what i learnt this week 2017 :: WEEK 2

We have all fallen for food fads… it seems to be unavoidable in the developed world. Gluten free, Paleo, Kale… the list goes on. The truth is that these fads only serve one purpose… they make a couple of people a lot of money… that is until the next fad comes along.

Let’s examine some recent fads…

  • Kale: people lost their minds over kale… however, long term people did not see a lot of benefit and it was later revealed that you can have too much kale… some people experienced low level poisoning and mental issues.
  • Coconut oil: I went hard on coconut oil when the fad was at its peak. What I didn’t realise at the time was that it was extremely high in salicylates… something that I have a severe intolerance too. There are benefits to eating good fats but too much coconut oil can lead to an increase in blood cholesterol.
  • Gluten free: I was gluten free for 5 years (prior to finally figuring out what it was I was allergic to) but the benefits of this diet fad is not what you would think, unless you are a true coeliac. For me it was moving away from heavily processed foods that benefited me the most.
  • Turmeric: last year people lost their minds about the health benefits of turmeric. It is meant to cure all kinds of things… it has just been revealed that it is very difficult for our bodies to absorb the beneficial molecules and that the effects are not as great as first reported.
  • Paelo: there is so much wrong with this fad including the fact that Palaeolithic ‘man’ cultivated and ate potatoes and judging by Palaeolithic art… they had their own weight problems. The long term effects of this diet on cholesterol and heart health is untested and the benefits are usually derived from eating less processed food and cutting out sugary drinks (which anyone can do).
An example of Palaeolithic people represented in their art… it seems that weight was an issue back then LOL

There seems to be a bit of a theme in all of this… STOP FOLLOWING FOOD FADS. You don’t need to change your lifestyle and diet every time a celebrity chef or beauty blogger writes about the benefits of the NEXT BIG THING.

Eat sensibly, eat what you need… nothing more and incorporate aspects of the only scientifically proven diet known to man… the Mediterranean diet. Lets spend our precious energy on things that will really improve our lives like following our dreams or finding new ways to connect with family and friends. FUCK FOOD FADS!

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what i learnt this week 2016 :: WEEK 9

With fast food on every corner and a new food TV show premiering every other day it’s easy to see that as a culture we are obsessed with food.

Regardless of our weight we are all pretty preoccupied with food. I myself am guilty of this. We use food to make ourselves feel better if we’re a bit sad, reward ourselves for working hard at the gym or to celebrate life’s milestones. But something insidious happens when we start using food as a constant reward… we want to feel good so we eat something rich and delicious and the vicious cycle begins.

It’s not just the amount of food we are eating… it’s the richness of food that is a huge problem. It used to be that rich sauces and mayonnaise were treat items, or that rich decadent cakes and heavy deserts were a once in a while indulgence… now everyone wants to feel rich and decadent all the time. This is taking a toll on our dress size, waste line, long-term health and emotional wellbeing.

I am guilty of this myself… if I’m having a particularly bad day and am in loads of pain I will comfort myself with a row or two or a block of chocolate. But what happens when you’re having 10 bad days in a row… or you have that much pain every day for the rest of your life? Do we still keep comforting ourselves with what we used to consider ‘occasional’ foods?

The difference between an addiction to food and other substances is that we cannot stop eating food. We need it to survive. So what is the answer? The answer is to not eat your feelings. Easier said than done – I know. But the next time you want to eat a snickers bar because your boss yelled at you, be aware of what you’re doing. Is eating that snickers really going to make you feel better? or are you temporarily filling the hole you feel inside with junk? only to feel empty again in a little while?

Food has a functional side and we should try to focus on this. If we eat clean healthy food 80% of the time then we can indulge for the remaining 20% of our meals. The great thing about not indulging all the time is that when you do it feels special… it actually means something. If you’re eating 4 meals a day, that’s 28 meals a week… if you take 20% of that you can have 4-5 meals indulgence meals a week.

This is not about weight loss… this is about health. Both physical health and mental health can benefit from exercising restraint when it comes to our diet. Being healthy does not mean living like a monk… just be sensible and keep your indulgence for the weekends. Have a good lunch x

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