The Paleo Diet Revised
The Paleo Diet Revised
While the Paleo Diet has some sound principals, this list will help you get the results you’re looking for, without the prehistoric guidelines.
If you’ve ever seen the flick Encino Man (back when Brendan Frasier was a semi-babe) or caught a Geico commercial, you know why you don’t want to act like a caveman. Hairy and dumb is NOT a good combo. And, if you read my last piece on the Paleo Diet, you know why you don’t really want to eat like a caveman either (Hint: they went extinct).
The Paleo Diet is another fad diet allegedly based on what our ancestors ate. Um, not so fast: scientists don’t know the answer to that just yet, but odds are they were eating whatever they could get their hands on. Since then, our intelligence level has changed (hopefully for the better), and so it would only make sense that our food choices change too. Not to mention it cuts out pretty much all carbs and dairy, yet includes raw meat and allows artificial sweeteners in moderation (which is the least prehistoric thing I can imagine). Needless to say, the Paleo Diet is not my jam.
However, it’s not total BS. We should all be eating more natural foods and more like our ancestors – as in our great, great grandparents who were farming, not throwing spears. So, 1R asked me to give the Paleo Diet a makeover for those looking to drop a few pounds in the 21st century, and, piggybacking off of the original diet’s principals, here are my 10 rules of an ideal diet:
1. Eat More Plants
It doesn’t take a genius, ya’ll. And, while I know you don’t want to hear it, despite the USDA’s recent ruling, pizza sauce is definitely NOT a vegetable. Fruit is super important too, but non-pizza sauce veggies are most likely what you’re not getting enough of.
2. Be Picky with Your Protein
If you’re trying to get healthier, then paying attention to quality of your meat, fish, and dairy should be your priority…right after taking your girl out to dinner. I know better meat may be a bit pricier, but I’m not asking you to go from Krogers $1.99/lb to organic, cage-free, $6.99/lb chicken – although that would be ideal. There is a lot of middle ground on this issue, and you can buy frozen and in bulk.
3. Limit Your Dairy
It doesn’t have to go completely, but let’s keep milk and cheese to a minimum. Ones in particular to include in your diet are greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
4. Cut Down on the Processed and Packaged Foods
This isn’t as simple as it sounds– not all packaged foods are processed (a bag of carrots or container of hummus), and not all processed foods are packaged (think: the bagel store or bakery). Know what’s what and limit anything that’s processed.
5. Eat More Fats
Fat is good! Ok, maybe not on your bod, but eating the right fats won’t actually make you fat. Healthy, unsaturated fats from avocado, vegetable oils, seeds and nuts are essential and will help you get that beach bod we all know you’re looking for.
6. Limit the Booze and Caffeine
Ha… I know. We can pretend though, right?
7. Eat Less Wheat (and Gluten in General)
Considering all of the different grains out there, it’s ridiculous how little we stray from wheat. Wheat has a protein called gluten that many people have trouble digesting, whether knowingly (really bad GI issues) or unknowingly (minor digestion issues and increased inflammation). Quite a few athletes have been successful on gluten free diets and have shown improved energy, mood, concentration and decreased fluid retention when limiting wheat.
8. Consume More Beans and Different Grains
Replace those wheat-carbs with the endless number of beans and unprocessed grains out there. Think outside of rice and oats, too. Maybe you’ve heard of quinoa, but what about freekah? It’s pronounced freak-ah, so you probably won’t forget it- or it’ll remind you of someone you know. There’s also farro, barley millet, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, wheat berries, and on and on.
9. Faux Sugars have Got to Go
There is no place for artificial sweeteners in your diet. If you need sugar, use a little of the real stuff, honey, or a bit of agave. Calorie concerned? Stevia is plant based and your best low-cal bet.
I’d love you to get all your nutrition from real food, but that’s probably not realistic. Knowing that, there’s definitely a place for supplements like protein powder or fish oil. But not all supplements are created equal, and the quality of your supplements is just as important as the quality of your meat. Many protein powders are full of freaky chemical ingredients and made with low quality whey (i.e. whey concentrate). Supplements aren’t regulated, so it’s up to you to decide if something is legit. Know what’s in it and where it’s coming from (the 1R Store, duh).
Ok, so let’s leave everything related to grunting cavemen to movies and scientists, and not to our food decisions. The Paleo Diet is so 2 million years ago, babes, but follow the rules above and you’ll be well on your way to building that 21st century beach body you’re striving for.ShareThis
About the Author
Carolyn is a Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian and has her masters in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. She went to Tulane in New Orleans for undergrad, spent 3 months traveling around the world on Semester at Sea and then swung through Boulder, CO before landing in her current home of NYC. Carolyn has a blog called One Smart Brownie (www.onesmartbrownie.com) to simplify healthy eating for those who don’t spend their lives studying nutrition. Her favorite hobbies include getting new stamps on her passport and telling yo mama jokes, and she says that if she were to have a crush on a food it would be chocolate biscotti, no questions asked.
- (1) May 2013
- (4) April 2013
- (1) March 2013
- (4) January 2013
- (11) December 2012
- (20) November 2012
- (20) October 2012
- (19) September 2012
- (22) August 2012
- (23) July 2012
- (20) June 2012
- (18) May 2012
- (19) April 2012
- (17) March 2012
- (10) February 2012
- (12) January 2012
- (15) December 2011
- (15) November 2011
- (15) October 2011
- (15) September 2011
- (17) August 2011
- (15) July 2011
- (14) June 2011
- (10) May 2011
- (7) April 2011
- (7) March 2011
- (6) February 2011
- (5) January 2011
- (5) December 2010
- (3) November 2010