Bonus: The Paleo Parent Stacy Toth – Helping Kids Eat Smarter


Jonathan: Hey, everyone. Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. Today’s show is going to be one I know you’ll enjoy because we are talking with one of my favorite experts in the world when it comes to helping the little kiddos eat a more nutrient-dense and healthy diet. That is none other than the mom behind PaleoParents.com, the co-author of the wonderful cookbook Eat Like a Dinosaur, and the up-and-coming Beyond Bacon, the formers for small people, the latter is for adult people, and then also the co-host of The Paleo View podcast – Stacy Toth, welcome to the show We’re so happy to have you.

Stacy: Wow. Thank you so much for having me. That was quite an intro. Ready to go, ego-wise, for at least a week.

Jonathan: Well, you’re doubly ready, right? Because you shared with me a very cool tidbit before we started the show, and that’s you actually got to see the layout of your new book Beyond Bacon for the very first time today. So you’re really riding that wave.

Stacy: Yeah. My day has gone – that I got home from CrossFit, which is very exciting because I flipped a 330-pound tire for the first time and I was super stoked about that. Then I checked my email and the book that we turned in a couple of weeks ago finally got put into the design layout and sent back to us and seeing your book for the first time in all of its beautiful graphic glory is kind of breathtaking. So I am riding a happy wave.

Jonathan: I’m so happy you’re going to share that with us, Stacy. I wanted to start the podcast off – because I know a bunch of my listeners may not be familiar with your story and it is a compelling story which I think will help to flavor the rest of the conversation – so would you mind sharing your journey to a healthier lifestyle with us?

Stacy: Sure. So my anniversary for Paleo is next month. We will have been a Paleo family for 3 years in May. The beginning of my journey started after the birth of my third son, literally two days after he was born. I tell the story – I came home from the hospital, having had three C-sections and a gallbladder removal within that decade, and I just didn’t feel good. I didn’t have the energy to play with my kids, let alone run around in the yard and do the things that I really wanted to do with them. I knew that because I was a breastfeeding mother and I am lactose-intolerant that I was not able to eat dairy while breastfeeding because I passed on that intolerance to the babies. So I was doing some internet searching and at the time, there wasn’t the movement that there is now and there weren’t the books that there are now but I found, I think, a recipe for dairy-free ice cream while I was perusing the internet and it was called ‘Paleo ice cream’ and I was like, “What is this Paleo thing?” I did some research and within 24 hours, I was at the local library checking out pretty much the only book on the market at the time, Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet.

Nowadays, I would definitely recommend people check out Robb Wolf or Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo, but at the time, that was what I had available to me. I read the book and within hours, I literally was in the pantry just throwing out food. It resonated so much with me. I definitely was metabolically broken. There were a lot of things about our health and our happiness and my childrens’ behavior that really made me think, “If I give up these processed foods, my kids might feel better.” It seemed like a far-fetched thing at the time – “Could foods really affect their behavior that much?” Now looking back, I’m like, “How could I have ever doubted that?” It is so easily tied.

Jonathan: Stacy, just really quickly to clarify for the listeners – when you mentioned you read this book called The Paleo Diet and then Loren Cordain’s work, which I know some of the listeners are familiar with – a brilliant professor from the University of Colorado, just a brilliant, brilliant man; lots of tens and tens, if not hundreds, of published academic papers – and you say you came home and you started throwing out all this processed food. When you say ‘Paleo’ and when you go into that, what were you actually eating more of and what were you eating less of? I think sometimes, I get frustrated when it’s called a ‘diet’ because really it’s just like ‘eat the most of the stuff that’s good for you and eat less of the edible garbage’.

Stacy: Yeah, we try to call it a lifestyle because I would never put my children on a diet. We refer to it as a lifestyle. I try to refer to it as a ‘real foods diet’. For a lot of the people, that helps them understand. Specifically, our family does not consume grains, dairy, legumes, or refined sugar. We do consume maple syrup and honey or we use dates as a sweetener and, what we would call, treats. We don’t ever eat soy or peanuts or corn and those are in almost all processed foods. We don’t eat any food dyes. We don’t eat any high-fructose corn syrup.

When I read Loren Cordain’s book and I understood how all of these foods played into the body and can give you chronic inflammation and make you sick and even in little bodies, it can affect them more so than big bodies because of how small their systems are to absorb these toxins. I looked in the pantry and realized almost everything that we had contained gluten, soy, corn, and high-fructose corn syrup. I mean, even the condiments in our refrigerator. It was unbelievable to me. I would look at the food that we had and I was like, “What can we eat?”

My original intention was to transition us and just kind of go through the stuff in our pantry and then buy better choices as we moved on and ultimately we did end up doing that. I think for families, it’s a much different situation than for individuals or adult couples to kind of choose to make that choice, but to hoist a complete overhaul on three young children is kind of overwhelming if you do it all at once. We made a transition, but we also took out a lot of the foods that I just was so abhorred by as soon as I read the label that I was like, “Nope. I cannot let this go into my family’s mouth.” We either donated the food or if it was already open, we would toss it out.

We told the kids that we wanted them to do it for fourteen sleeps. My oldest child was four at the time, so he was old enough to understand what that meant and he marked off on the calendar 14 days as we went on. He had some behavioral issues in school that actually almost got him expelled. I call it a hippy-dippy preschool; like, it’s a co-op preschool; it’s not a county-run program. They’re very, very lenient in terms of how they coach and, what they call, play with children. For him to have been having problems, it was a really big deal and we decided that we were going to try this food thing with him to solve the problem and we told him that we thought within 14 sleeps, that we could tell whether or not his body would be feeling better and more in control. We called it ‘in control’; it’s like a mind-body connection with kids. Specifically, he had ADHD behaviors. I would say within five days, there was such an improvement that everyone in the family was like, “We don’t even need to do this 14-sleep thing.” It was so obvious to us.

Honestly, there were some things about it that we didn’t even realize would change about our health then. My oldest also needed to take a daily inhaler at school because he had exercise-induced asthma and cold-induced asthma. He was outside running around at school almost every day and he had to have an inhaler. It didn’t occur to us that his asthma would go away, but it did. Within that two-week period, the inflammation in his body was so reduced from the healing foods that he was eating that he no longer had inflammation in his lungs that caused asthma and he hasn’t had a single pump of asthma medication in three years. It’s not even on his doctor’s chart anymore.

There were similar things that happened with my middle child, who has significant skin issues like eczema, and he had a longstanding virus on his body that his doctor went and put him on steroids for at two years old and we decided that we were going to try this diet thing instead. Of course, it worked and the bumps went away within weeks and the doctor was like, “Wow. Whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it.” The kids have been Paleo for three years now and they’re all extremely healthful, they’re all very strong, they’re very smart, there’s nothing deficient about them, and their doctors are very satisfied with their growth and their health.

It’s been an amazing ride for my husband and I, who lost 200 pounds together, as we took the Paleo journey and gained health in the process. I determined along the way that I had celiac disease – which I had no idea that I’d had – which was one of the reasons that I probably lost my gallbladder and was intolerant to gluten and a lot of the problems that I’d had my whole life – chronic joint pain, reflux, migraines, depression, seasonal allergies – all gone. They just disappeared by eating this way. We try to advocate as best we can that it is not, as you say, a diet; it is a lifestyle and it can be difficult sometimes with children. Taking them to a birthday party, I never like to be the one that says ‘no, you can’t have cake’, ‘no, you can’t have pizza’, so instead I say, “You can have this Larabar in my purse.” You just kind of learn to roll with the punches and deal with life that way.

Jonathan: Stacy, there’s so much to dig into there. I really appreciate you sharing that story and those profound successes. Just to deconstruct it a little bit, because again, there’s so much there – the first thing I want to talk about was the critical distinction between a 25-year-old male going Paleo and a mother who is trying to help an entire family that has three young children go Paleo. Truly, that is a night and day comparison. This is one thing that really gets me a little bit amped up in some ways, Stacy – kid’s food. If you look at a kid’s menu….

Stacy: Ugh. It’s not kid’s food, it’s junk.

Jonathan: Exactly. Literally, that is so twisted that the little people who need proper nutrition the most – we define their food by that which is the worst for humans to consume. Isn’t that just atrocious?

Stacy: It is. Honestly, we’ve found – not just ourselves, but from the hundreds of thousands of people that email us and talk to us through our website – we find that it is adults putting upon children that those are kid’s foods. My children are perfectly happy to eat kale and eggs for breakfast. Originally, because it was their habit – they would say, “Where did my Dora cereal go?” Over time, it became, “Hey. Let’s read a Dora book and eat these eggs and kale because you like eating kale.” Not everybody’s kids are going to like kale, but that happens to be one of their favorite vegetables. My oldest likes mushrooms. We throw the mushrooms in the eggs and he gets vegetables at every meal and doesn’t complain.

There are products nowadays that you can find that have cute cartoon characters on them that are whole foods, but honestly, my children aren’t even interested in it. I’m fortunate enough that my oldest is seven and my middle child is five now and they’re learning to read. My middle child is obsessed with looking at how many grams of sugar there is on the label and he’ll tell us all, “This is going to put holes in your teeth,” which is fantastic. My oldest will say – he’s able to read the ingredient list – and his job when we go shopping is to read the ingredients and everybody who’s shopping, we all say, “Do we think that’s healthy for us or do we think that’s not healthy?” Nine times out of ten, if it’s something that they picked up on the shelf, it’s not healthy and they have no problem putting it back.

They themselves are frustrated with the food manufacturers. They don’t take it out on me. They think it’s awful that someone can’t put together food that’s real food and then when they do come across a product that they like – for example, Wholly Guacamole – they just love it. They talk about it all the time and they’re like, “We love that we can just buy this guacamole and we don’t have to worry about it.” It is atrocious to me that that is what kid’s food is. We go to a restaurant and we look at the kid’s menu and we’re like, “No, we’re just going to order an adult meal.” They’ll either share it or they’ll eat off our plate because honestly, they have bigger appetites than we do. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more and I think the best approach is – with everything in parenting – is to find a positive to something else. Re-direction and finding positivity. When it’s always ‘no, no, no’, ‘can’t, can’t, can’t’, who’s going to be happy about that?

Jonathan: Stacy, I think you hit the nail on the head. That leads to the second thing that I think was just key about your story and that was this idea of a transition plan where, when you read this book and you had that background information, but not everyone else in your family did, so what were your key strategies to help? You already mentioned one – pursuing the positive rather than attacking the negative. What were some of the more tactical strategies you used to make that transition a bit easier?

Stacy: We went strictly gluten-free and high-fructose corn syrup-free. Anything that I had in my pantry that had gluten or high-fructose corn syrup, I chose to either donate or throw away right away. The rest of the things in the pantry, we just finished using up and I explained to the children, if there were four left at that snack time or meal time, “Okay, there’s only four left of these, so when they’re gone, they’re gone, but you can pick out anything that’s healthy and real at the grocery store the next time we go to replace it.” They got so excited about being able to pick whatever they wanted from the grocery store that it became not a big deal when that food was over and gone.

If you’re talking about fruit snacks, they have been used to getting Annie’s Fruit Snacks – honestly, they weren’t even getting Annie’s (I wish they had been getting Annie’s). They were getting some crazy Costco brand that was high-fructose corn syrup and red dye #40 and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t even real fruit, but I convinced myself it was fruit. When it came time to choose the replacement food, I took them to the dried fruits section and they were so excited because they had never purchased dried fruit before and they debated among themselves, “Well, I really like pineapple” and “I really like cranberries” and me, as a parent, I get to be a winner by saying, “You know what? Why don’t you get one of each and we’ll take it home and we’ll try it and you figure out which you want.” Then I’m the hero. I’m not the person that took away the fruit snacks; I’m the hero that gave them two things instead of one.

Jonathan: Love it. I’m sure something like that probably worked a little bit with the husband, too, did it not?

Stacy: Absolutely. No, honestly, my husband is a stay-at-home dad. He does a fantastic job. He’s actually the meal maker and home taker of all of us and we could not survive without him. He’s fantastic, so I shouldn’t mock him. It was definitely a harder transition for him than anyone else in the family. He had, what I would diagnose, as an addiction to diet Coke. It was really bad and I would find hidden cans of diet Coke for almost a year after we went Paleo. I’m like, “What are you doing? You know how bad this is,” but we got a SodaStream and he learned to fill his carbonated addiction elsewhere without the food dye and sugar and whatnot.

Yes, I think everybody has their own vices and transition can take a while but I think what’s really important is that no matter what kind of lifestyle you take on, you might not do 100 percent right away, but you get 80 percent of the benefit if you do 80 percent. I hear from a lot of people, “Well, I can’t go Paleo because I’m not willing to give up heavy cream in my coffee.” First of all, it sounds like you have a problem if you can’t give up heavy cream. Second of all, why don’t you do everything else and not give up heavy cream and then when you’re feeling so great from everything else, you’ll be willing to give up heavy cream eventually.

You’ll want to know how much better you’ll feel if you give up heavy cream eventually. I think transition is key. I know a lot of people take a different approach, like do everything all at once for 30 days and I think that works for some people, but for others, if they fail at doing everything within 30 days, then they give up completely, and that’s not what we want. We want long-term success. We want this to be a sustainable, healthful lifestyle for people.

Jonathan: Absolutely. Stacy, can you give us some tips on – especially with the kiddos – you mentioned with birthday parties, but even beyond birthday parties because maybe at the birthday party, you’re with them, even if they’re going over to a friend’s house or they’re at school and someone brings in cupcakes, what do you do in those circumstances?

Stacy: Well, the best thing you can do as a parent is to empower your child, so I think my children feel very empowered to make their own choices, which means that they’re usually making the right choices themselves. I can’t always be there, especially my 7-year-old. I mean, he’s in second grade. He’s at school. He’s going to do what he’s going to do. The great news for me is that I’ve empowered him to understand how this negative food affects his body and he knows that if he makes those choices that he’s going to have negative immediate effects such as gut irritation. He has a wetting problem. He’s not able to control himself in general within his entire body if he’s not eating clean, which means he doesn’t want to be playing in the yard and having an accident with his friends – that’s ultimately one of the most embarrassing things.

For older children like teenagers, acne is a huge driver. Being strong and building muscle is a huge driver. People want to be attractive when they’re older teens. The thing is, a parent has to empower their child, teach them, show why this is a benefit to them, why it’s healthy, how it’s affecting their body, healing their body, strengthening their body, and then help them make the right choices. It would be terrible for my son to be in second grade – he has a birthday party almost every week in his class because there are 27 kids in the class or something – and then in addition to that, his teachers like to hand out Pixy Stix and Skittles every time they do a math equation. Why is this helping them learn? I don’t know.

What we’ve done is we buy a product – there are a dozen products you could buy – but our kids really love Caveman Cookies. It’s a shelf-stable cookie which contains nothing but almonds, honey, and I think nuts in general. There are a couple of brands you could buy. Anyway, it’s a whole foods food. It is definitely a treat, but at least he feels like when other children are having a cupcake that he can have a Caveman Cookie and he finds that he is able to sit still in class after, he is still able to learn after, he doesn’t have trouble controlling his body, so it’s a good solution for us. He tells me when his Caveman Cookie bag is almost empty, we go to the store, he picks out the flavor he wants, and he takes that new bag to school – he is always never in temptation.

We also chose in the very beginning to let him have lunch one day a week so that he could still feel normal with his friends. It only took about two months for him – he always chose Pizza Friday, which was the worst day he could choose other than maybe breakfast at school which is not breakfast at all, it’s dessert for brunch. He would choose Pizza Friday and every single Friday afternoon, he would come home and he would be sick and he would be sitting on the toilet and he would say, “I don’t feel good.” It only took a couple of times of us saying, “Well, what did you do today that made you maybe not feel good in the belly?” and him saying, “I had pizza at school.” And us saying, “Do you think that’s really a good choice?” and he’d say no and then eventually – it wasn’t very long at all – it was one Friday and rather than rushing out the door, he said to Matt, my husband, “Can you help me pack a lunch today because I don’t think I want to buy pizza anymore?” That was it.

I think it’s empowering your children and letting them come to those choices on their own, having trusted – that euphemism about letting a bird fly away and coming back to you. These are their own people. I think my general parenting philosophy is that my kids aren’t mine, they are their own people. They are their own person, each of them has their own personality and came into this life and has their own path and I will not always be there, I cannot always be there, and I want them to develop into the people that they want to become. In order to do that, I need to let them make their own choices and feel empowered by not just food, but we let them play outside alone in our fenced yard in our safe neighborhood all the time, too. Other parents are like, “Oh, I can’t believe you let your 2-year-old outside of the yard.” I’m like, “Well, he is with a 7-year-old and it is fenced and it’s a safe neighborhood…”

Just basic things like that that, as a culture, we’ve forgotten that when we were kids, we played out back by the creek for hours until it got dark and our mom couldn’t even yell to us. Now what? We don’t let our kids play outside at all because we’re worried about danger. I think that we’ve lost sight of what’s important in terms of growing up and gaining independence and personal choice.

Jonathan: Stacy, I think there’s a huge ring of truth to the empowerment there. I’m curious, Stacy. I’m judging – exclusively by your Skype picture here, so I do not have complete information – it looks like you have three beautiful sons. Is that accurate?

Stacy: That is very accurate.

Jonathan: The only reason I ask this is because I’m curious, have you heard from any of your fans – is it any different for little girls than it is for little boys?

Stacy: I think in general raising girls is different. I actually minored in Women’s Studies in college. I’ll be the first to tell you that women are different from men, but my co-host on The Paleo View has two daughters and our stories are almost exactly the same in terms of what works for them parenting-wise and what doesn’t work for them parenting-wise and when we choose to let them eat the Skittles at school because we’ve empowered them with the choice and sometimes they don’t always make the right choice and my 7-year-old’s notorious for saying, “Well, it’s gluten-free” and then he’d get sick after and it’s like, “Hmm, maybe it’s not just gluten that causes some problems for you.” Her daughters make the same mistakes sometimes and make the same successes sometimes. I think in general that that parenting philosophy works across the board; it’s just the matter of the mechanism in which you empower a child can sometimes vary, not just male to female, but child to child.

Jonathan: Absolutely. I’m always fascinated to think about how, certainly with the Paleo lifestyle or just eating a whole foods lifestyle, sometimes in America especially, we forget that there are so many other lifestyles which have dietary restrictions – for lack of better terms – that are as, if not way more difficult to maintain. I’m thinking vegetarians, I’m thinking vegans, I’m thinking kosher, I’m thinking halal. There are millions, if not billions, of people around the world who have these lifestyles. It’s ironic that, again, why do we call the Paleo diet a ‘diet’; we don’t call vegetarianism a ‘diet’, we call it a ‘lifestyle’ and everyone acknowledges that. Really, it’s just a choice to globally avoid certain foods in favor of others and I’m curious if – obviously, you’re not a vegetarian…

Stacy: I was for seven years.

Jonathan: You were? Oh, fascinating. Well, I wonder if in a vegetarian household, for example, if you use similar strategies – or in a kosher or in a halal household – if they use similar strategies?

Stacy: I can’t speak for other households, but I actually was raised a vegetarian and my mom did employ these philosophies with us and my brother and I learned that we got sick when we ate meat when we would go places and it was available. The temptation of, “Look, it’s there,” would sometimes motivate us. For seven years, I was a vegetarian and it was only the first couple that I even attempted to eat things and then I decided that it wasn’t something that I wanted to do and just like I’m empowering my children, my mom had the knowledge at the time that she thought she was doing the right thing.

It turns out my mom is now primal and every time I mention I’m a vegetarian on podcasts and interviews, she calls and texts me and says, “I wish you’d stop telling people that. I’m so embarrassed.” She did the very best she thought she could do. She thought that she was giving us a healthful lifestyle. It turns out that birdseed in a box with a bottle of ketchup that we called vegetarian meatloaf was not the healthful food that we thought it was and my mother and I both got incredibly sick. We had white blood cell count issues that made us look like we had chronic disease to the point where they wanted us to see blood specialists and we both lost our gallbladders – me in my 20s, my mom in her 30s – very similar health paths and we both believed that it was attributed to the high-carbohydrate, low-protein, low-fat diet that we ate for so long that just wrecked our bodies.

Jonathan: Absolutely. Any shade of a nutritionally-deficient diet is going to destroy the body and it’s just certain strategies – to be clear, if you try hard enough, you can make almost anything work except the standard American diet. That’s not going to work no matter how hard you try. It’s almost like, my mom used to always tell me, “Jonathan, avoid the occasion of sin.” For example, you can certainly be a healthy vegetarian. It’s just like you’re tying both your hands behind your back a little bit. It’s definitely a challenge.

Stacy: Yeah. I have been asked the question many times – “I’m a vegetarian for X, Y, Z reason that I don’t want to change, but I would like to adapt a Paleo lifestyle. Is it possible?” I think the number one question that I ask is “Do you eat eggs? Do you eat fish?” If those answers are yes, then it really can be done. Protein usually needs a face; otherwise, it’s not really a protein, it’s a carbohydrate.

Jonathan: Absolutely. I forget what it’s called – Ben Greenfield mentioned it to me where it was the merging technique of – there are sea creatures that don’t have a central nervous system – I forget, it was like oysters or clams or something like that where it’s not quite a plant, but it doesn’t have a central nervous system, so it’s like – for whatever reason, you’re making the decision to avoid certain living things and not other living things, because of course, plant is a living thing as well, these….

Stacy: …are more like plants.

Jonathan: Exactly, and they’re super nutrient-dense. It’s an option. Stacy, another question I wanted to make sure we dig into is – what did you find to be the one or two most challenging and maybe even continuously challenging? Or have things all smoothed out? What were the one or two things that you were just like, “Man, if I could have done that differently or if I could wave a magic wand and change this today, I would pick these two things?

Stacy: I definitely wish I would have discovered nutrient density in the beginning of my Paleo journey and I wish that I had looked more into women’s health before starting my Paleo journey – both of those things. For those of us in the Paleo community, that’s probably more known than others, but intermittent fasting is a common thing that is done in Paleo community, not to be intentionally done – some people schedule it – but usually because you’re more satisfied than you were before that you don’t feel the need to eat regularly.

I moved to eating twice a day and for a myriad of reasons, including lack of a gallbladder which helps aid in digestion, after not having eaten in a while as well as just general women’s health hormone things like thyroid function, cortisol function, leptin – all those things – I got myself completely out of whack by adapting this regular lifestyle where it was intermittent fasting and I had reasons to be aware of it while it was happening, but because I was losing weight and it was effective for me for weight loss, I ignored that I had health issues developing in the beginning and ultimately when I ended up stopping nursing my second son, when those hormones changed, my body took a huge downward spiral in health.

It was just unbelievable how well I went to how not well and unhappy I went. I was really depressed. It was so frustrating because I felt like, “I’m Paleo and I’m doing all these things and I’m putting myself out there for people and I’m a liar.” It just turned out that I needed to look more into how to nourish my body as a woman and as a person who had additional health problems, not just, like you said, the 28-year-old CrossFitting man is a lot different than the 30-some-year-old mom who’s had three kids and no gallbladder and lost 135 pounds. We are night and day.

I’ve discovered bone broth. I’ve discovered organ meat. I’ve discovered fermented foods and things that maybe people don’t want to eat have become essential to my healing process and I’ve gone from being – in the beginning, on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of healthy before I went Paleo, maybe a 2 and then I went to being maybe a 6, and then when I stopped nursing, I went to a 4, and now I would say I’m an 8.

It’s a journey; it’s a path, but I have found that those two things would have been really helpful for me to know upfront so that I could have skipped that whole weave and bob of health, but I think it was definitely a journey and I’ve been enjoying helping other women learn those things before it’s too late. Does that answer your question?

Jonathan: Absolutely. I love it. I want to dig a little bit more into nutrient density, Stacy. Can you just talk to me a little bit more about your approach to nutrient density and how you went from maybe – correct me if I’m mischaracterizing this – but a not-as-nutrient-dense-real-foods lifestyle to a more-nutrient-dense-real-foods lifestyle? What are the differences between those two lifestyles?

Stacy: In the beginning, we were eating regular, what we call CAFO meat, which means it’s raised non-humanely, non-sustainably, and it’s not the best health for the animal to be fed GMO corn and soy, and we also did what a lot of people call the coconut oil, broccoli, and chicken breast Paleo version of the diet, but honestly we weren’t even eating coconut oil because it was saturated fat which was something we were scared of. We were eating meats and vegetables – don’t get me wrong; it’s a much healthier way to live, but it took us a while to learn that fats are really great for you. They’re great for your brain and your body.

There’s a reason why doctors tell you to make sure that your baby and your kids are getting whole milk. It’s because they need the fat to nourish their brains. There’s a reason that they tell you to take omega-3 supplements, because the fat is good for you. Instead of taking supplements, we’ve chosen to eat omega-3s as part of our regular diet in terms of grass-fed and pastured animals and seafood and we drink a lot of bone broth, which has healing properties both for your gut and strengthening the bones and it has been really great for me personally on my healing journey. I have soup for breakfast every morning. Fermented foods are just fabulous.

When you’ve been eating a nasty regular standard American diet for so long, your gut health is a wreck. I mean, I can’t imagine that anyone going around and drinking beer and eating pizza has a healthy bacteria situation going on in their digestive track. Eating fermented foods is kind of like you taking on the positive probiotic factors of that great Activia yogurt that’s on the commercial without all the sugar and refined dairy without the fat removed.

Jonathan: Absolutely. That makes a lot of sense, Stacy. I think that really just figuring out the way to maximize the good stuff we put in our body while minimizing the bad stuff – that’s again, like you said, with the Activia Yogurt – yeah, there’s some good stuff in there but if you jam a vitamin pill down in a Snickers bar, it doesn’t make the Snickers bar good for you all of a sudden.

Stacy: Yes. I saw a box of cereal at the store the other day. It pains me to go down the middle aisles because it really destroys your sense of self. There was a new cereal on the market and it had 40 different food dyes, several different sweeteners, every kind of grain and corn and legume you could possibly imagine in the cereal. It was a nightmare. But don’t worry, it’s been fortified. You know? The biggest letters on the box were ‘Fortified With Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium….’. You wouldn’t need to fortify that if it were food.

Jonathan: I love it. That’s right. I’m like, “What has made Philip Morris not add vitamin C to cigarettes?” To me, that’s like, “They have vitamin C in them. What are you guys complaining about? They’re a good source of vitamin C.”

Stacy: I’m surprised, too.

Jonathan: Stacy, I so appreciate you sharing your time and insights with us. It’s rare to find an individual who has had not only such rampant and inspiring success in and of themselves, but have empowered others in their family and outside of their family to share in the same success. I really appreciate you doing that, Stacy. It’s truly an inspiration.

Stacy: Thank you so much. I hope that it’s helpful for people. I know it can seem overwhelming, but baby steps, you can do it, and thank you so much for having me on.

Jonathan: My pleasure. That’s why I love you doing it, Stacy, because you did it, other people can do it; the more people we get out there making these transformations, the more we all see that we can do it individually. Folks, there’s a bunch more great information. I know a lot of our listeners are the ‘health CEO’ of their household and sometimes you’re almost pulling the rest of your family along, kicking and screaming, and Stacy has some wonderful resources to help out with that. Please check out her work at PaleoParents.com. Also, her first book Eat Like A Dinosaur helps with the little kids, getting them eating more nutritious foods, and also her upcoming book which is coming out this July called Beyond Bacon is a little more focused at the adults.

While you’re in iTunes and listening to Living the Smarter Science of Slim, do check out The Paleo View podcast which also has another guest which we had on the show, Sarah Ballantyne, joining Stacey and it’s a wonderful show. Stacy, thank you again for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Stacy: Thank you.

Jonathan: Listeners, I really hope you enjoyed today’s show as much as I did. Remember, this week and every week after – eat more and exercise less, but do that smarter. Talk to you soon.

Jonathan: Wait, wait Don’t stop listening yet.

Carrie: You can get fabulous free SANE recipes over at CarrieBrown.com.

Jonathan: And don’t forget, your 100 percent free Eating and Exercise Quick Start Program as well as free fun daily tips delivered right into your inbox at BailorGroup.com.

This week we have the pleasure of hearing from the paleo parent Stacy Toth. Stacy is the author of the books Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon, the co-host of the podcast The Paleo View, and is here to help us easily feed our families higher-quality food!

Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids