Repeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #265: Repeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs

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TopicsRepeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:07]
2. Halloween candy [13:46]
3. More information about the Master Class [18:07]
4. Repeating nutrition challenges [21:17]
5. Macros based meal plans [35:31]
6. Let’s talk about carbs [48:48]



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Repeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Repeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Repeating Nutrition Challenges, Macro Meal Plans, and Carbs - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 265.

Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I love crispy fried eggs, sunrises, and picnics.

I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a farm in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside Kansas City, and I wish that I could sing and sew.

We are the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants, including me, I’m an NTP, emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:07]

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! It’s me Liz, here with Diane. Hey Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey, hey. How’s it going?

Liz Wolfe: I feel like I’m speaking with like a retainer or some kind of new mouth device.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Because that was tough getting through that intro.

Diane Sanfilippo: Did you get Invisalign recently or something? No, you did not.

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’re teeth are already straight.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} They’re moving around man. That whole, like, wisdom tooth removal scam; I’m suffering through the long-term consequences of that at this point.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ugh, I so wish I still had mine. Firstly, to be wiser.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Secondly, to have more of a jaw line that I don’t have, and I definitely blame losing some wisdom teeth.

Liz Wolfe: So there’s this apparatus that you can get, and I cannot remember what it’s called. The beginning of it is homeo- something. It’s basically; it looks like kind of a palate type expander, and I’ve looked into it very little, but I’m going to look into it a little bit more.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m totally interested.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I’ll look into it more. It’s very much like, it’s in the kind of holistic world, but not so much the woo, like, crystals. I don’t know, I’m probably offending somebody with that, but not like the tarot card world. I probably offended somebody with that too!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But it’s in the, “damn you’re smart.”

Diane Sanfilippo: We offend everyone just by breathing.

Liz Wolfe: I know. I know. But it’s in the “damn you’re smart” scientific fringe. Like the Stephanie Seneff, you know, it’s in that realm. It looks legit. I’ll keep looking into it and let you know what I find out.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ve definitely read about it, because I’ve read that changing the size or shape or width of your palate can help your breathing overall, because my sinuses are a total disaster. I honestly probably only breathe like 60% of the air that I should.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So yeah. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Interested.

Liz Wolfe: I’m super interested. And I’m looking. So I’ve developed a case of tinnitus, which hopefully by the time this podcast airs it will have faded. I think it might have been induced by basically listening to something, like a loud sound too loud on my headphones. Like, whoops. But I’m also considering things like endotoxin from an old root canal on that side, or estrogen fluctuations because I’ve had super random weird crazy things go on in my body every time my breastfeeding frequency goes down just because of hormonal shifts. And I’m also considering just a shift in facial structure; because all of these things kind of come together. So I’m trying to figure out exactly how to handle it.

Currently, I will be seeing an ENT just to cover my bases, but I am also playing with some infrared light to deal with the potential issues from this root canal. I tried really hard not to have the root canal, but at a certain point, you’ve got to go to the fricking dentist and deal with it. So, I’m playing with infrared light, so we’ll see how that goes. Please don’t flood me with a million stories about tinnitus; it’s hard enough as it is. I’ll deal with it, and I’ll ask everyone when I need help. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’ll deal with it. And I’ll stop listening to stuff super loud on my headphones.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I feel like our mother’s warned us about that, didn’t they?

Liz Wolfe: I think so. Although, you know what, there are pictures of me as a child literally 3 inches from the television, so.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Whatever. We were just; I’m not mad at you, mom. I’m not mad at you. Alright, anyway. So what are your updates, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: So updates; the Balanced Bites Master Class, which I talked about last week. Well, we’ve been talking about for quite some time.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ve got a beta group launching; very, very limited seats for that. I’m just kind of giving you all the heads up; if you’re a practitioner, if you’re one of my 21-Day Sugar Detox coaches, if you are a health practitioner; you can be a fitness practitioner as well, or some type of naturopath, functional medicine, etc.

Enrollment for the beta group is going to launch very soon; it may have already launched by the time this episode airs or very shortly after. And just a handful of folks we’re going to allow into that because we want to just work out some of the kinks and make sure everything is super smooth for our big enrollment, which will be probably opening up around or after Thanksgiving, and will be open through probably the first week in January.

And I believe we’ve got the date set to kick off the first semester of the Master Class probably the week of January; let’s see, I think it’s like the 9th or 10th; that week somewhere. We might end up kicking them off on a Wednesday, because then you guys will have time to go over your modules on the weekend before we have calls and things like that. So stay tuned for more information; but just that really early heads up. If you are a practitioner, and you like to work through things when they’re maybe not 100% perfect yet, and you want to be able to give feedback and all that, then the beta might be for you.

What else? Facebook live every Thursday. Join me and we’ll be putting up notes ahead of time as to what the topic is going to be so that you guys can leave your questions if you can’t watch it live. I will make sure I get to the questions in the video. If for some reason I don’t, I’ll definitely reply to your question on the Facebook page. So make sure that you’re kind of tuning in over there. It’s just basically like our own way of having a little weekly; I don’t know, TV show type deal. But fun Q&A, different topics, and I will try to have our upcoming topics ready to share with you guys in upcoming podcast episodes so you can know what’s coming. But stay tuned for that.

And then lastly, Pete’s Paleo in their meal plans, they will have I think it’s at least 3 meals from Practical Paleo, so from the recipes in the book. I believe they’ve got a mix of some of the older recipes from the first edition and new recipes. If you have been interested in Pete’s Paleo, but you’re not sure if you will love the meals, but you know you love recipes from Practical Paleo, definitely check it out. Check out their Instagram page and their website; you’ll see when those are launching. It’s going to be sometime this month, so I’m not exactly sure which date but check them out. I think you guys will really enjoy that. It’s a super fun way to give Pete’s Paleo a try. What’s new with you?

Liz Wolfe: Um, I’m going on vacay!

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoop, whoop!

Liz Wolfe: Whoop, whoop! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Are you going to whoop it up?

Liz Wolfe: I am going to whoop it up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Vicki; what’s her last name?

Liz Wolfe: Gunvalson.

Diane Sanfilippo: Gunvalson {laughs} style.

Liz Wolfe: Why do I know that? Why do I know that!? That’s so sad. Urg. So I’m going on vacation; really, really excited. It’s actually a Beautycounter trip. I used to kind of roll my eyes at the, you know, the company trips; but this one, we’re going to a 5-star resort in Santa Barbara. I need it so bad. I could; you could never have convinced me to go on a trip that didn’t have something to do with a reward for working really hard, like a company sanctioned reward, or something that slightly had to do with work, because I just would feel so guilty just going on a trip. So, when I, I guess earned this trip, my husband was like, “I’m going to be severely mad at you if you don’t go.” And I was like, but you guys, are you going to be ok?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: At least when I went to Washington D.C. to talk about health protective cosmetics laws with my senator, it was legitimately a work trip. We stayed in great accommodations and ate great food, but it was legitimately work. But this is something else. I’m going to have my own room at a 5-star resort on the beach and I am committing to really going and letting go of work and letting go of family stuff and just being there and enjoying it. So this is big for me. This is really big for me.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is Liz, taking a vacation.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m so excited for you.

Liz Wolfe: Should I; should I post on Instagram about it? Or should I just totally disconnect.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do whatever; if it feels fun for you to post, like my feet in the pool or my feet in the ocean.

Liz Wolfe: Bragadocious posts? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, then post it. If it feels stressful, then don’t.

Liz Wolfe: Well, I will be there with Arsy Vartanian from Rubies and Radishes, and Cassy! Our girl Cassy is also going. So I think there will be at least a healthy level of ridiculousness going in.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I think we’ve all worked really hard the last year or so at various things; me at not ruining the very start of a tiny human.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: And Arsy has a kid, and she’s mentoring a ton of women; and Cassy obviously just launched the Fed and Fit book, with you, so you’ve seen how hard she’s working.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. You guys all need a vacation.

Liz Wolfe: I think so. So, there will be margaritas.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I’ll bet you Cassy will be working on that vacation. She’ll be like; “Ok, bye guys! I’m going to write a blog post.”

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to let her.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would be like; I’m going to sit here on our tour, I was like; I’m going to sit here and relax. She was like, ok I’m going to write a blog post! Or like on the airplane.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: She and Juli. They’re just, they work so hard and I love it, but I’m like; I am old {laughing} compared to these girls. And they’re like; great, we have two and a half uninterrupted hours to get these blog posts done!

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like; great, I’m going to try not to fall asleep.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, that’s my main goal on an airplane is to like not be totally narcoleptic. Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: It takes me two and a half hours to wake up in the morning.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I swear that’s half the reason; I mean, it’s not, it’s like 10% of the reason. But it’s part of the reason I’m still nursing more than once a day, because when the kid gets up, I just want to bring her in bed with me {laughs} and not wake up yet. Just, like, lay here and nurse for a while, I’m going to just fall asleep for a little bit longer.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: Anyway, so the other thing; the other updates I was going to tell everyone about is I updated to iOS 10 or whatever that is with…

Diane Sanfilippo: I have not updated yet.

Liz Wolfe: Oh you must, because it’s so easy to find gifs, and I never knew how to do that before. And apparently; so I was actually legitimately looking for wiener dogs; or my husband was looking for a wiener dog picture and he put in {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Liz Wolfe: First of all; never wieners in {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Into the gif search bar. But on the iPhone, obviously those don’t; actual wieners don’t pop up. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Liz, stop. But can you guess; and this is what makes me feel like the world has a chance. When you type in wiener, you get a bunch of gifs of Gretchen Wieners {laughing} more so than you get gifs of actual wiener dogs. So.

Diane Sanfilippo: That is amazing, and I hope that you send me and lists Gretchen Wieners gifs.

Liz Wolfe: I will have to. My husband was like; what is this? Because you know, it auto fills. You put in “wiener” for wiener dog, and it immediately before you even get done with the dog part it starts to pull up what it’s got, and he was like, “What? Why am I getting all of this same girl? And all these gifs?” And I was like, “That’s Gretchen Wieners!”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Why am I getting the same girl!

Liz Wolfe: Why is Lacy, whatever her name is, coming up? Yeah. Anyway. 15 minutes later.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love it. “None for Gretchen Wieners. Bye.”

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Oh it makes me so happy. So what are we talking about today?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I think we’re going to do a quick little seasonal fun segment here.

Liz Wolfe: Oh yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes?

2. Halloween candy [13:46]

Liz Wolfe: Yes. Let’s talk about Halloween candy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s.

Liz Wolfe: I actually am not…

Diane Sanfilippo: Now I feel like we’re the delicious dish; “Let’s talk about Halloween candy.”

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I can’t. Alec Baldwin.

Diane Sanfilippo: Are you the house that gives raisins?

Liz Wolfe: No!

Diane Sanfilippo: What do you do?

Liz Wolfe: I’m not the house that gives anything now, because nobody comes by.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right, nobody comes to your house.

Liz Wolfe: That would be really creepy if they did. But there are neighborhood things and on base things that we can go to. But in New Jersey, when we lived in a neighborhood and we had a house in a regular neighborhood, the first year I bought mini Larabars. So I was that girl, who not only would basically blow a grocery budget on Larabars for a bunch of awful neighborhood children {laughs}, just so I could take an awesome Instagram picture of it. Or I probably wasn’t on Instagram then; maybe it was a Facebook picture. But after that point, I feel like we were either out of town for Halloween, or maybe we did like stickers or something like that. But no. Raisins, to me; raisins? Come on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Are temporary tattoos as bad as raisins?

Liz Wolfe: Ohhhh! That sounds like a cool idea. Kids love those.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I love them.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I love them too.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I really do. But, I will say, I definitely used to {sigh} like really cherish my Halloween candy.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I made a thing of it. I would section it off into levels of which was the best, and I’m pretty sure I would eat the best stuff first, just because I don’t know, I didn’t want my sister to get it, I needed to make sure I wasn’t; I’m sure I was never burned out on candy, but I just remember weeks later having Smarties still.

Liz Wolfe: Smarties and Good n’ Plenty?

Diane Sanfilippo: Something like that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I’m curious what our listeners take is on being the Halloween candy house or not; doing the raisins, what do people give out? I think Justin’s peanut butter cups; they’re still candy, right?

Liz Wolfe: Oh yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: They’re not anything; you know, they’re not healthy, they’re just maybe better. Which I’m totally fine with, by the way. I think if we’re going to do organic cane sugar, and organic peanut butter and all that stuff, I like that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} If I’m going to have a treat, I’d rather it still not be total crap. So I think if I had a house where people would come trick or treating, I might want to give out those peanut butter cups. #Notsponsored. {laughs} They do not sponsor us, I just like their stuff. But can people not give out peanuts? Is that like bad for allergies?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I think that’s probably frowned upon now.

Diane Sanfilippo: If you’re allergic to peanuts, then just don’t trick or treat at my house. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I didn’t think about that. Maybe they need to be doing sunbutter cups more than peanut butter cups.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. There is a brand that does them. So we want to hear from you guys; comment on the blog post for this episode. Comment on Instagram post; wherever you are, come tell us. What are you giving out for Halloween, and what do you think about either being a candy house or {laughs} I’m just going to call it a raisin house.

Liz Wolfe: A raisin house. {laughs} Don’t be the raisin house.

Diane Sanfilippo: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Liz Wolfe: Speaking of chocolate; I just lifted my leg. I’m sitting on the floor and I moved; I shifted a little bit, and I have a giant smear of chocolate on my leg, and I’m trying to figure out who was hoarding chocolate up here. It was probably me.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s the actual worst; if you eat chocolate in a movie theater and a piece drops, and you get up and it looks like you kind of pooped your pants.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} This has happened to you?

Diane Sanfilippo: Maybe. Or my husband.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m just saying.

Liz Wolfe: Full Body Fix. You need a Full Body Fix that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo has opened a new location on the East Coast. Since they’re still operating out of San Diego, as well; this means local produce and meat coming from both coasts. And drastically reduced shipping prices. Check out their new and improved website, to take advantage of low shipping rates; and be sure to use coupon code 1FREEBACON. That’s the number 1; free bacon, and receive a free half pound of bacon with the purchase of a meal plan. Go to

3. More information about the Master Class [18:07]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so I’m going to give a rundown of the topics that we’re going to tackle, just so folks stick around, since we’re rounding out 20 minutes of not talking about topics. We’re going to get to, eventually; we’re going to talk about repeating nutrition challenges, we’re going to talk about macro based meal plans, digestion, carbohydrates, and these are all things that we do talk a ton about in the Balanced Bites Master Class. And I think, Diane, before we get into this, maybe you can give everybody a little bit more info on the Master Class.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so we’ve been saying for a couple of years as we answer questions; “we talk more about this in the Master Class.” And I know people are like; well, what is the Master Class? Right? Because it used to be; used to be, that you and I would travel the country and we were just reminiscing about how we would share a hotel room and have fun with that. {laughs} Like, “What are you putting in your hair? What is that? What are you wearing?”

But we would teach seminars around the country, and we wanted to transition what we used to teach in a live seminar all day into something that we could, you know, offer online and then some. It’s much richer content than it was when we were teaching it just in a classroom for a day or a gym for a day.

So the Master Class is 9 video modules, worksheets, and a journal for tracking your progress. You’re able to get a bigger picture of real food nutrition, and apply it to your life. So, I like to say it’s kind of like Practical Paleo plus Eat the Yolks comes to life; because you get to be in this little world with myself and Liz, kind of like our inner circle, to learn and apply this stuff to yourself. So you’ll have extra support in a Facebook community where we can cheer you on and answer your most pressing questions. You’ll also have the support of other like-minded folks who are on this journey with you. And it’s not about dietary dogma, any kind of yes or no lists, or a challenge, or arbitrary rules and restrictions. It’s just about empowering you with real information to start building the life that you want and creating the change that you need.

So there’s more information about it, kind of all over the place, but on my Facebook page I’ve shared a video and I’m answering some questions over there, and as I mentioned the beta group is going to open pretty soon. So if you want to make sure you’re getting the information; head to And I think that’s pretty much it.

Somebody asked me, is there a cost for this? Yes, there is a cost for this. This is an 8-plus week intensive course with myself and Liz, and this is where we’re able to take; you know, lots of you listening to the podcast, this is really the place where you want to be. You want to be in the Master Class because you’ve been listening to this stuff for a long time, but we know that you have questions. We know that there’s more you want to learn and apply to yourself, because inevitably we answer a question, but there are kind of nuances that are your situation that you’ve just got more questions about. Part of what we did in creating the Master Class is really think about those of you who have been here with us for the last five years asking questions, trying to learn more, and trying to figure things out for yourself. So we’re super excited to be able to bring this to you; so stay tuned.

So let’s get into some of the topics for today.

4. Repeating nutrition challenges [21:17]

Liz Wolfe: Alrighty. Let’s talk about repeating nutrition challenges.

Diane Sanfilippo: Lets.

Liz Wolfe: You, as the author of the 21-Day Sugar Detox, maybe you should weigh in first.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So this came up a bunch while Cassy and I were on tour. And you know, I’ve got a 21-Day Sugar Detox, there are 30-day meal plans in Practical Paleo, lots of folks do 30-day challenges all over the place in gyms and wherever, and Cassy’s got her Fed and Fit Project that in the book is 28 days. Why would we say here’s a program for this many days if we didn’t want you to keep doing the program?

The truth is, we want you to use the program as a starting point, or the meal plan in the book as a starting point, a place to learn something from. Because we know sometimes that something like, for example, the Master Class. Right? That might be a lot of information for somebody brand new. While we did create that to be helpful for anybody; you know you don’t have to be an expert on any of this stuff to benefit from that class, but a lot of folks, they; you know, they just want to see, what should I eat? Right? What should I do? What should I eat? What should I avoid? Help me just break the pattern of what I’ve been doing. And by doing that, you inevitably learn so much; right? You learn how to read labels differently. You learn how to go to that office function and make a choice differently in the conference room where there’s a buffet of food that’s not on your yes list for that 3 weeks, or whatever it is.

You do learn a lot, but one of the things that happens is, folks end up kind of falling off the rails, or falling off track, or getting back into old habits and not really creating lasting change because they’ve maybe put themselves on auto pilot or have just decided to relinquish that choice to the program, and say; “Here, you pick for me. Ok, I’m not supposed to eat that, I’m not going to eat that.”

But what we don’t want to see happen with these challenges is that you’re repeating them over and over again only to kind of fall back into your same old habits, and then come back to the challenge again as a reset. I think there are some people for whom, let’s just say you’re going to do the 21-Day Sugar Detox once a year, maybe it’s your thing. Maybe you really like doing that in January because over the holiday season, you go to a lot of parties and you know, you do find yourself drinking a little more alcohol than maybe you do the rest of the year, and so it helps you clean things up, and it’s just a nice reset for you.

That’s fine. I’m not trying to tell people not to use that as a reset if you feel good about it in that way. But I think there’s a difference; and Liz, you and I have seen this a lot. You wrote about this in your dieting; I don’t know if it’s just an email, I know we talked about here on the podcast for a whole episode. People who are sort of accidentally dieting all the time; but some people end up in this vicious circle; vicious cycle of off and on. Right? It’s like, either you’re on the program or you’re off the program, and you’re not making sustainable changes in your lifestyle for the longer term.

So, one thing that came up while we were on tour is I’ve actually only ever done my own 21-Day Sugar Detox completely, by the books, probably twice. Because I learned from it, what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve learned the kinds of decisions I need to make if I make some decisions that don’t make me feel good for a week, what do I need to do after that, and I’ve learned some things from the program. And that’s something that we want to instill in everyone; we don’t want to just see people literally going from 100% they’re on the program to day 22 or day 31 whatever it’s going to be and it’s off the program and you just kind of forget what you learned.

That’s kind of where I’m at with the whole repeating challenges thing. I think an exception to that rule, as well, could be if you’re a coach and you want to join your folks who are doing the program sort of out of solidarity; I think that’s totally legit. No big deal. But I think people know; you know what I mean? If you’re the kind of person who you just can’t keep yourself on track without being “on a program”, and you’re doing these programs multiple times a year. If you’re like, “This is round 5 for me!” Let’s really examine that, and let’s look at why it is that the lifestyle kind of design that you have for yourself in between these challenges; why is it so far off that you’re always coming back to the challenge. Does that make sense?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Oh, so you wanted me to talk after that? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: What?

Liz Wolfe: You wanted me to talk after you said that?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I mean, you haven’t been the challenge type of person, so we’re really different in that way.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I do like to try different plans, and I like to learn different things from different plans and kind of take different things with me, but it’s never really something that you’ve been into, and I’m just kind of curious what your take on it is.

Liz Wolfe: I haven’t been into it since you and I got into this podcast deal together. And I don’t know why. I feel like, in hindsight; I mean, I’ve done them. I did a 30-day challenge way, way, a long, long time ago when my blog was just this baby WordPress JersElizabeth when we first moved to New Jersey, we did a 30-day thing and I blogged about it. But I also think it just didn’t stick because; you know, I don’t know. I might have contextualized this or conceptualized it differently in other episodes where we’ve talked about stuff like this; but what’s sticking out to me now is how obsessive and single minded I used to be about it in a certain point in my life that I just don’t; I didn’t like that part of my life very much, so maybe there are just some bad feelings, and orthorexia, and things like that associated with it that just for me was a toxic mindset.

I stumbled across, I think a couple of months ago, this notebook that I made for myself where I was literally; I mean, making myself daily trackers of carbs, net carb, sugar, fructose, sucrose, fiber, insoluble fiber; it was absolutely out of control. And I think maybe I associate those things; that’s what I remember now. I don’t know that that’s where I always was with it in my head, but for me, realizing that I could; what, moderate food? That’s what you called me, a Moderator. Like an unrealized, unawakened Moderator {laughs} until the last couple of years.

I think I just realized that I could alleviate a lot of the heaviness in my life, and the upset, and the not feeling good about myself just simply by not getting into that mindset again. But it’s different for everybody; that’s not to say that the challenges themselves are toxic. It’s the mindset that I feel like I’ve always brought to them. And it just wasn’t enjoyable for me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think there’s an element of like a curiosity or, you know, I think a curiosity of what you can learn and how it will feel to do a challenge, I think that’s what I tend to approach them with. So 12 weeks over the winter I was on a macros based plan; and I was like, let’s just see how this works for me. How will I feel eating this way; eating a little less fat, eating more carbs. It’s just about an experiment and kind of seeing from there. I think you’re totally right; it is about that mindset.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And for folks who are perhaps Abstainers, like myself, where I do better generally with days that I’m sort of keep myself on whatever I decide is my plan for right now, and having a day where I’m not on it and I can kind of do whatever because I’m also that Rebel where I’m like, “Ah! Forget your plan!” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: “I’m doing whatever I want!” I think it is a constant balance of just figuring out ourselves and what works for us without this; I don’t know. I feel like there’s just a lot of punishment that comes along with the challenge that you feel like; if you just can’t ever get through a challenge. If you say you’re going to do one all the time and never do, it’s not the challenge that’s the problem, you’re not the problem either but you’re definitely in a mindset of perhaps wanting change but not being willing to make it for some reason.

Liz Wolfe: Or not being willing to customize it; thinking you can only achieve change through someone else’s structure, and rather than using that structure as, I don’t know, a jumping off point, you’re using it as this rigid blueprint. I don’t think people; you know, when you’re on these challenges and you’re being “compliant” and yet you still feel that you failed; I don’t think it’s because you can’t stick to the challenge, I think it’s because you’re failing to realize that this so-called failure might be because; hey, you need more carbs. Or you need more fat. Or you need to tweak within that challenge, versus being so rigid and thinking, “hey this is how you’re supposed to do it, right? Everybody fits into the parameters of a standard whole 30, right?” And that’s just not the case. It’s just not.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So if you don’t go into it with that mind of gathering data about yourself and being willing to flex without immediately feeling like you’re failing; ok. You know what? This goes into this whole; and by the way, people should listen to our accidentally dieting podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I was just thinking this was; yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Which was just in the last few. That’s a good one. But this is something I’ve been talking to my mom about. Generationally, I think maybe we’re one of the first generations to start breaking free from this must have overlord complex, because I’ve noticed that my grandparents and my parents don’t feel secure or steady or like they are ok unless they are overlorded by a boss, or their contributing to social security, or they’re rank and file and what they’ve been told what they need to do to have a good life for their whole lives, right? I think that’s probably a whole other discussion, but my thoughts are, we’re trying so hard to break free from this overlord complex that a lot of us have that we don’t even realize we’re living under. You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think that is; that is a huge can of worms.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think the internet probably introduced us to the fact that not everybody lives in that way that we think we were supposed to, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And has afforded us possibilities and opportunities to do things differently.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think part of it too, this kind of piggybacks on your point about the overlord, which is so interesting. So interesting. But I think a lot of people want to absolve themselves of the responsibility.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: Of figuring out what works for their body.

Liz Wolfe: Totally. Totally. They want somebody; yes! Oh my gosh, you’re so right.

Diane Sanfilippo: “Somebody tell me what’s going to work for me.” And I think that there is wisdom in each challenge, you know? One is not better than the other, they’re created for different reasons. Even a juice cleanse; hell. You know, you want to do a juice cleanse? Fine. I don’t really care, I don’t think it’s what’s going to be magical for you. But learn something from it. You know what I mean? If you want to do one of those things, learn something from it. But don’t just throw your hands up and say; “Well, I’m doing this and they say it’s going to do this, and if it doesn’t, then either it didn’t work or maybe I’m a bad person for not doing it right somehow.” Or “I had an extra snack, and I wasn’t supposed to snack.” Or whatever it is.

And you know, even if someone is doing the 21-Day Sugar Detox, and they end up eating something that’s off plan, but they’re following it; whatever. No; I can’t guarantee what’s going to happen if they’re doing their own plan, they’re not following the plan that I’ve created that I kind of have known expected outcomes for; but, at the same time, I would so much rather folks just figure things out for themselves. I only wrote it to give people a starting off point, and a place to learn from. But I would so much rather somebody do the program one time, and then be like; you know what, I’m going to do my own Sugar Detox, and here’s what I’m going to add back in because I think I’m going to feel just fine doing that. And I’m like; yeah, do it. Go for it. I’ve got no skin in the game about what you’re going to do once you learn something, you know what I mean? I think that people are afraid to do that.

And also; this is kind of back to the diet conversation we had; also really tied to the whole, “This is the plan and this is what I’m supposed to do, and it’s supposed to work, and if I don’t feel good in the process, I shouldn’t do something differently because this is what the plan is.” I was really quick to stop eating, let’s say 6 small meals a day, because I literally felt like garbage. I was napping multiple times a day, I was super tired doing that. And even just eating the same food fewer times in a day, kind of making the meals a little bit bigger, I’ve gone through enough times of learning how my body feels eating different ways to know this is the wisdom of my own body and I need to listen to it.

I think there’s something that hopefully we can teach that to people, too, as we go through things like the Master Class and folks learn more through these podcast episodes, like the point of a challenge shouldn’t be that it’s the end all, be all of how to get healthier.

5. Macros based meal plans [35:31]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, so you’ve pretty much given us a segue into talking a little bit more about the macro meal plans. So I think a lot of people; one of the things that people wonder about, and maybe people should wonder about but don’t think about before they jump in. because I do think we have to address the fact that a portion of our audience stumbles upon us and stumbles upon real food, and paleo, and what have you because they are sick. Or something like that. So people wonder if these types of things, macro meal plans or challenges, are appropriate for people who are sick.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And I’d to hear your thoughts on that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so I think it really depends on what folks mean by sick. If you have a preexisting health condition, if you have hypothyroidism or a diagnosed condition. If your condition is either in remission or it’s being managed with your own diet and lifestyle choices and a health care practitioner; if you’re feeling pretty good, then addressing the macronutrient value of your food is probably not the worst idea. But here’s the big caveat; following a plan like this can be extremely stressful. It’s really hard at first. It’s definitely hard the first, let’s say, up to 3 or 4 weeks, it’s really challenging. The challenge of eating this certain way is added on top of every other stressor that you’re dealing with in your life.

Even for myself, somebody who is pretty good at dealing with meal planning, and figuring out how to balance my food and all of that. I didn’t do any of that while I was working on Practical Paleo second edition kind of more intensive writing and edits, which was most of the first half of this year. I was working on the plan that I did November, December, January, and then February, March, April, May, June something like that, working on edits for the book I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay on a plan while that major stressor was in my life.

So that’s the caveat; if you’ve got something else going on in your life that’s really stressful, then throwing a plan like that into the mix, honestly, if you can get things done ahead and put things in containers and it actually makes it easier for you during the week to just grab your food and you’re good to go and it’s less decision making and all of that, maybe. But I think if you’re dealing with an illness, you need to be very acutely aware of how your body feels, how it’s responding to the different foods, how it’s responding to the different energy balance that you’re giving it. And if you don’t feel well to not just say; “Well I need to stick this out because this is the plan.”

And the other tricky thing about these plans is that; it doesn’t matter who is writing you a macros based meal plan. They’re honestly almost all the same. They’re very similar; I’ve done two different types or two different brands of plans, and they are really, really similar, almost the same. Either way, you need to know how your body feels eating that food, and either type of plan is going to take many weeks to see changes in your body. And for most people, you have to push through a lot of discomfort, and I wouldn’t recommend that for somebody who is not already coming from a healthy baseline, if that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I just don’t think that’s a good idea. I think it’s too much stress for your body. So another question we’ve been getting a lot is, how do you pick a plan that’s going to work for you? And people are asking my thoughts on the different plans that I did. And quite frankly; they’re pretty much the same. I think if you want to pick one because you like being in a community and you want to see which community better suits your needs, that’s a good way to go. I’m not a joiner; I didn’t want to be a part of either community. When I tried to be a part of one of the communities, I asked a question and the responses I got right off the bat just kind of were red flags for me, and I just kind of ran.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, nope. Not interested in any of what these people are doing or thinking or whatever. I’m going to just do my thing with this plan and either go with it or not. But I think you have to just base it on your own instincts and research. Don’t ask me to tell you what to do, because I don’t want to do that. It’s not my responsibility; it’s your responsibility, frankly. So me just pointing you in a direction; it’s not that helpful. So there’s that. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: This is why; well, one of many reasons why we have a podcast. Because we both have work that we’ve put out into the world, but there are so many special considerations, and nuances, and different levels of encouragement that people need for different things, and some people who are sick really benefit from say a 21-day challenge. Let’s say their skin gets better, their eczema clears up. But other people that are super sick should not embark on a restrictive challenge because it will cause more stress. It’s like; I don’t know. I just think anybody who has a program should have a podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: We don’t have the answers.

Liz Wolfe: I know. I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, we don’t have the answers, you know. And even like a 30-day meal plan from Practical Paleo, it is intended to be like a clinical meal plan; the food itself is not the meal plan. The food itself is just one part. It’s all encompassing; but, it’s not everything. {laughs} There’s just so much that goes on, and nobody is going to change everything about their life in 21, or 28, or 30, or even 60 days. It takes a lot longer than that. And I think a lot of these macro meal plans tend to be more like 12 weeks or 3 months. And I do like that about them. I like that they’re longer, because the truth is, expecting change quickly is just sort of a false hope, and sticking to something longer term, committing to yourself, committing to the changes you need to make, committing to making new habits and new choices; I learned a lot in those 3 months, and I was really glad that it was that long. Because it wasn’t like this quick fix, I’m going to do this for a month and expect life-changing, miraculous results. And the fact that it was a lot longer, it made me surrender a bit to this idea that it’s going to take time and I have to give it that time. And now, what I’ve learned from that personally is that everything I want to do is going to take time.

Changing my fitness; I’m like, ok for the next month, here’s what I’m going to do. But I know that the goals I have with my fitness and whatever I’m doing at the gym are going to take a lot longer than that. It’s just I might be able to think about the next 30 days as a time period that I want to change things in, but I know that’s going to feed into the next 3 months, 6 months, and the next year. So I just think it’s important for people to have that mindset, and be open to learning things about it in the process.

Liz Wolfe: I’m also going to give an option C; which is to; {laughs} or option Z. Which is to change what you want for yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

Liz Wolfe: So I think a lot of the things that I did challenge wise were to fight my body and to looking a certain way. I definitely wanted to be “skinny” or like low body fat, toned, I wanted to, for parts of my life, to look like a marathon runner, to look like, you know, whatever. And a lot of what changed with my ideas around challenges changed with my ideas about my body and what it should look like. So I actually really like my body now. I’m wearing teeny tiny shorts right now, and I’ve been wearing them all day. There was a time when I would never have worn my Nike running shorts out in public.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: I’m pretty sure I have the same legs, but it just doesn’t bother me so much anymore.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think part of that comes with age, and with the wisdom when you look back at knowing how your body really looked years ago, and remembering how you thought and talked about it.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. {laughing} How good I had I had it? No.

Diane Sanfilippo: What?

Liz Wolfe: How good I had it, but I still hated myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, honestly yeah. I mean we look back at photos, and we’re like, I thought I was fat. So, I think that gives you the hindsight and the wisdom to say, let me just love where I’m at because who knows where I’m going to be in a few more years. Maybe it will be, you know, in one direction or the other but you have to be just happy where you’re at now. Well that’s good, I’m glad to hear that in your years of age. Also, having a child I feel like hopefully gives women a little bit more respect for their bodies in a different sense. Good, yeah.

So, some practical things on the meal plan stuff, whether it’s a macro based plan or let’s say you’re following one of the plans in Practical Paleo. How do you make this stuff work when you’re dining out, or at work, or you’re dealing with snacks? You really just have to get good at the whole; this is where it comes in with the weighing and measuring. You know, I’ve talked about that for a long time. I don’t want people to weigh and measure for their whole lives, but if you do it for a week or you do it for 2 weeks and you just get an idea of a ballpark of, you know, what’s the amount of food that feels good for me, or works for me, then you know when you order something at a restaurant and it comes out and it’s either not enough protein, for example, maybe you need to order extra protein, or maybe it’s more than you need and you can take some home with you or share it with someone. I think those are kind of the best ways to navigate.

And you know, we get this question so much about how to dine out; and I’m not really sure why people are so confused about how to order food at a restaurant. Maybe that’s jerky of me to say, or whatever; but it’s not that hard. {laughs} You know, you look at the menu, you see what’s there, and you ask some questions of the waiter or waitress, and you choose food just like you would at home. It’s not that big of a deal. But you do have to get used to asking certain questions if you can’t have certain foods, or you want to be avoiding extra oils for whatever reason, if you are following a macros plan, most of the time they’re lower in fat so you need to be avoiding fried foods and things that are cooked in tons of butter and oil. But just chill out and don’t over think it. Just ask the questions, and do your thing. I don’t know what it is that gets people so caught up with dining out. I think it’s more about the pressure of the people around you, and that maybe being difficult, than the actual, physical, read the menu, choose something. Or is it that? Is that really difficult. Am I just being too hard on people? Are you muted?

Liz Wolfe: It’s scary. There’s fear there. It’s condition, it’s; you know. So maybe we can just reframe it to like; not like, it’s not that hard, but like, it’s going to be ok. Just act as if you’ll get used to doing that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} That’s Liz versus Diane.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} I know. I know. But you know, we’re used to getting in line and not asking questions, and doing what we’re told.

Diane Sanfilippo: True.

Liz Wolfe: We just talked about challenges; that’s where we are. That’s kind of an underlying theme of this episode. So, rocking the boat is asking your waiter extra questions, and that feels weird to people.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Maybe because it doesn’t feel weird to me?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: What is with me? Why am I this way?

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: My parents are not this way. I don’t know what it is.

Liz Wolfe: I love your parents.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just, like; I think I’ve always questioned authority for whatever reason.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I’m like; your rules don’t make sense. Those rules aren’t real. None of that is real. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Those rules aren’t real. They were real that day I wore a vest!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Totally. So, a couple of other practical questions someone asked; is it best to do this on your own or have a program to follow? I think having a program to follow, at least initially, is a good idea, and thereafter if you want to calculate yourself based on what feels good for you and what you think is going to work for you, then that’s cool.

And, you know, what to do after the plan; I think it’s really important to take what you learn and try and rework the things that you were doing before. So, you know, you and I got really down on something like chicken breast for a long time because it’s kind of all we all ever ate, was chicken breast. Like we never ate the bone-in, skin-on thighs, we never ate other cuts that may have been tastier or fattier. It’s just what we’re all conditioned to do, and it was like the diet food thing. But I do think finding a new balance of, “ok, I actually have some really yummy ways to enjoy chicken breast.” {laughs} Avoiding the chicken breast doesn’t solve the problem of eating the whole animal, right? I think there are ways to kind of incorporate some different foods and different balances for what’s going on on your plate over time. And I think we can all just kind of feel that out and see what’s going to work for us, and start to tune into our bodies a little bit more.

6. Let’s talk about carbs [48:48]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So I really want to cover the nursing and carbs questions that we get; can we skip down there and maybe come back, or what do you think?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah lets; I mean, let’s get into carbohydrates, because I think on the tail of the macros plans, one of the things that comes up a lot is that folks who are used to eating paleo and maybe used to eating higher fat lower carb then get pushed to eating higher carb and lower fat, and that freaks a lot of people out. But I know that is something that we’ve talked about a bunch, especially for women who may be nursing. And there are lots of women who are going through different stages of pregnancy or post, you know, after they’ve had the child; who might be following a plan. But yeah, let’s talk about carbs. Let’s talk about carbs and nursing. We can talk about carbs and everything.

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So, alright I’m going to read a couple of questions here because I just think it will be helpful to just lay the ground work. So here’s the first question. “I’m a nursing mom of a 9-month-old. I’m gluten, soy, and dairy free. I eat lots of organic fruits, veggies, and meat, but I’m not necessarily paleo because I eat some gluten-free grains. Oatmeal, polenta, and rice. I recently tried to cut out those to try and improve some GI symptoms; gas, bloating, constipation, but my milk supply disappeared in just 2 days of cutting out those carb sources. Is it possible to maintain milk supply and cut carbs? I can only eat so much sweet potato, as it is a FODMAP in large amounts, and it really bothers me.”

And another follow onto that. “I also am a nursing mom of a 7-month-old. I find that when I cut out carbs, I lose my milk so fast. Even though I’m having plenty of healthy fats and veggies, I’m not incredibly active because I have a history with adrenal fatigue, especially right now. I’m not sleeping well, I’m nervous to put too much stress on my body. I’m mainly going for walks and practicing yoga one to two times a week, however losing some poundage would be awesome as I’m not in a comfortable spot with my body composition. Please help this mama out.”

So. From my experience, the postpartum period is a time where you really see your weaknesses highlighted. And weakness is probably not the right word; but maybe your vulnerabilities. So, there are things that we can get away with, but when something is literally pulling its food from our bodies; especially when it’s doing so exclusively, you really have very, very little wiggle room. And if we think about this in a historical context, there was likely a much more biologically appropriate level of stress in, say, hunter-gatherers lives, or the lives on tribal communities where everybody was pitching in, probably everybody was nursing each other’s babies, any stressors were probably acute versus chronic, and for us, as isolated women who are dealing with, you know, scary advice like, “Don’t bed share! Don’t co-sleep! Don’t do this, don’t do that.

Doctor Google tells you that there’s something dramatically wrong with you or your child; you’re up all night staring at blue light nursing your kid; you’re trying to figure this stuff out alone with very little help; without the help of a tribe or a community in a lot of cases, or in the case that you do have a community, often that’s online, and then there’s more blue light for you to access at all hours of the day. The stress is profound, which is why I really encourage new moms to just not do very much.

{laughs} Like, I can’t; I want to be compassionate for people who have body composition goals. And I understand; I’m 18 months in, more than that actually, and I’ve been nursing. I don’t do very much. I would love to do more than I do just because I feel like, conditioning wise, I’d like to be a little bit healthier. It’s not so much a body composition thing, but it could just as well be. But you just have to not just give yourself grace, but you might not be able to do what you want to do. You might really want to work on your body composition, you might really want to cut carbs; but it’s just not realistic. And anybody that tells you it is, I think is really selling something detrimental. Anybody who says otherwise is selling something.

So, my opinion is, especially during times of stress, our body calls on metabolic pathways that are fueled by glucose. The end. If you don’t have some stored glucose, you’re going to have issues. And that’s why a steady stream of healthy carbs is really important. Now, chronic stress means you need a consistent steady reliable supply of glucose to avoid going into a really profoundly draining stress response. For some people, gluten free grains are an absolute necessity. And part of that is because, likely. This is my speculation, but this makes a lot of sense to me. In part because when we’re in this really profound state of stress, which is what being a new mom is, and you can consider yourself a new mom for 5 years. I don’t care; however long you feel like a new mom, that’s how long you get to be a new mom and be thinking about these things and adjusting accordingly. When you’re in that state; that physical and mental state, you’re digestion is probably compromised to a degree.

So, for example this first question was talking about; “I cut some stuff out to try and improve some GI symptoms; gas, bloating, constipation.” It’s possible, it’s worth considering, that those GI symptoms were actually more of a result of being compromised enough that real food became a little bit hard to digest. Because real food does demand your optimal or optimum, I don’t know, digestive capacity. We talk about digestion a ton in the Master Class; we talk about stress a ton in the Master Class, but this is one of those really unique situations where, if you can’t really set the stage for optimal/optimum digestive health and function, your body might actually end up relying a little bit on the easy carbs from more processed grains, which would be the gluten free grains; oatmeal, polenta, rice. Probably polenta and rice more so than oatmeal. Oatmeal has other benefits, I think, that are good for lactation, as does brewer’s yeast and stuff like that, which are pretty standard for lactation cookies.

But contextualizing it that way, that maybe cutting out those easy sources of carbohydrate that your body was probably really coming to rely on might have not only contributed to the drop in milk supply, but they also might not have been the problem in the first place. So the fundamental question there was, “Is it possible to maintain milk supply and cut carbs?” I don’t think so. Unless you are literally, all you do all day, you hand the baby off to a nanny and a baby nurse and they just bring it to you on a cloud that you’re floating in a hot tub filled with really attractive men; if you're life is that stress free, then maybe you could cut some carbs and still nurse, but no I really don’t think so.

And I also think the general recommendation that people adhere to as a paleo/real food type person might not be adequate from the standpoint of carbohydrates, either. One of the things I really like for moms is orange juice; I like orange juice and milk. Fresh squeezed orange juice, really, easy quick supply of glucose and potassium, can be really, really helpful sipping that between meals or sipping some raw milk between meals. Even sugaring that milk a little bit is totally fine, because if your; for me, personally, my priority has been being able to nurse. I have really succumbed to some stress recently, and intermittently during the last year and a half. It was just inevitable for me. But my number one thing is I want to be able to nurse until I’m ready to not nurse anymore. I don’t want that decision to be made for me.

So in that light, it is a matter of prioritizing things and just having to let go of, for example, body composition goals or just wanting to cut carbs for, I don’t know, convenience or what have you.

Yeah, I think I pretty much covered everything. Another problem I think with cutting carbs is that often, especially when you’re cutting whole food carbs, you’re losing some of your supply of vitamin C, which is another reason I like fresh squeezed orange juice. That’s what I got.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. I think we; we’re coming in on almost an hour here, but I do want to segue from what you were talking about with getting enough carbs to make sure that you're supporting nursing; another question we have was, “How do you know the right amount of carbs for your body?” I think that can be a question for any context, whether someone is nursing or whether someone is an athlete or just not exercising as much. And Emily Elizabeth was saying, “I wish the right amount of carbs meant pancakes for breakfast er’yday, but my waistline would disagree with that. In all seriousness, I hear you both loud and clear about different bodies needing different amount of carbs. I can tell when I’ve had too few; how do you know what’s too much?”

And I think that’s a good question and I think one of the things that you and I learned about when we went to the Poliquin biosignature course several years ago, and this is where we get maybe a little bit nit-picky about body fat and where we’re storing it, but I do think it’s good information and it’s helpful to know and it’s something that I’m very aware of with my body, because I’m not trying to eat to nurse. That’s not my goal, I don’t need to have that as the priority, it is something that I’m like; “Ok, I want to make sure I have enough carbs to feel good,” and also, frankly enjoy my food. Not like I’m never eating potatoes, because I enjoy eating them; but at what point is it too much?

One of the things we learned about was when you store body fat, and I think especially as women this is pretty easy to see when it happens, kind of around and above the bra line, which a lot of us think that we have more there, but it’s really about relative to everywhere else. And what happens if you do cut carbs down? Do you notice that that area does tend to decrease, or not? And for me, it is something that I notice when I eat lower carb, my body fat that normally wants to sit right above that bra line, kind of under the back of, I don’t know, the back of my shoulder blades, that will decrease.

But here’s the caveat; I can’t expect to train a certain way without carbohydrates. So if I want to eat fewer carbs because I want that part of my body fat modulation to change, I have to also change my training. And I think that’s one of the things that our listeners really need to understand; is that we can’t just change one thing in a bubble and expect everything else to fall in place. So same thing with the question about wanting to maybe not eat the gluten free grains because she wants to eat more paleo, or even somebody who needs to avoid certain foods. You can’t just change one thing and not have everything else in your body affected by it.

So how do you know what’s too much? Generally, you’re probably going to start storing body fat somewhere. That tends to be one of the places; belly fat is another place that folks do tend to store it, but kind of the back of the shoulders tends to be where we’re seeing more of that carbohydrate body fat just hormonally.

Another question about when to eat them, how much, you know; I feel like people get really hung up on this, and there are some nuances for high level athletes; but I honestly feel like getting this out in the open, that when your body feels like it needs carbs, eat the carbs, and when you feel like you’re not actually interested in them, then don’t eat them. {laughs} I mean, is that a little too intuitive to have to say?

Like, I didn’t have really any carbs for breakfast this morning, but I had worked out. And maybe if I was a high level athlete, or maybe if I was a figure competitor trying to super optimize things, maybe that’s not the right thing to do. I normally would tell people eat carbs post workout. But I didn’t feel like it, so I didn’t. And so I had some at lunch because I felt like it at lunch. And I think there’s something to that just innate wisdom of what do you feel like eating? And I know we all feel like eating pancakes all day; that’s fine. But it’s not really what I mean.

If you actually listened to your body, and actually give yourself the space to say; ok, here’s the scope of what I might be eating today. What do I feel like? Do I actually feel like I need those carbs right now? And if you don’t, then maybe don’t eat them. I know that’s not helpful, because everybody wants an answer, {laughs} the overlord answer. But I need for people to start paying attention to the signals that your body is sending, and how does it feel if you think you didn’t want carbs for breakfast, but you worked out in the morning, and then for the rest of the day were you starving because you didn’t have carbs for breakfast? We all just really need to pay attention to how our body responds to all of those decisions. Unfortunately; if you’re trying to micromanage it, you have to pay attention to what you're doing. If you don’t want to pay attention, {laughs} then you're not going to be able to micromanage it.

Liz Wolfe: And I don’t want to micromanage, so I don’t pay attention.

Diane Sanfilippo: Exactly.

Liz Wolfe: Or wait. That doesn’t work. Does that work? I guess I pay attention.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think for the people who have these questions, like “When should I eat them? How much? Do I only do it this time?” Like the Questioners, basically. If you want to be a Questioner, you also have to be a data keeper, you know.

Liz Wolfe: Right. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think there are a lot of people who are Questioners who are not willing to keep the data and track and see what’s going on. So that’s really your answer; you have to write down information so you know what’s going on to be able to do that.

And what’s best in preference order? That’s another question that we’re getting. I mean, starchy veggies are really the best nutrition wise, but in terms of carbs, pure carbs, look on and make yourself a little list of all the carbs that you like to eat, and see how many grams of carbs you get per serving, per 100 gram serving perhaps or half a cup serving, for example. See what other nutrition is in there, vitamins and minerals, and do a comparison. It’s really not up to me to tell you what’s best. I mean, I have a chart on paleo sources of carbohydrates in Practical Paleo, so I have already told you what I think is best in that chart. I’m telling you other nutrition that’s in there, I’m telling you how many carbs you’re getting per serving. But if that’s not doing it for you, then that’s where you need to make your own decisions.

Liz Wolfe: You need to make a PDF to share that is like a Choose Your Own Adventure, like one of those flowchart things where it’s like; do you want to micromanage? Do you want to gather data; yes. Or do you want to do that? No. Well then maybe you need to reconsider.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Will this make you; do you want to do this? But, will it make you crazy? Yes. Well, then maybe you need to reconsider.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, we’ll get on that.

Liz Wolfe: You’ll just add that to the list.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So I guess we’ll save a couple more topics for our next episode. Maybe we’ll talk more about digestion, some of the basics, questions about probiotics, constipation, SIBO. Maybe we’ll cover that stuff in our next episode?

Liz Wolfe: Sounds good to me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice Seafood and Organics, where a healthy diet is a vital choice. Purveyors of wild fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison; Vital Choice offers premium quality, sustainably sourced foods that are wildly delicious and delivered to your door. With minimal prep from freezer to table, it’s easy to get delicious protein like wild Alaskan salmon, my favorite; and Wagyu beef into your paleo menu rotation. Vital Choice also has a wide array of ready to eat canned seafood along with satisfying snacks like organic dark chocolates, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. Celebrate the holidays, and your health, with premium seafood and organics from

Liz Wolfe: Ok, that’s it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Please join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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