A starting point to some of the foods allowed on the Paleo diet.
There is not a diet in existence that does not have its fair share of rules, regulations and guidelines relating to the types, quantities and portions of food and drink within it. You may have heard terms like Palaeolithic nutrition, the Caveman diet, and the hunter gatherer diet for example. This nutritional lifestyle is more commonly known as the Paleo diet lifestyle and it too certainly has rules and guiding principles to live it effectively.
The very basic principles of this eating style is all about going back to the very roots of our ancestry and following the eating and nutritional habits of what was available to the caveman, then applying those same principles to our modern-day food choices and availability.
When you really sit back and look at it, our advances in technology, farming, processing and agriculture while definitely beneficial in many areas has taken us (and our digestive system) away from pure eating and nutrition. The caveman and our early ancestors were hunters and gatherers and always ate the freshest of fruits and vegetables supplemented ideally by a variety of lean meats. If you follow the recommended foods of the Paleo diet and stay away from the discouraged foods you can give yourself a great chance of attaining optimal health and nutrition.
So then, taking the lead that the allowed foods while on this diet are based on the nutrition available to the caveman, a very big no-no are processed or packaged foods. Also on the Paleo diet “stay away from” list are those fatty type meats which can taste great but unfortunately do our bodies and health no good at all. Foods like pork sausage, bacon, pepperoni, chicken wings, processed deli meats, spam, breakfast sausage, fatty pork and lamb chops as well as the skin of turkey and chicken should all be avoided. Obesity and heart disease is at record levels worldwide and fatty meats can claim a great deal of responsibility for this especially when over eaten.
Cavemen also did not consume any grains or wheat because they lived in the age before agriculture. Unless it was already growing naturally, it was not eaten. Gluten is fast becoming a major contributor to digestive and nutritional problems and ailments therefore all types of food containing gluten are NOT on the Paleo diet “allowed foods” list. Watch out for the false security offered up by those alleged “gluten-free” grains as they are still not endorsed for the Paleo diet. Not only are other grains on the do not eat list but all other byproducts of their processing. What this means is that grains like barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, wheat, and wild rice as well as all products made from them such as amaranth, bread, buckwheat, cakes, cookies, corn chips, corn on the cob, corn starch, corn syrup, donuts, flat bread, muffins, pasta, pancakes, pita bread, pizza, quinoa, rice cakes, rice flour, rice noodles, rice pudding, rolled oats, rolls, rye crackers, and tortillas are all NOT on the approved foods list. For many people, the limitation of these types of foods is very hard but what is important to remember is the benefits this “sacrifice” will deliver to your body and therefore your life!
We have spoken much about the limitations and Paleo diet plan foods that are not on the approved list. The good news however is the Paleo diet DOES have many foods that can be eaten and enjoyed. As is everything worthwhile in life, persistence and understanding is paramount to success and those that have truly stuck to the Paleo diet and embraced it have found a much greater and enjoyable variety of meals and foods available to them than what they might have first imagined.
We know that the Cavemen did not eat dairy however eggs are certainly on the menu. A great favorite of many on the Paleo diet is a delicious two egg omelette containing plenty of fresh produce such as peppers, onions, tomato and mushrooms. When feeling peckish, snacks of fresh fruit and vegetables are a great option for absolutely everybody and that includes those following the Paleo. We have an amazing, endless variety of fresh fruit available to us and vegetables like raw carrots, capsicums, cucumber and celery are all refreshing to eat, yummy to taste and provide many health benefits. One thing to remember – resist the urge to add sauces or condiments to your fresh fruit and vegetables. The wrong addition or amount can take away all the benefits quick as a flash!
Lean meats are a great part of the Paleo lifestyle and there are many that you can eat! The word lean though is the key! You want to be looking for meats from animals that have been grass-fed, free range or pasture raised. Where that option is not available, select the leanest cuts of meat you can find. Seafood is also a wonderful choice and option when on the Paleo diet and the available variety is magnificent!
One of the most beneficial aspects to the Paleo diet is when it comes to over eating and weight loss. Many of the weight problems we face today come from overeating. The Paleo affects this by eventually slowing your digestive process over time. This means you will feel fuller and as a result, you only eat when you are hungry. Like the caveman, you might find that you actually skip a meal. Don’t worry too much about that as your body will give you the signal when it is hungry and needs fuel.
Just always remember when you do eat, to choose foods as much as you can from the encouraged Paleo diet foods category and enjoy the results and health benefits you will soon start to see! From solving digestive problems, getting rid of food and preservative allergies, feeling much fuller without snacking and of course a big one – finally losing that weight without crazy dieting!