Is the Paleo Diet an Optimal Choice for Women?

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is all the rage now and some men swear by it for weight loss and building lean muscle mass.
But, Is it an optimal choice for women?
Does it give women the nutrients they need to reach their weight loss goals without lacking a vital source of vitamins and minerals?
It’s no secret that men have a different bodily makeup than women and so it’s only fair that each diet be valued with gender in mind. The Paleo diet does have some disadvantages but as a whole, it is a very good choice for women.

Here’s why…

• Restricts Sugar – Sugar is evil for women. It’s one of our biggest cravings but wreaks havoc on our hormones. It’s also really easy to over eat sugar causing unnecessary weight gain. Being overweight causes excess estrogen. Excess estrogen makes women crazy women with mood swings, cramps, and really bad PMS. On the flip side, consuming too much sugar causes testosterone to be produced in the ovaries of all places. This can decrease fertility and libido, and cause acne and facial hair, not something that anyone woman wound want.Paleo Diet

• Eliminates Grains – Grains are a hard thing to give up. They are a big source of energy but come with a price. Grains are things like pasta, bread, and cereals and they are called carbohydrates. Our bodies use this for energy but what is not used is broken down into sugar, which as previously mentioned wreaks havoc on a woman’s body. Most grains contain gluten, which many have an intolerance for and can lead to digestion problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Many also become addicted to starchy carbs and overeat them.

• Easy To Follow – Unlike many other diets, the Paleo diet doesn’t make you count calories or cut back drastically on your food consumption. It teaches you to be in tune with your body and eat when it tells you to and stop eating when you are full. This balances out our hormones to a good level. There is nothing worse than feeling as if you only have half of your energy because you haven’t eaten enough to keep you going. With this diet, you will have plenty of energy to face the day.

• Whole Food Diet – The Paleo diet only allows for whole food and nothing processed. This eliminates junk food and its harmful effects and includes only natural real food that supports healthy weight management and overall good health.

• Highly Nutritious- Another factor that gives you plenty of energy is the quality of the foods you are eating. In the Paleo diet, all of the food you eat is very nutrient-dense. Berries and green veggies have the highest content of antioxidants and in a Paleo diet; it is a regular part of your meals. Eating animal products that are grass fed and pasture raised keep the meat full of the good nutrients the animals eat from the ground and not from hormones that are fed to them by traditional farming methods.

• Good For PMS- The foods included in the Paleo diet have a naturally high content of healthy fats and minerals that aid in a woman’s fertility and menstrual cycle. It is also low in any foods that may lower fertility and exasperate PMS. This is a nice added perk for women who practice the Paleo eating pattern.

There Are Only A Few Drawbacks To The Paleo Diet…

First, it can be expensive to follow. Have you seen the prices of grass fed beef? Nuts aren’t cheap either.

A good thing to do is to budget this diet into your plan before you start or you may end up without the necessary nutrition before the end of the week. There is a severe restriction on carb sources allowed in this diet. Without carbs, it can be really hard to have maximum energy level. You need to be creative in your energy sources but it can be done.

In addition, dairy isn’t allowed so finding another source high in calcium is essential because calcium is a very important mineral for women to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis in older age.

Calcium is plentiful in plant foods that are allowed on the Paleo Diet, including:

• Orange juice, fortified with calcium
• Tempeh and tofu
• Tahini
• Almond butter
• Turnip greens, raw
• Kale, raw
• Edamame,
• Almonds
• Figs
• Bok choy
• Mustard greens
• Broccoli, raw

Of course, supplements are also available, including vitamin D that helps with absorption of calcium

Overall, following the diet with a few cheats every now and then could be a very successful diet to women and can really help one to kick-start the road to eating whole real food, which is always the best option for good health, weight loss, energy, and longevity.

Is the Paleo Diet an Optimal Choice for Women?

Meal Plans For Weight Loss

The majority of the meals and foods I have chosen contain slow-releasing carbohydrates. Slow-releasing carbohydrates (often call “complex” or low-glycaemic foods) are digested and broken down in the gut relatively slowly, releasing their sugars steadily into the bloodstream. This results in a steady rise in blood sugar, sustained energy, as well as efficient fat breakdown and hormone control. Eating complex carbohydrates help increase and control energy levels; aids weight loss, and controls and encourage a natural appetite.

Women’s health and hormone balance

Eating natural whole foods keeps insulin levels low – high insulin increases testosterone and oestrogen production leading to potential oestrogen and/or testosterone dominance in relation to progesterone

Meal ideas

Breakfast

* Berries with yogurt and cinnamon – Combine ½ a punnet of blueberries and ½ a punnet of raspberries with 100g of goat’s yogurt. Mix in 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and sprinkle on top ½ tsp of ground cinnamon.

* A small bowl of oat porridge or cooked oatmeal made with soya or almond milk (Ecomil/Evernat). Add grated apple, a handful of whole almonds, or sunflower seeds and 2 or 3 tablespoons of natural “bio” yogurt.

* Fruit bowl with yogurt and flaxseed – chop 2 pieces of fruit, top with plain soya yogurt and stir in 2 tablespoons of ground or ready-milled linseeds (flaxseeds), with a soya milk or almond milk and hot water. Add ¼ tsp of cinnamon too.

* Smoothies in a glass – A blend of raspberries and strawberries, yogurt, soya milk or almond milk, and 2 tablespoons of milled/ground flaxseeds (available from some Sainsbury’s stores or health food shops), or wheatgerm. This meal provides essential fats, protein and fibre and flaxseeds (or other seeds) add a nutty taste to the mixture. A great start to the day!

Lunch

Chickpea dahl with dark green leafy and baby vegetable salad – gently fry off ½ tsp each of fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and ground cumin. Add ½ can of chickpeas and 100g of cherry tomatoes. Cook gently for 10-15 mins. Make a salad of green leaves, chopped coriander, and add mange tout peas, sliced beetroot, cucumber, and sliced raw fennel. Drizzle with a little olive oil, balsamic or cider vinegar, and a little lemon juice. Serve with a slice of rye bread.

Dinner

Tofu and cruciferous veg stir-fry. Use a variety of cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and stir-fry with onion, garlic and ginger. Use Tamari or a spoon of miso (try brown rice miso) mixed in a little water as a base or marinade. Stir in 100-150g of cubed tofu, tossing the mix until the vegetables are “al dente”… cooked but with a slight crunch!

Snacks if you need them…

A small handful of whole almonds

Hummus and vegetable crudités

A small bowl of sliced melon, blueberries and raspberries

Latest Update: Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Mental Benefits Of Running

Exercise, in general, can have many emotional benefits, but running has the most powerful impact on your mental state. If you are a runner, you know the feeling – before your run you may have felt tired or stressed about certain life events, then after your run you feel fantastic!

Our minds are very powerful. Our minds control our thoughts and actions, which can often influence our physical health. Of course running is a great exercise for losing weight and building your cardiovascular health, but it also has benefits to the inner essence of our being. Here’s how:

Decreases Stress

Stress is a mental state of mind. No matter how you may hate to admit it or believe it, you do cause your own stress. When you allow the situations in life to affect you internally, you have given power to that particular situation by feeling stress. Running allows you to focus more on your breathing and the scenery around you. The deep breathing soothes the feelings of fear and/or anxiety that are associated with stress. Running is like a release button to the stress that accumulates in your body.

Increases Self-Esteem

When you are running on a regular basis, your self-esteem slowly starts to increase. You start to feel good about yourself, whether it is the weight loss, weight maintenance, or the health benefits that you receive. As you have the energy and endurance to run, it gives you a sense of needing to take care of your body, so you are less likely to eat foods that are not good for you, or partake in any unhealthy behavior. You see the benefits that running gives you, and you have a sense of pride and respect for your body.

Increases Feeling of Freedom

Running is a great way to feel free – free from all the challenges and obstacles that life sometimes delivers. When you are running, there is a sense of freedom. You can go where you want at the speed you want, and no one and no thoughts can hinder this freedom. You automatically feel a sense of release from the demanding boss, nagging children, or pushy creditors. Even if for only a moment, you are free and in your own place of silence and calmness that is soothing to both your body and mind. Sometimes it takes physical activity to really quiet our minds – something that is not easy to achieve in modern society.

Decreases Depression

When you are running, your brain automatically releases beta endorphins. Beta endorphins are neurotransmitters in the brain that are affected during depression. In depression, the neurotransmitters are not firing properly, and a feeling of overall wellness is decreased. This is the reason why many feel a “runners’ high” after a run. It is a complete feeling of peacefulness and happiness, as if all the problems of the day have actually disappeared.

A Guide To The Mental Benefits Of Running

Latest Update: Thursday, January 21, 2021