Feb 282013

On Wednesday’s Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed paleo nutrition coach and endurance athlete Nell Stephenson about “Paleo for the Endurance Athlete.” The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

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Podcast: Nell Stephenson on “Paleo for the Endurance Athlete”

What is the paleo diet? How can athletes and others benefit from it? What kind of training and nutrition is required for endurance competition? What’s wrong with the standard methods of training and nutrition for athletes?

Nell Stephenson is the author of Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat and the co-author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook. She studied Exercise Science at USC, followed by culinary school. She now owns and operates her paleo nutritional counseling business online with clients around the globe. Nell discovered paleo after contracting a parasite during an Ironman race in 2004.

Listen or Download:


  • Nell’s history with endurance competition and the paleo diet
  • Contacting Loren Cordain
  • The basics of paleo, including dairy
  • The benefits of eating a paleo diet
  • The pleasure of endurance training and competition
  • Finding physical activities that you enjoy
  • The standard advice for nutrition and what’s wrong with it
  • Nutrition in preparing for competition
  • Nutrition during competition
  • The importance of timing during competition
  • The difference that paleo has made for Nell’s performance in competitions
  • Training for endurance events
  • Nell’s training schedule
  • Endurance and paleo
  • Recovering after competition
  • Paleo is not too hard
  • Nell’s new book, Paleoista
  • Nutritional consulting and downloads
  • Plans in the works



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  • http://funwithgravity.blogspot.com/ mtnrunner2

    Enjoyed the podcast. This is a topic I have wondered about, as someone who is not exactly an ultra athlete in the competitive sense, but does a lot of what one might consider endurance activities, i.e. long and sometimes arduous runs in the CO mountains. And I also have a somewhat low-carb, moderately Paleo diet — with the significant exception of our wonderful American/Colorado craft beers ;)

    I have to say that using gels during a race does not seem very Paleo, and seems like an exception, and I’m still looking for a way to conceptually integrate Paleo and real energy needs during high-intensity exercise.

    At the same time, I admit I don’t really know what that means. Does that mean creating gels from berries? I dunno.

    I do find that natural foods (jerky, nuts, real food bars) sit better in my stomach on long runs. And I remember the post by Tammy about the smoothies she was consuming in a race in Idaho (?) that seems close to the Paleo mark.

    But… maybe my lack of comprehension is because I don’t compete, and don’t push myself at a level of intensity that requires quick energy replacement, as if one were competing in the IM. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of a competitive animal. I run at a pace at which I can eat while running, and not get stomach upset. I stop and take pictures. I smell the roses. Maybe that’s the difference.

    Thanks to you both. Interesting stuff :)

  • Eric Jackson

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