Am I A Cave Woman? Thoughts on the Paleo Diet
My Paleo Meals
First thing I need to do is explain the use of the word “diet” here; here it is a noun and not a verb. The Paleo Diet is not a way of eating to help you lose weight; rather it is describing the kind of food that you habitually eat. The Paleo Diet is also known as the Caveman Diet or Hunter-Gatherer diet. When following this diet, you eat food that could be hunted or gathered in the Paleolithic era. The biggest change that most people notice is the lack of dairy, grains like wheat, corn and rice. Most people see this and think it means a no-carb diet, which it does not. The Paleo Diet offers many alternatives like coconut and almond milk, oil and flour.
The Paleo Diet operates on the belief that our bodies have not adapted to accommodate the changes in our daily diet. Not only do we have natural food items like wheat and corn that we never had before but we consume food items that have been processed and packed full of chemicals. Many of these chemicals are actually poisons when consumed in large doses, so is it any surprise that our bodies suffer from their ill effects after consuming them for several years. There is a belief that many chronic conditions are adversely affected by the chemicals and poor eating habits that we have come to embrace. A benefit of the Paleo Diet is that since you are eating fresh organic foods you will get more vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron and essential fatty and less sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Many times a change in diet like this will result in a loss of weight, though the actual goal of the Paleo Diet is to increase overall health by returning to our consumption roots.
Crosfitters are huge proponents for the Paleo Diet, because there is a big focus on consuming large quantities of lean proteins that help build and maintain muscle health. There are many different resources available to someone interested in the Paleo Diet; there are print books and online resources readily available. I myself am one week in and thus far thoroughly enjoying the Paleo lifestyle. In just one week I have more energy and less joint pain in my knees. The only change I made was to my diet; I made no medication, exercise or other lifestyle changes at all. I purposefully did this so that I could ensure that any ill or beneficial effects that I felt would be easily to pin on the Paleo Diet.
One thing that I noted right of the bat, was that when discussing the Paleo Diet with other people, many of them took this to mean that they could eat as much meat as they wanted, and pretty much of any kind. I know some people that decided they would put bacon or bacon fat in every meal. This is obviously not a good thing. As with any diet or meal plan, too much of anything is not going to be beneficial. Many people experienced this with, for example, the Atkins diet thinking they could eat as much meat and cheese as they wanted only to not lose weight. You can still be unhealthy when following this lifestyle, and you need to be sure to make the best eating choices available to you under the Paleo plan.
I hope that should you try the Paleo Diet, you enjoy it. Though remember everything in moderation, and in order to be successful you need to find things you like that you can enjoy or occasionally indulge in.