6 - Oh The Pastabilities!

Carbs, proteins and fiber oh my!

     Ever wondered what we eat? How do we diet? What is our approach to nutrition? According to the experts, no one has the right answer! However, I can tell you what has worked for my family for generations. A high carbohydrate, protein, and fiber diet with tons of veggies is best. Vitamin supplements of D3, Omega 3, and a nice probiotic has been necessary for us to stay healthy. Buckle up! We are going on a journey! 

Bet you thought I was going to include something else, didn't you? Just you wait. *wink*

     Porcelain and her sister always loved helping their grandmother with cooking in the kitchen. They would help cut up the vegetables that grew in the garden, herbs for sauces, and helped prepared the semolina flour for pasta. Porcelain's family was Italian, and the kitchen was the heart of the home. The sisters spent a lot of their time at the table with their grandmother learning how to make her special sauce. Their mother would teach them about different plants and their healing properties. Their grandfather would hunt and fish. Beef, eggs and butter came from a local farm; they went to the store for everything else.

     Porcelain started coming home with stomach aches. Not only had the sun created problems; the school's food was too. Stress could cause abdominal issues, but not eating the right foods could cause symptoms similar to IBS. Her mother gave her a tea that would help. She then took her to the doctor, only to get the wrong diagnosis once again. The doctor wanted to put Porcelain on a medicine that was definitely not good for her condition, although they didn't know that at the time. Even today, very little is known about what medicines are safe for people with EPP. Her mother instead started sending a lunch with her to school, and the stomach pains subsided! Porcelain was never happier! 

What is it about this diet you ask? Good question!

     Good carbs, like the ones in semolina flour, are not like bad carbs. Examples of good carbs are semolina pasta, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains and yes, potatoes (shocking right?). Yellow, green, and orange vegetables are also fantastic sources of good carbs. Examples of bad carbs are white flour pasta, white bread, refined sugars, white rice, and foods made with those ingredients. Brands that make semolina pasta and flour are Barilla, Mueller, Red Mill, and almost every brand imported from Italy.  We have tried to include many of these good carbs in our diet.

Alright, let's talk protein. You know, the good stuff. 

     Beef has been the best source of meat with the right amount of nutrition and iron in it for us. However, if you can find uncured pork or lamb, they work as well. Beef is usually best eaten when it's rare, but not recommended. Cook it according to the USDA recommended temperature of 160 F (71 C) and you can still reap the benefits. Fish such as salmon, mackerel or halibut are also wonderful additions of omegas and magnesium. Other excellent sources of protein are eggs, almonds, poultry, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peanuts, and some grains.

     We also cooked with blood! You heard me right. Beef, pork and lambs blood was pretty easy to get from a local farmer back then. Coming from a Southern European family; we brought our traditions with us. Cooking with blood was one of those traditions. If you've never had any of these dishes, you're totally missing out! How do you cook with blood you ask? Well, you need to know the right measurements. I've included a link below with amazing blood recipes for you!

     And finally, on to fiber! There are 2 different types of fiber. Soluble and insoluble. What is the difference? Well, both have amazing properties for your health. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, reduces heart attack and feeds healthy gut bacteria. Insoluble fiber helps with constipation and lowers diverticulitis disease (inflammation of the intestines). Great sources of soluble fiber include: Oat bran, barley, nuts, beans, some fruits and vegetables. Great sources of insoluble fiber include: Wheat, brown rice, couscous, root and green vegetables, beans, and nuts. 

Guess what we are doing next? That's right! Cooking school! My next 2 blog posts will be recipes for you!

Links for your viewing pleasure:

Link for good Proteins:
Link for difference between soluble and insoluble fiber:

A great link for blood recipes from a friend's blog, The Red Cellar. They have some amazing recipes, go check them out: