I am not one for dieting and I think I make it very clear from the way I eat, that moderation is what keeps me in check more than anything else. I've heard a lot about the Paleo diet and how good it is, but to be sure I wanted to research it myself and possibly even try it out for a week. Keeping in mind that it does aid in weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle, I'm doing it more to see the effects of my energy levels and if I do in fact feel better after just one week of this diet. So here's a bit of a crash course in what I've found out about this Caveman diet.
This diet focuses a lot on meat and fish, while eliminating carbohydrates, dairy and sugar. The idea is that we eat what a caveman ate back then, so if you can remember the ways of a hunter gatherer, it's exactly the same. Let's take a look at what you should/shouldn't focus on:
Grains were not part of our diet a few decades ago, we as humans incorporated it into our diet. Essentially healthy grains are good for you, but they do comprise of a lot of carbohydrates. Lecitins are found within grains (just as gluten is) and they are there to DEFEND against natural consumption, which in turn affects our gastrointestinal tract making it harder for us to break down food and for it to repair itself.
Dairy is a hard NO. The followers of this diet argue that, animals in the animal kingdom stop feeding their young milk at infancy, including Hunter gatherers, so why should we continue on this path? If you do not want to remove dairy entirely there are other options in this modern world we live in that can act as a substitute such asm almond milk, coconut and rice milk etc.
Carbohydrates is a tricky one, because you can get your carbs from sweet potatoes and vegetables. Some of you may not know this, but six full servings of broccoli is 180 calories and 36g of carbs, so there really is no excuse, just a bit of research needs to be done to get your daily dose in. Carbohydrates do not need to be removed from your diet entirely, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and don't have the time to watch each meal, but to keep the carb intake low is the key.
Refine/processed sugar is something to stay away from too, which makes sense as most diets call for this, but why? Sugar is there to afford an energy spike, which is great if we are about to go for a run or hit the gym, but if not, that sugar is stored as fat almost instantly. Getting your sugars from vegetables and fruits is the best option, but again, we can't be eating only fruit all day, because enough of that sugar will be stored as fat too.
What should/can you eat?
Meat-grass fed (great for those suffering from anemia).
Eggs- they provide you with your Omega 3s
Fruit- not too much as they contain sugar, albeit natural sugar, we don't want it to turn into fat.
Tubers- aka sweet potato (excellent for a post work out meal).
Over the next week I will be giving you meal and snack ideas so if you are doing this with me, hopefully my recipes will help!
Recipe: Paleo cookies
Whisk together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, it may not be entirely smooth which is normal. Add the egg and vanilla pods and mix until smooth.
Add the flours, baking soda, salt to the wet ingredients.
Then fold in the chocolate chips.
Cover with cling film and let the dough rest for about an hour.
Roll into small balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and press down slightly.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. They brown quickly so set your timer to just before the 10 min mark.
Hope you enjoy them!