■ REVIEWS: Optimum Health the Paleo Way | The Thermogenic Diet
Healthy eating begins, as it always did, with real food

It seems every week there is some new fad diet promising to fight flab in some miraculous way, but the so-called paleo diet is proof that there is really nothing new under the sun.

The paleo way is is all about a more natural, seasonal way of eating.

The author says following this eating plan can cost a little more because of some of the items you can’t have and others that you must have. For example, her advice is to swap coconut palm sugar for plain sugar (but still only for an occasional treat), go for for non-seed oils and quality meats.

The paleo diet is not as restrictive as some and it is not, the author assures us, about becoming a caveman.

Instead, it is about eating in the way we did before processed foods became the norm.

You can follow the quite strict 28-day plan explained in the first half of the book to reset your system or simply dip into the second half for a great selection of paleo/diabetic/heart-friendly recipes, including a fantastic and simple blueberry and balsamic reduction.

Buy in season and you’ll save a few bucks, get the best (and freshest) produce on offer and you’ll feel better.

As a type 2 diabetic, I found the diet set out in this book is perfect: clean, fresh and varied.

Unlike many others it’s not about cutting out important categories of food, such as carbohydrates.

Instead, it’s about ensuring you eat the right sort of carbs, the best fats and stick to fresh, unprocessed food.

Simple but effective. The book is worth the price tag for the recipes alone.

Optimum Health the Paleo Way,  by Claire Yates (Exisle Publishing, RRP $40)

Dietitian John Jones follows the sensible approach of fresh, unprocessed foods, but takes his method a step further, claiming that by eating the correct foods you can boost your metabolism with the thermogenic effect.

This is the heat created in the process of digesting food and, because our bodies are not perfect engines, we have to help them along the way.

The theory seems sound enough on paper but regardless, encouraging eating lean meats, healthy fats and carbs and wholegrains is pretty much guaranteed to have a positive impact on your body. This book sets out how to follow the diet and offers practical and tasty recipes.

The Thermogenic Diet: Learn how food can do the hard work of weight loss, by John Jones (Exisle Publishing, RRP $30)

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