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Your Health Messages To YOURSELF Ten Years Ago paleo network-min

Your Health Messages To YOURSELF Ten Years Ago

I recently asked the fans of my Facebook Page The Paleo Network this question: “If you could go back and tell yourself a key health message ten years ago – what would it be?” What would your answer be?

There were hundreds of answers covering all sorts of aspects of physical & emotional health, here are some of them.

Your Health Messages To YOURSELF Ten Years Ago paleo network-min

Quit grains

And sugar. This was (unsurprisingly) a very common theme. Here are some of the messages:

  • No grains
  • Grain brain
  • Give up wheat
  • Kick the sugar
  • Don’t eat sugar.
  • Cut sugar n carbs
  • Stop eating grains
  • Put down the sugar!
  • Don’t. Eat. Grains.
  • Go grain & sugar free
  • Don’t eat lots of bread!
  • Don’t eat so much sugar!
  • Give up wheat and sugar.
  • Eat less sugar and grains
  • Don’t eat grains or sugar!
  • Stop eating bread and pasta
  • Fat is not the enemy…sugar is!
  • Don’t eat candy or chocolate bars!
  • Cut the bread bro and lay off the booze.
  • Ditch the GRAINS, forget the SUGAAAAR!!!
  • Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar is the enemy.
  • Reduce your carb intake, don’t eat bread anymore!!!
  • Avoid grains and sugar, they make you feel like crap.
  • Give up sugar and grains. You honestly won’t miss it!
  • put down the loaf of bread and spinage dip!… I have a long list…
  • Once a sweet tooth, always a sweet tooth! Cut out sugar from the diet!
  • Stop all grain not just gluten don’t look for substitutes there really enough to eat….

Easy on the vices

Alcohol and smoking also featured…

  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t drink beer
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Ease up on alcohol
  • Avoid alcohol better
  • Don’t start smoking again
  • Don’t smoke or hang out with those who do!!!!
  • Cut the grains and sugar and it will be easier to quit smoking.
  • Stop drinking alcohol it’s poison. So is wheat dairy and sugar. Paleo paleo paleo

Fat?

I thought more people would have commented about body weight and body image…

  • Stop Eating!
  • Don’t get fat!
  • You’re not fat. Eat something
  • Being fat is not genetic and you’re not big boned.

Ditch the soda

Soda and fizzy drinks were also prominent in your messages to your younger self

  • No soda. No diet soda.
  • Stop drinking pop and fast food
  • Drink water not coke or coke zero
  • To never touch diet drinks or diet anything and drink lots of water!

Fitness

Fitness was one of the most popular themes, with these messages being added:

  • MOVE
  • Stretch
  • Do yoga
  • Exercise!
  • Weightlifting
  • Don’t overtrain
  • Stay strong fit and fast.
  • Don’t quit weekend sport
  • Start CrossFit. Eat Paleo!
  • Don’t ever quit sport/exercise!!
  • Don’t stop exercising because of pregnancy
  • Put down the sugar and lift weights…. heavy weights
  • And start yoga young to keep u strong and flexible !!!
  • Keep moving…don’t stop the exercise…even for a week!
  • Paleo and CrossFit….if only I had discovered this years ago!!
  • Don’t wait till you gain weight to start exercising. Biggest mistake I made!!!
  • Go to the gym & get a trainer/training partner. I’d be so much further along in my physical development

And perhaps best of all, the random messages!

There are definitely some stories there…

  • Speak up
  • Sleep more.
  • Stay consistent
  • Don’t marry him.
  • Pack it in. Idiot!
  • Bitcoins! Buy them!!!
  • Omg! Where do I begin?!!
  • Put the candy bar down fatty
  • You really are allergic to dairy
  • Stay away from the chocolate
  • Stay focused don’t get complacent
  • 27 is not too young to have babies
  • Don’t get the flu shot and go Paleo
  • Your friends and chidren are amazing
  • Stay away from snotty nosed children!
  • Thank god u took the advice to lose 95 kg.
  • Stress less, not a food thing but a health thing
  • Don’t ever stop, that’s what I tell the youngsters.
  • Don’t marry him! Hahaha. I would Def be healthier
  • Dont listen to your mother… and dont eat like her….
  • Take the time to feed your kids and yourself healthy!
  • Enjoy the small things! Work to live, not live to work!!
  • Stop making stupid excuses and get divorced now !!!
  • Nothing can be fixed until you sort out that zinc deficiency.
  • The habits I have will be the habits my kids will have. Eat clean!
  • NOTHING and I mean nothing, taste as good as healthy feels!!!!!
  • Don’t take hormone contraceptive pills and quit that stressful job!
  • You are worth loving and you don’t have to turn to food to feel loved.
  • Don’t sweat it me, you are going to look better at 37 than you did at 27.
  • I would tell me to keep eating clean and switch degrees to sports science!
  • Don’t shrug off the little things cause sometimes they mean there is a big thing.
  • My biggest down fall, closely followed by, avoid chocolate – it is not a meal!!!!!
  • Don’t get lazy and give up. YOU’RE worth the EFFORT of cooking healthy food!!
  • Everything you’ve been taught about nutrition was false. The food pyramid is upside down.
  • Slow down, create more homemade meals (organic) than eating meals on the run (processed junk).
  • Exercise, laugh, set goals be flexible, action is the key to fruition, rest, relish silence, no sugar, grains, no dairy
  • Take a kids cooking class to master basic cooking skills – especially knife skills & don’t be bloody lazy about eating properly!!!
  • Do not do the endometriosis treatment that your supposed specialised GP said was latest and greatest. It will ruin your health forever…
  • Don’t have vital parts surgically removed unless you’ve been diagnosed with a deadly disease and the removal of said parts is the way to eliminate the disease.

So over to you… what message would you tell your ten-years-ago-self?

Kitchen Heaven or Kitchen Hell paleo diet-min

Kitchen Heaven or Kitchen Hell?

As I mentioned in my Paleo Pets post, I’m currently house sitting and looking after someone’s dogs

I always look in peoples shopping trolleys with interest, but living in someone else’s house offers such a unique insight into what people really eat. The pantry in the house I’m staying in could not be any further from mine. And I find it really sad.

Paleo-v-Sad-Pantry-kitchen heaven hell-min

Obviously fresh food was used up before they left, but even so, it appears that almost all of the families meals come from tins, packets and jars, with expiry dates far into the future and lists of ingredients I don’t recognise.

The kitchen counters are full of gadgets like toasters, popcorn makers and microwaves – all absent from my kitchen. Meanwhile gadgets that I rely on in my kitchen are no where to be seen – a blender for soup and sauces; weighing scales for trying out new recipes; a big stockpot for broths and a slow cooker are very evidently missing. Instead of measuring cups and a julienne peeler I’ve found a pizza cutting wheel and an ice cream scoop.

The pantry is filled with a fat fearing agenda. There are all sorts of fat-free, reduced fat and low-fat instant options. Even the olive oil is “light” – but of course the fat of choice appears to be canola oil. The spread options (for bread, I presume) are low fat margarines. There is a shelf full of cereals, all boasting some amazing health benefits (and lots of mention of wholegrains) on their packaging.

I’ve been really surprised to find the herbs and spices (of which I have a rather large, regularly refilled collection in my own kitchen) consists of just a packet of cooking salt and an unopened jar of black peppercorns. I suppose when you reheat and eat out of packets and jars, all the taste you need is provided for, by the unrecognisable ingredients listed on the packet. With some good meat or fish, vegetables and a handful of the Paleo ingredients I can use my herbs and spices to make literally hundreds of completely different meals, with far superior tastes to anything the packets could provide.

Water doesn’t appear to be the drink of choice, judging by the collection of shockingly coloured cordial bottles and shelf of soft drinks bottles.

The other interesting comparison is in the cooking materials themselves. Plastic (for use in the microwave and for storing food) is in almost exclusive use, and most of the cookware is non-stick. I used to use this type of cookware too – until I started to replace my pots and pans with safer options.

Tellingly the kitchen also houses two medicine cupboards full of all sorts of medications. My medical supplies are housed in a small container and consist of paracetamol (not used this year as I just don’t get headaches any more), some old forgotten about inhalers (my asthma disappeared without trace a couple of years ago), some out of date antihistamines (my allergies have also disappeared) and some plasters (bandaids for any Americans in the house).

I can’t accept it takes too long to bother to prepare proper food, it definitely isn’t more expensive than buying everything in packet form. I think for some people opening and reheating from a packet has just become a sad habit, that is hard to break.

The effort to buy low-fat and “healthy” cereals clearly indicates an desire to be healthy – it’s just sad that the intention has failed so strongly in execution.

Have you seen such a SAD kitchen recently? Do you think this is typical?

Kitchen Heaven or Kitchen Hell paleo diet-min

Handling Social Gatherings Whilst Remaining Paleo diet primal party dinner friends socialising-min

Handling Social Gatherings Whilst Remaining Paleo

Throughout my “official” Whole-30 period, I found it really easy to keep on the Paleo-straight & narrow, without a single cheat.  I think I’m especially fortunate living in Sydney, where many restaurants pride themselves on fairly whole, local (and often organic) food.  I eat out fairly often, and continued to do so during the 30-day challenge.  I’ve always avoided certain types of restaurant, so that wasn’t a problem.  In the restaurants I did eat in, without exception there have always been a few meals on the menu that are Paleo (for example fish and vegetables) and even more meals that I can “tweak” to make them Paleo (swapping the fries for a salad for example, and asking for no sauce/ dressing).

Last weekend however, I encountered my first Paleo difficulty.  I was invited out for a friend’s Birthday as a Moroccan restaurant in the Sydney.  However, as we were such a large group, we had to have the set menu.   I’d been quite busy, so just had a cursory glance at the menu a few weeks ago.  I saw “beef” and “chicken” and assumed I’d be able to make it work, and left it there.  Had I looked properly, I would have called the restaurant ahead as often, with notice, they can be very accommodating.  Fortunately I played it safe and had a late lunch on the day, a tactic I often employ before social events.  I’ve found there is nothing worse and more challenging than being ravenously hungry, surrounded by less than optimal food options.

We started with bread and dips.  One of the dips seemed to be egg plant, but with nothing to “dip” in it, I gave that a miss.

We were then presented with a Tabouli Salad, which after asking about the ingredients I dived into.  It contained parsley, mint, onion, olive oil, lemon & something called Bulgar.  After the first two mouthfuls I found out Bulgar is basically wheat, so didn’t have any more of that.  Why put wheat into a lovely salad?

Handling Social Gatherings Whilst Remaining Paleo diet primal party dinner friends socialising-min

With the salad came Halloumi Cheese (I’m avoiding dairy, as I’ve felt so good since I eliminated it for my Whole30), Fried Cauliflower with Eggplant jam (sugar!), pinenuts and yoghurt (more dairy).  I was starting to get a bit embarrassed by this stage that I hadn’t eaten more than two mouthfuls, so I was very relieved when the next dish was BBQ Garlic & Harissa Octopus & Skordalia.  Octopus – perfect.  One of the things I love about eating out is having things like Octopus that I would never have at home.  Octopus is supposed to have a good amount of Omega 3, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and selenium, so a good option.  I’ve since found out that sometimes Skordalia is made stale bread in the puree; or potatoes, walnuts or almonds in olive oil; but I guess you can’t win them all.  The other dish in this course was the Moroccan equivalent to Spring Rolls; spicy lamb & pinenut boreks, with yoghurt sauce.  Didn’t have any of that either.

I was sat with lots of people I’d not met before, who were very interested in my “unusual” diet and why I was quizzing the waiting staff about what was in every dish.  I love talking about Paleo, and it definitely helps to be upfront about what you’re doing.  I always find it interesting to hear how others perceive Paleo – the main response I get time after time is how impossible they would find it to give up bread.

The main dishes would have to be more Paleo, surely!  Fortunately they were, we had: –

  • Lemon Pepper Chicken Shish Kebab with Tomato Caraway Sauce, Served with Chickpea & Nut Pilaf Lamb Kafta Shish Kebab with Pomegranate Glaze, Served with Chickpea & Nut Pilaf
  • Beef Cheek Tagine with Sweet Potato & Caramelised Onions, Served with Carrot Steamed Couscous

Served with

  • Fattoush Salad Sumac and fries
The Chicken and Beef Tagine were great, and better still my fellow dinners were so full up on the bread, pastry and beer that there was plenty left for me.  Luckily I realised the Fattoush salad contained pita bread pieces (why?) before I took any.Dessert was a beautifully presented sugar laden meringue with ice cream and lots of miniature sweets and cakes.  I used to have such a sweet tooth, but I noticed my attitude towards food like this has completely changed. I wasn’t even remotely tempted by these items.  When I look at food like this, instead of the enjoyment and taste I used to see, I now see the unwanted insulin spike it will give me, the less than par feeling I’d get an hour later and the Gluten, Phytates & Lectins in the grains creating all sorts of problems I just don’t want.

I left the meal $57 lighter, but feeling great – which certainly wouldn’t have been the case had I indulged as I would have pre-Paleo.

Going to a social event with non-Paleo friends soon?  Here are my top three tips to make the occasion as Paleo friendly as possible: –

1.       Find out what food will be offered in advance – call the restaurant several days in advance to explain your requirements and see if they can help you out

2.       Be open with the people you’re with about what you’re doing & why

3.       Don’t go to the event hungry, this will make it much harder for you to find your way through the maze of SAD food to the best Paleo choices

How do you manage social situations with SAD food?  Are your friends supportive?  Do you find particular social events better than others?  Let me know in the comments!