One of the best parts of my job is to find good quality Paleo products and over the last few months I have been spending some time interviewing some of my favourite brands to bring you an insight into their products.
Today is an interview with Dr Kim Lloyd who is the founder and CEO of Ugg Foods Ltd. If you have not come across Ugg foods before they are a UK company that make Paleo friendly bread and muffin mixes which you can use in a variety of different ways to produce some delicious Paleo treats. My personal favourite is the chia seed muffins!
We all lead busy lives and are not always able to find the time to make everything from scratch (even when following Paleo!) so it is great to have good quality options appearing in the UK market. You will also be amazed at the recipes that Ugg Foods have created using their products, make sure you take a look at their website for the full range.
Today we chat to Kim about her background, how it all got started, her personal experiences with Paleo and what Ugg foods have planned for the next 12 months.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I qualified as a dental surgeon in 1988 and worked for 16 years as a family dentist. I had a keen interest in cosmetic dentistry which led me into the newly emerging field of aesthetic medicine.
How did you first get started on the Paleo diet?
About 7 years ago I attended an anti-aging general medical conference where nutritional anthropologist Geoff Bond was the key note speaker. At that time I had never heard of the Paleo diet and I thought that I was a healthy eater. In fact I was a healthy eater according to mainstream medical thinking at that time.
Typically I would eat:
Porridge or wholemeal toast and peanut butter for breakfast.
A whole grain cheese or tuna salad sandwich for lunch.
Baked potato, vegetables, and meat, fish or cheese for dinner.
Plus some fruit and whole grain snacks.
Tea and coffee with milk.
I was stunned by Geoff’s message. I had never heard anyone before suggest that whole grains and dairy were not only unhealthy but harmful and best avoided. Strangely compelled by the reasoning behind the Paleo diet, Geoff’s theories seemed to make a lot of sense. I just wasn’t sure at the time that it was possible to eat enough when such staple foods where excluded. So began my great Paleo adventure.
How was your transition to the Paleo lifestyle?
To get started I bought Geoff’s book along with his wife’s cookbook (Nicole Bond) and subscribed to the Bond briefing. I decided I would eat his way for a month to see whether it was even possible. I was aiming to try and eat as much as possible so I didn’t go hungry and be tempted to cheat. My aim was not to lose weight; I just wanted to see if I could function normally within the parameters of the eating regime.
I would say during the first week of ‘going Paleo’ I had times when I felt ’10 degrees under’ and low on energy. I realise now I had got used to the starchy energy hits, even though I didn’t eat added sugar, and my metabolism was getting used to the new regime.
It was very quickly evident that I was eating a lot more vegetables than ever before. When you stop eating bread, pasta and potato you automatically fill your plate up with greater amounts of vegetables. I certainly knew that more vegetables were undisputedly a good thing.
I was also eating large amounts of what I had previously thought of as fattening foods, avocado, nuts, olive oil, yet not gaining any weight.
I still had a few hungry days when I was away from home and there was nothing I could eat. I remember being away at a conference with colleagues and all I could order at the Italian restaurant was a large green salad. I looked like the fussiest eater in the world!
How did you cope with any cravings?
I made large quantities of Nicole’s Christmas cake recipe and kept it thickly sliced in the freezer ready for any ‘snack attack’ moments or ‘carb like’ carvings. When a craving sprung up the Christmas cake was easy to grab from the freezer and toast, often I spread it with olive oil based spread and diabetic jam.
What changes did you notice in yourself?
I saw a dramatic change in my skin almost immediately. My previously acne prone skin was completely clear and remained clear. Although my acne was reasonably controlled it was quite unusual for me to have no spots at all for a whole month! After 1 month I didn’t dare break the diet as I wanted to see if the improvement in my skin was a coincidence or a sustainable and significant effect. I decided to stick with it for a full 3 months and see what happened.
After 3 months with clear skin there was no doubt in my mind that the diet was having a significant effect. I was eating masses of healthy food and not gaining weight, full up on a regular basis but not fat. I had plenty of energy and was in fact finding the taste of milk in my tea now made me feel sick.
I started emailing Geoff with my findings and that was the start of an amazing nutritional education (that was totally contrary to current, mainstream medical opinion at that time) and an enduring professional friendship.
How did Ugg Foods get started?
As a ‘big eater’ I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist cakes, bread, muffins and desserts for the rest of my life so I set about formulating these treats using Paleo conforming ingredients.
I devoured every Paleo cook book written at the time and many cook books and recipes from the raw vegan world. Raw vegan food is often grain free and of course free from dairy and low on added sugar so lend themselves well to Paleo cooking and baking.
I discovered a whole new world of unusual ingredients that could be used in cooking. Unfortunately many of the recipes did not taste great and I certainly worked my way through some horrible tasting recipes that my family will remember.
As more and more healthy breads, cakes, muffins and desserts emerged from the kitchen my sons became more and more suspicious of healthy baking…I was just trying to give them healthy snacks! I knew that if Paleo was ever to become mainstream then the cooking had to develop and taste good. The ultimate standard being ‘ Yes, that’s good Mum and it tastes like a proper muffin.’
Eventually the cooking got better and when my friend Emma suggested putting the difficult to find ingredients in a pack, I came up with the idea for Ugg foods. I wanted to make this truly healthy way of cooking easy and predictably delicious and make life a little bit easier for those following a Paleo diet or who suffer from allergies.
When did you launch and what products do you have?
Ugg foods launched in 2013 with our first three products; fruit and seed loaf, chocolate muffins and chia seed and nut bread. We have now added additional products and offer a coconut muffin and chia seed muffin which you can add your own flavourings to (lemon is popular but my favourite additions are coffee and walnut).
As well as selling our bread and muffin mixes we also have a bakery, cafe and shop located in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire. In the bakery we sell our own homemade Paleo-bites (delicious ready made Paleo snack balls which are also available online) along with ready made bread and muffins.
What are your plans for Ugg foods over the next 12 months?
We have lots of plans, always!
We have been developing some new products. The first is a bread recipe which is based around ground pumpkin seeds, so no grains, no nuts and amazingly for Paleo NO EGGS. It is my favourite new recipe and our Ugg partner Pam developed this one. I am hoping to get this on the website and to some retailers shortly. It is a great option for people who have egg allergies or are Paleo vegan.
We have also been developing a protein-snack using powdered egg white for our gym lovers. The flavour is salted pecan caramel, heavily taste tested and loved by all. So look out for these exciting products coming to our range soon.
Where can we find Ugg food products?
You can find Ugg products at independent health food shops all over the country. We also have out full range stocked in Planet Organic and Wholefoods. All of our products are available on our website and we also have additional online retailers including Holland and Barrett. So there are many ways you can get your Ugg products!
We are also now exporting to over 7 different countries within Europe.
Paleo is growing in popularity…
In 2015 there are very many people avoiding grains, dairy and sugar. Whether this is called Paleo, clean eating or something else, it is now quite acceptable to avoid these foods.
In the dental world, pioneering work has shown a link between gum health and micronutrient intake. Leading dermatologists indicate there may be at least 30 percent of acne sufferers who can be helped by changing to Paleo style eating.
It is well published that the skin ages due mainly to inflammation, oxidation and glycation. Now the Paleo diet is recommended by leading anti-ageing dermatologists as Paleo eating is of course anti-inflammatory, high in anti-oxidants and low glycemic.
Hopefully soon we will see a revised nutritional standard of care in our hospitals and schools. I look forward to Paleo conforming foods being more widely available and seen as the gold standard for optimal health.
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