Foodie Friday: What is what?

I’m so excited to kick off our brand new series FOODIE FRIDAYS!  When I began researching “healthy eating”, I realised two things:  I will have to start cooking at home more often and I don’t know how to cook healthy.  Irony?  I then came upon this website, Foodie goes Primal and this woman cooked exactly like I wanted to eat!  She talks English that I mostly understand (had to phone her to find out what scouring means), her website is filled with inspiration and the most beautiful food!  I wanted to share this easy way of cooking healthy at home with you, so I’m very excited to welcome Heidi, from Foodie goes Primal, to Changing Dream!  Heidi will start her own series called Foodie Fridays and she starts us off by just explaining what is what, how she started on this journey and how low carb has impacted her life…  Welcome Heidi!

You get ‘diet people’ and non-diet-people…

I’ve never been much of a diet-person myself and always considered my ‘diet’ to be fairly healthy.  Lots of fruits, grains, etc and being mindful of the amount of food I eat.  I’ve never been really sickly either, but I always battled with feeling bloated and I was not really very active.  So, all-in-all, I probably sound like most women…

About 4 years ago we heard about this Paleo business and watched a life-changing documentary called ‘The Perfect Human Diet’.  We started by just cutting out the obvious refined starches and grains such as pasta, bread and rice and cut out sugar to a large extent.

The result:  WAY more energy, a few kilos lighter and just a leaner, healthier version of ourselves.  My bloatedness became a thing of the past and I just felt really great.  But now the question is this: what is the difference between Banting and Paleo? What is a Primal Diet? And is it really a diet, or should it be a lifestyle?

Banting, Paleo, Low Carb, Keto and Primal is basically slightly different versions of the same thing:  To eliminate processed foods, grains and sugar from ones ‘diet’. And I say ‘diet’ because it really needs to become a lifestyle – a new, healthy, ‘clean’ lifestyle.

Banting will focus on a slightly higher fat intake, but this is not a free-for-all pass to consume greasy foods! No, the focus is on healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados and other healthy fats from meat and dairy.  Banting allows for some dairy consumption, but very little fruit {a few berries, an apple here and there and coconut}, as fruit is very high in sugar.  It all comes down to watching how much carbs you eat – aim for between 25 – 150 g a day.

Paleo is not always so strictly low carb, as it allows for more fruit, more starchy veggies {that’s grown underground} and other natural sugars {honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates} – which are of course, quite high in carbs.  Paleo is more about ‘natural’, ‘clean’, ancestral eating.  Paleo also doesn’t really allow dairy.

Primal is basically the same as Paleo – it’s all about eating the way our ancestors did.

Keto refers to a very low carb diet – under 25 g of carbs a day – to allow your body to be in a permanent state of ketosis, where it uses fat for fuel.

All of these have a few things in common:

  • focus on REAL food
  • no processed food
  • not high protein diets – this is a huge misconception!
  • focus on healthy fats
  • keeping carbs low

Personally, I/we follow a combination, so I just refer to our lifestyle as low carb.  I believe we do need some carbs, especially if you lead an active lifestyle, but those can easily be found in things like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, nuts, etc.

Each person is different and needs to find what works for them within this framework, because the fact is that sugar and carbs ARE DEFINITELY bad for you, especially a combination of the two.

So, it’s not just about losing weight, but rather about being healthy, feeling good and getting the most from your food!

Heidi Visser


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