Thursday 12 February 2015

Lifestyle Changes Post #1: The Paleo Diet. What, Why, How.

So, 66% of us are overweight, and 33% of us are considered obese. What on Earth has been going wrong? With so many 'diets' available, it can be hard to know what to choose when we are looking to lose a few pounds OR adopt a healthier attitude to food. 
It has been proven time and time again that fad diets don't work. Living of cabbage soup for a month is, let's face it, ridiculous, and I even think 3 day juice 'cleanses' are just to starve ourselves of calories whilst pretending it is entirely for detox benefits.Humans are supposed to eat, so starving yourself and consuming only fruit and vegetable juices for three days means the body tries to hold onto any fat available in the system, to prepare for a fast. It also slows the metabolism right down as the body attempts energy conservation. 

Paleo is filtering through numerous diet posts recently.
what is the Paleo diet? Well, eating Paleo refers to eating as we did as cavemen. As we have revolutionised, humans have found different foods to consume because technological advance obviously allows us to process food differently,

 Paleo, takes us right back to basics. That means foods such as grains are off the cards, because they wouldn't have been eaten by our caveman ancestors. Grains contain a natural toxin known as Lectins. Lectins exist to prevent consumption of grains, so that they can spread themselves and re-populate the land. But whats the issue? Well, they react with our gastrointestinal tract causing gas and bloating and as they ferment, they prevent the tract from repairing. Many hardcore Paleo dieters also refrain from eating Dairy (apart from eggs), because in ancestral history, the human body was not equipped to consume milk after infancy. Hence, many individuals today suffer from Lactose Intolerance. 

The Paleo diet, is low carb, in the sense that pasta/bread/rice is off the cards, but that doesn't mean carbs cannot be found in other foods such as sweet potatoes and fruits such as banana. It is also sugar free, unless the sugars are naturally formed in food stuffs. In theory, Paleo eating should provide a harmonious internal system, but it it really sustainable? And is it quite frankly, just a bit too strict?

So, what can you eat? 

MEAT/POULTRY - any type, as long as it's grass fed. Remember grains are off the cards
FISH - Look for wild, farmed fish often contain chemicals such as Mercury 
EGGS- Any type, they are a super food. 
FRUITS/VEG- Be wary of eating too many fruits, they are calorific due to sugars. Any veg is great. 
OILS- Think Natural! Coconut, Olive, Avocado. I am a fan of coconut. 
NUTS/SEEDS- brain food, a high calorific snack, so don't over indulge! 
SPICES/SEASONING/HERBS- These are definitely needed, to add flavour to your foods, and often have great anti oxidant properties. 

A Typical Paleo Day 

BREAKFAST - Poached egg with Avocado and Sunflower Seeds. 

LUNCH - Spicy ChickPea and Vegetable Chilli. 

DINNER - Paprika trout, with Tomato and Avocado salsa. 

SNACK - Apple Slices with Almond Butter, Frozen Raspberries. 

Paprika Trout Recipe 

Wild Trout Fillet 
2 Tspns Smoked Paprika 
1/2 Clove Garlic 
3 Large Tomatoes
1 Avacado
1/2 Lemon 
1 Tble Sp Olive Oil
Black Pepper 

1) Place the grill onto a medium heat. Slice the garlic finely and scatter onto the trout. Then sprinkle on the Paprika. 
2) Loosely cover with tin foil and place under the grill for 8 minutes. Then uncover the foil, and let the fish grill for a further 5 minutes, to give it a crispy coating.
3) Meanwhile, chop the Tomato and Avocado into small squares. Add the Juice of the lemon, and the olive oil and season well with black pepper. 
4) Serve the fish on top of the salsa salad, and squeeze more lemon over the fish if you fancy it!
5) Enjoy your Paleo meal! x


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