Paleo is the new black. I read this statement on a newspaper cover the other day and thought, it is indeed!
I have struggled with a sensitive digestive system for years, constantly suffering from bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn. I was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a decade ago.
Between attempting to control my blood sugar levels and decreasing my digestive symptoms, I tried quite a few different diets. Nothing has worked as well as the paleo diet though.
I’m not saying that the paleo diet is a one size fits all solution. Nothing really is when it comes to your health, as there are so many different types of body constitutions, lifestyles and mindsets. However, I would like to share my experiences with you.
Paleo is a diet based on the Palaeolithic way of eating. Back then, humans would have eaten lots of vegetables, meats from every part of the animal, loads of good fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and fish, and some fruit.
They wouldn’t have eaten any dairy, legumes, grains, processed foods, or refined sugar. Theoretically, humans are not able to digest these kinds of foods, precisely because our ancestors would not eat them. There is a lot of criticism around this theory, but there are some simple facts about the paleo diet that I would like to discuss.
The good bacteria found in our gut, like fibrous, feeds on vegetables, meat and the essential fatty acids present in good fats. On the other hand, bad bacteria and fungi, like candida, mostly feeds on carbohydrates, which are present in grains and refined sugars. Whatever we choose to eat is going to colonise our gut.
Our good bacteria are responsible for digesting and absorbing food properly, regulating our immune system response, and producing neurotransmitters. When there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, those functions do not occur properly. They also cause very bad bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and inflammation by fermenting the carbohydrates and sugars we eat.
Since I went paleo about 6 months ago, I’ve never felt bloated again. And, with a little help from probiotics and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kim chi, my bowel movements have been getting better and better.
The fact is, the more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin your body will need to produce. Insulin is what keeps sugar and energy levels stable in the body throughout the day, and in a healthy person, the production of insulin will be a lot lower.
I’m obviously very aware of insulin quantities, since I have to inject mine myself. After the first week of eating paleo, I was gradually decreasing my dose until I lowered it to half of what I used to take, and this is where I still am at.
Low insulin levels also mean that you will put on less weight – the more insulin your body produces, the more fat your body will store, regardless of the calories. Not only is it really easy to control my weight now, but I can also help my clients to detoxify their bodies, heal their guts, and keep those extra kilos at bay by stabilising insulin levels. Stabilising blood sugars not only helps with weight loss, but it also addresses issues like insulin resistance, diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
It can be a bit tricky to start a paleo diet. You might be wondering what you can eat instead of bread, pasta and cheese. The best thing to do is to start eating food a lot closer to its real and natural state. You can eat good meats, eggs, mushrooms, salads, steamed vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds.
If you get stuck with snacks, not only can you find lots of ideas online, but you can also consult practitioners like myself for more tailored solutions, and search in places like the upcoming Health Space Whole Foods. They can supply you with good quality protein and organic produce, and you can find delicious healthy treats and recipe ideas.
We also have qualified practitioners onsite to clarify any questions you may have and give you detailed information about products and ingredients. Our space will be worth checking out if you are already paleo, if you are considering the possibility, or if you just want to be healthy!