Removing a few food groups to follow the Paleo approach may mean scrimping on taste. Rick Hay from Xynergy shows us otherwise.

The Paleo Diet involves eating as our ancestors did, including the consumption of meat, fish and some healthy plant proteins. It does not include any of the potentially allergenic foods that are so common in our modern-day diets such as dairy, bread, cereals, sugar, or processed and refined foods. Lentils, chickpeas and soya beans are off the menu too, along with soft drinks and alcohol.

The Paleo-style, which emphasises quality protein, can help build lean muscle and keep us feeling fuller for longer. However, eating too much red meat can be acidic, depleting calcium, overworking the

kidneys and liver, and can cause constipation. Additionally, excessive meat consumption has also been linked to the increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, so to get the best health benefits from this way of eating, meat should be organic or free range, and several servings of fibre-rich vegetables must be included every day.

There are many merits to eating as our ancestors did – the removal of processed foods and their associated allergens has countless health benefits, and the inclusion of quality protein can help with both weight management and the development of lean muscle mass.

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Thermogenic Spiced Grilled Salmon, Tuna or Turkey (Serves 1)

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This low fat, protein-based meal promotes thermogenesis – it is high in antioxidants and healthy omegas to help with mood and skin conditions.

  1. Grill 150g or less of a protein item of your choosing (salmon, tuna or turkey), and dress with olive oil and chilli or cayenne.
  2. Serve with a small side salad, which includes onions, a few olives and one cup of steamed green vegetables – dress with balsamic vinegar.

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Squash Pudding

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For many, winter brings a shift in cravings. of course, we would prefer to have our comforting foods love us back by not leaving behind any extra baggage come winter’s end. This squash pudding is a gratifying and guilt-less dessert; it may seem decadent, but don’t let your taste buds fool you. With an immune-boosting, beta- carotene and vitamin C filled punch, your cells will also be rejoicing the array of nutrients that come along with this dish.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 scoop of Sunwarrior Protein, vanilla or natural flavour
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (full-fat preferred for the benefits of medium chain triglycerides)
  • Ample spices (such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, cardamom) to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or about 20 drops of liquid stevia extract
  • Optional superfood flavourings for extra depth: 1–2 tablespoons lucuma and/or maca powder
  • Dash of Himalayan salt
  • 1–2 tsp agar agar powder or other gelling agent to set (optional; could sub ground chia or flaxseed).

1. Chop squash into cubes.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine squash and coconut milk. If one can isn’t enough to cover the squash, add spring water until just barely covered. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a slight boil.

3. Reduce heat once mixture begins to boil and cover, cooking on low heat or simmer until the squash is soft enough where a fork will pierce through easily.

4. Remove from heat, let cool slightly for several minutes, and pour the mixture into a blender.

5. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth, adjusting taste and sweetness as needed.

6. Pour into bowls or ramekins and place into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to set.

7. Dust with cinnamon, and enjoy.

Note: To add a flavour twist, add a pinch of saffron into the squash coconut milk mixture while it cooks, and 1 tsp or capful of rosewater to the blender. A wonderfully delicate and exotic Mid-Eastern sensation.

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Blueberry Acai Smoothie (Serves 2)

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  • 1 cup coconut milk/water
  • 1 1⁄2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup açai juice
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior Classic protein powder
  • 3/4 cup ice