Become a Paleolista. How to Eat the Paleo Diet (Part 1) Plus 3 Tips to Reclaim Hormone Balance (Plus My Homage to Madonna)

Could there be a better time to turn Paleo than July 4? We’re surrounded by meat on offer, and some of it is even hormone balancing.

Let’s get brutally honest. Are you happy with how you feel in your bod? Not at the weight you most want? Does your mood depend on the number on your bathroom scale each morning? Are you making your already-wayward cortisol even higher with how you eat and drink?

Never fear, Dr. Sara is here. I’m on a mission to make your food plan easier and hormone balancing.


I cracked the code on the female matrix and how to eat so you don’t have to. What I find at The Gottfried Center, my mostly-virtual integrative medicine practice and online mentoring program for women, is that most women just don’t know any better. I’m happy to shorten the learning curve for you, so you can get the body you ant in a fraction of the time.

Among women who come to me for mentoring, integrative medicine, or my online Mission Ignition course, no one ever told them about the food/mood link.

Or how your food choices raise or lower certain hormones.

Until now.

From a Fat, 40, and Freaky Eater
In 2008, I went to my first Madonna concert. I was fat, forty, and a freaky eater. Two kids and running my integrative practice, but not in a sane way. I was doing all things for all people, over providing everywhere. I knew what to do to keep my body in the shape I wanted but I just wasn’t doing it. 

I’d tell myself: Maybe someday I’ll take this food/weight stuff on. 

I ate too much. I drank too much. I shopped too much. My friend, Nicole Daedone, calls this the mantra of the Western woman. I was 25 pounds fatter than I am now. I’d wake up with a radical vow of how this day would be different. I’d get the weight loss train going. I’d race home from work, pour a glass of wine and make dinner, noshing all the way. That is, I “some-day’ed” until Nov 2, 2008. Madonna’s Sweet and Sticky Tour. You may not be a Madonna fan. I hear that. 

Maybe you don’t like her attitude or how she looks at 53, but I experienced a major epiphany when I went to this concert. I found a woman who had the vitality and metabolism, the inner strength and stamina, to dance for 2.5 hours. Not the 2-step that I favor when I’m tired but serious, yoga-like, push-yo’self dancing. All out.  Blew my mind.

I flipped a switch. I looked at my muffintop, which was threatening to become a caketop, and my arms with kimono-like qualities. I considered my jeans which were taught (again!), similar to sausage casings.

I said: “It’s enough.”

I could no longer tolerate living in a body I don’t love anymore. I don’t want to harm my body anymore – I don’t want the sugar. I don’t want the extra pounds weighing me down and holding me back from my greatness.

I want to feel that buoyancy and verve that Madonna showed that night, that she mirrored for me aspirationally. Now, of course I know that Madonna has many handlers. She travels with a macrobiotic chef and a yoga instructor and has millions to spend on keeping herself looking good. But she not only looks damn good for 53, she has the stamina, the endurance to rock her mission. I wanted that. I wanted to live the life I truly desire, and that experience standing at the Madonna concert and watching her dance and sing her heart out in a beautiful body for hours – led to a major breakthrough.  

From Fat to Paleolista the Dr. Sara Way
I radically changed my food plan overnight. You can too. I started eating “Paleo” style, as in “Paleolithic” diet or “Caveman” diet. Hunter-gatherer. It’s a modern reinterpretation of the presumed diet our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era, which ended about 10,000 years ago. Short version: no grains. You know in your bones, along with smartypants Gary Taubes, that this food plan is wise. Lots of nonstarchy vegetables, lean protein, and… well, more vegetables. About 40 grams worth of fiber-rich vegetables if you follow my playbook.
No refined carbohydrates. And all of it is incredibly hormone balancing, particularly for women.

When you eat food to satisfy an emotional or psychic need, you harm yourself. You deaden the part of you that wants to rock your mission. You choose foods that sap your energy, add fat to your belly and make your happy neurohormones take a nosedive.

Choose another option. I’ve got a jumpstart for you. Start with the tips below, and soon I’ll post Part 2 on how to move the needle even further. Not all of Paleo–as described by the men who recommend it–is appropriate for the female matrix. I’ve got some tweaks to share. The food practices listed below is ancient–it’s based on what our ancestors ate but it’s combined with the latest science on how to optimize your hormones. This post is inspired by a recent conversation with the genius Dave Asprey who biohacked his weight down 100 pounds and raised his IQ 20 points.
Eat this/Not This.
1. Eat butter from grass-fed cows. Pastured butter. I was inspired by Dave to add it to my coffee!
2. Stop eating grain. Quinoa is cool – it’s a seed. I used to love oatmeal (oat groats, actually, because I’m still a super freak), and now I eat quinoa flakes (no, not a skin disease) or eggs for breakfast. Protein and veg for lunch and dinner.
3. NO more sugar substitutes. Stevia only. Ditch the damn diet coke. People who consume diet drinks are fatter than those who abstain. (And I know that you don’t need the reminder to cut the sugar 100%. Get off the roller coaster, Lovies!)

Eat these yummy things, cut out the crap, and watch what happens. Tune in for Part 2 in a few days, and enter your email below to get it delivered to your inbox! It’s free and will change your life (and your hormones! More on that next post!).

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