The Paleo Diet Recipes solution mimics our hunter and gatherer ancestors. So if you can find or kill it in nature, you can eat it…essentially. For those of you that would like the hard core rules ironed out, keep reading.
Eat Your Vegetables: Eat as many and as much fresh or frozen vegetable as you want. Go organic and live it up.
No Diary: Nope. Did you know that humans are the only species to continue to drink milk after infancy? Did you know that dairy is an immune system stressor and everyone is allergic to cow dairy to some extent? The Bottom Line? Avoid all Dairy – this includes milk, butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc.
Go Carnivore: Try to focus on moderate to high animal protein. Your body craves it and your wasteline will thank you. I used to be vegetarian and I must tell you, after 20 years of not eating beef or pork, I feel better now than I ever did as a vegetarian. If you don’t have serious PITA morals, go back to meat. And yes, that means even fattier cuts like bacon and ribs. We eat a variety of poultry, seafood, red meats and eggs – all wild caught or grassfed (as the hormones will mess up your system…have you seen how big kids are today??? Not. Natural.)
Avoid Most Starches: No corn products, no potatoes, no rice, no breads. If you feel you need rice, try cauliflower. You can food process it and spice it up to help you get over the hump…its surprisingly good! The exception here is tubers like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and plantains – these are OK. Try to think “Can I Eat It Raw?” and if the answer is YES, then you can eat it on the Paleo diet.
No Processed Foods: If it comes in the freezer section or in a box, you probably can’t eat it. It is most important that you avoid nitrates. So watch out for those (especially in things like bacon and sausage, as they make some that is grassfed and without nitrates).
Oils: Good oils to use (and use them plenty) include coconut (our favorite for cooking), palm, avocado, sesame, grapeseed (also great for cooking without the flavor of coconut) and olive oil. Avoid corn, cottonseed, peanut, soybean, rice bran, and wheat germ oils. Avoid any foods made with these oils (yes, that means in foods like chips and mayo…whether it is organic or not).
No Grains: None. Nada. Not even corn (yes, corn is a grain). And I’ll tell you why. Wheat has gluten and all grains have a very high glycemic index – which means that these foods carry sugar too rapidly into the bloodstream. For more details, read “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf. He details the internal effects of going Paleo in length and it’s really a fantastic read.
Legumes (Beans, Peas, Peanuts): You might be thinking these are ok, but consider: even though I can find it in nature, can I eat it raw? And the answer to legumes is no. Go ahead, eat a raw kidney bean and tell me if it’s tasty. Prior to agriculture, legumes were very rare and were not a staple in our diets. They contain lectins, saponins or protease inhibitors that are bad news for our hormonal and immune system. See Rob’s book again for more info.
Fruits and Fruit Juices: We eat all the fruits we want, but again, if you are trying to lose a vast amount of weight, I would limit your intake, as fruits contain a lot of sugar. Go organic. If you are drinking juices, go for organic, not from concentrate, non-blends.
Nuts: If you can find it in nature, you can eat it. So cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc are ok. And keep it to a minimum. How many nuts could you find in nature, crack, and eat before you gave up? …about a handful I’m assuming.
Salt: Do not use iodized salt, go for sea salt instead if you need it. Salt was not common in the Paleo era, nor should it be in your diet.
Booze: Let’s be honest. It’s hard to give up the booze. But you can’t give it up, you can do it Paleo-style. We drink wine (as it is gluten free) that is organically grown and beer that is gluten free or hard ciders. Some recommendations are Bards (made from sorghum) and Woodchuck (made from apples). Rob Wolf also recommends what he calls the “Nor-Cal” Margarita. Its soda water, lime and 100% agave tequila. This is also something that we drink occasionally.
Nix the Sugars: No soft drinks, no koolaids, no processed fruit snacks, etc. Remember, if it comes ready made, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Portion Control: Eat as much of these foods as you want! If you need to seriously lose some pounds, you may want to consider limiting you intake of fruits and nuts, but otherwise, go wild!
Supplements: Are not entirely necessary, but we have several recommendations that have worked out great for us. See the supplements section for more details.
Eating Schedule: Don’t keep a schedule. Eat when you are hungry, don’t eat when you aren’t. You will have days where you go all day with no food and others where you eat every few hours. This is normal. Just do what feels natural.