Is it really this complicated?
In pursuit of optimal health and vitality (to be the best version of me) that has so far lasted 10 years, I have come across a fairly substantial amount of nonsense... Conventional wisdom that has been proliferated through generations that simplifies and dumbs down facts and information for the purposes of the masses. Usually to sell headlines, to fill column inches and to sell the latest fat loss product (not to mention the pharmaceutical industry)! Sound familiar? One week, fat is bad, the next it is good. “You must count calories”, or is it macros we’re counting now? Hang on, but I am sure it’s sugar that is the villain here?! “You’re never going to lose any weight unless you’re on Slimming World or Weight Watchers” I often hear.
One magazine says “To lose any ‘weight’ you must only do HIIT or you’re not blasting the fat”. Hang on, I could’ve sworn there is like a heart rate zone where you burn fat? Ouch – That sounds painful… **Burning** fat! That must be hot right? Then there is our humble friend called sleep. 6 hours or 8 hours? That’s the question. Hang on, I feel like I need 9 hours! The one thing that EVERYONE seems to sacrifice in order to eke a little more out of their day is sleep. The one activity that is free and so restorative yet we seem to put it at the bottom of our priority list.
Last but not least we’re told to relax. The kids love this, don’t they? “Mum, just chill” I hear my young sister say. Or “Relax, take a chill pill” was a past favourite of mine. Do any of us actually know what relaxing is? Is going to a gym for a 6 am Yoga session with bright lights and music blaring away in the background actually relaxing? Are those incense sticks your eccentric aunt burns actually relaxing?
Fortunately, there are some good guys and girls out there doing some incredible work in an attempt to enable you and me to be the best versions of us.
This is what we believe
In a world where headlines of sensationalism and hypernormalisation win your attention, the world of health and wellness is a confusing one… I believe it should not be as confusing nor as complicated as what it is made out. Simply put, making healthy choices that enable you to be the best version of you should not be difficult nor a complex task needing an A-level in Mathematics and a degree in Biochemistry. In fact, it is really quite simple. We have coined it the ‘Real Food Lifestyle’ and we believe it will change your life! Think about this for one minute. Looking to nature, do you ever see an overweight wild animal? Do they count calories and watch their macros? Quite rightly you don’t. That’s because they eat a diet that consists of foods that are biologically appropriate for their species. A diet that they have evolved to eat and that allows their species to thrive!
What Is the Real Food Lifestyle?
Simply put, the Real Food Lifestyle is just that. It is a lifestyle. Not a diet. It is based on some sound principles that will enable you to be the best version of you and starts with eating REAL FOOD. There is no calorie counting, no set meal times, no nasty ‘diet’ foods and no restriction.
Principle #1 - Eat Real Food
We believe that humans thrive when removing sugars, grains and harmful fats from their diets. Focus on simple, fresh ingredients that include high-quality plants and ethically raised animals. Here’s a simple overview of what we eat at home, until we are sated – Full to you and me! No counting calories, no specific time of the day foods such as ‘breakfast’ – Just real, honest food until we are full:
- Vegetables – Ensure they are of the highest quality you can afford. The majority should come from leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage, kale, greens and lettuce. Veggies such as courgette, peppers, carrots and onions are great too. Limit starchy veggies such as potatoes.
- Meat and Protein – High welfare, ethically raised animals such as organic, free-range and ‘Pasture for Life’ beef, chicken, lamb, pork and wild-caught seafood are all on the menu. Eggs, cheese and bone broth's are also enjoyed in our household.
- Good Fats – Do not be scared of fat! It is an essential nutrient (carbohydrates are not you know) that we all need to be the best versions of us. Nutrient-dense fat should come from grass-fed dairies such as cheese and cream (if tolerated) and butter and ghee with tallow and lard also being favourites. We use these along with coconut oil to cook with. Avocado oil and olive oil are superb oils that we love to use regularly to dress our salads and drizzle over cooked veggies.
We ensure that we avoid liquid ‘calories’ as much as possible. This includes fruit juice (it really is not good –just a huge sugar bomb), sports drinks (it’s just sugar water!), fizzy drinks such as cola and lemonade (even sugar-free versions) and high-temperature pasteurised milk in large quantities. You will be amazed at how milk affects your blood glucose levels.
We do however love a good coffee with some organic double cream; tea with some goats milk and the occasional good quality red wine.
In the following parts of ‘An Introduction to our Real Food Lifestyle’, I will give an insight into exercise and why it is a poor form of weight control; the importance of good quality sleep and how we prepare for it; and also how we like to relax in this crazy, fast-paced world! Thanks for reading and please feel free to ask any questions!
"All information provided in our blog posts and on our website is just that - information, opinion and anecdotal thoughts and experiences. It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your dietary and lifestyle habits. We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself."