Quick To Prepare Meals and Snacks

Effective training programs will work to change the shape of your body. You’ll have more energy when you’re fit, you’ll sleep better, clothes will look better on you and you just feel awesome knowing you can ask your body to do whatever you want, and it will be capable. Running with the kids, carrying heavy loads, gardening, playing sport, it all becomes easier or even just plain possible.

Losing body fat also requires that you clean up your nutrition. Following a healthy eating plan is a lot easier when you’re prepared and organised. Here are some ways to help you be prepared to eat healthy food all day every day.

Start the Sunday Night Ritual:

Integrate some time on Sundays to plan and prepare meals. Get your family involved in a fun way to help you prepare the meals for the week. Give everyone (kids and husbands) an appropriate job to help this get done more quickly. My family actually has all our week day evening meals planned 4 weeks ahead. On Sundays I look to the week ahead do 2 things. Firstly, make sure I have everything I need to make each meal. Secondly, what can I prepare ahead? Slow cook recipes, soups and some other dishes can be prepared and reheated on the day you plan to eat them. This saves me heaps and heaps of time during the week when I’m busy running my 5 children to their various sporting and other appointments. It means we eat a totally home made (not prepared, packaged or processed) meal every night of every week.

Boil a dozen eggs at a time and refrigerate.

Hard-boiled eggs will last at least five days in the fridge, and are a great compact snack. This is so, so handy. Hard boiled eggs can be added to salads, vegetable dishes, mashed or just eaten as they are. Combine with a carb source and some fats, and bingo, meal or snack made in a few minutes.
Cook lots of chicken breasts at a time. Grill, BBQ, bake or broil with your favorite seasonings. I often poach a few chicken breasts at a time. Simple simmer in stock or water with added herbs, spices or lemon. Don’t over cook and put into a covered container as soon as you get them out so they don’t dry out. Great for slicing over salad, or even having a portion as a snack. Keep 3–4 in the fridge, and individually freeze the rest. Take out a frozen breast the night before.

Chop up vegetables and store in individual containers.

Chop up whatever vegetables you like to eat raw. Keep in a covered container for best storage. You can eat them as is or cook them. Makes meal preparation on a day to day basis so much quicker

Make Soups from scratch

Make your favorite soup recipes and make enough soup for a week. Store 2–3 servings in the fridge. Put the rest in individual containers and store in the freezer. A couple of our favourites are lamb or chicken soup. I simmer chops, shanks or chicken on the bone in water till the meat is falling of the bone. Cool (for a few hours or overnight) and skim off some of the fat and remove bones. Chop veggies finely, all sorts and in huge amounts. Simmer till vegies are soft and eat. Yummo. Eat some now and take the rest in portions to work for lunch or snacks.  I have more soup recipes below.  Lots of different ones for all tastes.

Cook a huge amount of vegetable stir-fry.

Throw a bunch of vegetables into a wok and stir-fry with unlimited herbs and spices of your choice. Store in the fridge in individual containers, so they are ready to grab. Add your pre cooked chicken breast to it. Or eat cold with your hard boiled eggs diced through. This way,a meal or snack is almost ready without having to cook when you get home from work

Pick 1–3 recipes and cook ahead of time.

Using healthy balanced recipes, cook and freeze. Take out the meal in the morning, so it will be defrosted by dinnertime. Add a side of stir-fry or salad. As above, I do this a lot.  Most recipes will last a few days in the fridge.  So keep enough for  a couple of days fresh in there and freeze the rest (if there is any)

Portion out nuts/seeds.

Buy your favorite nuts/seeds in bulk and store in containers in the fridge. Portion out your weekly serving amounts into snack bags. This makes it really handy to grab and go. Always have one of these in your hand bag ready to go. Grab a piece of fruit or some cut up veggies and a hard boiled egg or precooked chicken and a complete meal, ready to go.

Create a standard grocery list.

We have a list of groceries stored on my computer that lists practically every single thing we buy at the supermarket.  Each week, I make a duplicate copy and take off stuff we don’t need.  I then add the fresh meat that I’ll need that week at the bottom.

This has prevents me from forgetting stuff when I do go shopping.  Saves me so much time both with planning my shopping but also with the actual shopping.  Less forgetfulness means less trips to the shops.

Eat the same lunches and snacks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Planning to eat the same things on alternate days cuts down on the need to plan, grocery shop and prepare ahead of time. This way, you always know what you are having and can use the leftovers for lunches. Eating the same things can also stop you thinking about food all the time and make urges to eat unhealthy foods a less often occurrence.
I do most of these things most weeks. Its really not that hard to be organsied. So stop making excuses and get to it.

 


I Know Why You’re Not Losing Weight

The process of losing excess body fat is sometimes not easy. If you have lots of excess body fat, it usually comes off quite quickly at first with just a few changes to your diet and your lifestyle.

Once you get closer to your ideal weight however, it can get harder and harder and plateaus are common.

The best way to make something easier is to make it simple.
Basic nutrition for fat loss is simple, but unfortunately is not always easy.

At the end of this article are some basic tips for small changes you can make to your nutrition plan to help with fat loss if you’ve reached a plateau.

Remember that you have to have the basics in place first. The basics are:

  • Stop eating processed foods-always choose ‘real’ foods that have not been processed. This includes avoiding all man-made snacks no matter how good the advertising is. No bars, no cakes, biscuits, slices etc. Even bread and pasta are man-made. Have small quantities of these foods once or twice per week maximum.
  • Measure portion sizes-this is especially important for protein and fat sources and things like yoghurt that are very easy to overeat. You do not need to measure vegetables, but fruits are best consumed in smaller quantities on a fat loss plan
  • Stop drinking your calories-this includes alcohol, cordials, sports drinks, flavoured water, fruit juices and of course, soft drinks including diet ones. Save alcohol for once per week and don’t overdo it. If you’re serious about fat loss, avoid all of these drinks including alcohol till you’ve reached your goals.
  • Stop eating and drinking ‘diet’ products. Real, natural foods do not need to be labeled as such, so if it’s described as a diet food, you most likely shouldn’t be eating it anyway. Anything labelled low fat, nonfat, no fat, low carb etc, should probably be avoided
  • Each meal or snack should include a protein source and some fruits or vegetables. Yes even snacks have to include fruits and/or veggies. This are the basis of your nutrition plan. In your first meal of the day, or your meal/snack closest to training, include a starchy carb source such as a slice of bread/potato/peas or corn.
  • Eat every 2-3 hours. Although this is not essential, I have found it is the most effective way to approach your fat loss nutrition. Your blood sugar and therefore insulin and other hormone levels will be more stable and you’re less likely to be ‘starving’ and eat foods that are not on your plan
  • Slow down! This one is overlooked but very, very important. A very common reason for lack of results is stress! Poor sleep quality or not enough sleep WILL CAUSE YOU TO GAIN WEIGHT AND STOP YOU FROM LOSING WEIGHT!! If you are always in a rush or if you don’t have time for relaxation. If you go to bed after 10pm and/or if you get less than 7 hours good quality sleep per night more than once or twice per week – THIS IS YOU. Excessive abdominal fat (a big tummy) is also an indicator that this is YOU.
    Drink more water. At minimum have 2 litres per day plus another 750-1000ml during training.

What if you are doing all the above and your results have slowed down or plateaued? This is actually pretty rare and keeping a food diary will often point out that you’re actually not following the basics as consistently as you may think you are.

I’m happy to check over your food journal even if you’re not a client at FitterFaster any time. Email me to organise this at no cost with no obligation. Sometimes, simple changes can yield big results. My email address is jo@fitterfaster.net.au

If however, you have been following the basics consistently for at least a 4-6 weeks and you’ve stopped getting results, a few simple ‘tweaks’ can be employed:

These tweaks will only be successful if you have all of the above basics in place first.  You cannot override the healthy habits above

  • On non-training days eliminate your starchy carb serves
  • If you eat a 6th meal of the day (usually supper) drop it. This will lower your overall calories for the day as well as increase the length of time you are fasting overnight.
  • Take the starchy carb out of your pre/post workout meal or other meal sometimes, but don’t do this if you’re training 4 or more times per week.
  • On the other hand, if you’ve been skipping your starchy carbs on a regular basis, you should add them back in.
  • Do 3-4 minutes of high intensity exercise in the 10-15 minutes before or straight after your main meal of the day. For an extra boost you could do this twice a day. Try bodyweight squats, burpees, walking lunges etc. Anything that you can do without equipment and wherever you are will do. Simply get your heart rate up for a few minutes.
  • Do the occasional protein-only day. Eat 5-6 meals or snacks during the day that consist of just a lean protein source. This will really lower your insulin level and force your body to burn more fat. Make sure you drink at least 4 litres of water during the day if you’re going to try this and limit it to once per 10-14 days maximum during an intense fat loss effort. THIS IS NOT A LONG TERM STRATEGY AND WILL BACKFIRE IF YOU DO IT FOR TOO LONG OR TOO OFTEN
  • Try intermittent fasting. Taking a break from food can have many health benefits including controlling or losing body fat. Stop eating after your evening meal and don’t eat again till lunchtime the next day is the easiest way to do this. Try this strategy every 7-14 days. During the fast, drink only water or black tea/coffee. THIS IS A STRATEGY THAT IS ONLY SUCCESSFUL FOR THOSE THAT ARE ALREADY MAKING GOOD FOOD CHOICES AND ARE EATING 4-5 MEALS AND SNACKS EVERY DAY ON A REGULAR BASIS. Otherwise it just becomes ‘meal skipping’ and will result in slowing down of metabolism if you regularly eat insufficient calories to support your body properly

These are a few simple strategies you can use to make a difference to your fat loss results. As noted above though, you must have all the basics in place or you’re kidding yourself that any of these small tweaks are going to make a difference.

The best results will come by being consistent with your healthy eating and by training frequently and with an effective program that combines high intensity cardio and resistance training.

Even the BASICS list above has so many steps. How am I supposed to achieve all that?

The best way to end up being consistent with all the habits you need to achieve lasting fat loss and better health and fitness is to start slowly and building habits 1-2 at a time. Waiting until one thing becomes easy is essential before adding more and more.

I have developed a free 10 part email series that helps you to get your head in the right place to make lasting changes to your lifestyle habits. Imagine if everything above just came easy and was just part of your day without you even thinking about it.

Overcoming roadblocks (such “I don’t have time”, “I don’t like healthy food”. ‘Its too expensive”, “I’m hopeless and I always fail or give up”, etc) can be done. You just need to learn strategies to over come them.

Complete your details below and keep an eye out for your first email. Make sure you check your junk/spam folder if it doesn’t come through to your inbox.

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FatLoss, do it the easy or the hard(er) way

 

When it comes to fat loss, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ll drop those excess 30kg in a matter of days without any effort at all.

Most people are disappointed to find that its actually not that easy and that it actually requires some effort

Fat Loss is really quite simple, but not so easy.  There is however an ‘easier’ way and a ‘harder’ way.

Quite simply, you have to choose:

Easier route – will take longer

Harder path – may be quicker but much more treacherous

Let’s examine the easier route first

Obviously, you’ll need more time to accomplish fat loss via the easier track.  This path is a matter of making sustainable changes to your lifestyle that you’ll pretty much be able to maintain forever.

Stuff like;

  • changing the types of food you eat, but not being ‘too’ strict with quantities.
  • Training 3 or so times per week for 30-60 minutes at a time
  • Using a measuring cup for certain foods that are easy to overeat at least every now and again.  You’ll learn over time to ‘eyeball’ a suitable serving size, but its a great idea to measure every once and a while to make sure your serving sizes haven’t crept up
  • Taking some supplements that are actually more about improving overall health than for ‘fatloss’ such as an Omega 3 supplement
  • Getting enough sleep and staying hydrated
  • etc

The hard track on the other hand is most likely going to produce much faster results, but has many pitfalls along the way.  If you choose this path, you’ll be doing stuff like:

  • Strict food, training and daily habit journalling
  • Training more often (4-6 times per week minimum)
  • Measuring, weighing and being super careful with food quantity at all times
  • Being much more strict with the types of foods you eat at all times
  • No treat foods or a maximum of 1 treat approx every 7-10 days
  • etc

There is a place for both types of programs during almost everyones’ journey to  a better body composition.  Both paths should be pursued with better health ALWAYS being the guide.  So even on a strict FitterFaster program, you’ll always put health first even while working towards a faster finish time.

My best option for most people, is to follow the safer, albeit slower, path and have short bursts of really focused ‘fast tracking’ when you’re able.  The best time for faster trips, is when you do not have things such as holidays, special occasions or other items on the agenda that will make the fast lane hard to stick in.

I absolutely do not recommend short trips down the fast lane interspaced with periods of ‘going nowhere’.

The lose 5kg, add 4kg, lose 2kg, add 3kg track IS NOT RECOMMENDED.  This always leads to a sense of failure and a harder time losing that weight next time.  The newest research shows that doing this actually ages your body on a cellular level as well – not a good outcome.

You can lose all of your excess body fat

I totally believe that you can lose all of your excess body fat over time by being full-on, totally focused for shorter periods (4-12 weeks) on that fast track, but always, coming back to the safer, slower route in between where you go through a period of maintaining (or slowly losing) while cementing all of the processes and habits that you’ll need to continue with long term.

Alternatively, you may prefer to take the more scenic, but longer, route to your destination without ever increasing speed and this is actually the best track for lots of people.

The slower track does not lead you back to the start.

We have to get off the ‘on’ or ‘off’ treadmill.  Changing your body and improving your health is a lifetime trip.  The minute you go off the course, you’ll get lost and I see this time an time again.

If you’re not ready for the fast lane yet, take your foot off the accelerator, slow down and go back to changing one or two habits at a time and make them stick for good.  The slow path still takes you in the right direction. The treadmill does not lead anywhere and in fact, can quite often throw you right off so you end up back where you started or even further away than that if you’re not careful.

You don’t have to choose between going forwards or backwards.

Get out of reverse.  Keep heading in the right direction no matter how slowly you’re taking it. Stay in drive at all times.

When evaluating your choice of routes, ask yourself if you are truly 90-100% sure that the path you are thinking of taking is the one you can sustain for the time you’ve allowed.  If the answer is no, choose a different course so you can stick with it.

For more help with this, you can email me any time jo@fitterfaster.net.au or to find out more about my training programs, fill in your details in the form on the right hand side of this page above.

I also offer online coaching which you can find more about HERE


Is A Lower Carb ‘Diet’ for you?

It’s been proven time and time again in recent and not so recent history that lower carbohydrate diets work best for fat loss and fat loss management-or maintaining that fat loss long term.

This is all very well, but what exactly does an effective lower carbohydrate diet look like, and more importantly, what does it NOT LOOK LIKE?

Quite a few years ago, I jumped on the no carb craze for a little while and let me tell you. Effective for weight loss-yes it was. Sustainable-no definitely not. So what happened? Firstly, my usual full of energy self disappeared. I was cranky and irritable in a big way. Secondly, as soon as I went back to eating my ‘at the time’ usual way, the weight immediately went straight back on.

So what’s the right way to do lower carb?

I like to look at my diet as firstly, not really a diet. A diet in most peoples’ minds is something you do for a certain period of time and then stop. This is certainly true for most people (I can see you nodding in agreement-been there, done that)

I don’t call the FitterFaster Precision Nutrition Plan a diet either. It’s a way of eating for life that happens to be lower in carbs than the average diet of someone just eating whatever they feel like.  I dont actually refer to it as a  lower carb plan as you then tend to straight away think that it’s going to be all about the protein and the fat content. AND IT’S NOT!!!!!!

Good nutrition in terms of fat loss, lean weight management and better health is all about the nutrient content of foods. And yes, there are good and bad foods (please don’t go all politically correct on me) Some foods are good for you and some are bad for you-period. It doesn’t matter if you only eat them occasionally or in tiny portions. They are still bad for you and that is that!!!

Now I’ve got that off my chest-what does my ‘lower carb’ effective ‘diet’ look like? What should I eat and what should I avoid?

Foods to eat

Nuts and seeds-a great source of carbs, protein and fat-yes these are good for you, just watch your portion size carefully

Eggs-again a good source of fat and protein

Meats, fish, poultry, game-a great source of protein and in some cases healthy fats too

Full Fat Greek or Natural Yoghurt-small portions of full fat dairy. Avoid anything labelled diet, low fat, no fat or fat reduced. Yoghurt is a great source of carbs for your body coupled with some protein. Greek and Natural are best.

Fruits– A good source of carbohydrates. Very healthy and always a better alternative than a chocolate bar etc, but do watch your portion sizes too if you’re trying to lose body fat

Vegetables-the best source of carbohydrates! This is where you should be getting your carbs from. Eat unlimited amounts of fibrous vegetables.   Vegetables will supply your body with all the carbs you need to function properly. Combined with some fruit, you’ll have all the carb energy you need even if you run marathons or do triathlons.

Vegetables also supply you with all the fibre you need. Compared to other so called fibre foods, there’s much more fibre in vegies. Don’t believe the sponsors of certain programs that tell you that you need ‘wholegrain’ fibre to be healthy.

Foods to Avoid

You know this, but here’s a reminder

Processed Carbs-breads, pastas, breakfast and other cereals, wraps, biscuits, crackers, pizza bases, large quantities of rice, popcorn, pretzels, pastries, all bars (including protein bars), noodles, crisp breads, etc. These are sometimes referred to as white carbs, dry carbs or grain foods. This list includes wholegrain, wholemeal and multi grain foods-avoid them if you want to see great results.

Junk and other processed foods-yes the bad foods-cakes, biscuits, lollies, chocolate-you know this, I don’t need to say anymore

Calorie laden drinks-this includes but is not limited too: cordials, soft drinks, alcohol, juices, meal replacement drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and basically anything that isn’t water. Don’t waste your calories on drinks. Instead, drink water and eat your calories and provide your body with the nutrients that healthy food contains. Be especially careful of cafe purchased coffee drinks. Most contain large amounts of milk. If in doubt, ask for a long black, with or without a small bit of milk. No sugar of course.

Milk and other dairy-milk is for baby cows. Would you think it weird to give your baby some cat or dog milk? Think about it! The only milk we should consume is human breast milk. It is designed for us as infants. After that, we don’t need it!!

Now of course, everyone is going to eat some foods from the Foods To Avoid list. I’d be dreaming if I thought you would never touch these things again. But that doesn’t change the fact that these foods are bad for you, or at the very least, not good for you.

Instead of thinking about the carb content of foods, think about the nutritional value instead, and the carb content will sort itself out.

 


The Most Important Element

You’re imagining what its going to feel when  you lose 15kg.

You’re imagining being able to run 10km.

You’re imaging what it feels like to buy clothes off the rack.

You’re imaging how great its going to be when you can lift 100kg.

You’re imagining how you’ll love looking in the mirror when you weight  Xkg.

You’re imagining all the energy you’ll have when you lose weight and get fit.

Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about our goals.

But how are you going to get there?

It’s about training

It’s about eating properly

It’s about getting enough sleep

It’s about supplements and hydration

Sounds easy enough, but reality hits when your goal still seems so far away.

There’s something much more important than your big goals

It’s all about consistency.  Yep, its about doing what you have to do day in and day out.

The best way to become consistent is to pick one thing at a time to focus on;

  • Training 3 times per week
  • Eating a healthy breakfast
  • Drinking enough water each day
  • Not eating processed foods
  • and so on

Choose just one habit and focus on it every day till it becomes as much of a habit as cleaning your teeth.  Then choose another one.

Focusing on just one thing enables you to think about the present and exactly what you’re doing today, right now.

It enables you to have a sense of accomplishment “Hey, I can do this. I’ve done really well all week on ________”

It keeps you focused on taking action.  Just get it done.  Plan, prepare and make this one thing happen.

Consistency is much more important than perfection when it comes to transformation

Don’t think about the big picture all the time

Think about the right here and now and how you can make it better today.

Think about every little habit you can change to be consistent every day and every week.  But choose choose just one at a time.  If you’re trying to change everything, you’ll falter and won’t change anything at all.

Get that big goal of yours and break it down into little steps you can be consistent with.

Keep a track of all the little things you achieve and create momentum to keep going consistently till you reach your big goals.  So you drink 2 litres of water every day now and you have made training regularly a habit.  What’s next?  What habit will you introduce next?

Need help with which habits are important?

Clients at FitterFaster have an Accountability Table to track their successes every day and every week.  They get to feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment as they tick off the habits one day at a time.   These successes create momentum to keep going and create more good habits.  And all those consistent little habits add up to big successes over the long term

What habits are you going to put into place and follow consistently?  Leave a comment below

 

You can also check out my new program; YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO here.

Its a 6 month program which will help you to make new habits and get rid of old ones to transform your body for life.


10 Reasons To Go Grain Free

While researching I come across many studies that advise going against the ‘grain’ (pardon the pun) of conventional/modern wisdom in relation to what foods we should or shouldn’t be eating.

Since starting FitterFaster, many of you have given up or at least greatly reduced the quantity of grain foods that you eat, and all of you have seen improvements in health and also in fat loss as well.

I myself have eat an absolute minimum of grain foods and have done so for the past 8 years or so. The increase in my energy has been amazing, I no longer suffer from several colds and other viral illnesses each year like I used to, and I also have left behind that bloated feeling that I had all the time, but that got worse at certain times of the month. My skin is much clearer and I find it a lot easier to maintain my weight now as well. I get all my energy (including carbs) from fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, nuts and seeds.

Below is one article I read recently which clearly summarises some of the main points as to why we should cut out completely or at least drastically reduce our grain consumption. The article is taken from nourishedkitchen.com.

Why You Should Go Grain-free

1. If you can get it from grain, you can get it elsewhere.

The big heroes of most grains’ nutrient profile are dietary fiber and B vitamins. Take heed, every grain is different and different grains offer different nutrient profiles. Yet, one thing remains constant: if you can find the nutrient in grain, you can find the nutrient in better quantities in other foods. For example, 100 grams of whole wheat flour contains 44 mcg of folate; however, a 100-gram portion of lamb liver will give you 400 mcg of folate and a 100-gram portion of yardlong beans will give you a whopping 658 mcg per 100-gram portion. Similarly with the B Vitamins niacin and thiamin, while a 100-gram whole wheat flour contains 30% of the RDA for niacin and 32% of the RDA for thiamin, you can find these nutrients in higher quantities in other foods – namely flaxseeds and sesame seeds. Whole grains are often touted as health foods for their fiber content, but you can find dietary fiber in better quantities in other, more nutrient-dense foods. For example: 100 grams of cooked brown rice offers up 1.8 grams of dietary fiber; by contrast, a 100-gram serving of cooked greens offers 2.8 grams.

2. Grains aren’t good for your gut.

Intestinal health is critical to your overall health. If you’re gut isn’t healthy, you can’t absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. If you can’t absorb nutrients from the foods you eat, your body is malnourished and is more prone to disease. Grains are associated with a condition called leaky gut syndrome. Tiny particles of grains, when ingested, can slip through the intestinal walls causing an immune response. With your immune system excessively taxed by constantly attacking these out-of-place particles of grain, it cannot effectively fight against true threats like pathogens.

3. You’re probably gluten-intolerant.

If you’re white, there’s a good chance that you’re gluten-intolerant to some degree. Current research estimates that about 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, an auto-immune condition related to the ingestion of gluten-containing grains like wheat and barley; however, some researchers on celiac disease and gluten intolerance estimate that 30% to 40% of people of European descent are gluten-intolerant to some degree. That’s a lot of people who are regularly consuming a food that makes them sick. (And, yes, I’m one of them.)

4. Grains cause inflammation.

Due to a high starch content, grains are inflammatory foods. The more refined the grain, the more inflammatory it is. For example, unbleached white flour is more inflammatory than whole grain flour; however, whole grains are still inflammatory foods and certainly more inflammatory than other foods like fresh vegetables and wholesome fats. Chronic inflammation is linked to a myriad of degenerative, modern diseases including arthritis, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, bone loss, emotional imbalance and even cancer. Unbleached white flour earns an inflammation factor of -421 or strongly inflammatory on NutritionData.com while whole wheat flour earns an inflammation factor of -247 or moderately inflammatory. Similarly, whole cooked millet earns an inflammation factor of -150 and cooked brown rice earns an inflammation factor of -143 – also moderately inflammatory.

5. Grains are fairly new on the scene.

While still a traditional food, grains are, nonetheless, the new kids on the block. Prior to the advent of agriculture, humans relied on hunting and gathering for their foods. They foraged for wild greens, berries, fruits and other plants. They hunted wild animals. They fished for wild fish. They didn’t plant a garden, or grow any amber waves of grain or, for that matter, drink dairy from domesticated animals since there simply wasn’t any domesticated animals. Humans survived like this from the development of the appearance of the first homo sapiens sapiens about 47,000 years ago to the advent of agriculture some 10 – 12,000 years ago. So, for the better part of human existence grains did not comprise any notable portion of the human diet. In essence, what has become the bulk of our modern diet was missing from the diet of our prehistoric ancestors.

6. Grains aren’t good for your joints.

Due to their inflammatory nature, grains – even whole grains – are linked to joint pain and arthritis. Grain’s amino acid composition mirrors that of the soft tissue in your joints. Because both synovial tissue and grains are chemically similar, your body has difficulty differentiating between the two. So,when your immune cells get all hot and bothered by inflammation caused by grain and begin to attack it as a foreign invader, they also begin to attack the soft tissue in your joint – leading to pain, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and, of course, more inflammation.

7. Poorly Prepared Grains prevent mineral absorption.

When improperly prepared as they most often are, grains can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption. Grains contain substances like phytic acid which binds up minerals and prevents proper absorption. Essentially, though your diet might be rich in iron, calcium and other vital nutrients if you eat improperly prepared grain, you’re not fully absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat. However, please note that souring, sprouting and soaking grains neutralizes phytates and renders the nutrients in grain more absorbable.

8. Grains are bad for your teeth.

Due to those high levels of phytates in grain, grain is linked to dental decay. With high levels of mineral-blocking phytic acid coupled with low mineral absorption rates and plenty of starches for bacteria to feed on, grain contributes to dental decay. Anthropological records of our pre-agricultural ancestors indicates very little to no tooth decay; however, that changed after the dawn of agriculture. Indeed, some anthropologists use the presence of tooth decay is an indicator of an agricultural society.

9. Grains aren’t good for your skin either.

Grains have a very high carbohydrate content, and while the carbohydrates in grain are complex they are still broken down into sugars nonetheless. These sugars instruct your body to produce more insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IFG-1). Elevated insulin levels lead to a cascading hormonal response and these hormones activate the sebum-producing glands in your skin – encouraging them to produce more oil. IFG-1 is also linked with the increased production of keratinocytes which also contribute to acne.

10. Eating grain makes you crave grain.

You know how the smell of bread creates a longing in you – a yearning for a slice, slathered with butter and maybe jam. Or consider a plate of cookies set in front of you – so delicious – and you can’t just have one? Foods rich in carbohydrates give you quick energy, but that energy wears off just as quickly as it came. Since grains break down into sugar, they create a rise in insulin levels when those levels fall you crave more grains and, thus, the vicious cycle continues.

So how about you have a ‘grain free’ trial period for a month. For ideas on what to eat and how to plan your daily menus contact me or visit fitterfaster.net.au