My Letter To The Australian Heart Foundation…
Saturated fat is great for you, and essential in order for your body to absorb vital minerals and nutrients at the cellular level. Cholesterol is also essential for your body, your body actually produces it whether you get it from your diet or not. High cholesterol is not the problem, and neither is supposedly “bad” cholesterol… LDL or HDL… the problem is oxidised cholesterol.
All the responses I’ve seen so far from the Australian Heart Foundation are very generic, with no evidence of hard scientific (quality) data given.
When Ancel Keys first came up with his hypothesis, he studied 22 countries, yet when the results didn’t fit, he cherry-picked 7 countries so that the results would fit his hypothesis that eating fat makes us fat. This is an example of really bad science, and somehow this message is still pushed on people today.
For the past two years I have changed from a high carb diet, to one that is very high in saturated fat. During that time I have gone from 83kg down to a very fit and lean 68kg, and my health has never been better.
Believe it or not, people actually do listen and follow the advice given by authority figures such as your company, as well as the government recommendations. If the message you were giving out was correct, the general health of the population would be improving, however we all know this is not the case, it is steadily decreasing, and all future forecasts point to our health only getting worse and worse.
Do you really believe the message you are sending out to the public is helping them get healthier?
I don’t think so.
If you need further evidence, then check out the Framingham Heart Study for starters, which has been running since 1948 till today, and still ongoing… and there are plenty of other studies already mentioned by Jessie Reimers (on Facebook) if you need more resources.
The bottom line is, we need to eat natural foods that we have adapted over millions of years to eat, including meat, saturated animal fat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, berries – NOT highly processed toxic foods that have been introduced into our diet in the past 50-60 years, like margarine, and sugar for that matter!
If your health, and the health of the people you love and care about is important to you, then I urge you to sign the petition below, and together we can help to change the message given to the masses about what healthy eating is really all about!
“Be The Change You Want To See In The World”.
I received a response from the Australian Heart Foundation to my letter on their facebook page, which you can find here below:
Hi Mick – we recognise that this is an issue we disagree on, but Heart Foundation information is always based on good quality scientific evidence.
Some of the largest clinical trials and analyses ever completed, including more than a million patients, have continued to confirm the link between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease. We need to reduce the amount of unhealthy saturated fat in our diet and replace it with healthier fats.
This position is supported by the World Health Organisation, other leading International Heart Associations, the CSIRO and the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). The Australian Dietary Guidelines, recently released by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), also recommend replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat.
Our position statement, including references, is available here: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/fats/Pages/saturated-fats.aspx
I also replied to them again, and that response is also below…
Yes, it is an issue we disagree on, and I know I’m bashing my head up against a wall arguing about it, however our health is the most important thing we have, and for that reason it’s worth arguing about it for the sake of people who blindly follow whatever advice they are given by authority figures such as yourselves and all those others you named.
I still haven’t seen what “good quality scientific evidence” your information is based on, and there are many scientists and nutritionists who also wholeheartedly disagree with your stance. If you look at our bodies at a molecular level, our cells are made up largely of saturated fat… we are literally made of saturated fat!
Our bodies also produce 4 or 5 times more cholesterol than we can possibly get from our diet, and it will produce cholesterol whether we eat it or not.
Saturated fats are the most stable kind, able to deal with higher temperatures before breaking down, and become absorbed and used within our body for the purpose of transporting nutrients throughout the body.
Margarine on the other hand, has been created through a process of superheating polyunsaturated fats past the point of breaking down until they become rancid, and then adding other dangerous chemicals, colours and flavours so that it seems kind of edible.
How is that better for us?
If you’d like to add your thoughts, please feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below, and please also sign the petition started by Jessie Reimers here: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-heart-foundation-stop-promoting-margarine-and-processed-food?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email
Read up on Jessie’s story to find out why this is such an important subject, for you and anyone you care about.
Your Friendly Aussie Personal Trainer/Chef,
We’re about two weeks into the New Year now, and it’s usually about this time when people who have made a New Year resolution to lose weight and have joined a gym start to lose motivation and stop heading to the gym.
If you got yourself a gym membership in early January, because after the Christmas binge you started to feel guilty and wanted to shed some kilos, let me explain why it won’t help you.
Gyms base their entire business model on the fact that less than 30% of people who pay for a membership will actually use it on a regular basis, so they can sell as many memberships as they are able without having to worry that their facilities will reach capacity. Once you’re signed up, of course you’ll get the obligatory tour of the facilities, and maybe a personal training session or two to give you some exercise tips, but after that you’ll pretty be left to your own devices.
The biggest challenge you will face however, is that no matter how hard you try, or how great your willpower, using the gym will do very little to help you achieve any weight loss goals you may have, especially on a long term basis.
I know this sounds a bit crazy, because you’ve seen it happen on The Biggest Loser so how can that statement make any sense? Just hear me out for a minute while I explain.
The basis of most diet and exercise plans is to consume less calories than you expend. This you can do by either eating less, exercising more, or a combination of both. This might work fine for the short term, but there is a serious flaw in this philosophy.
Exercise requires fuel that your body uses in order to continue carrying on whatever physical activity you are doing at the time. Any time you exercise, you eventually need to replenish that fuel, so that your body once again reaches homeostasis (balance).
More exercise means more fuel. It’s as simple as that.
And using willpower won’t help either, because if your body is screaming at you for more fuel, there’s only so much you can take before either you give in and eat something, or your body gives out on you and stops functioning at a high level.
I believe at least 80-90% of your weight loss results will come simply from putting quality food in your mouth. Food that provides your body quality fuel, that will allow your muscles and your brain to function at the highest possible level.
We’ve been given plenty of misinformation over the years about what makes up a quality diet, and it’s time to make things really simple again.
Eat what your great grandparents used to eat, or better yet, eat what our caveman ancestors used to eat, and you can’t go wrong. Plenty of meat (ideally free-range and grass-fed) and healthy fats (coconut oil is excellent, and so is avocado oil), seafood (wild-caught), and organic fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Avoid sugar and processed foods at all costs, cut way back on carbs, and stay right away from seed oils (like vegetable, canola, cottonseed etc). Dairy is not much good for you either (particularly the highly processed stuff), and neither is any sort of grain or legume.
If you stick to the things you can eat on this list, and avoid the others, you will never need to worry about counting calories.
I’ve never counted a calorie in my life, I’ve never been concerned about how much I eat, and I’ve never restricted myself from eating when I’m hungry. I’m 183cm (6′) tall and weigh all of about 68kg at the moment.
Your body will tell you when it needs fuel, and if you eat plenty of healthy fat with your meal, that fat will trigger your appetite hormones and tell them when you’ve eaten enough. You can then sit back and relax, as your body will be fully satisfied for several hours afterwards.
If however, you don’t eat much fat and instead reach for sugar filled snacks, you will find that sugar will NOT trigger your hormones. They sneak right past, into your body, and sugar is such an addictive substance it will actually scream out for more. If that concerns you, good, it really should.
The diet industry will have you believe that you need to eat less fat. Everywhere you look on the supermarket shelves there are dozens of “low fat” alternatives that they market as being healthy. However, when they take out the fat, they also take out a lot of the flavour. So what do they add to bring back some flavour?
Are you starting to see where the problem is now?
Don’t be afraid to eat plenty of healthy fat, it’s essential for our body to function and it’s actually not possible for us to eat too much fat!
Enjoy good quality food, listen to your bodily signals, and you’ll start to see some long-lasting weight loss results for sure!
All the best with your weight loss goals in 2013 and beyond, and remember, the gym is great for building strength and fitness, but not so much for losing weight…
Your Friendly Aussie Personal Trainer/Chef
It’s ok to work hard, but you need to play hard too, and that means taking a break every so often. Give yourself a break, and you’ll improve your mood, energy, productivity, and reduce your stress levels.
If you work non-stop without breaks, work through lunch, and do lots of overtime, you’ll increase the risks of obesity, heart disease, neck and back problems, and plenty worse.
Move your body, get away from the desk and the computer, remember to eat healthy and nutritious foods, and your body will thank you for it!
Your Friendly Aussie Chef/Personal Trainer
Low carb eating, or Paleo, or Primal, or whatever you want to call it, definitely has some exciting times ahead. On Monday I attended a planning session with some friends working on the Low Carb Downunder Tour, hitting the east coast of Australia later this year.
Some new friends were made, some exciting ideas were put forward, some great food was eaten (it was my first chance to showcase the Paleo food on offer by Caveman Catering ), and we were lucky enough to have a quick Skype chat to a leader in the field of Low Carb eating in the US, Jimmy Moore, who also runs a website at Livin La Vida Low Carb. Jimmy has put together over 500 entertaining and educational podcasts on his website, and will be the main drawcard of the Low Carb Downunder Tour (shhh, don’t tell anyone though…).
The venue is yet to be finalised, but it’s likely to be at either the Port Melbourne or St Kilda town halls, depending on numbers. This will be finalised closer to the time.
The Low Carb Downunder Tour will be hitting Melbourne first on the 17th November, then rolling on to Sydney on November 24, Byron Bay on November 28, and finishing off in Brisbane on the 1st of December 2012.
Dr Rod Tayler has been instrumental in organising this Low Carb Downunder Tour, and with the help of many other willing participants, and attracting such a high profile and big personality such as Jimmy Moore, it’s looking like it will be an outstanding success and plenty of fun for the whole family!
It’s only early days at the moment so I’m not exactly sure what the end results will be, but I’d love to see plenty of food stalls to cater for the hungry masses. With that in mind, I’ve started my own planning for some Paleo food ideas that would work really well for a Paleo event. Most of the ideas I’ve come up with so far are quite experimental and would need to be tested, but I’m sure they’ve never been seen before and if they do work well, then it will definitely be an exciting new chapter in Paleo foods!
I’m not going to give away too much just yet, at least until some more testing gets done, but I’ll keep you updated when I found out some real winners in my Paleo food experiments.
I may also be involved in some cooking demonstrations on the day of the Low Carb Downunder Tour, so when you come along to hear all the wonderful information presented by very knowledgeable people, my job after that will be to give you some ideas to take home and start taking action on! So look out for more information on the Low Carb Downunder Tour as new information comes to hand, and I hope to see you there!
And remember, if it comes in a packet, it’s probably not real food…
Your Friendly Aussie Chef And Personal Trainer,
Eating Paleo at first can seem daunting, it can seem like there are so many big changes to make, and if you’re trying to start out really strict it can also be quite overwhelming if you don’t have a Paleo meal plan.
For the first three weeks that I started eating Paleo, it was quite a challenge to find the right foods to eat, it was a bit more expensive in general, and cooking Paleo meant the kitchen got quite a good workout with plenty of time spent preparing, cooking, and cleaning up.
My skills as a chef certainly came in useful, but when you work full-time it’s really hard to come by the time needed to make all the necessary preparations and planning, and going out for dinner was also difficult, as you need to make sure that there are some good Paleo options available on the menu.
A Paleo meal plan is basically a plan for the week (or month) ahead, filled with recipes and meals laid out for you to follow, as well as a shopping list of ingredients to buy so you can get everything you need from the shops in one big hit.
It’s an action plan designed to save you time and help you get healthy eating the way our Paleo ancestors did, the way our bodies have evolved to function at a peak level.
As a chef, I prefer to have things in the kitchen really simple and easy, and it goes without saying that food has to be tasty. If you have any preconceptions about the Paleo diet, or diets in general, really restricting your options when it comes to mealtime, then throw them out the window right now.
Yes, the Paleo diet requires that you remove certain things from your diet, but these are all the “filler” types of foods; things like bread, pasta, cereal and dairy, items that serve as a cheap way of filling your belly without providing nutrition.
I’ll show you how to eat lots of delicious foods without the guilt, as they are designed to provide maximum nutrition to give you more energy and effortless weight loss or maintenance. If you need more energy each day, need to lose weight, and/or want to protect yourself from modern illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more, then a Paleo meal plan is exactly what you need.
Or if you have heard about the Paleo diet and are just starting out, but finding it quite challenging for any of the reasons I listed above, then a Paleo meal plan could save you lots of time, money and energy, and make sure you’re on the right track and motivated to kick-start your health back into gear!
A Paleo meal plan can be very effective for you to start on a weight loss path, but combining it with an exercise plan will give you the edge in the battle to melt away the extra kilos and reach an optimum level of health and vitality. I believe that about 80% of your battle is what you actually put into your body, but the other 20% made up by exercising will really make your progress so much easier and faster.
If you’re keen to get healthy again, but don’t know where to start, then a Paleo meal plan can provide a simple step-by-step system to guide you, so that all you need to do is print out a shopping list and buy your ingredients for the week, and follow along the recipes provided for each meal, and I know you’ll be feeling much healthier in no time!
If you’re interested in a Paleo meal plan to help you get healthy, then please sign up to the email list so you can be amongst the very first to be notified as soon as it is ready to launch.
If you’re time poor, health conscious and live in Melbourne, then I have great news for you! I’ve put together a Paleo Menu full of healthy and delicious meals that I will deliver to you ready-to-eat… all you have to do is heat and serve!
Check out my Paleo Menu at the link shown above, see what you like, get in contact with me and I’ll arrange to have fresh and healthy meals delivered to your door and save you the hassle of preparing meals (and washing up all the dishes afterwards!).
Your Friendly Aussie Chef And Personal Trainer,
Easter 2011 marked the final splurge that my girlfriend Emma and I had on the ordinary sorts of foods regularly consumed by most people throughout the Western world, as we went down to the family farm for the weekend and scoffed things like chocolate Easter eggs, eggs on toast for breakfast, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, pizza, pasta, and so many other items that have now been removed from our diet and replaced by “Paleo-friendly” foods.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but I wanted to take this chance to look back and reflect on the past year, some of our experiences, as well as the results in our health and well-being.
The first few weeks weren’t that easy. We spent a great deal of time shopping around looking for more appropriate quality foods to eat, and in general it was a more expensive shopping bill. Add to that the extra time spent in the kitchen preparing foods to make sure we were always eating as fresh as possible, and it was all quite an effort.
The thing I always kept in the back of my mind was that the effort would be worth it in the long run with much better health. Early on, as we were still finding our way around what was actually involved in the Paleo diet, we were also constantly refining our food choices.
For example, we would start by searching out gluten-free flour or bread, and that ended up becoming a midway step on the way to just removing those sort of options from our Paleo diet. The added cost of gluten-free options far outweighed the benefits, and the taste was generally pretty terrible anyway!
Over the stretch during the past year, I wouldn’t say that we were 100% strict on absolutely everything we ate, but we resolved to at least get 90% of the way there. Emma has a weakness for cheese that remains to this day, and I have a sweet tooth that I rely on fruit and 70% cocoa content dark chocolate for satisfaction.
On the positive side, the excellent thing that we found with this diet is that we can eat as much as we like, and the foods taste fantastic! I have a huge appetite, and that has not changed, and by eliminating bread, pasta, rice, and other “filler” foods, you’re really only left with the good stuff. Foods like fresh seafood, lean meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, and healthy oils, as well as a generous dash of herbs and spices make for great eating.
After reading Robb Wolf’s book “The Paleo Solution”, he made it clear that the first month was very important to get through, and in particular the first 10 days. That marks a critical period when your body finally removes any traces of gluten completely, and it was at this point when I did notice the disappearance of the stomach gurgles, and waking up in the morning was a much more pleasant experience.
By this point we didn’t have to do quite so much research in order to find our food either, we generally tried to bypass the big supermarkets and go straight to the growers markets and butchers. We also found ways to prepare foods in advance to eat throughout the week, so instead of cooking each day we could do a big session in the kitchen on a Sunday to give us meals for the week ahead.
We also spent a good chunk of time trying out new recipes, and finding snacks to eat away from home. Going out for dinner could be a tricky experience, and also explaining our food choices to our friends presented their own challenges, but most people seemed to be very understanding and encouraging, which helped a lot.
I started the Paleo diet, not to lose weight, but mainly just to improve my overall feeling of health and well-being.
Having said that, after about six months it occurred to me one day that I’d lost about 8kg, which had me down to about 70kg without really even trying to. Emma had similar results, about 8kg weight loss (I can’t tell you exactly what she weighs now as I don’t know, and she probably wouldn’t want me to tell you either!), and since then we’ve held our weight pretty steady.
On top of that I’ve seen my body fat percentage reduce from about 18%, down to about 11% currently! I like to keep active, and I do exercise, but it’s been years since I last stepped foot into a gym. I would comfortably put about 80% of these weight loss results down to the food I eat in the Paleo diet.
I can only share our results and experiences, and other people may have different experiences. But if you’re struggling with weight issues, have gluten or lactose (dairy) intolerances, or just generally feel sluggish and want more energy each day, then I’d definitely recommend trying the Paleo diet.
Do it for at least 30 days.
You can always go back to doing what you were doing previously. But if something is not working for you now, then you probably need a change. This is not just a short term quick fix change either, the Paleo diet is for a long term health lifestyle.
I will be sticking to the Paleo diet for the rest of my life.
If you want to find out more about the Paleo diet, I wrote an eBook called “Reconnecting With Your Inner Caveman”, which is available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99, as well as most other ebook stores, and I truly hope that it will open your eyes to how live a healthier lifestyle for you, your children, and all future generations for a long time to come.
Your Friendly Aussie Chef And Personal Trainer,
As many of you may know, I’ve recently written a Paleo eBook titled “Reconnecting With Your Inner Caveman”. It may seem like a strange title for an eBook, but there is a good reason for it… and to find out more I was interviewed yesterday by Steve Anderson who was really intrigued to find out a lot more information about what the book is about, and why I wrote it.
You can find the full in-depth interview here – Interview With Mick Reade
If you would like to learn how to lose weight, feel better on the inside, and have more energy to pack more into each day, then go ahead and read the interview to discover how this Paleo eBook, Reconnecting With Your Inner Caveman, is essential for a healthy lifestyle, even in today’s modern society full of technology and convenience.
Reconnecting With Your Inner Caveman is available now on Amazon Kindle, Sony, Barnes And Noble, the Apple iBooks store, and all other good eBook stores. Not only that it will be available very shortly in print, on Amazon as well.
It’s $2.99 to buy a digital copy, and is well worth it if you need to change your life and get your health back on track. Don’t just take my word for it though, you can find plenty of reviews of what other people have thought about Reconnecting With Your Inner Caveman.
It involves a clever little story taking you back to our caveman ancestors, and comparing them with the way we now live today, and it also includes some of my favourite Paleo recipes at the end so you can actually start taking action and putting your new-found knowledge into practice!
Your Friendly Aussie Chef And Personal Trainer,