A little background about my husband
My husband has always been an athlete and hasn’t had to worry too much about his weight. He was an award-winning swimmer in high school and also excelled at track and field (throwing a discus). He is also a good soccer player and has a game every week with a group of friends.
He is 6’2, he’s naturally muscular and he has always subscribed to the theory that exercising more is all that matters when it comes to weight loss. But a few years ago his “run more” approach was no longer working. Plus he had some injuries that kept bothering him no matter how long he rested between work outs.
When we went on a trip to San Diego in Fall of 2011 I took a bunch of photos (as usual) and my husband did not like what he saw. He had gained about 15 pounds above his normal weight of 210-215. He was feeling a little uncomfortable at 232 lbs when we went on the trip, but you would never know it since he is always smiling and confident.
Trying a 30 Day Paleo challenge: (aka life without bread)
I convinced my husband to try Paleo in October 2011 (over a year after I started) and he saw some great improvements in his body composition. He felt more energetic after his 30 day trial and he never turned back to his old bread-gorging ways. The best part was that he convinced himself by trying the diet and experiencing the benefits first hand. I was excited that he let me take a before and after photo but he has not let me share it….until now!
He found that nagging aches and pains went away, not to mention 15 pounds of extra weight!! He even found that he had more focus at his demanding day job where he works hard as chef at a busy hotel in downtown San Francisco, CA.
Meeting like minded people
My husband attended to the Low Carb Cruise in 2012 and that experience really bonded us. Plus it was good for him to meet a lot of other people living a Paleo lifestyle, with whom he had things in common. Read all about the cruise here.
We were inspired to write a cookbook!
After seeing results in his own health my husband decided to help me teach a Paleo cooking class in the summer of 2012. See some photos of the cooking class here.
That was such a success we decided to write our own cookbook incorporating both of our backgrounds.
Read the full post about our cookbook and see sneak peak photos here:
A bit of background
If you read my blog or follow my Facebook page you know I love to eat nourishing traditional foods that heal from the inside out. Being on the Paleo diet since summer 2010 has helped me a lot with my health. When I started back then I had adrenal fatigue so bad I could barely get out of bed. I had driven myself to exhaustion on a low fat diet full of tofu and fake foods. I ran two half marathons in 2010 which basically flat lined my cortisol. I had always pushed myself with exercise or extreme diets since I was 15 years old. I constantly thought I was lazy or unmotivated if I was not suffering on a treadmill or starving on low calorie meal plan.
Learning the hard way
I also found out in spring 2010 that I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and that really put a cramp in my style. I found a Weston A Price nutritionist who taught me that I could eat a wonderful diet full of fat and grass fed protein while healing myself. This discovery brought amazing, like-minded nutrition friends (such as Balanced Bites) into my life and I have been hooked on Paleo ever since.
Slow and steady wins the race
I have been on the mend for the past three years even though the process is slower than I had hoped. Stress management, proper nutrition, and sleep are always the on the front burner. I even got the news on a few days ago that my thyroid antibodies are 1/3 of what they were when I was first diagnosed. They went from 600 to 200, which means my immune system is healing and the attack on my thyroid is slowing down. I feel like I am on the right track!
My husband tries a Paleo challenge
I convinced my husband to try Paleo in October 2011 (over a year after I started) and he saw some great improvements in his body composition. He felt more energetic after his 30 day trial and he never turned back to his old bread gorging ways. The best part was that he convinced himself by trying it and experiencing the benefits firsthand.
He found that nagging aches and pains went away, not to mention 15 pounds of extra weight!! He even had found that he had more focus at his demanding day job where he works hard as chef at a busy hotel in downtown San Francisco, CA. See his before and after photos here.
Teaching A Cooking Class
In the fall of 2012 Juliette Starette co-owner of San Francisco Crossfit asked me to lead a cooking class to teach her students about how to cook some new and interesting Paleo dishes.
I had never really thought about doing a cooking class before before but since my husband is a professional chef I asked for his help. He came up with a wonderful, meaty menu that adapted many of the dishes he grew up with to Paleo parameters.
I especially enjoyed teaching with my husband and some people said we had a banter that reminded them of Ricky and Lucy of “I Love Lucy”. The class was a big hit and all the participants loved the Mediterranean inspired cuisine.
Two schools of thought coming together
This experience of working so well together at the cooking class gave us the idea to write a cookbook melding our two styles. My cooking style focuses on the therapeutic angle emphasizing traditional grain free foods, full of nutrient dense staples like grass fed butter, liver and bone broth.
My husband draws his inspiration for his dishes from his home city of Algiers, which is on the Mediterranean Sea next to Morocco and Tunisia. He grew up eating lots of wholesome ancestral foods, including organic fruits and vegetables, wild sardines, pastured eggs/chicken, and traditional slow cooked Tagines with grass fed beef or lamb.
A variety of tasty influences:
We decided to include the healthy aspects of the Mediterranean diet in our e-book with lots of seasonal vegetables, olive oil, wild seafood, fresh fruits, raw dairy, nuts and seeds, omega 3’s from fish and grass fed animals with pastured eggs and poultry. Our book also has many anti-inflammatory herbs/spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cilantro, ginger and saffron that will wow your palate.
The southern Mediterranean region is “melting pot” of flavors after many invasions and occupations from the north (European) and Middle East, making the food especially vibrant and exotic.
Many of the recipes my husband has learned are passed down from his hearty Berber ancestors. Many of these recipes are not written down and only known by family members. These traditional people have made their home in the mountains of Algeria and Morocco for thousands of years living off the land.
Algeria was French colony for 130 years, ending in 1962, which also influenced the food of the region. My husband also incorporates French flavors into many of our dishes including lots of rich buttery sauces, soufflés and custards.
Cooking Full Circle: our southern Mediterranean tour
Our culinary experience became full circle April 2013 when my husband took me to Algiers for two weeks. We also visited Paris for one week and I saw how popular the Magreb cuisine was there too. The food is straight form the ocean or fresh picked from the field the same day. The food was so simple yet the spice combinations took your taste buds to another world.
I was overwhelmed with amazing vegetable dishes, grilled meat skewers and slow cooked Tagines that melted in my mouth. Eating a Paleo diet in Algiers was a breeze because the people there still include traditional and ancestral foods in their diet.
I was thrilled to get authentic cooking lessons from my mother-in-law who has been preparing fresh dishes for her 9 children for over 50 years. My sisters-in-law even contributed a few recipes and showed me their personal culinary touches. I was overwhelmed with the warmth of the people there and was delighted to see how life revolves around home-cooked, nourishing family meals.
Bringing the flavors home to you:
We are putting all the fresh flavors of the Southern Mediterranean together in a wonderful new e-book!
It has all the flavors of the region without the hard to digest grains and legumes. Most recipes will work with healing lifestyles including: Paleo, Primal, Gaps, SCD and low carb diets.
If you eat grains feel free to add them to any dish for a comforting meal. These nourishing recipes will cover all the gastronomic bases with plenty of extras.
9 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea: weight loss, alzheimers prevention, blood sugar regulation and more!
From GFG: This is another great guest post by my trusty intern: Coco Noel. Be sure to like follow her smart and informative posts on Facebook! I invited her over to brunch recently and she brought some Matcha green tea. We mixed it with hot water, coconut milk and a little stevia and it was divine. I had actually never had it before and she was the first person to bring it to my attention. I hope you enjoy learning more!
9 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
First there were pomegranates. Then came goji berries. Now, it’s matcha green tea that everyone’s fussing over. Fortunately, matcha lives up to its hype. For starters, it contains 10x the antioxidants of pomegranates and 5x the antioxidants of goji berries.
Matcha is essentially very finely powdered green tea leaves that are mixed into liquid and consumed whole. Unlike regular steeped green tea, when you drink matcha, you’re ingesting the entire crushed up tea leaves rather than just the leaf-infused water.
This means you’re getting a much more concentrated dose of the myriad health benefits of green tea, some of which are listed below:
- Reduce the risk of cancer: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who regularly drank green tea had a lower risk of colon, stomach and throat cancer. Other studies have shown an associated decrease in prostate cancer and found a link suggesting green tea may slow down the growth of tumors in breast cancer patients.
- Weight loss: Approximately 2 cups of green tea will speed up your metabolism by nearly 5% in a 24 hour period. This isn’t a miracle diet solution, but definitely a plus.
- Immunity: Green tea may help you fight off illness by altering the makeup of intestinal bacteria. Findings suggest that green tea can also reduce allergic responses and asthma.
- Diabetes: Not only does green tea help improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics, but one study found that drinking more than six cups of green tea per day slashed the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 33%.
- Oral health: Green tea strengthens your teeth, thus decreasing your risk of cavities. Its antibacterial properties thwart the effects of the bacteria most responsible for gum disease. And it may even help ward off bad breath!
- Liver health: Green tea prevented liver damage in rats who were kept drunk on alcohol for 4 straight weeks. (Talk about a bender!) It also destroys free radicals in people with fatty liver disease.
- Skin health: German researchers found that drinking six cups of green tea per day can help your skin be more resistant to sunburn. Some studies even suggest that components of green tea can help prevent skin cancer when applied directly to the skin.
- Alzheimer’s prevention: Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, numerous studies suggest that green tea may effectively help to prevent the disease. A compound in green tea reduces the formation of plaque-like deposits in the brain, which are often indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Relax: Green tea increases the production of alpha brain waves to calm the body.
The Matcha Advantage
Many of the studies done on the effects of green tea are based on pretty high levels of the stuff – from about 2 to 10 cups daily. Before you quit your job and commit the rest of your life solely to drinking green tea and going pee, check this out:
One cup of matcha green tea is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea in terms of antioxidant content.
But wait! There’s more. Epigallocatechin gallate (say that five times fast) is a polyphenol antioxidant found in green tea. Commonly referred to as EGCG, this is what’s considered to be responsible for nearly all the health benefits of green tea, including those listed above. I hope you’re wearing your party hat, because I’m about to give you cause to celebrate…
A study in the Journal of Chromatography found that matcha had 137 times more available anti-cancer EGCG than China Green Tips green tea.
That means that by drinking one cup of matcha green tea, you can reap the antioxidant benefits of 10 cups of traditionally steeped green tea and the EGCG benefits of 137 cups of China Green Tips.
Recommendations for incorporating matcha green tea into your diet:
- ½ teaspoon – 2 teaspoons of matcha per day
- While it’s relatively low in caffeine, avoid consuming late at night
- Note: Only drink matcha with low-protein liquids like water, coconut milk, rice milk, or almond milk. Research suggests that protein, particularly that in cow’s milk, deactivates the EGCG. This is no good! For this reason, it may be wise to drink your matcha away from meals (which is better for digestion anyway).
- Avoid commercial matcha green tea concoctions, as they are low in matcha but extremely high in calories and sugar (not to mention often mixed with dairy, thus negating their health benefits!). Peet’s Coffee has a 16 ounce matcha green tea freddo, which delivers 250 calories and 44 grams of sugar – and that’s without the whipped cream. Even worse, a 16 ounce sweetened matcha green tea latte from Starbucks has 350 calories and 55 grams of sugar! That’s very likely to do you much more harm than good.
Make your own at home for best results:
Where to Find a Matcha Online: click here
Thanks for reading! -Coco
Special Guest: Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Understanding Thyroid Overview from Dr. Justin’s Perspective
Look for underlying infections like Epstein Barr and Mono. Also gut parasites as well as h.pylori…
How many carbs should someone with thyroid problems eat?
A little about iodine…
Weight loss has to be on the back burner to healing….
How to work out the right way with low thyroid…
Dangers of intermittent fasting with adrenal fatigue/ low thyroid..
1. I have confusion around thyroid tests…especially with conventional docs. Which to ask for and how to get them when doctors refuse or tell you they’re not needed.
2. Can I heal my autoimmune thyroid disease naturally or is it with me forever?
3. What to do about low iron, adrenal fatigue and how they cause t3 pooling! And what to do about it.
4. I am 55 going through menopause, hot flashes so frequent its just wearing me down. I also have hypothyroidism (at 16 I had a goiter) went through my whole life being told “you’re fine” . I changed insurance and was put on medication; however, I don’t see any changes. I work out 4 days a week and CANNOT lose any weight! Any suggestions? Thank you Roberta Hamilton
5. Hi, I had Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism until I had radiation therapy and now I’m on thyroxine. I have now gained 25 kilos and can’t get control of my weight. Do you have any suggestions?
6. “I am an almost 49 years old female with several problems. It started with a depression, after mononucleosis,CFS,thyroid problems,leaky gut,constipation, a lot of allergies, tired,all this is proven. On top of it, i think my adrenal glands are not ok too. In the morning I am like a diesel, at noon I have to sleep, in the evening I am top. How can I reverse all this? Where to start? What to take? I have cysts and fibrosis in my breasts. Who can see the big picture so this can stop? I have all this problems since 2006 and I am tired of them! I want to be healthy and have a normal life. I am very quickly “in overdrive”.Hot flashes,red hands after dinner, cold hands and feet, dry skin, hair loss,kind of depression…….Best regards from Belgium.”
7. I”m currently taking a medication for my thyroid and prolactine due to a tumor in my pituatary gland. My thyroid numbers were low because of my prolactine. I had trouble sleeping through the night so I started taking magnesium supplement and it has help me very well but I wake up with a puffy eyes every morning. My doctor told me to avoid iodine and my question for you is : Is magnesium supplement not good for a thyroid? -Sarylda
8. “Hello, I recently had thyroid labwork done and results are as follows: TSH:0.717 mIU/L, FT4:1.2 ng/dL, FT3:2.2 pg/mL, RT3:26.1 ng/dL, ThyroGlob AB <20 IU/mL, TPO:10 IU/mL. It seems as if my Reverse T3 is high in comparison to my Free T3. Do you have any recommendations of lowering this? (I have taken an adrenal salivary test and it showed great results, no fatigue. I have also had my B12 levels taken by blood and urine and it is also very sufficient. Not sure what else I can do.) Additionally, are TPO and ThyroGlob AB supposed to be 0 or is the conventional range sufficient (0-40 and <35 , respectively)? I know the functional range is sometimes different than the conventional range. I have been 100% paleo for over a year and feel great except for constipation at times. I deal with this by taking Magnesium but I hate to be dependent on it. I think my thyroid may be the culprit. Thanks so much for any insight you have! “
Find Ashwaganda here
Are people supposed to have no antibodies at all?
Why are men getting so much Hashimoto’s now ?
What about fluoride? How to get it out? Find a good water filter here
Which products are some basic supplements for people with Hashimoto’s:
Find a great article that Dr. Justin wrote about what your doc won’t tell you about thyroid and which tests to ask for here
Thanks for coming on Dr. Justin! Contact Justin here
Dr. Justin recommends the book The Thyroid Alternative:
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The past week we stayed with a couple in Paris that are old friends with my husband. The wife was suffering terrible allergies and she seemed to think it was just an allergy to pollen. Oh how I wanted to set her straight but there was a language barrier that kept us from discussing complex subjects like how to strengthen the immune system.
Many times allergies to pollen and grass are due to over burdened protective linings of our gut, lungs, skin and even brain. I have worked with many clients who took some simple steps and eliminated their seasonal allergies all together (after consulting with their doctor first of course!) I did all I could to show my new friends what they need to eat and do improve their health, many times using sign language and charades. I guess they will make changes when they are ready.
Check your Vitamin D
Try to get your level of vitamin D level to 50 ng/ dl which will give your immune system and boost because it is more like a wellness hormone than a vitamin. Having adequate vitamin D levels will give you stronger defenses against seasonal pollen as well as cold and flu’s. It is best to take a liquid with a meal containing fat to increase absorption. Always check your level each year at your doctor. I take this brand of Vitamin D3.
Reduce toxins in the home
The more toxins clogging your liver the less able it will be to effectively deal with pollen in the air. The pollen becomes the scapegoat most people end up blaming for their allergies, when really is a result of their overall toxic load. Air fresheners, cleaning products, and perfumes are some examples of products where natural versions can help us to detox.
Get rid of artificial personal care products
Again these products are so full of chemicals that drag down your ability to effectively detox which will create a hay fever type reaction. Conventional shampoo, deodorant, anti-bacterial soap and toothpaste are all good examples toxic personal hygiene products. I like to use a combo of coconut oil , apple cider vinegar, and baking soda for just about everything!
Heal your gut
When eat a lot of hard to digest foods over time the small intestine becomes very inflamed. This process opens spaces between the villi letting undigested food particles into the blood stream. The immune system attacks these undigested foreign particles creating a deluge of activity that derails it from it’s normal job of dealing with pollen. The best way to so this is to remove gluten, grains, and vegetable oil products. Many clients who do this throw out their allergy medicine for good. Read about how my little bro got rid of his inhaler here.
Drink more homemade bone broth
The best thing for a weakened immune system is minerals and collagen which are both plentiful in bone broth. Also the material in bones and joints is the same as the lining of the gut which will facilitate faster healing reducing allergy symptoms .It so easy to make your own. Follow my recipe here.
Get more protein
Our immune system consists of our skin, linings of our lung, gut and brain. Many times our body is trying to repair these linings but it lacks the building material. You can’t build a house with no bricks, right? Same goes with your for immune system repair.
Increase essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids like grass fed butter, fatty wild fish like salmon decrease inflammation which will allow our immune system to calm the reaction to pollen and other allergens. Most people have a very skewed ratio of omega-3/6 fats in their which will create many symptoms of illness such as frequent colds and spring allergies.
Increase Magnesium Rich Foods
Many fruits and veggies contain a lot of magnesium which is essential for healing the linings of the immune system. It is also crucial for cell turnover in the gut. Magnesium rich veggies are critical to liver detox which will open the door to being able to enjoy spring weather without a bad reaction. I love this natural magnesium product
Is a powerful anti-inflammatory flavanoid, that can help calm nasal congestion for a more a short term remedy. It is found in certain rich colored fruits such as well like blueberries, cherry, and blackberries. Roobios tea also has a lot of quercetin as well as elderberry, passionflower and licorice teas. Onions, broccoli, most leafy greens as well as fresh herbs are good sources of this healing antioxidant. I like this product to get 500-1000 mg per day.
Use Stinging Nettles
Nettles is an herb that has been used for centuries as an anti-histamine. I have used it a lot for colds and flu’s in a tea form. You can also take it in a pill about 300 mg per day, this is a good brand.
Get lots of sleep
Many times allergies are assign of over stressed adrenals that have had it up to here with your pedal to the medal lifestyle. Sometimes your body stops you before you have the good sense listen to the internal signals. The most important time for repair is between 10-2 am so don’t miss these essential hours for immune repair and allergy relief.
Increase Beneficial Bacteria
When you have a lot negative bacteria from a lifetime of eating SAD diet, overuse of antibiotics, and too much sugar/carbs, an environment of dysbiosis (too much bad bacteria) is created. These bacteria create waste products that slow down the bodies ability to detox outside environmental pollution and pollen making the person’s immune system to overreact with headaches, sneezing ect. The best way to get more good bacteria is to eat a variety of fermented foods like beet kvass, sauerkraut, raw yogurt, and kombucha. You can also take a good probiotic which can help. This is a good brand that many clients like.
Need some more help dealing with your seasonal allergies?
I recommend this book which is for Eczema but it has amazing crossover with seasonal allergies because they are both similar just manifesting in a different place. This book will take you step by step of how to heal your immune system so you can reduce or eliminate seasonal allergy symptoms. Click here
What strategies have helped you to naturally overcome seasonal allergies? Let me know!
This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday