Monthly Archives: August 2012

Farm to Table – illegal?

I just followed a blog article from Robb Wolf (delivered to my email) over to Amber’s blog… you know how it goes.

It was shocking – I am putting the video here (see below).

If you want to read Robb’s article – follow it here.

For Amber’s blog – follow it here or from within Robb’s.

This quote from Amber’s blog hits home:

There’s something very broken about a system that calls genetically modified organisms, high fructose corn syrup, chemical additives, and food dyes safe, but considers farm fresh eggs, grandma’s fruit preserves, and fresh raw milk a criminal health hazard.


3rd Round…

When I am working with a client on changing their Nutrition, I always like to initiate it with a Whole30 challenge. In case you have not read some of the previous posts, the Whole30 challenge is a very strict diet regimen that is designed to help reset your body from Head to Toe. It is 30 days of expected 100% compliance. It resembles Paleo, but don’t make that mistake – it IS NOT PALEO. It is even more refined than Paleo. There are no ‘loop holes’ with Whole30. There is no argument of ‘Wine is Paleo’ or ‘This Cake is made from all Paleo ingredients (no grains or dairy) there for it is Paleo’. In Whole30, when it says No Alcohol, it means NO.ALCOHOL. After all, it only 30 days. Anyone can do ANYTHING for 30 days.

I write this post for a few reasons –
1. The Whole30 group I am working with in Paso Robles, CA is finishing up their 3rd week of Whole30.
2. Being over the half way point, some people are excited about the results, some are a little disappointed.
3. It can become very easy to prematurely ‘Reward’ yourself for being so compliant for this long – but be STRONG

Why is Whole30 so strict?
Let’s talk about why we are focused on food for a minute. Food should make you HEALTHIER. When you take the time to remove problematic foods, you are able to uncover what foods help you and what foods harm you. If you keep disrupting your great changes in your diet by holding onto your vices (wine, honey, cream, oatmeal), you are never going to get to a TRUE level of understanding. Remember the article I wrote about ‘Clean it up…‘ and my almond realization. Do you think I would have ever discovered the impact Almonds were having on my shoulder if I had not decided to remove the ‘vices’ in my diet? I was addicted to almond butter. It’s Paleo – but my body does not like it… especially on a daily dose. Until you remove your vice, you will not know how it truly impacts you – even if it is Paleo.

This brings me to Point #2 from above – what to expect as you are heading into the second half of Whole30…
It is not about the scale.
That’s right… this IS NOT A WEIGHTLOSS program. I said that from Day 1. This is about making you healthy.
You could lose weight by starving yourself, but that won’t make you healthy.
This is about helping your body heal and recover from YEARS OF ABUSE.
The body is pretty amazing – you get a cut or a scrape and it starts to heal immediately. The same thing happens on the inside, but if you keep cutting/scraping it, it won’t heal and it may get infected (Systemic Inflammation, disease, sickness, etc…). In order to help the healing process, you have to first repair the gut. You repair the gut by putting the right foods in and leaving the bad foods out. Those ‘cheats’ are BAD FOODS.
So – get off the scale – keep it 100% Whole30 compliant for the FULL 30 DAYS – and measure your health by reading THIS ARTICLE.
If you are disappointed with the results so far, be patient. Whole30 is a starting point – it may require Whole45 or Whole60, etc… The more your body has been damaged, the longer it will take to recover. My wife (a former Vegan for 25 years) is still recovering after 2 years of eating a clean Paleo diet. It takes time.

Finally – I will post an article about how to navigate the days after the Whole30 next week.
There is a system to it. You don’t want to waste all of your hard work – so be patient and follow along.

Clean It Up

I mentioned last week on my Facebook Page that I have been helping out a CrossFit group in Paso Robles with their introduction to Whole30. Getting everyone excited about it and encouraging them to do it got me thinking… I should revisit my diet and ‘Clean It Up’.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t like I was eating Twinkees and Oreos, but there was room to improve.
My wife was super interested in doing the same – so last Wednesday we kicked it off (3 days after the Paso Group).
Since then, I have noticed a few things…

1. When you eat Paleo as your normal diet, refining it into Whole30 standards is not that hard.
2. Unless you are addicted to fruit and starchy veggies, the Sugar Detox Phase (days 1-4) is not that bad – no major headaches, just a little tired on day three – no big deal.
3. If you have any sensitivities to foods that you were not aware of – you suddenly realize the details.

For the last year (since Sept 2011), I have been struggling with pain in my hip and leg. This is stemming from a bulged disc in my lower back. If I am sloppy in posture, try to relax on the couch, skip my stretching, etc… it fires up and is unpleasant. It got so bad at times that it would disrupt my sleep. I cherish my sleep and block out enough time to get up to 10 hours, but rarely would I make it past 6 or 7 simply because my hip and leg HURT like a Mother…

For the last 8 weeks, things have progressively gotten better – but the most NOTICEABLE difference has come from the last 5 days (since I started Whole30). I feel tight in the morning, but I can stand up out of bed (and 9 hours of sleep) without pain. After doing about 10 Good Mornings and a little hamstring stretch, I feel ‘Normal’. I can do Burpees again (YAY! – Kind of…). I can get up from a chair and immediately move! (under appreciated by most people).

Again – don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I was eating Twinkees and Oreos (why do I keep repeating this?)… I was eating Paleo… but I am pretty confident that the Nut Butters were my demise. Can you believe that?!?! There is still a chance that it was my Whey Protein Powder in my Post Workout Meals or the Greek Yogurt that I would enjoy randomly – but unfortunately the Almond Butter was a DAILY DOSE.

Whole30 should be revisited periodically. Even if you think you are Paleo Clean. You just might find a link to a different issue. And as I mentioned before – it is easier the ‘Cleaner’ you are.


How to Murder a Coconut

Coconuts are AMAZING!

From Coconuts you can get water, milk, oil, butter, vinegar, amino’s, flakes, and cream. I bet there is even more, but that is just off the top of my head.

In this post, I am going to walk you through how to take a coconut from the store and get an awesome Snack and a big serving of Coconut Water out of it.
All you need is:
– 1 Coconut
– 1 pointy knife
– 2 plastic bags
– 1 spoon
– 1 Dog (optional)

Find the ‘Eye’s’ of the Coconut. Carefully use your knife to find which eye is softest – it will be obvious.
Once found – dig out the eye – create a decent size hole (a little smaller than a dime).

Turn the coconut over and let the water pour out into a glass. Set this aside.

Smell the coconut – it should smell somewhat sweet – if it is musty or moldy, your done. It’s no good.
Place the empty coconut into the plastic bag. I recommend doubling up the bag so it doesn’t break through.

Find a nice concrete patio (or garage) and give it a good slam. If you are too light with the slam the coconut will bounce right back at you.
It should crack in a few pieces.
Ensure the Dog approves (optional).

Break the bigger pieces into smaller ones by bashing them into the ground.
Now spread out your pieces and grab your spoon.

Start prying the coconut meat off the hard shell.

There will be a layer of brown that will stay with the meat – I like to keep this on. It gives it a nuttier flavor.

You can take the time to scrape it off, but I am too lazy for that.
Once all of the hard shells are removed, rinse off the coconut meat.

Pat everything dry with a paper towel and store in an air tight container. Make sure to keep it refrigerated.
Strain the coconut water and store in the refrigerator.

For $1.89 and about 10 minutes of work, you got a bunch of refreshing ‘Fat’ and Fiber snacks as well as 1.5 cups of Coconut Water!

Shopping Cart


My favorite Paleo Sites are getting even better!

Foodee now has a feature that allows you to choose the recipes you want and add them to a Shopping Cart. From there, you can adjust the ‘serving’ size to meet your needs and the Consolidated shopping list is adjusted accordingly.

I placed 7 days worth of ‘Dinners’ into the cart and adjusted the serving size up to 2 (recommended for Guys).

The site produced a list of groceries I need to have all of the ingredients for the different dishes. I got my shopping done in one trip and had everything I needed for dinners throughout the week.

How awesome is that?!?

If you know of other sites that are doing something similar – post them to the comments below!

Do The Best You Can…

I have been a bit MIA lately, but for good reason…I went on a little vacation, Chuck’s family reunion, to a small farm town near Columbus, OH.  The farm house, nestled on acres and acres of soy bean crops, is over 100 years old and almost all of the furnishings are too…and that’s the way they like it.  This was an interesting trip because it was not my family, it was Chuck’s family that I was meeting for the first time and it was on a soy bean farm. 

Fortunately, I have spent time with Chuck’s mom and she is aware of our dietary lifestyle so was able to “prep” the rest of the family before we got there.  Chuck’s aunt was very upfront and told me off the bat that the soy bean seeds are not organic and are, in fact, Monsanto Round Up Ready soybeans.  I even got to see the bags of seeds in the shed.  It was an interesting experience for me because I read so much information regarding soy, Monsanto and GMOs in general, and to be able to see them in real life was a bit surreal (and kind of awesome).

Dinner the first night was a bust…there was no way Chuck and I were going to avoid the chicken enchiladas: corn tortillas, chicken, cream of mushroom soup and loads and loads of melted cheese.  Of course dinner would not have been complete without the flour tortillas cut into triangles, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked until golden brown.  Yeah…we just looked at each other, promised “tomorrow will be better” and dove in head first and it was amazing, I am not going to lie.  The next day, as promised was a bit better, not perfect, but better…

We were able to get access to a car and go to the store.  We picked up  some bacon, eggs, lunch meat, lettuce, olives, avocados, broccoli and fruit.  Chuck had bacon, eggs and fruit for breakfast.  I had bacon, avocado and fruit (still not eating eggs).  Lunch was easiest, we made lettuce sandwiches with the lunch meat, lettuce, avocados from the store and tomatoes and cucumbers from the farm.  I forgot to mention, in addition to the soy bean crops, Chuck’s aunt has her own “personal” garden which she says is organic.  I, of course, didn’t argue the fact that the wind probably blows a bunch of the Round Up on her garden…I didn’t think that would be polite of me.  I was proud of us when it came to dinner.  They made some sort of white sauce and spaghetti noodles.  We did eat the white sauce (remember, we promised better, not perfection) but poured it over the broccoli instead of the noodles.  It was rather tasty.  Oh’ they also served a HUGE loaf of garlic cheesy bread, which we both stared at, but did not indulge in.

The next day breakfast and lunch were the same, but dinner was even better.  I had an opportunity to tag along to a farmers market where I found a farmer who sold grassfed AND finished ground beef.  I was so happy, she even had a display explaining WHY grassfed/finished is better for us.  I was so proud!  I found another farmer who sold gorgeous onions, swiss chard and tomatoes so we had hamburgers for dinner.  One of Chuck’s aunts took a bite and was amazed at how good it tasted…another aunt said she could not taste the difference. 

Our last night was probably the best night.  The whole family went out to a Mexican restaurant in Columbus.  Have you ever been to a restaurant and your waiter ends up being amazing?  Well, it happened to us.  First, one of the cousins ordered a cheese enchilada.  The waiter, being perceptive, informed her that the sauce had meat in it.  I use to be a vegetarian and I can’t tell you how many times I ordered something meatless, but the sauce was loaded with meat.  I know it seems logical, but trust me, it is rare to find a waiter who gets that.  Next, Chuck and I ordered chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas, no tortillas, no rice, no beans, extra veggies.  Again, the waiter impressed me and asked if we wanted lettuce in replace of the tortillas!  I could not believe it!  Heck yeah we do!  I wish I could say I thought of that myself, but I never even put that together.  Dinner was amazing!

I have so much to share about this trip, but I am trying to keep it short(ish).  In general, the amount of SAD “food” that was consumed was truly, well, sad.  I am not saying this to be all judgy, I am saying this because it was not long ago that I thought what I was eating was food too.  I truly believe it is an issue of just plain not knowing and deception by fancy marketing. 

Lastly, I wanted to share this because we were in a situation where we had little to no control over what we were served, yet we made the best of it and I hope this inspires someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation.  Do the best you can… 

~ Carie





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REVIEW: Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

I recently received an advanced copy of Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites so that I could review it.  I feel bad it has taken me so long, but there is so much information packed in this gem, I didn’t want to miss a thing!

The book is part sciencey, also known as The Why, part 30 Day Meal Plans, part Recipes and completely AMAZING!  The sciencey part is very easy to understand.  If you have ever listened to one of Diane’s podcasts or been to one of her seminars, you will quickly realize she writes just like she talks…very engaging, easy to follow and with just as much passion as compassion.       

Part One, The Why, starts out explaining what Paleo is and provides a “start here” list of whole foods to include, which refined foods to eliminate and why.  There are even helpful guides, which by the way you can tear out, such as a stocking a Paleo pantry, food quality, fats, cooking fats, dense carb sources, sweeteners and gluten.  I love the guides and can see taking them with me to the grocery store or farmers market.  There is even a section about eating out and traveling…she just didn’t miss a thing.

I especially appreciate how she breaks down the digestive system, leaky gut and sugar regulation so that a layperson like me can understand it.  She explains what can go wrong and how to fix it.  There is even a guide to: Your Poop!  Part One ends with an FAQ packed with relevant questions and lucid answers.

Part Two is probably my favorite.  Each meal plan focuses on a specific condition, set of related conditions or goals.  Diane has not only mapped out 30 days worth of meals, but also provides lifestyle recommendations and supplements and herbs to consider, again, specific to conditions or goals.  Some of the meal plans (not all, too many to list) include autoimmune conditions, blood sugar regulation, thyroid health, MS, neurological health, heart health, athletic performance, fat loss and even a squeaky clean Paleo.  I have already picked out a few I will be following!

Part Three is all about the food!  Recipes that is.  We have already tried the Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs, the Bone Broth, the Lemon Rosemary Broiled Salmon, the Fresh Blueberry Crumble and we are so anxious to try the Italian Style Stuffed Peppers this weekend!  The recipes have been wonderful so far, the pictures are beautiful, the instructions are easy to follow and I appreciate that in the margin she provides recipes alternatives if someone is nightshade or fodmap sensitive.

I just can’t say enough about this book…it is a must have!

~ Carie