A Paleo Overview
My story: I started Paleo back in 2010 as a means of losing weight and getting healthy. For the first year, I was very strict Paleo and lost too much weight — so now I just try to do the best I can every time I eat — eating Paleo about 80 to 95% of the time. Recently, I’ve been eating vegan during the week (vegetables and a little fruit) and including meat on the weekends in an effort to save money and hopefully lose weight. I tend to switch up what I do with my diet relatively frequently, but I stick to the basic Paleo principles.
Paleo 101: Paleo is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era–a period of about 2.5 million years.
The “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
It is said those following the Paleo diet shop the perimeter of the grocery store — looking for foods in their “whole” forms as much as possible (i.e. fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, good quality (preferably grass-fed or pasture raised) meat and poultry, wild-caught seafood — and read the ever-important labels on food products. Anything you cannot pronounce is a no-go.
The Paleo diet is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, and therefore that an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a diet consisting of is characterized by high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains. It also typically contains high-fat dairy products, high-sugar drinks, and higher intakes of processed meat.
If someone asked me to pare down the Paleo diet — and describe it in just two words, I would say: NO SUGAR — and there is sugar in EVERYTHING, which is why this diet is not easy.
Many who follow this “diet” don’t consider it to be a short-term solution, but rather a long-term “lifestyle change.” It has helped a number of people reverse and/or eliminate medical issues, ranging from things like stomach upset (IBS, heartburn and other gastrointestinal disorders) to mental illness.
The most important thing to watch when you’re eating Paleo is your carbohydrate levels. Like Atkins, this is a low-carb diet, and the fewer carbs you consume on a daily basis, the more weight you will lose. This is why it is important to watch things like fruit which can be packed with carbs/sugar and kill your weight loss aspirations (especially if you’re not getting enough exercise).
*Eat foods in their most pure, whole form
*Get good-quality meat
*Eat LOTS of vegetables
*Eat a little fruit/nuts
*Shop perimeter of the grocery store
*Get enough sleep
Meat — grass-fed and/or pastured
Seafood — wild-caught
SPARINGLY due to high starch/carb content:
Grass fed Butter
BERRIES are best due to lower carb content.