Maria’s Favorite Things Giveaway!
Today’s giveaway is one of my favorite cookbooks! Salt Block Cooking! All you have to do is 3 things:
1. “Like” Maria Mind Body Health on Facebook.
2. Share Maria Mind Body Health with your family and friends.
3. Leave a comment below on how your health has gotten better with the keto-adapted way of eating! A winner will be picked Jan. 15th and posted on Maria Mind Body Health Facebook page. Good Luck!
Testimony of the Day
“Before working with Maria, I had struggled most of my adult life with my weight. I had tried other plans, and they would work for a time and then once I went on my own, I fell back into the old patterns and the weight came back. In December 2012, I weighed 212lbs. I had been pushed into finding an alternative way to better eating because of some health-related issues in my family. My dad is diabetic and has had a couple of heart attacks. He’s been told that there’s nothing that they can do to repair his arteries. Of course, this gets me paying attention as I don’t want to head down that same path.
Maria was non-judgemental during this process. She was always providing me with excellent resources to allow me to take this journey on my own once I got properly set up. When I was struggling she had tips for me. The videos that she’s created or the ones that she recommends were always timely and helpful. I have lost 35 lbs since working with Maria – and just 7 away from my original goal. I’ve chosen to take the longer path to success because I want to make sure that this weight stays off – for good. Eating food that tastes amazing has been the key to my success in being able to do this on my own. I’m a fussy eater, but also one who’s grown up in a practical environment. The menus that Maria has created are based on food that I grew up on – not high-end fancy dishes that I don’t know how to pronounce. I have to say that that has made a huge difference for me – eating foods that I would have eaten – just differently so that they’re healthy for me and keep me satiated. Maria has given me the tools and resources to be able to modify my own recipes in a ‘healthified’ way. Since losing weight, I am now able to fit into cute show clothes again, and I’m sure that I’m also much lighter for my horse’s sake :-)” –Janice
To get started on your before and after photo collage, click HERE.
Salt Block Cooking
I love listening to food podcasts on my runs in the morning. One of my favorites is The Splendid Table by Lynn Rossetto Kasper. The other day she interviewed Mark Bitterman, author of Salt Block Cooking (click HERE to find his book on sale). Here is the link if you would like to listen to his tips. One of my favorite parts of the interview is when Mark talks about the food photographer who came to do photos of the food for his book suggested to cook the scallops on a pan to get a nice golden crust. So he made the scallops on the pan and he said, “no…they don’t look right.” The salt block sears the scallop way better. He showed the photographer what they look like if the salt block is heated properly and the photographer was shocked. The trick is to get the salt block hot enough otherwise you basically steam or poach the food.
During the interview, Lynn asked Mark, “Do things taste very salty when they are prepared using a salt block?”
Mark replied, “That’s the trick. Whenever I hear that someone has food that came out too salty, it’s inevitably the result of maybe not using quite the right technique. If you’re heating with a salt block, when you get it hot enough, you’re really hitting it with that hard, fast sear — that quick, intense amount of energy that just pumps on the food. You get that glaze on it — it’s a salty glaze just on the surface — and the food is seasoned to perfection.”
As you all now know salt is VERY important in a well-formulated keto-adapted diet. When clients first adapt this lifestyle, one of the first side effects is a rapid improvement in insulin sensitivity. Eating low carb starts to banish insulin resistance and causes insulin levels to fall quickly. And as insulin falls, the kidneys begin to promptly release fluid. The good news is that when you release that excess fluid, fat oxidation becomes easier. The bad news is as the extra water goes; it also removes essential sodium and electrolytes. When sodium levels fall below a certain level, which can happen quite fast, there are some undesired side effects such as headaches, low energy, dizziness, and cramping.
When you first start your keto-adapted diet and you notice if you stand up quickly and get dizzy or feel faint, you are dehydrated! Just drinking water isn’t going to work like it would with a high carbohydrate diet. You need to add more sodium! Salt is not the evil nutrient that your doctor warns you about. You’ve got to start thinking differently. Just like understanding that eating more fat lowers your cholesterol, understanding that a well-formulated low carb diet requires more a lot more sodium.
But, not all salts are created equal. The photo shows how some even have SUGAR~! Once you start using real quality salts like Celtic sea salt or a salt block, you will notice the “chemically” taste the next time you are at a restaurant that used table salt. Salt blocks use salts have been harvested either from ancient sea beds or made by evaporating sea water with high mineral content and contain about 70% of the sodium of regular salt (which has been refined, bleached and processed until it is pretty much pure sodium chloride, often with anti-caking agents added). The other 30% is other minerals and micronutrients (including iodine) found in mineral-rich seas. I greatly prefer these salts taste-wise to regular salt, it is well worth the extra bucks.
To find Mark’s website click here: website www.themeadow.net
To find Mark’s Salt Blocks, click HERE.
WAYS TO USE SALT BLOCKS:
1. To “Cure” Meats:
- 2 large Himalayan Salt Blocks 6x9x2
- Bunch of fresh dill sprigs
- 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup Natural Sweetener optional
- 1 lb wild caught salmon fillet skin on, pin bones removed
- "Healthified" bread or "healthified" crackers for serving
- Cover one block with half of the dill sprigs.
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Place the salmon on the dill-covered salt block, skin down.
- Coat the flesh of the salmon with the dry ingredient mixture, and cover with the remainder of the dill.
- Place a second salt block on top, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap.
- Put in fridge for 1 to 2 days. The thinner the salmon the less time you will need. Wild caught salmon is usually thinner than farm-raised salmon.
- Keep in fridge until the salmon becomes resilient but not firm to the touch. The top surface should be dry, the sides moist, and the flesh will be slightly opaque.
- When it is ready, unwrap, rinse off the spices, and pat dry. Serve skin side down with my "healthified" bread or crackers. Or maybe some guacamole, olives and cheeses to increase fat ratios!
Traditional Cured Salmon = 110 calories, 2.7g fat, 15.4g protein, 6g carbs
"Healthified" Salmon = 87 calories, 2.7g fat, 15.4g protein, 0g carbs (27% fat, 70% protein, 0% carbs)
2. To cook and sear anything! Sautéeing on Himalayan salt blocks creates an amazing amount of flavor; much more than using a skillet. The reasoning is because the salt block cooks your food in 2 ways:
1. At 500 degrees or higher, the heavy block of salt has huge thermal mass, searing in moisture to produce a thick crust of tasty, intense flavor.
2. The Himalayan salt itself exerts flavor by combining extracts of the foods you are searing and breaking free new essences that in turn release more focused flavors.
Salt Block Scallops
- 2 4 x8x2 inch Himalayan salt blocks
- 1 1/4 pounds large wild-caught sea scallops about 16
- 2 TBS melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- Finely shredded zest and juice of 1/2 lime
- Place the salt block over a low gas flame and heat for 10 minutes.
- Raise the flame to medium and heat another 10 minutes.
- Raise the flame to high and heat for an additional15 minutes, until it is uncomfortable to hold your hand about 2 inches from the surface of the block for longer than 3 seconds (approximately 500°F).
- While the salt block is heating pat the scallops completely dry.
- Coat the scallops with the melted coconut oil and pepper and let stand at room temperature until the salt block is hot.
- Place the scallops on the hot block.
- The scallops should almost skitter across the top.
- Sear until browned and springy to the touch but still a little soft in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Work in batches until all the scallops are cooked.
- Remove to plates.
- Scatter the lime zest over top and drizzle with the juice.
A great family testimony:
As we close out 2013, let me express my “trifecta of gratitude” for what your work has meant to us.
As the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 14, neither one of them have a fear of fat and in fact, know that it is good for them! Yes full-fat yogurt (sweetened with Stevia), eggs, nuts, avocados, and cheese are all things they embrace. Kale chips are a frequent request, as well as Brussel sprouts!
My 70+-year-old parents have drastically cut down on sugar/carbs/wheat, increased good fats and are enjoying food immensely! For many months over the course of years, my dad had all kinds of issues with nausea and not feeling quite right. A change in his eating and he’s feeling great! My mom is such a beacon of inspiration with her cooking/baking and another testament to the fact that you can make sweeping changes at any age!
Lastly, our family embarked on the most difficult journey of our lives in the summer of 2013, when finally after a year and a half of an odyssey through the medical system, my husband was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. At one point, we weren’t sure he was going to make it, as he just kept getting worse and more sickly by the day. Almost EVERYTHING you read about Lyme is the crazy inflammation and cutting out gluten/sugar to help get this issue under control. Thanks to becoming aware of your work a little over a year and a half ago, there was no deprivation involved in this way of eating and he hit it hard at the beginning of 2013!! I’m so thrilled to report, as I write, he is doing unbelievably well, which has been due to a myriad of variables (and the kindred spirit and knowledge of an ILADS certified doctor) but the changes in his diet I will always believe helped expedite his recovery and make him respond extremely well to treatment. My carboholic husband (French toast, cereal, spaghetti, and pizza were a huge “mainstay” in his diet) has done a 180 in his eating and is ending the year on such a high note.
Thank you, Maria, for your passion, commitment and sharing of knowledge!
Happy 2014 to you, Craig and the boys! -Nancy