Here it is! Number ONE, the top spot, the most popular post I have written on MotherNaturesDiet.com all year – by a LONG way, this post has been viewed THOUSANDS of times, more than twice as much as the post in second place!
I am often asked –
- Is juicing healthy?
- Are we supposed to consume calories in liquid form?
- Should I take vitamin and mineral supplements?
- Are vitamin pills good value for money?
- Are the foods we eat today nutrient-depleted? Is the soil nutrient deficient?
- What’s the difference between juicing and blending?
- Will juicing help me lose weight fast?
This most-popular post answers all these questions and more.
Read more here – https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/05/26/how-does-juicing-fit-into-a-paleo-diet-and-lifestyle/
A few weeks back I came up with this delicious Moroccan spiced version of the classic slow-roasted shoulder of lamb. I’ve been boasting about how good this is, so loads of my friends keep asking for the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy. If you know my style, you’ll know I rarely follow a set recipe, my measurements tend to be “a shake of this” and “a handful of that” and I rarely use many ingredients, so this is surprisingly complicated for me…but worth it, it’s so yummy!
Buy a good quality shoulder of lamb. I purchase local, outdoor raised, grass-fed, healthy organic lamb. I can even see the animals grazing in their fields from the upstairs windows of my house, that’s how local the farm is, and that’s how I know they are outside all day, all weather.
I cooked this for 9 people, 4 adults and 5 kids, and I bought a 3.4 kilo shoulder. The kids all ate well, so I guess this quantity would be about right for up to 6 adults.
Enjoy free food from Mother Nature - readily available everywhere in the UK in spring and summer, dandelion greens are nutrient-packed, higher in protein than spinach and they are easy to include in many meals.
I have recently stated a few times that MotherNaturesDiet is not strictly a paleo diet, but it has evolved from my learnings and following the main principles of paleo. I think a paleo diet as laid out by ‘the masters’ such as Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson and others, is fantastic, but I think many followers in the paleo community have taken the paleo theme and then run with it to a point that they have strayed far from the original ideas.
I will write more on this topic, in much more depth, in a future post. For today, I just wanted to briefly cover a sub-set of this, a subject that gets my back up, the idea of publishing paleo cookbooks promoting hundreds of paleo recipes – and the misnomer of a ‘Paleo Desert Cookbook’ – like they ate desert in the paleolithic period! I have blogged briefly on this topic before, check this post for that.
So this short video just covers the latest ‘Paleo Desert Cookbook’ that I saw advertised. Sorry about the sound quality on this clip, it’s not so good.
Most diets go wrong in the supermarket...
...or at the corner shop, or the snack shop, convenience store or coffee shop.
You see, healthy eating and healthy living doesn’t happen by accident. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you have to plan, you have to prepare to succeed. You can’t just leave healthy eating to chance and hope it works out OK.
Big Sugar, Inc.
Sadly the modern Western world doesn’t work that way. It takes planning to avoid 'big sugar'.
I recently wrote about how so many people opt for sugar-laden tasty foods in preference to vegetables, in large part because their media-shrivelled brains crave constant hit after hit, and sweet tasty foods is one big way to get that hit. People have forgotten that food is really just fuel, it is there to sustain us living and breeding and functioning. But for far too many people, food (and the art of creating a meal) has become a leisure activity in its own right.
To many people, eating has become a hobby, a favourite pastime, and a distraction from the many areas of their lives that are less than fully satisfying. In my opinion, (and you must remember that everything on this blog is just that, a collection of my personal opinions) food is just fuel, and it is not meant to be a hobby to indulge in every day.
I have nothing against preparing a delicious meal for a gathering of friends. The 'tribal feast' has surely been a part of human culture since long before we developed language, agriculture and society. No doubt tribes would gather and feast after a successful collaborative hunt millions of years ago. I too enjoy cooking a feast for visitors and enjoying a tasty meal with several courses as the centre of such a social gathering…but I’m talking once or twice per month, not 7 days per week. Too many people treat their evening meal as the highlight of their day, and they focus their attention and energy on preparing that meal and making it as tasty, fancy and satisfying as possible.
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I have been looking and studying, for years, other ‘diet solutions’ and ‘weight loss programs’ and healthy living sites and blogs, and I have been thinking about MotherNaturesDiet and the 12 Core Principles.
When I set up MND, I used the word ‘diet’ in its correct form, meaning ‘the way we should nourish ourselves and the range of food we should eat permanently’ not in its misused modern form ‘a temporary restriction of calories so you can squeeze your fat butt into those new jeans for your summer holiday.’
If you have read the Rules and My Story pages on this site, by now you will understand that I am a big fan of the primal/paleo movement, but I want to be clear about what this all means to me.
I broadly agree with all the fundamental principles of the paleo movement, but I think there are a lot of people out there who have jumped on the paleo bandwagon as 'the new Atkins' diet and they are using this as an excuse to feast daily on bacon and steak and all-you-can-eat meat, but they are paying little attention to the health aspects of living a life more in sync with our bodies natural biological origins.
True paleo means a deep respect and connection with Mother Nature
As I noted in the previous post, talking about lunch, my evening meal is NOT my main meal of the day. I have my main meal at lunchtime, and I eat quite light in the evenings. This works for me in lots of ways, and I have been doing it for several years now and have got quite used to it. Now, I hate to eat a big meal in the evening, and go to bed feeling full, it disrupts my sleep and makes me feel fat and uncomfortable.
I like to go to bed feeling, well not hungry, but ‘bordering on getting peckish’. I admit it’s a bit of a balancing act...go to bed too late and hunger starts getting to me before I have a chance to fall asleep! But if I get it right, I sleep so much better and wake feeling clean, lean, empty. No more sweating in the night. No more feeling dry and thirsty in the night. Digestion is one of the most intensive internal processes in your body, your digestive system uses a huge amount of your own energy...it’s thirsty work, and demands water to help, hence why we often wake thirsty and dry in the middle of the night after a big evening meal.
So in the evenings, I have a bowl of homemade vegetable soup most days...
Any of you regular readers will have seen numerous posts before detailing some of the meals I make myself for lunch.
I acknowledge that as a self-employed home-based worker, I have the flexibility to make lunch my main meal of the day, which is something many of you would struggle with, if you are based in an office, shop, factory or warehouse. I appreciate that flexibility. But still, you can copy some of my lunch ideas, cook them at the weekends and take them in to work, eat them cold, microwave reheat them, or just use them for your dinner ideas.
For me, lunch is my main meal of the day. Because I am home based, I tend to work out in the middle of the day (not every day, I also train first thing in the morning some days) and then I have a large late lunch, my post-training meal and biggest meal of the day. But your routine might be different. Maybe you go to the gym after work, then have your main meal as your evening meal, so just take these lunch ideas and make them your dinner ideas. Not really rocket science, is it?
Lunch needs to contain a big hit of protein for me.
One thing people ask me often is what food I eat on a daily basis – people seem to want more recipes, more actual meal ideas. OK, that’s easy, so let me give you some more ideas by running through a typical week.
Breakfast is difficult for a lot of people – time constraints are often a problem, and a lot of people can’t handle a big breakfast, and other people can’t face cooked food first thing in the morning, preferring something cold and simple. My favourite breakfast is a smoothie, and I start the day with a smoothie several times per week. My other favourite breakfast is eggs, and I have eggs several days per week too.
Sample smoothie ideas...
Travelling can be the hardest time for anyone trying to eat a healthy diet. When we are away from home, in unfamiliar surroundings, away from our usual choice of shops and markets, when the food shopping and cooking is not 100% under our control, this is the hardest time to stay comfortably in charge of what you eat.
Any of you who have been following this blog and are familiar MotherNaturesDiet and the 12 Core Principles (See page ‘The Rules!’) will know that Core Principle 12 allows me to apply the 90/10 rule, and not just as a get-out clause or an excuse for ‘treats’! (In my mind, they are not treats, they are mistakes, set-backs on the road to supreme good health.) ‘Rule’ 12 is in there mainly because I am a realist, and I know that it is virtually impossible to always get organic veggies, organic clean fruit, free-range eggs, outdoor-reared free-range meat, and so on. As low-level stress is a major health challenge these days, getting would up over your food choices is not good for your health, so Rule 12 is there to help us all relax a little and ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’.
Away from home, limited food options
Over the weekend, I was struck by just how hard it is get the things we want when away from the familiarity of our regular ‘home turf’. I went to a medium-sized supermarket, and there were almost NO options on free-range, organic, outdoor-reared meat or open-ocean caught, sustainably-caught fish. This supermarket had just a couple of free-range whole chickens available, and that was it, there were no other options. No outdoor-reared grass fed beef, no outdoor reared pork, lamb, nothing. There were a few organic veggies, but the range was limited and over-priced.
I must admit, I find quitting coffee the hardest of all the things I have given up...but I don't drink caffeinated coffee! I quit caffeine back in 2006, so I know my love of coffee is just a mental thing, I like the taste and I drink it decaf, black and unsweetened, so I struggle to reason with myself why I should quit.
However, on virtuous days, when I can manage without those couple of cups of black decaf to start each day, then I will often have replace my coffee with this healthier alternative.
One of the hardest things about ‘being on a specific diet’ is eating out. We all know that it is easier to eat right at home, when all you need is in the fridge or the cupboard, but when you are out, it can be a real challenge. As a parent of young children, when we take them for day’s out, I often find myself in places where the food choices available are poor, terrible or worse.
MotherNaturesDiet is all about simplicity, and it’s a lifestyle not a temporary eating pattern, but all the same, finding suitable food choices out and about can still be a challenge. On a recent day out with my family, I took boxed chicken and egg salad and it was great. I had 1 whole large chicken breast and 1 egg, in a lunch box full of green salad. The chicken is free range, organic, eggs the same, and I threw a handful of sprouted black-eyed peas on top.
This was natural, healthy, nutritious and tasty and filled me up for hours. Excuse the poor pic, it was raining and I was getting funny looks from the next picnic table along, for photographing my salad!! 🙂