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How people react when I tell them I eat paleo 6 reactions diet healthy eating-min

The Six Most Common Reactions I Get When I Tell People I Eat Paleo

In a world where different cultures, races, religions and sexualities gain more acceptance than ever before, it never fails to surprise me how much shock and confusion people express when I explain to them about my Paleo lifestyle. It’s amazing how even though the knowledge is out there for everyone to access, so many people choose to ignore it and follow conventional wisdom. When explaining how I choose to live and eat, I’m usually hit with a barrage of questions. These are the most common reactions:

How people react when I tell them I eat paleo 6 reactions diet healthy eating-min

1.     So what do you actually eat?

By far the most common, and perhaps the most stupid question people ask me is ‘what do you actually eat!?’ When I tell them that I don’t eat grains, sugar, dairy, or processed food, people seriously struggle to contemplate what would be on my plate at meal times. ‘So no pizza? No bread? How do you survive?’ I don’t just survive; I thrive, and feel healthier every day. Instead of explaining to people what I don’t eat, I now tell them all the wonderful things I do eat instead. Meat, fish, loads of veggies, nuts, coconut, fruit, even the odd bit of dark chocolate. I find this generates a much more welcome response.

2.     But doesn’t eating meat give you colon cancer?

No. No it doesn’t. Do your research – meat is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and if you don’t eat it, you’d feel much healthier and stronger if you did.

 3.     How can you be healthy without whole grains?

The amount of people that are still tricked into believing that whole grains are healthy is startling. If I have the energy, I’ll explain to them about anti nutrients, lectins, gluten, phytic acid and intestinal permeability. If I don’t, I’ll simply tell them that vegetables are much more nutrient dense and therefore healthier.

4.     But how do you get your calcium?

‘Calcium makes your bones grow stronger’ said the famous Petit Filous advert. Many people ask me how I get my calcium without dairy – when I just tell them how kale, broccoli, sesame and almonds are my friends – and how it’s also important to balance your calcium levels with adequate magnesium and other trace elements, if you really want strong bones.

5.     So do you run around chasing wild animals with a spear (sarcastic laugh)

The more facetious opposition will often snigger and make a very silly comment implying that a ‘caveman’ lifestyle has no relevance in the modern day world. I’ll often explain to them how my workouts replicate real life situations that our ancestors would have found themselves in – including weightlifting, sprint training, and CrossFit. I’ll then go on to tell them what a difference this has made to my body composition and general fitness. Sometimes though, I’ll just laugh and say ‘Yes. Yes I do. Don’t you?’

6.     And what’s with the shoes? Aren’t they bad for your joints?

Once again, the way modern day marketing has invaded the vulnerable brains of our fellow humans amazes me. When people see me running in my Vibrams, they genuinely believe that I’m going to cause serious damage to my knees, ankles and spine because there isn’t enough ‘cushioning.’ Quite honestly, this one doesn’t even warrant a response!

These are just a few of the questions I am faced with whenever I tell people about how I live. Have I missed any? What are the funniest reactions you’ve ever received when you tell people you are Paleo?

The Paleo Diet Phosphorus Mineral Deficiency-min

Phosphorus & The Paleo Diet

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for our bodies and is important in order to ensure we remain healthy. It helps the cells and tissues to not only function properly, but also to grow. In order for the bones and teeth to form properly, it is important that we consume the right amount of phosphorus on a daily basis. As phosphorus is a nutrient which is present in all of our cells, it supports the release of energy and enables fats and sugars to be broken down.

In addition to calcium, phosphorus is one of the main minerals found in our bodies and it is just as important as calcium. It is recommended that adults have a reasonable intake of phosphorus on a daily basis and a deficiency in this mineral can be very detrimental to the body. If you suffer from kidney disease, it is recommended that you intake a lower level of phosphorus as it could cause additional problems if you consume too much of this mineral.

There are many signs that you may not have enough phosphorus in your body, including anaemia and a weak immune system. If you notice that you are often feeling run or catching more colds than usual, it may be a sign that your body is lacking in phosphorus or other key nutrients. There is a level of phosphorus found in most foods, so it is quite uncommon to be deficient in this mineral.

It is quite simple to get a good intake of phosphorus on the Paleo diet as it includes an abundance of foods which are high in phosphorus. A normal meal on the Paleo diet will be made up of meat, which is high in phosphorus. It is particular high in grass-fed meat and this is highly recommended with the Paleo diet. If you stock up on vegetables with your meal, you will also be able to increase your intake of phosphorus. Broccoli in particular is a really good source of phosphorus.

The Paleo Diet Phosphorus Mineral Deficiency-min

If you enjoy a snack on the Paleo diet, you should stick to fruits, seeds and nuts as these also contain high levels of phosphorus. It is important not to overdo your phosphorus levels, but still to the recommended daily intake. A good breakfast choice for improving your intake of phosphorus on the Paleo diet is eggs, which also offers many other health benefits. You can also try out some different choice of food such as pumpkins, which are not only really tasty but also have a good level of phosphorus.

There are supplements you can take which will help to enhance the level of phosphorus in your body, but it is much healthier to ensure you are taking in the right foods. Supplements should only really be used as a substitute for the intake from your foods, but with the Paleo diet you don’t need to worry, as most of the food groups have this in abundance.

As long as you eat a healthy and balanced diet, it should be really easy to incorporate your recommended daily intake of phosphorus through the foods you consume. It is a good idea to take a note of the phosphorus levels of your foods, particularly when you first start out on the Paleo diet, as it is a good way to ensure you are taking in the right level. A level of phosphorus which is too high can be just as damaging to the body as too little. You will quickly get used to how much phosphorus your food contains, so you won’t need to keep taking note of these for long.

There are many people who have the misconception that calcium is the only mineral in the body which helps to take care of our bones and teeth, but phosphorus is just as essential for the healthy functioning of the body. It is not beneficial to substitute phosphorus for more of the other essential nutrients, as they all play different parts in the proper functioning of our bodies.

When you follow the Paleo diet and stick to all of the recommended foods, you will be guaranteed to take in high levels of the right vitamins and minerals to help your body function to its optimum level. It is easy to exchange the foods you would normally consume for those on the Paleo diet and you will enjoy noticeable changes in both how you feel and how you look. A good level of phosphorus will help to ensure you stay healthier for longer.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet?

If you’ve told anyone you follow a Paleo diet, one of the typical responses you’ve probably got back, is bound to be “but how can you get enough Calcium?”

As part of any healthy lifestyle it is essential to have a decent amount of calcium in the diet, as it is involved in so many crucial functions. Calcium is known to strengthen the bones and teeth and can help to reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones and can be very detrimental in the quality of life for sufferers. It is also thought the mineral can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other illnesses which can cause a lot of problems in later life.

In order to really get the benefits from calcium, it is important to incorporate it with other nutrients and vitamins, as they work in conjunction with each other to produce the most effective results. Vitamins such as C and D3 help the body to absorb calcium so that the benefits are maximised. If these vitamins are not present in the diet, it won’t be absorbed sufficiently, which means the calcium won’t offer the benefits you would expect from it.

We don’t all require the same intake of calcium; there are factors which affect the level of calcium we should consume in our diet. Children require a lower level than adults and women are usually required to take in more calcium than men. Pregnant women should also try to take in a higher level of calcium as it will be beneficial for both mother and baby.

We know that calcium is essential for the body, but we have been led to believe that we need a lot more in our diet than what we actually need. It is also a misconception that the only way we can get the calcium we need is through the consumption of dairy products and in particular milk, which is not the case. There are many other foods which provide a good quantity of calcium and more than enough to ensure we have an adequate amount in our bodies. It can also be detrimental if we consume too much calcium, as it inhibits the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is important for a healthy body and a lack of this can have an adverse effect on the body.

As a strict Paleo diet excludes dairy, many people wrongly assume eating this way will result in a Calcium deficiency. However, this simply is not the case. Not only are there some far better sources than milk – when the processed foods are removed from your diet your calcium requirements are actually lower. In fact, it is not calcium intake that is important, rather calcium balance. Processed things such as soft drinks actually use calcium in their digestion – effectively leeching calcium from your body. If you eat a lot of these types of foods, your calcium requirements are clearly going to be a lot higher. When you eat a natural Paleo diet – real food – your requirements are going to be a lot less.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Good Paleo Calcium Sources

There are lots of foods other than dairy products which many people just don’t associate with calcium. These foods act as a good source of calcium and provide us with other health benefits, including providing an adequate amounts of essential vitamins and other minerals.

Leafy green vegetables are a great calcium sources, as are high quantity of fish, such as salmon and mackerel. These can also offer a substantial amount of the mineral, as well as providing us with vitamins and antioxidants which are the perfect way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Walnuts and hazelnuts are other foods which act as a good source of calcium. It is important not to eat too many of these though due to the Omega 3/6 ratio, so sticking to a low quantity will achieve the desired result. Eggs are also a way of ensuring calcium is present in the body and in particular egg yolks are a good source. It is a good idea to take note of the calcium levels of the foods you are eating, so you know whether you are taking in too much or too little.

Do you eat dairy? Where do you get most of your calcium from? Share in the comments below!

Is milk paleo dairy primal lacto cheese-min

Dairy and Paleo

Dairy is one Paleo area I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.  A lot of people follow a strict Paleo diet, and include dairy, known as a lacto-Paleo diet.  Dairy is also the main difference between a Primal and a Paleo diet (Primal includes modest amounts of high quality dairy).

Prior to my trip to the AHS in August, my diet was a lot closer to Primal than it was Paleo.  Pedro Bastos gave an excellent lecture at the AHS on Dairy, Hormones & Human Health, which was quite an eye opener for me.

When I got back, I started the Whole30 which meant excluding dairy for 30 days.  I used to drink lots of tea everyday, with milk (I am English after all) – but luckily I got over this in America, as tea just didn’t seem to be as common place over there.  I also used to have a fair amount of yoghurt and cheese, which I also gave up.  I expected to be counting down the days when I could resume my dairy habit, but it just didn’t happen.

Since August I haven’t had any milk, but I have had cheese a couple of times and yoghurt once.  And the strangest thing?  I just don’t miss it at all.  I now enjoy drinking lots of different types of tea without milk, or hot water with a slice of lime.  I’m not really sure how I’d include milk again now!  I do like the taste of cheese and yoghurt, but I just don’t feel the need to include them in my diet.  Since I’ve gone stricter Paleo, I’ve been feeling fantastic.  My skin, sleep, mood, focus and general well being– everything has improved.  I should probably reintroduce dairy to identify exactly the effect it has on me – but given that I don’t miss it, I’d rather just continue to avoid it.

Is milk paleo dairy primal lacto cheese-min

I’m often asked how I can possibly get enough calcium without dairy.  I eat a good amount of dark green leafy vegetables, which are a great source of calcium.  From what I have read calcium balance is far more important than calcium intake.  When eating a diet high in acid-producing foods, such as the standard western diet, the kidney balances the acid load using the alkaline calcium salts from the bones.  As I don’t eat any processed food or grains and have a good balance of alkaline and acid foods in my diet, I have a good calcium balance – and therefore a lower calcium intake is not a problem.

Taking an evolutionary standpoint, obviously milk would not have been drunk until relatively recently, as ruminants weren’t domesticated, so certainly wouldn’t have been milked.  The purpose of milk is to nourish the offspring of the mother and enable it to grow – when you consider we are the only animal to eat another animals milk, it does seem a little odd?

One of the main arguments against dairy is IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor 1).  IGF-1 is increased by the cow’s growth hormones, which cause the cow to produce more milk.  IGF-1 is believed to promote cancer by increasing cell division and multiplying of cancer cells.  Commercial dairy cows are kept in gestation (by being artificially inseminated) almost constantly to ensure they produce milk.  They are milked ten out of 12 months – whereas a more natural milking pattern would involve only milking during early pregnancy.  It’s obviously in the interests of the dairy producers to do this, as they want to produce as much milk as possible.  The further into the pregnancy the more growth hormones are contained in the milk (as clearly the purpose of the milk is to support a growing calf).

For me, the jury is still out.  However, if I do decide to consume dairy again, I’ll go out of my way to find raw milk – I don’t think I could ever be happy with any commercial, pasteurised milk as I feel far to removed from the process and will never really know what is in it – and the condition of the cow(s) it came from.

What do you think about dairy?  Do you feel better of worse including dairy in your diet, or leaving it out?  I’d love to hear your views!

Raw dairy milk cheese australia legal health paleo primal diet-min

Is Raw Milk Coming to Australia and New Zealand?

What is Raw Milk?

Most milk readily available for sale is pasteurised.  Pasturisation is the process where the milk is heated to high temperatures, to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present.  However, as well as bacteria, the process of pasteurisation changes the nutritional profile of the milk and the insulin response.  Raw milk is increasingly popular and where it comes from properly cared for animals on a good farm, the risk of harmful bacteria is reported to be low.  Pasteurising milk has been the norm in Australia since the 1950’s.

Is Dairy Paleo?

I’ll come back to this issue in the near future, as it is definitely not a quick answer and there are many different views in the Paleo community.

Raw dairy milk cheese australia legal health paleo primal diet-min

I used to consume a moderate amount of dairy (mainly cheese, butter and milk), but I stopped for my Whole30 in August, and just haven’t started again.  I’m not saying I won’t ever eat dairy again, but I feel so good without it; I’m not missing it – and I’m certainly not lacking any dairy specific nutrients in my diet.

I’m often asked how I can possibly get enough calcium from my Paleo diet, but from my research I get plenty of Calcium from green leafy vegetables, for example.  Because I have a good diet, I don’t lose much calcium – I have a better calcium balance.  It appears when eating a poor diet, calcium is released from the body; for example, to balance the Phosphoric acid found in soft drinks, as well as the balance the acidity.  This leaves those with poor diets with a far higher calcium requirement than those on a caveman diet.

We’ll see.  If I do have dairy again, I’ll certainly be looking for raw dairy, which I’ve found quite hard (and slightly secretive) to locate here.

The Food Standards Agency for Australia & New Zealand has currently got a proposal out to consider allowing raw dairy to be sold in Australia and New Zealand.  This appears to be on the back of consumer demand.  The agency is clearly viewing this from a public safety perspective, which is surely a good thing.  Legalising the sale of raw milk would give confidence that the raw dairy available, is produced to high, regulated standards.  With legislation currently forbidding the sale of raw milk, the raw milk that is available is unknown and unregulated (unless of course, you own a dairy cow).  Can you really be certain where it is from and how the animal was cared for?

Unfortunately, it looks like they have recently decided raw (drinking) milk will not be permitted.  They consider the potential health risks too high. This is a shame, as people will continue to find and drink raw milk – which would be far safer were it regulated.  They do however, appear to be relaxing the rules on certain hard cheeses.

 Where to Get Raw Milk in Australia & New Zealand

You’ll have to ask around locally, and perhaps befriend a farmer or two…

In the meantime, if you eat dairy make sure it comes from a good source.  It should be organic – or better still from the farmer direct at a farmers market.  I’ve read a lot of reports about cheap milk being watered down with “permeate”, which is created by removing the fat from dairy waste and concentrating the result.  Cheap milk may also come from animals which have been given antibiotics.   Just this week we’ve had reports of a (cheap) Australian milk brand being contaminated with a cleaning solution.  Whilst it costs more, dairy is an area where it really is worth making sure you have got the best possible quality.

Is dairy a part of your diet?  Do you think farmers should be allowed to sell raw dairy?  Let me know what you think, in the comments, below!