Here on the beautiful Australian coast it is starting to warm up, and greens are springing up everywhere. It is this time of the year when you feel like eating lighter, energizing foods, and cleaning out your system to be ready to go out and enjoy the great weather.
There are many different points of view about what to eat for good health. The Paleo lifestyle has become a worldwide phenomenon, with many passionate followers who say they feel so much better, and more energized, when eating the Paleo way. I wonder if one of the reasons why so many people feel better when avoiding grains and legumes is that these can be quite hard to digest. For example, the outer layer of wholegrains need to be first broken down to access the starch on the inside. The starch then goes through multiple steps to be broken down by enzymes and absorbed in our small intestine. Legumes are generally high in FODMAPS which are commonly malabsorbed in the gut, causing significant gas production and bloating. Legumes and wholegrains also often contain enzyme inhibitors and other substances that reduce nutrient absorption such as phytic acid. Stress can cause significantly reduced digestive function, and if this is the case and grains and legumes are not digested properly, they will cause bloating and gas, and their nutrients will not be properly absorbed, resulting in fatigue.
Following the Paleo diet also means avoiding refined sugars and processed food. Whilst refined carbohydrate foods such as white breads and sugars can be more easily absorbed, they also lack the vitamins and minerals that wholegrains, fruit and vegetables contain. However, people with impaired digestive function will likely not absorb the nutrients from wholegrains properly. The nutrients from fruit and vegetables may be more easily absorbed, depending on the preparation and cooking method, and type. Whilst wholegrains are recommended as significant sources of the B vitamins, there are many other sources of these including eggs, meat, leafy greens, and nuts, which are all included in the Paleo diet.
Whether a person obtains adequate nutrients on a Paleo diet would depend on what food choices they make, and how well their digestive tract is functioning. It may be worthwhile to have a professional assessment of this if you are planning on following the diet in the long term.
Meanwhile, this light omelette recipe is sure to give you energy and bounce to get out in the sunshine, and is not likely to cause bloating as some other heavier grain based breakfasts may do. Enjoy!
Recipe – Spring Omelette with Greens
2-3 Organic free range eggs
1-2 tsp organic ghee or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots, green parts only
3 large leaves of perpetual spinach or chard or silverbeet, stalks removed and torn into bite size pieces, or 1 cup English spinach leaves or sweet potato leaves, washed
Handful of fresh rocket for garnish
- Heat a small fry pan to a medium heat, such as the Neoflam 8 inch, and melt the ghee or coconut oil.
- Add the chopped shallots, and cook for a few minutes on low heat until soft.
- Add in the greens, and cook for a further couple of minutes until soft, moving the greens around with a wooden spoon.
- While the shallots and greens are cooking, whisk the eggs in a small bowl.
- Once the shallots and greens are cooked, turn up the heat to medium and pour in the beaten eggs. Keep tilting the pan until the eggs are evenly spread across it and the eggs are cooked through.
- Gently slide out onto plate using a wooden spatula.
- Garnish with the rocket, salt and pepper and enjoy with your favourite hot morning beverage – try green tea or a beautiful organic decaffeinated coffee….(I like the decaffeinated Bun Coffee or Noego Coffee)!
- sprinkle with nutritional yeast flakes (to add some B vitamins!) and squeeze over some fresh lemon juice
- add in some chopped organic ham or bacon when cooking the shallots for added flavour and protein
- add in some finely sliced fennel or grated celeriac when cooking the shallots for added fibre and flavour