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Time to get healthy paleo rock bottom over indulged Christmas lose weight-min

Time to get healthy?

Post Christmas is a popular time to readdress your goals. Perhaps you got a bit carried away with the festivities and have realised you are carrying more weight than is healthy? Or perhaps you have a few health issues that you want to concentrate on, and resolve once and for all? Now is the perfect time to get healthy!

It starts with food

Diet is a great place to start. Instead of waiting until all if the festive food has been eaten (we’ve all done that!) why not just throw it away – or give it to someone who will appreciate it? Your health will thank you!
Once you’ve cleared out all the not-exactly-paleo food – it’s time for the good food!  Make a list, plan out your meals for the next week and go and get some good wholesome paleo foods.
I like to make up big batches of dishes like soups and curries. It’s great to freeze them in small portions, making it super easy to get healthy meals, quickly.
Time to get healthy paleo rock bottom over indulged Christmas lose weight-min

What about lifestyle?

Lifestyle is a huge health factor! In fact, I’d argue that even with a perfect diet unless you have got the lifestyle factors right it’s almost impossible to get healthy.

How’s your sleep?

Have late nights and difficult mornings started to creep in? Are you getting enough sleep? This is a great time to work out how much sleep your body needs – and how you’re going to get it.

Connection

Another huge factor – do you have enough time in your life for your friends and family? Do you have enough time to relax and just be? If not – what can you change to create more balance in your life?

Get healthy with fitness

This is another important factor. Do you lift heart things and get in the occasional sprint? Being fitter seems to go hand in hand with overall health and well being. You don’t have to start big – try walking more.
I’d love to hear what you’re planning to work on over the coming months, what changes are you planning to make to your life?
30 day intro to paleo ebook primal diet-min

30 Day Intro to Paleo

Whenever I’m asked about Paleo, or if people comment that they doubt Paleo would help them with their health issues, my response is always “try it”. I think everyone should try Paleo for 30-days and then assess how it’s working for them. If it doesn’t work, then nothing is lost (yet I’ve never heard of anyone not experiencing some positive benefits after a month of Paleo)

30 day intro to paleo ebook primal diet-min

30-days is a good length of time, as it’s long enough to see some changes and to get things like gluten out of your system. It’s also enough time to come out the other side of carb-flu, which a few people experience for the first week or two.

After the 30-days you’ll be in a good place to evaluate how it worked for you, and to slowly start re-introducing foods back to understand exactly what you should and shouldn’t incorporate in your Paleo diet.

As well as using a 30-day Paleo plan as a way to get into Paleo for the first time, it’s also a great way to refocus once you’ve been following Paleo for a while. When you realise you’re stuck in a repetitive recipe rut, eating more and more “Paleo cookies”, or allowing more cheat meals than you ever would have before – it can be the perfect time to go strict Paleo for 30 days and get full back on board.

I think organisation is the most important factor in committing to a 30-day strict Paleo plan. If you plan, buy and prepare your food in advance it will be easy to follow and not get caught out. I also find it helps to set a date to start your 30-days and tell people about it (perhaps they’ll even join you)

I really like the Whole-30 program, as it focuses on why Paleo is so beneficial and covers all of the common pitfalls and questions; it’s a great guide to support you during the 30-days (particularly if it’s your first Whole30).

I’m really excited to see Bill and Hayley, the authors behind the beautiful “Make it Paleo” recipe book have just released their first ebook “The 30 Day Intro to Paleo”! I’ve found creating a month of beautiful, varied meals to be the key success factor in winning people over to a Paleo diet – and this book promises to do just that. As well as the impressive, yet simple Paleo recipes (over 90!) that you’d expect in a book from Bill & Hayley, their ebook also explains Paleo – and why we should eat this way. They include a 30 day complete menu planner and shopping lists – and even cooking videos!

I’m looking forward to trying out these recipes and will report back on my favourites!

Did you start your Paleo adventure with a Whole30? Do you occasionally challenge yourself to a month of following a strict Paleo diet – with no cheating?

The Slow Paleo Transition primal diet-min

The Slow Paleo Transition

A lot of people seem to prefer to jump straight into Paleo. To clean out the kitchen, buy new cookbooks and go cold turkey on the grains all on the same day.

For others however, jumping straight in is a scary prospect. After eating a certain way for an entire lifetime, a slow, gradual transition into Paleo is the favoured approach for many. So how do you make a slow transition?

There are lots of plans that I think lead very gently into a Paleo diet, making it much easier to become “fully Paleo” without any fuss or issue. A lot of people who used to rely on refined grains, find suddenly cutting off those carbs can result in “carb flu”. This can last for a couple of weeks, and is not an enjoyable experience – but well worth persevering with to come out the other side, feeling like a new person.

Research and Reading

I always think the best start to a new routine is research. Understand exactly what you’re doing and why. Read everything you can Paleo from blogs, ebooks and books such as Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution.

Replace Industrial Oils

A quick win is to replace industrial seed oils with coconut oil and olive oil. You won’t feel your missing out on anything by throwing away the canola, sunflower, soybean, vegetable oil and margarine – but your body will thank you for it!

Quit Sugar

Giving up sugar is a great next step. Until you do this, you probably won’t realise how much sugar you actually eat. Ebooks like the Balance Bites “21 Day Sugar Detox” and Sarah Wilsons “I Quit Sugar” make the process easier, by taking you through this step by step.

Weston A Price

Once seed oils and sugar are in hand, I think adopting a Weston A Price approach would be an easy transition. This will enable you to focus on the quality of the food you eat. You don’t have to give up grains – yet – but you will be preparing them the minimise the harmful effects. You’ll still be consuming dairy, but you’ll be careful to ensure it’s good quality, raw dairy, which will be a significant bonus to your health.

Primal BluePrint

Once you become used to Weston A Price, it’s time to let go of the grains and address the rest of your lifestyle. Mark Sisson’s Primal BluePrint plan is the perfect next step. You’ll get rid of the grains, but keep the dairy. You’ll see the importance of the rest of your life and start sprinting and lifting heavy things. You’ll see the importance of sunshine, reducing stress and sleeping well. You’ll understand that there will be occasions you don’t make good food choices, but with the 80:20 rule, that’s ok – you’re getting it right far more often than not.

Whole30

One the Primal diet is dialled in, it’s time to go fully Paleo. I think the Whole30 is the best way to start this – and having been Primal, all you’re going to give up is dairy; not a big ask at all. A dedicated 30 days will enable you to see the benefits of eating this way and start to develop habits and routines.

Fully Paleo

After the Whole30, you can assess how you feel and slowly start to reintroduce foods (if you feel you really missed dairy, for example).

With a slow transition, you should be able to go from a SAD to a Paleo diet, without any real hardship or difficulty.

What was (or will be, for those just learning about Paleo!) your approach? Are you black or white, or do you prefer a slow transition? Did I miss any steps in a gradual transition?

The Slow Paleo Transition primal diet-min

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Time for a New Whole 30

With the month of May rapidly approaching, I feel it’s the ideal time for another “Whole 30”.

What is a Whole 30?

The Whole30 is another word for “strict Paleo” for a month. This is a popular approach recommended across the Paleosphere as a way to initially get into Paleo, to identify any food intolerances you may have, or just as a means to refocus. A Whole30 means eating lots of good quality meat, eggs, vegetables a little fruit, nuts and seeds. Grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol have no place on the Whole30!

Why am I Doing Another Whole 30?

Whilst I have been following Paleo for a couple of years now, I’ve found I’ve recently got a bit lazy with my nutrition and have been having lots of the same meals over and over. Whilst there’s nothing specifically wrong with this, it’s not the most interesting approach, and probably isn’t meeting all of my micronutrient requirements. I’ve also been having dried fruit more often than I should (why did I have to discover medjool dates?)

I’ve been keen to try an auto-immune protocol for a while, so incorporating this into my Whole30 will work well. I often forget to my supplements, especially Vitamin D, so for this month I’m going to be religious about it – good timing on the Vitamin D as we’re seeing a lot less sun, as we approach winter here in Australia.

With an auto-immune protocol I will also be omitting Nightshades (tomatoes, capsicum and peppers – since I don’t have potatoes they won’t be a new omission for me) and nuts and seeds. Some people skip eggs too on an autoimmune protocol, but I think that’s a step too far for me. I don’t have any particular health issues I’m looking to clear up since Paleo took care of my Asthma, but I have suspicious I’d fare a lot better without Nightshades. All will become clear!

How to do a Whole30

The Whole30 is so easy to do, but it does require some organisation. If it’s your introduction into Paleo, it’s a good idea to clean out your cupboards and fridge before you start – get rid of anything that reminiscent from a SAD diet and make sure you have all of the herbs, spices and ingredients on hand for the coming month. There’s a fantastic step by step guide in the Whole30 ebook explaining how to go about this for success.

I use the Whole30 as a culinary challenge – I use it as an excuse to try lots of difference recipes. In fact, the last Whole30 was such an enjoyable experience last time as we ate a different meal every single day – something I’m very far from at the moment!

My Whole30 approach is to spend some time on Sundays working out what’s happening during the coming week. When I know what I’m doing each day, I flick through my Paleo Cookbooks and assign a meal to each day. I then go out and buy all of the ingredients I’ll need for that week (taking a lot of care to ensure everything will be as fresh as possible on the day I have planned to eat it!) and prep anything I can in advance. This time I’m going to quadruple everything I cook, to stock the freezer up with lots of different lunch options to take into work.

Strict Paleo Whole 30 Days

I’m going to track my Whole30 using Cronometer, so I can get a good assessment of where my macro and micro nutrient ratios sit over the month. This month should give me some good tools (and recipes!) to tweak my diet after the Whole30.

Fortunately my house mate is also very keen to do another Whole30 – sharing the shopping, cooking and culinary inspiration certainly makes it a lot easier!

Have you done a Whole30 yet? How did you find it? Care to join me for a Whole30 May?

How to start paleo guide for beginners diet healthy eating plan-min

How to do Paleo – a Beginners Guide

After listening to me talk about Paleo and seeing the positive changes, a few of my friends have been interested enough to actually try Paleo for 30 days, a whole30 approach, to see how it works for them.

I got a text message from one of my friends last week, which read:

“Hey, I want to try Paleo starting today for a month, that’s the whole30 right?  Where do you shop for your stuff?  What should I eat?”

How to start paleo guide for beginners diet healthy eating plan-min

I started to reply, but it quickly became far too long for an SMS, so I sent the email below instead.

OK, it was too long to text!

I would start by working out what you’re going to eat for the next week.  Where you’ll be each day; how many meals you’ll have at home and how many meals you’ll eat out.  Write it down!

For the meals at home, go through the cookbook I gave you and pick out a few meals.  Also look on Chowstalker and filter on “Whole30” to find some great Paleo recipes.

Do a big shop for all of the ingredients for the recipes you picked out – the first shop may be quite expensive if you don’t have many herbs and spices (which make such a difference to the recipes) – it’s a good investment though as they’ll last a long time.

The basics you need are: –

Meat.  Where you can, get organic, at the very least free range (i.e. chicken) – and if possible grass fed meat.  I have a great organic butcher near me, but Woolies and Coles have a few organic ranges

Eggs.  I eat a lot of eggs.  Pastured & organic are best, Omega 3 enriched are great – at the very least make sure they are free range.  They usually last for a while and are great for quick food – so buy lots!

Vegetables.  If you can, get organic.  Try to get what’s in season, rather than imported vegetables.  In the first week or two I’d recommend sweet potatoes and squash.  It’s possible you’ll find it really hard cutting out refined carbs, so that is what the sweet potatoes and squash will help with.  Other than that, get a good variety of vegetables.  Most recipes call for the basics like onions, carrots, garlic,  green leafy vegetables etc.  Ignore starchy tubers like potatoes (besides, you can substitute sweet potatoes any time you’d usually have regular potatoes).  I also tend to use a lot of zucchini, capsicum and mushrooms.

Fruit.  I don’t have much fruit, as essentially it is sugar, but it might be quite good for you whilst you’re transitioning to this new way of eating.  Berries are great and other good choices include kiwi, pineapple & melon.  Eat fruit whole; don’t make juices with it (this removed the fibre from the fruit which increases the insulin response – also it encourages you to consume a lot more than you’d eat whole)

Fats.  You’ll need to not be scared of fats!  Only cook in coconut oil (coconut oil is only found in health food shops, choose unrefined virgin coconut oil) and animal fats.  Olive oil (and other nut oils such as avocado oil) are good for salad dressings, but shouldn’t be heated.  Remember – no dairy (i.e. butter) for the 30-days.  Coconut milk is another great fat source.  Get this from the Asian section in any supermarket.  I’d only recommend Ayam as it has the purest ingredients of any brand I’ve seen.  Make sure you get the normal version NOT the light version.  Use this as a basis for meals (i.e. a curry) or even with berries to make a berry smoothie.  Avocados are another great fat source to go with a meal.

Nuts.  Occasional nuts are great, but don’t go overboard (which is hard!).  Macadamias & Almonds are good.  Almond butter is also good (used sparingly) and can be found in the macro range at Woolworths.

Drinks.  With no dairy, think now about what you’ll be drinking.  Most drinks should be water, but you can add a slice of lemon/ lime and the water can be hot or cold.  You can use carbonated water.  I get lots of different types of tea (but check the ingredients carefully; you should recognise all of the ingredients – nothing artificial).  Redbush, gunpowder, chai and green tea are some that I enjoy.  You can also have tea with coconut milk.

If you’re going out and options are likely to be un-paleo my top tip is not to go out hungry.  If you eat before you go out you probably won’t need to eat – and if you do it will be easier to look for better options without the distraction of immense hunger.  Most places offer meat and fish – I ask for it as plain as possible and check how it’s cooked.  Avoid anything that is marinated or fried.  Ask for no sauces or dressings on your meal.  I usually substitute things like fries and mash for more veg or salad.

Breakfast is something people often find hardest.  It’s easiest to get over the fact breakfast “has” to be a certain type of meal and realise breakfast is just fuel, like any other meal.  Have good food; be it last night’s leftovers or cook something up.  I find eggs a great breakfast option and often have omelette or scrambled egg with avocado and bacon.   Noatmeal is another good option for an occasional breakfast, but not every day.  I think it’s really important to try to consume breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, within 30 minutes if possible.

You can get the basics from Woolworths or Coles.  The “Macro” range at Woolworths, or the “Natural Health” range at Coles have a lot of good Paleo ingredients.  Butchers (especially organic) will be a better source of meat.  Farmers markets (if you have any locally) are a great source for most things.  Health food shops are the only places I’ve found for coconut oil and Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.

Take a photo of yourself before you start and let me know if you can’t find anything or want ideas!

Top tip – be organised and plan before you start.

GOOD LUCK!

Suz

So how did I do?  I’m sure there are lots of things I should have mentioned that I forgot…  I think it’s going to be helpful to have a list to give to anyone who asks me this in the future.  What advice and tips do you give to people who turn to you for advice on starting Paleo?

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!

NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet-min

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s NLPaleo Boy…

Author:  Kevin Bees (whole 30 sceptic-turned convert)

OK, a Marathon run (42.2km / 26.1m) is not very ‘Paleo’.  But, let’s play for a while to find out how ‘Paleo’ eating could impact a distance runner and ask the question:

What would happen if you mixed the Paleo diet, 28 degree heat, with a Whole 30 sceptic-turned-convert into the Sydney Marathon?

I did just that… and the results are in, and have been counted and verified… and you want to hear this, especially if you are non-Paleo runner (or any non-Paleo athlete for that matter).

NLP paleo boy running marathon primal diet-min

Pre-run preparation:

  • Training– my training was actually not exemplary.
    • Between 21 May and 14 August I did not run.
    • Between 14 August and the 18 September Marathon, I squeezed in six runs only.
    • In this time, and before I started the Paleo diet, I had to drop out of a training run at 22km due to lack of energy.
    • Two weeks later and fuelled by the Whole 30 Paleo diet (and some simple and powerful NLP techniques), I accidentally ran a whole marathon when aiming at 30km.  (I don’t run with a watch or Satellite Navigation, and I have never made that mistake before – since my reducing energy would prompt me to stop… which in this instance it didn’t!) 
  • Fuel – Whole 30 Paleo for the four weeks prior to the Marathon.  Therefore pre-race pasta feast – gone.  This was substituted for the much tastier and enjoyable Chicken, Sweet potato and pumpkin… which I incidentally had for breakfast too the next day.  (My only Paleo cheat in this process is GU gels whilst running).

The BIG day:

Arriving at the race with a face full of banana, I meet my Non-Paleo running partner.

I thought it would be a good idea to join this running partner since she is younger, fitter and well trained. Her personal best is 3H 44Min and mine is 3H 47Min – so, hopefully some inspiration to knock a few minutes off of my best time. (Plus she has a very nice bottom, so it would be a pleasure to run a few steps off of her pace!)

The Start

Bang… the gun goes and we push across the start line to the tune EVERYDAY I’M SHUFFLING (and my slightly amended lyrics):

Paleo-Grok is in the house tonight,

Everybody just run a good-time

So fit you gonna keep your mind

Everybody just run a good time.

And we’re off.  For the first 10km we settle into a comfortable pace.  Only, I am noticing that I am going a little faster than my pace setting friend… and she is getting to check out my butt instead.  Lucky girl.

At this point, I have no idea if I am faster or slower than hoped (still no watch), but I just keep running at the pace that feels comfortable.  Only another 2km and I fully settle into my faster stride and my friend and I run our own races.

It wasn’t until the finish line at 42km that I actually realised what had happened.  I thought my friend was having an off day and going slower than we expected, but in actual fact, I was faster than I could have even dreamed.

I smashed my personal best by 13 minutes.

In the heat.

With very poor training.

That’s 13 minutes off of my personal best.

‘Chuffed’ doesn’t quite cover it – especially when I understand the story of the post run statistics:

  1. Energy consistency
    1. My 1st, 2nd & 3rd 10km were all 50 minutes (give or take a few seconds).  Over this distance you would expect a degradation of performance… impressive since I had no pacemaker… just my own feeling of energy.
    2. My 4th set of 10km was also very close to the 50 minute mark and probably would have been equally consistent except for the two convenience stops.

 

  1. Comparative performance improvement

My rank Vs other runners in the race at each set of 10km went:

  1. 1,027
  2. 596
  3. 383
  4. 369

And the last 2.2km – arguably the hardest:

  1. 57

Put another way – in the hardest 2.2km, I was in the top 1.5% of all marathoners.

Do you think I might have got higher if I didn’t stop and pose for these too??

The Paleo diet delivered me consistent energy to make this achievement a reality and left me with enough juice in the tank to finish very strong.

FINISHING STRONG

Watch my finish video here, I’m the fast one!

The best part about this is that I know there is more to come.

30 days of Paleo, poor training, and I smash a personal best.

What if I combine this new fuel source with a training program that is greater than six runs!?

With a Paleo diet, you too can see, hear and feel your goals coming to you faster too, can you not?

Give it a go… NLPaleo Boy say so!

Sydney Marathon running paleo perspective diet healthy grain-free no sugar

The Sydney Marathon – A Paleo Perspective

As I’ve mentioned before, my Marathon running house-mate is currently doing the Whole30 Paleo challenge with me.  We’re on day 26, and it’s going fantastically, but I’ll tell you more about that in a future post.

My house-mate is a marathon runner, so I’ve been particularly interested to see how Paleo affects his running performance and recovery.  So far, it seems to have made an incredible difference.  10 days ago he did his long practice run and was aiming for 30km (18.6 miles).  The run was going so well, he had so much energy, the sun was shining – so he just kept on running!  He got home to find out he’d run 42km (26.09 miles); just a few paces shy of a marathon!  Tomorrow however, is a different ball game.  Tomorrow is the race, the Sydney marathon.  He’s going for a really good time.  And he’s doing it Paleo.  I can’t wait to see how he does and how he feels and performs as a Paleo Marathon runner.  I’ll keep you posted!

I was interested to see the contents of the Marathon pack.  Which foods would the marathon organisers give away to their competitors, to give them good race nutrition?  Chia Seeds, a “Smooze” fruit ice (unfrozen) and a “Trio” bar.    I guess it could have been a lot worse, but, is this really the best things for a marathoner to be eating?

Marathon snack pack

Chia Seeds are everywhere at the moment and being promoted as a super-food.  Whilst they do provide Omega 3, it’s in plant form, which isn’t so ready for human absorption – and they also contain a not so good amount of Omega 6.  The amount of protein contained is minimal – it would take considerably more than an 8g packed to give a decent protein supply.  So, whilst they certainly aren’t the worst thing a marathoner could eat, I think this is probably the best use for them.

The “Smooze” (unfrozen) frozen fruit ice contains: pink guava juice 47% (from purée), coconut milk 40%, natural cane sugar, fruit pectin, citric acid, natural fruit flavours, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).  I’m pleased to see the coconut milk, though after my own investigation into coconut milk, can only hope they use a pure brand.  The juice element is just sugar, which isn’t so good.  Also, after reading the Food Renegade’s awesome post on Orange Juice, I’ve been really wary of juices and “natural” flavours.

I was surprised the “Trio” bar ingredients weren’t as bad as I was expecting: Cashew, Almonds, Pistachios, Blueberries, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Dates, Raisins, Rice Malt, Natural Flavours, Evaporated Cane Juice and Sea Salt.  It’s a shame they had to add the rice malt, “natural flavours” and sugar (though doesn’t evaporated cane juice sound so much better!).  I can’t think why you’d need to add flavours to so many wonderful tasting foods?

With some fantastic Paleo sports inspiration, dinner tonight came with sweet potato, a great Paleo Carb source.

Fingers crossed for a great Sydney Marathon day tomorrow!

Do you combine endurance with Paleo?  I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Sydney Marathon running paleo perspective diet healthy grain-free no sugar

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Whole 30 – Halfway Through

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen that I’m currently in the middle (day 18, to be precise) of a Whole30.

Whole 30 paleo network-min

So, what is a Whole30?

The Whole 30 is a strict 30 day Paleo program, which is designed to remove all inflammation causing foods for a 30 day period.  This is very much in line with the 30-day trial Robb Wolf suggests.  At the end of the 30-days the idea is to evaluate how you look, feel and perform – compared to how you looked, felt and performed on day -1.  You can then slowly start to reintroduce other foods, if you wish to do so, to gain a better understanding of how your body reacts to specific foods.  In the 30-day program you eat good quality, lean meat, fish, eggs, seasonal fruit & vegetables as well as fat sources such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.  Strictly off limits are dairy, grains, legumes – and of course all processed foods and alcohol.

How to go about it?

The weekend before I started my 30-days, I got organised.  I went through hundreds of recipes and gave them the Whole30 treatment.  There are differing degrees of Paleoness, meaning some recipes have dairy and sweeteners which aren’t allowed for this period.  Once I had a collection of recipes for meals and snacks selected, I then went through the ingredients, one by one and compiled a huge shopping list – right down to the herbs and spices I didn’t already have.  I assigned meals for the week ahead and bought everything I’d need.  I can’t stress enough how much easier this made it!

What is a typical day’s menu?

Take today for example.  Breakfast was (organic) bacon & (omega 3 enriched organic) eggs cooked in coconut oil.  Lunch was a small bowl of leftover chicken curry cooked in coconut milk – and dinner today will be the slow cooked lamb that I hope is currently cooking itself in my slow cooker at home!  Probably under 20 minutes of cooking & preparation time required today for three completely different meals.

The verdict so far?

I’d been about 90% Paleo before this recent Whole30 for a long time, so the biggest change for me has been cutting out dairy.  Not having to make huge dietary changes has meant I haven’t had “carb flu” which a lot of people seem to go through.  It has made me realise I just don’t need the dairy!  Before starting, I’d been convinced I’d go back onto dairy once the 30-days were up.  Now however, I just can’t see why I’d do that.  Dairy gave me no nutritional benefit that I don’t get elsewhere in my diet, and I’m become increasingly convinced that dairy and I might not be so compatible.  I’m always in a happy mood, but this has definitely been turned up a notch in the last 18 days.  I’m also feeling a lot less tired – and for the first time since I can remember I’ve started to wake up before my alarm clock!  This seems to have kick started my sleeping patterns too, as I’m now actually tired at bedtime.  Win win!  I’ll report back on my progress at the end of the 30 days, but more interestingly my housemate who has been doing this Whole30 with me, from a completely different way of eating!

Are you doing a Whole30 too?  I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences below