What is Paleo?

Evolution is a beautiful thing (goodbye tail, hello opposable thumbs!), but somewhere between crawling out of the primordial ooze and cloning sheep, our dietary ideals took a real nosedive. The Paleo diet is about returning to the good old days, when we ate real food – food that grazed on and grew in the ground around us and swam in the water we drank from. If your cave dwelling ancestors could’ve gotten dressed up in their finest work furs and hunted it, picked it, or foraged for it, it’s probably Paleo.

Basically, Paleo is the idea that our bodies are meant to consume things like meat, seafood, fruit vegetables, nuts, and seeds as close to their unadulterated forms as possible. When we start filling up our bellies with processed foods that bear little resemblance to anything actually found in nature, things can get messy. Our systems don’t recognize the chemical-riddled artificially-colored monstrosities we far too often try to ingest, and the resulting struggle may very well be the reason that widespread problems like heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and chronic fatigue are on the rise.

The answer? By overhauling your diet and returning to a simper, tastier time, you give your body the nutritious food it recognizes. Instead of making yourself sick, with Paleo you hold in each forkful of fresh, nutrient-filled food the power to help heal yourself and begin living a strong, happy, and healthy life.

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Weight Loss

Paleo is not a magic weight loss solution. There’s no way to wave a wand and shrink your waistline, but you want to know a secret? Paleo is even better! Unlike fad diets that restrict you to tiny portions of unappealing food (how much cabbage soup can one person eat, really?), the Paleo protocol revolves around a lengthy list of delicious grub any gourmand would be thrilled to chow down on. Meat? Check. Fruit? Check? Veggies? As much as you want. Seem to good to be true? Here’s the thing: by nourishing our body with the food it was designed to eat, you’re ending your system’s war with food. The result is better quality sleep, more energy, a boost in your moods, and with all those positive things in play, losing weight gained due to stress, processed food, and intermittent illness is astonishingly simple.

What Can I Eat?

There are literally so many Paleo-friendly foods we can’t list them all here (we have a special page just for that!), but here’s a quick rundown with a few examples:

  • Meat – grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, turkey, lamb, venison, pork, bison
  • Seafood – salmon, sardines, oysters, mussels, crab
  • Vegetables – spinach, artichokes, asparagus, peppers, carrots, zucchini
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, plums, watermelon, canteloupe
  • Eggs – think beyond the chicken!
  • Nuts and Seeds – almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Fat – avocado, olive oil, coconut milk, macadamia oil
  • Miscellaneous – fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, sea vegetables, organ meat (rich in protein and so many vitamins and minerals)

So then… what can’t you eat? Everyone is different, and the great thing about the Paleo way of life is that every person makes decisions for him or herself, but the following is a short list of food that will tax your system and keep you from achieving the level of vitality, health, and overall well-being you desire:

  • Grains – this isn’t your mama’s Atkins, but still, grains like wheat, oats, barley, rye, and brown rice require so much work for your body to digest, it’s just not worth it
  • Legumes – chickpeas, kidney beans, and yes, peanuts. Sorry, gang!
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sugar!!! – If you need something sweet, grab some fruit. Cookies, cake, candies, and faux fruit juices aren’t doing you any favors
  • Dairy – You’re not a baby cow, and no self-respecting caveman started his day with a big bowl of yogurt. Just sayin’…

 

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