Poop Like a Pro: Step and Go™ Product Review

Photo Credit: Step and Go

Photo Credit: Step and Go

First off, I was really excited when someone from Step and Go™contacted me to test their product. I had been wanting to try a toilet squatting stool for a while now, so jumped on the opportunity when it was presented. I actually had to laugh at the subject line of the email – “Poop like a paleo.” It definitely caught my attention! 

Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a free Step and Go™ to test out, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.

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Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of talk floating around lately about proper elimination and bathroom posture. Squatting to poop is nothing new, but our modern day toilets don’t allow us to squat when going to the bathroom. If you visit other countries though, particularly in Asia, you can walk into a bathroom and still find a hole in the floor in which to poop. Traditionally, it’s the way we’ve always pooped and anatomically, it makes a lot more sense. If you ask me, it’s more comfortable too.

So, what’s the deal with squatting and why is it a more natural pooping position?

Well, for one, squatting allows for “a more complete and healthier elimination,” as stated on the Step and Go™ website. A squatting position opens the colon completely, whereas sitting causes it to break or kink. Forcing the rectum into a kinked position causes the need to strain, which can then lead to other problems such as hemorrhoids, constipation, fecal stagnation (major cause of colon disease), bowel herniation, etc. The website also states that most colon cancers develop in areas which can’t be fully emptied in the sitting position. Notice the difference between the two images below. The first shows the anorectal angle in the sitting position and the second shows it in the squatting position. Notice the kink in the first and the straighter line in the second. See how fecal matter could get stuck in that kink in the sitting position? Pretty gross and no wonder it causes problems!

kinked

Photo credit: Step and Go

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Photo credit: Step and Go

So, how does the Step and Go work?

In a nutshell, it acts as a little step stool for your feet, so you can find your squat. It is designed for use with the modern day toilet and fits right at the base of the toilet bowl. When you need it, just slide it out and place your feet on top to find your squatting position. While going, you can comfortably rest your arms or hands on your knees. When finished, slide it back along the base of the toilet for easy storage.

My Experience

Jesse and I have both been using the Step and Go™ for about two weeks now and based on our positive experience, prefer to always use it for elimination from now on. Before even trying the product, I knew I was going to be a fan and notice a difference because the whole concept made sense to me. Even after trying it just once, I already felt a greater appreciation for it. I didn’t really have any trouble going before trying the Step and Go™ (I did before paleo though), but using it seems to make everything that much more easeful and natural. Without getting too explicit, I’ll just say that I’m left feeling much cleaner and emptier when the duty is done. It’s comfortable, simple and works well.

I highly recommend getting a Step and Go™ for your own bathroom(s) at home, so you can start pooping better and improving your elimination health. It’s easy to use, affordable and appropriate for everyone, even kids. Lucky for you, the folks at Step and Go™ created a promo code just for Paleo in PDX readers! Enter the code PDX10 at checkout for 10 percent off your entire purchase! The code is good now through October 1, 2014. Go to the Step and Go™ website to get yours ASAP!

For those of you that currently use the Step and Go™ or a similar product, what do you think? Have you noticed a difference? Also, if you purchase a Step and Go™ report back and let me know what you think!

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Well, summer is officially here! Jesse and I enjoyed the summer solstice by taking a nice stroll up to the Mississippi area and finding an outdoor patio to enjoy a couple happy hour cocktails. Once we walked back home, it was time to start dinner. I didn’t want to fuss with much and already decided prior we would have chicken breast and garlic scapes, but wanted a refreshing side salad to go with it. Luckily, I almost always have a bag of broccoli slaw in my fridge. Seriously, I love this stuff and its versatility. It works well for hot dishes or cold, and is one of my favorites in a veggie and meat sauté.

Normally, I think salads like this taste better the next day, but Jesse and I both liked it better the day I made it, after letting it marinate for about 20 minutes. It still tasted good the next day, but was a bit more mustardy tasting from the Dijon. It was more subtle on the day I made it and I guess we both liked it better that way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of granulated garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 large or 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 2-3 chopped green onions, optional

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad close-up

Directions:

  1. Pour the broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl or dressing shaker, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the avocado and green onion. Mix well with a whisk or shake well if using a dressing shaker. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Pour dressing over the broccoli slaw and stir well. Add the avocado slices and chopped green onions, if using. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes. Serve with something grilled!

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings

Hawaiian Honeymoon

I realized I never shared any photos from my recent honeymoon in Kauai and Oahu on here, so I thought I’d share some highlights.  I had a recipe in store for today, but ended up not being completely satisfied with it, so decided to scrap it for now.

Meanwhile, here are some memories from our trip. Enjoy and happy Friday! Oh, and our 1-year wedding anniversary is this Sunday, June 8th. Hard to believe a year has passed already!

Polihale Beach in Kauai. This beach is on the west side of the island, down a 5-mile bumpy, dirt road. It was super rough, but well worth it.

Polihale Stae Park in Kauai. This is a remote wild beach on the west side of the island. The trek to get there is down a 5-mile bumpy, dirt road. It was super rough, but well worth it.

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Gearing for a 90-minute sunset catamaran ride, the last night of our honeymoon. Honolulu, Waikiki Beach.

Hanelai Bay

Hanelai Bay, Kauai.

My tasty breakfast one morning at the Common Ground Cafe on the North Shore of Kauai.

My tasty breakfast one morning at the Common Ground Cafe on the North Shore of Kauai.

Zip-lining fun at the Princeville Ranch. It was a blast!

Zip-lining fun at the Princeville Ranch. It was a blast!

Jesse climbing on the rocks at Ha'ena State Park. This was mere hours before he lost his wedding ring in the ocean at Tunnels Beach. Darn frog paws pulling it off.

Jesse climbing on the rocks at Ha’ena State Park. This was mere hours before he lost his wedding ring in the ocean at Tunnels Beach. Darn frog paws pulling it off.

A really happy lady with her Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui in Hanelai.

A really happy lady with her Mai Tai at Tahiti Nui in Hanelai.

Our amazing view of Hanelai Bay during the most epic (and spendy) brunch ever at the St. Regis Princeville Resort.

Our amazing view of Hanelai Bay during the most epic (and spendy) brunch ever at the St. Regis Princeville Resort. It was worth every penny.

Jesse on our sunset catamaran ride in Honolulu.

Jesse on our sunset catamaran ride in Honolulu.

Jesse in front of a dry cave. It was neat walking around inside. This was right across from Ha'ena State Park.

Jesse in front of a wet cave. Absolutely no swimming in there though because of some nasty bacteria.

A close-up of the wet cave.

Closer up of the wet cave.

Jesse eating a homemade acai bowl (minus the granola) at the Hanelai farmer's market.

Jesse eating a homemade acai bowl (minus the granola) at the Hanelai farmer’s market. Still had his wedding ring here too. It was 2 days later that it left us.

Ha'ena State Park/Tunnels Beach area, where Jesse lost his wedding ring.

Ha’ena State Park/Tunnels Beach area (far end), where Jesse lost his wedding ring.

My lunch after zip-lining at the Common Ground Cafe. Grass-fed beef burger with bacon and raw cheddar (yes, I do okay sometimes with highly fermented cheeses), organic veggie salad and a legit homemade avocado dressing. This place had great food and super good quality too.

My lunch after zip-lining at the Common Ground Cafe. Bun-less grass-fed beef burger with bacon and raw cheddar (yes, I do okay with small amounts of highly fermented cheeses), organic veggie salad and a legit homemade avocado dressing. This place had great food and super good quality too.

Poipu Beach at the South end of Kauai. We beached it this day with two friends who were also visiting the island. Afterward, we went for Mai Tai's. Great snorkeling here -- saw lots of cool fish!

Poipu Beach at the South end of Kauai. We beached it this day with two friends who were also visiting the island. Afterward, we went for happy hour Mai Tai’s. Great snorkeling here — saw lots of cool fish!

Dinner at Rum Fire after our catamaran ride on our very last night. Honolulu.

Dinner at Rum Fire after our catamaran ride on our very last night.

It was a windy ride!

It was a windy ride!

St. Regis Princeville Resort.

St. Regis Princeville Resort, waiting for our car to arrive after brunch.

Apple bananas. These are so good!

Apple bananas. These are so good!

I treated myself to this ring from the Hanelai Farmer's Market. The woman who made these used to live in Oregon and now resides in Kauai, making jewelry. She had such cool stuff!

I treated myself to this ring from the Hanelai Farmer’s Market. The woman who made these used to live in Oregon and now resides in Kauai, making jewelry. She had such cool stuff! Here, I’m admiring it at Polihale State Park.

Hot ride.

Hot ride. I couldn’t resist taking a picture. No, this was not the car we drove around in!

An epic sunset overlooking Hanelai Bay. We pulled over on the side of the road to snap a picture. The photo doesn't do it justice.

An epic sunset overlooking Hanelai Bay. We pulled over on the side of the road to snap a picture. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

Fruit stands are all over Kauai and a must to stop at!

Fruit stands are all over Kauai and a must to stop at!

It was Mai Tai o'clock a lot.

It was Mai Tai o’clock a lot.

Fresh Hawaiian pedicure in Honolulu.

Fresh Hawaiian pedicure in Honolulu.

An amazing view during a morning walk, our first day in Kauai.

An amazing view during a morning walk, our first day in Kauai.

Sitting on the terrace at the St. Regis, enjoying our fancy brunch. Seriously, most amazing brunch ever. There was everything and it was all homemade! They even cooked the eggs in clarified butter!

Sitting on the terrace at the St. Regis, enjoying our fancy brunch. Seriously, most amazing brunch ever. There was everything and it was all homemade! They even cooked the eggs in clarified butter!

One of the 9 zip-lines we went down. So fun!

One of the 9 zip-lines we went down. So fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Supper Friday: Ginger Beef and Greens

Ginger Beef and Greens

I’ve made this recipe three times in the past week because it’s so good (and also because I had a huge piece of ginger root). I first made it last Saturday, after getting home from a seven hour workshop with Steve Maxwell. I was pooped out, but still mustered to throw together this delicious, quick and nutrient-dense meal. The fresh ginger is what really makes this dish pop, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use ground ginger too.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I hope you’re able to get outside, play, relax, socialize, grill and enjoy. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • ~2 cups broccoli (peel and chop the stems too)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Splash of bone broth (2-4 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Ginger Beef and Greens

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and sauté 2-3 minutes. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to brown the meat, stirring occasionally. After about 5-7 minutes, add the broccoli, coconut aminos, dried basil, cayenne or pepper flakes and bone broth. Stir well and continue to cook for several minutes, or until broccoli is softened slightly.
  3. Add the kale and stir. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes more or until kale is softened. Then, remove from heat and serve.

Yields: ~3 servings

 

Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes

Grandma’s Italian Goulash

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Well, I’m back from my trip as of Monday night. It was awesome, wonderful, fun and relaxing, but it’s hard to believe it’s already over. Now, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but am still feeling pretty exhausted from the travel and 3-hour time change. Hopefully, I’ll be good to go by the weekend.

Meanwhile, this is a recipe I made prior to my trip, but never got a chance to share. It came together somewhat unplanned, but after tasting it, I knew I had to share. The flavor reminded me of an Italian goulash recipe that my mom used to make when I was a kid, which was actually my grandma’s recipe. I always loved it growing up and the flavor of this kinda brought me back. Grandma’s recipe included elbow macaroni, ground beef, celery, oregano and tomatoes, so obviously mine is quite a bit different, but still reflects a similar flavor. And the best part…it’s both delicious and easy!

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can no salt added fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano, plus more to taste if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and sauté a few minutes, until softened slightly. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once meat is done cooking, add the fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes; stir. Then, add the cabbage and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If need be, cover with a lid to cook the cabbage toward the top (this is particularly helpful if skillet is really full).
  4. Once cabbage is softened, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve with grated raw Parmesan or cheddar (preferably grass-fed), if tolerated and desired.

Yields: 3 servings

 

 

 

I’m Going on a Trip and I’m Taking…

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As you know, my honeymoon is coming up. In fact, we leave for Kauai this Friday! That’s only two days away! I am so ready and beyond excited! Meanwhile, I’ve started packing and stocking up on some essentials to take with us. Aside from the obvious swimsuits, tanks, shorts, sundresses, sunglasses and camera, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m including in our suitcase and/or carry on:

Epic Bars: these are great anytime, but especially on the go. Made of high-quality meat and low in sugar, these soft jerky bars really satisfy and taste great too. We actually bought a whole box (12 bars) and for doing so, got a 10 percent discount at Whole Foods. We did half beef (my favorite) and half bison (Jesse’s favorite).

Justin’s Almond Butter Packets: again, another easy food to travel with. Plus, Justin’s Classic Almond Butter is actually my favorite. The individual packets can be expensive, but fortunately, they’re on sale for $0.89 each at one of our local co-ops right now. Eat it straight from the packet or squeeze onto an apple or banana, which are easy to find at the airport (and also easy to pack in your carry on).

Dr. Mercola’s Sunscreen: inevitably, we’re going to get prolonged exposure to the sun. We practice safe sun exposure and eat plenty of foods that add protection, but we’re going to be in the sun a lot and for long periods of time, and covering up is not really desirable when it’s hot. We generally don’t use any sunscreen, except coconut oil, but in this case, realize we’re going to need a bit more. We avoid toxic chemical sunscreens, but are comfortable with something nontoxic and of high quality. Dr. Mercola’s sunscreen is chemical-free, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. We have a bottle of SPF 30 and SPF 15 to take with us. Read more about Dr. Mercola’s sunscreens here. We also prepared ourselves for sun exposure by supplementing with astaxanthin in the weeks leading up to our vacation. This is a potent antioxidant that basically acts as an internal sunscreen.

Coconut Oil: I don’t take the whole container, but scoop some into a small travel-size container. It’s a great after sun moisturizer and truly, great for almost anything! I don’t travel without it!

Rosewater Mist: I use this stuff as my face toner, but love it as a body mist too. It’s great anytime you just need a refresher, really. Its light rose scent is so pretty, fresh and delightful. It will be great to spray on after being at the beach or after a sweaty hike along the coast.

Minimal Sandals: I just treated myself to these new barefoot sandals (in the grey/silvery color) for our trip, and Jesse got a pair too. He actually got them first (the men’s version) and then I liked them so much, I went and tried on a pair. I know they’re spendy for such a minimal style sandal, but the brand is reputable and well made. These can also be worn in the water and are easy to clean. I like that they’re like a flip flop, but have a back strap and flatter sole. The back strap eliminates the need for the toes to grip to keep the sandal on the foot, which is what inevitably happens with flip flops. I admit that flip flops are convenient and handy for certain things, but for walking around, I’d rather have something like this. Better for the feet too.

Digestive Enzymes: when I’m regularly eating my meals out, like I will be on my trip, I like to carry these with me. I never veer from my version of paleo when traveling or eating out and always make my needs clear when I order. But, just in case cross-contamination happens, these help. See the link above for the brand I like best.

Lacrosse Balls: we always travel with at least one mobility tool and lacrosse balls are one of them. I like to keep one ball in my carry on and use it on the plane under my hamstrings, behind my upper back or manually use it along my chest/neck. It really helps relieve stiff tissues from sitting and makes me more comfortable on longer flights. Of course, we use them to a greater degree in our hotel room when we have more space and access to different angles in the body. We usually take a double lacrosse ball (two balls taped together like a peanut) or the MobilityWOD Gemini for the thoracic spine, and Yoga Tune Up balls too since they’re lighter and don’t take up much space. We have some other mobility tools too, but they’re better left at home due to size and weight.

Primal Life Kit

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter if you celebrated yesterday. We didn’t really do much and actually ate leftovers for dinner. We’re leaving in a few days, so decided to not do anything big or special.

Meanwhile, I want share this awesome deal with all of you: The Primal Life Kit. It’s available today through April 28 and is full of amazing stuff. It includes over 49 paleo and primal products, with a value of more than $1500! The good new is that you can purchase everything for only $39 and the deal is open to everyone!

Primal Life Kit: 49 Paleo and Primal Products and 14 Discounts for $39

 

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  • 2 Paleo Challenges ($44 Value)
  • 2 Meal Plans ($69 Value)
  • 2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)
  • 1 Bonus Video about Eating Paleo on the Road
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2 Online Magazine Subscriptions ($36 Value)

1 Bonus Video

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That’s normally the price of just one or two of these products! After you purchase the kit, you’ll be sent an email with a link to all of the downloadable products, as well as the coupon codes for all of the discounted products.

NOTE: You will not be shipped any physical goods with your purchase of the Primal Life Kit. These products are downloadable ebooks, online magazine subscriptions, and discount codes. There will be a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Please contact neely@paleoplan.com with any questions about the Primal Life Kit.

 

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