Back in my crossfit days, I was given information sessions on diet to compliment exercising. Crossfit is very firm on a Paleo diet; this balances blood sugar levels and ensures that your body gets the most nutrients out of its food. The Paleo diet, is considered the cavemen’s diet, based on the principles of the hunters and the gathers. It is based on eating organic animal protein, healthy fats, vegetables and moderate amounts of fruits and nuts .It excludes any modern foods, such as dairy, grains, legumes, potatoes, sugar and processed foods. ( I have attached an info graphic below)
I was a little bit skeptical, mostly because I have a love for bread and pasta! However, I took a Kinesiology course last semester and the Paleo diet came up again. It was viewed as the healthiest way to eat. The course addressed that the research that was done to endorse low-fat diets, was actually conducted on bunnies. Bunnies are herbivores, so it makes sense that their bodies would not digest food the same way human do. The course material also touched on the food pyramid which was recently revised and more servings of grains were added to the daily intake. There is a little bit of controversy around this claim given that the research that supports this was done by the agriculture industry. The same claims can be made for dairy products. Our body actually does not digest these foods well and that is why so many people are celiac and lactose intolerant. As humans we are not meant to eat these things.
A couple weeks later, my dad, who is hopeless when it comes to health and fitness, but always looking for an easy fix, asked me about this book called “Wheat Belly”. “Wheat Belly” reinforces the claims that wheat has negative health effects on most people, causing fat storage, rashes, high blood sugar and “stomach bulges” hence the name “Wheat Belly”. The author hypes the importance of a gluten free lifestyle to improve health.
It seemed like everything in my life was pointing me towards a gluten-free lifestyle. Although I have not been able to fully commit, I have been able to come up with ways to adapt. I found that my dad was going about gluten free all wrong, he would substitute bread products with rice products, which is just as bad, especially from a Paleo stand point. I have not been able to fully eliminate gluten but I have cut back on my intake and I do drastically notice the difference in my energy levels. I have less highs and lows. Slowly making small changes makes it easier to commit to rather than trying to be a full fledged Paleo. The hardest part is figuring out snacks on the go. Being a student, there is always a coffee shop nearby to buy a muffin or a cook to get me through my day which I always regret having!
These are a few of my favourite quick fixes for snacking:
Wendel’s True Foods – Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten and egg free)
These are the best for when you crave that cookie and coffee combination. I use them as my cheat snack but sometimes it is hard not to eat the whole bag. Since I live alone and only have one mouth to feed I usually freeze them and defrost a few when I want some. This keeps them fresh!
Elevate Me! Bars
Great pre-workout snack, gluten free and all natural ingredients, they do however contain dairy products. I usually eat one third of the bar in the morning and hour before going to the gym to give me an extra kick of energy.
Mrs.May’s Natural Freeze Dried Fruit Chips
Dried fruits usually have double the calories of fresh fruit, so freeze dried fruit is a good alternative. As a student I sometimes get busy and don’t have time to pick up fresh fruit, so the freeze dried fruit is a nice alternative. It also reminds me of being an astronaut when I eat it, so that is just an added bonus.
Great Paleo Recipes :
Resources on ‘Wheat Belly”:
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