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Category Archives for Alternative Diets

Layered Peppermint Patties Recipe [Paleo, Keto]

Louise Hendon | May 18

These Paleo and Keto peppermint patties are perfect for parties or for storing in your fridge as mini treats. Even though they were barely sweetened, they taste fantastic, and the black and white layers really stand out and make them look cute and delicious.

Next time you’re going to a party and want to bring some desserts to impress the guests with, try taking these gorgeous layered peppermint patties – you’ll feel like a skilled chef rather than a home cook with these!

If you don’t like using stevia, then just add in a 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey instead. Of course, if you’re sticking to a ketogenic diet then you’ll need to take those extra grams of carbs into account.
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What Is Keto Flu? (PLUS 6 Ways To Cure It)

Louise Hendon | May 16

You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy.

Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu.

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60 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes [Low-Carb, Paleo, Dairy-Free]

Louise Hendon | May 9

You’re excited by the ketogenic diet, but you just can’t survive with some desserts? Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Check out this giant list of delicious ketogenic dessert recipes we’ve compiled.

We’ve got everything from ketogenic cookies to mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Just a quick note before you jump into these delicious dessert recipes…

  1. Many of the keto recipes use some form of non-caloric sweetener to make these desserts sweet. While we think it’s better to avoid all sweeteners on a ketogenic diet, it’s clearly not possible when it comes to creating desserts. We try to stick to pure stevia as our preferred non-caloric sweetener.
  2. None of these recipes contain dairy other butter or ghee. If you tolerate dairy ok, then feel free to use butter, but if you don’t tolerate dairy, then try to use cultured ghee instead as this removes most of the lactose and casein from butter (and so it’s not as problematic for most people).

Want to download the whole Ketogenic dessert recipes list as a PDF? Just click the green button below and we’ll send it over.

Click Here To Download This Entire List of Ketogenic Dessert Recipes

Table of Contents For Ketogenic Dessert Recipes

Click to jump to a specific section:

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How Many Carbs In Nuts And Seeds?

Louise Hendon | May 6

If you're on a low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, then you might want to know exactly how many carbs you're taking in daily.  And while nuts are generally pretty low in carbohydrates, there are some that are shockingly high in carbs like pumpkin seeds and chestnuts.

There are also other health concerns with nuts and seeds (like the fact that they are high in polyunsaturated fats and anti-nutrients), so try not to overeat them on keto or on any other diet.

We've listed below the carbohydrate content of various nuts and seeds.  We've also calculated the net carbohydrate count for you.

Net Carbs = Total Carbs - Fiber

All the data for this table comes from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28.  And to help you remember all the numbers, we've also prepared a handy infographic (scroll down the page for it).  Please feel free to pin it and embed it on your site.

Get This List of Nuts/Seeds Net Carbs Emailed To You!

Net Carbs in Nuts and Seeds

For good measure, we also included the calorie count, the amount of sugar, and the fiber amount for each of these where it was available. We’ve organized the table so that it goes from high net carbs to low net carbs. In particular, we think brazil nuts are fantastic. They’ve got very few net carbs and lots of minerals that you might be deficient in like selenium.

All the nutritional data is for raw nuts and seeds and the numbers are based of 100 grams of the nut or seed. (We also included peanuts in this list even though they’re not a nut or seed because many people think of them as a nut.)

Nuts and Seeds, raw, 100g

Calories in 100g

Total carbohydrates in 100g

Total fiber in 100g

Total sugar in 100g

Net Carbohydrates in 100g







Pumpkin Seeds


















Hickory Nuts






Sesame Seeds






Sunflower Seeds






Pine Nuts












Chia Seeds






Peanuts (not a nut, it's a legume)






Coconut, dried and unsweetened













Macadamia Nuts

Hemp Seeds


Brazil Nuts

Flax Seeds































Infographic – How Many Carbs Are In Nuts And Seeds

Please feel free to pin this infographic on the carb count of nuts and seeds. If you have a website that you’d like to put this onto, just use our simple embed code so you can credit us for our work.

Carb Content of Nuts and Seeds #paleo #primal #health #diet

Images: Copyright (c) Natis from Fotolia and Mariya Chorna from Flickr

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Should I Try Keto To Lose Weight?

Louise Hendon | May 1

This isn’t some article persuading you that the ketogenic diet is the best one in existence and that you should go try keto today or you’ll be missing out on some great life-changing phenomena! But, if you have been considering a ketogenic diet for weight loss, then it behooves you to learn the facts and figure out if you’re one of the people that a keto diet could benefit.

Jump to a specific section of “Should I Try Keto To Lose Weight”

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What’s the Difference Between a Paleo and Gluten-Free Diet?

Louise Hendon | April 25

I’ve often gotten asked what the difference between a Paleo and Gluten-Free diet is, and so in this post, I hope to get across to you the main differences as well as why I think Paleo is generally better than GF despite some similarities.

There’s also an infographic down below – please feel free to pin or embed it on your own website.

I’ll start by quickly defining each diet, and then the section after that will list the main differences between Paleo and Gluten-Free.

What is a Gluten-Free Diet?

Generally, most people who are on a gluten-free diet just avoid gluten. So you’ve probably seen in health food markets or even in your local supermarket tons of packaged foods labeled gluten-free (or GF). What that means is that they don’t contain the protein called gluten, which is found in grains like wheat, barley, rye.

Often, instead of wheat, these gluten-free products contain other grains. So, gluten-free bread may be made from rice flour instead, and to make up for the taste difference, gluten-free packaged goods often contain additional sugar, preservatives, coloring, seed oils, etc.

I know this is a generalization since many diets, including Paleo, Primal, and most versions of low carb or keto are also gluten-free diets. And healthy kale chips can labeled gluten-free too.

But, gluten-free just means no-gluten. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything else. And while gluten is probably problematic regardless of whether you’re celiac or not, it’s not the only food that could be problematic to your health and weight.

PALEO VS GLUTEN-FREE - What's the difference - #paleo #glutenfree

What is a Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet started off as a diet based off what humans ate in prehistoric times – the premise was that if humans have been thriving on those foods for so many millennia, then we must be adapted to eat it. And foods like wheat have entered our food systems very recently when you compare it to how long humans have been in existence.

Often, the Paleo diet is compared to that of more recent hunter-gatherer tribes, who ate grain-free diets.

In the strictest form, a Paleo diet eliminates all grains (not just the gluten-containing grains), all legumes (including soy and peanuts), all processed sugars, all seed and vegetable oils, and all dairy.

In more practical forms, Paleo eaters use what our ancestors ate as an initial model and then also look at the modern science behind a food to evaluate whether its health benefits and practical concerns outweigh its health downsides. That’s why foods like white rice, potatoes, and foods like ghee, raw milk, and gluten-free tamari soy sauce are considered OK by most Paleo eaters.

Lastly, while Paleo is considered a diet by many, it does also have a lot to say about the importance of sleep, de-stressing, and exercise.

What’s the Difference Between a Paleo and Gluten-Free Diet?

Here’s an infographic to illustrate the difference between a Paleo and Gluten-Free diet – feel free to pin this and share it. If you’d like to embed this infographic on your website, please use the embed code below in order to credit us for our work.

Differences Between Paleo and Gluten-Free #paleo #gf #glutenfree

Just a quick note – I know there are many different versions of a Paleo or a Gluten-Free diet, so the differences listed below are generalizations.

The main differences between a Paleo and a Gluten-Free diet:

1. Gluten-Free focuses on whether a food contains gluten, where Paleo focuses on whether a food has been eaten by our ancestors for a long time.

Paleo advocates for the elimination of grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugar, and seed oils. For a more detailed list, you can download our Paleo diet food list here.

2. Paleo focuses on more than just food, but also aspects like sleep, de-stressing, and exercise.

It’s generally described that people in the very distant past slept more (during hours when there’s no sunlight and no electricity), weren’t as stressed (because there weren't so many modern day stressors like mobile phones, social media), and people walked and lifted heavy stuff a lot. Because Paleo incorporates these concepts, Paleo is often described as a lifestyle rather than a diet.

3. In general, Paleo is more geared toward weight-loss and healing a variety of health issues, whereas Gluten-Free is focused on helping those with celiac disease.

While many people also go on a gluten-free diet for weight-loss, in general, Paleo is more known for being a weight-loss and anti-inflammatory diet.

4. In general, a Paleo diet contains fewer carbohydrates than a general Gluten-Free diet.

This is because Paleo cuts out most foods that are naturally high in carbs, e.g., grains and legumes. However, as Chris Kresser points out, “Paleo does not equal low carb."

While a GF diet often helps those with celiac disease, some find that it’s difficult to heal their gut when they’re also introducing other foods that could be causing damage to their gut.

And often Paleo also helps people who aren’t diagnosed as celiac with a variety of symptoms.

An important note to celiacs: While Paleo eaters stay gluten-free most of the time, many of them don’t have huge incentive to avoid small amounts of gluten in foods like a sauce accompanying a dish at a restaurant or a stir-fry dish that uses regular soy sauce instead of gluten-free tamari sauce.

For example, I really enjoyed eating at Mums, a restaurant in Edinburgh that serves gluten-free sausages. However, when I recommended it to a gluten-free friend, I realized that I had no way of guaranteeing that the food there wouldn’t be contaminated with gluten since I don’t feel any symptoms from small amounts of gluten. Luckily, he was pretty knowledgeable and tested it out himself and found that he also didn’t suffer any symptoms. So, while Paleo is gluten-free, it might not be as gluten-free as you might need it to be.

Why is Paleo healthier than Gluten-Free?

In the end, you can make every diet healthy or unhealthy. You can eat Paleo brownies laden with almond flour and honey daily or you can eat GF bread made with rice flour, and both would not be great for your health or weight. Or you can eat a gluten-free diet filled with fresh vegetables and grass-fed beef and be healthier than most Paleo folks.

What I’m getting at is that whether you label your diet and lifestyle as Gluten-Free or Paleo doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you actually put into your body.

Whether you label your diet and lifestyle as Gluten-Free or Paleo doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you actually put into your body!

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Personally, I find sticking to a Paleo lifestyle helps me eat healthier as it means I can automatically say NO to pretty much all prepackaged food. This just decreases my likelihood of eating junk. And if I do want something sweet like a muffin, I have to take the time and effort to make it myself.

Images: Copyright (c) expressiovisual, minoandriani from Fotolia

Are Cashews Nuts, Legumes, or Drupes?

Louise Hendon | April 16

Cashews are a fascinating food.

Botanically, they are a master of disguise.

They split in half like a legume, but they are not a legume.

They look sort of like a nut and grow on a tree, but they are not a tree nut.

And the red juicy pear looking thing that grows on the same tree as them looks like a fruit, but it’s not actually a fruit.


From a culinary standpoint, they are also fascinating.

Sure, you can grind them into a flour like other nuts. You can also use them whole in various dishes. But what’s most interesting is the fact you can grind them and mix them with water to form a cream cheese like substance that you can then put on top of pizzas or use as cake icing! It’s one of the foods loved by both vegans and Paleo-eaters!

I hope you’re also getting fascinated about this fake-nut…

Click To Download Our Free Paleo Diet Food List

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Paleo After-Workout Peach Banana Protein Shake Recipe

Louise Hendon | April 8

I often forget just how refreshing and delicious peaches are, and they are fantastic in smoothies like this one. The avocado and nuts in this recipe also add in more fat to slow the absorption of the sugars. And if you want to add in some extra protein after your workout, choose a whey protein powder that doesn’t have added ingredients like this one.

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Are Nuts Ketogenic-Friendly?

Louise Hendon | April 6

Nuts have been a favorite of low carb dieters for a long time and now they’re popular among ketogenic dieters. Nuts are a quick and easy snack that you can purchase even at a gas station, they provide that nice crunchy texture that many people find missing from a low carb diet, and nut flours can be used to make a variety of baked goods that can be used as bread-substitutes.
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How to get rid of candida?

Louise Hendon | April 4

I had Candida for a very long time (and might still – I haven’t tested in almost a year, although I feel pretty good right now). Because I dealt with it for a very long time, I read almost everything that’s been written on treating Candida.
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AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Pantry List

Louise Hendon | March 23

It’s not easy to start the AIP (autoimmune paleo) protocol. Various foods like bread, cereal, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, eggs are all of a sudden off the list of foods you can eat, and you’re left wondering what on earth you can still eat!

So, we’ve created this handy guide to help you navigate the AIP diet and heal your body as quickly as possible.

You can also download this list as a printable PDF to stick on your fridge or to take with you when you go shopping.

Items in parentheticals are typically harder to find and not often used in most recipes. If you live somewhere where those items are easier to find and you want to give them a try, then by all means purchase them. Where applicable, items are linked so that you can purchase them on or elsewhere online.

Click To Download This Entire AIP Pantry List

AIP Herbs and Spices (fresh or dried)

AIP Herbs and Spices Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Sea salt + flavored salt (e.g., garlic salt, lemon salt)
Bay leaves

AIP Oils and Fats

AIP Fats and Oils Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cultured Ghee
(Sustainable palm shortening)
(Bacon fat)
(Duck Fat)

AIP Vinegars

Autoimmune Paleo Vinegars Infographic - AIP Pantry List  #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Apple cider vinegar
Balsamic vinegar

AIP Baking Flours

AIP Baking Flours Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Coconut flour
Tapioca flour
Arrowroot flour
(Cassava flour)
(Plantain flour)
(Tigernut flour)
(Sweet potato flour)
(Water chestnut flour)
(Cricket flour)
(Pumpkin flour)

If you’re looking for the AIP Food List, then click the button below to download it:

Download Our Free AIP Food List

AIP Sweeteners

AIP Sweeteners Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Raw Honey
Maple Syrup
Dried Fruits
Fresh Fruits

Other AIP Baking Goods

Other AIP Baking Goods Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Beef gelatin
Baking soda
Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
Canned coconut milk
(Carob powder)

Other AIP Pantry List Items

Other AIP Pantry List Items Autoimmune Paleo Infographic #aip #paleo #autoimmune
Fish sauce
Coconut aminos
Canned fish and seafood (packed in brine or olive oil)
Herbal tea (rooibos, mint, honeybush, chamomile)
Other teas (black, white, green)
Pumpkin puree
Dried seaweed
Lemon juice
(Sweet potato puree)
(Shirataki noodles)
(Kelp noodles)
(Chicory root “coffee”)
(Real wasabi)
(Liquid smoke)

Click To Download This Entire AIP Pantry List

Images: Copyright (c) laurha, millefloreimages, norikko, Luis Santos, Leonid Nyshko, s4sanchita, dusk, giulianax, spafra, Picture Partners, Angel Simon, Viktor, David Pimborough, Ilya Zaytsev, akulamatiau, Jiri Hera, Dionisvera, Mara Zemgaliete, hanabiyori, Marek, picsfive, viperagp, Paulista, gcpics, Gudellaphoto, toomler from Fotolia

Is Chocolate AIP (Autoimmune-Friendly)?

Louise Hendon | March 21


It’s the Achilles’ heel in my diet. While I’ve never been a big fan of milk or white chocolate, dark chocolate has been my trusted companion since I can remember.

Luckily, dark chocolate is OK on a Paleo diet in moderation, but what about on the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP)?

Is chocolate AIP (Autoimmune-Friendly)?

Short Answer: Probably Not

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but chocolate is generally not considered autoimmune-friendly.

You’re probably thinking there’s some loophole because I used the words “probably not” and “generally,” but I don’t want to get your hopes up. It’s really best if you don’t eat chocolate on the AIP diet, and here’s why:

Sarah Ballantyne says the following about chocolate in The Paleo Approach:
“Chocolate is extremely high in phytic acid and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and contains caffeine, all of which are reasons to avoid it on the Paleo Approach.”

In fact, Sarah herself experienced dramatic improvements in her lichen planus when she cut out chocolate from her diet.

So, what’s the loophole then?

There’s no specific link between chocolate and autoimmune conditions or leaky gut. And most less strict versions of the Paleo autoimmune protocol (like the one in Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution) don’t mention anything about chocolate.

So, should you eat chocolate on the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP)?

As with anything in life, the choice is yours. My thoughts would be to eliminate it initially and then to introduce it and see whether it affects your autoimmune condition or not.

What are the scientific reasons for why chocolate isn’t allowed on AIP?

Hover over the image below and click “Pin it” to save this on your Pinterest board.
4 scientific reasons why chocolate isn't aip

If you’re like me, then you might want to delve beneath the surface and understand why something is the case. So, when someone tells me that chocolate isn’t autoimmune-friendly, then I want to know why!

So, what’s unhealthy about chocolate?

1. Chocolate contains added sugar and non-Paleo ingredients

First, there’s the obvious, most chocolate is made into processed desserts that contain a bunch of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, milk solids, etc.

But what about pure dark chocolate? Ok, read on!

2. Chocolate is high in phytic acid.

Phytic acid is a substance naturally present in chocolate as well as various other plant-derived foods like nuts, seeds, beans, and grains. Phytic acid can prevent us from absorbing many of the nutrients in the meal we’re eating. For that reason, it’s often called an anti-nutrient. So, eating chocolate as a dessert can mean that you don’t absorb as many of the minerals from the rest of the food you ate that meal.

This is problematic in those with autoimmune conditions as they likely already have impaired digestive issues and often already have mineral deficiencies. So they wouldn’t want to then not absorb the few minerals they do take in with their meal by eating chocolate as a dessert.

3. Chocolate contains caffeine

Chocolate contains several different chemicals that act as stimulants. There’s a small amount of caffeine (generally less than a cup of tea) and also another stimulant called theobromine.

According to the USDA, 1 oz of dark chocolate contains around 23 mg of caffeine. Compare this with 1 cup of coffee, which has around 100 mg of caffeine. However, 1 oz of dark chocolate does also contain 227 mg of theobromine.

So, what’s wrong with caffeine?

Caffeine has been linked to rises in cortisol levels and increased inflammation. While there’s no definitive science suggesting caffeine is good or bad for our general health, Sarah Ballantyne suggests limiting caffeine intake for those on AIP “mainly to support normalization of cortisol levels and rhythms.”

What’s wrong with theobromine?

Honestly, I don’t know because there’s been very little research done on it. Currently, it seems people think theobromine is a better version of caffeine.

4. Chocolate is high in Omega-6 fats.

1 oz of dark chocolate contains 402 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 32.8 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. This skewed omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is probably not that great for you unless you’re eating plenty of high omega-3 foods to balance it out.

A Few Less Scientific Reasons To Not Eat Chocolate On AIP

Chocolate is easy to overeat
I probably don’t need to show you any science for this one – I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself!

Chocolate just makes me feel bad
Ok, it doesn’t make me personally feel bad, but I have heard anecdotal stories about people feeling worse if they eat even dark chocolate. Jeremy is one of these people as is Sarah Ballantyne.

Chocolate contains lectins
Eileen suggests in this article that chocolate contains lectins, which can cause increased intestinal permeability as well as other issues. However, I have not found any scientific literature suggesting that the processed cacao we eat in chocolate contains lectins (the cacao plant and bean itself may contain lectins).

Most chocolate contains soy lecithin
If you look carefully at the ingredients list of most chocolate bars, you’ll find soy lecithin listed at the end. Soy lecithin is an emulsifier that is used to produce a smoother chocolate texture. While soy lecithin is not particularly healthy, it’s also not that unhealthy and you can find a fair number of chocolate brands or 100% chocolates that do not have soy lecithin as an ingredient if you want to avoid it.


So, as you can see, dark chocolate isn’t all that bad, and it definitely has a fair amount of beneficial properties (like antioxidants and minerals). However, since some people do feel better when they eliminate chocolate from their diet, it’s worth giving it a shot!

Substitutes for Chocolate on AIP

What can you eat instead of chocolate then when you’re on the Paleo autoimmune protocol and craving for a bar of delicious chocolate?

Carob is a great substitute for chocolate.

carob powder

Carob doesn’t contain caffeine and has a fair amount of vitamins and minerals. However, when you buy carob, make sure to buy pure carob powder (check the ingredients list to make sure carob is the only ingredient). Carob chips will contain non- Paleo and non-AIP ingredients unfortunately.

This carob powder (which you can get on is 100% pure carob.

Then use the carob powder to make your own AIP “Chocolate” treats like some of the recipes listed below.

AIP “Chocolate” Dessert Recipes with Carob

1. “Chocolate” Carob Fudge

2. “Chocolate” Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread

3. Brownies

4. Raspberry Carob Truffles

5. Avocado Carob Fudge Bars

6. Carob Snacking Cake

7. Carob Fudge Popsicles

8. Carob Coconut No-Bake Cookies

9. Carob Chip Bars

10. Raw Coconut Macaroons with “Chocolate” Ganache

11. Carob Pumpkin Tart

12. Pomegranate Carob Bark

13. Orange Chocolate Cake

When you reintroduce chocolate into your diet…

Make sure to pick a good chocolate when you reintroduce chocolate into your diet.

Most chocolate is filled with non-Paleo (and obviously non-AIP) ingredients. For example, milk chocolate contains a ton of sugar and dairy products. So, you should avoid those regardless. Same goes for white chocolate – there’s usually a milk product as well as lots of sugar in them.

So, if you’re reintroducing chocolate into your diet, then pick a dark chocolate (over 85% if possible).

Lindt is a common choice or my personally dark chocolate favorites are Tcho and Taza if you can find them.

Images: Copyright (c) photka, ayusloth from Fotolia

Sugar-Free Chocolate Biscotti Recipe [Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Louise Hendon | March 17

This is another recipe that my dad especially enjoys. It’s lightly sweetened with stevia and has a great flavor to it with the unsweetened cacao powder and unsweetened shredded coconut. When it first comes out of the oven, it’s pretty soft still, but you can let it dry out for longer by leaving it in the oven at a very low temperature or just by sitting it out. Or don’t bother waiting and just enjoy immediately.

There’s also some chia seeds in this recipe to help everything gel together better.

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