Paleo Turn-Around Cleanse: 2 Week Transformation Pt 5

by Belinda on August 1, 2012

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At times we get so preoccupied with life that we lose touch with ourselves  –  with what’s really going on for us, deep inside our body.  Of course this can happen on an emotional level but today I am talking about our physical health and wellbeing.  During times like this we tend ignore critical signals that something is wrong.  It’s happened to me many times, ranging from mild to more serious situations – here are just a few examples…

~ Ignoring a mild toothache until it was too late; while traveling in a very remote area of Mexico I had an emergency visit to a “dentist witchdoctor”.  Add into that mix my deep fear of dentists…..a very bad lesson learned.

~ Tolerating a skin rash on my face without really knowing what it was until it turned into a MAJOR outbreak of rosacea (aka whole face beetroot red, very swollen and sore with a trip to the emergency department) on the morning of starting my new job as National Training Manager for Shiseido (yes a skincare company — eeeekkkkkk).

~ Not paying enough attention (and partly being in denial) to irregular monthly bleeding that resulted in having to deal with a non-malignant myoma while traveling overseas in a 3rd world country.

Hmm, now recalling all my “incidents” (and there are many more, trust me) these days I am vigilant about paying attention to what my body is telling me!

Note: Just let me say right now (because I care about you), if there is some niggling problem you have been ignoring with your health – promise yourself you will get it looked at this week.  Full Stop.

So, bearing in mind my past experiences, when I began my 2 Week Transformation (this is the 5th installment in my blog series) I knew intuitively that my digestion needed attention.  Something as simple as how our bodies’ process food has a huge impact on our overall health, our ability to lose weight or gain results from our training. These imbalances mean it’s harder to absorb and process nutrients, filter toxins and stay well hydrated.

Even on the best eating plan, the delicate balance that makes up the ecology of the intestines can be disrupted due to seemingly innocuous things:

  • Stress

  • Over-Worked or Over-Training

  • Food allergies or Sensitivities

  • Medication

  • Inflammation

  • Travel

It’s easy to ignore common symptoms and just tell ourselves they are “normal” and will pass with time (for example: bloating, excess gas, heartburn, uncomfortable a sense of fullness after eating, indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation).

But when our digestion is out of wack we become susceptible to more systemic problems like low energy, low libido, skin problems and a weakened immune system – just to name a few.

The severity of digestive problems range from a mild imbalance that just needs a few dietary and lifestyle tweaks to reset the dial – to a more serious underlying condition that needs the attention of a specialist physician.  If you feel you fall into the latter category – please make an appointment asap!

If not, then keep reading to discover how you can restore optimal digestive balance (note that sometimes it’s not that your diet is “bad” it’s just that your body can benefit from change – just as a change in your routine, or training can push you through to the next level of results that have been eluding you).

The changes I made for my 2 Week Turn- Around Cleanse…

~ Nutritional Changes ~

1. Avoid Binding Carbs: starchy carbs (versus fibrous) can be like putting glue in body, it just sticks to your insides and causes everything to slow down).

2. No Dairy: giving the body a rest from lactose.

3. Increased Fiber: natural sources from low glycemic fruits and vegetables.

4. Gluten Free: to reduce demands on the digestive system.

5. Small Amounts of Gluten Free, Easily Digestible, High Protein Grains: amaranth, buckwheat & quinoa.

~ Supplement Changes ~

1. Introduced: Digestive Greens and Organic Peppermint Tea

Now, it’s very important to note, this is not a nutritional program but a 2-week cleansing regime with the goal of making my digestion easier to help rebalance my body and boost my metabolism.

And here were my requirements!

1. Quality protein (vegetable or animal). Preferably pasture-raised and grass-fed meat. Organic low glycemic seasonal fruits and vegetables.

2. No cereal grains, beans or legumes (starchy carbs). For example, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.

Note: Since you aren’t metabolizing significant amounts of carbohydrates, your insulin levels stay low, and your body starts to use your food for energy instead of storing it as fat.

3. No sugar, refined, pre-prepared or packaged products.

4. Substitute dairy for natural fats like coconut butter and oil.

Now if you’re like me, half the battle with getting your nutrition right is having the right foods in the kitchen and knowing how to prepare them.  So going into this, I decided to clean out my fridge and look around for a new cookbook for inspiration.  You may be surprised at what I found….. A Paleo Cookbook!

I’ll be honest, I had heard of the Paleo “diet”..but didn’t know much other than it was nicked name the “caveman diet” lol.

Apparently it’s called the paleo diet because it includes the food that were available to us for most of our evolution during the paleolithic era, starting about 2.5 million years ago. The idea is that our modern day genes and physiology evolved through the process of natural selection based on the food that our ancestors evolved around. Back to the basics….very basic!!

Now listen, I warn you up front – this is not a “diet” I personally would recommend longer term simply because it’s very restrictive and doesn’t include all the basic food groups.  In my experience, something like this is not sustainable or desirable long term for the average person – and unnecessary. BUT, as a short-term cleansing program – it’s excellent, especially for those of us who workout regularly and are looking to optimize our training (higher quality lean protein intake).

Let me give you some examples from this excellent Paleo Cook that I bought to help me out.

Sample Weekly Eating Plan

 

And some of my favorite recipes (from the 370 that are included lol

along with a herbs and spices, desserts and quick meals supplements):

 

  • Almond chicken

  • Moqueca, a Brazilian fish stew

  • African sweet potato and okra stew

  • Coconut red snapper and pineapple salsa

  • Zucchini noodles with simple pesto

  • Shrimp (prawn) salad with avocado & orange

  • Eggplant frittata

  • Honey-rosemary roasted figs

  • Grain free granola

  • Raspberry-walnut vinaigrette

  • Thai honey marinade

  • Almond banana pancakes

  • BBQ grilled peaches with cinnamon

  • Almond milk custard

  • Macadamia and avocado smoothie

  • Carrot and Orange Cake

Sample Recipe:

 

As you can see these are OMG delicious….so for my 2 week program it was super easy to just pick and choose from the cookbook and stick to my cleansing program.   Not to mention, I now have a new array of recipes to choose from for my regular eating plan and some great new ideas, for example how to creatively use things like coconut products (flour, oil, milk, butter and nectar).

Want to know more?  Check out all the nitty-gritty here:

 The Paleo Recipe Book <—- Click Here

 

Note: I don’t often recommend cookbooks as there is so much rubbish out there touting itself as “healthy” but in this case, I can honestly say I was blown away by the quality, diversity, depth of information and recipes (includes also cooking techniques, substitutions and online resources).  Awesome value.

Remember – even on best nutrition or diet program, our bodies can benefit from change, mixing it up a little and nurturing our tummies with nutrient and metabolism boosting foods – without overloading.  Just a short 1 or 2 week break can work wonders. And please, if you have any niggling health issues…do something about it today.  Believe me, just the feeling of emotional relief from the stress it is creating will be worth it, not to mention, how great you are going to feel once it’s sorted out.

Questions?  Please post below and I will be back soon :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS. Click Here To Check Out the Paleo Recipe Book! 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonja Stendera August 8, 2012 at 12:50 am

ther are starches in amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa too!

Reply

Belinda August 8, 2012 at 6:04 am

Hi Sonja! YES you are right lol..but I decided to include these high protein gluten free “pseudo-grains” in small quantities because I found they were easier to digest….some call them the “safe starches”. I am loving the quinoa so much I am still having it as part of my nutrition regularly and have a bunch of awesome recipes…hmmmm, I must do a blog about that!

Bel

Reply

kelly August 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Hi B
How can I include some of the changes above – which I love and fully agree – whilst training for a marathon within 12 weeks.

Thanks heaps and keep up the blogging..

Reply

Belinda August 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hi Kelly,

It depends a little on your physique goals and your training program. I can’t go into all the details here on the blog in terms of coaching – but you can join my Aussie Transformation Coach Private Member site if you are interested in that. General speaking, you will need more carbs that what is outlined in this blog – but there’s no reason why you can’t go low glycemic – which has the added benefit of more stable blood sugar level, less cravings and consistent energy. Plan out 5 small meals a day approx 3 hours apart – 3 main ones and 2 snacks. And eat easy to digest carbs and protein before and after your training runs. Keep me posted how it goes!

Belinda

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