Kerry Robertson: Fit Factor principles will lead to long-term health

Kerry Robertson was a contestant last year on Fit Factor and since then has never looked back. Here she shares her thoughts, hints, tips and outlook on the Fit Factor 2014

Kerry Robertson, of Shiremoor, before and after taking part in Fit Factor 2013
Kerry Robertson, of Shiremoor, before and after taking part in Fit Factor 2013

So the Fit Factors will have been following 'The Food' for over a week now and they will have experienced some changes already.

Eliminating sugar, chemicals and starchy carbs from their diets will help boost the body almost instantly. They may have experienced some withdrawal signs too, slight headaches and feeling tired but these are short lived and the benefits start to outweigh the negative effects of detoxing.

I call it 'The Food' as calling it a diet is incorrect.  The common perception of when someone is on a 'diet' is they attend a meeting once a week, get weighed and follow an eating plan for a temporary amount of time, only to give up and fall back into old eating habits...

But the Fit Factors are following the principle of Clean Eating, also known as The Caveman Diet or Paleo.

The basic principle of Paleo is:  If you can grow it and kill it you can eat it.  It’s a bit more technical than that, but that is the general idea.

Paleo comes from the term Palaeolithic , or the Stone Age. from around 1.2 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, early man would forage for food and catch small mammals and fish to eat. Now, you might be thinking that we have all moved on from picking berries and eating raw rodents but in fact that’s what our bodies crave.

Our bodies have not evolved much since the species of homo sapiens evolved over 65/000 years ago. Our tummies and intestines are the same, our liver and hearts function in the exact same way. Evolution is slow and nature is powerful in directing what it wants and doesn't want.

I have a theory:  Imagine this...

A herd animal like a cow has a natural diet of grass. That's what it is meant to eat, this is the food its stomach(s) can digest and process to give the animal what it needs. 

Now instead of grass feed that cow and all the cows after that sugary cereal for a few years and guess what happens?  That right, it gets ill.

But wait, we already did this, but it wasn't sugary cereal. It was processed animal feed containing ground up parts of, wait for it, other cows.

Cannibalistic cows? So Mad Cow disease was born and we all got a nasty scare.

Lesson to be learnt?  Eat what you are meant to eat and you will be ok.  Eat lots of processed, chemical laden, bleached and nutritionally deficient food and well...look around.

Overweight, constantly tired, unwell people everywhere, suffering from allergies, intolerances, diabetes, cancer and lots of other diseases.

The human species has more illnesses and diseases than any other species. Generations of eating the wrong foods has lead to this. Even domestic pets, fed the same type of food have developed dangerous illnesses not know in cats and dogs before. We literally are what we eat!

Ask yourself about dairy, who thought it would be ok to go up to an animal in a field and actually drink the juice squeezed from it? Crazy, but millions of gallons of milk is produced everyday all over the world. And the most common allergy in the world? Dairy!

Take grains, these are essentially a fast growing plant that have little seed like tops to attract birds and small mammals to eat them and deposit elsewhere for that plant to continue to grow somewhere else.  They can’t be eaten without first processing them, so it’s not something our ancestors would have eaten.

Root vegetables like potatoes and parsnips wouldn't have been eaten much either as they didn't have spades to dig, well not till much later, Carrots are the exception as the tops of carrots would have been eaten.

So what can you eat?  Well, the list is endless.  A good paleo diet consists of lots of meat, fish, eggs, fruit, salad and most vegetables. Raw foods are best.  Cooking and fire was invented by the Palaeolithic man so we will let you cook your meat (rare is best though). 

In our modern lives we understand flavours better and the use of spices may not have been used by Stone Age people but herbs certainly were.  As spices have health benefits it’s a good idea to use them in cooking! The majority of tools were also invented by Palaeolithic man and according to research they also invented wine, but unfortunately that’s off the menu for the Fit Factor six!

Foods to avoid is anything processed i.e. made in a factory with more than two ingredients. There are several ingredients to avoid and are nicknamed the white death:

Sugar

Flour

Salt

Eliminate these out of a diet and you will instantly feel better.

There will always be someone who will call Paleo a ‘fad’ diet, but our direct ancestors followed this ‘diet’ for over 1 million years. Maybe the modern way of eating should be classed as a ‘fad’ and going back to tried and tested ways will be the benefit of everyone?

Kerry’s Recipe ideas

Kerry Robertson Kerry Robertson's dippy egg snack
Kerry Robertson's dippy egg snack
 

I'll not lie to you, eating clean is difficult as restricted foods are everywhere, but it can be done with a little planning and imagination:

Last week I started with breakfast and as breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day here are a few more ideas. Lunches and main meals to follow over the next few weeks.

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled eggs

3 eggs with 2 yolks removed. Beat and add a grind of black pepper.  Scramble in a microwave stirring every 30-40 seconds till cooked to your liking.  Add a few pieces of smoked salmon on the side of your plate, add the egg, sprinkle with chopped parsley (if you want) and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fit Factor Fry Up

This is a protein-packed breakfast, Ideal for the weekends to perk you up!

2 eggs scrambled (1 yolk removed) (or any other variety of egg)

2 medium – thick slices of homemade ham (this is a gammon joint cooked at home in water, not processed ham out of a packet)

Mushrooms

Tomatoes (any kind)

On a dry frying pan or GF grill, place the ham, sliced mushrooms and halved tomatoes on the hot pan and turn occasionally, scramble the eggs in the microwave.

Dippy Snack

This is a quick and easy way to keep hunger at bay as a snack or as a nutritious breakfast

Asparagus has a natural wooded end and will have a natural snap point, gently put pressure on the end and middle as though you mean to snap it and the wooded end should snap off discard the wood end.

Place the tips into boiling water to cook for 6-7 mins.

Bring a small pan of water to the boil, wait until the water is rapidly boiling, using a slotted spoon dip the egg in to the water for a few seconds, lift it out, place back in and wait until the water is back to boiling rapidly, time 4 minutes exactly for a medium, slightly runny egg, for really runny 3 mins.

Enjoy!

Follow Kerry on twitter: @kikirob77

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