Insight into my Paleo Diet
Hello Caveman and Cavewoman! It seems my last blog sparked quite a bit of interest in all things stone-age…not too sure why, I’ve seen quite a few around that have been swaggering around like apes for a while – minus the six back barrel chest , unless you’re talking about beer.
Many people have asked me for more insight into the Paleo diet, what it involves for me and how they can do it at home, well lucky for you guys I’m a big believer in the old proverb “Knowledge is Power” so I went out and purchased myself two books, one called called “The Paleo Diet” and the other “The Paleo Diet for Athletes” so I can become more educated on the topic personally which also means I can share my findings more informatively with you :)
Thousands of years ago, evolution was abundant and the world was alive and awash with colour, strong able bodies, spears and cannibalism. Fast forward to 2012 and you could be forgiven for assuming the world should be a much more efficient, healthy and prosperous place right? Well clearly it’s not. We are surrounded by, well let’s face it, pure shit. Everywhere we turn there is processed sugars, cereals, breads, pastries, “health” bars, frozen dinners, preserved this and preserved that and we are told to eat it. So most of us do…And if last nights rubbish SBS Insight program was anything to go by, protein and amino acids are supposedly “dangerous chemicals”… umm yea ok! It’s so wonder the world is an overweight, dying mess of uneducated confusion. Simple is as simple does.
Camouflaged in pretty wrappers and clever advertising, it’s sucked up by a dumb follow the leader society and a misinformed government. The Healthy Food Pyramid recommends 6-11 (eleven!!) servings of carbohydrates a day and only 2-3 serves of protein! No wonder the nation is dying. Back in the time of the Clan of Cavebears (a kick ass historical novel by Jean M Auel set in the prehistoric (if you don’t know it read it!)), there were no processed foods. No take out, no Lean Cuisine, no sugars, minimal grains, and definitely no whole preserved chickens in a can…wtf! We have been designed to be Hunter and Gathers and we thrived that way on what nature gave us, the way the earth intended. Instead, we’ve thrown what works out the window and become a nation of lazy Farmers. We’ve also welcomed a whole new obesity epidemic and a world plagued by preventable illness. Coincidence?
Instead of eating a variety of lean meats, fats and vegetables, we’ve become largely dependent on grains – bread, pasta, rice, and all this other manmade, refined stuff. Which I would guess probably makes up 80% of the average persons diet these days. A tad concerning.
Paleo takes you back to the Hunter and Gather “Caveman” days – the way our bodies are meant to run at its best. When our diet consisted only of meats, fish, nuts, fats, dark leafy greens, some root vegetables, berries and seeds. Beautiful Simplicity.
People have often commented “but aren’t you meant to be getting a variety of foods in your diet?” Well there is heaps of balance and variety to be found right there! Remember a variety pack of Fruit and Nut Health Bars, toast, can of tuna, a quick shake or two and steak and potato with a can of coke for dinner is not a balanced diet nor is it variety…but it probably sounds like a pretty standard days food intake for a lot of people right?
In a nutshell, Paleo says no to grains, no to sugar, and absolutely nothing processed, but if it came from the earth, naturally then its ok. With some exceptions: A baked potato increases blood sugar levels and insulin faster and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar! Crazy! Potatoes are Starches, not vegetables. Stick to Sweet Potato / Yams instead as they have a much higher nutrient value and a lower GI.
Our bodies are very efficient at running on a much lower amount of carbs then many think / or are “used” to consuming. We are meant to run this way. It’s called (a state of) Ketosis which basically means your body is utilising its fat stores for fuel, rather than sugars or carbohydrates (there won’t be any there for it to use of course).
I can hear your mind ticking… “So if my body is burning fat for energy instead of that bowl of cereal I had had this morning or that toast at morning tea, and the pasta for dinner the night before, does this mean….?” You got it! YES. It means you are burning fat from your fat stores for energy. Imagine that!
Ok so that’s the basic concept behind it, in a long winded explanation perhaps...but Paleo takes your body back to the way it was originally designed to function on all 4 (or 8 lol) cylinders. Do this by consuming lean proteins, fats, nuts and leafy vegetables the way nature intended so that your body taps into its own fat stores for energy, rather than drawing on the surplus of excess carbs and sugars which our body does not need in the first place. You’ll find yourself energised, happy, healthy and your body will run like a well oiled machine.
Oh and by the way, this also means cutting out sauces, dressings and dips. Stick to herbs, oils, chilli, fresh lemon or lime juice, there’s a myriad of yummy things to create with these natural and healthy options! That old Tomato Sauce has to Ketchup a bit if it wants to earn its in place in your new cupboard!
Right…So how do you do this at home? Basic rule is have a portion of lean protein (chicken, beef, skippy or salmon), dark leafy greens (spinach, beans, broccoli, cucumber etc) and some fats via nuts, oils (macadamia, olive, coconut) organic butter, avocado etc with every meal and you’ll be on the right track. You’ll get you’re a lot of your energy and calories from the fat source.
A pretty typical meal for me at the moment is 120-140g of kangaroo or chicken, 200g of broccoli or a leafy cucumber salad, and a handful (15-20g) of mixed macadamia, almonds and cashew nuts drizzled with a tablespoon of coconut oil. It is dead set delish and I look forward to my next meal every 2.5 or so hours!
I’ve been following this for over two weeks now, and I’m really feeling great! Diet wise I have never really felt better. I’ve had my fortnightly follow up with Luke and have made a 1.5kg gain in lean muscle and a small drop in bf all while eating the foods I love! I don’t feel deprived, unsatisfied or hungry at all. My training is going really well, focusing on going as hard and heavy as I can, especially in the areas I am trying to build.
I’m a sweaty, dis-functional mess at the end of day!
Many of you will be aware that I’ve been suffering from insomnia for the better part of a few years now – especially around prep, and short of dropping a few xani’s I am yet to find anything that works…unless I take copious amounts of some artificial horrible tasting supplement which I don’t really like doing.
I’m now armed with an all guns blazing natural approach to tackle the problem…12 little white vitamin bottles later…
MASS Out xx