Spring Into Carbs: Refueling on a Paleo Diet

Carbs and Paleo?  What?  Isn’t it all about meat and fat? Hardly!


One of the most common misconceptions clients have when we first begin working together is that a Paleo Diet is a low carb or no-carb manner of eating.  Little do they know, bread, cereal, bagels, quinoa, and grains in general are not the only sources of this essential macronutrient!


When a True Paleo Regime is followed, fresh produce, primarily in the form of local, in season vegetables, plays a key role in ensuring we are eating a fiber-rich diet and supplying our body with minerals and vitamins, meanwhile satisfying our palate with all the bounty that veggies have to offer.


But leafy greens aren’t the only carbohydrate sources that fit the bill; low glycemic fruit in moderation, such as berries or green apples, as well as starchier veggies like yam, sweet potato and butternut squash are rich in carbohydrates.


But how many carbohydrates should we consume and when? Is it okay to have wild salmon, sautéed garlic spinach and olive oil, with a side of my Paleoista Baked Yam fries for dinner? Or how about roasted Paleo veggies with acorn squash and yams for lunch versus a Paleo chicken salad?


The better question to ask is, how active are you?  If you are in the process of moving from a sedentary lifestyle to a Paleo lifestyle and you’re just starting out with short walks around the block and light activity, you won’t need as many starchy carbs compared to someone who’s running marathons. While it may sound like a silly comparison, it’s worth mentioning since we are taught to include a starch at every meal. This lesson is simply not true.


If you are active, the next consideration is frequency of workout. When did you exercise last and when is your next workout? If you’re a triathlete and you have a killer threshold ride followed by a brick run off the bike in the morning, a side of my blue sweet potato hash with dinner makes sense as you’re getting ready for the fasted workout the next day. 


On the other hand, if you have a light recovery swim or plan to attend a Pilates class in the afternoon, there is no need to pile on the starch with lunch; doing so can elicit a blood sugar spike, followed by a crash, leaving you more in the mood for a nap under your desk than physical activity.


If you’re new to the Paleo diet regime and find you’re a little low on energy, make sure you haven’t made the mistake of creating an eating plan that’s more along the lines of the “induction phase” that some other diets employ, where you’re eating nothing but protein and fat, and not even regarding the sources or quality, at that.

When adopting a Paleo lifestyle, your energy should be high, digestion should be regular and you should feel on top of the world! You can find all sorts of high energy, delicious Paleo recipes in my Pocket Paleo: Before and After Workout Recipes. Grab it for just $2.99! And remember, while it may take a short period of time to let your body adjust, trust me, it’s all worth it!