Carrot Cake Paleo

Carrot cake

A naturally-sweetened cake packed with carrots, fruit and spices in a grain-free flour combination.

For Cake (makes 1 8-inch)
4 Eggs
2 Apples
1 Orange (juice & zest)
12 Dried Dates (pitted)
1/2 Cup Raisins
5 Carrots (small, grated)
5 Tbsp Olive Oil (+ more for oiling pan)
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1/4 Cup Arrowroot Flour
1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
2 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg
½ Tsp Cardamom
½ Cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
½ Cup Walnuts (chopped)
Pinch of Salt
Hazelnuts, chopped (for garnish)

For Frosting
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 Cup Coconut Butter, melted
2/3 Cup Coconut Milk (full fat)
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round springform cake pan and set aside.
Peel carrots and roughly chop. Pulse in a food processor until finely shredded, transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Zest the entire orange over the carrot shreds.

Chop the dates, add to a small bowl. Squeeze the juice of the zested orange over the dates, make sure they’re completely submerged (you may need to pack them down into the juice!) then heat in a microwave on high for 60 seconds.

Roughly chop the apples and add to the food processor along with the dates and juice mixture and the raisins. Process until very finely chopped, then add to the carrot and zest mixture along with the eggs and olive oil and mix thoroughly.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, shredded coconut and chopped walnuts and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet, combine thoroughly.

Pour into greased pan, and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Remove when the top is brown and firm to the touch. Cool completely, then release from the springform.

Put all of the frosting ingredients in a blender. Blend for 30-45 seconds, until well-incorporated. Pour into a small bowl and chill for 1 hour, minimum. Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.

Using the tip of a butter knife, carefully smear the icing over the top and sides of the cake. Top with cinnamon.



Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies

Apple cinnamon bites

Makes 12-16 cookies

1 banana
2 tbsp almond butter
1-2 tbsp almond milk (if needed)
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup shredded apple
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add a touch of honey if you prefer sweeter cookies.

Drop cookies by spoonful onto the parchment paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.



The Paleo Cinnamon Roll

Makes one, personal sized Cinna-roll. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, Paleo.

2-3 tbsp coconut flour (more or less depending on how thin your batter is after mixing)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/8 tsp (or just a drizzle) almond extract
1 egg
2 tbsp almond milk
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
chopped raisins/dates/figs (any dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center.

Add the almond extract, egg, almond milk, oil, and honey. Stir well with a fork, working out any lumps. Let rest for a couple of minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquid.

Spoon the batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread out the batter and mold into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Spread dried fruit/fruit onto the top of the shaped batter and top with another sprinkle of cinnamon.

Using the edge of the parchment paper, roll your fruit-topped shaped batter- like a cinnamon roll.

Bake your cinnamon roll for 20-25 minutes, or until the roll is golden brown.

Remove from oven and eat. Alternately, you could top with vegan frosting.



Paleo Pumpkin Swirl Banana Bread

Pumpkin banana bread

[gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, moist and delicious. makes one 9 inch loaf pan]

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup Tahini (or more almond butter)
1 cup shredded, dried, unsweetened coconut
2 medium very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients (reserve the pumpkin, cocoa powder, and honey). Mix, breaking up the banana so it is mostly incorporated into the batter (lower amounts of visible chunks). Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, cocoa powder, and honey. Pour this mixture down the center of the banana batter and use a knife or toothpick to slightly swirl it into the batter (left, right, zig-zag motions).

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, until the center is no longer gooey (soft). Let the banana bread cool before removing from the pan.



Banana Bread Fit Bites

Banana bites

makes 30 bites to refuel a hard workout

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup banana chips (unsweetened, if possible)
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I used whey)
5 dates
1/4 cup golden raisins
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add almonds and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until almost completely broken down. Add banana chips through cinnamon on the ingredient list and process again, making sure to stop and scrape sides, as needed. Continue to pulse the mixture until a batter starts to form. Add more honey or vanilla extract if “batter” isn’t quite sticking together.

Form into small balls and place in refrigerator or freezer for storage.

Serve to hungry post-exercise cyclists.


Paleo diet for athletes

Before you start cutting carbs completely out of your diet as Tim Noakes suggests read this:

© 2005 Loren Cordain, PhD and Joe Friel, MS
The Paleo Diet for Athletes was released in October, 2005 from Rodale Press. Written by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., author of The Paleo Diet, and Joe Friel, M.S., author of numerous bestselling books on training for endurance athletes, the book applies the concept of eating as our Stone Age ancestors ate to the extraordinary demands of training for serious endurance sports. Although it is now the 21 st century, athletes still have Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) bodies. There has been no significant change in the human genome in the past 10,000 years. Physiologically speaking, we are still Paleolithic athletes.

The Paleo Diet
The basic premise of Dr. Cordain’s research on paleolithic nutrition is that certain foods are optimal for humans and others are nonoptimal. The optimal foods are those that we have been eating for most of our time on Earth—more than 4 million years. Only in the last 10,000 years, a mere blink of the eye relative to our species’ existence, have we been eating nonoptimal foods. Unfortunately, these foods comprise the bulk of what western society eats today and include such foods as grains, dairy and legumes. Given that our bodies have not changed, we are simply not welladapted to these nonoptimal foods and they moderate health and peak performance.On the other hand, we have been eating optimal foods – vegetables, fruits, and lean animal protein – for hundreds of thousands of years and we are fully adapted to them. Science tells us that these foods also best meet our nutritional needs. Eat these and you will thrive. Avoid or strictly limit them and your health and performance will be compromised.
Paleo for Athletes
Serious athletes, however, when it comes to immediately before, during, and directly after workouts, need to bend the rules of the Paleo Diet a bit since we’re placing demands on the body that were not normal for our Stone Age ancestors. Hour after hour of sustained high energy output and the need for quick recovery are the serious athlete’s unique demands. This requires some latitude to use nonoptimal foods on a limited basis. The exceptions may best be described by explaining the athlete’s 5 stages of daily eating relative to exercise.

Stage I: Eating Before Exercise
In brief, we recommend that athletes eat low to moderate glycemic index carbohydrates at least two hours prior to a hard or long workout or race. There may also be some fat and protein in this meal. All foods should be low in fiber. Take in 200 to 300 calories for every hour remaining until exercise begins. If eating two hours prior is not possible, then take in 200 or so calories 10 minutes before the workout or race begins.

Stage II: Eating During Exercise
During long or hard workouts and races you will need to take in high glycemic index carbohydrates mostly in the form of fluids. Sports drinks are fine for this. Find one that you like the taste of and will drink willingly. Realize that events lasting less than about an hour (including warmup) don’t require any carbohydrate. Water will suffice for these. A starting point for deciding how much to take in is 200 to 400 calories per hour modified according to body size, experience and the nature of the exercise (longer events require more calories than short).

Stage III: Eating Immediately After
In the first 30 minutes postworkout (but only after long and/or highly intense exercise) and postrace use a recovery drink that contains both carbohydrate and protein in a 4-5:1 ratio. You can buy a commercial product such as Ultrafit Recovery™ ( for this. Or you can make your own by blending 16 ounces of fruit juice with a banana, 3 to 5 tablespoons of glucose (such as CarboPro) depending on body size, about 3 tablespoons of protein powder, especially from egg or whey sources and two pinches of salt. This 30minute window is critical for recovery. It should be your highest priority after a hard workout or race.

Stage IV: Eating for Extended Recovery
For the next few hours (as long as the preceding challenging exercise lasted) continue to focus your diet on carbohydrates, especially moderate to high glycemic load carbohydrates along with protein at a 4-5:1 carbprotein ratio. Now is the time to eat nonoptimal foods such as pasta, bread, bagels, rice, corn and other foods rich in glucose as they contribute to the necessary carbohydrate recovery process. Perhaps the perfect Stage IV foods are raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.

Stage V: Eating for LongTerm
Recovery For the remainder of your day, or until your next Stage I, return to eating a Paleo Diet by focusing on optimal foods. For more information on the Paleo Diet go to or read The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

How Much Protein, Carbs and Fat Should I Eat?
The macronutrient requirement changes with the demands of the training season and so should be periodized along with training. We recommend that athletes maintain a rather consistent protein intake year round. As a percentage of total calories this will typically be in the range of 20-25% for athletes. This is on the low end of what our Stone Age ancestors ate due to the athlete’s increased intake of carbohydrate in Stages I to IV which dilutes protein as a percentage of daily calories.

On the other hand, periodization of diet produces significant and opposing swings in the athlete’s fat and carbohydrate intake as the training seasons change. During the base (general preparation) period the diet shifts toward an increased intake of fat while carbohydrate intake decreases. At this time in the season when a purpose of training is to promote the body’s use of fat for fuel, more healthy fat is consumed—in the range of 30% of total calories—with carbohydrate intake at around 50%. During the build and peak (specific preparation) periods the intensity of training increases placing greater demands on the body for carbohydrate to fuel exercise. At this latter time of the season Stages III and IV become increasingly critical to the athlete’s recovery. Carbohydrate intake increases accordingly to around 60% of total calories with fat intake dropping to around 20%. During times of the year when training is greatly reduced (peaking/tapering and transition periods) the athlete must limit caloric intake to prevent unwanted weight gain.

Why is the Paleo Diet Beneficial?
Health and fitness are not synonymous. Unfortunately, many athletes are fit but unhealthy. Frequent illness, injury and overtraining reduce performance potential. The Paleo Diet for Athletes significantly improves health long term. Compared with the commonly accepted athlete’s diet, the Paleo Diet:

Increases intake of branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Benefits muscle development and anabolic function. Also counteracts immunosuppression common in endurance athletes following extensive exercise.

Decreases omega-6: omega-3 ratio. Reduces tissue inflammations common to athletes while promoting healing. This may include asthmatic conditions common in athletes.
Lowers body acidity. Reduces the catabolic effect of acidosis on bone and muscle while stimulating muscle protein synthesis. This is increasingly important with aging.
Is high in trace nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal health and longterm recovery from exercise. The most nutrient dense foods are vegetables and seafood. On average, vegetables have nearly twice the nutrient density of grains.

Excerpt from the Paleo Diet for Athletes
Training for endurance sports such as running, cycling, triathlon, rowing, swimming, and cross country skiing places great demands on the body, and the athlete is in some stage of recovery almost continuously during periods of heavy training. The keys to optimum recovery are sleep and diet. Even though we recommend that everyone eat a diet similar to what our Stone Age ancestors ate, we realize that nutritional concessions must be made for the athlete who is training at a high volume in the range of 10 to 35 or more hours per week of rigorous exercise. Rapid recovery is the biggest issue facing such an athlete. While it’s not impossible to recover from such training loads on a strict Paleo Diet, it is somewhat more difficult to recover quickly. By modifying the diet before, during, and immediately following challenging workouts, the Paleo Diet provides two benefits sought by all athletes: quick recovery for the next workout, and superior health for the rest of your life.

For more information on The Paleo Diet for Athletes go to…


Everyone loves baking in winter or eating freely baked muffins. But all the wheat, gluten and sugar is not really good for you. We found great recipes using coconut flour:


Have you used coconut flour for baking yet?

You can very easy substitute it instead of wheat flour.
It’s low in carbohydrate and rich in fibre plus has lots of other benefits. Naturally wheat and gluten free

I made this:

Broccoli savory muffins
It’s delicious as dinner, breakfast or lunch.
High in protein, low in carbohydrate and you get your intake of vegetables too!


1 Large head Broccoli, roughly chopped

Handful Chives, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon Psyllium Husks (can buy from Dischem or Wellness Warehouse- costs about R46/250g)

2 tablespoons Coconut Flour (can buy from Dischem or Wellness Warehouse- costs about R60/500g)

1 teaspoon Salt

2 tablespoon Full Fat Greek Yogurt (I used low-fat and it was fine)

2 Free Range Eggs


Preheat oven 180 degrees.

Pop chopped broccoli and chives in the food processor, pulse until they resemble a rice texture (mine was a little too roughly chopped, I would make it quite fine). Add to a large mixing bowl and add psyllium husks, coconut flour, salt, yogurt and eggs. Stir until the mixture is combined.

Scoop into your silicone muffin pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, it should be golden brown and firm in the middle.


I got this recipe from Tracy Markham – triathlete

Banana coconut flour muffins

Banana coconut flour muffins

Naturally wheat and gluten free
3 very ripe, mashed bananas (or cut apples in small cubes for apple muffins)
1/3 c coconut oil (melt in a pan or microwave)
6 eggs
2 tbsp honey (Or Agave syrup or half tea spoon of Stevia powder)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the mashed bananas and oil. Add the eggs, honey, and vanilla. Then add all of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes


DIY convenience food




How do you manage to eat well without cooking for hours every single day? Make one wholesome meal at the beginning of the week and make enough to feed yourself for a few days. You might argue that it is better to eat different foods every day, but if you turn to other convenience food anyway, you are already compromising. If you make the dishes yourself, at least you know that you are eating well and then you can vary the ingredients you use each week in order to get all the nutrients you need. These are recipes for easy, balanced main meals that contain lean protein, lots of vegetables and whole grains. All will keep for a few days if you want to make more than 1 portion. The idea is to do your cooking once a week and eat the same meal a few times. Depending on your needs, these might last you 3-4 days, which leaves room for the occasional meal out, or a change on some days.

1) Honey Mustard Chicken with Brown Rice & Veg

Coat 4 chicken breasts (or the equivalent in strips in equal parts honey and whole grain mustard – approximately 2 Tablespoons each.

Add the following to your cooked brown rice (1 cup cooked per serving):

Spring onion

Chopped red pepper

Chopped parsley

Chilli flakes (about ¼ tsp per serving)

1 tablespoon olive oil per serving

Salt & lemon juice to taste

Add 1/2 -1 cup cooked green veg e.g. broccoli, green beans, asparagus, mange tout, baby marrows, spinach PLUS a handful of something fresh and raw e.g. rocket, watercress or sprouts.



Hake & Spinach Pie

For 4 days:

1 kg sweet potatoes, boiled in skins, then chopped (with skins on) and mashed with:

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive, if you prefer) or ¼ cup coconut milk if you have it

salt to taste


In a bowl, combine:

1 box hake medallions, poached gently in stock and cut into cubes

2 packets spinach, washed, steamed, squeezed out and chopped

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp curry powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup of the mashed sweet potato

Put the hake and spinach mix into a baking dish, top with mashed sweet potato, 2 rounds of feta, crumbled and lots of paprika.

Bake at 180 degress for about half an hour until the top starts to look lightly browned.



Pork Fillet Stir Fry

You’ll need about 2 whole pork fillets to get you through 3-4 days.

Roast the pork fillets dry, then cut up and coat in a glaze of ½ tsp each chopped garlic and ginger, 2Tbsp soy (or tamari) and 2 Tbsp honey, just warmed and melted together in a pan on the stove.

Use 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta or wholegrain King Soba noodles per serving.

Make plenty of stir fried vegetables, seasoned with rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, tamari, chilli and sesame oil.

For some freshness, add chopped fresh mint and coriander to each serving.



Mexican Chicken & Rice Salad

Instead of all rice as the carbohydrate source, use 1 tin of kidney beans and mix with 2 cups cooked rice to make 4 servings. The kidney beans are a great, low GI source of carbohydrate and extra fibre.

Add 4 chicken breasts, coated in the following spice rub and baked at 200 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, then sliced.

Spice rub:

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp organum

½ tsp salt

chilli flakes (optional)

Combine rice, beans and chicken with fresh coriander, lots of salad ingredients of your choice, fresh lemon (or lime if you can find it), measured olive oil (2 tsp per serving), or some avocado or a combination – if you use avo, cut it fresh each day or it’ll go brown.

Breakfast Ideas:


Super Bircher Muesli

This is a standard recipe that you can alter to suit your preferences. The basic ingredients are oats and some liquid to soak them in overnight. The liquid can be milk, water, apple juice or any other fruit juice you like – fresh orange or berry juices work nicely. When I make this for myself I use fresh blueberries (in season) or dried goji berries for their antioxidant properties and chia or ground flax seeds to provide some essential omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have a more neutral flavor than flax, although they are more expensive because they are imported.

Basic mix to make the night before (can be stored for up to a week in the fridge)

40g (about half a cup) rolled oats per serving (3 cups for a large bowl)

2/3 cup liquid per serving – I usually use half milk and half apple juice, or all milk, in which case I’d add some honey or stevia for sweetness (for a large bowl try 1 cup apple juice and top up with milk to cover, otherwise it can get too sweet). You might have to adjust the consistency by adding more liquid in the morning, but rather go too dry than too wet the night before.

1 tablespoon dried fruit per serving – always use some raisins or unsulphured chopped apricots for sweetness, then if there are no seasonal berries add dried goji berries to soak overnight (use about ½ cup dried fruit for a large bowl)

If you choose to add chia or ground flax seeds they can be added to this basic mix to soak (use about 3 heaped tablespoons for a large bowl or 1 tbsp per serving for smaller portions). Keep other nuts and seeds to add just before serving.
In the morning:

1) Check consistency and stir in some more milk if necessary – it should be like thick porridge – not runny, but not crumbly or stiff either.

2) Add grated apple (about ½ apple per serving or 2 for a large bowl) – you can also add berries or other fruit (1 cup for a large bowl).

3) Optional extras: Cinnamon, honey or other flavours e.g. vanilla extract if you like.

4) Add a spoon of plain yoghurt to each serving or as a layer on top of a large bowl.

5) Garnish with toasted seeds or chopped nuts – I prefer to add these just before eating, so they stay crunchy.

This recipe can be made with soy, almond or rice milk for those who are lactose intolerant or prefer to avoid dairy, in which case leave out the yoghurt as well.



American Buckwheat Pancakes


2 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons sugar or honey

2 tablespoons oil or melted butter

1 cup milk

1 cup whole meal flour

¼ cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt


  1. Whisk all wet ingredients together (not including oil/butter).
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks in another bowl.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry in 2 parts to avoid lumps.
  5. Fold in egg whites.
  6. Use oil or butter to grease a pan.
  7. Ladle batter into hot pan and while the first side cooks you can add slices of banana or fresh blueberries to the top side of the pancake.
  8. When you see bubbles, flip over with a spatula and cook the other side.
  9. Serve with maple syrup.

You can make smaller flapjacks with this mixture as well.



Whole Wheat Scones

Makes 12


4 cups stone ground whole meal or brown bread flour

1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

100g butter, chopped into pea-sized pieces

1 tablespoon sugar or honey

2 eggs (beat with a tablespoon of milk and save some back for brushing tops of scones)

Milk – start with 1 cup and then add slowly until the scone dough comes together


1) Mix dry ingredients

2) Rub in butter with finger tips – keep it flaky, rather than working it to small crumbs

3) Add beaten egg (remember to keep some back for brushing on top)

4) Add milk until the mixture comes together into a soft dough

5) Turn out onto a floured surface, separate into 2 balls and bring each one together gently by shaping, flattening and folding over 4 or 5 times – do not knead the dough, just fold and flatten.

6) Cut each round piece of dough into triangles*, brush with remaining egg and bake at 180 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

*You can keep dough together and flatten to about 1 ½ inches then use a floured cookie cutter to make round or heart-shaped scones if you prefer.



Maple Granola

Serves 12 (1/4 cup each)


2 cups rolled oats

¼ cup wheat germ

¼ cup flaked almonds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup dried coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

200-250ml apple juice (I use a small juice box and add water if it needs it)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 T Maple syrup (I use honey or agave if I don’t have maple syrup)

½ cup dried fruit e.g. raisins, goji berries, cranberries etc


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (except the dried fruit).
  3. Add apple juice, vanilla and syrup (or honey) and water if it looks too dry still – there should be some small “clumps” forming, which you want in granola, but they are delicate when the mix is still raw, so try not to break them – work carefully to protect these clumps when you spread and turn the mix on the baking tray during cooking.
  4. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, checking regularly and turning about 3 times during the cooking process. Be careful about leaving “gaps” because the exposed parts go brown first. Try to move the part on the edges into the middle and vice versa.
  5. Add the dried fruit after baking, otherwise it gets hard.



French 3 Bean Salad


500g green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 3 pieces

1 tin kidney beans

1 tin other beans e.g. haricot, butter, or 1 cup cooked broad beans (from the garden – they should boil in about 8 minutes when they are fresh)

Juice of ½ lemon

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 whole spring onion, finely sliced – green and white parts

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the beans in salted boiling water until just tender. Refresh in iced water to preserve colour.
  2. Drain the canned beans and rinse away the starchy water. Allow them to dry off in a colander.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss with all the beans and the spring onion.
  4. Season to taste.

A simple guide to an alkaline-forming diet:

What does it mean to say that a food is alkaline-forming?

When foods are digested they are broken down, absorbed, pass through various metabolic processes and then enter the blood – either in a more acidic or more alkaline form, depending on the food. The measured acidity of the food before it is digested is not necessarily an indication of how it will affect your blood pH. For example, lemon and apple cider vinegar are very acidic, but when they are digested they are alkaline-forming in the body.

What is the theory?

Our body strives to maintain a pH of about 7.35 and it is very efficient in doing so, no matter what we eat. However, if the body is constantly struggling to reduce an acidic environment it becomes prone to illness for the following reasons:

  • Acidity is a stressor to the body. Long-term, low level stress leads to fatigue, weight gain and reduced immunity.

  • Constant need to buffer an acidic environment causes the body to draw minerals from the body e.g. calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. This might lead to reduced bone mass and risk of kidney stones.

  • An acidic environment leads to increased free-radical formation at the cellular level.

Why do we need to eat more alkaline-forming foods?

It is almost impossible to avoid eating some acid-forming foods, but you can help your body by balancing your intake of acid-forming foods with some alkaline-forming foods, so that you are not resorting to other ways of correcting the imbalance. There is no extensive research detailing the exact quantities of these foods we should eat, but there are guides to help us choose more alkaline-forming foods. In general, basic common sense and good nutrition advice leads to consumption of moderate amounts of acid-forming foods (e.g. meat) with an abundance of alkaline-forming foods (e.g. vegetables). Try to make 75% of your diet more alkaline-forming.

Why do athletes specifically need alkaline-forming foods?

In very simple terms, lots of physical exertion is a stressor to your body, which is often the reason why your immune system can struggle when your training increases. Stress is acid-forming. If you are an athlete, and you are constantly putting your body under stress, you need a lot of good nutrition to restore balance and to enable optimum recovery and regeneration, as well as sustained good health.

Why is nutrition so important for athletes?

by Kelly Schreuder


Nutrition will never replace the good training regime, basic skills and mental strength necessary for athletic performance, but it is critical to fuel your body sufficiently in preparation for and during a physically demanding event.

Nutrition in the first few hours after intensive training or an event is key to replenishing your muscle glycogen stores and rebuilding your body so that you can bounce back quickly.

Many athletes focus so much on short-term performance that they neglect their long-term wellness.

How can a dietician help?

A dietician has expertise in the design of eating plans that suit the varying lifestyle and performance goals of an individual. Using a combination of evidence-based nutrition science and a holistic approach to the physical, social, performance and lifestyle goals of an individual, a dietician can show you how to get the most from your diet on every level.

About Kelly

Kelly Schreuder is a registered dietician who runs her practice at the Velocity Sports Lab in Hout Bay. Kelly graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2007 and later moved to Vancouver where she completed professional culinary training to complement her dietetics. Kelly went on to work with Andrea Potter – a holistic nutritionist and chef – specialising in whole foods and vegan nutrition. Although she is not vegan, the experience broadened her perspective and shaped the way Kelly approaches food every day. Kelly returned to South Africa in 2011 and now works as a dietician and a chef in Cape Town, combining her love for creating delicious meals with a deep understanding of how to use food to enhance health and get the most from your body.


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