Tom Kerridge's and the Dopamine Diet

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 11 May, 2017

I Quit Sugar and Beyond

In my recent blogs ( I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar for life? ) I reviewed the books and went through the I Quit Sugar 8 Weeks Programme. Living without sugar and processed food (or very very little) is a way of life and as Sarah Wilson said herself:
" Quitting sugar is about eating like your grandparents used to. Before the crap".

This IQS approach resonated with me, recasting to a more natural way of eating without a prescriptive diet menu, a way to reconnect with your taste buds, your natural appetite, and portion control. During the 8 weeks I found that I feel at my best with a "paleo" approach, largely gluten- and grain-free, low-starch, low carbs, hight fat, non-processed and mostly organics.

But life is for living and enjoying it and I eat out a lot both, for both business and pleasure.
As a business woman I make my biggest contribution/s to work/business when I'm happy and living a good life and that's why as Management Consultant I write and advise about Lifestyle (Lifestyle editing): we don't work in a vacuum, our work is part of our lives.
So you can't imagine how much I rejoyced when I came across Tom Kerridge (the Chef & Onwer of the Hand & Flowers , the 2 Michelin starred restaurant / pub in Marlow) and his new book The Dopamine Diet ( if he can lose that much weight working in an industry all about good food and drink and maintain it then I know it is sustainable).
Tom Kerridge shedded more than 70 kilograms from his previous 190 kilograms "beer-drinking, late-night burger-eating, cheese-loving bloke" frame to a very trim and fit silhouette; he knew anything fussy, repetitive or boring wouldn't work, low-calorie would not satisfy his big appetite and low-fat would strip his food of flavour. That left low-carb meaning he could still eat his steak minus the chips, and have greens instead; he specifically followed a no alcohol, a 90-gram limit on carbohydrates per day rule,  never feeling deprived or missing out.

The Dopamine title thingy is all about increasing levels of the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine in the brain at the same time as shedding pounds. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain, affecting reward and pleasure centres, which in turn affect mood. 
There is some evidence to show that people who are overweight may have impairments in dopamine pathways weakened through constant exposure to highly sugary foods. 

Foods that boost dopamine include (sounds like heaven to me):
Dairy foods 
Unprocessed meats
Omega-3 rich fish
Fruit and vegetables, in particular bananas
Dark chocolate.

Kerridge's Dopamine Diet shares his recipes adapted versions, minus sugar or starch in favour of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy and vegs using his Michelin Star Chef techniques to give us recipes with cream, seasoning, flavour and texture. I'm working my way through the book and I can tell you that his portions are 'bloke' portions (also if you are doing Keto the carb count is a bit high but they are adaptable ).

This is a celebration of eating good food, focusing on what you actually can eat rather than worrying about what you can't , which confirmed to me that eating out doesn't have to be a challenge just by ordering in a clever manner and that my lifestyle doesn't have to change, which is really important to me.

The book also has a section for sweets/desserts using sugar replacements like inulin and erythritol which don't spike blood sugar level and do not add on the carb count , he also uses some fruit ( the crème brûlée is D-I-V-I-N-E).
I feel inspired now and I think I'm going to try adapting recipes from books I have by other chefs (sorry Tom) into low-sugar, low carb creations ( yes there are a lot of books out there on low carb living but this is Michelin Starred low carb daaarling ;-p ).

If you haven't got the book yet, what are you waiting for? Go out there and get it, NOW!!

PS: Tom Kerridge I love you, thank you xxx  

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