Fancy a cuppa? – a cuppa broth that is. With gluten free “this” and dairy free “that”, the Paleo label is definitely a trendy menu choice in urban cafes and eateries – but the real question is, will everyone grow old of green smoothies and bun-less burgers?

Interested in making healthy lifestyle choices myself, but yet to have subscribed to the Paleo ‘tribe’, I was intrigued to find out the nitty gritty details behind the cave man lifestyle and the supposed health benefits that it has to offer. Eager to get to the heart of the matter (pardon the pun), I had the pleasure of chatting with former CEO of sass & bide, Managing Director of Urban Outfitters Inc, and CEO of Thom Browne New York – Josh Sparks, now founder and CEO of the Palaeolithic inspired eatery chain Thr1ve.

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Growing up in Brisbane, Josh discovered the importance of sports nutrition for performance as a budding athlete throughout his high-school and university years. Moving into the next phase of his life, over the following 20 years with a career focused on building fashion brands in the USA, his passion for nutrition and training to support a high performance lifestyle continued to evolve. Wanting to learn more about the ‘why’ as opposed to the ‘how to’, he began travelling far and wide to consult the various health ‘experts’ in the field, alongside his own research into the underlying principles for reaching optimal health. “That is what has fascinated me, setting aside the arbitrary and usually superficial distinctions of various diet ‘brands’, digging into the research regarding what actually worked for most subjects in terms of optimising health and transforming body composition, and connecting the dots,” Josh enthuses.

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Taking what would seem a drastic turnaround, Josh decided to take his extensive background knowledge in business and combine it with his lifelong passion for health and fitness by establishing his own Paleo inspired casual dining restaurant chain with stores dispersed across major metropolitan regions throughout Australia.

I jumped straight into asking Josh the question on everyone’s lips, firstly what’s the principals behind the Paleo diet and how can this type of lifestyle be maintained long-term for those who have time and budgetary constraints. Josh was too keen to answer, “As you break the carb dominated fuel system, and the body fires up long dormant fat burning energy systems through low carb or cyclic low carb eating, you aren’t getting the big blood sugar ups and downs of the typical high sugar diet and you are able to effortlessly tap into stored body fat for energy as needed – your appetite and snacking decreases. Carbohydrates, especially processed carbohydrates, are the least satiating of all nutrients. Quality protein and healthy fats on the other hand fill you up faster, and keep you satisfied for longer.”

Josh says this type of lifestyle doesn’t have to break the bank, admitting he’s a fan of the good ol’ Aldi bargains and his local farmers market. “It pays to shop around, the best value grass fed beef I have found is at Aldi.”

Words by Sophie Lucas – Images provided by Th1ve