Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lean Low Carb Machines

Im half way through a 3 day course with Charles Poliquin (arguably one of the worlds best strength coaches).  The focus is on fat loss through testing called BioSignature.  Which is a fancy name for body fat testing to determine if you either are stressed because you eat too many carbs, don't detoxify well, or are too stressed.  The room is filled with people from all over the world, many of which are in fantastic shape.  There are only 2 common denominators between the lean people and the others:  Those that are lean would consider themselves Paleo dieters, and they do strength training a few times a week.  Those that score high on bodyfat do not follow a Paleo diet and either do cardio, or little exercise regularly.  Fortunately, this only confirms the value of a Paleo diet.  In fact all weekend, I've heard reference over reference of Dr,'s Naturopaths, and Functional Medicine Practitioners praising the Paleo diet for optimum health.  So if your doing 30 days of Paleo dieting with me, I hope your on track!  And if your not yet eating like a cave man, you may be soon...  This diet is racking up studies and results all over the world.  So here's my takeaway for today...  Insulin is considered the hormone of aging.  Every illness we get is associated and made worse by the presence of insulin.  Too much insulin is also an indicator of fat storage and hormone imbalances throughout the body.  But the best news is, Insulin is the only hormone we have complete control over.  The only way to increase Insulin production is to each carbs.  So those of you on my 30 day plan can give yourselves a little pat on the back.  You've just lowered your risk of disease, , improved your gut health, assisted in the production of seratonin & DHEA, lowered your fat  cells, and lengthened your lifespan.  Just from a few days with no grains.  Isn't that amazing!  
Please let me know how your doing!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's the Buzz about Paleo

This was a recent post from a Paleo expert on Dr. Oz - I've reposted because the content is fantastic!

Gaining huge momentum and buzz, the Paleo Diet touts that it can help you drop unwanted pounds and ward off diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers. The Diet is based on what humans ate during caveman times. Despite the plan’s popularity, there are many misconceptions about what it means to eat Paleo.

The diet has nothing to do with carving hunks of red meat off the bone – it’s about focusing on the connection between living off the land and longevity. The Paleo Diet is a lifestyle based on the idea that in the past 40,000 years, our DNA has changed very little. Therefore, eating processed foods like cereals, dairy products, and refined sugars invite disease and weight gain. The Paleo Diet simplifies your food and asserts that eating natural plants and animals is your prescription for optimum health.

Promising new research shows that the Paleo Diet is helpful for people in reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The diet includes foods like fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, bison, duck, assorted fruits and vegetables, nuts and olive oil. These choices provide a rich supply of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Additionally, the diet focuses on foods that are low on the glycemic index, which prevents spikes in your blood sugar. Despite its focus on lean protein, the Paleo Diet is not a low-carb plan; it focuses on foods that will boost your metabolism and keep you satisfied. Women who have followed this diet claim to have lost up to 75 pounds in 6 months.

While most people try the Paleo Diet to lose weight, there is a large community of people who are using the program to treat symptoms of chronic disease. Women are finding the diet improves energy, alleviates pain, and even lessens dependency on certain medications. While you should never change your medications without talking to your doctor first, the benefits of a healthy diet cannot be understated.

Learn the rules of the Paleo Diet and use the strategies of the past to improve your future.

Rule #1: Build a “Paleo Plate” for Every Meal
On the Paleo Diet, two-thirds of your plate should be comprised of vegetables. The other one-third is a palm-sized portion of lean protein, one fruit and a dollop of healthy fat, like avocado.

Rule #2: Eliminate All “Inflammatory” Foods
The diet tries to mimic the foods our ancestors ate during the Stone Age, so it eliminates all items that come in bags or boxes. These processed foods can upset the immune system and create inflammation in the body. You’ll need to cut out all dairy and refined sugars.

The Paleo Diet also veers away from whole grains and legumes, some of Dr. Oz’s diet staples. Paleo proponents believe these foods are nutritional lightweights compared to nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Additionally, certain grains can be irritable to the intestines and lead to symptoms like bloating, swelling and IBS.

Rule #3: No Calorie Counting
This rule doesn’t give you permission binge eat whatever you want – it means that when you’re eating balanced meals comprised of whole foods without preservatives, your body runs efficiently. Paleo dieters maintain that without the blood sugar spikes and crashes, your energy will be through the roof. On this plan, you can eat until you’re satisfied and still lose weight.

Rule #4: Eat Dinner for Breakfast
The traditional American diet usually offers refined carbohydrates like bagels and cereals for breakfast and reserves proteins for lunch and dinner. On the Paleo Diet, this is not the case; you can have any protein on the table as part of breakfast. Grab your dinner leftovers like turkey, salmon, or even a burger – it will fuel your day!

Rule #5: Take 3 Cheat Meals a Week
You can still get the benefits of the Paleo Diet by following it 85% of the time. A full 100% commitment is ideal for 30 days but can be a difficult transition – which is why the plan allows for some cheat meals. Indulge three meals a week. Feel free to enjoy a glass of wine or a piece of cake. Paleo is a lifestyle, not a fad diet. Make it sustainable for you.

Our 30 Day Paleo Plan Begins June 1st

The emails are rolling in, curiosities are high, people are pondering... Can I really go without grains and dairy for a whole month?

On your own - like I did a few years back, it was a bumpy start, lots of trial and errors, and a few late night cheats to get me through.  But the truth is, a Paleo diet is quiet easy (especially in the summer months) and family friendly - if you have some support.

I'm really excited about sharing the great recipes I've discovered, and seeing the transformation occur.  Letting go of dairy and grains for most can be life changing (no kidding), for others they will feel the best they have ever felt.

And this program launches our on-line studio!  So even if your not here, you can join us.  So excited!

Please feel free to post your comments!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why I Eat Meat...

For some reason, many people are surprised when they find out I eat meat.  I guess there are a lot of yoga teachers who are either vegetarians, vegans or raw foodists these days. 

The truth is, I was a vegetarian for about 6 years. Not a real serious one - I could eat my Nona’s meatballs, and my Grandfather’s homemade pruscuitto, and the chicken breast.  In fact, I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian most of the time which meant eggs and milk products where okay too.  I guess I was more of a flexitarian, substituting vegetables and beans for meat most of the time. 

The other interesting truth about this faze was that I knew very little about nutrition and a lot about exercise.  At the point I was teaching 15-20 hours of high intensity fitness a week - either in aerobics, or running with clients.  I was fit by most standards - except that I was 20lbs over weight.  I chalked it up to my genetics and left it at that. 

One day on serous date with my (now) husband, I was offered a piece of steak. I never really liked steak - unless my dad made it.  And I could see this one was cooked to perfection.  Plus, it had been years since I was turned off off of meat, so the images had faded... I had a bite, and my vegetarian days where over. 

In the weeks that followed my conversion to the dark side, I lost 10lbs without doing anything different, injuries began to heal, and I had the energy to run a triathlon, adventure race, and a 24 mountain bike event.  It was clear to me that meat was really important to my body and I began to thrive with these new changes.   

But, I didn’t firmly resolve my opinions on meat eating until these past few years.  There has been a lot of debate the impact on our environment, hormones, and our acid levels.  The interesting thing is that while I studied nutrition 15 years ago, the “bad” food has changed faces many times.  Labels read low fat, sugar free, low sodium, gluten free, organic, vegan, or non-GMO.  It got me wondering... what’s true, and what’s trendy.  Do those labels just sell products, or are they really improving my health?

With serious health issues arising in my body, I decided to do some hard-core research.   What I discovered really shifted my thinking.  Paleo-lithic type diets are the best studied, and most supported diets throughout the world.  Most naturopaths, nutritionists, athletes, and trainers are giving Paleo diets the thumbs up. 

The research claimed incredible results.  Although skeptical at first, I gave it a try cutting out grains and dairy from my diet.  Honestly, because of my “Flexitarian” roots, it wasn’t an all or nothing deal.  A little cheese and carbs never hurt anyone...

What changed really amazed me.  Hives I had had for 6 months disappeared.  My thyroid levels improved.  My testosterone levels went up, my body leaned out.  Bloating, PMS, and headaches no longer existed, acne was gone - and I was a believer.  The more I read, the more I learned, and soon eating bread seemed “strange”. 

The transition was an overwhelming shift at first. But now it’s rather quite simple.  Just part of our weekly meals.  And my family loves it too.  So, I thought it would be useful to share this info with you.  Id like to guide you through the first month of a Paleo diet.  Consider it an experiment.  See how your body responds, how easy it could be to eat like a cave man. 

Looking back - I wasn’t a “healthy” vegetarian.  I took no supplements, and definitely didn’t get enough protein, and a breads where a big part of my calories.  And there are some un-healthy Paleo eaters out there too.  There are intelligent ways to make any diet healthy if done correctly.  I’ll teach you how to make this a Smart Caveman Plan.

Join us for a 4 week program.  Each week we will discuss research, recipes, and strategies to make paleo easy, enjoyable and family friendly.  We’ll discuss body changes, monitor results, and share our experiences... 

If your ready to kick start the summer with more energy, and a fresh new meal plan, join us.  There are two times to choose from...  Thurs. at 10:45 or 8:15 - following Pilates!