Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What is the Paleo diet and why should you care?

Paleo - evolution

Whether you believe in the theory of evolution .....

Adam and Eve

.... or lean towards a more traditional belief ....

One thing nobody can deny is the majority of people in the civilized world today are eating in a way that is NOT working for them.  In the last few decades we have somehow gone very, very wrong.  

Now it's not like we never had it right.  If that was the case we wouldn't be here today.  So doesn't it just make sense to backtrack and see where we went off the path and then get back on it?  Enter the Paleo diet.

What is the Paleo diet ?

Simply put, it's eating the foods that our bodies were designed for.  It has now been scientifically proven beyond any doubt that our ancestors were hunter gatherers.  So that means we should be eating foods that you can obtain by hunting (meat and fish) and by gathering (fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts).

We should avoid anything that does not fit into these categories.  This means any kind of processed foods. (And no, hunting and gathering at your local grocery store doesn't count!) 

You also want to avoid foods that were not naturally available (such as modern grains) and foods that are not optimal for nutrition (such as legumes and starches). To learn more about why we shouldn't be eating these read these posts :

At this point you're probably thinking, Yes, this is all very interesting but ......

Why should you care?

The answer is very simple.  Because it is becoming more and more obvious as more research is done that eating this way is the best way to ensure a long and healthy life.  And the best thing is it's never too late.  Even if you have lived many years without knowing any of this information, by changing your eating habits now you can change the way you age.  

Instead of becoming sicker, fatter and ending up in a Nursing home, you can choose to spend the rest of your life the healthiest you can possibly be. You will not only probably live longer, but maintain a great quality of life during the whole of your lifetime.

And the best part?  You will not have to be hungry or miserable.  In fact chances are,  you will be eating better food than you're eating now, and enjoying your life much more as well.

And these are not empty promises.  Now there are many well qualified and respected scientists, physicians and other care providers who have jumped on this band wagon, and a quick Google search will bring you many more websites and blogs than you could possibly keep up with.

Here is just one such example.  If you go to RobbWolf.com you will find this diagram above which gives you a very quick summary of just a few of the health benefits of a Paleo lifestyle. 

Rob Wolf is an expert on Paleolithic nutrition, considered one of the founders of the Paleo movement, and author of The Paleo Solution. (Check the library tab above for more books on Paleo.)

Of even greater importance to a large majority of people is that the Paleo style of eating is one of the easiest, quickest and best ways to lose weight and keep it off permanently.  

Paleo eating, by it's exclusion of grains, is basically a lower carb way of eating, and again, there are more and more studies showing that low carb eating is the most successful method for sustainable weight loss.  For more information read my post No Deprivation Diet  and check out the WEIGHT LOSS tab above.

So what exactly should you eat ?

This has become a bit more complicated over the last few years as various people have interpreted the Paleo diet in various ways.  But overall, the guidelines are as stated above - meat and fish, vegetables, nuts and fruit.

At CastleGrok.com you will find this food pyramid which is a good example of the general food rules that are followed by the Paleo community.

When it comes to interpreting the Paleo guidelines there are various schools of thought.  Those who believe in very strict Paleo will not eat any dairy since Primitive man most certainly didn't milk cows or make cheese.   

For some people who are dealing with digestive problems, it might be helpful to try an elimination diet for a short period of time so they can isolate the foods that they need to avoid.

 However others believe that the Paleo guidelines should be just that - guidelines - and even though the general principles need to be followed, we can give ourselves some leeway and an easier life by allowing a few of the less optimal foods in moderation in our diet. 

We also have to take into consideration that we live at a different time. The food available today is different than what was available even fifty years ago, and our soils are a lot more depleted of nutrients.  This is why supplementing our diet should also be a consideration.  

This is the basic premiss of the plan you will find at marksdailyapple.com

If you are new to Paleo, this is a great place to start.  Not only is it (in my opinion anyway) the easiest way to get into this lifestyle, reading the thousands of success stories you will find on this website is totally inspiring.  These are written by people of all ages and from all walks of life, and the many problems that have been solved by a change to this way of eating  - arthritis, colitis, and many more too numerous to mention - is nothing short of miraculous as far as I'm concerned.  


You don't have to believe them of course, but when a huge number of people say the same thing, it's pretty hard not to admit there has to be something to this.  And the before and after pictures of normal everyday people are very hard to dismiss.


To read more about Mark's Primal blueprint check out my quick summary in this post :

And for more specific information on what we should be eating read these posts :

Just in case you are thinking that if you go Paleo you have to give up all of your favourite foods, let me assure you this is NOT the case.  If you check the RECIPES tab you will see there are many very tasty substitutes for traditional foods like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. You might even find, like I have, that you prefer these to what you are eating now.

Also, when you eat Paleo the Primal Blueprint way, you have the leeway to still indulge occasionally in your favourites.  Mark believes in the 80/20 rule.  If you follow this plan at least 80 percent of the time, you will still gain many of the benefits, so perfection is not necessary .... or even really desirable.

Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf

Did you know that the word PALEO was one of the most frequently searched words on Google in 2011? 

As more and more information is discovered and spread by well qualified medical authorities, the Paleo lifestyle will become increasingly popular.  Why not do yourself a favour and jump on the bandwagon now?  It's not difficult.  

Check out my START HERE tab above for all the information you need to get started, and join this ever increasing group of health conscious people who are determined to create the best possible quality of  life for themselves and their families.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

Want to try Paleo, but .....

... think it's too hard to do?
... don't have enough information?
... don't know where to start?
My STEP-BY-STEP PALEO ebook course makes it Easy !

I show you exactly what to do Step by Step,
I give you lots of great Recipes,
and I make it Fun !

check out Book 1 on Amazon today !


1 comment:

  1. I love you Step-by-Step series. I looked forward to getting the new installment each month. I was really sad when June rolled around and there was no new book. Do you think you'll ever finish the series? I'd really like to know. I keep checking to see if there's any new developments. I love the way it was set up.


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