Keeping Up With The Experts: Practical Paleo with Diane Sanfilippo

by Dr. Christopher on March 5, 2012

Somebody asked Dale Carnegie if he spent his time learning as much as he could about the world.

His answer was essentially this:

 Why would I waste my time trying to learn everything about the world?

There is no way I can be an expert at everything.

That’s why I build a network of people who are experts in their fields.

In this way, indirectly through my network, I AM an expert in everything.

My expertise is in fixing musculoskeletal pain.

I leave the rest to the experts.

When it comes to nutrition, I have three resources that I always ask questions:

  1. Dr. Dennis Lesniak of Crossfit 716 in Buffalo, NY.
  2. Dr. Alex Rinehart of the NJ Nutrition Center.
  3. Diane Sanfilippo of

Whenever I get an opportunity to learn more about a subject that has changed my life and continues to change the lives of my family, friends, and patients, I pursue it.

Practical Paleo with Diane Sanfilippo

This past Saturday, March 3, 2012, I attended a “Practical Paleo” Seminar with Diane Sanfilippo at Brazen Athletics in Fairfield, NJ.

As humble observers, it is important to learn as much as we can about moving reality so that we may be able to change our reality and circumstances.  We don’t necessarily need to own the “why’s” behind our actions, but we need to know people who do.

Here are the home-run hitters for me from Diane’s seminar:

1.  Transparency: Body weight is not relevant.

I’m more interested in your long-term health and reducing disease conditions than I am about you losing a few pounds.  Sorry.  ~Diane Sanfilippo

Within the first thirty minutes, Diane told us her weight.  Out of respect for her, I won’t put it here.  But I was awed by her willingness to share this usually embarassing information.  This action shows her true intentions, which are to reduce disease conditions and not just have you lose a few pounds.

2.  Reality: This paleo stuff works.

“This is not a religion.” ~Diane Sanfilippo

There is a lot of dogma out there behind this Paleo bandwagon.  Unfortunately, people discredit the Paleo-diet for being a buzzword right now.

The reality is, though, that this Paleo stuff really does change lives.

It changed Diane’s.  It changed mine.  It changed at least 5 people’s lives from Crossfit Morristown.  And it can change healthcare in the United States and other affluent societies.

You heard it here first.

3.  Cholesterol: Cholesterol is nothing to be scared of.

Cholesterol is a precursor for three things:

  1. Steroid and sex hormones
  2. Vitamin D – actually a hormone.
  3. Bile – used to digest fat.

Your cholesterol levels are independent of how much cholesterol you consume.  And when you don’t consume cholesterol, your body makes it anyway.

Take home: There’s no reason to be scared of egg yolks folks.  It’s not uncommon for me to eat 6 egg yolks/day.  You should do the same.

4.  “The Pregnenolone Seal” – Stress first, sex second.

Courtesy of “”

The chart to the right is a fancy way of saying that your body uses cholesterol to make stress hormones and sex hormones.  But stress hormones come first.

The Pregnenolone Seal occurs when you experience so much stress that no sex hormones are made.

If you have a low sex drive or are having trouble conceiving a child, you are a victim of this pathway.

5.  Familial hypercholesteremia: Genetic high cholesterol.

“High cholesterol does NOT run in your family.

A bad diet and lifestyle run in your family.” ~Diane Sanfilippo

Well said Diane.

6.  Horrible Sleeping and Carb Cravings:

“Have you ever had a bad night of sleeping and craved carbohydrates the next day?” ~Diane Sanfilippo

As I mentioned when I discussed Endless Summer Syndrome, human beings are meant to sleep when it’s dark out.

When is it dark out?

It is dark for about 8-10 hours in the summer and 10-12 hours in the winter.

Yes, you read that correctly.  No, you’re not sleeping enough.

See how good you feel after sleeping for 10 hours in the winter.

7.  Spot reducing fat:

“How do I get rid of the fat from my triceps or inner thighs?” ~Struggling gym-goer

As I always tell my patients, everyone has six-pack abs.  Some people just have them hidden under a bunch of fat.

You can have the biggest triceps in the world and if there’s fat on top of it, you won’t be able to see it.

Increased fat on the triceps, inner thighs, or chest is a sign of high estrogen levels, caused by an inflammatory diet.

It just so happens that the Paleo-diet is also an anti-inflammatory diet.

8.  Every disease has a cause:

Many people are told by their primary care physicians that their disease condition is “idiopathic.”  That means “we have no idea what is causing your symptoms.”

“How scientific is it that any condition is idiopathic?” ~Diane Sanfilippo

Medical doctors may not know directly what causes a disease.

But when humans start eating, moving, and thinking according to what their genes require, disease conditions miraculously (and sarcastically) disappear.

Just because any healthcare practitioner does not know what is causing your symptoms does not mean it can’t be fixed.

Where Should I Spend My $1000?

If a patient comes to me who is in chronic pain, sedentary, and ridden full of disease, and they have only $1000 to spend on one type of care, where do I send them?

My choices are:

  1. Me (of course) to get them out of pain.  Why wouldn’t I take their money?
  2. Pay for an annual gym membership, probably at a Crossfit gym.
  3. Pay for the highly qualified experience of a Paleo-ish nutritionist and spend the rest of that money on organic vegetables and grass-fed meat?

I’d choose #3 every time.

Diet is more important than manual therapy and exercise.  Your foods literally make you.  Do you want to be made out of twinkies, pasta, or spinach?

Popeye was onto something.  I wonder if he was one of Dale Carnegie’s experts.

Thank you Diane, for being one of mine.

Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ.  He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”.  He loves to help people in ANY way he can. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

DK March 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Hi Chris,

I like this post a lot. Its simple and straight to the point that most people dont seem to understand. Also I miss you and will see you soon.

Dr. Christopher March 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm


I like you a lot.

Like = love,


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