Tweaklet #54 – The Paleo Diet

When you’re exploring healthy eating alternatives and stepping outside the conventional three meals a day, food groups, calories etc, then you have probably come across the Paleo diet and the Keto diet.

Both have gained popularity for a variety of reasons. They can also easily get confused, so over a couple of segments we’ll talk about their differences and their benefits. In this episode, we’re talking about the Paleo Diet.

Paleo follows the principles of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, with its name loosely based on the palaeolithic era and foods that have the longest history of human consumption. So, The Paleo diet refers to a framework for eating. There are no specific foods to eat, just a leaning towards natural, nutrient-dense foods rather than processed foods.

Foods to include on a Paleo diet are Meat, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Fruits, Seeds, Roots, Unrefined oils and Natural sweeteners.

Foods to be avoided on the Paleo diet are All cereal grains and products made with grain flours, Legumes, Dairy, Refined sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks, Refined vegetable oils, Processed food and White potatoes, in some instances.

There is no exact ratio of how the key ingredients are put together. However, it is generally regarded as a low-carb way of eating because it eliminates most processed foods as well as refined sugar, grains and dairy.

People who embrace a paleo diet are looking to reduce inflammation in their bodies and to improve their weight and blood pressure. They may have blood sugar issues, possibly even problems with insulin resistance. People who are at risk of cardiovascular disease or are showing signs of autoimmune responses also turn to the paleo diet.

And the Paleo diet is really a very simple Food Tweak that fits into many people’s lifestyles and makes a significant positive impact to their health mainly because it boosts your intake of quality ingredients and eliminates processed overly refined foods.

If you have a gluten sensitivity, other food sensitivities or want to jump-start your weight loss then the Paleo diet is a good Tweaklet to try!

So that’s the Paleo diet. Next time we’ll talk about the Keto Diet.

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Tweaklet #51 – Demystifying Food

These days it can feel like you need a science degree to understand what products you are shopping for, even what food you are buying! We live in an ever-expanding world, full of information and with that comes choices!

So let’s simplify some of the jargon that has crept into the food world, so that we can make better and more importantly EASIER choices when buying food!

Firstly, what are antioxidants? Our bodies generate their own antioxidants, as do plants and other animals. Antioxidants are molecules that defend the body against free radicals, so they are very important….which leads me to the next commonly asked question, what are FREE RADICALS?!

Free radicals are a little more complicated to describe. They are compounds which are natural by-products of chemical processes that take place in our bodies, such as metabolism.

Whilst natural, they can easily get out of balance, due to the food we eat, the medicine we take and even the air we breathe. It’s a delicate balance and just as things like fast food, alcohol and chemicals can increase free radicals, food such as good quality meat, vegetables and fruits can maintain a healthy balance.

So, let’s recap. Antioxidants keep free radicals in check which means antioxidants are essential for our survival.  Our diets are an the main source of antioxidants and we can find them easily in things like berries, green tea and dark chocolate.

We’ll demystify more food jargon as we go along so that we can make some healthy food tweaks to our diet.

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Tweaklet #44 – Seasonal Eating – Part one

There’s a lot to be said about seasonal eating so this is just a brief introduction. It’s not so long ago, not more than between 50 to 100 years ago, that we used to eat only the foods that were in season.

Before the industrialization of agriculture our communities revolved around planting and harvesting and were sustained by the crops that were grown locally.

In summer we would have eaten lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of unprocessed whole grains. In Autumn we’d have been busy hunting or preparing any meat we had for winter as well as gathering up the remains of the harvested seeds and nuts and berries.

In winter we would live off our own stored body fat as well as winter vegetables and the items in our store cupboard, waiting for Spring which would bring a fresh round of new plants and planting activity.

Our bodies are designed to flourish in that kind of seasonal eating cycle.

Today, when everything we desire is available all year round, we fatten up all throughout the year. We never hibernate or burn off our excess fuel through a few lean months. And as a result we’re out of step, our digestive systems never rest and we’re also not getting all the nutrients we need.

There are many other impacts from not eating seasonally – the nutrients that are lost as food travels great distances, the lengthy cold storage that depletes nutrients further, and of course, there’s the issue of pesticides and chemicals and the impact on the environment from all the transportation.

We’ll touch on those issues later but for now, let’s do a simple Tweak – a bit of a rethink. Let’s Read labels and buy local.

Let’s support local growers and eat what is natural and seasonal for that time of year. Our bodies still respond to the rhythms of the seasons and will thank us for our efforts to eat seasonally.

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Download my free E-Book here.