Confession… I eat a paleo diet!
This is as good a place to start as any I guess. The beginning and the start of an interesting debate. I’m not going to delve too deeply right now as I just want to outline what a Paleo lifestyle means to me. I can’t profess to live this way all day everyday or in each quarter of my life and why should I, it’s the 21st century after all. My lifestyle isn’t about depriving myself something because my caveman relatives didn’t have them. I’m embracing all that our moment in time gives us: I like the shelter that modern life affords us, my warm coat, coffee and red wine. I’m also partial to the convenience of shops for produce, call me old fashioned but there it is.
What I don’t like about modern life is the rubbish that is peddled to us as healthy, beneficial or an aid to being more successful or attractive. I don’t like to sit there and watch my friends swallow down take-out junk for lunch while believing that everything in moderation is the key to happiness. I could go on but this isn’t a platform for a rant just yet.
So let me outline the main key points of this. Fundamentally it’s about diet (although I’m chastising myself for using that word) and what we put inside ourselves. We survived millions of years eating a particular way and we still managed to get here as a species. Since the advent of the modern, agricultural diet we seem to be getting fatter and sicker. The convenience of that lifestyle and the way of life it has created has us working in cubicles, artificially lit offices and shopping centres. Awesome isn’t it… My jury is still out.
So, if you read my story you’ll see where this lifestyle brought me. I changed that by discovering the Paleo diet. Now. What is that? In its simplest form it’s eating in a way that our bodies are designed to eat. Our DNA hasn’t changed much in a hundred thousand years although in the last ten thousand it has been tipped on its head. We haven’t evolved fully enough to adapt to this change in diet. Some handle it better and some end up like myself, becoming a blown up blimp of their former selves. I followed a way of eating that our ancestors would have eaten and have never been happier with my health and fitness (apart from when I was about 18 and relatively hotter than I am now).
What is the paleo diet?
Oh yes, the nitty gritty. What does this boil down to? Some see this as an elimination diet and I’m afraid those people generally give up on it in my experience. Others see it as a way to fuel the body without toxins. Your call, I’m in the latter camp. What is it? Let’s just outline the food rules in ten easy steps:
1. If it doesn’t come in a packet. It’s good.
2. If it does have a packet make sure that the ingredients list is less than five items and that you can pronounce them all. There should not be a marketing pitch there.
3. Avoid all grains.
4. Avoid all added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
5. Avoid legumes.
6. Avoid all processed food.
7. Avoid dairy.
8. Take responsibility for what you put in and on your body.
9. Drink enough water to quench thirst, not to drown in it.
10. Eat lots of lean meats, poultry, fish and shellfish (if you can), vegetables and fruit. Eat good fats and oils. Include some nuts and seeds. Learn which are best.
Can you do it?
Simple? It isn’t easy to do this in one day. Just stopping can be hell, I did it and had to persevere one heck of a month but that was me. My recommendation is to just try this for a month. Give it a go and see how you feel? If you can’t do all ten points then so be it, but please at least drop the grains and sugar. You will feel so much better. Please don’t forget that the paleo diet is a blueprint based on you so you find a balance that suits your body. I’ll cover this more in time, hopefully with your help.
There, I’ve rambled. Thank you for reading if you got this far. If you did then I hope I struck a chord with you.
This is a beginning for ifjamiecandoit. It will evolve, excuse the pun. Enjoy the ride with me 🙂