Holistic Approach to Wellness

The Paleo Diet

The paleolithic diet more commonly known as the Paleo Diet is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans (The Old Stone Age). Human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture, which marked the end of the Paleolithic era, around 15,000 years ago. Since then we have gradually created the Standard American Diet (SAD) of processed foods, junk foods and tons of simple carbohydrates not to mention tons of sugar. We live in a fast paced society and our meal planning has become quite the opposite – “lazy.” Don’t get the Paleo diet confused with the Atkins diet which is based on low carbohydrate, high fat and protein foods. The Paleo diet does focus on low carbohydrates as well but does not use any dairy. In addition the Paleo diet incorporates a lot of plant based foods in addition to healthy proteins.

The Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts.

The Paleo diet excludes what are perceived to be agricultural products; grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Certain portions should be established for balance of nutrients to maintain homeostasis (balance).

Proponents argue that modern human populations subsisting on traditional diets, allegedly similar to those of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, are largely free of diseases and that Paleo diets in humans have shown improved health outcomes relative to other widely-recommended diets such as Atkins.

I don’t promote any one type of diet, rather mix it up and individualize it to each patient. That’s key! Paleo has some great concepts and I’m all for the vegetables and good proteins and fats however I’m not a fan of pork or a lot of inflammatory meats on a daily basis such as beef and chicken.

Here are some tips taken from www.thepaleodiet.com and adjusted accordingly to address inflammation. Always buy organic.

Check out a great Paleo Resource called Paleoamazing

Quick Summary

Eat:

  • Grass-produced meats (organic)
  • Fish/seafood (wild caught white fish and salmon)
  • Fresh fruits and veggies (low glycemic and always organic)
  • Eggs (organic)
  • Nuts and seeds (except peanuts which are legumes anyhow)
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

Don’t Eat:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts and beans)
  • Dairy (although goat and sheep milk can be a good source of protein)
  • Refined sugar
  • White Potatoes (sweet potato on occasion are ok and they are full of potassium)
  • Processed foods (not good on any healthy protocol)
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Refined vegetable oils (vegetable, canola oils)

Menu Tips:

  • Breakfast, make an omelet. Sauté onion, peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli in olive oil; add organic eggs and diced turkey or chicken breast.
  • Lunch: At the beginning of the week, make a huge salad with anything you like. A good starting point can be mixed greens, spinach, radishes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, walnuts, almonds and sliced apples or pears. Store the salad in a large sealable container. Each morning prepare a single serving from the large batch and then mix in meat (ground beef, beef slices, chicken, turkey, ground bison,) or seafood of choice (salmon, shrimp, tuna, or any fresh fish or seafood). Toss with olive oil and lemon juice and you are set.
  • For dinner, try spaghetti squash as a substitute for any pasta recipe. Top with pesto, marinara and meatballs. Roasted beets and their greens make a great side dish. Asparagus, broccoli, and spinach can be steamed quickly. Salmon, halibut, or other fresh fish filets grill well with accompanying foil packs full of cut veggies with olive oil and garlic.
  • Berries and other succulent fruits make a great dessert. Pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, sliced fruit, and pre-portioned raw nut/dried fruit mixes are easy snacks.

 

More complex list taken from PaleoHacks page. Keep in mind this list does not reflect an anti inflammatory diet or address food intolerance/allergies. 

Paleo Friendly Foods

Meats – For an anti inflammatory diet eat more white meat and always eat organic grass fed

  •         Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, geese, guinea fowl, pigeon, ostrich, emu, partridge, pheasant, quail, eggs
  •         Red meat: beef, lamb, venison, veal, mutton, goat, bison, elk, buffalo
  •         Yak
  •         Moose
  •         Pork (not much as it pulls electrolytes out of the body)
  •         Rabbit
  •         Wild Boar
  •         Rattlesnake
  •         Alligator
  •         Reindeer
  •         Turtle

Seafood- For Anti Inflammatory Diet eat white fish and salmon (Wild Caught of course)

  •         Catfish
  •         Anchovy
  •         Mahi Mahi
  •         Mackerel
  •         Prawns
  •         Cod
  •         Bass
  •         Swai
  •         Shad
  •         Pollock
  •         Cuttlefish
  •         Sole
  •         Char
  •         Marlin
  •         Flounder
  •         Lamprey
  •         Shark
  •         Oysters
  •         Mussels
  •         Swordfish
  •         Halibut
  •         Salmon
  •         Snapper
  •         Barracuda
  •         Tuna
  •         Scallops
  •         Crayfish
  •         Whitefish
  •         Abalone
  •         Trout
  •         Basa
  •         Octopus
  •         Crayfish
  •         Bonito
  •         Bluefish
  •         Haddock
  •         Milkfish
  •         Squid
  •         Perch
  •         Roughy
  •         Herring
  •         Grouper
  •         Sardines
  •         Shrimp
  •         Clams
  •         Walleye
  •         Tilapia
  •         Sunfish
  •         Lobster
  •         Crab

Vegetables

  •         Leafy greens: kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, beet greens, chard, mustard greens, radicchio, turnip greens, purslane, watercress, collard greens, dandelion greens, cabbage
  •         Cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, broccolini, cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli rabe, rutabaga, horseradish, radish, daikon
  •         Tubers and safe starches: carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, taro, cassava, yucca
  •         Squashes: butternut, acorn, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, Mexican gray squash, Kabocha squash, Delicata squash, spaghetti squash
  •         Asparagus
  •         Eggplant
  •         Bell peppers
  •         Hot peppers
  •         Sweet peppers
  •         Artichoke
  •         Squash blossoms
  •         Onions
  •         Celery
  •         Garlic
  •         Fennel
  •         Leeks
  •         Shallots
  •         Green onions
  •         Cucumbers
  •         Beets
  •         Bamboo shoots
  •         Jicama
  •         Seaweed
  •         Cactus

Fruit – Watch the sugar if you are addressing inflammation. Keep it to 25 grams per day. That’s 1-2 servings per day for most fruit.

  •        Berries: blueberries, blackberries, acai, raspberries, lingonberries, Marion berries, cranberries, strawberries, goji, elderberries, currants, bilberries
  •         Stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, apricots
  •         Citrus: lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, pomelos
  •         Coconuts
  •         Apples
  •         Plantains
  •         Avocado
  •         Watermelon
  •         Papaya
  •         Bananas
  •         Honeydew
  •         Mango
  •         Lychee
  •         Grapes
  •         Tomatoes
  •         Tomatillos
  •         Pineapple
  •         Cantaloupe
  •         Figs
  •         Dragon fruit
  •         Guava

Oils & Fats

  •         Olive oil
  •         Coconut oil
  •         Flaxseed oil
  •         Walnut oil
  •         Avocado oil
  •         Macadamia nut oil
  •         Rendered animal fats
  •         Lard (sparingly if at all)
  •         Tallow (beef or mutton fat)
  •         Ghee (clarified butter)

Nuts & Seeds – A little goes a long way as they are high in fat and calories but loaded with nutrition so do include them most definitely!

  •         Macadamia nuts
  •         Walnuts
  •         Hazelnuts
  •         Almonds
  •         Pecans
  •         Pine nuts
  •         Flax seeds
  •         Pumpkin seeds
  •         Sunflower seeds
  •         Sesame seeds

WHAT TO AVOID ON THE PALEO DIET

Dairy

Dairy is considered a gray area in the Paleo community so make it a personal choice and as with any food, make sure you are not intolerant. Go for grass-fed and pasture-raised cows produce higher-quality milk. Fermented dairy, like yogurt and kefir, also offers the benefits of probiotics. If you choose to consume dairy, opt for the quality stuff. Otherwise, try additive-free nut and coconut milks.

  •         Milk
  •         Cheese
  •         Ice cream
  •         Butter
  •         Cream cheese
  •         Evaporated milk
  •         Condensed milk
  •         Yogurt
  •         Frozen yogurt

Grains

Grains are controversial theses days because of GMO’s and of course gluten. They are not what they use to be. You can get plenty of nutrition without them as long as you eat a good variety of other foods on the list.

  •         Cereal grains
  •         Corn
  •         Wheat
  •         Pseudocereals: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat
  •         Enriched flours
  •         Pasta
  •         Semolina
  •         Polenta
  •         Grits
  •         Oats
  •         Barley

Legumes

While typically considered health foods, especially for vegetarians, however according to the Paleo diet, legumes have a major downside: phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to nutrients in the food, preventing you from absorbing them.” While phytic acid is present in a number of Paleo-friendly foods (like nuts), these foods are generally consumed in smaller quantities. Legumes, however, constitute a staple in many diets around the world, leading to overexposure to phytic acid.

  •         Lentils
  •         Beans: black beans, pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas, lima beans, Adzuki beans, Mung beans, navy beans, fava beans
  •         Peas
  •         Peanuts and peanut products
  •         Green beans
  •         String beans
  •         Snap peas
  •         Soybeans and soy products
  •         Tofu

Refined Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners

The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar annually. That’s alarming and a huge contributor to candida and inflammation.  We are healthier to stay away from it on any diet protocol.  There are only a few Paleo-friendly sweetening agents: fruit, raw honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut sugar, all of which are low on the glycemic index. Still, these should not be a diet staple.

  •         Acesulfame K
  •         Aspartame
  •         Neotame
  •         Saccharin
  •         Sucralose
  •         Refined white sugar
  •         Refined brown sugar
  •         Agave
  •         Molasses
  •         Turbinado sugar
  •         Cane sugar
  •         Beet sugar
  •         Maltitol
  •         Mannitol
  •         High fructose corn syrup
  •         Isomalt
  •         Treacle
  •         Cane juice
  •         Xylitol

Highly-Processed Junk Foods

Not need to say much here as we all know to avoid junk food. I always say, once you are at optimal health you can do the 80/20 rule and bring in a few treats here and there. I promise you though once you eliminate junk food your taste buds will change for the better and it just won’t taste as good as before. That would be a good thing.

  •         Fast foods
  •         Processed candy bars
  •         Gummy candy
  •         Lollipops
  •         Ice cream
  •         Sodas
  •         Diet sodas
  •         Processed meats: lunch meat, hot dogs, Spam
  •         Potato chips
  •         Cookies
  •         Energy drinks
  •         Fruit juices
  •         Donuts
  •         Pastries
  •         Processed condiments
  •         Processed salad dressings
  •         Cakes
  •         Pretzels
  •         Popsicles

 

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