Paleo Power For Seniors
After attending Harvard’s Ancestral Health Symposium last week, I came away even more convinced that a broad and varied diet of unprocessed foods offers the best shot at optimum health and longevity.
What foods you say? Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts.
Well that’s obvious, you say.
So obvious, It’s like the elephant in the living room when the typical American diet consists, conversely, of a raft of processed foods with long lists of ingredients and health claims, but little in the way of basic nutrition.
Did you know 80% of the foods sold in grocery stores have added sugars and high fructose corn syrup? And I even include ground meats, and so-called “diet” foods.
Why? You ask. That’s simple. Palatability. Sweet stuff makes us want more, more, more.
In food laboratories where many of or so-called foods are invented, there’s a term for this. It’s called Excito-toxins. I am not making this up. Now you know why dad sits down to watch the ball game and by the time it’s over, that bag of cheetos in his lap is empty, his fingers are stained reddish orange, and he’s asking, what’s for dinner?
So how hard is it to get these “unprocessed” foods? Not that hard as it turns out, but you’ll have to readjust your shopping habits a bit.
Farmer’s markets, CSA’s (community supported agriculture), and whole foods outlets are the best place to start.
But why should I do this, you say? I’ve lived more than fifty years. I still work hard. I may be a bit overweight. Yes, every time I go to the doctor, he/she adds a new prescription to my growing list. But I’m doing ok.
And that brings us right back where we started. Way back, in fact, say about 10,000 years, to a time before agriculture, when mankind lived by hunting and gathering whatever they could find.
And wouldn’t you like for your best years to be in front of you and not behind?
Your diet can get you there. Really.
This new column in Everybody Eats News will explore what it means to eat like your ancestors, what’s in it for you, and what you can expect.
Stay tuned. Every day, I’ll bring you a new piece of this puzzle. You’ll like it. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. You will soon be calling yourself a Paleo person.
Say what? Stay tuned. Chapter 1 comes tomorrow.
Here’s your first Paleo recipe:
Victor Subervi’s Seared Tuna with Sauteed Spinach, Red Onion, and Pears napped in Sunchoke Puree
Adapted from the fabulous version he made for me at Zazu’s Restaurant
472 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.
We know our ancient ancestors dug up tubers and roots from the ground. You can too. Make this heavenly simple puree from sunchokes (sometimes known as Jerusalem artichokes). The flavor is bright and kind of sweet. The texture is smooth. Use this puree with fish, chicken, and pork. Yum! Its as simple as our ancestors were.
1 pound sunchokes, peeled and cut into disks then tossed into a pan of cold water to cover. Raise to a boil and cook until they’re soft (no more than 5 minutes.)
Lift them from the cooking water to the food processor, add ½ stick butter and make a smooth puree. Season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper
Seared Tuna with Sauteed Spinach, Red Onion, and Pears
Makes 2 servings
2 thick sushi grade tuna steaks, about 1 pound
Freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons butter AND extra virgin olive oil
2 handsful fresh baby spinach
4 thin slices red onion
4 thin slices sweet pear
1 tablespoon pignoli
1 tablespoon raisins
4 tablespoons sunchoke puree
In a large skillet, heat to smoking. Meanwhile season tuna on both sides with pepper. Add butter and oil to the pan, then sear the steaks, 1 minute per side. Set aside on a warmed plate.
In the same skillet add spinach and wilt, turning with tongs, add red onion and pear and sear until golden. No more than a minute. Toss in pine nuts and raisins and heat.
To serve; Spoon sunchoke puree on a warmed dinner plate. Cut steaks into large triangles. Add a bit of spinach to each plate, arrange tuna in a tower. Add onion and pear, raisins and pine nuts. Serve immediately. Yum!