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5 Paleo Diet Habits To a New You in a New Year | The Paleo Diet

The New Year is full of possibilities, opportunities and time. We embrace its distant horizon with arms wide-open, full of energy, desire and passion to achieve our goals. The goals start out as resolutions and seem to fall by the wayside by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around.  Resolutions to lose weight, to manage money better, to make more time for you, to get that promotion, to workout regularly, to eat healthy always.

The challenge with New Years resolutions is exactly that – it’s a resolution.  An intention to do something new from that day forward, or a firm decision to break a habit that’s likely become a routine. With such a concrete approach, the second you falter, it all too quickly just too far out of reach to accomplish in the year. Maybe next year. Well, giving up or making concessions just isn’t our style!

Set yourself up for success this year and try making five small changes to your habits rather than committing to tall-order resolutions. When you set realistic expectations of yourself, it’s much easier to hold yourself accountable, but more importantly get you on track towards those big ticket New Year’s resolutions.

1. Eat Organ Meats Once a Week

Yes I’m talking about Liver (Chicken, Beef), Giblets (Chicken, Turkey), Kidney, Beef Tongue and if you’re feeling ready – Heart. Organ meats have been eaten for centuries and contain more nutrients and minerals than any other meat1. BONUS: they’re almost always cheaper than other meats, so you can save a few bucks as well. Two resolutions in one – this year’s starting out great already!

2. Wash and Prep Your Vegetables

Do this as soon as you get home from the grocery store.  Why unload all the groceries from your reusable bags, into the fridge, and then take it all out again to wash, cut, dice, and slice. Save yourself the time and get them ready when you get home. This will make cooking time shorter, and you have healthy snacks ready to go whenever you might need to grab them or munch on them at home. Time management, healthy snacking. Check, check.

3. Double the Recipe

When you’re cooking dinner, double all the ingredients as if you’re cooking for more than yourself, your partner or the family.  When you’re ready to serve, grab a sealable glass container (or two) and dish out dinner for it as well. Let it cool at room temperature and store in the fridge. This guarantees you’ve got something nutritious to take for lunch to work the next day, or a ready to go home cooked meal when you need it most.  The trick is to not eat it just because its there when you’re eating dinner!

4. Get the Tech out of Your Bedroom

TVs, iPods, laptops, tablets, cell phones. Out. This will likely be the biggest change and toughest habit to break, but it’s so worth it! Sleep REM cycles are impacted from light pollution at night and have serious adverse effect on health2.  We’ve all experienced irritability, inability to focus and exhaustion from a lack of sleep. Why purposely make it difficult for our brain and body to get the rest it needs to perform best?

5. Add Turmeric to your Spice Cabinet

This is the simplest habit to add and it’s full of health benefits.  Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory for centuries in Asian culture, and recently been linked to decreased symptoms of IBS.3 Turmeric has strong antioxidant properties and is easy to add to any recipe – why not give our Dried Lime Chicken a try! With just a pinch of turmeric you’ll release a burst of flavor and a delectable golden punch to your dish. Keep it next to the pepper and add to soups, stews, salads, marinades, even smoothies.

And just like that you’re making a few small changes (five to be exact) to get healthy, eat better, get more sleep, have more free time and even save some money along the way. Just think, this might be the best year yet.

Happy 2015!

@PaleoWired
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Sanja JovanovicSanja Jovanovic is a co-founder of PALEO WIRED – a site dedicated to GATHER the best and latest paleo recipes & information to share with you, to inspire you to EAT the deliciousness of those recipes and creations and to REPEAT each day.  Because we’re all going to eat something anyway, might as well make it something that our bodies will thank us for!

References

[1] Wahls, Terry, Adamson, Eve. The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine. New York: Penguin Group; 2014. 432 p.

[2] Cho JR1, Joo EY, Koo DL, Hong SB. Let there be no light: the effect of bedside light on sleep quality and background electroencephalographic rhythms. Sleep Med. 2013 Dec;14(12):1422-5. PMID: 24210607.

[3] McCann MJ, Johnston S, Reilly K, Men X, Burgess EJ, Perry NB, Roy NC. The effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) extract on the functionality of the solute carrier protein 22 A4 (SLC22A4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) variants associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Nutrients. 2014 Oct 13;6(10):4178-90. PMID: 25314644.

Sidestep Temptation: A Healthy, Paleo End to 2014

The New Year is almost here and as 2014 comes to a close, it becomes increasingly more difficult for many to stay on track with their healthy eating style, especially if they’re habits you’ve only recently begun to integrate.

And, if you’ve let these healthy food choices dwindle a bit more over the last month or two, having been perhaps a bit too caught up with the festivities of the holidays, you’re certainly not the only one.

The first and second weeks in January aren’t the busiest time in health and fitness for no reason, after all!

But rather than shrug your shoulders and opt to making how you feel as a result of what you’re eating, anything less than top priority, could ultimately lead to sluggish digestion, poor sleep, mental fog, and a couple extra pounds by the time 2015 rolls in.

Sure, those eggnogs, side dishes, cookies, and cakes might sound good at first, but if we’re prepared ahead of time with a strategy to sidestep temptation, it can turn into a win-win situation as far as enjoying the holiday festivities without feeling deprived and enjoying yourself simultaneously!

Here are my Top 5 Tips to make surviving this last few days leading up to the New Year healthy, while still being enjoyable:

EAT PROTEIN EARLY IN THE DAY

Certainly, this applies year round, but even more so now when stress may be at an all time high. By starting the day with high quality protein along with a good dose of fat and veggies, we hedge our bets for steady, focused energy all day long to get us through a tough work day and then brave the holiday shopping crowd at the mall!  In my book, Pocket Paleo, Breakfast (HarperCollins, 2015) share ideas from basics, like a veggie omelet to uber creative such as wild game for breakfast. Why not?

SNACK OFTEN

Rather than thinking of snacks as ‘100 calorie packaged items’, if we revisit that concept and think of a snack just as any other meal, consisting of veggies plus natural proteins and some healthy fat, we create the perfect meal to enjoy mid-morning or mid-afternoon.  Grab 50 recipe ideas from healthy snacks in Pocket Paleo (HarperCollins, 2015).

CHOOSE SPLURGES WISELY

That last minute office party your coworker is throwing together where nachos and boxed wine are the centerpiece, are not worth the migraine and a belly-ache the next morning. However, when you’re hosting a cocktail party, and serving your own Paleo perfect appetizers and want something special, perhaps my truffles would fit into your splurge-appropriate occasion. If you plan in advance and select the best choices, you can enjoy a treat without the emotional baggage many might feel if they partook without planning, and then decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater and eat anything and everything in sight.

CREATE NEW TRADITIONS

Rather than spend the day baking cookies with the kids, why not make edible gifts that are Paleo friendly and still fun to make? Anything homemade is always a wonderful, heartfelt option and the whole family can be involved. Spiced nuts in mason jars, your own selection of your favorite dried herbs and spices tied into a lovely bouquet garnis or a fruit basket created out of local, in-season produce are just a few ideas to get the wheels spinning. It’s the time spent together creating, and the concept of giving that makes it special, not what you’re actually cooking or baking, so why not go healthy?

GET MOVING

Yes, it’s harder to wake early when it’s dark outside and your bed is cozy and warm, but the more often you get in even a 30 minute walk or cardio session at the gym, the more likely you are to choose wisely when you eat throughout the day. In Pocket Paleo, Workout, I give 50 ideas for what to eat before and after a training session.

Just like you’d put a plan in place for a big project you’re undertaking at work, a study schedule for school or a master plan for a career change, having a big plan for your health is key and so, too, are the small steps that make each day a success in and of itself.

Enjoy, Keep Healthy, and Happy Holidays!

Paleoista’s Signature, Decadent Raw Paleo Truffles

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw cacao nibs, ground, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp finely shredded natural coconut

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine cacao, coconut oil, coconut butter, almond butter & honey.
2. Stir ingredients until well combined.
3. Place bowl in freezer for 10′.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls.
5. Roll in the extra ground nibs and the shredded coconut.
6. Place in tiny foil candy cups and then into a box for presentation.

Tips to Jumpstart Paleo New Year

Did you find yourself eating differently during the holiday season and have resolved to make drastic changes at the beginning of the year?  Forget about juicing, cleansing and detoxing for a quick fix to jump-start your resolution to trim your waistline and purify your body. There is little scientific evidence to support temporary measures have an impact on your overall wellness long term.

The truth is our bodies are continuously processing toxins (both environmental and dietary), chemicals, and waste products.1 It is a day-to-day undertaking involving the liver, kidneys, and spleen, rather than something you can undertake for an intense period.2 If you are looking to recover from the lifestyle implications of your holiday choices, return to the basic principles of the Paleo lifestyle, which focus on a consistent, long-term approach to optimizing metabolic and physiological health.3

Negative side effects are routinely experienced on calorie and fat/protein restricted programs, including low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, lightheadedness, and nausea. Specifically, some programs allow for only fruit and vegetable juices to be consumed for up to a week at a time. The negative effects from consuming significant amounts of fructose, especially without fiber, fat, and protein, include rapid stimulation of lipogenesis and triglyceride accumulation, which in turn contributes to reduced insulin sensitivity and hepatic insulin resistance/glucose intolerance.4

Although purification naturally occurs on a daily basis, we can support the body’s pathways to function most efficiently. Focus on the following guidelines, as a part of your Paleo Diet, to feel energized and strong at the start of the year.

1. DRINK BONE BROTH REGULARLY

Broth a great way to stay hydrated, which keeps the circulatory and lymphatic system functioning optimally.5 Bone broth is rich in minerals6 and has been linked to healing the digestive tract and is rich in collagen, glucosamine, and gelatin. You can add a small amount of coconut oil, to aid in blood sugar regulation and minimize the risk of insulin resistance.7

2. INCREASE GLUTATHIONE-RICH FOODS INTAKE

Glutathione is an essential antioxidant naturally produced by the body8 to facilitate cell reactions,9 is quickly depleted by a poor diet, stress, illness, pollutants, and even aging. Sulfur-rich foods like garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc.) are especially high in glutathione.10

3. SUPPORT LIVER AND KIDNEY FUNCTION WITH ADEQUATE BETAINE

Betaine protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress and participates in the methionine cycle.11 Betaine can be obtained in the highest concentrations from both spinach and beets.12 Raw beets can be sliced thinly or grated over a raw spinach salad for a betaine-rich combination and a vibrant addition to your Paleo dishes.

Stephanie Vuolo
@primarilypaleo
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Stephanie Vuolo | The Paleo Diet Team

Stephanie Vuolo is a Certified Nutritional Therapist, an American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer, and a Certified CrossFit Level 1 Coach. She has a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. She is a former contributor to Discovery Communications/TLC Blog, Parentables.

Stephanie lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a passionate and enthusiastic advocate for how diet and lifestyle can contribute to overall wellness and longevity. She has been raising her young daughter on the Paleo Diet since birth. You can visit her website at www.primarilypaleo.com.

REFERENCES

[1] Available at: //www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/. Accessed December 16, 2014.

[2] Dorfman, Kelly. “Improving Detoxification Pathways.” New Developments 2.3 (1997): 4.

[3] Frassetto, Lynda A., et al. “Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a Paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet.” European journal of clinical nutrition 63.8 (2009): 947-955.

[4] Basciano, Heather, Lisa Federico, and Khosrow Adeli. “Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia.” Nutrition & metabolism 2.1 (2005): 5.

[5] Jones, JUDY M., L. A. Wentzell, and DANIEL P. Toews. “Posterior lymph heart pressure and rate and lymph flow in the toad Bufo marinus in response to hydrated and dehydrated conditions.” Journal of experimental biology 169.1 (1992): 207-220.

[6] Roberts, Sam J., et al. “The taphonomy of cooked bone: characterizing boiling and its physico–chemical effects.” Archaeometry 44.3 (2002): 485-494.

[7] Kochikuzhyil BM, Devi K, Fattepur SR. “Effect of saturated fatty acid-rich dietary vegetable oils on lipid profile, antioxidant enzymes and glucose tolerance in diabetic rats.” Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Jun;42(3):142-5.

[8] Wu, Guoyao, et al. “Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health.” The Journal of nutrition 134.3 (2004): 489-492.

[9] Available at: //www.readisorb.com/science/methionine_cycle_and_glutathio.html. Accessed on December 16, 2014.

[10] Nuttall, S. L., et al. “Glutathione: in sickness and in health.” The lancet351.9103 (1998): 645-646.

[11] Craig, Stuart AS. “Betaine in human nutrition.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 80.3 (2004): 539-549.

[12] Available at: //nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000145000000000000000-1w.html. Accessed on December 16, 2014.

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