Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's all the fuss about soy?

Thanks to one of my awesome followers, I dedicated some time to publishing this post, which I have been working on for some time. Soy has earned a reputation as a health food in recent years, but does it have the credentials to live up to this title?
The main debate about soy needs to define the difference between fermented and unfermented soy products. And really, this comes back to one of the key Primal Blueprint laws - eat real food! The least processed it is, the better. This goes for soybean products too! It seems that fermented soy products, such as tempeh and miso, could reasonably be put into the 'healthy' category. The issue comes however, when you start to think of all soy products (including the unfermented ones such as many soy milk and tofu products) in the same way.
As Mark explains soy requires preparation to make it safe to consume and that in itself does not instill you with a lot of confidence. When you learn that the process includes acid washing, neutralisation solutions, aluminium tanks and high temperature heating, soy really loses its appeal. For me, my dedication to consuming food that is as close to natural as possible means that soy is definitely off my list!
While the negative effects of consuming soy generally only seem to come into play if someone is consuming A LOT of soy, the fact that there are negative effects should be cause for alarm. We have health authorities telling us that this is a SAFE inclusion in our diets, and, even more alarmingly, safe for inclusion in baby formula. It makes you wonder exactly how much people who consume large quantities of soy products actually understand.
Phytic acid, which restricts the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, is found in high amounts in unfermented soy products. A further concern is that soy contains high levels of a natural chemical that mimics estrogen, and some studies have suggested that this chemical can alter sexual development. This story about one man's experience with the negative effects of consuming soy milk should be read by all men!
Basically, if you subscribe to the primal blueprint way of living, fermented soy products can be consumed occasionally. Anything else just misses the point of whole, unprocessed, natural food!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just because I haven't posted, doesn't mean I'm not committed...

Yeah, I've been slack with the posts lately. Sometimes life just gets in the way! I've had such a crazy 3 or so weeks and it's been difficult to get a spare moment... The great thing is though, I can safely say I've stayed on the primal blueprint track. How well? I estimate at least 80/20.
Haven't heard of the 80/20 rule? Basically, it means you're primal 80% of the time. And with my 20%, I try to stay reasonably true to the PB laws so that I don't undo all my good work!
Travelling is difficult when you're following the primal blueprint. We did a LONG drive up to Queensland for my sister's birthday and found it really hard to get good primal food. Here's a run down of our 6 days away...
Night One = 7hr drive. I had packed some boiled eggs, ham, and vintage cheese, plus some fruit and nuts to snack on during the trip. Easy!
Day One = 10hr drive. We managed to get a primal breakfast of bacon and eggs at the hotel's breakfast buffet. Thinking about it now, breakfast is actually an easy meal to do primal - bacon and eggs, hold the toast. Lunch was a bit trickier... We stopped at a highway servo and options were Maccas, KFC, or sandwiches from the cafe! Not exactly full of options. I ended up getting a salad sandwich and just eating the filling! Dinner was fish and vegies at mum and dad's - the vegies were a definite winner!
Day Two - Five = fairly primal eating while visiting family. My 20% cheats included Grandma's scones (seriously, how could I resist) and my lime & soda mixed with Malibu at the 18th party.
Day Six = 17hr drive. This was an effort. We found a roadside cafe for breakfast and it was awesome - the best bacon and eggs I'd had for ages! Lunch options were Maccas/KFC/Subway, so I went for the most primal option - a Subway salad (no bread). Honestly, it was terrible! Seriously, without the bread, cheese, and sauce, subway salad is not at all fulfilling! We stumbled across a cafe that did roasts for dinner, and so really enjoyed a roast beef and vegies (especially after that terrible lunch).
Exercise while travelling is also difficult. I managed to get in some interval sprints on my parents treadmill, and a long beach walk while visiting Gran & Granddad, but apart from that, the exercise was minimal.
The dreaded visit to our personal trainer after 2 weeks 'off' came sooner than we were ready for. Imagine our surprise and excitement then, when we stepped onto the scales and we'd both dropped 2 kilos! Our trainer suggested that the time off actually worked in our favour, so we were stoked that our seemingly 'slacking off' turned out okay.
Although we still have a hectic couple of weeks to get through, I'm committed to staying as close to primal as possible. I just know that it makes me feel better and I still have a way to go to reach my goal weight. So, with changing jobs, moving house and city, I think the primal blueprint will be a welcome constant in my life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's the World Wide Web saying this week?

Could this recent article suggesting that cancer is purely a man made disease finally get the medical professional to take notice. We should be aiming for prevention, rather than cure, and a huge part of that has to come down to our diet.

I've always found that I sleep better after a workout! Now there's some evidence that a good night's sleep can be the result of physical activity during the day.

Rice has always been one of my go-to carb fillers at dinner time (although since going primal, I've only eaten it once, with effects so bad that I haven't gone near it again!) Mark examines whether rice is unhealthy or not...

Yet another reason to supplement with Vitamin D (that's if you don't get enough sun daily!) - a possible link with autism?

This interesting article highlights a study which suggests that sleeping in a lit room might lead to weight gain.

This Aussie study claims that waist circumference, not BMI, is the best predictor of future cardiovascular disease. So, pay attention to your waist, not your BMI!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fury!!!

You knew it was coming! And I’m sure some of you won’t like it when I tell you who my fury is directed towards today...
Yes, Subway – Eat Fresh! It’s enough to make you go out right now and order a footlong sub isn’t it?! But surely you know by now that the Subway slogan doesn’t have a lot of substance.
I don’t know about you, but pre-packaged meats and vegetables don’t exactly scream “FRESH!” to me. Oh, but their bread is baked daily on premises. Sure, but who really knows what they put into it (HFCS anyone?!?)... Besides the fact that we now don’t eat bread, Subway is certainly not a choice that I would be considering for a healthy lunch.
Seriously, we deserve to be furious because a nifty marketing campaign has led us down the track to believing that eating Subway is a much ‘healthier’ option than Maccas (disclaimer: I am in no way claiming Maccas is healthy, just that Subway is not!)
I can hear you screaming at the computer screen right now. Believe me, I understand! I’ve been a Subway girl for as long as I can remember. Whenever a quick Friday night fast food meal was on the cards, Subway was always the first option. I believed the hype! Hey, that Jarrod guy in the USA lost heaps of weight just eating Subway, so it must be okay – right?! Wrong. I certainly didn’t lose any weight on a ‘subway diet’.
At least Maccas doesn’t try to ‘trick’ consumers into thinking their product is healthy! One look at the nutritional values of most subway sandwiches will have you gasping at the high sodium and sugar content. And don’t get me started on them using HFCS in their bread.
For argument’s sake, let’s examine my two regular choices at Maccas and Subway – a McChicken burger -vs- a Chicken Fillet sub.

408 Calories
18.7g Fat (3g Saturated Fat)
698mg Sodium
3.1g Sugar

Chicken Fillet
385 Calories
15.1g Fat (6.2g Saturated Fat)
1050mg Sodium
5.8g Sugar

Fairly similar overall, but certainly not results that would make you think one option is a healthier choice! Lower in calories and fat (but not saturated fat) and higher in sodium and sugar (which PB argues makes you fatter than eating fat), the chicken fillet doesn’t really have much going for it. And, those values don’t allow for any sauce that I have on my sub, and with my usual BBQ sauce addition, I would be adding an extra 31.8 calories, 6.7g of sugar (seriously, a 20g serving of sauce has more sugar in it than the entire sub itself), and 152mg of sodium.  Further, if you also consider that I would occasionally buy a foot-long sub (the figures above are for a six-incher) then those nutritional values would be doubled! So next time you’re craving a McChicken and think you’ll do your body a favour by having a Chicken Fillet from Subway, maybe you’ll think twice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cavewoman & Caveman come to the party!

My sister's recent 18th dress-up party provided a perfect opportunity to embrace our inner caveman! Conveniently, my sister's name starts with "C" and hubby immediately knew, considering our recent lifestyle change, that dressing as a caveman/woman would be perfect...
Look at my sexy body!
We started off the evening fairly primally - with meatballs & vegies for dinner! However as it was an 18th, avoiding the copious amounts of alcohol on offer was a challenge... I chose what I figured was a 'decent' primal drink of choice - malibu + soda water + lime.
They had malibu back in cavewoman days, didn't they?!?!
Of course, no true party is complete without the token strippers pole, and hubby showed his caveman strength...
Lucky for those caveman bike shorts hey?!?!
So we joined the birthday cow, Clark Kent, cleopatra, cadbury, CSI, cutlery, california girls, cactus, cheerleaders, Confucius, Cat in the Hat, and all the others in celebration of her 18th birthday, and we're pretty sure we're too old for this stuff! Happy Birthday you cow!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Recipe: MmmmmMeatzza!!!

So traditional pizza is definitely a favourite of most people, but how to do it primally?!? There are many different options, but so far, we absolutely LOVE Meatzza!! Meatzza, you ask?!?! Yes, that is a meat-based pizza - it's basically a slice of pure carnivore heaven... I've found a few recipes on the various blogs and PB sites I follow, so thought I'd have a go at it myself for footy night...


Meatzza Base
500g beef mince
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1t oregano
1/2 cup almond meal
4 eggs, beaten

I used:-
roma tomatoes
red onion
fresh basil & rocket
grated cheese


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a pizza/baking tray with baking paper.

Combine all base ingredients. Get the mixture as smooth as possible. Spoon half out onto the tray and use a rolling pin to roll flat. Make sure the base is quite thin.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until brown (the mixture will shrink a little in the oven).

 While the base is baking, cut up all your toppings. When the base is ready, sprinkle grated cheese onto it, then layer the rest of your toppings. I left off the basil and rocket and added that later.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice and serve while hot!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's the World Wide Web saying this week?

Check out the latest fitness craze! Hula Hooping is certainly something I could get into, though I do suck at the WiiFit version!

Consumer group Choice is warning on the dangers of sunscreen use... Seems there are some nasty additives in many of our popular sunscreens. Yep, slip, slop, slap is not always best!

Tom Naughton at Fat Head presents his tongue-in-cheek modest proposal for dealing with our growing population!

Mmmm, primal nutella! Is there anything better?!?

Melissa McEwen @ Hunt. Gather. Love examines the whether there is any merit in the statement "Healthy at any size?"

As if you needed any more motivation to do that lunchtime workout, there is now evidence that staying active on workdays is good for you!

Soy in formula... Need I say more???

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Long Weekend...

Whenever a long weekend comes along, it's always easy to let your healthy lifestyle fall by the wayside. I've made a conscious effort this weekend to ensure that, even if I was a bit more relaxed, I still managed to meet most of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws. Let's see how I went:-
1. Eat lots of animals, insects, and plants
Hmm, well I've definitely covered the animals and plants thing, though not so keen on the insects part! Friday night started with Meatzza, I've had a fruit smoothie, roast chicken and greek salad, and bacon and eggs... (eggs technically count as animal!)
2. Move frequently at a slow pace
I did a low impact cardio circuit at the gym (combo of walking on an incline for 2km, rowing for 2km, and a 5km easy bike ride), did a 30min spin session, and some Wii yoga. I was planning on going for a walk outside, but the weather hasn't permitted :-(
3. Lift heavy things
A weights sessions at the gym is my only claim to this law... Oh, and a 30 minute bodyweight session (lifting my own weight is HEAVY!!!!)
4. Run really fast every once in a while
Haven't covered this one over the weekend. My interval sprint training usually happens at a PT session on either Tuesday or Thursday - it will be Tuesday this week, as we're travelling on Thursday :-)
5. Get lots of sleep
An easy one over the weekend! I am always guilty of sleeping in a bit, but I figure I'm catching up for any sleep lost during the week. Technically we 'lost' an hour of sleep last night, as daylight savings kicked in and our clocks went forward an hour, but we will get that back when daylight savings ends in April!
6. Play
Not really covered this one, and it's really one that I need to work on. This shitty weather doesn't help! I did play my favourite jet-boarding game on the WiiFit - does that count?!?!?!
7. Get adequate sunlight
Hmmm, another tough one, especially in Canberra and this terrible weather! I did take my Vitamin D tablets though :-)
8. Avoid trauma
I have managed to successfully avoid hurting or injuring myself - bonus, as I usually burn/cut myself when cooking!
9. Avoid poisonous things
We had Indian takeaway for dinner last night. I wouldn't say it's entirely poisonous, it was mainly meat, spices, and vegetables (they thought we were weird cos we didn't order rice or naan bread!), but I'm sure there were some ingredients which my body didn't appreciate!
10. Use your mind
I continued reading Gary Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" - it's a very heavy book that you can't read all in one sitting (like I usually do when reading fiction!)... But it's an amazing, eye-opening read!