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For What It’s Worth

paleo-on-a-budgetFor what it’s worth: thoughts on a caveman diet budget.

Search the internet and you will find a plethora of articles dealing with economies of budget shopping on caveman style diets.

Here’s what we think: This diet will hit you in the wallet harder than a diet based on low-cost carbohydrate based, processed food.  There’s no doubt about it, the most natural paleo style diet packs a punch! Chicken nuggets and chips, a loaf of white bread, a can of beans on toast, fish fingers and chips, pizzas all coming in at less than a pound a piece can look good value to those of us on a limited income or at least better value than splashing out on a slim piece of organic meat that could scarcely feed two adults let alone the three children who follow along behind in our own family? We say that at least some of that apparent additional cost can be offset by choosing cheaper cuts of meat and learning how to cook them (slow-cooker meals, stews, casseroles, slow roasting).  In this way the meat becomes tender and drops off the bone.

For example a large ham shank is on sale at our butchers for £2.25 each.  This fed the five of us through a process of slow roasting and then returning the skin to the cooker to make crackling for “afters”.  Be creative! You will save money as well by not eating out.  Sit back for a moment and think of all the take – out meals you have ordered in because you were too tired to eat?  Pizza, kebabs, Chinese, Indian delivered to your door: gone.  Too tired to cook stops here!  You will find that as your diet improves you will want to create strong, healthy meals for your family and indeed, may well be compelled to do this as you feel the significant health benefits in your life.  There are financial savings then to be made here.  There are also wonderful and perhaps time-forgotten benefits of eating a home-cooked meal together around a table.  We do this as a family now, every night around six.  It’s a time to check in and talk and laugh and catch-up.  Try it and see.

In addition to the above methods and cost saving idea’s further savings can be made by sourcing standard packaged meat off the supermarket shelves. This goes somewhat against the ideal, however it is a necessary consideration if we want easy weight management and better health for all.

You will be aware by now of the dangers of refined carbohydrates and will know that a natural, or stone age, caveman style diet is all about moving away from these foods. Well yes of course this is true, however to do this we have also to be aware that this doesn’t just involve ceasing to take things like sugar and bread directly. What we must also consider is that because these foods are cheap and when consumed create weight gain, they are used throughout the food chain to feed the animals we feed on.  Intensively farmed animals fed on corn and not grass are also susceptible to becoming sick and so are given a whole host of drugs and hormones to keep them alive long enough to get to market.  This leaves us with a dilemma, obviously some of the drugs, toxins and anti-nutrients contained in the foods used to fatten intensively reared animals is going to carry through into the animal and thus onto whomever may consume that animal, that said different parts of the animal have different concentrations, offal has the highest concentrations so best avoided from intensively reared stock not fed on grass. That considered, on the other hand the meat from animals produced in this way litters the supermarket shelves and at low prices. You now have a very important decision to make and this will no doubt be led by your financial situation. Yes, if you want effortless weight management, lots of energy and to be free of worry from disease you need to avoid ‘all’ direct sources of refined carbohydrate. This is a given and goes without saying, however to do this in the absolute and remove it completely is more expensive than the average shop, though as was pointed out earlier there are cost saving tricks you can do to help.

Whether you choose fully organic grass fed meat or the grain fed, chemical induced substitute comes down to a simple equation, can you afford it? If yes, then get it, it’s worth every penny. If on the other hand your budget won’t stretch to this level, don’t worry you’re still doing everything you can to give yourself the best chance in life. If this is you, and this happens to be the vast majority, always buy the best you can afford. Instead of grass fed organic Aberdeen Angus, switch to an organic free range chicken. If you can’t afford organic free range eggs, then opt for caged eggs, it’s still better than a boxed pizza.

Like many things in life, it’s about choices and although perhaps we’re forced to make concessions at times, as long as the foods you choose are real foods and not mechanically modified or manufactured by machines you wont go far wrong.

We notice too that when people change direction and begin eating within our diet programs, more fat, more protein, less carbohydrate: they actually eat less (often a lot less) because hunger is curbed and under control and stops being an issue.  In this way you will make financial savings: you will no longer be buying snacks for example to keep you going through the energy slumps that hit around 10.00 am and 4.00pm.  Good fats and protein will see you through. Finally, step back again and take a look at the bigger picture.  Abiding by our diet program can be the gateway to a happier, healthier life.  The “spin off “ from gaining control of your diet and health is more energy more vitality and a reduced risk of chronic disease and this means less time off work, less health care costs: you have in fact brought yourself more time and how valuable is that? For what it’s worth how about, Priceless!

Yet Another Detox?

lighthouse-paleoworksWatching the tidal wave of people (including paleo) signing up for a sugar detox after Christmas brought back some difficult memories for this paleo girl! Experience has shown that setting goals for weight loss is often an extremely effective way of being extremely hard on yourself!

Today, you may believe that losing weight will make you happy but that’s in the future, not now.  You delay your happiness.

The last time you signed up for a sugar detox (and the last time and then the time before that), how did you feel?  Were you excited about being in control, did your self-esteem get a boost when the scales dipped below 200lbs or whatever goal you set?  Did you diet harder, eat less, exercise more? Did you

Burning-fat-the-wrong-way

Exercise is not a weight loss tool...diet is!

push yourself harder in the gym?  Did you feel good?  Or did you feel exhausted?  Were you aware of an increasing sense of panic that this was unsustainable?  That if you jumped off the treadmill the weight would bounce back on faster than you could run?

Most of us can keep it up through January.  Come February that resolve has weakened.  Come March it’s gone and we are left wondering why we have failed again….

Well, you didn’t fail – truth is diets failed you (again)!  Conventional wisdom: eat less and exercise more has never worked!   For the past 30 years we’ve been told to eat less and exercise more, to cut back on calories and on saturated fat and, on the whole, we’re doing it. Our calorific intake between the years 1974 and 2004 decreased by 20 per cent. We are eating about 20 per cent more fruit and vegetables than in the Seventies.  We are doing approximately 25 per cent more exercise than we were in 1997. But are our waist lines shrinking? No. In fact, a quick glance around most High Streets would suggest the opposite is happening!! – Daily Mail

Don’t fall for the traditional post Christmas Detox.  Don’t set yourself up to fail!  This year choose for an open ended intention to eat a paleo style diet, to get back to basics, explore real food and to take charge of your own health.  Empower yourself and educate yourself for optimal health and well being and you will find that weight loss (more specifically fat loss) occurs naturally as a by-product of good eating.  It’s not a quick fix, a 21 day all or nothing plan: it’s you and the rest of your life.

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