If you are looking for another awesome fitness and diet blog I would highly recommend Nerd Fitness (http://nerdfitness.com/blog/) . I stumbled upon this blog one day when I was thinking of going Paleo and instantly became hooked. One of the first posts I read was called “The Beginngers Guide to the Paleo Diet” (http://nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/). Steve includes anything and everyone you could ever want to know about becoming Paleo. Not only does he discuss what, he also discusses the why. I’ve included a couple of the highlights below, but I recommend you check out the full post for yourself too!
A brief history / biology lesson:
- Tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors survived and thrived as hunters and gatherers. They ate whatever they could find – meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens and seasonal veggies and fruit.
- Back then, Homo Sapiens were tall, muscular, agile, athletic and versatile.
- Then, a few thousand of years ago, farming was introduced to mankind and the agricultural revolution took off. We settled down, formed societies and transitioned into a farming culture. Instead of loading up on lean meats and vegetables, we became dependent upon grains – bread, rice, corn etc.
- Homo Sapiens slowly became overweight, out of shape and dying of preventable diseases.
- Although the days of hunting and gathering are far behind us, our genetics surprisingly haven’t changed much since then. Our bodies were never given a chance to adjust to this new diet and therefore, many problems have arisen.
So what is different about the Paleo diet?
- The Paleo diet is an effort to go back to eating how we were biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living a healthier life.
- Our bodies are pretty self efficient. They were designed to take stored fat and burn it into energy through a process called ketogenesis. It is even possible for our bodies to convert protein glucose for energy when needed. In other words, carbs are not a dietary necessity.
- Since the foods included in the Paleo diet are so nutritious and filling, it is almost impossible to overeat.
So what should I eat?
- Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed…which causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans
- Fowl – chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
- Fish – wild fish, not farmed fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue
- Eggs – look for Omega-3 enriched eggs
- Vegetables – as long as they’re not deep fried, eat as many as you want
- Oils – olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural
- Fruits – have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight
- Nuts – high in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them
- Seeds – same as nuts, can be high in calories
- Tubers – sweet potatoes, yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.
- Keep it as simple as possible.
- Try to get a good source of protein in with each meal along with some fruits and vegetables.
- Focus on incorporating healthy fats into your diet such as avocado, nuts, almond butter, olive oil and coconut milk.
- Remember, fat does not make you fat!
- Eat when you are hungry and don’t eat when you’re not.
I promise if you give the Paleo diet a shot for 30 days, you will see a drastic change in how you feel. You will sleep better, wake up more refreshed, have more energy during the day and see better results at the gym. Good Luck!