Paleo Challenge Tips; Don’t avoid Fat!

As many of you go through your 30 Day Challenge you’ll be uncertain on what to eat, coping on how to eat at outings and special gatherings and most importantly carbs/sugar cravings. There are many articles that mention saturated fat & cholesterol being bad, it’s not so get your bacon intake and enjoy! As per Paleo Long Island “Your own liver makes up to ~80% of your daily cholesterol with only ~20% generally coming from diet… However, when you eat more cholesterol, it doesn’t get piled on like a mountain but rather your liver down-regulates production of cholesterol to maintain the balance… Additionally, were these “High LDL” numbers calculated or actually measured, was the count of LDL vs. VLDL taken… These are questions that you need to ask before you carpet ban one of the most nutritionally dense & healthiest foods on the planet….

Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat which makes it really stable under heat and solid at room temperature. If you buy the virgin coconut oil, it well leave a great yet subtle coconut taste and smell to your dishes. The taste is something I like in almost any situation except maybe for eggs, where I prefer cooking with lard or butter.

Its main fatty acid content comes from Lauric acid (47% to be more precise). Lauric acid is a rare fatty acid that is a medium chain fatty-acid, which is supposed to be the easiest fatty acid to digest. Lauric acid also has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Most animal fats are highly saturated so are heat stable to cook at high temperatures, solid at room temperature and don’t need to be refrigerated. What’s fun is that since they’re not very popular because of their reputation, they’re pretty cheap, even the ones coming from well treated animals.

Just go to your butcher and ask for duck fat, pork lard or beef tallow.

Yes, it’s a vegetable oil, but its content is mostly monounsaturated, a fat source which is safe and healthy. Don’t cook with it, it will burn and oxidize quite easily. Use it in dressings or put on top of your already cooked meals. As you probably know, a good extra-virgin olive oil offers lots of great health benefits.

Fresh oils in dark bottles that haven’t been on the shelf for a long time are the best. Keep in a dark and cool place for it not to oxidize too fast. You can store it in the fridge if not using promptly. It will become cloudy in the refrigerator, but will return to normal once back at room temperature.Avocado is a fruit, one of the only fatty fruits. It contains loads of vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium and fiber. Its fat content is mostly monounsaturated, so it’s a good choice. It’s not that heat stable though, so don’t cook at high temperature with it. Use avocado oil for your salad dressings mainly. Whole avocados are delicious with salads, chicken or as guacamole with lemon juice and tomatoes.

This is about it for the preferred Paleo diet fats. Of course there are other sources of fat you can consume like eggs, nuts and nut butters. I would be careful with nuts and nut butters though because most nuts are very high in Omega-6, which could trigger inflammation and other digestive problems. Try it out, and go with what makes you feel good.

In terms of cholesterol the best books to read are – “Fat & Cholesterol Are Good For You” & “Ignore The Awkward: How The Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive” by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov

Reminders and tips to get you through these first couple of weeks as per Crossfit Garden City:

  • If you are feeling lethargic, it is very possible you are not consuming enough calories or dietary fat. Make sure you are eating enough food to support your lifestyle (especially if you are CrossFitting 3-5 days/week). Also, make sure you ARE NOT AVOIDING FAT! Fat is an essential part of our diets and in the absence of dietary carbohydrate, will serve as our primary fuel source. You don’t need to bathe in Coconut Oil, but an extra shot of Olive Oil and the fattier cut of meat won’t kill you…or make you fat…I promise.
  • Fruit and nuts, while not ideal in large quantities (especially if you are looking to get leaner) can be your best friends in the early stages of making a dramatic dietary change and eliminating dairy, grains and sugar. We recommend always having raw nuts/nut butter and fruit (berries, apple, pear) available (at home or on the road) to use as a default snack option.
  • Breakfast does not always need to be “breakfast” foods such as eggs and bacon. There is nothing wrong with having chicken and broccoli at 6am.
  • Try to consume your daily requirement of water by 6pm in order to avoid going to sleep with a full bladder.
  • When faced with temptation, always remember, NOTHING tastes as good as being lean and healthy feels.
  • Stop drinking cheap coffee…get the whole bean, organic, gourmet stuff.




My 31 Challenge is Over… Now What?

If You feel better, look better, have more energy, fit better in your clothes and are proud of your achievements then stick to it! Do exactly what you are doing, why change????? Especially, If you are looking to progress further- imagine where you will be 10, 15, 20 weeks down the road….

As you can see from my pictures I still continue to improve because I did not stop after my challenge, at 40 days look where I ended up…all from the changes you made in diet & lifestyle…

If you have stuck to this 30 day challenge, “Congratulation you are now leading a healthy lifestyle”!

Crossfit Garden City offers others ways to make this a regular part of your lifestyle:

80/20 Rule for maintenance:  If you are content with the results you can allow yourself some “cheats” here and there.

90/10 or 95/5 rule if you would like to continue to progress with your body composition changes

  • 80% Eating meat and veggies, nuts and fruit
  • 20% equates to 4-5 “cheat” meals per week (based on 21 meals per week). Either 1 “cheat meal” every other day or so, a full “cheat day” or just “mini little cheats” throughout the week.
  • Success is found when you stay strict and regimented during the week and saving “cheats” for the weekend.

90/10 or 95/5 rule if you would like to continue to progress with your body composition changes

  • 1-2 “cheat meals” per week.  Eat clean all week and have 1 designated meal where you eat whatever your heart desires, next meal get right back on the clean eating plan. Simple and highly effective.
  • Decide which type of “cheat” plan works best for you, just make sure 80/20 does not turn into 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, 20/80, etc

If you were avoiding certain foods (gluten, peanuts, dairy, grains & nightshade; fruits & Starchy foods- SUGAR DETOX  ) …..

Reintroduce these items ONE AT A TIME and pay very close attention to how you feel. See below how balance bites suggest that you do this.

Balance bites recommends to choose 1 food to eat again – typically this will be the food you missed the most!

  • Eat that food at all three meals along with whatever other foods you had been including in the elimination – meaning you ONLY re-introduce one potentially problematic food at a time and not more than one.
  • DO NOT eat that food again for the following two days.
  • Note any changes  following the 72-HOURS AFTER EATING THE FOOD: mood, energy, appetite, digestive function like bloating, gas, loose stool or diarrhea, headaches, inflammation, and brain fog or mental clarity.
  • Your notes will be some of the best guides you have as to whether or not you are sensitive to the food you just re-introduced. Food sensitivity reactions can happen immediately but can also have delayed-onset for up to around 72 hours (3 days!).

Reintroduce them (especially gluten-containing grains), and legumes VERY gradually, if at all.  These foods are known culprits in wreaking gastrointestinal havoc.  They are also linked to allergic and autoimmune disorders.  It is very possible that the reason many of you felt so much better during the past 5 weeks was simply the elimination of these foods, to which many are intolerant and/or allergic.

Balance bites does not recommend EVER re-introducing gluten containing grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats into your diet, nor making pasteurized dairy or unfermented soy products any regular part of your life. These foods are shown to contribute to a myriad of health problems and, typically, tend to crowd-out much more health promoting options like vegetables, well-raised meat & eggs and healthy, naturally occurring fats in the diet.

See balanced bites post on Wheat belly for further information on grains.

Add slowly some naturally occurring sugars (like fruit) and starches back into your diet, take care to consider portions and the timing of these foods.

Fruits should not be eaten alone if blood sugar regulation and cravings have been issues for you historically. Eat small portions of berries or half of a piece of fruit if you’re not a very active person, or larger portions if you are more active.

Starchy foods are best added back in on days when you are more active and specifically in the meal following your activity. Keep portions of starchy foods to a minimum otherwise, and don’t allow them to monopolize your plate if weight loss maintenance is your goal. Enjoy some root vegetables, tubers like sweet potatoes and squash more frequently. Continue to avoid refined foods including bread, pasta, cereal and other products made from flours and purchased in packages- these are never healthy options.

Sugar-bender is not recommended. The first time I completed The Detox myself, I ate candy the following day when I was hungry (note: this means my blood sugar was already low!). I spiked my blood sugar SO high that when it crashed about an hour or two later, I nearly passed out. Seriously. It was THAT intense. I vowed at that point that I’d never let that happen again. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake, and from the questions outlined above, when choosing how to ease back into your regularly scheduled programming of life and food.

Balance Bites

Diane Sanfilippo BS, Certified Nutrition Consultant, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach is a San Francisco-based Nutritionist & Paleo Nutritionist s

Balance Bites also suggest that If you plan to be more strict about avoiding food additives, sweeteners and other slightly processed foods as you have done on the challenge, then you might want to think of the following;

  • How do you feel now that you’ve changed your food?
  • How do you think you’ll feel if you eat something you estimate is less-than-healthy for you?
  • If you think you’ll feel less-than-optimal, how long will that feeling last?
  • Will the ill-health effects of the foods you want to eat again last more than a couple of hours? More than a day? More than a week?
  • What will you be disrupting with the foods: blood sugar or digestive function?
  • Has the time and energy commitment that’s gone into avoiding the food(s) added more stress to your life than it alleviated signs and symptoms of ill health?

Ultimately it’s up to you to choose what and how often you’ll add certain foods back into your regularly scheduled food programming, but considering the above questions is a good idea. Continue to sleep at least 7 hours every night and drink half your body-weight in ounces of water every day.

Finally, be the change you want to see in the world.

“You are surrounded by friends, family and loved ones who are looking for guidance, support and motivation to make the type of changes you have over the past 5 weeks.  They do not need people to TELL them what to do. They need someone they know and respect to SHOW them that it can be done.  Continue to be the example of how amazing a healthy lifestyle can be.  If it helps just ONE person make positive changes in their life, you have done something incredible.  Nothing tastes as good as that! (although a good slice of pizza is a close second.)”

~ Crossfit GardenCity

Check out my CSA Meastshare recipe ideas!! Enjoy, “Happy cooking as well as Happy Living”