Paleo Banana Bread

This recipe is another one of my favorite’s that my wife will make on occasion.  I am confident that if you have never used almond flour in baking, after you try a few recipes with it, you will absolutely like the taste far better than traditional all-purpose flour.

This is an easy paleo banana bread that’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.  The quick bread has a great texture.  The almond flour gives it a wonderful, moist tender crumb. Many paleo baking recipes call for a long list of ingredients, but this paleo bread calls for just a few simple ingredients and comes out perfect!

My recommendation to eat this is to heat it either in the microwave or even a toaster oven.  Once you’ve heated or toasted to your liking, put some Kerrygold Pure Irish grass-fed butter on and let it melt in and enjoy it with a nice cup of coffee with heavy whipping cream!!  Dee-Lish!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 300 grams almond flour, about 3 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Option; 1/2 cup walnuts or dark chocolate chips or even a combination of the two!

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 3 mini loaf pans using coconut oil or ghee, or line with parchment paper.
  • Beat eggs in a stand mixer with whisk attachment on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until thick and pale yellow.
  • Reduce speed, add bananas and mix until combined.
  • Pour in honey and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  • Mix dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients in 2 additions.
  • Mix until combined, fold in add-ins if using, then spoon batter into loaf pans and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack.

To get the full recipe, follow this link: Paleo Banana Bread

Exercise is optional. Movement is mandatory!

I listen to many hours of podcasts throughout the week.  This is the first of what I hope will be many more I share with you over time.  If you are not a podcast listener today, I highly recommend starting to do so.  No matter what your interests are, there is definitely a podcast for you.  I like to listen to them when I am in the car, exercising outside, on planes, etc.  I probably consume 10-15 hours of content each week.  It helps that I am now conditioned to listen at 1.5X speed!

These are the current health/lifestyle podcasts I subscribe to:

  • Primal Blueprint Podcast
  • The Paleo Solution Podcast
  • The Doctor’s Farmacy
  • Lifestyle Locker Radio with Dr. Josh Handt
  • Paleo Magazine Radio
  • Recipes for Life with Pete Evans

In addition to these, I like to listen to podcasts on real estate investing.

The podcast I am sharing is hosted by Elle Russ.  She has Logan Schwartz as the guest in this episode.  Logan has dedicated his life to helping individuals achieve a state of optimal health and vitality through a principle-based approach. He has positioned himself to learn from and work alongside the best coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists, and athletic trainers in the field of prevention, performance, and health.  Recently, Logan was the Assistant Basketball Strength Coach for The University of Texas at Austin and is a consultant for Train 4 The Game, Inc., which is one of the elite performance facilities in the nation. Currently Logan owns Austin Vitality Coach and is the Director of Programming for Your Trainer, Inc. in Austin, Texas. He also presents Internationally for the Gray Institute and Power Plate.

The line that stuck with me the most was, “Exercise is optional.  Movement is mandatory”, hence my title for this blog.  This ties in nicely with the Primal lifestyle.

Enjoy!

Link to Primal Blueprint Podcast with Logan Schwartz

Exercise is Ineffective for Weight Management

Before I was introduced to The Primal Blueprint, a good day’s workout for me would be to run 30-40 minutes on the treadmill right after work.  This was my “check the box” kind of thinking, and I felt good if I got this time on the treadmill and got a good sweat going.  I would do the same on the weekends with the only difference being I would try to push myself to go longer than 30-40 minutes.

Then my world was flipped upside down after reading the The Primal Blueprint.  My routine for 15+ years certainly had some positive benefits, but there was a whole new way of thinking and doing that is much more beneficial to my overall physical well-being.

One thing I learned that you will hear me talk about over and over again is your Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate, which is 180-Your Age in beats per minute (BPM).  This is where you achieve optimal aerobic, fat-burning benefits without triggering the fight or flight response.  Sustained workouts over maximum aerobic heart rate, greater than 180-Your Age, burn a greater percentage of glucose instead of fat and triggers the production of stress hormones and lactic acid in muscles.

Gone are the days of the 30-40 minute chronic cardio workouts on the treadmill.  The Primal Blueprint teaches you to slow things down and move more throughout the day.  A simple and immediate step you could take would be to try to walk for 5-15 minutes after each meal.  This will help to mute the pro-longed post-meal blood sugar spike and consequent insulin release.  A Mayo Clinic study showed that a leisurely walk of 1mph (this is hardly moving) for 15 minutes after a meal lowered by half the 2-hour long blood sugar spike that occurs after the typical meal.  My normal routine now consists of walks around the neighborhood, hikes, the occasional “trot” instead of running at a lower heart rate, and the Primal Essential Movements.

A workout conducted in the aerobic heart rate zone (180-Age) will optimize fat metabolism both during the workout and throughout the day.  Some other benefits of getting sufficient aerobic exercise includes:

  • Cardiovascular function is optimized as capillary profusion is increased
  • Muscle mitochondria multiply, function more efficiently, and get better at burning fat
  • Stroke volume of the heart increases (amount of blood pumped with each beat)
  • Lung capacity improves as a function of receiving more oxygen from the cardiovascular system

Chronic Exercise, which would be workouts where your heart rate is at levels greater than 180-Age, train the body to prefer glucose as fuel, both during exercise and throughout the day.  A chronic cardio pattern has been shown to obstruct immune system function, destroy white blood cells, elevate cortisol levels, suppress testosterone levels, and trigger chronic/systemic inflammation.  When workouts are above the optimal fat-burning zone (180-Age), the body begins to burn a greater percentage of glucose for fuel, which leads to sugar cravings after the workout, which leads to spikes in insulin production, which leads to more fat storage!!  Any workout regimen that consistently pushes you above the optimal aerobic level without respecting a proper balance of stress and rest can compromise health and disturb delicate hormone balances.

This was my “Aha” moment!  My 30-40 runs on the treadmill would lead me to being hungry the rest of the night.  I would eat dinner, which wasn’t Primal aligned like I try to be now, and then I would still be hungry later, which would lead to a nightly snack.  I did this thinking it was okay because I had worked out.  I used to be one of those people who said, “I workout so I can eat, drink, etc.”.  Now I have learned why I still continued to have the 10-12 pound roller coaster rides with my weight.  Since adopting the Primal Lifestyle, I have been able to become fat adapted, maintain a consistent weight, shed some excess body fat and created a much more enjoyable way of incorporating exercise into my life.

In addition to moving more throughout the day, The Primal Blueprint has what is called the Primal Essential Movements; Push-Up, Pull-Up, Plank and Squat.  All of these, with maybe the exception of pull-ups, can be done with your own body weight and without ever leaving your house.  Do not be turned off if you haven’t done a push-up since you had to for gym class.  It’s ok!!  We all have to start somewhere, but the key is to START!!!

The links below will take you to videos done by Mark Sisson, creator of The Primal Blueprint, which will show you the progression for each of the Primal Essential Movements.  That’s right, progression!  Meaning he will show you how to do each one no matter if it’s your first time, or if you are an expert.  Don’t think these movements won’t give you a workout.  I am doing two sets at various levels for each exercise and I can assure you my heart rate is pumping!  These exercises will also help to build muscle, which is extremely important to do going into the back half of your life!

Get out and move!!!

Pull-Up Progression

Plank Progression

Push-Up Progression

Squat Progression

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day??

Breakfast is always an interesting conversation to have with people when talking about living a Primal lifestyle.  One of the main reasons is due to how we’ve been programmed our whole lives about the importance of a “healthy” breakfast to start your day.  Keeping in mind that the “healthy” breakfast consists of  breakfast cereals, fruit juices, bagels, muffins, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurts, and maybe fruit.

The article below does a great job explaining breakfast in great detail.  It provides you with a wide range of recommendations all based on your own personal lifestyle.  This is one of the key elements about living a Primal Lifestyle, there is really no one set way of doing it.  For me, I follow a similar pattern to what the author does for his routine with a compressed eating window.  For the most part, during the week I will try to only eat from 12-8pm.  This will then create a 16-hour fast, which promotes autophagy (cellular maintenance) and hedges against aging and neurodegeneration.

I start my day with coffee and heavy whipping cream.  This is after I have had a couple tall glasses of water to rehydrate from the night’s sleep.  Now that I have become more fat adapted and not carb dependent, this easily gets me to lunchtime.  Over time, you will learn from your body what you need for fuel to get you through whatever it is you have going that day.

One last thing to point out is the word breakfast itself.  It is derived from “breaking your fast” from the night before.  It is typically associated with a morning meal.  If you get to the point where you wake up and you are not hungry, then don’t eat.  Wait until you are hungry and then eat.  You will eventually find that you’re not getting hungry until later morning.

Enjoy the article!

LINK TO “Why Breakfast Isn’t the Most Important Meal of the Day (For Everyone) @ Mark’s Daily Apple