A Guide To The Diet Paleo People Ate
Do you actually know where your food comes from, what hormones it is injected with, or how it was genetically modified? Do you understand what you are putting into your body? Eating a Paleo diet can be an essential part to living the lifestyle design that you want!
About 3 months ago I started a new nutrition plan that would be able to support my lifestyle. I was looking for a nutritional diet that would:
- Provide more energy
- Control hypoglycemia
- Control weight (Lose weight or gain weight depending on my goals)
- Provide an overall healthier lifestyle and body (less sickness)
- Provide a better sense of well-being
After many years of health and nutrition research, I have tried and mastered quite a few different diets. During these different trial and errors of testing nutritional lifestyles, I feel that I have finally found one that provides exactly the benefits I was looking for. It is called the Paleo Diet or Paleo Nutrition. The following is to enlighten you and I on what exactly is the Paleolithic Diet and how can it help us.
It is time to take a hard look at our diet and how our food has changed for the worse.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is based primarily on how our ancestors ate about 500 generations ago before the modern agricultural revolution. These foods, based on 229 of the previous hunter gatherer societies, which consist mainly of lean meats, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, are high in the essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, photochemicals, fiber, omega 3’s, antioxidants, and more. These foods are also low in the glycemic index, which describes the effects on blood glucose levels, which is a large indicator of weight loss & weight gain. These paleo foods are also low in trans fat, refined sugars, salt, and high glycemic carbs. The diet is meant to eliminate the bad and increase the good in foods that are available to us to promote overall health (limit diseases). According to Dr. Loren Cordain (Father of Paleo Nutrition), “The Paleo Diet encourages dieters to replace dairy and grain products with fresh fruits and vegetables — foods that are more nutritious than whole grains or dairy products.” A study done at the Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, has found that Paleolithic nutrition provides all the vitamins and minerals we need, except for Vitamin D (which we mainly get through exposure to sun), even with the elimination of two major food groups.
Basically, the paleo diet is based upon how we ate before our current diets of processed foods, high fructose corn syrups, hormone induced massive growth in plants and animals, and other genetically modified food behaviors. It is going back to the source that mother nature has intended for humans to consume in order to live. Paleo is about going back to the environment where disease was less and obesity was not a factor. The Paleo Diet is going back about 10,000 years ago!
Understanding our ancestors
Our ancestors before the agricultural revolution and animal husbandry lived primarily a lifestyle of hunting and gathering. Their primary goal on a day to day basis was to hunt and gather. This led to large periods between meals where they would fast because they did not have a readily available food source. Yes, they did have a short lifespan, but it was primarily due to trauma and not due to chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, cancer, etc..If you take a look at still existent hunter-gatherer societies in today’s world, about 20% of them are over the age of 60 with about every one of them showing no signs of diseases that result from a revolutionized food industry. Once these hunter-gatherer societies start adopting a Western diet, diseases start showing up more.
Eating Paleo & Lifestyle Design
In short, you have probably eaten a Paleo meal in some point or time in your life. For example, have you ever had an Egg Omelet for breakfast? Then you had a Paleo breakfast. Have you ever had a salad with chicken on it and no high fructose corn syrup infested salad dressing (which about every salad dressing is), then you probably ate Paleo. Have you ever had a dinner consisting of salmon and vegetables? Then you ate Paleo. Paleo nutrition is not some “fad” diet, it is a lifestyle change. It is designing your lifestyle to Paleo nutrition to achieve your goals of lifestyle design. Whether it is to lose weight and have more energy to climb the tallest mountains in the world or just to feel more vibrant and clearheaded. Eating paleo is a essential part of your lifestyle design.
Here is the basic premise to the foods you should start adding to your paleo diet list (if you can afford organic, go for organic, if not, then simple changes will also dramatically help for the better):
What to eat:
- Lean meat (pork, chicken and beef)
- Nuts (not peanuts)
What not to eat:
- Grains, seeds, beans
- Dairy products
- Refined sugar, fats and oils.
I highly suggest you visit these three big players in the Paleo lifestyle design.
- Dr. Loren Cordain – ThePaleoDiet.com – Like I mentioned above, Dr. Cordain is the Father of Paleolithic Nutrition. He has a awesome book called The Paleo Diet (aff). He also has a book entitled The Paleo Diet for Athletes (aff).
- Robb Wolf – RobbWolf.com – Robb runs a wonderful podcast called “The Paleolithic Solution.” Robb is also one of my target interviews for my Life Design Project Interview Series.
- Mark Sisson – MarksDailyApple.com – Mark’s nutritional plan is called the Primal Diet (What is the difference between the paleo diet and primal diet?), and is basically the Paleo diet without the scare of saturated fats. The raw primal diet and the paleo diet both have their advantages. He has a great book called The Primal Blueprint (aff).
- The New Caveman Lifestyle Has Found a Home in the City – This article just came out in the New York Times Friday, January 8th, 2010
- The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups
- Paleo Diet Recipes
Final Thoughts & a Challenge to You
So far since I have been eating a diet consisting of Paleo foods, I have seen a significant increase in:
- Energy – No ups and downs, highs and lows from insulin and sugar spikes
- Mental clarity – Seems easier to think, not as stressed as much
- Weight loss – More defined
- Easier to prepare foods – Fresh fruit, raw veggies, and lean meats are pretty easy to prepare
- Clearer skin – More vibrant
- Fuller head of hair – Even barber has mentioned it
- Vision is getting better – It seemed it was going bad before I started Paleo
- Easier and more peaceful sleep – I have always been an insomniac, however, lately I have been naturally and soundly sleeping
- Have not been sick – No indication of sickness
- Better sense of well-being – by a few ways, such as all of the above benefits and by ways such as supporting local farmers and foods
I have a challenge for those of you who are looking for a lifestyle change in your nutrition plan. If you want any of the above benefits I have received, then I challenge you to try committing yourself 100% to eating a Paleo based diet for 30 days. 30 days is not much, but it will give you an indication if eating Paleo this will help you in your lifestyle design.
If you do plan on implementing the Paleo nutritional routine, then I suggest starting slowly. You can keep some of your past nutritional foods around, but slowly start eliminating them. Slowly remove the high fructose corn syrups and grains and replace them with fresh fruits and veggies. If you want, you can go all out on this plan and just throw out all your junk and start brand new. If you do not like the Paleo lifestyle after 30 days, feel free to go back to whatever you want.
I am also running the Paleo Diet in conjuction with Intermittent Fasting, which I will talk about here soon.
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