Paleo (short for Paleolithic) is getting a lot of attention right now in the media but it’s actually been around for a while – like, since the beginning of time! Paleo is a lifestyle based on what our ancestors ate. Other names for Paleo are: Ancestral, Primal, Caveman, and Hunter/Gatherer. Whatever you decide to call it, know that the approach is what is important.
Paleo focuses on consuming whole, real foods from healthy plants and animals and completely omits processed, man-made, food-like substances that are proven to cripple our health. It is a framework that can be altered and tweaked for each individual. There are many traditional foods that are not necessarily “Paleo” (like raw dairy) that are still good to incorporate as long as the person can tolerate them.
Paleo is not a fad diet. The term “diet” usually means “temporary” to people and choosing to “go Paleo” is a life-long commitment because most people who make the change are overwhelmed with how much better they feel. Paleo is all about optimizing digestion and providing the very best fuel for the body to perform (no, you don’t have to be an athlete – you’re body performs every single day you get out of bed). Digestion is super important because 60-80% of your immunity lies in your gut. Without proper digestion, you can’t assimilate and absorb the nutrients you take in leading to nutrient deficiencies and a weakened immune system. Paleo is also about regulating blood sugar by teaching you how to eat the right combinations of fats, protein, and carbs for you.
Again, Paleo is a template. It can be molded to each individual person to fit their needs for optimal health. Some people handle dairy fine, some handle properly prepared grains fine (grains are strictly not Paleo and many argue they are not health foods prepared correctly or not), some can’t tolerate nightshades, some can’t tolerate starchy veggies and fruit, and/or some can’t have high oxalate foods. Paleo is all about listening to your body signals and figuring out what works best for your individual needs.
What’s really great is that many people with autoimmune conditions like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, fibromyalgia, thyroid issues, skin issues, hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, etc. are seeing improvements in their conditions or even remission by going Paleo. Food is medicine!
Paleo also takes into account the importance of sleep, stress management, and fitness which means it’s really a holistic approach to health and healing. Everything is linked together to support optimal health.
Are you convinced to go Paleo? If you’ve been following the paleo lifestyle, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!