What Is Paleo? A Beginners Guide

I am so excieted to introduce you to Lindsay from The Flynnigans! (and no, I did not pay her)

Hi there!  I’m Lindsay from The Flynnigans and today I am guest posting for Brea, an awesome woman, mom, blogger AND MENTOR (that’s right, I said you’re my mentor, Brea!).  Not only does she write relevant, informative pieces, but she has a lot of fun posts too and I just love how well-rounded she is.  I don’t know how she juggles it all with the many hats she wears, but she does and she does it so well.  Today, I’m bring to you a topic that’s pretty well discussed out there in the web and around many gyms and crossfit boxes.  What is paleo? 

Now you may have heard of Paleo and HIIT but it’s all the rage lately.  You can Google either search term and come up with millions upon millions of hits.

what is paleo?So what is Paleo?

 

Paleo is also known as the “caveman diet” or the “primal diet” and why that is, is because it is based on the old philosophy that back some 200,000 years, cavemen adapted and evolved best to whole foods: plants, meats, seafood, all of which are nutrient-rich.

It was only 10,000 years ago that humans began eating modern foods like wheat, sugar, processed foods, processed oils and other junk.  Accompanied with these modern adaptations are ailments such as autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and obesity and they have become rampant and widespread across the globe.

And so, it is the Paleo approach that emphasizes more of a return to eating like our ancestors used to.  It is not a fad diet, you can be as strict or as liberal as you want it to be.  The key is to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods that nourish us:

  • vegetables,
  • grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs;
  • fruits and nuts in moderation.

While avoiding foods that harm us by causing inflammation, leaky guts or stomach:

  • gluten-containing grains,
  • legumes,
  • sugars and sweeteners, and
  • GMO and/or factory farmed products.

Wondering what eating a paleo diet is like?Download and print this cute guide!

Preparation for beginning your Paleo journey…

 

Research

Most resources I’ve read when I was researching the paleo diet before my husband started was that the best approach to start is to pick a date and stick to it and at least commit to 30 days. I promise you’ll feel better!

Leading up to you beginning the Paleo Diet, I would recommend you take inventory of what’s in your fridge and pantry. We picked a date where we were going to begin on a Sunday and it would easily flow into our work week. The morning we started Paleo (back in March ’15), we purged anything boxed, processed, grains and anything else that fell under the “avoid” category and either threw it out or donated the goods to a food bank.

I do warn you, and you’ll read it everywhere else, when your body is purging all the ‘junk, you can feel slightly flu-like and it can usually be around the 2 to 3 week mark. But, please, stick it out for at least 30 days if nothing else.

paleoYou will feel amazing!

And that feeling right there is precisely why my husband and I are on month 4 of this Paleo journey, because we feel amazing and why stop now?

Look at books, online websites, talk to people, ask questions. See what works for YOU; everyone has a different lifestyle, schedule and needs from the next.

Remember: this is YOUR life, live it, love it and enjoy it.

Don’t be an overachiever and pick recipes with tons of ingredients or foods that you’re unfamiliar with. Start out with simple recipes, we’ll call them basics and once you get the hang of or handle of your new lifestyle, then start experimenting with different foods and flavors. Get comfortable to the Paleo lifestyle first or you’ll just get discouraged and quit it before you even begin.

Remember: The foods you will be eating are not that different when eating Paleo, in fact they’re really tasty and you’re left feeling satiated and not looking for snacks a half hour later to munch on.

Food Prepping ahead of Meals

In other to not make any bad food choices on a whim, when you’re busy or on the run, the key is preparation. PREP PREP PREP. I can’t state this enough. Transitioning to Paleo is time-consuming, as you’re always in the kitchen chopping, cooking, preparing, preserving. Go ahead and get yourself some decent containers that you can put your breakfasts and lunches into. Save yourself the mess and also buy yourself silicone muffin trays. You will thank me later for this.

Here is a sample menu that my husband and I use daily:

Breakfast:

  • salad1 Banana
  • Coffee x 2 (they recommend you drink it black, especially the first 30 days when you’re purging the crap and toxins from your body)
  • 3 Egg Muffins and 2 slices of bacon (we usually make 4 dozen egg muffins a week, with each muffin containing less than one egg, so I figure breakfast is maybe 2 whole eggs when you get down to brass tax). This leaves us feeling full until lunch.

Lunch:

  • 1 Hard boiled egg
  • Romaine Salad with baby spinach, baby tomatoes, pecans, chicken, bacon bits and paleo mayo/dressing (the BEST salad ever and we always crave it, even on weekends!)

Afternoon Snack:

  • Fresh fruit and an apple

paleo dinnerDinner:

  • A protein, vegetables and sometimes sweet potato.

What I’ve given you today are just some facts and examples of Paleo meals and my personal experiences with the lifestyle change, really the tip of the iceberg.

I can’t speak for everyone but I know this path is the right one for my husband and I at this time in our lives and it may not be a forever thing, but for now, it works, we are satiated and we actually enjoy and look forward to eating more nutritious and healthy foods.

Research, explore options and be creative. It’s your life so choose how you want to live it.

Thank you so much for having me today!! If you have any questions at all, please feel free – I don’t bite!

LindsayThe Flynnigans is about life, fitness, food, travel, marriage and her love of animals. Lindsay works in a stressful corporate job in the legal field and in her down time, pet sits and dog walks to give back. She loves to travel, read, SCUBA dive, take photographs, spend time with her family and indulge in far too much reality television. Lindsay lives with her husband and two fur-kids, Charlie and Baxter. You can catch up with Lindsay via her massive social media presence: Facebook, Instagram, Bloglovin’, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube.

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Brea

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