About Victoria Kean

Victoria Marie is owner, web master, and writer of PrimalHealthyFit.com. She recently graduated from the prestigious Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business where she studied Marketing as well as Chinese, German, and Arabic. Victoria is a certified ACE Personal Trainer, CrossFitter, and avid believer in the Paleo Diet. Victoria believes that the correct diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices can bring someone out of even the most extreme health perils and into a strong, healthy, and happy human.

Posts by Victoria Kean:

Paleo(ish) Walnut Butter Recipe!

Walnuts are acknowledged as a great source of Omega 3’s and in general a great snack for Paleo eaters. Peanuts (and therefore peanut butter) are decidedly NOT Paleo as they are a legume. So, I decided it was time to make walnut butter, because peanut butter is a fond yet distant memory I would like to create.

Why has it taken me literally 4 years to do this? I have no freaking clue.

I’m not a ‘measuring’ kinda girl anymore, so here’s what I did:

How To Make Paleo Walnut Butter


Total Time: <5 minutes


  • Walnuts (shelled, doesn’t matter if they’re whole, halves, chunks, whatever)
  • Walnut oil (do this to avoid adding another food to the recipe so you follow your 4-Day Rotation Diet easier)
  • Salt
  • Agave Nectar (optional but recommended… Agave Nectar isn’t Paleo because it’s a processed food item, but it’s my preferred sweetener when trying to eat Paleo and needing a little break)

You will also need a food processor (a blender may work too but the blade would have to pretty much reach the bottom of the blender to work right).


  1. Throw your walnuts in your food processor. THROW THEM!
  2. Turn on your processor and let it run until the walnuts are mostly walnut powder (this was like 30 seconds for me).
  3. Add a couple pinches of salt and pulse the processor a few times to get it mixed in with your magic walnut pixie dust.
  4. Through the top hole of your food processor, slowly (SLOWLYYYYYY) drizzle in walnut oil. Watch the mixture – the goal is to get your walnuts to turn into a paste. I had to stop the processor and scrape the walnuts off the walls a couple times to make sure the oil was actually getting into them. This took 2 rounds of scraping and restarting the processor (while slowly adding oil during the blending process) to get the right consistency.
  5. At this point, you would add some agave nectar and blend again if you wish. I thought the agave nectar made the walnut butter incredibly better, but it’s totally up to you and how strict you are with sweetener.


That’s it – magic. You can also toast your walnuts ahead of time in the oven to change the flavor of the walnut butter, but I haven’t gotten THAT crazy yet.



Never Too Late to Make a Change

Ticking ClockI have come across a number of people in my life whose weight problems are a very real threat on their health and lifespan. Some of these people have chosen to make a change in their lives and make extreme efforts to improve their health. Other people have not changed their lifestyle choices and continued to get heavier, sicker, and more lodged into their ways. I do not know the specific circumstances each of these people are in, but what I do know is that there is never a good reason to continue in an unhealthy.

I know a woman who for many years was around 200 pounds overweight. She had been in the same downward path for over ten years and made the choice to change her life, even knowing that she the journey would not be short or easy. She has worked through emotional trauma, changed her diet, and started going to a local Crossfit gym. She has taken her health and her future in her own hands.

I view this woman as an inspiration.  She has taken enormous strides in changing her life and has regained her health. She has likely lengthened her lifespan, which is very important to her now as a grandmother. She is happier, lighter, and continues to pursue healthy lifestyle choices.

Taking care of yourself should be first priority. Life can get busy, and hard, and circumstances can change… but if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to enjoy that life. It is never too late to make a change in your life… the benefits are worth it.

The first step is education. Look around this site to learn about basic nutritional guidelines and healthy lifestyle tips. Start cutting unhealthy items like breads, pastas, and sodas out of your diet and getting more meats, fruits, and veggies in your meals.

Start being physically active every day. Taking a 5-10 minute walk each day around your neighborhood is a great way to start if you are not currently very active. Once you feel comfortable with that, try doing some sit-ups and wall-pushups every other day. Eventually get yourself into a good gym where you can take classes and get guidance on the healthiest way for you work out.

Focus on yourself, reducing stress, and making healthy choices. Don’t delay in your decision to make these positive changes – you could save your own life doing so.

New Year Goals


Happy New Year everyone! Welcome back to work, school, life… and most likely your diet, too.

We have some exciting news: more people have downloaded our Free Paleo Meal Plan in the first few days of this year than ever before! What this tells us is that a lot of people are including dietary changes in their New Year Resolutions. How great!

It’s a new year and the perfect time decide for yourself what you want to include in your health goals for 2012. You have 360 more days in the year to make your goals become reality, and we are here to help you do so.

Some of our own New Year Resolutions are to post valuable content more frequently, improve our meal plan, and provide personalized support when needed. Because of these goals, don’t be surprised if there are updates and improvements to the site, as well as what we offer you!

Let’s start off the year right by asking you right now, WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR HEALTH GOALS?

Let us know by commenting on this blog post, or sending us an email using the Contact form on the left of your screen.

Best of luck to all of your Primal Healthy Fitters, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sam’s Results from the Paleo Challenge

Sam recently finished his 30 Day Paleo Challenge, and we got to interview him again about the last two weeks of the challenge and his overall results. You can also read our post on Sam’s Progress after Two Weeks of Paleo.

Sam Pointing At You!During our last interview with Sam, he told us he had lost 10 pounds during the first 2 weeks of his paleo challenge. He has sleeping better, had more energy, and no longer had gastrointestinal problems. What progress!

Now that he has finished his challenge, we asked him a few more questions to get a better understanding of his experience with paleo and his intentions for the future.

Were the last two weeks of the challenge easier for you?

Actually, they were harder. I fought more with cravings during the last two weeks of my challenge than in the beginning. I wanted pizza and beer all the time, plus I had a horrible sweet tooth. And believe it or not, this didn’t seem to have much to do with Thanksgiving happening during that time, either. We hired a new baker in the restaurant where I work, and the SMELLS from his baking nearly killed me.

Did you discover any tricks that worked for you and made eating paleo easier?

Whenever I want something sweet, I eat a kiwi. That knocks out my cravings most of the time.

Do you think you can continue with the Paleo Diet? 

YES. Absolutely, because I saw results. There have been a lot of improvements in my overall health and energy, not to mention I lost 16 pounds in a month! I am well on my way to my goal weight of 180 pounds, and I am not stopping now.

What is your plan after this?

I am going to try to eat 100% paleo for 4 days out of the week, most likely in a row. This will give me a sense of accomplishment every week and remind me that it is possible. Then, for the remaining 3 days, I will keep paleo in mind but allow myself some flexibility. I hope this will allow me to have more freedom in my diet while continuing to lose weight and stay on the paleo path, improving my health.

To see all of Sam’s before and after pictures, and read his testimonial, visit the Paleo Testimonials page here.  





Beware Cyber Monday!

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

Holiday Sale Tag

I must be really out of the loop, because despite being a bargain hunter, I had not heard of this “shopping holiday” until this year. Apparently a recent invention, Cyber Monday is becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Unlike Black Friday, you don’t have to deal with the disasters that usually accompany shopping this time of year because you can do everything from the comfort of your own home!

So what’s the bad part? This “shopping day” is provides one more easy way to rack up holiday debt. If you saved all of your holiday shopping until Black Friday or Cyber Monday or Whatever-Sale-It-Is Thursday, then you will most likely save money this holiday season, and good for you. However, saving money is poor consolation for going over budget.

If you still have people to buy gifts for, go ahead and check out the deals going on online today! But don’t get carried away- if you were planning on spending $20 on your 10-year-old nephew, don’t decide to spend $100 on a Nintendo DS because it’s on sale and you know he will love it. Here’s what I always have to remind myself: the person you are giving that gift to will never know which present they ALMOST got.

Why are we talking about holiday shopping and sales on a health and fitness blog? Because the more wrapped up we get in buying holiday gifts the further over budget we can slide; the further over budget we slide the tighter on money we are in the months to come; the tighter on money we are the more stress we have; the more stress we have the more damage we are causing to our health. The money decisions you are making now are determining your level of stress at the beginning of the new year, and hence determining your health!

On our Stress page, we talk about six main causes of stress and how today’s stressors are very different from the stressors our bodies genetically know how to handle. This holiday shopping topic would fall under the “Material Burdens” category. There is also information on how stress effects your health and how to reduce stress, but what is most important for you to understand TODAY, during the cyber sale of all cyber sales, is that by making smarter purchasing decisions TODAY, you can set yourself up for a new year with less stress, more happiness, and more health.

Our next blog will go more in-depth on holiday debt and ways to avoid it- look for it soon!

Sam’s Progress After 2 Weeks of Paleo

Sam at Work

Sam Jimenez is one of the four subscribers currently doing a 30-Day Paleo Challenge together, and gracious agreed to give us an interview yesterday, at the two-week mark of his challenge. His progress is incredible, and I am so excited to share them with all of you to inspire you to take the step back in time with your diet and try Paleo.

Start weight: 214 lbs

Weight after 2 weeks of Paleo: 204 lbs

Weight lost from 2 weeks of Paleo: 10 lbs

After three days of eating Paleo, Sam noticed he was waking up earlier than normal, without an alarm, and with energy! How many of you would like to sleep better after only three days of a diet change?!

Sam also had gastritis and the beginning of a peptic ulcer before starting Paleo, and says that he has had NO acid reflux, or any stomach pain or cramping since the first week! His frequent burping is also gone.

Sam with Pizza

The occasional cheat is OK!

Sam has not been a Paleo Angel, though. He has had three large cheats (ex: Pizza for dinner), and four small cheats (a couple of beers while watch the Marquez v. Pacquiao fight). This just goes to show you that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get all that junk out of your system MOST OF THE TIME.

Sam says that he still has cravings, but that they are not as desperate as he thought they would be. He did not remove all of the foods he cannot eat from his house before starting the challenge, so he stares at things like peanut butter (his guilty pleasure), and jelly beans on a daily basis. Despite “not usually having any will power,” Sam has refrained from snacking on these non-Paleo treats… quite a feat!

As for exercise, Sam has done around 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week. We are still talking him into joining Chef Carlos for cross-training in the mornings ;)

The most exciting part is that yesterday his family came to visit him, and noticed that he looked different! Having someone notice a change is one of the most encouraging things that happens during the first few weeks of Paleo, and we are so happy that this happened to Sam so soon, especially from the people he loves most!

We asked Sam if he had any questions for us, and he had a good one:

What happens after the challenge?

We told him that just because the challenge ends doesn’t mean you’re done. It means you get to decide your own commitment level to the diet based on your lifestyle and your goals. However, as Sam’s ideal weight is 180 lbs, we encouraged him to try to stick with maximum two free meals a week. At this level of compliance, he should continue experiencing the same rate of weight loss and other health improvements that he is now, while being able to eat “a normal meal” every few days.

We are so excited to see Sam’s continued progress over the next couple of weeks, and will report back with his final testimonial and results after he completes his 30-Day Paleo Challenge!

Remember, we are a community here, and would love to support each and every one of you through starting Paleo. Feel free to post in the Forum or email us directly using the contact tab on the left of the screen.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Your Pet’s Primal Diet

Picasso Our CatThose of us with pets understand that these furry friends are part of the family, and that they depend on our care to stay healthy and happy. Why should their dietary needs be any less important than our own?

Our cats and dogs do best with a “primal” diet as well. There are a lot of problems with store bought pet food, the main ones being that they are loaded with grains, and full of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives. You know how happy your cat is when you give him your leftover fish? How about your dog when he gets the scraps from your steak dinner? These are the foods they are MADE to eat, just like us!

I subscribe to Dr. Karen Becker’s “Mercola Healthy Pets” email list and recently received a newsletter titled “What’s Wrong With the New Grain-Free Craze?” and got worried that I was about to read an anti-paleo email. The article I found was actually in support of feeding your pets a primal diet, and that “there’s no way kibble can be an alternative to raw food.”  The main problem with “kibble”, she says, is with the lack of moisture content and low quality protein sources. She sums up her recommendations with this: “A species-appropriate diet for carnivores means it’s grain-free – no corn, wheat, rice, millet, or oatmeal. It is maintained in its biologically correct form – raw, whole, unadulterated, un-denatured meat. It contains all the moisture needed for your pet’s body to process the food with very little metabolic stress. My first recommendation is to feed a raw-food diet. It’s grain-free, moisture rich, living, and of course, it’s fresh.”

This will be more expensive than feeding your pets processed kibble, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can buy a lower quality cut of meat, and the chances are they will eat less on their new raw diet than they did of their grain-filled, processed kibble. Most importantly, your pet will be happier, healthier, and leaner than on a processed diet!


If you are interested in reading more from Dr. Becker’s article, you can click this link to either watch the video or read the online transcript.

Damage from the Hurricane

Photo credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski at www.12frames.eu

If you have been watching the weather channel at all in the last two days you know that at one point Hurricane Rina was predicted to hit the Yucatan Peninsula at her strongest point. We are operated out of that area, so the last few days have been pretty crazy. Resorts and restaurants shut down and moved all of their equipment into safe storage. People put their storm shutters up or simply nailed plywood to the outside of their windows for protection. Everyone was getting very excited, and last-minute supplies were purchased for the day we expected to be stuck inside.

Well, Hurricane Rina turned into Tropical Storm Rina, and by the time she finally reached us, was no more than a lot of wind and some rain. Not having to deal with a hurricane was such a blessing, and saved all of the businesses here thousands of dollars each in damages. From what I can see, Rina caused no damage here to physical property. However, the storm did cause damage of another sort.

In preparation for the hurricane, I went to the store and bought supplies I needed like candles and matches. I also bought things I very much did not need, like Kraft Mac & Cheese (my #1 comfort food), Oreos, and Dos Equis. Why did I do this? Good question. I supposed I felt like this unusual circumstance (a hurricane) justified unusual action. Is it normal for me to buy candles and matches just in case my power dies on a normal evening? No. Is it normal for me to park myself in front of my TV and watch Pirates of the Caribbean until the power died? Ok, bad example… Is it normal for me to have Mac & Cheese and beer for dinner, followed by Oreos for dessert? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Facing an unusual situation, I made excuses to justify a bad dietary decision. I literally hurt my body by eating those things, especially in such excess. In the last blog I mentioned that I think it’s OK to cheat now and again. One thing I want to clarify though is that the danger of cheating is not necessarily a halt in your weight loss, although that is a result. The danger is that you are damaging your body, preventing it from functioning properly, and making it sick.

Unusual and uncomfortable circumstances often arise in our lives. If we use every instance of this as an excuse to “eat comfortably” and forget the importance of what we put in our body, we will be forever broken. So don’t do what I did when you face a hurricane (whether that means a big test, a stressful deadline at work, relationship problems, or any other situation that tests your resolve). Put things in your body that make you healthy and strong. That way, even in unusual or uncommon circumstances, you have the power to carry yourself through them.

Beating Yourself – The Mental First Step

Fighting MenA friend of mine is scheduled to start the Paleo diet at the beginning of next month, and is reading up all he can on the diet in the meantime to be as prepared as possible. I asked him what concerns he had so I could hopefully ease his fears and help him start the diet with confidence. What worries him most is that he works in a restaurant and is very used to seeing, smelling, and eating foods that are not allowed on the diet. Stopping himself from snacking on these things that he is so used to eating is going to very difficult, he said, and that he knows self-control is going to be essential.

This is a very difficult thing that most people face at the start of a new diet. The truth is you have to beat yourself. Your mind is divided against you. Half of you wants to stick to your guns because you know it will make you healthier and SKINNIER, and the other half of you wants the comfort of doing what you’re used to. If you eat when you’re depressed, you need to find another way to cheer yourself up now, because that is going to break your diet every time.

The key to beating yourself is “feeding the side you want to win.” You are starting a diet because you care about your health, because you want to lose weight, because you can’t sleep, or for any number of other reasons. Keep reminding yourself that, and think according to that goal. Don’t think about how good the pizza in front of you will taste, because that doesn’t matter… not in the context of your goal. If you feed the side of you that would rather eat “no-no foods” than lose your fat rear, that side will win. And guess what? Your rear will stay fat.

I talk about this like it is easy… but we all know it’s not. I struggle with this daily. However, what I have learned is that when your mind is in the right place, you can make smart decisions that will keep you on progress toward your overall goal. Once your mind is right, you can have lasagna for dinner as a treat and not be thrown off your diet. Once your mind is right, you don’t have to fight yourself all the time. So that’s my advice- take it or leave it ;)

Control Your Crutch

The three things I find many people are unwilling to give up when they start The Paleo Diet are alcohol, coffee, and chocolate. You know what? That’s fine. You don’t have to go 100% Paleo to get the health benefits of it, or to see results in your weight and overall being. Will you lose more weight and be healthier and sleep better WITHOUT these things? Yes. Do you have an addiction to address if you are so unwilling to give them up? Probably. Does that change people’s minds? Not typically.

However, just because you leave one or more of these things in your diet does not mean you should use that as your way to cram in everything bad for you. BAD DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AWFUL. If you need a reminder on why certain food are so bad for us, visit the Diet main page. Here are ways you can make each of these three “bad things” into not-so-bad things.

ALCOHOL: See the blog, “What’s the Deal with Booze?”

A quick summary: Tequila is the best liquor with regards to Paleo. Wine is ok, beer is not good (gluten). Avoid sugary mixed drinks- the sugar is a huge problem and is at least half of your hangover. Drink earlier rather than later, and drink in moderation.

COFFEE: As far as I know, the type of coffee bean itself doesn’t make any difference. They all have caffeine in them and are all LEGUMES (hence, not Paleo)… But if you want to have your morning cup of coffee without completely halting all the good things happening from your fantastic diet and exercise plan, here are some tips:

Creamer: Use nut milk for a creamer. Nut milk is totally paleo, and totally delicious. You can buy Almond milk and Hazelnut milk at most health food stores, or make your own nut milk at home in a high-powered blender with nuts and water. The artificial, non-dairy creamers are DEATH IN A BOX. Have you seen those commercials for the magnetic bracelets that make you stronger? Have a friend do that test on you (arm straight out, have them push on it and try to resist) normally, then holding the non-dairy creamer container next to your heart. You will go weak. DON’T PUT THAT CRAP IN YOUR COFFEE.

Sugar: Try to stick with something pure and natural. Although cane sugar is not Paleo, it’s tons better than anything artificial (Sweet ‘n’ Low, Splenda, whatever the blue one is…). Honey is also a good sweetener to use. This should go without saying, but use as little as possible.

Divine Dark Chocolate

CHOCOLATE: To avoid dairy, go for something dark. 85% Cocoa tastes like charcoal to me, so that may be “too dark” (if you believe in that).

I found a delicious dark chocolate bar that has mint in it… I’ve always been a milk chocolate person, but this chocolate is AMAZING. Found it at Central Marketing in Dallas, TX. It’s called Divine brand Mint Dark Chocolate.

Ingredients: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, peppermint crisp, peppermint oil, vanilla.

THAT’S ALL NATURAL, plus it’s Fair Trade!

I hope that helps clarify that just because you’re gonna be a little bad doesn’t mean you have to go off the deep end. Always keep in mind that this isn’t about “eating Paleo,” it’s about eating healthy and treating your body well so it can carry you happily through a joyous and long life.

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