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The Paleo Athlete


The Paleo Athlete

I wanted to let everyone know about a great new resource just released by my friend Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo. Steph has taken her 20 years of competition experience and combined it with her years of experience teaching high school chemistry and biology to publish an outstanding eBook called The Paleo Athlete.

If you are an athlete of any sort (CrossFit, Powerlifting, or endurance athlete) and interested in learning how to properly fuel your athletic performance, this is the book for you. It will teach you how to utilize nutrient dense whole foods, proper rest and recovery, and proper pre and post workout nutrition to perform at your best.

In Steph’s words:

In The Paleo Athlete you’ll learn…

  • Why athletes thrive on nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods
  • The basics of Paleo and understanding macronutrients
  • All about carbs—who needs them and why
  • How to burn fat at rest
  • What and how much to eat before, during and after a workout
  • Why dietary hacks can’t substitute for solid nutrition
  • Practical cooking tips for your busy schedule
  • How to get ready for competition
  • How to improve sleep and recovery and deal with injuries and stress
  • FAQs and troubleshooting guides
  • Thirty stupid-easy, mouth-watering recipes
  • …and much more!

This book is a big part of the foundation for the seminar The Whole Athlete, currently being offered through collaboration between Steph and Dallas Hartwig of Whole 9 Life. I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural seminar at CrossFit Love in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and I was impressed with the material covered.

Whether you are a weekend warrior, competitive athlete, or physical therapist working with athletes, you will benefit from reading and understanding this information.





Why I love Well Fed 2

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Why I love Well Fed 2

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My friend, Melissa Joulwan, has outdone herself again with her latest cookbook Well Fed 2. This follow up to 2011’s Well Fed has something for everyone. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and I want to share my favorite parts of the book with you.

Some of my friends have already tested the delicious recipes and blogged about the experience. See NomNom’s review here. While I’m earmarking recipes to make, I wanted to get my review out there before the launch date for the book, which is October 22nd.


First, some background. Mel and I have not actually met in real life yet. I stumbled across her blog several years ago, when I first set out on my Paleo journey. I immediately fell in love with her, spending time reading through her blog and learning about how she utilized the principles of ancestral nutrition to address her thyroid issues. As many of you know, I started on my Paleo journey to address my autoimmune thyroid illness, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Over the past few years, Mel and I have exchanged emails about everything from thyroid woes (starting the #FUthyroid on Twitter) to book recommendations to a 30 day gratitude practice via email. I am so happy for Mel and proud of her for the beautiful cookbook she is ready to launch.

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The book covers everything from sauces and seasonings to protein to fruits. Each page is beautifully laid out with a photo of the recipe (taken by Mel’s husband, Dave) and complete directions for creating the recipe at home. I especially appreciate that Mel lists the prep time, marinating time, and cook time – I’m sure I’m not the only person to come home from work ready to make a recipe only to realize that it needs to marinate overnight! The directions are clear and suggestions are made for pairing each recipe with a full meal. Mel’s love of travel and international flavors is evident in the cookbook with recipes like Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs and West African Chicken Stew. I guarantee that you won’t get bored cooking from Well Fed 2.

While the recipes themselves are amazing, my favorite part of the book is the first 35 pages, where Mel’s personality shines. She gives a brief description of Paleo, listing compliant and non-compliant foods (all but two recipes in Well Fed 2 are Whole 30 approved). She goes on to share her story of a lifetime of yo-yo dieting followed by the diagnosis of a nodule on her thyroid (which led to removing half of her thyroid, followed by the remaining half shutting down). She explains how she has slowly integrated all of the healthy changes that have led to her current well balanced state. Anyone with an autoimmune illness or chronic health condition will resonate with Mel’s words, and hopefully see that they can make changes that will lead to feeling better.

Along with 30 reasons to do a Whole 30, Mel gives tips on “How to be a Paleo Social Butterfly” to take your show on the road in social situations, and finally she shares some of her insights on the difference between emotional appetite and true hunger. In a section on The Paleo Kitchen, Mel explains the essential kitchen tools, how to stock your Paleo pantry, and some basic cooking terminology.

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For folks with autoimmune issues who are following the AIP of a Whole 30, Mel has taken the time to list modifications for every recipe that could possibly be made compliant with the AIP. This allows folks to prepare ahead of time to make substitutions. For every patient that tells me that “eating Paleo/AIP is so boring and repetitive,” I will now direct you straight to page 231 of Well Fed 2.

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Overall, this is a great cookbook for both beginning and seasoned cooks, and is filled with stories of travel and family that will inspire you to be well fed on a daily basis.

Whole 9 Life and Dr. Emily Deans are coming to Arlington!

Whole 9 Life

You’ve heard me talk about Whole 30 and maybe you’ve read the New York Times Best Seller It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Now you get to hear the straight talk from Whole 9 Life and Dr. Emily Deans!

Prana Physical Therapy is proud to co-sponsor a Whole 9 Life seminar on June 22, 2013 at Crossfit South Arlington! Come hear all about how the 9 factors affect your health!

Register early, as this workshop is sure to fill up quickly! Register here now.

Please call me at 571-527-9192 with any questions.


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We just got back from The Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS12). For any readers who are unfamiliar with AHS, it is a three day conference which brings together scientists, healthcare providers, and lay people who share an interest in living healthier lives, based on Ancestral principals such as whole foods, movement, stress management, community, and sleep. The symposium was held on the campus of Harvard Law School.

In the fall of 2011 I submitted a proposal to present a poster at AHS12. I felt that we had some important information to share with the community regarding the use of Ancestral nutrition as an adjunct to treatment for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). As many of you know, this is an issue that hits close to home for us, as Dave (my husband) was diagnosed with T1D when he was 32 years old. We have learned so much in the past 6 years, and want to help other T1D’s navigate this journey. We were ecstatic when our proposal was accepted, and began collecting and sifting through the data. All of our hard work was worth it when we saw the finished product presenting the Effects of Ancestral Nutrition of Type 1 Diabetes.

Poster Presentation

 First, I have to say that the whole experience of AHS12 was so overwhelming and exciting that I could barely think straight! The response to our poster was really positive, and we got to talk with a number of people and answer their questions. We were also visited by some of our favorite people in the community. We met many of our online friends for the first time, and were able to spend more time with people we had met before.

Badier AKA The Lazy CavemanBadier Velji AKA The Lazy Caveman


Bill and Hayley from Primal Palate


D.C. CrewThe D.C. Area Crew including Bobby Gill AKA Ultragrassfed and Robert Morton from Power Supply

Whole 9 Life

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of Whole 9 Life

The lectures were interesting and informative, covering topics from The Role of Play in the Development of Social and Emotional Competence to The Science and Policy of Insulin Signaling. I “live Tweeted” the sessions I attended in lieu of taking notes. It was difficult to choose between two sessions taking place simultaneously, and I am looking forward to watching the videos of every presentation again. I will most likely write more about certain lectures in the future; but, some of the highlights for me were:

  • City Zero: How Markets and Evolution Can Revolutionize Medicine by Robb Wolf
  • Health vs. Performance by Keith Norris
  • Using EvoBio to Optimize Training for Endurance Sports by Jamie Scott
  • Paleolithic Diets and Diabetes Control by Lynda Frassetto
  • Craniofacial Dystrophy by Mike Mew
  • Ubuntu: A Paleolithic Perspective on Human Community and Health by Frank Forencich

For me, the lecture on Ubuntu really drove home the importance of living as part of a community, the idea that if one of us does well, then we all do well. I really hope that as the Ancestral Health community grows, we can all support the work of others and bring the message to the people who most need to hear it. I had the sense of being part of a tribe for three days, and had fun while connecting and learning. I’m sure that many people will do re-cap posts in the next week, and there will be the inevitable criticism of presentations (this is normal and necessary for the growth of any group/profession/movement); yet, I for one feel very fortunate to have been part of this event. I’ll close with a few more photos of my tribe:


Robb and Ann

Robb Wolf, who told me multiple times throughout the 3 days “I like standing next to you…you make me feel tall!” Such a cool guy – really down to earth and easy to be around.


J. Stanton of, with whom I had the pleasure of talking during dinner one night with the Whole 9 Life Team.


Whole 9 Dinner

The remnants of our amazing dinner at The Garden at The Cellar where we had the most incredible meal crafted specifically for us by Chef Brandon Arms with input from Melissa.


Mark and Robb Q & A

Q & A with Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf

Ann and Amy

My fellow tiny Paleo Warrior Amy Kubal


Dave, Ann, Jamie and Anastasia

Our Kiwi and Aussie pals Jamie and Anastasia


 Dave, Ann and Jude

And the one and only Jude AKA SmartSexyPaleo, who is one of our favorite people on the planet!

We are already looking forward to AHS13 and hoping to present again!

Review of It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig


Review of It Starts With Food

It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

You know how you look forward to Christmas morning? Even as an adult, you wake up a bit early, filled with expectation? That’s the way I felt waiting for It Starts With Food to arrive in the mail. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy to review, and as luck would have it, my copy arrived just before Memorial Day weekend. I spent three days sitting in the sun (soaking up Vitamin D!) while reading this book with a highlighter in one hand and a pen in the other.

I recommend that you buy a few highlighters before your copy arrives! You will most definitely want to take notes in the book and mark things to refer to later. This book is filled with good information throughout. Whether you are brand new to the idea of eating real food, or a seasoned veteran, you will open this book again and again over the years to refresh your thinking on important topics such as hormonal factors which influence our brain and body (insulin, leptin, glucagon, and cortisol), the mechanism behind leaky gut syndrome (bouncers defending Club Body), inflammation and autoimmune illnesses, balancing Omega 3 and 6 consumption, and emotional factors that drive our nutrition choices.

Along with the good science-y stuff, It Starts With Food teaches you how to plan meals, what a portion looks like, and how to create a meal focusing on delicious, healthy ingredients rather than complicated recipes. They discuss nutrition for special populations (pregnant women, kids, folks with autoimmune illnesses, active individuals and vegetarians/vegans) to help fine tune the plan for your individual needs. I have referred to this section several times in the past few weeks while consulting with my clients, as I tend to see folks who have a number of issues that they are trying to address through nutrition.

I love Dallas and Melissa’s ability to say really brilliant things in short, easy to understand one-liners. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you; but, here are a few of my favorites:

  • With regards to the myths about Paleo: “We are far more concerned with health than we are with history.”
  • With regards to research, clinical experience, and observation: “Scientific research + Clinical Experience + Self-experimentation” = win-win-win.
  • Persistent biological signals lead us to overeat sweet, fatty, salty foods while keeping us malnourished.
  • It’s all about hormones.
  • You cannot “out-exercise” poor food choices and the resulting hormonal disruption.
  • Sugar = sugar = sugar.
  • Gluten-free is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • This does require effort on your part.
  • Start thinking of eating as a nourishing experience.
  • You are not that busy, you just choose to spend your time elsewhere (in regards to sitting down to eat well prepared, nutritious, delicious foods).
  • This. Is. Not. Hard. (when compared to birthing a baby, quitting heroin, or beating cancer).
  • At some point, you need to start making positive, sustainable changes in other areas of your life too, so…
  • Don’t (only) look for a nutritional solution to a lifestyle problem.


The best news is that It Starts With Food will begin shipping on June 12th, so the wait is almost over! I highly suggest that you buy this book (I recommend the hardcover so you can use your highlighter, but I tend to be old school!). You will refer to this book over and over as you continue your journey to health. I am so impressed by Whole 9’s first book, and happy to call Dallas and Melissa friends. These guys are going to change your life.


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