Living Life The Paleo Diet Way
Anyone who takes a sustained look at the obesity numbers in the present global population will notice that they are rising fast. Despite the advancement in technology, healthcare and education, people are still making mistakes in how they eat. The current state of obesity in the world in 2013 calls for a return to the benefits of a Paleo diet, the right way to cope with evolution. The present obesity debacle arises from the fact that people are taking up a lifestyle that is not optimal for their existence on earth and these behaviors leave the body with too many extra calories than it requires.
The Paleo diet derives its philosophy from the fact that people who inhabited the earth more than 10,000 years ago did not eat any processed food yet they were healthy and not obese. They did not experience modern-day diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular complications and cancers. So based on this fact, anyone wishing to enjoy the benefits of a healthy paleo diet and regain their health should simply ask themselves whether a caveman would eat what the person is about to eat. If the answer is yes, then it is a go-ahead for eating that particular food but if it's no, then it would be a hint to stop taking the kind of food.
In 2005, the paleo diet went mainstream after famous people started asking their followers to embrace it. Since then various authoritative materials such as books and articles have been published to explain its benefits to health and fitness.
Attraction to Fatty Foods
In the past, human bodies were wired to cushion themselves against any form of food scarcity. That was the beginning of the attraction to fatty foods and other high calorie yielding foods. The present problem is that, technology and large-scale farming brought about by the agrarian revolution has made it possible to create excess food. People nowadays eat because it feels convenient to eat and not because they need the extra calories, in the foods that they take.
The problem with most of the modern diet is that it lacks a balanced supply of both macro and micronutrients.
When your body is experiencing a deficiency in a particular nutrient, it will initiate a hunger stimulus in your brain that will cause you to eat more. Unfortunately, if you do not go on to eat the right kind of food that produces the desired nutrient benefits, you will end up with excess and still lack what you need. Thus it is a major cause of obesity.
Now many modern fitness diet advocates call for a calorie limitation as a weight loss measure. This is beneficial only to a point. Remember that, without the right supply of all micro nutrients, your body will still cause hunger stimulus that causes you to break your fitness diet and eat in excess.
You can succeed at a health fitness diet without the urges to binge eat by taking up the paleo diet. It includes unprocessed meats, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts. This combination has a lot of fiber that leaves you filled without giving you excess calories. The health benefits of a paleo diet is that it is low on refined sugars and oils. The elimination of these two main ingredients that lead to obesity creates a calorie deficit and a nutrient surplus that leads to successful weight loss. Indeed, the time to take up the paleo diet is now. Journey with us as we embark on living life the paleo diet way.
WHAT IS THIS THING THE PALEO DIET?
Currently a lot of people are talking about the paleo diet; some people also refer to it as the caveman diet. Well this may be true due to the fact that it originated from our ancient ancestors.
Humans have changed drastically in times of technology, culture and diet. On this particular discussion, our interest is on the benefits of a Paleo diet. After the Neolithic period, humans started practicing agriculture hence a variety of ingredients become available for consumption changing our diet immensely.
Paleo eaters argue that as much as our environment have changed, our bodies have not had any change compared to our ancestors with our genes having changed by a mere 0.001% therefore our diets should not change as well. Modern foods have been associated with a lot of medical conditions such as cancer due to the ingredients they contain while they may be tasty and appealing, natural foods are healthier.
This brings us to the popular question, what exactly are the benefits of the paleo diet?
This is a low sugar, high protein and low sodium diet that is meant to provide optimum health by following in our ancestor’s footsteps who lived in the Paleolithic age. The basic principle about the Paleo diet is optimum health but is also a good alternative if your aim is to lose weight.
A lot of evidence has been found to prove that our ancestors had the finest health and this is attributed to the benefits of their diet. Different people may have various definitions to answer this question but there are similarities in all these definitions i.e. minimally processed, locally available, in-season foods. A good way to also define this diet is by saying what it is not i.e. Paleo diet is not any industrial refined oil, sugar, dairy, alcohol etc.
Pastured, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef and anything organic are the most preferred foods for a Paleo dieter. In terms of proteins, seafood/fish, poultry, lean meats, wild game are favored because they contain less saturated fats unlike processed meats.
When it comes to nuts or seeds, the ones with the most concentration of omega-3 i.e. walnuts, macadamia, almonds and cashews are the best. Fruits with low glycemic index e.g. tomatoes, melons, onions and broccoli are favored unlike modern fruits to be large and look good. Herbs and spices are recommended regardless of whether they have been processed since they are organic anyways i.e. vinegar.
Avoid fast foods
Fast foods or foods in flashy wrappers are attractive, sweet and tempting; I bet you always salivate when you walk past a fast food café. The smell of fries, burgers and a drink of cold soda makes them difficult to avoid, well it is completely normal to feel that way (almost everyone feels that) but after trying the benefits of a Paleo diet for about 6 months, you would be surprised that a diet soda tastes very different than what you used to know, you can literally taste all the chemicals in it.
The paleo diet is growing daily as more people are getting concerned with what they eat, we are looking for ways to prevent or lose weight. By recreating our early human diet, we are getting in touch with the ancient taste while reaping all the benefits that come with it. I believe this has answered the question, what exactly is the paleo diet and a couple of the foods recommended.
THE REVITILIZATION OF THE PALEO DIET
As we have discussed, the paleo diet is based on ancient diet of man which included animals and wild plants that were consumed 2. 5 million years ago during the Paleolithic era.
It is preservative and gluten free. It is commonly centered on foods like eggs, fish, grass fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, potatoes, roots, fungi, fruits, nuts, potatoes, dairy products, grains, refined salt, refined sugar, legumes and processed oils. But let’s now retrace the steps and cover how the benefits of this diet came back from extinction and learn the history of it.
The history of the paleo diet can be traced back to 1975 when Walter L. Voegtlin a gastroenterologist published a book that highlighted the modern version of the diet. He arrived at his revelations after studying eating habits of the Paleolithic age while looking for a cure for Crohn's disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Diet from early man seemed to have adverse effects on the conditions where patients improved quickly without any side effects.
His version on the Paleo diet was based on the fact that there has not been much human genetic change since the Paleolithic era. He was more interested in the carnivorous history of man. He confirmed that humans are supposed to primarily feed on fats, proteins with little carbohydrates.
A decade later Professor Melvin Konner an anthropologist took the concepts to the scientific community with the assistance of an associate called Boyd Eaton. They did this by publishing a paper on the concepts in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professionals in the medical field started discussing the diet which is a very important stage of the history of the paleo diet. A high percentage was convinced about the advantages and benefits of the diet.
Three years down the line Eaton, Konner and Marjorie Shostak published a book on the diet. The book was however written with a twist. Instead of focusing on the foods that should not be included in the paleo diet, they talked about the importance of eating same portion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins similar to the Paleolithic era diet.
Their version had some foods that were not allowed by Voegtlin. Their diet allowed permitted agricultural foods like whole grain bread, brown rice, potatoes and dairy products like skimmed milk that were not featured on the original diet. They work on the rationale that the nutrient proportion and not food choice was what made the Paleolithic diet healthy.
Momentum for the benefits of a Paleo diet continued to grow even in the 1990s as more nutritionists and medical professionals began to back the theory. More doctors started recommending it to their patients as part of a healthy eating plan for the sick patients and even the ones who were well. Most of them relied on the original concept where the diet consisted of the foods present before the introduction of agriculture.
As the years went by more people were drawn to the diet. Although it was hotly debated, it was still accepted in various circles. Today there are very many books and websites written on the Paleo diet as more and more people embrace it. At this point, it does not show any signs of dying away.
Benefits of Going Paleo
The benefits of the Paleo diet have become more popular due to all of the health benefits of it. If you are thinking about going on this diet yourself, there are a lot of reasons to seriously consider it. This can become a way of life that can make you healthy and really change your outlook on food!
Losing weight is hard for most people because they are either going on crazy diets or they are simply eating foods that aren't good for them. The Paleo diet can help you lose weight because the foods you will be eating are healthy and good for you! These can help you cut out fats and calories that you just don't need. This will result in weight loss that doesn't come from you starving or having to give up eating foods you enjoy. Most people continuously lose weight while on this diet because it's so healthy and easy to stick with.
Have you ever felt really tired and lethargic after eating a big meal full of carbohydrates and fats? Fast foods and unhealthy meals can make you feel terrible because they don't have anything good for you inside of them. By changing the foods you eat to those that have health benefits, you will have more energy overall and feel great each day! Getting the proper vitamins and nutrients in your diet can make a huge difference with the way you feel and really help you get extra energy you have been lacking.
When eating a diet of junk food, candy, sugar, carbs and other bad foods it's difficult to get the proper vitamins and nutrients that are essential for a healthy body. When you switch to the Paleo diet way of life you will easily be able to get the nutrients that you need. All of the foods you eat will be packed full of things like fiber, vitamin a, vitamin c and other nutrients that are great for your body. When you have better nutrition in your life you will feel better and look better!
The junk foods that people eat today are packed full of toxic ingredients that can easily hurt the body. For example, gluten intolerance is one of the biggest problems most people have today. The benefits of a Paleo diet will make it possible to eat good food without having to worry about food allergens. Of course you should pay attention to what you eat if you are sensitive to certain things, but you won't have to deal with any chemicals or hidden toxins.
There are a lot of different recipes you can make for the Paleo diet. These are easy to find and they taste great as well. These can help you find new foods that you enjoy eating and that are really good for you. When you aren't starving yourself or feeling deprived it will be easy to eat healthy and change the way you eat on a daily basis.
All of these benefits are worth considering if you want to change your eating habits and your health. The Paleo way of life is easy to adopt and can make you feel great from day one.
PREPARATION FOR YOUR PALEO DIET
The Paleo diet is quite simple to follow since it doesn't involve counting calories or other restrictions. It focuses on eating natural and fresh foods just like the hunters and gatherers did. As long as you are eating fresh sea food, lean meat, nuts, fruits and vegetables as provided in this diet then you can take as much as you wish without counting carbohydrates, fats and calories.
Before you embark on the Paleo diet you must have an inquiring and open mind. You have to sit down and decide when to start and what to eat in the first week. Primarily, if you choose to begin with a full on diet then you will experience an adjustment period. This period will most likely involve some mental, emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms as you begin changing your usual eating habits.
Because of the adjustment phase, it is advisable to start the Paleo diet when your life is relatively calm and without stressful situations. Some people can experience a slight headache while others show symptoms of flu for just a few days. The adjustment period can last for a week or two. During this phase, there is a feeling of fatigue, dizziness and a powerful craving for some delicious carbohydrate foods.
How to manage cravings and symptoms
One most strange aspect of human psychology is that people crave foods that have no nutritional value for their bodies. This is exactly true for dairy products and grains, therefore people who start the Paleo diet experience an intense craving for such foods. Here are some things to do to make the change of lifestyle a bit easier.
Drink a lot of water
Include garlic and onions in your food. They are rich in sulphur and amino acids. Sulphur is an important component of the detox system. Add plenty of turmeric in your food. Turmeric is a strong anti -inflammatory and antioxidant agent. Cook your meals with coconut oil or olive oil. Oily fish is also very good.
Planning your Paleo diet
You must not embark on the diet before planning what foods you are going to take during the first week. Buy the things that are needed in advance to avoid reaching out for some sugary snacks immediately craving starts. It is wise to have adequate supply of snacks like walnuts, almonds, peanuts and fruits. When planning for the benefits of Paleo diet you have to focus on mealtimes. Here is a sample meal plan.
-Eggs, mushroom, garlic, onions and steamed spinach -Use coconut oil -Avocado
-Chicken salad with red onions -Herb, olive oil and lemon juice dressing -Pecans, cantaloupe and blackberries Snack - ¼ cup macadamias
-Venison steak -Ginger cabbage and olive oil -Steamed summer squash with lemon juice, cinnamon and coconut milk.
Dessert -Shaved almonds
Your first shopping trip ought to include fresh vegetables, lean meat, chicken, fish and some allowed snacks. Buy load of herbs, coconut oil, epsom salt, olive oil and anything that will help you survive the adjustment phase.
Taking care of yourself
It is a great idea to observe your body's reaction to the new diet. There are plenty of nutrients and no fillers in the Paleo diet. Many people experience a detoxification period where their bodies learn how to use fats as the main source of energy instead of carbohydrates.