Guest Blog: Shanti Pappas of Happy Belly Health - Keto? What Happened to Paleo?

September 17, 2018

Brussels Sprouts with Golden Raisins
Shanti, owner of Happy Belly Health®, is a functional medicine health coach practice specializing in weight loss and digestion.

In the new diet era of “keto”, many of us are kicking ourselves for not jumping on the “paleo” wagon. Paleo WAS “the diet” where eliminating ALL grains, legumes, dairy, and sugar was considered extreme, but do-able (for some)... for 30 days.

Sadly, many of us have abandoned ship with “paleo” and decided that “keto” is an even better diet for weight loss. For those of you catching up with the trend, “keto” restricts not only all grains, but higher glycemic vegetables and fruits. The perk is you can eat all the fat you want, including cheese and coconut oil, butter, and steak. And if you can stick to it, you do lose weight. (Keeping it off is another topic.)

While there are effective therapeutic uses for both styles of eating, for the average person wanting to lose weight, neither diet is a long-term, health-promoting solution. The goal, in my opinion, is to expand your diet and enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense foods that make your body sing. Some people do better with less refined carbohydrates and some people do better with more fats, but jumping on the “keto” or “paleo” bandwagon is not the solution.

Sustainable, long-term solutions like drinking more water, eating more vegetables, fresh fruit, and complex carbohydrates, and limiting snacking are much more effective because they’re in tune with your unique metabolism. Learning about your body and how well it converts food into energy is great, and I can see how experimenting with some of the principles in the diet can help you do that, but the trend of fully committing to the “religion” of these diets won’t work for most people’s long term weight loss goals.

I work with a lot of people who struggle with cravings, especially cravings for bread or sweets. One of the first things I focus on is that these cravings tell us something. Their body, for one reason or another, is really wanting quick and easy calories to digest. Rather than deny this need, we work on slowly supporting this by introducing more sweet tasting foods or savory grains, like adding more fruits to their diet and trying whole grains, like quinoa, rice, buckwheat, etc instead of bread for a bit. We make sure they’re eating enough protein, fat and vegetables to be satiated. We support them in enjoying their food, eating well, and moving away from restriction, calorie counting, and micro-managing their diet so they can fully savor each bite. Once we’ve balanced the diet, we balance the blood sugar and the cravings start to go away.

If you want to lose weight and wondering what diet is best for you, I encourage you to start with your unique body and what’s missing. If you’re like many of us and have strong cravings for sweets and bread, consider adding in more fresh or dried fruit to your meals. Our friends at Luke’s Local do a fantastic job of incorporating these very principles into their menu. This week, they’re offering two items that use raisins and delicious, sweeter vegetables. Make your life easy, let the chefs do the cooking, and order everything for quick delivery through the Luke’s Local mobile app - and satisfy your cravings without compromising your health goals.

Here are the items to look for at Luke’s Local this week:
1. Smoked Mary's Chicken over Coconut Carrot Purée: Smoked chicken breast ,with creamy carrot puree and a side of brussel sprouts, topped with golden raisin salsa verde.

2. Pork Adobo over Cilantro Jasmine Rice: Slow simmered pork shoulder, simmered in a savory blend of spices, topped with pickled red onion. We then pour this porky goodness over a bed of, cilantro infused jasmine rice, served with oven roasted turnips and wilted baby spinach.


P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about health coaching and how we can help you, please contact us here and you’ll be prompted to schedule a free 15 minute chat. We look forward to supporting you.

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