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What Everyone Should Know About the Paleo Diet

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The Paleolithic diet is trending, hard. Many lose weight, build muscle, gain mental clarity, and reduce or eliminate extreme food intolerances. Others, unfortunately, use it as an excuse to eat way too much animal protein and tell everyone they’ve gone gluten free.

While most have heard of this diet, many people don’t know what it is or why it works. The core values of the paleo diet are noteworthy and there are some powerful elements to it that are worth taking on board, whether or not you are interesting in going for it fully.

What is it

The Paleolithic diet mimics the diet of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. The core values of the diet are as follows:

  • Highly alkaline
  • Higher intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals through plants
  • No processed foods
  • No gluten (which, btw, is the protein found in wheat and other grains)
  • No sugars, natural or refined
  • No starch
  • Balanced omega-3 to omega-6 fats ratio from animal sources

Why it works

People who commit to this diet and do it the properly see exceptional results. This is because the principals are highly evolved while the practices are very clean cut.

The overall health of our nation is atrocious, the critical underpinning of this being our high consumption of processed foods. All things being equal, cutting out processed foods, sugar, and gluten are some of the best things you can do for yourself. This results in the disappearance of all kinds of daily ailments, reduces toxin intake, improves nutrient content and absorption, and contributes to a glowing complexion. It also means you’re eliminating a lot of potential or actual allergens, those of which are massively exhausting on your system and cause anything from brain fog to IBS to acne. This is huge for your vitality and vibrance.

Our country also has an obsession with low-fat and fat-free foods, but the truth is that we critically need healthy fat for all of the functions of our body to work efficiently, not the least of which is our brains, which are made 60% of fat. The paleo diet’s emphasis on high fat consumption is one of the core reasons it’s so successful in effective weight loss and muscle growth. Healthy fats improve your metabolism, support organ function, enhance mental clarity, and burn slowly to give you sustained energy.

Limitations

Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for those who commit to this diet and live their life in a healthy and mindful way. For the highly committed, this is one of the very few diets out there that actually works. That being said, there are some points I’d like to make about animal protein consumption that are worth considering by those adopting this lifestyle.

1. Environmental impact

The butchering, processing, and shipping of animals consumes more than 1/3 of fossil fuels used in the United States. The natural resources that are used to raise and maintain our animal agriculture is exorbitant and is creating a huge environmental impact on our country. Not only does raising animals for human consumption take up a huge percentage of arable land, but so does growing and watering the food that we use to feed them. Additionally, factory farms generate almost 2 billion tons of waste per year, which ends up in our groundwater and a lot of the food that we eat. Eating a diet high in animal protein contributes to these staggering figures.

2. Actual alkalinity

The Paleolithic diet puts a high emphasis on alkalinity, which is great, but animal products aren’t actually all that alkaline. Animal protein is one of the most metabolically acidic foods humans eat, which can cause the body to pull critical minerals from the bones and cells to return the body to an alkaline state.

3. Antibiotic resistance

80% of antibiotics in the United States are fed to animals raised for human consumption. While the paleo diet emphasizes the importance of eating grass fed, ethically raised meat, not everyone on this diet follows this rule, especially when a fast food burger sans bun fits the bill.

Because the demand for animal protein is so high, factory farms are forced to cram more and more animals into farms with little space to themselves. Because the animals are in such close quarters, they’re fed antibiotics to reduce the likelihood they’ll get sick. When we eat animals that have been fed with antibiotics, we indirectly ingest the antibiotics. This has come to a turning point and antibiotic resistance is a massive issue facing our world. Because bacteria evolve in response to the use of antibiotics both in animals and humans, they have started to become resistant to the life saving antibiotics that have been developed over the past 100 years. This is an extremely serious issue and is compromising the future of our healthcare.

So, how to do paleo right? Follow all the basic rules – cut out processed foods, reduce sugar and gluten, and eat highly alkaline veggies. When it comes to meat, be mindful. Eat pasture raised, grass fed meat, and limit it daily. For those who are disciplined and commit, this is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make.

Photo by Jonas Nilsson Lee

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Snack Happy

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Nutrition is such an exciting field because of the immense healing power of food and its ability to help our bodies overcome illness, function at optimal levels, and to calm our minds. I make it a point to eat the highest quality ingredients in every meal of the day. That’s why, when I discovered the raw vegan company Hail Merry, I was over the moon.

Flavorful treats with perfect texture and consistency, Hail Merry products are made with nature’s powerhouses and are packed with nutrient dense ingredients including maca, coconut oil, and cacao. They’re absolutely delicious to boot. And, as fate would have it, I was fortunate enough to meet the owner of the company in Santa Monica last week.

Jovial, glowing, and most certainly a badass, this woman knows her stuff. I met her and her husband as they were celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary, and couldn’t help but notice their Hail Merry gear. Turned out, it was my lucky day, as this swooning couple happened to be the owner of my favorite raw vegan sweet company. I told them what a huge fan I was, and they immediately offered to send me a t-shirt and some samples of their new products.

Needless to say, the snacks and gear did not disappoint.

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The macaroons are heaven. The lemon flavor is zesty and you can taste a little crunch from the coconut pieces. The chocolate chip cookie dough tastes better than any non-vegan options I’ve ever had, and is moist and perfect.

For someone that likes to eat well, nuts can get pretty boring. However, Hail Merry puts a spin on theirs that totally sparks your taste buds. For the vanilla maple almonds, they use organic maple sugar, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and sea salt, and let me tell you, they are absolutely divine. The sweet and salty combo is subtle yet flavorful, and go perfectly chopped up in oatmeal with some sliced banana and cinnamon.

The ‘Royal Blend’ is equally as tasty and the flavor combo takes your palate for quite the ride. A mix of almonds, cashews and pecans, this pack is seasoned with organic palm sugar (from sustainable farms), Hatch Chimayo chile pepper, Celtic sea salt, and cracked black pepper.

Hail Merry doesn’t roast or bake their nuts, but instead season and then dehydrate at a very low temperature. This ensures the integrity of the ingredients and protects the healthy oils found in nuts. The oils that they use are rich in omega-3s which are great for metabolism, skin, and brain health meaning that these snacks will leave you energized and guilt-free.

Already a proud supporter of Hail Merry, knowing the mission and the people behind the scenes makes it even better for me. Looking forward to trying the rest of the line, and sporting my tats all summer long.

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How to Get Everything You Want: 5 Metaphysical Truths to Live By

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1. ‘Nobody’s story about you is ever about you.’

We are who we believe ourselves to be. Worrying about what other people think of us distracts us from this essential truth. Anything that people come up with about us is either based upon information we give them, or information they make up on their own.

So, it’s up to you. Do you want people to perceive you as callous, neurotic and self-serving? Or do you want to be seen as intuitive, loving, and sincere? Nurture the qualities you want others to see in you. When you genuinely act in a way that you’re aligned with, those who are real will recognize that, and those who are judgmental and insecure will make up their own story. Those people aren’t worth keeping around anyway. When you know who you are, that’s all you need to know.

2. “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

It’s always easy to look at how good others have it, but how about looking at how good we have it in our own lives. Fear of the unknown and desire for things we don’t have (ie a house, a partner, a dream job) pull us away from the beauty of now. While fear leans into the last safe moment, desire leans forward to the next possibility of satisfaction. These both distract us from what we have now.

How can you develop more presence? One of the best ways to reduce fear and desire is to consider what you have in this moment that’s really good, and to recognize all the beauty that already exists. Remember that things like your education and access to clean water are not a given in everyone’s life, and that your path is your own to make the most of. By developing this mindset, you experience more happiness, wisdom, and love every day.

3. It is not up to us what we learn, but only whether we learn through joy or through pain.’

Do you move through conflict with stress and anxiety, or do you seek to resolve difficult situations quickly and with grace?

There is no way to predict what will happen in life, all we can do is develop a grounded mindset to process experiences from a calm and balanced place. This way when we’re faced with challenges, we can tap into our best selves to consciously and proactively address the situation at hand. It is up to you what qualities and state of mind you’re nurturing.

4. ‘When we feel like something is being taken away from us, we are merely being forced to see its lack of value.’

Surrender. Accept. Have confidence that there is a plan for you. Do your best on a daily basis, and know that there are certain things you can’t control. When things are tough, breathe, know that nothing lasts forever, and move forward.

5. ‘The universe is intending that you self-actualize, that you be free. As the flower bends towards the sun we bend toward our better selves.’

No matter how hard life may seem, know that the world is not against you. You have the capacity to choose what reality you live in. Do you sink into the pain of your circumstances, or do you see challenges as lessons to grow and learn from? There is a higher intelligence at work at all times, and its up to us to remember that we were put on this planet to be the best versions of ourselves. Tap into that knowledge and go for it.

All quotes by Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles

‘Look at your life. Can you call it a blessing? Can you call it a gift, a present of existence? Would you like this life to be given to you again and again?’

– Osho

Photo By Fré Sonneveld


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Real White Girl Problems

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Your life is great, but for some reason you’re really good at finding problems with it. If you associate yourself with any of the issues below, please, for the good of humanity, just stop. Focusing on things that don’t matter is going to be the downfall of this generation.

1. Getting frustrated that social media is too boring/annoying/distracting

The Internet is full of smart shit. Start spending your screen time using it to expand your mind and your understanding of the world, not stalking the girl in all the photos with some guy you haven’t heard from in two weeks.

2. Making excuses to not workout or eat better, then criticizing your body, all the while paying $180 a month for an Equinox membership

I can’t even..

3. Comparing yourself to others

Hello, everyone else is as neurotic as you, so stop thinking everything is so perfect for them, because they have their own issues. Be thankful for what is good in your life, and know that nothing will ever be exactly how you planned it to be when you were thirteen.

4. Stressing that your birth control is making you fat

You know what will actually make you fat? A baby. So shut it.

5. Complaining about your boss/job/co-workers

For Gods sake, you have a job, be thankful. If it’s that bad, change it. But for now, be aware you have a stable source of income in one of the worst economic times in all of history.

 6. Whining that you’re always broke

You know what broke is? Broke is having to sell your car, move to Koreatown, and work three jobs just to pay your bills. It does not involve figuring out ways to get guys to buy you drinks at the bar and eating Pinkberry three times a week.

7. Turning 27 and saying how old you feel

Age is a state of mind. You can be grumpy and tired at 22, or young at 95 with a vibrant smile and a sparkle in your eye. Saying you feel old is just a weird way of saying how you don’t feel you’ve done enough with your life. Truthfully, life is long and accomplishments take time. So be gentle on yourself. And if that is the case, start doing something meaningful that grows your spirit, and your mind. You won’t feel old for long!

 


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Why Yoga Heals Everything

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A yoga class is basically just one big fat metaphor for life. It’s not only a physical practice, but the act of using breath and movement to tap into your subconscious to rewire the way you process relationships, situations, and emotions.

Holding challenging, physically active positions is a way of hacking your brain and recalibrating the body’s reaction to stress. While the way we respond to challenges is deeply ingrained in us, yoga is the opportunity to examine our natural reactions and actively change them. When we do this on the mat, we raise our consciousness and naturally begin to reexamine other areas of our life.

We all know that negative emotions and stress can make us emotionally and even physically sick. Yoga helps us retrain the way we cope with challenges and provides us with tools to control our emotions and stress levels in a healthy and mindful way.

Continue reading… 


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5 Super Skinny Habits

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Diets are dumb. The only way to get healthy and lean is to develop sustainable habits that support your goals, and keep your system free of toxins so that it can function at its most efficient capacity. Here are some habits that will certainly lend to that.

1. Switch your milk

Cow’s milk is intended to grow a sixty-pound calf into a thousand-pound cow. It is incredibly fattening. Additionally, because of its acidic nature it interferes with your body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins and keep your system clean and lean. There are so many amazing options out there to enjoy instead of cows milk including almond, hemp, coconut, flax and rice milk. Try them out and see what you enjoy.

2. Eat fiber rich foods

Fiber binds to toxins that cause us to gain and store weight and escorts them out of our systems. It also keeps our bowel movements regular, which is one of our most vital bodily functions. Fiber rich foods include apples, kale, pears, almonds, quinoa and beans. Ground flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber and you can purchase them to sprinkle on to salads, soups, and stir fries for an added dose of the nutrient.

3. Reduce sugar

Sugar is your body’s worst enemy. It has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine and is a massive contributor to our country’s obesity epidemic. Even better news is that it’s in everything. Read your labels and actively reduce and eliminate unexpected sources of sugar.

4. Cleanse until lunch time

When we wake up in the morning we’ve been fasting for the last five to eight hours. This is an incredible opportunity to support the body in cleansing and recharging itself by eating as little as possible while providing it with nutrients. So, start by drinking hot water with lemon. Then have an organic green tea. Then drink a juice. Slowly eat some fruit. This gives you similar benefits to doing a juice cleanse without having to commit several days to it, and keeps your caloric intake low while enabling your body to do important maintenance and repair on itself.

5. Drink water

I know this sounds super basic but water is one of the best ways of staying skinny. Dehydration is too often misinterpreted as hunger, which causes us to eat when we’re not hungry and doesn’t remedy what our body is actually trying to tell us. It’s also extremely important for keeping our brains hydrated so that we can be focused and alert, which is critical in making wise food choices. Additionally, water helps flush detrimental toxins and helps maintain a glowing complexion, so drink up now.

Photo: Dominik Martin