Mom’s Simple Shiitake Mushroom Soup

Shiitake mushrooms are amazing. They are not only vastly superior to portobellos in taste but they have more health benefits as well.

My mom had breast cancer last year and I help out preparing healthy meals for her as much as I can. One meal that she has really enjoyed lately and which packs a ton of healthy cancer fighting goodness is a simple Japanese inspired Shiitake Mushroom soup.

Shiitake mushrooms have many beneficial compounds that have been shown to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the size of cancer tumors. It also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial compounds as well.

The soup takes less than an hour from start to finish and served about six.

Mom’s Shiitake Soup

  1. One medium cleaned unpeeled sweet potato – diced in half inch pieces
  2. 1/2 box organic chicken stock
  3. 1/4 small red onion – finely diced
  4. 4 cloves of garlic finely diced
  5. 4-6 ounces Shiitake Mushrooms sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  6. 1 bunch of organic green onions cut up in small rounds
  7. 1 bunch of organic cilantro chopped
  8. 1 lemon – cut in wedges
  9. 1 tablespoon of Ghee, olive oil, avocado oil
  10. Two cups water

Sauté mushrooms on medium heat in fat of your choice (no veggie oil) in a medium sauce pain for 6-7 minutes. Add onions and sauté till they are translucent. Then add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Next add the chicken stock, diced sweet potatoes, and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least thirty minutes to up to two hours.

To serve simply ladle the soup into a bowl and add a big handful of green onion and cilantro. Then squeeze a wedge of lemon into it and enjoy!

**I was cooking a lot of button mushrooms for my mom but I recently stopped after Paul Stamets on the Joe Rogan Podcast, warmed against eating them.

I highly recommend it. Paul Stamets is the most knowledgeable guy on the planet when it comes to mushrooms.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mPqWstVnRjQ

Button mushrooms, crimini and portobellos are all the same mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. He hesitated during the Podcast to reveal why to avoid them but I did a little digging and it turns out that Agaricus bisporus contain chemicals called agarotines that when digested can be carcinogenic.

I found a video of him explaining this in more detail. He said it’s analogous to smoking a cigarette when you eat one, except instead of just causing tumors in the lungs like cigarettes these compounds can create tumors all over your body.

So needless to say we avoid all button, portobello, and crimins until further scientific testing is done. Thankfully delicious Shiitake mushrooms don’t contain these carcinogenic chemicals.

In this video he explains to Daryl Hannah (yes the actress) starting at 6:30 why he thinks people shouldn’t eat button mushrooms and portobellos.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2C-QlPb3J74

I hope you will consider trying the soup. It’s something we have really enjoyed.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

Read Nestle’s Boost label before you buy

I’m laid up in bed with pneumonia along with  some indertiminet GI issue. I haven’t eaten much lately. 

Yesterday after not eating for two days I decided to  drink a Nestle Boost Compact drink to  to get some vitamins and minerals in me.  I’m a habitual label reader and when I read the label I knew that Nestle had a huge opportunity on their hands.

I’ve been eating a primarily paleo diet for the last 9 years and it still amazes me how much of the big three foods that I recommend avoiding are still in mass consumption products including those which purport to be healthy. 

Nestle’s Healthcare division produces the Boost line.

 It’s tag line is: 

“Nestlé Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”

With their Boost product I think they have ways to improve the product and make it live up to their goal of “creating a healthier future”. 

The First five ingredients are filled with red flags for those who adhere to the Anscetral Eating hypothesis. The second ingredient is Corn Syrup Solids, the fourth is sugar and the fifth is vegetable oil (canola, high oleic sunflower and corn). 

These are three ingredients I avoid because our genetic makeup has yet to evolve to thrive on them. I believe there are anecdotal and some studies that are showing that these ingredients may not be the best choice for people to eat for optimal health. 

I believe that’s especially true for people who are reaching for a Boost.  Drinking one is not something you normally do if you are feeling well. 

Nestle’s is a huge corporation who is making an enormous investment in developing scientific nutritional products for everything from alzheimers to Inflammatory Bowel disease. If they begin to use less vegetable seed oils, sugar and and high fructose corn syrup and solids in their products  they could change the entire food industry and help bring down the cost of Paleo compliant ingredients.  That would inspire other companies to do the same or they would miss out on the sales that Nestle will be raking in. 

I believe that simple changes could be made to their Boost product to make it more Paleo compliant. A better option maybe for them to come out with a Paleo friendly version. That would be a huge seller. Primal and Paleo products do sell at a premium and people are willing to pay for it. 

Boost Compact is a product that provides a ton of vitamins and minerals and protein and calories that people who are sick need. Having a Primal /Paleo  approved Boost Product would open up a huge market for them. . 

The Paleo Diet was the number onesearched Diet for weight loss last year. Awareness and adoption rates of the Ancestral Diet movement is growing rapidly. People have turned to the Pelo diet to also help ease the symptoms of autoimmune diseases and other chronic modern day maladies.

Nestle is aware of niche food markets because they do offer a Boost that is FODMAP compliant. That’s a great start. The next step for Nestle is to bring out a Boost product that is organic,has olive oil or coconut oil instead of Industrial Seed oils, and uses a natural sugar like honey or maple syrup or even stevia. 

Organic foods typically sell for 47% higher price. I firmly believe that  the margins and markets are there for an Organic Paleo compliant Boost product. 

I would drink it way more often than o do the traditional Boost drink and o would do so even if o wasn’t laid up in bed.  

If you want to contact Nestle HealtheCare Nutrition and let them know you would be a buyer of a Paleo compliant Organic Boost product call 1-800-247-7893. 
Brad Miller 

Grilled Cucumbers 


A pleasant surprise. 

Summer time is the time for grilling. There is nothing better than a meal of perfectly grilled chicken with a side of grilled veg, like peppers and zyccchini. Yesterday I decided to expand my outdoor cooking horizons and threw cucumbers on the fire along with my tried and true favorites and I’m glad I did. 

In the middle are the two cucumber halves. 

If you are a fan of grilled zucchini I think you’ll also like grilled cucumbers. The charring and time over the coals brings out a mild sweetness that you just don’t get from eating them raw.  

 It’s very simple to prepare. This is all you need.

Cucumbers, oil, and salt and pepper.   

1. Cut your cumbersome in half.

2. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds 

3. Coat with olive oil 

4. Liberally salt and pepper both sides with

5. Place cut side down on the gril – flip when there is a bit of char, then finish it with skin side down till tender.

I serve mine doused with my 5 minute vineigrette along side grilled chicken. Absolutely delicious. They are even better the next day.

If you are feeling adventurous try grilling cucumbers for a novel and nutritious addition to your next summer time meal. 

Brad 

Mind your mental diet

Six Minute Read

Mind Your Mental Diet

We are what we eat is a famous saying we’ve all heard over and over again. What if we should also add the observation that “Our minds our made of what we listen to and see”? Food is both the fuel and the building blocks of our bodies and our brains. We deplete our resiliency and longevity by eating the foods that aren’t nourishing while missing out on the opportunity to strengthen ourselves by eating foods that contain what our bodies and brains thrive on. The exact process happens when we consume media.


When we consume healthy foods our physical processes work more efficiently. Our bodies have the resources it needs to better fend off injury and illness. When I consume good food I feel better. When I make a point to consume positive images, thoughts and ideas I do as well. By making a point to mentally consume life affirming growth oriented and interesting ideas delivered in entertaining ways by people of good will, I’m better able to turn even obstacles I encounter into opportunities.

I’m a huge proponent of ancestral eating. But I sometimes stray from the paleo path and when I do I feel lousy both physically and mentally. The times I do get off the straight and narrow, I can look back and find that I’ve not been reading books about or listening to podcasts explaining the benefits of primal eating. By not inoculating myself with these positive sources of information I become more susceptable to the subtle and not so subtle influences around me. Part of the reason for this is, that I like every other average American, am exposed to about 4000 advertisements per day. That number includes everything from internet ads, to billboards, store fronts and government propaganda

There is a reason that your email is free and there is a reason Facebook doesn’t charge you. It is because Ads work. Companies and the government pay them to put messages in front of you in hope of changing how you think. We all want to believe that our behavior isn’t affected by these ads but they are. Our minds take in a lot of information from ads each day that after repeated exposures begins to deeply seep into our decision making processes. It’s like mindlessly eating snacks while watching tv. Before you know it the bag of potato chips are gone and you were not even aware you were eating. Or it’s like when we don’t control what we are being served to eat when we go to someone’s home for dinner. We consume ads in a similar way. We accept what we are given or we mindlessly consume information without considering or even being aware of the consequences.

But there is hope of course. Like any diet we first need to know what is wrong with our current way of eating and make adjustments. One of the biggest steps for me is that on a regular basis I clear out my “mental food fridge”. I get rid of all the junk that is not helping me to enjoy life more fully. I eliminate or greatly limit all the sources of media that I go to in order to get that quick dopamine fix, or that I indulge in when I’m procrastinating or just because I’ve made a habit of watching. These sources of negative mental foods include twitter posts and youtube video rants about gloom and doom. I’ve spent hours going down the rabbit holes of conspiracy and the always imminent collapse of civilization. This doesn’t mean I don’t indulge now and again on both. I’m fascinated and curious about large social patterns and past cataclysms and do believe that a major event could be possible again.

In order to have a ready supply of positive nourishing mental food at hand to offset the occasional indulgences, I seek out positive sources of information which don’t ignore reality but illuminate the human condition in order to help individuals improve their lives. For me the Joe Rogan Podcast is my biggest mental food staple and has been for years. He explores the ideas that help humans live better and he does so in a funny, intellectual and empathetic way. On The JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE he’s had everyone from Neil Degrasse Tyson to Steve-o. Nutrition, fitness, mental toughness, comedy, overcoming adversity, scientific discoveries, becoming a better human being are all themes he explores. The conversations are always deeper than what you’ll find with most other places because he spends between two to three hours with them. When I consume most JRE podcasts I feel better. My mood is lifted, I’m motivated to take actions to improve my life and I have something positive to share with others.

This is 
another amazing part of a Nourishing Mental Diet. You get to can share these ideas and information with others without losing their benefits. This is different than food that you eat. You actually increase your positive mental state when you share these nourishing bits of positiveness. On the other hand if you share negative information you are now feeding that person negative mental food. I heard someone say once “Don’t dump your mental garbage into my mind.” When we share positive information, emotions and energy we are becoming a source of nourishing mental food for others and reducing the amount of mental garbage in the world.

We all have a choice each day on what we choose to consume, whether it’s physical food or mental food. These choices create a trail of complicated consequences that can last a lifetime. Even if the effects aren’t felt immediately they can add up and make a huge difference in what we think, how we perceive the world, how we emotionally feel and how we interact with others. Our body and our mind to a large extent are both the product of what we consume. We can be filled with junk food and negative media that creates an inflamed mind and body or we can ingest the positive nourishing food and ideas that makes us feel better and which enable us to create the body and world that we want to live in.

Brad Miller

Cassava Flour Tortillas

One of the things I missed most when first transitioning to a more ancestral diet is the elimination of taco night. Now I don’t have to.

I eat Cassava Flour Tortillas at least twice a week. They are delicious. Below is a recipe that I’ve been perfecting over the last few months. It’s based on the recipe that is printed on the of Otto’s Cassava Flour bag. IMG_2655 This is the only brand I have tried so far. For me its tasty, easy to work with and is a great substitute for white flour when making breaking and tortillas.

 

This the only brand I use and I highly recommend it.

Cassava Flour is Paleo, Primal and AIP approved. I’ve also used it as a breading for wild boar schnitzel, bream, and chicken cutlets. They all turned out great as well. I need carbs in my diet because of my ileostomy. Otherwise my output is too watery which causes dehydration and a horrible burning pain on the skin around my stoma. I know its gross to talk about “output” on a recipe post, but let’s be honest, everything we eat comes out in the end.

I’ve included some pictures as well.

Cassava Tortillas 8 Servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time less than 20

Equipment needed:
Parchment paper, Mixing Bowl, Fork, Measuring cups, tortilla press (not necessary but I highly recommend it), non-stick skillet (I’ll try cast iron soon and leave a review)

IMG_2656

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Cassava Flour – I use Otto’s

1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 Tablespoon Fat – I like melted Ghee or Avocado Oil

1/3 cup H2o plus 1 teaspoon

1 Tablespoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Tablespoon Locally Sourced Honey

Place dry ingredients in the bowl, add the liquids 2 tablespoons of fat and the water and stir. The dough will start to combine into one inch balls with some of the flour on the bottom and sides of the bowel not incorporated. Next I add the extra fat and water if the dough seems too dry. Normally I’ll add the extra fat. If its still dry after that I’ll add the water.

Stir again to incorporate the extra fat and or water. Next use your hands to mould the dough into a ball. It should feel soft and dry, not sticky. If it is sticky all you have to do is add a little bit more Cassava Flour at a time until the dough loses it’s stickiness.

Now you just divide the dough into eight equal portions. Place the balls onto the large sheet of parchment paper. Next get your smaller sheet of parchment paper and fold it in half. Put one of the dough balls into the center of one half of the folded parchment paper. Cover the dough with the other half.If you don’t have a tortilla press get a rolling pin and gently press out the dough into a circle about four inches to five inches in diameter.

I like to get the tortillas as thin as possible. That’s why I use a tortilla press. If you have a press simply place the folded parchment on the press. Place one ball on the bottom half then cover the ball with the top half of the parchment paper. Then press. My tortilla press doesn’t quite get it as thin as I’d like. So I add a spacer of one or two small plastic cutting boards that I place on top of the parchment paper and then press for a second time.

I place each flattened tortilla on the large piece of parchment paper. Next heat up a dry non-stick skillet on high. You want it hot. When up to temp place in the tortillas. It will take approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side depending on how done you like yours. You’ll know its time to turn them when you see bubbles forming on the surface. Flip and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.

Stack them up on the plate. I enjoy mine as a great substitute for a flour tortilla. I like to make grass fed beef tacos with mushrooms and homemade taco seasoning. They are delicious.

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The tortillas heat up great in the microwave. You can also grill them once you cook them on the stove. That’s my favorite way to eat them. We had grilled steak tacos with fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro on these bad boys. One of my all time favorite meals.

Cassava flour is awesome but it does have about 14 grams of carbs per tortilla. It is reported to be a good source of resistant starch and only .15 grams of sugar per serving. If you are diabetic or have other issues with carbs I would do your due diligence before trying

I hope you try the recipe out. I honestly don’t measure the honey and the apple cider vinegar any longer. Its just by sight. Play around with that and what types of fat to use. In the future I want to try lard, beef tallow or duck fat too. If you have any comments or suggestions please comment below.

Brad Miller

Healthier2day.com

Ten Rules of Primal Living

This information is based on the Mark Sisson Book – “Primal Blueprint” – I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy and my own personal experience.

I’ve been on and off the Primal/Paleo lifestyle for the last 8 years.In that time I’ve gone gradually begun to live more and more according to the principles of the Primal or Paleo way of living. These principles have helped me to have a framework to pull me out of the depth of feeling like I have no control over my body and my mind.

I struggle with several chronic autoimmune conditions and have an ileostomy and chronic pancreatits. So it has been a challenge to get a handle on all the different variables that play into exacerbating the chronic inflammation which I believe is at the heart of all the pain, fatigue and overall misery I experience when I’m not feeling well. The Primal/Paleo philosophy allows me to have a concrete system to focus on when it feels like everything else is falling apart.

To be honest the last time I got sick in May I was in survival mode. I was eating terribly.  But once the horrific pain and fatigue began to subside a little bit I again started following more and more closely to the ten Primal Rules. As I’ve been able to recover from this latest small bowel obstruction and pancreatic attack I am eating and living more and more primally and I feel my strength, my mental well-being,  my motivation and my desire to socialize improving.

I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t live 100% primally in the past and that would cause me to chuck the whole deal and start eating Chickfila again. And that’s why I’m writing this blog and sharing my experience. I firmly believe that making small healthier choices today will lead to a better tomorrow. This is what I believe and this is what gets me off the couch to cook when I want to go to curl up and be consumed by the pain and darkness of disease.

The Primal lifestyle isn’t all or nothing. It’s like everything else in life, it’s a continuum. We all can’t be out hunting and killing our own food, growing organic gardens in the backyard, raising our own chickens and pursuing our passions as work all at once. Each of us is on a different part of the Primal Lifestyle continuum.

But that is what is great about the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. It is extremely adaptable to each individual’s personal circumstance. I don’t advocate nor does Mark Sisson living in caves and getting rid of modern technology. On the contrary I look at the Primal Lifestyle as a tool. It is simply a set of rules that help me navigate the extremely confusing and complex world in which we live.

I’m not 100% Primal. I still take opioid pain medicine for chronic pain, I still go to the hospital when I have a small bowel blockage and I still  binge watch way too much on Netflix and eat stuff that’s not on the Primal list. But I’ve made tremendous changes in my diet and lifestyle in the last eight years and it all began with these ten simple rules. I am grateful for all the pioneers and those who continue to work to get the word out about this lifestyle.

Here are the Ten Rules for Living Primally by Mark Sission:

#1 Eat Plants and Animals

#2 Avoid Poisonous Things

#3 Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

#4 Lift Heavy Things

#5 Sprint Once in a While

#6 Get Adequate Sleep

#7 Play

#8 Get Adequate Sunlight

#9 Avoid Stupid Mistakes

#10 Use Your Brain

As you can see these are extremely simple. I read somewhere that a good book should remind you of what you already know. This is the stuff that most of us deep down know to be the right thing to do to live a healthier today.

I would also  add two other rules for me. Mark does mention socialization and its importance under play and in other places in his many books and talks. Socialization makes a huge difference in my life. When I’m sick and feel horrific I want to just hide from the world. It feels like every social interaction will add pain and obligation on my system which is already weak pain riddled and extremely taxed.

Face to face socialization makes me feel better. It is important for me to share a positive reality with someone I care about. Seeing them smile when I walk in the room or when they give me a hug I feel reconnected to reality. The pain and fatigue are still there but the perception of them takes less of a priority.

The other rule I’d add is Organization. Organize mental internal environment and my physical environment help me feel better. This is a huge struggle for me. I’ve used my illness, chronic pain and overall misery to avoid organizing my life in many ways. I always felt why did it matter? I was just going to get sick again and it would be all be terrible mess again. But the pain will lesson, I’ll become more motivated, I’ll find a purpose, and I’ll endure the misery and commit, at least today accomplish something besides just existing one day. Being organized helps greatly with this process.

I will elaborate more about what I’ve found to be helpful and to be as honest as possible about my struggles. The main purpose of this blog and the classes and meet ups I want to hold is to create a “tribe” of Primally minded individuals who can share their story, offer others support and learn about different ways people have found to live better. I’ll also be writing a separate blog post for these rules and others I’ve found helpful with my autoimmune odyssey.

Please leave comments to help improve how I communicate. Also please leave a comment on what you would like to read about.