After a great deal of reading, examination, and time consuming reflection, I’ve decided that the best approach to improving diet overall is to follow the Paleo Diet. Why? Because after years of seeing diet fads come and go, and seeing how contradictory much of the dietary information has been, the only approach that has made any sense to me has been the one approach that seems to start from scratch and take people back to basics. Even more importantly however, is that the guy who is recognised as the founder of the “paleo movement” has modified his thinking and approach based on new research and information as it has come to light, rather than simply sticking by his guns and telling everyone else that they are wrong. This has sent me a powerful message, but more so has the logic behind the paleo approach.
In these pages, I will provide links to Paleo Diet related information, recipes, and any observations I might have on my own Paleo dietary journey.
What the Paleo Diet isn’t:
- It is not a “Diet” in the sense of the word meaning to go on a diet for a fixed amount of time.
- It is not a quick fix, or a silver bullet.
- It is not a fat-free diet.
- It is not a carb-free diet.
- It is not an extreme or polarized approach.
- It is not dangerously restrictive.
- It is not an excuse to eat quantities of fried and sugary foods.
What the Paleo Diet IS:
- A dietary lifestyle choice.
- A long term solution to diet related health and well being.
- A well researched, logical and well-balanced approach to nutrition.
- A sensible dietary regimen that is relatively straight forward to follow.
- Only one part of the larger picture of an individual’s health and well-being.
The Paleo Diet Rules:
- All the lean meats, fish, and seafood you wish to eat
- All the fruits and non-starchy vegetables you wish to eat
- No grains/cereals
- No legumes
- No dairy products
- No processed foods
What does all of this mean?
- Proteins are very important, because they provide your body with a feeling of satiation without requiring large unmanageable volumes of food, and our bodies need protein to repair damage to muscles and other protein-dependent cells.
- Carbohydrates are not the enemy. They need to be balanced against your protein consumption, and come from good natural sources, such as fruits and vegetables, and not in the form of processed sugars.
- Fats are not the enemy. Identifying which fats are consumed and regulating the quantities of bad fats vs good fats is the key
- Grains/cereals and legumes are treated as starvation foods. Our bodies don’t really need them and they do more harm than good, particularly in terms of Insulin production and resistance. Better to simply avoid them when your local supermarket has plenty of other paleo-compatible foods on offer.
- Our bodies don’t really need dairy foods All of the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats are available from meat, fruit, and vegetable sources. On a well balanced paleo diet, body acidity is regulated such that calcium will not be excessively leached from the body. Besides, dairy foods are so heavily processed these days, that any potential nutritional benefit that might initially exist is effectively wiped out during processing.
- We can return to being the hunter gatherers that Nature/Evolution/God intended mankind to be. The difference is that in modern times, we will hunt our meat sources from our local butcher, and gather our fruit and veg from our local green grocer.
- Exercise and lifestyle are the other half of the health and well-being puzzle that we need to sort out for ourselves. It’s not good enough to simply hit the gym once or twice per week for 40 minutes or so. Our bodies were made to be active, and sitting at a desk or in front of the TV without movement is literally killing people. There are many inventive ways to work in an office or enjoy your favourite TV shows without being entirely sedentary. The trick is to think laterally and find a solution that works for you to complement your dietary lifestyle changes.