EPISODE 85
Everyday Paleo – Sarah Fragoso – Soy Beans

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Sarah Fragoso, best-selling author of EVERY DAY PALEO, author of the Every Day Paleo Family Cookbook as well as Everyday Paleo Around the World: Italian Cuisine and the soon to be released Everyday Paleo Around the World: Thai Cuisine.

In this Show, You’ll learn:

  • The importance of a paleo diet
  • About incorporating paleo into daily life
  • What to consider before going paleo
  • Yoga trapeze exercises for hips
  • Yoga for neck pain and strength

Links & References from the Show

Got questions?

Lucas:

Yoga students, if you love to learn about yoga, health and wellness, plant-based nutrition, flexibility and mind/body biohacking, you have come to the right place, my friend. Welcome to the Yoga Talk Show with Lucas Rockwood, where my goal is to make your yoga practice just that much easier. Find us online at YogaBodyNaturals.com. We’re also on Facebook and YouTube. Check us out. Now let’s get on with the show.

So hello and welcome, everyone, Lucas Rockwood here, Yoga Talk Show. Thanks for tuning in. We’ve got a special guest today, Sarah Fragoso. She’s the best-selling author of Everyday Paleo, Everyday Paleo Cookbook, an Italian version and a Thai version, as well as a couple of kids’ books. Sarah, welcome to the show.

Sarah:

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be chatting with you today.

Lucas:

Before we get started, I think I only have a partial understanding of all that you do. I know you’re an author, I know you’ve got this blog, that’s where I heard about you, a lot of people on my team read your blog, but I know you’re also a mom to some kids and you’re a personal trainer. Is that right? Before we get started, give us the whole scoop. What are you about? What does your life look like?

Sarah:

Well, oh my gosh, it’s pretty funny when I meet people who I don’t know and they say, “What do you do?” I always pause for a moment and usually I just answer, I’m a stay-at-home mom because it’s easier than explaining everything that I do. It sounds like a lot, but I really try to live, for lack of a better word, a balanced life. I don’t even like to say that because balance is just crazy, like I don’t want to walk on a tightrope, so I try to just keep my focus on what’s most important.

(01:39) So yes, I stay home with my kids, I’m actually homeschooling my two younger boys, and my husband and I together own a gym here in Chico, California, where I work about four hours a week training clients at the gym. And then of course I run my blog, Everyday Paleo, and I am an author. But really, my biggest passion is being a mom. That’s where my happiness lies. And of course, being a wife to my husband, and everything else I do is just icing on the cake and I’m really lucky to have the support that I do have. But my passion, as far as my career is concerned, is being a strength and conditioning coach, and then tying everything else that I embody into that, so really approaching what we do with our clients from a health perspective. Rather than, “We’re going to get you fit and strong,” it’s more about, “Let’s get you really stinking healthy.” So that’s the many hats I wear.

Lucas:

Perfect. As a yoga guy, I started talking to personal trainers about six years ago, and initially I had so much resistance because we’re kind of yin and yang, two different sides of the planet, but I realized very, very quickly that personal trainers, in many ways, are willing to go places that yoga teachers aren’t, in terms of nutritional research, movement research and really integrating new science into their teaching. In any case, that’s why I’m excited to talk to you and that’s why I’ve been kind of broadening our conversation here on the Yoga Talk Show lately.

In any case, I know that most people who are passionate about health, myself included, usually have a health crisis. They have some moment where things are falling apart. Unfortunately, we tend to be reactive as human beings. So I’m wondering, is that the case for you? (03:20) And if so, what was your story in terms of when you realized, hey I’ve got to make this health thing a priority?

Sarah:

Fortunately and unfortunately, it did kind of happen that way for me, and I think that for some people in order to refocus their lives and to reclaim their health, they sometimes do have to hit rock bottom. (03:39) And I was definitely one of those people, and it took a huge loss for me, unfortunately I lost my mom to breast cancer about eight years ago, and a couple years after that I hadn’t healed emotionally from that and was definitely suffering physically from the consequences of helping to care for her. I had a brand new baby and taking care of three kids and helping my husband to start his chiropractic business and hadn’t at all paid attention to my own health.

In hindsight, like I said, it was unfortunate but also fortunate. I think the blessing was that coming to a grinding halt made me refocus my priorities, and I definitely found myself in this position where I lacked energy, I was constantly fatigued, I was suffering from migraines, I was bloated, my legs were swollen, my kidneys weren’t functioning properly and I was only 30 and I had no idea what to do about it. My mom was very “healthy,” so I had this perception of nutrition really having nothing to do with health, in that you could try all you wanted but that didn’t necessarily mean you were going to get any results or feel healthy.

(04:52) So it took kind of a moment of desperation and allowing someone else who knew more than I did to teach me and coach me. And I would have tried anything at that point, I think, but the fact that the gym that I landed at and the coach that I was working with was Rob Wolf, who is the New York Times best-selling author of the Paleo Solution, and he’s also a good friend of ours. And I kind of stumbled into my path and where I am now, because it changed my life so drastically.

Lucas:

Amazing. For people who haven’t heard of Rob Wolf, his book is for sure one to check out as well, really interesting guy. It’s really cool that in the personal training scene traditionally kind of had this reputation as being meat heads, and that’s changed so dramatically in the past 10 or 15 years. It’s really, really some big thought leaders and nutritional researchers and very, very smart stuff coming out of local gyms, which I think is just awesome.

As a parent, I wanted to talk to you about this. What are the biggest challenges you face in your own health? A lot of our listeners are parents. So for you, now that you’ve regained your health obviously, the challenges don’t go away, right? You still have kids, you still have a busy lifestyle, and what about the health of your kids? On a day-to-day basis, what do you find are some of the biggest challenges for you? I mean, obviously you’re in a place that you’ve got things more sorted than most people, but I’m sure things still come up. (06:19) So what are the things that you find challenging, and what are you, at least, attempts at solving those challenges?

Sarah:

(06:25) Well, I think for me personally, the biggest challenge I face with my own health is getting enough sleep, and it just goes hand-in-hand with being a parent. My kids are older now, my youngest is 6, and then I have a 10 year old and my oldest is 18. But it’s still that challenge of going to bed when I’m supposed to, because you know once the kids are all in bed it’s tempting to say, I’m going to stay up and get caught up on stuff or this is my one change to have some alone time with my husband, and I’ve really had to reprioritize and restructure my life so that I’m getting a solid seven to nine hours of sleep a night, because without sleep everything else just goes out the window. I really need that quality time where my eyes are shut and I’m catching my Zs, for sure. So I still definitely struggle with that. There are nights where I’m like, I have to get this done and sleep is going to suffer, but I’m trying to do that less and less.

(07:22) As far as the health of my own kids, since we’ve changed our lifestyle, not just the way we eat but our lifestyle in general, they’re definitely healthier overall. I’ve seen so much improvement from my 10 year old used to have horrible eczema and that’s pretty much resolved unless we travel and he’s eating foods that we’re not normally used to eating. Other than that, I try not to over-emphasize anything with my kids, if that makes sense. I don’t want them to grow up and be neurotic. The food that we have in our house is the food that they eat, and we definitely minimize time on electronics. They spend a lot of time outside, and since they’re homeschooled they’re super-active and busy and we do everything together as a family.

As far as their health being compromised, I don’t see it as much as I used to, and if they are exposed to food that they don’t usually eat they kind of notice right away, I don’t feel that great, and they can connect it, “Oh, it’s because I ate that,” whatever it was. So I feel very lucky that my kids are super-healthy, because I know that’s not the case for every parent out there listening.

(08:32) I guess there’s not a huge challenge, fortunately, right now, I think it’s more about dealing with their energy is the biggest challenge that I face with their health, is how energetic they are and how tired that makes me to keep up with them.

Lucas:

Yeah, for me one of the more interesting things about having kids is it just made me really put everything I thought about nutrition to the test, and it just really put things in check also, because you can see the reaction of foods so quickly in your kids. We do the same thing. We try to avoid using any kind of dogmatic language at all in the house, and we try to just talk about food as food and there’s silly food like sweets and junk food and then there’s great food, whole foods and natural foods and things like that.

One thing that really, really surprised me was just how primal my kids are. They’re little monkeys, and it’s really, really interesting how if given whole foods they will eat them. I have relatives and in-laws and things and they say, oh my kids will only eat ketchup and bread and they have these weird ideas, and my kids eat like wild apes and they’re really, really happy to do it. My littlest is two and-a-half, and he breaks into the cupboards and I’ll catch him with a jar of raw almonds in his lap, just stuffing his mouth full of raw almonds. I mean, they’re hard as rocks and he’ll just chew them up. My daughter, when she was little, she would get into the fridge and she would just get sticks of butter, that was her thing, she’d just go after like a stick of butter.

It’s just these really, really primal things and you just think, wow this kid is not going for the Cheerios, they’re going for high-fat foods and these are fat-adapted kids. It’s pretty interesting to see. It’s amazing that you’re homeschooling. Kudos to you. I wish I had the ability to do that. We are fortunate to take our kids to a school where they do listen to us and they do respect our kids’ food choices, I try to be really open as well, but my kids actually do terribly with wheat and dairy, and so I’m a wheat and dairy hater and I try to keep my kids off that as much as possible. And so we’re fortunate that our schools do that. I really feel for parents who would love to experiment, especially kids with behavioral problems and attention deficit disorder, when they can’t even experiment with a wheat-free or a casein-free diet just because of their school situation. But I love what you’re doing. I think it’s amazing that you’re able to keep that kind of home sanctuary, where kids can grow up eating really natural foods.

Sarah:

Yeah, I feel very lucky, too. We didn’t make that decision to home school purely for the food choices. There’s a lot that goes into that, and I feel like both options are good, whether you want to put your kids in school or not there’s not a right or a wrong, it just really works for us. And we travel a lot, and it’s really nice to be able to include our children in that, and I feel like they’re being exposed to so much more than they would otherwise.

However, coming from a family who both my parents were public school teachers and my dad taught school for 37 years, and there’s so much good, too, in going to school. So it was a hard decision to make, but now that we’ve done it I’m really, really glad that we have. It’s been pretty incredible for all of us, although challenging, I won’t lie and say it’s easy. Oh gosh, it’s crazy, but definitely worth it so far.

Lucas:

Well good. So the Paleo movement, a lot of people make fun of it and they make cartoons about a caveman getting bonked over the head and dragging his wife into the cave, and some people call it a religion. Some people become really fanatical, just like any group, whether it’s the low-fat fanatics or the vegetarians or the macrobiotics. And so I’m curious, how do you fall in this? (12:39) How do you try to balance this nutritional, what could be called nutritional dogma, with kind of practicality and realistic and modern lifestyle and raising children and incorporating it into a normal society?

Sarah:

Yeah, I really love this question because I’ve been in this game for a long time, back when you could Google Paleo and there was only like four websites that would come up, mine included. So I’ve seen this movement change and morph and grow and expand and become crazy, and I definitely believe in the tenets of Paleo and that it’s a great jumping off point for people. I’ve said publicly before, sometimes I wish that Paleo wasn’t attached to what I do, but then I always go back to it’s really the foundation of what I think can work for a lot of people.

(13:32) But you won’t find me Evangelizing, I’m not out there at parties talking to people about Paleo and saying, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re eating that. Do you have any idea what that’s doing to you?” It sounds crazy, but I don’t really care what you do. And I do, I mean I do, I see kids and how unhealthy they are and I know the statistics and what’s happening with our health crisis here in the U.S. and especially with children, I’m very passionate about that, but at the same time fundamentally it’s not a religion for me. It just can’t be. I don’t wake up in the morning and announce, “I am Paleo.” I live my life and I say in my workshops that I do with my business partner, Jason Seib, I want you to eat whatever you want to, and I don’t want you to wake up in the morning and identify yourself with some sort of diet or movement. I want it to be your life.

(14:23) I think that Paleo is a great jumping off point, because it is pretty much the world’s best elimination diet, so looking at what I know now versus what I used to know, which was absolutely nothing about nutrition, I think that by starting out by eliminating the foods that we know are highly reactionary for people, like gluten and dairy and sugar, getting all of those things out of your diet and seeing how you feel, look and perform, and then if you try and add them back in most people will find, hey I can never eat gluten. That’s the case for me. I just won’t ever touch it, same with my children. They react so strongly to it, there’s no purpose. There’s no reason, except for the palatability of whatever that food might be.

(15:07) So I like to come from the standpoint of do what works for you. You need to figure out what foods work best for your body. Who are you and what are your goals? Do you have fat loss goals? Do you have an autoimmune condition? Where are you in your life that you need to reassess what you’re putting into your body? And for most people, eating the foods that fall in that what to eat list when you look at the “Paleo diet,” they just feel a whole lot better. But there’s definitely room for some flexibility in that, and I think being dogmatic about it is being irresponsible, because there’s so much new research coming out all the time, and if tomorrow I know scientifically that it might be better to do X instead of Y, then I’m going to experiment with that and report that back to my readers and my listeners. I won’t live in this camp of you always have to follow this set of rules or you’re doing something wrong, because that’s just not — I’m not a scientist, but it’s bad science to live in that camp, in my opinion.

Lucas:

Yeah, for sure. There’s no doubt in my mind that all of the best thinkers right now are going to be eating completely different 50 years from now than we do now, and that’s not necessarily because we’re doing bad thinking now, but just because thinking grows and changes, as does our planet, as does our body, as does our microbiome and all other kinds of things.

So we’re talking about diet and we’re talking about food choices, and these are big, big, emotional issues for people. And the one thing that I’ve always found is that as much as I’d love to find universals, the one-size-fits-all thing almost never works. There’s always exceptions, there’s always outliers, I meet guys in Thailand who are living off coconuts for three months and they’re actually doing fine, I don’t know how. But these things happen.

But I do find there’s certain things that pretty much hold true. Like almost everybody does better if they sleep more, almost everybody does better if they drink less alcohol, almost everybody does better if they give up wheat, in fact everybody does better if they give up wheat.

So I’m curious, in your work, how do you approach this? Are you finding that there are many universals, or is it more of a custom-tailored thing? Are some people doing okay with dairy, other people not? (17:20) How do you approach kind of individualizing dietary approaches to personalities?

Sarah:

(17:26) I’m all about customization but I do think that there are universals, and you really hit on the ones that I think are super-important, like you said, everyone does better with the right amount of sleep, everyone does better by minimizing their stress, I think everybody does better by finding a smart fitness program. I’m really in the camp of less is more, and that more and more and more is not ever a good idea. And I love yoga, by the way, being a personal trainer and a strength coach I think that mobility and that meditation factor really plays into being healthy and focusing on the whole body rather than just one area.

(18:01) So I think that for me, the universals are stress management, sleep, figuring out what that diet looks like you that works. I agree with you, too, that I haven’t met anyone yet who does not do better after giving up wheat, for example. I haven’t met someone yet who was like, you know what, I actually feel better when I eat a lot of gluten. Just hasn’t happened yet. But there are definitely folks who some do better with dairy, some don’t. Obviously if you’re casein-intolerant, you shouldn’t be eating it. My husband does fine if he eats some cheese. I do okay, but I find if I do too much heavy cream I don’t do so well. So there’s some individualizing that goes into this for sure, but those universals, I think, are pretty constant. The CDC has listed shift work as a known carcinogen, and that’s because universally we all need to have that regulated sleep pattern. It’s very important. So I wouldn’t ever with the diet thing, say everyone should eat just like I do or everyone should eat just like you do. There are some caveats there, for sure.

Lucas:

I think people will probably argue about food forever, and the debates will go on and on. But especially in the past five and seven years, I’ve just seen thoughts starting to converge, and I’m curious if you’ve seen the same. And I don’t mean that everybody’s saying Paleo or everyone’s saying macrobiotic or everyone’s saying low fat or high fat. (19:28) But it just seems like these universals are starting to be accepted, certain universals, and I’m curious if you’ve seen that trend as well, and if so, what are some of the things that you’re finding you’re no longer having to beat people over the head, they just kind of accept as truths?

Sarah:

(19:44) Well, I’m starting to see more convergence with things like where is our food coming from, and I think there’s a lot in the news right now with GMOs and food production and how our animals are being treated, that it’s steering people towards a mindfulness of their food source, which I think is kind of a huge step in the right direction as far as hey let’s talk about the consequences of eating food that’s been modified or given antibiotics or isn’t treated humanely, let’s discuss this. And I think that that can be a common ground where health comes from that, which is really exciting. Our environment plays a big factor into that, and I think people are starting to become more concerned. Okay, how does our food production impact our environment?

(20:32) I do think that things are going to be crazy always, and a lot of that is because it’s a good story. The way our media covers diet, it may or may not change, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. It’s something that we can stir up and create controversy, like anything else that we see in the media. Well, let’s talk about the Kardashians and then let’s talk about the crazy Paleo people. It’s a good story. However, is we become more mindful and aware, like I said, where our food comes from, the impact of where we shop and there’s so much talk about making a smaller footprint, let’s support our local economy, support our local farmers, I see that trend happening and it’s exciting because I think it’s a huge step in the right direction.

(21:20) So I’m hopeful that we all kind of agree more, I’m also seeing the low-fat trend become less prominent, and I’m sure you and I both, too, are seeing a lot of the gluten-free thing happening. I mean, I see gluten-free stickers on items in the store like tomatoes and it cracks me up, because I’m like, well, okay.

Lucas:

The gluten-free gummy bears, yeah.

Sarah:

Right, and then things like gummy bears where it’s like, ah, no, it’s like the new low-fat where we’re marketing these things as health food. But I guess it’s a step in the right direction. It’s better than not having that awareness. So that’s kind of what I’m noticing and my takeaways on that.

Lucas:

Yeah, great. I think the biggest convergence that I’ve seen, especially in the past years, just people talking about the importance of low glycemic load. With that in mind, breakfast and snack foods are basically universally, almost any country, at least most Western countries, you go to Asia they’re totally comfortable eating dinner for breakfast, but in most Western countries it’s basically just high-glycemic, inflammatory garbage, and people don’t know what to do. They’re always trying to figure out milk and milk substitutes and cereals and cereal substitutes, and they just don’t know what to do and they want to eat something that’s going to be good for them but they have no idea.

(22:38) What’s kind of on the top list for you and your kids for breakfast and snacks? That’s where people always get stuck.

Sarah:

Totally, that is the big one where it’s like, oh my gosh, what do I do? This is such a crazy, huge change. (22:49) I like to tell people you have to think outside of the breakfast box, because it’s challenging, we’re fed this information of you’ve got to open this box of cereal and pour your low-fat milk over it and that’s what’s easy and what sustains you but that’s what really makes people crash and burn.

(23:03) We like to always start our day with some sort of protein. At the same time, we’re busy and I understand that people don’t want to be cooking at 6 a.m. a 3-course breakfast meal for their family. So one of our favorite breakfasts is actually what we call egg cupcakes. And no, there’s nothing to do with cakes in these but it’s fun to call them egg cupcakes. But they’re like mini quiches that we mix eggs and vegetables and sometimes sausage or bacon, and we bake them in our little muffin tins. So they’re like little mini breakfast quiches without the crust, and I can make a bunch of them and they store well in the refrigerator or the freezer and we can grab those as we go out the door. I do the same thing with like a frittata, where I make it in a skillet or bake it in a big baking pan and we can just cut squares of those, and if we’re running out the door we can take it with us or just have it ready to go in the morning.

On days where I have time to cook it’s usually as easy as some sautéed spinach and a couple fried eggs. So really, eggs is kind of our go-to breakfast, but we also do leftovers. I’m making a lot of soup right now because it’s winter and it’s nice and comforting to have a bone broth-based soup, and my kids love leftover soup in the morning, because it’s warm and it’s cold when we wake up and I’ll heat up a bowl of warm soup and it’s done. No cooking involved. It’s just reheating something that we had the night before.

(24:22) And as far as favorite snacks are concerned, we’ve been having a lot of fun with our dehydrator, and so we’ll do beef jerky or nuts or dried fruit that we’ve made ourselves. Leftovers again, too, are a quick and easy snack if I have leftover meatballs or sliced up steak or hamburgers, it’s just nice to always have that leftover go-to abundance in our refrigerator. We do some lettuce wraps sometimes, too. If we have lettuce from the farmer’s market we’ll slice up some chicken or leftover steak or hamburger, like I said before, and we’ll do some lettuce wraps with homemade mayonnaise. But usually the go-to snack is something super quick, like beef jerky.

Lucas:

Great. I think the biggest thing that people just need to overcome is for whatever reason in Western countries, we just have this aversion to eating dinner for breakfast, and I don’t know why. Dinner’s a better meal. The food tastes better.

Sarah:

It does. It tastes better.

Lucas:

Everything is better. It doesn’t come in a box, it’s not inflammatory, it doesn’t make you feel bloated. Why not just eat dinner for breakfast? But it’s such a big thing. You can never fail. When we have guests over and our food looks exactly the same, it doesn’t matter what meal it is, it’s not like there’s some sort of delineated line in the sand where suddenly it’s like let’s bring out the processed grains and the fat-free milk. It’s just food.

Whole food can be served at any meal, but for some reason in Western countries we’ve just been fed this big, crazy grain propaganda and it’s hard to break. But once you break from it, it tastes better, you feel better and it’s no less difficult to make. And like you said, most people have leftovers from the night before anyway, and so their breakfast is already made as long as you can get over the fact that, oh my goodness you’re eating dinner for breakfast. It’s going to be just fine.

Sarah:

If you look at it from a kid’s perspective, which I love, like my kids will ask for whatever they want to for breakfast in the morning, and like whenever we have salmon we usually eat it all but sometimes we’ll have a little bit leftover if I make quite a bit, and we kind of plan on that, my six year old will wake up in the morning and he’ll remember that and he’ll be like, “Mom, can I have salmon?” It’s like, why don’t we all think that way? If we un-train ourselves, like you said, just to look at this, it’s food, that’s all it is. There’s no rules of breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just good food that gives you the nutrients you need, and the stamina and the energy, without that big crash and burn from that non-fat milk and cereal in the morning that you can avoid.

Lucas:

Well awesome, well great information. For people listening, I know they’ve gotten some great ideas, especially parents out there. So for people who want to learn more about your book, about your books, your website and your work, where is the best place for them to connect with you?

Sarah:

(27:02) The best place would just be at my website, which is EverydayPaleo.com, and you can find my books there, they’re also on Amazon and in Costco and in Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. But if you start there, EverydayPaleo.com, it’s pretty easy to track down all of my work and what I’m doing, and you can follow me on Facebook also at Everyday Paleo, and on Twitter, same thing, my username there is Everyday Paleo so it’s pretty straightforward and easy to find. You can also check out our fitness and nutrition site, which is EPLifeFit.com. And that’s, I think, about it.

Lucas:

Awesome, well, Sarah, it’s been great. Thanks so much for sharing with us. And for everybody listening, please check out EverydayPaleo.com, and we will talk to you very soon.

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Welcome to the FAQ round. If you’ve got something you’d like to ask, please send it into podcast@YogaBodyNaturals.com. Now let’s hear what’s going on with our listeners.

Grish asks:

(28:07) Can you tell me if yoga can increase semen in a 45-year-old man? If yes, how can I do it? I’ve been doing yoga for 25 years and am physically fit, but I’m curious to know about this previous question.

This is the first time anyone has ever asked me about semen on the Yoga Talk Show, so thanks for that, Grish. Can yoga help? Maybe, could be. If it was, it would be indirectly. And so by improving your overall health, but balancing your metabolic health, that could have a positive impact on testosterone, which could indirectly have a positive impact on your sperm count. Getting healthy is always good for sperm count in general.

But if you have a low sperm count, there’s a couple of things I would do. First of all, go get tested, see a doctor. Second of all, take a look at a Peruvian herb called Maca. We actually sell it. I’ve done a really poor job of promoting it. I started manufacturing it because we love it. I use it, my wife uses it, we’re huge fans of it. Maca is a root. It looks like a turnip, and it has kind of caramel taste. We have a special kind of Maca. It’s been processed in a very natural way that makes it much easier to digest. If you get natural Maca that hasn’t gone through this special process it gives you a really bad belly ache; this doesn’t. In any case, there’s a ton of research about Maca increasing sperm count in men. It’s very safe, no adverse reactions, it’s non-hormonal which is usually a good thing, so check that out.

Scott asks:

(29:37) Can you tell me the best yoga trapeze exercise for my hip?

Interesting question, Scott. Yoga trapeze is probably not the best device for your hips, for hip opening, that is. You can certainly do some things on the trapeze. One thing that I do sometimes is a supported side splits. So side splits is a really intense pose. It usually takes me like a minute or two just to get down in it, so I use the trapeze to lower myself down, meaning I’ll go into the side splits, reach my arms above my head and lower myself down really slowly. But in terms of hip openers, I would say the yoga trapeze is probably much more geared towards backbends, through core strengthening and through forward bends and things like this.

Kumar asks:

(30:20) I’d like to ask you for some help regarding my health. For the past five years I’ve had Cervical Spondylosis of the neck. The degeneration is causing weakness on my left arm and left leg. The doctors can’t do much and told me to keep track of the neck moving and neck exercises. The nerve is being pinched, causing me giddiness when I move my neck fast. (For my American friends, giddiness is dizziness. In Queen’s English, they use the word differently. He’s not having a laugh attack.) May I ask what kind of yoga postures would you recommend so that I could at least strengthen myself to take on these knots from my neck pain, and what kind of diet would you recommend for my nerve building?

Okay, couple of things here. First thing is, I’m not at all a neck specialist, so for sure trust your doctors, get some doctor recommendation stuff. What I can do is give you really general, blanket advice that could have a really dramatic impact. It might not do anything, but for sure these are things you should be doing, yes or yes, if you have inflammation, if you have tissue degeneration, if you have problems with your joints.

So first thing is you want to reduce inflammatory foods. Number one inflammatory food in the world, we all hate it, say it with me, it’s called wheat. Stop eating bread. Stop eating pasta. Stop eating chapatis. Stop eating burritos. Just eat the insides. The wheat is terrible. It’s really inflammatory. To give you an idea, when people have arthritis, wheat is one of the things that even allopathic, mainstream doctors will tell their clients you’ve got to stop eating it because it causes chronic inflammation. So get off the inflammatory foods: Wheat, dairy, processed foods, those are some of the most inflammatory. Dairy is a disaster also, but not as bad as wheat, usually.

Then you want to eat anti-inflammatory foods. The key ones are omega-3 fats. You get those in chia seeds, my favorite, flaxseeds, my second favorite, and then if you’re a fish person, cold-water, small fish, little sardines and krill could be a source even, these kinds of things. And then I would also focus on anti-inflammatory plant foods, things like turmeric, things like ginger are really, really great. These are probably going to be really, really mild suggestions. These are going to be general holistic health suggestions. It sounds like you’ve got a serious medical condition going on here, so I don’t want to speak lightly to that with some simple food remedies, but for sure focus on that stuff.

In terms of your nervous system, the same recommendation in terms of the omega-3s. They’re essential for nervous system health. You also want to make sure you’re getting your B vitamins, specifically B12 is essential for nervous system health. So check that out. Hope that’s at least a little bit helpful.

Scott asks:

(32:59) Could you let me know any successes you’ve seen for bone-on-bone hips after yoga, or using yoga trapeze?

Okay. Scott, I’m guessing, has some degeneration in his hip joint, and he’s wondering what kind of success you’ve seen. If you have a knee that needs rehab or a hip that needs rehab, you’re always working within the limitations of what you have. Your body’s not going to regenerate that tissue, at least not yet. Hopefully in our lifetime we’ll have some sort of genetic virus implant, something that will grow us new meniscus and things like this, but right now it’s not happening.

And so can yoga be helpful? For sure. Do you want to work with somebody? For sure. In terms of using the yoga trapeze, it might be helpful for you, in terms of like we talked about earlier, when you’re doing very simple poses like Warrior poses and things like this, in terms of taking the weight off of your lower body and making your practice more of an upper body focus, which is great for your core, and that’s the simplest thing I could suggestion.

Chris asks:

(34:05) I was wondering if PNF can be used to achieve difficult poses, namely *** (34:11) and ***. How would you apply PNF specifically to those poses, and are there any useful websites?

I can’t really explain these poses, so I’m not going to try to explain them because we’re on the radio here, but PNF is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. We call it PNF because it’s easier to say. It’s really simple, here’s what you do. You flex your muscles really strong and then you relax. You flex your muscles really strong and then you relax. Your body has two elements to flexibility. You have the actual connective tissues, and the other part of it is your nervous system, your stretch reflex, that clinch reflex that you have when you go down into a stretch and it feels, “ah.”

And so we need to lengthen our body’s connective tissues, but we also need to train our nervous system. The PNF, what that does, is that tricks your nervous system into acting like a flexible nervous system. So by clenching your muscles and then relax, clenching and then relax, your nervous system gets confused and it just relaxes. PNF stretching is fantastic, if done carefully and very, very safely, for both the frontal splits and the side splits. I don’t really use it for anything else. I have used it in forward bends, you have to be careful. I always do it with bent knees. I wouldn’t mess around with those other poses, personally, but that’s just me.

Hope that’s helpful, Lucas Rockwood here. If you’ve got a question, send it in, Podcast@YogaBodyNaturals.com, that’s an email address.

The food you eat affects your body and mind every day. Welcome to the nutritional tip of the week, where we explore plant-based diets, super food nutrition, edible insects and new tropics. The goal here is mind/body biohacking for a better you and a better planet. So hey, let’s talk nutrition.

(35:55) Today’s nutritional tip is all about tofu, or soybeans. Soybeans have a really bad rap. Anywhere you go on the internet, everyone tells you that soy will make you fat, that it will give you man boobs if you’re man, that it will give you testosterone problems in you’re a woman, all kinds of really soy-bashing things all over the internet.

(36:20) The interesting thing about soy is it’s a very, very interesting plant in that it’s really high in protein, shockingly high compared to other things, meat-level high in terms of protein, which is why food manufacturers became very interested in it. It’s also very cheap and very easy to grow, it’s a resilient plant. It grows in lots of different climates, lots of different animals can eat it. It’s fed to all of the different cows, pigs and chickens. It’s a very, very interesting plant.

(36:49) A couple of problems with soy. The biggest problem is that it’s been genetically modified, and we don’t really know what that’s going to do. Personally, I think genetic modification is the future of food, for better or for worse I don’t like it but I think it is, but that doesn’t make me want to eat it. I’d rather just stay away from it. Organic soy is available. It’s inexpensive, and it’s readily available to the extent that most health food stores actually only sell organic soy products.

(37:15) The real reason that people got into trouble with soy is particularly in the U.S. there’s a brand of soy milk called Silk. Silk is delicious. It’s amazing. It tastes like ice cream. It tastes like the sweetest, sugariest, most amazing, creamy, delicious on the planet. You can drink it, you can put it on cereal, do whatever you want with it. It’s an incredible amount of soy that you’re taking in, and so it’s not uncommon for Americans or Canadians, North Americans, to drink liters of this stuff a day. It tastes great. You’ve got soy ice cream, you’ve got Silk ice cream, you’ve got Silk yogurts, all kinds of things.

(37:52) So more than anything, the poison is in the dose, and the challenge is it can cause different problems. It has phytoestrogens in it, which can cause hormonal problems. It’s pretty rare, but it happens when people are drinking soy milk all day long, and it can cause thyroid problems. Now, none of these things are really that common. It’s really not that big a deal. It’s for the people who are drinking soy milk all the time. Soy used in moderation is a really great food. And just to give you a comparison, something like flaxseeds, for example, also has phytoestrogens, but you don’t hear a whole bunch of people freaking out about the phytoestrogens in flaxseeds because nobody drinks flax milk three times a day or flax ice cream. They just have it a little bit here and there, and it’s very, very healthful.

(38:33) The same is true for soy; it can be, very, very healthful in small amounts. And for the most part, you want to have fermented soy. That would be in the form of Tempeh and Natto. Some people avoid tofu altogether. Personally, I don’t think that’s necessary. I’ve been a plant-based guy for 11 years, and so I know lots and lots of people who eat hugely soy-based diets. I don’t think it’s a great idea, but I’ve never seen huge health problems. Just people will get allergic reactions and they’ll get indigestion, and anything that comes from eating excessively one food, eggs is another example. When people eat tons and tons of eggs they tend to develop egg allergies.

(39:09) Now, soy is not that interesting of a food, none of the big commercial crops are. Wheat is not, corn is not, soy is not, nobody’s going to be writing home about these foods. Of all those three, soy is the most interesting, particularly because of that protein. Very interesting nutritional profile, but it comes with all these other problems. So we can’t base a diet on soy, it can’t be our main source of protein, it should just be a condiment, it should be something that’s added in occasionally. I don’t think there’s any reason to be afraid of tofu. I don’t think there’s any reason to be afraid of soy products, unless you’re eating soy processed products, like the frozen Tofurky chicken mcnugget type things. Those are just junk foods, like any other junk food.

(39:51) But if you’re eating whole soybeans or fermented soybeans, there’s some pretty interesting properties, and specifically things like Tempeh are really delicious and have some fantastic health benefits. So my take is that at any given time the health industry needs an enemy. For 15 years it was red meat, red meat, red meat, terrible, it will kill you, saturated fat clogs your arteries, and then suddenly people dug deeper into the research and realized, hey red meat doesn’t clog your arteries, saturated fat is actually fantastic for you. Certain types of beef can actually be quite healthy. And so they needed a new enemy. So the new enemy of the day is soy. Everything with soy is the devil. Never eat it, it will give you man boobs and kill you. I just think it’s a little bit over-hyped. I think it’s something that if you’re eating every single day you probably need to take a look at, but if you’re eating organic, non-GMO soy and you’re eating a few hundred grams per week, it’s probably going to be a great addition to your diet, and it might even help you.

Phytoestrogens don’t behave like estrogen. In some cases, it can actually reduce the estrogen, in some cases it can increase the estrogen, it’s not something that’s as predictable as sticking a shot of estrogen in your bum. So very controversial topic, I’d love to hear your take. I’m sure people will post down below that I’m crazy, that soy killed their dog or something extreme along those lines, and again, just to clarify, most people who are hating on soy went through a period of overeating soy, where they’re having three gallons of Silk soy milk every week. I’ve never been that exciting about soy. A little bit every week. It’s an interesting food to add, specifically Tempeh, I’ve really been getting into. I’m going to start making it at home. But other than that, as long as you’re not abusing it, it’s an interesting food nutritionally, it’s just not meant to be eaten every single day all the time.

Hope that’s helpful, talk to you soon. You’ve been listening to the Yoga Talk Show with Lucas Rockwood. If you like this show, I always appreciate reviews and ratings on the iTunes Store. It helps other listeners find out about what we’re doing, and it keeps me motivated to dig around and find new and diverse topics to share with you. For complete show notes, links to everything discussed in the show, along with a ton of other free yoga videos and online resources, please head over to YogaBodyNaturals.com. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you very soon.