Paleo is not Keto, Fasting, Carnivore, calorie restriction, No-Carb or a lot of other “diets”.
Here’s a definitive guide from my 25 years eating this way, and teaching Clients the REAL Paleo Diet.
“But I Already Tried Paleo”
True and correct Paleo avoids fasting, no-carb, juice smoothies, carnivore, keto, or other non-sustainable “diets” you can’t live on for 30 years. It includes plenty of vegetables and the right kinds of fats.
The Diet to eat long term.
This is a hearty diet that stabilizes blood sugar and carb storage, and satisfies muscles and brain.
If you’re not eating the way I’m about to explain, you have not tried the Paleo Diet.
The Basis of the Paleo Diet and Ancestral Foods
Every creature has a diet it evolved to eat.
And a specific digestive system adapted to those foods.
Horses don’t eat meat.
Humans don’t eat grass.
Wrong foods for that species!
Humans pretend we are Omnivores and can eat what we want
You could put something in your mouth and possibly digest some of it, but it’s not what your body wants: a nutrient-dense Paleo diet that nourishes all body systems and does not overtax the liver, teeth and gut.
What Does “Paleo” Mean?
The word comes from Paleolithic – the time in history BEFORE we started keeping and feeding animals, and growing grasses and fodder to feed them. We then began early farming for human food about 13,000 years ago.
Guidelines: How to Eat on the Paleo Diet
- Humans knew fire would cook meat 2 million years ago.
- Controlled heat cooking began 200,000 – 400,000 years ago.
As Hunters, we ate almost every part of the animal except fur.
- The “wasted” bits – hooves, scales and bones – were added to the communal cooking pot.
- Saturated fats from animals and seafoods were/are precious foods required for survival and brain development.
- Gathered foods were added to the cooking pot or consumed when meat stores were low. These included weeds (vegetables), nuts and tubers.
We DID NOT/DO NOT graze on grass seed (the grains wheat, corn, rice and oats).
- Our stomachs make Hydrochloric Acid in response to eating. HCL digests meat, not grass seed.
- We lack the enzymes and multi-chambered stomachs needed to fully digest grains.
- Humans did not milk wild animals but we quickly evolved to accept dairy FAT. Dairy consumption only began ~13,000 years ago when we started agriculture.
Nuts, edible herbs. An occasional egg. Rare bits of fruit left behind by animals.
- Real salt from dried ocean beds
No sugar except a little honey (willing to risk your life to get it?)
- No chemicals, colors, preservatives, gums, artificial flavors, MSG, pesticides, factory farms, hormones, etc.
15. No wheat flour, pasta, chips, corn tortillas, sodas and other high-carb, non-evolutionary food.
What to Eat on Paleo: The Definitive Guide
Quality animal and seafood protein (not feedlot or caged), lots of lightly cooked vegetables (fewer salads and raw veggies), plenty of Saturated and Monounsaturated fats, and Himalayan Salt or our Pink Salt.
Add some herbs, nuts/seeds, spices, tubers (potato, sweet potato, cassava), a few eggs, a little fruit and Spring or Reverse Osmosis water.
Eat “dinner” for three or four meals a day.
Want Cooking Tips?
This simple blog post and Podcast share my Top 5 Cookware Tools – I can cook anything in my low-tech kitchen.
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I cook my food for a week on one day in 4 hours. No recipes…. Just food that is no longer raw. Plain. Cooked. Ready to mix and match at any meal by opening the refrigerator or freezer.
The best Saturated Fats to Eat With Paleo
Saturated fats come from healthy free-range animals and fish, or from Coconuts.
This includes Ghee and Butter, the fat collected from grass-fed pastured meats (I save the fat from slow-cooking pastured chuck roast or lamb stew) or purchase Fatworks or Epic bottled pastured fats.
Many online vendors and grass-fed ranchers sell pastured lard as well. (NO lard from feed-lot pigs).
Coconut Oil comes in a variety of prices and flavors. Get a pricey organic one (flavorful and smells great) and also a partly fractionated cheaper one for reduced fruity taste and smell (better for eggs, mushrooms, etc.)
Saturated fats tolerate heat and are the best cooking fats.
What are the best Monounsaturated Fats?
Hunters and Gatherers do not eat plant-based fats except as whole nuts and an occasional avocado or olive. However, it’s OK to add them to the Saturated Fats.
- Olive Oil: buy high-quality olive oil from Europe or small US groves. Avoid national brands (usually cut with Canola or Safflower but not labeled as such).
- Keep Monounsaturated fats refrigerated. Set them out before use to soften.
- Use these oils for seasoning more than cooking. They are too fragile for high heat.
- Macadamia and other Nut Oils. Raw are best. These are often roasted so can go rancid quickly. Buy smaller bottles.
- Avocado Oil
- Tea Oil is one of my favorites. Here’s an article on “The Healthiest Oil You Never Heard Of“. This will tolerate low heat cooking. Get it from Arette Organics.
Avoid Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils: A Paleo Diet Rule
Avoid Canola, Corn, Soy, Sunflower, Safflower and Cottonseed oils.
They have highly processed Omega 9 fats and are completely wrong for humans or animals to eat. They are cheap and used by restaurants, fast foods, most bakeries and packaged foods. Read Labels!
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
- Weight loss and improved body composition is expected, even with hearty satisfying meals and no deprivation. Yay!
- If you are underweight, add more of everything, including fats and tubers. Gain muscle.
- Reduced Triglycerides – reducing starchy carbohydrates and increasing animal protein, fat and vegetables quickly normalize elevated Triglycerides, Glucose and HA1C. I have seen this many times in 36 years of practice.
- Improved digestion: grass seed (wheat, flour, corn, rice, oats, pasta, cookies, etc) is replaced with proteins, fats, vegetables and a few tubers, nuts and eggs. These are foods we ate for millions of years. We only ate grass seed (animal feed) after beginning agriculture after the last Ice Age 12,000-14,000 years ago.
- Reduced gas and bloating. Better digestion = firmer, flatter, happier belly and bowels.
- Stable blood sugar, better mood, better SLEEP. Fewer ups and downs emotionally. No “hangry” misery.
- Delicious hearty food. Enjoy a plate of steak, eggs, green beans and guacamole. Or grilled salmon with grilled veggies and olive oil with small potatoes on the side. If your Gall Bladder is compromised, add Beta Plus Ox Bile and/or Lipase.
- Paleo is filling and satiating. Your Brain will know it has been fed. Reduced sugar cravings – what a win!
Drawbacks of Changing to a Paleo Diet & Lifestyle
Adios pizza, popcorn, pie with ice cream! Sandwiches are replaced with roll-ups or wraps. Your habits will change.
Your budget for MEAT, SEAFOOD, VEGTABLES and good FAT will go up.
Your budget for corn chips, sugary snacks, junk food, cola, doctors and fast food will go down!
A second freezer for pastured meats is helpful. I stock up from US Wellness Meats and White Oak Pastures. And local ranchers if I like the way their butcher trims. Ground meat, stew meat and chuck roast are the best value. Avoid pastured steak – too expensive and can be tough. See this article and Podcast with the author of Tenderizing Grass-Fed Meat.