Ok, so this is in my own words, there are experts in this area that will do a far more eloquent job then I at explaining this. So, in Laura’s words:
The Paleo/Primal/Ancestral/Caveman/Hunter Gatherer diets are all pretty similar, but there are some variations among them. In a nutshell, all of them center around the idea that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is so far removed from what our early ancestors ate that is actually the driving force behind our modern metabolic diseases. These include but are not limited to heart disease, hyper tension and type 2 diabetes. There are more, but I am not a Dr so I will leave that to the experts whom I reference on the right sidebar here for your reference. We need to eat the foods that fueled our ancestors rise to world domination! For well over 100,000 years we ate what we could hunt and gather, then modern agriculture comes along and screws it all up. More on that in a later blog post.
As this blog progresses I’ll address each of the nasty little culprits individually along the way. I figured I’d outline some basic principles first, then let you all complain about why you just won’t be able to live without (insert nasty little culprit here). Folks, if I can do it….you can do it! I have a mean sweet tooth and I am definitely and emotional stressed induced eater. I am here to testify to the fact that once you get this crap out of your system…..you WILL feel better, you WILL look better, and you’ll wonder why you ever craved the crap in the first place!
Since I like to start with the good news first, what is good to eat?
WHOLE UNPROCESSED FOODS ABOVE ALL!
Public Hero#1 – Meats of all kinds preferably from pastured, grass-fed animals: including but not limited to: beef, pork, poultry, lamb, venison and other game animals, organ meats (if you like them, I am working up to that one)
Public Hero #2 – Fish and Seafood of all kinds. Preferably wild caught.
Public Hero #3 – Eggs! Preferably from pasture raised, happy, worm-eating chickens
Public Hero #4 – Veggies of all kinds, the least starchy the better
Public Hero #5- Healthy fats. These include saturated animal fats (butter, lard, tallow etc.), traditional vegetable oils like olive oil, EXPELLER pressed sesame and flax seed oil (not for cooking), and tropical oils like coconut oil (one of my faves) and palm oil. Walnut oil and avocado oil are good too but be careful about cooking with them.
Public Hero #6 – Fruits, the ones with the least amount of sugar the better. BERRIES are great. In the beginning in particular I would limit the fruit if weight loss is a goal for you.
Public Hero #7 – Nuts and seeds – But PEANUTS are a no, Peanuts are a legume not a nut and are frequently covered in a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin. (Yikes! I had no idea and was blissfully popping peanuts because I thought they were providing me protein) You can get a better nutritional profile with almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts.
Public Hero #8 – Unrefined sea salt and herbs, use lots and whatever you like.
So, here we go…ya ready…..What exactly is the CRAP?
Public Enemy #1 – PROCESSED FOOD…..if it comes in a box and you have to read the ingredients to know what you are eating, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Public Enemy #2 – Sugar…..what!? Yep, sugar. Sugar is a toxic addictive substance and will just cause you to crave more sugar. It perpetuates a mean, vicious cycle that you must get out of your system. (some fruits and low glycemic and natural options are allowed later, after you succeeded in your Sugar-Rehab) and NO chemical sweeteners!! That includes Splenda! Stevia is OK, as well as some other natural alternatives like inulin.
Public Enemy#3 – Grains, Yes, even those revered whole grains that have been sent down from the heavens to cure us all of colon cancer and high cholesterol. (More on this in a later post) and anything with Gluten is the absolute worst.
Public Enemy #5 – Soy, yes, once again the revered source of vegan/vegetarian protein. Not all it’s cracked up to be. It blocks mineral absorption, inhibits protein digestion and contains carcinogens….so much for a health food.
Public Enemy#6 – Vegetable oils- refined liquid oils. Especially to cook with, when heated over high heat they produce free radicals and speed the aging process…this includes canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and that undefined “vegetable” oil.
Public Enemy#7 – Alcohol, Now this is the real bummer right? And those of you who know me personally know that I cheat on this one from time to time. I like me some red wine! But in all seriousness, if weight loss is a goal or even just getting your hormones back in balance this is one to avoid for a bit.
The Controversial one is Dairy – some experts say it is fine, others say only raw unpasteurized, others say none at all. My opinion for what it is worth is the less processed anything is the better, so if you can tolerate the lactose (milk sugar) and the casein (milk protein) then it will probably not stand in your way of feeling and looking great. There is a lot of research that discusses the many health benefits of raw dairy products and how the pasteurization and homogenization process kills all the good organisms that milk contains, that’s why the milk in our grocery stores need to be fortified with vitamin A and D, the processing killed off the good stuff! I personally do not tolerate dairy very well. 🙁 Laura loves cheese and ice cream so that is a total bummer. But since I have stopped eating it, I don’t crave it anymore….It’s like magic! If you chose to include dairy make it raw if you can, if not stick with organic and FULL FAT! Low-fat or non-fat dairy is useless. The vitamins A, D and K that are available in dairy are fat soluble vitamins, without the fat it will all go to waste.
Phew! Well, this is a glimpse of the Paleo Diet in Laura’s words. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The many links in my sidebar lead you to resources that discuss all this in detail, books, websites etc. Now, I’m tired from staring at this computer screen.
~ Laura, Mom Gone Paleo