Ablett’s Food For Thought

Gary AblettBeing a Geelong fan, I deep down, consider that Gary Ablett is still one of us.

Perhaps it is denial but I still have trouble reconciling that he has gone to ‘the Suns’.

Like all true Geelong fans, we believe that he will return to the fold. To win one more premiership in the twilight of his career.

Dreaming. Hoping. Praying. He is, after all, the son of god.


Probably not going to happen.

But what is worth a mention is his diet.

Gary is a true champion of the AFL game. I could list his achievements but I may miss a few and I don’t want to get crucified (taking the religion to far?) by those more passionate about the game than I.

In a recent article of The Age,


Gary Ablett has embraced a diet that was used by humans more than 10,000 years ago to help him deal with the rigours of modern football.

Ablett is on the Paleolithic diet, said to be used by our hunter-gatherer ancestors before the agricultural age.

The diet consists of grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, birds, fish, nuts, vegetables and fruit, but excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, refined sugar and salt, potatoes and processed oils.

Former Gold Coast player Campbell Brown said Ablett was on the paleo diet and was meticulous in his preparation, even instructing the chef at team hotels which type of oil he could use.

Brown said Ablett, a dual Brownlow medallist, eschewed much of what his teammates’ ate.

”Quite often, we will rock up to the airport for an interstate game and you grab a footlong Subway and away you go,” Brown said on Triple M.

”But that is not something he does. He prepares a meal the night before the game, some raw broccoli, cut up sweet potato, things like that. He goes in at the hotels we stay at and tells the chef that it can’t be cooked in a certain oil and sauce.

”He has a chicken breast while we are having spaghetti bolognese or pasta before the game. You have to be very dedicated just on that part.”

Brown said the diet was only one part of what helped to set the 254-game veteran apart.

‘‘He might go into the club at midnight and do an ice bath, an extra ice bath. That is above and beyond what the average player does,” he said.

Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna believes Ablett could become just the third player to reach the 400-game milestone, joining Michael Tuck and Kevin Bartlett.


I have been talking about Paleo Diets for over a decade now. When I first started mentioning it to patients I could have been talking about food harvested from another planet.

I still get the grain induced glazed look of denial when trying to explain the problems of gluten for the first time to many patients.

Then comes the terror as the realise they may have to go a day or two without the food (grains) they don’t know they are addicted to.

It is interesting how hard we are marketed to that grains are good.

Whole grains are better, and some how eating raw or less processed food is of concern. Even dangerous.

Even the in the article they wheel out a Sport Nutritions to shoot the dietary regime down. Now you have to understand that a large portion nutritionist still do not understand the problems associated with wheat, gluten, grains in general and other processed foods.


Sports nutritionist Andre Nelson, of Victoria University, said the paleo diet was becoming increasingly popular among ‘‘cross-fit’’ athletes who undertook high intensity interval training.

“There is not a lot of research, certainly that I am aware of, backing up that someone is going to perform better,” he said.

“One of the key tenets of most sports nutrition is, particularly sports with an endurance component, and AFL would come under that, carbohydrate is king. And a paleo diet doesn’t really have that. It’s a lot lower on carbohydrates because they have cut out things like refined grain products, most modern cereals and breads.

While Ablett is dedicated to the diet, Nelson said it was likely Ablett would still consume sugary sports drinks before, during and immediately after training to help him recover. He is an ambassador of Gatorade.


I have already spoken about Gatorade and I am not a fan. As I describe in the article I cannot believe any practitioner with more than a basic understanding of physiology and biochemistry would recommend Gatorade for anyone. But here it is again.


So for the record I believe that all patients should eat like a ‘Meat Eating Vegetarian Coeliac’ (no wheat or gluten).

Health promoting nutrition means that you need to eat generous quantities of fruits, vegetables (good sources of carbohydrates), nuts, seeds, and berries. But they must also be combined with good sources of protein.

And if you are not going to eat meat, then you are going to have to really watch what you are doing to make sure you eat enough protein from other sources.

Focus on the protein, and the carbohydrates tend to take care of themselves. Browse to Carbs and Proteins Explained if you need more information about what to eat and when.


As for his Paleo diet, it’s probably great for hunting the packs and gathering possessions.

I’m sorry I just couldn’t resist.

Ok, finishing up now.

I think I’ll have a mars bar and a coke. Perhaps I’ll get some clarity.

Probably not.


For those interested there are three books worth considering:

Wheat Belly; A renowned cardiologist William Davis explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems.

I really do recommend this book as essential reading for all patients. It follows on from my book ‘Eating To Reduce Inflammation‘. I believe that wheat is the single largest contributor to obesity and this book helps you understand how this occurs.

Grain Brain; Written by David Perlmutter a Neurologist talks about how gluten and carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more.

Dr Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our ‘smart genes’ through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladieswithout drugs.

Death By Food Pyramid; Denise Minger who discusses how pretty ordinary science and special interests have shaped our dietary recommendations. We are doing what we are told, to the benefit of ‘Big Food’ companies, in the pursuit of better health – but it is actually doing us harm.



You must be logged in to post a comment.

The Spinal Centre – Neuro-Musculoskeletal SolutionsThe Spinal Centre provides the Best Natural Medicines, Health Products and Nutritional Solutions to Free You of Pain and Improve Your Spinal Health.The Spinal Centre is a leader in the management and treatment of spinal pain and disability including:

  • Chronic Back and Neck Pain
  • Cervical and Lumbar Disc Injuries with or without neruological changes
  • All forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Neuromuscular problems such as chronic back pain, headaches, migraines, neck or spinal pains
  • Myofascial pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, diffuse muscular or joint pains
  • Austistic spectrum disorders including ADD, ADHD, learning difficulties and autism
  • Fatigue, energy and mood disorders including chronic fatigue and depression

The Spinal Centre focuses on resolution with the development of individualised treatment programs using Conservative and Integrative Medicine; combining genetic, metabolic and nutritional testing with specific natural medicines to enhance your health and achieve your genetic potential.We have helped thousands – Why Not You?