So when I say I’m following a Paleo diet, what exactly to I mean?
Good question. It is a diet that follows what caveman ate over 2 million years ago — meat and fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts. It doesn’t include any grains, legumes, dairy products, or refined sugar. But, like many things, it turns out there are several interpretations of what eating a Paleo diet really means.
To help figure this all out — and quickly, since I decided only a week ago to do this month-long challenge — I turned to a few sources. One was Mark Sisson’s blog Mark’s Daily Apple. Another was Robb Wolf, who sets some good boundaries around what a Paleo diet includes and excludes. A couple dozen more searches uncovered a number of basic guidelines on Paleo eating, and helped me determine my approach.
Giving up grains, for me, is huge. That will be my main focus, along with avoiding legumes (bye bye peanut butter..sob, wimper), processed food, and dairy. Avoiding dairy is actually a pretty big deal too, since cheese can be a key protein source for weeks on end if I’m feeling lazy about cooking.
Here’s what I’ll be eating:
- Meats & Seafood: Fish, prawns, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, eggs
- Fruits & Vegetables: All of them, including some dried fruits and coconut flour, as well as nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, the occasional white potato) which are frowned up on by more strict Paleo diets
- Nuts & Seeds: Raw or ground (almond meal, flax seed meal), but not soaked
- Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, lard, and yes some regular butter
- Herbs, spices and seasonings: Fresh from the garden parsley, thyme, tarragon, cilantro, chives, and definitely ginger and garlic
- Dairy: A minimal amount of cheese, cream in my morning coffee
So there it is. It’s not a super strict Paleo diet by any stretch. I’m not completely cutting out dairy, alcohol or sugar but I’ll do my best to keep cheese to a minimum, but it will likely sneak its way in. And having a glass of wine or some chocolate? For goodness sakes, something has to keep me sane for the next month.
Check out what started this all off, why I’m doing this in the first place:
The Paleo Diet Challenge