These days, it can seem like there is an endless supply of diets and healthy ways of eating, each one more promising than the last. How do you know which one is right for you? By far, one of the strongest contenders in terms of healthful eating is the paleo diet. When followed properly the paleo diet can take a lot of the guesswork out of eating healthy and can help keep your meals simple and easy to plan and prepare.
What is Paleo?
The term paleo comes from Paleolithic, a time frame when cavemen roamed the planet, and the diet is essentially the modern interpretation of their eating habits. Those who follow a paleo diet focus on whole foods, rather than those that have been processed or modified. They also avoid things like dairy products, which can have an inflammatory response in the body, and legumes or grains. Legumes and grains contain lectin and gluten, respectively, which can also spark inflammation. Avoiding these foods is one of the cornerstones of following the paleo diet.
Tips and Tricks
The first step you should take towards transitioning to a paleo diet is to purge your house of any and all processed foods. This will eliminate the temptation and make this time period easier. This can include things like boxed meals and frozen foods. These foods are typically high in sodium and carbohydrates, which can have a lasting negative effect on your body.
The next step would be to start planning your meals. You’ll want to include proteins like beans and tofu and plenty of quality fruits and vegetables. If you’re worried about the price tag of these foods, then get creative about where and when you purchase them. Look for produce that is currently in season, as this will be more abundant and therefore lower price. You can also explore areas like a local farmer’s market, or consider growing a small garden of your own to help trim costs.
As you can see, the paleo diet has a solid foundation that allows you to build and create a variety of healthy meals. Focus mainly on eating quality sources of whole proteins and fill the rest of your plate with fruits an