The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is a lifestyle. It is an approach to diet that is based on the quality of foods you eat. It mimics the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors – consisting of lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It excludes foods that came from agriculture or processing – dairy, grains, refined sugars, etc.
The basic concept is that Paleo foods are the foods that we are genetically adapted to – after all, our diets have evolved and “modernized,” our bodies haven’t. There are many benefits to eating this way, including a naturally lean body, acne-free skin, improved athletic performance and recovery, and relief from numerous metabolic-related and autoimmune diseases.
You can eat all lean meat, fish, seafood & eggs
You can eat all non-starchy seasonal vegetables
Plenty of seasonal fruit
Moderate healthy fats
Moderate nuts and seeds
No grains or cereals at all
No dairy products (eggs are not dairy)
No processed foods – make it yourself!
No sugars. Agave, organic honey, molasses, pure spun golden sunshine….it doesn’t matter. They are all out. No artificial sweeteners. These are not food! They are out too.
Protein should be the first thing making up your meal or snack. Depending on your individual needs, this can range between 3-9 ounces, but when all else fails, you can follow the general rule of having a serving of protein the size of your palm. When it comes to what kind of protein you should eat, remember that free range animals are healthier than commercially raised animals. Keeping that in mind, here are the general rules to follow:
- Buy your meat local, grass-fed and USDA organic
- Buy eggs from free roaming chickens
- Buy your fish wild
- Wild game (buffalo, venison.. etc.) is always a good option
Veggies – you want to focus most of your meal with non-starchy carbs. Make sure you get variation, and eat a lot of them! Here are some things to keep in mind with vegetables:
- Buy local, in season, organic veggies
- Avoid starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes).
- Avoid legumes (i.e. peanuts, beans, peas, soybeans etc.)
Fruit – is good for you in moderation. There is a hierarchy of fruit based on the fruits nutrient value and glycemic load. You should also consider how the fruit was grown. Think about the following in regards to fruit:
- Try to grow your own if possible
- Buy local, seasonal, organic fruit
- Avoid genetically modified organism fruit
- Avoid fruit juices
- Make sure to wash any fruit thoroughly to minimize pesticides
Despite what modern society has taught us to believe, fats are good for you. It is important to have the right balance of fats and the right kind of fats in your diet. On the paleo diet, your body is trained to burn fat instead of carbs for energy (this will make your energy levels more stable), so don’t skip the fat in your meals!
- Buy oils (coconut, olive) organic and cold pressed so they remain chemically unchanged
- Buy organic avocados
- Buy coconut in all forms
- Nuts are good in moderation (walnuts, pecans and macadamia nuts are your best choice). Buy them raw and unsalted, and be wary of the packaging
- Avoid canola (the oil is genetically modified, partially hydrogenated and highly refined), peanut, cottonseed, soybean, and wheat germ oils
- Avoid trans fats (fats damaged by heat – can be made at home) and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Drink water, coffee, and tea. If you drink coffee, drink it black or with unsweetened almond milk.
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