Billy Pennachio was active until his mid-20s. "Once I got married and owned a house, I didn't exercise as much and my weight fluctuated between 185 and 195 pounds for 25 years," he said.
About a year ago, Pennachio was diagnosed with severe arthritis in both hips. "They basically told me I could have surgery . . . or just deal with it and take supplements and start exercising," Pennachio said. He decided on surgery but talked to a chiropractor friend first who suggested Pennachio try the Paleo diet for one month. The diet is based on what humans ate during the Paleolithic era, before agriculture was developed. Proponents believe that foods such as grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods cause health issues like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Two weeks into the diet, Pennachio said his limp went away, and after one month he had lost 10 pounds and was back at the gym. Three months later, he was down 30 pounds. "I feel like I did when I was a teenager. I'm down to a 29-inch waist," he said.
For breakfast, Pennachio has a muffin-sized frittata made with organic bacon, eggs, onions, peppers and mushrooms. He also has a shake made of spinach, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, protein powder, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, coconut milk and water. He snacks on almonds, walnuts, pistachios or pecans. Dinner can be any of the following: crockpot chili, seafood, chicken or organic sausage and a vegetable and salad. After dinner he snacks on a low-calorie dark chocolate bar.
He takes daily doses of a multivitamin, a digestive enzyme, magnesium, CoQ10, turmeric, fish oil, glucosamine and chondroitin, and vitamin D.
Pennachio exercises four to six days a week. He alternates between upper and lower body weight training during the week and does 15 to 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio training on the weekends.
Having meals ready by batch cooking or crockpot cooking in advance is vital.