What is the Paleo Template?
The Paleo Template has been around for a long time- since the Paleolithic Era actually, thus the name. The premise behind it is to eat what would have been eaten on a daily basis by someone living in the Paleolithic Era, which dates from 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. A Paleo diet consists of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds- foods in their whole forms that are unprocessed and unaltered. It limits foods that became popular with the rise of processing and non-traditional preservation techniques (canning etc.) like breads, pastas and other grains, sweets, and some dairy.
The Paleo Template is not a diet in the traditional sense. It is a daily long-term way of eating to nourish your body and provide all of the essential building blocks your body needs to function optimally. It is not a temporary “diet” to use to achieve weight loss or another specific goal (but you probably will lose some extra weight!). The decision to eat Paleo stems from the want to return to a more natural way of eating and move away from processed foods. Many people believe that the body functions better when it is nourished by foods that have always been available to humans instead of the more common Standard American Diet (SAD), which is based on processed grains and pre-made foods. Since humans ate whole, nutrient dense, unaltered foods for millions of years, our bodies are ready to break down and utilize all of the nutrients available in those foods. By highly processing and altering the make up of food, we are introducing foreign objects into our systems that our bodies have to decide how to best digest and utilize. This can lead to small intestinal lining damage, nutrient absorption issues, liver overload from trying to detoxify all of the toxins, and many other health issues.
Choosing foods on a Paleo Template is pretty easy once you understand the premise.
· Choose whole foods- Carrots, apples, pork chops, almonds, etc. Anything that you can place in your hand that is ONE ingredient.
o Stay away from processed foods- Cereal, pre-made dinners, pasta, bread, basically anything with an ingredient list longer than 5 items.
· Cook at home- By choosing our own ingredients, we can control the health of our meals.
· Use traditional preservation techniques- Canning, freezing, and vacuum sealing preserves healthy foods for future use instead of purchasing foods with artificial preservatives that are unnecessary and unhealthy.
The 80/20 Rule
Some people follow a strict Paleo Template 100% of the time. If that’s you, great! If not, choosing to eat Paleo about 80% of the time is a great compromise for many people. Sometimes seeing foods that “aren’t allowed” can make you feel deprived and we all know how hard it is to stick with something that makes you feel like you’re missing out. By eating Paleo most of the time, but still allowing those occasional non-Paleo foods in your diet, you are nourishing your body and providing it with the healthiest foods without missing your favorite pizza or mom’s famous mac and cheese. Do keep in mind that many of the foods you love that aren't Paleo can be made by substituting Paleo friendly ingredients- like almond or coconut flour instead of traditional flour, or honey or maple syrup instead of white sugar. There's a plethora of delicious Paleo recipes out there, and if you cant find what you're looking for, just experiment!
Want to know more about the Paleo Template? I can help you learn which foods to choose and which to stay away from, provide some delicious Paleo friendly recipes and show you how choosing a nutrient dense, whole foods diet can drastically improve your health in just a few months.