It’s All About Oil

by admin

By Eric Morris

First up, the low down on Olive Oil
Did you know that olive oil is as tender and fragile as an early spring flower? No? Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but the really good stuff (cold processed, extra virgin olive oil) is delicate and should not be used to cook with.

Why not? Because the compounds in olive oil break down easily when introduced to heat, which destroys most of the benefits of the oil. Even more unnerving is high heat can turn olive oil rancid and develop free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for doing serious damage to the cells of the body and may be the culprits behind early aging, cancer and being too cool for school. (that last part was a joke.) Free radicals – one of the reasons we (should) eat so many vegetables. 

Olive oil is best reserved for drizzling on top of salads.

Tired of using olive oil for every cooking necessity while eating paleo? Well young grasshopper, there are plenty of oils out there that are not only delicious, but super healthy for you.  Check it out!

IMPORTANT: When buying oils, buy cold processed, extra virgin oil if possible. Cold processed refers to the processing technique the food went through to become oil. Cold processed oil ensures there was minimal heat involved in processing and all the nutrients and antioxidants are still intact in the oil.

Extra virgin means the oil was produced by the first pressing of the food through the cold pressing process. That means extra virgin oils are less processed, more delicate and retain more nutrients. Good to know!

Macadamia Nut Oil
Want to scramble some eggs, but don’t want to use butter? Macadamia nut oil is your right hand oil! This oil is light and has a buttery taste to it while boasting an excellent nutrient profile. The oil is composed of mainly monounsaturated fat which gives it the ability to withstand very high heat during cooking, increase insulin sensitivity and scavenge “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Really Cool Fact: Macadamia nut oil has an omega 3 to omega 6 ratio of 1:1 which is the same ratio that the body needs for optimal function! This is truly an MVP oil! Get it here:

Extra Virgin Coconut oil
Coconut oil and coconut products just might ensure you live to 150 years old. Dr. Mary Enig has completed extensive research on the coconut and remarked that “Perhaps the best way to lose unwanted weight (excess weight in the form of fat that is) is to change the type of fat in the diet to the type of fat found in the coconut.” I think she is on to something.

Here is why coconut products are the next best thing since the riding lawn mower. The form of fat in coconuts is called medium chain triglycerides or MCT. MCT’s are great for a few reasons. First, they are anti-microbial and anti-viral. This means that coconut products serve as natural bug killers and increase the health of your digestive system.

Second, MCT’s require very little energy to breakdown, absorb and utilize in the body. That means MCT’s can be utilized for fuel easily, which will keep your energy levels high during the day without the spike and crash that fast absorbing sugars will create.

Finally, MCT’s are composed of a fatty acid named lauric acid. Lauric acid is responsible for giving cells flexible and rubbery properties. This is great since a flexible cell is a healthy cell and will result in smoother skin, cleaner arteries, healthier joints and x-ray vision! Just kidding about that last one!

Avocado Oil
What’s Avocado oil got that I don’t got? I will tell you inquiring terrier!  Chlorophyll and beta-sitosterol!!!!

Alright listen up boys, this is for you: Beta-sitosterol is compound found in large quantities in the avocado and avocado oil that has tremendous health properties. New research has been published on how beta-sitosterol can regulate the male hormonal profile to keep the endorcrine (hormone) system functioning normally.

The biggest thing scientists have found? Beta-sitosterol may help in the protection against prostate enlargement. It’s proven that almost every guy, given they live long enough will encounter prostate problems. With ample amounts of beta-sitosterol, it is possible to slow the rate of enlargement of the prostate. Beats taking some stupid pill everyday right?

For you young ladies (and men I guess): Chlorophyll (found in all green vegetables) is a potent blood detoxifier and can assist in the regeneration of damaged cells and evacuation of toxins from the body. Chlorophyll is also responsible for keeping skin healthy and giving it that “glow” that everyone is after. Avocado oil contains a moderate amount of chlorophyll in every serving so every time you cook with avocado oil you are giving yourself softer, healthier skin. Imagine that!

Forget spending $50 bucks on the latest lotion/moisturizer and get yourself some avocado oil instead!

Avocado oil has a high heat point so it is safe to cook with, it contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids, plus omega-9 fatty acids which aid in the absorption of omega-3’s. It also tastes awesome on just about anything! They carry a few different styles of avocado oil at Philbrick’s Fresh Market so check’em out and start cooking!

Walnut Oil
Walnut oil contains the most omega 3 fatty acids out of any oil on the market. The type of omega 3 in walnut oil is ALA or alpha lipoic acid, which comes in a distant 3rd when compared to the omega 3’s, EPA and DHA that come from animal sources, however walnut oil has been shown to decrease c-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body. Walnut oil also contains large amounts of magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Before you start splashing that pan with Walnut oil: Given the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids in walnut oil, it is not advisable to use as cooking oil. Walnut oil is not as stable as avocado oil, macadamia nut oil or coconut oil at high temperatures and is best if used as a salad dressing or for flavoring prepared food.

Walnut oil can be found at any big grocery store in the oil section.

About Eric Morris

Yep, Eric looks like he sleeps on the ground, routinely hunts squirrels in an effort to reduce his weekly grocery bill, carries logs around town merely because its good exercise and no one will question him, and studies local beavers in an attempt to learn how to gnaw through wood with his teeth. It’s all true … but he knows of which he preaches:

  • B.S. in Exercise Science from The University of New Hampshire 2008
  • M.S. in Exercise Science (expected – hopefully) from the University of New Hampshire
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S) by the NSCA
  • Certified CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Head Trainer of CrossFit Portsmouth


by admin
Dish of the Day:
Coconut Chicken Curry This is a tasty dish, no question about it. You could substitute shrimp, or if you are a vegetarian, use a vegetable medley instead of the chicken. Remember, if you’re going to put the time in to make a dish like this, make a double or triple batch so you’ll have leftovers for the next day’s lunch or dinner again – that’s a vital behavior.  (Click here for additional recipes)



Movement of the Day:
Floor Wipers Try doing this move, alternating with Squats, Push Ups and Ring Rows – guaranteed to get your attention: 10 reps each exercise; 4-5 rounds, no stopping.  (Click here for additional workouts)


Journal of the Day:
Quote of the Day: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
Essential Element: Your life is a mosaic of the choices that you make, the experiences that you have, and the attitudes or patterns of thinking that you develop over time.  [click to view Spark Insight – Coping Mechanisms]
Journal: What is the criteria by which you make decisions? Sleep on it? Pray about it? Consult with trusted advisers? Write down three decisions you made recently that you’re happy with and why – how did that process work? (Click here for additional Journal exercises)

Roasted Root Vegetables

by admin

I’m one of those people who’d rather eat a plate of steak tips or whole roasted chicken instead of a salad or raw veggies any meal of the week. My husband Jesse has to remind me to “eat my colors.” But this vegetarian recipe is so delicious I could eat it for days on end. This is a great fall dish to bring to potlucks or Thanksgiving celebrations. Make a bunch extra and use the leftovers to serve with some eggs for breakfast. Special thanks to my buddy, Pete, for introducing me to this doozie at our Friends’ Thanksgiving party a few years back.

yams of all varieties
sweet potatoes
garlic bunches
fresh sage
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
coconut oil

  • chop all the spuds, being sure to gouge out the eyes and shave off all the green skin (I like to take the skin off the sweet potatoes and yams completely, which can reduce the saponin content). I like to cut them into finger food sizes, like an extra stubby steak fry.
  • get a pot of water boiling, 1/3 to half full
  • once it’s boiling, add the sweet potatoes and yams and let them parboil. Don’t overcook, otherwise they will be too soft. They should be a bit undercooked when you strain them.
  • vital behavior: save the water to use as a vegetable stock for soup. Yummy minerals!
  • cut the onions into eights: first in half so you see the rings, then each half into quarters so each quarter has a little bit of the root to hold it together.
  • cut the garlic into half so that you can lay them open on the baking sheet.
  • when the spuds are strained and cooled, put all your chopped root vegetables in a bowl. Add some melted coconut oil and stir it up. I like to use my hands to make sure everything is coated properly.
  • chop all the spices. Put the veggies on a cookie sheet and spice them up (optional secret ingredient: cinnamon. It counters the sweetness of the yams and naturally inhibits insulin release!).
  • bake everything at 400 until the tops are slightly brown.
  • if you want, go in there and stir everything up a bit halfway through.
  • when they look done, they’re done.
Optional horseradish sauce:
While that’s all cooking you could make this easy dip. Mix one container of full-fat sour cream and one jar of fresh horseradish to taste. I like it strong, myself.

Coconut Chicken Curry

by drpaul

8+ boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs
1 large or 2 medium leeks, sliced and rinsed well
3-4 medium shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stick, chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 can coconut milk

  • In larges stainless skillet over medium heat, cook sliced leeks in coconut oil for 2-3 minutes
  • Add chicken thighs to pan; season liberally with sea salt and black pepper; cook chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side; when turning over, season again with sea salt only
  • Once chicken is done, remove to separate dish
  • Add coconut milk, curry and turmeric
  • Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring to blend/mix
  • Cut chicken into small pieces (not too small though) and add to sauce – be sure to pour juice from the dish that was holding the chicken into the sauce
  • Serve with steamed broccoli and/or vegetable salad