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Alyson Bridge: Gluten-Free Desserts, Weight Training for Women, and How to Eat Well on the Road

Alyson Bridge

Today is a very special show with real life gluten-free success story, Alyson Bridge, an amazing cook and author of the just-released 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Desserts.

You listeners have asked for special episodes with real folks who have experienced results in fat loss and health improvement. After the overwhelming positive feedback when I had my mom, Angie Bascom, on the show, I decided you folks might enjoy listening to the lady behind the Fat-Burning Man.

Alyson is my girlfriend and proud co-pilot of the camper van. As you may know, we uprooted ourselves 4 months ago to adventure around the country with our dog Bailey (of Paleo Puppy fame). We’ve been home for 3 days – whew! It was a wild ride.

Camper Van

Even though we were preparing meals in a van, other peoples’ houses, or, often, while barreling down the highway at 60 miles an hour, we ate extremely well.

We visited local organic farms (including my brother’s farm in New Hampshire) and natural grocery stores along our travels, gathering fresh fruits and veggies and delicious pastured meats.

We picked wild blueberries, huckleberries, and cranberries in New Hampshire, traveled to Maine to eat the lobsters straight from the sea, savored grass-fed beef and wild boar in Colorado, and ate fresh organic grapefruit from the orchard in Arizona.

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts

While at my parent’s place in New Hampshire (thanks mom and dad), Alyson and I commandeered the kitchen and whipped up over 35 desserts in order to snap pictures for our new cookbook: 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Desserts. We JUST RELEASED the eBook, so be sure to grab a copy for HALF OFF for the next week – just in time for the holidays!

So, I have a confession to make.

I eat a ton of desserts. Desserts that would make any fat-fearing nutritionist wag her finger in my face. And it’s all Alyson’s fault.

But somehow – despite savoring flaky pies, donuts fried in bacon fat, gooey cookies, and “worse” – Alyson and I have never looked or felt better.

What’s our secret?

We eat real food. We stay away from gluten, additives, chemicals, and other nonsense. We stick to quality ingredients and make almost everything from scratch.

Ginger snaps made with ginger. Cupcakes made with beets. Muffins made with sweet potatoes! Cobbler made of green vegetables!

Woah! There’s food in there!

Alyson is a talented lady, and I’ve been honored to taste just about every single one of these desserts. Usually more than once. That’s a lot of dessert, you may say! Well, I’d highly recommend you try them all, too.

So what are my favorites? I’m glad you asked. The apple cider donuts, rum balls, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake are all tied for the #1 dessert of all time. And the raw milk ice cream, dark chocolate coconut truffles, cupcakes covered in cookie dough…

I have to stop here. All this writing about Alyson’s delicious desserts is making me salivate.

But remember: indulgence is good for the body and the soul. Taking pleasure in what you eat is essential. And cookies soothe the savage beast.

Check out the 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Desserts eBook below. Happy cooking!

50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Desserts

In today’s show, Alyson and I discuss:

  • How she went from exercising hours a day to minutes a week – and lost fat!
  • How she cured flaky skin, cleared acne, lost weight, healed stretch marks, and stopped getting cavities by going gluten-free
  • Why you should stop counting calories and start eating lots of fat
  • How to conquer your trigger foods to avoid binging
  • Tips to help you to get started in the kitchen
  • Why xylitol is the bomb
  • Why women shouldn’t be afraid of weights
  • How to eat real food on the road
  • And TONS more!

Cool. Onto the show.

Listen by pressing the PLAY BUTTON below on the right.(download link)

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As a special thanks to podcast listeners, you get the eBook for HALF OFF ($9.95) and a video bonus when you order this week! Happy cooking!

Get 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Desserts for 50% OFF!

Get HALF OFF Gluten Free Desserts!

 
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35 Comments

  • Do the gluten Free desserts count as paleo?

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Michael, great question. Technically, no, my approach is more flexible than paleo. We eat a modest amount of non-gmo gluten-free grains, xylitol, and dairy. If you want strict paleo recipes, check out my cookbook with George of Civilized Caveman, The Caveman Feast. Happy cooking!

  • Gayle says:

    I loved this interview, enjoyed the banter between you 2 :) .. And Alyson is right XYLITOL IS THE BOMB!!
    I used it to make ice cream and sweet potato pie with a walnut crust for the holiday. It is the best!!
    I will check out your gluten free desert book.

    • Alyson Bridge says:

      Glad you enjoyed the interview, Gayle! Yum, sweet potato pie with a walnut crust sounds incredible. Good thing Thanksgiving is coming up — I see scrumptious pies on the horizon.

  • Cathy says:

    LOVED this episode! I’m so glad that weights are making their way into a woman’s workout. I’m 39 and a mom of 2. I’m almost 40, a frequent group fitness participant at the gym, and a 5K runner. A few months ago I realized that things were snapping back as easily as when I was in my 20s and early 30s. I now run about 10-15mls a week, lift HEAVY weights 3 days a week, and do a yoga class to stretch. I’ve been a strict Paleo for 2 months and so happy. As a family were were “75%” Paleo for about a year. I didn’t see anything happening in the gym, so after I hired a personal trainer (who is Paleo too) I went 100% Paleo. I feel better, have lost weight and inches over the last few weeks. I even just completed my first indoor triathlon!!!

    I love my weights!!!!! I can’t imagine running, spinning or stepping every day. I love the mantra, “Strong is the new Sexy!”

    Good luck with the book! It sounds delicious!!!!

    • Alyson Bridge says:

      Cathy, you are AWESOME! Congratulations on your first indoor triathlon! It’s amazing how incorporating weights and eating mostly Paleo makes our bodies heal and feel like they are thriving, instead of accumulating more problems. I feel happy hearing how successful you are with your eating and exercise routine.

      YEAH, strong is the new sexy! :)

  • Jeremy says:

    Just finished listening to this one and found myself smiling. Alyson has quite the infectious giggle.

    Just ordered the E-cookbook you and George released, looking forward to adding some more recipes to the rotation.

  • Julie Buress says:

    Hi Abel! Great Podcast! I have a couple quick question for Alyson if you don’t mind…
    Alyson, can you go in to a bit more detail of your workout routine? You mentioned sprints, how many/how long are your sprints? Also, for your weight training, how many reps/sets do you do?

    Thanks! :)
    Julie

    • Alyson Bridge says:

      Hi Julie,
      Glad you asked! When I do sprints I try to go as hard as I can for 30 to 60 seconds, and I’ll do that 4 or 5 times. Feels so good. In the back of Abel’s parents’ house in New Hampshire they have a secluded field surrounded by tall old trees. I love running as fast I can through the field leaping off little mounds in the ground. It’s amazing to watch how effortlessly my body can leap and land at sprinting speeds. I feel like a kid when I incorporate jumps.

      As for weights, I really like kettle bells and hand weights. Right now I’m using a 30 pound kettle bell that I swing — straight back, knees slightly bent, both hands holding the kettle bell handle, I swing it down through my legs keeping my arms straight, and then I swing it up in front of my chest like a pendulum using my glutes to power the swing. I usually do 25 reps 3 times. The kettle is great for bicep curls or lifting above my head, too.

      For hand weights, depending on the weight I’ll do 7-15 reps of an arm exercise until I can’t do another one, then wait a few minutes and do them again (2 to 3 sets). The weight I use changes, but I try to get the heaviest I can handle. I also really enjoy deadlifts and lunges with the hand weights. For deadlifts, make sure your back is straight, and face is looking forward as you bend your knees to pick up the weight. The weight I use changes depending on what my body can do – usually 30-35 pounds, 10 reps, 3-5 sets. For lunges, I aim for 25-50 lunges holding 25 pounds in each hand.

      Sometimes I only workout for 3 minutes, sometimes 10, and if I’m feeling extra frisky I’ll go for 45 minutes. It just depends on what my body wants to do. I also just started taking yoga. It’s great because it not only stretches my muscles when they’re sore, but it also works out all those little balancing muscles that weights don’t get.

      • Julie says:

        Thanks Alyson! :) Really appreciate you providing this information. One more quick question…
        How many days per week do you do the sprints and weight training?

        • Alyson Bridge says:

          You are most welcome, Julie. I love that you are asking. Some weeks I only do weights/sprints 1 time. Some weeks I’ll do it most mornings for a few minutes. Some weeks I’ll do a moderate amount on 2 or 3 days. It’s pretty varied. I feel like as long as get at least 10 minutes of weights in a couple times a week, my body is happy. And the more days I do it in a week, the more sculpted my body gets.

  • Julie says:

    Great, Thanks again! I’m going to try sprints/weight training over the next 30 day

  • Jessica says:

    The almond butter chocolate chip cookies are to die for! Thank you so much, they were a huge hit a Christmas!

  • Maricela Riddoch says:

    Hi Alyson,

    We bought your dessert cookbook through the Jason Ferruggia site about a month ago. I’ve made 10+ batches of chocolate chip cookies and a cheesecake and loved them!
    I tried to make the apple pie last night and ran into a few issues. I’m not a baker so my husband is very kind and says it was a great try for my first pie ever.

    The lattice was a bit hard (crumbly) to handle so I couldn’t create the weave lattice.
    After baking the pie was dry (no thick sugar butter) The only substitution I made was 1/3 cup agave nectar in place of the 1/2 cup sugar for the filing. All other ingredients and measurements were as the recipe stated. Any tips on how where I can make improvements for next time?

  • Bjjcaveman says:

    Listened to this podcast a while back and got really pumped up about xylitol after hearing you guys talk about it. I tried out a recipe I found in Volek and Phinney’s “The Art of Low Carbohydrate Performance” for a ketosis friendly blueberry cheesecake… which came out delicious. I had 2 pieces (1/8th cheesecake each) … but it was the aftermath that was the problem… I’ll just leave it at… I had some undesirable GI issues. Which after some online sleuthing turns out to be a common problem. I’m just curious if either Abel or you have run into these problems.

    • Abel James says:

      Hey there, yes! You want to ease into xylitol if you’re not used to it. Eat just a bit at a time (you can use a portion of xylitol with honey or maple sugar and up the ratio over time). Too much at once, you know what happens… But I’m easily able to eat more than a half cup without any negative effects. Enjoy!

  • Sally says:

    Just listened to this podcast, sounds like you had a great time. You mention drinking cappuccino – my favourite. Could you give me your recipe for your version! Many thanks

  • […] husband is really into health and nutrition and recently purchased the 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes e-book for me. Typically on Sunday’s we like to indulge in some type of healthier dessert and […]

  • […] frenzy yesterday and also made a gluten free carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting, from the 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes book. So all I have to say is OMG! It tastes so good, has so much flavour and the cream cheese […]

  • Donna says:

    Alyson,I just downloaded your dessert book and it is SCRUMPTIOUS! I can’t wait to get to baking! I started riffing off of your chocolate shake recipe and invented my “Elvis” chocolate whey powder,frozen banana and a tablespoon of my bacon fat…..mmmmm

  • Kara O says:

    Hey guys been watching the show for a while but Im late to this podcast. Alyson you have a lovely speaking voice just thought ide throw that in there. I am relatively new to paleo cooking but I have to say I have been a huge fan of fat for a while now and the health benefits that go along with it. I love to cook but my love for baking and sweets goes way deeper which makes me really excited about your book Alyson So I cant wait to do it again but with a guilt free conscience this time…Love it!!! Thanks for accommodating us health freaks/sweet tooths!!!

    Loving the show

  • Gillian says:

    wow Abel’s voice is heelova Sexy…………..sorry for going off topic, i had to say that!

  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d definitely donate to this superb blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share
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  • […] last summer, I bought a 23-year-old camper van and drove around the country for 4 months with my girlfriend and a terrible […]

    • Carolyn says:

      Alyson is our youngest of seven children. She and Abel are a real life blessing to our families. I love everything Alyson has created and made for our family. I feel good after eating her desserts. Back in the day, I would eat dessert and feel bloated, crummy and fat. Not only are you adorable Alyson, but so very talented. Your skin and hair glow and you look very healthy. You are exercising less and look fantastic. You are one of the Xylitol sweetest people I know. You go girl!

  • Michael W. says:

    Abel,

    While Lionel Hampton could have played “Fly Me to the Moon” on your abs, what value do you place on lab tests to help guide your lifestyle?

    For example, do you get an occasional NMR LiopProfile, Hemoglobin A1c, or other test to check your current trajectory? Or, do you more rely on how you look and feel?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Abel James says:

      Hi Mike, great question. It’s really a combination of both. I’ll go crazy with testing and tracking for a few months, then I’ll dial it back and focus on look and feel. Testing is only as useful as you make it. But if you can afford it, I’d always recommend testing and tracking – you can always look back at it later to get powerful insight. Currently, I’m tracking sleep, bodyfat, energy expenditure, productivity, and tested IGG antibodies for the second time in 9 months. Fascinating stuff.

  • Matthew says:

    Hi Abel,

    I like quite a bit of what you have to say and having stumbled upon your web casts think you offer a great service to those waking up to the reality ‘we are what we eat’. So, one question…after all your promotion of whole, real foods, how is that you have come to the conclusion that Xylitol is ‘the bomb’???????? It is a completely processed ‘food’ using man-made chemicals…not very natural sounding to me. What about just sticking to good old honey or maple syrup when needing a sweetener for your desserts? Just asking.

    Thanks,
    Matthew

  • Yolanda says:

    Hello you guys, may I ask why you use White sugar, Brown sugar and other insulin raising ingredients? I thought there was going to be Healthier options. They do look tasty. I might try a couple of the recipes.

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