Paleo: It’s Not About Working Backwards and Replacing. It’s About A Focus on Fresh.
The key to successfully implementing a modern day Paleo approach is to mimic the diet of our ancestors ate with foods that are readily available to us in our farmer’s markets, grocery stores and even in our own backyards. I’m paraphrasing what I’ve heard Dr. Cordain say on many an occasion; we don’t actually have to hunt and gather ourselves (certainly we can if we choose), but the idea is to determine what produce is in season and local and eat it in abundance. Similarly, which fish is available to us that’s wild caught and hasn’t been frozen and then flown in from thousands of miles away? And where can we find local producers of grass-fed meat and even game? That’s the core principle. If the foods mentioned above compromise our diets, we’re simply going to be healthier. We’ll have more energy, we’ll sleep better, our bodies will calm down as a result of becoming less inflamed once the refined, processed foods make their way out of our kitchens, our plates and out of our lives and we instead focus on real, True Paleo food. That’s the idea. The idea is not to take the approach of reworking and revising processed (faux)foods that have become all too common in the Standard American Diet and replace their ingredients with foods that may well have a small, occasional part of a Paleo regime, tag them as being ‘Paleo friendly’ and then include them as something we regularly eat. Google your choice of recipes with the word “Paleo” in it and you’ll find a giant spectrum of dessert, breakfast, snack (you name it) options that may or may not use foods that are even Paleo in the first place, with the same end result. Sure, they’ll probably taste sweet and yes, you may not feel as ill since you’ve eaten a gluten-free flour instead of whole-wheat in those ‘Paleo cupcakes’ , but come on. Regularly eating gluten-free brownies, and nut-flour pancakes and maple-syrup glazed meats (maple syrup?) are just not the key players in a healthy Paleo regime that will lead to optimal health. There have been so many occasions when I’ve been approached by a client who’s interested in learning more about Paleo but skeptical after stating they’d tried it and ‘it did’t work’. Their acne didn’t go away, they didn’t lose that extra 20 pounds they’d been carrying around and their migraine headaches stayed the same.