“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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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!
Add a Colon Cleanse to your New Years Checklist
Like many people at the New Year, I’ll bet some of your goals include: lose weight, burn fat, get fit, get stronger or any number of things.
Well I would add to that list, Do a Colon Cleanse and here’s why. Since about 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, Taking special care of your gut promotes overall well-being.
Weight gain and over-toxicity is on the rise and so the trend to detoxification is growing in popularity. In our modern times, our body accumulates more toxins than its natural detoxification system (your liver, kidneys and lungs) can eliminate. Chemicals from pesticides on our foods, chlorine in our drinking water, and carbon monoxide from car exhaust build up over time and cause disease.
People are ideally supposed to have one or two bowel movements a day, but many people go two or three days between eliminations. The normal pathway for toxins to move out of the body is through the liver, which converts harmful chemicals into water-soluble molecules that can be flushed out in the urine or feces. If there’s a delay in elimination, however, those toxins remain in your system longer.
Detoxing your gut with a colon cleanse will remove these unwanted toxins from your system. People with excess weight carry tons of impacted fecal matter in their colon. This fecal matter is rotting away and leeching toxins into the blood stream and can become a precursor to illness. Doing a colon cleanse is simple and painless and helps to flush out the waste in a fast and hygienic way.
Oh by the way, like most things Detoxing does have its side effects. A Colon Cleanse will make your skin glow, give you a natural weight loss quickly, make your eyes white, and make you feel young again..need we say more..
Be careful in what kind of cleanse you chose. I have personally started a Colon Cleanse with a company called Blessed Herbs. A friend recommended this cleanse to me after she successfully completed her 9 day detox program. This cleanse removes something called Mucoid Plaque, which builds up after years of eating on the walls of our intestines. This plaque greatly lowers our ability to absorb nutrition and makes our bodies much more toxic.
This cleanse has 3 different levels for you to choose. I chose the Best Option which is a liquids-only five day intensive colon cleanse, intended to remove as much of this plaque as possible.
The herbs is the cleanse include: Digestive Stimulator™: Cape Aloe leaf, Aloe Vera leaf , Cascara Sagrada bark, Triphala† (Amla fruit, Chebulic Myrobalan fruit, Belleric Myrobalan fruit), Chinese Rhubarb root†, Barberry root, Dandelion root†, Fringe Tree root bark, Meadowsweet aerial parts†, English Plantain aerial parts†, Ginger root†, Fennel seed†, Peppermint leaf†, Fenugreek seed† and Licorice root†
Toxin Absorber™: Psyllium seed husks†, Bentonite Clay, Apple pectin, Ginger root† or Peppermint leaf†
Blessed Herbs has been a family owned and operated medicinal herb business in Massachusetts since 1985. They only work with wildcrafters and organic growers who they personally know and who harvest from pollution free areas at the height of their potency and with regards to continuing a sustainable balanced ecology. Their certified organic growers farm without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides and take care to cultivate their soil.
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Here is a quote from there website; “Why choose Blessed Herbs detoxification programs? We’ve been a trusted herbal resource for over 25 years. In a world of online hype, anyone can form a company overnight, employ some slick marketing techniques, and masquerade as a legitimate company. Beware the “snake oil” salesmen.” This is so true, be careful what you buy and what you put into your body that might be masquerading as any kind of program.
Healthy living starts with a healthy diet, and exercise and then with consistent action towards total mind-body wellness.
[ As a disclaimer: In regards to Blessed Herbs, I have become an affiliate for them which means, when you click through and buy any of their products, I receive a small percentage of the sale. This payment allows me to keep writing this blog and articles such as these and it also makes us all aware of good independent companies who can give us the wonderful variety of sourced local products that we desire. In addition, I only promote products or companies, that I have personally used. ]
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Photo by Brian K. Donnelly
This is a follow-up to a story I did last summer on USA Canoe/Kayaker, Pam Boteler. See the article, World-class athlete, activist and raw food vegan at 40.
Boteler is the top American woman in sprint canoeing, a high intensity flatwater sport that’s a growing craze among women at boating clubs across the United States. Competitors kneel in sleek carbon-fiber boats and paddle furiously on one side for up to 1,000 meters.
Sprint/flatwater canoe (also known as “high-kneel) is currently an Olympic event for men, but not for women, and is the last summer Olympic sport to not have full gender equity. (Women’s ski jumping is the last winter Olympic sport not to offer women’s events.) Canoeing is the companion discipline to kayak (an Olympic event for men and women). Canoe/Kayak is one of the oldest Olympic sports, and one of the most difficult, as it is a classic test combining speed, power, endurance, and balance.
Photo by Brian K. Donnelly
Pam is over 40 and still competes regularly against “kids 18-23” and she still wins. Recently, with her canoe partner (30, with 2 kids and another on the way) and she won 3 bronze medals at the Pan American Championships in Mexico City ( at altitude), setting a new American record in the C2 200m event (2 person canoe).
They also set a new 500m record at the national championships in August in Oklahoma City, where they won 3 gold medals. And they finished 4th at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland in August.
Photo by Brian K. Donnelly
She writes: “Thank you – for featuring me. Your blog is awesome and inspiring (great outrigger photo!). I look forward to reading from your site about amazing women over 40, 50, 60. Thank you for what you are doing for so many women. Life certainly begins in many ways after 40. ”
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.