What is Corned Beef and Why is it Good For You?


You may not think of Irish food as health food, but there are many healthy aspects to Irish cuisine. Irish butter is some of the best in the world. Kerrygold Irish salted butter is 80% fat and the unsalted version has added cultures to make it a fermented product with richer flavor and 82% fat. Kerry gold products are available in grocery stores and health food stores. http://tastebutter.com/about_kerrygold_butter.html

This is important because traditional foods, eaten by humans for thousands of years before we had epidemics of cancer, heart disease, obesity and Diabetes, are full of fats and natural probiotics from fermentation.

Corned beef is made the same way pickles are made. It is beef cured in salty brine, which creates healthy probiotics. “Corn” was the old English term for any grain, and the term “a corn of salt” was used prior to the American term “a grain of salt”. So, the corn in corned beef is referring to the salt, not corn that comes from a cob. Corning as a means of preserving beef was very popular during Word War II when fresh meat was not readily available. http://amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/home_made_corned_beef.html

You can click on the link above to learn how to make your own corned beef for a delicious St. Patrick’s Day dinner, with leftovers for Reuben sandwiches (on gluten-free bread, of course!) For more ideas about traditional Irish foods, like Lamb Stew or Bacon and Cabbage click here http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/the-ideal-irish-diet-eat-your-way-to-weight-loss-with-healthy-irish-recipes-136684608-237426341.html Cabbage is a great source of Vitamin C and is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it contains sulfur, vital for Phase II Liver detoxification.

Concerned about eating too many potatoes on a low carb diet? Chris Voigt, head of the Washington Potato Commission, lost 21 pounds in two months on a potatoes-only diet. His cholesterol also dropped dramatically. He did not add milk or butter, always ate the skin, and enjoyed potatoes morning, noon, and night, prepared in every possible way except fried. http://www.irishcentral.com/culture/food-drink/the-miracle-irish-potato-diet-drop-21-pounds-in-two-months-135400958-237743551.html

I don’t advocate the potato-only diet. It wasn’t all that healthy for our Irish ancestors and, with no added fat or protein, might plat havoc with your hormones. But potatoes are one of my personal favorite high-carb choices, weighing in at about 25% carbs. The potato is also a source of Vitamin C, and the skins contain many minerals. So, if you are at a normal weight, potatoes can add some delicious variety to your meals.

Irish cheese is some of the best in the world. When I lived in London I was able to shop at Fortnum and Mason’s world famous cheese department. I wish I could still buy some of the amazing Irish cheeses I found there, but they apparently don’t import the best. Some delicious varieties can be ordered online. Taste them and compare to the finest French cheeses and let me know what you think. http://www.epicurious.com/archive/holidays/stpatricks/irish_cheeses

If you have Irish roots and you would like to feel some extra Irish pride for St. Patrick’s Day, watch this lovely video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wmIZEl1nSo

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you forget to wear green tomorrow, and you get pinched, at least remember to use Arnica. And- wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.



















What's In Your Coffee?

Going out for coffee may be hazardous to your health, as you can see from the photo, courtesy of FoodBabe.com. This proves that trendy and tasty do not equal healthy, even in a world where organic and gluten-free are the fastest growing food market niches.

So many of us are avoiding dairy and soymilk is a poor choice if you value your thyroid health, but we want something to put in coffee. For me, Almond milk does not cut it and has too much almond flavor, and coconut creamer is not rich enough, and often has added ingredients like carageenan that may be a concern.

Carrageenan is a seaweed extract that is used in the natural food industry to thicken foods and beverages. Degraded carrageenan has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. It seems to be destructive to the digestive tract. Undegraded carrageenan may not cause cancer, but it is still linked to leaky gut and damage to the gut lining. So, it may compromise your immune system.

The other dilemma is how to get more good fats in your diet, like butter, especially if you are cutting down on bread and grains.

Bullet-proof coffee or tea solves both problems!  Add a pat of butter (or coconut oil) and swirl your coffee or tea in a Bullet or blender to mix and emulsify the fat. Now you have the creamy texture of coffee or tea with milk or half and half, without the concerns about dairy reactions. If you are super-sensitive to dairy, you can use ghee, which is butter that has been heated to remove all the milk solids an leave just the fat, known as clarified butter in French cooking.

Coffee is a herb, like tea, and has antioxidants. For most people, in moderate amounts, coffee is safe to drink. It is dehydrating, so be sure to increase your water intake and don't substitute coffee for water! For even more antioxidants, add an organic green tea bag to your fresh hot brew.

So, now you can have rich coffee, without milk or oream, and get more butter in your diet. Butter has natural A and D and with all the concerns about Vitamin D, butter is a natural source. Notice that Nature always pairs Vitamin D with Vitamin A, as in fish oil. And butter is a great fat for hair and skin.

Let me know how you like Bullet-Proof Coffee. There is even a new coffee shop in Culver City called Bullet Proof Coffee, so butter as an alternative is spreading and maybe we will see it at Starbucks. Always choose organic butter or a grass-fed butter like Kerrygold from Ireland to avoid hormones and pesticides.

Have a great week!