5:2, Bullet Proof, Paleo, Gluten Free – Diet or Lifestyle?

I am not a great proponent of diets. I am a firm believer that if you deprive yourself of something, particularly a yummy something, you will inevitably go back to it and then more so. So although a diet may give a quick fix, I think it is not sustainable. *And by ‘diet’ I mean something you do for a bit, hopefully reach your goal, and then stop, or give up in most cases.  Now a lifestyle change that is far more healthy sounding to my ears.

I am a great believer in real food, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Whether you grow it yourself, or buy from a market, or super market, you owe it to yourself to provide your body with the best you can.

What I have come to discover it’s part ‘you are what you eat’, part ‘enjoy a treat’.

I get what is being said in this blog post: Stop Blaming Gluten. Gluten gets a bad wrap these days, and is blamed for so much. I honestly think it has more to do with processed foods than gluten specifically.  If food is processed designed to keep for a long time, how is your system supposed to break something down like that if the natural elements can’t?

Pumpjack and I took a lifestyle choice a year ago to take gluten, most of the time, out of our day to day lives, and do feel better for it. However, Pumpjack makes *The*Best*Pizza*, and, we live in France, home to the baguette, and our Boulangerie (bakery) is the best in France. Truly. So it is never going to be out of our lives completely, nor would we really want it to be. But we feel better, healthier for having it when we really fancy it, when it is a treat.

Our treats are items that are not designed to eat then and there – our pizza is made fresh from the basic of basic ingredients – flour from our nearby mill and fresh yeast for the dough. And our Boulangerie makes the type of bread that only lasts a couple hours at most, by the next day it is rock hard. No preservatives there.

As for other foods, by eliminating processed foods and focusing on home grown and fresh, we not only feel better, we can eat all we want (and yet are still losing excess weight). Add to this, as we now cook everything from scratch, we became more aware of what foods filled us, what were empty calories and what foods gave us more energy. And, I was able to discover that tomatoes give me achy joints.

Potatoes and rosemary from the garden
Potatoes and rosemary from the garden

I knew something was causing arthritis flare ups (all that wonderful long-distance walking finally caught up with me), but hadn’t been able to figure out the cause before. A bit of research brought up ‘nightshades’, e.g. potatoes , tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, as the probable culprit. By making different dishes and seeing what if any reaction, I was able to quickly realise that the tomatoes were the worst of the culprits. Again limited, a treat, but not excluded.

By having a healthier lifestyle of eating, we are able to not only really enjoy the treats, but are less affected by those that wreak a little havoc on our bodies and energy levels.

And I think that is what so much of this diet world is about these days – if you don’t allow yourself some treats now and then, you are only going to yo-yo.  Better to be a healthy eater work out what doesn’t agree with you, and enjoy the treats when you have them.

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