The Paleolithic diet – also known as Paleo diet – is a diet program based on foods that our ancient ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era. The Paleolithic era was a period that lasted 2.5 million years, ending about 10,000 years ago. During this period, humankind was using stone and bone tools to hunt for food. Because foods were not farmed, our ancestors hunted animals and gathered plant foods during the Paleolithic era.
The Paleo diet replicates the diet of our ancestors, inhibiting processed foods and focusing mostly on free-range meats, organic vegetables, and fruits. Anything farmed is banned from a Paleo diet.
What to Eat When You’re on Paleo:
The diet requires nothing but grass-fed meats, free-range poultry, wild fish and seafood, never farmed. It required organically-produced fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Healthy oils – such as coconut, olive, walnut and flaxseed oil – are also allowed. Salt, spices, and certain herbs are also allowed.
Processed foods like cereal grains, dairy, refined sugar, refined flour, and refined vegetable oil are not allowed. Although healthy, legumes including peanuts are also not allowed in Paleo because these plants are farmed. Trans fat-laden foods, artificial sweeteners, baked goods, high fructose corn syrup are not allowed in a Paleo diet. The same thing goes for anything low-fat or non-fat.
Basic Paleo Menu for a Day
Breakfast is all about packing a lot of fresh veggies and protein to prolong the feeling of satiety. A great breakfast option is an omelet. Just chop onions, mushrooms, broccoli and peppers then sauté in olive oil. Add free-range eggs or turkey or chicken breast to finish.
If you’d rather have your favorite bacon and eggs combo for breakfast then go right ahead. Just make sure you use healthy oils such as coconut or olive oil for frying. For dessert, you can have several sticks of celery and carrots or a piece of fruit.
A salad makes a filling and delicious Paleo-friendly lunch. You can mix different greens – such as lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, and radishes – with avocados, crushed nuts and sliced pears. Store the salad in a large container. Before serving a portion, mix in ground beef, chicken slices or pork chunks. You can also substitute seafood – such as salmon, tuna, shrimp and clams – in place of meat or poultry for protein. Toss the salad with olive oil, add a dash of lemon juice and serve! Eat a bowl of berries such as blueberry, raspberries or strawberries for dessert or a handful of nuts.
For dinner, you can whip up a simple spaghetti squash. Just follow your favorite spaghetti recipe but use sliced squash in place of regular pasta. Top the pasta with roasted beets and greens for a filling meal. You can also add a side dish of pork, halibut or salmon fillets.
Apart from squash spaghetti, you can also eat a burger patty (buns off) fried in either olive oil or butter. Add a side dish of steamed veggies drizzled with olive oil. For dessert, we recommend a modest portion of roasted nuts mixed with dried fruits.