Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

WI [Would Eat If…] W…Gimme Dat Meat!

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Hey Friends,

Thank you for all of the love on my first installment of the What I [Would Eat If..] Wednesday that I posted 2 weeks ago. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I love all the comments and suggestions that you guys gave in the comments section. I have read them all I promise that I am slowly getting back to responding to all of them. I really had fun doing that post because it helps me to share information about a dietary lifestyle you may not be familiar with or perhaps one that you are thinking about trying out in some form or shape PLUS I get to look up creative new recipes for both myself and you guys to test out.

All hail the #FoodPorn!

So for this week, as a complete 180…kinda.. from the Vegan diet, lets take a look at the lifestyle that is often perceived as the….

…diet.

Before I begin, don’t forget to check in With Miss Jen over at Peas and Crayons for her everyday eats and all the other bloggers nommy foods.

Okay so in a quick lil summary

What is Paleo?

Referring to Cordain, in a nutshell, the Paleo diet is based off eating how our ancestors, more specifically the per-agricultural hunter gathers, ate.

Okay what does that mean?

In general, here are some of the pillars that set the foundation of the Paleo diet:

  • Higher protein.
  • Lower carbohydrate and low glycemic foods (for little to no blood sugar spiking).
  • High fiber.
  • Moderate to high fat intake that focuses on proper Omega 3/6 balance for decreasing the risk of inflammation and cutting the risk of heart disease by removing excess Omega 6’s and trans fats from the diet.
  • Lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Low sodium (ie. processed foods) to protect against heart disease.
  • Proper acid/base balance. Many of the foods that are avoided in this diet are those that are very acidic. Cordain stresses that high acidity in the body leads to bone deminerailzation, various forms of asthma, muscle wasting, kidney stones (from excess calcium), etc

So basically you want to be eating as unprocessed as possible while also moderating the types of carbohydrate (high glycemic sources, like potatoes and many fruits, should be avoided and grains are an absolute no) and meat sources (avoid higher fat meats and cuts) you are getting. The major premise is that you are reducing your risk of heart disease and inflammatory diseases through living this lifestyle. Both of these issues are on the rise and often times the blame is being directed at the current American dietary lifestyle. With that in mind, perhaps if we go back to the way we used to eat (..if it grows in nature it’s probably consumable..) than we may be able to reduce these health related problems.

So what do I eat then?

Some notes:

  • Grains and legumes are avoided for a number of reasons other than the fact that they weren’t really available to our earlier ancestors. They are also excluded from the diet because they are highly acidic, carry a high glycemic load, lack many micronutrients, promote inflammation AAANND they contain substances under the umbrella term ‘antinutrients‘ including tannins, phytic acids, etc. These have been shown to interfere with the absorption of nutrients in foods.
  • They preach grassfed as much as possible. Does this get expensive? YES. Those meats ain’t cheap these days. The reasoning behind that is that non-grassfed animals are then GRAINFED animals which sport a higher Omega 6 content leading to inflammation.
  • Also, PS, no alcohol.

Last point is that because this diet does place meat and fish high on the priority list, Cordain believes that it is impossible to following the Paleolithic lifestyle if you are vegetarian or vegan as the major sources of protein in those lifestyles are not allowed.

So there is the gist of it all and before I move on into the Day In the Life portion with all the #FoodPorn goodness, there are a few things to clear up as there are few misconceptions about this lifestyle.

1. Paleo and Primal are not the exact same thing.

Source [ http://huntgatherlove.com/content/paleo-vs-primal-vs-atkins%5D

This is a very common misconception. The two terms are often used interchangeably but they are not the same. Yes, they are similar in their many of their ideas surrounding what to eat (lots of veggies, proteins, and unprocessed foods) and what you shouldn’t eat (grains, alcohol, heavily processed foods, sugars, etc), but they do have their differences.

NOTE: Mark is associate with the Primal Blueprint, while Cordain and Wolf are leaders in the Paleo Community
  • Primal does allow for some dairy in the form of full fat cheese, yogurt, kefir and stuff like that. Paleo doesn’t.
  • Some artificial sweeteners are generally accepted with Paleo, just not sugar. For Primal on the other hand, artificial sweeteners should only be used if they provide some benefit to the body. Otherwise, change the food so that it doesn’t contain it.
  • Fats. They differ in their opinions about fats in a few places. There was a much bigger difference when Cordain first began his movement as he was anti-saturated fat due to the supposed research supporting its role in cardiovascular disease. It appears as though his opinion has changed in recent years and he has now accepted that some saturated fats are an exception (Read here). It appears that Wolf still promotes LEAN MEATS, which is not always the case made by Mark, who supports the consumption about the used of the whole animal and those fattier cuts and organ meats provide crucial nutrients and cholesterol that the body needs.  The use of ghee is grassfed butter are also allowed in the Primal community, while they are not in Paleo due to them both being a dairy product.
  • There is a huge push for supplementation in the Primal Blueprint as Mark states that our food just isn’t what it used to be. Yes Grok didn’t have supplements BUT Grok also didn’t obsessively wash his food (he ate dirt giving him healthy bacteria, probiotics, for his gut health), didn’t have to eat farmed fish (so he got the Omega fatty acids that were meant to be in the fish), etc. There is not really much said about supplements in the Paleo community.
  • Mark gives an actual bracket of carbohydrates per day that he deems to be healthy and acceptable. Essentially, he preaches no more than 100-150g, which is just enough to keep you out of ketosis. He states that this is totally doable as you would be hard pressed to get any higher than that if you are eating mostly vegetables with the occasional fruit or starchier tuber. There doesn’t appear to be a ‘carb cap’ mentioned by either Wolf or Cordain but they do say to limit your fruits and starchier carbs, especially if you are insulin sensitive or overweight.

Sources:

Mark’s Daily Apple: [Here], Cordain’s The Paleo Diet [Here], Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution [Here]

2. Meat and bacon do not make up the centre of this lifestyle.

It’s such a stereotype that Paleo is associated with meat. It probably stems from the fact that it’s seen as the caveman diet. Although high quality meat and other protein sources are considered staples in this lifestyle, the Paleo community is really based on

  • Eating whole, real foods.
  • Eating quality foods.
  • No alcohol.
  • Limiting sugars as they are associated with health problems.
  • Eating foods that promote health and gaining the most nutrients out of your diet while decreasing risks of inflammation, high insulin levels, disease and chronic illness.

Alrighty so I tried to condense that as much as possible while also being as informative as possible…

Did I kinda succeed?

Anyways, now onto the feast for your eyes. Dat food! Big ol’ thanks to all of the bloggers I seek out for their fab recipes! Remember to click on the pictures for the recipe.

Breakfast.

Alas, my favourite staple breakfast of my loaded up proats is a big no-no in this diet on so many levels..

  • No whey (dairy)
  • No oats (grains)
  • No Questbars (in a package, whey)…AGAIN HOW CAN YOU LIVE!

So what would Lil Miss Fitness Freak eat? Well, because it would still be my pre workout, I still need me some good carbs, protein and also a good dose of fats to get me through my training. Something like this might appear on my plate..

Sweet Potato with nut butter, an omelet of sorts and a green veggie.

I’m sorry nut butter has to be in my breaky no matter what or I’m just sad. Although almond butter is shown here, mine would probably be cashew butter (because peanut buttah is also not allowed :’-() Crying a wee bit more here…) because almond buttah just ain’t my fav.

Anyone else not a huge fan of almond butter?

The sweet potato would give me some good carbs and sugars, the omelet (which I would stuff with more veggies like mushrooms and such) would give me my protein, the nut butter would be my fats, and the green veggies would just balance it all out. I can’t do broccoli though…perhaps zucchini or asparagus would be subbed there for me.

Now, one other common complaint about Paleo and breakfast is that it often centers around eggs of some kind because 1. Most people don’t cook themselves up a slab of meat first thing in the morning and 2. because eggs often looked at as the only breakfast like protein.

So for all of you that would get sick of having eggs every morning, here’s a recipe for you.

paleo pumpkin pancakes made with almond flour

Personally I would nix the sugar a wee bit, but that is my own preference. You can easily make these a banana or ‘apple pieversion by simply switching up your spices and fruit puree. Thanks to Dianne for the recipe!

Lunch

For me, my lunch is often my post workout meal (after my lil post workout muffin devoured right after my lifting sesh) eaten about 2-2.5 hours after the gym. Once again, I’m looking for a heavy dose of carbs and good protein but lower fat this time. The lower fat here is more my preference for comfort as I take in a ton of carbs at this point so I stick to loading one major energy macro so that I don’t feel like I can’t move afterwards.

So what would I enjoy eating at this point?

Bam! A burger and fries! A turkey burger with a mushroom bun and baked sweet tater fries to be exact. I would also sneak in a salad or some greens somewhere on that plate because I’m a greens-a-holic. Burger toppings of choice would be my favourites as usual…

  • Unsalted, organic sundried tomatoes
  • Sauteed onion
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Tons of mustard
  • Pesto

Thank you to The Little Green Spoon for the recipe but unfortunately this one is not strictly Paleo (it was more the idea I wanted as the bun is genius!) as it contains quinoa. You could make some adjustments and swap out the quinoa for a given amount of flax meal (perhaps a few tbsp would do the trick for the quantities shown) OR you can refer to this recipe from for an 100% Paleo turkey burger Mexican style OR a more basic or neutral one here.

Side Note. Check out this recipe by Rebecca for an cool cauliflower bun recipe that seems to hold up very well!

Dinner

Dinnah dinnah, I got a great one for dinnah and it’s all mine 😀

This was soo simple and yet sooo good and I’m pretty sure that amazingness comes down to that beautiful elk steak.

20140818-220834-79714754.jpgI can never stress enough how good exotic meats are and elk is no exception. Sobey’s near my parents place (the only place I have ever found elk) FINALLY brought them back in after months of me waiting and waiting so obviously when I saw them on the shelf I snatched that baby up like a kid in a candy store.

I mmmed and awww’ed all the way through this meal and smiled at how easy it was to put together. So what’s on the plate?

  • The Steak. I marinaded the steak in 1/2 a tsp of olive oil, a few shakes of liquid smoke, about a tsp of apple cider vinegar (helps for tenderizing), chili flakes, cracked black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. When I cooked it up, I seared it in a pan (about 1-2 minutes per side on high heat) then finished up the steak at 350 degrees in my toaster oven.
  • Steak Topping. My usual favourites, mushrooms, onions, and sundried tomatoes (my unsalted, nitrate free and organic ones from my store) sauteed in the rest of the marinade. Trust me, there was more of those than pictured. 😉
  • The Butternut Squash Mash. I simply took cubed butternut squash and steamed in my microwavable steamer pot until it was tender (keep that skin on! Fiber and nutrients peeps). I then put in my lil Oskar (food processor) with raw garlic, cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp olive oil, chili flakes and dried rosemary and blended it up with enough water to make a nice puree.
  • The ‘Keg-ified’ Veggies. I really enjoyed the Keg seasoned veggies I had the last time I went to the steakhouse so I have been doing that more often at home too just with Mrs. Dash’s Steak Blend. So I sauteed button mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini cubes and some bell pepper chunks in that seasoning, chili flakes, garlic powder and a lil bit of coconut oil unilt they were softened but still had a bit of a crunch. TIP: Add a touch of vinegar or lemon juice into the pan at the end of the saute to get a nice browning on them veggies.

Fancy shmancy dinner in my face in 30 minutes or less.

Snacks.

Okay so I didn’t really mention snacks in between meals because most of the Paleo community stresses eating substantial enough meals so that you don’t need to snack in between. Personally, I take issue with this because my lil tummy can’t eat really rich and heavy meals all in one sitting and so I tend to get a wee bit hungry between my meals. So, here are some Paleo approved recipes for snacks even if shnacking is not really promoted here.

 Besides some of the more obvious snacks

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Veggies with lean meats. You can wrap up veggies in slices of prepped meat Or vice versa. Try these lil zucchini roll ups out.
  • Nut butter and celery like ants on a log.

There are some more exciting and creative ones too. Here’s a few (click on the pictures for the link):

Sugar-Free Low Carb Chocolate Chia Pudding by Sugarfree Mom

For something more savory..

chickenwr

Paleo Chicken Wraps by Paleoaholic

Perhaps some pre-workout energy or just a lil zip to get you out of that afternoon slump

Fig and pistachio powerballs (vegan, raw, gluten-free, paleo) | eyecandypopper.com

Fig and Pistachio Powerballs from Eye Candy Popper.

So there you have it friends, zee Paleo diet. If there are any readers from the Paleo community please feel free to jump into the comments section and give your two cents and opinions as I’m wanting to learn more as well.

Overall…

I would say that my current diet is about 85-90% Paleo. I’m grain free with the exception of my brown rice and oats and I’m dairy free (due to lactose intolerance). I do keep whey and casein in my diet as I believe I can digest those fine and therefore don’t feel the need to remove them. The big thing that I totally agree with in this lifestyle is the main idea of whole and real foods. Less processed, less sugar and sodium and less crap overall is where we should all be striving for as that is the food that our body recognizes and works optimally on.

What do you think friends?

Did I miss anything important about this lifestyle? Talk at me! I wanna hear more please! 😀

Don’t forget to pop on over to Peas and Crayons and say hi to our lovely hostess to the mostess, Jen.

Peas and Crayons

-Chelsea

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41 thoughts on “WI [Would Eat If…] W…Gimme Dat Meat!

  1. Oh, I just love love love this series and am already looking forward to the next one. I really love all the information you break down in terms I can actually understand!

  2. I”ve been eating prety close to a paleo diet for about 4 months now and i lovveeeee it! I allow myself cheats from time to time. but i eat almond butter, eggs, spinach, avocado, turkey, chicken, fish, beef, coconut oil and a variety of other foods. i miss my oats form time to time but that is what a cheat meal is for- there are so many easy alternatives on paleo too- almond milk, occasional coconut milk etc…. my digestive issues are gone, bloated heavy feelings gone, and i have lost a bit of weight

  3. ‘ve been hearing more and more how paleo is the best way to eat. I’m also unsure about the no grains part…rice and quinoa are a staple for me.

  4. While I don’t eat any meat, I think this is actually a lot closer to what we should be eating versus the processed junk too many people subsist on.

  5. all of that meat protein just weighs me down, (no pun intended) and it is hard to have a decent bowel movement.

  6. Have you ever tried Kombuca Drinks? I am doing the Paleo Challenge, and was recommended to try it, but couldn’t find any detailed information on it.

  7. LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS POST

  8. So happy to see you’re a cavewoman too! I’m keto paleo 🙂 So I reap the benefits of both!

  9. My daughter and her children are doing the paleo diet, From what I have observed is they are now very skinny and underweight. Her new obsession of watching every thing that goes in to her mouth I believe has led to a eating disorder. The kids are constantly hungry to the point they’d eat stale food off the floor if they could. I don’t think those promoting it are really looking at the dangers especially for young children. I wish I could get her off of it but she’s convinced she doing the best thing for all. To not allow quinoa which is a super food, or a bowl of oatmeal or a glass of milk to a child is ridiculous and harmful. The kids really don’t like all the vegetables and so what they eat is just barely enough to keep them alive. Many of the good results we have seen could have been accomplished just by cutting out sugar and while flour. Not slowly starving yourself.

  10. Interesting article. Of course what is killing our health is added sugar, vegetable oils, cow-milk, soda, white flour pasta, white flour bread, white rice, sugary juice drinks, McDonald’s, KFC, Doritos, lack of exercise, lack of good jobs, lack of physical activity,

    What works for me is: stop drinking grape juice; start eating grapes, drink water, eat lots of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, seeds, stevia extract, virgin coconut oil, sweet potatoes, whole skin-on potatoes, unsweetened fortified coconut milk, green tea, unsweetened bakers chocolate, & some organic humane pastured eggs.

    I go days or weeks without having meat. I am not vegangelical; nor am I Paleovangelical.

  11. 1) Neither we, nor the foods we eat, are the same as 10000 years ago

    2) We are descended from different migratory paths out of Africa – each with different diet compositions – some more grain based and others more animal protein based

    3) Sustainability of animal protein consumption is an issue with current population growth

    4) Insects were, and are consumed, by many humans – are they embraced by the “Paleo” community?

    5) The diet works for many, predictably so, simply because of caloric reduction and eating better quality foods – if everyone prayed to a milk jug, 30-50% of people would have their “prayers” answered – does that make the milk jug “god?” By the logic of many “Paleo” advocates, it appears so

  12. Where did the idea come from that you eat huge amounts of meat on the Paleo/Primal diet? Every blog that I read in the Paleo arena stresses normal amounts of the highest quality meat/protein you can afford to buy. I’ve been eating Paleo/Primal for almost 3 years now, and my normal daily diet consists of regular amounts of meat/protein and 8 servings of vegetables, and 2-3 servings of fruit and healthy fats. I have never felt better. My IBS is gone, my blood pressure has normalized and my blood work is freaking awesome!

  13. While I don’t follow a Paleo diet, I’m very familiar with it and have been an avid reader of Paleo and Primal blogs for years. I have seen, first hand, how easy the diet is to adapt (a Primal one, anyway), and the kind of results that both regular people get, as well as athletes/personal trainers. Every single person I’ve ever spoke with about a Primal Diet (similar to Paleo—a little less restrictive) has loved it and have always gushed about how awesome they started to feel after adopting it.

    That said, it’s not for everyone. It does require work–it’s a lifestyle–not a ‘diet’ and lumping it in with such does it a huge disservice.

  14. You’re just so smart 🙂 So happy to have read that you’re going into this nutrition field and cannot wait to see what you become

  15. PROS: Emphasizes “whole” foods, clean foods, no sugar, no food additives. Clean eating in a nutshell. Not for vegetarians or vegans (obviously). It’s not just a diet, it’s also a lifestyle.

    CONS: Quite restrictive. You can forget eating quinoa or any grain as our ancestors millions of years ago did not eat grains of any kind. However, many people feel so much better when they remove grains from their diet. Grains have really only been part of our diet for the last 10,000 years and it actually takes longer than that for our body to adapt to a new-ish food. If you suspect you have a problem with grains, (even the gluten-free kind), remove for 2 weeks and evaluate how you feel.

  16. Health is the product of a well-balanced life! I feel heathiest when I: eat vibrant foods, work up a sweat, get sound sleep, get (a little bit of) sun, laugh A LOT and surround myself with positive people!

  17. This has been quite a roller coaster year for me! I transitioned to a vegetarian, clean-eating lifestyle about 2 years ago and I thought things were going well until I experienced a number of health problems this past year. It really made me rethink what ‘healthy’ is and how it truly differs from person to person! Since I’ve revised my definition of health and my eating habits. To me health is: feeling good mentally and physically, great digestion, abundant energy, love and joy for life, eating good, real, and colourful food, moving your body everyday, doing yoga, having fun and working hard, and spending time with friends and family!

  18. I have had friends who have tried it and saw a lot of weight loss during their time on it, some 30 days, some 60 days. I would recommend before trying it to research it, look at the cookbooks and know what you are giving up as it can be quite difficult to sustain the weight loss if you only do it for a month then revert back to your old eating habits. It is definitely worth trying though and modifying if you can control dairy and grain portions eventually!

  19. I have been researching the Paleo diet for about a month now and finally started on it last week. I have been doing great and in one week have already lost 4 pounds. I have not been able to find the coconut oil or Almond flour in our small grocery stores but still have not missed needing to cook with it. I had already given up all sodas and artificial sweeteners over a year ago so that was something I didn’t have to deal with now. I do miss my cheese but was able to over come that so far. Maybe it can be a part of one of my 80-20 meals in the future. I love the almond milk and it is only 60 calories so that is a bonus. Being able to eat the meat proteins keeps me from being hungry all of the time, all of the different vegetables keeps you from missing the ones you don’t get. I have been enjoying the fruit also since our pear tree is starting to produce and our figs are just finishing up. Watermelon is a great sweet fruit that doesn’t have many calories. Frozen strawberries with the almond milk and a little dab of honey makes a wonderful smoothie especially if you add a frozen banana. Great eating and losing too!
    Best of luck to everyone.

  20. There seems to be some confusion about Paleo vs Primal vs low-carb (Atkins) too. We use a modified Atkins alongside Primal. I love my dairy too much to cut that out, and Paleo folks are less likely to include those foods than the Primal people are. They’re very similar, though. The benefits listed for all three of these plans are mostly interchangeable, if you listen to the folks in the lifestyles. Mostly, I think it’s a matter of just eating real, whole foods, and cutting the processed frankenfoods.

    Google the various diet plans here with a “vs” in between them. I’ve found a couple good graphics that clarify what’s what.

  21. The grains that cavemen ate? Did they chew grass? we don’t eat grain, we process it, and add sugar and salt to make things like bread, or cereal. Do YOU think cavemen ate cereal, and bread? I can see legumes, which we also eat today, and wonder if knowing cavemen ate bugs is any different than knowing they ate wheat. If you handed most people a shock of wheat, they would not have a clue what to do with it, even given an internet connection, and 24 hours. The idea that maybe cavemen chose to eat the meat running by them, instead of chewing on grass and bugs, is not a huge leap. Yes, they had vegetables, fruit, beans. Whatever was in season.

    The idea that cavemen breastfed their children with animal milk is possible, but I think it is strange even today to feed your child milk that is meant to make an animal grow to be a 1000 lbs. Maybe its working?

    As far as the cavemen living to just 30. I would love to put you in the woods, have you chase dinner, and kill it with primitive weapons, have you make your own clothes, and go without medical care. See how long modern man survived. Diabetics would die, as would cancer patients, heart patients, asthma patients, people who broke bones, had pnuemonia, or the common cold. Another source of death was being stomped or eaten by dinner.

    It is easy to sit in our AC’d houses, with a doctor to go to, and a grocery/clothing store a mile down the road, and say, they didn’t live as long. Must have been the diet. What the problem is, we do live longer, because of medicine, but we are sicker. We have teenagers who are obese, diabetic, have cancer/heart problems. Without medicine, they would all die before 30. Go visit a hospital. There are floors full of people who should die, but the miracle of modern medicine saves them. Go hunt an elephant with a spear, and see if you live 15 minutes. With all these disadvantages, they still lived into their 30’s.

    If we could combine a healthier diet, AND superior health care, we could far outlive what is even possible with medicine today. We aren’t going to copy cavemen. We know today about nutrition a bit more, and can understand vitamins/nutrients. What we should copy is not to eat the garbage we call food today. Where would cavemen get pasta, doughnuts, Pepsi etc.? ( and yes bread ). I think they probably ate less meat than we would suspect, due to having to hunt them, but a base of vegetables, roots, and fruit isn’t a stretch, along with legumes, fish, and meat.

    This diet is able to be followed for the rest of your life, whether 30 years, or 90. What is missing? We could buy actually bread from a bakery, instead of the processed garbage they serve at the grocery, and it might be okay. Maybe plain oatmeal. I am sure some grains could be fit into a healthy diet, but they aren’t necessary. Are you suggesting that lean meats, healthy oils, fruits,vegetables, nuts, legumes, and cheese would be a bad diet? Side note: I doubt cheese was a caveman staple.

    many people have been eating this way for over a decade, and are fine. It is a preference. Low carb in general will never be a diet that 100% of people follow, or should. It is a healthy alternative for people who have issues with wheat, pasta, bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, carrots beets etc. grains can be a healthy part of your diet, but they don’t have to be.

    I am always curious of what people find lacking in low carb. Since your carbs go up as you get closer to goal, you can’t even really define low carb, except by the few foods you think are lacking from it, or limited more than you think they should be.

    I think if you were to make a list of the foods that are denied on a low carb diet, you would probably have a list of the foods that make up the largest % of the diets of the people who are the most obese, unhealthy, and struggling, all whilst starving!! Most of the foods on low carb that are being suggested as foods to avoid, or limit are foods that SP would agree with.

    Paleo seems to draw some heat for assuming they know what paleolithic man ate, but in the end it is just the name of a diet. One that is way more successful than most diets, even though people think it is lacking in some respect. Nobody can even put forth why they believe these opinions either. They just say, it is bad, and dangerous, while getting fatter. Hardly an argument.

    Please let us know of the dangers of Paleo. Laughter is a great stress reliever.

  22. Reducing one’s intake of processed foods, eating as much local fresh and limitiing some others considered ‘iffy’ are good things for sure. That’s my among many others’ goal.

    That being said I am curious too how people can be so sure of what those of the paleolithic era ate or didn’t eat. grassy grains grew following the thawing of the last ice age, as did legumes. they probably ate bugs – are they in the paleo diet? are we so sure that they didn’t consume the milk of any of those mammals roaming around the neighborhood?

    personally I’d steer clear of any diet that can’t be maintained for a lifetime – a lifetime of the 30 or so paleo year life expectancy.

  23. This diet, or any lower carb diet, are only for people who can’t control their cravings when eating carby foods. If you can lose weight eating Subway, and chicken noodle soup.. great.

    We are all different, and for some , eating low carb, and never getting hungry is a blessing. I eat at 10, 4 , and 10. I am not starving at 11 a.m after eating a bowl of cereal. I eat omelettes. This way of eating allows me to stick to a 1600 calories diet, and work out 1-15 hours a week, since it also boosts energy.

    I won’t trash carby diets, since I failed at them. I would appreciate if ppl who never did low carb correctly, or ever tried it, would refrain from repeating myths. You have no idea, but still post your opinions. For me, it got me off diabetes meds, improved all my bloodwork, including cholesterol, BP, and now I have a lot of energy. Plus, it is why I am 113 lbs lighter.

    This diet is not for the average person. Most people would benefit from cutting pop, sweets etc., but that is part of any diet, same as the point that you have to stick to it. I never hear anyone saying, if you quit a healthy, carby diet, you’ll gain the weight back, but it is just as true. This diet is for people who eat a plate of macaroni and cheese, and then can’t stop till they have 6 plates full, then go get 6 things of Ho-Ho’s, and a 2 liter of pop to wash it all down, followed by a pint of ice cream, then wake up bloated, and ashamed the next day, only to repeat the process with 10 items from taco bell the next night, after 3 healthy meals.

    It will work for anyone, and is healthy, but it is a corrective diet, not something everyone will stick to, or wish to do.

  24. Diets no matter what they are do not work unless you are dedicated and determined to follow eating that way for the rest of your life not just until you reach a certain weight goal
    Eating sensibly with portion control eliminating no foods well maybe a few which are triggers for you but a variety of foods of all kinds is so much better healthwise and mentally too
    One day at a time

  25. First, while I’m interested in Paleo, I don’t follow it strictly, so I’m by no means an expert — lots of people here know more than I do! But as a fellow woman 😉 I’d say I’m concerned with bone density rather than calcium intake in and of itself. Maintaining our bone density has to do more with doing regular weight-bearing exercise and getting enough vitamin D, so I strength-train 3x/week and take a supplement. I also eat a lot of green, leafy vegetables to up my calcium intake. If you like fish, sardines are a great source of calcium.

  26. I can understand why people would follow such a diet because the paleolithic peoples may have been healthier. However, unless you are out hunting and gathering that food – basically, as active as the paleolithic peoples were, aren’t you missing out on half of the lifestyle?

    Nutrition and movement go hand in hand. I don’t think that my exercise classes and stationary bike are going to mimic the activity (and calories burned) of taking down a buffalo.

    Then there is the sleep factor. I would imagine the paleolithic peoples probably went to sleep not long after nightfall. They certainly averaged a boatload more sleep that I do. Yet another health factor that may need to be considered in regards to this lifestyle!

    Just my thoughts!

  27. So what’s wrong with eating fresh fruit and vegetables,lean meats, and nuts, while eliminating all the processed junk, trans fats and sugars? Sounds like a healthy diet to me. My blood work up and weight are awesome thanks to Paleo.

  28. Paleo is unnecessarily restrictive for folks who are willing to do an eliminate and challenge system, but few folks are organized enough to do that. Following simple guidelines works and thus paleo works.

    Folks object because there are no grains, dairy and legumes. But what’s the down side of eating meat, veggies, fruits and nuts? Show me a study that compares whole grain with cauliflower and then I’ll believe there’s no down side to eating grain! My bias – I did do an eliminate and challenge system (thanks Dr Atkins!) and I am wheat intolerant. So I know for a fact that a percentage of the population DOES have a downside to eating grain. I’ve also done eliminate and challenge on dairy and legumes and they don’t cause any symptoms but farts. Still, am I going to believe some claim that going bean free is bad for me? Pass!

  29. I think people take “eating like your ancestors” too literally. Why are people so opposed to a diet that is so unprocessed and unrefined? It is meant to be a lifestyle change, not just a fad diet. Of course people gain weight when they go off of it, because you are adding back in processed, refined garbage back into your body. Did they eat some grain and dairy back then? Sure, I bet they did. However, it was raw and unprocessed. Grain today is NOTHING like grain back then. It is so genetically modified, stripped of it’s nutrients, and synthetic. If you think your “natural, whole grain” bread is really that, then you need a wake up call. Same thing goes for dairy. Their milk didn’t come from hormone and antibiotic injected super cows. I’m not a doctor, but this diet just makes sense to me. I try to follow it as strict as I can. Why don’t I follow it 100%? It’s tough. I, like everyone else, have grown up on sugar, grains, and dairy. Guess what? They taste delicious! I find sugar and grains to be very addicting, so I cave once or twice a week and indulge. I then pay the price, and feel the crap after I eat them. Imagine that. All I know is that I feel great when I follow this lifestyle. I am very active in intense fitness, and I feel as though I am getting the nutrients needed to fuel my body. I try to look at it as eating for nutrients and fuel, rather than satisfying my taste buds.

  30. I think Paleo sounds pretty healthy, anything that gets us off the premade food is bound to do good things for us. I personally can’t afford to feed my family of 5 without some grains and beans, but I am obsessively off the premade food. I’ve been off of it for 4 years and have lost 80 pounds. There is no going back to the premade food for me. I used to be so hungry all the time when I ate it. It is such a relief getting full so easily.

  31. I think the premise that eating paleo because our ancestors did is stupid. If you look at a glycemic index, grains and beans and potatoes have higher GI than do leafy vegetables, most fruits, and obviously proteins. Depending on how sensitive you are to blood sugar spikes, foods that raise blood sugar higher than others can cause insulin spikes that promote fat storage. I tried plant based and I wanted it to work so bad, but it didnt work as well as Paleo because it controls my blood sugar better. If you’re insulin resistant I think Paleo is for you but if a high carb diet doesn’t put weight on you then eating whole grains and legumes shouldn’t be a problem. I think everyone’s body is different but to claim there is a one size fits all is ridiculous.The Paleo diet has a good premise, which is eating as close to natural as you can get; however, the unnecessary avoidance of certain food groups has no basis in science. Unless you have some proven medical condition (celiac, lactose intolerant, etc..) there is absolutely no reason to remove entire food groups.

    The reason that people are unhealthy today is a sedentary lifestyle combined with unhealthy choices. Being more active and focusing on eating whole foods (regardless of which food group they are in) will make the population healthier.

  32. I think we can all agree that Paleo has a lot of desirable traits. It encourages people to eat real, whole foods that have as few toxins in and on them as possible. It discourages factory farming and GM consumption. It’s an easy way for people to decrease the amount of grains, sugar, and legumes they’re eating, all of which are commonly overeaten and contributing to obesity and diabetes.

    There’s no one way of doing Paleo, as the hunter gatherer societies have shown: their diets were highly varied in macronutrient ratios as well as food sources, depending on where they lived. We all do it differently. I don’t eat just meat, and I don’t know any Paleo people who do. I eat all kinds of colorful, beautiful, well-raised foods, and my health is much better than it used to be pre-Paleo.

    People eating Paleo/Primal are just trying to stay away from toxic foods. Isn’t that what you’re trying to do, too?

  33. Thank you for writing this post! I read her article this morning and it only confirmed my belief and methods in the Paleo lifestyle. I do not follow a strict Paleo diet, (I still eat organic yogurt and some rice here and there because of my ethnicity and rice is something I’ve grown up eating). This post puts everything I wanted to say in response to her post. It really is unfortunate that society/people (not pointing the finger at her) will come to a conclusion and make a judgment about other lifestyle choices without giving it a fair chance or doing thorough research on it. Whether it is following a Paleo diet, becoming a vegan, vegetarian or a raw-foodist, etc. I believe that all of these lifestyles have their advantages and disadvantages, given that each of these diets include a fresh, natural, wholesome and sustainably resourced foods. Everybody reacts differently to different things and the Paleo lifestyle/diet may work wonders for some while it may not for others. But I think it’s important to shed some light on the different options that we have while respecting the choices that others make. Everybody’s paths/goals are different so I don’t think it makes sense to expect that only ONE diet/lifestyle will work for everyone. It just bothers me that people have the wrong information and don’t bother to take the time to research! (People can be so closed minded about their diet/lifestyle! Even within the Paleo community!) So, THANK YOU for writing this!!

  34. Another beautifully written and researched article! I’m not paleo but I appreciate this article.

  35. I eat a healthy vegetarian diet with no processed foods and feel much better. If you are not sure try both lifestyles/diets and let your body be the judge. Everybody is different.

  36. I am not a fan of highly restrictive, more expensive diets. Yes, there can totally be value in parts of the Paleo diet (high fruits and veggies, unprocessed foods…). However, since the supporting evidence and science is less than ideal, following such a restrictive diet just seems silly to me. If someone trying to lose weight needs the motivation to pay more careful attention to what they’re eating, I think it could be a great short-term option. Otherwise, I vote nope.

    • I would never suggest changing your eating habits for weight loss as it more often than not ends up failing in the end because that’s generally not a powerful enough reason to stick with a change. Restriction never works and truly is silly as you say.

  37. This is such a great idea! I love that you’re sharing the scientific angle and what you would eat to make it healthy, on the fad diets. For me paleo would be hard for any length of time because I love legumes and don’t eat very much meat. I’m excited to see which fad diet is up next!

  38. I did paleo for thirty days and it was a great way to rid my system of processed crap because eating sugary junk makes you crave more sugary junk. After the thirty days I worked in some grains like oatmeal, rice, quinoa and some dairy like yogurt but I think overall the experience helped me get in touch with what actually keeps me feeling good and I would highly recommend the experiment.

    • Amazing! That’s great that you have looked at it in such a positive light. Many would just go right back to what they were doing afterwards without reflection. I’m glad that you were able to learn what works best with your body!

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