Category Archives: EAT

A Cooking & Grocery Shopping Strategy for the Whole30

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Hey everyone! I’m Matt’s wife, AKA FreeFitGal, and I’m writing this post because a number of our friends & family are starting a Whole30 in January 2014, so I wanted to offer them the advice that I wish I knew going into my first Whole30. For most people, the most daunting thing about a Whole30 is all of the cooking. I’m going to lay out our cooking strategy below, and hope you can use it as a starting point for deciding how to make cooking work for you on the Whole30.

*Before we start, I want to say that Matt and I don’t always eat ‘breakfast foods’ for breakfast. In fact, I would say that 95% of mornings Matt eats leftovers from dinner for breakfast. Since that might be too ‘advanced’ (aka crazy) for most people on a 1st Whole30, I’m going to lay out this plan with actual breakfast foods for breakfast, but know that there are other options if you have a flexible mindset.

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Limited Cooking Days

A common complaint we hear from friends new to Paleo is that after somewhere around 5-14 days, they are so tired of cooking, cleaning up their kitchen, and planning meals that they’re ready to never cook again. I totally understand, and I agree that is not a sustainable system. Instead, Matt and I cook on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night, in big enough batches to have meals for the rest of the week. Since our time is more flexible on the weekends, we don’t always have leftovers enough for every weekend meal, but we have more time to cook each meal, so it’s not a problem.  We try to do all of the prep for the different dishes we’re making at the same time, get things cooking at the same time, stir/mind each meal during relatively the same time period (depending on how long things take to cook), and then put all the leftovers away and clean. You’d have to do this every night, for every meal if you didn’t cook in batches, so a lot of time and effort is saved this way.

*This plan requires Tupperware. A huge amount of Tupperware. Like, if you know someone hosting a Tupperware party, they are about to be very happy they invited you. We invested in about 3 of these Pyrex sets over time, and they serve us well. I like portioning things out into individual servings on the day I cook rather than when I’m running around in the morning.

handy-portions Continue reading

Episode 4 – All About Supplements (Part II) – The Human Animal Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The Human Animal Podcast, Jake and I finish our discussion of supplements, including:

  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Multi-Vitamins
  • Recovery Drinks
  • BCAAs
  • Metabolic Boosters
  • Testosterone Enhancers

…and more!

We hope you are enjoying the show – we’ve got some guests lined up for the upcoming weeks and are really excited about where this is all going.  :)

Check out the podcast below, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Surviving the (Current) Zombie Apocalypse

In the previous post of this series, I revealed why we are already in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.  Enough of the madness!  It’s time to arm yourself with strategies to survive and thrive in the modern world.

1.  Avoid Mindless Eating

This is a great tool I got from my good friend and fellow coach Nate Miller.  Before each meal, try practicing this mindfulness routine -

  • Why am I eating?
  • Is it making me healthy, or is it making me sick?
  • Is it worth it?

OWN your decisions, and begin to understand your motivations for those decisions.  Brain de-zombified!

2.  Remove Environmental Toxins

We need to think about our food as a part of our environment.  Our environment modifies our genes, our phenotype, and can exacerbate autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions.  Your mission – eliminate grains, legumes, sugar, dairy, and alcohol for 4 weeks.  Add them back and see how you look, feel, and perform.  Health de-zombified!

3.  Reset Your Biorhythms Continue reading

Episode 3 – All About Supplements (Part I) – The Human Animal Podcast

Hi crew!

We’re back this week with another edition of the Human Animal Podcast.  I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who is tuning in to listen.  Jake and I are still new at podcasting, but we are loving the process of LEARNING to podcast well (something I touched on in my article this week).  Thanks for your continued support and we both hope you are getting something out of this.

This week, we start our discussion of Supplements.  Supplements are a tricky subject, mainly because there is such varied information about them on the internet, and because they aren’t regulated closely by the FDA.  In Part 1, we cover:

  • How the FDA regulates supplements
  • How the RDA is determined
  • What role do supplements play in a nutrition plan
  • Whey Protein
  • Creatine
  • Fish Oil
  • and Probiotics

To download, right click on the download link and hit “save as”.  Or subscribe to us on iTunes by clicking the big box on the right that says “The Human Animal Podcast.”

Tune in next week for the conclusion of the our supplements series!

All the best,

Matt & Jake

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Thoughts on Food Reward

The latest post in Stephan Guyunet’s ongoing series about food reward and how it affects obesity (or body-fat set point) is out, and it comes with recommendations for how to lower body-fat.  I’ve been waiting for this post for a while.  I’ve really enjoyed reading about food reward theory, but was unclear about how to put it into practice.  I was more than a little worried that I would have to be even more strict about my food choices.  Luckily, that isn’t the case.  But before we get to my thoughts on that, let’s do a quick overview of food reward theory for those of you new to the concept.

What the heck is food reward anyway?

“Food reward is the process by which eating specific foods reinforces behaviors that favor the acquisition and consumption of the food in question.”(1) Our brain rewards us for good behavior – behavior that it perceives as positive for our survival – and discourages behavior that it perceives as threatening.  As you can imagine, this was quite useful for the survival of our species.  Fire causes pain, so don’t touch fire, etc.  This same system of reward also extends to food.  There are several qualities in food that we are programmed to seek out, such as: fat, starch, sugar, salt, meatiness, absence of bitterness (though we can learn to like this in the right context [i.e. beer]), certain food textures, certain aromas, and caloric-dense foods.(2) In the natural environment, foods that contained a high amount of sugar/salt/etc. would have been very limited in quantity, and prized whenever found.  As these food qualities were important to our survival, it is completely natural to crave them. Continue reading

Quick and Healthy: Marinated Summer Salad

This is a quick recipe that Valerie whipped up for “Paleo Feast and Treats” night with some of my clients.  It’s an easy salad that is delicious on it’s own or over greens (we used baby leaf).

Simply slice cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes, put in a bowl, and then add 2 Tbs of Garlic Olive Oil for every 1 Tbs of White Whine Vinegar (until the veggies are well covered).  Top it off with a bit of sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and dill, toss it together, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving.

-Stay healthy everybody.