It seems today that everyone I know is on an endless quest for the perfect diet. The reasons are always different. Some people want to lose weight, some want to simply eat healthier, others want to eat organic or clean, and still others just get swept away on an endless roller coaster of the best new diets out there.
I, too, have been there.
It started for me as a way to lose weight. I had tried just about every exercise and the weight was still piling on me. So, I concluded that it must be my diet. Perhaps, I need a change there. I tried vegetarian, vegan, occasional meat, and juicing. I tried weight watchers shakes and did have some intial success with them but I switched to more real foods after the first bit of weight came off. I tried paleo, high carb, low carb, low fat and high fat.
What did I conclude?
- Processed carbohydrates are pure evil. If you want to gain weight and gain it fast, eat those.
- Vegan and Vegetarian left me hungry. I know, I probably wasn’t eating enough vegetables, but I just can’t eat enough to keep me from feeling like fainting.
- Juicing gave me sugar spikes because without the fiber the glycemic index was through the roof.
- Low fat made me crave sugar.
- High carb messed with my allergies and caused inflammation
- High Fat got boring although I do recommend this diet because I was never hungry and I never got fat! I lost a few pounds being on it and its very easy to maintain
- Traditional Paleo is good but not great. While I agree with the filling up on lots of veggies and having small portions of fruit and meat with each meal, after my encounter with a high fat diet I have to conclude lean protein is not the way to go. I also conclude that low fat anything is just plain bad.
So, what in the world am I going to eat?
I propose a hybrid diet and I’ll call it High Fat Paleo! The high fat diet, commonly called Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) or the Swedish Diet promotes eating fat as your main percentage of calories with protein coming in next and then limiting carbs to about 5-20% of your overall daily intake of calories. This was hard for me to do. It meant mostly nuts and berries as carbs and eat lots of dairy, meat, eggs, butter, etc. The problem for me with this diet was the fact that I am sensitive to dairy and therefore I found out the hard way this diet wasn’t the best fit for me. I also found out that dairy is highly inflammatory. For my body, this is not a good combination.
I decided to research an anti-inflammatory diet that would assist me in getting better from some health issues I was having. To my surprise Paleo is very anti-inflammatory! I could have fruits again! I could eat more things I liked again! And all the while I could cut out dairy which would be great for me. The one thing I wasn’t keen on was the emphasis on lean protein. Coming off LCHF and knowing how full and happy I felt after a nice fatty steak, I wasn’t buying the go lean propaganda. Besides, fat is essential to all functions in our body. The real enemy is corn fed, non-organic meat. Instead of worrying about lean meat, everyone should be concerned about what that animal was eating before it ended up on your plate. The best thing to purchased is organic grass fed beef, and pork or free range chicken. Grass fed and free range are naturally lower in fat so you are still getting a leaner product but the fat you are getting is much healthier and great for your body.
So, how is this diet working?
Great actually! I have one free range egg cooked in coconut oil (which is amazing for cooking!) and an apple spinach smoothie. Yes, with paleo you are supposed to eat your veggies with every meal and while a salad with my egg at 7am didn’t seem appealing, this smoothie did!
Side note on my smoothie juice: I no longer use a juicer, because as I said earlier it takes out all the fiber and you end up with a sugar blast to your system which isn’t healthy at all and can make you gain weight. No, I now use the Ninja brand blenders that are so efficient they blend the whole fruit and veggies up so well you can drink it straight out of the pitcher. I add 1 apple, a handful of spinach, some water, and ice and instant health!
For lunch I go for a bed of spinach with tuna fish which is very anti-inflammatory, some tomatoes, and carrots, and a nice glass of water.
Snacks include: bananas, carrots, occasional oat cookies (did I mention I also stay away from grains?), and lots of fun kitchen projects making new amazing treats that I will share, I promise!
Dinner is simple, usually consisting of steak, chicken, or pork cooked some amazing way with spices and butter (I do occasionally use butter, I’m definitely not a food nazi!) and a green veggie. Another favorite is homemade bone broth soup!
After much trial and error, I conclude the best diet that I think everyone would benefit from is a high fat paleo. Stay away from things that inflame your body as they cause all kinds of sickness. Maintaining a good weight and even losing are easier on a diet like this. It’s not as restrictive because if you eat anti-inflammatory for most days, an occasional treat or few days of having to eat other things because you are away or it is a holiday, doesn’t effect weight nearly as much as other diets! Trust me, I know!
So, if Old McDonald had his choice of diets, he would shout from the barnyard:
“HIGH FAT PALEOooooooooooooo!”