My two cents’ worth on the paleo debate

Holy guacamole! There’s been a lot of heated discussion of late regarding the paleo lifestyle and it’s current Australian poster boy, Pete Evans. Poor Paleo Pete has really copped it from the media after his attempted release of a Paleo cookbook designed for very young children that contains a recipe for a DIY formula that experts claimed could kill a baby. Unfortunately all this negative media coverage has resulted in the Paleo lifestyle getting a bad rap, which doesn’t need to be the case if it is researched and understood properly.

I am neither for or against the Paleo approach. This is because I love bread and I love cheese. Actually scratch that, I ADORE cheese! However, I am also very aware of how my body feels after consuming too much of these things. That is I feel clogged up, sluggish and bloated. It’s following these moments, as I’m sipping my warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar to get the digestive system working properly again, that I can understand why people follow and love the Paleo lifestyle.

There are so many different opinions on Paleo and whether or not it’s the right way to go. Personally I’ve made my own opinion on Paleo and it’s potential benefits/obstacles by reading the views of the following people who have the biggest influence on my cooking, eating and general healthy lifestyle:

Sarah Wilson - I Quit Sugar

Sarah Wilson – I Quit Sugar

  • Sarah Wilson and the I Quit Sugar team address the key concepts and benefits of Paleo on these pages:

Michelle Bridges - 12WBT

Michelle Bridges – 12WBT

  • Rachel Sadler represents Michelle Bridges’ and the 12 Week Body Transformation team’s point of view on Paleo here:

Pete Evans - Healthy Every Day

Pete Evans – Healthy Every Day

  • Pete Evans gives information regarding the principles of The Paleo Way using this PDF:

Daniel Churchill - The Healthy Cook

Daniel Churchill – The Healthy Cook

  • And Daniel Churchill discusses his philosophy and reasons for living the Paleo lifestyle on his website:

By sifting through the overwhelming amount of information it’s clear to me that Paleo is often perceived incorrectly as just being all about meat and eating lots of it. This is far from the truth, in fact many of the recipes found within Dan & Pete’s books contain more vegetables than meat and there are plenty of vegetarian friendly options. The key principles are eating wholesome and healthy food that’s un-processed and could have been ‘gathered’ or ‘hunted’ back when we were cave-men. Reducing added sugar, keeping active, avoiding caffeine and restricting alcohol are all recommended traits of the Paleo lifestyle on which I think everyone can agree are sound and healthy principles to live by.

I think it’s ridiculous when people claim that the Paleo lifestyle is dangerous. How can living by the principles mentioned above be detrimental to your health? And when people use the example of ‘the cavemen didn’t live as long as we do now’ as a reason against Paleo, this is easily explained by the huge advances in medicine and technology we have now.

On the other hand I don’t agree with completely cutting out dairy, grains, legumes and all starchy vegetables. This is partly because I enjoy all these things, and also because I believe everything in moderation and at safe levels is ok (although added sugar is something I attempt to avoid altogether). Furthermore by adopting a less restrictive approach to things I find my healthy lifestyle easier to maintain and adhere to in the long run.

One thing we need to remember is everyone is different and no single diet or lifestyle is going to suit everyone. I’m lucky in that my body is able to handle dairy with no problem and that medium levels of gluten are ok but some other others are not so fortunate. Experiment and discover what suits you best and before long you’ll be able to turn that ‘diet’ into a healthy, happy and sustainable lifestyle.

Sinead xx


‘That Sugar Film’ . . . brilliant!

If you do just one thing to improve your and your family’s health then watch ‘That Sugar Film’ by Damon Gameau. Full stop. Point emphasised. I promise it will leave a lasting impression on you!

I was lucky enough to be able to see this film at Alice Springs Cinema on Friday night with a friend as part of the Travelling Film Festival and Damon was actually present to be able to answer questions following the screening. By ‘lucky enough’ I mean that two cinemas were booked out for the screening of the film (basically unheard of in Alice Springs). For those who don’t know, Damon Gameau is an Australian actor that you may have seen in Love My WayUnderbelly: A Tale of Two Cities or the Australian film The Tracker.

That Sugar Film

I have to say that I was genuinely surprised at how much of the information in the film I knew already through my journey through the I Quit Sugar 8-week Program and my continuing subscription to the IQS blog, however there was so much fascinating additional information in regards to the effects that sugar has on the brain that I was left re-motivated and enlightened.

Basically Damon is sugar-free before he starts the film. He has a very whole-foods approach to his eating (partly due to trying to impress his new health-nut girlfriend) and as the sugar debate began to reach the news more and more he decided to undertake an experiment on himself. He sets out to eat 40 teaspoons of sugar a day for 60 days. Yep, 40 TEASPOONS?! You might be thinking this is a ludicrous amount, but I assure you that he does not even eat junk food or lollies during his experiment. He eats food we have conventionally viewed as ‘healthy’ and has absolutely no problem at all reaching his determined level of sugar. Scary huh? Actually, the really scary part is the effects that his new diet has on his body and yet he is eating the same amount (or sometimes less) of calories as his previous diet.

Low-Fat Yoghurt to Kit Kat

The film is funny, witty and just plain brilliant. It puts all of the complicated information into such a simple and easy to understand format that you won’t be left going “Glucose? Fructose? Lactose? . . . Oh blah blah blah it’s all the same crap. This is way too hard”. I have no doubt at all that this film will change your life. In fact, it’s been picked up by the same people who distributed ‘Supersize Me’, is going to be played through Europe and has proved so popular that it will be given regular screening times in cinemas across the country. Not bad for a low-budget Aussie film hey?

For further information about the film, screenings, campaigns and the associated book go to:

Oh, and go see the film!

Sinead xx