Paleo literally means:
Ancient; prehistoric; old
When I say I'm on the paleo diet I often feel like that is a misleading statement. The word diet infers something short lived, a quick fix solution or as dictionary.com says;
A regulated selection of foods, as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.
But really a diet should simply mean the typical food a person eats. If you think about the paleo diet in these terms the paleo diet means the typical diet a person east that is ancient, prehistoric or old. Basically, the diet of our ancestors,the Paleolithic Indians. Paleolithic Indians didn't have any sort of agriculture to rely on. This means no bread, fried rice or pancakes. What food they did have they hunted for. . .or gathered. They ate plenty of meat, small berries, veggies and some seeds and nuts. They did not eat Twinkies or even whole wheat pasta.
I imagine you're picturing a girl in a pair of jeans chasing down a Holstein with a spear? Maybe a woman standing in the ocean wearing her two piece spearing a fish?
The truth is that for over fifty thousand years humans lived on meat, eggs, nuts, berries, veggies, fruits and seeds. These are what we, as humans, are naturally adapted to eat. When we deviate from what are supposed to eat we suffer; from auto immune diseases, tummy troubles and a whole cabinet full of other sicknesses, including cancer. So, what exactly can a paleo lifestyle person eat?
What can we not eat?
- Sugar (or sugar substitutes)
- Grains (yes all grains, including ancient ones)
- Legumes (including soybeans and peanuts)
- Processed foods are out (for the most part)
Now this is extremely abbreviated of course. The truth of the matter is that I'm no expert. In fact, don't quote me on any of this. For the whole ten yards there are several websites that have a much better grasp on the issue.
The best places for info are:
All I know is that it's easy, healthy and something that is a way of life. We don't even think about how hard it is or the things we can't eat because we don't eat the Standard American Diet (SAD). Since starting the paleo lifestyle we have expanded what we do eat. Our fruit and veggies consumption and range is huge and includes tasty things like papaya, kale chips, coconut anything (we made homemade strawberry banana sugar free coconut ice cream for dessert tonight) and roasted butternut squash.
We do eat small amounts of dairy in the form of grass-fed butter, half and half (for my coffee), alcohol and dark chocolate! When we go out to dinner I eat cheese sometimes and as a rule of thumb we don't really eat potatoes (every few weeks). We aren't strict, but if I deviate far from the paleo path my body tells me how unhappy it is. I get stomach cramps and bloating. My son gets a raging headache and lethargy. My daughter gets massive mood swings and cramps. Sam feels terrible for up to a week with bloating and lethargy and we all get really, really grumpy.