The Paleo Diet – What We Eat and Why We Eat it!

I have been asked many times what the Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet is and why on earth would someone follow such a restrictive diet. The sentence “what the hell do you eat then?” usually comes up in the conversation. So I thought I would write a brief blog post about the basics of the Paleo Diet and provide links for those who are interested in taking their knowledge further.

I was first introduced to the Paleo Diet through my fabulous personal trainer Linda from Linda Morrison.com.au who suggested initially cutting diary and bread from my diet to start feeling better. My mother has Coeliac disease and during both my pregnancies I was intolerant to both wheat and dairy. After a week I felt a lot better and she suggested that I might look into the Paleo Diet not only as a way of toning up but for a feeling of better wellbeing.

I did some reading and got my hands on some Kindle Paleo Diet recipes books, trawled the web for some great Paleo food websites and the more I read the more convinced I was that it was worth a try.

What do you eat on the Paleo Diet? 

On the Paleo Diet one does not eat the following foods:

  • grains (including corn)
  • dairy
  • rice
  • beans and legumes
  • white potatoes
  • refined processed foods
  • sugars

So that basically leaves you with meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

I cannot remember where I sourced the following flow chart from but I love it as a quick reference and it’s a little cheeky too!

Paleo Diet Flow chart

Why eat the Paleo way?

Well the reason is basically that are bodies are not genetically programmed to eat or digest grains. Our Paleolithic ancestors were strong, lean and had no dietary deficiencies. Once the agricultural revolution took place and we started eating grains our health took a turn for the worse giving rise to dental caries and dietary deficiencies. With respect to dairy we are the only mammals to drink milk past infancy, plus by drinking the milk from other mammals this leads to intolerance in one form or another to lactose. Rice and white potatoes are excluded for their starchy properties (high glycaemic index and carbohydrate load). Beans and legumes because of the effect lectin which creates an immune response in the gut and sees a host of related autoimmunine diseases.

Paleo for me

When on the Paleo Diet I notice the following benefits:

  • “feel” better
  • sleep better
  • more energy and less lethargy
  • my symptoms of my Post Natal Depression were lessened
  • no bloating
  • no noisy/squirty tummy
  • no abdominal pains
  • no feeling “yuk” after I eat something

I do allow myself to use some good quality butter in cooking and sometimes indulge in some cheese but mostly I stick to the diet. It is more a lifestyle for me so every now and them I will eat like everyone else and know I will feel ordinary for a day or so but I don’t beat myself up about it.

I don’t force any of my other family members to eat Paleo but my husband and the kids will always try it. Nine times out of ten the kids will love it and will ask for more!

I will leave it at that – there is volumes more I could write but for some great information on the Paleo diet please see the links below.

Linda

Paleo Diet resources

Comments

  1. So many people could turn around their lifestyle-induced illnesses with the Paleo diet. I follow it most of the time, but occasionally get a craving for some kind of grain, like quinoa or buckwheat. However, I keep that to a minimum.

    Thanks for sharing this great information, especially the charts. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. I know that me and the kids eat way too much processed foods, sugary stuff and beige foods. In fact if it isn’t beige Ella won’t eat it. I’d love to turn our diet around.

    • One of my friends has been trying a modified (less strict) version of the paleo diet with her autistic daughter with great results….. You never know Ella may come around eventually to new things 🙂

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