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101 (more!) paleo snack ideas

After the popularity of my previous post on paleo snack ideas, I’ve put together a new, extended list of snack ideas.

101 Paleo Snack Ideas

After my last list, I got a lot of people telling me “DAIRY IS NOT PALEO” (yep, I think they were shouting), so just to clear it up, some of the snack ideas listed below do have dairy options. I’m not in the paleo police, so if you tolerate dairy and take more of a lacto-paleo approach (and can find a good quality source) – go for it. If you fair better dairy free, avoid it!

The list below has a good range of snacks suitable for work (where there often aren’t good facilities for keeping things cool or warming them up), travel, children as well as snack ideas that are quick enough for you to grab and go.

I’d love to hear your feedback – – what’s your go to paleo snack? Or do you find you don’t need to snack so often anymore?

  1. A can of (high quality) tuna
  2. Make your own beef  jerky
  3. A bag of nuts and seeds
  4. A couple of squares of super dark high quality chocolate
  5. Make your own cherry ripe bars
  6. Coconut flesh in a bag (dehydrate it to make it last longer!)
  7. Keep a small jar of coconut oil or coconut manna to hand – and a spoon!
  8. Cheese cubes served with cut apple
  9. Use a melon baller to prepare spheres of fruit – and serve in cream (dairy or coconut)
  10. Roll up avocado, radish, cress & asparagus in ham wraps
  11. Coat chicken with an egg and almond flour mix to create Paleo chicken nuggets
  12. Melon & ham slices
  13. Simple – avocado slices
  14. Preboiled, peeled hardboiled eggs
  15. A jar of olives
  16. A tin of coconut milk served over fresh berries
  17. Your favourite fruit
  18. A coconut
  19. Make your own pork scratching (AKA pork rinds or crackling)
  20. Have you tried coconut yoghurt yet?!
  21. A bag of your favourite nuts (activate them, then season them)
  22. How about spicy almonds?
  23. Seaweed is a good option that stores well
  24. Coconut flakes
  25. A berry and coconut mix
  26. Dry some berries and fruit
  27. Last night’s meatballs 
  28. Pigs in blankets
  29. Almonds, pecans and berries served in coconut milk
  30. No-Oatmeal
  31. Full fat plain greek yoghurt (if you do dairy)
  32. Salmon
  33. Smoked meat and salami
  34. A selection of cheeses
  35. Almond Butter
  36. A sealed packet of nuts and seeds
  37. A jar of pickles (make sure it isn’t full of sugar)
  38. Homemade egg muffins
  39. Make your own Paté
  40. A tin of sardines
  41. Oysters
  42. Simple – cut up some leftover meat and veg
  43. Devilled eggs
  44. Precooked bacon pieces
  45. Dehydrated banana slices
  46. Kale chips
  47. Diced Steamed chicken and avocado
  48. Leftover meat and mayo 
  49. Paleo sushi with nori, veg, avo and fish
  50. Mini omelettes
  51. Veg sticks and nut butter
  52. Salmon and tuna on sliced cucumber
  53. Carrot sticks with a homemade spicy salsa
  54. Capsicum (Bell Pepper) strips with a guacamole dip
  55. Make sandwiches with bacon “bread” and an avo filling
  56. Ham, tomatoes and fresh basil
  57. Left over roast veggies with a ranch sauce
  58. Homemade sauerkraut
  59. Ever tried chocolate covered bacon bites?Coat almonds and coconut flakes in chocolate
  60. Dip fresh berries in chocolate
  61. For a special treat paleo cookies
  62. Frozen grapes
  63. Frozen banana slices mixed with fresh cream
  64. Baked pears with coconut cream and a dash of cinnamon
  65. A flask/ thermos of bone broth
  66. Soup http://paleo.com.au/2013/10/recipe-carrot-blood-orange-and-ginger-soup/
  67. A bottle of a freshly made green smoothie
  68. Zucchini Chips
  69. Spicy pumpkin seeds
  70. Homemade fruit leather
  71. Sweet potato, coconut oil fries
  72. Stuffed mini bell peppers (capsicum)
  73.  sliced peaches & cottage cheese
  74. Baba Ghanoush with vegetable sticks
  75. Ginger sesame Chicken wings
  76. Monkfish & sweet potato skewers
  77. Sweet potato & chocolate chip muffins
  78. Refilled sweet potatoes 
  79. Spicy nuts 
  80. Maple & cayenne roasted almonds
  81. Celery sticks and pesto 
  82. Spicy coconut king prawns
  83. Crunchy cashew fish sticks
  84. Indian Eggs 
  85. Kimchi
  86. Mini Paleo Pizza’s
  87. Sliced deli meat
  88. Chicken drumsticks
  89. Coconut Milk Kefir
  90. Plantain chips
  91. Roasted Chestnuts
  92. Cauliflower Popcorn – who needs that other stuff when you can make this?!
  93. Collard wraps – put your favourite veggies and leftover meat in a collard leaf and wrap!
  94. Coleslaw
  95. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
  96. Pickled Gherkins
  97. A glass of (unsweetened)Almond Milk
  98. Prawns with Paleo Cocktail Sauce
  99. Carrot sticks with Paleo Hummus
  100. Strawberry & coconut ice cream
  101. Raw Chocolate Maple and Pecan Fudge

What’s your go-to paleo snack? Share in the comments below!

Why can’t I lose weight? My story…

Ask almost anyone how to lose weight and you’ll get the same answer. It’s easy. All you need to do is eat less and move more. In the Paleo world it’s almost as bad – eat Paleo and your weight will naturally regulate. For a lot of people, this seems to be the case – but unfortunately this simplistic view just does not work for everyone. I’m now almost certain that for myself, weight loss is a far more complicated equation than eat Paleo,eat less, move more.

I’ve made a lot of huge discoveries in the last few weeks, and am starting to understand why my body is fighting all efforts to burn fat. It’s time to share my weight loss struggles with you…

Why Can't I Lose Weight Paleo Diet

As you may have read when I first found Paleo in 2010, I quickly and effortlessly lost 17 kilos. This was several dress sizes and changed me quite dramatically. I felt so much better, my asthma disappeared, my sleep improved – I felt like a brand new person. With another maybe 15 kilos to go, I assumed my weight loss would continue – perhaps not at the same speed – but I thought I would gradually get to the right size for me (that’s what the experts tell you, after all…)

But then nothing happened. Nothing. For the last four years I have stayed within a 3kg weight range. I have been completely unable to break through this barrier, no matter what I’ve tried. And believe me, I have tried almost every approach.

Excuses

 

With the distractions of day to day life – a busy corporate job with weekly inter-state travelling, running a business, blogging, multiple house moves etc etc– I’ve always been able to blame my inability to lose weight on a variety of things I’ve “been getting wrong”. My favourite thing to blame has always been sleep. When I’m stressed, I don’t sleep well. Poor sleep increases cortisol causing the body to hold onto its fat stores. Therefore even though I’m eating well and lifting weights, it must be the poor sleep preventing weight loss, right? Or perhaps the problem lies with one of these problems:

  • Living alone and cooking for myself, perhaps I had been eating huge football team size portions, without realising?
  • Perhaps I’ve been lying to myself all along and punctuating my amazing Paleo meals with McDonalds every few hours?
  • Perhaps I’ve been sleepwalking to the fridge with no knowledge or recollection?
  • Perhaps it’s my adrenals?
  • Perhaps I’m just big boned?
  • Perhaps I’m just meant to be this weight?

Enough

Last year I went to PrimalCon for the third consecutive year and felt really embarrassed to have made no progress over the course of another year. I spoke at length to Sarah Fragoso (of Everyday Paleo – one of the sweetest most genuine people you could ever hope to meet) about my weight loss plateau. Sarah didn’t take the “eat better/ move more” approach, but really encouraged me to focus on stresses in my life and get my sleep in check. Coming back I had a renewed belief that I could change this – and a determination not to give up.

Experimenting

 

Last year, I was fortunate enough to have several months off the corporate conveyer belt, for the first time in years. Escaping the daily early mornings/ commute/ work/ meetings/ pressure/ deadlines/ late nights gave me a golden opportunity to experiment with everything. I could to finally start losing some weight.

 

What I did every single day

 

The first change I incorporated was sleep. Just how much was that really impacting things? In all the time I wasn’t working, I only set an alarm twice. I stuck thick cardboard* to my widows to make sure my room was darker than a remote cave in the middle of the night.

After sunset I turned off all main lights and used side lights with red bulbs. I forced myself to turn off all screens (tv, laptop, iPhone) at least two hours before bed.

I read. Real physical fiction books before bed.

I turned off the wifi in my house overnight and switched my iPhone/ iPad to flight mode (I still do this)

I did interval sprits to the local outdoor swimming pool most days. I swam. I lifted weights.

I got sunshine everyday.

On the nutrition side, I took the time to get excellent, quality food (pastured/ grassfed/ organic – you know the drill). As always, I cooked everything from scratch.

Changing things up

 

Once I had my baseline established, with the new habits I mentioned above, I tried pretty much every piece of paleo weight loss advice. Whenever I tried something new, I stuck at it for a few weeks, without introducing any other changes. Here are some of the things I tried:

  • Intermittent fasting. Without the usual life stresses this was the perfect opportunity to give this a real go.
  • I tried very low carb (below 50g a day, then lower, about 20g a day)
  • I tried high (relatively speaking) carb, which meant eating a lot of things like pumpkin and sweet potato.
  • I tried counting calories strictly, sticking to a conventional wisdom approved daily limit (keeping it paleo, within that limit)
  • I tried eating more fat
  • I tracked my macros and micro nutrients and made sure I was hitting all of the recommended amounts of everything (except for calcium)

And guess what happened….

Nothing. That’s right. NOTHING. I could get to the bottom of my 3kg range, but I could not break through that barrier.

Perhaps I eat too much?

 

I was able to spend a couple of months in the UK with my family during my time out, which gave me some great insights into this weight loss puzzle.

Looking at me and hearing about my weight loss plateau, I’m frequently quizzed on my portion sizes. I know people think I must be eating an entire chicken, 2 packs of bacon, 6 eggs and a litre of coconut oil for a mid-afternoon snack. Well, actually no. And my time in the UK proved this to me.

My parents are both slim having lost a few pounds when they went Paleo three years ago. For the duration of my stay we ate exactly the same for all but two meals. Same food and similar portion sizes (my Dad having slightly larger portion sizes). They are at ideal body weights – and their weight remained constant. I didn’t lose any weight, despite having significantly more kilos to support than my parents do.

So what’s going on?

 

For the first time I felt I had conclusive proof that there was more going on in my body, than I could control with nutrition and movement…
I was explaining my puzzle to my friend Jodie – who happens to be a trainee naturopath (and eats a natural, real food diet too).  “There has to be more to it than eat less, move more?“. Her empathetic agreement encouraged me to delve a lot further into this and for the last few months I’ve been on a journey to find out everything I can….

Over the last few months I’ve been on an incredible personal journey into this puzzle. Over the coming weeks and months, I’m going to share with you who I’ve met, what’s really going on – and what I’m doing to fix things. From emails and comments I get from you, I know I’m not alone in this struggle. For all of those who are doing everything the “paleo experts” tell you – and are still struggling to lose weight, I think I have some answers that will help you, which I’ll be writing about in detail in the coming weeks and months.

You can read the next post on my weight loss journey here

In the meantime, if you’re struggling to lose weight (or you overcame a struggle), please please leave a comment or email me. I’d love to hear about your journey and what you think the problem is for you.

* If you’re renting, don’t do this. It took hours and hours to scrape the glue off the windows when I moved out

60 Stupid Reactions To Your Paleo Diet

Luckily, most people in my life either eat a broadly Paleo diet now – or at least understand it. But over the years I’ve been eating this way, I’ve had so many negative  (or just plain confused) reactions from people, questioning why I’ve been eating this way.

Which of these reactions have you had? And what other reactions have you had? Share yours in the comments below.

60 Reactions to your paleo diet

  • Aren’t you supposed to hunt all of your meat?
  • You need to eat a proper balanced diet, with all of the food groups
  • It’s so boring eating like that! I couldn’t do it.
  • I could never give up bread
  • What you eat is disgusting
  • Your body is going to go into starvation mode if you don’t have snacks
  • Where do you get your B vitamins?
  • Oh, you mean Atkins
  • You won’t be able to keep that up
  • I don’t think it’s right to deprive yourself of anything
  • It’s dangerous to leave out an entire food group
  • Oh, another one of those fad diets
  • You’re going to have a heart attack!
  • But what about rice?
  • But you don’t need to go on a diet!
  • Your body can’t digest all that meat
  • All that fat is going to clog up your arteries
  • I’ve been eating grains all my life and I’m ok
  • What about nuts?
  • Those gluten free foods are so expensive in the supermarket
  • Just because your skin, energy, hair, digestion, mood and body composition got better, doesn’t mean you’re healthy
  • Well I’ve read the China Study
  • Cavemen didn’t live in houses and drive cars
  • What do you have for breakfast?
  • My great grandma lived to 104 and she ate bread everyday
  • I’ve studied nutrition and it’s not healthy to eat like that. I know.
  • Why are you wearing gloves on your feet?
  • Don’t you get constipated?
  • Cavemen didn’t eat bacon. You had bacon for breakfast. I saw.
  • But what about oatmeal?
  • But it’s my birthday, you’ve got to have a piece of cake!
  • What do you mean you don’t eat Soy? Soy is healthy!
  • Eeeeeew you only eat raw meat! That’s disgusting!
  • What can you have for lunch?
  • But my personal trainer says…
  • But where do you get all your energy?
  • That’s so restrictive!
  • What about brown bread?
  • You must get so hungry!
  • But what about quinoa?
  • Are you still on your diet?
  • Isn’t all that fat going to make you fat?
  • It’s ok, I’ve cooked you a lentil bake instead
  • WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHOLESTEROL?
  • Are you going to go and live in a cave too?
  • Bread with spelt is ok though, right?
  • How do you get your vitamins and minerals without eating grains?
  • But the food pyramid…
  • You need wholegrains for fibre
  • You have to have grains because your brain runs on carbs, not fat
  • We’ve switched to brown rice now
  • Everything in moderation is what I say
  • But cavemen died at 20
  • My doctor said saturated fat will give you a heart attack
  • You poor thing, I could never give up pasta
  • I don’t need to change my diet, I’m not overweight.
  • But what about wholemeal pasta?
  • That’s a really stupid way of eating
  • You’re just going through a phase
  • What do you mean you don’t count calories?

Over to you! What’s been the best reaction you’ve had?

Can Eating a Paleo Diet Help With Arthritis?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a reader whether adopting a paleo diet would help with their mother’s Arthritis – not having any experience of Arthritis myself, what better way to find out more than to post the question on the Paleo Network’s Facebook page? With almost 60,000 fans, there were a lot of responses, some of which you can read below…

Does The Paleo Diet Help With Arthritis

From those who know…

A lot of people responding seem to suffer from Arthritis (or similar conditions) themselves, or had experience to share from family members:

  • I suffer with Osteoarthritis and seem to be really good eating Paleo.. When I get off track I know about it.
  • Bread and rice would have put me in a wheelchair eventually if I’d allowed it … Go paleo but strictly speaking only three months strict paleo cured me and eternal bone broth thereafter
  • I know someone who quit gluten for unrelated reasons and it helped arthritis a lot.
  • Take gluten out of diet. I had crippling fibromyalgia until realised it was coeliac disease
  • I have fibromyalgia, which is another inflammation-induced disease, and I definitely notice a huge difference in my pain levels & joint stiffness when I am following Paleo more strictly. Gluten is horrible for autoimmune diseases.
  • I have osteoarthritis and the Paleo Lifestyle has truly helped a lot. My nutritionist told me it would!
  • You have nothing to lose by trying it….my sister has seen her inflammation dramatically reduced the last two weeks on Paleo. She couldn’t close her hand in the morning….now she can and no pain….go for it.
  • I too have fibromyalgia and have had amazing improvement after 20+ years of suffering.
  • Definitely try gluten free and work your way to paleo. I was diagnosed with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Was on methotrexate and enbrel…I went gluten free and was feeling better within a week! Now I am paleo! No more doctors and no more drugs!!
  • Absolutely it would help! I had inflammation in my hip so bad that I could barely walk in the mornings. After 3 months paleo – no pain, inflammation gone and no migraines either (which I had been getting on a regular basis for 10years) arthritis is caused by inflammation so it is soooo worth a try for her!
  • I have arthritis in my knees, I need knee replacement surgery. I also have degenerative disc disease. The x ray of my back looks like a train with the cars off the track. At the urging of my chiropractor I began my journey into Paleo. My pain levels on the scale of 1-10, 1 being less 10 being most, are down from 10+ to 0 to 2 on the average day. I would say it works for arthritis…
  • I found paleo whilst looking to help my arthritis. I’ve got inflammatory arthritis and since going paleo it’s 90% better. No more NSAID’s since week two. Been over a year now.
  • Get rid of gluten! My joint pains stopped when I went wheat free.
  • I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I started eating Paleo during the Lurong Challenge…and I’ve noticed a huge difference in how I feel and in my mobility…get off the refined carbs!
  • I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and was in terrible pain. I am drug and pain free and in remission 2.5 yrs Paleo now.
  • The reason I’m Paleo is because of arthritis.. Pain-free now!!
  • I suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis. Paleo has decreased my pain immensely. Avoid glutens & refined sugars. It has blown my mind how different I feel, and the weight loss makes it even better!! Not a “diet”…it’s a lifestyle change.
  • Yes! I had limited movement in my left arm. Been to physio, rheumatologist, had cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory pills. I have gone Paleo. Lost over 2 stone in weight and my left arm is now back to normal movement, I can even hook my bra at the back. I put this down to Paleo way of eating. I gave up sugar, gluten, wheat, all processed foods. I only use Coconut Oil and natural fats for cooking. Go on, give it at least 3 months and you ‘will’ see/feel different inside and out. Good luck. I only want to share this to help! I also purchased a juicer and I juice lots of veg & fruits.
  • YES, YES, YES. I’m 64 and have NO aches and pains now.
  • Huge difference wouldn’t have believed it till I tried it
  • My mum had the same issues with her hands and feet, gave paleo a go and her aches and pains reduced significantly!
  • Yes, yes, yes!!! I had years of inflammatory arthritis and no grains and sugars helped tremendously!
  • Had tendentious for 10 years,was gone after 1 month of paleo
  • Definitely. Arthritis in hands and legs markedly less in just a week. Cured my morning hobble which made me feel way older than my years and was not a very encouraging way to start each day.

Nightshades

Another common theme among those who replied was Nightshades and an autoimmune paleo diet. In many cases it seems following a broad paleo diet is not enough and an autoimmune protocol is needed:

  • Depends on the type of arthritis. Mine is autoimmune, and after being Paleo for just three weeks, my joints feel much better than they have in years! I also have more energy than I have in a long time.
  • Look at the autoimmune version of paleo which nightshades also contribute to inflammation.
  • I did once read that some arthritis sufferers had had a positive effect from excluding nightshades from their diet.
  • The autoimmune paleo protocol excludes eggs and nightshades too. When I first went paleo my arthritis wasn’t at its worst but stopped with the new diet.
  • No nightshades
  • I have an auto immune disease too & eating Paleo has made a massive massive difference!! Started on an auto immune protocol now so hoping for more benefits
  • Go paleo and then beyond with AIP (Auto Immune Paleo), I control my joint pains and whenever I have gluten or nightshades, I flare up really bad so I know the foods I eat is impacting my health directly. Have her keep a small food journal to help her figure out which foods trigger certain responses.

Inflammation

Another popular topic in the arthritis discussion – inflammation:

  • Paleo would definitely help! Paleo is an anti-inflammatory diet which really has benefits for arthritic pain. By increasing good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and cutting out refined oils and carbohydrates we can effectively reduce arthritic pain. Give it a go!
  • Paleo works well, eliminating gluten is a big part of it. Reducing the inflammation
  • Foods high in flavonoids contribute to inflammation
  • Wheat causes inflammations and arthritis is one of them!

Try this…

There were also a lot of suggestions about other things that could help – Turmeric got several mentions:

  • Turmeric capsules are pretty good for joints
  • Cinnamon and honey in hot water is good for arthritis pain
  • Daily bone broth heals achy bones … Home made easy peasy …. Elimination of caffeine too helps dramatically
  • Tell her to try ginger more in her diet anti inflammatory
  • And fish oils! Lots of them I take 10 x 1000mg every day and if I don’t for a couple of days I have hip and knee pain, constantly! I swear by them.
  • Lots of salmon! Grass fed beef is high in omega three too!

Does Paleo help with Arthritis?

Judging by all of the responses, it definitely seems like eating paleo could help… My favourite comment sums it up nicely: “Get your mum on board. Tell her to give it a try for a couple of months ‘just to see’. She’ll be amazed”

I’d love to continue the discussion – do you have arthritis? Has changing your diet had an impact? Please share your comments below!

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:

Reactions to Paleo Diet

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?

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.

The Paleo Diet Zinc Mineral Deficiency

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.

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.

Antioxidants & The Paleo Diet

Antioxidants are essential substances in the body, as they are known to protect cells from damage caused by chemicals, pollution and radiation. Some of the known antioxidants are Vitamin A, C and D as well as lycopene and selenium. It is important to have a diet which is rich in these antioxidants as it can really improve our health as well as our appearance. The kinds of foods which are high in antioxidants include vegetables, fruit, fish and nuts. These contain different types of antioxidants and offer many other benefits to the body.

The Paleo Diet Antioxidants

As the Paleo diet contains foods which are highly rich in antioxidants, it is a good diet to follow in order to feel and look at our healthiest. We are eating as much as four times less of the amount of antioxidants our ancestors consumed, which is why our nation is becoming increasingly unhealthy and overweight. There are many people who eat other foods such as cereals, instead of fruits and vegetables and although they may be low in fat, they do not contain the amount of antioxidants we require to maintain a healthy diet.

There are a number of benefits to eating a diet which is full of antioxidants, including giving us a clearer complexion, helping us to maintain a healthy weight and reducing our likelihood of suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. It is therefore hugely important to analyse our diets to ensure we are eating all of the right foods.

The key is not only to eat a diet which is rich in antioxidants but also to ensure there is the right balance of antioxidants and that you are consuming a wide range of these so you are enjoying the full health benefits they can offer. There are a large number of antioxidants to be found in fruit and vegetables, whereas fish and meat have less but are still packed with other kinds of goodness. It is vitally important when following the Paleo diet to get the mix right so you are consuming as many different antioxidants as possible, as they all have different health benefits. The wider the range of antioxidants, the stronger the barrier is to any nasty pollution to our bodies, which can be hugely detrimental.

The great thing about foods which are rich in antioxidants is that they are also beneficial in other ways and are very low in fat so you can lose lots of weight while becoming as healthy as possible. A good way of ensuring you consume a high amount of vegetables and fruit is to use a juicer to mix them up as this will help you get the variety and is a much easier way to digest them. It means you are getting the whole goodness of the fruits and vegetables as you are eating every part of them, rather than discarding of parts of them.

If you like to enjoy the odd snack, nuts and seeds are a good way to ensure you are eating a lot of antioxidants, rather than eating sugary snacks and crisps, which have the opposite effect. In addition to consuming foods which are rich in antioxidants, there are also supplements which can be taken to boost the amount of these being digested in the body. It is more important to get the antioxidants from our foods, but there may be days when this isn’t possible, so supplements are a good alternative at these times.

There are foods which may claim to contain antioxidants but the best way to ensure you are getting it right is to follow the Paleo diet, as these foods have been well researched to show their health benefits. If you follow a plan such as eggs for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch, salmon and vegetables for dinner and nuts or seeds for your snacks, you will soon notice a difference in your appearance, how you feel and the amount of weight you lose.

Where do you get most of your antioxidants from?

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Offal

You’re read about how offal is a true super food, packed with nutrients. Perhaps you use it regular in your cooking, maybe you’ve tried my chicken liver pate recipe? Here are ten little know facts about organ meats…

Paleo Diet Offal Organ Variety Meats 10 Things You Didn't Know

1. There are two types of offal, red offal and rough offal. Red offal refers to the parts of the animal above its diaphragm, such as the heart, lungs, spleen, ox tail, skirt, sweetbread and gullets. Rough offal is the name given to the parts of cattle from the rumen area, i.e. intestines, tripe, heads and heels.

2. The liver of Polar bears is very dangerous to humans, being far too high in Vitamin A. Indiginous populations never eat Polar bear livers. Seal livers are equally toxic.

3. Similarly the internal organs of the fugu pufferfish are very toxic – and if not prepared properly can be fatal.

4. Skirt (i.e. onglet steak or hanger steak) gets it’s unique savory taste from it’s close proximity to the diaphragm and kidneys.

5. Sausage skin is traditionally made from the intestines of sheep, pig or ox.

6. Demand for offal is far greater in the winter months, whilst in the summer relatively little is sold – this makes the summer months a good time to get cheaper prices.

7. Whilst the term offal used to just refer to the entrails, it is now taken to mean all of the insides, abdominals and extremities. The terms “organ meats” and “variety meats” are also used instead of offal.

8. The word “offal” comes from “off fall”, and literally refers to the pieces of the animal that fall away as the carcass is butchered.

9. Offal from birds is known as giblets.

10. If you find the taste of offal a bit much (and tolerate dairy), try soaking it in milk overnight before cooking it.

What do you think of offal? Do you eat it regularly – and what is your favourite type?

Why You Need To Stop Buying Ground Beef

So many recipes call for ground beef (or mince meat, depending on where you’re from). It’s on sale in every supermarket and butcher, but what exactly is in it – and should you buy it?

The Paleo Diet Ground Beef Minced Mince Meat

What Actually Is It?

The point of mince meat, is to use all of the bits of the animal that can’t be used elsewhere. Commercially produced ground beef will typically contain parts from hundreds of different carcusses. This product is also a good way to make use of old dairy cattle, and other animals that wouldn’t be used for the popular cuts of meat. A pack of ground beef could contain all sorts of different parts of thousands of cows, yet the ingredients will still say “100% beef”.

The E. Coli Risk

The other significant problem with ground beef, is the health risk.

E. Coli can get into the foodchain when the dirty exterior (and particularly any feces) come into contact with the inside of the meat – the bits that go into the mince.

In a small scale operation cross contamination like this is unlikely, but in a large processing plant, where workers are under pressure to turn around as many animals as possible, the risk is far higher. The way ground meat is made, means any bacteria that has accumulate on the surface of the meat will rapidly permeate through the whole product.

Where so many animal parts are present in one product, the risk is obviously greatly increased. To mitigate the risk, the meat is often vacuumed, washed with hot water and lactic acid, but these measures do not guarantee safety. The Paleo Diet Ground Beef Minced Mince Meat Making Homemade

What’s The Solution?

For me, the solution is making my own ground beef. I have bought an old fashioned, hand operated mincer, that clamps to my kitchen counter. This means I can buy my own grass-fed organic beef, from my trusted butcher. This way I know exactly what my minced meat contains, I can make it fresh when I need it, and won’t need to store it, which will help the bacteria risk.

Do you make your own ground meat? I’d love to hear your thoughts on minced meat, and whether you’re happy to buy it, or make your own.

Arthritis and the Paleo Diet

Unlike many other diets, the Paleo diet is renowned for the fact that it not only encourages weight loss but it can also help with a number of illnesses. One of such illnesses is arthritis which is caused by the inflammation of joints and is particularly common in females. Arthritis can occur in any part of the body and contrary to popular belief; it is not just a health problem which affects old people. Arthritis can occur at any time and any age and it can have a huge effect on a person’s standard of life. The illness causes a lot of swelling and pain throughout the body which can make everyday tasks a huge upheaval.

It is thought that a person’s diet can influence their likelihood of developing arthritis at any stage of their life and there are specific food groups which can actually encourage inflammation of the joints, leading to arthritis over time. The most common foods which are said to enhance the likelihood of arthritis are wheat and grains as they contain a protein called lectin, which is not easy to digest and thus can encourage inflammation.

Primal inflammation grains wheat Arthritis

As the Paleo diet completely discourages the consumption of wheat and grains it is thought that it can be hugely important in preventing arthritis and reducing the effects for those who already have the condition. The foods which we know are popular as part of the Paleo diet, including fresh fish and vegetables are anti-inflammatory which means they can reduce the risk of suffering from arthritis. A high intake of Omega-3 in the diet is the perfect way to maintain a good standard of health and this is the reason it is so widely encouraged with the Paleo diet. These food groups are easier to digest which makes them a much healthier option when it comes to taking care of our bodies.

There are many people who will turn to anti-inflammatory tablets as a means of combating the symptoms of arthritis, rather than looking more closely at diet and how this can have an effect on the condition. There is a common misconception that grains are important as a means of increasing fibre intake, but in fact this isn’t really the case. Vegetables which are non-starchy and fresh fruit actually contain much more fibre than what you would find in grains, so skipping these from your diet will not have any adverse effects on the body and overall health.

Grains also have a lack of essential vitamins, including A, C and B12, so there is no reason why they have to be part of any healthy diet. The key foods on the Paleo diet such as vegetables, meat and fruit have these in abundance so are a much healthier choice when it comes to looking after your diet.

In order to take good care of the body from the inside to the outside and setting it up for a long and healthy life, the diet we choose to follow is vitally important. As we all know, there are lots of diets which are constantly introduced but many of these focus entirely on lowering weight as opposed to keeping us healthy. There are many diets which will help us lose weight very quickly but these can actually be very detrimental to health. The Paleo diet on the other hand can offer a way to enhance our quality of life which is what makes it so popular and the reason why the popularity continues to grow.

Arthritis can be hugely dilapidating and can even be so severe that it can prevent people from carrying out normal day to day tasks and being able to work. The Paleo diet is the ideal way to introduce the right food groups in order to help prevent this illness or significantly reduce the effects of it. It is not a quick fix though, it takes a lot of dedication and following it to the letter – and the longer this is done, the easier it becomes. The incorporation of exercise together with the Paleo diet can provide a quicker way of combating arthritis and preventing the stiffness of the disease which can cause major health issues.

If you suffer from arthritis  I’d love to hear how Paleo has helped and how much difference it has made. Surely following a real food, Paleo diet is a much safer health option than consuming tablets, which are only really a temporary resolution.