Our philosophy at The Primal Pantry is that ‘less really is more’, and this is what has defined our entire story for the three years that the company has been around. Real Food to us means foods that haven’t been processed in any form with additives, preservatives, complex carbohydrates, gluten, or refined sugars. Foods that our bodies have been designed to eat for thousands of years. Foods such as cakes, pastas, bread, ready meals, and dairy products have only been introduced in recent years through advances in modern technology, yet our bodies are not genetically designed to be able to digest these efficiently. Therefore, we have seen an increase in the number of people who are intolerant to gluten, dairy and other allergens.
Suzie Walker, our founder, is a registered nutritionist and has come up with her set of top tips to help increase your real food intake:
- Eat real food, ideally which you prepare yourself, avoiding foods with a list of ambiguous junk ingredients, and convenience foods. Also, avoid eating weight loss/’diet’ foods as these are full of unnatural ingredients. Enjoy making fresh home cooked meals instead!
- Keep your carbohydrate intake under 150g – reduce/avoid wheat, corn, or other grains, eating them sparingly and always with protein or fats (pairing proteins with carbs avoids any spikes in blood sugar levels). Avoid wheat completely in certain situations (chronic stress, autoimmune conditions).
- It is better than eating refined sugars but fruits on their own can be very high in sugar, therefore it is best to snack on fruits with protein or fats (e.g. nuts) to keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Reduce the consumption of sweets, sugar, honey, agave nectar, corn syrup, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners (stevia/xylitol is okay in moderation)
- Eat more protein – meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, or protein powder. Stick to the rule of at least 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass. See our previous blog article on the importance of protein.
- Eat eggs aplenty, preferably organic from grass fed chickens. They are a great protein source as well as being rich in vitamins.
- Increase your omega 3 intake as they are good for your skin, heart health, and brain health. A great source comes from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, trout, kippers, and herrings.
- Eat nuts (excluding peanuts which aren’t really a nut) – I recommend macadamias, brazils, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios. Nuts are also a great protein source, with the NHS even saying that a handful of nuts a day can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Avoid all polyunsaturated oils made from corn, sunflower, canola, rapeseed, soy, and vegetable margarine. Replace with small amounts of animal fats, butter, ghee, tallow, coconut oil and olive oil.
- Do not eat soy unless it is fermented, soy is goitrogenic and contains oestrogen mimicking hormones
- Exercise – mix up cardio with short high intensity workouts, weight training and yoga.
- Reduce stimulants such as caffeine – especially in cases of chronic stress/fatigue/insomnia.
- Take a vitamin D3 supplement and good quality fish oils. You may have seen in the news recently that amongst other health benefits, vitamin D can reduce colds and flu.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep! Sleep has many health benefits including better concentration, improved memory, lowers stress and helps with weight management. Ideally from 10:30pm – 6:30am.