Last week I talked about digestive issues and a great starting place for the Paleo Diet.
My very good friend who is absolutely wonderful and has been the topic of other blogs in the past text me and said essentially, “Dummy, not everyone knows what Paleo is and you know how hard it can be to implement so maybe you should address that”. Haha. And she is right. I get so caught up in my daily discussions and thought processes and I sometimes think I could babble forever but that isn’t what you want so I try to find ways of sharing information that is concise and to the point. But, there are areas that require more information so I’m going to get a little wordier and maybe even lippy. Cause that is what I do best. Haha.
Alright, let’s dive into Paleo.
And just an FYI, I am listening to some awesome music as I write this. That is crucial to a good blog I think. Back to topic. Sorry, one more thing. I have recently started taking a methylated liposomal B Complex (means it is the real kind, not the fake man-made kind that you get at the grocery store or the corner drug store, not made the manmade B.S. – folic acid), and it is amazing for energy and just happiness in general.
Paleo is an ancestral diet. The way I like to describe it is the way that it the way my grandparents ate. They were born in early 1900’s. My grandmother had 3 gardens every summer. Cooked every meal at home and much of the food, except for the meat, came from her garden. They rarely ate out and when they did it was a very big treat. All her desserts were homemade as well. And despite some difficulties due to 3 major car accidents and drunk drivers, she was crazy healthy.
A Paleo diet is a whole foods diet of meat and a variety of veggies with healthy fat thrown for fun.
No, not really for fun. Fat has gotten a lot of bad press since the ‘80’s. I recently wrote a blog called “Sugar, WTF?” and in the article I discuss what the sugar industry purposely did to make fat look unhealthy several decades ago to preserve their angelic image as being sweet and yummy and not so bad for you. I will talk more about the benefits of health in a little bit. Let me start with the carnivore side of us.
Meat is foundational to the way our bodies operate.
We need meat daily. Meat has all of the amino acids that our bodies need. No other natural food source has all of the amino acids available to us that we need. And the proteins in meat are needed for proper thyroid function. Our thyroid is at the center of the operation of all of our systems along with the adrenals and hormones. Without a proper functioning thyroid, things can get a little funky for sure. People with thyroid issues have been incorrectly labeled as crazy and placed in mental institutions. Not recommended. Point is, you need your meat. Meat in general should be about ¼ of your plate. Now, some people might tolerate less. Some might tolerate more. ¼ of your plate is a good place to start. Adjust as needed. And every now and then, it is ok to skip the meat with a meal. Go with what your body is feeling like it needs but you do need your meat.
Meats should be range free, antibiotic free, and grain free if you can afford it. Eggs should be range free, antibiotic free if you can afford it. Fish should be caught in the wild. No fish from farms. The point is that animals not raised under these circumstances are full of stress. That transfers to the food they are providing, and they won’t be as good for you as they could be. But again, do your best with what you can afford.
Veggies provide nutrients. Leafy greens in particular are full of nutrients and they help the body absorb other nutrients and amino acids that we need. The goal is to eat a rainbow of vegetables but as a recommendation, ½ of your plate should be covered by vegetables, mostly leafy green.
Shopping for veggies can be confusing.
Why? Because, some vegetables you have to eat organic. Some you don’t have to. The nutrient value of the vegetable begins to degrade the moment it is picked so in that case, why aren’t locally grown veggies recommended as the best? They offer the higher nutrient values. Frozen veggies lock in the nutrients so why aren’t they recommended? Let me see if I can simplify this for you. If you go to the EWG.org and look at their Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list, you will get a good idea of what should be bought organic and what doesn’t have to be bought organic. Start here. The Dirty Dozen list are the veggies that are the most suspect for chemicals, and modifications for mass production. If you can’t get them organic, go for the locally grown. If you can’t find them locally grown, go for frozen. If you can’t find them frozen, you did your best and just get what you can find. The fact that you are eating vegetables as opposed to processed foods is awesome.
For the rest of the vegetables that aren’t on the Dirty Dozen list, go for locally grown if you can find them there. Farmer’s markets are the best place to find nutrient dense foods in the summer months. If you can’t find them go for frozen. If they aren’t available frozen, get what you can find.
The point is to do your best when you can and if you can afford it. If you can’t, just buy what you can afford. Again, if you are eating vegetables in place of processed foods you are doing so much better than you probably have been and your body is going to appreciate the change.
Healthy carbs are also requited on the plate. 1/8 of your plate on average should be filled with healthy carbs. Many of the vegetables are considered healthy carbs like carrots, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. You can also get health starches by eating quinoa and rice, but you do want to get the majority of your healthy starch through veggies. Quinoa and rice are good if you are a fast metabolizer. They help to feed energy to the system and it can last longer than the energy provided by the starchy veggies. Again, listen to your body. Variety is also important here.
Healthy fats are the remaining 1/8 of your plate. And it is hard to actually put the fat on the last 1/8th of your plate. Haha, could you imagine eating a lump of coconut oil or drinking olive oil. Ya, me either. So, you are cooking with healthy fats and putting them on your veggies or on your salads, drizzling your meats with them. I’ve already given you coconut oil and olive oil. You can also use grapeseed oil, ghee – which is a very clean butter, palm oil for baking and lard. Now don’t wrinkle your nose at lard. It got a seriously bad rap in the ‘80’s and it isn’t so bad for you. It is actually quite good because it is made from meat fat. Just make sure it is clean.
You now know what you should be eating. What you shouldn’t be eating? The list isn’t that long but it is going to be a tough list for many of you. Here goes.
Eliminate the following
Boxed or bagged meals, processed foods – all of them
Sodas/flavored waters, etc
Caffeine – all Caffeinated drinks
Coffee – even decaf.
Anything with Gluten in it
Vinegar – except for Apple Cider Vinegar
Refined Vegetable Oils
Anything GMO (Genetically Modified)
You are probably screaming “WHY?” on some of these. I know. And now you are probably thinking “NO, Just NO”. And you are going to stop reading aren’t you. But save this link ‘cause you will be back. This is it, health starts in a Paloe eating program. Other things that you do might work temporarily but they aren’t going to support your body the way a Paleo diet will. And when you come back, I won’t say I told you so. Nope. I will just smile and say, “Welcome Back” and snicker quietly to myself. Haha.
Let me dive into some of the eliminations a little so you understand.
Processed foods should be a no brainer. They are full of crap that doesn’t serve you period. If you can’t read the foods or chemicals that are in there, then you shouldn’t be eating it. And, if there is more than a handful of ingredients, like 4 or 5, then it isn’t good for you. Just sayin.
Sugar – guess what, and yes, it is sweet and oh so yummy, but it causes inflammation in the body. Huge inflammation and it feeds yeast, so your body could be overloaded with yeast, Yuk. And if that isn’t enough, it is worse than a drug addiction in the way it stimulates the pleasure center of your brain. Feels good I know, tastes oh so yummy, but it is SO BAD FOR YOU!!!
Alcohol – converts to sugar in the body. I don’t really need to say more except that it is also hard on the liver.
Soda and flavored waters – All I’m going to say is sugar, and chemicals. And yes, high fructose corn syrup is sugar. Just a very inexpensive sugar that can only be processed in the liver. Poor liver and what the liver can’t handle gets converted to fat. Right to Fat. And no, the diet sodas are no better but that is another article.
Caffeine – it just stimulates the heck out of your adrenals and I can bet you that they are pretty stressed already. Most people can’t actually tolerate caffeine. There are a few that can but you won’t really know until you give it up for a while. I know, what are you going to do about your morning pick me up. Eat an apple
Coffee – you knew this was coming. Coffee does not help your digestive enzyme production which is already compromised if you are over 30. The production starts to decline, and coffee just makes it worse. Oh, and the caffeine. But Decaf isn’t really doing it for you either. Just say NO.
Gluten – there is a very long story with gluten and I am going to put a short webinar together that talks about the affects of gluten on your body. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t allergic or sensitive to it. It is still affecting your body. Trust me for now and get it out of your diet. It does cause inflammation, it adds to leaky gut, it triggers autoimmune disease. It’s a baddy. And yes, it wasn’t as bad before flour got so over processed, but it is now, and it isn’t doing you any favors. I will get something put together soon and share it with you soon
Vinegar – promotes yeast growth in the body. Apple cider vinegar is the exception. It does wonders for helping with gut health. A tablespoon or two a day could do you wonders.
Yeast – we all have it. It is just whether it is out of control or not. And it doesn’t just happen to women. Yeast is very opportunistic, and it will multiple in the right environments. And when it does, it is hard to get it back under control, but it is possible. Better to just eliminate it which is easy with the elimination of gluten and vinegar.
Dairy – another food we have been sold a bill of goods on. People love their dairy and will fight to near death to keep it. There is a small percentage of the population that can tolerate it. For most of us it creates inflammation in the body and may have developed a sensitivity to it adding to the inflammation.
Oh, I should probably stop here and say a little bit about inflammation. Disease and illness come from inflammation in the body. When we have inflammation, the health of our gut is breaking down, the immune system gets activated, genetics get activated and then disease sets in. It is not a pretty cycle. The goal is to eliminate inflammation in the body. Sorry, I should have mentioned that sooner.
Refined oils. – Bluk. I talked about them in a blog which you can find in my “Healthy Oils vs Non-Healthy Oils” if you are looking for more information. I have listed the healthy fats up above. This is what you should be using for cooking. Stay away from vegetable oils and seed oils like sunflower oil.
Artificial flavoring or coloring. – it’s not natural and not good for you. Just avoid it.
GMO’s – This stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It means that the genetics of the seed that grows the food has been modified in some way. Why, well it makes the crops easier to grow and/or resistant to bugs and weed killer. A small thought. If the plant has been modified to not be killed by say Roundup and the plant is sprayed with it, then it is on/in the plant. We eat the plant and now the Roundup is inside us. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound good to me. I mentioned earlier about the EWG.org and their list of the Dirty Dozen. Well, these are the foods that should almost always be bought organically.
There you have it. Paleo in just a few pages. There are tons of resources out there to get you started. Your Health Made Simple will be launching our very own Paleo Diet Cook Book in the next few weeks. We are almost ready. That would be a great resource as well. And to start, you can head over to our Pinterest page. We have tons of great recipes saved in the folders there. The link to get there is https://www.pinterest.com/yourhealthm0139/pins/.
I have absolutely talked forever today. I hope it was helpful.
One final note. This diet isn’t just the place to start for people with digestive issues. It is the stepping stone for health for everyone,
If you want to take control of your health, start with a Paleo Diet.
Have an amazing week everyone.
Photo by Lauren Lester on Unsplash
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