Sunday, June 05, 2011

Paleo for the family: A guide from a local mom (and Crossfit Trainer)


Sarah Fragoso is not only a trainer at Robb Wolf's NorCal Strength and Conditioning gym in Chico. She's an ardent exponent of what has come to be known as "the paleo solution" (the title of Wolf's recent best-seller). Fragoso says that "eating paleo is an easy concept: We should eat as our ancestors once did, we should eat based on how we are genetically wired to eat."

That means out with processed foods along with "dairy, legumes, any form of sugar, and grains!" Grains? Fragoso writes that they "are gut irritants, especially grains containing gluten such as wheat, barley, and rye. When our gut lining gets irritated, we are unable to properly digest our food." So bread is out. But it's okay to bring home the bacon since the right kind of fat is not bad. Fat is not what is making Americans overweight, it's the "non-fat, high-carb diet."

For those who want to try paleo at the family level, Fragoso has written an intensely practical guide. "Everyday Paleo: Embracing a Natural Diet & Lifestyle To Increase Your Family's Health, Fitness, and Longevity" ($29.95 in softcover from Victory Belt Publishing) tells what happened when she, her chiropractor husband, and three kids embraced the paleo idea. But that's just the beginning.

Fragoso will be signing copies of her book, and talking about the paleo lifestyle, at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, June 8 at Lyon Books in Chico.

The largest part of the book is a compendium of recipes (including shopping lists for trying "30 days of paleo") that will feed the entire family. Recipes (with full-color illustrations) include "perfect pork pot roast," "everyday meatloaf," and "Thai shrimp soup" (with more recipes available at

The last section introduces basic fitness showing the author's family in a series of full-color, step-by-step moves from "stroller sit-ups" to "partner push-ups." There's a chapter on fitness for kids and one on "advanced body weight and bar movements" (for those a little more advanced), as well as a series of beginning and intermediate workouts.

How about cheating on eating? Fragoso recommends a strict adherence to the paleo diet the first thirty days--no gluten--but she's a realist. Readers will respond to her verve--and honesty.

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