WHY I DISLIKE THE WORD P A L E O

Most people around me know I eat this weird “PALEO DIET”. So much so when I mentioned eating a whole “bunny” for dinner on Sunday night my work colleagues actually thought I meant a WHOLE WHITE FLUFFY BUNNY –  Talk about taking nose to tail to the next level. After we discovered I was in fact talking about the brown, cadbury variety we agreed that if I did in fact eat a whole rabbit describing it as a bunny may have been a little masochistic.

Too cute to eat!

I have eaten a Paleo-Template-Diet (really hate the word diet) for the last 4 years (pretty long diet wouldn’t you say?). I also got introduced to it prior to it becoming the most searched diet in google, associated with Crossfit or a widely publicised “thing”. Before Pete Evans, before paleo bars and paleo granola. The persons who introduced it into my life are extremely intelligent and people I trust.

Eating this way helped me significantly with my health complaints; namely skin issues, energy, mood, and body composition. Although these health improvements also came in conjunction to managing stress, exercising more smartly, prioritising sleep and having more pleasure in my life.

So I strongly suspect it wasn’t one single change from pasta to grass fed steak that paved the way to improvement but rather a combination of lifestyle factors.  Which is actually really at the essence of a good Paleo Diet.

However, over the last two years I really purposefully distanced myself from the wording “Paleo”. Reason being is it got so confusing and muddled with peoples opinion that the word conjured up so much misinformation and opinions . So I thought – hey its better to lose the label and focus on what really matters – eating anutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, real food diet that supports how MY body functions AND enjoying life and that includes sometimes eating foods that aren’t necessarily healthy but are pleasurable – and I am talking the “non paleo” kind.

This article from Chris Kresser, who is one of the most respected practitioners in his field especially when it comes to evaluating research, explores some of the most common Myths about Paleo Nutrition. He is someone I trust and value his opinion in high regard. Please READ. 

When it comes to being healthy, we are really bombarded with informations mostly from sources that don’t have our best interests at heart – so please remember to tune in and use some logic people!

  1. If it comes in a bag or a box – is it fresh, real living, and going to provide you with every thing you need for life?
  2. Your body requires and uses amino acids and protein to build structures inside of you – do you really think eating the most viable form of protein (animal products) is a bad idea for our long term survival?
  3. We preferentially use glucose and fat for fuel, we have the ability to manufacture glucose inside us, hence it is important for survival. Low blood glucose is a bigger threat to our life than high blood sugar. Eating enough quality carbohydrates is essential to fuel our body and keep body systems working well.
  4. Fat forms the core structural unit of a cell and many other important functions in the body, so eliminating a whole food group (low-fat era) may potentially cause some issues for us.
  5. If you house an animal in an unnatural environment, it gets sick, depressed and usually fat. The environment and what an animal eats and is exposed to affects the quality of its produce. Pasture raised, grass fed cows have a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acid (has anti-inflammatory properties), a higher amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) a fatty acid which has recently been studied for its anti-cancer properties and higher amounts of Vitamin E, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, than grain-fed meat.  So next time your butcher gets stroppy if you ask if it grass fed – tell them the reason you are asking is a cow is designed to forage and roam freely and eat grass! And that’s the type of meat you want to consume, and politely walk out the door. Note: this hasn’t ever happened to me, I find butchers to be overly friendly :). But I have heard it happens !!!! Sigh.
  6. Did your Grandparents have access to baby formula, ready made pasta sauce, microwavable dinners? No. And they had better health than us.
  7. Did children eat perfectly mashed “baby food” and packaged rice cereal as first foods back in the day before food intolerances existed? Did they go on to eat le-snacks, little chippies, muesli bars, pop tops, weet-bix, zoopa-doopas as a part of their staple diet? Did they have behavioural disorders?
  8. Does eating quality and a variety of animal parts (meat, bones, offal), eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and seeds, unprocessed dairy, white rice, properly prepared grains and eliminating excess sugar, packaged and processed foods, and seed oils that were originally used to make industrial products like soaps and plastic sound dangerous to you?
  9. Is eating some chocolate or a piece of cake made with flour and sugar going to send your body into a spiral and cause it to breakdown or gain 5 kgs?- unlikely!

My message is – don’t get caught up in all the drama. Be self informed

Start making small changes with your nutrition that feel right to you and that makes sense to you.
That may look like cutting back on your sugar in your coffee, reducing takeaway dinner to once a week, incorporating more vegetables into your main meal or finding a local butcher.
It is these small steps that you implement daily into your life that you can sustain for the long term that will yield the greatest results overtime for your health and your families health.

Here is a super simple recipe to get you started.

Super-duper Salmon Patties

Super-duper Salmon Patties

Ingredients:

1 tin of John West Wild Caught Alaskan Pink Salmon(strained)
1/2 clove of garlic (grated/crushed)
2cm of fresh ginger (grated)
2cm of fresh tumeric (grated) – you could use powdered
2 stalks of shallots (or 1/4 onion)
1 stalk of leek (cut finely)
1/2 zucchini (grated)
2 eggs (pastured raised)
1/4 cup of Gouda cheese (grated)
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp coconut oil for frying

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl place the tin of salmon and mash with folk.
  2. Grate garlic, turmeric, ginger, zucchini and cheese and place in bowl
  3. Add finely chopped shallots and leek to the bowl.
  4. Crack 2 eggs, and mix
  5. Add salt and pepper. If mixture is to runny thicken with 1/2-1Tbsp of arrowroot powder, coconut flour
  6. Heat coconut oil on a pan.
  7. Add 1/4 cup dollops of mixture. Allow to brown on one side then flip using a spatula and fork.
  8. Serve with a side of kimchi/sauerkraut and white rice.

Enjoy

Love Chantel