What is the paleo diet?
The basic motto for the paleo diet is this: “If the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t, either.”
The diet is based around ingredients like grass-fed meat, chicken, wild fish, olive oil, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and tubers.
Which means no grains, no sugar and no processed foods.
The paleo diet is basically a return to our roots, eating how we’re biologically designed to eat. Our ancestors survived and thrived as hunter-gatherers and the argument for the diet is that we still haven’t adjusted to deal with the processed foods and all the grains that are around today.
We have become “dependent” upon bread, pasta, rice, corn, etc. The paleo diet is automatically a gluten-free diet so it can be ideal for coeliacs or those who are sensitive to grains.
The paleo diet focuses less on counting calories and portion control and focuses very heavily on the type of food consumed.
What can you eat?• Grass-fed meat
• Things with wings (chicken, duck, turkey, etc.)
• Wild fish
• Animal organs (liver, kidney and heart for lots of protein)
• Eggs (ideally Omega-3 enriched)
• Fresh or frozen vegetables
• Natural oils (olive oil, avocado oil)
• Sweet potatoes and yams
What are the downsides?
It is a bit expensive to buy beef that is only grass-fed, wild fish and organic free-range chickens. Sticking to this diet without faltering will likely add onto your shopping bill a bit. It is also more difficult to eat out, right now there are plenty of restaurants introducing gluten-free items into their menus, but you probably won’t see any that say paelo approved. It will take willpower, as will almost any diet you try, but it is possible to eat out and still maintain a paleo diet.
How can you do it?• Stop keeping any junk food in your home, bread and pasta, chips, anything processed.
• Buy lots of seasonal vegetables or even frozen vegetables from the grocery store and stock up on healthy protein sources such as fish and eggs.
• Read the labels on your food; avoid chemicals, artificial flavorings and anything you can’t pronounce.
• When you cook, include protein and a good amount of fresh greens or vegetables.
• Eat when you’re hungry, according to the paleo diet you don’t have to eat three main meals a day, just what feels natural to you.
• Exercise often, even if it is something as simple as walking. As long as you’re doing it enough it will give you the health benefits as well as psychological and mental benefits.
If you’re thinking about trying out the paleo diet, many sources recommend a detox or trial period at the beginning. If you follow the paleo diet very rigidly for 30 days, eliminating all dairy, grains and sugars, you will be able to tell if this is right for you and ideally you will also lose weight, build muscle and have more energy. Meals like steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, sliced vegetables with pesto and beef liver pate and Mandarin chicken salad are a few you can start out with on the paleo diet.
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