In summary, the Paleo diet is about enjoying food our early ancestors ate. Yes, I'm talking about the caveman. Paleo is short for Paleolithic, as in the Paleolithic Era. From what I see and read, the basis of the Paleo diet is that our bodies did not adapt fast enough to be able to process the junk many of us eat.
Four types of foods on the bad list are:
- Grains, most importantly gluten
- Refined sugar
- Legumes (beans)
- Broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots, asparagus, tomato, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, lettuce and lots of greens
- Apples, oranges, apricots, strawberries raspberries, melons
- Chicken, beef (grass-fed preferred), eggs, salmon, fish, lamb, bison, elk -- anything you, or a caveman, would hunt and gather is a shoe-in
- Olive oil, avocados, coconuts, coconut oil, almonds, cashews, ghee (clarified butter)
It is best to avoid things that are processed. How do you look out for that?
Is it in a bag with a narrative for ingredients? Then it's probably processed.
Is it OK to cook frozen veggies?
You bet, but make sure it does not include a sauce or anything added to it.
What about frozen chicken from a bag?
Read the bag. Does it say with rib meat? If so, then pass. Are there grill marks on the chicken? I say it’s best to avoid these items.
Can I have bread?
Well, gluten creates an inflammatory response, spiking insulin, and wreaking all kinds of havoc in your digestive system. Excess glucose will get converted into fat and stored.
If you are telling yourself it's going to be too hard, push that thought aside and ask yourself, Is this going to significantly change the way I feel? Probably, but give it a try either way. It's not that hard. Changing your eating habits for the betterment of your health should be an easy choice. So where should you begin?
On Sunday cook up some extra protein you can leave in the fridge and grab quickly, i.e. chicken or fish. Also get some of your favorite veggies for snacks. Make some homemade mayo and start creating dipping sauces. Just prepare yourself for what meals you are going to eat throughout the week.
Keep your belly full of green veggies and don't overdo the protein. This should not be the majority of your diet here, carbs and fat should. You want carbs in the form of vegetables!
Protein size for your meal, not just on the Paleo diet, should be the size of your palm and the thickness of it, too.
Fat sources for your meal should be about the size of your thumb. Fill the rest with veggies (carbs).
I hope this helps you to becoming a healthy, happier you!
Here are some links for more information:
Hi there! My name is Brian DeCanio. I’m a senior at Metropolitan State University of Denver. My major is in Human Nutrition-Dietetics. I hope to help explore current trends in nutrition and food science. I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes that taste great but remain healthy.