Testing out the Paleo Diet
When I first started my healthy cooking journey, I didn’t know where to start and was overwhelmed with the options. I wanted to eat healthier, but with a busy family and kids, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to read about healthy eating and how to properly diet.
This is when I stumbled into the Paleo diet. I really liked the idea of a diet that doesn’t require a massive change in the things I already eat. By changing smaller habits, it felt like I had a much better chance of succeeding and making lasting progress.
For a great beginners guide to the Paleo diet, check out this free book
So What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is about choosing the right type of food instead of counting calories and portion sizes. I’ve never liked counting calories or portion sizes. It always felt so overwhelming and draining to me. The Paleo diet allows you to eat as much of the right foods as long as you don’t eat or at least avoid the bad food types.
In the Paleo diet, the following foods are considered “Good”
- Meat (grass fed)
- Fowl (chicken, duck, turkey)
- Fish (try for wild fish when possible instead of farmed fish)
- Eggs (aim for cage free eggs when possible)
- Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil)
- Sweet Potatoes / Yams
Which foods are considered “Bad”
- Processed foods
What Makes these Foods Bad?
Grains causes problems because it gets digested and converted into carbohydrates and burned as energy or stored as fat. Grains also includes two other problematic elements: Gluten and Lectins.
Gluten is included in many types of grains such as wheat and barley. The body’s inability to digest gluten causes a wide variety of negative effects. Some people estimate a large number of us have some degree of natural gluten sensitivity. The easiest way to see if your affected is to limit your gluten consumption and see if you notice any differences.
Lectins are actually an evolved defense mechanism for plants and vegetation to protect themselves from human and animal predators. Lectins tend to irritate the digestive tract. Consuming small amounts can be fine, but over time if consumed in large amounts, lectins can lead to problems.
Unfortunately, many, if not most us have some form of lactose intolerance. I have always had a hard time limiting milk. There isn’t a perfect Paleo substitute for milk, but you can try coconut milk as an alternative.
What Happened When I tried the Diet?
I’m not going to lie and tell you it was easy. I’m also not going to tell you that I’ve been able to completely eradicate the Bad foods out of my diet.
But what I can tell you is that I really did feel like I had more energy and I gradually lost a little bit of the baby weight. Nothing too dramatic, but I was really happy with the slow and steady loss of those extra pounds.
How I Stick With It?
I found the best way to stay consistent with the Paleo diet was two factors:
- Do it with someone else that can help you stay accountable.
- Stick to a consistent plan to develop good habits.
It’s really not possible to be 100% perfect Paleo with everything I do. But if I can do 60% to 70% Paleo, I really notice an amazing difference in my energy levels. So you’ll see many of my favorite recipes are Paleo recipes.