Paleo Mistake #1 – Not Enough Veggies!

I thought it would be a good series of posts to write about- a collection of the most common errors I see clients making when they’re new to Paleo.

Here’s the first one:

Most people eat far too little veggies. One piece of kale, pictured above, does not a portion make!

We’re consumed with thinking of calories over volume, so the idea of eating two cups of kale seems gigantic when one compares it to the thought of two cups of pasta. 

But aren’t volume and calories the same? Isn’t a portion a portion? Either a lot of food or a little food?

Not at all.

The type of food we choose to eat makes all the difference.

Today, for example, as I write this post, it’s nearly noon. An off day from training, I’ve eaten two meals so far. The first, an entire bunch of chard, steamed, along with a free range baked chicken breast, a spoonful of coconut oil and some blueberries.

Then, about three and a half hours later, an entire bunch of kale, shredded, with half an avocado, an apple and some raw salmon.

I will eat three more meals of similar composition before the day is over.

Yes, I repeat, I will eat that much veggies.

Sound like a lot?

In comparison to what I’ve seen on many clients’ diet logs, as well as observing people on a daily basis around me, yes, it is probably a hundred fold more times the veg, considering so many eat one handful of spinach or a few broccoli spears as their daily greens, if that.

This is the very essence of one of the most fundamental tenets of Paleo that I see clients doing erroneously when they’re newly Paleo.

Take out the grains, check. Remove legumes, check, check. Nix the dairy and go. Often, though, it stops there, and they’re left with an empty looking plate of a boring, poached chicken breast, too much fruit an far too many nuts as an attempt to stave of hunger cues that came forth once the body naturally responded to not begin given enough calories at any given meal.

Paleo is not just about taking away grains, dairy and legumes, it’s about adding in literally copious amounts of veggies to each and every meal and yes, that includes breakfast.

Throw out the idea that veggies are a side dish; they’re the MAIN dish! I love my meat and fish and all proteins, but without incorporating enough veg, one can easily run into problems and this I see as one of the most common reasons why people make comments about “not being regular after cutting grains” (actually, veg has about seven times the amount of fiber), or “being worried about eating too much fruit” (well, you won’t want to eat five pieces of fruit if you’re eating your veg!).

Bottom line- eat veg, a lot of it, and often. Get all the colours of the rainbow on your plate by week’s end and you’ll be in great shape!