Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 2, 2011

5 things that’ll make you slightly more perfect (but not obnoxiously so).

I’m not perfect. (I KNOW! Shocking.)

I skip workouts. (MANY workouts). I pop zits. Sometimes I watch Vampire Fiction and delight in the antics of churlish New Jersey Housewives.

(Sadly, I haven’t had much time for television lately – so I’ve been staging my own little vignettes using finger puppets. I call them “The Real Vampires of Paleo Township”)

(Brilliant, babysitter-friendly finger puppets from LaAnt Crafts)

Another thing I do that’s not perfect is…I waste things. I buy single-use plastics and non-reuseables. I’ve gone through more than my fair share of Starbucks to-go cups and I’ve definitely used a plastic bag or two (contributing to the 500 billion plastic bags consumed annually and an ocean deposit of degrading plastics approximately the size of Texas). Yeouch.

I saw the movie Bag It recently and, aside from being delightful (who doesn’t love a self-deprecating narrator with an affinity for crotch jokes), it made me realize that I do some things that are downright lazy.

Lookit. I hate being preached at. I’m not about finger-wagging, whether as a nutrition professional or in environmental matters. I likely won’t re-arrange my life such that I produce absolutely no garbage or never use a plastic bag again. But there are a few things I’d be a jerk not to do that are, at the very least, steps up from the alternative. Here are 5 better choices we can make that aren’t overly hippie or obnoxious.

Thing Number One: Don’t use the disposable cups at the coffee shop.

Aside from the Soy Milk and bad soundtracks, Starbucks does one thing right: they give a discount for bringing in re-usable coffee cups. Let me be an uber-jerk and say this: There’s really no excuse for single-use coffee cups. The number of gas-station and coffee-shop cups that must be discarded every day is staggering. Don’t make it worse.

If you can afford to buy coffee, you can afford to invest in a re-usable coffee cup. Above: Re-usable vessels for Iced coffee AND hot.

Thing Number Two: Don’t buy products built to buttress human ineptitude.

What I mean is, there are certain products that simply scream “I KNOW YOU’RE INCOMPETENT! EMBRACE IT!” Bag It made me realize that the plastic-screw-top carton is one of those products.

Back in “the day” – which was a Wednesday, btw* – people knew how to open cartons. These days, cartons – those remnants of times gone by – are equipped with convenient screw-tops. I contend these screw-tops serve to surreptitiously degrade your self-esteem – because, apparently, you are unable to navigate the difficult world of folding back, then pushing forward to access your full-fat dairy. Let’s be real – the first rule of BEING A CARTON is that you open like this: 

I understand that this is still a throwaway item. But if I’m going to keep enjoying heavy cream in my coffee now and then, it’s going to be from a carton that A) respects my intelligence and B) doesn’t generate more waste in the form of a ridiculous plastic cap.

*Not my joke. I think it’s Dane Cook’s.**

**Please excuse me for knowing AND re-using a Dane Cook joke.

Thing Number Three: Buy stuff that can be reincarnated.

Standard shampoo bottles are generally useless once you’re done with them. But Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap – which I use to supplement my “No Poo” regimen – comes in bottles (made from recycled materials) that are easily re-used for pre-made laundry soap extracted from Soap Nuts (see Thing Number Four) or as a shaker for my Apple Cider Vinegar hair conditioner.

Great Marsh Artisan Skincare (a favorite company of mine that produces crap-free products from seasonal herbs that the owner, Amanda, infuses herself) packages their Peppermint Food Scrub in easily re-used mason jars.

When I’m traveling, I snag the miniature mason jars containing jelly and syrup and give them a new life – they’re perfect for holding coconut oil lip balm.

Thing Number Four: Quit the detergent. Buy soap nuts in bulk.

(Note: I have an article on soap nuts in the latest issue of Paleo Magazine.)

Soap Nuts are amazing little dried fruits that contain saponin, a natural surfactant. They’re perfect for a variety of cleaning tasks, but I love them most for their incredible clothes-cleaning abilities. After using soap nuts to wash our laundry, I could never return to using even the most “green” detergents – they leave residue that is simply filmy, not to mention many are full of icky, unnecessary, and potentially toxic ingredients.

You can purchase soap nuts in bulk here.

Thing Number Five: (Ladies Only)

I’ll be blunt. Think of all the waste we create with our tampon applicators and time-of-the-month products. While Lunapads and Divacups aren’t right for everyone, we can – at the very least – bear the inconvenience of using applicator-free tampons.

Update: Oh. Mah. Gahd. Stacy just alerted me to these. I’m ordering them NOW!

What other ideas or advice do you have for living just slightly less wastefully more perfectly?

November 10, 2011

Bruce Fife on Phytates in Coconut

The Godfather of Coconut, Bruce Fife, wrote to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s quarterly journal about the recent rumblings on the Phytic acid content of coconut. Recent talk in the Traditional Food World have suggested that Phytic acid should be a concern for us coconut-lovers. Phytic acid is one of the major downsides to and reasons for avoiding grains because it basically binds – “chelates” – minerals, rendering them unusable by the body. Here’s an excerpt of what Fife had to say:

“Phytic acid occurs in nuts and seeds in two forms – Phytic acid and Phytic acid salts [Reddy, NR and Sathe, SK (Eds.) Food Phytates. CRC Press, 2001]. Both are generally referred to as “phytates.” Together, these two compounds make up the total percentage of phytates reported in various foods. However, they do not possess the same chelating power. So the chelating effect of the phytates of corn, wheat or soy are not the same as those in coconut. You cannot predict the chelating effect based on total phytate content alone.

“The mineral-binding effect of the phytates in coconut is essentially nonexistent. It is as if coconut has no phytic acid at all.”


Fife goes into greater detail, but it’s great to hear an “expert” view of the topic.

(Excuse my ratty writing – I’m stuck in an airport where service is spotty and fog is impeding my journey to the WAP Conference! Naturally I’m using the time to review my WAP journals. Join the WAP Foundation – the quarterly journals are worth their weight in gold!)

November 2, 2011

Welcome, RobbWolf & ChrisKresser dot-commers!

The illegitimate Paleo Baby of myself (Liz) and Diane – better known as the Balanced Bites Podcast – has inspired much new traffic to my humble corner of the interwebs! Thank you for your awesome emails, questions, and virtual high-fives! And thanks to Robb and Chris for stopping by our humble podcast to talk Digestion (Chris) and the Ancestral Health movement (Robb).

As Diane and I are literally the Screech and Urkel of Paleo, we were totally giddy to talk health from every angle.

If you’re new to Cave Girl Eats, help yourself to some vital stats:

My name is Liz. I’m a Nutritional Therapist at Ancestral Wellness, LLC, where I help folks find nutritional balance through a combination of functional evaluation, nutritional support, and lifestyle triage. More about me here.

That’s “Grown-up Liz.” CGE is more “obnoxious eight-year-old Liz.” (I believe there’s room for both in the blogosphere. Barely.)

I’m also a columnist for Paleo Magazine – I write about Body Care and ways to de-chemicalize your self-care routine. (It’s actually quite easy!) Check out my Body Care page for more.

I love coconut, eggs (sometimes both at the same time) and my favorite movies are M*A*S*H, The Jerk, and The Princess Bride. (Mainly because I can’t decide who gets “ditched” in a game of Date, Ditch or Marry: Elliot Gould, Steve Martin, or Billy Crystal. Halp!)

I’m passionate about Good Food, Good Health, and being Super Cheeky.

Feel free to drop me a line and tell me about YOU!

August 18, 2011

I’m Too Old For This.

I know I sound like a broken record, but this past week (like every other week this summer) has been a blur. I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programming soon, I promise. Food, life, outdated pop culture references and such.

Last weekend I flew to the Chi for the ‘Chlorette party of one of my besties. You can see from this college skit picture of us that things were likely to get real weird, real fast:

So I’ve been attempting to bounce back from the creep-a-thon for a few days. Yes, I know it’s now Thursday. If you’re under 22 you won’t understand this – but the normal recovery period for regaining functionality is exactly one day for every grey hair you had to pluck out before you passed out at 10:30 went to after-hours. So lay off me.

The ‘Chlorette is one of those friends who has been through absolutely everything with me; and I with her. We’ve hated each other for extended periods of time (mostly because of that pesky, infuriating thing called honesty). We’ve proofread each other’s writing. (Pre-blogosphere. You know, when editing and flow were important.) We’ve crafted home-made beer pong tables out of rotted drywall and sawhorses. We’ve argued fiercely and laughed until our stomachs hurt (she’s way funnier than me):

So you can all see how it was incredibly important that I stay Paleo focus on the festivities.

I did bring about twelve tins of sardines, a giant bag of coconut flakes, and Paleo Kits galore. I walked the 1-mile trek to the most infuriatingly gigantic Whole Foods in the nation. (4 theme restaurants. A stage. A booze bar. A whole Vegan zip code.) I also made the 2-mile trek to drop-in at CrossFit Chicago. It was after an Rx “Helen” that I shed my albatross of accountability. And now I feel like I got punched six times in the Twins’ Bullpen while being expelled from a wind tunnel.

I suppose I didn’t go too crazy. Considering I spent 4 days in Chicago with my besties going to drag shows (talk about the Twins’ Bullpen) and Husker bars, I think I did pretty well. I stayed grain-free (the accidental, occasional, Can’t-Decline-a-3-Wise-Men-God-Help-Me liquid “nutrition” excepted). I stayed sugar-free (the accidental, occasional, Can’t-Decline-a-Purple-Hooter-Who Buys-These-Things-Anyway liquid “nutrition” excepted). I stayed pizza-free and only ONCE did I accidentally top my sauteed broccoli with sugar instead of salt.

Oh, who am I kidding. I did my best, but how many more of these ‘Chlorettes do I have left? We’re all getting to be old, married and bo-ring. I had to gear up for months and train like Rocky Balboa to prepare to wear 4″ heels for the first time since 2007.

The most important thing is that, after a week of sleeping, chugging bone broth, and changing the bandages on my feet, I’ve come back to earth. I missed you guys.


August 4, 2011

Food Freedom is Dead. (Or At Least in V-Fib.)

This one is short because the point is really, disgustingly, glaringly apparent.

First: Cargill, an Agribusiness Giant, has recalled 36 MILLION lbs. of ground turkey due to salmonella contamination. People got sick. Somebody died. Since the turkey “product” is a mass-produced blend of turkey meat from all over the map, it’s necessary to recall it all.

Next: In California, 2 locally-distributing purveyors of raw milk products have been arrested in a state where RAW MILK IS LEGAL. Apparently they’ve violated some obscure, tangential rule about animal boarding. A rule that has nothing to do with the quality of the product. Nobody was sold contaminated food. Nobody got sick.

But if they had, it’d be easy to track the problem food back to the source and begin immediate triage.

Food Freedom is practically dead. Are we really being asked to continue subscribing to this Agribusiness system?

Who’s making the arrests at Cargill? Anybody? Bueller?

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