Google Paleo and I guarantee you can find a MUCH MORE scientific explanation than one I'm about to give you. However this blog is intended to be informative to the most simplistic idea, so, here it goes.
Paleo reaches back to studies done on our ancestors. The hunter, gather type. They followed the herds of animals, walking miles, for food and water living off the land. Sure, they didn't live as long as we did (argument one "they didn't live long even though they ate this way") however they were exposed to more elements. Colds, weather, and oh that thing where you were prey to wild animals. Thank goodness we don't have to worry about that now. But yes they ate animal meat and plants whether it were vegetables or fruit. Nothing came from a factory and it wasn't food like product, it was food.
To really dive in here is Robb Wolf's Website
Robb Wolfs What is the Paleo Diet
Fast forward a few centuries and here we are. Our food comes out of factories made of chemicals, boxes, and bags. It's the time of convenience! Everything is geared towards mass production and financial earnings. Who cares what it's made of, we have more than we need and at a good price too! ...yet look around.
We are the worse off, health wise, than ever before. Here are some health statistics from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention:
More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. [Read abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)]
Yet, Instead of doing something to PREVENT this we are merely treating it. We get sick, we go to the doctor, we get a pill. We fight it off, get sick again get a pill. NOW don't think I'm knocking modern science but, let me tell you a secret about our body What we eat has a MUCH BIGGER effect on how we function than we could POSSIBLY IMAGINE and I am LIVING PROOF.
To really dig deep:
66% of us are overweight, 33% are considered obese, and those numbers are only getting worse.
Do you feel tired? Run Down? Have you drank any water lately?
Are you fatigued all the time? have a hard time sleeping? how much sugar was in that last meal?
Do you always feel super swollen when you've just eaten a meal? ....how much wheat/bread like products did you have?
It's amazing. We really think we know our bodies but it actually has lots up his or her sleeves.
I wasn't obese when I started this by any means but something was off.
I was CONSTANTLY eating and not getting full, constantly working out not loosing weight or gaining muscle.
I even thought I was somewhat diabetic. My energy levels fluctuated so much, even to the point where I went and got 15 blood work tests done. I just knew something wasn't right. FUNNY enough it wasn't anything genetic, it was what the poor energy sources I was giving my system then over using it to the point where I was running on nothing by carb, starch , and sugar with a side of vegetables and a handful of meat sources.
Paleo, to me, was like cleaning out my pipes. I had all this junk in my body and it was pulling me down. I couldn't go more than 2-3 hours without a crash feeling like I HAD TO EAT !! FEED THE GREMLIN!
Giving up sugary foods and bread made me realize it was those that was causing my yo yo like energy spikes..."oh I'm tired here, let me eat a cookie"...2 hours later "OMG I"M GOING TO DIE I"M SO TIRED" ....
so on and so forth....
So, in a nutshell, Copied from Nom Nom Paleo's Website, here is a good explanation of what the Paleo Lifestyle (noticed I never use the word DIET) is.
Eat whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense, nourishing foods. Prioritize grass fed and pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught seafood, and vegetables. Enjoy fruit, nuts, and seeds in moderation.
- Avoid foods that will harm us by causing systemic inflammation, wrecking our guts, or derailing our natural metabolic processes. Abstain from toxic, pro-inflammatory foods like gluten-containing grains, legumes, sugar, and the laboratory-concocted Frankenfoods found in the middle aisles of your neighborhood supermarket.
One fact that still is pretty laughable is the food pyramid, the old one that is. Do you guys remember that?
Here is a food pyramid from the 1980's. We all remember this right? Something that kind of really stood out to me in William Davis's " Wheat Belly"
"The sad truth of the proliferation (aka rapid increase in numbers) of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists . Advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through it's National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women . Ironically , 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, tidily documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year".
....crazy...maybe this whole frankensteined bread movement isn't good....
...more on Wheat/Gluten later. That itself is a WHOLE HUGE post ....
Paleo may seem highly restrictive at first but here is my tip, don't, I repeat, do not go COLD turkey. Do not be like a lot of the TV shows you see and throw everything out. To me, that is a huge no no.
Search Paleo Meals on Pinterest, find something simple to make for dinner ( Hamburger patties on lettuce with avocado and tomato's is one of my go to meals) and go from there. I always try to KISS new situations...aka KEEP IT SIMPLE SILLY. You don't have to go and cook gourmet meals the first week.. NO, this will overwhelm you and make you want to just eat a tub of cookie dough.
In my next blog post I plan on posting tips on how to transition into Paleo so KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THAT.
If you read my introduction you have a little info on WHY I chose to do this but to review I'll go quickly.
I had a hard time at work, especially on my 12-8:30 shifts staying full and focused. I wasn't lifting or running as well as I knew I could, and I was just ready to take things to the next level. Around Thanksgiving I saw my gym was going to start a Paleo Challenge for the month of January. I'm not very good at keeping new habits around so I knew if this was something I wanted to do I would need to do research . After doing so, I realized this was something I wanted to do. I slowly transitioned in cutting out something every week, adding more and more meals, and slowly getting rid of things in my kitchen that didn't serve my health. (MORE ON THAT LATER)
Paleo has been the BEST thing I've ever done for my fitness.
I HAVE ENERGY
I HAVE THE FEELING OF BEING FULL
I CAN EAT LOTS OF FOOD
MY FACE IS GLOWING AND SMOOTH
because I gave up bread, cookies, and meals out of box.
My body AND YOURS is worth more than a craving. Sometimes I have to remind myself that when I've hit a moment of weakness this challenge, but everyday I wake up knowing I am worth it.
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for more posts on this challenge!