The rise of lifestyle diets

In the wake of the lockdowns, it seems we have put the bread-baking reels and overeating behind us and have segued to something better – healthy eating. We look at some of the lifestyle diet trends and where you can try them on the peninsula.

Lifestyle diets are on the rise, and whilst some are adopted to shed the extra covid-kilos, many are choosing a more mindful approach to the food they eat. Whatever the reason, the supermarkets have pivoted, and restaurants and cafes are getting onboard too.

VEGAN
Whether you are ethically concerned about animal welfare or simply want to eat healthier, there is no doubt the vegan movement is booming. This plant-based lifestyle diet has come a long way since the stiff vegan supermarket patties you could bounce off a wall.

Vegan Australia report an estimated half a million Australians (2% of our population) have adopted a vegan diet, and the Woolworths website has nearly quadrupled their vegan range over the last 3 years. 2022 could be hailed the ‘Year of the Vegan’ with Sydney getting its first hatted all-vegan restaurant, Paperbark.

Need a reason to vegan?
From a health perspective, a vegan diet is said to eliminate toxins, balance your hormones and reduce your overall cholesterol. Science suggests this diet can also help with weight loss and boosting your mood. The health benefits are said to be immediate and ongoing, by reducing the stress on your body in processing animal products.

Where to eat it on the peninsula
You won’t have to look too hard to find vegan dishes on peninsula menus with most cafes and restaurants offering something suitable. Try the Thai spring rolls or apple berry crumble at the Harvest Vegetarian Restaurant in Rozelle or the brown rice salad with broccoli, sweet potato and Japanese dressing from Bertoni in Balmain.

FOOD
In the wake of the lockdowns, it seems we have put the bread-baking reels and overeating behind us and have segued to something better – healthy eating. We look at some of the lifestyle diet trends and where you can try them on the peninsula.

KETO
After battling to shed the baby weight through intermittent exercise and spot diets, a friend of mine adopted the keto diet and has since lost and maintained a 12kg drop. The ketogenic diet is made up of foods which are high fat, moderate protein, and low carb, with intermittent fasting to activate ketosis. It’s based on the premise that once your body moves into the state of ketosis, your body burns fat (instead of sugar) as its main source of fuel. Think fish and seafood, low-carb veggies, avocados, eggs, poultry, nuts, seeds and cheese – glorious cheese. Foods to avoid include grains, sugar, sweets, honey, and starchy foods.

RO meatNeed a reason to keto?

A ketogenic diet is known as an effective way to maintain weight loss although experts say it’s not a diet you should stay on forever. While it’s said to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, it’s also high in saturated fats.

Where to eat it on the peninsula
One of the staples of a ketogenic diet is egg, so most cafes in the area can serve up a keto meal for breakfast. Add some hollandaise sauce or smashed avo, and you’re all keto-ed up. For dinner you could pair a grass-fed flat iron steak with some steamed greens from The Royal Oak in Balmain.

PALEO
Whilst former MKR judge Pete Evans may have notoriously put paleo eating on the culinary map, it’s a lifestyle diet that has its roots in the stone age. A Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet as it’s known, is rich in meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and excludes anything processed.

Paleo diets focus on local sustainable non-GMO whole foods. These diets are high in fibre, potassium and antioxidants whilst being low in carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar. What makes it different to other lifestyle diets is that it excludes legumes, whole grains, and dairy, which are all considered good sources of essential vitamins and nutrients.

Need a reason to Paleo?
The caveman diet is said to improve blood sugar levels and your lipids, but it can put you at risk for deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D. A paleo lifestyle diet may also help you lose or maintain weight however, there are no clinical studies about the long-term benefits or potential risks.

Where you can eat it on the peninsula
Whilst it may not be itemised on menus just yet, you can easily find a paleo-friendly dish in many local places. Try the duck with a side of salad and vegetables from French rotisserie Le Coq in Rozelle or a juicy tomahawk with rocket, roasted capsicum, tomatoes, and haloumi from La Griglia by Gladstone Park.

kristen kaethler tkJvEhvLjd8 unsplashTHE RAW INGREDIENTS
For those who prefer cooking at home, the ingredients for any of these lifestyle diets are widely available in local supermarkets and specialty stores. Bulk food specialists like The Source on Darling Street, are home to several hundred products where you can self-scoop as little or as much as you need. They stock a good range of paleo and keto muesli as well as superfoods, 100% peanut butter and several flour and wheat alternatives. Newcomer Health & Home Balmain also has a great selection of gluten free, vegan and wholefoods.

This article was written for information purposes only, and those considering dietary eating plans should first seek medical advice.

By Mina Iacono

BNSW 2021 Awards Reg Winner State Finalist White

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