Want Some Mold With Your Coffee?

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Is your coffee pot making you sick?
Is your coffee pot making you sick?

Many of us in the Paleo community enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, often the Bulletproof variety (with butter and coconut oil) made popular by my buddy Dave Asprey.

While many studies have been done on the health benefits of coffee, is it possible that our coffee makers are undoing many of these health benefits and are actually making us sick?

Your coffee maker is probably pretty gross

A 2011 study done by NSF International found that a large percentage of traditional coffee makers have yeast and mold growing in them.  In fact, if you have a traditional coffee maker, its reservoir is likely has a higher germ count than your bathroom doorknobs and your light switches.

This is definitely pretty gross.  Though, can you really be surprised by this given mold likes to grow in warm, moist environments?  Plus, how often to you really thoroughly clean out your coffee maker?  (More on this in a minute.)

Anecdotally, I looked in my coffee maker this weekend and was absolutely appalled to see what I had let begin to grow in our filter.  It was nasty, crusty, and moldy.

What does this mean for your health?

According to this position paper by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, exposure to mold has been linked to many diseases including asthma, though it has not been directly linked to autoimmune diseases.

In doing a little more digging, I came across an interesting article on Dr. Mercola’s website that goes into great depth about different kinds of molds and their effect on your health.  (Spoiler alert: none of the molds are particularly good and many of them are incredibly damaging to your health.)

Long story short: minimizing your exposure to molds is probably a good thing for your health.

How to properly clean your coffee maker

Since I’m not going to advocate ditching your coffee, I am going to suggest that if you have a traditional coffee maker — or even one of those newfangled ones — you should make sure that you are thoroughly cleaning it very often.  I would say at least every weekend. Considering it’s easy to do, there’s really no excuse not to.  Here’s a simple way to do it:

  1. Fill up your coffee maker’s reservoir with equal parts water and white vinegar, and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
  2. “Brew” the water/vinegar mixture one time through, and then “brew” several pots of just water to flush everything out.
  3. After every use, wash the individual coffee maker parts (pot, brew basket, etc.) with soap and water, and let dry before putting back in the coffee maker.

Seems easy enough, right?  Plus, it’ll keep your coffee maker from being less germy than your bathroom doorknobs!

How often do you clean your coffee pot?  Leave a comment below and let us know.  Don’t forget to share this on social media, too!

The Ultimate Paleo Kitchen Giveaway Has Ended

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All UPKGThe Ultimate Paleo Kitchen Giveaway has officially ended!

Thank you to the 4,714 of you who entered, and an even bigger thanks to those of you who shared your special link (the one designed to help you increase your odds of winning) with your friends and family on social media and email.

I will contact the winner via email later tonight, so, in the meantime, I wish all of you the best of luck!

Given that this was my first attempt at doing a giveaway, it was a little nerve wracking, but a good learning experience for the next time around.  In fact, here are some things I learned that may be helpful if you ever find yourself doing something similar:

  1. Don’t launch anything big on the weekend.  Unfortunately, the giveaway stumbled out of the gate despite seemingly good planning on my part.  I sent out an email to our list, got the giveaway featured in Mark’s Daily Apple’s Weekend Link Love post, and had some other really awesome people send out Tweets to their followers.  The word “seemingly” is in quotes because I failed to take into account that web traffic dies down dramatically on the weekends and it’s not as if people scroll through hundreds of Tweets and Facebook posts to see what other Paleo people might have posted a day or two earlier.
  2. Check, double check, and re-check everything.  Despite the above blunder, here is the single biggest blunder I made: for the first 36 hours of the giveaway, I did not actually have the word “giveaway” on the page’s title.  This may not sound like a big deal since once you got on the page it was pretty apparent what everything was about, but, it was a HUGE deal because whenever someone Tweeted their special link or posted it on Facebook, all anyone else saw was “The Ultimate Paleo Kitchen,” which in no way implies a giveaway.  I mean, if you saw this, you would probably assume that it was just an article on a really Paleo kitchen, right?
  3. Be willing to spend a few bucks to promote the giveaway on social media.  I’ll be the first to admit, I hate handing over my money to Facebook given how badly they’re treating business owners with a Facebook presence.  That being said, a targeted campaign on Facebook is still worth the money.  In order to boost the giveaway during days five through seven, I spent about $50 on Facebook ads which, in turn, got at least 200 additional people to sign up directly with no easy way to tell how many other people signed up indirectly through promoted special links.

Certainly if you have any questions on doing a giveaway, please reach out and I’d be happy to share my experience a little more in-depth.


I’m already getting ready for the next giveaway, which I kind of telegraphed on Facebook via an informal survey.  Here it goes:

The next giveaway will include a 16 gig Kindle Fire HD 6 and five Paleo Kindle books of the winner’s choosing!

I suspect I’ll be doing this giveaway sooner rather than later, so keep an eye out!

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.”