Tag Archives: paleo lifestyle

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.

You're Paleo Too? Swipe Right: Paleo Dating | The Paleo Diet

Are you seeking a lactose intolerant cavewoman, ideally with celiac disease, who wears sunglasses at night?  As the Paleo movement was just gaining traction a few years ago, John Durant of The Paleo Manifesto joined The Colbert Report, delving into the idea of a modern, happily barefoot, hunter-gatherer interested in dating someone like this. All laughs aside, it actually isn’t far from the truth for single Paleo men and women in search of love. In fact, a new trend has emerged in matchmaking websites aimed for specific diet and exercise preferences, including those who follow the Paleo lifestyle.  Although having similar interests can support a new relationship, there’s more to it, and even researchers haven’t solved the mystery of how and why we choose who we love.1,2

Stories lead us to believe that it was commonplace for a caveman to club his chosen cavewoman and drag her by the hair to his den.  The ancestral state of early human relations is actually not well known due to the lack of conclusive archaeological evidence.3 The above scenario is unlikely based upon what we know from research on the interactions between men and women in present day hunter-gatherer societies. The characteristics that lead to attraction in hunter-gatherer tribes are not purely based on physical appearance. Even though, there is evidence we are programmed to look for a high reproductive capacity in a partner,4 such as through shoulder to hips and hips to waist ratios.5, 6In the Hazda of Tanzania, men value fertility and work ethic, while women look for a man with intelligence and foraging capability.7  Ethnographic evidence from other foraging societies indicates that, parents strongly influence the mating decisions for both their sons and daughters.8

We have much more choice when selecting a partner today, where it appears that there is a preference for partners who we perceive as similar to ourselves across a number of characteristics, called the “likes-attracts” rule.9 For those following a Paleo diet, it would be appealing to find a supportive partner who understands these choices or one that is interested in living similarly.

Navigate the dating jungle and highlight the assets your Paleo lifestyle brings to the table.


Although a profile name “PaleoGirl4You” paired with a snapshot of you gnawing on a T-bone while wearing blue blocking glasses might be overkill in the world of Paleo dating, be forthcoming about your lifestyle choices early in any relationship. Honesty is the best policy, and will make it easier for your date to understand why you won’t be indulging in a supersized cola and mint candy during a movie date.


The social penetration theory is a process of self-disclosure that proposes the most closeness will develop in relationships that move gradually from shallow levels of communication towards deeper, more intimate ones.10 Instead of aiming to lure your date in before mentioning your Paleo lifestyle, be yourself and share what’s important to you. However, keep it simple and remember you’ll have time to reveal more details about it as the relationship develops.


The Paleo lifestyle implies your dedication to health and is authenticated by the choices you make on a daily basis. Your dates may not yet have had the opportunity to make similar changes. Therefore, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if he orders pasta for dinner.


There are plenty of venues that are Paleo dating-friendly. Do something active like throwing a Frisbee in a park, go paint pottery, or visit tourist attractions in your hometown. You can even still share a delicious meal together, as most restaurants either offer or are flexible to provide dishes that are Paleo, or you can utilize the 85:15 rule during those times.

Despite the trend of dating based on eating style services, chances are your Paleo lifestyle won’t deter someone from falling in love with you especially if you demonstrate a mutual respect for one another’s choices.11 Phew. Embrace your Paleo lifestyle as you “forage” for the right mate. He or she is out there somewhere; evolution has insured that in order to support the longevity of our species.



[1] Miller, Geoffrey F. “How mate choice shaped human nature: A review of sexual selection and human evolution.” Handbook of evolutionary psychology: Ideas, issues, and applications (1998): 87-129.

[2] Zietsch, Brendan P., et al. “Variation in human mate choice: simultaneously investigating heritability, parental influence, sexual imprinting, and assortative mating.” The American Naturalist 177.5 (2011): 605.

[3] Walker, Robert S., et al. “Evolutionary history of hunter-gatherer marriage practices.” PLoS One 6.4 (2011): e19066.

[4] Buss, David M. “Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures.” Behavioral and brain sciences 12.01 (1989): 1-14.

[5] DeBruine, Lisa M., et al. “The health of a nation predicts their mate preferences: cross-cultural variation in women’s preferences for masculinized male faces.”Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277.1692 (2010): 2405-2410.

[6] Gangestad, Steven W., and Glenn J. Scheyd. “The evolution of human physical attractiveness.” Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 34 (2005): 523-548.

[7] Marlowe, Frank W. “Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers.” Human Nature 15.4 (2004): 365-376.

[8] Apostolou, Menelaos. “Sexual selection under parental choice: The role of parents in the evolution of human mating.” Evolution and Human Behavior 28.6 (2007): 403-409.

[9] Buston, Peter M., and Stephen T. Emlen. “Cognitive processes underlying human mate choice: The relationship between self-perception and mate preference in Western society.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100.15 (2003): 8805-8810.

[10] Altman, I., Vinsel, A., & Brown, B. (1981). Dialectic conceptions in social psychology: An application to social penetration and privacy regulation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 14. p. 107–160.

[11] Frei, Jennifer R., and Phillip R. Shaver. “Respect in close relationships: Prototype definition, self‐report assessment, and initial correlates.” Personal Relationships 9.2 (2002): 121-139.



Human breast milk is often called liquid gold, and should be considered the most original Paleo food available in modern times. Although today’s standards for the human diet have migrated away from our evolutionary roots,1 research still supports numerous health benefits for both infants and their mothers when breastfeeding exclusively during the first six months of life.2

However, it turns out that is quite challenging for mothers today to stick to these guidelines, often citing insufficient milk supply or a still hungry infant as the main reasons to supplement with commercial formulas or to abandon nursing altogether.3 One study showed that 92% of new mothers experienced issues, such as difficulty with the infant latching on to the breast, pain during nursing and a fear of insufficient milk production during the first week postpartum.4

Breastfeeding isn’t easy. Primate behavior indicates that breastfeeding requires learning for both mother and infant in order to be successful. We need to revise our current expectations for a realistic perspective on the process5 and support women as they form a solid feeding relationship with their babies, just as hunter-gatherers pulled together in their communities.6,7,8

It’s safe to assume, that our Paleolithic ancestors were able to successfully feed their newborns human milk, despite that is isn’t an intuitive process and requires learning,9 and the obstacles faced by their modern counterparts today didn’t discourage them. Many factors are at play, such as the parent’s attitudes and mothers returning to work outside the home that influence the declining rates and duration of breastfeeding,10 which typically lasts two to four months compared to two to four years for contemporary hunter-gatherer populations.11

Today women have the choice and privilege whether or not and for how long to breastfeed. However, many mothers experience anxiety and frustration over their perceived lack of ability to nourish their child without supplementation12 with commercial infant formula, which may feel like the only option available to them.

What tools from the Paleo lifestyle can we provide to mothers today to empower them to successfully and sufficiently breastfeed their young?


Without the availability of cribs and strollers, hunter-gatherers were more likely to carry their young. Skin to skin contact between mother and baby have been shown to increase breastfeeding success. 13 Lactation is a neuro-hormonal process involving intact neural pathways and further activated by the mechanical action of the infant’s demand for milk. Therefore, the more frequent and longer the time an infant is encouraged to feed, the greater response from the body to adequately produce milk,14,15 and increase its fat content.16


The nutrient-dense Paleo diet provides mothers with the appropriate building blocks for rich breast milk,17 with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids similar to those found in traditional societies. 18 The nutritional composition of breast milk is dynamic and varied depending on the infant’s needs.19,20 In general, the fat content of breast milk is 35% – 50% saturated fat, where 20% of the content is lauric and capric acid.21 Cooking with coconut milk and coconut oil can significantly boost lauric and capric acid concentrations of breast milk.22


Hunter-gatherer women didn’t have the societal pressure to try and “do it all” like women today who juggle a family and career, while still in the postpartum year. The levels of anxiety, fatigue, and stress experienced today are all major inhibitors of lactation. 23 It is also common for women who received interventions during delivery, such as the use of pain medications or C-sections to have delayed onset lactation further leading to the pressures on a new mother.24  Luckily, breastfeeding suppresses the physiological and physical responses to stress.25

The Paleo lifestyle can boost a mother’s confidence, and allow her body to respond to the demands of her infant, which will impact her ability to nurse her baby as long as she chooses.



[1] Cordain, Loren, et al. “Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 81.2 (2005): 341-354.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. “Breastfeeding trends and updated national health objectives for exclusive breastfeeding–United States, birth years 2000-2004.” MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 56.30 (2007): 760.

[3] Wagner, Erin A., et al. “Breastfeeding concerns at 3 and 7 days postpartum and feeding status at 2 months.” Pediatrics (2013): peds-2013.

[4] Nommsen-Rivers, Laurie A., et al. “Comfort with the idea of formula feeding helps explain ethnic disparity in breastfeeding intentions among expectant first-time mothers.” Breastfeeding Medicine 5.1 (2010): 25-33.

[5] Macadam, Patricia Stuart, and Katherine A. Dettwyler, eds. Breastfeeding: biocultural perspectives. Transaction Publishers, 1995.

[6] Bender, Barbara. “Gatherer‐hunter to farmer: A social perspective.” World archaeology 10.2 (1978): 204-222.

[7] Apicella, Coren L., et al. “Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers.”Nature 481.7382 (2012): 497-501.

[8] Raj, Vinitha Krishna, and Stacey B. Plichta. “The role of social support in breastfeeding promotion: a literature review.” Journal of Human Lactation 14.1 (1998): 41-45.

[9] Volk, Anthony A. “Human breastfeeding is not automatic: Why that’s so and what it means for human evolution.” Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology 3.4 (2009): 305.

[10] Arora, Samir, et al. “Major factors influencing breastfeeding rates: Mother’s perception of father’s attitude and milk supply.” Pediatrics 106.5 (2000): e67-e67.

[11] Li, Ruowei, et al. “Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among US infants: The third national health and nutrition examination survey (Phase II, 1991-1994).”American Journal of Public Health 92.7 (2002): 1107-1110.

[12] Vandiver, Trish A. “Relationship of Mothers’ Perceptions and Behaviors to the Duration of Breastfeeding.” Psychological Reports 80.3c (1997): 1375-1384.

[13] Moore, Elizabeth R., and Gene Cranston Anderson. “Randomized Controlled Trial of Very Early Mother‐Infant Skin‐to‐Skin Contact and Breastfeeding Status.” Journal of midwifery & women’s health 52.2 (2007): 116-125.

[14] Lawrence, Ruth A. and Lawrence, Robert M. Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession. 5th ed. New York; C.V. Mosby, 1999.

[15] Daly, Steven EJ, and Peter E. Hartmann. “Infant demand and milk supply. Part 1: Infant demand and milk production in lactating women.” Journal of Human Lactation 11.1 (1995): 21-26.

[16]  Kent, Jacqueline C., et al. “Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day.” Pediatrics 117.3 (2006): e387-e395.

[17] Picciano, Mary Frances. “Pregnancy and lactation: physiological adjustments, nutritional requirements and the role of dietary supplements.” The Journal of Nutrition 133.6 (2003): 1997S-2002S.

[18] Innis, Sheila M., and Harriet V. Kuhnlein. “Long-chain n-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Inuit women consuming traditional foods.” Early human development18.2 (1988): 185-189.

[19] Riordan, Jan, and Karen Wambach, eds. Breastfeeding and human lactation. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010

[20] Ballard, Olivia, and Ardythe L. Morrow. “Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors.” Pediatric Clinics of North America 60.1 (2013): 49-74.

[21] Francois, Cindy A., et al. “Acute effects of dietary fatty acids on the fatty acids of human milk.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 67.2 (1998): 301-308.

[22] Koletzko, Berthold, Iris Thiel, and Philip O. Abiodun. “The fatty acid composition of human milk in Europe and Africa.” The Journal of pediatrics 120.4 (1992): S62-S70.

[23] Feher, Stephen DK, et al. “Increasing breast milk production for premature infants with a relaxation/imagery audiotape.” Pediatrics 83.1 (1989): 57-60.

[24] Grajeda, Rubén, and Rafael Pérez-Escamilla. “Stress during labor and delivery is associated with delayed onset of lactation among urban Guatemalan women.” The Journal of nutrition 132.10 (2002): 3055-3060.

[25] Heinrichs, Markus, Inga Neumann, and Ulrike Ehlert. “Lactation and stress: protective effects of breast-feeding in humans.” Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress 5.3 (2002): 195-203.


Dr. Cordain Discusses The Paleo Diet with Native Society

These days, the Paleo diet seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. It was my absolute pleasure to join theNativeSociety.com for both an intelligent and heartfelt interview and contribute to their mission to inspire and aspire individuals worldwide.

Originally published on theNativeSociety.com, April 15, 2015.

Q: How did you get into the health industry?

A: I am primarily an educator, researcher and writer.  I am a Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University where I have taught, mentored students and carried out research for 32 years.

Q: Tell us about The Paleo Diet. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company and future books?

A: In 1987 I read a scientific paper, “Paleolithic Nutrition,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine by S. Boyd Eaton that has influenced my life and career ever since.

I believe that Darwin’s concept of evolution through natural selection will eventually become a universally accepted organizational template for optimal human nutrition.

As randomized controlled trials of the therapeutic effects of contemporary Paleo diets progressively accumulate, I believe that scientists will increasingly publish their findings in scholarly articles and books.

Q: What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to your success?

A: I was lucky enough to be involved in the evolutionary approach to optimal contemporary human nutrition early on, and as such networked with many like minded anthropologists, nutritionists, physicians, scientists and lay people from around the world, just as the internet began to be widely used in the mid 1990s.  The ability to correspond instantaneously with worldwide colleagues allowed some of my ideas to rapidly come to fruition.

Q: What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

A: I am not so much involved in the industry per se, but rather in translating nutritional evolutionary concepts and data into therapeutic dietary strategies to promote health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.  Paleo diets may hold promise for certain autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease) patients.  As such dietary strategies may eventually complement pharmaceutical interventions in these conditions.

Q: What is your Life Motto?

A: Approach life with generous amounts of optimism, hard work, and faith in humanity.

Q: What is Paleo’s Motto?

A: I can’t speak for all of the Paleo community, but here is a notion that may resonate:  Always let the data speak for itself.

Q: What is your greatest success as Founder of The Paleo Movement?

A: Although I may have coined the term “Paleo Diet” with my first book The Paleo Diet in 2002, I certainly was not solely responsible for the concept, as many thousands of dedicated scientists worldwide have been involved in uncovering this very good ideas for all of humanity, including my mentor, Dr. S. Boyd Eaton.

My greatest successes come from hearing about people all over the planet who have improved their health and well being by adopting this life long way of eating.

Q: What is the most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

A: Understanding certain human behavioral frailties and how these shortcomings can sidetrack positive characteristics (trust, honesty, kindness, humility, hope and optimism) that we all maintain as we work collectively for a better future.

To overcome, one must recognize the constructive ramifications of these positive universal human traits and focus upon them for the benefit and survival of our children and our species.

Q: Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

A: Read as much as you can about your topic, but more importantly read widely across disciplines outside of your area of expertise.

Q: Describe the ideal experience using The Paleo Diet.

A: Feeling “good” goes a long way in improving mental health and vice versa.

Q: How do you motivate your employees?

A: My primary occupation is as a University Professor, teacher, graduate student mentor and writer.  To motivate my students, I have always tried to treat them as I myself would like to be treated – ergo with trust, honesty, kindness, humility, hope and optimism.  Similarly, when I write in the popular literature I try to treat my readers with respect and egality.

Q: One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

A: From an evolutionary perspective, humans like all other mammals generally only drink water or obtain water from the foods they consume.  Humans are omnivores and consequently cannot eat a single food to maintain life.

So, let me humor this question – 1) Steamed Alaskan King Crab, and 2) if not water, then a good glass of white wine from anywhere in the world.

Q: What literature is on your bed stand?

A: It varies widely: day to day, week to week and year to year depending upon whatever topic in our universe catches my eye.  I read widely in the natural sciences literature, particularly from scientific journals, but also from non-fiction books, biographies, music, archaeology, cosmology, geology, automobiles, 60’s rock and roll, politics, computers and technology, medicine, evolution, aerospace, history and on ad infinitum.

On yesterday’s nightstand are scientific papers about the famous Manis archaeological site analyzing a hunted pre-Clovis mastodon (dating to 13,800 years ago) in the state of Washington, a recent AJCN paper on folic acid metabolism. Neil Young’s Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life and Cars, and a scientific paper on the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site in Snowmass Village, Colorado in which an incredible plethora of ice age fossils were recently discovered.

Q: Role model – business and personal?

A: I’m not really a business man, so I can’t specifically speak to the topic except to say that humanistic entrepreneurs who eventually put their profits back into people, education, social and economic programs, health care, food, housing and the environment help us collectively as a species.

My personal heroes and heroines are too numerous to fully document.  They include everybody (athletes, scientists, nutritionists, anthropologists, archaeologists, writers, politicians, actors and actresses, rock stars, musicians, clothing designers, women’s rights activists, singers, inventors, businessmen and women, adventurers, discoverers, sailors, physicists, teachers, professors, bus-drivers, nurses, mothers, film producers, architects, engineers, cooks, editors, computer geeks, chefs, laborers, waitresses, student activists, inventors, cowboys, Indians, truck drivers, carpenters, secretaries, queens, kings, farmers, hunter gatherers – everybody!) All are human and all have flaws.  Let’s admire the best of their qualities (also ours) and try to incorporate these positive traits into our lives.

Q: Current passion?

A: Folic acid metabolism and health; diet and autoimmunity; causes of the Younger Dryas geologic era in North America and Europe starting about 12,800 years ago; Springtime in Colorado and North America.

Q: Favorite travel destination?

A: Home.

Q: What’s next for The Paleo Diet and Yourself?

A: Paleo Diet has become an amazing profusion of thoughts and ideas since its popular emergence (1985) in the recent scientific literature – also with my first book The Paleo Diet in 2002 and with its viral surfacing on the internet in about 2009.  I hope that for future generations, “The data will always speak for itself” and that we (as a species) will not be overly influenced by any single charismatic individual, but rather move forward logically, scientifically and collectively as we fully appreciate this most powerful organizational and conceptual template.

For me, the greatest reward in my personal life has always been and always will be children and family.


Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Paleo Parenting | The Paleo Diet

Being a new parent is really hard. There is very little time for yourself, and most likely, that time is spent washing bottles and baby clothes, or taking a beloved five minute shower. When my son was born it seemed like I would never again find the time to cook and eat my once healthy Paleo meals. It was frustrating in the beginning finding time to eat, let alone prepare a meal. As a parent of a newborn, the idea of three leisurely meals a day became a joke, and the idea of going through a drive-through window, or sitting down with the baby and a bag of chips became all the more tempting. Yet, I knew that eating well would give me the energy to conquer the long, sleepless nights, and sometimes longer days. In fact, the one thing I’ve learned in this journey is that taking the small amount of time you do have, to prepare healthy meals, is completely worth your time, and has long lasting beneficial effects.

When it came to preparing food, I kept it very simple. I chose a few meals I knew would be satisfying, and I would continuously repeat those meals. Satisfaction aside, I needed meals I could eat with one hand, often over my newborn’s little head. Yes, I hear you, repeating the same foods sounds boring, and it often was lackluster. But, most of the time, I was just happy to have something in my stomach!

Limited time and a hectic schedule are no excuse to eat whatever you want. And, to be honest, the few times I did get overtired and reach for the donuts or muffins, I woke up the next morning feeling miserable and barely able to get through the day. I knew a slippery slope was quick to happen if I continued down this path. So, I used a food delivery service, allowing me to easily order my groceries from my phone. No excuses, healthy options, and the promise I would feel my best putting good in my body.

Paleo Parenting | The Paleo Diet

Weston Howell post Paleo lunch. Source: Olivia Howell

As a mother, my son’s nutrition took on added importance. When it came time to start my son on solid foods, I discovered something wonderful: I had serendipitously chosen a Paleo pediatrician! She bucked the trend of starting a baby on oatmeal or rice, and we chose sweet potato instead.

People think it’s crazy that I’m not giving him “traditional baby foods,” but I actually find it so much easier! His food could not be more simple to prep. If I’m eating a sweet potato, I’ll mash him some, with coconut milk and cinnamon. I’ll make a thick fruit smoothie of blueberries, bananas, and coconut milk, and freeze portions in non-bleached cupcake cups. When I make a pot of chicken soup with carrots, onions, parsnips, and fresh chicken, I simply blend some for him and freeze it for dinner.

Families often buy special foods for their kids, babies, toddlers, and even teenagers. My son eats what we eat, just a little more mashed up. If I’m on-the-go, I toss an avocado or banana in my bag to mash up for later. We all know food is best shared and having a Paleo baby means we can enjoy it together! Sometimes I’ll just whip up a giant batch of coconut milk-sweet potatoes, and we will eat out of the same bowl.

I’m not going to lie, finding time to prepare food isn’t easy. However, if I’m going to find time for anything in life, it is to make sure that I’m leading a lifestyle which will enable me to feel my best, and be the best parent I can be.

Children learn by example. When you commit and steer clear of the “traditional” baby (and adult) foods your kiddos will follow suit. I’m not wavering when it comes to my health, and especially the health of my child.



Olivia Howell is a new mom living with her son, Weston, and husband on Long Island. When she’s not blogging about parenthood, she is teaching middle school Latin and Ancient History. She is also a quilter, Paleo cook, and loves rearranging her living room on Saturday nights.


Allergic to Fish | The Paleo Diet

Good Morning,

I’ve recently started on the Paleo Diet. I’ve read through your site and others to make sure I’m going about it the right way. What a revelation! It’s fantastic in its simplicity.

My concern is that when I was about 18 I developed an allergy to fish. I have no idea how this happened. I ate two or three nights a week growing up at home. Curiously, this allergy seems to only apply to scaled fish, as I can still eat shellfish. I am 23 years old.

When I eat fish I get terrible heartburn/indigestion, and the last time I tried it, about two years ago, my face started swelling and itching. I saw an allergist who told me to avoid fish because of the potential of a very serious reaction.

What do you recommend I do? It seems like eating seafood is a big part of the Paleo Diet. I’m happy to eat shellfish, but aside from shrimp it’s often prohibitively expensive. Obviously I’m not going to eat fish unless I can “outgrow” the allergy. I was once allergic to eggs, but I’ve gotten over that now.


Maelán Fontes’ Response:

Dear Harrison,

From an evolutionary standpoint fish allergy is nonsense, as it has been part of the human nutrition since, probably, 2-2.5 million years ago.

Allergy is an exaggerated reaction of the body’s immune system against foreign proteins, where the body’s common mucosal immune system (located in the gut, nose, eyes, lungs, etc) increases the production of cell (eosinophils) and/or antibody (IgE) mediated immune response. This leads to histamine release throughout the CMIS and signs and symptoms related to allergy, such as inflammation, redness, itching, sneezing, or anaphylactic shock if acute vasodilatation occurs.

But how or why do fish proteins trigger an allergy reaction?

  1. An early exposure to food proteins, lets say before 3-6 months of life, when the gut associated lymphoid tissue is immature increases the risk of allergy later in life.
  2. An increased intestinal permeability allows food proteins to pass through the gut barrier and skip M-cells mediated oral tolerance, inducing hyper-sensitivity to those proteins.
  3. In the last years a wide body of scientific papers has shed light to what is known as the “hygiene hypothesis”. A correlative association has been shown between increased use of antibiotics and vaccines and inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and allergy, during the last 50 years. Human beings are less exposed to microorganisms, such as intestinal bacteria, than they used to. This leads to lack of immune regulation mediated, in part, by gut and environmental microorganisms.

How can the Paleo Diet help you?

Of course we can not address point 1 but we can do something regarding points 2 and 3.

The Paleo Diet is free of some food known to increase intestinal permeability such as cereal grains, legumes (soya and peanuts), alcohol, tomato, potato, quinoa, amaranth, egg white, alfalfa sprouts and root beer (quillaja extract). By eliminating those foods and eating a diet based on grass produced or free ranging meats, shellfish, vegetables, fruits and nuts your intestinal permeability will decrease and your immune system will be less challenged by those food proteins (fish) and perhaps we can restore immune tolerance to a normal food as fish. For more information about intestinal permeability and nutrition we recommend you to check out our published newsletters section.

Regarding point 3 we suggest you to take a probiotic supplement (6-9 billion/day) for several months.

Other supplements that can help you improve intestinal permeability:

  • Pre-biotic 2-4grs/day
  • L-glutamine 0.2grs/kg body weight one month, then 0.1gr/kg
  • Zinc 25mg/day
  • Vitamin D 2000 IU
  • Omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA=2.6grs/day

I hope this helps.
Maelán Fontes Villalba – MS Ph.D. candidate in Medical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden

Can Paleo Help Ichthyosis? | The Paleo Diet

Dear Loren Cordain/Paleo Diet Team,
I can’t thank you enough for your research. I have been living the Paleo Diet for nearly a year now, and it has completely transformed my life. I had been suffering from Sjogrens syndrome for years, but after starting this diet my symptoms disappeared almost instantly! I will never eat any other way again.

I also have a question. A friend of mine is suffering from ichthyosis. It is a rare disease where skin dries out. It has a genetic cause. Can the Paleo Diet bring relief to people with these type of diseases as well?

Maelán Fontes’ Response:

Ichthyosis Vulgaris has a genetic background. However, our colleague Pedro provided us some information regarding this rare disease. There’s some scant evidence that a gluten-free diet might alleviate symptoms of Ichthyosis, and there appears to be an association with coeliac disease (a gluten-triggered disease).

Folic acid and vitamin D supplementation seems to improve this condition.

There’s a case report of a patient suffering from ichthyosis whose symptoms improved within 6 months of treatment.

Please keep us posted.

Maelán Fontes MS Ph.D. candidate in Medical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden

Affiliates and Credentials