Optimizing Health


Sep 01

Pros & Cons of the Paleo Diet

As interest in the Paleo Diet grows exponentially, it is evolving into more of a Lifestyle than a Diet. When people ask: “What are the Pros and Cons of Paleo?” I say that it depends on your personal interpretation. Many popular authors advocate different versions of the ancestral diet. For some it’s a low-carb diet. Others say it means no grains or dairy. Many ask: How many calories, carbs, fat, and protein should I eat? How strict do I have to be? Is an occasional cupcake permitted? It’s clear the modern American diet is part of the problem in our

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Jul 26

Your Body Never Lies

Our ancestors ate when they were hungry and stopped when they were full. They had to hunt and gather for their food – it wasn’t always within reach. They expended their calories replenishing their supplies, and knew that every mouthful requires energy and time. We are surrounded by food and it has become a substitute in our culture for exercise, introspection and accessing our own inner wisdom.  We have separated ourselves from our most basic physiological reactions and our true hunger is for something other than food, for nourishment of our inner selves. Food can be a sedative – a

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Jun 13

A day in the life of a Paleo chef…

It’s a tough job, inventing 165 original recipes with pure and simple foods. But hey! Someone has to do it. The truth is, I never had so much fun. Today I made Breakfast Parfaits! With before and after photos! It was one of those unforgettable days, and felt like I was on a roll.


Jun 01

Avoiding GMO’s? Here’s a Guide.

It seems genetically modified food is everywhere, but it’s relatively easy to avoid. The best defense is to buy food that’s labeled 100% organic. In the US and Canada, 100% organic foods cannot be GMO. Be sure the label says 100% organic. The simple label “organic” does not insure that it’s GMO-free.  Legally, it can be labeled organic and still contain up to 30% GMO’s!


May 23

My Fructose Limit is 20 grams per day.

20 grams fructose per day is 4.5 teaspoons, the sweetness in two apples. Fructose has been getting a bad rap lately. Dr. Mercola calls it a “poison”, Dr. Robert Lustig says it’s a “liver toxin”, and Dr.Oz. calls it a “hidden sugar”. What is Fructose? Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables. Pure fructose is about 70% sweeter than sugar. Fructose can be granulated like table sugar. Or it can be in liquid syrup form such as agave nectar, coconut syrup, honey and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). High-fructose corn syrup has also been getting a lot

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Mar 27

Traveling on a Healthy Diet?

Anywhere you travel, whether it’s to Paris, Rome, or Cleveland, eating healthy is a challenge. If you’re have a special diet, or if you just like to eat the best food, planning ahead can make it easy! Tomorrow I’m flying cross-country to a family reunion. I have just a few minutes to prepare a good meal and snacks. Here’s what I’m having: Clockwise from upper left – Celery sticks, Easy Avocado Salad, Toasted organic nuts, Granny Smith apple, Organic red grapefruit, Quick salad – Wild Salmon with Greens, Paleo cake pops. (Seriously delicious!) A few minutes of preparation can save

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FFive flavors Chinese Medicine

Mar 15

The Five Flavors: 5 Secrets to Health

What foods do you crave most? Sweet, spicy, salty, sour, or bitter? Food cravings are a revealing window into your health and psyche. Learn 5 secrets from Chinese medicine to break the so-called “genetic cycle” of poor health and weight gain. These simple self-revelations offer a balanced approach to self-healing you’ll enjoy your entire life. Chinese medicine identifies Five Flavors. Balance them to cultivate optimum health! Sweet – Energy bars, cookies, cake, bread, carbs, sugar, sweet fruits Spicy (Pungent) – Ginger, hot chili, garlic, onion Salty – Soy Sauce, liquid aminos, salt, chips, salted nuts, popcorn Sour – Lemon, lime,

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Feb 15

San Francisco Gluten-Free Expo was a Blast!

Yes, it’s true. I went to San Fran to offer my book Paleo Desserts at the Gluten-free, Allergen-free Expo Feb 9-10. We prepared and served over 2,000 samples of Mexican Wedding Cookies, Paleo Fudge Brownies, and Raspberry Cheesecake Love Bites! Everyone loved them and you can guess which one ran out first — the Love Bites! I was fortunate to find fabulous helpers to assist me. More importantly, I got a chance to speak with thousands of people about their experiences with gluten-free, allergen-free living. Everyone was well informed and curious about my work. I noticed great interest in the

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Jan 25

How to Make Low-Carb Skinny Sweets

Everyone asks me: “How can I lose weight and still enjoy eating sweets?” The answer is easy. Eat low-carb Paleo Desserts! I discovered the secret to making delicious traditional desserts with low-carb, healthy ingredients. I eliminated gluten, grains, refined sugars and dairy.


Jan 22

Paleo Brownies – Are They Really Healthy?

I love all brownies! But they’re not always what they claim to be. I analyzed three brownie recipes to see which is best. All of them taste great. But which one is healthiest? Paleo Brownies are always low-carb and healthy, right? Not always. The Nutrition Facts are surprising! The SECRET to low-carb health and weight control is to limit carbs and sugars. Modern foods are often high in refined sugars and carbs. These are the top suspects in our epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases. Many people are looking to the Paleo diet as a guide to a healthy

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Jan 17

Why is healthy food so expensive?

We all lament the high cost of healthy food. Perhaps there’s another way to look at it. Why do we compare expensive healthy food to cheap, industrial foods? These are two completely different types of “food”, with huge nutritional differences, so we can’t really compare them. Most large-scale industrial crops like corn, wheat, and soy are subsidized to the tune of billions. Their cheap price doesn’t reflect the real cost to produce them. Healthy food is sold at fair market price, but junk food prices can be artificially low due to subsidies. Sweeteners are a case in point: Many people

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Jan 11

10 Gluten Cross-Reactive Foods to Avoid

Yep, there are certain foods that cross-react with gluten. Do you find your digestion is stressed even when you avoid gluten? Are there times when you feel emotional ups and downs that could be related to diet? Many foods cross-react to gluten, meaning they create reactions by themselves or make your response to gluten even worse. The main grains that contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley, kamut, and spelt. You can have expensive tests done for all gluten cross-reactors at Cyrex Labs or TrueHealthLabs. Or you can do it yourself for a lot less. Start by eliminating these 10 foods

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Dec 29

12 Tips for Enjoying Parties & Gatherings

Everyone loves to go out and relax with friends. However when you go to a gathering, do you feel challenged to stay true to your diet and eat healthy? Sometimes we are offered a scary array of delicious food. It’s easy to give in to temptation and suffer digestive consequences or shame later. Here are 12 tips to make it through a party feeling great with no negative feelings. 1. Observe your Cravings. Which of the five flavors do you crave most? Sweet, Spicy, Salty, Sour, or Bitter? Do you feel a desire for chips, or desserts? Or hot, spicy

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Dec 28

My BEST New Year’s Resolution

Are you willing to sign a contract with yourself? It’s 2013, and I’m ready to re-commit myself to my health. Here’s a powerful new tool to improve your diet. It’s tough, compassionate, and you can stick to it no matter what. For years I’ve followed the best diets known to man, looking for the best one for me. I’ve used the Blood Type Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Zone Diet, and the Atkins Diet. I have eaten Ayurvedic and Vegan. All of these are excellent diets. They helped me learn to listen to my body, and to love it. I can begin to feel what’s

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Dec 27

The Best Eggs are Pasture-raised Organic

It’s amazing to read the enticing terms on egg cartons. Cage-free! Natural, Vegetarian, Free-range, Certified Humane! Many of these terms are legally regulated. What do they all mean? If you don’t have time to figure them out, here’s a quick guide. Best Eggs are Pasture-raised Organic Studies show that organic eggs from hens raised on pasture offer better nutrition than other supermarket eggs. Research also demonstrates that eggs from free-range, grass-fed chickens contain more nutrients than caged birds. Healthy eggs have a thick shell that’s hard to break, bright orange yolks, and a delicious flavor. Price is a big factor, and

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Dec 17

7 Reasons Paleo Desserts is a Great Resource For Your Family

The greatest resource you can provide for yourself and your family is health and happiness. Mood is so important, and it depends on what kind of “fuel” we put it our body. With healthy Paleo Desserts you can relax and be sure everyone can enjoy them, without worrying about special diets or emotional edges. The Paleo Desserts cookbook shows you step-by-step how to prepare delicious guilt-free sweets that are real, healthy food. These are the favorite recipes we love, like Brownies and Apple Pie, all made without refined foods and sugars that often increase everyone’s stress. Paleo Desserts is a

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Dec 15

Who Needs Paleo Desserts?

Paleo Desserts are for Everybody. They taste delicious, just like your favorite sweets. And they’re healthier for everyone. How many people do you know that are on a special diet? Paleo Desserts is for folks who eat gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic, low-carb, non-allergenic, vegan, and even tree-nut free. There’s even a guide in the back of the book for each special diet. It’s easy to prepare desserts everyone can enjoy, with no sugar rush or insulin response. Here’s who needs Paleo Desserts: Your diabetic aunt who loves to bake Apple Pie. Your gluten-free girlfriend who misses her favorite Carrot Cake. Your

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Nov 16

How to Lick the Sugar Habit Eating Sweets!

Do you LOVE sweets? We often crave desserts, like Brownies and Chocolate Fudge. They taste wonderful. But when your blood sugar plunges 30 minutes later, maybe you wish you hadn’t done it. And when you suddenly gain 5 pounds, it’s a bad day. So I found a solution and I’d like to share it with you. First I studied the lowest carb flours and sweeteners. Then I used them to re-create my favorite desserts. Imagine my surprise when I tasted them and didn’t have any adverse reaction or blood sugar rush. I wanted to celebrate! I ended my life-long craving and broke

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Nov 10

9 Secret Weapons for Gluten Intolerance

Gluten Intolerance is like an iceberg –  90% is hidden under the surface. Over 200 million Americans are affected by gluten intolerance and celiac disease. We love simple solutions, but there’s more to it. A gluten-free diet alone is unlikely to heal your gut or immune system. Here are 9 secret weapons you’ll need in your arsenal to heal yourself. 9 Secret Weapons for Gluten Intolerance Executive Summary: Break the sugar habit. Kicking sugar addiction is one of the biggest things you can do to restore your metabolism, and reduce gluten intolerance symptoms. Avoid these common gluten cross-reactors:  Sugar, Coffee, Dairy,

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Beware of Nightshades

Nov 06

Beware of Nightshades

Do you suffer from gluten intolerance, mood swings, indigestion, arthritis, or an auto-immune disease? If so, the hidden culprit could be nightshades. The nightshade family includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Other symptoms of nightshade sensitivity are depression, anxiety, constipation, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, joint pain, headaches, nausea, bloating, flatulence, IBS, anemia, and poor food absorption. Allergies to nightshades are common throughout the western world. Symptoms of nightshade sensitivity often overlap with of gluten and dairy intolerances. How Can I Avoid Nightshade Foods? This can be challenging, since they seem to be in everything. I suggest you don’t go crazy. Start simply by limiting your intake of nightshades rather

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Oct 29

10 Life-Changing Benefits of Walking

I recently went on a trek in Spain, walking 125 kilometers in 15 days on the rustic roads of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. This was a gift to myself after spending a year in the kitchen and on the computer writing my Paleo Desserts cookbook. Walking the Camino was invigorating and beautiful hard work. As I walked from 10 to 24 kilometers per day I noticed something amazing. Even though I was tired and took a few days off, every single day I felt better. At the end of the trek I felt terrific! I had been studying the benefits of

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Aug 25

300 Sweeteners – Which is Best?

With over 300 sweeteners in groceries and prepared foods, how can we choose wisely? Find the best sweeteners, and learn how to select them yourself. Download List of Sweeteners as pdf       Download as Excel File This is an exhaustive list of 325 sweeteners available today. I find it very interesting and you may too. This is my best information to date, gleaned from online research and prepared food labels. It shows the categories for each sweetener and its ingredients when possible. The list is far from complete, as we invent new sweeteners every day to satisfy our increasing demand. This chart is intended to inform and to invite better

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Aug 16

Is Sugar Toxic? CBS 60 Minutes

Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the U of C in San Francisco, believes the high amount of sugar in the American diet, much of it hidden in processed foods, is killing us. CBS 60 Minutes recently aired new scientific research by Dr. Sanjay Gupta that links high blood sugar to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, supporting his theory that sugar is toxic. View the segment on 60 Minutes: Americans now consume nearly 130 pounds of added sugars per person, per year. Those include both sugar and high fructose corn syrup. While many people criticize high fructose corn syrup as

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Aug 14

Best Natural Sweeteners

There are only 3 sweeteners I consider BEST. That’s because they are zero or very low carb, they’re easy to find, they taste delicious, and are easy to use in recipes. Best of all, they are natural, non-GMO and Paleo. More info: See 300 Sweeteners – Which is Best? Just Like Sugar Table Top Just Like Sugar Table Top is my favorite Natural Paleo sweetener by far. After testing hundreds of sweeteners I use this because it dissolves easily, it tastes like table sugar, and is easy to measure cup for cup—like table sugar. It also happens to be a

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Aug 14

Are Nightshades Paleo?

I like spicy foods! Some of my favorite foods are Pizza, Hot Salsa, Potatoes with Ketchup, Eggplant Parmesan, and Ratatouille. Recently I’ve been experimenting with a nightshade-free diet, and guess what? I feel so much better. What’s the real scoop on nightshades? Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplants. Are they really part of the Paleo Diet? They are part of the Solanaceae family. They have become staples of our modern diet, and now Americans consume almost 230 pounds of nightshades per person per year. Yet it is interesting to note that nightshades are a very recent addition the human diet. In fact, nightshades

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Jul 14

Just Like Sugar Table Top – Natural Chicory Root Sweetener

Just Like Sugar Table Top is my favorite Natural Paleo sweetener by far. After testing hundreds of sweeteners I use this because it dissolves easily, it tastes like table sugar, and is easy to measure cup for cup—like table sugar. It also happens to be a zero-calorie, zero-carb granulated sweetener that can be used very much like sugar. It gently sweetens everything, and I get no sugar rush or aftertaste from it. The Table Top version gives me the best sweet flavor and texture in desserts. It is also delicious in coffee and tea. Let me say right away that

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Jul 07

All About Nuts

I love almonds, pecans, walnuts and every kind of nut. Nuts are a true natural food, rich in proteins, healthy fats and enzymes. However many people have difficulty digesting nuts, and tree-nut allergies are ever more common. How can we enjoy nuts without digestive problems? Like all grains and seeds, nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, making them difficult to digest. Soaking nuts in salt water neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors. We can learn from native peoples in Central America, who soaked their nuts and seeds in seawater and then dried them. Even squirrels know how to soften nuts by burying them in

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Jul 04

“Natural” Sweeteners – A Closer Look

Look at most “natural sweeteners” and what do you find? High carbs and sugars, causing a spike in blood sugar and insulin response. There are many interpretations of healthy sweeteners, or Paleo sweeteners. In my recipes I use only the * lowest-carb natural sweeteners, which minimize any rise in blood sugar and insulin response. This simple approach eliminates a lot of so-called natural sweeteners. How to measure healthy sweeteners? Count the Carbs as a Percent.There are lots of ways to measure sweeteners, and most of them are confusing. Look for the Total Carbs in any sweetener, which is shown on the nutrition

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