‘Paleoptimistic’: Paleo + An Optimistic Outlook on Life

What is paleo?

Many people hear paleo and think ‘Oh! The paleo diet! That means you eat like the cavemen ate, right?’ Well, sort of. Now take that idea, add in some 21st century appliances, and better hygiene, and you’re getting closer to the premise of Paleo.  I loathe anything that refers to how you eat or how you live as a diet.  I feel that the word ‘diet’ implicates a quick fix, a fad ‘diet’, or something that will only be followed for x amount of time.  For me and my family, Paleo is a lifestyle, and it’s not a fad for us. My soon to be husband has Crohn’s Disease, and he/we has/have found that being gluten and dairy free as well as avoiding refined sugar and processed foods helps him keep flair ups at bay.  In the most basic version of a half-a$$ed explanation of ‘what is paleo’ that sort of sums it up.  However, no one explains it better than The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, so here comes HER EXPLANATION (I straight copied and pasted with the source below, don’t get mad at me! 😛 ) :

The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.

How can the Paleo diet improve health?

Clinical trials demonstrate that a Paleo diet improves cardiovascular disease risk factors, reduces inflammation, improves glucose tolerance, helps with weight loss and can even improve autoimmune disease.

By focusing on the most nutrient-dense foods available and by eliminating foods that can contribute to hormone dysregulation, inflammation, and gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract), a Paleo diet can improve a vast array of health conditions. It’s also great for weight normalization, meaning that overweight people tend to lose weight but underweight people tend to gain weight.

The Paleo diet provides the foundation for a healthy digestive system.  It supports healthy growth of a diversity of probiotic bacteria in the gut through its focus on prebiotic and probiotic foods and through its avoidance of foods that contribute to gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract).  It supports the health of the tissues that form the gut barrier by supplying essential nutrients required for gut barrier integrity and by avoiding foods that are inherently difficult to digest, are known to irritate or damage the tissues that form the gut barrier, or that are known to stimulate the immune system.

The Paleo diet reduces inflammation and supports normal functioning of the immune system.  Foods that are inherently inflammatory are avoided, removing this unnecessary stimulus for increased inflammation. By providing the essential nutrients that the immune system requires to regulate itself, an overactive immune system can be modulated.  By providing the essential nutrients that the immune system needs to function optimally, a suppressed immune system can recover.

The Paleo diet supports liver detoxification systems by supporting gut health and by providing the essential nutrients that the liver needs to performs its functions.  The Paleo diet supports hormone regulation by focusing on foods that contain the nutrients required for hormone balance and avoiding foods known to stimulate or suppress vital hormone systems.  Because providing the body with the essential nutrients that it needs to be healthy forms the basis of the Paleo diet, every system in the human body is positively affected by this approach to food.

A diet that’s not a Diet

The Paleo diet is also the first time a set of diet principles has been compiled using modern scientific health and nutrition research.  While the initial insight leading to the Paleo diet was gleaned from studies of Paleolithic man and both modern and historically-studied hunter-gatherers, the core support for this way of eating comes from contemporary biology, physiology, and biochemistry. There are thousands of scientific studies that each evaluate how components in foods interact with the human body to promote or undermine health.  These are the studies used to form the basic tenets of the Paleo diet.

There are no hard and fast rules about when to eat, how much protein versus fat versus carbohydrates to eat, and there’s even some foods (like high quality dairy and potatoes) which some people choose to include in their diets whereas others do not. This means that’s there’s room to experiment so you can figure out not just what makes you healthiest but also what makes you happiest and fits into your schedule and budget.

Best of all, the Paleo diet is not a diet in the sense of some hard thing that you do that requires a great deal of willpower and self-deprivation until you reach some goal. It’s a way of life.  Because the focus is long-term health, the Paleo diet allows for imperfection but educates you so that you can make the best choices possible.

Sustainability is an important tenet of the Paleo diet, meaning that this is a way of eating and living that you can commit to and maintain for your entire life.  This means that you have the flexibility to experiment with your own body to discover what is optimal versus what is tolerable, to find what works best for you and fits into your life for the long term. For some people, flexibility is achieved by following an 80/20 rule (or a 90/10) rule, which means that 80% (or 90%) of your diet are healthy Paleo foods and the other 20% (or 10%) are not.  Many people find that they are healthiest when their 20% (or 10%) continues to avoid the most inflammatory foods such as wheat, soy, peanuts, pasteurized industrially-produced dairy, and processed food chemicals.

What foods are eliminated?

The foods that are eliminated in a Paleo diet are the ones that provide our bodies with very little nutrition (especially for the amount of energy they contain), and that are difficult to digest (which can cause gut health problems and contribute to gut dysbiosis), and have the ability to stimulate inflammation or mess around with important hormones.

Generally, a Paleo diet excludes:

  • grains and pseudograins
  • legumes (legumes with edible pods like green beans are fine)
  • dairy (especially pasteurized industrially-produced)
  • refined and processed foods (including refined seed oils like canola oil and safflower oil, refined sugars, and chemical additives and preservatives)

There are many foods that can be additionally problematic, especially for those with chronic health conditions, typically referred to as “gray-area” foods (see the Autoimmune Protocol).

There are also many foods that might be tolerated and reintroduced to your diet after an elimination phase.  This is generally referred to as the “shades of Paleo”.  Some people enjoy white rice in their diets.  Others include good quality (i.e., grass-fed) dairy is generally considered fine to include with the caveat that a large percentage of people are sensitive or intolerant (and might not know it).  The best way to know whether or not these foods work for you is to cut them out completely for a few weeks and then reintroduce one at a time and see how you feel.

source: http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-diet 

Visit her blog for more resources and explanations backed by science! She’s my go to when I need help understanding any aspects of this lifestyle.

Now some background about my blog!

How I came up with the name: Paleoptimistic

(Pronounced ‘pay-lee-ohp-tim-iss-tik’)

John and I turned to a paleo lifestyle, optimistically looking for an answer to keeping his flair ups at bay.  The two words shared an ‘o’ and I smashed them together. Kinda catchy right?? We also try to carry out our daily lives with a certain level of optimism; similar to my favorite flower, the sunflower, and how they always point their faces towards the sun, following the sunshine… We too, continue to follow the sunshine when times get tough, or when flair ups set in.  Plus, when you eat real food, good food, flavorful food, you tend to be happier and better fueled to take on anything & everything that life throws your way! 🙂

Yours in sunshine…

xoxo,

Syd

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Yuca is not YUCK-a! Info & a Recipe Round-up

In the paleo world, we’re pretty picky of our starches and tend to lean towards those that pack the best punch (read: are most nutritional and contain a great ratio of micronutrients and minerals to calories). But, can anybody really be mad if we’re just aiming to efficiently fuel our bodies? No? I didn’t think so… 😉

Continue reading “Yuca is not YUCK-a! Info & a Recipe Round-up”

Paleo Peach & Blueberry Ice Cream

This ice cream is simple, and a WIN! So, next time peaches are on sale at your local grocery store, stock up, peel, slice and freeze them, and whenever the mood/craving strikes, whip up a batch of this yummy goodness! That’s what I did. 🙂 Also perfect for a barbecue or family dinner, with an added bonus of not requiring an Ice Cream Maker! Continue reading “Paleo Peach & Blueberry Ice Cream”

Plantains: How To & a Recipe Round-Up

My first attempt at peeling, cutting up, and frying plantains was a big ole whopping fail. The skin wouldn’t come off for me, and I overcooked them… essentially making them like pieces of bark, not even chips.  This past week I saw some at Harris Teeter and said to myself ‘Hey, why not try these again?! I’m no quitter!’ Well, I’m so glad I did, because this attempt was a WIN! Continue reading “Plantains: How To & a Recipe Round-Up”

‘Thighs of Thor’ Playlist and ride profile

You’re probably thinking “hmmm, what a strange name for an indoor cycling ride profile,” but that my dears is where you’re wrong! This ride… where do I begin… I wish my Adductors and Hamstrings could voice their opinions of this profile for you to give you the full effect, but alas they cannot, so I’ll try my best to put it in perspective… Continue reading “‘Thighs of Thor’ Playlist and ride profile”

Pyramid Play

On July 26th, it will be my 1 year anniversary of being a certified Spinning® instructor. Now, I typically take a more modern approach to my classes, as I’ve mentioned many times before, so to celebrate my 1st birthday with Spinning®, I went back to the basics with this new class profile. 

For starters, let it be known that I adapted this class profile from one of Lean Lena‘s originals.  Started with a killer profile and added even more awesomeness. Kudos to her for the inspiration! Check out her blog for awesome Spinning and TRX workout inspiration! 

In indoor cycling, a ‘pyramid’ is a way to indicate a grouping of drills all performed for the same amount of time. As you step up the pyramid, the drills become fewer and the time becomes longer. At the top of my pyramid, we sprint all out before we start down the other side. While heading down the pyramid, you pick up a drill and you decrease your time. (I’ll explain in more detail soon, no worries. It’ll make so much sense here in a sec.)


Here’s the playlist I used:

  

So, Pyramids in more detail:

After your warm up track, you’ll start into the bottom corner (I switched this up from Lena’s partly cuz I confused myself then didn’t want to reprogram my interval timer- I use ‘Interval Timer’ a free app in the App Store). I also set up my iPad with the interval timer so the class could see how much time was left of each drill and they loved that. 
Warm up

UP First step- 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 for EACH 1:15

UP Second step- 4, 3, 2, 1 for EACH 1:45

UP Third step- 3, 2, 1 for EACH 2:15

UP Fourth step- 2, 1 for EACH 2:45

TOP- sprint for 0:45

DOWN Fourth step- 1, 2 for EACH 2:45

DOWN Third step- 1, 2, 3 for EACH 2:15

DOWN Second step- 1, 2, 3, 4 EACH for 1:45

DOWN First step- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 EACH for  1:15

COOL DOWN
And here’s my drawing of the pyramid and the drills (excuse the sweat drops):

  
If you like this profile, go give Lean Lena some love too!! 🙂  
Also, today was an overly amazing day, and I have to brag on my fiancé who spoils me to no end! I’ve briefly mentioned to him that I wanted a spin bike for the apartment, and today after I taught, he told me to meet him at his office. When I get there he pulls a sheet off of a spin bike… Not just any bike, MY bike! Proving for the 2648582614th time that he knows all the ways to my heart. Love you long time, John! 

Here’s my new baby:

  
😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
I hope you all have wonderful evenings!
xoxo,

IMG_6252


DISCLAIMER: Please note that while I make every effort to capture and present these indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles accurately, the class profiles and class descriptions posted on this blog do not constitute complete instruction for teaching the indoor cycling class / Spinning class.

No statement is made to the suitability or otherwise of the indoor cycling profiles presented on this blog. Care must always be taken when riding an indoor cycle. Please, consult your physician before starting an exercise program.

The indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles presented are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only examples of workouts that the author completed in the past. The owner and authors of these cycling class profiles will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.

Wacky Wednesday Playlist

Sometimes, if I’m feeling feisty, I like to put my iTunes on shuffle when I teach. More often than not it makes for a surprisingly exciting and hyped up class.

There’s always those certain songs that REALLY get the people going, though. So, I went with that and put them ALL on one playlist. The result, was one super awesome cycling sesh.

Here comes the playlist:

Fireball – warm up

Firework – alternating saddle & standing climb. add resistance periodically

Started from the bottom – start in the saddle climbing, add resistance until out to 3.  Keep with the beat.

GDFR – Jumps on a hill for the chorus, then climb at 3. Add resistance after each set.

Tom Ford – 4 count tap backs. (1-2-3-tap…1-2-3-tap)

Turbulence- seated climb, power out to fast standing climb at 3 when you hear ‘we hit turbulence!’

Til its gone – option to start climbing in the saddle or out of the saddle.  Whatever you chose do that for the first half of the song, for the second half switch. Add resistance periodically

Uptown funk – standing flat for most of song, add resistance and speed it up @3 for ‘uptown funk don’t give it to you’ for 20 seconds then slow it back and take it to a standing flat. repeat

Gas pedal – heavy standing climb @ 3, when you hear ‘speed it up gas pedal’ hover… when you hear ‘twerk’ OPTION to push up and drop your weight back over the saddle then back up. (push up- drop drop drop- push up drop drop drop) Keep elbows in, back supported and weight in control if you do opt in to the option.

Boom- saddle for snoop, for TPain power out of the saddle to 3 speeding it up until last ‘BOOM’. take it back to the saddle, add a level and repeat for a total of 3 times out of the saddle.

Get Low- roller coasters.  3-2-1-hover etc. movement, control, form awareness.

TTU- Standing climb with beat. OPTION over chorus to do push up then tap back then return to 3.

American Oxygen – saddle climb entire song, 75 RPM, focus on form and mind body connection.  Add a level every minute.

My songs know what you did in the dark – saddle for verses, power climb at 3 for chorus.

Don’t tell ’em – standing climb. Speed it up for ‘don’t tell em..’ chorus.

See you again – cool down

This was a great crowd pleaser and killer work out! I hope you enjoy!

xoxo,


DISCLAIMER: Please note that while I make every effort to capture and present these indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles accurately, the class profiles and class descriptions posted on this blog do not constitute complete instruction for teaching the indoor cycling class / Spinning class.

No statement is made to the suitability or otherwise of the indoor cycling profiles presented on this blog. Care must always be taken when riding an indoor cycle. Please, consult your physician before starting an exercise program.

The indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles presented are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only examples of workouts that the author completed in the past. The owner and authors of these cycling class profiles will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.

Tabata Tuesday 🚴🏼

Autocorrect doesn’t recognize that word… ‘Tabatta’ or ‘Tabata’. Probably because Siri knows the pain it causes, so she keeps her trap shut, in hopes I don’t make her do Tabatta drills. Wish she would have kept quiet when I asked her what 0 divided by 0 was. (If you have an iPhone, go ask Siri now) her response when I asked was something about sharing zero cookies evenly  with my zero friends which is impossible, and sad. Sad that I have no friends, and now Cookie Monster is sad because there are no cookies. Maybe she was acknowledging that “I’m the real cookie monster” or maybe she’s insane.. Whatever it was, it sure escalated quickly.
For those of you that don’t know what Tabata is, it is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, equalling roughly 4 minutes. High energy, high calorie burn, high awesomeness…


I googled it, it’s spelled Tabata (one t, not double… I have spelled it wrong too many times. Oh well… Moving on…)


Now that we know what tabata is, how to do it, and how it’s spelled (lol!), I’ll tell you why I’m so excited about it!
In this ride profile, we will do 8 Tabatas! YES! A total of 64 rounds of 20/10 #beastmode status. Grab your towels and water bottles, and get ready for this killer ride!
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After the warm up track, you go straight into Tabata. I will be using an interval timer (downloaded from the App Store for free!) to make keeping time brainless. If any part of the song remains after the drill is finished, begin an active recovery style seated climb.
In the middle of the class, there’s 3 Tabatas back to back to back. Prepare your class for this! Make sure they prep for a marathon of effort rather than a sprint!
Without much further ado, here’s the playlist and class notes!

SPINNING TABATTA TUESDAY•

(The 🔴 means it’s a Tabata track!)

BRING EM OUT – warm up

🔴ONE LAST TIME🔴 – sprints

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM – heavy w/beat @ 3, add level periodically

🔴ALL OF THE LIGHTS🔴 – @ 3

GDFR – saddle climb w/beat

🔴YOU KNOW YOU LIKE IT🔴 – @ 2

🔴LETS GO🔴 – sprints

🔴TTU🔴 – @ 3

FIREBALL – 4 ct jumps over chorus, add R, saddle climb, repeat

🔴GIVE IT 2 YOU🔴 – sprints

DONT TELL EM – saddle climb, add level after every chorus

🔴WORK🔴 – @ 3

BOOTY HAD ME LIKE – hover vs saddle

🔴RAY BANS🔴 – @ 3

CANT FEEL MY FACE – cool down 


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You can find this playlist on my Syd&SPIN spotify playlist.
This ride will also be posted to my YouTube channel (‘Syd&SPIN’) within the next 48 hours.  Once it’s done processing, it will appear here.


I hope you enjoyed this ride profile! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

Yours in health and sunshine,

Syd




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Please note that while I make every effort to capture and present these indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles accurately, the class profiles and class descriptions posted on this blog do not constitute complete instruction for teaching the indoor cycling class / Spinning class.

No statement is made to the suitability or otherwise of the indoor cycling profiles presented on this blog. Care must always be taken when riding an indoor cycle. Please, consult your physician before starting an exercise program.

The indoor cycling class / Spinning class profiles presented are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only examples of workouts that the author completed in the past. The owner and authors of these cycling class profiles will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.

A Paleo 4th of July! Kabobs and Grilled Peaches

Happy [belated] Birthday to the lovely United States of America!! I hope everyone had a safe and happy fourth! Thank you to all the soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom. Let us commence the celebratory lounging and cooking out! Continue reading “A Paleo 4th of July! Kabobs and Grilled Peaches”