What is Paleo?

Introduction

“You never get sick, what is your secret?”

“What do you eat everyday?”

“How do you look so great? What makeup do you use?”

“What is Paleo?”

“Why do you eat that way?”

“Are you allergic?”

I get these and more similar questions a LOT… I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve happily and enthusiastically begun to answer this since I started eating this way in 2012. Seriously… The best conversation I had with a fellow nutrition nerd was when I once ran into a local chiropractor in the coconut milk section of New Seasons back in 2013. At the time I was doing as hard core elimination diet and AIP paleo-ish healing diet. We exchanged words about what kinds of coconut products we each buy and why, what we use it for, etc… that’s when I realized he was more knowledgeable of the paleo diet/real food than I was… this is not something I was used to! We literally talked for over an hour and I learned so many new things!

 

My trip to the grocer ending with him running up to find me at the checkout to tell me he had remembered the name of the (amino acid) supplement to help heal the gut lining quicker. He then proceeded to go with me back to the supplement aisle and help figure out what the best one would be for me to try. I collaborated with my primary care Dr. about starting this supplement and digestive aids and they saw no problems with me doing this so I began to take them. That day ended up being monumental, the supplements that man had introduced me to made a huge positive impact on my digestion, my Dr. was happy that I started them as my improvements were so great!

You may notice me throwing around the word paleo a bit on this blog. As obsessed with being strict “paleo” as I used to be, anymore I really shy away from using that term, it feels so dogmatic, which is not a good way to be with any diet, IMHO. This post will still explain the basis of the “paleo” diet and then I will share how we have spun it to work for us. I’ll explain to you what paleo means to me later in the post but first, a general outline of what the strictest paleo diet is usually explained as from what I’ve seen:

No foods:
  • No processed food.
  • No refined sugars, limited natural sugars.
  • No dairy.
  • No grains, no legumes (except chocolate and coffee… I guess you can’t give it all up).
  • No refined oils (canola/rapeseed, vegetable, soy, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, etc).
  • Seems like a lot of “No” foods, right? Keep reading to see how our family does paleo and my take on the whole thing.
Yes foods:
  • Lots of vegetables, adequate carbs from starchy veggies.
  • Sustainable and pastured meats eggs and poultry.
  • Healthy fats from coconut, pastured animal fats, olive oil.
  • Nuts, seeds and fruit sparingly.

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