Guest Post: Why I Chose a Raw Food Diet

Why I Chose Raw Food Diet

Food is integral for living that is why it is one of our very basic needs. But what if food started to control you instead of the other way around? It’s hard to admit that I am one of those who were enslaved by food which really contributed to my then unhealthy lifestyle. For over a decade now I let my hunger pangs and food cravings rule over me. And this decade long ‘love affair’ with unhealthy food led me to become overweight to the point of being almost obese. I was very heavy back then and this really affected my life in all its aspects. I became more sedentary and had a hard time keeping up with regular exercise activity; even a leisurely walk would tire me so easily. And because of my excess ‘baggage’ (weight) I resorted to being introverted. There were a lot of times that I had to say no to parties and most social gatherings and what’s really harder to admit is that I am starting to lose my self-esteem and self-confidence.

Living this way for quite some time can really bring a toll on my body. I started complaining about muscle aches, joint pains and other sorts of pains. I even had difficulty standing up, can’t no longer play some rough house with the kids. Even the simple act of going down and up a flight of stairs in our home had become a tedious task. I spent countless unproductive hours in front of the TV munching my favorite large pack of chips with a few liters of soda- this was my usual daily routine. Instead of spending quality bonding moment with my kids I’d rather sit and pass the time stuffing myself with junk foods. No wonder that my blood pressure was on an all-time high so thus my sugar blood level. On one occasion that I have to visit my doctor he had prescribed me some meds for my high blood pressure and strongly advised me to eat sensibly and cut down on my calorie intake and have some regular light exercises to reduce my chances of developing a heart disease and diabetes. With history of diabetes in the family I am a most likely to acquire this debilitating disease and that really hit me so hard right on the face. I lost my grandmother from diabetes when I was a child and she was quite young to perish just like that. I love my family and I have to do something about my unhealthy lifestyle and start a new lease on life. And that led me to think to change my diet for the better as my start to living healthy.

I read in some health magazine about Raw Food Diet, and immediately had a eureka moment. I started researching more about it and realized that I had nothing to lose but more good to gain in trying out this ideal diet plan. Raw food diet is basically simple, easy to follow and most of all it will not starve you like most diets around. I started eating unprocessed food, dried and fresh vegetables and fruits, freshly squeezed juices, and what amazes me it satisfied my hunger as well as my taste buds. I began with a 5 day diet plan which was very perfect in eliminating all the accumulated toxins within my body through years of eating abusively. There were even delicious recipes that I easily prepared at home- meal planning was very easy.

raw food diet
Certain foods such as broccoli should be cooked before being eaten as they are notoriously difficult to eat in raw form…

Within my second day of following the 5 day Raw Food diet plan I immediately felt some improvements. I have slowly gained back my energy and begun to feel lighter with each passing day. In the duration of Raw food diet I started to get back to exercising and began to appreciate what it is to be healthy again. And after finishing this amazing Raw food diet I noticed a sudden weight loss in terms of inches off my tummy and waist and felt that I am doing only the right thing. Raw food diet literally saved my life and my relationship with my family and kids are a lot better than ever before. I now have the energy to enjoy life and I regularly incorporate this effective Raw food diet plan as part of my improved lifestyle. There were a lot of changes and as far I am concerned these changes are for the better.

Eating more raw foods is now part of my daily meals and I intend to keep it that way knowing that I have an edge on living healthy. And for those of you who are into unhealthy lifestyle you should give this diet a try and see effective results immediately. It is a commitment to myself and I am very happy about the results that I had achieved and I am looking forward to more fruitful years ahead.

Michelle is a writer for My Food, a specialist in the raw food diet among others.

Guest Post: The Modern Use of an Ancient Diet

The Modern Use of an Ancient Diet

Despite still feeling young as I entered my forties, I’d been slowly gaining weight over the years. I realized I had to do something to stop that trend. The paleo diet seemed an excellent solution, and a logical one. It makes sense believing that certain foods available in the modern world are not made for bodies that were developed over thousands of years as hunters and gatherers.

ancient-diet

A major advantage which drew me into trying the paleolithic diet was that I wouldn’t have to worry about counting calories. I like to eat, and would feel burned on a diet that would limit my food intake. Though I was about 25 pounds overweight, I felt healthy and strong and didn’t want to lose that feeling while I was losing weight. Another plus for me was that the diet encouraged the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Since learning the importance of the high number of veggie servings in a day (I’ve seen suggestions of up to ten!), I had already been incorporating them in my everyday life. I’m a firm believer all those vegetables aid in my health and well-being. However, some foods had to go.

I reluctantly had to eliminate my beloved cereals, but that made it easier to get rid of processed sugar since I only really used it at breakfast. I never drank much soda or sugary drinks so that was easy to quit. I had to stop eating popcorn, which I would snack on several times a week, but that also eliminated my use of oil. I was never big on pasta, though I felt a little concerned at giving up brown rice. I especially like adding raw vegetables to rice, and those dishes really fill me up, so I cheat a little with that grain. Since I indulge myself with the rice, I don’t miss my cornflakes or raisin bran as much. I probably was only drinking about a cup of milk per day before the diet, so I just kept that the same.

I quit eating cheese, but as a life-long milk drinker, I believe the health benefits outweigh any faults in that small amount of dairy. I was able to keep many of the foods I was already enjoying such as poultry and fish. I don’t eat red meat so I didn’t have to concern myself with grass-fed over grain-fed animals. I appreciate the many varieties of nuts, but I had to force myself to cut down on peanut butter. Happily, I started eating eggs again, though I try to limit myself to one a day because of their high cholesterol. With so much food to choose from, I avoided getting bored with my meals and discovered some interesting combinations. Fruit and vinegar are not incompatible in a vegetable salad, fish in an omelette can be quite tasty, and potato salad with olive oil and avocado became one of my favorite side-dishes.

I reached my weight goal within seven months thanks to the paleo diet and exercise. I continue to follow its guidelines, but I don’t consider myself on a “diet”. Instead, I believe I’m utilizing the proper foods to enjoy a healthy life, and a happy one.

About the author

This has been a guest post from one of the webmasters at Australia’s Eat Stop Eat website, if you would like to know more about the program, why not check out the website?

Guest Post: Combining the Paleo and Zone Diet

Combining the Paleo and Zone Diet

I have become a strong supporter of the paleo diet over the past few months. Many people I know have felt much better after becoming paleos. After hearing some of their experiences, I decided to give it a shot myself. I have already started to notice the results from my new diet. However, you may be able to modify the diet to make it even better. My brother in law told me about a diet he and my sister are trying known as the “zone diet.” There are a couple key elements to the zone diet. One of them is consuming a carefully balanced ratio of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. If you follow the zone diet, 40% of your calories will be from carbohydrates, while the other 60% will come equally from fats and proteins.

combing-the-pale-and-zone-diet
As late as 2008, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested that 10-30% of our daily calorie intake come from proteins (the average is about 15%). At the same time, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion advocated people eat up to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates. New research has shown we were eating far too many carbs.
The zone diet was created by Dr. Barry Sears, a biochemist living near Long Beach. Sears states that consuming a balanced ratio of calories from carbs, fats and proteins helps maintain a proper hormonal balance.

Sears and a number of other advocates of the zone diet cite a number of benefits it provides:

  • Your body doesn’t store calories as fat. Therefore, they are used more efficiently.
  • Researchers have found that people on the zone diet eat higher levels of necessary vitamins and other nutrients.
  • The diet is believed to reduce the risks of developing heart disease and can lower blood pressure.
  • Evidence suggests that people following the zone diet are at a lower risk of developing diabetes.
  • The zone diet could possibly reduce the risks of developing cancer.

Many athletes have combined the paleo and zone diet to improve their endurance. I personally haven’t tried the zone diet. I can only go by what other people have said. Many Crossfit trainers have said they feel more energetic, more alert and overall healthier since they have combined the two diets.

One of the things that has holding me back is implementing the right portion control. Sticking to a pure paleo diet can be a challenge in and of itself. Implementing the strict portion control requirements on top of that can be too much of a burden to many people. However, some people said they were actually gaining weight when they were on a pure paleo regime. They started to lose more weight and feel better when they started doing the paleo diet on top of that.

As with any diet, you should consult with a nutritionist or physician before starting the zone-paleo diet. Although the diet has become pretty popular (especially among Crossfit trainers like my brother in law) it may not be for everyone. Some people like me are more glucose tolerant than others. You will need to consider your individual needs and experiment with what works for you. That being said, this sounds like a great diet to try out. Have any of you tried doing the paleo zone diet? What have your experiences been? We would all love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author:

Adam Schlaeber is the cofounder of the Great Paleo Diet Cookbook blog. He shares a number of paleo recipes from excellent paleo chefs and discusses the benefits of primal living in the modern world.

How The “Paleo For Life” Philosophy Has Worked For Me So Far

I have always been aware of food and what constitutes a healthy and complete meal, where in my teens I began to study to nutrition. I thought of learning as a way of mastering another part of my life. I began by reading about nutrition and what was actually in  food.

Food, I learned, was an incredibly complex stuff. It had lots of different components and many, many variables. However, I learned that the simpler the food, the better it was for you. This ultimately led me to the Paleo diet, which I have adopted as my eating for the body  philosophy. I redesigned my entire eating idea around simple food which could have been gathered by our long passed ancestors.

Because of the almost overnight  adoption of the diet, I encountered some very specific happenings with my body. For the most part, these issues were related to the sudden decrease in carbohydrates.

For the first two weeks of the paleo diet adoption phase, I experienced quite drastic energy level fluctuations. This was due to the decrease in overall carbohydrate consumption. My body was learning that it’s primary source of carbs had changed, and so I was in a carbohydrate slump.  

This was only temporary though, as my body soon learned to expect carbohydrates from the large volumes of vegetables I was now eating. While I stuck to the paleo diet for the most part, I sometimes felt the need to introduce some legumes, such as beans and lentils into my meals. This made a massive difference to me physically, as because I exercise regularly, I was in an almost constant caloric deficit. This was not good, thankfully, the new twist on the paleo diet allowed for caloric boosts which would often power me through the day, and then keep me going right into my exercise.

What physical changes have I noticed while being on the paleo diet?

I noticed that almost immediately  after adopting the diet, I started to lose weight. I am around 6ft 3 and weigh in the region of 200 pounds. I have relatively low muscle mass because of always doing cardio based workouts, but at the the start of the diet I had a high amount of body fat.

That fat was specifically located on my stomach and legs, one of the most common fat storage areas on men. I noticed that a combination of a low-carbohydrate diet  and an exercise like cycling, my legs were stripped of pretty much all their fat. If I had to estimate, I would say that I dropped around 4-7% body fat in my first month.

That was easy easy fat loss, and I continue to passively lose fat while enjoying eating large amounts of food. There is a  psychological  element here I’ll explore later on in this short article. I continued to lose fat around my legs, hips and stomach. While I still haven’t lost all the fat on my stomach, I have decreased my fat percentage from around 28% to around 18%.

Remember, most of this fat loss is achieved by doing no exercise at all.  

That is the psychological element I was referring to earlier. You can eat as much good, paleo food as you want, and still you wont put on fat. You’ll just keep stripping fat because for the most part, humans don’t really need carbohydrates as much as we think, or as much as we are TOLD we do.  

Don’t listen to what you have been told constitutes a healthy diet. Anything white, or anything that could be white should not be eaten. Bar eggs, cauliflower and white food on binge days. Binge days? Yup Take a read through my other article about adopting a paleo lifestyle.

While the paleo diet and the subsequent paleo lifestyle have changed my life, I wanted to keep this article relatively brief, I’ll chat about the other changes in some subsequent, follow up articles, or perhaps I’ll make them a series.

Keep well,
Andrew