How many times have you heard someone say – or said to yourself – “it’s time to get on a diet”? Well, healthy nutrition isn’t about “getting on a diet,” but rather finding a style of eating that works for you. Traditional dieting, after all, is but a temporary solution based on restraining ourselves. When we relax our restrictions – poof! – back come the old habits, and we end up likely no better off than where we started (and possibly worse).
So, at Cambiati we don’t focus on “diet” so much as we educate about whole foods nutrition and lifestyle changes that together build a happier, healthier lifestyle. We don’t mandate “one diet fits all” and we don’t count points or exchanges or even calories. We help you discover – perhaps for the first time – how healthy foods and lifestyle practices can set you on the path to your healthiest and happiest life, by learning what truly works for you.
And how do we do that? You’ll hear us say “CambiatiClean” over and over in our classes, our materials and most of our social media posts (here we are on Pinterest and Facebook). Foods and recipes that are CambiatiClean meet our best guidelines for whole foods, clean meals that are likely to help you on your journey to better nutrition and improved health. When we’re asked what CambiatiClean eating means, one easy place for us to start is with the concept of “modified Paleo.” But what does “modified paleo” mean, you may ask?
First, we’ll let you in on a little secret”¦. While we generally support most aspects of Paleo diets (and if you check us out on Pinterest you’ll notice many of the recipes we pin come from the Paleo community), we still don’t consider ourselves “strictly” Paleo. Paleo-style eating has gained serious attention in recent years (like Loren Cordain’s the Paleo Diet or Robb Wolff’s Paleo Solution). And while some may see Paleo as a hot “new” diet, eating Paleo-style is anything but a passing fad. Paleo refers to the Paleolithic Era, which covers the time from about 2.5 million years ago up until the start of the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago. Our ancient ancestors hunted and gathered, and munched on things like meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds up until about 10,000 years ago when “modern” foods like dairy, refined sugar and processed grains entered the food chain.
To put it mildly, the introduction of these foods didn’t work for everyone. Despite all changes to almost every part of human life over the centuries, one thing that hasn’t changed much since then is the human genome. Like Loren Cordain said, “We’re Stone Agers living in the Space Age.” Our DNA still reads the same way it did when humans roamed the earth alongside saber tooth tigers. Our nutritional needs haven’t changed, but along the way we started filling our bodies with some seriously low-grade fuel.
Time passed and by the mid twentieth century, food production was moving out of the family farm and into mega corporate food conglomerates. Most of us, along the way, lost our ancient human knowledge of food. We are no longer food literate, we have no idea what to eat, and often have no idea what fresh food looks like before it’s packaged and shows up magically at a grocery store, covered in plastic wrap.
This is what many experts point to as the reason we now struggle with obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, acne, autoimmune disorders, cancer and heart disease and more.
Overheard at a recent Farmer’s Market visit: “No, I don’t want those carrots. They’re so dirty.”Carrots are grown in the ground. Of course they’re dirty. But if all you ever see are baby carrots, clean and tidy in their sterile plastic bags – how would you know where they come from? And that’s nothing compared to the ‘disconnect’ we have between animals and the meat we purchase in the stores.
Food choices are often made based on what’s advertised on TV, or what is available at the store, or maybe just based on “what looks good” or whatever is cheapest. Most of us receive no nutrition education as a child or an adult. The majority of the population has no idea that what we eat can have a profound effect on how we feel every day, or the steep potential costs of the Standard American Diet.
Created in labs, full of preservatives, coloring agents and synthetic nutrients thought to promote “better living through chemistry,” food has become science, grown with chemical fertilizers and farming techniques that deplete our soil.
We eat too little fiber, too much sugar, too few healthy fats, and far too many processed carbs. The modern diet is also heavily focused around foods devoid of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants with a net acid (rather than alkaline) load which may promote bone and muscle loss and exacerbate other health issues.
So what does a mainstream Paleo Diet include? Basically, whole, unprocessed foods, including all types of meats, fish, eggs, healthy fats, veggies, nuts and seeds, and fruit. Eating CambiatiClean can include all these food groups and also includes some grains and legumes for those who can tolerate them. For us, this is where “modified” comes in – a bit of wiggle room! If your body seems to process grains and legumes (we’ll help you figure out if maybe they don’t work) and you can control portions without too much difficulty, we say go for what works, in moderation. (Big exception around the most commonly genetically modified foods like corn, wheat and soy – go organic or avoid!)
As you might imagine, some of what is known about what people were nibbling on a million years ago is under contention and there is no definitive agreement on what constitutes a perfect “Paleolithic diet.” Healthy communities with healthy diets could be found all around the world despite very different ecologies and food staples. So, at Cambiati, when we talk paleo, we focus on the basic principles of paleolithic nutrition – low net carbs, high quality protein, healthy fats and plenty of organic vegetables and finding your own best way of eating that supports your happiest, healthiest life.
And yes, while there were no protein-powder trees around during the Paleolithic Era, alas – we’re just simply not able to hunt and gather our meals these days (where does the time go?). As Space Agers we never seem to have enough time, but fortunately, this is where top-quality supplements can help, especially when they’ve been created with the basics of Paleolithic nutrition in mind. Those basics would include low net carbs, high quality proteins and healthy fats and of course an abundance of organic veggies. We love having the option to fill in our paleo-ish diets with high quality supplements when we need to. Want a boost your own Paleo Lifestyle? Click here for some some great Paleo packages that make it easy!