Wrecking whole foods with nasty other stuff

Matthew texted me this photo he took at Walmart, and said, “Can you tell me where to get some pork jowls?”

What the devil are pork jowls and why would anyone eat them? Who makes these signs? Has anyone reading this ever eaten the fatty underbelly of the chinny-chin-chin of a little piggy?

My least-favorite thing ever is taking a perfectly legitimate food, and wrecking it. Collards are lovely greens, great in a marinated salads, as dehydrated chips, as a wrap for some combination of hummus or guacamole, and brown rice and veggies. Or in a green smoothie or juice.

But frying it in bacon fat? This is simply begging for obesity, inflammation, and misery. Not to mention wrecking a perfectly good food.

When a recipe calls for nuts, skip the salted/roasted, and soak some sunflower seeds or (truly raw) almonds, then dehydrate them below 115 degrees. Now you’ve skipped the toxic food in favor of a living, high-energy food, and you’ve lost virtually nothing, taste-wise.

When you want something crispy, make chips out of unsalted, organic, sprouted-grain or corn tortillas. (Organic is EXTRA important with corn, since that means it’s also not GMO.)

If you want some ranch dip, use good fats instead without MSG and salt: mash an avocado, and mix in some salsa, or a tomato, with garlic powder (or fresh garlic).

If you want chocolate, have some fudge made from 1 part non-alkalized cocoa, 1 part agave, 2 parts extra-virgin coconut oil, stir together and refrigerate or freeze. Or there’s our hot cocoa, which is fabulous with coconut milk as a base.

If you want bread, get Manna Bread or Ezekiel Bread. (Sprouted, gluten proteins broken down.) If you like butter, use organic/unsalted, or use coconut oil instead.

We’re formulating an energy drink that uses only whole foods, tastes good, and has NO central nervous system stimulants. Meantime, drink plain green tea sweetened with stevia, and add a spoonful of chia just to make it fun. (Caffeine, yes, I know—far better than Rockstar, Diet Pepsi, or coffee though.) Or drink Crio Bru or Choffy, one of the brewed cocoa drinks. Better yet, if it’s not about wanting something to drink, and it’s more about needing an energy shot, just have a glass of water and a few capsules of Maca when your energy is low.

I have all kinds of substitutions like this. These are just examples, my friends. Don’t quit—it’s a journey, a learning process, and it’s one of the BEST journeys you’ll ever go on.

There are so many ways to substitute whole-foods habits for the lousy habits that are a direct cause of all those “diagnoses” you’ve been lugging around. You’ll acquire a taste for things that are good. It really does happen.

10 thoughts on “Wrecking whole foods with nasty other stuff

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  1. Collards as wraps, dehydrated chips, smoothies, juice, steamed, etc. are all good! Especially since my gut is not tolerating grains, they are great replacements for grain tortillas.

    However, I beg to disagree with you regarding cooking the collards with bacon. Pastured, uncured bacon can be obtained from local organic farmers. Traditionally, cooking veggies (and collards can be tough and fibrous) with animal fats can make the collards’ nutrients more digestible, and quite frankly, out of this world delicious. People in the past had less degenerative diseases than today.

    Good quality bacon does not cause inflammation, obesity and misery. I find that grains and many forms of carbohydrates cause misery and inflammation. I am finding relief with a primal and GAPS diet. And I am certainly not getting obese eating bacon; I am feel way better! Many of the paleos I know are amazingly fit, healthy, stable people.

    If a vegan diet, raw and/or cooked, had worked to sustain me over the years I did it, I would still be doing it. I find the vegan dietary dogma quite misleading. If it works for you, great. But for how long? A vegan diet is great for cleansing and curing cancer, but for long term vibrant health maintenance? I have not found that to be the case.

    Indeed, it is important to promote healthy foods, including plant foods. However, not one size fits all when it comes to diet.

  2. I just bought some “Open Nature” uncured bacon raised with no
    antibiotics, added hormones and all vegetarian fed.
    Also no preservatives, MSG, nitrites, nitrates**
    **Except those naturally occurring in celery powder.
    ingredients listed are : Pork prepared with water, salt,
    turbinado sugar, celery powder.

    As I read the fine print here I can see the red flags.
    The final being the distributor is Lucerne Foods!
    Vegetarian fed means GMOs. Why would celery
    powder need nitrites, nitrates.

    My intent was to mention there is good bacon. Now
    I have to agree with the blog about skipping it.

    I read every label and I got swept away. So many ways
    to trick us.

  3. I have seen bacon sold at Whole Foods that claimed to be nitrate free. I tried it and it was fine taste wise but not really worth the expense in my book. I turn green at the thought of hog jowls, or pigs feed or other such things personally, but I’m pretty sure many people in the south would beg to differ with the both of us.

  4. My family has hunted, butchered, and cooked every delicious part of the pig for generations. I personally don’t eat tons of bacon, but I agree that cooking greens or beans with a bit of bacon or pork is outta-this world yummly. I believe in juicing, the regular detox, herbal supplements and powders, etc. I do it all. I also believe that no matter what you consume, there is no 100% guarantee you will maintain flawless health. I have treated patients who are vegan that get cancers; patients who eat paleo that get heavy or sick, on and on. Moderation is the key. I come from a long line of men and women who eat meat (including bacon), sugars, pastas, and drink from the hose well past the century mark. I hope I live and die as they do; active for the bulk of a lifetime followed by a short decline and peaceful farewell. There is no perfect diet, there are virtually no perfect foods. We are all different.

  5. Bacon is indeed a primal/paleo food if the pork is pasture raised and not cured with chemicals and has no additives in it. Neiman Ranch bacon all the way! Of course, it’s more expensive than generic bacon, which is why I don’t eat bacon everyday. It’s a once a month treat. Mankind has been curing and preserving meat with natural methods for millions of years. Chemically preserved meat was introduced in the early 20th century. The traditional way to make bacon is to cure slabs of pork belly for several weeks in a salt brine and then cold smoke it for several days in the backyard smokehouse. It’s a bit time consuming, but extremely easy to do. This is how Neiman Ranch and Applegate Farms produce their bacon.

  6. I just wanted to mention that for people who are supposed to avoid caffeine, chocolate in all its forms should be steered clear of … I have read that chocolate/cocoa/fudge contain more caffeine than either coffee or tea. Perhaps that is why it is so addictive.

  7. I’ve been eating tons of animal fats the past 2 years with great health benefits and I weigh a fairly steady 120. Without it my weight dipped dangerously low. People complimented me on how great I looked, but I was frail. I’m thankful for all of the wisely sourced animal fats I eat. Go bacon! And go green smoothies! I need them both.:)

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