Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Back to Paleo

I am often asked about my own diet (people want to know I am human and eat foods I shouldn't to make them feel better!), and yes, I do eat chocolate every day (we all have our vices), but it's about balance and moderation in all things, and knowing what may be doing you harm.  So if I thought that something I was eating was causing me bloating, bad skin or upsetting my digestion for example, I would stop eating it - I want to feel the best I can all the time.
I think a lot of the time people have forgotten what it feels like to be 100% well and full of energy, and you may not realise that some foods are affecting you.  I have had a client recently who gave up gluten (I suggested this to her, as she was having some digestion problems), and she lost 4 cm around her waist, without losing any weight - she had been bloated from her intake of wheat that didn't agree with her, without her realising.
And this is what the Paleo diet is so good for - it cuts out all the man-made foods that may cause intolerances, and focuses on the nature-made foods that your body should recognise and know how to digest and extract nutrients from.
And the great thing about the Paleo diet is that you can maintain it for life.  Infact I really don't like calling it a diet as this assumes you will 'go on' the diet and at some stage 'go off' the diet.  If you can't maintain a new eating regime for at least 10 years (or life) then it's not really worth starting.
So what is Paleo?  It's going back to the diet we think paleolithic man (cavemen) would have eaten - anything they could have caught or foraged for - grass-fed meat, wild fish, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables.  This means no grains, dairy, legumes or pulses (all of which may cause digestive problems).
Of course we are unlikely to go hunting and foraging, and buying all organic ingredients can be expensive, but every little bit you can do to aim to eat as naturally as possible is a step closer to a healthy you.
Today sees the launch of the Paleo aisle in Ocado's online store - with me as its' expert, so if you have any questions do get in touch.
Here is one of the recipes from my latest Paleo book

Summer Frittata
A great protein-rich meal that can be served for breakfast, brunch or lunch, or could also be made to take on a picnic or to work in a lunch-box.

Serves 4
Prep time:  16 minutes
Cooking time:  29-34 minutes

350 g sweet potato
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
125 g fresh or frozen peas
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp snipped chives
7 medium eggs

·         Cook the sweet potato in a pan of boiling water for 8 minutes, until just tender.  Drain.
·         Heat half the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion with the sweet potato and red peppers for 5-6 minutes.  Add the peas and cook for one minute more.
·         Beat the eggs in a large bowl, pour in the vegetables and mix well.  Season and stir in the herbs.
·         Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and pour the egg and vegetables back into the pan.  Preheat the grill to hot.
·         Cook over a low heat for 15 -18 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla is golden.
·         Finish cooking under the grill for 6-8 minutes, until golden on top.
·         Leave the tortilla to stand for a minute then run a knife around the edge of the pan, place a plate or board on top and turn over to remove from the pan.
·         Cut into wedges to serve.

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