Transcript of Our Call With Amy Kubal, RD on the Paleo Diet / by Stephen Cooper

Stephen: Now I got it. Okay. So..


Amy   : Okay.


Stephen: So let’s start from the beginning.  Once again Amy, you were telling me about how  you got started with Paleo diet? And kind of your schooling and so forth. So go ahead and continue


Amy :Okay, well..uhm, I… like I said I went to Colorado State University where Loren Cordain was a professor and everybody thought he was a little bit crazy. From the nutrition department. He lived over the Exercise Science. So I started practicing with the mindset that carbs and low fat are the way to go.  And as an endurance athlete that was kind of what I lived for a long time. And when I was at the Air force base There were a lot of guys out there that were looking to get lean And  doing the low fat thing, it wasn’t working.and there were some on, using like the zone diet. And more Paleo-type, eating bacon…And I was like..Man, you guys are gonna die.  You’re going to get heart disease, but they were crashing work outs and fitness tests..and I’m like okay, I need to try this...And I looked into the research sum and it’s solid…it’s real food does help performance. I have won marathons on the Paleo diet which…I didn’t do before that and I feel better and you know, (it helps) I’ve seen it help people lose a lot of weight, improve their performance and generally just get healthier. So, it’s real food and you can’t argue with that.


Stephen: Alright.  When we started this challenge with my boot campers, we’re doing a seven week challenge. Like some of the maybe, they may cross their places sometimes..

Amy :Okay

Stephen: So I gave them the list of the simple things that I would have them do for this challenge.  You know….I’m kinda read them off to you and I’m kinda get your thought.

Amy : Okay

Stephen: Basically, Eat real food. Don’t eat dairy, or drink dairy. Don’t eat grains.  Don’t eat legumes. Don’t eat sugars of any kind (being real or artificial).  Don’t eat processed foods.  Don’t drink alcohol.  And then..uhm…not really Paleo per se I think, but get 8 hours of sleep.

Amy : Yes.

Stephen: For me, it happens that this (is) kind of a Paleo method, I guess you’d say,  but  it’s pretty  easy for me to eat this way and like we’ve said before, it’s fairly easy to keep the weight off . The energy is good, the sleep is good, the workouts are strong. So, I’m challenging all my boot campers to give it a try. And I think in those 7 weeks, if they can stick to it let’s say 80 to 90 percent, they’re gonna see some fantastic results.

Amy : Definitely.

Stephen: Yeah, But I don’t know but something bout the name of the Paleo diet that some people kinda freak out. And I don’t know what that really is coz it’s basically eating natural

Amy : Right. And…

Stephen: Go ahead.

Amy : When I was working at the air force base I couldn’t ever teach it as Paleo or (say) use that term… so I termed it the real food diet.

Stephen: It helped. Haha

Amy : Yup. And they let me..they let me do that! So that was the way I went..haha..

Stephen: Let’s go ahead and I’ll give you a few other questions I’ve gotten from the people so far…

Amy : Okay.

Stephen: What I start to discuss them to is, don’t necessarily nitpick so much, stick to those big ideas and you’re gonna be pretty much okay.

Amy : Yes

Stephen:That’s the way I feel. But I do get specific questions which I’m gonna give to you now…

Amy : Okay

Stephen: And we’ll open up for questions later, as well…

Amy : Okay

Stephen: (For) one questions is, Can we eat organic honey? What do you think about that? Or even honey?

Amy : No, that is not a Paleo’s a sugar and ultimately, you want to avoid all concentrated sugar sources. And it results to no major influence, right? And then I always kind of think of it like this. Since, you know Paleo…how often do you think a caveman was gonna go up to a beehive and get some honey?

Stephen: Pretty rare.

Amy : Not real often.  There are better choices than honey. Sweeten things with a little bit of fruit.  

Stephen: A little bit of what? I’m sorry I broke up there.

Amy : Fruit.  Fruit.

Stephen: Okay. What about sweetening things in general? Like I know Marie, who is now one of my coaches, she baked some cookies the other day with apple sauce. Like the real natural no sugar added apple sauce. For those people who are craving sugar, they’re just craving sugar, what do you suggest? Either snackwise or ideas, things like that…

Amy : Kill that craving…yeah, like the cookies like that, that’s great. That’s one option to go with because everything in there is something real food.

Granola bars work for some people. Fruit in general. The only thing that we need to watch out on that is, it is a treat. So treat that more like a treat. And you can’t not eat the other foods and have that instead. That’s like a dessert. So when people get in trouble in the Paleo diet and try to tell you that it’s not working,it’s not working… Well, if all you’re eating is fruit,and Paleo cookies and treats and that kind of thing, no it’s not gonna work. That stuff’s has a lot of calories in it and it tastes good. So you were able to eat a lot of it and not really feel full. with nuts…

Stephen: Yes, Fruits, combining it, most of the camp booters are looking to lose fat. ..will it help if combine the fruits with some kind of protein?

Amy : Yes, and some fat…to slow the digestion. What I would highly recommend is that you concentrate your carbohydrate, your fruits (sweet potatoes, that kind of thing) in the post work out period.  Reserve it for that period. If you need that something sweet, that’s when you should have it. Because that is when your body is most, uhm, able to process that and use that sugar for refilling your muscles so you can have a good work out the next work out. And your insulin response at that point is much slower and when you release insulin, that is what causes you store fat. So the less you can have in your bloodstream at anytime, the better off you are.

Stephen:Got it, okay, yeah that helps. One of the other questions was that, also, is it okay to eat beets? And sweet potatoes. What do you think about those?

Amy : Yes, yes, it definitely is. And again, those I would recommend putting in that post-workout period because they are a little more carb-heavy. Uhm.  Sweet potatoes are awesome in the post workout; they’re your preferable choice post workout.

Stephen: Okay. How about Carob Chips?

F: Carob chips, uhhuh, that is very much like a treat and I would actually suggest getting a really, really good dark chocolate. A very dark chocolate like in the 80- 90 percent range.

Stephen:Okay, how about long beetle, (long beetle) long beans and cellophane noodles?

Amy : Okay, cellophane noodles are…is that like rice

noodles cellophane noodles…

Stephen:yes, I’m assuming…

Amy : Yeah, those would not be, they would be a better

choice if you’ve got to have pasta or you want, you’re out and rice is a better choice or other products made out of rice are gonna better from the autoimmune standpoint, than is wheat pasta or wheat food, if you have autoimmune issues.

Stephen: And since we’re talking about wheat, the two main things eliminated in the Paleo diet are milk and wheat. Go quickly why Cordain, and many others, suggest eliminating those…

Amy : Okay, from the wheat and grain standpoint, is there are lectins in grains. And what lectins do is, in your intestine they bind to binding sites and act like, kinda like of a key, they open some little perforations in your gut, in your glands, like your thyroid, and even in your veins and arteries. And that allows bacteria to get into those areas and attack, ah, attack that stuff and then that’s what causes the different autoimmune conditions like thyroid condition. Uhm. (this) anything autoimmune-related and right now I’m just drawing a complete blank on that and thus, those sort of things, and, and, and cause celiac and makes you feel icky. Uhm. Makes you sick, basically. From a dairy standpoint, a lot of that is on the same level. Dairy  also is, if you’re trying to lose fat, the glycemic or insulin response to dairy is pretty high. So you kinda wanna avoid the, it’s a lot of sugar. Uhm. Lactose is the sugar found in dairy, it’s just a clever, different name.  

Stephen:Uhhuh. Speaking of milk, how about coconut milk? I personally love it coz I like the thickness…this is the unsweetened coconut milk and so forth…

Amy: Right, Right…

Stephen:I really enjoy cooking with it, shake with it, so forth. But there’s always the question with my clients, and many times they’ve gone to their doctors and they’re still, I don’t know what to call it, healthy about the cholesterol link…

Amy: okay…

Stephen:Something about that. I don’t…That’s more on your area than mine.

Amy: okay. Uhm. The fat that is found in coconuts is highly saturated. There is no cholesterol in anything besides animal products. Plants do not have cholesterol. So the cholesterol issue, there isn’t one but being high in saturated fats, uhm, a lot of people, that leads to heart disease  and that sort of thing. But the type or the chain links of the saturated fat that is in coconuts is, a medium-chain triglyceride is what it’s called, and they actually are immune-enhancing  fats, and when people are in the hospital and critical care, their tube-feedings, and intravenous feedings that they’re getting, they fortify with medium-chain triglycerides to help that healing process. So it does help in recovery and that sort of thing. Also there are, uhm, studies that had been done where it helps your metabolic rate. It helps, uhm, increase that, the cause of, it takes your body to digest it,uhm, increases your metabolic rate and can lead to fat loss. So it’s all-around a very good fat, doesn’t have negative effects on your blood cholesterol levels or anything like that. If you want to know a little bit more about that, I did do a blog post not too long ago about coconut, and it’s bad wrapNY…it’s not bad…

Stephen:Yeah. Spell out your blogging coz I think it’s fuel-something


Stephen:Okay, The link’s on my website too. If people ask they can find it on my website.

Amy: Okay

Stephen:Okay, when people are looking to create a Paleo meal, and it’s basically let’s say a serving of protein, a serving or two like a big kind of handful of vegetables, I would say and some healthy fat. I personally don’t like people to count their calories. I’d rather have them kind of eyeball it. This helps men and women, there is a difference between men and women eyeballing their meals rather than always having to…*stutter* how to, like tell me your typical day. For your breakfast, how do you do it, how do you do it snack, how do you do it lunch. Kind of go through your typical day, of course, eyeballing stuff…

Amy: okay, for me breakfast is usually like, ah, I do three eggs, a couple of handfuls of raw spinach and whatever other veggies I might have in. Sometimes I throw in some leftover meat from dinner.  It’s probably around two ounces, which when you think about ounces and meat, like a deck of cards, just three. So I just kind of grab it coz I know what’s gonna fill me up and what’s gonna feel good.Uhm. Then after my workout, I workout in the morning, uhm, I have some either I grab, if I have to get to work real quick, I’ll grab a piece of fruit and some beef jerky or again some meat, or a hardboiled egg or something quick like that, or if I have a bit more time once in a while I like a coconut milk smoothie with some coconut, a little bit of egg white, protein, and a (little) some fruit. And for lunch, it’s usually a big salad, I just fill a Tupperware up, with salad, throw a chicken breast on it or some steak or, like, I had shrimp today. Just like, I think I did 10 shrimp, uhm, and then another bowl with some other veggies in it and some nuts and I put olive oil and some balsamic vinegar on it. And a lot people will say Vinegar is not Paleo but I need something with flavor, that’s one of those nitpicky things. That it’s not gonna make me break the odds.

Stephen:okay, that’s good to hear too.

Amy: Yup, and then, like for a snack in the afternoon, I’ll do a few nuts and some veggies, avocado, like a lot of avocado, and I make like a guac dip out of it and get veggies in that. Uhm. And then for dinner, like I’ll have, tonight I had chicken breasts and uhm…what else did I have, I just ate not that long ago. I had a small salad and some steamed broccoli and I knead my chicken in coconut oil put some curry on it, and a little bit of coconut milk to kinda make a chicken curry and threw some spinach in and some different veggies in there. So that was, that’s a pretty typical day for me.

Stephen:Got it. Coz I think it’s much easier for people to put their meals together that way than stressing over really weighing and measuring the calories…

Amy: Yes, Eat what satisfies you, your body will tell you what it needs.

Stephen:Got it. Uhm…let’s see, other questions, how about supplements. I don’t usually recommend supplements. And as far as Paleo, are there any other suggestions, for supplements. This is for fat loss, relate to fat loss. Coz that is…

Amy: Related to fat loss? Uhm. No. fish oil, uhm, omega-3 fish oil DHA and Vitamin D are the only two supplements that I would say are a must must must-have.  If you’re not eating grass-fed meat all the time and tend to fish, you definitely need the omega-3. And the vitamin D is important, overall just for general health. They’re finding more and more benefits of that. Uhm…

Stephen:And how much do you recommend like for men and women?

Amy: Okay, for a woman, for fish oil, I usually say to start around 5000mg per day. Between 3 and 5 thousand. For males, I get them started around 5-7 thousand milligrams per day. Then for vitamin D, I say 2000 for women and, uhm, about 5000 for men. IU. It’s what those that’s measured in.

Stephen: And when they start taking those, how long will it take until they realize, will they realize there’s a difference, what they gonna see, what are the benefits of taking that…

Amy: Well, the fish oil, at high-dose, fish oil has been shown to help with fat loss. You may need to be a little bit higher than what I’ve recommended coz that’s more for general health. Vitamin D, if you are deficient… you’ll notice that your energy level is better, if you ever get depressed, it may relieve some of your depression symptom and that’s mostly, you guys are in California so you probably don’t get like the Winter Blue.

Stephen:That’s not here.

Amy: Yeah, yeah, so anyway, if you’re from South Dakota, you may need more vitamin D. *haha*

Stephen:*haha* yes, any other Paleo-specific tips you can give the boot campers as far as, other knowing the basics that we’ve kinda gotten hold of.

Amy: The key is preparation. Being ready. What I find is, a lot of people don’t prepare or have food available, that’s when they run in the problem. Because that’s when Mc Donald’s is there or you just grab a bowl of cereal or something like that. So what I suggest to all of my clients is make a weekend or a day off, and make stuff that will last you (for) through your busy days. Be ready (for). I cook a lot of my meats on a weekend. I’ll make a roast, store a pork loin and an extra chicken, so when I get home, if I get a rest day, when I get home from the office, I just put it all in the microwave sometimes. It’s just that, have that stuff available. Get your salads in Tupperwares. All at the beginning of the week so get your Tupperware ready so that all you have to do is grab it, instead of prepare it. Because sometimes, you just don’t feel like it and that’s when the problems happen so being ready, that’s the biggest thing. And eating out doesn’t have to be hard, there are options, things you can do. A lot of people are like “I don’t like to ask,” You came for your meal so ask for what you want, request for what you want. Restaurants are very good about leaving things off. Uhm. You can’t go to Mc Donald’s and get hamburgers or chicken without the buns. Don’t do that. Salads are always a safe bet, don’t get the dressing on them. Mexican restaurants are fine if you do like fajitas and just don’t get all that, don’t eat the tortillas, don’t get the rice, the beans. Get all the meat, and the veggies and the guac and you can still do it. And then also allow yourself to get a meal or two every week, that you get to enjoy that stuff. It’s not, it’s not… it doesn’t have to make your life miserable. You’ll find soon that you don’t need that stuff and that you feel really good eating well. And that you would start to enjoy it.

Stephen:right. I think, once you’ve eaten this way it does become pretty simple and like you said if you go back to splurging on something, you really don’t recover, as well.

Amy: No, no, it’s a food hangover.

Stephen:Speaking of that eating too, you mentioned bringing your meals and so forth… What do you think about, that some people are just so busy during the day or they’ve forgotten to bring their meals to work. Uhm, is there any benefit of eating every two hours or would you, is it okay to eat let’s say a big Paleo meal at night?

Amy: It is okay, it is okay. It doesn’t matter when you eat ultimately, it’s how much overall you eat. And if that is the only time you have that day, that’s fine. There’s the whole intermittent fasting and once in a while you do that. I mean, there’s days when I go to work and I go to work at 5 in the morning, I may not eat breakfast. It just depends on my day, and I won’t have lunch ‘til 2:30. Because when you’re busy and you don’t have time, and when you do eat, you eat a lot to make up for the meals that you missed.

Stephen: uhhuh, Coz I used to be pretty much more like the body-builder-type diet, every three hours, my own target. And as I got older, and a lil bit more relaxed, I guess it’s like I eat more when I’m hungry and I eat well. *inaudible*

Amy:  yes, yup, just when you do eat, be mindful of what you eat.

Stephen: Yup, I try to. Okay, let me open the line there are a few people, let me see if they have questions. Okay?

Amy: Okay.

Stephen: hi guys, I know Dan is here and… someone else is here.

Connie: hi! this is Connie.

Stephen: hi Connie!

Connie: hi! how are you? Thanks for putting-up calls together and Amy, thanks for the information.

Amy: No problem.

Connie: So one question I have, I mean just started this Paleo thing coz it’s been freaking me out and I thought I’ll try the challenge, but you know every time I tried to cut-out carbs or even dairy, like dairy has, I usually have some, I like to have yoghurt in the morning just coz it keeps me satisfied. And now I understand sort of that it has lactose in it, and it really is a sugar but my general question is how long does the body take to transition to this new way of eating coz, you know, I’m feeling constantly hungry and I have these strange knots in my stomach. And I don’t know if it’s just my body reacting to getting me all the sugars, and the starches out, can you talk a little bit about that and just what the adjustment process is.

Amy: sure, sure, a lot of people will for the first couple of weeks or months, you could be much like crap to put it.

Connie: I get it now. That’s normal *haha*

Amy: yeah, yeah, it is a different change, your body is switching fuel sources right now. It is so used to being fueled primarily on carbohydrates and it is switching to being fueled more primarily on fats. What kind of meals help to prevent that knot in your stomach, I don’t know how much meat you’re eating. If you’re getting too much protein and not enough other things with it, that can cause, you’ll feel a little nauseous once in a while. Make sure when you’re doing that, you’ve got lots of veggies, lots and lots of veggies and some fat in there too.

Connie: Okay. Okay.

Amy: Yeah, if it’s not remedying itself in two weeks to a month, shoot me an e-mail and we’ll figure it out.

Connie: Okay, But it is normal for the body to kinda go through this really uncomfortable stage, right?

Amy: Yes.

Amy: okay, that’s good to know coz it’s so easy to just wanna give up because I feel so horrible and I think, gosh if I’m gonna feel like this the whole time then I don’t know how much endurance I’m gonna have, you know.

Amy: No, you will, it will… some people have it, some people don’t. Some people are really lucky and they feel really good. I hit the proverbial wall when I started I’m like Oh, just like dragging all the time.

Connie:  Right.

Amy: But once you do that, life is good. *haha* hang on, hang on.

Connie: *haha* Okay. That’s good to know. Thank you. That matters.

Stephen: Speaking of Amy, if people want to contact you, what’s the best way? Usually I have them e-mail then I e-mail you. But what’s the best way for them to contact you directly?

Amy: They can send me an e-mail, that’s great. And my e-mail address is, you can get it through my blog. And also, I can give it to you now, or I don’t know if…

Stephen: Yeah we’ve talked about what I’d do if my boot campers as I’ll just add

Amy: Okay

Stephen: But I haven’t added that yet.

Amy: Okay.

Stephen: So. But if people do have questions they can e-mail you at then that’ll go to you.

Amy: Alright. That sounds great.

Stephen: You’ve been a big help, for answering my questions. Then I know, with a few, like a handful of my clients, have actually worked one on one with you. That’s been, the little push or that little, uhm, tweak that have helped them boost, losing that last five pounds or that last ten pounds or something coz they were kind of getting the eating okay. But having you look over their diet and stuff was really helpful, so...

Amy: Yeah. And holding them accountable. *haha*

Stephen: yes, anyone watching that, I definitely suggest talking to you.

Amy: yes, awesome and I’m here for whatever you guys need so, just let me know how to help you best.

Stephen: Cool. I’m gonna wrap-up the calls in because it’s about 6:30 or so…

Amy: Alright…

Stephen: Boot campers you can always email me with your questions at and we’ll talk to you later. Bye everybody.

Amy: Bye.