Of course, if you're already eating paleo, you're well aware of its aims and are likely here for the recipes. In that case, without further ado, do enjoy! If you're new, however, here's a brief overview of the idea:
Some call it paleo (short for Paleolithic), others call it caveman, and some just call it real food; call it whatever you'd like, but the idea is to eat necessary, nutrient-dense foods from the wild instead of foods from factories and packages. Don't let the terminology deter you. Hunter-gatherer, caveman, and paleo refer to the time period from which eating an unprocessed diet comes, rather than what the diet will actually entail. In other words, you don't have to don a loin cloth and club your food to death to participate in healthy eating, nor argue amongst schools of thought about whether a caveman would have access to papaya. The idea is not to eat exactly like an ancient human, but to adapt the ancient and biologically effective way of eating fresh foods to our modern lifestyle.
TL;DR: Our ancestors survived and evolved without eating grains, dairy, vegetable oils, artificial sugars, and other processed nutrient-poor foods found on today's shelves. Harken back to that lifestyle of fresh seasonal foods and fill yourself with nutrients instead of additives.
The science behind the idea of eating a seasonal fresh diet free of processed ingredients is out there, for the intrepid researcher--but don't take anyone's word for it. Try it for yourself! Experience is life's best teacher.
Now for the specific ground rules:
- No processed foods of any kind.
- No artificial ingredients.
- No added sugar.
- No legumes, grains, dairy, vegetable oils, or soy. This includes what your meat eats before you eat it!
What are you left with? Real food: meat, fish, vegetables, herbs, and occasionally some fruit, nuts, and seeds. Real, delicious food.
Eating paleo doesn't mean you have to cut out any of your favorite foods--it just means you might have to get creative in the kitchen with paleo ingredients. That's why this blog exists. There are paleo alternatives to every favorite food, including desserts! It's simply a matter of identifying the most nutritious way of satisfying your tastebuds. For more information about unprocessed cooking fats and sweetners, visit the Resources page.
Keto, Whole30, Vegan, and Allergen Considerations
Sometimes, the above terms may be mentioned in recipes as considerations for those following a paleo-combo diet. Here's a brief description of each and links to further resources:
- Keto: A low-carb, high-fat, high-protein approach with the intent of keeping the body in ketosis, a state of fat-burning rather than sugar-burning, to aid in weight loss. Those following a keto-paleo combo will wish to avoid starchy vegetables, recipes with coconut flour, and excessive fruit sugars. Visit the Keto subreddit for more information.
- Whole30: A 30 day challenge to remove all unnecessary or potentially harmful foods from one's diet while reinventing a healthy brain response to food cravings and eating habits. The program focuses on three core meals per day with portion control and specific food ingredients to promote optimum nutrition and food relationships. Visit Whole9Life.com for more information..
- Vegan: A diet that avoids all animal products and by-products, typically for ethical reasons. Although challenging, a paleo diet is possible to combine with vegan preferences. Ask your search engine about hemp protein, flax meal egg substitute, and macadamia or cashew butters.
- Allergens: Paleo is inherently gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and legume-free. Allergies to eggs, citrus, nightshades, or other ingredients may prevent some from enjoying the recipes provided; when possible, ingredient substitutions will be provided.
About the Author:
I'm Amanda Lynn, a lifelong writer and food enthusiast. I enjoy adventuring outdoors and being made of molecules, hate tomatoes, and hope to one day organize a paleo farm community of volunteer residents. I became interested in the paleo diet after a lifetime of health problems lead me to research the essentials that a human body needs for optimum performance. Since refining my diet to real foods, my chronic conditions have improved and I'm getting ready to participate in my first 5K race! If you'd like, visit me on Twitter (@amandolinsays) for more of my impassioned ramblings and recipes.
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