BLD Paleo Week 5 – Supplements

As we get closer to the end of the paleo challenge its important to think about what you learned over the challenge and what you’ll do with that knowledge moving forward. Are you going to recreate an epic meal time episode in your kitchen and never eat paleo ever again or will you adopt some aspects of paleo as a lifestyle?

There are some things that I do miss…like the convenience of protein powder as a post-wod snack. Sometimes I just don’t feel like having a meal right after a wod so I will occasionally use the cleanest protein powder (blended w/ some starch like sweet potatoes) I find as a recovery snack.

So how about we talk about supplements? What are supplements? I’ll tell you what they’re NOT…a substitute for eating whole, healthful foods. Anytime you can get a hold of real food, eat that instead of supplements. That said, I will probably incorporate back in a few things once the challenge is done.

Something important to consider when incorporating supplements is the quality of their ingredients. You’ll want to make sure that you can pronounce all the ingredients and that there are no GMO’s and no artificial sweetener or flavorings. The fewer the ingredients, the better.

Bone Broth
Pastured bones and joints + some veggies + good quality salt + slow cooker = the best supplement you can get. Period! There are so many great things about bone broth.

Remember this is completely different than stock and anything you can get from a grocery store. Stock is just water with flavoring. Bone broth is a healing, nutritious and mineral packed supplement. It takes between 12-24 hours to make. If you can boil water then you can make stock.

Bone broth heals the gut b/c it’s filled with gelatin. A lot of times you’ll hear about a condition called leaky gut (e.g. celiac disease) which is when people cannot tolerate gluten and grains. This basically means your intestines can’t keep their ish together and stuff is going where it doesn’t belong. Elimination of grains and supplementation with bone broth can help this situation.

Get a hold of some good quality bones, make bone broth and drink a few cups a few times each week. You can make a large batch and store some in the freezer. PS – you can tell if you’ve made a good batch (cooked it long enough) when the liquid gels in the fridge. You’re literally extracting gelatin so when refrigerated the broth will have a gelatinous consistency.

Carlson Fish Oil
I take a few capsules with each meal every day to decrease inflammation. Eating fish is probably better but who wants their place to smell like fish. The only downside w/ the capsules is fish burps. Hopefully you either think they’re not that gross or opt for the lemon or orange flavored capsules.

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil
I just ordered some of this after hearing more about it on the Balanced Bites podcasts. Haven’t gotten it yet but looking forward to trying it. Why did I buy it? Well, I read the processing is better with this product compared to most fish oil b/c it’s fermented which means less of the health benefits are lost (something about going through processing at higher temperatures causes the loss of nutritional properties yadda, yadda, yadda). Do I think it’s going to make a difference? Probably nothing significant but I am always willing to try something new.

Dr. Mercola Pure Power Protein Powder
A friend of mine who owns Health and Wholeness Studios got me hooked on this stuff. It’s one of the few protein powders out there (that I’ve found so far) that is clean, meaning its GMO-free, pastured, artificial flavoring-free, cold-processed and soy-free. Strawberry is my favorite, followed by chocolate. I normally have a few scoops of powder blended w/ sweet potato as a post-wod recovery snack.

Amazing Grass
I take this sometimes if I feel like I need more veggies in my diet. Eating dense, nutrient rich, cruciferous veggies (you know what I’m about to say…kale!) is always better but sometimes this is my backup.

Keep in mind none of these items should be intended as a meal replacement. If you have to use supplements…keep it simple and keep it clean!

BLD Paleo Bloodwork

Did you make an appointment to have your bloodwork done at the end of the challenge? If you haven’t, you should. The results of paleo challenge are no joke if you follow the rules. Here’s an example from my prior challenge in early 2012.

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Some further info on what the numbers mean per WebMD…

Cholesterol levels should be measured at least once every five years in everyone over the age of 20. The screening test that is usually performed is a blood test called a lipid profile. Experts recommend that men aged 35 and older and women aged 45 and older be more frequently screened for lipid disorders. The lipoprotein profile includes:

LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “bad” cholesterol)
HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “good” cholesterol)
Triglycerides (fats carried in the blood from the food we eat. Excess calories, alcohol, or sugar in the body are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells throughout the body.)

Results of your blood test will come in the forms of numbers. Here is how to interpret your cholesterol numbers:

LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting heart disease. That is why LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol. The lower your LDL cholesterol number, the lower your risk. The table below explains what the numbers mean.

If you have heart disease or blood vessel disease, some experts recommend that you should try to get your LDL cholesterol below 70. For people with diabetes or other multiple risk factors for heart disease, the treatment goal is to reach an LDL of less than 100, although some physicians will be more aggressive.

When it comes to HDL cholesterol — “good” cholesterol — the higher the number, the lower your risk. This is because HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by taking the “bad” cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries. The table below explains what the numbers mean.

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body. A high triglyceride level has been linked to higher risk of coronary artery disease. Here’s the breakdown.

Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and other lipid components. Doctors recommend total cholesterol levels below 200