We all remember when the Atkins diet, with its high-protein and low-carb focus, was all the rage. Now, it seems that the paleo diet is the new “it” diet. According to The Paleo Diet, the diet consists of mimicking the diet of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers. Basically, if it wasn’t around when cavemen were alive, it’s not included in the diet. Like the Atkins diet, paleo is also high-protein and low-carb, but it is quite a bit more complex than that. Higher fiber intake, higher potassium, lower sodium intake, keeping a balance between alkaline-yielding foods and acid rich foods, higher intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and higher intake of Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats are all essential to the diet. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Sounds good, but what the heck can I eat and stay paleo?!”
Crossfit enthusiast and paleo dieter, Dave Peet, became interested in the diet after hearing success stories from friends at the crossfit gym and his sister. Here’s an inside scoop on what a typical paleo meal is for Dave: “A typical meal will be a meat, generally ground beef, roasted chicken, or pulled pork- things that are easy to make in bulk with a healthy carb, like sweet potato, broccoli, or cauliflower, some leafy greens like spinach and at least half an avocado with almost every meal.”
Dave started experimenting with the diet in November of 2012. On January 12, 2013 he started the Whole 30 Challenge, a 30 day strict paleo diet, and has maintained strict paleo on average of 80% of the time since the diet ended. The first 2 weeks of strict paleo Dave says he really struggled with energy levels while his body got used to not eating nearly as many carbs and sugars as he once did. Once week 3 came around he noticed a considerable increase in energy levels. He now finds that he can wake up much easier than ever before and has more sustainable energy levels throughout the day. He also noticed his performance at his Crossfit gym increased considerably as well.
Dave leaves anyone considering going paleo with a few wise words. “I would definitely advise educating yourself as much as you can about the paleo diet. Know why you can eat certain foods or why you can’t. Know how certain foods might react with your body so you can know what to expect. I would also recommend starting slow. Start by eating paleo just a few meals a week to find out your portion size and what you might like. Then, slowly start eliminating foods not approved on the paleo diet to see how your body reacts. From there you can try the Whole 30 or maintain the paleo diet that fits your lifestyle.”
The Paleo Diet has a wealth of information about the do’s and don’t of the diet as well as detailed explanations to back up the restrictions. There are also several great paleo Blogs such as Everyday Paleo, Chris Kresser, and Paleo Plan, which is a weekly subscription plan that gives you a meal planning guide and grocery store shopping lists for less than $10 a month or you can sign-up for a free 14-Day trial to see how you like it!