There has been a lot of emphasis on the Paleo diet as of late, or as some call it ‘The Caveman diet’. As healthy advocates, it is our duty to investigate, inform and educate you on these matters, so we have dug up the dirt on the Caveman diet, and this is what we have uncovered.
Basically, the Paleo diet is based around the idea that our genes and physiology evolved through the process of natural selection, and are most adapted to be nourished with the food that we evolved around. In other words, they believe for optimal health, we should consume foods that were available to us for most of our evolution. That includes the whole spectrum of animal food (beef, fish, shellfish, poultry, pork, lamb, etc.) including their fat and organs as well as eggs, vegetables and limited amounts of fruits and nuts.
The real positive thing we discovered with the Paleo way is the abundance of real, wholesome foods you consume. No packaged stuff, no sodium packed sauces, and no refined sugars. It’s all about getting back-to-basics, consuming more nutrients and ultimately eliminating unnecessary toxins from your diet.
Below is a crash course on the Paleo approach.
A PALEO SHOPPING LIST
- Meat and poultry – grass-fed, free range
- Fish and seafood – try to choose sustainable fish and seafood when possible
- Vegetables – Green leafy vegies (kale, collard greens, spinach), root vegetables (potatoes, onions and carrots). While no grains are allowed in the Paleo diet, you can get carbs from starchy vegetables such as cassava root & sweet potatoes.
- Fruit and berries – Berries are a great snack option, and high in antioxidants.
- Nuts and seeds – Pretty much all nuts & seeds. All in moderation though.
- Spices and herbs – A great way to marinate your meats and boost metabolism.
- Fats – coconut oil, coconut milk and cream, ghee, butter, duck fat, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, fish oil, sesame oil as well as from grass-fed meats, poultry and fish.
THE MISS LIST
- Most grains, especially wheat and anything with gluten – wild rice, white rice act
- Refined sugars
- Gluten containing products
- Dairy, especially milk and low fat dairy, for those with a gluten/lactose intolerance
- Quinoa is probably your best bet if you want to add more carbs.
- Dairy – If you are lactose intolerant then steer clear, but for sporty sister’s with no real dairy allergy, indulging in full fat dairy products is fine every once in a while. Better options are goat’s and sheep’s milk products, A2 cow’s milk and cow’s milk fermented products like kefir, unsweetened yogurt, aged cheeses, full fat cream, butter, and ricotta.
- Natural sweeteners – honey, maple syrup, molasses, dried fruit, dark chocolate, palm sugar.
- Alcohol – dry wines, clean non-grain based spirits.
- Soy fermented only (miso and tofu in small amounts)
Remember on the Paleo diet, you don’t need to over-exercise. Keep your training sessions short and intense and do them only a few times per week. Take some extra time off if you feel tired. Consider short and intense sprinting sessions instead of very long cardio sessions. Supplementing with vitamin D and probiotics is a great way to ensure you are getting the essential nutrients to nourish your body. Levels of magnesium, iodine and vitamin K2 should also be amped. Just remember, these are guidelines. You can be as strict or as laid-back with it as you want, the important part is that you eat in way that make you feel amazing!
What are your thoughts on the Paleo approach? Should we get all primal and adopt the eating rituals of our ancestors?