Archive - November 2013

Happy Thankspaleo!

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

Last night I managed to cook all of the Thanksgiving food I plan on eating today…and managed to make it all Paleo friendly.  Well, with the exception of the stuffing, but I used gluten free stuffing mix!  :c)  (That’s my cheat.)  Can’t wait to get home from work and eat it all.


So, I made a bacon wrapped turkey (first attempt at turkey, btw), and it looks and smells AWESOME!  I’ve never had to prepare a turkey before…boy, was it an adventure.  I remember my mom and dad getting the turkey ready when I was a kid, but couldn’t figure it out myself yesterday.  I had to Google a “how-to” article.  I had to wash it, pat it dry, stuff it, then tie the legs together…oh, and take out the giblets and neck (meh).


I stuffed that bird with my gluten free stuffing mix with carrots and onions, and even put some onions and sage under the skin of the turkey.  I had some stuffing that didn’t fit in the turkey, so I cooked it in a pan.  Yum.


Wowza.  To go along with my turkey-lurky-doo, pumpkin pie with paleo coconut almond vanilla ice cream, cranberry upside down cakes, sweet potato pancakes, caramelized onion and carrot stuffing, sausage stuffing (no bread), sweet potato casserole, balsamic roasted carrots, cauliflower hummus, homemade cranberry sauce, chocolate chip cookies, and gluten free dinner rolls (from Whole Foods).


It was hard not to eat it all last night after I made it!  I’ve worked up quite the appetite today.

Let me know how your Paleo Thanksgivings went!

Happy Turkey Day!

“People can teach you, motivate you and inspire you.  But only YOU can make up your own mind to go after your goals.”

Let’s Talk About Zinc, Baby

So Zinc…it’s important to us all.  Zinc is in charge of regulating genetic activities in our bodies, supporting blood sugar and metabolism, and supporting immune system functions.  I came to learn so much about zinc because I was wondering what certain vitamin deficiencies will cause in the body, and thought maybe I was zinc deficient.  One major thing that made me want to do more in depth research was the fact that I was craving so much dark chocolate lately.  I read that it may be because of a magnesium deficiency, but had to look into it more.  More signs are certainly pointing to zinc deficiency.

Grains, beans, and wheat are huge contributors to zinc intake…none of which are paleo, hence, none of which I consume.  Sure, red meat, mushrooms, and dark green veggies also supply zinc, but I don’t eat those everyday (probably should incorporate them into my diet more).  I decided to pick up a 50mg zinc supplement.  When our diet does not provide us with enough zinc, insulin response decreases, making our blood sugar levels more difficult to maintain.  Zinc is essential for reading genetic instructions.  When your diet lacks the zinc we need, those instructions can get misread.  Consuming foods rich in zinc and help you balance blood sugar levels, balance your metabolic rate, support your immune system, and even give you a heightened sense of smell and taste.   Sounds like a good deal to me.

Zinc is integral to our body and it’s functionality.  There’s a lot of benefits of zinc.  I found this website that had 10 benefits listed, I found this interesteing, “#6 Become More Sensitive to Insulin and Prevent Diabetes — Zinc is needed for the healthy function of most hormones, including insulin. Adequate zinc plays at least three roles in insulin health. First, zinc binds to insulin so that insulin is adequately stored in the pancreas and released when glucose enters the blood stream.  Second, zinc improves cell health, making up a component of the enzymes necessary for insulin to bind to cells so that glucose can enter and be used as fuel. The process of insulin binding to the cell is what is referred to with the term “insulin sensitivity” and means that the cell is receptive to insulin. Once insulin binds to the cell, it “opens the door” so that the glucose can enter. If the cell is resistant to insulin, glucose will stay in the blood stream, cause high blood sugar, and ultimately lead to fat gain. When zinc concentration falls, there is a reduction in insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity, which if persistent, will lead to diabetes.”  If you get a chance, you should go check them out.

If you work out a lot, or you’re an athlete, chances are you will need a higher amount of zinc in your diet.  Sweating will contribute greatly to zinc loss.  Athletes can benefit greatly from zinc because it strengthens their immune system, and it also helps speed up recovery time between workouts (who doesn’t want that?).  Severe zinc deficiencies can compromise functionality of the muscles…so workout people…make sure you’re getting your zinc!  They recommend not going over 50mg a day, but that’s debatable.  They say not to exceed more than 100mg/daily.  I guess everything has critics.  Go see a doctor, and they can get you a blood test to see where you’re at.

By doing a little bit of research, and you can find out a lot of stuff you probably didn’t know.  I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but just keep digging deeper and eventually things should make sense.  Here’s another article by Dr. Emily Deans that I found interesting…Zinc Deficiency and Children with Autism.  Check it out.

At 30, I’m looking to achieve optimum health.  I’m on a mission to make sure I’m getting everything I need to get there.  So far the journey has been amazing.

“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations.  What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

-Stephen Hawking-

Find Your “Paleo”…Whatever it May Be

How does that saying go, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”?  That applies to most everything in life.  You can share your knowledge about any subject with someone, but that’s all you can do.  You feed them the knowledge and give them the tools…what they chose to do with that information is up to them.  It is no different with “Paleo”.  The stigma that surrounds so many things just comes from people who are close minded.  Some people will even call you crazy (don’t let it get you down).  You do things how you want to do them and if people jump on the “bandwagon”, then you can all hold hands.  I’m lucky to have a handful of people who support me, and I support them.  These people genuinely care about me, as I do them, and we work through as a team.  It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.  We learn together, we discuss, and we figure it out.  I want to see them do good; better than myself even.  Remember, you can only help someone as much as they want to help themselves.  You can walk away satisfied knowing that you shared your knowledge and your insights and observations.

After spending almost 4 months eating clean, living healthy, and taking care of myself…I feel like I’m a walking billboard for it.  I have the visual to go with the words on the page.  I love finding out about living better, and the little things you can do to change so much.  I have devoted much of my time lately to research.  I’m doing it to get healthy, but helping someone with diabetes is also a big part of it.  Seeing that diet alone can “cure” a laundry list of things…major issues to minor issues…is mind blowing.  So all I’m saying is, if you’re intrigued by someone, don’t approach it negatively.  Approach the situation with an open mind.  You never know what knowledge you can gain.

“Punk has always been about doing things your own way.  What it represents for me is ultimate freedom and a sense of individuality.”

-Billie Joe Armstrong-

Let Me See Your Teeth

So Paleo friends, how are your teeth?

Listen, you only get one set of teeth (adult teeth)…take care of them. Poor dental health can cause a boat load of health issues.  Heart disease can be a result of bad dental hygiene!  Here’s an article I found on WebMD, in case you want to read further about the mouth/body relationship.

After reading some articles, I came up with some good information.  Even though they didn’t own toothbrushes, prehistoric people had better dental health than we do now.  Once farming was introduced, gum disease and cavities were on the rise.  Basically, our change in diet is to blame.  Meats and veggies got replaced by carbs and sugar…causing a lack in nutrients.  Good bacterias are replaced with bad bacterias, and that isn’t good.  It causes a lot of problems.  If we start eating like our ancestors, then we will return to homeostasis (just go watch Biodome).  The health of your teeth is in jeopardy …just go Paleo!

With a diet that no longer has refined sugars or processed foods, your overall health will improve…and that includes the health of your teeth and gums.  All of those nutrient blocking foods I’ve talked about in previous blogs also prevent nutrients from being absorbed by your mouth.  If you eat healthier and get the right vitamins, it can/should repair this.  Calcium is important for good dental health, so being Paleo will allow you to eat a balanced diet, and you’ll get the right amount of calcium you need.  The non-inflammatory aspects of the Paleo way of life will also contribute to a healthy mouth.  Vitamin D3, C, and K2 are good supplements to take for your teeth.  If you look up K2, you can find a lot of information on how it helps teeth.  So if you’re mouth is feeling a little meh, then take some K2 (I smell a commercial jingle).  Smile for the camera!

I read an interview with a dentist named, Dr. Alvin Danenberg.  He was asked what made him want to try the Paleo diet…his reply, “I learned that there are societies in the world today that have never been exposed to processed foods and grains from a westernized diet (Standard American Diet). These people never developed the degenerative diseases that we have in the United States. I also learned that there are societies today that never had degenerative diseases until they were exposed to the Standard American Diet. These people now suffer from rampant diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Wow!”  You can read the entire interview here.

“Greedy eaters dig their graves with their teeth.”


Kombucha on the Ceiling

Kombucha is no joke!

Noah had told me a story about a woman he knows who did a second fermentation, and she ended up having to repair and paint her ceiling after opening the bottle. Needless to say, I thought maybe it was a slight exaggeration…nope, no way…it’s certainly not.  It’s one of those things you have to see to believe…and I am now a believer.  My kitchen ceiling…one spot above the sink…now needs to be repainted.  Terrible.  My mom, well she took it better than expected, but she is still kinda mad.  Right before the “explosion”, I told my smallest puppy (5 lb.-er) to “Hit the deck!”.  The bottle made a squealing noise, then BOOM!  Kombucha shot to the ceiling, all over the cabinets, in the cabinets, across to the wall, on the countertop, and on the stove.  And by “shot to the ceiling”, I mean shot – with excessive force…to the ceiling!  I kid you not.  Insanity.  Luckily the bottle didn’t break, but to top it off, there wasn’t much kombucha left in the bottle after the explosion; what was left was pretty awesome though.  A week is way too long to keep that fermenting!  Dually noted.  Eesh!  To tell the truth, I’m still laughing about it.

Yesterday, I got a quick lesson from Noah on fermenting pickle slices.  It takes 2 days, so by tomorrow I should have some awesome pickle slices.  I still have 2 bottles of kombucha fermenting…I see two little babies forming, too.  It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it.

Total weight loss: 29.5 lbs.  Couldn’t be more proud of myself (you should be proud of yourself, too).

I picked up all my Thanksgiving supplies (first one that I’m doing the cooking).  Everything I’m making is paleo…or at the very least, primal.  I’m also making a bacon wrapped turkey!  For my stuffing, I’m cheating a little.  I picked up gluten free stuffing breadcrumbs.  :c)

I’m giving thanks to everyone that is a part of my life.  I’m giving thanks for all the people who never judged me, and for all the people that make me feel comfortable in my own skin.  I’m a lucky girl to have a life this amazing, filled with all the amazing friends I have.  Love you all.

What are you giving thanks for?

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”



Welcome to the Dark (Chocolate) Side

*cue Imperial March*

Oh, 72% dark chocolate (from Trader Joe’s), how do I love thee…let me count the ways.  Well, for one, it’s amazing.  And two, it’s A-MAZE-ING!  But, with most things, too much of a good thing could be bad.  (sad but true)  I figured it was time to do some research on it, since I’m pretty sure I have a problem (eating more than I should be allowed), and should probably seek help at this point.

But seriously, it’s not my fault!  Dark chocolate is just so good.  It hasn’t been a set back or anything…yet, but I’ve had the worst cravings for it lately.  So the good thing is, is that the amount of sugar in dark chocolate is low.  The higher the percentage a dark chocolate is, the less amount of sugar there is.  100% dark chocolate has no sugar.  However, I did read that if you crave dark chocolate, you may have a magnesium deficiency.  Chocolate is an antioxidant so it’s not all that bad, but if you’re eating a bar a day, it could mean you’re under eating…ugh, guilty.  I also read that chocolate is a stimulant, so eating it too late in the day could affect your sleep.  Bottom line…don’t over indulge.

Such interesting things you can find online.  Too much dark chocolate (and it doesn’t take much apparently), can prove problematic.  It can cause headaches, digestive problems, heartburn, and it some cases, even psychoactive effects.  On the other hand, eating moderate amounts can actually be beneficial.  FYI, to my calorie counting compadres…1.5 oz.of 70-85% will add 250 calories!  That’s one pound of fat in 2 weeks!

Okay, so 72% is good for heart health, good cholesterol levels, and low in fat (in moderation).  There’s a whole lotta caffeine in a little bit of dark chocolate, and lately (because I’ve been over doing the dark chocolate) I’ve been feeling really restless at night…think I figured out why.  Guess I’ll be cutting down on dark chocolate…a lot.

 “Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of those pieces.”

-Judith Viorst-

BElieve in YOUrself.

.::be you::.

I enjoy doing my reading and my research about being healthy, and eating good foods.  I really do find out so much information.  Like I said before, I’m a science and math nerd, so I like looking into things to find out “Why?”.  I also enjoy reading people’s testimonials about them losing weight and how they achieved goals, or even reading about people with certain diseases that figured out how to cure themselves, or at least make things more bearable.  Our bodies are a science project, and there’s lots of different formulas to achieve different things…so experiment.  See what makes you feel good and confident.

What’s my formula for losing weight?  I eat healthy, don’t drink beer, don’t eat fast food, and work out (not very often).  I live life to the fullest, love life, and surround myself with amazing individuals that I’m lucky enough to call friends.  Oh, and calorie counting?  Ha!  What’s that?  My diet is mainly low carb and high protein.  I know what you may be thinking…I’m crazy and this is one of those off-the-rocker diets…it’s not.  Let me first ask you, when’s the last time you went to a fast food restaurant?  …I rest my case.  You may be one of those lucky few who maintains the metabolism of a 4 year old…and you can eat all the fast food you want…and never gain a pound.  If that’s the case, I commend you.  For me, eating the way I’ve been eating has made me thinner, made my skin look better, made my hair look healthier, lessened my anxiety by a landslide, and has given me significantly more energy.   Juss sayin’.

I no longer eat grains…and I don’t miss them or the way they made me feel, one bit.  Grains are made of carbohydrates.  These carbs are turned into glucose in our system.  Yes, we need this for energy and some functionality, but when you eat too much, then you have some left over, and any glucose left over that isn’t used as energy, is stored as fat!  #truestory  Less carbs + less glucose = fat burning machine!  Grains contain gluten and lectins anyway, neither of which we are beneficial or good for us (See: Lectins, Lecithins, and GMOs…oh my!).

I make sure that I get all the nutrients I need.  I take my vitamins everyday.  I just started taking krill oil, and I read that one of the things it helps with is menstrual cramps…that’s awesome!  I’ll give it a few weeks to get into my system before I judge…and then I’ll blog about it.  Krill oil has a lot of other benefits too.  It improves circulation, helps with the inflammation of arthritis, improves brain function, and helps make your skin look healthier!  Okay, so my way of living consists of eating things that my body actually knows how to process and use.  I now live by the rule that if I read the ingredients and there’s something I can’t pronounce, I won’t eat it (which cuts out almost everything on supermarket shelves).  I’m okay with this.  It’s only fair to my body that I treat it with respect.  I wouldn’t put a Calculus book in front of a 10 year old and say…answer all the questions in the book and you better get them right.  It’s not fair, it’s not something they can handle.  It’s the same thing with the chemistry of our bodies.  For all my religious friends, Luke 6:31 – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Make sense?

I was stressed about where I was getting calcium from since I don’t drink milk anymore (milk makes baby cows, big cows…think about it), and I looked up some stuff and found out that we get a substantial amount from some of the food we eat (assuming we eat healthy; grass fed beef, spinach, etc.).  This goes for other nutrients as well.  Now tell me where you get nutrients in Big Mac’s  and McNuggets?  I’m not saying you should NEVER eat these things, but don’t be so quick to judge my grass fed beef until you check out your own food journal (which is also a good thing to do to keep track).  I’m not bashing your “diet”, or the way you live.  Whatever works for you, works for you.  If you’re happy, then awesome, be happy, but it’s not fair to judge others based on something you may or may not understand.  I personally enjoy knowing exactly what I’m eating, that’s all.  I don’t eat processed foods, and a lot of the foods I eat are rich in potassium.  Hey, quick fact, did you know that if you cut out processed foods you’ll lower your sodium intake?  This, paired with a good amount of potassium is a good formula for vascular health and low blood pressure.  Speaking of systolic over diastolic, I’ve checked my blood pressure recently, and it’s the best it’s ever been in my whole life.  It was always on the higher end (but still in the safe range); now, it’s just awesome!  117/70 with a pulse of 68.  My pulse at rest used to be almost 90 (I thought I was a “healthy” 20-something year old, too).

My diet has been so varied.  I don’t think I’ve eaten a repeat meal since August 9, seriously.  Maybe once or twice, something really phenomenal.  I’ve really liked everything I’ve made, not to mention…I didn’t even know how to turn on the oven before this…let alone cook a meal!  So it’s been a really exciting adventure…and I’m never bored!  I haven’t even needed or wanted to have a “cheat” day, although I have thought intently about how a slice of pizza would taste.  I’ve also been able to keep my body in balance, and the amount of energy I have has helped me be way more productive.

I’ve also managed to break my habit of “eating all the freakin’ time”.  I eat very nutritious food, so it keeps me from overeating.  Foods that are high in protein, combined with the right carbs will keep you feeling fuller, longer.  I haven’t felt that euphoria before the crash in a very long time (you all know what I’m talking about).  I even do intermittent fasting.  Sometimes I go from dinner to lunch without eating (not as a punishment or anything, but because my body is so well nourished that I don’t NEED to eat), and I’m not ravenous when it is time to eat.  I have only done that fast a couple times.  Basically, I eat when I’m hungry now, and it’s as simple as that.  Stress-free…my kinda living.

There will always be critics, but until you’re in someone else’s shoes, perhaps you won’t know how good they truly feel.  Perhaps the critics should stop using anecdotal evidence, and start looking at hard facts.  If you want to know about it, just ask, and people will share their stories and give you all the information they have.

A little vanity goes a long way.  When you look good, you feel good…you are confident, you are strong.  Be that person.  (We all have it in us.)

“The only person you should compare yourself to, is the person you were yesterday.”

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil

I’m planning on trying some rendition of Bulletproof coffee this weekend, but I don’t think I’m going to buy the actual Bulletproof brand coffee though.  If anyone has tried this or has any suggestions, please feel free to share.

What is the difference between MCT oil and coconut oil?  As far as I can see, they are pretty much the same thing…coconut oil contains 2/3 MCT oil, whereas MCT (mostly derived from coconut oil) is 100% MCT oil.  It looks like the coconut oil may have more health benefits than MCT oil.  MCT stands for medium-chain tryglycerides, they are usually used for food absorption disorders.  Some athletes use them during training to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass.  Most people like the MCT oil because it doesn’t solidify, but they are used interchangeably.   So, I guess if you’re not into the taste of coconut, then use the MCT oil.  Pure MCT oil is available, but it is processed, so it’s not natural nor organic.  Beware when you buy MCT oil because there are ones out there with a lot of added carbs.

Coconut oil’s ability to control hunger and cravings is well documented. It’s medium chain fatty acids promote thermogenesis and lead to increased metabolic rates.  For anyone with type-2 diabetes, you should actually use coconut oil to control your blood glucose; it’s actually one of the fats that they can eat without having to worry. I read a few articles where increasing the use of coconut oil helped people get off their insulin.  FYI, don’t confuse coconut oil with coconut butter!  Coconut butter is loaded with carbs!  Drug companies have also recognized that coconut oil is effective in combating diabetes, but since coconut oil is natural food, nobody can put a patent on it.  So all those holistic health people that you know, may be onto something.  There was a study done on capric acid, a natural fatty acid found in coconut oil, that found it can serve as a regulator of blood sugar levels.  I love finding out new things!

I think I’ll be using coconut oil in my coffee!  It seems that finding the correct (safest) form of MCT oil might prove to be a difficult task.  If you find the MCT oil that isn’t processed, it should have no bearing on anyone who has diabetes; zero carbs, zero sugar.

Amazing how a little bit of research can uncover so much.

“If we knew what we were doing it would not be called research, would it?”

-Albert Einstein-

Grains are So Not Paleo

Why you ask?  Well, just because.  Yeah, that’s not really the best answer, I know.  A friend of mine appoached me with this question today, and while I usually have an answer (truth or wit) for everything, I couldn’t think of a way to explain this one to her.  She wanted to embark on a Paleo-ish diet…gluten free…healthy…so she grilled me for an hour on it.  I didn’t mind.  :c)

I did some research…I found this on one site, “… the goal of the paleo diet is to eat nutrient rich food (which grains are not) and stay low glycemic index, which is easily achieved with veggies and complete proteins.”  I also thought another statement I read was helpful to the explanation, “Better than wheat, worse than rice.”  I’ve read that eating something like oats will put your body into ketosis, but anyone who is Paleo won’t really have their body go into ketosis, but I can’t really explain why (perhaps you can, Noah?).  I like eating now based not so much on the actual definition of Paleo, but how my body will react to things I eat.

So why are oats so not Paleo?  Well, for one, during processing, oats can be contaminated with other gluten grains.  They are also high in carbs, high in fiber, and high in phytic acid.  Some vegetables have phytic acid, but it mostly exists in the skin (which is usually removed or thoroughly washed) before consuming.   What is phytic acid you ask, well, it stores the phosphorous in plants (grains, nuts, legumes).  Humans can’t digest phytic acid, so we cannot release the phosphorous and in short, phytic acid can bind to, and cause certain important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc to be unabsorbable my our bodies.  In one article the author wrote, “…as a reduction in the activity of these enzymes, it could lead to a reduction in post-prandial glucose absorption, which, in their eyes, could be a preventative and/or management strategy for diabetes.”  It could lower how powerful some of our digestive enzymes are.  That’s just bad news all around.  For all my science nerd friends, read this article, Living with Phytic Acid.

“I can’t reiterate this enough: The fate of your health, including that of the brain, is a choice–not a destiny, dictated by your genes.”

-David Perlmutter, MD-

No Kombucha on the Ceiling!

My kombucha has finished it’s second fermentation…and it’s pretty darn good.  It didn’t explode all over the kitchen either!  I was prepared…towel, goggles, dishwashing gloves, high waters….haha, just kidding about the high waters.  But seriously, I was prepared for it to pop, but it wasn’t as crazy as I thought it was going to be (thank, goodness).  I can’t wait to keep trying new juices and fruit infusions.  I have ginger ready for my next batch.  I know what I’m giving everyone for Christmas this year, too.

I went to a Giants game on Sunday, and I was in a suite.  They had food in the suite and I was hungry.  I figured the meatballs and salad wouldn’t be that bad…needless to say, yesterday I wasn’t feeling so good.  Pretty much laid in bed all day.  I don’t know if it was related to the food or being at the game all day, either way, I’m convinced I ate something I shouldn’t have.  Saw a friend of mine I haven’t seen in awhile, and he lost a bunch of weight.  He looks awesome.  I asked how he did it…his answer…Paleo (but not super strict).  He lost 50 lbs.!  See, another success story.  We are both friends with Dr. Noah, so his guidance has been awesome…clearly.

I haven’t tried the bulletproof coffee yet, but I want to try it soon!  I need to check on my pickles and sauerkraut later…hopefully they are thriving!

“A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are.”