Teacher Gets Class Attendance To Increase By 50% By Getting Students to Grow Their Veggies

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I hope you’re ready to be inspired.

I stumbled upon this incredible Ted Talk, put on by Stephen Ritz, a teacher in Bronx, New York, about how he was able to get his students to grow gardens for food, jobs, and revitalizing neighborhoods.  It truly is an incredible story.

I hope this presentation catches on like the “Minding Your Mitochondria” presentation put on by Dr. Terry Wahls.  In fact, I hope it surpasses it.

I also hope this is a reminder to the fact that there are incredible educators out there that care for and love the kids they teach.

Before we get to the video, I want to share some incredible quotes and statistics Ritz talks about in his presentation:

  • “70% of the kids I see that are labeled ‘learning disabled’ would not have been if they would have received proper prenatal nutrition.”
  • “Thank God Omar knows that carrots come from the ground and not aisle 9 of the supermarket.”
  • “40% [school] attendance to 93% attendance.”
  • “When you expand their palates you expand their vocabulary.”

And, last but not least:

  • “Nothing makes me happier than to see kids pollinating plants instead of each other.”

Please share this post/video to spread the word about the incredible work this teacher and his kids are doing.

Review Monday – Part-Time Paleo by Leanne Ely

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First things first: it’s tough for me to write an unbiased opinion about this book.  I say that because Leanne Ely is one of my best “Paleo friends.”  I say that because not only does she put out great stuff, but she has been a mentor to me as I have attempted and reattempted numerous times to turn Paleo Lifestyle Magazine from a side project into my full-time job.

All of this being said, I will be as objective as I can.

Part-Time PaleoOverall, Part-Time Pale0 is a fantastic book for those among us who are either just getting started with going Paleo or have been trying for a while but, for one reason or another, seem to consistently hit a brick wall.

For the seasoned veterans who stick to Paleo through thick and thin, this book probably isn’t for you.  (I don’t say that as a slight to the book as (I believe) the target audience is more the beginners and those of us who struggle.  More on this coming right up!)

Where I think this book has incredible value is in it’s ability to reassure the reader that you don’t have to live a 1,000% Paleo lifestyle — complete with five-finger shoes, CrossFit workouts, and no-poo shampoos — in order to benefit from eating mostly Paleo.

In arming the reader with some sound basic information and a map to the path of least resistance (knowing the kitchen gadgets you really need to have, what sorts of things you should absolutely stock in your pantry, etc.), Ely is able to provide reassurance that this whole Paleo lifestyle doesn’t have to be as taxing as many make it out to be.

When you couple all of the above with over 100 mouth-watering recipes (I can’t wait to try the Crab and Avocado Gazpacho!), Part-Time Pale0 is, again, a fantastic resource for those of us who are just starting with the Paleo lifestyle or who struggle to stay on the straight and narrow (I consider myself in the latter group).

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you have to be 100% to really be “Paleo”?  Is there a happy medium?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.

Who Needs More Fat In Their Diet?

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Today’s post is a guest column from Beverly Meyer, a Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist.  Check out her website, On Diet and Health, and her popular podcast, Primal Diet – Modern Health.

dark chocolate paleo, dark chocolate paleo food, olive oil, olive oil paleo, best paleo food tournamentWho needs more fat in their diet? Probably, you do!

I’ve taught my “Diet For Human Beings” to a LOT of people in 25 years in practice.  One problem I repeatedly see however is insufficient fat intake.

How can this happen in such a “fat-friendly” diet?  Here’s 5 reasons…

1). We’re so programmed to avoid fat that we simply don’t put enough on our plates.  After 40 years of fat-avoidance messages, our brains (and our friends at the dinner table) are pretty fat-phobic.

I sometimes have to put a Post-It on my stove reminding me to ADD FAT!  Crazy, but after decades of eating this way even I must remind myself.

2).  The Primal/Paleo/Ancestral diet is so satisfying that food portions and food frequency tends to be reduced – fat, veggies, all of it.  (Although protein is seldom cut short I think).  Less food = too little fat.

3).  Our fat intake is sharply cut by eliminating greasy tacos, potato chips, desserts and pizza.   But are we replacing it sufficiently with the good stuff?

4).  Bread, pasta, pancakes and potatoes HOLD FAT.  They are porous fat magnets. In fact, that may be one of the key reasons we eat them is to transport fat into our mouths.

It’s definitely harder to get ghee, coconut oil and lard into my mouth with my meat and veggies than it was with pasta, potatoes and pie.

5).  Fat is expensive.  The miser in us still believes that cheap food is fine.  Even though we KNOW we are investing in our future well-being, it still hurts to scoop up more of that $20 ghee or lard!  But as I remind my clients, the money you saved this month on chips, granola bars, pasta alfredo, sugary smoothies and lattes, alcohol and candy will buy a whole case of macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, pastured lard, coconut milk or duck fat.

So how much fat is enough?

It depends on many factors, but as an average, I suggest 6 tablespoons of fat a day.  That’s 6 spoons that actually make it to your mouth, not what’s left behind on the plate or in the pan.

I get my dose with a mix of saturated fats such as ghee, coconut oil, lard and duck fat, with monounsaturates such as olive oil, macadamia oil and tea oil.  If the meal is lean, I just eat a few spoonfuls of fat right from the jar!

If the goal is 30 to 60% of our calories from fat (Yes, that’s right!), those 6 tablespoons of pure liquid fat will give you 800 calories. (You can’t get the equivalent from meat juices, nuts, eggs, etc.  But they do add to your daily total).  Look at what’s on the plate.

If it’s lean and clean, get the fat and a spoon!

How do you like your fat?


Beverly Meyer is a Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist who has been in practice for 25 years.

She also hosts the popular podcast “Primal Diet – Modern Health,” blogs at On Diet and Health, and has the only DVD on the Ancestral Diet, “The Diet for Human Beings.”

Ultimate Paleo Kitchen Giveaway Update (Part 2)

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I’m very excited to announce that I have finalized all of the items in the upcoming Ultimate Paleo Kitchen Giveaway, which will start this Sunday, September 14 and run through Wednesday, September 24!


Paleo Kitchen Items

Paleo Cookbooks

All said and done, 11 incredible Paleo items totaling over $300!  And all you have to do is make sure you enter between September 14 – 24 and then pass along your special link (more about that on that 14th).

I hope you’re as excited as I am!

Super Easy & Tasty Paleo Chicken Meal

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Over the past two years, I’ve really gotten into Tessemae’s dressings and marinades.  They’re incredibly tasty and, if you take the time to read the list of ingredients, they’re very healthy.  (Dare I say they’re Paleo approved?!)

In a perfect world, when you have hours to prepare delicious meals, by all means, prepare all of your dressings and marinades by hand.  I have no doubt they’d be healthier.  That being said, don’t let perfect be the enemy of really good… and really tasty.  In fact, here’s a really tasty — and very easy — chicken dinner I made with Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch dressing.

Easy Paleo Dinner


  • Chicken Breasts
  • Zucchini
  • Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch Dressing

Kitchen Utensils


  1. Marinate chicken in dressing for at least a few hours. I like to do it overnight.
  2.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Place chicken and dressing in glass dish and cook for 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
  5. Use thick end of spiral slicer to cut up the zucchini into spaghetti.
  6. Cook zucchini in water for 90 seconds.
  7.  Plate, serve, and enjoy

Have you ever used Tessemae’s dressings?  Love them as much as I do?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!