Mikki Reilly

Paul Wellman

Mikki Reilly

Stone Age Eating

New Fitness Book Follows Paleo-Based Diet

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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It’s amazing what healthy living will do to you. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more active and eating better, and the results have blown me away. I feel better, look better, sleep better, and — while I don’t know how my insides are doing — I’d venture to say they are doing better, as well.

That news came as no surprise to Mikki Reilly, who runs the Fitness Transform studio at 1213 State Street, and if you want to go paleo, she’s the one to go to. Reilly is the author of a new book, Your Primal Body. In it, she puts together a perfect outline to changing your life, offering simple, small steps that are easy to understand. And the why is also easy to follow — Reilly takes the time to explain the science and reasoning behind her methods in a way that’s easy for lay people to understand.

Despite its recent popularity, a paleo-based nutrition plan has been part of Reilly’s life for the better part of a decade. “It’s an idea whose time has come,” she explained. “Look around and two-thirds of the population — at least in the U.S.— is overweight. One-third is obese. People are looking for other solutions.”

A former bodybuilder, Reilly has her exercise and health science degree from UCSB and has been training people for 20 years. She opened her own studio at the end of 2011.

In her book, Reilly introduces a five-step primal plan, with each step building on the one before it. The first step is an anti-inflammation, low-carb, high-protein primal diet. That means wild, grass-fed meats, non-starchy vegetables, and the right types of fats, as well as the right type of omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. These types of food keep inflammation levels down.

Inflammation is what causes disease. It’s what causes discomfort in joints and obesity that can evolve into diabetes. Avoiding grains, processed sugar, and vegetable oils are key to keeping inflammation down, she said.

The second step is supplements — a complement, not a replacement — to the diet. We can’t get all the nutrients we need, because of the way we farm, so supplements are a needed addition.

As our world has sped up, Reilly said she has seen a change in her average client. They are more beat up, more out of shape. She now has to spend more time rehabbing a person before they are ready for her workouts. “Our world has changed,” she said.

Just as important to eating, however, is fitness. After food and supplements come the next three steps — all having to do with movements. Reilly is high on kettlebell techniques. As a longtime fitness buff, she’s tried most anything out there, and kettlebells “by far are the best training tool,” she said, for building strength, cardiovascular endurance, and mobility and flexibility. They provide a good mimic in a training environment to how our ancestors moved and worked.

The book isn’t written for super-fit athletes, but regular people looking to change habits. Her plan, she said, helps people lose weight, feel less hungry, and have fewer cravings for sugar and more energy. Muscles start to appear, and skin clears up. But more importantly, joint inflammation can be reduced, as can the possibility of heart disease and cancer.

Find Reilly’s book in any bookstore, or visit her website,


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The primal/paleo diet is absolutely an incredible leap forward in dieting.

I was primarily vegetarian for about 10 years, which was beneficial for me as compared to what I ate before that - the standard american diet of high grains, high animal fat of animals who eat primarily grains, high vegetable/grain/seed oil fat, high sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc..

However going paleo/primal over the last 6 months or so has helped me get even more lean, more strong and more energy.

I wake up to 5 or 6 slices of Trader Joe's (Neman's Ranch) bacon, 3 cage free eggs and a clementine orange, and if you drink coffee have a cup of high quality coffee with a tablespoon or so of some grass-fed butter mixed in, a little raw honey if you usually use sugar. For lunch I'll often have a grass fed bacon burger (NO BUN!!) with grass fed cheese and a low-carb mustard (dairy is non-paleo but optional on the primal diet - raw milk, grass fed dairy is suggested for those who choose to consume it)

Seafood is very good also - the best is wild caught salmon, wild caught sardines, wild shellfish

Big green salads are great (especially with grass-fed steak!)...use raw honey to sweeten the dressing

Smoothies are great - put in bananas, apples, berries, whatever you want - good add ins are coconut oil, grass fed whey protein powder (low carb), hemp protein powder (low carb), raw honey, cocao

Trader Joe's carries $6/lb grass-fed ground beef, imported from New Zealand, as well as grass-fed ribeye and other items. They also have many lamb products. Farmer's Markets in SB carry LOCAL grass-fed ground beef starting at $7/lb (Rancho San Julian, SB), $8/lb (Dey Dey's - Goleta, Costco, Sunday) and my favorite - Boost (10% grass fed liver, 90% grass fed ground beef) $9/lb - Dey Dey's Goleta Costco Sundays

In your quest for low carbs, try stevia as a natural plant based zero carb sweetener, avoid splenda and aspartame.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I know what many people are thinking - with all that meat, red meat in particular, you're going to have a heart attack!!

Absolutely not true. For one thing, grass fed and wild meats are much leaner than their grain fed counterparts. Secondly, the fat that is found in grass fed and wild animals is highly valuable, not unlike salmon oil, in its omega 3/6 ratio. People actually pay good money to get that stuff in pill form, why not just eat it for dinner?

The key is to lower your inflammation by reducing your omega 6 intake. Grains increase your omega 6 balance, and they also increase the omega 6 balance in the animals we eat. This increases inflammation and causes heart attacks, cancer and many of our modern day diseases that cavemen didn't have to deal with (although admittedly they had to deal with malaria and other diseases/predators). The lifespan of ancient cavemen, on average, was a bit low because babies and young children died at a very high frequency - however OF those that did survive, they had a higher lifespan than individuals alive today because they didn't suffer from all of these inflammatory conditions. That is because their average omega 3:6 ratio was 1:1. Today the average ratio is 1:10 !!

More on cholesterol:

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2013 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh ya - grass fed butter for your coffee - can be expensive locally but if you can afford it by all means do - but if you're on a budget trader joe's (to the rescue, again!) has Irish Grass-fed Butter for very cheap!

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2013 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Butter in coffee? Is this something new? Sounds awful.

taz (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2013 at 9:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mayonnaise on aspirin.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2013 at 1:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ya, grass-fed butter in coffee sounds disgusting, I mean what do they make butter out of anyway? Cream, right? Who puts cream in their coffee! That's absolutely insane, Loon point, you're a real loon.


Grass-fed butter in coffee is so delicious, I will sometimes have it as an afternoon snack at work since there isn't any good paleo food here to eat. But since I don't like to drink a lot of coffee, I will put in a tablespoon or two of butter and then just enough coffee to melt the butter. Very creamy, very delicious and it's great for you.

Take carbs out of your diet for a couple weeks or so and replace them with good, healthy fats. Your body will stop going back and forth, using both carbs and fat for energy, slowing down your metabolism and instead you will be on a 1-track fuel source and that fuel source is fat. Dietary fat and body fat, you will have a lot more energy with no carb crash.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If aspirin comes from bark, I guess it's technically paleo but good luck finding mayonnaise without soybean or canola oil in them - you'll be better off making your own mayonnaise with some good cage free eggs, olive oil and maybe some macadamia nut oil or avocado oil, a little salt (Himalayan or sea salt) lemon and vinegar for the tang.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2013 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Geez. The difference with the Irish butter has nothing to do with grass fed or not, it has to do with butterfat content. If you are ever in the town of Sonoma go to Vella Cheese, it's about 100 years old, and they make butter with even more fat from whatever milk is in the chain and it is delicious as well. Homemade butter in Northern Italy is the same. Sure it's often grass fed but around Florence where they fatten 'em up on higher protein stuff and the butter is excellent as well.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A note on the latest research by biological anthropologists and paleo archeologists. Our ancestors in the Paleolithic got most of their calories from a plant based diet including grains and seeds. Even Neanderthals who lived in extreme ice age conditions only ate about 25% meat in their diet. They also ate grains. The presence of grain in the diet of modern humans has been traced back 100,000 years to modern humans in Africa who ate Sorghum.

Most of the food was gathered by women and not hunted by men. Autopsies on ancient bodies of Inuit people who did eat mostly meat showed high levels of cancer present. Ancient people also got huge amounts of exercise and what meat they ate was far healthier than modern meat, even grass fed organic meat. The meat that was consumed was combined with an incredible variety of plant foods and fruit. The Paleo diet is a gross oversimplification and misrepresentation of the real plant based Paleo diet with moderate meat consumption. I will stick to limiting my animal protein consumption based on the solid medical evidence of the harm high meat diets cause.

lbsaltzman (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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