To be honest, I did not know much information about the Paleo Diet other than it was becoming super popular and what my friend with Celiac Disease shared with me in casual conversation. “It’s super clean and I feel better,” was what she would always tell me but I still did not understand how. Once […]
What is the Paleo Diet?
What is Paleo & Why We Follow It
"Caveman diet, Raw Paleolithic diet, CrossFit diet, Paleolithic Nutrition, Primal diet, Ancestral diet, Evolutionary diet, Traditional diet, Neanderthal diet."
Whatever you decide to call it, the concept of eating Paleo is extremely simple and straightforward. Just eat real-whole, foods my friends! Focus on increasing the nutrient-density through whole foods while avoiding nutrient-poor and inflammatory foods. High-quality ingredients such as grass-fed and pasture-raised meat with no vegetarian feed, added hormones, antibiotics, sugars, preservatives or additives. Wild-caught seafood, not farm-raised or vegetarian fed. Organic and seasonal produce are all encouraged. This lifestyle does not have to be overly expensive, either, just focus on real foods and avoid anything that is processed (basically anything in a box). Also, try to buy the whole food items that are on sale that week or shop at a Farmer's Market and support local agriculture. Normally, you can get more for your dollar by buying directly from the Farmer. Also, look into CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your local city.
Paleo has been explained as “the way our ancestors or grandparents ate” and it is beneficial in today's society because "humans have become heavily dependent on consuming processed foods for their convenience purposes”. While these are semi-true, it does not really explain the science behind why this way of eating is sustainable. The real roots of the diet is in modern science and research focusing on health, nutrition, biology, and physiology. Another beautiful aspect about the Paleo Diet is there is no perfect template for everyone and we can all have our personalized version of the perfect diet.
Unlike other fad diets, Paleo is not a crash diet or quick-fix to lose weight. It is 100% sustainable! If you follow this lifestyle, you will benefit from the long-term rewards for long-term compliance. Clean, healthy, organic eating provides our bodies with the opportunity to improve overall health and a balance that enables long-term happiness.
Below is a list of what you want to eat:
- Grass-fed, Free-range, Pasture-raised, Hormone-free meats and animal fats (poultry, red meat, pork, wild game, offal, etc.)
- Wild-caught seafood (fish, shellfish, mollusks, low-mercury fish, etc.)
- Free-range Eggs (corn & soy-free)
- Organic vegetables (dark leafy greens, crucifers, starches, sea vegetables, and colorful vegetables).
- High-quality fats like avocado coconut, almonds, etc.
- Mushrooms (wild and all forms)
- Organic fruits (not to exceed 20 grams of fructose per day)
- Nuts and seeds (balance intake of omega-6 fatty acids from nuts, seeds, and meat with omega-3 fatty acids from seafood).
Eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods. "Snout to tail" (including organ meats such as liver, kidney & heart). "Eat the rainbow" (all colors fruits and vegetables). If you are going to consume something from a box or container with a longer shelve-life, make sure there are 5 ingredients (or less) and you can pronounce and understand every single ingredient. Make sure there are no additives/preservatives or added sugar in the item if you can avoid it.
Since you are eating real foods produced by the earth and not from a laboratory, you can eat as much of it as you want! We have noticed that eating properly balanced meals has enhanced our sleep cycles, bowel movements, skin clarity, mental clarity, mood regulation and so much more! Limiting your intake of produce results in less micro nutrients for your body, this is not good. Do not be afraid to consume the meat and seafood, they offer a huge variety of vitamins and minerals that we cannot obtain from plants. Think of nuts, seeds and fruits like condiments and not actual meals or full entrees, eating only a tiny portion with any given meal. Nuts and seeds are high in omega-6 fatty acids and can be difficult to digest, fruit can be high in sugar so be mindful and do not consume a lot at one time.
Below is a list of what you want to avoid:
- Grains and pseudo-grains (white rice is allowed if you can tolerate it well but should be eliminated at first for 30-days minimum and reintroduced to see if your body reacts negatively).
- legumes (legumes with edible pods like green beans and sugar snap peas are allowed)
- dairy (grass-fed dairy, especially ghee, can be included if you tolerate it well but should be eliminated at first for 30-days minimum and reintroduced to seek if your specific body reacts negatively).
- Refined sugars & sweeteners
- Refined oils (Sunflower, Soybean, Canola, Safflower, Cottonseed).
- Processed foods and food additives (emulsifiers and preservatives).
How will adopting Paleo help YOU?
In addition to removing foods that are completely nutrient-poor, Paleo removes foods that are known to be difficult for humans to digest and are aggravating to our digestive systems. It removes foods that cause hormone or immune system imbalances. It removes foods that cause too much bad bacteria to flourish in the gut. Providing your precious body with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods will help you:
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Balance hormones
- Balance immune system (especially with autoimmune disease)
- Create healthy amounts and types of gut microflora
- Normalized weight fluctuation
- Improve glucose tolerance
The eliminated foods in a Paleo diet are ones that contain very little nutrition and are difficult to digest because this may lead to the simulation of inflammation or negatively affect important hormones. This could cause much distress and infertility as well. Generally, a Paleo diet excludes: grains and pseudograins legumes (legumes with edible pods […]
I asked myself this very same question over and over again when I was first wrapping my brain around this new way of eating and living. Transitioning from a vegetarian ultra-runner who lived off of breakfast burritos, chocolate cake & Buddha Bowls, trust me when I said this transition was more difficult than any Ultra-marathon […]