by Fit Women Staff
“Paleo works, but only if you do it”, says Robb Wolf
one of the leading authorities on the Paleo Solution, the Original Human Diet. One of the questions I can imagine “healthy” people might ask ( like I did) is why do I need to this “diet” and what will the benefits be for me? I actually asked my Cross Fit trainer, Mauricio that very question this morning and here’s what he had to say.
A Paleo Breakfast
He is a very healthy 20 something male and he noticed right away a big increase in his energy level and not bonking at mid-day like he used to. Also he hasn’t been sick with a cold or allergies in a very long time and he has been able to do more training then he used.
Personally I am in the category where I adhere to 80% of the diet and so I actually get about 95% of the benefit that Paleo has to offer. And the benefits can add up very fast.
Let’s take a look at where you should start.
1. Clean out the Pantry
We do not have self-control. PLAN AHEAD! Don’t have tempting foods in the house. Remove the bread, rice, pasta, cookies, crackers, puddings, ice cream, waffles, juice, sodas, cereals, oatmeal, artificial sweeteners, yogurt, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, canned soups, apple sauce, noodles…all refined, packaged foods. Bag it all up, take it to a food bank or homeless shelter.
2. Go shopping
Now it’s time to fill your cupboards with food worth eating.
Buy Protein. Ideally these options are grass fed or wild caught. If you cannot find those should you eat a bagel? No! Beans and rice do NOT count as protein. Pork, beef, lamb. Trout, salmon, shrimp, crab. Chicken, turkey, duck. Round things out with some good quality bacon, omega-3 enriched eggs and some items like chicken apple sausage to help you with breakfast on busy days.
Garden Fresh Strawberry
Visit a Farmer’s Market to get Local Veggies. Shop with the season, which typically means what is on sale. Mix up the colors, lots of orange, red, and greens.
Fruit. Limit fruit to 1 serving per day if fat loss is your goal. In order of preference: Berries, melons, citrus, apples, pears. Bananas, papayas and mangoes are great for athletes post workout but not for folks who want to lose weight.
Fats. Olive oil (extra virgin) coconut, avocado (oil and whole), macadamia (whole and oil), almonds, walnuts.
If fat loss is a goal limit nuts to 1-2 oz. per day.
Spices, Herbs and such. Marinara sauce, herbs, spices-curry powder, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam massala, chili powder, black pepper, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and basil. Get at least 20 herbs and spices to keep your cooking lively. Stock up on espresso, teas and mineral water as these are your beverages of choice.
A Typical Paleo Lunch
3. Cook! The majority of your meals will look something like this: 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.
Several servings of vegetables, either raw, steamed, or lightly cooked. Finally, round out the meal with good fats from Avocado, olive oil or a handful of un-salted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts. A lot of meals start looking the same, but everything can taste great with just a few variations.
Check out this Paleo Recipe Vault with Mouth Watering Meals.
Key points to remember:
• Eat Protein every meal and 3-4 meals per day. Eating protein with each meal I found reduces my cravings for more food then I need. • Beverages are coffee, tea, mineral water. Unsweetened, this includes stevia.
If fat loss is a goal: Limit fruit to 1 serving & Limit nuts to 1-2 oz and EXERCISE!
4. Go for a Walk or a Run or go do Cross Fit, Just Move that Body!
You were born with a certain set of genetics from your parents and all of us have genes that are meant to be active. Really active. The Center for Disease Control lists “INACTIVITY” as the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
How your genes “experience” the world thru sleep, food, exercise etc, influences how those genes are turned on or off and this determines your phenotype. If you were analyzed for disease potential when you are a “Sedentary Person” vs. an “Active Person” your genes would look totally different. You are literally a different person when you exercise vs. when you do not.
So, Get outside and move. Gauge your fitness level and act accordingly. If you need help, find a trainer or coach.
5. Sleep! Black out your room. No, REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from alarm clocks, fire alarms, TV’s etc. Do not watch TV or check email for at least 1 hour before bed. Go to bed early, get at least 8-9 hrs of sleep. You should wake up without an alarm, feeling refreshed.
6. Get Your Blood Work done. So you will have some metrics to show you that Paleo is actually working on your insides, go to your doctor or clinic and order your blood work. I get mine down every year and its a fairly simple process. Read Robb’s book or ask your doctor what all of the different aspects of the blood work mean. But mainly you will be comparing your LDL Cholesterol (Bad) vs. HDL Cholesterol (Good) levels, your Triglycerides, which are a measure of your circulating blood fats, Glucose levels, Glycated hemoglobin ( or A1C), which is a measure of how much sugar is sticking to your red blood cells, and C-reactive protein or CRP is a marker of systemic inflammation.
Use your blood work as a starting point for your Paleo diet changes and then get tested again in a month or 2 to really see the overall effect your food choices and exercise regime are having on your health.
What is NOT allowed on Paleo:
Fuji Apples and Cinnamon – Paleo Snack
• Grains: bread, rice, cereal, pasta, corn, gluten-free pseudo grains
• Sugar or sugar substitutes: maple syrup, honey, agave, stevia, sucralose, etc.
• Alcohol: sorry aficionados, beer is maltose is sugar; wine is fructose
• Legumes: beans, peanuts/peanut butter, lentils, soybeans (yes, this means tofu), peas
• Dairy: milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey
If you must have some “Cheat Foods”:
• I’d recommend one small square of dark chocolate per day
What about Alcohol? Don’t take away my drinking, you say?
Well even the Paleo King, Robb Wolf admits to having a “Paleo Margarita” occasionally. The drink consists of 2 shots of tequila gold, Juice from 1 lime and a splash of seltzer water. Its quite good actually.
Much of the problem with drinking is not the alcohol but the sugar that comes with it. A “typical” margarita or vodka & tonic would be loaded with sugar. Beer is loaded with gluten and has a significant sugar content. As for wine, opt for the dry varieties as they have less sugar.
But as with anything moderation is key and alcohol is NOT Paleo. If you must drink, imbibe earlier in the evening as far away from bedtime as possible. Alcohol turns off your growth hormone release which is Not good for your health, recovery or body composition. So if you are wondering why your fat reducing is not working cut out drinking for a month and see what happens.
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by Fit Women Staff
Ear of corn on plant
Have you seen the ads by the agribusiness public relations departments describing high-fructose corn syrup as “healthy” and “all-natural”?
According to the Corn Refiners Association, high-fructose corn syrup contains the same amount of calories as cane and beet sugar, is metabolized by the body the same way as these sweeteners are, and is an all-natural product.
So why are the Corn Refiners Association, spending up to $30 million to convince consumers it’s inherently safe to eat?
There is something missing from these ads if they are defending corn syrup as a natural, healthy, and safe sweetener.
Even more alarming is when the American Medical Association issued a statement explaining that “high-fructose syrup does not appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners” … but of course they qualified it by adding that they also said that “consumers [should] limit the amount of all added caloric sweeteners to no more than 32 grams of sugar daily.” Most sodas contain about 40 grams of high-fructose corn syrup.
Why High Fructose Corn Syrup IS Worse For You than Sugar
According to Dr. Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and lead author of a recent study on fructose in the Journal of Nutrition:
“Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose. Once you start the process of fat synthesis from fructose, it’s hard to slow it down. The bottom line of this study is that fructose very quickly gets made into fat in the body.”
So if you need to lose weight, or if you want to avoid diabetes and heart disease, fructose is one type of sugar you’ll want to avoid, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
HFCS metabolizes to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, making it the worst sugar you can eat. One of the best things you can do right away is to STOP drinking soda and processed fruit juices that are sweetened with about eight teaspoons of fructose per serving! Switch to pure water as your beverage of choice.
Read the Paleo Solution for more detailed information. >>
Need more ideas for Cooking Healthy Meals, then check out: The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook The Healthy Urban Kitchen is a simple, step by step system for shopping, cooking and eating the world’s healthiest foods. It was created for busy people who want to improve health, have more energy, and prevent disease.
by Fit Women Staff
Bourbon Red Heritage Turkey
Back in the day, around 1621 to be exact, it has been estimated that the Pilgrims ate about 550 calories per person on Thanksgiving Day. Today the average person will consume about 2,000-to-3,000-calories for their turkey meal. Even though food was scarce, the Pilgrims ate locally and consumed less out of necessity. In most places in the United States, your meals come pre-packaged, prepared and sitting on store shelves waiting for consumers. You have a choice in what you buy, where you buy it and what you eat and what you throw away. Just in the United States alone our agri-business companies produce so much food that we waste 40 percent of it. That’s almost $100 billion worth a year.
On Black Friday ( which starts on thursday, Thanksgiving Day this year, in case you didn’t notice all the ads telling you this) is the ultimate push to consume more and more stuff…..The New Oxford American Dictionary defines Black (adj.): characterized by tragic or disastrous events; causing despair.
They tell us that Consumption makes the economy work. But in this day and age, Over Consumption seems to be the norm.
Try adding a few of these things to your holiday festivities:
1. Be Thankful, really. Write your Gratitude List and share it at the dinner table.
Woman performing a deadlift
2. Do your exercise routine in the morning, you know you will never have time later. Here is a Cross Fit Workout of the Day (WOD) that is a good one to do on your own. Its called ¼ Gone Bad. You do one of 3 exercises for 15 sec every minute, so basicly you sprint for 15 sec. then rest for 45 sec. as you move onto the next exercise. The exercises we did were sumo deadlift high pulls, then pushups, then box jumps on a tire. But you can substitute any exercises you like.
Do it for 15 minutes which is 5 rounds of each exercise and when you’re done your breathing hard and feeling good. Check out some great Cross Fit WOD’s.
3. Buy Local. Buy Free Range Organic if you can. Shop at Farmer’s markets and small local groceries. Remember Saturday is Small Business Shopping Day.
4. Consume Less. Put less food on your plate. In true Paleo form make it 2/3’s vegetables and 1/3 proteins and some healthy fat. Pretend to go back for seconds later. Try the Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts instead of the mashed potatoes and stuffing. Skip the gravy too.
5. Eat til you are 2/3’s full, we all know how food has a way of expanding in our stomachs.
6. Drink a big glass of water before your meal.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie
7. Try making some Paleo Sweets this year. Try the Paleo Pumpkin Pie I made last year, Or Find some more recipes here >>
8.. Consume alcohol early in the evening and then stop.Much of the problem with drinking is not the alcohol but the sugar that comes with it. A “typical” margarita or vodka & tonic would be loaded with sugar. Beer is loaded with gluten and has a significant sugar content. As for wine, opt for the dry varieties as they have less sugar.
If you must drink, imbibe earlier in the evening as far away from bedtime as possible. Alcohol turns off your growth hormone release which is Not good for your health, recovery or body composition. So if you are wondering why your fat reducing is not working cut out drinking for a month and see what happens.
Or try the Paleo King, Robb Wolf’s “Paleo Margarita” recipe. The drink consists of 2 shots of tequila gold, Juice from 1 lime and a splash of seltzer water. Its quite good actually.
Tcho Milk Chocolate
9. Have some Chocolate for dessert, because we can’t give up all our vices now can we? My favorite is TCHO, its a Local Small Business on Pier 17 in San Francisco. And they do an awesome chocolate factory tour. And it comes in MILK Chocolate this year!
by Fit Women Staff
Detox to Eliminate Belly Fat
In order for your body to BURN FAT, you need to eliminate the toxins first with a Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Detox.
You may be burning fat but if you haven’t done a detox you are not getting rid of the toxins that have built up in your body.
The Secret to Eliminating Toxins
The secret is to make the toxins in your body water soluble so they can be sweated and peed off, so then you’re REALLY BURNING FAT. As long as you are taking in more toxins then you are eliminating your body is not going to let you burn fat, because burning the fat will just put more toxins into your body. You have to address the fact that you are being assaulted by toxins before your body will allow you to let go of any weight.
Doing a Detox is an opportunity to recharge, rebuild, cleanse and heal your body inside and out. This cleanse is meant to be a jump-start to your overall long-term health and fitness plan.
Benefits of Detoxing:
Having done this Detox Plan for the recommended 10 days I can attest to the fact that it helped me to:
1. Sleep and Dream Better
2. Improved my energy levels
3. Better digestion, less stomach issues
4. Gave me a sense of relaxation
5. Felt in control of my sugar cravings
Let the Body Heal Itself
The body only wants to heal, its crying out to heal, the body wants to detoxify, you just have to give it a chance to do the healing. So the best thing to do first in any WEIGHT LOSS Plan is to Detoxify the body. Most people have been overfed and undernourished for years so their digestion is all messed up, but it can heal itself.
The diet we ate over millions of years was predominantly one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, low-sugar fruits, which was rich in nutrient-rich whole foods and superfoods.
Today’s modern diet including starches, grains, pasta, legumes, and breads has only been consumed for a mere 10,000 years. In the last hundred years the increase in complex sugars and chemical additives in the diet has led to a huge increase in health problems ranging from severe bowel disorders to obesity and brain function disorders. We have not adapted well to eating this modern diet.
The Detox General Guidelines are:
• Eliminate Gluten grains & Flour–wheat, oat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, bulgar as well as corn, (but Continue to eat quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth and buckwheat)
• Eliminate Refine sugars – anything with added sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or alcohol (cakes, cookies, candies, pastries, beer, wine, liquor, ice-cream)
• No processed, canned, packaged or preserved foods, no artificial sweeteners or flavorings or anything
• No Caffeinated drinks (sodas, coffee, caffeinated teas)
• No Dairy products and eggs, soy
Real food is whole, natural, and nutrient-dense.
- Humanely raised (animals on pasture, not in factories)
- Grown locally when possible
- Whole and unrefined (real maple syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup)
- Processed as little as possible (raw milk instead of pasteurized and homogenized)
- Nutrient-dense (enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics)
- Free of additives and preservatives
- Free of synthetic and chemical ingredients
- Not genetically modified
- Traditionally produced and prepared
For example, use real butter or lard instead of shortening or vegetable oil. Real milk from a cow instead of soy milk. Real sprouted flour instead of refined white flour. Real, natural sweeteners like honey or unrefined cane palm sugar instead of white sugar. Or try a super food variety of sugar like Yacon Sugar.
Live Superfoods Yacon Syrup. If it’s highly processed and doesn’t come from nature, it’s not real food!
Food allergies are very common
Food allergy or intolerance can produce every symptom under the sun, from migraines, fatigue, PMS, painful joints and itchy skin to depression, hyperactivity, hallucinations, obsessions and other psychiatric and neurological manifestations. However, the most immediate and common symptoms in the vast majority of patients are digestive problems: pain, diarrhea or constipation, urgency, bloating and indigestion.
So there is nothing wrong with the food. What is happening is that foods do not get a chance to be digested properly before they are absorbed through the damaged gut wall. Thus, in order to eliminate food allergies, it is not the foods we need to concentrate on, but the gut wall. When the gut wall is healed, many food intolerances disappear.
How To Restore Digestive Health
- Eat the right foods.
- Take the right supplements.
- Remove the wrong toxins
Soups and Stocks
Soups and stocks made from animal bones and cartilage, have been almost eliminated from our diets, this has contributed to digestive problems as well as joint problems. Stock and soups made from the bones of chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb and fish are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and contain nutrients which help build the integrity of the digestive tract. A soup based on bone stock can bring a person is suffering from a digestive disorder fast relief.
The Right Oils
Most individuals with digestive disorders have some inflammation which is exacerbated by an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid all Trans fatty acids & commercial liquid vegetable oils.
At the same time, you will need to increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and other wild-caught cold water fish, eggs from pastured chickens, walnuts, organ meats and flax seeds and a small amount of flax oil.
Cod liver oil, is high in special anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids but also fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system, so critical to restoring digestive health. Icelanders are blessed with great health & longevity and they consume cod liver oil regularly. It is even served at breakfast in their hotels.
Buy the Garden of Life Oceans 3 Cod Liver Oil liquid
Whole food probiotic
Essential to digestive health is taking a whole food probiotic. Healthy bacteria found in healthy soil and plants are missing from our modern food supply. They protect the plants in the soil, and also protect humans who ingest them. A major discovery in the battle against digestive disorders is how beneficial bacteria can help people with “leaky gut syndrome,” as the use of beneficial bacteria can reduce the hyper-permeability of the gut. Before the days of modern hygiene and chemical farming, these bacteria were in the soil and hence on the surface of our vegetables; they thus helped colonize the gut with beneficial flora whenever people ate raw fruits and vegetables and whenever kids played in the dirt.
Try the Body Ecology Innergy Biotic Gluten-Free Probiotic
Try the Body Ecology Dong Quai Probiotic Beverage
Lacto-fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut also provided healthy bacteria in traditional diets and these should be part of the diet of any person suffering from digestive problems. But probiotic formulations can help “jump start” the system in those with serious digestive problems as they will quickly populate the gut with beneficial organisims.