Meat Eating Hippies, And The Paleo Diet

Cat Smiley

Cat Smiley is a leading body transformation expert and has been named Canada’s top trainer three times by the International Sports Science Association.

A guest post from Cat Smiley.

Q: How do you know when someone is on the Paleo Diet?

A: They’ll tell you!

I’ve kind of seen enough Paleo status updates to last me a while. And yes, sure – it’s got the benefits – why else would it have become one of the most buzzed about celebrity diets right now?

Beauties such as Megan Fox and Jessica Biel crediting this way of life for their red carpet bods can’t be wrong. I mean, even Miley Cyrus (who isn’t exactly known for taking advice or being logical) is raving about her experience “Everyone should try no gluten for a week! The change in your skin, physical and mental health is amazing. You won’t go back!” Cyrus said. “It’s not about weight — it’s about health. Gluten is crap anyway!” LOL Awesome review, coming from an actress who clearly doesn’t value health all that much as told in a Rolling Stones Interview: “I think weed is the best drug on earth,” Cyrus said. “Hollywood is a coke town, but weed is so much better. And Molly too. Those are happy drugs — social drugs.” Now because this blog post is for my buddy Dave, I can’t resist mentioning that this young lady is Justin Beiber’s mentor; perhaps the Paleo Diet makes him feel the need for multiple shirtless selfies? Oh jeez.

So what is it?

You eat anything that can be fished, hunted or gathered. The principal is that you eat high protein and low carbohydrates in whatever quantity you want, and do whatever exercise you want to do…. and if you want to do no exercise, that’s okay too, apparently. Anything that evolved through the development of agriculture is off limits, which includes dairy, salt, processed sugar and oils, legumes. Hippy….much? Maybe a little.

What do you eat?

The main types of foods included in Paleo diet are fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts, fish and meat. Processed foods like salts, sugars, dairy products and grains are prohibited. Adapting to the Paleo diet can help promote weight loss as refined sugar and junk foods are avoided, with instead body fat used as a source of energy.

Weight Loss Benefits

Most people going Paleo eat much more fruit and veges than they’d normally eat. This means that they’re taking in more fibre, a definite benefit in improving gastrointestinal motility – key players in optimal functioning of the digestive system. Improved digestive system means improved metabolism. If you are using Paleo diet for weight loss then meat and fish should also be taken in minimal quantities and focus should be more on fruits, vegetables, root vegetables and nuts.

The good stuff

The Paleo Diet is scientifically proven to help stave off degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. “The Paleo diet is a very healthy diet”, says Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD, Colorado State University professor and the author of “The Paleo Diet”. Benefits of eating this way include improved blood pressure and glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, decreased insulin secretion and improved lipid profile in healthy non-obese sedentary people.

I did a shout out on my facebook page and one poster, Michael Kovacs said: “I’ve been Paleo for several years now, lost 110lbs. Reversed all my ailments including asthma, sleep apnea, High Blood Pressure, Improved my cholesterol score, Reversed T2 diabetes. Best of all I don’t get sick anymore. I attribute my successes to living a HFLC, Paleo lifestyle which includes a diet with lots of healthy fats, low carb vegetables, and pasture raised/grass fed meats and fish.” Nice work Michael!

The not-so-good stuff

Well for one, I promote a vegetarian lifestyle and the Paleo is all about meat, meat and more meat. And then when you’re done? Have some more meat. The crazed out protein intake can NOT be good for the kidneys. So if you do this diet, stay smart about your portion sizes. Keep your total protein intake the same as you normally would, and don’t go Atkins in your approach.

Secondly. The ‘carbophobic’ mentality. My personal training clients who have sworn by the Paleo cult – because it really is – has led many great people to have really terrible sleeping patterns and even personality disorders. It starts with bad breath and leads to carbohydrate deficit of serotonin being able to be produced naturally in your body, which in turn converts to melatonin in your sleep. Lack of sleep opens a whole other can of worms.

With all its benefits there are also some of its harmful effects on health as some diets such as whole grains, legumes and dairy products also prohibited which are essential for our health. Absence of calcium increases the risk of osteoporosis and also decreases body calcium level, which can put women over 55 years old especially at increased risk of fractures and bone density issues.

Final Word

If going Paleo, do it for a short period of time. Once you hit goal weight, go back to your regular healthy diet. Oh, and while you’re on it, kick ass workouts should happen on a daily basis. Track your protein, carbohydrate and fat intake in an app on your smart phone so that you are on track with the recommended macronutrient ratio in line with your goals.

Cat Smiley is a leading body transformation expert and has been named Canada’s top trainer three times by the International Sports Science Association. She is the author of The Planet Friendly Diet, and owner of Canada’s première weight loss retreat for women, located in Whistler, Canada.

Dave interviews Mariya Mova of MovaFitness

Mariya Mova is a highly successful Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach, Model, and Photographer currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

DHPT: Thanks for talking to us at the Melbourne Personal Training blog!
Going back to when you first started, what was your initial motivation to start training and what were your fitness goals at the time?

MM: I was a dancer at that time (1987) and my teacher told me I had to lose weight before I step on stage, so I went to the gym I loved it so much I am still in the gym I left the dancing for it. My initial goal was to step on the BDB stage and shortly after that I was one of the very few natural female bodybuilders competing at that time (1992).

DHPT: When did you make the decision to go from a fitness enthusiast to a professional, and start your career in the fitness industry? And what steps did you take to get started?

MM: Shortly after I started training I realised there were no trainers in the gym to guide me, I was getting advice from other gym buddies but wasn’t happy with my progress, then I decided that I have to become a coach and teach myself and others too. I did a short course to become one of the very first female BDB trainers back then in 1990 and in 1994 I enrolled to study Sports performance, kinetics, exercise and physical education graduated in 1999 with 3 degrees in Bachelor of Sports Science. I continued my education throughout the years and keep updated as of today.

DHPT: Your career as a trainer and competitor has taken you all around the world. What was your greatest experience or a favourite memory from your travels?

MM: Oh I am writing a book at the moment about the amazing experience I had travelling with my fitness career from Europe-to Middle East-Australia and America. I can talk a lot about that but the highlight of all was my appearance at the Olympia and taking part as a contestant at the Olympia stage 2009 for Flex bikini model search. It was amazing to be there and meet all the fitness stars!

DHPT: Getting back to talking about training again, what are your current goals in your own training?

MM: My current goals are to overcome my off and on training and body shape swinging. To maintain a lean/healthy and toned physique without fluctuating or being on drastic diet throughout the year as well as to continue competing and inspiring many people in the future.

DHPT: Do you have an overall strategy for your own training? For example do you stick to the same workout programs, or keep changing your approach?

MM: Variety is the key-people and myself get bored easily, when you progress and see results you stay motivated!

DHPT: And when training clients, how much of a “one size fits all” approach can you take? I think there are certain initial steps that will help anyone getting started with weight loss or fitness training, but to really get lasting results you need to consider each client as an individual and discover what approach will work best for them. Do you agree with this?

MM: There are basics when it comes to beginners and general fitness or common fitness goals like loosing weight for example. But after that stage every one should be individually assessed, it takes knowledge and understanding to be able to get to know other person’s body and know what works for them and what not. Also if is for general fitness is very different to if the person has specific goals/sports and is aiming for certain event or competition. So as personal trainer you need to consider the client’s age, gender, body composition, fitness level, medical conditions/injuries, time availability and dedication, what activities they enjoy and their fitness goals as well.

DHPT: How important is nutrition in all of this?

MM: I believe nutrition is important 80%, some people underestimate the nutrition impact on the final result, I do believe nutrition is all about! The energy levels, the recovery period, the performance, the body shape, the motivation all comes from nutrition! Especially in the world of Bodybuilding and physique contests the nutrition has even bigger input and is one of the most discussed topics contributing 100% to the final stage of the competitor’s preparation.

DHPT: What nutrition tips do you have for anyone trying to lose weight?

MM: Losing weight is the easiest goal comparing to many others. The person who’s aim is to loose weight should just reduce the daily calorie intake to create calorie deficit so they can burn the excessive fat storage as energy. But after that it comes to keeping as much as possible the lean muscle mass and keeping the energy levels as well as fighting those sugar cravings…. That’s when it becomes a bit more complicated.

DHPT: And for people trying to gain weight?

MM: Again gaining weight is easy task too-just eat more calories of what you burn, but when it comes to increasing only the lean muscle mass is when people get confused and increasing the lean muscle mass is even harder then reducing the body fat…. My advice here is to eat few more meals a day high in protein-total of 5 to 6 meals a day.

DHPT: How about for us vegetarians?

MM: My advice for vegetarians depending on what they are allowed to eat is basically the same-eat few more meals a day high in protein-total of 5 to 6 meals a day. Don’t forget that protein is the main source of recovering and substance needed for muscle gain-so you need to supply the body with protein in a form of supplement protein powder or whatever you are allowed to eat!

DHPT: Lots of egg whites, tofu and so on!

DHPT: Mariya, thanks again for talking to me here on Melbourne Personal Training, and also for all of the good advice you’ve given me in the past in regards to my training and business goals.

MM: Thank you David for having me and good luck in the world of fitness

For more about Mariya, head to