The Most Awesome Paleo Nutrition Workshop EVER

Last Saturday, March 9th, I attended an all day Paleo nutrition workshop hosted by Diane Sanfilippo of the website, Balanced Bites and the New York Times best-selling author of Practical Paleo and Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats  .  (BTW, if you have not picked up a copy of "Practical Paleo" yet, you are just doing yourself a ridiculous disservice.  This book is the must-read of Paleo.)  So, what did I think of the workshop . . . it was totally ass-kickingly aaaaawesome.  Seriously, hands down, best $100 I have ever spent.  Absolutely the best $100 I've ever spent on education (visualize me angrily fist pumping about the U.S. higher education system).  The service those two ladies are providing for only a 100 smackers is unbelievable.  Imagine how our world would change if taking a nutrition course, like what they offer, was a common part of our education?  It knocked my socks off.

I promised I would give all the deets to you, my readers, but honestly I can't even begin to cover all the valuable information they shared.  I took 12 pages of notes, like top to bottom, scribble in the margins notes.  I'd need a month of blogs to cover it all.  So, what I decided to do instead is pick out the five most important points and share them with you.  It was absurdly hard for me to choose what was the most important and these are most important according to me, so who knows what other attendees might have classified as most important, but here goes nothing:

1)  The liver can only store approximately 150 grams of glycogen (basically stored energy sources in our body derived from carbs).  The USDA recommends we eat about 300 grams of carbs every day.  That extra 150 has to go somewhere, so it becomes fat either as body fat or blood fat.  Blood fat equals higher triglycerides.  This is meaningful information if your personal health template includes a weight loss goal.  BTW, we need B vitamins and minerals to help metabolize carbs, this is why a sweet potato is better than a piece of bread.

2)  You NEED cholesterol in order for your body to produce hormones, both the sex kind & the stress kind.  Guess what?  Your body gives preference to stress hormones.  Stress first, sex second (see chart below).  What does that mean?  Well, if you are in a constant state of stress, eventually your body will use all the cholesterol for adrenalin and cortisol production only.  This is meaningful information if your personal health template includes managing hormone driven health problems, increasing sex drive or resolving infertility.  BTW, your cholesterol levels don't have anything to do with how much cholesterol you consume, if you don't consume any your body will just make it.  That's why high stress lives often equal high cholesterol numbers.

Totally awesome hormone chart!

3)  Think of discovering and managing food intolerances as a 4-R Protocol.  Remove likely offending foods, Repair the gut (bone broth is the biggie here), Reinoculate your system (this means probiotics), and then attempt Reintroduction of foods.  Reintro one food at a time, with 72 hours in between, since it can take up to 72 hours for signs of intolerance to show up.  This is meaningful information if your personal health template includes managing allergy symptoms or systematic inflammation.

4)  One thing Diane said really impacted me, "Ninety percent of the time you need to take away something before adding something, in order to improve your health."  In other words, before adding things, subtract negative factors from your life.  An example would be, lower stress before adding tons of supplements.  This is meaningful information if your personal health template includes a goal of getting a good supplement routine down.  Maybe you don't need more supplements, but instead need more meditation? 

5)  Sleep really, really, really matters.  In general, the first four hours of sleep is when your body does physical repair and the last four hours is when your body does mental repair.  This is best achieved by going to bed shortly after the sun sets and getting out of bed around the time the sun rises.  Your cortisol levels during the day need to be normalized in order for your melatonin levels to be normal at night.  This is meaningful information for almost every single one of us, as it impacts almost all health goals.

Overall, I think the biggest thing that got me was how laid back both Diane & Liz were about nutrition.  They were very matter of fact . . . this stuff works, give it a try, don't make it a religion.  Duh.  That was pretty much their tone & I loved it.  That may have been their last workshop, as their passion is too now take this information to people who have never even heard about Paleo, are unlikely to learn about it and help them reverse their health issues.  Do it ladies!  I'm so lucky I caught this workshop & totally behind the next wave of Paleo.

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2 thoughts on “The Most Awesome Paleo Nutrition Workshop EVER

  1. Wow, sounds so amazing! If something like this ever comes up again in DC or within that distance (I live 1-2 hrs away), I'm GOING. The points you shared are so interesting!


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