What it is and what it isn’t, the paleo diet guide.
What is Paleo?
For me it is a lifesaver. It has given me the means to regulate my blood sugars for the first time in many years.
Although I called this a paleo diet guide, paleo is more a way of life than a diet. Yes, to follow the paleo way of life, you will be changing a lot of your eating habits. It is a diet in so much as it regulates the foods you eat, but it is regulating them for health reasons and not just for weight loss reasons.
Yes you can also do exercises to help with your well-being, but I am more concerned with what you are putting into your body, by the way of what you are eating.
Many modern foods have been developed over the last hundred years or so. Prior to that our bodies were only devouring the foods that they could naturally handle. In point of fact at one time they were only devouring what they could catch to eat, or plants that were safe to eat. These included many nuts and berries that occurred naturally on our landscape.
Many herbal recipes rely on herbs that have been available from the beginning of time. Ancient Chinese medicine is one in particular that used these herbs found growing in the countryside. Life must have been pretty precarious as different tribes found what they could and couldn’t eat. This must have been done by trial and error. The same must have applied to cooking especially over an open fire.
Many of the spices we use today have been around for thousands of years and slowly as people experimented with them so new tastes were formed.
There is no reason why you cannot try new concoctions of herbs and spices. Start with the ones you like the taste of and gradually introduce some of the others.
What Paleo Isn’t.
First and foremost the Paleo diet is not one of those fad diets. It is a completely new way of life which for me as a diabetic has proved most valuable in regulating my blood sugars.
It also isn’t a quick fix diet for over or underweight people. The advantages and disadvantages must be weighed up equally to come to an informed decision. All I will say is there are a lot more eating disorders around today than there were many years ago. Of course because of modern inventions such as fridges, freezers and aircraft there are a lot more exotic foods available to us today than even 50 years ago.
There are many more foods available these days than ever before. Sometimes you need to experiment a little with the foods you are eating to get new and exciting tastes.
To me paleo isn’t an exact science but more a way of changing what we eat by experimentation. There are so many flavors available that you should never run out of ideas. If you ever find a new recipe it is there because someone experimented with the different flavors until they found something they liked. If your experimentation gives you food that you don’t like then you have learned of a combination of flavors that don’t work together.
Many of today’s farmed foods are not considered to be good for a healthy diet. Oats, barley and wheat are often planted and then heavily manured with chemical based products. The same comes when using pesticides, some of which are now banned because of the problems they caused. There are sources of grains that are available free from pesticides and manures but they are foods that our bodies are not equipped to handle. They all have natural parts of them that are not good for human health.
Because of these problems it is always advised that you only by grass fed produce. Also, if you are having butter and cheese they should also come from grass fed animals.
We are always looking for better food for ourselves and personally I have always taken advice from others when it comes to what passes through my lips.
It is sometimes hard to find products that are suitable the Paleo diet. Many off-the-shelf food products contain items that would be banned by the Paleo eater. There are so many products on the market today, but they have additives that are part of modern life. These additives are not good for us and should therefore be avoided.
Foods Not Allowed
All grains and grain products. So no more bread or cakes at least not made in the traditional way. No pulses or rice. Sweet potatoes are allowed in moderation, as long as you are not on a strict Paleo diet, but white potatoes are not. No legumes. No sugars or artificial sweeteners. Highly processed food is not seen as being a friend of the paleo dieter. Vegetable oils are not paleo.
See below for some of the substitutes you can use for what you are used to eating. Some may take a little getting used to but the pay off in the end.
Substitutes For Foods.
For mashed potatoes – mashed cauliflower or carrots parsnip and swede (rutabaga) mashed together.
For Chips (fries in USA) – Sweet potato, parsnip or squash.
For rice – Cauliflower rice.
For Crisps (chips in USA) – Kale, parsnip, carrot, beetroot.
Butter – Nut butters, but not peanut butter as peanuts are a legume.
Milk – Nut milks e.g almond, hazelnut and coconut milks.
Oils and fats – Olive oil, macadamia oil, lard & butter.
As I can eat most of the meats and vegetables available along with fruit, seeds and nuts I can have a varied diet. Along with herbs and spices I can make many meals, in fact I probably make a greater variety of meals now than I ever did before I started the diet.
As my diet is so varied I enjoy eating again, but not to the extent where I am putting on weight. I still have to be careful about the quantities that I eat.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Paleo diet guide.