Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Practical Tips: Keto & Paleo

Podcast Episode #297: Practical Tips: Keto & Paleo

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Practical Tips: Keto & PaleoTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:45]
  2. Today's topic: practical tips for changing your diet [9:17]
  3. Sugar-burner versus fat-burner [14:53]
  4. Transitioning to a real food way of eating [20:57]
  5. Getting your mindset right [26:50]
  6. Too much too soon [33:23]
  7. Slipping back into junky eating [37:05]

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Practical Tips: Keto & Paleo Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Practical Tips: Keto & Paleo Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Practical Tips: Keto & Paleo

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 297.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice seafood and organics. Purveyor of premium sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Vital choice offers a wide range of fish, shellfish, humanely raised meat, protein rich bone broths, and paleo friendly snacks like organic dark chocolate, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get longer and the grilling season heats up, www.vitalchoice.com is your source for real food.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:45]

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone. It’s me, Liz, here with Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh hey.

Liz Wolfe: Hey buddy. Speaking of award-winning; the Balanced Bites podcast was voted once again the best podcast by Paleo Magazine readers; and Diane, you also won for the best new book, Practical Paleo, second edition.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pretty crazy!

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think we posted something about it on the podcast Instagram with a call for like, “Hey go vote for us!” But I actually didn’t even know that the book was nominated. So it’s pretty cool. Because sometimes you feel like if you ask people to vote, you’re like, “Hmm, was that a swayed vote?” But I'm pretty psyched that people are loving the new edition. It definitely took all my energy last year, so I’m definitely happy about that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. There were 4 million illegal voters for the Balanced Bites podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s going on with you? I feel like there’s a major, major update. Mage.

Liz Wolfe: Mage! Mage development in my life. I got a haircut!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I don’t know if people realize how major that is.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, I just don’t do anything with my hair. Usually it’s long. As a rule, it is long. I cut off about, probably closer to 11 inches yesterday. It was just time to cut it off. And I’ve done that two or three times. I just kind of cycle into that space for various reasons. It feels a little bit symbolic. I mean, nobody cares about this. But I’ve kept it in a ponytail for like 2 years. And I love my long hair, but let’s be real; I’m not going to style it any time soon. Even when I have a night out, you know, kid-free. I’m just like, blah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Even when you have a Pinterest photo that your friend Diane sent you with a, “This girl looks like you! You should cut your hair like this this!”

Liz Wolfe: And it planted the seed. I was like, it might be time to do that again. And just have the low maintenance. I mean, all I want is a little nubbin. I think those little nubbins are cute. I can dry my hair, I don’t have to worry about spending 40 minutes drying my hair if I want to shower and do whatever the thing is on the same day versus sleeping on it and letting it dry. So anyway, the hair is gone. And now I’ll grow it out again!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Here we go again.

Liz Wolfe: Here we go again. And if you are following my Instagram stories, which I have been trying to do with some regularity, you would have seen a few, I guess not snaps. I guess stories is the word they’re going with. Snaps is just such a better word for those types of things. But I guess it’s a different company, huh? Are people still doing Snapchat?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, since Instagram introduced face filters, hopefully soon voice filters, it will all be over. Because, the filters are really what makes it super fun. Eventually you’ll see what I mean, when you try one {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I’ll wait for it to come to Instagram.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, it’s there. The face filters are there now. Just introduced like yesterday.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, fancy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: Well, I like that. So anyway, come look for me on Instagram stories. Because I am documenting a little bit of the nothing that I do all day with the 2-year-old. But I’m trying to pop in there now and then. So that’s pretty much my life right now.

I’ve gotten some really cool emails from some very qualified people regarding the potential research assistant work. And I just want to thank folks for submitting. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to go through some of those and vet them. I already do have a lead researcher, which is amazing. Amanda Torres, from The Curious Coconut. She is phenomenal. She’s a neuroscientist, incredibly sharp. But it’s entirely possible that we might open this up a little bit more just for the sake of getting things done quickly and getting Amanda some added support. Especially since she’s got a book coming out; Latin American Paleo Cooking in August. So she’s going to be really occupied with that. So, I appreciate all of those submissions. We will get back to everybody pretty soon. So what’s up with you, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Just a couple of quick updates. 21-Day Sugar Detox coaches program is officially open as of the airing of this episode. I am always off calendaring. I don’t know where we are, what date this episode is going to air. But I have a feeling we’ve got just a few days left of it being open. So if you’ve been listening and you’ve done a 21-Day Sugar Detox and you're a health, fitness, or nutrition coach, and you want to coach people on the 21-Day Sugar Detox whether individually or in groups, it’s essentially a business in a box. It’s a way for you to get your business off the ground. Especially if you are a newly graduated NTP or NTC, or nutrition consultant, IIN grad, what have you. And you're just not sure how to start working with people. It’s a great way to start working with people, and it will typically lead also to more one on one clients. Because lots of folks come into the 21-Day Sugar Detox and then they get to know you, and they have more questions, and then you can kind of work with them further. So I just want to let you guys know that that will be open until May 31st, and then we start class on June 4th for that program.

If you live in or around the Vancouver, British Columbia area, Cassy Joy and I will be there on June 10th. You can check out event details through; let’s see. If you just head over to www.BalancedBites.com and go to this episode show notes, you’ll find it. But if you were just to do a search, Google, you’ll probably find the Eventbrite link to RSVP.

Diane Sanfilippo: I recently sat down with Balanced Bites podcast sponsor, Bethany, of Primally Pure Skincare to ask her more about her company and the products that they make.

Hey Bethany; I would love to hear, what’s your story in a nutshell?

Bethany: I started formulating products in my kitchen in 2013, and gave them out to family, friends, and people at my CrossFit gym. In 2015, I began selling on my family farms website, Primal Pastures. Soon after that, Primally Pure really took off, and grew into a business of its own. Today, Primally Pure is no longer in my kitchen, but in a mixed office/warehouse space in southern California, and we have a team of 6.

Diane Sanfilippo: So tell me. What inspired you to create Primally Pure?

Bethany: I suffered from acne, rosacea, and weird skin sensitivities throughout my teenage years and early 20s. I tried all kinds of creams and prescription medications, but nothing provided me with lasting results. Finally, I found some relief when I adopted a paleo diet and started using all natural ingredients on my skin. Which inspired me to share the natural solutions I had found with others.

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t forget Diane’s favorite Primally Pure product is the dry shampoo, and Liz’s favorite is the Everything Spray with magnesium. As a special bonus for you, Primally Pure is offering a free lip balm with your first purchase of one item or more. Simply add a lip balm to your cart along with any one item, and use the code “balancedbites”, one word no caps, during checkout to receive one of their lip balms for free with your order. Head to www.primallypure.com and check out their range of safe and effective all natural skincare products.

2. Today’s topic: practical tips for changing your diet [9:17]

Liz Wolfe: I just got a really positive review of your spices from one of our Beautycounter colleagues. She was just raving about them. And I was just wondering…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} If at some point, I was going to be allowed into this exclusive club of people who get your spices! Do you remember what you said to me?

Diane Sanfilippo: I probably told you I wasn’t going to send them to you because you don’t really cook.

Liz Wolfe: That is precisely what you told me.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ve seen you cooking lately, so now I think you're qualified {laughing}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I can shake a couple of things on a thing before I put it in the thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. I think I was really just being silly, and then I honestly think that I thought that we sent them to you. I guess we didn’t. So note to self/Nikki, we’ll need to send some spices to Liz {laughs}. We’ll do that. I promise.

Liz Wolfe: I’m just going to disappoint you. You don’t’ have to do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So today we’re going to talk about practical tips for changing your diet, whether it’s a keto style diet or just cleaning up your own diet to eat more paleo/real food style. We’re going to offer up some advice on how to make that go as smoothly as possible. We have talked a lot about real food and paleo over the years. We’ve talked about keto more in recent weeks. And we know that you guys are super interested in all of that. So we’re going to dive into some hands on practical topics.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Let’s start with this keto stuff. The keto stuff to start out with, because the numbers don’t like. People are listening to the keto episodes. They’re really interested in this topic. And it’s something that you’ve been doing recently, so I think people want to know your answers to a couple of questions.

First up; “What is the best way to transition to a keto-style diet?”

Diane Sanfilippo: I like the enunciation there. Keto.

Liz Wolfe: I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Was that inspired by your 2-year-old.

Liz Wolfe: This is how one of the radio people in Kansas City talks. {laughs} Oh my gosh, no. My 2-year-old apparently; mom brag. Apparently she’s pretty good with the words. She’s actually pretty smooth and intelligent. It’s me that’s dumbfounded every time she asks me a smart question. You know, like, “Why can’t I have that today, mommy?” Oh, uh, oh, well, because, do I make up a lie?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I don’t know. It’s tough. But yeah, I know. I’ve been listening to Sports Talk Radio in Kansas City too much, and there’s this one guy that’s always on when I’m driving to do these podcasts, and that is exactly how he talks. And it drives nuts! So sorry.

Diane Sanfilippo: So you figured you’d adopt that style. {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Exactly! {laughing} What you resist persists.

Diane Sanfilippo: Transition to keto. So I have my own way of making the transition that I think makes things easier. Because I think a lot of folks, when changing your diet, or nutrition, or way of eating, whatever you want to call. I think a lot of times people expect themselves to be able to go from zero to 60 basically overnight. You go grocery shopping, you get all the things, and then you expect to be able to just eat differently immediately the next day, and while that’s fair and may work fine for some people. And don’t forget you guys, I’m in the Abstainer camp versus Moderator camp, so I’m really not somebody who typically will say, “Oh, I like to take a moderate approach to things.” But with now more than 7 years of experience of having a program where I help people transition their nutrition, right, with the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I know that that first week is often extremely painful. And I know that even going from a paleo way of eating to keto; or maybe it’s paleo keto where you're doing this whole low-carb thing but with paleo foods. It can be extremely painful. And there’s no reason; {laughs} I’m a, you know, avoid pain kind of person as much as possible. I just don’t think there’s any reason to force yourself into ketoing harder week 1. Because there is a transition time. There is a benefit to reducing your carb intake over time. And you don’t have to do it immediately week 1.

So, long story short, I think it’s a great idea to take either one week or two weeks. I think one week is probably long enough, depending on how much you eat at home. Which, I eat at home most of the time. So one week is plenty of time to say, you know what? I’m going to cut out anything that’s a super dense carb. But I’m not going to start counting anything or go crazy paying attention to too much. I’m just going to not eat those foods that I know are really high in carbs. So super sweet fruits, starchy foods, things like that.

So what I did the first week was basically still eat things like yogurt, which I still eat on a regular basis now. Some berries, things that are lower in carb, lower in sugar. And just kind of cut out any of the gluten free stuff I was eating, gluten free pasta, cut out most of the potatoes, and all the really carby stuff. So then by the time I got to the level where I was eating way fewer carbs, honestly I didn’t feel any major transition in terms of discomfort or major energy shifts. I naturally have an ebb and flow of just certain days where I feel like I want to take a nap, because maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, or what have you. I didn’t notice any major energy crash. So I think that’s a great way to go. You don’t have to do it that way. But I think that’s a really good way to go.

3. Sugar-burner versus fat-burner [14:53]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. What about switching from sugar burning to fat burning? Is there kind of an in-between state that people can expect to encounter?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So I talked about this a bunch with Jimmy Moore a couple of weeks ago. So if you guys haven’t listened to that one. Well, I don’t know who’s listening to this that hasn’t listened to that. Because that episode had a ton of downloads. But we talked about this idea that your body really is always burning both sugar and ketones, or glucose and ketones kind of at the same time. It’s just a matter of dominance. Which thing is dominant in the blood stream. So you don’t have to never eat carbs in order to burn fat preferentially for fuel. It’s more nuanced than that.

So it was really interesting, one of the big takeaways from the interview that I did with him was that testing is really critical because a lot of folks can eat a lot more carbohydrate than we thought, and actually be either in ketosis or burning fat most of the time. So he was saying upwards of 100-150 grams of carbs. Which for somebody who is eating a paleo diet, that’s relatively high carb for paleo. It’s not high carb in general. You know, when we talk about what we recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, it’s easily over 150 grams; 200, even up to 300 grams of carbs. But for somebody who is eating a general paleo diet, 150 is around what you're going to hit without including some more starchy things like white rice or a ton of a potatoes. It’s really hard to eat more than that on paleo foods.

But throughout the course of the day, you may, for a short period of time, be burning a little bit of glucose because you’ve got more glucose in your system, and right after a meal you may be burning that. But if your body is adapted to not having only tons of glucose all the time, and you do spend time waiting between your meals. This is the big thing I talked about, also, with Dr. Fung with regards to fasting. And I think that episode is coming up, and that was a really interesting interview, as well. But the idea is, when we’re in a non-fed state, when we’re fasting, that’s when, if our body is adapted enough, we can burn fat for fuel. And that’s what allows us to hold out longer between meals without feeling like we’re crashing.

So if you're somebody who feels like you have to eat super often all the time, or you feel like you're going to pass out; that hangry feeling, that’s when you know you're probably not fat adapted. But you could be eating a decent amount of carbohydrates; especially if you're very active, especially if you do CrossFit, for example, or some other similar type of activity. Let’s just say you eat a pretty good amount of carbohydrates after that workout, and your other meals are kind of lower carb, you may realize that, “I can go 4-6 hours between meals and I feel ok and I’m not going to pass out or be totally hangry and crazy.” And that’s a good sign that you are pretty well fat adapted. So even if you're not trying too hard to be in ketosis, you may be there just by product of this switch in metabolism between your meals. What happens when people are just constantly feeding themselves all day is that we have a constant demand for insulin. And insulin is really going to be the determining factor of what’s happening with accessing fat for fuel or not.

And this is something that I get into more in the Master Class. Where I talk about all of the processes in the body that are turned off when insulin is dominant in the blood stream. So those of you who are in the Master Class are like, “Oh yeah, I remember!” There was a stop and go slide where lipolysis shuts down, essentially, in the presence of dominant insulin in the blood stream. What that means is, the breakdown of fat essentially shuts down while insulin is high in the blood stream. So we can be in different stages of that. That was not a quick answer.

There is sort of an in-between. It’s not an either/or situation. And you don’t have to be eating zero or 30 grams of carbs to make that happen. That doesn’t mean that doing that is wrong. It just means that it might be harder than it needs to be if you're taking that approach. Which was the approach I was taking. I was probably making it harder for myself than I needed to; kind of long story short.

And yes, we do have another question about, “Can you be in a fat burning state without being in ketosis?” I don’t know if the language there, it may just be kind of semantics. It’s a matter of; if you're able to burn some ketones, you may not need to be fully in nutritional ketosis for that to happen. I don’t know if I know the answer to that entirely. But you don’t; here’s what I do know. You don’t really need to be paying attention to it as much as you might think for it to be happening. Your body is going to adapt if you're not eating a ton of carbs, and you are giving it time between meals. Sometimes you get that initial feeling of, “Oh, maybe I’m hungry.” But if you kind of wait, and you’ll more about this in the fasting episode. It’s not about not eating or starving yourself. But maybe you get busy and something happens. Liz, I’m sure this happens to you all the time. You kind of ride that hunger wave a little bit longer just because you kind of can’t do anything about it right now.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Your body will tap into stored body fat at that time, because it’s essentially food sitting on your body all the time. So unless you were to really pass out, if you have hypoglycemia as a diagnosed condition then you might not be able to tap into the fat for fuel as easily. But most of us can do that and that is something, it’s just a normal body function. Ok.

4. Transitioning to a real food way of eating [20:57]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So you kind of answered that other question. Very good.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think that’s about as much as I can say on the transitioning and some of the notes on that. What about transitioning to just a real food way of eating? If we think back to some of the things; something I think would be interesting to talk about is what made it harder for us, that we, in hindsight; like, I wish I had known that I didn’t need to do XYZ to start eating real food. Or, if I did this, it would actually be a lot easier.

Liz Wolfe: You know what? What really would have been a lot easier is if I wasn’t so all or nothing about it. But I also know that at that point, I wouldn’t have heard any of that. I mean, there was one way I thought was appropriate to do things. And it was all or nothing. Go, do it, 100%, for a month or what have you. Kind of a much more militant approach. And I think that’s normal. I think that’s the essence of motivation for lifestyle changes that we see kind of thrown at us constantly; media, this is kind of in Biggest Loser time, back when that show was on.

But I think what was really the biggest limitation to my feeling like I was achieving some sort of consistency or some sort of mastery over my dietary habits; because I think so many of us come from a place of being out of control or being frustrated or feeling like a failure, or feeling like food is our enemy. Actually coming to a place of mastery over my diet did not happen until many years later when I finally realized that it’s not an all or nothing proposition; that managing your stress around a lifestyle change is probably much more important than the lifestyle change itself; and getting sleep in line are probably the three keys to actually making a truly sustainable, healthful, beneficial change. But I also don’t know that people at the very beginning of their journeys are ready for that. And that’s ok. Sometimes you have to go back and forth and realize that the obsessive; I don’t want to be derogatory or insulting, but that feeling that you have to do it right the first time. You have to change everything, you have to change it now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: You have to change it for an extended period of time, and you cannot fail or fall off the wagon.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That’s the mindset that’s sneaky. It’s not always as aggressive as it sounds when I describe it. That can be sneaky, as well. How are you feeling when you have a craving? How are you feeling when you make a choice that’s outside the parameters that you were intending to follow for that period of time. If you feel really bad about yourself, then you know. This goes back to our accidental dieting episode, and that email I wrote a while back. People can find that accidentally dieting podcast that we did a while back. It’s your mental state. How is it making you feel, is probably more important to your long-term success. Which is the whole point of doing it, right? It’s not just about doing something for a couple of weeks and then going back to old habits. You're trying to actually make a change, and make your life better. And that’s a years’ long, decades’ long proposition that you're going for. And you really have to pay attention to how you're doing emotionally, and what those other lifestyle inputs are looking like while you're making these changes. Because the last thing you want to do is create more stress for yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: So you were talking about how taking it easy, and not being so hardline about things, you realized later that you could do that and you’d still be getting benefits from it. And it’s not all or nothing; it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And as a Moderator, it kind of makes sense that that would be an ok way for you to do things. But actually, what ended up working for me in time was not taking the all or nothing approach. And I think that’s what almost confuses people. Just because I’m what I would consider an Abstainer; I do have sort of rules for myself around things I just don’t eat. I would say 99.9% of the time; certain things I just don’t eat. And I’ve said it before; just like a Twinkie is no longer food. There are other things that other people consider food that are just not really there for me anymore.

I think people get really caught up in the idea of needing to be strict for a period of time in order to see some expected result, and that basically sets you up for disappointment and failure most of the time. That doesn’t mean that it’s not an effective way to try something if you feel like having gray area makes it harder. Because for a lot of people it does. For a lot of people, we need those rules. But I do think that in the long-term, everybody comes to a place where they realize that eating strict paleo is not something that everyone has to do all the time regardless of how you want to label yourself. And it doesn’t have to be that way to be a healthy person. And in fact, I think even one to two years in most of us as paleo bloggers or whatever you would consider us at the time, most of us didn’t eat strict paleo. And it really upset a lot of people out there. And I think if they realized that we were taking it seriously, but taking it seriously doesn’t mean you have to be religious about it and create an environment or an energy that is kind of what we don’t like about the way some other, I don’t know, communities of eaters might approach things. Anyway.

5. Getting your mindset right [26:50]

Liz Wolfe: So I don’t know if you heard the part; we were having some technical difficulties. The part where I kind of alluded back to our accidentally dieting podcast that we did.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: And the way you know whether something is causing you undue stress; specifically with regards to going all or nothing and being really just militant about the decisions you're making for a period of time as a newbie to this kind of diet. I’m not saying those types of plans or approaches, which I think a really, really high number of people are introduced to paleo/real food eating through like a special program type of thing. Not to say that those things are inherently negative. But, if you feel afraid of failure, or if you feel stressed, or if you feel overwhelmed consistently, or if you're still in that place where you feel like you're going to fall off the wagon, or whatever it is. If you're feeling those little hints of mental instability, that’s your indicator that this approach to the material is probably not right for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. If it’s causing some kind of guilt and shame, I think.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because a reset. I’m sitting here with my sugar detox books; I’ve seen how many people that program has helped, and how it introduces you to, “Oh! I can eat these foods and I can feel this way!” And I think you just kind of hit the nail on the head. It’s really about the mindset that you bring to the challenge. It’s not this battle to be won, or fought. It’s just a guide of, “OK, I want to do something that might make me feel better. What could that thing be? So here are some guidelines based on a program that’s helped lots of people.” So go for it, but if you kind of fall off; I think the guilt and shame part is definitely a big deal to just not be pushing that on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you.

Liz Wolfe: And our whole point here is we’re not just talking about being strict for a month. We’re talking about being healthy for a lifetime. That’s our perspective on this stuff. So that’s what we want for you. That’s what we want people to figure out.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Not, “How are you going to survive the next 4 weeks?” How are you going to thrive for the rest of your life?

Diane Sanfilippo: And that was one of the reasons why one of the recent vlogs I put out about nutrition challenges. I was like; “I don’t want you doing this program over and over and over again. I want you to do it once and learn something. Maybe if you do like it, and you feel like it is your personal way to kind of, I don’t know, reset yourself if that’s something you feel like doing. But this compulsion that people have towards doing that, I think, I just want people to have a more at-ease mindset about it, where it’s not that this is right and whatever else you might be doing aside from that would be wrong. And I think that’s a mindset that a lot of times people feel that if it’s not part of something strict, then it’s not good or it’s wrong. I think that’s not healthy of a mindset.

So anyway. What about things to focus on each day as you are making a switch to paleo, real food, what have you, to make it a little bit easier?

Liz Wolfe: Alright. This isn’t what anybody wants, but I just have to throw this out there, again. When you wake up on another day of trying to make and maintain changes in your life; wake up, take a deep breath, center yourself a little bit, and commit to seeking balance in everything you do over the course of the day. Because if you wake up and you are immediately, “What am I eating? Can’t mess up. What’s ok? What’s not ok?” It’s not a healthy stage to be setting.

So, do that first. And practical-wise, gosh. These are really tough for me because I’ve been doing this for so long that it’s easy to forget what it’s like on a day to day basis. I think when you're first transitioning, you need to look for dense protein sources. So starting the day with a smoothie or a shake with some collagen protein powder is probably not going to set the stage for healthy hunger signaling throughout the rest of the day. So starting with a dense sort of protein at breakfast with some healthy carbs, some healthy fibrous veggies, and some fat is just that baseline setting the stage for healthy hunger signals for the rest of the day. And that can be the same thing every day for a week if it needs to be. That’s totally fine. You can do chicken thighs, a sweet potato with some ghee on it, some sautéed spinach every morning, and you're good to go. That’s fine. Repetition is fine as you're learning. You don’t have to do a different thing every single day. Those are several tips wrapped into one.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think those are really good though. Because even if people follow; you don’t post what you eat all the time, but I often do. And it’s kind of the same all the time. Maybe I’m doing eggs and salad and bacon, and then maybe it’s eggs and salad and salmon. It’s like the same things mostly, and maybe one part changes. I think people get crazy and kind of caught up in the, “I’ll be bored” thing. But I bet that you’ll be happier and calmer because you're finding success more easily if you don’t stress out about some pressure, by I don’t know who, to eat different things all the time. Because you definitely don’t have to. I know you and I eat the same things so often. And that’s a hack of successful people, by the way.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. I wear the same thing every day. I eat the same thing every day.

Diane Sanfilippo: We are not inundating our brains with too many decisions. And I do think that you're already in a place when you're changing your food, whether it is to keto or to paleo. You're already in a place where you're sort of at a decision-making disadvantage because it’s new to you, and you feel a little unstable about what to choose. So take away more options. Make it easier for yourself. That’s my everyday life, is constantly, “How can I get myself to have to make as few decisions as possible.”

Liz Wolfe: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: So I think that’s a really good tip that everyone can take, whether you're new to this or not. Because we have folks who listen who have been eating this way for a while, and still kind of spin out on that stuff.

6. Too much too soon [33:23]

Diane Sanfilippo: What about superfoods? Sometimes people get really caught up in the adding superfoods, and the, “Oh, I’m not doing it right if I’m not drinking bone broth every day or sauerkraut and 4 kinds of fermented things, or supplementing with XYZ.” What’s your take on that?

Liz Wolfe: Gosh, I can only imagine the paralysis that sets in on folks who are brand new to this, where they’re like, “OK. So I can’t eat 57,000 things that I’m used to eating. And now I have to eat all of these disgusting sounding things that I’ve never heard of, and I have to learn to cook completely differently.” It’s just probably completely overwhelming.

I really think that superfoods in my opinion, can come a little bit later. If you're an absolute newbie, you have no idea about any of this, just focus on eating some easy enough stuff and eating enough of it so you're not getting these crazy hunger pangs later in the day; because not only are you changing your food completely but you're also accidentally undereating.

So once you’ve got a little bit more of a read on yourself and what your body might need. For example, if you're body needs some healing, if you’ve uncovered some autoimmune issues and you're seeing how far just some simple changes can take you, after you get a little bit of an idea of what you need to do and how well this is working for you, and after you get a grip on the things you need to do on a daily basis, then you can start thinking about making bone broth, or spending $60 on a tub of collagen, or making your own sauerkraut. That type of thing. But I think there is the propensity to really become paralyzed by all of the options and all of the things that people are telling you are critical to your real food plan. It’s just not necessary. That said; Whole Foods carries frozen bone broth. If you want to start drinking bone broth, go for it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think the point there is kind of the less is more, simplify, and eyes on your own plate, too. Because it can be really easy to get caught up.

Liz Wolfe: Totally.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I promise you guys. I know how many times the stuff I post looks exciting. It’s just because I plate it in a certain way. It’s same -ish, different day. It’s literally a new iteration of the same thing all the time. We are just not that creative over here. It’s just always the same.

Liz Wolfe: And I’m even less creative, which is why I generally don’t share pictures. I shared a picture of my can of oysters the other day, and I think I got about 6 direct messages of people being like, “Bleh. Do I have to do that?” No, you don’t have to do that. Absolutely not. I’m just that lazy.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t like when people yuck my food. I think it’s rude.

Liz Wolfe: Well, I think I deserved it. It was literally a can of boiled oysters.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think, no. No. Good thing it wasn’t on my feed or I would have been like, stop yucking all over my food!

Liz Wolfe: Show yourself out!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

7. Slipping back into junky eating [37:05]

Diane Sanfilippo: So what about when folks are; I don’t think you and I went through this process. For some reason, I think it depends on where you enter into this whole real food thing and what your level of, I don’t know, perhaps interest in learning the whys. I mean, obviously, we ended up both studying nutrition pretty quickly after ever hearing about any of this stuff. I heard one thing about gluten, and within a year I was in nutrition school. And I think similar for you, and a lot of our listeners where a lot of them are like, “I’ve learned too much to kind of just go back to all the stuff I was eating before.”

But there are people who end up yoyoing back from this paleo/real food thing, completely back to the Standard American diet, just junky stuff. What can we say that can help them be maybe more consistent or figure out how to; even if it’s not going to be paleo. Just get the junk out, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I think there are a variety of answers to that question. I think one of the answers could be if you feel like; and I guess we could call this falling off the wagon. If you feel like you're yoyoing, falling off the wagon, what not. That’s kind of that symptom we were talking about earlier where, maybe the way you're talking this is not right for your personality type. And again, people need to go back and listen to our accidentally dieting podcast, and to the podcast where we talk about being a Moderator versus an Abstainer, things like that.

This really comes back to who you are. People will talk about they want an individualized diet; well what you really need is an individualized approach. It’s a totally different concept. You need to take a minute to kind of understand who you are and how you best operate; what the conditions you need for success. And for a lot of people the first thing is, “Oh, the condition I need for success is I need none of that junk food in my house.” That makes total sense to me. That’s probably a good way to go. But what I’m really talking about is what kind of mental environment do you need to cultivate for yourself to be successful? And that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your physical surroundings.

So that’s one thing. Maybe you need to kind of check yourself on your approach, and look at something more gradual instead of something that ushers in these broad, sweeping changes immediately, and you are not allowed to deviate, and you are not allowed to fail. So maybe you start making simple swaps. You start changing the type of ice cream that you eat. You go from whatever Ben and Jerry’s has sold out to; whatever carrageenan filled garbage that has become. Still love Ben and Jerry’s, I’m just sad about some of the ingredients. And you start eating some, what is that brand that’s pretty good and pretty widely available? Haagen Dazs. Pretty clean ice cream, right? That counts. Those little wins; if you need to give yourself some little wins for a while, that is ok. That’s 100% ok if you feel like that’s what’s going to get you from point A to point B. And you kind of change things as you're ready. As you start to build some esteem for yourself and your choices, it becomes easier to make more better choices. It really does build on itself.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just wanted to say mo’ better, when you said more better. Mo’ better choices.

Liz Wolfe: Mo’ better.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Well, I think that’s kind of the yoyo in and of itself. I think that happens when you set yourself up for failure with something that’s so rigid and strict. And I do think that, again, let’s just talk about this in the context of outside of your introduction to this whole thing. That is a time to be more strict, because it’s too hard to have too many options, or too many choices, or any gray area or all of that.

Liz Wolfe: Very true.

Diane Sanfilippo: But in this, like, we’re in the 1 to 2-year range and people still feel like they’re either on it or they’re off it; I think what we’ve tried to teach folks over the years. And this is also through things that I might post. Let’s say on Instagram I post eating some grass-fed ice cream. Which, I don’t tolerate cow dairy that well. But when I post it, it’s not about anything other than saying, “This is my reality of, I’m enjoying the treat.” I don’t think it’s a big deal. All kinds of other people want to make a really big deal out of it, but the way that you frame that in your mind; if you’ve made it into this, “This is how I can eat, and if I don’t eat this way then it’s bad or wrong and I may as well just continue to eat Doritos and Twinkies and whatever else.” Then I think there’s a; I don’t know. Education and maturity thing that needs to happen there combined, where you realize that no one is forcing this upon you. No one is telling you that you're a bad person if you don’t want to eat this way. It’s really just more about learning, what are the better choices for your health? And what can be better ingredients?

I think maybe it was, I don’t know, maybe a joke or what have you about the ice cream. But I think it’s a really great example. Because there is a big difference between certain ice creams out there that may be filled with lots of junky ingredients or made with poor quality ingredients, and something that’s higher quality. And that doesn’t mean you even need to eat the super high quality thing all the time to even create that balance for yourself. If your balance includes some Ben and Jerry’s in the context of healthy real foods most of the time, then that’s cool. You get to decide that. I think the point is once you learn you get to make an educated decision once you learn something you can’t unlearn it. I think there’s an amount of, perhaps, respect for yourself and decision making for what you want to do for your own health, and what it all means to you. And no one else really has that power.

Letting someone else decide. Letting me decide with the sugar detox that you can’t create a program for yourself; maybe you do that program one time. And the next time you're like, “Ok, I’m going to do my own thing, and it’s going to include the following foods.” OK, maybe it’s not then a 21-Day Sugar Detox but maybe then it’s your own version of a sugar detox. More power to you. I have zero problems with that. I think that’s kind of the best-case scenario; you’ve learned something about your own approach, and which foods maybe trigger you, and which make you feel good. That’s the whole point, is that you learn what works for you and go from there. Because if it’s always about putting that power in the hands of some other person’s program, then you're just giving up your power all the time. And you're not only giving up power, but you're giving up responsibility. And when you take back power and you take back responsibility, that’s where you build confidence in your own decisions and can carry forward with a lifestyle instead of feeling like you're always on a diet.

Liz Wolfe: Sorry to all the people that listened to this podcast hoping for some practical tips. {laughs} “Keep coconut flakes in your purse.”

Diane Sanfilippo: This is how we do practical tips, Liz.

Liz Wolfe: This is how we do it. {singing} This is how we do it! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Mo’ better.

Liz Wolfe: I can’t. It’s terrible.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is how we do it. We did give some practical tips. I just think that’s what’s practical to us. It’s a lot about mindset as much as it is about the food choices.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because changing your mindset makes the food choices a lot easier.

Liz Wolfe: Get on board, pal.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. I think we need to close out the show.

Liz Wolfe: Indeed we do. I think this one deserves a part 2.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. We’ll do it. We’ll come back with a part 2. I don’t know if it will be before or after episode 300. Which, if you guys don’t know, episode 300.

Liz Wolfe: {gasp} Eeek!

Diane Sanfilippo: Is going to be really special. We may even; I’m going to throw this out there.

Liz Wolfe: Uh-oh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I think we’re going to be able to do it. No, I don’t want to say it. Forget it. Anyway. {laughs} Now I’ve seized everyone.

Liz Wolfe: If you want to do a live show, I’m putting the kibosh on that right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I wasn’t going to say that. I was going to say, though. I saw a bunch of other podcasts use a service where people can record a question. The tricky part might be that we would have a lot. And obviously the episode is supposed to be a little more fun, rapid fire, Q&A type of dealio. But we’re probably going to start introducing something where you guys can hope online and record a question, and I think that’s something we will be using. Hint, hint, after episode 300, the format of this show is going to change a little bit. I mean, it’s still going to be Liz and I chatting about all this stuff. But, we’re going to change it up. Because it’s been a million years. So why not. Anywho, that was my little teaser that I think we’ll be able to have you guys send us a question. With your own voice. How fun would that be to actually hear our listeners?

Liz Wolfe: That would be kind of cool. That would be interesting, indeed.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, well. That’s it for this week. I guess I’ll close out the show today.

Liz Wolfe: Do it.

Diane Sanfilippo: You can find me, Diane, at http://dianesanfilippo.com. You can find Liz at http://realfoodliz.com/. Don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. We’ll see you next week.

Comments 5

  1. Interesting discussion and very timely for me! I’ve recently lost 160 pounds on a low carb, low fat program and am trying to figure out what is best for me going forward. I’m not sure that a full Paleo or Keto program is right since I am looking to maintain, not lose, so the discussion about higher carb levels was good. I need to go back and listen to the episode with Jimmy Moore 🙂

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  2. For folks who want to try a gradual, phased approach, I think the book Real Life Paleo would be a great resource! (That’s what it’s all about!) In the book, Stacy & Matt (of Real Everything, formerly Paleo Parents) talk about taking small steps and some of the things you mentioned in the podcast.

  3. Thank you for the great podcast. I started listening hoping for practical tips to help me on my health journey I started 3 years. It turns out the mindset encouragement is just what I needed. I wasn’t even aware of how much I’ve been beating myself up and stressing myself out. I now have a fresh outlook, a positive attitude and peace with where I am on my journey. Thank you!

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