By: Leanne Ely
When people first hear about Paleo, they almost always say the same thing: Oh I know this Paleo diet is supposed to be healthy, but I could never give up [bread/potatoes/pasta/corn/dairy/etc.].
Why is everyone so focused on what you can’t have?
I like to twist that negative around and talk about what we CAN have!
Now, in case you aren’t already familiar, a Paleo diet is a diet that’s as close as possible to the one our ancestors followed thousands of years ago. Paleo folk eat primarily local grass-fed meats, free range poultry, sustainably caught fish, nuts, seeds and organic produce—stuff you can hunt or gather (although for us nowadays, that’s just eating from the perimeter of the grocery store, LOL).
It might sound limiting (if you want to look at it that way), but I am here to tell you that I am a very happy camper and there is no deprivation or suffering. Quite the contrary, I’m well-fed and feel better than I have in years.
The following principles constitute a Paleo diet:
• We need to fuel our bodies with nutrients. The best source of nutrients is in plants and animals that consume plants (not grain), especially seasonal, organic local produce and grass fed, pastured meat.
• Free-range organic eggs are packed with protein, amino acids and minerals.
• Stress-reducing activities (massage, yoga, baths, meditation and prayer) are essential to good health and should be done daily.
• Exercise is important, but it should involve doing activities you enjoy.
• Rest is an often overlooked key to good health. We need to give our bodies adequate sleep so our hormones function properly.
• Fruit should be consumed lightly and preferably fruits with the color going all the way through (think raspberry as opposed to an apple)
• Nuts, and seeds contain vital nutrients and should be eaten daily in moderation.
• Refined sugar, grains, legumes, anything with gluten and packaged, processed foods are anti-nutrients and need to be avoided.
• Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and avocado do the body good.
• Vegetable oils (margarine and liquid vegetable oils) are dangerous, human-made fats that should not be consumed by people.
• Greek yogurt, kefir and cheese aged more than 120 days are acceptable forms of dairy if you’re a part time paleoista and are more primal than paleo.
• Wine has probiotic properties and a great nutritional profile and can be enjoyed in moderation.
• Counting calories is meaningless—our bodies are chemistry labs, not bank accounts.
• Probiotics and fermented veggies are beneficial to digestion.
• Bone broth is chock full of gut-healing properties and should become a staple in your diet.
• Be aware of your digestion and elimination and adjust accordingly.
So who doesn’t love bacon and butter?! Or how about wine and steak? And there’s no counting calories or rationing the avocados!