily basis
  4. Store this oil in a cool dark place, ideally the refrigerator

Is Sesame Seed Oil Paleo? (+ The Nutritional Breakdown)
Anthea Poppmeier

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Is Dried Fruit Paleo? (+ Why It Can Be Very Unhealthy)

Posted on March 27, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

Fruit is like natures own candy. Except it also supplies us with beautiful doses of vitamins, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, all of which helping us to live healthier lives. Best of all, fruits are included in the Paleo lifestyle.

Is Dried Fruit Paleo?

Surely it goes without saying then that dried fruit is just as healthy and also appropriate for Paleo followers?

Not so fast.

What is Dried Fruit?

Essentially dried fruit is fruit which has been dehydrated of all water. What is left over is the shrunken whole fruit (in the case of raisins) or otherwise a piece of dried fruit in the case of apples or pineapples etc. So far so good.

Why is dried fruit a problem?

When you bite into a juicy apple, or a lovely piece of freshly cut mango the juice practically runs down your face. This juice, which is mainly water, is what fills us when we are eating fruit. For instance, in general one would normally only eat one apple at a time or perhaps a few pieces of pineapple. The fruit, as a whole with its intended liquid content is pretty satisfying. It is also nice and sweet but not as sweet as sugar thanks to the water in a whole fruit.

Dried fruit is unfortunately severely dehydrated, which means the fruit has suddenly shrunk to a tenth of its size. It is also suddenly extremely sweet and therefore extremely addictive. Think about raisins for a second. If you reached for some grapes you would most probably grab a bunch and that would be it. But a hand full of raisins is easily two bunches of grapes!

The other issue of course is how sweet dried fruit is. This intense sweetness may perpetuate the cravings for other sweet items, it also makes it so much more difficult to practice portion control and your ‘healthy intentions’ end up being a flood of sugar.

Another disadvantage to eating dried fruit is a loss of nutrients. Many heat sensitive nutrients such as vitamin C get damaged in the drying process which is mostly via artificial methods and not the sun (1).

Lastly, commercially dried fruit often contains preservatives called sulphites to increase the shelf life as well as preserve the color of the dried product. These problem with these sulphites is that many people might suffer from a few different side effects such as a rash, tight chest or even an asthma attack (2)

Any advantages at all?

Well of course, dried fruit are actually still fruit (minus the water). The one very clear advantage to consuming dried fruit is the increased concentration of antioxidants from dried fruit. Interestingly dried figs and dried plums in particular came out on top in terms of antioxidants in the dried product (3).

Another great reason for giving dried fruit a bit of credit is the prune (which is a dried plum) . The mighty  prune is a miracle worker when it comes to helping babies and adults alike with digestive issues such as constipation or being irregular. The prune contains sorbitol as well as a great deal of fiber which is a natural laxative (4)

So is Dried Fruit Paleo Appropriate?

The answer here is a very personal one. Yes, dried fruits, without any additives are by nature Paleo as they have not been processed as such and are simply dehydrated. But, they are also very high in sugar and they can easily be overeaten due to their small size. Decide for yourself whether having them in the house will help you or harm you, and where possible opt for fresh fruit instead.

Try these delicious homemade dried fruit rolls for dried fruit with a difference:

Pineapple Fruit Leather

Blackberry Paleo Fruit Roll-ups

Is Dried Fruit Paleo? (+ Why It Can Be Very Unhealthy)
Anthea Poppmeier

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Is Dark Chocolate Paleo? (+ The Benefits of Eating Chocolate)

Posted on March 26, 2019 By In Diet With no comments

All we really need in life is chocolate.Wait, is that just me? Apparently not. Studies show that Americans consume over 3 billion pounds of chocolate last year, this equated to over $16 billion in sales (1). Interestingly, even the scientific name for chocolate, Theobroma Cacao means food of the gods.

Is Dark Chocolate Paleo?

Unfortunately modern day chocolate has been ruined with adding a ton of sugar,dairy, various additives and some stuff we cant even pronounce.

Does this mean chocolate is not Paleo? Yes. Milk chocolate with biscuit bits, or caramel or any junk added is most definitely not Paleo.

Well, luckily there is a huge movement of chocolate lovers who are taking back the long lost art of chocolate making. Specifically bringing back dark chocolate, the original chocolate. Without sugar and dairy and yes, ultimately Paleo friendly.

When chocolate was first discovered it was not in the delicious form we know of today.  Chocolate has been used in the medicinal context since 406 AD at least and still has many therapeutic properties which we can apply today (2). If you think about it, when do we lust after chocolate the most? When we are sad or tired chocolate is the ultimate pick me up and the native people of Central and Latin America knew this. In 1100 BC the Aztecs uses the cacao tree to make a beverage called Nahuati or bitter water in english. The drink was consumed as it was believed to have aphrodisiac powers (3). Actual chocolate however, only came about during the industrial revolution when mechanical mills were able to squeeze out cocoa butter and the first version of chocolate was born.

Today there are so many more benefits to dark chocolate ( other than helping us through a bad day ):

1) Dark Chocolate is Rich in Nutrients

When analysing a dark chocolate bar of 70-90% cacao, we surprisingly find that it supplies us with a healthy dose of minerals, fiber and some vitamins ( trace amounts not worth mentioning) (4).

Per 100g chocolate bar

Calcium: 7% RD
Iron: 67% RDA
Magnesium: 58%
Copper: 89%
Manganese: 98%

Other minerals include potassium, zinc, calcium and selenium in smaller doses.

The catch here is that it wouldn’t be wise to finish off a whole bar of chocolate in one sitting, so the minerals would be delivered in smaller quantities when eating the chocolate in moderation (1-2 blocks).

2) May Improve Cardiovascular Health
After following almost 20 000 people for at least 10 years a study has found that not dark chocolate not only reduced blood pressure but also reduced their risk of stroke or heart attack, by 39% (5). This obviously needs to be viewed with a pinch of salt in that the people who benefited were still not eating more than about 2 squares of a 100g bar of chocolate per day. Less is more in this case. Another study confirmed these findings and attributed this cardiovascular protection to the flavenoids found in the dark chocolate (6).

3) Dark chocolate may help with concentration and other other cognitive functions
Another great benefit of the flavenoids- a short term boost in concentration levels as well as increasing mental alertness. The study attributed these benefits to the flavenoids increasing blood flow to key areas in our brain for two to three hours (7).

4) Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants
We’ve spoken about them before-the flavenoids. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant flavenoids called flavenols. These include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins (8). The higher the cacao content of the chocolate the higher the level of the antioxidants. Basically dark chocolate is up there with our other super foods like goji berries or blue berries (9).

5) Puts Women and Babies in a better mood

Well yes of course we knew this long ago. But a Finnish study found an association between mothers who ate chocolate during their pregnancy and infants who had an easier temperament. The study concluded that the chocolate may play a role in helping the pregnant mothers to cope better with stress and therefore lead to happier, more content babies (10). More research is however needed but we don’t really need any excuse.

When Shopping For Your Chocolate:

Read the ingredients list carefully. Most of the time the cheaper dark chocolate is full of additives like stabilisers, trans fats, vegetable oils and sometimes artificial sweeteners. Steer clear of these.

The more expensive dark chocolate is normally made in smaller batches by niche chocolatiers who value quality ingredients over quantity and profit.

Reach for the dark chocolate that has cocoa solids listed first on the ingredients list with sugar listed much further down.

Always opt for 70% or higher dark chocolate bars.

Delicious Paleo Appropriate Dark Chocolate Recipes:

Homemade Paleo Chocolate  (mommypotamus)

Easy Homemade Paleo Dark Chocolate (livingwellmom)

Decadent Chocolate Cake (with ganache) (paleogrubs)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (paleomg)

Paleo Chocolate Cashew Buttercups (eatdrinkpaleo)

Paleo Chocolate Banana Pudding(paleogrubs)

Also Try These Paleo Dark Chocolate Recipes:

6-Ingredient Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes (Easy Paleo Dessert)
Dark Chocolate Coconut Flour Mug Cake (Guilt-Free Recipe)
Dark Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Banana Bread
Paleo Chocolate Raspberry Cake (Easy Guilt-Free Dessert)

Is Dark Chocolate Paleo? (+ The Benefits of Eating Chocolate)
Anthea Poppmeier

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