• Tami Bruskotter

Post #21 Eating Paleo?

In Podcast Ep #16 Tami hosts the discussion of one of the most popular Eating Plans happening now!

Sources: , , Claudia Falkenberg, My Favorite Anthropologist!

I don't think you can walk through a supermarket, eye a hip restaurant menu, or open up Instagram without seeing some offering that will align with The Paleo Diet. There are Paleo-Friendly Muffin recipes to be tested!! But what does this type of eating plan require? Maybe you've already tried it or perhaps you're curious about whether this is the one that would be right for you. Let's explore...

These are just the basic talking points, People! If you're really interested in any Eating Plans, not diets, You've got to do the research, talk to your doctor, and get some bloodwork done!!

Also, With Any Eating Plan...Whenever you can, go with organic, pasture raised, grass-fed meats. Pick wild-caught seafood (watch those mercury levels) and free-running chickens. Organic veggies and fruits are ideal. And if purchasing a prepared food, lookout for chemicals and preservatives. Of course, stay within your budget! Know that availability may be an issue where you are, and that sometimes those "organic" labels are straight up fraud. Do the best you can.

*The Paleo Eating Plan * is supposed to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. Of course, we'll never be able to know exactly what they ate, but based on the history of plants and animals in various geographic areas we can get a pretty good idea. We're talking Old World vs New World here, not to mention the new discoveries still coming out about our prehistoric pals. And, yes, I know they may have even done some rudimentary farming.

Basically, the Paleo hunter-gatherer would have eaten whole foods, close to their natural state, and nothing that had to be processed. People would have eaten anything they could hunt or grab. The amounts and variety would have been determined by location and season, and how far they had to travel. We assume they had pretty physically active lives, so this type of eating would imply that diabetes and heart disease, not to mention weight control were not their issues.

In our modern times, some Paleo Eating Plans have adjusted to include some things those hunter-gathers wouldn't have had access to, like full-fat dairy and pressed oils.

There's no calorie counting specified, but its always good to have a general idea of your personal calorie window. If you keep the starchy tuber carbs and high-sugar fruits to a smaller amount, you probably won't have issues with overeating. Very few people binge eat broccoli...chunks of pineapple, however...! Select foods from the 3 basic Macros - Protein, Fats, Carbs (meaning veggies and fruits).

This is what you can eat:

Meat: beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, bison, venison, etc.

Fish and seafood: salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc.

Eggs: free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.

Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale, all lettuces, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.

Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries, etc.

Tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, beets. *Some Paleo plans do not allow for certain tubers so this may be a trial & error item for you.

Nuts and seeds: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, all nut flours/meals.

Fats and oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, most nut/seed oils.

Dairy: grass-fed butter, full-fat cheese & milk. *Some Paleo plans do not allow for dairy

Salt and spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, etc.

Some say you can have maple syrup and dark chocolate. Test which natural sweeteners like Stevia or monk fruit you tolerate.

Natural Unprocessed Sugars: Coconut sugar, date sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.

Paleo-Friendly Snack Bars and Shakes: minimally processed, all natural ingredients

This is what you cannot eat:

Processed Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup: soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream, etc.

Whole or Any Grains: corn, breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.

Legumes: beans, lentils, peas, hummus, etc.

Dairy: Avoid any low-fat cheese or milk.

Vegetable oils: soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, etc.

Trans Fats: Any kind of margarine and various processed foods. No "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.

Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium.

Artificial Meal Replacements: No shakes or bars with artificial ingredients.

What are the Benefits?

  • better overall moods

  • increased energy

  • more weight loss

  • improved glucose tolerance

  • better blood pressure control

  • lower triglycerides

  • better appetite management

What are the Risks?

  • eliminating legumes cuts excellent sources of fiber and protein

  • eliminating whole grains can deny the body nutrients like B vitamins, iron & magnesium

  • unintended and/or unmonitored ketosis (high levels of ketones in the blood can make you very sick)

  • low energy, making exercise and focus more difficult in the early stages

  • eliminating certain dairy sources can result in Vit D & calcium deficiencies

  • increase the risk of kidney and heart disease, as well as certain cancers due to increase of saturated fat intake

  • can promote orthorexia (the unhealthy, hyper-focus on food that can result in labeling otherwise healthy food as "bad")

If this seems like a lifestyle you can maintain for the long-term, check out this article by Kris Gunnars for Healthline for a good overview and meal plans. If you're already doing the Paleo thing and want to streamline your eating even more, consider the Bulletproof Diet. It's got more structure, and the specifics do matter, but the benefits are worth it.

Bottom Line...

Paleo eating, with it's focus on natural, whole foods, can help you make significantly better food choices, but realize this is a full on lifestyle choice. You cannot be bouncing back and forth daily between gobs of junk food, starches, and sugars and expect any can, in fact do yourself great harm. If this kind of structured eating might leave you feeling deprived, then it may not be the plan for you. Of course, you can always schedule a weekly treat meal if there's some food you fear you'll miss too much, then eat clean until your next scheduled treat. Any eating plan can be slightly tweaked!

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