The Paleo Diet

As I mentioned on my “About Me” page, my dad started following a Paleo diet (also known as: The Caveman Diet, The Stone-age Diet, The Original Human Diet) after his heart attack. “Paleo”?? What the heck is that? I admit, I had never even heard of such a thing until my dad started reading a book called The Paleo Solution. If you are at all interested in learning more about the concept of eating Paleo, this book is a must-read!

The-Paleo-Solution

In The Paleo Solution Robb Wolf talks about:

  • The science behind certain food ingredients and chemicals and how our body handles them
  • Fats, carbs, proteins, hormones and vitamins
  • Health issues like heart disease, cancer, infertility, IBS and how they are affected by what we eat
  • Why and how eating Paleo benefits your body
  • If you’re ready to jump on the Paleo bandwagon after reading the book, Robb even includes a sample thirty day meal plan to help get you started, along with a host of Paleo recipes.

It really is a fabulous outline of all things Paleo. I’ll leave the specific details for those who want to read it, but will briefly outline what eating Paleo is all about.

The general idea behind eating Paleo is that you eat only REAL food, such as our Paleolithic hunter-gatherer ancestors would have. During the Paleolithic age, there was no bread, no refined sugar, no burgers or fries, etc. People hunted and gathered food that came directly from the land. As such, the food was completely natural and unprocessed.

So what counts as “real” food?

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Seafood
  • Lean Meats

What is NOT a real food?

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Starches
  • Processed foods and sugars

It does seem a bit of a drastic change at first because items like grains and dairy are staples in the average American diet. Cereal, toast, bagels, muffins, croissants, pancakes and waffles for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, cheese and crackers for a snack and a big glass of milk and a bread roll for dinner. If you take a minute to think about it, you realize that these aren’t actually “real” foods. Loaves of bread don’t grow from the ground. Cheese doesn’t come from a vine. Chocolate bars don’t hang off of trees. These foods are created by humans. They are not naturally occurring!

Eating Paleo might seem like a totally crazy, unfathomable idea to some and yet totally realistic to others. The more I personally think about the whole Paleo concept, from both a non-nutrition studied perspective and a nutrition-studied perspective, the more it just makes sense. Why do we eat things that have to altered from their natural form for us to be able to eat them? What’s wrong with just eating naturally occurring foods? Even writing this post gets the wheels spinning again, especially having just polished off my very non-Paleo rice and bean-filled Zucchini, Black Bean & Rice Skillet dinner.

Whether you think it’s logical or not is up to you, but tomorrow I will be sharing a personal testimony from my dad about how eating Paleo has impacted his life.

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