What is Paleo?
If you’re reading through my recipes you may or may not have noticed that none of these recipes contain any grains, among a few other ingredients. Let me break down for you what the Paleo diet/lifestyle consists of and why it’s VITALLY important to your heath.
First of all, it’s a scientific fact that although humans have been on the planet for millions of years (there is data that suggests close to 4 million!), our genetic DNA makeup has not drastically changed throughout these years. What has changed however, is our diet and the food that’s readily available to us.
At the dawn of the agricultural revolution, we were faced with a variety of changes. The first of which was moving away from a nomadic life style to more sedentary, settled lifestyle. This happened because we as a community discovered how to plant grains. We discovered that although not nourishing or delicious by any means, we could survive, as families, in one place while sustaining and harvesting our own food supply.
The founders and leading physicians in this field have conclusive evidence that this was the demise of our health and beginning of the era of debilitating diseases. Do you think cavemen died of diabetes, heart disease or cancer? The answer is that they most definitely DID NOT. Yes, they may have had a slightly smaller life span because a lion ripped their face skin off, but that’s pretty much the only conclusive evidence that shows that cavemen lived shorter lives. They were however, free of cavities and pretty much every other disease that you can think of that we face today.
Before I go on (because I know you’re fuming), let me ask you this. What would you feed a lion? An ant? A whale? I’m going to assume your answers fell into something like this: meat, plants and fish. Right you are! Now for another question, what do you feed humans? What do you think we were designed to eat? What do you suppose the “diet for human beings” is made up of?
I can assure you that the presence of trans fats in things like vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated soybean oil in Cheetos were NOT what we ate and are most definitely NOT what we were designed to eat. The problem that we began to encounter as a people was that we discovered that a profit could be made by producing food in a more efficient and cost effective manner. This brought on the onslaught of mass production of corn and other grains, feedlot raised and grain fed meat and a vast variety of food that we can’t even pronounce the ingredients that they’re made up of.
Doesn’t this strike anyone as odd? That the convergence of the agricultural revolution, debilitating disease and the morbid obesity of our society have led us to become the 44th most unhealthy country in the world as well as the #1 consumer of pharmaceutical drugs? This is not a coincidence people! It’s our diet! It’s gonna hurt to hear, but we’ve brought this upon ourselves. Furthermore (so that I may take a nice little jab at the pharmaceutical companies-bring it bitches!), shouldn’t we be the #1 most healthy country if we consume so many drugs? OH WAIT, I forgot, these drugs are killing us almost as fast as our diet is.
When is the last time you had a physician ask you WHY you were experiencing a certain symptom? When was the last time they prescribed you a drug? In my case, I’ve never had anyone ask me WHY they thought I was experiencing a symptom and I’ve had COUNTLESS drugs prescribed to me. Why didn’t they ask me about my diet? It turns out that my anxiety, chronic headaches, fatigue, stress and low sex drive were ALL TO DO WITH MY DIET. An idol of mine, Beverly Meyer, who hosts an amazing radio talk show called “Primal Diet, Modern Health” lives by a mantra. That mantra is “FOOD FIRST.” Yes, we should be looking at food first for why we’re not sleeping well, have acne, have anxiety, are depressed, have mood swings, experience intense menstrual cramps, have body aches and joint stiffness, diabetes, have suffered from a heart attacks, have skin rashes and I could keep going but I need to K.I.S.S. My conclusion here, is that for all of the maladies that we face, we need to take a look at what we put into our bodies first, end of story.
Here is what the Paleo diet/lifestyle does not include:
- No grains
- No legumes
- No processed food
- No sugar (other than that from fruit)
- No dairy
I know right now you’re thinking. Holy SHITE BALLS! What do you eat then? What’s so bad about grains, my box of Cheerios says that whole grains lower my risk for heart disease? I’ll tell you what I eat shortly, you can also look at every single recipe I’ve ever posted on this blog and get a good idea (smirk ) but yes, let’s talk about grains.
The problem with the foods above is that they are inflammatory. In one way or another, by one scientific reaction or another, they. are. inflammatory. Inflammatory foods induce a variety of responses in our body. Auto immune, insulin resistance, Cortisol production and many others (come on kids, I’ve spent the last year of my life researching this but am in no way a doctor. If you want to get super technical check out the links below in my references section, most notably Chris Kresser). By eating inflammatory foods we are subjecting ourselves to a life of pain and disease.
On that happy hippy hoppy note, let’s talk about what you CAN eat and why this lifestyle can change your life like it did mine.
Say YES TO:
- Grass fed beef, free range chicken, happy vegetarian diet fed piggys
- All the vegetables you can imagine
Do you see a pattern? Maybe that this looks a lot like what we may have ate when we were all “ooga boooga?” lol. I digress.
Let’s talk about Omegas! Or…let’s let the expert talk about the Omega essential fatty acids. DO NOT SKIP THIS READ, if you do- you are filthy cheater who is hell-bent on denying yourself of education and therefore squashing any hopes or dreams of quality personal development .
Now for my success story. I started out with a variety of ailments as mentioned above. I was a recent non smoker of about 10 years and HATED my body and how I felt every day. It’s been almost a year, I’ve dropped about 13% body fat, 30 lbs and literally can spring out of bed every day. Go ahead, google Paleo success stories and see for yourself. Please take note that I’m not a psycho-no-funner, I have a cheat meal once a week and still struggle with giving up the wine. But I bust my ass at Crossfit, 4 and sometimes 5 times a week.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a comment. I also do giveaways and contests here and love to hear from my readers. I’d love for you all to check out the links below as I’ve found these incredibly educational, they’ve changed my life.
Live to Thrive,