Ellen by Stephen Cooper

ES Front After Paleo Challenge.jpg

Hi Coop,

The Paleo challenge was great for me personally overall. It was difficult at times, but isn't life? I think there were two main cravings I had: salami and soy-marinated meats. I managed to stay away from salami but the meats I just had to have. Honestly it wasn't even as good as I remembered so it was kind of a pain because I felt like the cheat wasn't even worth it at times. Other than that, baked goods didn't bother me too much. I think sometimes my problem is not being able to just eat one bite of a cake. But if I don't even eat it to begin with - no problems there.  

One major challenge for me was how people responded to me not being able to try something they were eating, or what they wanted to eat. That was probably the most frustrating part. I hate cooking rice for my boyfriend and not even taking a bite. I also hated it when he would order my favorite pasta while I chomped on salad right next to it. I eventually figured out that if I just made yummy foods, he would eat it without knowing what it is.  Now he wants coconut flour pancakes every weekend. I also hated my coworker that would say "JUST EAT IT" when I told her I didn't want to try what she made. My friends were annoyed at how boring some of the restaurants I picked out and they just decided to not eat out with me at all.  But eventually with that frustration, it actually made me stick to the diet even more. Instead of eating out, I'd offer to make them dinner. Plus I felt and looked great..and I know I didn't get there by eating french fries all day.  I did lean on a few people that loved health and fitness as much as I do and they both really supported me through encouragement. I will try to keep up the diet with a couple of modifications and cheat day once a week after this challenge. As far as others are concerned, I think I will just blame it on allergies instead of explaining why I'm being healthy.

Diet and exercise was easy to track and I did really well overall. I managed to only miss 1 day of any exercise because I was sick. Since I have puppies, even on the non-gym days I would at least walk them for 45 minutes.  The hardest part was sleep. I did really for the first 4 weeks and was consistently 15-30 minutes late for work.  After that I started going back to 6-7 hours just to get to work on time and I could tell I wanted to work out less because I was still tired. The last week was the worst, hardly any sleep and I'm cranky and tired all the time.  Sleep is important and for someone like me that always have things going on in the evening or weekends, I need to make a solid effort to get to bed since I have to be up so early. 

Overall I lost about 6 pounds. Number-wise it isn't very much and I would be lying to say that it isn't frustrating...but I'm trying really hard to not focus on it because I look and feel great. I just know that someone with more weight to lose will probably smoke me in that area.  My goal was to have a 2 pack, and right now it is looking pretty good (with proper lighting).  I know what my problem areas are and will continue to work on it through continuing my own version of the challenge. I did not take measurements but I know for sure my clothes are fitting better.

This challenge was an amazing experience and I can't wait to incorporate it with the rest of my life. I believe in that this is what works for me.  I can eat healthy things, ingredients I can pronounce and I don't have to worry too much about calories counting and portion control. If I'm hungry I just snack away on natural foods.  I even picked up a couple books on Paleo.  Mainly to understand it more but also to have a better response when people ask, "why can't you have beans?"

Thank you for this wonderful experience...and I'll be up for it the next time around, too!

Ellen Sue

Chocolate Chili by Stephen Cooper

Chocolate Chili (Recipe from Well Fed)


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tsp)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 cup water


  1. Heat a large deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with a wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.
  2. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth and water to the pot. Stir well. bring to a boil then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours. Do not skimp on the simmer.

I ate this last night, really yummy.

Tips for Your First Week at Boot Camp by Stephen Cooper

Typical DinnerI often feel that there is a lot I would like to tell you when you first join my boot camp. There are many tips that I have from past experience which I believe can help.  Today I'll just discuss a few.

Modifying Eating

For your first week cut out all liquids except for coffee, tea, and water.  Try to drink one icy cold glass of water with 30 grams of protein powder within 30 minutes of waking up.

Remove all sweets/sugar from your diet.

Add vegetables to at least 3 meals/snacks per day.

Eat some form of animal protein (eggs, chicken, fish, meat) at least twice a day.

Consider supplementing your diet with fish oil.

3 of My Favorite (Paleo and Gluten Free) Resources for Back to School Lunch Ideas by Stephen Cooper

Back to School Lunch Courtesy Nom Nom Paleo

I admit, I am a really lame cook, but having a son in 8th grade, and wanting to provide him the best meals available, I've searched around and found some great resources for me and for you.

Resource #1: Carrie Vitt's Deliciously Organic  This mom of two, and wife provides tons of great recipes using organic, unprocessed ingredients.

Resource #2: Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo  Sarah has excellent recipes and 3 books about Paleo cooking.   I love the pictures and easy steps provides for her easy to follow recipes.

Resource #3:  Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo  Mouthwatering photos and recipes here.  These will really inspire you to get cooking.  Check out her 5 Part Series of Paleo School Lunches, and she has a sweet Paleo cookbook app for the iPad.

Finish Your Week Strong by Stephen Cooper

The weekend is just hours away...but...and I emphasize but...many of you still have one workout to complete.

Those of you who came this morning...nice work.  (Those of you who missed...I know who you are.)

Make the best of your time, and get your workout in.

On to today's recipes...


Primal Breakfast Casserole (credit Mark's Daily Apple)

Approximately 4 servings

  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage or other ground meat
  • 3 turnips, peeled and grated (a food processor works well for this)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 scallions, chopped


Sauté sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula, until almost cooked through.

Mix the sausage with the rest of the ingredients.

Spoon into a 8×8 baking pan.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes then cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes more. Let cool 15-20 minutes so the casserole sets before cutting into it.


Chicken Stir Fry over greens… (credit Everyday Paleo)

1 package already cooked chicken from Trader Joe’s or 3 -4 cooked and diced chicken breasts

1/2 package of sliced mushrooms

1 head of organic broccoli chopped

2 organic carrots sliced

2-3 green onions (i used 1 giant one from the farmers market…)

1/2 a bag of frozen onions and bell peppers from Trader Joe’s

1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts

1/4 -1/2 cup organic free range chicken broth

grape seed oil

crushed garlic, black pepper, sea salt, and dried basil to taste

2 bunches of greens to your liking (chard or kale is good…)

Chop up your greens and either steam or saute until tender, set aside.  In a large skillet, pour enough grapeseed oil in to cover the bottom and heat over medium.  Add frozen onions and bells until thawed and add broccoli and carrots.  Cook broccoli and carrots until crisply tender and then add remaining veggies, artichoke hearts and chicken.  Stir together until warm, add seasoning and chicken broth, stir and simmer for just a couple of minutes.  Serve over a bed of greens.  Make a double batch and pack in Tupperware for next day’s lunch!


Stuffed Zucchini (credit Everyday Paleo)

3-4 large zucchinis

2 pounds ground bison or other ground meat

1 red onion, diced

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

8.5 oz sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, finely chopped

1 cup fresh basil, diced

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano,

A splash of balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375. Cut a thin slice of the top of the zucchinis and scoop out the inside of the squash leaving the shell.  Drizzle the insides of the squash with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.  While the squash shells are in the oven, start browning your ground meat, when the meat is almost brown, add the onions, eggplant, and diced excess zucchini, and cook until the eggplant is soft.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Pull the shells out of the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the meat mixture.  Put the stuffed zucchinis back into the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

Boot Camp Workouts and The Right Food to Help You Burn Fat by Stephen Cooper

This morning we did a challenging bodyweight boot camp workout designed to burn fat, and adding these foods will not only fuel your body for training, but they will also help you to burn fat.


Pumpkin Pancakes, credit-Fast


  • 1/2 C Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 C Coconut Oil- Melted
  • 1/4 C Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Cooking Steps

Preheat griddle or pan to 350. In separate bowls, mix wet and dry ingredient.
Combine wet into dry. Spoon mixture onto griddle and cook 2-4 minutes per side.
Enjoy as is, smeared with more coconut oil, or topped with pure maple syrup and pecans. Mmmm!


BLT Salad


  • 6 Slices Bacon
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil

Cooking Steps

Mix mustard, honey and oil to make dressing.

Fry bacon then chop. Slice tomato. Chop lettuce. Toss with dressing. Quick, easy and DELISH!


Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers, credit-Fast


  • 1lb Lean Ground Beef (grass fed ideal)
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 1 Can tomatoes with green chillies
  • 1 hand full chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 can Black Olives sliced
  • 4 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1 tub fresh salsa
  • 3 Avocados
  • 6oz can of tomato paste (optional)

Cooking Steps

Preheat Oven to 350. Brown beef with 2 Tablespoons Chilli Powder, 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt, 1 Tablespoon Cumin, 1/2 Tablespoon Red pepper, 1 Tablespoon Paprika, 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder, and 1 Teaspoon Oregano.

While it is browning, chop the white onion and cilantro. Add onion and cilantro to the beef and saute another 5 minutes. Half and seed the bell peppers. Take one half bell pepper, finely dice it. Add diced bell pepper, canned tomatoes, 6oz can of tomato paste (if you like ‘em creamy), and olives to the meat mixture.

Spray a glass pan with olive oil and place bell peppers open side up. Push the meat mixture to one side for the pan and tilt it so that any access liquid drains to the other side. Spoon out any excess liquid. fill each pepper with the meat mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

While they are baking, mash up the avocados and 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder. When they are done scoop some guacamole on top and use salsa as desired.


What Works for Fat Loss (3 New Boot Camp Recipes) by Stephen Cooper

Three new recipes to keep you on track for losing fat at Boot Camp Pasadena. 


Bacon & Avocado "Sandwiches" (credit,


  • 4 strips of thick-cut, nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 medium-sized Haas avocado
  • 1 lime
  • Kosher salt to taste

Cook and drain bacon.

Mash up the flesh of half an avocado, and cut up the other half into half-inch cubes. Then mix both halves together in a bowl to get a nice blend of chunky 'n creamy. Flavor it with a squirt or two of lime juice and a generous pinch of Kosher salt. 


In n Out protein Burger (No cheese though)

Enjoy this treat!  I'm not suggesting this be an everyday thing.


Liver and onions (credit,Paleo Diet Lifestyle)

This recipe serves 4 people.


  • 4 large slices pork or beef liver;
  • 5 large onions, sliced;
  • 6 tbsp butter or lard;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 5 tbsp of the butter and the sliced onions. Cook slowly, stirring often, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the onions are really soft and caramelized.
  2. Near the end of the cooking process of the onions, heat another pan over a medium-high heat and cook the liver with the rest of the cooking fat, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve the liver topped with the delicious and creamy cooked onions. This is also delicious served with a little bit of homemade salsa on the side.

A New Week Begins by Stephen Cooper

Maybe you got off track this weekend.  Today is the day to get right back in to action.

Today's recipes...


Zucchini Pancakes (credit: Paleo Breakfast) 


- 1 medium size zucchini

- 1 medium size green onion

- 1 large egg

- Salt to taste

- Pepper to taste

- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for frying


- Grate zucchini into a small bowl.

- Finely chop 1 green onion and mix with the zucchini.

- Combine 1 large egg into the bowl and mix thoroughly adding salt and pepper to taste.

-Spoon three mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan and fry until lightly browned, pressing down to flatten. Flip and while second side is browning.



Lettuce Wrap, via



Paleo Chicken Fajitas, via Paleo Diet

Fajitas are a classic in Tex-Mex cuisine and are adored universally by kids and adults alike. The classic fajita calls for skirt steak and is served with a choice of toppings over corn or flower tortilla, but this paleo take on the classic fajita meal is just as delicious without the tortilla. Today, fajitas are also commonly prepared with pork, chicken or shrimp and the usual vegetables include bell peppers and onions. Enjoy making a big batch and pleasing the whole family with this classic do it yourself dinner. This recipe serves about 5 people, but be sure to make more for leftovers.


  • 3 lbs chicken breast, cut in thin strips;
  • 3 bell peppers;
  • 3 onions, sliced;
  • 2 tbsp oregano, chili powder, cumin and coriander;
  • 6 chopped garlic cloves;
  • Juice of 5 lemons;
  • 4 tbsp cooking fat (coconut oil, tallow or ghee are excellent here);
  • Butter lettuce to serve;
  • You choice of toppings: diced tomatoes, fermented pickles, sauerkraut, sliced avocados, salsa, guacamole, mayonnaise and/or salsa verde;


  1. Combine the chicken, bell peppers, onions, spices, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well;
  2. If preparing ahead of time, let marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, heat a large skillet on medium heat and cook the whole preparation with the cooking fat until the chicken is cooked through and the onion and bell pepper are soft.
  4. Put the hot chicken preparation in a large bowl and let the people prepare their own fajitas on top of lettuce leaves with their favorite toppings.

First Day of Boot Camp, Start Right With These Helpful Recipes by Stephen Cooper

If you are joining us for the first time, a big welcome to you.

Today I've listed a day's worth of Paleo style recipes to get you on the right track.  I'll discuss later why I choose the Paleo method, but for now just know that these are great examples of what to eat while you are training with us.

Boot Camp Breakfast (Paleo Style)

Spinach Breakfast Shake


  • 12 oz. unsweetened full fat coconut or almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana (add terrific sweetness)
  • 1-2 dried dates
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups raw spinach leaves
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder


  • Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth or desired consistency.


Mango Chicken Salad (from my favorite Paleo recipe site, Everyday 


Larabar  (you can get these at Target, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods)


Butter Poached Salmon with Warm Tomato Relish (from my favorite Paleo recipe site, Everyday

Women Only, How to Lose The Annoying Belly Fat by Stephen Cooper

I'm writing this today as I respond to a boot camper who's major goal is "to lose the ever annoying and unhealthy---belly fat."

I'm often asked this question, so here is my exact response to her. 

"In looking at this goal, I always come back to the basics.
  • Eat clean.
  • Train consistently.  (Three times a week at boot camp, and one nice long walk, bike ride, etc. on the weekend.)
  • Sleep enough.
  • Supplement to ensure success.
Let's start with eating clean.
The closer you stay to eating lean proteins, vegetables, a little fruit, and some healthy fat...the better off you will be.  It's simple...but not easy.  The more you stray from this "blueprint" the more you will struggle.
Train consistently.
This one is pretty basic too.  Plan your schedule so that you fit YOU into your schedule.  Our sessions are only 45 minutes, three times a commit.  (I realize like in your case, that emergencies do come up...but in general do your best.)
Sleep enough.
I've written a lot about this on my site.  In order to lose the fat, you've got to get good quality sleep, there is no other way of getting around this.
Shut down the electronic stuff at least an hour or more before bed.
Make sure that your room is cool and dark.
Try using a sleep mask...this a life changer in my opinion.

Supplement to ensure success.
There are many supplements out there, but one company that I rely on is Prograde.  I know the owners and I trust the products that they put out.
The two that might be useful to you are their multi vitamin for women
and their Krill fish oil.
Only by putting these suggestions into action, will you reap the results."


Avocado, Egg, and Bacon Salad for Breakfast by Stephen Cooper

From boot camper Michelle...
The question I have received often since starting my paleo journey is "what do you eat for (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner?" Breakfast is the hardest for most. It seems simple to throw toast in the toaster, cereal in bowl, or grab some fruit without a thought to protein and healthy fat to fuel your body. Maybe you are rushing after your morning workout, to get kids fed, off to school, and yourself in the car for work. This is a breakfast that I promise, with a little bit of preparation, can be just as simple and enjoyed by the whole family. And the protein and healthy fat will leave you sustained until lunch. I often enjoy this for lunch as well.
1/2 Ripe Avocado, mashed
1 Hard-boiled Egg, diced
1/2 medium tomato, diced
Lemon or Lime juice, to taste
2 pieces of uncured bacon, crumbled (baked in oven @ 400 degrees for 20min; trader joes has a great uncured bacon)
salt and pepper, to taste
At the beginning of the week, prep your hard-boiled eggs and bake your bacon (this is less mess option, I will never go back to pan-frying bacon). You can chop your tomatoes and place in container as well (though I prefer fresh tomatoes, if fluctuating price of tomatoes are a concern, there are some relatively inexpensive canned organic diced tomatoes available, I've purchased for about $1). In the morning, mash the avocado, add the egg, tomato, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together (lightly), top with bacon and enjoy! Some alternatives (if you don't eat pork, for example)- uncured beef or turkey bacon, chicken sausage (Trader Joe's has great minimally processed, gluten free options), canned crab meat, shrimp. Get creative.


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!!



Eating Well Doesn't Have to Cost a Lot by Stephen Cooper

Often people tell me that "eating healthy is more expensive".

Here is a picture of my dinner last night.  I admit, nothing fancy, fish with a little seasoning in olive oil, and some steamed cauliflower.

The point is that this meal fuels my body.  This combination will keep me healthy and lean.

As far as cost, it cost me about $1.50.

So don't give me the excuse that "eating well costs too much".  It may take more time than passing through the Mc Donald's drive through, but please consider how important it is to your health.

Tip:  Clients who live in the Pasadena and Altadena area like me...I often get my groceries at Super King Market on Lincoln Ave in Altadena.  They have really good prices on the staples such as meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables.

Happy Birthday to Sonya of the Tuesday Thursday Morning Class.

Be sure to check out Sonya's site, Wine and Food Travel


Dec. 20, 21, 22  and Dec 27,28,29  Last Boot Camp Sessions of 2010

Jan 3 - 28 2011  New Year, New Boot Camp Session Begins

Jan 3 Paleo Challenge 2 Begins  

Woman Loses 15 Pounds in the Boot Camp Pasadena Paleo Challenge by Stephen Cooper

My weight at the beginning of the challenge was at 169 lbs, knowing I had gained 18 lbs within 5 months after stopping the lactation/nursing process of my infant son. The weight gain became one of the factors of my depression.  I was accruing anxiety and panic attacks with the medications for my depression.  Having physical and mental limitations with my body, affecting me, I was not able to continue the boot camp due to my carpel tunnel and tendonitis of the wrist and arms.  This challenge made it quite the experience to attempt weight loss.  I was on my own, since I was not able to have a mentor or trainer monitor my progress.   Measurements were not taken before the challenge as I felt it would discourage me.  I allowed the fitting of my clothes to guide me and instruct me if I was either gaining, losing  or remained the same.

In my attempt to begin this change of a new beginning through Paleo, it turned into a great and much bigger challenge for me.   My exercise was very limited, it consisted of plenty of power walking, jumping rope, jogging, and running. Attempting to track my disciplines in writing was not an easy process.  Keeping track became a memorization tactic.  I would not call this a diet because I was still eating real food just not the extras.  This challenge became a family affair.  My partner attends the boot-camp and also joined the Paleo challenge. This began to motivate me, not to turn back or give up, though I had my moments.  This included our three children; how we ate, and how active we remained, along with sharing the same intake of foods we had to encounter for the challenge. Meanwhile accumulating the energy needed to pull us through.  The urge to cheat was always a thought, for the sake of the kids and ours.  With the cheating came the circumstances: the extra push and training the following day, or simply eating in moderation.  Parking quite some distance to get to and from our vehicle when going somewhere. Our eating habits that we become too familiar with according to our upbringing seem so natural and worth the good eats. 

Allowing myself to sleep the recommended time gave me plenty of energy to exercise and have three actual meals.  Learning from the Paleo challenge showed me that real food is just simple. The first two weeks and the last two weeks became the hardest.  The food portions became smaller and my hips followed.  I began to use a belt to hold my pants up, when before my hips and thighs would have sufficed.  I did not have drastic results at the end let’s just say I do not have the extras hanging off my body.  Final weight is 154 lbs, 15 pounds lighter,.  I was able to walk up a steep hill last night with no trouble while trick’or treating with my 21 month old felt wonderful.  I am currently able to go a few weeks without my medications for pain and my depression as my life modification has kept me occupied.  I would not consider this a diet.  The Paleo Challenge provides one with energy from morning to night.  I am glad I did not give up at week 2 when all my determination was out the door.

P.S.  We are planning our next Paleo Challenge which will begin on Jan. 3, 2011.  To get news of this Challenge, please sign up here.

Paleo Challenge Ends Today by Stephen Cooper

Paleo Challenge

For those of you who are in the Paleo Challenge, today is the last day.

Her'e what I'd like you to do:

Take your "after" picture.

Email both your "before" and "after" pictures to me.

In that email I'd like you to write me a little essay on how the challenge went for you.  Was it difficult?  Were there cravings?  How did you get through them?

Looking over your days was it pretty simple to track the three areas of importance?

1.  diet

2.  sleep

3.  exercise

What did you learn from tracking these?

Did you realize that you weren't paying enough attention to one area?  Like sleep?

Once you modified those areas, did you see a difference in your body?

If you took measurements, how many inches did you lose?

And your weight?  How many pounds did you lose?

The more you tell me how this challenge affected you, the better.  I am really curious to hear your responses.


Marie and I will be judging the pictures, comments, and your results.  I will keep you posted as to when we will announce the winner.

In having this challenge my hope is that you are feeling better, that you've lost fat, and you have learned some life long lessons.

My hope is that you've discovered that a little bit, done every day, can really add up.



Birthday wishes to Arcelia of the evening class, and to Renzo of the morning class.



This year will be winding up before you know it.

We only have 3 sessions this week.  A new camp begins November 8 and runs till the 19th.  Then we are off for Thanksgiving.

Our last session for 2010 is Nov 29th - December 17.

Please do me a favor if you haven't already and let me know if you'll be here and attending one or both of these camps, or if you'll be away.