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Bedridden to BAM: Guest Blog

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Bedridden to BAM: Guest Blog

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By: V Capaldi & Dillon Druz I am a huge believer that life takes us where we are supposed to be. I know intentions can guide this journey & really work hard to live my life by this personal mantra.

The last 18 months I have grown to socialize very little. Having a digital media brand built around dedicating & sharing your life makes for a very public life. In addition being healthy is my full time job & a hard job. I treasure my alone & dog time often looking forward to when I can be private.

To assure I do not stop going out, networking or engaging weekly I developed the ritual of heading to The Bulletproof Cafe in Santa Monica. 

I cannot express the amaze balls folks I meet there every time. The community it draws are my kind of people. It has become a little family that I appreciate very much.

As luck would have it this gal had the chance to speak to a young man I noticed was a regular just like me. His energy contagious. We got chatting one day & without hesitation I begged him to share his story with you all.

With great pride, respect and mad love I introduce a true inspiration, gentleman, miracle & my friend: Dillon Druz.

A special shout out to Dave Asprey for building a cafe that inspires community, conversation & education with some of the best damn food I have ever had. It supports the miracle that lives in all of us. 

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dillon wow

Hello. My name is Dillon Druz. I live consciously because if I want to thrive in life, I have to. 

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation.  This condition is a rare neurological brain disorder that affects everything from sight to balance.  I received brain surgery after the diagnosis and was bedridden for months. 

Chiari Malformation turned my life upside down.  I went from being a top sponsored athlete to an Oxycontin addict.  I was lost, sick, and waiting to die. 

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dillon rock pic

I had daily migraines, chronic fatigue, and extremely low libido. I was suffering and drowning through life. These days I am healthy and sober.  I work full time. I can do almost everything I could do before my surgery.

Doctors told me I would be handicapped for life, but that has not been my experience. 

All of my hard ships have led me to self-discovery and an inner healing journey.  Every trail & tribulation I have gone through has taught me many meaningful life lessons.

I would not trade my current life for anything nor wish it happened any other way!  Living conscious has led me to deep acceptance.

I firmly believe that if you show up for yourself boldly, then life will take care of itself. I have every reason to sit in self-pity, but I just can't allow that in my conscious. I am someone who doesn't handicap myself based on western beliefs.

I dance on my bike in the morning while biking Venice Beach.  I grooved to Kanye West's "30 Hours" from his new album The Life of Pablo this morning.

Dillon flipping
Dillon flipping

I absolutely love spin classes, surfing, and hiking.  I crave the outdoors and any situations that connect me to my true self.  Lately, though, I have been exercising much less.  Focusing on long fasts, diet, and cyrotherapy to mimic a similar beneficial stress response.

Possibilities.

My favorite word is keto.  I know, I know.  It's super cheesy, but ketosis has given me my life back.

I am listening to Kanye West. I truly admire his artistic and creative abilities.  His persona also cracks me up.  Being authentic and true to you is a major key in life.  Regardless of how that looks to the individual.

I get mindful on the regular!  I start the day by reading spiritual texts and conscious deep breathing. Then I meditate for at least 5 minutes with at least 1 longer meditation during the week.

One small step that has produced profound effects in my life was reducing carbohydrates from my diet and going ketogenic.  A low carb diet has tremendously improved my life.  It almost feels like my brain fires better now than it did pre surgery.

The return in investment this action has given me is nothing short of miraculous.  I have a new found zest for life and insurmountable hope for the future. 

A mini hack I used to help me transition into this lifestyle was the use of exogenous ketones (I prefer KETO OS) as a brain fuel while taking a special form of magnesium (MagTech from Natural Stacks). These supplements made my transition effortless and sustainable.

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self pic

I am extremely grateful for the time we are living in. The amount of information available to the general public is unbelievable. We live in a time where we can learn and heal our selves by applying information from other people’s experiences. I always recommend seeing a doctor first though so you know where to start!

Dillon Druz is the 2007 United States Bodyboarding Association National Champion. He was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder in 2008 and used functional medicine to bring himself back from a debilitating brain surgery. These days he does social media marketing and promotes health & wellness through his personal social platforms.

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new logo

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Pumpkin-palooza!!  Feeling like a fall comfort food weekend...

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Pumpkin-palooza!! Feeling like a fall comfort food weekend...

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Happy Saturday! I know... I know... pumpkin is everywhere and you're probably already over it...  but I woke up needing a serious fall fix this morning.  Here in the Mid-Atlantic we've been bouncing between frost warnings and springlike warmth.  It's a bit crazy!  And to top it off, family schedules and life chaos have been stressful to keep up with this month.  So I've decided that it's a full on, fall comfort weekend on the home front. Mother nature agrees because the leaves are in absolute fall radiance mode this morning, and it's actually a bit crisp out!!

I spent my morning coffee time going through PBL's recipes, and here's some of what's going to be happening in the LL kitchen this weekend.  (I'll put links in to help you find products fast, but I order most things from Thrive Market online, and have them in my pantry so I'm always ready if I have a craving.) The bonus... everything is refined sugar free!!!  Sweet!

Pumpkin Pancakes

My mouth is watering right now!!  And as soon as I write this, I'm about to start pouring the batter onto the griddle!! I saw these on V's facebook page and called her for the recipe.

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paleo_pumpkin_pancakes
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pumpkin_pancakes_in skillet

Put everything in a NutriBullet (can also use a blender or hand mixer & bowl) and blend until smooth.  Heat up cast iron griddle or skillet.  Melt enough ghee to lightly coat the pan.  When a drop of water sizzles it's ready to go!  Pour in batter to desired pancake size.  Flip once bubbles in batter start to pop and hold their shape.  Pancakes are done when the second side is lightly browned.

Pumpkin Smoothies

pumpkin smoothie
pumpkin smoothie

This one doesn't look pretty, so I'm posting a "before" pic ... but V promises me that it tastes amazing!!  Or as she said: "Tastes delish, but looks ugly" (I'll post an instagram when I make this and let you know how mine comes out!)

1/2 can Organic Pumpkin Puree

1/2 Can Organic Coconut Milk (unsweetened, full fat)

1/2 - 1 avocado (depending on size)

1 cup Kale leaves (no stems!)

1 date

A few good dashes of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Put it all in your NutriBullet and blend for 1 minute.

Pumpkin Granola

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Screen shot 2015-10-24 at 9.39.17 AM

I'm going to use V's recipe from Breaking Muscle to make this, but instead of cinnamon, I'm using my Pumpkin Pie Spice again.  Might as well get the most out of it, right?!

If I'm still in the mood for more pumpkin, I just might make these amazing looking Pumpkin Pie Bites from Michelle Smith for Sunday dinner dessert.  I watched her periscope as she made them last night... and that may be what started this whole pumpkin weekend obsession...

If you try any of these, or have any other amazing, refined sugarless fall treats you think I should try, please let me know!!  I'm always looking for something new to add to the healthy, yummy, comfort food repertoire. Enjoy your weekend!

LL

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4 Halloween Treats Without the Sweet!

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4 Halloween Treats Without the Sweet!

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It's Halloween, and the stores are full of gigantic bags of candy everywhere you turn.  Even if you're not a total sugar maniac, it's hard not to start thinking about how nice a piece of chocolate would taste right about now!! I'm the first to admit that I often eat several of the sweets in our big trick-or-treat bowl as I'm handing everything out.  (Gotta make sure they taste ok, right?!) So this year will be a challenge for me as I make my way through my "One Small Step" journey of eliminating processed sugars & foods.  We get truckloads of kids in our neighborhood on Halloween.  So usually that means pounds of candy sitting in my pantry, calling my name, as I wait to hand it out.  But this year, I'm trying to be mindful of what I'm giving out.  It seems a bit wrong for me to hand out candy to others, especially if I'm changing my own narrative and moving down a path of conscious living and healthy choices.  This year, we are going to try something new and give out treats without the sweets.

I decided to run some ideas past my son & some of the neighborhood kids, to get feedback on what they would like.  Here's what we decided to go with:

Bright Halloween Play-Doh

Mini Play-Doh Containers: The littles in our neighborhood are HUGE fans of play-doh, so I know this one will go over well.  The Halloween colors are fun, and the sizes are perfect for a trick-or-treat bag.

 

 

Halloween Rubber Ducks

Glow-in-the-dark Halloween Rubber Ducks: Totally random, I know!!  But I'm a big rubber duck fan, and these crack me up!! I ran them past my 14 year old son & his friends and got a thumbs up.  Seems they have a quirky & ironic cool factor that make them acceptable to the teen & tween crew. There are a few styles out there on Amazon, we're just partial to the zombies in our house!

 

Jack-o-lantern stickers

Stickers are always popular!  So we went for these cool jack-o-lantern stickers because our guest panel of neighborhood kids liked them the best.  There are tons of fun Halloween options, so go with whatever makes you smile!

 

glow sticksGlow sticks & bracelets!!  A perennial favorite!!  I'm getting 2 packs of these because everyone wants to wear more than one.  I want kids to be able to grab a couple, since they are also a great safety feature out there in the dark.   (I'm pretty sure I'll be sporting a few of these as well! :)

 

 

Now granted, many of these things are more expensive than a 95 piece bag of candy.  And as I mentioned, we get truckloads of kids in our neighborhood.  I will be adding some bulk bags of bouncy balls or glow-in-the-dark fangs as well... 4-6 dozen for $10, as opposed to 1 dozen for the same price!!  You have to go with what feels good for you.  Amazon & the interwebs have a ton of great ideas and lots of different prices.  Halloween is about fun!!  It's about fangs!!  It's about ghosts, goblins, & glow sticks!!  Live a little!!  And let your kids see that it's totally possible to rock out the trick-or-treating without even missing the candy.  Once you get home from the madness, invite some friends over for home-made soup or stew,  paleo pumkin treats, and all sorts of excellent & healthy fall foods.

This is a new adventure for me, and I would love to know your tips for a Paleo Perfect, refined sugar free Halloween!  So please share!!

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Friday's Friend: Tony Ferro, founder of Change MS

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Friday's Friend: Tony Ferro, founder of Change MS

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For this week's Friday's Friend, PBL is so proud to pass the mic to Tony Ferro, founder of Buffalo, NY based non-profit Change MS.  Change MS was created to help people with Multiple Sclerosis feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.  Tony is healing his body through food, movement and mindfulness, and is here to share his story with us.

By: Tony Ferro

MS/Multiple Sclerosis: two simple letters that are short for a complicated condition. Anyone who has MS can relate to the challenges and fears that come when you hear those words for the very first time.

As serious as the disease is, the bond it creates with those that share the same diagnosis is amazing. Anyone I have ever spoken to about the day of diagnosis has the same story, same emotions, same sense of loneliness and not knowing where to turn. It is hard to stay positive when you hear such devastating news. But the moment you leave that doctor’s office is when the journey should begin.

This disturbing news saved my life.   You’re probably thinking, how can being diagnosed with a disease save one’s life? Well, I can assure you my diagnosis turned into a blessing and instead of looking at it as the end; it was my opportunity for a new beginning!

Perception and positive outlook on your situation is key!

If I could give anyone with MS one piece of advice it would to have the right ATTITUDE! One thing my doctors say (and I agree with), is if they could bottle up my attitude and prescribe it, they would. Although, not one of them agrees with me not taking any medications, they are all pleased with my progress and the way I look at things. I have always been an optimistic person, no matter what the situation, and that has helped. Talking about myself isn’t easy for me, but I’ve learned that the more I speak about it, the more positive I am with my own situation. I also find that by speaking my truth, it allows others to open up and talk about their experiences.

Community Matters!

No one should feel alone! One thing that I found lacking in the doctor’s office on the day of my diagnosis was the sense of community. I wanted to talk to someone who had been through the new things I was experiencing, but instead I was left alone with some preprinted literature and my own thoughts… and the answers I could find on Google. WTF is that?! No one should be told something that serious and be sent off to fend for themselves! In my experience, this burden is the heaviest thing to carry with you; holding things in and trying to hide our new fate can cause more harm than good.

Be your own advocate & Embrace Change!

I often ask people after sharing our MS stories, “what are you doing differently now that you have MS”? I press them to consider things like… How are you being proactive and handling the diagnosis? Are you only taking advice from your doctor or are you more aggressive with getting multiple sources of information and not wanting to settle for the normal status quo?

We are an over-medicated and under-educated society. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not. But leaving the doctor’s office early in 2012 and seeing how devastated my mother was, followed by close friends and of course my family, I found new strength. I was going to be ok. It fueled a thirst for knowledge that I never experienced before.

I intend to keep learning and kicking MS’s ass. But all in all, I’m looking forward to learning about myself. I recently attended a health seminar and met amazing people with inspiring success stories. I also met one of my idols, Dr. Terry Wahls and a new mentor, V Capaldi (or the woman you know as PaleoBOSS Lady®). I can’t help but ask … what if they listened? What if they settled for what they were supposed to do according to their doctor’s orders and ignored their heart? What if they didn’t go above and beyond what they were told? They wouldn’t have these stories to share; they wouldn’t be able to inspire others to do the same.

Don’t settle!! Don’t stop questioning! And don’t stop believing in the power of you.

Through his organization, Tony and the Change MS team have created an amazing community dedicated to raising awareness about MS, providing resources and support,  and empowering people to live their best life.

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cmss

Team PBL thinks it is time for you to subscribe to our blog so you can continue to be wowed by folks just like Tony  who are questioning the status quo and creating movements of change.  The end.  Sign up on the website or our Facebook page.

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My One Small Step Week 3:  Community matters!!

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My One Small Step Week 3: Community matters!!

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Happy Saturday, friends!! I love starting my weekend with our little chats... It keeps me accountable and helps me keep an eye on the big picture.

In my new adventure into conscious eating & living, I am constantly reminded of how important community truly is. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by really great people like V and the PBL community (that's YOU!) to keep me on track and lift me up!

At home, I have an incredible network of friends in my neighborhood. This little neighborhood is a treasure from another era in many ways. It was built in the early 1900s on the outskirts of the city limits. Our kids play "Kick the Can" & "Capture the Flag", and have been known to drive neighbors crazy by jumping on pogo sticks late into the summer evenings. When the kids were all little, we would bring wading pools out onto the corner under the trees to jump and splash, while parents sat on the stoops or benches and caught up on our lives. We've seen each other through family losses, difficult pregnancies, cancer battles, and separations. We've celebrated birthdays, proms, graduations, & new babies as well!!

The great thing about a vibrant and thriving community is that it requires a cohesion in vision or purpose, and also a strong diversity of opinions, backgrounds and perspectives. Our little neighborhood group is made up of people of different ages and political opinions. Some come from money... some live on a really tight budget. Some are transplants, and some have been here for generations. We all love each other for what we bring to the table, and the joy we find in each other's company! We get into heated debates! We walk off in huffs. We cry in each other's arms. And we laugh hysterically... a LOT!! We also sit in silence sometimes. Just taking it all in.

When I told my neighbors that I was starting my "conscious eating" adventure a few weeks ago... it sparked quite a conversation!! Some people jumped right in with recipes, tips, excited ideas and strong opinions on how I should proceed... Giving up refined sugars isn't enough! Why am I allowing honey & maple syrup?! Why am I still eating grain?! It got passionate!! In the other corner were the neighbors who felt it was a bit extreme... What's wrong with a cookie or s'more every now and then?! Why does everything have to be all or nothing? Isn't there a way to be mindful, and still allow for occasional indulgences?

I love this dialogue, because it helps me to ground myself, and test my convictions. Differing opinions help me to consider things I may have missed. Similar mindsets offer insight into the challenges ahead and ways to make them easier to overcome. I'm loving the way this conversation is unfolding, and the way it is helping me to grow and center myself.

Thank you so much for being part of this conversation and for expanding my community from my little corner of the world, to a larger and more diverse group of souls!

Have a great week!! And let me know some of your small steps toward mindful eating & living. It will help the conversation to grow!

PS: speaking of community... I want to give a shout out to my beautiful friend Clair at Karma Card for the great graphic at the top of this post. Follow her on Instagram.  She's the bees knees!

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One Small Step Week 2... treading water

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One Small Step Week 2... treading water

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Happy Sunday! I'm writing while sipping my first homemade Bullet Proof Coffee. Not bad!! Although it could use a little cardamon (gotta put that on the grocery list!)

Welcome to a recap of week 2 of our conscious living, pre-paleo adventure without refined sugars and processed foods.  Poor Week 2...the redheaded stepchild of any good adventure.  None of the shiny new penny excitement of week one (where we coasted along on the momentum of a fresh decision) ... and none of the solid results (like weight loss and lots of energy) we hope to see with later weeks.  This week was a bit tougher than the first.  Have you found that, too? It's not so much that we feel deprived of anything... we've been eating great stuff!!  And fruit is very abundant in the summer, so we still get sweet treats. Perhaps, like any good trek, the shiny sparkle of a new adventure begins to dull once you've been out on the road for a bit.

That said, we definitely had a few wins and shiny moments...

I successfully got my family to drink Dandelion Greens without them being aware of it!  They were shocked when I told them!  (tip:  don't give away the food secret too quickly!  I waited until they had enjoyed a few smoothies with avocados & greens before I told them.  I knew that if they were aware too soon, it would color their perception of how it tasted.)

tropical green smoothie... sorry for the lighting! I'm no pro! :)

 

Halfway through the week it was cool & rainy (very autumnal), and all I wanted to do was make chocolate chip cookies. So V came to the rescue and turned me on to a killer Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread from the Civilized Caveman. It was amazing, and it totally satisfied my taste craving ...as well as my need to bake! I didn't have the Paleo friendly chocolate chips, so I used dark chocolate & honey. The family polished it off in 2 days!  It was my first time cooking with coconut flour.  I love the texture and taste... although I have to admit that I missed the nutty density of the whole wheat & oat flour mixture that I use in my banana bread recipe.  Paleo bakers out there... should I try a little almond flour mixed in as well?

perfect coffee break!

Other than the rain, which we desperately needed (not as badly as California, I know!!) the weather this week was absolutely amazingly gorgeous... especially for the Mid-Atlantic.  Low humidity, clear cool breezes, puffy white clouds, and gentle warm sun.  I had to work inside for most of it, so I made a point to get outside and enjoy either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  I worked on just being present.  Not letting my mind race through everything I hadn't done yet. I soaked in the sunshine, reveled in the smells of hay and dirt and greenness.  Listened to the crickets, tree frogs & cicadas.  We tried to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower, but I totally crashed out before we saw anything.  Still... it was really nice to sit and watch the stars for a bit.  Haven't done that for a while.

I hope you're having a great weekend! I'm off to prepare my meal plan for week 3!

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One Small Step for me...  One Giant Leap for my Family!

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One Small Step for me... One Giant Leap for my Family!

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  By LL

As I sit here on the eve of my first food challenge of my PBL career... I'm not gonna lie. I'm uncomfortable!

In fact, I keep asking myself why I'm doing this?! Why am I choosing to take a risk, step out of my comfort zone in front of an audience, and drag my family along with me for the ride?

Because it's time! Because I want my family to be healthy ... ALL of us! And I want us to be more conscious about the choices we are making.

V and I have been chatting a bit about what I will take on as my first step towards conscious eating. This one has been tough for me. I was a vegetarian for a while after college. In the past years, I have been deeply impacted by Michael Pollan's: The Omnivore's Dilemma. I've also become a big fan of food writer Mark Bittman and share his concerns not only about the health impacts of our modern diet, but the ecological impacts as well. I have been trying to cut back on the amount of meat in our diet for the past few years and add more vegetarian options to the table. I'm a big grain eater. I love quinoa!! I love oats! I love bulghur & farro. So trying a Paleo lifestyle is going to be a big adjustment on many levels for me. I'm drawn to the focus on sustainability, conscious farming & slaughtering practices, organics... so I know the Paleo consciousness is very in tune with my own. It's just a big leap!!

So how do I pick my first step?

I decided that I should look at everything we eat in a week, and also... what we DON'T eat. What languishes in our refrigerator until it gets tossed or thrown in my neighbor's compost pile? What real-time food decisions are we making on a daily basis? Let's question the status quo a bit in our kitchen...

I was pretty disappointed when I got to the end of the week. Farm stand veggies wilted in the face of another busy evening with everyone running in different directions. Sandwiches purchased on the fly, or take-out for dinner were chosen in multiple instances instead of taking the time to cook something fresh and healthy from our fridge. The biggest problem in MY house right now? Processed foods and pre-prepared meals. The evil twin attached to that... SUGAR!

Holy cow! There are cereals packed with sugar (and these are supposed to be the healthier options!). There are snack bars and pre-blended yogurt smoothies. There is soda in my house!! When did we start drinking soda again?!

Ok... there's a lot to clean up here!

cupboard clean out

 

Step One: dump the packaged crap and start cooking real meals instead of grabbing things on the fly. (Does that count as #onesmallstep?!  It sure feels HUGE to me!)

 

sometimes love hurts...

 

No more bowls of cereal or yogurt drinks instead of a good breakfast. No more pre-fab dinners or lunches. I'm cooking up some of those veggies and organic, grass fed meats!

I'm not ready to knock the grains yet. That's going to have to come later. But I am ready to do a refined sugar clear out in the pantry! I've enlisted the troops... and they are on board. I think cereal will be my husband's biggest hurdle. For my son... soda & ice cream? Not sure. We'll have to see. For me? All of it?! I'll report back and let you know.

To kick us off, my son & I just listened to Nom Nom Paleo's recent podcast about Paleo desserts. It was a great lead in to our month of clearing out the refined, processed, sugary crack in our pantry.  They make great points about the fact that somehow dessert has found a place at every meal... every day!  Sweets used to be a treat for special occasions or Sunday dinners.  How have we gotten so off course?! My son loved the idea that, after our August purge, we only add dessert or Paleo treats back into our diet on "S days," like they mention in the podcast. (I'm hoping we only add them back on holidays & birthdays... but I'm not ready to let him in on that part yet!)  I've done a ton of reading over the past week on Clean Eating & Paleo, and focused in on the debate over Paleo sweeteners.   I already caught an earful from one of my neighbors on the topic.  I can tell this is going to be an interesting ride!

I'll save that for my next post!! Right now, I have a lot of junk to purge from my cabinet, and a week's worth of meals to plan & prep!

Wish me luck!

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7 Simple Swaps for Health Without Big Diet Changes

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7 Simple Swaps for Health Without Big Diet Changes

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  By: Dr. Mark Hyman

Your kitchen might be under the cruel reign of the food industry. When you remove the sugary, processed foods that hold your weight and health hostage and replace them with real, whole foods, you have a chance to stage a revolution and reclaim your kitchen.

Getting the obstacles to weight loss and health out of your way will transform your kitchen into a place of true nourishment and healing.

In fact, taking back our kitchens and embracing the act of cooking real food is probably the single most important thing that any one person can do to create a healthy, sustainable food system. It is also a magical alchemy that transforms individual ingredients into ambrosia and pleasure.

My philosophy is to “Eat real food.” So the best thing to do immediately is to take an afternoon to hunt and gather in your kitchen. Be merciless, and throw out any products that are not real food. Toss all highly processed, factory-manufactured Frankenfoods. Keep and going forward, choose only fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean animal proteins such as fish, chicken, and eggs.

Now, I understand that not everyone is ready for or wishes to undertake such a dramatic change. That doesn't mean you need to take an either-or approach and succumb to the processed, sugary foods that contribute to diabesity.

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A few simple upgrades can transform your diet without radically altering your life. While simple, these seven replacements can create dramatic changes in your diet that don't feel restrictive or “diet-ish”

  1. Replace breakfast with a protein smoothie. Most people start the day wrong, having dessert for breakfast or skipping this most important meal altogether. A protein shake makes an easy replacement to stoke your metabolic fire to burn more calories during the whole day, accelerating weight loss. You can load a shake with superfoods, proteins, healthy fats, and phytonutrients that will keep your blood sugar balanced and your energy high throughout the day. Plus, they are very filling and satisfying— no worries here about going hungry. Protein shakes sustain you and help you control your appetite throughout the day. Grab some of my favorite shake recipes here.
  1. Upgrade your meat and eggs. Conventional meat and eggs often come loaded with hormones, antibiotics, from animals fed with grain and other foods that definitely do not belong in their diets. Look for animal products that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, and antibiotic-, hormone-, and pesticide-free. Go on a low-mercury diet by sticking with small, wild, or sustainably farmed fish. By the way, whole eggs are okay; you don’t need to stick to just egg whites. Yolks contain important vitamins and fats needed for brain and mood function.
  1. Replace gluten starches with green vegetables. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats. It has been around since we began cultivating grains 10,000 years ago (still relatively new in the human diet). But 50 years ago, the type of gluten changed as we created new strains of wheat (genetically altered dwarf strains I call Frankenwheat), and this has created a veritable epidemic of problems, including a 400 percent increase in celiac disease and a dramatic rise in gluten sensitivity, affecting about eight percent of the population. While gluten-free grains are best, all grains (including breads, cereals, and snacks) — even gluten-free ones— can spike blood sugar and insulin. To break the addiction cycle, we need to shut down insulin production as much as possible. An easy way to do that is simply substitute another leafy or cruciferous vegetable for what would normally constitute a starch on your plate. You can easily do this when dining out as well. If your entree includes a baked potato, simply ask your server to substitute sautéed spinach.
  1. Replace bad oils for good oils. Corn, soybean, canola, and sunflower oils contain inflammatory omega-6 fats and currently make up 10 percent of our calories. Instead, stick to extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut butter (also known as coconut oil). Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease as much as or more than statins. Coconut butter or oil is a powerful cellular fuel and also contains anti-inflammatory fats such as lauric acid, the same fat found in breast milk. For high-heat cooking, grape seed oil is also safe.
  1. Replace bad fats for healthy fats. The standard American diet (SAD, indeed) contains a massive amount of pro-inflammatory fats that keep you sick, tired, fat, and inflamed. Make the leap to anti-inflammatory healthy fats. Have one serving of a healthy fat at all meals, which might be ¼ avocado, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, or nut or seed butter such as almond or cashew.
  1. Replace snacks with nuts. Get rid of the sugary, processed snacks and keep nuts in your pantry instead. They have been proven to help with weight loss and reduce the risk of diabetes. They are also a great snack because they are full of protein, fiber, minerals, and good fats. Buy raw or lightly toasted unsalted nuts. Avoid nuts that are fried or cooked in oils. The best are almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. Stick with one or two handfuls for a snack once or twice a day. But be careful, nuts have a tendency to raise blood sugar if you binge on them. Remember a serving is 10 to 12 nuts or a good handful.
  1. Replace coffee for green tea. Coffee can interfere with your liver’s detoxification mechanisms, makes you less insulin sensitive, and its caffeine content revs up your stress hormones.  Make the switch to green tea and stick to one to three cups a day.  The small amount of caffeine won’t hurt and the antioxidants will heal.

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