Liz Wolfe: Why Dieting Steals Happiness, The Challenges of Homesteading, & Thoughtful Omnivorism

Liz Wolfe is a nutritional therapy practitioner certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association, blogger at CaveGirlEats (now, and is the author of the new book, Eat the Yolks. She’s also a real-food cook and amateur homesteader raising goats, chickens, and pigs.

In this episode, Abel and Liz discuss:

  • Happiness (not appearance) and enjoying food as part of health;
  • The danger of obsessing over “vanity pounds” and weightloss;
  • Transitioning from a modern, urban life to a farm as a bad cook;
  • Ancient bread and the pitfalls of conventional farming;
  • Thoughtful omnivorism and a rant against the “Paleo Police”;
  • And more about former diet dilemmas to cooking real food.

Enjoy the show!

Show Notes

  • Six years trained with Michael Rutherford, Bootcamp Fitness, Kansas City.
  • Coach Rut introduced Liz to Robb Wolfe who was breaking out on his own.
  • Started her own blog talking about Paleo and sharing what she was eating.
  • Her appearance used to be at the expense of health, but later flip-flopped.
  • Misery and restriction diets she was on made her terribly unhappy.
  • Maintained a “thinspiration board” with skinny pictures for motivation.
  • Had skin issues and disorders (like acne, eczema, etc) tied to her food.
  • After five years of eating well, she’s never been happier and healthier.
  • Don’t picture yourself thin, picture yourself in full health instead.
  • Our body’s expression of full health may not be what we want to see.
  • Once you learn to love real food and health, you’ll also love your body.
  • You can’t put a number on feeling good (e.g., scale, tape, calipers, etc).
  • When you try to lose “vanity pounds,” you lose the point of this journey.
  • Strive to be functional and happy your whole life instead of preoccupied.
  • Was on The Zone, Low-Card, Ketogenic, etc and something was still missing.
  • Grass-fed beef was her first introduction to this new healthy lifestyle.
  • In city, farmer markets were plenty; once rural, food is paradoxically bad.
  • This led to developing her farm, growing her own food, and homesteading.
  • Conventional farming and conglomerates are changing the food landscape.
  • She says she’s more about real food, without processed stuff, than Paleo.
  • “Paleo” is just a label for a diet, but it’s not about the lifestyle.
  • Paleo is about a vast body of information, science, and common-sense.
  • Ancient bread is made with rhizome, which is not a grain at all.
  • Modern wheat is not like ancient, wild wheat (like Einkorn) or grains.
  • Paleo is not a historical reenactment, there’s still science on our side.
  • Today’s food are fundamentally different than our grandparents’ food.
  • Wheat sourced in America vs. sourced traditionally (like in Italy).
  • Fermenting, properly preparing foods such as sprouting, and organic.
  • You don’t have to be a good cook to start making and enjoying real food.
  • Breakfast used to be FiberOne, soy milk, with Aspartame sprinkled on top.
  • So there is a learning curve but it gets easier and you find favorites.
  • One way is to find great restaurants that support local producers.
  • Liz coined the term “thoughtful omnivorism,” which Abel likes.
  • It’s thinking about where your food comes from, giving back to the soil.
  • Excusing ourselves from the food chain is making us sicker, less happy.
  • “Where does my food come from,” and then “where can I get better food.”
  • “Embrace the suck,” and be outside rather than on the treadmill.
  • Quit talking about weightloss at all costs, or whether caveman ate bread.
  • Focus instead on real food, where it comes from, and how it makes us feel.
  • We should stop “Paleo-policing” each other about dumb, little points.
  • Went to high school with Lewis Howes, a past guest on the show.

Recommended Resources


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  1. Vedran Vucic says:

    I lost 33kg and Ithink that Ineed to loose 10kgs more. But, what is much more important is that I listen my body and do fine tuning o fmy eating habits. I feel much more easy, eager to be active and creative. That i smuch more important than number of kgs lost.
    EVen, I think that planning of meals the next stage of good achievement. Some my friends say: your fridge is half empty! Are you poor?
    I said: No, I am purchasing only what I want to eat these days.
    I found this much more important than do I ook like any movie celebrity or Mr. Bodybuilder.

    • Vedran,

      Congratulations on losing so much weight! I think it’s pretty exciting to hear how people learn through experience that eating REAL food effects waaaay more than just your weight. It’s truly a huge paradigm shift.

      Your comment about “are you poor” is so funny. My mother is always worried I am starving too. I think people forget that food isn’t meant to last forever. Food goes bad and you have to shop for veggies a couple times a week.

  2. Paula Hradkowsky says:

    Abel, I appreciated this podcast very much. I changed my way of eating 17.5 years ago because I have lupus. The medical/pharmacological road ahead looked grim. I began with Protein Power, and I migrated to a more paleo lifestyle. I agree with Liz that some people seem to consider paleo almost a religion with rigid rules. I prefer to use basic paleo as a foundation, and I have modified it based on science and what works for me. At 60 I am one of the few people I know in my cohort on no meds. I am well and healthy. Thanks for your informative podcasts. Paula

  3. Dear Abel,

    I LOVE your show and really appreciate your work. However, you must SERIOUSLY start including the sources (academic or not) to the facts you mention and the claims you make every now and then. Otherwise, you will certainly lose credibility with academics like me and simply become another person throwing “facts” out there. Dr. Joel Fuhrman (who you interviewed) would be a good model to follow.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work, but don’t forget to always improve and become more credible, ok?

  4. I find a lot of todays podcasts around health & fitness are just information overload. Whether raw vegan or Paleo or any other
    cult ideology of nutrition. For the mass population the one thing that all people should focus on is a calorie deficit and the amount of calories rather than the type of calories, which should be secondary. It creates too much stress for people with busy lives and who are not ‘into health & fitness’ . Also different guests have polar opposite views which confuse the lay person and creates paralysis by analysis and they end up not taking action. Road to ripped podcast is more about simplicity than over complication -just my 2 cents.

  5. Liz lost me when she started talking about how “the Safeway” has nothing but transfats. I live in freaking Wyoming where farmers markets and fancy grocery stores aren’t happening. Safeway and (gasp) Walmart offer healthy choices–especially for single moms trying to eat paleo and live on a very tight budget. I just get very turned off by the precious tone she had. Give me a break.

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