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Eating the Paleo way is not about becoming a caveman

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On July 18, 2014, Clare Yates a health and weight loss expert and the author of Optimum Health the Paleo Way: A 28-Day Plan to Adopt the Paleo Lifestyle With a Diet Designed to Help You Get Healthy and Feel Great spoke to Manalapan health Examiner Stacey Chillemi. Yates discussed why unhealthiness is on the increase and how the Paleo lifestyle (not diet) can help. This interview has just been released to the public and Manalapan health Examiner is here to share it exclusively with you.

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Claire’s book sets out the key aspects of the Paleo lifestyle, including the importance of food as medicine, and the truth about fats, carbs, protein, and fiber. Yates takes you through the 28-day reset meal plan, including more than 100 delicious Paleo recipes that will get you feeling great while eating some of the tastiest food tasted before.

Optimum Health the Paleo Way teaches readers how to:

  • Boost their energy
  • Eliminate sugar cravings
  • Reduce the use of processed foods in their lives
  • Find their ideal weight
  • Develop an eating plan that works in their daily lifestyle
  • Sleep better and feel great

Clare’s book is essentially about eating fewer processed foods and more whole foods that do not cause any ill effects. Our rates of food allergies are skyrocketing and the most common culprits include dairy, wheat, and soy, says Clare. For years, naturopathic medicine has stated that the compounds in these foods cause health issues. Another Pandora’s Box of potential issues is additives and preservatives. For example, Aspartame has been linked to headaches, migraines, fatigue, rashes, depression and many other adverse effects.

Our health is the sum of many small parts. Nobody develops obesity, arthritis, or leaky gut syndrome overnight. These conditions happen gradually and are a product of the choices an individual has made regarding his or her food intake and lifestyle. Eating real, whole foods is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways you can practice preventative health for you and your family, says Yates.

Stacey Chillemi: What inspired you to write this book?

Clare Yates: I want to share the ‘bigger picture’ relating to our health, what has happened to it, how our food system has changed, and how things like stress play a crucial role in our health. Hormones, gut bugs, inflammation, sleep and nature are all very important parts of the health puzzle, so it is important people get a better understand of how they all connect to our wellbeing. It is not always ‘just about the food’ – although that does play a big part. My inspiration just can from wanting to get this healthy message out.

Stacey Chillemi: We are living in an age of rapid technology in the workplace, what impact has technology played in helping your product become a success?

Clare Yates: I believe social media can be a valuable tool for getting a healthy message out. Social media platforms such as Instagram are fantastic because you can easily upload a healthy, bright food image, which capture people’s attention and is an easy way to spread a valuable message.

Stacey Chillemi: What makes your book better than your competitors? Would you say your book has had an impact of satisfied readers?

Clare Yates: I have learned many things about my clients and myself as a nutritionist, however, I think one of the most important things has been that every person’s nutritional, emotional and physical needs are individual. So often, we read about how something is good for us or something is not good, but ultimately, no one knows your body better than you do. You may be feeling unwell, lethargic or just out-of-sorts because you simply have forgotten how to listen to your body. To start to feel good again, all you need to do is allow your body time to heal after getting off the junk food you have been eating. Begin treating your body as a whole by evaluating your lifestyle and eating habits and learn to know what is right for your body and what is not.

Adopting a Paleo template is essentially about eating less processed. Sounds easy enough, but it can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. This is why I have included a great 28-day Reset protocol to help assist people getting started on their Paleo journey — and I share my knowledge and guidance on how to stick to the template, while still allowing them to make individualized choices. My book teaches readers how to make healthy food choices, how to stock the pantry the right way and what to eat for the first few weeks to get started. I even have over 100 yummy recipes to try! You do not have to worry about restrictive eating; the recipes are easy to make, taste great and packed full of nutrients!

Stacey Chillemi: What motivated you to write this book?

Clare Yates: It came about from me wanting to share the knowledge I had found about Paleo and nutritional medicine with a larger audience – not just those seeing me in clinic. I also wanted to address some of the issues I was seeing people struggling with when they were either trying to transition to Paleo, or when they thought Paleo had not worked for them. And lastly it was from me wanting to share the ‘whole health’ message and remind people that the simple things in life such as sleep and an individualized approach can make the world of difference in their health journey. Just because low carb works for some, does not mean it is for everyone. Just because someone else does well utilizing intermittent fasting, does not mean it is right for you – these are the sorts of things I want people to understand.

Stacey Chillemi: Why does the public need to take seriously what they eat or what products they use?

Clare Yates: Our health is the sum of all the small parts put together. Everything you eat or use on your body affects your health and only you can take charge of your own health. Environmental pollutants play a big role in your health. Environmental toxins and pollutants are everywhere and many people think it is about car fumes and possibly pesticides on fruit and vegetables. These, however, are really just the tip of the iceberg! These things seem insignificant and may appear as if they are doing no harm however, it is the cumulative effect that is the issue. Our society is faced with these pollutants in tiny amounts day in and day out and from many, many sources – put all that together over a period of time and you start to see signs and symptoms of a high toxic over load. These pollutants and toxins not only put an additional, unnecessary burden on your liver, hormones and antioxidant status; they are associated with some serious health concerns as they impact our hormone functioning.

Stacey Chillemi: How would you define the most common problems our society faces in the struggle of weight loss and curing medical conditions?

Clare Yates: I believe one of the biggest issues is that we have moved away from a whole-foods traditional diet towards one that is based on ‘food-like substances’. What we call food has changed a lot over the past 50 years. You only need to take a walk through a supermarket and see what goes in the trolley of a family for their average weekly shop. All of this packaged food is highly processed and refined, lacking in nutrients, and pro-inflammatory.

Chronic inflammation develops when the cause of the inflammation has not been completely eradicated or the irritation is ongoing. The problem is that ‘western diets’ are heavily geared towards a high Omega-6 intake (which is pro-inflammatory) and a low Omega-3 intake (which is anti-inflammatory), which leads to people having permanent, systemic inflammation.

To maintain good health, the correct ratio when eating these fatty acids should be about one to two Omega-6s for every one Omega-3. It is estimated that in today’s society, we have ratios of around 15 to 17 Omega-6s to everyone Omega-3 - and that is being extremely conservative. From a dietary perspective, this imbalance is caused by the over consumption of grains, seed and vegetable oils, processed foods, baked goods and snacks - all of which are high in short chain Omega-6 fatty acids and all of which are generally removed when following a Paleo diet.

Chronic inflammation is linked to many lifestyle conditions such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, arthritis, joint pain, asthma, allergies, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), migraines, high blood pressure, diverticulitis and eczema.

Stacey Chillemi: What is the Paleo diet?

Clare Yates: The Paleo approach is not about replicating the caveman way of life. We have no clue what their dietary lifestyle was back then! It is about looking at evolutionary biology and figuring out what is the most nutrient dense food we can eat to nourish our body, prevent disease and lead a healthy life. This means making choices to not consume highly processed foods, food high in anti-nutrients and where possibly, to buy local, seasonal and sustainable foods.

I actually stumbled across Paleo about three and a half years ago now when even as a practicing Nutritionist, I was still having issues with my health and eating habits – including constant cravings for sugary foods, mid-afternoon slumps and skin issues. By switching to the Paleo way of eating, I was able to balance many of these issues. I sincerely felt like this was the way I was intended to eat. A Paleo template is generally about eliminating grains, dairy and legumes and consuming a diet consisting of meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, nuts and seeds. It is not a heavy meat based diet – your daily plates should consist of seasonal vegetables, a serving of a protein, some starchy vegetable, some good fats and maybe some fruit.

I say ‘generally’ – because it is not a one-size-fits all diet. It should be tailored to suit your individual needs. This is where I recommend an elimination phase (as outlined in my book Optimum Health the Paleo way) and then a re-introduction of foods. Some people can tolerate dairy – especially higher fat dairy, and others benefit from higher or lower carb intake. It is about seeing what works for you as an individual.

Stacey Chillemi: What do you think is the biggest piece missing from traditional health care today and how is it causing issues?

Clare Yates: The biggest health issue missing from society is understanding the mind-body connection! I believe stress is one of the big drivers of so many of our health issues today. People with chronic stress issues present with issues such as IBS, infertility, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, colds and flu’s – you name it! And what does the health care system do? They fill them with pills and sends them back into the community again. They are not looking at the root cause of their illness and our health is suffering badly.

About the Author:
Claire Yates is a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner and Author, holding a Bachelor of Health Science, who is passionate about Paleo nutrition, health and having fun! A self-confessed lover of good food and good coffee, Claire believes that living your best life and eating healthy food should not be boring. You can feel great from the inside out and still enjoy some of the tastiest food of your life! Through sharing her knowledge and ‘walking the walk’, Claire inspires people to enjoy nutritious, delectable food and live a fulfilling, healthy life. A former lecturer in nutritional medicine, Claire currently runs her own private practice, Indi Nature. www.indinature.com

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