I’ve decided that my family is going to eat Paleo for 21 days. Many people at my kettlebell gym eat Paleo and I became intrigued by their food conversations. Kettlebell exercisers also tend to be Crossfit exercisers and if you go to any Crossfit website, you will see a link to Paleo eating. Who knew there was a whole gym sub-culture of Crossfit/Paleo? I sure didn’t. Independent of my gym, a few other people that I respect started suggesting Paleo eating and I kept hearing story after story about how someone’s health and emotional well-being changed after switching to a Paleo lifestyle. Then I did some research myself and found that it just might be beneficial to eat this way. In it’s most basic form, Paleo eating includes protein (meat, fish,poultry, pork, etc), vegetables (except starchy vegetables like corn and white potatoes), fruit and nuts and seeds. Dairy, legumes, sugar, soy and all grains (wheat, oat, rice, quinoa, etc) are to be avoided.
There’s a brief description on the Whole 9 website:
I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit. I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.
It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight. In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine. Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.
Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body. It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym. It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
That about sums it up, but if you are interested, google “Paleo” and you will find a wealth of information. I just purchased Rob Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution. I’m also cruising around Paleo websites and so far I’ve found 2 that I really like: Nom Nom Paleo and Everyday Paleo. I can already see that I will be using these websites for reference again and again.
I’m not being being militant about salad dressing, which typically has some sugar in it, but for the most part we are just eating meat, a ton of vegetables and fruit. I threw out all the pretzels, crackers and cereal bars. I just told the kids last night that when the 21 days are over that we are still going to eat Paleo. Or more likely, Paleo-ish, like 80/20. I will cook Paleo at home and make the best Paleo choices when I eat out. I’ll let the kids eat cheese and butter in moderation. I can avoid grains, but that will be challenging for my kids. My son loves a good burger – with the bun. I hope that when they eat outside of home they will make good choices, but I won’t force them to eat Paleo. Hopefully they will figure out that their body feels better eating Paleo and will only eat non-Paleo every once in awhile. I’ll let you know how it goes!