Tuesday, November 28, 2017

GUEST POST - The Benefits of Paleo and Keto Diets for Cancer Patients

Today we have a special GUEST POST by Virgil Anderson of Mesothelioma.net

The paleo and ketogenic diets are more popular than ever before and for good reasons. They have been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways, from cutting out processed foods to helping people lose weight. There is also evidence that these diets may provide important benefits for people living with and being treated for various types of cancer, like mesothelioma or lung cancer.

The Paleo Diet and its Health Benefits
The paleo diet has a pretty simple basis: don’t eat anything our Paleolithic ancestors wouldn’t have eaten. The Paleolithic was before agricultures, so that means no grains or dairy. Instead, on the paleo diet you eat meat, game, poultry, fish, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and nuts. Although there may have been beans and legumes around 10,000 years ago, the paleo diet avoids these as well.

Perhaps the best thing about the paleo diet is that it relies on whole foods and eliminates processed ones. There is no vegetable oil on this diet, and no junk food or packaged foods. The elimination of dairy, grains, and beans is more controversial, but the idea is that 10,000 years is not a long enough time to have evolved to digest them properly.

Virgil Anderson article picture 1

Some of the known health benefits of the paleo diet include
  • Decreases in blood pressure.
  • Weight loss. 
  • A greater ability to tolerate glucose.
  • Better appetite control.
  • Lower triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood.
These can all be benefits for cancer patients, but there are more specific reasons to try the diet if you are battling cancer. The paleo diet is very low in sugar, which has been found in studies to negatively impact the survival rates of cancer patients. The negative effect is greater for any patients who are overweight, and the paleo diet can help with weight loss as well.

In another study, researchers actually found that some types of cancer cells, including squamous long cancer cells, are highly dependent on sugar for growth. With less sugar, tumors may grow more slowly, which obviously benefits the patients.

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet is similar to the paleo diet. The idea is to eat fewer carbohydrates and more fats. The philosophy behind the diet is totally unrelated, but it ends up being very similar in terms of what you can eat. The idea of the diet is that eating more fat and fewer carbs forces the body into ketosis, a state in which it burns fat. On the keto diet you eat similar foods to the paleo diet, but also leave out potatoes and alcohol and you are allowed to eat dairy. The basic guideline is to consume 75 percent of your calories as fat, 20 percent as protein, and only five percent as carbs, although there are some variations.

The keto diet has been proven to be an excellent tool for weight loss, for improving sensitivity to insulin, and for reversing the course of type 2 diabetes. It has also been shown in research to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and to reduce seizures in children who have epilepsy.

For cancer patients, there is evidence that the keto diet can be beneficial too. In animal studies, tumors shrank when the animals were fed a keto diet with restricted calories. In other studies specifically with cancer patients, the keto diet was found to enhance the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, making them more effective.

There are few risks of trying the keto or paleo diets, as both are more healthful than the typical American diet. However, it is always important to speak to your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes. This is especially true for cancer patients. There may be some risks that you aren’t aware of and that your medical team can warn you about. You may also want to work with a dietician or nutritionist to get started to ensure that your diet is balanced and has adequate nutrients for you to heal and fight your cancer.

Virgil Anderson article picture 2 My name is Virgil Anderson. I’m a Cancer Survivor, treated through the carer network at mesothelioma.net. As someone who knows the power of awareness in fighting cancer, I tip my hat to Simon for allowing me to share this info.

- more about Virgil here

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro

Chez Meme Baguette Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato My budget-conscious friend decided to try Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro despite usually ending up at Red Robin for one of their two-for-one burger specials. Chez Mémé has an extraordinary near-perfect score on Zomato, which usually scores tougher than Yelp.

Overall items were not very salty, so if you're used to that you might even think they are not salty enough. Baguettes / come with your choice of fries, salad, or daily soup. Daily soup can come warm or piping hot and no matter the weather I suggest you get it hot because as you work through your meal it's going to get cold.

If you've read some reviews from several years ago, be aware that the prices have gone up. Their lamb sandwich used to be $10 around 2010, but is now $13.25. (Menu at the bottom of this post).

Jarret ($13.25) lamb shanks, roasted garlic jam, grainy dijon; comes with choice of salad, fries, or daily soup
  • As previously mentioned, this might come across a bit bland if you're expecting what looks like meat from a stew to be on the salty savory side.
  • Very gamey! Make sure you like your lamb that way.
  • Big chunks of meat. Watch out for small pieces of bone -- My friend was maybe unlucky because she got three pieces about the size of a 25-cent coin each.
  • Overall I personally would have liked it a bit saltier.
  • Considering price for portion, it's hard to go wrong here at $13.25. You get what basically amounts to two burger's worth and the filling is basically meat meat meat. Plus baguettes are slightly heavier and more filling than the typical soft, light buns used in burgers nowadays.
  • In the pictures below, remember that you get TWO sandwiches per plate plus soup if you chose that option.
2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - Jarret

2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - Jarret

Ratatouille ($12.75) roasted peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, goat cheese, caramelized onions and pistou; comes with choice of salad, fries, or daily soup
  • Pretty bland, plus strangely there wasn't a lot of contribution from the goat cheese, which is typically quite strong and might have rescued this sandwich. Somehow needs more flavour contribution from the veggies. Maybe if they used an actual vegetable stew ratatouille it might have worked better.
  • Possibly because of the skin being still on the veggies, there was a tendency for a bite to end up pulling out one of the vegetable strips.
  • I'd give this a pass and get something meaty or something else if you're going vegetarian.
2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - Ratatouille

2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - Ratatouille

We came for lunch shortly after Noon and the breakfast menu was still available. The small place was almost at capacity but quiets down suddenly after the Noon-ish lunch rush. If you're going to go, pay special attention to their hours! -- They close at 3pm and are not open weekends!
Service was very good! Calm, friendly, attentive, and not pushy at all.

2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - menu

2017-Nov-22 Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro - menu

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Romer's Burger Bar Drunken Donuts and Kitsilano "Vault"

Romer's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato I got the chance to go to Yelp's Holiday Market Party, a fundraiser for the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation as well as an opportunity for various up-and-coming food and drink vendors to show their wares. One of them was Romer's, showcasing their "drunken donuts" foremost but also with some brochures for "holiday gatherings" at their "Vault" location in Kitsilano.

These donuts are soaked on the inside and not your typical spongy doughy interior so watch out for their richness and order to share. Sauce is served on the side in the restaurant.







Monday, November 13, 2017

Coast Cricket Protein

I got the chance to go to Yelp's Holiday Market Party, a fundraiser for the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation as well as an opportunity for various up-and-coming food and drink vendors to show their wares. One of the most interesting vendors flying under radar was Coast Cricket Protein.

Their wares looked like chocolate bars and tasted like it, but they were actually about eating crickets for protein!

As for the wares, the chocolate bar and peanut butter bars tasted like... chocolate and peanut butter! Nothing weird or off-putting, which I think was the point.



Friday, November 10, 2017

Wholly Veggie

I got the chance to go to Yelp's Holiday Market Party, a fundraiser for the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation as well as an opportunity for various up-and-coming food and drink vendors to show their wares. One of them was Wholly Veggie.

They are vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy free. Which is almost vegan but not quite -- they still use egg as a binding agent, but apparently working toward being vegan in 2018.

I got to try all three types and I did like them for their strong, clear, flavour. Possibly strong enough to cut through whatever else you're throwing into a burger. Definitely don't overwhelm it like you might a regular burger. Wholly Veggie has various easy recipe suggestions online.

Something else I also really liked was how it wasn't trying to be meat in taste or texture. They are conveniently patty shaped and proudly vegetarian, advertising vegetarian flavour. Fake meat patties, often with soy and bitter overtones, have never really worked for me either as fake meat or as something tasty.
  • Herby Garlic Greens - Good garlic flavour but not too strong. Whether it's herby might depend on what herbs you're hoping to stand out.
  • Sweet Curry Carrot - Sweet and curry, no real heat here.
  • Southwest Beet - A firmer patty than the other two. Sweet plus surprising heat that quickly builds, but isn't really bitter or burning. And no, the spiciness isn't really advertised on the front of the package, but look at the top cover for the mention of chili.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Panda Coco

I got the chance to go to Yelp's Holiday Market Party, a fundraiser for the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation as well as an opportunity for various up-and-coming food and drink vendors to show their wares. One of them was Panda Coco, snacks made of flavoured coconut chips. Coconut chips aren't a novelty anymore of course but Panda Coco does them very nicely, and with a southeast asian twist, with such flavours as durian and tom yum soup.

What I really liked about the samples I tried from Panda Coco is the strong, clear flavour. Sometimes you'll see specialty flavours for potato chips such as poutine or hamburger, but they are so salty on top of struggling to identify the iconic tastes of each specialty flavour.
Not here. Tom yum soup flavour is clear (and not super-strong -- because if you've had the paste or the soup, you know it can be darn strong and sour). Durian flavour is clearly durian. For those two flavours, the coconut chips are just a vehicle to carry the flavour into your mouth and with a nutritional profile that's healthier than oily fried chips.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

La Petite Cakerie

I got the chance to go to Yelp's Holiday Market Party, a fundraiser for the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation as well as an opportunity for various up-and-coming food and drink vendors to show their wares. One of them was Amanda Huhn's La Petite Cakerie, which had vegan and vegan-and-gluten-free goods.


I tried to sample the "normal" one alongside the gluten-free counterparts. As mini-cupcakes go, the vegan ones were very good and certainly much better than the generally oilier-feeling supermarket cheapies.

The gluten free cupcakes, however, had a grainy texture and a greater tendency to crumble, which is sadly common in gluten-free baking. It also had a flavour to it that demanded so much attention -- more than even the delicious cream on top -- that I found it too distracting to like.

That said, I am not celiac and for people who have to be gluten-free, to a great extent beggars can't be choosers and the difference might be moot anyway.

Cupcakes weren't the only things at the show of course -- cookies, brownies, and s'mores were all available. I liked that they didn't have an excessive sweetness or richness though that's probably a very personal choice. I do like that I could sample several of their wares without that over-sugared tired feeling.