Episode 146: Red Meat, Cancer, and WHO?

On today’s show, we take a good look at the recent WHO evaluation of red and processed meats, which resulted in them being classified as carcinogens by the IARC. What exactly did they say? What do the classifications mean? Did the media get it right? What are the takeaways? All that, plus “Eternal Summer” in the Shinrin-yoku segment, “More than you think” in the Moment of Paleo, and compelling “Thoughts About Silence” in the After the Bell segment.

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Episode 374 – Mark Sisson – The Keto Reset Diet

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Sleepcocktails_banner_728x90_LeftThis week we have my good friend Mark Sisson on the show! Mark is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, Primal Kitchen (their mayonnaise is fantastic) author of The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Connection, Primal Endurance, and more.

Listen in as we discuss what Mark has been up to, his new book, the keto diet, benefits of keto, electrolytes, keto supplements, and more.

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Download Transcript Here (PDF)

Grab a copy of Mark’s book that releases today: The Keto Reset Diet


Carb curve mentioned in the show:


Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve

30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

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Three Yoga Poses to Help Support Gut Health

When you think of nurturing gut health, yoga probably isn’t the first intervention that comes to mind. However, healing requires an integrative approach; nourishing the physical body with movement is just as important as incorporating other types of nourishment (food, spirituality, etc.).

Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago as a discipline to enhance well-being on all levels: physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental. Studies have highlighted yoga’s helpful role in the resolution of various health conditions, from back pain and arthritis to depression, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.[1,2,3,4,5] Yoga has also long been valued for aiding digestion, increasing the body’s agni or “digestive fire” (our ability to break down foods and assimilate nutrients). It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the population suffers from digestive complaints,[6] which is alarming given that digestion and gut health are so critically important for optimizing overall health.

As an adjunct to diet, yoga offers additional health benefits and healing properties for normalizing gut function. While there are a myriad of yoga postures that enhance digestion, circulation, and detoxification—all important factors in gut health—here are the three I’ve found to be most effective.

Chair Twist – Parivrtta Utkatasana

A majority of the yogic twists facilitate digestion and support gut health, because they apply pressure to the GI tract. Think of them as giving your internal organs a good massage. Massages are wonderful for loosening up tissues and releasing any toxins that may have built up.

Twists in yoga act the same way, especially the chair twist. In this posture, you are twisting from the core in order to gently massage the intestines as well as stimulate the liver and gallbladder—all essential organs in the digestive process. This is a great pose to help relieve constipation, bloating, or other digestive discomforts. Undigested food, fluids, and other toxins often get stuck in the intestinal tract, which is why twists are incredibly useful for stimulating the gut and eliminating waste.

To come into the twist, start in chair pose with your knees bent, weight shifted toward the heels, ensuring that you could see your toes if you were to peek down at your feet. With an inhale, bring your hands to meet at heart-center; then, on your next exhale, begin to twist towards the right side of the room from your navel, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee, reaching the right elbow towards the sky. Remember, your weight should still fall primarily onto your heels, and your knees should still be aligned with each other. Breathe. Lengthen your spine with every inhale, extending through the crown of the head, and with every exhale, use your core to deepen the twist. Stay here for three to five breaths, and then release back to chair pose and begin to use the same sequence for the opposite side.

Bow Pose – Dhanurasana

Bow pose is a fantastic asana for supporting gut health because it applies gentle, migrating pressure to the abdomen, stimulating the digestive process. Rocking forward and backward on your belly to the rhythm of your inhales and exhales gently massages the internal organs. By doing this, you increase blood- and oxygen flow to critical areas, helping to relieve constipation and other digestive complications.

To enter bow pose, lie flat on your stomach with your hands to your side, palms facing down. Slowly begin to grab hold of your right foot or ankle with your right hand, and then take your left foot or ankle with your left hand. Keeping your thighs on the ground, begin to lift your chest up and forward with an inhale by pressing your feet into your hands. Look forward. If you feel good in this pose, you can slowly lift your thighs off the ground, directing your heart toward the front of the room. Here, allow your inhales and exhales to deepen, causing you to roll forward and backward on your belly. Stay here for three to five deep breaths, then release.

Surya Namaskar A – Sun Salutation

Sun salutation is not technically a pose, but rather a “flow” of poses, and it may seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the gut; yet this short sequence is arguably one of the best tools for supporting digestion and eliminating toxins from the body. According to Hindu theory, digestion results from heat production, and food is burned in order to create energy. Sun salutations offer a powerful way to produce heat in the body, hence their frequent appearance at the beginning of a yoga class—to warm up your body before it encounters more complex postures. Not only do sun salutations build the heat needed for digestion, but the rhythmic inhalation and exhalation they involve also help detoxify the body by oxygenating the blood and eliminating carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.

Start in standing mountain pose, and bring your hands to heart-center. From here, inhale your arms high and exhale your hands through heart-center into a forward fold. On your next inhale, bring yourself into a half-lift with a long, straight spine; you may need to bend slightly at the knees to get there. Next, as you exhale, plant your hands on the floor in a high plank and continue to flow through the vinyasa: lowering into low plank, elbows grazing the sides of the rib cage, then inhaling into upward-facing dog, and then exhaling back into downward-facing dog. Complete this sequence three to five times, coordinating the movements with your inhales and exhales.

With the wealth of new research findings surrounding the significance of gut health, it has become clear that the gastrointestinal tract should be a central focus of our health system. Although there are many ways to support gut health through diet, yoga offers a powerful adjunct for eliminating toxins and massaging the internal organs in order to foster and sustain optimal gut health.



1 Siu PM, Yu AP, Benzie IF, Woo J. “Effects of 1-Year Yoga On Cardiovascular Risk Factors In Middle-aged And Older Adults With Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Trial.” Diabetol Metab Syndr 30.7 (Apr 2015): 40.

2 Gamus D. “Advances In Research Of Complementary And Integrative Medicine: A Review Of Recent Publications In Some Of The Leading Medical Journals.” Harefuah 154.1 (Jan 2015): 9-15, 70. [In Hebrew].

3 McDougall GJ Jr., Vance DE, Wayde E, Ford K, Ross J. “Memory Training Plus Yoga For Older Adults.” J Neurosci Nurs 47.3 (Jun 2015): 178-88. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25943999

4 Chimkode SM, Kumaran SD, Kanhere VV, Shivanna R. “Effect Of Yoga On Blood Glucose Levels In Patients With Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus.” J Clin Diagn Res 9.4 (Apr 2015): CC01-3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26023550

5 Buttner MM, Brock RL, O’Hara MW, Stuart S. “Efficacy Of Yoga For Depressed Postpartum Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Complement Ther Clin Pract 21.2 (May 2015): 94-100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25886805

6 “The Brain-Gut Connection.” Healthy Aging. Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2014. Web. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection
About the Author

Carley Smith, aka the Fairy Gutmother®, is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and certified GAPS Practitioner (CGP) as well as a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). She became interested in health and nutrition after being diagnosed with Lyme disease, and used food as medicine to help herself heal. She was so empowered by the improvement in her health that she became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Certified GAPS Practitioner so that she could share her experience and help others feel better, too! Carley developed a nutrition plan called the 70/30 Plan in order to help people transition into eating more healthfully. She enjoys working with people and sharing her knowledge and experiences in order to help people restore their health. While she is not working with clients one-on-one, she teaches various nutrition classes and cooking demos as well as leading wellness retreats.

The post Three Yoga Poses to Help Support Gut Health appeared first on Paleo Magazine.

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Episode 147: Face to Face

In this episode’s News & Views, we look at a study that says junk food’s not so bad; another study that says sugar is toxic; and a disturbing report that shows mortality rates are on the rise for middle-aged white Americans. In the Shinrin-yoku segment, we look at stats about how much time kids are spending in nature. Our Moment of Paleo is about expectations. After the Bell features writer Andrew Solomon. Plus, a “superhuman” documentary and a book recommendation, too.

Links for this episode:

Sponsored in part by PuraKai. Visit purakai.com to shop for eco-friendly clothing and stand-up paddle boards. Be sure to use coupon code “latest in paleo” for 15% off all clothing purchases.

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5 Breathing Techniques to Calm Your Mind

By Megan Patiry of PaleoHacks

It’s no coincidence that when you’re under stress, you’ll often hear people encouraging you to “take a breather.” Ancient yogis who practiced pranayama (literally translated as “control of the life force”—which was believed to be the breath) knew the power of deep-breathing exercises. Aside from helping its students attain higher states of consciousness, pranayama is now known for being one of the best ways to calm the mind by easing stress and tension.(1)

Why Are Breathing Techniques So Effective?

When you’re stressed, the sympathetic nervous system—or the “fight or flight” system—takes over. In dire situations, this ancient defense system instantly spurs you into action to escape potential dangers. Though today wild predators are infrequent, stresses like tight deadlines and arguments with your spouse will also trigger this system.

Think back to one such traumatic situation and try to remember what happened with your breath. It usually becomes shallow and erratic—you could even find yourself holding your breath, which further stimulates your fight-or-flight response.

Pranayama breathing techniques do just the opposite—expanding your diaphragm (the large muscle responsible for pushing air in and out of your lungs) and relaxing your vagus nerve, which runs from the top of your spine down through your stomach. Both actions stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates relaxation and brings a sense of calm.

And the best aspect of pranayama is that its calming effect is almost immediate, with many techniques needing only 5 to 10 minutes for stress levels to drop.

Below are five of the most effective techniques for everyday better breathing—calming your mind fast while also strengthening your diaphragm and lungs.

Basic Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing (also called diaphragmatic breathing) involves deepening the breath to expand through the abdomen and diaphragm. The expanding-and-contracting action of breathing helps relax the vagus nerve and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The result is a calming and stilling of the mind—very effective at eliminating the feeling of “butterflies” we get in our bellies when anxious or nervous.

Instructions: Begin by sitting tall somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. On your next inhale, focus on fully expanding your belly with your breath, feeling the fresh air reaching deep into the bottom of your lungs. (You can rest your hand on your abdomen to make sure it’s expanding outward.)

On your exhale, draw in your belly and breathe out until your lungs are completely empty. Continue this cycle for 5 minutes.

Best time to practice: Anytime you feel stressed, angry, or anxious. You can also make it a daily habit to help you wind down at the end of the day, or even use it during meditation.

Long Exhale

The long exhale aims for a 1-to-2 ratio of inhaling to exhaling—the goal being to extend your exhale until it’s twice as long as your inhale. This action deeply relaxes the nervous system and body while also teaching your lungs to empty fully with every breath to avoid the tight-chest feeling caused by shallow breathing.

Instructions: Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest one of your hands on your abdomen so you can be sure you’re breathing fully into your belly. It should expand upward during your inhale and contract fully during your exhale.

As you start your inhales and exhales, begin to count the length of each action. (You’ll probably notice your inhales are longer than your exhales, so work first to make them the same length.) Gradually increase the length of your exhales by 1 to 2 seconds longer than your inhales.

Don’t strain during your exhale, and don’t make it longer than needed. For example, if your inhale is 4 seconds, try not to exceed an 8-second exhale.

Best time to practice: Since this exercise has such a relaxing effect on the body and mind, you might want to save it for before bedtime, or for when you’re struggling with midnight insomnia.

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate-Nostril Breathing)

Alternate-nostril breathing is a common yogic breathing technique used to bring clarity, calm, and focus to the mind. It’s also used to achieve mental and emotional stability by balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain—an excellent breathing technique for achieving a calm, clear state while working or during meditation.

Instructions: Begin by sitting tall in a comfortable chair or on the floor, keeping your spine straight. Leaving your left palm resting on your lap, bring your right hand in front of your nose. Rest your pointer and middle finger between your eyebrows (your actor point).

Now take a deep breath, in and out. At the end of your exhale, use your right thumb to close your right nostril. Inhale steadily through your left nostril.

Close your left nostril with your ring finger so that both are closed, and pause your breath for 1 to 2 seconds. Release and exhale through your right nostril, pause briefly, then inhale through your right nostril.

Hold both nostrils closed again, then exhale through the left nostril. Pause briefly, then repeat. Go through this cycle 5 to 10 times.

Best time to practice: Any time you feel frazzled or panicked, or when you are having trouble focusing on a specific task.

Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Sitali pranayama is used to “cool” hot, angry mental states and emotions by moving the breath across the wet surface of your tongue. It is also commonly used during the summer months to cool your system by bringing moisture back inside.

Instructions: Begin by comfortably sitting tall with your spine straight. Bring yourself into the moment with a few rounds of abdominal breathing.

Now open your mouth, forming an “O.” Curl your tongue into a straw-like shape and protrude it a little less than an inch out of your mouth. Take a deep inhale through and across your tongue (notice how cold this air feels as it hits your mouth).

Once you’ve inhaled fully, close your mouth and draw in your tongue, then exhale through your nostrils. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes.

Best time to practice: When you’re feeling angry or agitated, or when you need to focus. You can also use this technique to offset hot flashes.

Breath Journeying

Breath journeying, or breath “moving” as it’s sometimes called, blends breath and visualization into one powerful, anti-anxiety exercise. Breathing awareness into specific points in your body eases tension while calming and re-centering your mind.

Instructions: The following breath journey comes from Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg in their book, The Healing Power of the Breath.

Begin by sitting comfortably with your spine straight. As you inhale (be sure you’re practicing abdominal breathing), imagine moving your breath to the top of your head. You can imagine it any way you like—as a gust of air or even as a colored mist.

As you exhale, move your breath down your spine to the base of your hips. Inhale again to the top of your head, repeating this cycle 10 times through.

Best time to practice: During moments you feel overwhelmed and need to release excess tension and stress.

The next time you’re anxious and in desperate need of calm, remember that “taking a breath” is literally the best thing you can do. And even if you’re not overly stressed on a daily basis, practicing these breathing techniques will teach your body automatic proper breathing, so you can reap the benefits even during your day-to-day activities.

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  1. Brown, R.P., et al. “Sudarshan Kriya yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression.” J Altern Complement Med 11.2 (2005): 383-4. Web: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15750381.

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