Sunday, April 21, 2013

My modified paleo diet

Some of you will recognize this post of mine from FB yesterday. Right before making this delicious lunch I watched the TED talk on "Debunking the paleo myth" which just annoyed me.

Paleo lunch... it's not caveman food, it's delicious whole, homemade food: free range eggs, organic shallots, brussel sprouts and side bacon from my butcher.
Brussel sprouts are full of I3C - protection against cancer *POW!* They promote estrogen metabolism and helps its elimination, for all of those lady problems! *BAM!* It's a low glycemic index food and is full of fiber!! *KABLAM!* Not just a triple threat, it's a quadruple threat!

My delicious lunch. Took 20 mins to make... perfect for a study break.
 So my annoyance with Dr. Christina Warinner is that 1) she doesn't quite understand what "paleo" means.... 2) I know this because she actually advocates for many of the principles that paleo stands for. 3) Worst title ever for a TED talk... I'm pretty sure she only did it to get views.

In truth, I follow a modifed paleo diet. It's modified to my life as a reasonable lifestyle that I will continue for the rest of my life. When you have as many food intolerances as me, you never consider going back to eating gluten and dairy - period. 

For anyone who's interested in paleo, I tell them to go at it hardcore for 30 days. That means, following every "paleo" rule for 30 days and no cheating. After that 30 days you can decide how you want to modify it. Maybe you want to follow the 80/20 rule (80% of your days are paleo, and the other 20% are "cheat" days). For me, it's an 70/30 on a daily basis. 

Wait.. newsflash: some creepy guy literally just walked up on my yard, pressed his face against our kitchen window and started peering into the house. Yeah, okay, I did the stupid thing by opening the door and asking what he was doing (but I had my game face on and was ready to punch him if he attacked me)... to which he said he was looking for someone... seriously??? Who does that?! I can't wait to get out of Toronto...

Okay, back to my original point. I love my brown rice toast in the morning with either almond butter or eggs. I also eat rice at our school's cafeteria, and I love sushi. Really, those are my cheats. I've gotten past the days where I clarify every single ingredient with my waiter at restaurants and just order as clean as possible, but stuff gets in. The amount of unnecessary soy, MSG and sulfites in our restaurant food is astounding; but a girl's gotta eat and sometimes I'm just too exhausted to cook. 

I'm often asked what my paleo rules are. Everyone can follow their own version of paleo. I suggest doing your homework and reading up on it from a few different sources and then follow the diet. Here are the basics:

Guiding principles of Paleo:

- Eat lots of veggies- as many as you want really. I love steaming them.

- Potatoes do NOT equal vegetables. Except for sweet potatoes. White/yellow potatoes are just starch with no real nutritional value. It's like eating a bunch of empty calories.

- Eat protein everyday. This doesn't mean gorging yourself on steaks, but you should be eating clean lean meat everyday: free range chicken, turkey, game fowl, grass fed (pasture-raised) beef, bison, lamb, wild-caught fish (not tuna.. tuna are the top of a fish food chain and therefore are laden with toxins), pork is fine, but again, know your sources.  Go to a butcher and ask where the meat comes from. Oh! and don't forget your free-range eggs (if tolerated)

- Have some fruit. If you're trying to loose weight, limit yourself to one serving per day. 

- Nuts and seeds are nice snacks. I LOVE almond butter on celery and cucumber slices. Peanuts don't count... they're a legume. 

- No beans or legumes (including soy). Too hard to digest and soy is just a terrible crop owned by Monsanto, and is modified beyond belief. It's also a top food allergen.

- Use oils like EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and coconut oil. 

- Coconut everything is amazing... coconut water (for hydration), coconut milk (for baking with or as creamer), coconut flour (for baking cupcakes or as a thickener). 

- No grains, no gluten. At all. I'm not kidding. You'll be amazed at how you don't feel so "weighed down" after a meal. You'll also feel full faster if you just have veggies and some meat for your meals.

- No dairy. Dairy in Traditional Chinese Medicine is "damp"-forming. It makes you gassy and bloated; it builds up mucous, it can depress your immune system, and you can get calcium from other sources. Milk does NOT do a body good. 

- No corn. It's a useless crop that Monsanto mass-produces. That includes corn oil, corn syrup... if a label says "sugar" or "glucose/fructose" and doesn't give the source of said sugar, it's likely going to be corn-based. Scrap it. It's inflammatory!

- No sweeteners... I use real Canadian maple syrup or honey as sweetener or for baking. Aspartame is toxic. I have an article I can post if you don't believe me. MSG is also toxic. Read all of your labels!

Those are the basics. Eat clean food, know where it comes from. Opt for locally grown foods if you can. Eat mostly veggies and make sure to include protein everyday, especially in the morning! It's not rocket science; it's not a restricted way of life. It's a happy tummy and a healthy body. Take care of yourself! You only get one body in this lifetime - treat it well!