The Zone vs. Alternative Diets
There is a lot of interest in alternative diets such as paleo & keto (which used to be called the Atkins diet). The other one that many people are intrigued by is intermittent fasting, either the 5/2 diet or variations on that such as the one below that Kevin tried.
Kevin and I first started eating in the Zone about 24 years ago. The science behind eating this way, as developed by Dr. Barry Sears, made a lot of sense to us and we both ended up with very positive benefits.
Kevin lost 31kg in 6 months and his cholesterol and blood pressure, which had both been elevated, returned to normal within weeks.
I didn’t need to lose weight so much, but my lifelong asthma and other allergies disappeared within months and I have never taken medication for them again.
I have stuck pretty religiously to the Zone as I find it quick and easy to prepare meals and the benefits continue for me. At nearly 69 I do not take any medication and my blood chemistry is excellent.
Kevin has always been more creative. He designed our “Kiwi” version of the Zone, created recipes for our book using food more relevant to New Zealanders, and has always explored other options. As part of this he decided to try a version of intermittent fasting. Below is his experience:
“I did intermittent fasting for 6 months, eating before 6pm, no breakfast and first meal about 12pm to 2pm. I had my blood chemistry done last week and, to my surprise, no significant change. In fact, my glycoslated hemoglobin went up slightly from 31 to 32 when I was expecting a drop as my red blood cells were exposed to a higher blood sugar for less time. I lost a bit of weight but unfortunately lost muscle mass, noted by my wrist shrinking and having to do up my watch on a tighter hole.
Sears is adamant that fasting is not good and he is probably right. He says that we need glucose for brain function and energy and when blood glucose drops due to no carbohydrate intake we release cortisol which breaks down muscle to provide glucose, then cortisol goes on to cause other major damage. I’m now back to regular meals and I also figured that I must stop doing my high intensity running with nothing to eat before.
It really confirmed that, for me personally, what Sears is insistent on about eating as soon as possible on waking and maintaining level blood sugars through the day and even having a late snack is absolutely correct. I thought this all that time ago and believed it then because it worked so well.
I was dubious going into the fasting experiment but there is a lot of support for it and I felt I had some good hard scientific blood chemistry to compare. I am now firmly in Sears court i.e. keep blood sugars low, normal, and even with regular balanced Zone meals and snacks, and it is not of value to miss meals.
Please consider that when your blood glucose drops your body will get it from somewhere which could raise damaging cortisol levels and cause muscle loss. Unfortunately, many people are focused on weight loss and oblivious to the fact that if their weight loss is largely muscle. Not only that, they are also doing terrible damage to their body including its fat burning ability.”
If you want some more information about the Zone and how getting in the Zone could be of benefit to you, you can contact me via my Contact Form.
I have a new shipment of fish oil. The liquid fish oil is now in glass bottles but is the same excellent product. It has a slight citrus flavour and one 5ml teaspoon a day is all you need.
Keep all fish oil in the fridge once you have opened it.
Please note: Krill oil has been discontinued and I am no longer able to supply this product.
You can view and order our full range of products in our online ProZone Shop.
I have all current flavours of bars in stock, with new bars coming soon.
Watch this space for more information about these exciting new bars.
Peanut Butter Toffee Crunch has been deleted and I have limited stock left.
You can view and order our PureFit Bars in our online ProZone Shop.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Chicken tagine is a traditional chicken dish of chicken pieces braised with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons.
I have left out the olives before and used lemon zest only as I didn’t have any preserved lemons – it was still delicious and easy to put together.
Chicken thighs are meatier and tastier than drumsticks and usually have very little fat on them which is easy to trim off anyway. One thigh (depending on the size) is approximately one block of protein and fat. 8 bone-in thighs will feed 4-6 servings.
I cook everything in one large pan.
Combine the following spices and set aside:
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the spices and set aside.
Note: If you don’t have all the spices, improvise. I used smoked paprika the other night when I didn’t have any cayenne and I always use more cinnamon than it says in the recipe.
Brown a diced onion in olive oil. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic. Brown both sides of the chicken (about 4 minutes each side).
Add a small box (150 ml) Campbell’s salt reduced chicken stock.
Add the spices and the zest of one lemon.
Add 2 peeled and sliced carrots.
Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. I usually cook for about 40 minutes, turning them a couple of times along the way.
Add ½ cup pitted green olives, chopped fresh coriander, the juice of the lemon, and adjust with salt and pepper if desired.
This sounds like a lot of ingredients but it’s worth the effort for a delicious fragrant dish. It can be served with green beans and a glass of wine followed by a lovely piece of fresh fruit to make a balanced 3 block meal.
Sha is based in Palmerston North and can be contacted via:
Cellphone: 021 274 2226
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 25 077, Wellington 6140
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