FREE Education – Paleo Summit – Hacking Paleo


I will be 1 of 9 speakers (woot!) for the upcoming Paleo Summit, airing October 19-22. My presentation is on Hacking Paleo and you can register for the FREE virtual event with the link below. Enrollment will include some awesome freebies including my 21 Day Self-Guided Paleo Challenge eBook ($10 value).

Whether you are a paleo enthusiast or just want to learn ways to be healthier, you will find value in this summit. The speakers range from MD’s, cardiologists, Nurses, Dietitians (me!) and bestselling authors. We care about helping the world become a happier and healthier place and have donated our time to give you access to this information.


You don’t have to make any phone calls, download any software, or travel anywhere to experience this Virtual Paleo Summit.  No dealing with booking a hotel, getting up early, or marching to the beat of someone else’s drum.  This summit is on your time, from the comfort of your home or office, straight to your computer through the internet.

On October 19th the Virtual Paleo Summit will go Live and be available until midnight on the 22nd.  You will have 4 full days to watch all of the World Renown Speakers Virtual Trainings.  At the end of the 4th day the Summit will come to a close.  (You can maintain LifeTime Access to all Virtual Trainings with PRO or ELITE Registration)

Just click the link to register.  You will get an email with a link to create a username and password, and then on the 19th, just log in and enjoy the summit.

Hormonal Balance

I look forward to setting a few minutes aside most days to read one of my favorite e-newsletters from Mind Body Green. Have you heard of them? If not, head their way. They have a treasure chest of feel good health articles, covering diet to meditation to movement. Yet, getting to the topic of today’s post, after reading an article on foods to avoid for hormonal imbalance, I want to give feedback on one of the author’s, Alisa Vitti, statements. And to expand on the word “feedback,” I do not intend to suggest she is wrong, I am right, I just want to add more information to educate consumers as we are on the same team here.

The full article is here, but in summary the author suggests striving for hormonal balance by avoiding:

  • raw kale,
  • soy,
  • stevia (and I really appreciated this on the list as so many women are confused what to use as a sweetener, especially when they are pregnant),
  • red meat and
  • “cooling foods.”

Guess which one I want to address? Red meat.

I am not sure I am sold, as I have written an article on Pregnancy Staple Foods and included red meat (grassfed/organic) as a nutrition powerhouse.

After the listing of “red meat” in the hormone article, the author includes, “Many of my clients with PCOS have been told to follow a meat-heavy Paleo diet, but in my experience, this isn’t the best option.”

I agree with that –  a meat heavy diet would not be good for anyone’s long-term health, let alone hormone balance. Carbs are crucial for health. Yes, there are people fitting for a very low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, but carbs should not be the new weight-gaining phobia. In the 80s people learned to fear fat, and in the last decade or more, carbs have become the bad guy. However, carbs are needed for thyroid health, adrenal health, satiety/sleep and weight loss! Protein is needed, in a calculated/intuitive amount, and healthy red meat is a GREAT option.

All in all, I don’t have beef with beef if it’s sourced well, and I don’t want consumers to either. When able, purchase beef that is grassfed and organic (although, did you see the news on organic meat? Either way, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with organic). So I think this is a great article, yet, I’d change up the wording of red meat, to avoid a heavy meat diet, especially conventionally raised meat.

Cheers to you and good health.



Local Chicago Company – Sustainable Jerky

While at a holiday party this month, I ran into the owner, Ricky Hirsch, of Think Jerky and was a bit blown away when tasting a sample of his turkey jerky, among other sustainable flavors. Our conversation flowed and I asked if Ricky could share a little of his story on my blog. Enjoy!

Per Ricky: “Jerky has always been my favorite food until I was old enough to realize that it just wasn’t healthy. Gas station jerky has always been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives. I gave up eating it because I thought that’s how jerky had to be.

Two years ago I came to the realization that jerky is just baked protein and has the potential, if made properly, to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Since I’m not a cook, I partnered with three of the best Chefs in the country to make the recipes. Our Chefs include:

  1. Laurent Gras | Three-Star Michelin Chef
  2. Gale Gand | Food Network Host
  3. Matt Troost | Farm-to-Table expert

We are the first company ever with a collection of Chefs like this and the first company ever with a three-star Michelin Chef. Think Jerky only uses sustainable-raised proteins, with restaurant quality ingredients in recipes by famous Chefs. All of our ingredients are gluten free, Non-GMO, all natural, no nitrites, and have no added hormones or antibiotics.

Our jerky is perfectly portioned in single-serve 100 calorie bags that have 16g protein and only 6g carbs, and is the perfect snack for traveling and the 2pm snack.

We are just launching this week and completed our Kickstarter where we ended up a top 5 most backed food ever. We have already been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, Crain’s, Paleo Magazine, WGN TV, Splash, Chicago Tribune, Michigan Avenue Magazine, and many more, pretty crazy for a product that’s not fully launched yet.

You can find our jerky online at and locally in Chicago

Thank you for letting me share a little of our story and hope your readers can easily find our product and enjoy the benefits, including flavor!”


Paleo & Cholesterol Concerns

A client just sent me an email last night w/ some lab work. While she is just one person, using a real food template for her diet, there is many other stories and research out there that can help calm any worries in eating healthy yet cholesterol containing foods and attaining ideal cardiovascular health. Email verbatim below; and with her permission. Thanks Eileen for sharing and being transparent for my readers as well.

“Hi Kelly! I know I usually e-mail you from my Gmail, but I had a health assessment at work and wanted to share my results below. I’ve always had pretty low cholesterol and despite eating 3-4 eggs a day since I first saw you ~18 months ago, I still have healthy cholesterol. I just wanted to share, not that you needed proof, but in case there are any doubters out there—the screenshot below is proof!” (Click image to enlarge).


‘Hands Down’ the Paleo Diet is the Best Solution for this Case of Diabetes

Thanks to social media I was able to connect with yet another fellow health advocate, using the paleo diet to control his type one diabetes. The below interview was held with the writer of Intrepid Pioneer, a site about modern homesteading principals.

Perhaps, you as the reader, can connect with this interview and maybe find yourself inspired to optimize your diet. Feedback is welcomed.

Cheers to you and good health,


How long have you had diabetes?

I was diagnosed May 2011 during my routine annual physical. At that time my blood sugars were up around 360 and my AC1’s ran around 12.3. At first I was treated as if I was a Type 2 with Metformin. The medicine only helped to control my blood sugars down to around 250 or so. At that time my endocrinologist informed me that I probably have LADA or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes, which basically has been coined type 1.5 Meaning I developed adult on-set Type 1. My father has had Type 1 all his life and was diagnosed as a child.

What eating regime have you found to be most helpful in managing stable blood sugars and how did you come to find this diet?

Paleo, hands down, without a question. It took me some time to get there. I had tried Weight Watchers, and measure portions, etc. but I still just felt that each time I checked my glucose it was a crap shoot. I eventually did the Advocare 10 day cleanse and my blood sugars stabilized. Next I started researching Paleo and ultimately I ended up taking on the Whole 30 challenge. That was it and I’ve been keeping a food/exercise journal since Jan. 2013 and am now able to completely understand how my body metabolism it’s sugars. Sometimes my glucose is a surprise to me and when that happens I can look back through my food journal to see just what I ate or did for that number (good or bad).

What main improvements in your health have you observed, diabetic-related or not? 

I’ve lost about 15bls and I am exercising on a more regular basis and enjoying it. Whereas I used to say the only time I ran was when I was being chased and now I’ve let a buddy talk me into running a Rock and Roll half-marathon in 2014. Plus, I’ve started doing Crossfit and I love strength training, lifting weights and the intensity that Crossfit brings as well as the community of likeminded no-bullshit real people.

Do you find the diet realistic and something to maintain long term? Would you recommend it to others managing their diabetes? 

Yes, not only do I feel better, and have tighter control over my diabetes, I absolutely recommend it to anyone. Here’s the deal too that I like about Paleo – it can be as strict as they want or modify it to fit their lifestyle. For example, I am a home brewer and I love beer AND I love cheese. Those two delicious pieces of goodness I will never give up, so instead I gave up hot, fresh, warm bread and pasta. It’s all about choices.

What does a typical day of food look like to you? 

Easy. Take today for example:

6:30a – BG 82mg/dl
20oz black coffee and 1 banana (it was a rough morning, sometimes I eat eggs or I’ll make a protein shake)

8:30a – 103 mg/dl
another 20oz Black coffee

1 apple and 1/3c raw almonds

11:15 – BG post snack 125 mg/dl

1 salad (bib lettuce from my garden), with radishes, scallions, cucumbers and 1/3c raw sunflower seeds, a little goat cheese and rice vinegar dressing. 1 large avocado and a 12oz can of seltzer water.

1:15 BG post lunch – 97 mg/dl

1 string cheese and an organic raspberry yogurt.

7:50p 237 Pre dinner (went out to a pub for Guinness and ate happy hour bar food)

9:45p 155 post dinner (took 8u fast acting w/dinner since I was so high from the bar food)

Here’s another example:

6:05a 138 fasting

6:30a 2 eggs over medium + 1 banana

8:45a 160 post breakfast

9a 20 oz black coffee

10 a 1/3c raw almonds and an Asian pear/apple

11:15a Turkey burger with mustard 2 slices whole wheat and cheddar) not paleo I know 🙂 Wanted the carbs for my workout.

11:30 2 servings of my C4 pre-workout drink

12 Crossfit during lunch

1p 2 servings whey protein shake post w/o

3p 127 post shake

7:15p Paleo Chicken in Mushroom coconut sauce over quinoe and garnished w/scallions + 1 glass red wine

9:05p 106 post dinner

Pick any day of the week and or specific day (this year) and I can tell you what I ate and when. I realize today might be the best example of a day.

What is the best thing about the diet? 

If I fall of the wagon for some reason and eat some chips or red vines (my kryptonite) I don’t feel guilty, like I did in the past when I tried Weight Watchers. I still mark it down in my journal, take it as head nod and move forward. You can make what you want of eating Paleo, be strict, or give yourself a cheat day. I love eating real food, that’s not prepackaged crap, I feel healthier and have more energy each day.

Any tips for someone getting started on this type of diet? 

Plan. For me that is the most essential thing. I found that when I didn’t plan, I fell off the wagon and I only had me to blame. It’s easy to do, but to stay focused you just have to plan. When you know what your meals are for the week, you can get home from work and then get at it in the kitchen. No excuses.

Anything in addition you’d like to say? 

Since eating the Paleo lifestyle, and I hate it when one calls it a diet because then it feels temporary, I’ve pretty much stop taking my fast acting mealtime insulin. Meaning I only inject fast acting when I know I’m having Pizza for dinner as a treat, or for a thanksgiving meal, etc. My long acting insulin has reduced by over 10 units since starting this diet. All of that said, Paleo is great and it all tastes so good because it’s real food, but I have found that I also need to exercise, eating Paleo combined with exercise has yielded dynamic results. My endocrinologist was blown away by all that I had done, reduced my insulin injections and basically had my A1C’s in check — my last appointment I was 7.3. Still a bit more to go but the last time I was pushing 9 just six months before.

Lastly, some may say that eating Paleo is expensive, I would then ask, which is more expensive paying for real, quality food, or paying a doctor/insurance company for advice and then paying for an prescription? It’s all just choices.


Using the Paleo Diet to Manage Type 1 Diabetes & Hypothyroid

alexiskimphotoMost recently I have conversed with some lovely individuals about how we use diet to stabilize blood sugars. Today, I have captured a Q & A with Alexis to inspire others to focus on diet to gain health.

How long have you had diabetes? I was diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 28.  I had gestational diabetes with my daughter the year before and when I initially found out they insisted I was Type 2 (even though both of my uncles found out they were Type 1 in their 30s).  They wanted me to take medication as a Type 2 but after 3 weeks of having blood sugars in the 200s and 300s I insisted they put me on an insulin regimen. More bloodwork was done and type 1 diabetes was confirmed along with hypothyroid. Haven’t looked back since

What eating regime have you found to be most helpful in managing stable blood sugars and how did you come to find this diet? I was extremely proactive about managing my diabetes after I found out. Sure I was upset at first but at the time I had a 2 ½ year old and a 1 year old and all I could think of was how horrible it would be for me to leave my children with no mom. I discovered paleo early on by doing online research and intentions to keep carbs to a minimum.  My A1c went from 8.3 when diagnosed to 5.5 in just a few months. If that’s not proof I don’t know what is!

What main improvements in your health have you observed, diabetic-related or not? Overall health has improved. I have much better mental clarity.  I feel less moody and irritable. I also notice a difference in my hair, skin and nails. I have tons of baby hair growing and I no longer have strange ridges in my nails. After being diagnosed I also discovered that I am definitely gluten intolerant and cannot eat legumes.  I used to think I had acne in high school but in retrospect it was these things manifesting themselves. My skin is perfectly clear after going paleo. Paleo has also helped me maintain my weight. I weighed 103 when diagnosed and looked very malnourished. I gained some weight back but have been able to maintain it by eating this way. I also have to add that my dental health has improved ten fold. After many years of terrible dental visits I haven’t had one cavity and in fact, the last time I went for a cleaning my dentist said my teeth were so clean he didn’t even need to clean them!

Do you find the diet realistic and something to maintain long term? Would you recommend it to others managing their diabetes? I don’t consider paleo a diet. It is a lifestyle. In my case I had been eating and doing things a certain way for 28 years and then all of a sudden was told that I had to change. I was forced to make a change because of my diabetes and I consider that a blessing but others who want to make a change without being forced to may have difficulty in the beginning. With that said, after small steps, it is definitely realistic and easy to maintain long term. I recommend this way of eating to everyone not just diabetics. It is my opinion that if it is good for a diabetic then it is probably good for you too!

What does a typical day of food look like to you? I am so lucky to be married to a Korean man! I love Korean food, especially authentic Korean food. My mother in law is one of the last generations to ferment her own kimchi (not just cabbage either, this woman knows how to ferment ANYTHING).  She also ferments her own soybean paste which is a lost art even in Korea these days. We eat some sort of soup at least once everyday. My kids really like Korean seaweed soups and bone broth. My favorite dish is Korean style braised pork belly (super easy!). I never take a grocery list to the market. I buy what looks good or is in season and then I work with that. In general as my mother in law has taught me, I try to cook with what I have without having a structured menu. My carbs mainly come from vegetables unless I treat and have some roasted sweet potato.

What is the best thing about the diet? The best thing about eating this way for me is the mental clarity and amazing amount of energy I now have. I feel so much more alive like I am actually living after eating this way. One can take being diagnosed as diabetic as an early death sentence but managing my diabetes this way makes me feel so much more appreciative and satisfied with the life I am living.

Any tips for someone getting started on this type of diet? The first book I read was Mark Sisson’s the Primal Blueprint. I loved that it was written simple enough for everyone to understand. When it is easy for us to understand it is much easier for us to make a change. Also, it is easy to want to feel like you need to dive right in, but really what helped me in the beginning was taking small baby steps. For example, at first, I didn’t eat rice (blasphemous in a Korean house!). I still would have a piece of bread but no rice. Then, no more bread, after that, no oatmeal,. then eliminated grains, then legumes, then I started focusing on the quality of meat I was eating, etc.  If I hadn’t done it that way I am sure I would have felt overwhelmed and deprived.  At some point I decided on what number of carbs I wanted to eat everyday as well. That definitely helped the transition.

Anything in addition you’d like to say? There is a lot of misconceptions about what paleo is. It is more about what it is not.  It is also not one size fits all and others should keep in mind that there is an experimentation period. I believe this is necessary. You have to eat everything and then listen to your body. It may say “I don’t like that but I love this!”  Although the word paleo is often used I personally like to use the word primal. If you look up the word primal in the dictionary it also means important. And that is what my health and well being is to me! I have created this beta website to encourage this health movement to grow!

Another T1 DM Using the Paleo Lifestyle to Manage Blood Sugars

photoI had the pleasure to connect with Shelby Hughes, a fellow type 1 diabetic, to talk about the great use of a paleo lifestyle to gain health, and more so find more ease in controlling blood sugars. Have a look at our conversation and please share if you have found similar things in your diet transition.

How long have you had diabetes? I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008 at age 39 years old. Originally I was diagnosed with Type 2, but after changing my diet, taking oral medication and performing daily exercise wasn’t helping my blood sugars, I had additional lab work that confirmed I had the antibodies for Type 1.

What eating regime have you found to be most helpful in managing stable blood sugars and how did you come to find this diet? When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I researched online and found that many diabetics (both Type 1 and 2) had been successful following a low carb diet. When I switched to this type of diet, I did see improvement in my blood sugars. However, I was not able to maintain a low-carb lifestyle for a long period of time. Eventually I “fell off the low-carb wagon” and started eating a Standard American Diet again. My blood sugars were always on a rollercoaster!  In January 2013, after hearing about the Paleo and Primal lifestyle from an online friend with diabetes, I decided I would try a Paleo framework for eating. Initially I was going to do it for just two weeks. After two weeks, I noticed that my blood sugars were AMAZINGLY stable. I didn’t have lows, I didn’t have highs. I never looked back!

What main improvements in your health have you observed, diabetic-related or not? Besides having very stable blood sugars (I can literally count on one hand the number BOTH lows and highs I’ve had since starting eating within the Primal/Paleo framework. My sleep has improved (I was having terrible issues with insomnia last fall, before changing my diet). I have lost weight, but I think that’s mainly because I’m staying within or just below my caloric requirements and I’ve increased my exercise. But I do have tons of energy. I was never a runner, EVER, but I completed my first 5K in March and I’m training now for a 10K. In fact, I never liked exercising at all, but now it’s like I HAVE to move my body or I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin! Other changes I’ve noticed are that my skin breaks out less and I don’t get mouth ulcers (I was getting them weekly before I made the changes).

Do you find the diet realistic and something to maintain long term? Would you recommend it to others managing their diabetes? I honestly believe this is a lifestyle I can manage long term. There are so many good Paleo substitutes for my favorite “comfort foods” that I just don’t feel like I’m missing out. I make cauliflower crust for my pizza, I make muffins with almond and coconut flour, I make “pasta” with spaghetti squash or zucchini “noodles”. Many people think that Paleo or Primal means “low carb” but it doesn’t have to! I eat tons of fruit and starchy vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I am definitely eating carbs! And it’s funny…I’ve noticed that fruit and starchy veggies don’t spike my blood sugar like grains do. I won’t say that I’ll never eat another grain in my life…there may be a special occasion that warrants it! But since I love how I feel and love how stable my blood sugar is, it’s just not worth it to me to change back to eating a Standard American Diet.

What does a typical day of food look like to you? I’m a creature of habit, so I like to eat the same thing a lot of times.

Breakfast:  Green smoothie with fruits and veggies, a hardboiled egg, and bacon.

Lunch: a big (I mean big!) salad with grilled chicken, avocado, artichoke hearts, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, raisins, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, cucumbers, balsamic and olive oil dressing, and a nut flour muffin and fresh fruit.

Dinner: some kind of meat (pork, chicken, shellfish, beef), some kind of green vegetable (leafy greens or Brussels sprouts – usually whatever is fresh from the farmer’s market or available from our CSA bag) and some kind of starchy veggie or “grain-like” food – roasted butternut squash, acorn squash “fritters”, sweet potatoes, or maybe cauliflower “breadsticks.” I’m not really a “dessert” person, but I do drink a glass or two of red wine before dinner each night.

What is the best thing about the diet? One of the best things is that you can pretty much eat anywhere and get something that falls within the framework. When I first started, I had to go out of town for work and stay at a hotel. Of course that means eating out every meal. But you can get a big salad pretty much anywhere, and you can always ask that your “burger” or whatever be served without a bun. Of course now when I travel I plan ahead and pack snacks that can be meals: hardboiled eggs, homemade beef jerky, kale chips, homemade “larabars”, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.

Any tips for someone getting started on this type of diet? Before I started, I bought the cookbook “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo.  It has the most beautiful full page pictures of food and some great recipes. I bought the book and decided I would make something from it each week. Next thing I knew I had tried several new foods that my husband and I both loved, and it was easy to transition to the next step of eliminating grains. I also used many blogs on the internet – you can google any food and add the keywords “paleo” or “primal” and get tons of great recipes. Mark’s Daily Apple is another great resource for people wanting more information.

Anything in addition you’d like to say? I think some people get the wrong idea about the Paleo or Primal framework because like with all things, there are extremists out in the land of the internet. Also, depending on the source, different people have different ideas about what is “paleo” and what is not. I think that there is no black and white answer…it’s not about “what the cavemen ate,” it’s about nourishing your body with foods that you love and that help your body perform at its very best.

Thanks for sharing your insight Shelby! Perhaps your story will inspire others to seek change and gain health.

Cheers to you and good health,


Recommended Grocery List

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Eating healthy begins with a good grocery list and having an idea of what meals to make for the week ahead. More tips and advice below.

Produce – focusing on seasonal produce and organic if possible

  • Veggies – lots and lots!
  • Sweet potatoes – great for sweet potato chips or just oven roasted with butter or coconut oil.
  • Mushrooms – use these in everything, from eating raw to throwing in eggs.
  • Wild green
  • Broccoli – usually buy frozen in bulk, therefore, no stress on consuming it before it may spoil.
  • Zucchini, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, all pending on the planned meals for the week.
  • Cauliflower – use as cauli mash or cauli rice.
  • Fresh herbs – can really change the way a meal tastes, and provide antioxidants and helps detoxify our body.
  • Avocado – helps heal us from the inside out.
  • Frozen berries – for those nights I want something sweet – coconut cream, cocoa nibs and berries.
  • Bananas – so good frozen
  • Jicama – full of fiber and great for dicing in a stiry-fry, salad or slice cylinders and use as a chip.
  • Lemons/Limes

Health Tips:

Eat fermented foods daily. You can find options at Whole Foods (including Kombucha), fermented vegetables at the farmer’s market and online at

Overall diversify the types of produce you eat weekly, even simply rotate the type of salad greens you eat.


  • Anything grass fed/free range at a good price – beef, lamb, venison, pork
  • Nitrate free bacon – shortcut or Canadian bacon
  • Organic, free-range poultry – opt for skin-on, bone in. Both of these elements are mineral rich and good for our body.
  • No nitrate, hormone free, gluten free deli meat (Boar’s Head, Applegate, Columbus
  • WILD Salmon, tilapia, scallops, calamari, tuna, cod, shrimp – usually buy frozen and some fresh if eating same day.
  • Sardines

Health Tips:

If you don’t have access to quality protein sources there are some great online stores and possible local CSA’s. I recommend US Wellness Meats, Tropical Traditions, Vital Choice (awesome seafood) and Eat Wild websites. Amazon is great for getting certain ingredients, including jerky.

Choose wild caught fish and not farmed. The nutritional profiles in wild are better and contain fewer toxins.


  • Organic (grassfed is even better) butter
  • Full fat, organic and grassfed cheese
  • Free range, organic eggs

Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega- 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.*


  • Pickles
  • Oils such as coconut, macadamia nut and high quality olive oil
  • Nuts – store them in a cool place, heat can turn them rancid
  • Coconut flour and cream/milk
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa nibs
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Hot sauce and spices
  • Tea and coffee (organic coffee)
  • Raw honey (real raw honey)
  • Salsa ( no corn or wheat ingredients)
  • Chia, hemp, whole seeds (soak chia seeds overnight in water or unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk to have a porridge like texture)
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). “Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.

Taco Time

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on pre-made taco seasoning? If you have, you are aware of the unnecessary fillers such as corn starch and wheat. And these are the ingredients we can pronounce! My point being, is instead of buying a taco seasoning packet, simply use your spice rack for the Mexican dinner. This is what I do for my family.

Clean Eating Tacos:

  • 1 pound of grassfed beef (or very lean ground beef)
  • Optional – 1/2 onion and/or bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh oregano (dried if frsh isn’t handy) 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper


Heat ground meat (and onion or some fresh diced bell pepper) on high.  Cook, stirring frequently to break up the meat, until fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
Add spices to beef.  If the meat appears dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water. Stir to fully incorporate.
Turn temperature down to medium and cook another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. I often stir in some salsa at the very end to add more moisture and flavor.


We usually eat our tacos w romaine lettuce leaves and homemade guacamole  Oh! And I can’t forget to mention, save the leftovers for a killer taco omelette in the morning.


Input from Crossfit Owner, Low Carber Managing his Type 1 Diabetes – @Type1CrossFit

I had the pleasure in the last year to cross paths with Eric Pelletier, thanks to social media, and am thankful to see someone also living with type 1 diabetes and not being afraid to push their themselves physically and mentally to be in the best care of their ability. Today’s post captures an interview with Eric, and can be helpful to many others looking for inspiration and understanding on adapting to a healthy lifestyle for stable blood sugars and an optimal quality of life. Thank you for your time Eric!

Please tell us a little about yourself. From your social media updates, I see you are eating rather low carb and perhaps playing with some intermittent fasting (IF)?

You are correct I am still dabbling in IF and trying to maintain ketosis regularly. I also own Type 1 CrossFit in Wheeling, IL so it makes for a badass platform!

A little bit about me? Well I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 28 days old. I am 26 now. For most of my life I was spoon fed a traditional diet (Food Pyramid) and put on an insulin sliding scales to maintain blood sugar levels. As a kid and through high school I was not very athletic; bowling. I was always afraid of what would happen if I went to hard and did not know how to manage my blood sugar levels.

Fast forward a few years, I began working at Naval Station Great Lakes in the Fitness Center and in this location I was introduced to CrossFit. When I heard about it I went home and read What Is Fitness and Foundations and it was like a light bulb clicked on. I was hooked as what I was reading made so much sense. Low carbohydrate diets, coupled with high skill movements, performed in a fashion that maximized results. Yep. I was hooked. 4 years later I am currently located at 9 Huntington Lane, Wheeling, Il, 60090 with Type 1 CrossFit.

What diets or food plans have you tried to control you blood sugar, and what has been the easiest and most successful? Why?

The easiest and most successful program sits beautifully inside my Diabetes management brainchild, but it is a diet void of food allergies or sensitivities, a diet that ensures maximum insulin sensitivity, and optimizes nutrient intake. If I remove things that cause problems in blood glucose levels/are inflammatory, minimize insulin needs, and eat vitamin and mineral rich foods, I don’t see how ANY case of diabetes is hard to manage. Think about this.

You only get one or a zero. Do you eat vegetables at every meal? Do you eat protein at every meal? Do you eat fat at every meal? Do you limit carbohydrates to post workout, primarily? Have you eliminated potentially problematic foods to see what happens? If you said no to any of these things, you are not doing what you could to optimize your health.

Personally I have also played with intermittent fasting as I find it quite fun, and very good at returning insulin sensitivity after maybe a tough training cycle or a bad eating day.

When you do intense workouts, such as Crossfit, how do you stabilize your blood sugar. Do you eat before/after and what do you do with your insulin dosages?

In my gym I always have juice on hand and insulin around. For me, as long as my blood sugar is in a good range, depending on what the workout is will depend on how I take care of it. Very short couplets get a nasty spike, so I bolus pre workout. Longer (15+) get a spike and then a drop so I will pace at about 80% and make sure to test immediately after to ensure I don’t drop too bad. Strength and skill pieces cause a drop due to the lack of “balls to the wall intensity.”

When you eat or have eaten a ketogenic-like diet, how is your insulin sensitivity affected?

Eating a ketogenic diet or IF, my insulin sensitivity is amazing! Here is a beautiful analogy! Spray perfume in a room and at first you smell it really strong right? After a few minutes you lose the sensitivity to smell it. In order to re-sensitize you have to either spray MORE or leave the room. In the case of the diabetic, MORE means more insulin which leads to fat gain, heart issues, and potentially many more issues. The other option is the remove the need to produce or TAKE insulin. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in this case, growing fonder means increasing sensitivity  Your body doesn’t realized the potency of what it had (good or bad) until it’s gone.

Before anyone else that has type 1 diabetes attempts a ketogenic diet, what do you first recommend before jumping in? For example, move to a moderately low-carb diet, and then tinker into ketosis, etc?

Be aware, your basal needs will drop DRAMATICALLY! Your body is at a baseline requirement level in relation to the current diet you have and what you are doing. If you make a dramatic change, it only stands to reason that your insulin needs need to change as well. I notice in online communities that this idea is overlooked. If your baseline levels are running lower (hypo), doesn’t it make sense to reduces your baseline insulin? Yes. My recommendation is to first and foremost, remove some potentially problematic foods. Wheat or dairy at first, and if you are eating sugar as a regular part of your diet, and not as a requirement to maintain a normal blood sugar, address that too. Remove one thing, adjust insulin, and repeat.

Kelly: As a dietitian working with many other patients with diabetes, changes need to be adapted slowly. It’s too hard to generalize what to do on a website, as we are all coming from different places. Work with a healthcare professional when making such changes. And of course, I am always happy to help. 

As for food groups or ingredients, are there any certain things you avoid, such as gluten, soy, dairy, etc? How does the avoidance or inclusion of certain foods help manage your blood sugars?

Gluten is terrible. End of story. Dairy, even with no carbs in it (cheese) causes a huge spike. I also find that if I have a big meal with virtually no carbohydrates (save veggies) I have an automatic increase in insulin sensitivity, and by default, lower blood sugars.

Kelly: I want to also add, in case anyone with type 1 diabetes is reading this post, overall this is general information. When eating a low carb diet, which may not include many carbs per meal, you still need to cover your meal for protein can convert into sugar. Please work with your team, myself included, to assess what the best protocol is for you.

How have your labs changed since adjusting your diet to low-carb?

My labs have improved greatly. At one point in my life I have hit 11 on my A1C. Recently I was at 6.5. not too bad for a lifer with this!

Some final thoughts:

Fix your food first. Do not fall victim to the idea that exercise will fix it all. If you eat poorly so as to induce inflammation, insulin insensitivity, and lack vital nutrients, you do not need to exercise. It may actually make it all SO MUCH WORSE.

Ask yourself this, why are you eating so many carbohydrates when the result is the need for insulin. Insulin managements and blood glucose management are the hallmark of BOTH cases of Diabetes. Why would you eat in a way that induces complications to that maintenance  That’s like being allergic to bees and kicking a bee hive. Not only is it crazy to do, but it does NOTHING to improve your health.

Where to find Eric:
@Type1CrossFit (soon to be /type1crossfit)
Email: [email protected]