The Paleo Diet
Basics of the Paleolithic Diet
The official name of this way of eating is the "Paleolithic Diet," which is referring to the Paleolithic or Stone Age era. The foundation of this diet is so simple to follow that anyone can understand it. But it is just as important to understand the theory behind this way of thinking. For the millions of years humans have been around, the majority of the time our diet has consisted mainly of meat, fish, fowl, leaves, fruit, roots, and plants. This all changed with the coming of the Agricultural Revolution which changed the human diet forever. During the Agricultural Revolution, new technology was discovered that greatly increased farming output and it was discovered that cooking foods such as grains and oats destroyed enough of the toxins within to make them edible. This new cooking technique had an extremely large effect on the average food intake, as it easily doubled the amount of calories humans could receive from the meat that was hunted and the plants that were foraged. The only problem with this new way of eating is that our bodies were, and are, still best adapted for the food that was around during the Paleolithic era. Keeping this in mind, below is the basic food list for eating like our Paleolithic ancestors.
The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:
Eat the following:
· Meat, chicken and fish
· Eggs (in moderation)
· Vegetables: (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes)
· Nuts (in moderation): walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)
· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
Try to increase your intake of:
· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes
· Organ meats: liver and kidneys
What Should I expect from this diet?
First of all, you should expect some minor, but temporary problems as your body adjusts to the huge surge in vitamin intake and decrease in toxins. After years of eating the modern diet, this change will not happen overnight. These symptoms could include indigestion, diarrhea, and food cravings.
Where this diet differs from others is that it is neither a fad diet or a quick fix. It is a sustainable lifestyle approach, and if you stick with it, results WILL come. Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle-building, or just working for overall health and longevity of life, this diet can offer some amazing results.
Can I do it with modern foods?
It is much simpler than you would imagine to re-create the healthy diet and lifestyle of our Paleolithic ancestors. With a few simple dietary changes we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health (grains, legumes, and dairy) but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is an example of a sample meal plan that shows that just because it's labeled paleo does not mean it's not gourmet.
Sample Meal Plan
Shrimp scramble with basil and steamed spinach, blueberries, Espresso.
Greek style Chicken salad with red onions, olives, romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts and mixed bell peppers. Dressing: Lemon/Olive Oil with a hint of garlic. Tea/Coffee.
Grilled chicken/fish/beef & veggies with a hand full of nuts.
Baked pork loin with ginger cabbage and olive oil. Desert: banana with honey and cinnamon.