It’s flu season and as I’m writing this I’m dealing with some stomach flu myself. Now, on a paleo diet, what can you eat to recover? Your doctor would probably tell you to eat plain toast, rice and crackers and drink lots of fluids. Obviously the toast, rice and crackers aren’t an option. Even if you opt for paleo toast, it’s not a good idea. Here’s what I usually eat when I’m dealing with stomach flu, a stomach bug or food poisoning.
When you can’t hold anything down
try to hydrate, even if it’s just a sip at a time. Don’t go for vitamin waters or sports drinks, they contain lots of sugar (bad for the gut). Opt for water or even better coconut water (go for a brand that doesn’t add sugar).
It stays in but it just doesn’t come out right
hydration is still key here:
- herbal teas: ginger and peppermint do well, if you can handle it, you can add a little coconut oil to your tea
- bone broth: if the broth is very fatty you might want to consider skimming it down a bit for this purpose
bananas: they are the one fruit that contains more glucose (starch) than fructose (sugar).
boiled (sweet) potatoes
steamed fish or chicken breast
Get well soon!
*image by Jenny Woods
Yes, we’re back with a couple of picks for fall!
The Nike Air Max 1 Flannel Plaid was released in 2007, so it’s been a while. Nevertheless they are still one of my favorites, the color combination is just perfect for fall. This Air Max 1 features suede, a red flannel lining and a perforated leather toebox. With a little bit of luck you might still be able to snatch a pair from ebay.
On the 18th of October The Good Will Out (German Sneaker Store) dropped this Asics Collab. The pair is called ‘Koyo’, the Japanese term refers to the color of leaves during the fall season. This Gel Lyte V model consists of a rich burgundy nubuck upper with some grey and yellow to add a pop of color. It features a contrasting white midsole with light grey speckles. There is a tonal leaf print on the Gel Lyte V’s neoprene inner sleeve and a textured heel counter reminiscent of the spine on leaves. The shop says that it’s sold out, however if you look a little further there’s a note saying that actually it isn’t and you can send them an email if you want to order.
New Balance is back this fall with the latest version of its Made in England M1500 silhouette. The sneaker features an upper made out of suede, leather and ripstop materials, all in fall colors, on top of an ENCAP sole.
Earlier this year Nike released a mid version of the Internationalist, they went for all leather. With The Nike Internationalist in Mid Grey Orange, Nike takes the aesthetic back to what this classic looked like when it was first released in 1980. The color combination is great for fall, the orange will match your pumpkins perfectly.
KangaROOS Coil R2 Running shoe was, upon first release in the 80’s, advertised as a sneaker using the NASA technology that helped man walk on the moon. Whether they actually used that technology is up for debate but they created a nice looking sneaker. This new take on it, featuring a mesh and suede upper, will do great for fall.
I know it’s supposed to be 5 pairs of sneakers but I’m gonna add an extra one here. This Nike Air Max 1 Mid FB in light british tan would be a nice edition to your fall wardrobe as well.
What often strikes me is the amount of hate between vegans and paleo people, you’ll find on the internet. It’s mostly vegans getting really upset about paleo because they think it promotes meat consumption and then paleo people getting defensive about it and attacking vegans, most often by making fun of them. It always makes me laugh because for some reason I think of a vegan as someone doing yoga and cutting out meat and animal products because they want to practice non-harming. This image is hard to reconcile with the one of a vegan attacking someone for being paleo. Now I know my idea of a vegan is very stereotypical here and probably not in line with what an average vegan is really like, nevertheless I think the hate between the two is a little ridiculous. Here’s a quote from a vegan who calls herself The Plant-Based Dietitian, just to show you what the attacks usually look like
Time to address the paleo diet, as it is one of the biggest dangers to what most vegans deem perilous: the persistent torture and slaughter of billions of animals a year and destruction of our planet. Yet, people who try the paleo diet seemingly do well initially health-wise, which makes it appear all the more appealing.
Now I can only conclude that the person writing such things knows close to nothing about the Paleo diet.
The Paleo Diet is NOT a meat based diet
There seems to be a widespread misconception about Paleo being a meat-based diet while in fact it is, just like the vegan diet, vegetable and fruit based. Yes, we do eat meat but we might actually eat less meat than the average person. Another important detail here is the type of meat people on a paleo diet consume. The meat promoted in a paleo lifestyle is meat from grass fed and pasture raised animals. Even if you’re not into killing animals, I think you must agree that killing a pasture raised cow is (on a lot of levels) completely different from killing a factory farmed animal. I think what most people, certainly vegans, have a problem with (I might be wrong) is the way animals are treated before they get slaughtered. People who practice Paleo are actually trying to raise awareness about the way food is produced and are trying to stimulate others into thinking about the stuff they put in their mouth. While a vegan might take it a step further and not eat any meat at all, I all together don’t think we’re that different when it comes down to it. Accusing people on the Paleo diet of promoting the torture of animals doesn’t seem very fair to me.
The Paleo Diet raises awareness about the origin of your food
People on a Paleo diet do realize that if we will only be eating good quality, environmentally sustainable meat this means we have to lower our meat consumption. It also means that instead of being picky about what part of the animal our meat comes from, we should be picky about where the meat comes from and how it was handled. The paleo diet promotes types of meat a lot of people today are avoiding because it sounds gross, like organ meat and pigs ears. I think both vegans and people on a paleo diet are trying to cause more awareness around meat consumption and are trying to raise respect towards animals (and nature in general). When I was little I personally helped to slaughter animals for consumption and a lot of people look at me with judgement in their eyes when I tell them this. Then I always ask them ‘have you ever eaten meat?’ (to which all of them say yes), ‘then don’t you think it’s actually a lot more respectful towards the animal to do the hard work of killing it yourself then it is to go to the store and buy a steak?’. While I always think that this last question will make them realize how ridiculous it is to not feel responsible for the animals death when you buy a steak, most people don’t. It really strikes me to see how people look at food, not thinking about where it came from and not realizing how they are involved in the process. While I’m not saying that the paleo diet wants everyone to slaughter their own animals (slaughtering a cow takes a certain skill and should probably be left to someone who knows what he/she’s doing) it does promote more awareness around meat production and consumption. People on a paleo diet actually feel that it’s better to pay your farmer/butcher than to pay your doctor and we want to go to a system where farmers actually get paid enough to grow their crops properly and raise and slaughter their animals in a respectful manner. I know there will be vegans who are absolutely against killing anything and who don’t care about the way the killing is done. While I certainly have a different view on that matter, I can still respect that, that is if they also respect me. I certainly have nothing against vegans because I think we are partly fighting the same cause.
Veganism: good intentions, bad outcome
I am personally not convinced that veganism is really all that beneficial for the environment. Vegan diets demand a higher quantity of cereal grains and soy, crops which wreak havoc on our ecosystem due to mass farming techniques while grass-grazing animals can nourish stripped soil and even reverse desertification. You also have to ask yourself the following question ‘if the thing on my plate does not come from an animal does that necessarily mean no animal was killed in the process?’ How many field mice were killed to produce that vegan cereal you like to eat for breakfast? Right…
Another thing I’m concerned about, when it comes to the vegan diet, is the health risks it might entail for the people who are on those diets. Vegan diets are often heavily soy based. If you’ve read some of my other articles you will already know I am not a fan of soy. If you want your hormones to go berserk, go ahead…eat your soy! Then you have the problem of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, both can only be found in animal products and Vitamin A, which (contrary to popular belief) you cannot get from carrots. Carotene can theoretically be converted to vitamin A but you would need very large amounts of it, a good functioning thyroid, a good digestion and a good amount of healthy fats in your body to make that happen. There’s also the sad reality that lots of vegans opt for fake food instead of real food, they try to create cheese, meat and milk products without milk, cheese or meat. Those products contain all sorts of stabilizers, gums, thickeners and highly processed protein extracts.
I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be said about this and by no means do I want to attack any vegans or make fun of them (I still truly believe they’ve got the right intentions), I’m just saying ‘let him without sin cast the first stone’.
I got lucky
Come to think about it, I got lucky. My body sort of guided me into it, I was doing paleo without even realizing I was doing paleo. It first started a couple of years ago, I’d been struggling with stomach ache for years, I’d become used to it, until one day my sister was rushed to the emergency room in the middle of the night due to intolerable pain in her abdomen. Now my sister never really had any stomach pains or anything like that, it was a very acute situation. They did all sorts of research but couldn’t immediately find the cause. All they were able to tell is that she was suffering from iron loss, severe iron loss. The doctor feared Crohn’s disease so a couple of weeks later they tested her. Afterwards the doctor told her that they had also run a test for celiac disease. For some reason we couldn’t stop thinking about that last bit, we both knew a couple of things about celiac disease and after some further research I said ‘this is gonna be it, we probably both have it, this explains my stomach pains’. We decided not to wait for the results and stopped eating gluten right away. Four days later we were convinced it was indeed celiac disease or some gluten related issue, my sister finally felt better and my stomach pain had completely gone away. We kept avoiding gluten and then the results came in. My sister didn’t have Crohn’s and to our surprise the gluten test was negative as well. Basically they still didn’t know what had caused that intolerable pain and the iron loss. We told the doctor that we were pretty sure it was celiac disease or some sort of gluten related thing, since we both felt better than ever since we changed our diet, the doctor completely dismissed this….(read about the nonsense of testing for gluten sensitivity here)
Stubborn as we are, we continued our diet and after cheating on it once and going through a terrible food-poisoning-like experience, we were certain we didn’t need a test to tell us what was going on. Everything was going great until about 6 months later when I started experiencing some stomach aches again, always in the morning after I had my morning yoghurt. Now I had done my research and by then I already knew that gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance often go hand in hand. After I cut out lactose I felt healthy again, for a couple of months. Whenever the stomach pains would return I’d pay close attention to what I had eaten that day, made a mental note of it and started eliminating the foods that didn’t seem to agree with me. The list kept getting longer and longer: soy, all grains, everything corn based, rice, pine nuts (after a terrible allergic reaction), seeds, eventually most nuts, etc.
So before I knew it I was on a paleo diet!
If I can do it, so can you
It was pretty easy for me to transition from one step to the next. The biggest step was going gluten free, for the first time in my life I had to give up on certain food items that I loved. And when I say loved, I mean LOVED. Bread, cookies, pasta, croissants….I was addicted to everything with gluten in it. When I opened a package of cookies, no matter how many cookies were in there, I had to finish that package, I had to see the bottom of it! That being said, I was tired of the constant pain and I knew I had to do it for my health, so even though I spent several nights crying over it, I did it. The step to a lactose free life was also pretty hard on me, I spent a couple of days feeling extremely sorry for myself. Growing up my favorite food was ice cream, I would’ve eaten ice cream all day, everyday if you would’ve let me. I’m also one of those people who had this
on their Facebook and Tumblr. I truly believed (and still believe) that cheese makes almost everything taste better. So obviously giving up on that was a mayor bummer. However, as soon as I came to the conclusion lactose was causing me harm, I just did it. I personally don’t believe in slowly transitioning into it, starting out with eating less lactose and then slowly going to that stage where you cut it out completely, that to me seems like the perfect way to set yourself up for failure. You either do it or you don’t. Maybe that’s just me though, I’m also the kind of person who can’t just work out 2 or 3 days a week, I have to promise myself to work out every day or it just doesn’t get done. Go hard or go home.
I do have to mention that even up until now, every now and then, I still eat a piece of milk chocolate. It doesn’t seem to cause me any pain and at times I just crave it so bad that I allow myself to have a piece. I tell myself that it’s a good thing as it prevents me from being too OCD about the food I eat.
The steps after that were pretty easy. By the time you get used to avoiding gluten and lactose you’re relationship with food and your way of cooking will have already changed so much that eliminating something extra will no longer seem that big of a deal.
Go hard or go home
When starting paleo I would suggest taking it one step at a time. I know this might sound contrary to what I said before about slowly transitioning into it. Look at it this way. There’s 2 guys, who both drink, smoke, don’t work out and only eat take out meals. One day they decide to change their lives, become healthier. The first guys decides to not make it too hard on himself, he wants to stop smoking first but he’s got a serious addiction, it will be very hard on him so he decides he will allow himself to smoke 2 cigarettes a day and then when that goes well he will stop smoking completely and start working on the other stuff. The second guy also decides smoking is his biggest issue and the one he needs to tackle first. He decides to just go for it, starting tomorrow, no more cigarettes. When that works out for him he will stop drinking. Now how I see it, after a couple of weeks the first guy will probably still be smoking, most likely not just two cigarettes a day. He didn’t fully commit, he wasn’t ready to completely give up on it and he was too busy feeling sorry for himself. While I can’t be sure the second guy will have successfully stopped smoking, I do think chances are way higher he actually did. By doing this successfully, just quitting completely and staying committed to it, he will have gained the self confidence he needed to make the next step easier. He has already proven to himself that he has the willpower to just do it so his success with the smoking will give him the tools he needs to tackle his other problems. Now even when the first guy, using his technique of easing into it, has finally succeeded he will now need to tackle the other problems, probably using the same technique. While he probably does feel confident about his achievement he will most likely not look forward to going through that long process again, making it (in my opinion) way harder to take that next step. So when I say you should take it one step at a time when going Paleo, I do mean one big step at a time. You don’t cut down on gluten, you completely cut them out, you don’t consume less lactose, you completely avoid it…but one step at a time.
I would personally suggest you start with gluten or lactose, given that both are staples in a normal diet and will require the biggest change. I would also immediately cut out soy, it’s no good for you, please don’t replace your lactose products with soy products. Afterwards I would start eliminating other grains. After that cutting out other foods will be no biggie, you’ll see.
*original image by Tim BoelaarsFollow
When you first start with Paleo you might find yourself feeling a little lost. There is a lot of info out there, but are the sources reliable? Do they know what they’re talking about? Then there’s the obvious problem, a bunch of stuff needs to be eliminated from your diet, so what to cook? The overwhelming feeling that you can’t eat anything anymore might overpower you.
Down below you’ll find a list of Paleo related websites and blogs we often visit and would recommend to you. Not only do these websites contain useful and reliable info, they will also inspire your cooking. The feeling of ‘I can’t eat anything anymore’ will soon be replaced by a ‘wow, the options are endless’ feeling. Chances are you’ll find out about ingredients you’ve never heard of before and combinations you never dared to dream of. Going Paleo will, almost certainly,make you a better, more innovative cook.
The Urban Poser (not all Paleo)
Have fun with it!
I’ve always been a fan of green grocers, farmers markets, independent butchers, local shops.. anything that makes me feel like I’m supporting a family rather than throwing my money at a faceless corporation that has no interest or respect for the local community or the people who grow our food. Growing up we always had half a cow, a couple of turkeys , pigeons and a ton of soups and vegetables in our fridge, either from our own garden or from neighbouring farmers. The supermarket was merely that place were we bought toilet paper, rice, pasta, toothpaste, shampoo,.. and some exotic nuts and fruits, it certainly didn’t dominate our life.
That changed when I moved to the city, turns out it is pretty damn convenient to be able to buy everything at one place so without a garden or any farmers around the supermarket soon became my number one source for food. I always knew that this wasn’t the way to go so once I got to know the local stores I slowly started veering away from the giants, trying to buy at these local butcher and green grocer whenever I had the time. But recently my dislike for supermarkets has seen a boost due to a documentary I saw a couple of weeks ago. This documentary tackles the issues caused by the battle between the major supermarkets to offer their products at the lowest price, resulting in exploitation of those at the beginning of the supply chain and a reduced quality of the end product. The complete disrespect for our food and the people who produce it combined with zero passion for their product made me pull the plug on them completely. I urge you to do the same.
Avoiding supermarkets could cost you a little bit extra time because most likely it entails you visiting a couple of shops to cross of the entire grocery list. Economy minded as we are nowadays you probably want to know what you are trading your precious time for. In ‘ the case against supermarkets‘ Souvereignty.org.uk gives us a list of arguments against supermarkets, of which I’ll quickly discuss the most compelling ones ( click here for the original article)
- Shopping at supermarkets is destroying British agriculture, ruining the countryside and reducing biodiversity(They are focusing on supermarkets that dominate the market in Britain) saying that 60 to 70 percent of the food passes through the 4 major companies. With only a couple of demanding parties in the game these major companies have the price-setting power and are constantly pressuring the farmers into lowering their prices. Furthermore they demand the farmer to supply them in large-scale ( or not at all). Resulting in a continuing industrialisation of agriculture, which leaves no room for smaller farmers and reduces biodiversity and choice for the consumer. Farmers are dictated to grow 2 or 3 varieties in large-scale, which also entails more use of chemicals ( less variety means more threat from pests and disease).
- Shopping at supermarkets supports factory farming, poor animal welfare and the spread of disease . Depending on the farm animal welfare standards in your country ( In Britain and Belgium these standards are relatively high), the major supermarkets will source their meat from countries with lower standards ( which is not always correctly advertised, as mentioned in the article: it is standard practice for products carrying ‘Union Jack’ or ‘ produce of the UK’ stickers to have been processed/ packed here but for the meat to have been reared abroad.)
- It puts local shops out of business, undermining the local economy .
- Shopping at supermarkets exploits both the people and the land of developing countriesThe major players are piggy banking on counties where wages are low, working conditions are poor and pollution laws are non-existent , using their best agriculture land to feed people in 1st world countries at rock bottom prices while the local population is basically left unfed.
One of the most compelling arguments in my opinion is that it doesn’t treat food and the food producers in the way they should be treated. Eating, although being a basic human need and an experience that should be valued and enjoyed is reduced to ‘ something that just needs to happen’. If you are shopping for real ingredients you don’t need to go to a supermarket, supermarkets pollute us with instant noodles, fruit loops , a bunch of additives , E numbers and buy 2 for 1 ads for stuff we don’t actually need. The raw ingredients, the nutrition your body actually needs is readily available in fresh vegetables, fruits , fish or meat which is presented in its worst condition at the supermarket and can best be bought either straight from a farmer or from the green grocer and local butcher. They need the business to support their family, they still have a passion for real food, they are able to offer you cooking advice, authenticity and a personal story which you won’t be able to get at the supermarket and in the end the farmer will get a better price for his product. So whether you do it for your conscience, your health, your community, your environment, or because you share the belief that corporations who don’t respect our farmers, our land or our food shouldn’t get a penny out of us, buy local.