How To Live A Paleo Lifestyle The Ultimate Guide

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paleo lifestyle

Paleo A Lifestyle Choice

Paleo or the Paleo lifestyle, with the research I’ve done, is a lifestyle choice. Sure, in the very early stages of transitioning to Paleo it’s considered solely a diet.

However, if you continue and you will, it quickly transcends into a lifestyle. A Paleo lifestyle is no different than, Vegan, Plant-Based, Vegetarianism, or Keto.  A lifestyle choice.  

They are all lifestyle diet choices, sure Veganism and Paleo are polar opposites to each other. The point I’m making is these are all lifestyle diet choices.

The Paleo Lifestyle is also known as the Stone Age, Caveman, or Ancient Diet. This is a modern attempt to replicate what early humans consumed on a daily basis in the Paleolithic area which was 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.

These ancient hunters and gatherers lived before the invention of farming, trapped wild game (like bears, mammoths, venison, and boar), and ate eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and roots. Do you ever imagine the great diversity they had?

 

Paleo Aim And Reasoning

The paleo diet is to return to the simplest way of eating that’s more in tune with what our early ancestors ate tens of thousands of years ago.

Essentially removing processed foods and carbs from your diet. Eliminating ingredients that have been produced as a result of modern farming practices.   

The aim of a Paleo lifestyle diet is to return to the simplest way of eating that’s more in tune with what early humans ate.  

To put it plainly, the human body is more suited to a hunter-gatherer diet of animals, wild fruits, and vegetables than an agricultural one. The explanation for this is that our bodies are genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices.

A plan referred to as the discordance hypothesis. The discordance hypothesis is a farming theory that claims changes in the human diet have caused milk, grain, and legume to become staple crops.

This relatively late and rapid change in our diet, in keeping with the hypothesis, outpaced our body’s ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions seen in society today.

Med Rare Smoked Beef Rib Eye
Med Rare Smoked Beef Rib Eye

Why Is The Paleo Diet Popular?

There have been successful results from people living the Paleo lifestyle and some celebrities embracing the Paleo way.  

Like these 10 celebrities. The Paleo lifestyle has been life-changing for lots of people around the world. Another reason is the emergence of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in the Western world.  TCM talks about foods that make you damp.

Dairy products are one that makes people damp.  When TCM refers to the term damp they’re talking about your internal system. The feeling of being clammy, chilly, sluggish, lethargic, or blotting.

This is also one of the reasons so many people choose the Paleo lifestyle is to remove allergens like dairy and gluten products from their nutritional daily food intake.

Another reason is the daily consummation of whole “real foods” this is one of the Paleo cornerstones. Also, Paleo promotes good nutrition and well-rounded eating habits.

Paleo is much higher in fresh vegetables, natural oils, and fats than other healthy diets. All these positive eating habits combined have contributed to weight loss in many people who have and still are living the Paleo lifestyle.

This gives people the feeling that the Paleo lifestyle is achievable and sustainable. Removing carbs, dairy, and processed foods from your diet has an effect on some people feeling healthy within themselves. If your body feels healthy, your mind will follow.

What Are The 5 Paleo Principles?

If you’re new to the paleo diet, you may be wondering what the principles are that guide it.

The five paleo principles are: eat whole foods, avoid processed foods, eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, and avoid sugar.

These simple guidelines will help you build a nutritious and satisfying diet that aligns with the ways our ancestors ate. By following these principles, you’ll be on your way to improving your health and weight!

Fresh Healthy Vegetables
Healthy whole foods beetroot, fresh green beans, and yellow courgette aka zucchini

Health Benefits Of Living A Paleo Lifestyle

The Health benefits of living a Paleo diet and lifestyle will be life-changing for you. This will have a positive impact on your quality of life and well-being.

The benefits of the Paleo diet stem from cutting out modern, new-age foods like refined sugar, empty carbs, and processed and fast foods.  

Paleo includes lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats. This can help to lower blood pressure and help better regulate blood sugar.

  • Removing Processed Foods

Processed foods think of anything that has been precooked, pre-made, canned, packaged, or changed in nutritional structure. Manufacturers of processed foods use methods like fortifying, preserving, or preparing in different ways.  

In a chefs world anytime I cook, bake or prep, I’m processing that food. The only difference is I’m controlling what does or doesn’t go into that food.

They also contain large amounts of sodium and/or sugar, when consumed daily have a negative effect on your health and well-being. No sodium and sugar-saturated nasty fast foods.

Removing fast foods from your diet will have a instant positive impact on your health. Especially if you consume fast foods on a regular basis. Fortified foods are those that have nutrients added to them that don’t naturally occur in the food.

  • No Refined Or Empty Carbohydrates

When I discuss refined or empty carbs.  I’m talking about grains that have had the fibrous and nutritious parts stripped away.  

One of the largest refined carbs is white flour, made of highly refined wheat. Refined carbs are stripped of just about all fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  

Refined carbohydrates are empty calories. They do not provide any nutritional value, so you should limit how much of them you eat.

Eating too many refined carbs can lead to weight gain as well as a host of other diseases like diabetes and heart disease. You know what, I’ll be honest.

Diet-related diseases are a total nightmare to have and if you don’t do your research on the food you consume it becomes even worse. Think about it this way: refined carbs should be limited in our diet!

Sadly, however, they’re still the main origin of dietary carbs in many Western countries. Mass-made bread and bread products are an excellent example.

Unfortunately, these foods have been a staple in our diets for years. The mass production of them is making it difficult for some people to keep up with their dieting goals.

  • No Refined Sugars

Refined sugars think of brown and white sugar, corn syrup, processed artificial sweeteners, or coconut sugar. Refined sugar is essentially sugar that has been processed to the point that it is stripped of all its naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. This leaves a pure, refined carbohydrate that the body can’t easily process.

  • Increased Consumption Of Wholefoods

Whole foods think of anything fresh or chilled that hasn’t been through an intensive processing stage. Organic or naturally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range, freedom farmed, pasture-raised, or wild meats. (Naturally grown, fruits and vegetables, grown in soil not hydroponically grown).

  • No Alcohol Or Coffee

If you’re still drinking alcohol or downing coffee, it’s time to stop. Alcohol and coffee are highly processed consumable beverages that can be addictive.

Alcohol is also a toxin that should never be consumed in large amounts. Did Palaeolithic man have access to alcohol or coffee? No, they didn’t.

The Health benefits of a Paleo lifestyle are that you balance out your blood sugar by providing protein and fat-rich wholefood meals.

So, you may find that your reliance on coffee to energize yourself will reduce. The heavy reliance on coffee sometimes can be attributed to having unstable blood sugar, resulting in low energy levels.

Fresh Healthy Whole Vegetables
Fresh Healthy Whole Vegetables

Paleo What Can You Eat?

  • Organic, naturally grown fruits, including stone fruits, berries, and melons.
  • Organic, naturally grown vegetables, including beans with edible pods, snow peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.
  • Unprocessed nuts and seeds.
  • Lean meats, grass-fed, free-range, and freedom-farmed meats, or wild game meats.
  • Wild salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna are all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids!
  • These species of fish can help to protect against heart disease and may even lower your risk for stroke.
  • The best part is that these types of fish also happen to be delicious!
  • Oils from fruits and nuts such as virgin olive oil and walnut oil. 
  • Sea or course unrefined salt, fresh herbs, and fresh unprocessed spices.
  • Natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, date sugar, and maple syrup.

Are Olives Paleo?

Olives picked straight from the tree are virtually inedible. They go through a long process to become edible. There is a large amount of salt added at each stage of the process. They are covered with brine and fermented. For these reasons, olives are not considered to be paleo.

The strictest guidelines of the Paleo diet are followed by those who want to have a diet and lifestyle change. The plan is highly focused on whole, natural foods like fruits and vegetables with minimal processing which can be challenging for someone used to fast foods and processed meats such as bacon!

Try and eat organic, free-range, freedom-farmed, or wild foods. However, if your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase these, go for the less processed options. There are ways on how do you save on fresh produce.

The research I’ve done found there are some grey areas when it comes to what foods you can eat or not. These are hen eggs, potatoes, ancient grains like spelt, freekeh, bulgur, faro, millet, barley, sorghum; quinoa, buckwheat, and chia, dried herbs, and spices.  

There are some Paleo diets that allow these to be consumed and most that don’t. I would recommend finding what suits you and sticking to it. Be constant, realistic, and where possible buy organic, free-range, natural, or the less processed options.

Fresh Herb and Garlic Seared Beef Rump
Fresh Herb and Garlic Seared Beef Rump

When Going Paleo What Foods Do You Need To Avoid 

  • Processed sugar includes soda/soft drinks, candy, commercial fruit juices, and high fructose corn syrup. 
  • New age grains like wheat, rye, flour-based products like pasta, couscous, bread, and all bread products.
  • Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, fava (broad) beans, soya beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans. This also includes sprouts and mung beans. 
  • Rice, Basmati, Jasmine, long, medium, and short-grain.  Risotto and noodles.
  • Bacon processed small goods like salami, ham, all sausages, and sausage meat.  Battered, crumbed, or breaded meats or seafood. 
  • Vegetable oils like soya bean oil, sunflower oils, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, and canola oil. 
  • Artificial sweeteners like Sucralose and many others.  
  • Iodised (table) salt, ground pepper.

Can You Drink Alcohol On A Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is not known for its alcohol consumption, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Alcohol can be a toxin in the body and should be avoided in strict Paleo lifestyles.

It also contains processed ingredients, so it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol on this diet. However, if you’re looking for a drink that doesn’t have these issues with the Paleo lifestyle, try kombucha!

The benefits of kombucha include antioxidants and probiotics which can help your gut flora balance out when eating more protein-rich foods like meat and eggs.

Paleo Grubs Book Offer

How To Start A Paleo Diet

Firstly, you want to get yourself a Paleo cookbook that will have detailed recipes and in-depth resources on what you can eat.  

A great option is Paleo Grubs Cookbook

This cookbook has over 470 easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes with a 10-week meal plan to get you started and support you with your transition to a Paleo lifestyle.  

You can stop stressing about what to cook and eat on a daily basis and start enjoying healthy natural and nutritional whole foods.

Another thing you will need to do is remove all the foods that are not part of the Paleo diet from your kitchen. Do this sooner than later, don’t throw them away, you can give the food to family, friends, or charity.

Can The Whole Family Go Paleo?

The principal difference between the Paleo diet and other healthy diets is the scarcity of whole grains and legumes.  

These are considered a good source of fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.  Also, dairy products are removed from the Paleo diet,

Which are good sources of calcium, especially for children and young people. I would recommend not including children in the Paleo diet, however, if it is you and your partner yes it would be suitable.  

Talk to your partner, you can possibly do it together and support each other. For some families, a Paleo Lifestyle would be too expensive.

The main foods consumed on the Paleo diet are lean meats, fresh seafood, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These foods not only are considered healthy but are generally more affordable and accessible.  

Compared to such foods as organic fruits and vegetables, wild fish and game, free-range, freedom-farmed, pasture-raised, or grass-fed meats.  

Freshly Picked Blueberries
Freshly Picked Blueberries
Picking The Freshest Blueberries
My wife picking fresh blueberries

What To Expect When First Starting A Paleo Diet 

When you first start a Paleo diet, in the beginning, you will have a noticeable lack of energy. This is due to the removal of processed foods, carbs, and sugar from your diet.  

Once your body adjusts which will be 2 – 4 weeks, other people will adjust quickly. However, you will adjust. Sugar, carbs, or fast food cravings, I put this down to something called the Motivational Triad.  Change in your bowel movements, eating whole “real foods” you will be more regular.

As someone put it “eat like a sparrow and poop like an elephant”.  Not the other way around. The long-term effects you will notice feeling more energetic, weight loss, mental sharpness, and a positive upbeat attitude.  

Why Should You Go Paleo?

The Paleo diet is realistic, achievable, substantial, and more importantly healthy. Removing empty carbs, fast foods, refined sugar and toxins like alcohol from your diet will have a positive effect on your health and well-being.

Following a paleo lifestyle has been shown to improve gut health, increase energy levels, and help with weight loss.

The paleo diet is high in protein and healthy fats, and low in carbs. It’s thought to be one of the healthiest ways to eat because it’s nutrient-rich and helps reduce inflammation in the body.

One of the best things about the Paleo diet is that it is simple to follow – there are no complicated calculations.

Final Words On Going Paleo

  • The research I’ve done has shown that the Paleo diet has merit. If you’re looking for something that you feel could be achievable and sustainable. The Paleo lifestyle would be for you.
  • Removing empty carbs, fast foods, refined sugar, and toxins like alcohol, from your diet will have a positive and long-lasting effect on your health and well-being.
  • The expectations are clear and there have and still are proven results in terms of weight loss, increased quality of living, and well-being.
  • There are so many healthy diets out there that it’s hard to choose the right one for you. Paleo is a natural, realistic diet that when sustained for months or years the health benefits become clear and it becomes a lifestyle choice.
  • You could be looking at what you can and can’t eat and thinking that it looks too restricting. I would say that if you looked at your current daily food intake you wouldn’t be that far off from going Paleo. 
  • If you have Celiac disease or suffer from gluten intolerance, dairy, or lactose intolerance the Paleo lifestyle would be for you.
  • You’re suffering from obesity and have tried multiple different healthy diets but can’t seem to lose enough weight if any. Or lose weight only to put it back on again. The Paleo lifestyle would be for you.
  • When You decide to go the Paleo way.  There is an excellent book Grubs Paleo Cookbook I can recommend you read.  This will be of immense help to you in your transition to a Paleo lifestyle.  

Paleo Grubs Cookbook, You’ll Love It!

Paleo Grubs Paleo
Living A Paleo Lifestyle