Top 9 Best Things About Paleo (Because 10 is overrated)

I’ve been touting the pure awesomeness of the Paleo diet. You’ve been doing one of three things. Number 1, you’ve been ignoring me. All of my posts about my blog posts just make you sick. Number 2, you’ve been distracted. The NBA playoffs have sucked you in and you don’t even want to get out until they hand out that trophy (If this is you, you get a free pass. I totally understand). Number 3, you’ve been reading my posts! Thank you so much. You are so much smarter than when I started. You’re also better looking and able to cut onions without a single tear. You didn’t know reading my blog gave you powers, but it does. So congratulations to you! To celebrate here are the 9 best things about going Paleo.

1. Your gut is healthier- the gut is the cornerstone of your health and eating Paleo strengthens its ability tolet good stuff in and keep bad stuff out

2. Eating like a caveman just feels cool

3. You have more energy. All that added extra sugar was keeping you down, now it isn’t

4. You have a fantastic reason to eat a steak whenever you want

5. You know how to make bone broth

6. Bacon is always okay…seriously. Breakfast.Lunch.Dinner.

7. Your joints are healthier.

8. You’re mom has stopped bothering you about eating healthier

9. You’re expanding your food boundaries

Cheers

Advertisements

Bone Broth: Revisited

So I had a post about bone broth. Maybe you read it (thanks!) maybe you didn’t (not cool). Either way I figured I needed to follow it up PLUS my grandma asked me where to get bone broth. And you gotta answer your Grandma’s questions! (Hey, Grandma! Love you.) Bone broth is one of those things that seems mythical. It’s like, “Ok, now get some bones and cook them for hours with a few spices. Make sure the bones you’re getting are good, that the animals had good diets. Very good. Now that they’ve been stewing for half of the day you’re finished you can drink it! You’re basically eating the essence of the bones. You can even eat the bones sometimes. Go ahead eat the bone. There are so many benefits to you drinking this, blah blah blah.” It all seems kind of weird. I’m going to make it less weird with a play by play of how to make bone broth:

My wife: Where are your bones? My husband needs them for his stupid* blog. (makes a sourpuss face)

*She didn’t say stupid. Haven’t you ever heard of creative expression!?

Butcher guy: We keep them with the cold meat over there (points with giant bloody butcher knife)

My wife: Oh thanks (does that yucky face that only ladies can do)

My wife buys said bones and drives them home to me.

Me: They’re kinda gross looking

My wife: Right?!

I searched far and wide for the best bone broth recipe. And I found it. Click here if you want it.

I get the bones, carrots, onion, parsley, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and water and put it ALLLLL in the crock pot.

I click low heat.

Me: Wait, is that really it? That’s all I have to do?

My wife: (nods)

Me: That’s kind of a let down. I mean I don’t do anything else?

My wife: You could clean the dishes

Me: (sprints out of the front door)

1 billion* hours later

*20

I get all the stuff out of the broth so that it’s just broth. I pour the broth in a container and let it cool, then I pop it in the fridge.

Me: All done!

I go to work

I get home and reheat a cup of the bone broth on the stove(studies say to not use the microwave). I drink said cup of bone broth and know that I’m helping my gut work better.

THE END (Special thanks to my wife for putting up with me)

As you can see, making bone broth is simple. There are a few important rules but nothing that’s too difficult to figure out. So don’t be intimidated. Find a recipe that you think sounds good and give it a shot!

Cheers

Paleo According to the Internet

We are currently living in the Age of Information. THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT. In 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, said that,

“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003”

That’s absolutely insane. As it stands now, that quote may be not as true as we thought but the idea still has truth. We are producing information at a rate that has never been seen before. I say this because there is a huge community of Paleo people of the world wide web that you have access to. If you love the idea of Paleo and what it can do for you or are just a little teensy weensy bit interested in Paleo the internet can be a great resource for you. There is a Paleo presence on every social media medium no matter your preference. This post is all about connecting you with resources you can use everyday to help you with your Paleo journey or questions. For reasons of simplicity I’m only going to list the Paleo blogs and websites that are notable. For the most part, each of these blogs or websites have extensions of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. So without further ado:

1. marksdailyapple.com

Mark Sisson is a former long distance runner who made health and fitness his full time job. He’s 60 years old and is RIPPED. He believes strongly in the benefits of the Paleo diet and his website is littered with advice, resources, and success stories from people who have tried his health plan.

2. robbwolf.com

Robb Wolf is a former biochemist who is now one of the most prominent minds in terms of the Paleo diet. One of his main focuses is on people with diseases that can be helped by eating Paleo. He’s also passionate about sleep, weight loss, fitness, the anti-inflammatory diet, and autoimmune diseaes.

3. nomnompaleo.com

Michelle Tam is probably the most popular Paleo cook on the planet. She has a HUGE catalog of recipes that are delicious and 100% fit for a cave man.

4. thepaleodiet.com

This website is kept up by more than one person but the main identity behind The Paleo Diet is Dr. Loren Cordain who is widely considered the founder of the Paleo Diet. This website has recipes, articles explaining the benefits of the Paleo diet, and a TON of other resources related to Paleo.

5. paleOMG.com

Juli Bauer is kind of crazy, which is why this might be my favorite Paleo website. She specializes in Paleo recipes but also is a CrossFit addict. She doesn’t adhere to a strictly Paleo diet but she does eat Paleo for the most part.

In my opinion, these are the 5 best Paleo websites around. If you want to learn more, these 5 are a GREAT place to start.

Cheers

Kobe’s Knees and Your Stomach

Kobe Bryant is old, well not actually old, just basketball old. He’s on the last legs of his career and ironically it’s his legs that are betraying him. You can’t outrun father time; mainly because father time punches you over and over again in the lower extremities until your sprint looks more like a competitive walk, which is really just another term for an extremely slow jog. Except Kobe is still running, jumping, and playing basketball at a very high level for his age.

I was floating through the internet awhile ago and found one of the reasons Kobe is still able to cross up and dunk on guys that are the SAME AGE as his NBA career. Kobe drinks bone broth. He’s played over 46,000 minutes in the NBA, a league that requires lightning quick movement, high impact leaping over and over, and marathon like endurance. A player’s body will break down over time. Kobe is trying to slow down that deterioration. He cites bone broth’s ability to reduce inflammation (which helps him recover and heal faster) as well as its ability to boost his energy.

Bone broth is about as Paleo as you can get. The benefits that Kobe cites are real and there are other benefits to. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Bone broth helps the joints. Collagen, is the main structural protein that makes up bones, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Through the cooking process the collagen changes into gelatin which contains both proline and glycine. These two amino acids help joints recover and rebuild. Bone broth also contains glycosaminoglycans which has shown an ability to reduce pain in joints and greatly delay the process of arthritis
  • Bone broth is FULL of minerals and other good things. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, proteins, sugars, and other nutrients
  • Glycine, the amino acid mentioned earlier also assists the body in flushing out toxins. Getting rid of toxins is the liver’s job and glycine gives the liver a helping hand while helping create important antioxidants
  • The digestive system is aided. Bone broth helps to digest fat, keep good cholesterol levels, and treat digestive issues like IBS or acid reflux.
  • And lastly, it contains glutamine which is a treatment for the ever treacherous, Leaky Gut

Do yourself a favor and be like Kobe. Try bone broth and start to feel like one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Ok, maybe just start to feel better but that’s pretty good too.

Cheers

Steps to Fix That Leaky Gut Part 2

Finding a solution often means asking related questions, to gather information that aids in building a theory for the solution. Do you follow?

Concerning a Leaky Gut, a good question to ask yourself is: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

It’s a fairly simple question with more than a few answers. Leaky Gut can be caused by a range of things, sometimes even, working together to erode the strength of your gut barrier.

Here are some of the major causes of abnormal intestinal permeability:

  • Chronic stress
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Prescription hormones such as the birth control pill
  • Antibiotics
  • Processed foods (dyes, preservatives, peroxidized fats)
  • Refined sugars (sodas, candy, white bread, cookies, etc.)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Lack of sleep
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (ibuprofen and other related drugs)
  • Gluten consumption
  • Excessive exercising and training

Some people will look at this list and say, “OH NO! I have/consume/do every single one of these.” That’s okay. Let’s look at how to combat Leaky Gut:

1. Do your best to avoid chronic stress

2. Reduce inflammation – Reduce the amount of alcohol and caffeine consumed – If you have chronic physical pain caused by inflammation instead of relying on NSAIDs try eating more spices and foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory like: Turmeric, Cloves, Rosemary, Ginger, Animal based Omega-3 fats, Garlic, leafy greens

3. Help your gut flora do their job the right way – Take Probiotics which help replace good bacteria when you lose them and lower the amount of bad bacteria that cause damage and infections

4. Get plenty of Glutamine – If you’re doing it the Paleo way, drink bone broth!

5. Your dairy should be pastured (if possible cut out dairy totally)

6. Cut out gluten altogether – That’s High-gluten wheat flour, European spelt, barley, rolled rye flakes

7. Make sure that Vitamins A & D are prominent in your diet as well as fiber

It’s possible that doing just one of these things or cutting out one part of your current diet could drastically change your gut health. It’s also possible that you’ll need to make some sweeping changes. Each body is different. The good news is that eating Paleo will cover a lot of these steps for you! Not only that, but changing your diet completely might make some of the other changes feel easier! Until next time.

Cheers

Steps to Fix that Leaky Gut Part 1

So your gut barrier isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do and there’s a pretty good chance that you helped cause this problem. The trouble is Leaky Gut isn’t like having a cut on your knee; you know that your bleeding from a gash on your knee and you need to clean it out, put some Neosporin on it, and give it an environment to heal well in (aka put a band aid on it and let it rest in a moist environment).

Leaky Gut is a little more complicated. You could have one symptom that appears to be linked to something else, you could have multiple symptoms that seem COMPLETELY unrelated to each other, or maybe you have multiple symptom groupings that seem related to various separate problems. To make it more complicated, your symptoms may actually be unrelated to Leaky Gut.

So before we get to how to treat (and hopefully cure!) abnormal intestinal permeability, you’ll need to be able to recognize the major predictors that your gut may not be its happy, properly digestive, pathogen killing, body helping self.

Clues That You May Have Leaky Gut  

1.  Anxiety, depression, attention-deficit disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

2. Food allergies or digestive issues after certain foods are consumed

3. Other common digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea and less common digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease

4. Autoimmune diseases like Celiac Disease or Type 1 Diabetes

5. Hormonal issues like Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome or Premenstrual Syndrome

6. A pattern of heavy fatigue

7. Widespread muscle pain or tenderness

8. Skin Problems like acne or eczema

Most, if not all, of these are commonplace in our current society. And just because someone has one or more of these maladies does not mean that their gut isn’t performing normally. Chancing it, however seems like a really bad idea. Taking steps to protect your gut means taking steps to protect your overall health and wellness. At the end of the day, it’s worth it. Tomorrow we go through the steps to reclaim a healthy gut.

Cheers

Why your body will thank you…

The Paleo diet isn’t just another fad whose sole purpose is to lose weight. Losing weight is often a side effect of eating Paleo but one of the greatest benefits of eating like a caveman takes place where all that food you eat travels to and through…the gut.

We live in a world of disease and many of these diseases are closely related to gut health. Inflammatory diseases with gastrointestinal ties like Celiac disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as well as metabolic disease like diabetes or cardiovascular disease have strong correlations to Leaky Guy Syndrome.

When I first heard the term ‘Leaky Guy Syndrome’, I thought, “Gross, I hope my gut isn’t leaking everywhere. How do I stop it if it is? Why aren’t more people talking about how your gut can leak!?” And, “I wish there was a less disgusting term for Leaky Gut.” Well it turns out there is a more palatable term, abnormal intestinal permeability. It’s actually less disgusting and more scientific all at once! Yay Science!

To understand what abnormal intestinal permeability is we need to understand how the gut actually works. The gut is there to let helpful, good things in, like nutrients and to keep harmful, bad things out like undigested food or pathogens.  It uses two things to do this, a physical barrier and an unattached barrier. The physical barrier is made up of tissue that provides a literal wall between your insides and the things you put inside your body. The unattached barrier is made up of proteins, chemicals, substances related to immune health and other molecules that help to put the good in and keep the bad out. These two barriers make up the gut barrier and need help figuring out how to work together, that’s where the microbiota of the gut, or gut flora come in. Gut flora help with the office dynamics, so to speak. Gut flora are not part of the barrier but they do still play a vital role.

When all of these things are clicking, life is good. When one or multiple things are off…not so much. For example, your eating a ham sandwich at work, in the break room. Your coworker Lonnie sneezes. Lonnie’s powerful sneeze plants a pathogen right on your third bite. That third bite tastes great, awesome even. It’s probably the best bite during your whole lunch time. Gosh, it really was a good bite. But, the pathogen is now in your body. Normally, your body would recognize it and kill it with no mercy. But your gut barrier is feeling off today, it sees the pathogen and hallucinates a warm fuzzy feeling. It waves in a slight daze. “Come on in, friend.”

This is bad, very bad. But don’t worry. If your gut is mistaking enemies for friends, you can be helped. More on that that in a few days.

Cheers

Health is Wealth

blog_health

We’ve all heard the phrase, “health is wealth”. But what does it really mean? I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science and in all of my public health classes the seven dimensions of wellness were talked about. Did I say talked about? I’m sorry, I meant hammered into my subconscious until I recited definitions of all seven backwards while sleeping. My subconscious has recovered and even rebelled. I had to check the University of California Riverside’s wellness page for the definition of Physical Wellness. It is as follows:

The ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness 

In layman’s terms, when you are healthy you can do the things you want, you don’t have pain, and life is generally easier. When you aren’t healthy, life can really suck. What leads to health? Well, if you read the definition of physical wellness, the folks at UC Riverside would argue that health is derived from practicing good habits (ex: exercise) and not participating in bad habits (ex: snorting lines of cocaine after eating three pizzas at 2 am). Get to the point, Will. Fine.

The point is, as a first world, highly developed country we have stumbled into a very dangerous, bad habit. By a general rule, as countries become more wealthy their diets change. Faster, easier options are now readily available. Processed food is a regular staple. The food we use as fuel is hurting us, killing us even. Ironically, humans when they become wealthier lose their health. They scramble to retain their health with countless doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and whatever else is the fad at the time. The fix is simple. Eat things that help your body, that help your digestion, that help your immune system. Easier said than done right? RIGHT. Changing habits isn’t easy, especially when the habits are ingrained in you to the point where the habit just feels like the only option, like it’s just a part of your life. The Paleo diet offers a way to regain that dimension of wellness that escapes so many of us. Chew on that.

Cheers

What is the Paleo Diet Anyways?

My wife, Courtney, and I were standing in a kitchen waiting for the food that our friends were preparing to be ready. The four of us were in cheery moods conversationally delving in and out of lighthearted topics. I mentioned that I was about to start a blog and my friend Jonathan and his wife Nikki perked up. “What are you going to be writing about?” they asked. I answered matter-of-factly, even confidently, “I’m going to document my foray into the Paleo diet.” They nodded both impressed and we moved on to some other topic. Later, over dinner, which I now know was very much not Paleo, Nikki asked me a question. “So Will, what exactly is Paleo?” I was stumped, I had no idea. I’d had friends who swore by it and who would talk until they were blue in the face, but I had never really stopped to listen and understand what the Paleo diet actually is, what it preaches, and how it aims to make an individual more healthy. I had a moment of terror. I was about to start a blog on a topic I had no knowledge of. But then I realized that this was a perfect example of why I should blog. There are plenty of people who are intrigued by the Paleo diet, and who want to know more. And even more than that, there are people, maybe even you, who want to start the Paleo diet but aren’t really sure how.

That describes me not less that a few weeks ago. I had no idea where to start. By nature, I’m a pretty cautious person, maybe even overly cautious. Most of the time I’m not going to do anything unless I’m informed of how things are going to go down. There was no way I was going to start this Paleo diet without knowing the basics. So I did some digging and some question asking and here they are, the basics:

This simple definition of the Paleo diet can be found on wikipedia:

The paleolithic diet, also known as the paleo diet or caveman diet, is a diet based on the food humans’ ancient ancestors might likely have eaten, such as meat, nuts and berries, and excludes food to which they likely wouldn’t have had access…

This is an adequate explanation of the Paleo diet, but I’ve found that the best way to understand the Paleo diet is to see the general Paleo rules.

guidelines

Captain Barbossa is actually right. The Paleo community seems to agree to disagree on a variety of things, which can make things more confusing. Therefore the following list is what MOST Paleo followers agree on.

1. A medium amount of animal protein is good. Poultry, pork(one word: BACON!), red meat, fish and shellfish (must be caught in the wild), eggs, and organs (always highly valued in human history, tremendous nutritional values)

2. Mom and Dad were right all along. Eat lots of vegetables.

3. Just because it says vegetable doesn’t mean it is one. Vegetable oil and all other hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils are out. That includes you margarine.

4. Added sugar is not your friend. Don’t pretend like you didn’t know this already.

5. Neither is Chester from Cheetos or Count Chocula. Processed foods don’t come close to making the cut. Along with extra sugar, huge amounts of sodium, and a slew of artificial flavors and colors many also include grains that don’t jive with Paleo either. Wheat, barley, corn, brown rice don’t have a place at the table.

6. Who needs Chester when you can have BUTTER. Saturated fats get the green light.

7. Not all carbs are bad. Bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, even white potatoes are all here to comfort you.

8. Make sure that red meat you eat is grass fed. Those bad grains have the same affect on the animals we eat, and therefore effect us when we eat them. Plus, didn’t you watch Food Inc.!?

9. Fruits and nuts are okay just don’t go nuts. 

Again, depending on who you talk to some people may disagree with these main tenets depending on individual convictions and health issues. So now you know. Wave goodbye to Tony the Tiger and hello to bacon.

Cheers

First Things First

I’ll start with a confession: I don’t know that much about the Paleo diet. I know that dieters are supposed to cut their carbohydrate intake I know that eating butter is encouraged. I know that consuming anything that is in a box, packaged in plastic, wrapped in colorful paper, and/or has a cartoon brand ambassador (I’m looking at you Toucan Sam) is most definitely frowned upon. I also know that people swear by the Paleo diet and that it’s health benefits, according to these zealots, cannot be denied.

I’ll admit, I’m curious. I think a lot of people are. This space will cover as many topics as possible in the Paleo world. From the outside looking in, the Paleo diet is more than limiting the intake of certain food items and increasing the intake of others. It’s a lifestyle. Embarking on a new lifestyle is a large undertaking that shouldn’t be done at the flip of a switch. No one tries, to bench press 500 pounds without hours and hours and hours of weight training and I don’t intend to go full caveman Paleo in the span of one or two weeks. Biting off more than I can chew (yes, pun intended) is the fastest way to fail at changing eating habits that I’ve had for over two decades. So baby steps it is as I push for a full Paleo diet.