Is Food Driving You Around?

A client of mine who recently went through the 21-day Simply Human Reset was led to make a pretty profound realization about food and how we think about it (I guess the Reset worked…ha).

The recognition was specifically this — that events and parties and social gatherings should not be driven by the FOOD which will be served. Those get-togethers became traditions and are things we should look forward to because of the PEOPLE we are surrounded by.

That has changed.

Birthdays. Relationship anniversaries. Work anniversaries. Holidays. Going-away parties. House warmings. A Dallas Cowboys victory. The list has gotten pretty long.

Today, many of us have become so used to getting cake and ice cream and “treats” at the myriad of special events throughout the year, that the “treat” is what we end up looking forward to and why we get excited about going.

Yet another way that our current industrialized food culture has completely altered our food reward systems negatively and used the all-powerful and wonderful Dopamine hormone against us.

Am I saying that I think we need to ban cake and cookies from all birthday parties and holidays for the rest of time?

Absolutely not.

Am I saying that if those things WERE taken out of the equation that I would be upset about that or that my experience at those parties would be lessened?

No way.

Ask yourself these questions: would you be outraged if you went to a party and there was no ice cream…just a karaoke machine and some bottled water? would your attitude change from one of festive partier to a disappointed shoulder slumper? Would you tell yourself, “well I’m never coming to one of HIS parties again” and put a flaming bag of poop on his front porch?

If you can honestly answer those questions, and the answer was ‘no’ across the board, then you are showing signs of having a healthy grasp on how food should be viewed by humans.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, maybe it’s time you re-think how you think about food and where it is in your symbolic life car — is it packed up in bags in the backseat (reusable bags of course)? Or is it DRIVING YOUR CAR?

So many people today have wrapped up their self worth and their self control in yummy stuff they put in their mouths because of the food system that we are all living in.

If you are someone who wants to become a healthier version of yourself, and if we want our kids to live longer than we are going to — that must change.

We need to get back to enjoying parties for the reasons we as humans enjoyed them in the first place — because of the relationships we share with the people in our lives.

Enjoy the heck out of food. Have a treat once in a while. Go to the State Fair of Texas and eat some deep fried twinkies!

But make sure that food isn’t sitting in the driver’s seat while you are reclined in the passenger seat with your top button unbuttoned asleep and dreaming about the next ice cream bar you’re going to eat or the next “Paleo Cake” you’re going to make.

Dopamine is no joke. Many lives have been destroyed by the way it chemically alters your brain. But it can be controlled and enjoyed in ways which it was designed. You just have to want to control it and kick FOOD out of your driver’s seat.

*Follow all of Mark’s work over at his Blog and be sure to listen to his Podcast

Paderno World-Cuisine Redesigned 4-blade Spiralizer GIVEAWAY and a Recipe!



Those of you who have my Italian Cuisine or Thai Cuisine books know how much I love the Paderno Spiralizer and now I love it even MORE because they just launched a re-designed 4-blade model that is really stinking AWESOME! In the new and improved model, they’ve included a fourth blade to make angel hair noodles, as well as reduced the size of the coring blade to reduce waste, which is so great as compared to the older model. My kids LOVE the spiralizer and it’s brought noodles back into our lives again. There are so many things you can do with this awesome tool and if your family doesn’t have one, well you’re really missing out on the great fun to be had if you did have one in your kitchen arsenal.  Now that this product is available, you can find it here on Amazon and even better – Paderno would like to give to my audience two free spiralizers to two lucky people!!!!! 

All you have to do to enter to win is this:

1.) Share this blog post on your Facebook page
2.) Leave a comment below telling me why you want this spiralizer!

One winner will be randomly selected on 10/20/14 and will be contacted via email. I will also announce the winners on this post so stay tuned!

Giveaway open to USA residents only.

Now, here’a a fun recipe straight from Everyday Paleo Around the World Italian Cuisine using the angel hair blade on the Padreno 4-blade Spiralizer for the zucchini noodles.

Puttanesca Sauce

sugo alla puttanesca

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5-6

2 tablespoons lard, butter, or ghee

1 yellow onion, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, minced

1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

1 tablespoon  anchovy fillets, finely minced

2 tablespoons capers

1 6-ounce can whole black olives

1⁄2 teaspoon red chili flakes

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Zucchini Noodles using the Paderno 4-blade Spiralizer ( I like using the angle hair pasta blade)

1. In a large saucepan, heat the lard, butter, or ghee over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion until translucent.

2. Add the garlic, and sauté just until fragrant.

3. Add the tomatoes, and bring them to a simmer, breaking down the whole

tomatoes with a spoon.

4. Add the anchovies and capers, mix well, and simmer for 5-10 min.

5. Add the olives, red chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil, Italian parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, and serve over the zucchini noodles or over any meat such as meatballs, steak, or chicken.  (pictured is pan seared chicken breast).


*affiliate links are used in this post.

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Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 111

Jassfit picWe’re back with Episode 111 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!


We’re so happy to have had the amazing Laura Sullivan on today’s podcast! Laura is Sarah’s sister but most importantly, she’s an amazing artist and inspiration to the world! Laura Sullivan is a GRAMMY® winning composer and recording artist. Her original music has been included in the score of two Emmy winning documentaries, as well as in many popular television programs and advertisements for Fortune 500 companies. Her music publications are represented by BMI which holds more than 400 of her original compositions in her prolific artist catalogue. To learn more about Laura and to read her full bio, click here!

In this Episode we talk about health and happiness and how mindset plays such a huge roll in success and we also discuss Laura’s newest project in which YOU can be involved in a world changing music video!

I also give you an update on the Gymnastics Snack Bar issue that we talked about in Episode 109.

Be sure to follow Laura Sullivan on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and be sure to Get In The Video!!!

Thailand Retreat!!! Join Me in Thailand!!!!


I’m literally jumping up and down with excitement right now which is SUPER hard to do while trying to type but I can’t help it!! I’m SO PUMPED!!! Some of you may remember that recently I teamed up with The Trip Tribe and in May we had an EPIC retreat to Italy in which 22 of you participated for what was a trip of a lifetime. Well, guess what. In celebration of the recent release of my new book, Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine, I have once again teamed up with The Trip Tribe to offer you a Paleo and Thai Culture Retreat and the destination is Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!!!

Did you hear that??? THAILAND!!

I want YOU to come with ME to beautiful Chiang Mai and experience all the culture, food, adventure, fun, and relaxation that the country of Thailand has to offer.

During our 7 days together in Chiang Mai you’ll experience Thai cooking classes and have a paleo culinary adventure like you never have had before, you’ll have a chance to train in the ancient art of Muay Thai, visit a sustainable farm, tour several amazing markets, enjoy Thai Massage, workout with me and much much much more!!

We’ll be staying at the Eco Resort in Chiang Mai which on it’s own will be worth the entire trip.

The trip takes place February 8th – February 14th 2015!!

Ok, now you must go sign up today to reserve your spot and to find all the details! Space is very limited and the time is NOW to reserve your spot, pack your bags, and very soon – join me in Thailand!!

Click here for more information and to sign up for the trip! I can’t wait to be in Thailand with all of you – let’s go on a Paleo and Thai Culture Retreat together!


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Sleep vs Academia

*Follow all of Mark’s work over at his blog Simply Human and make sure you listen to his awesome Podcast

We are facing a huge conflict in our country. A battle is ensuing that is pulling our kids (and parents of school-aged kids) in two very distinct and disparate directions. This battle is putting our children in physical danger. It is harming our kids brain and physical development. It is making it more difficult for them to perform on tests.

What is this battle?

It is the fight between sleep and academia. And by “academia” here I’m talking about our public school system.

In the red corner we have sleep:

Weighing in at a whopping 9.5 hours a night.

It restores and builds muscle and connective tissue.

It solidifies memories and strengthens brain development.

It provides massive doses of energy and stimulates movement.


In the blue corner we have academia.

Weighing in at a whopping 4.0 GPA.

It is vital to securing a successful future.

It is the foundation for critical and life-changing research.

It enhances the quality of life of everyone on earth.


These two things really don’t seem like they should be at odds with each other. Seems like Academia would WANT Sleep in its corner to help it learn and test well and create new ideas.

But that’s not happening. Academia is beating the ever-loving snot out of Sleep. And it’s not even close.

A recent statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that “insufficient sleep in adolescents [is] an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

And why are kids not getting enough sleep for the most part?

School start times.

They just keep getting earlier and earlier. Some New York schools are starting school 40 MINUTES earlier this year than they did last year.

Why? To squeeze in all the new curricula so that we can meet standardized test scores and “compete” in math and science and engineering around the world. All this in the midst of more and more schools cutting P.E. or recess, too!!!!

[Tangent: so let’s stuff kids in little cubicles all day, deprive them of their innate desire to move, deprive them of sleep, feed them processed sugar and corn, then wonder why in the world they can’t compete in the STEM fields?!]

So how are our kids supposed to learn and test well when they can’t even hold their eyes open? I have no clue.

Basically, kids need somewhere between 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep. Any parent can tell you what happens when kids get tired — or overtired. Irritability. Irrationality. Surliness. Testiness.

Yeah — they’re tough to be around. When my kids cross that threshold I usually end up faking a knee injury and driving myself to the ER.

Let’s do a best case scenario hypothetical — you live five minutes from school and have one child. School starts at 8 AM which means you need to leave the house around 7:45. Factor in time to get ready, eat a breakfast of healthy, “human” foods, grab your backpack, brush teeth, etc…and you need to wake up by around 7:15 at the absolute latest (teenage girls need much longer than that — GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A CHANCE!). Back that up 9.5 hours and bedtime should be 9:45 PM.

But wait. That 9.5 hours of sleep kids need to get isn’t 9.5 hours of “time in bed.” It’s 9.5 hours of sleep. So even if you’re in bed at 9:45 and the alarm goes off at 7:15 — you’re not getting a full 9.5 hours. You need to be in bed even earlier, like, say, 9:15 or even 9 PM.

Anyone with kids older than around 13 have a strict 9 PM bedtime?

My kids are all under the age of 6, so it’s a little easier to pull off an earlier bedtime (which is about 8:30 this time of year).

But that’s really hard for parents of middle and high-school kids to pull off. Especially with extra-curriculars, homework, Facebook, social events and any time the parents actually want to spend with their kids all added up and thrown in the mix.

It seems like pretty common knowledge that chronic sleep deprivation affects you in pretty significant ways. You don’t need research or hard data to know this. You just need to pull an all-nighter, or take care of a sick kid all night, or have insomnia, to know how messed up you get after just ONE NIGHT of bad sleep.

And our kids are having to suffer through an ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR of sleep deprivation. It may just be me — but I find that INSANE.

The AAP suggests delaying school start times across the country, and I am all for that. Even thirty more minutes of sleep would help.

Well, just get your kids in bed earlier.  Simple as that, right?

That’s a fine and dandy argument, but not one that is realistic in my opinion. Not with everything else our kids our dealing with, and also with how the schedule we’ve put them on with such little encouragement for movement throughout the day completely messes with their sleep-wake cycles causing them to not be sleepy when it’s time for bed. So that 9:45 PM bedtime ends up being 10:30 or 10:45 PM.

I used to watch the Tonight Show in my bed every night, turn the TV off, lay there for an hour wondering why I couldn’t sleep, wake up at 6 AM, and fall asleep in every single class all day.

In the studies of delayed start times that have been done, the bedtimes pretty much remained the same but the kids got more sleep — and guess what? Test scores increased and kids were reportedly less sleepy during the day, not late as often, and had longer attention spans.

I’ll bet the teachers would say the kids were less irritable and testy as well, wouldn’t you?

Until the school districts stop pitting Sleep and Academia against each other, there’s really not a whole lot we can do with school start times other than make your frustrations felt with the powers that be.

But there are things within your control as parents to help your kids get the best sleep they can, even if they have to wake up at 5:30 AM:

  • make sure they get to bed at the same time every night
  • eliminate as much while/blue light exposure as humanly possible after sunset — this means no computer or gaming time which may be a battle for some
  • ensure they sleep in a dark and cold room
  • avoid stimulants in the afternoon and evening like soda, chocolate, or caffeine

Do what you can as parents to give your kids their best chance at a good night’s sleep.

And if anyone out there has any pull and wants to start some sort of huge political action committee that will make this an issue and actually make school boards delay start times — let me know, because I’m all in.

Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 109

Jassfit picSarah and I are back with Episode 109 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:

  • Manual labor and paleo.  (16:10)
  • Paleo kids in a “mixed” household.  (25:52)

Be sure to check out our new JASSA Courses!

Dr. Kirk Parsley and America’s Biggest Problem……. SLEEP!!!!

On our podcast and in our workshops, Jason and I talk a lot about sleep. Sleep is more important, in my not so humble opinion, than any of the other components of health. “BLASPHEMY,” you say. How dare I say that SLEEP is more important than FOOD. Well, guess what, I honestly believe it to be true. Why? I’m living proof and so are you. I’ve learned the hard way with sleep – so much that I wrecked my perfect paleo health with the lack of it along with not managing my stress and let me tell you, it’s a wicked combo! People who do not sleep enough can derail all of their best efforts of their good diet, proper exercise and stress management. I’ve seen folks who appear to have everything else perfect but they don’t sleep enough and their goals are never actually in reach, depression and anxiety reigns, and frustration abounds. Now let’s bring in the Doctor! Dr. Kirk Parsley is a good friend of mine and an expert in the field of sleep. Dr. Parsley is a former Navy Seal and was the doctor for the West Coast Teams for 8 years. He’s a pro at this stuff and I learn so much from him every time I hear him speak. This is SO important. Listen to his Ted Talk embedded below and SHARE THIS!!!! Please. We all need to know how to live our best lives possible and sleep should be the number one component and not the neglected step child that it always seems to be. Enjoy!