Gluten free, paleo, primal, low carb…we have all heard the terms but do we know what they mean? Why are so many people losing weight eating this way? But most important, why is this way of eating proving to be the healthiest for us? It’s a new year and that could mean a new you! For myself, I have been following the Paleo diet for over a year now. Sure I’m human and I have my days when I just cave and have got to have that piece of garlic bread at a restaurant, but through the months I have gotten so much better and now I can say that I rarely crave or eat bread / grain products. Here is what I could find to answer some questions you may have on this lifestyle.
Lets start with the basic question of what is gluten? Simply put gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt, barley, rye, malts, and triticale). The wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our grandmothers used. The seeds are being sprayed with pesticides and the actual wheat strains are being altered. So going gluten free would be to avoid these grains. Though you may not be allergic to gluten (celiac disease), you may be sensitive and not even know it. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include digestive problems, but also bone pain, fatigue, depression, panic attacks, skin rashes, generally feeling unwell, weight gain, and obesity. We humans are poorly designed to consume and digest grains. Most grains and all processed foods are connected with immunological, and inflammatory disease. Sadly many people will not suspect gluten or grains as a culprit to their health problems. People who have gone gluten free and overall grain free or have adapted this way of eating to most of their meals are finding immediate results in the weight loss department and in overall health. Our bodies lose weight because we are replacing the grains with the right REAL food our body needs and thrives on (raw veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, proteins, and fats). Our hormones get regulated, our cravings go away, and BAM the numbers start to drop on the scale. Not only that, but people are getting relief from arthritis and joint pains, acid reflux, migraine headaches, as well as many other conditions.
One note is to beware of gluten free products. Many contain tapioca, cornstarch, or rice starch that can all wreak havoc on the body. Stick to REAL unpackaged foods even if a box says “gluten free”. Gluten free does not eliminate all grains because some like corn, rice, and quinoa can still be consumed. Grain free is elimination of all grains.
This leads to the whole paleo / primal way of eating. Paleo eating is gluten and grain free eating at its best. To go Paleo means to eat what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate such as grass-fed meat, and especially nutrient-dense organ meats and fat, yes FAT, but avoid any and all factory farmed grain fed meat. Wild-caught fish, veggies, fruit, and certain nuts and seeds are all part of the program while avoiding grains, legumes (more on this), sugars, processed foods, most dairy, and most anything else that did not exist pre-agriculture. Legumes (beans) should be treated like grains and be avoided. Legumes were not consumed by the paleo hunter-gatherer because they needed to be cooked in order to be edible.
Many die-hard paleo followers avoid dairy but for me the only dairy I consume occasionally is raw milk, buttermilk, and kefir and well as raw milk cheese. Why Raw? Pasteurization kills any and all beneficial bacteria and also damages the vitamins, minerals and denatures the proteins in the milk. Pasteurized milk is not a living food and can cause health problems. If you or any one in your family are huge dairy drinker’s it would benefit to look more into this.
I enjoy nutrient dense meats and more fish now. I have learned to get creative with different oils and fats to spruce up veggies and salad dressings. I bake with coconut flour and use stevia as a sweetener. I learned to use spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement and even my kid’s love it.
I enjoy making my own trail mixes and apples and almond butter are a daily requirement for me! With this way of eating I am able to maintain an ideal weight for me easily and not have to diet or count calories. Not only that, I am stronger and have more energy for intense workouts like syphus, burst training, sprints, and more! The diet and exercise combined has helped me sleep great at night and wake feeling good, healthy, and strong. If you have tried it all and are one to make New Years Resolutions make going gluten free or even better eating the Paleo way your New Years Challenge. Your diet staples consist of good quality meats and fish, fats, veggies (mostly raw), fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs and minimal dairy.
As you eat more protein and fat and less carbs from breads, crackers, cereals and processed foods your body get more efficient at using up fat and stored fat for fuel. According to Mark Sisson at Marksdailyapple.com “human metabolism is pre-programmed by evolution to be primarily fat based (the real preferred fuel).” You can read more at: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-metabolic-paradigm-shift-fat-carbs-human-body-metabolism/#ixzz2By6bGwFA
Use you CMH bracelet to count the days you can go grain free!
Happy New Year to you all and keep counting! – SR
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