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How to Clean Out Your Kitchen and Go Primal

Most people find their way to the Primal Blueprint via food. They’re looking to start eating “right” and get healthy. Maybe they ask a few friends whose lifestyles they admire, or they Google a couple buzzwords—low-carb, paleo, keto—and eventually make their way here. However they get here, I love the unbridled enthusiasm of someone on the precipice of change. They’re ready to listen and do whatever you advise. Just say the word. And when they ask where to begin, the word I say is: purge. 

Any good Primal transformation starts by eliminating the “big three” health offenders: grains, sugar, and industrialized seed oils (canola, corn, safflower, soybean, etc.). Get rid of the foods you no longer intend to eat to make room for the meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts, seeds that comprise the Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid.

If you intend to start eating differently, you have set up your environment for success. This is habit change 101.

Want to stop eating so much sugar? Toss all the candy, ice cream, and whoopie pies, and stock up on protein-rich snacks and 85 percent dark chocolate instead.

Need to kick that soda habit? Say sayonara to the soda, buy some sparkling water, and stop taking the elevator at work that drops you off by the vending machines.

During our 21-day Primal Resets or Keto Month challenges, one of the very first things we ask participants to do is a pantry purge for this very reason. On the surface, it’s pretty simple: get rid of the big three, plus any products made with them. Except it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. We always get a lot of questions about how, exactly, to undertake the pantry purge. Hence today’s post. I’m not going to cover what to purge when you clean out your pantry. This older post covers that in great detail. Today is about strategy and how to navigate the sometimes thorny complexities here.

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Ultimate Primal Pumpkin Pie

Traditions are a big part of the holiday season for many people, but if you find yourself doing something strictly out of tradition and not because you particularly enjoy it, then it’s time for a new tradition. Or maybe, just time for a new recipe. Take pumpkin pie. It’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without one, but too often it’s a soggy, bland dessert that disappoints. Made with a cup of sugar and white flour crust, it’s an indulgence that’s not always worth it.

But what if you broke from the traditional recipe by taking the granulated sugar and flour out—and it actually made the pie taste better? What if this new and slightly untraditional version of pumpkin pie had a buttery, crunchy crust and silky-smooth filling? Sure, you could call this new and improved version Primal Pumpkin Pie. Or, you could just call it by another name: Damn Good Pie.

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Low Carb and Keto Alternatives to Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are almost expected as part of a holiday spread. In fact, I would argue that mashed potatoes appear on more holiday tables than a turkey or roast, because even vegans will serve them. But, if you’ve been living more ancestrally and you’ve been keeping your carbs low, you may be looking for a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

Whether you’re trying to lower your carb intake or just switch things up, why not try a different vegetable mash this season? Not to worry, each of these options makes a great vehicle for gravy, and we’re all in it for the gravy anyway, aren’t we?
Carbs in Mashed Potatoes
One cup of mashed potatoes contains 36.9 g of carbohydrates. After you subtract the fiber, you’re left with 33.6 g net carbs in mashed potatoes.

If you’re limiting carbs, just one serving of traditional mashed potatoes doesn’t leave room for much else.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 155

Research of the Week

Modeling the effect of a leaky vaccine plus enhanced transmission viral variants.

Palmitic acid on trial again. I suppose I’ll have to address this.

Zinc works against cold and flu.

A little alcohol can curb inflammatory markers.

Everyone deserves full access to research.

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Study: The Link between Body Temperature and Physical Activity

I used to offer extended commentary on new research in a weekly series called “Monday Musings.” I’d cover and summarize a study or two or three, give some commentary, and open it up for questions from the readers. It was a fun and informative way to spend a Monday. Well, with more and more research being published than ever before, and more and more people being interested in health than ever before, I figured I’d resurrect the practice and begin analyzing new research in brief, digestible chunks.

First study is “Historical body temperature records as a population-level ‘thermometer’ of physical activity in the United States.”

I’m not a cold weather guy anymore. Years of living in Malibu and now Miami Beach have softened me. I’ll admit that readily. But back when I was a kid in Maine, I used to brave those cold blustery (even snowy) days without much in the way of cold weather clothing. My friends and I would stay out all day long and never stop moving, never really feeling the cold. We weren’t out there shirtless or anything, but we also weren’t wearing four layers. We weren’t bundled up.

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Maintaining Bone Density as You Age

If I could tell my older readers (or younger readers who plan on becoming older readers) one thing to focus on for long-term health, longevity, and wellness, it would be to maintain your bone density. Not eat this food or do that exercise. Not get more sleep. Those are all important, and many of them fall under the rubric of and contribute to better bone density, but “maintain bone density” gets to the heart of aging. Even the importance of muscle strength shown in longevity studies of older people could actually indicate the importance of bone density, since bone density gains accompany muscle strength gains. You can’t gain muscle without gaining bone.

That’s because bones aren’t passive structures. They are organs that respond to stimulus and produce hormones and help regulate our metabolism.
Osteocalcin, a hormone produced by bone-building osteoblasts, communicates directly with fat cells to release a hormone that improves insulin sensitivity. The osteocalcin produced by bones plays a key role in testosterone production and male fertility, helps regulate mood and memory, and even interacts with the brains of developing fetuses. It may also help improve endurance, with studies in mice showing that older mice were able to run almost twice as far after being injected with osteocalcin.

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