The idea of the Paleo Diet has been around since the 70’s but is more recently resurfacing with the research and book, The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat, written by Loren Cordain, Ph. D, an exercise science professor at Colorado State University in 2002. Today, we eat from a very different food supply consisting of processed foods in a society riddled with obesity and disease.
The Paleo Diet, also known as Hunter/Gatherer, Stone Age or Caveman Diet, consists of eating types of foods that people ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution. These foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood are high in the beneficial nutrients such as soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates which promote good health. They are also low in the foods and nutrients like refined sugars and grains, saturated and trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods, which frequently cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems.
What You Can and Can’t Eat
Like any diet, the hardest thing about the Paleo diet is what you can’t or aren’t allowed to eat. On this diet you can’t eat anything that humans began eating after the agriculture and animal husbandry revolutions. This means no dairy, beans, grains or starches and absolutely nothing processed. Basically if you can’t eat it raw then you shouldn’t eat it. However, cooking is allowed. This diet consists of meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and roots. Nonstarchy vegetables are the best like salad greens, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini. Starchy vegetables such as yams, winter squash, and sweet potatoes should be avoided, but carrots are allowed. Instead of sandwiches, think meat and veggie stirfries, sautés, soups, and salads. Fresh and unsweetened frozen fruits are part of the Paleo Diet, but avoid more processed fruits like canned or fruit juices, and minimize or avoid dried fruits. Nuts and seeds can be used as snacks, but stay away from peanuts because they are actually legumes. In place of cow’s milk, try coconut milk or homemade almond milk. Butter is acceptable and shouldn’t be avoided. But coconut butter (and oil) or olive oil are also acceptable.
Any questions? Just ask! I'm always just a call/text/email away.
The Challenge For A Healthy 2012
To kick off the New Year I thought about what better way to start than to start the year off right with the proper nutrition. Being a personal trainer here in Orange County I am always asked about what to eat. Fitness is not just about working out. So many factors come into play regarding proper health. Nutrition & diet is a HUGE part of it.
So many of my clients here in Orange County have struggled with what to eat over the years that I’m going to make it REALLY simple. I’m reducing all of our diets…yes, I am doing this as well…to the bare minimum – To the macro and micronutrients that we need to survive and operate at our peak level, and nothing else.
Paul Chek talks about the 3 choices we always make: the optimal, the suboptimal, and the indifferent.
- The optimal always produces the best outcome for everyone involved.
- Suboptimal often produce what we want, but create friction in relationships with others. They cause pain, but they are still useful choices because they produce life experience, which is necessary if we are to evolve.
- The indifferent choice is choosing to do nothing. It is almost always the worst decision we can make because it halts our own self-evolution.
So for the month of January I am choosing to only eat meats, eggs, above ground vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil & avocado. Organic is preferred and HIGHLY recommended. Veggies served raw are also HIGHLY recommended (although I’m sure I’ll cook some as well).
Many people call this the “Paleolithic diet” as it is the way our prehistoric ancestors ate. It basically is the scientific way we are supposed to eat for the peak performance of our bodies. We weren’t meant to eat sugar, gluten, alcohol and the like.
The results you will experience will be greater than you expected. How you will feel and the energy you will have will be off the charts. What we are doing is eliminating all of the common food allergies and detoxifying our bodies by focusing on what it REALLY needs and not filling our bodies with things that harm it. No gluten. No grain. No soy. No dairy. No caffeine. No alcohol. No corn.
Science has taught us that it is not fat that causes us to get fatter. It is carbohydrates. Insulin is the hormone that causes fat to stay on our body. I wish all personal trainers taught this belief. They do not. Many health professionals (personal trainers, strength coaches, nutritionists, dieticians, weight loss experts, etc) teach the “calories in vs. calories out” mantra. That if you burn more calories than you consume you will lose weight. Science tells us that this is simply not true.
***Do NOT count calories.
This month long diet will eliminate carbohydrates (except for the fibrous type found in some above ground veggies). Some people may feel a loss of energy for a week or so. Fear not. This will go away and your energy levels will rebound even higher than before you started this diet challenge.
***I have done this challenge in the past and people have had some questions. So to clear up some things that ARE acceptable:
- Butter-I recommend and use KerryGold. They use
- dairy from grass fed cows. Do NOT use margarine.
- Raw nuts- these are encouraged as a snack.
- Salt/Pepper-used in moderation are ok. I only recommend Himalayan or celtic sea salt, NO table salt should be used.
Just try it…
If you’ve been struggling with getting rid of fat what is it that is keeping the fat on? Whatever you are doing it isn’t working. It’s time to try an alternative method to fat loss. What’s the worst that could happen? The science has shown that eating a paleo style diet will cause the fat to melt off. It is simply the right way to eat.
I challenge everyone reading this post to participate with me and see how great your body can look AND feel in just 30 days. But I’m guessing that after the 30 days are up you will want to continue to eat this way because of what great strides you have made in your health. If you want to eat any of the “banned substances” after 30 (or more) days then we’ll reintroduce ONE AT A TIME to see if you are intolerant to it AS WELL AS show you how your body reacts to it. Right now you can’t tell how it reacts because it’s been desensitized over the years.
Your gut wall will be in better shape making food more digestible by the body. You won’t experience dips in your energy (like after lunch) as often. Your sense of smell and taste could even improve!
The two other things that are necessary that I’ve preached since day one are:
- Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water per day! (So if you’re 150lbs you drink 75oz/day) Drink more on days you work out.
- Be in bed AND ASLEEP by 10:30pm. NO EXCEPTIONS. This will allow proper rest for the muscles (the most metabolically active organ in the body) and reduce stress-inducing hormones like cortisol (promotes belly fat) and raise stress relieving hormones like melatonin.
Please pass this along to anyone who you think would want to join us…
Let’s all get lean, healthy and strong in 2012 and let’s do it together!!