Diet

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.

Somersizing: Another Good Option

Paleo vs. SomersizingSomersizing is a great stepping stone diet for the Paleo Diet. I have Somersized numerous times in the past, and found incredible success with how I felt and how quickly I lost weight. The weight loss part of the equation began to slow down in recent years. The Paleo Diet has ramped that back up for me, and despite my age I find myself losing weight quickly and effortlessly on Paleo.

I am sure that eating a similar diet in the past is what made switching to Paleo so easy for me. The Paleo Diet is so far off from the typical American diet that even the thought of eliminating grains and dairy is terrifying (not many people care about losing legumes). Suzanne Somers (the creator of Somersizing) has you eliminate what she calls “funky foods” like sugars, white flour, starches, soy, caffeine, alcohol, and pretty much all processed foods. That is asking quite a lot of the average American!

Nonetheless, I managed to follow these guidelines to Somersizing and because of it found Paleo to be a logical and relatively painless next step in my diet choice. If Paleo seems too far away from your current diet for you to be successful, try Somersizing. You are allowed a small amount of breads and dairy is OK.

However, I caution you: although Somersizing gives you more foods to play with in your diet, the rules are many (they have to be, because too many people mistake flexibility for freedom). Somersizing is much more complicated than Paleo, so I suggest you save yourself the headache (figuratively and literally) and go straight for Paleo. Even partial compliance to the Paleo diet will result in weight loss and noticeably better energy and sleep. Besides, you have tons of resources and support right here! You can do it!

(Read the full article here to learn more about what Somersizing is and how it compares to Paleo)

Avoiding Gas and Bloating

Boy wearing gas mask

Picture by Kriss Szkurlatowski

After I finished the 30-Day Paleo Challenge I decided to take a few days off and eat pretty much whatever I wanted and see how I felt. I noticed a huge difference, and felt like crap, of course. I was tired, moody, bloated, gassy, and hungrier than before. To figure out which foods made me feel which unpleasant feeling, I cut out grains first and left dairy in my diet for a few days. What went away were the middle-of-the-night stomach cramps and bathroom runs, but the immediate stomach pains after eating did NOT go away… and neither did the bloating. After removing dairy as well, all mentioned problems went away. I had a couple bites of ice cream one night and had sharp stomach pains, awful bloating, and gas all night.

So what I can figure is that dairy causes me immediate stomach pains, bloating, and gas, while grains have a similar effect but delayed quite a bit. I apologize for the unpleasant nature of this post, but somebody’s gotta talk about this stuff… The point is: aside from the scientific negative effects grains and dairy have on our bodies and digestive system in particular, they make ME feel pretty awful. I can get by with 10 M&M’s or something like that without having all of those nasty things happen, but after that I’m toast, and you wouldn’t want to be around me unless you were dressed for chemical warfare. If you are not strictly Paleo, take the time to carefully isolate your potential problem foods, and try to figure out what foods cause what results. This type of knowledge is very helpful, and can be a big motivating factor to stay on track. Plus, wouldn’t this information be useful if you had a big event or special day coming up? Nobody wants gas, but having gas as the company Christmas ball is inarguably worse than having gas on your day off watching football.

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.

 

 

What’s the deal with BOOZE?

Technically, alcohol is not Paleo. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have the Devil’s drink in their daily lives.

HA ok I’m just kidding- I drink occasionally (mostly tequila)… but alcohol is something that, Paleo-speaking, should be consumed in moderation and wisely. One of the main reasons for consuming alcohol in moderation if at all is that alcohol puts physical stress on your body. We also recommend you cut down on your alcohol consumption on the Reducing Stress page.

Robb Wolf thinks that if you’re going consume alcohol, you do it earlier rather than later (I’m talking 2pm vs. 8pm… not having a Bloody Mary with your morning eggs), and do it on an empty stomach. He urges against any beer consumption at all, due to it containing gluten and sugar (for reasons why these two things are dangerous, view the Diet main page), and encourages dry varieties of wine. Robb Wolf has a lot of recipes in his book, The Paleo Solution, but my favorite would without a doubt be the simple NorCal Margarita:

It's not quite Paleo, but it's close enough

  • 2 shots of tequila gold
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • soda water
You’ll notice that there is no sugar-filled margarita mix in this recipe… Following this logic, if you’re going to have a mojito, try it without the Simple Syrup or other sugar ingredient. This will keep your hangovers mild and your deviation from Paleo not so grand. 

Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, discusses the benefits of drinking a glass of wine before or with dinner: it may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce appetite! Dr. Cordain also points to evidence from multiple studies that claim moderate alcohol consumption can significantly reduce the risk of dying from heart disease among other illnesses.

If you have an autoimmune disease, you should not be consuming alcohol, period.

From a lifestyle perspective, alcohol is a touchy subject. All I will say here is don’t be stupid, dummy.

Visit the Recommended Diet Products page to learn more about The Paleo Solution and The Paleo Diet, and where you can purchase them for cheap (using the links provided on that page to purchase the books will donate a portion of the sale to this website and it’s maintenance). Thank you, and happy paleo drinking!

Welcome to Primal Healthy Fit!

 

Welcome to Primal Healthy Fit! We are a website made up of regular people of all ages, nationalities, professions, fitness levels, and life experiences who have come together to provide information and support for others interested in improving their health. We recommend specific diet, lifestyle, and exercise choices that are in line with those of our Paleolithic ancestors. The reason? Our genetics have changed very little in the last 200,000 years, however the same cannot be said for the world around us. Therefore, we must eat, be active, and live in ways that jive with our genetics! This produces incredible health, fitness, and HAPPINESS!

The core of PrimalHealthyFit.com’s mission is to provide information about the Paleo Diet and support to make the dietary switch to eating paleo. Along with this central diet aspect, we recommend activity and lifestyle choices that mimic those of our primal ancestors whenever possible. The combination of paleolithic diet, activity, and lifestyle choices work together to bring people to their genetically healthy and fit selves.

On the Diet page you will find information about the Paleo Diet, the #1 recommended eating choice here at PrimalHealthyFit.com. Included in this information is not only how to “eat paleo” but also why this diet is the only one that our bodies are genetically designed to eat! Visit the Paleo Testimonials page to read about the experiences members of the Primal Healthy Fit community have had with Paleo. Also, we provide you with some great resources once you are ready for a diet switch, including a Paleo Action Plan, an easy 7-Day Meal Plan with accompanying Shopping List!

On the Exercise page, you will find information on circuit training, interval training, and how to combine them in a safe and effective rotation. My goal here is to help you stay active no matter where you are or how much time you have. You will find instructions on how to execute some Basic Exercise Movements in a safe and effective way, as well as some great cross-training workout on the Equipment Free Work-Out Routines page!

On the Lifestyle page you will find information on sleep, stress, supplements, and other various topics that can greatly affect one’s quality of life, health, and believe it or not, waistline! Here’s the thing about lifestyle choices: two of the most important ones are diet and exercise! So make sure you get those down before getting fancy with supplements or other products that might appear to be “shortcuts” to a healthy life. There are many additional areas that will be explored in the Lifestyle blog category, including reiki (energy movement), prayer healing, spirituality, and music. Constance Kean, Reiki Master, CS practitioner, and piano teacher for over 30 years has done me the great favor or providing her expertise for many areas in this section.

There are numerous products that I have found make life easier. These have been divided into Diet and Lifestyle categories and can be found on the Recommended Diet Products page and the Recommended Lifestyle Products page.

Feel free to look over PrimalHealthyFit.com’s Privacy Policy. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Blog, which is constantly being populated with new information, and become part of the Primal Healthy Fit community by contributing to the Forum. Feel free to add comments, connect with other members of the Primal Healthy Fit community, and put in your two-cents about the newest posts on the Blog!

 

We appreciate your visit, confidence, and participation in our goal to help others live a healthy life.

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