There are no strict rules to paleo because our ancestors lived in varied ways. A simple way to approach this is to research how your ancestors ate. Where are you from? Where did your great-grandparents live and how did they feed themselves?
At a glance, the popular opinions is that paleo is free of grain, gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods.
While I do agree that Dr. Price’s inflexible rules still apply: healthy fats, properly prepared whole foods. The details are truly up to your unique gene expression and your goals!
Several experts have outlined what they believe is the ideal paleo diet, but I think that to truly benefit from this ancestral approach we should look at where we came from, and if that includes a small measure of sprouted grains, properly prepared legumes or raw, full-fat dairy products, so be it.
The point is to eat in a way that makes you feel your best and avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates.
Well sourced foods, preferably harvested locally. Eat in season, and enjoy the varied nutrition that comes from eating different foods, different times of the year. Bonus eating in season is actually a great way to save money too!
Beyond food, make sure to move your body at least 2 hours a day. Sleep often. Connect with your community.
Is Paleo Right for You?
- I feel better when I avoid gluten but don’t really have any food intolerances
- I strive to source better foods and shop at local co-ops and farmer’s markets
- I want to optimize my health without a great impact on my social life
- I like a balance between healthy living and modern-day comforts
- I want to lose some weight, I feel sluggish and am addicted to processed foods
- I believe in the wisdom of our ancestors and am ready to make the commitment to spending more time preparing with food that nourishes my body!
If you said yes to more than two of these! It’s time to give paleo a try!
I like to think of paleo as the big umbrella and funnel in which humans should go through on their way to finding their optimal diet. Truly. I believe everyone should try a paleo approach to diet and life before refining, troubleshooting and beyond.
What are some exceptions when paleo isn’t enough, and there needs to be some restriction on otherwise whole and healthy foods?
Autoimmune disease and inflammatory responses to foods. Digestive distress. Hives. Chronic illness. Insulin resistance. Hormonal imbalance. Severe trauma, etc. Link here to read about AIP (autoimmune protocol) or Keto (low carb, high fat).
Here are some resources to help you get started on Paleo:
The transition from SAD to Paleo Kitchen
Bison Tri Tip