Paleo Nutrition: Biting My Tongue on the Standard American Diet - Part 1

I have my youngest son-8 years old, Marco, registered in a ‘fit kids” class.  While I do feed my kiddies very healthy and mostly Paleo…they are not 100% with Paleo nutrition. Marco has always had some extra weight and while it has always been a concern for me, I try not to make a huge deal out of it. Still, I want my son to be healthy and fit. Marco isn’t big on sports. He’s tried soccer and gymnastics and it just wasn’t his thing. He loves bike riding and swimming and playing outside. That’s a bit harder in the winter.

Anyhoo, a friend of mine told me about this FREE program in my community that helps children with obesity prevention. It combines fitness, nutrition and lifestyle/behavioral for children that are overweight. I thought it would be a good opportunity to expose him to other types of physical activity and help us, as a family, be more active AND add to our healthy lifestyle.

I already knew what the program’s nutrition component was going to look like…low-fat, whole grain…the Standard American Diet (SAD)! I already knew that the nutrition would not mirror what I believe about the amazing benefits of Paleo nutrition. How was I going to explain (nicely) to my son that what the nutritionist say about saturated fat, fiber, grains and such is all wrong? (in my book, anyways). 

Both of my sons know lots about Paleo nutrition from me…watching sugar intake, avoiding and/or limiting grain, not eating processed foods, why we eat organic produce and pastured meats, etc. They both like that mama cooks from scratch and that we yummy nutritious meals that are not only delicious but helps us feel great. I do allow then to have some treats with most of them being homemade. So it was quite the challenge to decide how I could get Marco engaged in the class but how I would steer him away from the “nutritional advice and tips” that the program offers. Actually it hasn’t been hard at all. Marco is smart is really starting to monitor how he feels eating a meal….watching sugar intake, eating more veggies. etc.

I really do like the program, overall. The instructors are wonderful and really love working with the kids. The fitness component is really fun for Marco and he gets a 45 minute session on Mondays and Wednesdays and then another 45 minute family workout on Friday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the kids get nutritional and behavioral education after the work out. and I worked out with him yesterday and it was lots of fun. We did a warm-up, work-out stations (jumping rope, push-ups, get-ups, jumps, etc.) and some relay races. It was a good workout. On Fridays, following the workout, we get a nutritional and lifestyle class after the workout.

So yesterday, we worked on reading foods labels and what to avoid. I wanted to add that if we ate more whole foods and less processed foods from a bag, box or can…we wouldn’t have to decipher so many food labels. I’m not shy but I am also not going to convince the conventional thinking of schooled nutritionists. I’d rather save my energy. I bit my tongue and smiled. 

The pediatric nutritionist (from a hospital) said that saturated fat was BAD and that cholesterol was BAD. I think using the word BAD on needed nutritional fats is BAD. We agree that trans fats are BAD but perhaps we replace the word BAD with something like “highly processed fats that should be avoided because they will make you sick”. Too many words?

You need fats in your diet. In the Standard American Diet Pyramid, it is suggested that oils, fats like butter, and animal fats are to be used sparingly. Yet, we still have an obesity crisis in the USA eating a low-fat diet. I’m not going to re-write the science about fats in the Paleo diet as there are plenty of sources online. I believe in Paleo nutrition principles and that’s what works for me.

Then she went on to say not to worry about carb intake…grains! AND that canola oil is GOOD. It’s not her fault that she is teaching this information. It is what is taught and believed in mainstream health system. I’m not going to convince a program that taught by a hospital to check out Paleo nutrition and that I know better…although I did offer some whole foods snack ideas that were well received.  

She also said that bacon was BAD. That’s when I whispered to my son, “Did she say bacon was BAD?” He smiled and nodded as he loves bacon. I whispered back, “Get your things. We are out of here.” And we kindly excused ourselves from class.

I plan on keeping him in the class for the physical benefits. We will just have to smile and bite our tongues for the nutritional stuff. 

Maybe I need to develop and teach my own class…hmmmm.

Pressure Cooker Beef Bone Broth

Click HERE for the best and quickest beef bone broth I have ever made.

Paleo/primal blogs


Please repost if you are a paleo or primal diet tumblr so that I can follow you! I have to do an anti-candida diet, and I’m not allowed to have grains or fruit :(

How is your 2013 going?

After a crazy busy holiday season and as my consulting practice continues to grow, I am back to my blog. There is so much I want to write about, so much that I want to share with you that I don’t even know where to start.

I am currently on Day 7 of my second Paleo Whole30 and feeling great. The first week was a bit challenging…not as hard as the first the one I did in September. I’m feeling good, sleeping soundly and eating lots of healthy nutritious foods. I’m doing lots of updates on my Facebook page: Paleo Chica with recipes and sharing tips and articles. Lots of my friends are “Paleo curious” and like to see the recipes. I say just eat real food to start off.  Still lots of people ask me “If you can’t have bread, rice and pasta or dairy, then what can you eat? Oh my! Where would I even begin? Lots of veggies, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, bacon…good fats like olive oil, nuts, avocado and coconut oil…some fruit and nuts, but not too much..and drinking lots of water and green tea. Yes, I have coffee in the morning with a splash of coconut oil.  

Here is the EATS for the week:



  • Usually leftovers. I try to cook enough food so that I have leftovers…BIG time saver.
  • I also make a big salad that I can easily add a protein and then toss with lemon juice and olive oil.
  • I made a pot of Chicken Veggie Soup.


  • I’ve been doing a raw veggies juice in the morning with assorted organic veggies…loving it. I have that with some kind of eggs. 
  • Chorizo Frittata - I make this ahead and we reheat it in the toaster oven.
  • Boiled Eggs 

There you have it! What are you eating this week?

I’m still here

I haven’t blogged in two weeks. OY! Work is so busy but I am still here. I am working on a Fitness and Nutrition Holiday Challenge on Facebook.

Join Us!

"Don’t Gain Maintain" Holiday Fitness Challenge

Paleo Meals for the Week of Oct 28, 2012

I had a crazy busy week with work…like most weeks! I didn’t get to cook as much last weekend as I was working. Grant writing is part of my consulting practice and for this gig, I had to turn this proposal around in less than a week. Oy! So in having to work all weekend, I had less time to plan, shop and cook. It happens. This weekend was equally busy with my son’s birthday so I had a less than stellar Paleo weekend. What I am learning is that when I “treat”, I don’t feel so well and that I can easily turn it around in my next meal. So no beating oneself up…no regrets, just keep pushing forward. Dinners for the week:

1. Grilled Fish and chicken with chimichurri sauce, roasted veggies and acorn squash - cooking double proteins so I have leftovers for lunches
2. Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken and Gravy with mashed cauliflower - my family LOVES this recipe, it is so darn good. I usually don’t like chicken in the crock pot but I have learned that if you time it right, it is delicious.
3. Italian Sausage and marinara over zucchini noodles and chopped Italian Salad
4. Paleo Salisbury steak,  roasted sweet potatoes and creamy spinach
5. Mexican Meatball soup - working on a new recipe….stay tuned!
Other goals this week: 
1. Another blog post about “why I chose Paleo”
2. Working out…must get off my ass…I’m not lazy, I’m just not making the time for it. I have a home gym, plenty of DVDs of 20 minute workouts, my PAID yoga classes, etc.
3. Decluttering my home….we have way too much stuff in this house…my excuse has always been that I never have time to “purge”….I made a list (I LOVE LISTS) of decluttering projects and I am actually making progress. Clutter is like excess body weight…we don’t need it, we don’t want it and it is toxic.
4. More “me” time to decompress. Working on combating stress!
Have a great week! 
Paleo Meals for Week #2

Last week was a crazy busy week as work just picked up and this week will be more of the same. I decided that there is just too much going on at work to do a strict Whole 30…now that does not mean that I’m calling this a Paleo Faileo…no way!

Last week was going well until I picked up a client project with a very aggressive deadline and it wasn’t that the stress was making eat non-Paleo…I wasn’t eating on a regular schedule so I was missing meals and much needed sleep. While I am not making any excuse, I just knew that the timing to do another Whole 30 was off. SO? I made the choice to eat 90% Paleo over the weekend and to eat 100% during the week. Yes, this means I drank some wine (gasp!) and had some dairy this weekend. But this also means that we resume Paleo during the week. I really need to be on my game this week and my nutrition is going to help me. Planning is key so here is the weekly menu (recipes coming soon!):

Monday - Shepard’s Pie with a sweet potato crust, roasted squash

Tuesday - Bigos - Polish sausage and kraut stew

Wednesday - Chorizo stuffed poblano peppers and jicama slaw

Thursday - Grilled chicken, veggie kabobs and ceasar salad

I am going to make sure that I get my 8 hours of sleep. I really feel it when I’m not properly rested. I’m also going to squeeze in some workouts…a minimum of 3 times this week…no excuses. 

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

I always like to have homemade chicken and beef stock ready for recipes. I usually have frozen stock in different size containers ready to go for soups, stews, gumbo, and sauces. The flavor is so much better…and better for you…than the store bought cans and cartons. Bone broth…stock cooked with the so good for you too and super easy.

I got the idea and recipe for pressure cooker bone broths from one of my favorite Paleo experts, Michelle, at Nom Nom Paleo. This website and her iPad app are not be missed. She is a genius at Paleo recipes and meal ideas!

I was a little afraid of using a pressure cooker, at first. I was sure that the pot was going to explode in my face the first time I used it and heard it hiss and steam. Today’s pressure cookers are very safe. Once the pot gets up to pressure, it locks until the pressure is released naturally or manually by running cold water on the top.

Anyhoo…here is my quick chicken stock recipe with a whole chicken. when I use a whole chicken, I don’t cook it for very long so I can use the chicken meat in soup or another recipe. OR I use a leftover roasted chicken carcass and cook it longer.The pics are from my iPad so please excuse the grainy photos for now.

Recipe..use organic veggies when you can…I keep a scrap bag in the freezer for the middle stalks of celery and extra carrots before they wilt:

3-4 lb. chicken…the best you can afford

one onion, peeled and quartered

a couple of garlic cloves, smashed

a couple of celery stalks, chopped

a couple of carrots, peeled and chopped

a few sprigs of fresh parsley

about 15 whole peppercorns

a bay leaf

filtered water

1. Clean chop your veggies and place in the bottom on the pressure cooker


2. Add chicken, herbs and water up to the fill line.


3. Lock your pressure cooker and heat until the rocker starts rocking, lower the heat and set the timer to 20 minutes for a whole chicken. I will cook it for up to an hour for a chicken carcass.


4. After 20 minutes…cooked chicken and beautiful stock.


5. Strain your stock and use or freeze. Look at that beautiful color!


6. Debone your chicken for your favorite recipe.


Meals for Week #1 Whole 30!

I cooked my butt off (I wish!) today. I find that planning out my week is the best thing to do when you are trying to eat healthy. Why? 

  • If you plan your meals, you always know what you are going to eat for the week…even if it just dinners.
  • It is easier to shop when you plan meals and recipes to try. No overbuying.
  • I’m a business owner and a mom…I don’t have time to loo in the fridge and guess what is for dinner.
  • My family loves to know what we are eating for the week. Seriously, my sons ask me what is for lunch while eating breakfast.

I will share my meal planning strategies and how I shop in another post but here is what I cooked up today and what we are eating this week. Today I made:

  • Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip muffins…OMG! these were amazing and a treat for me as I won’t be doing sugar or chocolate for 30 days. I served them with grass fed butter at breakfast. I made a dozen and there are 4 left and all spoken for by my family. Click here for the recipe from Fast Paleo.
  • I made a Chorizo Potato Fritatta. Gone! 
  • Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock.
  • Butter Squash and Bacon Soup with the stock…soooo good…here is the recipe from Civilized Caveman.
  • Almost Paleo Chicken Pot Pie for dinner….I blended recipes to make this mine…this had some heavy cream in it. I will perfect this one and share the recipe soon!
  • Homemade Mayo for tuna salad for lunches.

Dinners for the week:

Monday - Bacon wrapped Paleo Meatloaf with mashed cauliflower. Recipe Soon!

Tuesday - Shepard’s Pie from the The Paleo Recipe Book. My first Paleo cookbook…available as an ebook with lots of FREE bonuses.

Wednesday - Slow Cooker Italian Sausage over zucchini noodles and salad. 

Thursday - Chorizo Meatballs over cauliflower mash from Practical Paleo. Love the author and LOVE her book! You MUST have this book!

Friday - Grilled Mahi-mahi and grilled veggies.

Let’s do this! I’m excited.

Another 30-days starts in two days!

Monday, I will embark on another Whole30 Days of Paleo! I just realized that I never recapped my first Whole 30 so without further adieu….

1. I really wanted to to a Whole 30 but kept convincing myself that it would be too hard and I would suck and not finish. Solution…Posted on Facebook so I would be accountable. The support I received was amazing.

2. The first week was HARD. I’m going to lie. I had a dull headache the first few days…”carb flu”? I also had some funky STRONG cravings and weird dreams. This passed.

3. The magic hit me about DAY 12…I was sleeping better and my energy and mood were shockingly amazing. It wasn’t perfect all day everyday but way better than I can remember.

4. I wasn’t completely prefect. No, I didn’t go off the plan but I probably overdid coffee and nuts. No worries as I am planning for the next 30-days.

5. The 30 days was very eye opening on how foods fuels me, how important nutrition plays in my health and recognizing food cravings, patterns and habits. 

6. I felt really really good on this lifestyle….NOT A DIET. Sadly, I didn’t know how unhealthy I was feeling until I starting feeling really good. I felt so good that I’m doing it again.

I will be sharing my plan, recipes and tips. Join me…it is life changing.