Tag: Primal
April 13, 2012

Paleo Diet: A Simple Guide into Ancestral Nutrition


Hello! I am so happy you have come across my blog!  This means you are looking into Paleo or Ancestral nutrition and that excites me! I started following the paleo nutrition regime November 2010 and the results have been absolutely amazing!

I have leaned out, my body has regulated itself, my performance output has increased, I feel healthier and look younger , my mind is clearer and for the first time in years I am sleeping through the night! The benefits from eating Paleo and Paleo Zone just goes on!  I know you will have similar results if you make the commitment to this. Yes, I said commitment. That is what it takes to maintain and stay consistent on this awesome journey you’re embarking on, this isn’t a diet, this a lifestyle!  In the words of my amazing husband “I didn’t say it was going to be easy, I said It’s going to be worth it!”

Anitra’s Before and Afters! PALEO NUTRITON WORKS!

I have written this blog with the hope of providing you some guidance, support and helpful tips to insure your success into your Paleo Nutrition Journey.

 

The Paleo lifestyle can be daunting for those who are new to the concept so I hope this helps make the transition less overwhelming for you. Welcome to Paleo for Dummies!

Caveman_06

FIRST I want to get this out of the way: Diet does NOT = Deprivation!

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di·et

 [dahy-it]   noun, verb, di·et·ed,di·et·ing, adjective

noun

1.

food and drink considered in terms of its qualities,composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesomearticle of diet.
2.

a particular selection of food, especially as designed orprescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.

 

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Now, let’s move on:

What is the Paleo Diet?

Eating a Paleo Diet means you eat food that would’ve been available to you had you existed during the paleolithic era  that started about 2.5 millions years ago. It is also referred to as  the Paleolithic Diet, Caveman Diet or Hunter Gatherer diet.  The idea is that your genes and physiology evolved through the process of natural selection and are most adapted to be nourished with the food in your natural environment. Or in much simpler terms; Eat what a caveman would’ve eaten. This would’ve included the whole spectrum of animal food; beef, fish, shellfish, poultry, pork, lamb, bison, …you get the idea, this also included their fat and organs! (Yes, I know this probably seems gross but remember you’re a caveman/woman damnit!)  You would have also eaten eggs and seasonal vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries that were edible in their raw form. The idea is to replicate this way nourishing our bodies to the best of our ability in a modern world, which can be very tricky depending on your geographical location.                                                   Just remember to eat like this:

To give you a better visual here are 2 Paleo Food Pyramids:

 

 Pryamid 1.

Paleo Diet Food Pyramid

 

This Paleo Pyramid is a very good representation of how I eat. I know there is a bit of controversy when it comes to diary and the paleo diet. In thestrict Paleo sense, dairy of any form was not consumed in the paleolithic era, other than human milk in infancy of course. It just wasn’t very practical to milk wild game. However just because something isn’t paleo doesn’t  make it bad, and because something IS Paleo doesn’t mean it is healthy. You must pay very close attention to your body and how it reacts to different foods. If you are considering  keeping dairy in your meal plans I STRONGLY suggest you do the research of the benefits of non pasteurized/non homogenized diary vs pasteurized/homogenized dairy.  If you do chose to keep dairy in your diet I recommend to ONLY consume raw, free range, full fat and grass fed dairy ,  HERE is a link to help you find raw milk & dairy in your area .

Pyramid 2.

Courtesy of Castle Grok

What’s Right For You?

As you can see there are variations of the Paleo Pyramid. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here. Not everyone’s bodies will have the same reactions to this diet. Take Olly and myself for example; When talking about carbohydrate sources, Olly finds that his body reacts better when he eats leafy greens and tubers (such as sweet potato) for his carbohydrate whereas  my body tends to react better from dairy.  Listen and pay attention to YOUR body and how it reacts with different foods and  you will know what food combinations work best for you. No one knows your body like you do.

It is up to you as an individual to choose if Paleo or Ancestral Nutrition is right for you and how to implement the diet into your life

NOW, on the to the fun part of this: EATING!

We do not count calories! You eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, NOT FULL.

Be conscience of why you are eating. Are you bored or really hungry

Drink your water! Under hydration shows itself in the form of hunger. A lot of the time people eat when they should be drinking water.

Paleo Foods & List

Paleo diet consists of foods that could’ve been hunted, fished and gathered.  This includes seafood (caught in the “wild” not farmed) and lean cuts of meat, free of food additives and preferably from grass-fed/free range animals; they typically contain higher levels of omega-3 fats compared to grain-produced domestic meats. Let’s not forget eggs, nuts, seeds and berries that could’ve been gathered!

Here is a detailed list of Paleo Preferred Foods:

 

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Meats:
Beef, Flank steak, Top sirloin steak, Hamburger, London broil, Chuck steak, Veal, Pork, Pork loin, Pork chops, Rabbit, Goat, Lamb.

Game meat:
Alligator, Bear, Bison (buffalo), Caribou, Elk, Emu, Goose, Kangaroo, Muscovy duck, New Zealand cervena deer, Ostrich, Pheasant, Quail, Rattlesnake, Reindeer, Squab, Turtle, Venison, Wild boar, Wild turkey.

Organ meats: 
Beef, lamb, pork and chicken livers, Beef, pork and lamb tongues, Beef, lamb and pork marrow, Beef, lamb and pork “sweetbreads”

Poultry:
Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Game Hen breasts.

Eggs:
Chicken, Duck, Goose.

Fish:
Bass, Bluefish, Cod, Drum, Eel, Flatfish, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Monkfish, Mullet, Northern pike, Orange roughy, Perch, Red snapper, Rockfish, Salmon, Scrod, Shark, Striped bass, Sunfish, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna, Turbot, Walleye, Any other commercially available fish.

Shellfish:
Abalone, Clams, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops, Shrimp.

 

This a link to the American Grassfed Association  list  of approved meat producers. AGA defines grassfed products from ruminants, including cattle, bison, goats and sheep, as those food products from animals that have eaten nothing but their mother’s milk and fresh grass or grass-type hay from their birth.

Another great site for grass-fed food & facts is Eat Wild. This link will take you to state-by-state Directory of farms that provide beef, dairy, fruits and veggies.

 

Now on to Carbohydrates

Vegetables:
Artichoke, Asparagus, Beet greens, Beets, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Cucumber, Dandelion, Eggplant, Endive, Green onions, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Peppers (all kinds), Pumpkin, Purslane, Radish, Rutabaga, Seaweed, Spinach, Squash (all kinds), Swiss chard, Tomatillos, Tomato ( a fruit that thinks it is a vegetable), Turnip greens, Turnips, Watercress.

Fruits:
Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Carambola, Cassava melon, Cherimoya, Cherries, Cranberries, Figs, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee, Mango, Nectarine, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Peaches, Pears, Persimmon, Pineapple, Plums, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Star fruit, Strawberries, Tangerine, Watermelon and most all other fruits.

Now my Favourite:

Fats

Nuts & Seeds: 
Almonds, Brazil nuts, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts (filberts), Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Pine nuts, Pistachios (unsalted), Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts.

*No peanuts; they are a legume/ No cashews; Cashews are in the same family as poison ivy and poison sumac. Like the others in this family, the cashew plant contains powerful but natural chemical irritants, so handling and eating raw cashews will cause the familiar itchy skin reaction. They must be baked or roasted to be eaten. Paleo rule of thumb: it is can’t be eaten in it’s natural/raw state: YOU DON’T eat it!

Oils : 
Olive, avocado, walnut, flax seed, coconut.

 

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Helpful Tip for Success!

 

Foucus on quality of food by shopping the perimeter of the Supermarket. Buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Buy frozen vegetables and meat only if you must. It is acceptable to venture down the aisles for a few select things like nuts, canned tuna, olives, etc. The aisles are generally one big processed, nutritionally worthless carb-fest

Read your labels!! If the ingredients are anything more than the food itself  & it’s not natural it is a Paleo no-no (if you buy a bag of almonds, ingredients should say “almonds” nothing more)
Pick a day to cook and prepackage your meats & poultry. I measure a portion of them into meal and snack  servings I then put the meats or poultry into a freezer bag and spread it flat so that is will thaw very quickly for those last minute or unplanned meals.
 Get a big lunch cooler and pack it FULL every morning before you leave the house no matter what your plans or how little time you think they may be, you never want to be stuck!
If you have a smart phone I recommend downloading a food list and also print it out and take it to Kinkos and laminate  just in case your phone dies!  Make sure it is ALWAYS in your car. This is for those times you’re out and about for an extended amount of time and haven’t packed your food or enough food.
Here is a link to the CrossFit Journals/LarryLendemans Quick Zone Block Reference Food List! This list is calculated in 1 serving size measurements for a good reference

Keep a log of the food you eat! You may be surprised at how little or how much you actually eat in a day!

 

I know this all seems like a lot, I promise you it gets easier.  For the first week or so you will be walking around with that food list in your hand constantly, you will feel lost in the supermarket and the days you package your food will seem like forever! Do not be discouraged by this! It is just the beginning! You will find your groove and you will LOVE IT!

 A Paleo to Faileo Timeline

 

 

November 18, 2011

What You Need to Know BEFORE Joining the Minimalist/Barefoot Running Movement


Fit Feet: A Professional Guide to Training South of the Ankles

Footwear is as essential to fitness as a bottle of water. and like all sporting equipment, footwear is rapidly evolving as research progresses and understanding of human biomechanics improves. Popular books like Born to Run by Christopher McDugall and extensive marketing campaigns for “fitness shoes” have made healthy footwear-and maybe even no footwear at all-a hot topic on the hiking trails and in the gm. Chances are you or someone you know has seen Vibram’s FiveFingers shoes and have questions about starting a barefoot training program.

Footwear: What is the Big Deal?

Scientific arguments form resarchers in the barfoot and minimalist footwear movement are fairly straightforward. Footwear does not grow on trees: it is an unnatural, modern babit that is unnecessary for healthy human performance. the human body does not require shoes to stabilize the joint sand keep lower leg tissues healthy(Rossi 1999, 2001; D’Aout et al. 2009).

More important, footwear can limit the natural motion of each joint during a regular gait cycle (Bergman et al. 1995) and increase the incidence of knee osteoarthritis, back pain and hip degeneration. With this data in the literature, it is no wonder people want to ditch their footwear and take their daily 3-mile run sans shoes. but how exactly are shoes causing inappropriate wear of our human tissue?

Losing Our Nerve

The sole of the foot is the first interaction between man and ground. Sensory nerves collect data on temperature, pressure and terrain, staying finely tuned constantly reading changing environments.  Processing the same data every day for decades creates a physiological response that limits the nervous system’s ability to process new data. This makes  balance and locomotion less natural and increases the risk of falls, ankle sprains or other lower leg injuries (Nurse et al, 2005)

 

Limiting Full Joint Motion

Foot Position is affected by two groups of musculature: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic foot muscles have one end in the food and the other end somewhere up in the leg. These muscles always move the foot relative to the lower leg. The Three  muscles of the calves are all extrinsic.

Intrinsic foot muscles have both attachments entirely within the foot.  Intrinsic motions move one portion of the foot relative to other foot joints. One example is the muscle that moves your pinkie toe out and away from the other toes (abductor digiti minimi).

Waring shoes is like putting a limb in a cast after a bone break: muscular tissue rapidly atrophies without regular use.  As the smaller, fine motor skills of the intrinsic muscles weaken, larger extrinsic muscles begin to compensate, developing inapproriate tensions.

 

Improper Geometry

The human skeleton is designed to bear weight on the vertical axis. Positive heels–any heel height above the ground–shift the skeletal position at all joints above the ankle (de Lateur et al. 1991).  Although slight, the resulting increase in knee and hipflection creates a gait pattern that causes friction and leads to joint inflammation. I tis also important to note that while footwear choices like high heels are obvious culprits, most shoes, including many athletic stuyles, have heels up to 2 inches high.

 Fresh Feet and the Urban Jungle

Despite all the data supporting barefoot theory, the flip side of the au naturel coin is that most exercise surfaces are just as unnatrual as our shoes.  The hardness of concrete, while somewhat similar to the firmly packed dirt of a trail, still exceeds the natural biological forces created by the interface of natural on the natural.  The increase in impact, made worse by pose walking or running mechanics can increase the risk of stress fractures (Warden, Burr & Brukner,2006).

The traction between skin and dirt or grass is also much less than that between skin and artificial surfaces like asphalt.  The interface of bare feet on asphalt creates greater tension on the surface tissue, which can increase damage to the top layers of skin. Finally, modern-living terrains sometimes contain debris that can injure bare feet.  for all these reasons, many foot specialist are not fond of shoe-free exercise.

Another issue is that many who start a barefoot or minimalist shoe exercise program ingore the basic exercise science laws of appropriate progression (see “Training Feet” section at bottom of the article).  Feet that have been bound for decade cannot bear the load of the human body without some sort of training. Just as you wouldn’t hand a 150-pound weights straight out of an arm cast, you shouldn’t venture out shoeless unprepared.  It is very likely that injuries susained in a barefoot traning program come from a combination of deep foot-muscle weakness and poor mechanics.

 

Is Barefoot the Answer?

Spanning over two decades, the research on footwear and its impact on total-body health is fairly extensive. Shoes have many detracting qualities, and data supports at least a change to more flexible, spacious and flat footwear.  As for all barefoot exercise, research is limited and new, but is treading toward integrating this lost body part back into the foreground of exercise training ( See below for a sample of basic foot exercises).

Many footwear companies have begun to create minimalist footwear–shoes

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Leaping into minimalist shoes after a lifetime with traditional shoes can set you up for injury with all evidence pointing to foot strength’s key roll in foot mechanics. The muscle groups of the two feet make up 25% of the body’s muscles; ignoring the strength and function of foot muscles is like eliminating upper-body exercises from your routine and calling it balanced!

Most of the population has worn shoes since birth, so foot exercises don’t have to be limited to advanced or athletic population.  Everbody who wears shoes needs barefoot exercise, regardless of whether want to switch to minimalist footwear.

Unfortunately, the numerous skeletal muscles running between the 33 joints of each foot have always been seriously neglected–both in therapy and in fitness. The complex machinery of the feet plays a critical role, not only in the obvious realms of gait patterns and ankle stabilization, but also in whole-body balance, nerve conduction and cardiovascular circulation.

Natural Motions of the Feet

Toes are designed to have as much dexterity as fingers. Each toe joint can flex and extend, abduct and adduct. These seem like basic motions, but if you try it yourself, you will likely find that lifting one toe without the others is extremely difficult.  Start a foot-strengthening program that assesses motor skills, and conitune until movements are improved and fluid.

 

General Guideline for Footwear Transition

When switching to barefoot or minimalist footwear, give underutilized muscles time to develop.  Begin foot exercises before switching, and continue the foot excercises while doing your normal training in less supportive shoes.

Master shoeless walking before you try shoeless running.  Running creates much greater forces in the joints of the foot, so waling is the more natural precursor to developing the appropriate strength for running. ‘If running, start with short distances first–on dirt or grass–before logging longer runs.

Seek out expert guidance on running form. Regular running shoes offer excessive cushioning to protect against high joint forces. The better you align your feet while exercising, the less you will overload them.

 

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                                                                                  Sample Foot Exercises

 

 

Toe Lift

Check if the hallux (Big Toe) can be lifted on its own.  Progress to lifting each toe one at a time till they are all in the air.  Then, place them down in order, fifth metatarsal (pinky toe) to hallux.abductors and tight adductors, preventing the natural spread of toes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toe Abduction

 

Standing barefoot, back hips up until weight is stacked over your heels and toes are liftable.  Work
to spread toes away from each other, eliminating any toe joint extension.

Flip-flops, another common footwear choice, have been shown to increase gripping action, leading to buckling (hammer toes) of the foot phalanges.  Chronic tension in the flexed position can reduce the foot’s surface area, eventually leading to changes in balance

 

 

 

 

Stretching the Toe Flexors

 

Standing, reach one leg behind you, placing the op of the foot on the ground. Slowly allow the ankle to plantar-flex.  Toe cramping is normal–take a break when necessary and work up to holding 1 minute on each side.

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“Living barefoot is believing that the world still evokes a sense of wonder,

that possibilities are endless when the imagination is allowed to blossom,

and that magic is always present “

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 Original article by Katy Bowman, MS out of the Fitness Journal

 


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