Here is a quick outline on the paleo diet, or what some call the primal diet. Some of my favorite fitness blogs on the internet are big advocates of this way of eating and I just wanted to touch on some of the basics. The amazing thing about this way of eating is how wonderful it makes you feel. I certainly don’t follow this 100%, but implement many of these ideas into my own diet. I still enjoy carbs a bit too much to be a true follower, but “go primal” when I can.
[I don't think I would enjoy cave exploration, especially back in the days of the caveman. I picture weird looking pale bald creatures with no eyes and sharp teeth running all over the place when you go too deep into a cave...and blood sucking mega-sized bats.]
A Quick Summary of the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is based around quality sources of protein and healthy fats. The diet consists of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, roots, fruits and vegetation. Dairy, grains, gluten, refined sugar, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats are to be avoided. This is a low-carb diet focused on the way we ate before the agricultural era….the way we ate when we were “hunters and gatherers”.
Paleo and Primal Eaters Prefer Free Range and Organic Food
We all know that this is the way to go when it comes to eating fresh food. My girlfriend has recently turned me on to trying to go organic whenever possible. I must say that it makes a difference in the way I feel. It tastes better as well. All those steroids and chemicals do bad things to the body. One of the side effects of pesticides is an increase in estrogen which leads to stubborn body fat.
What I Like About This Diet
Whenever I want to get extra lean, I follow a diet of animal protein and green vegetables along with the occasional fruit. When I eat like this my body begins to use a lot more body fat for energy. Within 4-6 weeks I can get as lean as I desire eating this way and I feel great the whole time. I also enjoy the sense of energy that I feel. So if it helps me feel and look better, why don’t I eat this way all the time?
What I Don’t Like About Paleo and Primal Eating
Honestly, I simply enjoy fresh baked bread, pasta, rice, ice cream, cheese, and various other non-primal foods. Make no mistake about it, I agree with the followers of the primal diet for the most part…I just like some of this food too much to be 100% primal. I’m guessing beer is out of the question as well, so that has to be a “no” for me…I follow some, but not all principles.
A 5 Minute Video Put Together by My Friend Methuselah
Methuselah over at Pay Now Live Later put together one of the best videos I’ve ever seen explaining this diet. In fact, I think this video is an instant classic as far as Youtube videos go. You can learn more about this diet in 5 minutes, than reading on the topic for 4 hours.
[Methuselah is one of the best teachers as far as fitness bloggers go. I am a big fan of his blog and probably don't comment on his site as much as I should. He has a really unique writing style that is hard to explain...until you read his site for a while.]
My Suggestion About the Primal/Paleo Diet
Take an afternoon and read up on the subject. Implement a few of the things that fit your lifestyle and you notice a difference in the way you feel. Even if you just switched to organic foods and replaced half of your grains with vegetables, you will get lean and feel less lethargic after meals. It isn’t all-or-nothing, you can “go primal” part of the week and get solid results.
Here Are Some Great Places to Begin Your Research
I’ve become friends with most of these bloggers, because all of us spend a big chunk of time building our fitness blogs. I am sure that I will miss many people, but here is a good list of starting points.
Mark’s Daily Apple: Mark Sisson has been talking about this way of eating for quite a few years. He has a book in the works on the subject, one of his most popular posts is called The Primal Blueprint.
Son of Grok: A man that goes by the name “SoG”…you gotta love it. He was inspired by Mark’s Primal Blueprint and put it to the test. You have to go to his About Me page and read his story (check out his slide show which shows the transformation). The guy went from flabby to ripped in less than 9 months and is extremely healthy.
Free the Animal: If there was a debate over paleo eating, I’d want Richard Nikoley in my corner. His whole site presents a strong case for going primal and eating the way our ancestors ate. This is another blog you will want to subscribe to. Here are his articles on Paleo Eating.
Art De Vany’s Evolutionary Fitness: This is a subscription blog, but some of his articles are free. When I have time I will probably order his DVD set…his methods are cutting edge. Another guy who I would want on my side in an argument. Art is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. He is not only smart, he’s 71 and is in ridiculous shape. Go to Evolutionary Fitness to see what I mean.
The Paleo Cookbook, by Nikki Young: This seems to be the best selling cookbook on eating paleo to stay lean and healty. Nikki has included over 120 recipes. I haven’t read it yet, but may pick it up at some point to add in some variety into my eating. I hear it is solid info…The Paleo Cookbook
Note: I know I missed a ton of people who follow the primal-paleo way of eating. I just didn’t want to have dozens of links in the article. Please comment and tell me about your experiences with this way of eating.