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

Un-intimidating Yoga at home

It took me a long time to work up the courage to attempt yoga. I’ve always struggled with flexibility. Visions of myself struggling in ballet class as an 8 year old tend to haunt me whenever I attempt the sit and reach test or to even try and touch my toes. The thought of attending a yoga class and attempting to turn myself into a human pretzel in front of others was pretty much terrifying. As a result I pretty much ignored flexibility and stretching all together . .  which was obviously a bad choice!

That is until I discovered the YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene’. I’m just going to come right out and say that I have a huge girl crush on Adriene Mishler. She is beautiful, funny, witty and just devine! Her channel has literally every type of Yoga you could ask for. Beginner’s yoga, yoga for weight-loss, yoga for your butt and thighs, yoga for core strength, yoga at your desk and even individual videos devoted to particular poses in case there’s a particular one you just can’t get the hang of. One of my personal favourites is the ‘Yoga for Hangovers’ video, she has literally thought of everything! Not to mention her motto is ‘find what feels good’ which focuses on encouraging you to move and experiment with the poses instead of just cranking into them and trying to hold for minutes at a time.

Since attempting a few beginner’s videos and her 30 Days of Yoga challenge over the past few months I have noticed:

  • Improved flexibility
  • Less back pain
  • Better focus and less stress
  • Better sleeping patterns
  • Reduced cellulite around my butt and thighs
  • Increased strength in my core
  • Better tone in my arms

Of course it’s natural to be sceptical as to how well you can learn and practice yoga at home and without the face to face instruction of a teacher,  however I can assure you Adriene’s videos are extremely informative and clearly articulated. Quite often I am able to simply listen to the video and not worry about straining my neck between my downward dog pose to see what move she is attempting next!

I will, however, be looking to start trying to attend a yoga class every couple of weeks or so now that I am more confident in the basics and to supplement my at-home practice to ensure I’m not doing anything too wrong.

If you’re looking to get into yoga or use it to supplement your existing fitness regime I highly recommend taking the following steps to get started:

  • Buy a good quality yoga mat (I have a mat from Lorna Jane with an inspirational quote on it that I absolute love)
  • Ensure you have a space and time to do your yoga where you will be the least interrupted (I try and do in the morning in the lounge room before my partner and housemate get up)
  • Attempt the videos in the ‘Yoga for Beginners’ playlist a couple of times each
  • Attempt the 30 Days of Yoga challenge
  • Reap the rewards!

To find the above mentioned videos and playlists go to

http://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

Sinead xx