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Paleo Diet Guide – Am I Eating The Correct Foods?

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.

Food Sources.

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Derek

18 Comments

  1. Interesting article .I am more of a vegetarian than a vegan .But I find searching for healthy food eating is more expensive than buying the reprocessed foods that are extremely unhealthy .But I sounds like it takes a disciplined person to stay consistent with this lifestyle. I applaud anyone who chooses to lead a non chemical way of life

  2. There are a lot of recipes online for paleo versions of bread, cakes, and snacks. They normally substitute the grain flour with almond or coconut flour. A paleo diet involves a lot of cooking from scratch, as do ketogenic and other low-carb diets, but the health benefits are more than worth it. Pre-made food usually contains too many ingredients that I don’t know how to pronounce.  

    • It is true you have to do a lot more cooking from scratch, but by doing this you also know exactly what you are eating.

      Derek

  3. This diet seems to be a good diet. I have heard of this diet over the years and it seems as though so many people are taking advantage of all that this diet has to offer. I believe that the time has come when we should do all that we can to take back our health or take our  health to the next level. This diet can put us on the road to good health.

  4. I know for a fact than bread and pastas are mostly forbidden when following a diet so it’s not surprising to see that it is the case with the paleo diet. But interesting article very informative it is always good to learn new things about diet since i myself trying to lose a few pounds

  5. Thanks for sharing few good alternatives to daily diet. Paleo diet can have huge impact to our health.so I think we must start taking this diet plan seriously. Can you suggest whole list of paleo diet from Breakfast To Dinner for a week that also taste good? I like fried chips a lot but for good health we have to give up some severely unhealthy food.

    • It is easy to replace fried chips with oven baked chis made from sweet potato ot parsnip. As to what tastes good that is down to personal preference but I have found many new foods to eat.

      Derek

  6. Great Post! I give it 4 stars! I can’t say that I am into the “fads” that come and go, but it seems like Paleo has been around a while and is here to stay. 

    I agree with the pesticides in whole wheat and grains. Do you prefer organic options? The only reason I ask is because it seems like no matter what you do there will always be some form of corruption in your diet. Like even though Vegans can eat fries they’re still cooked on the same fryer as the meat…

    Thanks for the great post! 

    • Grains are not allowed in the paleo diet because of naturaly occuring items that affect our gut. Even the organic options.

      Derek

  7. Hi Derek,

    I think this article is useful and motivational. I think that everything is possible when someone makes a firm decision. Few months ago, I cut out bread and sweets from my meal and I lost 5 kilos. I have to say that it hasn’t been easy at first, but then a person gets more motivated when the results come. My sister is a vegetarian and she likes to prepare some raw cakes and meals so she brings that to me and I got used to it and actually I love it now. I don’t know how much longer I will eat without bread, because I love pasta and bread, but I’ll try my best.

    Thanks,

    Strahinja

  8. Hey Derek,

    Interesting read on Paleo Diet, and it’s great to know that it helps you in regulating your blood sugar.    Paleo Diet is all about avoiding processed food, and go for whole food.  

    Eating disorders is the main reason for today’s most of the diseases.  You rightly said that lot more variety of exotic food is available today than 50 years ago.

    But it’s little confusing when some fruits are allowed and some not?  What is the criteria for choosing fruits in a paleo diet?

    Thanks.

    • There are very few fruits that are not Paleo friendly. I only restrict my fruit intake because of the sugar content as I am trying to lose weight as well. Most naturally occuring foods are allowed, but some need to be eaten in moderation.

      Derek

  9. I also want to live a paleo life style because nothing is greater than good health. At first it seems little difficult to give up eating foods that I have been consuming for decades and can be seen whenever I go. As I travel 4-5 times in year to different countries for more than 2-3 weeks, how can I stay to my diet during traveling? Is there any deficiency of vitamins or iron noticed on people who are having complete paleo diet?

    • The paleo diet is a complete diet and providing you are eating a good majority of the recommende foods there will be no vitamin or iron deficiencies.

      This is a diet that our ancestors would have eaten.

      When travelling it can be hard to stick to the paleo diet depending which countries you are in, but if you have a knowledge of the foods allowed or more importantly the foods not allowed then you can generally stick to the paleo diet.

      Derek

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