Living Well – a Diet for Good Health

Living Well – a Diet for Good Health

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Primal Living and Paleo Food
Most of us are interested in our health and diet, or at least should be. One trend recently has been towards primal living and the Paleo diet, or Caveman diet as it is sometimes known..  Primal living extols the benefits of having a diet based on food we can find in nature, and certainly non-processed foods, and the virtues of having an exercise programme based on being outside in our natural environment.  The Paleo diet fits quite nicely into the Primal living ethos as it is based on the premise we can only eat what we can hunt, gather or forage – exactly as our ancestor the Caveman would have done hence the diet’s nickname. Living Well has a lot of information on both primal living and Paleo food.

Weight Loss
The Paleo diet is great for losing weight as the food you are going to be consuming, fruits, vegetables and meats etc are both nutritious and filling, unlike the heavy carbohydrate filled things you might otherwise have been eating that will leave you feeling hungry soon after.  If you want to lose weight for a particular reason such as a holiday, then following a strict Paleo diet in the weeks leading up to your holiday will see you lose those pounds.

Nutrient Intake
Deciding what, and how much of the what, to eat can be a challenge on any diet plan.  To get the proteins you need, you should eat plenty of vegetables along with things like eggs, steak, chicken fish and pork.  To help fight off any hunger pangs you might be having, fill up on healthy fats like avocado, nuts and oils such a almond oil and olive oil. And don’t forget to add some salt to your food to get the required intake of sodium your body needs. A note of caution here, nuts and fruit have some sugar so if you find you’re following the diet but not losing weight, check how much fruit and nuts you are eating as it may be too much. Also, whilst fat gets a bad reputation it’s worth remembering that healthy fats are essential for our bodies, it’s the so-called low fat products you need to be cautious about.

Eat When You Want To
Another thing to try to remember is that it isn’t necessary to have a strict schedule of when you should be eating, eat when you are hungry and don’t eat when you’re not – it’s as simple as that.  The caveman didn’t, and couldn’t, follow a daily eating schedule so why should we nowadays?  So, skipping a meal or two is fine as long as you don’t find yourself filling up on unhealthy and non-Paleo foods just because you have starved yourself!

That’s just a brief introduction into the basics of what food you can, and should, be eating to get the necessary nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

If you want to know more about primal living and the Paleo diet, take a look at Living Well for some great help, advice and tips.

The Caveman Diet – A Diet for Good Health

The Caveman Diet – A Diet for Good Health

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For those of you who have been paying at least a little attention to what’s been going on in the field of health and diet programmes, you will not have failed to notice mention of the Caveman Diet, or the Paleo Diet as it’s alternatively called.  If you’re interested in knowing more about this, and how it fits into the primal living theory, you can take a look at Living Well for a lot of useful tips and advice.

Primal Living and Exercise
One vital element of a healthy diet is to ensure it is supplemented with an effective exercise programme. Primal living advocates the idea that an exercise programme isn’t just something you do in the gym, it’s something you do outside and should be seen as part of your daily life rather than a specific activity that has to be planned for.

Incidental Exercising
The secret to having an effective exercise programme is to build it into your everyday life and the things you need to do – sometimes know as Incidental Exercising.  If you have a few minutes spare, and it’s convenient and acceptable to do so, you could do some exercises in your office. Whilst waiting for the bus, you could do some simple exercises instead of standing doing nothing and getting more and more frustrated – it also helps reduce the stress levels!  Consider installing a pull-bar in a doorway at home so you can do some pull-ups whilst you have nothing else to do. Simple, but very effective, is taking the stairs and not the lift. When chatting on the ‘phone, why not take a walk outside? when watching TV you can do some spinning or other suitable exercise – basically think about multi-tasking.  Taking up an activity hobby or sport is another great way to exercise and meet new people.  It can be anything as long as it involves some form of physical activity – dancing is a great and enjoyable option.

Formal vs Informal Exercise
One complaint many people have when on a diet and exercise regime is that they are simply not losing enough weight quickly enough.  The usual reason is that they are not taking every opportunity to exercise, they are perhaps too focused on the formal exercise they do and are forgetting about the more basic stuff they could be doing.  Things like walking to work rather than taking the bus, walking quickly rather than slowly, very simple and easy to do things but also very effective as part of any healthy lifestyle programme.

The above are just a few basic tips on what you can do by way of exercise to help your weight-loss programme. If you’d like to know more about primal living or the Paleo Diet, please visit Living Well.

A Health and Diet Trends Review

A Health and Diet Trends Review

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There have been many different trends in the diet for good health field, including the so-called caveman diet, or Paleo Diet.  Some diets come and go, some have stayed around since their introduction.  It might be interesting to take a look at some of those trends from the more recent past up to the present.  If you would like to find out more about healthy eating and dieting, check out Living Well.

Fletcherism, so named after American entrepreneur Horace Fletcher who was an advocate of the diet that involved eating what you want, but chewing it at least 100 times.  This was based on the principle that such chewing would turn everything to liquid and the body would not get fat from eating undigested food.

The first real acceptance of the importance of counting calories when dieting was credited to Dr L H Peters.  She published a book in 1918, Diet and Health:with key to the calories, which became a best seller.  Dr Hunt introduced the idea that food was calories and counting the calories would result in less weight gain.

In the 1930’s, an American doctor, Dr William Hay, said that food was basically three categories, starch, protein and neutral.  He said that starch and protein should never be eaten at the same meal.  It’s believed Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Company chief, was an exponent of the Hay Diet.

Whilst the originator of the Cabbage Soup Diet is unknown, it’s fair to say that the diet has survived the test of time since it appeared in the 1950’s. The diet was based on eating cabbage in different forms along with fruit and vegetables, and just a little meat.

In the 1960’s, Robert Atkins devised a diet based on his own eating habits. It wasn’t until he published his book,  Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972 that the diet became famous.  Millions of copies of the book were sold, and many celebrities followed the diet.  A follow-up book, The New Revolution appeared in 2002 and was even more popular than its predecessor.

1980’s – Present
There then followed a steady stream of new fad diets, notably including the Beverley Hills diet in the 1980’s, the Blood Type Diet in the 1990’s and the Dukan diet in the 2000’s.  Then came 2012 and one of the current diets, the 5:2.  This involves eating normally for 5 days then fasting for 2. The diet gained hold in the UK after a TV programme and subsequent book gave weight to the theory.

So, as you can see, dieting isn’t a new trend, it’s been around in many forms for as long as mankind has – remember the Caveman Diet?

Interested in starting a diet, or a healthy eating plan? Visit Living Well.

Athletes Need a Diet for Good Health

Athletes Need a Diet for Good Health

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Athletes Diet
There are a wide variety of diet options and diet recipes out there, including such as the caveman diet or Paleo Diet as it’s properly called, but some people need something a little more specific.  Athletes do long, challenging and physically demanding workouts, so they are one group that definitely need to think carefully about what fuel their bodies need.

One food that is suitable, due to its high soluble fibre, high carbohydrates and rich protein content, is oatmeal.  Oatmeal provides a steady release of energy into the body – something vital for long-distance runners in particular.

Milk is another food item that is loaded with carbohydrates and protein, making it an ideal drink for athletes who’ve just completed an arduous training session, or event.  Milk can help the muscle tissues repair themselves more quickly.

Potassium and vitamin rich bananas are on most athletes pre and post-workouts’ menu. The vitamin B6 in them can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, whilst the potassium and other vitamins aid low blood sugar levels.

Sweet Potatoes
The high vitamin and mineral content in sweet potatoes make them a valuable part of any athletes diet.  Rich in vitamins A and C, they are another food that acts as a powerful antioxidant. They also help in lowering blood pressure.

Cherries are one of the most antioxidant rich fruits you can find, making them a great performance enhancing and recovery-aiding food for athletes. Drinking cherry juice prior to an event has been shown to help reduce muscle pain significantly in athletes.

Kale is another food that athletes like to eat.  High in vitamins, calcium and iron, this member of the cabbage family is a good antioxidant which aids the body’s inflammatory system.  Its high fibre content can also help reduce cholesterol.

Walnuts have a higher Omega-3 content than any other nut, as well as being high in fibre and antioxidants. They are great for bone health with the high Omega-3 levels and also have been shown to be able to reduce some kinds of cholesterol.

Salmon is one of the most nutrient rich foods you can eat, being high in Omega-3 content and vitamins B12 and B6.  Salmon can help reduce inflammation, something athletes need to be able to do.  Regular consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks.

High Requirements
The requirements of athletes for foods that can help them perform better in their sport are high, but the list above shows there are a variety of foods easily available to help them in their endeavours.

If you would like to know more about special diets, or just about healthy eating in general, visit Living Well.