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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Paleo quick Tip of the Day #73 Walk Like a MAN! (or WOman)

pqtd 73 Walk like a Man! (or WOman)!


I don’t mean to be facetious, but here in Paleo Land, where all men are Conan, and all the women are Amazons, and of course all the children are not only above average but also birthed vaginally and loaded with good bacteria...


Walking is paramount!


Let’s say all of your health markers are PERFECT!  If you don’t WALK, it is all for naught... your body will gradually shut down, thinking you must be dead...


This is literally true- if your human body, the ultimate achievement of our entire evolution perceives that you are a blob; that you are just sitting motionless in a cubicle or at a desk (or in front of your TV or Xbox) with only your fingers and eyeballs moving- 


Your body knows you are DEAD- even if YOU DON’T!!


Movement is literally LIFE, in evolutionary terms.  Anything that is alive MOVES.  Stop moving, and your very SELF gives up on you- 


“Well” says your inner self, “ I guess we’re dead, or at least very near it.  We must be locked in a cave, with tons of really bad food, but we must be dying slowly... I might as well shut down, and let the next generation take over, since I am obviously kaput, done, killed and ended!”


It doesn’t matter if you are really enjoying yourself, eating pizza and watching TV at nights, and making big bucks driving around and in front of your computer selling gadgets and gizmos and then maybe working out on a treadmill for a 1/2 hour or so each day, followed by weights...


This is no life, and your body knows it- it knows you are DYING!


I watch animals, each and every day- birds, dogs, cats- and the one constant is constant movement! Not “training to failure” like weight training or Crossfit- not endless, chronic cardio as Mark Sisson calls it, going into the “Aerobic Zone” and keeping it there as long as possible to “burn calories”...


Just simple walking, pure and simple.  The most evolutionarily appropriate movement pattern for humans!  


Think about it: as infants, our primary goal is just to WALK!


We crawl, but as soon as we are able we get up, with assistance from walls and parents, but we get up AND WALK!


This is our PRIME DIRECTIVE- WALK!  All else is just frosting on the cake.


The true beauty of this is it’s simplicity- walking is really the be-all and end-all of exercise!  I started out many years ago with just WALKING.  Then, when I got to age 20 I started lifting weights.  In my 40’s, I gave up weights since I found them injurious, and went to Perfectly Paleo Exercise, which I deem to be Virtual Resistance (self resistance within the muscles) and bodyweight exercises.  


Having gained the integrity of my joints by abandoning heavy weights, I now continue the Virtual Resistance exercises and pushups, pullups, barefoot sprinting, and straight legged situps along with stretching on a daily basis- and I FEEL GREAT!!


I am now 63 years of age, and I plan to continue my daily regimen for my entire life.  But you know what?


The mainstay of my fitness protocol is really just WALKING.  I walk around the yard ( I have several acres) each day, barefoot; at least in the summer.  I always park (to the chagrin of whoever is with me) at the VERY BACK of any parking lot when I go shopping!


My father, Phil Bowers, has always done this himself- ever since I can recall, he parked at the back of any lot, and we all walked to the store!  


Other than this, and the fact that his favorite activities throughout his life were cutting, stacking and storing wood, gardening, and making music- the ultimate constant was constant MOVEMENT and walking!


I am going in July to visit my dad, to celebrate his 95th birthday.  Luckily, he still lives in my childhood home, with my Mom, Carolyn, and they’ll both walk out to greet me!


Check out this episode!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Paleo Quick Tip of the Day #72 Vegetable oils and margarine SUCK!

pjsc 106 vegetable oils and margarine suck


One concept that many people on the paleo journey kind of don’t really get is why you shouldn’t consume vegetable oils.I mean, it’s just a little oil, and it comes from plants, like peanuts and corn and soy and canola, so what’s the big deal?  


It’s a vegetable after all, right?


Wrong.  Vegetable oils like canola (which is actually made from the rape seed plant and renamed for marketing purposes in Canada where most of it is grown) are highly refined, industrial seed oils.  I will include a video that shows how it is made- the video is supposed to be extolling the virtues of the oil, but just look at the process as it is portrayed- the heavy machinery needed to extract oil from a hard seeded plant like rape seed or corn, the extreme heating and hydrogenation and harsh chemical extraction...


After witnessing just how vegetable oils are made, almost like refining gasoline, you will wonder why anyone could deem such fake foods even faintly edible!  


Because they are loaded with trans fats, which means they are modified to be solid at room temperature, vegetable oils and especially margarine are especially harmful to your heart health.  Soy and Canola oils are especially loaded with trans fats, and so are incredibly harmful- avoid them both!  


Another problem with vegetable oils is that they are completely Omega 6 fats, which is a real problem in the S.A.D. standard American diet.  Our diet is completely flooded with this Omega 6 oil, which should be equally balanced with Omega 3 oils, which is what you get from butter, olive oil, seafood, and pastured meats.  If these two types of oil ratios get out of whack, extreme inflammation results throughout the body.  Inflammation like this is what causes virtually all modern disease, and so should be avoided at all cost.  Getting rid of vegetable oils and replacing them with heart healthy butter and coconut oil will go a long way towards getting rid of inflammation in the body, and also keep you satiated after meals (real fat is very satiating!) so you will stay both healthy AND slim!


There are many other problems with vegetable oils:


In one study, increased Omega-6 in breast milk was associated with asthma and eczema in young children 


Studies in both animals and humans have linked increased Omega-6 intake to cancer 


One study shows a very strong correlation between vegetable oil consumption and homicide rates 


The Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio in blood has been found to be strongly associated with the risk of severe depression 



In addition, it has been shown that the trans fats in vegetable oils are very alien, since they are not natural to the human body (we never ate them until about 100 years ago).  But the body digests them, and then can’t get rid of them easily, so it stores them as body fat.


But this type of strange fat is “unstable”, trans fats can easily be altered by stimulus, for instance if the trans fat was stored in the skin after digestion, it could easily alter upon exposure to sunlight and become a melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer!


And if it was stored as body tissue in the arteries, it could easily alter in a manner that promotes clotting, which could result in a heart attack.


I hope I’ve convinced you of the incredible evils of vegetable oils, which are better termed industrial seed oils. And bottom line- why deny yourself healthy, satisfying, totally natural God made fats like butter, cream, lard, coconut oil, and even fish oils?  Cod liver oil is one of the best foods ever- try to have some every day!  If you make a Paleo Green Smoothie like I recommend, that should be one of the ingredients, and after you make it in your Vitamix blender you can store several days worth of smoothie in Ball canning jars in the fridge, and you will be a nutritional golden child.


So do it- get started!  Throw out your vegetable oils and margarine, buy good pastured butter (Kerry Gold or Organic Valley), a big jar of coconut oil (get two- one for the bathroom- best moisturizer ever!) and one for the kitchen.  And then go to, click on the Vitamix link on the right, and order yourself one!  Free shipping with my link, and this will be the number one advance in your health you could possibly make.  So go ahead, and become the healthiest, happiest you that you can be- it all starts with nutrition!

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Paleo Quick Tip of the Day #71 Autoimmunity and the Paleo Diet by Eileen Laird

“With autoimmune disease, the power to turn your life around rests not with your doctor, not with a pharmacist, not in a bottle of pills, but in your own hands. That’s scary, but incredibly empowering.”

—Dr. Terry Wahls


Autoimmune disease affects 50 million Americans, and that number is on the rise. The standard course of treatment is a lifetime of medication, which can cost as much as $2,000 a month, comes with potentially dangerous side effects, and varies widely in its effectiveness—meaning that for some people, it doesn’t work at all. Patients are left feeling terrified and out of control, with a condition that worsens over time, often involves severe pain and disability, and can even be life-threatening.

The Paleo diet offers hope. Where conventional medicine has failed to find answers, people are discovering that diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on the severity of their autoimmune symptoms. While there is no cure, it is possible to get better, and more and more people are doing this through diet and lifestyle intervention. Robyn Latimer put her lupus into remission. Dr. Terry Wahls got out of her wheelchair and now bikes to and from work. I personally stopped my rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Those are just three examples, but there are many others, and the testimonials are increasing all the time. There are even clinical trials showing its effectiveness.

How it works. Autoimmune disease is a case of mistaken identity: The line between self and non-self becomes blurred. Our immune system mistakes certain parts of our own bodies as foreign invaders, and in its effort to heal us, unintentionally hurts us instead. The Paleo diet works on multiple levels: calming our immune system, reducing body-wide inflammation, healing leaky gut (one of the causes of autoimmune disease) and even turning harmful genes off through the power of epigenetics. That’s a big word for something really cool: We can’t change our genes, but we have the power to affect how they express themselves. When Dr. Terry Wahls researched how food affects the body, she found that the Standard American Diet turns on 65 genes that increase inflammation, whereas the Wahls Paleo Diet turns on 72 genes that decrease inflammation. Never underestimate the power of food.

What’s the difference between the Paleo diet and the Paleo autoimmune protocol? The Paleo diet is a permanent change to the way you eat, avoiding foods that are inflammatory to the body, and eating foods that are deeply nourishing. This means avoiding grains, legumes, processed foods, refined oils and sugars. Strict Paleo also removes dairy. “Primal” is a more flexible Paleo approach that allows full-fat, grass-fed, raw dairy in moderation. Some people with autoimmune disease go into remission at this level, with no need to take it further. Others like myself continued to have inflammation, and that’s where the Paleo autoimmune protocol comes in. It’s a temporary elimination diet designed to identify common food intolerances. In addition to avoiding non-Paleo foods, you also eliminate the following for at least 30 days (eggs, dairy, nightshades, nuts and seeds). If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry—it’s not forever. It’s followed by a careful reintroduction process to test your body for tolerance to these foods, allowing you to personalize your diet for optimal health.

Healing isn’t just about the foods you avoid; it’s about choosing the right foods to eat. It’s not uncommon to just try to replace familiar foods with Paleoized versions of them. You’ll find lots of recipes on the Internet for Paleo pizza, lasagna and brownies. While it’s fine to treat ourselves once in a while, these aren’t the foods that heal. We need to give our cells the building blocks they need to repair and regenerate. What are the most nutrient-dense foods we can choose? Organ meats, seafood, fermented food, bone broth and plenty of vegetables. Also choose organic, as well as grass-fed or wild-caught meats, as your budget allows.

Lifestyle matters. Your diet may be 100 percent, but if you’re living a stressed-out life, sitting for all of your waking hours, never seeing the sun, and not getting enough sleep, you’re setting up obstacles to healing. Poor lifestyle choices can cause autoimmune flare-ups just as much as poor food choices can. The Paleo lifestyle is about reclaiming the healthfulness of ancestral living, and that includes time for relaxation, play, sleep, sunshine, fresh air and movement. These are the activities we often sacrifice, prioritizing our to-do list instead. It takes a shift in thinking, but it’s important to make healing your top priority.

Start loving yourself. After years of hearing that our bodies are attacking us, it’s easy to disconnect and see them as the enemy—but this is a false view. Autoimmunity is a miscommunication within the body, not an intentional war within, and symptoms are the body’s cry for help. Telling you to replace anger with love isn’t some soft, New Age philosophy. Studies show that negative emotions increase inflammation, so if you’ve been mad at your body for years, it’s in your best interest to start practicing forgiveness. Healing through the Paleo diet and lifestyle is a true partnership with your body, where every choice you make impacts your health, and your body communicates what it needs.

Healing takes time. We all want to be one of the overnight success stories we sometimes see online, and if we’re not, we can start to think we’re not healing at all. It’s important to remember that autoimmune disease doesn’t happen overnight (even if it felt like it did.) It takes many years for the changes to develop in our bodies that create the perfect storm for autoimmune disease to trigger. Then, we’re often sick for many more years before we’re ready to take our health into our own hands. Keep that perspective, and expect change to happen slowly—month by month, not day by day. That’s where a symptom journal comes in handy. Keep track of things like pain levels, energy levels, mental clarity, emotions, sleep quality, strength, and the things you are and aren’t capable of doing. Then mark the changes as they happen. It took a full year before my rheumatoid flare-ups went away, but I was healing that whole time. First, my flare-ups diminished in intensity, then in frequency, and eventually they went away altogether. Simultaneously, my health improved in every way, from regaining strength and energy, to sleeping better and feeling more balanced emotionally. I’ve been on a healing diet for two years now, and I’m still improving each month, feeling the remaining inflammation recede even further. Remember the classic folk tale of the tortoise and the hare: Slow and steady wins the race.

You’re not alone. There are experienced bloggers to guide you, support groups of people walking your same path, and detailed resource books, delving into the whys and hows of healing: The Paleo Approach by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls, the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, and a guide to reintroducing foods by me. Take advantage of the global Paleo community to get the support you need.

Personalization is key. The Paleo diet and lifestyle is a template that gives us all a beginner’s map to healing. But we are unique individuals, and sometimes we need answers outside of the template. If you hit a roadblock in the healing process, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are qualified people you can hire to help find those keys: Paleo physicians, nutritionists and health coaches.

“Autoimmune disease is an epidemic in our society. But it doesn’t have to be.”

— Dr. Sarah Ballantyne



Check out this episode!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Paleo Quick Tip of the Day podcast #70 Old age, its cause and prevention

pqtd 70 Old Age its cause and prevention


Wow- what a provocative title is that!  Can old age itself actually be prevented??


In a way, yes! 


The thing is, your chronological age is just that- how many hours, seconds, minutes and years that you have been on this earth.  That is our own construct, and is completely artificial... what we should (and are!) concerned with is whether or not we are still healthy, vital, and to quote the male model characters in the film Zoolander- “We are still really, really good looking!”


Of course, health itself is paramount- how we feel, what we can do performance-wise, and what we are still able to accomplish in later years of age... but, appearance is important as well!  How we appear to others effects how they respond to us, and vice versa.  We all want to look our best, both now and in our later years- not young, per se, but just our best!


Sanford Bennett was a pioneer in this, just about 100 years ago.  In fact, he wrote a book called “Old Age its Cause and Prevention”, and it is one of those books that is seminal in its field, and is still very relevant today- I recommend it!  Published in 1912, the book shows through photographic evidence the remarkable rejuvenation of Mr. Bennett himself, who was sick, wrinkly, and bald at 50- but by the age of 72 he was healthy, strong, smooth skinned, and with a full head of hair!


I know, it sounds crazy, but think about it: if you work your muscles, don’t they grow stronger, larger and fuller? And what makes up the contours of your face but the muscles beneath the skin??  Work these muscles, massage these muscles and the skin atop them, and they will respond faster than you expect- because the facial muscles normally never get worked hardly at all!  


Sanford came up with a program for his whole body, when he was so sick at 50 years of age- he would exercise in bed each morning, from his scalp down to his toes, before he got up!  I also like to exercise in the early morning, but I also like to get up and go downstairs... perhaps Sanford only had the one room in those days?  I don’t know, but you can do the same thing in a modern context.  


You know I recommend daily virtual resistance, self resistance, stretching and calisthenics in the morning, in front of the tv. (Sanford didn’t have that, either- poor Sanford!)  Now what I also recommend is adding in exercises for the face, and the neck!  Self massage is also very important, so schedule in some scalp and foot massage as well into your routine- none of it takes very long at all, and will yield almost immediate results if done daily.  In fact, I know that if you do these exercises for a month, you will never abandon them again in your life- the results are that dramatic!


What are these exercises?  Just make faces!  Really!  FLEX the muscles of your face, and contort your face for a few seconds.  Then, massage the cheeks, rub the skin around your eyes and forehead, and repeat- I know, it sounds like I’m a lunatic (perhaps I am!), but trust me it works!  ESPECIALLY I believe this works especially well for women, who have more rounded types of faces... if even a little musculature is developed in them, the results in terms of facial beauty are dramatic!


Besides flexing the muscles of the face in crazy ways, self resisted neck exercises are crucial to preserve the musculature of the neck, which is probably the chief sign of youth.  Drooping jowls are an elderly thing only- they are completely preventable!


Just resist with the hands as you move your head back, to either side, and to the front for 5 or 6 reps, slowly.  Then, do the same with your jaw as you open and shut your mouth against resistance supplied by your hand- it only takes a minute or so...


And, if you can, the very best exercise for your face AND neck (and also, incidentally you spine!) is the Back Bridge!


Work up to it, and HOLD for time- a couple of minutes, stretching back to try to get your nose to the ground upside down is ideal, but just do what you can...


This single exercise is literally a spinal adjustment and a face lift each morning!  


I will get some photos up, and a video for you to see what I’m talking about- also, if you want to read Sanford Bennett’s original book, you can- here is the link-


I always say our future is in our past, and this is the proof.  Genius ideas from 1912!  We now really know just how we can save face!


Check out this episode!