What is Paleo?

The main thing I wanna erase from people’s understanding of paleo, is that it’s a caveman diet.  If you’ve ever said a joke to someone along the lines of “Do you think cavemen ate paleo cookies?” then you should know, that person has probably heard it 70 thousand times, and is smiling to be polite. It’s too far gone for us to change the name of it now so let’s just roll with Palaeolithic and start to rebuild everyone’s comprehension.

Update: June 6th 2019

This used to be a paleo blog, which is why this was written. I no longer follow a paleo lifestyle. I cannot rightfully support one single lifestyle as many different ones work for different people. Some people feel better eating lots of grass fed beef. I however, no longer eat beef and feel my best with grains and legumes as sources of protein. The most important part of any lifestyle is to eat lots and lots of vegetables. Avoid gimmicky prepackaged snacks that say “paleo”, “keto”, “vegan” and make your own REAL foods.

“What am I not allowed to eat?”

If this is your main question, then you’re asking it backward.  The list will go on forever and you’ll spend every day googling if things are paleo.  What is paleo?  Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, unrefined oils.  There are some foggy items, but that is up to your own discretion.  Some people eat potatoes, some don’t.  Within weeks of starting, you will understand how these judgment calls are made via a more thorough understanding of your own body.  I eat a very small amount of fruit, usually closer to unripened because I’ve noticed over the years that fructose reacts with my skin and makes me sluggish.  Start simple and build off of what your body is communicating to you.  When you dull the loudness of processed foods in your system, you’ll be able to decide if eating kale every day is right for you. (PS: it’s probably not, but it would be funnier if you learned the hard way like the rest of us)

What are the differences between Paleo/Keto/Whole30?

They’re all somewhat similar but depending on your health concerns, you may want to know the difference.  Paleo is whole foods that are low on the glycemic index. In my opinion, it is the easiest of the three, and easier to maintain longterm.

Ketogenic is about getting your body into a state of ketosis (Low carb, high fat).  It usually starts off with a day or two of fogginess, followed by “clarity”.  In the #LCHF world, they call it low-carb flu. Keto is a therapeutic diet that should be recommended by a doctor.  On a ketogenic diet, you will have no fruit, no high fructose vegetables such as squash, no natural sweeteners that would be allowed on paleo (coconut palm sugar), and no tubers such as potatoes and yams. Long term ketosis can lead to diet-induced acidosis and is not recommended.

Whole30 is a “cleanse” that I’ve done it 4.5 times (I no longer participate) and each time I ended up sprawled out on the floor begging for chocolate while my roommate tried to console me with an avocado.  (I realize now that the intense cravings were deficiencies and not a detox) Whole30 can be used as reset to help break habits, for people who need a clear set of rules or defined structure.  It takes 30 days to make or break a habit.  If you mess up, you have to start over from day 1.  Find the set of rules on whole30.com

To assume only makes an ASS out of U and ME

No, paleo isn’t a meat-eater diet.

The amount of protein a person should consume on any of these diets is 20%. Shitty cheap bacon contains refined sugar and nitrates and should not be eaten on keto or any other diet. Finding hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats as well as sugar-free cured meats is the best option.  Even bone broth loses its anti-inflammatory properties if it comes from grain-fed animals.  Reasonable amounts of high-quality meat is paleo. High-quality vegetables are also important if it is within your budget.  To help you prioritize, there’s a list called the Dirty Dozen:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

These are important to purchase organic because they absorb and retain pesticides more than other fruits and vegetables.

Regardless of what lifestyle you chose with the help of a nutritional practitioner and your doctor, my best advice is to stay out of the aisles at the grocery store. Everything you need is usually in the produce section.  When you reach the natural section and pick up gluten-free cookies – you’ve gone too far.

8 thoughts on “What is Paleo?

  1. At first I was really sad when I read the dirty dozen because I thought it meant you shouldn’t eat/ cut back on them. I eat potatoes, spinach, and sweet bell peppers so often. I’ll for sure start buying those organic! Love this article!😀

  2. Amazing article! I’ve had so many people react to my Paleo diet in a similar way, they seem to accept “clean eating” and “gluten free” no questions asked but get really highminded at the thought of Paleo… as you’ve laid out in your article, it’s really not too complicated 😀

    1. I’m encouraging everyone to send people this post when faced with that dumb question lol. A good friend of mine makes paleo treats and sells them at the farmers markets and some guy was asking her how cavemen made this, and how she’s enjoying the caveman life. *eyeroll* let’s fix this 🤣

  3. I’m so glad you wrote this! I get comments about being Paleo constantly. No one really understands what it is and people always make comments that I only eat “rocks and leaves.”
    I love to bake and am pretty good at baking all things Paleo, but I have noticed that even natural sugar has started to get to me.

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