PALEO- What’s old is new again

Nutrition Digestion

This blog introduces some benefits of the popular Paleo Diet. Read more below...

Delving deeper into the caveman diet

If you’re currently sitting at your desk, munching on a packet of chips or snacking on a chocolate bar, odds are you’re not currently following the Paleo diet.

In truth, Paleo (more properly referred to as the Paleolithic diet) is more a lifestyle rather than diet thing. Specifically it tries to recreate aspects of the lifestyle of our very very very old ancestors…cavemen.

According to the Paleo diet, if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you.

Now, I can see you in a blind panic already, closing the door on the possibility of adopting a Paleo diet. There’s nothing you CAN eat after all!

Wrong.

Yes it means that the processed, packaged foods like pasta and cereal along with dairy products are cut out of the diet but there is still plenty you can eat. Think about it, our ancestors still ate fish, meat, nuts, greens other veggies, seeds and some fruit.

So why should you consider this diet?

If you’ve been struggling with weight loss, have no energy throughout the day, need eight cups of coffee, hate counting calories, and want to start turning your life around today, this diet could have great benefits for you!

The simplest justification for adopting a paleo diet is that our bodies are not designed to digest most of the unhealthy foods we put in them.

Think about it, our caveman ancestors were tall, muscular, agile, athletic creatures, We however are for the most part wider than we are tall and muscular. In fact two thirds of the population are overweight and half of them are obese (statistics that just keep growing).

So how is it that we’re now overweight, out of shape, stressed out, sleep deprived, unwell and just downright not happy?

Believe it or not, much of it is because we became smart and lazy. In the same way we now turn to our computers and mobiles to do everything for us, agriculture provided us with a way to bring food to us instead of us having to go out and get it. The point where we stopped being hunter-gatherers and became farmers (a few thousand years ago) is the point where we lost our way.

By selecting foods that our bodies can digest more easily, the benefits begin to show themselves.

Some of the most common benefits include:

• weight loss

• lack of hunger

• more energy

Believe it or not, on a paleo diet you can eat AS MUCH as you want. Most diets involve calorie counting because the foods we’re more inclined to select are usually high calorie (yes I’m looking at that bowl of pasta, the bread roll and the pastry sitting next to it). As an example, you would reach the same number of calories after say a mouthful of cake as you would a few bowls of stir fried vegetables. Which of those is likely to leave you feeling hungry after?

Because the foods you eat on a Paleo diet are nutrient dense and low in calories, you can keep eating and eating without putting on weight so you’ll feel fuller for longer and not suffer from cravings or the hunger pangs that come with many other diets.

So what exactly does one eat when following a Paleo diet?

That question is easy! Just ask yourself if the food occurs naturally!

Protein:

• Meat - GRASS-FED (grain fed animals suffer as much as we do!)

• Things with wings-Chicken, duck, turkey

• Fish

• Eggs

What else?

• Vegetables - As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.

• Oils - Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil (think natural)

• Fruits

• Nuts

Don’t think you can give up the carbs? Start slow

If you can’t give up all those carbs in one go, try and ease yourself into it. As someone once told me, it’s better to make a 20% change than to make none at all.

Alternately, try a 30 day trial. By this point your body will have adjusted to the change and you will have started to see the changes. One way to see the impact is to take before and after photos. You’re sure to be surprised!

Tell me more!

As a diet that is really gaining momentum, there are lots of new resources becoming available about the paleo diet. Some of my favourites include:

• The Primal Blueprint –The Primal Blueprint is a fantastic place to get started on not only what to eat, but why you should be eating it.  It’s educational, funny and applies to the real world!

• Paleo Central- a mobile app with Paleo beginners in mind, Paleo Central removes all of the guess work in learning what to eat while trying to follow the Paleo Diet.

• Facebook groups:

• Nom Nom Paleo

• Against All Grain

• The Paleo Mom

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