Table talk: Pete Evans

The Australian chef joins us to share his top tips for following the paleo diet…

Pete Evans author photo_credit Steve Brown


AWARD-WINNING CHEF, cook book author, and health coach Pete Evans has become one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking and is a big advocate of the paleo diet. Rather than thinking of it as a restricted way of eating, he aspires to teach people that the paleo diet is about introducing so much good food into your cooking that you no longer desire processed, sugary treats…

Store cupboard essentials

There are a few items that are always good to have on hand when following the paleo diet. You’ll always need good-quality fats like olive and coconut oil, plus cider apple vinegar. Some organic nuts and seeds are useful too.

Simple changes

Starting the paleo diet doesn’t mean big changes. At its simplest, a Sunday roast is the perfect paleo meal – good-quality roast meat with plenty of vegetables. Or try a piece of fi sh with salad. Start the day with an egg and some greens. It’s all about eliminating foods that cause infl ammation and are diffi cult to digest, for example grains.

Grass roots

Always do your research when you are shopping, and look for animals that have been raised on a natural diet of grass. Your optimal health directly correlates with the health of the animal we eat. For example, if the cow you are eating has been raised on a corn-fed diet, some of that will be consumed by you, even though you’ve given up grains. Organic is where it should be.

Nose to tail

The paleo diet is actually a really affordable one. You can use cheaper cuts of meat and prepare them in a slow cooker – these are the cuts that usually have the most nutrients anyway. Make use of any bones you have in broths and stocks so you can extract nutrients from the bones. I recommend trying to include bone marrow in your cooking at least once a week because it helps you really have fun with fl avour. Offal is brilliant too, and makes the diet so much more sustainable.

Cauliflower Fried Rice_Paleo Every Day

Dining out the paleo way

A lot of restaurant chefs are now cooking paleo food, whether they realise it or not. Everyone wants to eat organic these days. Chefs have realised that grains, pasta etc don’t actually add any fl avour to a dish, but in the past we have consumed more of them than anything else. Chefs now want their fl avours to shine, so are keeping things more simple and gradually omitting grains and pasta from dishes. It’s a real shift in philosophy.

Never look back

I started the paleo diet three and a half years ago when my partner was reading a book about it helping you to achieve optimal health and solving digestive problems. Now I don’t miss any of the foods I had to give up. The benefi ts far outweigh any addictions I had. I feel so good now. After you’ve done it for a month, you won’t be able to think about eating processed foods, grains, or sugar again!

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