Motivation is the Key to Change!!

One of the single-most important components for an individual who seeks to make diet and lifestyle changes are motivation and determination.

During my initial nutrition counseling session with a client, I ask a simple question that will determine readiness for change and that is:

 “On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “I’m am not ready at all to make changes” to 10 being “I am highly motivated and determined to make changes” where do you personally fall on the Likert scale?

Whatever the reason or reasons may be, those individuals that respond with a 7, 8, 9, or 10 are highly probable to be successful!  More specifically, successful at incorporating life-long diet modifications into his/her lifestyle to increase and optimize health and quality of life. As you read this paragraph, I’ll bet you are pondering and formulating your answer right now!

I believe that individuals cannot be forced to make changes if they do not present behaviors of willingness and readiness for transformation. In my experience as a dietitian and nutritionist, those equipped with the proper “toolbox”, if you will, coupled with the force of nature to incorporate changes are most likely to succeed.

However, just for a moment, imagine a state-of-the- art technology, a dietary tool that emerges from your toolbox! A tool that connects to your smart device that has the capability to measure, monitor and control calories and macronutrients – carbohydrates (a.k.a carbs – the nutrient that our society is always buzzing about?), protein and fat? Now, let’s say you had this dynamic tool and returning to that million dollar readiness question and you replied with a 1 or perhaps a 6 on the Likert scale, would you be more inclined to increase your number? I would think so!

Open toolbox –Enter – the AEGLE Palette – the world’s first smart placemat! Now that you’re a 10, learn more about this amazing new tool at AGELE’s Palette website:

Be Well, Stay Healthy,

Lisa M. Testolin, MS, RD, LDN

Lead Product Ambassador



Supplementation on a whole foods diet and why you continue to struggle losing fat?

Magnesium – due to depleted soils and lack of foods with great amounts of this key mineral, it is possible to be deficient in this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT nutrient. It is required in hundreds of bodily functions.  I take Magnesium Citrate which is in the product Natural Calm, it is a great supplement that helps me relax and promote sleep. Magnesium glycinate and threonate are other great options for supplementation.  How to know if you are deficient? Muscle cramping, insomnia, fatigue, constipation, the list goes on

Omega 3 – if you happen to dislike cold-water fatty fish and avoid it at all costs supplementing with omega 3 is a must.  Omega 3’s are ANTI-inflammatory, while the omega 6’s are PRO-inflammatory.  Inflammation is the starting point of most diseases and balancing out these are paramount for health.  Supplementing with krill oil, cod liver oil, or regular fish oil is a wise choice. How to know your deficient? Dry skin, poor memory, mood problems, again the list goes on

Iodine – getting rid of processed foods, gets rid of the majority of the salt in the diet.  Therefore, adding back in iodine rich sources like seafood, egg yolks, Himalayan salt, dulse flakes, or kelp to your recipes/salads will help your thyroid immensely.  By having an underactive thyroid due to insufficient iodine intake, weight gain and fatigue are unavoidable as well as others

Vitamin K2 – few have heard of this vital nutrient, so do not feel like you’re alone.  Vitamin K1 helps with blood clotting while K2 is paramount for bone health as it works synergistically with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to promote strong bones and unclogged arteries.  You read that right unclogged arteries… K2 basically takes calcium where it is needed and also takes it out of places where it is not needed (the arteries!).  Where to get this you ask?  Goose liver, grass fed butter, gouda cheese, natto, egg yolks, and fish eggs.  How to know if you are deficient; just think of what K2 does?  If suffering from one of these symptoms; Osteoporosis, arterial calcification or tooth decay due to tartar build up, all are common in K2 deficient people.  I will not be surprised if the benefits of K2 emerge to the general public sometime soon. This book will become popular I believe…

Vitamin D3 – Notice it is D3 and not D2! Vitamin D in my opinion is the most important vitamin. It is the only vitamin I take…

Why you are not losing those last few pounds?

Not eating nose to tail – avoiding the most nutrient dense foods (organ meats) on the planet is doing your body no good. Not incorporating the gelatinous cuts of meat (brisket, oxtail) or the bones and bone marrow are really hampering your health potential as well. The nutrients provided by these are not found in abundance anywhere else.  The body especially the joints, connective tissue, and skin will thank you heavily by incorporating bone broth on a weekly basis.  I have a theory that eating the organs of pasture and humanely raised animals will enhance the ability of your certain organs.  For example, I think eating liver on a weekly basis has a profound beneficial effect on your liver function.  Why?  Because just like vitamins, minerals, etc were unknown to humans, I think there are even more unknown substances in food.  This is just a theory, but I would not be surprised that if someone let’s say has kidney issues, and he or she incorporates kidneys into the diet, then this would not surprise me if kidney function got significantly better.  This just makes a lot of sense to me and I am a believer in it.

Not sprinting and too much being sedentary! – High interval training is a common news article in Yahoo and other popular websites that I come across.  The benefits are coming out and it is worthy news to report.  The benefits are endless and it really is inexcusable not to do it at least once weekly for a few minutes.  Have joint problems? Use a bike or swim. There is just no excuses I can think of for not sprinting…. Just do something at your highest energy output for 10-30 seconds then rest and repeat a few times.  It is not too difficult and is easy to find on the web for additional information. Also, just because you lift weights does not give you the right to be a couch potato the rest of the day! Countless studies show that being sedentary can negate the effects of exercise as well as affect blood markers such as insulin, blood glucose, etc and even brain health in negative ways.  Just get up and move! It does not have to be strenuous at all, get the mail, wash the dishes, vacuum, stretch…you can get a lot done (who doesn’t like a clean house?!) if you’re constantly moving.  Who doesn’t want to get things done nowadays?!?

Too stressed/overloaded with life – this is a hard one because you just cannot quit your job or abandon your family and other commitments you have.  I have a saying that I read somewhere regarding stress and it went something like this “Being stressed is when you are not able to feed your family, everything else isn’t that stressful” although I do not have a family this still helps me.  Incorporating meditation or yoga is a great idea for those feeling stressed.

Not incorporating playplay is just not for children, join that basketball or golf league! Go out and play with the kids at the park, sign up for that cooking class or arts and crafts class that you always wanted to try, or play a board game with the family.  Do things you enjoy each day, because you deserve it.

Do not beat yourself up if you do something not approved – do not regret eating that pizza for a week, just eat it and try to enjoy it the best you can. Then when finished move on and continue your life in a positive no regret way.  However, I am not saying someone can eat pizza and beer every day and that their mental health will block all the physical problems that will come with these foods.  I am saying maybe you follow the 95/5 rule and on occasion you like to eat pizza or something similar. Being 95/5 is a recipe for lifelong health!

Be social – throughout our history, we have been social creatures.  Continue to be, go out and make friends, call an old friend/relative, schedule a lunch date, eat dinner with the family, talk to your children about their day.  Do things to be social, it will enhance your happiness and longevity in life and isn’t that a goal for all?

What are you doing to lose those last few pounds?!

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Happy Holidays and Cheers to Good Health,

Lisa Testolin, M.S., R.D, LDN.

Owner/Nutrition Consultant

Lisa’s Nutrition Hub


Personalizing YOUR Diet and is Whole Food Eating Really too Restrictive?

PERSONALIZATION of YOUR lifestyle plan

Everyone is different, just because a study illustrates something is not beneficial for the majority of the test subjects does not mean it wont help you or be toxic! Some people thrive on some grass-fed butter or another grey area food, while others get undesirable outcomes like an immune response, irritable mood, acne, or a headache, I mean the list goes on and on!  To see if certain foods work for you,  begin food logs and document how you feel, slept, energy level, mood, etc for three days post consumption.  I would not add other unknown foods during that time because then you will know it is that particular food and not something else.  How would you know what caused the headache the next day if you tried 10 different grey area foods such as lentils, cream, butter, kefir, white rice, etc….you would not know! This is why logging while experimenting is so important!   You must experience it yourself to see what works and what does not!  

Do not let studies in credible medical journals posted by experts or doctors scare you away from a certain food or even a whole food group for that matter.  Most studies are quite flawed anyway so the results that occur are inaccurate.  The book Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger is an amazing resource and I couldn’t of been happier with my purchase of it!!!  Studies in scientific/medical journals do provide beneficial information, but with this book comes the knowledge necessary to determine if it is indeed worthy to live your life by.  Having read the book, I am taking most studies with a grain a salt now, it has provided almost a sense of freedom knowing that not all studies are true just because they are in a scientific/health journal! Your genes, hormones, lifestyle, environment, etc all have more of a heavy impact on what works and what does not. These factors are much more important than any study and particularly the ones with similar features as this…. a study done many, many years ago, has no randomization or blindness, is small in duration, has a small sample size, and is performed by biased researchers!!

In addition to experimenting…Most of the time when an optimal diet is found, it is not always going to be perfect forever. Diet might work for awhile (I am talking 20 years people!), I read all the time on how people thrive on a certain diet (vegan, vegetarian, low-carb etc) then after many years they start declining in health status! It just happens, there is just so many variables out there and the diet that works for you will likely never be constant forever.  Experimentation with your lifestyle is the only way to continue to find/obtain the ideal plan for you! It can be a lot of work, but it beats out being sick and crippled!


The two biggest criticisms I hear about living the paleo/primal/whole foods lifestyle is the “high” cost and the amount of restricted foods….I think that is completely false, said in a polite way.  How is it not expensive you may ask? Well for starters, it is always better to pay the grocer than the doctor!  Do you think medical care and medication is inexpensive??……I thought so… A major cause of bankruptcy is due to the rise of health care costs. Following the Standard American Diet and it’s equally abysmal lifestyle practices lead to a perfect path of disease and astronomical health care prices! A trip to the ER for a severe stomach pains costed this women 24,000 dollars!!!  You still think that $1.79 a pound for organic yams are downright criminal???…..thought so….Moving on….

By providing your body with the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and following a proper lifestyle of enough movement, sleep, play, social interaction, and proper exercise your body will begin to heal in ways you thought were impossible without the use of drugs or surgery.  That being said, you will not need the little things anymore such as tylenol, ibuprofen, a daily caffeine fix ($5 dollar coffee/sugar bomb, ain’t too cheap either…), sleep aids, skin clearing medication, lotions, moisturizers, etc.  Diet will make those problems go away = more money saved on these products that were just created to fix the faults associated with our modern lifestyles.  A majority of the population make a trip to the local coffee shop and gladly hand over a nice sum for their cup of joe and a pastry snack. Well, what if instead you went to the local farmers market this weekend and used the weeks worth of coffee and donut money to buy a dozen or two pasture raised eggs and some veggies for a sunday morning delicious and extremely nutritious brunch?!? I know your family would appreciate it more too…what’s not to like about good healthy food and social time with the family?!

STEPS or IDEAS to find cheaper whole foods

  1. Your local farmers market…call your town hall to see when it operates. Use this website to find one near you…sorry no excuses.

  2. If there is no farmers market by you…websites such as this and this can help you obtain the most nutrient dense foods from anywhere in the country.

  3. Frozen veggies/fruit are just as nutritious as fresh….think how long “fresh” produce has been ripening since it was picked, transported, stored, and finally sold?  Not too fresh…

  4. Buy in season produce, no need to buy something that is not in season and is 10 dollars a pound…

  5. At the farmers market, organ meats are the cheapest thing you can buy, but are the most nutrient dense…it doesn’t make sense but that is the case…a filet mignon is like a poptart in its nutritional makeup compared to liver but yet liver is just a few dollars a pound at the most…heck it is sometimes just given away!

  6. Make your own food. Do not buy pre-made paleo food/snacks as they are not reasonably priced.

  7. Buy in bulk, buying a quarter cow saves an abundance of cash and a Costco/Sams Club have great prices as well (at Costco I get coconut oil, olive oil, produce, grass-fed butter, organic eggs, frozen produce, etc).

  8. Also, fattier cuts of meat like brisket, shank, and chuck roast are cheaper per pound than the leaner parts.  The fattier cuts of meat, cooked in a slow cooker, are absolutely delicious and are richer in glycine and have less methionine in it…my sleep post explains why this is beneficial.

  9. Bones and bone marrow are also extremely reasonable in price and the soups made from them are delicious as well as nutritious

  10. Canned seafood is relatively inexpensive compared to fresh cuts of beef, lamb, or pork.  Just make sure it is not doused in a vegetable oil.  I am a huge fan of wild caught canned salmon and sardines (I was pleasantly surprised that sardines are not bad at all in taste). These foods are powerhouse sources of omega 3, calcium, and protein. Worried about mercury…here is a link that will change your judgement on that…

  11. Best fruits/veggies to buy organic and ones that are safe to buy conventional

  12. Can’t afford pasture raised animal products? Here is a great article saying what type is best to buy organic and what is least harmful if raised inhumanely in CAFOs

  13. Ever thought about starting a garden?!?!

  14. Quote I absolutely love regarding getting rid of all the unhealthy food/beverages in your living area “Out of sight, out of mind, out of reach, out of mouth.” It is almost impossible to avoid those cookies or bread if you still have them in the kitchen….so get rid of them!!

Dealing with the supposed over-restrictiveness?

I do not think a whole food diet is restrictive at all. If you look at the middle of the grocery store it is all the same food just shaped in different way made of wheat, soy, processed dairy, corn, additives, artificial sweeteners, etc.  Doesn’t sound too appetizing does it??? It also seems quite restrictive as well!! Robb Wolf has a food matrix recipe generator that has a total of 81,000 paleo recipes for a meal!!! You won’t see the same meal in over 200 years!! 81,000 new meals is not being restrictive….moving on.

If you cannot think of recipes for breakfast, a snack, or a dessert there are countless new recipe books…just type in google “paleo recipes” and you will see what I mean. To save even more dough living the primal lifestyle there are even recipe cell phone apps (Since the majority of us have our cell phones at an arms length away 24/7-365 having a nice recipe book in your pocket is highly valuable), I highly recommend the Caveman Feast app available for Droid and IPhone.

Ultimately for our society to get cheaper healthier whole foods we all must vote with our wallets!  Each time you purchase real food over the heavily industrialized GMO filled garbage (the majority of people call “food”), we are inching our way closer to better prices and a more sustainable food system and environment (this video is very educational and just really is unbelievable on how grass fed animals can save us). Business/companies need to see an increase in the market for real food and if they see it happen they will come.

The primal lifestyle will let you live a long, healthy, prosperous, productive, loving, and enjoyable life, while making your dreams and goals become obtainable and eventually reached.  With a longer stay on this earth you can make it a better place, be able to see grandchildren, heck maybe even great grandchildren…How do you measure this all in terms of monetary values? You really cannot and I would say these events are worth more than the extra money you spend on nutritious food for you and your loved ones.

Thanks for reading! What do you do to try to save money while shopping for real food?!?

Why you should care about your GUT!!!

It seems almost daily that a new study comes out claiming the benefits of a healthy gut!  The number of bacteria in the gut outnumber all the cells in our bodies by 10 to 1! The gut, lungs, and skin are the only parts of the body that have to deal with the threatening outside world.  Therefore, one of the jobs of the GI tract is to protect our internal bodily organs and everything else safe from harm (which is no small task!).  A great indicator of gut health is mirrored by that of the skin and the overall mental and emotional health of an individual.

Why is gut health so important?

  1. Inflamed gut = less absorptive surfaces = less nutrient absorption = a nutrient deficient and unhealthy you!.  What causes a damaged gut you ask?  Gluten, alcohol, processed foods, antibiotics, chemicals, stress, and foods people are sensitive to (which unfortunately can be many foods and I recommend this company to test for food sensitivities…

  2. A majority of the body’s serotonin in the intestines….what does serotonin do for you?  Well a better question might be what isn’t it involved in…

  3. Not only do the intestines house the serotonin for your body, but it is home to the majority of your immune system!  Weak gut = weak immune system = being sick a lot!

  4. A good portion of your thyroid hormone activity depends on the health of your gut!  The thyroid (means shield in Greek) is the spark plug for energy production, maintains core body temperature, and affects brain chemistry.

  5. Impact on gene expression

  6. Having plentiful beneficial bacteria in the gut will protect the lining, which will prevent harmful substances from getting into places the body does not want it to be where it. The result? An immune response and total chaos.  This is called leaky gut and with it brings the possibility of becoming sensitive to even more otherwise benign foods and other undesirable effects.  A lack of the good bacteria cannot protect all the surface area of the intestines (the small intestine measuring 20 feet long has the surface area of a tennis court!) leading to leaky gut which allows harmful substances into your body!

  7. More able to handle physiological stressors with a healthy gut!

  8. Good bacteria produce key micronutrients such as Vitamin K2 and B12!

  9. A healthy gut = better skin = less acne and other undesirable skin conditions.

  10. Finally if the gut is working well, than your brain should be as well!

What to do to improve your health of the gastrointestinal tract?

  • Avoid gluten!  Gluten means glue in Latin…you want that in your intestines?!?!….I thought so…. You only need to be exposed to gluten once every two weeks to continue to keep the gut damaged…I highly recommend the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.  This book made me have nightmares of gluten and I am totally afraid of this human poison!  Here is a great illustration of what happens when gluten is consumed….

  • Avoid antibiotics….These kill all both the good and bad bacteria in your gut and I will never take again unless a severe emergency…

  • Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, make your own or take a probiotic supplement.  These will help refuel and build up the good bacteria community, as well as numerous other benefits and more benefits….

  • Experiment with Resistant Starch –  plantains, green bananas, potato starch.  These foods contain Bifidobacteria which is one of the most beneficial bacteria in the gut.  Resistant starch really helps improve blood glucose regulation…this guy is the expert on resistant starch…I take a few tablespoons of Bob Mills unmodified potato starch every day and it is helping quite nicely with my digestion (I have had problems since birth with digestion and this seems to help greatly).  You have to get used to this product as it can cause a lot of flatulence if taken in high doses (more than a few tablespoons) if you have not tried it before.

  • Avoid grains and legumes….grains/legumes are heavily equipped for chemical warfare…think about it…they cannot move like animals can and have to depend themselves from insects/etc somehow….this is why they have things like saponins, phytates, lectins, and other toxins they leak out to protect themselves.  Another thing about grains and legumes is they are not nutrient dense and have no nutrient that you cannot get from the most nutrient dense foods such as seafood, organ meats, shellfish, vegetables, eggs, and meat.  Legumes are also extremely high in FODMAP carbohydrates and sometimes these carbohydrates are quite difficult to digest for people, which can bring undesirable effects to these particular people. Phytates are a compound in these foods that bind to key minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium which make them unavailable to use by the human body.  Most Americans are already deficient in some of these!  In addition, when these foods are consumed it makes it much more challenging to digest the protein that was in your meal!

  • Eat grass-fed butter or ghee which contains butyric acid.  Butyric acid is the primary fuel for colon cells and a very important substance for preventing colon cancer.

  • Try a low FODMAP diet (if you have done everything to improve the gut and are still not feeling good in the gut or are constipated)…

  • Glycine rich foods – BONE BROTH!!! Soothes the gut immensely…

  • Eat fiber – Bacteria ferment dietary fiber, which makes the colon more acidic.  Pathogens are pH sensitive, so this acidic environment kills bad bacteria in the gut therefore equals a healthier you!

  • Avoid processed foods. Basically anything in the middle of a grocery store (these foods are basically all the same anyway just shaped in a different form since they all have wheat, corn, soy, and a heavily processed dairy product) these foods are GMO filled, chemically laced, artificial sweeten, hydrogenated, denatured, and a host of other scary chemical processes, that all destroy gut health!

  • Finally, stop eating sugar! Sugar is food for the bad bacteria in the GI tract! When bad bacteria make up more than good bacteria nothing beneficial occurs.

As you can see you MUST restore healthy gut flora to be in optimal health!  What are you doing/have done to improve your gut microbiota?

What is just as Important to Health than Nutrition and Exercise?….SLEEP!

After proper lifestyle modifications of diet and exercise/movement take place, the next thing on the list to vastly improve is your sleep.  Sleep is not for those who are weak! Get that through your heads! The people who do not sleep become the ones who are weak!  The importance of sleep is monumental for overall health and all people can relate to it…here are a few examples.  How many times have you asked people “How are you today” and they respond “I am so tired” or something along those lines.  These people are in a zombie like state and are not very productive or fun to be around until they consume a few caffeinated beverages.  I get that daily and I know I am not the only one!  Another example, how do you feel after staying up late in the night and early morning than have to wake up for school/job obligations and a full days activities on only 4 hours of sleep…. I am guessing you experienced this before and know how lifeless and terrible you feel.  Why do people want to go through whole days feeling like garbage, knowing that sleep will totally rid of those feelings. Nobody ever woke up from a superb and long duration night sleep and said “WOW! That was a waste of time!”  I have never heard this and I am sure you haven’t either. My point is PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP JUST AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE IN YOUR LIFE!  It makes a world of difference and everyone has experienced it on days when they slept long and deep.  A common excuse I hear people say about sleep is that it cuts into social/school/family activities.  Well that might be true, but a lack of sleep and the resulting problems that will arrive (such as diabetes, cancer, depression, and dementia) will cut into those activities too!!

We all know sleep is important but how much it affects our body is truly remarkable.

A good nights sleep is priceless…

  1. Increased secretion of anabolic hormones (Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone).  These hormones are vital to muscle growth, bone health, and tissue repair, and a lot of other benefits as well!

  2. Suppress Ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates a hearty appetite)

  3. Elevates Leptin (this hormone expresses fullness, one of its many functions)

  4. During sleep, the brain solidifies pathways, which brings better understanding by the strengthening of connections between items learned today and in the past.  This strengthens your long term memory abilities.  The brain is too busy to do this during the day (because of the vast amounts of things going on in daily living), so it is during sleep that this important process occurs.

  5. A great few sentences by Robb Wolf regarding the importance of sleep: “When you neglect sleep or have poor sleep quality, this registers as a significant stressor to your body. It makes you immune compromised, chubby, forgetful, and crazy.”  Need I say more???

  6. Our insulin sensitivity increases, which improves the ability of the body to tolerate carbohydrates and burn fat.

  7. Increases stress tolerance, improves athletic performance, boosts mood and energy, and increase your lifespan who doesn’t want that?!?!

  8. The list goes on and on, I think you get the idea…

Now we know why sleep is important and hopefully you will now prioritize it. Now, what can you do to maximize sleep or improve sleep if you have been struggling here are some tips to improve sleep….

  • BLACK OUT YOUR ROOM! What I mean by this is to make it as pitch dark as possible. Any little light can bring melatonin production to a complete halt and keep you up long into the night.  I have blackout shades that work like a charm and they were an inexpensive investment at your local Target store.  Also, I DO NOT HAVE ANY ELECTRONIC DEVICES NEAR ME AND THEY ARE ALSO TURNED OFF!  Is it worth it when you hear a 3:00 A.M. email notification to only find out it is junk mail….I thought so…..moving on.  To completely black out my room I went as far as taping the little green light on my smoke detector! Any light can be distracting…. so get rid of it!!!

  • Regarding supplementation:  I do not recommend melatonin, because it is a powerful hormone and I am not really a supporter for taking artificial hormones.  I do however recommend people try valerian root (it smells bad, but it has been shown to work and I have seen success with it, when needed).  Since most of our diets are severely deficient in magnesium, I highly recommend the supplement Natural Calm, it is known as the anti-stress beverage (magnesium relaxes the muscles).  My family has seen success on it and I enjoy this beverage in a little bit of warm water every evening and it is a praised product by Robb Wolf.  I have also been highly intrigued by the blog run by Seth Roberts a best selling author and a professor of psychology and how he has ran different self-experiments to improve his health especially sleep by the use of honey… I have tried this as well with raw honey and it has been working like a charm…I have been taking 1 tablespoon before bed.   If these do not help these two articles should get the job done…Improve sleep article one and two.

  • In addition to these supplementation recommendations, I want to reiterate the point of eating nose to nail.  Eating the fattier cuts (brisket, chuck roast, oxtail) and organ meats of pasture raised animals have a higher amounts of gelatin which contains the amino acid glycine and has lower amounts of methionine (the amino acid extremely rich in muscle meat). Methionine competes with tryptophan for transport across the blood brain barrier into the pineal gland. The less tryptophan that gets into the pineal gland due to excess muscle meat consumption, the less melatonin and serotonin produced.  Having impaired melatonin production makes it impossible to get sleep and to stay asleep. Melatonin produced by the body has antimicrobial properties, increases growth hormone circulation, and kills tumor cells! Methionine restriction diets have shown to increase the production of the master antioxidant Glutathione as well!  Glycine found in gelatin has been proven to increase healing, reduce stress, and improve longevity!! I highly recommend reading this masterpiece…. I have been significantly cutting down muscle meat consumption and focusing on fattier types of meat (Just throw a chuck roast in a slow cooker with some veggies and it is a simple and easy meal to make) and I could not be happier with the sleeping results.  If still you are struggling to sleep or stay asleep try eating all your carbohydrates at night.  Eating carbohydrates (the whole food types like tubers and fruits, not wheat bread!!!) increase the ability of the amino acid tryptophan to enter the pineal gland; where tryptophan is the precursor for the hormones serotonin and melatonin. These hormones especially melatonin induce sleep.

  • Since the majority of people watch TV, are texting, or are on the computer (or doing all three simultaneously which is probably what’s happening) before sleep I have a few more tips…The light emitted by these devices suppress melatonin production, that is why you can stay up so late doing this activities while it is really hard to stay up late reading a book…makes sense now doesn’t it?  Anyway to block these melatonin suppressing signals I need you to download the free app for any computer called flux, its free and very beneficial. Finally, I know this is a little extreme but I bought these goggles and where them starting around 9 9:30 I am exhaustively tired and can fall asleep like a baby.  These goggles work because they block brain stimulating lights, just like what flux does except you cannot download flux on a TV or cellphone. These goggles fit over glasses, but are not going to be a fashion trend anytime soon, but I could care less. I am not going out with them and what they do far outweigh the semi-dorky look.

  • For those of you who think alcohol is a great sleep supplement, I am sorry to rain on your parade but that is 100% FALSE! Alcohol increases the stress hormone cortisol, lowers testosterone levels for 24 hours post drinking and also lowers human growth hormone by 70%! This is completely 360 degrees opposite of what normally happens in sleep!  So, while the liver is processing alcohol, it shuts down fat metabolism…it keeps getting worse doesn’t it…..Bottom line if you want to consume alcohol your sleep will be disrupted, your body composition will tank, and you will not wake up refreshed…do you need more facts?  If not here you go anyway….

Without adequate sleep one is bound for undesirable health conditions.  Sleeping pills are not the answer, in fact they are the farthest thing from it and can result in an increased risk of death!!!  When one begins taking a medicine, he or she must recover from the disease and then recover from the medicine as well.  That is why I always say “It is better to pay the farmer than the doctor!!!”  The bottom line regarding sleep, even if you eat and exercise in a perfect way, neglecting sleep will cancel out those effects and ultimately your health will deteriorate!

Thanks for reading! What do you do to prioritize sleep?!

How to Maximize Health through Exercise

If you thought the foods allowed on this lifestyle were strange, then get ready for what the paleo lifestyle recommends for exercise! Gone are the days of 6 days a week for an hour at 5 am treadmill sessions!  Our ancestors never would’ve did that back in the day, that would just not make any sense to them.  Jogging just does not occur in nature… think about it…you never see animals just jogging around.  However, our ancestors would of full out sprinted if an animal they were tracking turned around and headed right towards them!!  I just do not see the benefits of jogging at a steady pace brings, Jim Fixx comes to mind…Anyway I do think that sprints are something that should be done weekly and it only takes a few minutes.  Sprinting does not have to be running, it could be on a elliptical, exercise bike, or a row machine, etc. The only thing you gotta do is really push yourself for 15-30 seconds, rest for a minute or two and repeat 6-10 times.  With warm up and cool down it is like a 15 minute workout and you are drenched in sweat and very tired.  This is my hardest workout of the week, but once I am done I feel not good, but amazing!

Another aspect is resistance training!  You must do some type of body strengthening activity! For those of you short on time I highly recommend the exercise protocol recommended by Doug Mcguff, MD.  His book is called Body by Science and it only takes twelve minutes a week to follow his exercise regime.  If you have a little bit more time and enjoy going to the gym two weight lifting sessions a week is substantial.  I do a upper and lower body workout each week with a sprint thrown in sometime during the week.  The weightlifting sessions need to have compound lifts (these are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once) performed in each workout you do. A lower body workout should always be done weekly, you have the most muscle and muscle growth potential in the legs!  More muscle = more toned look = healthier and happier you!

Upper Body Compound Lifts: Chest Press (Incline and Flat), Jerks, Pull ups, Seated rows, Shoulder Press, Tricep Extensions.  These should be done before you do isolation exercises (Exercises that work a single muscle group) such as bicep curls. Biceps only make up ⅓ of upper arm mass compared to triceps which make up ⅔ of the mass. Its quite comical at the gym when all you see is bicep curls being done and on some rare occasion you see the triceps being worked! With that being said if you want to increase overall muscle mass in your arms, than train your triceps!!  A few compound lifts must be a part of each training session!  More muscles worked = more potential muscle growth = a healthier and toned body!

Lower Body Compound Lifts: Squats (Front and Back), Deadlifts, Leg Press, Lunges, Box Jumps, Split Squats, Wall Squats.  Squats and Deadlifts are a must to build some serious muscle.  For you females, its impossible to look to “jacked” without drugs, so please do not fear the weights!!  I promise you won’t look scary after lifting weights! I want you coming back to read and comment on future posts and if I make you scary that will kill all my credibility!!

Finally the last thing you need to do fitness wise, is just move and not sit!!! Prolonged sitting (many people in the paleo lifestyle see excessive sitting as the new smoking!!) has been shown to decrease the effects of exercise in countless studies and it is scary what being sedentary does to the body.  I use a standing desk at school and have seen an increase in productivity and focus! Now it is very uncomfortable for me to sit through a 50 minute class!  It is very simple to make a standing desk, mine composes of a TV dinner table stand, storage container, and a 2 by 3 foot piece of wood.  Most people have two of the items already at home, so investing in a piece of wood at any lumber store will cost very little.  It is a very worthy investment!

Do whatever you can to move people!! Take the stairs, park far away, do some exercises during commercials, just get up and move!!  For your fitness just…move, sprint, and lift!

These are some very good points/tips regarding exercise and hormones:

  • Proper exercise is done to influence hormones, not an activity to just burn calories. Our body is not a bomb calorimeter (device which calculates the calories), our body is run by hormones which calculate how you utilize your energy and fat stores!

  • Write down what you do!  How will you remember each exercise performed, weight lifted, and reps? YOU WON’T, so write it down!! Knowing all of this is added motivation to beat previous lifts, times, etc.  This will let you know if you are in fact getting stronger and progressing!

  • Consuming fructose two hours prior to or after exercise will nullify Human Growth Hormone production.  HGH is vital for muscle growth!

  • Soy consumption increases estrogen, lowers testosterone, and slows metabolism, all counteractive to your goals of a toned body!  I apologize for not talking about avoiding soy in a previous post.  Soy is almost always genetically modified and is detrimental to health!

  • When lifting use VISUALIZATION! For example when doing a deadlift you imagine there is a giant tree on a loved one and you must lift it to save them!  I have used this and have experienced great success!

  • In his book Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter explains what exercise does for the brain as well as the body – inflammation control, increase insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar control, expand memory center, increase levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), and the release of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and GABA which produce a calming effect on the body.

  • A post-workout whey protein shake and creatine has shown to be very beneficial for muscle repair, growth, and other benefits as well!

  • One pound of fat takes up 18% mores space than one pound of muscle, due to the fact that muscle is much more dense than fat.  This is why a scale is not a good standard of measurement to decide if you are overweight or not but looking in the mirror is!

  • Remember when in the gym, the muscles are being broke down…not built up.  The time outside the gym is when the growth occurs so be sure to give yourself enough time to recover.  The recovery is quite different for everyone but I recommend at least 48 hours in between workouts.  When recovering, make sure to prioritize sleep, nutrition, and other recovery strategies.

If struggling to lose fat ,not weight, is not going well its important to remember failure is not falling down it is staying down.  Do not be intimidated by elite fitness people, they were once in your shoes, so one day at a time!  Robb Wolf’s book the Paleo Solution has an amazing chapter on exercise, which contains many pictures and instructions on how to do many exercises correctly.  His book is one of the best I have read and I have easily read over 20!!

Thanks for reading and be sure to lift, sprint, move, and finally let us know what you are doing to become healthy!

Food Recall for Our Furry Friends – Dogs and Cats!

U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Food Safety Alerts

Pro-Pet LLC, St. Marys, Ohio, has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of Dry Dog and Cat Foods for possible Salmonella contamination. A single field test indicated products manufactured during a two day period, on a single production line may have the potential for Salmonella contamination.

Matt’s Rant and Rave: Why you can eat FAT!

Why you should NOT FEAR fat and cholesterol!  In fact you should embrace these vital substances in food!

The link between heart disease and fat consumption is a deeply flawed and corrupted ordeal in the United States.  In the 1970’s when the USDA demonized fats and glorified carbohydrates, the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and brain related conditions significantly skyrocketed! Ask your grandparents about all these present-day diseases, and they will inform you of the rare occasions when they occurred.

Why you ask? Your grandparents ate more fat and less industrially made carbohydrates! They cooked with butter or lard-not vegetable oils- and consumed substantially less than the 300 grams of carbohydrates that the typical American consumes today.  A basic soda pop has over 35 grams of sugar in it, and most people drink more than this single 12 ounce serving.  With all this sugar, you are getting zero nutritional benefit as well!  

Now let’s get back to discussing fat….

Why eat fat?  Think of fat and protein as adding massive logs of wood to your fire for energy, while carbohydrates are tiny twigs or pieces of paper.  I can easily eat twice maybe even once a day and almost never have hunger cravings.  Not eating enough protein and fat equals being in the kitchen all day…who wants to do that?

Click these links and begin to admire the importance of fats!!! by Chris Kresser, he has a book that just came out called “Your Personal Paleo Code” it could very well be the last health book you ever need to read! by Chris Masterjohn, he is the go-to guy regarding cholesterol and fat soluble vitamins! the most exhaustive critque of The China Study I have come across (which is used by vegans and vegetarians to show how their diets are superior to animal based ones), which is done by Denise Minger is just superb!

We are capable of producing hydrochloric acid for a reason (to digest animal protein), sorry vegans! – by Mark Sisson, he is one of the leaders in the paleo lifestyle and is a ripped 55+ year old!

Interesting Fat and Cholesterol statistics:

  • Breast milk is over fifty percent saturated fat and babies thrive on it!!!  Why should the makeup of our diet differ?  

  • Twenty percent of your brain is cholesterol, why would you deprive yourself of cholesterol for the sake of brain health?.

  • Vitamin D, which is not really a vitamin, but a neuroregulatory steroidal hormone, is made from cholesterol. Vitamin D influences a whopping one third of your genes!

  • Every cell in your body has a way to make cholesterol (it is a difficult biological process that strains the liver, so the body prefers cholesterol from food). When restricting cholesterol the body sends out a similar hormonal response to what would happen in case of undergoing a famine.

Being overweight does not come from eating fat from natural sources; it stems from the inability of the body to burn fat, which is caused by the reliance of carbohydrates (sugar) as a primary fuel source.  Our ancestors would never have made it if carbohydrates were an essential part of the diet.  If we evolved to run on glucose (what carbohydrates provide), the human species would have evolved a better way to store it (a human can only store at most 2000 kcal from carbohydrates).

Sorry back to fats….

Why you can eat (grass-fed) butter –

  • It is very stable while cooking at higher temperatures unlike industrial oils

  • It contains Retinoid, a form of vitamin A and found in animal products only, is much better absorbed than plant form of vitamin A called Carotenoids.

  • Has insignificant amounts of casein and lactose which people are sensitive to. Many people are able to tolerate butter since it is almost exclusively fat.  Just because you are lactose intolerant does not mean you cannot enjoy butter!  I used to be someone who eliminated all dairy for almost two years…now I have incorporated butter and my health has become much better!

  • Increased absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. These are found in abundance in all the tasty veggies and butter you’ll be consuming on the primal lifestyle!

  • Nutrient-density: Vitamin A,  and CLA, a natural trans-fat, that has been shown to be anti-cancerous!

  • Contains Butyric Acid which is the primary fuel for colon cells and is beneficial in reducing colon cancer risk.

  • And finally it tastes AMAZING!

Coconut Oil

  • Very heat stable = very good for high-heat cooking!

  • Contains MCT(medium chain triglycerides) – antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties due to lauric acid content (half of coconut fat is lauric acid!)

  • Extremely easy to digest.  Given to patients who have severe gastrointestinal problems such as those who have parts of their intestines removed!

  • Does not easily store as fat if at all; its processed immediately by the liver for energy!  MCT has even been shown to enhance fat burning!

  • MCT’s promote ketone development in the body which can be a superfuel for the brain.  Ketogenic diets have enhanced the lives of many people with neurological conditions.

  • Contains arginine which is responsible for vasodilation creating better blood flow.

  • MANY OTHER USES!!! (I use it as a moisturizer and it is extremely effective! I highly recommend it since your skin is the largest organ of the body and you need to treat it well!  Using moisturizers with all these unnatural ingredients are doing you no good, your skin will absorb these nasty chemicals!!!)

According to Chris Kresser and Mark Sisson these are the immense benefits of consuming saturated fats for the human body….

What saturated fats do in the body:

  1. Deliver fat-soluble vitamins throughout the body

  2. Liver protection from toxic compounds, alcohol, and medications

  3. Reduces levels of inflammatory substances such as lipoprotein-a

  4. Support healthy immune function

  5. Bone health – helps involve calcium into the skeletal system

  6. Regulate the use of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the body

  7. These so called deadly saturated fats form the majority of your bodies structural fats and make up three quarters of the fatty acids in your very own cells

I highly recommend the book “Your Personal Paleo Code” by Chris Kresser and the “Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson, they both explain in great detail the benefits of saturated fats and I would say they are the leaders in the Paleo lifestyle movement!!

Lastly, fats to avoid TRANS FATS – please at all cost eliminate them! Take time to look at food labels. If an ingredient listed is “hydrogenated” is on it, avoid it like its the black plague! These fats increase the amount of fat in the abdominal region, which is the worst place to carry fat!  This is not the only negative of trans fat, it wrecks so much havoc metabolically that it could take two years for the body to rid itself of the trans fat you consumed.

Finally…If you cannot afford to get sick then you CANNOT afford to not take your preventative health care seriously!  I truly believe your diet is so important in overall health, so begin incorporating these FATS and get ready for some awesome results!!!

Thanks for reading and be sure to leave your comments!

Pringles Potato Chips Recall

From time to time, Lisa’s Nutrition Hub will post important announcements regarding the recall of food items:

01/28/2014 02:13 PM EST

Pringles is recalling a small quantity of 5.68‐ounce cans of its Original crisps. The crisps are being recalled because they may have been inadvertently exposed to seasoning containing milk, which is not listed as an ingredient on the label.


For detailed information pertaining to this Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts message, please click the link at the beginning of this bulletin.