Among the many modern diets and health trends today, the paleo diet is defiantly one of the more well-known varieties. You have probably asked and wondered about eating paleo, so let’s have a short definition first.
The paleo diet is based on what scientists believe the Paleolithic diet (about 10,000 years ago) and lifestyle were like. This is a way of living from before we had ovens, fields, crops and several other aspects of our modern agricultural diet. The concept was first conceived in the ‘70s by Walter L. Voegtlin. The current movement is based on the extensive research of Loren Cordain, Ph.D. and his team of paleo diet experts. Cordain has written several books on the diet and his research.
The diet is simple enough to understand, but one needs to know what’s readily available and (most importantly) what NOT to eat. It seems to be similar to what someone living in the Paleolithic era would have eaten; including vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meats, and seafood. These foods are high in soluble fiber, vitamins, omega-3 acids, and lots of other great stuff.
What these foods do NOT have is refined sugars, bad fats, salt, high-glycemic carbs, a long processing period. In short, cut the dairy and grain products and focus on fruits, veggies, and proteins. Some call the diet the “hunter-gatherer” diet, as it’s mainly comprised of foods that were readily available in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
There are a large number of books and approaches for the paleo diet. Some focus on different ratios of plants (carbs) to animals (proteins). Others mix optimal exercise lengths and types that would have been similar to the paleo time period.
Some tips for eating paleo
Many people who strive to follow the paleo diet might struggle with staying true to this lifestyle. In the modern world, especially the most developed countries, finding non-processed and natural food could be a hassle as well as a drain on the pocket. Even if you do manage to find the right foods, you might be tempted to break your diet due to the yummy meals available in restaurants or the snacks in supermarkets. In order to help you out with this difficulty, here are some tips on following the paleo diet in a successful manner:
- Really take your time to figure out what you enjoy eating within the spectrum of the paleo diet. This will help you vary your meals so you don’t get bored of eating the same thing every day.
- Plan your meals, as your cooking style will have to change from less baking to more grilling and other methods. You might have to invest in some new equipment for the kitchen and get familiar with different cooking methods.
- Allows a “paleo break” when needed and have a small snack or meal that includes a few non-paleo items. After all, our bodies are used to a more modern way of eating, so we can’t expect them to give a full performance on only paleo food right away.
- Plans your snacks carefully – this will be important to ensure you don’t fall off the wagon. Having the right snacks around will help in fulfilling your cravings without breaking your diet. Luckily, there are several paleo-friendly snacks available, especially on online platforms.
- Try a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and other food groups which fall within the paleo diet.
- Use spices in your recipes. Spices can liven up different meals and provide more variety. Plus, some spices could be very good for your health.
- Shop for high-protein, low-carb bars for quick snacks on the go
Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet
The health benefits of this diet are quite encouraging. Before getting to them, here are a few quotes in order to inspire you towards a healthier lifestyle:
“The greatest wealth is health.” ~ Virgil
“The longer I live the less confidence I have in drugs and the greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen.” ~ John Redman Coxe
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
“Focus on eating meat and veggies and let the magic happen.” ~ Matt McCarry (Paleo Parents)
If you focus on eating a paleo diet, you will experience at least some of the following benefits:
- There are likely to be fewer chemicals, preservatives, and chemicals in your food, thus leading to a better internal system.
- You’ll get several plant nutrients from the oil, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables you consume. This will have anti-inflammatory properties and help you look and feel your best.
- Eating more red meat on a regular basis will enhance your iron intake.
- This easting lifestyle will probably leave you feeling full even between meals, as you’re taking in more fats and proteins.
- It’s a way to lose weight through eating healthy and without any dangerous supplements.
Of course, there are also downsides to this diet, with the expensive and limited food options being among the biggest negatives. The lack of dairy or grains could also be harmful to some, while vegetarians and vegans will find it their options very restricted.
Now that we know the ups and downs of the paleo diet, let’s have a look at what’s available for helping us cope with this lifestyle:
This soup is a lifesaver for those paleo-lovers who have a busy schedule. When you tear off the top, the pouch stands on its own. You can even microwave the pouch beforehand and eat the content for a meal or snack at any time. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, and made with completely natural ingredients.
Those who tried out this soup have loved the fact that it contains 24 grams of protein and is delicious, fulfilling, and healthy at the same time. The beef is grass-fed, so this is one hot meal option without any guilt at all. Some have even added cauliflowers rice or spinach to the mix and increased the value they get out of one pouch.
Those who follow the paleo diet usually miss the carbs that come in bread, pasta, or cereal. With this hot cereal option, you’d be able to have an oatmeal-like breakfast without the carbs that make you break your diet. It’s free from gluten or grains, and unsweetened to boot. You can always make it more interesting with berries, fruits, almond milk, or grass-fed butter.
This cereal includes five grams of vital protein and seventeen of healthy fats. It’s also a quick option, as all you have to do is add hot water and wait a few minutes. The resealable bag is sturdy, making it convenient for the office or camping out.
The lack of baking makes pizza a distant option in the paleo diet. Luckily, this pizza crust mix makes even this choice a possibility. It contains almond flour, egg whites, pumpkin, and arrowroot for a simple, delicious crust that you may use for homemade pizza. There are no herbs added to the mix, while the consistency is very similar to real pizza dough. You will need a pizza stone to make the crust, though.
The beef sticks are the paleo version of beef jerky, which you might otherwise miss out on while camping or on road trips. They’re free of MSG, soy, gluten, and made of grass-fed beef. The cows these came from were never given any antibiotics or injected with hormones. This is hence a completely safe option for anyone who’s trying to follow a paleo diet.
These sticks are also suitable for a ketogenic or Whole30 diet. The rest of the ingredients are just as carefully selected as the beef itself. There are no nitrates added, but you will get several spices, celery juice, coriander, etc. The company seeks to be completely transparent and is hence open to any questions we may have.
Paleo food could sometimes become bland, but this dressing will make things more interesting. The ingredients here are all real, with no artificial or synthetic elements involved. You’ll get a taste of ranch as well, which is almost impossible with the paleo diet otherwise. The same goes for other kitchen staples from the same company, including avocado oil, protein bars, and marinades.
Eating paleo can be a big change in lifestyle that not only impacts what you eat but also how you shop, how you cook, how you snack and how you eat out. The good news is that eating paleo can be fairly easy, as the right foods are widely available. The bad news is you have to really plan and be ready for a major adjustment in diet. The benefits for weight loss, energy level, and overall health can be extremely positive, so give this lifestyle a try and see if it suits you.