Paleo

What’s the point of  Paleo?

Certified-Paleo-CertificationThe Paleo diet is based on the food our ancestors probably ate in the way distant past (meats, seeds & nuts, fruits & vegetables, etc.) instead of being based on things we’ve added to our diet based more on farming (dairy, wheat, legumes, etc.). This diet goes back to eating things our bodies need and are able to properly process. Yes, this diet does include some healthy fats, and believe it or not, we’re supposed to eat fat! So many people count calories, carbs and fat content, but if eaten in healthy amounts via truly healthy foods, there’s no need to count… our bodies will tell us when they’re nutritionally full and no longer need us to keep shoveling food down our throats. Seriously, our bodies know when we can stop eating… we just need to listen.

Eliminate foods with added sugar, like sodas, fruit juices (read labels! most do have a ton of added sugar), no vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils, forget grains (yes, this means your morning bowl of cereal)… eat lots of vegetables, healthy fats, meats (grass-fed). Really this diet is about eating healthy and cutting out all the overly processed, full sugared junk that so many of us have been eating for years.

The food rundown:

IN: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, healthy fats

OUT: dairy, grains, sugars, processed foods, legumes, starches, alcohol

Health benefits of Paleo:

In doing our own research on Paleo, we have found a rather extensive list of health benefits, both from people’s personal experiences on the diet and from experts in the field. This is a list of the benefits we have found, but as always, talk to your physician before determining whether or not this diet is for you, or whether or not you could possibly experience these benefits for yourself. Everyone is different and this is just a generalized list of possible health benefits. Better gut health, inflammation reduction, better cell health, fewer allergies, better digestion, more energy, weight loss, overall cleaner diet with fewer preservatives, additives or chemicals, better eating lifestyle in general that is long-term sustainable… less like a diet and more like a way of life.

Paleo Q&A:

What about baked goods?

There are flours out there you can purchase that are made from crushed almonds and other Paleo ingredients and those could be used to make baked goods and remain on the Paleo diet. Granted, our ancestors weren’t running around eating Paleo pop tarts, but we technically can. For inspiration and ideas, the PaleoMom website has some great baked goods recipes!

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Healthy fats don’t include butter. But when you eat meat, there is usually some fat in it, which is healthy fat. So the quick list is clarified butter or ghee (learn how to make it here), coconut oil, animal fats, olive oils, avocados and avocado oil.

Wait, no alcohol?

If you really want to go all Paleo, no alcohol. Though there are some alcohols out there that are gluten-free and made with Paleo-approved ingredients. You can indulge in these if you must and technically stay within the confines of Paleo ingredient rules. However, to stay within the true spirit of Paleo, no alcohol.

Resources:

Paleo Leap – great website to get you started on Paleo with lots of information on what you can and can’t eat when following this diet.

The Paleo Mom – tons of awesome recipes and good information on eating Paleo. Some of her recipes look amazing!

The Paleo Diet – good resource for information on the Paleo diet, purchase books, read articles on the health benefits.

Paleo Diet Evolved – articles about Paleo, free recipes, blog, tons of information packed into this site.