What is “Paleo”
What we feed out bodies has a direct and traceable effect on our performance on a daily basis. Certain food groups have a negative impact on our health without us even realizing it. The paleo diet is going back to how our ancestors ate. It is an effective way for fat loss, preventing diseases and increasing performance…or just to “look good naked”. The process is fairly simple, you create meals from the following:
- Lean proteins – ideally grass fed meat, free range fowl and wild caught fish
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Healthy fats – nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil
Regardless of your fitness or health goals, you will look better, feel better and perform better eating this way. It will change your life! Remember that the more strictly you can follow this the more effective it will be on your health and performance.
The Basic “Rules”
Eat Real Food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, good fats. When shopping avoid the center of the grocery store. If you pick up something to see if it is in fact “paleo” and the ingredient list is a mile long and filled with things you don’t know what they are it isn’t paleo. Anything that will keep for long periods at a time is probably not paleo.
- No added sugar of any kind – this includes every type of artificial sweetener imaginable. Your body actually processes a lot of artificial sweeteners the same way it does real sugar, hence having a similar effect on your body. No honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, splenda, equal, xylitol, stevia, etc. When selecting foods it is important to read the label as many sugars are disguised by the manufacturer.
- Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, pre-packaged meals, protein bars, etc.
- Processed meat – on occasion there is no way to avoid this. Try to be careful that it isn’t processed with a bunch of sugar.
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do not eat grains. This includes ALL grains – wheat, rye, barley, millet, oats, corn, rice, sprouted grains, and all of those “gluten-free” grains including quinoa. Again it is important to read labels as it is amazing at the ways manufacturers sneak grains into foods in the forms of bran, germ, starch, etc.
- Do not eat legumes – beans of all kinds, peas, lentils, peanuts, peanut butter, all forms of soy (including sauce).
- You can slide by with some legumes such as green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they are technically a legume they are more pod than bean and they are GREEN!
- Do not eat dairy – This includes all cow, goat or sheep’s milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream, etc.
- Do not eat white potatoes. While not exactly a non paleo food they are carbohydrate dense and nutrient poor.
- Do not try to “Paleo-tize” your diet. The goal of this exercise is to eat the most healthy and beneficial food for your body for the next 30 days, not to find ways to turn your current diet into a pseudo healthy one.