One wonders if any one way of eating is right for everyone and of course there will always be variations for each individual. However, from all our time in the holistic health business, the one way of eating that stands out is the Paleo Diet. For one thing…it isn’t a ‘diet’ per se. It’s just the right way to eat so if you are doing that, you shouldn’t gain unwanted fat. Just be aware that there are 2 takes on the paleo diet. One is protein, protein, protein so high in meats, fish and other proteins. The other one, which I think is a better way for most is the vegetable based paleo diet. This can be vegetarian but not necessarily and for myself, I don’t feel great on a veg diet so I prefer to include meat and fish but just not tons. So just be aware of that as you plan out what works best for you.
So what does it entail…basically, think about what our early ancestors would have eaten…before farming started. They would have had some meat, fish, vegetables and greens they could gather, nuts, seeds, berries and other fruit when in season. They would not have eaten out of season and they would not have had grains so therefore no gluten. It is becoming more and more known how much harm gluten does to us. So I know it’s hard to give up bread and the like but if you truly want to be healthy you must cut it out or severely limit it. Watch the media in the future and you will see this start to become mainstream much to the grain farmers chagrin. But it isn’t just wheat…rice is a starch too and there are some other grains that don’t have gluten but still give you a big sugar hit due to the starch content so they really should be limited too. We really don’t need grains so eat them either not at all or sparingly.
Then there’s dairy…it is one of the biggest allergens that we consume along with corn (most is GMO), wheat and other gluten foods, soy (also GMO). So unless it’s goat’s milk or fermented it’s best to also keep dairy low on the totem pole of foods you consume. A true paleo diet would not include dairy.
They also would have gotten fat in their diet from the food so the fat in meat, fish, maybe eggs to a certain extent (some people can be allergic) , seeds and nuts. They would not have used oils. However, if you use cold pressed oils like olive and grape seed that’s acceptable but be careful in cooking that you aren’t burning the oil. Coconut oil is a good choice too.
I am of the mind that moderation is always best. When we go too extreme, it’s hard to live in this world but do your best to adhere more to this type of diet and you will reap the benefits health wise.
So do eat….
Meat and Poultry from organic sources, fish (not farmed) and be aware of the radiation content due to Fukoshima so think of where it’s coming from. The Pacific got the big blast unfortunately.
Eggs in moderation as long as you aren’t sensitive to them
Fermented dairy in moderation
Lots of greens and other non starchy vegetables
Moderately from the starchy veg category such as beets, squash, potato family, carrots, parsnips
Low glycemic fruit such as berries and other fruit in season but consider moderation due to sugar
Nuts and seeds and also sprout them
Small amounts of cold pressed oils…NO Canola!! Olive and grape seed are best, Flax, coconut.
What we do in the morning is either raw granola (see my other blog ‘Good Nutrition in a Nutshell’ for recipes), poached eggs with some raw flat bread or some veggies or berries, raw flat bread with nut/seed pate and sprouts. A Paleo Wrap with scrambled eggs and veg or nut pate and sprouts etc. So we try to put some emphasis on raw food at breakfast and lunch.
Lunch could be soup with veg and meat, raw falafels with tzatziki and olives in a lettuce leaf wrap, raw flat bread with avocado, tomatoes, sprouts, and whatever else you want on there…maybe some left over organic chicken etc. Salad…I keep some cider/lemon marinated veg handy so that if I’m rushed I don’t have to chop etc and that way I can make sure I get my veggie quota for the day. We make our own dressings too. I would suggest investing in a dehydrator so you can make the raw foods and they keep really well so make lots of the flat bread and granola so you are good to go for a while. When preparing food in the dehydrator, temp must not be above 113 F or enzymes and goodies will be destroyed.
Dinner will consist of some cooked protein, a big salad and some other cooked veg. Sometimes it’s just a big salad with some protein added.
Do we ever make fried chicken, lasagna and all those favourites? Yes, but rarely and we use organic chicken and a reasonable oil for frying but deep frying doses cause the oil to change for the worst so it is best to do this only occasionally. I use non gluten noodles for pasta or I use my spiralizer to make zucchini noodles or maybe some spaghetti squash on occasion. So you can see even when you are breaking the rules, you can still make better choices. It’s also a REALLY good idea to take digestive enzymes when eating the odd meal like this or if eating out.
So our take on things is a combo of the paleo diet and raw foods. In our raw food recipes we do use some sprouted buckwheat and garbanzo beans but the sprouting makes them easy to process in our bodies. So we aren’t strictly adhering to the paleo diet but this combination works well for us. You have to find your own balance.
I’m attaching a food list and menu plan from Biotics ‘Control-It’ weight loss program. It’s stricter than my take on things but it is specifically for weight loss. They also recommend an appropriate EFA supplement, adrenal support and nutrient packed rice protein powder to go along with the food plan.
Control-IT_ApprovedFoodList Keep in mind they are saying tofu, edamame are ok but they are trying to cater to the vegans as well so I personally wouldn’t eat these. This is not entirely a paleo diet as some might see it as they are allowing a very small amount of starch from grains like rice and oats.
My parting words are…don’t go nuts (no pun intended) beating yourself up. Make the transition slowly and remember we also need to have fun and stuff our faces with pizza once in a while. LOL Just remember…heavy on the ‘once in a while’! AND if you are allergic or sensitive to gluten…maybe choose a gluten free crust:) Anyway…basically…take one day at a time and think about the consequences of continuing to eat the way modern society has taught us. Go back to basics and you will be glad you did. I’ll be posting more raw and paleo oriented recipes on my other blog as I go along but there are some up there now for you.
Here’s a couple of links to other paleo diet sites…one says no salt but that I can’t go with. Use grey, celtic salt, himalayan or any other GOOD quality sea or land salt.