Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 121

Jassfit picSarah and I are back with Episode 121 of the Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast!  Click here to listen or find us on iTunes. Please submit your questions to and if you have a spare minute, please be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!!  Thank you very much and enjoy!

Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • Coffee and fat loss.  (16:49)
  • Preferred Creatine.  (25:50)
  • Kids and fats.  (33:21)

Be sure to check out our new JASSA Courses!

The JASSA fit discount code for 75% off your first month: SUSTAINABLE

Kids Can Be More Than Takers During Holidays

Read more of Mark’s work over at his blog, Simply Human and be sure to listen to his podcast!

I love Christmas. Always have. Always will.

When I was a kid (and still a little bit even today) I get all excited when it’s time to open presents. Many families have all kinds of traditions and customs — but my family would open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve so we would have more time to play with our goodies. (This is of course after the “Santa years” when we would open some presents on Christmas Eve then see what Santa got us on Christmas morning).

I loved Christmas when I was a kid because of the stuff that I RECEIVED.

I love Christmas today because of the stuff that I GIVE AWAY. Not just to my sweet daughters and my son, but to people we don’t even know.

And the joy that surrounds my Christmas experience today is many times greater than when I was a kid.

I was able to make the transition from finding joy in getting to giving because my parents instilled those values in me. I was lucky to have parents that did that.

I don’t think it’s too “out in left field” to say that many adults today were never able to make that transition. You can see it all over our culture. (Kind of like saying that obesity rates have increased in the last 50 years — you don’t need a lot of scientific data backing it up…you can just look around).

Our culture is saturated with a whole lot more “me’s” than “you’s”. It’s all about “what’s in it for me” and “how is my action going to benefit ME” instead of looking at how our actions and behaviors will benefit those around us.

If you have small kids, make sure to highlight the giving aspect of this season and not focus solely on the getting.

After all, gift giving at Christmas time is based on the gifts the magi brought to the baby Jesus. They were deeply symbolic and thoughtful gifts. They didn’t bring Jesus a wooden horse toy. Ha!

Now, I’m not against getting toys for your kids. I have Anna and Elsa stuff literally coming out of my ears. Literally. There is an Anna dress attached to my ear as I’m writing this. And I think one of my daughters just slipped some Elsa slippers on my feet. Someone please send help. Save me.

So whether you’re Christian or Jewish or atheist or whatever…the spirit of gift-GIVING was thoughtfulness and meaning. Not just the sheer volume of toys that a kid can accumulate over a lifetime.

What are some things you can do with your kids to focus on giving this holiday season?:

  • Let them pick out gifts for friends and family members.
  • Let them help wrap gifts for other people.
  • Tell them stories and show them pictures of children who don’t have everything they ever wanted whenever they want it.
  • Better yet — take them to those children. Show them. Volunteer somewhere that will give your kids some perspective on the real world.
  • Go buy a bunch of toys and drop them off at a Toys for Tots drop-off (or something similar).
  • Give money to the Salvation Army bell ringers.
  • Try and talk them into giving away a toy that they own that maybe they haven’t played with in a long time that someone else may get joy from.
  • Find an organization that connects “givers” with families in need and buy everything on that family’s wish list.
  • Spend more money on other people than you do your own family and let your kids in on that (if they’re old enough).

Show your kids the joy of giving. Show them that helping other people is one of their purposes on earth. Show them. Don’t tell them. Just like telling them to eat broccoli won’t work…YOU have to eat it.

Let’s raise a generation that understands that it’s not about ME. It’s about YOU.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, gets everything he or she ever wanted, and gives a whole lot more.

Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 120

Jassfit picSarah and I are back with Episode 120 of the Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast!  Click here to listen or find us on iTunes. Please submit your questions to and if you have a spare minute, please be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!!  Thank you very much and enjoy!

Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • Relationships with food.

Be sure to check out our new JASSA Courses!

The JASSA fit discount code for 75% off your first month: SUSTAINABLE

Mushroom Meatballs with Easy Tomato Sauce

mushroom meatballs

This recipe comes from my book Everyday Paleo Around the World Italian Cuisine.  With December in full swing, easy recipes that nourish your family on cold winter evenings are an absolute must and this recipe fits the bill. My family loves this recipe and I hope yours does too! Remember when you are holiday shopping that all the Everyday Paleo books make wonderful gifts for those that you love. I’ll be back soon with more deliciousness but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy!

Mushroom Meatballs with Easy Tomato Sauce

polpette di funghi in salsa al pomodoro

Succulent meatballs swimming in a sea of easy-to-make tomato sauce! This is comfort food at its finest. Frying the meatballs first will seal in the flavors, and the brightness of the fresh basil at the end ties it all together.

1 pound white mushrooms, finely diced
1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup Italian parsley, finely minced
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons lard, butter, or ghee for frying the meatballs

1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes (or other tomatoes of your choice)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the mushrooms, beef, garlic, Italian parsley, egg yolks, salt, and pepper.
2. Shape the meat mixture into meatballs that are slightly larger than a golf ball.
3. In a large sauté pan, heat the lard, butter, or ghee over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the hot pan, and brown them on all sides.
4. Remove the browned meatballs from the pan, and set them aside.
5. Make the sauce by adding the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper to taste to the same pan used for the meatballs. Cook over medium heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5-6

Buy an Epic Gift from Epic Bar and Help Support the Savory Institute!!


Those of you who follow me know that I love Epic Bar and everything that this awesome company stands for and I am loving them even more during this Holiday Season because they have made mine and your holiday shopping a whole lot easier, and they are donating the proceeds of these awesome gifts to the Savory Institute!  If you don’t know what the Savory Institute is, well you should – in fact, it should be a gosh darned household name – more so than Paleo or any other “diet” you can think of because the work being done by the Savory Institute is literally saving this big round rock we live on because no matter how “clean” we eat, no matter how “paleo” we try to be, if we are not caring where the heck our food is coming from or supporting the regeneration of our earth than the outcome of our efforts won’t matter in the end.

This is where our focus should be dear readers so let’s rally and help out an awesome cause during this Holiday Season and give the gift of deliciousness and hope for a greener, brighter, and healthier future.

So, head on over to Epic Bar and get to shopping because proceeds for all of these gift items go directly to the Savory Institute!!



EPIC_HolidayGiftSet_Promo2 EPIC_HolidayGiftSet_Promo1

Are You Movement Deficient?

*Note from Sarah: I particullarly love this article!!! Also, Mark mentions the Squatty Potty in this article and I have to do a special shoutout to Squatty Potty as well – we have two of them, one in each of our bathrooms and, well, we couldn’t live without them. They are truly that legit. For more of Mark’s work, be sure to visit his website, follow him on Facebook, and listen to his kick butt podcast

Here’s some nutrition advice for all you folks out there raising kids: put them on a diet of only broccoli and chicken. You can cook it or not cook it, season it any way you want. But that’s it. Broccoli. Chicken. Forever.

Sound good?

It certainly would make shopping easy.

But that’s crazy, right? Or as the kids say “cray cray.” You would never do that. And why not? Because kids need more than that to grow and be healthy, right?

*Side note here: your kids might actually only say they ever want to eat 1 or 2 things, but you would never “prescribe” that diet for them. Or any diet that contained only two foods — sorry Cabbage Soup diet.

Think of all the nutrients they’d be missing out on! And not to say that broccoli and chicken aren’t healthy if cooked in healthy ways, but our bodies need more.

Our bodies need a bajillion macro and micronutrients from a variety of fuel sources in order to thrive. That’s a given. And “bajillion” is a scientific term — I saw it on the internet.

All the vitamins, fatty acids, essential amino acids, minerals, the list is ridiculous when you break it down, and those are just the ones we KNOW about.

So let’s take this and relate it to movement.

What if you or your kids only moved in a couple of very specific ways the majority of your time awake? Not that farfetched an idea, right?

I think it’s fair to say without doing any sort of double blind, peer reviewed study that many adults today sit most of the time, then engage in some type of very linear, repetitive motion for a small fraction of their waking hours (aka elliptical, treadmill, exercise bike, running, swimming, etc…).

Another huge fraction of the population only sits. As Katy Bowman puts it in her book, Move Your DNA, they are “ninjas” at sitting.

Many school-aged kids spend a large majority of their time sitting in a desk, and if they are involved in any extracurricular activity, that activity is incredibly specialized — like if a kid (like both of my daughters) is a gymnast. Gymnastics is a GREAT thing to do for overall muscle development and coordination much the same way that broccoli is a super food and should be eaten on a regular basis – but not in exclusivity. We need more variation. We are designed to move in ways that aren’t only “broccoli.”

If you think the list of nutrients our bodies need to reach their health potential is exhausting, the list of all the different types of movements and ranges of motion your body can perform can’t be listed…because it’s infinite.

It would almost be like trying to write out all the numbers. Impossible.

Just like a variety in foods give us different nutritional benefits, different movements give us different bio-mechanical benefits. So not getting a healthy dose of movements and ranges of motion is as unhealthy as only eating one or two foods for the rest of your life.

Getting stuck in one position affects your blood pressure, your respiration, your metabolism, your stress level, your brain, your joint health, your muscle retention and growth, and a myriad of other things that you may have never thought of.

Start thinking of sitting all day like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and only having one food on display. That would be terrible. An endless buffet of…..carrots. Mmmmmm…..

So what can you do? You have a job with a desk! You have to commute to the job! You have your life and that’s that so what can you do!!???

Here are some easy things you and your children can do to ensure that your movement buffet is filled with many different things that will support a long and healthy existence:

  • change positions once an hour

sitting at work? Stand up. Been standing for an hour? Stand on a PVC pipe. Tired of that? Squat. Then stand back up and put one foot up on a stool or trashcan. Mix it up.

  • stand whenever you want at work or school

have a conversation with your kids’ teachers, most will understand where you’re coming from and will allow your kids to stand if they want to at various “appropriate times” throughout the day

  • squat when you poop

not hard even if you’re not very flexible if you have a Squatty Potty (most recently seen on Shark Tank). Most kids still have great mobility and this is no problem for them. I know my girls prefer to squat on the pot.

  • bypass the couch at home — get down on the floor

thanks to all the time I spent locked up in desks while in school, I can no longer sit comfortably on the floor cross-legged. Did that deter me? No. I got a little yoga block which raises my pelvis up off the ground enough for me to cross my legs. Not comfortable at first, but it is now. And hopefully pretty soon I’ll be all the way on the floor. We eat dinner on the kitchen floor, too — sorry dogs, outside. And it’s good incentive to keep the floor clean!

  • engage in some type of random movement activity

tennis, basketball, racquetball, soccer, playing tag, and jumping on a trampoline are examples of things that require you to move laterally and in ways that keep your body guessing and adapting

  • Don’t specialize your kids!

This is a touchy one and down at the bottom of the article for a reason. But let me just say this — having middle school and high school aged kids specializing in a sport and only doing that one sport is CRAZY!!! I’m sorry if you have a daughter on track to be the next gold medalist in softball, but you are only setting them up for a lifetime of movement “nutritional deficiency.” There I said it. Please comment or email me how much of a moron you think I am.

Our kids were not designed to do one activity for the majority of their waking hours. They just weren’t.

  • Do things not on “counter level”

Think about it. Everything you do in the house has you either sitting or standing up comfortably (like your counters in the kitchen). There are no waist level sinks or counter tops in nature. Think of ways to get away from counter tops. I’ll cook bacon on a griddle on the back porch…on the ground — sorry dogs, back inside — which forces me to squat down. I make broth on the ground outside. Be creative!

Don’t just eat broccoli and chicken all day, every day. Move around. Use your body in ways it was designed to move!


Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 118

Jassfit picSarah and I are back with Episode 118 of the Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast!  Click here to listen or find us on iTunes. Please submit your questions to and if you have a spare minute, please be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!!  Thank you very much and enjoy!

Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • Weight lifting shoes and Olympic lifting.  (12:13)
  • Prenatal and other vitamins.  (22:40)
  • Fasting diets.  (32:00)
  • Asymmetrical strength.  (40:22)

Be sure to check out our new JASSA Courses!