1. For a Paleo-friendly alternative to meat, go fish

    Were your caveman ancestors... fishermen?

    Q: What exactly can I eat on the Paleo diet if I'm not a big fan of meat?

    GR: As I shared with you last week, there are many reasons why some folks give up meat.

    But I didn't mention those who just don't like the flavor of a juicy steak or a piece of crispy bacon.

    I'll admit that not every animal protein is for every person, but our modern, American diets tend to focus too much on the meats from certain domesticated livestock -- cows, pigs, chickens -- and completely ignore the many ways that people around the world get their protein.

    Getting a little adventurous with game meat is one option, but you may not like the idea of cooking or cutting into bison, elk, ostrich, rabbit, or goat (what the Mexicans call cabrito) -- at least, not all of the time.

    But, as I've shared with you before, even getting a little meat is better than no meat at all. Just make sure it's organic and raised without antibiotics and hormones.

    In the absence of being a carnivore -- and really, "going Paleo" is much more about being an omnivore and eating ALL the healthy fruits of the land -- let's not forget the many benefits of being a pescatarian.

    That is, indulge in the many fruits of the sea!

    In fact, this is the perfect time to remember an incredibly healthful Old World tradition: The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

    Festa dei sette pesci, as it's known in Italian, is an elaborate multi-course seafood meal of seven different fishes cooked seven different ways that Italian families would enjoy on Christmas Eve.

    It's a nice, Paleo-friendly alternative to baked ham... pork roast... roast beef... turkey... and any of the other meaty dinners that so many American families indulge in this time of year.

    And it's not only good-tasting, but it's good FOR you, too!

    If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you know that fish -- like salmon and mackerel -- that contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation. Omega-3s can also reduce your risk of having a heart attack -- and if you DO have a heart attack, they can significantly reduce your risk of dying from it.

    Studies have shown that getting enough fish oil in your diet can actually prevent your brain from shrinking -- and, as a result, seniors who eat plenty of omega-3s perform better on cognitive tests.

    They can even protect your eyesight!

    Now, you don't have to be Italian (or Italian-American) to enjoy some fish around the holidays -- and you don't have to stick to the number seven.

    Just be sure to choose wild-caught fish, which don't have any artificial colorings and pack the biggest nutritional punch.

    And don't overdo it on the seafood selections that notoriously contain high levels of mercury, like tuna. If you're not sure, choose fish that are smaller and lower down on the food chain, as they tend to not carry as high of a toxic burden.

  2. Go back to basics with the Paleo Diet

    Why you should channel your inner "caveman"

    Q: You write a lot about the Paleo Diet, but isn't it the same thing as the Atkins Diet, just with a different name?

    GR: Dr. Robert Atkins is best remembered for setting the health industry on its ear with his revolutionary "Atkins Diet."

    And when he introduced his new eating philosophy -- when he fought back against the anti-fat mainstream and declared that carbs were the real health enemy -- Dr. Atkins understood that a protein-rich diet that avoided health-destroying added sugars could help the people he treated lose weight, improve their heart health, control their blood sugar, and even sharpen their brains.

    I regularly "prescribe" a low-carbohydrate diet to my patients, and hardly a day goes by that I don't see the dramatic results of a patient heeding my advice... cutting out the bread... and slashing the "white carbs."

    But it's not just the weight loss that's making the difference. Adopting a low-carb way of living has another huge side benefit... and it's one that I believe even Dr. Atkins didn't anticipate.

    Going low carb can reveal your undiagnosed gluten sensitivity -- and can effectively eliminate a huge variety of troubling symptoms.

    When people stopped eating wheat, barley, and rye, they suddenly felt better than they had in years!

    And that's an incredible legacy for Dr. Atkins, whose pioneering work laid the foundations for the sea change.

    But there was a next logical step to take in low-carb eating, and that's The Paleo Diet.

    Paleo, sometimes called the "Caveman Diet," is based on the way our prehistoric ancestors ate. Like Atkins, the diet is naturally low in both carbs and gluten, but it consists mostly of delicious FRESH foods including meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils.

    You won't find any "snack bars" or frozen meals that are truly Paleo. Early man had no access to microwaves!

    Atkins also allows some dairy, though Paleo suggests you should avoid it, since cavemen never milked cows, either.

    Atkins also restricts nuts and seeds -- at the beginning -- but those are definitely snacks that our hunter-gatherer predecessors would've had access to!

    I also find Paleo just easier to follow. There are no phases to keep track of... no complicated rules to follow... and no counting of carbs. Just lots of delicious, fresh food that will keep you feeling satisfied!

    Send your health questions to me at Every week I choose one from my inbox to answer!

  3. Paleo reduces diabetes risk

    Stop diabetes in its tracks... with meat! I don't know what it is. I can give candy out to trick-or-treaters in October without taking even one bite of it for myself. I walk right past the heart-shaped boxes and Whitman's Samplers in February without a second thought. But this time of year, I've got to resist the urge to bite...
  4. New study supports the principles of Paleo, the “Caveman Diet”

    Study shows that your genetics can affect your body’s ability to digest certain foods – going all the way back to prehistoric times. While an aversion to certain foods today might be directly related to what your ancestors did and didn’t eat thousands or even millions of years ago, the new study establishes yet another reason to return to a “back to basics” way of eating, which is a founding principle the Paleo Diet.
  5. The Paleo diet may halt diabetes development

    New research shows that increasing protein and reducing carbs, as with the Paleo diet, can promote weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity.

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