The Paleo Diet.Eating the way we were meant to eat.

Fish and mercury contamination

Posted in Health, Real Food by eatingpaleo on August 14, 2009

If I were to make a top 3 healthy foods, fish (and seafood) would definitely be in it.

I love fish, the fattier, the better. I’m sure you all know about the health benefits, but just to make sure, just to name a few: reduces the LDL(the evil) while simultaneously increases the HDL, lowers the risk of heart attacks, stroke, type 2 diabetes, all those delicious omega3`s and so on.

As any other thing that looks too good to be true, we have the same situation here. You see.. there’s a downside, and the fish isn’t the one to blame, it’s the environment.

You have to admit it looks kind of creepy

You have to admit it looks kind of creepy

Fish and seafood are often contaminated with heavy metals, particularly mercury, by polychlorinated biphenyls, and by pesticides (Wo-Ho!!) It’s not the companies who dump their waste into oceans, rivers, lakes fault.. the fish (which just happens to live there) was in their way.. damn fish..

Seriously now, it’s a serious problem, but the good news is that most of the time, the amount of mercury we get from fish is quite small. This fact still stands though! It worries me to see that we live in a polluted world and most of us are exposed to a host of toxic compounds.

Now… here are a few ways you can minimize your risk of eating contaminated fish:

  • Avoid fish taken from lakes and rivers, especially those close to the city;
  • Choose fish that comes from cleaner waters, like Alaska
  • Smaller fish, who are not predators, are better.

(The big fish eats the smaller fish who eats the smallest fish, chances are higher for the big fish to be contaminated. And, they live longer, which gives them more time to accumulate more mercury)

  • Bigger fish, eat them sparingly (eg. tuna, shark..)

Please don’t use this as an excuse for not eating your fish. They’re one of the best things you could ever eat, enjoy!

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Grilling and the PAH emissions

Posted in Health, Real Food by eatingpaleo on August 12, 2009

I was at a picnic the other today, it was nothing planned really, but definitely  worth while.

I don’t know exactly how much I ate, but at the end of the day it’s irrelevant,  it was real food, to be more precise, it was pork meat bought from the market, that piece of meat was cut right in front of me. Marinated in pepper, vinegar, oil and all sort of condiments tossed in together.

Pork ribs

Pork ribs

And now that we are at the grilling subject. You know when they always say to eat grilled chicken breast, or grilled fish or whatever. This is technically the way you should eat, right?

Fraid` not

Besides the fact that I don’t agree with the “no fat” part that is promoted again and again and again (and again and again and again), the grill has always been looked at as a Godsent and that’s simply wrong. Have you ever heard of the emission of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ?

Here’s the catch: you know that delicious, crunchy little crust that is formed on top of the meat? (mmm…) well that’s carcinogenic.

The first study ever made regarding this subject was carried out by Lijunsky and Ross (1967). Yheir results showed that the levels of PAH in charcoal-grilled meat was dependent on the fat content and the closeness of the meat to the heat source.

They explained their findings by the theory that melted fat from the heated meat drips onto the coals and is pyrolyzed, giving rise to the formation of PAH, which were deposited on the meat surface as the smoke rises.

There you have it folks. Grilling isn’t as good as anybody will say it is. If you just have a barbecue once in a while, that’s fine, but don’t turn it into a everyday, or even every week habit ..

Here are 2 things that you can do:

  1. You can grill the meat into a vertical grill, this way the fat won’t drip onto the charcoal.
  2. (common sense really) Remove the burnt part as much as possible. This applies to everything grilled and fried. The burnt part is a no-no.

Consider these things the next time you’ll go at a barbecue.

References:

Bonny K. Larsson, Greger P.Sahlberg, Anders T.Eriksson, and Leif A. Busk

Intermittent Fasting

Posted in Diet by eatingpaleo on August 11, 2009

Eat small portions of food every 3-4 hours, 5-6 times a day. Empty Plate

If you want to lose weight this is the first advice you’ll receive, after that is no fat, high fiber cereals and yadda yadda yadda. But this is sexism as Brad Pilon would say. This pattern, of eating every 3 hours was invented by professional bodybuilders, who had to eat a lot (back then supplements weren’t as common as they are today), so they ate more often.

Just imagine how little a woman (who wants to lose weight) would have to eat at a meal. Considering she would eat 1200-1400kcal/day, meaning about 200-300kcal a meal – a banana and an apple, a handful of almonds?? It doesn’t make sense! Still, there are women out there holding on to their diet, struggling every day trying not to fall out of the wagon. But you know what.. they will.. at a point.. they will..

It will slow down your metabolism, you’re gonna feel miserable, therefore you’ll binge and eventually you’ll get fat, right? At least that’s what they say.

Not really..

There are A LOT of studies backing up fasting. Just to name one and you can follow this road, searching for other studies related to IF(intermittent fasting) or CR (calorie restriction)… Also a number of people that are promoting it: Mike O’Donnell, Brad Pilon, Martin Berkhan(LeanGains), Mark Sisson and I’m just getting started.

You can read about the benefits of intermittent fasting anywhere. The way I see it’s a lifestyle, it will help you improve your health, reduce your cravings, and of course the biochemical ones: increases the release of GH (growth hormone), optimizes  the glucose energy metabolism …… => A happier, healthier, stronger, YOU.

happy

To end this post properly.

Paleo Diet = Intermittent Fasting

How, you ask?

Simple. Can you imagine Grok eating every 3 hours? When he had to run to catch his prey because, God knew when, he was going to eat next.. Think about it..

Connected to this post, next, I’ll post about my experience with fasting and how it helped me so far.

Are you fasting today? I know I will  :D.

10 August. Day one.

Posted in Diet, My Program by eatingpaleo on August 10, 2009

Let’s see..

Woke up at 9:30.

Went at the gym at 10:30, did the classic chest and biceps followed by 10 min of HIIT.

After an hour I ate this:

200gr catfish and 300gr springbeans

200gr catfish and 300gr springbeans

Next meal (after 4 hours):

3 large egg omelet

3 large eggs omelet

With every meal I had a big portion of this:

2 large tomatoes, 2 large cucumbers, 1 onion, olive oil and vinegar

2 large tomatoes, 2 large cucumbers, 1 onion, olive oil and vinegar

Nutritional breakdown:

999kcal/ 65gr prot, 56gr fat, 71gr carbs, 21gr fibre

Fasted for 18 hours.

I’ll write about intermittent fasting in the near future.

The Plan..

Posted in Diet, My Program by eatingpaleo on August 10, 2009

So, the plan goes like this.

I’ll try to do my best and post everyday about what I ate that day and what exercises I did. As you already figured out, I will follow a  primal diet, I started it 3 months ago, but not 100% clean.

I know this is not the best way to go, when I’m in.. I’m really in. It’s all or nothing, I guess it’s not the best way of handling things, but this really works for me. Everything is planned out and prepared, the meals, the exercises. I will make primal recipes and share them with you.. it’s gonna be fun 😛agenda

Regarding the exercises, it gets a little tricky. Technically since I’m following the Primal Diet, I should be doing the Primal Exercises.. the classics.. I will try to make as many bodyweight  exercises as I can, but I can’t go further – living in a match box (aka apartment), in a big city doesn’t come with many opportunities when it comes to wildly training. I will have to think about some goals though..

My theory goes like this: As long as you always keep moving, you’re good.

The diet..well.. meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts (not a big fan of fruits) This is what you’re going to see in my future posts. I will focus more on the lean protein and unsaturated fats, omega 3’s, such and such (less animal fat). It’s not that I’m against fat (Hell no!) but, i just started reading Loren Cordain – The Paleo Diet and in the first chapter he describes why the paleo diet it’s not just a low carb diet, but I will talk about this in other entries.

Wish me luck… I’m going in! 😀

Organic food from my garden

Posted in Diet, Real Food by eatingpaleo on August 9, 2009

I just returned from my home town back to The Big City – I hate it, but love it at the same time.

I was on stand-by for one week, reading and sleeping all day long. Just imagine: waking up in the morning, going into the garden filled with vegetables and just take a deep breath. It feels like you just died and gone straight to Heaven.. If there is such thing as a perfect day… how about a.. perfect week 😉

I took some pictures with my parents garden. Keep in mind that these were sprayed only with water.

Have a look:

organic_tomatoes

Organic Tomatoes

I’m not a very big fan of the word organic. What does it mean exactly? I have read Michael Pollan – The Omnivore’s Dilemma where he actually tries to give a meaning to this word. Let’s take an example: organic salami – called organic because it has (among other things) organic pork meat – called organic because the pork was fed with organic corn – called organic because it was sprayed with organic fertilizer… Get my point?

Organic Cucumbers

Organic Cucumbers

The bad part is that people don’t know this. They think that just because that chicken has a big ORGANIC stamp on top of it, it means that they brought it from the country side, living happily at a farm, eating only worms and whatever. Guess what. It’s not! Michael Pollan gives a lot of great examples with chickens, cows, porks etc.

Organic Carrot

Organic Carrot

Don’t get me wrong. I love eating “organic” – where I come from, we call it natural, but let’s face it, organic products sounds much better than natural products.

But sorry folks, this is what I call Real Food. The one that is picked by myself, from my garden.   These is the real thing, I have never seen uglier tomatoes in my life, but at the same time they are the juiciest, full of flavor. And you know what, they have a real taste, a real tomato taste, not like those cardboard things that you buy in the winter.

All in all.. this is it, my garden. Perfect just the way it is. I don’t think it can get more primal than this 😀

Starting next Monday..

Posted in My Program by eatingpaleo on August 8, 2009

I love this expression… starting next Monday 😛

Seriously. This is the reason I started this blog in the first place, since my life changed a bit (more) and a lot of changes took place, I had to change my diet (evil forces), well.. I didn’t have to, but it was more in my comfort zone to do so. In other words, it was easier for me to follow a “normal” diet, still low-carb, but with more cheating days (to say it nicely). Bottom line is that I gained some weight, not too much, just enough to make me wake up. Therefore, what I’m going to do is this:

I’ll write in this blog whenever I can about what I ate that day and what exercises I did, I’m gonna try to take a picture with my every meal. I’ll write the nutritional breakdown and comments when it’s needed. Intermittent fasting and whatnot.

At the same time I’m going to write about articles I recently read (scientific) and all kind of things I find intriguing– all of them related to the primal diet.

“Talk” to you soon..

The Primal Diet…

Posted in Diet by eatingpaleo on August 7, 2009

We’ve been evolving for 2,000,000 years, yet we’ve been farming for only 10,000 years.

This is the starting-point for The Primal Diet.  It is very easy to understand, just try to figure out what were the foods our ancestors ate (by ancestors I mean the caveman, or how others put it, Grok ). Basically this is what you get to eat:

  • vegetables
  • nuts/seeds
  • meat, fish
  • eggs
  • fruits ( a more delicate subject )

Contrary to the popular belief, the primal diet isn’t a raw food diet, of course, less “heat” is better for health in general, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat a raw chicken drumstick, or God knows what.

That’s it! Seriously!

I’ve been following the low-carb diet for a couple of years now and it’s going great, BUT, since there’s always room for improvement, living as much as paleo as possible seemed to be the next step.

In terms of goals, oh.. I just want the whole package:

  • weight loss
  • muscle gain
  • health

Kidding 🙂

I’ll just go on this road and see where it takes me.. Wish me luck

Keep you posted.