Newsletter Message #1

3 Proven Diet Tips
 

Good day!

Thank you again for signing up for the Primal Healthy Fit mailing list. We are overjoyed to have you with us! Proper diet is the foundation of gaining complete health, so that is the content of our first message. You will be receiving an email in a couple of days that will contain a step-by-step guide to changing your diet. We hope that you find this information intriguing and want to give it a shot!

We are overjoyed to have you!

 

Victoria Marie

Founder, Primal Healthy Fit


3 Dieting Secrets   

  1. Cut grains from your diet.
  2. Reduce or remove dairy from your diet.
  3. Do your best to avoid processed foods.
These may sound more like cruel punishment than dieting tips, but the difference they will make in your life and health is INCREDIBLE. Read why on our Diet Page.

What is The Paleo Diet?

 

    We recommend the Paleo Diet at Primal Healthy Fit. Why is that, you ask? Although we have certainly evolved in the last 200,000 years, our genetics are still very similar to as they were in the Paleolithic era. That means that our body is expecting us to eat the way we did then. When we eat “new foods” like grains and dairy (which became a part of our diet a mere 10,000 years ago), really really bad things happen: we get fat, sick, and depressed. The Paleo Diet solves this problem.

 

Relevant Blog Posts:
Who we are, why we are here, and what we give you
A quick reference post to access the Paleo Diet Food list for download. It tells you everything that is and is not included in the Paleo Diet.
For those of you like me with allergies…

 

We are always here to help. Please feel free to reply to this email with any questions you may have, or to visit the Forum to get answers from the Primal Healthy Fit Community.

Response to Negative Feedback

We got some very valuable indirect feedback today from a viewer who follows the Primal Diet (similar original concept as the Paleo Diet, while having a few varying points). Although this feedback was quite inflammatory, it has made us realize that our recommendations may not be as clear as we first thought, as we are reviewing the site content now to ensure clarity.

Toned-down summary of visitor’s negative feedback: Animal fats should not be excluded from the Food List because fats are key to the Primal Diet. The goal of the Primal Diet is to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, and you must eat fat to burn fat. Also, eating fat is what makes you feel full. Finally, excluding dairy is more Paleo than Primal, and unnecessary unless you are intolerant to dairy.

The viewer also mentioned that she eats the Primal Diet and it works incredibly well for her. We are happy to hear that she has found a diet that works for her and is living a happy and healthy lifestyle!

 

First we want to thank this viewer for providing feedback for the website, although indirectly. Without hearing from our viewers, good or bad, we can not improve the site or ensure its purpose is clear. Your feedback is helping us do both of those things.

 

We are assuming that because the viewer is already successfully eating the Primal Diet and extremely happy with her results, that she skimmed the site and assumed we promoted the Primal Diet purely because of our website’s name. After all, our content is targeted to people who are looking to learn about healthy ways to eat, exercise, and live, and less toward people who already feel they understand these things fully and are successfully executing them. We are reviewing the site currently to ensure our recommendation specifically for the Paleo Diet is more clear.

The viewer made a number of claims about the Primal Diet. We recommend eating the Paleo Diet on this site for one reason: we have found incredible success with it and want to help others find health the way we know how. As our experience is with the Paleo Diet, and that is what we recommend on our site, we are unable to comment on the goals of the Primal Diet or its teachings. What we can comment on is the validity of the statements with regards to the Paleo Diet.

Although we make a note to cut the excess fat off of meat in our Paleo Diet Food List, this does not mean we are excluding animal fats from the “yes” foods.  Cutting off excess fat does not totally remove the fat content of meat. Below you will see the fat content of common meats, trimmed of excess fat, taken from the Fat and Protein Content Table in The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain.

Pork tenderloin: 28% fat, 72% protein

Sirloin beef steak: 35% fat, 65% protein

Skinless chicken breast: 37% fat, 63% protein

Lean beef flank steak: 38% fat, 62% protein

Broiled salmon: 38% fat, 62% protein

Lean pork chops: 38% fat, 62% protein

 

Hopefully this will clarify the concern that we are excluding animal fat (or fat period) from the diet. Consuming lean meats still provides you with a large content of fat in your diet, and hence fuel for your body. In addition to animal fats, you can consume things like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and walnuts to get “good fat” in your system.

 

Fats are indeed more satiating than carbohydrates, but protein is even more so. Eating protein (which for the Paleo Diet, means lean meats) satisfies your hunger faster than eating either fats or carbs, which is why the Paleo Diet recommends you get a majority of your calories from lean meats.

“Current Opinion of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care”; The Significance of Protein in Food Intake and Body Weight Regulation; MS Westerterp-Plantenga; 2003

 

Our viewer is correct: excluding dairy is Paleo. We do recommend the Paleo Diet, and the reason that the Paleo Diet excludes dairy is because it was not a common part of our diet until 9,000 years ago when dairy cows came about. If we have not had time to adapt to the influx of grains that resulted from the Agricultural Revolution a mere 10,000 years ago, it can be assumed that 9,000 years is not enough time to have adapted to drinking milk other than that from our mothers and during infancy. Here is a some great information about dairy’s place in the Paleo Diet from PaleoDietLifestyle.com.

This was not asked, but just to be as clear as possible: The reason we are PrimalHealthyFit.com instead of PaleoHealthyFit.com is because the Paleo Diet is only one aspect of our philosophy (and the Paleo Diet is based on a primal philosophy). Best results come from making diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that align with those of our Paleolithic ancestors (see the Exercise and Lifestyle sections of our website).

 

Again, thank you to our viewers who continue to give us feedback, both good and bad. By responding to these comments publicly, we hope to clarify related misunderstandings and avoid similar confusion in the future.

How to Grill Fish

Fish has alway been one of my favorites meats to cook. I love the texture and the smell, plus there are so many types, all with a diferent unique flavor. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook fish, but it will take some time for a beginner cook to get this right. However, once you get this technique down, you will become a grilled fish lover. Here are some tips that will help you master grilling fish.

The result of grilling fish will depend on what type of grill you are using (charcoal, gas, wood ). For example, if you use a charcoal grill, the fish will turn smoky black if you don’t focus on the cooking procces. If you use a wood grill it is harder to control your fire and easier to burn your fish. I personally recommend using a gas grill, because you can control the flame easier and avoid damaging or scorching the fish.

The King Fish

King Fish fresh out of the Caribbean

First you want to turn you grill on high so it heats up quickly. Once your grill is hot, turn it down 1/2 way so it hot enough to cook your fish, but not hot enough to burn it. Then, spray some oil on the grill and some on the fish as well. Place the fish chest side* down first, or if your fish has the skin on it, place the skin side up first on the grill. The reason you don’t want to cook the skin side down first (which is typical for pan-cooking), is because doing this straight on a grill will burn the skin.

*All fish filets have a chest an a back side. Usually the back side is the flatter side.*

If you are cooking a thick piece of fish (1″ or more) it will take around 10 to 15 min. to cook (equal amount of time on each side if without skin; if fish has skin on it, cook it mostly on the side without skin). Don’t turn the fish a thousand times, because it will take longer to cook and it will damage the fish. Use tongs for a thick cut and a spatula for a flat fish. Always flip the fish carefully, so you don’t end with ½ of the fish on the spatula or tongs and half on the grill.

You can tell when the fish is ready when it starts splitting open or flaking. Grilled fish always goes well with any type of salad, vinaigrettes and light dressings, as it really bring the flavors together.

4-Day Rotation Diet

DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT just for people with known food sensitivities. Read this article titled “How to Know if You Have Allergies” if you are one of the many people who think you don’t have any food sensitivities (you’re most likely wrong).

 

Food sensitivities can be a bummer. I know; I have lots of them. But don’t fear- all is not lost. I learned a nifty trick from my nutritionist at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas that has made overcoming food sensitivities seem possible. The trick is implementing a 4-Day Rotation Diet.

It takes an average of four days for something you eat to fully process through your body. This can vary depending on the speed of your metabolism, of course, but four days is a good place to start. The four-day rotation diet was first developed in 1934 by Dr. Rinkel, and is mostly used for people with food sensitivities. The diet arose out of the observation that the foods most frequently eaten are the most common food allergens (Rotational Bon Appetit Cookbook, EHC-D).

So here’s the trick: You rotate your food every four days so that your body never has the same substance in it in one cycle! This greatly reduces the likelihood of you developing a sensitivity (any sort of reaction) to it, especially if you’re already allergy-prone). Here’s an example of how this works: You have garlic and rosemary chicken for dinner on Monday. That means you cannot have anything with garlic, rosemary, or chicken in it until Friday. Water, lemon juice, and salt are usually considered “free items,” but remember that salt is not recommended at all on The Paleo Diet.

If you want to figure out what your cycle length is, eat some sunflower seeds (not too many, as they are high in Omega 6 fatty acids and sodium ), and watch your stool (hehe!) for the next 4 days. You should notice when they “pass”…. I’ve always hated that term. Anyways, that will give you a more accurate idea of how long you need to wait before repeating the same foods in your diet.

This should go without saying, but implementing The Paleo Diet is also a pretty sure-fire way to rid you of your food-allergy woes. The offending foods in our modern diet that are not allowed on The Paleo Diet are common allergens and are behind much of the gut damage that leaves us susceptible to developing food allergies. Learn more on the #1 Recommended Diet page, where we discuss The Paleo Diet in detail and give you step by step instructions on how to implement it.

Paleo Diet Food List

 

For quick reference, here is the link to access our Paleo Diet Food List. This gives detailed examples of everything you can and cannot eat on the Paleo Diet.

 

 

:05

Were you able to do as I recommended in my last blog post and take 5 minutes for yourself one day?   It felt GREAT, didn’t it!?!   Who knew 5 minutes could make such a difference!

Why does 5 minutes help so much? In that 5 minutes you are creating a sacred space for YOU.  You are making a conscious choice to nurture yourself.  You are shutting out the noise of the world to hear your true voice.

What you hear, when you quietly listen, has many names:

  • Your inner voice
  • That still, small voice
  • Superconscious Mind
  • The Tao
  • Christ  Consciousness
  • Superego
  • Awareness
  • Angel messages
  • Infinite intelligence
  • Gut instinct
  • Divine Mind
  • Source
  • The heart of Buddha
  • The Universe
  • Truth
  • Your Higher Self

 

All of these names have meaning and value. They are man’s attempt to name the unnamable. To me, they all represent something greater than our human minds – something beyond the perception of our five human senses.  The vastness of what is available to us is powerful, indefinable and immeasurable and is ours to access whenever we want it or need it.

You tap into this vastness of peace and power through silence. You can try your hardest to listen, but you must quiet your human mind to actually hear it! In Matthew, it says to go into the closet and shut the door. You have to shut out the busyness and noise of everyday life to really hear.

How do you get to that silent place?  You start by making a conscious choice to silence your mind, the human brain part.  You breathe. You Take 5.  You commit 5 minutes to shutting down your monkey mind and sitting in silence.

Do it.  Sit in silence today.  Do it for YOU.

Work Out! No excuses

Driftwood for box jumps and a Palapa for pull-ups

When it comes down to it, there are few excuses not to work out.

I live in a really remote area where there isn’t a gym or any workout facility around… the closest is 35 minutes away. If I had a gym close to me I would use it, but I don’t. In my desire to stay healthy I decided that not having equipment or a workout facility is no excuse.

I started by running around where I live, but I felt like running wasn’t enough because I also wanted to build muscle. I watched some videos about working out without equipment but they were still showing things that you can only find in a city. So I decided to start looking for replacements, and found things that could function the same way. These things would let me do a simple but effective workout.

I started using a horizontal palapa support to do pull ups and a huge piece of driftwood to do box jumps. I use a bent over coconut tree to do inclined exercises like downward facing mountain climbers. I play catch with a coconut instead of a ball. I swim in the ocean and run on the sand.

I do what I can with what I have, which is pretty much nothing. So if you want to keep yourself healthy but don’t have gym access, that’s no excuse to work out. No matter where you are or what you have you should be able to find a way to stay fit.

My Experience with CrossFit – Thumbs Up

I was introduced to CrossFit in January of 2011, on my birthday. I started an On-Ramp course at CrossFit Dallas Central, along with around 20 other people of all ages and fitness levels. The age range had to be something like from 18-75, it was ridiculous. Also, the fitness starting point was all over the place. You had some “young whippersnappers,” a couple significantly overweight people trying to find a solution to significant weight and health problems, and a few people just trying to keep up with their grand kids. I was immediately welcomed by the coaches there, and even though I’m ironically shy and dislike meeting new people, managed to bond with some fellow On-Ramp athletes.

I was immediately taught correct technique for the movements used at CrossFit, ranging all the way from the simple strict press all the way to the olympic lift called a snatch. One of the first few classes focused almost entirely on correct nutrition. For CrossFit, this means Paleo. I remember seeing one girl’s face when Sam, our On-Ramp coach, announced that grains, dairy, and legumes were out. Hers eyes widened, and she indignantly asked, “what on Earth am I supposed to eat for breakfast?!?!” Sam laughed and said something ridiculous like, “I don’t know, how about a steak?” That didn’t help her much, I don’t think… Anyways, learning about Paleo in this setting was wonderful. A support group was already in place, and we all started together. We saw each other three times a week and got to bitch and moan as much as we wanted about how much we wanted toast to dip in our over-easy eggs or a pint of ice cream during our Friday night movie. After the bitching, we got down to business and did some serious training.

Unfortunately, my attendance at my CrossFit box was spotty after I finished CrossFit, mainly due to escalating health issues (more on that on my About page) and being in my last semester at college. This is one thing I can speak to: do your best to attend regularly. The community you can gain from being a member at CrossFit is invaluable, and can give you an incredible feeling of community and support for all the right things, like changing your diet and exercise patterns for the better. However, you cannot buy your way into this community. From my experience, the athletes and coaches especially at CrossFit expect to see you often. When you walk in from a 2-week absence, expect to hear, “where ya been?” with some attitude. Sometimes this is good, and helps kick your butt into gear. For me, it was discouraging, and made me think twice about going back to the box for a workout on the one or two days a month I felt well enough to train. This is mostly my mistake, as I chose to start CrossFit about a month after discovering I had some pretty serious health issues (what can I say, I’m stubborn). I hope that once I return to a city where CrossFit is easily accessible that I can start over and re-enter the CF community healthy and ready for some kick-ass athletic training.

In my opinion, joining a CF box is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. CrossFit provides a community where you expect support no matter where you are starting from. There is no particularly good system set up to find a CrossFit box near you, but many are listed on the left sidebar of CrossFit Nationals affiliate page. Visit it here. The price of a CrossFit membership varies depending on which box you go to (they’re called boxes instead of gyms, as these locations are more liken to warehouses than a modern exercise facility), and can get pretty pricy. My box was around $150/month when I joined. However if you have the ca$h, and are looking to make some pretty drastic, positive changes in your life, CrossFit is the place to go.

 

Take 5

Gift yourself 5 minutes today. It could change your life.

In that 5 minutes be still. Breathe. Get quiet. Breathe deeply. Listen. Exhale slowly. Relax your body.

Schedule your 5 minutes into the day. It can be first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It can be at lunchtime, in the carpool line, just before a meeting, during your child’s music lesson, while waiting for the doctor, at half time, or after dinner. It can be anytime, but make a conscious choice about when you want to give yourself this gift.

When it is “time,” set your phone alarm for 5 minutes. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it for a beat, let it out slowly and feel yourself relax. Do that again. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose. Hold that breath for a moment before you consciously release the air evenly from your lungs then your belly. At the end of the exhale, stop. Wait in silence. Begin your next breath in and take longer to fill your diaphragm then your lungs with air. Feel your belly push out as the air fills your diaphragm and feel your shoulders roll back as your lungs expand. While fully inflated, allow yourself to float there, at the top, for a moment. When ready, gently release your breath controlling the slow, soothing exhale.  Feel your body relax at the bottom of the breath.  Continue to breathe slower, deeper and more rhythmically until your alarm sounds.

Sometimes counting is useful to measure your breathing. Count 4 beats for the inhale, one for the hold at the top, 4 beats on the exhale, one on the silence at the bottom. Then increase the beats for each successive breath. ( 5-1 – 5-1;  6-2 – 6-2;  7-2 – 7-2;  8-3 – 8-3, etc.)  This will cause you to lengthen your breath, increase your lung capacity and oxygenate your body.

Focus on your breath. It brings you to the present moment. This is your gift! You are present for yourself: completely present and attentive to your body, your mind and your spirit. Five minutes of peace and quiet, completely in “the now,” can make a huge difference in your stress level and mood.

Do this every day- after all, the present is a gift!

Running Basics – from a Marathoner

I started running about 10 years ago. It started as a hobby and a way for me to try to lose weight (even though I wasn’t big, I wanted to have a better shaped body), I didn’t go to any club or join any gym, I just started running on my own. After a while, running became a huge part of my life. I was running more and more and started participating in races around Austin, TX, but realized that I needed some help in the running arena because I knew I wasn’t training the best way I could.

After many painful races, I learned some basic lessons that I wish I had known when I started:

  1. Having the right tennis shoes is really important, especially for beginning runners. It’s best to go to a local running shoe store to get fit into the right shoes for your skill level and body. The wrong shoes won’t provide enough support and will kill your back and knees.
  2. Using the right clothes is also incredibly important and will let your body breathe better and make you feel lighter.
  3. I always like to run alone, but some people find it beneficial to run with a partner. If you don’t like to do things alone, find someone who motivates you to run with you.
  4. Don’t overrun, even if you feel like you can. You might be able to run 20 miles that day, but the next day you’ll be in pain. Pace yourself, and use common sense. If you’re a beginner, don’t try to run over a couple of miles for the first couple runs, or you will wear yourself out or even hurt yourself.
  5. STAY HYDRATED. Even if you don’t think you’re thirsty, your body is losing water and you need to recuperate that water.
  6. Keep yourself cool: Run in the shade; use a hat; run in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid running between 11am and 4pm, which will wear you out quicker (plus you run the risk of getting burned which can cause skin cancer).
  7. Eat right. You need the right food to fuel your body- despite popular belief this does not mean loading up on pasta. Visit the diet page to learn about the proper way to eat.
  8. Proper sleep: Visit the Sleep page for information on how to rest well
  9. Time yourself, keep a record of your progress.

If I had known these things 10 years ago when I started running, I would be a lot better off right now. Take my advice, learn from my mistakes, and take care of yourself.

-Carlos Capistran

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