Every five or six years, you and I almost become an entirely new person. Our skin is constantly dying and being replaced, our lungs are replaced every six weeks, our liver in less than six months and our 9000 taste buds are rejuvenated every 10 days. All of this replacing, regenerating and rejuvenating is fuelled by one thing and one thing only, what we consume. Hence the saying, ‘we are what we eat’.
Therefore, if we eat junk food, our new body parts will be created by junk and will not be quite as good as the cells they are replacing. That’s what causes ageing. Rubbish input equals rubbish output. However, if we eat the right foods, drink enough water and get the right nutrients, then our body will start to love us for it and at the same time, it will help to delay the ageing process.
So, with the start of a brand new year, there’s no better time than the present to start eating healthier and adapting a Primal lifestyle.
Many of you may have already set your resolutions and intentions for 2019 and if eating healthier is one of them, we’ve got your back with a few of our top Primal tips.
Start by cutting out processed foods
Firstly, processed foods are foods that have been deliberately changed before we consume them. In fact, whenever a food has been altered from its natural state, then that’s when food is no longer considered natural and indeed, becomes labelled as processed.
Of course, there’s a difference between minimally processed foods and completely processed foods. For example, vegetables that have been washed and cut for supermarkets, etc will only be classed as minimally processed. Instead, for now, we actually want to focus on the foods completely processed such as ready meals, breakfast cereals, pasta, pizza, many snacks and fancy salty nuts.
To put it bluntly, we simply want to avoid processed foods because most of them are high in added sugars, sodium, carbs, additives, colours, oils and unhealthy fats.
To start cutting out processed foods we suggest starting slowly, supplementing your meals with fresh foods, drinking more water, stop adding salts to foods, avoid processed meats and plan your meals in advance to stop yourself reaching for processed foods in a last minute rush.
Eat your fats!
Let us start by saying this: if you are overweight, fat should not be your enemy. In fact, good fats should become your new best friend. Fats do not make us fat, and never have done. Good quality fats correct our hormones and keep them in balance so that we feel more energetic. They’re also great for helping our bodies burn more energy and making us feel fuller for longer so that we don’t overeat.
What type of fats you should start including in your daily diet? Try and consume anything rich in omega 3 such as salmon, nuts, avocado, coconuts, olives and organic butter.
Consume enough protein
Protein is the basic building block of all life forms. It comes to our aid when our bodies need repairing and rebuilding. It’s also responsible for growth in the young and is the creator of our hormones. Proteins, along with fibre, help to make us feel full and therefore, we’re less likely to overeat (keeping our weight under control). As a general guidance, In the UK, adults are advised to eat 0.75g of protein for each kilogram they weigh, based on the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). So if you weigh 70kg (11 stone), you should eat about 52.5g of protein a day.
If you’ve read our book, Primal Cure then great, you know why we don’t consume carbohydrates whilst following a Primal diet. If you haven’t read Primal Cure, then grab a copy here.
In a nut shell, carbohydrates are basically sugar in disguise. Potatoes, pasta, bread and rice all convert to sugar in the body. To the body, sugar is practically a poison. They may taste delicious, but believe us, if the cavemen didn’t need them, then neither do we! Every time we eat carbs – simple or complex – we are eating sugar. Too much sugar makes us fat and eventually, will lead to a whole host of problems, illnesses and diseases.
We’re completely aware that giving up carbohydrates can seem a little daunting at first, and if this is the case, then start by swapping simple, refined carbohydrates for unrefined, complex carbohydrates (unprocessed carbs such as vegetables, lentils, fruits and butternut squash).
Read your labels
You’ve probably heard this before, but checking your labels when your shopping really is important. Just because a product has been labelled low-fat doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Instead, it probably means that it’s simply got a lot more sugar than usual to replace the lack of taste. Therefore, checking our ingredients is probably one of the best things we can do for our health.
Start cooking from scratch
By cooking your own food not only are you able to avoid processed ingredients, but you’ll also be in control of portion control. It goes without saying that processed foods typically have more calories and salt. So start by cutting back on processed meats, ready meals and packaged pasta and instead, start by making your own meals from scratch using wholesome ingredients.
Increase your vegetable intake
It’s probably true that most of us aren’t eating enough vegetables than we should be. Try adding more vegetables (the greener, the better) to your diet. Not only will they leave you feeling fuller, but they’ll also fill your body with essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Aim to drink between 1.6 and 2 litres of water a day. A brilliant way to keep yourself on track is to set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to take a gulp!
Water is an absolute essential part of our diet and therefore, we should treat our bodies to it as often as we can. In one of our favourite books, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, Dr Batmanghelidj discusses how dehydration can be a cause of rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, neck pain, migraines, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and much more. Scary, huh?
Eat the rainbow
Think of it this way: white stuff is not healthy. Rice, bread, pasta, etc, not only turn into sugar, but also have most of their beneficial nutrients sucked out of them during their manufacturing process. Instead, seek for colourful food instead – from vegetables to fruits.
When we eat sugar, we’re simply eating empty calories. Sugar does not provide our bodies with any nutritional value. Simple. And, although we don’t count calories at Primal Cure, they do however, contain a silly amount of calories which can easily add up on the scales. To top that, just like cigarettes and alcohol, sugar is addictive.
To start avoiding sugar, we suggest that you replace your favourite sweet stuff with Mother Nature’s candy (fruit) – especially berries as they contain the most antioxidants! Yoghurt and raw organic honey is also a good shout, too.
On top of our fuel (food), it’s important to top up our engine with certain supplements that are going to make it run smoothy. Whilst it’d be ideal to consume all of our needed vitamins and minerals from our daily diet, sometimes it’s just not possible. Therefore, supplementing our bodies for prevention is important.
FYI, when our body’s health is negatively affected by a deficiency in an organic compound, it is then labelled as a vitamin. The 13 vitamins that are essential for the human body fall into two categories - fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-solube vitamins are A, D, E and K and water soluble vitamins are all of the B vitamins and vitamin C. This means that vitamins A, D, E and K are not soluble in water and therefore, this means that our body is very good at storing these vitamins and we don’t need to worry precisely about their daily consumption.
However, vitamin C and all of the B vitamins dissolve in water, making them harder for our body to retain. Because of this fact, we should try to ensure that we consume them in our daily diet or use them through the use of supplements.
To shop our Primal supplements, click here.