Is "Moderation" Really Achievable? Or Sustainable? Or Healthy?

Is "Moderation" Really Achievable? Or Sustainable? Or Healthy?

Can mere mortals achieve moderation? Does it work for or against your goals? Is it healthy? What's the secret? Let's discuss.

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In Depth With Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo

In Depth With Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo

Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo shares her story, her nutrition advice to women, why she still struggles with the modern fitness industry's messaging, and so much more.

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How Going Paleo Changed My Life, and Why I'm Not "Paleo" Anymore

I don’t really remember when it started, but I remember everything I did to try to fix it; the dozens of doctor appointments, the daily pills, and even the time I was put under anesthesia and had a camera stuck down my throat and into my stomach. I remember the gastrointestinal specialist who looked me square in my 22 year old face and told me that the only place he’d seen acid reflux as bad as mine was on overweight, middle aged men. He then told me I was a perfect candidate for esophageal surgery, and that that was likely my only hope to fix the constant pain of my severe GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Heartburn and GERD were things I had been dealing with for years. Almost 10 years, to be exact. I saw all the doctors, avoided acids and citrus and tomatoes, and was on a solid regiment of 2 Prilosec per day, for almost a decade. 

Fast forward to 2012, a few months after I had started CrossFit. I found a Groupon on a whim and decided to give CrossFit a try, as I was decidedly in “get my shit together” mode and it seemed like my style of workout. After totally drinking the Kool-Aid, seeing myself lose a bunch of weight, gain new muscle, make huge improvements and strides and PR’s for several months, and even quit smoking in an effort to be better and healthier, after about a year, progress sort of plateaued— as it does. The time had come to take a look at my nutrition.

I gave it a shot, even though I didn't know what could possibly change, because I was already doing everything “right”. I was eating a low fat, near vegetarian diet with lots of whole grains, after all. I decided to hire a professional to help me dig to the bottom of why I had stopped losing weight and getting better in the gym.

My health coach (as some of you OG She Thrives readers will know as Morgan), introduced me to the Paleo lifestyle, and I could not believe what I was seeing. You mean I get to eat butter, bacon (and bacon fat!), and all the things I’ve been trying so hard to limit my entire life?! Not only do I get to eat it, but it’s actually GOOD for me?! 

 

EVERYTHING CHANGED

It was a revelation. A fucking delicious revelation. I was obviously really into it.

I stepped up my sourcing game and started eating meat again; meats had to be pasture raised or grass fed; I started taking a probiotic and ate things like sauerkraut; I started eating nutrient dense carbs like sweet potatoes and squash instead of rice and pasta.

But what I thought was most interesting of all, was not quite the deliciousness that I was adding IN to my diet, but the things that I was taking OUT. 

I cleaned out my pantry and threw out every bag of baking sugar and flour, all the oatmeal, the granola bars and Kashi cereals. I tossed the Diet Coke, the boxes of pasta, the cans of beans, the tortilla chips. I threw out the bags of edamame and bottles of soy sauce.

I stopped eating all grains and legumes and soy; I stopped eating dairy; I developed a very discerning eye on the very few remaining processed foods left in my kitchen and only the “clean” ones stayed; I cut way back on alcohol to almost none; added sugars only appeared in my diet in a few places, and only if they were natural or naturally occurring. I completely stopped consuming any form of industrial oils, and tossed every bottle of canola oil or vegetable oil based products in my home.

Actual photo of a fraction of my pantry clean out: the baking cabinet.

Actual photo of a fraction of my pantry clean out: the baking cabinet.

 

And things changed. BIG things changed. I was feeling more full and satisfied after every meal. My energy skyrocketed and I started to see and feel it in the gym. I was leaning out again. And most shocking of all, my heartburn completely ceased to exist. It was just— gone. Done. Over. Not a thing. I had finally cured the core issue: a leaky gut and low stomach acid (yeah, that's right). I threw my remaining Prilosec in the trash and haven’t looked back in over 4 years.

Note: If you're interested in how mainstream science has it backwards when it comes to heartburn/GERD, and how to TRULY fix the issue instead of applying a band-aid, read this ebook from Chris Kresser.

I also realized that I was highly sensitive to gluten, and developed atrocious bloating, digestive issues and abdominal discomfort after even a bite, and I couldn’t believe I had been eating gluten almost every day of my entire life.

A sampling of some of the dozens of books i pored through- still some of my FAVORITE recommendations!

A sampling of some of the dozens of books i pored through- still some of my FAVORITE recommendations!

In fact, I shuddered to think what I had been putting my body through all those years without ever realizing it.  Without so much as even questioning it! It was startling, scary, and truly life changing.

Seeing and feeling the benefits of this way of eating threw me into total fascination, and I embarked on a journey to learn every last thing I could about the Standard American Diet, the flaws in mainstream nutrition science, and how this alternative approach could change millions of lives-- and especially the entire autoimmune illness industry. I pored over articles and studies and books, and soaked it all up. 

Fun Fact: This is the start of how this blog was born!

 

BUT THEN

After about a year of living decidedly “paleo”, I was sold on its benefits and was profoundly grateful for finding it and allowing it to change my life in only the best ways. Eventually, though, I found myself reaching for a handful of tortilla chips here, or a sprinkling of cheese there, or a bowl of popcorn, or even a rogue processed food, like frozen meatballs or a protein bar. 

I realized that I could eat these things without a negative reaction, and my body and mind handled them just fine. (Not gluten though— that one was out for good). I also realized that a different macro ratio, namely, going a lower fat and higher carb than the "paleo purists" recommend, worked best for my body.

But what I also realized was that I was eating under a label. I was in a category, following a protocol, where there were rules, and where you could do it wrong (“that’s not paleo”). I realized that I could take the valuable lessons I learned and the knowledge I gained (not only about nutrition science at large but about my own body), and using that to forge my own, more inclusive diet.

I will also say that it's widely understood in the paleo community that "paleo" is merely a template, for you to be able to build on to create your own specific plan, but:

 

LET ME EXPLAIN

 

I still steer clear of industrial oils, but don’t panic when I see canola oil on an ingredient list— I just don’t eat that thing so often, and I buy mayos made from avocado oils instead. I don’t believe sugar (refined or otherwise) is the devil incarnate, but I personally don’t eat a lot of it (some days are better than others), and I think the SAD does include much too much for most people. I find that adding grains like corn and rice to my day make me feel great, but I still steer clear of gluten and quinoa, because those make me feel terrible. I still don’t eat soy in my own home, but will definitely hit up the edamame plate when we go out for sushi (though I dip the sushi in GF tamari). I still am watchful of ingredient lists but have removed the word “clean” from my food vocabulary.

I also learned that well sourced meat is always important, that saturated fat is nothing to fear, and that I can absolutely live without some of the things I thought I couldn't live without.

I still eat with my gut health in mind, but don’t fret if I don’t do it perfectly. 

And that there is the key word: Perfect. When you are eating a way that involves rules, right and wrong, and in or out, you're hoping to follow some idea of perfectionism, and you are ultimately setting yourself up for failure. 

I cannot stress how valuable this template was for me and my life, and how it is the FIRST thing I recommend (or doing a whole30, same same), to anyone beginning (or is lost on) their health journey, and is also a super smart “reset”, if needed. I think eliminating the junk and the noise, allowing your body to heal itself from the inside out, and creating the ability to actually HEAR your body when it says it doesn't like something, is something everyone should do at least once. (How would I have ever known about my reaction to gluten if I didn't stop it entirely?) And I think questioning mainstream nutrition science is a good thing— a really good thing.

But I also think that unless you have a specific health condition that requires you to follow the protocol to a T, it’s not a way you’ll eat for the rest of your life. 

And that’s ok. 

Your happy place with your diet should fall in territory that doesn’t make you feel restricted or deprived; that doesn’t make you feel like you can do it right or wrong; like you are or aren't following the rules; it shouldn’t put you in a box or give you a label.

After a while of explaining my diet as “a loose interpretation of the paleo template”, I decided to distance myself from the word altogether. The way I eat is mine and mine alone (and the same can be said for you), and I don’t need anyone telling me I’m doing it right or wrong.

And yes, between the Standard American Diet and the Paleo Diet, my diet definitely falls much closer to paleo— that’s for sure. But maybe it’s my rebel tendencies, but I just don’t like a label on there, and I think you’d be much more likely to find your own happy balance with food if you did the same: ditch the label, the right and wrong, the good and bad.

Yes, paleo changed my life, and yes I would absolutely recommended it without a shadow of a doubt to anyone who needs a place to start in their health journey, or who is suffering from ailments that are likely caused or worsened by certain foods (like heartburn, or migraines, or joint pain or digestive issues, or acne or eczema, to name a few). If you’re on the fence about trying it, my recommendation would still be YES. It yields such valuable information about your body that you might not ever learn otherwise. How are you supposed to find your ideal diet if you don’t have that knowledge?

And that's precisely the goal: finding your own body's ideal diet. The one that makes it feel the most vibrant, the one that allows your mind to settle in to a good place, the one that keeps you feeling strong, and well fed and happy.

But I would be remiss to recommend it (or anything!) as a permanent fixture, as the only way, or as the right way. The diet that’s right for you is one that is unique to you and you only, and it probably won’t be able to fit into a neat little box.


If you are looking for help finding YOUR body's ideal diet, that doesn't involve rules or right and wrong, I am currently developing a program that will be released in the next month or two that you might be interested in!

I will teach you how to find the foods that make you feel best, the amounts of those foods that allow you to perform optimally, and also teach you to reframe your mindset so that you can CHOOSE those foods on a consistent basis.

SIGN UP FOR OUR MAILING LIST TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN ENROLLMENT IS OPEN!


If you ARE looking to try out an anti-inflammatory, gut healing diet or other elimination diet, these resources are my first recommendations.


 

 

 

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Your Stories: Stacy Toth from Paleo Parents

We were lucky enough to be able to chat with Stacy Toth of Paleo Parents about her various endeavors into the worlds of Paleo nutrition, Strong Woman training, and her path to empower women with self-love. She couldn't have been kinder, and we are so thrilled to share all her words of advice with our readers today.

So go grab a cup of coffee, take a seat, get comfy, and settle in to this lengthy interview with one of the strongest and most inspirational women in the Paleo community- And know you'll have a fresh and urgent motivation to go get after your own goals at the end!

    YOUR NEW COOKBOOK REAL LIFE PALEO IS A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO MAKING THE PALEO LIFESTYLE EASY AND SUSTAINABLE. THAT BEING SAID, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO YOUR PERSONAL PALEO LIFESTYLE, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?

I would say navigating social situations is our biggest challenge. And not just with the kids, but for me as well. I work in an office environment where people bring bagels and doughnuts to work all the time, so navigating these situations in a way where you’re not insulting anyone, while often getting pressure from the people around you to “just have a bite” can be tough, especially since those situations never go away. The thing about being diffrerent in a food-related way is that you can never just take a day off- you always have to eat! So it becomes an ongoing thing that you constantly have to deal with. Learning how to navigate these situations is important, like for example giving yourself a gray area with some foods, learning when to roll with it, knowing where your lines and limits are, and when and how to stick to them is the hard part. 

This is also especially difficult for kids- I can’t imagine being a 6 year old boy and not being able to have birthday cake, or not being able to have the Skittles that the teacher is using to teach math, and not being able to even relax and sit down at lunch with your favorite vegetable because it happens to be green, and the boy next to you thinks that that’s gross. That’s really difficult! They have learn to deal with these situations just as we do, and so I would say that’s the constant battle we’re always facing. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE TIP FOR TRANSITIONING KIDS TO PALEO?

Get them involved! There’s certainly a lot of things that need to happen to set yourself up for success, like being prepared, not bringing non-paleo food into the house, etc, but nothing is going to help someone be as long-term successful as getting their kids involved in the process and engaged. From planning to prepping to buying to cooking food, if your kids are involved in that then they’re invested in it and much more likely to try it, to understand why you’re eating this way, and so on. It’s one thing to start a newborn off on the Paleo path, but when you’re talking about say, my 9 year old, who is becoming his own person and making his own choices, the best thing I can do as a parent is set them up for success so that when they’re in a position to make food choices themselves, they make the right ones. 

Stacy and her husband Matt, and their three boys.

Stacy and her husband Matt, and their three boys.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE A STRONG WOMAN WHO IS RAISING THREE YOUNG BOYS?

Wow, great question. It means to me that I strive to be a role model for all people. I actually minored in Women’s Studies, and even though I’m not a "card carrying member", I do consider myself a feminist and feel very strongly about equality and women being empowered.. and that ultimately translated into me wanting everyone to be empowered. As a mother, I want my kids to know that they’re not always going to be the biggest or the strongest or the best, and that that’s ok! We can all individually be really great at something. I hope that the ability I have to be role model for my boys makes them want to be strong, but mostly I want them to respect the fact that there will be women who are stronger than they are, and that’s ok! I think their dad is a great example, as I’m stronger than Matt in a lot of the “mechanical movements”, and he is wonderfully supportive and encouraging of me.  Sure we have some friendly competitiveness sometimes, but we’re also “rah rah-ing” for one another all along the way, which I think is important for our kids to see. No matter what, I hope I can teach my boys to always be respectful, and to always treat other human beings (including women) with that same respect. 

 

A peek inside Stacy's new cookbook, Real Life Paleo

A peek inside Stacy's new cookbook, Real Life Paleo

YOUR AMAZING BLOG POST I AM STRONG STARTS WITH THE DECISION YOU MADE TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT AND INSTEAD FOCUS ON GETTING STRONG. WHAT LED YOU TO THIS DECISION? WHAT WORDS OF GUIDANCE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE STRIVING TO MAKE THAT SAME MENTAL SHIFT?

I just stopped caring what I looked like. I had this realization when I was having an emotional conversation with Matt one night, where I was saying things like, “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be a leader in a health movement”, and expressing how annoyed I was that I wasn’t losing any more weight.. And Matt just said, “Why do you care?”. He was so nonchalant about it that it struck me- it had never occurred to me that that was something that I didn’t need to care about. And the more I thought about it, I remembered that I had lost and maintained an 100 pound weightloss, I was at the top of the leaderboard at my CrossFit gym, I had improved all my health markers so much that my doctors were recommending Paleo to other patients- I had all these amazing things going for me, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I wasn’t happy when I looked in the mirror, then I would feel like the most perfect person in the world!

I realized what I needed to work on was my perception of myself in the mirror, and not caring what other people thought, or what I was “supposed” to look like, and instead focus on how I felt, what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. As soon as I reframed that mindset, it became what I wanted my body to be able to feel like, or what I wanted my body to be able to do. And what I wanted more than anything was to be strong. I decided I wanted to set goals for myself that aren’t related to how I look, and I wanted to do it for me.

I knew that even if I got to some “perfect” weight, I’d still look in the mirror and see something I’d want to fix or improve. So instead of obsessing about the weight, it became more important for me to feel good about my body.

This idea of self respect is a big one, and I think it transfers to training in the sense of, “what can my body do” vs “what does my body look like”. I really love setting a big goal for myself (right now I have a goal of a 350 lb back squat). Everyone’s personal goals for themselves might be different, but they all have the ability to decide what it is they want their body to be able to do, and then it just becomes a matter of executing it. For some people that may be becoming healthy enough to carry a baby, for others it may be resolving an auto-immune condition, and for me, in my current phase of life, I want to be STRONG. 

For other women out there: Find people who accept you for who you are- you can only be as strong as the people around you. Even if you’re set up for success but you don’t have a good support network, it’s going to be much harder to succeed with that mental shift. It’s also important to have self respect. I encourage women to not carry guilt or shame about foods they’ve eaten, workouts they’ve skipped, choices they’ve made, etc. Keeping self respect and remembering my goals are what allow me to make the right choices in various situations- I’m not turning down the Ben and Jerry’s because I want to be skinny, I’m doing it because it won’t help me hit my goals for health and strength. 

 

WHAT DOES THE TATTOO ON YOUR SHOULDER REPRESENT TO YOU?

Adeira is a Pheonix, rising out of the ashes, and I feel like I have risen out of the ashes with my health conditions from five years ago, to where I am today. I literally struggled to go up stairs, and had generally just given up on the idea of being a healthy or fit person. My goal with Paleo was to be able to lose enough weight so that I had the energy to play with my kids. So today, to be a competitive athlete is amazing to me. I got the tattoo as a marker of the transition into my Stong Woman training, to remind myself what I used to feel like, and how great I feel now.

 

WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO TAKE FIRST PLACE AT THREE BIG COMPETITIONS LAST YEAR, AND EVEN SNAG AN INVITE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN STRONGMAN NATIONALS? WHAT OTHER ATHLETIC GOLAS ARE ON THE HORIZON FOR YOU?

I don’t know if I’ve really comprehended it all yet, honestly. To be up against all these incredible athletes who have been gymnasts or lifters for years upon years, and here I am, this thirty-something mom of three, who just got off the couch and lost a bunch of weight and decided to give it a go is wonderful. The community is really incredible too, and being around such a positive energy has been a part of what allowed be to reframe my whole mentality on life. Crossfit, Strongman, weightlifting, etc, has all been such a huge positive force on my life that I could never have anticipated.

Aside from my 350 lb back squat goal, I’d love to be able to make it to the Arnold, so I’m working a lot on my static movements and powerlifting right now.

 

ANY WORDS FOR WOMEN OUT THERE WHO ARE ON THE FENCE ABOUT STARTING WEIGHTLIFTING, CROSSFIT, OR STRENGTH TRAINING?

Just do it. The stars are never going to align, you’re never going to feel perfectly comfortable- that first time walking into a gym is always going to feel nerve wracking and scary- But if you’ve vetted your gym properly and find a place that has an on-ramp or fundamentals program, and coaches that are dedicated to help you learn, and if you’re ready to really take it on in your life, I think what you’ll find is your people

 

YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR OWN BODY DIDN'T NECESSARILY COME EASILY- IT'S BEEN A JOURNEY, LIKE IT IS FOR MOST WOMEN. WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE ON THIS JOURNEY OF SELF LOVE?

Go easy on yourself. It’s not going to happen overnight, and the best you can do is to think positively as often as you can, and if you do that, eventually it will become your default. Find things to love and appreciate about yourself, things to be proud of, things you do well, and feel proud. Make good choices, and feel good about every choice you make.


If you aren't already, be sure to follow Stacy on her Instagram, Facebook, and tune in to her Strong Woman Radio podcasts to get a weekly dose of her positive and motivating attitude!

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Recipe: Delicata Squash

We have been making the most of all the fall food lately, and thought we'd share this easy and super tasty recipe for squash with you today! We threw it together on a whim this weekend and thought it was worth sharing- it's a little sweet from the roasted squash and the hint of balsamic, but balanced with savory pork sausage and fresh sage, and it couldn't be easier!

 

You'll need:

2 medium Delicata Squash

2 TB finely diced Fresh Sage

Olive Oil

1 TB Balsamic Vinegar

3 Pork Sausages, sliced/chopped (note: we used frozen Applegate sausage because that's all we had on hand, but we recommend you make Nom Nom Paleo's amazing maple sage sausage!)

Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute or seasoning mix of choice

Salt & Pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop into 1/4 inch slices and place on cooking sheet. You might need to use two pans so that every piece can lay flat and it's not overcrowded.

Drizzle thoroughly with olive oil, and season amply with salt, pepper, and seasoning mix. Make sure every piece is covered and the pan is covered as well so they don't stick. (Be sure to align them again so they all lay flat before placing in oven). Put in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn every slice over (bottom side should be nice and brown- if not yet then let them stay in a little longer before turning) and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, heat up (or cook through) the sausages on the stovetop until browned and crispy around the edges.

Once the squash is lightly browned and fork tender, remove them from the oven, add in the chopped sausage, fresh sage, and balsamic, and toss to combine. Season to taste.

Enjoy! You can enjoy this on it's own as a side dish, or try it atop sauteed greens like chard, or even top with a fried egg!

P.S. If you make this, share a photo on instagram and be sure to tag us so we can check it out! Bon appetit!

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Meal Prep 101

Creating every meal from scratch can be a lot of work- that's for sure. We get asked all the time how it's possible to make eating real food easy & sustainable, and this is the answer: Meal prep!

We recommend spending one or two days a week prepping your food for the days to come. Spending a little time in advance will save you loads of time later in the week when you're running low on time and energy. Here are our basic tips for making the most of your food prep time.

PIMP OUT YOUR KITCHEN

Buy that fancy cooking utensil that you’ve been eyeballing!

  • Collect quality kitchen tools over time, and look at them as an investment in your health. Helpful kitchen tools for cooking Paleo: Large crockpot, large pan, large pot, large cutting board, sharp chopping knives, food processor, blender, Garlic Zoom, vegetable spiralizer, casserole dish, cheese grater (for veggies!).
  • Buy lots of food storage containers: Glass is best (plastic can leach chemicals into your food that affect your hormones).  Single serving containers for lunches and on the go food, and multi-serving containers to store large amounts of food will both come in handy. BPA-free plastic sandwich and snack sized ziplock baggies and heavy duty food freezer bags are also a must for storing all your yummy snacks.

  • Buy a big old lunch box or bag with space for ice packs to keep food cool during those long days that you are on the go. Something big enough to hold a days worth of food is best!

PLAN YOUR FOOD OUT FOR THE WEEK

Brainstorm your grub!

  • Browse cookbooks, blogs, magazines, or whatever inspires you and gets your wheels turning about food. Take note of the recipes that look great and their ingredients, and plan to make certain recipes for certain days.

  • Or opt to keep it simple and plan on eating the basics: grilled meat, veggies, salads, hardboiled eggs, and sweet potatoes. With all this on hand you can mix and match for days! Get creative with spices, sauces, and guacamole and you’ll have tons of good meals at your fingertips.

      GO GROCERY SHOPPING

Hit those stores!

  • Plan out what day and time you are going to go shopping and which stores you need to hit to get all your loot. Schedule it in your calendar if you have to!

·       PREP YO FOOD

Get cookin' good lookin'!

  • Plan out what day/time you are going to prep. Again, put it in your calendar if you have to.

  • We like the rule of “cook once, eat 2-3 times”. In other words, cook a lot of each meal so you've got ample leftovers for days to come. This way you don’t have to cook as often during the week.

  • Cook easy staples for the week: baked sweet potatoes, hardboiled eggs, shredded chicken, or anything that's easy but can be jazzed up later with spices, sauces, guacamole, etc. Keeping the basics on hand allow for simple thrown together (but tasty!) meals in a flash.

  • Make on the go snacks: home made fruit bars, trail mix, jerky, guacamole, etc.

  • Wash and cut up some fruit and veggies so you have them to snack on raw, toss into smoothies, throw on salads, or quickly steam or sauté with your entree.

  • Buy boxed, prewashed salad, lettuce, spinach, kale or greens of choice. The time you save not having to wash, dry, chop, and hope they don’t go bad before you eat them is well worth the money in the pre-boxed goods.

  • Make that one really amazing, fail-safe, go-to recipe that you love, so that you know you have at least one fancy and completely satisfying meal to look forward to.

  • Use the crap out of your crock pot- it saves so much time!

  • Parcel out your food into single servings into your to-go bags and containers so that when you are hungry or getting ready for the day, you can just look in the fridge and grab what looks good. No work! Its already done!

  • Cook a bunch of stuff at once to save time: boil eggs, sauté veggies, have chicken and potatoes baking in the oven. (Just make sure you don’t burn down the house! Safety first, right?)

  • Freeze anything you don’t think you will eat all of. Having food on hand in the freezer is another great tip for a fast, healthy, easy meal. Try to keep a stash of frozen proteins (fish, beef, chicken), a bag or two of frozen vegetables, and pre-cooked meals in there at all times so you know if all else fails, all you've got to do it defrost.

There you have it! And it's worth mentioning that figuring out the exact amount of food to buy and prep may take some time to dial in, so don’t get frustrated with yourself if the first few times doesn't go as planned, ie too much food that's going to waste. Remember that you are doing something great for your body and the cost of the food that went bad is well worth the experience you get in learning how to incorporate healthy practices into your life). 

Hope this helps you make your life easier! Bon appetit! 

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White Rice vs. Brown Rice: Which is Healthier?

BROWN RICE VS WHITE RICE WHICH IS HEALTHIER?

White rice, brown rice, wild rice, SO MANY RICES! And with so much conflicting information out there about which one is better for you, how are you ever supposed to know for sure?

Rice can be an awesome addition to any sort of diet, this much is true. With the Standard American Diet suggesting "whole grains" as the base of a healthy food pyramid, and everyone pretty much agreeing that processed foods aren't really the pinnacle of health when eaten in large amounts, brown rice is the no brainer heather option, right?

As it turns out, not so much. Here's why white rice might be the better option for you, IMO, of course.

WHITE RICE VS BROWN RICE: WHICH IS HEALTHIER?

Brown rice is less processed and therefore has more nutrients than white rice, right?  Not entirely.  Brown rice is less processed, yes.  After all, the reason it's brown is because it still has the bran and germ (husk) attached to the grain, whereas white rice that has those components stripped away during milling.  

But! Just because it's less processed doesn't mean it's more nutritious, and here's why: when you take into account that the husk itself contains antinutrients that actually prohibit nutrient absorption, like phytates, which bind to nutrients like magnesium and calcium and prohibit their absorption, those "nutrients" don't amount to much. (Soaking your grains can lessen these but will not remove them entirely, but removing the bran/husk altogether will).

 Lectins are another thing present in the husk of brown rice, though not as potent as the lectins found in gluten, they still inhibit nutrient absorption and can make your gut lining less than happy.  Another class of antinutrients found in the husk of rice are trypsin inhibitors-- trypsin is an enzyme that is essential for protein digestion, and when trypsin isn't present (or it is inhibited), we can't digest any protein consumed with the rice properly.  

Between all the antinutrients and potential gut irritants found in the husk of a grain of rice, you can begin to see why brown rice might not be the better choice, after all. But what are you left with when you strip the grain down, and what good could it possibly be to your health? 

 

CARBS, YO 

I don't want to make you sad but you should know that (any form of!) rice does not offer much by way of vitamins or minerals, period. It's not really what I'd call a nutrient-dense food (sweet potatoes, turnips, plantains bring a little more to the table).

But!  What white rice does offer is a  simple, easy to digest, easily absorbable (and tasty!) form of glucose, which is perfect after an intense, tough workout to replenish depleted glycogen levels. I'd recommend eating it with a some protein and a little fat, which will help balance out any potential rise in blood sugar.

Note: if you are at all:  Insulin resistant, have any autoimmune condition, have a leaky gut, are trying to lean out or lose weight, or just very sensitive to grains, rice just might not be a part of your individual  diet.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! White rice is the clear winner in the brown vs white rice debate, because it lacks the gut irritating and anti-nutrient compounds found in brown rice. For most people, white rice can be a happy addition to their post workout re-fueling or protein centered healthy meals.

And remember that the most important note to ANY healthy diet is that it's one that you enjoy! So if you just plan like brown rice better, far be it from me to say you shouldn't enjoy it. 

Happy nomming!

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Five Ingredient & Five Minute Paleo Ice Cream

This dairy and refined sugar free Paleo "ice cream" is super easy, requires no ice cream machine, and can be ready in under 5 minutes. It also happens to be delicious, so we hope you try it out!

Note: This recipe does require a couple ingredients that are either frozen or refrigerated:  

When your bananas start to turn brown, peel them, break them up and toss them in the freezer!  They make a great addition to smoothies, and are excellent to just have on hand for other yummy snacks, like this one.

We also recommend always keeping a can of coconut milk or coconut cream in your fridge, just in case you need it for a recipe that requires it to be chilled (lots of recipes do). You can purchase coconut cream at Trader Joes, or you can make your own by leaving a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then gently skimming the cream off the top. (The water and cream seperate when refrigerated).

 

EASY PALEO CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

1 or 2 frozen Bananas 

Half a can of cold Coconut Cream

2 Spoonfuls of Cocoa Powder

1 Spoonful of Almond Butter

Two spoonfuls of Cacao Nibs (optional)

A small squeeze of Honey (optional). Toss all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (It should be the consistency of soft serve ice cream). Top with cacao nibs, paleo whipped cream, fresh berries, or whatever your heart desires! Enjoy!

Note: Because there are no preservatives in this ice cream, it will freeze rock solid. Leave it on the counter for 20 minutes, or place it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften it up!

 

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