The Paleo Plan
In general, eating Paleo means eating veggies, fruits, meats, fish, certain fats, nuts, and seeds. And it means removing grains (breads, pastas, rice, etc), beans, soy, dairy, certain vegetable oils, and refined sugar from your diet. Thats the easy bit. The hard bit is fitting it into a crazy lifestyle or the 100mph London life we live.
I have been enjoying this plan for numerous years now and I have really reaped the benefits. Gone is that last little bit of fat that I could never seem to shift. Ok I’m lucky it wasn’t that much but I could never shift it, now its gone for good. I have the odd slip up but it only takes a few days to get back on track. Thats the beauty of the paleo plan. At the beginning I was near perfect for 8 months. I can have the foods I love again, all in moderation.
The paleo nutrition takes us back to our routes. What we ate when we were first created. There is an abundance of information and worse misinformation. Its hard to know what is right and what to avoid. Below, you’ll find the Paleo Plan Food Guide, a list of foods and to what extent they are accepted as Paleo. The guidelines are created using a mixture of all of the Paleo gurus’, the belief of The Field, my own beliefs and what is realistic to implement in your daily life.
Ive adapted over the years and tend to eat more fish than any other meat. I have added coconut yogurt to many breakfasts to give too many eggs a rest. I love eggs. My personal belief is try not to eat too much meat. Even if we are trying to gain mass we actually need a lot less than you think.
I make my own bread(we sell it at The Field) and a lot of the things I used to miss at home. After a little practice it becomes super easy. From amazing salads, soups, crackers you name it I’ve tried it. Even if you don’t have much time it isn’t that difficult to make a super healthy soup to leave in the fridge. Im a grazer and with all my paleo ingredients and foods I never feel bad after indulging. Nothings processed, full of chemicals or sugar. I use the odd amount of honey and if I’m making a cheeky cake I use coconut palm sugar.
FOODS TO EAT:
All veggies are acceptable, including sweet potatoes. Organic veggies are great. Local and organic is even better. The less time there is between the farm and you, the more nutrients the produce retains.
In general, fruit guidelines are the same as veggie guidelines. Organic and local are best. If you’re really trying to lose weight limit your fruit intake as the sugars can add up. I avoided them for a few months whilst i reduced my body fat.
MEATS and EGGS
Eat eggs and meat freely but always try for the organic, grass fed, free roaming varieties. As I mentioned I try to stay off red meat. I have it as a treat once in a while.
Eggs – from chickens, ducks, quail, etc.
FISH, SHELL FISH, FISH EGGS
All species are fine – just be conscious of mercury levels. Know that smaller fish like anchovies/Krill generally have less bio-accumulation of heavy metals and toxins, and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Hence why Krill oil is becoming more and more popular. I take Krill oil. Farmed fish isn’t great but its sometimes It’s the only choice
NUTS & SEEDS
All are good, as well as the butters that are made from them. Also on this list is coconut flour and almond flour. Peanuts are NOT NUTS – they’re legumes, and thus are not on the list. If you’re trying to lose weight, limit nuts and seeds to about 1 small handful per day, as the calories add up quickly!
kombu, wakame, other seaweeds, algae, etc. They’re all good – great, in fact.
lard (rendered pork fat)
extra virgin olive oil
Filtered or spring water
Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables
EAT/DRINK IN MODERATION
Alcohol (all kinds)
Sweeteners – Raw honey, stevia, grade B maple syrup
FOODS TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS:
That means flour, even white flour (especially white flour, actually), so conventional bread, pasta, cookies, cake, bagels, muffins, tortillas, and any other white fluffy thing you may love.
Grains mean rice, corn (including tortillas, chips, corn flour, etc.), quinoa (yes, it’s a grain), amaranth, buckwheat, wild rice, spelt, rye, sorghum, oats, and even gluten free oats. No more grains, EVEN if they are gluten free grains. This maybe a bit tricky to understand but if it looks like a grain, acts like a grain it probably is just as bad as a grain.
Basically, though, if you were to only do one thing differently for your health, in my opinion, it would be to cut out all grains. I’ve seen great weight loss with just stopping grains. They’re inflammatory and difficult to digest. Give it a try.
That means milk, cheese, butter (Except grass fed or Ghee), yogurt (yes, even your most favourite Greek yogurt – sorry), kefir, whey protein powders, cottage cheese, sour cream, and check all the ingredients of everything you eat for those words. Even if it’s raw dairy. You can do it – I promise.
That means SOY in any form (again, check the ingredients of ALL the foods you eat), lentils, black beans, pinto beans, red beans, peanuts (sub out your peanut butter with cashew butter), white beans, trumping beans you get the gist.
Snap peas and green beans are fine.
HIGH OMEGA-6 VEGETABLE OILS.
Vegetable oils aren’t really made from vegetables, which is why we’re still really confused over here about how they came upon that name. What they are usually made from are soy, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, safflower, and sesame.
These oils are very high in omega 6 fatty acids, which promote inflammation (as opposed to omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory). They are debatably one of the major causes of heart disease.
Saturated fat and cholesterol are not actually bad for you. Unfortunately, we’ve been duped for the last 60 years into eating vegetable oils that don’t come from actual vegetables, which are causing inflammation of all kinds. Oh, and definitely stay away from anything that says “hydrogenated”.
REFINED SWEETENERS AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
By sugar I mean “sugar,” “fructose,” “high fructose syrup,” “corn sugar,” “corn syrup,” “malt syrup,” or anything with “dext-” in it, for that matter. Also Splenda, aspartame and anything else that is a man-made chemical sweetener is out. Check the ingredients on everything you consume. Oh, and no juice bought from a shop it’s just as sugary as fizzy drinks.
Too much sugar can make you fat, lethargic, and grumpy. It will hurt to take it out of your diet, and you will have cravings for it. Just know that the longer you eat this way, the fewer sugar cravings you’ll have. I promise! I found out the tough way. If your cooking at home you could make banana bread as this can help with sugar cravings. The ODD piece of 70% dark chocolate won’t kill you & may help this in sugar hell.
FACTORY FARMED MEAT, EGGS, AND SEAFOOD
The vitamins, fatty acids, and overall quality of pasture-raised/grass-fed animals are all much better for you. Not to mention that being raised naturally is way better for the animal. Go to find local, well-raised meats in your area.
REFINED, IODISED SALT – use unrefined sea salt instead.
So thats what I believe will help information wise in understanding the Paleo nutrition. Try and avoid at least one of the three important foods. Grains, sugars or dairy. After you become used to this try and delete a different one. Eventually you should see great results and this will help you with whatever is left to leave out. I went grains first and believe it was the key to my tiny muffin belly I couldn’t shake 🙂 Happy eating…
Nick Crispin – Personal Trainer at The Field