That was exactly the question one of my co-workers asked me the other day.
She had been reading my blog, and wanted some confirmation on what eating Paleo actually meant.
The thing is, she was focusing on all the negatives – So you don’t eat grains? So you don’t eat dairy? So you don’t eat legumes/pulses? So you don’t eat carbs? (Actually, Paleo is NOT a carb-free diet, and it doesn’t even have to be a particually low-carb diet unless you want to loose weight!). I was almost expecting to be asked if there was anything I could eat (some people actually HAVE asked me that question!)
Rather than focusing on all the things I can’t eat, I much prefer to focus on those that I can….
Unlimited tasty, fresh, seasonal, local veggies and fruits. Delicious tasting grass-fed and pastured beef, pork and chicken. Wild meats such as elk, bison and rabbit. Free-range eggs. Wild caught fish. Healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados… and even animal fats as long as they are from grass-fed or pastured sources.
There is a HUGE amount that I can eat, and relatively little that I can’t…. and I find that focusing on what I can eat makes for a far more positive attitude in the long run.
Take tonight’s dinner for example.
We are having crab, shrimp and pork cakes served with a green salad and an avocado mayonnaise. It will taste delicious, will be very good for us, very satisfying. And not a single grain in sight! and it will actually be relatively low carb as well. I doubt we will miss any of the non-paleo foods while eating this meal because all of that healthy protein and fats will be far more satisfying than a bunch of grains on our plate.
The other thing to remember is that Paleo is more than just a diet… it is not something that you follow until you have lost X-amount of pounds and then go back to your normal SAD way of eating… Paleo is something you follow for the rest of your life. It is a way of life – a lifestyle. And you don’t have to embrace the whole paleo-exercise, barefoot-running, sleeping in the dark elements of Paleo to reap the benefits, although many do find that they start to make some of these changes (I know I did). Just by changing one thing, taking that one step to change your diet will have HUGE benefits to your heath.
I usually advise people to give Paleo a go – just for 30 days…. then honestly evaluate how they feel. Then add back some of the grains/dairy/legumes and honestly say how they feel then. I am betting that they feel better over those 30 days, and as soon as they add back the non-paleo foods they feel worse.
And 30 days isn’t really a huge chunk of time to go without bread, pasta, cookies etc is it? Focus on what you can eat during those 30 days rather than what you can’t and you will find it surprisingly easy!