What is Paleo and What is not ?

From Wikipedia

The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman dietStone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during thePaleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, the term “paleolithic diet” can also refer to actual ancestral human diets

Paleolithic nutrition is based on the premise that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, and modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors. Therefore an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.

If this sparks interest, you can google with text ‘Paleo Diet’, ‘Paleo Eating’.

For now, I am going to only talk about what in general we consume is Paleo or not ? This is based on my learnings, and my experience.

Important bullet points What is not Paleo :

  • Legumes are not Paleo – Why ? check here
  • Peanut is not Paleo :)… Surprising ?? Sorry, all that Peanut butter needs to be trashed. I learnt this recently as well.
  • Grains and Wheat are not Paleo – Why ? check here – They spike your insulin level, another surprise 🙂 !!
  • The french Beans, or the green beans are also not Paleo.
  • Dairy products are not Paleo as well- But there is a good debate around it. I haven’t explored much, because I love drinking milk and eating yogurt. After all being a Punjabi, its in my genes 😉 to love milk. check here
  • Corn is not Paleo, its a grain.

If you decide to consume dairy, I would aim for organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed, full fat and fermented (yogurt, kefir, cheese). If you want to go even further, try to find raw dairy direct from the farmer, which will retain all the original properties of the milk. Heck, since we’re there, look for goat or sheep’s milk. It can’t get much better than this (raw, pasture-raised, grass-fed, full fat goat’s yogurt)!

Now I have told you what is not Paleo, basically if you look at it, anything that is processed in any form or the other, is not Paleo. Eat naturally available things, vegetables and meats are the best. Use fruits for desert. And if you don’t eat meat there are plenty of options, and recipes. I have reduced my intake to once in a blue moon, sticking to only egg whites.

What is Paleo ? Check here

  • All the colorful vegetables. The more the better. Once you develop a taste for them by preparing them in various ways, you won’t go back to legumes or grains :).
  • All the fruits. But again, fruits have sugar as well, so take them in moderation, because they will still spike your insulin level.
  • Eat sweet potato, beetroot, turnip, potato. This is where you will get the carbs from. And they provide you with more than enough.
  • Be friends with Turmeric – the natural anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant. Say goodbye to Ibuprofen.
  • Eat nuts and seeds to get your proteins, amino acids, omega nutrition. Again keep the nuts in moderation.
  • Spices, especially in Indian food, are Paleo 🙂 !! And if taken right, they actually have good nutritional values. For example – fennel seeds in your smoothie or tea, will aide your digestion process. 
  • Cane is not bad in moderation, but refined Cane sugar is !! 

Some good blogs, with lots of good recipes:

You can download a PDF for your easy reference: Paleo Diet Food List

I have kept things simple for myself, by sticking to Paleo most of the time and selecting the best alternative 🙂 when I need to make exceptions. For example, if you are invited for a dinner or a party, and they do not have many options, go for something that is wheat less, or choose legumes over grains. Or pick the one with least starch in it.

I will be researching more on how to fuel and what to fuel during the endurance events.

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