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THE PALEO DIET

WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS ‘CAVEMAN’ DIET?

The paleo diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans 2.5 million years ago consiting mainly of meat, fish, veges and fruits. It excluded all dairy, cereal producrs and processed foods. The theory is that cave dwellers weren’t fat and didn’t have diabetes.

WHAT IS IN A MEAL? 

Smoothies and eggs for breafast, packed salads like kale and veges for lunch and grilled meat, chicken or fish with veges for dinner!

BEGINNERS SHOPPING LIST

Fresh, Seasonal Produce 
You might be surprised at some of the produce you’re supposed to steer clear of (mostly starches like white potatoes) and that you can’t snack on fruit all day long. All fruit and berries are welcome on the Paleo diet, but you should enjoy fruits high in sugar (like bananas, tangerines, and grapes) sparingly—especially if you’re trying to lose weight. For Paleo eaters, it’s all about approved veggies! Here are a few of the produce staples you should have ready to go in your crisper all year long:

  • Spinach and kale (it’s all about those leafy greens!)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Purple and green cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms

Animal protein and fat

Yes, the Paleo diet emphasizes animal protein and fat, but the way in which the animals are raised is important. Grass-fed and fully pastured animals are the keywords you want to look for when shopping for meat and eggs:

  • Fully pastured chicken and eggs
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fully pastured pork
  • Wild-caught seafood

The Healthy (Cooking) Fats You Need
People practicing the Paleo lifestyle know the importance of healthy fats. While grass-fed, organic animal sources will offer healthy fats, these are the staples you should have on-hand when it comes to cooking.

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee (Ghee is clarified butter, prepared by boiling butter and removing the milk solids. You should be able to find it at your local health food store, but if not, you can make your own ghee at home)

For Flavor Factor 
Eating clean on a Paleo plan doesn’t mean you’ll be chowing down on bland food. All of these pantry staples are welcome and will bring tons of flavor to your new recipes:

  • Chicken, beef, and/or vegetable broth
  • Gluten-free Dijon-style mustard
  • Coconut aminos (in place of soy sauce)
  • Coconut milk
  • Your favorite natural dried herbs and spices!
  • Almond and coconut flours (essential for baking and any “breading” technique)
  • Raw honey and maple syrup (for occasional use!)

Fabulous Fermented Foods 
The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity:

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut (You can make your own or buy a raw version from the health food store)
  • Kombucha

In-a-Pinch Snacks
The Paleo diet is all about whole, clean foods prepared at home, but having some convenient snacks on-hand is necessary when you’re always on the go:

  • Dried fruit
  • Raw almonds and cashews (While legumes like peanuts are strictly prohibited, raw nuts and seeds are welcome in moderation!)
  • Raw almond butter
  • Tom and Luke snackaballs (except the peanut & cacao one)

WHY DOES IT WORK? 

The paleo diet is high fat, low carb diet. This means less sugar in the body as carbohydrates break down into sugar. Sugar is what stimulates the release of the hormone insulin which causes fat to be stored in the body.

UPSIDE

-you can munch on unlimted greens to your hearts content
-you can tuck into a hearty Sunday Roast
-you can eat out-this is an easy diet to adapt in most social situations
-no portion control
-no calorie counting
-its reliable for losing weight
-you can still eat butter and cream

DOWNSIDE

-can be expensive
-no chips or spuds in any form
-no alcohol as it is processed and a toxin
-no cheese

Thinking of trying paleo? Here are some handy links to recipes and blogs.

  • Dr Roz’s paleo birthday cake recipe http://chirobalance.co.nz/201679paleo-double-layer-chocolate-cake-plus-free-birthday-cake-e-cookbook/
  • More paleo recipes and blogs by Chef Pete Evans https://peteevans.com
  • Ready made paleo meals delivered to your door by Art and Matilda https://plateup.co.nz

 

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