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!

It’s Time for School Lunches Again

lunch

I am often blown away by what I see kids eating for breakfast and lunch at school on a regular basis. I’m all for letting kids have some special treats once in a while, but if powdered donuts are the go-to menu item for your kids’ breakfast, something has to change if that child wants to have any chance at a healthy future.

Sorry. May ruffle some feathers here, but there’s no way around that one. Processed fake foods every single day as the foundation of a human beings diet WILL LEAD TO DEGENERATIVE DISEASE AND A DEPRESSED, DOCTOR-WAITING-ROOM FILLED EXISTENCE.

Is throwing a Lunchable in a backpack easier than making a lunch for your kid every day (or at night before you go to bed like we’ve gotten in the habit of doing)? Of course. But convenience and ease isn’t the best thing in all domains of life.

It’s great for staying in touch with relatives or being able to watch 30 college football games in one day. Not so good for optimal health — ESPECIALLY for kids! Destroying stuff is usually easier and faster than building stuff.

Here’s a very typical lunch that our girls take to school:

lunch

That’s cashews, organic apple sauce (no processed sugar), cantaloupe, and Applegate Uncured Pepperoni (is that the absolute best meat on the planet? No. But it’s better than your typical, WalMart deli meat). They also do the Applegate ham and if we have grass fed beef hotdogs or something else, we’ll throw that in.

We try to get some type of “dense” food like the pepperoni (or macaroni as the girls call it…ha!), or cheese, or boiled egg, or nuts, or nut butter, or a combination of 1 or 2 of those things. Meat isn’t included every day as long as there is some nutrient density.

Then we try to put a fruit and veggie. This pic has no veggie but we’ll do carrots a lot. They’ll do pickles, too. My three year old LOVES tomatoes.

Applesauce isn’t my favorite since I’d rather they eat an apple, but it’s a once a day thing. That’s our “convenience” hack. They know they don’t get the applesauce any other time than at school. When they come home it’s all fresh, whole foods.

Other go-to fruits are olives, cantaloup, strawberries, blue and blackberries, bananas, and watermelon.

Bottom line — there are a wide variety of healthy options your kids can eat at school. You just have to do a little prep work to ensure they’re not eating mass-produced chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and whacky cake every day like I did. Mmmm…whacky cake.

Trust me — your kids are worth the effort. And they’ll thank you for it someday.

Stop Depriving Your Kids

Be sure to follow all of Mark’s work over at his awesome blog, The Simply Human Lifestyle, and listen to his Podcast

Hey parents — here’s a newsflash…this just in:

Giving your kids sodas, candy, cakes, and cookies on a regular basis is deprivation alright. It’s depriving them of A HEALTHY, STRONG, VIBRANT FUTURE.
Withholding those things is only depriving your kids of future doctor appointments, clinic waiting rooms, dealing with bags full of prescription meds, obesity, diabetes, and host of other major problems that will affect them forever.

I posted this video on the Simply Human facebook page back on August 14 because I thought it was extremely powerful. Take 90 seconds and watch it real quick if you haven’t already.

Through the eyes of a young heart attack patient, the video shows you how he ended up on the operating table at such an early age.

And the video isn’t some science fiction or political propaganda. The video is absolutely, 100% dead on (pun intended).

We live in a culture today which hands out soda after sporting events — suckers after gymnastics — random candy at school for no good reason. It’s everywhere. It’s the norm.

And parents can be made to feel guilty or weird if they say, “thanks but no thanks” to the sweet, little old lady handing out peppermints at the mall.

Donuts, cake, cookies, soda, juice, chocolate — they’re all the norm in our society.

So you know what else has become normal? Heart attacks. Obesity. Diabetes. And many other diseases of degeneration. Is that so unbelievable?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “oh you’re too strict! let them have some candy” or “it’s just one cookie, don’t be such a jerk, you’re depriving them!” Or things along those lines.

Let me stop here and say that my kids get cake at birthday parties or parties at school. I let them eat the little sucker the gymnastics place we go to hands out after they finish (they get it AFTER they eat dinner). I don’t run up like Batman and knock the candy away from them in slow motion if anyone hands them candy. I’m not THAT guy.

But I’m also not the guy that will allow that stuff to be around all the time. When that stuff is around all the time — so are other bad things in the future. If “treats” and candy are sporadic, so would be all the diseases I mentioned earlier.

Our culture has changed the definition of normal or moderate or “every once in a while.” We need to do some serious work to get those words back to their original meaning.

How can we do that?

“We” needs to become “me” to begin with. Our culture won’t change unless YOU change. Unless I change.

Keeping that stuff out of your house and out of the norm is not eliminating happiness from you or your child’s life. Where did that notion even come from?

We lasted a heck of a long time without all that garbage and were happy.

HAPPINESS DID NOT APPEAR WITH THE INVENTION OF SUGARY, PROCESSED FOODS.

Let me say that again, happiness has been around for as long as humans have. Garbage food has not. So don’t give me the “my kids aren’t going to be happy” line because I don’t buy it. It’s a lie.

Tying happiness to the ability to say “yummy” is incredibly dangerous for the future of our children — and for YOU.

Happiness should be tied to relationships and self-fulfillment and giving to others and contentedness. Not sugar. Seems a little ridiculous when you think of it like that.

In many families I’ve worked with, it’s not even the kids who are driving the demand of non-human food in the home, it’s the parents. Parents know that they can’t be eating pizza and demanding that their kids eat broccoli. So what’s the alternative? Well, everybody just gets pizza and ice cream and hamburgers every night because mom and dad want it. That’s not fair to your kids.

You also don’t need candy to reward kids and get them to do stuff like poop in the toilet or do what you say. It’s very effective, but so is the Warm and Fuzzy Jar. It’s a mason jar decorated by the child that gets filled with super cheap cotton balls anytime the child does something you ask without throwing a fit — or being polite — or putting their dishes in the sink — or whatever. Then when the jar is filled up, they get an experience: a movie, a trip to the park, a date with mom or dad. It doesn’t HAVE to be food.

That culture MUST change.

Start by eliminating non-human food from your home. Then talk to your kids about food and special treats. My girls know that when they get the sucker after gymnastics to just hang on to it until after dinner. They know that because we had a conversation with them about it and they’re smart, capable little human beings.

Teach them about smart decisions. And that human food will make them big and strong. Show them that mom and dad don’t eat those things because mom and dad want to be healthy and strong. Your kids think you’re Superman. Model healthy human behavior for them and they’ll follow suit (unless your kids are teenagers and they are in the “mom and dad are the stupidest people on earth” phase).

We don’t have a swimming pool. So our kids don’t whine and complain every night about not getting to swim in our backyard — because there’s no pool back there. See where I’m going with this?

So get it of your house. Model healthy behavior for your kids. Teach them about what it means to be healthy — and don’t deprive your children of a happy, vibrant, strong future.

Don’t let your child end up like the kid in the video. Find other ways to reward and treat and enjoy.

Don’t wait until next week or until you eat all the garbage you already have in your possession. Life’s too short. Start changing right now. And if enough individuals change…WE will change.

Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast, Episode 106

Podcast PicSarah and I are back with Episode 106 of the Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast!  Click here to listen or find us on iTunes. Please submit your questions to paleopodcast@gmail.com and if you have a spare minute, please be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!!  Thank you very much and enjoy!

John Fragoso plays the role of Sarah today!  Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • How to choose a local gym/trainer.  (10:10)
  • Running for stress relief.  (23:40)
  • Cortisol.  (35:10)
  • Sunglasses and sun screen.  (38:26)

Be sure to check out our new JASSA Courses!

What makes me whole…

There are so many pieces of me and as I get older I’m learning to honor every single part of who I am because that is what really makes me whole. I used to fight it, ignore it, or try to be just that ONE single part of myself – the best part of myself, but that just made me angry, bitter, tired, and not all that much fun to hang out with. I wanted to be the best mommy, wife, cookbook author, and strength coach on the planet but those are just a few pieces of my own personal puzzle and by only focusing on those things that I perceive are the parts that make me good, whole, or right, I took away so many other parts of who I am – parts that allow my better parts to shine. I have to be ALL of me, all the time. Not just the shiny parts of me that I think or thought rather, that everyone should always see. After 37 years on this planet and probably more life experience than I asked for when I came out of my mom’s womb, today I need to be in touch with everything that makes me – ME – and by doing that, I have become a much happier person. I want to share with you now more pieces of me – more of who I am – in hopes that you will drag out the dusty, dirty, maybe not so shiny pieces of who YOU are and not necessarily act on all of those pieces but HONOR them, and be good to them, and remember them. It really makes life way more fun. So here goes, here’s some pieces of me that for years I neglected until lately I have said hello again in a healthy way and I’m feeling whole again.

Sometimes when I’m alone (rarely) in my car and a song comes on that makes me feel 20 again I sing like crazy at the top of my lungs and that’s a piece of me, a piece of me that wants to run wild still, get more tattoos, stay out late, drink too much, and dance all night, even though my dancing is really really awful… Having three kids somehow made me start to ignore that 20 year old urge – and yet I remember clearly being in my car with a load of girlfriends and singing (yelling) my favorite Korn song from the window, the whole car shaking while we raged and drove. It was such an awesome feeling. So free. So crazy. So fun. Somewhere along the way I stopped singing at the top of my lungs in the car as often and found myself listening to AM radio, or Dr. Laura. (What’s WRONG with me???) So now, when I get that urge, I FREAKING SING!!! When the kids are in the car with me WE sing – like mad people, like crazy people, and we laugh and I don’t need to go out and get more tattoos or drink too much because just honoring this one piece of me and letting go for a few stupid minutes feels so darn good.

I love to wear high heels and tight outfits and fix my hair and put on makeup. I love it. My reality? I own a gym. I wear gym clothes every. single. day. I put my hair in a ponytail. I wear minimalist shoes. Every. Single. Day. My makeup routine takes me sub five minutes. When I go out with my husband in our little town where no one really ever dresses up all that much unless you’re in college and you go to the bars and you wear little tiny dresses that would never really work on my body that lifts weights, I dress up. I wear heals. I wear makeup. I wear tight clothes. I fix my gosh darn hair and I pretend for that one night that it’s just he and I and that I’m still just as groovy (yes I’m old) as the hot college girls in my town and it feels so darn good! So when I wake up the next morning and put on my gym clothes and my 5 minute makeup and my minimalist shoes theres still a vixen inside somewhere that my husband also can see because I let her out now and then and I don’t keep her wrapped up in a sports bra and t-shirt ALL of the time. It’s good for both of us and makes us forget that we’ve been married a really really really long time. (13 years this September!)

I like to not be perfect, or even close to perfect, it feels good to own  up to my mistakes and I make a LOT of mistakes. Now, instead of ignoring my mistakes, or blaming other people (like my husband), or getting irritable at the kids like somehow my bad mood is THEIR fault. I decide to embrace my mistakes and look for the lesson in each one. I say “I love you” and “I’m sorry” a lot more now than “whatever” or “oh forget it” or even worse, saying nothing at all and walking around like my heads going to pop off. Now I instead focus on the fact that my mistakes make me better when I admit that I’m wrong and that makes me way less unpopular in my house and way more fun.

I have so many more pieces of who I am – and I’m working on saying hello again to all those pieces and goodbye to trying to be the perfect at everything that I thought I was supposed to be perfect at. That’s no fun. I’m not ever going to be perfect at everything and the harder I tried to be the worse I became at being a really bad-ass wife, mother, sister and friend (which is all more important than anything else in my life). So this is my call to you to join me in exploring all of YOU. Who are YOU. How do YOU work. What pieces of YOU have you ignored, neglected, and shoved elsewhere in the attempt to be GREAT at life? Go find those pieces and put yourself back together again. Join me in embracing the entirety of your awesomeness, warts and all, and say “I love you” more and “I’m sorry” when you need to and most of all, find joy again in the imperfections and drag out your high heels and silly songs – you’ll thank me for it.

 

Enjoy Popcorn — without all the POISON

Like many of you out there. My family and I don’t live in a forest or on a mountain. We live in the real world and are surrounded by lots of “non-human” things. You know, stuff like: chairs, electrically heated water, electrical anything, cars, shoes, and movies.

So if I were to ask you what food came to mind when I said “movie”, you would probably say popcorn, right?

And what’s the most convenient, cleanest way to get popcorn into your belly? Yes! The Microwave.

Let’s take a look at why microwaveable popcorn may not be the best thing for your human bodies:

  • Plastic — when you heat up the petrochemicals in plastic, other harmful chemicals are absorbed into your food. Many microwave popcorns have plastic liners. No good.
  • Synthetic Fats — manufacturers of non-human food LOVE these fats because they allow foods to sit on a shelf for generations without spoiling. Don’t believe any health claims on the package saying there aren’t any trans fats. Look at the LABEL. If you see any oils listed other than olive or coconut, it is most likely a vegetable or hydrogenated oil. Avoid those. They are literally poisonous.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms — or GMOs. Yes, the undisputed champion of non-human foods. And one of the big three GMOs? Corn. They’re not good people. Do I need science to back that up? No. There IS science to back that up — but why don’t we just leave it at “humans are not designed to eat foods that have been altered in a lab to ensure they are resistant to poison and yield as much crop per acre as possible.”
  • Flavorings — many of today’s processed foods taste and smell great because of synthetic flavors and scents that are forced upon them. Real, human food tastes great and smells amazing on its own. You don’t need fake taste and smell. But they work. And one of the chemicals that smells like butter is called diacetyl and it’s been linked to lung disease. That’s just one. There are many others. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that chemical smells and flavors are non-human foods and will have a negative reaction in the body.
  • PFCs — or perfluorochemicals. This is another great invention that many fast food manufacturers use. And what do you know, it’s been linked to cancer and reproductive system damage. It’s also been linked to thyroid disease and ADHD. Once it’s in your system, it stays there for  LONG TIME.

So what do you do if you really like popcorn and want to have some popcorn while you watch a movie with your significant other or your kids…or by yourself?

When it’s movie night, we make the following recipe.

Yummy Buttery Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic popping kernels
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut or MCT oil

Instructions

  1. heat up oil in a 3 quart pan on high heat
  2. put two kernels in the pan, make sure they get coated with oil, and put the lid on the pan
  3. when one of those kernels pops, dump in the corn
  4. gently rock the pan until all kernels are popped (make sure lid is on)
  5. take off heat when popping begins to slow (they pop really fast) and dump into a big bowl
  6. melt 2 tbsp butter in small sauce pan and pour over the popcorn
  7. top with sea salt

So there you go. This popcorn is absolutely incredible tasting. It smell amazing. Clean up is easy. Making it is easy. It only has four ingredients. And zero, count ‘em, ZERO of the aforementioned negative things normally found in microwave popcorn.

Try it out. And leave the synthetic, fake, poisonous foods for the rats.

Oregon Book Signing and Cooking Demo Tour Coming Soon to a Natural Grocers Near You!!

natural grocers logo

natural grocers logo I’m beyond thrilled to have partnered up with Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage to visit five stores throughout the state of Oregon for cooking demos/ book signings!!!! I’ll be kicking off my Oregon tour the week of September 22nd and I can’t WAIT to meet you there, cook for you, and of course, sign your books! You’ll even be able to taste the food that I make during the demo and I’ll be cooking a menu straight out of my new book, Everyday Paleo Thai Cuisine!! epthai-new Below is the list of stores I will be visiting. Each cooking demo will begin at 5:30 pm and after each demo I’ll sign books and chat with all of you and of course answer any questions you may have. No  need to register for this event, just show up and enjoy! September 22nd: Clackamas September 23rd: Salem September 24th: Eugene (This is a brand new store opening on the 23rd – just a day before my visit, so come see me and check out the new store in your area!!) September 25th: Corvallis September 26th: Medford