I have been blogging about Paleo for almost 3 years and I hope my passion for living this lifestyle comes across!
To someone looking in from the outside it I realise it can be confusing and may not be obvious what this type of lifestyle is about. I believe more and more people are coming across the term Paleo but may be unsure about it and what it actually means!
With this in mind I have decided to write this post which I hope will answer your question - What exactly IS Paleo?
To understand what Paleo is we have to consider what it is NOT. It is not a fad diet. Rather, it is way of eating that has been around since the Paleolithic era.
Before the industrial revolution the food we ate was real, unprocessed and natural. It was based on seasonal local foods such as lean meats, fish, fruit and vegetables. Any grains were local and in their natural state - not bred to an indistinguishable hybrid version akin to modern varieties.
Chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes were virtually unheard of and obesity was rarely seen outside royalty!
Today's modern diet is driven by greed - not just by the consumers eating this pseudo food, but the greed of the multi-national food corporations who have long since realised that the food industry is a great place to make a cheap buck, and quickly. Their goal is to pump out these food products as quickly and as cheaply as they can, while tricking consumers into thinking their food is both nutritious and delicious.
The way to make this food cheaply is to substitute quality for cheap refined ingredients where ever possible, with the biggest profits possible. After all who can get rich from real food? Anything real and unprocessed is not a luxury item in today's market, and can be produced by anyone. Fake food or food marketed by these corporations as a necessary part of daily diets can make people rich, fast.
As a result obesity, diabetes and food allergies are common place and we are sicker than ever before.
Markets today have been driven by people's desire to be thin and we have all become obsessed with fat free products. Manufacturers responded to this by removing all fat from products which enabled them to stick a "Fat Free" or "0% Fat" label on their products, meaning instant sales. But to make up for this lack of fat, they had to add in tons of sugar to make it taste nice. Healthy right?
Paleo is about REAL food. It is about eating the food we were designed to eat. What we were genetically programmed to eat. We weren't designed to thrive on donuts and pizza - real food allows us to thrive, to grow and to be healthy, fake food does not. It is the food our body craves, what it wants and NEEDS.
One common misconception about the Paleo framework is that we eat loads of meat and little else.
This is a complete myth.
Paleo is about removing refined, processed foods such as grains, vegetable oils, pasteurised dairy and sugars and replacing them with nourishing and unrefined foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as cultured foods such as kefir and sauerkraut.
It is about returning to basics; good quality protein, plenty of fruit and vegetables and good fats such as coconut oil, nuts/seeds and avocados. We don't eat steak everyday and bacon isn't present on every plate. We concentrate on sourcing good foods and tailoring it to our preferences. Simples
The evidence is astounding. This framework works, and provides a great platform for good health. It is anti-inflammatory and nutritious and it isn't a one size fits all approach. What works for you may not work for someone else. Each body is individual and it is up to you to find out what works for you.
I really am passionate about the power of food over health. You wouldn't give your car bad fuel for years on end and expect it to run smoothly would you? Then why do it to your body?
Give your body some love. Eat Real Food. Eat Paleo