The news is just in: Fad diets are stupid according to a team of scientists who set out to demonstrate the benefits of the paleo diet but found exactly the opposite.
In other words the research showed the paleo diet – like a lot of other fad lifestyles – was mostly a load of woo-woo (otherwise known as Instagram witchcraft) that is really no better for you than just being a lazy but sensible eater.
Now I know you’re going to say “I’ve seen Pete Evans and he looks pretty amazing so paleo must be doing something right”. But in all likelihood Pete’s glowing skin is simply the result of a heavily conscious diet – not paleo diet itself. When you think carefully about everything you put in your mouth, you SHOULD look and feel amazing.
But I don’t think you need to try that hard or slavishly follow diets or fads to be healthy. I think – and this is something dietitians have been trying to shout over the noise of Insta-diets for many years – that good health isn’t rocket science and doesn’t require a bunch of ingredients you can only source from a whole food shop.
Weight management is about energy-in versus energy out and good-health is about a practical understanding of food. In other words, it’s common sense.
If you’ve been for a run or walk with a dog, eat the damn pancakes (post continues after video):
I’m not a doctor or a dietitian – which gives me just as much right to bang on about healthy living as any 22-year-old lifestyle blogger. So here you go…free today, with my blessing, are my basics for living a healthy life – and you won’t have to spend all week trying to track down activated almonds or eating kale:
Do some exercise. Obvious, right? It’s good for your head and it’s good for your body. Our bodies are made to do it. You don’t have to join Cross Fit but you can’t just meander around the walking track talking on the phone to your best mate either. Try to do something that makes you huff and puff and few times a week and do some weight-bearing exercise because it’s good for your bones.
Eat some fruit. It’s yummy and it’s good for you. It does have sugar in it, but that whole sugar is the devil business is also woo-woo. Just go easy and don’t eat too much.
Eat vegetables. Kale is not necessary. Other vegetable are just as good. Spinach is good, so are broccoli and beans and corn and carrots and cauliflower and so on. You don’t need to eat them in a smoothie. You can chop them up into little pieces and put them raw into salads or lightly steam or bake or saute them. Any which way, get into them. Lots of them.
Don’t eat too much processed food. That’s just obvious.
Don’t east too much takeaway. Obvious.
Don’t eat too much red meat. Some is good. Every meal is not.
Don’t drink too much.
Eat some yoghurt. It’s got good bacteria in it.
Eat some eggs.
Drink some water.
It’s about education too. How much sugar is in your favourite drinks (post continues after video):
You don’t have to pin up the food pyramid on your fridge, but know fruits, vegetable and legumes (think chick peas and lentils) are the ones down the bottom so eat the most of them. Grains are next, then proteins like meat, milk and eggs, then healthy fats. If you can avoid added sugar do so, but don’t torture yourself about every muffin or piece of cake you eat. Life’s too short.
Instead, go for balance. Cake and cookies at the morning tea baby shower? Maybe don’t reach for the ice-cream after dinner that night. Big arvo on the cheese and wines one Saturday? Try to not have a big arvo on the cheese and wines Sunday. Practice some restraint around food, but not always.
Go forth. Enjoy food. Plan your meals and be healthy if it helps. But you don’t need to be a zealot to feel good.