Friday, March 17, 2017

Wired To Eat Winners! Paleo Foundation Questions

Hey folks! We had a little contest for the folks at the Paleo Foundation.  The top three questions (picked by me!) receive a signed copy of Wired To Eat. Here are the questions and my answers.

Just a reminder: the WTE official release date (in the US) is March 21! (audio version on March 28th) If you want to get in on the pre-order bonuses, follow this link and we will get you squared away.



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I Look Forward to Many More Years of Health and Happiness!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

realifestories in lineDownsized at 50 from my job as a government social worker! My body and mind were a mess….from too much stress, too much sugar (the office culture was big on sweet treats in the coffee room!), too much sitting in front of a computer!

Migraine headaches, back and hip problems (often the only thing keeping me going were my monthly massages and physical therapy sessions), menopausal issues, my weight creeping up in spite of my exercise regime…weekly aerobics classes, swimming laps, cycling.

Now was the perfect time to take control of my health! I signed up for a course to become a fitness instructor….and discovered I was performing some exercises incorrectly! Disappointed in the ‘Nutrition’ information module…not enough and very sketchy, but enough to get me started on my new passion…research into alternative healthy nutrition and active lifestyles.

That was more than a decade ago and, wow, have things changed since then….

The first thing to go from my life was SUGAR, although I still used honey occasionally and ate fruit, drank some fruit juice. Then, I eliminated wheat, but still ate a lot of grains…rye, oats, rice. Although my husband and I started to feel way less bloated and stopped gaining weight, I still had physical issues with my pelvis/hips/back. We led a very active lifestyle…cross country and downhill skiing daily for 4 months every winter….cycling, hiking, gardening, swimming all summer and fall, including a daily stretching regimen.

I was in my doctor’s office for an appointment to deal with a serious neck problem that had been plaguing me throughout a 2 month holiday in Mexico, when I discovered Dr. Perlmutter’s Grain Brain…I quit all grains immediately after reading this enlightening book! Then it was a visit to my massage therapist who turned me onto Mark’s Daily Apple…that was 3 years ago, and I haven’t looked back since!

I should also mention that throughout this ‘journey’, we lost my husband’s father to a very long slow decline…bedridden for 5 years… complications from diabetes. I believe that watching him (and others, e.g. friends who have died from cancer) die a slow lingering death has had a very profound effect on me. My mother passed away also from complications of heart disease and diabetes. (My father died 20 years ago at age 62 from pancreatic cancer.) So my husband and I were both concerned we were at risk for diabetes, heart disease and a host of other diseases!

I continued reading and researching and everything kept leading me to the Paleo/ Low Carb-High Fat/Ketogenic diet and lifestyle. I even took an online course offered by EdX Harvard, which helped me to understand the function and importance of our mitochondria and helped hugely in my understanding of how we burn fat more efficiently than glucose!

It has been 2 years now since we have adopted a Primal Lifestyle (leaning towards Keto and practicing limited intermittent fasting), and both of us feel better than we did in our 40s and 50s. My hip and back problems are under control, especially since I have adopted many of Katy Bowman’s (Nutritious Movement) practices…barefooting or wearing minimal footwear (I love my Vibram Five Fingers!), sitting on the floor, opening my hips, stabilizing my pelvic floor, hanging and generally getting my body into alignment. I have recently added yoga practice to my daily routine. Oh yes, and did I mention that I had suffered for 40 years with eczema? Now GONE! Despite the fact that my physician told me years ago that it would never go away!

My biggest issue now is holding my tongue! The social worker in me wants to help all my friends/family with their numerous health issues. Thanks, Mark, for the article about “leading by example.” I try very hard to not talk about diet/nutrition in social situations…sometimes difficult when people ask pointed questions about why I won’t eat….wheat, sugar, etc.

All of these things have contributed to more enjoyment in our daily lives of all of our outdoor passions…gardening, skiing, cycling, canoeing, tree climbing, hiking and traveling the world. I feel we are very fortunate that we have the means to live this wonderful lifestyle and look forward to many more years of health and happiness AND planning for another bicycle trip from Amsterdam to the south of France! (Whoops, I might sneak in a warm flaky French croissant!)

Gypsyrozbud (aka Rosemary)
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Rosemary

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Start a Garden and Harvest the Health Benefits

As the weather begins to warm (March, you’re still planning to go out like a lamb, right?) and the first signs of spring tentatively peep out of the ground, many of us take our cue to start rooting around for our garden tools.

If you are not yet a gardener, why not make this spring the season you try out your green thumb? Even if you live in a city and have no yard at your disposal, you may be able to give it a whirl by finding a small plot in a community garden or even stashing a box on your windowsill. The rewards may include far more than whatever you manage to grow.

Studies have shown that gardening has all sorts of health benefits, from boosting your mood and improving your diet, to helping you stay fit and trim. So Healthy Eats reached out to Sharon Palmer, RD, a plant-based food and nutrition expert and the author of The Plant-Powered Diet, Plant-Powered for Life and The Plant-Powered Blog, to find out more.

 

How is tending a garden beneficial for your overall health? 

Gardening is good for your overall health in many ways. First of all, it is a form of physical activity that contributes to your overall physical fitness levels. Secondly, it can boost mood-enhancing hormones. Studies show that gardening can increase the release of serotonin, which has an anti-depressant effect, while decreasing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Thirdly, it can increase your exposure to health-promoting vitamin D levels we obtain from the sun. And fourthly, studies show that when you garden, you increase your consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.

 

What are some of the benefits in terms of weight maintenance?

When you increase your physical activity, you can better balance your energy input and output to promote a healthier weight. Plus, when you increase your consumption of healthy plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, you can promote a healthier weight. Plant foods are rich in fiber and nutrients for a relatively small calorie level, meaning you can feel satisfied with fewer calories.

 

How do you suggest people new to gardening get started?

The most important thing to do is to just get started! The USDA has some helpful gardening guides. Look at specific gardening recommendations for your region. For example, I live in Southern California and I need to get my plants into my garden before it gets really hot, so in March I am planting my vegetables. I also have different growing seasons and plants that do really well in my area: Cool weather is lettuces and greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli; hot weather is peppers, eggplant, squash, corn, and tomatoes. You will learn a little bit more each year on what works the best. If you are new to gardening, first try a container garden — even a large pot. You can try vegetables starts rather than growing from seed if you are new to gardening. Try composting your leftover kitchen scraps as organic fertilizer. Harvest your vegetables when they are ripe for maximum nutritional benefits, and remember to use those nutrient-rich greens: broccoli and cauliflower leaves, turnip greens, beet greens.

 

What do you think is the most important thing for rookie gardeners to keep in mind?

People who grow vegetables eat more vegetables. And they enjoy them at their nutrient and flavor peak. In addition, gardening is the ultimate local food choice, reducing your carbon footprint. By gardening, you can fill your diet with a variety of whole plant foods — greens, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil, parsley, carrots, beets, cucumbers, squash and more. We know that a diet filled with these foods is linked with a lower risk of disease and obesity.

 

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.



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Friday Favorites!!!

Remember when we were talking about Mazen’s art? Many of you recommended photographing the art and then making a book with the images. I love the ideal of digitizing it in this way, so I sat down and took a picture of everything in the basket in about 15 minutes. I then recycled anything that wasn’t worthy of playing with or possibly framing. He still plays with some of the things – like the masks or his mailbox – so I kept those. I decided to make this collage in Picmonkey, and I’m thinking about turning it into a poster for his room!

So I think I wrote that I bought a Turkish towel this summer locally here in Cville. I had high hopes of making it the prettiest bath towel in the house, but honestly, I just don’t love it for after a shower. But it’s great at the beach, and I absolutely LOVE Turkish towels as hand and kitchen towels. Goodbye terrycloth forever! I had a gift certificate to Etsy, so I used that to buy more. Beachy colored, of course. Aren’t they pretty?

On the towel front, I found this shark beach cover up at Costco. It’s so perfect for after bath time! He feels like such a big boy wearing it around the house.  Here’s a similar one if you don’t have a Costco around.

And I feel like such a mom wearing these sweatpants around the house!! I am in LOVE with Lou & Gray. I bought these from LOFT and then these directly from Lou & Gray. Look for the SignatureSoft line – that’s the one you want. They can be described as a blend of mom sweatpants, hip joggers, butter and velvet all in one. So warm, so cozy.

Also on the leg front, I have declared the 7/8 leggings from Athleta my very favorite black leggings. They have just the right amount of compression and shape, and if your legs are as short as mine, they won’t have tons of fabric hanging out on the ankles or thighs because they are on the shorter size (but not cropped). They sit perfectly on the waist. Love.

How pretty are these?!! I also have my eye on these and these!!! ALSO: did you know they make the Birk Gizeh’s in Rose Gold Mirror now?!

I’ve been seeing commercials for ABC Mouse forever, but we only recently gave it a go. Mazen just got into it, and I set him up on my downstairs HP computer. He goes down to “do lessons” a few times a day and lasts about 15 minutes. I have to say I’m really impressed with some of the tools – like the word puzzles and counting. I think it’s going to be very helpful over the summer! And of course pirates need to know how to count their treasure…

Mazen is getting into card games. He and Matt are aces at UNO and the loser has to do pushups, so that’s always a fun video to watch. I found this series of card games that come packed in nice storage boxes and they are great. They are perfect for packing up for a restaurant visit or airplane.

And finally, my gym favorites!! This is us after a hard strength class taught by Bradley. Thanks to Lauren for capturing the fun!

**This post includes affiliate links! I only earn a kickback if you buy something. Thank you!**

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