It has been over a week of being on a ‘dieta’ now and the verdict is: eating whole, mostly plant-based foods really does make you feel like a million bucks! I mean it. It feels incredible! No alcohol, caffeine (including green tea), refined carbohydrates or sugars, processed or deep-fried foods, gluten, or excess salt, and I feel light and free from any addictions or cravings – even from coffee.
One of the happy side effects of eating clean has been the discovery of new ways to prepare food, my recent favourite being these delicious superfood smoothie bowls I’ve been making for breakfast. I never thought to eat a smoothie topped with fruit and nuts, until now. And I’m loving it.
It’s easy: make your smoothie in a blender as usual (I used frozen strawberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, hemp protein powder, organic nut butter, cinnamon, raw cocoa powder, water), pour it into a bowl and top it with your favourite fresh fruit and nuts (I used variations of kiwi, apple, mango, apricot, almonds and pumpkin seeds). Enjoy!
Some interesting wellness links for your reading pleasure:
WHERE ARE HUMANS ON THE FOOD CHAIN? Not at the top! According to scientists, we rank somewhere in the middle, between pigs and anchovies. Polar bears and orcas are currently the kings of the earthly jungle, but humans are become more and more carnivorous. Despite our growing love for meat as a species, we are still closer to herbivore than carnivore, with most of the world’s population still getting 80% of their calories from fruits, vegetables, and grains.
REFINING THE PALEO DIET: BEANS & LENTILS: One aspect of the Paleo diet that always struck me as odd is the exclusion of beans and lentils, or legumes. It appears that our hunting and gathering ancestors did consume legumes, and therefore they should be included in the Paleolithic diet. The !Kung San people of the Kalahari ate the tsin bean, Australian Aborigines ate the seeds and gum of Acacia trees (another legume), and Neanderthals enjoyed wide varieties of peas and fava beans, to name a few. Controversy aside, legumes are rich in protein and fibre, making them quite nutritious. Although the vitamins and minerals in legumes are bound to phytic acid (making it hard to absorb them), soaking your beans overnight resolves most of this issue. Furthermore, thoroughly soaking before cooking will also help to alleviate any digestive problems (gas) associated with eating beans.
THE POWER OF EXERCISE: We are all about to enter a period of gluttony and inactivity – it’s called the Christmas holidays. If you would like to curb some of the negative effects brought on by sitting around, drinking and overeating, a daily bout of exercise has been shown to be incredibly powerful in doing so. In a study where participants were told to overeat substantially, the group that didn’t exercise displayed an unhealthy decline in blood sugar control and their fat cells started to express genes that contribute to unhealthy metabolism. Meanwhile, the group that exercised once a day maintained stable blood sugar levels and their fat cells expressed much less of the potentially harmful gene alterations. Exercise appeared to “completely cancel out many of the changes induced by overfeeding and reduced activity”.