Maria Emmerich is an avid recipe developer, researcher and author amongst her many other skills and talents, which she tells us all about below in an extremely interesting interview. Want to learn more about Paleo and Keto and how they relate – or do they? Want to drop weight and be healthy and thrive like the hundreds of clients that she’s helped? Well read on, and be sure and check out her amazing Gingerbread Donut recipe.
INTERVIEW by Tina Turbin with Maria Emmerich:
1. You are a nutritionist, author and food blogger – Fantastic! Tell us a little about this, please.
I received a degree in nutrition and exercise science, but I mostly was taught about the food pyramid. Growing up an overweight teen eating very low fat and lots of “healthy whole grains” I knew there had to be a better answer. So I dedicated the last 8 years of my life to researching the topic and writing books.
2. How did you get involved in the Paleo arena?
Well, technically I am not strictly paleo. I followed the science and what works for my clients in gaining positive outcomes which all led me to a ketogenic diet. This is actually very close to what our ancestors ate. In my book, Keto-Adapted, I have a section that talks about the differences in what my lifestyle is versus a paleo one. Mostly, it is about the right ratios of fat, protein and carbs to create a low inflammation environment in our bodies to help heal and lose weight.
3. Through your website, you offer nutritional services, including programs that aid fertility, pregnancy and babies. Can you tell us a little about the services you provide?
I have 30-day meal plan packages that make living this lifestyle very easy all the way down to a weekly grocery list. They include all the recipes, tons of instructional videos and information to enable you to live this lifestyle forever. I also have supplement plans that are great for helping heal a wide range of health conditions. Everything from autoimmune and gastrointestinal issues, to metabolic syndrome, acne, eczema, alopecia, Crohn’s, Colitis and much more. The vast majority of what ails us today can be healed with proper nutrition and supplements.
4. You’ve also written a cookbook for kids called The Art of Healthy Eating: Kids. How do you encourage a Paleo diet for children when they are surrounded with unhealthy and processed foods at school?
Well, this is one of the main reasons we are home schooling our boys. They are Keto Kids and are thriving on a keto-adapted diet. We hope to educate them as much as possible about the food they eat and how it connects to how they feel so later they can make smart choices.
5. Besides your wonderful cookbooks, you have also authored many books about health and nutrition. Tell us about your other books and which ones you recommend for those on the Paleo diet.
My new book, Keto-Adapted, is a great resource for anyone interested in this lifestyle. It has all the tools you need to begin eating this way and all the data about why it is healthy not only in the short term (weight loss, healing autoimmune and other issues) but also for long term health (reduce coronary artery disease risk, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
6. Can you talk about Keto and what this is in a way the readers can easily understand, please?
Our bodies can run on two fuel sources, glucose (sugar) or ketones (fat). But, this switch can’t be turned immediately. It takes 2 to 4 weeks of eating a ketogenic diet to become keto-adapted. It also has to be a well formulated ketogenic diet, not just low carb. You need to be high fat (70-80% of calories), moderated protein (15-20% of calories) and low carb (5% or less of calories). If you eat low carb but too much protein, this will keep you out of fat burning mode (ketosis) because your body will turn the extra protein into glucose (through a process called gluconeogenesis). Once you are keto adapted, not only do you lose weight and heal your body from what ails you, you gain enormous energy and mental sharpness.
7. How does Keto relate to Paleo?
They are similar in that it is similar to what our ancestors ate. My diet takes it a bit further (and I believe closer to how our ancestors ate). There is evidence that in the paleo days they ate the organs and fat from the animals they captured and gave the lean meats to the dogs when times were plentiful. This also shows up in the animal world. When mice in a recent study by Ortman, Prinzler and Klause were allowed to select their own diet, the mice chose (by calories, not weight!) 82% fat and 5.6% carbohydrate. Sensible mice. The lean human body is 74% fat, 26% protein (broken down into calories). Fats are a structural part of every human cell and are the preferred fuel source of our mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell.
Also, many paleo diets promote the use of honey and maple syrups. In the paleo days, these would be extremely rare (honey was very dangerous to get and maple syrup too hard to process). I have a whole chapter in my book Keto-Adapted that talks about how fructose is our body’s fat switch and was how our ancestors added weight in the fall (eating fall berries and fruits that were available for a very short period in the fall) enabling them to get through the harsh winters. Today we have unlimited supply of these fruits year round and we don’t fast in the winter.
8. What prompted you to get so involved in the Paleo and KETO diets over the many others out there?
I started trying to figure out my own health. In addition to being overweight, I had IBS and acid reflux. In researching and then finding what worked for me, I began helping others. Now I have helped clients heal from just about every major ailment there is.
9. What are your plans for 2014?
I will be speaking at the Low Carb Cruise in May. Then working with clients and keeping busy writing my next cookbook.
10. My final question I always ask in my interviews: Is there anything else you’d like to say or add?
As I am sure you can tell, this is a huge passion of mine. Daily I get emails from clients or people I have never met but are just following the guidelines in my book and want to tell me how thankful they are. Stories of over 100 pounds lost (one client has lost 243 pounds!). All of the ailments they no longer have (diabetes, skin issues, GI issues, autoimmune diseases, etc.). It is hugely gratifying to be able to help so many people get healthy through diet and off of medications. It is what drives me. 🙂
Thank you, Maria! It has been my pleasure, and thank you for sharing all this with my readers. I am sure they have been enlightened and will visit your website to now learn even more. Please check out Maria’s website: mariamindbodyhealth.com.