Nourish

So what does the word "Paleo(ish)" actually mean?

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First let’s start with what being Paleo (in the modern sense of the word) actually means. I’m sure you’ve heard/read a lot of incorrect information about it, such as calling it a “fad” diet, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The basis of the Paleo lifestyle is the belief that evolution provides the clues to vibrant health. The development of agriculture, villages, and technology over the last twenty thousand years is a mere blip in comparison to our two million years of being hunter-gatherers.

One of the main arguments lobbed against the Paleo diet is that our ancestors didn’t all eat the same way. This is true—no proper Paleo-devotee would deny it!

Our Paleolithic ancestors didn't all live under the same conditions. There were different environments, stressors, and diets, yet they shared common practices which we can still learn from today. By embracing these practices, you can turn on the genes that optimize your body's form and function, slow down the rate of aging, and feel wonderful.

The other argument is that it’s unnatural and unhealthy to remove food groups (as in grains). This is untrue! There was a long swath of time when our ancestors didn’t consume grains. Once they began cultivating them and making them a main part of their diet, health problems began rising (though starvation was less of a risk!).

Yet removing entire food groups is not even what I advocate for. That’s the true nature of the “ish.”

The Wonderfulness Program isn't dogmatic about being Paleo. I’m not dogmatic about being Paleo. And guess what? You don't have to be, either. There's wiggle room based on what actually works for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Also, you don't live in a cave. You probably enjoy eating in nice restaurants, wearing gorgeous lingerie, and streaming Netflix. That's why it's Paleo(ish).

Speaking of streaming Netflix, have you checked out it’s short docu-series “The Paleo Way”? Host and chef Pete Evans is charming, the locations are gorgeous, and the food looks scrumptious. But it’s the benefits that the Paleo people rave about that make me so happy. You get to see diet and lifestyle change in action!

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Yes, you can dine Paleo(ish) at most restaurants...

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So many things in life are challenging, aren’t they?

Going out to eat shouldn’t be one of them.

When you’re with a group of friends making dinner plans—or you simply want to treat yourself to a meal you didn’t cook—finding a restaurant that caters to a Paleo(ish) way of eating is a breeze.

Most places you go to will have an animal-based protein option and vegetables. Maybe you’ll have to make some substitutions, such as ordering a vegetable dish instead of the pasta or a burrito bowl instead of having it wrapped in a flour tortilla.

But since you have that helpful (ish) after the Paleo, you can even have the occasional grains, legumes, and dairy (provided you’re not sensitive to any of them).

That gives you a lot of options.

I recently was treated to a delicious dinner at Greens at Fort Mason in San Francisco (thank you, my lovely friend!). They’re a Michelin guide recommended restaurant that’s been serving vegetarian food for forty years. We were seated just in time for a gorgeous sunset on the bay and the food was as fantastic as the view. I had a polenta with roasted summer vegetables and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert—also, champagne.

No drama. No worries. All deliciousness, fabulous company, and it was Paleo(ish) to boot.

If you need to feel bad about something, feel bad about driving to dinner when you’re within walking distance (but you are wearing high heels). You could even feel bad about your pre-meal cocktail (though I’ll argue that a martini is a decent indulgence).

(Are you getting that I don’t find feeling bad or guilty helpful?)

But you definitely have no reason to feel bad about what to eat at a restaurant . Go out and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty of Paleo(ish) choices.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo(ish) practices that counter the effects of aging. You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!

What Makes a Food "Junk?" Here are 8 ingredients to avoid

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Do you love the way your body looks?

(Let’s keep this superficial and ignore how you feel for right now.)

As a glamazon, I want you to roar a resounding YES!

But honestly? Most women answer no. It’s a tough subject. And a sad one.

If you long for a leaner line, you are far from alone. And you know what else you may share with the masses? A pernicious habit that could be holding you back.

I’m talking about junk food.

Junk food isn’t awful for you because of its calorie content—because you’re not concerned with calories, right? It has more serious repercussions such as messing with your digestion and your blood sugar and causing chronic inflammation. Because it’s usually high in sugar and/or starchy carbs, it also leads to cravings—usually for more junk food. Ugh. Talk about a vicious cycle.

Let’s keep this very simple. Junk food is not a benign treat. Actually, i’ts not a treat at all. It’s doing you NO favors.

The easiest way to avoid it is by not buying it in the first place. But that means you first need to know how to recognize it.

8 common ingredients to avoid

Really, there are too many to list. If you don’t recognize an ingredient as food, don’t eat it. But here are some of the heavy-hitters that you’ll see over and over again in overly processed, nutrient-deprived foods (aka junk).

Sugar in all of its forms Check out this PDF to see most of its aliases. Read this if you want to be horrified about how much of it you may be consuming

Artificial sweeteners They can raise your risk for diabetes even more than regular sugar can

“Vegetable” oils which are really industrial seed oils These are probably even worse for you than sugar, especially when it comes to causing inflammation. The main ones to look for are canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oils, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil

Hydrogenated (or paritally-hydrogenated) oils Same effects as the industrial seed oils described above, but manufacturers love them because they’re cheap and keep your food fresh longer (think: Twinkies)

Artificial coloring These often have a # after them (such as Red #2). They’ve been shown to disrupt the immune system leading to gut and neurobehavioral disorders.While the jury’s still out about whether they cause cancer or not, foods that are healthy won’t add them.

Sodium benzoate This preservative is often added to acidic foods and sodas, but has been linked to cancer development and immune problems

Carrageenan This is used to stabilize and thicken certain processed foods, but unfortunately it’s also been linked to ulcers and certain cancers

Gums (guar, xanthan, etc.) These are generally used to thicken and stabilize foods as well, but can cause digestive upset in sensitive individuals. Do you want to take the risk?

If you don’t want to worry about remembering all of these, EAT REAL FOOD. (I think I’ve mentioned this before.)

As they say, You are what you eat. And you are NOT junk…

No, Breakfast Is NOT the Most Important Meal of the Day--and Yet...

No, Breakfast Is NOT the Most Important Meal of the Day--and Yet...

When I ask my clients to fast for at least twelve hours daily and longer than that if they can, most look seriously distressed. And it’s not just the going-without-eating thing.

“What about breakfast?” they ask with worried faces.

I can’t take breakfast away from you. Literally. Breakfast is simply the meal that breaks your fast. If you eat (and I’m definitely not promoting that you give it up), you will inevitably eat breakfast. It just may be around noon.

That’s fine because there is no inherent time written into the word itself. It’s break-fast, not “morning-meal” or “food-upon-awakening.”

Why NOT Doing This is Key to Becoming a Natural Fat-Burner

Why NOT Doing This is Key to Becoming a Natural Fat-Burner

Last week you read about how changing up your diet can help you regain the metabolic flexibility to become a fat-burner—and this can happen even while you're sleeping.

What if I told you there’s another practice that develops this super power? (No, I’m not talking about exercise.)

Not only will this practice also not take any more time out of your busy day, it will also save you money.

Here’s a clue: Sometimes it isn’t what you do do, but what you don’t do, that has the desired effect.

(Have you figured it out yet?)