What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet puts an emphasis on eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats. Since you’ll be filling your plate up with these aforementioned foods, you will have less to no room for processed sweets, grains, legumes, and dairy. In simpler terms, here’s a graph:
|Paleo Food Choices||Non-Paleo Food Choices|
|Vegetables and Starches||Dairy|
|Fats- Nuts, Seeds, Avocados, Coconut Products, and Lard (from omega 3 rich sources).||Legumes- Peanuts and Beans (including soy products).|
|Meat- Eggs, Fish, Poultry, Pork, Beef, Bison, and any other animal or crustacean you may want to eat.||Processed Sugar and Alcoholic Beverages.|
While following my blog, you can expect my recipes to follow these guidelines. However, you can also expect the truth in that I’m not always 100% Paleo….sometimes I’m Paleo-ish. Hence, the binge dirty headline to my blog. I like to eat clean, train hard, then enjoy some treats. I’m always gluten free and mostly dairy free unless someone whips me up a cappuccino using the highest quality grass-fed cream or egg nog. I guess I’m just here to tell you that it’s ok. I’ll be your confidant when you need to spill your guts on eating too much cake. It happens, get over it. As long as you’re consistent with the Paleo Diet and have reached a level of leanness that you’re happy with, you won’t die and you’ll still look damn good. And you’ll probably enjoy your life much more knowing that you ate your mom’s freshly baked cookies. Keep your focus on the big picture and keep trekking forward. All is not lost with one cookie, excellence is gained by eating more vegetables daily.
Remember that consistency pays off, so be consistent with eating real food and being active. It will pay off.
For more information regarding the Paleo Diet, check out these sites:
If you’re interested in reading more, then check out these New York Times Bestselling Books:
The Paleo Soultion, by Robb Wolf
It Starts With Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilipo
Manuals also worth mentioning are The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson, Paleo Slow Cooking, by Chrissy Gower and Everyday Paleo, by Sarah Fragoso; cookbooks and guides for you and your family.
If you’re just starting out and you’ve got your grips on the Paleo Diet then here is what I recommend following the Whole 9 and Robb Wolf approach:
Eat perfect Paleo for one month. After this initial month, you will have 2 options:
1. Continue eating Paleo because you feel awesome.
2. Start adding back in non-Paleo foods one at a time to see if they set well with you. It would go something like this; after you’ve eaten perfect Paleo for 4 weeks, add back in only dairy for a few meals. Then, see how you react to a meal containing dairy. Does it cause you gastric distress, bloating, acne, or any other odd symptoms? If so, you will know that you should continue avoiding dairy. If you’re not bothered by eating some dairy, then go ahead and continue eating it if you would like. Then, after you’ve assessed dairy, go back to a clean Paleo diet for a few days, then try the next non-paleo food item. Start with dairy, then go to rice, corn, legumes, and finally to wheat. Every one is different, so be your own test subject and give some new things a try.
If you’re past the first month and you know what food items work or don’t work for you, and which items you can or can’t live without, then you can start playing with protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios, nutrient timing, and intermittent fasting.
After six years of following the Paleo Diet and tweaking it here and there, I still always use the Paleo Diet as my base. It took me a long time to figure out and accept what foods worked and didn’t work for me, but I’m happy I’m no longer in the dark. I made some mistakes in the past such as not eating enough carbohydrates and too much bacon grease, but because I experimented, my performance in the gym and my muscular gains have since been climbing.
Figure out what works for you, expand if need be from the Paleo Diet and you should be a healthier, fitter, happier you.