The Paleo diet—it’s hard to pin down just exactly what it is. Matt, a GreenAcres owner and store manager in our Bradley Fair store, follows the Paleo diet. He eats meat, veggies, seeds and fruit, and eschews cane sugar in all its forms and bread, to my knowledge.
Barb Mainz, one of our supplement market team members, has followed the paleo diet for years. When we see her choosing lunch, there’s usually a raw or kale salad on her plate and several other vegetables (no potatoes included.) Barb is not vegetarian, but both she and Matt eat small portions of meat.
So what’s good about a diet that leaves out cookies? When I ask Paleo followers what motives them food-wise, they mumble something like, “It’s just what my body likes.” Well, how does one know what one’s body likes? Most of us just like good, healthy food, and occasionally some unhealthy food. Some of us think our bodies like ice cream, but that’s not Paleo. It’s how you feel with a particular nutrition/exercise/sleep regimen—not what YOU like. Get it?
Paleos are a breed apart. They can detox on a whim, give up sugar forever, never let a soft drink pass their lips. They are both disciplined and driven. And they usually look good. They’re in shape, lean and trim. They’re either super human or in a teen vocabulary, “Neanderthal.” And, that after all is the point. Paleos eat like our ancestors did thousands of years ago, before our food was contaminated with toxins and the government and corporate lobbyists started messing with our produce.
Still, going in search of what foods constitute Paleo isn’t easy. It seems there are several definitions, but for our purposes, a guy by the name of Todd who writes an engaging blog gave an entertaining example of what it means to eat Paleo. Here’s an excerpt from his blog:
Is this food Paleo?
Kashi cereal: This comes in a box and was made from a factory. Thus it’s not real and won’t allow you to thrive.
Whole eggs: We all know where eggs come from. Most of us eat chicken eggs which hens poop out on a near daily basis. We steal these eggs, crack them and then eat them raw or cooked. We know that they are full of vitamins, minerals, fat, protein and other nutrients. Many call eggs nature’s perfect food.
100% Whole wheat bread: Look at the ingredients. It’s not real food. Do you know how it was made?
Pumpkin: Um… yea… this comes from, uh, the Earth. We naturally know what to do with it. Slice it open and then bake it. Easy. Pumpkin nourishes all human beings.
Freshly picked grains: If you picked wheat or rye what would you do with it? Do you have any idea? It won’t nourish you if it’s raw and you probably won’t feel good if you just boil it…
Flank steak: If the cow was grass-fed and local then you can know exactly where it came from. You know that steak is meat. It comes from muscle. You know it has a lot of nutrition. You know that you feel satisfied after eating just a bite or two (or a pound)…
Coconut water: You know what a coconut is, right? The liquid inside is the water. It does not get much simpler than that. Coconut water is nature’s greatest source of electrolytes – mostly potassium. Drink up.
Black beans: Ah, those beans. I fart after eating just a small amount. Thus, for me, I don’t thrive while eating black beans. So, it does not fit within my diet. BUT, if you eat beans and don’t fart and are thriving in all categories of health, then black beans are ‘Paleo’ for YOU.
Paleolithic is a time period that took place before the agriculture revolution which was about 10,000 years ago. If you want to thrive for as long as possible and food matters to you, consider going Paleo. It can’t hurt, can only help, and you just might find yourself feeling better than you ever have in your whole life!