Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics. She’s become well-known for her expertise in how Paleo diets can help with inflammation. Sarah is the author of “The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body” and “The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul.
In an exclusive interview, Sarah said that she feels the Paleo diet is highly effective for weight loss and health.
"It’s a nutrient-dense diet (providing balanced and complete nutrition) that is anti-inflammatory, supports gut health, and naturally regulates important hormones (like insulin, leptin and ghrelin). Most people naturally consume fewer calories (while it’s not as simple as calories-in-calories-out, energy intake does matter) while also providing their bodies with far more valuable nutrition. It’s not all about food choices though. Getting enough sleep, reducing stress, increasing behaviors to help manage stress (like meditating, going to bed early, and being active), and being active (especially weight-bearing exercise like walking and activities that build strength like weight lifting) are all really key in regulating important hormones that control metabolism and affect hunger and cravings."
Sarah's own diet ranges from two to three meals a day. "All my meals are generally made of up some kind of meat or fish and vegetables. Breakfast most typically includes homemade sausage patties, eggs, sautéed liver or kidney, or leftover meat with raw veggies (usually leafy) and sauerkraut. Lunch typically includes fish or shellfish (most often canned due to convenience), more raw veggies (typically carrots, celery, cucumber, and leafy greens) and sometimes a small serving of fruit. Dinner typically includes meat or fish with 2-3 vegetable sides (always one starchy vegetable like sweet potato or taro, and typically one steamed non-starchy vegetable like broccoli and some kind of salad) and sometimes a small serving of fruit. On days when I only eat 2 meals, I usually have a later breakfast and skip lunch."
And for those who think Paleo diets mean deprivation, Sarah created the recipe below:Molten Lava Chocolate Cake
- 4 oz Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet chocolate
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar/Sucanat (Muscovado Sugar is especially tasty here)
- 1 tsp Coconut Flour
- 2 tsp Cacao Powder
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (plus a little more for greasing the ramekins)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease four 6oz ramekins with coconut oil. If you wish to serve these cakes on a plate, you will need to flour as well (use coconut flour, blanched almond flour, or cocoa powder).
2. In a 4 cup measuring cup or medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave on low power. Stir until smooth and let cool.
3. In a small bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar with a hand mixer until light and frothy, about five minutes (this can seem like an eternity with a hand mixer, but hang in there because it’s worth it!).
4. Pour egg mixture over chocolate. Sift cocoa and coconut flour over the top. Then gently fold all the ingredients together.
5. Pour batter into prepared ramekins (they should be filled to within ½” of the top). Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the oven (you can chill the ramekins for a few hours if you want to make them ahead of time, just make sure you bring them back to room temperature before baking). Bake for 11-12 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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