Is Monk Fruit Paleo?

Is Monk Fruit paleo?

If you’re anything like most people, you’ll read the title and think, “Oh, monk fruit. That’s great! …What’s a monk fruit?”

Monk fruit has been a hot topic in the Paleo community recently, as it may have potential as a new (and possibly Paleo!) sweetener. Monk fruit, also sometimes known as luo han guo, is a unique plant grown only in China. It got its name from the Buddhist Luo Han monks, who were some of the first to cultivate the fruit hundreds of years ago.

But with all of the toxic compounds and negative side effects associated with other artificial sweeteners, can monk fruit really be a part of the Paleo diet? Or is it just another Paleo no-go?

What you should know about monk fruit

Many people who have tasted monk fruit say that it tastes like chocolate or molasses, and its flavor isn’t the only thing that has people talking. The sweetness in monk fruit comes from a type of glycoside called mogrosides, and these mogrosides are full of antioxidants that help the body function healthily. Additionally, monk fruit helps to reduce oxidative stress on the body, so your body receives the support that it needs to function at full potential.

One study on the effects of monk fruit on the body showed no toxic effects; in fact, the animal subjects were given large amounts of the luo han guo sweetener (3g per kg of their body weight—on a 10lb dog, that’s 30g of sweetener!), yet they showed no ill effects and did not gain weight.

So then, what negative effects does monk fruit have? Aside from the rarity of its habitat (only in Guangxi, China), Paleo experts agree—it’s great!

What do other Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Legend has it that the monk fruit vine sustains its caretakers by enveloping them and transmitting pure life-force directly into their hearts. And if you have the climate to grow monk fruit, you might try setting up that whole symbiotic relationship/lifeforce exchange thing (perfect for people who telecommute). I’d say it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for a non-caloric, natural sweetener. Verdict: Primal.”

Jane Barthelemy says: “Luo Han Guo is a 100% natural Paleo sweetener. I suggest caution in buying Luo Han Guo as it is often mixed with other ingredients such as cane sugar or dextrose (a corn sugar), [but] I believe it to be a very good concentrated sweetener.”

So is monk fruit Paleo?

Yes.

Monk fruit is a promising addition to the Paleo diet, offering sweetness and nutrition all in the same package. Be careful when buying in order to avoid monk fruit mixed with artificial sweeteners like corn.

Some Paleo experts suggest Swanson Vitamins as a good supplier of high-quality monk fruit extract, and if you want to powder it yourself, ask any Chinese medicine herbalist for Plum Flower brand momordica fruit.

Images: Copyright (c) dolphfyn – Fotolia.com

What Is Stevia And Should You Eat It?

what is stevia and should you use it?

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a leafy green shrub-like plant (it’s part of the Asteraceae family and is related to the daisy and ragweed).

There are many different species of stevia (one species is called “candyleaf” and is native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas). Another species is called Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (sometimes you’ll see it called Rebiana or Reb A), which is native to Paraguay and Brazil, and that’s the species that typically used to sweeten food.

But, when people ask what is stevia, they’re typically referring to stevia extract that we buy in stores either as a solution or as a fine white powder. You can, however, grow your own stevia plant in certain parts of the world (generally places where it doesn’t get too cold).

History of Stevia

Stevia has been used in South American cultures (like the Guarani Indians) for over 1500 years. In South America it is often known as yerba dulce, and it is used for a variety of purposes including to sweeten local teas and as a medicine.
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Is Maple Water Paleo?

is maple water paleo?

I tried Maple water in Vancouver earlier this year. I saw it in a supermarket and thought why not give it a try. And now, I get to share with you what maple water is, what I thought of it, and whether maple water is paleo or not.

What is Maple Water?

It’s the pure maple sap that runs from maple trees. At the beginning of spring, you can insert a tap into the maple tree, and maple sap will flow out. If you want to know more, then Lauren from Paleo Raccoon has written a bit more about the process.

How is Maple Water Different From Maple Syrup?

To make maple syrup, you take the maple water (or maple sap) and boil it down until it forms a syrup (basically by evaporating the water). It takes around 40 gallons of the water to get 1 gallon of maple syrup! That just shows you how little sugar is in maple water.

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What is Celtuce and How Do You Eat It?

What is Celtuce?

I’ve been eating celtuce or asparagus lettuce (also called celery lettuce, stem lettuce, or Chinese stem lettuce) for a long time without knowing what it is! Its Chinese name is ?? (wo sun) or sometimes ?? (qing sun), which I had mistaken thought meant young bamboo.

But celtuce is not bamboo at all – it’s actually a type of lettuce where you eat the stem instead of the leaves.

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What Are Custard Apples (aka the Buddha’s Head Fruit) and How Do You Eat Them?

what are custard apples and how do you eat them?

I’ve been living in Asia for the past month, and I’m absolutely loving the huge variety of fruits and vegetables here. I keep discovering new ones every day. So, I thought I would start featuring a few of the ones that I’ve discovered.

I’m starting with Custard Apples (aka the Buddha’s Head Fruit) because they have such a weird name!

Despite their weird name, they’re actually pretty common in many warmish climates (although this trip was the first time I had come across them). According to the all-knowing internet, you can find custard apples in countries like Spain, Peru, Taiwan, Australia, China, and many more.

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67 Proven Uses for Coconut Oil

67 proven ways to use coconut oil

You might have seen coconut oil sold many places or mentioned on websites and wondered what the heck you should be using it for.

Well, I used to think coconut oil was just for cooking until my friend pointed out that her grandmother had used it as a hair product forever. Of course, from then on, I started encountering different uses for coconut oil everywhere – I even read about it being used as a sun-burn cream in one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books (you know, the guy that wrote The Great Gatsby and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

So, to help you start using coconut oil, here are 67 of my favorite uses – and to prove I’m not making all this up, I’ve provided links to some excellent skin care recipes, food recipes, as well as scientific studies and testimonials.

Now, go get yourself a jar of coconut oil and start using it!

  1. To cook with instead of vegetable or seed oils. Coconut oil naturally has a high smoking point, is highly stable due to its high saturated fat content, and imparts very little “coconut” flavor to your foods. I use it to cook pretty much everything – check my recipes if you don’t believe me!
  2. In your coffee/tea instead of creamer. Yes – that’s right, use coconut oil, not coconut milk! In case you’re confused about this, here’s my video showing you exactly how to make it.
  3. To wash your face with instead of soap. It sounds strange, but oil washes impurities out better than soap and it doesn’t dry your skin! It takes a week to get used to it – the skin on your face is so used to being dried out by soap and facial cleansers that it’s producing extra oil to counteract it. So, it’ll take a little bit of time for your skin to stop producing all that extra oil. Be patient – it’s worth it!
  4. To brush your teeth with. Coconut oil has many antimicrobial properties which can make it good at killing off bacterial in your mouth. To make your own toothpaste, simply add 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (melt it in the microwave very briefly so that it’s softened) to 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda. Mix to form a paste and spread on your toothbrush. (The baking soda whitens your teeth.)
  5. Here’s my video of a coconut and olive oil blend toothpaste recipe.

  6. For oil pulling. This is similar to the previous use in that it helps with oral hygiene. Oil pulling has long been a popular practice in India and with Ayurvedic practitioners. It involves swishing oil around your mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. The idea behind the practice is to remove bacteria from your teeth and mouth, which can then alleviate various other illnesses (including arthritis and fatigue). This practice has enjoyed renewed attention in recent years due to Bruce Fife’s popular book, Pulling Therapy.
  7. As a body moisturizer. Our skin absorbs whatever creams we put on it (think of all the topical pain relief medications that work because it gets absorbed through our skin). So, instead of pumping random chemicals from your moisturizers into your skin, many people (including myself) choose to use coconut oil instead. I like to use it at the end of my shower so that it’s more easily absorbed and before my skin has had a chance to dry out.
  8. As a sun-screen. This is not a high SPF sunscreen, but a 2013 study found that coconut oil absorbs 20% in the UVB region (this equates to something under SPF 10 – there’s disagreement as to the exact number). So definitely use other forms of natural sun-protection when you’re out.
  9. As a hair conditioner. I started using coconut oil as a hair conditioner a while ago, coupling it with diluted apple cider vinegar as the “shampoo.” Don’t use too much and just rub it on the ends of your hair so you don’t end up with oily hair!
  10. As a supplement. It’s suggested that taking coconut oil as a supplement can help with weight loss and increase your “good” cholesterol. I think it’s just good in general – it’s not a magic pill!
  11. As a massage oil. Coconut oil doesn’t get absorbed into your skin quickly, which ensures your skin stays slippery for longer thereby making it perfect for you to enjoin a long massage!
  12. To reduce scars. I’ve never tried this myself – but some people seem to have had great success with it.
  13. To treat lice. Apply it to your hair. There have been studies showing it is effective.
  14. [Read more...]

Are You Eating the Right Type of Celery? – Heart, Root, or Seeds?

celery

Isn’t Celery Just Celery?

I was actually really lucky growing up – my mum cooked a lot, and so I got to know common fruits and vegetables (and even some exotic ones) pretty well. However, I have to admit, I was was really confused when it came to celery. I had eat celery plenty as a kid, but I had always called it “celery.” So what the heck were hearts and roots?

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3 Little Known Facts About the Health and Taste of Quail Eggs

3 Little Known Facts About the Health and Taste of Quail Eggs

Lately I’ve seen Quail Eggs everywhere!

They’re in recipes, on restaurant menus, in stores, and on Facebook. It’s like the world went quail egg crazy!

Are they healthier? Do they taste better? What is it???

So, I thought I’d cook them to see what all the fuss was about.

Along the way, I did some digging (on the internet) and found these 3 little known facts about Quail Eggs.

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Ginger and Garlic Bok Choy Stir-Fry

paleo bok choy stirfry

“You can die from eating too much Bok Choy!”

All my Asian friends were shocked when I told them that. After all, it’s a common vegetable consumed by millions of Asians constantly. The idea that such an innocent and delicious vegetable could cause you to die was probably as shocking as an Asian being Paleo and refusing to eat rice!

Do you want me to email this recipe to you?
If so, just Click Here.

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Why Aren’t Potatoes Paleo?

why aren't potatoes paleo

Why are Potatoes Not Paleo?   But yet, Sweet Potatoes are?

Think it’s because Potatoes aren’t as nutritious as Sweet Potatoes?  Well, then you’re in for a shock!

Think it’s because Potatoes are more toxic than Sweet Potatoes?  Well, again you’re in for a shock!

So what’s the real reason for this, and is it even a good reason?  Well, I think I’ve posed a lot of questions, and this article is going to provide some answers.

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12 Ridiculously Addictive Coconut Butter Recipes

coconut butter

If you don’t know what Coconut Butter is, then that photo above and the rest of this article are going to change your life.

Maybe you think that you eat some pretty delicious and healthy foods right now. Maybe you grew up eating and loving peanut butter.

And maybe you’re about to find out why Coconut Butter is way healthier, way more delicious, and just way better

I realize that coconut butter is not a common food for many people, so I’ll try to answer some common questions in this article:

So What is Coconut Butter?

I really didn’t know the answer to this question until I discovered coconut butter at the Weston A. Price conference last year.

I’ve been in love ever since!

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