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:

https://iquitsugar.com/a-bluffers-guide-to-paleo/?nonce=9f24063ccf

https://iquitsugar.com/24-paleo-facts-you-need-to-know/?nonce=185ff36e97

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:

https://www.12wbt.com/blog/nutrition/is-paleo-the-right-way-to-go/

Pete Evans - Healthy Every Day

Pete Evans – Healthy Every Day

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

https://d2x6ttyazlxoaj.cloudfront.net/wp-content/themes/paleoway/images/what-is-paleo.pdf?13

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:

http://www.danielchurchill.com.au/about/my-philosophy/

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

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When it tastes better than it looks . . .

I don’t know about you but I definitely have not perfected the art of making pretty food. Good, wholesome, tasty food I can produce easily but I’ve found it very rarely looks as appetising as other people’s concoctions. Maybe I need a better app on my phone, maybe I lack creative flair or maybe I’m just an everyday home-cook like everyone else!

The problem is that so many of the food blogs we are exposed to create unrealistic expectations. Again it’s that thing where we compare ourselves to everyone else, but the introduction of social media means we are comparing ourselves to the ‘highlight reel’ of other people’s lives and not necessarily their reality.

We must keep in mind that a majority of food bloggers probably have a good quality camera (or some whiz-bang phone app that wasn’t in the “Top 25 Free Apps” list), spent a good 10mins cleaning the specks off their plate and presenting their food, sprinkled it with pretty herbs that they had to chop separately just for the purpose of presentation and then would have had to sit down and eat their now cold, but attractive dish. I’ve been there and tried it and let me tell you, it’s just not worth eating the food cold or wilted.

The purpose of this post is to embrace ugly, but tasty, food! Here’s a few of my failed attempts or less attractive dishes that still tasted pretty darn good if I say so myself:

  • That time I tried to make Daniel Churchill’s Ricotta, Beetroot and Zucchini slice and it came out fluorescent pink and sloppy . . . maybe I’ll use a smaller beetroot next time.
Ricotta, Beetroot and Zucchini Slice Sinead Style

Ricotta, Beetroot and Zucchini Slice Sinead Style

  • When I attempted my first smoothie bowl . . .
Berry Coco Oaty Smoothie Bowl Comparison - mine is obviously on the right.

Berry Coco Oaty Smoothie Bowl Comparison – mine is obviously on the right.

  • When I tried to make the ‘I Quit Sugar for Life’ Sustainable Fish and Chips recipe and I ended up with soggy chips and my cheese congealed to make some pretty ugly looking fish fingers. Tasted SO good though . . . .
Sustainable Fish n Chips Sinead Style

Sustainable Fish n Chips Sinead Style

What it’s meant to look like . . . .

Sustainable Fish n Chips I Quit Sugar Style

Sustainable Fish n Chips I Quit Sugar Style

  • When I tried to make the Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake but got a bit excited with the dollop and swirl process and then didn’t have any fresh raspberries for decoration . . .
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Sinead Style

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Sinead Style

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake I Quit Sugar Style

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake I Quit Sugar Style

  • And last, but certainly not least, that time I bought a fresh coconut to drink and feel fancy and exotic but struggled to get it open with the drill and then didn’t have any straws in the house except for a hideous one my boyfriend bought years ago when he was obsessed with the movie ‘Cars’ . . . .
The only straw I could find . . .

The only straw I could find . . .

You’re welcome,

Sinead xx