Sometimes it seems there are as many definitions of the “Paleo diet” as there are people on the Paleo diet. If you’re new to this site, or aren’t familiar with the idea, here is how Wikipedia describes it:
“The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, the term “paleolithic diet” can also refer to actual ancestral human diets, insofar as these can be reconstructed.
Centered on commonly available modern foods, the contemporary “Paleolithic diet” consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, and dairy products potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.”
That being said, here is what it means to us:
For me living the Paleo lifestyle means trying to avoid, more or less in this order, Grains, Dairy, Processed Sugars, and Beans. I try not to eat soy derivatives or vegetable oils and I try to keep nuts and nut products to a minimum. But I don’t get too wrapped up in reaching for perfection. To me, this isn’t about “being Paleo.” It’s about learning about food and nutrition and making healthier choices so I can live a longer more fulfilling life. If I want an ice cream, or a funnel cake, or there’s a sprinkle of cheese on my grilled chicken when the waiter brings it over that wasn’t mentioned on the menu, I don’t have a heart attack or throw a fit. I’m just trying to be conscious of when I need fuel and when I just want to eat poison, and making responsible decisions. It’s not a prison sentence, or a set of rules. It’s taking responsibility for the things I put in my body and being conscious of what effect those things will have on me.
I know that I feel the best when I eat vegetables and meat. I try to keep my focus on eating a wide variety of proteins, vegetables and fruits. I try to avoid grains, legumes, dairy, processed food, and processed sugar.
But I am human.
Sometimes I want ice cream.
…or melty cheese, french fries or sugar in my coffee and I eat it.
I don’t feel guilt about it.
I eat every bite. I even enjoy it.
Paleo is the plan I stick to 80% of the time, because I believe it is the path to my healthiest self. However sticking to a strict good food/bad food list for the rest of my life to me doesn’t sound like the path to my happiest self.
Eating isn’t a moral issue for me. I don’t experience any food allergies and rarely feel discomfort even after “bad foods” At the end of the day I want to have made more healthy choices then unhealthy choices. But I also want to live my life. So in summary;
-Food is fuel, cookies are delicious.