“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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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.
The number one reason for failure in losing body fat is the lack of clearly defined, written goals.
Here are the steps to achieving your fitness goals:
STEP 1. Set Inspiring, Detailed & Specific Goals
Don’t say things like I want to lose weight and have more energy, that is not clear, detailed or specific. A better way to talk to your sub conscious brain is to say something like: By March 1st, I want to weigh 130lbs, with 18% Body Fat, and be wearing size 8 clothes. My Current waist size is 36 inches, and My GOAL is 28 inches. See the difference? Those are very specific detailed and attainable goals that you can now write down and measure by tracking your progress as you’ll see in Step 2.
Step 2. Set BIG Measurable Goals
Really look at some BIG goal that seems very far from where you are at the present moment. For instance, I said to myself, I haven’t weighed 130 lbs since I was 30, so it’d be a Big Deal for me to have that as my goal today. So, Yes its scarey, BUT I will look and feel totally different and people will SEE me differently, WHEN I have achieved my big scarey goal. This is Way outside my comfort zone of what I’ve thought I could do, but now I’m gonna do it & succeed, cause its time! I can See the Picture of my New Body in My Mind, and I will Visualize it Everyday…!
Then make sure you measure it everyday. Write down your goals somewhere that you can track your progress. So I might say, on my scale I want to weigh 130 lbs, but by measuring with the Body Fat calipers I want to get down to 17% Body Fat.
Step 3. Set Realistic Deadlines
30 lbs lost by May 1st. So 4 months (16 weeks) from now, that’s 8 lbs per month, or 1.9 lbs/week. In terms of body fat, that translates to about a half a percent per week.
Step 4. Daily goals & habits to do every day repeatedly
You develop good habits by setting daily action goals and working on them repeatedly until they become as routine as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Ninety-nine percent of the actions you take every day are habits. Write out a list of daily goals, to-do’s and habits you want to develop habits like eating small, frequent meals, cutting down on sugar, getting up early, making your meals in advance for each day and so on.
The next time you feel a craving, you’re tempted, discouraged, unmotivated or you feel like skipping a workout, focus on your daily goals, not on the huge amount of work that is ahead of you. Tell yourself, “All I have is today. All I have is this moment, this workout, this meal, the next 30 minutes, the next hour. If I just do what I know I must do now, then I know I’ll reach my ultimate goal eventually.” Concentrate on the task at hand in this moment. As the Zen masters of Japan remind us: “Be here now.” The point of power is always in the present moment.
Step 5. Write out an extensive goal list in the form of affirmations
Always use I AM or I HAVE. Write them in the present tense. I AM 30 lbs leaner. I AM 130 lbs of solid muscle. Always use positive affirmations, never negative. Never say “I’ll never see my abs again”, instead say “I HAVE a flat toned stomach. I AM getting leaner every day. I like the way I look. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. I like eating healthy foods. I love working out. Training early in the morning is exhilarating.
Step 6. Read your affirmations (your goal list) at least twice a day and always keep your goals “in front of you” and “on your mind.”
Psychologists have proven that repetition is an effective way to penetrate and program the subconscious mind. Fortune 500 companies spend millions of advertising dollars every year based on this fact. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich and The Law of Success, said, “All thoughts which have been emotionalized and mixed with faith begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent.”
As you read your affirmations, mentally visualize them as already achieved. Visualization means making mental pictures or images – it’s thinking without words. The brain thinks in pictures. I’ve also put photos up of myself to help me through this visualization, the photos make it very real and I can see them everyday.
Step 7. Share your Goals with Everyone.
Your Friends & Family, your Workout Partners share your goals with everyone so you can feel good about what you’ve achieved and you can stay motivated by calling someone up to help you get to the gym or give you a high five for doing another exhausting workout. You’ll be amazed at how great a little bit of praise can help you through day.
Just to give you some motivation, Here are My GOALS:
1. I AM dramatically Changing my Outer Packaging, by being 17% body fat and 130 lbs, by May 1st.
2. My motivational positive affirmations are: “I HAVE a flat toned stomach. I AM getting leaner every day. I LOVE the way I look & how I FEEL. I’ll DO whatever it takes. I LOVE eating healthy foods. I love working out & training early in the morning is exhilarating and really starts my day off right. I feel healthy & have lots of energy.
3. I AM sharing my written goals, my workouts and my daily experiences with My Team.
4. I AM thinking constantly about My Goals & Being Constantly Mindful of what I AM accomplishing. I AM visualizing and seeing my goals photos everyday.
So, Before you eat your next meal or start your next workout,
THE MOST POWERFUL ACTION you NEED to do right now to achieve your ultimate fitness goals is to WRITE DOWN YOUR FITNESS GOALS, – TO DO IT NOW!