LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE! PALEO REVEALED!

I am thrilled with the rising popularity of the Paleo/Primal/Paleolithic/Traditional way of eating. I refrain from using the word “diet” as this word is so associated with short-term, calorie-counting, supplement-popping schemes only concerned with weight loss. Furthermore, these aforementioned are ways of eating for life that by its very nature enhances physical, mental and emotional health and well-being, and when properly implemented is also sustainable and ethical. It’s much bigger than a superficial concern with weight!

Studies of our cave ancestors and of the primitive and nonindustrialised peoples have been a long-standing interest of evolutionary biologists, physiologists and modern scientists. Foundational research by practitioners such as Dr. Sidney HaasDr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride revealed vital information about pre and post agricultural diet and health that informed much of their groundbreaking professional practise.  The integrity of their work, and unwavering success at healing any number of chronic diseases, continues to encourage enquiry into how we can educate and heal ourselves though food.  Carrying the torch through this new blogging age and coming up with their own personalised ‘takes’ are the likes of Art De VanyMark Sisson and Robb Wolf.

The basic premise of the Paleo and Primal diet is that, as our genes and physiology are still 99.9% the same as our hunter/gatherer ancestors, our best chance at health is to eat and move in similar ways. After all, it is our ancestors’ diet and exercise regime that created the genes that have allowed us to survive – strong muscles, efficient and explosive energy sources, healthy immune and reproductive systems, healthy offspring and big brains – we should be thanking them!

Our cave ancestors largely died of natural causes – accidents, injuries, etc. – there is absolutely no trace of chronic illness like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and so on. These all started appearing around 10,000 years ago when agriculture really took off, or when man stopped being so nomadic and started growing and eating more grains. To cut a very long story short, agriculture and eating grains simply hasn’t been around long enough for us to have developed either an efficient way of maintaining nutrient rich soil, or a human digestive system strong enough to break down the natural but lethal plant acids, proteins, phytates, and leptins that grains contain.

Now if you consider 10,000 years not being long enough to digest grains, then it’s no wonder we are so sick when you note that there have been more changes to our diet over the past 50 years than there has been in the past 10,000.  The introduction of fast-food, refined sugars and flours, vegetable oils, processed antibiotic-filled meat, soya everything, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides (to name just a few) has us riddled with allergies, learning and concentration difficulties, anxiety, depression, infertility and medical drug dependencies. These cause A LOT more trouble even in comparison to properly sourced and milled grains. A lot of the success of these ways of eating can be down to the elimination of these new age fast ‘foods’. We are supposed to be happy, fit, energetic, calm and generous people – and this is still absolutely possible.

After some time eating in this way a lot of people feel healthier and more vibrant and as such can start to reintroduce very small amounts of traditionally prepared grains and legumes back into their diets. Learn how here and here to safely prepare grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. And read here to lean more about this Traditional way of eating.

—————————-

PALEO FOOD LIST  

It ain’t no fad! This list is what humans have been eating for thousands of years:

paleo-food-pyramid

MEAT: Organic, lean, grass-fed; organs and fat included and in fact even better than the meat

FISH: Wild-caught

EGGS: Organic, grass-fed, free range

VEGETABLES: All (noting legumes can be problematic)

FATS: Animal, olive, avocado, coconut, macadamia

FRUIT: All, in moderation

NUTS AND SEEDS: All, in moderation and ideally soaked (noting peanuts are legumes)

—————————-

FURTHER NOTES:

  • Avoid grains  – wheat, rice, quinoa, spelt, rye, corn, millet, buckwheat, oats, bulgar, amaranth, barley
  • Avoid legumes – beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, soya, peas
  • Sweetness – raw honey and fruit and occasionally coconut sugar, molasses and maple syrup. Omit the rest.
  • Limit dairy – full fat is always best. Omit the rest.
  • Grass-fed, lean organic meats are better – better omega 6 to 3 ratio, more B vitamins, more vitamin E and K, more magnesium, calcium and selenium, more beta-carotene, and just as importantly: happier, healthier animals (and land)! Proper paleo eating is truly holistic; understanding and respecting the environment, treatment and natural life-cycle of all food you consume.
  • Eat your veges! A common misconception about paleo eating is that it’s all about gorging on meat. High consumption of vegetables is vital and should always be the cornerstone of a meal.
  • Consume natural fats and stay well clear of any hydrogenated plant based oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, safflower and sunflower oils – these are high in easily oxidized polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Realise that some of the most unhealthiest foods out there are what governments and nutritionists promote us to eat – this is mainly because years of bad science but also because of economic agendas.
  • Eat when you’re hungry. It’s better to go without than to rush a meal or wolf down something that isn’t healthy. You will not starve – especially if you have followed this regime for a while and are able to feel hungry without feeling faint, sick or moody. When you eat this way you will start to source your energy from your fat stores rather than from sugar – become a fat-burner rather than a sugar-burner.
  • Get inspired – there are countless websites and blogs out there with recipes and other ideas to expand your culinary horizons
  • Fill up on good quality proteins and fats
  • Tune into when you are thirsty and opt for fresh water to hydrate

—————————-

All in all, you really can’t go wrong when eating this way. You certainly will not starve. The food choices you have are bountiful and your body will lap up all their nutrients with relish – knowing exactly what to do with each molecule. The same can certainly not be said for a bowl of cereal, can of coke, McDonalds burger or Hagandas ice-cream.

Try it out for one or two weeks – I promise you will feel better! Then start reintroducing soaked and spouted grains, it’s a whole new culinary world!

(IMG: Primal Six Pack)

Advertisements

CLEAN OUT THE TOXINS!

998743_499585620123880_1066074805_n

We all know about the hazards of making poor eating choices yet how many of us think about what’s in the products we use to clean the house, ourselves, loved ones and our animals? Remember ANYTHING that makes contact with our skin ends up inside our body and EVERYTHING that goes into our body has to be processed and expelled…so it makes sense that we should only come into contact with natural familiar products that can deal with efficiently and safely.

Man-made chemicals can be found in thousands of products around the home: cleaning and washing detergents, beauty products, toilet paper, plastic food and drink containers and packaging, ingredients added to processed foods as well as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides sprayed on produce and so on. Chemical exposure causes huge amounts of disruption to your body, stress levels, sleep patterns and general health. People can experience anything from low energy levels, eczema and asthma to hormonal imbalances, weight issues and mood disorders. Children are particularly at risk.

______________________________

FOOD

  • Buy fresh organic spray free meat, fish (wild), fruit, veg, nuts, seeds wherever possible
  • Buy produce without plastic packaging
  • Avoid produce in aluminium cans/tins – especially tomatoes which quickly corrode the tin lining thus seeping in aluminium
  • Avoid cooking with aluminium pots and pans
  • Rinse and pat dry all fruit and veg before eating
  • Use a good quality veg and fruit wash or make your own (juice of 1 lemon, 2 TBSP white vinegar, 1 C water – keep in a spray bottle)

Following the above tips will help you avoid disrupting your endocrine system – the system that influences almost every cell, organ and function in our bodies. It is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, metabolism. Particularly harmful are the  ‘obesogens’ which mimic the fat making hormone eostrogen  – so the more we have of this the fatter we will become (not to mention the hormonal disturbances too).

WATER

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be lucky enough to be able to drink fresh clean water straight form the tap! If you’re not so fortunate try the below tips

  • A whole house water filter. An NSF certified water filter will remove harsh chlorine byproducts so drinking and bathing water will be toxin free.
  • Find natural water sources near to you. Try this great website: http://www.findaspring.com/locate/
  • Following that, you want to buy good quality well sourced mineral water bottled in glass
  • Drink from a steel drink bottle – avoid bottles made from plastic, aluminium and polycarbonate

HOUSEHOLD CLEANING

Household cleaners and detergents are a major source of chemical exposure for many people. If you or those around you are suffering from reoccurring health issues related to skin, breathing, digestion, energy and mood, you absolutely MUST look into the cleaning products used around your house. Mainstream cleaners and some ‘Green’ cleaners are packed full of toxic substances that will disrupt  all sorts of natural processes in your body. Children suffer even greater – so please look into this if you have kiddies about the house.

TOP 10 INGREDIENTS YOU MUST AVOID

Phosphates – kill marine life once they exit our water system

Ammonia – irritates the nose and throat and irritates the skin. Can disrupt liver and kidney function

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) – cause respiratory problems such as asthma and wheezing

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s) – cause reproductive defects, liver and kidney damage

Phthalates – cause sperm damage and reproductive defects in boys

Ethanolamines – cause dermatitis

TOP 10 NATURAL CLEANERS

Baking soda

Lemon juice

White vinegar

Vodka

Liquid castille soap (Dr Bronner’s)

Hydrogen peroxide

Egg shells – check this out!

Borax

Microfiber cloths

Organic essential oils

This short video has some great tips for how to clean your floors, windows, surfaces, mould, silver, red wine stains, unblock your drain, clean your laundry whites to name a few!