I'm Darryl Edwards (aka The Fitness Explorer), founder of Primal Play, this website is no longer being updated - please check out www.primalplay.com for current details on my work, passion and lifestyle approach.

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Eat for Health, Move for Life!

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Reading List
  • Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    by Darryl Edwards

    Animal Moves

    • improve strength, speed and stamina
    • increase mobility, flexibility and stability
    • look, feel and perform better

    Find out more and details on how to purchase at www.animalmovesbook.com

  • Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    by Darryl Edwards

    "If you are looking for a simple way to better understand Paleo concepts, Darryl's Paleo from A to Z guide is the go-to resource.
    -Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple

  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner

    "This book is a useful reference to enable individuals just starting out on the Paleo path as well as those who want to explore more challenging, playful and interesting ways to move."

    -Robb Wolf, New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Solution

     

  • 7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    by Darryl Edwards
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    by Mark Sisson
  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp
  • Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    by Terry Wahls, Eve Adamson
  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans
  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain
  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith
  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain
  • Eat Drink Paleo
    Eat Drink Paleo
    by Irena Macri
  • Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    by Jimmy Moore, Eric C. Westman

Entries in Chocolate (3)

Tuesday
Apr302013

Nutrition: Dark Chocolate Caffeine Overdose!

 

Are you eating dark chocolate at night, a few hours before you go to bed?

Do you know there is more caffeine (100mg) in 100g (3.5oz) of dark chocolate than in a 250ml can of red bull (80mg).  Even if you only eat a few chunks of dark chocolate at night  it is still likely to affect your deep and REM sleep.  As caffeine has a half-life of between 6 to 8 hours.

For comparison purposes there is about:
  • 32mg in a can of Coca-Cola; 
  • 45mg in a diet Coke;
  • 75mg in a single espresso shot.  
Getting a cup of brewed coffee from a coffee chain such as Starbucks - will range from 180mg to 415mg of Caffeine depending on the size.

Short - 180mg Tall - 260mg Grande - 330mg Vente - 415mg
Caffeine one of the only legal performance enhancing drugs not banned by (WADA) World Anti-Doping Agency.


Monday
Jan142013

Nutrition: Eating Dark Chocolate At Night?

 

Are you eating dark chocolate at night time, just before you go to bed?

Do you know there is more caffeine (100mg) in 100g (3.5oz) of dark chocolate than in a can of red bull (82mg).  Even if you only eat a few chunks of dark chocolate at night  it is still likely to affect your deep and REM sleep.

Put it this way, would you take a few sips of Red Bull before going to bed and expect to get a good night's sleep?

 

 

Saturday
Nov272010

Nutrition: Chocolate Facts - Good or Bad?

Dark Chocolate-Green and Black's

Nutrition: Chocolate Facts - Good or Bad?

Researchers have shown that there are significant health benefits in eating chocolate.  It reduces blood pressure, lowers blood cholesterol and lessens the risk of blood clotting.[1]  This means the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes may be reduced by the consumption of chocolate, but why?  Well first a little background on chocolate:

Chocolate Facts:

Chocolate is based on the cacao tree native to South America.  Cocoa is the end result of the process of roasting, fermenting and producing a paste from the cacao seed, chocolate is then made from cocoa.[3]  The darker the chocolate, the higher the ratio of cocoa to milk.  Most commercial chocolate contains little to no cocoa, instead replacing this core ingredient with low quality saturated vegetable fat and fat reduced powdered milk or milk solids.

Macro Nutrients:

It contains saturated fat in the form of stearic and palmitic acid,  (these have been shown not to adversely affect blood cholesterol), carbohydrates (mainly starch based) and proteins.  

Vitamins and Minerals:

It contains the essential micro-nutrients potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron and the vitamins A, B1/2/3, C, D and E.

Antioxidants:

Cocoa contains polyphenols (similar to those found in green tea) which are beneficial to health in the form of flavonoids.  Flavonoid rich foods have been proven to reduce inflammation and protect against cardiovascular damage by reducing blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension .[2]

So onto the stuff that matters, what type and how much?

What type should I get?   

  • First make sure it is dark chocolate, the quantities of milk and sugar in milk chocolate will negate the health benefits of cocoa.  
  • Aim for the highest quality you can find, one of my favourites is the Green & Black's range.  They manufacture organic, free trade chocolate and have a 70% and an 85% cocoa based chocolate in their range.  100% cocoa I find too bitter.  For reference their milk chocolate contains only about 30% cocoa.  Remember some commercial brands may not contain ANY cocoa at all but will still be referred to as chocolate.

Is it a paleolithic type food?

In simple terms no, the Olmec Indians of South America were believed to be the first to crop Cacao in 1500BC.  Which is in the neolithic era.  But it offers so many health benefits, it's not a show-stopper for paleo diet followers.

How much should we eat?  

As with most things moderation is key - for some the above will be an excuse to eat as much as possible.  However the Italian study [2] recommends no more than 20g of dark chocolate 2-3 times a week i.e. a couple of small blocks of chocolate.  Its effects on serotonin levels in the brain is one reason why eating chocolate makes us happier.  That's probably why eating chocolate in moderation is so difficult.

-----

References:

[1] Karin Ried, Thomas Sullivan, Peter Fakler, Oliver R Frank and Nigel P Stocks. "Does chocolate reduce blood pressure? A meta-analysis." BMC Medicine

[2] Di Giuseppe R, di Castelnuovo A, Centritto F, et al. "Regular consumption of dark chocolate is associated with low serum concentrations of C-reactive protein in a healthy Italian population.Journal of Nutrition 2008

[3] http://orcharddelsol.com/Farm_Production/Cocoa_-_Chocolate/cocoa_-_chocolate.html