Frequent asked questions
- What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is a revolutionary diet that recognizes the fact that people in ancient times used to be extremely agile, athletic and fit, and that this was because they hunted and gathered the food they ate; as a result, their bodies became adapted to that lifestyle and nutrition. However, once man discovered farming and formed societies and communities to settle down, farmed grains, bread and corn comprised a greater proportion of their diet. Even though our diets modified with time, our genetic makeup did not; consequently, our body was not able to adapt to the nutrients we consume now. The Paleo diet hails from this background and attempts to introduce a diet plan that focuses on everyday modern food that imitates the food consumed in the pre-agriculture revolution era and that was the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This diet aims to emulate the various eating traits of our ancestors by taking us back to the basics and encouraging us to consume the food we were biologically designed to eat. The Paleo diet aims to introduce food that is available in its most natural form, without even a hint of artificiality in a person’s diet. The Paleo diet eradicates grains (including rice), dairy, legumes (including peanuts and soy), potatoes (they’re starchy vegetables that have a high glycemic index and contain a natural toxin called saponin which causes digestion problems), processed foods and sugar from a person’s diet. Numerous studies have shown that eliminating these ingredients from the diet can lead to a dramatic change in our lifestyle, by reducing the likelihood of disease.
A true Paleo Diet consists of Organic and grass-fed meat and eggs, wild caught fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables including leafy greens (preferably Organic as well), nuts and seeds, and healthy unprocessed oils.
- Why aren’t grains Paleo?
Grains are very simple carbohydrates. That means they break down into sugar quickly. This causes a spike in your blood sugar levels, which in turn causes a spike in your insulin levels. High insulin levels prevent your body from burning fat because they cause your body to focus on converting the excess glucose in your bloodstream into energy and storing the rest as fat. Constantly eating simple carbohydrates (especially in the quantities that the FDA recommends) is a surefire path to chronically high blood sugar levels, which can lead to obesity problems and pre-diabetic symptoms. In addition to the high carbohydrate content, grains also contain a boatload of anti-nutrients that can negatively affect your digestion.
Many grains contain gluten, lectins and phytates. Gluten is a protein that is mainly found in rye, wheat and barley. Gluten sensitivity in people is on the rise, along with the proliferation of gluten-free products. Gluten causes celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that is increasingly affecting the world’s population, creating brain disorders and bowel related illnesses. Lectins are also proteins, which, although useful for the body because they provide protection against pathogens and monitor protein levels in the body, can sometimes be harmful. Lectins found in wheat cause autoimmune diseases and damage the gastrointestinal tract. Phytates are the salt form of phytic acid – a main form of energy storage in plants. Unfortunately, unlike plants, humans are unable to digest phytates. That doesn’t sound too bad until you take into account the fact that phytates bind to minerals (magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron) in the body. By binding to these minerals, phytates make those minerals unavailable and take them out of the body. So even if the grains you’re consuming contain a plethora of minerals, your body is unable to process those vitamins and minerals because they’re taken right out of your system.
- Why should one follow the Paleo diet?
The diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors made them agile, athletic and healthy. Even though our diets changed with the agriculture revolution, our genetic makeup did not; consequently, our body was not able to adapt to the food we consume now. So we should consume a diet we were biologically designed to eat. By eliminating foods such as grains, processed foods and sugar, studies have shown that it leads to reducing the likelihood of disease and greatly improving one’s lifestyle.
- How is the Paleo diet different to other diets?
It’s a sustainable lifestyle rather than a Diet fad. It only restricts foods that are unhealthy and harmful for the body. You don’t have to get obsessed over counting calories, as long as those calories come from natural foods. It increases your energy and lifts your mood naturally. Your cravings for unhealthy foods eventually stop completely. You become mindful about what you’re consuming and how it affects you mentally and physically.
- How long have you been on the Paleo Diet?
Since summer 2014. I’ve been on Low Carb Paleo (Ketogenic, LCHF) since summer 2015.
- What is Ketosis and the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body. and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits. Ketogenic diets have benefits against Diabetes, Cancer, Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, just to name a few. They have a positive effect on mental performance, skin conditions, cholesterol, blood pressure, energy and hunger levels. The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- How did you learn about the Ketogenic Paleo Diet?
Stephanie Person was the one who introduced me to it in 2014 through her YouTube Videos. To this day she’s my biggest mentor and inspiration. I admit when I first saw one of her videos, I thought she was crazy. All brilliant people seem crazy, at first. I was already following the Paleo Diet due to being diagnosed with IBS and food intolerances to most grains, including rice and potatoes! I’ve always been fascinated with slowing down the ageing process of our cells, preventing disease and being able to build muscle mass and lose bodyfat at the same time, naturally.
Can I re-feed or carb cycle on the ketogenic diet while trying to enter Ketosis?
NO/Yes. If you are trying to reach a high level of Ketosis it’s important to not reefed during the first 3 months. If you are not adapting based on too much cortisol and elevated glucose then please re-feed.
Can I intermittently fast right away?
NO. You can put stress on your thyroid if you fast too soon. Wait at least 3 months.
Can I eat all fruit on the ketogenic diet?
Only low glycemic fruits like avocado, coconut, olives and lemons for the first 2 months of keto adaptation are allowed. Then you can include up to a serving of berries, other citruses, melons and papaya per day.
Is My Fitness Pal or Lifesum recommended to track your progress?
Only in the first month of switching to Paleo/Keto to give you an idea of what and how much to consume. Tracking your progress can create a stress response blocking Keto Adaptation and/or leading to Eating Disorders.
Can eating so much fat block your arteries and lead to heart disease?
NO/YES. When you eat healthy fats it can actually improve your cardiovascular health. NOTE it is important for people with current heart disease to get approval from their doctor prior to trying keto. Your arteries may be too unstable, depending on prior damage.
- Top tips for a keto newbie?
Drink tons of water, take electrolytes (Magnesium, Himalayan Sea salt, Potassium), reduce carbs gradually while increasing your fats. You don’t want to shock your body from this drastic change. Avoid artificial sweeteners, dairy and coffee. They can stop your adaptation. Make sure you exercise in the form of Yoga, Pilates, or Weight lifting. No cardio or hiit in the first few months!
- What supplements do you take on the Paleo/Keto Diet?
Organic Spirulina Tablets, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Wheatgrass powder, Organic Maca root powder, and home-made Organic bone broth.
- What are a few essentials on your Grocery list?
Organic Virgin Coconut oil, Organic coconut flour, Organic Cacao powder, Organic Chia seeds, all of which you can find cheaper in my SHOP, Ghee, Goose fat, Canned Coconut milk, Organic eggs, Organic fatty meat (such as pork belly, pork ribs, chicken legs, salmon, lamb ribs, lamb chops), Olives (make sure they’re salted with Sea Salt and not just Salt=artificial sodium), nuts (such as brazils, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, macadamia), fruit (avocado, coconut, citruses and berries, melons, papaya), Cacao butter, Almond butter, veggies (such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, turnips/swede, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, kale), liquid Stevia extract.