What is paleo? If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably been living in a cave for the past few years. Now how ironic would that be?
Basically, paleo is a real foods-based way of eating. The caveman is just a mascot, symbolizing a return to more simple (and less chemical-based) foods that our ancestors would’ve eaten. And before you try and tell me that paleo is stupid because “didn’t most cavemen die before they were 30?” I’m guessing about 80% of society today would’ve died off too if we had to stave off t-rexes or other giant stone age critters that were constantly trying to eat us as we slept. Or you know, fight off diseases that we now have vaccinations for.
Back to modern-day paleo eating. Here’s the litmus test: if your great grandmother wouldn’t know what it was, don’t eat it. That means you, twinkies.
For many people including myself, paleo is an anti-inflammatory approach to eating, a way to heal your body from multiple illnesses, to prevent disease, and to achieve optimum health by removing any harmful foods that may get in your body’s way. So what do I eat?
REAL food. Things our great grandparents would actually recognize and not be totally grossed out by, unlike 80% of the stuff in the grocery store today. That means you’re out, twinkies and pizza-flavored pringles.
Think of it this way: KISS. (Keep it simple, stupid). I eat whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, including lots of animal proteins, plants (fruit and veggies), nuts and seeds. And chocolate, obviously. caveman would if he could.
See, KISS. Avoid foods that have the potential to wreak havoc on your insides and outsides through serious systemic inflammation, leaky gut, and screwing up your metabolism. These include legumes, gluten-filled grains, soy, corn, refined sugar, and those chemical-laden processed in the supermarket like twinkies.
While not everyone thrives on the same foods, I think it’s pretty safe to say that no one thrives on being addicted to processed frankenfoods, sugar, and refined junk. Unless you count “thriving” as that daily 2:30pm blood sugar crash, constant sugar cravings, being tired all the time, and needing caffeine to get you through every hour of the day. Capiche?
The paleo lifestyle is not only about eating real food – but also promotes a cure to our modern ills. It’s about getting in more movement during the day instead of sitting on your butt at a computer screen at work all day, then going home to sit on the couch, watch tv, wake up and do it all over again. It’s about catching some rays for natural vitamin D instead of staying inside and getting seasonal depression from only seeing dim office lights all day. It’s about sleeping enough, and most importantly scaling back a bit from our crazy-stressed-out-busy-addicted-to-technology lives.
So, in short. Eat real food. Make it delicious. And keep it simple, stupid.