Paleo Diet 101
What Is this Paleo diet I speak of?
The Paleo diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed meat. Basically, the premise of this diet is “if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you.” I bet you’re laughing thinking no way can I survive off a caveman’s diet. But honestly, you can.. and it’s actually better for you. You see, when you adhere to the paleo diet you are able to eat anything that hunter gatherer’s could find back in the day. Our ancestors didn’t have access to zebra cakes and doritos (I know, mind blowing right). So anything that you can’t find naturally in the wild, won’t be going in your belly. Simple as that.
Let’s Travel Back In Time
Back in the day, grains were not a part of our diet. During the agricultural era we adapted and started consuming more grains. By consuming I actually mean overconsuming.* When we consume large amounts of grain the carbs get turned into sugar in our body. Then, that sugar is either burned as energy or stored as fat. Hopefully the former. Our bodies were not made to process grains (as shown by our caveman ancestors) and because of this, we now have a multitude of health problems. Before anyone loses their minds, I’m not saying ALL carbs are bad. Some carbs are good for the body, but overconsuming these carbs is what leads to health problems. What many people don’t know is that you can get a healthy source of carbs from foods like sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits.
Many people think you have to count calories or restrict carbs to lose weight and get healthy, and while this might be true.. it’s not completely true. There are other methods to getting healthy. One of the best things about the Paleo diet is that you don’t have to constantly count calories or wonder if you can eat something, just go for it. Eat as much as you want, as long as you are eating the correct foods.
Let’s Dig In Further
I’m going to be honest here.. when I first started researching the Paleo diet and was thinking about jumping headfirst into the deep end of the healthy eating pool, I was so skeptical and worried that it would be boring and I would be eating the same thing over and over again. However, I have found that’s not the case. Pinterest has TONS of paleo recipes you can choose to cook, and there are many Youtuber’s who eat a paleo-based diet. I mentioned Sarah’s Day on Youtube in my last blog post and she has tons of recipes and ideas for paleo cooking.
It’s super important to have the right mindset and actually take the time to devote a part of your evening to cooking healthy meals. If you don’t, you’ll be miserable eating that same salad every day. You don’t want that, and I don’t want that for you either. Do your research, look up recipes and get inspired! After a few weeks the healthy lifestyle will become a habit and you’ll stop craving all those zebra cakes and doritos (mostly).
So What Do You Actually Eat On This Diet?
Good question, let me break it down for you. Cut out the grains, cut out the dairy and cut out the processed foods. Stick to the foods that occur naturally:
- Meat (grass fed)
- Fowl (chicken, duck, turkey, hen.. basically anything that has wings and can fly)
- Fish (wild fish, not farmed as mercury becomes an issue)
- Eggs (gotta get that Omega-3, my friend)
- Vegetables (anything and everything, go nuts!)
- Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – anything natural)
- Fruits (also abundant options, but limit the intake if trying to lose weight #sugarcity)
- Nuts (great snack option)
- Tubers (aka ‘taters. Think sweet potatoes and yams)
Still Not Convinced?
Give yourself 2 weeks and try it out. Be conscious about what you’re eating and let your body be the judge. I have a hard time being creative with recipes so I just hop on over to Pinterest and browse away. There are SO many ideas and yummy recipes you can choose to recreate. Your body will thank you in the long run.
I also have a problem with acne and just feeling sluggish throughout my day, so i’m excited to see how cutting out grains, dairy and (bad) sugar helps that issue. I encourage you to go do your own research and decide if this diet could be beneficial for you and your body. Sidenote – one of the best ways to be successful with this diet, or any diet for that matter, is to meal prep. Know in advance what ingredients you need and what meals you’re going to make. It will make your life 10x easier when battling what to eat that day.