Whole9 South Pacific: holy moly!

I like when a plan comes together. It all started with a few jokes over email, continued over delicious meals in Boston and got sealed this November with some very official-sounding paperwork. No, I am not talking about my personal life. This is about a new exciting venture involving myself, some kiwi hunk and a Good Food power couple from the US.

Yes, I am referring to our partnership with Dallas and Melissa from Whole9.

Whole 9 Eventbrite bannerIf you are not yet familiar with their amazing work you are missing out big time (go dive into their blog and get their book RIGHT NOW). I have always been a huge fan of their approach and I am tickled pink that I can now call myself a part of their team.

They have now introduced us as Whole9 South Pacific on their blog and have kindly allowed us to write a post discussing one of our pet topics: socialisation and its role in healthy nutrition. And I cannot believe that they didn’t edit it to spell the word with a “z”. Un-real.

Anyway, Jamie and I are now officially available to run Whole9 workshops in our part of the world. Obviously Australia and New Zealand are high on the list but if there is an eager host in Japan (always wanted to visit!) or Vanuatu (we can run it on the beach!) we are open to ideas.

If you are a gym/cafe owner or Paleo group member and would like to find of how to host a gig send your request to workshops (at) whole9life (dot) com. If you are an enthusiastic whole9/Paleo/primal fan and would like to participate, keep an eye out for our event announcement or better still, start harassing encouraging your local meetup group or Crossfit gyms to host.

And to top it all off, we are happy to announce that the first ever Whole9 South Pacific workshop in Australia will be held in Cairns and hosted by the Paleo Cafe. Spread the word!

Whole9 South Pacific is our new baby but I am definitely not planning to step away from this blog. I will continue to write on random topics that take my fancy and share my thoughts and frustrations with anyone who can understand my slightly twisted sense of humour (cheers to all eight of you).


Work, life, updates

It’s been pretty quiet on the blog recently. I have recently started my ED (emergency department) term and it has been quite decent. Most people imagine ED straight out of the episode of ER or Grey’s Anatomy: insanely chaotic with patients bleeding out of every orifice, relatives sobbing in the corridor, gurneys flying at warp speed and scrubs-clad doctors shouting “Epinephrine, STAT!” Errr… No. My small hospital is very civilised with crumbly oldies coming in with exacerbations of chronic conditions (COPD, heart failure, arrhythmia, diabetes), young lads with pub crawl injuries and a very occasional trauma. I feel like I inquired: “any burning or stinging on passing urine?” about a hundred times this last week. Just in case you thought the life of an ED doc was glamourous.

In addition to my ED duties I also share the out of hours cover of hospital wards on a rotating roster with other residents. This involves an occasional weekend shift, an evening cover or an all-night on call for operating theatres. On that note, a plea to women in the local area: please choose a decent time to require an urgent c-section other than 3am! And if you are having acute appendicitis please be so kind as to come to hospital during day hours. So inconsiderate.

Take into account food, sleep, exercise and personal life and I am left with about 15 mins a day for research, reading and blogging.

After experiencing massive nerdfest withdrawals post-AHS12 and Whole9 seminar I am now happily looking forward to another event in the ancestral/evomed community: Low Carb Down Under seminar series. If you are in Australia and reading this, you should definitely try to get involved. The event will bring together the inquisitive minds of doctors, nutritionists, fitness professionals, authors, media personalities and general public, keen to learn more about their bodies, nutrition and health. And then, of course, we’ll have the always galant Jimmy Moore and his wife Christine making a journey across the Pacific to be in all 5 cities.

Jamie Scott and I will be speaking at the Brisbane event (if we ever make it through a 7hr road trip without murdering each other).

Here is the outline of my little talk:

Why Paleo is the best low carb diet.

Anastasia will talk about the intersection of Paleolithic diets with low carb approach, point out the common misconceptions about Paleo vs LC and discuss the benefits of the evolutionary approach to LC diet and lifestyle.

Here is Jamie’s talk:

Pillow Talk: Taking low-carb living to the bedroom

When engaging in a low-carb lifestyle, people often meticulously plan every aspect of their diet. Yet rarely do we see this level of planning and regard for an aspect of our life that is absolutely vital to successful appetite regulation, and therefore, low-carb living; Sleep.

Nutritionist, Jamie Scott, will show you why your bed – and vitamin z – is as important to your diet as a well-stocked fridge.

If you can make it, feel free to come up and chat at the event. Otherwise, expect a blog post on my experiences.
There are a few things still brewing in that busy brain of mine so keep your open.

Something to read on your Sunday night:

1. Dr Rod Tayler, one of the organisers of LCDU, talks to 180 nutrition about his journey away from the conventional wisdom.
2. Jamie stupidly bravely takes on a food giant.
3. J. Stanton talks dental health.
4. A must see from Richard Dawkins: a 3 part series on life in an atheist world. Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life.


A weekend trip to Elleborough Falls

As if you need another AHS wrap up post…


There have been a few wrap up posts on AHS already, some complimentary, some provocative. I will try to add my bit which will be purely my opinion on the event I have been looking forward to since last year and my impressions of it.

For those who are in the dark about what I am on about (gasp!) here is a good “AHS for dummies” round up. Also Beth has put together quite a list of AHS wrap ups for all your evolutionary medicine science and gossip needs.

Boston Gardens

To start with, I went this year in a purely observatory capacity. If you wondering why anyone would endure 24 hr flying time plus layover in 3 cities, here is my main reason. Evolutionary medicine in Australia is still for weird hippies and charlatans, not for Sydney University-trained doctors. Being in a group of passionate people, some including distinguished scientists, medical professionals and clinicians, was gratifying and encouraging.

*And before I get accused of ignoring minorities and lay folk: I see AHS as a primarily academic event designed to open the doors to new hypotheses, share scientific research and help move evolutionary medicine into mainstream consciousness. I think PaleoFX and its organisers, Keith and Michelle Norris, filled the niche of taking theory to practice very efficiently, and if I can ever afford 2 trips to the US a year (poor medical resident here) I would not hesitate to go. I think it’s fantastic that AHS is open to the lay public (let’s face it, the discerning Paleo “lay public” keep everyone on their toes) but I wouldn’t want for the conference to lose its academic edge. And if I ever want a Paleo group hug I will go to a Paleo meet up.*

Recalling my inability to sit through University lectures, I knew I couldn’t attend every talk so I tried to hedge my bets and pick from the program. Some I got right, some I didn’t. A few times, I opted to hear the “big names” only to miss out on a fascinating talk from a less known figure in the other room. I have already marked the ones I would like to download to watch on video.

The dairy debate continued in the ice-cream parlour

Rating on some memorable talks I saw in no particular order:

1. Dan Lieberman on evolutionary principles. A great talk to open up the symposium and a must-see for anyone as an Evolution 101 refresher. It set a nice tone to the event, steering it away from the romanticised hunter-gatherer image.

2. Dr Peter Attia gave an awesome lecture on cholesterol. This was probably the most sciency talk of the whole seminar and in my opinion the best. I wish I had a lecture like this in medical school! I will definitely re-watch this one on video, this time taking thorough notes. Highly recommend regardless of your knowledge level, you will learn something anyway.

3. Jamie Scott spoke about using evolutionary principles for endurance training. He effectively melted a few brains by stating a strong case for low intensity work performed in glycogen-depleted state. For the crowd largely indoctrinated enthusiastically involved in Crossfit it was a hard sell but I think he got a few converts.

4.  Dr O’Keefe on the effects of prolonged endurance exercise on cardiovascular system. He described exercise-induced cardiomyopathy in ultra-endurance athletes. As a runner himself, his position was a little biased toward running and in my view his recommended dosages (45-60 min 5 times a week) were still too high. Also he didn’t mention the significant degenerative joint effects and chronic inflammation on the body. Overall, the talk was very interesting and definitely something that running-obsessed Americans need to see (OMG, do you, people, do anything else other than run???)

5. Chris Kresser on iron overload. Chris gave a good view of haemachromatosis, its diagnosis, manifestations and treatment. Most of this material had been extensively covered in my medical school lectures (yes, believe it or not, they DO teach us something). I would have liked to hear a theory on the evolutionary explanation of haemachromatosis and Seth Roberts, I think, asked Chris that question but I didn’t gleam much from the response. Worth watching if you think that Paleo is a free pass to eat meat like it’s going out of fashion.

6. J. Stanton on hunger. JS presented very convincing evidence that hunger is a normal physiological response to the lack of nutrients to the cells (who would’ve thunk it, huh?) rather than a massive character flaw possessed universally by the fatties. It was a great complement to his series of posts on hunger (which are excellent to read). JS is, ahem, an unusual personality with a brainpower that makes the rest of us feel like schoolchildren. He was openly critical of the food reward theory during his presentation, however, when we all went out for dinner that night, he was extremely gracious and kept saying that he felt very honoured that people like Stephan (Guyenet) attended his talk. You can read Stephan’s review of this talk here.

7. Dr Terry Wahls gave an inspiring talk about managing own multiple sclerosis with MS. However, I was already familiar with her very excellent TED talk (which you should definitely see if you have been under a rock somewhere) and not sure I got much more out of this presentation.

8. Robb Wolf‘s talk about implementing Paleo diet principles at Reno municipality is inspiring to watch especially if you are interested in public policy and how to bridge the gap between a Paleo community, often seen as alternative and (let’s face it) weird, and real world. Big picture stuff.

9. Dr Emily Deans have a presentation on food and mental health. She gave a good overview of how fructose and trans fats affect us not only metabolically but also psychologically. It was fascinating to see the diametrically opposed views on sugar and mental health: does it make you happy or not?

10. Dr Andreas Eenfeld was a surprise to me. Even though he presented on carbohydrate controversy (yawn) he managed to make it entertaining (yes, really) and light-hearted. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Watching squirrels was somewhat more entertaining than a safe starch debate

By the way, I think the whole audience was tweeting. It was absolutely surreal to listen to one talk and read tweets from the next room with people raving about the speaker I was missing.

Talks I cannot wait to see on video:

1. Peter Gray on the role play in the development of social and emotional competence. Here is a great example of his work and if I knew he was in the next room I would have dumped Stephan Guyenet in a heartbeat (sorry!)
2. Ubuntu: a paleolithic perspective on human community and health by Frank Foresich
3. Oxidative stress and CHO intolerance by Chris Masterjohn
4. Paleo nutrition and the brain by David Pendergrass.

Overall impression:
It was disappointing to see a few negative posts from attendees, in particular some who felt not included due to their age, appearance, weight, or some other factor. I was not aware of any such tension during the conference, except to note that people were quite naturally gravitating towards their friends and acquaintances, and of course “Paleo celebrities”. I find this community remarkably inclusive but then I am not an idealist and generally do not expect much of people. I certainly would never anticipate Robb Wolf to come up to me and strike up a conversation. Being quite introverted, I spoke to people who approached me or were introduced by others, and relaxed in the courtyard when the crowds got too much.

I would love to come back next year and reconnect with some new and old friends.

A few thanks:
To Ann and Dave Wendell – for making the most of the Aussie-Kiwi rivalry and teasing the hell out of us.
To Victoria Prince – for feeding us home cooked meals, taking us berry picking and showing us the green and luscious part of New Jersey
To J Stanton – for challenging our brain cells and being a very exciting dinner guest
To Jude – for her Aussie accent, sense of humour and constant and inappropriate swearing
To Melissa and Dallas Hartwig – for great conversations, amazing (very well organised!) meals, unwavering support and a hefty dose of inspiration

Many more Twitter names came alive (hey, these people do actually exist) and I fear I’ll miss someone if I start naming them but I enjoyed meeting all of you.

See you all next year.

Big jet plane

I hate packing and always leave it till the last moment. But I finally conquered my procrastination and now (kind of) ready to jump on the plane to head off to Boston. As excited as I am to be in the midst of the biggest gathering of primal and ancestral health minded people in the world, I don’t think I will have it in me to write long Oscar-worthy reviews. Hopefully I’ll still have my Twitter and Facebook to share the overall buzz with those of you who are eagerly following the event. I was doing it last year so I hear ya!

See you after the AHS12!

Antipodean Paleo

As I sit curled up on my couch at home I can’t help but look back with amazement at my whirlwind weekend in Melbourne. Here Down Under we occasionally feel like a poor cousin to our American nutrition superstars. We are sometimes left to watch yet another Twitter feed of yet another spectacular Paleo/primal/ancestral event from the sidelines. Not this time! While they were living it up in Austin for PaleoFX we organised an event of our own, which while not huge still went quite well, thank you very much.

First up, a huge thank you to Dr Rod Tayler who was instrumental in organising the event, sending off invitations and even ensuring we had some snack choices which didn’t consist of soggy sandwiches or sausage rolls (I’m truly traumatised by hospital food by now). His involvement ensured we had a small but receptive audience of Paleo enthusiasts, general practitioners, allied health professionals, parents and patients looking for answers.

Rod started us off with a talk about sugar. He is a principal investigator of the current SWEET study conducted in Epworth hospital in Melbourne. He demonstrated how easily sugar sneaks into our modern diets sometimes in most unexpected disguises.

Dr Ken Sikaris gave a fantastic lecture on fructose metabolism. My dearest wish is that every medical school and every nutrition degree would have that lecture as part of their curriculum.

Next I gave a talk on making food choices and how to step away from the conventional paradigm. Here is a little preview:

Jamie Scott gave a great overview of what the Paleo diet is and what it isn’t (not the latest trend on how to lose 30lbs in 30 days for your wedding). He also had some hard hitting messages on how to optimise the rest of your life in regards to sleep, physical activity, sunlight exposure and other frequently overlooked and under appreciated aspects of the Paleo lifestyle.

It was a pleasure and an honour to hear David Gillespie. With three fantastic books under his belt, Sweet Poison and his latest, The Sweet Poison Quit Plan, Big Fat Lies, the guy sure can talk. He played to his strengths, in particular his law background and the skill to sift through evidence. Having a long chat together afterwards, we discovered lots in common in our approach to health and nutrition; I sincerely hope we will get a chance to work and share more ideas in the future.

Unfortunately I missed the last two talks of the day by Dr Ted Arnold on the history of nutritional science and the ever-evolving food pyramids and by Dr Michael Axtens on his own personal low carb experience but I heard great things about both.

The best thing about the day was the audience. They were inquisitive, asking lots of questions after each talk and approaching the presenters in the breaks to share stories and ask opinions. Some were seasonal Paleo buffs, some were just starting to experiment with getting sugar and processed food out of the diet. I answered questions about veganism, infant formula, my own diet, veganism again, diet for MS, which specialty I’m leaning towards, why vegans look so healthy  (I must have looked really friendly and approachable), farmed vs wild caught fish and many others.

We descended on the nearby cafe, ordered a late lunch (while surreptitiously checking out each other’s order) and the discussion continued. I went back home exhausted but excited about the prospects of ancestral, primal and real food nutrition in Australia and New Zealand.

And this brings me to my next piece of news. A huge Paleo event is coming to Sydney on the second weekend of May. The first ever Australian Paleo Weekend will be held on 12-13 May, 2012 on the exclusive Cockatoo Island in Sydney. It’s a fully catered event with a very primal option of sleeping on the island in pre-erected tents. The price is not cheap but with the inclusions and the diversity of activities on offer, I know it will be worth it.

Here is a little preview of what the attendees will expect.

Learn about Paleo nutrition and health
Have the opportunity to quiz the experts
Learn through a demonstration session how to cook quick and healthy Paleo meals
Learn how to get on the fast track to peak sporting performance, by opening the door to their mind
Learn barefoot running techniques
Enjoy an early morning yoga session on the harbour shore to kick start the day
Enjoy a social Paleo feast on the Saturday night with like-minded new friends
Have the unique opportunity to sleep on the island
Enjoy fantastic Paleo meals prepared for them
Enjoy a life changing weekend in a unique venue like no other!

A Paleo event on the Sydney Harbour? Does it get any better than this?

I am still deciding on the topic of my presentation and once I narrow down from a hundred ideas in my head to, say, 10 or so, I will let you know.  For more information on the event please go to www.paleo.com.au or contact Suz directly through her website. I cannot wait to be a part of the first Antipodean Paleo event and I hope to see you all there.

News, interviews and Melbourne

Coffeez, many many coffeez

As you might have noticed it has been a little quiet on primalmeded. Anyone who has ever had personal contact with hospital residents would appreciate that we have very little time on our hands for anything other than sleepandeat. I have become very proficient with checking Twitter and reading other people’s posts while running between wards but I know it’s only a matter of time before I knock over a patient. I also once again have confirmed to myself that I am a secret introvert. While I enjoy interaction with patients, families and other doctors, I really need time on my own to regroup and recover. Blogging is a form of communication that requires giving the mental energy I do not have at the moment.

However, while I have not had any time to write anything I have been busy networking within this amazing community. First, the omnipresent Jimmy Moore kindly asked me for an interview and our conversation on everything from medical education to doctors’ nutrition knowledge and my own story was released on February 20 (you can listen to it here). It was a totally novel experience for me (you can tell by the amount of nervous “errs and ahms” I do in the first 10 minutes) but Jimmy was very patient and got me talking. A warm welcome to those of you who found me through Livin La Vida Low Carb and a heartfelt thank you to everybody who listened and sent their encouraging messages.

I also got invited to register on PrimalDocs, a website listing physicians and healthcare practitioners with an evolutionary approach to health and nutrition. At the moment I am one of 2 (!) medical doctors listed in Australia and I don’t even have my own practice so technically I would class myself as half a doctor anyway. But I guess it’s a start.

Which brings me to the third bit of news.

A few weeks ago I got contacted by Dr Rod Tayler, an anaesthetist from Melbourne and the principal investigator of The SWEET (Sugar and Weight Effect at Epworth sTudy). For those of you who have been diligently reading everything paleo for a while (i.e. you have no social life) you might recognise his name from a post by ThatPaleoGuy, Jamie Scott “Can eating fruit lead to weight gain?”. That post was the cause of several cordial e-mails between Australia and New Zealand (weird, huh?) and to cut a long story short Jamie put Rod in touch with me. The end result of our mutual emails and phone calls is a Melbourne get together with all interested parties in attendance.

The event will be held at Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay street Port Melbourne on Saturday March 17, 2012.

The program at the moment looks like this (the talks and titles are still being finalised):


“Are 30 Teaspoons of Sugar Per Day Too Many” Rod Tayler

“Fructose and Fat” Ken Sikaris (the Head of Chemical Pathology at Melbourne Pathology)

“What Should We Eat” Anastasia Boulais

“Evolutionary Mismatch in the Workplace” Jamie Scott

10.30am Morning Tea

11.00am “Big Fat Lies” book launch by David Gillespie

11.45am Break

12.00pm Forum

The best thing is that the event is FREE. If you happen to be in Melbourne and want to come and hang out with us, listen to some short talks and ask a few questions you are very welcome. As far as I know the hall can fit 200 so we have some room. If you have any questions you can shoot me an email on (anastasia at primalmeded dot com).

That’s all folks. My team is on take this weekend (i.e. every patient who comes through the door of this hospital since Friday night will be under our care tomorrow morning, yikes) so I am expecting a very hectic few days. Over and out.











Stranded in no Internet limbo…

I am not dead, I haven’t said farewell to Paleo and I haven’t sold my soul to pharmaceutical companies. I have no working Internet at home. In the year 2011 this should be akin to having no toothbrush. Writing and editing posts on a tiny screen doesn’t tickle my fancy so I’m hanging out for ADSL to get connected in about 2 weeks. Oops, it’s Christmas. Make it 3 weeks.

I have many drafts sitting in my folders and in my head. Come back and check on the website soon, I’m planning a little upgrade, including finally saying goodbye to “medical student” in my bio. You can also find me on Facebook Primalmeded page and on Twitter @primalmeded. I’ll be back soon, I promise!

New Zealand and Paleo friends

My week away from blogging was not spent in idleness. I spent 8 days in New Zealand, this trip was very productive from the point of view of Paleo, connections and more food for thought for my blog.

New Zealand is a gorgeous country. You get a sense that you are in for something special when you see the majestic mountain ranges sloping into the green water out of the airplane window. Together with Australia it’s one of the few Western countries where you can still drive past cows peacefully grazing on grass of the greenest colour imaginable.

iPhone photos do not do it justice

Visiting Christchurch for the first time was a powerful experience for me. It’s a quaint little city (by Sydney standards) still bearing visible scars of the earthquakes which changed the lives of its inhabitants. The walls of beautiful old churches, like the shadows of former life, standing in the midst of piles of bricks behind safety gates. Giant cracks in the middle of city streets partially filled up with concrete. Big signs urging caution on typical office buildings. Huge shipping containers stacked on top of one another at the bottom of the cliff on the side of a busy road protecting from boulders falling from above. All reminding us that we are all at the mercy of the force more powerful than we can imagine. And no, I’m not religious.

Like many other people around the world, I had wondered why do the people stay? 7000 aftershocks later, why would you not pack up your life and start over somewhere else? Where you wouldn’t have to worry about getting a restaurant table under a chandelier?

Maybe because it’s so utterly beautiful. A place where you can go out on a bike ride along the water edge, climb a steep hill to the coffee place up the top and descent to the luscious valley below. Nice. You can Paleo the hell out of this place.

And they seem to be getting on with their life just fine. Good on them, Kiwis. After flogging the Aussies (and the French, and everyone else) at the Rugby World Cup they have even more reasons for some well-deserved NZ pride. Respect.

I didn’t just travel across the ditch to admire the views. One of the goals of the trip was some Paleo networking, catching up with two of the heavyweights of the Antipodean Paleo community: Jamie Scott, a.k.a. That Paleo Guy, and Julianne Taylor from Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog.

I cannot express what a relief it is to talk to people who understand you, who read the same studies, who get just as frustrated at the limitations of the conventional diet, health and exercise advice. Jamie played a gracious host in Christchurch and showed me around the city, his favourite cafés and cycling routes. We discussed high fat nutrition for athletes, agreed that #contextmatters when it comes to “safe starches”, shared our mutual plans for the Ancestral Health Symposium in 2012.

Jamie and I, about to tuck into a hearty breakfast

I met the lovely Julianne in Auckland and over our 3 hour lunch we discussed everything from thyroid health to the challenges facing medical professionals, body image pressure and undiagnosed gluten intolerance.

Julianne and I: turns out hair colour is not the only thing we have in common

Auckland, the city of sails (=winds), with its 7 seasons in one day, showed us glimpses of sunshine. The world cup fever has largely subsided however the Kiwis were still happy to remind us, the Aussies, who came out on top. The Auckland part of my trip was closely aligned with fitness industry, especially group fitness, and I will probably talk about my ideas on fitness in another post.

For those who are involved in Paleo/primal lifestyle and education in North America it is probably hard to understand how isolated we can feel on the other side of the globe, with the Internet being our only link to this community. Meeting like-minded people was like a breath of fresh air: no need to moderate your language or be tentative in offering different hypotheses. I came back home feeling recharged and fired up for more learning, sharing and blogging.

Stuff that you need for finals…

First I’d like to thank everyone who left comments, messages and tweets following my daughter’s guest post. As I have mentioned before, kid Paleo (or any kid diet sans soft drinks, pizza, brightly coloured boxed non-food and protein generously covered in flour and fried in industrial oil) can be a very lonely place to be. Michelle was ecstatic to receive so much support. Her guest post ended up being my most popular post to date (I’m not sure whether it’s a reflection of her eloquent writing or my own nerdy articles). Needless to say, she will be invited for another guest spot.

Secondly, I will be taking a 2-week break from blogging. My final medical school exams are just over a week away and I’m finding it really hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s a slightly scary prospect that the last 4 years of medical school and the preceding 4 years of undergraduate studies have come down to 375 questions (I think) over 3 days. Sounds grossly inadequate somehow.

So how do I prepare to cover the whole of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, family medicine and critical care? (I did my pediatrics and psychiatry assessments last year). Well, I think that a week before the exam is not the time to learn. I have this weird sensation that my head is officially full and any attempts to fit any more information inside it will result in epic loss of all existing data. And seriously, if you don’t know it by now you’ve left it a bit late. So the plan for the next week is to focus on the information retrieval process, i.e. plenty of practice papers and dummy questions. And in case you are wondering, here is a fraction of what I am actually supposed to know.

Wish me luck. I’ll still be available on Twitter for some light-hearted distraction (sad, I know). I am not nervous, yet. I feel quite at peace with the thought that if I do fail I can always go into full-time blogging. It seems like a pretty cool gig.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Paleo Nutrition Seminar: Inner West CrossFIT

Last night I had the greatest pleasure to present a Paleo/primal nutrition seminar to the folks from Inner West CrossFIT in Sydney. They are currently doing the 30day Paleo challenge and wanted somebody “sciency” to talk to them about the benefits of primal nutrition.

The 6pm WOD was cancelled (I don’t know how they survived without it), it was pouring rain outside and I had some good looking fit people sitting on wooden boxes and ab mats in front of me.

A high-tech girl that I am, I pulled out my butcher’s paper (thank goodness for Blu-Tac) and some textas and we were good to go.

What we discussed:

1. Low levels of Western disease in traditional populations
2. Western countries and the epidemic of chronic diseases in spite of the achievements of modern medicine.
3. (Very) brief nutritional history of humans
– from 2 million years ago till today
– the birth of diet-heart hypothesis 50 years ago and how it changed the way we eat forever
4. Paleo nutrition is not a re-enactment. We briefly touched on The Framework of Common Sense and how to use it.
5. Neolithic agents of disease
– wheat
– fructose
– industrial seed oils
– unfermented soy
6. Balanced food choices, including safe starches to last through their WODs and a few treats like dark chocolate and fruit
7. Dairy: why I believe that diary has a place in primal nutrition
8. Relying on hunger signals: when they are helpful and when they are not.
9. Meal frequency and how to unlearn the snacking habit.

The discussion got pretty lively: “healthy” fruit juices, how many eggs, is quinoa ok, which soy products were safe, managing the energy slump in the first 2 weeks and even gluten-free beer.

I finished up with a plea not to get too obsessive about little things. Food should still be enjoyable and fun.

After finishing the presentation in 70 minutes (I consider this an achievement) we chatted about Paleo, crossfit, women’s health and fueling the crossfit body.

It was great to see a group of people so passionate about health and fitness. I hope they have learned something new from our talk. My other secret hope is that at the end of their 30 day Paleo challenge some will decide that they want to continue and reap the benefits of the new lifestyle. Good luck to you all!