Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paleo Spinach Coconut Smoothie

I've been reading a bit lately on early human (well, pre-agricultural) diets and how the modern diet does not mesh well with our physiology. In other words, eating a buttload of grains and dairy does not a healthy human make.

Most of the "popular" books call it something like the paleolithic diet or some such derivation. The idea is to focus your diet on eating mostly vegetables, proteins (meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts) and some fruits with little in the way of grains, sugars, dairy, legumes, salt, processed oils and the like.

I'm probably more interested in this than the average person given my background and degree in evolutionary anthropology, but suffice it to say that years of studying evolutionary medicine, hominids and hunter-gatherer groups gives me a bit of a bias towards belief in these theories.

I'll talk about this more in the future but I wanted to share with you a recipe of a smoothie I had this morning that I really liked:

Paleo Spinach Strawberry Bliss Smoothie

1 cup coconut milk (I use So Delicious original)
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut frozen dessert

Place all of the above in a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth! If you want to liven it up, you can add in some flax meal as well.

Note: Argh! There be affiliate links in this post. Consider yerself warned.


Rachel said...

Yum! Everything is now on my grocery list. Can't wait to try it! If only, I could juice it...

Anna said...

Is it just me, or is that a green shake, rather than a green smoothie? Sounds delicious regardless. (You are not helping my coconut milk addiction, by the way.)

Kim said...

As a fellow anthropologists, those diets mostly annoy me. I feel like they are founded in a little bit of (probable) reality, but based on a lot of speculation too. When it comes down to it, for the most part we just don't know what paleo-humans/hominins ate that far back. Coupled with the fact that archaeology is increasingly producing evidence that at least some grains were being consumed prior to the advent of agriculture.

Plus, I'm of the opinion that meat in the diets of paleo-humans and other hominins is probably over emphasized in the literature because of the gender bias that has so long existed in anthropological research. (That is, women's work is always undervalued, and assumed to contribute less to the social group....and thus any foods produced/gathered by women "couldn't possibly" have contributed as much to the overall dietary intake of the group as any foods produced/hunted by men.)

I stand firmly behind the idea that, from an evolutionary (and just basic health perspective,) the problem is highly processed grains...not grains themselves.

That being said, I also firmly believe that meat/saturated fat have gotten a bad rap...and the lipid hypothesis seems pretty well debunked. (That is, meat's bad rap is over-stated at least in terms of the health consequences, not in terms of environmental consequences.)

And, all that being said...I don't necessarily think the paleo-diets are a bad thing. I think anything that gets people to stop eating processed foods, to pay attention to what they are eating and to eat a balanced and moderate diet is a good thing. I just don't buy the connection to paleo-times.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rachel - you can juice it if you like!

Natalie said...

I have also been reading about those paleo diets recently. I think I'm with both you and Kim. I don't mean that I'm an anthropologist =P but that something tells me there's more than a grain of truth in these theories. I also think that paleo diets are being pushed and marketed by non-academics, and I have a pretty big inclination to *not* believe everything I hear about theories that are only partially researched.

I think that some of our cultural cuisines today (post-agriculture) are indeed very heavy on the grains and legumes, and I wonder if that is entirely healthy. (Heck, most everything processed in America is made from corn...) But I also doubt that non-agricultural societies in the past and present simply never ate/eat grains and legumes. They are pretty handy, they are easy to harvest, and they store well.

So like Kim, I tend to lean towards a "fewer processed grains" rule. I also try to have veggies (or meat on meat days) be the bulk of my meals and have grains be a sidekick.

I'm interested in hearing what else you've learned about Paleo diets, Crunchy.