Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I've made some Bone Broth... Nature's Antibiotic...Shame about the taste

I've had a bit of a cold over the last week, sore throat and stuffy nose and so I've been trying a few natural remedies to try to beat it.
So I've made some bone broth. I used beef bones that I got from the local butcher, and put them in a crock pot a long with 5 liters of water. Then I put in some vegetables, including garlic and onion. Salt and pepper too!
Then i put the lid on the whole lot for 48+ hours and let that boil away.
There were a few complaints about the smell during the boiling, but the end results are totally bare bones with no marrow or cartilage left on them. The meat has also boiled away.
The result is a dark liquid that has an oily texture. I added some salt to a warm cup of broth and took it.
It wasn't the most pleasant drink that I've ever taken, in fact it repeated on me several times in the day. But then the cup or mugs worth was probably far too much for the first outing. Id be better off having it over a dinner or as part of a soup. Still, for my health I shall continue and for next time I might check some other recipes to see what I can do to get it to taste a bit better. I might check out what uses I can put the broth to as well.
Here's to natures Antibiotic...

Saturday, 26 April 2014

10 questions you should mass your diet! diet evaluation time! Part 1

So in past blogs I've mentioned what I don't eat and what I avoid.
So what do I normally eat and why?

For a start, im not suggesting that someone jumps into my diet to full effect. My diet is an evolution. It is changing and improving as time goes on. My diet is also how I eat 95% of the time.
There are days however, normally when visiting friends for a meal, that I will splash out and have some carbs or even a sweet after dinner.
But that is only for that evening and then I'll eat the way I should and enjoy, for another couple of weeks.

My diet isn't a chore. Ive effectively lost all the weight that I want to lose, but my diet isn't thrown away merely because I've lost weight, I know how healthy I am eating this way. That is the way in essence, that a diet becomes a cliche lifestyle change.

How would you evaluate your diet? How would you evaluate a diet before starting it?

Does it do what you want it to do?
Normally people start a diet because they want to lose weight and healthy choices are normally a secondary reason. In reality we are all living busy lives and the amount of us that are thinking long term health is minimal.

So will your diet help you lose weight?
Whether you choose a low calorie starvation diet, (calories in verses calories out) or a low carb diet, you will lose weight!
Weightwatchers, slimming world these all work. You will lose weight on these plans or you wouldn't find them in business. How about a juicing detox diet, a low fat low calorie diet,a water diet, a milk diet? Guess what? You'll lose the weight there too. I'm not saying that it'll be easy but you'll lose weight if your devoted.

How do I feel on the diet?
So your diet is working, your shedding those pounds and pounding those streets?
How are you feeling? Are you hungry right now?
Are you having severe mood swings and energy dips and lows? Is your diet making you feel happy and energised?
A diet where you feel hungry and frustrated counting every calorie for example will not last, you won't be able to keep it up. Are you on the right diet? If you are on the right diet you should be able to keep it up without a problem.

Will your diet keep weight off or is it a crash (and burn) diet?
Lose 14lb in just 2 weeks, drop a dress size in 3 weeks! The magazines are full of the latest juicing, fruit only and pill weight loss plans. But anything that has a time limit like the example above is a crash and burn diet. After the 2 weeks are over your going to gain all the weight and more back.
In fact some studies have shown that crash and burn diets actually slow your metabolism and in the end you put weight on faster and more of it!
I've been on calorie counting diets before and I have lost weight but I've put a lot back on the second I stopped. Which isn't a good argument, well I stopped the diet and I put weight on, but if your just eating smoothies and shakes, how the hell are you supposed to stay on that?!! You can't.

Does your diet have science proving its merits or is it just a eat less (starve) diet?
Check out this post that I made about the science of the diet that I'm on and how a calorie isn't just a calorie an d that food has a hormonal effect on us. Eating a bag of sugar or a bag of fries isn't the same as eating a bit of meat in butter. The result isn't the same, our bodies aren't a simple math equation.
This even applies to the thought eat everything in moderation. I'm afraid that's a bit on the dim side a well.

I'm not saying never have your cake and eat it...
Remember I'm not a stickler either. I eat the way I do for the choices I make, but I do that for 90-95% of the time. As humans, if we are told that your never going to be allowed to have cake ever again, you wouldn't be able to get cake off your mind. So If I've eaten health for a couple of weeks and we go to a wedding or a friends for dinner, yes I'll eat the food that's given. At least enjoy it when your wasting it! Don't feel bad about it, but then the next day, I return to normal.

How does your diet shape up?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Chris Kresser On EPA - plastics - Have they ever been a good idea?

I'd heard this before but I'd totally forgotten about the dangers of plastic.
According to the research studies that he has read the danger is from the EPA and also from the non EPA plastics. Both can change the Oestrogen levels and result in a range of diseases.
They aren't the sort of things that make a difference this week or this month, but perhaps in later life or even in the generations to come. In fact we don't know what damage the plastic that breaks down into our water or our food is doing to us.

The plastics industry is huge, into the tens of billions of dollars, I had no idea it was such a huge industry.
But now that I stop and think about it, who ever thought that drinking or eating from plastic was a good idea?
I know that my daily water bottle is plastic and has been for years.
It can be easy to over react to news items like this, research studies that point out dangers here and there, but could I make easy changes? I sure could. I'm going to look out for a glass or stainless steel drinking bottle to take with me everyday instead. Like I said it wont kill me today or tomorrow, but at the end of the day it's what my ethos is all about. Trying to eat and drink as healthily as possible. Has plastic ever been a good idea? No not really....
But I'm still drinking tap water.... filtered will have to be the next project...
What do you drink from?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Rash from dairy & Egg intolerance

In a blog post before I mentioned that I wanted to do some food eliminations because of the way I was feeling. But I tried it for a few days and it was darn hard.
But this time I'm far more motivated.
Here's why:

These are pictures I've just taken of my legs, the red rash and skin irritation is very sore and is getting worse. I used to have these kind of rashes when eating wheat and when I stopped eating it I got so much better. But now I'm eating fat more day than I used to because of my high fat low carb approach, and as a result I think it has highlighted a dairy allergy.

I don't know for sure that its a dairy / egg allergy, but I'm going to have to eliminate it for a few weeks and see if I'm any better.
I've clarified some butter, which has ruined part of the taste, but it removes the lactose and casein particles.
Hopefully it might even lessen some of the headaches that I suffer as well. We'll have to see.

But giving up dairy is tough! Not to have cheese smothered on everything, my glenisk Greek style full fat yogurt and milk in my decaff coffee is hard. But I've got to a point where I'm going to have to try...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Are you relying on coffee?

We all like to think that we eat and drink healthily. Maybe your paleo or clean eating.
We no longer drink soft drinks or power drinks filled with caffeine, we no longer use sugar as a stimulant to get us through day to day life.

Is Coffee your crutch or stimulant? 

But at the same time we still have the same inclination. We want to be the most awake, the most alert and the most productive. In the past we have used sugar to constantly pep us up, to keep us going and wired.

Addictive substance rehabilitation centres often report that drug addicts come off hard drugs but often then replace their habit with a sugar habit.

Well from my experience we can continue the same habit and inclination on the Paleo diet.
I think that the substance that we use is coffee. When going Paleo I cut out all soft drinks and dilute drinks, not to mention fruit juices. Now I drink a lot more water. But I found that I was drinking a lot more coffee. Probably because of the reduced amount of drinking choices. Coffee is a good tasting drink!

How much coffee do you drink?

But if you count up the amount of coffee that you drink would you be shocked or surprised?
How much caffeine are you having in a day? Maybe the best idea is to make a coffee diary and count the amount over an average day. 
I would have 5-7 cups in the day. Subconsciously I was using coffee as my crutch. It was what I was using to put the pep in my step.

As we know though, too much caffeine can tire our adrenal glands, and anything that gives us that lift will ultimately drop us worse than we were before. Instead we should try to let our body find its natural level. We need to find an even keel and then be happy with our bodies level of performance. Your caffeine intake could be giving you a false high of energy or spirits only to drop you afterwards. Are you overly tired, moody and fatigued? One of the reasons could be adrenal fatigue. There are other reasons of course but beware of boosting a tired body with caffeine. 

Are you tired when you get to three o clock in the afternoon? Instead of a strong brew of coffee to pump up your system, how about a 5 minute nap or relaxation routine? That can leave you far more productive and naturally rested.
How about getting outside for some fresh air and some sunshine for ten minutes as you relax? Perhaps close your eyes and try to clear your mind.
If your extra tired could your body be telling you that you need extra sleep, that you are deficient in some micro nutrient or need to change something about your lifestyle?

But I love my coffee!!!

Me too! I like my coffee. What I have done as part of a transition is switch to decaffeinated coffee. It doesn't quite taste the same, but I've found a brand I like. Don't be fooled though that you can drink as much Decaff as you like, it still has roughly a fifth of the caffeine as regular coffee. Experts seem to differ but it seems a safe number. So if I still have my 5-7 cups depending on my day, by having decaff I'm having roughly the same caffeine as 1-2 cups a day.

Give it a go. You might be relying on coffee and caffeine more than you think. Don't hide your natural signals, instead harness your body for best performance in the long run.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hamilton M. Stapell - The end of Paleo - Will it go mainstream? Barriers to entry

This lecture is from the Ancestry Foundation and can be seen here on youtube.
Will Paleo go mainstream?

I like Hamilton Stapell's lecture, he poses some really good insightful thoughts about the Paleo movement.
I agree with most of what he says but disagree perhaps on some other of his reasonings. Here is a review and my conclusions on what he said.

Will Paleo go Mainstream? 

This question is worth being asked I suppose. It's on the lips of so many Paleo people. It's natural to think and wonder if you and your friends are Paleo. That's a high percentage in your world.
But, at the end of the day, It shouldn't affect your continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. We chose the best way for ourselves, and what other people do is up to themselves.
Saying that, will Paleo ever go mainstream? We can see benefits to Paleo for sure, and wouldn't be easier if everyone lived healthy!
Hamilton Stapell conducted an online survey in 2013 on which he is basing a lot of his findings for this lecture. He doesn't say however how big the sample of the survey was or his methodology, perhaps that was on the screen behind him, but it's a shame he didn't mention any of them.
So what were his results?

Who go Paleo?

There are two groups, there are those who are sick and those who traditional medicine has failed. This includes people who use Paleo for weight loss. Then there are also those who want to increase performance.
Both groups of people are highly motivated, it takes a special type of person.
In his experience they are often professional, entrepreneurs, trainers and Type A personalities.
On his study 74% had a bachelors honours, far more than the national average.
Here I wonder about the sample size and selection. Without this proof the data doesn't mean much. But I can appreciate that it takes a motivated person to go Paleo. But it also takes a motivated person to starve themselves thin on some of these other modern diets.

A clear majority of Paleo people are middle aged and more women than men. 68% claim to be in a committed relationship.
So that's the type of person that goes Paleo, do I agree? Somewhat, I don't agree that going Paleo is based on a level of education or wealth, but I do agree that it takes motivation and to a lesser degree a Type A personality.

Barriers to Paleo going Mainstream - 

Cultural Barriers

Neolithic foods are tied in and woven around culture. Whether its the french with their Baguette or a Baseball game with hot dogs etc.
It is hard to imagine grains, legumes and dairy being removed from modern culture. I agree with that, grains are part of our culture and it will be nearly impossible to move away from this culture or habit.
Can you imagine a wedding with no wedding cake he argues?
Really though, I eat Low carb/ Paleo/ Ketogenic for 95% of the time but if I happen to be at a wedding once in a blue moon, am I really not going to have a treat? I agree that the whole world isn't going to go Paleo. It's not for everyone, but at the same time being paleo doesn't mean that you never ever ever have any of these things. That's what I think he is missing in some of his arguments. I don't know anyone Paleo that doesn't on a very rare occasion treat themselves or have something non Paleo.
Lets take his example of a baseball game and the culture of hot dogs. Even though its not a healthy choice, if someone ate clean, natural and unprocessed foods all week, and then had one hot dog at a game, I don't think that makes them unhealthy. I also don't think it prevents them from being called Paleo either.

Physiological Barriers

Neolithic foods appear to be addictive he adds. They appear to be a challenge to give up. They taste good? Really? Try and eat a carb only meal and it will taste horrible. A plate of plain pasta anyone? When they are mixed with fat however they taste good.
Sweet goods are definitely addictive. This is a huge barrier to someone going Paleo. Its not unusual for someone to have huge withdrawal symptoms from removing sugars and grains from their diet. The standard American diet is 70% neolithic or industrial foods. That's a lot to give up, and the addictive part.

Social Barriers

As humans we have a desire to have fun at our own detriment. We don't like being told that we cant have certain foods. We live in a generation that wants instant gratification. We want it now and we don't want to wait.

His Conclusions... My Conclusions

He concluded his lecture by stating that Paleo will not go mainstream because of the size of the step it takes and the interests that people and corporations have in not going Paleo. The barriers above are huge blocks preventing people from being Paleo.
I agree with him, because from my own experience, I've seen people try to eat Paleo, or at least no sugar and grains, and have either lost motivation or the drive to continue. 
People live in the here and now, most people aren't willing to change just for the future benefits. 
However, how I feel Paleo can find growth, is in the weight loss game. People aren't motivated to clean up their act until they finally have to, or are forced into it. 
Paleo is great for weight loss, Paleo shouldn't just be for Christmas but if that's all that people use it for, well, it's a start. Perhaps then, some might keep living that way even after the weight loss?