Friday, March 15, 2013

What is Paleo?

Paleo is the nickname for the Paleolithic diet.  Designed to strip processed foods from your regular diet, you will eat simple whole foods like those that were primarily hunted and gathered in the stone age.  The premise is that our diets have changed a great deal since the Paleolithic era but our body chemistry and nutritional requirements have not.

Instead of eating a diet heavy in grains and processed foods, we should be eating a diet similar to those of cavemen (and cavewomen) - primarily fruit, veggies, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.   No grains.  no legumes.  No dairy.  No foods with added sugar.  Minimal processed foods.  The meat  and eggs should be high quality such as organic, grass fed, free range and/or cage free birds.  Good oils are olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sesame seed oil, etc.  Bad oil would be canola oil or butter.  Click HERE to find out more about Paleo.

My husband and I have been trying a hybrid Paleo / Whole 30 diet for the last 3 weeks.  Not including one weekend out of town and couple of off days, we have stuck to the plan.   I finally did relent and have been using Splenda with my coffee or tea and and indulging in adding chick peas to my salad.  (These may sound small but really are frowned upon).

We have not been "devout" and would probably be reprimanded by purists but I think we have done very well.  Ryan and I have both lost over 10 lbs.  I plan to give myself a weekend off when I hit major milestones only and to otherwise avoid prohibited foods...with the exception of Splenda and garbonzo beans.

Here is what a typical day on Paleo looks like:
Breakfast - Fruit and/or eggs.
Lunch - Salad.  I usually top mine with chicken, hard boiled eggs, olives, beets, sesame seeds, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, etc.
Snack -  Raw veggies or macadamia nut, cashew butter or a handful of almonds.
Dinner - Grilled chicken, steak, pork chops or fish.  One of our favorites for example is salmon encrusted with pecans.   Roasted veggies.  Side Salad.
Dessert - A bowl of fruit or a smoothie made with fresh fruit and unsweetened coconut milk.

What are some of the foods I miss?
Cottage Cheese
Milk Chocolate
Cheeseburger and fries (I can have burgers but without the cheese and without the bun)
Ice Cream
Bagel with cream cheese
Fast food.  I can probably eat some things but have been trying to avoid for the most part.

As much as I miss these foods, the benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel.  I do not have the stomach problems that I am constantly plagued with.  I feel more comfortable without a constant heavy or bloated feeling in my gut.   Clothes are fitting better and I have more energy.    I can eat as much as I want, as long as it is on the OK list.

Like I said earlier, there have been some days I have fallen off the wagon.   Then there was the one really bad episode with a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies - I was like a crackhead when I gave in to my cravings.  What started out as one cookie ended up being half a box.  I felt like crap afterwards.  Not only did I have a immense guilt and embarrassment, I also felt sick to my stomach.  I made a commitment  at that point to not let that happen again. Ever.

Last night I was on Pinterest and found quite a few Paleo boards.  I was really excited to find some new recipes and started my own board, comprised primarily of repins that I want to try myself.   I went a little crazy pinning.  You can see my board HERE.  If you are interested in Paleo make sure to follow it.  I am looking forward to trying some of these recipes.

I will continue to share my progress and some of the recipes.  Feel free to share also - please comment!  I welcome any success stories, comments or questions.   Any advice is also greatly appreciated.



Anonymous said...

Interesting and informative.

Congrats on your progress!

Unknown said...

I am vegan and have very little/no interest in paleo for myself, but there are some awesome non dairy "milk"s that you can buy (almond, hemp, sunflower seed) or you can make by soaking and blending nuts then draining the pulp (google can help you with a more precise recipe) and there are chia seed pudding recipes that are paleo and high fiber breakfast options
Congrats on your success so far!

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