Primal Living and the Paleo Diet
Primal living, the concept of eating and exercising using nature and our natural surroundings, incorporates some of the ideas in Paleo diet foods list but not necessarily everything. The basic premise of the Paleo diet, that we should only eat what we can hunt or forage, fits nicely into the general ethos of primal living but perhaps primal living allows a little more flexibility than true Paleo diets. Living Well has a lot of great information on both primal living and the Paleo diet.
Healthy and Delicious
Whilst at first sight Paleo food lists might seem restrictive, that isn’t the case in reality. Once you start to explore the variety of items on the lists, you will see that you can eat both healthily and happily on a Paleo diet.
In essence,a Paleo diet means no processed food, no sugar and no grains. Many might ask the question about where is the energy the body needs coming from, with no carbs in the diet? The simple answer is we need a lot less carbs than we are used to consuming. Our bodies are very efficient at getting what they need from what we eat and thus the body will get energy by burning the excess fat it has already stored. And the Paleo diet doesn’t mean no carbs – we can get the carbs we need by eating sweet potatoes, fruit and other vegetables, all non-processed and natural, and they won’t make you put on weight either. As an example, compare broccoli to pasta. 6 servings of broccoli will give you 180 calories and 36 grammes of carbs whilst one serving of pasta will provide 200 calories and 42 grammes of carbs.
As for dairy products, it’s a more debatable point in terms of a Paleo diet. Other than as a baby, nothing in the animal kingdom drinks milk, so most strict Paleo enthusiasts will steer clear of dairy. It’s certainly true that our acceptance of dairy products has evolved, we didn’t consume vast amounts of dairy products in our ancestor’s days.
We’ve taken a look at what we can’t eat on a Paleo diet, so what can we eat? As said before, if you can hunt it or forage for it then you can eat it. That leaves things like Meat, Fowl, Fish, Eggs, Vegetables, Oils, Fruits, Nuts and Tubers. That’s still a pretty long list to let you be creative with your recipes whilst still being true to the principles of a Paleo diet. And it’s also worth remembering that even if your budget doesn’t stretch to non-grain fed meat, grain fed meat is better than grains.
If you would like to know more about Primal living and the Paleo diet, have a look at Living Well.