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Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 7:59:48 AM
by gayathri nair
Steamed chicken and prawns with a side of rocket leaves and cherry tomatoes. — STEVE WHITE
The paleo diet.
THERE have been testimonials claiming that eating the paleo way is one of the best ways to not only lose weight, but also to lower blood pressure, sugar levels and to generally gain more strength and energy.
The diet includes eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Palaeolithic or Stone Age era – and that’s why it’s also known as the caveman’s diet.
So the rule of thumb with the paleo diet is that if the caveman couldn’t eat it, then neither can you.
The average homo sapiens back then were tall, muscular, agile, athletic and fit. The average homo sapiens today are out of shape, stressed out, sleep deprived and suffer from a myriad of diseases. Taking the plunge, I decided to attempt the diet myself for a couple of weeks to see how it would affect me.
For starters, I scribbled the types of food I could and could not eat on my kitchen wall in the exact manner a caveman would scribble on the walls of his cave.
In a nutshell, paleo dieters’ plates should only be filled with meat, vegetables and fruits. Tough to follow? Think about it this way, you can trade in tofu and rice cakes for a healthy serving of bacon!
Through my fortnight of paleo-dieting, my biggest challenge was breakfast as I’m usually ravenous after a good night’s sleep.
The main item on my breakfast menu was eggs, since they can be cooked in so many ways, and can even be eaten raw. They are a paleo dieter’s best friend (after bacon of course!) But eating eggs every day suddenly became a chore. So thank heavens for bacon!
I also discovered that I was still able to eat nasi lemak for breakfast – minus the nasi (rice)! Sadly, roti canai telur did not make the list as much as I argued with myself that it contained eggs – but the flour was the enemy here.
I also had to get used to the idea of eating fish for breakfast. And no, frozen fish sticks do not make the list. The fish had to be steamed, grilled, pan-fried ... and no one said you couldn’t eat it raw. But obviously, yuck!
My lunch menu mostly comprised fresh vegetables, fish, poultry, prawns and squid, which were all friendly meals to me.
And since fresh fruits are paleo, I appreciated the occasional apple or two to kill the sweets cravings. I also packed up on raisins, oranges, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts each time I got the munchies.
Something to note for those attempting the paleo diet is the type of oil used in cooking. Coconut, olive, macadamia and avocado oil are the most recommended oils according to several websites for paleo dieters.
And a trick I discovered when having bacon for breakfast, is to cook your eggs or meat in bacon grease instead of oil. It adds a wonderful flavour.
I also found an abundance of recipes online for paleo dieters and every day was a journey of discovery.
Overall, the paleo diet turned out only moderately successful because I cheated on a couple of occasions and nibbled on a chocolate or two (fine, five!).
Still, packing my body up on heaps of protein and fresh vegetables gave me a great deal of energy and allowed me to sleep better and work out for longer.
In the long run, chances are the paleo diet will work for those who aim to lose weight and help them gain more energy throughout the day. However, it requires a lot of discipline and one may occasionally find themselves falling off the wagon. This is perfectly all right, but if you can religiously follow the diet, the benefits to gain from it will eventually do your body more good than harm.
Now, if you have wondered how come our cavemen ancestors are dead today since their eating habits were considered healthy, it’s only because they did not have the technology and medical wonders we have today. Imagine if they did, bacon might not be in the list anymore!
Eat this, not that
No animal products
Tags / Keywords:
Lifestyle, Diet, Food, Paleo
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