Friday, 29 November 2013

Alison talks Paleo

The Paleo Food Movement is gaining incredible momentum with its sensible approach to eating good wholesome foods where the health benefits are immeasurable.  What was it about this lifestyle that first attracted you and what was the impetus to being your own personal food movement

I've always been really interested in health and nutrition with many different diets.  I was first introduced to the Paleo diet about 5 years ago and I saw immediate results from cutting out things like grains.

I felt lighter, more energetic and more vibrant and the approach to food just made so much sense.  I think a lot of people are easily misled by messages put out by large, powerful food manufacturers - such as "eat low fat" etc.  I encourage anyone to do their own research and also try a range of different foods to see what works for them.  

I am really passionate about sharing what I have discovered through healthy whole food eating, and demonstrating how easy it is to maintain a lifestyle based on Paleo principles.

For those who may not be fully aware or totally comprehend "Paleo", can you give a brief outline as to its ethos and why we should (if possible) apply even a smidge of it in to our every day eating routine

At its most basic level, Paleo is maintaining a diet that resembles how our paleolithic ancestors ate with a modern application.  The principles of the diet are to eat whole foods as they exist in nature and source local and seasonal produce.

Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and some nuts and seeds form the basis of the diet, while things like grains, sugars, dairy products, legumes (including soy products) and any ingredient that has been refined and processed are eliminated.

There's no denying that the number of people diagnosed with auto-immune and non-communicable diseases is increasing.  These diseases were not around millions of years ago, and somewhere in the last few thousand years - a tiny smidgen of our human existence - we have introduced a plethora of health issues.

For someone wanting to try the Paleo diet, my advice would be to cut things out slowly. Start with grains, then when your body has adjusted, try cutting out dairy.  I would also recommend reading one of the many great books available to help guide you through your lifestyle change, including "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf, "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson (a slightly modified version which includes some dairy), or you could follow the Whole30 Program which is based on Paleo principles.

For Paleo cooking I'd recommend "Everyday Paleo" by Sarah Ferguson or the blogsite "Nom Nom Paleo". 

And of course to find paleo-friendly places to dine, follow my blog "Paleo Foodies" which you can check out "here".

What role does organic produce play in the Paleo lifestyle

Choosing to eat organic is a personal choice but one that the Paleo lifestyle definitely supports.  Not only are you eating healthier foods produced free from chemicals, in most cases you're supporting local farmers and since they don't use any chemicals, the produce is always in season.

Some people argue that eating organic is more expensive, but I tend to disagree and it really depends on where you buy.

There are local organic markets in most areas across Sydney and because you're buying directly from the seller the prices are quite low.

When did you first come across Kings Cross Market and what drew you there initially

I first came across Kings Cross Markets a few months ago.  I went because of the convenient time they are on - Saturdays between 8:00am -2:00pm.  Now I love going each week and am getting to know the producers.  It's nice to be able to ask questions directly to the producer - such as where they grow their produce, the best way to prepare an item etc.

The produce is really fresh and it stays fresh for longer so I don't have to do multiple trips throughout the week.  I source my organic vegetables and free range eggs from the markets.  I also love to pick up a fresh bunch of native flowers for the home and I usually grab a green smoothie from the raw juice bar.

In your opinion, what is it about markets such as Kings Cross, that form an integral part of the local community and what can we do (as shoppers) to help it keep on keeping on

I think local markets are a really important and valuable part of our community.  I have travelled around the world and one of my favourite things to do in foreign countries is to check out the local market because food is what brings people together, and you can learn so much about a culture and their cuisine by visiting where they source their raw ingredients.

Markets are a way for the community to come together and it's how we have sourced fresh produce for thousands of years.  It's a rich tradition across many cultures and it's exciting to see so many Sydney-siders supporting and visiting their local markets each week.  It's also a great activity for a Saturday morning and the perfect way to start the weekend.


Couldn't have put it better ourselves.  A massive thank you to Alison for her time and giving us some user-friendly info about the Paleo lifestyle.  

If you missed the links above, you can read more about Paleo Foodies both "here" and "here" and stay tuned cause there is going to be some exciting happenings not just with us but with Paleo Foodies as well!

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