Let’s Talk Paleo!

Whenever I hear about new diets and food trends, I tend to get uneasy. Especially when the ultimate goal is to lose weight. People want to try just about anything to get back in shape. Even if it means living off iceberg lettuce (the most flavorless of the lettuces) for an entire month.

Which is why I confess that the first time I heard of Paleo, I rolled my eyes. To me, the entire thing seemed intense and extremely restrictive. But sometimes, the best approach is not to criticize and reject others’ point of view, but to actually try and better understand where they are coming from. That’s why I decided to explore a little of the Paleo philosophy.

The really interesting thing about different diets and lifestyles is that many times they actually have quite the interesting origin and they also end up having some great similarities to other diets and healthy eating tips in general. But before we get to my takeaways from Paleo, let’s first explore what Paleo is and what it consists of.

Paleo, also known as the caveman diet, consists of eating what our ancestors ate before the agricultural revolution. What this means is that someone embracing the Paleo lifestyle focuses mainly on meats and fish, nuts and seeds, and veggies and fruits. For the most part, they avoid grains, legumes, dairy, and added sugars. And if you’re wondering why those specific foods are excluded, the answer is evolution. The Paleo lifestyle focuses on the fact that our food has changed too much and too fast. So fast that it hasn’t allowed our bodies to actually adapt to the new way of eating. We have been depending too much on foods that our bodies are not used to processing. And let’s not forget that there has also been a rapid shift from fresh foods to more processed meals. It seems that quick and convenient is the tune of the modern world.

And what is the problem with processed, quick, and convenient foods? Well, we are currently dealing with many health issues that can actually be directly traced back to our eating patterns–obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, body inflammation. They can all be linked closely to our food choices, and that’s a scary fact. So that’s why I now say: Paleo might actually be on the right track.

Here are some of the things I believe Paleo has gotten 100% right:

-It favors fresh foods over processed. That’s the number one healthy eating tip in my opinion.

-Added sugars really do have to go. Other than giving us cavities and causing havoc in our body, they really don’t bring us any nutritious value.

-Paleo favors vegetables. Veggies are a great source of wonderful nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

-A paleo diet gets its healthy fats from nuts and seeds.

-The Paleo lifestyle is not only about what you eat, but it’s also about being more active. It’s no secret that we are way too sedentary and need to sit less and move more for our overall well-being.

And on that note, I am a firm believer that when it comes to tweaking your eating patterns, it comes down to how you go about things. Each person is different. We all have different needs and do well with different foods and lifestyles. I think it’s crucial to listen to your body. And if you are curious about the Paleo lifestyle, there are also different levels of intensity. There are those more flexible options, and they include a few nutritious pseudo grains such as quinoa and amaranth in their meals. At the end of the day, what matters is what works for you. You can use these two questions below as a guideline:

1. How do I feel after eating (bloated, tired, with nausea, acid reflux, energized, happy, etc)?

2.How is my energy level throughout the day (this could show a nutrient imbalance)?

Want to learn more about Paleo and try some delicious recipes? Check out PureFormulas’ “The Paleo Lifestyle.”