‘Back to Basics’ Diet – The Paleo Way

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Over the last few years the Paleo Diet has become increasingly popular amongst people who not only want to lose weight, but also those who are concerned about the vast amount of chemicals and additives that are found in the foods that are available today.

Sometimes the Paleo diet is referred to as the caveman diet. This reference dates back to the Paleolithic era. Humans during this time were hunters and gathers. With man on a lower end of the food chain, man did not spend time in the open harvesting crops. People ate wild game. They did not raise animals on a farm. Plants and nuts came from the surroundings and were main part of the daily consumption.

 

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No one was milking animals or consuming grains. This means no dairy or pasta. With so much variety pulling for attention on the grocery store shelves, why would anyone choose to eat like the caveman? The Paleo diet has the potential to benefit today’s consumers at the very least by normalizing insulin levels. Just by eliminating grains alone an individual’s blood sugar is lowered.

There may be the misconception that individuals will not have enough energy without grains. The way the Paleo diet works is to eat more natural foods that work with the body. This provides an increase of energy, because the body knows what to do with fuel or foods that are being taken in. It can process them more efficiently. An additional bonus is that by making better food choices there is more of an assurance a balance of minerals and vitamins will be included in the food.

These foods include healthy fats such as olive oils, coconut butter, or avocados. Oils play an important factor in the Omega-6 (fat linoleic) to Omerga-3 (alpha-linoleic) ratio. Both acids are valuable polyunsaturated fats that the body needs to balance the metabolism. Yet, in a culture that loves to cook everything in rich oils and so the ratio has risen to 15:1. This has had profound medical ramifications with increases in cancer, arthritis, and cardio vascular disease. This makes the milder use of natural oils an obvious benefit of the Paleo lifestyle.

In addition, Paleo purists avoid sugary and processed foods. Chips and soda are already being left in the past with fast food juggernauts, as families are taking a look at their eating habits. They are looking for better food choices. Aspects of the Paleo diet are becoming more common. Fish with plenty of vegetables and fruits are the hallmarks of this diet. These are what families are eating. Slowly, people are starting to realize that grass fed animals make all the difference with the meats. This is another important understanding in the Paleo diet.

 This diet is really a lifestyle. Anyone can do it. It comes down to making healthy eating decisions. These are decisions that can be made by the entire family, which make it easier for the changes to become a long lasting commitment to health and fitness.

 

Here is a quick list:

  • Lean meat, game and organs such as liver and tongue are encouraged
  • Eggs (some diets recommend at least six a week)
  • Fruit (but not in vast quantities)
  • Vegetables (although some don’t encourage potatoes)
  • Nuts and seeds (in moderation)
  • Seafood and shellfish (all types)
  • Olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed and canola oil in moderation

 

The-Paleo-Diet

Why not try paleo when you are out next or cook tonight?

I RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING

Eat Out

http://paleo-cafe.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/PaleoCafeSydneyBondiJunction?fref=ts

Eat At Home

Real Connection delivers to some areas in Sydney https://www.facebook.com/RealfoodSydney

Cook At Home

http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/eat-drink-paleo-cookbook/

From Pod to Plate: Raw Cacao

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The news every woman has been waiting for is finally here.

Eating chocolate can be good for you.

Well, that is if you eat raw cacao.

While there’s still a debate going on over whether or not this is scientifically true, there certainly seems to be some basis behind it. When you take a look at the features and benefits of raw cacao, you’ll soon want to stock up. However, like everything; it’s only healthy when eaten in moderation!

What is raw cacao?

Raw cacao is basically raw chocolate, dont mix it up with cocoa. It comes from the Theobroma cacao tree which is native to Mexico and South America. They are typically ground up to create cocoa and then further processed to become actual chocolate. It’s the raw, natural cacao you need to eat if you want to gain its many health benefits. Unfortunately eating a large bar of milk chocolate is unlikely to do you any favours. The raw nibs are packed full of antioxidant properties.

Understanding the antioxidants in cacao

Cacao is rich in flavonoids and also known to be a ‘superfood’. These are the antioxidants responsible for helping the body. When eaten in moderation, they could potentially help to lower your risk of various serious illnesses. There are different types of flavonoids in cacao and one of the most beneficial ones is something known as ‘anthocyanidin’. Along with another flavonoid called ‘epicatechins’, these are powerful antioxidants that are found in high concentrations in raw cacao.

A study was carried out and it found that raw cacao contained more of these powerful antioxidants than green tea, black tea and red wine. Cacao also contains iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc.

Cacao is also a great source of magnesium, which helps with calcium absorption, metabolism, and protein synthesis. congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and premenstrual syndrome.

The benefits of cacao

Due to the high antioxidant properties of raw cacao, it provides the body with chockful of health benefits. These include:

  • Helping to prevent cancer
  • Prevents premature aging and osteoporosis
  • Reduces inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Help prevents diabetes
  • Treatment for premenstrual syndrome
  • Mood boosting

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The antioxidants within raw cacao can also help to prevent premature aging. This is because they fight off the free radicals that cause skin aging. When left to build up, free radicals can also cause problems for the heart as they alter the vascular system. It’s also free radicals that cause inflammation. By reducing the amount in the body, it can cause relief for those suffering from conditions such as arthritis.

In small amounts, raw cacao could help to improve the cardiovascular system. The compounds within it help by lowering the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. This is more commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. If you’re looking to lower your bad cholesterol levels then eating raw nibs of cacao could be the answer.

Overall it does have many health benefits so eating a small amount of raw chocolate each day is recommended. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it and stick to one of two pieces of raw chocolate at a time. I prefer single origin organic 72% Chocolate or Coconut Mylk Luvju – Raw Organic Chocolate

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Introducing A New Section – Fabulous Foodie Finds

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Introducing a New Section on my Blog completely about FOOD!

Fabulous Foodie Finds

Every now and again I come across a new food, a food secret, old favourite or a new take on the old. I would like to share my new finds.

This week I would like to share a couple of new items in my pantry. One is handmade and very tasty bought from a Local, another is a new take on something old with fructose added. It’s really amazing. It is better way of making your favourite sweet dishes from meringue, custard, creme brulee to cake without using any sweetener and whilst keeping the smooth vanilla flavour.

Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Extract- Chef’s Choice

I have been looking for a good quality Vanilla paste or extract with great flavour but also fructose free. I finally found one this week. It is called Alcohol Free Pure Vanilla Extract. It has a subtle sweet flavour and a vanilla smoothiness just without the alcohol.

Source: PGF-Premium Gourmet Food

Made In USA

Available at selected good food stores and your local greengrocer

 “Our Alcohol Free Vanilla extract combines the finest hand selected,

Late harvest vanilla beans with our commitment to making the very best vanilla.”-PGF

Bread & Butter Pickles

This is a rare find amongst the busy Marrickville cafes and restaurants here in Sydney, Cornersmith is a café which mostly serves homegrown and some organic dishes. Some dishes are nearly all sourced from Neighbourhood Growers in the local area. A few months ago I had a lovely sandwich (actually a wrap) with handmade fermented vegetables, their signature pickles and a lovely tangy mayonnaise.

Lately I have been more interested about fermenting foods and how healthy they are for you. I am now experimenting in pickling and making my own pantry of food condiments. I went back to Cornersmith and on display was a full stock of handmade condiments and cordials. I took home the Signature Pickles- Bread & Butter Pickles. This is the same pickles they use in their meals and as sides. Its glorious!

Made In Australia

Exclusively at Cornersmith 314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville NSW Australia

To Find Out More:

http://premiumgourmetfood.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/Cornersmith

What I know about Self Doubt

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Do you constantly question whether you are good enough?

Doubt the decisions you have made?

I sure do and lately its been creeping back in.

It is flexing it’s muscle again.

Out of all of the challenges you face in life, self-doubt can be one of the most damaging and hardest to overcome. The minute you start to doubt yourself, you are limiting your potential and letting a lot of negativity in. The problem with negative thoughts is that they add fuel to the self-doubt fire. Unless you get a grip on it, self-doubt can really start to damage every aspect of your life.

Not all self-doubt is bad

Yes that is right.

It is important to note that self-doubt is not all bad. In fact, it is perfectly natural to doubt yourself in certain situations.

A little self-doubt helps to motivate you and is actually really healthy. The problem comes when you constantly doubt yourself over even the smallest of problems of things. Like anything, in excess self-doubt becomes highly damaging.

The minute you start to notice your self-doubt taking over is when you need to act.

How to recognise self-doubt and what causes the problem

Of course before you can determine whether or not you have a self-doubt problem, you need to first understand what it is. It is basically insecurity within yourself.

You have high self-doubt if you constantly find that you tell yourself the following-

Did I just do the right thing?

 

What if I am wrong? I should just leave it!

 

I really do not feel up to this task

 

Recognising these thoughts is the first step in eliminating them. The longer you have doubted yourself, the harder the habit will be to break. Recognising the thoughts as they appear is not always as easy as it sounds. Once you do start to become more aware of the thoughts it will be easier to start to control them.

There are many causes of excessive self-doubt. It could be that as a child your parents constantly made you feel like you was not good enough. It can also set in if you have been bullied at some point in your life. There could be signs of depression or anxiety too.

It could even just occur naturally if you are a natural born worrier. In order to beat the problem, it is helpful to understand where it is coming from for you.

 

Tips to combat self-doubt

Eliminating self-doubt can be quite difficult. The first thing you should do is accept your doubts. The problem is often made worse if you fight the feelings. Accept the thoughts but do not be afraid to question them.

When the thought “I don’t think I can do this” crops into your head, question why you feel that way.

I’ve been saying this lately too.

What evidence do you have to back it up? Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen.

Sometimes you have to take risks in life to progress to where you want to be.

If the problem is caused by negative people, eliminate them from your life. It really is as easy as it sounds. If somebody is constantly putting you down, put some distance between the two of you. If that is not possible, just switch off when they start putting your ideas down. Toxic people can only put you down if you let them.

I know I have come across a few myself.

Just note to stop listening to everybody else, believe in yourself and you will soon start to see positive changes.

 

 

Why Im cuckoo for coconut oil

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If you’re looking to get healthier, coconut oil could be the answer. This edible oil was once used simply for cooking, but recently it’s made its way onto health and beauty counters across the world. Used for a wide range of purposes, this great oil comes in a number of forms. The question is, are these health benefits proven and what exactly can you use it for? Here are some of my secrets!

Coconut oil comes from mature coconut meat. The fact that it is heat stable makes it a really good product to cook with. It gives a pleasant taste to food and supposedly has quite a few health benefits. The oil also has a shelf life of around two years as it resists rancidity. The oil itself contains a high level of fibre and has various nutritional benefits. However, it’s the non-edible benefits this oil has become famous for in recent years.

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My favourite ways to use coconut oil

Cooking

I use it every day while cooking and baking. Some oils are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative. It also has a nice, pleasant taste. Apart from the many health benefits when eaten in small quantities, the oil can help with weight loss. It does this by speeding up the metabolism.

Hair care

Many people have turned to coconut oil to help make their hair healthier. When massaged into the scalp, the oil can really help to combat dandruff. It helps to kill off the fungus that causes the condition. The fatty acids contained within the oil also help by passing into the cell membranes of the hair. Coconut oil goes into the hair shaft and provides a deep conditioning treatment. Its a great split hair treatment. I have also used it as a hair serum to calm down my frizz.

Skin Moisturiser

Finally when rubbed into the skin, it also provides a deep conditioning treatment and can help with conditions such as eczema and sketch marks. I use it at night as a serum while Im sleeping.

Homemade Lip Balm

This is one of my secrets. Just add coconut oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, shea butter and honey warm together and pour into small containers. You will get some really lovely lip balm that will for last ages.

Body Scrub

Add 1 cup of Epsom salts, 2 cups of extra virgin coconut oil, vitamin e capsule and some lavender essential oil plus a cute jar and you have a easy-peasy scrub which your skin will love!               Pick your own essential oil or instead add some lime zest!

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Oil Pulling

Oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago. It is a traditional remedy that cleans, detoxifies teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and there is some evidence that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria! I take 1 tablespoon of warm coconut oil, swish it around my mouth for a 20 minutes, then spit it out, rinse with warm water and finish by brushing your teeth. Just never swallow it as its full of gunk! You could try it daily after breakfast if you want.  It has been shown to benefit gums, whitens teeth, bad breath, headaches, hormone imbalances, skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, energy levels, infections, lymphatic system and more.

Massage Oil

Coconut oil is great for massage. Its not too greasy. You could also add some vanilla to make a more relaxing scent. It can also be used for personal lubricant.

Popping Popcorn

Its twist on a fave snack which is so easy to make! I really love the flavour. I add some Morroccan spices and Himalayan crystal salt for a change.

Leave a love note to let me know how you use coconut oil and SHOW ME your fave recipe. I would love to try!
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New Year. New Chapter.

A new year brings with it new hope and a fresh start. Also a need to set our intentions. In order to really progress in life, you need to be motivated and know exactly what you want. It is hard to achieve anything when you do not have any clear goals. Goal setting can be a great tool to help you achieve anything you want. Whether it’s a new job, a promotion, learn a new hobby or whether it’s to simply lose weight and become healthier. Setting yourself intentions can really help you to get the results you want.

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Benefits of setting new intentions

There are so many benefits that come with setting intentions in life. Many people do not realise just how better off they could be if they were to adopt this simple method. The top benefits of setting new intentions include:

-Reminding you of what is important and keeping you motivated, having a list of goals will remind you of what is important. Life can become pretty stressful at times and it is easy to get lost in the little things that do not matter. Regularly looking over your goals will help to remind you of what you’re working so hard for.

-Giving you a sense of pride as with smaller goals you will reach them faster. This helps you to stay motivated as you feel a great sense of pride each time you tick off a goal you have set yourself. It is a great feeling when you actually achieve your goals.

-Knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to can give you a huge boost in confidence. This in turn will have a positive impact on all parts of your life.

-Goal setting really helps you to take control back in your life. If you feel like you have just been plodding along, this is a great chance to make a change and get in control of what you want and more importantly, what you don’t want.

-Keep your new intentions realistic and set to a timeline. Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when they set goals is they make them too unrealistic. Or they set goals that they can only fully achieve in the not so distant future. In order to stay motivated you need to create realistic, short term goals.

 

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So write down a list of what you want to achieve overall, such as losing weight, more self care time, owning your own house or changing your career. However, you should also split down these large goals into smaller, manageable steps. For example, if you are hoping to change career there is likely to be a whole range of things you need to do before you can take the leap. Do you need to go back to study and learn new skills? Do you need to become more financially secure in order to take the plunge? Write down what you need to do in order to achieve the bigger goals you have set yourself.

Providing you keep your intentions realistic you can achieve all your goals. The hardest part about changing your life is making the first move. Sit down and write a list of goals that you want to achieve within the next month to start with. You can build up to longer term goals once you get in a routine. I like doing 3-6 month goals and re-visiting every month.

 

 

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How to beat the Christmas Bulge

Let’s face it, one of the main things people look forward to at Christmas is the vast amount of delicious food and drinks on offer. From the all-out lavish Christmas dinner to mince pies, nibbles, rum balls, gingerbread and chocolates. Christmas truly is a time to over indulge. The problem with that is you can not over indulge without gaining a bulge! If you’re looking to avoid piling the weight on this Christmas then there are a 3 top tips that can help. 

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Tip #1: Pace yourself at parties

Christmas time often brings a lot of parties and they tend to bring a lot of food and alcohol. One of the best tips for avoiding over-eating at Christmas parties is to eat something before you go. You can control what you eat at home, but when you’re hungry and faced with delicious food it’s hard to say no. When you’ve already eaten you won’t want to eat as much while you’re out.

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Tip #2: Avoid drinking in excess

People tend to forget that alcohol can cause serious weight gain if drunk in large quantities. It’s normal to have a few at Christmas. In fact, it’s often encouraged! However, the combination of too much alcohol and food can contribute towards serious weight gain. Drink glass of water between each drink to keep hydrated. Keep track of how many you have drunk can be difficult so do not let the waiter fill up your glasses when they walk around.

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Why not try a refreshing Wine Spritzer with half the calories? Half wine and half sparkling water.

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Tip #3: Stay active

Of course the best way to fight off those calories is to increase the amount of exercise you do. Many people actually stop exercising throughout the festive season which really does not help. Make sure you stay active and aim to burn off as many calories as you can.

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