Sorry for the long delay in getting this post out. I have been reading Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Answer and drinking in all the online/blog/podcast information that I can. I think this is one subject I will never stop learning about. The wealth of information available, written by everyone from PHDs and MDs to nutritionists to average (but successful) Joes and Janes, keeps me researching. I wanted to use this post to basically sum up why I have chosen this new diet (how I eat, not a short term fad) and how you can easily adapt it into your life. I’ve tried to link to as many articles as I can that go into scientific detail. Also, check out my list of books at the end of this post. All are interesting and informative reads.
My journey to Paleo/Primal has been rather up and down. At one point I wasn’t eating much meat and found myself sluggish and lacking in energy. I felt like I had lost my shiny hair and skin. Although I had lost 25 pounds in the process, I felt deprived. My diet was missing something: protein. Without eggs and meats I was always hungry and yearning for my next meal. I supplemented my lack of protein with carbohydrates/grains and still had a belly I just couldn’t get rid of. Once I started adding protein back in (thanks to the AWESOME cookbook written by The Primal Palate) I felt amazing. I finally enjoyed meals again and couldn’t wait to start cooking! On the superficial side I finally have a flat stomach and amazing body definition. I feel healthy, wealthy, well and wise (my mantra I tell myself everyday).
Interestingly enough this new diet/lifestyle has given me more energy for strength training. I had long since given up on it with my old diet, because it felt so draining. Not only have I jumped back in with two feet, but doing lunges the other day was pain free. My knees used start hurting about 5-10 reps into the set. This time there was no pain. I haven’t had that experience in over 5 years. Hooray!! Alright enough bragging, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I have linked to an article for each bullet with further explanation.
DO NOT EAT:
- Potatoes (The Paleo Answer has a great chapter on this)
- Processed, packaged foods
- Processed dairy
- Artificial sweeteners
- Refined Sugar
- Unhealthy fats
- Grain fed meats
- Fruits and Vegetables (The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a great resource for eating local)
- Grass-fed and pastured meats
- Pastured eggs
- Fats (the healthy ones of course)
- Raw dairy (if you can tolerate it)
Basically if it grows, eat it. If it’s man-made, avoid it. This is not a cut and dry lifestyle, it requires tweaking and paying close attention to your bodies response. I know for me personally I avoid all dairy for my allergies, but would like to experiment with more raw dairy in the near future. I also had some sleeping issues recently and starting adding more sweet potatoes with dinner and have noticed significant improvement. Also be careful with your supplements. Diets this rich in natural minerals and vitamins require much less supplementation. I will be the first to admit I’m a recovering vitamin addict. I thought a pill could cure everything. I just recently went off a multi-vitamin all togerther and feel better. Too much can be as harmful as too little.
As I said earlier, I can’t begin to explain in one post just how amazing this diet/lifestyle truly is. Here is a list of great books and resources to do more self-investigation.
- Mark’s Daily Apple
- The Paleo Answer (book)
- Make It Paleo (cookbook)
- Primal Palate
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma (book)
- Balanced Bites
- Livin’ La Vida Low Carb
- Rob Wolff
- Weston A. Price Foundation
- Chris Kresser
Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. If I don’t know the answer I will steer you in the right direction. Happy eating!