Tag Archives: paleo diet

The Great Gluten Debate: Should You Give It Up?

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist

I’m throwing a small dinner party for a friend this weekend. On the menu: pasta. That’s a big deal, because pasta has been food non grata for more than a year. It’s not an Atkins anti-carb thing—this time, it’s the anti-gluten movement.

It seems like everyone I know is foregoing wheat and other grains containing this protein. So why are so many people going gluten-free? None of them have celiac, a serious condition in which the immune system attacks the intestines after gluten is consumed (about one percent of Americans suffer from this condition). A few might have “gluten sensitivity,” a less harmful, but still uncomfortable condition that affects about five percent of the population. (For details on these conditions, check out What Everyone Needs to Know About Gluten.)

In fact, most people who tell me they’ve cut out gluten have no obvious problem with it. Some are going along for the ride because their spouse or child is off gluten, others think it might help them lose weight—simply cutting out bread can be quite effective for some people—and still others are convinced it’s simply healthier. (more…)

Paleo Blogger Files First Amendment Lawsuit Against North Carolina, State Bites Back

As a food blogger, I understand the responsibility I have to my readers. It’s my personal conviction that I should always provide them with the most honest and straight forward information I can. But when it comes to diet advice, some states don’t leave it up to personal conviction; such is the case in North Carolina where a dispute over the advice a blogger was giving his readers came into question. As a result, it’s raised a firestorm of controversy over whether “censorship” is an issue of free speech or a state simply protecting the health of its citizens. 

Steve Cooksey is a blogger who used to be overweight and diabetic, but changed his health and his life by following the paleo diet – a diet that mimics the eating habits of our earliest hunter-gatherer ancestors who primarily subsisted on meat, vegetables and fruit. This means no grains and no dairy, because it wasn’t available then and paleo proponents believe we don’t need it now, nor that it is healthy for our bodies.

Because of Cooksey’s dramatic transformation following the paleo diet, it’s understandable that he was enthusiastic about sharing his newly-found successful diet on his blog, Diabetes-Warrior.net – “Diabetes Management from a Paleolithic Perspective.” And whether he expected it or not, his readership blossomed as people began flocking to his site to learn more about his journey. (more…)

Westerners are Just as Active as Hunter Gatherers, Study Shows

There’s very little health news that surprises me these days. Typically, the breaking headlines all funnel back to the basics: We need to eat right and get exercise in order to be healthy. The latest study I just read actually surprised me, and it may do the same for you.

A recent article from TIME writer Laura Blue reported on new research concerning the energy expenditure of westerners vs. hunter-gatherer societies. The study was just published in the PLoS One Journal. It seemed fair to assume we westerners are fat because we eat too much and then sit all day in our cars, at our desks, and on our couches. Meanwhile, those in hunter-gatherer societies walk everywhere, hunt for food, dig in their gardens, and use primitive tools to do a day’s work. The research showed that actually, both societies have an equal energy output, if you can believe it.

Like I said, very little surprises me in health news, but this one was a total surprise. I see the typical American every day. We walk mere feet to our cars, drive to our location with hopes of getting the closest parking spot, walk mere feet to our desks, and not move again until we drive to lunch, which many times is a drive-thru pick-up. There is very little exercise in the typical daily routine. (more…)

Paleoista Glamorizes the Caveman Diet for Trendy, Modern Women

Like many diets, the Paleo or “caveman” way of eating requires a big change in eating habits, a lot of dedication, and more effort than the typical American’s diet takes. The paleo diet also calls for a major shift in how one thinks about traditional nutrition. The book Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born To Eat claims all of this and more.

The paleo diet, which first gained popularity in the 70s, has a lot of good things going for it. Dieters are instructed to cut out refined sugars and processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables. Then comes the interesting part – all grains and dairy products are strictly forbidden. No beans, soy, tofu, quinoa, or goat cheese, what many people commonly think of as healthy foods. It’s similar to eating a vegan diet in the sense of eating lots of raw, natural foods, but paleos add lean meat, and lots of it.

Paleoista is different from the profusion of other paleo diet books in that it focuses on women. A diet whose nickname is “caveman” hardly sounds appealing to many individuals but the author, Nell Stephenson, wants her female readers especially to know that this diet can be followed by stylish, modern women (and men) who successfully balance their careers and families and still have energy left over at the end of the day. (more…)

The Paleo Diet Enters the Medical Field with Paleo Physicians Network

It’s been called the Caveman diet, the Paleolithic diet, the Darwinian diet, and a whole slough of others pre-historic names. But however you may refer to it, the paleo diet is gaining momentum and not just in the diet and health realm, but in the medical realm as well.

For those unfamiliar with the paleo diet, it mimics the habits of our ancestors 10,000 years before us who were primarily hunter-gathers. Historians propose they lived off the land, consuming mostly animal meat and any fruits and vegetables they may be able to forage.

For followers of the paleo diet, that means eating a lot of meat and produce and absolutely no sugar, dairy, grains and beans. This sometimes extreme way of eating – and living –  obviously isn’t for everyone. But proponents of the diet remain that it works, it makes sense, and it’s worth sharing.

One such proponent is Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University, who holds a doctorate in exercise science. Cordain is also the author of the book paleo eaters swoon over: The Paleo Diet.


Alternative Diets and HIIT Lead 2011 Diet and Fitness Trends

The year in fitness and dieting 2011 was far from uneventful. The introduction of MyPlate, larger conversations about nutrition in school food, and the condemnation of too-thin celebrities kept things interesting and proved that we don’t see diet, nutrition and fitness as just fads, they’re a part of our lifestyles. From our vantage point, there were a few things that will make 2011 memorable and keep the fit-focused conversations moving in 2012.

We’ve identified seven trends that really came in to their own in 2011, and will no doubt carry weight in the new year.

1. Gluten-Free Diet. Throw diet on the end and it sounds like anyone with a few pounds to lose could be benefited by this eating regimen. However, the gluten-free diet is not one-size-fits-all; it’s a necessity for the three million people living with celiac disease, according to University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, or gluten intolerances. This autoimmune disorder affects the digestive process, which is disrupted when they consume gluten, the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. In the past year, the availability of gluten-free labeling and gluten-free products has made it easier than ever for those who actually need to follow a GF diet to do so.

2. HIIT. This High Intensity Interval Training was all the rage this year, whether people realized they were doing it or not. Programs like P90X, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, and the new PINK Method rely on this style of training, which uses quick bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of recovery, in a constant series. HIIT is one trend that actually has staying power, and Liz Neporent, author of 12 fitness titles including The Winner’s Brain, explains why. “HITTS is attractive because you can get a great workout in less time. Instead of  dedicating a full hour to cardio and then an additional 20-30 minutes to weights – you can often pack in an awesome workout and burn tons of calories in as little as 20 minutes.” She explains more about HIITs in this episode of Health Buzz.

3. Juicing and Raw Diets. Our pressed-for-time society found a way to eat right without too much prep time. It’s called the raw diet, and can stand alone or be followed in conjunction with the juice diet. Whether for weight loss, to reverse disease, or to be conscientious about the earth, the raw diet boasts a lot of nutritional benefits for its dedicated followers. “Raw vegan is moving so quickly, even more so than vegetarian did years ago,” says Mimi Kirk, author of Live Raw, about the trend. “Raw restaurants are popping up, the media is covering this subject, and so many wonderful documentaries are in the theaters [i.e. “Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead”] educating people about the food we consume.” We agree with Mimi’s forecast that we’ll continue to hear a lot more about the raw food movement in 2012. “It’s quite exciting to be part of a conscious group of people who are helping to change themselves and the world for the betterment of all,” added Mimi. (more…)

“Make it Paleo” Shares a Couple’s Take on Primal Eating

Make it Paleo by Bill Staleya and Hayley Mason book cover For Hayley Mason and Bill Staley, cooking together was an important part of their relationship from early on. Hayley introduced Bill to the paleo diet, and although he was willing to support her eating choices when they were together, he didn’t follow the diet strictly at first. However, the new way of eating made him feel great, and it wasn’t long before the couple was cooking and eating paleo all the time.

They began sharing their paleo creations on Facebook, and soon came up with the idea of writing a cookbook together. But on the path to this ambitious goal, Make it Paleo was first a blog, The Food Lover’s Primal Palate. “We cooked a recipe every week, and shared it with our friends,” says Hayley. “For fun, we started working on a blog together, it was something that we were doing together as a couple and we wanted to inspire other people to stay on track with healthy eating.”

As the title suggests, many of the recipes in the book are grain and dairy-free adaptations of standard American recipes, often drawing inspiration from family recipes. Many of the dishes in Make it Paleo were created with special occasions in mind like weekend brunch and birthdays, something the authors feel fills a need in the paleo community. “I think one of the things that people struggle with when following paleo is not so much the everyday food,” says Bill. “It’s pretty simple to cook meat and vegetables for dinner, everyone can find their way.” On the other hand, holidays are a time when many people find it hard to stick to a paleo diet–or any diet for that matter.


Paleo Comfort Foods Offers Caveman Spin on American Favorites

Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook CoverJulie and Charles Mayfield have united their passions for Southern food and the paleo lifestyle in a new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods. The book features recipes like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, pulled pork and even desserts like strawberry shortcakes and chocolate coconut pudding. The dishes reach beyond the South, and include a range of classic American flavors, all modified to fit a paleo diet. “Originally we were thinking about having Southern food, but more and more the idea of comfort food became something we wanted to focus on,” says Julie.

The paleo diet is largely based upon foods that were available before the agricultural revolution and excludes grain, added sugars and processed foods. Some people on a paleo diet also exclude legumes, honey and most fruits.

The Mayfields aren’t professional chefs, in fact both had full-time jobs while creating the book. They hope it will show people how going paleo can fit into a busy lifestyle. They agree that the biggest challenge of creating the cookbook was not finding paleo substitutes for ingredients like flour and sugar, but “breaking down the recipes and measuring them out,” says Julie.


Tune-In: An HCG Diet Experiment on Dr. Drew’s LifeChangers

Tune in Tuesday, October 4, 2011 as Dr. Drew addresses the HCG Diet.

Dr. Drew’s LifeChangers will follow a viewer as they complete the controversial HCG diet. The show will highlight the pros and cons of the newest diet craze and the episode will also feature a nutritionist explaining the dangers and benefits of other popular diets such as the Paleo diet, the gluten-free diet, and the Dukan diet.

Check out Tuesday’s show for lots of information regarding safe weight loss and weight maintenance.

Caveman Cookies Are a Sweet Treat for Paleo Devotees

paleo diet cookiesThe phrase “Caveman Cookie” may sound like an oxymoron to those who know about the caveman diet, but the idea is pretty simple: dessert made from ingredients that humans have been eating for tens of thousands of years. You won’t find any milk, eggs, flour or refined sugar in these cookies, not to mentioned artificial additives. “Cavemen didn’t have refined sugar,” explained Stephanie Lester, the founder of Caveman Bakery LLC. The three flavors of cookies — Original, Tropical and Alpine–are made mostly from nuts and honey.

Lester began eating like a cavewoman in her junior year of college, using the plan laid out by Loren Cordain in The Paleo Diet. She found that she had better energy and that her skin improved. “Back in college I already started making some cookies that people liked,” she said, but would have never anticipated that her baked goods made from hunter-gatherer ingredients offered a potential career path. She went on to earn a law degree, but found that practicing law wasn’t for her. Lester started her bakery while working as a trusts and estates attorney, and soon left her firm to dedicate her full energy to Caveman Cookies. Today, Lester and her husband both follow the paleo diet, but allow themselves modern food on occasion.