I remember the first time I heard about paleo I didn’t think much of it; it was probably another diet Men’s Health came out with with a new name. You know, lean meats, a diverse range of whole grains, low-fat dairy… I already knew that.
A few months later I was seriously approached about trying “that paleo thing” while noshing on a sprouted spelt torilla wrap for lunch. I’d already gone through various “healthy lifestyle” changes in the last four years so I brushed it off. I thought I finally had my stuff together with my pantry stocked to the brim with every whole grain and legume healthy living bloggers tooted the benefits of. My pantry was actually a work of art – something I invested a lot of time and thought in with various colours and textures.
Now those jars are stocked in my freezer full of bone broth and baking flours.
It all started with ill intentions, trying to challenge the tainted reputation of the mighty whole grain. But as I got deeper and deeper into it I felt a surge of energy I hadn’t felt in a long time. In addition to that, my psoriasis started to clear up, an autoimmune disease in which the body produces autoantibodies that attack healthy cells mistakenly. Another added benefit was that I also felt lighter on my feet and not to mention the fact that I was consuming more vegetables than I did when I went vegetarian.
The whole premise of the paleo “diet” is that humans are not biologically adapted to foods brought by agriculture, which was just a mere 15, 000 years ago. This means no grains, legumes, chemically derived vegetable and seed oils and sugars. But like all proponents of the paleo diet, we like to concentrate on what we CAN eat: grassfed and pasture raised meat, poultry and eggs, wild-caught and sustainable seafood, vegetables with some fruits, nuts and seeds thrown into the mix.
But “the paleolithic man didn’t eat olives and he definitely didn’t have olive oil… the only time he ate ground beef was when he found someone else’s regurgitated leavenings!” But so what? The paleo diet is merely a template meant to be used to reach the best health possible. When all said in done, no one can argue that eating whole unprocessed foods is bad for your health. And it comes as no surprise that the onset of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc. started with the onset of agriculture and the modern era of giant food corporations.
Lastly, people have this idea that the paleo diet is an excuse for people to eat more meat. Sure that’s an added benefit of understanding the importance of quality meat consumption but there’s more. There’s also great emphasis on the consumption of high quality vegetables and fruits which personally helped me get more creative in the kitchen.
Then you ask, “where do paleo desserts fit in’? Well they technically don’t and are classified as “borderline”. The world would be a boring place if we didn’t contradict ourselves every once in a while.
I’m no authority on the paleo diet and mainly get my dose of information from various reputable books and websites. Here are some noteworthy books and articles chock full of information:
What Is The Paleo Diet?
The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes For Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers
Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life
One True Paleo Diet Doesn’t Exist, but So What?