Q&A with the ARD

Since it’s the New Year, I’m sure many of you are resolving to get back on track with nutrition and are resetting the ol’ system after the holidays. I thought it would be an appropriate time to sit down with my fellow spin instructor and friend, Katie, who is on her way to becoming a registered dietician. (And by sit down, I mean email back and forth. You could not pick two people with more opposite schedules! We pass each other coming on and off the bike) Anyways, I’ve been getting really interested in nutrition lately as I’ve been working at a gym that primarily focuses on weight loss and nutrition, and wanted to pick Katie’s brain about how she got started and what it’s like working full time in the nutrition field. Get ready for some serious knowledge to be DROPPED up on yo face.

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What inspired you to become a registered dietitian? Did you have an “a-ha!” moment to find your true calling?

Well, I guess you could call it an “a-ha” moment – but I think of it as more like an “a-ha” explosion! I was working in corporate finance and had been traveling like a mad-woman. Although I knew I wasn’t in the right field, I never had any time to sit down and think about what I really wanted to do. When the financial market crashed in the fall of 2008, I suddenly had some free time on my hands. I was really interested in fitness and nutrition and found myself reading nutrition blogs with gusto. But I was frustrated by the amount of misinformation out there. I couldn’t believe that people with little to no education or background in nutrition were making blatant recommendations for lifestyle changes on their blogs! That really got my you-know-what in a wad. I thought, “we really need someone who can both understand the science of nutrition and communicate it to the public.” And that is what I call an “a-ha!” explosion.
What’s the biggest challenge you face when working with patients? 

Wow – that’s a loaded question! It really depends on what patient population I’m working with. It’s challenging to work with people who don’t believe that nutrition has a place in the hospital setting. It’s challenging to work with people who think it’s “too late” to make positive changes in their lives. But the most challenging people to work with – and this isn’t limited to patients! – are the people who just don’t believe that nutrition is based in science. While I hope that is slowly beginning to change, it is very challenging to sit down with a patient who plans to educate me about proper nutrition. I compare it to showing up at my accountant’s office and trying to do his taxes 🙂

Being a spin instructor and fitness junkie, I’m sure you’ve heard tons of people say “well I work out all the time, so I can eat whatever I want”. What do you have to say to the nay-sayers?!

 

Ah if only it were so simple! Our bodies are such complex and impressive systems, which makes it challenging to maintain or lose weight. It is never one simple fix but rather a lifestyle approach that will make a significant difference in the long-term. Sure, you could be one of those blessed individuals who can eat a ton of junk food, hit the elliptical for 30 mins, and maintain a svelte physique. But have you ever thought of your health from the outside-in? You’ll find individuals with heart, liver, or lung disease who may look “healthy” from the outside, but are far from it on the inside. It is so common, especially this time of the year, to get wrapped up in quick fixes, that we forget how important it is to balance both food and exercise for overall health. Guilty admission here – I used to be a Special-K bar, Light and Fit yogurt, sugar-free anything junkie. And while that food may have helped me maintain my weight, it wasn’t nourishing my body the way I know it should. Whole health is a balance of food and exercise, and I can’t imagine giving up either!
What advice do you have for people that have a busy lifestyle, but want to have a healthy diet?
Great question. And one I feel very qualified to answer because my lifestyle is sometimes more than I can handle! There are a couple ways to ensure that your healthy diet doesn’t get overlooked, and I categorize them based on your personal lifestyle:
– If you like to cook: Keep healthy frozen and pantry items on hand at all times. There should always be a couple dinner options available for nights when a trip to the store for fresh ingredients isn’t in the cards.
My go-to’s include Rising Moon Organics frozen tortellini, Amy’s canned soups, Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, baked beans + frozen perogis and veggies, and homemade grilled cheese with whatever vegetable happens to be lurking in the fridge.
– If you like to eat out: Remember if you’re eating out every night, it isn’t aways a “special occassion.” When I lived in NYC, I ate out probably 5 nights a week, but I had to remind myself that it was because I didn’t have time to cook, not because it was my birthday! Think of how you would prepare a meal at home – do you have a bread basket AND an appetizer AND wine AND dessert? Probably not – pick one and leave it at that. In terms of your meal, control your portion by ordering 2 appetizers or sharing an entree with a friend. And use the Balanced Plate method – half of your meal should be veggies and the rest of your plate should be 1/4 lean protein (fish, beans, chicken, pork, lean beef) and 1/4 starch (whole grains, squash, potato, sweet potato). Skip the heavy cream sauces, fried entrees, and pretty much anything stuffed with something else 🙂
– If lunch is a challenge: Consider brown bagging it! It is so easy to overdo it during the day if you’re grabbing what’s available on-the-go. Even if you can’t pack an entire meal or don’t have a fridge or microwave to use, always keep some hearty snacks on hand for times that your options will be limited.
My go-to’s include: KIND bars, Larabars, Biena Roasted Chick Peas, Stonyfield Smoothies, Chobani yogurt, and Babybel cheeses.

What’s a RD’s favorite unhealthy, splurge meal? 🙂

 

I should have known you’d ask this 🙂 I’ve never been a sweet tooth, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a guilty pleasure. My favorite indulgence is good New England seafood. Lobster rolls, fried oysters, clam chowder are all at the top of that list. I grew up spending a couple weeks in the Cape in the summer and some of my favorite memories are of eating seafood. Here in Boston, I am constantly heading to B&G Oyster or Neptune Oyster in the North End for side-by-side comparisons 🙂
Oh, and you haven’t lived until you’ve had the Spicy Scallop roll at Sushi Seki in NYC. To. Die. For. I’ve been known to eat 3 in a sitting (shhhhh…)
You and I have talked about Paleo before, but would love for you to share your opinion on it with our readers. The good AND the bad. We’re ready for it…! 

Ah, the question of the hour! While I rarely like to soap box about nutrition issues, the hoopla around the Paleo diet definitely deserves some attention. If you are unfamiliar with why dietitians have issues with Paleo, I definitely recommend checking out my girl Rachele’s post on the topic: http://www.strong-process.com/paleo-shmaleo/
Rather than restate all of her well-documented points, I will highlight the ones I feel most strongly about:
– It is literally impossible to follow this diet as prescribed because the food no longer exists in the same form. Period.
 – Removing certain food groups from your diet, such as dairy and grains, will have outcomes that you may not see, but you will certainly feel down the line. Most North Americans are already vitamin-D deficient, so removing the only dietary source (other than fatty fish) of vitamin-D can lead to complications like osteoporosis (especially for ladies). Unfortunately I can’t prove this point to you in the short-term, but once you’ve started feeling the effects of vitamin-D deficiency later in life, it is too late to reverse the outcome.
We enrich grains in this country because they are the food group we consume in the highest volume. I believe we all over-consume grains, but regardless, if you remove these completely from your diet you are no longer consuming the thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and iron that the grains are enriched with. While you can absolutely find the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin) and iron in protein foods, folic acid is only in legumes (off limits), citrus fruits (off limits) and leafy green veggies. That’s a whole lotta kale.
An important note – the enrichment act is in place as a way to ensure women who are pregnant or going to become pregnant have enough folic acid. Why? Having enough folic acid can prevent major birth complications like spina bifida or anencephaly, which is when a baby’s brain doesn’t develop properly. Women who are deficient in folic acid can also develop anemia, which is also common in pregnancy due to increased blood volume.
Removing these food groups without considering these long-term implications can have serious consqeuences that often aren’t discussed. It is important that you understand that these foods play a role in your health.
– Finally, the protein issue. This is a big one because I feel it is so misunderstood. While the Paleo diet clearly states that high fat meats should be avoided, I have yet to see someone following this rule. Instead, I see pork shoulder wrapped in bacon, burger wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in bacon, and bacon sandwiches…wrapped in bacon. This brings me back to the point I made in the beginning about things that frustrate me – the science is there folks! A diet high in saturated fat has been associated with heart disease, obesity, and certain types of cancer. While Paleo sites tout the benefits of saturated fat, I have yet to see a scientific basis for those claims.
All that being said, I know that people commonly experience positive outcomes from “going Paleo.” However, I often hear these outcomes associated with a gluten sensitivity or undiagnosed lactose intolerance. Naturally if you cannot digest lactose and you remove from your diet, you will feel better! But that’s not because of a miracle diet. That’s because your body was trying to tell you to avoid dairy.
Paleo is a diet, and it has its faults just like any other diet. While I certainly like some aspects – reduced sugar, lean meat, unprocessed foods – I am more apt to just make those recommendations than prescribe a set of standards to live by.
What’s been the most satisfying experience in your job so far?
The crazy part of the dietetic internship is how different each experience is. Sometimes I feel really effective and sometimes I just feel plain frustrated. But the most satisfying moments for me, whether at the hospital or at the studio, are when a client or patient tells me I’ve helped them make a positive change. Even if that means eliminating one negative habit, or getting them comfortable trying single taps in a spin class, I know I’ve done something positive for that person’s health and future. And nothing could be more satisfying than that.
If you don’t already follow Katie’s blog, check her out at The Aspiring RD. Great posts, way more informative than mine, not to mention she has the cutest French bulldog puppy, who she posts pics of on the reg. Informative AND cute puppy pics? WIN.
Thank you Katie!!
-Emily
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Paleo-versary

At HLS, when everyone was asking how long I’d been blogging, I realized that Erica and I started this blog last June. Which means we went Paleo last June. Which means we’ve been Paleo for over a year. WOAH. Crazy. So I’ve been thinking  a lot about my “journey” and where I was at last year vs where I am today and how Paleo has changed my life. I’ve never really sat down and wrote about it, but am going to today. It won’t be super exciting, it will most likely turn into a ramble (shocking) but hopefully it will inspire you in some way shape or form if you’ve been wanting to give Paleo a shot but need an extra boost. I’ve had a very positive experience with the “diet”, so here goes:

I’ve always been a healthy person. Played sports my whole life, started doing strength training and group exercise classes in high school, and grew up in a healthy household with the world’s best chef (my mom, for real). Since I was always active, I never really limited myself when it came to eating. My metabolism has always treated me well because I treated my body well. Minus a little 10 lb weight gain sophomore year of college (I blame NYC pizza) I’ve always been happy with my body image. I’d go through phases of “eating well” which basically meant limiting my caloric intake and focusing on low fat, low calorie foods, but for the most part, I had a consistent, normal diet. And felt fine.

About 4 years ago, I was getting really bad cramps in the back of my legs and arms. My doctors couldn’t figure it out. At first, we thought it was from exercising, but I was religious about stretching, and the cramping would occur on days I didn’t go to the gym. The cramping felt like my legs were falling asleep- numbness, a little bit of tingly-ness (not a word, whatever) and the only way to get rid of them was by downing Advil. Obviously, I did not want to make this a habit, but the cramps kept coming on. After lots of blood work and tests, my doctors suggested that I start tracking when the cramps came on. I did, and noted that it was occurring after large meals, such as pizza, pasta, sandwiches, dessert. All of my favorite things. GREAT. I almost wanted to keep it a secret, because I knew my doctor would tell me to stop eating those things!! Anyways, tested for celiac, dairy allergy, diabetes, and got nada. Well f me.

It was around this time that Erica started CrossFit, and was doing this crazy thing called the Paleo Diet. I literally would avoid talking to her on Gchat because all she would talk about was how great she felt and how Paleo was soo awesome and how she didn’t miss bread at all and STFU Erica! (Just kidding, love you!)

She told me I should try it. I told her she was crazy. There was NO way I was giving up pasta and sandwiches. I mean, the whole concept of just “eat real food” made sense to me… but it just sounded so… inconvenient. And no sandwiches? How inhumane!! But, turns out Erica is pretty persistent and I’m pretty stubborn and didn’t want to be proven wrong, so I told her I would do it for 7 days, and that was it. 7 days only.

Sooo.. 7 days… 1 year.. same thing.

How did it happen? I remember that night, after she convinced me to try it, I went out to sushi with my dad and brother. I got a salad and a roll wrapped in cucumber (no rice). I remember how shocked I was that I didn’t feel bloated and like I had a food baby living in my stomach after I ate. I felt… good. I didn’t want to feel good. I wanted to be pissed that I was missing out on carbs and delicious white rice that would stick in my belly for days. I remember sleeping like a rock that night. “Alright.. maybe this won’t be so bad. Maybe Erica is onto something here..” The rest of the week (I was still living at home) my mom was a rockstar (she always is) and made dinners that were all Paleo friendly and packed me lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches to bring to work (yes, when I was living at home my mom packed me lunch and drove me to the train in the morning. Yes, it ruled. Why did I move out again??)

Anyways, after just 3 days of going Paleo, I felt so different. I wasn’t bloated after I ate, I was sleeping like a rock at night, I had more energy throughout the day, I was waking up before my 5AM alarm, AND my legs weren’t cramping up. It was kind of a no brainer from there. Why wouldn’t I continue to eat this way? Why would I not want to feel this good all the time?

After the 7 days were up, I was convinced. I decided I would stick with it, for however long I felt like it. It was definitely a transition. I didn’t go hardcore Paleo on Day One. I still had dairy in the forms of Greek yogurt and cheese, and I didn’t realize until about 2 months in, after I read The Paleo Solution, that I wasn’t supposed to be eating corn or beans (whoops!). But cutting out the processed food, grains and gluten made a huge difference for me. In addition to not getting cramps and numbness after eating, I lost the 5 pesky pounds that I could never seem to get rid of (FYI I wasn’t trying to lose weight- it just happened). I FINALLY saw definition in my stomach. After years of doing crunches and ab classes, I realized the whole “diet and exercise” connection. I lost that little extra layer that had been surrounded my muscles and hard work at the gym for years.

This picture is totally unrelated to everything in this post. Just realized I didn’t have a picture to go along with it. I guess it sort of emphasizes how I feel after I eat gluten. My stomach just rips through my clothes. Sidenote- they NEED to bring this bathing suit style back. Bring it BACK!

Last August, when I moved out of the nest and into my own apartment in Boston, I had a new challenge- cooking. I’d never really cooked before since my mom is an incredible cook and always took care of that at home, and in NYC my kitchen was the size of my big toe so I was never really motivated to cook, especially since my schedule was so nutty and it was just easier to order out. Once I moved into my own place with a normal sized kitchen and appliances, PaleOMG became a part of my daily life. Seriously. I related so well to Juli and her sense of humor, and she made everything about Paleo seem so realistic. To boot, all of her recipes were really easy to make, and I found myself looking forward to going to the grocery store after work and cooking dinner at night. And, I discovered that there were such things as Paleo desserts. SCORE.

So here I am, a year later, still alive to tell the tale (unlike many of my caveman ancestors…). The main reason I’ve stuck with Paleo is that it makes me feel good.  Everyone is different. Maybe being a vegetarian makes you feel awesome. Maybe being vegan makes you feel great (and make me think you’re crazy.. just kidding!). It’s all about what finding what works for you. I’ve had friends try Paleo for 30 days and literally felt no difference. I’ve had friends try it who have loved it and are now also following the way of eating. For me, eating lots of protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts, fats, and occasional dairy (and chocolate…maybe that’s more than occasional…) works for me. I understand there are benefits of eating grains and certain starches. They just don’t make me feel good, so I don’t eat them. I don’t eat this way to please anyone else or prove myself to anyone else- I do it for completely selfish reasons. I do it for me.

I’ve learned some huge lessons from going Paleo. I’ve learned about taking better care of my body, and seeing what foods have affects on me. I’ve learned about properly fueling myself before and after a workout so I can maximize my time and efforts on the bike or in the gym. I’ve learned the importance of getting 8 hours of sleep at night. I’ve learned how to COOK! I’ve learned how to make smart decisions when food shopping or eating at restaurants. I’ve learned the importance of checking ingredients, and not calories (seriously, I eat WAY more on Paleo than I ever did before.. and weigh less, and have a lower body fat percentage). I’ve learned that if I want to splurge on a piece of chocolate cake after dinner, that I’ll be holed up on my couch for the rest of the night. I’ve learned that I have more confidence in my body and how I look than ever before- and it’s because I take care of it and eat well and work hard. And I feel great. At this point, 1 year will probably turn into 2.. and then 3.. and then who knows!

I could probably continue gushing about Paleo for days, but I’ll leave it at that. Erica will be giving her recap on her experience at some point this week or next week. How about you guys? Who introduced you to Paleo? Anyone out there debating trying it, but have qualms about it? Would love to hear your stories and experiences!

-Emily

 

Paleo Epiphany

After being Paleo for almost a year, I thought I knew the diet fairly well. I mean, it’s a pretty simple concept; only eat what you can hunt or gather. Are berries Paleo? Yes.  Are cookies Paleo? No. However, last weekend I attended a Paleo seminar that absolutely blew my mind.  he presenter, Diane Rogers, was amazing and really knew her shit. For more information on Diane, check out her website here.  Anyways, I thought I’d share some of the things I learned with you guys!

Veggies:

  • The human body cannot naturally digest many raw vegetables. To get the most nutritional value out of veggies, cook them first. Even better, cook them with fat (coconut oil, lard etc)
  • Since your body can’t digest these raw veggies, it’s better to have lettuce salads instead of spinach or kale salads.
  • The focus of your diet should be on cooked, leafy greens (spinach, kale etc).

Root Veggies:

  • Peel all potatoes and other root vegetables before consuming. Don’t eat the peel.
  • If you have trouble sleeping at night, trying adding a starchy vegetable to your dinner.  iane said sweet potatoes are the best to help you sleep.
  • Root veggies should be consumed after a cardio intensive workout. Some examples include, peeled sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, squash etc.

Protein:

  • Every meal should include a protein source.
  • All beef should be grass fed AND finished. Make sure the cow has been grass fed for its entire life. Some farmers will switch a cow from a grass fed diet to a grain diet near the end of its life to “fatten it up”. If you haven’t seen pictures of what a feedlot looks like, google it, it’s gross. Even better, look into buying a ½ or ¼ of a cow from a local, grass-fed farm. This way, you know exactly where your meat is coming from. And, it ends up being a lot cheaper.
  • Try to get the majority of your protein from eggs, grass fed beef, lamb, pork and wild fish. Try to limit the amount of chicken you consume throughout the week.
  • Organ meats have a ton of nutrients and should be included in your diet if possible (this is something that I’m going to try to work on).
  • For maximum benefit, slow cook/roast your meat.
  • Reuse excess bacon fat for cooking.

Healthy Fats:

  • Cooking oils should include coconut oil, butter (grass fed), ghee, bacon fat and olive oil.
  • Get rid of all canola, soy or corn oil in your diet. That shit is bad for you.
  • Every meal should include a fat source. This can include avocados, egg yolks, meat etc.

Fruit/Nuts:

  • Both of these food groups should be limited (especially if you want to lose weight).  If you look at the Paleo food pyramid, both categories are near top. 
  • If you are to have fruit, choose one that has a low glycemic index such as berries.
  • Try to stay away from dried fruit; there is nothing nutritional about it.

Miscellaneous:

  • Remove all soy from your diet.  Soy is awful for children.
  • Before consuming  Paleo-fied foods (Paleo pancakes), eat some protein and fat first. 
  • If you must take a vitamin, make sure it’s a capsule instead of the traditional “horse pill” vitamin (i.e One a Days). This allows for easier absorption.
  • If you must have a cheat, something non-glutinous is better (ice cream – score!)
  • All packaged salads dressings suck. In order for it to be Paleo, make it yourself. 
  • After a weight lifting WOD, recover with approximately 30g. of lean protein. After a cardio intensive WOD, recover with 100g. of carbs

I know there is more, but my brain is still half asleep. All I want right now is Paleo pancakes. However, my sausage and veggie frittata was amaazzzingballs this morning.   I will post the recipe once I remember to take a picture of it before I eat it.

Was there something you learned about the Paleo diet that shocked you? Is there something you still can’t wrap your mind around? For me, it was accepting the whole “use your excess bacon fat to cook with”.  It just sounds wrong … and delicious.  Anyways, we’d love to hear from you!

-Erica

Paleo Questions: Answered

My effort level at work today is slipping from subpar to borderline unacceptable. I have already accepted (and embraced) the fact that today is just not going to be a very productive day. Apparently my coworker isn’t feeling the same way and seems to be increasingly annoyed with all my non-work related questions. This pretty much sums up how I feel right now…

This might be because it is absolutely gorgeous outside (for New England March standards). Here’s the view from my tiny window:

So, since I am in such a sharing mood and am sitting in a cube by myself, I thought I would reach out to you guys, my virtual friends! Emily and I are SO excited and overwhelmed with all of the support and followers we received yesterday from being Freshly Pressed. One of the reasons we started our blog is because we were so inspired by other fitness and health bloggers out there, so for us to be reaching out to people and hopefully bringing some inspiration is pretty incredible. Thank you guys for supporting us and stopping by!

We’re so glad many of you have embraced a clean lifestyle and wanted to answer some of the common questions that were coming up in the comments about being Paleo and what foods you can eat. So I’ll do my best to answer some of those questions today.

 What do you eat for breakfast?
The question should be, what DON’T you eat for breakfast?? When you go Paleo, you have to shift your breakfast mentality. As Americans, we’re so accustomed to carb loading first thing in the morning with cereal, bagels, croissants, muffins, donuts, waffles, pancakes, etc. The list goes on. But there’s so many breakfast alternatives that fill you up even more than empty carbs and don’t make you want to fall asleep at your desk. We’re both big fans of this breakfast smoothie which has coconut milk, fruit, almond butter, and protein. It’s fast and easy to make, you can take it to go, and it keeps you full! But don’t be afraid to eat meat or leftovers first thing in the morning either. Avocado is really filling as well, and tastes great with a grapefruit. So big breakfast foods for us are bacon, fruit, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, almond butter, Larabars, and nuts. If you’re feeling ambitious/have a little more time, you can whip up a frittata, omlette, breakfast casserole, or one of these delicious loafs. Here’s a glimpse into our day to day breakfasts:

 Bacon and fresh fruit!

Grapefruit and hard boiled eggs.
Yes, Emily designed this to look like boobs. She’s mature.

Grapefruit, sans boobs

Sweet potatoes with coconut milk, cinnamon, and raisins

Not bad, huh? Missing your bagels yet? Don’t! Trust us, these taste way better, and there’s actually more options for breakfast when you ditch the carb loading mentality.

What CAN you eat on Paleo?
We realized that in our 30 Day Challenge post, we did focus a lot on things you can’t eat, rather than what you can. So, in a nutshell, the things you CAN eat on Paleo are: Fruits, veggies, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and oils. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but trust me, these go a long way! Do you KNOW how many vegetables there are out there? A freakin’ ton. For a complete list, check this out (this list is super clean.. we do eat bacon in moderation and indulge in Paleo sweets from time to time, but that list is a great starting off point).

What do you eat for snacks?
One of the misconceptions of Paleo is that it’s hard to eat on the go, because although most snack foods in America are pre-packaged processed crocks of shit, they are convenient. But, as long as you do a little preparation in advance, it is really easy to eat on the go following a clean diet. Nuts and dried fruits are the easiest to bring anywhere, same with carrots and celery sticks. But if you don’t feel like eating like a rabbit 24/7, you can also have Paleo beef jerky, grain free granola, or any leftovers from the night before. Here are my top to go Paleo snacks-

  1. Lara Bars – I seriously can’t get enough of them.  I would happily eat them for every meal if I could.  My favorites are definitely the apple pie, coconut cream pie and lemon. I have an apple one for my mid afternoon snack today and I’m so excited.
  2. Melons and Berries – Its just something about these two fruit groups that set them so far ahead of other fruits. Blueberries are definitely top of the list, but honeydew melon comes in a strong second.
  3. Bacon- With anything really. Bacon with brussel sprouts, bacon with eggs, bacon wrapped scallops, bacon and dates, etc. The list goes on and on!
  4. Cashews – I’ve recently rediscovered these nuts. I was on an almond kick for probably the last 5 years and completely neglected the cashew. But, once Emily and I made the chocolate cashew butter, it reminded me of how delicious they are. I have trying to portion these things out recently since I could easily eat a whole bag in one sitting.
  5. Avocados – Avocados are great because they’re so versatile and go with anything.  Avocados have a ton of healthy fat which is always a plus. I add them to omelets, salads, dips and almost all proteins. Grossed out by when they turn brown? Add a little lime juice to the flesh to keep them green for days!

Anyways, hope this helps! We’re trying to get to all of your comments and questions, but thought this would be a good starting point. Again, we are SO happy and grateful to have “met” all of you and hope that we can keep encouraging each other to stay fit, happy and healthy 🙂

-EB

PS- For those of you newbies, there’s two of us manning the SEGR front! EB is me (Erica, the blondie) and ES is Emily (the brunette)

Carb-loading Observations

Exhibit A: Why I shouldn’t eat rice.

I’m officially kissing the BRAT diet goodbye today. My stomach is finally feeling better, and I’m thankful it was just a bug that worked its way out of my system. After 4 days of carb loading, I’m ready to get back to my normal diet and consume a sh*tload of veggies, fruit, and bacon. Om. Nom. Nom. So! Since you’ve all given up carbs and shiz and are badass Paleo-ers, I thought I would give you a little recap of what you’ve been missing in Carb World.

  1. Zits– Between Monday and Thursday, I got 4 zits. 4!! This is after months of having pretty clear skin. I occasionally get a zit here and there (like when I work out and then take a nap on my couch and don’t shower for 6 hours…) but nothing like this.
  2. Bloating– That feeling like you have a food baby hanging out in your stomach for 3 hours after you eat. Yeah, haven’t missed that.
  3. Cramping– Everyone reacts to gluten differently, and my body reacts by cramping up, mostly in my joints. The back of my knees and the inside of my elbows feel like they’re falling asleep after I eat bread or grains. So that was fun!
  4. Trouble Sleeping– Probably because of the food baby living in my stomach, but I was waking up several times in the middle of the night, which hasn’t happened to me since I went Paleo.
  5. Digestion Issues– I won’t go into detail, but yeah, let’s just say your body definitely processes gluten differently (aka not at all) if you’ve cut it out for awhile.

So, there you have it. If you ever find yourself missing carbs, just don’t. It’s not worth it! I tried to stick to stuff like applesauce, bananas, chicken soup, and some rice and saltine crackers while staying away from bread. I did have bread a couple times, and even though it did taste pretty amazing (my grandmother’s homemade toast with jam.. yes please) its not worth it for how you feel after. Also, a reader passed along this great forum on Mark’s Daily Apple about what to eat when you’re sick. Hopefully I won’t have a stomach bug again for awhile, but this is a great resource to have on hand so you don’t have to resort to the BRAT!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend! I’m back to spinning my face off. I taught last night, which I was really nervous about because of my stomach, but it ended up going really well. I think it actually helped to sweat it out of my system. I’m taking a few more classes this weekend, so combined with eating clean I think I’ll be back on track for good by Monday 🙂

-ES

These kinds of articles ALWAYS make me laugh

Slash/make me really angry! My sister just sent me this article from Livestrong and I literally wanted to throw something at my computer. I have no problem with people not wanting to do Paleo, but to blatantly lie about the dangers of this kind way of eating reallllllly makes me mad. Below is the article, with my flipping out comments following. Please feel free to throw things at your computer as well and add any additional info you have in the comments!

Too Much Saturated Fat

The Paleo diet centers on meat consumption and, as a consequence, is high in saturated fats. Eating too much saturated fat can result in high cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. It can also lead to obesity and increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer. The Paleo diet limits healthy fats, such as olive oil, because they were not available during the Paleolithic.

Low Energy

The Paleo diet is low in carbs because it contains no grains of any kind. Although you’ll be able to get some carbs from fruits and vegetables, the total amount is still lower than you would if you were eating grains. A lack of carbs can lead to feelings of tiredness, weakness and sluggishness as well as low blood sugar.

Bacterial Infection

Some versions of the Paleo diet recommend eating all the food raw, including meats. Advocates of raw Paleo diets believe that cooking foods kill the nutritional enzymes they contain, rendering the meat more difficult to digest and less nutritious. Raw milk and meats can carry E.coli, salmonella and other dangerous bacteria. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are especially susceptible to the bacteria and should avoid raw animal products.

Lack of Calcium

Paleo diets ban all dairy products. Obtaining enough calcium in your diet without eating dairy — or fortified soy milk, which is also prohibited because it’s a processed product— can be tricky. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and okra contain calcium, but you will have to eat them regularly in order to obtain enough calcium. Because the Paleo diet is focused on meats, with vegetables being just a complement, calcium deficiencies may occur.

(This is what I imagine the person who wrote this article looked like)

Okay…. HERE WE GO. (Sorry this is a long one guys, hopefully you’re as revved up as I was!)

1. Saturated fats – if you eat lean meat/unprocessed meat like you’re supposed to, you don’t have to worry about this. That being said, if you are going to eat poor quality 60% fat beef, no shit this would be the case.  However, since Paleo focuses on LEAN cuts of meat, this is not a problem. AND, according to new studies recently published in the Scientific American, there’s no relation between saturated fat and increased cholesterol and heart disease. And, quoting one of the commenters from this article, “Can you please reference the work that shows saturated fat consumption leads to obesity? – even better, I challenge you to find one testimonial from a paleo dieter that GAINED weight unintentionally.”

2. Sluggish Feeling – Are you kidding me?!?!?! I have more energy now than ever before. I wake up before my alarm at 5:15 every day and have tons of energy until I go to bed around 9:45/10pm. I am NEVER tired during the day and never have to have a second cup of coffee to wake me up.  Since when did carbs = energy? Never. If anything, processed carbs cause you to feel tired with the effect it has on your digestion and brain.  Plus, you get all the carbs you need from fruit and veggies. There is absolutely no reason for processed carbs to be in your diet. Plus, since our bodies cant process that stuff to begin with, it leads to leaky gut and backed up systems. (This is why my mom had bad cramps when she ate Kashi, which is supposedly really good for you…)

3. Bacterial infections – Ew, last time I checked no one ate raw meat?  Why would you do that? Paleo diet is NOT the same as a raw diet. Duh.

4. Lack of calcium – Humans are the ONLY animals that drink milk after infancy. There is absolutely no reason for it. The only reason the government had such a big “drink milk” campaign in the 50s (or sometime around then) was because of a HUGE grant from the dairy industry. I watched a documentary on this Christmas day. PLUS, you get PLENTY of calcium and vitamin D from veggies, especially leafy greens. Last time I checked, we totally have this covered. I actually read an awesome article on dairy this morning on Paleo Weight Loss Coach. (I won’t post it here and make this any longer!)

SO, take that!! PALEO FOR LIFE!

Phew.
-EB

 

Going Paleo

 

I was the biggest skeptic of the Paleo diet, or any diet that said “No Carbs”. Being physically active my whole life, I was always told that you needed carbs for energy, especially if you were working out constantly. When a few of my girlfriends started talking about doing it, I thought they were crazy. I eat relatively healthy (minus my sweet tooth) and work out regularly,and am not really looking to lose any weight, so I wasn’t interested.

But then Erica (who also was a no-carb skeptic) started doing Paleo behind my back and only told me 2 weeks after she started that she had been doing it and how amazing she felt. Bitch! She told me that she felt like she had more energy, was sleeping better at night, wasn’t bloated after meals, her workouts were improving, she didn’t miss bread at all, blah blah blah. All of the cheesy stuff that people say when they’re dieting that make you want to punch them in the face.

After telling her to STFU, she told me I should just try it. Hoping that I could prove her wrong, I gave it a shot. But then something weird happened. After the first couple of days.. the same things were happening to me. I was becoming the person that I loved to hate, and all of those wonderful things that Erica described were happening to me. WTF?

Still thinking I was crazy, I snagged her copy of Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. And all I have to say is, wow. It’s really eye opening and inspirational. For any of you Paleo newbies, I highly recommend heading over to his website and checking him out, and pick up a copy of the book. It helps justify the decision of going Paleo, and I don’t think it’s one you’ll regret.

I’m pretty excited about this new way of eating. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely cheated several times for some bread cravings or cake, but find myself having fewer and fewer cheats due to the way I feel after eating that stuff again. And, since I’ve recently discovered some awesome Paleo sweet-tooth recipes (which I will be sharing) I’m not having those temptations as much anymore.

Sorry for the ramble and being the person we all love to hate, but we both want to do our part in spreading the Paleo love! Let us know if you guys have any success stories and we will continue to share ours 🙂

-Em