Amy Kubal

Ask Amy, Boot Camp Pasadena's Registered Dietitian by Stephen Cooper

Question:  "I'm wondering if there is any correlation between eating Paleo and an increase of dental plaque on lower teeth. I went to my dentist for a routine cleaning today and he was aghast at how much build up I had on my lower teeth (pretty much in the middle, from the first pre-molar to the other side).  It's atypical for me.  He figured I wasn't cleaning as well, but I haven't changed my dental hygiene habits at all.  The only thing I've really changed is my diet.  Curious if anyone has ever experienced something similar."

Amy's Answer:   I have not heard of a Paleo diet promoting dental plaque - in fact I have most commonly heard the opposite.  Plaque growth is assisted by sugar and since a Paleo diet is not a sugar rich plan, I am fairly certain it is not the culprit.  The only thoughts I have would be in relation to your fruit and dried fruit intake or cheat meal foods. 

Acidic foods (citrus, some vegetables, etc.) and carbonated beverages can promote tooth decay, but not necessarily plaque build up. Here is a look at food types and the chances/risk of tooth decay:

Acidic foods (citrus, some vegetables, etc.) and carbonated beverages can promote tooth decay, but not necessarily plaque build up. Here is a look at food types and the chances/risk of tooth decay:

High Potential for Decay -Dried fruits, hard & soft candy, cake, cookies, pie, crackers, chips, etc.

Moderate Potential For Decay -Fruit Juice, canned fruit, soft drinks, breads

Low Potential for Decay - Raw fruits and vegetables, milk

No Potential for Decay - Meat, Fish, Poultry, Fats, Oils

Ability to Stop Decay - Cheese, Nuts

Have you switched brands of toothpaste?  My suggestion would be to stick with Paleo and really concentrate on doing a good job of brushing and flossing!  Hope this helps!

Have a Great Day!

Amy Kubal, RD

Ask Amy, The Boot Camp Pasadena Registered Dietitian by Stephen Cooper


"I would like more info about veggie sources that are high in protein. I currently supplement my diet with whey protein and Greek yogurt, but would like additional information about other sources high in protein, other than nuts/legumes."

P.S. "I guess I'm "pescatarian"--I occasionally eat fish."

Amy's Answer:

Well, unfortunately choices are limited.  From a Paleo standpoint eggs (if you do those) are your best bet.  Since you do fish I would highly recommend incorporating that as often as you also.  Dairy isn't something I normally recommend but it would be much better than soy - so your choices there are unsweetened Greek Yogurt (full fat), Cottage Cheese (full fat), Cheese (real cheese - not processed cheese) or whole milk. 

If you have questions for Amy our Registered Dietitian, please contact me.

A Question About Salt by Stephen Cooper


"Regarding processed meats (ie: sausage, bacon, deli meat, jerky)  I'm wondering how 'Paleo' she finds them to be in terms of weight/fat loss.  I generally try to stay away from them, because of the salt content, but am wondering if I could start incorporating them more into my diet.  As I look up more Paleo recipes, there seems to be a several which incorporate these foods (mostly sausage)... but they seem contrary to the paleo ethos of non-processing."


Less processing is ALWAYS going to be better, as far as being non-paleo - it's kind of a gray area.  My best guess is that the cavemen didn't have the luxury of sausage and bacon as we know it, but you can bet they ate the parts of the animal that these meats come from.  From fat/weight loss and overall health standpoints I am going to encourage you to stick to lean (unless coming from grass-fed animals, which have higher Omega-3 levels), unprocessed meats.  In the event that you do choose to have sausage, bacon or deli-meat choose organic, natural, nitrate free varieties and look for brands like Applegate Farms, etc.  There are some really great venison sausages, chicken-apple sausages, etc. out there if you are willing to pay for them.  When you start getting into the more fatty meats - like bacon, understand that you are trading a great deal of protein for fat - I would suggest not having bacon/sausage/deli meat on a daily bases, but rather limit it to a couple of times per week and really be mindful of the ingredients that are added to the meat (lots of them have sugar, corn syrup, etc.)  Avoid packages that say "Jimmy Dean", "Oscar Mayer", etc.  :o)

 Let me know if this helps!!



How to Shop Paleo at Your Supermarket by Stephen Cooper

Hey guys, have a look at Amy's blog post on how to shop for Paleo items at your grocery store...very helpful.

For those of you who are new to Boot Camp Pasadena, Amy Kubal is our Registered Dietitian.  I feel very fortunate in having her on our team.  She is very knowledgeable, experienced, and  a sweet person too. 

As compared to some other so called "boot camps" or personal trainers, who have unqualified meatheads selling you their pills and potions, we here at Boot Camp Pasadena actually encourage you to eat real food. (What a revolutionary idea!) 

Paleo Challenge Update

We are at day 4.  Some of you sent me your photos...and it was a good thing.  You want to make sure that you are showing as much skin as possible (within reason).  Meaning short shorts...not long baggy ones, and exercise bras for the women, not t-shirts.

Some of you have sent in specific questions which is great.  I will gladly forward them to Amy.

In the comment section, let me know how your eating, sleeping, and training went for yesterday and today.

How Our Birthday Girl Lost 18 Pounds in Seven Weeks by Stephen Cooper

Happy Birthday to Nicole.

Nicole recently finished our 7 Week Paleo Challenge and lost 18 pounds, and 26 inches.  I am so proud of her :)

Here's what she had to say...

"Hi Stephen and Marie,

For too many years Ive struggled with my weight, and not until my husband happened upon did I find any success.  Ive done the lemonade cleanse, Nutrisystem, Herbalife, Jenny Craig, Atkins, and none of them worked.  But I know for sure youve got the winning formula: boot camp + Paleo diet.

For the first 5 weeks, I was tracking 100% on the diet and getting 8 hours of sleep, and only missed a couple of boot camp sessions.  The last two weeks I slipped up on a few days by eating a few bites of cheesecake, a ½ slice of pizza, some bread while dining out, ate a spicy chicken sandwich, and nibbled on my sons curly fries.  I didnt fall too far off the wagon during the entire 7 weeks, though, Im happy to say.  The best part was having my familys support in my getting to bed by 10:00.  Im usually running around doing last minute chores or catching up with paper work, but everyone pitched in to make sure I got to bed by 10:00.

One of the best parts of the diet for me was that I could satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit.  That was what really saved me.  I completely swore off desserts which has been a weakness.  I eliminated rice and pasta, which had been the primary portion of my familys dinners.  We replaced the white portion of our meals with deliciously cooked fresh vegetables and had a large salad at each meal.  Cutting back on eating out has saved us hundreds of dollars!  Another unintended benefit of the Paleo Challenge was my husband losing 20 pounds and my son losing 6 pounds.  But, the direct benefit of the challenge was my losing a total of 26 inches in my target areas and 18 pounds (so far).  Ive gone from a size 12 to a size 8, and I think I need to get smaller shoes, too. Ive attached before and after photos (scary!) and my target area chart.

Ive gotten compliments from family, friends, coworkers and boot campers - and it feels wonderful!  My son told me that he used to have trouble giving me a hug around my waist, but now its easy.  That really moved me to tears.  Im looking forward to continuing until I reach my healthy weight of 125-130 pounds – and then maintaining a healthy level of fitness.

Thanks so much for the Challenge!"

Day 5 of the Paleo Challenge by Stephen Cooper

Busy night last night driving my kids around, so I didn't get my full 8 hours sleep...more like 7.

Evan has created a helpful Excel spreadsheet to track meals, sleep, etc..  

Got some helpful information from Amy last night, and I will post the recorded call and Evan's spreadsheet as soon as possible.

Be prepared for your first weekend on the Challenge.  There may be many temptations to blow it.  Be careful. If you must "cheat", chose wisely, and then get right back on track.

A Question About the Paleo Diet and Acne by Stephen Cooper

Question: I've been trying to stick as closely as possible to the primal (mostly my meals have been something like chicken + greens or chicken + sauteed veggies or salad with little dressing or eggs in some form.  though yesterday was fish and spinach salad).  On rush days I've also been eating yogurt and blueberries with a touch of honey, I can't seem to shake the occasional dairy hit, but I haven't noticed that I feel better or worse during the days which I don't have dairy.

I was wondering if any of your clients have mentioned or 
if you know generally if the paleo diet can results in skin break outs? I've never really had any problems with skin but I'm finding that since dropping carbs and upping my meat I've been struggling with skin break outs.  Is this something you've heard of before?  Should I try to go with mostly vegetarian for a week to see? I'm tempted to do that, though I'm worried about not getting enough protein for the workout days - I still want to lose fat and get strong regardless of the skin, but if possible I'd like to figure out a way to have both. 

Answer: From Amy Kubal, our Registered Dietitian

In regards to your question about paleo and skin breakouts - this style of eating is actually an effective treatment for acne!  Dr. Loren Cordain has an Eating Guide detailing the paleo diet for curing acne. 

I am not sure how much (if any) dairy you are consuming, as this can often result in breakouts, additionally eggs may also be the culprit.  Everyone responds differently to different foods.  If I were you I would try eliminating all dairy, eggs, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers), and nuts and see what happens.  If your skin clears up add these foods back in one at a time and see how your body responds - if you breakout by adding in nuts - you'll know they are the culprit, if you don't you're good to go with them and then add in the nightshades, etc.  until you figure out the exact trigger!

Paleo is definitely the way to go - keep up the awesome work!  If you have any other questions or would like additional help with your diet - let me know!  You can check out my blog at