Before I talk about the highly anticipated Paleo Naan, let me give you a little background since this is the first post of my new prescription food series. As a physician, I've spent a large part of my career writing prescriptions for drugs. Unfortunately that was the primary weapon and skill I was equipped with during medical training. I spent only a few weeks out of four years of medical school learning about nutrition and most of that was nutrition biochemistry rather than effective strategies to help patients eat healthier. Residency training in internal medicine made me very comfortable taking care of the sickest of the sick. I could insert a tube into your trachea (windpipe) and keep you alive on a ventilator or prescribe medications to fix your numbers, but I didn't know how to fix you. I couldn't effectively get patients to improve body composition, reduce stress, sleep better and reduce their disease risk without the use of drugs. Most of the content in my book and what I preach in lectures and in the clinic is knowledge obtained outside of medical training and from my own personal experience and research.
I've now made a bit of a career shift. I'm going from prescribing drugs to prescribing recipes and lifestyle changes. Side effects are nil and benefits are lifelong. I also get way more appreciation from patients and readers than the days when I would be writing several prescriptions a day for multiple drugs. Don't get me wrong. I haven't thrown out my prescription pads because I do have high risk patients and those with existing heart disease who do need to be on medications. However, I do appreciate now how healthy lifestyle shifts like the ones I discuss here, improve the entire human being… mind and body, rather than just a single number at the expense of multiple potential side effects.
Did you ever wonder what that “Rx” symbol stands for on a doctor's prescription pad (and the image at the top of the post)? It actually comes from the latin root, “Recipere,” which appropriately means Recipe. So now instead of penning a prescription to a pharmacist to dispense drugs, I'm using my blog to consult with food experts to prescribe recipes that will change your life. I've got a few of my own recipes up my sleeve which are in my book and which I plan to share, but I'm leaving the real cooking talent to some of the finest culinary creators in the business.
Today I'm introducing Ashley, an enormously talented chef and founder of the very popular MyHeartBeets blog. Most of us are eating diverse foods, so her blog does a nice job of including South Asian delicacies, Western foods and others from all over the world. One of her signature recipes is the very simple 3-ingredient Paleo Naan. What…you get to eat naan? Shally (my wife) and I were skeptical at first, but this turned out to be delicate, flaky, delicious and easy to make.
You might point your finger and say “the carb count is too high,” but let's take a better look at the 3 ingredients in this recipe, which are almond flour, tapioca flour, and full fat coconut milk. Almond flour and full fat coconut milk are great ways to get some healthy fats and protein into your diet, while tapioca flour is a resistant starch which bypasses or “resists” digestion in the small intestine, meaning little to no insulin surge, and it passes into the colon to feed healthy gut bacteria. To learn more about resistant starch, I recommend you read this excellent post by my good friend and publisher, Mark Sisson. I'll do a future post on this as well documenting my own experience with patients and resistant starch. So you get to eat naan without gluten-induced inflammation and you get healthy fats, protein and food for your friendly gut bacteria in return. Does this mean unlimited naan at dinner time? Definitely not. As I've mentioned before, vegetables are still the predominant player on your dinner plate, but now you can add a little more variety with Ashley's Paleo Naan which not only goes great with meat and vegetarian curries, but can also be used for wraps, enchiladas, dessert crepes, etc. If you have blood glucose issues like diabetes and are concerned, simply check your blood glucose after eating Paleo Naan and see how your numbers respond.
Try out Ashley's Paleo Naan and tell me what you think. Thanks to Ashley and especially her mom who is the original inventor of this recipe. Perhaps you have your own magic recipe for a healthier bread option that mitigates insulin and inflammation. If so, feel free to send my way and we'll feature it if it's easy to make and passes our taste test. Enjoy!