Tag Archives: Paleo Diet


By living a Paleo lifestyle, you have taken control of your mind, your body, and your health. The next component of a healthy lifestyle, and one that goes hand-in-hand with The Paleo Diet©, is physical activity. And while many of us have concrete exercise regimens that we adhere to religiously, there are scores of people who, at this point in their lives, don’t have the time to spare.

And that’s okay!

On The Paleo Diet, there are plenty of ways to incorporate activity into your day. While hitting the gym or the studio is a wonderfully effective form of exercise, there are other methods to move your body that will be just as effective, but more convenient for those of us who are crunched for time. What’s more is that even if you are a regular fitness buff, these practices can be worked into your daily routine to ramp up your activity levels even outside of the gym. Here are three easy ways to stay fit while maintaining your Paleo lifestyle that don’t involve hitting up the gym.


Just Walk It.

We’ve all heard this tip before, but it bears repeating. Park a little further away and walk to your destination. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Any chance you get to take a few steps in your day is going to help boost your fitness levels. For those who don’t have the time for daily runs or cardio machines, pedometers are an excellent way to log mileage without devoting a specific block of time to exercise. While it’s recommended that you aim to get about 10,000 steps in each day, this figure is mostly presented to introduce a challenge, as there is currently no scientific evidence to support this magic number’s efficacy. It’s just a good challenging goal for most of us. And once you’ve met this challenge, try to top it! How many steps can you take in a day? In a week? In a month? How many miles can you walk this year?


Just Carry It.

That’s right. Carry it. Your toddler, the watermelon at the farmer’s market, the latest shipment from your favorite online store… if it’s safe for you to lift, pick it up properly and carry it for awhile. While, as a busy parent, you may not have time to lift weights, you certainly have time to pick up your young children while walking from your car to the grocery store entrance. New mom? Into attachment parenting? Even better! Who needs the gym…you’re basically lifting all day long! Did someone at work forget to refill the copy machine again? Volunteer to get a box of printer paper and carry it to the copier. Maybe add a few squats for good measure. You’ll work your body and get points with the boss. Is your buddy moving this weekend? Help him out! (Just insist he skips the beer and pizza and takes you for a Paleo-friendly dinner in return!) The idea is to look for opportunities to lift things in your everyday life. While lifting weights is great, you may not have the time to spare. By looking for opportunities to lift things in your day-to-day existence, you are effortlessly adding activity to your Paleo lifestyle.


Just Move It.

Salsa dancing lessons on Monday with your partner? A Tuesday night concert with friends? An impromptu living room dance party with your kids on a Wednesday morning? It doesn’t matter how you move, just move it! There are plenty of active things you can do each day that are not your garden-variety forms of exercise. As long as you’re working up a light sweat, you’re incorporating meaningful activity into your day and you can feel good about it. So get your heart rate up, have fun and find enjoyable ways to move that fit within your daily lifestyle. (And, since you’re already on the boss’ good side for refilling the copy machine, why not join the workplace softball team and get even more bonus points and bonus exercise?)


When you’re living a Paleo lifestyle, you’ve already made a huge commitment to your health and well-being. Try taking it to the next level by incorporating some activity into your day. You don’t have to join a gym. You don’t have to wake up daily at 5 am to stream a fitness class. You don’t even have to carve out time exclusively devoted to fitness. Our paleolithic ancestors never joined the gym or followed dedicated workout regimens; the physical activity occurring in their everyday lives was enough to keep them fit. So, like they did, shun some modern conveniences and get active naturally. Just carry it, walk it and move it and marvel as the results accumulate.

Dr. Cordain did an interview answering ten questions about the basics of The Paleo Diet®. To start your New Years out right, we wanted to share his answers with you. We hope you enjoy!
– The Paleo Diet Team

1. The Paleo diet can be traced to a 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin, but, correct me if I’m wrong, you are responsible for bringing this diet to popularity in your 2002 book “The Paleo Diet.” Can you tell me about your research journey as a professor and what lead you to writing this book?

I have written a blog post on my website (www.thepaleodiet.com) outlining the beginnings of the contemporary Paleo Diet movement and my involvement in it at the early stages before the concept became commonly known.

Although the 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin is frequently claimed by many in the Paleo community to be the seminal book that was the birth of the Paleo Diet idea, a number of important, and more relevant books were written earlier and later to which the Paleo Diet movement can be traced, including:


  1. Price WA. Nutrition and physical degeneration; a comparison of primitive and modern diets and their effects. P.B. Hoeber, Inc., New York, 1939.
  2. DeVries, A. Primitive Man and His Food. Chicago, Chandler Book Company, 1952.
  3. Eaton SB, Shostak M, Konner M. The Paleolithic Prescription. New York, Harper & Row, 1988.

Additionally, a number of key early scientific papers were responsible for today’s Paleo Diet notoriety, including:

Scientific papers:

  1. Shatin R. The transition from food-gathering to food-production in evolution and disease. Vitalstoffe Zivilisationskrankheitein 1967;12:104-107.
  2. Yudkin, J.  Archaeology and the nutritionist. In: The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals, PJ Ucko, GW Dimbleby (Eds.), Chicago, Aldine Publishing Co, 1969, pp. 547-552.
  3. Truswell AS. Human Nutritional Problems at Four Stages of Technical Development. Reprint. Queen Elizabeth College (University of London), Inaugural Lecture, May, 1972.
  4. Abrams, HL.  The relevance of Paleolithic diet in determining contemporary nutritional needs. J Applied Nutr 1979;31: 43-59.
  5. Eaton SB, Konner M. Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications. N Engl J Med 1985;312:283-9.

My book “The Paleo Diet” was published in 2002, and I may have coined the term “Paleo Diet”.  However, the concept is certainly not mine, but rather came as a result of numerous scientific writers before me.

2. How would you describe the Paleo Diet to a beginner?

The essence of the idea is to emulate the nutritional characteristics of our hunter gatherer ancestors with contemporary foods and food groups generally found in supermarkets, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.

3. For those unfamiliar with the Paleo Diet, where is the best place to begin?

I suggest visiting my website and read many of the beginner articles, including What To Eat on a Paleo Diet.

4. Some say the Paleo Diet as an ‘extreme’ high-protein, low-carb, fad diet. I know how I would respond to these people. But, I’d like to know how you would respond to these people?

My colleague Boyd Eaton, who generally is considered to be the father of the contemporary Paleo Diet movement, once said, “If this is a fad diet, then it is humanity’s oldest fad diet, because it is about 2 million years old.”

It is true that The Paleo Diet is a high protein diet compared to the standard American diet, but this is not a bad thing, as higher protein diets have been clinically shown to suppress hunger, increase metabolism and be more effective in reducing body weight than low fat, high carb diets. Additionally in randomized controlled human trials, higher protein improves blood lipids, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk for the metabolic syndrome.

5. There are several ‘versions’ of the Paleo Diet. This can be confusing. Which version of the Paleo Diet is the ‘right’ version?

Any contemporary version of The Paleo Diet which discourages salt consumption is probably pretty close to being accurate.  As far as I know, none of the charismatic bloggers or popular Paleo Diet Recipe book authors prohibit added salt. Many advocate regular consumption of honey, dairy, and legumes.  These “versions” of the Paleo Diet drift quite far from the original scientists who analyzed the nutritional characteristics of hunter gatherers and determined the range of foods that they consumed, and those in contemporary societies which mimic these foods.

6. What are the most significant health benefits that may occur with the Paleo Diet?

Improved health in almost every regard.  One of the first parameters people accustomed to eating the typical U.S. diet is improved energy levels throughout the day.  Improved blood lipids can occur with days to a week. Sleep is better, particularly when salt and alcohol are reduced. Over the long haul, weight is normalized, and many illness and disease symptoms are ameliorated or improved.

7. A lot of social media followers wanted me to ask you your thoughts on the ketogenic diet. I know this is a diet that has skyrocketed in popularity. As a research professor who I admire and respect, what are your thoughts on the Ketogenic Diet and the differences between the Paleo Diet and the Ketogenic Diet.

The ketogenic diet has been with us in one form or another since Dr. Atkins first wrote about it in 1972.  For most people to enter a ketogenic metabolic state, they must consistently eat 50 grams of carbohydrate a day.  This diet may be helpful in the short term for losing weight or for certain people with epilepsy. By restricting healthful fruits and vegetables, the primary source of carbohydrates in The Paleo Diet, your diet will become net acid producing, rather than net alkaline producing which promotes bone loss and osteoporosis over extended periods.

8. How can the Paleo diet affect your skin?

For people with acne, diets similar to the Paleo Diet (high protein, low glycemic load, free of dairy) have been clinically proven to improve symptoms.

9. How do you feel about elimination diets such as the Whole30?

I was not familiar with this diet until you mentioned it.  From a brief on-line search, I see that it looks remarkably similar to The Paleo Diet, so my initial response would be to be supportive.

10. More and more research is showing the negative effects of sugar. Some argue that sugar derived from fruit, ‘natural sugar,’ is processed by our bodies and affects us differently than refined sugar. Is this true? I feel that there is a lot of misinformation out there on this topic.

At my website, I have an area showing the sugar concentration of fresh fruits compared to refined sugar products.  As you can see, fresh fruits contain considerably less sugar than sweet, processed foods. Additionally, the glycemic (blood glucose) response to most fruits is generally quite low.   Very obese or diabetic subjects should reduce consumption of high sugar fruits but shouldn’t restrict low sugar fruits.



Ringing in 2020 has never tasted better, with these Paleo-friendly appetizers and drinks!

Amazing Apps

Blazing Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

These mini meatballs are sure to please! Paleo and gluten free, try pairing with a simple, low carb sriracha sauce. Beware store-bought sriracha though — many brands include high fructose corn syrup lurking just beneath the ingredient label.

The Mix

  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3- 1/2 salt-free hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 egg

The Final Cut

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a no-stick baking tray or cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
  • Blend ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined.
  • Scoop a tablespoon amount and roll into balls. Yields 20-24 meatballs.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (longer for a crispier texture).
  • Add toothpicks and enjoy!


Dippin’ and Sippin’

No New Year’s spread is complete without a killer dip. This pork bellies and spinach dip with steamed artichokes is the perfect pairing.

In a large bowl, stir up:

  • 1 cup of aioli
  • 5 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 oz seasoned pork bellies chopped
  • Pair with steamed artichokes and serve generously


The Good Stuff

Power up for 2019 with these antioxidant-rich stuffed mushrooms. Filled with sauteed kale and bursting with flavor. Take 5 mushrooms and fill ’em up with:

  • 2 green onions
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of Kale
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut oil

Throw it all together:

  • Remove mushroom stems and finely chop stems and green onions.
  • On medium heat, add coconut oil, turmeric, garlic and green onions to frying pan. Saute mushrooms. Add in ground beef and spinach.
  • Heat ½ -1 tbs. coconut oil in a separate pan. Add kale.
  • Stuff mushroom caps with ground beef mixture and place on top of the bed of kale. Bake for 5 minutes at 250*.
  • Serve, share, and love!


Cheers to Good Health

Crazy Good Cranberry Mocktail

The perfect seasonal treat, this mix is as simple as it is delicious.

All you’ll need is:

  • 3 cups of fresh cranberries
  • Substitute 1.5 liters (6 cups) of seltzer water for vodka

Blend cranberries to a rough mixture and add seltzer water. Strain finely into a larger container. Drink up!


Jingle Bell Cocktail

This festive, non-alcoholic red and green cocktail is as healthy as it is delicious.

Simply blend:

  • Kale
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Pear
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Stevia
  • For a drunken twist, pair with white wine


Pumpkin Nice Latte

We’d be on the naughty list for sure if we didn’t include a paleo friendly PSL! While this treat is not strictly Paleo (maple syrup makes us all want to bend the rules), it is a Paleo-inspired alternative to a traditional latte.

There’s nothing basic about this blend:

  • 2 cups fresh roast coffee
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stay warm and energized with this delicious brew!


Merry Mojitos

This citrus rosemary mojito is one of our favorites.

Simply blend:

  • 2 tbsp of Stevia (substitute for honey)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefuit or orange juice
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Substitute 1.5 ounces of dry, white wine for rum or vodka
  • Club soda to taste
  • Garnish with grapefuit or orange slices

Toast to a healthier you!

Looking for more seasonal eats? Cozy up with a bowl of paleo-perfect butternut squash soup and let us know what your favorite winter recipe is!

Happy New Year 2020

Paleo critics are always voicing unsubstantiated claims. Their attacks are easily countered, but they sometimes create confusion and discouragement, especially for those who are new to Paleo. The British Dietetic Association, for example, has called Paleo a “time consuming, socially-isolating diet.” If you’re just starting out with Paleo, it’s probably better to get your advice from people who actually follow the lifestyle, not from critics who simply parrot talking points.

The Paleo Diet shouldn’t be time-consuming or socially isolating, nor should it be overly expensive. Above all, the Paleo Diet is flexible. Whatever your personal circumstances, you can customize the Paleo Diet so it works for you. Here are 5 great tips to get you started.

1. Master the Slow-Cooker

The slow-cooker is one of your best kitchen-friends. It saves you time and money while helping you cook meals that taste like they were prepared by a professional chef…or by your grandmother. With a slow-cooker, you can save money on meat by buying the cheaper, tougher cuts, which are just as tasty (and nutritious) after being cooked for several hours.

The slow-cooker also saves you time, because the cooking is passive. Slow-cookers are designed to be safe even when they are unattended. Most of us would be wary about leaving the oven or stove turned on while we were away from the house for several hours. With a slow-cooker, however, this is perfectly acceptable.

2. Eating at Restaurants

Paleo need not be “socially isolating.” Sure, if your friends are going out for pizza and sodas, you should probably pass, but at most restaurants you’ll find plenty of Paleo-compliant choices. Go for grilled meat or fish plus steamed vegetables or a salad. Salad dressings will typically have canola or other vegetable oils, so ask your server to bring you olive oil and lemon juice on the side.

3. Lunch On the Go

The reality of our modern lifestyles is that you probably won’t be able to eat every meal at home. Get into the habit of taking your lunch with you, especially if you work at an office. Make a Paleo meal, preferably something that tastes good cold, and get some glass or BPA-free plastic storage containers with lids that lock into place. Usually, you can find mini-size containers for sauces and dressing, so as to avoid soggy salads.

4. Strategic Leftovers

Another key to minimizing kitchen time is using leftovers strategically. This starts by intentionally cooking extras, with the plan of using these extras for upcoming meals. For example, you’re cooking steaks. Cook one or two more than you need. Let them cool and then refrigerate. Later, slice thinly with a sharp knife. Add this to a salad. Congratulations, you’re salad has just become a complete meal. You can do the same thing with turkey, duck, lamb, and other meats.

5. Making Fabulous Sauces

A great way to fancy up your vegetable dishes is with sauces. Sure, you could just drizzle some coconut oil or olive oil on salads and steamed vegetables, but sauces bring these foods to another level, which might be important for you, especially if you are seeking more variety and when cooking for family or friends.

Here’s a simple sauce strategy. You’ll need a blender, preferably a small one. Blend a small handful of nuts (cashews, almonds, or macadamia) with a couple spoons of olive oil, a few spoons of lemon juice, and a handful of washed herbs (stems removed), like parsley, cilantro, or mint. Add just enough water to achieve a smooth, creamy texture.

You’ll find plenty more tips and tricks throughout this website. Start the New Year off right. Make Paleo work for you!

holiday weight gain

The sea of candies and chocolates will continue to flood supermarket shelves from now through Valentine’s Day. Consumers often think, “It is only one day of the year, why not indulge?” The truth is it is not just one day of the year, but rather one of many days, including all holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, that center around sweets and treats. Today’s food environments exploit people’s biological, psychological, social, and economic vulnerabilities, encouraging them to eat unhealthy foods.1 The obesity and type two diabetes pandemic prevails, with 23.6 million people in the United States, who struggle with Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.2 A lackadaisical approach to nutrition continues to prove unsuccessful in achieving one’s best health.

We are embarking on the season of weight gain.3  On average, weight gain during the 6-weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year averages only 0.37 kg. However, weight gain is greater among individuals who are overweight or obese, with 14% gaining over 2.3 kg during the holidays.4 In addition, weight gain during the holiday season accounts for 51% of annual weight gain among individuals.5 It’s no wonder that so many people hope to lose their excess weight in the New Year, which turns out to be an ill-fated resolution.6 Be prudent this year and avoid adding weight during the holidays to maintain your long-term health and a smaller waistline.

The old school of thought many parents subscribed to suggested kids should be allowed to eat whatever they want because they don’t need to worry about their weight. Children are in fact not immune to the destructive nature of diets high in refined sugars and excess carbohydrates. Sadly, during the past two decades, the prevalence of obesity in children has risen greatly worldwide.7 Childhood obesity has contributed to an increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome among children.8 Enjoying a few pieces of candy on Halloween isn’t the most detrimental to a child’s body, but eating a few pieces each day until it runs out won’t instill an understanding of the adverse effects of sugar and chemicals like high fructose corn syrup in your child.

We are constantly assaulted with processed, refined sugar containing foods from the fresh baked pastries lurking in the display while you order coffee to the snacks offered at your child’s soccer match. The Paleo Diet permits the 85:15 rule, which provides flexibility to make choices that work best for your modern lifestyle and palette. The challenge is how to limit yourself and your children to three non-Paleo compliant meals per week during the holiday season.

Practice Mindfulness

It’s easy to get distracted at holiday parties, leading many to make unhealthful food choices and indulge in too much food and alcohol. Research indicates mindful eating may be an effective approach for weight management and glycemic control.9 Make a conscious choice for what goes into your mouth – those chocolates won’t magically appear in your stomach. Take a few deep breaths listen to your body to recognize when you are about 80% full to avoid overeating.

Be Accountable

The frosted Halloween cupcakes and sugar cookies your co-workers brought to the breakroom sure are tempting. But how do you balance them with last night’s pasta dinner and tomorrow’s pizza and pumpkin beer party? Be honest with yourself about the choices you make and plan for what lies in the week ahead. Hold yourself accountable and if you need to deviate from a strict Paleo path, stay within three non-compliant meals per week. Keep in mind that you are faced daily with a slippery slope of options you may regret choosing.

Indulge Responsibly

The foundation of the Paleo diet is centered on consuming whole, real foods. However, it is not about restriction and suffering. During the holidays and special occasions you can enjoy your celebratory treats, especially when you stick to the 85:15 rule. Seek out the highest quality ingredients; preferably indulging in a Paleo-friendly, homemade sweet, that has the lowest glycemic load.

Cheers to your health as we embark upon the holiday season!


1. Batch, Jennifer A., and Louise A. Baur. “Management and prevention of obesity and its complications in children and adolescents.” The Lancet (2015).

2. Bliss, Amanda K., and Sanjay Gupta. “High fructose corn syrup.” Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 23.3 (2011): 228-229.

3. Bliss, Amanda K., and Sanjay Gupta. “High fructose corn syrup.” Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 23.3 (2011): 228-229.

4. Roberts, Susan B. “Holiday weight gain: fact or fiction?.” Nutrition reviews 58.12 (2000): 378-379.

5. Roberts, Susan B. “Holiday weight gain: fact or fiction?.” Nutrition reviews 58.12 (2000): 378-379.

6. Kassirer, Jerome P., and Marcia Angell. “Losing weight—an ill-fated New Year’s resolution.” New England Journal of Medicine 338.1 (1998): 52-54.

7. Ebbeling, Cara B., Dorota B. Pawlak, and David S. Ludwig. “Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure.” The lancet 360.9331 (2002): 473-482.

8. Boney, Charlotte M., et al. “Metabolic syndrome in childhood: association with birth weight, maternal obesity, and gestational diabetes mellitus.” Pediatrics115.3 (2005): e290-e296.

9. Miller, Carla K., et al. “Comparative effectiveness of a mindful eating intervention to a diabetes self-management intervention among adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot study.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics112.11 (2012): 1835-1842.


The Paleo Diet : Eat This, Not That

One of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays and the season of giving with our family is with food. Starting with Thanksgiving and ending through New Year’s Day, we dish up recipes from generations past. These classic holiday dishes often rely heavily on white flour and refined sugar. It can be overwhelming to the Paleo Dieter to navigate the decadent buffets, endless parade of sweets, and extravagant meals that accompany the season.

Luckily, it is still possible to follow the Paleo Diet principles, while enjoying the festive foods associated with the holidays. Staying the course by following Dr. Cordain’s 85:15 Rule will help you feel your best, discourage excess weight gain, and boost your immune system into the New Year.

What are your favorite traditional foods to eat during the holiday season? How can you tweak them to abide by the Paleo Diet? Tell us in comments!

Eat This Not That: The Paleo Diet

Stephanie Vuolo

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.


Woman With The Flu


Flu season is just around the corner. Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between five and 20 percent of the U.S. population contract the flu each year, and as many as 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. [1]

Is the flu vaccine the answer? Many of us seem to think it is. In fact, 43 percent of the American population choose to receive it each year, especially those who are ‘high risk,’ such as the elderly, babies over six months old, and pregnant women. [2]

So, what are the reasons to get it? There’s one rather obvious answer: to avoid getting the flu.

And the reasons not to? The CDC reports that mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, and aches. Rare but serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness, and high fever. [3]

Another reason to reconsider the vaccine is that the strain of any given flu shot may not protect against other versions that rear their ugly heads.

Finally, it’s not just the flu vaccine that’s injected into your body when you receive it. [4] Other ingredients include:

  1. Antibiotics: To prevent bacteria formation during production and storage, manufacturers add antibiotics such as gentamicin or neomycin.
  2. Formaldehyde: This ingredient is used to deactivate and decontaminate the flu viruses and toxins in the vaccine.
  3. Chicken egg proteins: Historically, most flu viruses have been grown in fertilized chicken eggs, as this environment allows viruses to grow and reproduce. Viruses are separated from the egg and added to the vaccine after completing development; in the process, trace amounts of chicken egg protein are transferred. As a result, people with an egg protein allergy should rethink getting a flu shot.
  4. Canine (dog) kidney cells: Instead of being grown in chicken eggs, two vaccines, Flucelvax and Flucelvax Quadrivalent, are grown in a canine kidney cell line and inactivated with a detergent called cetyltrimethylammonium bromide.
  5. Gelatin: Pork-based gelatin acts as a stabilizer for the purpose of helping to maintain the flu vaccine’s effectiveness from production to use, and shields the vaccine from harmful heat- or freeze-drying effects.
  6. Thimerosal: This preservative contains approximately 50 percent mercury. While it’s no longer found in most pediatric vaccines, it’s used in multidose vials of flu vaccines to help prevent contamination by bacteria, fungi, or other germs, as the vial is repeatedly used.


Taking a more natural approach

So, what should you do if you want to arm yourself against influenza but prefer a more natural line of defense? Focus on optimizing your gut health, which is one of the most significant ways to reduce inflammation in the body.

When our bodies become inflamed, external factors that typically might not be problematic become much more of a threat. Since our guts are where sickness (and health) begin, reducing inflammation in our bodies through diet will help boost our immune systems, without the side effects. That means we can keep flu-free on our own.

A certain amount of inflammation in the body is a good thing. For example, the inflammatory process we experience after a tough workout helps the body recover. However, if infection or recurrent injury occurs, inflammation can become a chronic condition that can lead to other, more serious, health issues.

Chronic inflammation causes messenger molecules of the immune system to tell other parts of the immune system to kick into action. Once the immune system receives these messages, it will get to work by attacking bacteria and viruses, increasing blood flow, clearing out dying cells, and repairing unhealthy tissue; this is referred to as an “inflammatory response” (5).

There are many things you can do to reduce systemic inflammation, such as reducing overall stress levels and improving stress management, and improving how you sleep, rest, recover, and move. That said, if your eating habits aren’t optimized, you’re sacrificing a huge part of your health foundation.

By eating a diet rich in net-alkaline forming foods, while simultaneously avoiding foods that are known to create an acidic pH and lead to inflammation—foods such as sugar, processed foods, gluten, grains, and dairy products—we can set the stage for allowing the gut to begin to heal.

Next, by adding in regular doses of gut-boosting foods which specifically help to fight off the flu, we further allow the gut to flourish.

Below are my top-five preferred ways to fend off nasty colds and flus:

  1. Bone broth: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices. This helps support proper digestion and significantly inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses. [6]
  2. Raw garlic: By raising blood levels of T cells, garlic ensures that the immune system is well prepared to meet and disarm the viruses responsible for the common cold and the flu. [7]
  3. Oil of oregano: By thinning the mucous in lungs recovering from a bout of cold or flu, oil of oregano allows for easier breathing and faster removal of the virus. [8]
  4. Turmeric: This spice, belonging to the ginger family, contains curcumin, an important bioactive ingredient with several exceptional medicinal properties, including as a remedy for cold.
  5. Oysters: This seafood contains more zinc per serving than any other food, which makes it far superior to taking a zinc lozenge hidden in a candy.

The decision to get a flu shot for yourself, your aging parents, or your children is a personal one. Having a better understanding of what may be in that flu shot, as well as the knowledge of some naturopathic (and risk-free) alternatives, will enable you to make the best, most comfortable decision for your health.

The author of this article is not a physician. Here at the Paleo Diet we recommend maximizing your chances of fighting off the flu with diet and natural approaches, but we also do not recommend against vaccination. That is each person’s choice.
– The Paleo Diet Team


(1) https://www.sharecare.com/health/cold-and-flu/how-common-is-influenza
(2) https://www.bustle.com/p/how-many-adults-got-their-flu-shot-in-2018-a-new-survey-shows-less-than-half-have-gotten-it-so-far-14972602
(3) https://www.livescience.com/40279-flu-shot-information.html
(4) https://articles.mercola.com/flu-shot-side-effects.aspx
(5) http://thescienceofeating.com/2017/10/04/inflammation-makes-us-sick-heal/
(6) https://healthimpactnews.com/2014/home-made-bone-broths-for-healing-including-fighting-the-flu/
(7) http://www.progressivehealth.com/can-raw-garlic-cure-your-cold-flu.htm
(8) https://www.livestrong.com/article/495376-oil-of-oregano-vs-colds-flu/

The days are getting shorter and the sun isn’t shining quite as bright, but if you’re like us, you’re not ready yet to give up your picnics. Besides, now that the hot days of summer are behind us, eating outdoors has never been more fun. Get inspired with these Paleo Picnic Ideas for the early Fall.


Color Pop Kale Slaw

Here’s a refreshing twist on a picnic classic. Gone are the days of wilting, mushy tubs of coleslaw and potato salad. Add some crunch to your brunch with local vegetables, powerhouse antioxidants, and rich flavor.

The Chop

  • 1 small bunch dinosaur kale, shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 – 2 carrots, finely grated
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas

The Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

Toss fresh vegetables in a large salad bowl, pour dressing, toss again, and top with seeds. Crunch, munch, and help yourself to seconds!


Powerhouse Peppers

These antipasto stuffed peppers are the bee’s knees! Quick, easy, and delicious, this dish will make sandwiches seem like yesterday’s stale bread.

The Good Stuff 

  • ½ pound ground grass-fed beef, chicken, or pork
  • 4 large sweet or green peppers, locally sourced
  • 1 jar artichoke salad (salt-free)
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

Prep and Serve

Pick your pepper; sliced long ways into boats or snip the tops off and stuff like apples. Either style is sure to be delicious. Clean out the seeds and ribs, then begin layering. Start with meat add artichokes, layer with remaining ingredients, and repeat. Expert foodie tip: apple-style peppers are more convenient for picnic lunches. Simply pop the top back on, wrap, and take on the go.


Cucumber Craze

Looking to refuel from a mid-morning run? Cucumbers are your best workout buddy. Hydrating, antioxidant rich, and beneficial in regulating blood sugar, getting your greens has never been easier. No need to cheat on your fitness regime at the first sign of a Fall cookout. A great way to ensure there are always Paleo options is to bring a side and share the joy of wellness!

Chop 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh cucumber into cubes and create your own inspired dish by adding;

  •  1 cup of melon (honey dew, watermelon, and cantaloupe are seasonal favorites)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Top with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar

For added flair, garnish with a sprig of mint.


Main Delish

Grilled Mustard Chicken


Skip the burgers and hold the hot dogs! Grilled mustard chicken with walnut sauce is BBQ ready and packed with protein.

The Secret Sauce

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Grill Bird

  • 4 chicken legs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced thyme
  • Chopped walnuts, freshly cracked pepper and parsley, to garnish

In a blender, combine sauce ingredients until evenly mixed. Dip chicken legs in balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with parsley and thyme. Grill on low heat. Marinate and serve with green beans.


All Aboard the Snack Wagon

A picnic wouldn’t be complete without snacks and desserts! Here are a few Paleo-friendly ideas that are sure to inspire.

  • Replace chips with baked plantains, lightly seasoned with pepper and olive oil.
  • Play with your food and get creative with fun fruit designs and serving ideas for the kids.
  • Embrace the sunshine and serve up shaved ice or sorbet using whole, unsweetened fruit juice and Paleo-friendly toppings like Goji berries, cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut shreds.

Looking for more great recipes? Check out Paleo approved Oysters on the Half Shell.


Man with alzheimers


[This article discusses health improvements based, at least in part, on a ketogenic diet. Dr. Loren Cordain and many others, including The Paleo Diet editorial review board, don’t recommend or endorse long-term ketogenic dieting for the general public. They do acknowledge that it can be effective if used short-term and as a therapeutic measure for Alzheimer’s and other diseases.]

Peter Dredge’s book Beating Alzheimer’s, the enemy at the gate: turning despair into hope and action [1], recounts his wife Ann’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis and their intense struggle with both the disease and “conventional” medical treatment. They refused to accept what most of us believe; that Alzheimer’s is unstoppable, incurable, and irreversible (at one-point Ann was offered euthanasia.) Instead, they researched every nontraditional alternative.

They discovered the work of Dr. Mary Newport [2] and Dr. Dale Bredesen [3] and using that work as a guide, they achieved both short term relief from the worst symptoms, and measurable reversal of the condition. Ann, initially given only three months to live, is sometimes referred to as “probably the first New Zealander to come back from end-stage Alzheimer’s” [4].

Diet and supplementation contributed heavily to Ann’s progress. Drs. Newport and Bredesen, among many others, have exhaustively researched how the conventional Western diet, heavy in carbs, sugar, inflammatory oils and additives, can create a “perfect storm” in the brain. While food choices are not the only Alzheimer’s culprits, dietary changes can be pivotal in slowing—and even reversing—cognitive decline.


Dr. Newport and coconut oil

Dr. Newport’s husband Steve also suffered early-onset Alzheimer’s. Frustrated by conventional medicine’s lack of options, she began her own internet research. As passionately and painstakingly described in her book Alzheimer’s Disease – What If There Was A Cure? The Story of Ketones, [3] she discovered research on a prototype “medical food” (Ketasyn, a forerunner of Axona [5]) for dementia patients. The food was based on medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut and palm kernel oil. Since the food itself was not yet available, Dr. Newport calculated the available MCT’s in coconut oil and added this to Steve’s diet.

Steve responded dramatically and immediately to coconut oil, and later MCT oil, consuming both regularly. His caregivers, including Dr. Newport, all noticed that he “was back,” with improved life and coping skills (dexterity, gait, personality,) better short-term memory, and measurably improved cognitive exam scores. Two years later, “stable” MRI results showed that there had been little, if any, additional brain atrophy during this oil-supplementation phase.

Steve did not experience a miracle cure, but rather measurable, intermittent relief from the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s over fifteen years. Average life expectancy after diagnosis is 3-11 years [6]. During this time, the family diet was gradually modified along more classic ketogenic, or at least lower-carb lines. Steve also later used prototype “ketone esters,” then being developed by Dr. Richard Veech et al. [7]

Like Steve, Ann Dredge also responded quickly to a 60/40 MCT to coconut oil mixture. Four ounces each day, caused her daily, hour-long full-body twitching episodes to disappear. The same mixture could alleviate any rare recurrence. Dressing herself became much easier, and the oil mixture would also help calm Ann during what Peter calls “more-delusional episodes” of anxiety and confusion.

Ann also follows a ketogenic diet, exercises when possible, minimizes stress, and continues to use the oil mixture to this day. Symptoms often resume or intensify if she misses a dose. [1]


Ketones and the brain

Dr. Newport’s original 2008 case study [8], available on her website, succinctly introduces ketones, and ketosis, in the context of Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases. Ketosis, the body’s use of fat-derived “ketone bodies” for energy (instead of glucose) has been widely popularized in the last few years due to the ketogenic diet craze.

As most keto dieters know, our bodies (and brains) come “factory equipped” to function in the absence of exogenous glucose. While we manufacture some glucose internally, due to our ability to survive on ketones, we don’t need to consume additional glucose in order to maintain bodily function. Keto texts, including Dr. Newport’s, often refer to starvation or fasting as a normal context for ketosis, but low-enough carbohydrate dieting produces the same result.

Interestingly, full ketosis is not the only way to increase available ketones—especially for use by the brain.

High fat foods and supplements like coconut or MCT oil can provide medium-chain triglycerides, which are readily converted to ketones. These become available immediately in the bloodstream. MCT oil supplementation, in particular, has been shown to increase bioavailable ketones even without reducing dietary carbohydrates [13]. The brain will preferentially use available ketones even if glucose is also present. That is, full ketosis is not required for the brain to take advantage of ketones [9]. One reason, or perhaps the main reason, for this is that ketones freely cross the blood-brain barrier.

Glucose, on the other hand, requires a more complex chemical process (involving insulin) to be made available to the brain.

Alzheimer’s is often characterized by insulin insensitivity in the brain and has been called “Type 3 Diabetes” by some researchers [10]. They theorize that the brain atrophies over time as glucose provides less and less available energy—even if ingested in prodigious amounts. They also note that the brain can develop this insensitivity even if the patient is not clinically “diabetic” [11].


Strong anecdotal evidence

Steve and Ann’s quick reactions to ingesting medium- and long-change triglycerides, metabolized into ketone bodies, appears to show that energy deprivation in the brain could be a major contributor to Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Newport carefully gathered numerous testimonials in her books, which she received during heroic efforts to raise awareness of Steve’s progress, both within and outside of the medical community. Not everyone responds as quickly or easily as Steve, or Ann Dredge, but even the slightest improvement can be welcome to the afflicted, as well as desperate family members or caregivers.

It should be noted that this “oil therapy” is not a cure but appears to slow, arrest and mitigate—sometime even reverse—multiple gross Alzheimer’s symptoms.

According to Dr. Dale Bredesen (a neurologist specializing in Alzheimer’s research,) insulin resistance is only one of several possible contributing co-factors to Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Nevertheless, his own protocol is also based on a ketogenic diet, including supplemental MCT or coconut oil. [3] His book also contains many corroborative case studies and testimonials.

Dr. Bredesen’s protocol will be examined in a subsequent article.


Lack of mainstream acceptance

The Dredges, Newports, and Dr. Bredesen have all experienced resistance on many levels as they explored or tried to promote awareness of these ideas.

Peter Dredge recounts repeated instances of vigorous opposition to the idea that Alzheimer’s could be treated. He has often been treated very negatively and was even threatened with legal proceedings to remove Ann from his care. His courageous refusal to accept conventional medicine’s death sentence on his beloved wife is a strong theme throughout his book. Ann is still with us.

Dr. Newport similarly describes being repeatedly stymied as she tried to follow conventional pathways to raise awareness of Steve’s modest recovery. Attempts to exhibit or speak at Alzheimer’s Association-sponsored events were denied or shut down, once with a public announcement that the Association “did not support” coconut oil research. She was also privately told that “extensive clinical trials” would be needed before her ideas could be publicly discussed.

As Dr. Bredesen’s book [3] shows, money for “extensive clinical trials” is controlled by various institutional review boards and hard to come by. His own protocol was denied funding as “too complicated,” despite many successful case studies [12].

Conventional medicine’s intransigence, especially when faced with effective but non-traditional methodologies, is well known to Paleo readers—many of whom have resolved serious health conditions by abandoning conventional dietary advice.

The stories of Peter and Ann Dredge, and the work of Drs. Newport and Bredesen, deserve much wider awareness.



  1. Beating Alzheimer’s, The Enemy at the Gate: Turning Despair into Hope and Action EBook: Peter Dredge: Gateway. https://www.amazon.com/Beating-Alzheimers-Enemy-Gate-Turning-ebook/dp/B07HH67GV3/ref=sr_1_4 crid=1OL2PXR69Y6EO&keywords=beating+alzheimers&qid=1560174789&s=gateway&sprefix=beating+al%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-4.
  2. Newport, Mary T. Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?: The Story of Ketones. Second edition, Basic Health Publications, Inc, 2013.
  3. Bredesen, Dale E. The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2017.
  4. “Beating Alzheimer’s Disease? Anne Dredge’s ‘huge Improvements’ with Dale Bredesen Treatment.” RNZ, 21 Sept. 2018, https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018663546/beating-alzheimer-s-disease-anne-dredge-s-huge-improvements-with-dale-bredesen-treatment.
  5. Henderson, Samuel T., et al. “Study of the Ketogenic Agent AC-1202 in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Trial.” Nutrition & Metabolism, vol. 6, 2009, p. 31. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, doi:10.1186/1743-7075-6-31.
  6. “What to Know about the Stages of Alzheimer’s.” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/alzheimers-stages/art-20048448.
  7. Kashiwaya, Yoshihiro, et al. “A Ketone Ester Diet Exhibits Anxiolytic and Cognition-Sparing Properties, and Lessens Amyloid and Tau Pathologies in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 34, no. 6, June 2013, pp. 1530–39. PubMed, doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.11.023.
  8. Newport, Mary. “What If There Was a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and No One Knew?  A Case Study by Dr. Mary Newport.” www.CoconutKetones.Com , Mary Newport, MD, 22 July 2008, http://coconutketones.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/whatifcure.pdf.
  9. Reger, Mark A., et al. “Effects of β-Hydroxybutyrate on Cognition in Memory-Impaired Adults.” Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 25, no. 3, Mar. 2004, pp. 311–14. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1016/S0197-4580(03)00087-3.
  10. de la Monte, Suzanne M., and Jack R. Wands. “Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed.” Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology (Online), vol. 2, no. 6, Nov. 2008, pp. 1101–13.
  11. Schilling, Melissa A. “Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Making Sense of the Relationship between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease 1.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 51, no. 4, Jan. 2016, pp. 961–77. content.iospress.com, doi:10.3233/JAD-150980.
  12. Bredesen, Dale E. “Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A Novel Therapeutic Program.” Aging, vol. 6, no. 9, Sept. 2014, pp. 707–17. PubMed, doi:10.18632/aging.100690.
  13. Courchesne-Loyer, Alexandre, et al. “Stimulation of Mild, Sustained Ketonemia by Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols in Healthy Humans: Estimated Potential Contribution to Brain Energy Metabolism.” Nutrition, vol. 29, no. 4, Apr. 2013, pp. 635–40. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.nut.2012.09.009.


salmon with cilantro pine nut sauce and creamy zoodlesOmega3s anyone?  We are fortunate to be living in a time when fresh, wild salmon is fairly easy to find at your local market.  This delicious fish is certainly a Paleo Diet® favorite due to the versatility in preparing it and the mild flavor.  The high Omega3 content can’t be beat when you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  This simple to prepare dish paired with its sidekick, Creamy Zoodles, will impress everyone around your table.   


Salmon Ingredients and Preparation 

  • 1/2 small bunch cilantro, leaves only -rinse and pat dry 
  • 3-1/2 ounces olive oil 
  • 1-1/2 ounces water 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • tablespoon pine nuts (optional garnish) 
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed well (optional) 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 2 wild caught, skin-on salmon fillets 



In a food processor, combine the cilantro, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, and capers. Process until mostly smooth. Set aside. 

Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin side down. Cook for 2 minutes then turn the heat down to medium. Cook an additional 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets), until mostly cooked through and just pink in the middle. Turn fillets over and cook an additional 1 minute.  Remove from heat and place on serving platter.  Spoon sauce over tops of salmon and garnish with pine nuts.  


Zoodle Ingredients and Preparation 

  • 5 large washed zucchinis 
  • Tablespoon. coconut oil 

For the Sauce: 

  • 1 large avocado (remove pit) 
  • 12 fresh basil leaves 
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic 
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon, or 2 tablespoons. lemon juice 
  • tablespoons. extra virgin olive oil 
  • Diced tomato (garnish) 



Spiralize (or Zoodle) your zucchinis (you can slice lengthwise and julienne if you don’t have a spiralizer) and place in a colanderAdd the sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. 

Place asauté pan over medium-high heat, add coconut oil. Add the zucchini to pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add the avocado sauce and toss until the noodles are thoroughly coated in sauce. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutesand garnish with diced tomato

Serve with salmon filets.

Serves 2. 

salmon with cilantro pine nut sauce and creamy zoodles

salmon with cilantro pine nut sauce and creamy zoodles ingredients

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