Wisdom, confusion and health foods that aren’t healthy

By: Quinton de Bruin

As we enter the last week before the challenge kicks off, I feel there is still a fair amount of info I need to share to give you a full picture of the lifestyle we are talking about here. Seven days…the thought of taking some measurements and being held accountable to those in 30 days does raise my level of anxiety! The thing about numbers is (and being in finance, one would hope I know this) they don't lie. I am not talking about weight measurement in isolation, we're covering the lot; measuring body fat percentage as well as waist, chest, quads and arm girth means there is nowhere to hide. I recently heard wise words from a young lady when we discussed my love / hate relationship with food and specifically milk chocolate… and the odd beer, she said, "you are 100% in control of the food and drink you put into your mouth." As simple as that sounds, look around you… if that is true, and it is, we have a segment of the population that is out of control. Here's hoping that by providing clarity and further information, we can start taking back some control through informed decisions. The exciting thing is there is a growing portion of the health and wellbeing community that is fighting for this.

I must say, the amount of data and material given along with this programme is phenomenal, and if you are an impulsive person who once you have something, you just want to get cracking, it may pay to cool your jets as there is a lot of reading to do before you get to the juicy meal plans and recipes! Best we get started and I will try convey the core concepts as best I can with a couple of direct quotes from the manual by Abel thrown in when nothing else will do.

Nothing quite like starting off with a bit of controversy with a section titled "Forget Conventional Wisdom"

"I'm going to ask you to forget nearly everything you have been told about diet, nutrition, and health. Be warned – many of the strategies and principles of the Wild Diet fly in the face of popular beliefs and decades of decrees from diet "dictocrats.""

Brrr, chilling start! The fact of the matter is that by coming across the Wild Diet, the assumption is that conventional nutrition and exercise has not hit the mark. Possibly due to powerful or influential parties and individuals having a role to play in the information that is released or those who have a vested interest in shaping an industry. They may be providing confusing and misleading information that is targeting product sales rather than ensuring good health.

Abel talks about how fad diets require specific consumption, such as: consume three grapefruit every day or another that suggests you ingest nothing but raw vegetables, and yet another consisting of nibbling on private-labelled frozen dinners. This list and creativeness goes on… even the Paleo diet has been hit with commercialism. That you can now walk into health food shops and buy Paleo protein bars (true, Countdown sells them) and that they contain 26% sugar – true again! Or that there are paleo protein shakes and even Paleo supplements, yet I'm confident cavemen didn't have blenders and surely didn't pop pills!

In a nut-shell there is no silver bullet, there won't be a "discovery" of the one true way to get or remain healthy. It has always been there and the main message of health is: Real food always wins.

It is This message that sets the stage for what the Wild diet philosophy/lifestyle is all about.

"There is little denying that our collective health seems doomed. Diabetes and cancer are rampant, health care costs are increasingly crippling our economy, and 8-year-old children are weighing-in at 300 pounds. Clearly, something isn't working.

We don't need to go back millennia to witness a startling decline in health and increase in obesity. We really can just look back a generation or two.

Our grandmothers knew that processed foods, namely carbohydrates like grains, starch, and sugar, make us fat. And when our grandmothers bought food, it was usually local, organic, and free of most chemicals... Not by choice, mind you, but by default."

A point I'd like to make about this quote is it shows another example of the sloppy definition of a carbohydrate. We have been conditioned to associate the word 'carbs') with foods like bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes (chips and fries), rice etc. Sure, these are foods high in carbohydrates, but in and of themselves are not carbohydrates. Vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, peas, yams and carrots and many others also offer carbohydrates. It would be categorically beneficial for you to make this distinction, in fact it is essential!

Simply, going Wild is about taking a deep breath and starting to eat real foods again. This means looking to consume plants and animals that were recently alive and well. You may have come across this before but a useful tip for grocery shopping to avoid poorer choices at the supermarket is to stick to the outer walls – think about it – veggies and fruits then meat/fish/poultry (skip the alcohol section – I know, I know) then dairy, eggs and cured meats.

When it comes to foods that have been dubbed as "healthy" but in fact are not, I've read that the following fall into this camp: whole grains, low-fat foods, diet products, canola oil, and soy. Through a combination of 1. an inadequate amount of protein and fat and 2. a high amount of carbohydrates which causes weight gain, they apparently make the naughty list.

The good news is we are no doubt already eating some of the good foods, but it's possibly just a case of ensuring we eat enough of these by reducing/eliminating the other. As we get our hands dirty on foods and recipes, this will become crystal clear.

"Hundreds of scientific studies have – again and again – proven the same. Special interests have ridiculed and disparaged these approaches and prevented most of this knowledge, however, from being incorporated into conventional wisdom…. The Wild Diet is unlike these diets in that you will achieve fat loss as a direct result of improving your overall health, not sacrificing it. In the healthy body, fat loss is almost effortless."

In an era where we like to label things and put things into categories, is it surprising that there is a name for eating healthy, natural foods? The Wild Diet is advocating that we feed our body with the foods we were designed to eat and exclude those products that are ultimately making us ill. This is more than a 30-day challenge or a short term quick results programme, or rather it should be. True, health is not something obtained for a moment in time, but rather a state which is continuous… a lifestyle – as such rigid structure is a recipe for failure, guidelines allow you to succeed more on some days than you do on others.

The small print: now is probably a good time to encourage you to have a discussion about your personal situation with your doctor, a nutritionist and the Body and Motion trainers to work out how best to achieve any challenges you have in mind. The thoughts in these blogs are my own personal opinion and shouldn't be taken as direct advice. Some of the choices around what I consume or what activity I partake in may not be endorsed by Body and Motion. However, the team will always be keen enablers of your fitness goals! Talk to us today.


This product has been added to your cart