Through my wellness journey, I have evolved my diet into what is considered “Paleo”. Paleo is short for the Paleolithic Diet, or Caveman diet, or sometimes called “Primal”. Through my research and self education, I’ve concluded it to be the most common sense and natural concept of proper food consumption for humans. The benefits of a Paleo type diet are backed up with miles of scientific evidence. What is even more persuading than the science, are the incredible amount of testimonials from good looking, healthy people, who prior to going Paleo were sick, fat, depressed Americans. Thankfully via websites and people who have a passion to share health with others, these people have turned from their politically correct SAD (Standard American Diet) to a real food, Paleo diet, and aren’t looking back or missing a darn thing!
Initially, I had the misconception, like many others, that the Paleo “rules” were very restrictive, and left out important nutrients. Through the last couple years of living about 80% Paleo, I realize that my opinion regarding the “restrictiveness” of Paleo has now completely transformed into quite the opposite. I don’t have enough meals in a year to eat all amazing food and recipes I have planned out! I’ve experienced such an amazing elevation of my health and life in so many ways, that now I realize it is the American Diet that has obviously been what was REALLY restricting me from true health. The SAD food I was putting into my body had kept me from feeling far from my 100%! But don’t take my word for it! Do your due dilligence, research, learn, and try it for yourself.
The more you learn about Paleo, the more questions you will have about getting it right. The reality is, that every persons “Paleo Diet” looks completely different.
You might need more sweet potatoes and root veggies if you are very athletic. You many need more protein than him. Find what works with your body, your lifestyle, and your goals. Your body is and will be always changing, so continue to assess your needs. Your hormonal response to food will change, you may be really hungry often at first, then eventually feel happy and content with 2 meals per day. Listen to your body.
So, without further ado… here are the Paleo Basics YOU need know and try it out for yourself.
The NO’s: What to AVOID on the Paleo Diet
Grains: WHEAT! (Duh) and even gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, and corn (yes a grain) are no good!
Beans and Legumes: includes peanuts, garbanzo beans, lentils, peas, etc.
Soy: *some fermented soy may be considered safe in small doses- but don’t play around until you got this Paleo diet thing down
Refined Sugars: includes artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup
Vegetable Oils: Canola, Safflower, Rapeseed, Soy
Dairy: for sure no milk! You’re not a baby cow are you? Do you want to grow nice and big and wide? If so, keep drinking milk! Cheese is dairy. (Eggs are NOT Dairy, they are wonderful) *sometimes dairy is included in “Primal” diets, by definition. Do you tolerate it? Leave it out for 30 days, and test it back in to truly see if you do.
Processed food: obvious, but needs to be stated. Real food doesn’t come in boxes, bags, or foil.
The Paleo type of diet is focused on nourishing the body. That requires us to eat real, whole foods, the way nature intended us to eat. Stick with this concept for even 30 days and I guarantee you’ll experience something amazing in your health!
The YES List:
Meat: from animals that lived the way nature intended them to live: Grass-fed, free range organic poultry, wild caught fish and game meats.
Vegetables: lots of these, organic is always best. Include roots and tubers, but load up on the greens.
Fruit: occasionally, unless you have a serious fat loss goal.
Fats: Good Quality Please! Fatty fish, Grass-fed meats, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil… nuts and seeds in moderation. Again- quality is what we are looking for.
Saturated Fat is ESSENTIAL to your survival, this is liberating once you have permission to snack on a steak and realize it’s good for you!
I’ll follow up this brief intro to Paleo post with FAQ’s about the Paleo Diet, including Cholesterol, Why no grains, and why fat is so good for us. Please post any questions here that I can answer for you!
Interested in learning more about the Paleo Diet?
Mark Sisson, Author of The Primal Blueprint, has a great cookbook (and book) to get you started: Primal Blueprint Cookbook on Amazon
My absolute favorite educational Paleo cookbook I require for all of my clients: Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo
Have burning questions that will only be appeased by scientific proof? Check out L Ac Chris Kresser: https://chriskresser.com/
Podcasts- search: Underground Wellness, Balanced Bites, Everyday Paleo