Month: September 2016

Is Canola Oil Paleo?

If food were a game of hiding and seek, canola oil would be just about the worst player ever.

Canola oil is absolutely everywhere you look. From mayonnaise to nuts to cooked vegetables—canola oil is in just about every food you can imagine.

Canola oil is a bit of a unique substance. We know that sunflower oil comes from sunflower seeds and olive oil from olives, so naturally, canola oil comes from canola seeds, right? As it turns out, there is no such thing as a canola seed. Canola oil is made from rapeseed (a very bright, yellow flower), and its name comes from a hybrid of the phrase “Canada oil.” It used to be called LEAR (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed).

Is Canola Oil Healthy

Many mainstream scientists tout the benefits of canola oil for lowering the risk for heart disease. They often point to its 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is a fairly good ratio.

However, that’s a bit misleading. First of all, the omega-3 fats in canola oil aren’t the kind that our bodies use very well (remember, we need mostly the DHA and EPA forms of omega-3 fats, neither of which are contained in canola oil).

In addition, canola oil is highly processed, since it’s pretty much impossible to press any oil out of a rapeseed. During processing, the seeds are heated and crushed before being bleached and deodorized.

Despite heavy genetic engineering (which may already make you leery), rapeseed is one of the most heavily pesticide-treated crops. In addition, the process of creating canola oil includes hydrogenation—the force required to create trans fats. These fats are not found in nature, and the body does not know how to process them. As a result, studies show that they throw our cholesterol off balance, pose risks to our cardiovascular health, contribute to insulin resistance, and cause an increase in all-cause mortality. In a nutshell, these studies are saying that if you consume trans fats like those found in hydrogenated canola oil, you’re more likely to die off, well, anything.

Why? Because the heavily modified molecules in canola oil inhibit the body’s natural ability to heal and take care of itself. It may also be worth bearing in mind that, in addition to food, canola oil is also often used in industrial lubricants, candles, and newspaper ink.

It seems like this hybrid oil is something Paleo followers should avoid, and Paleo experts agree.

What do other Paleo Experts say?

Mark Sisson says: “My thinking is this: why bother with something so processed and unhealthy when there are umpteen other, better options out there? Olive oil, coconut, palm oil, lard, and ghee are suitable for most cooking applications. And for salads and other “no heat” dishes, you have dozens of tasty (non-deodorized) choices, including avocado and nut oils. As for canola, who needs it?”

Chris Kresser says: “Industrial seed oils…have not been a part of the human diet up until relatively recently when misguided groups like the AHA and the ADA started promoting them as ‘heart-healthy’ alternatives to saturated fat. [They are] unnatural and unfit for human consumption.”

So is canola oil Paleo?


While some Paleo experts say that you shouldn’t be completely doom-and-gloom if you eat a teaspoon of canola oil, who actually eats just a teaspoon?

There’s so much canola oil in so many foods that avoiding it altogether is by far the best option. Because it increases the mortality rate from all diseases and contributes to inflammation and illness, makes sure to leave this one out next time you have a snack.

oil photo

Issue No. 34

Are Beans Paleo?

beans photo
Photo by WhyKenFotos

Pinto, lima, garbanzo, pea, kidney, lentil…no doubt you recognize at least some of these popular names for people’s favorite legumes.

But exactly what is it about them that manage to capture everyone’s attention? Many tout the protein and fiber content of legumes as a major benefit, not to mention the variety of tastes and options that beans provide. Since they’re so popular, should those follow a Paleo lifestyle hop on the bean bandwagon?

One of the reasons that they are such a staple in many people’s diets is because they’ve been around for a long time. As some of the oldest and longest-cultivated plants, it’s no surprise to see that some cultures have incorporated beans as a fixture in their diet. Additionally, beans contain high amounts of fiber and protein; so much, in fact, that people who do not consume meat categorize beans in the “meat” category of their food plan.

If they’re that loaded with protein and fiber, what’s not to love? Well, as it turns out, these little guys aren’t as packed with nutrients as one might think. These nutritional profiles are most often based on raw beans—and we all know that none of us eat them plain or raw. When beans are cooked, they lose a large portion of their previous nutritional value. That means that other sources of healthy proteins, like meat, become more favorable options.

Legumes also contain lectins, which are proteins that plants make in order to protect them against things that want to eat them. If the plants are trying to protect themselves against us, there’s got to be something that they’re doing to us to make us shy away from eating them, right? Some studies show that the lectins they produce cause leaky gut, reducing the strength of the intestinal lining and letting molecules from your stomach permeate into your bloodstream.

With some beneficial nutrients potentially outweighed by some toxins and their potentially harmful effects, it can be difficult to see where beans rest on the Paleo spectrum.

What Do Other Paleo Gurus Say?

Sarah Ballantyne says: “There are several ways in which [beans] create holes in the gut lining. The best understood is the damage caused by lectins. While slowing down sugar transport from the gut to the bloodstream seems like a great thing on the surface (why beans are so often recommended as a carbohydrate source for diabetics!), the irreversible increase in gut permeability is just not worth it!”

So Are Beans Paleo?


While beans are not the worst thing you could possibly eat, the general consensus is that avoiding them is your best bet. Any nutrients that you can get from beans can be found in other, less toxic foods, and since Paleo is all about avoiding toxins, beans are considered a no-go. If you must eat beans, do it the way that our ancestors did—by soaking or fermenting them since this process breaks down some of their natural toxins.

Issue No. 33

Photo by WhyKenFotos

Is Animal Skin Paleo?

cow photo

Is Animal Skin Paleo?

When we chew the fat about eating animal skin—whether it’s in the form of bacon, salmon skin or roasted chicken skin, it’s important to note what might lead many eager carnivores to shun it. Many media and health advocacy groups have demonized animal skin as something to be avoided because it contains a high amount of fat. We’re told to “remove all visible skin and fat” when preparing meats and animal-based recipes. Yet, as many Paleo devotees know, “good” fat can be a delicious and healthy addition to the diet. Salmon skin boasts a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, while organic, free-range poultry skin has high amounts of animal fat, plus substances like collagen and gelatin, which keep our joints lubricated and strengthen our hair and nails.
Additionally, the amino acids present in animal skin provide a nice counterbalance to muscle meats—which some mistakenly go overboard on eating when embarking on a Paleo diet. Foods like muscle meats and eggs contain high levels of an amino acid known as methionine. In metabolizing this amino acid, it increases the need for another important amino acid, glycine.
Where’s glycine found most abundantly? In animal skin and bones.

So, is it Paleo?

While it might seem obvious that eating animal skin goes with the Paleo philosophy of “whole animal” (or nose-to-tail) eating to provide the right balance of nutrients, dire warnings from the mainstream media still might lead some to avoid eating it.
Yet as long as the animal it comes from was raised healthily and fed the right food, including the skin on your plate, is generally touted as a good thing by many in the Paleo community.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Chris Kresser says: “It’s easy to eat too much muscle meat when starting the Paleo diet and not enough of the other parts of the animal (like the skin or organ meats). Because organ meats, skin, and bones (in the form of bone broth) are not a common part of the Standard American Diet (SAD), we don’t think much about incorporating these foods into our diet when we first start. However, it is crucial to include these parts (along with muscle meat) in order to nourish ourselves properly…Think about it: traditional cultures value every part of the animal and use them all in some capacity. It is only very recently that we have started to pick and choose what parts of the animal we consume. Eating the whole animal ensures a balanced intake of all the amino acids, so it is wise to do just that!
Mark Sisson says: “Animal skin is fantastic. Although I wouldn’t recommend eating charred, crispy animal skin every day of the week (although braised, gently-cooked animal skin is fine all the time), animal skin in and of itself is highly nutritious. As long as the animal in question was healthy and fed a good diet, I would never shy away from a serving of animal skin.
Nell Stephenson says: “I have no qualms admitting it- one of my favorite parts of a meal featuring pan-seared or grilled or oven roasted wild salmon or black cod is the skin. So much so, that it makes me cringe when I stop by the fish monger’s counter at my local market and see all the fillets have been re-skinned.
Far too many people are still frightened of (good) fat and certainly would never deign to actually, purposely eat the skin. But they’re missing out! Not only is the taste fantastic, it’s actually part of the whole concept of eating the whole animal.


Fear, not the crispy goodness—animal skin is Paleo if you can verify that the animal it came from was raised and fed in a healthy and sustainable way. It can be a nutritious (and tasty) addition to a Paleo regimen.

Issue No. 24

Vitamin D3 Could Be Beneficial to Asthma Sufferers

Vitamin D3 has been touted to help with about every ailment from depression to cancer, but now research is catching up to what we already know.

Adding vitamin D supplements with standard asthma medication may lead to fewer asthma attacks for people with mild to moderate asthma, stated the new Cochrane review.

Researchers do caution that “relatively few trials, none of which has individually reported a statistically significant effect of vitamin D on risk of exacerbation requiring treatment with systemic corticosteroids as a prespecified outcome.” The review looked at 9 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with 435 children and 658 adults with mild to moderate asthma.


Oral Vitamin D₃ Supplements and Asthma

Oral vitamin D₃ supplementation was administered for 4-12 months at 500-1200 IU/day (this is a really small amount to make a statistical change in blood work). Supplementation reduced the rate of severe asthma attacks from 0.44 to 0.22 per person. Supplementation also decreased the risk for hospitalization or emergency room visit from 6% reducing to 3% per 100 patients.


“What we don’t know is whether the benefits of vitamin D were restricted just to patients who were vitamin D–deficient or whether they were experienced by everybody, irrespective of their baseline status,” Dr Martineau explained.

Researchers continue to study the data about vitamin D3 supplementation and asthma with subgroup analyses and further testing.

According to Medscape:

“It is estimated that about 1 billion people around the world have vitamin D levels below 75 nmol/L, which is generally considered insufficient; levels below 50 nmol/L are considered deficient.

 In a large proportion of study participants, levels of vitamin D were deficient or insufficient. Mean/median baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations ranged from 48 to 89 nmol/L. In a small minority of participants, levels were below 25 nmol/L, which is considered to be profoundly deficient.

“In the context of other vitamin D studies done by us and others, the benefits of supplementation tend to be stronger in those with lower levels,” said Dr Martineau. “Our hypothesis is that we will see more marked effects in people with lower levels.”

Vitamin D has an anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs and induces innate antimicrobial mechanisms, he explained.”

“I think the association is there. At this point, it would be perfectly legitimate for general practitioners, pediatricians, and even pulmonologists who are following people with asthma to put them all on 500 to 1000 units of vitamin D a day,” Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the Arizona Respiratory Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson said.

“For adults who have persistent exacerbations, measuring vitamin D levels would also be justified, and if they have low levels, you could give them even more,” said Dr Martinez.



European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2016: Abstract PA4112. Presented September 6, 2016.

Photo by AJC1

Photo by michaeln3

Benefits of Zucchini

zucchini photo
Photo by Wildcat Dunny



Zucchini is versatile summer squash that is delicious and easy to use. Zucchini’s flavor lends itself to both being the star of a dish or being easily concealed as a nutritious filler. Zucchini can be eaten both cooked and raw and is extremely versatile in preparation methods. It is grown in abundance during the summer months and quite easy to come by. Its affordability and ease of preparation make it an ideal choice for a healthy and hearty vegetable. Zucchini contains only 36 calories per 1 cup and 10 grams of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber. Zucchini is also a great source of vitamin c, vitamin A, manganese, and potassium. Zucchini has proven to be both delicious and beneficial to your overall health.



1  Lower Cholesterol 

Zucchini is rich in dietary fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol. Dietary fiber attaches itself to bile acids created by the liver from cholesterol that is used to digest fat. When the dietary fiber attaches to the bile, it affects the liver’s ability to quickly digest fat causing it to create more bile acid. The liver then uses up more cholesterol to produce the excess bile acid, lowering the overall cholesterol levels.

2  Lower Blood Pressure

The amount of magnesium and potassium found in zucchini promotes lower blood pressure and alleviate stress on the circulatory system. Consuming zucchini on a regular basis can prove to be a great benefit for those suffering from hypertension.

3  Skin Hydration

Zucchini has a high water content that is beneficial to hydrating your skin and flushing out toxins.

zucchini photo
Photo by briannaorg

Zucchini can help restore moisture to your skin and return it to a healthy glowing state. It is beneficial to your skin both when consumed and when used as a topical ingredient in scrubs and washes.

4  Eye Health

As a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, and manganese; all of which are crucial to maintaining healthy eyes. The veggie may also be used as an external application to remove puffy bags around the eyes caused by water retention.

5  Prevents Gout

Yes, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which makes it great to counter the effects of gout. Antioxidants work to reduce joint inflammation. Gout can affect both the knees and the feet and often leads to extreme difficulty walking and standing. This veggie works against the uric acid in your joints, helping to remove the pain and inflammation.

Photo by csouza_79

Beef Taco Salad

Nothing says easy like a beef taco or regular taco salad… But taco salads at restaurants can harbor soybean oil, beans, rice, tortilla chips or my favorite – the huge tortilla bowl.

Beef taco salads can easily be made at home with super fresh ingredients, and taste amazing!

The secret to a good taco or taco salad is the taco seasoning… This taco seasoning has chipotle, salt, garlic powder, cumin and some cayenne pepper for kick!

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Beef Taco Salad
Beef Taco Salad
Course Main Dish
Course Main Dish
Beef Taco Salad
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10 Benefits of Flax Seeds and The Amazing Nutrient Profile

flax seed photo
Photo by muffinn

Flax, also known as linseed, is a fiber crop that has long been used for manufacturing household linens. Flax seeds are harvested from the flax plant itself. Flax seeds come in a number of varieties, that of which all contain the same nutritional value, with the exception of yellow flax seeds. Flaxseeds are widely used for their nutritional value, and also used to produce a form of vegetable oil that is considered to be one of the oldest commercial oils in production. According to, Wikipedia, the culinary uses for flax seeds range from roasted to being milled for bread.  Flax seeds are packed full of nutritional value, such as Omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, protein, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc.

The Benefits of Flax Seeds

1  Gluten Free

Even if you don’t live by a strict gluten-free diet, doesn’t mean that consuming some gluten-free options isn’t a good choice. The healthier choices you make, the better your overall health will be. Flax seeds are a great alternative to traditional grains and can be used as a substitute in cooking and baking. Flax seeds are a natural replacement for gluten-filled grains. Flax seeds can be ground and used alone or combined with coconut flour for baking and cooking.

2  High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you are reading anything related to healthy lifestyles or diets, you have probably seen omega-3 fatty acids a time or two. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be the key to unlocking great health and warding off many diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Cancer. More research is needed to prove whether or not Omega-3 fatty acids are the key to a successfully healthy life, but one thing is for sure, they are great for your body and an optimal part of leading a healthy life. Flax seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids and are a great option for people with an allergy to fish, who are looking for a natural way to get their daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

3  Reduces Risk of Cancer

Many studies have suggested that flax seeds can aid in reducing ones’ risk of getting certain types of cancer, such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Lignans that are found in flaxseed are converted by the body into enterolactone and enterodiol, which aid in the natural balance of hormones that are believed to be the culprit of some cancer growth. A large part of this can be chalked up to its high omega-3 fatty acid value and anti-inflammatory properties.

4  Menopausal Symptom Relief 

According to, WebMD, there have been significant studies showing that flax seeds can help relieve the symptoms of menopause. Consuming a proper dosage of flaxseed daily is believed to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and other mild side effects of menopause. The flax seed is suggested to have similar effects to that of hormone therapy. Studies have shown that women consuming the recommended amount of flaxseed twice a day showed a 50% decrease in the number of hot flashes they had in a day and a decrease in intensity of the remaining hot flashes.

5  Lower Cholesterol 

Flax seeds ability to help lower cholesterol is mainly credited to its omega-3 fatty acid and fiber content. Flax seeds are also rich in lignans, which have been shown to decrease plasma cholesterol, high plasma cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Studies have shown that flax seeds can reduce bad cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, by 14%-18%

6  Gut Health

Flax seeds are a great source of fiber and are packed full of natural fiber to help keep your gut healthy. The high soluble fiber count makes flax seeds the perfect supplement for anyone looking for a natural laxative or regulating supplement. A key tip for using flax seeds for digestive health, is to use ground flax seeds; whole flax seeds are harder for your body to digest and absorb all of the beneficial nutrients. Flax seeds also contain mucilaginous fiber, which increases the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.

7  Blood Sugar

They are low glycemic, meaning that they can help to prevent or reduce spikes in blood sugar. When consuming flax as a normal part of your daily diet, blood sugar levels will begin to level out and show less effect from other foods that you consume, such as foods that are high in sugar. Flax is a great option for diabetic’s looking to more naturally control their blood sugar levels.

8  Weight Loss

Recently the seeds have become growingly popular for people looking to use their nutritional benefits for weight loss. Eating flax before a meal can help to reduce your hunger and give you the feeling of being full sooner. Similar to chia seeds, flax seeds absorb liquid and swell to create that “full” feeling. Thus, allowing you to feel full for longer and consume less food for meals.

9  Inflammation

There is no doubt that these seeds are filled with nutritional value and regardless of whether you are looking to use them as a weight loss aid, natural health remedy, or just as a source of vitamins; flax seeds are great for your body. A hot topic on flax is their anti-inflammatory benefits. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, lignans, flavonoids, and fiber all work in sync to reduce inflammation in your body, including inflammation caused by arthritis and Parkinson’s Disease. A daily serving of flax seeds has 140% of your daily value of these anti-inflammatory vitamins.

 10 Skin Health

Generally speaking, we all know that we need optimal nutrition to keep our bodies healthy on the inside. The same is also true for the outside; our skin and hair need all of the essential vitamins and minerals as the rest of your body. Flax seeds benefit your skin by increasing your body’s natural oil production, helping to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated.

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5 Health Benefits of Pistachios

pistachios photo

I LOVE pistachios!

I can buy the Costco-sized bag of pistachios and easily polish it off in a two-day time frame – by myself.. yikes! Lucky for me they are healthy (of course in moderation).

Pistachios are a good source of many nutrients including the following: calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B, folate and vitamin E. The Pistachio has the lowest fat content and calorie count of all other nuts. Here are the Top 5 health benefits that we found for pistachios:

1  Weight Loss

Many dieters question whether nuts are a good option when they are trying to lose weight.  While nuts are high in fat and calories, they are also made up of monounsaturated fats, the healthy fat. One Pistachio comes in at only 4 calories a piece, making them a quick and healthy snack. Try substituting a handful in place of greasy fried chips when you are craving a salty snack.

2  Fiber

They are a great source of fiber, coming in at 12.2 grams of fiber per 1 cup of pistachios. Pistachios contain insoluble fiber that promotes healthy digestion. It is recommended that you consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, that being said, 1 cup of pistachios is a pretty good start. A good tip is to try keeping pistachios around the way that some people do sunflower seeds. Snack on then throughout the day to help curb your appetite and give you a constant source of vitamins and minerals.

3  Iron Absorption

If you aren’t anemic, iron absorption may not be a necessary concern for you. But for many, convincing their body to absorb the iron that they are putting into it can be much more of a task. Pistachios are high in copper content and copper helps the body absorb iron.

4  Blood Health

In addition to helping your body absorb iron, which is key to the body’s production of blood, pistachios can also help with hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the bloodstreams and delivering it to cells. So they end up being a rich source of vitamin B6, which is essential to the production of hemoglobin.

5  Eye Health

The Pistachio is the best foods that benefit your overall eye health. These are the only nuts that contain lutein and zeaxanthin; protective antioxidants that prevent tissue damage from free radicals. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been linked with preventing age-related degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in us.

Starbucks Is Adding Almond Milk

starbucks photo
Photo by Howtedious

I’m from Seattle, so it goes hand-in-hand that I love coffee, and most notably Starbucks. It’s no surprise that I have a sweet tooth, and occasionally indulge in one of those sugary treats. However, recently Starbucks has made some changes to their menu. Most notably, Starbucks has added:

Prior to these additions, I always ordered my Starbucks Breve (with cream). However, there are now more PALEO choices at Starbucks!!

The best thing about coconut milk and almond milk is that they are naturally sweet. This is important, since there are NO syrups that are currently approved for Paleo.

So, what are some Starbucks options and still stay on Paleo:

Hot Drinks:

  • Coffee, of course
  • Hot tea
  • Espresso or American (espresso and water)
  • Latte
    • Breve (with Cream)
    • Almond Milk
    • Coconut Milk

Cold Drinks:

  • Unsweetened iced tea
  • Iced coffee
    • Breve (with Cream)
    • Almond Milk
    • Coconut Milk

Stay Away From:

Syrups, even sugar-free syrups (they have unnatural sweeteners and are heavily processed)

What I hope Starbucks Adds:

Stevia – a Paleo-approved sweetener that

Some Starbucks Ideas:

  1. Iced Coffee with Coconut Milk (bring a little Stevia to sweeten)
  2. Latte with Almond Milk with added cinnamon
  3. Iced Tea with Coconut Milk – Yum!

I looked on the Starbucks website, and do not see the coconut milk or almond milk in their nutritional information:

Hopefully they update this soon so we know exactly what we are putting into our bodies!

Photo by Howtedious

10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon


When you think of cinnamon, the first thing that comes to mind may be fall and all of the delightful, cinnamon filled treats. But, cinnamon has long been used around the world for its health benefits. Cinnamon has many benefits beyond being a loved spice and flavorful additive to both sweet and savory dishes.

1 Antioxidants

The majority of cinnamons health benefits can be attributed to the fact that it is rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, one teaspoon of cinnamon has just as many antioxidants as a full cup of pomegranate juice does. According to, Cinnamon Vogue, cinnamon is one of the top 7 antioxidants in the world.

2 Healing Properties

According to the, NCBI, Cinnamon has healing properties and can successfully be used to treat open wounds. The study showed significant improvement of pain, swelling, and redness in comparison to those not treated with cinnamon. 

3 Weight Loss

Cinnamon can help you lose weight by creating a chemical reaction when it is consumed. Your body reacts to the heat from the cinnamon and works to chemically digest it. This in turn speeds up your metabolism.

4 Sore Throat

It is believed that if you take cinnamon as soon as the symptoms of a sore throat and cough begin, the bacteria fighting agents in cinnamon will stop it in its tracks.

5 Food Preservative

Cinnamon may also be used to ward off bacteria and keep food fresh longer, even without refrigeration. According to, Cinnamon Extract, studies have shown that breads packed with cinnamon oil in the packaging combated 96% of mold growth compared to the bread packaged without it. It is believed that cinnamons antibacterial benefits are responsible for this outcome.

6 Massage Therapy

Cinnamon is extremely popular in massage oils for its natural heating effect. When combined with another oil, applying cinnamon oil directly to the skin is not recommended, it can be extremely useful for relieving muscle and joint pain.

7 Menstrual cramps

It is believed that the antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits of cinnamon can be used to relieve painful menstrual cramps. It is also able to fight microorganisms with its anti-inflammatory properties. More research is still needed to prove these effects one menstruation.

8 Cancer

Studies on animals have shown cinnamon to be beneficial in protecting against cancer. While far more research and clinical trials are still needed, cinnamon could give us a link to fighting of cancer in the future. It is believed that the cinnamon can reduce the growth of cancer cells and prevent blood vessels from forming in tumors.

9 Ant Repellant

Ants absolutely detest cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon at any entry point for ants in your home or areas where you have had a frequent ant problem. Sprinkling cinnamon directly on an ant bed will also cause them to move elsewhere. 

10 Cognitive Awareness

It is believed that just the smell of cinnamon is enough to keep your brain alert. Cinnamon oil is becoming extremely popular in perfumes and essential oil mixes. Cinnamon oil is mixed with a base oil and occasionally some others and then applied to the temples, forehead, neck, and even in oil burners to increase alertness and overall cognitive response.

Is Wheat Germ Paleo?

Is Wheat Germ Paleo?

By its very name, wheat germ would seem to preclude a place on a Paleo plate, given its push to avoid wheat and other grains, due to their allergenic and inflammatory effects on the body. However, because wheat germ has very little gluten in it (which is one of the primary allergens in wheat) some question whether it’s possible to include it in an evolutionary diet.

Gluten is a protein chiefly confined to the endosperm of a grain, which is the tissue produced inside the seeds of most flowering plants around fertilization. The wheat “germ” is the part of the wheat grain that is primarily protein-free that eventually germinates and grows into a new plant—and also contains very little gluten. Yet gluten (or lack thereof) isn’t the whole story when it comes to deciding if wheat germ earns a Paleo pass or fail.

So, is it Paleo?

While wheat germ is very low in gluten, there are other offenders at work that can be counter-productive to our health. One of these is a little antinutrient called wheat germ agglutinin or WGA, for short, which might be as troublesome as gluten. WGA is a lectin protein that protects the wheat from insects, yeasts, and other pests. And while lectins are present in many foods, some of the highest (and potentially damaging) concentrations are found in grains like wheat (and its germ).

There is evidence that, like gluten, WGA can damage the lining of the gut and lead to intestinal permeability. This, in turn, can prompt our immune system to respond, triggering any number of auto-immune issues.

Studies have also shown that WGA can increase glucose transport into fat and liver cells while it blocks the body’s ability to release stored fat. This is detrimental to weight loss efforts, and because more glucose is being brought to the liver, blood triglycerides can also increase (not a good thing).

Additionally, WGA has been shown to obstruct our cell’s’ receptors from absorbing the Vitamin D we all need. These studies might help explain that regardless of the amount of time we spend in the sun, the decreased receptors for vitamin D can lead to possible deficiencies of the vitamin.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “You certainly can (eat it), but I still wouldn’t. Wheat germ has a little something called wheat germ agglutinin, a potent lectin. This protects wheat from insects, yeasts, and bacteria. It also tries to protect wheat from other, larger predators. Like hairless bipedal agrarian apes, by attacking and perforating the intestinal lining. There’s also evidence that WGA interacts with insulin receptors in fat and liver cells. Even going so far as to replicate the effects of insulin. Mimicking the effect of insulin on a foreign plant protein? Eh, I’m a little nervous about that.”

Kevin Cann (guest-blogging for Robb Wolf) says: “Understanding WGA and the other toxins found in grains and legumes is an important concept to health and weight loss. Counting calories while eating wheat products may work for some. But there are quite a few people who run into failure. How can one reverse insulin resistance by eating a food that acts like insulin? Consumption of wheat can lead to Vitamin D deficiencies. Which may be why we see increasing rates of disease and even osteoporosis. It damages the gut lining and increases inflammation. Inflammation can also lead to weight gain. If anything, remove wheat from the diet for 30 days and see how you feel. Eliminating all grains and legumes would be an even better step towards better health.”

Loren Cordain says: “In vitro studies show that WGA binds the nuclear pore and prevents Vitamin D from causing its normal gene transcription—not a good thing, as proper Vitamin.


Based on what science has shown and what Paleo experts say. It’s a fairly obvious call when it comes to wheat germ.  We’ll stamp it clearly “Not Paleo” and take to heart. Wheat germ is, like other grain products, not a wise choice for those seeking optimal health.

Issue No. 27

Paleo Sweet Potato Chocolate Chunk Bread

sweet potato bread ingredients
sweet potato bread ingredients
Sliced Sweet Potato Bread
Sliced Sweet Potato Bread

This recipe is for a Paleo Sweet Potato Bread that could fit into anytime of year. However, this time of year, I love pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, and everything that has to do with “Pumpkin Spice”.  Many of my favorite fall recipes can be “paleoized” into recipes that use ingredients that are high in nutrients, rather than the empty carbs of traditional bread recipes. IMG_8900

Sweet Potatoes are a great source of many vitamins and minerals and make a great base for muffins, bread, and other dessert or snack treats.

This recipe is super easy, and tastes great!

Almost all of the ingredients are stocked ingredients in the Paleo Pantry including coconut milk, coconut flour, maple syrup and dark chocolate.

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chunk Bread
Paleo Sweet Potato Bread
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten free, Paleo
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten free, Paleo
Paleo Sweet Potato Bread
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Put all ingredients in medium-sized bowl (except chocolate)
  3. Using a mixer, mix until smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Add chocolate and gently mix, using a spoon.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  7. Allow bread to cool in the pan and remove to the rack.
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Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is always an easy go-to meal for those hectic weeks. You can always get a larger roast and make this for the week.

Pulled pork is great to have in the fridge for:

  • Paleo sandwiches
  • Combine with eggs for a filling breakfast
  • Throw into a salad
  • Eat plain
  • Put in a wrap
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Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker (for additional flavor you can sauté the onions ahead of time for a caramelized flavor).
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Take the roast out and shredded the pork.
  4. Take the liquid from the slow cooker and put into a saucepan on medium heat. Add in the tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 mins.
  5. Combine the shredded pork with the BBQ sauce in the saucepan and Enjoy!
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