Professor Tim Noakes is a South African Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town. As qualified as it’s possible to be from a scientific point of view, he has also participated in over 70 marathons and authored Lore of Running, Challenging Beliefs and Waterlogged. Since moving into the sphere of dietary nutrition, Professor Noakes
…has dedicated his life to opening people’s eyes to the myth of low-fat eating and the nutritional and environmental crisis it has now left us in.
Real Meal Revolution
Real Meal Revolution is a collaborative effort between Noakes, nutritionist Sally-Ann Creed and chef Jonno Proundfoot and provides:
- a good, accessible introduction to LCHF dietary nutrition and lifestyle (or “Banting” as RMR refers to it)
- a breakdown of foods into Red, Orange, Green groups
- over 90 real food recipes
- an in-depth scientific justification for LCHF, from Professor Noakes, in particular relating the “energy imbalance” to the “hormonal” models of obesity.
If you want to know how it all began, the get the nitty-gritty element of the science and a whole bunch of beautifully presented, colour-photographed recipes constituted entirely of healthy foods, this is your book.
Real Meal Revolution 2.0 — “the Upgrade”
RMR2 is a follow-up book, authored by Proudfoot, that using the latest nutritional science and behavioural research using
data from 120,000 online users gathered over three years (to provide) a cutting-edge, four-phase approach to eating.
Whilst I haven’t tested this four-phase approach, based on my experiences, research and discussions with others, I strongly suspect this is probably the most appropriate way to enter into a LCHF nutritional lifestyle.
To explain why this is the case: RMR2 helpfully identifies the four principal, interrelated mechanisms of poor diet and lifestyle that essentially fuel the development of different aspects of disease (dis-ease, being ill-at-ease):
- insulin resistance — identified as the single most important condition to treat; directly linked to: obesity, diabetes
- poor gut health — we are now recovering the knowledge that Hippocrates stated so succinctly in 4000BC: “All disease begins in the gut.” The restoration of healthy gut flora (bacteria in the gut) is now the cutting edge of scientific and nutritional understanding of disease;
- gluten sensitivity — directly linked to leaky gut syndrome: when the gut lining fails to keep out inappropriate molecules from entering the bloodstream.
- chronic inflammation — inflammation is the response of our immune system to threats. When this becomes chronic (long term; recurrent; semi-permanent; permanent), it leads to the development of a wide range of diseases.
Depending on which conditions are effecting us individually, will effect how we respond to dietary changes. Too much, too quick and the body can do unexpected things. Sarah and I have noticed how the body sometimes reacts to the opportunity to begin healing itself by apparently taking a backward step. Our observation is that underlying conditions can emerge more strongly. A cautious, phased approach during which we “listen” to our bodies closely, connecting bodily changes with changes in diet and nutrition is essential.
RMR2 provides a cleverly designed full-colour fly-out tabulation of foods appropriate to each of the four recommended phases of observation, restoration, transformation and preservation. The foods are expertly colour-coded into five groups:
- green — eat according to hunger (no limit)
- orange — exercise self-control
- light red — hardly ever
- really red — never ever
- grey — it’s a grey area.
This is likely to be really helpful to people who are determined to adapt to LCHF and to reap its rewards. For those people who have followed this mini-series, discussing resources that I’ve personally found useful in developing a LCHF lifestyle, it is possible to identify a progression:
- from the easy on-ramp of the “primal blueprint” from Mark Sisson,
- through the exhaustive nutritional approach of Sally Fallon and
- the exhaustive scientific approaches of Dr Mercola,
- to RMR/2 which brings all three approaches together in a way that seems to be highly accessible and yet informationally comprehensive.
I give Real Meal Revolution 2.0 five stars out of five.
My only caveat relates to people who find difficulty in or simply dislike accessing knowledge via books, preferring word of mouth, internet or video. In which case try these options:
- The Noakes Foundation, now has a Facebook page for “the Banting 7 Day Meal Plan group on Facebook which is our recommended platform and referral point for all newbies to the lifestyle”
- My final recommended resource: a highly-accessible website, with great video resources. Coming next…
Next on my list of recommended food resources: