Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What is the Paleo Diet?

As many of you know I have been dealing with infertility due to having PCOS.  A paleolithic diet was recommended for me because PCOS is like having type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance).  In short, when I get carbs they get stored as fat and not burned up.  If you feel like you just look at a bagel and it sticks to your butt, you should probably buy this book right now. 

Started Slowly
Step 1
If you follow my blog, then you know love healthy food and already eat healthy, but I slowly weaned myself onto this type of eating by cutting back from oatmeal in the am and ezekiel tortilla in the afternoon to just sticking to one sprouted grain a day. Until I cut out the grains completely.  As with most things, if you want it to stick, starting slowly, can make it easier to make it a habit. 

Step 2
I unplugged the toaster and took it to the garage along with all of my bags of steel cut oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, flours, black beans, pretty much anything that was a grain, legume, and not on this eating plan.  My precious grains and beans only got stored in a tupperware container in the garage just in case this whole thing does not working for me.

Step 3
I plan out all my meals, so I have things prepared and easy to grab like salmon burgers, chicken nuggets made with almond flour, egg and vegetable quishes made in cupcake pans, a large salad already made, cut of vegetables, fruit that is easy to grab, little bags of nuts (except no cashews or peanuts).  I hit up the farmers market 1x a week and Trader Joe's and or Sprouts 1x a week.  I keep searching for new recipes to keep it interesting. 

Even if you don't follow this exactly.  I would encourage you to add in more lean protein, vegetables, and fruit and see how your body feels. Cutting down on dairy, sugar, and grains can improve a lot of digestive and weight issues.

At this time, I will never go back.  I have been following this diet for 5 weeks now and feel better than I have in years.

The Results
  • I'm Smarter- I have more mental focus, clarity, concentration, and creativity
  • No Cravings- NONE :) Listen up ladies...I don't even miss my oatmeal!  Crazy..I know. 
  • Feel Satisfied All Day Long - Not Hungry
  • Glowing Complextion- Always struggled with acne since I was 11 years old and my skin is looking so much better (except when I'm taking hormones for infertility)
  • Leaner (dropped body fat)
  • More Energy (if you can believe that..I already have high energy, but this is different) 
It is not just Me

Once, I started researching more about it and from my own experience I recommended it to some of the girls in class that I knew it would really benefit and they had the same results that I did-  no cravings, satisfied, dropped weight, dropped body fat.  If you girls would mind sharing your results, since following this diet in the comments below that would be awesome. 

I feel so blessed that Dan is so supportive of me and wanting to help in whatever way he can, so he jumped on board to follow this plan with me to make grocery shopping and meal planning easier.  However, If you decide to follow this and your family does not that is okay. If you are making turkey burgers just have your with greens and tomato and serve his with a bun.  It can still be done.  It is also really nice to talk to the girls in class who are doing this and seeing what they are eating, new ideas, and new recipes. 
No Offense Vegans & Vegetarians
I do buy hormone/antibiotic free meats and try to get the best quality I can.  I like the ones at the Farmer's Market.  I know this goes against the trendy idea of going Vegan and I too have tried a vegetarian, raw foods,  and vegan diet before and it personally  just made me stupid and it makes sense now because I need the protein to stabilize my blood sugar.  When I follow a meatless diet, I have cravings for carbs and sugar and I feel spacey and could not focus.  You all know I love the "Skinny Bitches" and I love all the vegetarian meals, but Protein from nuts, grains, and other non-meat source are just not enough for me and I don't feel my best.   Plus...I like having more definition and a diet lacking in animal protein won't give me the definition I want.  If only I would have figured this out years ago. However, I do recommend figuring out what foods work for you and what does not.  Make sure you are following a meatless diet for very good reason and if you feel like I did, I recommend eating a piece of chicken. 

What to Eat...
YES to...
Lean Protein (chicken, fish, turkey)

NO to...

NOT the "Paleo Diet"
I really wish it was not called the "Paleo Diet" because it sounds like it sound go right into the "fad" diet category like Atkins and South Beach.  Although the name is "the Paleo Diet", it is not a fad diet.  A fad diet typically takes away a macronutrient (carbs, fat, or protein).  The Paleo diet does have carbs, fat, and protein, but it is the source that differs.  It really should be called some thing like "back to basics" "eating whole foods", "eat what we our bodies are designed to eat".

If people jump right into following this and come from the "typical" American diet of getting their food out of a package and through a drive through window, then it will probably be more like a fad diet in that they won't last long on it.  On the other hand, if you slowly crowd out the items on the no list and add in more of the yes list, then it will be a much nicer transition and will be so much easier to incorporate into your modern day life. 

Why the name Paleo?

Paleo is short for Paleolitic. Paleolithic era, caveman times, so eating what everyone's body is designed to eat from back in the day. This diet is perfect for those with food allergies and health problems. 

For Everyone
Most people who have been or are overweight or obese have some type of insulin resistance and following this diet can really help.  Especially..if you find that you are eating healthy, keeping your calories low, working out hard, and you still don't see the results you want.


It is recommended to have one meal a week that is "non-paleo".  It is nice to have this every week where I choose one thing to have that is on the "no" list and then it makes me remember why I'm eating the way I am.   It is the same thing as following the 90/10 & 80/20 rule, except this seems a little more like 95/5, but it can be what you make it to be. 

I normally choose high quality raw chocolate for my one "non-paleo" treat, but this week for Easter, I had a piece of this fruit tart and I thought I was going to die.  I had fuzzy head, tummy ache, and felt horrible that whole next day. It made me realize that people eat processed carbs, sugar, and fake non-foods all day long, everyday and live life feeling bad and they don't even know it.  Normally people don't realize how good they feel everyday from eating healthy until they have something that is not as good for their body and see how it makes them feel.  You can feel amazing everyday by being selective about what you put in your body.  It makes a difference, not just when you put on your jeans, but in your energy level and mental well being.

The Book
I put a link to the book I recommend buying. There is some fascinating information in there. 

Share your Results
I talked about this in class on Saturday and I know I have recommended this to a few girls in class that I knew it would help.
If you follow this, or just started trying to follow this, I would love for you to post your results below (good & bad).


  1. A good explanation and story. Except the bit about one cheat a week. I don't know who recommends any cheating. You wouldn't suggest to a recovering alcoholic that they can cheat once a week, would you?

    I don't see any coconut in your diet. Generally paleo eaters love adding coconut. Instead of paleo diet you can call it paleo eating, since it is a lifestyle that should be for the rest of one's life.

    Loren Cordain's The Paleo Diet is clearly the most popular book out there. But there are others out there. On this page I list all the variations:


  2. Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate your input.
    I do like the name "Paleo Eating" and will use that for sure. I do use coconut in my diet. I love drinking coconut water after my workouts & coconut milk in my shakes. I use the oil and coconut butter sometimes, but prefer other types of oil. I don't like shredded coconut at all, which is why I don't use it.

    As to your question about who recommends cheating, The Paleo Diet book does and I sited the pages below.

    Page 138-139 in The Paleo Diet book it states
    "On level III you should substitute one Open Meal a week for any of the meal plans"

    Page 20 "Open Meals"- in which you can still eat your favorite foods. If you enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer, that's fine- it's allowed here. Because the Paleo Diet is a lifetime program of eating- and not a quick-fix weight loss diet- it has built-in flexibility to accomodate a little cheating and your own individuality"

    I really agree with this comment and it is one of the reasons that makes it not a "fad" diet.

    Thanks for the site with all the other books. I'm excited to start reading many of them. Especially any good cookbooks for Paleo eating. I have not been able to find any I really like.

    I do think the cheating depends on the person and how it affects them. If it is something that derails a person and they have insulin issues it is probably not a good idea, but if they can enjoy and get right back on track then it is probably fine. After thinking about it more, I am going to trade in my weekly "open meals" to what they have on the moderation list like dried fruit, sweet potato, and for me higher glycemic fruit like pineapple for my one open meal each week. Most of the time with the open meal like the Perfect food bar, raw dark chocolate, and coconut bliss ice cream, I feel like crap afterward. I'll see how it goes. Thanks again :)

  3. I started the Paleo and in less then 2 weeks I lost 10 pounds!!! I feel great. I have so much more energy and I feel this is a lot easier to follow. Eating out is not a huge issue anymore. I agree with Jessica with the "cheat meal" I find that I look forward to it like it is a reward but I never over indulge because my taste pallet and habits have completely changed.