What is Paleo?

The main thing I wanna erase from people’s understanding of paleo, is that it’s a caveman diet.  If you’ve ever said a joke to someone along the lines of “Do you think cavemen ate paleo cookies?” then you should know, that person has probably heard it 70 thousand times, and is smiling to be polite. It’s too far gone for us to change the name of it now so let’s just roll with Palaeolithic and start to rebuild everyone’s comprehension.

“What am I not allowed to eat?”

If this is your main question, then you’re asking it backwards.  The list will go on forever and you’ll spend every day googling if things are paleo.  What is paleo?  Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, unrefined oils.  There are some foggy items, but that is up to your own discretion.  Some people eat potatoes, some don’t.  Within weeks of starting, you will understand how these judgement calls are made via a more thorough understanding of your own body.  I eat a very small amount of fruit, usually closer to unripened because I’ve noticed over the years that fructose reacts with my skin and makes me sluggish.  Start simple and build off of what your body is communicating to you.  When you dull the loudness of processed foods in your system, you’ll be able to decide if eating kale every day is right for you. (PS: it’s probably not, but it would be funnier if you learned the hard way like the rest of us)

What are the differences between Paleo/Keto/Whole30?

They’re all pretty similar but depending on your health goals, you may want to know the difference.  Paleo is quite simply wholesome foods that are low on the glycemic index, which helps regulate energy, weight, mental clarity, emotions, stress levels, etc. In my opinion, it is the easiest of the three, and easier to maintain longterm.

Ketogenic is about getting your body into a state of ketosis (Low carb, high fat).  It usually starts off with a day or two of fogginess, followed by unreal clarity.  In the #LCHF world, we call it low-carb flu. I advise having a nap that day. Keto is the best for intense weight loss.  On a ketogenic diet, you will have no fruit, no high fructose vegetables such as squash, no natural sweeteners that would be allowed on paleo (coconut palm sugar), and no tubers such as potatoes and yams.

Whole30 is paleo and keto on steroids.  I’ve done it 4 times now and each time I end up sprawled out on the floor begging for chocolate while my roommate tries to console me with an avocado.  Whole30 is a reset to help you break bad habits. The hardest part, is no chocolate.  Second hardest is no alcohol, if you don’t drink you’re way ahead of the game. Being faced with peer pressure at social outings (if your friends are used to you having a beer) is difficult but you just have to say “I’m on a cleanse, and it’s only for 30 days.” and people usually back off.  Third hardest, is not making paleo approved tasty treats.  Trendy paleo recipes you see, like paleo lattes or cauliflower pizza crust, or fancy replications of the unhealthy food you are used to enjoying are not allowed on Whole30.  The point of this is to get it out of your head.  It takes 30 days to make or break a habit.  If you mess up, you have to start over from day 1.  The results are tried and true. Whole30 Results

To assume only makes an ASS out of U and ME

No, paleo isn’t a meat-eater diet.

The amount of protein a person should consume on any of these diets is 20%.  This meme going around with a giant plate of bacon that says “Paleo Salad” is sOoOoOo wrong.  Most bacon contains refined sugar. Finding hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats as well as sugar-free cured meats is the way of the wise.  Even bone broth loses its anti-inflammatory properties if it comes from grain fed animals. The fat from grain fed animals also usually contains more toxins and can be harmful whereas a quality tallow can make a diet anti-carcinogenic with the added bonus of improving hair, nails and elasticity of your skin.  Reasonable amounts of high quality meat is paleo. High quality vegetables are also important if it is within your budget.  To help you prioritize, there’s a list called the Dirty Dozen:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

As for produce, these are important to purchase organic because they absorb and retain pesticides more than other fruits and vegetables.

So anyway, if you are paleo and you’re just trying to explain to someone what paleo is, just say “it’s everything and nothing” and then walk away without saying anything else. Please. Because it’s funny.

If you’re not paleo but are actually interested in trying it out, the BEST advice I can give you is to stay out of the aisles at the grocery store. Everything you need is usually right in front of your face when you walk in the door.  When you start wandering through the “health food” section and pick up gluten free pasta – you’ve gone too far.

This super formal and scientific explanation is brought to you by For the Love of Paleo – Never Feel Restricted

Find your Paleo inspiration here: Inspiration

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6 thoughts on “What is Paleo?

  1. Bunny says:

    At first I was really sad when I read the dirty dozen because I thought it meant you shouldn’t eat/ cut back on them. I eat potatoes, spinach, and sweet bell peppers so often. I’ll for sure start buying those organic! Love this article!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. primallyimperfect says:

    Amazing article! I’ve had so many people react to my Paleo diet in a similar way, they seem to accept “clean eating” and “gluten free” no questions asked but get really highminded at the thought of Paleo… as you’ve laid out in your article, it’s really not too complicated 😀

    Like

    • theloveofpaleo says:

      I’m encouraging everyone to send people this post when faced with that dumb question lol. A good friend of mine makes paleo treats and sells them at the farmers markets and some guy was asking her how cavemen made this, and how she’s enjoying the caveman life. *eyeroll* let’s fix this 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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