1. PALEO: A prefix that means “prehistoric” or “primitive”
2. DISH: (n) A particular variety or preparation of food
(v) Informal talk
3. ISH: A suffix that means kind of/somewhat, usually added onto the end of a word
What is the “Paleo Diet/lifestyle”? The Paleo Diet focuses on eating foods that were readily available during the Paleolithic (caveman) era, prior to the Agricultural Revolution. It’s premise concentrates on feeding your body food it was genetically designed to eat, digest and process.
- meats (grass-fed when possible)
- fish/seafood (fresh when possible)
- nuts/seeds (fruit and nut trees)
- fruits and vegetables (organic when possible)
For a complete list of Paleo foods, check out this list.
This list was obtained from the book Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain (Wiley and Sons, New York 2002 pages 104-112).
Foods to avoid are:
- processed/packaged items
This may seem overwhelming at first, but really it doesn’t have to be. The first step for me was going through the cupboards and the fridge to get rid of all the “junk”. I remember John Vivian (CFTO) saying at the boot camp- “If it crinkles and scans….don’t eat it.” For the most part, this is the rule we go by. Try to focus on eating foods that are fresh and ones that have minimal ingredients. Get creative and use your imagination…the possibilities and food combinations are endless!
As time goes on, you will start to notice the benefits of eating this way. Your body will adjust, you will feel better, lighter and perform stronger. Do you have to eat 100 % Paleo everyday? The degree to which you follow is up to you. This is not a “fad” diet, but rather a lifestyle, so you still need to enjoy life in my opinion. Each person is different and will need to prioritize based on your personal goals. My husband and I try to follow this way of eating 80-90% of the time.
The Seven Keys of the Paleo Diet
- Eat a relatively high amount of animal protein compared to the typical American diet
- Eat fewer carbohydrates, but lots of good carbohydrates—from fruits and vegetables, not from grains, starchy tubers, and refined sugars
- Eat large amounts of fiber from non-starchy fruits and vegetables
- Eat a moderate amount of fat, with more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fats and nearly equal amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fats
- Eat foods with a high potassium content and a low sodium content
- Eat a diet with a net alkaline load
- Eat foods which in plant phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
Taken from- The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat,is the work of Loren Cordain, Ph.D., a leading expert of Paleolithic (Stone Age) nutrition.
Major Benefits of Eating Paleo
- improve insulin sensitivity (linked to Syndrome X diseases)
- weight loss
- reduce inflammation
- improve mood and well-being
- improve condition of skin and hair
There is an abundance of literature on the Paleo Diet/lifestyle. For more information check out a couple of my favourite resources: