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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?

Vitamin C Paleo Diet Primal Supplement Deficiency-min

Vitamin C & the Paleo Diet

If there were a popularity contest among vitamins, Vitamin C would probably win the tiara and first place. No other vitamin has become such a household name, but what do you actually know about it in addition to the conventional wisdom of munching on Vitamin C when you’re getting a cold?

Vitamin C can prove useful in a large number of cases. Actually, it requires a decent dosage of Vitamin C to fight most forms of cancer, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, eye disease, thyroid disease and joint disease. In addition, there are a number of specific medical conditions that may be improved by elevated Vitamin C levels, like Parkinson’s, irritable bowel disease, diabetes, depression, autism, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and acne. Vitamin C also improves iron absorption and acts against free radical damage.

But how can you recognize a deficiency? The usual indicators are frequent colds, poor wound healing, and lung-related problems. Luckily, the Paleo diet provides a myriad of sources for obtaining Vitamin C in the form of whole fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C Paleo Diet Primal Supplement Deficiency-min

How much Vitamin C do you need in your diet?

The recommended daily amount is 60mg, but the natural requirement of each individual can vary.

Which foods can you get Vitamin C from?

The actual content of Vitamin C in food can vary greatly, with ripe foods containing more than unripe ones, and when it comes to ripe food, there’s probably more Vitamin C in it if it’s been harvested when younger.  A good Paleo diet however provides a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C, so this variation shouldn’t become an issue. Below are some great sources with their average content of vitamin C.

  1. Papaya – Papayas probably aren’t the first fruit that comes to mind with Vitamin C, but this exotic fruit is an excellent source. One medium sized fruit will provide you with 313% of your daily Vitamin C need. Whoa!
  2. Capsicum/ Bell peppers – The amount of vitamin C that is packed in capsicum/ bell peppers depends on their colour. While green capsicum/ peppers have the least Vitamin C in them, yellow capsicum/ peppers have the most, providing 206% of your daily need in a 100g serving.
  3. Kiwi – another delicious fruit, kiwi provides as much as 141% of your daily Vitamin C need per just one fruit. Small but powerful!
  4. Strawberries – Not just a delicious mid-summer dessert, strawberries also provide a great source for Vitamin C. A serving of 100g will give you 98% of your daily need.
  5. Broccoli – Another great vegetable source for Vitamin C, broccoli provides 135% of your daily need in one cup of florets.
  6. Kale – Vitamin C content is among the health benefits of dark leafy greens, with kale including the most. In 100g of raw kale, there’s 200% of your daily need of Vitamin C. That’s a great reason for sautéing some kale with your meal, preparing a salad or even making kale chips – because chips full of vitamins are just phenomenal!
  7. Orange – One medium orange contains 116% of your daily Vitamin C need. There’s quite a lot of vitamins in the peel as well, so if you have organic oranges, don’t hesitate to use their peels to season your meals!
  8. Thyme – if you want to enhance your meal’s Vitamin C content with seasonings, thyme is your best choice. A single tsp provides 3% of your daily intake need – this might not sound like much, but for just a dash of herbs it is quite remarkable.

What else do you need to know about Vitamin C?

It is best to consume Vitamin C-containing fruit and vegetables when they’re fresh and raw – this way you’ll be able to absorb as much of the vitamin as possible. Some loss of the vitamin occurs in food when it is briefly boiled, steamed or frozen, while the loss is significant after longer periods of boiling, or if the food has been canned.

So, did you learn something new about vitamin C from reading this? Do you have any good tips when it comes to Vitamin C? Please share in the comments!

Zinc and the paleo diet deficiency-min

Zinc & The Paleo Diet

Zinc is one of the key minerals which are required in the body in order to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. It offers a vast range of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular performance and a clearer complexion. It is also thought that high levels of zinc in the body can help to stave off serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Zinc is traceable in all of the tissues throughout the body, which is why it is so important to keep the levels at a consistent rate.

Zinc is also an antioxidant which is essential for the immune system and to help keep the body in working order. There are a range of notable side effects which can result from low zinc levels in the body, including a decline in energy levels, inability to concentrate and a lack of memory. The side effects can be severe and they can result in more serious conditions, such as infertility and problems in cardiovascular health. The proper function of red and white blood cells relies on good levels of zinc throughout the body, which means it is essential in maintaining a good health.

If you suffer from a lot of flus and colds and they take a while to shift, it may be because your zinc levels are too low. If you notice white spots on your finger nails, it may be due to a lack of zinc or other essential minerals. A sufficient amount of zinc is thought to be around 20mg, which isn’t really a lot and is quite easy to introduce into your diet.  If you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, it is a good idea to try and increase your level of zinc, rather than using creams.

Zinc and the paleo diet deficiency-min

A lack of zinc as well as other minerals and vitamins, can lead to malnutrition and the body failing to function the way it should. It is important to ensure the right amount of zinc is consumed as too much can cause other illnesses such as anaemia. It is not healthy to substitute zinc with high levels of other minerals as it is essential for the proper functioning of our bodies.

Levels of zinc can be improved through the consumption of the right food groups and a healthy diet. The Paleo diet is one which helps to promote good levels of zinc due to the fact that it involves eating large quantities of meats, seafood and fish. These foods are high in zinc levels and as such, are important to ensure a healthy diet is maintained. There are lots of other foods which are high in zinc, so there is no need to feel deprived on the Paleo diet, including seeds, nuts and roasted pumpkin seeds which are also full of other essential minerals.

As the Paleo diet is low in foods which contain phytic acid, it really helps to enhance the levels of zinc as the phytic acid prevents the minerals from being absorbed into the system. The main foods which the Paleo diet encourages followers to stay away from, including whole grains and legumes may contain zinc but as they also contain high levels of phytic acid. As a result, they don’t allow zinc to be absorbed into the body, which means they are not beneficial to staving off these serious illnesses.

It is essential to follow a diet which allows zinc and other key minerals to be absorbed into the blood stream, which is why the Paleo follows a strict range of food groups which are beneficial to the body and in no way detrimental. These food groups are not only rich in zinc but are also full of vitamins and nutrients which encourages the body to function properly.

It is human nature to wait until something affects us before we take some action to resolve the problem and some of the side effects of low levels of zinc can be easily dismissed as just feeling under the weather, until they become more severe. The Paleo diet, if followed correctly, will really help to improve zinc levels and there should be noticeable improvements in energy and concentration levels, particularly if these have declined in recent times.

You will also start to notice the difference in your skin as it will become clearer and will have a healthy glow. It is quite simple to incorporate zinc into the Paleo diet as most of the foods will contain a good level of it and it is worth it for the numerous health benefits.

Curing cancer with sugar fund raising cupcakes cake sale paleo-min

Curing Cancer With Sugar?

I’ve seen two examples of cancer charities fundraising by selling sweets, chocolates and cakes, just in the last three days.  It makes me so cross – and makes me realise how far we’ve yet to go in terms of nutritional understanding.

Cure-Cancer-With-Sugar-min

From what I understand there seem to be significant links between cancer and sugar.  Apparently cancer cells require far more glucose than normal cells to grow, and studies indicate depriving cells of glucose can be effective in killing cancerous cells.  Restricting calories, such as through intermittent fasting, also appears to be effective in starving cancer cells.  Sugar also appears to have a role to play in inflammation, oxidation and the cellular damage from which cancer originates.  I’ve also been reading a lot about the hormone IGF  1, present in milk which appears to elevate hormone levels and may increase the risk of ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers.

So why then are charities trying to cure cancer encouraging people to consume more calories and to consume these calories through processed, dairy rich, sugar-laden products?

Whilst environmental factors clearly are a factor in many cancers, I believe by having a good nutritional base (i.e. a Paleo diet being rich in anti-inflammatory foods, with a good omega 3/ omega 6 ratio and no processed or toxin containing foods) and a good lifestyle, cancer is far less likely.

Another factor that seems prevalent in some cancers is chronic stress.  Whilst in our ancestral history stress used to be severe, but short-lived (threat of attack for example), chronic, long-term stress is now common-place.  Many examples of chronic stress seem to be in the workplace – exactly the places the cancer charities are using to sell these products!  I’d also speculate that it’s stressed workers who are more likely to want the brief satisfaction of chocolates and sweets – exactly the people who shouldn’t have them!

Am I missing something, or is there something seriously wrong about trying to cure cancer with sugar?

Curing cancer with sugar fund raising cupcakes cake sale paleo-min

What Happens When a sceptic Goes Paleo for 30 Days-min

What Happens When a Skeptic Goes Paleo for 30 Days?

Article Mission:  Trial whole 30 and discuss your experience.

Article Author:  Suz’s housemate (Kevin Bees).

Male, 31, and a ‘Whole 30’ / Paleo sceptic for the following reasons:

  • No carbs?  Are you crazy?  I have lived my whole life on carbs – I am always healthy (I refuse to do ‘sick’) and amongst a hectic work life, I find all the energy I need to rock climb, play football (soccer) and run challenging marathons.  I have a marathon to run in week 3 of starting this trial… and a marathon without carbs to burn concerns me greatly.
  • Weight loss – many people find Paleo is fantastic to assist with weight loss.  I am already slight – I do not want to lose weight.
  • What?  Tea without milk??  You are having a laugh!
  • No chocolate for 30 days???  Shudder the thought.

That all sounds a bit hard.  So, why even bother with the whole30 trial at all?

What Happens When a sceptic Goes Paleo for 30 Days-min

Entrée

1.       Support my housemate and best friend Suz in her weight loss and lifestyle improvement goal.  If I was so passionate about something like this, I would want the person I shared a refrigerator and mealtimes with to be on board.

2.       Understand if the claims of additional energy are true.  (Who wants to feel sleepy after lunch when they have work to do!?)

3.       Cancer.   Understand more about what we put into our bodies in the SAD diet.  Has this been the cause of cancer in two of my friends?  Could leading a Paleo lifestyle reduce the risks of this?

These reasons alone were enough to get me started, and to tuck into the Main Course of 30 days trial, but did I like what I found as the main course was delivered?

Main Course

Like all good dishes, there are a range of ingredients that have made up my experience over the 30 days and we experience those dishes with all our senses…

What did I See over the 30 days?

Trying on the new lifestyle for 30 days was like putting on a new pair of glasses.  At first things didn’t quite focus and before long, my eyes adjusted and I started seeing things I hadn’t before:

  • Nasty ingredients.  What actually are these chemicals I have been putting into my body? It’s the only body I’ll ever own and I like to think of my body as a Ferrari.  And if it was a Ferrari, fueling it with chemical waste rather than top grade petrol would cause a break down, right?  (OK, ok, I am probably more of a mini cooper than a Ferrari – but you get the gist, right?)  The realisation that even MILK might not be as good for me as I previously thought is shocking news to me.  How can I have gone 31 years without this knowledge?
  • More variety in my food.   Usually a ‘diet’ restricts choice.  I have found the opposite here.  My new lenses have actually allowed me to see things on the menu that I would have previously filtered out.  And, at home, rather than cooking up the same old, I have found new recipes that taste so great.  The coconut crusted chicken on a bed of curry flavoured veg was a treat.  Yummy.  And NoOatmeal beats milk saturated cornflakes hands down.
  • My abs.  Welcome back – it’s great to see you again!  I thought my good friends deserted me half a lifetime ago when I stopped doing sit ups at age 16.  Now my tort buddies are back in town, I want them to hang out for longer, so I’ll be doing all I can to keep them happy.
  • The sun rising.  My sleep pattern means I mostly awake naturally before the alarm clock.  A much more natural and enjoyable way to live.
  • The Bathroom and not in a good way.  I saw too much of this place in the first two weeks.  As my body adjusted to the new fuel routine… it decided it would have a bit of a clear out.  Everything is back to normal now though.  Thanks for your concern.

What did I feel over the 30 day?

Ignoring the blip just mentioned… actually very good… especially when doing exercise.

Rock Climbing –  I have felt stronger and been able to last longer on tougher walls, much to the dismay of my competitive climbing partner.

Running – endurance and recovery has meant that I could do more training in a shorter space of time.  In fact, I went out for a 30KM training run… and I felt so good I kept going and I accidentally ran 42km. (A big bonus since I had to give up at 22km two weeks earlier when I was on non Paleo fuel source).

I feel confident for the Marathon coming up now, which I was not at the start of the 30 days.

More importantly, there were some things I didn’t feel over the 30 days:

1.       Carb-flu.  Is this a myth?  As a carb-junkie and cutting out most carbs (something I term ‘going carb-turkey’), I should have suffered this, right?  Something I clearly sidestepped by refusing to believe it was true.

2.       Insulin Spike.  So many times before, I became sleepy after lunch, due to the insulin spike caused when my body was digesting the carbs I had eaten.  I have not felt this in the whole 30 days.  Imagine my productivity improvement.

What did I hear over the 30 days?

I listened to an aunt trying to ‘treat’ the nephews or nieces … she offers them crisps or fizzy pop.

Previously I would heard the aunty being kind to her little loved ones, although, what I heard was – ‘anyone for a dose of chemicals that your body is not designed to handle?’  Chemicals of course that will build in faults to their Ferrari before it even leaves the assembly line?

What did I smell?

The winds of change, maybe??  Let’s have a dessert and find out.

 30 Day summary – The dessert

So, it’s been an interesting entrée and main course… will I continue to a Paleo Dessert now the 30 days are up?  Or tuck into the chocolate I have been so missing – and wash it down with a warm cup of milky tea?  And I have missed chocolate badly.  (It has been a daily habit forever).

Even still, that choice is too easy.

The sceptic has been converted and as I type these last words, I am tucking into some home-made Paleo ice cream (made with coconut milk and plenty of fruity goodness).  Thanks SUZ!

Rather than asking myself now if I will continue with Paleo, I am actually asking why would I ever go back to the SAD lifestyle?

Seriously, why would I give up the improved productivity, improved sleep pattern, increased strength and stamina?  Oh, and the Abs.  Don’t forget the abs.

It’s been a life changing 30 days for me.    And I wonder where another 30 days will take me?

And what will a 30 day trial do for you, I wonder?