Tag Archives: recipes

Breakfast feast: rolled eggs & greens

3 Jul

rolled eggs

There is nothing I love more than going out for breakfast on the weekend, but I just can’t help get the feeling I am being cheated not only in taste, but also at the expense of my bank balance! So last Sunday we did something a little crazy. We ate at home. Extreme I know, but I was pretty happy with the results and will defiantly be cooking up a storm at least one day over the weekends. I posted this pic to Instagram (find me at Fitnessinthecity_) and I have had a few people ask for the recipe – so here you go!

Rolled eggs with chilli greens.

Ingredients:

2-4 free range eggs (depending on how hungry you are or if you are sharing)

1-2 cups of washed greens. (I like Bokchoy, Silverbeet, Purple cabbage, Kale or whatever is in season/in the fridge.)

Handful of basil

2 organic free range bacon strips (optional of course)

½ Avocado

Handful of cherry tomatoes

2 slices of Lemon

Coconut oil, garlic, chilli paste, Himalayan rock salt, pepper to garnish

Egg spices:

Za’arar mix: Sumac, sesame, thyme, parsley, oregano, Himalayan salt

You can make your own or buy pre made. Another option is to just roll the eggs in sesame seeds or finely chopped herbs like parsley or basil – very tasty!

rolled eggs prep

Directions:

Boil room temperature eggs (I boil the water on a low to medium heat with eggs already in it, and then set the timer to 4 minutes once the water begins to boil).

In a fry pan on a medium heat cook your bacon to your liking.

In another pan, add some coconut oil, garlic and chilli paste to sauté your greens and basil in – don’t overcook as you don’t want to lose the nutrients of the greens. This should only take approx. 3 minutes, then set aside.

Your eggs should be off the stove now and resting in cold water (so they stop cooking) ready for you to gently peel (or have someone peeling for you – even better!)

Once peeled roll them in your desired spices – I rotate between chopped herbs, sesame seed or Za’arar mix (I got this idea from Dane: The Healthy Tradie)

Cut the Avocado in half (scoop out with a spoon), squeeze lemon over it and dress with Himalayan Rock salt and pepper.

Plate everything up, sprinkle the remaining basil on top – add a great chia tea and you’re ready to feast!

I would love to see your egg creations – tag your photos with #fitnessinthecity on Facebook (@FitnessInTheCity) or Instagram (Fitnessinthecity_ )

Paleo Anzac Biscuits

24 Apr

Paleo Anzac Biscuits

In preparation for Anzac Day tomorrow I whipped up a batch of delicious  Anzac Biscuits thanks to Therasa Cutter’s  recipe below.

Quick, easy and healthy – what’s not to love!

Paleo (gluten/grain free) Anzac Biscuits

1 cup (100 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1 cup (100 g) flaked almonds
1 cup (75 g) organic desiccated coconut
1/4 (80 g) cup honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) macadamia nut oil
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tablespoon water

Combine almond meal, flaked almonds and coconut.
Combine honey and oil into a small pot and heat gently.
Mix the bicarb and water then pour into the honey pot and mix until it starts to froth.
Pour into the dry nut ingredients and mix through until combined. Add a little water if needed to combine which will help them stick together.
Form into 22 cookies
Bake in a low pre heated oven 120 C (248 F) for about 30 minutes until golden.

Try not to eat them all at once! 

Ditch the coco pops – three healthy breakfast ideas

1 Mar

If you haven’t already.. it is time to retire your favourite sugary cereal and replace it with a real meal to kick start your day (ie using real food). Unless you want to continue to feel sluggish and tired, then by all means – keep on eating those pops!

First up I want to introduce you to homemade gluten free corn cakes (inspired by Bills).  Served with a side of bacon, asparagus and tomato, avocado and coriander salsa this meal of champions is simple delish!

The carbs you get from the corn, coconut flour and asparagus will gives you the extra energy you need to power you on to lunch (with a snack thrown in for good measure of course). Plus the good fats for the avocado and protein from the bacon is essential to making this a balanced meal. Ensure the bacon comes from a good source – I always aim for organic meat where possible.

Sweetcorn gluten free Fritters with Avocado Salsa

Gluten Free Sweetcorn cakes

Ingredients

Corncakes
• 500 g fresh corn kernels – either cut from 3 corn cobs or use frozen kernels for convenience (defrosted first!)
• 2 organic eggs
• 1 small red onion chopped
• 15 g chopped coriander leaves
• 125 g coconut flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• Sea salt and ground pepper
• Coconut oil for frying

Avocado salsa
• 2 ripe avocados diced
• 10 g coriander leaves
• 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tomato finely sliced
• Sea salt and ground pepper
• Thinly sliced chilli if you want a bite to it or dash of Tabasco

Directions
In a food processor or blender add: 2 cups of the corn kernels, the onion, eggs, coriander, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Then add the remaining corn and contents in and stir though.
Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat and add mixture into pan – keep each corn cake small in size so they are easy to flip. Cook 3 minutes per side.
Once you have cooked your desired number of corn cakes, serve with bacon, asparagus and avocado salsa.

On the run breakfast – yogurt, fresh figs, walnuts and LSA.

yogurt, walnut, figs & LSA

While I always prefer to have a hearty ‘meat + nuts’ breakfast, sometimes that just isn’t possible! When in a rush (or the fridge is empty..) I simply throw together in a bowl:

Ingredients:
• BioDynamic Organic Yoghurt (low GI, aBc probiotics, no artificial sweeteners or sugar like most yogurts)
• Fresh figs (Figs are naturally rich in much health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins)
• Walnuts (high in omega-3 fats, manganese, vitamin E just to name a few)
• And a spoonful of LSA which is made from ground Linseed, Sunflower and Almonds into a meal. LSA is rich in protein and helps keep blood sugar levels balanced which is important when consuming fruit. It also provides a good dose of omega-3, zinc and calcium.

Meat and Nut breakfast

Meat & Nut breakfast

This no frills breakfast is a paleo favourite – the meat and nut breaky includes the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbs and good fats) and can have the following benefits:
• kick-start your metabolism for the day
• allowing you to burn more fat throughout the day
• decrease the insulin load in your body therefore increasing your ability to stay lean year round.
• increase your mental energy early morning and throughout the day;
• increase physical energy early morning and throughout the day;

Ingredients:
Lamb steaks cooked in coconut oil, herbs and spices.
Avocado garnished with ground cracked pepper and salt and a good squeeze of lemon
Raw asparagus
Basil leaves
5 macadamia nuts (you can have these instead of avocado)
Cook, serve and eat!

You can also check out what I eat for breakfast in Prevention Magazine online ‘What the experts eat for breakfast’ here

Lee Sutherland – Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Fitness In The City www.fitnessinthecity.com.au / www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity / www.twitter.com/fitnessinthcity / http://instagram.com/fitnessinthecity_

Best Paleo (gluten-free) Pancakes. EVER.

11 Feb

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes with berries
Tomorrow is Pancake Day in Australia! That’s right – we have a whole day dedicated to these delicious fluffy treats!

Truth be told, Australians didn’t really come up with the idea. Pancake Day is traditionally known as Shrove Tuesday, which is the last day to eat all the flour, eggs and dairy products in your kitchen before the start of Lent (which is a time of abstinence and reflection in the 40 days before Easter). Here in Oz however, we have turned this day into a fundraising opportunity that essentially encourages local people to help other locals: http://www.pancakeday.com.au/

Wondering what you can make without sacrificing your waist line (or taste buds) by eating excess amounts of sugar first thing in the morning (trust me your blood sugar levels are screaming in protest at the thought of it..)?

Well, let me introduce you to my favourite pancake recipe which excludes all the nasties (sugar, wheat/gluten etc) while being 100% fussy eater approved – Carrot Cake Pancakes!

Ingredients
1 cup of grated carrots
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (I usually add more than this though!)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Once cooked plate up and top with a tablespoon of coconut butter, maple syrup and a few berries– DELISH!!

Instructions
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
* almond meal
* coconut flour
* baking soda and powder
* spices

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
* carrots, eggs
* coconut milk
* coconut oil

3. Heat a large frypan up under medium-high heat and use coconut oil to grease the surface. Don’t be shy with the oil here you don’t want it to stick!

4. Pour batter into piping hot frypan – keep them small so they are easy to flip. Cook on both sides for 3 or so minutes.

5. Top pancakes off with coconut butter and organic maple syrup.

Makes approx 4-5 pancakes.

Recipe also getting some love here: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/food/recipes/recipe/-/16114480/paleo-carrot-cake-pancakes/

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes

If you have a go at making these I’d love to see your creations – post them on http://www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity

Enjoy!

Flirting with vitality

11 Jul

I’ve have had commitment issues in the past I’m not going to lie… but there is something which has held my attention for quite some time and keeps me coming back for more.

It’s a little something called Vital Greens.

While I flirt nonchalantly between my other staple products such as fish oil and Vitamin D, my well documented love for the green powder is a keeper and I won’t stray.

Here is why:  Vital Greens is a nutrient and enzyme-rich, complete “Superfood’ that is an energizing, cleansing, alkaline-promoting, all in-one nutritional supplement.

Why this is this combo so important to me?

I lead a pretty busy and hectic life (hello early morning PT sessions followed by a day of work, training, writing , more working and probably not going to bed early enough..) so I need something that energies and supports my system – and that isn’t called caffeine…

I can literally feel every glass full working to my benefit – especially since I made such a conscious effort to take it daily (and sometimes twice daily).

My head is less foggy, my skin is clearer, my tummy isn’t bloated anymore and I have been waking up at 5am with the energy to train myself before I train my clients (and if you know me that is a huge feat!).

One key influencer that bought us closer together was my trip to Nepal. My trusted travel sachets of Vital Greens and I trekked 8 hours uphill everyday for 9 whole days, full of energy and not getting sick once -while everyone around me was dropping like flies!

What else do I love?

  • Most of the bulk ingredients are certified organic or of natural origin.
  • It has a comprehensive formula of 76 vital ingredients (and if you want to learn about every each herb this site here lists them individually with explanations.).
  • Vital Greens includes all the products I used to take separately like Spirulina, Chlorella and Wheatgrass – so I am saving money on buying just one super product.
  • It is balanced with antioxidants and immune supporting herbs (such as astragals root, green tea, shitake mushroom) so I found since taking Vital Greens consistently for the last year (instead of occasionally over 3) I don’t catch every cold and flu going around, and who doesn’t love less sick days!
  • It contains digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics (hello healthy inside and colon).
  • It is alkaline forming – super important for healthy digestion and bowels (and aiming for an alkaline system is especially important if you eat a high protein diet like I do).
  • It is designed to curb the appetite (with artichoke powder, green tea and other ingredients) so it’s perfect for my afternoon Vital Protein/Vital Green shake snack before gym session.
  • It’s high in iron and protein (which makes it perfect for vegetarians too).
  • It taste good which is an important quality in a powder (and if you are not sold on the flavour, try it in juice or smoothie rather than plain water.)

Don’t believe me? My clients are fans too:

“I cannot live without my greens, and I have found Vital Greens to be the superior product on the Australian market. I literally feel the spirulina and chlorella hit my cells, which is the perfect compliment to my nutritional cleansing lifestyle! I have all of my clients on Vital Greens for that extra hit of alkalising nutrients! Lee provides product super quick on request too, which I love!!” Emilie Tonkin, www.emilietonkin.isagenix.com

 ‘Living and working in Sydney has many benefits, but the big city life can be hard to keep up with. Trying to balance a hectic work schedule and a growing social life is hard enough – without having to worry about finding time to keep healthy. Thankfully, at least the early morning rush of trying to throw something together before running out the door has been made easy, and healthy, with the discovery of Vital Greens. My partner and I have been benefiting from all the goodness of Vital Greens for the past 12 months. Mixed in simple fruit smoothies, Vital Greens fuels us for the entire morning and we have the energy to tackle the day…..and the city! I would recommend this product to everyone!’  Darren Duke

“I’m 30 now and having been playing AFL foofball for 22 years and it’s getting harder to recover and have the energy to get the day after a game or training. Since I have started taking Vitals Greens (before the game and in the mornings) I have found I have more energy and more go. I just add it my protein shakes and I’m good to go!’ Shaun Silver

So what are you waiting for, put a spring in your step, ward off winter bugs and get into this green liquid gold!!

Here is a nice little raw recipe to try using Vital Greens and a mix of other superfoods:

Vitality Balls 

              

35 pitted dates

¼ cup chia seeds (black and white mixed)

¼ cup sesame seeds – grind half in mortar and pestle and keep other half whole

¼ cup desiccated coconut

¼ cup walnuts and seeds of your choice.

1/3 cup raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons Vital Greens

3 tablespoons Vital Protein

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons tahini (preferably unhulled)

2 tablespoons ABC spread (combined almonds, Brazil, cashews)

1. Soak dates overnight.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl chia seeds, sesame seeds, nuts/seeds, Vital Greens and Vital Protein, desiccated coconut, and cacao powder.

3. Either put softened dates in a food processor or alternatively chop dates into small pieces into a separate bowl. (fyi a food processor does makes your life easier with this recipe!)

4. Add honey, tahini, and nut spread to the chopped dates (either combine in food processor, or combine in the bowl with the dates).

5. Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing as you go. You just need it at a consistency that will hold the dry ingredients together, so you may need to vary quantities as you see fit.

6. Using your hands, form into individual balls about 3cm diameter. Roll in extra coconut or crushed nuts  if you wish!

Enjoy  x

Happiness: Winter, Fitness and Paleo (carrot-cake) pancakes

6 Jul

Winter in Sydney this year is agreeing with me. Shocking right?!

Normally I would be complaining and hiding under my warm blankets waiting for the warmer days to return, but not this time.

With the rain I have found a new sense of contentment. I am waking up before most of the city has even contemplated opening their eyes.  I train myself, then I teach a class or private PT session, I race home to prepare my paleo meals for the day, work, eat, perhaps do another quick strength session, teach another class, catch up with friends/boyfriend/family after work, then cook dinner, and write some articles before bed ready to do it all over again the following day!

Exhausting to type, but surprisingly not so exhausting to do!

Why and how is this routine working you may ask? Eating clean brings energy and balance, training brings the same while cooking and play time brings happiness – so together the synergy just works and balances one another. If my diet was bad, processed and full of sugar it would decrease my energy, my hormones and mood would be terrible so I would bitch instead of train and good luck trying to wake me up.

I look back and feel bad for the former years I may have wasted sitting and waiting.

The moral of the story (if there is one..) don’t wait to start things. You can look back in a year and be happy you made the changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  Or, you can look back in a year and regret that haven’t started yet.

Below is my weekend winter reward treat – so delish and quick to whip up!

Come join us on facebook for daily update, hints, recipes and such and while you are at it, check out twitter to!

Paleo Carrot-Cake Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of grated carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (I usually add more than this though!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • Once cooked plate up and top with a tablespoon of coconut butter and maple syrup – DELISH!!

Instructions

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl

* almond meal

* coconut flour

* baking soda and powder

* spice

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly

* carrots, eggs

* coconut milk

* coconut oil

3. Heat a large frypan up under medium-high heat and use coconut oil to grease the surface. Don’t be shy with the oil here you don’t want it to stick!

4. Pour batter into piping hot frypan. Cook on both sides for 3 or so minutes.

5. Top pancakes off with coconut butter and maple syrup.

Makes approx 4 pancakes.

This fab recipe was originally sourced via http://paleomg.com (but I have made a couple of Fitness In The City style amendments and inclusions!)

Paleo Paleo Paleo

22 Jun

By Lee Sutherland and Natalie Carter.

While the Paleo diet may be something you have only recently heard about, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a fad or a trend – it is a lifestyle, and a very old and successful one at that.

Following the lead of our hunter and gatherer ancestors the ‘caveman’ diet as it is also referred to, has simple guidelines – enjoy high quality nutrient rich foods (to feeds the body) and avoid modern man made food (I’m looking at you McDonalds and McFlurrys) which does nothing but causes damage and discomfort.!

It’s no coincidence that diseases have increased in the last 20 years as sugar loaded convenient ‘food’ options have matched the incline. And yes, the link between modern foods and disease (ie cancers, autoimmune, obesity, type 2 diabetes to name a few) can now backed by numerous new medical studies.

More and more evidence has being gathered to show that certain dietary staples are simply not suitable for us as a species to consume.

So why are not more people listening?

Why would you consume something that is scientifically proven to lessen the quality of your life? Something which causes inflammation, bloating and disease, stress and contributes to your weary body?

Maybe the person just didn’t know. Maybe they are in denial, lazy or maybe they need a little education.

Want the good news?

This isn’t a crazy diet where you have to restrict your calories or avoid fat (in fact I applaud you to increase your good fat intake and increase your food intake – just the right kind); this is simply eating amazing healthy, and delicious food (meat – grass fed is possible as grin fed beef effectively destroys all the healthy omega 3 fatty acids, seafood, eggs, salad, veges, oils, coconut everything, nuts, some fruit), and avoid all food that western civilization has bought into our diets.

What to eat

Protein Foods

‘Leanish’ unprocessed meat: grass-fed, wild and free range animals, beef, chicken, poultry, lamb, pork, venison, rabbit etc, including organ meats (ideally organic)
Bacon: (good quality or any bacon that has no chemicals)
Seafood and shellfish: all types
Eggs

Carbohydrate foods

Vegetables, colourful and green, non starch – eat lots
Starchy and root vegetables  like sweet potato (not potatoes) – in moderation, depends on body type, metabolic issues like diabetes and exercise load
Fruit, fresh especially berries, in moderation

Fats and oils

Extra Virgin Olive oil
For cooking: coconut oil or Ceres organic cooking and frying oil

Lard or tallow
Avocado and avocado oil

Macadamia nut oil
Nuts, fresh unsalted (not peanuts), best nuts- lower in omega 6 – almonds, macadamia and cashews, limit if wanting to lose weight. Nuts are best soaked and oven dried to decrease phytic acid

Drinks

Filtered water, ideally chlorine and fluoride free
Sparkling or soda water

Mineral water
Herbal and fruit teas
Tea
Coffee (I’m not heartless)
Almond milk (unsweetened)

Coconut water (no added sugar)
Cocoa powder drink (hot water, cocoa powder, no sugar, coconut cream) Weird at first with no sugar but you get used to it

Other foods:

Fermented foods – like coconut Kefir and kimchi add important friendly bacteria into your gut.

So I guess right about now you are thinking what can’t you eat.. Processed foods, all of them – if it is made by man you probably shouldn’t be eating it. ll sugar. And soft drink (fruit juices included). Dairy (wonder why you feel mucusy after drinking milk?),Grains & Legumes – yes all of them.

Even if you don’t have celiac disease, most people have adverse reactions to grains whether you are 100% aware of it or not. Bloating, depression, decreased absorption of vitamin and minerals.. grains gives them all a good helping hand to feeling this way because our bodies digest them as a foreign enzyme.

I know, parting ways with your morning Turkish toast (or ‘healthy’ rye) is a teary affair to begin with… but as the very fabulous Natalie Carter from New Outlook (http://www.nataliecartertalksfitness.com/) explains: grains and dairy where only introduced to our diets 10,000 years ago which may sound like a very long time ago.. but evolution of our digestion system disagrees. In simple terms, we physically can not digest these newly introduced food groups – they are seen as evil foreign objects by our bodies, hence negative reactions occur.

Instead, our diet was entirely meat, seafood, vegetable, fruit and nut based. Sure, we ate some wild grains if we were starving and no other source of nutrition was available, but that was largely an exception to an otherwise grain free existence.

There are multiple reasons why grains are not suitable for our species. To start with, they’re simply a very poor form of nutrition and don’t really offer us a significant amount of vitamins and minerals in relation to the amount of calories consumed.

The evils of gluten are no secret – out of wheat’s negative effects, celiac disease is possibly the best known one (an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine). Also, it is becoming more widely accepted, that gluten sensitivity is a wider problem and affects a far greater portion of people than just ones diagnosed with celiac disease. New evidence is gathering up suggesting that gluten sensitivity may underlie an extraordinary number of health problems and disorders, including but not limited to: acid reflux, Addison’s disease, alopecia, anaemia, attention deficit disorder, autoimmune thyroid diseases, dementia, depression & anxiety, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, systemic lupus erythematous, type 1 diabetes, etc…

More importantly though, grains contain antinutrients that significantly impair their nutrient availability. What this means is that even though grains might on paper seem to be good sources of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, in reality, none of these nutrients are available for absorption due to phytate, an antinutrient found in all whole grains. Phytate binds with the aforementioned minerals making them unavailable for absorption. In fact, the more grains you eat, the more likely you will become deficient in these minerals.

Possibly the scariest argument against grains is the fact that they contain lectins. Lectins bind to cells in our intestines, permeating the gut barrier and find their way into the bloodstream. Not only has this been linked to Vitamin D and A deficiencies, but also a long list of autoimmune diseases and cancers.

The one thing that all articles criticising paleo come back to, is fibre: “If you eliminate whole grains from your diet, how in the world will you ever get enough fibre?”. The truth is, that while whole grains have a significant amount fibre when compared to refined grains, the amounts are practically non-existent when compared to non-starchy vegetables. Bottom line? Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and if anything, you’ll be getting tons more fibre than what you would from even the ‘healthiest’ mueslis or breakfast cereals.

How can I possibly live without grains?

Removing grains from your diet can be a daunting task at first – they’re everywhere! However, following this guideline strictly is the part of paleo lifestyle that has the greatest potential in delivering you visible results quickly.

For one, cutting our grains means that you’re getting rid of the majority of the processed crap that has the worst impact on your health (bread, pasta, cookies, cereals, candy – the lot that comes in a box and is chock-a-block full of sugar, additives and other evils). Perhaps the best part of cutting out grains is that the effects are almost immediate – personally I noticed that the constant bloating disappeared as soon as I got rid of grains, making my profile significantly slimmer and improving my overall digestion… and all these results within a few days of going paleo!

Breakfast without toast? Easy: eggs with avocado and smoked salmon. What about spaghetti Bolognese? Just julienne zucchini into spaghetti like strands and sweat it with salt for 30 mins and you’ve got a tasty and healthy replacement. Burgers? Make your own delicious patties without breadcrumbs and either serve them in a bowl over a delicious salad bed or replace buns with big roasted mushroom caps. It’s all doable once you get your head around it.

All you need to do is get creative, love the food you’re eating and just watch the benefits start stacking up from day one!

Wait, there’s more to it:

However, to me living a paleo lifestyle is more than just the food we eat. Overall, it means actively making choices informed by evolutionary science to achieve optimal health. In addition to optimising your nutrition, don’t forget to:

  • Listen to your body – if you always react to something negatively, you probably shouldn’t be eating/doing it…
  • Live an active – not sedentary – lifestyle
  • Sleep 8 hours a night – every night

The rewards:

The list of health benefits linked to paleo lifestyle are seemingly endless, here’s a list of the most commonly listed ones:

  • Lose weight without dieting and exercise,
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Slow or reverse the progression of an autoimmune disease
  • Reduce your risk of diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, gout, etc.
  • Permanently free yourself from acne
  • Enjoy a longer, healthier, more active life

The downside:

While I have no doubt that a paleo diet can benefits everyone..,: it’s not for everyone. If you’re not prepared for a healthy dose of research, determination and additional effort, you won’t succeed.

  • You will need to prepare and cook practically all of your own food from scratch, for every single meal you will eat. This takes some learning, time and constant effort.
  • Investing in high quality ingredients can make it seem more expensive – processed empty fillers are cheap in the shop… you just pay a much higher price with your health later down the track.
  • It means pretty much giving up on the idea being lazy and grabbing something on the go for lunch. Ordering in a restaurant will require some creativity and options available will be very limited. No more late night pizzas, lunch burgers or comforting bowls of pasta.
  • And be ready for it: you need to explain yourself a LOT – people will think you’ve gone mad to desert bread!

If you’re considering going paleo:

If paleo sounds like it could be for you, what I’d recommend is committing yourself to a 30-day trial. Just try it for a month, be strict, don’t cheat and see what you think. After all, what have you got to lose – if you don’t like it, you can have your old life back…

1. Make sure you know what you’re doing!
I would strongly recommend reading The Paleo Answer by Dr Cordain as a starting point. Not only does the book get you in the right frame of mind by explaining why to eat certain foods and why others are bad for you, it also gives you all the information you need for such a major lifestyle change.

2. In addition to focusing on cutting out the nasties, make sure you’re including the good stuff!
Making sure you get all the nutrients is just as important – if not more so – as cutting out potential harmful foods. Also consider supplements such as fish oil capsules and potentially Vitamin D. I wouldn’t recommend supplementing blindly and the best way to know what you need is to see a good GP.

3. Monitor your health!
I would recommend getting regular blood-works done to ensure that you’re not lacking in vital nutrients.

4. Don’t go crazy cooking grain-free replacements for all our old favourites – I know I did!
Try to enjoy real food instead of making almond meal muffins, coconut pancakes and other baked goods part of your everyday diet. Try to remember that they’re calorie dense treats and should be only consumed occasionally.

5. And last but definitely not least: don’t forget to enjoy the ride!
While I recommend being strict for the initial 30-day trial, being paleo long term is a slightly different beast. Don’t be too hard on yourself – it’s not good to be obsessed with food one way or the other. In order to make a permanent long-term lifestyle change, you need to make it work for you. Allow yourself a cheat meal here and there; maybe let yourself enjoy your old favourite meal once in a while, enjoy an occasional glass of wine with dinner, or go out for a proper restaurant meal for your birthday. Just remember to listen to your body and avoid cheats that seem to set you back too much.

Me? This style of eat working for me. I feel 100% better, and despite the fact I may miss bread on occassion – my level moods, decreased body fat, decreased PMS, decreased bloating, better skin (you get the idea) is so much better than a piece of toast could ever be. So no, it isn’t a crazy diet for me, it is eating the way my nanna would be proud of!!

Thanks Natalie for the info – you can also follow her on twitter here for more great tips and stories, and read her full story plus interview on Paleo here

 

 

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