by Amy Kubal
Paleo (pay-lee-o), it’s a word that is being used to describe a style of eating that’s becoming more and more popular. But what is it? And even more importantly what isn’t it? How does this whole ‘Paleo’ thing work and why should you care? Well, wonder no more here is your introduction to Paleo in 500 words or less.
What Paleo is:
· Paleo is a style of eating based on how our ancestors ate before traditional /modern agriculture; back when hunting and gathering were all the rage.
· Paleo eating has numerous health benefits and has been proven to alleviate symptoms and even reverse many health and medical conditions. Those with autoimmune diseases (thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, etc.), celiac disease, epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, autism, ADHD, PCOS, acne, and many other conditions stand to benefit greatly with the application of a Paleo eating style.
· The main focus is on REAL, whole foods. These are the things that live, grow, rot and die, not the stuff that lives on a shelf for weeks, months, or years and has an ingredient list longer than the Great Wall of China.
· Food quality is of major emphasis. Grass-fed, wild-caught, free-range, organic, hormone free – the good stuff – is highly encouraged. (Don’t be put off – it’s not a deal breaker if these types of food are out of your current budget!!)
· Focus is placed on lean or grass-fed cuts of meat, wild-caught fish, and other lean or high quality animal proteins, non-starchy vegetables (not potatoes, corn, or peas), and healthy fats from coconut (oil, milk, raw meat, etc.), olives, olive oil, avocado and in some situations moderate amounts of nuts (not peanuts – they are legumes).
What Paleo is NOT:
· Paleo eating is not a fad diet or a diet at all – it is a LIFESTYLE. Yes, many are successful in losing weight eating this way, but it is not a quick fix – short-term program. There are no pills, powders, shakes or special machines required. It’s just real, whole foods!
· Foods that are not included in a Paleo eating plan include all grains, dairy, legumes (beans, peanuts, soy), processed foods, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes), sugars, and in some disease states nightshade vegetables (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, etc.), eggs, and/or nuts.
· Paleo is not just for those interested in losing weight. It is possible for those looking to gain mass, compete in endurance and sports events, and feed the whole family; to be successful using Paleo.
That’s Paleo in a nutshell. Why should you give it a shot? If you want to improve how you look, feel, perform; stop relying on prescriptions to make you healthy, increase the length and quality of your life, and quite feeling ‘sick and tired’ then give it a go. If you think you already feel good – know that it could be better! Give it 30 days, it’s not easy at first but make it through the first week or two and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!
Written by Amy Kubal, MS, RD, LN, Paleo Dietitian – Amy is a Registered “Paleo” Dietitian and the ring leader of Robb Wolf’s RD consulting team. She works with a wide range of clients from competitive athletes to those dealing with complex health problems. Check out her bio and consulting options, and her blog Fuel As Rx to get your Paleo nutrition fix. Email her if you have questions or would like to learn more at: firstname.lastname@example.org