Welcome to part two of our two-part interview with Elaine Vinall of Bio Balanced Nutrition. Check out part one – Elaine Vinall, Bio Balanced Nutrition, Part One: Restoring Gut Health and Ditching Vegetarianism.
Elaine is a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She has a passion for good food, healthy living, and helping others discover their ideal diet based on scientific evidence, and clinical experience. Her nutrition practice is based in Sutton Coldfield in the UK where she offers one to one nutrition consultations and provides individualised nutrition programmes. She also offers telephone and Skype consultations. For more information visit Bio Balanced Nutrition.
Talk us through a typical day of food for you.
When people think about a paleo diet they usually envision large slabs of meat being consumed with very little vegetables, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no way our ancestors ate large quantities of meat, they ate what they could catch, then that was shared with their tribe. A paleo diet done right should consist of mostly plants. I eat tonnes of vegetables with every meal. Fibrous vegetables are important for feeding our beneficial gut bacteria, and keeping them healthy so that they can colonise. Our gut bacteria produce anti-inflammatory compounds and vitamins which help to protect the lining of the intestines, thereby preventing pathogens from entering the body, they also help us to effectively breakdown and absorb more nutrients from our food. I consume plenty of probiotic rich fermented vegetables on a daily basis, this includes homemade sauerkraut and pickles, this was particularly important after my antibiotic treatment, fermented foods together with a good multi-strain probiotic was key to healing my gut.
Breakfast usually consists of a vegetable smoothie. I don’t always have a lot of time in the morning so this is a quick and easy way of getting in a lot of phytonutrients and fibre into my diet. I usually have this with a side of either chicken or bacon. If I have more time I may stir fry some vegetables in coconut oil and add whatever meat I have in the fridge. As it’s summer right now I’m eating lots of salads at lunchtime, I try to make it as colourful as possible to get in a good variety of antioxidants and other plant-based nutrients. My protein source may be wild salmon, sardines or chicken/turkey. My evening meal varies, I like to eat cooked cruciferous vegetables on a daily basis – kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts (great for liver detoxification). I try to eat seasonally whenever I can, however I do like to eat some root veggies, squash turnips, beet roots, carrots etc. My protein source for dinner depends on what I’ve eaten during the day. I don’t usually have the same meat twice in one day. I use a slow cooker quite a lot for cooking joints of meat, it’s so easy to just throw the meat and veggies in before I leave the house in the morning and have a cooked meal waiting for me for when I return, plus everything tastes so much nicer when it’s slow cooked.
What is your exercise routine?
I’m not a huge fan of the gym, running/jogging or any other traditional forms of exercise. Exercise is important, but I believe it’s also important to enjoy the process. It shouldn’t be painful and you shouldn’t have to force yourself to do it. I do some form of exercise that I enjoy every day. I practise yoga most days, I enjoy dancing and I love being outdoors and walking in nature. I always try to seize every opportunity to get some form of exercise during my working day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking the long way to work.
Who else do you recommend our readers seek out in the paleo world?
There are so many amazing people putting out great information in the paleo world, it’s difficult to choose just one, but if I had to choose I’d say Chris Kresser. His site is a great resource for information. He has some excellent podcasts and articles. I like his work because he teaches and practises from a functional medicine perspective. He recognises there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to health and that in order to heal we have to address the root cause of the disease and not just treat the symptoms. You do need to be cautious of where you source health information on the internet. The amount of conflicting information in the natural health world and even the paleo world can be quite overwhelming at times. For anyone currently experiencing health challenges I’d recommend they seek out professional advice from a natural health care practitioner rather than try to deal with their health issues on their own or by looking online for answers. Both Functional Medicine Practitioners and Nutritional Therapists are trained to identify the root cause of disease and can therefore work out a nutrition protocol suited to individual needs.
Recommend a book.
Again, it’s difficult to pick only one. But for anyone who just wants to learn some of the basics of health, and the reasons why humans started to degenerate, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price is a great place to start. Dr Price’s research showed human degeneration is so much more complex than just the introduction of grains and refined sugar. His research showed that when people moved away from traditional diets they became deficient in many nutrients, his focus was on fat soluble vitamins specifically vitamins A, D, E and K. His research showed that deficiencies in these nutrients are the main reason for the increased prevalence of bone deformities such as shrunken skulls, overcrowded teeth, and cavities. The book also explains why more and more women were (and still are) experiencing extreme pain and complications during child birth. This is not natural! It is the narrowing of the hips and birth canal due to our modern nutrient deficient diets that have caused these problems. This book was written during the 1930s, of course there are many factors in today’s world that are affecting our health from agro chemicals in the food supply to environmental pollution, however this book is a great place to start to get some insight as to where we started to go wrong and what we can do to try to get back on track.
Where can our readers connect with you?
You can learn more about me and what I do at Bio Balanced Nutrition.