What is the Paleo Diet?
As part of Healthy Living Month on The Peaceful Mom, I will be sharing some ideas for nourishing your body. [See all the Healthy Living Posts here.]
You may have heard something recently about eating “paleo”, or noticed the increase in Paleo Kindle ebooks. So what is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet (sometimes referred to as the “Caveman Diet” was created by Dr. Loren Cordain who after years of scientific research theorized that eating real, whole foods from the food groups available to our ancestors during the Paleolithic era would prevent common modern health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Followers of the diet eat meat, fresh vegetables and fruits, and avoid all processed foods, grains (including rice, oats and corn) and dairy products.
I am personally not a fan of “diets”, but believe that you should maintain a lifestyle of healthy eating. I find for myself that I have to make positive changes slowly over time for them to work. My diet isn’t perfect by any means but I am headed in the right direction, and eating far better than I did a few years ago.
I think that the Paleo way of eating might be a little difficult to maintain long term because of all of the restrictions, but it could work well for some. I know that my daughter feels so restricted by having to eliminate wheat that she would feel deprived if we had to eliminate rice and corn as well, plus we are serious cheese eaters. Finding good recipes would be key to sticking to the plan.
For those of you who are gluten free due to allergies, you may want to try the Paleo diet for a short period like a 30 day cleanse. Dairy products are a known allergen and going dairy free might help to eliminate some health problems.
If you decide that you would like to try eating paleo, here are a few resources to get you started:
Click here for some Easy Paleo Diet Recipes on The Peaceful Mom.
I will be pinning recipes that look easy and tasty to my Paleo-licious Pinterest Board if you’d like to follow.
You may also want to try eMeals* new Paleo dinner plan that includes 7 dinner meals complete with recipes and a grocery list. A 3 month subscription is $21, or just $7 a month, and the price drops to $5 a month for a 12 month subscription.
My readers can get an additional 10% off by using promo code PEACEFUL at checkout.
Click here to see a sample plan.
Subscribers to my Gluten Free Newsletter will be entered to win 1 of 4 (3) month eMeals subscriptions including Gluten Free or Paleo plans! Click here for details!
Click here to print the free What to Eat on the Paleo Diet graphic from eMeals (pictured above) to help you remember what you can and cannot eat on the Paleo Diet.
Another great resource is Perfectly Paleo– 30 Unique and Delicious Paleo Diet Recipes for $2.99. You will find recipes like Banana Pancakes, Pumpkin Muffins and Strawberry Crepes all made without grains so they are gluten free as well.
The book includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert recipes that all look simple to prepare and which are all grain and dairy free.
This is a Kindle book but you can download it to your computer or other mobile devices with the FREE Kindle Reading Apps here, including the Kindle Cloud Reader which I use on my laptop and home computer.
Click here to download Perfectly Paleo.
Coming soon: Paleo On A Budget–Tips to Make the Paleo Diet More Affordable.
Have you tried the Paleo Diet? What do you think?
Leave a comment. 🙂
Please Note: The contents of this post are not intended as medical advice, but are simply the author’s opinion. You should seek professional medical advice if your situation requires it.
Affliliate links are included in this post. Read our disclosure policy here.
After trying Paleo for 6 weeks last summer to help some health issues,I realized I have a huge intolerance to GRAINS. It was heartbreaking to me when I realized this and I lived in denial for a while and went right back to the grains that were poisoning me. I even did the old Matt Stone way of just diving in and re-feeding my body with ALL foods. After 6 weeks I was so sick I thought I was for sure gonna end up in the hospital. Massive daily Migraines, severe depression and I developed Occipital Neuralgia!
I eat Paleo/Primal with dairy. I love cheese and homemade yogurt! It is a very hard lifestyle to adapt if you are not willing to give up the junk, but I would not have it any other way. I feel better than I have in years.
I think the Paleo plan is very doable if you allow dairy. I am glad that you feel better!
Personally I drink Almond Milk for mine and my kids calcium needs. Myself and at least my oldest are lactose intolerant. And soy milk slows my thyroid down too much. I would think that Almond Milk would be an acceptable form in the Paleo dietary structure.
Thanks Jaylene. I wasn’t aware that almond milk contained calcium.
Like Jelena had mentioned earlier, I was struggling to see how eating a Paleo diet would fulfill your daily calcium needs, especially for growing children and for women. I would think even taking a multi-vitamin wouldn’t completely fill those needs. Otherwise, I think it’s a great idea, especially being able to eliminate processed foods completely. Hopefully my family can incorporate this into our meal planning, however, I’m like you Kim, I like cheese too! 🙂
I know people that love the paleo lifestyle and have lost a bunch of weight on it. I don’t think I’d be able to do something so restrictive though. So for now I’m trying to eat healthier
Jelena@ FabLifePhd says
I am all agianst the processed food, but I’m a bit curious about dairy. How do you make up Calcium? I have recently found out that I’m lactose intolerant( it might sound stupid that I was putting up with pain and funny noises after every cup of milk), but I am still trying to add a lot of lactose free products as a source of calcium. How would you make it up in Paleo?
I know that there are other sources of calcium besides dairy like broccoli for example. Like I said, our family will not be giving up dairy any time soon because we are huge cheese lovers, but you can probably do some research on how people on the Paleo diet get calcium. Sorry I don’t know any more details right now.
Jelena@ FabLifePhd says
Thanks, looks like a great concept to reduce processed food though. I will have a look
I’ve been looking at research that says Vitamin D is far more important than calcium when it ones to bone strength. Check it out.
Hi! I’ve been wondering if/when you would talk about the paleo/Primal lifestyle; I have noticed your recent Facebook posts about your daughter’s gluten-free needs. My husband and I made the lifestyle change 9 months ago, and I can honestly say I have never felt better. I know there is the question of whether the “diet” is sustainable or not, but I think the better way to view it is as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet that could cleanse and detox and aid weight loss. We view it as a sort of choose-your-own-adventure, and most of the paleo/Primal community (aside from some very loud voices on message boards…) sees it as that as well – meaning we know what our bodies can accept and tolerate and perform well when we eat those things, and we make conscious decisions about whether we will choose to eat corn or rice or quinoa or whatever (of course all of which are gluten-free). As you have surely come to realize, processed foods contain gluten that’s hidden as preservatives and other additives, so cutting those out actually is cutting out a lot of corn products as well. We choose to eat rice on occasion, and we also use quinoa sometimes in different salads. However, we made the decision to try to avoid corn in addition to wheat products, because of the corn industry and the politics behind it. Not everyone who does this eats quinoa or rice or dairy, but I think if a person’s body can utilize it and there aren’t allergy problems or skin problems due to these foods, it’s a totally valid food to consume. The biggest lesson we’ve learned from the beginning of our journey in this is to listen to our bodies rather than simply put up with feeling uncomfortable after a big meal or popping Benadryl day after day. Cheers to your exploration in the community!! P.S. other AMAZING resources (if you haven’t found them yet) are Mark’s Daily Apple, Paleo Parents, and The Paleo Mom 🙂
That is a great way to look at it Liz. I previously ate more whole foods (more of a diet based on WestonAPrice.com), but have let things slip a lot because I have been busy and not made nutrition as much of a priority as I should have. I am going to be trying a few paleo recipes, but I am pretty sure that we won’t be giving up dairy completely anytime soon. 🙂 Thanks for the resources too.
My family lives more “primal” than “paleo” — low carb, high in good fats, and lots of cheese! Maybe that’s something to consider. You have to find the balance that works for you. It’s no use being on a diet where you “cheat” all the time because you feel deprived.
I so agree!
I am not one to follow or stick to a diet plan but I had friends who are living a paleo lifestyle and raved about it so my husband and I decided to follow paleo for the month of January. It was definitely a difference from our normal eating habits but if you have the time to shop and make food at home it is not difficult or much of a sacrifice. There are even recipes for paleo bread and paleo milkshakes. Again, different but definitely not bad.
I lost almost ten pounds during the month and my husband just shy of 15. When traveling it is very difficult to stick to since there are very few options available but I would recommend it to anyone to try for the 30 days. If nothing else, it helps open your eyes to how much we eat that is just filler and not sustaining our bodies in any way.
We have added in some cheese and other non-paleo items but we are still eating much better than we did previously. We are also going to start each year with a 100% paleo diet for the month of January.