You’re probably seeing it all over the internet. It’s popping up in your Facebook feed and those beautifully photographed Paleo recipes are all over Pinterest. Paleo is quite the polarising topic in the media right now, with organisations like the Dieticians Association of Australian (DAA) and others like it, speaking out against the Paleo diet. While TV chef Pete Evans is advocating living a Paleo lifestyle, it can be tough to know what to believe. But, what is it? What does it involve?
What can I eat?
The nutshell version of Paleo is: Eat real whole foods, organic where you can. For land based meat, eat grass-fed. For sea foods, eat wild-caught. Think of the food that your grandparents (or your great-grand-parents) ate. So, I can see why the DAA doesn’t like it… wait, what?
What can’t I eat?
Avoid foods that don’t work for YOUR body. Many folks are troubled by grains & legumes, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol – without even realising. It’s about finding the food that works best to fuel your body and not eating the foods that make you feel bad. It’s about discovering what foods work best for you, do challenges and find what you don’t tolerate, rinse, repeat.
That sounds tough, can I cheat?
Of course you can. Some folks think of cheating as having the foods that are generally not ‘allowed’ on Paleo. Others make Paleo versions of foods they love, using Paleo approved ingredients. Either way, to be sustainable for you, do what works for you.
After a while, you might be surprised to find out that you don’t want to cheat. You might just find that feeling yucky, bloated or foggy headed isn’t worth the 5 minutes of pleasure that doughnut brought you.
Why would I go “Paleo”?
The idea of Paleo is to provide your body with the most nutritionally dense food you can. But why you might ask? So many of the problems and illnesses we suffer relate back to what we use to fuel our bodies. Every cell in our body is fuelled by what we eat. So, if you’re unwell or just feel tired and foggy, doesn’t it make sense that food might just be causing it?
More good things …
It’s sustainable (also a polarising topic, but do some research and you’ll be convinced). It’s friendly and humane to the animals that we’re eating – grass fed and wild caught, they live their intended life. It promotes nose to tail eating so there is far less wastage of the animal.
I’ve been Paleo for almost 3 years. I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost the brain fog (wait, that’s not a normal thing?), I have an auto-immune condition that is in remission when ‘statistically’ it should have returned by now, and my energy levels are astoundingly higher than when I was a kid.
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out some of the big Paleo websites for testimonials. There are thousands of people who have improved their health and energy levels by consciously deciding how to fuel their bodies, even when the doctors have told them it couldn’t help (yes, I’m in that group).
So what do you think? Is it something you could try for just 30 days? Let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for part 2 where we talk about some of the best places to find more info.
DISCLAIMER: This article is not meant to replace medical advice. Before starting a new way of eating, speak to a qualified professional to assess your health. This article is intended to provide information so you have choice. Because hey, if you don’t look after your own health, who will?