All too often while I am scarfing down my breakfast or lunch at work someone will ask me, “Where did you get that, what are you eating?” At which point I respond, “I try to follow the Paleo diet,” which is usually followed up by another question “Oh, what is Paleo are you on a diet?”
According to Robb Wolf: The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.
This leads me into my blog post. Paleo is not a diet, I am not dieting…I am eating. I guess the word diet might be throwing people off, so let’s just stop using that word, and just call it Paleo. I do not analyze how much food I eat, but I do pay excruciating detail to what I eat. Food maters, it matters so much that any proclaimed health expert will tell you that you can work out all day long, but in order to see real change you need to clean up your diet. Paleo, it’s not complicated and it’s not hard. BUT, you will have to make some changes. Anytime you have to learn something new…it is scary at first, and new eating habits can be intimidating, however I think most of you can do it.
Yes, you are going to have to cook and learn about what you are eating, but cooking is fun. I have a hard time going out to eat, simply because I love knowing what I put into my food, where it comes from, and I really enjoy the process of cooking…to be completely honest a lot of the time I think I could do it better myself when I am at a restaurant, and not going out all the time is cost effective.
Building a relationship with food it powerful, it will improve your waistline, it will improve you relationships and it will help you be the best you. I can think of nothing more enjoyable then gathering at a table with family and friends sharing in something my family, friends or I I have cooked.
So stop dieting and start eating. Go out and buy some Paleo cook books, get online or checkout my blog for some ideas.
Below are the basic guidelines I follow based of Robb Wolf and Nom Nom Paleo.
Okay To Eat
Proceed With Caution
|Animal Protein:The most sustainable, healthy, and flavorful animal protein comes from animals that feast on what nature intended and designed them to eat. Try to eat grass-fed and wild game / wild caught. Why? Because these type of animals are full of anti-inflammatory omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Pigs will not be grass-fed, they are omnivores (think of the old saying “Happy as a pig in… you get the point), look for pasteurized pork. This is also true for chicken and eggs.||Fruit:I love fruit, but it has a lot of sugar, so if you can pick a vegetable and try to limit yourself to one piece of fruit a day. Think of dried fruit as a topping, but avoid snacking on it.||Grains:Poor in nutrients compared to vegetables and fruits, and they contain proteins like gluten that cause permeability and inflammation. I have friends that have zero tolerance for grains, but even if you don’t have celiac disease, regular consumption of grains can be harmful. My Dad enjoys his oatmeal and it is gluten free, however oats contain a compound called avenin that can similarly compromise your body’s digestive and immune systems.|
|Vegetables:Buy in season, pesticide free if you can at your local farmers market. Grow a garden; you would be amazed what a little bit of dirt can grow. Can and pickle for winter months.||Nuts and Seeds:Once again think as a topping or something to add texture and flavor, but don’t go nuts.||Processed Food:Warning! Processed food is almost always made with cheap, unpronounceable, and terrible for you additives like artificial dyes, trans fats, chemical preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. None of this is real food; actually the thought of it kind of grosses me out.|
|Healthy Fats:Ghee, rendered animal (you can do this yourself), Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and many more…||Starches:If you are trying to lose weight, then I would avoid starches for say a Paleo Challenge. However, if you an active Crossfit or Mom and need to replenish your glycogen after a workout or long day, eat some beets, sweet potatoes, etc.||Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners:Diet Soda/Coke isn’t good for you and neither is added sugar and artificial sweeteners.|
|Fermented Foods:Sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. You can pickle yourself or find a farmers market, whole foods or mom and pop store to achieve this goal. Why? Fermentation increases the good bacteria, vitamins, and enzymes in food, and makes nutrients more available for absorption by our bodies.||Dairy:Robb Wolf says no to dairy, but I think “if” dairy doesn’t trigger a host of health issues you can have a little. Once again think quality, full fat dairy from pastured, grass-fed ruminants can be nutrient rich source of protein, calcium, and conjugated linoleic acid, and fat soluble vitamins A, D and K.||Legumes:Like grains, beans, peas and peanuts are not good for you. Yes, beans have minerals, but their nutrients are not bioavaiable to our bodies due to the phytates in legumes. And although it is possible to make legumes less harmful by taking the time to soak, sprout, cook and ferment them, there are many more nutrient rich options. Soy is particularly should not be part of your diet; it usually is genetically modified, and contains isoflavones that can disrupt normal endocrine functions.|
|Spices:Your spice rack should be a cabinet and don’t forget you can make all sorts of amazing blends on your own to make food amazing and different.||Natural Sweeteners:Maple syrup and local raw honey (local raw honey helps build immunity to some seasonal allergies). NO agave nectar, it is nothing more than a fancy high fructose product.|
|Alcohol:Robb Wolf and Nom Nom have this in the avoid category, but let’s be real…you want to have a life. In one word, moderation.|
- Gingered Zucchini Soup
- Pressure Cooker Beef Tip Carnitas with Chipotle Peppers