The Paleo diet mimics the way our ancestors ate before the invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture, humans lived the life of wandering hunter/gatherers whose existence was largely free of chronic disease. Eating Paleo will allow you to feel better, gain strength, and drop body fat while gaining lean muscle.
A Paleo diet involves eating meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, little starch, some fruit and no sugar. It means no grains, legumes, pasteurized dairy, or alcohol. It means staying away from all processed foods. It means eating as our hunter-gathers ancestors did.
What is included in the Paleo diet:
- Proteins: beef, poultry, pork, shrimp, fish, eggs
- Vegetables: all, except for corn and peas
- Fruit: choose berries, oranges, apples, pears, plums, and melon - limit portion of bananas, pineapple, and other high-fructose fruits. Remember fructose still turns to sugar in the body, so limit your fruit intake if weight loss is your goal.
- Fats: coconut oil, lard, olive oil (don't cook with olive oil but unheated it is great), sesame oil, nut oils, flaxseed oil, avocados, nuts and seeds
- Herbs and Spices: as many as you can find
- Beverages: water, unsweetened coconut water, seltzer water, tea, (some) coffee
To view a full food list, click on the following link: http://www.practicalpaleoliving.com/recipes/paleo-food-list
What is not part of the Paleo diet:
- Any processed food: no chips, soda, bread, crackers, etc. If it comes in a box, don't eat it.
- Grains in any form: cereals, rice, pasta, oats etc.
- Legumes: no beans or peanuts
- Pasteurized Dairy in any form: if you want to include milk and cheese – make it raw, whole milk or cheese
- No alcohol in any form: if you must have an occasional glass of red wine or shot of tequila, it would not be the end of the world. However, please keep any alcohol to a minimum
- No sugar in any form
- No added salt
- No white potatoes
What if I slip up?
Get right back on it. Don't put it off. Start again. NOW. Figure out what went wrong... Were you unprepared with your snacks, did you succumb during a special event? Did you slip up when you went out to eat? Address the problem and start again. However, we also recommend an 80/20 lifestyle. Eat clean 80% of the time, and then have you what you want 20% of the time. It is important to note that after eating clean for a while, you may find that you don't desire your "treat foods" anymore. In fact, you may even get the dreaded "food hangover".