The Paleo diet is based on the theory that Neanderthals ate a healthier, more sustainable diet than the common diet consumed today. The Paleo diet attempts to improve health, aid in weight loss and reduce the incidence of disease. This diet is likely very different from the diet you are accustomed to following. If you want to follow the Paleo diet, consult with your doctor first and initiate changes gradually over a long period of time.
Basics and Suggestions
The Paleo diet discourages consumption of all grains, including whole grain breads, rice or pasta. All types of beans, sugar, salt, coffee and alcohol are also to be avoided. The diet also requires the elimination of most dairy products (with the exception of eggs). Potatoes are also restricted because they are believed to have been genetically and nutritionally altered compared to those grown in the Stone Age period. The Paelo diet encourages the consumption of meats and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips and parsnips. All fruits and vegetables are generally acceptable, as well as nuts such as walnuts, almonds, macadamia and brazil nuts. Peanuts are considered a type of bean and generally not acceptable.
Give your body a few months to adjust before attempting to strictly follow the Paleo diet. You will feel better and your body will thank you for not forcing it in to a drastic change. Begin by incorporating a Paleolithic type of breakfast every morning for several weeks. Make a vegetable omelet (no cheese or milk) or fruit salad in the mornings. Use a variety of fruits and vegetables so that you do not become tired of eating the same foods every day.
Following a Daily Diet
Once you have made a conscious effort to reduce your grain and packaged food intake, you are ready to begin following a daily Paleo diet. For breakfast, have a spinach and tomato omelet with strawberries, or half of a cantaloupe filled with blackberries and pecans and topped with honey. The best early afternoon snacks are fruits such as apples or bananas. For lunch, have a piece of grilled salmon with a large salad consisting of beets and carrots topped with an olive or flax oil dressing. A good afternoon snack would be guacamole with raw broccoli and carrots, or homemade beef jerky. For dinner, have grilled or baked chicken and asparagus sautéed in olive oil. For dessert, bake some apple slices with walnuts and cinnamon.
The Paleo diet requires that you eat only healthy, natural foods. The diet is easy in the sense that there is no calorie counting or expensive pre-packaged foods to purchase, but it does require careful planning. You will need to prepare meals ahead of time before leaving home and always keep fruit handy for emergencies.
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