The Basics II -- More Helpful/Detailed Information
WHAT THE HECK IS PALEO??
PLEASE say it with me: "Paleo is not a diet." The word "diet" means to watch what you eat to control your weight. Even though you are technically being more aware of what you eat and will possibly be losing weight in the process, Paleo is not a diet. However, many people don't see it that way. You hear the word "diet" and immediately cringe and crawl into the fetal position -- okay. maybe that's not completely accurate -- but "diet" is a terrible word. Paleo is a lifestyle (I will probably say that continually throughout the blog.. get used to it :)).
I don't believe there is a solid definition. How about: we eat real food. Being Paleo, we just feel better, so we do it most the time. Not the answer you were looking for? Wiki may have a more in-depth definition, if you would like to check it out.
When we started doing Paleo, I searched for a list of guidelines or rules or just something easy to get us going. There is a lot of information out there but I have determined this is the way to go. I never want to push Paleo on anyone. It needs to be a decision made by each person. Paleo is a healthy way to live. You have and buy most of the ingredients already! Once you get started, it gets easier and easier.
It’s up to you to what extent you want to follow these guidelines. If you are following them at all, that’s a step towards being healthy, so good job!
- The Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbs. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
- Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats. Coconut oil and butter or Ghee (clarified butter- don’t worry, I had to Wiki it too). Olive, avocado and macadamia oils are also good fats -- use in salads or drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
- Eat generous quantities of animal protein. Red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart), wild caught fish and seafood. Don’t be afraid to eat the fatty cuts .
- Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
- Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants (berries are a great example). Try nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat (macadamia nuts). Cut out fruits and nuts in general if you are trying to lose weight.
- If at all possible, buy pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local farm. If that’s just not possible, buy lean cuts of meat and increase your fat with coconut oil, butter or Ghee. Another piece of advice is to buy organic, local seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- No more cereal grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice) and legumes (“pods” like alfalfa, peas, beans, lentils, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, etc) from your diet.
- Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils (margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil and sunflower oil.) Side note: Olive oil and avocado oil are okay, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to trickle over food.
- No sugar. Soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (fruit juices too, no matter how “natural” they say they are.. sorry!). An easy way to think of it: if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. You will frequent the meat, fish and produce sections at the grocery store. It won’t be a bad thing to forget where the boxes of mac n cheese are.
- No dairy products. Heavy cream is an exception. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without it try grass-fed cheeses.
- Eat when you’re hungry and don’t worry if you skip a meal or two. You don’t have to eat three square meals a day. You may get to a point that you won’t need snacks anymore – but it’s okay if you do. That’s the beauty of Paleo and there are TONS of Paleo snack options.
- Helpful tip. You know this. Get rid of the stress in your life and catch those ZzZz's (at least 8 hours/night).
- Don’t over do it when exercising, keep your workouts short and intense and do them only 3-5 times a week. Take time off if you feel tired. Again, the beauty of Paleo.