What is Paleo? An Intro to The Paleo Diet
Paleo or Paleolithic is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of the Paleolithic humans (Cavemen). The modern day Paleo diet, although commonly referred to as a diet is in fact a lifestyle—a way of life. The paleo lifestyle has also been referred to as “whole food diet”, “primal diet”, “real food diet”, “grain free diet”, etc. No matter what you call it the paleo way of eating is simple: mimic our ancestor’s diet, who suffered from fewer chronic diseases than in our modern society.
The lifestyle is about simply following a few well defined premises:
1) Only Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are those that remain in their natural state with NO processing required. When you eat food as provided by nature it actually promotes health, healing, and immunity against future disease.
2) Avoid Processed/Refined Foods
These foods include
– All grains
– Pasteurized dairy (so all dairy)
– Seed oils (corn, cottonseed, soybean, canola etc)
– Artificial/refined sugars and sweetners (high fructose corn syrup especially)
3) Food Should Maintain Proper Digestive Function
Here you must determine which foods disrupt digestion and STOP eating them immediately. Even though certain foods are healthy they may be wreaking havoc for your digestive system so eliminate them now!
This is so critical because 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut (digestive system) and if it is in a constant state of irritation your ability to fight chronic and acute disease is dramatically reduced. It’s no wonder so many people report such ailments of chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, and autoimmune disorders.
4) Food Should Maintain Proper Blood Sugar Regulation
The amount of time it takes between meals before you’re hungry again and how you feel in-between meals are directly related to your blood sugar levels. Proper eating should leave you feeling satisfied for 4-6 hours between meals with no fluctuation in mood or energy level. In other words you feel good. Here is where you must determine the right amount of proteins, fats, and “good carbs” you must eat in order to maintain your blood sugar level.
Practical Tips to Get Started
So you’re probably thinking where do I get started? How do I know if the foods I eat are contributing to allergies, colds, digestive irritation, fatigue, depression and the list goes on? Just like any lifestyle change it will take time and considerable effort to figure out your specific issues. However, you can start right now by following the list above and observing how your body reacts when you follow it strictly and when you trip up.
I know, I know but 90% of my diet is carbs, grains, sugars… well to steal a line from Dr. Phil “how’s that working for ya?” Look I know it won’t be easy to change your current diet but the rewards are many : weight loss, more energy, less sick days, less bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, allergies magically disappear, healthy skin, bones, joints, muscles. The truth is you will just feel really great and that is what life is really about. Imagine all the things you would get done in a day if you just felt better?
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