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For me I’ve found the best way is to break it down and just set small targets to change one or two things and then once I’m comfortable with that, I’ll move onto the next step. Have a good look at your life and decide what it is you want to change. And then prioritise the areas you want to focus on.
Most people usually start with their health, either they are over or under weight and want to find a diet that they can stick to and that works, or they suffer from illness and want to be proactive and see if they can heal themselves.
Your health is a brilliant place to start and it all begins with what you are putting into your body every single day. But where do you start, if you are like a lot of people out there you have done loads of diets, you hear on the news contradictory information all the time. Low fat is good, sugar is bad, don’t eat red meat. Coconut oil is new super food! Eat a Mediterranean diet, eat a low carb diet, juice your food, eat cabbage soup the list goes on and on. No wonder its hard for the right information to get through. So let me see if I can make it easier for you to decide what you should be eating
Understanding that our bodies have been evolving over the last 100 thousand years or so, you have to think about what influences we have had in that time which have shaped our systems. For longer than we have had agriculture we have been following a hunter gather lifestyle. Woman would be at the camp tending the children digging and foraging for food and men would have been hunting game and protecting the tribe. We would have eaten with the seasons. If we lived close to the sea which is likely as the land was forested we would have eaten seafood. Now compare that to the last 3000 years where we have discovered farming and started to produce our food rather than gather it. In terms of our evolution this has influenced us a lot less. And lets flash forward to the last 70 years and see the changes we have implemented. Farming has increased to industrial proportions, since the 50’s we have been using chemicals to fertilise our crops, kill the weeds and this has resulted in amazing increases in the yields of our crops. Our animals have been intensely farmed. 10 Chickens in a cage, pigs kept in styes where they can’t turn around. Dairy cows bred for high yield milk production. On top of this we have pumped them full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Chickens can take 16 weeks from egg to plate. You get the picture? And now we are genetically changing the grain we eat and feeding that not only to ourselves but to our animals and our fish. We are using preservatives and additives to prolong the shelf life of our food.
Added to all this we are eating out more than ever. We have access to food 24/7. But this food is not good quality food, no its made cheaply to maximise profits. No wonder obesity levels have risen to 20% and often 30% of populations. Lets face it we are getting fatter. And with this we are also getting sicker. Chronic illnesses are at their highest levels ever. Heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Liver Disease, Cancer, Parkinson’s, Dementia we are all very familiar with these diseases, they hang over us like dark clouds on the horizon.
It doesn’t take a degree in nutrition to make the connection between what we have been eating over the last 30-50 years and the increase in all these diseases.
Firstly you need to set a goal to reduce the amount of processed
food that you eat. Reduce the amount of meat you eat and increase the amount of vegetables. Increase your seafood, especially oily fish. Shop at your local butchers and eat meat that has been pastured (grass fed). Try a few weeks cutting out known inflammatory foods such as diary, wheat & gluten. Some people can process these foods no problem and others have intolerances. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you cut these out of your diet. Even if you think you have no issues with these food give it a go and see how you feel after 3 weeks. I’ve found its actually when I go back to eating these foods that I really notice the difference. The feelings of wellbeing disappear, I can feel bloated, lethargic and grumpy.
But you say its really expensive eating this way. First off food should be your no1. priority when it comes to where you invest your money. And secondly cheap food is exactly that cheap. Low quality and causing you harm. Anyway we’ve all done it where we shop to a shopping list and been surprise at how little our bill is at the till. (or is that just me?) Keep you meals simple, use spices to add flavour.
Unfortunately though changing our food is not the whole story. The food we produce IS different than what we ate 100 years ago. The soil has been farmed intensely and the micronutrients in our food are not as high any more. So you need to look at supplementation. Supplements are not all the same so you’ll need to read up on these. Get a good mutli-vitamin (see Nutreince). This will fill the gaps. I also recommend a good quality fish oil.
Once you get onto the path of eating the right foods, you will start to see the changes happening. You get more energy, your mood improves, you get sick less and your skin looks brighter. All signs you are on the right path to good health. This then leads you onto the next step. Physical exercise.
The Paleo Diet made easy – Jo Skipper