What is Paleo?

After reading so many books, blogs & articles, I didn’t think I’d write a post about “What is the Paleo Diet?” since I assumed it was common knowledge by now.  However, after seeing the reactions & hearing the responses of my friends and especially well-educated-in-health family members, I have decided it is necessary to emphasize again to the world what exactly is this crazy “caveman” diet.

Misconceptions…

Upon telling my health & fitness obsessed father that I was going to try this new eating “trend” his first reaction was, “What you don’t eat beans or whole wheat?  Those are good for your heart.  Let’s see what Dr. Oz has to say about this.”  Really? Dr. Oz is going to be the deciding factor if this is a good or bad thing to try?  Anyway, after some googling, he was convinced based on Dr. Oz’s non-advocating stance on the paleo diet that this is a bad idea. {Watch the first 1:30 min HERE}

To make my point, I feel like people make general statements regarding a lot of health & fitness trends.  I’m a believer of everything in moderation, but I do think eating paleo is a good idea 90% of the time.  However, after I go at least 20-days straight of paleo, I might need a cheat day here and there for a beer / glass of wine or In N Out.

So, What is the Paleo Diet?

In the simplest “caveman” terms…

In more detail…

The paleo diet means eating foods that could be found in nature millions of years ago like meat, veggies, fruits and nuts.  The foods are high in fats and proteins, low in carbohydrates and free of all the ingredients we can’t pronounce.  It resembles the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors (the “hunters” and “gathers”), who if were able to avoid illness (due to the lack of modern medicine) lived very long and healthy lives.

Simple Guidelines:

  • No processed foods
  • No refined, artificial & added sugars – or really any sugar that isn’t already naturally in foods (honey & agave can be used if needed)
  • No grains – gluten = bad
  • No legumes (yes that includes peanuts & anything soy)
  • No white potatoes – they spike your insulin, but sweet potatoes are okay
  • Try to avoid dairy – use fermented or grass-fed dairy if needed
  • No alcohol – although if you absolutely have to there are some “better” ones to consume
  • No vegetable oils (that includes canola, peanut, soybean, corn, etc…)
  • Yes to healthy fats – animal fat, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, tallow, nut oils, etc…
  • Yes to grass fed meats, wild fish and fresh produce (find your local farmer’s market)
  • Sleep!  That’s important.
  • Exercise!
  • Eat if you’re hungry! Snack!

For some shopping tips on how to get started, check out our GROCERY LIST and for more in depth research & knowledge check out our PALEO FAQs &  RESOURCES.

Super Cool Infographic {the history of paleo}

{image found on Crossfit LAX & originally from PaleolithicDiet.com}

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