Tag Archives: Nutrition

What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet advocates that people eat what humans used to eat before the agricultural revolution made daily bread an easy food source. The Paleo diet encourages people to eat natural foods that are as they were before we used chemical fertilizers and genetically modified them to sit in supermarket freezers for months.

Eat tons of fruits and vegetables. Foods your ancestors used to grow for themselves in their garden. If you can afford organic by joining a co-op – do so. If not find local shops who buy from local farms if possible. You’ll find more taste and more nutrients in these vegetables and fruit and less chemical risk.

The main food groups which the Paleo diet recommends are:

  • * Vegetables
  • * Meats
  • * Seafood
  • * Fruits


The above food groups are high in soluble fibre, antioxidants, phytochemicals, omega 3, monounsaturated fats, protein and are foods which have a low glycemic level when it comes to carbohydrate levels.
You can eat protein along with unlimited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Paleo diet recommends that you avoid the following foods

  • * Refined sugars
    * Refined grains
  • * Saturated fats
  • * Trans fats
  • * Salt
  • * Processed foods
  • * High glycemic carbohydrate foods


These foods are known to cause obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. They have also been linked to many other health related diseases.

Our Paleo Ancestors

If we dig back into our history books a little you will discover that when our Paleo ancestor’s reached 60 they suffered from very few of the modern diseases like diabetes. Although many people did not make it to 60 that was due to the higher instances of people being killed from injury and from disease for which no antibiotic was available.

Our ancestors ate local fresh produce, they grew their own fruits and vegetables and raised livestock for slaughter. They did not eat packaged and processed foods and it was uncommon to see overweight individuals. Their lifestyle kept them busy all the time. They were active, healthy people so long as their food supply was sufficient for their needs and they were not affected by violence or the elements.

Calcium and Paleo

One concern that many people have when first starting the Paleo diet is will they lack calcium. People have been taught to think that they need to consume dairy to promote healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.

You will still be getting calcium on the Paleo diet, you will just be getting your daily amount from different sources. Instead of drinking milk and eating cheese you will be getting calcium from your fruits and vegetables.

Our body needs to balance the amount of calcium it receives daily. All foods are processed through our kidneys and this is where bone demineralization takes place. When you eat foods which produce high amounts of acid in your body, especially sugar, the kidneys force out excess calcium.

The acid producing foods which we consume too much of are hard grains, cereals, cheese and salty foods. Acid must balance with alkaline which is found in citrus fruits and vegetables. So when you increase the amount of these good alkaline foods your body will balance its calcium level. You are unlikely to become calcium deficient just because you changed your diet to Paleo.

If you follow the guidelines to the Paleo Diet you will start to lose weight, sleep better and have more energy. In the long run you will likely live longer and suffer less inflammatory types of disease.

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The Tip of the Pyramid – Oil, Fat and Sugar

The Tip of the Pyramid – Oil, Fat and Sugar

I actually liked Science at School, although of course I had to pretend that I didn’t and biology wasn’t my favourite part of it – I flat out refused to take part in cutting up a frog. The Science teacher I remember was called Mr Griffith and he made a comment to the class one day that has always stayed with me. After a lesson – whose topic I don’t remember – he asked the class if what he had taught us was true. Many of us immediately said yes, it was true. Then he asked “How do you know?”

The obvious answer which one of the boys cockily gave him,  was because he is a teacher and he wouldn’t teach us things that weren’t true because he’d get fired. The argument bounced around the class for half a period while Mr Griffiths explained that even if he believed something to be true, or if the government believed it to be true – each individual has their own life experience and their own mind to decide on what they believe to be true and just because someone has a better education, it doesn’t make their decision more valid.

This 1992 food pyramid diagram can still be fo...
Image via Wikipedia

Dr Robert Atkins

Those things that we know or believe to be true are subject to change. For example the food pyramid we learned about in school has been rearranged.

In 1963, when Dr Robert Atkins weighed 100 kg (224 pounds), he read “A New Concept in the Treatment of Obesity” by Edgar S. Gordon, Marshall Goldberg, and Grace J. Chosy, a study of a low-starch diet based on the work of Alfred W. Pennington

Atkins successfully lost weight by following it, and repeated his success with 65 of his overweight patients. He published his book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972, and it has sold millions of copies and is still in print and selling.

Dr Atkins book claimed that carbohydrate ( the main base of the 1992 food pyramid here) is the problem food source that causes the body to overproduce the hormone insulin, which metabolizes blood glucose, making people feel hungry. Dieticians were horrified when Atkins said people can eat as much meat and fat as they chose as long as they cut out carbohydrates and sugars. This diet of saturated fats and protein will cause heart disease.

But this video appears to think that was another scientific fact that was false…

Harvard food pyramid
Image via Wikipedia

The Harvard food pyramid appears to be more balanced but it still has whole grain foods (at most meals) at the bottom  and red meat and butter in the tip. If Atkins had made a pyramid the bottom would have had meat, fowl, fish and eggs on the bottom and then vegetables. I don’t think that’s right either…

Udo’s Food Pyramid is simpler. At the bottom , you can eat plenty of green vegetables and non starchy veg. You can eat good fats and proteins – seeds, nuts and fatty fish.

Then the bottom of the tip of the pyramid has an injunction to limit consumption of fuel – that is carbohydrates, fats and fruit. Then in the tip stay away from white foods and burnt foods. Over cooking food is as bad as “white” processing it. Even so this is very similar to the Candida diet.

My head is spinning but my blood sugar is stable

The more I study this – the more I get the feeling that I’m never going to be able to eat another chocolate biscuit or pre packaged icecream again. I am certain that sugar is an addictive drug that is probably the single most nutricious empty and debilitating ” treat ” masquerading as a food source ever. But could I refuse a peppermint to a toddler or sour straps to an 8 year old.

Almost everything I took for granted was true is turned on it’s head.

Portion sizes are interesting – red meat should be the size of a pack of cards, not the size of a T-bone steak (for everyone?). The goodness of a glass and a half of full cream dairy milk is advertising – We can get plenty of Calcium without eating dairy – milk, cheese or yoghurt. Wheat products – our daily bread – is the most likely culprit in auto immune diseases.

Image via Wikipedia

To be really healthy we also need organic vegetables that haven’t been genetically modified. Protein sources are now contaminated with metals and antibiotics. Even fruits and vegetables are faded.

And who knows if any diet really makes a difference to our health anyway? What is true?

You know I ate an orange yesterday that had the most intense taste it knocked chocolate for six. I ate a stir fry of vegetables with ginger and loved it. I had a glass of oat milk with a spoonful of cocoa and a dash of coconut cream – Yum! Giving up sugar appears to have restored my taste buds.

I know it would be easier to return to eating normally. Cooking for the family is hard, they don’t want to restrict their diet, they don’t know what I know. They don’t want to know. What now…

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Which health foods to eat?

Which Health Foods to Eat?
Can Diet Really Improve Your Health?

Which health food to eat? What should my diet be? What is factual about healthy food?

What is a diet exactly? The most popular diets show us quick ways to lose weight, because we are embarassed by the extra pounds around our tummies. How to lose weight is a primary objective for many people, but diet is not just about how we look, it’s about our long term health. Can a diet of health foods improve our health, cure disease, take our pain away and make us feel young again?

“You are what you eat” is the title of a popular health book and there is much truth in the statement. Of course there is more than health food choice to human beings! However what we eat eventually sculpts us into archetypes that are easily recognised by dieticians.

It’s not just what health food we eat either, but what we drink, what we inhale, how much we exercise, and any other influence from our specific environment that influence our body’s functions, such as – sun, cold or stress.

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...
A diet rich in soy and whey protein, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. However soy is said to inhibit the action of the thyroid hormone, and new studies show it to not be as healthy as first thought to be.

Many of these influences are accepted parts of how we choose to live, but many are also habits that if we had to make a logical choice on and given all the facts, we would change. At least we like to think that we would.

The real truth is that life goes on without much thought given to such choices, like our diet, until some health crisis suddenly brings it to our attention.  We may have experienced discomfort and pain for years but assumed that it was part of growing older. Nor is a healthy diet a cure all for all people as there are genetic factors that can cause us ill health.

So although I would answer that diet can improve your health (immensely in some cases) and few dieticians would argue, it would be incorrect to say that health food alone can cure all illness.

Perhaps losing weight will help, perhaps organic and biodynamic food will help, perhaps better choices of food, fresh vegetables and fruit rather than a predominance of grains, will improve our health. The information is out there, but only individual trial (and error) will show us what is healthy food for us.

My reason for writing this website is that my own health crisis has pushed me to research healthy food choices. I’ve discovered that much of what I accepted to be generally true is far more complex than I expected, and often specifically false or distorted truth. Neither the old or new food pyramid is the best way to view a healthy diet.  The issue of sugar and cholesterol is fraught with strong opposing information and marketing lies. The bulk of processed, packaged food is riddled with sugar, but fat free. The unknown other additives may be dangerous and it has few genuine nutrients unless they are added vitamins – but it tastes good and it’s on the television!

What health food to eat? Hmmm – Good question.

So this website is a way to keep track of the information, resources and websites that have helped me learn about  my own health issues, especially so far as supplements and correct diet can help me to heal. And if you have similar problems, or even if not, I hope the information here will help you too.

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