7 Reasons to Add Collagen to Your Healthy Diet

When you hear the word collagen, what comes to mind?

Many people only associate collagen with lip fillers and injectables to plump up your pout, or with the latest anti-aging serums that promise to boost skin elasticity.

But collagen is so much more than these superficial perks—and it’s time we start giving it a little more credit.

Here’s Why Collagen Should Be On Your Radar

According to Medical News Today, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the substance that holds the body together.”

So on top of being the “glue” that literally keeps our organs, tissues, muscles, etc. in the right place, it’s also found in our bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It supports all of these moving parts inside of us so things don’t fall apart.

And when collagen is mixed with elastin, another protein found in connective tissue, it acts as a strengthener to give tissues firmness.

That’s why collagen does so much to give our skin its youthful-looking elasticity and strength.

Unfortunately, here’s the problem: we don’t have an endless supply of this collagen support army; as we get older, our collagen levels decline for a few reasons:

1. We stop producing both collagen and elastin

We stop producing both collagen and elastin

Sure, this is just a natural step in the aging process of life, however, factors such as our lifestyle habits, diet, and exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays can affect how much we lose as we get older.

2. We damage collagen

We damage collagen

Between the pollution floating around in our environment and logging too many hours of fun in the sun, we also damage the amount of collagen we currently have.

Unhealthy activities such as smoking and exposure to toxic chemicals have the power to destroy our collagen levels even further.

When you combine these harmful acts with decreasing levels that happen naturally, it’s a recipe for an unhealthy body both inside and out.

To combat this, we must limit our exposure to these harmful actions.

The Benefits of Collagen

Now that you understand collagen’s importance, let’s learn about the seven health benefits you’re likely to see when you start adding more of it to your already healthy diet.

Skin health

skin health

In a small, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a group of women between the ages of 35–55 were randomly given an oral supplementation of 2.5 g, 5.0 g of collagen, or a placebo.

Over the course of 8 weeks, researchers measured changes in the women’s skin moisture, skin elasticity, and skin roughness.

By the time the study finished, researchers discovered:

  • “A statistically significant improvement” in skin elasticity for the two groups of women who received the collagen supplementation as compared to the placebo group
  • “A statistically significantly higher skin elasticity level was determined in elderly women”
  • “A positive influence of [collagen] treatment could be observed” with reference to the skin moisture test

Another study had female participants between the ages of 33–45 treat wrinkles twice a day with an antioxidant and collagen building peptide serum in an effort to boost their collagen levels.

In this study, the results showed “statistically significant improvements over Baseline within minutes of initial application; these positive findings continued to improve through Months 1 and 3.”

Don’t get too excited, as the research is still very young, but it’s worth looking into.

Bone/joint health

Bone/joint health

In a 24-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 147 athletes were given either a liquid form of collagen hydrolysate or a placebo.

For those given the collagen, “statistically significant changes” were found in the athlete’s joints at rest, when walking, standing, and when carrying objects or lifting.

The researchers took the study a step further using a subgroup with achy knees, or knee arthralgia. They found that “the difference between the effect of collagen hydrolysate vs. placebo was more pronounced.”

Improved sleep

Improved sleep

The same ingredient (glycine) that gives us energy can also help us sleep better at night.

In this randomized single-blinded crossover trial, participants were given a flavored glycine or a placebo 30 minutes before bedtime.

Normally these individuals would log 7.3 hours of sleep. However, the study cut their average time in bed to just 5.5 hours for three consecutive evenings. This was to induce daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

While the results aren’t strong enough to draw a firm conclusion, the researchers found that taking glycine “at bedtime occasionally improves the impairments in subjective alertness and neurobehavioral functions induced by acute and modest sleep restriction.”

Where is Collagen Hiding?

Where is Collagen Hiding?

You can find collagen in some of the foods you may already be eating.

For example, chicken and pork skin, as well as a cup or bowl of bone broth, will naturally give you a collagen boost.

What’s your take on collagen? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Best Diet for Depression

Depression affects more than 150 million people worldwide, making it a leading cause of losing healthy years of life as a result of disability. By 2020, depression may be second only to heart disease as the leading cause of healthy years of life lost. Why is depression so common? Well, it’s said, “Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Why would we evolve to get depressed?

Depression presents a baffling evolutionary puzzle. Despite its negative effects, it remains common and heritable, meaning a large part of the risk is passed through our genes. Presumably, there must be some kind of adaptive benefit or it would have been naturally selected against. Could depression be an evolutionary strategy to provide a defense against infection? Infection has been the leading cause of mortality throughout human history, making it a critical force in natural selection. Indeed, because of infections, our average life expectancy before the industrial period was only 25 years, and it was not uncommon for half of our children to die without reaching adulthood.

When we become infected, there is a surge of inflammation as our body mounts a counter-attack. Our body responds by feeling lousy, sick, weak, tired, and slow. We don’t want to socialize. The only thing we do want to do is sleep. These symptoms are similar to the ones we experience during depression and are great for fighting infection. Slowing down not only helps us conserve energy to put up a good fight; it also reduces social contact so we don’t infect others. We see this protective phenomenon in other social animals, like honeybees and mole rats, who feel compelled to crawl off and die alone to reduce the risk of infecting the rest of their community. Humans have even evolved to think poop and decaying flesh don’t smell particularly good to keep us safe from infection.

To explore the relationship between inflammation and mental health, we have to look back to 1887, when this connection was first noted by Dr. Julius Wagner-Jauregg, the only psychiatrist to ever win the Nobel Prize. What evidence have we accumulated in the past century that inflammation causes depression? We know that people who are depressed have raised inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein and that inflammatory illnesses are associated with greater rates of major depression. Indeed, we find depression in even more benign inflammatory conditions such as asthma and allergies. This is important as it suggests that the mood symptoms may be directly tied to the inflammation and are not simply the result of “feeling bad about having a terrible disease.”

We also know that you can induce depression by inducing inflammation. For example, when we give interferon for certain cancers or chronic infection, up to 50 percent of people go on to suffer major depression. Even just giving a vaccine can cause enough inflammation to trigger depressive symptoms. Taken together, these studies “are strongly suggestive of inflammation being a causative factor of mood symptoms.”

Can an anti-inflammatory diet help prevent depression? We didn’t know until researchers followed the diets of about 43,000 women without depression for approximately 12 years. Those who ate a more inflammatory diet, characterized by more soda, refined grains, and meat, became depressed. “This finding suggests that chronic inflammation may underlie the association between diet and depression.”

Normally, we think of omega-3s as anti-inflammatory, but researchers found fish to be pro-inflammatory, associated with increased C-reactive protein levels. This is consistent with recent findings that omega-3s don’t seem to help with either depression or inflammation. As I discuss in my video Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Depression, the most anti-inflammatory diet is a plant-based diet, which is capable of cutting C-reactive protein levels by an impressive 30 percent within two weeks, perhaps because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the antioxidants found in plants. I talked about this in my Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants video, but never explained why antioxidants are anti-inflammatory.

When free radicals cause oxidative damage, it may cause an autoimmune response in the body by changing the chemical structures of otherwise ubiquitous molecules to generate new structures that the body attacks as foreign. For example, when LDL cholesterol gets oxidized, our body creates antibodies against it that attack it. Likewise, clinical depression can be accompanied by increased oxidative stress and the autoimmune inflammatory responses it creates. Free radicals may thus lead to autoimmune inflammation.

Where else does inflammation in our diet come from? Endotoxins. It’s worth reviewing my videos on the subject—The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation, Dead Meat Bacteria Endotoxemia, and The Exogenous Endotoxin Theory—to see how the endotoxins in animal products can cause a burst of inflammation within hours of consumption. What does this burst do to our mood? Within a few hours of injecting endotoxins, inflammation shoots up, increasing feelings of depression and social disconnection.

Although previous research has demonstrated that inflammatory activity contributes to depressive symptoms, only recently did research show the effect of experimentally induced inflammation on anhedonia, the lack of reaction to pleasurable stimuli. In the study, subjects were injected with endotoxin. Within hours of the endotoxin hitting their bloodstreams, they began feeling depressed and had significant activity reductions in the reward center of the brain. The subjects, for example, were less excited about winning money playing video games. But as I discuss in my Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity and Antioxidants and Depression videos, we may be able to treat or even prevent depression by eliminating animal products and eating antioxidant-rich diets.


If you’re as much of a sucker for evolutionary biology theory as I am, you can learn more about it by checking out my High Blood Pressure May Be a Choice, The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument, and Why Do We Age? videos.

I have several videos on inflammation, including:

And in Biblical Daniel Fast Put to the Test, I discuss a study that shows a dramatic decrease in inflammation within weeks on a plant-based diet.

For more information on the effect diet can have on mental health, check out:

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

 

Healthy Fat: 3 Reasons it is Good for You

Fats have gotten a bad rap over the years and while certain ones deserve it (like artery-clogging trans fats found in fried foods and baked goods), others are considered healthy fats. Your body needs healthy fat to function at its best. The Nutrisystem program is designed to incorporate healthy fats and essential nutrients into everyday meals and snacks. Click here to see how it works >

How to Cut Back on Unhealthy Fats

Read More

Here are three reasons why you need to fit healthy fat into your diet:

1. Healthy fat is good for your heart.

The ones that fall into the heart-healthy category are monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids—both types of unsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados and most nut butters. Omega-3s—which have also been shown to help lower triglyceride levels—are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, as well as walnuts and flax seeds.

4 Heart-Healthy Breakfasts

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2. They help your body use nutrients.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. That means your intestines need fat to absorb these nutrients in your body. Fat is also key to building healthy cells, as it’s a vital part of the membrane that surrounds each cell; without a healthy membrane, the rest of the cell can’t function. Your body also uses fat for brain development, controlling inflammation and blood clotting.

3. Fat is a major source of energy.

All fats—healthy and unhealthy—contain nine calories per gram; that’s more than double the calories in carbs and protein. Eating foods with a moderate amount of fat is part of a healthy diet, but watch your portions to help keep your calories in check. Aim to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole-grain/high-fiber foods, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and fish—this will help keep your diet lower in unhealthy fats and higher in the healthy kind. Nutrisystem allows you to eat normal, everyday meals and snacks that are nutrient-rich with healthy fats. Click here to see what’s on the menu >

How to Make the Perfect Energy-Boosting Snack

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AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Review: Does it Work?

What is it?

The AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge is a weight loss plan that offers supplements, nutrition advice and much more. A daily guide, an app, and coaching are also provided to help promote results.

The diet uses 2 different phases to help cleanse the body, improve nutrient absorption, aid wellness, and support well-rounded weight loss. There are many different supplements offered as well as the company’s own meal replacement shake. There’s even workout DVD’s that offer different exercises. Our review experts find and examine many kinds of weight loss plans. They’ve found that the most effective for weight loss is the 18Shake Diet. It offers a meal replacement shake which suppresses appetite for hours, and a fat burning diet pill that’s free of stimulants. Both use natural ingredients and have many customer reviews and testimonials showcasing weight loss results. Learn more about the 18Shake Diet by clicking on the link cited here.

Do You Know the Best Diets of 2018?

AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Ingredients and Side Effects

The brands are OmegaPlex, Herbal Cleanse System, AdvoCare Spark, Metabolic Nutrition System, meal replacement shake, Catalyst, ThermoPlys, and Carb-Ease Plus. Here are some select ingredients found in the supplements and meal replacement offered:

 

Artificial Flavors

 

 

Gum Arabic

 

 

Guar Gum

 

 

Sucralose

 

 

Green Coffee Extract (Svetol)

 

 

Oolong Tea Extract

 

 

Guarana Extract

 

 

Sage Extract

 

 

Green Tea Extract

 

 

Chinese Licorice Root

 

 

Taurine

 

 

Guggul Gum Resin

 

 

Gotu Kola Leaf

 

 

Rutin

 

 

Spirulina Extract

 

Artificial Flavors: This unnatural ingredient is added to help provide a certain flavor that would be difficult to preserve. It can be extracted from many things including tar, oil, and chemicals.

Our review experts have compiled a comprehensive list of the highest rated weigh loss diets.

Gum Arabic: This sap taken from the acacia tree is used to help stabilize and thicken other ingredients as well as provide fiber. It can potentially cause side effects such as:

Breathing issues.

         • Skin lesions.

Bloating, gas, and loose stools.

Sucralose: Synthetic sweetener that is used to substitute sugar. It’s up to 1,000 times sweeter than regular table sugar. A clinical review featured in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reviewed sucralose and found:

“exerted numerous adverse effects, including reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, increased fecal pH, and enhanced expression levels of P-gp”

This study showed it has a serious damaging effect on the body. P-gp is only released when a contaminant enters. This means it is treated as a contaminant.

Green Coffee Extract (Svetol): A patented form of unroasted coffee bean. It’s used to help raise metabolism via its caffeine and chlorogenic acids. Possible side effect may include:

Insomnia, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

         • Nervousness, anxiety, and restlessness.

         • Insomnia, difficulty breathing, and rapid heart rate.

         • Ringing in the ears, vomiting, and upset stomach.

Oolong Tea Extract: This tea is made from the camellia sinensis plant. It’s included due to its natural caffeine which is used to improve alertness and increase metabolism.

It can lead to side effects similar to the ones listed in the Green Coffee Bean Extract (Svetol) section.

Guarana Extract: The seeds of this plant contain stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine. They help to stimulate the central nervous system and aid weight loss. Web MD adds:

“Guarana is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses for a long time”

“LIKELY UNSAFE and even deadly, due to its caffeine content, when taken by mouth… in very high doses”

It can lead to side effects such as:

Tremors, jitters, and nausea.

         • Delirium, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure.

         • Agitation, anxiety, and ringing in the ears.

Green Tea Extract: This substance is added to help increase metabolism and promote fat burning. It contains caffeine and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health mentions:

“There have been some case reports of liver problems in people taking concentrated green tea extracts”

Furthermore, though it’s used for weight loss:

“There are not enough reliable data to determine whether green tea can aid in weight loss”

Guggul Gum Resin: Extract taken from the mukul tree. It is added to help lower both triglycerides and cholesterol. Web MD adds:

“It can cause side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, belching, and hiccups”

To find out which weight loss diets were ranked as the best, click the link here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Quality of Ingredients

Stimulants, binders, thickeners, and cheap processed ingredients are added to the supplements offered. This makes it a very poor assortment of supplements. There are also so many different varieties one must use that it can make keeping up with supplementation difficult.

Many of the supplements aren’t necessary either. The 6 total products are meant to cleanse and provide well-rounded weight loss benefits, but the ingredients aren’t all high quality. There’s a possibility for unwanted side effects in each item one chooses.

The Price and Quality of AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge

The total 6 supplements, workout DVD series, nutrition guide, tools, and online coaching cost $195.70. This is of course for 24 days total of products and support. Two additional supplements are also advised but not required, this raises the price even further with each brand ranging $31.50 to $37.95.

Due to the lack of quality ingredients and many possible side effects, it’s a very poor mixture of supplements. There’s a possibility for side effects due to the stimulants provided.

It’s also very expensive to use the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge. Overall it’s a highly priced combination of many cheap additives. For a comprehensive listing of the top ranked weight loss diets, click the link cited.

Business of AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge

The name of the company Is AdvoCare International, L.P, their contact information is listed as:

Address: 2801 Summit Ave

Plano, Texas 75074

Phone Number: (800) 542-4800

They have a total of 24 complaints on their Better Business Bureau page. People have complained about the customer service, and concerns with their representatives being difficult to deal with. Here are some direct quotes taken from customer complaints:

“poor communication skills, poor customer service skills, poor resolution skills, and a lack of customer service skills”

“I have spent thousands of dollars on your company and have had a horrible experience”

“I was talked down to and chastised”

Since the company operates a multilevel marketing campaign, you often have to deal with the representatives of the company. There were concerns from people who said the company lets unhelpful people sell their brands. Many had complaints due to a lack of support.

There were also issues people had with the company honoring their money back return policy. Trying to secure a refund was impossible for some users who made sure they followed the return demands.

Discover which weight loss diets were listed as top ranking by visiting the link provided here.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge

Here are some reviews about the entire system:

“started shaking uncontrollably from the amount of sucralose in the spark drink”

“what a waste of time and money. It made me sick to my stomach”

“I began to feel lightheaded, dizzy, heartbeat racing, increase pulse in my blood pressure shot up”

“I spent the entire challenge being constipated, with no bowel movement for the first 4 days”

The majority of reviews for this system are incredibly negative. There are currently 70 critical reviews on their Amazon.com page.

People often complained about not just a lack of weight loss, but also of experiencing dangerous side effects. This included rashes, headaches rapid heart rate, diarrhea, loose stools, increased bathroom usage, jitters, difficulty concentrating, vomiting, and other side effects.

Those who researched the ingredients mentioned that they would not have started this plan knowing it contained many potentially harmful additives. There were even a few users who had to be hospitalized due to their side effects. Click the link provided for a list of the highest rated weight loss diets.

Conclusion – Does AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Work?

The AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge offers support via online tools, workout DVD’s, a guide and, many kinds of supplements. While this seems very comprehensive, many users mention that it failed to produce any real weight loss. There were also numerous complaints about both the lack of a money back guarantee, and side effects. Customers often had to quit using the supplements due to extreme symptoms that made them ill. People also mentioned how dealing with the company is difficult, and that they were not allowed to make a return within the claimed money back return coverage.

Our review experts have found that out of all the diets available, the 18Shake Diet provides the most effective results. It has a fat burning diet pill and an appetite suppressing meal replacement shake. They contain only natural ingredients free of fillers colors, preservatives, stimulants, fillers, or any cheap additives. They help to boost metabolism, increase fat loss, and aid wellness with pure extracts, vitamins and minerals, and rich protein and fiber.

Users have left glowing testimonials to showcase how effective it is for weight loss. Each ingredient is manufactured in a GMP certified facility to ensure quality. Discover more information about the 18Shake Diet by clicking the link here.

Isagenix. – Diet Review

What is it?

Isagenix Isalean is a meal replacement shake said to be clinically shown to support lean muscle growth and weight loss. There are a total of 23 vitamins and minerals, and 24 grams of protein added.

It claims to be the superior meal replacement shake due to its high nutrients and low sodium, fat, and cholesterol. You can blend this shake with water as well as milk to make an instant drink.  They also add that their protein is made without hormones or antibiotics. So is this truly a weight loss solution? What kinds of effects are possible from this shake? This Isagenix Isalean review has all the information needed to make an informed decision. In reviewing many meal replacements our review experts concluded the best overall is 18Shake. Learn more about the most effective weight loss meal replacement  known as18Shake by clicking here.

Do You Know the Best Diet Shakes of 2018?

Isagenix Ingredients and Side Effects

Milk Protein Concentrate: A 40 to 90% protein by weight milk extract that is spray dried and processed.

It’s a cheap way to provide protein, and it’s often added to many processed foods to increase the protein yield.

The Food and Water Watch group has issued concerns over the safety of this ingredient. Since it’s widely imported in from countries with different safety standards, the group adds that there is a risk for toxic effects:

“food safety problems like melamine adulteration”

Melamine can potentially cause organ damage and a series of health problems. According to the Food and Water Watch organization, pasteurization does not kill melamine, and it has been shown in other milk protein concentrate blends in high amounts.

Fructose: Fruit sugar that is added to provide a sweet taste, but it has no nutritional value. This is considered one of the worst sweeteners, due to its ability to cause numerous health problems. The Louisiana University System ran a study on fructose and showed that it:

no artificial flavors

helps with hunger**

soy free

e-book

low sugar*

price*

calories*

protein

carbs*

sodium*

taste**

isagenix

Isagenix

isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix

$3.80

240

24

24

240

isagenix

Vega One

isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix

$2.80

123

15

12

130mg

isagenix

GNC Lean

isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix

$1.90

200

25

17

120

isagenix

Shakeology

isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix
isagenix

$4.00

160

18

20

70

“may have detrimental effects…  (may have a) future risk of cardiovascular disease”

This study showed an increase of cholesterol which can cause many complications. Another study outlined by the group mentioned there was:

“reduced 24-h plasma insulin and leptin concentrations”

Leptin is the satiety hormone which lets the body know it’s no longer hungry. By altering this, it can cause increased hunger and an elevated risk for obesity.

Fructose is stored in the liver where it can potentially cause negative health effects. Multiple studies have concluded that this ingredient shouldn’t be eaten, as it can be substituted with more wholesome sweeteners.

Click on the link provided to see our expert reviewed list of the top ranked meal replacement shakes.

Xanthan Gum: Thickener found in many processed foods, it’s made from a mixture of fermented sugar and bacteria.

It’s possible for it to promote side effects that include:

    •  Bloating and flatulence.

 

    •  Stomach problems, loose stools, and diarrhea.

 

This is a cheap ingredient that provides fiber and thickening properties.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this supplement with a proven meal replacement such as 18Shake for better results.

Isagenix Quality of Ingredients

There’s a high amount of calories at 240, and a total of 11 grams of sugar which comes from sweeteners like fructose. This is considered the worst sweetener for weight loss, since it does not reduce appetite, and it can cause cardiovascular damage.

The high amount of calories means you have to burn more in order to lose weight. It’s important to limit calories as much as possible in order to promote weight gain. 2 shakes provide 480 calories, which is significantly higher than other meal replacements.

There’s also a lot of protein at 24 grams, but not all of it is quality whey. Some of it comes from cheap non-fat milk and milk protein concentrate. Both of these can be purchased for much cheaper elsewhere.

Overall, the ingredients in this amount to too much calories and sugar to promote healthy weight loss. Some of these additives are cheap and may actually lead to weight gain. The top 10 list features the best shakes out now, click here for more information.

Whey Protein Concentrate Milk Protein Concentrate Low-heat nonfat dry milk Isomaltooligosaccharide powder,
Fructose, Sunflower Oil Powder Natural Flavors Olive oil powder Flax Seed Powder Xanthan Gum
Tapioca Maltodextrin Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Powder Cinnamon Powder
Ionic Alfalfa Magnesium Oxide Tricalcium Phosphate Potassium Citrate
Magnesium Citrate Apple Juice Powder Sea Salt Enzyme Blend
Cellulase Invertase Protease Amylase
Bromelain, Papain Acid Stable Protease Silicon Dioxide Yucca
Vitamin C Magnesium Stearate Psyllium Seed Powder Biotin
Selenium Amino Acid Chelate Lactobacillus Acidophilus Vitamin E Succinate Copper Amino Acid Chelate
Beta Carotene Zinc Oxide Manganese Amino Acid Chelate Iodine Amino Acid Chelate
Niacinamide d-Calcium Pantothenate Cholecalciferol Chromium Amino Acid Chelate
Niacin Molybdenum Amino Acid Chelate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Cyanocobalamin
Riboflavin Thiamin Hydrochloride Folic Acid

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this supplement with a proven meal replacement such as 18Shake for better results.

The Price and Quality of Isagenix

A 14 serving canister sells for $51.95. So if you were to do 2 shakes a day for a total of 28 days’ worth, the price would be $207.80.

This is exceptionally higher than the average meal replacement shake. Though this shake does have a lot of protein at 24 grams, not all of it is from a quality source. 2 of the 3 protein ingredients are cheap and commonly found.

There’s also an alarming amount of sugar at 11 grams. If you drink 2 shakes this amounts to 22 grams of sugar.

To put that in perspective, the American Heart Association advises for men and women to set a limit as the following maximum:

Men: 37.5 grams of sugar.

Women: 25 grams of sugar.

Women would meet this limit with just 2 added grams of sugar. Worst of all, the kind of sugar used is fructose; multiple studies have shown it can lead to obesity and metabolic disorders. It’s a cheap sweetener that may actually make it harder to lose weight even with diet and exercise.

For the kinds of ingredients added to this shake, it’s greatly overpriced. Much of this shake is a combination of unnecessary ingredients as well such as digestive enzymes. Many of these ingredients are not needed for people who are healthy.

Digestive enzymes are typically only given to people who have malfunctioning bodies. This raises the overall cost of this shake unnecessarily.

There’s simply not enough quality ingredients added to justify the high cost. Follow this link to see a list of the top ranked meal replacement shakes.

Business of Isagenix

The creators of this brand are Isagenix International, they’re a multilevel marketing company and the y can be reached below:

Phone Number: (480) 889-5777

Address: 2225 S. Prince Road

Chandler, Arizona 85286

The company has 43 complaints on their Better Business Bureau page. Here’s what some have had to say:

“company has sales agent committing in fraudulent sales practices”

“set up an unauthorized auto-payment”

“I never should have gotten involved with this company”

“I have been completely scammed out of money”

Auto shipment was a major concern for customers, since they couldn’t escape these monthly contracts. This form of sales makes it so your credit card is automatically charged each month.

Many tried escaping this but customers often complained that the customer service staff was unresponsive and unhelpful. Many continued to be charged even after repeat emails and phone calls.

It’s unknown if this issue can be fixed, or if the company truly doesn’t respond to customer complaints. Provided here is a comprehensive list showcasing the most effective meal replacement shakes for weight loss.

EDITOR’S TIP: For the best results with meal replacement shakes diet our experts recommend to use it at least 5 months. Save your money buying a few bags of meal replacement product.

Customer Opinions of Isagenix

There are many reviews available online. Here’s what a few customers have had to say about Isagenix Isalean:

“didn’t have a weight loss success sand it wasn’t satisfying to my appetite”

“taste was terrible”

“would end up with a bad head ache every afternoon”

“Too thick with a chalky texture. Not easy to drink and little flavor”

Many had issues with the taste. People said it was artificial tasting, that it does not blend well, and that it has a chalky and odd texture.

A lack of weight loss results and side effects were also listed. Some experienced nausea, upset stomach, headaches, and diarrhea. People also failed to lose any weight even with diet and exercise. This might be due to the high 240 calories.

Customers were also disappointed to learn they couldn’t get a return on this product. People have tried to call the customer support staff, but they were often told that they couldn’t get their money back. To find the very best 10 meal replacement shakes, you can click here.

Conclusion – Does Isagenix Work?

Isagenix Isalean’s shake is marketed well, but it’s loaded with sugar and calories. There’s also a lot of protein added, but once you research what kinds of ingredients are included, you realize it’s not a quality meal replacement. The protein added is cheap and can be found for a reduced price elsewhere. Many customers have also complained about the taste, lack of weight loss, and the hard to drink consistency.

There are better options which have only 1 gram of sugar, no added fructose, only high quality whey protein, and great reviews to back up their weight loss claims.  The very best meal replacement of 2018 is 18Shake.

This meal replacement has a high amount of quality whey protein, no fillers, and customers agree it tastes good and is helpful for real weight loss. This is why this shake has many testimonials from customers who have continued to lose weight. People have also raved about the ease of making it, and the rich consistency that makes it a flavorful shake.

18Shake is made in a GMP certified facility to ensure routine quality control inspections. It also has a low calorie formula shown effective for losing weight. Click on the link here to learn more about 18Shake.

Ketosis and Memory in Cognitively-Impaired Adults

There is certainly a lot of discussion these days about the ketogenic diet, especially as it relates to brain function. I thought it would be instructive to review one of the most important, and early, research studies in this area, as it reveals several very important findings that are worthy of attention.

The study, Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults, dates back to 2003. Why this is relevant with respect to the ketogenic diet is because beta-hydroxybutyrate is one of the ketones produced when somebody is in ketosis. The ketogenic diet is one that is aggressive in terms lowering dietary carbohydrate intake while increasing dietary fats. The production of ketones is amplified in people who supplement with things like coconut oil or MCT oil.

In this study, 20 subjects who had either Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment were given either a drink containing MCTs or a placebo. Blood studies were done to measure the level of beta hydroxybutyrate.

In addition, the subjects underwent cognitive testing to determine if there was any change in brain performance. Further, all the subjects were studied genetically with respect to whether or not they carried the APOE-4 allele. This is an important part of the study, in that it is known that carrying this allele is associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

The results of the research are really instructive:

  • First, the researchers demonstrated that taking MCT treatment had significant impact in terms of raising blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate. Interestingly, those who tested positive for APOE-4 had a continued increase in their beta-hydroxybutyrate levels between the 90 and 120 minute blood draws, whereas those not positive for APOE-4 had blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate that did not increase after 90 minutes.
  • Further, cognitive testing revealed that in those individuals who were APOE-4 positive, even though their beta-hydroxybutyrate levels were increased on the MCT treatment, it did not improve their cognitive performance. In contrast, cognitive performance was clearly increased when those individuals not carrying APOE-4 were given the MCT treatment.
  • Lastly, the degree of improvement in paragraph recall, a measurement of memory, was tightly related to blood levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate in all groups.

This study shows an overall positive effect of MCT treatment in those individuals who do not carry the APOE-4 allele (the APOE-4 allele is present in about 20-25% of the United States population). It is easy to test for this allele without involvement of a healthcare provider by simply trying a genetic testing product like 23 and Me.

Nonetheless, there is certainly plenty of science to suggest that ketosis and the use of MCT oil offer other benefits which would not likely be involved with APOE-4 including lowering of blood sugar, weight loss, and increase in insulin sensitivity.

Slow Cooked Pork Burrito Bowls with Homemade Coleslaw

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mexican food and burrito bowls in particular. Believe it or not, right after switching over to a paleo diet, a Chipotle actually opened nearby and it definitely tested my resolve on a near-daily basis. However, shortly after that, I stumbled upon this recipe that makes 100 percent paleo-approved shredded pork burrito bowls and now thoughts of stopping by Chipotle are a thing of the past. This recipe uses slow cooked pork coated with a delicious tangy sauce, a yummy homemade coleslaw with plenty of fresh veggies and flavoring, and it even replaces the rice with processed cauliflower florets. It’s an amazing alternative for regular burrito bowls that’s full of flavor without sacrificing nutritional value.

 

 

 

Deconstructing Your Typical Burrito Bowl

In order to enjoy a paleo-friendly burrito bowl, the first ingredient that needs to be replaced is obviously the rice. Thankfully, it’s possible to easily use cauliflower florets as a rice alternative. Simply place the florets in a food processor and pulse them a few times until they have the same consistency as rice. And unlike rice which is high in carbs and off-limits due to being a grain, cauliflower is a tasty low carb vegetable that’s full of healthy phytochemicals and antioxidants. (1) It makes the perfect ‘rice’ base for your burrito bowls.

The next step is adding in your shredded pork. The pork in this recipe is so tender that it’s falling apart after being slow cooked for eight hours. It’s bursting with taste as well thanks to being rubbed in paprika and coated in a tomato sauce including honey and apple cider vinegar. Chili flakes are also added to give it a bit of extra kick. It’s amazing how well this homemade sauce blend fits in with the burrito bowl to give it that authentic hot flavor.

raw pork prep
blending cauliflower

All that’s left is then to add in your homemade coleslaw. It’s easy to make and features all the tasty veggies that you would expect to find in a slaw. It also includes a moderate amount of apple cider vinegar and olive oil to add some great flavor along with the right type of fats that protect your heart. (2) Once you’ve added in your coleslaw and shredded pork with your cauliflower rice, the final step is adding some freshly chopped pineapple to add a nice citrus flavor to offset the spiciness of the burrito bowl.

slow cooked pork

Once you try out this burrito bowl recipe, you’ll never feel the need to head out for Mexican takeout again. It’s about as authentic as you can get while still remaining healthy and paleo-friendly. It’s amazing how well cauliflower florets work as a rice replacement and the homemade sauce adds just the right amount of heat to this recipe. It’s also a good excuse to use a slow cooker which always makes great meals featuring perfectly tender meat. All of these factors combine to make an incredibly delicious dinner offering all of the great flavors that Mexico is famous for.

paleo shredded pork burrito bowls

Slow Cooked Pork Burrito Bowls

2017-09-19 09:03:36

Serves 4

  1. 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  2. 2 tsp smoked paprika
  3. ½ red onion , chopped
  4. ½ cup paleo approved tomato sauce
  5. 1 tbsp honey
  6. ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  7. 1 tsp chili flakes
  8. salt, black pepper to taste
  1. 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  2. 1 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  3. 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  4. 2 garlic cloves,
  5. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil
  7. salt, black pepper to taste
  1. 4 cups cauliflower florets
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder.
  2. Rub with the smoked paprika.
  3. Salt and pepper liberally.
  4. Place the pork in the base of a slow cooker.
  5. Combine the tomato sauce, honey, vinegar and chili flakes in a bowl.
  6. Pour over the pork.
  7. Sprinkle the onion.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  9. Transfer the pork to a large bowl.
  10. Use 2 forks to coarsely shred the meat.
  11. Add enough of the cooking sauce to coat the pork. Set aside.
  12. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse a few times until it is rice-like consistency.
  13. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  14. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  15. Spread the cauliflower rice in an even layer on the prepared baking tray.
  16. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt to taste.
  17. Bake for 12 minutes, mixing it in the tray halfway through cooking.
  18. To make the slaw, place all the ingredient in a bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste.
  19. Divide the cauliflower rice among bowls.
  20. Top with shredded meat, cabbage slaw and pineapple.

Paleo Grubs http://paleogrubs.com/

P.S. – If you’re like me and can’t get enough awesome Mexican food, here’s a few of my other favorite paleo-friendly Mexican dishes:

#1 – Spicy Mexican Cauliflower Rice

#2 – Slower Cooker Taco Soup

#3 – Paleo Breakfast Burritos

Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie for a Quick Breakfast or Healthy Treat

Whenever I’m really pressed for time in the mornings, I need something fast and easy to make for breakfast that still provides my body with plenty of fuel for the day ahead. Smoothies are the perfect breakfast choice for a fast-paced lifestyle as they can be made in about five minutes and taken with you easily right out the door. This strawberry banana smoothie recipe is one of my favorites to make as it combines the delicious flavors of both fruits into a thick consistency with a slightly nutty taste thanks to the addition of almond milk and almond butter.

 

 

 

Fresh Fruit Smoothies for Quick Assimilation of Nutrients

The smoothie really only comes down to four simple ingredients. First up is half of a medium-sized banana that’s been sliced up. Bananas make for an excellent smoothie ingredient because they are already naturally sweet and they add a depth of creaminess without having to use dairy-based milk or cream. There have been studies conducted that have shown bananas make a great energy source during exercise (1), so that definitely makes them perfect breakfast smoothie ingredient to keep you fueled up throughout your mornings. They provide your body with plenty of potassium, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber as well.

Then, of course, there are the fresh or frozen strawberries. In all honesty, strawberries are probably my favorite fruit to eat. They can be used in so many different ways, ranging from desserts, pies, all the way to smoothies like this. The best part is not only are they deliciously sweet, but they are absolutely loaded with great health benefits as well. Many studies have found them to be incredibly beneficial when it comes to lowering inflammation and reducing your risk of heart disease and cancers. (2)

prepping fruit for smoothie
blended strawberry banana smoothie

To round out the smoothie and give it a somewhat thick consistency, you’ll also be adding almond milk and almond butter into the mix. They both add plenty of vitamins and minerals into the mix, as they are after all both made from healthy almonds. The almond butter, in particular, will leave you feeling nice and satiated after the smoothie as it provides your body with enough calories to complement the strawberries and banana due to the fat content.

Optional: Add Goji Berries

One final, but entirely optional ingredient you might like to add to this smoothie are goji berries. They are slightly sweet and provide you with an abundance of antioxidants and other great benefits. The only problem is they can be somewhat hard to find in local supermarkets, especially outside of a powder form. If you have access to fresh goji berries though, definitely consider adding them into the mix.

This smoothie recipe can definitely provide your body with plenty of fuel to keep you energized. The natural sugars found in the fruits help out with that big time without contributing to unwanted weight gain like more refined sugars do. And if you’re pressed for time when it comes to making breakfast but you want something with a little bit more protein, you can, of course, add a scoop or two of paleo-approved protein powder to up the protein content significantly.

paleo strawberry banana smoothie

Use a Single-Serve Blender for More Convenience

Even though this recipe only takes 5 minutes to prepare, using a full-sized blender can extend your preparation time due to the clean-up process. We highly recommend using a smaller blender instead such as this one so that you can use the same jug you blended your smoothie in as your takeaway cup. Zero clean-up required, and you’re out the door in seconds.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie for a Quick Breakfast

2017-10-14 23:45:34

Serves 1

  1. ½ medium banana, sliced
  2. ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  3. 1 cup almond milk
  4. 1 tbsp almond butter
  5. 1 tbsp goji berries (optional)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Paleo Grubs http://paleogrubs.com/

P.S. – Looking for more great paleo breakfast smoothie recipes? Check these ones out, they are some of my absolute favorites:

PPS. To maintain the strawberry-banana theme we have going on, you may want to have a look at these links. There’s a lot you can do with this combo, from pancakes, to smoothies, to breakfast bars, and many more.

Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.

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Roasted Parsnip Fries (A Tastier, Healthier French Fry Substitute)

What’s the first food item that comes to mind upon hearing the words “fast food”? I’ll bet you answered, “French fries.” I understand why; it’s salty, it’s oily, and it’s so easy to eat. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop, especially if you’re having your fries with a yummy sandwich or burger. Unfortunately, French fries have very little nutritional value. They also contain additives and preservatives which have been linked to certain health risks and diseases.

 

 

 

Roasted parsnip fries is an excellent, healthy substitute for French fries. They’re so good that your kids probably won’t be able to tell the difference. Did we mention that this recipe is paleo-friendly as well?

What are Parsnips?

For those who have never heard of a parsnip, it’s a root vegetable that is closely related to a carrot as they have a similar shape, structure, and texture. With regards to flavor, parsnips have a sweet flavor which works well with a variety of spices.

prepping raw parsnip fries
spices and oil prep for fries

Parsnips are also loaded with nutrients. For every 100 grams of parsnip, it contains about 5 grams of dietary fiber. Most people have a difficult time hitting their fiber intake on a daily basis. Consuming food high in fiber such as parsnip will help relieve constipation and will improve overall digestive function, as well as helping balance your gut flora. (1)

roasted parsnip fries

Surprisingly, parsnips also have a high vitamin c content. Getting a sufficient daily dose of vitamin c will help boost your immune system to protect you from illnesses, will help maintain good eye health, and will improve the appearance of your skin.

Roasting and Baking VS. Frying

For obvious reasons, roasting and/or baking food is superior to pan-frying or deep-frying because of the lower fat content. When food isn’t fried properly or at the right temperature, it has a tendency to soak up even more oil than usual. Unlike baking or roasting, frying adds a significant amount of calories to your dish, which can help promote weight gain regardless if your food is healthy or not. Paleo dieters would do well to remember that cooking oil is high in fat, and therefore high in calories. Reducing fat intake by baking and/or roasting is recommended for individuals who are transitioning to a paleo diet not just for health, but for weight management as well.

Trainers and nutritionists agree that an effective way to eliminate excess calories from one’s diet is by cutting down on fried food and replacing them with more nutrient-dense food sources such as lean proteins, leafy vegetables, and fruits.

Parsnips VS. Potatoes

As mentioned earlier, parsnips have a sweet, spiced flavor which can be enhanced by many herbs and spices. This recipe makes use of honey, olive oil, coriander, cumin, and paprika. The heat and bold flavors of coriander, cumin, and paprika will balance out the sweetness of the honey as well as the richness of the olive oil. Be sure to use virgin olive oil and 100% organic raw honey.

paleo roasted parsnip fries recipe

Parsnips have a similar texture to potatoes when cooked, which makes it an ideal substitute ingredient for French fries. This healthy, paleo-approved alternative will not only provide you with essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body, it will also benefit individuals who want to lose weight and fat. It’s so versatile, too. Take this recipe for example. It incorporates the pungent aroma of truffle oil which instantly elevates the parsnip fries to gourmet status just like that. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your combinations.

Roasted Parsnip Fries

2017-10-15 15:08:45

Serves 2

  1. 6 parsnips, peeled and cut into “fries”
  2. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  3. 1 tsp ground coriander
  4. ½ tsp ground cumin
  5. 1 tbsp honey
  6. 1 tbsp olive oil
  7. salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl mix the smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, honey and olive oil.
  4. Add the parsnip and toss to coat.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Spread the parsnip out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through, or until crisp and golden-brown.
  8. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Paleo Grubs http://paleogrubs.com/

PS. What are fries without a good dipping sauce? This roasted parsnip fries recipe should be paired with a delicious, savory dip. Here are some of my go-to paleo dip recipes for you to try pairing with this dish.

Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.

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Spinach Crepes with Creamy Mushroom Filling

Today we’re going to put a twist on one of the most popular dishes in French cuisine: the crepe. If you’ve never tasted or seen a crepe in your life, they basically have the same texture and shape as a pancake but they’re paper thin. There are literally hundreds of different ways to prepare crepes, but the most popular way is to serve them as a dessert with sweet spreads, fresh fruits, ice cream, etc.

 

 

 

The recipe we’re going to show you is a savory, paleo friendly crepe. This spinach crepe with a creamy mushroom filling is easy to make, light and nutritious. Although the ingredients are fairly simple, the flavors and texture of this recipe are a match made in heaven for your taste buds.

Great Way to Squeeze in a Serving of Vegetables

With this recipe, it’s very easy to mask the taste and the appearance of the spinach since it’s blended with all the other ingredients to make the crepe. By adding more spices and flavors to the crepe filling, the taste of the spinach in the crepe will almost completely disappear which means you may be able to add more spinach. If you’re having trouble feeding your kids enough fruits and vegetables, finding ways to ‘disguise’ them is certainly helpful.

crepe mixture ingredients

Making the Perfect Paleo Crepe

Let’s face it, cooking the perfect pancake isn’t easy and unfortunately, it’s even more difficult to make the perfect crepe. Since crepes are significantly thinner than pancakes, it’s very easy to overcook and burn them. Also, crepes are easily ripped as they are being turned over.

prepping mushrooms for crepe filling

Use a Crepe Maker

One of the best ways to cook the perfect crepe is by using a crepe maker. A standard crepe maker will fit on any countertop and is easy to use. The shallow, rounded surface area of the crepe maker will ensure that your crepes are perfectly cylindrical. Additionally, there are a number of temperature options built in the appliance which will give users precise control for perfect results each time.

Most crepe makers are also non-stick. This will help cut down on the use of oil. Using oil while cooking will increase the calories in dishes so lessening it will be beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight. Obviously, it will take a bit of practice to perfect your crepes but we promise you that a crepe maker will be a very useful tool in the kitchen.

paleo spinach crepes with mushroom filling

The spinach crepe with creamy mushroom filling is definitely a dish that the whole family will enjoy. There’s nothing quite like the soft, light texture of a crepe. The savory mushroom filling perfectly compliments the hint of coconut and spinach in the crepe batter. As stated earlier, blending the spinach in the batter is a great way to mask the flavor and still counts as a serving of vegetables.

Spinach Crepes with Creamy Mushroom Filling

2017-10-16 11:38:58

Serves 4

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
  3. ¼ cup coconut flour
  4. 1 ½ tbsp arrowroot flour
  5. ½ cup almond milk
  6. pinch of salt
  7. ½ tsp olive oil
  1. 10 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 small onion
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  6. 1 cup warmed almond milk
  7. pinch of nutmeg
  8. 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  9. salt, black pepper to taste
  1. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until golden.
  4. Stir in the arrowroot flour.
  5. Add the warmed milk and stir until smooth.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
  7. Remove from the heat and season with nutmeg, salt and black pepper to taste.
  8. Set aside while you cook the crepes.
  9. To make the crepes, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Add a touch more almond milk if necessary.
  11. Heat an 8 inch crepe pan over a medium heat.
  12. Brush with ½ olive oil.
  13. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan and swirl to cover base.
  14. Cook until the top of the crepe is no longer wet and the bottom has turned light brown.
  15. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen then flip and cook for 1 minute or until cooked through.
  16. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  17. Repeat with remaining batter.
  18. Top each crepe with some mushroom filling.
  19. Fold each crepe in half, then fold in half again to form a triangle and serve.

Paleo Grubs http://paleogrubs.com/

PS. Remember, there are hundreds of tasty crepe recipes. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or something savory, there’s definitely something for everyone.

Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.

+ Make sure to sign up for our free newsletter to get our latest healthy recipes delivered weekly (it’s free).