Is food your medicine or your poison? What I learned from The Paleo Way conference.
I have been following a Paleo way of eating now for the last 3 months and there is no doubt that I’m better for it. My moods are better, my sleep quality is better, I’ve lost weight, I have more energy and I no longer get those nasty mid afternoon energy slumps.
This week I was lucky enough to go along to The Paleo Way conference hosted by paleo SuperChef himself Mr Pete Evans.
For my readers in the UK if you don’t know him he is the Australian equivalent of Gordon Ramsey but with less swearing and more surfing.
He brought along Luke Hinds (pt, and Paleo devotee), Wes Carr (Australian Idol winner and Paleo devotee) and world renowned and recognised paleo expert Nora Gedgaudas, for the ride.
The main part of the conference was Nora explaining the philosophy behind paleo.
It was a little bit too much of a history lesson for my taste but once Nora began to talk about how the food we eat affects our bodies I was hooked. I am really interested in the physiological and psychological effect that food has on us and I enjoyed the science stuff.
A little alarmist maybe? But when you consider the industrial processes that the vast majority of our food goes through until it turns into something that bears little or no resemblance to the raw material it originally started out at, turning it into ‘frankenfood’ then maybe not so alarmist.
Take the humble potato as an example, it is drenched in industrial rancid seed oils, fried to within an inch of its life and then liberally doused in salt. Until it becomes know as the chip. When you look at it that way, would you consider that food to be nourishing? Have you ever wondered why when you’ve been to Maccas and devoured a BigMac meal plus a cheeseburger chaser (just me?!) only to be hungry again 20 minutes later? Same thing.
According to Nora, sugar sets off the same neurological pathways in our body as cocaine, it amounts to the same addiction. Have you ever eaten a bag of lollys for example and just kept going and going and going and you know you should stop and you’re trying to stop but you just can’t? (Oh! Again Just me then – maybe I have a problem).
We have gone from eating 11/4tsp of sugar per person a day in the 1800s to 40-45tsp per person per day – shocking stuff.
Fat is not the enemy.
Our body, in fact our brains need fat to survive and to thrive. Our brains are mainly made up of fatty tissue after all. Fat is the major fuel for brain development.
The major benefit of eating the right amount of ‘healthy’ dietary fat means you are satiated, reducing the compulsion to binge eat or overeat.
So what is the crux of the Paleo approach.
Knowing where your food comes from.
Caring what you are putting into your own and your family’s body.
Eating good quality dietary fats in the form of good quality organic, grass fed and finished meat, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut.
Eating ‘nose to tail’, ie eating all of the animal including the less fashionable cuts, the organ meat etc, this is often where alot of the nutrients lie.
Eating good quality organic seasonal vegetables and fruit.
Eating nutrient dense food that will strengthen you not weaken you.
Mindfully eating the food that you prepare – going back to the basics of taking the time to enjoy the food you are eating, eating it until you are satiated (full) and then
. . . . stopping.
Pretty common sense stuff eh!
It was an interesting night and certainly gave me ‘food for thought’ (I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m going now, promise!)
Have a read of Neets post over on FitMotherHubbard for her take on the conference.
Her perspective is slightly different as she is just starting to move to Paleo eating in an effort to deal with the chronic eczema that her children suffer from.