Lifestyle changes of any kind can be a bit off-putting, especially for dietary changes like Paleo or Keto. Yet, with the proper tools, there’s hope for a successful outcome that sticks! This article will discuss the paleo diet, how to get started, and a few tips and tricks to assist you on your new journey.
What Is Paleo?
Paleo is short for Paleolithic, and it is a dietary lifestyle that focuses on the consumption of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats. Paleo became popular around the mid-70s and has been adapted as a societal norm ever since.
But where did Paleo come from? Paleo follows the dietary lifestyle of pre-historic hunters and gatherers. It is assumed during this time that our ancestors ate meals primarily made up of meats, greens, fruits, and berries as farming had not become common practice until thousands- and I mean thousands- of years later. So with this, anything not native to the area (or could be speared to death) was not consumed. No rice, no flours, no beans.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Paleo?
Because of removing high-grease, high-fat processed, and fast foods, adopters of the paleo life acknowledge that weight loss and blood pressure control are among the most beneficial health benefits arising from making the change. Other benefits include:
- Better insulin regulation
- Mental clarity
- Cholesterol balance
- Chemical-free diet
Because of the consumption of healthy oils and fresh greens, you also have added anti-inflammatory benefits. Convinced?
What Type Of Foods Can I Eat On A Paleo Diet?
As stated earlier, the paleo diet consists of vegetables, fresh fruits, healthy oils, nuts, lean meats, and fish. This means that you have a ton of meal ideas you can create, such as:
- Asian Beef And Vegetable Noodles
- Paleo Meatloaf
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts With Steamed Broccoli
- Garlic Butter Baked Salmon
- Almond Flour Banana Bread
- Veggie Wrapped BLT Burgers
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
- Peach Glazed Lamb Chops
- Spinach and Kale Green Smoothie
- Roasted Turkey and Spinach Wraps
- Grilled Tilapia with Asparagus
- Chicken Cesar Salads
And a personal favourite, Steamed Vegetable Egg Rolls.
If you’re looking for easy-to-prepare paleo meals, consider prepped mason jar salads that incorporate the following paleo-approved food items:
- Fruits like apples, blood oranges, blueberries, and peaches.
- Non-starchy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower
- Healthy oils like olive oil and avocado oil
- Nuts like cashews and walnuts
- Lean meats like veal, pork, chicken, crab, salmon, and tilapia
What’s The Difference Between The Paleo and The Keto Diet?
One of the main differences between the Paleo diet and the Keto diet is sugar consumption. Paleo followers adopt a meal plan focused on consuming lean meats and non-starchy vegetables and not consuming food items like rice, grains, or beans primarily. On the other hand, Keto allows most items from the Paleo food restriction list, as long as there’s no consumption of carbs above 15 grams, which would trigger insulin production.
Insulin production would throw one out of the fat-burning ketosis process and revert to using sugar for fuel. This means that fast food options, bread, and sweets can be eaten in moderation every two hours on Keto instead of not being allowed on Paleo.
Tips and Tricks To Help You Stay On The Paleo Journey
On average, it takes 90 to 120 days to form a new habit, so trust when I say that you will have good and bad days. Above all, the key to the paleo diet is not to deprive yourself. Should you feel like you’re about to cave into something salty and sweet, then be proactive a grab an apple and a handful of nuts like cashews to give you that same effect.
Here are some more tips and tricks that I have found to be helpful:
- Starting the day off with high protein and vegetables (and a good bit of oil) will keep you from rushing for potato chips and French fries come lunchtime.
- Always keep a special blend of paleo salad dressing in your bag or purse in case you have to dine out.
- Salad mason jar recipes are a blessing. Make them an ally.
- Adding fruits and vegetables like cucumbers to your water gives you flavor without added chemicals.
Lastly, vary your meal plan so that you don’t become dulled out from monotony. For example, have a ‘good fat’ day where most of your meals incorporate oils like avocado, coconut, and olive, like Raspberry Glazed salmon with roasted peppers. Consume higher amounts of nuts in combination with vegetables, like Broccoli Cashew Salad or Cranberry-Walnut Brussel Sprouts. On other days go light and easy with fruit salads and fruit smoothies.