What is it?
From a strictly definition standpoint, Paleo (or Paleolithic) eating is a diet that mimics how our ancestors ate hundreds of years ago. Also known as the “hunter gatherer” diet, people following this way of life try to eliminate as many modern day processed and unnecessary foods from their diet as possible. The reasoning behind this is to not only strengthen the body from the inside out, but also to cut excess inflammation and irritation that is inevitable due to today’s industrialization. As the ever growing number of machine and lab invented products has expanded the idea of eating real foods, that were native to this earth, has been ignored. This supposedly satisfactory lifestyle full of hidden toxins may seem easier and cheaper at present, however, the harmful, life altering effects always reign true either in the individual, or their offspring. Looking too far for evidence is not necessary, as the rise of disease, heart attacks, food allergies, birth defects, and much more, steadily incline.
One common misconception of the Paleo diet is that it is “low carb,” and though it may be lower in carbohydrates than the standard Western diet (which is over 300 grams per 2000 calorie intake), it is in no way insufficient with carb sources. Sweet potatoes, yuca, taro, plantains, parsnips, and winter squash are all promoted while eating Paleo. The overall gist of this “diet” is to create a lifestyle that suits your body the best and helps it function in its utmost ability. Though you may think your morning bagel, lunch sandwich, and pasta dinner make you feel great (gluten free or not) they have actually been proven to do more harm than good in even the healthiest of individuals.
What I like the most about Paleo is that it is not a diet plan where “one size fits all.” After a 30-60 day elimination trial, experimenting with grey area foods such as white potatoes, rice, and dairy, are all part of the journey. Some people find they do fine with a white potato at dinner or a bit of jasmine rice throughout their day, and truly know it is helping them thrive. However, in the end, everyone is made different and can handle different foods better or worse than the next. One example of this is dairy (technically from the neolithic era), a food that can be somewhat beneficial when raw, yet is a food intolerance becoming incredibly common in today’s world. However, if raw milk, real butter, or grass fed yogurt sit well in your stomach, then most Paleo experts say to go ahead and eat it. Though there seems to always be an ongoing debate as to whether a food is “caveman worthy” or not, it answer ultimately comes down if is a real, wholesome food. Therefore, is Vermont maple syrup, straight from the hands that prepared it paleo? I’d say, in moderation, yes. Is a white potato grown in a local farmer’s backyard paleo? Certainly! Again, the Paleo lifestyle is not a strict list of “do’s” and “don’ts,” and really, could not be easier once your mind is out of the LED lit grocery store shelves. That being said, the Paleo diet is not about who can eat the least, lose the most weight, or exercise the hardest. Though shedding unnecessary weight and being at the peek of athleticism can be results of living a truly nourishing life, the Paleo approach is really about feeling and being the best that you can be.
|Courtesy of Primalpalate.com|
|JERF “Just Eat Real Food”|
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1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”