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Cassy is the author of the paleo cookbook and blog Fed & Fit.
How'd you get into paleo?
I was reluctant at first and just gradually accepted it was the best way of eating for me. I kept gaining weight after college, I was tired all the time, so I did research on 6 or 7 diets, and I lost weight but it was from calorie restriction, which causes muscle loss as well as fat loss and creates other problems. I have a science background so I dug into some nutrition science and stumbled across the anti-inflammatory dietary direction, aka paleo.
Learning the concept to stop eating foods that make us sick and start eating foods that make us healthy because our body's made to heal, we just have to get out of its way. Stop eating foods that cause inflammation and switch to foods that let us build and rebuild. The changes in my body were miraculous. I went grain free, drank more water, prioritized my sleep, and after 30 days I didn't care about my weight or losing weight at that point because my joint pain and my mental fog went away. I could also sleep better at night. This was 7 years ago.
Stepping on the scale every morning also didn't work for me, so I ditched the scale. 6-9 months into my paleo journey I had gone down 10 dress sizes but I had only lost 7 lbs because I had started doing yoga and crossfit and other activities during that time also.
The blog started very naturally just to share recipes because friends and family were asking me, "what the heck are you eating?!" I went back to school to become a nutrition consultant then I started taking on clients, and once I didn't have time for any more one-on-one's, I started my food and fitness program, the Fed & Fit project, and everything blossomed from there. It's like a DIY healthy lifestyle template.
The book has the program, the four pillars of health, recipes, and reasons why all of this works. #1 is mindset, #2 is rest and hydration, #3 is nutrition (foods that sabotage vs foods that heal), and #4 is exercise.
What is the easiest way for someone to get started with this program?
Start by drinking more water. Take your body weight, divide it by 2, and that's roughly how many ounces per day of water you should have. Make sleep a priority. There's an easy way to calculate this for yourself in the book over the course of a week. Stop drinking diet sodas; the fake sugars create a multitude of issues in the body. Tasting that sweetness tells our brain to tell our body to prepare for sugar and it really confuses our craving cues. Artificial sweeteners become a really toxic load on our bodies in general, which gets in the way of our detox capabilities. If you're going to have a soda, go for the real thing once a month as a treat. If you want the bubbles, drink sparkling water.
Another low-hanging fruit move for the program is to stop eating gluten-containing bread pasta and cereal grains. Replace them with carbs like squash, potatoes, beets, etc.
Thinking about long-term goals helps to create lasting healthy habits. Thinking about being able to keep up with my grandchildren someday, for example, helps me make these decisions.
Get over the idea of a holy number in terms of what you want to weigh because it has nothing to do with health. Focus on feeling good instead. Disassociate yourself from the number on the scale and think about how you feel, how rested you are, how light you are on your feet, etc.
What's your philosophy on makeup?
Most people use soap, shampoo, conditioner, aftershave, or moisturizer or some kind of product. If you're trying to optimize your nutrition, what you put on your skin—(toxic goop)—will wind up in your body, which can have metabolic impact. So safer skin care is important. Beautycounter makes some really beautiful products for men and women. Primally Pure is another brand I really like using all natural ingredients.
What's the best way to get your book and to contact you or to participate in the project?
Fedandfit.com has my podcasts, recipes and blog. My book is called Fed & Fit and it's available on my website, Amazon and nationwide. The program is opening up to participants in January and there’s more information about this on the website.