New year means new resolutions and I bet a lot of people have made themselves many promises along the likes of ‘this year I will really try to stick to a clean paleo diet’ or ‘maybe this is the year I will try this paleo diet everyone is talking about’. Whether you consider yourself a paleo expert or you’re only briefly acquainted with the afore mentioned diet and lifestyle, this is my list of tips on how to embrace paleo so it no longer scares you, intimidates you or stresses you out before you even get into it.
Please take the time to get to the end as some of the most important points are there.
Quick paleo recap (if you think you need one)
1. Paleo is short for Paleolithic and in our context it refers to a diet, and in many ways a lifestyle, that draws its core principles or philosophies from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s not (and this is a very important note to keep in mind) about replicating the caveman way of life, and we don’t actually know exactly what was eaten back then, but it’s about looking at our evolutionary biology (and we only have to go back as far as our grand-grand parents) – and figuring out what are the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods we can eat to nourish our bodies, prevent diseases and lead a healthier life. And that, combined with modern science and research has led to the development of this eating framework and a diet we now know as paleo.
2. In the media it’s often also referred to as a the primal, caveman, stone age, real food or whole food diet but essentially it’s about eating nutrient dense foods such as meat, fish, seafood, healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and seeds and avoiding foods that are problematic for our health and can distress our metabolism, interfere with nutrient absorption and promote systemic inflammation.
3. The problematic foods we avoid – and they all have a various degree of negative effects on our health and there is a whole bunch of caveats as usual – include grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugar, industrial processed oils and fats such as margarine and canola or soybean oil, and all processed foods containing the above.