How It Works
All those years ago, our early ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers, meaning that they ate whatever they could find or whatever they could hunt. The Paleo Diet mimics what our early ancestors, and everyone else on planet earth, ate before the Agricultural Revolution, that is when societies transformed from hunting and gathering to farming, this is when cereals, refined sugars and oils, and dairy came along. The Paleo Diet avoids all foods that were a result of the Agricultural Revolution and focuses on foods that promote good health and have multiple beneficial nutrients.
It seems like every time you turn around there is a new diet fad, pill, shake, or ploy that tells you that you can lose weight fast, yet it doesn’t seem to be working. It is all confusing and complicated, so instead of focusing on the diet, focus on the food that you are eating. The Paleo Diet basics are eating ethically produced, lean meats and healthy, organic fruits and veggies. It is getting rid of the food that we all know is bad- the highly processed, GMO ridden food that is easy to get, yet so harmful to our health.
Foods To Eat
If you go paleo you will eat a lot of lean, grass-fed meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables. You can also eat eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils such as olive, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, and coconut. All of these foods are high in protein and fiber, that help fill you up and give you good, natural energy. One of the many benefits of going paleo is it makes counting calories a thing of the past!
When selecting the meat you are going to eat for the Paleo Diet, go for the organic, grass-fed lean meat. Grain-fed meat is just as harmful to animals as it is to humans. When selecting your foods always think back to what cavemen had available to them. Back then, animals that were hunted for their meat were not grain fed, they lived off the land, the natural, organic way. The same goes for choosing fruits and vegetables, organically grown produce contain fewer pesticides, are GMO-free, and are fresher. Shopping organically can be pricey, so try going to local farmers markets where the food is generally less expensive and local.
Foods To Not Eat
As mentioned earlier, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, not farmers. This means that you cannot eat wheat, grains, legumes (peanuts and all types of beans), and dairy if you are doing the Paleo Diet. Other foods to avoid in the Paleo Diet are refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt, and vegetable oils. It may seem strange to cut dairy, but think about it- we are the only other species on the planet to consume another animal’s milk past infancy. You can read more about the exclusion of dairy in the Paleo Diet here, written by Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo Diet Movement .
If you are concerned about cutting dairy out of your diet for the fear of losing potassium and calcium intake, there is no need to fear! Lots of foods in the Paleo Diet have plenty of potassium, such as carrots, grass-fed beef, kale, almonds, tuna, eggs, broccoli, chicken, pork, and more. The same goes for calcium, high levels of calcium can be found in sesame seeds, raw almonds, raw rhubarb, broccoli, raw collard greens, and more.
The basic benefits of the Paleo Diet are you are eating cleaner and living a healthier life. The Paleo Diet wipes out all foods with preservatives and chemicals, the foods that are known to cause health issues such as cancer and heart damage. When you go Paleo and commit to eating grass-fed meats, and organic fruits and vegetables you are getting protein, fiber, healthy fats, and potassium all while lowering your intake of salts, carbohydrates, and sugars.
The Paleo Diet improves your energy levels, mental focus, and sleep quality. Unlike other diets that only focus on losing weight, the Paleo Diet focuses on living a healthier, happier life, all while boosting weight loss. Unlike what other fad diets claim, you will not see results instantly. Instead, it will take time for healthy weight loss to occur, and with that will come an improvement in your health.
Now that you know the Paleo Diet basics and what you can and cannot eat, here are some simple, easy to make meal idea:
For breakfast, an omelet stuffed full of veggies is the perfect way to start your day. Try sauteing onions, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, and your other favorite vegetables and putting them into two, cooked, organic cage-free eggs. Top with fresh avocado and tomato and you are good to go!
A perfect, easy to make, Paleo lunch is a salad. Salads are easy to customize to your liking, just add you favorite fruits and veggies and top with a chicken breast, piece of salmon, or some steak! Topped with some sesame seeds or almonds and drizzled with avocado or olive oil, the options are endless.
A delicious, Paleo friendly snack, is one our Too Busy To Eat protein bars. We have vanilla coconut, double chocolate chip, and cookie dough. They are made with grass-fed whey protein and make the perfect, guilt-free, Paleo friendly dessert!
For dinner, a chicken, beef, or pork stir fry is as easy to make as it is delicious. Like the salads, the options for vegetables and meats to put in your stir fry is endless.
Another added benefit of doing the Paleo Diet is the online community. There are numerous websites and forums to join to get tips and recipes on living the Paleo way! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin for more tips on living a healthy life.