Friday, November 21, 2014

How Paleo Can Help IBS

Here is another great article from Northwest Pharmacy!-

I love reading about the healing effects the Paleo diet can have. Hope you enjoy :)

**Unfortunately I had trouble uploading the images for this article- check out the full article with images at the link found at the bottom of the page**

How the Paleo Diet Can Help Heal IBS

Learn about the benefits of a Paleo diet
For those who seem to take all the right steps to combat digestive distress—exercising regularly, choosing healthy, organic foods—bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea can be a total drag. These symptoms and others may be signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Currently, this common condition is the number one digestive disorder diagnosed in North America.
What is IBS?
IBS is a digestive disorder that is categorized into three main groups: IBS-C (constipation dominant), IBS-D (diarrhea dominant), or IBS-M (alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea). Regardless of type, most sufferers of IBS complain of bloating, gas, and abdominal pain, which cause significant distress and are a major upset to daily life. Physicians call IBS a functional disorder while scientists have yet to discover an exact origin for its cause, making it difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat.
Even though it is hard to nail down a single cause for IBS, there are a few things sufferers have in common:
  • Higher than normal levels of gastro intestinal inflammation
  • Food intolerances to both gluten and diary
  • Imbalance of gut flora (the healthy bacteria in our stomachs): IBS patients have more bad bacteria than good.

Where to Start if You Have IBS
Step 1: Try a Paleo Diet
Many sufferers have found the Paleo diet helps alleviate a number of IBS symptoms. The Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet, is comprised of foods our ancestors may have eaten. The diet eliminates all processed and refined foods and aims to maximize both nutrient density and absorption. The Paleo diet is perfect for IBS sufferers, as it removes most of the food groups that trigger the disorder. It also helps reduce overall inflammation in the body by optimizing fatty acid balance and eliminating refined or processed foods.
The Paleo Diet in a Nutshell: What to Avoid
Grains and legumes
Say goodbye to all grains, beans, and other legumes including peanuts and soybeans.
Many people are shocked to learn that grains and legumes may be a major cause of stomach troubles. It can be a hard pill to swallow after hearing nothing but praise for a low-fat, whole grain products for the past 20 years. All grains contain gluten and/or lectins, both of which can be harmful to our stomachs and cause digestive distress.
Lectins are a sticky protein found on plants, grains, legumes, and seeds. These proteins help to fend off attack from invaders, which basically helps the seeds survive. When we consume lectins, their stickiness causes them to bind to our gastrointestinal lining, which can cause irritation and inflammation. For many who suffer with IBS, this can cause or exacerbate discomfort.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and wheat derivatives, such as spelt, kamut, barley, and rye. Gluten can lead to serious problems for many people who suffer from Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. Your doctor can conduct a simple blood test for Celiac disease.
Tested negative? Many IBS sufferers who don’t have Celiac disease may still suffer from something called gluten intolerance. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an additional 18 million Americans suffer from gluten intolerance, or the inability to digest this sticky protein. For many people it may be best to keep it Paleo and cut all gluten products out of your diet entirely.
Dairy products
Dairy products can be a two-fold problem, especially if you are gluten intolerant. The first problem stems from casein, a protein in milk found to cross-react with gluten. Many with a gluten sensitivity will be unable to tolerate any dairy product.
The second problem with milk is the sugars, most often lactose and galactose. These sugars tend to aggressively ferment in the intestines of people who suffer from IBS, causing severe gas, bloating, and discomfort.
Seed oils and nuts
Vegetable oils, which include canola, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, soybean, and cottonseed oil, are very high in polyunsaturated omega-6. A diet high in polyunsaturated omega-6 can promote systemic inflammation and overall gastro-intestinal inflammation.
While nuts may technically be part of a typical Paleo diet, those with IBS should avoid most nuts and seeds since they’re hard to digest and, like vegetable oils, are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.

With All This Food Elimination, What Do I Eat?
Focus on eating healing Paleo foods, which may include:
  • Lightly steamed or broiled veggies. It will make them easier to digest and gentler on your sensitive digestion.
  • Bone broth. Bone broth is rich in natural amino acids that aid in gastro-intestinal healing.
  • Fermented foods. Adding food like fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, veggies like carrots, kombucha, and kefir into your diet can help optimize your gut flora.
  • Some starchy paleo-friendly carbohydrates. Starchy carbohydrates like yams, squash, and green plantain contain soluble fiber. This type of fiber helps to feed your healthy gut bacteria, and healthy bacteria equals a happy belly.
  • Grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, and pasture-raised poultry and eggs. These products have exceptional nutritional composition and higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which will aid in healing and help balance inflammation from the omega-6s in your diet.
  • Filtered water and nourishing teas including ginger and peppermint. They can help soothe the gastrointestinal system.

Check out this post on how to start the Paleo diet. Here you will find expert tips on how to transition into the Paleo lifestyle.

Step 2: Still Suffering? Try a Low-FODMAP Paleo Diet
While the Paleo diet focuses on nutrient-dense whole foods, some of these Paleo safe foods may still cause trouble for some IBS suffers. There is new research that shows that FODMAPs, which is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharide’s And Polyols, may significantly contribute to IBS symptoms.
FODMAPS are in a variety of foods and include things like fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, sorbitol, and mannitol. These sugars are not only found in non-Paleo foods including grains, dairy, and seed oils, but are also present in many Paleo friendly foods like garlic, onions, asparagus, peaches, honey, and avocado.
Try an elimination diet and exclude foods high in FODMAPS for three to four weeks. See how you feel. You may find that your symptoms disappear. For a detailed list check out

Monday, November 3, 2014

10 Week Plan to Get Healthy

I feel like for the past year all of my posts have began with.. "Can't believe it's  been so long since I have posted" and this post will be the same, because I really can't believe how long it has been. Life around here has been busy, full of changes and pretty great in every area minus our health and fitness. Ever since becoming a Mom it feels like my life has been going in fast forward. I cannot believe my baby girl is already 6 months old-the time has flown. We also decided to throw into the mix of our crazy life buying and moving into our first home. There has been so many changes and as we get into the month of November I am taking some time to reflect on all of the wonderful things I have to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong- life hasn't been picture perfect. With all of these great new beginnings there has been a lot of stress, adjusting and eating crappy. I don't remember the last time I worked out. I am not counting moving last week as working out even though I probably could. I think the last time was like 2 weeks ago at my stroller strides class. Which is BAD. I HATE going this long without working out because when you start again it feels like you have never worked out before because you are so out of shape. I miss CrossFit. We had to make some budget cuts with the new house and CrossFit was one of them.  I miss being in the box, with chalk on my hands lifting heavy weights. I am hoping by the new year we will be established at a new box and back to going regularly. I feel like I need it on more stressful days.

Eating around here has consisted of mostly thrown together meals and take out. Which has left me feeling not so energetic and not at my best. I have tried to throw in random detoxes or random, "THAT IS IT-WE ARE EATING PALEO STARTING NOW!" which have all ended with pizza or brownies and self loathing. I have decided my proclamations of starting to eat healthy out of nowhere are not and will never work. So I have decided to give myself some grace and some time to get back into the swing of things. The holidays are approaching so I know on Christmas and on Thanksgiving I will be eating whatever is offered. I know food is fuel for our bodies- and that it is the most important component of our health- but it is also a lot more than just that. Food is something deep rooted in humans as a social and familial bond. Coming together around a table of food to share with your loved ones around the holidays is something special- and I am going to enjoy that without guilt and without restrictions. I will bake cookies this year as a family tradition with my mom and sister and my baby girl will start that tradition for the first time with us. I will sneak some raw cookie dough and I will eat SOME of the cookies we bake. Maybe this year I will try to eat one at a time instead of five- but I am going to enjoy myself. With all that said- not every day is Christmas and most of my meals are shoved down my face while my baby girl screams because I have set her down (she is that fun stage now). So I mind as well  be stuffing healthy stuff down my face instead of crap. With all of that said: I am ready to reboot my health for the New Year- slowly. My old way of just deciding and having the time to eat Paleo at the drop of a hat isn't working anymore- so let's see if this way does. Each week I am cutting out something bad food wise and adding something positive fitness or life wise. At the end of 10 weeks I should be ready to be 100% Paleo which nicely falls right into the new year. All of these combine with each other so whatever is added from Week one stays for the 10 weeks. So here we go:

Week 1: Cut Out: Soda/Sugary Drinks. Add: Work out 3x a week

Week 2: Cut Out: Bread. Add: Bed time before 10:30 

Week 3: Cut Out: All desserts. Add: Work out 4x a week

Week 4: Cut Out: Legumes. Add: No phone after 9 PM 

Week 5: Cut Out: Gluten. Add: One hour of yoga a week (Can be all at once, or a few minutes each day) 

Week 6: Cut Out: Dairy. Add: Work out 5x a week 

Week 7: Cut Out: Grains. Add: No phone on Sundays. 

Week 8: Cut Out: ALL processed foods. Add: 30 min alone time a week (bathroom, showers and driving do not count) 

Week 9: Cut Out: SUGAR (fruit sugar & occasional dark chocolate okay). Add: Journal everyday 

Week 10: Cut Out: Everything minus Paleo approved foods. Add: Blog at least 2x a week. 

I am ready. Today is the start of Week 1! And I am actually excited because this feels like I can accomplish getting healthy going at a nice slow pace that will work for me. I know what is coming and there will be no surprises.

Monday, September 22, 2014

One Pan Paleo Meals- Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans

Hello all! I know it has been forever since I have blogged- I am still getting the hang of this new mom thing :)

Lately I have been all about easy, fast and healthy meals. We have not been 100% Paleo but we have been trying to keep our dinners Paleo. A couple weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook about this one pan meal but it used regular potatoes and a pack of italian seasoning. I went to the store to grab a pack of the italian seasoning but after reading the ingredients I put it back. It was full of sugar. And words I can't pronounce. Instead I made my own spice blend of things I know the hubby and I like. I encourage you to try your own favorite spices- but be careful when adding. I always like to remember I can always add more spices but I can never take any away.

This is so easy to make it's cray cray.

First grab these ingredients:

-3 chicken breasts cut in half 
-1 sweet potato cut into bite size pieces
-Green Beans 
-Olive oil 

*For my spices I used: salt, pepper all over; I used cinnamon on the sweet potatoes and I used garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, a little basil, onion powder and some paprika on the chicken and the green beans. 

All you have to do is arrange the ingredients as seen in the picture below, cover with aluminum and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour!!

I cannot wait to experiment with different vegetables. My plan is to make about 5 of these one pan chicken meals and post them in one big post at a later date :)

Happy Eating

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Evolution of Medicine Summit

The Evolution of Medicine Summit is something I am getting really excited about. Number one it's online-so I can listen to it from home. Number two it is FREE. I am all about free education from highly qualified professionals and leaders in their respective fields. Number three there is a whole day dedicated to...PALEO! Woo-hoo! And none other than Chris Kresser is one of the presenters!

Don't click there to save your seat I have not figured out how to link it yet. Instead read more of my excitedness (word?) about this summit then click on the links below to register.

*steps on soapbox*

If you have been reading my blog you know how I feel about health and today. We are in a fast paced, stress filled and easiest is best kind of world. Which is the worst combination when it comes to what we put in our mouths. I am guilty of visiting my fair share of drive-thrus and eating my fair share crappy foods, but I do not use ignorance as an excuse anymore. When I was 18, playing college soccer and had the metabolism of a greek goddess I wouldn't think twice about the pizza and ice cream I ate because I never gained a pound. As I got older and stopped training like a college athlete I started to gain weight and it caused me to try every diet fad on the market. I choked down lean cuisines and watched Jerry Springer while on the elliptical. I also bought into the "low fat" labels and became a calorie counting fiend. It never occurred to me to educate myself on what was healthy and what was not because I was only worried about the end result not how I got there. My fad diets would work for the short term but they left me feeling tired and gross. The stupid cayenne pepper lemon water drink cleanse even gave me a rash- but I lost 7 pounds...and then gained it back when I started to eat food again. After finding CrossFit I was introduced to Paleo and then I read my first book about food. Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution. My mind was blown. I always knew there were "healthy" foods and "not healthy foods" but I never viewed food as one of the most important facets of our overall health. A lot of the foods that were previously on my "healthy" list got moved to my "unhealthy list" and new foods I had never heard of ("coconuts can be made into oil?!")  became staples in my new diet. I can say that EDUCATING myself was the first step in this journey to health I have found myself on. I have changed immensely because I made the decision to stop being a bystander in my own health choices. Now when I eat crappy food at least I KNOW it's crappy- and I try to limit the amount of times I eat badly. I also know what it feels like to have my body running at an optimal level (thank you 30 day paleo challenge) and I am more in tune with my body than I have ever been. This change in my diet has caused me to branch out into many different avenues of health because once you realize you have been basically tricked your whole life by clever marketing and false food pyramids you start to look at all the other things you blindly accepted as healthy. I will spare you that speech (for now) but I would really encourage everyone to think seriously about this summit. We should ALL continue to educate ourselves until the day we die and we should all put our health very near the top (if not on the top) of our priorities list. This summit is FREE. It will educate you on the latest and most exciting topics in healthcare and medicine today. So- educate yourselves people.

*jumps off soapbox*

 Read what the Evolution of Medicine people have to say:

The Evolution of Medicine Summit will shine a light on the work of more than 30 innovators leading these changes, and set a unique vision for a more empowered, proactive and patients ­value focused healthcare system.
Whether you’re a health professional or someone who wants to be healthier, The Evolution of Medicine Summit will show you the future of healthcare. Plus, it’s ONLINE and FREE from September 8­15, 2014.

This Evolution of Medicine Summit will provide you with the information you need to:
Understand what causes disease and how to disease­proof yourself
Elevate you and your family towards optimum health
Make the most out of the next generation of health technology

Health professionals and doctors will also learn to: 
Understand the body as a complex and integrated system 
Innovate with proven new care models (health coaches, telemedicine,
group visits, etc.) 
Learn effective strategies for reversing and preventing chronic and
autoimmune disease

Come listen to The Evolution of Medicine Summit ONLINE for FREE from September 8­15, 2014 and be a force of change for the future of health and medicine!

Now that you are convinced this is something you CAN NOT miss there are two ways to go about this. 

If you want to register as an individual click here:

If you are a healthcare professional, own a business centered on health/exercise, or blogger and want to become an affiliate and promote the summit to your patients/clients/readers then go ahead and click this link here:

I am going to continue to talk about, blog about and annoy you with this until this thing is over because I think it is really important- so prepare. I will also be posting some recipes this week so also get excited for that! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Prep for a Paleo Challenge

The hubby and I decided about a month ago that today would be the beginning of our first 60-day challenge. I have been preparing ever since-mentally and by meal planning. I decided to make a menu with 15 meals that we will rotate throughout the challenge. On weekends we usually eat out one night and eat at my parents house one night- so in 2 months we will only repeat a meal every 15 days. There is also flexibility and if I find a recipe I really want to try then I can change out any of the 15, but I think it is important to have a basis.

I am open to sharing everything- grocery lists, meals, recipes, etc. There are some sites out there that charge for meal planning but I would rather share what we are doing so other people can feel inspired to do their own challenge. Here is what you need to do to be prepared.

Two Weeks Out: 

-Decide what day you are going to start the challenge. We planned ours for the week after we got home form vacation because we knew we would be rushing the week we got back. Set yourself up for success- don't plan to start the day before your birthday or before something you know you will want to be free to enjoy without restrictions.

-Start meal planning. Pick out 15 meals from blogs, cookbooks or recipe books. Start gathering some of the more expensive ingredients if you don't want a huge bill all at once. Since I have done Paleo for years I already have a lot of those ingredients on hand. I would make sure I have: coconut oil, olive oil, almond flour, arrowroot powder (not a necessity but I always have some on hand) and any nut butters you like.

-Start to detox. This doesn't mean start Paleo early- it just means DRINK A LOT OF WATER. Preferably with doTERRA Lemon Oil or fresh squeezed lemons. Also start adding veggies if you don't already eat them.

One Week Out: 

-Continue to detox and picking up the expensive ingredients.

- I like to tell family and close friends what we are up to so they don't pressure you to eat things you can't have.

-Think about WHY you are doing this- maybe write out a list of reasons and tape them to your bathroom mirror to inspire you when shiz gets hard in about a week.

-Start to accept a few things now. First thing- this isn't easy if you eat like crap. Eating healthy takes EFFORT, planning and discipline. The first week or so is hell. Your body is ridding itself of toxins and it isn't a pretty process. Prepare yourself to be tired, cranky, maybe sugar craving headaches, etc. Just remember it only gets easier after week 1 and you will start to see results fast.

-Make your first weeks meal plan and grocery list

The Day Before: 

-Make that big grocery trip!

-Rid your house of everything non-paleo. If you don't feel good about throwing perfectly good food away (like me) then donate it.

-Take before shots if you want to, and weigh yourself.

-Have that last craving you haven't given in to. I drank a milkshake last night and enjoyed every minute of it (until my stomach began to hurt).

-Make some meal preparations if you know you will have busy days. I did this yesterday- I baked two chicken breasts to have in the fridge for emergency meals. I also prepared two of my meats for two dinners. I have them in ziploc bags waiting in my fridge and all I have to do is either throw them in the oven or in the crock pot. I meant to make paleo bars but ran out of time and will be making those soon.

Here is my Menu for Week 1: 

Monday: Turkey Cabbage (Recipe here)

Tuesday: Taco Chicken w/Avocado and Salad (Recipe here)

Wednesday: BBQ Pork Tenderloin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Cauliflower (recipe coming soon)

Thursday: Marinara Chicken with Zoodles and Against the Grain Garlic Bread (recipe here)

Friday: Paleo Burgers with all the Fixin's and Salad (recipe here)

This was my big grocery list for Trader Joes where I got everything I needed for the Menu and extra stuff for Snacks:

Grocery List 
-3 packs of Chicken breasts (I actually got a big 10lb pack at Sams Club which is cheaper)
-1lb ground beef or pre made burger patties
-1-2lb pork tenderloin
-2 packs bacon
-1lb Ground Turkey


-Coconut flour
-Almond Meal
-Almond butter

-Zucchinis (4)
-Sweet Potatoes (3 large)
-Avocados (A Pack of 5)
-A head of Cauliflower
-Two packs of Salad (iceberg and arugula)
-Can of diced tomatoes
-Can of green chile
-3 onions

-Coconut oil
-Olive Oil
-Apple Cider Vinegar

-Maple Syrup
-Plantain Chips (5 bags)
-Spices I needed
-Coconut Cream to have on hand
-Taco seasoning
-BBQ Sauce
-Dark chocolate
-Kerry Gold Butter

I will also have to run to Whole Foods to get my Against The Grain Bread- which I love.

Here was my lunch on day 1:

Some of that baked chicken, arugula, grapes, plantain chips and guacamole. Yummmm. The Turkey Cabbage for dinner was also awesome and I have plenty for lunch.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Priming for Paleo

First of all- I have finally had some time to get back to start with some Paleo meals during the day! Our goal (hubby and I) is to start a 60 day Paleo Challenge when we get home from vacation in mid July. Yeah that's right I said 60! It has been attempted and failed before, but I have faith in us. Today I had a lovely Paleo snack that included some avocado, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made a nutri bullet with a handful of spinach, some unfiltered apply juice and some cranberry juice. 

But enough about me. Today I want to share this awesome article from

Priming for Paleo: Experts Share Tips for Starting the Paleo Diet

Priming For Paleo

The Paleo Diet continues to dominate headlines as the game-changing diet people love. Paleo, as most people refer to it, is not just a ‘diet.’ It is much more than that  it is a lifestyle. There are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to Paleo followers, along with support groups, coaches and enthusiasts. People are really committed to this lifestyle  eating like a caveman, must really bring out something special!
We wanted to know — what does it really mean to ‘go Paleo’ and why is it so popular? We spoke with four Paleo experts about the lifestyle, and their personal tips to stick to it.

Priming For Paleo - Dr. Loren Cordian InterviewLoren Cordain, Ph.D.

Dr. Loren Cordain is the world’s foremost authority on the evolutionary basis of diet and disease. Featured on Dateline NBC, the front page of the The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, Dr. Loren Cordain is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts on the natural human diet of our Stone Age ancestors. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and abstracts, and his research into the health benefits of Stone Age diets for contemporary people has appeared in the world’s top scientific journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, among others. Dr. Loren Cordain’s popular book, The Paleo Diet, has been widely acclaimed in both the scientific and lay communities and was fully revised in 2010.
The Paleo Diet has become hugely popular, largely due to your extensive research and publications. Why do you think it has gained momentum in the last few years?
Many thanks for your kind words, but I believe that many people worldwide are responsible for making Paleo the international phenomenon it has become today.  This group includes academicians, scientists, anthropologists, physicians, nutritionists, health care practitioners, bloggers, media people and virtually everyone who has benefitted health wise from this lifetime program of eating.  I happened to be involved in the concept at it’s very beginnings. It became my passion and I have written about it in the scientific literature and in popular books. I am grateful and thankful to everyone, everywhere who has embraced the concept and made it what it has become today.
Paleo has gained critical mass worldwide via the internet, blogs and popular books, but moreover it works: It improves people’s health and well-being.  Most people experience the therapeutic effects of this lifelong plan of healthy and sustainable living anecdotally, by simply giving it a try and telling their friends, family and neighbors.  Importantly, we now have a considerable scientific literature demonstrating the health benefits of contemporary Paleo Diets.  Many physicians and healthcare practitioners routinely prescribe Paleo for a variety of illnesses and conditions.  The worldwide CrossFit movement has also generally adopted Paleo in one form or another, and certainly their support has contributed to its popularity.  So to summarize, it is a rationale, logical way to look at diet and provides an organizational template (the evolutionary paradigm) to help organize and gain insight into complex, diet/health related questions, which hadn’t been previously considered by most in the nutritional community.
Priming For Paleo - 4 Experts Weigh In On Starting The Paleo Diet - Food PyramidWhen the majority of today’s adults were growing up, their diets were based on the USDA Food Pyramid, with a whopping six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta at the base of the pyramid. Based on all of the research you have done on Paleolithic Diets, how would you redesign the food pyramid to reflect the lifestyle?
The Food Pyramid is no longer called “The Food Pyramid” but has morphed considerably in the past few years to “My Pyramid.” Now it’s most recent re-incarnation is known as “Choose My Plate” which is represented visually by dividing a round dinner plate into four equal sections, consisting of 1) Fruits, 2) Vegetables, 3) Grains, and ) a Protein source.  On the right hand side of the plate is a drinking cup labeled dairy.
To redesign the “Choose My Plate” guidelines to make it healthier and more nutrient dense, the first step should be to either delete grains and dairy or make them optional.  We have shown in a number of scientific publications that when grains and dairy are included in the diet they tend to displace more nutrient (vitamin, minerals, phytochemicals) dense foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, seafood, eggs, organ meats and poultry.  Our calculations show grains and dairy are nutritional lightweights for the combined 13 nutrients most lacking in the U.S. diet and when combined together (along with three other ingredients: refined vegetable oils, refined sugar and salt) become the ubiquitous processed foods that devastate health and well-being.  Refined cereals, refined sugars, refined vegetable oils and dairy comprise roughly 70% of the calories in the typical U.S. diet.  When we reduce or eliminate these foods and replace them with more nutritious fresh, living foods, our health improves.
Priming For Paleo - A Beginners Guide to Starting the Paleo Diet.
The Paleo Diet can be a drastic lifestyle change. What are three pieces of advice you would give someone who is just starting to follow it?
1.    Give it at least two to four weeks, and if possible get a brief blood workup by a healthcare professional and see how things change before and after. Carefully listen to your body and note how you feel after eating Paleo.
2.    Work with a support group — many can be found online, and CrossFit Gyms nationwide offer a four week Paleo challenge.
3.    Know that Paleo allows flexibility in the 85:15 rule, meaning what you do 85% of the time will have more impact upon your health and well-being than occasional “cheats” 15% of the time.  Most people once they fully adopt Paleo, are typically are 90-95% compliant or better.
Priming For Paleo - 85:15 Rule for eating Paleo

Priming For Paleo - Neely Quinn Bio

Neely Quinn, Nutrition Therapist

Neely Quinn is a Certified Integrative Clinical Nutrition Therapist. She is a huge proponent of eating Paleo because she truly believes it can help most people thrive. She is the CEO and blogger for the popular website, which gets over a million page views per month. Paleo Plan provides meal plans, grocery lists and recipes for people trying to eat Paleo. Neely also sees clients with issues ranging from food sensitivities to diabetes.
As a Nutrition Therapist, I am sure you have experimented with a lot of different ways to approach healthy eating. Why are you a big fan of the Paleo Diet? 
That’s true  I have experimented with a lot of approaches to eating. Whether they were all healthy or not is definitely questionable. I was a vegetarian from the age of about 12 to 22, which really REALLY messed me up. I got very sick, gained a lot of weight, had digestive problems, asthma, acne, depression and all kinds of stuff I won’t go into now. But once I started eating meat again, I definitely started to heal. My body was screaming for protein. Through the years since then, I just pinpointed more and more food sensitivities that I had. Each time I’d remove some certain food, a symptom (or two or three) would go away. Eventually I found myself faced with the fact that I could not tolerate any grains at all  even gluten-free ones  and not many legumes, either. So I stumbled upon Paleo, really, because it makes me feel the best, absolutely, no doubt about it.
Then I started using it with my nutrition clients and I found I no longer had to use the food sensitivities testing I’d been using because if I just guided them through eating Paleo, their symptoms almost always went away. I’m not saying Paleo is for everyone. There are some people who it’s just not right for — it’s not worth it to change their diet like this, and they live very symptom-free lives with no real motivation to change. But for a lot of people wanting to lose weight, get their blood sugar under control, have more energy, and better digestion (among many other things), Paleo is a great place to start.
I am sure you see a lot of people start the Paleo Diet. What is the biggest hurdle most people face when adopting it?
I talk to people every day about going Paleo. The biggest hurdle is: “But I don’t want to give up my grains. What am I supposed to eat?” (which is why they end up at in the first place) I think it’s a big deal to cut out most of the things you eat on a regular basis, so it’s definitely a valid concern! But that fear usually goes away after about a week, when people start to find veggies, meat, seafood, eggs, delicious Paleo fats, fruits, and some nuts & seeds are all they need to make amazing foods. The thing, you can basically make anything Paleo. There’s even a book called Make It Paleo with a ton of recipes in it. You can make all your favorite desserts, just with grain-free and dairy-free ingredients, and most of the time my friends don’t even know the difference when I do it.
What are five staple foods you recommend people on the Paleo Diet keep on hand for a quick and easy snack if a fast-food craving strikes?
Priming for Paleo
Meat - as in pre-cooked chicken breasts, homemade burgers, or deli-sliced turkey from the grocery store — something you can grab quickly. Often when people have a sweet craving, their body actually wants protein. We’re just so used to feeding ourselves sugary things that we turn to granola bars and cookies and stuff, which don’t really fill us up and create further blood sugar swings, then create more sugar cravings. It’s a vicious cycle. But when you’re hungry and you have meat around, you can just pair it quickly with avocado, mustard, bacon, or veggies or something and it’ll actually fill you up for a while. And it’ll help you grow muscles instead of fat, the way too much sugar does.
Sweet potatoes – I always have about three baked sweet potatoes in my fridge, which I’ll take out and eat plain (I love the white Hannah sweet potatoes) or heat up in a pan. Sometimes I’ll throw some coconut oil or duck fat on it, or just some cinnamon. If I’m in a dessert mood, I’ll add some honey to the mix. They’re a great source of carbs, which are very important in my opinion for most people trying to stay on a Paleo diet. And they’re delicious!
Eggs – I also always have hard-boiled eggs in my fridge. They’re the easiest things to make and then store in the fridge for quick breakfasts, snacks, or any meal. I’ll eat them in the morning with some smoked salmon and a piece of fruit  that’s my breakfast these days. Or I’ll chop one up and add it to my salad at dinner time, along with some turkey or pork or whatever meat I’m having that night. Easy peasy.
Some Sort of Paleo Baked Good - I always tell people when they’re first starting out Paleo, that if they have a sweet tooth, they should feed it. But only with Paleo goodies. It’s not usually realistic for people to not only change all the main ingredients in their diets, but also to never have anything sweet and bread-y, since we’re all so used to that. I’d rather see people eat the baked good that’s made with Paleo ingredients than watch them sabotage all their efforts by “cheating” with a conventional grain- and dairy-filled dessert. Usually people feel awful after eating that stuff when they’re Paleo, anyway.
Paleo baked goods don’t have to be super sweet or carb heavy. For instance, I have homemade Paleo banana bread in my freezer right now. I take it out, cut a piece off for myself on my rock climbing days and take it to the mountains with me for some quick calories and carbs. It’s not very sweet, though. It’s mostly bananas, lots of coconut oil, coconut flour, eggs, and a little bit of honey. All good stuff and it keeps me going for quite a while.
Salad Stuff – I always have greens, cabbage, and broccoli in my fridge. I chop them up quickly, add some meat to the top of the bowl, and add my dressing that I make fresh every night. It’s super quick  just olive oil, a very high quality balsamic vinegar, mustard, and a tiny bit of honey. Mix it all together and it’s amazing! So dinner takes me 10 minutes every night because I always have these things on hand.
Those are some good ones, but everyone sort of finds their own staples they love, you know?

Priming For Paleo - Melissa Hartwig BioMelissa Hartwig, CISSN, RKC

Melissa was born in Nashua, NH, and was a typical East Coast girl (active, Type-A, and never talked to strangers) until moving to Salt Lake City, UT with her husband Dallas in 2010. She quit the highest paying corporate job she’ll ever have in April of that year to found Whole9, a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity. Since then, Whole9 (and their original Whole30® program) has grown to serve nearly a million visitors a month, and Melissa once again has health insurance. She is the New York Times bestselling author of It Starts With Food, a Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition, and is a current candidate for a master’s degree in Health and Nutrition Education from Hawthorn University.
As a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Kettlebell Instructor, I am sure you have experimented with a lot of different ways to approach healthy eating for athletes. Why are you a big fan of the Paleo Diet for athletes? 
We think Paleo is a great foundation for athletes because it provides all the basic building blocks they need  not just protein, fat and carbohydrates, but micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals  in a template that is easily customized to the needs of the individual athlete. The highlights: Eating this way lowers inflammation and promotes quick recovery. The nutrient-dense carbohydrates in starchy veggies are great for refueling muscle glycogen, and the moderate amount of dense animal protein encourages muscle building and repair.
I am sure you see a lot of people start the Paleo Diet. What is the biggest hurdle most people face when adopting it?
People come to the Whole30 program or Paleo with one particular food (or group) in mind they just know they can’t give up, or they’re sure isn’t a problem for them — bread, cheese and sugar are the most likely culprits. That sentiment is indicative of the fact that they want to pursue a significant change, but they’re afraid to commit to it fully. They want to keep one foot on the other lawn just in case the grass isn’t really greener. However, once we explain to them that the Whole30 provides a framework so they can still enjoy their favorite foods (and convince them to give it just a 30-day commitment) most folks find they look and feel so amazing they don’t really want to go back to their old habits.
What are five staple foods that you recommend people on the Paleo Diet keep on hand for a quick and easy snack if a fast-food craving strikes? 
When you’re in a “food must happen now” apocalypse kind of situation, it’s essential to have some easy access, go-to foods. We think it’s essential to fill your kitchen with foods that require little to no prep or creativity. Best choices:
Priming for Paleo - Food List
Hard-boiled eggs (we prefer pastured and organic) – This gets protein in your belly with no need to cook, perfect when you’re on the go. Top them homemade mayo or mashed avocado for a good dose of healthy fat.
Grass-fed ground beef We love this protein because it’s so versatile, cooks quickly, and packs a nutritional punch.
Homemade mayo - Made with light olive oil instead of vegetable or soybean oil, this a versatile fat option. You can use it in tuna or chicken salad, spread it on a lettuce-wrapped burger or use it to make a delicious salad dressing or dipping sauce.
Sweet potatoes - The perfect starchy vegetable for active folks. Batch-bake or roast them and store them in the fridge for quick access.
Clarified butter or ghee (pastured and organic) - Adds gorgeous flavor and added fat and is ideal for cooking at high temperatures.

Priming For Paleo - Diane SanFilippoDiane Sanfilippo, BS, NC

Diane is a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in Paleo nutrition, blood sugar regulation, food allergies/intolerances and digestive health. She is the owner and founder of Balanced Bites, Certified Nutrition Consultant and New York Times Best-Selling author of Practical PaleoDiane holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a Holistic Nutrition Consultant Certification from Bauman College in Berkeley, CA, a CHEK Institute Holistic Lifestyle Coach Certification, and a Poliquin BioSignature Modulation Certification.
Why are you a big fan of the Paleo diet? 
As a holistic nutritionist, I promote a nutritional template based on anti-inflammatory whole foods that support the foundations of optimal health, with a focus on healthy digestion and blood sugar regulation. The Paleo diet is exactly that: It is based on consuming nutrient-dense, health promoting, whole foods while eliminating high-allergen and nutrient-depleting, inflammatory foods. When your body and brain are supported with great nutrition, your abilities and potential to achieve and accomplish great things in life are destined for success.
What types of challenges do people face when they eliminate sugar from their diet and do you have a couple of suggestions to handle them? 
This is a perfect question for me as I’ve been there done that. Before I journeyed into holistic nutrition and Paleo, sugar cravings were certainly a struggle of mine. In fact, finally getting off the blood sugar roller coaster inspired me to create The 21-Day Sugar Detox program because I felt this is a place where people really need some hand-holding. The success of that program lead to the book and its companion, The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook. In The 21-Day Sugar Detox, I tell my readers what to expect each and every day throughout the 21 days. It’s not easy! There are a lot of ups and downs while your body is essentially detoxing from sugar and learning how to transition from burning only sugar to the ability to also burn fat for fuel. In the beginning, it can feel a bit like having flu: you’re tired, cranky, and foggy-headed. But, hang in there, don’t give up! It gets better and better, and soon enough (typically after the first week) you will feel amazing. Here are a few tips to help those who are getting started:
  • Plan, plan, plan! I can’t stress that enough—it’s key to success. My book outlines exactly how to plan ahead 7, 5, 3, and 1 day before you get started.
  • Clear your house (or at least a space in your panty and fridge) for foods that are part of your new, healthy, sugar-free plan.
  • Stock up on essentials and quick fix foods for when the cravings hit (see next question below for foods to keep on hand).
  • Anticipate ahead of time what options are available when you must dine out. If options are limited, eat something satiating before you go, or if it’s a party, contribute something you can eat.
  • Keep a food journal. Note how your sleep, mood, energy levels, skin, other health concerns and lifestyle factors are affected.
  • Connect with others on the same journey: There are tons of online resources on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest or host a group at your gym or workplace. You are not alone!
  • Check out tons of free material, FAQ, and one-page guides on
What are five staple foods that you recommend people on the Paleo Diet keep on hand for a quick and easy snack if a fast-food craving strikes?
Paleo Shopping List Ideas - Priming For Paleo
These are a few ideas I have listed in my “quick-fix meal math” in The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook:
Easy proteins - Jerky, Epic or Tanka Bars, eggs, lunch meat (Applegate farms has some clean-ingredient options), grass-fed hot dogs/sausage, ground meat, and sardines.
Easy fats - Avocados, guacamole, nuts & nut/coconut butters, coconut oil, olives, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Easy veggies - Lettuce for wraps, nori seaweed paper, raw sauerkraut, cut veggies for scooping/sandwiching & sautéing, and frozen veggies for quick steaming.
Easy flavor - Lemon/lime juice, hot sauces, fish sauce, mustard, olives, & spices.
Fruit – Especially fresh, whole, in-season fruit.
Priming for Paleo - Experts Share Tips for Starting the Paleo Diet

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